Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Six Challenges

Sundays at 9:30 and 10:45am.  
Are You a Functional Atheist?
by Tom Goodman
August 27, 2008

Take a look at this strange word:  GODISNOWHERE.

Maybe it's, "God is nowhere" or maybe it's, "God is now here."  It all depends on how we look at it.

That's true in life, too.  God is closer than you think, but whether you discover that truth depends on how you look at life.  Take a moment to reflect on two questions, and the rest of your week will be better for it.

First, are you living as if you're on your own in this life?  Maybe you've been saying, "God is nowhere."  That makes you a functional atheist.  Functional atheists don't say, "God does not exist," but they function as if he does not.  They go about life as if they're on their own.  Until Jacob's encounter with God in Genesis 28, he went through life with that attitude.  Before that moment, if you had asked Jacob if he believed there was a God, he probably would have simply shrugged and said, "That's what I've heard."  But God was really nothing more than a name in some old stories that his father and grandfather used to tell.  He lived with no real consideration of God.  As far as he was concerned, he was on his own in this life.

Second, if you've been living as if you're on your own, what should you do when you find out you're not?  In Genesis 28, Jacob discovered that God was active in his life and God had a plan for his life.  The way he looked at life was different, and he said, "God is now here!  The Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it!"  How do you respond when that realization breaks in on you?  You realign you life to what God wants.  You trust him.  You look to him for guidance and provision.  You ask him what he wants you to do with your life.

Discover the difference that comes from firm faith in God!  Join us for worship this Sunday, August 31, at 9:30am or 10:45am!

Special Note:  Please see BJ Linam's note in this week's newsletter (online here).  After nearly 9 years of service at Hillcrest, BJ and Dale will be moving to Nashville.  They will be dearly missed, but we rejoice with them in their obedience to God's call.  Before their last Sunday, September 14, let them know of your thoughts and prayers!

Weblog:  Check out "Get Anchored."  Every Sunday I post a new "Song of the Week" (This week, "The Eleventh Hour," by Jars of Clay).  Also, every Tuesday I post some entertaining and informative "Links to Your World."  This week, you'll also find a report from church member Terry O'Daniel about healing prayer.

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