Manning’s Gritty Performance

manning20 to 18 was the final score, and the Broncos defeated the Patriots through the combination of a tough defense and an offense led by an aging quarterback.  Peyton Manning is the comeback kid of 2016, and he has been dreaming what has seemed to be the impossible dream.

Other than the Denver faithful, most people, including the odds makers, thought the boys from Boston were the kings of the mountain, and they would win this game.  Manning, however, has a history of trekking up the paths of rugged trails and scaling a mountain’s summit.

Manning is just half the age of another mountaineer.  When he was 80 years old, Caleb was still a man of grit.  His spunky nature and “can do” attitude is seen in his five-word request: “Give this mountain!”

Forty years earlier, the giants who lived on that mountain had spooked all of the Israelites except Joshua and Caleb, and the fearful chose the life of wilderness nomads rather than the promised land of “milk and honey.”

People like Peyton Manning, Joshua, and Caleb, are not deterred by challenging detours—they make mole hills out of mountains.

The many hardships these men overcame reminds me of the perseverance of the Apostle Paul, who said, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8).”

While there is a reservoir of strength that is available through Jesus, scaling the mountains you face will also require a little grit or what Webster calls, “firmness of mind and spirit, unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.”

Old number 18 was pumped full of it on Sunday.

Not The Beer: The Other One

Samuel-Adams-Poster-Worthy-of-AidWe live in the age of chefs who are masters of culinary delights and connoisseurs of fine ales and home brewed drinks. I find it strange that these epicurean tendencies have tapped the keg of notoriety and made a brand more famous than the man.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager is larger and more famous than its namesake, Samuel Adams, who served in several different capacities that benefited the American revolution and the birthing of our nation:

  • He was a member of the Continental Congress (1774-81)
  • He was a signer of  the Declaration of Independence (1776)
  • He helped draft the Articles of Confederation (1777)
  • He was a delegate to the Massachusetts constitutional convention (1779-80)
  • He served in the Massachusetts senate as president (1781)
  • He was the Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts (1789-94), and served as Governor of Massachusetts (1794- 97).

In the pages of history, you’ll see references to Samuel Adams as the “Firebrand of the Revolution” and “The Father of the American Revolution.” To successfully achieve the revolution, Adams knew that men of character would be an essential.  In November of 1775, He wrote:  “Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters.”

When I think of Adams’ call for men of “unexceptionable characters,” I can’t help but wonder about all the questionable characters we see in government today.

It would seem that Adams had connected the dots, and he believed there was a link between character and the Creator.  He said that, “Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness . . . In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator.”

Even though Adams had tried and failed in his efforts to brew beer as a business, I think he would rather be remembered less for his lagers in life, and more for his larger than life role in the early years of our nation.