If I made a time capsules...

Posted by Teen Bean in , , , , ,

So going a bit off the "olympic" theme ... here in Colchester they (the town) are holding a competition for local schools to build a time capsule in honor of the olympics. The idea is that you have to put 10 items into a box that describes the "essence" of Colchester.

What things tell the story of Colchester? What items do Colchester-vites always have with them? What places are most frequently visited? What types of things can the people of Colchester not live without?

I know this is a kids thing, but every sense I heard about it I couldn't stop thinking... What if i made a time capsule of my time here in Colchester... What 10 objects would tell the story of my life here in Colchester? So here are the 10 things I would put in my time capsule to describe my life here in colchester: (in no particular order)

1. empty brie cheese wrapper
2. carrot seeds
3. library card
4. wine glass
5. copy of my wedding vows
6. union jack tea mug
7. bike chain
8. umbrella
9. prayer fairy lights
10. I heart my Mac car bumper sticker

Madame Guru Olympia

Posted by Teen Bean in , , ,

Well, if you didn't know, I am here to tell you... THE OLYMPIC TORCH IS COMING TO COLCHESTER! I had to say it big and all excited because in the real world it is coming through our town at the butt-crack of dawn (ok 7:28am, but still early in my book!)

However, sense sooo many people keep looking me long and deeply in the eyes as they say "this is a ONCE in a lifetime opportunity" I feel compelled to be excited about it as well (and no lies I am a bit goose bumpy about it!)

Interesting Fact: Did you know that  the
Olympic torch is lit in Greece months 
before the opening ceremonies? The fire 
is ignited in a ceremony where 11 women 
use a special mirror concentrating the 
Sun's rays. 

That being said, I have never attended so many meetings about one thing in the space of a couple week in the entirety of my life (minus church crap because you know how Christians like to have "meetings"), but if a few hours talking about one subject can make you a guru about it then let me introduce myself:

Madame Guru Olympia is here to break it down for you!

So July 6th bowy... get out your diary and make sure you write in RED, WHITE AND BLUE that from 7a-9a you have some Olympic Business.

 Then set you alarm for much to early. My guess is from my Estate it will take about 25 min to walk into town. So those who want to walk down with Steve and I are gunna have to be up and ready by 7:00am (and sorry this party bus will not wait for you people that always "accidentally" run late!)

The celebrating is going to be smashing... I'm planning on investing in a variety of union jack colors, flags and memorabilia (or just stealing them from my friend Maz H. who has a union jack obsession) ... I hear BBC 1 is gunna be filming the procession to make it a classic, "Mom-I'm-on-TV!" moment.

The route of the torch begins at the top of Harwich Rd travels down to East Hill then up the High Street (the wrong way) then hangs a right and heads down North Hill ending the party parade at Middlebourgh bus stop. 

I'm guess our little crew will prolly line the street somewhere near the high street/ the castle. 

Word on the street is that the sponsors of this parade Loyds and Coca Cola are gunna be handing out freebies along the parade route so we gotta get up close!

After the glamorous 32 min that the torch spends in Colchester there will be a couple hours worth of different celebrations to get involved with. A few choirs are coming to sing, some bands to play, loads of churches and business are opening up their doors early to hand out coffee, tea and bacon sandwiches. Basically lots of goodies and potential freebies (so you know you can count me in!)

I'm hoping a few peeps from our estate will join me, Madame Guru Olympia, and head down to enjoy the festivities, after all (your hand in mine while looking deeply and profoundly into your eyes) "This is a ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY!" 

Prayer Spaces in School

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I spent last week volunteering with the CYO team that host Sanctum (sacred prayer spaces in schools). This last week they were in a secondary school here in Colchester. I went just M W F, but we had so much fun. There were 12 different prayer activities for the kids to get involved in. They set the activities up, each in its own space. Some had to do with writing down a question you had for God, or something you were thankful for or sorry about. Another had the kids walk through this maze with mirror to help them with their identity or this other one that had sand so they could put their hands in it to learn about impressions. One of my favorite was this "calm" zone where they could chill and listen to music and think about God!

I made a little video about it... check it out and feel free to spend some time praying as you listen and watch! The music and glitter might help! :D

Interested in Joining a Prayer Community?

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Dear All,

This is an open invitation to the people of the world (or readers of my blog) to offer an invitation to interested individuals to join our prayer community here at the Colchester Boiler Room Community (Colchester, Essex).

We recently have had one of our young professionals let us know that she would be interested in moving nearer to our estate to specifically live in a community house with other Christians, be intentional about prayer and supporting the mission and vision of our Colchester Boiler Room Community.

The time scale for this invitation is a short one:
We are looking for a minimum of 2 more people to move into this house (either move from another part of Colchester or move completely to Colchester). If we get a group interested, we would start looking for a house by the 1st of June 2012 for a move in date of no later than the 1st of July 2012.

We would be most interested to have single young professionals age 20 to 30, but are eager for people who simply have a heart for loving Jesus, prayer and community. Members of the house would need to have a means of funding themselves: meaning rent for the house, their lifestyle and bills (we would assume most would need a part-time to full-time job). They would also need to be able to commit to being a part of a community and getting involved at Colchester Boiler Room for a minimum of 1 year.

Colchester Boiler Room Community would classify itself as a missional, prayer, organic and nontraditional form of church.

The vision and mission of Colchester Boiler Room is Jesus. Our commitment is to God and each other and is expressed most simply in our community prayer "Lord, Jesus help me to be true to you, kind to people and take the Gospel to the nations".

Being a part of Colchester Boiler Room Community offers its members a chance to be in a Christ centered community, do focused community work on a 200+ house estate and get involved in creative prayer. Below are some of the activities are community chooses to express and meet Jesus in:

  • Maintaining an allotment
  • Hosting a Toddler Group
  • Organizing Messy Church for Families on our estate
  • Facilitating a girls club for 8-12 year olds
  • Communal teaching and learning of God Story
  • Extended time of Prayers for community, the Nations and children
  • Volunteering with a local charity for homeless youth
  • Youth Football Club
  • Starting Prayer in Clubs
  • Organizing two/threes for mentoring and deeper bible learning
  • Arranging House Concerts for Young Adults (20-30s)
At the moment we predominately work with young families and children. Building off this momentum we are seeing we are praying for breakthrough among young professionals (20 to 30 year olds). We are hoping that the addition of even just two to three more Christian young professionals would help us pioneer relationships among young adults that we have been praying for. 

If you are looking to get involved in a prayer community, can commit a year of your life to praying more and serving more on our estate and see yourself pioneering ministry among young adults, children and families then consider joining us.

This is not a specifically organized discipleship program, but it is a chance to join in with a community and be discipled with us as we all journey and learn together. Our estate isn't fancy and sometimes it gets boring, but if you want a chance to live in a Christ-centered community and prayer like you have never prayed before, then I whole heartily invite you to join us. We need people and are trusting God to  stir the hearts of those He is asking to join us.

Contact me at: rockstartina83@gmail.com 

Off to Kosovo

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I am very excited to say this! Steve and I are off to Kosovo. We are heading on our great adventure in June 2012 to spend one whole week learning and living in Kosovo. Steve lived there for 4 month in 2009 and really found the place to be incredibly inspirational and life changing. The country is riddled with poverty and brilliance. About 17% of the population lives in extreme poverty. While on the other hand Kosovo has one of the highest percentages of higher educated young adults (such possibilities). The countries struggles to have stable infrastructure and development. Many depend heavily on NGO's and Charities. Families are growing, children are valued highly and relationships are extremely important.

A beautiful culture frapped in war, racism and death.

I really would love to find some positive way to get involved. To do something that really beings to empower the people of Kosovo. But first I need to see if my heart can be about the place. And like wise I realize how important it is that Steve and I go, as a married couple, and see if it is a work we both can be about. We really want to be a part of something that we can work at together.

We are connected with a few of the local churches there and I can not wait to get involved with what they are doing as well. One of the local groups is looking to start a community center that has a 24-7 Prayer Room on the top floor. I think out of everything this excites me most. I would be honored to go to Kosovo and get involved in prayer.

We have a couple of friends here that are looking to move to Turkey to do mission work. They said that recently they were advised by a wise mentor to be asking themselves/asking God "What type of work do you want me to be about in Turkey?". I thought this was a great question because so often I just shoot from the hip; go somewhere, be available and not having a clue if any of the skills and talents I offer line up with what the group or organization is trying to do.

Using this same frame of mind I am really excited to go with steve and ask, both as individuals and as a couple, what type of work would God want us to be about in Kosovo? If our talents and skills fit in with the work/vision they are focused on? And if there really is a place that God has prepared for us in Kosovo or are we just pushing ourselves there?


P.S. Should I try and start learning Albanian???

Fresh Bible: A Woman Encounters Jesus

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I help organize a few learning sessions for our community. I have this deep desire to see the Bible be really fresh for all people, no matter age, race, sex, culture, education or family. For people to see it, not as stories of generations past for generations past, but as stories from past generation that give incredible life to today's generations.

One practice I just did with our community was taking time to re-imagine the scene of particular Bible stories. This is done by reading a story from the Bible. Pausing to creatively imagine how those characters and places would be in our culture and experiences. Then writing down this imaginary take to help set up the scene and connection to story characters. This is done either by describing the setting through explaining smells, sounds, visuals, textures and tastes and/or developing the character through detailed description of physical appears, personality, emotional state of being etc. All based off our imagination.

Below is an example of this exercise. I highly recommend it as it worked really well in my experience.

Based on Raising Widows Dead Son, Luke 13:10-17

**I played an instrumental song (like 'Una Mattina' by Ludovico Einaudi) softly in the background as I found it really helped my creativity and connection**

1. Read Luke 7: 11-15 quietly to yourself
 11-15Not long after that, Jesus went to the village Nain. His disciples were with him, along with quite a large crowd. As they approached the village gate, they met a funeral procession—a woman's only son was being carried out for burial. And the mother was a widow. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, "Don't cry." Then he went over and touched the coffin. The pallbearers stopped. He said, "Young man, I tell you: Get up." The dead son sat up and began talking. Jesus presented him to his mother.
 16-17They all realized they were in a place of holy mystery, that God was at work among them. They were quietly worshipful—and then noisily grateful, calling out among themselves, "God is back, looking to the needs of his people!" The news of Jesus spread all through the country.

2. Pause take the time to use your imagination to connect to the story.
Where would the place this story have taken place looked like? smelled like? would it have been light or dark? was it loud or quiet? what color could have been there? What would the woman have been like? Does she remind you of anyone you personally know? where would she have been coming from? What emotional baggage would she be carrying? What type of physical conditions would she be feeling? What kind of clothes would she be wearing? Write this down to create your fresh take on this bible story.

3. Then read your imaginary description based offer your personal experiences and culture out loud to begin to prepare you for a re-freshening of the bible and that particular story. You might need to repeat the music or choose a couple songs to last this whole process.
I sat waiting inside. The crowd was already starting to gather outside. But I preferred the dark. I fiddled absentmindedly with the dark material of my dress. The sad saggy shape of my dress definitely mirrored the heaviness of my soul. How had this happened to me… again? The chilling similarity of this day to the day that I buried my husband sent both shivers of fear and anger down my spin. I swore I would never weep like I did that day. Lucky for me I can keep that promise to myself, as I have no tears left to cry. The dryness of a soul from crying is a pain on one should feel; yet I find myself for the second time in my life feeling it. The smell of death hung as an itchy incense in my home. … My home… I curled over in gut wrenching sorrow. When my husband and I moved into this home we had such hopes for the life’s we would live there… the full life of loving each other, having kids, raising them together, enjoying grandchildren… now we would have nothing. I thought I was going to be sick. I stood up quickly and walked over the kitchen and hung my head over the sink. I let my head rest against the cool counter. Every muscle in my body wanted me to curl up in a corner and never leave… how would I make this walk; this horrible walk of accompany my sons lifeless body to his final resting place? Pain has sucked away all my strength… God how am I to walk?

4. Then re-read the Luke 7: 11-15 and let your personal imagery bring this story to life.

5. Reflect on these three question to further deepen your encounter with Jesus through the bible.
  A. How do you relate to the character in this story?
  B. What does it tell you about Jesus?
  C. Can you see God's Kingdom in this Story?