Where To Get Started?

Think about building a car. Where do you start? Chassis? Motor? Sponsor? Crew? The rules? Where you start is important in building a car and a race team. Where you start in many things is important.

Think about school and the things being taught there. Do you start with 1+1 or the square root of 64 multiplied by 63? Building the base in anything, the foundation, is the key to success. Your starting point in your world view in critical. I am firm in my world view of creation done by God. I even think a year of around 4000 BC can be established via Genesis and the clues left for us. With that in mind let’s look at the following verses.

Proverbs 8:27-29When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit were all involved in creation. See Genesis 1:; 1:2; Hebrews 1:8-12; Colossians 1:15-16; Nehemiah 9:6. Stop and think about the power behind these words. They clearly state that God is the Creator and that He established limits and boundaries. He marked out the foundations, perfect alignment! Here is another thought, God created and did not need evolution. Let’s teach our children the truth, don’t leave it up to the schools to confuse them and lead them down a path of lies. Teach them sound Biblical science that gives evidence of creation instead of a circular type of reason portrayed as a fact.

When you look to the sky or see a great sunset think about the Creator, God and worship Him. When you see the great power of a waterfall or ocean waves, worship the Maker, the LORD God Almighty!

Think about this:
Have you stood and marveled at the ocean?
And with a Word God spoke it!
Think of the power of the waves
And God set the limits
Think about the great need you have right now
And God knows it and cares for you.
That’s my loving, great God
Is He your LORD too?

Proverbs 8:30-36 30 then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, 31 rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man. 32 “And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. 34 Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. 35 For  whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, 36 but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

Can you believe it? We are back to the echo of “hear instruction”. Think about this, we can be part of God’s family by submitting to Him as LORD. We have to bow before Him. A plus is we get blessing from God. That blessing comes from following Him, obeying Him, listening to Him. Are you? Are you really listening to God and obeying Him or are you playing church? Seriously, think about that. A lot of people play church and are hoping that is going to get them into heaven and to be with the LORD. Your employer would not let you work a few hours a week and call it good. No, you need to be committed to God fully.

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

Who's Talking

Have you ever been in a big crowd and you can’t tell who it is that is speaking or listening on the scanner and think, “who’s voice is that”? At the track it can be loud and hard to hear who is talking. Sometimes I even wonder when the kids are talking where did that come from? That cannot be so and so talking.

It is important to know who is talking and as we go back to our Proverbs study we need to remember that here Wisdom is speaking. Let’s look at some more verses in chapter 8:Proverbs 8:14I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.

Think about this for a moment and then the verse. I am completely dependent on God, if I will admit it or not. God gives life and counts out our days. He knows all and is all powerful. He IS sovereign. Stop and think about that. He is independent of all others and has no need. SO who should we lean on and rely on? That is right – God! DO you? Do you place all your trust in Him? Is He guiding you? Are you spending time in His Word?

Proverbs 8:15-16 By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;16 by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly

Oh how I pray that this country would be lead by God fearing men and women. We are surely going down a bad road. I am speaking about both of the big two parties. Neither one has very many that lead by what God would have them do. It is a sad thing to see and be part of.

Repent!!!>Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Are you seeking God first? Seriously, stop and think about this. Are your thoughts on God part of the day, a little bit of the day, some of the day, most of the day, or all of the day? I know that I need to fix my eye, ear, mind and heart and thoughts on Him much more that I do. So what will you do right now to place God first in your mind, heart and thoughts?!

Proverbs 8:18 Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness.

Look at your checking, bank account, 401K, savings, stocks, home, retirement? How do they look? No comparison to the rest of the world? Most are looking for a, yes “a” meal today of mush or rice. Many will not have a bed to sleep in. Many will not have clean water. Many will not more then $5 earnings for a 12 hour work day today. So who is rich? In a worldly sense, every American or at least most are but most are really poor because the riches God talks about is the riches of knowing Him and having a personal, daily relationship under His authority!

Proverbs 8:19My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.

What is your fruit today, what is your spiritual fruit today? Did you live out joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control today? Oh and the greatest of these is love? See Galatians 5:22-23 for a list of the fruits of the Spirit.
Proverbs 8:20-21 I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, 21 granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.

Reread the last two and put them together and add where are your treasures laid up? Remember you cannot take your car, your house, your bank account with you. So give. Give the way God calls you to give, sacrificially.

Proverbs 8:22-2322 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. 23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

God knows us before we were born. He loves us and wants the best for us but leaves us with choice. I like how the 1984 NIV words these two verses -2 Timothy 1:9who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, and Psalm 102:25In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. Add that to Psalm 139 and we see a) every life has value from conception to the last breath and man should not end life prematurely. b) God gives us life and sees every moment of it. He desires to have us come to Him for salvation and in faith and trust of every moment in our life. He is available. It is up to us to lean into Him and seek His guidance through His Word, prayer and Spirit.

Proverbs 8:24-2624  When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth,26 before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world

As long as we are doing subjects that counter the American school of thought lets go from abortion taking a real life, a living person, a human, fully human to how we got here. It was not millions of years. That is easy to see. We can even go with a “young earth evolution” position. But what does God say? He says He created. He says He breathes life. He says that each was made to its own kind. God created, just by saying the words and he created all the universes and everything in them. He created life on one planet. Science shows this clearly and the world around us too. Think about this. There is no half man half ape. If evolution was true we would see many and few of the apes and men. Think about how a cell would develop an eye and what would all the stages in between look like and why don’t we see them? And staying on a simple level, why would it stop at humans if evolution is true? One more thing, does not the Law of Thermodynamics state clearly that things regress and do not morph into great life? It takes way too much faith and fairytales to believe in evolution.

Thanks for studying and thinking with me!

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Remember Back When?

Remember back to that great race? It was Trickle and Reffner side by side at the Dells when Back went three wide or was it Shear and Trickle at Capital and John Ziegler? The memory sometimes can get fuzzy from years ago. Worse is when you think of the week before and can’t remember if it was Casey or Dale battling with someone else. Well I think there are too many times when we do that with even more important things like the message in church or Sunday School on Monday or on Sunday afternoon. You know it was good. You know it was important. But those details are what is missing. I know it was three points all starting with “s”. Maybe that is why God repeats Himself so much in Proverbs. So that someone like me will catch it on the second, third, tenth time. It is practical living lesson and we need reminders.

I say this because do you remember lesson One when we talked about fear? Or lesson Four when we touch on it? Well we are back to it. Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. Remember the fear we are talking about is yir’ah in the original languages. It means to be exceedingly fearful and its root is found in yare’ which is to be afraid. In this verse we are given an example of what it should look like in our life. It is to hate evil. Let me ask, what is your relationship to evil? Maybe first I should ask, what is evil? We should not want to do harm to anyone, especially God, and including ourselves. Evil should be our enemy. That seems basic right? Part two of this verse gets a little more uncomfortable to me. I am to hate pride. Often as we talk at the dinner table about sin we need to deal with it and it will center on pride. This good definition comes from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pride

: a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people
: a feeling that you are more important or better than other people
: a feeling of happiness that you get when you or someone you know does something good, difficult, etc.

That does not sound that good when we read it that way. When I talk to the kids about pride I remind them that it is when we push someone down and push, puff ourselves up. It is a sin that is all around us, in and out of the school, play, work, home, church, etc… When is the last time you stopped and asked God to show you your pride? Would you stop right now and ask God to examine you and show you areas of pride? This is how serious pride is. It is top ten material (see the Ten Commandments). It is in big three from 1 John 2:16. It is going to be touched on 7 times in Proverbs. It is serious business to battle against pride and I hope you address and fight pride in your life and in your marriage, in your family. As much as I have stressed purity in the previous messages I hope I am stressing the sin of pride now.

We are given three more things we are to hate: arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. These are all worthy of stopping and thinking about. Let’s stop at the speech part. How are your words about others? How about your word selection? I am guessing we all need a lot of work in those two areas.

I know this lesson was challenging but I think it is really important. I hope you take some extra time to think about it and deal on a deep way with the LORD.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

Todd

Every Lap Counts

Whether it is a 500 lap enduro or a 7 lap heat race every lap counts. Do you think most drivers, teams and fans would agree? I think that they do. You have to be learning with every lap and you have to be focused every lap. It may seem like they are just logging laps in a long race but those early laps of just staying out of trouble, saving your equipment, might be just what is needed at the end of the race for the win. That is why we pay attention. It is fun to see how each lap affects the next. In the same way we are to pay attention to Proverbs. Let’s dig in again.

Proverbs 8:8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. God gives us a great set of promises here. 1) all the words and verse in the Bible are important. 2) All of God’s words are just. They are specific. They are trustworthy. They are truth filled. 3) The world is full of those that are crooked or perverse but God is never like that. Stop and really think about that. Now, why will I, why will you, not completely trust every word of God and obey?

Proverbs 8:9 They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge. Are you discerning? Upright? How would God answer that? There is a good test of faith here. Side note, it is really important and good that we test our faith. There are many great studies on it. I serve with elder Rick Ratkey who had a couple great messages on it this summer. You can check them out at DEFC website. Have you found knowledge from God and what have you done with it? How about this week?

Proverbs 8:10 Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold,Another faith test. For this to do us any good we have to be honest with our answers. What is more important to you: God or self? God or your wife, kids? God or money? God or our job? God or things? God or sports? God or racing? And so on. Are God’s instruction and knowledge more valuable than riches?

Proverbs 8:11 for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.Read those last few words again – NOTHING! Can you honestly say there is nothing more important than the LORD? We can so easily fill our lives with things other than God. Would you stop right now and ask the LORD to show you anything that is in His place in your life?

Proverbs 8:12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.Look at the blessing you get when you have wisdom. We are getting echoes of the blessings God gives to those who find the LORD and His wisdom.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

Todd

Consistency!

One of the great attributes of a successful race track is consistency. One example is Jefferson Speedway. You know what you’re getting every Saturday night. The show starts at the same time. The rules are clear. The food is the same. The personnel are close to the same and night after night, year after year they run one of the best most popular race programs in the Midwest. Why? Consistency.

God is consistent even more so than Jefferson. I know that is obvious and we cannot compare anything of man to God because it is fallen versus holy but think with me a moment. We have covered 7 chapters of Proverbs and the message has been consistent and repeated often. As I have said, I am ok with that because I need to focus on the LORD and these areas. If He took the time to repeat them, I should take the time to learn them and live them out. I have no excuse not to. REPEAT! NO EXCUSE!

Let’s dig into chapter 8 and back to the echo on wisdom. Proverbs 8:1: Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:“To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man.O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right, for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

Slow down and read that again. Where do you put God and His Word in your life? Do you passionately seek wisdom before man’s thinking? Listen to verse 6. Do you completely trust God? We need to and should. What areas in your life are you not trusting God in? What do you need to give over to Him? To have insight we have to be in step with the LORD.

>Going back to the idea of consistency, are you being consistent in your walk with the LORD? Most of us that struggle with inconsistency in our Christian life it is because we waver in staying in God’s Word and in fellowship with God’s people. It is so important to be in church and under good teaching from the Bible. So where are you today in your walk with God? How faithful have you been today? How pure have your thoughts been? How obedient have you been? If the answer is less than great then today is a day for revival and repentance.  You know that I believe everyday is a good day for revival and repentance for each of us. So take a step toward the LORD. He asks us to be faithful right where we are each day. He will lead us to His ways from there.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

“It's Not My Fault”

We have all seen the big crash and then the ensuing words and actions of drivers and crews. Only on rare occasions have I heard a drive say, “Yes, I did it”. Most of the time it is the other guys fault and they are to blame. We even hear that at work, with the kids, in marriages. We can trace it back to the beginning of time with Adam, Eve and the Devil in the Garden.

Here we are in another chapter that deals with purity and responsibility and I think it is time to be very clear again on the cause, the effect and the responsibility we all have. Let’s read this first and then some brief thoughts as we mainly just want God’s Word to speak for God Himself.

Proverbs 7:6 For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. 10 And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. 11 She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; 12 now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. 13 She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, 14 “I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows; 15 so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. 16 I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen; 17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. 19 For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; 20 he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home.” 21 With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. 22 All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast 2    till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. 24 And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth.25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, 26 for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. 27 Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.

First God again points to the guys and says that those that are like this, sexually, morally impure, lack sense (7:7). God takes this purity thing very seriously. We do not want us to fall into it. Guys, We have a big responsibility in this area. What are you looking at? What are you turning on tv? What web page are you turning to? What second look are you giving? What are your words leading to and from? What path, road, are you taking (7:8). Is this street the one that goes by the beach or by the street known for gals dressed immodestly? Is it the street that leads to a bar or club? What time of day is it? Would you do this in the day? Would you go there with your wife or kids?

Next God points towards you ladies and warns that you too need to be pure, modest, godly. What you wear, is it going to attract the eyes, mind and hearts of men? Is it leading? Are your words pure? What are you portraying?

Now both guys and gals think with me about the two drivers that crashed. If there is a fall in purity will you confess? Will you take the responsibility?  Most importantly, will you repent from the sin and turn to purity. My prayer is that you don’t get yourself in that place of sin. Take a stand of purity in your own life, in your marriage, in your family. Being different from the world in this area will have one of the greatest blessings in all your life, your marriage and your family!

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

Todd