CrossingCurrents

The Newsletter of Crosswinds Foundation

 

 

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                                                November 30, 2010                    Vol. 3:6

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 Birmingham, AL 35202

 

Your investment in our work is greatly appreciated.

 

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Bob

 

Bob

What does the story of the three little pigs and Crosswinds have to do with one another? This may sound like the opening to a riddle but, actually it is one of the earliest analogies I used when asked to explain what Crosswinds is all about. So, you ask, "What could this children's story possibly have to do with engaging the culture? I am glad you asked and encourage you to read this month's feature article for the answer.

 

I originally wrote this when we first started Crosswinds in 2008. Considering that at that time it was sent to only seventy three homes, whereas now we send to some 2,000, plus Churches, homes and businesses, I thought it worth repeating. (Hopefully, if you are a good old Southerner, the opening paragraph won't set you out in pursuit of barbeque prior to finishing the article.)

 

If you are interested in the need to be able to effectively communicate with others, be sure and read feature writer, Jeff Sutherland's cleverly penned, "No Te Preocupes". If you can't translate the title, don't worry. It will all become clear when you read the article.

 

I am amazed at the growth we have experienced at Crosswinds. Though we are only two years old we have expanded into Europe and Asia through our subsidiary organizations, Crosswinds Romania and Crossties Asia. We have also expanded our U.S. operations through Second Avenue Forums, which focuses on life discussion groups and conferences, and Cross-Swords, a developing ministry to military personnel.

 

Last month we launched XN2 Media, a full service media production company which will produce online video and documentaries. And we are not done yet. In 2011 our plans include developing an ongoing ministry into the youth culture, X2-LIFE and potentially opening an office in Washington, DC that will deal with developing political/legislative policies that are impacting the culture.

 

We appreciate so much the generous support of those who have made a financial investment in our ministry during 2010. It is because of their faithful giving that we have been able to expand into other areas even in the midst of an economic downturn. That you have helped us to grow during such times is truly a great encouragement.

 

As you consider your year-end giving, I ask you to consider investing a portion into the work of Crosswinds Foundation. As you can see, we are still building for the future. If you are able to help us at this time, just click on the donation link below.

 

Our staff and Board wish for you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a safe and joyous holiday season!

 

Blessings,

Bob Signature 
Bob Waldrep

 

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ThreeThree Little Pigs and a Barbeque Sanwich By Bob Waldrep

 

3 pigsDo you remember reading or being told the story of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf? While driving to a meeting I began thinking about this story. Actually, I was driving past a barbeque restaurant and thinking about how great it would be to stop and get a pork sandwich - inside chopped, oozing with sauce, a side of potato salad and baked beans and....well, you get the picture. Barbeque pork naturally leads one to think about pigs, which can lead to reminiscing about those most famous of pigs - the three little pigs (or, perhaps, Porky the Pig for some readers). But, I digress.

 

Anyway, you know how the story goes: the three pigs each built a house to protect them from the big bad wolf; one built with straw, one with sticks, and one chose brick. Those made of straw and sticks were quickly disposed of by the strong winds blown by said wolf, as he "huffed and puffed and blew the house down"; however, the one of brick withstood the winds and protected the little pig that constructed it. The moral, of course, is to build with strong materials that will withstand the attack and protect you from that which would harm you.


In other words, the building materials we use in life are important, as is the foundation that we build upon. Long before the story of the three little pigs, Jesus had taught this lesson to those who would follow him. He didn't speak of three pigs, but of real life situations. Here is how he put it:


"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." MT 7:24-27 (NIV)


Realizing that we live in a day when many are building their lives on hay and stubble, Crosswinds Foundation was established, to help others recognize that the cultural winds are blowing and to provide a resource for those interested in helping to build our faith and culture with the best materials and on the right foundation - Jesus Christ - the one who is the "Foundation" of Crosswinds.


The cultural crosswinds we face are sometimes so subtle they are barely perceptible, slowly shaking us from our foundation and gradually altering our course in life. At other times they stand in such contrast to prevailing practices they cannot be missed. Both should be taken seriously.

 

Following are just a few of the statistical indicators reflecting the changing cultural footprints of Americans in the area of faith and spirituality:*

 

92% believe in God, but only 56% believe that religion is very important

25% Believe God is an impersonal force (a basic tenet of eastern religions such as Hinduism)

70% believe many religions can lead to eternal life

40% see a conflict in religion and modern society

34% believe religion causes more problems in society than it solves

45% seldom, or never, read Scripture outside religious services

52% say the best determiner of right and wrong is practical experience and common sense

47% seldom or never share their faith with others

 

Were you aware of these culture shifts? As with the big bad wolf, it is not a question of whether the rains and winds will come; the question is: will the faith, beliefs, values and practices we hold dear, and pass on to our children and grandchildren, be able to withstand the cultural winds that blow against them? The answer depends on the foundation upon which we are building and the materials that we are using.


Jesus words are clear; believers are not simply to rest on the foundation but to build on it by living out his words in the culture. We should not fear the cultural winds but stand firm in their midst. And, while the winds can be quite strong, let us not forget that the foundation is stronger and will secure us in the midst of the storm and will allow us to prevail. The third little pig learned that lesson and so should we.

 

The big bad wolf huffed and he puffed but he could not blow the house down. Why? Because the foundation and building materials were too strong. Should our faith be any different?


Our forefathers established the "foundation for faith and culture" of this country on Christ and His teachings, so much so that we have long referred to ours as being a Christian Nation. I think most would agree this is no longer the case.


For decades now, cultural winds have been blowing a new course - shifting the very foundation and fabric of our society. Beliefs and practices that forty years ago would never have been part of who we are, as a people, have now been mainstreamed into our society. One of the reasons for this is, somewhere along the way, the voice of the Church was lost to the discussion; thus, in many instances, these social, political, spiritual, and philosophical changes went unchallenged.


As believers, it is essential that we turn this around and again become intentional in shaping the conversation in the marketplace and to become the influencers of culture that Christ intends us to be. Jesus was very clear on this:


"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. MT 5: 13-16 (NIV)


We cannot be salt unless we are engaging the world. We cannot be light unless we are where there is darkness. We cannot secure our culture unless we learn the lesson of the three little pigs and build on a sure foundation.


And he huffed .... "And the rains came down"

And he puffed .... "And the winds blew"

But he could not blow the house down ... "Yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."

 

I ain't afraid of no big bad wolf...are you?

 

No? Then let's join together in the marketplace and live the truth of our faith.

 

*Statistical data from Pew Forum, June 2008 (See "Culture Tracks" in this issue for more)

 

 

 

NoTe"No Te Preocupes" by Jeff Sutherland

 

Golf Course Workers"Si me dieras el si!"

Loosely translated this means, "If only she would say yes". This is the only sentence I learned in my four quarters of Spanish other than, "Donde es el bano?" (Where is the bathroom), and "Yo quiero mas cervasas." (I need more beer). The latter two, I must admit, were closely connected as part of my college days. The former, however, proved to have much greater importance as it was a sentence I learned while attempting to woo my future bride into marrying me.

Fortunately God in His infinite wisdom convinced my bride to say yes because He knew I needed lots of help staying close to Him. He also knew she needed to be challenged by my foolish ideas.

In addition to my wife, I have also learned much from God through, more than 30 years of toiling in the soil, making sure the grounds and greens at the golf course were in good shape. Recently, I have seen evidence of this as He used my new amigos and fellow workers to teach me and them more about Him and His ways.

I didn't pay attention in Spanish class but I sure wish I had. I have a desire to communicate with those I work with not just to say, "Be sure and cut the greens on a 10/2  direction" (referring to the position of those numbers on a clock in relation to the position of the golf green) or, "Watch out, the chainsaw is slipping from the limb toward your head." By the time my brain comes up with that translation my amigo is comatose and gushing blood and has been transported to the emergency room for an overnight stay for observation.

In fact, it won't be until I meet him at the hospital the following morning that I will have worked out the translation. There, I proudly announce the warning I should have given the previous day, "Seguir, la motosierra es deslizamiento de la extremidad hacia su cabeza."

It is difficult trying to communicate a good Christian witness to my fellow workers when we speak different languages and come from different cultures; but I am trying. I have found one way to do this is through first speaking with my actions. For example,...CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING

 

 

 

CrossTies Logo SImpleCrossties Asia Update

 

Meeting with Vietnam Leaders

Dwight with Vietnamese Chuch Leaders 

 

The ethnic Thai people are an unreached people group. Out of 64 million ethnic Thais there are only 200,000 Christians (0.30 % of the population). There are vast areas in this country where there are no Christians. People living in those areas have very little opportunity to hear the Gospel.

 

In Thailand 70% of ethnic Thais become Christ followers through their family members, friends and neighbors. Another 24% learn about Jesus through a Thai pastor or evangelist. The remaining 6% is through missionaries. 

 

We believe the only way for this country to have a dramatic increase in the number of Christians is to encourage and help Thai Christians (both Thai Pastors and church members) become more effective at sharing their faith and spreading the gospel. Here are ways we help do this:

 

My Hope Thailand

 

We served as a call center for this project (sponsored by the Billy Graham Association) to promote, distribute materials and follow-up with Pastors. As a result of this evangelistic project - 40,000 church members shared their faith with 200,000 friends, neighbors and family members. 12,000 people made a commitment to be a Christ follower. 43% of the Protestant Churches in Thailand were involved with this project.

 

Currently, (11 months after the project) we are doing follow up research to determine how much of the "seed" that was sown fell on hard soil, rocky soil, weedy soil and good soil. We will finish our research this month and plan to publish the results shortly.

 

 Thailand Evangelism Committee (TEC)

 

Serve on this committee which consists of the leaders of the Protestant Churches in Thailand. The committee is developing a national plan called Vision 2020, to plant churches in every district in Thailand and grow the number of Christians to 1,000,000 over the coming years. We serve as the data center for this committee. We provide maps and data to pastors and mission organizations throughout the nation so they can be strategic about where they plant churches

 

 Every Home for Christ Thailand (EHCT)

 

Serve on the board of this organization where we work with churches around the country to have their church members place Christian literature in every home in the nation. While they are doing this the church members are encouraged to share their faith with those they meet. Cell groups are formed in villages where people desire to learn more.

 

Fellowship of Christian Business and Professionals(FCBP)

 

 Serve with a group of Christian Thai businessmen and professionals (doctors, lawyers etc). They have a passion in reaching their country for Christ using the skills and resources God has gifted them with.

 

In October we helped them organize the "1st Thailand Talent Expo". This seminar encouraged Thai business and professionals to be involved with the task of reaching their country for Christ. About 3,000 people attended this event.

 

You can learn more through our websites:

 

Our ministry website: http://www.crosstiesasia.org

Our personal blog site: http://www.dwimar.com

 

 

 

Culture1110Culture Tracks

 

"Cultural Trends in America"

 

Box fo Soldiers

Statistical data reflecting some of the findings

regarding the cultural footprints of Americans

 

Following is Statisitcal Data related to the feature article concerning some of the subtle and not so subtle shifts regarding moral and spiritual issues

 

92% believe in God, but only 56% believe that religion is very important

25% Believe God is an impersonal force (a basic tenet of eastern religions such as Hinduism)

70% believe many religions can lead to eternal life

40% see a conflict in religion and modern society

34% believe religion causes more problems in society than it solves

 24% of the population have, at some point in life, changed faith traditions (largest shift: self-identifying Christians to atheism or agnosticism-12%)

 51% believe abortion should be legal in most, if not all cases.

70% say divorce is morally acceptable (59% in 2001)

62% say sex between unmarried man and woman is morally acceptable (this was 53% in 2001)

55% say having child outside of marriage is morally acceptable

45% seldom, or never, read Scripture outside religious services

52% say the best determiner of right and wrong is practical experience and common sense

48% believe evolution is the best explanation for the origin of human life

47% seldom or never share their faith with others

 

For additional information about these and other cultural trends, including copies of the reports they appeared in, email your request to:

info@crosswindsfoundation.org

 

 

 

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If you choose to honor us with your financial investment in our ministry, please make your check payable to: Crosswinds Foundation and mail to:
 
Crosswinds Foundation
P.O. Box 12143
Birmingham, AL 35202
 
You can also give by credit card (MC,Visa, Discover) by contacting our office at 205-327-8317.

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Back issues of CrossingCurrents are now archived on our website. CrossingCurrents Archives 

  Please let us know if you have any questions or of we might be of assistance to you. If you would like an information packet on a particiular subject or issue just send us an email, identifying your request, to: info@crosswindsfoundation.org

Crosswinds Foundation | P.O Box 12143 | Birmingham | AL | 35202