Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"Passion Again"
by Tom Goodman
November 15, 2006

A few years ago, a job placement service ran a Super Bowl ad with children talking about what they want to be when they grow up.  (See the video here.)

A boy said, "When I grow up, I want to file all day."  Another child said, "I want to claw my way up to middle management."  Still another boy said, "When I grow up, I want to be underappreciated.”  A girl said, “I want to be paid less for doing the same job."  The last boy said, "I want to be forced into early retirement," and the spot faded to black, with the question superimposed, “What did you want to be?”

The commercial was so effective because it touched on the disconnect some of us have between what we wanted to be and what we are.  Let me play off that line.  When you became a new believer, I doubt you said:

“In the future, I hope to lose all interest in prayer.”
“I want staying current with my TV shows to be more important to me than influencing people’s lives.”
“I hope to complain and groan more than I do now.”
“I want to lose my passion for working in God’s service.”
I doubt that was what you thought about in those days and months following your conversion.  No, I think that when you first committed your life to Christ, your days were filled with purpose and dreams and expectancy and energy.  I’m sure you were willing to rearrange anything and everything about your life in order to please God.

Since that time, though, some ask, “What happened?  My fire has died down, my passion has faded.”

My passion for God rises and falls.  At times, I burn intensely for him:  I consume his word like food, I pray expecting miracles, and I share my faith without hesitation.  But at other times, the passion cools:  I coast, my prayers go flat, and I turn inward in self-pity.  I bet that’s your story, too.

Colossians 2:6-7 tells us how to fan our faith into flame again:  “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”  This Sunday, we’re going to look carefully how to continue in Christ.  Join us at 9:30am or 10:45am!


Important News

Last Sunday for a Free Book!  Have you been trying to get friends to church in time for them to get a free copy of The Anchor Course?  This Sunday, November 19, is the last chance.  Also, with Christmas approaching, do you need additional copies of The Anchor Course for gift-giving?  You can purchase additional copies for $13 in the lobby on Sundays or in the office during the week.  The price we’re currently charging is an introductory price, so get your additional copies now.  To learn more about the book, read the introduction by clicking here or check out the website at

Get an iMix of Praise Music!  Here's how to get more familiar with the worship music in the Bold service and enjoy it throughout the week.  Get an "iMix" at iTunes called "Hillcrest Bold Gold (Volume 1)."  By clicking on the hyperlink, you will find contemporary recording artists singing ten songs that our Hillcrest Praise Band leads us to sing.  If you don't have iTunes on your computer, when you click Hillcrest Bold Gold (Volume 1), you will be directed to download your free copy of iTunes.  Once you have the program on your computer, you can listen to 30-second clips of the 10 songs in the iMix.  You can then choose to download the entire mix for $9.90 or select individual songs from the mix for $.99 each.  You don't need an iPod to enjoy songs downloaded on iTunes.  Even without an iPod, you can listen to the songs on your computer, or you can burn audio CDs from iTunes if you have a CD burner connected to your computer.  We'll create a "Hillcrest Bold Gold (Volume 2)" iMix in a few weeks.  Send me your suggestions about what you want on it.

Congratulations to our pianist Stephen Burnaman and his new CD!  Find out more by clicking here and locating his name under “Artists.”  We will soon host a “CD Party” for Stephen at Hillcrest, so watch for more information.

Links to Your World

I found reports about two interesting surveys this week.  First, the North American Mission Board researched Americans’ views of Southern Baptists (here).  Also, Lifeway examined whether pastors and church members were well-informed about the culture we say we want to reach (here).
I thought this article was interesting: “What Married Women Want.”  It may surprise you.
You’ll find other news and opinions at my online journal, “Get Anchored,” including a hilarious video of a “Baptism Cannonball” (don’t try this in our baptistery!).  To keep up with the journal, sign up for e-mail updates or assign the RSS feed to your news reader.

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