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Nothing lit on fire this week on Sunday morning!  We’ve made progress since last week!

It was a really great Sunday morning at both campuses!  Hazel Dell had finished the Us series last week, so we welcomed missionary Craig Mathison with us to share a message about Zaccheaus.  It was really great having him with us for the morning!  If you would like to give to our missionaries, just mark your giving envelope for Be Present.  We have a monthly commitment to a dozen missionaries and your giving helps us reach that commitment.

At Battle Ground we finished off the Us series with Kris Gray preaching on Nurture Romance.  She knocked it out of the park as usual!  We enjoyed that series so much and appreciated all the great stories of various dates that our married couples participated in.  Lots of amazing things happening in the marriages at North Creek!  If your marriage needs some changes, we are praying for you.  We serve a God of redemption and miracles!

Mark and I headed off on Sunday night to our previous church to help them celebrate their 75th Anniversary Celebration.  It was great to see old friends and how big all of their kids have gotten!  It was a crazy realization that there is a good chance we will be celebrating North Creek’s 75th Anniversary from Heaven.  I can’t wait to meet all of the people that came to know Jesus through our church.  We’ll all have a big party with lots of coffee!

Congrats to Nick and Maria from our Deaf Church on their wedding this weekend!  We wish you well on your new life together!

Also, congrats to Rob and Lori on the birth of their daughter on Saturday!  Such an incredible moment when you become a parent for the first time!  We wish you plenty of sleep for your new life together!

We hope you had an enjoyable Memorial Day!  Seven years ago I had a baby on Memorial Day, so it will always be a very special day for us.  The importance of giving birth to a baby that will grow up in a free country because other’s have given their lives is not lost on me.  I am so grateful for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that I can tuck my kids in at night.

So many great things in store for North Creek!  We have lots of exciting plates spinning right now…solving the need for a youth pastor at Battle Ground, solving some of our facility issues at Hazel Dell, continued growth…thank you all for being a part of it and investing your time and resources into the House of God.  We love to see lives changed and we are ready for more of it!!

Invite a friend with you this month as we kick off our Protect and Serve series in June.  It’s going to be a wonderful series that has nothing to do with the police…

Our Learning Center is celebrating the last days of school today and tomorrow with a BBQ.  That means I had a hot dog for breakfast…  If you are interested in an incredible preschool environment for your toddler in the fall, you can get all of the info you need at www.coffeechurch.com.  And a mommy note: lots of our signups are from Vancouver families, so there are carpool potentials in your future!  Congrats to all of our “graduating” preschoolers this week!

So much going on and so much to say!  Thankful to be a part of this church and your lives.  Be blessed-

 

What It’s Gonna Take

stacynewell —  May 24, 2013 — 4 Comments

When we started a church, we began a journey of tumultuous ups and downs of personal growth.  While stepping out into what seems like complete darkness over and over and over again has molded and shaped us in astounding ways, I also think there are several character traits that we needed to develop ahead of time in order to succeed.  Maybe as you read this, you are just beginning a step of faith that seems monumental.  Read on…it’s good stuff for your future!

A necessary attribute to stepping out in faith is perseverance.  Not to discourage upcoming faith-steppers, but our story has not gotten easier over the last seven years.  In fact, each day has gotten exponentially more difficult.  I can vividly remembering closing my eyes during those first exhausting months of starting North Creek Church and saying to myself, “This is the hard part, it will get easier.”  And then I realized the most horrifying thing: The only way it will get easier is if we fail.  Success will bring more people, more responsibility, more problems, bigger leaps of faith, and more complications.  And that is good news, whether it feels that way or not!  We had to quickly get over the negative parts to that reality and embrace the fact that anything worth doing comes with work…lots of work.  The good news:  Even though this is not an easy job, we continue to see the fruit of persevering.  The hard work is continually sprinkled with changed lives and miraculous stories.  Don’t search for simple, search for significant. 

Another one of the telling of the attributes that is needed to lead a charge of faith is optimism.  Mark and I run pretty high on the optimistic scale, so when the lows come (and they will come), we are able to pull through.  We have met with multiple church planters (and other people taking giant leaps of faith) and I can tell you that the ones that tended to be more on the “Glass is Half Empty” side, all shut the doors of their churches…and it didn’t take long.  I don’t say that lightly because it was heartbreaking to watch.  The levels of discouragement in people we loved was concerning to the core of our being.  In fact, I think that if you tend to lean toward the negative, you should probably run from being the main leader of a church until you resolve that issue in your life.  The last thing God wants for your life is to hate ministry.  You’ve got to believe and hope deep within your heart.

A third attribute that we’ve needed to sustain our lives is rest.  There is an ebb and flow to ministry (and life).  Sometimes it’s just crazy and you’ve got to keep moving, but other times it feels like the calm before the storm.  Enjoy that calm and rest!  We do our best to honor the Sabbath and we take vacations.  We also sit down nearly every morning on the couch and drink a cup of coffee together.  We talk about the kids, the church, what we are doing for the day…it’s time to think, laugh, and connect.  We stop and enjoy life when we can because it keeps us healthy.  Resting also reminds us that God is in control, not us. As a wise man once said, “If you can’t take any time to think, you think too highly of yourself.”

So, that’s a good start to some things to keep in mind as you follow God’s path for your own life.  Many blessings as you take steps of faith!