MacArthur (book review)

General Douglas MacArthur was popularly called “America’s General,” and Mitchell Yockelson’s biography—MacArthur: America’s General—does an admirable job in telling us how he earned this well-deserved moniker.

(As an aside: I have really enjoyed all of the books in the Thomas Nelson Generals series. You can read my reviews of George S. Patton here, and Robert E. Lee here.)

MacArthur’s influence is still being felt at West Point as we train our future military officers, and around the world, where General MacArthur had a prominent role in three wars. And, if his advice about Vietnam had been heeded, perhaps his influence would have extended through four wars.

How did he achieve such prominence? It’s the classic debate: are great leaders born or made? In Douglas MacArthur’s case the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Yes, he was born into a family with a strong military heritage. MacArthur certainly benefited from the influence of his grandfather (a judge), his father (a decorated, combat veteran and general), and his mother (who used her charm to sway many influential people). But these family members could only open doors; it was up to MacArthur to march through them.

And, yes, march through them he did! At every opportunity he pressed forward. Sometimes with unconventional tactics, sometimes in opposition to his leadership, and sometimes through sheer willpower. But the results speak for themselves: Without a General Douglas MacArthur to lead our troops in perilous times, the outcome in three wars could have been disastrously different.

The United States of America is viewed as the world’s superpower (and rightly so). It is very likely that without MacArthur’s influence we would not be the prominent power that we are now. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to God for blessing us with the MacArthur family.

A lively and informative read for military buffs and students of leadership. Highly recommended!

I am a Thomas Nelson book reviewer.

Making The Hard Easy

Can you relate to this?

     I know the right things I’m supposed to do, and I also know the wrong things I’m not supposed to do. I try my very best to do the right and avoid the wrong, but far too many times I find myself not doing the right things, and (even worse) discover I’m doing the wrong thing.

     I say, “Enough of this!” and I vow (again!) to stop doing the wrong things, and I redouble my efforts (again!) to begin doing the right things. It seems like this is working, but only for a little while. Then I’m right back into the same old habit of doing those wrong things again.

     It shouldn’t be this hard! After all, it’s so easy to tell right from wrong. So why do I keep on doing the wrong things?! Why can’t I keep on doing the right things?!

     Is there any hope for me? (my paraphrase of Romans 8:17-24

If you’ve ever felt like that, you’re in good company because that’s just how the Apostle Paul said he struggled with right and wrong. But keep on reading, because he also shared how he overcame this struggle. He said, “Those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”

The Holy Spirit can help you do right, and avoid wrong. But you have to yield to Him.

I love what A.J. Gordon wrote—

“It costs much to obtain the power of the Spirit: It costs self-surrender and humiliation and a yielding up of our most precious things to God; it costs the perseverance of long waiting, and the faith of strong trust. But when we are really in that power, we shall find this difference, that whereas before, it was hard for us to do the easiest things, now it is easy for us to do the hard things.”

How would you rather live: finding it hard to do the easiest things … or finding it easy to do the hardest things?

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