Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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Sunday Morning, March 27
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Hillcrest Baptist Church

It's What You Do Right Now That Makes the Difference
by Tom Goodman
March 23, 2011

"I can't go back out there."

Have you ever wanted to say that?  We all hit tough moments where we say, "I've had enough."  Maybe you're at that point in your job, in your marriage, in your parenting.

On October 3, 1993, it was a battle-weary Army Ranger who said it.  As recounted in the book and the film, Black Hawk Down, 123 elite soldiers were dropped by helicopter deep into the capital city of Mogadishu to capture two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord.  This led to a large and drawn-out firefight between the U.S. forces and hundreds of Somali gunmen in which two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters were shot down.  A military operation meant to last an hour turned into a 22-hour rescue.

To mount the rescue, however, would require returning through the same hail of bullets they had just escaped.  And Jeff Struecker, then a sergeant and one of the humvee drivers, knew that he had to rally the men for the task at hand.

"I can't go back out there," one of the men told him.  "Everyone feels the same way you do," he replied.  "But it's what you do right now that makes the difference.  It's your call."

As the convoy pulled away, the reluctant Ranger gathered himself, hopped aboard, and rejoined the fight.

From time to time we've all needed someone to remind us to shake off our fears and engage again with some responsibility.  Jeff Struecker will issue that challenge to us at Hillcrest this Sunday, March 27.  Since the Somalia operation, this decorated combat veteran went on to army chaplaincy and retired as a major.  He his now an associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Columbus, Georgia.

Struecker will speak at a men-and-boys breakfast at 8:30am in our gym, and then at the 10:00am service.  The breakfast costs $3, and you can purchase tickets by clicking here.  You can learn more about the event at our website.  Complete information on Jeff Struecker can be found by clicking here.

What a perfect opportunity to invite someone to join you at Hillcrest!  Why not click the "forward" button on your email program and forward this edition of Winning Ways to a friend along with your personal invitation?

Here's a clip from the Oscar-winning 2001 film, Black Hawk Down, featuring Struecker's challenge to a reluctant soldier....


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