Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"Small Mistakes--Big Consequences"
by Tom Goodman
January 17, 2007

Winter Storm Notice:
Due to the ice storm, there will be no midweek supper tonight.
All other evening activities will be held unless your leader has contacted you with a cancellation.

Even a little mistake can cause you to end up a long way from where you want to be.

Last week I read about a 21-year-old German man who wanted to visit his girlfriend in the Australian metropolis of Sydney.

He missed the mark by over 8000 miles.

He mistyped his destination on a flight booking Web site.  He misspelled it by one letter—typing "Sidney" instead of "Sydney."  Instead of Sydney, Australia, he nearly landed in Sidney, Montana, an oil town of about 5000 people.  He didn’t realize his mistake until he was in the Billings airport, in line for a little commuter flight to Sidney.

Dressed for the Australian summer in T-shirt and shorts, the young man sat for days in the Billings airport until his family could wire him enough money to fly to Australia.  “My son is usually good with computers,” his mother told reporters.  And I'm sure he is—but he will remember this mistake for the rest of his life!

Do you have any attitudes or actions requiring repentance?  Some of us think that a call to repentance is only a call for the worst, the notorious, and the most openly rebellious sinners.  But it is a call to all of us.  Some of us are like that hapless tourist—we make what we think are such minor mistakes.  But those faults, attitudes, and actions are leading us far away from where we really need to be.  Our little private fantasies, our little selfish decisions, or our little sour attitudes have to be dealt with.  There is no way that we can accept the reign of God in our lives until we admit that we haven't been living life his way.

This Sunday in our study through the Gospel of Matthew, John the Baptist will call us to “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Join us at 9:30am or 10:45am this Sunday, or catch the sermon on our website Monday if you don’t live in the area.  Let’s identify the things in our lives that disappoint God.

If we don’t, we may find that even the smallest things can cause us to end up far away from the life God really intended us to live.


Important Notes:

Interested in Membership?  Spread the word about our next Discover Hillcrest class.  It will be held this Sunday, January 21, 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

“They Knew How to Pray.”  New sermon series at our midweek service.  We meet each Wednesday from 6:30-7:20 pm in the auditorium.  Read this testimony from the first week of the new study.

New Precept Class.  If you can’t make Paul Smith’s Precept class on Sunday nights, he’s repeating it on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm.  Contact Herb for more information.

Links to Your World

Do you create backups of your computer files?  Without backups, you’ll lose all those photos from your digital camera, music downloads, and any documents you’ve created.  Learn about backup services here.

At his website, “Investigating Faith,” watch free video clips of Lee Strobel interviewing Anthony Flew.  Flew recently rejected over 7 decades of atheism to declare his belief in the existence of God.  Video clips include, “Why Did Your Beliefs Change?” “What Was Your Impression of C.S. Lewis?” “What is God Like?” and “Why Do You Hope There Isn't an Afterlife?

In this Newsweek article, young people take “The Blasphemy Challenge,” daring a God they don’t believe in to send them to hell.

Will Saudis Ban the Letter ‘X'?  According to this article, a Saudi businessman was not allowed to use the English name “Explorer” for his company because it includes the letter “X,” which comes too close to resembling the Christian cross.

My first sister (Nisha) has a blog about life with small boys in a 19th century Brenham (Texas) farmhouse (I've mentioned it before).  In this post, she reflects on the maternal instinct she saw in a first-time longhorn mom.  Nisha's a good writer, and moms of small kids will identify with her.

You’ll find other news and opinions at my online journal, “Get Anchored,” including a prediction that 250 million Christians will suffer persecution in 2007.  To keep up with the journal, sign up for e-mail updates or assign the feed to your news reader.

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