Loss to the Racing Community

This week the racing community lost several friends including Kevin Laatsch and Matthew Schuh. Our condolences goes out to family and friends. May God strengthen and comfort.
It is a good reminder that we need to love those around us and let them know that as we don’t know how long we have been given by the LORD and it also reminds us to be right with God. We need to have a saving relationship with Him on His terms. Don’t miss that, it is vital, critical, eternal.

What Do You Hear?

The car starts up. You hear it but think nothing of it except a car started and you are excited to hear they are ready to go. Another person is a little bit more in tune and they know who it is just by the sound of the motor. Another person hears the motor start and can tell you what kind it is, who built it, and hears the miss or that a valve has an issue or it is a few laps from expiring. See the attention to detail and the focus of each person.
The same goes for people and how their relationship is with the LORD. One knows there is a God. One knows details about God. One knows God in a close personal relationship. That my friend is a good example of salvation. It take the one with a close personal relationship combined with surrender and repentance to the LORD to be saved. I hope you have been saved, are being save, am saved. If not, today would be a great day to trust in the LORD and place your life and faith and trust in Him.

Proverbs 19:15 Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.
There are not too many racers that would fit this category. It takes long hours to get a car repaired each week. But there are many things we can work on for long hours. I hear kids say how they did not get any sleep because they were working so hard. Right! Ok, maybe not. See we can work hard for a lot of things and have them come out to not be that valuable. Unless we are doing things of eternal value it is for nothing.
Proverbs 19:16 Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life; he who despises his ways will die.
Did you keep the commands today? Ok, maybe the question should be do you know what the commands are? We should know and we should think about the commands of the LORD. They should be important not because we want to earn but because we love the LORD and want to be pleasing to Him.
Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
Are you intentional at giving to the poor? Why? Why not? If our heart is right in giving God promises to bless us.
Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.
I get tired of disciplining the kiddos. It just is not fun. Yet I know it is right and I know it is right for the LORD to discipline me. Do you thank God for His patience with you? I know I do! Remember, where discipline stops love stops and we don’t want that.
Proverbs 19:19 A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.
Back to giving and a principle. We have to be in prayer and following the LORD closely or we will give from the flesh. God can use that but we can also err in our giving. That is not, repeat, that is NOT an excuse to not give.
Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
It has been a few since we heard this echo. How did you do this week in listening and obeying those in authority over you? How did you do at listening to the LORD God? Did you stop this week at all? We can be so busy in life that we never slow down enough to stop and listen to God. Be intentional this week and take 5 minutes to be quiet and stop everything and listen to God. Be brave and take 10 minutes, 15 minutes,… It will do your soul well.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Same question as before when we hit this theme, what were your plans based on this week? Did you plan to be in God’s Word, to obey Him to worship Him? To be a true friend? Now compare them to the last time we ran into this challenge. Is there growth? I hope so.
Proverbs 19:22 What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar.
The A.V. puts it this way, “The lust of a man is his shame.” That is as clear as it gets in Scripture and echo the purity theme we have seen in Proverbs. Stop and think about this. This translation too has power that in the depths of our heart we really are looking for true love yet there is a battle in the depths of the heart that we love self first and foremost. DO you recognize the battle in your own heart and life?
Catch the end of this verse too. BE TRUTHFUL! It is better than the riches of this world.
Proverbs 19:24 The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
Number 14 of 21 times this will appear in Proverbs. I have asked that we pay attention to each one and we stop and think, stop and worship, stop and let this sink deep into our heart and soul. Listen to the power of #14, it leads to life, brings rest and satisfies and it protects. This is powerful then, now and in the future.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Where to Park

Tonight is a special night that we honor Howie Lettow and all he did for racing in the Midwest and national. He had many championships and driver development and more than that a great guy that would talk with anyone. It was a privilege to get to know him and the teams he worked with.

The other night after that hard rain I watched as a team drove around looking for a place to park. They wanted a dry, solid place to park. They were picky. They had certain things in mind that they were looking for – level ground, dry, good access on and off the track, etc.

It made me think about this, are we that picky in obeying? Do we want the solid ground? It also made me think, do we want the LORD’s way above our own comfort?
So where are you going to park, camp? On God’s Word or in selfish and worldly ways? Or are you satisfied parking in the mud?

Proverbs 19:1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
The echo continues but what a clear teaching we get to hear again. Integrity is important to God. Does your definition line up with God’s? So how do you measure up? Can you be counted on? Does your word mean anything? Are you honest?
Proverbs 19:2 Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
So what are your desires, motives? If they are not in line with God’s they are not good, simple as that. Don’t go running into things.
Proverbs 19:3 When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord.
What is your reaction when things get tough? More importantly, what is your reaction when things get tough towards God? That is a good question to stop and be really honest with. It can a) show us where our heart is and b) bring us to repentance which is a good thing.
Proverbs 19:4 Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend.
This is true and we see it left out a lot. It is also true if we are spiritually poor.
Proverbs 19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.
Powerful verse on several fronts. Evil, sin cannot escape punishment. Lies are sin. Lying will be punished.
Proverbs 19:6-7 Many seek the favor of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts. All a poor man’s brothers hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him! He pursues them with words, but does not have them.
What is your reason for each person you befriend? What is your motive? Just think about that.
Proverbs 19:8 Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good.
We are reminded again to understand. We are to seek and search for truth from God and embrace it. We are to be sensible.
Proverbs 19:9 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.
In case you missed it in verse 5 God repeats the teaching and adds that the punishment is to perish. Maybe you say, “But I lied and did not die”, well you were separated from your Creator. Each lie draws us away from the LORD instead of near to the LORD. Stop, think about that and think about what you send and what your actions were this last week.
Proverbs 19:10 It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury, much less for a slave to rule over princes.
Unfortunately we live in a country filled with this type of people and leaders.
Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
How did you do this week in these two areas? I think this is a key mark to check for true faith and being a Christian.
Proverbs 19:12-13 A king’s wrath is like the growling of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass. A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain. House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
The drum continues to beat. God wants us to be pleasing to our parents in a godly way and we should desire to please God. This will make a home good. The wealth we desire should be the wealth of godly upbringing and the teaching of the LORD.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Who is on Your Team?

First we need to stop and pray for several families. I have a friend of mine who lost his Mom last week, another friend and chaplain, Larry who lost his Mom and the friends and family of Bryan Clauson who died in a crash last week in a sprint car. To each one grieving and dealing with loss may God be a comforter and give you strength. We extend our condolences to you

Think of this two ways. One, who do you want around you and how do you pick them, and two, what teams picked you and why? Just stop and think about that. Now stop and think about the guy picked first, middle of the pack, last. Think of the different feelings that goes with each one.
Now I want to switch gears about this. God wants you on His team but like any coach He is only going to take the players that will a) follow His rules, b) follow His direction, and c) have the same goals in mind, focus and heart. For Him is it not all about winning, it is about others and about worship. Give this a minute to sink in.

Proverbs 18:13 If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
We have all seen it and been there, you know, the person we are talking to starts answering and we have not even gotten to the point or question. It is ok if they have listened well enough to answer but too often the person is way off base and answers the wrong question. Yes, it is a form and example of respect or should I say not having respect. The LORD is driving this point hard right now in Proverbs. We have had several verses that talk about our words and listening.

Proverbs 18:14 A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?
As parents we are warned not to crush the spirit of our child. It goes the same with a teacher, a coach, a boss or a pastor or a youth leader. Be careful with your spouse and children. Teach them gently and respectfully but be firm on the truth.

Proverbs 18:15 An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
There are many that chase after knowledge and many of those that chase are finding false teaching. Look around our universities. This verse reminds us again that it is a heart issue and that we need to seek truth. It does not just show up – we have to pursue it.

Proverbs 18:16-18 A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great. The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. The lot puts an end to quarrels and decides between powerful contenders.
Here we address the court case and life. Being examined happens every day and in every setting of our life. What shows up when you are examined?

Proverbs 18:19-20 A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle. From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
Are you yielded to the LORD? To your spouse? To your parents? Again, the mouth and heart are spoken of.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
We have seen too much death on the news lately. I find it interesting that God ties our words with death and life here. When we look at the news and hear the hate that is being spoken it is no wonder we are seeing so much death surrounding those words.

Pray with me, “LORD Jesus come now!” We are seeing the increase of violence and hate. It is one of the things we look for prior to the LORD’s return.

Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.
I have been blessed! God has given me a great wife to serve with. I know we both have things to work on but hopefully out of this union there will be eternal value for generations to come and only for His glory.

Proverbs 18:23-24 The poor use entreaties, but the rich answer roughly. A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
It is important to have friends, close godly friends. Friends that will ask the tough questions. Friends that will encourage just when you need it. Friends that will listen. DO you have that one, those ones that you can count on? I hope so and I say thank you to the ones God has blessed me with.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Flat Tire

How long do you drive around on a flat tire? Not very long, because if you do you are going to wreck. Yet too often we have sin in our life and go on with life. Stop and really think about that as you get ready for the next set of verses.

Proverbs 18:1 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.
You know it – echo! But how important this is that we catch this. If you try to go this alone it will lead to a bad place. The enemy, the evil one, will separate to destroy.

Proverbs 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
Be careful around those that talk a lot and listen a little. Read that again.

Proverbs 18:3 When wickedness comes, contempt comes also, and with dishonor comes disgrace.
We are warned of the consequences of sin.

Proverbs 18:4,6-8 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. 6A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. 8 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
What kind of words came out of your mouth this week? Same question, did they lift up or tear down? We need to check our words often and measure them against the Bible’s words and have the Holy Spirit measure them. Notice how the words flow deep. They are from the heart and go deep into the receivers life.

Proverbs 18:5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the righteous of justice.
Do we desire to be involved in sin? Are we comfortable in our sin? Let’s ask God to make us very uncomfortable with sin, our sin and then let’s start on the road to repentance.

Proverbs 18:9 Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.
I have often talked to the kiddos about how important it is to work hard and be a good employee. There are so few young people that know what work is and are willing to work hard and respect those older and in positions due that respect. Humility is such an important part of work. A young person with the right work ethic can be a powerful witness for the LORD.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
What do you think when you hear the words – God; Jesus; LORD; Jehovah; Messiah; Christ? Are you careful and only use those names in reverence? Do you spend time stopping and thinking and learning about Him? Are you in awe of Him? Do you run to Him first?

Proverbs 18:11 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his imagination.
We again are talking about how we handle and think about money. When you are thinking about money do you think about Jesus first? Do you pray first? Do you think about what will honor the LORD? Do you think, “I am a steward for the LORD of every dollar, every penny He has given?

Proverbs 18:12 Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.
Back to humility. Here we are told honor comes with humility. We also see a challenge of our heart.

Have a great day racin’ in the Sunstone,
Todd

It's HOT Outside!

It is so hot this week. It shows us how frail we are. It also shows us that our comfort window is pretty small. First, the heat shows us our need for Jesus and our need for Him as our fortress, our protector, and the living water. This week we all have a great need to hydrate well. Our water intake is critical or our body will place us in a critical situation in the ER. We need to recognize our need as we have the same need of Jesus or we will be in critical situation in Hell. Have you recognized that and followed Jesus to salvation?
Second, we too often seek comfort instead of the Savior and want comfort on our terms instead of on God’s term and Him refining us. Pause and think about the week and think about what comfort you sought this week.

Proverbs 17:19 Whoever loves transgression loves strife; he who makes his door high seeks destruction.
Sound familiar in teaching? It should as we talked about that last lesson. God is again using the echo principle and driving home the point.

Proverbs 17:20 A man of crooked heart does not discover good, and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.
Back to the heart and tongue. I will remind myself and us, God takes sin seriously. He wants our words to be His and he wants our heart to be in sync with His. How are you doing on this? Have you ever had a hard time finding truth, finding what is good? I have and the root like we talked about recently is sin and self. Don’t give up. Instead work hard at rooting out the sin and seeking the LORD.

Proverbs 17:21 He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow, and the father of a fool has no joy.
We just passed Fathers Day and Mothers Day and I am reminded each year that children are a great joy to parents and godly children even a greater blessing and joy. Are you? Just think about it.

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
What side do you want to be on? Yes there is a choice. We can follow the LORD and worship Him or we can reject Him for Who He really is. We can be focused on things, self, the world, what we don’t have or we can be focused on Jesus and others and have blessing and joy. Which are you choosing right now, today?

Proverbs 17:23 The wicked accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice.
This verse speaks to several warnings for sin. Bribes, secret, perverted ways.

Proverbs 17:24 The discerning sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
Echo, we are brought back to thinking about wisdom. Proverbs focuses often on wisdom. This verse is no different. To have discernment we have to be focused on God so we gather in His wisdom. On the opposite side we see a bad ending to the fool not thinking upon the LORD.

Proverbs 17:25 A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.
We are reminded again about the parent child relationship. The foolish child is hard on a family.

Proverbs 17:26 To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good, nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
We should honor those around us that are doing what is right and noble. Do you look for opportunities to encourage those around you that are doing what is right?

Proverbs 17:27-28 Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
These two we have talked about, but are reminded it is better to be quiet than to always be talking. We are also reminded that calm is a measure of our understanding. How did you do this week?

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd