Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"A Doorkeeper in the House of the Lord"
by Tom Goodman
April 5, 2006

I love Sam Shoemaker’s poem, “I Stand by the Door.”  He warns that if you’ve been in the “house of God” for most of your life, you’re in danger of forgetting those still outside the house:

     Go in, great saints, go all the way in--
     Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
     And way up into the spacious attics--
     It is a vast roomy house, this house where God is . . .

     I admire the people who go way in.
     But I wish they would not forget how it was
     Before they got in.
     You can go in too deeply, and stay in too long,
     And forget the people outside the door . . .

     As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
     Near enough to God to hear Him, and know He is there,
     But not so far from people as not to hear them,
     And remember they are there, too.
     Where?  Outside the door--
     Thousands of them, millions of them.
     But--more important for me--
     One of them, two of them, ten of them,
     Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
     So I shall stand by the door and wait
     For those who seek it.
     “I had rather be a door-keeper . . .”
     So I stand by the door.

This Sunday, April 9, we’ll see what Scripture has to say about Shoemaker’s challenge.  It’s the last part of our 21-day Worship Campaign.  We’re discovering that worship isn’t just “about me.”  Worship is . . .

     . . . about me before my God,

     . . . about me among my church family, and

     . . . about me with my THEMs.

Simon Peter ended his first sermon by saying, “The promise [of forgiveness] is for you and your children and for all who are far off” (Acts 2:39).  Too often our churches become places that are simply “for us and our children,” but we also need to pay attention to “all who are far off,” too.  It’s not enough to reach out with special concerts and golf scrambles and lake parties and Upward programs.  As important as these things are, Scripture tells us to connect with seekers in our Sunday worship services.  Come find out more this Sunday, April 9!



HELP US WITH PARKING!  We need 30 cars parked offsite on Easter, April 16.  Send an e-mail to my assistant, Jami, and let her know you will park offsite.  Drop off your family at Hillcrest and then park at Hill Elementary School.  We’ll provide a shuttle to get you from Hill Elementary School to Hillcrest and back.  Our shuttle will run 9:15-9:45 a.m., again from 10:30-11:00 a.m., and then from 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS THIS SUNDAY!  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!  Sign up this Sunday or contact Jami at the church office (345-3771) or by e-mail to ask about available hours.  When you sign up, we will give you directions to the Prayer Room and instructions on working your hour.

Deacon Visits & Deacon Candidates.  Our deacon body has made a commitment to connect with every household in our church membership in twelve months.  To accomplish this, we are looking for additional candidates for the deacon body.  Review the qualifications for deacons as found in 1 Timothy 3:8f., and then submit your suggestions confidentially to our deacon chairman, Paul Waldo, 836-2054, or

Neighborhood Food Drive.  Herb Ingram writes, “We delivered another 901 pounds of food from our March efforts to bring our total up to 1949 pounds, or 1560 meals!  That's almost one ton of food gathered for the food bank!!”  There are some great stories coming from this food drive, and we will share them in this week’s LeaderLines.  If you do not receive LeaderLines, you can subscribe here or read online.

Interesting Links:

Many of you have asked how to get a copy of the story, “Hymns vs. Choruses,” that I shared in this week’s sermon.  Read it here.
The full text of the Sam Shoemaker poem quoted in Winning Ways can be found here.
Did you read the Austin-American Statesman article about the city council asking us to vote May 13 over granting health benefits to domestic partners of city employees?
Lifeguard Ministries is a local ministry we support, offering freedom from homosexuality in Jesus Christ.  They are promoting a national Exodus conference on their website.
I got a kick out of Scrappleface’s satirical take on the results of an extensive study that questions the power of prayer: Humans Fail to Manipulate God.
For interesting, brief articles that apply Christian thinking to current issues, see James Emery White’s “Whitepapers” at Serious Times.
Those of us in the Baylor Family who longed for former President Sloan’s vision to become a reality are disappointed that Baylor has denied tenure to Francis Beckwith.  “First Things” has an article expressing the frustration many feel about this politically-charged decision.
“The keys to happiness are simple—grow up, get married, have children, go to church” says a recent survey.
Testing Darwin's Teachers (free registration required) tells us that students who question evolution have educators increasingly on the defensive.
Finally, see “How to Read The Da Vinci Code,” from Lifeway’s website to prepare for the upcoming film release of “The Da Vinci Code.”  Be praying for our 3-week series, “The Da Vinci Code Breakers,” following Easter.

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