Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Five Studies of Christ's Power
Sunday Mornings at 9:30am and 10:45am The Bath of Baptism
by Tom Goodman
October 3, 2007

At 61, Sam Houston became a believer and submitted to baptism in Rickey Creek.  Cynical friends asked the dripping-wet Texas hero if he felt his sins had now been washed away.  "Yes," said Houston, "and God help the fish down below!"

We're scheduling baptism in this Sunday's worship services, so let me know if you're ready to take this step of Christian obedience.

It's interesting how we humans make a fundamental link between guilt and washing.  ABC News reported on a study of this last year.

"Showering -- a simple everyday activity -- is linked to morality in a way we never knew," said study co-author Katie Liljenquist of Northwestern University.

Liljenquist and her colleagues asked a group of 60 college students to concentrate on either something ethical or unethical that they had done in the past.  The researchers discovered that students who remembered their own unethical behavior were more likely to act as if they felt unclean.

For example, the students were given the word "W_ _ S" and asked to complete the letters.  Students who reflected on an unethical memorywere more likely to say that the unfinished word was "WASH" instead of "WISH."

Again, when given the word "S _ _ P" they completed the letters as "SOAP" instead of "SOUP" or "STEP."

In another similar experiment, after students were asked to remember some ethical or unethical action from their past, each student was given a choice of two free gifts: a pencil, or an antiseptic wipe.  Sixty-six percent of the students who said they had recalled an unethical memory took the antiseptic wipe.  It was as if they wanted to wipe themselves clean of the recollection.

It's a common impulse, universal across the cultures.  "Wash away all my iniquity," King David called out to God in confession of his adultery, "and cleanse me from my sin." (Psalm 51:2)  It's good to know God responds to that kind of heart cry.

In the New Testament, baptism symbolizes the cleansing power of Christ's sacrifice.  After Ananias explained the gospel to Paul, he said, "And now, what are you waiting for?  Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name." (Acts 22:16)

It's been my privilege to officiate at this cleansing ceremony called baptism for numerous people across the years.  Contact me before this Sunday, and let's talk about scheduling your baptism!


Deadline to Submit 2008 Budget Requests:  This Sunday, October 7.

Baptism and the Lord's Supper:  This Sunday, October 7.

Sunday School and Common Ground WILL meet on October 14.  We encourage you to attend your class or group before the combined worship service.  Please note:  This is a change in time for Common Ground.  You will meet your group in the gym at 9:30am.

Help Us Welcome New Guests!  On Connection Sunday, October 14, we need greeters, parking lot attendants, and follow-up visitors.  See Herb's article and contact him right away!

Work Day Before Connection Sunday.  Join us for a day of "sprucing up" the facility: Saturday, October 13, 8:30 to noon.  A list of our projects can be found in Gene's article.

Shuttle Parking!  We need 30 cars to park at Anderson High School and take our shuttle on Sunday, October 14.  This will free up space for our guests as well as for our members who are older or who have small children.

Tabernacle Study.  Bruce Murray has started a study of the Old Testament Tabernacle on Wednesday's midweek service.  Join him in Room A-161, 6:30pm.  Dr. Murray writes:  "A study of the Tabernacle is one of the most enlightening studies in the Bible.  There are more than 13 chapters in Exodus, 18 in Leviticus, 13 in Numbers, and 4 in Hebrews devoted to its construction, its meaning, the priesthood, and worship instructions.  When you consider that only 2 chapters of the Bible are devoted to the creation, the significance becomes apparent."

A Sample of "Links to Your World" -- From my weblog, "Get Anchored"

Facts you didn't know about Chuck Norris, such as:  "Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants."

Paul's four-letter words.

This guy serves as pastor to a bunch of clowns. Yeah: been there; done that.

51 Ways to Expand Your Comfort Zone.

See more links at my weblog, "Get Anchored" (click here).

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