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Have you seen that cartoon with the pelican having a frog for dinner? His dinner is not agreeing with him. The frog’s head, shoulders, and most of his body are in the pelican’s beak. His back legs are outside, kicking for all they’re worth. His front legs stick out from both sides of the pelican’s beak. His hands are choking the pelican. (I know. Most frog’s don’t have hands. The one in this cartoon does. The frog’s front legs stick out from both sides of the pelican’s beak and his hands are choking the pelican.)

If I remember correctly, the caption on the cartoon is something like, “Never give up.”

Lou Gehrig’s nickname in baseball was "Iron Horse." But he was not made of iron, as events late in his career proved. First, doctors x-rayed his hands and discovered seventeen fractures that had healed without Lou stopping to get treatment. His bones were broken, but not his spirit. His 2,130 consecutive games played was a record for 56 years until Cal Ripken, Jr, exceeded it in 1995.

His consecutive game streak might have remained a record if not for the second event proving he was flesh and blood, not iron. Eight games into the 1939 season he retired because he contracted the degenerative disease that now bears his name. If not for that disease, who knows how many hundred more games he would have played?

Lou Gehrig was the first American Leaguer to hit four home runs in a game. He holds the record for career grand slams. His jersey, #4, was the first number retired in American professional sports.

As a youth, a teammate, frustrated with Lou’s mistakes costing the team yet another game, encouraged him to quit. He didn’t give up.

The frog’s key to survival and Lou Gehrig’s key to success is tonight’s key to prayer: persistence. Never give up.

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