Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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“Solitary Refinement”
Hillcrest Church Office
October 8, 2003

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

“Solitary Refinement”
by Tom Goodman

Is marriage the key to a happy and fulfilled life?  Are you incomplete without a wedding band?  Is life ‘on hold’ untiI you tie the knot?

In his book Who Says Get Married? Don Meredith observes:

The American culture tolerates a single person’s plight in life as normal until the mid-twenties.  Then the culture calls for marriage.  There are only, small signs of rejection at first, but around age thirty, all the plugs of the culture are pulled.  It shouts, “You're different!  What's wrong with you?”  Rejection’s mouthpiece is normally parents, or churches or friends—especially married friends. . . .  From the late twenties on, people who do not marry or who come from broken marriages enter, at best, a defensive period in life.  The least demand that is placed on the most successful single is a constant explanation . . . as to why they botched society's norm and have not married.
The question of marriage being the source of happiness, then, is an important one, and unfortunately many people—Christians included—think that marriage is that source.  That is a shame, because it causes singles to doubt their worth and miss out on the adventure that God intends life to be.  Don’t get me wrong:  marriage God's way is filled with unique blessings and priceless experiences.  Some of life's richest moments spring out of the soil of two people committed to each other for life.  But we should not see marriage as the key that unlocks the door to fulfillment and purpose.  The key to that door is available to everyone.

If marriage is not the key to happiness, what is?  That’s the question we’re going to look at this Sunday, October 15, in a message called “The On-Purpose Single: Solitary Refinement.”  We’re going to look at the changed life of a single adult businesswoman named Lydia from Acts 16.

See you at 8:15 or 10:45!

IF YOU ATTEND THE FIRST SERVICE, THANK YOU FOR REMEMBERING OUR TIME CHANGE!  The early service now begins at 8:15 a.m.  This will give us the time we need for worship without crowding the start of Sunday School.

IF YOU ATTEND THE SECOND SERVICE, OUR THANKS TO THOSE WHO ARE HELPING US WITH PARKING!  Last Sunday began running a shuttle between Hillcrest and Anderson High School from 9:00 to 9:30 a.m.  Give it a try this Sunday!  The shuttle will return you to Anderson following the second service.  If you bring people with you, you can drop them off at Hillcrest before bringing your car to Anderson.

OUR “DISCOVER HILLCREST” CLASS WILL BE HELD THIS SUNDAY, October 12, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in A-164 (follow the signs).  “Discover Hillcrest” is a two-hour class designed for those considering membership at Hillcrest.  The fast-paced class will give you the information and inspiration you need for meaningful involvement in our church.  I [Tom] teach the adult class.  A “kid-friendly” version of the class is held at the same time, led by our Children’s Minister, B.J. Linam.  Nursery care is provided (by appointment).  Call the church office at 345-3771 to let us know you plan to come, or write me at

THE “COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIANITY” CONFERENCE will run from Sunday to Tuesday, October 12-14.  This conference will help you strengthen your faith by learning some of the ways cults have altered basic Christian beliefs.  The first session will be held in a COMBINED ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS in the Worship Center from 9:30-10:30 a.m.  The other sessions will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday.  If you need child care in the evening sessions for preschoolers under the age of 4, contact B.J. Linam at



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