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

Who Checked That?

Again we stop to pray first for those in France under attack and those in the unrest in Turkey and now three more fall police Office in Baton Rouge. This world is in need of Jesus. Our hearts break over the violence that is so wide spread.

We have seen it, something goes wrong on the car and the crowd and maybe even the crew and driver wonder who checked and double checked it. We know it happens but often it is preventable. We need to check, we need to ask and answer the questions. It is best to have the LORD check our lives but it is also good to have our pastor and our friends, our mentor and accountability partner often checking up on us, keeping that list of sin short, watching and being watchful. We don’t want to slowly drift away or crash and burn abruptly.

Proverbs 17:10 A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.
You know, echo. How do you receive a rebuke, a discipline, a correction? It can measure where we are in our relationship with the LORD.

Proverbs 17:11 An evil man seeks only rebellion, and a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
It is sad that we see so much of this lived out around us. This country is sinking farther into the pit of evil and sin. It can be traced back a long ways so the challenge is will the church stand for righteousness and the LORD and not buckle to the world around us? Will you?!

Proverbs 17:12 Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly.
What a good word picture God uses here. We all know you don’t mess with an animal protecting her young. That is the intensity we need to stand against sin. Are you?!

Proverbs 17:13 If anyone returns evil for good, evil will not depart from his house.
HEAR THIS WARNING! We have to be vigilant at keeping evil out of the home and lives around us. We can’t let our guard down. We need to be very careful what we watch and listen to. This is a serious deal.

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
I can testify to this from many occasions but one recent one is as we care for a couple of little ones who come from a home that has some deep struggles we see and heard the outburst. The sad thing is I see how it has affected each one of us. I have been walking the house praying over the home, those in it.
It is as real as air and we are reminded of this clear teaching in Ephesians 6 – it is not flesh and blood we battle against

Proverbs 17:15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
Here we are, we found another thing that bothers God, no, more than bothers. God says this too is an abomination. It is the one that tries to talk his, her way out of sin and instead points their finger at the righteous. Ouch!

Proverbs 17:16 Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom when he has no sense?
What do you think of that question? What do you do with that question? This may not be the right thought but I think of the higher learning centers in the world (colleges and universities) and I think how they are wasting so much resources. Just think about that. Yes there are good reasons and good things in continuing your education but I do warn you, be careful. They are trying to shove God out of many of those institutions.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
What a great verse and reminder. We have all heard the little one say, “I don’t like you!”. We don’t want to be driven by childlike thoughts or words. Let our love and friendships be truth.

Proverbs 17:18 One who lacks sense gives a pledge and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.
Do your promises mean anything? How would your spouse and children, your parents, your boss, your crew answer that? Enough said.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Street Drags

Breaking News:
We need to first stop and pray. With all that is going on with the shootings we need to be in prayer for this country. We are headed in a bad direction and reaping the product of sin. We have little or no value on life and now look at what is happening. It is time to get serious about revival and repentance. It is time to get serious about change. We can’t just say we want change we have to change. We have to agree with the LORD and seek Him and change direction. We need to ask God to give us a love for our fellow man. This is sickening. Primarily men, but women and children also being gunned down. Dozens of shoots fired every week. Police shooting. Blood flowing in the streets. We should be alarmed. We should be broken hearted. We should find this wrong.
Please join me in pleading with the LORD.
Pray Acts 4:12 and pray that there would be a great outbreak of salvation as people turn to Jesus as the one and only hope there is to save this country and lives.

Street Drags or one on one drags at the track are quick. One of the most important things is to stay in your lane. If don’t there is going to most likely be a wrecked car or cars and others could be hurt. You have to be focused and keep your eyes and wheel steady. This is important for our life in Christ too.

Proverbs 17:1 Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.
How many of you were teenagers? How many of you have teenagers? Then you know. It is not easy.
We see here that God wants us to have a positive, encouraging, peaceful home. That is why we have to be guarding our front doors and back doors. We have to have the LORD shield our minds and hearts for the family but we have to do our part too.
What if you are the one causing the strife in the home? Or in the streets? Will you, will I, be willing to admit it and willing to turn from the selfish ways that create the strife?

Proverbs 17:2 A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.
Do you want to parent wisely? Center your family on the Word of God and on God. Do it! Think this is important after seeing this week’s news?! I think so.

Proverbs 17:3 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.
It is a good thing to be tested by the LORD. He looks at our heart and knows what is really going on. It also is scary in the sense of what He finds. Is it your desire to please God? What does God find when He test our heart today?

Proverbs 17:4 An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
What do you listen to? Who do you enjoy being around? Really think about that this week and measure it. Evil WILL INFLUENCE us so the amount of noise, the amount media, the amount of senselessness will affect us. BE ON GUARD!

Proverbs 17:5 Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
Listen to the two things brought to the forefront here. 1) The poor and how we think and act towards them and 2) our attitude towards chaos, disorder. God is a God of order and truth.

Proverbs 17:6 Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.
It is a great thing to be family. I hope you don’t miss out on it. I hope you take the roles in your family seriously and are intentional at fulfilling your roles and being godly in those roles.

Proverbs 17:7 Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince.
We are back to our words and the importance of them being pleasing to God. Were yours this week?

Proverbs 17:8 A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it; wherever he turns he prospers.
Not going to comment on this one because there is not clarity for me on the wording and translation.

Proverbs 17:9 Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
We just talked about broken friendship. Here is another example of what breaks friendships, covering up. We need to be open and truthful.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd