By KEVIN WESTCOTT
What a weekend! Brewerton was hammer down through the heat races and fast all night. 4 cylinder stocks came out of the woodwork for the final points race but that wouldn’t stop Evan Wright from earning another win. Ray Bechler held onto the point lead to be crowned the 2018 4 Cylinder Stock Champion. I like that both if these drivers run sharp looking Mopars that reflect the effort they invest of their time to accompany their talents.
Tim Kerr led the entire 35 lap Tracey Road Equipment Modified feature to claim,his first 2018 win at the D Shaped Dirt Demon. During his run he felt some pressure from Chris Hile,,who has been getting faster every week after struggling a little mid season.
Alan Fink and Kevin Root both drove to SUNY Canton Sportsman victories in their repsective 25 lap features. During their winning interviews Johnny Behron came trackside to offer them $200 to compete against each other in an impromptu Behron Autoglass Sportsman Shootout. They both accepted the challenge to race three more laps against each other with the winner (Fink) taking home an extra $150 while Root pocketed $50 for the run. Zack Babcock beat everyone else to the checkered flags in the Mod Lite class.
Saturday morning was a work day for me as I prepared notes for a mid afternoon funeral and my Sunday sermon. In the midst of those tasks I also took my wife to the salon to get her hair done and handled some other duties. After the funeral our church hosted buffet meal for the family and friends of the deceased. That turned out great due to the fantastic women in my church that cook up a storm. I’m deeply grateful all of their hard work setting up and tearing down to prepare the room for Sunday. I chose to stay and minister to some of the family instead of attending my regular Saturday track, Fulton Speedway.
Sunday morning we had a dynamic worship experience celebrating the Lord’s table as we served Holy Communion. praying for our nation and her leaders. After the Holy Spirit led me to pray powerfully for our nation and her leaders I began my message by walking away from my notes to bring a prophetic “word in season” entirely different from what so had prepared Saturday. I love when the Holy Spirit sets the agenda and has His way like that.
After church we visited a shut in and headed home to relax before I took off for Utica-Rome. With the high humidity and a late afternoon rain the track was hammer down all night long. It was great to see a track hold its bite all night. I know most drivers prefer a slower dry slick track because they reveal raw talent. I like fast tacky tracks for the speed because they become an equalizer that help everyone go fast.
The Broedel Energy 20 lap Sportsman feature was the first main to roll out and young Taylor Lamb took the lead from onset. Dave Moyer was celebrating his birthday and was enjoying the race track’s bite aa he worked from sixth to second and began the chase on Lamb. A 17 caution closed the gap Lamb had over Moyer which gave Moyer the opportunity He was looking for. A the field came,out of turn four to the white flag Moyer races past Lamb and held on for the win. His victory lane interview was full of elation as he caught his breath after earning his birthday win.
Billy Dunn worked patiently through the field of the DirtTrackDigest.com 358 Modifieds from his 14th starting spot to earn the win and the point lead with only one race left to determine the track champion. Billy Whittaker earned his first podium finish in 25 years at the Action Track by finishing second. Rocky Warner was able to work his way up to third place. I was amazed how well the track held up which set the stage for the Ted’s Body Shop ProStock feature.
Shane Henderson showed his mettle with a move that gave him the lead,on the opening lap of the 20 lap feature but on the second lap Bill Knapp took overajd would not be denied his first Utica Rome win in seven seasons.
Claude Hutchings Jr. has returned! With the reintroduction of the Open Sportsman division he has shown he’s not there to play. He comes to win and did just that to earn his second open sportsman race in as many events as the track has held for that division. The Novice Sportsman winner was Scott Mallette.
While I relax and look back at the events of the weekend I am filled with a depth of satisfaction. The races I attended were well worth it. The people I bump into are the reason I go because you never know just what Holy Spirit is leading you into, well almost never. Jesus did say the Holy Spirit would show us things to come. The Apostle John penned the prophetic forecast Jesus Christ showed him which we now call “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”, or the book of Revelation for short.
Grab a cup of coffee and make an effort to hear the voice of God in this. I saw a movie two years ago which, amid the storyline, portrayed Jesus Christ as an overly meek passivist. I assure you He is not that. Gentle, yes, compassionate, yes, meek, yes, but passive? Not in the least. Not when He walked the earth ministering and establishing the foundation of His Church. Not when He walked to the cross, laying down to be raised up in public ridicule. Not when He rose from the grave. Not when He ascended to the throne of His Father and sat down at His right hand. Especially not now that Father has given Him all authority and dominion and rule.
As I tried to reconcile my opinions of this portrayal of my Lord and savior I was reminded of a message He gave me in 2015. I believe the cause of this portrayal is rooted in the body of this message. This message addressed the mindset within the Americanized church about Jesus Christ’s roll in the church and the life of the believer. Then and now I was led to the same passage of scripture. Let me preface this by inserting this wisdom from Proverbs.
“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
Proverbs 27:9, 12 NLT”
Jesus Christ has always been portrayed as a friend, even to sinners, because His love is boundless. Therefore His counsel should be welcomed by anyone who believes He is God.
A prudent (literally- sly, cunning, shrwedly sensible) person sees what’s coming and “prepares for impact”. They know when something will leave an impression or have an affect and they prepare for it. It’s the simpleton we have to watch over, and watch out for, because they’ll dive headlong into something and they always have to suffer the consequences.
Now, here we go into what Jesus Christ said and showed me three years ago which addresses the slighted imagery I saw of Him in that movie a few years ago. Remember, this is for the Americanized Church, or westernized church as some call it, which has become far to politicized to resemble the biblical model established by the Apostles.
“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.”
Revelation 3:1-2 NLT”
Focus on the first and last sentence Jesus spoke here. As a church goes about its daily work He knows everything being done. To this church He said “your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.”
That should put the fear of God in some people. In the midst of those things He also said “you are dead.” How could that be?
I’ve heard this as churches describe what they do: “well, we have bible studies and teach classes, we have a covered dish dinner on the third Sunday following service, we have coffee and pastries before Sunday School”, etc. In reality what they’re saying is we do this and that to enjoy ourselves within the safety and comfort of our four walls. There’s nothing wrong with any of those things of God directed them, but God has deeper things for us to do. No amount of good done is good enough if it isn’t the inspired vision of God for the church.
That doesn’t represent a church according to the biblical model. A church is a group of people, not a building, gathering together to receive instruction in righteousness while learning to discern and do the willof the Lord.
Church should be a place where uncompromised biblical doctrines are taught by a God ordained member of the five fold ministry spoken of in Ephesians 4. Only they can lead His church as directed by the Holy Spirit under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. A church’s roll also includes indoctrination into the will of God for the people within their community as Godly vision is communicated and implimented. Anything being done inside or outside those four walls must be given by the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ. He went on to say:
“Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.
Revelation 3:3 NLT”
Here’s the problem. America is a progressive nation with the tendency to adopt new ideologies to keep up with the world. There’s no place in the Church that Jesus Christ established for that mindset. His message has not changed. His Word is eternal and absolute in it’s content and context. The methods of conveyance may change to reflect the changes in society, but His Word remains true. The obvious reality is that His Church is called to stand apart from the world while integrally rescuing people from the world’s influence.
What has happened in the westernized church, which fits the description of the Church at Sardis? The head has been severed from the body, sadly in some cases by the body the head was given to lead. The progressive mindset of the world has infected the church to the degree that peoole reject sound doctrine and instruction because it steps on their toes too hard, and doesn’t tickle the itching of their ears for words that condone their lifestyles, no, matter how ungodly that may be.
Not everyone is like that and I certainly don’t want to suggest they are. Jesus sees everything, remember? He also said:
“Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. Revelation 3:4 NLT”
Notice He calls any and everything outside of His will evil? That applies to each individual’s actions or passivity, and those of the collective body within a church.
The key to pleasing God begins with clean heart which begin with a spirtual rebirth. If His message hasn’t peirced your heart as deeply as the nails pierced His hands and feet for you, you need to turn your heart away from the world and give it to Him completely. The key to remaining in favor with God once you’ve surrendered to His will is to keep clean hands. Doing His perfect will is the roll of our churches. Each church has a specific call within the community it was assigned to, just as every believer has a specific call to fulfill the vision of the head of the church they attend.
The severed head I spoke of is devastating to the process training God’s children who they are,what they have, and how to use it to His glory. Without a God ordained leader at the helm of His church there’s no vision. Godly vision is a glimpse into His will with enough clarity to design and implement plans to carry it out, all within His timing. It takes an appointed leader to discern and teach those things with godly authority so the people of God move in the direction He is taking them. It’s the responsibility of every believer to connect with a local church and submit to the will of God being taught and performed there.
Jesus Christ made a bold statement to the Apostle John when He gave him the revelation of the churches that are doing His will.
“All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine. Revelation 3:5 NLT”
The plight of the Americanized church is the lack of such leadership. When vocational preachers (those who chose ministry without a clear calling to it) try to stand in that roll there’s an obvious chasm between the will of God and the works of that church. This creates a population of people that practice “churchianty” rather than being the Church.
If you don’t believe me take a drive through rural America. Church buildings are abandoned, sold, and converted into almost anything else someone could utilize the property for. Why? Because they lost the eternal message of hope in Jesus Christ, and in many cases experienced the severance of the head God intended to lead His family. When there isn’t Holy Spirit’s anointing upon a visionary leader there isn’t a vision of God’s will for the people to follow, and people do their own thing instead of knowing God’s will and doing it. The bottom line is this. When the Holy Spirit leaves the building you’re no longer a Church no matter what you do or call yourself.
There’s still hope. Jesus Christ is still on His throne in Heaven. If the Americanized church would surrender the throne of their hearts to Him they could experience healing and restoration. Allowing God to place the head of His choosing on their shoulders would assure they begin to function in His will by running toward the vision He gave His appointed leaders. Nobody ever experiences true satisfaction apart from that whixh they receive through knowing Jesus Christ. He finished His exhortation to the church of Sardis by saying:
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”
Revelation 3:6 NLT
This may sound pretty foreign to many of you but I trust the Holy Spirit to speak to you through this. The things of God are often caught instead of taught as the human spirit opens up to the Spirit of the Living God. Grace and peace!
Have an awesome week preparing for the upcoming weekend of champions being crowned here at the central New York tracks.
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