Sunday, August 23, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I can hardly wait until 2011!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Kent d Curry, Shohna Neumann, Ryan Barton, Ryan O'Neil, Joel Riley, Ben Cohen
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
(Yes, I'm about the world's worst fashion reporter, but I recognize trends even without the proper vocabulary!)
Long dresses were very much in evidence. This is a picture from Wednesday night I somehow overlooked.
"Whether or not this was the “greatest Youth Congress ever” will always be a matter of individual choice. What is beyond dispute, by rookies and veterans alike, is that God chooses to move differently from one Congress to the next, yet his kindness is everlasting, his goodness lasts from generation to generation. What is one person’s disappointment is another’s highlight. Whatever your previous experience, no one can deny that every Youth Congress is an exceptional time of visitation with the Almighty. Youth Congress 2009 just kept that winning streak alive."
Share your Youth Congress thoughts with us now!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Several Youth Congress speakers have graciously agreed to share their presentations of inspiring testimonies and cultural analysis with us. We'll be posting those soon.
Also, expect an exclusive interview with Heidi Urshan on the outreach efforts of Project 22:39. God moved, so we'll get the details!
If you know of anyone who snapped shots or shot video of the event, send us that information so we can highlight how God moved where you were in Nashville.
Email us now!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Update: Alas, the 4th clip of 5 will not load. I've tried since Friday, on 2 different networks, literally for hours, without any luck. It is not to be. Hopefully, I can get a different clip up on Monday.
Congress is unique for how short it is....you're not around people long enough to have to track them down to give them a full formal goodbye and departing hug...and when you do say the goodbye, there is not necessarily a heartbreak full of emotion as when you say goodbye after a road trip or a summer camp...Essentially we aren't given long enough time to develop a deep inner-spiritual connection that will last for years to come. So socially, I do believe youth congress is too short....on the other hand, spiritually, one comes away heavy and motivated to go back home and get things done at their church..There is church and HG (holy ghost for those are not up to speed with Apostolic Pentecostal lingo) a plenty, and I argue that if there is any place for a heartbreak upon departure it is heartbreak from the "God-drenched" services that changed us all. Back to reality....
So anyways, my post-congress journey was strange in that me and my peers had a softball tourney the day after congress, which meant I had to take the nine hour car ride home through the night in order to be at our 10 AM game the next morning....The journey was tough as one could expect, but I was able to log 6 hours of the driving, and my friend, Justin, logged the last three hours or so...and he also took this picture when I passed out (not my best moment to say the least, but I have seen worse)...
But the true disappointment came when we arrived in Michigan and the softball tournament was rained out...
So now as I type this I am waiting for my friends to pick me up to go to St. Louis for a short-term class at Urshan Graduate School of Theology....I'm looking forward to it....
The drive took about 14 hours (note that the trip odometer resets at 999.9, so I actually drove 1653.8 miles this week); I'm quite exhausted, however the amount of caffeine I've ingested over that period of time dictates that my body may not sleep, so here I am blogging about it. Over 14 hours, I had a little bit of time to reflect on Congress, I've come to a few conclusions that I'd like to discuss, but am not quite lucid enough at the moment to do so--I'll be posting these thoughts in the upcoming days. In the mean time...I've got a few bugs to clean off of the car...which was pristine when I left...
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Everyone's dancing on the inside, but on the outside . . . well, our eyes are sealed shut, our faces are pasty, our hair a bit disheveled, our language inert . . .
At the Renaisance Hotel, I saw one of our teen girls determinedly pull and pull and pull on one side of a "push" double door. The kicker being, the door's partner was wide open; but she wasn't going to use it.
Like I said, we need to coin a phrase . . .
Working my way backwards, the afterburner on Friday night was a blast. My youth group had vacillated on going at all, for though we had bought the tickets for $5 [and were not about to waste our good five bucks], church had ended really late and it was already 11:30 pm. The afterburner ended at 2 am. We decided to rush back the hotel, Pastor Chad decreed a 5-minute grace period for changing clothes, and BREAK! We split. Upstairs, downstairs, into the van, screeching on two wheels [just kidding] into the mall parking lot.
It was a blast. I had the most fun ever. It was so crazy to know that an entire section of a real mall was being overloaded by 6,000 Pentecostals only -- for an entire night! The roar was incredible, honestly, but I never felt threatened even if I was by myself, because everyone was so nice [and looked just like me!]. I was deeply unsurprised to observe dozens upon dozens of Apostolic young women make a beeline straight for a store that looked to contain like to thousands of pairs of shoes. Not only that, but several bands, including Ryan Johns [woo hoo!] and CLC's Encounter [woo hoo!] rocked the mall. They sounded so good; I was so proud of the talent and ability with which God has gifted His people.
Earlier in the evening, Brother Wayne Francis had chuhch. To put it simply, we loved it. His "Beyond the Drift" message to the young people of the Apostolic movement had the crowd on its feet for dozens of minutes at a time. Quotes from his sermon are stirring: "We gather at NAYC to celebrate and commemorate our Apostolicism. We're united by the Holy Ghost from when the church skyrocketed into prominence from the upper room. Then came Azuza Street. The question for us 21st-century Pentecostals is, Where do we go from here? Do we only celebrate the monument of past conferences, or do we blaze new tracks and pioneer in the Holy Ghost?"
[Here's more if you're a Wayne Francis fan kid like me: "Mediocrity comes right after you skyrocket away. When you're not actually sure what your mission is. When you have an absence of passion in your worship and prayer and dedication." Or how about this one: "Risk-Free Trial Bibles. That's what we want, a risk-free relationship with God, one that requires no payment and a multitude of gifts. If you stay in the boat, you'll never know if Jesus can keep you afloat! ... Get out of your boat. Say: I'm tired of regular, predictable, dry Pentecost. I want miracles, anointing, power! ... Give me JESUS; give me anointing! I want to go beyond the drift! If you hear Jesus calling you now, you better get out the boat and walk on surfaces that'll blow the human mind."]
After Brother Francis let us go, the place which had established a feeling of a contained supernova just more or less exploded. Praise and worship led us into a deep, stirring Presence of Jesus Christ. We began to realize the weight of the task and the burden and the gifts that God has given this generation. WE are the church. We are soul winners and musicians and doctors and witnesses! You could recognize our recognizing by the way we lingered for countless minutes in the altars. We wept and travailed and praised with sincerity. Youth Congress ain't playin no games.
- It was at turns funny and frustrating to see the amount of people who turned away to see their faces on camera. For a certain amount of time before service, the camera would pan around on the audience at various people to keep us entertained. Boy, were we ever. I felt an "Aw, come on, man" spirit come on me as girls, mainly, hid their face from the camera until it was gone. The cutest vids were when couples kissed or when little kids saw themselves and waved or smiled delightedly.
- You would not believe how hard it was to get paper towels out of the paper dispensers in the bathrooms.
- During the last day session, they had an IBC bluegrass group come up, and they did a great job. But some of the audience really stole the show when they began to do-sey-do on the floor. -> Someone made the comment, "A little more cowbell [would have been nice]" and I thought that was just the icing on the cake.
- There was also a Latino group who played right after the bluegrass. To put it lightly, we were in awe. They were soooo good on the guitars and, frankly, my jaw just went slack. "Wow" describes it best. One man kept the beat, the woman in the middle did some complicated numbers, and the man on the far right worked finger movements so fast that you couldn't really see what he was doing. It was amazing! I vote for them!
- Tim Ruttledge [TM] "You just can't fix stupid. Ignorance doesn't know any better, but stupid knows better and does it anyway."
- You would also not believe the amount of people slain in the Spirit after Friday night's service. They were everywhere: in the arena hallways, around the Bible college and whatever else booths, stumbling down the sidewalks, lying on the sidewalks. I counted dozens of people being carried, lying weeping on the ground, stumbling with their hands over their friends' shoulders. My friends and I were all commenting that the people on the sidewalks must think we're drunk, crazy, or both. It brought to mind Luke Levine's sermon, "We're Drunk, But Not Like You Think!" I wanted to say to the passerby-ers, "These men are not drunk as ye suppose!" I was deeply impressed with the Lord. We serve a mighty God!
All those great video feeds, the angles of the shots, and the types of shots all occur because of the choices made by video czar Matt Dugas in his secret underground bunker. 90&9 was given an exclusive, secret view of this operation because they accidentally left the door open.
Behold, the Wizard of Youth Congress!
As a very conservative minister, there are times which I worry about events such as this. Recently, I went to a very conservative youth conference and had a wonderful time of fellowship with other Bible believing young people. However, whilst I enjoyed being with youth who almost all dressed modestly, I still enjoyed congress better. Why? Because the same things were preached (kudos to the Coltharps and Bro Huntley for awesome messaged reaffirming to youth what we stand for), but here there was an anointing and a love that accompanied the preaching (eph 4:15).
I am so glad to be a part of NAYC this year! Every service was worth going to and getting the DVD to take home. It's too late for me to be up, so I'm out!
-- Post From My iPhone
After NABQT in 2006, we were waiting to leave for the airport while GYD was setting up for the Commune-ity meeting. I mentioned to Russ Faubert in passing that the entertainment at the previous evening's banquet had been horrible (some comedian). I suggested, instead, that we return to banquet entertainment provided by the Fauberts (circa 2002). I didn't realize that Todd Gaddy was within earshot, but noticed at the end, and shot him an email afterward explaining that I was not trying to be critical, just attempting to let them know that the kids enjoyed it not at all. So I take credit for the hilarious entertainment being run by the Fauberts. Since they've taken over, the entertainment has become the major draw of the banquet.
THE SON OF Voice Infrequency Modulation
The FOUL Judge; I don't know that the real foul judge actually pays attention, as he is usually sending SNIDE TEXT MESSAGES to select individuals.
Demonstrating his Voice Impairment Society of America card...
Even the big-wigs were amused...
Voice Infrequency Modulation rears its ugly head...
The Friday Night Service Report:
- You can purchase CDs ($10) or DVDs ($20) for the NAYC services from Media Missions. She's gonna kill me, but you can email your requests here.
- I'm told registration was over 12,000 people, which is comparable to Charlotte in 2007.
- How the local newspaper sees us.
- Congrats to the 3 Apostolic Talent Search Groups: Encounter of Stockton, CA was the group winner, Ashley Wicker (?) from North Carolina, and Kelton in the guy's group. Sorry for the sketchy info. Someone help me out here!
- Congrats to the heroic group of about 60 teens who counted ballots frantically in small hot rooms behind the stage to make sure the winners could be announced at the start of service.
- We're going to have an in-depth interview about Project 22:39 with coordinator Heidi Urshan (see picture) next week at ninetyandnine.com. The postive reports were overwhelming, with over 450 people involved in afternoon witnessing and aid events.
- The Afterburner Mall event sold 6,000 tickets. Most people changed clothes after service to before leaving. It took me 6 minutes (it doesn't sound very long, but try it sometime) to get an elevator and then we had 15 people crammed into it.
- The MK (Missionary Kid) booth was a raging success. More on that in one of our regular issues of ninetyandnine.
- Doors opened at 6 p.m.
- The floor was full at 6:08 p.m.
- The lower tier was full by 6:40 p.m.
- There were more people in the hallways until the preaching started, then the emptied again. There were around 17,000 people there. (Again, no one was in the box seats. There are 30 x 12 seats each.) IMHO, it wasn't much larger than Thursday night. Perhaps the locals were scared from attending due to sell-out expectations?
- A reliable source told me that an adult woman had a heart attack during the preaching, but was doing okay.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Special thanks to alert reader Eric for the links!