Friday, October 30, 2009

This is how it works and why we do it, thanks Don.

This was a reply to my last blog where I talked about all you who give so others can have things for "free". This was Don's response....

I've lived at both ends of the spectrum. Back years ago when I was living the care free life making $50,000.00 a year I never thought about how the ministries were paying for what they did in the community.
Then 6 years ago when I hit the bottom of the bottom, I was homeless, sick and lost all hope. I spent 3 nights in a shelter in Memphis. Put on a bus and sent to Corinth. Once here I recieved help from several ministers, organzations and individuals. I was housed by TVRHA, got help with that. What is sad is I never thought about where this money was coming from that was in 2003 in 2004 I was still just making it. I was getting food stamps and churchs and individuals were helping with my bills but never gave a thought where the money was coming from. I went to the Hospital 3 times in 2004. In 2005 I got a part time job making $350.00 a month. But I still had to make choices about paying rent and utilities over buying medicines and seeing Doctors. Between 2005 to 2008 I went to the Hospital 11 times avg stay was 6 days. But there again, I never thought about where the money was coming from for any of it...

But I will say this, I hear people talk how bad Magnolia Hospital is. But let me tell you I've never been turned down for treatment and have recieved nothing but exceptional care from everyone there. Our very own Dr. Matt Johnson has performed lifesaving surgery on me, Dr. Tim Noyes, Dr. Kerry Morgan, Dr. Pratt and several others have seen thru each trip to the hospital. Sadly I never thought about who was paying for it. But I know if it was not for them I would have died...

What really changed me and made me realize was during my last visit to the Hospital in November 11-23, 2008 this is when I #1 rededicated my life to the Lord Jesus and #2 two men became not only my friends but my new family and that's Bobby Capps and Tommy Wilson. Once I got to know them and their ministries (which I consider everyone in their mnistries as my family now) and how they affect so many lives it woke me up and saw thru them the day to day struggle to find the financing to help the so many they do on a daily basis. Then it woke me up to all the ministries here in town who are doing so much like Gary Caveness at Lighthouse, John Wilbanks at Love in Truth, Dr Ken Digby and many others.

I knew while I was still in the Hospital on Nov. 18th 2008 that I needed to get out and get involved. I couldn't help very much financially but the Lord put in me to take me experiences the past 6 years and help the people in my community. I get a little over zealous sometimes and worry that I'm not doing enough. I know that there are times that I bug Bobby, Ronda, Judy and Tommy but I can't help it. I just feel that the Lord has put this in me to help where and when I can. I still can't help much finacially. But if you every just need someone to talk to, or as Tommy Wilson says "if you just need someone to cry with or laugh with but most important to pray with". I'm there for you anytime day or night.

Love yall and God Bless each and everyone.

Don Vinson

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Somebody has to pay... thank you!

Some of 'ma boys' were going to a high school to promote an upcoming concert and posted this on Facebook... "Headed to Alcorn Central Middle School's FCA to promote Nov 15 concert at Crossroads Arena. Tony Nolan, NewSong, BlueTree, oh yeah... its free!"

Well.... not really, somebody has to pay.

Businesses and churches and visionary people all over this town who want to see young people make ongoing commitments to Christ and grow strong and stand firm in their faith... they're paying. They know that little by little, from faith to faith, from glory to glory, that students and young adults are making decisions that will impact their lives and they want to offer to them opportunities to nail down their commitments, make new ones and for some, to come to know Jesus personally.

Thank you, those of you who are paying... our students lives will be changed.

It's the same for us, the things we take for granted, the free things, the best things, even our salvation, we act like it's free. It's not, somebody paid... Jesus did. The old gospel song says, "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe..." and He did and I do. Thank you Jesus!

At Crosswind each month hundreds of people receive care from volunteers and thousands of dollars are paid to help people. To them it's free, but not to you... you pay. You pay with your time with your billfolds and with your hearts. Just wanted to let you know that we know and we are thankful.

Thank you donors and volunteers, lives are being changed.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Facebook, Twitter and Outreach

I've become a big fan of social media. Yesterday Facebook's COO said that everyday 30 million different people use Facebook... that's a lot. I think it is just another indicator of how God has wired us for relationship and we'll take it however we can get it. I know I will.

Here's some practical uses for social media as it relates to outreach.

1. Celebrate good deeds. Brag on Jesus. When you see Jesus making a difference... let us know. Being a witness is like being an investigative reporter, reporting on what Jesus is doing in your life and in your community... be His witnesses.

2. Share your needs. Many times "we have not because we ask not." Use social media to ask for clothes for your friend whose house burned or a bed for a person without one. I know one missional group in Iuka (Go4th ministries) that wanted to give household supplies to the poor in their neighborhood. They 'Facebooked it' and God provided all the supplies they needed.

3. Tell stories. I love to hear how God is changing lives. I love to hear their stories. Many churches and organizations like Crosswind give a steady diet of stories of how God is rescuing the perishing and healing the brokenhearted and setting the captives free. Tell your stories. It let's us know God is still at work.

4. Get in on what God is up to. This is the 'home run' for social media. If we broadcast the stories of God, the love of God, the needs that we have and where God is at work... it makes us want to get involved. I don't want everybody else to experience God and me miss out. It "stirs one another up to love and good works."

Social media is our new reality. Use it for the glory of God... c'mon, stir me up!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

No Fear

Out west there is a cutting edge clothing designer called No Fear. They used to have great lines on their T-shirts. Here are two of my favorites:

You can't steal second with your foot on first. No Fear
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. No Fear

Missionary life is uncharted territory. Crosswind volunteers, in the past couple of weeks, witnessed a kidnapping, were right in the middle of another, were handed crack cocaine in our office and had a supervised "flushing" moment, rescued a child almost three who no one knew was legally blind, were involved in Hospital psych floor issues, a restraining order, sheriff visits... and on and on.

But it is in this uncharted territory that in that same period we had record LIFEgroup attendance in the neighborhoods, saw families stabilized by faith in Jesus, and volunteered hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars...all for the sake of what Jesus may do in people's lives.

And we are by no means alone. Tommy Wilson's Living Free Ministries had to break a wall out and buy 100 seats for people who come hungry for Jesus and his Gospel to set them free. Gary Caveness and the Lighthouse have been having a marvelous breakthroughs in restoring Godly manhood and fatherhood after 15 years of working with mom's and kids. Bill Chemowski is planting a church in a trailer in one of our trailer parks so he can be an effective servant to that community. Love and Truth church has 'adopted' the mini-cities community and are making that neighborhood their mission field bringing love, truth and hope to their neighbors. If you ask any of these Christians how they're doing, they'll tell you they're having the time of their lives. If I may let me state the two axioms above in missional lingo:

You can't reach your neighbors if you stay in your church. No Fear
You lose 100% of the people you don't reach out to. No Fear

Become all things to all men so that by all means you may win some.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

America, Rights and Lights

There's a lot of talk right now about healthcare. Should all Americans have it? Is it a right? Well here's some thoughts for ya'...

1. Of course we all want healthcare, duh?
2. And many many don't have it... especially the poor who Crosswind is focused on.
3. And many others have it at great personal expense... unless you have a full time job with a larger company, most have to purchase it on their own, and IT'S EXPENSIVE!

So... many can't afford it (Crosswind's friends) and those who can are choking on it's cost (including employers who buy it for their employees). But here's the underlying question for me: IS IT A RIGHT? Because if it is, then morally, we as a society, MUST provide it, and if it's not then...

In America we said education is a right, so the nation as a whole pays for it. We believe that in order for ALL to have access to the "American Dream" they need an education. So WE THE PEOPLE pay for it. Now, we are asking if healthcare is the same? And ultimately if we determine it is, WE THE PEOPLE will pay for it. Everything I asked you was bait to get you to think about THIS:

Is having your lights on a right?

In Crosswinds' world and in the world of our city's charities and benevolence ministries (e.g. Corinth Welfare, His Compassionate Touch, Catholic Social Services, Living Free, Lighthouse, numerous churches, etc.) most of our direct financial help goes to keeping people's lights on. And yes, we all know about financial management etc. Here's the question:

WE THE PEOPLE give poor people a roof over their head at little to no cost (subsidized housing), we give food at little or no cost (food stamps) and we educate at no cost (government schools) and now we are asking the people to give healthcare to all.... ready?

Can't we turn their lights on first?


PS I am gonna answer all responses on this question cause I am presupposing their may be a misunderstanding or two :-)