Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Hillcrest Church Office
June 23, 2004

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Here is this week's WINNING WAYS . . . .

“Think Fast!”
by Tom Goodman

What is the spiritual discipline practiced by the first-century church but mostly absent from the twenty-first-century church?


Jesus practiced it.  Paul regularly took part in it.  First-century church leaders often joined it with their fervent prayers.  In our “super-size me” culture, however, it’s rarely practiced or even taught.

For Hillcrest, that changes this week.  This Sunday, June 27, I’ll be interrupting my series on the Last Days to challenge you to fast.  I’ll share four reasons that people in the Bible fasted.  Using the acronym F-A-S-T, we’ll learn that we should fast when we need to seek Forgiveness, when we need to express Adoration, when we need God to Supply an answer, or when we need to Train ourselves to be godly.

If you need to seek Forgiveness, express Adoration, ask God to Supply something you need, or Train yourself to be godly, you can’t miss our study this Sunday!

This message will launch a five-week prayer emphasis that we all need to take seriously.  We’re going to take the rest of the summer to simply pray that God would reveal to us the folks around us who need Him:  our family members . . . our co-workers . . . our neighbors . . . our teammates in sports . . . whoever they are.  Those who commit to this prayer emphasis will receive a refrigerator magnet and a key ring as reminders to pray.  (Yep, there’s a reason you’re getting a ‘fridge magnet for a fasting emphasis!!)

This is a very simple prayer, but I assure you that Satan will do everything he can to keep you from praying this prayer.

That’s where fasting comes in.

In 2 Chronicles 20, when King Jehoshaphat heard that enemies were getting ready to invade God’s people, verse 2 says, “Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.”  Then he prayed a beautiful prayer that ends like this—verse 12:  “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

Have you reached that point in your relationship with a lost marriage partner or a lost friend?  Have you reached that point with a class that isn’t growing or with workers in your ministry who don’t share your burden for targeting unchurched people?  Sometimes we need to set aside all the training manuals and the how-to books and simply say to God, “I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are upon you.”

You will be more effective in prayer after this week’s study on fasting.  Come at 8:15 or 10:45 a.m. to find out how to restore this biblical discipline to your life!

We’re holding a special called business meeting at 6:30 p.m. this Sunday, June 27 to deal with the proposed schedule change.  I’m pleased to report that the Deacon Body will second the motion—thanks for your examination and prayers, guys!

Have you checked out the “Frequently Asked Questions” page on our website?  I hope the page will answer your questions regarding our proposed Fall schedule change.  Go online at  If you prefer, you can pick up a copy of the “Frequently Asked Questions” in the foyer at church this Sunday.



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