Monthly Archives: August 2016

Olympian Eric Liddell Carries the Torch: For Christ

Eric Liddell.
Hero.
A real hero.

Known as “The Flying Scotsman” (after the record-breaking locomotive), Eric Liddell was born in China, the son of Missionaries, on January 16, 1902. He was the son of Rev and Mrs. James Dunlop Liddell, who were Scottish missionaries with the London Missionary Society. He would die, in China, serving as a Missionary Teacher, on February 21, 1945.

His story, and his strong religious convictions, were the subject of the 1981 film Chariots of Fire, in which he is portrayed by fellow Scotsman Ian Charleson.

The year is 1924.
The Summer Olympics are being held in Paris, France. Eric Liddell is a favorite to win Gold. His best event, his specialty, the one which he was clearly the favorite to win, was the 100 Meter Race. It was the running of this race, his best event, which Eric refused to compete in … because the race was to be held on Sunday. The race would be won by Harold Abrahams, from Britain, in a time of 10.6 seconds, beating all the American favorites. Harold Abrahams’s father, Isaac, was a Jewish immigrant from Poland, and had settled in Bedford, with his Welsh Jewish wife, Esther Isaacs.

In the 1924 Paris Olympics, Eric would compete in the 400 Meter Race … which he won.

As he stepped to the line to compete in the 400 … an event which the Americans were favored to win … an American slipped Eric a piece of paper … On the paper was written a quote from 1 Samuel 2:30: “For them that honor me I will honor.”

I find this a fascinating piece of history, which I did not know, until I did the research for this writing. This quote from 1 Samuel was one of my Mom’s favorite verses, and one which I heard my Mom quote so many times, often over the telephone, that “God honors those who honor Him;” that, “I will honor those who honor Me.” Her repeated quote of this Scripture prompted us to use the quote from the verse as our business motto: “To Honor Those Who Honor Him.”

How did Eric Liddell do, as he raced around the Olympic track, carrying this quote from Scripture: He broke the Olympic and world records with a time of 47.6 seconds.

Again, this was 1924. The next year, 1925, Eric returned to China to serve as a missionary teacher. Aside from two furloughs in Scotland, he remained in China until his death, in a Japanese civilian internment camp, in 1945.

Eric Liddell died on February 21, 1945, five months before liberation. Langdon Gilkey, American theologian, would write, “The entire camp, especially its youth, was stunned for days, so great was the vacuum that Eric’s death had left.”
According to a fellow missionary, Liddell’s last words were, “It’s complete surrender,” in reference to how he had given his life to God.

Remember, in those 1924 Olympics in Paris, Eric Liddell had refused to compete in his best event, the 100 Meters, due to his strong beliefs and convictions. We go now, 56 years after the 1924 Paris Olympics, as fellow Scotsman Allan Wells won the 100 Meter Sprint at the 1980 Olympics, held in Moscow. When Allan Wells was asked, after his Moscow Olympic victory, if he had run the race in honor of Harold Abrahams, who was the last 100 Meter Olympic winner from Britain (in those Paris Olympics in 1924), who had died two years previously, Wells replied:
“No, I would prefer to dedicate this to Eric Liddell.”

I can’t think of a better representative of the Scripture of “Giving all to, and for, Christ.”

Eric Liddell.
Hero.
A real hero.

A special thanks to the Lights4God blog … for bringing this great story back to my memory. Here’s a direct link to the post which brought this back:
https://lights4god.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/eric-liddell-2/

Now, here’s a short biographical video which tells the story of Eric’s life, which features some great historical photographs, and quotes from Eric Liddell:

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Two Videos: Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro

The statue of Jesus Christ, known as “Christ the Redeemer,” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is the largest statue of Jesus in the
world, and is also the largest Art Deco statue in the world.
The statue is located at the peak of the Corcovado mountain, in the Tijuca Forest National Park, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
It is perhaps the most recognizable feature of any city in the world, and we should be seeing a lot of this statue in the
next several days … and … on network television ….

I don’t know really know how to describe it, and I am curious as to how the networks will handle what is the most iconic
image of Rio de Janeiro … how often will we hear the networks proclaiming, just saying the words, “Christ the Redeemer”

I was at work, and when I brought up the “Google” home page, there was an invitation at the bottom of the page to “See the
culture and history of Rio de Janeiro,” so, I clicked on it, and was treated to a slide-show featuring the Statue … but,
what impressed me the most about the slide-show was that it was done from a Christian viewpoint, speaking of how Jesus was
mankind’s Redeemer and Savior, as it told the story of the building of the Statue, and its history. That was yesterday, and,
today, that particular link (to the slide-show) was not offered … It couldn’t have been just for me, was it???

I had always been a “fan” of the Statue, and as a History fan, any landmark, especially historical landmarks, grab my
attention.

Like you, I have visited many cemeteries where a statue of Jesus was placed. Recently, I completed a personal mission to
visit the Tennessee-Georgia Memorial Cemetery, in Rossville, Georgia, which had a beautiful statue of Jesus. I can’t imagine
standing in front of this Statue, the “Christ the Redeemer” Statue in Rio de Janeiro, and how I would feel. Just thinking
about it, I can imagine myself looking up at “Him,” His gaze fixed on the landscape below … His arms outstretched … I see His gaze fixed on the landscape below … His arms outstretched … I can’t help but think about what this really represents … How He is, for real, looking down, seeing everything that happens … even to me … even to everyone in the world … How He sees … and His arms are outstretched …

I get it!
I really do.

How are the networks going to handle this representation? Will they just call it “there you see the iconic statue?” Will
they go so far as to say something like, “the iconic statue looking down over the city …” or, will they call it by name?
Will they utter the words, “Christ the Redeemer?”

Will they … will we … will the audience … recognize the representation?
Will they even show it? Call it by name?

How will the networks present “Christ the Redeemer” to the world?
I know Who ordains all things … What an “Olympic” opportunity …

I know we leave “Christ” out of a certain holiday …
Is it possible to leave “Christ the Redeemer” out of the Olympics?

The first video has many beautiful images of the Statue …

This second video, for History folks like me, has the history of the Statue …It is from
“Jerry the Idea Wizard” and details the history …

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