Monthly Archives: October 2014

I hope this week is one filled with the grace of God in your life.

Since my last blog another school shooting has been written into our history.  And again, the tragedy falls upon Washington state.  I know you’ve been praying for the families involved, but would you add The Grove Church (as well as all churches in Marysville, really!) to your prayer list?  Our long-time comrades in ministry pastor there and they are definitely on the front lines this week.  Out of all of the conversations we get to have this week, none compare to the difficult ones they are facing.

School shootings have a way of making me so angry at the devil.  He is taking our kids with a violence that is earth shaking.  It makes me get up in the morning with a new sense of determination, prayer, and disgust for all things that defile Jesus’ name.  Would you do me a favor as a Christian?  Live well.  Live with discipline, on your faces before Jesus, in boldness, with unrelenting spirits founded in Christ.  Our youth just desperately need godly parents.  They need examples.  They need to know that Jesus changes things.  They need to see that in us.  Shed off that sin you are STILL dealing with and become the leader that the generation under you needs you to be.

On that note, Sunday we dove into the book of Mark in our current series His Name Is.  Such good stuff as we wade through Mark!  I am so proud of North Creek for stepping up and taking the challenge of Bible study this semester of growth groups.  We are hearing so many good stories coming out of it and we know there will be more.  He is at work within us!

I’m also very encouraged because I see people taking steps of obedience in their lives.  I KNOW God is going to show up in the midst of these stories with a power that is amazing and, dare I say….EPIC!  It’s going to be so good!

We need new volunteers!  We are especially looking for people who want to work with toddlers once a month.  Our Tiny Town is bursting at the seams…young church problems…and we need more people to block the entrances.  Just kidding.  We need people who believe that pouring the Bible stories into the youngest of our kids will develop a love for Jesus in their hearts!  Is that you?  Sign up at on our volunteer page.

We could also use some more musicians on the worship team.  I offered my skills, but apparently taking a few piano lessons 30 years ago didn’t make the cut…. If you have more ability than that, fill out a volunteer app as well!

Well, the only way to change the world is to change yourself, so go do that.  Give, serve, speak, read, laugh, love….DO something that looks a lot like Jesus!


I really hope you are having a great week!

It is amazing to have so many people in our church reading the book of Mark. I spent Sunday asking people what they were learning in the book of Mark and it flowed into many profound conversations.  Such a gift to be diving into the Bible together.  One common theme in our conversations is that we feel overwhelmed by the Bible.  I say that is a good thing: God wrote the Bible….of course it will take us all of eternity to fathom Him and His Word.  Our job is not to always understand it, but to immerse ourselves in it and allow God to bring to light what we need at the right time.

I continue to have conversations with people in our church about financial obedience.  It seems to be a theme that God is laying on a lot of hearts at this time.  A common thread that people keep saying is that they KNOW they should be tithing, but they just haven’t DONE it.  If that is you, I am sincerely praying for you!  This is simply a spiritual stronghold and in the name of Jesus it needs to be broken.  We cannot serve two masters and if you aren’t giving, your master is your money.  Unfortunately, there is only one way to break this stronghold in your life and that is to take your money and physically separate it from yourself by giving it.  There is no other way than your own decision and action.  God will not be commandeering your checkbook and doing it for you.

On that note, one of the ways that Mark and I stay faithful in this area is automatic withdrawal of regular amounts.  We don’t forget, we don’t make excuses…it just leaves our account and we budget accordingly.  By the way…that’s what I call “bottom of the barrel” giving.  We also pray about how and where to give more!

Our youth groups had their leader’s retreat this weekend and it was a phenomenal weekend!  Would you pray for the Grays and the Marbreys as they lead our youth?  Such a tough job in our society and they need your prayers and encouragement.  Janel came home the other night to flowers on her porch from the parent of a teen.  When I saw that I thought, “Yep, that’s the kind of church I want.  One that loves and supports their spiritual leaders!”  Way to go, North Creek!

We are looking for some more workers in our Tiny Town environment at both campuses.  If you are interested in serving once a month in that area or another area, would you jump online at and sign up to volunteer?  It’s one of the best ways to get to know people!

By the way, if you are one of our volunteers we are planning an awesome Christmas party on December 5.  You’ll be spoiled, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wish the whole world could be a North Creek volunteer….( That’s another great reason to sign up to volunteer before then.)  Mark your calendars and more info will be coming soon.

Well, I’m pretty excited.  I sense a change in the air ahead of us and it’s all good…depth in our relationships with each other and with Christ….life change that alters our futures and the futures of our children…freedom from the rut we tend to run in…obedience followed by the richness of being in right relationship with our Holy King….

Let’s go change the world…by starting with ourselves!

In our modern-day Christianity, we seem to have created a gospel around Jesus’ love and believing in Him as the sole proprietor of being a Christian. Yet, all too common problems in the church today are lack of attendance, a lack of commitment, a lack of finances…all signs that we are spending our time and resources outside of our Christianity and relying on our faith alone to be our source.

Our actions and our deeds are often that which is lacking in our reverence towards Christ.  While His love and our belief is essential to our foundation as a Christian, I am also compelled by the weight of the fact that we will become unsettled in our Christianity if there is not an accompanying lifestyle to go along with our title of “Christian”.  In James it reads:

Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.


I talk to many Christians who feel they have a dead faith and my line of questioning is always the same…how is your Bible reading?, your prayer life?, are you fasting?, are you tithing?, are you serving?, who are you discipling?, what are you DOING?…Bottom line, the word Christian is simultaneously a NOUN and a VERB.  There is no life in faith without works, just as works without faith gets you little more than gold stars.

If you are finding yourself bored in your faith, I have awesome news for you…You’re doing it wrong.  If you truly live according to His Word, both in faith and in action, you will be soaring in a life of adventure, living on the edge of your seat at every moment.

Start with simple obedience to what you know you need to be doing and it will grow into opportunities beyond your wildest dreams.

Buckle up.


Sunday was a fun day!  🙂  Our series Risky Business is on it’s way out after some great messages and our new series based on the book of Mark is on it’s way in!  Brace yourselves…it’s going to be a good one!

The other awesome news:  All of our Bible Growth Groups on the book of Mark are in full swing!  We could not be more excited about the fact that 100 people in our church are studying the Bible side by side.  We’ve already heard stories of people opening the Bible for the first time, a couple buying matching Bibles so they can read the same version, people being impacted by the truth they are reading, and changing habits based on the first nine chapters in Mark.  The Bible is LIVING AND ACTIVE.  It literally changes the fabric of who we are when we read.  I am not surprised that we are seeing a quick impact.  The best news:  it’s also a lasting impact!

If you’d like to jump in and study on your own, it is definitely not too late.  I ordered more study guides and they just arrived.  You can email me at to get one!  They are $10 and you can pay online or drop a check in the Giving Box.

We are in need of more Tiny Town volunteers.  We have a young church which comes with lots of toddlers!  Such a gift and such a responsibility!  If you would be interested in working once every four weeks you can sign up online at  Another option is to offer to volunteer a few times a year.  We welcome people to be scheduled sporadically and help alongside our key teachers.  You will need a background check on file, even if you only serve every so often, but it is such a blessing to have extra hands.

Did you know we have about a dozen babies born at our church every year?  Happy marriages and tired mommies and daddies!

As we have been praying, a common theme in our hearts is obedience.  I’ve just really been impressed that we cannot separate the beautiful grace of God from a true repentant heart.  We just simply can’t appreciate grace without turning from our sin.  Anything less than brokenness before our God in the face of our sin is just not adequate!  Repentance is not just knowing what we did is wrong, but going the opposite direction of that sin.  Definitely something to study the Bible about!

My other prayer for our church as we read the Bible is to be given a deep wisdom.  The Bible says if you lack wisdom to pray for it and God will bless you!  Make that your personal prayer for yourself!  I would rather have the world full of wisdom than any other trait.

I still believe we can change the world.  It’s not too corrupt, it’s not too far gone, and it’s not out of God’s hands.

Be blessed!




God is amazing!  It’s been an incredible couple of weeks at North Creek Church.

Last Tuesday we had Simply Worship, which is supposed to be an hour of worship, prayer, and communion.  When we dismissed at 7:30, nobody left and we just kept praising Jesus for another hour.  Sometimes the presence of Jesus is the only place you want to be.

We’ve also had a great sermon series called Risky Business.  It’s been about living a life of faith and obedience.  You really can’t be obedient to the things of God if you aren’t reading the Word of God.

The good news is that almost 100 people will be tackling the book of Mark over the next eight weeks, either in growth groups or in personal study because they can’t make it to a group.  I have about a dozen study guides available if you’d like to purchase one for $10.  The books will be there on Sunday morning, so find Rachael at Battle Ground or myself at Hazel Dell and jump into our study.

We closed our growth group registration, but if you missed it, one of our Monday groups couldn’t start this week due to a sickness.  If you are sneaky, I bet you could go to and find that you are still able to register.  I won’t tell anybody.

Mark and I got to speak at a church planting conference last week as well.  It was so much fun to team teach and reminisce about the journey that Jesus has brought us on.  It’s been an unbelievable journey for the last eight years.  We could not have asked for a better learning experience!

In my prayer time, my heart has been abundantly burdened. I am more convinced than ever that we, as Christians, have bought into too many lies that sound so reasonable.  We ALWAYS have a choice in our behavior, we ALWAYS have victory in Christ, we ALWAYS have the opportunity to change.  If you believe that you can’t live according to the Bible because of your failure or wrong desires, you have made God too small and you are deceived.  HE IS A BIG GOD WHO CAN CHANGE THE FABRIC OF YOUR SOUL.  Claim the win for obedience and do the right thing.  Rise up Christian!  Rise up!

On that note, when God wakes you up to pray at 3:30 am, you are both glad and slightly unruffled.  I’m not even sure unruffled is a word, but it is when you’ve been up since 3:30 am.

I say this a lot, but you should write a tithe check to your church.  If you go Old Testament style, that’s 10%…I’ll give you a minute to do the math… If you go New Testament style, you’ve gotta pray and then brace yourself because it’s definitely more than 10%…God will probably have you sell a goat or something…  Why should you tithe?  1. Obedience honors God. 2. Obedience brings you freedom.

While you’re writing checks, Mark felt called by God to write a $10,000 check to a church in Argentina.  North Creek is at about $2000 towards that goal, so thank you!  If you’d like to give to help build the church there, just mark your envelope Seed of Faith.  I have a feeling this is an amazing story being written right before us!

If you’re still reading this, you probably wonder what got into my coffee this morning…well, time is short and I really want all of us to live out the fullness of Christ.  So, let’s do it!

Be blessed!