Driving Hard

Have you ever got out of the car and just knew you had driven a great, hard, clean race? Have you looked at the replay and knew you had driven hard, even more than normal, it was special. You kept digging every lap, lap after lap? The night when guys came up afterwards and said, “Great job” and you knew they meant it.

Here in chapter 10 God continues to drive His message hard and clearly. He has a clear message and call to us. He wants to bless us and He wants to have us obey and do what is best. It may not, ok, it will not be the easy way, but it is His way. Let’s study and pick up on some of the things He is reinforcing.

Proverbs 10:9 “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”

Let’s key on a couple of words. First “walk” – to me that is a word showing consistency. It is not just some of the time or once in a while but day after day. “Integrity” – it is to be upright, morally innocence, soundness. It is to be trustworthy and reliable. To me it is missing in a lot of places – our families, our work, our schools, the media. We need to be a person that is willing to take a stand for what is right and we need to be trustworthy. Think about how people would react to that. It would be counter to much that is around us. “Securely” – God gives us a promise. Now that does not mean it is going to be easy but that we can have a confidence in the LORD.

On the other side of that, is the one that is not honorable. They are not trustworthy. They cannot be counted on. Listen to 1 Timothy 5:24-25 “The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them.  In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.” (NIV) Sin will come out. It may be hidden for a while but it will show up and probably not at a “convenient” time.

Do you catch the theme being echoed? God wants us to be honest and hard working not just at our job, but at all we do. How have you done today? How have you done this week? Is there confession and repentance needed of any sin? Do so now. These messages are not easy to write and think about. I often have to pause and deal with my own sin but that is a good thing and we all have to continuously be on the alert against sin in the mirror, daily we need to deal with our own sin.

Proverbs 10:10-11 Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, and a babbling fool will come to ruin. The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

God deals with our eyes several times in Scripture. Here He talks of the winker. We need to be careful in this area. It is not the wink that is the problem. It is the heart and mind behind the wink. Think about that. What is the attitude? Same with the babbling. God talks about our words and tongue often. Stop and think about Matthew 18:7-9 “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. ” If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.” (NASU) God does not want us cutting off body parts. He wants us to deal with the sin that is behind the action of the heart and mind that comes through and out of the mouth and eyes. Did you catch that? He is saying, “Take the sin that seriously and stop.” Do whatever it takes to stop, to guard against sin. If it means not to turn on that music or that tv show –stop. If it means not going to that restaurant, because you know you will over eat –stop. If it means not going there because you know people are not going to be dressed appropriately – don’t go there. It is about making intention, deliberate choices. It is about being prepared ahead of time.

Think about those last two words in 11. The mouth is not just a little problem. Here it is talking about violence that is coming out. That could be physical, mental, emotional, relational, etc… Please be the one that is a fountain of life!

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine. I look forward to seeing you soon at a local race track.

Todd

Memorial Day 2015

In racing there are several memorial races. They are both sad and happy events. Sad in that we miss the person whom the event is named after. Happy because we remember their friendship and accomplishments.

A couple of years ago my Dad went on the Honor Flight. It was and is one of the highlights of his 93 years. He said it was a joy yet heavy on the heart at the same time. As he went before the huge memorials and read names, names of guys he served with, he wondered why, why was he allowed to come home and others were not.

As we come to Memorial Day we remember the fallen soldiers throughout this Nation’s history. So many have given it all on the battle field. At this time of year with Armed Force Day on May 16th and Memorial Day weekend coming up this weekend we remember the great sacrifice they made. We remember the love they had for this country and for us.

As I think about this weekend I think about the One whom gave for us. It brings some of the same thoughts as when we reflect on memorial races and the soldier. We should be glad and happy about the salvation that is made available because of Jesus’ love for us but on the other side it cost Him to be beaten and crucified and that should leave us convicted of sin and the cost of our sin.

So as you stop and are thankful to those who have served this Nation also stop and think about where you sit for eternity. Have you admitted to sinning? Have you confessed your sin? Have you agreed that only Jesus can pay the price of your sin? Have you confessed Jesus is LORD and believed in your heart God raised Him from the dead? Today Memorial Day can have new meaning if you reach out for salvation.

Go see what the Bible has to say in the following verses: Romans 3:10-12, 23; 6:23; 10:9,10; Titus 2:12; 3:5-9.

I want to end by saying thank you to all who have served. I want to say thank you to all that are serving. I want to say thank you to the families of servicemen and women and especially to those families that have lost loved ones. I also want to thank the law enforcement officers as they too are in harms way often. Join me in personally thanking those who serve.

Have a great and safe weekend in the SONshine and see you at a track soon,
Todd

Can of Worms

Sorry to get you fishermen excited but I am not talking about fishing. Have you ever looked at a job and said “this is not going to be too bad, it will be pretty easy and quick” but in the back of your mind you know it is going to open up a can of worms? Hours later or even days later you are frustrated enough to call in the “expert” to put things back as they should be. Well, we are headed into some verses that I could spend a lot of time in and not have it all covered so I will just briefly look at them and you can drive in deeper during the week.

Proverbs 10:5 He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
God has a perfect timing and a perfect will. He gives us some insight and it is up to us to be alert and listening to Him. We have to be in a real relationship with Him that is not clouded with sin. Stop and really think about that. This verse is reminding us that we need to be alert and paying attention to the LORD. The enemy wants us to get busy or relax. There is a harvest prepared for us if we are fixed on Jesus. How alert were you this week?

Proverbs 10:6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
Proverbs is filled with many verses that show what God wants and what He does not want. We are in a battle against the flesh, the world and the enemy vs. what God, the Spirit wants. In all of these verses God’s intent is to bless us by letting us know truth. It is about making right choices each and every day. God desires for us to be honest. God desires for us to be honest. God desires for us to be honest. Remember in Hebrew when something is said three times it is a way to stress, “this is important”, it is a point of emphasis. Being completely honest is the different from the world and Christ-likeness.

Proverbs 10:7 The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.
What kind of memory do you want to leave behind? The kind of driver or team that was always taking advantage of others, the one that seemed to never give an inch even if the car was off that day, the one that others did not want to race tight with because “things” happened? Or the driver and team that helped lend a part or gave enough room to pass or would race clean for as many laps as both cars stayed together? It is the same in life. What kind of person, what kind of friend are you? What kind of husband or wife are you? What kind of Mom or Dad are you? What kind of child are you? Let’s pause here and really think about that. I wonder how ours would answer those questions?
There is a saying that I don’t know if it was mine or someone else’s, “I am a nearly as good as I think I am and I am not nearly as bad as you say I am”. Somewhere in-between is the truth which is I am a sinner in great need of mercy from the LORD Jesus Christ. I plead with You LORD. I confess and I repent. Change me.

Proverbs 10:8 The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
When it is time to be corrected, whether that is on the race track, or at the job or at home, how do you receive that correction? I know it is easy to get defensive but is that right? Is that the best thing to do? I listened to one young guy recently and as I asked what he learned from an experience that was not the outcome he had hoped for, he just shifted to a different question and did not answer my question. He had learned nothing at least at this time. It is a good thing to learn God’s commands and follow them (Him). It is not good to just babble and say nothing. Be a wise heart, a wise person and listen to the LORD and receive His teaching. Live them out. He wants to bless you.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine. I look forward to seeing you soon at a local race track.

Loss

Psalm 119:49-50

Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life.

Lord we come to You tonight, our hearts heavy with loss and seeking You, the One who can comfort, guide and restore. Only You can give us the strength we need right now, this day. And when today has ended we can look to tomorrow in hope, but only because of You.

Thank you for Your Word and the promise that it contains. Because of Your promise to love and care for us we turn our hearts and minds and eyes toward You. Be with those who have suffered loss and grant them the grace, mercy, and the peace that they need. You are unwavering in Your truth and You long for us to draw near to You.

As I pray today I think of the Gille’s, and Dawn Bierman, and Dave, and the families & friends. I think of those in Nepal. I think of those in Baltimore. I know there are others who are suffering with physical issues and also relationship, family, financial, work, money, etc… issues. I know there is One who cares more than I am able and who cares more than anyone possibly can.

Please, if you are one of those with a loss. If you are one who is suffering or  feeling hopeless, turn right now to Jesus and draw near to Him. Open His Word and lean on His truth and comfort. He will display His love to you.

If I can help, please contact me or pull me to the side at the track.
Todd

Putting Things Together

It is the time of the year that you are finishing up on small details and maybe some big ones too. I know there are guys that can sit down and just do the slow small work of putting things together. Some of the projects remind me of putting together models. It takes time and patience.  You have to work in order. You have to follow the blueprint. You have to make sure the right piece is used at the right time. You have to think ahead. It is methodical work.
As we work through Proverbs we are at chapter 10 and it is time to do so verse by verse. Let’s start with verse one.

Proverbs 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.
This is not teaching one parent versus the other. It is teaching the echo of the Ten Commandments, Exodus20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. The wording for ‘fool” is a very strong word, it could be translated “stupid”. It is foolish to the point of harm and it does break a parent’s heart when they see the child that goes against the LORD and His Word. Don’t be like that. And if you have, like we see in the New Testament, be the son or daughter that turns back, runs back, into the waiting arms of the LORD and your parents. Make it right with both before it is too late.

 
Proverbs 10:2 Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death.
Your view on money is important. Let me say that again, your view on money is important. There are a lot of people trying to get your money. There are a lot of people that want to “invest” and profit off your money. It can be the focus and priority of your life. But you want to handle money God’s way. It is said that the Bible says more about money than any other subject. I don’t agree with that and it certainly was not the focus of Jesus’ ministry, but how we handle money does tell us a lot about who we are; what is important to us and what our relationship with the LORD is. This verse is challenging us on how we gathered income. Are we honest in that area? Are we handling the right product to sell and buy? Did we harm anyone else in our business dealings? I like how the NIV puts it, Proverbs 10:2 Ill-gotten treasures are of no value. That is so clear!
 
Proverbs 10:3 The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
Jesus speaks of food too, spiritual food, His Word. So what do you hunger and thirst for? There are plenty of verses you can look up. Here is a start, Hebrews 5:11-14; John 6:27; 4:34; Matthew 5:6. See the focus of this verse is on the LORD blessing the righteous. This week, how much time did you think about the LORD and doing what is right?
 
Proverbs 10:4 A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
God is not talking about the material rich in this chapter. He is talking about the spiritual rich. The word “poor” is strong. It is better translated “destitute”. God does call us to work as is clear from above and He wants us to “make a living” and He calls us to work hard at knowing Him and obeying Him. What kind of effort did you put in on those three areas this week? Did the race car take priority over either work, ‘making a living’ or your time with God? It is so easy to slip into wrong priorities. Keep your guard up, keep the armor of God on. The enemy is looking for opportunities to distract us.
Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine. I look forward to seeing you soon at a local race track.

Drop the Green Flag, It’s Time to go Racing

Are you excited to get back on the track? It is time to get the season started but there is still work to be done. Is there a little scramble for parts and getting ready to go racing? Have you ever had that part that seems to be a hassle to get? I know with just a regular street car that has happened a few times. What does it take to get it – patience and steadfastness and it helps to know the right person. You can’t give up the hunt and then you have to wait for the delivery of it.

Well here we are into chapter 9 of Proverbs and we are waiting on the LORD and the next lesson He has for us. Let’s dig in.

Proverbs 9:10-11  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life. Anyone hear an echo? We are in Proverbs so of course there is an echo. We are reminded here that wisdom starts with the fear of the LORD. Here there is the addition that the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. What do you think that means? To me, it is opening the Scripture and discovering all you can about God and He will begin to unfold His truth to you and me. Verse 11 helps me think of the fourth of the Ten Commandments and how God will add years to those who honor and obey their parents. This verse does not necessarily mean years but the multiplication of the value and depth of life. It is the increase of love that brings eternal significance and meaning to life. That can be a wow moment in life. Don’t miss it.

Proverbs 9:12-18 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it. The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town, calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” And to him who lacks sense she says, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol. We have to be careful who and what we listen to. It is far too easy for us just to let junk into our lives and homes by not saying no to what has no eternal value or is of the world or just clearly sin. Remember that the evil one uses both quick and loud volume to slip into our lives. He will always use a little truth and then twist lies into it. He feeds off our desire to be comfortable instead of wanting to be refined. Take some time to think about that.

See you at a track soon and have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd