Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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So Good So Far
by Tom Goodman
May 22, 2013

Diane and I want to thank you all for last Sunday's tenth anniversary celebration at Hillcrest.  We were humbled by your generous love offering, and we were overwhelmed with the kind words shared publicly on stage and privately in comments or notes.

We have made lasting friendships in every church we've served, but there's no doubt that a longer tenure results in a deeper impact.  I looked around the room last Sunday at people whose partners I've buried... people I've midwifed into faith... people who've carried the load of leadership with me... people I've talked off the metaphorical ledge... graduating seniors who were just finishing second grade when I started here.  At one point in the receiving line I even noted the coincidence of having, one after the other, someone from Iran, Taiwan, India, and Mexico.  Part of the grief of leaving my Cayman Islands church ten years ago was having to leave an international fellowship of some thirty nationalities.  Who would have thought that Hillcrest just might come close to matching that mix!

You all were very kind to talk of the ways that Diane and I have been a blessing to you, but please know how much you have blessed us, too.  As a pastor, I really try to practice Romans 1:12 (NCV):  "I want us to help each other with the faith we have.  Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you."  Paul knew that pastoral leadership was as much about receiving as about giving.  In these ten years I have both given and received teaching, encouragement, warning, friendship, and prayers.

The 18th century pastor, Jonathan Edwards, wrote, "Oh how good to work for God in the day-time, and at night to lie down under his smiles."  Your gracious service to mark my 10th anniversary has made that work and that rest sweeter.

Questions God Wants to Ask You.  We just completed a sermon series called "Questions I've Wanted to Ask God."  But there are a bunch of questions God wants to ask you!  Jesus asked questions like, "What do you want me to do for you... why are you so afraid... do you want to get well... do you understand what I have done for you?"  Starting this Sunday @ 10, we're going to spend a few weeks under the questions God wants to ask us.


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