2015 Thanksgiving

1 Chronicles 16:28-34

28 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
30 tremble before him, all the earth;
yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
34 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
35 Say also:“Save us, O God of our salvation,
and gather and deliver us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.
36 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!”

Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the Lord.


I thought this year with all the upheaval that is happening in the world to take a moment and think about the above passage. Thankfulness should not be left for just this time of the year but God does use this time of year to help us get focused or refocused on our heart of thankfulness. There is so much for us to thank God for on a daily and even hourly basis. Stop and really think about our life and the good things around you. I know that it may seem like it is not that great that time but if we can get to the point of thinking on the LORD that can change our view.

This passage starts at home and being thankful for our families. It also is clear on who we are to be thankful to and for – the LORD! Verses 29-30 are very powerful. They are worth reading over and over and stopping and really being quiet before the LORD and asking Him to open our heart to the truth of worship and who He is. The line Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; could be a great life verse both to think about and to live out.

Then look at verse 34 and stop and think about it. God is good! We can all name off things that are not good around us. Sin, peoples choices of rebelling and going their own way, have produced terrific events on individuals, families, communities, nations and this world. But there is a constant that we can look to. We can look to God, God the Father; God the Son, the LORD Jesus; and God the Holy Spirit. They do not change. Their love and kindness, their mercy and their grace, their holiness and perfection, their compassion and sovereignty are strong and complete at all times, unchangeable. My struggle is staying focused on God and teaching right and truth.

The last two verses of this passage gives us a good reminder of Israel. God has chosen Israel and placed them in a special place in history, in this world and in His plan. We are to lift them up and pray for them. Salvation is needed there and our prayer needs to be that God in His sovereignty would move. We are not to oppose them as God makes clear that those opposing God will be punished and confronted.

So as we get to the special days at the end of the year make sure you are taking time to worship the LORD and thank Him, intentionally and deliberately. Dad lead your family in this! Husbands lead your wife. Mom lead your children.

Thank you and have a blessed time reflecting and being thankful,

Front Row Wreck'n

You have seen it. The guy that starts the feature in the front row and you think, please don’t take out the field. It can be the conclusion from different angles. They have a history of not having good car control, they are young, they have tires that are old and worn out, they are lined up with someone next to them or behind them that they have wrecked with and you know pay back could be in the agenda. OH we just saw that play out the last few weeks in NASCAR from what I have heard. There have been races that don’t even make it to the green flag or through one and two without mayhem. It is much better when the young guy stays low and runs a good smooth line. He does not get frustrated as the field goes by. He does not over react. He just learns so that next time he is a little better.

As I think about that, I think how God must look at us when we are young believers or not so young believers. He does not want us to “wreck the field”, in other words our life and those around us. This is why Proverbs is sure a great book to slowly study through and go back to often. I once heard a girl’s testimony that included that her dad read a Proverb to the family every day along with some of Psalms. She heard it over and over and never tired of hearing it. It was a treasure. What a blessing to give to your family. So let’s get back to our study.

Proverbs 14:10 The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy.
You have heard me quote Jeremiah 17:9. Did you know that Jeremiah says the word “heart” 35 times? (569 x in the Bible – WOW! Add an “s” as in “hearts” and it’s 208 more times). Three times alone in chapter 17 of Jeremiah. Look at the three of them. (Jer. 17:5,9,10). Do we have a contradiction? Does God’s Word contradict itself? This is one of the most important things to get down, to get settled in your heart and life. God’s Word never contradicts Himself. It is impossible for God to lie or to do anything that would contradict himself. HE IS PERFECT! So what is it? We are the ones that need to study and come to understand what the LORD is saying through His Word. 2 Corinthians 3:2,3 reminds us that God is the one that writes His message on our heart. Don’t ignore Him.

Proverbs 14:11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.
The other night in youth group we were talking about the importance of words selected by God to be in His Word. Little things we can pick up on and clues to truth. Look at this verse. Is it important to see and think about the difference in house and tent? What if he LORD would have used the word “home” instead of “house”? They have different meaning don’t they. We think of a structure with house and we think of what’s inside with “home”, the family, the people. Now think of “tent”. It is mobile. It reminds us our body is a tent. Now look at how God wants to bless the upright, an ongoing echo in Proverbs and throughout God’s Word. Also, God cannot let the wicked go unpunished. Stop and think about that. God cannot let sin go unpunished. Where does that take your thoughts? I think of the need that brings to me. I am in need of a Savior, one that can pay for sin. That Savior is Jesus and He alone! I would hope that would help me in obeying Him.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
Remember the verse we started with and the heart issue? Remember what Jeremiah states? This verse tells us that we may think we are making a right choice but it could turn out bad. Think about the opening you might see in front of you on the track but the better drivers know if it is going to close up or not. They know if they shoot for the gap if they are going to be ok or if it is going to destroy a car. Now that does not mean we never do anything or make any choices. It means we need to bathe everything in prayer. It means we need to be following the LORD closely, a string relationship with Him. And it means we need Jesus-like patience.

So what is going on in your heart?

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

99; 2000+; and 41,149!

With the release of The White Knight short film on Mr. Dick Trickle, I’ve thought a lot about those numbers in the last couple of days.

Mr. Reffner and his #88

Mr. Reffner and his #88

I had the privilege of spending some time with Mr. Trickle, #99 on several occasions and after a number of his wins. One of my favorites times with him was at a Slingers National. We were in a rain delay and Mr. Trickle ran up to the trailer I was in and for about an hour and a half I got to listen to him tell stories, most of which I’d heard before. But what made it special was that there was a young Collin Reffner asking questions and getting insight from Mr. Trickle. It was really cool. It’s pretty cool to listen to a man who won 2,000 races.


Another one of Mr. Reffner’s #88

Another one of Mr. Reffner’s #88

Then, a couple years later at Fest, Mr. Trickle and Mr. Reffner were together at a car giving advice to another young driver. Then, a couple hours later, the two greats were up by the turn three wall of the small track and I got to stand next to them just listening. Very cool!

Unfortunately we need to think about the third number. Listen to this quote: In 2013 (the most recent year for which full data are available), 41,149 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. Quote from American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

Mr. Dick Trickle and Mr. Miles Melius at Slinger Nationals (photo by Russ Lake)

Mr. Dick Trickle and Mr. Miles Melius at Slinger Nationals (photo by Russ Lake).
Mr. Dick Trickle is credited with over 2,000 wins and several championships. Mr Miles Melius is credited with 10 championships, 21 track championships and over 1,000 wins.

Mr. Reffner and Mr. Trickle at Fest

Mr. Reffner and Mr. Trickle at Fest

Those are staggering numbers. Suicide is real and effects every age, every race, every economic level and every social level. Those with jobs, great jobs, and no job. Those with doctorate degrees and those that have dropped out of school. As I write this I have tears coming to my eyes knowing how the evil one has suggested this option to so many and there are thousands who make that choice. In their hearts they see no other option as the pain or emptiness is too great to bear.

I have a little understanding of the pain Mr. Trickle was in and that hope had faded for finding what was causing it and how to stop it. I know some of the medicines were a problem. Now it is way past a few tears as my heart aches in pain thinking of so many. I think of the many soldiers that, after serving this country, feel hopeless. I think of the young one at a tender age, not even through high school. I think of a couple, full of life and then shortly after, lost hope. We have all had the evil one intrude those thoughts into our heart and minds. Again, I know they are real thoughts but I also know they are lies from the devil. The LORD gives hope and life, not death and sin.

This is what God says in His word:
Psalm 38:17 For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me.
Psalm 69:29 But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high!
Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love.
Psalm 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation.
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Deuteronomy 30:15 See, I (God) have set before you today life and good, death and evil.
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through.

This is a real battle. It is a battle of good vs. evil. It is a battle of life vs. death. It is a battle of the LORD God vs. the evil one. Maybe you know of someone in the midst of the battle or maybe you are that person. May I offer you three things? One, pay attention! There are little clues to those in the battle. Sometimes there are big clues. We need to pay attention to those God has placed around us. Two, there are many who care and I am one of them. PLEASE reach out to me or someone who cares. Three, there is only one place to win this battle. It is in Jesus Christ the LORD. In His salvation is hope and life found. He promises salvation to all who repent and call out on His name. There must be an admission of sin and not blaming anyone else. There has to be a change of direction. We must be willing to surrender to Jesus as LORD and place our faith and trust in Him. Does that mean all will immediately have those fears, the pain, and the troubles lifted? Maybe, but most likely not. However, there should be a new perspective on the fear, the pain, and the troubles. PLEASE turn to Jesus today, right now.

If we can help in anyway please reach out to us, to me, and have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,


So this morning the kids are cleaning up a mess. They are using sponges and hot water and trying to get things cleaned. I had been thinking about “sponge” a couple of days. In the race shop or in the hauler once in a while there is a spill, there is a mess and it has to be cleaned up. It is a lot easier to clean up water then it is to clean up oily, grease spills or something dangerous like fuel or a chemical. Generally it is much easier to clean things up right after they happen then to let them sit a while and soak in.

Now think with me. We are all sponges and we soak up the things around us, the things we are exposed to. The question goes like this, what is around us and what are we soaking up? We have to be intentional if we want to have the victory lane. We also have to be intentional if we want victory over sin like we say we do, than we have to have good things around us and by good things. I mean the LORD and His Word not the junk of the world and media. We should be with other believers and in a solid Bible believing and teaching church, etc…. We have to take a stand and call sin, sin and say no like we see in Titus 2:12. Throughout the couple of years of study in Proverbs we see what God wants and what He does not want and if we have been open, God has shown us sin we need to deal with. Let’s study some more.

Proverbs 14:1 The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.
We have mentioned this earlier in Proverbs but this goes to the house on the Rock vs. the house on the sand. (side note, “house” is in the Bible 970 times) The one we want to think about is in Matthew 7 as Jesus talks about what to build on. We need to build our homes on the LORD and His Word. What is your house, your marriage, your family, built on? What is the foundation? Again, are your words building up or tearing down?

Proverbs 14:2 Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is devious in his ways despises him.
I know this echo has been ongoing in Proverbs and I am ok with it. I need the reminding and the challenge of, “How is my walk with the LORD?” “Am I conforming to His will?” Most people don’t want to think about that second one. We want to be independent and have the freedom to do what we want to do but that too often leads us to sin. Are you willing to bow your heart and life to Jesus, to God? And we cannot skip over the “fear the LORD”. It is critical that we have this solid in our life and that we not only understand each of the three words but that we are living it out. Are we an example to others?

Proverbs 14:3 By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
You have seen the guy in hot pursuit of the guy in front of him. Lap after lap he is on his bumper. Well, God continues to pursue us in the area of our sin wanting us to repent and turn to Him and say no to sin. God again deals with our words and what we say.

Proverbs 14:4-9 Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies. A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding. Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving. Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance.
The next few verses are very practical and clear. Don’t lie, seek wisdom, be separate from the foolish (ungodly), be discerning. Looking at the comparisons: faithful vs. false; scoffer and vain vs. understanding man and knowledge. Look at verse 8. Where are you going to meet words of knowledge? Where are you going to seek for understanding God and life? Many will say that you can find it in the schools and universities. Some will say in the self help books. Some on Facebook, some in movies or song. The only place to really find truth is in Jesus who is the truth (John 14:6).

Go back to the end of the first paragraph. What do you let soak into your life? If we let God’s Word soak into our life that is great and will lead us in a good direction. But, if we let junk into our life, it will soak in and take hold of us. It will leave a stain or worse.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

God’s Warning To You and I

“Is this clear enough, you are disqualified” or “You are fired”! WOW, not the words anyone wants to hear. I would hope that at every track and every job that those words did not just get said without a lot of other ones before that. There are rule books, pre-tech, talked about in the drivers meetings, etc. At the job there was one on ones, probationary evaluations, annual reviews, etc… Think about that as we study together.

Proverbs 13:13 Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.
What do you think about the Bible? Stop and really think about that. If you take the time you spent in the Word this week what would be the conclusion? Do you want to study or do you want someone else to? I hope you want to and that you do seek the Word daily. Oh to get to the place where the Bible is like air. I need it every moment of every day.

Proverbs 13:14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.
Do you want Heaven? DO you want to be wise? When we think of the fountain of life we can think about the movies or story book that talked about that but this is not a story book, it is the Bible, true accounts of God’s history to us. If you want heaven you have to follow the way laid out by God. It is to repent of sin and turn to Jesus as the one and only that can pay for sin.

Proverbs 13:15-17 Good sense wins favor, but the way of the treacherous is their ruin. In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly. A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing. Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored.
Again we see a clear picture of what God wants and what He does not want and the consequences.

Favor or ruin
Prudent acts with knowledge or fool flaunts his folly
Faithful bring healing or wicked messenger falls into trouble
Bad things happen when you ignore instruction
Whoever heeds reproof is honored

Proverbs 13:18-25A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools. Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Disaster pursues sinners, but the righteous are rewarded with good. A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous. The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice. Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.

This section talks about desires, being wise, rewards for doing what is right. That is an important sequence. Think with me. We need the right desires in our life. They need to be the desires of the LORD. This will draw us to His wisdom and thinking right, grabbing on to His instruction and living it out. Then God promises reward.

Catch that verse in the middle. What will a good man leave? An inheritance. Now it is unlikely I will leave behind much if any money or things but I do hope to leave a spiritual inheritance not only for my children but for any that would listen or at least that is what I hope to do. It is an honor and privilege to share God’s Word. Don’t miss out on that.

Then God remind us that sometimes things can look great on the outside, in this case the large yield or harvest yet it is swept away by the lack of sense. We can try to cover up things and make ourselves look good but God knows our heart and what our real fruit is. DON’T TRY TO BLUFF GOD. It will not turn out well for you.

Next God tells us discipline is good. In Matthew we are told what church discipline looks like. It needs to be followed much more then it is in most churches. From the leadership down it needs to be practiced.

And finally God talks about being satisfied. I know we have talked about that previously but remember the test of what satisfies – is it money, a job, being the best at something, our relationships, shopping, our kids, time off, etc… or is it the LORD, His Word, prayer, His Spirit, obeying Him? I really hope it is the latter.

So now pick up on those warnings we see here. God continues in Proverbs to show us what He wants and how to live and how not to.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

What Color is That Flag?

We have seen the guy that ignores the black flag. In many cases it really is for safety of the driver and other drivers. Sometimes it is a violation. In either case it needs to be followed. Scoring is going to stop either way. I like what a driver sees. They see the black flag. They think, “That cannot be for me. I hope that is not for me”. Most of the time they are thinking, “The flagman has it wrong. I’m not going off.” The funny thing is the tower and spotter are calling their number or name so they know who it is out for. We can be like that, just trying to ignore the parent or the truth.

Proverbs 13:1 A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

We step back a long time and are back where we started in Proverbs 1, talking about sons and their father’s and hearing and listening. It also ties into what we just covered in discipline.

Proverbs 13:2 From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good, but the desire of the treacherous is for violence. 3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.The righteous hates falsehood, but the wicked brings shame and disgrace.Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, but sin overthrows the wicked.One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth, but a poor man hears no threat.The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.10 By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.

I want to give an example and have us think about the +/- sheet of paper with these verses:

Verse 2

Positive: mouth eat good

Negative: treacherous is for violence

Verse 3

Positive: guard mouth preserves life

Negative: too much talking or talking without thinking ruin

Verse 4

Positive: diligent for the godly is richly supplied

Negative: sluggard craves and gets nothing

Verse 5

Positive: righteous hate falsehood

Negative: wicked bring shame and disgrace

Verse 6

Positive: righteousness guards way, blameless

Negative: sin overthrows the wicked

Verse 7

Positive: poor pretending has great wealth

Negative: rich pretending equals nothing

Verse 8

Positive: ransom of a man’s life is his wealth

Negative: poor hear no threat

Verse 9

Positive: light of the righteous rejoices

Negative: lamp of wicked put out

Verse 10

Positive: take advice is wisdom

Negative: insolence comes nothing but strife

Verse 10

Positive: gather little by little increase

Negative: gain hastily dwindle

Do you see the teachings? There is a lot of thinking and study to be done. Can you see what God wants and what the evil one is trying to get us sucked into?

What is easier? What is comfortable? What will make me feel good? THOSE ARE NOT THE RIGHT QUESTIONS!

The right questions are what is right to do? What will bring pleasure to the LORD? What will God bless?

Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Hope is a critical subject in all of our lives. The word is elpis in noun form and elpizo in verb form. It encompasses looking forward, to trust, to anticipate, to expect. In the Biblical sense it is not to wish but to be firm in knowing what is ahead and yearning for it. It produces a desire and dream of grand things to come. It is leaning into God and grasping Him with a firm grip.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,