Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bethany's Dad (from Douglas Poole)

Dear Cypress Family and Friends,

I am standing in the middle of a pile of memories today that have flooded my heart and mind with an odd mix of emotions. Today is the last day of High School for the last child in our family...Bethany. Some of you have been where I am now and you know what I’m talking about don’t you I would ask: celebrate and soul sigh with me. Others of you see a lot of runway ahead of you before this day arrives on your you I would say what my prayer partner, Art, once said to me: “The days go by slow, the years go by fast” so capture every memory you can. And boy oh boy was Art ever right in that advice.

Next week she will walk across a stage, receive a diploma and go on to her next adventure in life. Next week I will bask in Fatherly pride of the wonderful young woman who has somehow managed to give her dad a few gray hairs yet keep him young at the same time. I will wonder where did the years go, she will marvel at how long it took to get to this moment. But we both will celebrate this milestone and thank God we got to do it together. Am I a blessed man or what!

This weekend all of Cypress will stand together in the memory of a Savior who went to a bloody cross on our behalf as we come to the communion table. Don’t  miss it. We will also wrap up the “Best Question Ever” series.

Then the following weekend Cypress celebrates the big three-0. Talk about this just isn’t fair to put all this in one week...for crying out loud somebody throw a flag for emotional piling on here!


Bethany’s Dad
(A.K.A.: Sarah...Jonathan...Michael’s Dad)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Is tomorrow really the end of the world? (from Douglas Poole)

Dear Cypress Family and Friends,

So if you knew this week was your last one on this planet...what would you do?

Well there is a group of people out there who are convinced it all ends around 4 PM EDT. Maybe you have been following the latest predictions being made by a guy who made the same projection back in the 90's...but he is really really sure this time. (Wonder if he is sure enough to write a check to Springs of Hope Kenya today since he won't be needing his money tomorrow?) Anyway what would you do if you knew this week was your last one on this planet?

Looking over my shoulder on the last 6 days...I think I'd pretty much do what I did. I went to Haiti and got to hold a couple of little orphaned kids in my arms as we rocked back and forth in a chair...did a little ground work which will result in 300 children getting the game changing opportunity of an education and took the next step in securing micro business loans for  some people who will get the chance to chase their dream of a real job. I got to watch a grand daughter and future thespian perform in her year end pre-school program (she was a dancing lioness). I got to spend some extended time with a guy who is a true and trusted friend. I sat with my family around a table and we shared in a meal and each others lives. I got to walk along the shore of upper Tampa Bay holding hands with the woman who has held me in her heart for 30 plus years. I worked on the services for this weekend at Cypress...the June 5 Cypress 30th celebration...and got ready for the next candidate for the student ministry job who will be with us this weekend. But I didn't get a sail in!

If tomorrow it all ends (don't bet on it since Jesus said no one knows the day nor the hour) I have no regrets about the last week...except maybe the "no sail" part. That said, maybe if any good comes out of this latest self appointed prophet making yet another false is a reminder that we should live wisely everyday since known of us ever know which day will be our last day. How you spend your days is how you spend your life...spend them wisely.

Okay so I'm planning on being with the Cypress family at one of our three services this weekend...and I'd highly recommend the same to you. We will be in part four of the greatest question ever and I can't wait to pass on to you what I think is flat out the #1 lesson I have learned in my personal study of the Book of Proverbs over the last five months.

See you Saturday night or Sunday morning...really...if not, it will be because I met my maker in some way other than as a result of a dooms day rapture theory.


The guy who is living for today but with plans for the weekend.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Did I find a rope or lose my horse? (from Douglas Poole)

Dear Cypress Family and Friends,

Ever hear the saying: “I’m so busy...I don’t know if I found a rope or lost my horse”. Ever felt that way...sure you have? Well welcome to Cypress world this week. This weekend we have an Orange X-plosion family night on Friday. Saturday brings a half day meeting of the Governing Board, a church service, the Kenya trip fund raiser and oh did I mention that a candidate for the student ministry staff position will be with us as well. Sunday is just the usual two morning worship services and student ministry that night. And lest I forget we are in full prep mode for the 30thCelebration on June 5. As if that is not enough, personally my daughter, Bethany has her Senior Prom on Saturday and I leave for Haiti early thirty Sunday morning.

So this rope I’m holding...did I find it or lose a horse?

It’s a really good thing I am surrounded by and work with some really smart and capable staff and volunteers who do the heavy lifting on all this.

My prayer mantra as I head into this weekend is...”fully present, fully engaged”. I want to be fully present with the people around me and fully engaged in everything I’m doing. “Fully present, fully engaged”.

Just two quick things and I’ve got to go back to solving the mystery of this rope I’m holding:
1.     The service for the 30th Cypress Yea God Celebration is shaping up to be a powerhouse. In a recent planning session for the event, everyone around the table had a moment where God’s Spirit moved close enough to us that we all got goose bumps. Don’t, and I repeat, Don’t miss it! Sunday June 5, 5:30 at Countryside High School auditorium.
2.       Support the “Meadowers” going to Kenya this summer by attending the chili cook-off and auction after the Saturday night church service. You can view items to be auctioned at:


The guy holding a rope and mumbling.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Trust Your Horse (from Douglas Poole)

Dear Cypress Family and Friends,

Anybody going through one of life’s transitions these days? Well we certainly are in a season of transition at Cypress...two well-liked staff members, Chris and Jan Cox, are moving out of vocational ministry and into the marketplace...we are also fast approaching our 30th anniversary together at Cypress and continue to morph in our ministry. Let’s just come out and say it, transitions can leave you feeling a bit off balance and a tad uncertain can’t they? What will Cypress look like next year at this time? Who will be leading our students and who will be leading us in worship? I don’t know that I want all this change? Will I like the end result of all this?

I’m reminded of the words my Father-in-law once said to me as we were riding horses on a very narrow trail next to a couple thousand foot drop, high up on a Montana mountain. “Trust your horse” he told me, “She doesn’t want to fall anymore than you do.” I was on an experienced mare who had walked this trail more than once and since she didn’t seem to be suffering from depression and since she had a boy friend back at the barn...I reasoned she had reason to want to live too! So I relaxed, eased off the reins, enjoyed the crazy beautiful view and trusted my horse. Now that I am older, and have a few of both life and ministry transitions under my belt...what my Father-in-law said about the horse I say about our Lord. His power is unlimited. His presence is ever near. His plans for us are to give us a hope and a future. So “Trust your Lord...He doesn’t want you to fall anymore than you do.” Really. This transition you are facing in your life and your church may be new to you...but not to Him. He has walked this way countless times before. He will see you and He will see us through. “Trust your horse”.

That said, let me give you a quick update. We have a couple of candidates for the director of student ministry position who will be with us the weekends of May 15 and 22. (More than 150 people have applied for the job). Jan’s last day on the clock will be Sunday May 29. Staff member Chuck Deitch and a team of more than capable volunteers will make sure everything and everyone is taken care of during the transition. Next transition...worship leader. Next party...’Yea God for 30 Years Celebration’ June 5, 5:30 PM, Countryside High School Auditorium.

“Trust your horse...”


PS  See you this weekend for Part 2 of “ The Best Question Ever”