One Final Christmas Video - Greatest Story EVER!

A few days ago I shared my TOP 5 Favorite Christmas Videos with you. Had I seen this one prior to that post, the list would have included this one. You've got to see this video... its cute, entertaining, and ... well... the greatest story ever been told.

RSS Subscribers: there is [video] here.
(ht to @bcoop)

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Manic Monday Minute [Holiday Edition]

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...
  • I'm bacccck. So glad to be back in the saddle again.
  • Merry Christmas!
  • I had been "laying low" for a period of time... not blogging so much because of [this craziness]
  • Spending some time this week with family & friends in South Carolina.
  • Enjoyed a Christmas celebration on my father's side of the family. I thought my grandmother was going to break into a rap at one point...
  • Saw several movies over the last few days: Four Christmases, Little Fockers, Inception, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • Inception was amazing, Little Fockers was hilarious!, Four Christmases was incredibly entertaining and The Imaginarium of Doc P... well, I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about it.
  • I thought this Frank Lloyd Wright Gingerbread House was nicely done.
  • Are we connected on Facebook?
  • I got 14 inches of snow at my house. Crazy.
  • Put together a list of my favorite Christmas videos that have gone viral this season.
  • Just for the record, my sister is more obsessed with drinking Starbucks coffee than I am.
  • You may have heard that I'm partnering with Water Missions International to provide safe water for communities in need across the globe.
  • Will you consider joining my team by donating $10? Ten dollars can save one life!
  • So far I've gotten 15 people to join. I know we can do better than that...
  • A WordPress designer offered to redesign my blog for me (for free) last year and lost his name and contact info. FAIL. I've been mourning ever since.
  • I'm preparing to speak in our weekend services.
  • Hope you've enjoyed some napping over the holidays. I did. And so did my snowman...
  • My sister and I made that snowman with the mere 3 inches of snow that fell here in SC.
  • Here's the snowman after his lovely nap.
  • I think America has a fascination with Sea Salt now. It's showing up everywhere.
  • Why didn't I think of Sea Salt for stocking stuffers?
  • I have a few giveaways lined up for the next few weeks here on the blog. I'm stoked!
  • Isn't it crazy how you think of someone that you need to reconnect with and then they call you or write you within 24 hours of that thought?
  • I joined Foursquare but its not so much working for me. I may not be an active member very long.
  • I think its soon coming time for me to write a book. It must be. I'm getting contacted by publishers who are asking me to write one. I'm interested to hear what YOU think I should write about?
  • Don't miss the Manic Monday Minute. Get the feed [here].


My Top 5 Favorite Christmas Videos

Here are my 5 Top Favorite Christmas Videos (in random order) that have gone viral this holiday season.

I first viewed this video on Josh Griffin's blog. It's a little rap music video they made for their services at Saddleback. It's all about Santa needing an intervention.

I saw this video when I visited Seacoast Church this Christmas. Thought it was well done by the guys at Igniter Media.
This was the first of several social media videos I saw this season. Loved this one so much I made sure we included it in our programming for our weekend services.
Mr. Bean cracks me up... and this one is a classic. I can watch it numerous times a day and I'll never get tired of it.
I have to watch the Linus' monologue every year (its a tradition!) even if I don't catch A Charlie Brown Christmas when it airs on television.

Watch them all online [here]. Feel free to share a link to your favorite video in the comments. Merry Christmas!

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My Run-in With the Law in 2010

So, I've been laying low lately here on the blog. Here's why...

I woke up on the morning of May 21st all excited because I knew that I would spend the day with other like-minded people at a leadership conference in Virginia Beach. I had no agenda that day other than just the normal networking... and high hopes of receiving some insights that might help me in my ministry and my personal life too.

Upon leaving the conference I phoned a dear friend, a church leader, and told him how much I learned from speakers Perry Noble, James McDonald, Al Mohler, and Jonathan Falwell, just to name a few. Then I realized I had to stop by and visit with a student. I knew he would be moving the next day out of the state and I wanted to see him off.

A few hours later I headed home and thought I'd make a quick phone call to my mother. I approached the intersection just down the street from my neighborhood. No one else was there. When the light turned green I turned left and within a couple hundred yards took a right into the entrance of my neighborhood. Suddenly I heard a siren. I looked in my rearview mirror but didn't see anything. So I continued ahead and before approaching the next stop sign I noticed lights in the distance. Still thinking nothing of it I took a left onto the road that I live on and immediately came up on a lady walking her dog. Just after passing by her I looked again in my mirror and saw the sheriff cruising up behind me so I quickly pulled over on the grass to get out of his way. Little did I know that he was in pursuit of me. "Mom, I uh... am being stopped for some reason. I have to go now."

Within a split second the officer ordered me out of the car and onto the ground. Before I knew it I was in handcuffs! I had no clue what this was in regards to. I immediately began getting questioned by the officer and remember being completely freaked out because I was in cuffs with no clue as to why I was being yelled at. The sheriff began to tell me that he witnessed me do a "burnout" at a traffic light and that I fled from him once he began to pursue me. Within a few moments two other officers came on the scene. Once out of their cars one of the officers began instigating the entire thing affirming that he "could still smell the tires."

After a few more minutes had passed the sheriff who stopped me stated that I would probably go to jail and then asked me to sit in the car. An eternity seemed to pass before he came to speak with me. A little while later he came up to my car and said, "Mr. Crawford, I'm not going to take you to jail, but if it were up to my partners I would. Instead, I'm writing you a citation for reckless driving." Nearly speechless I drove the rest of the way home and called my mother back to explain why I had to hang up the phone so suddenly.

I ended up getting a lawyer to represent me in court. That's what you do when you face reckless driving charges - or so I've heard. I have a spotless driving record... so I've never dealt with anything like this before. I also decided to have a character witness stand with me in court because I learned that the officer's cruiser was not equipped with a dashboard camera and it would be a case of his word vs. mine.

My trial date kept getting postponed because of one thing or another so several months passed. In September we went to trial and things did not turn out so well. The sheriff shared his recollection of events that happened and then I shared my version. They were COMPLETELY different stories. It was obvious to me standing in the court room that day that this officer had been in pursuit of someone else and somehow mistook me for them.

After hearing the case the Judge declared that I was guilty(what happened to innocent until proven guilty???). He then fined me and suspended my license for 6 months. My lawyer asked the judge to consider my driving record and after looking over my record he then stated that my license would be restricted for 6 months.

We decided to appeal.

So now the stakes would be higher.

More money spent in legal fees for something I did not do.

My faith has been tested. Oh yes, tested.

I've questioned why all of this has happened to me.

As I have reflected on the events of that day I remember the thing that stood out most to me was one of the speakers talking about the faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as they were made to walk into a furnace that had been turned up 7 times hotter than usual.
Is this my furnace? I've often asked.

I've asked God for some comfort... and I believe he's given me that. On December 2nd I was traveling to South Carolina. I found myself behind a Ford Explorer on I-95 and written across the rear windshield in window chalk -- in GIGANTIC LETTERS -- was the scripture reference PSALM 64. Soon I found a Bible (NIV translation) and read God's Word about my situation. Trust me... there's no denying that it was meant for me. Read it. Thank you, Jesus.

I started praying for God to work in my behalf.

The Lord had been encouraging me, I felt, to wait on Him. To allow Him to be my defender.

Then, when I thought things couldn't get crazier, they did!

Within a couple of days my lawyer called me. He told me that someone contacted the sheriff's department and told them that I had preached a sermon on "police brutality" at my church.


This did not happen.

I had only shared with my church the fact that I was going throught the situation and was having to rely upon my faith to make wise decisions. I was then asked by my lawyer to not share any further details until the case was over.

On December 14th, 2010 I went to court. In short, the judge ended up finding me guilty but I was glad I was able to stand before his court (with integrity) and state "Your honor, in my heart I did not do this... but I understand the officer feels I am in error and I have to respect his judgement and your authority."

At the end of the day I walked away being charged with a hefty fine but I was grateful to have it all over with... and know that I had not lost my integrity through it all.


Don't Read This...

... unless you want to be challenged.
How many times TODAY have you turned on your water faucet? I estimate that I've turned on my faucet about 15 times so far today.
Now think about the person on the other side of the world who has no faucet.
Then think about the person who doesn't even have safe drinking water.
That's something we can't wrap our minds around. That's something we don't even think about!
So, I challenge you.
The NEXT time you turn on your water faucet... think of that person who is without. Then, I challenge you to do something about it! Go a step further... and donate $10 so that they might have safe drinking water. Donate $10 so that they might have a faucet to turn on.
Go [here] and join me & Water Missions International in providing safe water for those who need it. Join my team and donate $10. You'll be a little more grateful the next time you enjoy your shower... fresh laundry... or glass of drinking water.

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Chia Obama? [video]

I thought this was a joke but...

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...
  • Had a great weekend in South Carolina
  • Spent some time in Columbia planning a retreat for youth workers for early next year.
  • Enjoyed spending time with some friends & my family
  • Got the opportunity to help decorate my parent's Christmas tree. Brought back many memories.
  • One of the highlights was enjoying the "Q" (BBQ, that is)
  • Also got to stop by the hospital and see my cousin who just had a baby -- on my birthday!
  • Had a great time on my birthday. A number of my close friends took me out to dinner to a little place you've probably never heard of.
  • Just downloaded a new Christmas song that I really like.
  • Oh yea, it was FREE.
  • Seriously #Apple, I know the Beatles are a big deal but...
  • Had some snow flurries here in the Vee Ayy over the weekend. Earliest signs of snow in quite a while.
  • Are we connected on Facebook?
  • Picked up a copy of Power of a Whisper last week. I'm several pages in...
  • Had a great leadership dinner tonight for our star volunteer staff. The theme was taken from the movie Elf. Here's a pic of the star of the show.
  • I'm partnering with Water Missions International to provide safe water for communities in need across the globe.
  • So far I've only got 11 people to join my team. =(
  • Will you consider joining my team by donating $10? Ten dollars can save one life!
  • I enjoyed catching up with a couple of friends in the last few days, Marko and Tim.
  • I told Tim that I wanted to honor him in some way. He said "point to" Haha. Well, I might not do that... but I can encourage you, my dear readers, to show him some love.
  • Don't miss the Manic Monday Minute. Get the feed [here].


These 7 Minutes Might Change How You Teach

Powerful video to make you RETHINK how you are reaching students.
Quite possibly the best 7 minutes you'll spend all day.

RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]

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