Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
Manage Your Subscription -- Subscribe/Unsubscribe Contact Us About Your Subscription

The Beatitudes of Jesus.
Sunday Mornings. "What Impression Are You Making?"
by Tom Goodman
February 28, 2007

I read about sandals with treads that leave the words "Jesus" and "Loves You" as you walk along sandy or muddy ground.  The sandals can be ordered for about $25 from a website called "Shoes of the Fishermen."  The company also sells snowboots for those who want to leave their mark while walking in the snow.

I'll leave it up to you to decide if this is a worthwhile use of your money.  But as I read the story about sandals that leave the words "Jesus Loves You" wherever the owner walks, it made me think.  I couldn't help but ask what kind of "impression" I'm making in the lives of others.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:8 Paul said, "We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us."  I've memorized that verse, and you should, too.

Paul said he shared two things with them.  First, he shared the gospel with them.  He wanted them to know Jesus, to know Jesus' forgiveness and guidance and power for living.  But Paul said he shared not only the gospel with them but also his life: his time, his energy, his heart.  He was enthusiastically connected with them.

You go to enough churches enough times and you'll hear a challenge to share the gospel.  The problem for too many of us is that even if we finally get up the nerve to share the gospel, we're hardly effective because we're not sharing the other thing that Paul listed:  We're not sharing our lives with them.

Maybe the missing ingredient that keeps us from being effective witnesses is friendship.  We need to nurture authentic relationships with those who need the Lord.  Mark Mittleberg of Willow Creek Church calls it the "Barbeque First Principle."  Invite them to a barbeque in your backyard before you invite them to church.  In other words, socialize, be real, develop a no-strings-attached friendship with those around you.

You can buy some sandals that leave the Christian message as an impression in the sand.  But what are you doing to leave the Christian message as an impression in someone's life?

See you at Hillcrest this Sunday as we wrap up our series through the Beatitudes called, "The Pursuit of Happiness" (9:30am and 10:45am).


Important Information

Austin Pregnancy Resource Center.  Did you enjoy meeting Lori DeVillez on Sunday?  I will cover more about her ministry in Thursday's LeaderLines.  Subscribe here or find the article at my blog on Thursday.

Interested in Membership?  Spread the word about our next Discover Hillcrest class.  It will be held this Sunday, March 4, 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

"Hoops of Hope" Performance!  Bring a friend to watch Brent Fuqua perform at the Awards Night for Upward Basketball and Hillcrest Hoops.  You don't have to participate in our basketball program to come to this event on March 6!  See BJ's article.

Summer Camps!  Find out more here about Basketball/Cheerleading Camp (there's a space limit!), Preteen Camp, and Children's Camp.

Links to Your World

You have to hear Kevin Kling's story of how his prayers have changed (here).  It's about six minutes long.  It's from NPR's Driveway Moments, a once-a-week podcast that highlights stories that make people literally hang out in their driveway, in their car, just to hear the end.

Why do men ignore nagging wives?  It's all science.  (HT: The Morning News)

Find the "astronomy picture of the day" here.  Lois and Joan Terrell gave me this link.  They especially recommend the "Witch's Broom" nebula (here).

Brenda S. Armstrong advises "3 Things to Consider Before Jumping Into Love."

Pray for Southern Baptist missionary Kay Garvin, who was shot in the chest by robbers Feb. 23 near Moshi, Tanzania.

In last week's Baptist Standard, Marv Knox wrote about "The Executive Board's Crucial Agenda" for our state convention.

The average city dweller is exposed to 5,000 ads per day.

In "Preparing Your Church to Evangelize," Doug Murren and Mike Meeks provide encouragement for the long, slow process of getting your unchurched friends to attend Hillcrest with you.

I was encouraged to find that "Baylor aims to become a leader in Christian music."

"People are damaged by a paradigm for sexuality that sees desire as the single most important clue to true identity, rather than as part of a complex of relational longing."  So says Patton Dodd in a fascinating article on the Ted Haggard scandal.

You'll find other news and opinions at my online journal, "Get Anchored," including an impassioned plea from Ed Stetzer that the SBC take the steps to become a missional convention, a Netflix invitation, a recording of Austinite Stephen Bruton's "Walk by Faith," and a hilarious video of self-centered worship.  To keep up with the journal, sign up for e-mail updates or assign the feed to your news reader or Google Personalized Home Page.

Do you know friends who would appreciate Winning Ways?  Just forward this e-mail to them!

Have you subscribed to Winning Ways?  You can subscribe by clicking here and following the instructions.  Your e-mail address will not be sold or given away to anyone, and you can automatically change your subscription or drop it by following the easy steps provided with each e-mail.



MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS TO OUR EMAIL NEWSLETTERS:  Click here.  If you do not have access to the web, please send a note to to tell us of any changes you would like to make.