Monthly Archives: July 2015

There’s not enough room on the internet to write about all that happened on Sunday morning, so the next 1000 words will have to do!  It was our Annual Baptisms and Brunch for North Creek Church.

On a funny note, the Pacific Northwest has had the warmest summer in recent memory, but we managed to schedule our outdoor service on one of the two rainy days all summer…thankfully the sun came out for the only two hours we needed it to and we were able to have an absolutely beautiful morning!  We had a plan for bringing it inside, but we simply couldn’t have fit everyone, so we were happy to pull off our original plan!  The worship team actually practiced under tents as it rained on them, while Rachael and I dried off every chair just before service!  With a little extra coffee and a lot of gracious people, it was a wonderful morning!

Also, our team is the best!  Walking around a cold, wet field at 7:00 am on a Sunday morning and seeing ahead to three hours later with a full swimming pool for baptizing, hundreds of chairs, tables of food, tanks of coffee, games for toddlers, and a stage full of anointed musicians…you realize that the greatest gift of ministry are the people who are neck deep in it with you!

We had the honor of hosting our Northwest District Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Don Ross and his wife Brenda, this weekend as well.  It was a privilege to have him be a part of such a fun morning, but he also stayed to tell his story of transition and change to our staff.  Good words of advice as we go forward to all that God has for us!

I also realized that North Creek may get a reputation for crying and hugging after Sunday…my goodness!  We baptized 14 people and each story was as powerful as the last.  It was TOUGH to watch without getting a little misty…or sobbing uncontrollably….whichever.  I want to highlight my favorite part of each changed life:

Carlo:  Carlo is one of our young adults and an amazing man of God!  He’s such an articulate person and reminded us that God is proud of us when we do our best to honor Him. Isn’t that the truth?  We feel so unworthy sometimes, but Jesus LOVES us deeply.

Mathew:  Mathew is new to his faith and used his time in the tank to repent to his parents because Jesus has showed him that his actions aren’t honoring to them.  He was excited to give his life to Christ to allow Him to change those habits.

Trey:  Trey is a teenager who feels a call of God on his life.  He feels like Jesus changed his desires.  My favorite line of his testimony is “I say today that my old sinful self is dead, and my new life in Christ is alive!”  Isn’t that powerful?!?!

Andrew:  Another teenager living for Jesus!  Andrew shared about feeling empty before meeting Jesus and how Jesus is setting him free from depression.  Andrew has a kind, gentle heart and Jesus has a great plan for him!

Sean and Amanda Riley:  Husband and wife shared about their journey of growing in Jesus together and went underwater simultaneously.  What the crowd couldn’t see is when they came up, they immediately turned, embraced, and cried together.  All I could think was that the generations behind them will be different because of that moment.

Aaron:  Aaron is one of North Creek kids, and what a story!  His parents adopted him from China, so right before his baptism he wanted a letter to his birth mom read aloud.  Aaron opened with, “Dear China Mom…” He went on to tell her that he hopes she meets Jesus someday.  Isn’t that an absolutely moving picture of adoption?  God is so good!

Drew: Drew’s parents, Joe and Kris, are our forever friends.  Kris is our Hazel Dell youth pastor and they helped plant North Creek when Drew was just a toddler.  Drew is a tender person with a deep love for Jesus in his life.  He didn’t make it through his own testimony as he crumbled and wept over Jesus’ forgiveness for him.  When we planted North Creek, we did it for our kids to watch and live out a journey of faith.  He only knows this amazing story of ministry, but I know God will write another amazing journey of ministry in his future.

Ashley: What caught me up in Ashley’s testimony was the time she took to paint the picture of gratitude towards her parents.  She honored them well through tears and words.  She also honored Jesus as well as she spoke of her own inconsistency in following Him, but He remarkable consistency in loving her.

McKenzie:  Jesus has given me a mandate to pray for this one, so we took a moment out of her baptism to call out to Jesus for her future.  She is anointed by God in a way I don’t think she understands yet.  McKenzie shared about how God connects with her in worship!

Kennedy:  My daughter.  Oh, my daughter.  Sometimes her love for Jesus and the wisdom she has absolutely stops me from breathing.  I’ll write another blog this week in tribute to that moment.  It was a great one!

Justin:  Justin’s testimony was the shortest we got and I loved it!  He gave Jesus the credit for changing Him and ended with “I am a simple man.”  It might have been short, but isn’t that the most profound?  It has very little to do with all of our stuff we have done or haven’t done.  Jesus is a life-changer and our job is to follow Him without complicating the story! 🙂

Maria:  Sweet, joyful Maria!  Maria has been searching for Jesus for a long time and recently North Creek Church was a catalyst for bringing a lifetime of information into a life changing relationship.  She flew out of that water with her arms high in victory and a smile as wide as His love.  It was a precious moment!

Sydney:  Sweet Sydney!  She is our worship leader’s daughter as well as our kid coordinator’s daughter!  She has a kind and generous spirit.  The hug she gave mom at the end of her baptism was a touching tribute to a long heritage of ministry families.


One of the greatest gifts God has ever given me is the privilege of being a part of this church….

Be blessed!


You can find all of the photos at:



Before I dive into the weekend, let me remind you that we have a Sling and Stone concert tonight at the Hazel Dell Campus.  You can get directions at  It’s at 7 pm!  We aren’t providing childcare tonight, but kids are welcome.

So many great things to catch you up on!

First off, our kids got back from camp and had an amazing time with each other and with Jesus.  We are so grateful to our leaders for taking a week of their lives to invest in our children. I could not be more excited about what my kids experience and take with them after a week of camp.  And a HUGE thank you for all of you who gave scholarships and work opportunities to help us get over 61 people to camp from the hearing church this year.  What a blessing!

Our Deaf Church is at camp this week, so please be praying for them as well!  After this camp, we are all done with camps for the summer.  What a year!

It was birthday on Friday!  I’m 39 and loving life!  I look forward to the next year with great expectancy.

We are incrementally in the process of merging our two campuses into one.  This is a big undertaking as we strategize selling property, an alternate location in the middle for our youth ministries and staff shifts to rethink roles that are no longer needed and new roles to accommodate a church of over 300 people.  Honestly, I’m having a blast watching God work in all of this…not always easy, but His hand is heavy on our lives right now and I know it.  There is a new peace, a new determination, and a new resolve in our hearts.

Feel free to ask us ANY question you need to.  We will be having all-church meetings as we go, but in the meantime, we don’t mind the questions.

Our youth ministries will begin the merge process in late August.  Rather than acclimating our new 6th graders into two separate youth ministries, we are working on a better case scenario of them starting together to alleviate one more transition.  All of our youth went to camp together and did activities together this summer, so they are well-acquainted at this juncture.  We’ll keep you posted on the details as we have them.

Sunday was something special.  At Battle Ground, Mark closed up our I am New series, which was such a clear look at who we are in Christ.  To truly understand who Jesus has created us to be, we MUST be Bible readers.

I’ve challenged you to read Romans a couple of weeks ago.  My next challenge for you is to read Acts.  Good luck!  It’s a fun one!

Over at Hazel Dell we kicked off Testify with guest speaker Roberto Brizuela.  What a gift that man is to our church!  He is a mighty prayer warrior who is intimately connected to the Holy Spirit.  He shared stories of the faithfulness of God in his own life, and I cannot really describe the heavy presence of Jesus in that room.  It was literally like a blanket on my heart.

God is taking North Creek on a journey.  My prayer is that with humble hearts, you will come with us.


2 Chronicles 7:14New International Version (NIV)

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Goodness, we serve a GOOD God.  As I worshipped in church on Sunday, tears flowed down my cheeks as my I cried out to the Creator of the universe….and the incredible part that is never lost on me is that He HEARS me.

Honestly, I don’t know how people stand still in worship. Let your praise loose!  He is AWESOME.  I can’t sing well and I have no rhythm, but what I do have is GRATITUDE.  Gratitude for my salvation, my freedom, and the power of Jesus running through my blood.  That gratitude keeps my feet from staying put! 😉

Over at Hazel Dell, I think that Matt is trying to kill me with all of my favorite songs.  I attached the Forever song we sang on Sunday so you can all have some time with Jesus today.  Mark said Alissa nailed it at Battle Ground, too!  We are a people created to praise Him!

P.S. Mark and I have nearly doubled our prayer time lately and let me tell you about the impact…our marriage is better than ever (it was always great!), we feel strong in ministry, we are watching God go before us in challenging situations, we have a depth of peace that we’ve never had before, and worship has taken off in our spirits.  I’m all for the “in the car on the way to work” prayers, but that’s not enough to connect to Christ.  Set time aside for His Word and praise.

Don’t let me paint the perfect picture though…there are still a mountain of struggles in our paths, but we know God is with us.  What a profound thought that is!

2 Chronicles 7:14 New International Version (NIV) -“14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  Let’s do this, North Creek!  I want to see God move in our nation!!!

We have our Baptisms and Brunch coming up on July 26!  We already have almost a dozen people signed up to get dunked…want to get baptized along with them?  Sign up at or email me at  The Assembly of God District Superintendent, Don Ross, is coming to celebrate with us that day, which we are very excited about!

Want to understand this culture and our response to it?  Spend some time reading Romans.  You’ll probably need to read it a dozen times to even begin to comprehend all that is crammed in there!

We are still looking to combine our campuses.  Why?  Well, there is no short answer, but when the other issues are wiped away, here is the bottom line: we feel like God needs us to be one body at this juncture in order to accomplish the next chapter in our story.  There is a litany of other issues that are relevant, such as the benefits of finances, volunteers, leadership…. those are all relevant, but the issues related to that list are also solvable by a myriad of other solutions.  We have appreciated your thoughts and prayers so much.  One of our board members said it best, “God is in control.  It’s a lot easier when God lets us know what His plan is, but it is much more exciting when we have no clue.”  Let’s walk through this step by step and see where God is leading with faith and excitement!  Our call to you is to pray.  Our best pray warriors have been on their knees and they are having visions and prophecies during that time that are fascinating.  We look forward to sharing the story with you as it is being written!

We have a BUNCH of exciting things coming up over the next two months.  To get involved and get to know some new friends, click HERE for all the information.

And more so than anything else…follow Jesus this week.

Be blessed!


***Reminder:  Hazel Dell and Battle Ground – ONE service on JULY 5 at 10:00 am! Deaf Church at 11:30 am***

What an interesting week to live in America….I am sure, like yourself, that you were neck deep in the comments that flooded our news and social media over the Supreme Court ruling.  And yet, one thing remained true for me this week:  I still got to go to my church, freely worship, and hear the Bible.  I don’t take that lightly and will take full use of that right as long as it is available to me.

And church never disappoints!  The worship was full of the Holy Spirit, the preaching was anointed by God, and I spoke with people near and far from God with a thousand stories to hear about each precious life.  We are still the light of the world!  I also find it ironic that our sermon series is “I Am New” and it’s all about our identity in Christ.  It is the perfect timing to talk about what God says about us…which doesn’t include being a slave to ANY sin!  We can find freedom from the things that do not honor Jesus!  Isn’t that the incredible message from Christ?  He doesn’t waiver on sin, but He does give us a path to repentance and freedom!

Speaking of that, we have our baptism day coming on July 26.  We ALREADY have 7 people signed up and we just got the info out, so jump on the bandwagon if you have accepted Christ and have not yet been baptized.  If you are ready to do it, you can sign up HERE.  If you have questions, email me at and I’ll point you to some Scriptures and talk you through it.

Are you reading your Bible?  More so than anything else this week, I was deeply grieved by the comments from Christians who gave their perspective of this week’s events without any Scriptures to back them up.  I fear that many Christians are too immature in their faith to go beyond the Sunday school rhetoric of “Jesus loves everybody”, so they create an entire doctrine from just that foundation.  We also need to weave into our theology about obedience, sacrifice, trust in God, and deliverance from sin.  And it’s OUR responsibility to daily be in His Word.

So, on the big picture, here’s a few resources to get you started:

  1. for a Bible reading plan
  2. for an online Bible study or a Word study
  3. Start in Romans this week for a proper perspective of why our culture is the way it is at this juncture in history

Also, on an important side note, we have to stop making Scripture apply where it does not.  For instance: In Romans, when it says not to judge someone who can or cannot eat such things as meat according to their conscience in Christ, we would NOT be wise to apply that to believing that anybody can do anything they feel is right.  The Bible is quite clear that there is sin in this world and we need to repent of it.  We need to weigh out each Scripture within it’s context or I fear we will be lead astray.

One more note, if you have a question about a particular passage, you can easily google that passage with the word “commentary” included.  You will find a great deal of context quickly by reading very brief histories and applications to that passage.  Perhaps a good strategy for you would be to read one chapter each day and a good commentary along with it for context?

Here’s what I believe: We are all sinners.  That doesn’t make any sin acceptable to Jesus.  We must repent of our sins, turn from those behaviors, and walk with Christ as a new creation.  Anything short of that doesn’t honor Jesus.  We would all do well to walk in that Holy humility.

I am praying for you this week, North Creek!  Be blessed!