Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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A Life Built By Busyness or Blueprints?
by Tom Goodman
June 22, 2011

Please note some important online resources that I provide at the end of today’s enewsletter.

The Winchester Mystery House is the product of busyness instead of blueprints.  Let's make sure the house doesn't illustrate our lives and our church.

Will Mancini wrote about this odd Victorian house in San Jose, California.  From 1884 and for 38 years, the home underwent constant construction.  It has 160 rooms, three elevators, forty staircases, and forty-seven fireplaces.  But there's no point to much of the work:  Stairs lead into the ceiling; windows decorate the floor, and doors open into blank walls.  "Random features reflect excessive creativity, energy, and expense," Mancini writes, "from exquisite hand inlaid parquet floors to Tiffany art glass windows."

The constant busyness was ordered by Sarah Winchester, widow and heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune.  She became convinced that she was being plagued by the evil spirits of those killed by her husband's famous invention, and that the only way to appease them was by continuous construction.  And so today tourists can walk through her monument to 38 years of pointless busyness.

As I said, it's a cautionary tale for our lives and our church.  Are you just keeping in motion, or are you making something of your life?

This Sunday, we return to our series through the Acts of the Apostles, and our study will give us a blueprint for the building of our life and our church.

We pressed pause on the Acts series several months ago so I could prepare and lead the Beautiful Thing campaign.  God willing, we'll complete the Book of Acts across the next 10 weeks.

The summertime series is called Word! Changing Lives With Unchanging Truth.  As I've studied through Acts 18-28, I can't help but be struck by the Apostle Paul's drive and energy and personal sacrifice to get the Word out to every corner of his culture.  He was confident that the Word of God was the medicine that others needed.  He was hard at work changing lives with unchanging truth.

If we can build our lives and our church on that blueprint, we won't leave behind a Winchester Mystery House for people to gawk over.  Instead, we'll be filled with that satisfaction that can only come from being aligned with God's purposes.

Join us this Sunday @ 10 as we begin this summertime series!


Important Online Resources

Beacon Articles Available Online:  The staff newsletters that appear each week in the Beacon are also available on our website.  You can find them here.

Check out my weblog here.

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