Is America a Judeo-Christian Nation?

Is America a Judeo-Christian Nation? I guess it depends on who you ask. On May 6th, Congressman Randy Forbes (VA) addressed the U.S. House of Representatives on the House Floor in response to President Obama’s claims that the United States was not a Judeo-Christian nation. Congressman Forbes asks the questions "Did America ever consider itself a Judeo-Christian nation?" and "If America was once a Judeo-Christian nation, when did it cease to be?"

"Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, on April 6th of this year, the President of the United States traveled halfway around the globe, and in the nation of Turkey, essentially proclaimed that the United States was not a Judeo-Christian nation.

I don't challenge his right to do that or dispute the fact that it is what he believes, but I wish he had asked and answered two questions when he did that. The first question was whether or not we ever considered ourselves a Judeo-Christian nation, and the second one was, if we did, what was the moment in time where we ceased to be so?"
[click here] to read the full transcript.

I respect President Barack Obama and the office of the president but I must say I feel he misspoke here. While America seems to be accepting of all beliefs, you cannot deny our spiritual heritage and the Judeo-Christian principles and values our nation was built on. I applaud Congressman Forbes for taking a stand and for introducing this resolution, which would declare the first week in May as "America's Spiritual Heritage Week," dedicated to the education and appreciation of our rich spiritual history.

So what do you think about President Obama's statement? How about Rep. Randy Forbes speech and resolution?

RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]

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Manic Monday Minute

Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute
  • Feel like I didn't get a weekend. How bout you?
  • Today was a long day.
  • Saw District 9 over the weekend. Definitely not the movie I expected. It was good... just not what I expected.
  • Uggh! I've had trouble with Gmail all day today. Perhaps its just me.
  • Follow my daily musings on twitter.
  • Took a little poll on twitter last night. Asked tweets if they had to recommend one MUST SEE TV show which one would it be?
  • Lie to Me, Chuck and Bones were among the top faves.
  • We're in a new series called "Picking up the Pieces." It deals with the subject of brokenness and is reallly good.
  • Great relief effort going on for people of ATL right now.
  • Praying for a few miracles right now. Really need God to move.
  • Meeting up with a couple of new youth workers in our area this week. I'm excited.
  • YS announces the Global Youth Worker Convention.
  • Made some amazing Buffalo Chicken Dip earlier.
  • Planning to retreat this weekend in the mountains with some men from our church. Looking forward to time away.
  • My phone has been jacked up the last few days. Seems to be back (well, almost) to normal. It has actually been kind of nice not receiving calls.
  • Email down right now, on the other hand, is driving me crazy.
  • Secured a ticket today to the showing of "This Is It" - the Michael Jackson documentary hitting theatres at the end of October.
  • Looks like I may be facing another root canal. Uggh. The timing is impecable.
  • The internets are not cooperating with me today people...
  • Ever made a donation to this site? If not, you should this week... Anyone who donates $10 or more this week will receive a free gift from (Promotion ends Friday, October 2nd at 5pm, est). See the donation button on the sidebar to contribute.
  • A 25-foot whale washed on shore of the bay not too far from me. I wanted travel to the scene and see it up close but heard the smell would kill ya. Pics and video will suffice in this case.
  • Working on an idea I have for the end of the year. Can't wait to roll it out...
  • Sweet. An episode of The Cosby Show is on... Haven't seen this show in a while.
  • I'm off.

  • Labels:

    Tweet Peep (worth the follow)

    I love twitter. I've met some incredible people (actually, scores of them) on twitter. It's a wonderful place to network. I met Michael Rothermel nearly a year ago when I tuned into a Live YM podcast that my good friend Tim Schmoyer hosts. Michael was the featured guest that day. The dude is a photographer, musician and blogger... and he's only 17 years old.   This is a photo I snagged from his gallery.

    Michael inspires me. This is one of the reasons I follow him on twitter. I appreciate his craft and the way he is using his talents for the Kingdom.  I speak to teens all the time about how they can make a difference in this world -- even at a young age.  Michael (to me) is a great example of that.   

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    Church on the Vegas Strip

    My friend, Vince Antonucci, is planting a church on the Las Vegas strip.  This is the same guy who planted a church in a bar that I told you about last year.   I love Vince's passion for those far from God.  Check out this vid and hear his heart and vision for this church. 

    So Vince is praying for 500 people to give $100 over the next 100 days to help start this church.   Check out [this site] and prayerfully consider becoming a Verve Venture Capitalist. You can also follow Vince's journey on his blog [here]

    RSS Subscribers: There is video here.

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    The End of an Era

    The news broke yesterday that youth ministry veteran, Doug Fields, has resigned from Saddleback Church.  Doug has invested over 18 years at the church, so I know he'll be sorely missed as a staff member but I'm excited about the new opportunities Doug will be pursuing. Here's a little exerpt from his letter on Saddleback's blog:
    "What am I going to do? Well, there’s not another specific job” that I’m departing to, but I am leaving staff to pursue some incredible opportunities to express my writing and teaching gifts. What I’m really doing is what I’ve taught you to do-listen for God’s whisper and obey it! Several people have said, You’re crazy to leave a secure Saddleback Church job during this unstable market.” Humanly speaking, they’re right… following God doesn’t always make sense, but I know I need to do the right thing: listen and obey." -- Doug Fields

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    Manic Monday Minute

    Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute
  • Great weekend services at Crossroads. We're in a new series called "Picking up the Pieces."
  • I surprised a lot of people by my attire this weekend. I wore overalls.
  • Here is a pic someone captured with their cell phone in the audience.
  • Watched the Emmys last night. Thought the show was just okay. Was a little disappointed in this year's installment.
  • I was just cast to the role of "Joseph" in a drama at our church. Should be fun. I haven't used my acting skills in a while.
  • Follow my daily musings on twitter.
  • p90x along with b90x is insane.
  • Got an email today asking me to write a chapter in a new book. Great opportunity.
  • Weather was awesome today.
  • Got retweeted by Rick Warren the other day after a comment I made about all his book covers. I thought it was pretty crazy he has over 2,300 to choose from for his new project.
  • Editors note: although the retweet doesn't appear now in his twitter feed. did he delete it? i promise, i'm not hallucenating.
  • Youth workers, did you see this deal from Church Art Works?
  • So I just added the meatball movie to my "must see" list... after hearing more about it. I honestly thought it was some sort of joke until this weekend (because I still haven't seen a preview for it)
  • I'm looking for some new blogs to read. Some of my favorite bloggers aren't blogging at all these days.
  • Praying for a few miracles right now.
  • Just mailed out some resources to a couple of leaders earlier today.
  • Watching Barack Obama on the Late Show before bed.
  • Peace out America.
  • Labels:

    Permission to Speak Freely

    My friend, Anne Jackson, is a creative genius.  She can take an idea and turn it into a book in no time.  In fact, from a blog post alone she has created her next project, which is due out next summer.
    This project is called Permission to Speak Freely: Essays and Art on Fear, Confession and Grace, which is all about things that people are afraid to talk about in church.
    Her new site launched today.  You can check it out [here].  You can share your story there and download study materials too.
    And for those of you who live near me (Williamsburg - Va Beach, VA), you'll be happy to know that I've been conspiring for months now to bring Anne to our area.  The ink is not dry yet but you can mark your calendars for February 22, 2010 and plan to spend a half-day with Anne Jackson.

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    5 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor

    Clergy Appreciation Day is coming up. Maybe its just my opinion, but why does it need to be limited to one day? I guess its the case with any holiday. Editor's note: I'm still trying to get my birthday and Christmas celebrated more often. Even though I have been in the ministry for years on pastoral staff I still try to lead the way in showing appreciation for my pastor.
    One church I served in always celebrated the pastor one day each year, typically in November. The laity would honor him with a few gifts, cards and would dedicate the weekend services to him. One particular year I organized a team of people to help me create one of the biggest pastor appreciation experiences of all time! I organized a calendar and had members sign up (secretly of course-- as to keep it a surprise) to pick a particular day in the month of November that they would honor the pastor (with a gift, greeting card, etc) so that virtually every day of the month he would be honored by somebody. When all was said and done we had scores of people signed up. The pastor literally got bombarded with cards, baked goods, gift certificates, poems -- you name it. And he experienced that outpouring of love everyday. It was crazy. Of course, once December came things came to a halt... but then comes Christmas, so it wasn't too much of a let-down. =) He still talks about that month and will never forget the outpouring of support and love the congregation showed him. Pastors need this on a consistent basis... not just one day per year.

    Here are 5 ways you can encourage your pastor (any day of the year):
  • Send them a card or email. A word of encouragement by card or email can be just what your pastor needs to make it through the week. Send him a quick note.
  • Bless them with gifts. Who doesn't like a gift? From a gift card to a car or cruise, pastor's are human and are encouraged by tokens of appreciation.
  • Honor and bless your pastor's wife. Probably the most under-appreciated role in the ministry is the role of the pastor's wife. No one has a clue what she goes through... or how often she has to share the time she has with her husband with others (because of his role). Treat her well and it'll encourage your pastor too.
  • Become a pastoral advocate. Help squelch the gossip and criticism of the pastoral staff. Your pastor works hard and doesn't need others tearing him another or attacking him. Be an advocate... and help keep the harmony in his ministry. You'll be glad you did.
  • Serve as a volunteer. Recruitment can be draining, especially when you've got other fish to fry. Jump on board and let your pastor know you've got his back and will serve wherever needed. You'll bless him and help the ministry in the process.
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    Debriefing #theNines

    Had a great time earlier today debriefing #theNines with Todd Rhoades, Dj Chuang and Scott Williams.  The Nines was a truly successful online conference and according to Todd and DJ, you'll see more of these coming your way!  
    For those of you in blogdom who missed this conference, the folks at Leadership Network are launching a new site that will host all the video messages from the big day.  And yes, they will be downloadable for FREE.  

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    Manic Monday Minute

    Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute
  • Whew. Past few days have been a blurrr. Seriously.
  • Great weekend services at Crossroads. Started a new series called "Picking up the Pieces."
  • I really hate playing phone tag. It gets old.
  • Had a great time with students last night. Played a little surprise solo on a ukulele.
  • Looking forward to debriefing The Nines conference this Wednesday with 11 other bloggers who hosted the simulcast.
  • Some people are wound too tight. Really people... life is TOO SHORT. Lighten up.
  • Great post by Clayton King today [click here]. It's all about "Mondays" too.
  • Anyone notice that bloggers are continuing to lose steam? I'm actually starting to read other things now because my daily blog reading has been cut back. Maybe thats a good thing, no?
  • Really Kayne? What happened to you last night on the VMAs?
  • You lost your mind. Don't even begin to blame it on the ah-ah-ah-ah-al-co-hol.
  • Follow my daily musings on twitter.
  • Really burdened for a pastor friend who has been through it the last few years. His church doesn't seem to understand what a gift they have!
  • Can't get enough Kings of Leon.
  • So big news last week. I'm excited about Ellen taking the gig on American Idol. I think she's hilarious and will make the show more interesting.
  • Youth workers, did you see this deal from Church Art Works?
  • Had a pretty important meeting today. Hope good things come from it.
  • Excited about all the new faces at Crossroads
  • Gonna be connecting with leaders from across the country this week. I may be calling you - just a heads up. =)
  • I had this idea last week. Then this guy put it into action. Funny how sometimes great minds think just alike. and yes, I'm using the idea. I mean, it was mine too.
  • I'm toast.
  • Stay classy like Beyonce, San Diego.

  • Labels:

    Michael Jackson Remix

    Saw this amazing remix of Michael Jackson songs on the internet yesterday and was blown away by the talent. This remix is so good even MJ would be proud.
    Editor's note: This Michael Jackson medley has the web raving, and wondering if they're seeing double. [Featuring Sam Tsui, with music and direction by Kurt Hugo Schneider]
    RSS Subscribers: There is video [here]

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    Thank You Sponsors

    I’m convinced I have the best team of sponsors (and there's room for more!). Do me a favor and click through to one or two of these sites. If you find something you like, tell them I sent you.

    Here are the folks that are making things move & shake around here:

    Clover – provides websites for growing churches and ministries that are slick, user friendly and very affordable.

    Youth Ministry Coaches - equips youth ministries by providing consulting, communicating, coaching and counseling services. [Tell David I said hello].

    Media Works - a design-based print and promotions company producing incredible work for companies, ministries and organizations. [Frank is the man!]

    Story Chicago – a first-of-its-kind experience for communicators of the Gospel on October 28-29 at Chicago's legendary Paramount Theatre.

    If you’re interested, we still have advertising spots available for your organization. Email me for more details. I’d love to have you join our team!


    Big News: I Co-Authored Don Miller's Book

    Donald Miller's new book "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" is his first release in nearly two years. Anticipation has been high, however, just before press date, the book-world was hit with a surprise. Donald Miller has a co-author, the as yet unknown Terrace Crawford. It is uncommon for Donald to share writing credentials with another author, especially an unknown, but in this case he felt the collaboration made for a better book

    "Terrace Crawford added so much critical feedback" Miller said "and added to the text so gracefully that by the time we were done, I felt compelled to let the secret out. Essentially, I had a coauthor." Terrace Crawford had signed a nondisclosure agreement and could not talk about the book, even to close friends or family. On Don's decision to share credit, Terrace Crawford comments:

    "Don and I have worked together for a thousand years, or so it seems that long. That's partially how we came up with the title of this project. I'm just glad to finally get some credit. Sure, Don is the pretty face but shine the light on the master-mind. I hope I get my fair share of the royalties."

    read the full story by David Archestner [here]

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    The Nines: Reflections

    Had a great time yesterday participating in #theNines conference (did I hear a niner in there?) According to my analytics hundreds gathered here to watch the simulcast. And why wouldn't they? I mean... over 70 speakers in one day. Whew! Talk about drinking from a fire hydrant.
    Overall I felt the conference was a hit! In fact, #theNines topped twitter yesterday (folks, that is bound to happen when you've got over 10,000 viewers tweeting).
    For those who hung out with me most of the day, thank you. It was a great day and I especially enjoyed meeting many of you for the first time. And if you hung around until the close of the day you heard the announcement that February 03, 2010 Leadership Network & Catalyst will present another online experience - a conference of new voices. For those who missed it, sources tell me the video messages will be made available to the public very soon.
    Bottom line: the folks at Leadership Network and Catalyst worked hard to bring a free, quality online conference and they deserve some major props!
    If you had a favorite presenter, favorite quote or takeaway or favorite thing about #thenines you'd like to share, please leave it in the comments. (I'll personally be sharing, reflecting and processing in the comments too)

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    Who's Who at #TheNines

    Over 9,000 people have registered for The Nines.  A unique, online FREE conference going down tomorrow, featuring over 60 speakers!
    Speakers include some of my (and probably yours) dear friends and personal favorites: Reggie McNeal (Leadership Network), Perry Noble (NewSpring Church), Ed Stetzer (Lifeway Research), Mark Batterson (National Community Church), Dino Rizzo (Healing Place Church), Greg Surratt (Seacoast Church), Mike Breaux (Heartland Church), Pete Wilson (Cross Point Church), Anne Jackson (, Dave Ferguson (Community Christian Church), Dan Kimball (Vintage Faith Church),  Mark Driscoll (Mars Hill Church), Bil Cornelius (Bay Area Fellowship) and Scott Hodge (Orchard Valley Church)... just to name a few.
    For a real who's who of speakers you should check out my friend Cynthia Ware's post [here].  
    Here's a complete list of simulcast sites where you'll be able to watch #theNines: 

  • Leading Smart (Tim Stevens)
  • Tall Skinny Kiwi (Andrew Jones)
  • The Digital Sanctuary (Cynthia Ware)
  • TonyMorganLive (Tony Morgan)
  • ChurchCrunch (John Saddington)
  • Shaun in the City (Shaun King)
  • Bruce Reyes-Chow
  • Ed Stetzer
  • Big is the New Small (Scott “fist bump” Williams)
  • Bob.Blog (Bob Hyatt) 
  • Bill Kinnon
  • Terrace Crawford (yours truly)

  • Get registered.  Tell a friend.  Meet back here - tomorrow.
    RSS Subscribers: there is video [here].

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    Manic Monday Minute

    Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute, Labor Day edition.
  • Shouldn't Labor Day be called non-Labor Day or anti-Labor Day? Makes sense to me.
  • Had an awesome weekend!
  • I had some family visit me this weekend and we had a blast...
  • Spent the day on Saturday at Busch Gardens.
  • Spoke in our weekend services at Crossroads. Really had a great time speaking a message I entitled "Going Out of Business."
  • We fed our volunteer staff doughnut holes and coffee during set-up. We had a sign posted reading "thanks for plugging our holes."
  • Our band did an incredible job on music. I've actually had the songs in my head since Sunday morning. I know its driving people crazy around me because I keep singing (or humming) them.
  • ... and my humming is louder than the twitter bird is tweeting. =)
  • Had a little exchange earlier with Kirk Franklin on twitter.
  • Join me right here on the blog for The Nines conference - this Wednesday. I'll be streaming the conference right here. For a full list of simulcast sites [click here]
  • Reading Fearless.
  • Remember to [Vote] for your favorite tweeter! (hint, hint)
  • I cannot believe the hype over the president's message to students tomorrow.
  • Follow my daily musings on twitter.
  • Getting ready to launch our fall programming this Sunday. Can't wait!
  • It has been pouring rain here today. I hope the 3-day forecast is not correct.
  • I joined the chickenwave. Got me a free chicken sandwich coming my way.
  • Tried to spend the day takin er easy. Does anyone else have a hard time unplugging?
  • One day is not enough. Let's consider protesting for a Labor Day extension... a two-day holiday. Oh yea.
  • Rain has not let up.
  • My alma mater has a newly redesigned website. [check it]
  • Ok, I'm gonna pretend like tomorrow is my first day of school (like it is for many of our students) and try to put myself to bed early tonight.
  • Thanks for stopping by San Diego.

  • Labels:

    Site Shout: Resources from Elevation

    Earlier this week Steven Furtick announced a new resource site for church leaders. The church he pastors, Elevation, launched
    As the creative pastor put it, "They [creative team] spend a lot of time creating just the right elements so our worship experiences speak to anyone who walks through our doors. A series can easily be 200-300 total design hours when it's all said and done. The good news for you? We want to give you everything we've designed. We want to help you do what you do. And if it means taking a series graphics package and making it work for you, it's our pleasure to hand it over free-of-charge."
    Go check [the site] out. You'll be blown away by their talented team. Your welcome.

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    Need a Mentor?

    For the past two years I've served on a mentorship team for Life in Student Ministry, that provides FREE one-on-one mentoring to youth pastors who have been in the field for 2 years or less. Earlier today my good friend, Tim Schmoyer, announced that applications are now being accepted for this next round of mentoring but you only have 7 days to apply. It’s open to anyone who serves in youth ministry in any capacity, whether that be on a volunteer basis or as a full-time youth pastor.

    Remember: the application period is open for only 7 days. After September 10, no further applications will be accepted for this round. Read an overview of the mentorship and apply there. Who knows? You may be selected by yours truly.

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    Teens, TV and Texting

    My friend Tim Stevens just wrote a post on Teens, TV and Texting after a newly released report by Nielsen. Some of the research is very surprising. I'm posting part of the article here and you can visit his post [here] for the rest...
    "It is always interesting to me how each generation of adults talk about the demise of teenagers. I've heard people my age talk about how concerned they are by the amount of time their kids text, watch video games, listen to their MP3 players or spend time online. Others are worried by the amount of violence in their video games or the types of TV shows they watch.

    And yet, a new report by Nielsen seems to debunk those theories. In fact, it seems to indicate that today's teens are pretty normal:

    Teens are NOT abandoning TV for new media: In fact, they watch more TV than ever, up 6% over the past five years in the U.S.
    Teens love the Internet…but spend far less time browsing than adults: Teens spend 11 hours and 32 minutes per month online—far below the average of 29 hours and 15 minutes.
    Teens watch less online video than most adults, but the ads are highly engaging to them.
    Teens read newspapers, listen to the radio and even like advertising more than most.
    Teens play video games, but are as excited about play-along music games and car-racing games as they are about violent ones: Just two of their top five most-anticipated games since 2005 are rated “Mature.”
    Teens’ favorite TV shows, top websites and genre preferences across media are mostly the same as those of their parents. For U.S. teens, American Idol was the top show in 2008, Google the top website and general dramas are a preferred TV genre for teens around the world.

    The report goes on to show what a typical day in the life of a teen looks like..."
    Read the rest of his post [here]

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    Site Shout: You Version Live!

    John Saddington interviews Tony Steward about YouVersion LIVE - announced by earlier today.

    I'm curious... anyone using this in their corporate services or meetings? If so, how?

    RSS Subscribers: There is video [here]

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