Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"When Children Turn into Cats"
by Tom Goodman
May 10, 2006

“I just realized,” Adair Lara once wrote, “that while children are dogs, teenagers are cats.

“It’s easy to be a dog owner.  You feed it, train it, boss it around.  It puts its head on your knee and gazes at you as if you were a Rembrandt painting.  It bounds indoors with enthusiasm when you call it.

“Then, around age 13, your adoring little puppy turns into a big old cat.  When you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who died and made you king.  Instead of dogging your footsteps, it disappears.  You won’t see it again until it gets hungry—then it pauses on its sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn its nose up at whatever you’re serving.  When you reach out to ruffle its head, it twists away from you, then gives you a blank stare, as if trying to remember where it has seen you before.

“Realize that all dog owners go through this, and few find it easy.  My glance used to travel from my cat Mike looking regal and aloof on the fence to a foolish German shepherd on the sidewalk across the street, jumping for joy simply because he was getting to go outside.  Now I miss the little boy who insisted I watch Full House with him, and who has now sealed him into a bedroom with a stereo and TV.  The little girl who wrote me notes and is now peeling rubber in the driveway.

“The only consolation is that if you do it right, let them go, be cool as a cat yourself, one day they will walk into the kitchen and give you a big kiss and say, you've been on your feet all day, let me get those dishes for you—and you'll realize they're dogs again.”

Some of you moms can identify, huh?

Mother’s Day gives us a chance to celebrate with new parents, and we’ll do that at Hillcrest this Sunday with baby dedications.  It’s also a day to honor moms and to remember moms.  Make a special effort to bring your whole family together at Hillcrest this weekend!

In the sermon, we’re going to look at the peculiar parenting of Athaliah.  Never heard of her, you say?  Well, this Old Testament queen was one messed-up momma!  Come this Sunday to learn the two ways she made a mess of motherhood—and learn how to avoid her mistakes!


Important News

The Sermon on the Amount.  It was great to open both services last Sunday with baptisms, and to end both services by presenting new members.  All total, we presented sixteen people for membership yesterday.  However, if you’re trying to figure up our Sunday morning attendance, don’t just add up the attendance figures at the “Smooth” and the “Bold” services in your newsletter and forget the children and preschools (and workers) who are gathered in another part of the building.  We expect to have a “user-friendly” way of reporting this in your newsletter by next week.

Baby Dedication.  If you attend Hillcrest and have a baby, join us for our baby dedication this Sunday!  You will need to contact Jami right away by e-mail or phone (345-3771) to participate.  If this Sunday doesn’t work for you, remember that we schedule baby dedications on almost any Sunday of the year.

Links to Your World:

To read the complete 1996 Adair Lara article, “When Children Turn into Cats,” find it here.
A recent study says stay-at-home moms deserve $134,121 in salary.  The website,, reached the figure by calculating the earning power of the 10 jobs respondents said most closely comprise a mother's role—housekeeper, day-care teacher, cook, computer operator, laundry machine operator, janitor, facilities manager, van driver, chief executive and psychologist.  The website even has a salary wizard where you can calculate what a mom could be paid, based on how many children she has, where she lives and other factors.  The wizard generates a printable document that looks like a paycheck.  (Hint: The printout might be a good insert in someone’s Mother’s Day card this Sunday!)
The Harfort Courant asks, “So just what is the ‘Sinner's Prayer’?”  The lone survivor of the Sago mine disaster says it was recited as the doomed men realized they were about to die, and the venerable newspaper lets an increasingly secular readership know about the curiosity.
In “Re-defining moment,” conservative Christian and UT journalism professor, Marvin Olasky, says it’s time to reflect on what compassionate conservatism is—and isn’t.
For more information on the immigration debate, the Dallas Morning News says Christians are asking, “Can you love thy neighbor but deport him, too?”  The San Francisco Gate points out that the “Immigration debate splits Christian right.”  And a pastor in Southern California frames the issue between “gates” and “fences” in “Immigration reform & the American church.”  He says that, in order to have gates, we must have fences.
World magazine’s Gene Veith describes four models of how Christians relate to culture in this article.

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