S C Ministries

215 N. High St.
Linden, IN 47955
(765) 339-4407
www.CarlsonMotorsports.com

 

Testimony:

This section is "under construction." Not by the webmaster. No, it is my sincere belief that our testimonies be a "work in progress." It's not simply about the transformation of the old you to the new you through accepting Christ, but rather more centrally focused on what God is doing in your life right now. Keep that in mind as you "construct" your own testimony and share it with others. :-)

Our family loves racing and we love Jesus. For a long time I wrestled with the idea of posting our personal testimonies of faith online, but it's certainly not something I am ashamed of. Quite the contrary. While the Bible teaches us to not stand on street corners and pray (bringing glory to ourselves like that of the Pharisees); the Apostle Paul says that we should "boldly" proclaim our faith, (Phi 1:20). Not that I am boasting of my works, but rather of the grace that Christ has bestowed on our lives and the faith that I have in Him, (Romans 4:5). Indeed, we have been blessed as a family and have been fortunate enough to receive His richest blessings over the years.

Even from my very early years, it was apparent that Christ would play a major role throughout my life. As a young child, my dad would take me to church on Sundays and I would sit and draw pictures of what later in life would be two of my greatest passions, the church and racing. A typical Sunday morning rendering would feature a crayon drawing of a dirt oval racetrack with a church (steeple and all) in the foreground. I couldn't have begun to understand as a child the need for racers to know Christ, but that would all change. Ya see, it's all so clear now. I didn't realize it at the time, but God has known all along how these two passions in my life would intertwine and merge to create a single purpose, what is now SC Ministries. SC Ministries encompasses our racing outreach via our sprint and kart racing endeavors. As living witnesses for Christ, we try to live by the perfect example set before us and encourage our brothers and make available the Good News to all who are seeking the Truth. We have also undertaken several other facets of our ministry including character development educational programming with our involvement with Rising Star Education. Rising Star is bringing sound character traits to the classroom, and we believe so strongly in their efforts that Sarah has worked toward procuring sponsorship for getting this fun and faith based curriculum to children and schools in need.

Prior to asking Christ into my heart as my Lord and personal Saviour at the age of 16, I lived life like a typical worldly teenager. I was very much conforming to the world and falling to the pressures of being popular, accepted among my peers, etc. I knew something was missing....I had all the normal questions we have as teens; Why am I here, what does my future have in store for me, why are things going adversely all around me, how do I fit in, what exactly is my transcendent cause, will "so and so" go out with me if I ask her? You know, all the typical life changing questions that go through a teen's mind. While I may not have had a "traumatic" pre-cross experience like some testimonies, I certainly did my share of detestable acts in our Lord's eyes. (Eph. 5:8) His transformation of my life was no less amazing. What I realized during that time as a teen was that the Holy Spirit was already at work on my heart, convicting me and readying me for a radical change that was necessary to begin my walk.

Little did I understand at the time that He was preparing for me a wonderful wife, a helper, and partner for life. See, God had a bigger plan for my life. He teamed me with a most unlikely match in my eyes. In fact, God was at work so much earlier. In order to be equally yoked, my salvation came at His perfect timing. My wife, Sarah, was a girl that had been brought up in the church, a "pk," or "preacher's kid". She was foundationally solid in the Word and in her walk, while I was young in my born again experience when we first met. Sarah was knowledgable in scholarly things as well, being the valedictorian of her high school class. Again, quite the contrast of myself, struggling to get accepted to a good college. We went to rival high schools, a mere 10 miles or so apart in the same county. If I wasn't busy cheering for my school's team, I'd go to her school and cheer for the away team, no matter who that was. In fact, we shared very little in common aside from music. God had gifted each of us with musical abilities early, and ultimately, that's what God chose to bring us together. I had been selected to attend our district chorus, (senior high choir). I decided that I wanted to do a solo for the festival, but I needed an accompanist. Unfortunately, (or fortunately through revelation of His plans), there was not a piano player from our school attending our district choir festival. I found out who else was going from our area and decided to contact a girl from, of all places, our rival school, who was invited to districts as well. As a teenager with a driver's license and my own, (almost infamous by this point '73 Dodge club cab pick-up truck), I was more than willing to drive to her folks' place to meet and practice.

I honestly fell in love with Sarah's parents before I did with her. We gradually got to know each other better throughout our senior year in high school, then went our own ways off to college. I had been accepted to Purdue University, while Sarah was committed to her studies at Penn State. While we were roughly 600 miles apart, we grew closer. We also grew spiritually. I think that's a huge part of how I made it so long apart from her. Well, that, and a huge phone bill each month. I became involved in a local church while at Purdue, and was baptized there shortly thereafter. I had realized the significance of full immersion baptism as apposed to the "sprinkling" that I had as a baby. A couple years later, I would propose and convince Sarah to transfer to a "real school." We became even more active in our church in Lafayette, IN as a couple. I was directing our church choir, playing every musical instrument that you can blow through, while Sarah played keyboards and sang. We were both active in our college Bible study small group and went to conferences, etc. Sarah and I were devoting as much time and energy into the Lord's work as we could while also studying at Purdue, and just enjoying being newlyweds.

Things weren't always smooth though. Christians aren't exempt from problems. God allows trials into our lives from time to time, and this was no different. Our church was going through a virtual meltdown, as it crumbled from the inside out. Our pastor had an affair, no one could agree on a new pastor, and then when we finally got one, the church separated and we found ourselves displaced from what we had considered our home. We did some church shopping over the next couple years, and just never felt at peace with the church like we had. Unfortunately, I held on to some resentment. The bigger lesson from that trial was that I was too focused on the pastor (the man), not the perfect lamb of God. We, as humans, can never be perfect. There are not "levels" of perfection or salvation. Only Christ is perfect. Sure, we strive to be like Him, but we all fall short. Keep in mind, when you see hypocrisy in the church, that as you look around you, everyone there on Sunday morning is there for the same reason that you are. Not one is perfect. We all need God's ultimate forgiveness, His grace and mercy. It's only through God's grace that we receive salvation. Disgruntled with not finding the "perfect church", we then fell away from the church for a few years. I now consider this time span our exile or desert years, much like the Israelites 40 dry years of wandering in the desert. We hadn't completely walked away from God, yet we weren't actively serving Him either. We were saved, there's no denying that, but we weren't growing. We had been racing and travelling the country all the while. As a married couple, we had tried to have kids, but it just wasn't happening, (at least not in our timing). Then, after carrying our first child to a full term, the Lord called him home. Our baby boy, Daryn James Carlson, would bring us back closer to God out of desperation and sorrow of our loss. Wow, what I would have given for the "big picture" understanding of dependence at the time. Daryn is now considered "Racer X," from the popular tv cartoon series Speed Racer, around our house. "X" is always looking over his two little brothers, and that continues today as we have since been blessed with two of the greatest gifts God could have ever bestowed apon us, (Aaron "AJ", and Seth). We have once again picked up our walk and now with the responsibility of parenthood, are growing and nurturing our children in His ways. Both AJ and Seth have accepted Christ early in their lives. AJ was baptized at age 7 and already has a heart for God. We are presently active not only in our own ministry, but serving our home church and through community outreach programs. Our racing program has been temporarily put on hold due to injuries and subsequent financial constraints, but I believe that God has a plan for us still and that it includes being at the race tracks. When a door closes, God will, in His time, open a new one.

While we all stumble from time to time, we can remain anchored to the One solid rock, all other ground is sinking sand.

Life can throw us some curve balls, or bumps in the road, yet Christ is always there waiting for you. You may have experienced a similar road as mine, or maybe quite different, but you always have a friend in Jesus. When times are tough; when you can't possibly understand what's going on in your life; turn to the One who's word never changes. Pick up a Bible, invest some time in His word. Let the Holy Spirit begin to work in your life. He's got some great plans for you and your life. It's never too late to ask Him into your heart. It's also never too early.
Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. Noone can come to the Father except through me." John 14:6

If you'd like to receive Jesus Christ as your personal saviour, there's no predetermined "correct" way. It can happen in the privacy of your home, at your local church altar, along the side of the road in your car, or wherever the Spirit moves you. Romans 10:9 reads "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." NLT
Simply confess your sins to Him, acknowledge that the perfect One (Jesus) bore your sins on the cross at Calvary, and that Jesus died and rose from the grave and lives today! Accept Christ as your Saviour and give Him thanks, as He is the only one with power to forgive us of our sins.

If you decided to make a commitment to Christ, feel free to drop us a note. We'd like to encourage you and pray with you. If you are in need of a Bible, or maybe need directed to a Bible-believing church in your area, please ask us. We don't have deep financial resources, but we can most definitely get you hooked up with good folks in your area who share our love for Christ and are wanting to help you in your walk.

In Christ,
Brian, Sarah, AJ, & Seth Carlson

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