how can church be home?

Posted by Teen Bean

Lately i have been obsessed with church and "fitting in". Over the last 4 and 5 months i have attending so many different expressions of church, house church, community family church, catholic church, a romanian church, a pentecostal, a baptist church....

i've entered these churches a stranger, but seriously seeking a place to call home... a place to be family...

the experiences have been so different.. yet so the same....

i am used to church... i was practically born 2nd pew back, piano side....

yet every time i go to a new church i am surprised how nervous i get... "will they like me? will i know when to sit? when to stand? when to pray? when to open my bible?"

and if I... a veteran church attendee... can feel so nervous, anxious, and down right scared... what must people who have never once stepped in to the alternate universe of Church feel?

a couple experience really stuck out to me..

i went to a Romanian Church... (completely in Romanian, sermon and all). i made the biggest faux pas ... sitting on the "male" side of the church and not the "female" side. i didn't know the sexes sat separetly. I just really wanted to fit in and as i sat there, i actually started crying realizing that i had done church badly when i was just trying to be good...

another one was when I went to a Catholic Church. Never have i wanted to be a part of something more then when this beautiful body of Christ entered into the Eucharist. But i wasn't Catholic... so as everyone entered into this beautiful remembering of Christ, I sat feeling very alone... tears of being an outside teased my intense hunger for fellowship.

that really got me to thinking...

how do i make people feel this way in my expression of church? the depth in which i longed to be in something righteous, something holy, something real... to be a part of something... and its not just me that feels this way... i think loads of people feel this stirring. People are dying to be a part of something... our hearts screams for it but our lips fail to speak the unknown... Church.

its in church, because in Church

we belong,

we have family,

that we experience righteousness, meaning, holiness, Love!!

its in church that we are capable of connecting to the deepest and most important relationship... that with our Savior, our God, our Comforter. I feel so blessed that He has written himself on my heart and on the hearts of all people... and am vowing to make it a point in my life to consider those who have yet to realize that above my needs!

Its hard to break that cycle and mindset of thinking of others before i think of myself... but i think it is vital to being a true expression of what the church is.

Impressed by God

Posted by Teen Bean

I was sitting in my apt today... just super impressed by God. I started looking around my apt... the simpleness of how He moved me here and provided. The twinkling fairly lights reminded me of being in my favorite memories... my walls on the left are covered in photos of new and old relationships, my boyfriend steve, my friends Jenny, Jess, Fionia, Tiffany, Alex, Ellie, Shauna.... looking left i was blown away by the prayers that i had posted on my wall in my prayer room.... prayers asking for Community, for Jobs, for growth in relationships, for steves visit over christmas, for a co-workers grandpa, for the prayer room in Bagdad, for my thesis, for the specific needs of a friend who is hurting, for the Stanford Boiler Community, fro my friend Sarah's newly started prayer room in her basement....

all i could feel was blessing

all i could say was Thank you...

I was overwhelmed... something was pressing one me... or was it someone?

and that is when i realized how impressed by God i am...

how he has marked me, how he has been, how he has shown up time and time again...

life hasn't always turned out like i expected. Sometimes things i have wanted God has taught me to lay them down, somethings i thought i never wanted to be about God has taught me to pick up, and somethings God asked me to wait for he is gently handing back....

By the end of this week, if all goes as planned i will move into the city and spend this summer living in Capital Hill. As i transition yet again to a new place, a new community, a new life experience I look around me and pray that i will be as bless as i have been here... lovely time, lovely memories, lovely life...

God is impressive...

Thank YOU!

p.s. this is the extremely FAT cat that lives at my parents house in chicago! Go'on you can leave the porch!

p.s.s. Steve and I had a lovely time traveling back to Chicago and meeting my family and friends and life there. it was such a time! Ahhhh meeting the parents and blending life together.. i feel so freaking grown up these days!


Posted by Teen Bean

i was just wondering... is communion an event or a lifestyle?

Easter Marathon

Posted by Teen Bean

ahhh so i had a bit of a marathon celebrating Easter this year.

normally i spend the holiday with family and i was a bit sad that i couldn't go home... so i decided to just get out and about and see all the different ways people celebrate Easter.

it started Maundy Thursday ... in the way i spend all my thursdays in class... taking an exam

then on friday night in and around reading and writing papers i went to a friend Emily's friend Charity's house for a communion and a foot washing....

yeah communion was about bring out best before God so emily brought us Cheesecake factory cheese cake... ooo man was it good!!!
then holy saturday it was all about homework and Catholic mass at Saint John Vianney Parish... after reading a book "Globalization, Spirituality, and Justice" by a Catholic Priest Groody, i actually was able to really enjoy and appreciated the rituals and symbols... i cried like a baby it was beautiful and by candle light!!!

and then sunday morning bright and early i got up for Easter breaky!!!

and even met a new friend named Lilly who happened to take a liking to my ever amazing shades! (i think she sports them better then i do! wink wink!)

and then it was back to reading, writing, and finishing school papers! woopie!!! only 5 days until stevie comes!

heart heart beanie!