Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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A 'Gladiator' Seeks Baptism
by Tom Goodman
November 14, 2007

"I started thinking recently, 'If I believe it is important to baptize my kids, why not me?'"

That's 43-year-old Oscar-winner Russell Crowe, discussing his faith with Men's Journal.  "I do believe there are more important things than what is in the mind of a man," he says.  "There is something much bigger that drives us all.  I'm willing to take that leap of faith."  As a result, he's making plans to participate in baptism.

Maybe it's time you took this step, too.  Once we have made a commitment to Christ, the Bible directs us to seek baptism.  Our immersion down into the water is a symbol of our union with a Savior who died for our sins and rose again to give us new life (Romans 6:3-4).  In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus laid out a sequence we are to follow: "make them my disciples," then "baptize them," and then "teach them to do everything I have told you."  So, after you have decided for yourself to become a disciple, you need to look for an opportunity to be baptized.

One of those opportunities is coming up this Sunday morning.  I hope you give me the privilege of baptizing you.  Contact the church office right away if you want to follow Christ into baptism.

An International Fellowship.  Did you know you were worshipping in an international fellowship at Hillcrest?  Among the 21 people in last Sunday's "Discover Hillcrest" membership classes, we had friends from Puerto Rico, Scotland, Iran, and Holland.  In addition, each Sunday we worship with friends from Congo, Singapore, China, Germany, Ivory Coast, Mexico, and India.  (Am I missing someone?)

Veterans Day.  I forgot to recognize military vets in our worship services Sunday, and I apologize.  I missed a chance to say it publicly, but I'm grateful to all of you who have served our country so well!

Clarence and Eileen Cossey.  Speaking of giving thanks, be sure to thank Eileen Cossey for 26 years of teaching Sunday School.  She recently gave up her class to assist her husband, Clarence, as he continues into his 10th year of leading a Sunday morning Bible study at a local retirement center.

Israel Trip.  The December deadline is fast approaching to turn in your $300 deposit for our springtime trip to Israel.  I'll tell you more about it in next week's Winning Ways.  Download the brochure about the trip here.

Judas.  This Sunday we end our series through the Apostles with a caution from the life and suicide of Judas.  Join us at the 9:30am "Bold Blend" service or the 10:45am "Smooth Blend" service, or listen online Monday (iTunes; website).


Basketball and Cheerleading.  Do you want your child in Upward Basketball and Hillcrest Hoops?  Did you miss the first Evaluation Day?  There will be a make-up Evaluation Day this Saturday, November 17, 9am to noon.  More information here.

Fall Food Drive.  Help us feed Austin's hungry families.  Find out how you can help us here.

Find Your P.L.A.C.E. of Service.  Learn more about Herb's workshop here.

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

Drop By the Blog, Leave a Comment.  At my weblog, "Get Anchored," every Sunday I post a new "Song of the Week" (This week: "Amazing Grace" by Twila Paris), and every Tuesday I post some entertaining and informative "Links to Your World."  Also, this week I've posted a LeaderLines report on how churches can overcome our culture's isolation (last of a five-part series).

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