Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"Worship is About Me . . ."
by Tom Goodman
March 22, 2006

     I had a little tea party
     One afternoon at three;
     ‘Twas very small, three guests in all,
     Just I, myself and me.
     Myself ate up the sandwiches,
     While I drank up the tea,
     ‘Twas also I who at the pie
     And passed the cake to me.

Sadly, that silly little rhyme describes the way some people attend worship services!  Worship was never meant to be about “just I, myself, and me.”  Worship is not just about my interests and my wants.  Worship is not really biblical unless it is . . .

     . . . about me before my God,

     . . . about me among my church family, and

     . . . about me with my THEMs.

This Sunday, March 26, we’ll launch a 21-day Worship Campaign and look closely at these three realities.  Here are two ways to make the most of this 21-day Campaign:

First, make a commitment to attend all three Sundays of the Campaign.  Each Sunday we will discuss an essential truth of real worship, and it will take all three Sundays to really appreciate the beauty of biblical worship.

Second, spend 21 days reflecting on what worship means to you.  The Worship Campaign is about more than just attending three Sundays in a row.  It’s also about your personal reflection on worship for 21 straight days.  That’s why we created a Devotional Guide called “Worthy Worship” as a companion to this pulpit study.  Be sure to pick up your Guide this Sunday if you don’t already have it.  Decide now on the best time of the day to spend time with your Devotional Guide.

Subscribers to Winning Ways will receive these devotionals every day of the Campaign.  This may help you remember to take time every day to reflect on the real meaning of worship.

Even if you haven’t joined Hillcrest, plan to participate in this Worship Campaign.  It may be that God has you attending Hillcrest at this point in your life because he wants to teach you some things about worship.

Keep in mind that you will be part of hundreds of other participants at Hillcrest who are going through this 21-day Campaign!  May God renew our worship for his glory!



Easter Weekend Prayer Vigil.  We’ll end our 21-Day Worship Campaign with a Prayer Vigil.  Help us keep our Prayer Room occupied from 9:30 a.m. on Good Friday (April 14) to 9:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday (April 16)!  Commit to one hour, beginning at the bottom of the hour (for example, 9:30-10:30).  We especially need help filling those late-night and early-morning hours!  You can sign up in the lobby this Sunday.
Baptism and Communion.  This Sunday, March 29, 10:45 a.m.  Write me immediately if you or your child is ready to follow Christ in baptism.
Interesting Links.  Several of you asked where to find the Bono interview I quoted on Sunday.  One excerpt can be found here.  Also, there’s some buzz about the new sociological report which found that couples who have the husband as the primary breadwinner, who worship together regularly and who believe in marriage as an institution that requires a lifelong commitment are much more likely to be happy with their marriages.  The report was covered in the Los Angeles Times and in the Wall Street Journal.  I enjoyed reading more about Sam Brownback in “The Wilberforce Republican.”  Since he may run for president in 2008, you might want to get familiar with him, too.  Also, did you hear about the atheist who gave EBay bidders a chance to save his soul?  The guy who won the bid has an interesting website.
Lee Strobel, author of the bestseller, The Case for Christ, talks about “How to Respond to The Da Vinci Code.”  I will teach a three-week sermon series called “Code Breakers” right after Easter.  Speaking of the “Code,” the National Geographic Society is about to release a newly-discovered ancient manuscript called “The Gospel of Judas,” but an expert says it will be a dud.  “There are a lot of second-, third- and fourth-century gospels attributed to various apostles,” the expert said, “but we don't really assume they give us any first century information.”  What a great line!  I wish that the people so intrigued with the second-century “gospels” cited in the Da Vinci Code could understood that simple truth.
I was fascinated by the article, “God by the Numbers,” and if you know any engineers, send this to them.  I liked Barbara Nicolosi’s article, “Escaping the Creative Ghetto,” and I sent it to several of my friends in the arts.  See if you agree with her assessment of what makes a movie “Christian.”  It ain’t easy being a Christian in the field of creative arts.

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