Tuesday, October 7, 2014



I just wanted to take the next few minutes and share on the WHY of worship.

I think there's different categories of people when it comes to the topic of worship.

WHY do we routinely worship?
Sometimes I can be routinely driving a place I've been multiple times and look up and realize i'm at my destination and I have no idea how I got there, because I did it out of routine and was thinking about other things.

We can so easily come in to church and just routinely throw up our hands, and routinely sing a few songs.
Or some of you may be new to a place like church and wondering "WHY are they raising their hands, WHY are they singing so loud, WHY are they jumping dancing like crazy"! haha

We lift our hands because the bible says in Psalms‬ ‭141‬:‭2‬ AMP--
"Let my prayer be set forth as incense before You, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice."
It's just an outward sign of an inward sacrifice. Hands raised is a universal sign of surrender. 

When we truly understand the heart of why we're doing something we'll be able to recognize the fruit in our life from doing it. 

Worship is a focus shifter, from our circumstances to God. It switches our thoughts and focus to our Father. 

Just like when you're taking a selfie on an iPhone, you can hit that Switch Button on the camera for it to face outward. We need to hit that button on our worship and go from US to GOD, to make that focus shift from our circumstances to His provision!

The Lord wants us to come as we are. We don't have to get our act all together before we come and worship.

Hebrews‬ ‭4‬:‭16‬ AMP says-
"Let us then fearlessly, confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy for our failures and find grace to help in good time, for every need, appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it." 

There's nothing like well timed help coming along! God wants to be our relief. He has what you need and it's found in worshiping Him. It's found in lifting Him up. Solutions and answers are found in His presence.

Psalms 22:3 says--
"He Inhabits the praises of his people"
Inhabits means-
 to occupy the environment, to make ones home in. 
Jesus comes and makes His home in an atmosphere of worship and praise. It's not limited to the walls of a church building. He wants to make His home in your home and work space. He promises to come when we worship him!

Hebrews‬ ‭10‬:‭20 & 22-23‬ NLT says--
"By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been made clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise."

Worship is a choice to expression our adoration for him. I came to a time in my life where I had to MAKE THE CHOICE.
My mom had cancer for 8 years and after much prayer and believing God for healing she died in October of 2010. I remember the 1st church service I went in to, I sat in the back and crossed my arms during worship. After service I went to lunch (with my now husband), with my boyfriend at the time right after service. I remember clearly him leaning across the table saying "Natalie, you're going to have to make a choice". I had to make the decision to worship no matter what I saw or felt. 
Every time after that wasn't a mountain top worship experience but God always proved faithful to show up when I made the CHOICE to worship no matter what the circumstances looked like or sounded like. 

HE IS A GOD WHO CAN BE TRUSTED TO KEEP HIS PROMISE, like the verse above so clearly says!

Isaiah‬ ‭65‬:‭1‬ NLT says--
"The LORD says, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name."

This verse is so powerful because it's a wake up call to seek God like never before. We don't want to be known as the generation that didn't seek the heart of God, we want to be knows as the generation that sought him with all of our hearts and found Him. 

I want to leave you with a thought-Are we so busy accomplishing things on our own that we're forgetting to call out to the one who's waiting to come to our rescue and be the solution to our needs? He is always available and waiting.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stewarding the Gift

A couple of weeks ago as I was coming downstairs to read my bible in the living room, I heard this verse rolling around in my head "For whom much is given, of him shall much be required; and of him to whom men entrust much, they will require and demand all the more." (Luke 12:48)

It was like a wake up call each morning for about a week, from God.

After a couple days of hearing it each morning I started wondering, "Okay God, that's a great verse and all but WHY are you bringing this up EVERYDAY?!" 
It hit me. I knew exactly what it was addressing in my life.
God showed me the idea for a project about 2 years ago that I feel is WAY beyond what I'm capable of, (which on my own I really am) but that's exactly what makes it His idea... It's something that I've been putting off because it feels too big.

During church services recently God has been softly speaking to my heart "There are hurting people waiting for you to be obedient, There are hurting people waiting for you to be obedient, There are hurting people waiting for you to be obedient". 

My action step right now is aiming to do one thing (small or large) daily towards the fulfillment of this vision. 
It's so easy to just go home on our free nights and plop down on the couch with my hubby and watch Netflix... But when did God promise any vision worth fulfilling would be effortless. 

It's about stewarding the gift....
"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards." (1 Peter 4:10)

Because this is what it's all about "Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much." (Matt. 25:21)

Many times we're waiting on NEW revelation/direction/instruction from God when we haven't acted on the last thing He told us to do! There are people waiting for you to be obedient...There's a group of people that only you can influence. Start wherever you are right now.

Just ask yourself right now "Is there something God has called me to do that I haven't taken an action step towards?" 

And then: GET MOVING. No more excuses or procrastinating. 

PS/// I'll post more of what the project I'm working on is later on  sometime.  :) 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mexico Miracles

So I just spent the morning with God.. Praying and worshiping and missing the people of Mexico, we were only gone a short 10 days but they were full of the leading of God's presences and ministry to souls..This post will just be a taste of the miracles and many amazing things God did in and through me and our whole team.

Leaving Tulsa Wednesday, June 13th.. we had a schedule all made out for the next 10 days, even including each meal time. But...God had other plans for us to accomplish! HAHA

We flew into Oaxaca and arrived around 10pm on Wednesday.. and began our 9.5 hour bus ride through the mountains to the Oaxaca coast. This was quite an interesting night... after two doses of Dramamine I figured it just didn't work on me, and between dozing in a out all night...going potty on the side of the road in a pitch black patch of trees on the side of the mountain we made it to our base just after sunrise Thursday.

We began "on schedule" with the Roca Blanca Oaxaca Victory Bible Institute graduation on Friday. This was such a powerful time and because of working here at VBI in Tulsa it was so amazing to see the same program take place there! (Oaxaca was the very first International VBI, now there are over 1,200 worldwide) They really are trained up there to be member of an army taking the territories of Mexico for God!

At breakfast before the graduation we received word that Tropical Storm Carlotta was on a path headed our way.. So instead of the team helping with graduation while the preparation was going on, a couple of girls and I headed into the prayer room for an hour and the other girls prepared for the graduation meal for all 350-400 attendees, while all the guys on the team headed to take down tents, and fill sand bags and build retaining walls! Such a full day of work! And the team kept a great attitude despite everything going on :) Mark and I moved all our stuff from the first floor into Paul and Ashley's room.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all the prep happening Carlotta picked up speed and formed into a Cat 2 hurricane with winds around 105mph....
After a hurried dinner we instructed the team to all stay in their rooms, with doors and windows locked and closed. We were staying a concrete house RIGHT on the beach where the storm was coming in but knew that the house had made it through other storms and we were gonna make it!!! Here's where we stayed:

As we were all situated in each of the rooms, and the winds were really starting to pick up..we noticed water seeping in through any crack in the windows and doors, because of the rain blowing in sideways.... Then a pond started forming on the balcony because that's the side of the house were the storm was blowing in from and it started dumping water into the room :( And all we could do was sweep it out soak it up and laugh! (there's video's on my facebook) After just deciding to quite our clean up efforts until the storm was over we decided to try and get some sleep... four of us in one bed..

The next day began the clean up process, which it was a blessing that we were there for the base because normally all the students would have helped with the clean up but they were all gone. So we spent the day hauling branches, sweeping out water, hanging out wet towels and everything and anything else that needed done.

And the hurricane changed ALL of our plans for the rest of the trip. Because the mountain villages we planned to go up into were either closed off by fallen trees or bridges/roads were washed out by the storm. So, we began taking one day at a time, and learning major flexibility! haha On a side note we were without electricity for 7 days....

The ministry that began to take place was irreplaceable though! God presented new opportunities. We went into city market squares, small village churches, a school, an orphanage, house to house, road side outreach sites.. etc. Most of the pictures will tell the stories, but one site that was powerful was a school we went into, during the dramas I went a sat by a little boy named Waldo, he was sitting there quietly very focused and attentive to everything taking place. As the salvation message was brought he started tearing up.. his heart was being softened. He received the Lord into his heart! I saw him go forward when we asked to pray for healings. But then he sat back down. So I went over to him after the service, and asked him what prayer he needed, he said he didn't need any. But after MUCH questioning he said I could pray for his parents, because they didn't know God. As I closed my eyes and began to pray I felt the Lord so strongly on him and prayed out what God gave me. When I opened my eyes tears were streaming down his face. He gave me a big hug and said thank you! It was precious to see his heart breaking for his unsaved parents.

Then we took silly pictures!

I will add short caption stories with all the pictures I upload to facebook. We saw blind eyes open!! God is a miracle working God and wants to do it in every life all around the world!
The journey back to the airport again over the mountains was full of miracles and God's hand moving!

We loaded the bus and headed out of the base at 9am... after a stomach churning few hours.. around 4pm we pulled up to a line of stopped cars about a mile long... After the translator getting out of the bus and talking with people we  learned that it was Blockade formed blocking the road by a local village who wanted to get the attention of the Federal Mexican Government, but word was there may be a small 10 minute window of time that they would let cars through for 10 minutes at 5pm.. Well after some prayer and game time.. 5pm came and went and we were still sitting in the bus... And going potty on the side of the road if needed.. :/ The bus driver started telling us that he has slept in the bus before. He said, "if we're still here at night we'll just lock the door and sleep!"

But we knew God had plans to bring us to the other side!! So around 8pm the guys got out of the bus and just decided (with the translator) to all walk up to the blockade and plead our case about missing our flight! As they walked up to the blockade they saw men and women blocking the whole road with Axes, huge sticks, machetes.. etc. haha But when they walked up there Mark heard the Lord speak that they needed to fight the people natural weapons with spiritual ones! So they all started praying in the spirit!
Meanwhile, us girls are back in the bus taking our authority by praying and reading out the word of God! I felt like God said "Pray the supernatural into your natural". So I did just that! As I opened my eyes I see the guys RUNNING back to the bus with HUGE smiles on their faces.
They said "start the bus, all the sudden the town decided they are going to open the road!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
And we started moving, after 3 hours of waiting! God is faithful! Well, we started praising God at the top of lungs and thanking Him!!!

About 30 minutes later... what do you know, but we hit another blockade. Except this one was about 3ish miles longs and it was dark and starting to get more tense.
Our translator said in all her life she had never seen two blockade's in one day.... :(
As we were slowing to a stop we saw the LINE of cars and started praying!! It started to get pretty intense, This time the bus driver said " God has left us!" We said "NO! He's right here with us and will bring us through again! And this time even quicker!"
There were police trucks full of men with Machine guns. Then some men started running through the line pointing people around with their guns... We then found out that the town forming this blockade had now taken over police that had come to break it up... We prayed more!!!!
People started coming back through the line saying "We'll for sure be here ALL night, maybe even a couple days." But we prayed more! God was going to finish what He started in bringing us to the other side again!!! Within 20 MINUTES we were moving across the blockade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God is so faithful! As tears filled our eyes at this miracle, we worshiped and praised for the next hour! Never look at what you see in front of you through your natural eyes. Because God is always working in the supernatural to bring you through!!!
Psalms 27:13 "I will remain confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord!"

This is only part of the things that God brought us through.. If you make yourself available He will use you and you will never be disappointed.

Mexico 2012 Missions Trip statistics:
Salvation's- 116
Confirmed Healings: 23
Filled with the Spirit-2
Total people ministered to: 2,454

If you gave financially or prayed for us you will reap in this harvest of people in heaven one day!!
We are all called in Mark 16:15 to Go into all the world and preach the God and be God's hands and feet. My favorite verse is Mark 16:20 (the message version) "They went about validating the message with indisputable evidence"
This is what kind of life God has called us to live!
We do it all for the least of these.. The ones who need to hear the message, and be loved on. All the sweat, no electricity, bugs, money raised, time off work, fundraisers, different foods, uncomfortableness... if we brought just one to God then it would have all been worth it..

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Our purpose is love..

“Do you know your purpose in life?” It’s the big question everyone seems to want answered, Christians and non-Christians alike. To be honest, I came to bible school asking that same question, but found an answer so different than I expected. Yes, there can be one big main thing that God has put in your heart that you’re passionate about, but I realize more and more every day that it’s all about the everyday things that He’s called us to. How often do we over look them? 

There are ministry opportunities ALL around us.  What about the girl crying in the hallway, or the person in the wheelchair at the store?  God’s Word says, "When we’re faithful with the little, then God will give us much."
 I’ve been challenging myself lately to get uncomfortable. I think lots of people are waiting for God to “hand” them a ministry, business, or a great opportunity. Right now, are you doing exactly what He’s called you to do? Did you feel prompted to text someone and see how they’re doing? Or pray with someone who needs it? Or apply to Bible school? We’re called to act out the desires that God has placed in our hearts. 
In the Bible school class “Growing up Spiritually,” I remember the teacher, Dr. Edwin Miranda, mention walking in love with your roommates and being an example of peace even at your house. That’s real spiritual maturity, and growth in that arena, is a process. Your calling in life will also be developed by the people you surround yourself with!
"Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one anotherThis is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.John 13:34-35 The Message (MSG)

Love is not just an emotion; it is the most powerful force in the universe.  God is love. Actions of love are such a loud witness. Sometimes we don’t even have to speak a scripture to them or pray for them. Just show love. That’s our ultimate purpose.
But practically, does that look like preaching a crusade to thousands, or ministering to the small villages of Africa, starting an orphanage, becoming a doctor or nurse, leading worship, being a youth pastor, being a business owner? I’m convinced that God can use anyone to accomplish any and all of His purposes!
When I was in Bible school, I saw myself be transformed in the little things in life.  Now as a staff member, I see spiritual development in the students as the school year progresses.  God is so faithful to finish what He has started in you.   Fulfill your calling. You can start today in the little things….

love always: Natalie

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The LORD never appeared to you’?”  Then the LORD asked him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. (Exodus 4:1, 2 NLT)

What an eye opening question? How many of us find ourselves in this situation, well, in a sense. 

Moses is wrestling with the thought of his own competency and ability. Human response many times is to look at our lack. What can I do? Who would listen to me? Common questions for most, if not all people.

Being called by God to accomplish His will is an extraordinary blessing and honor! The awesome reality is, we are all called to be ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19-20). We have all been called to accomplish great works (Ephesians 2:10).
So often we reply to God's calling with our lack. I don't have this or I don't have that. But I want to encourage you to look at what is in your hand!
What do you have in the natural that you can surrender to God, and allow Him to put His supernatural touch on it? For Moses, it was his staff. It was what he had in his hand.
In the natural, sure, it was just a stick. In the natural, sure, it was just his voice. It was when he surrendered what was in his hand by faith for the use of The Master, that those natural elements became powerful tools to free a nation.

What is God asking you to do? What is in your hand, and more importantly, is it surrendered to God?


Thursday, April 5, 2012

I've (Natalie) been going through the book of Acts I'm now in chapter 13 so I decided to go back and skim over the chapters i've read and see what i've underlined. I noticed a common thread in ALMOST EVERY chapter. The words "Filled with AND controlled by the Holy Spirit".

Hmmm I decided to think on it a little bit more... So as I sat there I really felt like the Holy Spirit prompted me to see what followed when those words were written.
And this is what I found..... In Acts 4:8 it says "Peter was filled with AND controlled by the Holy Spirit". Then later (in verse 14) it shows this...

WOW!!!! Then.... again in Acts 6:5 is says "Stephen was filled with AND controlled by the Holy Spirit"
So I skimmed down and look what I found just below it..

Can you just imagine with me for a minute what would REALLY happen if we would live out our lives "filled with and controlled" by the Holy Spirit. I believe that it's not enough to just be filled. We have let the Holy Spirit have free reign and control in our lives. I have to say that when this happens we will see the lame walk, the blind see, the brokenhearted made whole. There's not time for this generation to sit back and just "be filled" we have to walk it out! When we walk every day "Filled and controlled" people will NOT BE ABLE TO RESIST the wisdom we speak out and live out (like it says above in vs 10).

Today is the day to see the book of Acts come alive.....