12 Quotes From “The Art Of War”

Sun Tzu wrote in China in the fifth century BC to help military leaders hone their warcraft, but you might be surprised at the truths you can apply to your life today. Check out my full book review by clicking here. 

“Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” 

“Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. (2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. (3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. (4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. (5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.” 

“Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” 

“The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” 

“That general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.” 

“Disciplined and calm, to await the appearance of disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy—this is the art of retaining self-possession. To be near the goal while the enemy is still far from it, to wait at ease while the enemy is toiling and struggling, to be well-fed while the enemy is famished—this is the art of husbanding one’s strength.” 

“Do not linger in dangerously isolated positions. … If, on the other hand, in the midst of difficulties we are always ready to seize an advantage, we may extricate ourselves from misfortune.” 

“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: (1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction; (2) cowardice, which leads to capture; (3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults; (4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame; (5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.” 

He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them.” 

“Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death. … If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder: then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose.” 

“Carefully study the well-being of your men, and do not overtax them. Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength.” 

“Keep your army continually on the move.”

10 Quotes From C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis(When is it ever not a good day to share C.S. Lewis quotes?!)

“There is either a warning or an encouragement here for every one of us. If you are a nice person—if virtue comes easily to you—beware! Much is expected from those to whom much is given. If you mistake for your own merits what are really God’s gifts to you through nature, and if you are contented with simply being nice, you are still a rebel: and all those gifts will only make your fall more terrible, your corruption more complicated, your bad example more disastrous. The devil was an archangel once; his natural gifts were as far above yours as yours are above those of a chimpanzee.” —C.S. Lewis 

“The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union. …You must not isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try to get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.” —C.S. Lewis

“On the contrary, those who are seriously attempting chastity are more conscious, and soon know a great deal more about their own sexuality than anyone else. They come to know their desires as Wellington knew Napoleon, or as Sherlock Holmes knew Moriarty; as a rat-catcher knows rats or a plumber knows about leaky pipes. Virtue—even attempted virtue—brings light; indulgence brings fog.” —C.S. Lewis

“For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of  course, it is better to be neither.” —C.S. Lewis

 “A great deal of our anxiety to make excuses comes from not really believing in it, from thinking that God will not take us to Himself again unless he is satisfied that some sort of case can be made out in our favor. But that would not be forgiveness at all. Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in all its horror, dirt, meanness, and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the man who has done it. That, and only that, is forgiveness, and that we can always have from God if we ask for it.” —C.S. Lewis 

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” —C.S. Lewis

“The human lives in time but our enemy destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present—either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.” —C.S. Lewis

“War creates no absolutely new situation; it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it.” —C.S. Lewis

“The rescue of drowning men is, then, a duty worth dying for, but not worth living for.” —C.S. Lewis

“Christianity does not simply replace our natural life and substitute a new one; it is rather a new organization which exploits, to its own supernatural ends, these natural materials.” —C.S. Lewis

6 Quotes From “Lincoln’s Battle With God”

Lincoln's Battle With GodStephen Mansfield has given us a unique view of the life of Abraham Lincoln, through his struggle with coming to grips with who God was to him. It’s truly an amazing read! You can read my full book review of Lincoln’s Battle With God by clicking here. Below are a few quotes I highlighted in this book.

“A schoolteacher who knew him during these years recalled, ‘Abraham Lincoln was the most studious, diligent strait forward young man in the pursuit of a knowledge of literature than any among the five thousand I have taught in the school.’” —Stephen Mansfield 

“Through all, I groped my way until I found a stronger and higher grasp of thought, one that reached beyond this life with a clearness and satisfaction I had never known before. The Scriptures unfolded before me with a deeper and more logical appeal, through these new experiences, than anything else I could find to turn to, or ever before had found in them.” —Abraham Lincoln

“The fundamental truths reported in the four gospels as from the lips of Jesus Christ, and that I first heard from the lips of my mother, are settled and fixed moral precepts with me. I have concluded to dismiss from my mind the debatable wrangles that once perplexed me with distractions that stirred up, but never absolutely settled anything. I have tossed them aside with the doubtful differences which divide denominations—sweeping them all out of my mind among the nonessentials. I have ceased to follow such discussions or be interested in them. I cannot without mental reservations assent to long and complicated creeds and catechisms. If the church would ask simply for assent to the Savior’s statements of the substance of the law: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself,’ that church would I gladly unite with.” —Abraham Lincoln

“The fact is, I don’t like to hear cut and dried sermons. No, when I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees!” —Abraham Lincoln

“On Thursday of last week two ladies from Tennessee came before the President asking the release of their husbands held as prisoners of war at Johnson’s Island. … At each of the interviews one of the ladies urged that her husband was a religious man. On Saturday the President ordered the release of the prisoners, and then said to this lady, ‘You say your husband is a religious man; tell him when you meet him, that I say I am not much of a judge of religion, but that, in my opinion, the religion that sets men to rebel and fight against their government, because, as they think, that government does not sufficiently help some men to eat their bread on the sweat of other men’s faces, is not the sort of religion upon which people can get to heaven!’”  —From a newspaper article entitled “The President’s Last, Shortest and Best Speech”

“If I were not sustained by the prayers of God’s people, I could not endure this constant pressure. … It has pleased Almighty God to place me in my present position and looking up to Him for wisdom and divine guidance I must work my destiny as best I can.” —Abraham Lincoln

Poetry Saturday—A Nation′s Strength

Ralph Waldo EmersonWhat makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?

It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.

Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.

And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at His feet.

Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly…
They build a nation’s pillars deep
And lift them to the sky. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursdays With Oswald—Time To Get Active

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Oswald Chambers

Time To Get Active

     We must take heed that in the present calamities, when war and devastation and heart-break are abroad in the world, we do not shut ourselves up in a world of our own and ignore the demand made on us by our Lord and our fellow-man for the service of intercessory prayer and hospitality and care.

From Christian Disciplines

Instead when times are tough, Christians ought to be at their best! Open your eyes and you will see opportunities all around you to pray, to open your home, and to open your arms.

Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

It’s time to open your eyes and get active!

9 Quotes from “Grant: Savior Of The Union”

Grant: Savior Of The Union was a very eye-opening biography to read (you can read my full review by clicking here). Here are nine passages that especially caught my attention:

“This I don’t want you to read to others for I very much dislike speaking of myself.” —Grant, in a letter to his father about the accomplishments of his soldiers 

“The first day out the regiment made it five miles. However, the next morning at six o’clock when Grant resumed the March, his men were unprepared to move. He allowed them time to rise and eat breakfast this time, but the following morning when the men were again not ready to march, Grant left without them. It must have been a sight to see half-dressed soldiers running after their commander. The remainder of the trip to Quincy was conducted in relatively good order. Grant boasted to his father that ‘my men behaved admirably and the lesson has been a good one for them. They can now go into camp and after a day’s March and with as much promptness as veteran troops; they can strike their tents and be on the march with equal celerity.”  — Mitchell Yockelson

At one battle some officers advised retreat. Grant replied, “Retreat? No. I propose to attack at daylight and whip them.”

When some in Washington, D.C., wanted to replace Grant with someone more experienced, President Abraham Lincoln said, “I can’t spare this man; he fights.”

A friend observed that at a banquet where toasts and speeches were made to honor Grant, “his face never changed its unmoved expression. It never lit up with excitement. …His silence was a native endowment, nothing studied, nothing acquired. …His greatest enjoyment was manifestly with [his wife and children]. Their presence and happiness made his face beam as nothing else would.” 

When Grant was given the rank of Lt. General—a rank no one had held since George Washington—Grant’s acceptance speech was very gracious:

“I accept the commission with gratitude for the high honor conferred. With the aid of the noble armies that have fought on so many fields for our common country, it will be my earnest endeavor not to disappoint your expectations. I feel the full weight of the responsibilities now devolving on me and know that if they are net it will be due to those armies. And above all to the favor of that Providence which leads both Nations and men.”

After Robert E. Lee signed the surrender agreement for the armies of the South, word spread to the Union forces, and celebration erupted. “Grant ordered the cheering to stop. He did not want the Union army to gloat and in any way insult the defeated Confederates. ‘The war is over,’ Grant told a staff member. ‘The Rebels are our countrymen again.’”

“It will be a thousand years before Grant’s character is fully appreciated. Grant is the greatest soldier of our time if not all time… he fixes in his mind what is the true objective and abandons all minor ones. He dismisses all possibility of defeat. He believes in himself and in victory. If his plans go wrong he is never disconcerted but promptly devises a new one and is sure to win in the end. Grant more nearly impersonated the American character of 1861-65 than any other living man. Therefore he will stand as the typical hero of the great Civil War in America.” —William T. Sherman

“Of all the American generals of the nineteenth century, it seems to me that Ulysses S. Grant better understood the role of the military in democracy than any other.” —John S.D. Eisenhower, historian and son of Dwight D. Eisenhower

5 Quotes On Battle From “The Book Of Man”

I really enjoyed reading The Book Of Man by William J. Bennett (you can read my book review here). The topics were very broad, so I’ll be sharing some of my favorite quotes on the different sections in this book over the next few days.

Here are five quotes about battle…

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” —John Stuart Mill 

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” —Calvin Coolidge

Whom neither shape of danger can dismay, 

Nor thought of tender happiness betray; 

Who, not content that former worth stand fast, 

Looks forward, persevering to the last, 

From well to better, daily self-surpast: 

Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth 

For ever, and to noble deeds give birth, 

Or he must fall, to sleep without his fame, 

And leave a dead unprofitable name— 

Finds comfort in himself and in his cause; 

And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws 

His breath in confidence of Heaven’s applause: 

This is the happy Warrior; this is He 

That every Man in arms should wish to be. —William Wordsworth

“Thus choosing to die resisting, rather than to live submitting, they fled only from dishonor, but met danger face to face, and after one brief moment, while at the summit of their fortune, escaped, not from their fear, but from their glory.” —Pericles

“So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory. The first maketh men invade for gain; the second, for safety; and the third, for reputation. The first use violence, to make themselves masters of other men’s persons, wives, children, and cattle; the second, to defend them; the third, for trifles, as a word, a smile, a different opinion, and any other sign of undervalue, either direct in their persons or by reflection in their kindred, their friends, their nation, their profession, or their name.” —Thomas Hobbes

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