Monthly Archives: January 2013

imagesCAPXEWRKRecently my oldest daughter had to do a blood draw.  The nurse helping her was so kind as she walked her through the process of getting a needle stuck in her arm.  As the blood started to flow through the tube, she said, “We just need to take 5 little tubes of blood.”  I watched as Delaney looked quizzically at the red liquid pumping through the vile.  She then looked square into the eyes of the woman and said, “Are you going to give it back?”

I audibly laughed at her thought process.  Even at 8 years old, she is smart enough to know that she needs the blood running through her body.  What she didn’t understand is that even as those viles filled with blood, her body was already making new cells.  She would never miss that blood because her Heavenly Father has designed her to be able to give some away, and always have enough.

That’s true for our lives as well.  We hold onto valuable things as if it is all we have and we will die without it.  We are afraid to give our money because we might run out.  We are afraid to commit our time because we might overcommit.  We are afraid to love because it might hurt.

We look into the eyes of God and say, “If I give you a part of me, are you going to give it back?”  The fear in our eyes betrays the fact that we really don’t believe that God can give us more with the snap of a finger.  We think that there is a limit to His blessings.

This week I encourage you to really ask yourself what you are hesitating to give God.  Weigh out the emotions, the trepidation, and the anxiety.  Remind yourself  that your Heavenly Father has designed you to be able to give some, and always have enough.  Rest in the fact that even as you pour yourselves out, He is already replenishing you.



We’re very retrospective this week as one year ago we were walking through the potential of absorbing Maple Grove Church into our organization as a second campus.  We were just days away from their board voting to merge.  There were so many emotions and questions running through our minds at that juncture about how and if it would work.  Today, I thought I would take some time to tell you what we’ve learned about this adventure.

1.  It takes six months to assimilate.  For the first six months it really felt like there were two churches meeting in the same building.  Although we were all trying to go the same direction, it just takes time to develop relationships and work within the systems of a new church structure.  Now it’s hard to see the line between the two groups.  It is now a healthy mixture of Maple Grove, North Creek, and brand new people who have joined us this year to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus.

2.  You love your children equally.  Someone about 4 months in said to me, “Which church do you like the best?”  I chuckled a bit as I pictured all the people I love on both campuses.  It’s very similar to having multiple children.  Which one do you like the best?  Although the answer may feel like “whichever one is behaving best at the moment”, the real answer is “I love all of my children the same.”  It really wasn’t hard to love more people.  There are AMAZING people that became part of our family in the merge.  We get new guests all of the time.  It really wasn’t anything different than our normal routine of expanding our church lines and getting to know more friends.

3.  Our staff  team had several moments of extreme panic.  Oh dear.  It was both hilarious and shocking for us to watch our very tight-knit team walk through the reprocusions of being separated in location and stretched in their abilities.  However, true to their nature, they rose to the occasion and we would clearly say that each one is a better leader than they were a year ago.  We were pushed and we did not give in.

4.  We’re pastoring a Deaf Church?!?!?  We don’t know sign language, so when we first heard that Maple Grove included a Deaf Church, we felt a bit ill-equipped.  Long story short, partnering with our deaf church and their pastor, Jim Smith, has been a JOY!  Such a wonderful group of people that have been a blessing to our church as a whole.  We wouldn’t have seen it coming, but we’re glad it did.

5.  We would do it again in a heartbeat.  Merging is a unique ministry.  I believe it worked because we know who we are as a church and we stick to the plan that God has given us.  It wasn’t always easy, but it was definitely worth it.  Together we are stronger than we were separately!

We have a great future ahead of us and we look forward to watching God unveil His amazing plan!

Super weekend!  I love our church, I love our team, I love watching God change lives!

Mark preached Full Circle at Hazel Dell.  Lots of laughter and tears as we walked through all that God has done for us in 2012.  It was an unbelievable year for both the church as an organization and individual lives within our congregation.

Chris started our next series at Battle Ground called Making Change.  We are excited to walk through how we think about money as Christians.  It is one of our values to have people healthy in their financial situation.  We want you saving, giving, planning for the future, and relaxing about having a balanced picture of your financial stability.  There is freedom in the Bible in this area!

My daughter’s best friend came to visit our church this Sunday.  Delaney was at the front door jumping up and down SO excited for her friend to come in!  They had a great time in Kid’s Church and then went out for a date afterwards.  Thanks for coming, Laurie!

We have a lot of teenagers serving in our Kid’s classes.  What an amazing blessing our youth are to our church!  If you are a teen and would like to serve, fill out a volunteer application at and we’ll get you signed up.

One of our kids want to make giving Kid’s Bibles away her new ministry.  Seriously, that’s a cool kid!  She’s planning on buying the Bibles herself, but if you want to donate to her ministry to help her buy Bibles for children without a Bible, mark your giving envelope and we’ll make sure it happens.  The heart of a child….

We have so many things happening in our church right now!  We are excited about some upcoming announcements that we have for you!  Good God, good stuff!

Our worship team is rolling out some new songs this month.  We continue to be blessed by their amazing leadership and very much appreciate each person who serves on the team!

Is it July, yet?????  I’m so done with the cold.  Did I mention I’m from Montana where it’s 30 degrees colder?  I’m a baby.

Grandma Dix turned 94 on Sunday.  I love her!  She challenges me all the time in her attitude of growth and appreciation of her faith.  I hope I’m still excited to grow when I’m 94.

Love this Facebook quote: “I love my church. It constantly inspires and challenges me to grow in faith in ways I never imagined I could or would. Today was no exception. 2013 will be our year of miracles.”

If God tells you to say something to someone, do it.

A shout out to our new volunteers!  We had several on Sunday and we are blessed to include you on our team.  Thank you for serving!

Lots of questions about when small groups start…And the answer is the week of Feb. 11, so signups will be out soon!  Small groups are a great way to get to know people in our community.  Jump in!

Have a great week!




Today’s blog is a link to a video that I wanted to share from a church plant in my hometown of Kalispell, Montana.  Levi Lusko (Fresh Life Church) lost his 5 year old daughter just a few days before Christmas from an asthma attack.  I appreciate the hope and peace He has found in raising his girl in a Godly home and giving her a love for Jesus at a young age.  Perhaps I appreciate this video the most because I love the Church and my main goal in life is to help my own daughters love it (and Jesus) as well.

It is worth the 18 minutes it will take to watch it.  Enjoy!

Levi Lusko from Fresh Life

Congrats to two of our friends who helped to start churches on Sunday…Josh Siegel at Reach Church in Kirkland and Justin Farley who started Blue Bridge Church in Pasco.  Welcome to an amazing season of ministry!  My prayer for you both is that you will find the same joy in the journey that we have found.  My advice for you is to LOVE your story and not be discouraged if it looks different than you pictured.  Trust me, in the end, you will be glad that our sovereign God wrote it just the way He did.

Between the Seahawks game and lots of the flu, we had a lot of people out on Sunday.  We had two great sermons, so make sure you catch them online at

Mark spoke on Full Circle at Battle Ground.  It is a highlight of the culmination of our prayers for 2012!  Such a moving testimony of the greatness of our God.  Have you noticed that we are very hesitant to declare the good things in our lives “miracles”?  Let’s be clear…everything that is good comes from God!  Give Him the credit and the glory.

Josiah spoke an awesome message on Sunday about loving the least of the world.  I got this message on Sunday night: “My 15 and 12 year old daughters were moved to action by Josiah’s sermon today. I just picked them up from cleaning our friend’s house. (He is 81 and has a hard time keeping it clean). They plan to make this a weekly event. So proud of my girls. Please let Josiah know we appreciate him.”  THAT is how God moves.  We think it’s something much more “miraculous”, but the reality is that if we all live lives that reach out to our neighbors, the world would be a better place.

We helped with the funeral of one of our little babies who was born too early this week.  Emma is now in the hands of Jesus.  Would you take some time this week and pray for her parents?  They are expressing amazing hope and peace in Christ, but grieving at the same time.  I am impressed by their beautiful reliance on Jesus and have appreciated watching them walk hand in hand through the valley.

Do you have a Bible reading plan for 2013 yet? is an excellent resource for getting into the Word of God.  Here’s my best tip for reading the Bible: don’t panic if you don’t understand everything you are reading, just read anyway.  It’s too much to understand on the first time around…after all, it is from the mind of God…so keep in mind that the Bible was written to read over a lifetime, not one sitting.

I sense change in the air…God is up to something.  Here we go!