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The Lost Shall Be Found!

stacynewell —  April 15, 2016 — 2 Comments

2016-04-14 10.48.28Our mobile trailer was FOUND yesterday!!!  It was parked nicely in a neighborhood in Salmon Creek in plain site from a main roadway.

The good news is that nearly all of our stuff was in it or recovered at the initial scene.  The bad news is that something clearly happened to the trailer and lots of our sound equipment.

We can’t really figure out what exactly took place in this whole story, but here’s the details we do have:

Our hitch lock was demolished, while our back door locks are still on it…they got in by destroying the door with a crow bar, so you can imagine how lovely that looks!

The trailer has front end damage, damage to the wheel well and a metal brace in the front is cracked  Our guess is that the trailer hit something pretty hard.  We had to put it on a truck to get it safely home as towing it isn’t a good plan.  The adjuster comes on Monday and we expect they will total the trailer at this point.

2016-04-14 12.23.26Inside of the box we had five massive rolling storage boxes that contained all of our stuff.  The thieves unloaded two boxes in Battle Ground, emptied the contents back into the trailer and left the boxes.  Unfortunately it was the sound box and the foyer box.  Our sound equipment and a large flat panel television was thrown into the trailer, while the cords and snake were sliced to remove them from the box.  Not only that, but the pile was directly under a part of the roof that was leaking, so it was wet or damp when we found it.  It also looked like it may have taken another hit when the trailer was in an accident and jossled everything around again.  We will need to talk to the insurance about the next step for our equipment.

The KidCity box seems like it was untouched through the whole ordeal.  It was wedged in pretty tight and difficult to get to.

The Tiny Town box clearly toppled over.  It is a very heavy box with a TV mounted inside.  The TV took a hard blow on the way down, and while it still works, I think it audibly moaned at me when I booted it up. 🙂  The box is strong as an ox, but it looks like it fought a tough battle!

Another sound box was partially dissembled as well.  It looks like they were planning on dismantling and selling our stuff, but gave up in the middle.  We aren’t sure why, but we do serve a convicting God who is on our side!  Not to mention that unloading our trailer appropriately takes precise knowledge and three men, so if they didn’t know what they were doing, they had a disaster on their hands!

The thieves also left two fishing poles…

For this Sunday, we will be without our stuff again.  We have rented sound equipment, so we are OK.  We are grateful to have so much left to rebuild from and will be back to “normal” very soon!

2016-04-14 13.52.48Also, KATU, KGW, and FOX news really did all stop by the Battle Ground building on Wednesday…all within an hour of each other.  Chris got to very unexpectedly give 3 interviews.  From now on, we’ll all be storing a nice shirt in our cars with us! 😉  He did a great job and the best part was that they did not cut out the message of Jesus in those interviews.  We appreciate those news stations for telling our story of Jesus because the trailer is just a byline!

We have very much appreciated the Battle Ground police department, Vancouver police department, and the fire department in this situation.  What an impressive group of people who have been on top of this and very helpful!

I also want to take a moment and do a shout out for our pastoral team.  They are unwaivering, faith-filled, talented, and unstoppable people.  I can’t even begin to tell you about the strength it has taken them to lead through the last year of transition and tragedy, but they haven’t flinched in the face of challenge.  Mark and I are honored and humbled to lead this group of people who are full of integrity and loyal to the cause of Christ.  North Creek is built first on the love of Jesus and second on the backs of the toughest people I know.

And now to close out this story…God is good!  He was good when the trailer was gone and He is good when the trailer came home.  The story was always about His goodness.  Our mission is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus.  And we go forward to do just that!

If you don’t have a church, would you consider visiting us this Sunday?  Perhaps all of this happened so that you might hear about an unstoppable church in Vancouver, Washington that wants you to be a part.  www.coffeechurch.com

 

 

Loving the Church

stacynewell —  May 15, 2015 — 12 Comments

There’s a blog going around that makes my heart break.  You might have even read it…it’s yet another writing by a so-called Christian ripping apart the Church and how misguided apparently every pastor on the planet actually is.  And I don’t understand it at all….even if it’s true.

You see, if I were Satan, I would get some young, punk blogger to write an article just like that and then I would get embittered or confused Christians to share it all over social media.  That would be a sure-fire way to destroy the Bride of Christ one broken soul at a time.  Good call, Satan. Good call.

On the other hand, if I were Jesus, I would have some young, punk blogger write her stories of her deep love for the Church.  I would have her tell the tales of ministry in the Pacific Northwest…the least churched region of America.  Maybe if she writes, someone who needs a Savior will fall in love with an imperfect church in Vancouver, Washington and come to see about her Christ.  Maybe.  Just maybe.

So, I’m fighting with everything I’ve got to speak well of His Church.  ‘Cause I LOVE His church.  I love His church, all it’s faults, and the journey His Church is taking to find Him, exalt Him, and honor Him.  You may disagree with the means, but I haven’t met a pastor who wanted anything but the life-changing power of Jesus.  And I deeply honor each one for that very reason.  They get up every morning and keep loving people and trying new things to reach people.  Bravo, pastor, bravo!  Keep up the fight!

We’ve had our fair share of critics ripping apart our church over the years as well.  And one thing has been constantly true: while the critics are complaining, we are neck deep in the Holy Spirit’s beautiful work.  The dichotomy is heartbreaking at times. While one group is seeking the face of Jesus, the other is seeking the “problems with the church.”

Let me be clear: You will always find what you seek. 

If you want to find Jesus in the halls of our church, you will no doubt find His powerful presence in the midst of the efforts of a multitude of volunteers, prayer warriors, and passionate people.  If you want to find problems, you probably won’t even make it through the front door without a list a mile long.  It’s your choice, but it’s also your price to pay for that choice.

We spend our days walking with people through profound testimonies of salvations, healings from long awaited prayers, homeless families getting jobs and housing, the Holy Spirit changing a spouse’s heart against an affair, pregnancies that were said would never happen, and on and on and on.  His POWER is ALIVE AND WELL!  And then on the same note we weep daily over lives in our church that need an intersection of Jesus.  Lives broken by addictions, molestations, divorces, abandonment, and pain.  We carry a weight that walks the hallways of our buildings every Sunday that most will never see.  We weep daily. 

Ironically those moments are all too often followed with negativity from others over the music choices, the décor, our cheap seats, how we do the offering, some offense over an obscure sentence one of our “renegade” preachers accidentally said… We get accusations about how we don’t love Jesus and how we should love Jesus differently. We get told how ridiculous our website is.  And how everything would be better if we fixed our parking lots….Nothing we do is good enough, right enough, or godly enough….

And what do I wish I could tell the critics?

 

Hush.

It’s hard to hear the Holy Spirit over your voice.

HE IS SPEAKING.

He is calling His children home.

His love for His Bride is deep and wide.

He is here to change a NATION….OUR NATION.

Do you hear Him?

Get on your knees and declare Him Lord.  He is Holy. Righteous…so, so holy…

Hush.

 

No more division, no more dissention.  No more blogs about how terrible pastors are and how broken His Church is.  No more.  Correct or incorrect, the repercussions are devastating to the very thing that Jesus loves most.

You are frustrated at Church, because YOU are frustrated with your own lack of Jesus in your heart.  But this Sunday, do me a favor at whatever church your feet may fall into…

Seek Him with a precious abandon. 

Your frustration at the shortcomings of the pastor standing in front of you who was called by God will melt in the face of Jesus.  You will find that you won’t worry about the music, the lighting, the dirty nursery toys.  You will find that you have no choice but to hush in His holy presence.  You will also find that when you are standing face to face with the God of the universe, you won’t have the guts to speak against His bride.  You will find humility and honor in that moment.

You will just find His face.  If you really want to see the Church awaken…just find His face.

Hush.

 

 

 

It is just one week until we unroll a weekend worth of honoring our crucified, yet risen Christ!  Easter is my favorite holiday of all and such an amazing reminder that our sin has been nailed to a cross and we are FREE!  It means everything to me and I cannot wait to celebrate.

If you have never been to church, you are welcome.  No need to dress up or be perfect.  Just come and be rest assured that you are in good company of people with scars, pasts, and faults.  We all have one thing in common…Christ died for us and we are no longer bound by what we were.

Here are the events that you can join us for as we set aside time to hear the story of Jesus once again.

Friday, April 18 Good Friday Services

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Join us for a unique Good Friday Celebration on Friday April 18th. We believe that Jesus’ death made a way for us to have life. It will be one of the most creative approaches to telling that story. The night is hosted by Pastor Chris Harold with Matt Garner, Alissa Fisher and the North Creek Band. Grab a friend and don’t miss this.

This event is located at North Creek Church in Battle Ground, WA (Next to Maple Grove Elementary).

Childcare is provided up to ages 5. Your older children are welcome to enjoy the night with you.

Sunday, April 20 Easter Services

All four of our services will be dedicated to telling the story of the resurrection of Jesus!  Everybody is welcome!  Kids will have their own special services with a gift.

Hazel Dell – 811 NE 88th Circle, Vancouver, 98665

9:30 am

11:00 am

Battle Ground – 500 SW Eaton Blvd, Battle Ground, 98604

10:00 am – Regular service

11:30 am – Deaf Church (not a translated service, but designed completely for the deaf)

 

We are looking forward to having you as a part of North Creek’s Easter weekend!  Be blessed!

Process Matters

stacynewell —  August 16, 2013 — Leave a comment

One of my favorite television shows is MasterChef.  If you’re not familiar with this hour of genius, it’s a reality show about three Master Chefs who judge a bunch of home-cooks on their talent and then give the winner a job in a high-end restaurant.  I’m not a chef, I don’t like to cook, and I don’t understand half of what they are talking about, but nonetheless, I love the show.

One of the interesting things about the Chefs is that they walk around while these poor souls are cooking and they can tell what is going to be an excellent plate of food and what will be sub-par.  Often times they don’t even taste anything on their way by…they just watch the process and get that disappointed scowl on their faces.  They know that the process makes the product.

After 16 years working with people, I can see that those same principles applies to all of us as well.  There really aren’t many surprises for us anymore in ministry.  The fact remains that people who attack their lives with grit, a teachable spirit, and high standards for themselves tend to see God work in amazing ways in their lives.  On the contrary, when we see people who refuse to change, won’t do the hard things, and won’t push themselves, we brace ourselves for the inevitable.

The process you put into your life and growth determines your product.

This is both good and bad news for all of us depending on our goals for the future!  So, what can we all do?  We can set ourselves up for success: read our Bible, pray, get involved in a thriving church, obey the Scriptures even when it’s hard, surround ourselves with people who will give us advice, take that Godly advice, serve Jesus with abandon…and the list goes on!

One fact that might help you if you have a previous pattern of a pathetic process is that you can course-correct if you want to.  When the Master Chefs walk around, they drop advice as they go, but most home-cooks still go with their plan despite the advice.  Needless to say, their dishes often get a poor reception.  But then, every once in a while, a cook hears the Master Chef, changes plans on a dime and the results speak for themselves.

If you’ve been going along, unwilling to listen (and obey) Biblical advice, maybe it’s time to course-correct yourself.  If you hear the people in your life who have gone before you giving you warnings…take them.  Change.  Grow.  Be teachable.  Do the hard things.  Do it now.

What you’ll end up with is a life as beautiful as fine cuisine.  The aroma, presentation, taste, and finesse of your life will speak for itself.

 

Congrats to Terrance and Gina who were both baptized this weekend at the Hazel Dell Campus!  So amazing to hear their stories and see the change that Jesus is done in their lives!  My favorite part is that neither of them who say they have it all together and that is exactly what baptism is…a declaration of a dependence on God, not an arrival at perfection.  Any time you are ready to make that declaration, sign up to be baptized at www.coffeechurch.com.  We’ll fill the hot tub and make it happen!  Pictures coming soon!!

I got to introduce Lorraine, 94 years old, and Loretta, 91 years old, to each other on Sunday.  Both of them attend our church with their grandkids…isn’t that SO cool?  God changes lives and hearts and that impacts GENERATIONS!  As the first Christian in my family, it is not lost on me that my grandkids will be different because of my decision to follow Jesus.

The 3-5th Grade boys had a Nerf Gun War Party after church on Sunday.  Awesome young men!!!!

We are looking forward to next Sunday for our Annual Celebration Meeting.  It’s a great time to get to hear about all that God is doing at our church!  We are meeting at Hazel Dell at 4:00 pm and Battle Ground at 7:00 pm.  You are welcome to attend either campus (or both!) as the information will be the same, although campus specific staff will be sharing at their campus only (ie, Kim will share about Kid City at HD and Vanessa at BG).  Everyone will be sharing on behalf of the church as a whole!  We’ve had a couple of people ask why we don’t have one meeting.  Short answer:  we don’t fit in one building at one time.  That’s a good problem!  This solution of two meetings also alleviates some drive time for most people, which is a good deal!

If you have a preschool age student, we will be opening registration for the North Creek Learning Center on March 1.  This week day preschool is located at our Battle Ground location and has been an asset to the community for 17 years.  We look forward to continuing on with the legacy passed along to us!  More info to come soon!

titleAs a church the challenge has been set before us to memorize a chapter in the book of James…are you up for it?  I took on chapter 5…if you choose that chapter, start in the middle and work backwards.  The first few verses are a tongue twister and it’s discouraging!  It’s easier to get some success under your belt and then tackle the rest.  Here’s a good life lesson: do hard things.  it’s worth the work!  The easy way will probably not help you to grow and become all that God has for you!  P.S.  Our Kid’s pastors are encouraging all the K-5th graders to memorize James 1.  I’m pretty confident that the kids will be amazing at it!!!

I love how Jesus changes lives!

I hope that this week brings about a new resolve in your heart to be unstoppable for Him.  Be blessed!