Last chance for a gold medal

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On the way to our sister city Vidalia, most of us are aware of strongman Paul Anderson’s Youth

home for boys, it was founded on strong criticism values. And morals, and sits proudly between

Swainsboro and Vidalia. On a high hill. Once known as the world’s strongest man American weightlifter Paul Anderson set a world record at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne Australia despite a severe inner ear infection and a 103 degree fever. Falling behind front runners, his only chance for a gold medal for a gold medal was to set a new Olympic record in his last lift. His first two attempts

failed badly. So, the burly athletic did what the weakest among us can do. He called on God for “extra strength” letting go of his own. As he later said, “it wasn’t making a bargain. I needed help”, with his final lift he hoisted 413.5 over his head. The crowd let out a mighty roar. The news soon trickled down to Vidalia and Swainsboro. that he captured the gold medal! Paul the Apostle of Christ wrote “when I am weak then I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12:10. Paul was speaking of spiritual strength, for he knew that God’s power was made perfect in weakness. As the prophet Isaiah declared, “The Lord gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak!” Isaiah 40:29. What was Paul Anderson’s path to such amazing strength and power? Abiding in Jesus— Apart from Jesus Paul would never have broken the Olympic record or come close to the gold medal. Apart from Jesus Paul would have been a complete failure (John 15:5). As weightlifter Anderson always said, “If the strongest man in the world can’t get through one day without the “power” of Jesus Christ -where does that leave you?”. After winning the Gold Medal Paul Anderson came to the small town of Garfield and lifted several students on a special custom built platform that equaled his Olympic gold winning lift of 413.5 lbs. He was and remains, a true champion.

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