With November comes the time of year where we begin to reflect and be thankful for what has come our way. Yes, it is a little earlier than the traditional time, but last weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving  at our house and I thought it a good time to start the conversation. What are we thankful for? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

For most of us 2020 has been anything but business as usual. Our lives have been turned inside out, our jobs have been deemed essential or nonessential. Schools were relocated to our homes. We were limited in our freedom to go out and about in our daily life. But in the midst of all that there are some things to be thankful for. 

There is something to be said for slowing down, taking a step back and looking at all the things we do. Fact is we don’t do it. This time, for many of us, the choice was made. Many of us had time to do just that. Getting to slow down and reevaluate priorities is a good thing. Be thankful if you had the time to do that.

Racing wise there wasn’t much going on for a while. For some the season never got started. For those of us who had the opportunity to get back to the track we’ve learned to value that now more than ever. They say you don’t truly appreciate something until it is taken away. That is something to be thankful for.

Speaking of racing who would have thought we could get over 50 Asphalt Tour Modifieds together for a race? That hasn’t happened since 2004. Well due to the efforts of the Arute family to get racing back up and running at Stafford Motor Speedway and the Tri-Track Modified Series needing a track to run their 10K to win event the date was set and on an October Saturday at Stafford Motor Speedway the modified racing community was treated to a special gathering. That is something to be thankful for.

Because of the diligence of those at Stafford Motor Speedway a framework was set to allow racing to return in Connecticut. Both Thompson and Waterford followed the guidelines and were able to put cars on the track and fans in the stands. Cris Michaud and John Mayberry made sure the tradition of the World Series continued at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. That is something to be thankful for.

We here at Racing with Jesus Ministries were especially thankful that the World Series was held. That event allowed us to continue a tradition of our own. Forty years ago on an October afternoon Racing with Jesus Ministries held its first Chapel service at Thompson Speedway. This year we continued that effort and celebrated 40 years of serving the racing community. That is something to be thankful for.

Psalm 100, A psalm of thanksgiving.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!

Worship the Lord with gladness.

    Come before him, singing with joy.

Acknowledge that the Lord is God!

    He made us, and we are his.

    We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;

    go into his courts with praise.

    Give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good.

    His unfailing love continues forever,

    and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

For us at RWJM there is more to be thankful for. Over that 40 years God has grown this ministry to reach far and wide. Bear with me as I give a shoutout to those who serve you through RWJM. My right hand man, Rev. Dan Petfield, serves NASCAR, ROC and wherever he is needed. Todd Heft in his short tenure with us has moved from behind the scenes to front and center as he handles our IT, Social Media, NASCAR, ROC, NEMA and anything else that needs to be done. In the New England area we have Bobby and Vinetta Somers at Lee USA; Scotty Frazier who handles northern VT, NH and Maine; Tim Garrison who focuses on Stafford Motor Speedway and Bob Hamel who handles Thompson with me and also Waterford. We also have those who float; Ray Pavkov in CT, Gary Maston in MA, Chris and Christine Minnich in FL and MD, Josh Turner in IN, all help where needed. Regionally Bob Menschner handles Wall Stadium in NJ and Mountain Speedway. Rev. Scott Kraniak and George Muse are at Riverhead on LI.

Steve Fowler from his home base in Montana coordinates our outreach with the World of Outlaws and the Dirt side of things. He is helped by Kevin Griggs with the Late Models, Jeff Myers with the Sprints; regionally we have Joe Kelly in FL, Mike Kray in OH, and Gary Dionne in CA. We also have many Loyal Lieutenants who ride shotgun watching our backs and lending a hand. We have come a long way in forty years and there is more work to be done. That is something to be thankful for.

I got into the thanksgiving mode a little early this year. There is a reason for why we celebrated Thanksgiving at our house a week ago Sunday.  Our daughter was able to get all her protocols in order and traveled home from Florida to be with us for her birthday. It has been a year since she has been able to be here so we took the opportunity to celebrate and give thanks. All our girls and grandkids gathered with Lynda and I around the table. That is something to be thankful for.

I wonder if you have been able to see beyond the circumstances and restrictions of the past few months and find the things in life that matter. I hope you have been able to find some peace in the midst of chaos. I hope that you have been able to find joy. Those are things to be thankful for.

John 14:27; NLT; “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

That is something to be thankful for.

Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support and donations helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.