Monthly Archives: July 2013

My daughter has recently moved up to gymnastics team, so I spend a great deal of time watching girls flip themselves precariously through the air and somehow land without incident most of the time.  Without any history of gymnastics in my own life, I have learned more since we started than I probably ever needed to know.

One of the most fascinating (and also tedious) aspects of the last year was how much time the coaches spend on strength training.  I have watched so many different workout sessions that my head could explode.  It felt like I waited for months to see my daughter do anything that even remotely looked like gymnastics.  With 12 hours a week in the gym, I was amazed in the beginning at how little was outside of the realm of muscle-building.

But now I get it.  I’ve watched Kennedy’s body begin to move differently.  Her legs, arms, and abs all function together because they have been trained to.  Where she used to struggle with a back bend, she can now easily fold in half, flip, and turn upright again.  And it wasn’t just because she learned the skill, it’s because she earned the skill.  Her body didn’t need to be told to do it; it needed to be prepared to do it.

I think faith is the same way.  If you stretch your faith muscles and work them out in what seems like the smaller things, then the larger challenges in life come easier.  We didn’t plant a church in our first step of faith…that would have been insurmountable.  We had stepped out in multiple avenues for many years to build our strength and trust in God.  When it came time to launch an entire church, we used the reserves of God’s proven reliability from years of experiences.  In seasons of dark doubt, we looked back on those moments to keep us on the right path.

Just like muscles, faith can be gained or lost in any series of habits.  There is never down time to your faith.  The best thing you can do is constantly be finding ways to push yourself in areas of trust in God.

Here’s a couple of thoughts on how to stretch your faith muscles:

1.  Speak what is Biblically true instead of what your flesh feels.  Trust God through your own voice!  When you are tempted to speak negatively, allow God’s Word to be your only outlet expressing your faith.  You will find yourself challenged in your thinking all the time!

2.  Spend time every day in the Bible and prayer.  As you read something or feel like God is telling you something, act on it.  For example, if you read the story about the Good Samaritan, find a way to bless a neighbor that day.  Give your faith time and effort to apply.

3.  Tell people about your relationship with Jesus.  There is nothing that will grow your faith more than making Jesus a part of your conversation.

The good news for my daughter’s gymnastics career is that she will continuously get stronger.  The better news is that there will always be a new and greater challenge in front of her.  That may sound like a bad thing on certain days, but it’s not.  It’s thrilling!  It’s exhilarating!  It’s what keeps us motivated in life.

So, go head, be brave and ask God to grow your faith today…but get ready…it will be the ride of your life!

The Church is alive and well in Vancouver, WA!  We have some great churches in our city, don’t we?  North Creek is definitely one of them, but we are blessed to minister alongside so many every day!  I hope you are praying for our church as well as others as we have the same goal to tell people about Jesus!

Yesterday I got to be a part of leading a man to Jesus.  He came up to me during worship and said, “I don’t know how to do it, but Jesus has got to be a part of my life.”  Here’s how you do it: ask Him to be.  That’s it!  He’ll figure the rest out with you as you pray, read your Bible, and jump into a church family to learn.  It was after service that I was informed that he was the father of one of our recent graduates…humbled…just humbled to be a part of God’s story…

SO much great ministry happens in the life of our church each week.  People are coming, connecting, growing, and serving all the time.  We have had a flood of new guests this summer and I look forward to September when everybody is back from vacation!  It’s going to be a powerful fall!

Vanessa preached for the first time for us yesterday at Battle Ground and knocked it out of the park.  She is the Kid’s Pastor at Battle Ground and that’s the kind of quality we put in front of our young people.  When you give to our church, we use some of that money to provide quality leaders to invest in your life and your family.  It’s worth every penny!!!

School Supply drive is ON!  We’ll also be letting you know of some backpack stuffing dates in late August so you can be hands-on as well!  #bepresent

Did you know North Creek will be 7 years old next month?  I’m in shock.

Complete sidenote: I am so tired of reading blogs about all the things wrong with Church.  Too many Christians spend too much time lamenting the failing Church.  The good news is that the Church is NOT failing.  If you think it is, you need to read your Bible.  It’s never going to fail.  It’s a force to be reckoned with and all of Hell cannot prevail over it.  Knock it off with the negativity and let’s go change the world!  That was free.

Our children left for Kid’s Camp this morning.  That was a lot of energy in the church parking lot this morning!  Pray, pray, pray!  God can do so much in five short days.  Not to mention the MASSIVE amount of fun they have at camp.

We are painting some rooms at Battle Ground on Tuesday from 9:30-4:00 pm.  If you want to join us, we take help!  Just let me know if you’re coming by emailing me at

Follow us on twitter @thecoffeechurch.  Follow Jesus, too.

OK!  Have a good week!  Do something that grows your faith this week.  Be blessed!



I’m still loving our current summer series, Age of Kings!  I am enjoying reliving the stories of the different kings in the Bible and how they weave into our lives today.  Chris spoke on Ahab from the Old Testament at Hazel Dell and Matt Bumala spoke on Herod from the New Testament at Battle Ground.

Pray for our Deaf Church as they are at camp this week!

We took our staff out for Snow Cones on Sunday for staff meeting.  I’m not sure that is the group of people that need a sugar boost right before they need to sit down and accomplish things…Just in case you were wondering, Pina Coloda is the BEST flavor.

A young man accepted Christ on Sunday.  One of our other young men had invited him because he’s in a pretty desperate place in his life right now.  God meets desperate people!  When was the last time you were desperate to meet with Jesus?

Speaking of meeting with Jesus, can help you start a Bible reading plan.  It’s a great resource to kick off your spiritual growth.

If you attend North Creek and aren’t tithing, my challenge to you is to try it for six months.  I believe that you will be blessed by giving and holding on to your money so tightly is holding you back.

Here’s part of what will happen when you give to North Creek: We’ll have a thriving Youth Ministry in Battle Ground and a better home for our Hazel Dell Campus.  These are our limitations at each campus currently and our budget is tighter than a hipster’s skinny jeans.

By the way, the Battle Ground campus is looking SHARP!  Thank you to everybody who has painted, weeded, thrown out trash, raked, and planted to make it look great.

KidCity is in the middle of a competition between the boys and the girls to see who can give more to missions.  That means my kids are making me do a ton of work to have a garage sale…how can I say no to that???  Here’s a hint if you’d like to help North Creek kids out: the girls outnumber the boys in our church 3 to 1.  If you are a fan of the underdogs in life, hand cash to a K-5th grade boy.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE our volunteers?  We have dedicated and amazing people who pour into our church and community ALL the time.  I love your hearts, your smiles, and your partnership!  YOU are making a difference!

We start collecting school supplies this week for various Clark County schools.  As you are shopping, please pick up some extras to share with needy kids!  High needs items are: Crayola (Battle Ground schools only allow Crayola) broad & thin markers and Crayola colored pencils, book covers, Elmer’s glue sticks, self-contained pencil sharpeners, and cash to offset various needs.

Have a great and really hot week!  Be blessed!




I’m currently reading a book, The Generosity Ladder, by Nelson Searcy.  Generosity is one of my main goals for my life, so I often read books about this topic.  Mark and I happen to also be reading the book of Malachi right now, so it’s the double-whammy of God’s voice on this topic!

Even though Mark and I have always been faithful givers, I still feel like the fear of generosity can sneak in and get a grip on me, so I frequently go back to the basics and remind myself of the promises of God.  I bet you are in the same boat, so I’ll share with you some of my devotions and reading on the topic.  Hope it helps you as well!

In Malachi 3 it says,

“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.

“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’

“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’

“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.

I love the “if-then” statements of God.  He says that if I bring the whole tithe to his storehouse, I can count on Him to see that I am taken care of.  Does that mean that He won’t put my faith to the test at times?  Sure He will, but I will just proclaim right back to God what He said!  And if He will do all of that for just my tithe, how much more will He do when I lay it ALL before Him?

Here is one paragraph of The Generosity Ladder that I appreciated: 

Fears-are-stories“Fear keeps people locked in the lie of the scarcity mentality – the idea that the more you give away, the less you will have for your own needs.  The only way to break out of the trap of that lie is to take the first step in faith: give an initial gift and get on the [generosity] ladder.  As much as Paul understood the struggle we have with ourselves, he also knew that following God’s commands and principles was not something to be left to feeling.  Sometimes we just have to decide to get started with what’s right, no matter how we may feel about it at the time.

Emotions are fleeting, but God’s truth about his plan for our financial lives is timeless.”

Such a great last sentence!  I cannot base my decision making on emotions…true generosity will ALWAYS make my stomach tight…probably because that is the point.  God wants us to step out in faith so He can show up in our lives in miraculous ways!

Also on my reading list on this topic for the week was a great blog on what our tithes could do to the world.  Here’s the LINK if you’d like to read it as well.  It’s almost unbelievable what world our children would grow up in if we just got this one principle nailed down in our lives and churches.  Well, I’m dreaming for that future, how about you?

Be blessed!



What an awesome weekend!  Josiah preached on King Josiah at Battle Ground, I preached on King Jehoshaphat at Hazel Dell, and Jim preached on Solomon at the Deaf Church.

I had a great time preaching on Jehoshaphat!  I came in to writing my message knowing very little about him and left Sunday having him as one of my favorite Bible characters.  That’s the awesome part of really diving into the Scriptures and learning about someone who served God thousands of years ago.

KidCity is in the middle of raising money for missionaries!  They are having a contest between the boys and the girls, so if you’d like to help out, give a kid some money on the way in the door! The Battle Ground campus got painted last week with some new landscaping.  It looks AMAZING!  We still have the portable to paint, but we are well on the way to having everything done there.  We spent about $1500 on supplies above our regular monthly budget, so if you’d like to give to that, we’d sure appreciate it.  Thanks so much for helping us be good neighbors in our community and taking care of what God has given us.

On that note, we are praying for a permanent home for Hazel Dell.  Would you pray with us?  Waiting is SO much fun…ok, maybe not.  Not at all.  Not even a little bit.  Awful waiting…

I hope you are enjoying your summer!  I love the sun, I love the different schedule, and I love the opportunity to have BBQ’s with friends.  Take the time to have some friends over this summer and grow your relationships!

Speaking of relationships, our summer small groups are coming to a close.  We are already dreaming and praying for our fall groups that will launch in September.  If you are interested in facilitating or hosting a group, let Tasha know now by emailing

Do you have a heart for prayer?  Do you know that we have a prayer list where you can both get email prayer requests and send your own when you need to?  Just send an email to and we’ll get you signed up!

Thank you for being such an incredible and generous church!  We are so blessed every day to get to pastor and watch this journey of Jesus unfold before us.  Step out in faith in your life.  It’ll be painfully difficult, exhausting, and yet all the while, so thrilling and fulfilling.  I wouldn’t trade the last seven years of church planting for anything!

Be blessed!