Jim Thorpe mismatched shoes 1912 Olympics

This is Jim Thorpe. Look closely at the photo, you can see that he’s wearing different socks and shoes. This wasn’t a fashion statement. It was the 1912 Olympics, and Jim, an American Indian from Oklahoma represented the U.S. in track and field. On the morning of his competitions, his shoes were apparently stolen.

One of Jim’s teammates gave him one shoe (who knows why not two) and the second was found in a garbage can, just prior to the 1500 run, That’s the pair that he’s wearing in the photo. But one of the shoes was too big, so he had to wear an extra sock. Wearing these shoes, Jim won at least two gold medals that day.

Here’s how the Smithsonian describes Thorpe’s performance during the 1912 Olympics:

Thorpe began the Olympics by crushing the field in the now-defunct pentathlon, which consisted of five events in a single day. He placed first in four of them, dusting his competition in the 1,500-meter run by almost five seconds.

A week later the three-day decathlon competition began in a pouring rain. Thorpe opened the event by splashing down the track in the 100-meter dash in 11.2 seconds — a time not equaled at the Olympics until 1948.

On the second day, Thorpe’s shoes were missing. [Track coach Glenn] Warner hastily put together a mismatched pair in time for the high jump, which Thorpe won. Later that afternoon came one of his favorite events, the 110-meter hurdles. Thorpe blistered the track in 15.6 seconds, again quicker than Bob Mathias would run it in ’48.

On the final day of competition, Thorpe placed third and fourth in the events in which he was most inexperienced, the pole vault and javelin. Then came the very last event, the 1,500-meter run. The metric mile was a leg-burning monster that came after nine other events over two days. And he was still in mismatched shoes.

The Smithsonian Museum

My Pondering

This is a perfect reminder that you don’t have to resign to the excuses that have held you back. Life isn’t always fair – newsflash.

So what are you going to do about it today?

Whatever you woke up with this morning; stolen shoes, ill health, failed relationships, don’t let it stop you from running your race will all you can muster with such a great cloud of witnesses above. You can experience more in life if you’ll get over the excuses and get on with living your divine purpose to fulfill your ultimate destiny. You can remain stuck all too legitimate reasons or you can earn mighty results but you can’t have both. Said another way, you can choose to be bitter over it or be better for it; bitter or better.

Nike, the shoe company’s iconic slogan was exemplified wonderfully by Thorpe, – Just do it. Now it’s our turn.

God feeds the birds

My Pondering

Yes, God indeed takes care of His creation in His way. The world is broken due to the fall but it’s still blessed and beautiful; beautiful mess indeed.

I write indeed in that deeds, works, initiatives are most certainly necessary. On the contrary so is rest, trust, abiding, peace and serendipity.

There is an old word that isn’t commonly used these days which I like; providence. It was popular in the 1700’s as the founders of the United States of America often used as did George Washington often times.

I flatter myself that a superintending Providence is ordering everything for the best, and that, in due time, all will end well.”

George Washington
—Letter to Landon Carter regarding American patriot’s prisoners in the North, October 27, 1777

Glorious indeed has been our Contest: glorious, if we consider the Prize for which we have contended, and glorious in its Issue; but in the midst of our Joys, I hope we shall not forget that, to divine Providence is to be ascribed the Glory and the Praise.”

George Washington
—Letter to Reverend John Rodgers, June 11, 1783
A praying servant leader

“It is not a little pleasing, nor less wonderful to contemplate, that after two years Manoeuvring and undergoing the strangest vicissitudes that perhaps ever attended any one contest since the creation both Armies are brought back to the very point they set out from and, that that, which was the offending party in the beginning is now reduced to the use of the spade and pick axe for defense.

The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations, but, it will be time enough for me to turn preacher, when my present appointment ceases; and therefore, I shall add no more on the Doctrine of Providence…”

George Washington
—Private letter to Brigadier General Thomas Nelson, August 20, 1778

Washington had a grip on what Providence meant, he knew it well first hand.

A mother’s blessing

“While I reiterate the professions of my dependence upon Heaven as the source of all public and private blessings;

I will observe that the general prevalence of piety, philanthropy, honesty, industry, and economy seems, in the ordinary course of human affairs particularly necessary for advancing and conforming the happiness of our country.”

George Washington
—Answering a letter from the General Assembly of Presbyterian Churches in the United States, May 1789

Here, he eloquently states is dependence upon God’s Providence then lists five essential traits we must personally and corporately enact to have a satisfactory level of happiness.

1. Piety – a state of humility and confidence in Providence. Washington was confident in his purpose but was not arrogant.

2. Philanthropy – the understanding that we need to give to gain and maintain. We who have should give as God is the good giver of all good things. Charity is noble, enabling dependency is not.

3. Honesty – telling the truth in being a person of integrity of words and deeds is critical to long term success in any endeavor. Honest is the best policy.

4. Industry – is the motor of accomplishment, the drive to work and make stuff happen. It is the crux of this very message. Having industrialized mindset is what it means to ‘hustle & grind’. It also happens to be a cornerstone of John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.

5. Economy – is the understanding, strategy and tactics regarding the implementation of resources. It is spending the appropriate amount on the best initiatives. It is being a good and wise steward.

Back to birds

God takes care of His own and his own need to respond accordingly. Birds are programmed to do their thing. They don’t think, they just do. They don’t worry, they just fly. They don’t stress, the just sing. Let learn from nature, back to basics with the birds.

No Worries

25Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

26Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns— and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Matthew 6:25-27, BSB

When we begin to doubt, let’s lean on God. Let’s turn our worries into prayers where as something good can then happen as we pray for providential protection and blessing as our father George did.

I know every bird in the mountains,
and the creatures of the field are Mine.

Psalm 50:11

If you respond to God’s love and sing to Him like the birds, if you rise & shine for His glory you can have No Worries for Providence is on your side.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?

Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.

Matthew 10:29

Who printed the first Bible in the United States?

My Pondering

Our founding father believed the Holy Bible was essential and instrumental to the nation’s well being.

Three years prior, the Congress ordered 20,000 copies to be imported as there was a shortage due to the English blockades.

Here is their official proclamation:

THAT the United States in Congress assembled highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken, as subservient to the interest of religion, as well as an instance of the progress of arts in this country, and being satisfied from the above report of his care and accuracy in the execution of the work, they recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States, and hereby authorize him to publish this Recommendation in the manner he shall think proper.

12. Journals of the Continental Congress (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1907), Vol. XIII, p. 574, September 12, 1782; The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments (Philadelphia: Robert Aitken, 1782).

According to historian David Barton:

Robert Aitken then proceeded to print his Bible, now known as the Aitken Bible or the Bible of the Revolution. That Bible – approved by the Founding Fathers in Congress – was the first English-language Bible to be printed in America. 13Records show that of the 10,000 originally printed by Aitken, 30-40 total copies still exist (5-10 of which are in private hands); one of these existing Bibles is at WallBuilders.

(Incidentally, on May 30, 1783, the Rev. John Rodgers, a military chaplain and close friend of George Washington, suggested to his Commander-in-Chief that one of these congressionally approved Bibles be given to every member of the Continental Army. Washington was highly pleased with the suggestion but regretfully noted that Roger’s proposal had arrived too late – Congress had just disbanded the Continental Army, retaining only a skeleton force.


Is is a gross error to believe our Founders wanted to separate the Christian religion from government. This lesson in history dispels that notion unequivocally.

Here is a relevant sign for our current Congress:

We learn from history…

We learn from history that we do not learn from history. – Frederich Hegel

My Ponder

It’s like the quote, “If we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.”

As all too true this quote is, we don’t have to NOT learn from it but our human nature is all too hell bent to get stuck on stupid. We are all too often our own worst enemies.

OMG, that’s all too true…Lord help us!

Promise Keepers – Stand in the Gap – 25th Anniversary

The Stand in the Gap Promise Keepers event was so awesome. As a young Christian, I attended with a group of men from East 91st Christian Church / JRM 25 yrs ago. That’s me in the circle waving to the helicopter who took this pic 🙂

This event helped propel my sanctification process in so many ways.

Like this cup in the pic below that I purchased back then and use daily, I have add a chip or two, had lots of needed washings but I am still committed to the message stronger than ever.

This is an account of what a friend of mine wrote:

25 years ago on October 4th I was invited by Steve Neal to attend the Million Man March in Washington DC. They ended up having nearly 1.5 million men show up. It really did have a pretty big impact on my life now that I think back on it.

I realize now that it was kinda like a Christian Woodstock of sorts. There was an electric energy in the air of love and reconciliation. There were great singers, speakers and the crowd was inspiring. If you want to get a peek into the culture of Christian men in 1997 watch the documentary Promise Keepers Stand in the Gap.

You’ll see a different image of a man than what you get in most tv shows and movies.

When everyone left the grounds, it was cleaner than when we got there. I can also remember giving respect to the security team and the police on site. Looking back on it now I’m proud that I was a part of this great event. The scary thing about it though is that you may not have even heard of it. Probably the biggest March on Washington ever. You can’t tell from this picture but under those trees were packed with men as well.

John Adamson

PK is still around and having a resurgence, check it our here: https://promisekeepers.org/

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William Tyndale

(October 6, 1536), William Tyndale, a man to whom you owe more than you’ll ever know, was strangled to death while tied at the stake, and then his dead body was burned. His crime, translating the Bible into English. The fact that you have a Bible in our language is largely due to his labors, and many of the very phrases you read in it retain the flavor of his understanding of the Greek and Hebrew.

My Pondering

This proves at least 4 things we are wise to learn from history:

1. The masses can be wrong

2. Well intentioned people can be wrong

3. God’s Word prevailed and still prevails, despite apparent defeats

4. Though Tyndale lost his physical life, he died for what he believed was right, best, gave glory to God and no doubt it is well with His soul.

And Justice for all in America – Jon McNaughton

I painted “Justice for All” years ago for the lobby of the State Justice Building in Louisiana. I told the attorney general I didn’t know how long it would hang before someone demanded it be taken down. It’s still there as far as I know. Get the free eBook about my paintings at mcnaughtonfreebook.com/2022
– Jon McNaughton