#10 He’s Back

We have all heard that saying that he or she is back. That of course is the headlines this week in Cleveland. I am not a pro basketball at all but it was hard to miss the announcement. We hear that at the track too. A guy will return after being a way and you know he is going to make an impact.

Well in Proverbs, Wisdom is going to be talked about a bunch, and we are back to again this week. Think about this example. If you want to drive a nail into wood what do you do? You hold it in place, in the exact place you want it to go. Then you hit the head squarely on top and drive the nail in. It may take a couple of strikes but if you can control the point of contact and drive it directly in place you will have the best result. The writer of Proverbs believes in the same principles. That is why we are back at wisdom. Proverbs 4:5 – 9 Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.  The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”

Verse five is direct — Get the right stuff! What are you after? We have talked about it before. IS it your goal to know God, to know Jesus more today? Than get in the Word, get with other believers, get in a solid Bible teaching church. We are reminded not turn from God Words. Remember what a privilege it is that we get to open and understand things of the LORD.

Verse six – Don’t forsake, abandon her, instead love her, that is wisdom. Does your life show that you love God and love His wisdom? The promise is that wisdom will guard you. Stop and think about that.

Verse seven – we know the beginning of wisdom is fear of the LORD.

Verse eight – listen to the words, “prize her highly”! Will you go after wisdom, God’s insight even more than anything, ANYTHING, on earth?

Verse nine – God wants to bless us and pour out His goodness and kindness on us.

So let me drive the nail a little more:
What do you value? What is your prized possession? Is it wisdom? Is it God? God is waiting to bless you if you will follow Him and if you will obey. It goes back to the Ten Commandments and having God first in our lives.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine and see you at a local race track soon,

Pastor Todd

The News This Week

The news this week has not been good. It was very sad to hear yesterday the events in the Ukraine with the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and killing almost 300 people; with the hundreds of deaths this week in Israel and around the Gaza Strip; with the Typhoon Rammasun in the Pacific killing over 64 so far and yet to hit China; with the burning of over 80 homes in Washington and Canada we can’t help but to have several thoughts and much prayer.

One, we should be thankful to live in this country with the safety we have. Two, we should hug our family and let them know how much we love them. We just don’t know when the end for any of us will be. Three, we need to be praying for peace and safety in the world. Fourth, we need to pray for Israel.

Think about the words of Jesus. Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (ESV) And in the Psalms we see: Psalm 122:6-8Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.” (NIV) Can you see how clear the message of God is?

We need to pray that people would drop their weapons. The sad thing is that so many think they are doing things for God but they don’t understand that the true God, the LORD would not have this kind of killing going on. Instead they are follow a god that is false and destructive, hates instead of loves, a killer rather than eternal life giver, and does harm instead of sharing kindness. We need to pray that God opens their hearts unto salvation just as we need salvation.

Have a safe weekend. Remember those who are serving our country, as well as those who have fallen. Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine. Hope to see you at a local short track this weekend.

Pastor Todd

#9 A Father's Wise Instruction

In racing when you look at the mentor and student there are two different roles. There needs to be solid teaching by the mentor and the student needs to listen and then follow through with the lesson. If either role is not serious it will not work. If the mentor does not teach well the student will not learn and improve. If the mentor teaches well but the student does not listen or does not follow through there will not be improvement. It can be a waste of time, money and effort.

As we turn the page to Proverbs 4 we see an echo of a Dad teaching a son. Let’s look at both sides. As a Dad are you prepared to instruct, to teach? Have you studied the Bible? You don’t have to be a Theologian with years of seminary. But you do have to put time into studying the Bible and reading it. Then you just share from the heart. There are tons of helps if you want but I find just teaching the Word is great.

One of the American churches biggest mistakes and misunderstandings is to have the church, the pastor, the minster, the priest, to teach the children. We think if we send them to Sunday School or some religious study than we are off the hook. But the Bible is clear, it is more than clear, it is direct in that Dad’s are to teach and train children. Mom’s are to echo that teaching. Now I know that there are some single parent homes and there has to be a parent teaching but based on Scripture the man of the house is the teacher, washing the wife and family with the Word of God. What a great role.

The child also has a role that is serious. They are to learn. They are to obey the teachings. This picture of a family is so counter to culture and so very counter to what we see in entertainment (tv; movies; music).

Are you willing to be different? Are you willing to take a stand for your family? Start today. Like I have said before, it does not have to be big, long, deep teaching. Just start with a verse or two and talk about it with your family and pray. Ask a challenging question and discuss it.

Let me know if you would like some ideas. I have a good amount of family study I would gladly share with you.

Now think about this: Proverbs 4:1-4 Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine and see you at a local race track soon,

Pastor Todd

Happy Fourth of July 2014

I am praying for a good and safe July 4th for all. It is a great day to come together and be thankful for the nation we live in. God placed each of us exactly where He wanted us to be. It is a weekend that we need to take a moment and reflect on the freedoms we have here.

Let me ask you a question. Would you want to live in a country that has less or no freedom? We have read about some of them. Some have even escaped from countries that don’t allow for the freedom and rights we enjoy.

Now think about this. What if I told you that you are not free? That you are entangled in self and sin and the cost is going to be greater than you could ever imagine. If you are not saved, if you have not turned over your life to Jesus, you are a slave. Don’t take my word, listen to God and His Word. Hebrews 12:1-2Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NIV 84) and Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

See God wants us to be free from sin yet slave to Him and then He can pour out His bless in us. So today repent, turn from the chains of sin and be set free to obey Jesus.

Have a safe weekend, remember those that are serving, those that have fallen and have a great day racin’ in the SONshine. Hope to see you at a local short track this weekend.

Pastor Todd

#7 Garage Full, Getting Busted

This is only an example, do you want a shop full of cars and tools and parts that are great quality? Then honor the LORD. You could take the next section of verses to mean that but that is not what they are talking about. Of course many would like to have the tools and parts and not have to worry about having them when needed. Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Careful of that last line too because that can be taken out of context and make us think we are to store up alcohol. Our plenty and our store house should be filled with the LORD and His Word. If we are storing up things it better be things that are good in God’s eyes. We should be ready and willing to give up the things/money when God calls on them. It would be a sad thing to have full barns, garages of cars and parts and not to have a life full of the LORD. The guys of the Mid AM lived this out at Milwaukee when Scott Dunning lost a motor and the Gutknecht’s and others stepped up with a motor and the hands to get it replaced and on the Mile. It was one of the great examples that come out of the MASCS. Stop and think about this. If those things happen in the race community and in the world then how are we doing as part of the Church. Do you need to get anything out of the way so you can make more room for God?

Next, have you ever broken a rule and deserved to have a win taken away or moved back in the running order or lose a lap? I know none of you drivers or teams have ever deserved that :) Of course we all have deserved that at one time or another. The Bible echoes that we fall short, sin. It is in Romans and Titus and Psalms and Proverbs and Isaiah and so on. Too often we get ticked off because we get caught, not because we are sorry. We are just sorry we got busted. I am not just talking to the kids right now. We adults are guilty too. Listen to the next set of Proverbs verses. Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.

On the other side of those verses is a blessing, a promise by God. Proverbs 3:13-18 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding,for the gain from her (wisdom) is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.

Can you see that “wisdom” is going to be a reoccurring theme in Proverbs? Can you see it is going to be important?

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine and see you at a local race track soon,

Pastor Todd

# 6 Happy Father's Day

First, as we think about the book of Proverbs, there is a lot about fathers and sons. As we come to Father’s Day I want to thank my Dad for all he did and does for me, for the family, for this country. He served well. More than that, this weekend we are to look to the Heavenly Father and give thanks to Him. Undeserving of His love, His mercy, His forgiveness, His salvation, and more, He granted all these things to me, and offers them to you as well. Don’t miss out on His blessings. Maybe you struggle with your earthly Dad. Don’t let that be an excuse not to turn to God the Father. Pick up His Word and read it to find out who He really is.

Now to our lesson. As we turn the page to the next chapter we read Proverbs 3:1-4 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. (ESV)

Do you want peace and years added? God is straight forward in saying, “then do not forget my teaching and focus on God’s commands.” We need to be focused on Scripture. We need to have Scripture blinders on. With all the junk that is out there in today’s world we have to protect ourselves and our families. Next is a great echo that we find in both the Old Testament and the New Testament about the tablets of our hearts. There again we have to protect them with good, godly things and not junk. This is followed by a statement about success. To you, is success about things and wealth? Is it about a lot of money in the bank or stocks in your portfolio? NO, we want to be pleasing to the LORD and a success in His eyes.

Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Have you heard guys say they are familiar with a certain track? Or the guy that says he has driven so many laps at a place he could drive around the track with his eyes closed? I hear that at times indicating they know the track and have a lot of laps at that place. Here is a verse we could be very familiar with and just pass over. Stop and really think about it. Again ask for insight, fresh insight from the LORD, from the Holy Spirit. Then think about these questions:

Am I trusting in the LORD?
With all my heart?
Do I rely more on myself or on God?

We wouldn’t think about just glancing over the car as we prepare it. Instead you pay attention to every detail and take your time to look things over. Do the same with these verses. Even if you are very familiar with them, slow down and let them sink in.

Verse six talks about focus on God and gives Him the credit. Then, in verse 7, the echo of fear of the LORD comes again. This time there is a good strong instruction with it – turn away from evil. How are you doing on that? I know we all have to continuously work on turning from evil. We conquer one area and God shows us another area to work on. Next, catch the promise that goes with it – healing and refreshment. Wonder why you are tired out? Not feeling the best? Maybe you need to turn from a sin that is wearing you down. I know I am asking God right now to show me the areas I am slipping up in. (A good place to pray Psalm is 139:23)

We better stop here and think on those few verses. There is a lot in them. Thanks for studying with me.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine and see you at a local race track soon,

Pastor Todd