Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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“What Are Friends For?”
Hillcrest Church Office
September 10, 2003

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Here is this week’s WINNING WAYS . . . .

“What Are Friends For?”
by Tom Goodman

These quips fall in the “With Friends Like These Who Needs Enemies” Category:

When George Bernard Shaw’s invited Winston Churchill to the opening of his new play, he telegrammed:  AM RESERVING TWO TICKETS FOR YOU FOR MY PREMIERE.  COME AND BRING A FRIEND — IF YOU HAVE ONE.
F. Scott Fitzgerald reportedly said of his friend, Ernest Hemingway, “Ernest would always give a helping hand to a man on a ledge a little higher up.”
Gore Vidal admitted, “Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.”
I read about a very different kind of friendship between two men named Jim and Phillip, longtime friends who joined the Marines during World War II and even ended up fighting in the same unit.

During a fierce battle, the unit was given the command to retreat.  After the men retreated to safe ground, Jim noticed that Phillip had not returned with the others.  Jim begged his commanding officer to let him go after his friend, but the officer refused to let him run back into the gunfire.
Jim disobeyed and went after Phillip, disappearing into the drifting smoke of the battlefield.  A short time later, his platoon saw him hobbling across the field carrying a limp body in his arms.
Jim's commanding officer upbraided him, shouting that it was a foolish waste of time and an outrageous risk.  “Your friend is dead,” he added, “and there was nothing you could do.”
“No sir, you're wrong,” Jim replied.  “I got there just in time.  Before he died, his last words were ‘I knew you would come.’”
If you have a friend like that, forward this newsletter to him or her with a word of thanks.  And this Sunday, come and learn how to build the kind of deep friendships we were meant to have.  We continue our series called “On-Purpose Living” with a message called “On-Purpose Friendships: What Are Friends For.”  We’ll look at the friendship Jesus built with his first disciples as a model for the friendships we can have with others.

See you at 8:30 or 10:45!

– Tom
P.S.  Oh, and one more thing about friendship.  Thank you for your friendship with my family and me!  The “Texas-style Welcome” you threw for us Sunday evening was wonderful and your gift was overwhelming.  Diane, Michael, Stephen and I are glad to be serving with you!

COMING THIS SUNDAY . . . .  THINKING ABOUT JOINING?  Come to our “Discover Hillcrest” class this Sunday, September 14, 4-6 p.m.  The two-hour workshop will cover topics such as:

The most important thing you need to know about Jesus
What we teach about baptism
The four most important words at Hillcrest, which can be remembered using the acrostic “H.I.L.L.”
How to “connect” with others in the church
How to help us reach others for Christ and church involvement
How to worship
Opportunities for spiritual growth
Youth and adults will meet with Pastor Tom.  Children interested in baptism and membership will meet with our Children’s Minister, B.J. Linam.

A NEW SUNDAY EVENING PROGRAM began last Sunday.  Join us this week from 6:30 to 7:30 for student-led worship.  Pastor Tom has begun a new series of evening messages called “Like He Cares” with topics chosen by the students themselves.

Note:  The story of Philip and Jim was told by Earl C. Willer in Leadership Journal, Spring 2000, page 77



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