Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
Manage Your Subscription -- Subscribe/Unsubscribe
Contact Us About Your Subscription

Our "Ten Commandments" Study Starts Sunday!
by Tom Goodman
September 12, 2012

The 300-year-old pecan tree doesn't look like the others in a woody area of Dallas.  About 25 feet of the trunk runs parallel to the ground before jutting vertically toward the sky.

It's a native American trail marker, and it makes me think of another "trail marker" waiting to be rediscovered.

The Statesman covered this story in June.  Trail markers were formed by native Americans, who bent young trees so that the trunks would grow into pointers.  The markers indicated the direction of low-water creek crossings or sacred sites.  Arborists and history buffs across the nation have been busy identifying and preserving these pieces of living history.

As I said, the story makes me think of another "trail marker" waiting to be rediscovered.  This Sunday the Hillcrest Family will begin a careful look at the Ten Commandments.  Native Americans used trees to tell those coming behind them, "This is the way you want to go."  In the same way, generations of believers all around the world have pointed to the Ten Commandments and said, "Don't miss the good life.  Here's where you can find it."

Indian trail markers have gotten lost by neglect or urban encroachment.  And, of course, there are forces at work to obscure the Ten Commandments, too.  In the news this week a public school on the outskirts of Philadelphia has been forced to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments that has stood on the property for 50 years.  To avoid a lawsuit, they've covered up the ancient laws until they can remove the offending statue.  It's unsettling to see photos of God's words covered in plywood as if it was a shameful thing.

But we can have a debate about posting the Ten Commandments in public spaces another time.  What I'm interested in is how well we post them in our hearts.  That's what we'll be doing at Hillcrest for the next ten weeks.

We're calling our series "God's Perfect 10," and the series is for all ages.  Preschoolers and children and youth and adults -- we'll all have our own age-appropriate exploration of God's Perfect 10.

Pray for our series, and think about someone who should join you this week.  In fact, you could send this newsletter article to them with an invitation to join you.  This ancient "trail marker" is worth rediscovering!


Many Thanks!  It was exciting to return to our newly renovated auditorium last Sunday.  My thanks to the many, many people who worked so hard to complete this project in just three summertime months!

New Directory!  We are doing a new church directory!  Portrait sign-ups start this Sunday in the gym and online here.  Portrait sitting dates are: October 16, 17, 18, 19, and 23 from 2:00-8:40 p.m.  Also, we have Saturday, October 20 available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Even if you are not a member yet, if you want a professionally-done portrait, you are welcome to sign up!

AWANA Begins!  Spread the word that AWANA begins Wednesday, September 19.  This exciting ministry is a fun way to teach children the Bible.  Learn more here.

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.

Do you know friends who would appreciate Winning Ways?  Just forward this e-mail to them!

Have you subscribed to Winning Ways?  You can subscribe by clicking here and following the instructions.  Your e-mail address will not be sold or given away to anyone, and you can automatically change your subscription or drop it by following the easy steps provided with each e-mail.



MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS TO OUR EMAIL NEWSLETTERS:  Click here.  If you do not have access to the web, please send a note to to tell us of any changes you would like to make.