Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"Just in Time"
by Tom Goodman
December 6, 2006

Talk about snail-mail!  Did you hear about the package that took 57 years to get delivered?

Kenneth Perkins of Indiana received a package in August 2002 postmarked December 13, 1945.  Construction workers discovered Perkins’ package during renovations to a building that once served as a post office.  While moving a shelf, they discovered a vault containing some undelivered mail, including Perkins’ package.  He was 22 when the package was mailed—he was 79 when he finally received it.

In 1945 he was serving in the Navy, stationed in Florida.  There Perkins began a friendship with a Chicago woman named Rosalie Tellerman, who was vacationing in Miami.  It was Rosalie who mailed the package.  Perkins wondered why her letters quit coming.  "She probably got mad at me for not sending her card thanking her for the gift," Perkins chuckled.

The good news is, it was a fruitcake, so the package didn't contain perishable goods!

Okay, that last line was in jest.  But I'm sure you would agree that this is an extreme case of a poorly timed package!  God's Christmas present, however, came just at the right time.  Galatians 4:4 says, "When the time had fully come, God sent his son."

This Sunday, we're going to look at the opening verses of Matthew’s Gospel to see God's perfect timing in sending his son.  Matthew begins the Christmas story not with Christ's birth, but with Christ's genealogy.  Most of us probably skip over the long list of hard-to-pronounce names in our daily Bible reading.  But the God who inspired the Bible must have wanted to say, "Listen, before you learn anything else about my son, here's the first thing you need to know.  I want you to think about all the years of history I worked through to bring you Jesus."  After this Sunday's study, I think you'll have a whole new appreciation for God's faithfulness and sovereignty.

The study this week actually kicks off a new sermon series straight through the Gospel of Matthew.  I'm convinced that this is what we need and what our seeking friends need:  We need to look carefully at the words and life of Jesus Christ.  So, bring your Bible every week, and join us at 9:30am or 10:45am.


Important Notes:

New “Hillcrest Institute” Classes!  Click here to learn about our upcoming semester of the Hillcrest Institute.  You can register early online!

Christmas Festival of Music and Living Nativity.  Sunday night, December 17, starting at 5:30pm.

Youth Progressive Dinner.  See more in Jim’s article.

Congratulations to our pianist Stephen Burnaman and his new CD!  Find out more by clicking here and locating his name under “Artists.”  CDs are available for $15 in the lobby on Sunday mornings, and in the office during the week.

“The Anchor Course” for Gift-Giving.  If you need additional copies of The Anchor Course, you can purchase them for $13 in the library on Sunday mornings and in the office during the week.  Also, if you’re purchasing online, you now have the option of sending a gift note.

Links to Your World

Do you have some favorite Christmas music?  Tell us what you think at the online journal, “Get Anchored.”  Join the conversation here.
If you’re wondering what the word “evangelical” means and if you’d use the label for your own understanding of Christianity, read these two articles: here and here.
In “Single Mothers, Many Problems” the author reacts to the new report that nearly 4 of every 10 American children are born out of wedlock.  According to the article, a married household is still the best way to raise kids.
You’ll find other news and opinions at my online journal, “Get Anchored,” including my reaction to the “psychological warfare” going on in Waco.  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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