Friday, July 31, 2009

Youth Congress Live!

Our blog team is in place for the big event next week. We've started the intros over at Youth Congress Live!

Check it out & know that -- as the last 2 North American Youth Congresses -- there will be nowhere else that gives you the comprehensive coverage that 90& will.

You can also read (I'm sure, an endless supply of) Tweets on The NAYC Twitter Page.

Whether you're at the event or wishing you were, don't miss it!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Women in the Ministry? What about Women in the Workplace?

Women in ministry within Apostolic circles seems to be a somewhat hot button issue. But I would like to look at the secular equivalent of this argument: Women in the workplace.

The Problem:

There is this idea out there that I have heard and still constantly hear to this day regarding equality for women in the work place:

That women earn 75 cents on every dollar that men earn. This can be evidenced here. Bill Clinton used the fact in his state of the union address in '99 when he said, "We can be proud of the this progress, but 75 cents on the dollar is still only three-quarters of the way there, and Americans can't be satisfied until we're all the way there." We say that men and women are equal, but yet this glaring number is staring us back in the face… how can such inadequacy exist in the 21st century? 60% of undergraduate college students are women (however this number greatly decreases in graduate school and doctorate programs). What gives?

There is of course the theory that there is a glass ceiling for women in the workspace and that there comes a point that men can get promoted to which women are not allowed. This theory is false. What I was lead to believe growing up is that if one man and one women were hired for the same position which paid 20 dollars an hour, that just because she was not a man, the women would be paid 15 dollars per hour by default. It is this belief that makes the above idea of women getting paid 75 cents on every dollar is so misleading.

The reality

I argue the main reason for this discrepancy is that women are wired differently than men and that means the jobs they take are different than the jobs men pursue. In this day and age, the American job market favors the male. Consider the fact that 80% of the jobs in the science, engineering, and technology development are held by men (only 9% of engineers are women). And these industries are the ones that pay well.

While many may argue that women are socially constructed to think engineering is a masculine industry, the actual reality is that women don't choose careers in engineering because they do not want to. Women simply are "not as fascinated as men in ohms, carburetors, or quarks" as Patti Hausman puts it in his 1999 book On the rarity of mathematically and mechanically gifted females. Hasuman added, "On average, women are more interested in dealing with people and men with things. Vocational tests also show that boys are more interested in "realistic," "theoretical," and "investigative" pursuits, and girls more interested in "artistic" and "social" pursuits."

Just like men tend to be more violent and competitive than women, men will have more interest in engineering than women. It is not that women cannot be engineers or professions in science, but generally speaking men prefer these over women. And in our economical system, the sciences pay higher salaries and are in higher demand than say a profession in the liberal arts (such as myself). Why do receptionists tend to be women and not men? Not because men can't do the job, but rather while women have the ability to multi-task and carry our many different tasks at once, the man would much prefer to do a few calculus equations.

God Created Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve

Steven Pinker points out in his book, the Blank Slate that, "On average, men's self-esteem is more highly tied to their status, salary, and wealth. Not surprisingly, men say they are more keen to work longer hours and to sacrifice other parts of their lives to live in a less attractive city, or to leave friends and family when they relocate in order to climb the corporate ladder or achieve notoriety in their fields. Men, on average, are also more willing to undergo physical discomfort and danger, and thus are more likely to be found in grungy but relatively lucrative jobs such as repairing factory equipment, working on oil rigs, and jack-hammering sludge from the inside of oil tanks. Women on average, are more likely to choose administrative support jobs that offer lower pay in air-conditioned offices. Men are greater risk takers, prefer to work for corporations whereas women for government agencies and non-profit organizations."

In closing, I want to emphasize that I am not saying men and women are unequal. I am just saying that women are genetically wired differently for men that will. We just need to stop saying that there are no differences between man and women, and value the differences and diversity of men and women. The reason women are paid 75 cents on the dollar is because they choose different jobs that regretfully pay less than men. When women and men have the same position, the women actually earns 98 cents on the dollar. (Lord knows where those two cents are coming from).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Passing Of Reverend Billy Cole (UPDATED)

Not a lot of details, and via an email I recieved from the World Network of Prayer:

We are saddened to inform you that Reverend Billy Cole went to be with the Lord this morning (7/27, -Ed.). Brother Cole was mightily used of God and instrumental in helping pray many souls through to the Holy Ghost.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

More as word emerges.

Update and biographical crossection on this amazing man's life here.


Monday, July 27, 2009

It's a Small World After All

Okay, so the title may be a little ironic for this video that made it's way into my inbox (something some of you may have already seen judging from the number of views it has:

When I saw the above video, the last sense I got was a realization of how simple and small the world is. Rather, when I see such videos and read books such as Thomas L. Friedman's The World is Flat, I can't help feeling that I am incredibly small, and in the scope of this material world, I am simply a statistic whose Western Empire is crumbling, if not collapsing all around me. The culture is changing, and thanks to technology we can even perceive the monumental shifts of the world from various isolated and distinct ethnic-cultures into one giant meling pot of an international culture who laugh at the same youtube videos in realtime.

Needless to say, all of this moving and shaking makes me anxious. As history and technology sweep over me where my American identity means less and less in the scheme of things, I can't help but just want to grab a piece of this culture shift to call my own. But ultimately, I can't help but feel like I am going to come out the losing in on this culture shift for my inability to adapt in such a climate. And that's precisely what I think the biggest shift in culture is amounting to: The inability to actually claim ownership over anything. Feeling the need to be more anxious over the changing times?

No longer is english the limited to those
of the Western World, but now it is for everyone....(sigh)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The de-baptizer blowdryer

One of my interests in regards to culture & religion is the relatively recent rise of atheist activism in culture. More and more, atheists are making their presence known through various campaigns that attack faith & religion allegedly in defense of reason. Today's point in case, the de-baptizer blow dryer is no exception. While this campaign does nothing for the theology of a pentecostal because if one simply does not want their baptism as assurance of their salvation, they can simply walk away from the faith, it does provide points of contention with Catholicism and other faiths that follow a once saved, always saved theology.

Atheists Among Us: the Birth of a Religion
As mentioned above, atheist activism is on the rise. The de-baptizer blow dryer is nothing new in consideration of other recent atheist campaigns such as The Blasphemy Challenge and the introduction of atheist billboard campaigns. The bigger point about these various novelty campaigns is that I believe we are witnessing the onset of a much bigger battle of atheism vs. faith. In this regards, atheism is a religion of its own, and it's gathering many converts. No longer is atheism a confession of a person in regards to their belief that God does not exist as it has been over the past couple centuries, but now it is a religion claiming to possess the truth, and therefore at war with other religions who claim to possess their own special understanding of truth. Just as Christianity is at odds with Islam because of different faith-claims, the same must be said in regards to atheism. Atheism even has it's own set of naturalist believers such as Richard Dawkins (pictured at left), Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens. Believing in God is no longer an intellectual flaw for atheists, as it has been considered in the past, but now belief in God is considered an intellectual sin which must be attacked with intellectual militancy by them.


Like the red scare in the 1950's, I think we as Christians need to be ready in the coming decades for an invasion of atheists. And I do not mean that we need to live in paranoia and attempt a Salem Witch Trial amongst possible atheists, but what I do mean is that we need to be ready to understand atheism and defend our faith against their attacks. I have heard of several churches introducing short-term seminars on apologetics of the different arguments around to prove that God exists or that He does not exist. And I do believe, as post-modernism comes to a close, that we will observe more of a shift back to objectivity. And with this we need to know what we believe and why we believe it beyond pure emotional testimony. What do you guys think?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Play Straw Man Bingo

Quite frankly, I've hesitated posting about President Obama's nearly unfettered takeover of the private sector, via threats, Chicago convincers, and the inherent opaque cloud of cover provided by the honeymoon period almost all presidents acquire at the beginning of their term.

But the sheer disregard for the constitution by this man makes me sick. Whether it be his implications that he will simply ignore the provisions he doesn't like in a congressional bill, his "hey, that's a nice life you have, it'd sure be a shame if something happened to it" dialogue with bankers and automotive industry ceo's, or his panicked and breathless screaming about the need to shackle 15% of the entire US economy with government run health care, it's all rather disgusting.

So when America woke up and figured out the President and the Congress tripled the US deficit with a single swipe of the the pen, they began to think that maybe the world's greatest sham for democratic hegemony via pork spending might replay itself with another trillion--with socialized medicine and bureaucratic medical decisions that nearly always result in somebody's preventable death.

This bothers Mr. Obama, who believes that, simply because "I won," he gets to have his collective way with Lady Liberty. Not so fast, sir. The country is on to you.

Such is why he is taking to the airwaves in a little bit (MSNBC, the great journalistic haven that brought you that imbecilic boiling-down of pseudo-ivy-league hacks, Keith Olberman) to try to convince us all that, if we do not allow the incompetent, bloated, and reckless nanny-state to handle our health needs, that we are all going to die.

So, to keep it real, Jim Geraghty has posted "Straw Man Bingo." Watch Mr. Obama's presser, and see just how many existential demoniacs he casts from his self-designed Gadarenes. Cross them off as he mutters them out of his ever-ubiquitous-and-borderline-Linus-blanket teleprompter. First one to yell bingo gets to pick their own doctor and not pay for someone else's abortion.

As I said before, there's a time for respect, and there's a time to start the process of high mockery. This is such a time. Oh, and according to excerpts released by the White House a while ago, you can already put your little chip on the"let me be clear" square. Wouldn't be surprised if he eclipses the whole board. I mean, according to him, opposition to socialized medicine is an attempt to "destroy my presidency."

I wonder if the waaaaaaaaambulance is covered in the health care bill?

Media-Shaped Churches?

Unplugged Online offers a great take on how media is shaping our churches in "The Medium Makes the Church." (Thanks to loyal reader Russ for the heads-up.) Lots of juicy nuggets, including:

“And what accounts for our shift from theologically dense hymns and liturgies to more emotionally based praise choruses? How about worship services that include dance and even painting? Though Jesus captivated listeners for hours on hillsides sans microphone, backup singers and video screens, the prevailing fear among pastors now is that their churches—buoyed by hilarious skits, rock bands and audiovisual effects—will still be thought of as dull.”

"[The Internet] creates a permanent puberty of the mind," Hipps, a Mennonite pastor and author of Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith, told Christianity Today. "We get locked in so much information, and the inability to sort that information meaningfully limits our capacity to understand. The last stage of knowledge is wisdom. But we are miles from wisdom because the Internet encourages the opposite of what creates wisdom—stillness, time and inefficient things like suffering. On the Internet, there is no such thing as waiting; there is no such thing as stillness."

I often marveled at how the Hebrews somehow lost touch w/their holy scriptures to the point they were shocked to find the scrolls buried under temple rubble (Josiah?). Apparently, they had been living on tradition alone. I hope the internet doesn’t put us in a similar position…

Jonny Lang: Three Blocks From My Front Door

This would actually make the fifth time I've seen him perform on the Turn Around tour, to include San Francisco, Oroville, Fresno, and twice in my hometown now (Redding, Ca.). I've met him at all venues except Fresno, which was the one time I took Emma, my little birthday girl, as a present. When Jonny's manager realized a little apostolic girl had attended the concert and missed him before he was spirited away in a Chevy truck, he promised me that if I ever got her back to a concert, that he'd make it happen.

A year later, I got him to fulill that promise. Both girls got to sit for the entire soundcheck (up in the balcony, watching from above) and then ultimately meet him. Clara (the one on the left in this pic) ran out of the theater shouting "I have Jonny Lang's smell on me!" (methinks she has a crush).

Concert was off the hook, and first time I ever wrote about Jonny's performances can be found here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Step Closer to Revelation?

Fascinating analysis on Amazon removing books from Kindle owners without their knowledge. Appropriately entitled: “Why 2024 Will Be Like Nineteen Eighty-Four”:

“The worst thing about this story isn't Amazon's conduct; it's the company's technical capabilities. Now we know that Amazon can delete anything it wants from your electronic reader. That's an awesome power, and Amazon's justification in this instance is beside the point. As our media libraries get converted to 1's and 0's, we are at risk of losing what we take for granted today: full ownership of our book and music and movie collections.”


“Most of the e-books, videos, video games, and mobile apps that we buy these days day aren't really ours. They come to us with digital strings that stretch back to a single decider.”

Friday, July 17, 2009

80,000 Readers

I'd like to make you an offer you can't refuse.

In 2007, live-blogged the North American Youth Congress for 80,000 readers. All we did was write and photograph whatever we thought was worth sharing and the world came to us. The local city newspaper even ripped off one of my headlines.

We're putting together a blogging team for Youth Congress 2009. Want to join?

If doesn't matter if you've never blogged before, it's simple. It doesn't matter if you won't have a computer in Nashville, they've got Internet Cafes at the Convention Center. All you have to do is write a post every day (more if you want) you're there.

If you're interested email us with your name, age, church and pastor. We'll get back to you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

“Twitter is for old people”

A 15 year-old releases a report on technology use among teens via Morgan Stanley. No shocks, but many nuggets of insight.

“I texted a few friends to get ideas,” he said. He believes his report represents the collective wisdom of about 300 teenagers.

Teenagers do not listen to the radio, he wrote, preferring online streaming sites, nor do they ever buy music. Games consoles “now... connect to the internet, voice chat is possible between users... one can speak for free over the console so a teenager would be unwilling to use a phone,” he wrote.

He told The Times that at home he usually communicates with his male friends while blowing up terrorists on the action game Call of Duty. “You use a mobile phone if you want to talk to girls,” he said, as “only about one in fifty girls plays computer games.”

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Marriage & Divorce: Smoking Matters

A new study on Marriage and divorce offers some fascinating facts after following 2,500 couples over six years. There’s nothing about religion being a factor either way (which may indicate the academic’s bias), but smoking is. So are *gasp* finances! It’s also no surprise that:

“ . . . partners who are on their second or third marriage are 90 percent more likely to separate than spouses who are both in their first marriage.”

“ . . . with one-fifth of couples who have kids before marriage -- either from a previous relationship or in the same relationship -- having separated compared to just nine percent of couples without children born before marriage.”

One of the great lies in Western Society is that the divorce rate is at 50%. The divorce rate is not at 50% and never has been.

It can’t be among married couples. It can be with multiple repeaters, who drive the number absurdly high. Take out the Elizabeth Taylors polluting the sample and you’ll find it closer to 20-25% maximum. (Sadly, it’s probably close to that within the Apostolic Movement as well.)

I’ve attended two 50 Year Anniversary parties in the last six weeks, with other 50+ couples in attendance. Those don’t make the headlines but they still happen all the time—among Christians and Hindus and everyone in between.

Anyway, the article shares some surprising nuggets worth pondering.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Love & Cannonballs

Wish you had more time to read? Ever glance at some monster title that everyone praises or Oprah recommends and think: 'I'll bet it's good, but when would I ever finish it?'

Well, Abebooks has compiled a short summary of some of the world's longest novels, as well as pithy Twitter summaries! Which will suffice until you make it to heaven, I suppose. (I’ve only read 2 and probably will only try 1-2 others on this list within my lifetime)

Here's War & Peace:
Twitter Description - Napoleon & Co invade Russia but that's the least of the problems for five posh Russian families. Love and cannonballs. Much war, little peace.

It's great fun.

Take 2 minutes and you'll get the scoop on 15 of the longest books in existence.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Beauty of the Internet: Exploding Whale

Because everyone should see a real Sperm Whale exploding in the middle of a busy city in Taiwan.

Thank you (again), National Geographic!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Freedom Contest

From the Press Release:

“Karen Harding Releases Brand New Single To Radio”

-Patriotic Song To Hit Airwaves For Independence Day-

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn- 6/30/09- The newest member of the Cross & Crown Music family, Karen Harding is set to release her first radio single on the Cross & Crown Records’ label this week. “Freedom, Oh What A Word!,” was written by Karen and accomplished songwriter, John Darin Rowsey and will hit radio airwaves just in time for Independence Day. The single features Karen’s unmistakable vocals alongside a special appearance by Mike Bowling. “Freedom, Oh What A Word!” is also available digitally on, and numerous other online music stores.

Cross & Crown Music has launched a contest in conjunction with the single release. Radio listeners can phone or e-mail their personal stories of what freedom means to them to their local radio stations from July 1st until July 15th. They will be entered into a contest and have the chance to win free DVDs and CDs from the “Memories From MorningStar” library. The winning stories will also be featured A national winner will be selected August 1st. The Memories From MorningStar library includes classic recordings from the Perrys, the Crabb Family, the Isaacs, the Perry Sisters, the Bishops, the Wilburns, Carroll Roberson, Palmetto State and the Dixie Melody Boys.

Cross & Crown Music launched April 2009 just outside Nashville, Tennessee. Cross & Crown Records, 4 Square, Morning Star and Cedar Hill record labels are encompassed within the music company. The recording labels are currently home to Heirline, New Ground, Diane Rudd and a plethora of other well known Southern Gospel artists. The company plans to release classic favorites from the Morning Star label and are pursuing additional musicians to add to their ever growing roster. Cross & Crown Music offers custom projects for groups who desire the experience and excitement of recording in Nashville, Tennessee.

For more information on Cross & Crown Music, Memories From MorningStar and the “Freedom, Oh What A Word!” radio contest, visit

Happy Birthday U-S-A!

We've got more than our share of faults, but we're still the hope of the world! Let's keep earning that responsibility.

Friday, July 03, 2009

90&9 is on Facebook!

If you've got a profile, drop on by and give us a shout! We're still working toward a more robust site, but we'd love fans along the way!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Darrell W. Johns: New President of Gateway

The official Press Release (which, strangely, was released at 5 p.m. at the start of a holiday weekend. You would think they would want to make this part of every Pentecostal's conversation for days to come.):

- On June 19, 2009, Reverend Darrell W. Johns was unanimously elected by the Board of Trustees to become the eighth president of Gateway College of Evangelism. He formally commenced his presidential duties effective July 1, 2009.

Brother Johns currently serves as a board member for Gateway College, a pastoral board member of the Foreign Missions Board of the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI), and pastor of Atlanta West Pentecostal Church in Lithia Springs, Georgia. He will remain in these capacities and execute his presidential responsibilities at Gateway via telecommunication and by commuting to the campus on a monthly and as-needed basis.

An ordained minister of the United Pentecostal Church, President Johns is deeply committed to the Apostolic message including the articles of faith of the UPCI. He brings a wealth of experience to his role as president. Upon graduating salutatorian from Jackson College of Ministries, Darrell Johns worked in both faculty and administrative capacities there for nine years. During his years at Jackson, he was also Youth Pastor and Assistant Pastor at the First Pentecostal Church serving under Pastor T.L. Craft. He served as UPCI General Youth Secretary from 1988-1993 and UPCI General Youth President from 1993-1995. He most recently served as Secretary of the UPCI Division of Education from 2007-2009.

Brother Johns has invested his time, talent, and treasure in Gateway College as a Board member, Foundation partner, and by sending numerous students to the College from his church, including two of his sons.

Darrell Johns has been married to his wife Carol since 1978. They have three sons: Ryan, Joel, and Justin. Ryan holds a BBA in marketing from the University of West Georgia, is an accomplished musician and recording artist, and serves on the pastoral staff of Atlanta West Pentecostal Church. Joel graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Practical Theology degree from Gateway College of Evangelism and serves as youth pastor of The Pentecostals of Titusville, Florida. Justin graduated in 2009 with an Associate of Biblical and General Studies degree from Gateway College and will return to the campus in August to pursue a Bachelor of Christian Ministry degree.

President Johns accepted this new role at Gateway with a conviction that the college will positively affect the future of Apostolic leadership in the church. He has stated that his life goal is to develop leaders for the Kingdom of God and he will bring that sense of purpose to the office of president. His vision for Gateway is to see the College fulfill its mission "to train and biblically educate disciples for Christian ministry, church leadership, and world evangelism." Under his leadership, Gateway College will continue to seek regional accreditation while maintaining the biblical integrity and Oneness Pentecostal distinctives of the College.

We welcome Darrell Johns and his family to the Gateway team. Your prayer and support will help make the vision of Gateway a continuing reality.