Out of Summer and into Fall

By | Family, Message Series, NewSpring, Next Step | 2 Comments

It’s hard to believe that summer has come to a close — but what a summer! We had some great times with family — especially Jared and Jessica’s wedding on July 31. Here’s a few photo highlights from that day. (Special thanks to Barbara Hotalen and Jessica’s cousin for the pics.)

In addition to Hoover family additions this year, we have celebrated NewSpring family additions with almost 300 people going public with their faith at Watermark 09.

Last weekend we had a great Starting Point Orientation with five new groups beginning Sept 12-13. By the way, there’s still time to sign up if you’re interested.

The new message series “Love Songs” also begins Sept 12-13.  Mark, Lance and the entire team have been preparing for this series for months and even though I get some previews, I can’t wait to see it all come together.

Speaking of “coming together,” I hope many more NewSpringers will consider making Saturday their preferred time to attend worship. I think there’s just a little more energy in the room on Saturdays and there’s definitely more music with XL. The main goal, of course, is to make more room for first time guests at 11 on Sundays. So give Saturday a try!

Two June Anniversaries

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It’s been a lovely vacation down here in Texas. After Mark spent the first couple of days in meetings, we enjoyed a couple of days of family get-togethers and then enjoyed being tourists here in our hometown. Last Saturday, June 6th was the 24th anniversary of the day we moved to Wichita. Today has been extra special as it is our 32nd wedding anniversary.

We look forward to being back home this weekend.

To Reasons You Don’t Have to Freak at the Thought of Dying

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#10  You won’t really die.

John 11:25-26  (NLT)
25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.

#9  You will still be you.

Luke 9:28-31 (NLT)
28 About eight days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on a mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Then two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. 31 They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.

#8  There’ll be no stopping you.

2 Corinthians 5:1 (NLT)
For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.

#7  You will live the way you were designed to live.

2 Corinthians 5:5 (NLT)
5 God himself has prepared us for this,

2 Corinthians 5:2-5 (THE MESSAGE)
Sometimes we can hardly wait to move — and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! 5 The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.

#6  You’re going to be seriously upgraded.

 1 Corinthians 15:35-38 (NLT)
35 But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” 36 What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. 37 And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting. 38 Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have.

1 Corinthians 15:42-44 (THE MESSAGE)

42 This image of planting a dead seed and raising a live plant is a mere sketch at best, but perhaps it will help in approaching the mystery of the resurrection body — but only if you keep in mind that when we’re raised, we’re raised for good, alive forever! 43 The corpse that’s planted is no beauty, but when it’s raised, it’s glorious. Put in the ground weak, it comes up powerful. 44 The seed sown is natural; the seed grown is supernatural — same seed, same body, but what a difference from when it goes down in physical mortality to when it is raised up in spiritual immortality!

 #5  Check out your model home.

1 John 3:2 (NIV)
2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him,

#4  You’ll be tangible but not limited by matter.

John 20:19-20 (NLT)
19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side.

#3  You’re going to eat.

Luke 24:41-43 (NLT)
41 Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he ate it as they watched.

#2  Perfection

Revelation 21:3-4 (NLT)
3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

Revelation 22:1-5 (NLT)
22 Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.
3 No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. 4 And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. 5 And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them.

#1 You have nothing to fear.

Hebrews 2:14-15 (NLT)
14 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. 15 Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

Drive

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Today I am in Atlanta attending the third day of an awesome conference called “Drive.” I was invited to come as a part of the Starting Point Advisory Board. Starting Point was developed here at North Point Community Church and they continue to update and improve it with new and fresh ideas. If you are wondering what Starting Point is, you can check us out at newspring.org/startingpoint. There are new SP groups forming at NewSpring every 6 to 8 weeks.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, last Friday, May 1, our granddaughter, Summer Juliette Hoover, was born, weighing in at a little over 6 lbs. She is absolutely beautiful as is her sister, Cheyenne. We are very thankful for our children and grandchildren by birth and by marriage. God is very good to us! (If you Facebook, our son, Jonathan has some awesome pictures uploaded.)

We had over 50 people at the Discovery Reception last Sunday. If you missed it, but would like to attend the next Discovery, registration is open for June 28. We have a great time in Discovery! Of course, my favorite part is just getting to know all the people who are new to NewSpring.

Tonight is First Wednesday, but not just your average First Wednesday — we will have an official groundbreaking for the new Kid’s Building. What an exciting day! I can’t wait to see this building start going up! Besides all the amazing new Kid’s space, there will be many other improvements to the main building that we will all enjoy.

Please pray for our safe travel as Debbie Kubish and I fly home this afternoon. See you at First Wednesday!

Room for More

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As we anxiously await the arrival of our granddaughter, Summer, I’m reminded of the feelings I had with the arrival of each of our children. It would seem that all the love we had was invested in the children who were already in our family, but with the birth of each child, God increased our store of love so that we had more to give to the new arrival. It is hard to imagine another grandchild as wonderful as Cheyenne, but I’m sure that God will increase our love to shower on little Summer. There’s always room for more!

At NewSpring, there is always room for more as well! This Sunday is our next Discovery Reception, which is a unique opportunity to learn more about NewSpring and how you can get involved. You’ll hear from the NewSpring leadership team and have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. There are still about 20 places available, so if you’re new to NewSpring, come join us this Sunday, May 3, from 9:15 to noon. You can register online.

If you’ve heard about the new Kid’s building, but would like to get more details, you’re invited to come to a Full Access Group. Opportunities are about to come to an end for Full Access Groups, but there is still room on April 29 and May 7. On Wednesday, April 29, childcare is provided, but you don’t need to have children to attend. You can register online.

Catching Up

By | Family, Message Series, NewSpring, Next Step | One Comment

I just realized that it’s been almost a month since we’ve posted on our blog! There are so many exciting things happening, so I’ll try to bring our blog up-to-date.

First of all, our family is looking forward to the arrival of our granddaughter, Summer, who is scheduled to arrive in mid May. Her older sister Cheyenne was in town with her Mom, Wendy over spring break and we enjoyed that visit. Stephen is looking forward to his 15th birthday in just a few days and Grandpa Hoover (WM) will celebrate his 84th birthday this Saturday. Grandma Hoover (Edith) had a little health scare that kept her in the hospital overnight for the first time since Mark’s birth, but she is responding well to medication and is her normal, energetic self.

Last Sunday we had a Discovery Reception and 57 people were present. As a result, NewSpring will again be welcoming many new members into the family. The next Discovery Reception will be May 3 and registration is already underway.

Mark is at the church tonight with a Full Access Group, which is a small group of people who would like to get some up close information about the exciting new building project that is about to begin at NewSpring. Although most of the groups are now full, there are still some spaces available. If you’re interested, you can register online at newspring.org/fullaccess.

This Sunday is Easter and every staff member and volunteer is doubling their efforts in anticipation of an overflow crowd — especially at the 11 o’clock service. Many people in our community will come to NewSpring this Sunday for the first time because of the holiday. There will be two services on Saturday — 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to allow many of our regular Sunday attenders to come on Saturday and make extra space for visitors coming on Sunday. Because we are also offering a full KidzWorld program for both services on Saturday, many of you I have talked to are volunteering for extra services to make this possible. NewSpring volunteers are awesome!

Mark has also been working on the new message series that begins this weekend, u x 2Double Your Impact. Along with the weekend talks, he has also written a daily journal that corresponds with the series. These will be available this weekend, but you can pre-order online. Because of God’s gift to Mark of expressing things so simply and clearly, I have been trying to encourage him for years to write a book. Being humble as he is, he never feels his material is worthy of print, but this particular series has so captured his passion that he has devoted many hours to writing this journal. I am very confident that God is going to use it to bless each reader in an unusual way. Even though I’ve gotten many previews, I can’t wait to get my copy!

I hope every NewSpringer will be praying for God to do amazing things this weekend at NewSpring and throughout the world as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Mary Alice

The 7 Rules of Staying Power

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This weekend I talked about saying yes to perseverence and I flew through the 7 rules of staying power. So in case you didn’t get them all in the talk, here they are:

1. Any quest in life, truly worthwhile,  will present you with a “quit now” moment.

2.  A life of quitting early will leave you with an inventory of uncompleted business.

3. We tend to overestimate our own strength, and underestimate God’s.

4. You don’t have to beat your opponents, just outlast them.

5. Battles are won at moments that don’t feel like victories.

6. In the endurance vs. escape struggle, vision of the payoff is what tips the scales.

7. Perseverance is the key to  healthy, godly self-esteem.

Say Yes to Service

By | Message Series, NewSpring | One Comment

Last weekend was fantastic! We got off to a great start with our new series, Say Yes, with a challenge to step up to the plate in the area of generosity. I really enjoyed all the stories of

One more time, I need your help. If you have a story from your life about a time when you served others, either by meeting a need, or volunteering at NewSpring or somewhere else, and it impacted your life, would you share it with me? You can either email it to me, or post it as a comment on the blog or on our Facebook page. Last week it was so awesome to find out all the various areas where you guys are being generous, I can’t wait to hear about where you are serving, and what it’s doing for you.

  • Discovery is this weekend. Maybe you’ve been attending NewSpring for a little while and you’re ready to officially become part of our family (or you’re at least thinking about it). Here’s my personal invitation to be part of Discovery, an informal setting where you’ll get to find out more about who we are, what we’re about, and discover all the fantastic opportunities here. You’ll get to meet our staff, and I’ll be there too. It happens at 9:15 in the East Building. If you get up too late for breakfast, don’t worry, there’ll be snacks. I think you’ll really love it. If you want to sign up, just go to newspring.org/discovery.
  • One more thing. I’ve got some exciting news about the future of NewSpring that I’m going to share this weekend in the message.

I can’t wait! See you in a few days.

Mark

Say Yes!

By | Message Series, NewSpring | 2 Comments

Good morning NewSpring!

I’m so excited about our new series that begins this weekend. It’s called Say Yes! It’s all about living confidently in a scared-to-death world. I was just watching a business channel this morning, and the expert talking heads were bemoaning that they really had no idea where to invest with certainty. And it’s not just on Wall Street; the paralysis has trickled down to Main Street as well. People don’t know whether to spend or save, buy or sell, change jobs or stay put. It’s just too fuzzy out there.

Hey, did you know there’s no downturn in Heaven? God’s not hung up until stimulus bill money gets released. He’s still looking for people to bless. Take a look at one of my favorite verses in the Bible.

2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT

9 The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

This weekend we start talking about four impulses it’s totally safe to say, “Yes” to. I’m so ready to get started!

Just one more thing. Would you be open to helping me craft this series? I’d love to get some of your stories about how you’ve said “Yes” in the past to these impulses. This weekend’s talk is, “Say Yes to Generosity.” Do you have a story to tell about a time when you stepped up to the plate and were generous? I’d love to read it. We’re opening a spot on our Facebook page where you can share your stories. To get to our page, just go to our website at newspring.org and look on the home page for the Facebook icon. Thanks for your help!

Have a great Tuesday!

Mark

Change Your Goals If…

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Mary Alice and I are getting away for a few days to our hometown of Ft. Worth and the weather here is incredible! Everybody is out in shorts and t-shirts.  I want to believe it’s Spring, but I know better. Anyway, I hope you’re having a fantastic Monday.

Yesterday, I closed out the Change series with a talk about changing our goals. I sailed through the eight indicators that you might need to change goals and I promised to put them on the blog. Well, here they are!

Change your goals if…

1. If you don’t have any to speak of

2. If they’re arbitrary obsessions

3. If they’re too easy

4. They’re not yours

5. They’re no longer clear

6. They won’t get you where you need to go

7. They’re too heavily weighted on this life

8. The goal is costing more to execute than the result is worth