The Daily

Daily devotions and thoughts from Cypress Meadows

 

The Daily is a devotional sent out via text each morning. The Daily devotions are written by folks at Cypress Meadows, including Tribe members, elders and our Lead Pastor. There is a different theme each week and each devotional includes a prayer, a scripture verse, a brief reading from well-known authors, and a daily reflection.

 

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Endings

Dec. 27-Jan. 2

Day 1

Contributed by: Douglas Poole, Lead Pastor

Opening Prayer

Oh God thank you for this year and that all things end. By your grace and peace let everything we have learned bear fruit in our lives so that your light may shine upon us and others.

Scripture

I have made known the end from the beginning, from ancient times what is still to come. I say “my purpose will stand and I will do all that I please.”  -Isaiah 46:10

Reading

Everything has seasons and we have to be able to recognize when something’s time has passed and be able to move into the next season. Everything that is alive requires pruning as well, which is a great metaphor for endings. -Henry Cloud

Reflection

When you have lived long enough and reflect on your life you realize that endings are a part of our journey. Some endings don’t come soon enough…others arrive way sooner than we wish. Some we rejoice over…others leave us grieving. But again, when you have lived long enough and reflect on your life you also realize that with God’s grace…endings lead to new beginnings and new beauty if you step into them. So when endings are hard, rejoice in the beauty you were given and then step into the new.

Blessing

May the God who is in control give you peace and calm in ending one place in life and move you on to the bigger and better things He has planned for your life.

Day 2

Contributed by: Jacque Poole, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Oh God thank you for this year and that all things end. By your grace and peace let everything we have learned bear fruit in our lives so that your light may shine upon us and others.

Scripture

"All glory to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen" (Romans 16:27)

Reading

Social psychologists call our aptitude at remembering final words (endings) the "recency effect." The principle of recency states that the things most recently learned are the ones most likely to be remembered. Apply that to the many endings in your day: From finishing an email to saying goodbye to our children at the bus stop, our lives are full of opportunities for "one last thing." Unfortunately, my "one last thing" usually ends up being tired, recycled words I've already used or reminders about buttoning coats. This is not what I want my co-workers, children, and friends to remember! When I consider the recency effect, I feel even more certain that the words I write and speak could use a tune-up…Benedictions are like the punctuation in our lives. The words inform the sentence before and give a sense of the sentence to come. Choose your words wisely. I've pondered what I can say to point others back to the only source of true life. And so I close with these words: “As babies evoke smiles to our faces, so does your heart evoke God's delight.” -Nicole Unice

Reflection

As we move toward the end of 2021, consider your ending. How do you want to close out this year? With your family? With your friends? With your colleagues? With your Cypress Tribe? With Jesus? Once again, it is time to ponder and be deliberate.

 

Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. God sees your beauty and smiles.

Blessing

May the God who is in control give you peace and calm in ending one place in life and move you on to the bigger and better things He has planned for your life.

Day 3

Contributed by: Marq Caughell, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Oh God thank you for this year and that all things end. By your grace and peace let everything we have learned bear fruit in our lives so that your light may shine upon us and others.

Scripture

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.  - 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Reading

“So it falls out that in this world, in evil days like these, the Church walks onward like a wayfarer stricken by the world's hostility, but comforted by the mercy of God. Nor does this state of affairs date only from the days of Christ's and His Apostles' presence on earth. It was never any different from the days when the first just man, Abel, was slain by his ungodly brother. So shall it be until this world is no more.” - from The City of God by St. Augustine

Reflection

Why are you so ready for the end? You can’t handle some difficulty? You think it is unfair that people are allowed to make poor decisions? Do you think you are too good to get your hands dirty? There is work to be done before you can rest. Stop complaining.

Blessing

May the God who is in control give you peace and calm in ending one place in life and move you on to the bigger and better things He has planned for your life.

Day 4

Contributed by: Taylor Fletcher, Worship Leader

Opening Prayer

Oh God thank you for this year and that all things end. By your grace and peace let everything we have learned bear fruit in our lives so that your light may shine upon us and others.

Scripture

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Rev 1:17-18

Reading

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. – TS Eliot

Reflection

Endings are always beginnings with God. He not only sees, He exist in eternity past, present, and future, and all at the same time! This is too great for me to understand and like John I want to “fall at his feet as though dead” but Jesus’ response to the reality of endings is for us to “not be afraid”.

Blessing

May the God who is in control give you peace and calm in ending one place in life and move you on to the bigger and better things He has planned for your life.

Day 5

Contributed by: Keith Killen, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Oh God thank you for this year and that all things end. By your grace and peace let everything we have learned bear fruit in our lives so that your light may shine upon us and others.

Scripture

And at the end of 430 years, on this very day, all the multitudes of the Lord departed from the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:41

Reading

There's a trick to the “graceful exit.” It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over--and let it go. It means leaving what's over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out." - Ellen Goodman

Reflection

When I sensed the Lord calling me to end my career of 29 year, I was obedient but panicky. After suffering with anxiety and fear for a week, I called out to God confessing “I’m out of control!” In that moment, God revealed a truth that returned my peace and calm; His reply was “You have never been in control.” In that moment, the cognitive knowledge about God being in control became experiential truth. And that truth has provided me with great peace and calm ever since. We will all experience times when things must end; but know it is because our great God has bigger and better things for us. Just think, if Israel never left Egypt, we would not have the Old or New Testament.

Blessing

May the God who is in control give you peace and calm in ending one place in life and move you on to the bigger and better things He has planned for your life.

Day 6

Contributed by: Melissa Schultz, Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer

Oh God thank you for this year and that all things end. By your grace and peace let everything we have learned bear fruit in our lives so that your light may shine upon us and others.

Scripture

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.  When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.  “I am willing,” he said.  “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.  Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Yet the news about him spread all the more, so the crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sickness.  Luke 5:12-15 

Reading

“Loves, listen to me: The wounded become the healers.  Your pain will not be wasted.  Trust it.  Be brave enough to be still in it and you’ll learn that your pain will NOT consume you-it will become the fire you burn to light and warm the world.” Glennon Doyle

Reflection

It is so much easier to understand the “bigger picture” in retrospect; to see why God took you down the specific path in your journey, especially if that path is rocky or painful.  In the moment it can feel insanely hard, especially when you’re moving in the direction that God has called you.  There are times when you question your direction and wonder if all the effort is worth it.  If you’re in one of these moments, it might help to remember that His ways are not our ways.  While we only see a tiny piece of the journey at a time, He sees the beauty of His plan unfolding.  Rest patiently in the knowledge that “the end of a matter is better than its beginning."  He may be using this current struggle to start a fire that ignites something beautiful and magnificent in this world.   

Blessing

May the God who is in control give you peace and calm in ending one place in life and move you on to the bigger and better things He has planned for your life.

Beginnings

Jan. 3 - Jan. 9

Day 1

Contributed by: Keith Killen, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to me and may You teach me to demonstrate my faith in you through obedience as you call me into new beginnings. And when my faith faulters, will you send your Spirit to lift me up.

Scripture

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:18-19

Reading

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” – John Pierpont “J.P.” Morgan

Reflection

When things are going well in my life, I tend to get comfortable and complacent. I don’t look for new opportunities and callings the Lord has for me. It usually takes some suffering to wake me up and realize there is a new beginning awaiting my obedience and faithfulness.

Blessing

May your Heavenly Father bless you as you move into the new beginnings He has for you. And may He help you to trust in His faithfulness such that you are free to be the person you were made to be, able to accomplish your purposes and to bring honor and glory to His name.

Day 2

Contributed by: Marq Caughell, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to me and may You teach me to demonstrate my faith in you through obedience as you call me into new beginnings. And when my faith faulters, will you send your Spirit to lift me up.

Scripture

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. - Proverbs 1:7

Reading

“To the divine providence it has seemed good to prepare in the world to come for the righteous good things, which the unrighteous shall not enjoy; and for the wicked evil things, by which the good shall not be tormented.” - from The City of God by St. Augustine

Reflection

You are scared, aren’t you? It’s ok to admit it. The first step is simply to ask for help. That can be your best beginning.

Blessing

May your Heavenly Father bless you as you move into the new beginnings He has for you. And may He help you to trust in His faithfulness such that you are free to be the person you were made to be, able to accomplish your purposes and to bring honor and glory to His name.

Day 3

Contributed by: Douglas Poole, Lead Pastor

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to me and may You teach me to demonstrate my faith in you through obedience as you call me into new beginnings. And when my faith faulters, will you send your Spirit to lift me up.

Scripture

Your beginnings will seem humble, yet you will end with much. -Job 8:7

Reading

A journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step. -Chinese Proverb

 

Jesus invites us into a community where imperfect people can find acceptance, love, forgiveness, and a new beginning. -Erwin McManus

Reflection

If we wait for the perfect day under the perfect sun when all of our ducks are in a row, and all of our questions have been answered, and we have all that we think we need…we may very well wait until we die. A new beginning, a fresh start awaits all who will by faith take that first step, and then the next, and so on…so start walking. The future awaits those with the faith and courage to step into it.

Blessing

May your Heavenly Father bless you as you move into the new beginnings He has for you. And may He help you to trust in His faithfulness such that you are free to be the person you were made to be, able to accomplish your purposes and to bring honor and glory to His name.

Day 4

Contributed by: Jacque Poole, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to me and may You teach me to demonstrate my faith in you through obedience as you call me into new beginnings. And when my faith faulters, will you send your Spirit to lift me up.

Scripture

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. -Proverbs 9:10

Reading

When God gives you a new beginning, you might have to witness closed doors, but make sure that you aren’t disappointed by it.

 

You must understand that only when you see an ending, you can expect a new beginning coming ahead in your life.

 

Be thankful for the closed doors, as they will lead you to a new beginning. Know that God will always have better plans than you, and when he closes a door, he will pave your path towards a new way!

 

When God gives you a new beginning, it starts with an ending. It is more like finishing off a chapter before you start a new one. Do not lose your hope when the doors get closed, rather know that they have closed only because new doors are waiting ahead to be opened.  -Unkown

Reflection

As we begin a new year, 2022, there are doors that have closed. But God is opening new doors. Seek wisdom and understanding.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10

 

Remember, that beginnings don’t only happen on January 1 of each year. But beginnings occur each day, each moment. You don’t have to wait for a new month, or a new year. God gives you a new beginning whenever you need it. Seek wisdom and understanding from God. Ponder where God is leading you. Be ready as you gain wisdom and understanding through your commitment to Jesus.

Blessing

May your Heavenly Father bless you as you move into the new beginnings He has for you. And may He help you to trust in His faithfulness such that you are free to be the person you were made to be, able to accomplish your purposes and to bring honor and glory to His name.

Day 5

Contributed by: Taylor Fletcher, Worship Leader

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to me and may You teach me to demonstrate my faith in you through obedience as you call me into new beginnings. And when my faith faulters, will you send your Spirit to lift me up.

Scripture

Those who remain from the kingdom of Judah will be like plants. Once more they will put down roots and produce fruit. Out of Jerusalem will come those who remain. Out of Mount Zion will come those who survive. “The Lord’s great love will make sure that happens. He rules over all. -2 Kings 19:30-31 NIRV

Reading

“I can see clearly now the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way

Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It's gonna be a bright, Bright sunshiny day” -Jimmy Cliff

Reflection

God almost always works beginnings from rubble. He seldom bust up something beautiful to build it back again. Jesus death and resurrection alone should be enough evidence. Wherever you are on your journey thank God for your beginning and how He works in life.

Blessing

May your Heavenly Father bless you as you move into the new beginnings He has for you. And may He help you to trust in His faithfulness such that you are free to be the person you were made to be, able to accomplish your purposes and to bring honor and glory to His name.

Day 6

Contributed by: Melissa Schultz, Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to me and may You teach me to demonstrate my faith in you through obedience as you call me into new beginnings. And when my faith faulters, will you send your Spirit to lift me up.

Scripture

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.  When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.  “I am willing,” he said.  “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.  Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Yet the news about him spread all the more, so the crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sickness.  Luke 5:12-15 

Reading

“Loves, listen to me: The wounded become the healers.  Your pain will not be wasted.  Trust it.  Be brave enough to be still in it and you’ll learn that your pain will NOT consume you-it will become the fire you burn to light and warm the world.” Glennon Doyle

Reflection

It is so much easier to understand the “bigger picture” in retrospect; to see why God took you down the specific path in your journey, especially if that path is rocky or painful.  In the moment it can feel insanely hard, especially when you’re moving in the direction that God has called you.  There are times when you question your direction and wonder if all the effort is worth it.  If you’re in one of these moments, it might help to remember that His ways are not our ways.  While we only see a tiny piece of the journey at a time, He sees the beauty of His plan unfolding.  Rest patiently in the knowledge that “the end of a matter is better than its beginning."  He may be using this current struggle to start a fire that ignites something beautiful and magnificent in this world.   

Blessing

May your Heavenly Father bless you as you move into the new beginnings He has for you. And may He help you to trust in His faithfulness such that you are free to be the person you were made to be, able to accomplish your purposes and to bring honor and glory to His name.

Holy Spirit

Jan. 10 - Jan. 16

Day 1

Contributed by: Melissa Schultz, Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer

God, help us to demonstrates the fruits of the Spirit as we go through each day such that we are blessed and others see You through us.

Scripture

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words Romans 8:26

Reading

“The impoverished orphan of Russia, the distraught widow of the battlefield, the aging saint in the convalescent home.  They may think they have no voice, no clout, no influence, but they have a friend.  They have a counselor, a comforter—the blessed Spirit of God, who speaks the language of heaven in heaven.  None of us pray as much as we should, but all of us pray more than we think because the Holy Spirit turns our sighs into petitions and tears into entreaties.  He speaks for you and He protects you.  And He makes sure you are heard, He makes sure you get home.” -Max Lucado

Reflection

Who are we that He hears the deepest longings of our heart, and speaks for us, to protect us even when we can’t find the words?  I think the answer is less about who we are, and more about who He is.

Blessing

Through the power of the Holy Spirit at work within you, would you be able to accomplish infinitely more than you can ask or imagine. Submitting to the Spirit and letting Him have full sway in your life.

Day 2

Contributed by: Keith Killen, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

God, help us to demonstrates the fruits of the Spirit as we go through each day such that we are blessed and others see You through us.

Scripture

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? - Luke 11:13

Reading

If you analyzed the actions you performed yesterday, what conclusions would you draw about who you are? Would you see God’s “image” in those actions? Would you find the fruit of the Spirit in what you did? Or would you have to admit that your claims to be a follower were not expressed in the real actions you performed? What kind of verb are you going to be today? – Dr Skip Moen

Reflection

When I analyze my yesterday’s, I realize there is a lot of opportunity for growth and improvement, and I realize more time in God’s presences is needed. And thank God I am part of a tribe that helps me in this pursuit.

Blessing

Through the power of the Holy Spirit at work within you, would you be able to accomplish infinitely more than you can ask or imagine. Submitting to the Spirit and letting Him have full sway in your life.

Day 3

Contributed by: Marq Caughell, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

God, help us to demonstrates the fruits of the Spirit as we go through each day such that we are blessed and others see You through us.

Scripture

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. - Galatians 5:16

Reading

“Awake more fully: the majesty of God cannot be propitiated by that which defiles the dignity of man.” - from The City of God by St. Augustine

Reflection

God does not ask me to clean myself before approaching Him, but if I desire to join in His work in this world, then I am going to have him let Him cleanse me with His Spirit.

Blessing

Through the power of the Holy Spirit at work within you, would you be able to accomplish infinitely more than you can ask or imagine. Submitting to the Spirit and letting Him have full sway in your life.

Day 4

Contributed by: Jacque Poole, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

God, help us to demonstrates the fruits of the Spirit as we go through each day such that we are blessed and others see You through us.

Scripture

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever- John 14:16

Reading

Some old translations of the Bible speak of the ‘Holy Ghost’ and this can make him seem a little frightening. The Holy Spirit is not a ghost but a Person. He has all the charac­teristics of personhood. He thinks (Acts 15:28), speaks (Acts 1:16), leads (Romans 8:14) and can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30). He is sometimes described as the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9) or the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7). He is the way in which Jesus is present with his people. The schoolchild’s definition is ‘Jesus’ other self.

 

What is he like? He is sometimes described in the original Greek as the parakletos (John 14:16). This is a difficult word to translate. It means ‘one called alongside’–—a counsellor, a comforter and an encour­ager. Jesus said the Father will give you ‘another’ coun­sellor. The word for ‘another’ means ‘of the same kind’. In other words, the Holy Spirit is just like Jesus.

Reflection

Today I read Proverbs 21:21, “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” I have found that I am capable of doing amazing things…but when I do my life with the power of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, it is even more incredible.

 

Let’s pursue righteousness and love…as we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sent to us as our advocate forever. Life, prosperity and honor will be ours. (Click here for the song “Holy Spirit, You are Welcome Here”)

Blessing

Through the power of the Holy Spirit at work within you, would you be able to accomplish infinitely more than you can ask or imagine. Submitting to the Spirit and letting Him have full sway in your life.

Day 5

Contributed by: Douglas Poole, Lead Pastor

Opening Prayer

God, help us to demonstrates the fruits of the Spirit as we go through each day such that we are blessed and others see You through us.

Scripture

And with that He (Jesus) breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit”. -John 20:22

Reading

Over the course of my life I have witnessed people say and do some rather bizarre things which they attributed to the Holy Spirit of God. A mentor once told me that the Holy Spirit of God is the Spirit of Jesus…so if you can’t imagine Jesus saying or doing something, well you probably have your answer. Then he added, but don’t throw the proverbial baby out with the dirty bath water. For the Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus to guide you, speak to you, and to empower you to good. The Holy Spirit is Jesus with you…so welcome Him. -Douglas Poole

Reflection

There are some mystery’s in my journey of faith. Things I do not fully understand yet fully know to be true. I have never seen the Holy Spirit of God yet I have so many times seen and experienced His presence and work just like I have never seen the wind but have seen and experienced the effect of the wind. The invisible was made known by it’s impact on that which is visible. And I know that which Jesus breaths out…I want to breath in.

Blessing

Through the power of the Holy Spirit at work within you, would you be able to accomplish infinitely more than you can ask or imagine. Submitting to the Spirit and letting Him have full sway in your life.

Day 6

Contributed by: Taylor Fletcher, Worship Leader

Opening Prayer

God, help us to demonstrates the fruits of the Spirit as we go through each day such that we are blessed and others see You through us.

Scripture

Do not quench the spirit – 1 Thessalonians 5:19

Reading

 “I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit” -Francis Chan, “Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit”

Reflection

The Holy Spirit is the person of God responsible for doing the extraordinary acts of God from the first verses (Genesis 1:2) to the last verses (Revelation 22:17) of the bible. He is a part of anyone’s life who is following Jesus (1 Corinthians 3:16). What events or behaviors in your life can only be explained by the Holy Spirits love and involvement in your life?

Blessing

Through the power of the Holy Spirit at work within you, would you be able to accomplish infinitely more than you can ask or imagine. Submitting to the Spirit and letting Him have full sway in your life.

Word of God

Jan. 17 - Jan. 23

Day 1

Contributed by: Keith Killen, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

God, help us to not just read the scriptures, but to allow You to speak to us through it. For it is your revelations that brings life change and renewal as lies are revealed and replaced with Your truth that sets us free.

Scripture

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirits, joints, and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrew 4:12

Reading

When we read Scripture without listening to God, Scripture is sabotaged. -Eugene Peterson

Reflection

While reading the scriptures has great value, it hasn’t brought much change to my life until God revealed the truth of it to me through revelation. I remember being very angry with my parents for being late when I needed the car but due to circumstances beyond their control. In my anger, I was impressed to read my scriptures for that day. Although I had read Ephesian 4:26 many times, that night when I read; “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” the Lord struck my heart for being so angry with my parents. Since the Lord had calmed me down, I was able to see the concern on my parents faces when they got home knowing they were making me late. I could also see the relief on their faces when I said it was ok, I know it was not your intent. I’m glad God chooses to speak to me when I need it and am willing to listen.

Blessing

Lord, thank you for your desire to commune with us personally through your revelations of truth. Help us to be willing to take time and listen when you speak such that we might experience life change and freedom.

Day 2

Contributed by: Taylor Fletcher, Worship Leader

Opening Prayer

God, help us to not just read the scriptures, but to allow You to speak to us through it. For it is your revelations that brings life change and renewal as lies are revealed and replaced with Your truth that sets us free.

Scripture

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. – Psalm 119

Reading

“Sweating bullets to line up the Bible with our exhausting expectations, to make the Bible something it’s not meant to be, isn’t a pious act of faith, even if it looks that way on the surface. It’s actually thinly masked fear of losing control and certainty, a mirror of an inner disquiet, a warning signal that deep down we do not really trust God at all.” ― Peter Enns, The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It

Reflection

While the bible is the written word of God, the word of God is not simply the bible. The bible itself testifies to this. Whenever we approach the bible looking for rules or for it to defend or approve of something in our lives we will be disappointed and miss the whole point of the bible and the word of God. We may hear the Living Word of God by coming to the bible humbly and persistently with a burning desire to find God and live at peace with Him.

Blessing

Lord, thank you for your desire to commune with us personally through your revelations of truth. Help us to be willing to take time and listen when you speak such that we might experience life change and freedom.

Day 3

Contributed by: Douglas Poole, Lead Pastor

Opening Prayer

God, help us to not just read the scriptures, but to allow You to speak to us through it. For it is your revelations that brings life change and renewal as lies are revealed and replaced with Your truth that sets us free.

Scripture

My sheep listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me. -Jesus (John 10:27)

Reading

Who do we become when we stop allowing all the voices in our head to crowd out the one voice we must hear to come to life. -Erwin McManus

Reflection

Oh the beautiful mystery that God would speak to us. And He does. If we but listen, we hear Him in creation, in a whisper to our soul, in the words of another, in the print of a page, in the lyrics of a song, and certainly in the pages of scripture. That is why every day I am in the scriptures for they are the definitive voice through which God speaks. And I know how desperately I need to hear His voice to live the life I long for…so I am depositing the scriptures in my heart.

Blessing

Lord, thank you for your desire to commune with us personally through your revelations of truth. Help us to be willing to take time and listen when you speak such that we might experience life change and freedom.

Day 4

Contributed by: Jacque Poole, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

God, help us to not just read the scriptures, but to allow You to speak to us through it. For it is your revelations that brings life change and renewal as lies are revealed and replaced with Your truth that sets us free.

Scripture

As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him. -Psalm 18:30

Reading

Word of God speak

Would you pour down like rain

Washing my eyes to see

Your majesty

To be still and know

That You’re in this place

Please let me stay and rest

In Your holiness

Word of God speak

 

I’m finding myself in the midst of You

Beyond the music, beyond the noise

All that I need is to be with You

And in the quiet hear Your voice

Word of God speak

---Word of God Speak; song by MercyMe

Reflection

I encourage you to take time today to meditate on Psalm 18:30 and the lyrics. Read them through at least 3 times as you talk to God. Then stop. Listen. Or perhaps you can stop and listen to the song and make it your prayer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JK_6osCH74

Blessing

Lord, thank you for your desire to commune with us personally through your revelations of truth. Help us to be willing to take time and listen when you speak such that we might experience life change and freedom.

Day 5

Contributed by: Marq Caughell, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

God, help us to not just read the scriptures, but to allow You to speak to us through it. For it is your revelations that brings life change and renewal as lies are revealed and replaced with Your truth that sets us free.

Scripture

So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. - Isaiah 55:11

Reading

“There is, then, a wicked mediator, who separates friends, and a good Mediator, who reconciles enemies. And those who separate are numerous, because the multitude of the blessed are blessed only be their participation in the one God….and by their very number [try to] prevent us from reaching that one beatific good, to obtain which we need not many but one Mediator, the uncreated Word of God, by whom we are blessed.” - from The City of God by St. Augustine

Reflection

The Word of God is alive, unchanging and constructively at work. The chattering voices of the world are always changing, in conflict with each other, proclaiming to you how they think you should live your best life. Question those voices, interrogate them and test if and how they align with the example of Jesus.

Blessing

Lord, thank you for your desire to commune with us personally through your revelations of truth. Help us to be willing to take time and listen when you speak such that we might experience life change and freedom.

Day 6

Contributed by: Melissa Schultz, Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer

God, help us to not just read the scriptures, but to allow You to speak to us through it. For it is your revelations that brings life change and renewal as lies are revealed and replaced with Your truth that sets us free.

Scripture

All scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 

Reading

“We trust.  We rely solely upon God’s ability to catch us.  As we do, a wonderful thing happens: we find peace.  We find joy.  We find it is possible to be anxious for nothing.” Max Lucado 

Reflection

The answer feels so simple.  When we are worried, we should turn to God’s word.  When we are anxious, we should turn to God’s word.  When we are full of fear and pain and heartache, and feel unable to determine our next step, we should turn to God’s word.  His word points us toward the truth.  It serves as a light to illuminate our path.  It guides us in righteousness.  It is nourishment for our weary soul.  When you feel unsteady, uncertain, or simply need the breath of wisdom, turn to scripture. 

Blessing

Lord, thank you for your desire to commune with us personally through your revelations of truth. Help us to be willing to take time and listen when you speak such that we might experience life change and freedom.

Child of God

Jan. 24 - Jan. 30

Day 1

Contributed by: Taylor Fletcher, Worship Leader

Opening Prayer

Thank You God for providing the means for us to enter into your family. How and why you would accomplish this is beyond my comprehension, but I am so glad you did it.

Scripture

He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – Ephesians 1:5

 

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart -Jeremiah 1:5

Reading

Your true identity is as a child of God. This is the identity you have to accept. Once you have claimed it and settled in it, you can live in a world that gives you much joy as well as pain. You can receive the praise as well as the blame that comes to you as an opportunity for strengthening your basic identity, because the identity that makes you free is anchored beyond all human praise and blame. You belong to God, and it is as a child of God that you are sent into the world. – Henri Nouwen

Reflection

God’s fatherhood in the bible, apart from Jesus, is never thought of in a biological sense, it's relational. He takes pleasure in the offer of sonship/daughtership. We are chosen by God to be His children but we have to accept it. Do you act as if your true identity is as a child of God?

Blessing

May you accept the provisions of God to enter into His family as a beloved child. May this relationship bring peace and assurance in all of life’s situations and circumstances.

Day 2

Contributed by: Marq Caughell, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Thank You God for providing the means for us to enter into your family. How and why you would accomplish this is beyond my comprehension, but I am so glad you did it.

Scripture

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. - 1 John 3:1

Reading

“Fitly, therefore, does Isaac, the child of promise, typify the children of grace, the citizens of the free city, who dwell together in everlasting peace, in which self-love and self-will have no place, but a ministering love that rejoices in the common joy of all, of many hearts makes one, that is to say, secures a perfect concord.” - from The City of God by St. Augustine

Reflection

I am not a very good sibling. I look out for my own needs first and get frustrated when I am asked to do something for my brother or sister that I feel they should do on their own. I have both taken my inheritance and run towards selfish fun and I have also judged, from a position of privilege, those who have done the same. I have divided the world into what I think is mine and what I think should be theirs. Father, help me to become a real brother to my fellow siblings made in Your image.

Blessing

May you accept the provisions of God to enter into His family as a beloved child. May this relationship bring peace and assurance in all of life’s situations and circumstances.

Day 3

Contributed by: Douglas Poole, Lead Pastor

Opening Prayer

Thank You God for providing the means for us to enter into your family. How and why you would accomplish this is beyond my comprehension, but I am so glad you did it.

Scripture

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! -1 John 3:1

Reading

Oh yes sweet darling

So glad you are a child of mine

Child of mine, Child of mine

Oh yes sweet darling

So glad you are a child of mine  -Carol King

Reflection

I think the Heavenly Father sings these words over you. And maybe proudly displays the picture of you He keeps on the desk next to the throne of heaven. Loved, chosen, wanted by the Father. What great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that…is what we are!

Blessing

May you accept the provisions of God to enter into His family as a beloved child. May this relationship bring peace and assurance in all of life’s situations and circumstances.

Day 4

Contributed by: Melissa Schultz, Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer

Thank You God for providing the means for us to enter into your family. How and why you would accomplish this is beyond my comprehension, but I am so glad you did it.

Scripture

And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. Galatians 4:6-7

Reading

“When my daughter was a toddler, I used to take her to a park not far from our apartment. One day as she was playing in a sandbox, an ice-cream salesman approached us. I purchased her a treat, and when I turned to give it to her, I saw her mouth was full of sand. Where I had intended to put a delicacy, she had put dirt.

 

Did I love her with dirt in her mouth? Absolutely. Was she any less of my daughter with dirt in her mouth? Of course not. Was I going to allow her to keep the dirt in her mouth? No way. I loved her right where she was, but I refused to leave her there. I carried her over to the water fountain and washed out her mouth. Why? Because I love her.

 

God does the same for us. He holds us over the fountain. "Spit out the dirt, honey," our Father urges. "I've got something better for you." And so he cleanses us of filth; immorality, dishonesty, prejudice, bitterness, greed. We don't enjoy the cleansing; sometimes we even opt for the dirt over the ice cream. "I can eat dirt if I want to!" we pout and proclaim. Which is true—we can. But if we do, the loss is ours. God has a better offer.” Max Lucado

Reflection

Oh the times I’ve settled for a lesser plan than what God had in store.  I think of those times I pushed aside his nudging and stayed too long…in that job, in that relationship, in that pain.  And yet, despite me choosing less, He continues to love me right where I am, refusing to leave me in the mess.  He continues to nudge, to remind me that I’m not alone, to walk with me toward His beautiful future created just for me.

 

Blessing

May you accept the provisions of God to enter into His family as a beloved child. May this relationship bring peace and assurance in all of life’s situations and circumstances.

Day 5

Contributed by: Keith Killen, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Thank You God for providing the means for us to enter into your family. How and why you would accomplish this is beyond my comprehension, but I am so glad you did it.

Scripture

who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:13

Reading

If this is the allusion John has in mind, then he is telling his very savvy readers that God’s children are not produced by any human line either.  I can’t claim citizenship in the Kingdom because of my parentage or heritage or ancestry.  Not by ancestry, not by sexual procreation, not by ethnic affiliation.  None of the usual ways a Jewish reader in the first century might consider.  By miracle alone. By God’s own desire and no other. – Dr Skip Moen

Reflection

To be a part of the family of God, creator of the universe, is a mind blower for me. He who demonstrates and models the definition of good desires for me, a lowly sinner, to join his family. But not only does He desire it, He provides the means to make it happen as only He can do.

Blessing

May you accept the provisions of God to enter into His family as a beloved child. May this relationship bring peace and assurance in all of life’s situations and circumstances.

Day 6

Contributed by: Jacque Poole, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Thank You God for providing the means for us to enter into your family. How and why you would accomplish this is beyond my comprehension, but I am so glad you did it.

Scripture

 “But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God”. --John 1:12-13

Reading

I believed that there was a God because I was told it by my grandmother and later by other adults. But when I found that I knew not only that there was God but that I was a child of God, when I understood that, when I comprehended that, more than that, when I internalized that, ingested that, I became courageous.

 

I'm convinced that I'm a child of God. That's wonderful, exhilarating, liberating, full of promise. But the burden which goes along with that is, I'm convinced that everybody is a child of God. . . -Maya Angelou

Reflection

I made the decision to ask to be a child of God when I was in 3rd grade. It took me 8 years, because I thought “Jesus loves me…” was an extravagant ruse of the adult world. I thought Jesus fell into the Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy category. There was a turning point when my Great Grandmother told me how she had become a child of God and it changed her life. I tell you now as a grandmother, it is real. You are invited to become God’s child too. The best decision of my life.

 

I am a Child of God, Yes, I AM!! (link to Hillsong “Who You Say I am”)

Blessing

May you accept the provisions of God to enter into His family as a beloved child. May this relationship bring peace and assurance in all of life’s situations and circumstances.

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