by Steve Jones

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Jesus, My Strong Hero (2 of 10)
Series: Jesus, My Hero
Steve Jones
Mark 5:1-20

Most experts agree that the strongest man who ever lived was Paul Anderson. In 1955, at twenty-two years of age, he won the USA national amateur athletic weightlifting championship which allowed him to travel to Moscow to compete. In Moscow he broke two world records. In 1956 Paul won the gold medal in weightlifting at the Olympic Games in Melbourne Australia. He was listed in the Guinness book of world records for lifting an incredible 6,270 pounds, the greatest weight ever raised by a human being. This feat was accomplished in a back-lift in 1957 in Toccoa Georgia. Paul could have won more Olympic victories but he relinquished his amateur status so that he and his wife Glenda could establish the Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia Georgia, a Christian home for troubled and homeless young men. This ministry has served over 1000 young people as well as their families. Becoming a professional athlete allowed Paul to travel and raise funds for the home through lifting exhibitions and speaking engagements. I heard Paul Anderson speak at a youth convention when I was a teenager. His messages focused on Jesus Christ as he used his influence to set spiritual goals for our nation's youth. Paul faced a personal struggle as his health declined as a result of kidney damage from a childhood bout with Bright's disease. In 1983 his sister Dorothy gave him a kidney which extended his life eleven years. Paul was a modern-day Job; he exemplified suffering without complaining. Many that were closely associated with him during his last years commented that he not only taught them how to live but how to die. A member of the news media who spent several days with Paul Anderson observing his work at the youth home made this statement: "He is the world's strongest man, and he also lifts weights."

Paul Anderson is a hero not just because he was strong b ...

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