Monthly Archives: March 2014

It was a great weekend as we got to celebrate with two more baptisms at Battle Ground.  Every baptism has an incredible story behind it and I love to hear them all!  God transforms our hearts and lives, not by our own effort, but by His grace.

Part of Sunday’s story that I love is that both of the ladies baptized were invited to North Creek by the same friend, Janelle.  It was the perfect ending to the story that Janelle was in the tank with them as they proclaimed their love for Christ.

On the other side of the coin, it has been a heavy week with some of our church families dealing with loss in their lives. It is an honor to pray and stand with people during their highs and lows.  That is the beauty of the church.  For those of you who have had to say goodbye to loved ones this week, we are grieving with you and we love you!

We had our Annual Business meeting at Battle Ground on Sunday night.  If you weren’t able to attend, you are welcome to ask any questions anytime about the finances and direction of our church.  We love to talk about the faithfulness of God and our people!

We are neck deep in our series Strapped, which has led to lots of great conversations.  Being financially stressed is NOT God’s plan, so if you are feeling that way, there is a way out!

A part of that way out is that we are offering a financial class this weekend taught by Rick Donovan.  It’s Saturday from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Hazel Dell Campus.  This is one of those awesome opportunities to gain some incredible insight for FREE.  Join us and experience the beginning of change in your life!

If you are missing these announcements, shoot me an email at and I’ll get you hooked up!

Also, if you want to volunteer, let me know!  We especially need a more solid media team at Battle Ground, so if you like to push people’s buttons, we have the job for you.

On that note, stop pushing people’s buttons.  God asked us to be peacemakers in a dramatic world.

We are praying that God would do miracles in the hearts and lives of those who call North Creek home.  May you be blessed!

Sometimes there are moments in time when the world seems to stop around you and you become obviously aware of the fact that God is doing a profound work in your midst. During our Hazel Dell campus baptisms last Sunday, I would say that very much happened.  We had five baptisms, but more so than each story was the amazing impact of the Holy Spirit in our midst.  I am confident that His work is not finished using those testimonies to impact more people with the love of Christ.  We are posting baptism videos all week on our Facebook page and we invite you to share in God’s presence with us.  You can find us HERE.

Also, we have MORE baptisms coming this coming Sunday at Battle Ground.  If you’d like to make a public declaration of your faith in Jesus, you can register at  We look forward to celebrating with you!

Some days make other days seem possible.  The amazing moments are cherished!

In other news, we had our Hazel Dell Annual Business Meeting and it was great to see how faithful God was in 2013.  If you are from Hazel Dell and you missed it, or you attend Battle Ground, we have another one Sunday, March 23 at 5:00 pm at 500 SW Eaton Blvd, Battle Ground.  Childcare is provided.

KidCity Battle Ground got some new decor and surprises for this Sunday!  Isn’t Vanessa an amazing children’s pastor???  Give her a big hug when you stop by to see her “new” room!  We love our kids and appreciate your support of our ministry so that they can have environments that are both fun and Jesus-centered.

Also on the topic of Kid News, our 2nd – 5th graders are going to the Nitro Kid’s Conference on Friday and Saturday this week.  Would you take a moment and pray that God blesses our kids and leaders during their time away?  We look forward to hearing all about it!

Either Vancouver needs to pull out some 70 degree days or we are starting a Hawaii campus, where I will be moving.  I can’t take the cold anymore.  #coffeechurchhawaii

Our second week with our Battle Ground youth ministry went SUPER well!  They continued with a great turnout and just some amazing wins already taking place.  Invite a teenager to either of our campuses on Thursdays!  See our website for details.

Come to church on Sunday!  Don’t let excuses keep you from a loving community of people who are focuses on Christ.  Infrequent attendance makes for infrequent friendships and that’s just not fun….maybe you’d rather attend the Hawaii campus????  I might be able to make that happen.

Be blessed!



Over the last couple of decades in ministry, I have noticed an alarming shift in thinking…or not thinking as the case may be.

Here’s how it goes…As we’ve talked with people about various areas of their life that God is addressing over a wide range of topics…gossip, pre-marital sex, judgment, giving, forgiveness…{insert difficult topic here}, we’ve noticed that 20 years ago people just took the pastor at his word about what the Bible had to say.

That alarmed me way back then because, while hopefully the pastor is accurate, people should dive into the Bible themselves and not put their Christian belief system solely in the hands of a man.

But frequently in this recent generation, I am even more alarmed by people’s response.

Now it seems common that when we, as pastors, let people know about what the Bible has to say, we often hear, “I’m not convinced that the Bible really thinks that’s wrong.”  At first I was impressed…people are actually questioning a pastor’s Biblical authority and finding out for themselves.  But then the conversation always continues the same way…”So, what scriptures do you find that back up your belief system as a Christian?”

And here’s where I start shaking…the answer is always, “Well, I haven’t really read the Bible to find out about what God thinks on this particular topic.”  This is usually followed by a circular conversation that starts with, “A loving God certainly couldn’t REALLY mean….”

I always think to myself, “Well, if your Christian belief system isn’t backed up by the Bible, then it’s not a Biblical Christianity and therefore, it’s not Christian at all.”

I am concerned that we, as a people group, are leaning toward creating a form of “Christianity” that is based on our fleshly logic rather than obedience.

Listen, I don’t like some of God’s standards either.  They are difficult and stretching for me in my faith.  But if instead of knowing and grappling with what the Bible has to say through a repentant heart, I instead create my own belief system, then I am replacing God with ME.

And if I am obedient to my own flesh and not to the all-knowing power of God, then death and destruction are right around the corner.

The bottom line is that true faith has a response connected to it.  That response comes as you drag your wretched corpse to the foot of the cross, get God’s forgiveness, and then go out into the world aiming to be obedient to a God whom we should trust because He just gave us LIFE.  When we leave the foot of the cross and write a gospel that feels good, is convenient, or non-controversial, we will ultimately find ourselves right back to our rotting, dead life.

Bottom line: while we don’t earn our salvation, we are responsible to honor it.

And you honor your faith by KNOWING WHAT IT IS.  You can only really do that by diving into the Bible that He wrote for you and living out the pages even when it is difficult.

So, get a plan.  Listen to your pastor, but then read the Bible to see if what he is saying is true.  Read daily, obey when it’s difficult, and live out the faith that Jesus made look so amazing!

Such an amazing week at North Creek!  We officially launched our youth group in Battle Ground with 38 people in the building.  Worship, preaching and small groups all went flawlessly.  It was a phenomenal kick off to a great future!  Thank you to Mat and Janell Marbrey, along with their team, for diving into a generation with passion and determination.

Sunday was a highlight as well.  We’ve had several people this week indicate that they are ready to start a relationship with Jesus.  We love being part of people’s journey in learning about who Jesus is and the profound impact that He has on our lives.

On that note, baptisms are coming!  We already have lots of people signed up to make a public declaration of their faith.  We’d love to have you join us if you are ready to take that step of faith.  You can register at  March 16 at Hazel Dell and March 23 at Battle Ground.

It was also Daylight Savings time, but who wants to talk about that?  Ugh.  Make it go away.

On a personal note, my daughter Kennedy took first in her gymnastics competition on Saturday.  It has been such an amazing experience watching her grow and shine in her sport.  I love her team, her coaches, and the journey we are on.  We are all learning so much about life, ourselves, leadership, and teamwork through gymnastics.

Want to know how North Creek is doing behind the scenes?  Join us for our Annual Business Meeting and get all of the financial updates and statistics from 2013.  March 16 at Hazel Dell, March 23 at Battle Ground at 5:00 pm.

We are going to be doing some painting, cleaning, and updating at the Battle Ground campus, so if you’d like to spend some time working with us, let me know you’re free by emailing me at

We are kicking off our new sermon series Strapped and it’s going to be amazing!  We all get ourselves in a bind financially at some point in our lives, but that was never God’s idea for you.  Join us as we look scripturally at finding freedom in our finances.

I hope you enjoy some of the sunshine this week!  Finally a break in the rain, which is much needed.  Be blessed!


Such a fun week at the Coffee Church!

Mark preached on baptism at Hazel Dell this week.  We are super excited to fill our tank on March 16 at Hazel Dell and March 23 at Battle Ground.  If you’d like to be baptized, go ahead and fill out a registration form at

The Deaf Church kicked off a new class for people just beginning a relationship with Jesus.  If you know of people in the deaf community who need a great church, let them know about North Creek Deaf Church!

Our new youth group in Battle Ground kicks off this THURSDAY!  We could not be more excited.  If you know of a teenager who needs a great youth group, let them know that we are launching on Thursday at 6:30 pm at 500 SW Eaton Blvd, Battle Ground.  Lots of amazing things in store for our teenagers at both campuses!  You can like the Facebook page HERE.

If you happen to attend The Difference Youth Group at Hazel Dell, you don’t have youth this Thursday as your leaders head to a conference.  Be praying that God blesses your leaders beyond measure!

Are you praying for your pastors?  We all need it from our worship to kids to youth to administration…  This is the greatest gig in the world, but it comes with a weight that is difficult to describe some days!  We covet your prayers as we make decisions and lead to the best of our ability!

Mark your calendars for our Annual Business Meeting as well.  It’s where we let you know how 2013 turned out and where we are headed for this year.  The dates are Hazel Dell – March 16 and Battle Ground – March 23.  More information to come!

Are you giving and serving?  If you’re not financially invested in leading people in a growing relationship with Jesus and you’re not serving others in some capacity, you aren’t growing in the way that God intended.  Step out in faith and take the plunge.  You can give online as well as sign up to serve at  If you have a way to serve that isn’t on our list, don’t hesitate!  We have people doing SO much beyond Sunday mornings and we appreciate each one so much!

Our small group is going well….a little too well!  We added dinner as a part of it and I may gain 10 pounds this semester.  My goodness!  This week is Italian week, so bring on the carbohydrates!  We also have a curriculum that I’m sure is awesome, but I’m in a food coma by then…

I hope you are full of joy today!  Life can be discouraging, so make sure you sprinkle encouragement out there somewhere.  It will return to you many times over!

Be blessed!