Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"An Anchor for the Soul"
by Tom Goodman
March 14, 2007

He was friendly, but blunt.

“My friend gave me this because I was asking him a lot of questions about Jesus,” he said, holding up a copy of the Gospel of John.  “You expect a lot when the first thing I’m supposed to believe is that Jesus turned water into wine.”

That was my introduction to Terry, a Canadian businessman with a practical mind who had begun a spiritual search.  I suggested we meet to discuss what Christians believe.  A small group formed from that suggestion, and we met weekly to explore Christianity together.  It became the first of many small groups I’ve formed for that purpose.

I’m forming one of those small groups right now.  Want to be a part of it?

The eight-week gathering is called “The Anchor Course,” and it starts soon.  Hebrews 6:19 says of our faith:  “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul.”  I want to help people anchor life to something solid, and this course will help.  Through our time together, spiritual seekers can discover the meaning of Christianity and believers can develop their understanding of the faith.

What do Christians believe about God and his relationship to us?  Why is the Bible so important to believers?  Who is Jesus?  What was his vision for the church, and how must believers make that vision a reality?  What about heaven and hell?  And why does the cross stand as the most recognizable symbol of the Christian faith?

Firm answers to these vital questions will anchor your life.

The Anchor Course is a chance to build friendships around a weekly meal, and a chance to build faith around a weekly discussion.  Last Fall, I took the entire church through this study.  If you missed out on that study, join us!  And if you know of someone who would benefit from the course, invite them!

Come to my “Get Anchored” Dinner on Wednesday, March 28, 6:30-8:00pm.  By attending the dinner, you’re under no obligation to sign up for the Anchor Course.  You’ll enjoy a good meal and learn more about the course.  Should you decide to register for the course, we’ll meet eight weeks for dinner and discussion starting Wednesday, April 4, 6:30-8:00pm.  Your children can join you for the meal and then go to childcare and youth activities, which take place at the same time.

For the “Get Anchored” Dinner, an RSVP is not required, but it is encouraged.  Contact my assistant, Jami (345-3771 or  To learn more, go to the Anchor Course website (here) or read a book excerpt (here).


Important Information

“Grow Strong” Workshop.  Parents, if your child has made a recent decision to follow Christ, or your child is asking some spiritual questions, bring your child to this workshop!  Learn more here.

Hillcrest 80th Anniversary!  Learn more here.

LifeBox.  The deadline to participate in this service to our troops is March 16!  Learn more here.

Kids Summer Camp!  Sign up before a waiting list forms!  Learn more here.

Links to Your World

I’ve posted photos of the youth mission trip to Acuna here and here.

In the article, “The American Anthem,” learn how “Amazing Grace” went from ignored in Britain to acclaimed in America.

Does going door-to-door work as an evangelism strategy?  It depends on your neighborhood according to this article.

Learn how to help us build a “Prodigal-Friendly Church” at this site.

Learn about a major part of our missions-support strategy in this article: “Cooperative Program enables church to join hands with 16M Baptists.”

Children plagued by online porn (article here).

In “Poor Among Plenty,” learn how poverty is growing in the U.S. suburbs.

At the “Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator,” I scored a 79.  I have some work to do.

Who Goes to Hell?  (HT: Monday Morning Insight)

The Visitor’s Card is a blog maintained by a young woman looking for a church.  In this post, she writes:  “There’s no getting around that stranger feeling when you’re new, of course.  Any church can only do so much about it.  But I think the key thing is this:  The sincerity with which I was greeted by ordinary members did more to make me feel comfortable there than any official greeting would have.  Visitor’s cards, acknowledgement by the pastor (or whatever), official greeter types, all have a certain feeling to them—duty? procedure? Something—that isn’t present when an ordinary person just says hi.  It’s a little like work, actually:  Whether the boss takes you to lunch on your first day has less to do with whether you’re happy than whether your co-workers say hi as they pass your desk.”

Here’s part three in a series on practical ways to get to know your neighbors.  It will help you put the Hillcrest “INVITE Strategy” to work.  Watch for our One-Day Seminar on the INVITE Strategy coming soon!

In this article, learn six strategies that will help you clean out your kitchen and put you on the road to healthy eating.

American Society for Velociraptor Attack Prevention has a website.  Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Do you care enough to confront a friend or relative who needs it?

You’ll find other news and opinions at my online journal, “Get Anchored.”  Leave a comment!  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.

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