I wrote this in 2001 when I was in the middle of my controversy with my old church. I sent this out in an e-mail. The "friend" I talk about is me! lol On a sober note, this was written before Paul passed away on August 24, 2002.
These days I do go to the gym! I also have one in my basement, so I don't have to "go" any where! I work out at "Shaping Up" a women's only gym here in Byron--it's convenient because it's right by my youngest's school. Many "older" women (like me! lol) exercise there, one of them used to come in after me and leave before me, she's probably in her 70s. I admire her for making the effort to exercise at all! Even if just for a little bit! I was struck however by what she would say every time before she left, she'd say, "Don't work too hard!" Now I guess I didn't say anything as I would be in the middle of jogging on the treadmill. Now I do the elliptical and walk on the treadmill. Usually older women give good advice, but this goes completely against Theodore's philosophy! Of course she wasn't really serious. Better advice is found here:
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might...Ecclesiastes 9:10
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in it’s various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves he should do it with the very strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:10&11
I just finished ANOTHER great book! It was worth all of the $10.00 I paid for it at the Curriculum Fair on June 2nd! I like this little hard cover copy of Theodore Roosevelt’s “THE STRENUOUS LIFE”. However, my husband found that I could have got it off the internet for free at Bartleby
My grandmother had said they stuck that “Theodore” in there because he was president then. I knew little of Teddy when we named Teddy. I knew he was on Mt. Rushmore and that we have "Teddy Bears" because of him, but that was about it. Now I have a couple of books about him. A few years ago I read to Teddy a short story about him in a book that had been in our family’s library when I was a child. Like many great books I had as a child this one also did me no good, because I didn’t READ it. Kinda like my husband tells our 2nd graders; “The only good Bible is a RED [READ] one!” Bob found us a neat picture of Teddy Roosevelt, it was on sale at the library. A little messy, with tape on it, I had to use steel wool to get that off. My son’s friend came over when I was doing this. He commented “He even LOOKS like Teddy” [my son]. Must be those steel blue eyes!
The beginning of the book has: “About the Strenuous Life”: “Teddy Roosevelt was America’s twenty-sixth president. Though he was an asthmatic, Roosevelt lived a full and accomplished life. He was a sportsman, a public servant, and a literary man. Roosevelt believed that to live a satisfying life, one had to live a strenuous life.”
“In 1905, he made this speech in Chicago. It is considered by many to be the essence of his political and personal philosophy.”
Jesus said “I have come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10. I love this verse! So I put it in my testimony. I often wonder if we’re “too busy”. I’ve heard it said, though, “The more you have to do…the more you get done.” We do have much to do! My brother [Paul Wendell-also named for Grandpa] recently sent me a letter from jail. I had never received a letter from him before. My brother, Mark also first wrote me from jail. Are there some good things that come from imprisonment? I had sent Paul my paper about my exploration of Catholicism. In it I wrote much about our life: 4 kids [at that time-5 now], homeschooling, soccer, teaching at church etc. I really didn’t mean to be bragging, I was just writing about our day to day life. Paul said in his letter to me, “I take my hat off to you, Bob and Susan; Church, Schooling, sports and built your own house! You make my life and most people’s seem shallow.”
I went to a meeting for homeschoolers with large families in October, a mother expecting her ninth said how her large family keeps her out of trouble. Who has TIME to get into trouble? Unless, of course, you neglect your children, the house work, the cooking, the school-work, the church work…I remember reading about David getting into trouble when he was supposed to be out fighting a war. [2 Sam.11]. Teddy speaks about that too. About the Civil War he says, “Praise the God of our fathers that the ignoble counsels of peace were rejected; that the suffering and loss, the blackness of sorrow and despair, were unflinchingly faced, and the years of strife endured; for in the end the slave was freed, the Union restored, and the mighty American republic placed once more as a helmeted queen among nations.”
Good coming from “the blackness of sorrow and despair”? Can it be? Didn’t Joseph say about his brothers selling him into slavery, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”? Gen.50:20. My friend (OK this "friend" is ME! lol) is going through some strife right now. A tender hearted person she has despaired over it all! She has been horribly misunderstood. In a letter to me she said “Maybe I’ll go visit another church this week-end?”. Then she continued “but you know…I’m not one to run away from confrontation!” No, she’s not, “The righteous ARE bold as a lion.” Prov.28:1. She has set her face “like a flint” and she knows she will NOT be put to shame! He who vindicates her is near. [Isa.50:7-8]. AND Teddy says in the end of his speech, “Let us therefore BOLDLY face the life of strife, resolute to do our duty well and manfully; resolute to uphold RIGHTEOUSNESS by DEED and by WORD; resolute to be both HONEST and BRAVE, to serve HIGH IDEALS, yet to use PRACTICAL methods. Above all, let us shrink from no strife, moral or physical, within or without the nation, provided we are CERTAIN that the strife IS JUSTIFIED, for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately WIN the goal of true national greatness.” EMPHASIS ADDED. It is my hope that this short piece will inspire you…to go to the gym? No! TO STAND FOR CHRIST in this “wicked and perverse” world.