The Choice To Live Disabled or Enabled?

In this episode, Dr Brad Miller talks about the stories of people that choose to be able to do the things they want and help people despite them being physically disabled. 

He talks about Wendy Wallace, a mother, wife, and entrepreneur who is a quad amputee. Despite her huge adversity, Wendy never swayed her faith in God. And this helps her thrive, be joyful, and help other women face life challenges.

Dr. Brad Miller also talks about his dear friend Barry, who suffered from various illnesses. But before he passed away, he led the worship at their church and sang glory to God with his heart, and nobody would tell that he was disabled.

These stories of people remind us that being able to help others, being kind, thoughtful, joyful, and optimistic is a decision that we must make. Those people choose not to let their circumstances disable them, and they are enabled by the choices that they make.

Dr. Brad Miller discusses that we have the choice to be disabled or abled no matter what circumstances we are in. So be determined to be bold, not disabled.

Episode 224 of The Beyond Adversity Podcast is a must-listen for anyone who doesn’t let their circumstances disable them. But rather continue to pursue a life with joy and kindness to other people.

“The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller is published weekly with the mission of helping people “Grow Through What They Go Through” as they navigate adversity and discover their promised life of peace, prosperity and purpose.|| 




Wendy Wallace’s Episodes Part 1 Part 2


Dr. Brad Miller 0:05

Hello, good people. And welcome to Beyond adversity with Dr. Brad Miller.

Dr. Brad Miller 0:11

That's me. Thank you for joining me today on beyond adversity, the podcast

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where we seek to help you to grow through what you go through navigating

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adverse conditions in your life to achieve your life, peace and prosperity

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and purpose. I'm coming to you today from the loft studios from the love

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studios just outside of beautiful Indianapolis, Indiana. And this is the place

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where we create the Beyond Adversity Podcast, which now has over 240

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episodes here to serve you. Indeed, this is episode number 244. And the title of

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this episode is, are you choosing to be disabled, we did want you to know that

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you can always go to And that is where you can find all

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these episodes of the podcast, which will speak into your life, whatever adversity

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you're facing. There is an expert, there's a leader, and there's a teacher who can

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speak into your life in many, many, many interviews, and the teaching that I do

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from my perspective, you can also go to where you

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can find out more about our x plan or ACTS plan. And we have a free guide

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for you there to help you understand the x plan and to get involved with that

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and helps you develop your PLP, Your Promise Life Plan to get you unstuck and on

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your way to your promised life. The ACTS plan the x plan is taking action is the A,

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C is to connect with a higher power. The T is to think with discipline, and the S is

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to serve others with love. And that's the foundation of the teaching that I do

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here at Dr. Brad On the beyond Adversity Podcast, I love to speak into

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your life. What we do here. Every week, we take a theme that comes out of the interview

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that we have had during the week, and we use as a basis for some teaching that I

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talk that I would like to make. So our theme today is called are you choosing to be

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disabled? and in episodes 242 to 43. Beyond diversity, we had a special guest with

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us her name was Wendy Wallace. And I hope that you picked up on her things

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that she shared in those two episodes, she calls herself the most joyful and happy

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as a quadruple quad amputee, you will ever meet. And I found that to be the case.

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You go back to listen to the details of the episodes. But long story short, she

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developed a debilitating one of these diseases that eat your flesh terribly,

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terrible disease ended up common for three months and I woke up to the

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fact that all four of her limbs had been amputated. And she had to find a way

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to live her life moving forward. And our conversation was about how she went

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through this trauma in her life. And then how she chose trust, prayer, spirituality,

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and choosing not to see herself as disabled but as having new opportunities and

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new ways to go. I love the one story that was told about her daughter, who

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took her on a rafting trip on a tubing trip on a river as a quad amputee. And

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she had never even been on a two-week trip when she had all her limbs that

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her daughter took her. And that was what she called a pivotal point to help

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her understand that she was not necessarily disabled. She was abled in new and

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different ways. And it was a decision that she made. So trust, depending on other

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people offering new things to others but choosing to see herself not as disabled,

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but abled. And so different ways. Thought about that a lot. This week is ahead

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some things I'm going to share with you, but I believe about the choices that we

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make, and who are the disabled, who are disabled ends if some time

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those of us consider ourselves able bodied and full bodied. Are we not

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disabled by the decisions that we make. This week, there was a terrible,

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terrible story in the news that I saw that broke my heart and ticked me off

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to be honest with you. He was in San Francisco, and there was a guard

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gallery owner who The picture showed him hosing off a homeless woman that

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was in the street in front of his shop. And he had had his legs crossed, and

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he was kind of nonchalantly squirting water on her and soaking her in what

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little possessions that she had. And some other people saw that and took

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pictures and video of it and got it out there. And there's been a lot of uproar about it.

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I've kind of disgusted because the guy then tried to portray himself as

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some sort of advocate for the homeless. And he was just making matters worse,

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he was being hurtful and harmful. He was choosing to do that. It ticked me off.

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One of the reasons that ticked me off is that I've spent a part of my

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ministry career, a significant portion of it actually serving churches in urban

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inner city areas where there are a lot of homeless folks. And the fact, on many occasions,

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I had homeless folks who I'd find asleep on the doorstep of my church, and

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coming to church, we could choose literally to step over them to get into the

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church building. And they're kind of rough characters, I gotta say. But you choose

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whether to chase them off, call the cops, or try to invite them in and help

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serve them. Or just to say, hey, we need you to move along. You can choose

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to be kind. And I'm proud to say and happy to say, on almost every occasion,

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in the churches, I served in the urban areas where we had a lot of

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homeless around and tent cities and this type of thing. That people, my

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churches I served chose to treat homeless people with kindness. And it

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was very, very happy about that. And a little bit, I'm going to tell

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you a little story, a little biblical story about kindness and mercy as well.

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But thinking about the church situation there and about how people treat

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what some people call disabled, as less than sometimes just mental

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disability, physical disability, as less than maybe think about a friend of mine,

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named Barry. In one of the churches I served, there was a young man,

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there was about my age. At the time, I was a pastor of that church, his

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name was Barry. And he had a number, a number of problems with

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his health and he his capabilities, and he would be what many consider

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to be profoundly disabled. Among the things he had was encephalitis,

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which was this disease, this condition to the brain, which causes your head

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to enlarge. And he had a hard time speaking, and he would have

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seizures. And he had many other problems, kidney problems and so on.

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And many people would consider him a mess. And there were people

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to kind of avoid him. But most people would embrace him and be around him.

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But not many people count on him being a leader in some way. The story I want

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to tell you that just a few weeks before he succumbed to all these problems he had,

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he was only 27 years old at the time, a few weeks around Easter time, before

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he passed away. He is parents brought him to church to worship. And when

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he came to worship, sometimes he would sing and sometimes you could make

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loud, loud noises. And many times, he just be asleep in his wheelchair.

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And this time, when he came to church, people were kind of surprised he

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was there because everybody knew how sick he was. But he came in and

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led worship, did the sermon and did the things that I do. And

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when it came right at the end of the service, something happened that

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don't want to expect it. Very got as we're getting ready to sing the last song,

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which is How great thou Art. Barry got up out of his wheelchair, walked

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down to the front end kind of a stumbling fashion because he could barely

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walk, and a voice that's, you know, loud, and some people might say obnoxious

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but loud and ringing true. He led us all, the whole church and the Lord's

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Prayer in the staccato type rhythm of his voice, and loud and kind of auto rhythm.

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And then he led us in singing How great thou Art. And again in his loud, loud, loud voice.

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He led us, waving his arms and leading us and conducting the

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congregation is singing How great thou Art. And I gotta tell you, everybody,

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you know everybody in that place, there was not a dry eye in the place.

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Everybody was moved deeply because what we saw was almost a

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savant moment where he got out of his wheelchair and led us. And we

Dr. Brad Miller:

all know that we were in a very spiritual place at that time. We all knew

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that we were experiencing something special. Why? Because no one at

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that moment could see Barry as anything less than a leader. He led

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us in worship, he led us in prayer, He led us in singing, he led us as a man,

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young man of God, He led us as a young man who had something to speak

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into our lives and to offer us. It was awesome. It was absolutely awesome.

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And I'm so happy to be a part of that experience. Nobody on that day,

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I would probably have said that Barry, he's disabled. We all know that moment.

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He was completely and totally able. Who do you think in terms of emotional

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will leadership be the disabled person and the enabled person? When you

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compare the shop owner in San Francisco who hosed off the homeless people?

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And my friend Barry, there's no question is Barry and people like Wendy,

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who many people on the outside would say would be disabled because they

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don't have limbs, or they have terrible diseases, and emotional, developmental

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issues. But they lead people emotionally and spiritually hand in hand, inspiring.

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And by leadership, that is enabled living, why because they chose to, when

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they chose to get on with their life. After losing all her limbs, Barry chose to

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get out of the wheelchair, and lead us because that's where he was led to

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lead us in worship that day. I just want to share with you the good people of

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the beyond the adversity audience, that wherever you're at in life, you choose

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to get better or better. Some people feel like you've had some bad thing

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happened to you. Maybe it's a physical health issue, or maybe you're going

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through a bad divorce, maybe you've had some mental health issues,

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maybe you're having some issues with drugs, alcohol or other addictions.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Maybe you've had a death in the family. Maybe you're in bankruptcy, I don't know.

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It happens to all of us. Those are adversities of life that we faced.

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But then you choose whether you're going to go bad or you're going to go get better.

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These are choices that we make, whether we are enabled or disabled,

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by the circumstances of our life. And how we treat others then comes into

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play how we feel about ourselves comes into play, as well. And that's what

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I want to share with you here today. My good friends, as

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you make a choice, and how you deal with people. Do you choose to

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be enabled or disabled, no matter what your health or physical or emotional

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situation is. For instance, we choose whether to be cruel or unkind. Maybe

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you've seen people treat their dogs, children, or spouse cruelly.

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Any right is it? But then you see a moment of kindness where a stranger

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may be treated kindly. We choose rather be generous or selfish. We

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choose whether to speak with a whisper or with wailing and screaming.

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We choose whether it be thoughtful or thought less. We choose whether

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to be an encourager, or to be a discourage or we choose whether to be

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a defeatist or an optimist. We could choose whether to smile or frown.

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We could choose whether it be pleasant or grumpy. We could choose these things.

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Or we can even choose whether to turn a hose on someone to chase them away,

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or help them find a place to stay. We choose to be able or disabled

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in most areas of our life. And the Bible. Jesus told the story when he

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was asked a question, who's the greatest here? And Jesus said, The Greatest

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is those who would love God with all your heart and soul in mind and love

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your neighbour as yourself. And he went on to tell the story called

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The Good Samaritan. And in the Good Samaritan, there was a guy

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Who was beaten up. And some people came by, and there was a chief

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priest, there was another highfalutin person in the church who came by,

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and they turned their nose up at him. They chose to walk on by this guy

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who was beaten up. And I, by the way, I've been to Israel, and I've been

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to see the place where this story took place, her place where it is a place,

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it's still dangerous today, the, the Damascus Road is called.

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They passed by. And the Samaritan, the people others despised,

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who many would call disabled, because of their birth and their

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lineage, their skin color, their religion, their look, or their

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tattoos, or their, what they're all about. The Samaritan stopped and

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helped out the guy. And he paid to have him stay at the end. And he

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bound up his words that he helped him out. And Jesus then said about

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that, he said, Okay, he said to the people who were asking me these

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questions? These people were trying to kind of catch him in some said,

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try to trick him into saying something that gets them, you know,

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gets their way, call him up last year. And he said, Okay, you tell me now,

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who was the good neighbor? And, of course, he knew the answer was the

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one who showed mercy. To me, that's a key part of this choice we make

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whether to be enabled or disabled. So I would hope that when we hear

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the stories here on the Beyond Adversity Podcast, as you hear people

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who've chosen not to let their circumstances disable them, and they

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are enabled by the choices that they make. And I hope in your life that

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you do something, even this week, to show kindness or thoughtfulness,

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or to be optimistic or to smile, or to be pleasant. Choose those things to

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be in nibbled. Because I do believe it's a choice that you make. And

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I hope that we can be helpful here in those helping you to give the

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resources you need to continue to choose to be enabled rather than

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choosing to be disabled as a human being. That's why we're here at the

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beyond diversity podcast, you can head over to Dr. Brad

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You can hear lots of other episodes are going to be encouraging, and you're

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gonna have great stories of people who have overcome like the story

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of Wendy Wallace we've had this week, I'll be teaching about my life and

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in my experience of 42 years as a pastor and My academic background

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as having a doctoral degree in transformational leadership, we bring on

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these great experts to speak into your life, head over to Dr. Brad

Dr. Brad Miller:

And you're going to find some helpful things there. You can also head over

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to For more information and the starting

Dr. Brad Miller:

guide to the ACTS plan, the x plan that will also be helpful to you.

Dr. Brad Miller:

We're here to help because we choose, and I choose to be bold, not disabled.

Dr. Brad Miller:

My name is Dr. Brad Miller, and it is a pleasure and a privilege and a joy to

Dr. Brad Miller:

be with you. We love you. And remember, until next time,

Dr. Brad Miller:

good people always do all the good that you can