Category Archives: Family

Getting in gear

By | Family, Just Thoughts | No Comments

I’m still enjoying my reflections on a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. All of our family was able to be together here at our house for turkey and last Monday I was able to briefly visit with my parents in Texas as well. I am so thankful for the blessing of family and the love we share.

Now that Christmas season is upon us, we’re gearing up for the next big holiday. Although my decorating skills leave much to be desired, I’ve tried to set aside my insecurities and start getting our Christmas decorations up. One of my struggles though is that at my age time flies by so fast that it seems like I just finish getting everthing in place when it’s time to take it all down again!

I am really looking forward to the new message series that starts this week.  Mark usually shares his thoughts with me, so I get some great previews of what’s coming. I also got to see the stage decorations as they were going up during the week. It’s amazing! Dale Poore and his team always manage to top their last project with more creative genius!

I’m also excited to get back with my Starting Point groups after our break for Thanksgiving. I get to know so many people through SP and I love that!

Who Am I?

By | Family, Just Thoughts, NewSpring, Next Step | No Comments

Have you ever awakened from a deep sleep and felt the need to ask the nearest person what your name was? Although I haven’t been sleeping deeply (thanks to a head cold), I have been spinning with excitement over all things going on in my life and I’m a little dizzy.

What does it take to make me dizzy? Some major milestone events, lots of new friends, a family holiday and a head cold.

Our Discovery Reception on November 16 was absolutely packed with over 100 people attending. We had to abandon our usual arrangement of beautifully decorated tables and set up rows of chairs, which were all taken and we had to add more during the morning.

Last weekend, four new Starting Point groups launched (which is a record for number of new groups beginning on one weekend). I am leading two of the four and it is a thrill to get to know all of the group members and hear their stories. I love taking the Starting Point journey again with brand new friends!

I’m thrilled that last weekend we had almost 3,100 people at NewSpring, although we are now facing some serious logistical challenges. Everyone in the 11 o’clock service was so kind to move in close and help everyone find a seat. The traffic is also a challenge as we dismiss the 9:30 service and welcome those coming to the 11 o’clock service.

After a couple of days of long staff meetings, we prepared for company to arrive at our house for the holiday. Jonathan, Wendy & Cheyenne arrived on Wednesday and I’ve had so much fun cooking with and playing with Cheyenne. Of course everyone else was great to visit with as well, but being Nana is the most fun!

I hope everyone has had a lovely Thanksgiving and returns safely home from their travels. We have such an exciting future together here at NewSpring!

Mary Alice

My List

By | Family, Just Thoughts, NewSpring, Next Step | No Comments

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I’m reminded of many things I’m thankful for:

  • I’m not trying to pack and move over the holiday weekend like we did last year
  • All of our family is planning to be together for the holiday
  • All of our family is safe and healthy and we are looking forward to the newest additions to be added in 2009 — one by birth and one by marriage
  • I have met MANY new friends at NewSpring during the last 12 months
  • Over 100 people came to Discovery last Sunday
  • 43 people are signed up to begin Starting Point this weekend
  • Most of all, I’m thankful for the wonderful memories of the past, the delicious blessings of the present and the indescribable future life God has in store for me along with all those in His family

I pray that each of you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Unexpected guest at the door

By | Family | One Comment

Our little dog, Fred having now recovered from his frightening experience with the ducks last spring, has now settled into a regular routine. He goes out the front door for short breaks and when he’s ready to come back in, he sits in front of the sidelight window beside the front door. He sits patiently, peering in as he waits for the door to be opened to allow him back inside.

A couple of nights ago, I was about to let Fred out for a break, but as I stepped toward the front door, I thought I saw a little animal sitting in front of that side window by the front door. As I got closer, I could see that a very small, but brave and hopeful little mouse was standing (not sitting) on the ledge of the side window. His little pointed nose was held high and his tail stretched out behind him, as if he were imitating the dog he saw standing there many times each day. Maybe he was hopeful that I would open the door and let him in just as I did for Fred.

On the other hand, maybe he had observed the neighborhood kids receiving candy when they came to the door a few nights ago. In any event, I was very curious what would cause this little otherwise shy animal to be brave enough to step up to the front door.

Even when I came up to the door with Fred beside me looking out, the mouse seemed unafraid and stood there expectantly. After a couple of minutes, I tapped on the window and he scampered away, but I’ll not soon forget our little unexpected visitor.

GAD was a lot of fun!

By | Family, NewSpring | One Comment

Last weekend was GAD — Greater Andover Days — and NewSpring participated. KidzWorld had some very fun things to offer both during the Saturday parade and after. You can read about that and see pictures on Dan’s blog.

I was also at the parade because Stephen was marching with the Andover High School band. They did an awesome job. It was so unusual to have a day in late September that was very warm — in the upper 80’s I think. I know the band members were very glad to shed their uniforms as soon as they reached the end of the parade route. Because I’m old and like to reminisce, I had to tell Stephen that when I marched in a parade in our high school marching band back in 1973, it was in the 20’s and I froze. Isn’t it hard to believe the weather was so much colder in Texas than in Kansas? One detail though is the parade we marched in was the Stock Show parade and it is always in January. Texas does get cold in January! I also mentioned to him — playing the glad game — that when we marched, we came after the horses — his band was in front of them and for that he should be thankful.

I Like New!

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Now, don’t get me wrong, I treasure my heritage and I’m thrilled to look back on all the wonderful things God has done for me. I can be very sentimental about my memories. When Mark and I visit Texas, one of our favorite things to do is drive by the houses we lived in during our childhood, we go by houses where my grandparents lived, churches and schools we attended and even shopping areas in the “old” part of town. All of these places bring back treasured memories but we don’t live there anymore. We aren’t children anymore, we’re grandparents! … and we’re busy making new memories for us and for our children and grandchildren. God was so faithful and good to us in the past, but I’m glad our God is a God of the future as well. He has such wonderful plans for today and tomorrow and I’m anxious to be in the here and now, with an eye toward the future. If we fail to think about the future, we will fail. After all, this life we are living is just an investment in eternity — that’s where we will spend the “bulk” of our existence.

As a matter of fact, we are commanded to “set our sights” on Heaven — our future.

Colossians 3:1-3
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

Heaven is what we are talking about on Wednesday evenings at Powerlines. Join us next Wednesday, September 24 at 6:30 in the East Building and our discussion will include a special guest from Scotland.

Have you ever heard the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” ? I came across that just recently and it really made me stop and think about the logic of that oft-quoted mantra. It might sound reasonable when we are struggling to learn a new process that seems to take more time and effort temporarily, but what if we go back and apply that to all those “new fixes” that we now enjoy every day.

For example…

My legs get me where I need to go just fine… why do I need wheels?
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it..

I enjoy hauling water to our house from the creek nearby. It works for us to use that water for cooking, cleaning, and bathing and we’ve always had an outhouse – it works just fine… why do we need indoor plumbing?
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it..

I love the glow of oil lamps in our house… why do I need electricity?
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it..

My mother taught me how to dip our clothes into these tubs for washing and it’s so much fun to use the wringer… I think my clothes smell extra fresh hanging on the line outside… why would I want an automatic washer and dryer?
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it..

My mother gave me this cast iron manual typewriter, it works just fine… why do I need a computer?
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it..

My rotary telephone works just fine… why do I need one with buttons… and I surely don’t need a phone to carry with me!
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it..

My vinyl records have all my favorite songs and they work just fine, why would I want to use CD’s?
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it..

I love shopping for stationery and writing long letters to my friends. They don’t mind waiting a few days to hear from me – that’s so special and it works great. Why would I want to use email?
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it..

Maybe since Mark and I have been talking so much about Heaven lately, I was thinking about those who don’t like change … don’t like new. It may be a difficult adjustment in Heaven, because God has announced to us about our future….

Revelation 21:5
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”

Which brings me back to….. I Like New!!

Ready for School?

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

This summer is almost gone — not the hot weather, but summer vacation. Our youngest son, Stephen will be attending band camp this coming week and the following week classes begin. It’s always sad to see summer vacation come to an end even though I’m not in school. I’m also still trying to get used to the fact that my youngest child is starting high school. At my age, four years go by so fast that I’m trying to prepare myself for the empty nest that’s coming all too soon.

As we prepare for this fall, we are very excited to anticipate what God is going to do at NewSpring Church. Even though summer attendance is usually down, the last two weekends we have had over 2,000 and from those two weekends, 15 people have let us know that they prayed to receive Christ. Last weekend, KidzWorld had their highest attendance (472) since Easter and as of last Monday, 103 people have registered to be baptized at Watermark on August 24. Forty-two people have signed up for Discovery Reception where we will introduce our leadership team and ministry opportunities. Discovery is also the place to find out how to become a member of the NewSpring Church family.

This weekend begins a new series and I have gotten some previews, so I can say that you won’t want to miss it. The first message is called “Filing Jointly.” Mark and I were sitting at the lunch table when he was telling me how he was still struggling with the illustration he needed. A minute or two went by and I saw the light come on! God gave him just what he had been asking for. Although I got a small sample, I’m very anxious to hear the whole message this weekend.

I can’t imagine a more exciting life than what God has given me. Even with another summer coming to an end, the best is yet to come!

4th of July

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We were sitting on the back porch with our bowls of homemade chocolate chip ice cream and enjoying the fireworks displayed all over our neighborhood. It was an amazing site to see! It seemed that each neighbor was alternating in such a way that it almost seemed choreographed. There were multiple concussions followed by spectacular explosions of light that turned the dark night into what seemed like broad daylight. This went on for hours. (I’m glad I didn’t have to clean up after all that this morning.) Our area must have been quite a sight because we saw several private planes circling around above us. I wonder what it looked like from up there.

Anyway, it was a wonderful Americana experience. Like all our other holidays, it brought back many memories, but also created some new ones.

I had to chuckle a couple of times and if I thought about it, I’m sure I could figure out what these things might illustrate, but for now I’ll just put them into my mental file cabinet for future reference.

When Stephen came out onto the porch, he commented that it sounded like a war out there. Of course, as I understand it, that is sort of the whole point, or at least it started out to be. The fireworks celebration is commemorating our fight for independence. It should remind us of the fact that there was a war here on our soil that cost many lives in order to gain our freedom from foreign rule.

Then there was another moment I will remember for a while. In between the bright and loud series of fireworks, I kept thinking I saw a rather faint glow flashing off and on down below us. At first I thought I was just seeing a reflection in a neighbor’s window — maybe reflecting some fireworks behind us, but then I was sure it couldn’t be a reflection. I asked Mark, “Do you see a little firefly down there or is that just my imagination?” He then confirmed what I thought I was seeing — it was a little firefly — glowing away, joining in this wonderful celebration (it would seem). It just impressed me, I don’t know why exactly.

Isn’t summer wonderful?

Summer Stuff

By | Family, NewSpring, Next Step | 2 Comments

Our family is enjoying a great summer this year, mostly at home, but with a few “away” adventures sprinkled in. Stephen is participating in junior golf and also getting ready for camp coming up next week. Mark is preparing to speak at a church in the great state of Texas, however it will be in West Texas which is very different from northeast and south central Texas where our roots are. West Texas is a little more like the wilderness the Children of Israel wandered through — or at least that’s my opinion. When I visited there as a young girl, my cousin Carolyn and I went out to explore and I remember looking for a tree (of any size) or even a small patch of grass to get some relief from the hot summer sun, but to no avail, there was none to be found. It was a hot, barren desert.

Speaking of grass.. we’re trying to grow some in our yard. It’s one of the projects that goes with a new house. We are watching the weather patterns and looking out at our partial crop with great interest daily as we chose seeding over sodding. It’s definitely a long-term project.

In my world at NewSpring, we had a wonderful Discovery Reception on June 8 with a room full of people who want to be part of what God is doing here. This last weekend, we had a Starting Point orientation and will begin a new group this Sunday that will meet through the summer. I’m so thankful that God has now given us six couples to lead Starting Point groups, so at the present time, with two groups just concluded last weekend, we have three active groups going even through the summer months — awesome! AND we will plan to begin at least three new groups in the fall. What a great joy to get to know everyone that comes through Discovery and Starting Point!

Holiday Weekend

By | Family, NewSpring, Next Step | 2 Comments

It’s hard to believe that almost a week has gone by since we returned from Oklahoma City where we visited our son, Jonathan and his family. We were able to attend church with them, enjoy some local attractions and just hang out. I love my son and daughter-in-law, Wendy, but I particularly enjoy getting to visit with our

Cheyenne Hoover

granddaughter, Cheyenne. She is not only beautiful (see picture), but is also intelligent, well-mannered and articulate. In short, she is a delight! I treasure all the time we get to spend with her.

This particular picture was taken during a boat ride on the canal in Bricktown, which is in downtown OKC. She is great to pose for her Dad who is becoming a great photographer along with his many other talents.

Our daughter-in-law, Wendy is also muti-talented and is very involved at their church in several different roles. (You can see by the picture on the right that Cheyenne’s beauty comes from her mother.)

As we return to our ministry here at NewSpring, I’m very excited to be hosting our next Discovery Reception this Sunday, June 8. This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to meet NewSpring ministry leaders, find out about volunteer opportunities and/or how to become a member of NewSpring. Questions are welcome. In fact, there is a little fun with the ministry leaders who compete to answer the most questions. (Usually, Lance gets the most. )

We are also beginning a new Starting Point group on June 15. If you are interested, now is the time to get signed up!