Ice Bucket #1

WOW! I am completely impressed with the brilliance behind the marketing of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Can you remember anything growing and spreading this rapidly, other than some bad flu bugs? I cannot. This has brought to mind a lot of thoughts but I want to talk about the two I cannot seem to let go of.

As worthy as this cause is, there is one that is greater then ALS. Think if the challenge was to spread and see the gospel explode across not only the internet but to all the people of the world. Here is what I see the symbols being:

Ice bucket – the washing of the Word over people, in other words, the sharing of the truth from the Bible on the gospel and salvation. So instead of pouring a bucket of ice water over your head, please open a Bible up to and read Exodus 20:1-171. Then Romans2 and read the following verse 3:10-12, 23; 6:23; 10:9,10. Then take just a moment and read Titus 3:5-73. In Exodus we see the law and that we cannot measure up to it. An example would be verse 16 in Exodus 20 says do not lie. If you have lied once, even a little tiny “white lie”, we are lairs and we have all lied at one time or another. Romans tells us we have all sinned but that Jesus died for our sins to allow a way for us to be saved if we will believe and accept (receive)that Jesus is the only way and the only LORD (John1:12; 14:64).

Donation – it is a choice to accept the challenge. You either deny that Jesus is LORD or you accept and receive Him as LORD, you either donate your life to God or against God. (Side note: to those looking to give the money hopefully you are giving to your local church who is a good steward of money to the spreading of the gospel)

Call out – you intentionally go and share the gospel with three others.

Now that could have a WOW factor!

Think about it that instead of millions of people hearing and giving to ALS (again a worthy cause) they gave their lives to Jesus.

Please read the verses below that go with what is written above. The second thought that I have had on this will come later this week.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

Pastor Todd

1Summarized it #1no other God’s; #2 no idols; #3 don’t swear; #4 one day a week is for the LORD and rest; #5 honor your parents; #6 don’t murder; #7 no sex outside marriage; #8 don’t steal, don’t take what is not yours; #9 don’t lie including “little white lies #10 don’t covet, don’t want what is not yours

2 Romans10-12  as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;  no one understands; no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, Romans 3:23-24  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, not even one.” Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 10:9-10  because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

3 Titus 3-7   For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.  But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,  whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

 4 John1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, John14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Like Father Like Son

At Marshfield Jim Sauter, Jr rolled out a new car and they were searching for speed. What was cool was when THE Jim Sauter (Sr) came to the pits and I got to watch the team and Mr Sauter work on the car finding speed. They found a bunch and had an ok race, I am sure they would have liked a better finish. But to me that is one of the cool things about racing, that is, watching fathers and sons work together and being together in the garage and at the track. Watching the dad teach what he knows and watching the son learn from the dad. It is great when you see the proud dad and the son that looks up to the dad where there is honor, respect, and love going both ways.

Surprise! Back to it again. God is telling his kids to listen to Him again. God is reminding us to listen to Him and our earthly fathers too. Proverbs 5:7 And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. The word “depart” is “cuwr” which can be turn away or better thought of as turn off. How does it work to turn off the spotter? Not so well. It is much worse to turn off your parent but even worse than that is to turn of God and not listen to Him.

God gives or continues this long warning against the adulteress women. Guys, whether we are young or old, we need to pay attention to this warning and gals need to do the same. I debated if I should just have you read this and not take it line by line like we have. I decided we would continue to look line by line. Proverbs 5:8-12 8 Keep your way far from her,
and do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you give your honor to others
and your years to the merciless,
10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
11 and at the end of your life you groan,
when your flesh and body are consumed,
12 and you say, “How I hated discipline,
and my heart despised reproof!

See the first statement God makes? KEEP YOUR WAY FAR FROM HER! Guys and gals don’t get drawn into sexual impurity. It leads to disaster. I echo the warning to all sides. We talked about our feet a couple weeks ago, and where we go, and what we walk into. See the warning? Don’t get drawn in! It is about choices. God continues and lets us know what some of the things are that can go bad if we are not on our guard.

Next is a powerful Scripture example. It is the example of confession. Look at this example. Proverbs 5:13-16 13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors.14 I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.” 15 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?

Are you listening to your teachers in the LORD? If a guy takes the time to show you the fast way around a track, and then you decide you know better and run a different line that doesn’t work, is that smart? Of course not. The better thing is to listen to those sharing truth and knowledge and follow and obey God and His Word.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine and see you at a local race track soon,

Pastor Todd

#13 It is Just Turning Left and Repeating Over and Over

“How can you like racing? All those guys do is drive and turn left over and over again. It is so boring. They are just going in circles” I have heard that from several people and you know they just don’t understand what all goes into racing and they cannot appreciate the smells and noises that and the hard work that goes into this fun sport. When I think of the statement of just turn left and doing it over and over it helps me with the perspective of God’s echo effect and we are back at it.

We are to Chapter Five and we are right back to the ongoing echo. Proverbs 5:1 My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding. We have seen the “my son(s)” over 10 times and it would be easy just to pass by and ignore it at this point but we should never ignore the LORD. There is a reason behind every word He wrote down for us. Let’s stop and pay attention. Two words in the original language are interesting to look at. One is attend, “qashab”. It has been used often and means to be attentive or to hear with intent to act upon. The second one is incline, “Natah”. It is to bow down. So when we look at this we can conclude that one way to bow and worship the LORD is to be attentive to His Word. So have you been in the Word this week? How is your worship outside of church, with your family, alone with God? Last week I challenged some guys to have a plan. We were talking about prayer but it is just as important to have a plan to be in the daily Bible reading. I give you the same type of challenge. Would you read you Bible a little each day this week? If you need a place to get started read Psalm 96 and Psalm 99. I would take one and read it every day for a couple of weeks or even for the next month. Ask God to show you His truth each day and increase your awareness of Him and worship.

Again we are shown a little more of what we get out of listening and obeying God. Proverbs 5:2 that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge. We see here that there is a correlation between hearing the Word, wisdom and knowledge.

The next section is a warning which we see a bunch of times in Proverbs. This one and several others are on men with women. It does go both ways but this time God warns this way. Listen to Proverbs 5:3-6 3 For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, 4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; 6 she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it. See how direct God is on this? Guys, we are responsible for obeying this warning and being alert and aware. I hope you take it seriously.

We went camping this week and we were given a piece of paper with 13 “rules”. Most ended with “violators will be evicted and no refund.” We obeyed the rules and had a great time together as a family. What a good reminder of how things are with God. God wants to bless us with eternal life as heirs in His family (as we saw earlier in Proverbs) but if we don’t want to agree and obey He will let us have our way and be separated from Him and in hell for eternity. What is your choice?

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine and see you at a local race track soon,

Pastor Todd

Ward/Stewart

I have purposefully waited and prayed about the Kevin Ward Jr. / Tony Stewart incident. I don’t know what was going on in either one of their hearts or minds but please consider this:
We never now when our last breath will be taken so we need to know we are saved and have found salvation the way God sees it. Salvation on God’s terms includes seeing our own sin (Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23), not someone elses sin; Taking responsibility for our sin; repenting (turning) from sin (Luke 13:3; Acts 3:19) understanding that there is only one way and that way is only in and through Jesus (John 14:6); agreeing He, Jesus, is LORD (Romans 10:9,10) and and crying out to Jesus to save (Romans 10:13).

We do pray for the Ward family, friends, and others at the track, including Tony. It is hard to know what exactly to pray so we are just lifting this up to the LORD.

Can I help as you deal with this? Please contact me.

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

Pastor Todd

Change

In the last month there has been some major announcements and change in the local Midwest racing community. Gregg McKarns stepped down from Rockford Speedway and the Big 8 Series. Doug and Julie Strasburg have changed their duties at Mid American Stock Car Series and are looking to step back. Steve Einhaus stepped away from the ARCA Midwest tour. All talked about family being a main reason which to me is a very solid reason.

We could easily be worried about racing and what is going to happen and maybe you are. This is such a teachable point in several areas.

One, in racing maybe it is ok to look at one person but in most cases they have someone that will step in and although it will be different it will not fall apart. In our spiritual life we are not to look to one person in leadership like a pastor. Instead we are to look to the ONE God, the Father, Son and Spirit.1
Two, we could be worried but that is because our focus is in the wrong place. We should have our focus on God with our eyes, mind and heart fixed on Jesus.2

Three, we could be knocked off what seemed to be a good and straight path on to what appears to be shaky ground. Instead we should be focused and fixed on the Solid Rock, that is, Jesus Christ. That is the firm foundation and where we can stand with confidence because of who Jesus is and what He has done so if you are worried, let’s chat about your concerns and see if we can get on firm ground and leave worry behind.3

1 John 1:29
2 Hebrews 3:1; 12:2
3 Luke 6:48; 2 Tim 2:19;

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine and see you at a local race track soon,

Pastor Todd

#12 God says, “Can You Hear Me Talking?”

It would be pretty silly if they turned the lights off on the track and told you guys to go out and drive on it right? I know I don’t like walking even in the house without lights on when it is really dark. I used to be fine but now I step on things or run into them. It is much easier to be in the light.

It is the same in life. God, Jesus is the light and He wants you and I to walk in the light. The light is obeying Him. It is being in His will and His Word. So this week have a plan to be in His Word and to be growing. Look at Proverbs 4:18-19 18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. 19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.

We have talked about it several times already in Proverbs but again and again we are going to read this or something like it. Proverbs 4:20-22 20 My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.22 For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Let me ask you how vital is gas to your car? How vital is air to your body to live? That is how vital God’s Word should be to each one of us. Is it? Is the God and the Bible the most vital thing in your life? Do you revere Him? Do you long to be in His will and Word? When you got up this morning did you thank God first and think on Him? Did you turn to the Word and discover the truth He had just for you?!!!

The next verse talks about the difference between knowing something and really knowing it. We can watch a lot of racing as fans and think we know what is going on but until we have worked on a car we cannot know what it takes and until we have driven a car we cannot know what that takes. Like most things it is harder than it looks. Verse 23 talks of embracing God Word and teaching deep into our heart or into to life, in other words, living it out in obedience because we love God. Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

One of the big differences from a young driver and a veteran is how they talk about what is happening with the car. The young driver usually is very general where the veteran is specific and detailed. They drill down into what the car is really doing. In the next verse God gets a little more specific on how a godly life is lived. Let’s check it out together. Proverbs 4:24-27 24 Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. 25 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. 27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

The LORD starts with our words, our speech. We are to be truthful and build others up, not speaking lies and tearing down others. Stop and really think about your words today. Were they kind and loving? Were they for others to draw near to the LORD? Next He moves onto our eyes. What are we looking at? Is it pure? Has it meet the standards set by Philippians 4:8? Where have you gone, walked today? Have you been careful with what you have exposed your heart and mind to? Stop and really think about those questions. They are important.

Here is an example. Let’s take our words. Let’s say I say something wrong to my wife or kids. It does a bunch of stuff. It harms our relationship. It harms our relationship with God. And it gives a foothold for the enemy, Satan, to take hold of. It is like opening a door for him to walk in. As soon as we notice we have spoken ill or wrong we need to confess and seek forgiveness. We don’t want to build a gap in our relationships with others or with God. SO is there someone you need to get right with? Reach out right now and admit to your part, confess and repent. It is a good thing!

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine and see you at a local race track soon,

Pastor Todd