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Raising Ebenezers
by Tom Goodman
May 25, 2011

At Hillcrest we're raising an Ebenezer!

There's a story from 1 Samuel 7 about the old prophet Samuel.  The Philistines were threatening to attack Israel, and when the people prayed, God helped them win.  To honor that victory, the prophet Samuel set up a stone and called it "Ebenezer," which in Hebrew means "stone of help."  He explained the marker to the people, saying, "This marks the place where God helped us" (verse 12).

That's the biblical story behind that strange stanza from the old hymn, Come Thou Fount:

Here I raise mine Ebenezer
Hither by thy help I'm come.

God's people need to raise more Ebenezers.  After each crisis is resolved, after each prayer is answered, after each project is over, after each journey is completed, and after each goal is accomplished we need to set aside time raise an Ebenezer stone and say, "This marks the place where God helped us."

Hillcrest is raising an Ebenezer in celebration of our "Beautiful Thing" campaign.  For the last six weeks we've worked together toward the goal of raising a million dollars for much-needed renovation of our 40-year-old Worship Center.  We distributed a brochure through a "Family Album Relay," and we fellowshipped around a fantastic banquet, and we prepared ourselves spiritually through 30 days of devotionals written by our own members and through a 60-Hour Prayer Vigil.  You can view the long list of campaign workers.

If you missed the big announcement on Sunday, here's how we did.  Our cash and commitment offerings totaled $827,232!

I'm proud of this church for such strong support!  Given the economy and our church's size, that's an amazing total to launch our 3-year renovation project.  We'll need every bit of a million to get our 40-year-old building in the shape it needs to be in.  And I'm confident that the remaining $173,000 of our goal will come in across the next 3 years of the fund-raising effort.  This often happens in campaigns like this; and, God being our helper, we'll see that happen here.

So, I'm proud of you, Hillcrest!  More than that, we praise God who so powerfully worked through our congregation!  We can say the same thing Samuel said to his people, "This marks the place where God helped us!"

To God be the glory!


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