Today’s Illustration: “But they had everything!”

hemingway newspaper

Proof: Fame & Fortune CANNOT Satisfy


On This Day: Sunday, July 2, 1961 — Ernest Hemingway Dead

Born: July 21, 1899

Father: Clarence Edmonds Hemingway – a physician

Mother Grace Hall Hemingway – a musician.

Raised Oak Park, Illinois

Worked for the Kansas City Star for a short time (approximately 6 months) before joining the army during WWI

He was an ambulance driver with the Red Cross on the Italian Front and was seriously wounded.  He received the Italian Medal of Bravery.

“When you go to war as a boy you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed; not you … Then when you are badly wounded the first time you lose that illusion and you know it can happen to you.”

Wrote:  Some of his most well-known writings

“Big Two-Hearted River” –  short story 1925

“The Son Also Rises” – 1926

“Farwell To Arms” – 1929 — which is set in Italy during WWI

“Death in the Afternoon” – 1932

“The Snows of Kilimanjaro” – 1936

“Green Hills of Africa” – 1935

“For Whom the Bell Tolls” – 1940

“Death In The Afternoon” –

“The Old Man and the Sea” – 1952

Awarded the Bronze Star for bravery – 1947 —

“under fire in combat areas in order to obtain an accurate picture of conditions . . . . through his talent of expression, Mr. Hemingway enabled readers to obtain a vivid picture of the difficulties and triumphs of the front-line soldier and his organization in combat.”

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction  – 1953

Nobel Prize in Literature – 1954

A journalist during the Spanish American War

A correspondent during WWII —  He was present at the Normandy landing and the liberation of Paris.

Married four times:

First wife: Hadley Richardson – September 1921 –  January 1927

Second wife: Pauline Pfeiffer  – May 1927 – 1940

Third Wife: Martha Gellhorn: 1940 – 1945

Fourth Wife: Mary Welsh: 1946 – 1961


First Son John (Hadley) Nicanor Hemingway – October 10, 1923 – 2000

Second son Patrick Hemingway – 1928

Third Son: Gregory Hancock Hemingway – 1931 – 2001

Ernest Hemingway’s Father commits suicide 1928 — Ernest Hemingway said ” “I’ll probably go the same way.”  Note: Hadley’s father committed suicide 1903

Seriously injured in two plane crases in 1952

Resided in Key West in the 1930’s

Resided in Cuba in the 1940’s and 50’s

Resided in Ketchum, Idaho from 1959 to his death

Died: July 2, 1961

Cause of Death: Suicide

Dr. Clarence Edmonds Hemingway – Father

Ursula – sibling – 1966

Leicester – sibiling – 1982

Gregory – Ernest Hemingway’s son – age 69 – 2001 – married four times

Margaux – grandaughter — age 42 — 1996 overdose — She wrote: “Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the Legacy of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Suicide in My Family.”

The Story of “The Old Man & The Sea” —

All your life you go after that big fish — failure after failure.  Then one day you catch it and it is beyond your wildest expectations.  You have to lash it to the side of your boat, and then the sharks start attacking.  You arrive on shore with nothing but a skelton left.

“Life featured an excerpt of The Old Man and the Sea in its September 1952 issue. The five million copies of the magazine sold out in two days.”

Quotations by Hemingway:

“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”  — Farwell to Arms

“I drink to make other people more interesting.”
“All thinking men are atheists.”
“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”
“The first and final thing you have to do in this world is to last it and not be smashed by it.”
“The real reason for not committing suicide is because you always know how swell life gets again after the hell is over.”


Key Illustrative Thoughts:

• This world can never satisfy.
• Confused: They had it all
• Lostness
• Is that all there is
• Great Success, Yet Failure
• Exiting this world
• There is Hope!
• You can live forever
• Happiness: It’s just around the corner.

Example Introduction / Conclusion / Point:

How often have you heard it said, “I can’t understand that.  They had everything!”

Those words lay out the deception of it all — even to us as God’s people.  It is not just the world who says, “I can’t understand that.  He had everything!”

God’s people say — and at least think — the same thoughts.  How can you . . . .

  • have accomplished so much
  • be recognized by the world in which you work
  • attain so much in this world’s estimation
  • find yourself financially free from the constraints of life

and then decide that life is not worth living.

For some in this world — their life is so hard and difficult — that most would say that they understand “why.”  But not people like . . . .

Anthony Bourdain
Brad Delp
Freddie Prinze
George Reeves – Superman
Joseph M. McCormick
Junior Seau
Kurt Cobain
Robin Williams
Kate Spade
. . . . and the list goes on!

The Bible says it is not difficult to understand why!  This world was never meant to satisfy.  If it could, then you would not need Jesus!


Other Information & Links:

Old Man & the Sea Summary:

“The Old Man and the Sea tells the story of a battle between an aging, experienced fisherman, Santiago, and a large marlin. The story opens with Santiago having gone 84 days without catching a fish, and now being seen as “salao“, the worst form of unluckiness. He is so unlucky that his young apprentice, Manolin, has been forbidden by his parents to sail with him and has been told instead to fish with successful fishermen. The boy visits Santiago’s shack each night, hauling his fishing gear, preparing food, talking about American baseball and his favorite player, Joe DiMaggio. Santiago tells Manolin that on the next day, he will venture far out into the Gulf Stream, north of Cuba in the Straits of Florida to fish, confident that his unlucky streak is near its end.

On the eighty-fifth day of his unlucky streak, Santiago takes his skiff into the Gulf Stream, sets his lines and, by noon, has his bait taken by a big fish that he is sure is a marlin. Unable to haul in the great marlin, Santiago is instead pulled by the marlin, and two days and nights pass with Santiago holding onto the line. Though wounded by the struggle and in pain, Santiago expresses a compassionate appreciation for his adversary, often referring to him as a brother. He also determines that, because of the fish’s great dignity, no one shall deserve to eat the marlin.

On the third day, the fish begins to circle the skiff. Santiago, worn out and almost delirious, uses all his remaining strength to pull the fish onto its side and stab the marlin with a harpoon. Santiago straps the marlin to the side of his skiff and heads home, thinking about the high price the fish will bring him at the market and how many people he will feed.

On his way in to shore, sharks are attracted to the marlin’s blood. Santiago kills a great mako shark with his harpoon, but he loses the weapon. He makes a new harpoon by strapping his knife to the end of an oar to help ward off the next line of sharks; five sharks are slain and many others are driven away. But the sharks keep coming, and by nightfall the sharks have almost devoured the marlin’s entire carcass, leaving a skeleton consisting mostly of its backbone, its tail and its head. Santiago knows that he is defeated and tells the sharks of how they have killed his dreams. Upon reaching the shore before dawn on the next day, Santiago struggles to his shack, carrying the heavy mast on his shoulder, leaving the fish head and the bones on the shore. Once home, he slumps onto his bed and falls into a deep sleep.

A group of fishermen gather the next day around the boat where the fish’s skeleton is still attached. One of the fishermen measures it to be 18 feet (5.5 m) from nose to tail. Pedrico is given the head of the fish, and the other fishermen tell Manolin to tell the old man how sorry they are. Tourists at the nearby café mistakenly take it for a shark. The boy, worried about the old man, cries upon finding him safe asleep and at his injured hands. Manolin brings him newspapers and coffee. When the old man wakes, they promise to fish together once again. Upon his return to sleep, Santiago dreams of his youth—of lions on an African beach.” —


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