Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Video of activities at the recent
Courageous Kids Day Camps.

Requires Flash player to view. "A Glimpse at the Workings of God"
by Tom Goodman
June 21, 2006

Don’t miss the “Links to Your World”--
a new feature at the end of each edition of Winning Ways!

In a recent article, Francis Collins, the director of the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute, said that unraveling the human genome allowed him to “glimpse at the workings of God.”

This is an impressive comment, coming from someone who was an atheist until the age of 27.

While reading the article, I noticed three things that led him to faith.  First, as a young doctor he was impressed by the strength that faith gave to some of his most critical patients.  This prompted him to visit a pastor, who gave him a copy of C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity.  The book transformed his life.  Finally, a hike through the Cascade Mountains in Washington State opened his mind.  He said:  “It was a beautiful afternoon and suddenly the remarkable beauty of creation around me was so overwhelming, I felt, ‘I cannot resist this another moment’.”

No doubt, most adults who come to believe in Jesus could testify to the same three things at work upon them:

They examine believers they know whose faith has made them better people.
They exchange insights with Christians who aren’t afraid of their questions.
And finally they express their faith through personal commitment.
Did you notice that, for Collins, his decision to yield to faith came through observing God in the beauty and complexity of nature?  He’s still fascinated with God’s handiwork to this day.  Speaking of his work on the human genome he said, “When you have for the first time in front of you this 3.1 billion-letter instruction book that conveys all kinds of information and all kinds of mystery about humankind, you can't survey that going through page after page without a sense of awe.  I can't help but look at those pages and have a vague sense that this is giving me a glimpse of God’s mind.”

I’m intrigued with how he was drawn to the Creator through the creation.  Also, I think it’s interesting how Lewis’s Mere Christianity is still making its impact on the eternity of people sixty years later.  I can only hope that my book, The Anchor Course, due in September, will have some small impact on that same audience.  It’s written to help seekers understand the Christian faith.  Pray for me as I put the finishing touches on this huge project, and I’ll pray for you as you develop conversations with people.  Francis Collins is proof that they’re a lot more open to our faith than you might think!


Important Notes:

New Video Online!  Forward this edition of Winning Ways to friends and tell them to look for your kids in the highlights video from “Courageous Kids Camp”!

“Courageous Kids” Camp.  Susie Miller sent me this great note about her experience with the kids camp last week:  “Just wanted to let you know that I very much appreciated the opportunity to work in Kids Camp.  As a grandmother, it was such an encouragement to my heart to see the teaching that went on during this three day experience.  To see the dedication of our younger moms, and to know that they are working hard to implant the word in young lives was very rewarding to me personally.  How very blessed we are to have the children's staff that we have here at Hillcrest, and the leadership that BJ and her crew provide.”

Baptism and Communion are scheduled for this Sunday, June 25, in the 9:30 and 10:45 services.  Contact me if you want to follow Jesus in this important step of baptism.

Next Level Living.  We continue our summertime series through Colossians this Sunday morning at the 9:30 “Bold” service and the 10:45 “Smooth” service.  If you missed the sermon, “The Next Level with Your Church,” listen here.  Let your passion for God rise with the summertime temperatures!

Links to Your World

Check out “Why Marriage Is Good Medicine for Men,” from last Sunday’s Parade magazine.  God seemed to know what he was doing when he created Eve for Adam, huh?
In “Unveiling the Truth About Islam,” Warren Larson, director of the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies at Columbia International University, reviews which books about Islam are helpful and which books are misleading.  If you’re trying to understand more about Islam, his review will be helpful.
This article in World (free until June 21), warns that legalizing same-sex marriage would set church and state on a collision course.  The article reports on scholars who see same-sex marriage “sharply curtailing, and in some cases wiping out, the religious freedom of its opponents in spheres ranging from taxation, charitable giving, housing, public accommodation, and employment to licensure, professional practice, education, and equal access.”  Many believe the only protection from this formidable disruption is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
I found “Partners in Prayer” to be a surprisingly sympathetic article about ex-gay ministries that seek to convert people from ‘the gay lifestyle.’
You’ll find more articles and commentary at my blog, “Anchored,” hosted on MySpace.  There you’ll find a beautiful story of NFL coach Tony Dungy and the loss of his son to suicide, great money advice, reaction to the newly elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and my view of the SBC resolution on alcohol.  Subscribe today!

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