Category Archives: Message Series

Point Three

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I’ve had a few hours now to calm down from bringing the talk for the fourth time this weekend, but I still think that parenting is the toughest thing we get into as human beings.  So challenging, so complicated, and who even knows what the final score is until God adds it up?

Anyway, in the two morning services, with time limited due to the appeal I made for volunteers, (by the way, thanks to all of you who responded so overwhelmingly… you really excited some leaders, I can tell you that!)  I actually had to leave out the third point in my list of things you want in your parenting experience. Read More

Seasons and Things

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It looks like another cloudy, unseasonably cool day here in Kansas. I’m thankful for the moisture which is needed to keep things green and growing, but I really miss the sunshine when the clouds stay more than a day or so. This reminds me of what I used to hear as a child when the weather seemed out of the ordinary — that it was a sign of the end times. Actually, I’ve never found the verse that they were referring to, but in case you’ve been told the same thing, there is a verse you might like to know. It was after the flood and God was making his covenant with Noah. Among the promises God made, you may find this one interesting. Read More

The Most Important Key

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Another Question from Love Songs:

What, with your experience with couples, do you feel is the most important key to a long happy marriage?

Unconditional love.

Long marriages are not always happy. This is a reality because life is not always happy. Living life as partners means you love on the good days and you love on the not-so-good days. You love when you don’t “feel like” loving. You love when your love is not reciprocated. You love when the future looks good and you love when it looks like there is no future. Read More

How to Respect

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One of the questions that came in during the Love Songs series:

You said we as women are called to respect! Your husband is a godly man following biblical values! But you as the women find it hard to show respect! How?

First of all, we women need to remember that our “nature” is not to respect, it is to control (see Genesis 3). One of the first strategies to gain control, is to assume a superior position. I believe that is why so many women systematically dismantle their husband’s self-esteem. She is quick to point out each of his faults and failures and trumpet her own successes. A woman may say — even to herself — that she is providing constructive criticism to make her husband and their marriage better, but in reality this behavior is very destructive to both.

Back to the question, “How do you respect?” My answer would be that you choose to respect. Make a decision to stop looking for faults, stop all criticism (contructive or not) and start building up each attribute or action you see in your husband that you admire. Look hard for every positive thing and express admiration and gratitude sincerely and often.

Mary Alice

Why can’t you be like my mom?

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If you’re a NewSpringer you know this already, but for those of you who may not get to attend, in the current series, Love Songs, people are texting me questions during the talk. At the end of each service I answer some of the most frequently asked, but unfortunately, I only get to a handful. For the next few days, Mary Alice and I are going to try to tackle some of the others.  Today, I’m going to take a crack at one of my favorites.

To set it up, in the first talk, I warned guys about making unfavorable comparisons of their wives to other women.  I guess that prompted this one…

 How do you handle the situation when the woman he constantly compares you to is his mother?

Bet your first inclination is to pack him up and drop him off at her door, but before it comes to that, try to help him see three things that he’s not getting.

  1. I doubt he realizes how painful this is for you.  There’s nothing wrong with him remembering some positive quality his mother possesses, but when he uses that quality to show you up, he’s no longer honoring his mom, he’s inflicting damage on you.  Let him know, not in an accusative tone, but in an instructive way that his words hurt! 
  2. Guys sometimes get the idea that the way to inspire their wives is to point out other women who are doing something better.  Most guys have no idea how much pressure women put on themselves to measure up favorably to other women, and when the man whom they look to for comfort makes them feel inadequate, it has a devastating effect.  Help him understand  that kind of unfavorable comparison doesn’t inspire you, it makes you feel like shutting down.
  3. The obvious.  You’re not his mom. You’re his wife.  She may have strengths you don’t have, you have strengths she doesn’t, but that’s not the main point. The first thing the Bible says about marriage is in Genesis 2:24. God says a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife.  Remind him that you are his wife, and to the best of your power, and within reason,  you want to do the things that will please him, but at the end of the day, you are who you are, the woman God made you to be.  You’re not his mom, you’re not trying to be her, and although you honor who she is in his life, you’re his WIFE!

Mark

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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Remember the old Aretha Franklin song about a woman needing respect from the guy in her relationship?  Actually, the real history of the song is a little different.  Turns out it wasn’t written by Aretha;  Otis Redding wrote and released it first, as the plea of a man for respect from a woman. (Check out the Wikipedia article on the song.)

Last week in Love Songs, my talk was on a man’s need for respect from a woman, and in each of the services I read a list that I compiled from a meeting with twelve NewSpring guys.  The list was the responses from two questions I asked them. What makes you feel respected? What makes you feel disrespected?  I went through the answers so fast that a number of you asked if I would give them again, so here they are.

What makes you feel respected?

1. Appreciation
2. Pleasant tone of voice
3. Comments of praise (especially made about him to others)
4. The feeling that he can be himself around her
5. When she goes out of her way to please him
6. Physical touch
7. The words, “I’m proud of you.”

What makes you feel disrespected?

1. The feeling of not being needed
2. Being down on her priority list
3. Being talked down to
4. Being criticized by someone and she doesn’t defend
5. Trying hard to please her but nothing seems to
6. Dishonesty

This weekend we’re talking about The Climb, the challenge of making marriage work for a lifetime. I can’t wait to get started.

Mark

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!

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.

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

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