The Daily

Daily devotions and thoughts from Cypress Meadows


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Week 1 - Time

March 1-7

Day 1

Contributed by:

Jacque Poole

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Almighty Father, help me to understand that you are the salvation of my past, present and future. Let me experience you in this present moment and see your hand in my past and future that I might have courage for today and know the source of my strength.

 

Scripture:

For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. - 2 Corinthians 6:2

 

Reading:

Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.”-Dr. Brene’ Brown

 

Reflection:

I believe that the most vulnerable and the most powerful decision you can choose to make in your life is to choose God. Paul’s words are timeless, “...now is the favorable time...” Time. Use your time to do the wise thing. Paul continues, “now is the day of salvation.” God is calling you today. Right now. Be vulnerable to God. Have the courage to show up. Now is the favorable time, now is your day of salvation.”

 

You can pray that very thing...”God, now is the favorable time, now is the day of my salvation. Lord, thank you for saving me and helping me.”

 

You did it! You allowed yourself to be vulnerable to the amazing love of God! You courageously showed up. God has been waiting for you. Now all heaven is rejoicing. Now is the time.

 

Blessing:

May you experience God’s presence so strongly today that it will empower you to face whatever may come your way.

Day 2

Contributed by:

Marq Caughell

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Almighty Father, help me to understand that you are the salvation of my past, present and future. Let me experience you in this present moment and see your hand in my past and future that I might have courage for today and know the source of my strength.

 

Scripture:

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. - Ecclesiastes 3:11

 

Reading:

God approaches us from many different perspectives: illness, misfortune, bankruptcy, divorce proceedings, rejection, inner trials. God has not promised to take away our trials, but to help us to change our attitudes toward them. That is what holiness really is. In this life, happiness is rooted in our basic attitude toward reality. - From Thomas Keating’s The Human Condition

 

Reflection:

Our spirit is designed to live forever and to know and experience true, unconditional love. No human being can alter the ultimate reality that God has created. My job is to find the proper perspective to see how everything that happens in my life can be used to grow and give glory to God. Why am I still surprised that when I am able to do that, I seem to find real peace?

 

Blessing:

May you experience God’s presence so strongly today that it will empower you to face whatever may come your way.

Day 3

Contributed by:

Keith Killen

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Almighty Father, help me to understand that you are the salvation of my past, present and future. Let me experience you in this present moment and see your hand in my past and future that I might have courage for today and know the source of my strength.

 

Scripture:

For He says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2

 

Reading:

We spend so much time asking God to cure us of our hardships. But we never stop to consider that our hardships are curing us. Yasmin Mogahed

 

Reflection:

May I realize how much You desire to be with me in every circumstance Lord. And while I may not understand why you have me on this path, may I have faith and trust You will be with me and lead me through it.

 

Blessing:

May you experience God’s presence so strongly today that it will empower you to face whatever may come your way.

Day 4

Contributed by:

Douglas Poole

Pastor

Opening Prayer:

Almighty Father, help me to understand that you are the salvation of my past, present and future. Let me experience you in this present moment and see your hand in my past and future that I might have courage for today and know the source of my strength.

 

Scripture:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. -Hebrews 13:8

 

Reading:

Good news…Jesus didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

Good news…Jesus has not become frail with the passing of time.

Good news…Jesus is still overflowing with mercy, compassion and grace.

 

If you ever wonder how Jesus feels about mess ups, misfits and the marginalized? Or those needing wisdom, strength or guidance? Or really anyone or anything. Just read the gospels. How He felt then is how He feels now. What He did then is what He does now. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

 

Reflection:

How am I to respond to this truth…that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever?

 

Blessing:

May you experience God’s presence so strongly today that it will empower you to face whatever may come your way.

Day 5

Contributed by:

Melissa Schultz

Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer:

Almighty Father, help me to understand that you are the salvation of my past, present and future. Let me experience you in this present moment and see your hand in my past and future that I might have courage for today and know the source of my strength.

 

Scripture:

He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does.  And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is.  Hypocrites!  You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky.  How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?

 

Reading:

“Present is living with your feet firmly grounded in reality, pale and uncertain as it may seem.  Present is choosing to believe that your own life is worth investing deeply in, instead of waiting for some rare miracle or fairytale.  Present means we understand that the here and now is sacred, sacramental, threaded through with divinity even in its plainness.  Especially in its plainness.” Shauna Niequist, Present Over Perfect

 

Reflection:

Lord, help us to remember that the present moment is Your gift to us, as messy or imperfect as it may feel.  When we become entangled in worries about the past, or anxiety about the future, we’re missing the joy, moments, lessons, and opportunities that you’ve uniquely orchestrated for us.  The beauty of your masterpiece is delicately interwoven into our present.  Nudge us to be where we are, rooted in the knowledge that THIS moment is where our time, energies, and talents should focus.

 

Blessing:

May you experience God’s presence so strongly today that it will empower you to face whatever may come your way.

 

Day 6

Contributed by:

Taylor Fletcher

Worship Leader

Opening Prayer:

Almighty Father, help me to understand that you are the salvation of my past, present and future. Let me experience you in this present moment and see your hand in my past and future that I might have courage for today and know the source of my strength.

 

Scripture:

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8

 

Reading:

We glide along through the tides of time—

so quickly gone, like a dream that fades at dawn. - Moses

 

“Time is on our side, yes it is” - Jerry Ragovoy (Rolling Stones)

 

Reflection:

Time is irrelevant to God. He transcends it. God sees all of eternity past, present and future in every moment and He is eternal. For us, time is money, and a prison and a thief. Time is running out. We make time and spend it, we waste it and lose it and buy it and kill it. We are never on time, seldom in time, and always of time. Time serves as one of the greatest reminders that we are not gods and that God is far beyond our scope of understanding. This should bring us in awe before The Eternal One.

 

Blessing:

May you experience God’s presence so strongly today that it will empower you to face whatever may come your way.

Week 2 - Past

March 8 - 14

Day 1

Contributed by:

Taylor Fletcher

Worship Leader

Opening Prayer:

God, you don’t erase or forget our past; you redeem it. Give us the strength to believe and follow you in your truth today.

 

Scripture:

I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. – Exodus 20:5b-6

 

Reading:

Numerous external forces may shape us but the family we have grown up in is the primary and except in rare circumstances the most powerful system that will shape and influence who we are. - The Emotionally Healthy Church by Peter Scazzero

 

He'd say "I'm gonna be like you, dad"

"You know I'm gonna be like you" – Harry Chapin

 

Reflection:

Your family history is directly impacting how you love God, others and yourself. Until we grasp the depth of value and power that the past has had on who we are today we will inevitably mirror those patterns we’ve seen in our family history. Do you see this in your life? Have you ever done a genogram? Our asked God about the verse above? Going back is the only way to move forward.

 

Blessing:

May God reveal the learnings from your past and then allow you to move forward without letting you be robbed of His presence or your present. Let His presence guide and direct you to the wonderful plans He has for you.

Day 2

Contributed by:

Melissa Schultz

Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer:

God, you don’t erase or forget our past; you redeem it. Give us the strength to believe and follow you in your truth today.

 

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:

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis

 

Reflection:

What a gift God gives to us in this reminder that our past is just that…a piece of our experience building and growing us into who we are today.  Our challenges, our hurts, our celebrations, our pains, they are not the sum total of what we can become, nor do we have to carry the weight of these burdens into our current reality.  Instead, we’re instructed to “forget the former things”.  I hear God inviting us to acknowledge our journey, use the lessons gleaned and the pieces that have served us, and to move into the beauty that He envisions for our life.  With each new day, we have a new opportunity to start where we are and build anew.

 

Blessing:

May God reveal the learnings from your past and then allow you to move forward without letting you be robbed of His presence or your present. Let His presence guide and direct you to the wonderful plans He has for you.

Day 3

Contributed by:

Douglas Poole

Cypress Pastor

Opening Prayer:

God, you don’t erase or forget our past; you redeem it. Give us the strength to believe and follow you in your truth today.

 

Scripture:

You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessings to me.  -Psalm 139:5 (TPT)

 

Reading:

Four hundred years ago William Shakespeare wrote this line in his play The Tempest: “What is past is prologue.” In the play several actors communicate that the things that happened in the past (be they good or bad; painful or pleasant) set the stage for our realities today. The determining issue at hand is: how do you respond to your past? As Walt Disney once said about the past: “you can either run from it or learn from it”.

 

Reflection:

The past is the past…not the final act. Your best days are ahead of you.

 

Blessing:

May God reveal the learnings from your past and then allow you to move forward without letting you be robbed of His presence or your present. Let His presence guide and direct you to the wonderful plans He has for you.

Day 4

Contributed by:

Keith Killen

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

God, you don’t erase or forget our past; you redeem it. Give us the strength to believe and follow you in your truth today.

 

Scripture:

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19

 

Reading:

You know you are on the right track when you have no interest in looking back. Fearless Soul

 

Reflection:

If I dwell on them, all my faults and failures can rob me of the glorious future God has planned for me. May I be so caught up in God presence now that I can move into the future with nothing but praise.

 

Blessing:

May God reveal the learnings from your past and then allow you to move forward without letting you be robbed of His presence or your present. Let His presence guide and direct you to the wonderful plans He has for you.

Day 5

Contributed by:

Marq Caughell

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

God, you don’t erase or forget our past; you redeem it. Give us the strength to believe and follow you in your truth today.

 

Scripture:

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. - Ephesians 2:10

 

Reading:

The presence of God is true security. There really isn't any other. Divine love is the full affirmation of who we are. Interior freedom is the gift of God as we let go of our attachments and aversions, our “shoulds,” and the emotional programs of happiness that we bring with us from early childhood and that are totally impracticable in adult life. - From Thomas Keating’s The Human Condition

 

Reflection:

I don’t have to do anything to earn God’s love and there is nothing I can do to lose that love. In the past, it was very common for me to feel “not good enough” - both as a human being and as a child of God. Now, I strive to continue growing in the understanding that I am fully capable of goodness (and maybe even greatness), if I let go of selfish solutions and allow God’s love to flow through me.

 

Blessing:

May God reveal the learnings from your past and then allow you to move forward without letting you be robbed of His presence or your present. Let His presence guide and direct you to the wonderful plans He has for you.

 

Day 6

Contributed by:

Jacque Poole

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

God, you don’t erase or forget our past; you redeem it. Give us the strength to believe and follow you in your truth today.

 

Scripture:

“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions

for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. “ Isaiah 43:25

 

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” Philippians 3:13

 

Reading:

“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.” -Dr. Brene Brown

 

Reflection:

Shame holds us back. Our past often is our storage unit for shame, for our shortcomings, our errors, mistakes and transgressions...our sins. These two verses bring powerful and deep encouragement to each of us. God tells us He blots those transgressions, errors and mistakes out... for HIS sake! And He will remember them no more! God is trustworthy and you can rely on His forgiveness. The Apostle Paul responds to this news in Philippians 3:13...forgetting the past, I strain toward my future. Let’s join Paul in shutting down shame, and moving ahead toward the present opportunities. You can empty that storage unit of shame. Let it go, with God’s forgiveness.

 

Blessing:

May God reveal the learnings from your past and then allow you to move forward without letting you be robbed of His presence or your present. Let His presence guide and direct you to the wonderful plans He has for you.

Week 3 - Present

March 15 - 21

Day 1

Contributed by:

Melissa Schultz

Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer:
Lord help me to live in the present. Let me experience your presence in every moment.

 

Scripture: 
Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude.  Colossians 4:2 

 

Reading: 
“Within a moment there is monumental potential.  That is the mystery of a moment.  It is small enough to ignore and big enough to change your life forever.” Erwin Raphael McManus 

 

Reflection: 
Stop.  Take a moment to do a brief inventory of your last week.  Do you feel like you’ve been rushing from one task onto the next, as if you’re racing through the motions to get from A to Z?  Or do you feel like you’ve been planted in the present, engaged in the moments as they come and go?  Or does it feel like you’ve been too focused on past or future moments to realize the current space you find yourself in?  How does the way you’ve been approaching the day to day resonate with the needs of your soul?  Does your mood feel uplifted?  Hurried?  Joyful? Stressed?  Does it feel like the pace you’re currently traveling is aligned to the longing of your soul?  Wherever you find yourself today, acknowledge it, accept it, and move into your next moment with awareness, grace, compassion, and gratitude.

 

Blessing:
May you experience God’s presence in the present and thereby learn His plans for every given moment and follow it into whatever joy and struggles it brings. 

Day 2

Contributed by:

Taylor Fletcher

Worship Leader

Opening Prayer:

Lord help me to live in the present. Let me experience your presence in every moment.

 

Scripture:

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6

 

Reading:

Every now is an eternity if it is full of God. – Frank Laubach

 

What can anyone give you greater than now. – William Stafford

 

Reflection:

All the best stuff in life is right now, in the present. The present is the point at which time touches eternity. All of Psalm 23 is about being present in each moment with God.  Whether it’s a good day or a hard day don’t miss a moment. Memorize Psalm 23 and use it as a tool to make every now an eternity with God.

 

Blessing:

May you experience God’s presence in the present and thereby learn His plans for every given moment and follow it into whatever joy and struggles it brings.

Day 3

Contributed by:

Jacque Poole

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Lord help me to live in the present. Let me experience your presence in every moment.

 

Scripture:

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:34

 

Reading:

When you trust someone, you don't need to know everything.

Bob Goff, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

 

Reflection:

This is a verse I learned as a child. It has served as a reminder to me through many worries and anxious moments. Then I read Love Does, by Bob Goff. He is very clear. “When you trust someone, you don’t need to know everything.” I say I trust God; therefore I don’t need to know everything. I can be present today, without worry for tomorrow.

 

Blessing:

May you experience God’s presence in the present and thereby learn His plans for every given moment and follow it into whatever joy and struggles it brings.

Day 4

Contributed by:

Marq Caughell

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Lord help me to live in the present. Let me experience your presence in every moment.

 

Scripture:

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. - Psalm 90:12

 

Reading:

The spiritual journey is not a career or a success story. It is a series of humiliations of the false self that become more and more profound. These make room inside us for the Holy Spirit to come in and heal. What prevents us from being available to God is gradually evacuated. We keep getting closer and closer to our center. - From Thomas Keating’s The Human Condition

 

Reflection:

My days are numbered in this life and I will never know the exact amount I have left. I must live in the here and now, because I cannot control the past or the future. I can learn from past mistakes and plan for a better future, but mostly I need to get out of my own way. By seeking to play an active role in God’s will for my life, I am learning to be who God made me to be.

 

Blessing:

May you experience God’s presence in the present and thereby learn His plans for every given moment and follow it into whatever joy and struggles it brings.

Day 5

Contributed by:

Keith Killen

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Lord help me to live in the present. Let me experience your presence in every moment.

 

Scripture:

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

 

Reading:

It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up. Echart Tolle

 

Reflection:

Dwelling on my past failures robs me of experiencing the present. God speaks to us in the present. In His presence, you can experience peace and calm in spite of all the chaos around you. In His presence is where we learn His plans for our lives which leads to the hope and joy of a glorious future.

 

Blessing:

May you experience God’s presence in the present and thereby learn His plans for every given moment and follow it into whatever joy and struggles it brings.

 

Day 6

Contributed by:

Douglas Poole

Pastor

Opening Prayer:

Lord help me to live in the present. Let me experience your presence in every moment.

 

Scripture:

We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. -John 9:4 (NLT)

 

Reading:

There are some things which must be done today, things that you and you alone where created to accomplish. Some of us are wasting our time burning daylight when what we need to be doing is seizing the power of every moment. -From Chasing Daylight by Erwin McManus

 

Reflection:

The window of opportunity will close. The sun shining with good intentions will set. Your child will one day leave home. If you wait for the perfect moment on the perfect day…you will wait until you die.  The day to act…is today.

 

Blessing:

May you experience God’s presence in the present and thereby learn His plans for every given moment and follow it into whatever joy and struggles it brings.

Week 4 - Future

March 22 - 28

Day 1

Contributed by:

Marq Caughell

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

God, thank you for caring about me and preparing a plan for my future. May I follow this plan you have for me so that I might experience hope and joy with you in the future.

 

Scripture:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” - Jeremiah 29:11

 

Reading:

The ultimate abandonment of one’s role is not to have a self as a fixed point of reference; it is the freedom to manifest God through one’s own uniqueness...When you have been liberated from them all [our false attachments and selfish attempts at happiness], you are in a space that is both empty of self and full of God. - From Thomas Keating’s The Human Condition

 

Reflection:

I was not put here to be punished, tortured or to live a meaningless life and then die. There is a plan - a perfect plan - and it makes perfect, logical sense. Can I admit that I can’t fully understand or successfully execute that plan by myself? I need God and I want to be at His service. I don’t know what He will ask me to do, but I am trying to get better at letting go of the flawed thoughts and emotions that fill me like empty calories, never nourishing or satisfying who I was made to be, so I can hear Him and move forward with hope.

 

Blessing:

Jesus has revealed a portion of what lays in your future and God has promised you a future with Him, now would that strengthen you to live more vibrantly in the present.

Day 2

Contributed by:

Douglas Poole

Pastor

Opening Prayer:

God, thank you for caring about me and preparing a plan for my future. May I follow this plan you have for me so that I might experience hope and joy with you in the future.

 

Scripture:

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.  -John 16:13

 

Reading:

We can’t change history but we can create the future. And it is in our dreams that God paints a picture of a life, a future, waiting to be created. This future is not simply entered into…it is being created. Created by those with the faith and courage to risk today. It is amazing where God will take you when you are willing to follow…to choose mystery over security.  -From Wide Awake by Erwin McManus

 

Reflection:

What dream has God spoke into your soul? What step of faith and courage must be taken for this future to be created?

 

Blessing:

Jesus has revealed a portion of what lays in your future and God has promised you a future with Him, now would that strengthen you to live more vibrantly in the present.

Day 3

Contributed by:

Keith Killen

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

God, thank you for caring about me and preparing a plan for my future. May I follow this plan you have for me so that I might experience hope and joy with you in the future.

 

Scripture:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

Reading:

We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in the past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here now with the power to shape your day and your future. Steve Maraboli

 

Reflection:

We should learn from our mistakes but not let them rob us of our present moments. Doing so keeps us from experiencing God’s presence which comes in the present and provides the direction needed to fulfill His plan in our life. And fulfilling His plan is what bring peace, joy, and blessing in our future. 

 

Blessing:

Jesus has revealed a portion of what lays in your future and God has promised you a future with Him, now would that strengthen you to live more vibrantly in the present.

Day 4

Contributed by:

Jacque Poole

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

God, thank you for caring about me and preparing a plan for my future. May I follow this plan you have for me so that I might experience hope and joy with you in the future.

 

Scripture:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

 

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” - Philippians 3:13

 

Reading:

Until a person takes responsibility for where he is, there is no basis for moving on. The bad news is that the past was in your hands, but the good news is that the future, my friend, is also in your hands.

Andy Andrews, The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success

 

Reflection:

Andy Andrew’s says it very bluntly, that our past was in our hands. We must take responsibility for it...the good and the bad. Then remember Jeremiah assures us that the One whom we trust, God, has plans for us. He plans to prosper us and bring us hope. The good news is: God is with you as you step from the present into the future. He can be trusted. Your future has been entrusted to you by God. Your future is in your hands. There is hope in your future. Press forward to what lies ahead, knowing that God is with you.

 

Blessing:

Jesus has revealed a portion of what lays in your future and God has promised you a future with Him, now would that strengthen you to live more vibrantly in the present.

Day 5

Contributed by:

Melissa Schultz

Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer:

God, thank you for caring about me and preparing a plan for my future. May I follow this plan you have for me so that I might experience hope and joy with you in the future.

 

Scripture:

And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the flowers and fields grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:28-34

 

Reading:

“The more you pray, the less you’ll panic.  The more you worship, the less you worry.  You’ll feel more patient and less pressured.” Rick Warren

 

Reflection:

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that in times when life feels out of control or filled with uncertainty, fear and worry have a greater tendency to creep into my thoughts.  At those times worry can feel almost like an automatic reaction, my body’s reflex in response to situations outside of myself.  But the truth is, in those moments, I do have control.  Instead of allowing my thoughts and emotions to run wild, I can turn to God and invite him in.  I can avoid looking forward, and can instead look upward.  In that relationship I am able to bring what I am carrying, lay it at his feet, and rest in the truth that He does all things for my good.  

 

Blessing:

Jesus has revealed a portion of what lays in your future and God has promised you a future with Him, now would that strengthen you to live more vibrantly in the present.

 

Day 6

Contributed by:

Taylor Fletcher

Worship Leader

Opening Prayer:

God, thank you for caring about me and preparing a plan for my future. May I follow this plan you have for me so that I might experience hope and joy with you in the future.


Scripture:

And every curse will be broken and no longer exist, for the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there in the city. His loving servants will worship him; they will always see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more. They will never need the light of the sun or a lamp, because the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign as kings forever and ever! Revelation 22:3-5


Reading:

Anxiety is just groundless and pointless. It occurs only as a hangover of bad habits established when we were trusting things—like human approval and wealth—that were certain to let us down. Now our strategy should be one of resolute rejection of worry, while we concentrate on the future in hope and with prayer and on the past with thanksgiving. – Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy



Reflection:

As disciples of Jesus Revelation 22:3-5 is our future…our eternity. Regardless of what happens in our future before Jesus’ return, good or bad. This is our “real” future. This should be enough to wreck our anxiety and fears as well as any worldly aspirations in our personal and professional lives that distract us from God.


Blessing:

Jesus has revealed a portion of what lays in your future and God has promised you a future with Him, now would that strengthen you to live more vibrantly in the present.

Week 1 - Grace

March 29 - April 4

Day 1

Contributed by:

Melissa Schultz

Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer:

Lord, I thank you that I have been saved by your grace through faith. This is not my doing, but it is a gift from you. – Ephesians 2:8

 

Scripture:

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong. 1 Corinthians 12: 8-10

 

Reading:

“God allows and at times causes us to go through the kinds of circumstances that strip away all falsehood and leave us with our real selves.  God’s ultimate intent is not to leave us faithless, but to leave us faith-full.  There are few things as exhilarating as going through the fire and finding that you had the resilience to make it through. All of us wonder at times whether we have what it takes.  God wants to bring us to a place where we have no doubt of the work He has done within us.”  - Erwin McManus

 

Reflection:

He does His most beautiful work in our weakness.  Let that sink in.  In our weakness…in our challenges….when we’re deep in the pain and the hurt and the fear and the uncertainty, His grace is not only sufficient, but it is abundant, flowing, and covers us fully! May grace abound.   

 

Blessing:

Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master. 2 Peter 1:2

Day 2

Contributed by:

Jacque Poole

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Lord, I thank you that I have been saved by your grace through faith. This is not my doing, but it is a gift from you. – Ephesians 2:8


Scripture:

“Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.” - John 1:16 NIV


“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” - Ephesians 3:20 NIV


Reading:

God gives us grace on top of grace. His grace never runs out. His blessings never run out. That's just like God. God is into "extra". Even when Jesus fed the 5,000, miraculously, there was enough food for everyone and then there was extra left over. Sometimes we believe God for just enough. But He is a God of more than enough.   -April Nicole Scipio


Reflection:

We are preparing to celebrate Easter, which is the best reminder of God’s immeasurable grace for each one of us. In Christian belief, grace is the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners (that means each one of us) and the bestowal of blessings. God’s grace is there for you. It is available. It is for you. There is more than enough, with extra left over. His grace is at work within you. Accept it...God’s forgiveness and His blessings.


Blessing:

Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master. 2 Peter 1:2

Day 3

Contributed by:

Marq Caughell

Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer:

Lord, I thank you that I have been saved by your grace through faith. This is not my doing, but it is a gift from you. – Ephesians 2:8

 

Scripture:

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. - 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

 

Reading:

Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past. Not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, though these are things which cannot inspire envy. - From Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning

 

Reflection:

It’s not what you do when things are easy, it’s how you show yourself when it is all falling apart that counts. We are tested in our failures, we grow stronger when we can find, and understand, the meaning in the pain. And meaning can be found in everything, because everything has a purpose. Look for the meaning in this moment and learn from it.

 

Blessing:

Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master. 2 Peter 1:2