Tag Archive | Hiroshima

A Tiny Fire.

America has long been a nuclear superpower on the world stage. Since the days of the Manhattan Project to our current time, the United States has possessed the capability for destruction on a scale incomprehensible to most people. And while such power becomes a deterrent to those who would do us harm, it also comes with great responsibility and peril to those who wield it.

For example…

titan-iiOn September 18, 1980, at approximately 6:00p.m., an Air Force PTS team (Propellant Transfer System) entered the Titan II Missile Complex 374-7 in Damascus, Arkansas. Their purpose for being there was to replace a small part on the missile. At about 6:25p.m., a two man team went into the missile silo to work on the missile.

Now, the Titan II missile was no small thing. As the name would indicate, the Titan II was enormous. In the documentary Command and Control (American Experience, PBS), Missile Combat Crew member Allan Childers described the sight…

“You couldn’t see the warhead from the bottom ’cause you were 8 stories down, and the cone of the warhead disappeared off in the distance.”

titan_ii_launchThe Titan II intercontinental ballistic missile stood approximately 7 stories high, weighed around 330,000 pounds (165 tons), and carried the most powerful and destructive weapon in the history of warfare in the United States (possibly the world); a nine-megaton thermonuclear warhead that had three-times the destructive capability of every bomb dropped by every army during World War II combined, including the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. This was a weapon with the capability to wipe out — not just a city — but a civilization.

As the crew began to work on the missile, the unthinkable happened. The socket they were using to remove the pressure cap disconnected from the wrench, and fell about 80 feet to the bottom of the missile silo. The eight-pound socket ricocheted off a thrust mount and struck the side of the missile, rupturing the fuel tank.

Over the next several hours, dozens of people across the military and defense department spectrum worked frantically to come up with a solution to keep the situation from turning into a nuclear disaster. During that time, over 14,000 gallons of rocket fuel continued to leak from the rocket into the silo.

In the early morning hours of September 19, tragedy struck.

nuke-4-b

While crews on site continued their work, the fuel ignited, and the missile complex exploded in a ball of fire seen for miles. About 21 personnel were seriously injured in the blast, and one PTS crew member, Senior Airman David Livingston, lost his life. Miraculously, the nuclear warhead itself did not detonate, and the destruction was confined to the immediate area of the missile silo and complex. The nuclear warhead was later located — still intact — in a nearby ditch, having been blown clear of the silo by the massive force of the explosion.

damascus-ar-2Now think about it. This catastrophe was caused because a small, eight-pound socket — something a minuscule fraction of the size of the missile — was accidentally dropped. And all it took then was for the tiniest spark to ignite the leaked fuel for the entire facility to turn into a deadly inferno.

This tragedy reminds me of the words of James…

   Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.

See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. ~ James 3:3-6

woman in depressionA tiny bit controls a thousand-pound horse. A tiny rudder steers a massive ship on the wild sea. Thousands of acres of forest can be set ablaze by an unattended campfire or a carelessly discarded cigarette butt.

In the same respect, the tongue is among the tiniest members of the body, but has the potential of an emotional “nuke”. Wars have been started because of words. Lives have been destroyed because of the power of the tongue. Marriages and friendships have been laid waste in the wake of destructive words.

James goes on to say…

With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh. ~ James 3:9-12

King Solomon put it this way…

The mouth of the righteous is a well of life,
But violence covers the mouth of the wicked. ~ Proverbs 10:11

GirlsWhether it is how you whisper to a child, speak to a friend, orate to a large gathering, or proclaim from the mountaintop through media… words have meaning. Words have consequences. Words can be a fountain of life, or a weapon of destruction. Words are more than just mindless blathering… they are the reflection of the deepest recesses of the heart. Jesus drove this point home when He said…

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. ~ Luke 6:45

nuke-1Maybe your words have already harmed another. Maybe, because of something you said, the elements are already in motion, counting down to an inevitable explosion. It’s not too late! Just as words of anger, jealousy, and malice can set the potential disaster into motion, words of forgiveness, healing, and contrition can avert that same disaster. It just takes the putting down of pride and the willingness to be the “bigger” person; to be righteous instead of “right”. It just takes putting on the mind of Christ, and being an agent of peace and unity instead of chaos.

Don’t wait until the little “dropped sockets” of life allow circumstances to build to critical mass. Let your words be a well of Life for someone else today.

 

A Clear and Present Danger

As I have observed, there are many fear-generating circumstances in our world. North Korea continues to arm itself as the world quietly looks away. The Middle East is a boiling cauldron of war, terror, and hate that is now spilling over to places like Africa, Europe, and our own shores. Christians, in particular, are being slaughtered en-masse throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Our economy continues to slide and struggle due to bad decisions made by power brokers who are more interested in special interests than the interests of the people they were sent to Washington to serve. Our government seems to play catch-up rather than give the expected leadership to our troubled world.

And exactly where are our leaders during these crises? They are at the UN harassing business leaders about the dangers of carbon and climate change.

Their “non-crisis” (the earth has been cooling for the last 18 years) has brought together our President, John Kerry, and every kook in the world to bemoan this non-danger. The earth has been through many crises and, without exception, they were catastrophic natural events — not controlled or contributed to by man:

Mt St HelensVolcanoes – A single volcano, Mount St. Helens put out more pollution in one day than all the smoke-stacks in America since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (1760-1850). With a force that was estimated to be 500 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II, the volcano erupted for 9 hours, had an initial blast that was heard 700 miles away, and killed everything for 230 square miles, including approximately 11 million animals and 4 billion feet of timber. 57 human lives were lost.
In 1883, the volcano at Krakatoa (Indonesia) erupted with 13,000 times the strength of the atomic bomb. Furthermore, when the volcano at Thera (Greece) erupted 3,500 years ago (nearly 3,300 years before the beginning of the Industrial Revolution), it is estimated to have been four to five times stronger than Krakatoa.

Earthquakes – Along with related natural events such as tsunamis, earthquakes are unpredictable, strike without warning, and leave mass devastation and casualties in their wake. The 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake generated a tsunami that struck the coasts of 14 countries, including Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Over 230,000 people lost their lives.

Storms – Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Andrew are just a few of the hurricanes that have devastated areas of the United States. The Halloween Nor’easter of 1991, nicknamed The Perfect Storm, cost over $200 million in damages and killed 13 people. In comparison, Hurricane Katrina, considered the costliest hurricane in U.S. history, killed in excess of 1,800 people, and cost an estimated $108 billion in damages.

Asteroids – We hear more and more of asteroids passing close to Earth. In fact, a number of asteroids have hit the Earth in the past, causing major devastation. One instance in 1490 saw 10,000 people killed in the Chinese town of Ch’ing-yang when an asteroid broke apart overhead.

One has but to read the pages of Scripture to understand that God Almighty controls the times, seasons, weather, winds, oceans, and celestial bodies. While we are to be good stewards of the earth He has given us, we have no more control over the climate, weather, or natural catastrophes than we have over the earth spinning around the sun, and it is sheer arrogance to think we do. Climate change is the least of our world’s “man-made” issues.

ISIS flagWhat should be of grave concern to the people of the world is the growing threat of Islamic groups such as ISIS. As this plague moves across the Middle East, killing at will all who stand in their path, we have leadership that refuses to identify the root problem: Islamic ideology. When a known Islamic Army officer screams “Allahu Akbar!” while shooting and killing unarmed army personnel, our leaders call it “workplace violence.” When an Islamic worker posts a quote from the Quran on his Facebook page, stating, “I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers; smite ye about their necks“, then proceeds to behead a co-worker in Oklahoma, our leaders call it “workplace violence”.

However, when an unstable young man kills students at Sandy Hook Elementary, the commission investigating it calls for a crackdown on HOMESCHOOLERS???

Just since 2001, tens of thousands of people around the world (many of whom are Christians) have been killed in the name of Islam. Yet, our government is going to crack down on homeschoolers because one former homeschool student kills 27 people?

Folks… I’ve said it before: It’s time to WAKE UP! In ISIS, we face a growing threat to the whole world. Should Iraq and Syria fall, an already unstable region will spin out of control. Do you understand that, should Pakistan fall to ISIS, these terrorists will have nuclear weapons at their disposal?

Isn’t it time for our leaders to get out in front of this, and stop ignoring a “clear and present danger” simply because it does not fit into their talking points, their political correctness, or their social calendar?

But even more important: Isn’t it time for we, the Church, to stand up, speak up, and pray up?

Personally, I think it is.

Lady Liberty