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THE SPEAKER WHO COULDN'T SPEAK


I’ve just come across the remarkable true story of Charlie Wedemeyer from California. Charlie coached a high-school football team to the only state championship they’ve ever won. One day, the author Zig Ziglar attended a practice session with Charlie and his team. As the two of them were carrying on a conversation from the sidelines during a football practice, an assistant coach would run up and ask Charlie questions about elements of attacking or defensive play. Without hesitation, Charlie, who had been watching intently during their conversation, would spell out the specifics he should follow. A few moments later another coach came with a question and Charlie had an answer for him.


Zig Ziglar noted that the amazing thing was that the only parts of Charlie’s body he could move were his eyes and mouth. Charlie suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease which had affected him so much that no sound came from his mouth. His wife, Lucy, was his interpreter. She read his lips and effectively delivered the message.


Yet, Charlie had the most remarkable attitude and sense of humour. Not only did Charlie coach football, but he travelled and spoke regularly to people in churches, schools, businesses, and prisons. He and Lucy communicate a powerful message of faith, hope, courage, love and a never-give-up spirit, which are all ingredients of an abundant life. Charlie was Hawaii’s Athlete of the Decade in the 60’s. His autobiography is called "Charlie’s Victory." He’s one of only a few inspirational speakers who can’t speak. Charlie lives life to the full, despite his circumstances. (With thanks to John Mayes at Sermon Central for this illustration)


How about you? Are you living life to the full (God’s way) with all that God has given you? Are you making the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:16) to live life wisely?

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