Monthly Archives: October 2013

Such a great weekend!  It seems like October took flight and flew right by me!  Hard to believe that another month has come and gone…

We got the privilege of giving away two first time Bibles on Sunday.  One to a child and one to an adult.  I so vividly remember my first Bible and what it meant to me!  It was love at first sight!  You can sponsor a box of Bibles for $75.00.  That will provide 24 people with their first opportunity to read the Word of God.  What an honor!

We had amazing worship sets and sermons at each campus!  Love our worship team.  Love our preachers!

I have a shout out to Kari and Terrance who have been coming early to do whatever needs to be done!  They are such wonderful people and I thank God every day for bringing them through the doors!  We also have so many more people who serve behind the scenes that I am thankful for!

My mom was in town for a few days.  She is a crafting genius, so my house is covered in kid’s crafts…I have never seen so much construction paper in my life.

We had a very educational Question/Answer time for our potential new building on Sunday night.  Chris Harold made charts and diagrams…pretty cool! If you couldn’t be at that meeting, we’ll find a way to get all that info to you soon.

How can you help with the building process?  Give money.  Financial institutions base decisions about lending on the financial backing of the congregation.  (In a perfect world, they would just give us money because we are nice people, but that’s not reality!)   Also, moving has a cost to it.  We will need money for some renovation, paint, and equipment, all the while continuing to pay our staff and maintain our ministries.  If you aren’t tithing, now is a great time to start.  If you are able to give above and beyond your tithe, we would appreciate it!  If you would like to give before the month’s end, you can give online at

What is the timeline for the building purchase?  We have until November 25 to make a decision with the purchase price of $575,000.

We’ve had a lot of questions lately about the Battle Ground youth ministry.  We are doing well getting a team together, but are still searching out the main leader of that ministry.  Would you pray with us for God’s perfect fit?

Small Groups are a little over half done already.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a lot of new friends from our group.  We’ve been discussing personal finances, which has been so interesting.  Debt should be one of the greatest enemy in our lives!

We are having a building inspection done today on the potential new facility, so we’ll keep you posted on any concerns that may arise from that.  Also, tonight there is a walk through from 6-7:00 pm for those of you who may not have seen it, yet!  The address is 811 NE 88th Circle, Vancouver, WA 98665.

Hope you are blessed!




Below I posted the most mind-numbing list of complaints received by Thomas Cook Vacations from dissatisfied customers.  It made me laugh and groan at the same time, but I think it hits home with all of us as well.  Each of these travelers were probably in some of the most beautiful places and amazing accommodations on our planet, yet each one found absurd issues in the midst of tranquility.  As humans, most of us would have to admit that we are complainers as well.  Not because we want to be, but because it is often the go-to emotion we feel when we view the world.  It is just easier for our spirits to find something we would change rather than express the gratitude for what went well and what we appreciated!  (I look forward to Heaven when I believe that those scales will tip to the other side and our mouths will speak only with dripping gratitude for an awesome God!)

The Bible addresses about how we should think and speak on a consistent basis.  If you do a simple word study on “complain”, you very quickly get the gist that our complaints rarely amount to any worth.  The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:8 –  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Yet, when we step out of a performance, a sermon, or a conversation, we often go into complain mode rather that reflect on what was praiseworthy!  Oh, to have this one verse nailed in my own heart!

I believe that many of the issues we face in our culture stem back to our lack of praise and our insistence on complaining.  I think that our roots of depression, bitterness, and burn out come straight back to our own inability to set aside the ignoble to focus on the noble.  We have trained ourselves to speak the negative and then we are surprised when our hearts follow our mouths!

My challenge for all of us this weak is to do two things:

1.  Lean in to the Holy Spirit on this issue.  This is one of those areas where we are often weak, but the Holy Spirit can put us in check when we have the desire to complain.  Ask Him to help you to see the world from God’s perspective.  What unique traits did He give to the person that irritates you?  What lessons does He have for you to learn in the midst of frustrating circumstances?  Who is He trying to use your life to lead to Christ?

2.  Train yourself to do the opposite of what you may have been doing.  Some of the work is done by the Holy Spirit, but some of the work is done in the framework of obedience.  We are all in control of what leaves our mouths, whether we believe that or not!  Own your words and conform them into God-honoring words instead of negative ones.

The reality is that more change will come from our praise than our complaints.  No, really.  I’m not sure we believe that!  It’s like telling a child they are fat and thinking it will motivate them to lose weight…quite the opposite!  Complaining often sends the hearer into their own state of despair rather than a state of motivation to be the best they can be!  We’ve all got to mold and shape our perspectives of people and situations to limit our complaints and exalt our praise.  It is a simple way to change the world…or at least change ourselves.




What a jammed-packed full weekend it was!  So much to highlight this week!

Mark and Jim preached on prayer at Battle Ground on Sunday.  It was a great reminder of the power that talking to Jesus about our hopes, dreams, and needs provides for us.

Chris spoke on the Holy Spirit at Hazel Dell, which was a wonderful description of what can be a confusing topic.  Sometimes we complicate the Bible even more than we need to!  When you break down what the Scriptures actually say, you can find a great deal of clarity for yourself.  Yet another great reason to read the Bible!

Did you know that if we preached one chapter of the Bible every week it would take 23 years for you to learn about all of the chapters…IF you never missed a Sunday?  Yeah.  So, if you aren’t reading the Bible on your own, we are in trouble!

We also had a chance to go and look at the potential new building for the Hazel Dell campus.  So far we have gotten some great feedback.  All of the responses we got were “Yes” or “Maybe”.  The “Maybes” were based on some concerns that are very valid, such as appropriate wheelchair access and the size of the auditorium.  The good news is that we have researched enough so far to have a pretty good solution to all of the problems that were noted.   We are scheduling a Question/Answer/Financial Info meeting next Sunday night from 5:00-6:00 pm at the Hazel Dell campus.  We will have stats, pictures, and info, as well as an opportunity for you just to ask any clarifying questions you might have.

We apologize to those who came and the doors were locked already for the Open House.  I’m not sure how to explain that other than to say that there are a lot of players (with a lot of different perspectives) in the game and sometimes that makes the game challenging.  Despite any challenges, we will continue to do our best to provide this congregation with the tools and information that you need to make a great decision for the future of North Creek Church.  Good plan, huh?

There’s lots of excitement about the upcoming concert on November 5 at our church (see previous post).  I’m excited about the music, but I’m MOST excited that ALL the proceeds go to support Charity Water.  They provide clean drinking water all around the world.  Sometimes I try and think about how desperate I would feel if my kids didn’t have clean water…honestly, I start tearing up a bit and pulling out my checkbook.  Bottom line: I have too much and those in poverty have too little.  Remember that when I try and sell you a $50 cup of drip coffee at the concession stand.  Just kidding.  Maybe.  You can buy your ticket online through this Facebook Event LINK.

Also, if you are interested in decorating for Christmas, would you email me at  We have “normal” decorating needs and then we always have “abnormal” needs, like people who are good with hammers and reclaimed lumber.  Maybe a chainsaw.  Yeah…

There are miracles in the house every Sunday.  I look around the room and just can’t believe all that God is doing.  What is He doing in your life?  I’d love to hear all about it!

Hey, if you want to get baptized, you can find the form at  That’s how you can let the world know that Jesus is still doing miracles!  We are ready for you ANY Sunday!

Be blessed!



There are two calendar things coming up that are really important to the mission we are on to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus.  They are on two opposite ends of the spectrum, but we’d love for you to engage in both!  Here it is!

Potential New Building Visit

We have an opportunity to buy a church property just 16 blocks from our current location that would serve our church for the next season of ministry.  We have an Open House scheduled for Sunday, October 20 from 4 to 6:00 pm where we will have a chance for you to walk around, hear the stats, and give some input.  You don’t need to be there for the whole 2 hours, but plan to give yourself at least 20 minutes to walk through.  Also, you are welcome to bring your kids!  The address is 811 NE 88th Circle, Vancouver, WA 98665.  From Hwy 99, turn on 88th towards I-5.  Whether you are from the Hazel Dell campus or from Battle Ground, we value your input!

Charity:Water Benefit Concert


We have a concert scheduled for November 5, which will be amazing!  Even more importantly, it’s for a great cause!  Charity:Water provides clean drinking water for people all over the world, which saves lives every day.  We look forward to supporting them!  You can purchase a ticket and then bring some extra money for some over-priced-for-a-purpose concessions and an opportunity to donate.  If you can’t make the concert, just mark your giving for Be Present via Sunday giving or online at  We’ll be glad to direct your money to this world-changing cause!

Although a church building and drinking water seem very diverse, both are an opportunity to Be Present in a unique way.  We would love to have you as a part as we seek to change the world right down the street and around the globe!

We are in the middle of a series called Hunger at church that I am thoroughly enjoying!  Part of it is very simple in the fact that is an attempt to inspire you to pick up the Bible and read.  As we were discussing this with our team a month ago we asked them about their own spiritual disciplines and what works for them.  It may encourage you to know that there were 20 people with 20 different answers to how they approach Bible reading.

The one thing that we agreed on was that regardless of how you approach getting into the Bible, it is fundamentally necessary for a committed Christian.

My story is that I didn’t grow up going to church, so I vividly remember my journey of Bible reading that began when I was about 11.  In fact, I still have the first Bible I was ever given with it’s deeply highlighted pages and a missing cover.  It was just a New Testament, but it included a Bible reading plan, so I started with that.  I really didn’t know that the Old Testament existed for years, so I just kept re-reading the New Testament with the same reading plan.

When I started going to youth group, I got my first complete Bible and my youth pastor told me to read it.  So I read it.  The whole thing in one year!  I will be the first to admit that I didn’t understand much of what I was reading, but something magical happened in the midst of my habits…I became confident in the pages of His Word.  I knew what books were being referenced in church and I could flip to where that book was.  I began to feel like the Bible was a piece of me and found great comfort in my minimal familiarity.  The Bible was no longer far away from my scope, but it was an old friend.

At 18, I went to Bible college so raw in my Biblical knowledge, it was probably hilarious!  I was surrounded by a lot of people who had grown up in Sunday school, and there I was, learning about David and Goliath for the first time.  I went from an A student in high school to getting my first C in Christian Doctrine.  I was swimming just trying to catch up to the timeline of events and main characters, but I was loving it!

It was in my senior year of college that I decided something that would change my life forever….I would never miss a day of Bible reading again.  No matter what was going on or how tired I was, I would ingest the Bible like a good meal.  My framework would be at least one chapter a day, every day.  I have continued that for the last sixteen years, including when I was in labor with my kids and a few days with the flu when I could barely hold my head up.

After 25 years on this journey of understanding the Bible, I will tell you that I still feel so inadequate in my understanding that sometimes it makes me laugh.  However, on the same note, I have a great deal of comfort in the fact that I’ve spent a quarter of a century trying to understand God and all I have to show for it is that I’m really small and He is really big.  I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing to boil down to in this life!

So, here’s my tip for you today…do something.  Just pick up the Bible and look through the Table of Contents.  Get familiar with the 66 different books held within it’s pages and then choose one to read.  Read it whether you understand it or not.  And then tomorrow, do it again.  What you’ll find is this…you’ll begin to change.  Maybe not today or tomorrow, but over a lifetime you will see the Words of God mold and shape you in a profound way.  So face the confusion and jump in!  You can do it!