Friday, September 24, 2010

Praise Report!!!

Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to give you guys some updates - so far second year at the Bethel School of Ministry is awesome!!!! I'm so excited to see how this year unfolds.

I live in an apartment not far from Bethel with two of my roommates from last year (Lina and Angie - AMAAAAAAAAAZING women!!!), and I share a room with my sister Danielle. It's such an awesome set up and everyone who visits us comments on the peaceful feeling to our apartment!

God has been looking out for His girls since day one. Our living room has three very nice couches and a recliner, and we got them for free! The furniture is very comfortable and in good condition, and just fits our home. Our kitchen is filled with practical living supplies - most of which were free as well! To top it all off, I got an almost new twin bed for free for the year!!! God is SOOOOOOO good!!!!

I'm taking two classes outside of my core classes (bible, speakers, etc). The first class is called Student Development, and in it I'm learning about coaching so that I can be one of the Student Developers this year. It's an awesome opportunity, and I'm so excited!!! The second class is called Encounters, and it's taught by Theresa Dedmon. It's a class that teaches the history, as well as the practical application of encounters with God. We're going to learn how to lead others into encounters with God. So far (my first class was today), I'm really enjoying it and learning a lot.

I'm also taking a track (a sort of advanced ministry training course with projects and study groups) called International Transformation. This course is all about impacting the world in a truly seen way. We're going to divide up into groups and work on projects that range anywhere from sending prophetic words to leaders in other countries, to raising money to buy equipment for a recording studio in Israel. There are projects for every sphere of influence (Family, Church, Economy, Government, Science and Technology, and Arts) - it's really incredible training. I'm still trying to decide what project I'm going to be a part of - I'd appreciate some prayer about that! Just that I'd know which one to pick and that God would give us divine solutions that would leave an inheritance for future generations!

Oh, and before I go, I wanted to let you all know about a ministry trip I'm going on!!! I'm going on a ministry trip with Theresa Dedmon and our team will be ministering in San Francisco. We will be prophesying over people, helping to lead workshops, equipping people in the Arts as well as being on Theresa's team when she speaks on Sunday morning service! Awesome, right? I'm so excited!!! It's not a huge team, and it's such an honor to be able to go with her - so I'd really love all the prayer I can get! I want to really bring God's love to San Francisco and speak into the city - that they would know that there is God who has a good plan for their city!!

Thank you so much! Hope you all have an amazing week!!!


Friday, September 17, 2010

The Party, The Blow Out, and My First Crack @ Clay

I'm sitting here listening to Vicky Beeching "Above All Else", my nails are still have some clay stuck underneath them despite ten minutes of intense scrubbing, and I'm pleasantly full of pizza. Today was an adventure to be sure!

To start, today was my revival group's first party!! At the Bethel School of Ministry our 2nd year class is divided into "revival groups". To further break down the student body into manageable chunks, each revival group is split up into (about) ten member "family" groups. Each family group is overseen by an intern pastor. My pastor is Aline and she is AWESOME.

But back to the party - what fun!!! We played games, met in family groups for the first time, got to know each other, and just started to gel as a body. I'm ridiculously blessed to be in a group with many of my friends. My best friend Lina Stav (from Sweden and also my housemate) is in my family group, along with my friends Rebecca, Beatrice (they became my little sisters this last year), and several other girls I know. It's gong to be good, because now I have people I can process with as I experiment with ministry, and God works on my heart. It's going to be a great year!!

Anyhoo, after the party, I took Lina and Beatrice home. We stopped at Michael's (an arts and craft store) because I've been daydreaming about working with clay. Lina, Beatrice and I wandered through Michael's for about an hour; eying new colors of paint, playing with the soft paint brushes, and leisurely meandering through the print gallery. Eventually I settled on two sizable bricks of clay, some clay working tools, and turned our heads towards home.

When I stopped in Beatrice's subdivision, the unexpected happened! I turned the corner, and just like that, my right front tire popped! I hadn't hit anything, I didn't run over anything sharp; my tire blew out because my tires weren't properly balanced! In this, I really experienced the tender fatherly care of God; I wasn't on the expressway doing 70 miles an hour (which was a sincere possibility), I wasn't out on the street where I couldn't stop immediately and avoid injuring my axles, and I wasn't out on some abandoned stretch of back road (ALSO a sincere possibility).

Within literally two minutes, my friend Jesse came out and started changing the tire. Sadly, my jack was cheap and quickly bent out of shape (no one was hurt, and the car didn't get hurt either!). Once again, before I could even feel overwhelmed, a man named Dave showed up with his own professional jack and he changed my tire, gave me detailed instructions to resolve my tire issues, and just selflessly helped me!! Man. God was so good to me.

I was so ready to take care of myself - I know how to change my own tire. But I really felt like God was just showing me that He is more than strong, more than capable, and more than able to take care of me.

When I got home, I was feeling a little traumatized by the whole experience (though I was marveling at God's intervention), and my sister Danielle totally stepped up and offered comfort just when I needed it! She treated me and Lina to pizza and encouraged me to start experimenting with the clay I'd bought.

I don't know how else to put this - as I sit here listening to Vicky and watching my sister manipulating the clay, I feel strange. I feel vulnerable, but comforted. I feel like He is real. And I feel like He wants me to know that He'll be there for me in really practical ways - not just fluffy good feelings, and pretty dreams, but in truly useful ways. I don't know how to accept that - I don't know how to trust that yet.

But it's good and it's good for me to learn. He is God. He does as He pleases. =)

Good night!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An Overview of My Life So Far...

Wooohoo!!!  Lovin’ the new layouts on blogspot!!

Let me just say, this blog is going to be very real, and very honest.  I’ll be posting prayer requests and testimonies as the year goes on.  Please feel free to comment with prayer requests too!

To start, I’d love to give you a quick recap of my first year on my own in California.  I moved out to Redding with enough money to survive for 1 month.  I didn’t get a job until December, and my monthly school payment was more than the monthly rent I was paying (and more than my car payment!)!  God totally intervened on my behalf.  I had people come up to me and give me money.  I found money in my car.  I had a couple of wonderful friends from back home sow into my life as well- it was such a lesson for me in supernatural provision.  God more than provided for me last year; though there were a couple of times when I had only rice in my cupboards, I never went without a meal, and I never felt poor!!  Haha, actually, never feeling like I was poor was the thing I appreciated most.  I had such peace the entire year.

I also got to serve in many capacities.  I volunteered for Sidewalk Sunday School, which was an outreach for at risk children in the low-income areas of Redding.  We put on a program that taught about God’s love, and then we demonstrated His love in practical ways.  Mentoring those children really rocked me!  The coolest thing, though, was that when we ministered to the children, because of our love for the children, we had an open door into the hearts of the parents.  More often than not, after the program we got to pray for the parents.  One mother that we prayed for received healing from a bulging disk in her spine.  Another mom was going through a hard time, since her husband was out of work and one of the kids needed surgery.  We got to pray for her and sowed money for a night out for her and her husband – with an amazing return!  She was so encouraged; and then by the next week, her husband had found a job!

I volunteered at many of the conferences at Bethel, and got to pray and prophesy over leaders from all over the U.S. and even all over the world.  My roommates and I had hearts for releasing what we had received to anyone who visited Redding, so there were many mini revival meetings that occurred in our house – basically any time that someone visited!  Again, more amazing opportunities to pray for people, prophesy into their destinies, and just release refreshment and breakthrough.  It was such a humbling experience, and I was pretty awed.

In December I started working for a coffee shop that is pretty popular in Redding, called Yaks.  Yaks is a coffee shop with a mission!  They don’t want to just serve people coffee, but they want to love on the lost, lonely, hurting, and forgotten of Redding!  Pretty cool mission, huh?  They don’t accept tips, and everyone gets paid minimum wage (even management!) so that all the extra money that comes in can go back into the community.  After working there for a few months, the Lord really gave me favor with the owner, and I quickly got promoted to assistant manager, then manager, and by the summer, I had the incredible opportunity to be the general manager over all four stores.

Honestly, it was a mind-blowing experience.  I really discovered my strengths and my weaknesses, and learned to be impressed by neither!  I got to build teams, create standards, manage budgets, and serve the city, as well as pour myself out for another person’s vision.  So awesome.  So God.

I’ve begun my second year at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, and so far it has been amazing.  This year is all about building on, and putting into practice all the things that we learned in first year – literally!  We have the opportunity to go on mission trips with Pastor Bill Johnson and Pastor Kris Vallotton (as well as many others from the leadership team at Bethel) – but the only way we can do that is if we have at least half of our tuition paid off.  Tuition this year is a little bit higher than last year; about 3,600.  I know that God has opened doors for me that no man can shut and I am so excited to see what He does for me this year.

If you want to partner with me this year, just leave me a comment with your email address and your name, and I’ll make sure to keep you updated every month.  If you don’t want to be emailed every month, but you’d like to send a financial gift, here’s the link that will take you to the page where you can give.  Bethel School Of Ministry Donation Page

Just make sure you designate that it is for Samantha Flanagan, and you can give to either my tuition or my mission trips!