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

Election 2016

First I want to thank each and every person that is serving or has served in the armed forces. We have so many freedoms because of your sacrifice. I thank the families also as I know they too have sacrificed as their loved ones serve. Thank you!
As you know I have stayed away from the political talk. I really struggle with what has happened with the two big parties and where they are today in leadership. I think it is pretty weak. With that being said I was surprised to hear when Clinton lost with the polling numbers we were given over the last several months.
To me the defining moment of this election cycle was in early September when Clinton used the words deplorable. I think that is when she unknowingly kicked the hornets nest that lead to her defeat. We know in an election many awful things are said and Trump said his share of things that were demeaning to many but I want us to think about Clinton’s statement one more time.
You know she was right, well partly right. She said “half. ” She should have said “all” and then she should have said not only Trump supporters but all people. Now you are thinking I am mean and crazy and some other words and thoughts that are not very kind but stick with me a minute.
What does the word deplorable mean? “Causingor being a subject for censure, reproach, or disapproval; wretched; very bad:” (dictionary.com) God says about each one of us we have wicked hearts and have sinned. (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-12; 3:23) But here is the difference from Clinton and God, (Ok that sounds silly. There is no comparison). God offers hope to those of us that are deplorable. He offers salvation, forgiveness of sin, and redemption. It is the coolest and greatest thing. He extends His love and grace and mercy out to us and offers His gift of eternal life.
Now here is the challenge. Jesus makes that offer but you have to accept it, receive it,  and be willing to follow Him with a changed heart and life. Will you, have you, called out to Jesus?
Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

 

Practice

First, my heart has been heavy with the killing of more police officers this week. I am praying often for the families that I know that serve and for the families, departments and friends of the fallen officers. This is weighing heavy on my heart. I cannot imagine what they are going through as they send their loved ones out to protect daily.

What do you learn if you just goof around in practice? Not much is right. How often do you just skip practice? How about if you make no changes after the first round of practice and you know the car is not good for the day or night? Things just will not go well doing that, right?

It is interesting to think about that in life. If we just goof around and let things unfold however they will unfold, in the end we see a lot of emptiness. Instead we have to be looking for change, change done by the Lord and the Holy Spirit. We have to be committed to repentance and revival. We have to be committed to the Word of God. Then, we have to practice obedience. Do you practice obedience? Are you committed to the LORD? Are you serious and intentional?

Proverbs 20:23 Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord, and false scales are not good.

Two echoes in a single verse. One, is being honest and truthful. Two, we are back to that word, “abomination” Again, God is still very serious about truth and honesty.

Proverbs 20:24 A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?

I know we just covered this but God again reminds us our steps, our plans, our actions are important.

Proverbs 20:25 It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,” and to reflect only after making vows.

Look at both parts of this verse. First, an echo on our words and the damage they can do. Second, a warning not to just jump into things before really thinking about them. We need to be about prayer before actions. How are you at this?

Proverbs 20:26 A wise king winnows the wicked and drives the wheel over them.

There are so very few godly, wise rulers. Looking through history they are few and far between. This is one thing to look for in a wise rulers, they separate and discern good from bad. DO you see that in anyone around right now? Do you see any rulers looking to God for truth and help in leading? I don’t.

Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.

Hear this well! The LORD searches and knows each one of our thoughts. There is no hiding. No escaping His sight. He even knows what is in our heart.

Proverbs 20:28 Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.
We could change this country with one God-fearing person leading. I wonder if that will ever happen?

Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.

Both young and old and all in between have value. Never forget that.

Proverbs 20:30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts.

We need to be cleaned from the inside out. We need to be pure, an acceptable offering like is spoken of in Romans 12. Are you that kind of offering?

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

Todd