Monthly Archives: February 2011

Last summer we had five babies born within a few months. They all showed up at the same service this weekend, so here’s a quick picture! We’ve also added about another 5 babies close to their age from new families, so everywhere you look, there’s a baby around!!!!

Here’s a great Facebook quote from the weekend: Church today really spoke out to me! I’ve been thinking about it all day long! I’m so thankful for Marc Roy and Amy Engquist Roy for college group! It’s really helped me alot on learning how to deal with heart issues. =]

Most everybody is back from sickness and it’s SO great to see everybody feeling well again! We continue to pray for those of you stragglers who are still going through it.

Happy Anniversary to my in-laws, Alvina and Ivan!!! Congrats on a long and happy marriage!

I went to Starbucks three times in 15 hours with three different incredible women! So much FUN!

Mark spoke on Anias and Saphira…who does that???? Actually it turned out to be a brilliant way to look at how we deceive ourselves into believing things that go against the very heartbeat of God. Such a great message! I’ll blog more about that later in the week.

We are going full speed ahead to navigate a second campus this year. Oh. Boy. Fun times ahead!

It was a crazy cold weekend! I am very ready to summer at this point.

Every service was a great size this weekend. Sometimes they get off balance as people go to whatever service fits their schedule, but this weekend we landed perfectly. That was a miracle because it seemed that everybody went to a different service than usual!

We had about 30 guests this weekend. We hope you had a wonderful time and will join us again! Great things are happening at our church and we look forward to seeing more lives changed.

Worship ROCKED! I was so glad to have my voice back so I could sing with them again. Off-key and all, but I love GOD!

I asked for some needs and got a couple of great opportunities. What organizations in Vancouver can we partner with on a more extensive level? I want your thoughts, so email me at I also want to use my blog to alert you to some giving/serving opportunities in our area. Many people in our church volunteer, give, and serve in our community, but if we are truly the hands and feet of Jesus, we’ve ALL got to get out there.

I hope God messes up your week with miraculous opportunities to share about HIM!

A couple of days ago I blogged about someone who was slamming our church for our casual atmosphere in connection to not being reverant before God. I’ve thought a lot about it since then and continued to read more and more people who have the same stand on “casual” churches.

Here’s another perspective from my heart towards this criticism:

I drip creativity. I love graphics, unique decorating, and ambiance. I have a passion for taking whatever is given to me and refurbishing it. I like things to attract interest and spark conversation. In fact, it was prophecied over me many years ago that my ministry would be “CREATIVE” by a complete stranger. That word has followed me my whole life. So, when you walk into our church you may see it one of two ways. You may see it as funky, casual, and irreverent. I see it as a mirror into my heart. I see it as my energies and creativity poured out as an offering to Jesus. It’s eccentric, it’s different, and it’s my GIFT to God. It’s a piece of art – not like Van Gogh – but nonetheless, art. It’s the DNA that God gave me literally birthed into the heart of a church. It’s the mix between how He’s made me and the job He’s asked of me, created into a living church. And it’s beautiful…to God.

That’s why my blood boils when it’s criticized as something that God disapproves of. No, no, no…just as both of my daughter’s love me different ways, I don’t criticize their offering. Delaney brings me cotton balls glued to paper and looks up to see if I’m pleased with her creation. Kennedy brings hugs that will melt my heart. Neither is more preferred and both is accepted because it’s brought with a pure heart. Some pastors bring suits and ties, some bring jeans and a cup of coffee, but both just want one thing…to be WITH Jesus with that same pure heart.

It never occured to me to create a church that was trendy for trendy’s sake. Just to con people into coming in and then surprise them with a little Jesus sprinkled around. Please. We created it this way because it’s a reflection of who we are and it’s laced with Biblical truth from end to end. Isn’t that what God wants us to bring before Him? If you took the creativity out of the church, how do I express myself to God? And why, when we look around at God’s creation, do we even begin to think that creativity is the enemy? He created a million different kind of bugs…just because.

So maybe a unique way of doing things isn’t a direct assault against reverence and tradition, but rather a celebration of who God really is. Maybe “casual” and “reverent” aren’t polar opposites, but rather dance around each other with a beauty that attracts people back to church and back to Jesus. Maybe they aren’t enemies, but the very combination that will change our nation. Maybe. Just maybe.

Thought I would pass this along from one of the leadership blogs that I read. Have a great day!

The Grey Shades of Leadership

Have you ever found yourself frustrated with all the decisions you have to make as a leader?

I think we would all agree that there is little about life that is easy to navigate. We face decisions, tough decisions every single day. And as leaders you not only face your own decisions, but you navigate the decision-making for your entire team.

I’m a bit of a leadership junky and one of the things that I’m really passionate about is acknowledging that leadership is really tough. Leadership is messy. It’s not black & white. It’s not always clear. It’s exceptionally grey.

If you’re anything like me, sometimes you find yourself frustrated with the complexity you face. Couldn’t it be easier for just one day? Could I please have a day where I didn’t need to make a decision?

Ever found yourself saying (or at least thinking) things like that?

But let me challenge you with this:

If all of life were clear shades of black and white – if there were no decisions to be made, no problems to be solved – there would be no need for leaders.

That’s the game-changing reality for us as leaders.

The very purpose of leadership is to navigate the shades of grey that we find ourselves, our organization, & our staff facing. Leaders emerge most prominently when things are confusing and chaotic.

Confusion always hinders momentum. And as leaders momentum is one of the things that we need to most passionately protect. A leaders job is to make sense of confusion. To provide clarity and to create a clear next step for those you lead. Your job is to navigate the grey.

One of my favorite visionary leaders in the Bible is Nehemiah. I bet you’re familiar with the story. In a nutshell, Nehemiah leads the Jews to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem that had lain in shambles for years.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the story, so let me just hit the high points of how Nehemiah navigated the shades of grey.

1.He identified what was grey. Jerusalem’s wall lay in ruins and those ruins symbolized a lack of hope, a lack of strength and a lack of direction for God’s people.
2.He prayed for a vision for the future. He prayed for clarity so that he could lead others through the rebuilding of the wall.
3.He stepped confidently into it. He rallied the troops. He created a plan and he pushed forward toward the vision He believed God had given him.
When we fully embrace this reality. When we recognize that grey is where we live, it changes how we approach our leadership. We don’t see grey as a frustration. We see it as an opportunity.

Leading in shades of grey is all about seeing through the chaos and casting a compelling vision to take people through it.

What grey leadership issue are you facing?

Let me challenge you to do as Nehemiah did…
Identify it. Pray through it. And step confidently into it!

As part of each semester of our small groups, each group is told to do a service project that benefits the community. They usually come my direction looking for great ideas, so I thought I would pass this along and see if you could come up with some new ideas to make a difference in Vancouver.

Here’s some boundaries:

1. Preferrably, these projects can be completed in one day.
2. I’ve got lots of ideas that require lots of money…we could really use more needs that require less money.
3. Our groups are 10-15 people, plus children. It’s always nice when everybody can be involved.
4. It doesn’t have to directly involve helping people. One group planted trees for Salmon Creek Park last year, which was a great way to help even though it didn’t require being hands on with individuals.
5. Projects where one of our groups just shows up and provides manpower is usually best. Most groups are not looking to plan events, but rather come alongside great organizations within our community.

If you have a brilliant idea, but it doesn’t fit within the boundaries, tell it anyway. Some groups like to be outside of the boundaries…

Thanks for your input!

After having the flu two weeks ago and being hit with a cold last week, I was praying to be able to be OK by church. I made it! Although it was a bit more exhausting, other than that, I was fine and so glad to be back!

Many of our people who were sick were also back and feeling pretty well, although a new crop of people got hit with this awful stuff. It seems to be extremely prevalent this year! Not fun.

We got a BIG donation of Little People for our Little Adventurer’s! They were in HEAVEN during free time as they tried out all of the new stuff! Thanks, Alex, for making a lot of smiles!

We also got several different food items donated, which was also a blessing for Simply Worship practice and staff meeting. Food makes people happy…

A group from Poulsbo came down on Saturday to do a service project. We had them deliver 1000 postcards for advertising. Thanks for coming and serving us!

Mark preached a sermon on the Rich Young Ruler…that one chapter in the Bible is one that makes me think SO hard about my possessions and God’s expectations of me. It makes my brain hurt…

I stayed away from babies and kids all weekend just to be safe…missed them all!!!

I also avoided getting too close to people or shaking hands, even though I felt fairly normal. It’s strange to be at church and semi-avoid people…not in my DNA…

We had LOTS of new Kids in the Great Adventurer’s at 11:00 am. In fact, there were more new kids than regular kids, which makes for a different class as everybody acclimates!

If you are trying not to laugh because it makes you cough, our staff meeting is a terrible place to be.

We had one family in our church going through a cancer scare this week. After a successful surgery, there will be no chemotherapy, which is AWESOME! We praise God! We love you, Mark and Anne!

We also had a family go through a difficult gall bladder surgery this week and now the mom is up and well! Again, we give God the glory! It was a week that included a lot of prayers for healing for a lot of people we love!

I’ve got a lot to catch up on, but I feel great today and I think I can tackle it all in due time! Have a great week yourself and remember to invite someone to North Creek this week!