Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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A New Year to Climb Higher
by Tom Goodman
December 31, 2008

At 85, legendary Fred Beckey is still planning ascents.  His intensity should inspire us all, because we're all called upward.

The New York Times described Beckey as a legend in the mountaineering world.  In seven decades, he's claimed more virgin ascents than any other living climber, and has ascended peaks deemed unclimbable by other experts.  At 31, he scaled Mounts McKinley, Hunter, and Deborah in the Alaska Range in a single summer, and the feat became known as his Triple Crown.  At 40, he logged 26 first ascents in a single year.  He's put up new routes across Wyoming, Colorado, California, British Columbia, and Alaska.

Now 85, he's still looking for the next challenge.  To complete his opus, he wants to chart new routes up Mount Monarch in the Coast Range, Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, and Mount Assiniboine in the Canadian Rockies.

As I said, his devotion should inspire us all, because we all have a climb to make.  At Hillcrest, we call it out H.I.L.L. to crest:

Honor the Lord of Life
Invite Your World to Life
Love the Fellowship for Life
Live the Word in Life

Don't think of these as tasks we only do at church.  This is the path for anyone who wants to know fulfillment.  Wherever you are -- at work, at school, on vacation, in the hospital -- your job is to HONOR God's Name, INVITE others to God's Grace, LOVE God's People, and LIVE God's Word.  That's the H.I.L.L. set before us.

As you turn the calendar page to 2009, make a fresh commitment to be a faithful climber.  Your church exists to give you the training and encouragement to take the summit.  While gaining the help you need, also look for others who could use inspiration from you as they make their own ascent.

In the Swiss Alps, there is an epitaph on a tombstone for a Swiss guide:  "He died climbing."  It looks like that's going to be the way people remember 85-year-old Fred Beckey.  Make it true of you, too!

Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored."  Some things to look for...

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