Summary: This sermon is an adaptation from John Maxwell’s Book "The Twenty one Indespensible Qualities of Leadership"
Heb 6:11, Matt 5:41, Rom 1:20
August 16, 2003
I. Last year our family went to San Antonio. Our kids were excited about seeing Sea World and Fiesta Texas, and Donna wanted to see the River Walk, but there was only one thing that I really wanted to see, and that was the Alamo.
A. Even though I wasn’t born in Texas the Alamo had always had some kind of pull on me. I remember watching John Wayne in the movie "The Alamo" when I was a kid, and from that time on it tugged at me.
B. When I watched that movie as a kid I got this feeling inside that I couldn’t explain, and when we went to San Antonio, it was the one thing that I had to see.
C. I’ve tried to figure out for a long time why I was so drawn to the Alamo, and I am not sure that I have figured it out yet. I am and always have been a history nut, but there is more to it than that.
D. I think watching that movie touched something inside of me that’s been there since birth, and when I look now at what happened at the Alamo I get as close to understanding it as possible.
E. In late 1835, a group of Texas rebels lay siege to the mission called The Alamo, and by the end of the year, the Mexican soldiers surrendered and left for Mexico, leaving the Mission in the hands of Texans.
F. That set the stage for what was going to be one of the greatest heroic events in the history of the United States.
G. The battle was inevitable, for twenty-five years the citizens of Texas had tried to gain their independence from Mexico, and each time the Mexican troops had been sent in to squelch the rebellion.
H. But this time it was different. The Alamo was manned by 183 volunteers, including Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, and there motto was, "Victory or Death".
I. In late February several thousand Mexican soldiers under the command of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna marched on San Antonio and lay siege to the Alamo.
J. When Santa Anna offered them terms for surrender, the men in the Alamo refused. When they were told that if the fought no prisoners would be taken, and that all that stayed inside the walls would die the Americans would not be moved.
K. When they knew that a battle was inevitable the Texans sent a young man named James Bonham to get reinforcements from the Texas Army.
L. He slipped out of the mission at night and rode ninety-five miles to Goliad, but when he got there he was told that no troops were available.
M. For Eleven days Santa Anna pounded away at the Alamo, and on the morning of March 6, 1836 the Mexican army stormed the walls, and not a single man the in Alamo lived, but they had managed to take over six hundred Mexican soldiers with them, but they did a lot more than that.
N. The battle of the Alamo was the turning point in the war. It gave Sam Houston time to get an army ready, and when the story of what was done in the Alamo got around people began to rally, and from that time on the battle cry was "remember the Alamo!"
O. Less than two months later Texas had its Independence!
P. But what happened to James Bonham, the messenger that had been sent to Goliad? It would have been easy for him to have just ridden away or stayed with the army in Goliad, but his sense of responsibility was too great.
Q. The movie was wrong here. It shows him getting back to the Alamo in time to help the women who were left alone, but what really happened was that he rode back to the Alamo, made his way through enemy lines and joined his friends so that he could fight and die with them.
II. It is a rare thing for us to see the kind of responsibility displayed by James Bonham and the men of the Alamo in our culture today.
A. People today focus more on their rights than their responsibilities.
B. Haddon Robinson says, "If you want to get rich, invest in victimization. It is America’s fastest growing industry."
C. He points out that millions of people are getting rich by identifying, representing, interviewing, treating, insuring, and counseling victims.
D. That’s really a scary thing, because it is proven in history that the people that come after the ones that have fought and sacrificed to conquer a land or build something in any culture, usually don’t have the sense of responsibility for maintaining what they have, as much as the ones who fought and died for it, because it came easy to those who came later.