Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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“Our Fathers Who Are on Earth”
by Tom Goodman
June 15, 2005

In our culture, Father’s Day is hardly as special as Mother’s Day.  Sometimes even on church calendars, Father’s Day is no better than an afterthought.

Of course, there’s no scriptural mandate to celebrate Father’s Day.  Still, we are called to celebrate fathers.  Churches that fail to honor fathers—and to make honorable fathers—contribute to society’s decay.

That’s what Roland Warren said in a recent article called, “Our Fathers Who Are on Earth.”  He is the president of the National Fatherhood Initiative (, an organization that works to increase the number of children who grow up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers.

In the article, he recalled an experience his wife shared with him.  She was having lunch with a non-Christian friend a few years ago.  She asked her friend if she minded prayer before the meal.  Her friend said, “That's fine,” so Warren’s wife started her prayer with the phrase “Dear heavenly Father.”  When she finished, her friend said that she could never pray those words since her father was such an [expletive].

Warren wrote, “The relationship people have with their fathers may directly affect their ability to relate to God the Father.  A ‘loving heavenly Father’ has no meaning to those who don’t know what a loving father is.  In fact, if their fathers were so terrible, any god who's also a father must be infinitely terrible!

“Jesus, on the other hand, in coming to tell the world how good the heavenly Father is, used his relationship with his Father as an evangelistic tool.

“There is a concerted attack on the institution of fatherhood by Satan himself.  The Devil's work is to influence dads to be disconnected, distant, or even abusive, so that children start life believing that this is how all fathers are—even a heavenly Father.

“And why attack the father?  Because the greatest, most powerful truth that any person who does not know Christ needs to hear in order to be saved is this:  God is a good Father whose desire and plan is to bring back his lost children to himself.  Satan knows that good fathers can pave the way for the gospel and, conversely, bad or absent fathers pave the way to separation from God.”

Malachi 4:6 tells us that one sign of spiritual renewal is when the hearts of the fathers will turn to their children, and the hearts of the children will turn to their fathers.  On the other hand, if that doesn’t happen, God said, “I will strike the land with a curse.”

So, honor your father—with what you do this Sunday and every week.  By doing so, you’ll be making your small contribution toward spiritual renewal in your community.

If possible, bring your dad to Hillcrest this week.  World-renowned trumpeter David O’Neil will perform in the morning.  Also, we’ll continue our June series called David Sings the Blues by looking at the antidote to anxiety.  This will be a real practical subject for men!  See you and your Bible this week!


Roland Warren’s full article on fatherhood can be found at

Important Announcements:

Discover Hillcrest:  Next Sunday, June 26.  The class will be held right after the morning service, AND LUNCH IS PROVIDED!  The class is for those who want to become members, and for those who just want to learn more about Hillcrest.  Topics include:

The most important thing you need to know about Jesus
Four fundamentals of spiritual growth, using the acronym "H.I.L.L."
Our church's key values and strategy
How to "connect" with others in the church
While I teach the adult class, BJ teaches "Discover Hillcrest Kids" for children ages 8-12, and Jim teaches "Discover Hillcrest Youth" for students in grades 6-12.  Childcare is provided for children under the age of 8.  Pre-registration is encouraged but not required.  You can register by contacting our Ministry Assistant, Jami, at

VBS Outreach Kits and Outreach Party.  There are two great ways to spread the word about our exciting Sunday night Vacation Bible School.  First, pick up an Outreach Kit this Sunday and follow the simple directions to reach out in love to your friends, relatives and neighbors.  Second, join us next Sunday evening, June 26, for an Outreach Party at Hillcrest.  We’ll meet in the gym at 6:30 p.m. for instructions, and then you will be released to blanket the immediate neighborhood with flyers.  After an hour of prayer walking and flyer distribution, we’ll all meet back at the church to celebrate.  This will be our evening service program for June 26.

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