Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Hillcrest Church Office
September 22, 2004

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

“Plugging In to Power”
by Tom Goodman

Once upon a time, a vacuum cleaner salesman was touring a new housing development in an upscale subdivision.  Most of the lots were empty; some of the homes were still unfinished.  He noted one home that looked like someone had moved in.  So, walking carefully across the newly sodden front yard, he knocked on the door.  A woman answered the door and let him in.

"You have a beautiful house, ma'am!" he said as he smiled.

"Thank you," she said.  "We just moved in."

The salesman began his pitch.  Without warning, he pulled a bag from his belongings and dumped it over the woman's brand new carpet—a mixture of damp coffee grounds, gritty sand, fine baby powder, and miniscule pieces of paper confetti.

He held up his hands and said, "Ma'am, don't be alarmed.  My new model vacuum cleaner will get every bit of this up.  In fact, if it doesn't, I will personally eat everything that I've just dumped on your carpet."

Suddenly, she stood up and disappeared into the next room, and the salesman wondered if his sales pitch was a little too strong.  Returning with a spoon, she said tersely, "Start eating.  We don't have our electricity hooked up yet."

In two weeks, we’ll begin a spiritual growth campaign called Forty Days of Purpose.  But like that vacuum cleaner, our efforts will be useless without power.

Prayer plugs us in to the divine power source.  So, before we begin Forty Days of Purpose, we’re going to enter into Forty Hours of Prayer.  The vigil will take place in our Prayer Room at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, October 1.  It will end at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 3, which is when we officially kick off our 40-day campaign.

This Sunday, September 26, is the last day to sign up.  So, at church this Sunday, write your name in one of the remaining spots on the sign-up board.  Those who sign up will be given more information about how to participate in the Vigil.

If you cannot sign up for the Vigil, you can still pray for the campaign.  Let’s ask God to do a great work in and through Hillcrest!


Forty Days of Purpose Kick-off is Sunday, October 3
Connection Event in the MPC at 9:30
Simulcast in the Worship Center at 6:00 p.m.
More information in the next Winning Ways!

This Week at Hillcrest:

Apollo 13:  Our Sunday morning series, Movie Messages, continues this week.  We’re looking at what the Bible says about themes that inspired some mainstream movies.  This week we’ll see what God’s Word has to say about the power of united teamwork, which is a major lesson in one of our favorite films, Apollo 13.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper will be observed this Sunday.  If you want to follow Christ in baptism, contact me right away at 345-3771 or
“Taste of Far West” a Success!  Thanks to all who helped make this outreach event so successful!  “TFW” has become an annual partnership between our church and the vendors of Far West to build relationships with the residents.  For more information, go to Herb Ingram’s column at
Book Look:  I’m writing a book and you can help me review it.  I’m hoping to present a chapter a week in the midweek service (Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.).  If you can’t make it to the services, you can still read and comment on the chapters at www.anchorcourse.blogspot.comReading these chapters will help you explain the faith, and forwarding these chapters to your seeking friends will help them explore the faith.  If you want to get an e-mail notification when I’ve added a new chapter to the website, write me at and I’ll add you to the distribution list.



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