I always begin my classes with a short conversation as the kids prepare for their memory verse/quiz/test. This past Friday, I did something I often do because I know it's a very safe bet. Unannounced, I announced to my third period Gospels' class that if anyone in five seconds could tell me the name of the tenth president of the US, I would give them five dollars. I immediately started counting and at three, Drew called out, 'John Tyler!' He was correct but how he knew that quick, I've no idea. Keeping my word, I handed Drew, a terrific WCS athlete/scholar/great Christian young man, the money. If I had bumped into him at worship Sunday morning, I might have asked him if he put the cash in the collection plate! (I should note that Drew's twin, the lovely and wonderful, Erin, is in that same class. Maybe he bought his sister a gift!)
You might be wondering why I would start a Bible class with a query about an obscure Commander-In-Chief. In my history teaching days, I would make several references to Tyler. He is best remembered for the campaign slogan, Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too as well as derisively being referred to as His Accidency after taking the oath of office. (I'll leave it up to you to google if your curiosity from high school history class is piqued!) But the reason I brought up Tyler had to do with a blurb I had seen the night before on the Facebook page of a well-known writer. The short article stated that Tyler, who was born in 1790, has two living grandsons! I thought that was ridiculous so I googled John Tyler and guess what- HE DOES! Tyler had a son at age 63 named Lyon and Lyon had two sons, at age 71 and 75 respectively! As recently as five days ago, by news reports, both are still in the land of the living! Both grandsons are very old- 93 and 89- so the odds of this being true for much longer are shrinking rapidly. What a story to tell your grandkids! My mother's mother died when my mom was pregnant with me. The younger of the two living Tyler grandsons was born sixty-six years after his grandfather's death. All I can say is WOW!
I've just started on January 1st with my annual 365 day trek though oneyearbible.com. It's exactly like what it sounds like. Reading one section per day every day leads you through the scriptures, finishing on December 31st. The John Tyler story seems almost like the story of the genealogies of those men in the early parts of the Word of God. I'm sure some of that data seems far fetched to those who are unfamiliar with the lineage which spawned, at least on one side, the Son of God. But I'm also reminded of what Luke wrote to Theophilus in his first chapter, that he could be sure that what he had heard was the truth. I also recall the Bereans searching to make sure what Paul had taught them was true. How can we verify the truth of what we hear? Check it out. I tell my students all the time to challenge me on what the Bible says; that's why we read daily in class. They need to know what it says and not just what I say it says and I'm not minimizing the importance of interpretation, especially for the kids who come into the class blind. So, on this snowy day in Houston, I'm five dollars poorer, Drew is five dollar richer, the kids hopefully learned a lesson in truth seeking, and the blood of John Tyler lives on. More importantly, the blood of Jesus lives on.
Applicable quote of the day:
I feel happy when I look at my grandson, who is 10 months old. That relaxes me.
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