September 2016

Monthly topical artices kindly supplied by a regular visiting               

speaker from Northampton: Stan Burditt.

Green Pastures  Email:- greenpasturejune@btinternet.com      Listen on WWW.harbourlightradio.org 

 

                            

                                                      

 

                           

                                                       VIEW FROM THE PULPIT               Sept. 2016

Disabled Achievers  The Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro have already produced many winners against all the odds.

Daniel Diaz won his 11th.Paralympic gold medal in the 200 meters freestyle swimming event for the host country, its first in the games. This man propelled himself through the water with no hands, finishing just short of a world record was a tremendous achievement. Then to see him standing pleased and proud on the Podium, receiving his gold medal and hearing the Brazil National Anthem being played was the ultimate experience for this disabled athlete, and an inspiration for others to follow.

 

Similarly, the G.B. athlete Dame Sarah Storey OBE celebrated on the podium at the medal ceremony for the women’s C5 3,000m individual pursuit track cycling event. This was something special for her because she made history by breaking the record for the highest number of gold medals by any Para female athlete.. Her twelfth gold capped a wonderful achievement in sport.

The British Cycling website provides these personal details. ‘Born without a functioning left hand, Storey’s first sport was swimming.  She represented Great Britain at four Paralympic games, starting in Barcelona in 1992 at the age of 14, winning five Paralympic golds, eight silvers and three bronze medals, as well as winning five world titles and 18 European championships. Forced out of the pool for much of 2005 due to ear infections, Storey took to two wheels to maintain her fitness and, by the end of the year, had broken the world record, the parara-cycling three-kilometre individual pursuit.’

This lady is truly an amazing athlete and you would not put Tokyo beyond her ability to add to her medal haul in four years time.

Other athletes come to mind, such as the one armed American footballer who scored a cracking goal against the Netherlands, the diminutive 15 year old who won gold in her swimming event and the below knee amputee who won his second gold medal in the 100 metres. I have not named those athletes because there are many unsung heroes also,who aspired to and achieved their goal.

 

Group Captain Douglas Bader was born in London in 1910. In 1928 he joined the RAF and was commisioned in 1930 but the next year he lost both his legs when he crashed the plane he was flying. Although he nearly died he recovered and retook his flying training. The RAF retired him on medical grounds but in 1939 WW2 began. He rejoined the service as a Pilot and in 1940 played a major part in the Battle of Britain, shooting down many (22?) enemy planes, but was himself shot down and taken prisoner of war.

After several escape attempts he was sent to the dreaded Colditz Castle, which was supposed to be escape proof. He was never one to give up and he made several attempts to escape, so the Germans took his artificial legs away from him. Like many of the amputees at Rio he was not detered by his disability, they could take his legs but could not take away his determination to succeed in getting free from his captors. Colditz was eventualy liberated and he came home.

During and after his military service he was awarded decorations, CBE, DSO&BAR, DFC&BAR,  FAReS, DL (Deputy Lieutenant, to represent the Lord Lieutenant), wonderful lifetime achievements. 

 

The Bible shows us other people who were disadvantaged by disability but overcame and achieved things that they could not have dreamed about.

There is a lovely account in the Bible of a man named Mephibosheth, it is found in the Second Book of Samuel 4:4  “And Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.” This boy’s disability was caused by a fall, which was not his fault but his nurse who dropped him. David had made a covenant with Jonathan to take care of his family if he got killed. David remembered this when he became King, he said, “Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.  And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.”

 

Wilson’s Bible Dictionary says of 2Sam 9:6, ‘This interesting person has been taken as a type of all those whose walk is imperfect, their way of life is crooked, but they heard the call of the Lord, came to Him, were forgiven, were brought into His family, and their crooked feet were hidden under the table of His bounty, grace and mercy. This is such a wonderful type of the Saviour receiving the sinner, that the Queen of England recommended to Charles Stanley that he carry this message to all the armed forces.’  

In the New Testament, in Acts 3:2, “A certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” This disabled spectator at the Temple became a participator in the Temple. That’s gold!

 

God bless.

 

Stan Burditt.