Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"Hillcrest Footwashers"
by Tom Goodman
August 16, 2006

Jesus taught us to serve others, and I’m so grateful for all of you who serve!

Of course, the most recent example of your service was seen this weekend.  The Summer Fair was fantastic—and you really rose to my challenge to fill the dessert table!  Many thanks to all of you who worked so hard to make the Fair a success!  Also, even as I write this, a crew is setting up the MPC for our annual school staff lunch.  Every year, Hillcrest feeds hundreds of teachers, coaches, administrators, and support staff at Hill Elementary, Murcheson Middle, and Anderson High.  It’s our way of saying “thanks” to the great people who take care of the same community that we’re here to serve.

Too many people view a church as an institution they join so the institution can do things for them.  But Hillcrest is a partnership of believers who come together to serve in Jesus’ name.  We serve as vocalists, instrumentalists, teachers, table hosts, child care workers, technicians, ushers, greeters, committee members, librarians, and office volunteers.  We also serve in “unofficial” capacities as chair stackers, prayer warriors, waiting-room companions, casserole bakers, phone callers, and shoulders to cry on.

In John 13, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet—the task of the lowliest household slave in that culture.  Then he said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet” (verse 14).

Hard words.  We would have gladly heard him say, “There, I’ve washed your feet, now you wash mine.  I’ve served you, now you serve me.”  No problem.  He’s our Savior and Lord, after all.

But he said, “As I have washed your feet, now wash each others’ feet.”  And knowing our propensity to ignore a lesson, our Lord twice repeated a little two-letter word.  In verse 15 he says, “You should do as I have done,” and then in verse 17 he says again, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

Here’s a big “shout out” to all of you who put this command into practice!  And I’m praying for all of you who have taken up assignments in this new “service year”—what we call our church calendar from September to August.  God bless your “foot washing” in the months ahead!


Important Notes:

Get Advertised!  Well, the water level was too low at the Quarries for our outdoor baptisms this past Sunday.  So, we’ll baptize this coming Sunday in the worship services.  Is this a step you need to take?  A little boy had just made his commitment to Christ, and he asked the pastor, "When can I get advertised?"  The boy used the wrong word—but he had the right concept.  When we become believers, we need to ask, "When can I get advertised?  When can I publicly proclaim that I'm a believer in Jesus Christ?"  If you'd like to follow Jesus in the water immersion that the Bible calls baptism, contact me!

Hillcrest Institute of Lifelong Learning.  The Fall semester of the Hillcrest Institute begins this week.  Review the courses and pre-register online!

The Sermon Series, “God is Closer Than You Think,” continues this Sunday.  Click here to hear last week’s message from our website, or click here to listen to it on iTunes.

Links to Your World

Check out the “Moms in Touch” and learn how to minister to the students in your area as they return to school.  If you decide to form a “Moms in Touch” prayer group, let me know!
If you’re into “ultimate fighting,” you’ll like the article, “Muscle Ministry.”  It’s about Ron Waterman, who lives in two worlds: the violent arena of ultimate fighting and the worldwide public stage of Christian evangelism.
In the article, “Defense of Translations,” Dr. Ted Martin responds to a reader who had objected that his pastor used various translations of the Bible in his preaching and printed the scripture text in his sermon notes.  Martin provides a helpful overview of the different translations that are out there.  It may help you understand why I use various translations in my preaching, and it may help you make a decision about a Bible if you’re shopping for one.
I liked the newspaper article, “Why not do a Bible school ourselves?” about teens who opened their home and yard to share their faith through a Backyard Bible Club.
You’ll find more articles and commentary at my blog, “Get Anchored,” including my reaction to a recent study proving that regular exposure to sexually-suggestive music influences our sexual decisions.  Check it out, and assign the site to your Personalized Home Page today!

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