For Memorial Day: Four Great Movie Quotes ALL Fighting Men Love

“Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country. Men, all that stuff you’ve heard about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war is a lot of horse dung.  American’s traditionally love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle.

“When you all were kids, you loved the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big-league ball player, the toughest boxer. America loves a winner, and will not tolerate a loser.

“Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans never lost, and never will lose a war. Because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans.

“Now an Army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap. The bilious bastards who write that stuff about individuality in The Saturday Evening post don’t know anything more about battle than they do about fornicating.

“We have the finest food, equipment and the best spirit and the best men in the world. You know, by God, I actually pity those poor bastards we’re going up against. By God, I do. We’re not gonna just shoot the bastards, we’re gonna cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We’re gonna murder those lousy Hun bastards by the bushel.

“Now some of you boys, I know, are wondering whether you’ll chicken out under fire. Don’t worry about it. I can assure you that you’ll do your duty. The Nazi’s are the enemy. Wade into them. Spill their blood. Shoot them in the belly. When you put your hand in a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend’s face – you’ll know what to do.

“Now there’s another thing I want you to remember. I don’t want to get any messages saying we’re holding our position. We’re not holding anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly, and we’re not interested in holding anything except the enemy. We’re going to hold onto him by the nose and we’re gonna kick him in the ass. We’re gonna kick the hell out of him all the time, and we’re gonna go through him like crap through a goose.

“There’s one thing you men will be able to say when you get back home – and you may thank God for it. Thirty years from now when you’re sitting by your fireside with your grandson on your knee and he asks, “What did you do in the Great World War II?” you wont have to say, “We’ll I shoveled s**t in Louisiana.”

“Alright now, you sons-of-bitches, you know how I feel.

“Oh, and I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere.

“That’s all.”

~George C. Scott in the opening monologue of “Patton.”

***

“Sons of Scotland, I am William Wallace!

“Yes, I’ve heard about him. He kills men by the hundreds. If he were here, he’d consume the English with fireballs from his eyes and lightning bolts from his arse.

“I am William Wallace!

“And I see a whole army of my countrymen here in defiance of tyranny. You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What would you do without freedom? Will you fight?

“Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you’ll live – at least a while.

“And dying in your bed many years from now would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that, for a chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they may never take our freedom!

“Alba gu bra!”

~Mel Gibson as William Wallace in “Braveheart.”

***

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius. Commander of the Armies of the North. General of the Felix Legion. Loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife – and I will have my vengeance – in this life or the next.”

~Russel Crowe as Maximus in “Gladiator.”

***

“Don’t start nothin’, and there won’t be nothin.”

~Will Smith as Agent “J” in “Men in Black.”

The Self-Existence of God: An Interview with Tozier (Part II)

A.W. Tozier

See Part I of this “interview” here: http://wp.me/p2bjEC-cd

Q: When we think of God‘s origin, how are we to frame that in our minds?

A: Origin is a word that can apply only to things created. When we think of anything that has origin, we are not thinking of God. God is self-existent, while all created things necessarily originated somewhere at some time. Aside from God, nothing is self-caused.

Q: But didn’t God create us to naturally wonder and question things and seek to learn more about them, especially Him?

A: The child by his question, “Where did God come from?” is unwittingly acknowledging his creaturehood. Already the concept of cause and source and origin is firmly fixed in his mind. He knows that everything around him came from something other than itself, and he simply extends that concept upward to God. The little philosopher is thinking in true creature-idiom, and allowing for his lack of basic information, he is reasoning correctly. He must be told that God has no origin, and he will find this hard to grasp since it introduces a category with which he is wholly unfamiliar and contradicts the bent toward origin-seeking so deeply ingrained in all intelligent beings, a bent that impels them to probe ever back and back toward undiscovered beginnings.

Q: If created man in His own image, why would God himself create our minds to wonder about the incomprehensible?

A: The human mind, being created, has an understandable uneasiness about the Uncreated. We do not find it comfortable to allow for the presence of One who is wholly outside the circle of our familiar knowledge. We tend to be disquieted by the thought of One who does not account to us for His being, who is responsible to no one,who is self-existent, self-dependent and self-sufficient.

Philosophy and science have not always been friendly toward the idea of God, the reason being that they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The philosopher and scientist will admit that there is much they do not know; but that is quite another thing from admitting that there is something which they can NEVER know, which indeed they have no technique for discovering. To admit there is One who lies beyond us, who exists outside of all categories, who will not be dismissed with a name, who will not appear before the bar of our reason, nor submit to our curious inquiries: this requires a great deal of humility, more than most of us possess, so we save face by thinking God down to our level, or at least to where we can manage Him.

Q: How are we to know, in fact, that God is self-existent?

A: A more positive assertion of selfhood could not be imagined that those words of God to Moses: I AM THAT I AM.  Everything that is God, is set forth in that unqualified declaration of independent being. Yet in God, self is not sin but the quintessence of all possible goodness, holiness and truth.

(Bloggers Note: These excerpts are from A.W. Tozier’s “The Knowledge of the Holy.” Tozier (1897-1963) was a popular evangelical author and the author of more than 30 books. He has been called one of the most influential American evangelists of the 20th Century.)

Is God “Comprehensible?” – An Interview with A.W. Tozier – Part 1

A.W. Tozier

Q: How do we picture an infinite God in our infinite minds?

A: We learn by using what we already know as a bridge over which we pass to the unknown. It is not possible for the mind to crash suddenly past the familiar into the totally unfamiliar. Even the most vigorous and daring mind is unable to create something out of nothing by a spontaneous act of imagination.

Q: So how does the Bible give us a picture of God?

A: The effort of inspired men to express the ineffable has placed a great strain upon both thought and language in the Holy Scriptures. These being often a revelation of a world above nature, and the minds for which they were written being a part of nature, the writers are compelled to use a great many “like” words to make themselves understood.

When I was a child, this is how I pictured God in my mind, and I must admit my limited imagination still pictures Him this way to a good degree.

Q: What is the role of the Holy Spirit in allowing us to “comprehend” God?

A: When the Spirit would acquaint us with something that lies beyond our field of knowledge, He tells us that this thing is like something we already know, but He is always careful to phrase His description so as to save us from slavish literalism. For example, when the prophet Ezekiel saw heaven opened and he beheld visions of God, he found himself looking at that which he had no language to describe. What he was seeing was wholly different from anything he had ever known before, so he fell back on the language of resemblance. “As for the likeness of living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire.”

The nearer he approaches the burning throne the less sure his words become: “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the color of amber, the appearance of fire round about within it … this was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.” One gathers that the whole scene is very real, but entirely alien to anything men know on earth.

Is this how we are to picture God?

Q: But if we as men are made in God’s “image,” can’t we comprehend that He is like us, only greater?

A: When the Scripture states that man was made in the image of God, we dare not add to that statement an idea from our own head and make it mean “in the exact image.” ‘To do so is to make man a replica of God, and that is to lose the unicity of God and end with no God at all. It is to break down the wall, infinitely high, that separates that-which-is-God from that-which-is-not God. To think of creature and Creator as alike in their essential being is to rob God of most of his attributes and reduce Him to the status of a creature.It is for instance, to rob Him of His infinitude: there cannot be two unlimited substances in the universe. That would be to take away his sovereignty: there cannot be two absolutely free beings in the universe for sooner or later two completely free wills must collide.

Or is this how we are to picture God?

When we try to imagine what God is like we must of necessity use that-which-is-not-God as the raw material for our minds to work on; hence whatever we visualize God to be, He is not, for we have constructed our image out of that which He has made, and what He has made, is not of God. If we insist upon trying to imagine Him, we end with an idol, made not with hands, but with thoughts; and an idol of the mind is as offensive to God as an idol of the hands.

Q: But the question of “what God is like” is the one thing so many of us want to know. What are we do do?

A: The yearning to know what cannot be known, to comprehend the incomprensible, to touch and taste the unapproachable, arises from the image of God in the nature of man. Deep calleth unto deep, and though polluted and landlocked by the mighty disaster theologians call the Fall, the soul senses its origin and longs to return to its Source. How can this be realized?

I believe Tozier would most conform to this “image” of God…

The answer of the Bible is simply “through Jesus Christ our Lord.” In Christ and by Christ, God effects complete self-disclosure, although He shows Himself not to reason but to faith and love. Faith is an organ of knowledge, and love an organ of experience. god came to us in the incarnation; in atonement He reconciled us to Himself, and by faith and love we enter and lay hold on Him.

(Blogger’s Note: These excerpts come from A.W. Tozier’s “The Knowledge of the Holy.” Tozier, (1897-1963) was a popular evangelical author and minister. The author of more than 30 books, he has been called one of the most influential American evangelists of the 20th Century.)

Daddy, They Came!!!

Daddy:

 

My simple pleasure. The majestic purple martin.

Just before you you left us, you asked me to take care of a few things. You knew I would do them, but I’m glad you asked, anyway.

What you didn’t know is that I planned to carry on some of your favorite traditions – in honor of you, and for my own pleasure as well.

After you left us, I went to the farm and dug your martin houses from the ground. You had set them well. After digging four feet down into the sand, I finally got them out, and onto the trailer. It wasn’t easy, but I did it.

I brought them over the 30-mile drive to Jonesboro, repainted them, and set them in the best place I could find. I knew you would say it wasn’t the best location, but it was the best I had.

Just as you did, I tracked the martins on the internet. When I saw the migration was getting close, I watched every day … but they never came. I kept hearing you say, it wasn’t the right place.

Dana and I went on a vacation last week. I saw you in the sunset there on the beach, then looked back and saw a rainbow over the mountains. It was your promise. I knew it.

We got home a few days ago, dad, and you wouldn’t believe it. The martins came!

I’m so happy!

You sent them here didn’t you?

Oh, daddy, you should see them.  They are so majestic and magnificent. They soar with beauty and the sing to the heavens. I can’t believe it.

I know now why it made you so happy. I sit and watch them, and I can’t take my eyes off them.

Oh my, Daddy, the martins came!!!

PS: I have your BB gun to keep the bad birds away… and the squash in the garden looks good too…

Vacation Not – Adventure, Yes

Dana and me in one of our more relaxed moments in Montanita, an hour north of our base in Puerto Cayo.

While we’re not particularly die-hard fans of anything on television today, Dana and I have always been drawn to the CBS reality show, The Amazing Race, where paired couples are challenged daily to travel the world in unknown territories and uncharted waters while the clock ticks away.

Unlike most of the other reality series’, Amazing Race carries a certain sophistication, and the huge benefit of taking people out of their comfort zone to experience a world created by the most creative of artists.

A few months ago when I began thinking about the possibilities for Dana’s 39th birthday, I wanted to create something memorable for her. A new blender and a pair of earrings, just didn’t seem pass the test for her upcoming milestone. She would have well appreciated anything she received, but an experience with a lasting memory was the gift which I sought.

Nearly three hours into our drive from the airport, we came across this scene on the extreme southern coast of Ecuador. At this point, we pretty much knew we were lost, though it’s not an uncommon scene anywhere you go.

A few years before we were married, Dana, at various times, served as a missionary in Mexico, Greece and Morocco. Among the things she’s experienced in her life, those times created some of her fondest memories. Her time in Greece and Morocco was solo, without the benefit of a guide or tour group, and so there’s a proven adventuresome spirit God put in her from the beginning.

So as the birthday possibilities streamed through my mind, I determined to create yet another memory – but this time, one that would be shared. I wanted an experience that would challenge us both, push us outside our comfort zone as a couple, so that every day would be a source of memories for years to come.

About a week prior to her birthday I purchased gifts that would have been adequate enough. They would be nicely wrapped with a loving card, presented at a nice surprise birthday party with a gathering of friends and family … but on one particular day the feeling came across that it just wasn’t enough.

Going back through some research I had done in the previous year, my heart led me to Ecuador. And to make a long story short, within the next 24 hours, the flight was booked, and rental car accommodations were made.

What would we be doing while we were there? I really had no clue. We’ll figure it out when we hit the ground, I decided … and so the adventure took form.

Though I’m not the most cosmopolitan of world travelers, I’ve been around some. Gulf Shores, Cocoa Beach, Bahamas, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, I’ve been there, done that and sipped all the poolside pina coladas a man could ever want.

The 10 days we would experience on the Ecuadorian coast, inland highlands and rainforests would not replicate our “vacations” of the past. We would push ourselves in territory that is literally uncharted. We would not be afraid to get lost, and we would immerse ourselves in the culture of this diverse land and its people.

After 9 hours of driving on what should have been a two-and-a-half-hour drive, we finally arrived at this scene, our base for the week, Puerto Cayo. Beautiful as it may be, the tranquility can be deceiving. This is a fishing village where the average monthly income is $300.

And it lived up to every expectation.

Five minutes after packing the rental car (A Chevy Spark with 9-gallon gas tank, stick shift and approximately 3-square feet of space within its four doors) we were as lost as two people could be. Our first miracle was simply finding a road that would lead us out of Guayaquil, a city of 3.1 million where the roads have no lines, no rules and it’s every man for himself. It was a driving fiasco. It took two hours to find our way out of the city and another 7 hours to get to our destination at Puerto Cayo.  Properly driven, it should have been a two-and-a-half hour leisurely road trip…

I left home with full intention to blog daily about our experiences in Ecuador, but it was not to be. In the beginning, 10 days sounded like a lot of time to read, write and record our adventure, but we realized quickly that every moment was precious. Too many experiences were to be had. Every moment was an investment in learning, and so I took feverish notes as time would allow to come home and share those experiences later.

This is 3-year old Carlos, the nino of Manuel and Ivonne, two friends we made at Los Suenos del Mar.

In the short time we’ve been home (less than 24 hours now) a few people have asked about our takeaway from the Ecuadorian adventure. It’s a hard thing to pinpoint, but to some degree, I can say, in a general sense, my faith in humanity has been restored.

We met and enjoyed time with some bold American expatriates who, over the next few years, will make a huge difference in the Ecuadorian economy. They are entrepreneurs of the highest caliber, and our time with them was well spent.

But we also found ways to spend invaluable quality time with local Ecuadorians who welcomed us with open arms, and even though the language barrier could be a challenge at times, the sharing of a drink, firm handshakes and hugs and kisses, warm embraces and smiles of realized friendships touched our hearts in an unforgettable way.

Yes, God’s people are good, and we find it in His finest creation (that which He created in His own image) around the world.

Over the next few days, I’ll be documenting the specific experiences we shared, and some tips should you ever decide to explore what many expatriates there now call the world’s last undiscovered frontier.

I’ll write about the best ways to travel, food, transportation, Ecuadorian culture, the economy and its potential, people and many other topics. We learned a lot. Some of it the hard way – just as we planned!

At one point in our travels I made a joking Facebook post about one night at dinner when Dana asked me this: “What’s the most amazing thing about being married to me?” All our friends wanted to know my response and so I’ll close by paraphrasing my response to those requests for an answer.

“You all tell me the right response is that Dana has a great heart, that she is beautiful, trustworthy, genuinely good and a bright spot in the lives of everyone she meets. Well guess what? I already know all that. But here’s the real deal.

“We’re not on your typical vacation here, and never planned for it to be such. We’re working with roads and roadmaps that have no similarity or relationship whatsoever, so you can pretty much throw the maps out the window. There are 3-foot potholes about every hundred yards. Donkeys, pigs and dogs dart out onto the road from nowhere. We have only an elementary grasp of the local language. There are no mohitos or cabana boys serving our heart’s every desire. Hot water for a shower happens about 33 percent of the time, and toilet paper is to be treasured. Yes, you’d better carry it with you at all times.

“This is not a vacation, it’s an adventure … and so any girl who would come along on an excursion like this and love every minute of it, is my kind of girl.”

That’s what I said.

Next post: “Day One: What in the World Have We Done?”

Dear Daddy…

 

I was thinking of you at this moment.

For just a fleeting second I was thinking how much you would enjoy this view…then I remembered you see something greater every day.

I wish I could look into your eyes again.

I wish we could embrace and I  could feel your chest against mine. I wish my hands could feel the strength in the broadness of your back.

I wish you could give me some good advice while we sat in the backyard watching the martins.

I just wish I could reach out and touch you again.

I’m doing my best to carry out the things you said. I really hope you are proud.

I wished you were here for this moment … and then I realized you were, but I still miss you so.

I know you are enjoying the everlasting Light in which you now bask. You will show me around won’t you?

See you soon. I love you so.

Steve.

Just a Few Quick Shots from Ecuador

Dana and Me

Time has been too valuable to blog since our arrival in Ecuador six days ago now. Every minute is exploration. Wanted to post a few quick pics, though, and will recap all when we return home.

We have some great stories.

Tomorrow, driving from Puerto Cayo to Manta and taking the early flight into Quito to stand on the equator for a bucket-list check.

Good night, from the middle of the World.

Playing tourista in Montanita!!!

Sunset on the Pacific: Latitude Zero.