By Jim Jack
“Chaplains Blog Book”
As you may well know, I’ve been blessed to write for the Drag Boat Review since 1998, and I am thankful to Beverly Stokes for allowing me to write for her publication. More than a decade ago, I also wrote a column called “Smooth Water” for the Liquid Quarter Mile Magazine: Writing two monthly columns along with writing the “Chaplains Blog Book.”
The “Chaplains Blog Book” chronicled what happened on and off the track during IHBA races for a few seasons when Linda and I traveled coast to coast covering those events. It was fun getting the inside scoop from anyone who had a morsel of information. Gleaning insight was an enjoyable way to spread the news about the drag boat racing community through their magazine. I learned some cool stuff as a reporter at the races. Good news is good news, and that is what was reported—along with a few shenanigans.
Besides all the writing back then, I was the series chaplain for the IHBA (1991-2009), series chaplain for the NHRA Southwest Division Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series (2002-2014), and series chaplain for the American & National Sand Drag Associations (2000-2008), along with my full-time gig in the RFC corporate office: No lackluster days then.
We all know how busy racing teams are at the drag races. You only run for a few seconds on the track, but it takes countless hours to achieve those precious few moments of time. Lots of time at the shop, lots of time on the road, and lots of time at the racetrack: Time is one thing you can never get back, and life and racing is all about your time, and your timing.
Are you wondering why I’m writing about the “Chaplains Blog Book” from yesteryear? My mind is always thinking about how God works in my life, in your life, and in the racing world. He works through you and me…come on friends can’t you see…ministry is a chaplains cup of tea…God is always busy as a bee…He’s the only One who holds life’s key.
My everyday life begins before daybreak with the study of God’s Word—been doing this daily since December 1988. He wants to guide you and me every single day of our life, whether we’re at home, at work, at school, or at the racetrack. He wants us to benefit from His expertise, knowledge, wisdom and guidance as we march through life on earth preparing us for the next life with Him in Heaven. Heaven includes an eternal contract—written and signed in blood—with an exceptional benefits package and the greatest retirement plan.
There are those folks who wonder why so many people love to drag race, or like to participate in any form of racing? This competitive nature is a human thing and is simply a part of our DNA. Some people just like to drive fast, some like to tune a machine to go fast, and many like to watch boats, cars, trucks, motorcycles and whatever else goes fast.
I too, love to see competition on the racetrack, as well as millions of others who crave the need for speed. It’s gratifying to observe when drivers go fast…it’s fun to write about being there and having a blast…it’s a life-size show with a celebrated cast…whether it’s right now or in the past…but also remember Who’s Word will be the last!
There are also people who wonder why God uses men and women to serve Him as evangelists. Some may even say, what’s the big deal about serving God? Can’t God do His own evangelizing? Well my friends, since He is the Creator, He makes the rules, He can do it any way He sees fit to do it, and He chooses to use mankind—and of course nature too—to share His “Good News of great joy for all people,” (Luke 2:10).
Bob Gass writes one of the best daily devotionals because his words not only speak to our personal spiritual walk; his wisdom teaches us concerning many aspects of daily life in his devotional called “The Word For You Today.” If you would like to start using Bob’s daily devotion, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or me, and we’ll get you on the devotional list.
Bob’s January 5, 2020 devotional spoke of the Old Testament prophet Malachi, and in chapter three the New Living Translation says “You have said, “What’s the use of serving God?” Why does God want to use people as His messengers? Check out these words from the Psalms; “Praise the Lord. For all who fear God and trust in him are blessed beyond expression…happy is the man who delights in doing his commands. His children shall be honored everywhere, for good men’s sons have a special heritage. He himself shall be wealthy and his good deeds will never be forgotten. When darkness overtakes him, light will come bursting in. He is kind and merciful—and all goes well for the generous man who conducts his business fairly. Such a man will not be overthrown by evil circumstances. God’s constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it. He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him. That is why he is not afraid, but can calmly face his foes. He gives generously to those in need. His deeds will never be forgotten. He shall have influence and honor,” (Psalm 112:1-9 The Living Bible).
The benefits of serving God include happiness, being unafraid, well-off, respectful, generous, kind, successful, influential, honorable, children you can be proud of, while confidently basking in the Light! Remember these words: “He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him.” These blessings are all a part of our God given “benefits package.”
Being a chaplain and pastor is the best of all worlds. We have the best Teacher, the best Encourager, the best Helper, the best Guide, the best Provider, and the best got-your-back-covered Person in the world. He truly fulfills all of those things you just read in Psalm 112 to those who serve Him, and for those who choose to meet, know and follow Jesus Christ.
A racing driver must be settled in his or her mind and heart that Lord will take care of them in whatever circumstance that happens on the racetrack. A “Chaplains Blog Book” would be full of prayers, testimonies, truth, grace, and victories for the drivers and the people they come in contact with at the races. Therefore, a driver should not be afraid to step on the loud pedal…put it all the way to the metal…it’s out on the track where the outcome of a race will settle…to win a prestigious gold medal!
Racing doesn’t always come with good news—like a win every time down the track during eliminations. You win some and you lose some. It’s the same way in life, you win some battles and you lose some battles, so you must use wisdom to pick the right battles. Some battles are not of our choice; so we must be prepared for each round of competition in life.
We must learn about, and then “put on the armor of God” spoken about in the NT book of Ephesians so you can withstand whatever comes your way, and stand firm in your own faith. This is a vital entry written in your personal blog book. Job of the Bible—figuratively left in the dark—decided his faith in God would stand when he lost his family and possessions!
We will be in plenty of battles during our lifetime. It’s hard to remember all of the blog entries of our life, both good and bad, ups and downs, successes and failures, first round defeats and final round victories. But just remember, there is Someone who keeps a Blog Book on everyone of us…no need to cuss…or practice building a truss…we may be in the back seat making a fuss…but He’ll never kick you or me out of His bus.
Don’t worry about me writing any spicy stuff about you…not even in the Drag Boat Review…I write about racing, God, music, and me too…the sun is yellow and the sky is blue…these believers’ benefits were written right on queue…sincerely for you!
Charles Spurgeon wrote, “There is nothing that more tends to strengthen the faith of a young believer than to hear the veteran Christian, covered with scars from the battle testifying that the service of his Master is happy service.”
Oh yea, back to our title of this month’s column, “Chaplains Blog Book.” I coined that title from the Star Trek “Captains Log Book.” Captain Kirk kept a log book of their adventures in space as they traveled and faced battles of their own; remember they went a lot faster than any drag racer ever will. If Captain Kirk can keep a record of their escapades, then an RFC chaplain can surely keep track of the adventures of people at a drag race…it was fun trying to keep pace…never wrote about anyone to lose face…tried to touch every base…with the truth there’s no disgrace…showing the end result of God’s amazing benefit of grace.