can you see the wind?

Posted by Teen Bean

Over this last week i felt like this little kid, standing in a windy field flying a kite... all laughter and skipping, as i teased the wind to chase my playful kite. with ever moment i stood in that field my confidence grew and with it, my desire to fly another kite. First one, then two, then three... why stop adding kites to my play when i find so much pleasure from getting them involved? With a deep sense of satisfaction and normalcy i directed the life of my kites and happily let them dance in the wind that lightly carried them.

but as i lived this week the simple pleasure i had from controlling my kites stopped. I found the wind definitely become a gale force and slowly pleasure became effort. I couldn't laugh, i couldn't skip, i couldn't tease the wind; it took all my focus and all my strength to simply hold the strings of all the kites in that mighty wind.... i couldn't even look up and enjoy the pleasure of their dance.

I wondered a couple times if me holding on to each kite was worth it, grad school, work, friends, boyfriend, life... sometimes it didn't feel like i was the pilot firmly anchored and moving the kites, but more that i was just a mess tangled in string being pulled, dragged, and sometimes freaking lifted off the ground from the power the kites.

the field was still the field, the kites were still the kites, the wind was still the wind, but i didn't know if i was still me!?! or even what i am in me??

Then something clicked in the end bit of this week... my focus was wrong... i was getting all my pleasure from the dance of the kites... i had forgotten to see the wind. i forgot to see how the wind was the reason the kites flew and even more why any of my kites could dance... the wind gave them that freedom...

the wind really deserved the glory!

the end bit of this week kept a very intense stress level. Failure at work, expectation at school, desperation for dreams, friendship support, missing my boyfriend... the focus on each of those kites could be so distracting... or i could see how the wind makes them fly... how the wind makes them dance... how the wind sets them free...

the best part was seeing the wind this week... through a roommates powerful s. korean prayer over fear of failure at work, to a loving phone call from my boyfriend to make me laugh, relax, and be supported, to a spontaneous prayer meeting that started in my room with just me at 5am and carried on to include 4 of my classmates at my early saturday morning class, to vodka and wine confessions of 4 powerful women that sparked a burning passion to be more authentic...

"they were all together in one place. without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force- no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building, then, like a wild fire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking..." Act 2 (the message)

i'm noticing the wind... ha ha i want more people to bring their kites to the field and set their kites to dance... and then i want us all to notice the wind! A gale force!! that lets us dance and sets us free!

not a good idea

Posted by Teen Bean

so i was driving home last night (ok early this morning) and it was totally gushing rain... so i don't know why i thought at that moment it was a good idea to try and tighten my lip ring...

but in short... when it is dumping down rain on the 405 and you are trying to merge into friday morning rush hour traffic... do not take both your hands off the wheel and try and adjust facial jewelry... no matter how good you are are driving with your knee, your car will randomly get a will of its own and recovering from that only by the grace of God...

wow its good to be alive!

Rewind: Transit Highlight!

Posted by Teen Bean

so i found my journal the other day and have spent the last couple of days laughing, head shaking, and crying over the journey i have been through... no way was i that person just under a year ago... but i was really touched by a memory i wrote that happened to me in January 2009... it a good story so i thought i would share how i re-capped one of the most meaningful weekends of my transit year out!

Holy Spirit

I wanted to connect more with the holy spirit, but besides praying more giving up my life to volunteer with a prayer movement, and changing my whole lifestyle, i was at a loss. how do i dig in more??

Then Sunday Natalie Godward spoke on the importance of developing our relationship with the holy spirit. how we should be praying to him and allowing him to have more space in our lives. It all sounded so good, as i sat there at TCF i knew i wanted more, with my whole heart. I walked with about 5 other people to be prayed for. i could tell there was a hunger inside me, a determination, but again something was holding me back. Janet Godward was so encouraging with her prayer. And the good side of me wanted to have those things she spoke, i wanted them to be realities in my life - But i couldn't feel it. I held back i know i did.

i was scared of what i wanted and feared what i didn't know. The unexpected side of the holy spirit was not only a mystery to me, but a standard i couldn't reach. I spent the rest of the day quite disappointed with myself for holding back yet again. But the moment had passed so what could i do.

Monday i came into transit teaching not expecting much. In fact sense i knew Pete Grieg (the big man at 24-7 Prayer) was coming i expected to be disappointed. (i am quite cynical at times). But did he come with guns blazing. The topic was spiritual gifts and he hammered away the importance of the holy spirit being personal, about the power he give, about how we are like cups with holes in them that leak holy spirit out and we have to constantly be seeking to be filled or we will go bone dry. to end he talked about receiving certain gifts. He asked if anyone wanted to receive the gift of prophesy. About 4 people raised their hands. i wanted to, but i already had decided my holy spirit time had come and gone... After prayer he asked the 4 people to give prophesies. Carrolyn and Gemma both said their prophesies involved me.

Carolyn comments how i shouldn't fear my dreams and how through christ i can dream big, trust him and be free. Pete grieg goes on to say how i am not 2nd best how i can dream and be like the people i admire so much.

By this point i've recoiled so far into myself i am scared i have turned inside out and that everyone knew and saw the horrible wretched person i was. we prayed longer and it was some of the most painful moments i've had in a really long time. my pain spilled out of my eyes, while i desperately tried to contain it. The group wanted to pray for me, but i didn't trust them, or me, or mostly what the holy spirit was wanting... so i said "no".

the moment finally came when i was free to leave and i never packed so quickly in my life and just ran home. but even at home i couldn't settle. I convinced myself if i went for a run it'd be like i was running to God. But i wasn't running to him, in reality i was running away. The longer and harder i physically ran the further i stepped into darkness. i was running up this dark hill into one tree hill... i just kept thinking "if i get to the park... i'll meet God there", but i couldn't run anymore and it was too dark. Something just kept screaming "Go home" and finally i listened...

I quite running and began walking home. and what a link my physical and spiritual journey had. In that moment i gave up running the moment i accepted the reality that i was not strong enough to make it to a place i wanted in the holy spirit. That i had to just stop trying so hard to let go of my physical strength ... it all scared me bad!!

see i didn't believe i was fully wanted by God. I thought he considered me to much of a failure. oh how it stung for me to think that God was about to find out,not only how great i fail, but that my biggest failure lied in loosing the special gift of the holy spirit. But i was broken and right there on southend road the fear and emptiness was completely exposed to God.

for the first time in a really long time i let the holy spirit see the inside of me. i was so scared he would punish me or i would loose control or he would abandon me... but He didn't!

As i stood there honestly asking if the holy spirit, and really the whole of who God is, if he still fit in me... all i wanted was a sign... all i could think about was that moment in the bible when the apostles were surrounded by the holy spirit and there was fire above their heads... i remember thinking... if only i saw a flame i would know God is real and fits in me... as i gazed over a dark field and finished that thought a flame ignited... from where at that moment i had no idea (now i know it was the shell plant thingy!!) ... but it sent shivers down my spine... and in that moment i realized, that my needs are being met daily. Then a soft whisper asked... "did you really need that silly sign to now i am real?" and honestly i could answer "no"

the holy spirit was so gentle with me as he filled me with all of who he is. it was as sweet, if not sweeter then the moment that surrounded me on the day i became a believer and even topped my baptism. The fear, that deep fear of being second best, of failing God by loosing the gift of the holy spirit... it was completely replaced by a deep sense of peace and love and blessing.

i walked with the holy spirit that night, we chatted in the sweetest of ways, our relationship has shot to a new understanding of each other....

making an effort to build a personal relationship with the holy spirit has made all the difference...


ha! re-reading this i just cried... i am so weak these days!

thanx God and essex you made all the difference!

the pizza church!

Posted by Teen Bean

I've been reading this book by a guy named Friedman called "the world is flat"... he has gone on and on for over 15 chapters explaining the in-depth reality of globalization. At first i could care absolutely less, but the more i have dug into it the more interesting it is starting to get....

Anyways we have this professors that is teaching us all about the importance of writing in APA style... which seriously chaps my ass because i could care less, but he is convinced that is crucial to our education. The last couple of classes he totally warned us that if we are not careful we will end up finishing grad school knowing a wide base of information that lacks the depth grad school is all about developing. He highly advised us to pick a subject emphasis and then in every class we are in... globalization, social justice, cross-cultural psyc, women and children at risk... whatever subject ... and tie it all back to this "emphasis", thus become an expert on it!

i spent some time praying about it... and was surprised at how quickly this whole idea of the "emergent church" came into my mind... i don't even know how it popped in my head, because i totally thought i would pick something more like "urban youth development" or "poor women at risk" or "developing communities in 3rd world poverty" ... but let me say, over the last two weeks i have completely been distracted by the idea of knowing all i can know about the emergent church...

i'm still trying to wrap my mind even around defining the most basic of terms like "what does emergent church mean?" i have been reading gobs of articles and started two books about it and it all really is deeply interesting... i think because so much of what i am reading about reminds me of the work i got up to in England... which i loved... but to it pushed even beyond the model of what i did in england... which so fascinates me.

but i think something that really hit home in helping me start to wrap my mind around the emergent church was when i was reading the aforementioned friedman text. He was ranting on and on about how good the flat world is... how a more connected world on the most random of subjects was making this incredibly solid fountain. Then he likened the new globalized world we live in, to be like pizza. Pizza is the most popular food world wide... why? because of how basic it is. Make a good dough and then regardless of what culture you are in you can whack whatever you want on it... in america it will be the classic pepperoni, in japan sushi pizza, in lebanon mezzo pizza... the possibilities are endless because of the simple genius behind pizza. Anyone, anywhere can have a piece of the pie and now more then ever they can have it tailor made to satisfy even the most unique of taste.

And tho friedman was totally describing the powerful impact globalization is having own our world today, i couldn't help but be excited by the simplicity behind what he was describing. I recognized how, for so long, churches have been making up these great pizzas and offering them, ready made, to whoever wanted... the only catch was that you had to like the pizza the way they made it. The beauty in the emergent church is how they embrace, just as globalization has, the simply genius of making a good pizza dough... establishing a good foundation and then allowing and encouraging people to be as diverse and creative as they can. Pushing people to get involved in making their own pizza... its still pizza, but the combination of toppings is endless!!

The church is still the church regardless of the rituals that are used, just like pizza is still pizza regardless of what toppings are put on it.... what makes it is the dough... just like what makes the church is her foundation in christ. I highly encourage the pizza church! its totally the way forward... so bring the dough emergent church, cuz what this world needs more then ever is to get involved in making pizza church that will show how big our God really is.

its a secret...

Posted by Teen Bean




i started praying for a prayer house again..................

my first night shift!

Posted by Teen Bean

like jelly and peanut butter... had my first official overnight shift and let me say it was boss! i tore up the whole night... controlling this machine, whacking specimens onto that, reporting results from another... i held my own... i will say. then 6am rolled around and i had to go home... ahhh to crawl into a bed after a long night of work... comfy sweetness. but it was such a blessing... i am such a overnight person...

the power of individuality, the control, the sweet hand off of success... i dig it! ahhhhh welcome back