Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stoked (from Douglas Poole)

Dear Cypress Family and Friends,

I get to do four things I'm stoked about this weekend:

1. I have a Saturday morning date with Jacque...a four mile hike through the swamps and woods. What an incurable romantic sap I am.

2. On Saturday night and Sunday morning I will roll out for Cypress where God is taking us in the next two years and I am so amped about what we get to do I almost leaped out of my skin thinking about it earlier today! Really, if you strapped a heart monitor to my chest when I think about the fact that I get to be a part of a serious God-thing the next two would beep and smoke and flash, "Danger,danger,danger!" Whatever you do this weekend..don't miss being in one of the services.

3. On Sunday afternoon I get to hang out with and enjoy my kids and granddaughters. I absolutely love being a dad and papa!

4. Sunday night I drive to Miami to catch the first flight out to Port au Prince Monday morning. I am not so stoked about reentering the poverty, pain, suffering and chaos that is Haiti. I am excited about spending time with and pouring into some young leaders I have come to love. Young leaders who are helping to write a better story in hundreds of lives in a place where tragedy is the norm. If you want to follow my little adventure I'll be tweeting about it real time and you can dial in by texting "follow DouglasDPoole" to 40404 on your smart phone or by signing up DouglasDPoole on twitter.

Hope you get to do something this weekend that you can get stoked about!



Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Beautiful Story Ending (from Douglas Poole)

Dear Cypress Family and Friends,

"We don't know how much we are capable of loving until the people we love are being taken away...until a beautiful story is ending." (from 'A Million Miles in a Thousand Years' by Donald Miller)

As I read those words last week my thoughts went immediately to someone I love, whose beautiful story is ending...My Aunt Florence. She and my Uncle LaVern were not able to have children so they poured all the love and affection they had in their hearts for kids into their nieces and nephews. And, boy oh boy, were our lives ever better because of them. LaVern passed almost 15 years ago and Aunt Florence is now in the early stages of alzheimer's. Her once sharp mind and engaging conversations are showing all the signs of deterioration you would expect from someone whose memory is slowly being erased one life scene by one life scene. We know where this leads to...her beautiful story is ending. What we don't know is how long this journey will be or how much heartache and pain we will experience along the way. My sister is walking with our Aunt down this unthinkable path and taking care of her as she once took care of us. I get updates and pray from 1700 agonizing miles away. A-a-r-r-g-g-h-h!

All of us are writing a story with our lives and some of us have someone we love whose beautiful story will end this year. Map out a great story for your life in 2011 and then live it...and love the people in your life as if their story were ending. You might just be surprised at the great life you are capable of living and the great love you are capable of giving.

I hope you do whatever you have to do, to be at Cypress the weekend of January 29/30 because we will roll out the beautiful story God will be writing on the pages of people lives through Cypress in the next couple of years. A 1000 stories of faith, hope and love!

See you this weekend as we wrap up the 'Taking Responsibility for Your Life' series. 10-10 right? Right!



Saturday, January 15, 2011

What did you expect? (from Douglas Poole)

Dear Cypress Family and Friends,

"Denmark is said to be the happiest country in the world...the reason...they have the lowest expectations."

So I read this statement in a book last Monday and it caught my attention for at least a couple of reasons. First, I've got some Danish blood flowing in my veins. Second, I have some fairly high expectations in life, especially when it comes to me of me. So is the secret to living a happy life to expect little out of relationships, movies, church, restaurants and even God so you don't find yourself being disappointed? Or is happiness found in pursuing a life with high expectations knowing full well you run the risk of them not being met?

Well this Dane has made the decision that life is experienced fully when you have some high expectations...not the blind, check your brain at the door kind of dumb expectations...but the thought through, prayed through, going be a stretch, but I got reason to believe God is in the deal so why not go for it kind of expectations. Number me with those who would rather chase something wonderful in life and live with some disappointments in the process than to number me among those who find happiness in setting their sights so low disappointment couldn't possibly crawl under it and into your life.

In my experience...most often I experience what I expect. Not always, but enough to know I should give some careful thought to my expectations. You really didn't expect me to say something different did you?

See you Saturday night or Sunday morning...come expecting to hear from heaven...I think I did in preparing my talk for this weekend.



Sunday, January 9, 2011

1,000 Stories of Faith, Hope and Love

Thank you for the Sara Groves concert! I invited my sister, brother and parents-and they all came! My brother, who I'm not sure where he stands on faith, bought all of the Sara Groves CD's they had! I think that's a good sign. I also saw my dad, who proclaims to be an atheist of sorts, wipe a tear away when the band played down in the audience. I can only hope his soul was awakened. Please pray for him, as I have done every day. I really want to see him in heaven.

That tear that my dad wiped away...that was my highlight for 2010...maybe there's hope....