Monthly Archives: April 2013

While I am on vacation I have asked Chris Harold to guest blog the weekly Coffee Church Highlights. Chris serves on our team as executive pastor in addition teaching each week at one of our campuses.


We officially launched our relationship series Us at both campuses this week. Every week we are covering a global marriage principle. Tied to each big idea are specific date nights, or as we call it “Love Work.” Its been a lot of fun to watch couples do some pretty wacky stuff all in an effort to celebrate their spouse. Some of our couples created a Facebook page around the date nights to share ideas. If you have a moment like that page to discover more ways to date your spouse. If you are on twitter you can also share your experiences with the hashtag #workingonus.

Kris Gray, youth pastor extraordinaire, preached at our Vancouver campus on nurturing romance. It was incredible to see both men and women have an “Oh, no! I think she is talking about me” moment. Kris does a wonderful job encouraging and equipping you students and adults to pursue God’s best.

We have plenty in store for the rest of the series. So stay tuned.

The leadership team is still investigating the purchase of the Highway 99 property. In order to walk wisely into this opportunity, we have engaged Architects, structural Engineers, legal representation and many in our church. Which means a lot of meetings and even more emails. We are constantly reminded that we need a ton of discernment, covered in prayer and supported by people. Would you take sometime over the next several weeks to pray for our team?

We also had several new volunteers join us at both of our campus. It’s beautiful to see people getting involved in the mission. Training new volunteers never gets old! If you are looking at joining our team you can do so by clicking here.

Our summer small group session is just around the corner. If you would like to host a small group, please email Tasha at

It’s going to be a great week at the Coffee Church! Be blessed!




Mark and I just returned from a weekend in beautiful Coeur D’Alene, Idaho at a conference for Pastors in our Assemblies of God Network.  We had a great time, so I thought I’d share some insights I learned with you.  Enjoy!

  1.  Way too many people spend way too much time being frustrated with where they are at.  I know this is true for pastors (I’m on top of every list!), but it’s probably true for a lot of other people as well.  We always want to be at the NEXT season faster than we are.  The further we get into pastoring, the more I realize that those seasons I wanted out of so badly were so precious to my spiritual growth. I’m desperately trying to find the balance between contentment and a relentless passion for the mission of God.  It’s out there somewhere.
  2. When a great leader compliments you, say “Thank you.”  It may only happen a few times in your life, so don’t downplay the importance of it with meaningless words.
  3. Everyone has a story.  My most favorite thing about the conference is hearing everyone’s stories of church, pastoring, parenting, and growing.  Some make us feel better about our own challenges and some inspire us to another level.
  4. Longevity has sweet rewards.  I was laying in the hotel room last night desperately tired of talking.  Then I realized what a blessing it is because we have so many relationships that we value in our state that we wanted to catch up with.  We’ve been pastors in our network for 20 years and it is so amazing to see people we went to Northwest University with who now have incredible churches.  We are thankful for lifelong friends who understand the lives of pastors.
  5. I cry every year when they honor pastors who have died.  They flash pictures of grey haired, wrinkle-faced, eyes-hid-behind-bifocals, elderly men and women of God.  What I see is people who gave their life to the greatest cause on the planet and stayed true to their calling.  That is really my ultimate goal.  Forget the church stats, the trendy websites, and the show of it all…If I just do WHATEVER God wants until my last breath…I have succeeded.
  6. We have a top-notch team.  The strength of North Creek’s backbone is found running through our team.
  7. Everything comes full circle.  Never close a door, because you just never know when you might want to walk back through it.

Thank you to the leaders above us who worked hard to provide us an opportunity to be better together!  Mark and I appreciate the investment into our lives and our church.  We are so excited for the future, but we are beautifully happy with what God is doing RIGHT NOW!  Be blessed!

DSC_3872Baptism, Baby Dedication and 80’s Music…nothing new at the Coffee Church this weekend!  So much fun, life, and adventure!!!

David got baptized at Hazel Dell.  He’s got an amazing story about life change and what Jesus has done for him.  We loved celebrating with him and look forward to watching God use his life in amazing ways.

On the other end of our community, we dedicated Cora at Battle Ground.  Her mommy, Alissa, is one of our worship leaders on that campus.  Alissa and Roy are great parents whom we LOVE very much!

Also, some of our kids got to go Nitro Kids Conference last weekend.  What an awesome experience for those kids!  Can you imagine being a young child in the midst of 2000 other worshipping kids?  What a memory for those little hearts as they are learning that following Jesus is an epic adventure.

nitroThis week Mark and I are at a Pastor’s Conference in Coeur D’Alene.  We are looking forward to talking to our old friends and making some new ones.  And we might be hunting for a youth pastor for our Battle Ground Campus! 😉

Our worship team opened the preaching with an 80’s tune at Hazel Dell as we started our relationship series.  It was hilarious and we are looking forward to a song each week at both campuses for the entirety of our series.

Our youth ministry turned four this week!  Happy Birthday to a bunch of teenagers and leaders who are making a big difference in our communities.  Our most valuable asset in our church are students, both teen and kids.  They are the lifeblood of any church and we are grateful for their participation and energy.  What a gift they are to us!

Part of the relationship series is that we are giving away date packets after each sermon.  Some of it may seem cheesy, but it’s worth it!  I dare you to follow those date instructions to a tee and see where your relationship goes over the next month.  Hazel Dell, get on it this week.  Battle Ground, it’s coming your way in seven days!  Don’t miss church.

It was a very long and tragic week in the news.  We live in a fallen world with hurt, pain, and suffering.  There is no greater balance than the hope and life that flows from Jesus!  What a contrast.  If you are discouraged and confused by what you see on TV, open your Bible.  There’s joy in the midst of the darkness.

It’s going to be a busy week!  Much to do, but we’re doing it all for His glory, so let’s get on it!  Be blessed.



One of the interesting facets of being pastors is raising kids that love Jesus.  We’ve been warned plenty of times about the negative effects that ministry can have on children, but we blissfully ignore those and keep moving forward.  Today, as I put my 3rd grade girl in a van to go to Kid’s Conference, I was reflecting on some of the ways we are implementing Christ into our kids.  I’ve blogged in this regard before, but I’ll add a few more today.

Here’s some of our foundational parenting tips:

1.  It’s gotta be their call.  I know that no matter how badly I want my kids to love Jesus, it is ultimately their decision.  Sometimes I have to force myself to relax and have real conversations with my kids.  A couple of years ago, Delaney said to me, “I’m not sure I believe in Jesus.”  Honestly, I wanted to plead with her in that moment to change her 6 year old ways.  I could picture myself on my hands and knees with a hankie and some tears.  Instead I calmly said, “That’s OK.  Let’s talk about why you feel that way…”  It opened up lots of conversations, both then and over the next several months.  It also proved to her that following Christ is not merely an emotional response, but a well thought out decision as well.  Her strongly worded sentence was her way of saying, “Mom, I have some questions.”  Christ was never afraid of questions.

2.  They will sit in a lot of vans on their way to a lot of camps and conferences.  I know what happens at camps and conferences and it’s worth every penny!  Being in a pastor’s family is definitely a challenge for kids and teens, so the balance we can give them is to cram all the fun we can into ministry.  One of those ways is to take advantage of overnight trips.  The kids and youth love them and it partners fun with following Jesus…what could be better!

3.  We are more concerned about what we are FOR as a family, rather than what we are AGAINST.  We’d rather show them LOVE for people lost in sin rather than be AFRAID of their presence in our church and lives.  And we would rather them find FREEDOM in their relationship with Jesus rather than feel CONDEMNED by their own sin.  There is a balance to all of this, but the bottom line is we are raising strong, young women with a Biblical foundation.  That should not come with a lens of fear, condemnation, and judgmental hearts.  If we impart the love of Jesus into their hearts, we can ultimately trust them with the behavior choices that come in the future.

So, that’s what we are trying.  I’ll let you know in about 15 years if it worked for us!  What I do know is that God is a God of grace and His mercies are new every morning.  I know that verse was never more real to me than when I started having kids.  I am thankful that God can take the best of what we have to offer and help my kids navigate life and ministry in a positive way!

WP_20130414_042What a fun day!!!!  We took part of our staff meeting to celebrate our Hazel Dell Children’s Pastor, Kim.  She began her first day of full time work with North Creek this week.  She was completely surprised as all of our staff kids threw her a carnival complete with games and candy.  It was such a nice break from the “normal” routine of life to watch our kids party and our team laughing!  Sometimes no business is the best kind of business!

We had a great sermon in all three churches on being truly Alive in Christ, which has been a phenomenal series from start to finish.  I think we forget the awesome freedom we have in Jesus to be free of our sins…not once, but for a lifetime!

We dedicated baby Kingston, with parents Marc and Amy, at Hazel Dell.  We can’t wait to see him grow up in his wonderful home, surrounded by people who will instill Christ’s love in his heart.

We had several new volunteers at Battle Ground this weekend as well!  We are appreciative as Battle Ground grew quickly and we have lots of babies and kids to take care of each weekend.  Such great problems to have!

WP_20130414_038We are investigating the Hazel Dell building with the potential of a longer term investment for the future.  Did you know that there is enough power in the building to run a Safeway with all of their freezers, fridges, and lights?  Good news in case we ever need a freezer section…  We’ll keep you updated on this process and let you know what we think.  That current building sits on 2 acres with over 16,000 sq ft. of building space in total.  With renovations and a great deal of paint, it would make a world of difference!

Really looking forward to our upcoming sermon series called Us.  It’s on relationships, but don’t let that stop you single people!  The best time to learn about how to have a good marriage is before you are actually in one.

We are doing baptisms at Hazel Dell on Sunday, so if you’re ready to get baptized, fill out the form HERE.  We love to celebrate life change at North Creek!

Make sure you take some time to Be Present in our community this week!  Find someone to bless and bring value to in your world!  Be blessed!!!!