messy but moved!

Posted by Teen Bean

so wow... this week defines anticipation and expectation. I've just moved to a new home (in the basement of the random, yet wonderful Smith family)... they have a 5 year old girl Sofie that very eagerly wanted to help me move and during our time together she mentioned "a month feels like a year!"

i couldn't agree more. in a time when days feel like months, months feel like years, and years feel like decades... my mind is actually spinning with the question... how did i end up in my future so quickly!?!?

i feel like i just got out here to seattle, just was getting settle and now here i am moving to a new part of time... about to begin exploring all over again... but this time i get to do so with an ultimate bonus of Steve Lawton! Score!!!! ha ha.. lets just say that boyfriends are da bomb! (freak yeah!)

i am wondering as i settle into my new little phase in life... why? it seems pretty straight forward to me how life should go and what i expect...yet.. i often find myself in this moments where i am screaming "can life get any more messy!".... that is until at work i was chatting with one of my fellow co-workers Cathy... explain what a great place i found and how my honey was coming to visit, and how boss it was to finish my first semester of Graduate School...

She was like "wow you can tell you are just one of those people that life just always works out for..." i was like what!?!? my life!?!? work out... right now it feels so un-worked out, how am i going to pay all the bills i have coming in, how am i going to be a part of what God is doing here, how do i help motivate and be motivated to be radical for christ, how do i keep my relationship (long distance and here distance) together, how to i not feel scared to death, how do i be strong... my life? together!?!?!

but then i laughed and realized... how involved God was in my life, finding an apt to rent that not only was open to move into the week of christmas, but from a family so wonderful they went and bought me brand new bedding, to a group of co-workers that constantly support me and encourage me when i feel completely inept, to a boyfriend that drops a large wade of dough just to come and see me, to a little brother who send me a card with his spare changed taped to the inside to 'help out' his big sister woooooaaaaahhhhhh.... my life is way put together... and i just wanted to say ... thanx God...

i was sitting in my room (well my ex-room)... praying and talking with God and got super hungry and went in the kitchen and grabbed a slice of pizza and cup of grape juice... as i walked back to my room i winked at my ex-roomie and joked "going to have some communion with God"... we both laughed but as i went back into my room... that is exactly what i did... its weird ending the first phase of an adventure... all i know is i wanted to give it back to God and also take the time to give this next phase to him... and the strange thing is God is like "just use what you have... nothing more and nothing less"... if that mean having communion with pizza and grape juice... communion away. if it means emptying out a closet to pray in... to do it. if that mean giving up how you would form community and doing it in a completely different way... release and jump in!!!

there were so many time when the shit could have hit the fan this semester... so many times when the person i was before totally would have effed up big time... and it was weird to not want that life anymore... to want something better. something deeper... to still feel totally like the same person as before, when i would just loose control and have to come crawling back to God with oops and sorry streaming from my lips, but this time... the now time... i was like "woah... God we did it!!!"

Not trying to be prideful, but like woah... being intentional... giving what little i did to God made this huge massive difference... and how it whetted my lips.. now all i want to do is be more of that, more intentional, more deep, more real, more sacrificial, more everything... its so scary too because i feel like i'm headed for the front battle lines of a raging war... but oddly safe... hmmm i think we are about to being something...

phase two... begins...

(ahhhhhhhhhhhh and STEVIE is coming!!!!!)


Posted by Teen Bean


so i'm moving again... woop keep it real like that... i move in 5 days... friday december 17th.

here is my new address...

9110 NE 106th PL
Bothell, Wa

change your contact info accordingly!

seriously never been so glad to move off campus... this was a bunch of crazy!


Part 2: Emergent Church Rant...

Posted by Teen Bean

so wow... what blows me away most about this idea of Emergent Church is that there are a group of people that have noticed there is something wrong with the 'modern church' and are actually doing something about it. I have often come across this statement that emergent church tends to draw in the unchurched and the over-churched. Those two groups of people just happen to be the people that often don't fit in with the idea of traditional church... the trouble makers (no wonder i identify so well!).

i've been exploring the emergent church over the last couple of months and am starting to realize what a big thing it is... and am getting more excited with blending this exploration into my graduate course studies. I think this idea of church really started kicking off while i was in England. I was part of something called a Boiler House Community that was such a beautiful expression of Gods people i loved them... but if there was one thing i really struggled with was their inability to identify themselves as a church. They totally were a church... in fact in my mind they acted more like a church then any church i had ever been in... why were they so afraid to identify with that!?!?

I'm sure so much more goes into it then my little mind understands, but how i see it is that they are an emergent church (weather they recognize it or not)... they were about christ centered community, they ate together, they prayed together, they had conversations over theology, they loved each other, they served their community, they challenged themselves to accept everyone regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation... they were an Emergent Church.

While i was in england i had the pleasure of meeting many well spoken individuals... one of my most favorite was a man by the name of Simeon Bayton... how i could push his buttons and how he could push mine. both of us fiercely love Christ and are about making our lives centered on him and bottom line we wanted to be light to this dark world... we both were involved in traditional church and this non identified "emergent church" (i.e. Boiler House)... but if traditional church was on the left of the fence and emergent church on the right... simeon and i were both both standing on the fence... me leaning dangerously to the right and he dangerously to the left... keeping ourselves in balance merely by choosing to link hands and lean...

he fought for the beauty of the bride... the purity she holds, the unity, the accountability, the discipleship, the fold. I fought for life outside a box... the hope of new, unity, accountability, discipleship, the kingdom come... ha ha sounds a lot the same.

so much of what we spoke of was one and the same... so much was different... both of us want change... we just want to see our peers love God. we just want to see people coming to a place that is actually going to help, we just want to see people start having conversations with God...

i left england, but took a lot of that with me... if i want to see change happen in this world there is no doubt that prayer is where it all starts, but one thing i recognized is that it also very much has to do with the church. but how!?!? i've started considering my call to be a church planter... now hold up don't go crazy and think... "wow tina's gone hard core" i think being a church planter is the call of ALL CHRISTIANS!! so if i believe that how do i live that...

in todays modern church you often have to be super trained... even the most relaxed of congregations require their leaders to got to seminary, to spend year in an internship... thats hard to be a full time church planter and a full time microbiologist...

or is it!?!? the thing i love about Emergent Church is their push to just get everyone involved. They break down that hierarchy of power... they spread it out. Sure there are still wise go to leaders, but the much more spread out... i've been reading a text call "the new christian" by tony jones... and as good as it is ... it did also throw my head in a couple of loops...

emergent church is about being christ centered. they are about the bible. they believe that the bible is the truth, but they also recognize some parts are meant to be taken literally and other are not. they challenge themselves to included everyone, no judging or condemning and that also means allowing them to become actively involved in their church (even leadership (!?!)).

flexibility, letting culture help share their church expression, being relevant to society, models of the third way, so much is going on in the emergent church that is different from the 'normal' church i am used to that is putting my head in a spin... the crazy thing is, as i am reading and searching its like the stuff that is on my heart that i just can't quite yet verbalize is being lived out by these people ... and all i can say is "i want in...."

but am i being chaff that is being blown by the wind!??! and i be tossed to and fro by the waves!?!? am i founded. I feel really founded... i feel strong enough to start this journey, but i feel it... somethings going to happen that is going to hurt... but i can't define the pain... just that i'm ready for it...

ahh for the simo and a piece of paper!

all i know is that if the church is going to be relevant for this generation we better stop being about ourselves and start exploring how maybe we didn't have it all right and maybe there is a different way of being the church that is going to shine much brighter for this dark generation...

ooo that just reminded me of something ... but more on churches whose focus is mission if that right later....

Ode to my boyfriend...

Posted by Teen Bean

If I could be just anyone
I'd sail across the sea

And stand next to my golden man
and make a cup of tea

Then i'd sail a little more
but this time through the sky

And still i'd stand with my man
The one who wears pink ties

But now my tale has just become
a story about he

When really when it all began
wasn't it about me??

But something about standing near
the man i call my lovely dear
makes my heart know crystal clear

That sailing to him is the final key
that unlocks my whole world
and sets me completely free

so that, anyone i'm not with he
because he loves the simple me!

heart heart

the bean

p.s. 12 days until steve comes!

belong, believe in a postmodern world!?!?!?

Posted by Teen Bean

so being a christian is about coming to understand the life that God desires for us to live and then doing that. In the beginning of time there were no issues in understanding that. Adam and Eve all rocked it in the garden... maintianing the garden... and eating fruit (whatever i sterotyped them). Then the fall happens and man instantly is put in this place where living a life full of the things God desires is completely over clouded by the shallow (but intensly deep) desire we humans have. Now there is this battle between flesh and spirit.

and the tough part is society keeps changing and that change results in massive culture shifts... premodern, modern, to now a postmodern world... when the culture goes through massive transformation, the way people find identity changes too. in a premodern world it was all community context identity, the modern era brought the self-contained identity where people didn't let the social context they live define them, but found identity through individual interest. now as we move to the postmodern world we are experience yet another transition of how people find identity... and its a weird throw back to premodern (desire for community identity) as well as to the modern era (desire for individuality), with this added mix of .... what!?!?

i dare say the postmodern world is giving rise to an identity through hope of an Ancient Future (to borrow the phrase). what does this mean and what is the church doing about this!?!?!? for years we have been living in a church society that has pushed the idea of a personal jesus (at the risk of loosing vital focus). The famous "quote John 3:16, but this time take out the phrase 'the world' and insert your name ... 'For God so loved Tina Aurand that he gave his one and only son'..." what was the church thinking!?!?!? i'll tell you... they recognized the cultural state the world was in. A modern world that called for a modern identity to self... if the church wanted to stay relevant they need to run with this culture and run they did... and it was a good go... loads of good happened from the church making people understand how personal our God is... but did they over emphasize it!?! what did they loose focus of!?!... again i will tell you

they forgot about 'the world' ... a vital, VITAL, component to Jesus' teachings. The idea to run with how the culture was transforming around them was a good idea... where they went wrong was loosing the main focus. Is it any wonder that today, especially in America, the large majority of church members are people only seeking how to better themselves... to attain more self fulfillment? they just bought into the marketing stratgey the church was using... one all focused around self-contained identity. Again is it any wonder that the church is dying!?!?!?!

The phrase Ancient Future pulls at the idea that people are beginning to appreciate the power of a new kind of community like never before. The new community people are being faced with is one of global context. No longer do we live within premodern small communities, nor the modern era and individuals within communities, but now is the time of people recognizing the global world and how they find identy on the individual community level as well as within a global context.

The idea of Ancient Future is bringing hope that we can learn and accept our past as well as develop a new way of life within a new global context.

The church must recognize the change if she wants to remain relevant to our society and live! The beautiful thing is that the culture around us is screaming "we need to pay more attention to 'the world' as a whole" (i.e. globalization and the way it finds worth in all people and places) which also just so happens to be the message that Jesus preached. John 3:16 For God so loved THE WORLD that he gave his one and only son... (hey if the christians are not going to step up and recognize that God wants us to be more concerned with how the world is living and then our own personal development... then God is just going to inspire the 'unrighteous' shall we say... to get the job done... God isn't limited by us.. and our whack interpretations of his word).

So what is the church doing... anyone!?!?

Lately i have been fascinated with the Emergent church movement... (seriously if you want a taste check out and am blown away by how they have accepted this world in its postmodern state. i have sooo much more to say... but this is getting crazy... so i will take a day to chew and then post a part two on what my views are on the emergent church... this is where it gets good... so just wait...

Prayer Room: East Seattle Style!

Posted by Teen Bean

So i'm not sure how it all happened... which is a good sign to show it was so God... a couple weeks back i had gotten together with one of my classmates, Jenny Lawrence, at a coffee shop and we were talking about our Social Justice class and Wolterstorff and how annoyed i was with him (not that he isn't genius, but seriously!!? should people really spend their lives just sitting around thinking.. shouldn't we be doing!?!?) and then we got to talking about how we really wouldn't be doing Wolterstorff justice if we didn't do something with the hard work he put into thinking (lets be honest- i could never think that hard, but i can do something in the world with the knowledge he unlocked for me)

so i got to praying and thinking and decided a night of prayer would be good. at first i simply was like "ahh i just want to set aside a chunk of a night to pray", like two hours or something... i thought if other people want to join they totally can. So it was simple i just let a few people know and then casually let it go.

Wow you can learn a lot from letting go and letting God. Through out the next couple of weeks God just kept inspiring these different prayer space ideas. One from a deep conversation with another classmate Alexis Miller, were we hashed out this idea of Social Justice and the Third Way (Not Violent and Not Ignoring the issue, but do as Jesus did and approach life the Third Way) we also talked loads of where we get our self worth from... who assigns that!?!?

The last min... i don't even why... i found myself printing off a list of 12 prayer slots and taking it with me to class... then the craziest thing happened... people got behind the idea... these incredibly smart, busy, involved people were like "we will come and pray" i was blown away by their faith! I left class that night with a majority of the prayer slots filled but quite a few gapping spaces (but secretly that made me glad, cuz i was like sweet now i can pray pray!).

ahhhhh! Then friday night came and how the saints marched in! it was phenomenal... not only did more people then sign up come... but they all got so involved. Some people had never been in a prayer room before -well as decked out the way it was and interactive.

I got the opportunity to pray with and over some phenomenal saints. Every time i entered the space and asked how it went... the responses were so different, but each one so personal... from a girl being blown away that she just spent 2 hours praying (when she pretty much had convinced herself she had no brevity in prayer), to another being astounded by the heaviness of the holy spirit, to another being confirmed in Gods calling to be more involved in prayer, to another being commissioned into ministry... the God action was thick and so electric.

Before i knew it all the slots were being filled as these faithful prayer warriors rallied long through the night.... and people just would move their prayer session from the prayer room out to the living room where coffee, cheese dip, and cookies fueled on deep and God fill conversations, that seriously have added so much to my learning experience.

scheduled to stop at 7am with an amazing cooked breakfast by my fav Jonny (bro you make a mean french toast!!)... i wasn't surprised in the least that there was a knock at the door and one of my classmates, Daniella, came in to extend out 12 hours of prayer to 13... it was a beautiful thing!

The lessons we learned this semester, made into the hands and feet of jesus, and how they did move this night!