Stepping Up

There are times in life when we need to step up, step up to the challenge we face and accept the greater responsibility. The time comes when it is necessary to own up to who we are and what we have done. Are you ready to step up? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The opportunity comes for you to move up to a new division, faster cars, better competition, longer races, are you ready to step up? Many times in our racing career we have decisions to make about stepping up to the next level. That comes many questions, am I ready, can I compete, will I be able to win?

In the racing world today many of those decisions are being made at a younger age. To young for many, drivers haven’t had the chance to mature. Many of those decisions are made for drivers by someone else; that adds the pressure to live up to someone else’s expectations. In a sport that is already full of challenging choices this is just another one to consider.

They say the first sign of maturity comes with the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left. That fact is lost on many who were born in the nineties and later because of the advent of digital radios and buttons for the volume. Suffice to say when we mature we realize that life doesn’t have to be lived at full volume, everything isn’t life or death and there are somethings that are better dealt with after we have had some time to think about it. The key to maturity is taking responsibility for your actions.

Maturity means stepping up and accepting the consequences for your actions. That isn’t the norm these days; too many times we want to blame things on something or someone else. When we refuse to accept the consequences because we made a decision that affected someone else we refuse to step up to the plate.

As we close out our Winter Bible Study and our look into Scriptures that help us understand what happens when we meet God face to face let me encourage you to step up and take responsibility for yourself. You and you alone can decide to meet God face to face. No one else can do it for you. Isaiah had such an encounter, let’s take a look at how it went.

Isaiah 6:1-8; In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;

the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

There are a few things we can learn from Isaiah that will help us understand who God is and help us prepare to step up.

First, Isaiah had an idea what God looked like. Would we recognize him if we were standing before God? Do you remember the movie Bruce Almighty? Do you remember the bum on the street corner? Do you remember that at the end of the movie you could see who he really was? Sometimes what we see isn’t what is really there. There is a difference between looking through God’s eyes vs our eyes, feeling with God’s heart vs our heart and listening with God’s ears vs our ears. Would we recognize God if we saw Him?

Second, Isaiah knew he was a sinner. He knew he was not worthy enough to be in God’s presence. Sometimes we are not honest with ourselves and we think we are something we are not. Have you taken responsibility for the decisions you have made in your life?

Third, Isaiah knew that sin has no place before God. We sometimes think that we can have sin in our lives and still serve God. God is a just and sin is not something He allows in His presence. We need to make every effort to live lives free from sin. We need to live in a way that honors God.

We can’t however be good enough to remove our capacity to sin. No matter how good we are there is still that nature in us to sin against God. We still need something to make us worthy to be in God’s presence.

Fourth, God made a provision to remove Isaiah’s sin. He cleansed him and made atonement for his sin. God also made a provision to forgive our sin, Jesus Christ. Jesus came and gave his life to atone for our sin. He submitted himself to death on the cross, a perfect sacrifice for our imperfection. Through Him we can be forgiven and have a personal relationship with God.

Fifth, Isaiah responded when God called. How many times do we come up with excuses when God calls? We tend to look for someone else to answer, surely he doesn’t mean me. Isaiah wasn’t perfect, he was willing, why? He was willing because of the forgiveness he received from God. God did not condemn him for his sin, he made atonement for it. The same is offered to us as a gift from God in Jesus Christ. When we receive Jesus we are then ready to do the work God has prepared for us to do. Will we step up and accept the challenge? Other people’s lives depend on it.

Ephesians 2:8-10; For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD

TUNNED UP AND READY TO ROLL- The racing season gets started this weekend and we are ready, Dan is headed down to Greenville Pickens for the inaugural K & N Pro Series East race and I am headed to Waterford Speedbowl for the Bud Blast-off. We are looking forward to getting back to the track and catching up with old friends, meeting new ones and kicking off a new race season.

Racing with Jesus Ministries had our inaugural training retreat this past weekend at Emmanuel Baptist Church in West Springfield, MA, just a few short miles from the former location of Riverside Park. It would have been great to head down there on Saturday night and take in some live racing action.

The event went well and those who attended were blessed with the teaching they received. Dan and I were also blessed by the commitment of those who desire to reach out to the racing community. Please be in prayer for us as we head out across this land to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to those in the racing community.

We should have some pictures up on our website in a few days so look for them. This was a milestone event in the development of this ministry and we were blessed by God. We are already in the planning stages for our next training event and will let you know when and where.

THE LOCALS ARE TUNING UP- This week sees most of the Northeast opening in some way shape or form for practice or racing. With springlike weather for a change we have been able to prepare for the season outside instead of behind closed doors in the shop. It is always good to hear the sound of those engines. Find our where the local racing is near you and make a point of getting off the couch and take in some live racing action. I guarantee that you will not leave the same way you came. Oh yes, take a kid with you, they’ll love it.

Be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals and apparel. See them at the Show Your Faith Apparel Store at www.rwjm.com. Send us your prayer and counseling needs no matter what part of our racing family you are in, or give us a call. Until next time, remember that God loves you, we love you and

Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.

Mail reaches us at Racing with Jesus Ministries, PO Box 586, Tolland, CT 06084. Check our weekly printed pages in “Area Auto Racing News”, the East Coast’s largest weekly racing paper” Check our home page www.rwjm.com for past articles. Drop us a note and share your input and thoughts. Please remember, we can only do what we do because of your prayerful financial support.

Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don

CHECKERED CHEERS

***WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES***

March 24
DAVE & KYLE MICHEL- This Wall Stadium Modified stand-out and wife share their 18th lap together.
March 25
J.R. & JASLYN WILLIAMS- This Carson City, NV Midget driver and wife share their 23rd anniversary.
March 29
BOBBY & DONNA LABONTE- The Corpus Christi, TX NSC driver and wife have their 18th anniversary.

***HAPPY BIRTHDAYS***

March 24
MARTIN TRUEX- Mayetta, NJ NASCAR KNPSE former driver now biggest fan of his son’s efforts with the MWR.
SCOTT PRUETT- IMSA/IRL driver.
ROGER MEARS- Bakersfield, CA NASCAR Truck Series driver.
JIMMY MAKAR- NSCS Crew Chief.
CHRIS WOODS- Mass. native, now a driver at Concord Motorsports Park.
KENNY VANASSE- Son of Pensacola, FL fans Keith and Debbie Krodel.
HEATHER AUBE- Daughter of Charlotte, VT NASCAR KNPSE driver & crew cheif Jamie Aube and Paula Barry is 17.
March 25
KEVIN CULVER- Portland, OR NASCAR West driver.
TONY SISCONE- Hammonton,NJ retired asphalt Modified driver.
DAVID TOWNS- 3 time Sportsmen Champion 2007,2008 and 2009 at Fonda Speedway.
KURT SCHAFFER- Son of Gradnview Modified driver Rick and wife Donna is 17.
AMY BROWN- A daughter of Farmingdale,NJ Dwarf Car driver Bobby and wife Carolyn.
TRACY COX- Dirt and NSCS Mark Martin fan from Boyertown, PA, wife of Rev. Pat’s cousin Bob.
March 26
JOHN MARKOVIC, JR.- Mountain Speedway and ocasional NWMT driver.
DOROTHY BEERS- Mom of Northampton, PA NASCAR WMT driver Eric.
JODI PAPALE- Wife of Meriden, CT ProStock/Modified driver Tony.
SHAYNE GEIST- Son of Wescosville, PA Mahoning Valley Speedway driver Todd and wife Karen.
NATALEE JARRETT- One of Hickory, NC based NNC’s Dale and wife Kelley’s children turns 18.
March 27
GLEN DAVIS- This Maine based sports photographer has his special day.
ANDY HALL- Formerly of NASCAR, now with the Indy Racing League.
CALE YARBOROUGH- Retired NSC team owner, retired champion and one of the founders of the very first NSC ministry.
RODNEY COMBS- Lost Creek, WV NNS driver.
JEFF FULLER- Auburn, MA born NNS driver.
BOSCO LOWE- Retired Southern Virginia NNS driver.
NICKI STOUT- Neptune,NJ Jamie Tomaino NASCAR WMT driver and NNC’s Dupont driver Jeff Gordon fan.
MACKENZIE MICHEL- Daughter of Wall Township Speedway Modified driver Dave and wife Kyle is 10.
March 28
BOB BREVAK- Ashalnd, WI ASA/ NASCAR Truck Series driver.
JAKE SMULLEY- Jake is the step-son of Big Diamond Former Promoter Fritz Roehrig and son of Fritz’s wife Krista. He was also Frit’s right-hand man at the track.
March 29
DOUG HEVERON- Liverpool, NY KNPS driver/spotter.
JEFF SCHMETZLE- PA Sportsman Modified driver.
JOE ROSENFIELD- Mass. ProStock driver.
RON FOX- Retired CT Modified driver, dad of Plainfield, CT Modified driver Tom.
STEVE GEORGIADES- Crew Chief brother for brother Bobby’s Stafford/Thompson Modified team.
JOE CUDNIK, JR.- Crewman on the Enfield, CT Brad Hietala Modified team.
SHAWN HOULIHAN- Former NASCAR flagman, son of retired WMT driver Dick.
THE REV. BILL WAUGH- RWJM Western PA Coordinator and Chaplain, also Pastor at the Greensburg, PA Church of the Brethren.
March 30
MARIO ALBERTO- This AMSRA Micro Stock rookie at MVS and son of writer Dino from Lehighton, PA.

SHARE YOUR SPECIAL OCCASIONS WITH YOUR RACING FAMILY. SEND THEM TO RACING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES AT PO BOX 586, Tolland, CT, 06084.

Sources: Rev. Don Rivers/RWJM


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