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November 25th-Alice

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)


By every account he was a great man.


Teddy Roosevelt was extremely well-educated; having a life-long appetite for learning. He was brave; having served as the commander of the Rough Riders during the Spanish American War. And, he dared to achieve great things; such as the creation of the Panama Canal.AliceRoosevelt

One of the hallmarks of Roosevelt's career was his belief in righteousness. America should do the right thing. This sense of righteousness was the compass that guided him throughout his political and personal career.


However, Roosevelt was not a religious man, and his foundation for righteousness had no basis in God.


So, Roosevelt spent his days fighting for righteousness. Yet, what about his children. Roosevelt's oldest daughter was named Alice. She was the daughter of Roosevelt's first wife who died while Alice was a small child. And, as Edmund Morris explains, Alice did not quite understand Teddy's moral compass.


(The background for Morris' comments is the escalating crisis in Europe that would result in World War One.)


“Of all Roosevelt's children, Alice was the one most drawn to the furor teutonicus, the German war rage that had been suppressed for so long. As a little girl, she had listened to recitations of the Nibelungenlied at her father's knee, and reveled in the violent parts.


November 19th- Praying To A Loving Father

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)


For today's devotion I'd like to talk about prayer, and I'd like to return to my first book The Lost Heart of Discipline.


Lost Heart

Fatherhood has taught me a great deal about prayer. Now, I better understand what Jesus meant when he said, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”


I am a sinner; the constant demands of parenthood have shown me that. Yet I love to give gifts to my children. I delight in their delight. So if this is my response, God, the perfect father, must love to answer our prayers more than we can imagine. If I enjoy giving, his joy must have no bounds.


Of course, I don't always give my children what they want. For instance, my oldest son loves to help me with home improvement projects. Recently he asked if he could help me put in a new garbage disposal. “Uh, thanks bud,” I replied, “but I don’t think you are quite big enough for this one.”


November 10th, 11th- Doing What You Are Made For

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24)


He was the 6th President of the United States, but only achieved that distinction through the vote of the House of Representatives. (Andrew Jackson had won the popular election of 1824, but failed to obtain the required number of electoral college votes.) And, he was the son of the 2nd President, and Declaration of Independence signer, John Adams.



Moreover, John Quincy Adams also holds another distinction. He is currently the only President to serve in the House of Representatives after leaving the Presidency. Adams served Massachusetts for seventeen years, from 1830 to 1848. (I know, it looks like eighteen years, but it wasn't quite.)


Yet, all of this brings me to a very interesting bit of trivia. Among John Quincy's many distinctions is one more, rather strange one. He is the only man to die in the House of Representatives.

Samuel Flagg Bemis tells the story of the elderly, and recently ill, former President resuming his seat and waiting anxiously to vote.


When the business of the day got under way, he voted against suspension of the rules to interrupt the calender in order that resolutions might be considered tendering the thanks of Congress and decorations to various generals for gallant actions in the campaigns of 1847 in Mexico. The Speaker then called for ayes and noes on whether to put the main question. Adams responded with a clear and resolute No against the motion, which carried overwhelmingly...


November 16th, 17th- Wasting Time?

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)


Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how I waste a lot of physical and emotional effort, which led me to a few people who I think have been doing the same.



With all due respect to the following individuals, I am having a difficult time finding the value in the strange world records which they hold. (However, I freely confess that the lack of significance may only be in my eyes.)


Here is my list, courtesy of Yahoo News and Reuters:

-Kenicho Ito officially holds the title “world's fastest man on four legs.” He set the mark for the “hands and feet” 100 meters back in 2012. (Forgive me if I'm struggling to find an application for this skill.)


-On Noevember 15, 2012, 28 ladies smashed themselves into a mini-cooper, besting the previous mark of 27. (Hey, at least it builds community.)

-The record for the World's Largest Fritos Chili Pie was set at the State Fair of Texas on Monday, Oct. 1st. (Hmm. And this bested a previous record?)

-Attila Banyai allowed a four whelled vehicle to run over his stomach during the Impossibility Challenger, Record Breaking Festival in Budaors, Hungary. (So, in retrospect, was it worth it?)

-Milan Roskopf was also at the festival in Hungary, attempting to break the world record for juggling bowling balls. (I hope he didn't practice that skill in an Apartment. If so, I'd hate to be his down stairs neighbor.)


November 8th- The Days of Scoobie Doo

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)


It hit the air in 1977 and ran for two seasons. And, by the early 1980s, I would be watching the re-runs, while wearing my footed jammies.



The show was called Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics, and it featured forty-five different Hanna-Barbera characters. The characters were organized into three teams, the Scooby Doobies, the Yogi Yahooeys, and the Really Rottens, and those three teams would compete in Olympic-style games for the purpose of crowning a weekly champion. (It was a spoof of the ABC series Battle of the Network Stars.)


Each week, I'd root for my favorite team, the Scooby Doobies, captained by my favorite cartoon character Scooby Doo, and root against the Really Rottens, who constantly tried to cheat their way to victory.

Despite the silliness, at eight-years-old I was totally captivated and delighted by it all. So many cartoon characters on one show, it was a dream come true. Ah, the days of innocence.


Fast forward to last night, when I found some old Laff-a-Lympics episodes on YouTube. My kids were in heaven, just as I had been, especially my youngest, four-year-old Katie.


She ran and got her Scooby Doo stuffed animal, sat him beside her, and watched with wide eyes as the Scooby Doobies and Yogi Yahooeys came from behind to tie for first.


Later, in the middle of the night, I could hear Katie tossing and turning. It was the sign that she needed to go to the bathroom. So, I dragged myself out of bed, took her, and then tucked her back in. Then, in a brief moment of clarity, Katie grabbed her Scoobie Doo stuffed animal, and cried out, “Scoobie Doobie Doo!” Who couldn't smile?