Online Courses: An Insider Interview with Anna

anna

At Nyack’s Memorial Park

The following is an online interview I held with current Master of Arts in Biblical Literature student Anna Bailey Shuman. Anna is now in her second semester of her first year of study at the Alliance Theological Seminary. Having graduated from Nyack College May of 2013, Anna knew her next step would be to complete a seminary degree. However her busy schedule; coaching volleyball, playing softball for Nyack College and working in ministry prevented her from starting her degree within the classroom but that didn’t stop her… Read the interview below!

 

Q- Why did you choose to begin    softballseminary with online classes?
A- I chose to begin seminary with online classes because my schedule was too crazy to find an empty three hour block, but I didn’t want to put off my education.

Q-What was your online experience like?

annaanddave

Anna and her husband David(also a Nyack grad) at Nyack College’s chapel, in which she was given the opportunity to preach.

A-My first semester online experience was wonderful!  At first I was worried that I would feel disconnected from my classmates and professors, but that fear was proven false.  Everyone was super intentional about building a class community through the online discussions, email, and review sessions we held.  It was definitely interesting adjusting back into a physical classroom assignment this semester.   I grew accustomed to having time to research my responses to classmates questions or statements; a luxury I actually miss within the classroom.

Q-Are there any highlights you’d like to share?

A- I think my favorite part of the online courses was the structure and routine that accompanied it.  The level of organization made it easier for me to balance school, sports, work, and family at the same time.

Q-What is your advice for any prospective seminary students seeking to do an online program?
A-If anyone is considering partaking in an online program my advice is this:
1) Set a weekly schedule for yourself and adhere to it.  Find different sets of time to block off specifically for your class work and do not compromise.   It can be very easy to fall behind without the physical reminder of going to class.
2)  You will receive what you work for.  If you slack off and settle for doing only what is required of you, you will not have the best experience in the class.  Read the notes, do the entire reading assignment, ask the extra questions, and most importantly,  push your classmates towards excellence. pierparkPictured left to right: Amelia, Michelle and Anna.
Some of Nyack’s and ATS’ best at Memorial Park in Nyack.

         Thank you Anna! Great advice from someone who’s experienced both the classroom and online learning experience.  If you’re interested in pursuing a seminary degree, contact me (Madelyn.badillo@nyack.edu) and let’s see if perhaps an online program would work for you!

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ATS to go Online… We Want to Hear from YOU!

Ron“Friends, may I ask you a favor? If you are involved in Church leadership or ministry at any level, would you please consider filling out the following 3-4 minute survey? Alliance Theological Seminary is preparing to launch several online degree programs and we would like to make sure we are listening well to Church and Ministry Leaders.”

Here is the link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NFHHFRZ

Thank you again,
 Ron- Dean of the Alliance Theological Seminary

 ATS

 

 

 

 

Why I <3 ATS!

 

  There are many reasons I love the Alliance Theological Seminary! But you’ve already heard my input on the matter through my post ” Why ATS?!”.  I think it’s time you hear from others what makes ATS the place they love! Enjoy =)!

If you are thinking about seminary, IT IS NOT TOO LATE! There is still time to apply and enroll before the end of our Add/Drop period.

Begin by filling out an online application here: http://www.nyack.edu/content/ATSOnlineApp

Tales from a Traveling Admissions Counselor

ATS tableLast week I spent what felt like an eternity driving to an array of Christian colleges, promoting the Alliance Theological Seminary and Nyack’s graduate programs. While the overarching purpose of the trip was to bring awareness of the wonderful institution Nyack is, to hundreds of college students seeking a good seminary; God had other plans. And so in the midst of work, of being focused on getting as much visibility for Nyack as possible, of talking to prospective students and telling them about all of the incredible things Nyack and ATS have to offer them; God interrupted time and time again, seeking to impart something deeper and lasting than information about a seminary. He sought to use me, as a vessel of honor, one who would display His light, love and goodness to His children.

This for me was completely new and unexpected. While in the past I have prayed with prospective students and shared encouraging words, this time was different. Monday I drove 7 hours to Houghton College, where for 2 hours I hosted a table and spoke to a good amount of students about our graduate and seminary programs. After about an hour of recruiting, I met Jennifer. She is an eager Junior who is seeking to further her education in Childhood Ed upon graduation. While she shared her dreams with me, I noticed her rubbing her back and neck, so I asked her if there was any pain. She replied “yes, I suffered from an injury and since, my back always hurts.” I asked her ” could I pray for you?”, her reply came immediately ” please”.

So I prayed, I prayed for healing for her back, but most importantly I prayed for the love of the Father to be poured upon her heart. For her to know how deeply God desires intimacy with her, and for the truth that the Holy Spirit is always with her. I spoke peace over her. The prayer was relatively short. As I finished praying, I noticed she was crying. As soon as I said “amen”, she said ” my back has never felt this good”. And it hit me. I drove there, that afternoon, not just to recruit for ATS, I drove there, because God loves Jennifer, and He wanted to use me, to have a deep encounter with her.

 

Be a Vessel of Light Fast forward to Tuesday night. Tuesday was a long day of driving to Springfield,Ohio, where I would be staying to go to Cedarville the following day. Thankfully the drive was interjected by an impromptu lunch with a C&MA pastor, which was lovely and grabbing a cup of coffee with a longtime friend. I was about 2 hours away from my destination, when I really had to go use the restroom and was starting to feel a bit hungry. Determined on finding an Applebee’s, upon seeing what I thought was a sign for Applebees, I got off I 90. But instead, somehow ended up at a Dennys. Being unable to continue to drive, because of how badly I had to go, I resigned and decided to go in. I used the restroom and reluctantly ordered a small meal.

As I sat and ate, I asked God ” Why am I here?” I heard him say “Stand up and ask the people here, if any of them want prayer.” Now that’s just weird. Who stands up in the middle of a restaurant and asks  “Hey does anyone need prayer?”. Okay so Dennys was relatively empty. But still… Anyway I decided to be obedient, stood up and asked. Instantly a waitress, walked up to me and said “Please pray for me, I am losing my home and I need to find a place to live that’s inexpensive for me and my children.” So I did pray. The time of prayer ended with a long hug and two teary eyed waitresses. She said to me:  “This happens all the time, people always come in here and ask me to pray.” It was clear to me, that God is after her. He longs to pour out His love for her. And He unbeknown to me, led me to a Dennys, when I really wanted an Applebees, to show her, how much He loves and cares about every aspect of her life.

Morning Coffee

My journey ended at Geneva College. Which perhaps was the most frustrating day on the road for me, out of them all. Mostly because after waking-up at an ungodly hour and driving 4 hours, hardly any students would talk to me. Until one lovely girl, approached the table and engaged me in conversation. After a few minutes, she asked if I was hungry, of course,I was! And she offered to bring me food. As she walked away to grab me a meal, I heard God say ” You’re here for her.” “Hmm interesting”, I thought.

She came back, sat down and we shared a meal together. During that time, we had a conversation that enabled her to open up about certain things, things that I was able to speak life and wisdom into; having been in those same shoes myself. At the end, I prayed for her, about her dreams and being able to dream like a little girl again. About having peace for her future and trusting that God, is a good God and WILL take care of her. She hugged me tightly and asked “Are you real? Are you an angel?”  I laughed, “unfortunately I am NOT an angel…but God did bring me here for you today, because He loves you…”.  I thought about the trip and everything that had occurred as I drove back on Friday, I realized

CTA button for Blog ATSthat we are vessels of honor:

Flowers from the road

“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” 2 Timothy 2: 21

God has chosen ALL of us, who have been called by HIS name, to do good works ( see Ephesians 2:10) that HE planned long ago. I am not some sort of rare breed. I am not any different from you. I did none of those things on my accord, I only did what my Father was doing ( sound familiar?). And you too, can and should do the same.

I recognize finally, that I don’t only represent Nyack and ATS, I represent GOD. My life, (education, job, relationships etc.), is a ministry and so is YOURS!

Let the God of the universe USE YOU to bring glory and honor to HIS name. Be obedient in the little things and watch how He will BLOW your mind.

 

“God doesn’t Heal…”

“…Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they praying for healing in Biblical Theologyshall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away…” 1 Corinthians 13: 8 

( Our Biblical Theology class praying for the healing of one our classmates on 10/1/13 led by Dr. Chan—>)

 Throughout my career as an undergraduate student at Nyack College, I heard many arguments for and against the move of the Holy Spirit to heal humans beings physically. I listened to professors I respect greatly, use the verse above, amongst others, to explain why the move of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, such as healing, are no longer in function within the Body of Christ today. But I also heard stories of faith from many others who witnessed physical healings, and/or strongly believed on a Biblical basis for the gift of healing today. 

I shared in one of my posts God used words to create…so be careful with ’em.” ,  my personal experience with the gift of physical healing. As I, last September experienced a complete healing from rheumatoid arthritis, after a time of praying during my “Divine Healing” class here at ATS.  That moment changed my spiritual walk, forever. 

 You see, like many of you, I’d struggled for a long time with the thought that “God doesn’t heal…” and even if He did, He certainly wasn’t going to use me to do it.  After all, I was just a little Christian college student, who was still fairly new to the faith and still struggling and working through a lot. During my time at Nyack college, I’d seen pockets of the move of God, but not much in the area of healing. And so while outwardly I looked confident and sure, inwardly I was just as insecure as a person receiving their first swimming lesson, after almost drowning a couple of weeks before. 

I’d prayed for healing for people, even though I didn’t believe much in it and for a long period of time I saw… NOTHING… Confession time!! While I do recall the several occasions during the small group “The Fire” (which I led my junior and senior years) seeing moments of healing and restoration, my faith was still small and filled with doubt. The constant reminder that God does not and could not use someone like me, kept my eyes off of Christ’s ability to heal, and on my limitations as a person.

CTA button for Blog UGUp until that point I believed that God didn’t heal others, when I prayed, because of me and who I was. Yet all along His healing touch was and is completely dependent on Him and who He is.

As a good friend reminded me of yesterday; “God’s miracles are not contingent on my belief in them.” –Darren Wilson in “Furious Love” (paraphrase)

That evening in class, when I encountered the God who heals, I recognized that it brings God nothing but pleasure to heal the wounds, diseases, sicknesses of His people. I encountered a God who delights in making His kingdom tangible in our bodies. A God who desires to display His authority over sickness, death and sin, by the complete removal of anything that manifests its effects. And a God who works through broken, hurting, disobedient, faithless people to display just HOW faithful, good and LOVING, HE is. 

I went on a journey as I took the Divine Healing Class offered at ATS, praying for the healing of several others. And I saw TEN people who that semester were HEALED; physically and emotionally. 

My favorite one was when my friend Matt was healed. Matt had severe pain in his foot, his foot was swollen and it was difficult for Matt to walk and stand (both of which he did all day) at work. My friend Bill and I decided to pray and pray we did. We began by asking Matt about his pain, the nature of his injury and so on. We then spent some time welcoming God into the moment. Bill led out in prayer, praying some specific blessings over Matt. As Bill prayed, my right hand felt like it was on fire, I immediately put my hand on his foot and I prayed. Long story short, by the time we stopped praying there was NO swelling, and NO pain and Matt stood up and literally ran around the house. We began rejoicing in the Lord so loudly, we woke up Bill’s mom, who also then praised God for the healing as well. GO JESUS!

Here is the cool thing about that story, Matt was not a Christian, He didn’t necessarily believe in God… but that encounter THAT night, led him to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! 

So here is where I challenge YOU. If you believe God cannot, and does not heal; if you’ve never experienced the move of the Spirit of God in healing, whether personally, or seeing it in someone else; give God a chance to BLOW your theology out of the water and go after healing! 

It would please the spirit of God to reveal to you the mysteries of God (Ephesians 3) in healing. 

I bless you to “seek, ask, and knock” and see that truly the “fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much.” 

                           love through hugs

                           (and sometimes the healing we need is in our hearts….) 

Death First

“Death first” was a statement made by Dr. Rob Reimer jokingly deeper lifeas he spoke at the Nyack College Deeper Life session on Tuesday night. And while the context in which he made the statement is different from the way I am about to use it, ” Death First” perfectly articulates what God has been doing in my life.

Since Brazil, and in the midst of the craziness that is new student orientation, plus the add/drop period for Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary, God has been talking to me consuming fireabout death. Yes, you read right, death. God is calling me to die, to deny myself and my pick up my cross and follow him daily ( Luke 9:23). He is challenging me to learn how to live my life as a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1-2); To be one who offers up her life to the Lord wholly, so that His will would be done in my life, here on earth, as it is in heaven. 

As I tried to process and explain to my friends what God was doing in me, I was having real difficulty, until Dr. Reimer spoke on it during chapel at ATS.He helped me understand that what God was asking of me was completely normal and necessary.

 Truth is, Jesus very much meant what He said when He called us to die to ourselves. And most of us live under the false assumption that we already do this. We think that because we stopped doing the things we use to, or have dealt with some of the heart issues in our lives, that we have learned to die.

But death to self goes deeper still. It is a realm of self-denial that forces us to love our enemies as ourselves. It is living in a place where, truly, it is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me (Galatians 2:20). It is surrendering ALL that we are, ALL that we have and allowing God to do whatever, however, whenever, with ALL of our lives. It is living a life that says, “God this is what I want, this is what I have, this is who I am, take all of it, consume it, and do with it all, what you will.” It is no longer making decisions and asking God to bless them, but truly asking; “God what is it that you want?” and walking under His leading.

And I have come to realize that unless we learn to live “Death Surrendered at the AGSM retreatFirst”, we are going to miss out on truly seeing God and His move here on this earth. Dr. Reimer touched on this while he spoke in our chapel. He mentioned that unless we live in this level of Holiness, we will not see God (Hebrews 12:14). We pray and plead with God for revival yet we are still the masters of our lives. We still live with division amongst us. We still live being offended and angry with one another. We still control our decisions and the things we do. We want to see God, without living wholly, Holy lives and that my friends will not work. 

CTA button for Blog ATSYou want to see God?  Choose ” Death first”. Choose to surrender all that you have and all that you are and let God have His perfect will done in you, as it is in heaven. 

“We desire that God would give us the death-stroke; but we long to die without pain; we would die to our own will by the power of the will itself; we want to lose all and still hold all. Ah! what agony, what distress, when God has brought us to the end of our strength! We faint like a patient under a painful surgical operation. But the comparison is nought, for the object of the surgeon is to give us life — that of God to make us die.” François FénelonSpiritual Progress 

Personal Advice for Seminary Student at ATS

ATS Faculty Blessing New students

ATS Faculty Blessing New students with some words of wisdom at Orientation. ( Pictured left to right: Dr. Lim,  Amy Nehlsen director of AGSM, Dr. Widbin, Prof. Dressler, and Dr. Liu.)

As I look back and reflect on the last year of my life, (thanks to a good friend of mine, who through her blog, encouraged me to remember the faithfulness of the Lord),I am grateful for the many things I’ve learned in my first year as a seminary student and as an admissions associate for the Alliance Theological Seminary. Some things I learned the hard way-through tears, sleepless nights and what felt like endless struggles. And others I learned through the wise counsel of the many amazing seminarians I met. So this blog is a letter filled with words of wisdom from some of us to all of you.

Dear Seminary Noob,

1) Please be pessimistic when scheduling your time to do work, rather than being optimistic in assuming that you will get all of yourGet Started Right away work done. Seminary work requires more time and effort than undergraduate work. You are building a foundation for your ministry in Seminary. It is important that you give it your best and take your time. – Sam Lee 3rd year Masters of  Divinity (M.Div)  Bible & Theology, with Chinese Ministries student.

2) Stay as long as you can. Do not rush through your courses. -Kong Hang 3rd year Masters of Divinity Church Development student.

3) RELAX. That’s right—relax! This doesn’t mean you should get lazy, be irresponsible, or spend all of your time in leisure activities (instead of studying, researching and writing). Rather, choosing to RELAX is about adopting an attitude or trust-ful rest. It means choosing peace over anxiety, faith over fear and “good enough” over perfectionism.

4)  Don’t start “catastrophizing”. You’re here for a reason. And Katie Getting us Orientedyou’re not alone. God is with you. He will help. And you are surrounded by a community of others who share your experiences. concerns, and burdens. SO…

5) Embrace the resources God—and ATS—provide. -Katie George, Administrative Assistant to the Academic Dean.

6) Invest fully, while you  are here. There is a worthy cost to the great cause of ministry. The benefits will far outweigh the cost of your development; Spirit, Soul and Mind. – Drew Strecker 3rd year M. Div. Church Development Student.

7) Schedule free time and don’t forget to breathe. You will need the rest because your brain cannot work without it! – Terry Arcia ATS Alumni 2013 – Masters of Professional Studies, Church Development.

8)Have FUN! Enjoy your time in seminary!! – Dustin Collins- 3rd year M. Div Bible & Theology with Greek Student.

9) Seek community– ATS is a safe place. It is the best place to start dealing with all the “junk” in your life…so do it. – Eugenia Ko ATS Alumni 2013 – M Div. Bible & Theology.

10) Ask for HELP! – I survived my first year with its many ups and downs because of the many people in this community who were willing to invest in me. Whether you need tutoring, help writing a paper, someone to pray for you or even a hot meal, we are here to serve one another! So ASK!- Madelyn Badillo M.A. Intercultural.

And so with all that being said, enjoy your first year and welcome to Seminary!!!!!!!!

With Love,

The ATS Community

Receving the Blessing

Our new seminarians receiving a blessing from our Dean Dr. Ron Walborn and Faculty as they begin their journey at the Alliance Theological Seminary.

ATS ONLINE COURSES $500 Grant!

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ats in israel

 

If you’re interested in the Alliance Theological Seminary, but you’re unable to relocate now or you just can’t fit an onsite class into your busy schedule…

You may be eligible to receive a onetime grant for $500 towards one online course!!!!  This offer is for new students, taking 1 or two online courses with us this Fall! ( who are not currently enrolled) 

ATS is offering the following courses online this Fall:

  • ONL TH 602.RW Systematic Theology II: Christ & the Church

  • ONL OT 503.RW Reading the Old Testament

  • ONL OT 504.RW Hebrew Bible and Eastern Med. World

  • ONL NT 503.RW  Reading the New Testament

This offer is only available for online courses offered Fall 2013.

Online classes are the perfect solution to a busy schedule. Receive the benefits of a seminary education from the comfort of your home,  pacing your school work in a way that works for you!

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If you want to further inquire, Please contact me at: madelyn.badillo@nyack.edu or

(845) 770-5703.

¡Wait?!

Traffic in Brazil

Waiting in traffic in Brazil.

There is no four letter word I  dislike more than the word “WAIT”. Now before you think me a little crazy, my issue isn’t with the word itself but rather the verb, the action of “waiting”. I dislike waiting on lines at stores, I particularly loathe waiting in traffic ( I think EVERY HUMAN DOES). I don’t like waiting at drive thru’s  I mean come on, it’s a drive thru, there should be no waiting involved!. And I really, really don’t enjoy being told to “wait”.

Yet the last couple of weeks all I keep hearing is “WAIT”.

“… but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!” – Psalm 27:14

As a college and now seminary student, one of my biggest struggles has been waiting. Waiting on God to fulfill His promises. Waiting on Him to complete His work in me. Waiting on Him on to bring the right person into my life. Waiting on Him to open up the right doors for ministry.

Waiting is not something I do well. Mostly because we’re told to hustle and make things happen. Yet sometimes all God wants us to do is WAIT, on HIM.
He can make things happen A LOT better than you and I, ever could.

I have recently realized that waiting means letting go of all control, truly surrendering and trusting that God will piece it all together in the end, just like He said He would. My issues with waiting go beyond, waiting. It is an issue of trust. It is much harder to wait, when you don’t trust that the one you are waiting on will actually come through.

And that’s just it. I will either choose to believe that God is absolutely good and has good things in store for me as His daughter ( as one of my amazing ATS friends/co-workers reminded me). Or I will continue to buy into the costly lies that He won’t come through for me as He says He would. Both time and testing has proven, even over the course of the last two months, that HE ALWAYS comes through for His children. I have no reason to fear, no reason to doubt, no reason to think that if I wait, it will not end well for me.

So I have chosen as I start my second year at the Alliance Theological Seminary to practice the discipline of waiting. To genuinely STOP trying to figure things out. Or stop trying to make things happen and TRUST that my Daddy, will DO everything He said He would for me.  Even if the picture isn’t painted with the colors I’d like them to be. Or the brush strokes don’t happen as fast as I would like them to. Or the picture as a whole is completely different from what I hoped for, I choose to wait, I choose to trust.

Because it’s in the waiting, it’s in the trusting that I am coming to truly believe that His WILL is perfect. It’s not just something that sounds pretty in scripture. This is absolute truth. HIS WILL IS PERFECT. SO if HIS will is perfect, then when I wait on HIM, and He is in control, the outcome of my life will be EXACTLY what it’s suppose to be. And it will be perfect for me.

I know a lot of you reading this have perhaps struggled with this very same issue, or are struggling with it now. I encourage you, find comfort, as I have, in knowing that really, He is a good father, who gives GOOD gifts to His children. He has not forgotten you, you have not been overlooked. He sees, He knows, He hears your prayers. And in due time every single word, every single promise He’s ever made to you, will unfold in your life.

I am a witness that those who wait upon the Lord, renew their strength and WILL rise up on wings like eagles…

In the clouds
…Or a plane… My view as I arrived at Rio de Janeiro.

” No one who waits for you will ever be put to shame, no one who waits for you will ever regret it!”

 

Esperança

For a week now, many of my ATS and NYACK college friends have asked about the mission trip to Brazil.  I have attempted to put into words the dramatic life change I experienced and honestly, words still absolutely fail me. Which is rather unusual, seeing as how I am someone who is quite talkative and verbally descriptive. It’s like no matter how much I think about it or how hard I try to explain it, I truly cannot fully put my experience in Recife, into words. And yet here I am writing this blog for you all to read and join in my experience. (And if you have not; do check out the Brazil photo blog)

Out of all the many life altering moments I encountered in Brazil, if there is one that truly changed me, it’s the following:

editedworship2On Wednesday night, the girls from the rescue home “Betania”, along with the “Shores of Grace” staff and our team got together for a time of worship. We gathered together in a room, and we sat around on the floor, on chairs and mattresses, and sang our hearts out as some of the kids colored and made drawings for us. The brokenness, weariness, hunger and thirst in the room was so thick, I am nearly positive you could cut it with a knife. There was an unspoken desperation for God, in me, in all of us. And as the minutes went by I could begin to feel the love and grace of God begin to satisfy our deepest longings for Him.  In a rather unusual scene, I began to sense the presence and pleasure of God, like I never had before.

CTA button for Blog ATSAnd then I saw her. A beautiful, young, 13-year-old girl. She sat quietly against the wall, crying. She cried and cried through nearly every song. And I could not help but stare. Something about her, caught my attention. Finally I asked God to make a space for me next to her ( as she was surrounded by others), so that I could join her, if it was His desire. Instantly the girl to her right got up, and began to color at a different spot in the room. She looked at me and noticed me staring, I got up, sat down next to her and grabbed her hand. For the next 20 or so minutes I held her hand as she cried. I cried with her. As I held her hand, I could feel her immense pain. I could feel the shame and the hopelessness she carried. My heart broke. How could someone so young, know such deep heartache? I knew she’d been prostituted and devalued, her tears spoke of the abuse she’d identified as her identity for as long as she could remember.

Yet in the midst of this hopelessness, I felt the depth of God’s love. I thought I had truly encountered this love, and I shared my personal experience in my post “Pierced by Love”. But honestly, what I saw and felt as I held this little girl’s hand was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. I was caught in the middle of two realities. The reality of her pain and her past, and the reality of a hope and a future in Christ.

Despite all of my own personal experiences and lessons learned at the Alliance Theological Seminary, nothing could have prepared me for this moment. The moment in which the veil of my perception was torn down, and for the first time, in my entire life, I could see what God saw. Worship ended far too quickly for me. And I knew I had only but a couple of moments to share this love, and hope with her. I shared a few words with her. I gave her something tangible to hold on to. And then I asked her if I could pray for her. She said yes. (I, of course had a translator for this.)

prayer for betania girl

A special thanks to Adam LiVecchi ( from We See Jesus Ministries) for capturing this life changing moment for me.

I placed my hand on her shoulder and instantly I felt the Lord’s desire to redeem and make ALL things new in her life. I saw how He planned to use everything that was meant to destroy her, for her good and for His glory. I knew that no matter what horrible thing she’d gone through, He really had  “a hope and a future” for her. That her past was covered fully by the blood of Christ shed on the cross, and all God the Father was concerned with, was creating something deeply beautiful and profound out of her life.  I spoke deep words of life, that were not only for her, but for me. Words that let the both of us know, that regardless of what we’ve been through, we look like our Daddy and He soooooo delights in us.

She cried. I hugged her. We parted ways. When I was asked by Adam ( from We See Jesus Ministries), what I experienced while praying for her, because he could see how powerful the moment was, I could not speak. I cried. I sat on a mattress on the floor and cried. Because  that night I’d been given an eternal glimpse at” how wide, how deep and how long God’s love” is for us.

My perception has been changed forever. It’s like I got an upgrade on the prescription of my spiritual contact lenses. I understand in my very being, that with the same hope God looked at that girl, He looks at EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING on the planet.

There is not one person who is hopeless in the sight of God…

amazing people

Our team and some of the amazing ” Shores of Grace” Staff at the base. ( Left to right) Evan, me, Aaron, Caleb, Aline, Gi, Jonathan , Glaucia and Stephen.

Why ATS?!

mishpat study group

“Mishpat” Study group; there were about 20+ of us crammed into ATS housing Studying for a Dr. Widbin Final. There was food, lots of it, laughing, and some great community happening that night.

  Those of you know who know me personally or are friends with me on Facebook, know that I am the admissions associate for the Alliance Theological Seminary. So yes, I am the person that blows up your phone with calls and e-mails, ensuring you  have everything necessary in order to be accepted into our seminary. I am that enthusiastic face found behind a table, a banner and a whole lot of ATS and Nyack College material at an event or church. And I am that woman who prays, encourages, answers the tough questions and lends a listening ear to all of our prospective students of the Alliance Theological Seminary.

 

 

ats christmas party

ATS Christmas Party 2013; cause seminarians know how to get down!

But for me recruiting for ATS isn’t something I do out of job obligation. I recruit for ATS because I strongly believe in everything that the Alliance Theological Seminary has to offer. I recruit for ATS because God has changed my life here. I recruit for ATS because I have encountered a community that has challenged me to grow and has supported me, spiritually, financially, academically, and emotionally. I recruit for ATS because it was here that I recognized that there is so much more that I needed to learn.

Alliance Seminary StudentSummertime last year, I found myself living in Mt. Vernon, doing an internship, traveling to Long Island multiple times a week for work and in perhaps one of the darkest seasons of my life spiritually. It was a season filled with anxieties, and doubts and fears related to the future. Two weeks before the summer ended and I was ready to begin at ATS as a student in the Masters of Divinity Program, God, yes God, gave me a clear word that I was to live in Nyack, work in Nyack, attend church in Nyack and focus on all that He had in store for me. I stepped out into the unknown, trusting I heard the Lord right. And I watched His perfect will unfold as two weeks later, the night of my orientation, I found a place to live with my first month rent free and got the  job at the admissions office.

ATS has taught me about walking in obedience and faith. Trusting God to fulfill His promises every step of the way.

CTA button for Blog ATS

As a student of the Masters of Divinity program God has literally shaken and is in the process of shaking everything that can be shaken within me. Through courses my views on scripture, theology and ministry were deeply challenged. Through conversation I learned to listen to, and respect others views and opinions while becoming grounded on my own. Through times of ministry I faced some of the darkest corners of my life and found the freedom and healing that Christ died to freely offer me. And through lecture after lecture in courses like PPTF and Initiation to Spiritual Formation, I truly began to understand who it is that God says that I am. Which I of course, began to live out in front of all of you, through my blogs.

So why the Alliance Theological Seminary and why not; Gordon- Conwell, or Dallas Theological Seminary, or Westminster or Fuller Theological Seminary or any other Theological seminary out there, you may ask?

( disclaimer Please note, we highly respect and appreciate the great work taking place in each of these seminaries mentioned above.)

The answer for me is simple; Because the kingdom of God is evident here. God is moving in our classrooms, through our faculty and staff and in the midst of our community. Lives are being transformed, people are being set-free, we have seen emotional healing take place, physical healings, all kinds of healing!  And the fruit of the ministry of GOD here, is overflowing.

Why pursue a seminary degree with us? Because here you can expect to be challenged; academically, spiritually, and personally to become the man and woman God created you to be. 

Why us? Because our faculty are not just educators, but mentors and disciple-makers to our students.  The lessons taught here go beyond a classroom or a pulpit, they transform lives, that in turn will transform other lives.

I will always passionately and enthusiastically speak of this great seminary, not because I get paid to do so but because I have grown to deeply love this community and will be eternally grateful for it. 

So if you’re looking to go into ministry or you simply desire to grow in  the knowledge, wisdom and revelation of Christ, I encourage you; Come to an Open House, get more information and see all that ATS has to offer you! 

Upcoming Open House Dates for Alliance Theological Seminary:

  • July 9th- 6 p.m.
  • July 26th- 11 a.m.
  • August 6th- 6p.m. 
  • August 23rd – 11 a.m. 

** We are still accepting applications for the FALL! 

ats in israel

God is the MASTER of Blowing Minds

Missions trip fund

An envelope I received through Nyack/ATS campus mail! Giving $205 towards my missions to Brazil!

These past few weeks have been nothing short of inexplicable. I could come up with a ton of fancy words and phrases to describe the moments, encounters, prayers and day by day occurrences, but none could capture my thoughts quite like ” God is the Master of Blowing minds…”

Worship @ LCC

Holy Spirit Weekend @ Living Christ Church; Worship: Andrew Meher, Julie Hodson,  Matt Ellenberger and yours truly!

 

From seeing someone completely healed from a spinal injury (amongst the many who were physically, emotionally and spiritually healed during Holy Spirit weekend at my church, Living Christ church in Nyack), to watching financial provision pour in through my community to support the missions trip to Brazil,to my amazing ATS and NYACK friends who put together a wonderful last-minute Birthday party for me, God has not once stopped to amaze me recently.

CTA button for Blog ATSYes, even after the car accident (yeahhh… I crashed my car into the back of cab on the FDR…), I saw Gods incredible purpose, when I was able to share His love with my tow truck driver. Who afterwards told me, that usually Christians get angry and argue with him when he shares his beliefs and he couldn’t believe how nice I was… I mean come on; only God could put something together like that.

Fancy  Pants

My co-workers at ATS admissions showed me love on my Birthday… By writing ALL over my windows haha

God is a ninja, a master at blowing minds.

He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. He knows how to deliver, how to captivate our hearts and how go above and beyond what we could ever ask, think of, or imagine. And that’s just it, GOD DESIRES to blow our minds. He desires to do the inexplicable. He seeks for every opportunity to display His glory in our lives. He gets a thrill out of working ALLLLLLL things together for our good ( Romans 8:28). And He thoroughly enjoys putting a smile on one of His kid’s faces.

God, is a good God. Nothing, no circumstance, mishap, disease, trouble, violence, natural disaster could ever negate that truth. And truly it is up to us, to see HIM for who He is and seek HIM for what he wants to offer us; His mind-blowing presence in every corner of our lives.

Bday party

These people made my birthday a special and blessed one!

The reason my mind is being blown so much lately is because I finally understand that God wants to do the incredible and give us the incredible, because HE is the incredible one. And He wants to give us HIMSELF.

I can seek God for finances, a spouse, provisions for my job, (insert any other need here)… But friends there is something so much greater to seek God for and that’s HIM!

Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying to not pray for anything you need, I am a firm believer in the effectiveness of our prayers for all and in all things.

BUT I AM saying; SEEK HIM FIRST. You’ve heard it before, “seek first the kingdom and all its righteousness and everything else will be added onto you.” Matt 6:33

God is not a means to an end my friends. HE IS THE END. HE IS beyond anything we could ever ask for, think of, or imagine…( Ephesians 3:20)

And so my ninja God, who has so masterfully exploded my mind lately, longs to do the same for you! Because he’s a master at blowing minds and He loves to do so! =)

intentionally diverse

Me+friends from ATS/Nyack= Intentionally Diverse

 

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