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BRAVEHEART: "I DON'T WANT TO LOSE HEART"
Braveheart (2:12:34 - 2:14:30) is the story of Scotland’s pursuit of freedom from the tyranny of the English under the leadership of William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson. Leading up to this scene was a battle where Wallace and his men were fighting the English. Wallace thought he had the backing of the Scottish nobles, but they had been bought off by the King and betrayed him on the battlefield, leaving Wallace and his men to be routed by the English. We’ll see the leader of the nobles, Robert the Bruce, takes his act of betrayal particularly hard. Pay attention to how he owns his betrayal but doesn’t let it define him, and notice his resolve to fight for a purpose that is above himself:
Robert Bruce, Sr.: I’m the one who’s rotting, but I think your face looks graver than mine. Son, we must have alliance with England to prevail here. You achieved that. You saved your family, increased your land. In time, you will have all the power in Scotland.
Robert the Bruce: Lands, titles, men, power... nothing.
Robert Bruce, Sr.: Nothing?
Robert the Bruce: I have nothing. Men fight for me because if they do not, I throw them off my land and I starve their wives and children. Those men who bled the ground red at Falkirk fought for William Wallace. He fights for something that I never had. And I took it from him when I betrayed him. I saw it in his face on the battlefield, and it’s tearing me apart.
Robert Bruce, Sr.: All men betray. All lose heart.
Robert the Bruce: I DON’T WANT TO LOSE HEART!!! I want to believe as he does. I will never be on the wrong side again.
Maybe that’s the cry of your heart this morning. You’ve chased after everything you thought would satisfy your soul, and it’s left you empty--nothing. And maybe you even betrayed your savior to do it. You and I have been idolaters. We’ve built our own cisterns and they don’t hold water. They leave us empty-hearted.
Maybe you're even saying to yourself, "I DON’T WANT TO LOSE HEART. I want to BELIEVE. I will never be on the wrong side again."
In the Movie At First Sight, not only does Jesus make man's eyes, but he also creates in the man’s brain the necessary apparatus to see. As neurologists will tell us, this man is the recipient of a double miracle. Not only did Jesus fix his optic condition, but he also installs in the man’s brain the mental ability which allowed the man to make sense of the information coming through his eyes.
Although we might not realize it too often, the ability to see is one part physical and another part mental. For this reason blind people who undergo surgery do not automatically act like seeing persons. They still have to mentally learn how to interpret the data coming through their eyes.
(Show video clip AT FIRST SIGHT: (DVD__CHAPTER 24: 1:45-4:24)
Based on the Story "To See and Not See" by Oliver Sacks, M.D
Have you ever seen the Walt Disney movie, Hercules? It’s a great movie. Zeus was the father of all the gods. That is god with a small “g.” Zeus had a son named Hercules. Hades who was the ruler of the underworld was angry with Zeus so he devised a plan to overthrow the gods and take over Mt. Olympus where they lived. He went to see a sorceress to see if there was anyone who could foil his plan. The sorceress told him that Hercules was the only one who stood between him and his goal. Hades sent two of his henchmen to steal the baby Hercules and feed him poison so that he would die. They abducted Hercules but their mission was interrupted and they did not make sure that Hercules drank all the poison. One drop was left so he didn’t die. He became a mortal but with extreme strength. Hercules was found by a human couple and raised as their own.
Many years later, Hercules was in the temple to Zeus when Zeus came to Hercules and let him know that he was his son. Zeus let him know that he could become a god again and come back to Mt. Olympus but he would have to become a true hero. So Hercules went into strict training to become a hero. After several years of training, Hercules finally got the chance to start proving his heroism. One day, the evil centaur Nessos was bugging a young lady named Megara, or Meg. Hercules took a few lumps but defeated Nessos. He went on to win numerous battles and go all over the world defeating innumerable enemies and saving many people. However, Hercules’ title of hero still eluded him, his heroism had not yet been stretched to its limits.
Finally, one day Hades unleashed his evil plan to take over Mt. Olympus but Hercules came and saved the day. In the melee, Meg, who Hercules had grown quite fond of, died. Hercules stormed through the gates of the underworld and made a deal with Hades. He said,
”You can get your revenge on my father, Zeus, by keeping me here in the underworld but you have to let Meg go.” Hades jumped at the chance but by that act of selflessness, Hercules was deemed a true hero and since gods can’t stay in the underworld, he too was allowed to go free. When Meg asked him why he did it he said, “People always do crazy things when they’re in love.”
In the movie “Shawshank Redemption,” an old prisoner, Brooks Handlin, acts unreasonable and threatens to take another prisoner’s life. They find out that the reason Brooks has reacted this way is that he’s scared. Scared because his parole has been approved. You see those outside of Shawshank see it as a prison, but Brooks sees as home. Later, in the prison yard Ellis Boyd, “Red” explains why Brooks acts the way he does. “Brooks is just.. institutionalized. The man’s been in here 50 years - 50 years! This is all he knows. You know what I’m trying to say? I’m telling you, these walls are funny. First, you hate them, then you get used to them. Enough time passes, you get to depend on them.” That’s institutionalized.”
I think that is the problem for some of us. We’ve become institutionalized.. To this world. We don’t look to see the other side! We focus our attention on these earthly walls, only what we can touch, feel, observe. And it’s true.. These earthly walls are funny that way... First we hate them.. What baby doesn’t cry when he leaves the safety of his mother’s womb? But th...
During the filming of the big chariot race in the movie "Ben Hur," Charlton Heston kept losing his footing and slipping out of the chariot. After several ruined takes, director William Wyler asked Charlton what the problem was. Heston explained that while trying to act as though he was winning the race, he would look away and slip. Wyler replied, "Charlton, it’s YOUR job to stay in the chariot. It’s MY job to make sure you win the race.”
In one particular M*A*S*H episode, the character of Charles Emerson Winchester III has been on leave, only to have a woman show up at the unit who he had met on leave and claimed to be his wife. He, of course, being a upright person, was appalled to find out he had acted on leave in such a manner as to lose control of himself. The wedding was only a fabrication of one evening’s partying, but that was not the way a Winchester acted, and he was ashamed.
If some of you are like me, you’ve been waiting with a bit of anticipation for the final segment of J.R.R. Tolkiens, The Lord of the Rings, to be released to movie theatres some time in the near future. If you’ve been following the story on the screen or reading it from the pages of a book, you’ve been introduced to a rather unique character by the name of Gollum, who once possessed a ring forged by the evil Sardon, and now in the possession of Frodo Baggins, who knows that it ultimately must be destroyed in order to spare the world untold evil and destruction. The trouble is the ring has a history of driving those who possess it raving mad, a truth beginning to show itself in Frodo, but clearly witnessed in Gollum who appears totally consumed with the ring, calling it, as others owners have, “His precious.”
It’s really quite despicable to see a creature so absolutely driven and obsessed with something so evil. Perhaps it’s even more troubling when we recognize that this is us, every time our sinful human nature brings us to speak with a sharp and bitter tongue or act out our hateful or lustful desires which we’ve concluded to be more “precious” than the will of our God.
But I want you to keep that image of total consumption, of whole-hearted attention, of obsession in mind. Keep it there because as much as humanity is caught-up in sin, as negatively consumed and driven as Gollum was towards that symbol of evil; our God is positively consumed with us. In God’s eyes our lives are to be treated with the utmost care, so that even our deaths are a precious thing. “Precious in your sight, O Lord, is the death of your saints.”
Our God is not consumed with personal gain, but with ours. He’s not consumed with His own well-being, but with ours. He’s totally wrapped up in the troubles that confront us, death being the culmination of them all. He’s completely devoted to pouring out its remedy. Our life and that which threatens to destroy it completely in hell has our Lord’s whole-hearted attention. It’s His precious.
Poor Little Orphan Annie! It’s "a hard-knock life" for her and her friends. All the hard chores, the abuse, and the neglect only add insult to injury to these poor little girls already carrying the weight of abandonment.
But if you’ve seen the musical "Annie," either on stage or screen, you know there is a happy ending for the cute, little, misunderstood, red-haired orphan girl. After being invited to spend the Christmas holiday with Billionaire Oliver Warbucks, and after a few shenanigans from her caregiver at the orphanage, Annie learns that her parents are dead and that Mr. Warbucks would like to adopt her. The brightness in Annie’s eyes and the bounce in her step change dramatically when she learns she will be adopted. Why? Because she not only will leave behind the hard-knock life of the orphanage, she will also live in incredible wealth, and, most importantly, live with someone who has chosen her to be his. She celebrates the promise of Mr. Warbucks singing "I Don’t Need Anything But You."
Annie: "Yesterday was plain awful"
Warbucks: "You can say that again"
Annie: "Yesterday was plain awful"
Both: "But that’s not now, that’s then"
Annie realizes that she’s living on another level.
God wants you to live on another level. He’s well aware that some of our yesterdays are just plain awful. We may not face the tyranny of a Miss Hannigan, but we have our moments where life is a bit hard-knock…
Sickness brings pain and death brings grief.
The ruthless acts of a few terrorists bring us fear.
One thug’s crime is o...
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a comedy set during America’s Depression era. The story revolves around three petty criminals who escape from a chain gang. One of them, the leader named Everett Ulysses McGill, tells his companions that he has buried money from a bank robbery near his property in order to persuade them to make a run for it. But near the end of the movie, the law catches up with them, and even though they have been pardoned by the governor, the lawman who has been pursuing them is intent on hanging them. As they are about to be hanged, Everett, Delmer, and Pete stand trembling in front of a large oak, deep in the woods and far away from anyone who can help them. They turn their eyes up to the three ropes that hang from the old tree. Everett, who never had much use for God before, drops to his knees and begins to pray for a miracle from God. “Lord, please look down and recognize us poor sinners. Please, Lord, I just want to see my daughters again. I’ve been separated from my family for so long. I know I’ve been guilty of pride and short dealing. I’m sorry I turned my back on you. Forgive me. We’re helpless, Lord. Help us, please.” As Everett ends his prayer, a small stream of water begins to run around his knees. His companions also notice the water and stare at it in confusion. As the wind blows, suddenly a great wall of water sweeps away everyone and everything in its path — including the lawmen who were about to hang them. The next scene shows Everett, Delmer, and Pete gasping for air as they break the surface of the water. Delmer raises his voice yelling, “It’s a miracle We prayed to God, and he pitied us ” Everett, who just a short time was crying out to God for just such a miracle, chastises his friends as “hayseeds” for believing that it was an act of God. He says, “Don’t be ignorant. There’s a perfectly scientific explanation for what just happened.” Pete says, “That ain’t the tune you were singin’ back there at the gallows ” Everett brushes it off and says, “Well, any human being will cast about in moment of stress.”
There are many people like Everett who use God in a time of crisis and then abandon him when life seems back under their control. But the only reason we can have the confidence to ask, seek and knock is because of an intimate relationship of trust and mutual love. It is a love that follows God and obeys him.
"Batman Begins" movie has a scene in it that I like – Bruce Wayne aka Batman puts on the playboy act—meant to keep people from connecting him with the crusading hero Batman— Wayne’s girlfriend from his past and now a zealous district attorney, saw all that and relates her disappointment in what she thinks he has become. Wayne wanted to defend himself but she tells him, “It’s not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you” and asks, “What chance does Gotham have when the good people do nothing?”
What you do defines you!!! What you do matters... And if the good people do nothing what chance will the world have?