July 10, 2011
A Passion for Touching Lives”
Galatians 6:10 (By the Apostle Paul – New Testament)
“So then, as often as we have the chance, while we still have an opportunity, we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith.” (GBB)
Proverbs 3:27 (By King Solomon – Old Testament)
“Never walk away from someone who needs help;
your hand is God’s hand for that person.
Don’t tell your neighbor “Maybe some other time”
or “Try me tomorrow” (GBB)
The Lord is very clear to us in both the Old and New Testament about using your ability, energy, and talent to assist those who need a hand –
- – whether a physical assistance
- – or a learning assistance
We are to touch lives with our ability the Lord has gifted us with.
Take a moment in your own life and think back about who touched your life.
It may be simple like:
- Someone like an Aunt who has always been there for you.
- I had a wonderful Aunt Doris that added so much joy and fun to my life. As a kid she would take me and park to watch the highway being built near my house. That started a special relationship that lasted until her death in 2010.
- Someone like a friend’s father who always gave you wise counsel.
- My friends George & Paul’s Dad use to teach us so much about hunting, fishing, camping in the wilderness and always made sure we understood. He was always there for me as much as he was his own boys.
- Someone who gave you a ride and attended every school practice when your parents couldn’t.
- Maybe a couple who treated you like you were their own kid.
- A businessman who bought you tires each race just because he believed in you and chose you instead of all the others out there.
- I could write a book on how much Bill not only taught me about racing, but believed in me so much to entrust his equipment to me from day one.
- Maybe a relative; like the two cousins I had that wrote me a letter every single week for the four years I was in the Air Force and sent me cookies every month without fail!
- Sandy & Cheryl often were the ones whose care and love kept me through the really hard times overseas during the Viet Nam war especially. I owe them more than I could ever repay and I am thankful that we are still in contact regularly to watch each others lives via Facebook.com.
Our lives are full of examples to us …no matter how lousy of a life we believe we had growing up. God always saw to it that someone was there. He NEVER leaves us alone to face life by ourselves. He always has some person waiting in the wings to help and encourage us …if we are serious and ask. But then we also must accept the one sent because often it may be a most unlikely person!
Let me stop and bring an example to you from a special friend of mine whom you all likely knew.
Now I know this race today may be a memorial to Gib Repass, but he fit into this category we are discussing really well.
First of all, Gib is the very person responsible for me being here today on this side of the car.
- Gib kept bugging MRO’s Founder Max Helton until through a string of totally God ordained circumstances Max called me. Two days later I was meeting Gib Repass for the first time at the track and now it is history.
- Maybe T.J. Berg said it best when he noted in an interview with Speed TV that probably few or none of us would be here today if not for Gib. That includes NASCAR being the presence it is today on the west coast. His relationships and people skills brought what is here today for all of us to enjoy whether a driver or race fan …or a Pastor to a NASCAR Series as in my case, and a couple others.
Secondly, I may be a Pastor and we are suppose to be wise, know all the answers, be a people loving servant and all that, but Gib taught me so much about how to meet people’s needs …even when they didn’t think they had a need because they already thought they knew it all.
Here was a man that could mentor young racers like no one else I know except another close friend I miss; Jim Hunter.
Both these men knew how to touch the life of a racer like no other. Both did it with passion – for our sport and for the person in need.
I am here to say that God so blessed me …and ultimately each one of you today, because He placed me in the lives of Gib and Jim.
Many times I had the opportunity to be in attendance when a Driver, Crew Chief, Official, or anyone for that matter had a need, question, or was in trouble with the rule book and Gib took the time to explain in detail the issue, the answer, or the rule and it’s why and how.
Was Gib …or Jim Hunter for that matter soft and easily duped?
HA! …No Way! Both stuck by the letter of the law and upheld the law, …the NASCAR Rule Book. They knew it inside & out & were fair and impartial.
I saw many disagree with Gib but immediately after the business meeting you were his friend again and were treated like one. Gib totally separated business from friendship and both Gib and Jim taught me well how important this was to accomplish in each & every situation.
You see, we may know things like this in our head, but they must also be settled into our heart before we really know and operate naturally in them. I know this principal in my head okay, but I am still working on it in my heart. Gib and Jim both showed me that it came from their heart, not just their head. That is success friends!
God operates the very same way!
Let’s make a pit stop here and look at this statement before we go back on track:
- God Himself puts governments into and takes them out of authority. Paul very clearly teaches about this in Romans 13: 1-5.
- Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear. Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.
- It doesn’t matter whether the subject is national, state, or local government or a racing authority like NASCAR. People are chosen and placed in authority by God’s ordination. Then it is up to both the government and the person in the place of authority to operate righteously and justly as well as each of us under that authority.
- I believe it is a well known fact that we get the types, styles, and standard of fairness by what we deserve in each season of time. I believe scripture bears this out clearly.
Okay, let’s get back on track:
Does God bend His rules? Absolutely not! He operates the exact same way. That is where Gib and Jim took their example to live by.
Every day we also have opportunity to touch someone’s life.
We can help shape another person’s life by showing interest and taking action.
Just look around you today, here at Evergreen Speedway, or any other day. There IS someone who needs your help, wisdom, your mentoring
So as Paul and Solomon say …”Let us not grow weary of doing good”
In conclusion then:
Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, for all the people you can, while you can.
Here is my personal view point on both my friend Gib and the subject this chapel discussed:
Gib Repass was a man who was a follower of Jesus…before he was anything else. Because he honored God so naturally in every aspect of his life, husband, father, boss, NASCAR racing community leader, mentor, etc., he was loved by all who knew him. Few have the ability to go head to head with a difference of opinion, yet walk out the office door and move onto life and friendship like there never was a business disagreement a short time earlier. The legacy he left behind shouts to the world that he is a man who heard at his entrance to heaven, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
Legacy is what we experience and recognize when people die. We make judgments of their having a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ legacy based on our judgment of their lives. We assume God will similarly judge their eternal legacy. How comforting to know that God does not judge as we do. What Good News that the only legacy that matters is the legacy of Jesus Christ! God only views the finished work of Jesus and proclaims all who have faith in Jesus to be adopted sons of God. We are welcomed to Heaven only on the perfect life of Christ and His taking the punishment of our sin upon Himself; this is the best news anyone can hear…and believe.
Gib was a blessing to many, including me, and I know we all are thankful for what he meant to each of us. Jesus Christ is a blessing to all, for which I am thankful. Gib is now where all who believe in Christ will one day be. His longing is for all the racers, Officials, track personnel, fans, families, who attend Evergreen Speedway to race this weekend to one day join the even more exciting event of being with Jesus throughout eternity.