When was the last time you sat down and relaxed, I mean really relaxed? You let the things of the day slip from your mind, your worry, anxiety, stress just melt away, calmed by the assurance that you and your life were in good hands, the hands of Jesus. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Where do we think peace comes from? A win at the track, a great effort by the pit crew, a well run race. We think peace equals happiness, when I am happy I will be peaceful. I don’t think that is quite it. Happiness is a moving target, there is always something more, something else we need to be happy. When we attain that thing, for a brief time, we are “happy”, then our mind starts to wander and our heart starts to pine for something new, something different.
Being at peace is not something we can make happen. We can try to stop doing things and stop going here and there, but the truth be told our insides are still churning. We are in constant motion searching, thinking, wanting, trying, activity that is difficult to stop. Being that way is a product of our environment. We have been taught that we have to make things happen, we have to be on the ball, we have to be one step ahead. That is not true.
Effort and doing our very best are important and extremely significant in our life. We miss the mark though when we think we can make things happen that are beneficial for our life. We cannot control the things that happen to us. We think we can, but in reality everyone else out there is doing the same thing. We collide like ping pong balls in a lottery machine and only one makes it up the chute.
Our thinking needs adjustment. We base peace on a state of contentment, an emotion. We think we attain peace when we have given our best effort and are satisfied with the result. That type of peace is fleeting. That type of peace only exists when things go the way we plan and meet our expectations.
True peace comes from one source, Jesus Christ. Peace is a confidence, an assurance that the person we have placed our trust and faith in is capable of handling whatever life throws at us. True peace comes when we surrender control and follow the lead of Christ. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He also knows what is beneficial for us. He can be trusted with our lives. When we do that we can then be at peace.
Think of it this way, when we need help you go to someone who we think knows more about the situation that we do. We put our trust and confidence in them to solve the problem. There is a degree of peace we receive when we know someone who is capable has the situation under control. When that proves true we can relax, for a short time.
Conversely, when we trust someone and they prove they are not capable we are disappointed. We lose faith and trust. We struggle with finding someone else to help us. We try to handle it ourselves, we try to be independent.
Both situations lead us away from true peace. They lead us to putting our trust and faith in someone who is not able to handle the challenges we face. Whether it is ourselves or someone else, there is no one on this earth that can offer us true peace. There will always be doubt. And with doubt comes worry. And with worry comes anxiety. And with anxiety comes failure. And none of that leads to peace.
Jesus said in John’s Gospel
John 16:33; “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
“IN ME YOU MAY HAVE PEACE”
Peace is found in no one else. Jesus knows the challenges we face, he knows the temptation. He also knows what is in store for us tomorrow. He not only knows the future, he holds it in his hand.
“BUT TAKE HEART, I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD”
Jesus has been there and conquered the thing we fear most, death. He has overcome the day to day challenges we face. He knows the things we need and the things that are beneficial to living the best life possible. He is the creator of life itself.
We not only have hope in Christ, we also can find peace in Christ; a peace that when the whole world is crumbling around us will stand firm. A peace that we don’t understand, but a peace that will allow us to be free from worry, free from anxiety and free from guilt.
This Christmas season we celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace, don’t allow the world to swallow you up running from hear to there trying to find happiness. It is not happiness that we need it is peace, a peace that only Christ can provide.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
IMIS – Another successful show at the center of the racing world, Indianapolis. It is interesting how our attitude is shaped by the people we interact with. You get this genuine feeling that the people of Indianapolis really want you there. I don’t just mean the ones that are providing a service so that you will tip them, I mean everyone. I think the people of Indy really get it, they know how important racing is to their history and their future. I travel to many places and meet many different people, but the attitude of the folks there was a welcome difference to the norm. Thank you Indy for welcoming the racing world with open arms.
After a slow start on Wednesday, I think that was because of all the weather on the east coast, Thursday proved to be a door buster, the busiest days in memory. It is funny though, the crowd at Indy is different than the crowd in Orlando. The folks there are of the dirt sprint car/late model variety and Orlando tends to have the east coast asphalt teams. There was an interesting display at the Pro Shocks booth though, one that garnered much attention. TC’s Sunoco Modified that he used to win the championship at Thompson Speedway was on hand. It attracted a tremendous amount of attention as this was not something that most of these folks had seen before, let alone raced. Maybe it is time to bring the Modifieds to Raceway Park in Indy.
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS TO RACE – From time to time I have the opportunity to get to know some of the drivers and teams better. My friend Rick Raducha shared with me recently about a young driver he was working with, Victoria Bergenty. She is a second generation driver following in her father’s footsteps. Isn’t it interesting how each of us gets hooked on racing and the desire to compete, we are introduced to it by our parents. Victoria talked about sitting behind the wheel and pretending to drive the car while it sat motionless in the shop. I know that dream, I have had it many times myself. I think I still live it out while I am driving the pace car along the highway. Victoria currently drives a SKlite at Stafford Motor Speedway but shared her dream to drive on the Whelen Modified Tour and one day be the crowned the Champion. That certainly is a great goal to shoot for. Victoria understands that will take some time and added, “For now being a part of something – something that brings our family together letting us enjoy what we love together – well it’s a pretty neat deal for me.”
NASCAR HALE OF FAME AND BANQUETS – We are headed back to Charlotte for the Whelen All-American Racing Series Banquet and the Night of Champions Touring Gala. It will be good to talk with folks and see what their plans are for next year. With the schedules out this should help the teams get a head start on planning and finding the sponsors they need to compete. I hope to have some updates for you next week.
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
JIMMY & TRACY CHESTER This Lebanon Valley couple celebrate their anniversary.
ERNIE & MARILYN SAXTON- The legendary Grandview announcer, columnist, Motorsports Marketing Founder/President and Eastern Motorsports Press Association Pres. and the woman who has been by his side all the way have their 35th anniversary.
BILL & CINDY ELLIOTT- Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, GA and wife have their 17th anniversary.
JIM & PATTY MAVLOUGANES- This Wethersfield, CT ProStock driver and wife share their 12th anniversary.
CHRIS MOORE- Vermont based Lebanon Valley Modified driver.
KEVIN HARVICK- NNS/NSC driver and team owner.
KERRY EARNHARDT- Dale’s oldest son; former CWTS driver.
FRANK MUOIO- Westerly, RI fan.
RUSS SMITH- Former Riverside Park Speedway scorer.
TODD PARK- Another son of Bob and Dottie and Steve’s brother.
JORDYN DICKERSON- Daughter of Greg and Debbie, a mod fan in the making.
BRAD TEAGUE- Johnson City, TN NSC/NNS driver.
MICHAEL PARES- NASCAR Modified Series “Area Auto Racing News” photographer.
SHARON HEWITT- Wife of former NY Mod driver, now NSC Crew Chief, Doug.
BRIAN TAGG- Son of Webster, MA Thompson/Stafford Modified driver Tom and wife Linda.
JEFF KERTAINIS- NASCAR WMT team crewman.
ANDREA JIVANELLI- Wife of Riverhead Raceway driver Dan.
LYNN POZZUTTO- Office Manager and devoted employee of Frankland Racing Supply Racing Rears and Clincher Gears; VP Dan’s wife.
EDWARD SHELMERDINE- Son of ARCA driver/ Crew Chief Kirk.
JAROD ROBIE- Manchester, NH Robie Motorsports NASCAR CWES and All Pro driver.
STEVE “WOODY” WOOD- Former Truex Crewman, now NSC crew in Mooresville, NC, also the son-in-law of Doris Bradley.
CHRISSY DIONNE- A daughter of RWJM West Coast Coordinator Gary and Counselor wife Debbie.
RACIN RALPH PERKINS- A fan of Stafford, Thompson, Waterford and Maddog has his big day.
ED LILLY- Retired PA/NJ asphalt Mod driver.
AMANDA & CHRISTEN WAUGH- The twin daughters of RWJM Western PA/Ohio Coordinator/ Challenger Raceway Chaplain Rev. Bill and wife Dawn.
BILL LADABOUCHE- Maine writer.
MARSHA MEANS- NSC Jimmy’s wife.
GARY SHACKFORD- Center Conway, NH KNPSE driver/crew chief.
TREY TOMAINO- Son of Howell, NJ NASCAR WMT driver/RWJM Rep. Jamie and wife Cheryl.
CHERIE WIBBELSMAN- Wife of Dr. Chris, son of Dunwoody, GA RWJM adviser Dick and wife Judy.
HERSHELL McGRIFF- California’s ageless driver/owner.
CRAIG ORMSBY- D.I.R.T. Modified driver.
MARK BYRD- Lebanon Valley Modified driver.
MIKE SCHANTZENBACH- Mahoning Valley driver.
JOHNY CHAPMAN- Stony Point, NC LMSC/BGN driver.
STEVE HMIEL- NSC/NNS Crew Chief.
GEORGE HARRINGTON- Lebanon Valley fan.
ALLISON BELMONT- One of ARCA driver/East Windsor Promoter Andy and wife Jennifer children.
Sources: Rev. Don Rivers/RWJM