Monday, November 29, 2010

Angel Gabriel Greets Maiden Mary

Mary, a humble maid in Nazareth, is greeted by the Angel Gabriel to become the mother of Israel's long awaited Messiah.

When God Speaks by Bill Hunt (c) 2010.
The day the Angel Gabriel came, he overwhelmed Mary. His angelic presence filled her attention with divine delight. 
(click) Luke 1:28 NKJ  And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one....

She found herself face to face with an incredible spirit. He radiated divine favor, and his kindness seemed very calming. She found his voice mighty, beautiful, gentle, and clear. His words resonated through her whole womanly being.
(click)   Luke 1:30-33 NKJ Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary....

Mary is a virgin before the Lord. His unexpected message perplexed her.
(click) Luke 1:35-37 NKJ And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit....

She could feel this powerful, pure anointing over her. She found his news of Elizabeth reassuring. This helped her to accept the angel's words. She answered him with consent that rings through the Ages.
(click) Luke 1:38 NKJ  Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord!...

The mother, of the promised Messiah! Mary's body, mind, heart, and spirit exploded with unspeakable joy. She thought immediately to travel to see her favored cousin Elizabeth with whom she could share her tremendous experience.

The Christmas story challenges us to find meaning as a matter of faith. By divine attribution, God chooses natural persons to undertake supernatural deeds. Those who reinterpret such accomplishments into fabricated legends diminish and miss the magnificence of the divine purpose.

Mary was a real person, a native Hebrew girl from a small town, Nazareth. Being a devout girl, she likely turned in prayer as she helped her parents through daily tasks around the home.

As a young woman, her parents engaged her to wed Joseph, the village carpenter, a godly, good, and gentle man. The young couple likely exchanged smiles and conversations when he came near. The point is, Joseph and Mary were real people God chose for an unusual mission.

Mary thought of Joseph. What would he think? She knew her trust in God must be her source of strength.
(click)  Luke 1:46-49 NKJ   And Mary said: “ My soul magnifies the Lord....

-- Bill Hunt

Scriptures by

Reflections to prepare Christmas:
1 Are you leading a life, where God could visit you?
2 If God requested something exceptional, how would you answer him?
3 So, what has God actually asked you to do with your life?  

Consider Christmas Books and Top Christmas Films for your inspiration. 



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mayflower Pilgrims Host Thanksgiving

A small band of 53 Mayflower Pilgrims and survivors hosted a tremendous Thanksgiving Feast with 90 Indians.

The First Thanksgiving by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris 1912-15 (PD).
Why Thanksgiving? Why would the Mayflower Pilgrims hold a Thanksgiving Feast that second winter, 1621-22, when 45 of 102 of their number, men, women, and children died tragically during their first winter, 1620-21? Of 18 women, 14 died, leaving four adult women living. In November, 1621, only 53 persons were alive to celebrate that first Thanksgiving.

Never has anyone remarked on this seeming incongruity. Hardly would there seem a cause for such a celebration. However, these Pilgrims were devout people of the Book and looking toward their Bible, we might find a clue. In Deuteronomy, chapter 14, is such an indication.

Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. 23 Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always” (Deut. 14:22-23 NKJ).

And again it says:

At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, 29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands” (Duet. 14:28-29 NKJ).

In seeking God's blessing, the Pilgrims likely made the decision to celebrate the Feast of Thanksgiving and extend the scripture invitation to the aliens, their new neighbors, the Indians. Through the natives, Samoset and Squanto, the great chief Massasoit arranged a peace treaty with them in March which lasted his lifetime. 
So in the Fall of 1621, Massasoit and 90 Indians joined the 53 Pilgrims in that first Thanksgiving, lasting three days. The Pilgrims realized an abundant harvest of cod, bass, and other fish, waterfowl, wild turkeys, meal and corn. The Indians generously brought along five deer from their hunt to provide an ample supply of venison. 
This first bountiful Thanksgiving overshadows even the feast we celebrate today. May yours be such a blessing. Remember the reason....
Bill Hunt © 2010

Barton, David. “Celebrating Thanksgiving in America.”

"Plymouth Colony," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Friday, November 19, 2010

GOD And The Jet Pilot, My Dad

This is the true story of a jet pilot who risked his life to avoid crashing into crowded suburban Washington D.C. with a disabled jet fighter. The pilot was my Dad.

T-33 Jet Fighter, US Air Force Photo.
My Dad, Major Bill Hunt, Jr., US Air Force, always said he flew with God. One of my favorite memories is the night I picked up my Dad at Mitchell Air Force Base on Long Island. As a budding young driver, I was so proud Dad asked me to drive out and pick him up that evening.

When I drove our family light blue and white station wagon through the gate, the Air Police noted my Dad's officer sticker, snapped to, and threw me a salute. I drove up to the fence at the runway right near base operations. The spot lights illuminated the area with all the romance only an airbase can have.

I could see other aircraft parked further out on the ramp. Quietly, I waited in the night lights, sitting in the car waiting for Dad to land. I enjoyed sitting by myself just watching the beauty around me. I've always been fond of aircraft and airports; I was raised at Air Force bases from age one!

Finally, I saw a T-33 land on the runway further out with screaming engine, red and green wing lights and nose wheel headlights glowing. In just a few minutes, the T-33 Fighter nosed right in front of the fence where I parked. The canopy opened and out climbed my Dad down the short step ladder an attendant brought.

Dad took off his white jet helmet with bug-eyed black visor and placed it under his left arm. He was dressed in a gray jet flight suit lined with pressure hoses looking like a space man. He walked my way passing through a gate in the tall, chain link fence. Dad got in the car and drove us home, talking about his flight.

As a career pilot who told me about the group crash of three or four AT-6's who hit a farmer's barbed wire fence on an emergency landing when he was a very young pilot in training. He told me of his war years as a flight instructor for B-17 and B-29 pilots out West. He told me of his favorite flying for many years, the C-47 "Gooney Bird,” all over the Pacific. But flying the T-33 jet proved his favorite new adventure.

God and Dad once flew an incredible emergency in that jet. He took off from Andrews AFB and climbed high into the sky over suburban Washington D.C. Suddenly, his jet engine flamed out. He tried igniting it to no avail. He flew spins and cartwheels in an attempt to shake loose gas vapors or whatever was hindering his engine's fuel flow.

"I was all over that sky!" said Dad 
later, “And I was praying.”

The real problem, he planned a cross-country flight, so he carried his extra big wing tip fuel tanks on the T-33, fueled to the brim. A jet should not land with such a load, because the tip tanks can touch the runway on landing, spark, and explode!

Proper procedure was to drop the bomb-like tip tanks or to bail out, letting the craft crash. But Dad flew over the heavily populated Washington DC area, house upon house. His crashing jet would take out a mile of homes or his tip tanks could fire-explode a neighborhood, and people would be killed. My Dad decided to do the impossible. But that's just what God specializes in!

"Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!" he called.

"I'm in flame out with cross-country, fuel-loaded tip tanks and I'm coming in."

He told the flight ground controller his situation. The airbase flight controllers hit the siren buttons summoning the crash crews and fire trucks.

Somehow, the emergency crash trucks 
never got the message.

In just minutes, Dad eased the rapid falling jet out of the sky and gently down to the runway. No engine. He took the one chance to land: “very, very gently.”

As he landed, he glanced out at his potentially, exploding tip tanks. They were live bombs. So heavy, they bounced along only about an inch or two from the concrete as he hugged the runway with his jet. He took a long roll landing with no reverse engine to break the speed. He jammed the foot pedal brakes to the floor just as he ran out of pavement, turning the jet slightly to the right.

The control tower radioed him to jump out!

Dad blew the canopy off his jet, climbed out, jumped, and ran. At any moment, the slightest remaining heat or spark could blow the tip tanks. Dad accomplished the impossible and brought the jet fighter home safely.

I once asked my Dad on the phone--ailing in the Veterans Home in Phoenix--if he remembers flying the T-33.

"Yes, of course." he said.

"I love you, Dad."

"Here's right back to you," replied Dad. "Bless you."

"Old soldiers never die; they just fade away," 
my Dad always said.
I know that includes old pilots, as well.

As for the blessing, the greatest thing my Dad ever taught me was to worship God. As a pilot, he was real close to God.

A true story by Bill Hunt © 2010    

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mayflower Voyage of Pilgrim Settlers

This Thanksgiving Holiday, let us remember the Mayflower Pilgrims paid a great sacrifice from severe suffering to death to ensure religious freedom and found the new colony. They endured outward trials with strong inner faith.

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall, 1882 (PD).
  The Mayflower Pilgrims suffered a dangerous journey to evade severe persecution. As we consider this holiday Thanksgiving Feast, there is so much we can emulate from their story. King James I declared them undesirables. Archbishop Tobias Matthew raided their homes and imprisoned their families. Their leader, William Brewster, fled into hiding.

Betrayal. The Pilgrims were beset with disappointments and false starts before finally setting sail. They intended to leave England in early 1620 with their sister ship the Speedwell. However, after much complication, they attempted a first journey on August 15 but were forced to turn back. It was later surmised, the master of the Speedwell actually sabotaged his ship with a leak to avoid making the journey. Eventually, the dauntless Mayflower departed on its own September 6, 1620.

On board were 102 settlers: 27 adults were Pilgrims, 43 were not. The remaining passengers were called “strangers,” pioneers and servants with not such a religious interest in founding the new colony. The ship worked a crew of 25 or 30, including William Bradford and John Alden. Alden hired on as a barrel-maker at South Hampton. Eventually, he chose to throw in his lot with the Pilgrims.

Heaving and rolling in the waves, the little ship on its westerly voyage logged sixty-six days resisting strong Atlantic storms and turbulent seas. It's return journey months later lasted only half that time.

The miracle realized day by day 
was the ship remained afloat!

Man overboard!” The waves washed John Howland overboard. By God's blessing, he managed to grab a topsail halyard dragging in the water. The line saved his life and the crew pulled him aboard.

Land ahoy!” The crew sighted the new world on November 9th off Cape Cod. An attempt to sail on south to their intended destination, the mouth of the Hudson River, failed at the shallows off Pollack Rip in shoals approaching Nantucket Island. With cold winter coming on strong, the adventurers agreed to return to the safety of Cape Cod.

Unsure of the legal rights to settle, they wrote and ratified the Mayflower Compact in the waters of Provincetown Harbor. This further gave them the right to govern themselves officially as an English town.

Cold and hunger forced the explorers to steal corn from nearby Indian caches to survive. While the men undertook these exploits, Susanna White gave birth to her son, Peregrine White, on board the ship in November. The stealing of Indian corn, however, caused the first hostile encounter in December with local Indians near Eastham.

Fearing further hostilities, the settlers decided to sail into Plymouth Harbor on December 17th. After a few stormy days, the first landing party set foot ashore near the legendary Plymouth Rock, December 21st, 1620, and prayed for God's blessings.

The continued wintry weather severely slowed plans to build shelters. Sickness and death weakened the settlers: men, women, and children. Many of them did not depart the ship for some six months. Slowly, only seven residences and four common houses were initially constructed during that first winter.

The settlers suffered from a mixture of scurvy, pneumonia, and tuberculosis, compounded by winter cold and the crowded conditions waiting on board the ship. Sadly, 45 of 102 settlers died during the first critical winter. Half the crew died as well. One baby was still-born during the construction. Of 18 women, 14 died, leaving only four living adult women. As a result, by the following November, 1621, only 53 survivors celebrated that first Thanksgiving.

On March 21, the remaining families 
left the waiting ship. 

On April 5, 1621, the crew of the Mayflower, itself, departed the colony having spent a four month anchorage in Plymouth Harbor. The ship returned to England.

These early Pilgrims paid a great sacrifice from severe suffering to death to ensure their religious freedom and found the new colony. They endured outward trials with strong inner faith. The Pilgrims persevered to overcome persecution and hardship and give this nation a new birth of freedom.

This Thanksgiving, will we dare to remember, cherish and preserve this heritage of freedom?

Bill Hunt

Resources: Read “Mayflower” and “Plymouth Colony” at

Getting ready for your first turkey or dissatisfied with the dry results you got last year? Not to worry--"Mr. Thanksgiving," Rick Rodgers, is here to teach Thanksgiving 101. And he ought to know. For the last eight years he has been traveling the country to teach his class as the media spokesperson for Perdue Farms, an industrial giant among turkey producers.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Early Puritan Pastor Shared Loving Care

This Thanksgiving, we celebrate the heritage our early forefathers extended to us by their spiritual faith and personal sacrifice in enduring hardships to found a new nation.

"Pilgrims Going to Church" by George Henry Boughton (1867 PD).
  Rev. William Witherell was a pastor so renowned in those early days of the Plymouth Colony, his church roll reflects some 608 baptisms. People came from far areas around through the wilderness to take advantage of his known ministry. He served as pastor for 39 years from Sept. 2, 1645, till his death, Apr.9, 1685, at the the Second Church of Scituate, Mass., now some 350 years, First Parish of Norwell.

He is a worthy ancestor on my mother's side, Grace Ella Witherell.

William was born in 1600 and his mother is purported to be the daughter of John Rogers, the Smithfield martyr. William married Mary Fisher, Mar. 26, 1627, in Canterbury, Kent, England. William and Mary arrived in the Plymouth Bay Colony on board the ship Hercules in 1634, just 13 years after the first autumn Thanksgiving in Plymouth. He was placed on the ministerial rolls by Cotton Mather.

Initially, he taught grammar school in Charleston, 1635, in Cambridge, 1637, and in Duxbury, 1638. When William was called to be the pastor in Scituate, the congregation in Duxbury regretted to lose him. William and Mary had nine children, Samuel, Daniel, Thomas, Mary, Elizabeth, Theophilus, John, Sarah, and Hannah, who rose to fame in their own rights.

The story is reported in the church archives that a young man, John Bryant, had a tendency to arrive late to Sunday service. So at an appropriate time following prayer in the service, the Rev. Witherell turned to address him.

Neighbor Bryant, it is to your reproach that you have disturbed the worship by entering late, living as you do within a mile of this place. Especially since here is Goody Barstow who has milked seven cows, made a cheese and walked five miles to the house of God in good season” (Fewkes, R.M.).

John Bryant was not too put off by the rebuke. He married Pastor Witherell's daughter, Elizabeth, in 1657.

Noteworthy is this man's Christian service in the very foundational days of our nation, still an example to us 350 years later. The Pilgrim fathers were real people. Under great hardship, they and their Indian friends initially celebrated freedom with that first Blessed Thanksgiving to God.

Prepare a Blessed Thanksgiving!
Rev. William Hunt
Witherell Descendant

Fewkes, R.M., “Church History: Lessons From 350 Years of History.” About Us, Feb. 2, 1992. (accessed 10-28-2009).

“Witherell Family Genealogy” (accessed 11-06-2009).

God is the treasure of our lives. He is part of everything we do, think, act, and say-literally, he is a part of us. This precious heirloom of Christ himself must be passed on to future generations. But how?
Treasuring God in Our Traditions presents the importance of passing along Christ-centered traditions and a Bible-saturated legacy in Christ to future generations. Noël Piper helps her readers recognize how the "everyday" routines of life and the "especially" celebrations of holidays and dates can be practically passed down to future generations. When parents and grandparents seek to pass along the treasure of God to their children and grandchildren, they will develop and deepen their love for him.
When family traditions are rooted in the Bible, the next generations will see that the greatest treasure that anyone can have is the treasure of God.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Miracle of the Black Oil Truck, one icy Sunday

A Christian miracle story with a question: Would you believe a heating oil delivery would be made in the depths of winter snow on a Sunday, when all oil companies were closed, and no one could be called for help?

Frosty, white, and frozen:  photo by Bill Hunt.

   Sudden winter weather returned in April with below freezing temperatures. Fresh snow fell in heavy silent white flakes covering everything. The windows frosted thick with “finger painted” crystallized ice designs.

Mary and I unexpectedly found ourselves in deep winter in her home, Lowville, in rural Upstate New York. Newly arrived, we rented an old Victorian house for our four little children under five, including our tiny baby. We lived very simply on very little money. God took care of us as we eagerly waited to hear his next directions to ministry.

Early that Sunday morning before church, I checked our furnace oil tank gauge. My heart jumped. The needle sat on zero. We were about to run out of heat in the house at any moment. Outdoors, everything appeared frosty, white, and frozen. 
My wife, Mary, with serious eyes, reminded me
the oil companies were closed on Sundays.

In the battle between good and evil, we can find ourselves tempted in hard places, difficult situations, which could ultimately reveal the hidden purposes of God.

Being new in town, I phoned repeatedly every oil company in the county, hoping to find a responding emergency number, but no answer came. Not even the telephone operator could make a suggestion. Not a single area oil company could be contacted.

Secretly, so Mary wouldn't see my fear, I stopped and prayed for God's help at the icy window panes at the side dining room window. The thought of my wife and four children, with the baby, sitting in a cold freezing house severely gripped my heart. I breathed scared.

Father, help us....”

Less than one hour after my trembling prayer, a black oil tank truck with no external markings drove up the plowed road and parked adjacent to that dining room window!

In amazement, I quickly scratched a peek-hole in the icy frost with my fingernails and watched. An elderly driver dressed in worn workman's overhauls and a tattered, charcoal coat with a plaid lining got out, dragged his black truck hose to our pipe, and refueled the house tank. I couldn't believe my eyes.

Was he an angel? Where did that oil truck come from? There were no markings.
How did he know we were out of oil? Who told him? On a Sunday!

When he finished, the driver got back into his truck, closed the door, and drove away.
He left before I could get my own coat on and rush out the front door to question him.
He left no tank invoice statement, anywhere!

We never received a bill for that delivery. We never knew how the strange oil delivery came to pass.

Bill Hunt
Q. Have you ever received an unexplained miracle? Tell us in the Comment Box....

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Pentecost Only by Power of Holy Spirit

Christian witness miracle story: true Baptism of the Holy Spirit and tongues are given only by the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Like Life, Doves in a Storm, photo by Bill Hunt (c) 2010.

A blinding, bright spinning ball of fire came at me like shot from a heavenly cannon, making a loud sound of swishing mighty wind.  Spinning off from it were thousands of tongues of fire in every direction.

The spiritual fiery cannon ball came right through my body without impact and exploded in joy and power all through my whole being.  “Joy unspeakable and full of Glory!” 

How did God set me up for this?

From my sleep, very early in the morning, he called my name twice.  I rose from my bed, leaving my sleeping wife, and walked out to the living room.  I laid prostrate on the rug in the quiet and prayed.

The next morning, he called again.  I arose, went out to the living room, laid prostrate on the rug in the stillness, and prayed.

On the third morning, the call resonated most clear.  As I laid on the rug and worshiped, the grace of God led me to completely surrender and give all things to him.  I gave my heart, mind, soul, and body.  I gave everything I possessed and everything I am, past, present, and future, holding nothing back.

Then it happened!

Those who strive to receive the Spirit of God and Tongues by analytic pamphlets or man's teaching, I believe, are deceived.  These methods are a decoy, child's play.  “Let's pretend.”

The true Baptism and Tongues are given by the Holy Spirit alone.  This is not man's relation with man, or even man's relation with himself, but man's relation with God.

So, bow on your face in worship and surrender to the Living God. The results are totally his. This is not your “take,” but his free “gift” you seek, the Gift of Himself.  There is no other way.

Bill Hunt © 2010

NOTE:  Please let us know your thoughts in the comment box.  Have you received the empowering gift of Pentecost by power of the Holy Spirit?

Entering the Presence of God by Derek Prince
"The harder I try to be good, the worse off I am!" If that sounds like you, there's good news. Internationally acclaimed Bible teacher Derek Prince shows the way to victorious intimacy with God as he explains how you can enter into the very presence of God to receive the spiritual, physical, and emotional blessings of true worship. Learn the secrets of entering into the Lord's rest, fellowshipping with the Father, receiving revelation from God's Spirit, and conducting spiritual warfare. Discover how to be freed from the bondage of guilt and sin and obtain an inner peace and joy that nothing else can duplicate. Don't miss out on the thrill of worship... God's way!