Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"Money Talks"
by Tom Goodman
November 22, 2006

We’ve all heard the aphorism: “Money talks.”  We usually use that phrase to cynically point out that those with money get their way, while those without money have no influence.

But “money talks” in other ways, too.  How we use our money sends a loud message about our priorities.

So . . . if money talks, what does yours say?

A few years ago I read about Brandi Gamache whose heart stirred with generosity at 8 years of age.  Even as a toddler, photographs highlighted the long, strawberry blond hair gracefully flowing over her shoulders.  But at 8 she ordered a stylist to cut most of it off and give the 14 inches of her carefully attended hair to a little girl who doesn't have hair.

Brandi had just finished reading a book about a girl who lost her hair during chemotherapy.  Soon after, she read an article about a not-for-profit organization called Locks of Love, which uses donated hair to provide hair prosthetics for children with medical hair loss.  Locks of Love has helped 40 children to get the hairpieces, and the charity’s founder Peggy Knight has seen the transformation in children—mostly girls—when they receive the donation.

But what interests me is the transformation in the little girl named Brandi.  According to the news report she had fought for years to keep her hair long over the wishes of her mother who had wanted it cut because it was difficult to manage.  But then there was a moment when the impulse of generosity flooded in, and what she had became less important than what someone else needed.

Remarkable, isn’t it?  That kind of giving sends a message.

The six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a season of giving.  Much of the shopping frenzy that will jam our roads for the next six weeks involves buying gifts for friends and family to unwrap at Christmas.  What’s more, our newspapers, offices, clubs, and Bible classes will extend challenges for us to help people in need.  Our church’s Overcomers group will lead Hillcrest in the “Angel Tree” project, and our church’s missions leaders will challenge Hillcrest to give generously to missions.

Money talks.  How we give and what we give sends a message.  So, we need to think carefully about what our money’s saying.  Join us at 9:30am or 10:45am for a timely Bible study on this subject!


Important Notes

Interested in Membership?  Spread the word about our next Discover Hillcrest class.  It will be held Sunday, December 3, right after the morning service.  LUNCH IS PROVIDED!  The class is for those who want to become members, and for those who just want to learn more about Hillcrest.  While I teach the adult class, BJ teaches "Discover Hillcrest Kids" for children ages 8-12, and Jim teaches "Discover Hillcrest Youth" for students in grades 6-12.  Childcare is provided for children under the age of 8.  Pre-registration is encouraged but not required.  You can register by contacting our Ministry Assistant, Jami, 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

You’ll be inspired by this article: “Kidnapped missionary's tale illustrates power of prayer.”  Also, don’t miss, “Life as a secret Christian convert.”  Abandoning Islam for Christianity is such a sensitive issue in Malaysia that many converts find themselves leading a secret, double life.
Rock star Elton John's wish to "ban religion completely" may be dismissed as the hyperbole of a famous eccentric.  But according to this article, “militant atheism has become more fashionable than ever, and it's targeting your children.”
See the theatrical trailer for “The Nativity Story” here.  It opens December 1, starring Keisha Castle-Hughes (Oscar nominee for Whale Rider), written by Mike Rich (Radio, The Rookie) and directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen).  Costing more than $65 million to make and market, "Nativity" is one of the biggest and most expensive biblical-themed releases from a major media company.  The film, recounting Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, will open on 2,700 screens.  There’s an interesting article here about the growing interest in films respectful of the Christian faith.
I’ve written about my concerns regarding the church-starting scandal that our state convention has just begun to address.  Read the article here.
You’ll find other news and opinions at my online journal, “Get Anchored,” including news on our new coffee fellowship for adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s who attend the Smooth Service.  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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