Archive for the ‘RFC Articles’ Category
I am going to make a statement that is indisputable and from God’s word. None of us know the day or the hour of Christ’s return.
That is a statement that can be very freeing, allowing ourselves to live life with much anticipation of the Conquering King returning for His bride, the church.�
God’s word speaks clearly of this truth and yet it is a “churchy” proclamation. I believe that as we go through life we have periods of feeling secure in our mortality and being scared of life’s frailty. We know that we are here for a short time, a “vapor” as James tells us.
We have things to get accomplished while we are here. We have kids to raise, races to win, ministry to do. We are frustrated that there only 24 hours in each day to work with. Doesn’t God know my situation, my goals and dreams and “to do lists”. God is aware of all of these things as well as the hairs on your head (or lack there of), the days ordained to you and the number of stars in the Heavens.
I have pondered these things throughout my life and I was excited to hear about a message series by Kerry Shook called “One Month to Live, The Thirty Day Challenge”. I shared the details of this series with RFC Board member Lisa Edwards and she helped me with resources and encouragement to present this message to the NHRA National Event family. We made flyers that we began posting on select trailers in July during the “western swing” leading up to the message series beginning in Indy at the U S Nationals and concluding at the Pomona Finals.
We were in the planning for these messages when two fatal accidents occurred at Englishtown and Seattle exactly one month apart on June 11 and July 11 respectively. Neal Parker and Mark Niver had no idea that those fateful days would be their last. Read the rest of this entry »
Prior to the 2009 season, Halie Schmidt with NHRA contacted me to inquire if Team RFC would be interested in hosting two families from the Believe In Tomorrow Foundation (BIT) at NHRA National events during the 2009 season. She explained how NHRA had dropped the program because they didn’t have enough staff to cover this worthwhile opportunity. The hosting involved taking the families to the race team pits, getting autographs from the drivers and then escorting them to their seats to watch a day of racing. BIT provides the families with bright orange t-shirts that are very noticeable. I knew that if NHRA would provide the tickets Team RFC would have willing volunteers to host these families.
Believe In Tomorrow has been a huge success from every angle. There are manifold blessings that are a byproduct from the giving and receiving that takes place. I encourage our chaplains to write about their experiences with the BIT families. Here are a couple of those stories:
Las Vegas 2009
Larry called and said the second family has arrived, so we are meeting up at the John Force pit. Read the rest of this entry »
- by Larry Smiley, Team RFC President
As we ponder the events of the last week, to say it has been a roller coaster would be a gross understatement. If you have followed the events of Eric Medlen’s crash, you, too, have felt the shock of the first report, the hope of recovery, and ultimately the devastation of loss.
I am a man of God who loves motorsports. When I was called to the Racers For Christ ministry, I was excited and humbled that God would allow my love for Jesus and my passion for racing to intersect. Having gone through a week like last week makes me realize that without God, I could not be effective in this ministry.
I have grown to love the racers, their families, and crewmembers to the extent that I associate more with them, many times, than my own family. These relationships mean a great deal to me. I have grown to love some, admire others, and marvel at God’s handiwork. In Psalms 139, it says these unique individuals are “wonderfully made.” They have been fashioned by God in his image, and God knows the number of their days before there was even one of them.
May I make an oversimplification? Life is fragile. Read the rest of this entry »
While driving to Pomona, CA from Las Vegas Motor Speedway in February, we realized we’re getting better at hauling the RFC trailer behind the RV. It’s a brand new experience for us and has not been without trials and tribulations. After several bumps and scrapes, racers have taught us new ways to secure the Toyota Scion we purchased to fit inside the trailer along with the RFC golf cart, sound equipment and two scooters.
I was driving the Scion down Las Vegas Blvd. back to the track and, without any apparent source, a rock flew out of the sky and broke the windshield. Less than one minute later, another rock kicked up from the front of the car and hit the windshield. I thought I got away with that one, but later I discovered it left a tiny chip. Being a brand new car on its second tank of gas, the Scion has taken quite a beating!
Just before the rock hit the windshield, I had been at the Laundromat. It’s not in the best neighborhood in Las Vegas. I go there because it’s close to the racetrack and other racers are usually there doing laundry. More than that, I go there because of the lady that runs the establishment.
She’s a little Korean lady that always has a large Korean Bible lying open at her work station and Christian radio for her private listening. We developed a friendship over the years. I always looked forward to seeing her. She knew my name because of the names on our uniform shirts. Each time I walked through the door, she exploded into big smiles and we shared hugs. As our friendship grew, she would tell me remarkable stories of God’s hand on her life, her “close calls,” her husband who didn’t have “the faith,” and how she longed for him to believe in “Cheezuss.” I prayed every time I visited with her that God would help her and her husband, would keep her safe, and would help me to understand her broken English. Most of the time, I got the gist of things. Read the rest of this entry »
Sometimes, when I write these articles, the words come faster than my fingers can type. This is not one of those times. Today it’s like an engine with a worn block…I’ll be writing along and all of a sudden, it cuts out and I lose power. Then it’s time to say a prayer and start over. I’ve started over…again.
In our society, February is “The Luuuuvvv Month.” I had all these “cutsie,” clever things I was writing about, but as I reread them, it didn’t feel right. I prayed and asked God what to do and He lead me to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th chapters in the book of I John. These words are full of what to love, what not to love, who to love, how to love and where love comes from. As I read these words, all my “cutsie” ideas seem shallow.
I began to realize that if I take to heart what God’s Word says, my life will reflect His love so much better than all of my best intentions could ever muster. For instance, I John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.”
I John 3:16-18 “We know love by this, that He (Jesus) laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”
I John 4:9-11 “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (appeasing or conciliation) for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
This is the real thing! That is what I love Read the rest of this entry »
January 1st represents a time to start over; to reflect on ways to improve lifestyle, health or relationships. It can be invigorating and motivating to accomplish greater things.
For some, the New Year can be overwhelming. Focusing on memories of past disappointments and failures weigh heavily, rendering a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.
God always offers hope and opportunity to “start over” through believing His Son, Christ Jesus and everything He stands for. He says in Matthew 19:26 that “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” The apostle Paul shows us in Philippians 3:13-14 how he worked through his life’s regrets. “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (NAS)
In his popular country hit, “Live Like You Were Dyin,” Tim McGraw tells how his perspective in life changed when he had a talk with a friend who got a doctor’s report that he didn’t have long to live. It goes like this:
He said I was in my early 40’s,
With a lot of life before me,
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
I spent most of the next days, lookin’ at the x-rays,
Talkin’ bout the options and talkin’ bout sweet time.
Asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end.
How’s it hit ya, when you get that kind of news?
Man what ya do?
And he says… Read the rest of this entry »
I always get a warm-fuzzy feeling when I hear sleigh-bells or see a holiday snow scene on TV. I suppose it has a lot to do with my childhood memory of waking up in the back seat of my parent’s ’53 Plymouth after a long drive from Enid, OK to Colorado Springs, CO.
I had never been to my aunt and uncle’s house before. It was just down the hill from the famous “Broadmore Hotel” in Colorado Springs.
As I wiped my sleepy eyes, I couldn’t believe what I saw when we arrived. It was dark outside, except for the streetlights and porch lights reflecting in the crystal white snow. All you could hear was the crunching of the steps of my mom, dad and two older brothers climbing out of the car and making their way to the front porch. I stood there wide-eyed, taking in this magical winter-wonderland until they coaxed me inside the house.
The inside was just as compelling as the outside. My aunt had been cooking all day and the aroma of fresh baked bread and home cooked food permeated the house.
After all the hugs and “My, how you’ve grown!” greetings, we were given the “10 cent tour.” Just past the kitchen, we went down a couple of steps into the cozy family room lit only by a Christmas tree in one corner and a crackling Read the rest of this entry »
“Daddy, are we good people?” “Yes, I think we are,” answered her father. “Daddy, why do bad things happen to good people?” “Well, honey, the good Lord knows that He can trust His good people in bad times to be examples of how He works things out through us. God promised us He would not give us more than we can handle.” (I Corinthians 10:13)
I was nearly brought to tears as this father told me of his conversation with his sweet and innocent little girl. They were recovering from the theft of their semi and all their racing equipment. His daughter had seriously contemplated the situation and asked the question so many of us have asked at one point in our lives. She was okay with her father’s answer. He was right.
Just this race season alone, we have witnessed several “bad things” happening to “good people.” During NHRA Friday night qualifying, October 7th in Ennis, TX, Pro-Stock Car drivers, Bruce Allen and Kenny Koretsky crashed in one of the most horrific accidents I’ve ever seen. If you saw this accident on TV, you would have to agree that it’s a miracle they’re alive! Not only did they live, but they were released from the hospital the next day. God spared their lives and is healing them.
Sunday, October 23rd, after the NHRA Nationals at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Larry and I thanked God for the safe weekend of racing as we always do when that happens. We never take safe racing for granted. As Pro-Stock motorcycle racer, Karen Stoffer was putting everything away; her trailer door fell on her. It crushed her pelvis, broke her Read the rest of this entry »
A little boy hollers from his bedroom, “Daddy, daddy, may I please have another glass of water?” The dad says, “But you’ve already had 10 glasses of water!” The little boy comes back with, “Yes, but my room is still on fire!”
I really enjoy reading Old Testament stories. Recently, I have been studying how God used Moses to deliver His people, the Israelites, out of slavery in Egypt. God performed some of the greatest miracles recorded in history to accomplish the release and delivery of the Hebrews to THE PROMISED LAND — “the land flowing with milk and honey.” He brought 9 plagues on the Egyptians; the greatest one was when God sent The Death Angel over the land and killed the first-born son of every household that did not have the blood of the sacrificial lamb on their doorpost.
After Pharaoh told the Israelites to leave, God provided for His chosen ones. Leadership through Moses, and direction was provided — no maps, no G. P. S., no satellite devices; just a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They didn’t even have to stop to build a fire, cook food, and clean up because God provided “manna burgers.” (You do understand this is the “Linda Smiley” version of this Bible story, right?) All they had to do is step outside their tent, pick it up and eat it. Then, when it was time for the next meal, there it was. God even saw to it that their clothes and sandals did not wear out for 40 years! That’s pretty amazing in and of itself because my belts don’t even last one race season! Then Pharaoh hardened his heart and went after the Israelites to bring them back to Egypt. God parted the Red Sea providing dry ground for the whole Hebrew nation to cross on. When the Egyptians came after them, Moses stretched out his hand and the water flooded Read the rest of this entry »
A couple of months ago, our home phone went out. We called the phone company and they sent a repairman out who repaired it quickly. He told us that some little animals had been chewing on the line under the house and that it would happen again if we didn’t take action. If we would throw some mothballs in the “crawl-space” under the house, that should take care of it.
Diligently, I got right on it and bought a small box of mothballs on my next trip to the store. One morning, a couple of days later, Larry and I made a game out of seeing how far we could throw the boxful from each opening under the house. Then we went about our business the rest of the day.
That night, around 3:30 a.m., we woke up, intoxicated and sick from the stench of mothballs. All we could think about was, “How are we going to get those out of there?”
We talked it over the next day, and came up with a dandy solution…at least it seemed like it. Larry used the pond sweeper hose to extend the shop vac hose. Then he taped the aluminum extention rod from the pool skimmer to the end of the vacuum hose, and we went to work sucking up mothballs from under the house.
Now, you may think this is not a big deal, but there are a few little details that make it a little harder than it sounds. For instance, the tail of a snake skin that I found at one of the openings makes a difference. The fact that our house was built in 1935 and had evidence of “critters” that Read the rest of this entry »