Category Archives: Message Series

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

10 Questions

By | Message Series, NewSpring | 4 Comments

Hey, doesn’t God continue to blow our minds with what He’s doing at NewSpring?!!! And it’s not just the size of the crowds, they’re huge and growing all right, but it’s the size of the CHANGE that’s happening. The stories you guys tell me about the changes you’re making really excite me.

The talk I just brought was called Change Your Crowd, and in it, I posed 10 questions all of us need to ask about the people in our inner circle. I went through them so fast, a lot of you didn’t have time to copy all of them down, so here they are.

10 Questions

1.    Do I do things I woudn’t ordinarily do when I’m with them?
2.    Do I have to keep making excuses to myself and others for them?
3.    Do I feel challenged to become a better person when I’ve been around them?
4.    Am I more critical of others when I hang with them?
5.    Does this person give me a new problem every time I see them?
6.    Does this person play up to my weaknesses  to prove I need them?
7.    Do I ever feel controlled by this friend?
8.    Do I feel pressured to continue the relationship when I really want to let it go?
9.    Am I pressuring friends to stay, when they really want to go?
10.    Does this friend let me talk about my friendship with God?

Have a great Monday,

Mark

What a Phenomenal Weekend!

By | Message Series, NewSpring | 2 Comments

I keep thinking I’ve seen what God can do, then he blows my mind again. It was just a little over a year ago that we began to consistently reach the 2000 mark in attendance. In late November of ‘08, we saw 3000 the first time on an ordinary weekend (I don’t know, do we ever have an ordinary weekend?)

Anyway, when we hit 3000, we were in some deep trouble with overcrowding especially in the 11 a.m. service, and I asked who would be willing to move to Saturday night. (The Saturday service was the newest, and there was still room.) Special thanks go out to Kidzworld leaders and team, because in order to make Saturday night a complete service, they stepped up and made sacrifices that were huge.

This last weekend, we had four new things going on. A new series, Change; a new service time for the early service (15 minutes earlier); a whole new Sunday service at 12:30 p.m.; and Clayhouse (our high school experience) moving to coincide with the new service time.

It was great! First of all, thanks to all of you who were willing to move to Saturday night. If you were there, I don ‘t need to say anything. Nearly a thousand people worshipped in the Saturday XL service. That represents at least a doubling of that service. So you can imagine what I was thinking. “Great, 500 people moved from the 11:00 service to Saturday night, now we’ll have more room at 11. Not hardly, we had to bring in chairs. Total attendance for the weekend was almost 3700!

Hey, I’m not being Pollyannaish about this, but I have to tell you what it looks like to me. It seems when we do something bold to make room for more people, God fills up the space with people looking for Him!

And hey, this isn’t just about big numbers, remember every single one of those 3700 people is someone God loved enough to send his son to die for! Many people accepted Jesus this weekend in all of our environments.

To all of you who volunteer, every one who has altered your schedule to help us, you have my heartfelt gratitude. I’m sure Jesus will thank you properly someday! Wonder what God’s cooking up next.

Have a great Tuesday,

Mark

Things to be excited about

By | Just Thoughts, Message Series, NewSpring | One Comment

There are so many things that have happened over the last several weeks that I’m excited about! Every week at NewSpring we are hearing from people that have prayed to receive Christ during one of our weekend services. In the last four weeks alone, 34 people have prayed to receive Christ! Just since our amazing Watermark service on August 24, a total of fifty-five people have accepted Christ! And that only includes those who have responded in the main services and doesn’t include any decisions made in KidzWorld, Project 628, or Clayhouse. 

It has been amazing to see God work with such great power in people’s lives during the Pillow Talk series. Mark has received many, many emails, phone calls, and personal messages describing how God has and is using this series to change lives and restore marriages. If you missed one of the messages, you can watch it online.

Don’t miss the upcoming series Running which begins this weekend. If you didn’t have an opportunity to see the promotional video last weekend, check it out! 

God is busy doing amazing things and I’ve so excited to have a front row seat! For many years I heard stories about God miraculously changing hearts and lives — usually in a far away country. Meeting so many people here at NewSpring especially over the last three or four years, I’ve discovered that the same God is at work right here in Wichita, Kansas! That reminds me of a song title from some years back, God Is Still Doing Great Things!

During this time of great uncertainty in our country and in our world, I’m so glad that my confidence is not tied to any political party or brokerage firm. My confidence is in a God who is holding the world in place and overseeing all the affairs of man — who never changes, but is always up-to-date — who knows the future and is not nervous about any election outcome — I could go on and on and on — Isn’t God Awesome!!

One more note: Be sure to pick up mini invites for Judgement House and email the link to all your friends and family to get online and make their reservation.

I think I may burst from the excitement!

By | Message Series, NewSpring, Next Step | No Comments

Wasn’t Watermark weekend AWESOME?  and that’s an understatement!

Believe it or not, there’s more excitement to come.

This weekend begins a brand new series, Pillow Talk, Five Secrets of Love and Sex.

Since my passion is Starting Point, I’m VERY excited to host the Starting Point Orientation this Sunday at 11:00 a.m. in the East Building, Room A. If you want to know what Starting Point is, you are invited to come have a cup of coffee, look at the materials and hear from some SP “grads” to see if Starting Point is for you.

Another big event is the grand opening of our new and improved 252 Theatre, the fantastic kid space for kids first grade through fifth.

If your kids are 6th – 8th graders, NewSpring is launching a brand new Sunday morning experience for middle school students this Sunday at 9:30 in the East Building.

If you missed Powerlines during the summer like I did, you’ll want to join us this Wednesday, Sept 10 at 6:30. Mark has a brand new format and will be talking about Heaven.

There are so many exciting things to talk about, and these I’ve mentioned are only a few. God is blessing so much that it’s almost overwhelming. I’m reminded of a passage in Malachi that actually is talking about tithing, but I think it applies here in that it describes how abundantly God blesses our faith and obedience. In the middle of Malachi 3:10, the Bible says,

“…I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in!…”

Maybe another reason that passage comes to mind is the reference to “enough room.” If you’ve been attending the 11 o’clock service, you may have noticed how crowded it is. You might have struggled to get through the incoming traffic and then find a good parking spot. If you’re not that fond of big crowds, there’s good news! NewSpring has two other identical services available — Saturday @ 6 p.m., Sunday @ 9:30. There’s more space in the auditorium, in the kid’s classes and in the parking lot. So, give it a try! (My personal favorite is Saturday at 6 p.m.)

See you this weekend!


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!

get out a half sheet of paper

By | Just Thoughts, Message Series, NewSpring | No Comments

I don’t know what phrase they use nowadays, but when I was in school, that meant a pop quiz was coming. A pop quiz was an unannounced test over material that had been covered either in class or in a homework assignment. Usually, there were only a few questions, which meant they all had a high value. (In other words, it only took one or two wrong answers to fail.) If you’re like me and you’ve been out of school for a long time, you may have forgotten that sinking feeling that you felt when you took one of those quizzes, but I have been revisiting that lately.

I have noticed a pattern that I picked up on a while back, and it seems to be consistent with me. Whenever a series is preached on a particular subject, I seem to get a quiz. For instance, this summer the series have covered anger and humility. So.. I should have had a clue what was coming. Indeed, I have had many pop quizzes on both subjects (which, by the way are very much related), and I’ve passed a few and failed a few. Now, I have noted that the ones I passed were ones I was prepared for. How? I was much in prayer and finding help in the Bible. I also spent time reflecting on the practical helps given in the messages. Those quizzes I failed… well, you can guess.

My conclusion on these quizzes is that if I stay prepared by prayer and reading God’s Word, I am much less likely to suffer that sinking feeling. I can face tomorrow’s quiz with confidence.

By the way, what’s the next series?

Packin’ Slushee

By | Just Thoughts, Message Series, NewSpring | 4 Comments

There’s an interesting story posted on the Eagle website this morning. Seems a customer, a guy in his 50’s was in the drive-through at Spangle’s on North Rock, and for some reason, he was unhappy with the way his order was processed. Instead of sharing his complaint with the server at the window he did something that got him in the paper, and evidently caught the interest of the Wichita police. The title of the article reads Unhappy customer throws a fit—and a drink—

That’s right, the guy parked his red truck in the parking lot, walked into the restaurant, and threw his orange slush at the employees. Witnesses say he nearly hit another customer on his way out of the parking lot. It seems the police are looking for the hotheaded slushee hurler.

What’s happening out there? Why are people losing it like this? You would think a guy this old would know better. More importantly, how would you deal with a guy like this if he lived in your family?

That’s why I’m about to start Packin’ Heat.( I don’t mean carrying a gun, it’s the title of my new series.) I honestly believe it’s the series of the year to date. We’re going to look at what’s causing people to be so angry, how to survive in an angry world, also how to deal with anger issues in our own life. It all starts May 31/June 1. I can’t wait. The theme is Old West, and the first message is Last Train Out. It’s going to be huge.

In the meantime, if you see a guy in a red truck with a face to match, winding up with an orange slushee in his hand, don’t forget to duck. Just call 911.

Mark

Odyssey Amnesty

By | Just Thoughts, Message Series, NewSpring | No Comments

If you started the year with us on Odyssey 08 (that is, reading through the One Year Bible) and at some point you missed a few days, then tried to catch up, only to get overwhelmed and quit, I have good news for you! This is Odyssey Amnesty Day! Of course, I just made that up, but the reason is that today is a great day to jump back in.

Here’s why: The Old Testament reading is at the beginning of 1 Samuel. This is the beginning of a whole new era in the nation of Israel. You’ll read about the story of Samuel’s mother who could have no children but God did a miracle in her life. From that miraculous beginning, you’ll read about the life of Samuel as he grew up in a very unusual way, living at the Temple. Even as a boy, God spoke to Samuel personally and throughout his entire life, God gave Samuel an amazing role to play as the nation of Israel becomes a kingdom for the first time.

In the New Testament, today’s reading is early in the book of John, which finds us in the middle of Jesus’ ministry. In John 5, Jesus heals a man who had been sick for 38 years. As your read, notice how excited the Jewish leaders are when this amazing healing takes place.

The reading in Psalms goes over the story of how God has blessed Israel for many generations. Notice the last verse in this passage that answers the question, Why?.

The two verses in Proverbs remind me of an upcoming series, “Packin’ Heat.” Notice that the understanding person has anger, he just knows what to do with it. Check it out.

Welcome back aboard on our Odyssey!

Mary Alice