Monthly Archives: November 2014

I called my mom yesterday to see how she was doing after a fall earlier this week where she hurt her ribs pretty badly.  She picked up the phone completely breathless and said, “Hi Chip!  How’s it going?”

“Mom, why are you out of breath?  Are you Okay?”

“Oh, yeah!  I was just out building a snowman.  Actually, it’s a snow girl!”

“Mom….why are you out building a snowman?”

“Well, you just never know when you’ll have good snow like that.  I try when the snow is dry, but it doesn’t work well at all, but today’s snow is wet, so it stuck good. She won’t last long though.  She should be melted by tomorrow with the way the weather is going.  It was sure a bit harder with my ribs, though!”

“Uh huh….”

“Your father thinks I’m nuts!”


In my mind I was picturing about a two foot snowman with sticks and rocks gracing it’s icy frame.  I pictured her rolling in agony as each rib rubbed hard against her body.

“I’ll send you a picture!”


When I got the photos, I laughed deep within my heart with a sweet and precious joy.

She wasn’t just building a snowman, she was enjoying the moment.

sandy 2

I stared at that snowgirl in my inbox for quite a while.  It was staring back at me reminding me of the most profound gifts that my mother instilled in me all those years ago.  It was as if that snowgirl made of something temporary was reminding me that this life is temporary as well.   She screamed at me through her red construction paper lips:


Celebrate the moments!

Throw out your to do list for fun!

Enjoy being by yourself!


Share your happiness with others!

Look for the opportunities around you that will quickly pass and SEIZE the moment!


Isn’t it so true that this life can suck the best out of you and replace it with stress, obligation, time constraints and conflict?  My mother and her ridiculous snowman reminded me that so much of the weight we carry is unnecessary.  It’s our job to look around and find ways to make this world a little brighter, make our hearts a little happier, and FIND JOY.


I hope that on this day you will take my mother’s legacy to heart.  She’s an amazing woman, who by the world’s standards hasn’t “succeeded” at anything “important”, but when the snowman melts and her life passes, my memories will be filled with one thing:  Joy.  Isn’t that the greatest gift we can leave with this world?

Be blessed today!


The last year has been an interesting one for Mark and I as we have felt a hushed silence from God.  I can’t quite describe how emotional of a journey that is for a pastor to walk through a valley, but as we always tell people…when God isn’t speaking, just continue to do the last thing He told you until He tells you something else.

Through the summer things began to change for the better.  It was as if the darkness was coming to an end.  The culmination of this season came during Mark’s trip to Brazil in September.  Mark simply asked for one thing from God…”Speak to me again.”

And did He ever.  Mark literally cried through the whole two week trip as the presence of God flooded his life.  He would video chat with me with red, puffy eyes telling me the stories of the day through more tears.  One night he called and said, “God spoke to me.  As clear as the day he called me to ministry, he told me to give $10,000 to a church in Argentina. We’ve got to do it!”

You might think I argued with him at that moment, but after years of ministry, I know the mantle and the anointing that Mark carries.  If God told him to do it, He would provide.  We immediately began to pray, re-think our own budget, and presented it to our church when he got home.

The first check we received was for $1000. It came from an unassuming couple who really did not have the money to give. We watched as God POURED out blessing after blessing on this family and completely turned their entire financial circumstance around in a matter of days. It was incredible.

The next $1000 came from several people, including Mark and I, who couldn’t give one large sum, but instead made a monthly commitment. It boosted our faith as we knew that the goal would be met in time. Big numbers are awesome, but it’s the consistent givers who keep the doors open!

But then last Sunday we watched a story come to a quick and miraculous end. A couple in our church felt like God gave them an amount to give. Not quite sure, they asked Mark how much had come in…$2000. They laughed to themselves as the amount God spoke was $8000. They wrote the check, sure that God was clear and their beautiful hearts just wanted to please Him.

I’m not sure how to describe what that moment was like for Mark and I. After the silence and the darkness, there was no more struggle…just an unfolding of obedience before our eyes. The burden was light, the yoke was easy.

So, for those of you who were able to give…thank you. God needed you to give, a church in Argentina needed you to give, but most touching for me is that your pastors needed you to give. We needed to hear God, respond accordingly, have His people rise up, and meet the goal. It was a refreshing reminder of why we do what we do!

Ironically, although overjoyed at the result, I almost feel bad for people who didn’t get “in on the miracle”. It’s fun to be a part of something, but it happened so fast that some people who wanted to give might not have had the chance. It’s almost like a great Black Friday sale where they run out of the goods by 6:00 am!  So, for those of you who didn’t get to give…give anyway. We may have this particular need crossed off, but we support 11 missionaries who have a list of needs a mile long. Dropping another $10,000 towards God’s work around the world is the perfect Christmas gift, don’t you think?

Mark your envelopes for Be Present and we’ll see what God does next! I can’t wait….



A special shout out to all of our veterans at North Creek!  I have such a high respect for people who serve our country and protect our freedoms!

Sunday was a good day to be at church!  I really appreciate all of our people who show up early, serve in various capacities, and are such kind people to rub shoulders with!

Want to go on a missions trip?  Our next one is to El Salvador in April.  You can find all the info you want at!  Registration deadline is December 18, so it’s time to get your questions answered!

Calling all volunteers!  We are having a huge Christmas party to honor you on December 5.  All the info you need will be sent directly to you, but mark the date on your calendar because you will be SO bummed if you miss it!

Also, this month we are filling our food crate in the foyer for local food banks and families in our church who need some extra help.  Please bring your food in during the month of November.  High need items are: Canned and dry beans,  all varieties and sizes!  Brown and white rice,  soup & chili varieties, cereal, oats, crackers.    Hygiene items are always a plus too.

We have made up some ground in our giving from a drop in the summer months, and we are asking you to help us end the year in the black.  We are roughly $10,000 away right now assuming that we meet budget in November and December.  We’ve ended in the positive every year since we started North Creek and we’re planning to stick with that strategy!  Thanks for being a faithful church!

It’s supposed to snow tomorrow!  Sounds like a good reason to build a fire and get the cocoa out!

We will be having our Christmas Celebration service on December 21.  We will not be having a Christmas Eve service this year, so plan on being with us that Sunday to celebrate the birth of our Savior!

We ended last week with Gina’s memorial service.  Chris preached it and did an absolutely beautiful job.  We also had incredible music, a touching eulogy and a special gathering to say goodbye.  We will miss her so much, but it is in these moments that we are most thankful for eternity.

I hope to see you all on Sunday.  We are loving the series His Name Is.  After diving into the book of Mark in conjunction with our sermons, I feel like I am learning so much more about Jesus.  So good!

Be blessed this week!  And stay warm!

It was nice to see everybody on Sunday! This was a trying week with several tragedies to walk through in the lives of people we love. It is always a blessing to see the smiles, hug some people, and be with other Christ-followers in the midst of the good and the bad.

On a sad note, we lost one of our own since my last blog. Gina Large passed away very suddenly late Tuesday night. She is a wife and mother to two great kids, so your prayers are needed for them this week. Her family attended our Hazel Dell campus, but visited Battle Ground regularly as well. The memorial service will be Thursday at 2:00 pm at the Hazel Dell Campus (  You are welcome to come and celebrate her life. And thank you to everybody who jumped in to provide meals over the next several weeks!

Then on Wednesday, two of our youth staff from our Battle Ground campus were in a very scary car accident. We are so thankful that they are alive and healing! Would you pray for a quick recovery for Nate and Jessica? They have some significant bumps, bruises, and a fracture to deal with and we are believing that God can make this process quick and miraculous!

On a positive note, Sunday services were awesome! Great sermon series as we navigate the book of Mark, with great worship to accompany our praise. We are blessed with a group of people who have amazing talent partnered with beautiful hearts.

Our small groups are going SO WELL!!! We picked a difficult study guide that requires real work, but people are rising to the occasion and learning so much. I have never been more proud of the people of North Creek than I am as I watch them dive into the Bible. We may not understand all of it, but by doing our best to know it, we allow God to use it when He needs it. You just never know when something you have read years prior will suddenly be brought to life through the Holy Spirit.

I have been praying even more than usual for many of you. As you deal with loved ones in the hospital, death, and grief, I know that the God of Hope is near you. Lean into His love and it will help you navigate whatever you will face on this earth.

In addition to everything else, would you consider making your church attendance a priority for you and your family? We live in a culture where we “just need a day off” or “there’s a game on”…I get it. But eternity is a bit closer for me this week and it’s clearer how temporary this earth really is. Our kids need to be in the house of God…we need to be in the house of God. Ringing in my ears are the final words with Gina that I will ever have…On what would be her last Sunday in church, I asked her how she was doing and she said, “I’m better now. Better that I’m back at church and back with Jesus.” Little did she know that “With Jesus” was about to get more real than she could ever imagine.

On what ends a very weighty week, know that Mark and I love you. We love being your pastors, we love the coffee dates, we love growing alongside of you, we love your hearts to give and serve, we love this story that we all get to be a part of.

And as always…be blessed!