Clarity

Do you ever pick up a call and have a hard time hearing the person if you are in a loud crowd? How about if you can’t hear your spotter? How will that go? Not well is right. If he says someone is underneath you and you can’t hear that and go for the hole what happens? That is right, there is a wreck. It is much better when the communication is clear and understood. This set of verses is clear.

Proverbs 21:9 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
Notice that this verse does not say go divorce. In this time that we live too many believe marriage is a try it out and see if things go my way or as long as I am happy I will stay in this. That is not how God sees marriage. He sees it as two becoming one and for life. He wants the husband to protect and love and to pour the Word over the family. He wants the wife to honor the husband and nurture the family.
Proverbs 21:10 The soul of the wicked desires evil his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
The eyes really can tell a lot. When you look in to the eyes of a person you can see pain, lies, hurt, etc.. The eyes really are the insight into the soul.
Proverbs 21:11 When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
Again, echo, will you receive instruction? If you will, you will gain knowledge.
Proverbs 21:12 The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked; he throws the wicked down to ruin.
We have talked about this before but it good for us to be reminded. No one and nothing escapes from God. He see and hears all, knows all.
Proverbs 21:13 Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.
More echoes. Here we are instructed that we are to help the poor. What have you done in the last couple of weeks to help the poor? It is easy to do during the holidays. Are you intentional year-round?
Proverbs 21:14 A gift in secret averts anger, and a concealed bribe, strong wrath.
We are prone to hide or trying to hide which in itself is a lie. We cannot hide. Everything is seen by God and often by all those around us too. So look at the scenario of the second half of the verse and see all the sin there.
Proverbs 21:15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.
Powerful! Doing what is right is a joy and freedom. Lying or doing what is wrong will enslave you to sin. It will always be. Don’t miss the joy of obeying the LORD.
Proverbs 21:16 One who wanders from the way of good sense will rest in the assembly of the dead.
Hear this warning! Seriously stop and hear this. If we wander from truth, disaster and death is ahead. You may think you are getting away with something but in the end it will not turn out good. Do you really want to take that chance?
Proverbs 21:17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
It can’t get any more straight-forward or direct or clear than this. Is your first love to feed your own pleasure? Take your time and really think about that. What satisfies you? Listen to the promise to those that love alcohol. Pretty clear what God thinks of drinking.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

The Real You

Do you really know the drivers and the team? I think that is an interesting question I get once in a while. Of course the person asking usually wants to know what “famous” drivers I have met. That is completely different than knowing a person. When we know someone we know their character. Think with me.

When I say the word character what does it mean to you? Character from dictionary .com: – the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing. – moral or ethical quality. Character is what is in your core, what you do when no one is watching. This is the real you.

Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.
Interesting to think about. There are pastors and leaders that change what we think God is saying in the Bible but there is only what God says in His Word. That is why it is so important we do the hard work of digging for truth.
Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.
Echo! 16:2; 16:2; 20:6 all spoke to this. This verse ends like the others, the LORD measures and knows the heart. It is not “What’s in your wallet” that counts, it is “what’s in your heart.” That is what counts.
Proverbs 21:3 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
We have talked about this previously, but look at what is important to God – righteousness and justice. We have looked a lot at righteous and righteousness but let’s pause and take a closer look at “justice”. What are your first thoughts when you think of “justice”? I think court and “getting justice” I have heard this completely misused several times in the past month or so. The Vine’s Bible Dictionary says it is the execution of a sentence, punishment; what is right in a judicial hearing. The International Children’s Bible Dictionary says, “The practice of what is right and just. Justice specifies what is right, not only based on laws, but also by what makes for right relationships, harmony, and peace.”
Proverbs 21:4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
Kind of the reverse of what we have heard before in Proverbs on the lamp, light, path. Here we see how eyes and the heart are destructive, sin! SIN! Like I have said before, this is serious.
Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
Speaking of plans, we echo earlier teachings. Again we are reminded to stop and think before we jump in and react. We are also reminded that if we don’t stop and think and pray we will lose out.
Proverbs 21:6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
Another direct shot, hit! Those who lie are not good. It may bring money into your life but the cost will be eternal in a negative way. I have a lot I could say here. Maybe we will side bar on this some time.
Proverbs 21:7 The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just.
Let’s focus on a couple of words here:
Violence – we see violence all around us. Every day in the newspaper, on the TV, on the internet we see and hear of violent acts. We would like to say they are all overseas or in the big city but they are not. They are in every community and in every country. There are those trying to say that things are less violent than a few years ago but that is NOT true. The truth is, we in America are seeing more and more hate and destruction. Man is wicked and we keep taking God out of schools, society and most frustrating is out of churches. We have blurred the lines and then wonder why things are going the way they are.
Refuse – Tied into what we just talked about is the refusal of so many to acknowledge God and to not seek Him and to not surrender to Him. Do you see the stubborn, self-filled attitude in this refusal? Think about those two words – surrendered vs. refusal. This too ties into character we talked about in the opening.
Proverbs 21:8 The way of the guilty is crooked, but the conduct of the pure is upright.
Guilty or pure. How will you be found? God knows your heart. We may be able to fool people but God knows. He will have us give account.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

New Years 2017

Prior to the storm last week a good friend shared this with me:
I am reminded of the days when I was receiving my pilot training. I was told that there are adventurous pilots and there are old pilots, but there are no adventurous old pilots.

As the year comes to the close and as we enter 2017 there are still some seeking the LORD. Some for the first time others want a deeper relationship with Him. Let’s look at a few more verses.

Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
How hard did you look for the right gift for your dearest loved one? Ok, for some it is hard to “shop” or be motivated but for many it is a big deal. You want to know what is going to please that loved one and you want to get what is just right. Then you have to search to find it. Do we put that kind of effort into finding out about the LORD and His will and ways?
John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
Is the first part of that statement true? Do you search the Scriptures? I find it fascinating how people will search for answers in some of the strangest places. They will make statements on things that are clear in the Bible yet they don’t want to hear from the one who created the world and all that is in it. Stop and think about that. The other day there was a political conversation going on and they were talking about our position with Israel. The person had no clear belief that Israel was God’s chosen people. Interesting. There are answers in the Bible. Maybe we should open it and search and read it?

1 Peter 1:10-13 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
There are some today that will search for the good news, for the gospel. That is that Jesus came and lived a perfect sinless life in order that we might be saved. He paid the price by dying on the cross and He was raised from the dead to give victory over death. And that by admitting to sin and repenting and crying out to Jesus as LORD we can be saved. This is truth. Are you the one searching? Stop right here and call out to Jesus in your own words.

Luke 11:10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
Great promise. This is a great promise by Jesus. If today you are searching or knocking, receive Jesus as your LORD. Receive His gift of salvation. Start the New Year with a new heart, a new life and new lease on life and eternity. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Happy New Year. May you be committed to search the LORD and His ways this year. May you be intentional in your prayer, your worship, your witnessing, your encouragement and your repentance. May you glean from your faithful Bible reading and may your faith and trust in the LORD grow.

Have a great day rain’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas!

What if you could not turn your head? What if you had to have your eyes fixed on one thing? With the Hans device and the cocoon the racers are wrapped up in they can’t turn their heads much at all. They have to focus on the marks and the few things they can see ahead of them. They really have to rely on their spotter, experience and the little they can see. We should have the same attitude at this time of year. We should have an intense focus, an intentional focus. We should be searching intently for the LORD, for Jesus. We don’t want to know Jesus on our terms. We want to know the Spirit and truth of Jesus.

So as you come to Christmas what is your focus? What and who are you thinking about? Are you searching? Are you searching for the true meaning of Christmas? Listen to the following verses.

Deuteronomy 4:29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Did you catch the “if”? That is right, God wants all of us. He does not want for you and I to look into Him or to be half-hearted about our search or our relationship with Him. He wants us sold out for and to Him.

Isaiah 55:6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;
Does this mean there is a time you can’t find Jesus and salvation? No what it means is that you may only truly be open to His voice and to salvation for a short window. He may call you for years but He also may harden your heart if you refuse to call out to Him. So if right now you are searching with all your heart, admit to your sin and your need. Cry out to Him as LORD and Savior. Give Jesus His rightful place in your life. Turn in repentance to Him.

Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
Did you hear that – “for it is time”. I l plead with you, if God is tugging at your heart, right now open your heart to God, right now open the Bible to Titus 3 and read those powerful verses. Ask God to give you the words He wants to hear from you, the cry of a sinner in need. DON”T LET THIS MOMENT PASS!

Matthew 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”
Grasp the words, stop at them and think:
Go and search diligently – We need to go to the place He wants us. It may be a physical place but more likely it will be a place that our heart and mind and spirit need to go where we open up to the LORD Jesus Christ. A place that we are tender and vulnerable.
Come and worship – Who do you worship? Serous question. Is it a person? Is it a thought? Is it a sport or an entertainer? Christmas is a great time to worship our LORD.

This message will continue next week with the New Years 2017 message

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Thanksgiving 2016

First I want to express my condolences Ron Blood and family for the loss of his grandson and to Arne Thompson for the loss of Jodi, Arne’s wife. Also praying for Andrew and Aly as they all go through the grieving of close loss. May God comfort you and show His grace and kindness to you in this hard time.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

That is a good place to start your Thanksgiving. Take some time to be intentional at thanking God, not just on Thanksgiving Day but every day. There is so much to be thankful for. You can start with God and thank Him for Who He IS. Get a piece of paper out and start writing down Who He IS and His character and attributes and personality traits. We can spend a lot of time on this and it is good. Slowly thanking God for each one.

You can be thankful and give thanks for your family and the people God puts around you. Then give thanks for your health; your home; your work; your abilities; etc… There is so much to be thankful for. We need to have a heart and life full of thankfulness. It is one way to keep us focused.

Now this will have a price. You are going to have the enemy, the devil, attack. He will try to make you ungrateful and discouraged and bitter. Don’t get trapped in his game. It is good to write down a list of things so when he goes on the attack you can read them and remember the good which God has blessed and given us.

It is also important for us to be in fellowship with other believers and in church if we want to have a life of thankfulness. It is vital for us to be in the Bible, in the Word. I know many who sing or listen to solid Bible based music to help them in their prayer and life of thanksgiving.

Have a plan! Live it out.

Happy Thanksgiving and have a great day rain’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Clear!

Oh, wait, maybe not.

That was heart-wrenching to watch Sunday. I rarely get to see any NASCAR races but last week was an exception. I got home and there was about 120 laps left so we watched it. We were pretty excited to see Matt take the lead and looking good. It looked like he would make the championship round and even looked like he was going to get the win. Few if any know what it is like being a NASCAR driver or spotter. I certainly don’t but that had to be intense and nerve-racking. I know this affected other drivers too and their part in this incident as Matt and team went to the lead and then wrecked and were out.

As I have thought about this I have been given a clear word picture. This is not, I repeat, this is not to judge Matt, his spotter or other drivers in any way. It is only a word picture that teaches, at least a lesson for me and hopefully for others.

The green flew, Matt drove off hard and fast and beat everyone down the front straightaway. As they dove into one the spotter says clear. Matt’s spotter did not have all the information he needed to make the call. He did not see that Kyle hit Bowman and knocked him forward with more speed than anticipated. Matt, hearing clear moves down into Bowman and is sent out of control, wrecking, into the wall.

Let’s take Matt’s spot in this story and think about the car as our life. We’re going along thinking if we work hard and drive hard we will get the win, heaven. We are listening to someone and think it is the right voice, the voice of the Holy Spirit. We are going along with others in life and we look pretty good. As things start to unfold, we find some of those people are going to help wreck us instead of lift us up and draw us closer to the LORD. When combined with who we listen to we make a mistake and are sent wrecking in life. Instead of winning in life we find ourselves wrecked by our choices, our sin separating us from God for eternity.

Can you see how important it is to listen to the Holy Spirit and not the world or even self? Do you see how important it is to have solid Christians around us? Do you see how important, even vital it is that we are saved and in step with the LORD?

Just take some time and think about that. In Matt’s case there is another season, another race and it is just racing. In life we each have only one life to live and if we miss salvation the consequences are eternal. I don’t want any to miss out on that. God offers His salvation to all who will admit to sin and confess Jesus as LORD. Don’t miss it.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd