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In his book, Homesick for God, Joel Gregory described a horrible pit from which Tony Chain was rescued.

Tony and J. R. Hounchell went hunting the first day of duck season in 1981. They were in an area called Duck Flats, northeast of Anchorage, Alaska. Hours before, 10 feet of tidal water had covered the gully where they anchored their boat. As they made their way through the thick mud, Tony's left wader stuck fast. He struggled to free himself, but both feet became stuck. Every effort to free himself only caused him to sink deeper.

Tony's frantic call, "J. R., help me," startled his companion. Both men knew about Alaska's glacial silt-like quicksand. This quicksand, formed by grains as fine as talcum powder, looks like dark gray mud; but it is deadly. J. R. tried to pull Tony out with his belt, but J. R. felt the surface become spongy beneath him. If he got caught, both of them would drown. J. R. pulled loose and ran for help, knowing that time was against him. Alaskan tides are among the fastest and most dangerous in the world.

J. R. reached Elmendorf Air Force Base where a rescue team scrambled to help Tony. Numerous rescuers tried to help, but they, too, began to sink. Next, the rescuers passed a strap attached to a helicopter beneath Tony's arms. As the helicopter tried to hoist him up, the pain was so severe they had to stop for awhile. By 1:45 p.m. the mud was up to Tony's armpits. The tide could come in any minute. Finally, as the helicopter began to pull again, Tony felt a slight movement upward. Little by little, the waders slipped off his body and disappeared into the mud. He was pulled free just in the nick of time.

Just like quicksand, sin can have disastrous results. We find that sin is contagious, scandalous, repulsive and complete. Romans 3:23 tells us that "The wages of sin is still death."

(From a sermon by Terry Blankenship, A Redeeming Ministry, 2/8/2011)

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