Monthly Archives: February 2013

One of the many blessings that came with the merge was a weekday preschool that has been running for 17 years in Battle Ground!

Maple Grove Preschool has a rich history of teaching preschoolers in a fun and educational environment.  It has been lead with excellence by Kelly Eldred and it is with sadness we announce that she will be leaving that role at the conclusion of this school year.  We have loved getting to know Kelly and so appreciate the care she puts into the children that grace our doors everyday!  There is a long line of children that she has impacted for the last two decades in our Battle Ground community!

Learning Center Logo Scratch PadOn a happier note, we are pleased to announce that Michelle Cuthbert will be taking the director position beginning in September 2013.  Michelle attends our Hazel Dell Campus with her husband and three beautiful children.  She has a BA in Business and a Masters in Teaching.  We look forward to watching her take hold of the legacy being handed to her and continue educating kids with excellence!  We have loved getting to know Michelle and look forward to her leadership.

We are also changing the name of the preschool in the fall term to the Learning Center.  At the Learning Center, we will be offering preschool classes for both 3 and 4 year olds.  I also happen to know that Michelle has a heart and passion to add a Kindergarten back to the schedule in the years to come.

Open registration for the preschool begins March 1, 2013 and we hope to get a strong roster full of excited kids soon!  If you are interested in knowing more about the preschool, you can start by perusing the website at  You will find a downloadable registration/immunization form there as well.  If you have questions, please feel free to stop by and visit Kelly in the preschool office or you can email Michelle at

Also, if you know of a preschool age parent looking for a preschool, please send them to our website for more information.  It’s going to be a truly amazing year!


Packed the weekend with fun things!

Friday night I had a bunch of ladies over for a game night.  So much fun to just hang out, play games, eat lots of yummy food with women I love and appreciate!  If you want on that invite list, sign up on our small groups link at under Rebecca’s group.  You’ll get an email once a month about an upcoming activity that you can attend if you are available!

Sunday went well!  I jumped over to Battle Ground for service and always love being on that campus.  I hung out with Jessica and taught 14 Tiny Town preschoolers.  It was a full class, but they did SO well.  God so evidently works in the hearts of children and it is a joy to watch!

We had our Annual Business Meeting on Sunday.  True to our nature, we don’t do the typical business meeting, but rather use it as an opportunity to hear from some of our staff about how their ministry is succeeding.  We do some of the “normal” stuff of talking about statistics and money, but our bottom line is always the same: how are we leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus?  That’s the question we strive to answer each year at our annual meeting.

Yesterday we had one of our staff member preaching in Ridgefield to fill in, we had one at a church in Hoquiam watching her daughter speak, we had one training sound techs in Oregon, and we had our own two campuses running as well.  We were spread out all over the place!!!

I’m memorizing James 5…it was hard to start, but I’m making great progress.  Everything in life worth doing takes work, so don’t get discouraged!  Keep trying!

I’m enjoying our small group and getting to know some new people in our lives.  It is always a blessing to open our home and dive into friendships.  It’s also a blessing to eat cake and banana bread!

One of the main focuses of our church is to spread out the work amongst the many!  Do you know that we have over 150 volunteers just in the hearing church?  That’s over half of our people who serve once a month, or in the youth group, or in help during the week.  What’s crazy about that is that we still don’t have enough help!  We have multiple people serving twice to cover the gaps.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to get all of the bases covered?  If you want to begin to volunteer, you can sign up at

Here’s my challenge for you this week: Do the RIGHT thing.  Even if it’s hard.  That’s what we are challenging ourselves to do in our small group.  It’s quite the challenge, but if you consistently do the right thing, you really do open yourself up to a life of blessing and peace.  WORTH IT!

cinderblockThis Sunday afternoon and evening we have our Annual Celebration Meetings.  Our theme is going to be “Building“, as we look at how God built our church in 2012, as well as a glimpse at where we are going in the future.  This is our required non-profit annual meeting where our members hear about the business of our organization.

Business…what an interesting word to mix with the entity that God designed to save the world.  Our “business” is hardly summed up in statistics, spreadsheets, and percentages, as is the measuring stick for most businesses.  Our success hangs in the droplets of water falling off a newly baptized life…proclaiming change, proclaiming hope, proclaiming Him.  Perhaps our business meetings would best be lead by filling up the baptismal tank and listening to stories of changed lives!

That being said, we’ll use all the other tools we have to let you know about the DNA and vision of North Creek Church.  We’ll let you know where we are winning and how you can be a part!  And hopefully you will leave believing that nothing can stop this thing called “Church”.

We are having a meeting at each campus, since there is not enough room for all of us at one time!  You are welcome to attend either location (or both if you just LOVE a good meeting).  The only differences will be that campus specific staff will be sharing at each location, although their information is reflective of the whole church.

We highly encourage newer guests or people interested in jumping into our church to attend as well.  It is just a great time to hear about who we are as a church!

Also, if you’d like to bring a plate of cookies to share, we’d love it!  We can’t have a church meeting without cookies and coffee, right?

Hazel Dell 4:00 pm/Battle Ground 7:00 pm*

*Deaf Interpretation at the Battle Ground meeting



Congrats to Terrance and Gina who were both baptized this weekend at the Hazel Dell Campus!  So amazing to hear their stories and see the change that Jesus is done in their lives!  My favorite part is that neither of them who say they have it all together and that is exactly what baptism is…a declaration of a dependence on God, not an arrival at perfection.  Any time you are ready to make that declaration, sign up to be baptized at  We’ll fill the hot tub and make it happen!  Pictures coming soon!!

I got to introduce Lorraine, 94 years old, and Loretta, 91 years old, to each other on Sunday.  Both of them attend our church with their grandkids…isn’t that SO cool?  God changes lives and hearts and that impacts GENERATIONS!  As the first Christian in my family, it is not lost on me that my grandkids will be different because of my decision to follow Jesus.

The 3-5th Grade boys had a Nerf Gun War Party after church on Sunday.  Awesome young men!!!!

We are looking forward to next Sunday for our Annual Celebration Meeting.  It’s a great time to get to hear about all that God is doing at our church!  We are meeting at Hazel Dell at 4:00 pm and Battle Ground at 7:00 pm.  You are welcome to attend either campus (or both!) as the information will be the same, although campus specific staff will be sharing at their campus only (ie, Kim will share about Kid City at HD and Vanessa at BG).  Everyone will be sharing on behalf of the church as a whole!  We’ve had a couple of people ask why we don’t have one meeting.  Short answer:  we don’t fit in one building at one time.  That’s a good problem!  This solution of two meetings also alleviates some drive time for most people, which is a good deal!

If you have a preschool age student, we will be opening registration for the North Creek Learning Center on March 1.  This week day preschool is located at our Battle Ground location and has been an asset to the community for 17 years.  We look forward to continuing on with the legacy passed along to us!  More info to come soon!

titleAs a church the challenge has been set before us to memorize a chapter in the book of James…are you up for it?  I took on chapter 5…if you choose that chapter, start in the middle and work backwards.  The first few verses are a tongue twister and it’s discouraging!  It’s easier to get some success under your belt and then tackle the rest.  Here’s a good life lesson: do hard things.  it’s worth the work!  The easy way will probably not help you to grow and become all that God has for you!  P.S.  Our Kid’s pastors are encouraging all the K-5th graders to memorize James 1.  I’m pretty confident that the kids will be amazing at it!!!

I love how Jesus changes lives!

I hope that this week brings about a new resolve in your heart to be unstoppable for Him.  Be blessed!



scan0001When I met Mark he was already in ministry as a Junior High Pastor at a large church (New Life in Renton, WA).  Little did I know the fishbowl of a life I was diving into, but our first date should have given me a clue!

We met at a youth summer camp we were working at a couple of weeks before he asked me on our first date.  We had acquired a following of teenagers who were excited to see if we would hit it off.  When Mark did ask me out, those teens were beyond elated.  Our first date was going to be lunch after church…how fitting for a future ministry couple.

On August 18, 1996, when I pulled up to Mark’s church, dozens of teenagers poured out of the building to greet me.  Did I mention that I wasn’t raised in the church and I was suddenly thrust into the limelight of a megachurch?  Overwhelming!  Over the next couple of hours I would meet all of Mark’s bosses, coworkers, the 225 teenagers he helped lead, every little old lady in the church who had helped “raise” Mark, and his parents.  I pasted on the perma-grin and shook a million hands.  Welcome to ministry!

I had also brought three friends to church with me as moral support that morning.  We had taken two cars since they would be leaving before me.  As I was getting out of my car, I gave my friend a bag to take back with her to Lake Stevens (one hour away).  What I didn’t realize is that my car keys were in the bag and after church they would be driven far, far away to a camp with no phones.  (For you younger readers…in 1996 we didn’t know what cell phones were, so don’t even go there!)

Mark and I proceeded to attend church, have a nice lunch, and then we took a tour around the Seattle waterfront.  It was in the midst of this that I realized the enormous problem I had without my keys.  Through a series of phone calls, we arranged to have another friend go to the camp to let my friends know they had my keys.  Although they were gracious enough to come back, it would be many more hours and I had nowhere to go.

With no other option, we went back to church to lead a special Sunday night service with a performance by a man named Donny.  It was also Mark’s job to take him out after service, so I tagged along.  Donny, not realizing this was our first date, took it upon himself to make sure our dating relationship was healthy.  He asked us about 100 questions about dating, marriage, and ministry.  If I wasn’t already on the spot, I certainly was now!

What do you think about sex before marriage?  How do you feel about divorce?  How many kids do you want?  Do you think a woman should work outside the home?  And on and on and on!

We were given no other choice but to “show our cards” on the first date.  We knew how each other felt about nearly every controversial topic out there.  Now I look back and think what a providencial blessing that date extension was.  In a matter of hours I knew that the man I was looking at was exceptional.  I would be a fool not to marry someone of his character.

Mark drove me back to my car that night where my keys were tucked neatly under the floor mat.  Although we were going on about the 12th hour of our date, I didn’t want it to end.  He gave me his bright smile and thanked me for a wonderful day.  He didn’t kiss me goodnight, probably because Donny had covered the fact that I didn’t kiss on the first date…or the second…or the third…And I already knew that Mark would be happy to honor that.

Sometimes I feel like that date was a prophetic glimpse into the future of what we would become…husband and wife, partners in ministry, best friends, and a determined team for the cause of Christ.

So, Happy Valentine’s Day, Mark!  I still smile when I think of those first hours of our relationship.  You are one amazing man!