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The Choice To Live Disabled or Enabled?
Episode 24427th January 2023 • Beyond Adversity with Dr. Brad Miller • Dr Brad Miller
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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. 

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Wendy Wallace's Episodes Part 1 Part 2

Transcripts

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

Dr. Brad Miller 0:15

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

Dr. Brad Miller 0:21

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

Dr. Brad Miller 0:27

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

Dr. Brad Miller 0:33

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

Dr. Brad Miller 0:39

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

Dr. Brad Miller 0:54

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

Dr. Brad Miller 1:00

you can always go to DrBradmiller.com. And that is where you can find all

Dr. Brad Miller 1:00

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

Dr. Brad Miller 1:09

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

Dr. Brad Miller 1:12

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

Dr. Brad Miller 1:17

from my perspective, you can also go to drbradmiller.com/fortydayway where you

Dr. Brad Miller 1:24

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

Dr. Brad Miller 1:32

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

Dr. Brad Miller 1:36

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

Dr. Brad Miller 1:42

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

Dr. Brad Miller 1:48

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

Dr. Brad Miller 1:54

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

Dr. Brad Miller 1:58

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

Dr. Brad Miller 2:06

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

Dr. Brad Miller 2:14

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

Dr. Brad Miller 2:20

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

Dr. Brad Miller 2:26

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

Dr. Brad Miller 2:34

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

Dr. Brad Miller 2:42

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

Dr. Brad Miller 2:48

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

Dr. Brad Miller 2:55

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

Dr. Brad Miller 3:00

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

Dr. Brad Miller 3:06

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

Dr. Brad Miller 3:11

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

Dr. Brad Miller 3:16

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

Dr. Brad Miller 3:21

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

Dr. Brad Miller 3:30

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

Dr. Brad Miller 3:37

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

Dr. Brad Miller 3:51

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

Dr. Brad Miller 3:55

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

Dr. Brad Miller 3:58

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

Dr. Brad Miller 4:05

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

Dr. Brad Miller 4:11

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

Dr. Brad Miller 4:19

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

Dr. Brad Miller 4:27

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

Dr. Brad Miller 4:32

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

Dr. Brad Miller 4:37

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

Dr. Brad Miller 4:42

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

Dr. Brad Miller 4:49

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

Dr. Brad Miller 4:53

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

Dr. Brad Miller 4:58

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

Dr. Brad Miller 5:04

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

Dr. Brad Miller 5:09

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

Dr. Brad Miller 5:15

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

Dr. Brad Miller 5:19

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

Dr. Brad Miller 5:23

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

Dr. Brad Miller 5:28

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

Dr. Brad Miller 5:33

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

Dr. Brad Miller 5:42

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

Dr. Brad Miller 5:45

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

Dr. Brad Miller 5:50

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

Dr. Brad Miller 5:57

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

Dr. Brad Miller 6:04

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

Dr. Brad Miller 6:10

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

Dr. Brad Miller 6:17

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

Dr. Brad Miller 6:23

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

Dr. Brad Miller 6:29

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

Dr. Brad Miller 6:34

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

Dr. Brad Miller 6:37

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

Dr. Brad Miller 6:41

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

Dr. Brad Miller 6:48

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.

Dr. Brad Miller 6:58

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

Dr. Brad Miller 7:05

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

Dr. Brad Miller 7:11

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

Dr. Brad Miller 7:17

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

Dr. Brad Miller 7:21

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

Dr. Brad Miller 7:25

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

Dr. Brad Miller 7:33

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

Dr. Brad Miller 7:42

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

Dr. Brad Miller 7:47

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

Dr. Brad Miller 7:52

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

Dr. Brad Miller 7:56

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

Dr. Brad Miller 8:00

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

Dr. Brad Miller 8:07

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

Dr. Brad Miller 8:13

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

Dr. Brad Miller 8:19

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

Dr. Brad Miller 8:25

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

Dr. Brad Miller 8:31

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

Dr. Brad Miller 8:38

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

Dr. Brad Miller 8:41

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

Dr. Brad Miller 8:47

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

Dr. Brad Miller 8:50

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

Dr. Brad Miller 8:54

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

Dr. Brad Miller 8:58

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

Dr. Brad Miller 9:01

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

Dr. Brad Miller 9:07

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

Dr. Brad Miller 9:11

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

Dr. Brad Miller 9:15

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

Dr. Brad Miller 9:20

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

Dr. Brad Miller 9:27

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

Dr. Brad Miller 9:35

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

Dr. Brad Miller 9:43

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

Dr. Brad Miller 9:48

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

Dr. Brad Miller 9:52

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

Dr. Brad Miller 9:56

Everybody was moved deeply because what we saw was almost a

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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.

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

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

Dr. Brad Miller:

to DrBradmiller.com/fortydayway. 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

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