Wednesday, September 30, 2009

General Conference News: Wednesday

Texas Youth President Michael Ensey has been chosen to serve as the General Youth Division's Director of Promotions, taking the place of Wayne Francis, who is moving to start a church in White Plains, NY.

I'm also told there was spirited discussion about Bible Quizzing changes before they were tabled for the Winter Meetings.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

UPCI General Conference

If you're interested in seeing the services at the UPCI's General Conference this week, go here to get the details about streaming.

If you're attending, drop by and say hi to me over the weekend. I should be ensconced at the Word Aflame Publications booth (next to the PPH booth) most of the time. I'd love to meet you or see you again.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Genius Grants

The MacArthur Foundation announced their Fellowship Winners last week. These are the most notable Fellowships in the world because they are a nicknamed the "Genius Grants," and are most often given to creative originals in nearly every field of the arts and the sciences. Oh, and they get $500,000 as well.

According to the Foundation's website, "the fellowship is not a reward for past accomplishment, but rather an investment in a person's originality, insight, and potential." Here's the list of 2009 winners.

I greatly anticipate the day a Pentecostal scores one.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Winning the Lottery the God Way

A church in my own state of Michigan has won the lottery...but that's not the whole story:

In short, someone dropped of the scratch-off lottery ticket in the offering basket which then ended up being worth $70,000 after the ticket won in a raffle....

Hmmmm....perhaps Pastor's need to rethink how they advise parishioners to give their offering... (Sarcasm)

Barna: Percent of Female Senior Pastors Doubled Over Past 10 Years |

Barna: Percent of Female Senior Pastors Doubled Over Past 10 Years |

Shared via AddThis

While Apostolics seemed to be on the cutting edge of women in leadership positions in the 1960's, that trend has been on a slow recession since then.

Now hearing about a woman who is licensed in the UPC is very rare and even more rare is the woman who is a pastor in the UPC.

So it's on this note that the above link is a fascinating look into the position of women in non-Apostolic denominations...

For some this report is a very good thing who are praying that this trend pours into the UPC. For others, this may be a warning signal of potential change within our ranks in future generations.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oprah Endorses Faith-Based Fiction!

Read all about it on Word, our sister blog.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Most Valuable Brands in the World

The Top 2 Brands remain the same, but . . .

"This is the first time the combined value of the world's top 100 brands as ranked by Interbrand, a branding agency, has fallen in the 10 years Interbrand has assessed them."

Question: If this were a list of local/regional brands, where would your church rank in their communities for name recognition and trustworthiness?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Talkin about our generation....

Several weeks back I posted this "did you know?" video about our future and how small it is becoming....Today I bring you a comparably similar video but is more technology related and blows my mind even more....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Switchfoot Album!!!

Everyone's favorite Christian rock band elevated to international fame, Switchfoot, is releasing a new album on November 10 titled "Hello Hurricane." Lead singer Jon Foreman remarked about that the album title "acknowledges the storms that tears through our lives." He added that "This album is an attempt to respond to those storms with an element of hope, trying to understand what it means to be hopeful in a world that keeps on spinning."

One can only imagine what the ceiling is for this album...Their last album, Oh Gravity! (2006) debuted at #18 on billboard's top 200, and this past month found them opening up for the Dave Matthews Band on a couple of occasions.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Southern Baptists Facing Extinction

The Lifeway Research Group recently released a report that predicted that the Southern Baptist Convention would be half it's size by 2050 should current number trends continue.

There are many theories on how to change this demographic, but essentially the biggest problem is that the SBC will age it's way into denominational obscurity. As the SBC core population ages, they will not resupply itself with younger generations.

This is not some horror tale of "whoa is Christianity if it doesn't change" but rather what I believe is a sign of what protestantism always has been and always will be: Adapt to the cultural climate or die...a Survival of the fittest if you will.

Where the SBC will most likely die because it bases it's dogma and ways around the time where the SBC was in it's glory days (it worked then, so that's the way it is meant to be), a new group will inevitably pop up that appeals more and adapts more to the culture around it in this day and age. And once that new organization becomes obsolete in "it's old ways" that are new ways according to today's standards, I am certain a new denomination or style of church will pop up in it's stead.

The question is, does the UPC have to worry about it's path the way the SBC has to or is the UPC exempt? I would argue that at the least the UPC is more exempt than the SBC from fear of such great decline simply because the UPC's belief system is so unique that it's appeal does not have to appeal to culture to survive, for it's survival is based on it's unique doctrine which cannot be matched by competing denominations of the Apostolic-Pentecostal truth.

Whereas the SBC has other baptist organizations as well as other denominational organizations where the core beliefs are similar to the SBC (and thus a threat), the UPC has minimal denominational competition, and thus does not have to worry about such threats.

For instance, the Amish will most likely be around a very long time because of it's unique belief system which does not put it in competition with other Christian denominations. While the Amish will not grow to exponential numbers because of it's unique beliefs, it is more built for the long-haul as compared to the SBC. This is all theory...thoughts?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Can't Miss Conference: The Forum 2009

The Forum is the annual Apostolic conference that focuses on relevant topics over big-name speakers because it's about a conversation, not a lecture from a self-described expert.

So enjoy a long extended conversation with interesting people on topics such as:

  • The 21st Century Church - Is anyone loyal to the local church anymore?
  • What's Possible (for Apostolics) in Today's World?
  • The New Social Gospel: Fresh Message or 60s Liberalism? Is it Apostolic or Emergent?
  • The Fit Christian
  • Doing More with Less - Resources for Small Ministries
  • When Does Music Become Secular?

Plus, Jason Sciscoe will be speaking on "Giftings vs. Callings" with breakout sessions afterwards on "My Calling: The Arts," "My Calling: Business Professionals," "My Calling: Ministry."

So scratch in October 23-24 at Gateway College of Evangelism in St. Louis as a must-attend event! Co-Sponsored by 90&9, natch!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Facebook: Ruining Friendships World-wide

Anything that becomes as big as Facebook will automatically allow journalists to take easy shots at it. Not that they don’t have some good points to make . . .

“Like many people, I'm experiencing Facebook Fatigue. I'm tired of loved ones—you know who you are—who claim they are too busy to pick up the phone, or even write a decent email, yet spend hours on social-media sites, uploading photos of their children or parties, forwarding inane quizzes, posting quirky, sometimes nonsensical one-liners or tweeting their latest whereabouts. ("Anyone know a good restaurant in Berlin?")”


“"It's called narcissism," says Matt Brown, a 36-year-old business-development manager for a chain of hair salons and spas in Seattle. He's particularly annoyed by a friend who works at an auto dealership who tweets every time he sells a car, a married couple who bicker on Facebook's public walls and another couple so "mooshy-gooshy" they sit in the same room of their house posting love messages to each other for all to see. "Why is your life so frickin' important and entertaining that we need to know?" Mr. Brown says.”

Because It'll Only Happen Once

Happy 09/09/09 from 90&9!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Creation vs. Evolution-The Ongoing Saga

Perhaps as big as the evolution vs. creation battle has been scientifically, the culture war over the issue is as big if not bigger than the science battle.

Should we consider above image offensive? According to Smith-Cotton High school, the image is indeed offensive.

The latest battle comes from Sedalia, MO where it's local high school found it's marching band wearing t-shirts that showed the traditional alleged evolution of humans (pictured left) holding brass instruments that evolved from the 1960's.

In the touchy issue of separation of church vs. state, any references to religion by a public school is definitely frowned upon and will most likely end with a lawsuit. But does the same issue work both ways? Should we consider evolution a religious problem and therefore not allow schools to promote it?

Considering evolution is already taught in public schools, I am not exactly sold that evolution should not be promoted by public schools. What do you guys think? Is evolution a religious issue and therefore should not be promoted? And if evolution is not a religious issue, is it therefore permissible for a school to promote evolution?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Reason for an imminent rapture #251

From 9-11, to the terrible natural disasters we have had in recent memories, there are many indicators that we may be in the last days. But perhaps none is more telling than this list of the top 20 biggest selling songs of the past decade where the top song is "Hips don't lie" by Shakira, Britney has 3 songs in the top 10, and Shakira and Britney combined possess 7 of the top 20 selling hits of this decade.

Credit for this blog goes goes to the indestructible Kent Curry moreso than myself

(Are the two girls pictured the false prophet and the anti-christ respectively?!?)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Rapture Scams: Why Knew?

Boing Boing offers some thoughts on "Post-Rapture Document Delivery," basically keeping your finances & other important documents out of the hands of the Anti-Christ.

And here's a site that offers to take care of your pets after the Rapture. Yep, it's "The Next Best Thing to Pet Salvation."

Derek Webb Releases Stockholm Syndrome

Derek Webb, that most controversial of all Christians, has released a new record and subsequently taken his ability to cause a stir to the next level.

According to the blog on his official website:

In Webb's Christian venue, of course, words still have that power. The
closest thing to an official explanation I've heard for why INO won't release the song "What Matters More" is that it includes a dirty word beginning with "s." (In
some evangelical circles, the shot of Moore smoking tobacco on his own Texas
porch is proof enough that "Stockholm Syndrome" grew out of an atmosphere of
moral lassitude.) Another strike, obviously, is Webb's thorough-going critique
of the evangelical culture's moral self-regard, particularly its "reckless"
rejection of homosexuals. "If I can tell what's in your heart by what comes out
of your mouth," he sings on "What Matters More, "it sure seems like being
straight is what this is all about."

From what I can gather, Webb and the record label settled on a "censored" and "uncensored" version.

I want to like Derek Webb. I'm a huge fan of Caedmon's Call, the band he left in 2003. I like Webb's album "The House Show" more for the Bible Studies in between songs than the songs themselves. I like his gritty, throwback-to-Dylan voice, and the way he makes the Christian establishment wiggle in discomfort by pointing out their hypocrisies and errors (little did I know that Webb doesn't think Christians should try to change the world through politics, a position I've held and defended for several years now).

But I have a problem with a "Christian" artist choosing to use profanity in his art. I just do. Maybe I'm more prudish than I want to believe but there has to be a difference in "our music" and "their music". I often preach the value of "positive" music because it doesn't incorporate profanity, drugs, or immorality even though it may not be explicitly Christian. But here's a so called Christian artist who chooses to be a little less positive.

Webb is good enough at his art to provide thought provoking, heavy hitting, and good sounding music without using profanity.

It's too bad that music will be lost to many who will choose to censor his words.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Must See-Internet Website

Every once in a while websites are discovered that appear to be from God himself....and I argue that this website is one of them titled: "Stuff Christian Culture Likes." If you have a good half hour to an hour, be sure to check that website out. It's a spin off the infamous "stuff white people like" book and website.

My three favorites of stuff Christian Culture Likes:

#77-“Getting Plugged In”

#71-Worship Leaders asking folks “to really think about the words to this next song!”

#66-Backrub Chains


In my search for similar websites, I found Stuff Christians like which appears to be much of the same, except the list is entirely longer (something which deterred me from wanting to take the time to properly evaluate the sight.)

And as for the above mentioned links, I have used their blogs as inspiration for my new blog: Stuff Apostolics Like. While not original, I hope it can gather a few giggles (I have two up, and will try to upload about ten a month at least)