4/25/2017 Dale Jr. Retirement Day

In Dale Jr.’s second season he came out with his book about his rookie year Driver #8.  I had met some crazy Jr. Fans the day before at a Tony Stewart signing and they said they were going to the Jr. book signing the next day.  I told them I didn’t want to mess with that line it would be crazy.  I was going to go to the Bobby Labonte signing.  They told me if I could get them a Bobby Labonte photo signed they would save me a place in line for Jr.  I was like sure whatever, thinking that there would be about 1000 folks at the Jr. signing at least.  The next day I got the Labonte die-cast signed for me and the photo signed for them.  I showed up at the Jr. Book signing and they were number 20 in line.  The line went around all the stores in the shopping center around the target and around the back.  How did they get # 20 who knows.  The Barnes & Nobel folks said it was a book signing and that Dale would only sign our books so I had to leave my die-cast in the car.  I’m an experienced autograph hound though and I wouldn’t be denied an extra autograph or two if I could.  I set my book down on the table and the author signed the book (I was watching which page they each signed), then when Dale opened his page he saw 3 Dale Jr. Nascar cards.  He started laughing and said “what are these?  Bookmarks?” Then he signed all three cards and the book.  Classy Guy and a fun story.  Today Dale retired and I’m glad he did so that he can have some safe years with his wife.  Thanks for the memories Little e and thanks for the book marks!

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Contentment in Circumstances

I’m not the world’s most content person, and I struggle like everyone else in this area.  But as I’m getting older and seeing things not always go my way, I still have a spirit of thankfulness toward God.  This comes from my contentment in circumstances. Is my life exactly like I thought it would be.  No in many ways it is much better, in many ways it is about what I thought, and in other ways it is much harder.  Knowing that God is in control helps me put into perspective my role in my life.  Knowing that I am His child through the blood of Jesus Christ gives me a hope.

Now don’t get get any of what I said above with where God has me right now.  Life is HARD.  Raising kids is hard, work is hard, being a good husband is hard, dying to self is HARD!!!! But the knowledge of my God and Savior doing all that they have done for me makes it easier to be content when things get hard.  When you want to give up don’t…God Loves You.  When you can’t walk another step…Do God Is With You.  When you can’t make it another day…He Will Sustain You.

This life is hard but one day Jesus will be back to bring us to His home where there is no more sin, heartbreak, or tears.  That day is coming so Christian find contentment in your circumstances no matter how hard life seems today.  We are so more blessed than those that don’t know God so we must always remember that.  Our circumstances help test our faith and produces perseverance.  Hang on Christian your Faith is growing.

 

New International Version
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. -James 1:3

 

As I was writing this my wife just called with a car breaking down 45 minutes away with 3 kids so, I’m off to help her.  Thank you for today’s testing Lord, give me the strength.

Good Friday 2017

14 years ago today I proposed to my wife on Good Friday I wanted it to be a great day in my life.  It was the first Good Friday that I was celebrating as a Born Again Believer in Christ, and it was going to be my final one as a single man.  Much had changed in that year in my life.  Many of my old friends stopped hanging out with me because of the changes in my life.  My life looked drastically different than it had just one year previous.  What happened?  The answer is found at the cross.  What did Jesus do for us on the cross?  He took away my sin, separated it from myself, declared me righteous,  I was adopted by His Father as a son of the Living God.  Satan could no longer hold me, bind me, and declare me his property.  Jesus love for me, melted away those chains and I became His.  I love Good Friday’s for two reasons, one is Jesus showed me love, and saved me from eternal torment in hell.  The second is my then girlfriend showed me love and trusted me with the rest of her life by saying yes.  If your out there reading this let me make one thing clear, it is much easier to trust Christ with the rest of your life than it is me.  So since I’m taken, and Jesus loves you just as much, perhaps you would consider giving your life over to Him this Easter.  He has paid the penalties of sin, and has loved you since the beginning.  Your sin separated you from Him, but His love will bring you home.  Trust in his love and have a great Good Friday.

Mission Control

Tonight I got to visit NASA and got to see how the space shuttle program and the space program in general “got off the ground”.  There was a ton of neat things to see, and to enjoy.  When you look at all the great ideas that people can come up with when they work together toward a common goal it is truly amazing.  Is it possible for us to be inspired by something more amazing than a trip to the moon?  Is it possible that humans could be so inspired by their creator that a trip to rejoin him in heaven would drive us to deliver His gospel to all people.  This is our Mission, this is our Goal.  We are being sent out into the great unknown with this mission.  We will get our strength through our God, we get our inspiration, and example from His Son Jesus Christ, we are lead by the Holy Spirit, and our Mission Control is His Word the Bible. Christians lets focus on the Mission.  Let’s let the Spirit use us.  Let’s be available for God to use us.  Let’s worship our Lord, lets give him the credit in our lives.  Remember folks going to the moon was pretty neat.  Going to Heaven, after raising from the dead to worship the creator of the universe….Well that’s all together something else.  That is a miracle that is given to each of us through grace from the love of our God.  Now that is a Mission worth working for.  How do we know this is our Mission?  Check out Acts Chapter 1 and see what Jesus asked His disciples to do.

 

 

Don’t Run out of Laps! Daytona 500!

Back in 2002 my dad and I made a last minute decision to drive down to Daytona for the season opening race.  The year before Dale Sr. had died, and Monday after the race was a work holiday, so it just seemed like the right time for a father son road trip.  When we got there on Saturday we had time to purchase Busch series tickets and watch Dale Jr. win the race in the Oreo #3 car.  It was super neat.  We were able to get autographs the next day from a couple of young drivers Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson.  We were able to get autographs from a couple of other drivers Shauna Robinson, and in his last race Dave Marcis.

The Sunday race was pretty unique.  Our driver Jeff Gordon was leading with 10 laps to go and then he blocked Harvick from passing under the yellow line (which was not allowed by the rules).  This wreck took out both drivers and left a red flag condition on the track.  Sterling Marlin the new race leader climbed out of his car to pull the front fender off the tire.  This lead to him being penalized and sent to the back of the field.  The strange events eventually led to a little known driver Ward Burton winning the biggest race of his life.

Today’s race reminded me of the 2002 race & the fun times I had with my dad.  But it also made me think of a Biblical truth.

Kurt only lead one lap, the final one and that was good enough for the win.

This reminds me that it doesn’t matter when you become a Christian as long as you do before you run out of laps. over 15 years of Daytona failures and near wins could have kept Kurt Busch from pursuing the biggest race of his life.  For many folks the years click off, time and time again without a serious thought about Jesus.  Kurt Busch hung in there and finally got his victory at Daytona  Just barely as he only lead one lap.  Kurt’s advantage was he knew how many laps the race was going to have.  How many years will your life have?

Never give up on God’s pursuit of you!  If he is pricking your heart, or mind, even if it is the final lap surrender to Him.  Your ultimate Victory is His Victory that He won at Calvary.  Matthew 20: 1-16 shows us what God thinks of folks that come to Him at the very end.  Praise God that He is a merciful and loving God.  Jesus wants you to cross the finish line in His care.

Matthew 20:1-16 New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend.Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Oh The Father’s Love for Us

“O Lord you are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of your hands.” (Isaiah 64:8)

God the bible tells us that when we fear the Lord that this pleases you that you are happy when we see you with a right perspective.  And Lord you work in our hearts to create someone born of the spirit not the flesh.  And once we have started this transformation you are pleased to give us to your Son Jesus to Sheppard us.  Lord as you work on us we are the work of your hands.  Please help us all to see that what we are is a creation of God, who like the potter continues to shape the pot.  Lord help us to be like our creator not only Holy, but an abundance of love that over flows.  Like a father for their child please help us to learn early that it is better to give than to receive.  That it is more pleasing to show others love that to hoard belongings, and our time.  Lord help us to love the Lord our God, by loving our neighbors.  Help us to give mercy to the ones that need mercy.  Help us to correct those that need correction.  Help us to point those who don’t know you, to the cross.  God your Love is so great!  My life is a living testimony of a person who’s life has been transformed by your love.  Thank You God!  You are kind and gentle with me when I’m broken.  Your grace in my life is new everyday.

Follower of Christ – Born Again in 2002