Monthly Archives: August 2013

A few nights ago I had a dream that a crustacean was sitting next to me in bed.  You know the kind…some odd underwater creature with those antennae that wave around in search of a victim.  This one had prickles like a porcupine, but a very thin body.  He was freaky looking, and in my dream, he was TERRIFYING.

All I can remember was desperately needing to get away from this little urchin as quickly as possible.  Still asleep I began screaming at the top of my lungs while literally diving across the bed with my full body and onto the unsuspecting chest of my husband.  From his dead sleep, my weight and ear-piercing cries for help were unwelcome at best.  I kept staring at the imaginary crustacean and yelling for rescue.  Why wasn’t Mark beating that thing to death???

Finally Mark’s voice broke through my brain to let me know that I was dreaming and did not indeed need to claw my way out of the bed.  I woke up just enough to calm down and see my cat staring back at me in place of my false reality.

Stop laughing at me.  You’ve been there, too.  And dare I say that some of us are afraid of things that aren’t real, but we’re not even sleeping?

Maybe you are afraid of doing the ministry idea that God put in your heart because you are afraid of failure?  Maybe you won’t go to the doctor because your afraid of bad news?  Maybe you won’t ask that girl out because you are afraid of rejection?  Now, granted, sometimes what isn’t real might become real down the road, but for now, it’s just….well…fear.  And a very unproductive fear at that.

We so often go through life making decisions based on realities that we believe might be true, but really aren’t.  And even if the end of the story has some hard realities, knowing sooner usually leads us to the right path, the right decision, and the right truth.  Failure is usually used by God in mighty ways, health issues are cured more often when faced early, rejection by one usually allows us to find the other…and so on.

Truth is our friend, whether that truth turns out to be a creepy crustacean or a friendly cat.

So, what is causing you to be fearful in your life and how much reality is really in those fears?  What you’ll probably find is the voice of Jesus waking you up to truth and leading you back to peace and comfort.

Good night and sweet dreams! 😉


Ministry is so much fun!  I love Jesus, I love serving in His Church, I love watching life-change…

We have grown a lot this summer and in some really interesting ways!  As usual we’ve gotten some great families, but even more exciting for me is an influx of elderly people at our 11:00 am Hazel Dell service.  Church plants are not usually known for multi-generational strength, so to see this area flourish is exciting!  I love the wisdom, prayerfulness, and warmth that the elderly add to a church.  I want my kids having a lot of older people telling them how to live life and honor Jesus!  If you are over 70, the Coffee Church is for you, too!

Matt and Andrea Garner had baby Savannah yesterday!  She was supposed to be born next Sunday, but we were sure glad to meet her early!  They are doing well and looking forward to introducing you to their new daughter soon.  You can help with meals HERE.

Our youth ministry is NOT meeting on campus this Thursday.  They have their Back-to-School BBQ and Bridgetown Homeless Outreach.  If you need more info, email Kris at  Also email her if you’d like to impact a generation by volunteering at youth!

Mark your calendars for our Vision and Volunteers night on September 13.  It is going to be a night to HONOR all of the people who make North Creek Church happen every day!  If you are not yet volunteering, you can sign up right now and still be invited to the fun!  It’s a great segway into our volunteer team and an awesome opportunity to meet people as well.  You can sign up HERE.

Thank you to those of you who gave extra this month to help our summer budget.  It’s always tight over the summer months and we appreciate your tithes to help us do quality ministry every day of the week!  We are still short overall for the summer, but have made budget in August and can now do some catch up for the fall.  You can give online at if you’d like to help us this month!

FYI:  I will not be blogging about Miley Cyrus.  What I will say is that we have a great youth group that teaches sexual morality, abstinence, and honoring God with our bodies.  My daughters will be going there faithfully and hearing something far different than what the media has to say.  There is another voice and it is our job as parents to flood the Word of God into our children’s hearts and minds.  Don’t watch the VMA’s.  Read your Bible.  Get your kids to church.  Stop letting the world win our children.  Jesus changes everything.

We had a guest at our staff table and she Facebooked the best comment: “Ever sat in a room of people who are so creative it invokes a “fight or flight” reaction? I did today and it was terrifying and electrifying at the same time. Can’t wait for our church staff meeting next week.”  I keep telling our team not to be so overwhelming, but I don’t think they can hear me over all of the talking and laughing…. 😉  Love them all!

For those of you who have gone back to school, use your love for Jesus to change someone’s day.  For those of you who haven’t gone back yet, enjoy your last few days of summer!

Be blessed!




I’m late this week with my highlights, but I have a great reason…I’m in GORGEOUS Montana having a family vacation.  For those of you who don’t know it, I am a born-and-raised Montana girl.  Yesterday we went to Glacier National Park, which is about 30 minutes from where I grew up.  Mark snapped this shot from the top of Going to the Sun Road.  Not bad, huh?


Back to my Sunday highlights!  It was a REALLY amazing Sunday!

I ended up visiting the Battle Ground campus.  I haven’t been there in a little while, and it was so incredible to see the change and growth in that campus.  There is a lot of momentum and excitement for community there.  I walked down the hall and multiple people asked me how they can sign up to volunteer.  There were new people and families everywhere. It was an out-of-body experience!

Meanwhile, I got texts from Mark throughout the morning updating me on Hazel Dell.  The 11:00 am was packed, lots of new guests, worship was awesome… Equal momentum coming from Hazel Dell!

Then I got the update from the Deaf Church…high attendance, new family connected, quality ministry for the morning…All three campuses firing on all cylinders and seeing God work in people’s lives!  It has been a process over the last year and a half since we merged with another church in Battle Ground, but we are seeing the fruit of persistence paying off.  Can’t wait for the fall!

I forgot to give a shot out to Kari and Terrance last week!  They come early to help babysit and set up a couple of times a month and it’s such a blessing!  Terrance has taken the title of Chair Jedi-Master, as my husband is pretty particular about the chair set up.  Terrance is a star!  I love our volunteers.

Both of our kid’s pastors, Vanessa and Kim, were giddy about their ministry on Sunday, too.  We are raising up some GREAT kids who love Jesus and His House!

The youth arrived home on Sunday night after their Rural Community Missions Trip.  They were exhausted from giving it there all, but God did incredible things in and through them as they served their guts out.  Tired teenagers who poured their lives out for others are blessed teenagers!  Way to go!!!

Speaking of teenagers, we are on our way towards an incredible team of youth leaders for the Battle Ground campus.  I know we have not made any announcement formally yet, but we are in the process of conversations, watching God’s story unfold, and planning.  We’ll be rolling out that plan…in God’s perfect timing…soon!  I’m pretty excited!

Financially it’s been a tight summer…that’s pretty typical, but we don’t want to go into fall trying to catch up.  If you are able to help us, we could use an extra $10,000 to start us off of the right foot for September.  You can give online HERE.  We appreciate your financial support of our ministry and do our best to use those funds to minister to as many people as possible!

If you’d like to get baptized, we’ll fill the hot tub any Sunday.  You can sign up online at  We LOVE to celebrate with those of you who are experiencing Jesus’ life change in your heart!

Here’s some dates to put on your calendar.  More info will be coming!

September 13 – Vision and Volunteers Night…it’s a night to honor our new and previous volunteers.  We want you there!

September 15 – Small Group Signup Opens

September 17 – Simply Worship Hazel Dell

September 24 – Simply Worship Battle Ground

September 29 – Small Groups begin this week!

So many things going on and so many blessings from Jesus!  Take that blessing and spread it around!  See you when we get back from relaxing all week!!


One of my favorite television shows is MasterChef.  If you’re not familiar with this hour of genius, it’s a reality show about three Master Chefs who judge a bunch of home-cooks on their talent and then give the winner a job in a high-end restaurant.  I’m not a chef, I don’t like to cook, and I don’t understand half of what they are talking about, but nonetheless, I love the show.

One of the interesting things about the Chefs is that they walk around while these poor souls are cooking and they can tell what is going to be an excellent plate of food and what will be sub-par.  Often times they don’t even taste anything on their way by…they just watch the process and get that disappointed scowl on their faces.  They know that the process makes the product.

After 16 years working with people, I can see that those same principles applies to all of us as well.  There really aren’t many surprises for us anymore in ministry.  The fact remains that people who attack their lives with grit, a teachable spirit, and high standards for themselves tend to see God work in amazing ways in their lives.  On the contrary, when we see people who refuse to change, won’t do the hard things, and won’t push themselves, we brace ourselves for the inevitable.

The process you put into your life and growth determines your product.

This is both good and bad news for all of us depending on our goals for the future!  So, what can we all do?  We can set ourselves up for success: read our Bible, pray, get involved in a thriving church, obey the Scriptures even when it’s hard, surround ourselves with people who will give us advice, take that Godly advice, serve Jesus with abandon…and the list goes on!

One fact that might help you if you have a previous pattern of a pathetic process is that you can course-correct if you want to.  When the Master Chefs walk around, they drop advice as they go, but most home-cooks still go with their plan despite the advice.  Needless to say, their dishes often get a poor reception.  But then, every once in a while, a cook hears the Master Chef, changes plans on a dime and the results speak for themselves.

If you’ve been going along, unwilling to listen (and obey) Biblical advice, maybe it’s time to course-correct yourself.  If you hear the people in your life who have gone before you giving you warnings…take them.  Change.  Grow.  Be teachable.  Do the hard things.  Do it now.

What you’ll end up with is a life as beautiful as fine cuisine.  The aroma, presentation, taste, and finesse of your life will speak for itself.


It was a great weekend, but BUSY from end to end!  I love being surrounded by quality people at every turn.  Being a part of a church community is priceless.

Congrats to Bradley and Alyson from the Hazel Dell campus who got married on Sunday!  Super excited for them as they start their new life together!  Enjoy the journey!  It was pretty funny at the wedding watching all of our North Creekers having a good time.  We bring the party!  And the chicken was good, too!

We had our staff team over for a spontaneous BBQ after church.  That’s a whole lot of fun packed into my house!  We have more kids than I can count.  Thankfully we’ve now trained the older ones to watch the younger ones so we can eat!  Smart cookies…

Our sermon series, Age of Kings, is over and done.  I have to admit that I’ll miss it very much!  Such a life-changing thing for our teaching team as multiple people dove into different stories of Kings in the Bible.  It was an amazing experience for all and I hate to see it go!  We sure have a talented teaching team.

One of our “Church Plant Kids”, Gregory, was 15 when we started North Creek.  He has since moved to California, but came home this weekend to visit.  When our sound man threw his back out, Gregory got trained on the sound on the fly.  He did an amazing job and I laughed to myself because we trained him to be available many years ago.  It’s often not the most talented person who is the most valuable…it’s the available ones.  Make yourself available and God will find incredible ways to use you.  We love you, Gregory!

Platform kicked off this week at Hazel Dell!  If you missed it, catch it online as this will be an important series for all of us.  It is a strong reminder that you have a platform to be Jesus to people no matter where you are.

Our youth ministry left on Monday for their Rural Missions Trip.  They will be doing hard labor, preaching, skits, serving, and being hands-on in any way they possibly can.  Take some time to pray for them throughout the week.  We have an amazing youth ministry that meets at our Hazel Dell campus, but we are in the process of developing an on-site youth ministry for Battle Ground.  Stay tuned!!!!

Mark your calendars for September 13.  We are doing a massive Volunteer Appreciation night and we want you to be a part.  A ton of more info to come!

Go tell someone about Jesus.  He’s the only way to change the world!  Be blessed!!