Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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(Sermon series beginning November 3)
Hillcrest Baptist Church

Leave Your Mark
by Tom Goodman
November 3, 2010

The movie Mr. Holland's Opus tells the fictional story of Glenn Holland, a man with hopes of being a great composer.  He takes a job as a high school music teacher, but it's just to pay the rent while he works on his true goal.  Nights and weekends he's busy composing one memorable piece of music that can leave his mark on the world.

But life keeps interrupting his plans.  One year at the high school becomes two, then five, then fifteen.  And then one day the school board shuffles old Mr. Holland out for early retirement.  He packs his desk.  His wife and grown son come to fetch him.

Walking down the school's wide, empty hallways, he hears a sound in the auditorium.  He investigates.

And there in the auditorium are hundreds of his students from his years of teaching -- many now old themselves -- dozens of his colleagues, both current and former, hundreds of friends, fans, and well-wishers:  The room is packed.  All have gathered to say thank you.

On the stage, waiting for him, is an orchestra made up of Mr. Holland's students through the years.  Unbeknownst to him, they've been preparing to perform Mr. Holland's Opus -- the composition that, across four decades, he hammered out and tinkered with, polished, discarded, recovered, reworked, but never finished.

They play it now.

But of course we all know by now what Mr. Holland's opus really is.  It isn't his composition.  It's the people he impacted: students and colleagues and family whom his passions and convictions have helped and shaped.

Who will be playing your opus?

This Sunday we'll begin a four-week series called "Leave Your Mark."  It's about becoming a person of influence.  It's for parents and coaches and teachers and managers and civic leaders and anyone else who knows the importance of influence.  As I've studied Paul's first missionary journey in Acts 13-14, I'm reminded of what it takes to impact others.

This Sunday we'll begin the series with a look at Acts 13:1-12.  Here we discover that influence requires us to deal with whatever can interfere with our influence.  Whether its peer pressure upon your teenager, or self-doubt within your team, or the dark forces of spiritual oppression surrounding a family member, your positive influence has to come to terms with this negative interference.

Join us at 10 a.m. each Sunday morning in November for this important series!


Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored," with its Links to Your World -- interesting and informative links, posted every Tuesday.

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