2018 Memorial Day

I want to stop and say thank you to every man and woman who has served this country. The sacrifice of a soldier is great and no one can imagine what they go through unless they have experienced war. I pray for those that have served and ask God to give you the strength you need for today and that you see the fortress that only He can provide for you.

Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I have been given the privilege to be around a big group of true heroes both those who have served this country as well as faith heroes. I say thank you and have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Chapter 31 Woman

At every acceptance speech at racing banquets the owner, sponsor, crew, etc are thanked. This is followed the majority of times with a thank you to the wife that stood by them and helped in the greatest of ways. In Chapter 31 God focuses on the godly woman. Here are some more of the keys to a great and godly woman.

Proverbs 31:21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
God provides protection for us along with shelter but a good woman does the same for her family even in the deep of winter with warmth and clothing.

Proverbs 31:22 She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
It is good as a young girl to be taught by Mom to sew and then as a wife and Mom to provide for the family that way.

Proverbs 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
Proverbs 31:24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Here we see an echo of the woman to be a business person and provider. Of course the order has to be right. God, husband, children, business. If that gets out of order there will be problems.

Proverbs 31:25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
Echo of verse 17 with the addition of dignity. What do you think of in the word dignity? I think poise, noble, worth, excellence, truthful. To be that is so key to a great woman. Their words and action are true. They can be counted on.

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Two great aspects of a great, godly woman. One the words she uses are that of wisdom. What a gift that is to those around her. Second, Words that are filled with kindness. Kindness is not what we see or hear enough of in this world. Even in the church we see harsh, harmful words instead of kindness and uplifting. How are you doing in those two areas?

Proverbs 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
The household should be important to a woman. Running it well and keeping the focus on the LORD is vital. There is a balance to the second part of this verse. We never want to be lazy but we also don’t want to be over busy with meaningless things. Check your focus. How is it?

Proverbs 31:28-29 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
I am so blessed! Thank you LORD. I hope someday my children see that too with their Mom. I can say that and I know it is echoed often in homes. I am glad when I see and hear young ones and not so young thank God for their Mom’s. I hope you start young and continue on.

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
We are at our 21st and final time in Proverbs that it speaks of “fear the Lord”. A woman is praised when they fear the Lord so I hope you do. This verse reminds you that outside is not nearly as important as what is inside. It is a good reminder for all of us.

Proverbs 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
Even though the wife, the Mother, is focused inside the home her fame is known outside the home and in the community as she serves her family and those around her. It may sound very out of place in today’s world but God calls this the greatest role there is. Don’t miss out.

So there you have it. One Hundred and Eight messages in Proverbs and we did not even go that deep. This has been fun, challenging, rewarding and great study. I hope you will look back at them and find nuggets and dig deeper. I hope God is using them to draw each of us to a closer walk with Him. I hope we develop a fear of the LORD. I hope we would see the right and wrong way things work and choose to follow God. I hope we see what God blesses and what He disdains and what He calls abomination and wicked. I hope you are drawn to and desire understanding, knowledge, and wisdom.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Half the Job

How does it work for you if you do half the job? Let’s say you are told to change the tires and you change them but only tighten a few of the lug nuts. That is not going to go well. Or let’s say you are on air pressures and you only check and change two of the four? Not going to help. How about the rule book. How does it work to read half and not check the rest out? How does it work if you are sent out for parts and only get half of them? That does not work.

How does that work in school? If you do half the home work or assignments? Even if you get all of that right it is only 50% and that is failing. How about if I tell the kids to do the dishes and the kiddos only do half – failed the mission and I am going to get on them to complete the task.

How about at work? If you have a project and you only do half of it by deadline your boss is not going to be happy. How does it work if you get half the ingredients for a recipe? That is most likely not going to work.

In all three of those areas the expectation are that you complete the task. Do all the work. And do it well, to the best of your ability. So what does God expect from us? God wants us to be completely sold out to Him. He wants us to keep our eyes and mind on Him. He wants our complete attention. How much do you give Him? How much of your day do you give God?

Proverbs 31:1 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

Interesting that God does not identify who King Lemuel was. It could be Solomon. What we can catch here is Mothers are to teach their children. We know Fathers are to from Deuteronomy. Don’t miss out on that responsibility!

Proverbs 31:2 What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows?
Oh how many times do I say that to the boys? If you ask them I am sure they would say, “Too often”. But I don’t think so. We are as a family to work hard at drawing near to the LORD. I will often ask Manny, “Does this have eternal value? Are you getting to know more of the LORD? Are you being a witness for the LORD?” We can ask each other the same question. We need to hear it. We need the accountability.

Proverbs 31:3 Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings.

Another clear warning. Are you listening? This is God speaking. He gives us two clear warnings, the first in the area of purity and the second in area of power, pride. Don’t get caught up in this. There will be damage that will follow.

Proverbs 31:4-5 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.

God continues on His warning and this one on drinking. He gives us one of the dangers of drink and that is we don’t think right and forget things. I know that many say the drinking, a drink does not affect them but I know that is not true. Even one drink affects us and our mind begins to get unclear.

Proverbs 31:6-7 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.

This is a difficult verse. Some would say it points to permission to drink but we know Proverbs and other Scripture makes it clear that is not the case. Does it point to medication in times of great pain or end of life? That seems to be a strong case. Some would say this is pointing to the foolish person and that drink is only for foolish. I am not seeing that. What we know is God ORDERS DO NOT contradict Himself and He just said that drink is not good and in Proverbs 20:1 it is clear what God thinks of drink.

Proverbs 31:8-9 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Will you speak for those that don’t have a voice? I know some young ladies at our church that are doing a great job of that. They are speaking for those not yet born. Great ladies! How about speaking out for those with low income? Or those with cognitive challenges? I find it fascinating that this “speaking out” will often go along side of the LGTB community or Black Lives Matter type groups. I wish instead of their voices being so loud that there be a louder voice for veterans and their struggles or cognitively challenged individuals. Oh to give voice for those groups. Even as I write this tears well up in my eyes thinking about those two groups. Men and women that served this country and because of what they experienced are struggling. And thinking of those that don’t have the hopes and dreams many of us have. Who will be a voice for those that are poor and needy?

I hope you really stop and think about this and see what God has called you to and how you can serve one of these communities.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Spectator or Participant?

We have talked about this before but let’s do it again. At the race track there are a lot of different people. There are the sponsors, the staff, the pit crews, the fans, the drivers, the emergency workers, the concession workers and so on. Each is needed for a race event. The fans, the spectators are very important in paying the bills, paying the drivers. As important as the spectators are, they are not the drivers or pit crew, and they participant in a totally different way.

When it comes to eternity there are no, NO, NO spectators. We are all going to participate in eternity.

Isaiah 45:23 By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.’

Romans 14:11 for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Hebrews 9:27,28 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Proverbs 30:24-5 Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer;

What a great picture God gives us here. He looks at the weak and small and makes them strong and wise. That is so cool to think about. We also get a picture of how God provides.

Proverbs 30:26-8 the rock badgers are a people not mighty, yet they make their homes in the cliffs; the locusts have no king, yet all of them march in rank; the lizard you can take in your hands, yet it is in kings’ palaces.

Here we see how God provides homes; positions, jobs; gives life and protects life.

FYI – The word “lizard” and the word “spider” are the same in Hebrew. Spider is better as it shows a picture of a small bug that can be crushed easily yet it can gain access to even the palace of kings. So we may be small in position, yet with God and His understanding, wisdom and knowledge we can have so much more that others who do not.

Proverbs 30:29-31 Three things are stately in their tread; four are stately in their stride: the lion, which is mightiest among beasts and does not turn back before any; the strutting rooster, the he-goat, and a king whose army is with him.

Think about the lion that is so powerful and yet graceful. They can stand proud and strong and often this is over their family in protection. The lion does not fear and we are not to fear things or man. We are to fear the LORD.

Proverbs 30:32 If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth.

Exalting self is foolish. Is that straight forward enough? Seems to be to me. God really has a thing about selfishness. In the second part of the verse God turns to our words and warns us to not speak if we are going to be mean, selfish, prideful, or if any evil that would come out of our heart and through our lips and mouth. There are times I will physically put my hand over my mouth indicating the kiddos should stop talking or that I am not going to respond.

This is a pretty powerful and important verse. Don’t just skip over it thinking you have read things like it throughout Proverbs. It is a multi-time echo. Stop and think again on this one.

Proverbs 30:33 For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.

God uses a word picture here in verse 33. He uses the word picture to echo that anger has a byproduct, more than one actually. There it is strife. The dictionary.com says strife is, “vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism: a quarrel, struggle, or clash:”. I think of strife as trouble, conflict, discord, fighting. Anger is not going to give us anything good.

What a way to finish this section of Proverbs before switching to the well-known chapter 31. But don’t just skip past this.

But before we move on let’s go back to the opening of said title: “Spectator or Participant”

I am fully confident (1) that there is a God; (2) that He created each one of us and all there is, there is way too much organization for there not to be a Creator; (3) He is the author of the Bible and we have His word on salvation and all of life; and (4) there is a real heaven and real hell that last forever.

With that being said I don’t want to see any miss out on heaven. So.

MAKE SURE YOU ARE READY!

The other day I saw a movie with a great picture of our sin. It was a mirror and three young people held it up. The mirror had the Ten Commandments on it. As they looked at the mirror seeing their reflection they read the words and saw how they had broken God’s law, His commandments and fallen short. It was a great reminder of Romans 3:10-12; 3:23; 6:23 that each one of us have sinned.

Romans 10:9 says, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

If you are thinking about your sin and that you have not dealt with sin and salvation maybe right now you want to cry out, call out to God and repent. After all you want to be ready for eternity because you are not going to be a spectator. You are going to participate in eternity either in heaven or hell. I pray you will call out on Jesus and repent right now.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Procrastination

It is time to get the car on the track. The season is starting. There are a good amount of guys that are ready and have been ready. There are some that are going to be right on time as far as having the car ready. Then there are going to be some guys that will not be ready for another few weeks or even a month from now after the season gets going. They are the procrastinators. They are late often. It often works out just fine but I have seen a couple of times it did not work out at all well. I once saw a throttle hang up and a bad wreck. I once saw a tire that was not tightened down and a bad wreck and I have seen brakes not checked well enough and a bad wreck after.
So it is with life too. Procrastination often works out but there are times when it is costly. Waiting until the last second and the deadline passes or no time to review the work. All can be bad. Spiritually the worst part of someone being a procrastinator is there is no time to pray about a surprise decision. Those that may be involved can’t pray and seek discernment when one waits so long. It is a bad thing to procrastinate just to prolong making a decision.

Proverbs 30:17 The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.
We have had many echoes in Proverbs on how to obey and treat your parents. It would be good for a young person to
read Proverbs often and even better if they obey it. It also would be good for us adults to read and obey Proverbs and set the example. When I read of the raven and the vultures I am reminded of Jesus’ teaching on the soils and the seed, God’s Word, being eaten up by the birds. Don’t let that happen in your life.

Proverbs 30:18-9 Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin.
It is amazing to watch how God has put together creation. I will often marvel at things like soaring eagles, sunsets and sunrises, other animals.

Proverbs 30:20 This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, “I have done no wrong.”
It is not just the adulteress that does this as we have seen in Proverbs and see in other books of the Bible. If we don’t see sin in the mirror, if we don’t know it is the person in our shoes, we can’t have salvation, we can’t repent, we can’t draw near to the LORD. We have to know that sin offends God.
The second thing I notice in this verse and we should think about is the word “adulteress”. God is serious about what our relationships should be and what our thoughts are on sexuality and what we allow our eyes to see. Are you serious in this area? I know that this is a huge issue in today’s world and from the very young to the old. What protection and accountability do you have set in this area of your life?

Proverbs 30:21-22 Under three things the earth trembles; under four it cannot bear up: a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is filled with food.
It is usually a great story when someone that is not a silver-spoon child or blue-blood child that makes it to the top of their occupation whether that is in politics or athletics or academics or business, etc.… In most cases you find someone that worked hard, had high detail, was not satisfied with good enough, was single focused, worked long hours and so on.
We have to do the same with only all our attention on the LORD and His Word. We need to be dedicated to seeking and following the truth. The other side of this verse talks again on too much food. I am struggling and continue to struggle with overeating. I again am looking at Titus 2:12 and how I have been able to have victory over things like drugs, alcohol, and other things but this is a battle I don’t seem to be able to conquer.

Proverbs 30:23 an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.
It is sad when we see the marriage where there is a lack of love in it. Don’t be that way. Wife tell your husband you are proud of him and honor him. Husband tell your wife that you love her and she is beautiful. It will change your marriage The second part of the verse is much like the slave to a king.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Happy Easter 2018

The other day we were talking about scams. So many have experienced being scammed. A family that used to live by us returned to say hello. It was great to visit. We got on the subject of scams and the son shared how they had been scammed for their wedding. The people doing the scamming have no conscience. They don’t care who they harm or hurt. They even target the celebrations, special days and holidays. So sad.

Does that sound familiar? The devil wants to harm and destroy us. Listen to 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. We need to be on our guard. He will use many things to attack us. One of the things that really makes me sad is to see when he uses religious ways to lie his way into people’s lives – send a check, join us, do this work, scales of good vs bad, pray this prayer.

Don’t be fooled! This year Easter and April Fools Day fall on the same day. This seems to be a fitting reminder. God calls out fools and for us not to be one. Let take a quick look at Scripture.

Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Psalm 74:18 Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs, and a foolish people reviles your name.

Proverbs 8:5 O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.

Proverbs 3:35 The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.

71 verses in Proverbs, the book of wisdom, on the “fool” and “foolish”.

Matthew 7:26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.

Ephesians 5:17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

God calls out those that are fools and those being foolish. Don’t be one of those. On this Holy Week really consider what God has done. His love is amazing. To think He loved and loves a fool like me and desired to have me in His family. To think that He would pay for my sin with His blood and the torment of death on the cross. To think about Him rising from the dead, victory over death. WOW!

Make this the greatest Easter ever by bow to Jesus as LORD!

May you focus your worship on The One that deserves for us to surrender and to bow before Him.

Happy Easter andhave a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd