Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"God's Power for Your Life"
by Tom Goodman
July 18, 2007

"Is God there?" a child's voice asked.  "I want to talk to God."

People began leaving requests to talk to God on the answering machine at Radio Colorado Network after the release of the 2003 film "Bruce Almighty."  In the film, God repeatedly leaves his phone number on the lead character's pager.  It turns out that the Network shared the same number.

Some messages were funny, like the caller who recorded, "I know this isn't the number for God.  But I'm calling to see if you have the other number."

Some messages were touching, like the woman who left the message:  "I'm in jail right now.  Like I said to you last night, 'I love you,'" she confided to God, after promising to go straight and praying to return to her husband and children.

The Radio Colorado Network wasn't the only recipient of requests to talk to God.  The phone number is assigned to phone customers in more than 30 area codes, many of whom received calls to God in the weeks after the film's release.  One was a church in Sanford, North Carolina.  Callers to that number got to talk to a pastor.  Named Bruce.

Thankfully, it doesn't take a phone number to talk to God.  In the Sermon on the Mount, after Jesus taught us the way we ought to live, he promised us power for the task.

This is good news.  If you've been part of our study of the Sermon on the Mount the last few months, you've been challenged by the righteousness, sincerity, humility, purity, and love expected of Christ-followers.  How can we live up to such a high standard?  Jesus promised: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)

Jesus himself often prayed to his Father.  "It was Jesus' habit of prayer which gave him the spiritual power to gain the victory over evil," Mark Buchanan noted in his book, Your God is Too Safe.  "When we find ourselves impotent in the face of life's challenges, it may be because we're out of practice."

This Sunday morning we'll discover divine power for the kind of life Jesus expects us to live!  Join us at the "Bold Blend" service or the 10:45am "Smooth Blend" service, or listen online Monday (iTunes; website).


Don't Miss the Deadlines for "Adventures with Tom"!  You've been reading about our four summertime adventures, and now is the time to sign up!  To go to the Rockbox Theater in Fredericksburg and Large Marge the Party Barge in Volente, go ahead and turn in your registration fee in while you're at church this Sunday, July 8!  For more information, go online at or call the church office at 345-3771.

Bible Study Leaders Banquet.  This Sunday night.  Learn more in Herb's article.

Recognition for Our Talented Musicians.  See Gene's article.

Preschool Play Day!  July 28, from 10:00am to 1:00pm.  Get more information in BJ's column.

Links to Your World.

Get your Control-a-Kid Remote today!  It has all the functions you will need to help keep your tykes under control.  Point and click to stop sulking or tantrums, get them to eat greens or do homework, and more.  If only parenting was this easy!

"The Roman Catholic Church is willing to go so far as to assert that any church that denies the papacy is no true church.  Evangelicals should be equally candid in asserting that any church defined by the claims of the papacy is no true church.  This is not a theological game for children, it is the honest recognition of the importance of the question."  (Albert Mohler on the Pope's assertion that nothing but the Catholic Church can be considered a proper church.)

Related:  See the Christianity Today editorial about the pope's declaration.  In "Virtue That Counts," learn why justification by faith alone is still our defining doctrine as non-Catholic Christians.

Here's a leather hymn book cover for your iPod.

Adults still need the practice of memorizing scripture.  Learn five ways to do it in "Hide It in Your Heart."

It's not scientific studies or institutional pressure that make a scientist an unbeliever:  It's upbringing (article).

"When it comes to change, there are three seasons of timing:  People change when they hurt enough that they have to, when they learn enough that they want to, and when they receive enough that they are able to." —John Maxwell

Here are Latin phrases you should know, and 100 words any high school grad needs to know, and a crash course on the U.S. Constitution. (HT: Evangelical Outpost)

There's more at my weblog, "Get Anchored," including the "Song of the Week" ("Why" by Nicole Nordeman), what Jesus said about judgmentalism, part two of "Four Secrets to Success," and one church's way to thank their volunteers in the style of a rock anthem from a cheesy 80s "hair band".  To keep up with the journal, sign up for email updates or assign the feed to your news reader or Google Personalized Home Page.

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