My family and I moved to Montgomery in 1972 when I became pastor of Frazer. We lived for the first ten years in Carol Villa on Surrey Road. It was a great neighborhood with a lot of young people.

A special family in the neighborhood was Mr. and Mrs. Ben Curry. They lived just around the corner from us. Mr. Curry could fix anything. He loved helping Si and Vicki (and me) with anything that needed fixing.

Mr. Curry’s son is Ashley Curry. Today, he is the Mayor of Vestavia Hills, Alabama. At his recent Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, his daughter Anna Gualano spoke. She has a powerful witness about dealing with the disease Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), also called brittle bone disease, where your bones break easily. She has had over 200 broken bones in her lifetime. She has experienced over 100 surgeries.

She gave one of the greatest speeches that I have heard about courage, perseverance, and trusting in God. In her speech, she referred to an expression that her surgeon shared with her at every office visit and particularly after the many extensive surgeries performed by her doctor. That expression was “Keep On Keeping On”. So, the letters KOKO became her mantra for overcoming obstacles. She still lives by that to this day. If you want to listen to her speech, click this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0G-fT6HAOQ. It will inspire you. 

When you set out to accomplish a goal, and things become challenging, you have two choices – you can keep going forward or you can sit down and quit.  Winners keep on keeping on – losers quit.  Winners find a way – losers find an exit.  

In his book, John Doe, Disciple, Peter Marshall talks about an assistant to Thomas Edison who was trying to find some way to console the legendary inventor because he had encountered so many failures in an important experiment.  The assistant said, “It’s too bad to do that much work without results.”  Mr. Edison quickly replied, “Oh, we have lots of results – we know 700 things that won’t work!”   

Edison knew that failure was not final, but simply an investment in the bank of knowledge of some things that didn’t work.  He said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to success is always to try just one more time.”  He also said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they quit.”  Edison never quit!

I heard a cute story about a boy who was facing a tough situation in sports and wanted to quit.  His father coached him by saying, “The people who are remembered in life are those who didn’t quit.”  He said, “Remember Winston Churchill?  He didn’t quit.  Remember Thomas Edison?  He didn’t quit.  Remember George Washington Carver?  He didn’t quit.”  The boy nodded that he remembered all these people that his father had mentioned.  Then his father said, “Remember John McKringle?”  The boy looked puzzled and said, “No, who was he?”  His father replied, “You see, you don’t remember him – he quit.”

Take quit out of your vocabulary.  You never know what you might accomplish by taking the next step forward. Anna Gualano is a great example of always taking steps forward.

Paul reminds us “Good works always produce a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) James reminds us, “Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate…reward is life and more life.”  (James 1:12) David said, “Stay with God, take heart, don’t quit.”  (Psalm 27:14)

K O K O–Keep On Keeping On!

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