Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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Stable Faith in Unstable Times
(Sundays @ 10)
Hillcrest Baptist Church

Still Life
by Tom Goodman
October 30, 2013

"Still" describes someone who is calm, not anxiously moving or nervously talking.

"Still" describes someone who is constant:  They are still the same.

"Still" describes a person who is controlled:  They won't retreat but stand still.

But is "still" a good word to describe you?

I've been thinking a lot about this word.  God commanded us to "be still" in our crisis and trust him (Psalm 46:10).  God spoke to the burned-out prophet Elijah in a "still, small voice" (1 Kings 19).  The Apostle Paul told us to be ambitious to lead a quiet life (1 Thessalonians 4:11).

We love the big and the flashy these days:

We read books that tell us we ought to expect the astonishing when we pray.  Just ask God to give us this day our daily bread?  How dull.

We go to conferences that tell us we're second-class disciples unless we've quit our jobs to start a third-world orphanage.  If you're a working stiff who faithfully raises your kids and loves your spouse and serves in your church, well, that's not enough.

Really, I don't want to belittle the longing for a spectacular life.  I sometimes need the reminders to pray boldly and to live boldly.

But still.

In the calls to expect the extraordinary, I'm afraid God's people are forgetting the ordinary.  We're called to be faithful, stubbornly obedient, and to look for God to show up in the routines of daily living.

So, starting this Sunday, we're going to look at the Still Life.  Across the next several weeks we're going to examine God's commands to be still, to stand faithful, and to do well the too-often dull work of life.  We'll start with burned-out Elijah in 1 Kings 19.  He needed the reminder that God doesn't always work in the big flashy ways Elijah expected.  Join us @ 10.

Have you turned in an "Explore God" testimony yet?  We want to know how the "Explore God" campaign has impacted you.  Did it settle a question you were wrestling with?  Did you get into some interesting conversations in the community?  Did you make a decision for Christ?  Give us your impressions and stories here.  Your story will be a real encouragement to the leaders of this campaign.  We'll publish as many as we can on November 10.


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