This LAST WEEKEND WAS JACKED!

Let’s talk Memorial Day Weekend; Church and Racing!

First off, as a son and grandson of veteran’s, like you, I take the time every Memorial Day to pause, reflect and thank my Father in Heaven that he chose the United States of America for me to live.  Unbelievable privilege we are given, earned by the sacrifice of sons and guaranteed by the Daniel Chapter 4 sovereignty of God.  “God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men, and He gives them to whomever He pleases.”  Thank you soldiers.

JACK Night at the Races.

Thank you to my whole Jack team: Malinda, Dave, JZ, Chris, Jeremy, Jeff, Bob!  You guys put on one heck of a tailgate party!  The infield of the Sprint Cup aint got nothing on the Jack Night at the races.  And for the 300+ who showed up for the fun, THANK YOU!!!  Thank you for coming out and seeing what our TRC Racing Reach Team is all about!!!  Many of you put a few of us drivers under in the dunk tank, raising dollars to feed hungry people in Snohomish County. THANK YOU!  The catered food, warm company and exciting action on the track made for a great night.  So glad to be apart of this Church!  To make it even better I heard of two conversations between TRCers and people in the grandstand who were not only asking about The Rock Church, but about a relationship with Jesus Christ!!!  That’s what it’s about people!

Sunday Church.

Honestly, I thought it’d be a ghost town on Memorial Day Weekend.  The nice weather and big event on Saturday made a joker out of me.  CHURCH WAS PACKED!  It was packed so much we posted positive growth numbers for Sunday attendance again!!!  It’s a sign of HEALTH!  Healthy churches grow, and this spring TRC has been growing.  I am so unbelievably grateful to see the energy, passion, prayer and focus!  It is incredible, and I’m grateful to have had the Lord change me in so many ways to experience this new day in my favorite city of Monroe!

Don’t miss this weekend for Round Three of Supernatural Battlegrounds.  We are talking about the enemy; his plan and purpose for your life.  You’ll want to hear it straight from scripture!

Let’s talk Racing.

Yes, that’s gold flake vinyl on the front of the #70!  Last week JZ was inspired by a 1970′s Kenworth Semi truck, and the design scheme emerged.  Considering the fact that only one panel remained on the car from week 1, we did the whole thing up!  I like it, and think it’s the best scheme we’ve ever had.

Race 1.  We missed qualifying.  There was simply just too much work to do on the car.  At 2:00PM I made the decision to skip qualifying and make the car perfect, so that when we unloaded from the trailer we would be blistering fast.  Straight out of the JACK dunk tank I suited up, took 5 quick laps for safety, and buckled in for Main #1.  I started 19th out of 19.  The race developed really nicely.  My car wasn’t spectacular, but neither were my rivals.  Seems like everyone but the 1st and 2nd place car were ill handling.  I ended up 5th by driving a smart race.  Believe me, smart is success for me lately!!!

Race 2.  John watched the car during race 1 and saw some must needed changes.  #1. we needed to get the car into the track more.  #2. he made some shock changes.  Funny thing, I was walking by the pit cart when I saw him and Geoff playing rock-paper-scissors.  Seems they needed to make a decision that could go either way; meaning make me fast…or slow!  They made the call after the best two out of three!  Usually we’d test these changes in practice, but we didn’t have time for that, so a quick game decided our path.

The car was fast!  On old tires it was awesome into the corner.  Moving forward through the field I could run it in on guys getting into the turn.  Really deep into the turn.  Unfortunately, too deep!  The 5 car and I got tangled early in the race.  It was weird because it was like we got hooked together.  I went around, and had to start at the back of the field.  Coming back on through the field I gained on the 10 car.  Honestly, it looked like he let up midway down the backstretch and rolled out to the high side for me to go by in three, we call this rolling over.  I drove it in incredibly deep because I was trying to get back to the front.  At the last second he came down.  I tried to keep my car off him, but to no avail, around I went again.  There weren’t too many laps left.  I started last and came back through the field.  A couple green-white-checker restarts later and some three wide, I made it back to 6th for race 2.  All in all I had a great time driving the race car!

Finally.

This time of year, every year, I am reminded of how many people we can reach if we will just try.  When Jesus departed earth He met with His team and said, “Be a witness.”  When I think of those words I get motivated.  He could have said, “pray more, read more, give more, study more or teach more doctrine.”  But he didn’t.  He gave us a clear command to use all those things–prayer, our bible, study, and doctrine–to increase our witness.  That’s the main thing.

Go out this week and think about your witness in every situation.  There is a life inside of you screaming to be lived!  Go LIVE IT LOUD!!!

 

THIS WEEKEND WAS COOKIES!!!

There are few things I love more than cookies!  When I was young I’d watch Sesame Street and the Cookie Monster was my favorite, but this weekend at The Rock Church was exactly like this cookie.  This weekend was a combo of Chocolate Chip and Oreo!  Mmmmmm….goooooood!

There are a few groups of people I wanted to give a shout out to, mostly to let you know I love and appreciate each of you very much.  The hustle and bustle of a once again growing, thriving-life-changing Church has made me all the more grateful to stop, call time-out and say Thank You.  So Let me give some honor where honor is due!  Let’s call these awards The Cookie!

The first Cookie goes to TeamLIFE!  

Saturday morning was the single largest gathering of people who care about their church in the history of our quarterly TeamLIFE Saturdays.  Those of you who lead, help, give, set up, volunteer, support, cheerlead and much more made my day on Saturday when you came out to get the inside scoop TeamLIFE gives.  What a spectacle of serving and growing to make our Church the best it can be for Jesus right now!  Love you!!!

The next Cookie goes to LIFEoffering Givers!

I want to simply say in advance of any talk of how much the offering was, Thank You!  Thank you for doing what was in your heart because what was in your heart was huge!  Get ready!  God is going to multiply back to you what is in His heart for you.  I cannot wait to hear the testimonies of increase and favor that are headed to the households of The Rock Church!  It’s gonna be record breaking!

The next Cookie goes to UNITED NIGHT Volunteers!

What I saw on Sunday night was incredible.  There were over 120 at the first United Night!!!  Seven students gave their life to Christ.  I even got some texts from some TRC students who invited a friend, they were thrilled to tell me their guest gave his life to Jesus!!!  Not only was the service great, the decor was phenomenal.  The video elements, special jams, dubstep in the foyer, karaoke and burgers made the night super special.  Watching a young man leave with a flat screen TV he won was another highlight.  Thank you to everyone of you who worked endlessly to make it successful!  As a pastor who loves students, what I saw on Sunday night reminded me of why I got into the ministry in the first place!  Let’s win 1,000 souls through United Night in 24 months!  What ya say?

The next Cookie goes to every mother, father, son or daughter who is living each day for Jesus!

In our world it can be so easy to get distracted from worship, knowing God and growing into who the Lord wants you to be.  So here’s to all of you who never-say-quit.  To all of you who choose forgiveness…to all of you who love with your whole heart, serve with your spare time, give even when your not sure and go the extra mile to make certain your life is on a direct path to God!  Have a COOKIE on me!!!  Your pastor is extremely proud of you, so is Jesus!!!  Keep the faith.  Keep your focus.  Remember your best days are ahead.

And the final Cookie for this week goes to every person who’s been thinking about coming, or coming back to The Rock Church.

I’ve got two words for you…make it three….WE ARE BACK!

And you should check it out.  Don’t let anything stop you.  What you’ll find are great people, fresh worship, connective messages, a restored passion for our region, and the momentum of a Church growing.

Race Report: Opening Night

Photo By Jeff Harris

Last weekend was the first of 8 weekends of Late Model Racing at Evergreen Speedway in 2012.  It was a fantastic start to the year for fans and the staff at Evergreen Speedway.  22 Late Models made their way to the speedway for the Twin 50’s.

We are really excited to be partnered with Jason and Beth McQuinn from McQuinn Naturopathic.  Jason, a racer himself, and Beth, the doctor in the family, have a passion for racing and living for the Lord, so I am thankful for their generosity this year to get the #70 up to speed.

Also, Westcoast Autoworks with Matt and Megan Kalmus are partners for the 2012 season.  Matt has a contagious enthusiasm for life, so it’s cool to hang out with them at the speedway.  He is a huge race fan, strong man of God, and a bonafide car-guy so I’m looking forward to representing his brand and family at the track this year.

Returning from previous years is Snohomish Pie Company, Streamline Automotive, DeYoung Inc and JZ Motorsports.  Thank you to Ryan and Jenny, Fred and Jaylene, Tracy, as well as, John and Stefanie, for all the help this year.

The Rock Church is on my race car this year.  This team of people is more passionate about my racing, at times, than I am!  I love the support I feel from the church.  Thank you for letting your pastor win souls through racing.  It really is a blended passion I have to win a culture of people to Jesus Christ who could be as far away from the message of the gospel as can be.  But not anymore, those from TRC keep the fires burning to “go and tell” as many as possible about the Lord.

Opening weekend did not turn out the way I had hoped.  There were two 50-lap main events on the schedule.  We had a fast car for the whole night, but an error in judgement, on my part, relegated me to an injured race-car for the  the night.

The car was really fast.  John worked on the setup up Friday night, getting it perfect.  We unloaded and turned some really fast laps.  After a few minor adjustments we were ready for qualifying.  I got loose in turn 2 qualifying, but still managed qualifying 5th out of 22 cars.  This told me how good our car really was because I fully expected to be out of the top 10.

The first main I started outside row 2.  On the opening lap I was outside the 20-car going down the backstretch when he moved up to enter turn three.  One problem with his decision, I was outside of him!  I did what I needed to do to keep my car off the wall, but tore up the nose of my car on the left side.  I was third.

After overdriving a few laps I settled down and started clicking off some really focused laps.  I reeled the top 2 back in and made a move for the second position.  Entering turn 1, I was just far enough outside of the 2nd lace car to hang my right side tires in some fluid on the track, and around I went backing it into the fence.  The damage was significant enough to end my competitive night.  We went to the pit to fix a list of broke stuff.

Race 2, I started dead last because of my results in the first main.  With 11 laps remaining I entered turn one outside of the #1.  I was passing for 7th place, after starting 19th.  A late race altercation left me sideway and spinning.  The result was contact with some other cars, ending my night.

It wasn’t the night I was looking for! After a couple days of thinking about it I’ve reflected as to what I can improve on.  Also, the video doesn’t lie!  I need to settle down in the race-car, especially the first race of the year.  I think I was overexcited to be racing again, it was a long winter.  It showed in me overdriving the car a bit early in the race, thanks GoPro.

Thank you to my team!  I’ve got a whole new team this year, new spotter, and new crew guys and gals.  They worked together flawlessly!  Rob, my spotter, was great on the radio.  I have a lot of positive to take-away from opening night.  We have a bit of a hole to climb out of for a Championship, but anything can happen with 13 races to go in the chase.  And with car counts this big anything can happen!!!

I sure hope the excitement stays high at Evergreen Speedway.  Twenty-two cars was pretty awesome, I know the fans loved it.  Us racers love it too.  We want to race in a quality show, and this is exactly what you are seeing in 2012 at Evergreen Speedway.

See ya at the track May 26th.  Our teams next event is this weekend at Wenatchee.  John Zaretzke is racing; I am in the spotters stand.  May we continue to be a witness of all we have seen and heard about Jesus Christ at the racetracks around the Northwest.