Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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The Beatitudes of Jesus.
Sunday Mornings.

Requires Flash player to view. "Go Ahead, Let it Out"
by Tom Goodman
February 14, 2007

Have you seen those new Kleenex commercials?  Ingenious.

They set up a couch and a chair and a coffee table outdoors on city sidewalks, and real people sit down to have unrehearsed talks with this guy who’s just there to listen and empathize with them.  As they talk about the birth of their child, or the loss of a loved one, or how tough life is, their eyes well up with tears and they reach for the Kleenex box in front of them.

But imagine you found a couch and chair on the corner of Sixth and Congress tomorrow.  You sit down, and as you talk with the empathetic guy from the commercials, your own eyes well up with tears.  But you’re not crying in sadness over a loved one’s death or in joy over the birth of a child.  Instead, you’re mourning about the brokenness within you and around you.

"I’m sorry I’m crying," you say to the guy, "but I get this way when I think about the promises I haven’t kept, and the kindness that I have not shown, and the selfish choices that I’ve made.  I get this way when I think about the unjust things that people do to each other.  I get this way when I think about the families I know hurt by addiction or by abuse.  I get this way every time I think about all the people who’ve walked away from God."

What do you think the Kleenex company would do with that?  Your crying episode on that couch probably would not show up on one of their commercials!  But Jesus said that God blesses anyone who gets to that point in his or her life.  Jesus said, "Blessed are those who mourn" (Matthew 5:4).  When we’re broken-hearted over the brokenness within us and around us, Jesus says, "Well, now we can finally start getting somewhere.  You’re at the starting point for a life of real happiness."

This is what we discovered on the first day of our four-Sunday study through Christ’s famous Beatitudes.  If you missed it or want to review it, listen online.  And join us this Sunday as we continue our study called "The Pursuit of Happiness" (9:30am or 10:45am).


Links to Your World

Join the online community at Get Anchored!  Comment on the Song of the Week (new each Sunday), gain a fresh perspective on our task with On-Mission Mondays, and join conversations about topics such as the jealous astronaut or the Northcross Walmart project.  To keep up with the journal, sign up for e-mail updates or make it your home page.

Is There a Perfect Valentine Present?

Have you heard that naps increase productivity and decrease the chance of heart problems?  Just don’t use that excuse during the sermons. . . .

It’s been out a while now, but I bet most of you haven’t seen the rap video, "Baby Got Book."  Hilarious.

In 10 Questions for the Seeker, Scott Pruett raises some questions designed to stir the mind of the seeker, and to give touchstones for dialog to Christians seeking to reach them.

Ten-minute devotionals called "Drive Time" in podcast form here.  Saddleback Pastor Tom Holladay is in the middle of Romans right now.

In "Believing Scripture but Playing by Science’s Rules," the NY Times profiles Marcus Ross, a young-earth creationist who received his doctorate in paleontology.

Gender roles in the home are often ignored according to this leader.

Learn more about Cheryl Selby’s work in this news video.

This seeker has a blog all about her spiritual search, and she’s looking for your stories.  She writes, "Other than the occasional random moments in nature that I’ve already described, I haven’t felt the presence of God much in my life and I’m finding it frustrating.  I talk to others who have felt it and I find it hard to believe, if only because I find it hard to imagine for myself.  They meditate or go to faith healers or other kinds of healers or pray and find themselves in that presence.  I meditate or pray and I can’t shut myself up.  Here’s what I’d like: Stories from you.  Fire away.  How have you solved a problem or gotten through a bad time, and how has God shown up to help?"  Add your comments to her blog.

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