Monthly Archives: November 2010

I have so many great memories of youth camps. It seems that God graces my life in unexplainable ways when I walk on the grounds. I met Jesus at camp, was baptized in the Holy Spirit at camp, called to ministry at camp, met my husband, and watched thousands of teenagers change before my eyes at the altars of camps. I also met Kara Brown at camp. She was spunky, funny, in love with Jesus, and little did I know it, but she was my best friend’s niece. She was instantly lovable.

Kara would become a cheerleader in my life. Although she was just a teenager at that camp, she would follow us on a journey of starting North Creek. She would email encouragement, facebook me late at night to see how we were doing, and she even showed up twice very unexpectedly. Once early on and once just months ago. She put action to her friendship in beautiful ways.

Kara had a smile that would stop you in your tracks and a selfless heart to match. She was a stunning individual that I am very thankful to have known. Kara was also very sick and endured a long battle that she “won” this morning at just 22 years old. I say “won” instead of lost because she is now with Jesus and that is never a loss…

I’ll miss you, Kara.

YIKES! I think I took a major blog vacation during the Thanksgiving holiday! Lots of family and friends to occupy my time and my house! It was a nice break, but I’m glad to be back in the routine of things…my children desperately need to be introduced back into an appropriate bed time!

Church this weekend was wonderful! Lee Malone spoke on being teachable. It was a great message and if you were listening closely, it was quite gutting. The reality is that we hear things all the time and choose not to follow through on what we KNOW is right. Gossip, tithing, reading our Bibles, obeying our parents…you name it, we hear it, understand it, and choose to do what we WANT to do.

Kayla Heath gave us the sweetest card. It came on the heels of a long week and was a much appreciated reprieve from the trenches of issues.

I walked into the 10:30 am Little Adventurer’s class and some of the kids lined up to get a hug from me. That’s my paycheck right there. Nothing is better than a 3 year old throwing their arms around your neck because they think you are a pretty important person!

We had the lowest offerings of the year this month…ironically it was also our highest average attendance ever. We need about $12,000 a month to function as a church, but we are a few thousand shy of that for the first time this year. If you’d like to help us with that problem, you can still give online for November via our website at We would appreciate it a lot!

We had Peppermint Mocha creamer this week. To put it simply…that was a big hit. At one point I was afraid a fight might break out over it. We really like our coffee at the Coffee Church…

So many people are asking me for ways to Give Back this holiday season. Here’s a couple of ways:
1. We have a blue tub in the foyer for canned food. We will disperse what we get to several needy families that we have on our list.
2. You can ALWAYS give to our benevolence fund by marking your envelope BENEVOLENCE. That money is used by North Creek to buy Walmart or Winco gift cards to give to people who have very few resources. We also use that money to help people pay bills. Most of that money goes to people who actually attend our church, serve alongside of you in ministry, and are quietly going through some desperate situations. They are leaving abusive homes or have been laid off of work or are single moms doing their best. Benevolencce money is the body of Christ in action and it is always an honor to help people through the darkest times in their lives.
3. I work at a homeless shelter in Vancouver. If you’d like to volunteer, email me at and I will get you connected.
4. Something specific? I’ve always got a specific family up my sleeve that I know needs a blessings. Just talk to me and we’ll see what we can drum up!

Thanks for being a generous church!

I hope that this week finds you blessed and in the presence of God, family, and friends! Steven Furtick made a great list on his blog this week. Thought I would share:

Thankful for the Things We Don’t Think About
Wednesday November 24th, 2010

Every year, it’s usually the same things:
We’re thankful for our family. Our health. Our home.

Those things are great and you should be grateful for them. But this Thanksgiving, why don’t you try something new. In addition to the obvious things, spend some time thanking God for the things you don’t think about. The things we take for granted or the hidden blessings that aren’t as obvious. You’ll have a whole new appreciation for God’s constant grace and hand of favor in your life.

They’re not always easy to identify, so let me help you get started:

-All the little things that go right in your day.
-All the things that could have gone wrong that you don’t even know about because God kept you from them.
-You woke up today. And the day before that. And…
-Every time your child interrupts your work because they want to play with you. What a blessing.
-Every single thoughtless breath you take.
-The sin God has kept you from. It was just as much by His grace as the sin He rescued you out of.
-Being in a home where heat circulates during the cold months.
-Your five senses. None of them are guaranteed or to be taken for granted. By them you can hear music. See sunsets. Touch your wife’s hand. Taste good food. Smell her perfume.
-The fact that most of us agonize about what we’re going to eat. Not whether.
-The hardest times of your life. They’ve made you who you are today.
-Having the ability to take a hot shower.
-Being single. It’s a gift from God. Not a curse.
-Being married. It’s a gift from God. Not a right.
-When you share your faith, your biggest fear is rejection. Not persecution.
-You have job benefits. It doesn’t have to be that way.
-Your spouse doing housework.
-There isn’t a second where God’s presence doesn’t surround you.

Those are just a few of many to help you get started. You can take it from here.

I’m thankful for…

Busy weekend!!! Once again we were well over the 200 mark and the snow didn’t start until after church was out, so thank you, God!

Chris Harold preached this morning on a difficult subject…parenting. He has a four year old and a newborn. I joked with Mark that we gave our least “experienced” staff member the parenting topic, but he said, “Well, the rest of us have had too much time to mess things up and he’s still got it together.” HA! There’s a lot of truth to that. When your kids are old enough to start talking back to you, all of your parenting knowledge goes out the window and is replaced by shock and frustration! What a great reminder that we’ve got to keep it together and lead our kids towards Jesus!

We have more babies than I can count in our church…I was briefly alone with 3 babies and was so thankful for two more workers who were more than thrilled to hold a baby…or two! It will be fun to watch them all grow up together.

Our friends, Corey and Julie Sublett, came to visit. I went to college with Julie at Northwest, so we go WAY back! It’s so fun to talk and share with people who have the same heart for ministry and changing a generation. I could tell the stories of North Creek for hours and never get bored. Thanks, Corey and Julie, for spending the weekend with us! Be careful…we are very addicting! And it’s not just the coffee…

I love when dad’s bring their families to church even when mom is out of town. You are the heroes in our church, Dads!

We had three Phoenix University students on Saturday night who chose us to “study” for their World Religions class. They will report about our church to their class, which would be such a hilarious presentation… “So, we walked into a bar…”

I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and are blessed with family, friends, and the presence of God.

I heard a quote on a movie once that said, “There are no easy answers. All we have are hard choices.” I think that quote is exponentially important to adopt as pastors and Christians. It is easy to fall into the idea that because it’s God’s church (or your life is dedicated to God), that surely everything will just fall into place and be covered in roses and good thoughts, without us having to do anything at all. I think we just want all of our problems and issues to be whisked away in the grace of God, yet we are quick to preach to others that it’s the journey of making decisions and stepping out on faith that grows us.

The one thing that I could say about starting a church is that every turn was FULL of hard choices. Even the REALLY fun things, like quick growth, lives changed, and a thriving youth ministry is just chocked full of hard decisions. Success brings just as many hard decisions as failure, so we all might as well not be frozen by that reality and just make the hard calls when needed.

Ignoring issues because they require difficult decisions doesn’t help anything…in fact, it will just create a litany of new choices to make. I often picture God saying, “Just choose the best you know how and I’ll bless it, but don’t sit there because you’re afraid of living on the edge of faith.”

And once we make the decision, it amazes me how much easier the rest of the journey is. The hardest part is always jumping off the cliff of indecision…the rest is remarkably invigorating.

I’m not sure if I’m preaching to you today or if I’m preaching to myself…maybe both…but for what it’s worth – Jump.