During the year there are many significant dates. On the racing calendar Daytona marks the beginning of the racing season. Time to get things started. For Christians, Christmas marks the beginning of the life of Christ. Greetings, in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Are you busy? Do you have your shopping done? Too many parties, not enough time? The holidays can be a tremendously busy time. We spend more money than we have. We struggle to get everything done. For most of us it is like a race. We are looking for the finish line, if we can just get through to Christmas morning. I am here to tell you, Christmas is not the finish line. Christmas is the beginning of life. Christmas is the gift that God sent to each one of us. The opportunity to live!
We race for the finish line, but how many of us race to the starting line? The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming birth of our Savior.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah helps us understand the character of our Savior; wonderful, mighty, everlasting, giver of peace. It also helps us understand the priority he should have in our lives; God, Father, Prince and Counselor. Isaiah told of the Savior yet to come.
He arrived on that first Christmas with only the animals of the stable there as witnesses. His earthly parents, Joseph and Mary knew the destiny of this child. They had found favor with God and were part of the wonderful event, the coming of the Messiah. On the night of Jesus’ birth the angels proclaimed to the shepherds his arrival.
Luke 2:8-1; And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
The shepherds left their flocks and went to find this Savior. When they found him they went out and proclaimed his glory. They raced to the starting line to proclaim the good news of great joy, a savior has been born. He would save his people from death and destruction.
When the word of the Savior comes which way will we run? Will we run to his side and claim him as our own or will we be too busy chasing after the things of the world that keep us busy?
I have often thought of what I would do if an angel of the Lord came and visited me. Do you remember how they came to Mary and Joseph? Each one received a visit. The angel announced what would take place with each of them, Mary would be with child and Joseph would take Mary for his wife. Together they would be responsible for bringing a child into the world that would be the Savior of the world.
Would I run to the starting line? Would I respond as Mary did “May it be with me as you have said, I am the Lord’s servant.”? Would I be too busy to even notice? We all have the decision to make. Jesus himself came to demonstrate his love for us. Will we accept it? Will we even break away from our busyness to notice? Will we run to the Starting Line?
John 1:1-4,1:12-14; In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
… to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Luke 2:4-7; Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Christmas is not the finish line. The race doesn’t end when we get there, it is the beginning. This Christmas season take time to begin anew, take time to contemplate what took place 2,000 years ago for you and me. For unto us a child is born, a savior.
From all of us at Racing with Jesus Ministries we extend the warmest greetings for a blessed Christmas. May this Christmas be a beginning for you and those special to you.
With the love of our Lord and Savior, Rev. Don
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
NASCAR HOF SHINES – It was great to have everyone in one place. I had the opportunity to meet with some folks I don’t get a chance to be with that much and also a chance to spend time with old friends. It is true that no matter how you try you will not please everyone, but every effort was made to make sure everyone had a wonderful time. We didn’t stay in downtown Charlotte; we stayed in Kannapolis with Warren and Denise Hamilton, thank you so much for opening up your home to us. We had a wonderful visit and a great time of worship Sunday morning at The Cove Church in Mooresville. If you need a church home in the area try this one, they proclaim the Word of God.
We had the opportunity to visit with a few folks while we were in town. Lynda and I stopped by to visit Jeff and Sue Spraker and while Jeff was traveling back from PRI Sue showed us around. It is always a wonderful opportunity to visit and get to know the people we minister to better.
On Saturday Dan, Deb, Lynda and I set out for Memory Lane. On the way we had to check in and see how our self professed “Problem Child” was doing. Although he hasn’t had time to put up a proper sign with a little detective work and several Massachusetts plates on the vehicles in the lot we soon found 1/4ley racing.
Dale is a character to say the least, always has something he is working on and is never at a loss for words. It was an interesting visit to say the least. Whisking around the shop on a high performance scooter, charging a cell phone with car charger and a trickle charger, a talking deer head, you never know what you’ll find at Dale’s place. We had a great visit.
From there we headed over to Memory Lane, an unassuming place along highway 150 just west of 77 in Mooresville. Mr. Beam, the proprietor, sells trailers to make ends meet, but opens up his private collection of cars and memorabilia to the public. What a place and what a collection. This is a must see. Leave plenty of time because there is so much to see, so packed in that you have to wander around twice to really take it all in.
My neatest find was a hero card of Chad Little and the 97 John Deere car. Now all I need is his autograph. We had a great time looking around remembering back in the day. It brought back so many memories of my early days as a race fan. The men that drove these cars were bigger than life to me, Petty, Pearson, Allison and the like. I am so blessed that God has allowed me to meet them and see the machines they wheeled. This was truly a trip down Memory Lane.
Another blessing was our trip to the Billy Graham Library. Billy is a Charlotte native; his family home was just a few miles from where the Library now sits. We had a wonderful time reliving the history of the great servant of Christ and learning about his family and his continued work to reach those who need to know the saving grace of Jesus. Another visit that left us feeling more blessed to be a part of something bigger than us.
It was a great trip to Charlotte, as always we left feeling that we could have done more, but that will give us a reason to get back there soon. Thanks again to Warren and Denise for their hospitality and blessings to you all during this Christmas season.
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
JOHN & JANET KOLKOSKI- Editor of the “Pipe Smoke” website at www.pitseries.com, www.yankeeracer.com and others, and wife share their 19th anniversary.
JAN LEATY- Williamson, NY NASCAR WMT driver.
TOMMY MARKHAM- Son of Fredricksburg, VA NSC/NNS driver Curtis.
DANIELLE WAUGH- RWJM Challenger/Jennerstown Chaplain Bill and wife Dawn’s youngest child.
JANAI WILSON- The daughter and fellow track crewman with her husbad and also dad RWJM Chaplain Bob Menschner at Wall Township Speedway.
BILL ROBINSON- Whiting, NJ NASCAR, Wall Township Speedway and New Egypt Speedway fan and the son-in-law of Doris Bradley, another WTS and Modified fan.
LISA JAMES- Canterbury, CT RWJM advisor and longtime assistant to Pat. Also the wife of RWJM advisor Scott.
TOM HAGER- West Easton, PA dirt Modified legendary driver.
TED DENSIESKI- Brother of Riverhead Raceway Mod driver Ed.
JUDY BRYANT- Wife of NC Modified driver Johnny.
LINDA VENEZIAN- Wife of Joe, Proprietor of Perth Amboy Springs.
TRAVERS CAMBRA- Former Wall Township Speedway photographer, now Sales Rep. for Overhead Doors.
JAY FOGLEMAN- Durham, NC LMSC/ProCup driver.
DARRYL BOBZIN- Holland and Spencer Speedways LM driver.
KEN MEISENHELDER- Springfield, MA KGM Video president.
MATTHEW MARTIN- One of Mark’s children.
TED MUSGRAVE- Franklin, WI CWTS driver.
B.J. MACKEY- Rock Hill, SC NASCAR driver.
DENNIS VITOLO- Massapequa, NY born Golden Beach, FL IRL driver.
ANGELINA PERKINS- The neice of JDM Chassis propreitor/LM driver Jay and wife Angelina of Preston, CT.
JAMES WILSON- Husband to Janai and son-in-law of Wall Chaplain Bob Menschner.
MIKE BEAM- Hickory, NC NSC Crew Chief.
RANDY BUSSARD- Berlin, PA LM and Eric Corbett ProCup Northern Series team member.
BEN HESS- Wooster, OH ARCA driver.
SCOTT GOODYEAR- Toronto, Canada born, Indianapolis IRL driver.
ANDY BRASS- St. Charles, MO CWTS driver.
DANNY SNELL- Harrison, GA NASCAR driver.
TAYLOR NICOLE EARNHARDT- Theresa’s and the late Dale’s daughter.
KINSLEY RAE PARSONS- NNS/NSC’s Phil and Marcia’s daughter and Benny’s neice.
STELLA BURNS- Wife of Haverhill, MA SuperModified team owner Mark.
SARAH CHILDRESS- Daughter of KIp, KNPSE Race Director and wife Jenny turns 12.
RENE DUPUIS- This lady drives a NASCAR WMT race car.
BRIAN CAOUETTE- Wolcott, CT LM driver.
MARK BAKER- NASCAR official.
WESLEY FOOR- Son of Path Valley Micro Sprint driver Kenny and wife Lisa from Everett, PA is 15.
BRUCE VAN NORDE- Cathy’s husband is a Wall Township Speedway Demo Derby and Truck Series driver.
JOHN CERBONE- Bronx, NY NASCAR KNPSE driver.
TOBEY BUTLER- Kirkland, WA CWTS driver.
JOE HENRY THURMAN- Rocky Moutn, VA retired NNS driver.
TOMMY EDMONDS lll- Naugatuck, CT WMT crewman.
ANDY CUSACK- President of Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.
ALAN COULL- Norwich, CT race car paint graphics person and writer.
JOHN BARRY, SR.- The proud father of Jewett City, CT NASCAR KNPSE former driver Jeff.
LEE ORTICELLI- Griswold, CT fan.
SHELBY ZUIDEMA- Daughter of N. Brookfield, MA ProStock driver Jeff and wife Jennifer.
*** December 25 CHRISTMAS ***
LEO CLEARY- Retired to Florida, this former Hanover, MA Modified driver is listed among Stafford’s all-time greatest 50 drivers.
JOE PEZZA- Glen Cove, NY NASCAR KNPSE driver.
BRUCE HALEY- Minot, ME LM/NASCAR KNPSE driver.
KAT TEASDALE- Toronto, Ontario NASCAR KNPSE occasional driver.
KEN KAGLE- Latham, MA LM driver.
LARRY KING- Burlington, NC Brian King driven Modified team owner.
ELAINE CALINOFF- Widow of Hauppauge, NY writer/editor Len.
STEVE STONE- St. Clairsville, OH fan and “RPM Racing News” writer.
BRYNNA NOELLE McCAUGHEY- The daughter and “Christmas Angel” of New Egypt Speedway Chief Tech Inspector John McCaughey and wife Cathi.
FRITZ ROEHRIG- Owner of the famous PA high-banked third miler, Big Diamond Speedway.
BECKY SADLER- Eliot, ME fan
JASON PARES- A son of Wall Township Speedway based Mod Series photographer Michael.
MIKE LAUGHLIN- Simpsonville, NC LMSC/NNS driver.
ANGELA CARUSO- This Micro Sprint driver from Phillipsburg, NJ.
WILLIAM LINK- Lexington, NC team owner with Modified driver Donald Lind.
RICH HAYES- NH photographer.
TRACY CHESTER- wife of Jimmy Chester and the Late John Schuman’s granddaughter, a Lebanon Valley icon.
KENNY BURKS- Charlottsville, NC LMSC/NNS driver.
L.D. OTTINGER- Retired Newport, TN NNS driver.
JACK INGRAM- “The Iron Man,” retired nine time NNS champion.
CHERYL TOMAINO- Howell, NJ NASCAR WMT driver Jamie’s wife.
CATIE FERREE- A daughter of Saxonburg, PA PPMS multi-time big block LM champion Ed and wife Gayle.
J.R. WILLIAMS- Carson City, Nevada Midget driver.
DOUG WORTHING- Five Mile Point Speedway Mod driver.
LOU RETTENMEIER- Sherman, CT KNPSE driver and head of the New England Dodge Show Car Program.
SCOTT WALKER- Torrington, CT race fan.
PATTY MOISE SAWYER- Chesapeake, VA NNS driver, Elton’s wife.
RAY “BUBBA” WILSON- NH Lee and Star Speedway fan.
KATHLEEN CHANNELL- Wife of Epping, NH Channell One Video proprietor Bill. Look for a lot of his NASCAR WMT/NASCAR KNPSE highlights in the annual AARN Video and on the web at www.racevideo.com
RAY SWINEHART- Bechtelsville, PA dirt Modified driver.
RICHIE PRATT- Huffville, NJ long-time Bridgeport Speedway Mod driver.
CHRIS DIAMOND- Hickory, NC LMSC/BGN driver.
BURT MYERS- Walnut Cove, NC Modified driver.
MIKE DaRONCO- A Hackettstown, New Jersey Modified statistician and a crew member Don Wagner Mahoning Mod #22.
GREG NARDUCCI- Former WMT crewcheif, known for his smile.
CHRIS ERM- Former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour official.
MARTY CONLON- D.I.R.T. Modified driver.
KEITH LAMELL- Essex Junction, VT NASCAR occasional KNPSE driver.
DOROTHY LYNN SCHRADER- He’ll drive anything Ken and Ann’s oldest.
RILEE CRAVEN- Daughter of Maine NASCAR driver Rick and Cathy.
PAUL WARREN- Longmeadow, MA fan and long time personal friend of Rev. Pat.
KENNY GRAGG- Hickory, NC LMSC/NNS driver.
VIC KANGAS- NSC\NNS Crew Chief.
GAIL LOBO – CT ProStock driver John Jr.’s wife.
ROBBY GORDON – Cerritos, CA NASCAR Cup driver.
TOM MELI- Wall Township Speedway Modified driver.
PENNY HENDRICKSON – Lawrenceville, NJ driver Wade’s mother.
FREDDY HAMM – Pennsy SMART Modified driver; Debbie’s husband.
BABE BRANSCOMBE – Northwood, NH NASCAR KNPSE driver.
DANA SAVERY – Plymouth, MA Seekonk Street Stock Driver.
ROBERT DILLNER, SR. – On Long Island, proud dad of TV racing’s Bobby and Matt Dillner.
DAWN WAUGH – The wife of Rev. Bill; RWJM Chaplain at Challenger and Latrobe Speedways in PA and Western PA/ Ohio RWJM Coordinator.
ED DENSIESKI – Riverhead Modified driver.
RED MEAD – Vermont Flying Tiger driver.
TERESA MOORE – Horseshoe, NC New Asheville Speedway driver.
RODNEY CRABTREE- Brewco Motorsports NNS team member.
Sources: Rev. Don Rivers/RWJM