Monthly Archives: November 2008

A friend of our, Pastor Troy Jones of New Life in Renton, recently wrote this note below.  It really spoke to me (especially with our chaos lately) and I always try to pass on things that impact my life, so enjoy!


A couple of weeks ago I over heard my wife and two girls plan a girls day. The plan was to spend the day shopping, doing nails and whatever girls do together. I thought this was great. Our girls have been so busy lately. As their dad I love seeing them spend time with mom.

There plan was to do this on a Monday. I think veterans day. School was out. It was Sunday night and I was preparing for bed. It was 11:45 PM. Very tired after speaking three times at New Life all day. Sunday night I am wired, tired and just want to be by myself. As I was taking a bath I got an idea. My idea was “I should surprise my girls” and go get them three roses. This thought entered my mind and left it very quickly. It was late. I was tired. Why should I use my creative energy on my family? I hate to admit I even thought like this.

As I was thinking about this another very compelling thought came to me. “Troy, if this was Saturday night and you got a great idea for your message on Sunday…you would do it.”  You better believe I would. I will do anything to bring fresh ideas and creativity to my church. From time to time I will talk to myself like this. I believe this was the Holy Spirit gently reminding me what is important in my life. Here is the question I wrestled with this late Sunday night: “Why do I spend so much creative energy on my ministry and give so little to my family?” Ouch! This hurts. Badly. I work hard on being creative with my speaking, the church and the ministry. Why can’t I come up with one creative idea for my family? Why do I do the same date nights with my wife every week? Movie and dinner.

I am just like you. I say my family is the most important in my life. Then, why? Why do they get the left overs?

As I was wrestling with this I decided, “Tonight I am going to give my family what they deserve”….they deserve my best energy, creative ideas and attention to details.

I jumped out of the bathtub, got dressed and went to QFC. I bought three for each of my girls. I went to a cash machine and got 15 $20 dollar bills. I knew a “girl day” out would include shopping. Shopping includes money. I got back in my car. I wasn’t sure exactly how I would give this to them. But, I kept thinking, “I am a creative person on my job…I can have some creative ideas for my family.”

When I got home, I went to the computer and typed out a note saying, “Enjoy the day on daddy” “no boys allowed” “Make your mom spend this money.” Then I went to our family room and took the $20 dollar bills and put them in a shape of our heart. I put the three roses and note on the money. In the morning they all found this money and roses. I was hoping they liked the roses better than the money…but I was wrong….they loved the money.

The girls loved it. They bought all types of clothing. They actually went to build a bear and my wife bought herself a new stuffed bear. They gave the bear some strange name. I can’t recall it.

My three girls loved the day.

It all started with one question–why do I give my best creative energy to my ministry and give my family my left overs? Fair question.

Our families–your family deserves your best. We wonder why are marriages our dull..well..when is the last time you got off your butt and did something creative for your spouse? We wonder why our kids rebel..when is the last time you left work early and did something for them? When? Why not? What is wrong with me? us?

Stoping wondering why you have a dull something about it. Get a book on creativity. Copy someones idea. Do something. Anything. When you were dating you actually looked good…you took care of yourself…do it again. Call your spouse…send them a text…do something, anything.

My girls can’tremember what I preached that Sunday. Honestly I can’t remember. But, they will always remember the three roses. Creative sermons are fine. They need to happen. But, let’s give a little of that creative energy to the ones we love the most.

From Kris…


In honor of the Thanksgiving feast we’ve all had recently…Pastor Mark tells the story of a little kid with a smushed up bologna sandwich that he has for lunch.  An elderly lady invites him instead to come join her big table full of turkey, ham, and all the trimmings.  The little boy refuses to and holds on to his sandwich even tighter.  “No!”  He says to her, “You just want my bologna sandwich and I’m not going to let you have it!”


It’s a story that reminds us that God doesn’t want to take parts of our lives away, He wants to give us abundant life.  He wants to share His feast, not take our pitiful bologna sandwich.  God doesn’t want to take life from you, but to give life to you.  He’s not about giving rules and do’s and don’ts, He’s about having a relationship. 


I hope that your Thanksgiving memories are ones of delight in God’s goodness! 


Life has been so crazy for the last two months, but just 24 hours after we enjoyed our first church service, Mark and I were headed for a much needed vacation.  As I sat in the car for 10 hours on the way to Montana, it was nice to sleep and download the massive mental undertaking we just went through.  I am grateful for the slow pace of the Big Sky Country and the opportunity to do nothing!

Mark and I are usually good at pacing ourselves in ministry and making our home a priority.  Needless to say, the last 8 weeks were definitely the exception to our rules!  It is nice to make playdoh pies with my girls again and watch a movie with Mark.  Family is more important than ministry and I missed the balance that we fight so hard to have. 

I love my life and I love how God is using this ministry in our community.  It is such a gift to have the time to reflect on that and to have peace again.  Thank you to everybody who worked so hard to get the building done in time for us to get away.  We hope that your Thanksgiving week is as restful and reflective as ours!

OPENING DAY!  It went off without a hitch!  Of course we have small adjustments to make, but overall we had a great morning!  We had our highest attendance ever, people came early and stayed late to chat…it was FUN.  No setting up and tearing down was just incredible!  Here are some pictures of our new home.

Our awesome youth group…Jeff and Angela are busting out of their room on Day 1!september-1291

Our super cute little nurseryseptember-097

Little Adventurer’s Room for our toddlersseptember-104

Super cool Kid’s Stage and Kim’s RED walls! kids-room

Our coffee bar…part of it!  We transformed a night club, so we have more bar than we will EVER need!coffee

Our awesome stage!september-120

Our foyer…our graphics team is the best!september-093

And of course, here’s a picture of Mark’s eyepatch.  He scratched his eyeball and had to go to the hospital. september-099

THANK YOU, Jesus!  I’m smart enough to know that You got us into this building all by Yourself. 

It’s all done…well mostly…Other than the espresso machine and our sign, everything is in place.  We have a temporary permit that allows us to publicly use the building and tomorrow will be opening day.

I haven’t really allowed myself to feel the reality of this moment, yet.  During the brief moments when I stop long enough to really grasp what just happened, it makes me cry.  Mark and I have been praying for a building for over a decade.  We have consistently used what has been given to us and done our best.  And now begins a new season for us. 

God is just faithful.  That’s all there is to it.  He is awesome and worthy and He hears our prayers!  He gives us just what we need when we need it and the lessons He teaches along the way are precious.  The journey is just as sweet as the result.  I have loved the people that we’ve met along the way and the experiences that we have had.  I love the teamwork that we have built in our church and the ownership that we all have in this together.  Nobody did this alone and God was always at the helm.  It’s His church and this building is His tool.

I can’t wait for tomorrow!