Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"The One We Celebrate"
by Tom Goodman
December 20, 2006

This Sunday, One Morning Service at 10am and Christmas Eve Service at 6pm.

Jeff Jacoby of The Boston Globe pointed out that 99 percent of the Christmas cards bought and sent in Great Britain this year have no religious message or imagery.  In the land where most of our Christmas carols come from, the Christ of Christmas is largely overlooked.

It reminds me of a story from W.E. Sangster, who tells about the time he was invited to a lively reception to celebrate a wedding.  The only person he knew was the person who invited him, so most of the night he just stood alone as a spectator to the whole affair.  He noticed that everyone was having a great time—dancing, playing games, and having much to eat and drink.

As the evening progressed, Sangster noticed that he was not the only one sitting alone at this party.  He noticed a young lady sitting alone across the room from him.  She smiled at Sangster when she noticed him looking at her, and she seemed very happy even though no one seemed to be paying her any attention.

Sangster went over to his friend and whispered, "Who's that lady in the corner?"

His friend was a little surprised and replied, "Don't you know?  Well, let me introduce you.  That's the bride."

Can you imagine being unnoticed at your own wedding party?  That must be how Jesus feels at his “birthday party” each year.

This Sunday, December 24, we’ll turn our attention to the Christ of Christmas through our songs and our study.  In the morning, we will have one combined service at 10am.  There will be no Sunday School, Common Ground Café, or G-Force.  The nursery will be open, but everyone else will gather for worship.  Then in the evening, we will meet at 6pm for the Lord’s Supper, Christmas carols, and a message about the Magi.

Both services this Sunday will be designed to introduce Christ to those who need him, so be sure to bring family and friends!


Important Notes

Hillcrest Christmas Calendar:

Sunday, December 24:  In the morning, one combined service at 10am.  No Sunday School or Common Ground Café.  In the evening, a special service with your church family at 6pm.

Wednesday, December 27:  No midweek activities.

Sunday, December 31:  Morning activities are back to normal.

“First Place”—Our New Weight Loss Program.  As someone said, it’s a “live-it” not a “diet.”  Find out more at Herb’s article here.

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

Want to Ski?  The 2007 Hillcrest Ski Trip is now open for sign-ups.  Contact Jim Siegel right away!

Links to Your World

Do you have some favorite Christmas music?  Join the conversation here.

Click here for eight images of a single snowflake continually zoomed in until 36000x.  Isn’t God’s creation amazing?

FirstLook is a weekly e-mail service of the Baptist Standard, the newspaper for Texas Baptists.  For a free subscription to FirstLook, visit the sign-up page here.

At this website, Lee Strobel answers “Four Christmas Questions”:  When was Jesus born?  Is the Virgin Birth credible?  Did Christianity copy earlier myths?  What was the Christmas Star?  You can watch free videos where Strobel answers these questions.

During the Christmas break, if you get bored of time off and you’re looking for something to do, see “What to Watch on the Web” for links to several videos of Christian musicians and speakers.

The Austin American Statesman is looking for your faith stories.  The "Your Words" features, which will alternate with Eileen Flynn's columns, are 700-word stories contributed by our readers and area clerics.  Send yours to

You’ll find other news and opinions at my online journal, “Get Anchored.”  To keep up with the journal, sign up for e-mail updates or assign the feed to your news reader.

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