Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Path I Wish I Had Never Traveled

As we are preparing for our upcoming fall series, "The Forgotten Path" we began wondering:

I bet everyone has traveled some path in their life either figuratively or literally that they wish they had never gone down.  

Would you be willing to take a moment and share your "path I wish I'd never traveled" story with us below?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

At a Semi-loss for words (from Douglas Poole)

Dear Cypress Family and Friends,

Have you ever felt something deep inside you that needed to get vocalized but you struggled to find the right words that could fully capture what was begging to be said?

Well, that is where I am this morning as I hammer away at this e-note. Earlier this week I spent some extended time working on “The Forgotten Path” message I will give at Cypress the first weekend in October. (The web page is finally up by the way...glitches and gremlins conquered! Anyway the material I was studying in prep for the series stirred some deep thoughts and deep emotions so powerfully in me that I finally had to just stop and pray, “Oh God please grant me the words your Spirit could use to do for others what You are doing in me right now.” Lights have come on for me as I have been studying. There have been some aha moments of: ‘Oh, so that is why things unfolded for that couple as they I see why he is where he is...if she doesn’t chose a different path soon she will not like where she ends up’. To be forth-right here with you...I have had a few of those moments myself about myself. Anyway, as I pleaded with you last week, do more than come to ‘The Forgotten Path’ series yourself, bring others, by all means...bring others! Really. Beg, bargain, buy off...just get them here. Do anything short of sin to get them here.

Now those of you who know me realize I have a little extra octane in my plea with you. I just feel extra urgency on this and I think I’d be remiss to not challenge you hard on this one. I guess after 29 years of leading a church...some days I weary of seeing the levels of pain that could have been avoided, the heartache that was so unnecessary, the disappointment that was blindly self-induced....and some days I just want to plead with  other people don’t go down that path any further, it will only leave you with regrets...stop now while you can. I guess today is one of those days. So pick up invitation cards this Sunday and shamelessly invite.

Okay, I feel a little better having said all that...but I’m far from over have been warned. This Sunday I’m addressing “Coming to Terms with God”, and this is for all of us who have tried to have God on OUR terms.

By the way, there is Saturday night church tomorrow at 6. If you are going to help us with the soft launch of the service in there!


The Preacher at a semi-loss for words

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dirty, Sweaty, and Gnarly (from Douglas Poole)

Dear Cypress Family and Friends,

The heat index was somewhere in triple had rained everyday that week so doing yard duty felt like I was pushing a mower over a wet sponge with three foot of grass sticking out of it and by the time I was done not only mowing but also trimming bushes, edging, weed whacking and blowing it all off...I was one gnarly, sweaty, don’t get within 10 feet of me smelly mess! When I finally crawled indoors it was in almost total exhaustion, and as I did Jacque made the “ew-w-w-w” face, stepped back, held her nose and sent me straight to the laundry room where I was instructed to immediately deposit my clothes in the washer and then told to head directly to the shower (do not pass go) and soap down twice! Ah the bliss of being married to a loving truth speaker! So being the loving, supportive and semi-compliant spouse that I am...I headed for the shower. And all I can say is that as the water washed over my dirty, sweaty, gnarly refreshed not only my body but my spirits as well. There is something invigorating about washing off dirt and sweat and just being clean, isn’t there. Jacque thought so too and so only then did she get near enough for a hug. (Such conditions she puts on things!!!)

Anyway, I have had so many conversations with people these days who are feeling on the inside sort of the same way my body was after lawn duty:...weary, if not exhausted from challenges in life...and just a bit gnarly in spirit to boot. So, let me offer you some scriptures that you can read and simply let wash over your soul. Read, reflect, renew and refresh as God’s grace rinses you of frustration, anxiousness, fear, concerns, anger, or disappointment, and fills you with hope, peace, will power, joy and....

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
-Philippians 4:13

“My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
-Philippians 4:19

“God has said: ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’. So we say with confidence ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid’.”
-Hebrews 13:5-6

“For the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
-Isaiah 41:13

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
-Isaiah 41:10

“When you pass through the water, I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord, your God....and you are precious and honored in my sight and because I love you.”
-Isaiah 43:2-4

Let the grace of God wash over your, reflect, renew and refresh your soul. doesn’t that feel good?


The gnarly, sweaty and smelly one who has been refreshed...Douglas
PS. This Sunday we get reminded what a ‘Big God’ we serve. He is bigger than whatever seems bigger than you in your life...and so let’s all pray little bigger prayers, attempt little bigger things for Him and lead a little bigger life! Deal?...Deal!

Dream on!

 This Sunday, Jan Cox will be teaching.  Here's what she says we can expect:

Eight months ago we were challenged to dream big in a service called "Creating 2010".  Its been eight months since that day.  We're halfway through the year.  So, did you dream big?  Have you forgotten your dream?  Or have you been disappointed that your dreams did not come to life?  This Sunday we're going to take another look at dreams.  Why God created us to dream.  What happens in the space between dreaming and those dreams coming true.  And why its important to keep dreaming together, in the context of community.