by Tony Nester

A Model for Fathers
Tony R. Nester
Luke 15:11-32

In the 1955 there was a competition held in Moscow to decide who was the world's strongest man. This was just after the start of the Cold War and the two super powers of the world, The United States and the Soviet Union, were the main competitors. The designated sport was weight lifting. The Americans had dominated the sport since the end of World War II, and the Soviets were now determined to be the new winners in order to tell the world that their political system produced the strongest men.

The American was an unknown 22- year-old boy from the hills of North Georgia. He stepped onto the outdoor stage in front of 20,000 curious Russians. And when the announcer told the crowd that Paul Anderson's first lift would be 20 pounds over the world record, they began to laugh. They knew this was Anderson' s first international competition, and that no one had ever opened with more than the world record, especially not 20 pounds more.

But, when the 5'9' barrel-chested 340-pound Anderson chalked his hands and strode to the platform, the crowd got quiet. And when he pulled the bar to his shoulders and pressed it easily over his head, they were so stunned that for a minute they made no sound at all. But then they leapt to their feet and shouted, calling him, `Cudo Pitiodi, ' [sp] `Wonder of Nature.'

He became an Olympic weight-lifting champion. In June of 1957, he lifted a table loaded with 6,270 pounds of weights off the ground, a feat that's never been duplicated. He was known as the world's strongest man.

But strength is not just physical. The strength of a man is not confined to his muscles. That was true of Paul Anderson. By the late 1950s, Paul had gotten what he said was a call from God, and he and his wife started a foster home for 15 or 20 boys.

The home was on the outskirts of Vidalia, Georgia. It had a basketball court, a swimming pool, a stable with horses to ride, lots of good country food, and ...

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