This time of the year finds us celebrating graduations. People are closing a
chapter on something accomplished and opening a new one. They are filled
with a sense of accomplishment. They also are filled with a sense of
excitement about what the future holds. Where are we on this road? Have we
accomplished all there is to accomplish? Are we reaching and striving to
grow and expand our world? Greetings, in the name of our Lord and Savior,
Commencement speeches have a few things in common. They congratulate you
for a job well done. They encourage you to spread your wings and fly. They
remind you to remember all those who supported, taught and helped you get to
the day of graduation.
We need to know three things in life; where weíve been, where we are and
where we are going. We never should lose sight of what it took to get us
where we are. We also should not limit ourselves to only what we can see and
understand. There are so many things in life that God has for us and if we
limit ourselves, we will miss out on those blessings.
Racing has a ladder of sorts also. You start at the local track in the
entry-level division. You learn the ropes, gain some experience. When you
have a handle on that you move up in class. If the championships come you
may have the opportunity to move up to a regional touring division and then
to a national division. Unfortunately in racing, talent isnít the only thing
required to make that progression. We need the resources also.
I can think of several drivers who have the talent to run any car
anywhere and do well, problem is they donít have the financial backing.
There is however the rare case that someone succeeds without the financial
resources that open doors. This should not escape the attention of those
drivers. It is truly a difficult task and everything has to fall in place.
When it happens the attitude should be one of humble appreciation.
Sometimes we respond with a deserving arrogance. When that is the case the
opportunity will be short lived. We need to remember that no matter what we
attain in racing or life it cost someone something and for that we need to
be appreciative and thankful.
I was thinking about the twelve men that Jesus taught and I wondered
about their graduation. Now that was a hard course of study and I imagine
that they were pretty apprehensive when the time came to receive their
diplomas. There are a couple of passages of Scripture that come to mind;
sort of the commencement speech from Jesus to the disciples. Scripture
records in two places the final words Jesus spoke to his disciples;
MATTHEW 28:16-20, Then
the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told
them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then
Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been
given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and
teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with
you always, to the very end of the age."
ACTS 1:1-9, In my former book, Theophilus, I
wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was
taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the
apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men
and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over
a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion,
while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave
Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me
speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be
baptized with the Holy Spirit."
So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going
to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father
has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy
Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all
Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid
him from their sight.
Jesus left the Apostles with the command that
as they go through the world and live their lives they were to help others
understand who He was, what He taught and how to follow Him. To do this they
would receive the Holy Spirit to guide them. They needed to do this in
Jerusalem, their home; Judea, their community; Samaria, places and people
they didnít like or care to be associated with and the ends of the earth.
Jesus had all the authority in Heaven and earth to ask this. He also
promised to be with them everywhere they went. Short, concise, to the point,
Jesus didnít mince any words when he conveyed to them what he expected. This
was the beginning of what we call the Kingdom of God here on earth.
A couple of questions come to mind, what if they refused? What if they
said the task was too big? What if they didnít feel like it? What if they
just decided it wasnít worth the effort? We have the same decisions to make
in our life.
Jesus taught the Apostles for three years, he performed many miracles,
saved many lives, preached many sermons, filled the lives of countless
people with hope and healing. Jesus wasnít asking them to do something He
hadnít already done himself.
It is important where the commencement speech comes from. When it comes
from someone who has been there, who has experience, who knows the
challenges of the road ahead it makes a difference. It means the words are
trustworthy. It means you can follow with the confidence; the speaker knows
what they are talking about. They know the reward for the effort is worth
whatever it cost to travel down the road. Jesus had been there, He gave
everything he had, His life, for our benefit. He asked only that we do the
Paul writes in the Letter to the Ephesians that God has prepared a ďto
doĒ list for each of us and that when we accept His gift of Salvation
through Jesus Christ He will be there with things for us to do.
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.
We need to accept the gift and set out on our
journey through life, making disciples, doing the work of our Lord, showing
people the blessings that God has for us if we would just submit to Him and
let Him have control over our lives. The message comes from one who sits at
the right hand of God. Will we respond and accept the challenge? Today is
the day, now is the time, accept the gift God offers, ask Him to forgive you
and let Him guide your footsteps along the path of life you have yet to
DOUBLE HEADER WEEK - This past week saw both NASCAR Touring Series
visit the local tracks here in Connecticut, Thompson and Stafford. While the
Whelen Modified Tour is no stranger to the locals it had been some time
since the K&N Pro Series East, (AKA, The Busch North Series), had made an
appearance at the local venues.
Kudos go out to the team at Stafford Motor Speedway. They welcomed the
series, promoted it, and made every effort to let people know they were
coming. They had a special Meet and Greet the night before the race; setting
up a mini midway in the pit area and had the drivers who attended the open
practice available to meet the fans. They provided entertainment, food and
fun for all those who came down. I was encouraged that this type of effort
was put forth to welcome the series back. Good job.
Thursday was an open practice day at Stafford for the teams to come and
get a handle on a place they hadnít been to in several years. I am pretty
sure Eddie MacDonald was the only driver who had turned competitive laps in
a K&N car at the track. The new kids adjusted well and got up to speed
pretty quickly. They enjoyed the challenge.
As I talked with the crews and drivers they we very complimentary about
the facility and the racetrack. They would like to return. Maybe next year
we can have a double header; Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday
and Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday?
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.
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Please remember, we can only do what we do because of your prayerful
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
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