Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Changed by Christ's Toughest Words

Sunday Mornings
9:30 & 10:45 "Sweet Revenge?"
by Tom Goodman
May 16, 2007

Two tugboat captains, pals for years, passed each other every morning in the channel.  If all was well, each man would wave, yell ‘Aye!’ and blow his tugboat whistle in a friendly salute.

One day a new crewman saw all of this, and he asked a deck hand, “Hey, why do they do that?”

And the deck hand replied, “What?  You mean you’ve never heard of an aye for an aye and a toot for a toot?”

Okay, I had to get that out of my system.  You see, I’m preparing for this week’s message in our “Extreme Makeover” series, and this week we’re looking at Christ’s call to reject retaliation (Matthew 5:38-42).  “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” cannot be the guiding proverb of a believer’s life.

It’s not easy to put this into practice in a world that keeps people like Lesa Patrock and Alan Abel in business.  The Wall Street Journal reported on these two “revenge specialists” a few years ago.  Using insights from her college degree in psychology and sociology, Patrock will deliver a specially tailored ‘revenge package’ to the offending party.  Cost: $35 fee plus reimbursement for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred while carrying out the act of revenge.

Then there’s Alan Abel, who has dubbed himself the “Master of Retaliation.”  For $25, you can sign up for his two-and-a-half hour session called “Don’t Get Mad, Get Even.”  The seminar includes a manual of 100 of his proven revenge techniques, such as leaving a loudly-ticking alarm clock in a gift-wrapped box on the desk of the boss who gives you a hard time.  He says he’s instructed about 1200 students in the art of retaliation—mostly jilted lovers and offended employees.

Now, if you’re tempted to ask me for the address of either one of these revenge specialists, you might want to come to this week’s Bible study first!  Our “Bold Blend” service meets at 9:30am and our “Smooth Blend” service meets at 10:45am.  You can also listen online Monday (iTunes; website).

By the way, we’ve scheduled a recognition of graduating seniors for the Bold service.  We’ll also celebrate three baptisms.  If you want to follow Christ in baptism, contact me immediately!


Important Notes

“Come on Down to Common Ground.”  What can you expect in the Common Ground Café after the Bold Service?  Find out in Herb’s article here.  Send his article to a friend with an invitation to Common Ground.

Library Open House and Book Adoption.  It’s this weekend.  Also, don’t forget to enroll your kids in the summer reading program.

Vermont Mission Work.  You’ve been very generous in your support.  Find out more here.

Make in Difference in Kids' Lives.  More here.

Kids Basketball and Cheerleading Summer Camp.  More here, including a printable registration form.

Second Half Ministries Potluck Picnic, Saturday, May 19, 5:30pm.  Springwoods Park on Anderson Mill Road.  Bring either a main dish, salad, veggie or dessert.  Drinks will be provided.  This is a good time to bring a friend and introduce them to 2nd-Half Ministries!  If you have an outdoor game, bring it along!!  For more information, contact Sheila.

Links to Your World

The wedding photo montage is now online!  See it at our church website here.  We’ve slowed down the transitions so you can get a good look at all those photos (about 150!).  Thanks to Karen Raulie, Steve Williams, and Paul Waldo for a tremendous amount of work on this!

Oh, this online debate through May is going to be good!  Find the first of a new series of exchanges between Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson here.  Find the second installment here and the third here.

"It feels really strange to have a truck run over your head."

Five steps to becoming a millionaire or at least to becoming financially secure (here).

It's convenient for a policitian to say, regarding abortion, "I'm personally opposed to abortion, but . . . ."  It's convenient, but its a fallacy.

Yes, we need to "engage the culture," as the hottest speakers tell church leaders.  But James Emery White, reflecting on the recent “Q” Conference, reminds us:  “The most critical cultural engagement of all remains personal evangelism.”

A Dutchman builds a working replica of Noah's Ark.  I'll be sure to let you know if he starts collecting animals two by two.

In "Jesus in the Jailhouse," learn about a faith-based rehabilitation program in Texas prisons.

Why form the good habits of daily prayer and weekly worship attendance?  Gordon MacDonald compares it to his drive down a foggy but familiar road here.  Good stuff.

Warning:  Conversion from an atheist liberal to a devout Christian conservative may be harmful to your academic career.

There’s more at my weblog, “Get Anchored,” including the "Song of the Week" ("Longer" by Dan Fogelberg), a lapse of integrity in the MIT registrar's office, Herb Ingram in the KVET jingle contest, as well as continuing coverage of our church's vision.  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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