Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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When You Suffer from Sunset
by Tom Goodman
October 31, 2007

An older man was walking with his grandson on the beach when they met up with an old friend.  The friend began to complain about his bad health and his bad finances and his bad family.  To top it all off, he said, he had stayed out too long in the day and had a touch of sunstroke.  The grandfather expressed sympathy for his friend as they parted ways.

Reflecting on all the complaints he had just heard, the child looked up and said, "Grandpa, I hope you never suffer from sunset."

We've all had those moments when we saw everything through the damp fog of pessimism.  I remember as a boy going to vacations in North Carolina.  As we toured through some of the scenic mountain roads, sometimes we would drive right into the clouds.  One moment we would be admiring these breath-taking views of the country spread out below us.  Then the next moment it would all disappear in fog as a cloud would envelop us.

We have moments like that in life.  At one moment our outlook is bright, and then, suddenly, we pass through a gloomy cloud of pessimism that hides everything beautiful.  Behind the actions of even your closest friends, you assume the worst motivations.  As you begin some new project, you decide ahead of time that it's doomed to failure.  You even begin you have deep reservations that God remembers your name or cares about your problems.

Thankfully, God does not throw up his hands in disgust when we get like that.  Our Lord's treatment of the Apostle Thomas is a case in point.  In every story of Thomas in the Bible, he never displayed an open and hopeful view of life.  Morose, fatalistic, and resigned -- this is what we see of Thomas.  But under Christ's influence, he changed.

This Sunday, we'll look at Thomas, as well as another apostle called Matthew.  Its part of our series through the lives of the Twelve Apostles called, "What God Can Do with Ordinary You."  Matthew had a dark past that was overcome by Christ's forgiveness, while Thomas had a dark future that was overcome by Christ's promise!

Most of us can identify with Matthew's dark past or with Thomas' dark future.  Bring a friend this Sunday and find out how Christ can help us overcome these limitations.  Join us at the 9:30am "Bold Blend" service or the 10:45am "Smooth Blend" service, or listen online Monday (iTunes; website).


"Fall Back" This Sunday!  Daylight Savings Time ends at 2am Sunday morning, November 4.  Set your clocks back an hour before bed this Saturday evening.

Interested in Membership?  Spread the word about our next Discover Hillcrest class.  It will be held next Sunday, November 11, right after the morning service.  LUNCH IS PROVIDED!  The class is for those who want to become members, and for those who just want to learn more about Hillcrest.  While I teach the adult class, BJ teaches "Discover Hillcrest Kids" for children ages 8-12, and Jim teaches "Discover Hillcrest Youth" for students in grades 6-12.  Childcare is provided for children under the age of 8.  Pre-registration is encouraged but not required.  You can register by contacting our Ministry Assistant, Jami, at

Come out to our Kids Pumpkin Party October 31!

Josh Hunt Conference.  This Saturday, November 3.  More information in Herb's article.

Golf Time.  Sign up for our Hillcrest Golf Tournament November 17.  You can now pay your registration fees online with your credit card!

Youth Activities.  There's always something going on for middle school and high school students.  Catch the latest in Jim's article!

Drop By the Blog, Leave a Comment.  At my weblog, "Get Anchored," every Sunday I post a new "Song of the Week" (This week: "Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy" by Fernando Ortega and Amy Grant).  Every Tuesday I post some entertaining and informative "Links to Your World."  Also, this week I've posted my reaction to the NY Times article about the evangelical "crackup," fun with buzzwords among church leaders, a compelling section from a compelling prolife article, updates on Lori Shepard's mission trip to Latvia, information about our Josh Hunt Conference, and how to deal with truth in our culture (third of a five-part series).

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