Monthly Archives: January 2016

In the United States, a stand-your-ground law is a law that authorizes an individual to protect and defend their own life and limb against threat or perceived threat. This law states that an individual has no duty to retreat from any place the individual has a lawful right to be and may use any level of force, including lethal, if the individual reasonably believes they face an imminent and immediate threat of serious bodily harm or death; this is as opposed to duty to retreat laws.

Forty-five U.S. states have adopted the castle doctrine, stating that an individual has no duty to retreat when the individual’s home is attacked. Twenty-two states have removed the duty to retreat requirement from other locations as well. “Stand Your Ground”, “Line in the Sand”, or “No Duty to Retreat” laws thus state that an individual has no duty or other requirement to abandon a place in which the individual has a right to be, or to give up ground to an assailant.

–Wikipedia (solid source, I know…)


Lately my prayer life has been one of a great battle.  The more time I spend with the truth of Jesus, the more clear that the lies of the enemy become.  Where Jesus has declared victory, we too often run in retreat.  We bend to depression, being overwhelmed, and feeling defeated.  We feel hopeless, defenseless, and powerless.  We look altogether like the rest of the world in our beliefs, our speech, and our defense of morality in America.

Jim Elliot, martyred missionary, quoted, ““Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know so extraordinary a God.”

Perhaps that is the sin we must first confess…simply being ordinary because we have forgotten the extraordinary God that we serve.  As Christians, we must learn to hold the line of Godliness in the power of the God we serve.

He created you to heal the sick, cast out the demons, call forth rain to dry lands, and release the prisoners from their chains.  He has called you to stand your ground.

And we miss it.  We let our marriages fail, our kids fall away, our sick die, our offenses grow, and our faith seems no different than a powerless moral code with negotiable lines in the sand.

No more. It’s time to submit our hearts and lives to His Word.  It’s time to become a people group that is submitted to prayer.  Not the garden variety of “before dinner” prayers, but a fierce prayer life that makes demons tremble when we walk by.  A prayer life that creates an anointing in our life where people are healed by getting too close to our discarded tissue.  A prayer life that demands righteousness and kicks sin to the curb. We must connect to the power that is seen in the book of Acts.

So, the enemy took a few hits in our lives.  They hurt, they really hurt.  He may have even won a few battles here and there.  Weep, struggle, ache, but for God’s sake…get up.  Stand your ground.


Good things are happening!  After a mountain of transition last year we are settling in to our new normal and doing well!

We are in the middle of preaching on 1 Peter and it’s been a great series out of a solid book.  If you haven’t read 1 Peter yet, dive in and wrestle with all the nuggets of wisdom!

Our Growth Groups are open!  We are doing them a bit differently this time.  We will be having a discussion about the sermon series and the Scripture from the sermons.  They will also be meeting EVERY OTHER week, so if you have a crazy schedule, you can still be a part!  We also have a young adults discussion group for those of you who are a little younger.  REGISTER HERE

andreaThis weekend we got to announce that Andrea Garner is our new Children’s Pastor!  She has been overseeing Nursery and Tiny Town for several years and we’ve broadened her role to include Kid City as well.  She has a beautiful heart to grow our children in the basic disciplines of prayer, reading your Bible, giving, and serving.  I encourage you to send your child with their Bibles, as they spend time in a small group looking at the Word.  Welcome Andrea!  Even though you’ve been here for 5 years! 🙂

We are STILL in negotiation for our Battle Ground building, only now we have a couple of groups interested in the property, so that’s good!  Commercial property is complicated, so this process just takes time.  We will keep you updated, but it’s not quick…

Are you praying and worshipping Jesus throughout the week?  If you only spend time with Jesus on Sunday, you’ll find yourself dry in your walk with Jesus.  The church’s job is not to be your only source, but rather a gathering place for people to rejoice together in all that God is doing through their time with Him throughout their daily lives.

We want you to volunteer at North Creek!  It is by far the easiest way to feel like a part of your church.  We have several opportunities on Sunday morning or our youth ministry on Thursday nights.  You can also host or lead a growth group throughout the week.  You can find a link to volunteer at

God is good.  Walk THROUGH all that you are facing with that in mind.  You will find that steps of obedience and faith strengthen you exponentially!  You can do this.  You can thrive.  You can be an overcomer!

I love you all and am praying for you.  Be blessed!


You know what the grace of God really is?  It’s the fact that in the midst of the darkness, the challenges, and the trials, He fills the empty soul with hope, joy, and vision.  God is good!

We are ready for a full year of recalibrating our church and seeking Jesus on a whole new level.  Come on the journey with us!  There is majesty in the moments that seem like they are full of the unknown.

There is an amazing woman in our church who emails me every Monday to ask how she can pray for us this week.  I cannot even describe to you what that does to my heart!  Thank you, friend.  Thank you! 😉

We have an offer that we are bouncing back and forth with on our Battle Ground campus.  When that sells it will help us to look forward to the future and find our new “home”.  Would you be praying?  We need all of us hearing from Jesus and walking in unity.  Currently we have no debt, which has been an incredible blessing!

How can you help this year?  Show up.  Show up to church, growth groups, outreaches, in your neighbor’s lives, at your kid’s school…you get the idea.  Be a part of community!

On that note, Growth Groups are opening in a couple weeks.  We are shifting them to every other week to discuss the Bible passage we are hearing about in the sermon.  It’s going to be an awesome way to dive into the Word of God whether you know a ton or are completely in the dark.  Would you pray about committing to come twice a month to be a part of a solid community in faith?

Hasn’t worship been AMAZING lately?  Sunday was off the hook as you could literally feel the Holy Spirit at work in the hearts and lives of people.  Come ready to hear from Jesus and then obey WHATEVER He tells you!

Did you like the sermon opening video with the Star Wars theme?  I laughed when the audience clapped after the video.  How hilarious was that?!?!?  Such a great video to go with a phenomenal series on 1 Peter.  Read along with us!

We are doing well after a mountain of transition in 2015.  Thank you for your faithfulness and encouragement as you have walked this road with us.  It was quite the undertaking to sell property, find a temporary home for Sundays as well as the youth ministry, and now move forward to the next step in our future.  The best is yet to come!

How can you help at this juncture?  Give faithfully.  As our budget is steady and solid, it will allow us to purchase a property that fits our needs better.  All we need is a body of believers that is committed to tithing and we can fulfill ALL that God has put in our hearts to better reach our community through outreach.

We love being your pastors!  Be blessed this week!


As we kick off 2016, I am reposting my top 5 blogs from last year this week.  It was an intense year with a lot of lessons that I am so grateful that God walked me through!  Enjoy your first week of a new year.  Seek Jesus, set some goals, and decide to finish strong.  I believe in you!


Loving the Church

From May 15, 2015

There’s a blog going around that makes my heart break.  You might have even read it…it’s yet another writing by a so-called Christian ripping apart the Church and how misguided apparently every pastor on the planet actually is.  And I don’t understand it at all….even if it’s true.

You see, if I were Satan, I would get some young, punk blogger to write an article just like that and then I would get embittered or confused Christians to share it all over social media.  That would be a sure-fire way to destroy the Bride of Christ one broken soul at a time.  Good call, Satan. Good call.

On the other hand, if I were Jesus, I would have some young, punk blogger write her stories of her deep love for the Church.  I would have her tell the tales of ministry in the Pacific Northwest…the least churched region of America.  Maybe if she writes, someone who needs a Savior will fall in love with an imperfect church in Vancouver, Washington and come to see about her Christ.  Maybe.  Just maybe.

So, I’m fighting with everything I’ve got to speak well of His Church.  ‘Cause I LOVE His church.  I love His church, all it’s faults, and the journey His Church is taking to find Him, exalt Him, and honor Him.  You may disagree with the means, but I haven’t met a pastor who wanted anything but the life-changing power of Jesus.  And I deeply honor each one for that very reason.  They get up every morning and keep loving people and trying new things to reach people.  Bravo, pastor, bravo!  Keep up the fight!

We’ve had our fair share of critics ripping apart our church over the years as well.  And one thing has been constantly true: while the critics are complaining, we are neck deep in the Holy Spirit’s beautiful work.  The dichotomy is heartbreaking at times. While one group is seeking the face of Jesus, the other is seeking the “problems with the church.”

Let me be clear: You will always find what you seek. 

If you want to find Jesus in the halls of our church, you will no doubt find His powerful presence in the midst of the efforts of a multitude of volunteers, prayer warriors, and passionate people.  If you want to find problems, you probably won’t even make it through the front door without a list a mile long.  It’s your choice, but it’s also your price to pay for that choice.

We spend our days walking with people through profound testimonies of salvations, healings from long awaited prayers, homeless families getting jobs and housing, the Holy Spirit changing a spouse’s heart against an affair, pregnancies that were said would never happen, and on and on and on.  His POWER is ALIVE AND WELL!  And then on the same note we weep daily over lives in our church that need an intersection of Jesus.  Lives broken by addictions, molestations, divorces, abandonment, and pain.  We carry a weight that walks the hallways of our buildings every Sunday that most will never see.  We weep daily. 

Ironically those moments are all too often followed with negativity from others over the music choices, the décor, our cheap seats, how we do the offering, some offense over an obscure sentence one of our “renegade” preachers accidentally said… We get accusations about how we don’t love Jesus and how we should love Jesus differently. We get told how ridiculous our website is.  And how everything would be better if we fixed our parking lots….Nothing we do is good enough, right enough, or godly enough….

And what do I wish I could tell the critics?



It’s hard to hear the Holy Spirit over your voice.


He is calling His children home.

His love for His Bride is deep and wide.

He is here to change a NATION….OUR NATION.

Do you hear Him?

Get on your knees and declare Him Lord.  He is Holy. Righteous…so, so holy…



No more division, no more dissention.  No more blogs about how terrible pastors are and how broken His Church is.  No more.  Correct or incorrect, the repercussions are devastating to the very thing that Jesus loves most.

You are frustrated at Church, because YOU are frustrated with your own lack of Jesus in your heart.  But this Sunday, do me a favor at whatever church your feet may fall into…

Seek Him with a precious abandon. 

Your frustration at the shortcomings of the pastor standing in front of you who was called by Godwill melt in the face of Jesus.  You will find that you won’t worry about the music, the lighting, the dirty nursery toys.  You will find that you have no choice but to hush in His holy presence.  You will also find that when you are standing face to face with the God of the universe, you won’t have the guts to speak against His bride.  You will find humility and honor in that moment.

You will just find His face.  If you really want to see the Church awaken…just find His face.


As we kick off 2016, I am reposting my top 5 blogs from last year this week.  It was an intense year with a lot of lessons that I am so grateful that God walked me through!  Enjoy your first week of a new year.  Seek Jesus, set some goals, and decide to finish strong.  I believe in you!


The ONE.

From December 14, 2015

This has easily been the most difficult year of my life. Every day seemed to bring about new challenges and each challenge seemed more daunting than the last. Weariness, depression and the desire to give up seemed at my heels each day. Perhaps you know the feeling.

I will also say that this year has been one of growth and dependence on Jesus that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  I feel like I learned to pray, learned to trust, and learned to worship on a level that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

This was the year that the Lord taught me that sometimes we just need to go home.  “Home” is often the place where we have felt the greatest peace, the most profound acceptance, and the least amount of strife in our hearts.  For me, home is a camp in Hungry Horse, Montana.

On a warm summer night in August 1986, I met Jesus at an altar at that camp.  I remember the preacher telling me about this Jesus and I remember my soul leaping at those words.  There was a Savior who wanted my heart.  The whole world disappeared as I listened to those words of hope.

I stood to my feet in the crowded room of people when he asked if anyone wanted to accept Jesus as their Savior.  I scooted down the aisle, bumping knees with my friends, and I found myself weeping on a dirty carpet at the front of a stage.  It was there that I gave Jesus my sins and He gave me eternal life.

I left the service that night all by myself.  As I walked out in the dark, my small frame stood among the large evergreen trees that surrounded the building.  My weakness stood among their enormous strength.  I bent my neck back to peer through a break in the trees at the navy blue sky dotted with a million stars.  If you ever want to see a glimpse of God, look into the Montana sky.  I felt in that moment so small, but it would also be the first moment that I would feel Him tug at my heart.  It was as if God was telling me that despite the largeness of this world or the enormity of the challenges I would face, He was there with me.

This summer I went home in August to visit my parents, but Mark wasn’t able to come due to the fact that we were in the middle of selling one of the church buildings.  It ended up being a terrible trip in my difficult year.  I had car problems on the way, alone with two children.  My brother came one day of my vacation to repair the car and when he finished, my dad told me to take a drive to make sure everything was good.  Where does one go?

You go home.

South Fork Flathead River below Hungry Horse Reservoir, Great Bear Wilderness, Montana

I rolled down the windows and set out for Hungry Horse, Montana.  It was the EXACT day of the anniversary of the day I met Jesus 29 years ago.

The hot air poured through my car as I wound through the mountains.  The river was rushing mercilessly on my left and with each mile, I could feel the presence of Jesus flood my car.  He had an agenda for me that day.

As I pulled into the empty camp, every memory flashed through my soul.

Here He met me.

Here He called me.

Here He sent me.

And here He would meet me once again.

I stepped out of my car onto the dry dirt of the parking lot.  There was no one there, so I crept up to the door of the chapel where Jesus first met me.  The same enormous trees surrounded me with their strength once again.

I laid my hands on the door in front of me with a posture of surrender and I began to sob uncontrollably.

The faces of those who played parts in my journey to Jesus came to mind one by one.  My tears surprised me because the source of them was not the pain that I carried with me due to a difficult year.

They were tears of immense gratitude.  Gratitude for the sacrifices of the people who came before me and lead me to this spot where my eternity was changed.  Although the journey had been long, I was so thankful that I had the privilege of being on it.

I drove away from that camp not truly understanding why God gave me that moment. And then the year continued to unload on my shoulders with a fierceness that I didn’t know what to do with.

Recently as I cried out to Jesus about our plight, He reminded me of that afternoon in Hungry Horse.

“Those people who gave up so much for you to meet Jesus…they felt like you at times.  Would you want them to do it all again if it was just for you?”

Hot tears stained my cheeks.

“Yes. Yes, Lord.  Even if it was all just for me.” I was overcome with such a selfish emotion, but my salvation is the most precious thing I have…I NEEDED them to go through all of those challenges, even if it really was just for me…

“Then you keep going for the ONE.”

Resolve poured down my back like a steel rod.  That was all He ever needed to say.  Greatness in the Bible was often seen as a man standing in a field with a shepherd’s staff, or a woman carrying a baby amidst the scrutiny of scandal, or seen in the eyes of an Egyptian slave.  When the outside world looked, they did not see what God knew to be true.  In His eyes, there before Him stood great leaders who said yes to the ONE time and time again.

My audience is Jesus and my mission is to do His will….come what may.

Come what may.


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