Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"Pay Attention to the Foundation"
by Tom Goodman
January 24, 2007

Here’s a parable for our times:  Half of the town of Kiruna, Sweden, is being moved two miles from its current site at a cost of $4 billion.  Decades of iron ore mining has slowly eroded the foundations of the town built above the world’s largest underground mine.

It’s an expensive lesson:  Lose the foundation, lose your way of life.

Across the next 40 to 50 years, some buildings will be torn down and rebuilt.  Others will be taken down piece by piece and reassembled in their new locale, including a historic wooden church.  The church was once voted Sweden's most beautiful building but the ground it was built upon is giving way, so it won’t last.

Some remain uncertain that the new location will be any more secure than the sagging earth they’re leaving.  For the relocation, the state-run mine has chosen a spot where they have deposited waste rock from the mining process.

Nevertheless, most accept the move as inevitable.  “The people in Kiruna have known since 100 years ago they were living on iron ore,” said Vice Mayor Hans Swedell.  “They knew that sometime they would have to move.”

As I said:  A parable for our times.

A little apathy in our civic duties, chronic laziness in our parenting, a few bad decisions in our business, a few compromises in our church—like the tap, tap, tap of a miner’s pick, these things can slowly chip away at the foundations.  The consequences aren’t immediate, but over time we find we’ve jeopardized the life we hoped to build.

In Isaiah 58:12, the prophet looked hopefully for people who would “rebuild the ancient ruins” and “raise up the age-old foundations.”  Let’s be the fulfillment of that prophecy in our own families, churches, community, and nation.  What can you do today to tend the convictions and habits that uphold the things important to you?

When Satan spoke to Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), Jesus knew the temptations would eat away at the foundation of his life and ministry.  Come this Sunday at 9:30am or 10:45am and learn how Jesus stood firm against his enemy.  You’ll learn how you can stand firm, too.


Important Notes:

BreadBreakers!  Your chance to sign up for BreadBreakers is coming to an end!  Contact our office immediately (e-mail or 345-3771)!

Success to Significance.  Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey used to say, “The American dream is not owning a home and having some kids.  It's getting all the kids out of it.”  Can you identify?  Learn more about a new ministry for those 45-60 years old in Gene’s article.

Car Donation Needed.  If you have a car you would be willing to donate to “Maggies Home,” one of our aftercare ministries, contact Gene.  Find out more here.

Orchestra Players.  We still need additional orchestra players, particularly lower brass instruments like trombone or French horn.

T.G.I.F.  Attention parents of teenagers: this Friday is the first TGIF of the new year!  Also, don’t miss an important parents’ meeting!  Find out more here.

Happy 7th Anniversary!  B.J. Linam celebrates 7 years as our Children’s Minister this week!

Church Anniversary.  Our 80th Anniversary will be celebrated March 24-25.  If you know of any past members and/or staff who should be invited, contact the office immediately!  Don’t assume we already have their names and contact info!  Also, if you have any photos or memorabilia from the past, drop it by the church office on loan.

Links to Your World

Learn how to start a conversation about Christ with Grey’s Anatomy here.

Visit Herb Ingram’s new blog, “Herbal Essence.”  Currently, he’s introducing the six steps of our “INVITE Strategy.”  Learn more about how the INVITE Strategy got started here.

Learn about HSAs—Health Savings Accounts—in this article: “Health Insurance Help is Here.”

“In a groundbreaking study that examined the effects of cohabitation on the long-term quality of marriage, the Alabama Policy Institute (API) conducted a study of more than 1,300 married couples.  The results are eye-opening.  The study shows that the longer a couple cohabits before marriage, the less satisfied they are with their marriage” (Article here).

Here is some encouragement for parents wondering what the college years will do to their kids’ faith.

In this article, Andrew Comiskey says, “The church can and should offer transformation for homosexuals.”  He writes: “I entered into the faith as a practicing homosexual and discovered through the community of faith a clear and loving track of redemption on which I matured into the capacity for heterosexual marriage and family.”

You’ll find other news and opinions at my online journal, “Get Anchored,” including a new feature called “On-Mission Mondays.”  Each Monday I’ll post about what it means to be “on mission” with Christ.  To keep up with the journal, sign up for e-mail updates or assign the feed to your news reader.

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