Character Does Matter

I know we have talked about it before but like Proverbs I want to echo. Character is important. When you think of character what comes to mind? What do you look for in others? I want to see trust, humility, truth, honesty, gentleness yet a firm stand on the LORD and His Word. I want to see uprightness, integrity, strength, moral fiber that does not waver from agreeing with the LORD. Do any of those words sound familiar? They should. Most have been touched on in Proverbs if not harped on and echoed.
Now the tough question, you knew it was coming, Does God and others see those characteristics in you?

Proverbs 20:2 The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.
Think of the privilege we have of living in the USA. We really cannot understand this verse like many people in many other countries do. They understand that so many are murdered by the government. We need to thank God for the country He has placed us in and pray for those in persecuted countries.
Proverbs 20:3 It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.
Do you have to get the last word (out of your mouth or mind)? Do you have to bark or bite back? DO you have to go tell ten people about the other guy or gal? Stop, it is sin and we don’t want to be known by it. It will not build friendships or trust.
Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
We have to put the effort, the work in. If we want to change our life or family we have to get this. We can talk about change and even want it but until we put the fork down and put the running shoes on we are going to struggle with gluttony. Until we stop going to the mall, or web sites we are going to continue to over spend. Until we get the bottle out of the house we are going to keep drinking. You get the picture. It takes hard, focused, intentional work to see through to victory by the Lord and Spirit.
Proverbs 20:5 The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.
What is in your heart? We have talked about purpose and heart. Our words and actions are going to reflect what is in our heart. What do those around you see?
Proverbs 20:6 Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?
Will God find you faithful? Serious question? Answer honestly. Stop and think on this.
Proverbs 20:7 The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him!
Eight times in Proverbs we are going to hit on integrity. Here we find a powerful statement. You can be a blessing to your children if you will be found as one known for their integrity. Don’t miss giving your children and family this gift.
Proverbs 20:8-9 A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows all evil with his eyes. Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”?
How are you answering that question right now? Are you found pure? Truthful? What do you do if you answer, “No, I am not pure. No, I am not truthful. But I want to be.”? The first step is to confess the sin to God and accept His punishment. Then repent of the sin. That is to turn away from it and replace it with truth and purity. Find a good accountability partner and make sure you don’t put yourself in situations where the sin can fester. Remember the battle will be on so be prepared and don’t give up ground.
Proverbs 20:10 Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
Back to that word – abomination. This time it is tied to honesty in weights and measure, business. God takes fudging the numbers seriously. Do you?
Proverbs 20:11 Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
Forget black lives matter. They do but that would be a half truth. To God every life matters. God also would say, “Character matters!” He is bringing us back to the purity and uprightness that was often spoken of in the beginning of Proverbs. Do you remember the questions? Do you remember how important this is to our LORD? Critically important. Vital to your relationships.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

9/11/2016 - Fifteen Years Later

Today is the 15th anniversary of one of the most tragic days in America’s history. I know God views nations differently than we do. He has one nation – Israel – that He has called out. We do want to remember those families and friends that lost loved ones. We want to remember and pray for the soldiers, firefighters, emergency workers and police that serve daily and year after year. They have a difficult job and responsibility.

I want to switch subjects at this time and think about the USA. There is a tremendous need in this country. God can’t be pleased when He looks at this country. When He sees the rebellion we have, when He sees the disregard for His Word, when He sees the two candidates we have for president, when He sees what is being taught in schools, when He sees how we are misrepresenting Biblical marriage, when He sees how we are not in line with His doctrine on gender, when He sees how we view life as disposable, and the list goes on, He cannot be pleased.

This is a call to repent, to turn away from self and sin and turn to God. Please hear me. Individually we have to turn from this filth because at some point God is going to place a heavy hand and judgement on us if we continue on this path. It will lead to destruction. Listen to these verses.

Acts 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,

Revelation 3:3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.

Psalm 34:14 Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Echo in 1 Peter 3:11

So as we think about 911, think about your relationship with God the Father, the Son, the Spirit. Have you bowed and surrendered to Him and are you seeking to obey Him and His Word?

Again to those that serve as soldiers, firefighters, emergency workers and police, Thank you!

Todd

Reactions, Stop, Think

Proverbs 19:24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.
Have you been busted in tech? The question is what are you going to do? How are you going to react? This is going to speak volumes to the tech guys, other competitors and fans. How about when there is a bad call. I know that happens but the reaction, our reaction is what counts and might be why God puts us in that situation. How about when the other guy just wrecks you? Stop and really think about that.
Stopping and thinking is key in those three situations because if you are like me, the first thing out of my mouth is not going to be pleasing to the LORD sorry to say.

Proverbs 19:25-26 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge. He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who brings shame and reproach.
Speaking to all children, notice no age is given so that means all of us. Do right by your parents. I know that not all have Christ-following parents but still we need to love them and find a way to obey them while obeying the Lord. We need to honor them while not sinning. We need to feed them truth yet in gentleness and respect and not pushing them down and away but up and near. They should know we truly love and care for them because of what Jesus has done for us and in us.

Proverbs 19:27 Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
My heart is heavy when I pause at this verse and think of the families I have seen destroyed because of selfishness and refusing to listen to instruction from the Lord or those who stray from the truth. It is so important that in our homes we are teaching the Word of God and it is echoed in the church. Side bar, think about when you send your child off to school or work. A) Are they prepared? B) Are you talking about what is taught on a deep level not just, “how was your day?” “Good”, next… We have to stop and talk about what is going on. If they are in public school they are under an agenda that includes evolution taught as fact; the LBGT lifestyle is normal and right; purity does not matter and rebellion is ordinary and accepted along with lying, greed, chasing power, being a bully. There is much more to think about together.

Proverbs 19:28 A worthless witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
Listen carefully to the words of this verse. In a country crying for justice there certainly is a lack of those seeking the LORD and His truth. Read this slowly – We are making a mockery of truth and justice. There is way too much desire for sin and unfortunately I am speaking of in the church and out of it. Take a stand for the truth and God’s Word. We must not go silent even if soon it will probably land us in jail or at the least fines, just look to the east and the north and we see this being lived out.

Proverbs 19:29 Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and beating for the backs of fools.
First remember that man put the chapters, verse, breaks in the Bible. This verse really flows into the next. There is punishment ahead for those unwilling to bow before Jesus. This is true. Don’t be in that category of people. If you have never bowed your heart and life to Jesus as LORD do it right now. Don’t add Jesus to your life, surrender to Him.

Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
See why I wanted to include this with the verse of chapter 19? We have all seen the person just wondering around in life and you wish they would embrace the truth of their addiction and lack of direction. Jesus is the only answer. Take it from someone that personally knows.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

Todd

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