Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Video shown in worship services
on Sunday, May 21.

Requires Flash player to view. "Next-Level Living"
by Tom Goodman
May 31, 2006

“God makes his ministers a flame of fire,” Jim Elliot jotted in his journal after reading Psalm 104:4.

Reflecting on that verse, the young man wrote, “Am I ignitable?  God, deliver me from the dread asbestos of ‘other things.’  Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be aflame.”

At 28, Elliot was among five missionaries martyred in his efforts to bring the gospel to the Auca Indians of Ecuador in 1956.  His widow, Elizabeth, recounted the incident in the popular book, Through Gates of Splendor.  The story was recently brought to modern audiences in the film The End of the Spear.

Jim Eliot’s prayer was answered:  Though he burned briefly for God, he burned brightly.

Are you ignitable?  On Sunday mornings this summer, we’re going to learn how to burn brightly for God.  The Apostle Paul had some great things to say about that subject in the last two chapters of his letter to the Colossians.  We began a study of Colossians at the start of 2006 before interrupting the series for our Worship Campaign and our biblical response to The Da Vinci Code.  God spoke to us through those studies, and now we look forward to how his Spirit will challenge us as we complete our series through Colossians.

Turn the lazy days of summer into a time of spiritual renewal!  Over the next two months, we’ll cover five vital topics from Colossians:

       The Next Level with Your Lord (Colossians 3:1-11)
       The Next Level with Your Church (Colossians 3:12-17)
       The Next Level with Your Family (Colossians 3:18-21)
       The Next Level with Your Work (Colossians 3:22-4:1)
       The Next Level with Your THEMs (Colossians 4:2-6)

If you’re ready to take your Christian experience to the next level, join us for this summertime series!  I’ll share these five biblical challenges every Sunday at the “Bold Blend” service (9:30 a.m.) and the “Smooth Blend” service (10:45 a.m.).

Encourage a friend to come with you to this study.  It’s very easy to use the e-mail version of Winning Ways to do this.  Just click the “forward” button, put your friend’s e-mail address in the “to” field, and add a personal note of your own.  Bring someone new, or reach out to someone you haven’t seen in a few weeks.

Let your passion for God rise with the summertime temperatures!  Be ignitable!


Important Notes:

“In This Place.”  Don’t miss the video!  Watch it here.  Forward this e-newsletter to your friends, tell them to click on the banner and see if they can catch a glimpse of you!  The video was shown on May 18 as a pictorial celebration of our first five weeks in the new Sunday morning schedule.  We’re so grateful to our webmaster, Paul Waldo, for formatting the video so it could be shown on our website.  Our thanks to Michael Goodman and Tim and Judi Raymund for all the camera work, and a big “Thank You!” to Steve Williams for creating the video around the song, “In This Place”!  By the way, Jim Siegel and the praise band have started teaching that song to those attending the Bold Service.  Great job, everyone!

It’s Time for Courageous Kids Camp!  Learn basketball or cheerleading skills, and hear Bible stories of how courageous young people obeyed God.  Find out more in BJ’s article and at our website.

“Redeem the Time.”  Your church staff wants to pray with you about your outreach plans this summer.  Respond to our “Redeem the Time” challenge by completing a commitment card this Sunday.

Respond to The Da Vinci Code.  Help your friends separate fact from fiction in Dan Brown’s bestselling novel and film version of the story.  I’ve provided lots of helpful links about the subject on our website here.

“One-Day I.N.V.I.T.E. Seminar.”  Sunday, June 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m., in the MPC.  Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”  Are you casting lines into your relationships?  Sharing Jesus with those around you should be a joy!  In this seminar, I will teach you how!  Cost: free.  Childcare is provided for 5th\grade and below.

Links to Your World

In the article, “It's Never 'Just a Movie',” Chris Leland says that the books we read, the movies and shows we watch, and the music we listen to all have something to say about how we ought to think and feel, and we have to identify how those messages affect us.  Leland teaches Christian Worldview Studies for the Focus on the Family Institute.
Have you seen the clip from the animated TV show, King of the Hill, where Hank Hill and his family are trying to find a new church?  Watch it here and have a laugh.
This article from The Christian Science Monitor asks whether short-term mission trips have the impact on American churchgoers that church leaders hope.
The Christian Behind ‘X-Men’ Producer Ralph Winter discusses the spiritual messages in the blockbuster film trilogy—and life as a person of faith in Hollywood.

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