Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mission trip donations

Hi friends and family!
If you would like to donate to my Spring mission trip with Bethel, you can do so below. The decision process for where each student will be going is still being decided. My training this year at school is equipping me specifically for this trip and for a lifestyle of living in dependence on God to show Himself in love and power.

I'll be posting more about what God has been doing in and through me so far in Redding. I would love to share this journey with you and am excited to see what else God has planned!

Traveling, service projects and ministry have been the largest, most impactful times in my life. I have learned so much about people, the world, culture and Jesus during my times abroad and I know this next trip will be full of great experiences. 

Thank you![type]=missions&search[student_name]=Amanda+Bieniek

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Small Attempt to Explain the Supernatural

I have recently been in a place of intense expectancy for how God wants to show up in my life in a radical way. I wrote this 3 days ago:

It felt like a deposit had been made. Or like when you water a seed, day after day, tediously and seemingly fruitlessly. But suddenly a sprout breaks through the ground. Today-beneath confusion, doubt, anxiety and fear, water seeped through to my heart. I couldn’t explain how it managed to get through all that darkness and pain and reach the deepest parts of my soul. But there it was, nourishing and strengthening me for a time that is still to come. I sense it is coming soon. Yes, indeed it will come soon. Quickly and surely that green sprout will burst forth into a living tree that will never perish or fade. It will be a tree that has no fears.

Yesterday was that day of breakthrough between God's Spirit and mine. After a job interview for Shasta School District, I left for Starbucks feeling hopeful. As I sat with my iced coffee in a cushioned brown chair, I breathed in deeply and felt God speak words of encouragement directly to my heart. I was able to honestly think-whether or not I get this job, I trust Jesus for what he's doing in me. I was obedient to move to Redding and attend BSSM and God does indeed reward the obedient heart that is actively following him.

I left with the deepest, most unusual sense of peace I had ever experienced up to that point. Bethel is hosting an Open Heavens Conference and yesterday and today I served on the ushering team.
God has a way of blessing us when we're in service to him. I didn't expect him to show up in such mighty, powerful ways.

The afternoon and evening progressed with themes of passionate worship, biblical, Spirit-filled teaching and a wonderful corporate anointing with so many nations represented and Carol and John Arnott from Toronto as the guest speakers.

Carol led those in attendance in a prayer of forgiveness towards our parents, ourselves and towards God. As she declared soul ties to be broken in Jesus' name I was so moved spiritually, emotionally and physically that I fell backwards into the wall. I didn't realize I needed freedom from past relationships but wow, Jesus totally changed something inside of my heart at that moment. It was like, any stronghold the devil had was removed and replaced by God's beautiful power.

The night continued and after I drove away from the church I continued to feel this incomprehensible sense of peace and absolute JOY. I now understand what is meant by being "drunk" in the Spirit.

It's not an uncontrollable, reckless feeling, nor did I feel guilty or shameful or embarrassed like always happened when I used to drink (a long time ago, for a brief season. Thanks Jesus for bringing me out of that time. I'm meant for much more than that!). I don't really like the term drunk because that makes me think I was doing something wrong. It makes that experience seem impure or adulterated.

But last night was not those things. It was like liquid joy was flowing through my body. Like light was filling me up. I suppose it was a physical manifestation of what God does. He fills us with light and love and joy.

But this time was so intensely unique, personal, powerful, overwhelmingly wonderful. I was sitting in my car journaling and listening to the new David Crowder album. I finally understood what John Mark McMillan meant when he says-Love's like a hurricane, I am a tree bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.

I just wanted to share that intense love. I wanted to shout it out, pray for people, pour into others this love that has been so strongly poured into me. It really filled me up to continue serving at the conference today, and has just affirmed what I have known to be true about God. He's good, all the time. He's powerful and he moves among those who are hungry to seek Him.

In love and joy,

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jesus is the prototype for the ministry of the Believer

Since I found out in January that I'd be coming to Bethel for their school of supernatural ministry, I've been praying a lot for discernment. For months my mentor and I pressed in for God to give me a supernatural power to discern the teachings and leadership I'd find at Bethel.

September came and I felt secure in coming and God has totally answered that prayer. In the 5 weeks I've been here-I've realized something else: I've begun to truly, wholeheartedly trust the leadership at Bethel Church. Their core values reflect Jesus and the Kingdom. Their hearts are to pursue the Kingdom of God here on earth-not at the expense of love but rather from an outpouring of the Father's heart and love for His children. We display God's power and glory as a sign to point to Jesus and his ministry.

Our classes in school have course overviews and objectives, a few summaries of which I'll post here:

  • "The Bible is the primary, authoritative guide to the faith and practice of Christianity. All supernatural and natural experience must be measured by the Truth as revealed in God's Word. God is still speaking but everything we hear now must be consistent with what He has spoken. We cannot lead properly, or in a healthy, holy manner in the Christian community if we don't know how to understand the Word."
  • "The goal is to train students in areas of service, ministry and evangelism to and for our develop competency and confidence in bringing the love and life changing power of God into respectful, loving encounters with individuals so as to bring them to a saving connection with Christ and contribute to city-wide transformation."
  • "We will demonstrate God's ability and willingness to move in power with and for his people. Jesus's minstry, dependence and expectation are the blueprint for the Christian life. Keeping in step with the Holy Spirit as the apostle Paul commands will result in a naturally supernatural lifestyle."
  • "We demonstrate God's grace, His unconditional love and transforming power to everyone. We impact every socioeconomic group and cultural realm, that mercy and justice would reign because we pastor a city, not just a church."
  • The goal of BSSM and our time here is to form "Believers who are focused and passionate, willing to pay any price to live in community, purity and power because they are loved by God and love Him. Whose manifest presence transforms lives and cultures."