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Weekly Column

2/15/12

ONE IN CHRIST

It takes all kinds. Have you ever heard that expression? It means that the world is made up of all kinds of people. Interestingly when we stand before God we are all the same; the only distinguishing feature; with Christ or without. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

As we continue on with our Winter Bible from Colossians we come to a verse that helps us understand an important concept, one we need to understand as Christians. We are all the same. We don’t always think that way, but it is true. In Christ we are the same.

We spend a good part of our lives trying to be different, trying to stand out in the crowd. We want to be unique, known for something that no one else is known for. We compete on the track to determine who the better driver is and who has the best car. On any given day that can be a number of different people.

Championships serve the soul purpose of distinguishing the best team over the season. Many can win a race, but who will have the consistency to carry the title of Champion. So much of what we do in racing is contingent on being the one on the top of the ladder at the end of the day.

There are some dangers when we allow that thought process to guide the way we look at life. There will be some people we think we are better than and other who are better than us. Much of the world we live in determines who has what based on their social status.

We cannot allow our minds to tell us we are better than someone else. That will lead to pride and pride will lead us to ruin. Likewise we cannot think we are inferior to someone. That will lead to envy and jealousy. Again, those thoughts will destroy us.

If we allow those feelings to guide our actions we open up a whole can of worms that will only serve to be our demise. It is important that we see things as they are in God’s eyes. No one is more important to God than someone else. Jesus gave His life for each of us. We all need that sacrifice. We can all come to Him and receive that gift. The Bible says; “Whosoever”.

Colossians 3:11; Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

This concept is so challenging for us to understand sometimes. We have been wired to rate people based on what we think of them, what they have acquired in life, where they live, how they speak, the list goes on. We then rationalize who is worth the effort of building a relationship with and who isn’t.

Most times we put the effort into building a relationship with those who we determine have something we might need. We only put forth the effort if there is something in it for us. I am glad Christ didn’t look at us that way. We all would have fallen short.

We can find examples of how thinking this way isn’t constructive in living a life that honors God. Unfortunately many of the examples come from the religious establishment and their treatment of people they thought didn’t have a right to stand before God. Follow along with this encounter in Luke’s Gospel.  

Luke 7:36-50; Now one of the Pharisees (religious leader) invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is--that she is a sinner."

Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."

"Tell me, teacher," he said.

"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."

"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"

Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

We need to learn from Jesus. He didn’t see a sinner, he saw someone in need of forgiveness. Remember that in God’s eyes we are all the same, we all are in need of forgiveness.

Our situations in life are based on decisions we all make. Some lead one way, some lead another. No matter where we find ourselves in life we can always find someone better off and someone worse off. We need to remember that the tables can be turned so quickly. It doesn’t take much to wipe out a lifetime of work.

Keep in mind this past year and the number of storms we experienced that claimed the lives of others. Keep in mind that but for a few different choices we could have been in their place. Keep in mind that we should not consider some better or some worse. Our value in God’s eyes is the same. Jesus died for each one of us.

When we stand before God our life’s work will not matter, our social status will not matter, our accumulated wealth will not matter, who we were friends with will not matter. What will matter? Did you accept the gift of forgiveness that God offered us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ?

Colossians 3:11; Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD

THE RACER’S EXPO - I want to thank Bobby and his staff for putting on what was truly an enjoyable event this past weekend. I was asked what made the show so special and I think it is the intimacy. This folks that are there and the folks that come are part of a special group of people that enjoy the family aspect of racing. It is always good to spend time with family.

Also a part of the show was the winter meetings of NEMA and VMRS. It was rewarding to be a part of both groups and to have RWJM serve the teams, officials and families that participate. It was encouraging to hear the appreciation they have for what we do. We plan to continue to serve them and hope to be able to increase our presence.

It was also encouraging to have folks stop by and chat a little about what they have been doing in the “off-season”. I heard many express that itch to get back to the track and race. We will be there soon. For now though we’ll settle for The Coffee Cup at The Dunk in Providence. Come on down and get your fix, it will hold you over until the Icebreaker.

SPEEDWEEKS - I will be headed down to Florida next week and I am looking forward to spending some time at Volusia, New Smyrna and maybe that other track, what’s its name again? If you are down there, track me down and say hi.

PRAYER NEEDS - I received a call from our Wall Stadium Chaplain Bob Menschner and he asked if we would keep a few folks in prayer. Don Ling Sr. a sponsor, car owner and fixture on the New Jersey racing scene is having some medical problems; please pray for the Lord’s hand in that situation. Also, Whitey Miller, a man who has served in many capacities at Wall had a medical issue on his way to the races in Atlantic City. He is currently hospitalized in a coma and is in need of our prayers and encouragement. Cards can be sent to his home, Whitey Miller, 251 Matchaponix Ave. Monroe Township, NJ 08831.

Until next time, 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. 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 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***

    February 15
RICH CAOUETTE & NANCY LaBONNE-CAOUETTE- These East Hartford, CT fans share their 21st.
    February 18
NED & MARTHA JARRETT- The former NSC champion and wife; proud parents of TV's Glen and NSC Dale, share their 55th anniversary.
    February 20
MARK & DALE THOMAS- The Publisher of Maine based "The Racin' Paper" and wife share their 12th anniversary.
JOE & ARLEEN SUKUP- This Schodack Landing, NY retired Midget owner and wife make it 45 years.
    February 21
RYAN & LORA MARKHAM- This Wayne County Speedway based, Ashalnd, Ohio Late Model driver and wife celebrate their 13th anniversary.

***HAPPY BIRTHDAYS***

    February 15
BAILEY DOUST, Jamesville, NY - Son of sportsman driver Gregory Doust
JIM SPENCER- Berwick, PA NSCS driver and PA hero.
PAUL KOTTER- No. Attleboro, MA racing publications sales rep, now retired to Florida.
JEANNINE NEGRI- Danbury, CT Jeff Fuller fan.
GLEN KONK- Jackson, NJ fan.
    February 16
BOB BALAAM- Bridgeport Sportsman driver; Stan Ploski's nephew.
JERRY "MAGEE" MILLER- Allentown, PA Mod/NASCAr Mod/Truck driver.
ANDY SCHALTZ- Whip City Mini Sprint and Riverside Mini Stock driver.
ROBERT BLACK- Hickory, NC retired former NNS Director.
STEPHANIE BALL- Daughter of NH Mod driver Rusty and wife Ann.
ARIANNA KOHLER- The daughter of Grandview/ Big Diamond NASCAR dirt Modified driver Warren.
    February 17
TRACY MARCIEL MANION- Wife of crew chief and 7NY modified Kevin "Bono" Manion now living in NC.
DEVIN PEREZ- The grandson of LongislandMotorsports.com Publisher/ Editor and Raceway Media magazine columnist, Mike and wife Lori.
SHELLEY GAHAN- Daughter of NH LM/NASCAR KNPSE driver Bobby and wife Carol.
JUDY KRAMER- Riverhead, NY Rusty Wallace fan.
    February 18
JIMMY KITE- Effingham, IL born, now Stockbridge, GA IRL driver.
PHILLIP DOWNS- Retired Riverhead Modified team owner.
DAVE DANIELS- North East, Pa. Modified driver.
    February 19
JEFF PURVIS- Clarksville, TN NNS/ARCA driver.
JOHN PAUL, JR.- Muncie, IN born, now West Palm Beach, CA IRL driver.
PAT DAVISON- Dover, ME LM/NASCAR KNPSE driver.
JOAN MICHEL- Mom of Wall Township Speedway top Modified driver Dave and wife of former Wall Mod champion Tom.
    February 20
SCOTT LAGASSE- St. Augustine, FL NASCAR Truck Series driver.
MIKE MATTHEWS- NJ asphalt Mod driver.
ARLEEN MILLER- Camp Hill, PA Susky fan; Ron's wife.
    February 21
WAYNE JACKS- Las Vegas, NV NASCAR West driver.
VINCE SUDDARD- Wilmington, DE NASCAR KNPSE/LM driver.
RICHARD JORDAN- Of long-time Kelly Moore NASCAR KNPSE sponsor, Jordan Lumber.
REBECCA RESNER- Daughter of Long Island LM team owner, Richie and wife Melissa.

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

 

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P.O. Box 586, Tolland, CT 06084
Phone: 860.202.3598

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