Polishing... where's my genie?

Posted by Teen Bean

So last week I submitted my first round of thesis draft. I totally expected to get it back and was on the edge of my seat as I waited patiently for my professor to review all 120 pages of my thesis (poor man!). I received my thesis back on Sunday and was intructed to "polish it".

So spit and polish it I did. For over 15 hours I have re-arranged paragraphs, re-title headings, re-grouped thoughts, deleted conclusion, re-wrote intros, and double-triple checked my citations... every time i look at it I think "oo should I change this? or that"... I feel like it could never end!

However, as of one hour ago I proudly held (in the way any student these days can hold an electric version of their written work) my brightly shinning 127 page thesis....

As I gazed at my glowing laptop screen and all the polished work I had just gone through, I almost was expecting the blue genie from Aladin to pop out and say "what are your three wishes"...

and so post-polishing thesis/ blue genie appearance these are my three wishes (in ascending order of importance)

#1 I wish my thesis was actually helpful to people interested in starting European Prayer Communities

#2 I wish that one day I get to do all the things I wrote about in my thesis

#3 I wish I was in steve's arms right now and never had to leave!

Now i get to wait and see if all that polishing really gets me my genie ???

structure and leadership

Posted by Teen Bean

I'm finding more and more that these two words "Structure" and "Leadership", when spoken in regard to the formation of Christ-centered community, can conjure up so many different emotions. In just one room of seven young church leaders I found happy passionate support, fearful uncertainty, blatant hatred, annoyed mediocrity, and questioning doubt.... Why do these words make people so afraid/emotional?

Sometimes when I run into situations like this I get confused, but then I remember it was not that long ago that I would have counted myself in many of those negative categories.

My bigger question is #1 have I settled by apparently coming 360 degrees in my view of church structure, leadership, and community?

#2 is there a third way to be a leader in a church? One that isn't structured and is structured at the same time?

#3 how do I help people understand that if the church is meant to grow we need to be constantly changing s the people that fill those churches and the roles and structures that are created.

thesis done

Posted by Teen Bean

so my thesis is done... i woke up on Monday and thought to myself, "now what?" its been going on two years that I have been constantly nagged by books to read, articles to review, projects to think up, papers to write, and a thesis to nail down. But as of Sunday April 8th I submitted the last of my school assignments and the hundred and thirty page thesis that was born.

so what does a girl do when she wakes up fresh on a Monday morning to the sound of two over hyper squirrels playing tag on her roof and the sun fighting to break through the dark black out blanket that hangs over her bedroom window??? why by George she bakes....

And so bake I did. I went to the store and bought a humongo bag of chocolate chips and then scoured the tinternet for the best "secret" ingredient... I decided on cinnamon... and bake away i did until i had over 6 dozen chocolate chip cookies to my name...
after the whole experience of wearing my bathrobe all day and pulling warm melty cookies out of the oven... I was simply beaming... but the cool thing came when I started handing out said cookies. people are always so happy to get a cookie... and trust me, tho i am sure these cookies tasted great they were not the best looking cookies (most were quite wonky!)

ever sense I just keep thinking... i want to get better at this cookie making business... I found this website called tablespoon.com... it is freaking awesome and totally inspired me more...
I think I want to be a cookie baker blesser! hahaha... i want to find all the best cookie recipes there are, make them and then spend the week afterward finding people to give them away to and chat with...

then i really started thinking about this cookie baking hoopla and I thought... "why not invite other people to come over and get involved too" what if I chose a day every week that was cookie day and we would make cookies all day... pray into the cookie, laugh, and try and be creative.. and then go out and spread all the cookie wonder around to the people we know and love... we could take them to work, to school, to our neighbors, to the bus stop, to the homeless shelter! everyone loves a home baked cookies... why not share love that way!?!?

i like my cookie blessaking ministry! its going to be a hit! i just know it!

a labyrinth to remember!

Posted by Teen Bean

so what a surprise. I met JamieDee when we both volunteers at the 24-7 Minneapolis Boiler Room, aka Source, two summers ago. We only spent 15 days together. but they were a damn good 15 days. After we parted ways she went back to Atlanta, GA and I headed off to Chicago... A few months later I moved to Seattle, WA... and then a few months after that Jamie moved to Berkley, CA... we both were starting school and finding our footing in new places, but we tried to stay in touch when we could. I rang her when Steve came for visits... and when we got engaged... she always was so happy and supportive... I really appreciate her friendship.

WELL! randomly she rang me and announced she was just a few hours away from Seattle and she was on her way up and wondered if we could meet up... I WAS OVERJOYED! of course I wanted to see her... It was a manic week for me, thesis rough drafts being due and work... but the day she arrived I managed to steal away from my books and work for a gorgeous sunny spring day in Seattle. We walked along the waterfront, instantly started debating Church, Christian leadership, and the marginalized. I got to met her amazing friends and they totally were awesome dealing with my overdepthness in conversations.

We ended up at the Space Needle where there is an amazing Labyrinth set up underneath it. It was such an honor for the 5 of us to stop and prayer walk through this labyrinth in the middle of the busy seattle city. and the cool thing that happened... as we started doing this labyrinth all these other people started joining in. kids and adults were just so excited to walk through this labyrinth... and the statements that were said

"wow am i going the right way"

"this is taking forever"

"i love this!"

"is there only one way?"

"are we being tricked?"


"its a race!"

"this is so fun!"

all these statements so reminded me of different times I have experienced in my faith journey... i found myself deeply moved by how the people around cane remind me so much sweeter of how Jesus has been near me all the time I have similarly yelled those types of statements out... yet again... I LOVE LABYRINTHS!