Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
Manage Your Subscription -- Subscribe/Unsubscribe
Contact Us About Your Subscription
A Bible Study of the Topics<br>
That Inspired Your Favorite Films
(Sundays @ 10am)
Hillcrest Baptist Church

Do You Focus on Outward Appearance or Inward Character?
by Tom Goodman
February 19, 2014

The poetry of Irishman Christopher Nolen is a reminder that the outward appearance isn't a reliable guide to a person's worth.

Throughout his life, Nolen's body was mute and almost useless, plagued by cerebral palsy.  But the Irishman proved to the world yet again that we should not judge books by covers.  He had no use of his arms, but wearing something called a "unicorn stick" strapped to his forehead, he tapped out literary works that caused people to marvel.

When he was just fifteen, he published a book of poetry called Dam-Burst of Dreams.  It won him comparisons to James Joyce and to one of my favorite poets, the 17th-century John Donne.  His autobiography, Under the Eye of the Clock, won Britain's most prestigious literary award and became a bestseller.  The members of the band, U2, were classmates of Nolan, and praised him in their 2004 song, "Miracle Drug."

I want to trip inside your head
Spend the day there
To hear the things you haven't said
And see what you might see

Christy Nolan died in 2009 at the age of 43.  But his life and work remind us again that the outward appearance is not the most reliable factor in judging a person's worth.

Many of us are making an important "people decision" at this moment in our lives.  We are deciding on a marriage partner.  We are in another political campaign season.  We are employers deciding whom to hire.  What do you regard as the most important factor when measuring a person's character?

When Samuel was looking for a new king to replace Saul in 1 Samuel 16, God told Samuel, "People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."  If we will base our decisions on that factor above all others, we will make better decisions.

Outward appearance is all that two women think about in the 1992 dark comedy, Death Becomes Her.  Even as the film ends, they still haven't discovered how bizarre their lives have become because of their misplaced priorities.  It's the fourth film in our sermon series, Movie Messages.  We're doing a Bible study on the themes of some popular films.  In this week's study, a careful look at 1 Samuel 16 will lead us all to base our "people decisions" on something deeper than outward impressions.  Join us @ 10!


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.