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

"Longing for Light"
by Tom Goodman
March 21, 2007

The 198 residents of Bondo, Switzerland want sunlight, and they’re planning to build a giant mirror to catch it.

According to an Associated Press story, Bondo lies so deep in the Bregaglia Valley that residents are deprived of sunlight between December and February.  So, they are planning to build a $130,000 mirror to reflect sunlight down into their valley.

It’s been done before.  The Italian town of Viganella installed a 26-by-16 feet sheet of reflective steel to direct sunlight to their homes at the bottom of a steep Alpine valley.

People long for light, and Christ expects his followers to shine in a dark world.  Jesus said, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14, NLT).  This Sunday, we’ll look at that compelling command in our continuing study through the Gospel of Matthew.

It’s a fitting Scripture text to study on this particular Sunday, since we’re celebrating our church’s anniversary this week.  For eighty years and in three locations, Hillcrest has been “salt and light” to Austin.  It’s a calling we’re still fulfilling in the twenty-first century.

Come for breakfast between 9:00-10:15am and share in one combined service at 10:30am.  Baptism and the Lord’s Supper will be part of this special day, as well as a look at Christ’s command to be the light of the world.

West Virginia folklore carries a tale about a couple who called for a doctor late one night as the wife was ready to deliver a baby.  The country physician turned the rustic farmhouse into a makeshift delivery room.  The husband was handed a lantern and instructed to hold it up so the doctor could see.  After a healthy boy was born the man lowered the lantern. The doctor shouted for this new father to get the lantern up as he delivered another baby—this time a girl.  The father was thrown into shock when the doctor once again insisted that the light be held up.  He said, “We can’t stop now, it looks like there’s another one.”

The shaky father then asked the doctor, “Do you think it’s the light that’s attracting ‘em?”

Actually, I’d say the hillbilly was on to something.  As we put Christ’s teaching into practice, it illuminates the path for others.  And those who have grown tired of a life without light will find that incredibly attractive.


Acuna Mission Trip.  Jim has a recap about our youth mission trip to Acuna, Mexico here.  Also, find a slide show of the Acuna Mission trip here and here.

Links to Your World

In the WSJ’s “Why They Pray,” Andrew Carroll says the trials of war strengthen many soldiers’ faith.

This article suggests that the Wenzhou Chinese prosperity may be due to their Christian convictions regarding hard work, thrift, and mutual trust.

According to this article, we live in the land of "biblical idiots."  Stephen Prothero plans to change that.

In “Stronger, Faster, Smarter,” Newsweek points out that exercise does more than build muscles and help prevent heart disease.  New science shows that it also boosts brainpower—and may offer hope in the battle against Alzheimer’s.

According to this article, about a third of those who take care of loved ones with Alzheimer's feel 'more religious' because of their experiences, a new national study says.

My sister has posted an entry at her blog about thoughts on an old Brenham cemetery.

Moms will identify with what Christian humorist Mimi Greenwood Knight really wants for her 40th birthday (here):  I don’t care where my husband takes the kids.  He’ll think of something.  I just want four hours to luxuriate in my own bathroom alone!”

Here’s an article about Halftimers, a ministry conference that I attended with Gene Chappell and Sheila Evaslage, who leads our Second-Half Ministries.

Indiana Jones wannabe Simcha Jacobovici of The Discovery Channel's "Jesus Family Tomb" says that opposition to his claim of finding the bones of Jesus is simply a matter of “MOB rule”—mobilization of bias.  But Time’s David Van Biema says, "Personally, I find the book too dependent on stretched scholarship and conjecture to make its title case.  Yet if my vision is clouded, I don’t think it’s by MOB.  More like OTMSBBS: one-too-many-speculative-Bible-books syndrome.”  Van Biema does a good job explaining why you should be skeptical about books skeptical about the Good Book.

You’ll find other news and opinions at my online journal, “Get Anchored,” including important information on our upcoming Anchor Course, this week's "Song of the Week," a newsletter excerpt from friends on mission in Southeast Asia, a unique way to transition a church, a great interview of seekers who live in the neighborhoods around Hillcrest, and some new songs for Baby Boomers.  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.  Leave a comment!

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.