What’s your all-time favorite Christmas carol? Without thinking for a second, mine is Little Drummer Boy. I grew up a marching band drummer, but that’s beside the point. Little Drummer Boy embeds the secret of the universe in which we all live.
Christmas is probably the most significant story in history. Seriously. Whether you’re a Christian or not, the entire universe is rolled up in Christmas and Little Drummer Boy shows it. Let me explain.
These little timepieces are my publishing company’s bestselling product. No kidding. They’re extremely handy for debaters, judges, timers and tournament directors. We’re giving them away for the next week.
Taking a few days off your Christmas vacation may be asking a lot, but I am convinced that there are young people who are going to get a ton out of the For Action Conference January 2-4 in Colorado Springs. Do yourself a favor: seriously consider making this happen. I’ve got good reason to believe it will be a turning point for your life.
You’ll come to the conference, but what will you leave with?
I’m not sure where you’re at in your journey, but if you want to launch into an exciting story that God has for you, this is the conference to attend. The event has many outcomes for its students, but three of them are unique from any conference available for young people. Let me walk through these three outcomes with you. I hope you catch the vision for the For Action Conference and register, maybe even today. Space is limited.
Keynote speaker for the For Action Conference in January is James O’Keefe. His job is simple. He hides a camera on himself, walks into hotbeds of corruption, and posts what he finds on YouTube. I love his work, but he has enemies because of it.
I sometimes wonder how he handles the opposition. To tell you the truth, I get somewhat emotional in the middle of the interview when I ask him about this. See, James has done more “action” than most of use can hardly imagine. He brought down corrupt executives in the most highly funded networks like Planned Parenthood, ACORN and NPR. He has uncovered voter fraud that exposed how easy it is to steel votes in America, even catching congressional family members on tape participating in direct fraud.
Currently, O’Keefe is uncovering corruption in the highly funded, supposedly apolitical implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Now three videos into a multi-video investigation, O’Keefe has exposed Obamacare navagators counseling people to evade taxes and lie on applications to receive benefits they don’t legally qualify for. His latest video exposed a political action committee director in a scheme to share private data of Obamacare recipients for political gain.
What James exposes is unethical and oftentimes illegal. He and his organization, Project Veritas, deserve support. Shamefully, he gets the exact opposite, even from those who you’d think would be supportive.
A few years ago, a debate topic rumbled through the year debating the conflict between cooperation and competition. It was a fascinating conflict because there were conflict situations that fell on both sides. I’m a big believer in healthy competition in thriving economy, but cooperation can be totally awesome.
The keynote to one of our camps last summer was Michael Hyatt, bestselling author to Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. His message encouraged my 100 debaters to develop their own platforms in the brave new world of platform builders. One of my debaters asked me a followup question: “What if I don’t have a platform?”
Debate campers learn to speak, but what if they don’t know WHAT to speak?
What an incredibly honest question, asked by many young people I suspect. Young people typically are seeking a story of some sort to build a platform, but life hasn’t “happened” to them yet. They’ve got energy and enthusiasm, but no “wow” story that can lead to a platform. Yet.
I spoke with a debate parent from another state. The parents in her club were concerned over an article I published on a non-Christian website. She felt she was going straight to the source, one Christian to another. This quick summary isn’t too far from how it played out:
This is a picture of a scrimmage at camp. The coach guides the students through the arguments to help train the students to think and persuade.
Me: “Did the parents have any problems with my article?”
Coach: “No, but they are concerned that you would actually go on this problematic, non-Christian website and post anything at all!”
Me: “So they don’t have any problem with my article, but they have a problem with me engaging with non-Christians?”
Folks, this is a problem with Christians, not non-Christians.
I completed three interviews with three of our For Action Conference speakers that I think you will appreciate. Even if you don’t intend to join us in Colorado Springs January 2-4, these three interviews are definitely worth watching.
If you don’t know much about the For Action Conference, check out its registration page at the link below. The conference brings Training Minds to a whole new level. Our coaches have been “training minds for action” (1 Peter 1:13) by getting kids ready for academic debate competitions. But this conference is for millennials (16-24 year olds) by getting them ready for the competitive life God has in store for them.
Here’s how we’re doing the training: we’re pulling together examples of success, most of them within the millennial generation. Each of the speakers will have their hour to pour themselves into a presentation that will show attendees “how it’s done,” at least from their perspective, to encourage attendees to move along their life journey with gusto.
You see, I don’t accept the bum wrap millennials get nowadays. You know the image: lazy, unmotivated, lives in their parents basement, loser. I don’t think young adults should settle for this stereotype, and I’m bringing leaders to Colorado Springs to show them how.
I’ve got three interviews so far, more to come next week. Check out these shining examples of action…
I explained in a previous post that a group of second generation debaters were making some debate coaches uneasy. It may seem preferable to dislike uneasiness, but I’m siding with Romans 12:2.
We are teaching them to transform the world…right?
I believe nonconformity is awesome, arguably a Christian calling, a most popular anthem of home educators. The verse from Romans is quoted to homeschoolers throughout most of the days we raise them: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Debate — the training of the mind — leads the young mind to challenge the status quo, offer solutions, and advocate for a better world.
Surprise, surprise. Debaters are actually transforming, not conforming. Sometimes this makes us uncomfortable.
James O’Keefe amazes me. This is what he does for a living: He walks into hotbeds of corruption and posts what he finds on YouTube. It is shocking what he unveils, a most shocking one released last night.
Tax evasion, application fraud, and nonprofit political action violations.