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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."
Often in reflection, what we have feared most wasn’t all that bad.
One of my all time favorite TV shows, for having good moral lessons as plot lines, was the "Andy Griffith Show." There was an episode where young Opie was having his "Milk nickel" bullied away from him and could not afford any milk for lunch. "You wouldn’t want me to get weak bones?" Well, Andy found out about the trouble and looked to find a way to help Opie without making Opie ashamed or dependent of his fathers help all of the time. In itself this is a good lesson to parents, children must learn, and earn, some things on their own in order for them to fully appreciate it later in life, but that is not our point in this illustration. Andy began to tell Opie about the time that Odie Snitch stole Andy’s fishing hole away from him when he was Opie’s age. Young Andy had to eventually face Odie Snitch to rid himself of his awful feeling of being "Lilly livered" and found that a punch in the nose didn’t really hurt when taken for a good cause and that bullies often can’t back up their words with deeds. Opie took the words to heart and faced down his extorsionest the next day. Opie came away with a "Bute" of a shiner, but he didn’t even feel the black eye because the sweet feeling of the loosing his trouble and regaining what was rightfully his.
The point, you may ask? No trouble is as bad as it once seemed when completed than it did when we first dreaded and feared it.
A. Todd Coget
["Mr. Holland’s Opus": Leaving a Legacy, Citation: Mr. Holland’s Opus, (Hollywood Pictures, 1995), rated PG, written by Patrick Sheane Duncan, directed by Stephen Herek; submitted by Greg Asimakoupoulos, Naperville, Illinois]
Mr. Holland’s Opus is a movie about a frustrated composer in Portland, Oregon, who takes a job as a high school band teacher in the 1960s.
Although diverted from his lifelong goal of achieving critical fame as a classical musician, Glenn Holland (played by Richard Dreyfuss) believes his school job is only temporary.
At first he maintains his determination to write an opus or a concerto by composing at his piano after putting in a full day with his students.
But, as family demands increase (including discovery that his infant son is deaf) and the pressures of his job multiply, Mr. Holland recognizes that his dream of leaving a lasting musical legacy is merely a dream.
At the end of the movie we find an aged Mr. Holland fighting in vain to keep his job.
The board has decided to reduce the operating budget by cutting the music and drama program.
No longer a reluctant band teacher, Mr. Holland believes in what he does and passionately defends the role of the arts in public education.
What began as a career detour became a 35-year mission, pouring his heart into the lives of young people.
Mr. Holland returns to his classroom to retrieve his belongings a few days after school has let out for summer vacation.
He has taught his final class.
With regret and sorrow, he fills a box with artifacts that represent the tools of his trade and memories of many meaningful classes.
His wife and son arrive to give him a hand.
As they leave the room and walk down the hall, Mr. Holland hears some noise in the auditorium.
Because school is out, he opens the door to see what the commotion is.
To his amazement he sees a capacity audience of former students and teaching colleagues and a banner that reads "Goodbye, Mr. Holland."
Those in attendance greet Mr. Holland with a standing ovation while a band (consisting of past and present members) plays songs they learned at his hand.
His wife, who was in on the surprise reception, approaches the podium and makes small talk until the master of ceremonies, the governor of Oregon, arrives.
The governor is none other than a student Mr. Holland helped to believe in herself his first year of teaching.
As she addresses the room of well-wishers, she speaks for the hundreds who fill the auditorium:
"Mr. Holland had a profound influence in my life (on a lot of lives, I know), and yet I get the feeling that he considers a great part of his life misspent.
Rumor had it he was always working on this symphony of his, and this was going to make him famous and rich (probably both).
But Mr. Holland isn’t rich and he isn’t famous.
At least not outside our little town.
So it might be easy for him to think himself a failure, but he’d be wrong.
Because I think he’s achieved a success far beyond riches and fame."
Looking at her former teacher the governor gestures with a sweeping hand and continues, "Look around you.
There is not a life in this room that you have not touched, and each one of us is a better person because of you.
We are your symphony, Mr. Holland.
We are the melodies and the notes of your opus.
And we are the music of your life."
Shadowlands -- a Broadway play, later made into a motion picture -- tells the story of C. S. Lewis and his wife, Joy . . .of their intense love for one another . . .and of the shadow that was cast across their life. Shadowlands portrays their struggle with Joy’s cancer. After Joy’s death, Lewis wrote these words: It is incredible how much happiness, how much joy we sometimes had together after all hope was gone.”
The comfort that is at the heart of those words is also at the heart of Advent. The answers to the paradoxes of living by dying, finding peace o...
In the movie Brave Heart, Mel Gibson plays the role of a man from Scotland whose name was Wallace. It was a great movie - very graphic in the battle scenes, but it really gave you a feel of what battles were like back in those days.
Wallace was trying to win Scotland’s freedom from the cruel rule of England. The King of England at this time was a man named Longshanks. He was as cruel as he was wicked. Longshanks hatred for both Scotland and Wallace grew as the movie progressed and Wallace won many victories against England..
But in the end Wallace is betrayed by a friend and captured by Longshanks who is now older and very ill. It is Longshanks plan to not merely kill Wallace but to have him beg for mercy and a quick death.
As the movie ends Wallace is brought to the court yard before a jeering crowd - they mock him, spit at him, and throw things at him.Then the King's executioner begins to torture him,telling him that if he begs for mercy they will make the death quick.
Meanwhile Longshanks is up in his room - on his death bed - waiting to hear his enemy Wallace beg for mercy....
After not responding, Wallace tries to speak - though it is difficult because his throat is messed up from being tortured.The man in charge of the torture gets the crowd to be silent so they all can hear Wallace beg. But instead of begging for mercy, Wallace summons up what little strength he has left to scream with great force the word --FREEDOM!!!!
I saw a movie recently titled “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” where three escaped criminals were on the run. One scene in this movie stands out to me more than any other.
While on the run they are involved in a baptismal scene at the river. Two of the criminals are baptized by the preacher and they immediately think that all of their past sin is gone and that they are now innocent again, and the law can’t touch them.
There was no repentance or change of heart, they only got wet, but they thought the “preacher had washed their sins away”. Nothing can do that but the Blood of Jesus Christ though repentance and acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior.
The only one who had any intelligence among the three spoke up and his statement makes the point that I want to emphasize. He said, “The Lord may have forgiven you and washed your sin away, but the State of Mississippi isn’t so forgiving and you still have a debt to pay.”
There used to be a show on cable television called, "Tales from the Darkside." The title sounds a little more sinister than the series really was, because I’m not one to watch scary movies and such. It was more like the old show, "The Twilight Zone." In one episode, there was an old man who lived with his son and their family, and he loved living there. Early in the episode, the man had a heart attack and died. But he enjoyed being with his family so much, he wouldn’t admit it. He went on living there until he began to decay and decompose. You can imagine what the smell must have been like for the family! [Well, folks, that is what happens to us when we refuse to die to sin. We STINK to God!] OR [You might not want to admit the truth in your life, but sooner or later, the truth will be revealed.]
Steven Simala Grant
A few weeks ago I rented the movie AI. It is set in the future, where a company has created a human robot child with the ability to love unconditionally. In many ways it was a disturbing movie, posing a number of difficult questions about what it means to be human and what the limits of our dependence on technology should be. But probably the most poignant question that came to mind watching the movie is, ¡§to what extent will we go to find love?¡¨ I won¡¦t give away the plot of the movie, but the thread that runs through it from start to finish is capsulated by a question this robot-boy asks repeatedly: "Then will mommy love me?"
It is perhaps the deepest longing of our he...
What makes a hero? Webster’s defines a hero as a person “of distinguished courage, moral or physical; chief character in a play, novel, poem, etc.” One of my wife and my favorite movies is “The Princess Bride.” One character of the movie, Inigo Montoya, fits the definition of hero found in the dictionary. He has distinguished courage, which is physical at the heart. He is a sword fighter who has searched years to find the men who killed his father over the price of a sword. Over the years he has dreamt of what he would say to the man and came up with “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Near the end of the movie, he finds and fights the man who killed his father. They fight, and Inigo is winning, so his enemy begins to try and bargain for his own life by offering gold and silver to let him live. Inigo tells him to offer him whatever he asks, and the man replies, “I’ll give you anything you want.” And his request? “Bring back my father.” That was the sacrifice that would have saved this man’s life, but, of course, he could not bring Inigo’s father back to life. Because of his love for his father, Inigo gave up 20 years of his life in the search. That’s a sacrifice.
Jackie Chan movie. This man is very innovative in the way that he makes fight scenes. Instead of just using normal karate chops and the like, he will use common every day items and create unbelievable fight scenes with them. In one scene, he fights off dozens of men with a common every day step ladder. I suppose some would be unimpressed with his action scenes. But when I saw that, I couldn’t believe how he orchestrated the action. In a sense, that’s what’s so amazing about God! But a hundred times more! He creates salvation through the birth of a boy - something that we see every day. He decides to save the world and bring life - through all things - an instrument of death - a cross! You would expect God - a powerful God - to use power to save the world. You would expect God to try and impress us with powerful miracles to convert us. But instead, He uses weakness! He uses the staff of His Word! With this simple tool - words - God converts us! He gets us to put our hands over our mouths - crawl on our knees before Him - and turn in fear to HIM for forgiveness. When we see God take us out of this sinful world and plant us into HIS kingdom - it brings us out of our dens of self righteousness and into the light of his SON! That’s exciting! If that doesn’t at least bring some joy to your heart - you’d best pinch yourself - because you must be dead!