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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The Cross

April 25 - May 1

Click here to check out this week's song for inspiration: 

Make You Feel My Love by Adele

Day 1

Contributed by: Taylor Fletcher, Worship Leader

Opening Prayer

Since, you, Jesus went through everything I'm going through and more, teach me to think like You. To think of my sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get my own way. Then I'll be able to live out my days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what I want. - 1 Peter 4:1-2

Scripture

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. A pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment. - Psalm 22:1,6,16-18

Reading

The only time in all the gospels that Jesus Christ prays to God and doesn’t call him Father is on the cross, when he says, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus lost his relationship with the Father so that we could have a relationship with God as father. - Tim Keller “Prayer”

Reflection

Psalm 22 was written some 600 years before Jesus crucifixion yet it clearly describes it. Jesus quotes its first line on the cross to draw attention to what  he was experiencing. Read all of Psalm 22 and ask God to grow your understanding of His love for you and others. 

 

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Blessing

May you show love and appreciation to God and His Son Jesus for the great sacrifice made in your behalf. May your life before others be an expression of that love.

Day 2

Contributed by: Melissa Schultz, Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer

Since, you, Jesus went through everything I'm going through and more, teach me to think like You. To think of my sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get my own way. Then I'll be able to live out my days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what I want. - 1 Peter 4:1-2

Scripture

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16 

Reading

“In the Cross is salvation; in the Cross is life; in the Cross is protection against our enemies; in the Cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the Cross is strength of mind; in the Cross is joy of spirit; in the Cross is excellence of virtue; in the Cross is perfection of holiness.  There is no salvation of soul, nor hope of eternal life, save in the Cross.” Thomas à Kempis 

Reflection

We know love, because first, He loved us.  We know forgiveness, because He forgave all of our transgressions.  We know grace, because His grace is overflowing in our lives.  We know mercy and compassion and empathy and hope because of the ways He has poured these things into our very souls.  And now that we know, we can be.  We know love and forgiveness and grace and mercy and hope, so now we can be these things in the world.  We know better, so now, we’re called to do better, infusing these gifts into our actions and interactions and reactions.  Let’s collectively spread the gifts of the Cross within this world. 

Blessing

May you show love and appreciation to God and His Son Jesus for the great sacrifice made in your behalf. May your life before others be an expression of that love.

Day 3

Contributed by: Douglas Poole, Lead Pastor

Opening Prayer

Since, you, Jesus went through everything I'm going through and more, teach me to think like You. To think of my sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get my own way. Then I'll be able to live out my days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what I want. - 1 Peter 4:1-2

Scripture

Trust Him at all times, O people: Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah       -Psalm 62:8

Reading

There are moments where the hurt we feel in our souls or the confused thoughts in our head defy language and feel unjust. In these moments we reason if I can’t understand how can anyone else? These moments are lonely dark nights of the soul. And what about God? Does He know…does He care? In these moments I reflect on the garden and I look to the cross…and I find the answer. And thereby I find the grace and hope I need to begin my journey toward peace. -from: A Peak Into My Journal by Douglas Poole

Reflection

What is the state of my soul?

What does it look like for me to pour it out before God in this moment?

Blessing

May you show love and appreciation to God and His Son Jesus for the great sacrifice made in your behalf. May your life before others be an expression of that love.

Day 4

Contributed by: Keith Killen, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Since, you, Jesus went through everything I'm going through and more, teach me to think like You. To think of my sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get my own way. Then I'll be able to live out my days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what I want. - 1 Peter 4:1-2

Scripture

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  - 1 Corinthians 1:18

Reading

To some, the image of a pale body glimmering on a dark night whispers of defeat. What good is a God who does not control his Son's suffering? But another sound can be heard: the shout of a God crying out to human beings, "I LOVE YOU." Love was compressed for all history in that lonely figure on the cross, who said that he could call down angels at any moment on a rescue mission, but chose not to - because of us. At Calvary, God accepted his own unbreakable terms of justice. Any discussion of how pain and suffering fit into God's scheme ultimately leads back to the cross. ― Philip Yancey

Reflection

My mind is incapable of fully understanding or comprehending the pain, suffering, and humiliation or the significance, purpose, and consequences of Jesus’ death on the cross. But I pray that does not keep me from expressing my love and appreciation for His great sacrifice. God, help me to love and praise you for the plan of salvation and to thank your Son for His great sacrifice as a substitute for me on the cross.  

Blessing

May you show love and appreciation to God and His Son Jesus for the great sacrifice made in your behalf. May your life before others be an expression of that love.

Day 5

Contributed by: Marq Caughell, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Since, you, Jesus went through everything I'm going through and more, teach me to think like You. To think of my sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get my own way. Then I'll be able to live out my days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what I want. - 1 Peter 4:1-2

Scripture

If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. - Matthew 10:38

Reading

We had to learn ourselves, and furthermore, we had to teach despairing men that it did not matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. - From Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning

Reflection

In life, we need to take the responsibility to find the right answer to each problem that comes before us. It does not matter what we expect from God, but what God expects from us. Sometimes a situation requires action, sometimes contemplation. Sometimes, we may be asked to simply accept our fate in a situation and bear our cross, knowing that God’s grace will see us through.

Blessing

May you show love and appreciation to God and His Son Jesus for the great sacrifice made in your behalf. May your life before others be an expression of that love.

Day 6

Contributed by: Jacque Poole, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Since, you, Jesus went through everything I'm going through and more, teach me to think like You. To think of my sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get my own way. Then I'll be able to live out my days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what I want. - 1 Peter 4:1-2

Scripture

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani? (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ). - Mark 15:33-34

 

and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. - 1 Peter 2:24 

Reading

Our tendency in the midst of suffering is to turn on God. To get angry and bitter and shake our fist at the sky and say, "God, you don't know what it's like! You don't understand! You have no idea what I'm going through. You don't have a clue how much this hurts.” The cross is God's way of taking away all of our accusations, excuses, and arguments. The cross is God taking on flesh and blood and saying, "Me too." - Rob Bell

Reflection

When I consider the cross I see an ugly, cruel device used by men and women to inflict pain, punishment and ultimately an excruciating death on those they condemned. However, I have learned that the cross has another side...God took the ugly cruelty of men and flipped it to bring the incredible gift of loving grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Whatever is happening in your life, God is with you..He says, “Me too.” By His wounds...we are healed.

Blessing

May you show love and appreciation to God and His Son Jesus for the great sacrifice made in your behalf. May your life before others be an expression of that love.

Joy

May 2 - May 8

Click here to check out this week's song for inspiration: 

Joy by For King and Country

Day 1

Contributed by: Keith Killen, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Lord, teach me to dwell in your presence for it is there I will experience the joy of life.

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

[…] success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. Viktor E. Frankl

Reflection

If we pursue happiness, we are likely not to find it. When we pursue God and His purposes, happiness and joy are often the consequence.

Blessing

Be people of joy. Let joy live in your heart and share the joy of Christ with all you meet.

Day 2

Contributed by: Jacque Poole, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Lord, teach me to dwell in your presence for it is there I will experience the joy of life.

Scripture

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” - Psalm 95:1-2

Reading

“Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience,” Brown says. “And if you cannot tolerate joy, what you do is you start dress rehearsing tragedy.”

 

Dress rehearsing tragedy, she explains, is imagining something bad is going to happen when in reality, nothing is wrong. “How many of you have ever stood over your child while they’re sleeping and thought, ‘Oh my God, I love you’ — and then pictured something horrific happening?” Brown asks. “Or woke up in the morning and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, job’s going great. Parents are good. This can’t last.”

 

During her research, Brown says she met people who had a profound capacity for joy. The difference, she says, is that when something really blissful happened to them, they felt grateful. “Instead of using it as a warning to start practicing disaster, they used it as a reminder to practice gratitude,” Brown says.  - Brene Brown      

Reflection

We are able to cultivate or grow and increase our joy when we practice gratitude. Gratitude and thankfulness change our perspective. The lens you and I use to view the world around us determines what we see. Our focus is actually our choice. Grow your joy with the lens of gratitude. 

Blessing

Be people of joy. Let joy live in your heart and share the joy of Christ with all you meet.

Day 3

Contributed by: Douglas Poole, Lead Pastor

Opening Prayer

Lord, teach me to dwell in your presence for it is there I will experience the joy of life.

Scripture

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. -Proverbs 17:22

Reading

Laughter is carbonated holiness. -Anne Lamott

Reflection

Solomon says joy is a prescription for a healthy soul. We stay humble as we learn to laugh at ourselves. We have a perspective shift when we can find humor in the moment. We gain energy after a good belly laugh. We find the beauty of connection when it’s a shared laugh. So go give yourself a douse of some medicinal laughter.

Blessing

Be people of joy. Let joy live in your heart and share the joy of Christ with all you meet.

Day 4

Contributed by: Marq Caughell, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Lord, teach me to dwell in your presence for it is there I will experience the joy of life.

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

There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.”...No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. - The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis

Reflection

The more I allow my will to follow His Will - to shape my actual thoughts and decisions around what is true reality, the better I am at staying on the path to joy. And I do want to experience joy. Both now and forever. He has marked the path and it is well lit - I just need to choose to follow it.

Blessing

Be people of joy. Let joy live in your heart and share the joy of Christ with all you meet.

Day 5

Contributed by: Melissa Schultz, Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer

Lord, teach me to dwell in your presence for it is there I will experience the joy of life.

Scripture

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in His love.  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.  John 15:9-11 

Reading

“Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy.  Joy is not a constant.  It comes to us in moments-often ordinary moments.  Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down the extraordinary moments.  Other times we’re so afraid of the dark we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light.  A joyful life is not a floodlight of joy.  That would eventually become unbearable.  I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, and inspiration.” Brene’ Brown 

Reflection

In what moments have you found the most joy over the last year?  Did you recognize the joy of the moment within the moment, or is it most clearly seen in retrospect?  Can you pinpoint ordinary moments that almost always bring flickers of joy into your soul?  What does joy feel like to you both physically and emotionally?  How might you infuse some moments of joy into your week? 

Blessing

Be people of joy. Let joy live in your heart and share the joy of Christ with all you meet.

Day 6

Contributed by: Taylor Fletcher, Worship Leader

Opening Prayer

Lord, teach me to dwell in your presence for it is there I will experience the joy of life.

Scripture

When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:10-11 ESV)

Reading

“Joy to the world, All the boys and girls,

Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea,

Joy to you and me” - Three Dog Night

 

“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.” —Khalil Gibran

Reflection

The wise men only knew so much about who Jesus was and why he came and yet, the Bible says they were filled with great joy and gave Him great gifts. Knowing all that we know today what is your response?

Blessing

Be people of joy. Let joy live in your heart and share the joy of Christ with all you meet.

Peace

May 9 - May 15

Day 1

Contributed by: Marq Caughell, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Thank You, God for giving me your peace, not as the world gives it. May you keep my mind and my heart in perfect peace.

Scripture

When people’s lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them. - Proverbs 16:7

Reading

What seemed, when they entered it, to be a vale of misery turns out, when they look back, to have been a well; and where present experience saw only salt deserts, memory truthfully records that the pools were full of water. - The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis

Reflection

Some of the most difficult times in my life, when viewed with the benefit of hindsight, have changed from lifeless wastelands into essential experiences that needed to happen in order for me to grow stronger and continue on. I have also found that it is easier to be at peace when my actions towards others are peaceful - even when the circumstances suggest that it is ok to be filled with anger and frustration.

Blessing

May your relationship with God provide you with a peace the world cannot take away. And may that peace allow you to show another way for a world that is far from peace.

Day 2

Contributed by: Melissa Schultz, Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer

Thank You, God for giving me your peace, not as the world gives it. May you keep my mind and my heart in perfect peace.

Scripture

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world” John 16:33 

Reading

“The warrior knows that peace does not come from control but from relinquishing control.  Everything in life that you try to control that is outside your control will steal from you your peace. You must choose to take hold of what you can control and let go of what you cannot.  You cannot control your circumstances, but you can control your character.  You cannot control the actions of others, but you can control the choices you make.  You cannot control the outcome, but you can control the process.”  - Erwin McManus

Reflection

My personality is one that has always thrived on certainty and knowing.  My mind longs to know a problem, analyze possible outcomes, problem-solve solutions for every possible outcome, and then respond in a way that brings about the best hypothetical outcome.  Yet in the wisdom and life experience gained through my relationship with our Creator, I’ve learned that this is just a fancy way to say that I have a tendency to want to control.  I want to feel that I have a part in the outcome, and by doing the right things I can move toward a desired result.  And while it’s all well and good to take responsibility and hold ourselves accountable, there can also be a slippery slope into an unhealthy need to control (people, situations, outcomes, relationships) if not kept in check.  And isn’t that the beauty of this scripture and reading?  As Christians, we know the outcome.  And even more beautiful, God has told us the outcome so that we may live in peace.  His desire for us isn’t to live in frantic chaos and frustration, trying to control the outside world, our situations, or our circumstances.  Instead, we are responsible for how we handle ourselves and treat others; we can control our character, our choices, how we interact with others, how we show love; the processes by which we live.  

Blessing

May your relationship with God provide you with a peace the world cannot take away. And may that peace allow you to show another way for a world that is far from peace.

Day 3

Contributed by: Taylor Fletcher, Worship Leader

Opening Prayer

Thank You, God for giving me your peace, not as the world gives it. May you keep my mind and my heart in perfect peace.

Scripture

And through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. - Colossians 1:20

 

Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed! - Psalm 85:10

Reading

I had a long talk with a man the other day about this bus situation. He discussed the peace being destroyed in the community, the destroying of good race relations. I agree that it is more tension now. But peace is not merely the absence of this tension, but the presence of justice. And even if we didn’t have this tension, we still wouldn’t have positive peace. Yes, it is true that if the Negro accepts his place, accepts exploitation and injustice, there will be peace. But it would be a peace boiled down to stagnant complacency, deadening passivity, and if peace means this, I don’t want peace. - Dr. Martin Luther King’s “When Peace Becomes Obnoxious,”

Reflection

Peace is not complacency. Peace is unfailing love and truth meeting, righteousness and peace kissing, blood being spilt and new life being birthed from it. What does peace look like in your life and relationships?

Blessing

May your relationship with God provide you with a peace the world cannot take away. And may that peace allow you to show another way for a world that is far from peace.

Day 4

Contributed by: Douglas Poole, Lead Pastor

Opening Prayer

Thank You, God for giving me your peace, not as the world gives it. May you keep my mind and my heart in perfect peace.

Scripture

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  - John 14:27

Reading

The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. The word shalom is layered, complex and elegant in its nuances. At its most superficial level it is a form of greeting. As you layer down the peace of shalom it means “harmony, wholeness, completeness, and tranquility”. To experience true shalom is to find wholeness. When we find peace, we are made whole…within ourselves and with God, and others and even the whole of creation.  -The Way of the Warrior by Erwin McManus

Reflection

Peace is an inside out journey. When I am mindfully aware of the presence of God in the moment…I step into shalom regardless of my external circumstances. Pause now and mindfully reflect on the Lord’s presence.

Blessing

May your relationship with God provide you with a peace the world cannot take away. And may that peace allow you to show another way for a world that is far from peace.

Day 5

Contributed by: Jacque Poole, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Thank You, God for giving me your peace, not as the world gives it. May you keep my mind and my heart in perfect peace.

Scripture

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” - Phil. 4:6

 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. - Isaiah 41:10

Reading

Please underline this sentence: What you have in Christ is greater than anything you don’t have in life. You have a God who is crazy about you, the forces of heaven to monitor and protect you. You have the living presence of Jesus within you. In Christ, you have everything. He can give you a happiness that can never be taken, a grace that will never expire, and a wisdom that will never be equaled. He is a fountain of living hope that will never be exhausted. -Max Lucado

Reflection

Peace is the opposite of anxiety and worry. Paul tells us that we can have peace because of the God who loves us! Just like I don’t worry about noises in the night when Douglas is with me. Paul and Isaiah tell us God is with us and will guard us and protect us, day and night, with His righteous right hand. I can be at peace day and night because God is with me. 

 

Be at peace, God is with you.

Blessing

May your relationship with God provide you with a peace the world cannot take away. And may that peace allow you to show another way for a world that is far from peace.

Day 6

Contributed by: Keith Killen, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Thank You, God for giving me your peace, not as the world gives it. May you keep my mind and my heart in perfect peace.

Scripture

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

Reading

Peace with God does not mean peace with the world.  In fact, peace with God means enmity with the world.  Peace with God is the status of our spiritual relationship.  It is not a description of the condition of our lives. Dr Skip Moen

Reflection

Only in maintaining a close relationship with God can we find any peace in this world. It is an inner peace that the world cannot take away.

Blessing

May your relationship with God provide you with a peace the world cannot take away. And may that peace allow you to show another way for a world that is far from peace.

Patience

May 16 - May 22

Click here to check out this week's song for inspiration: 

Way Maker by Leeland

Day 1

Contributed by: Douglas Poole, Lead Pastor

Opening Prayer

Lord, help me to be patient and kind to those I meet today. May this spirit be a blessing to others and help them through the burdens they may be carrying.

Scripture

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.        -Psalm 27:14

Reading

Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less. -A Simple Path by Mother Teresa

Reflection

The desire for “more” and the quest for “faster” lead to a life at 10,000 RPM’s all day, every day. Hurried and exhausted. Both being brutal enemies of a healthy soul.  What will you intentionally eliminate from your schedule of to-do’s so you have more time to-be fully present?

Blessing

May you go about your day with patience and perseverance being gracious and present to all and through all things.

Day 2

Contributed by: Taylor Fletcher, Worship Leader

Opening Prayer

Lord, help me to be patient and kind to those I meet today. May this spirit be a blessing to others and help them through the burdens they may be carrying.

Scripture

The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. - Galatians 5:22-23

Reading

“All we need is just a little patience” - Guns N’ Roses

Reflection

Notice in the passage from Galatians, it is not fruits but fruit. It may be bad grammar but Paul’s point is that all of these elements of Christianity go together. If you don’t have all these graces you don’t have any of them at least not the way God designed them. They are connected and interdependent. You can have the patience of the world but it’s built on cynicism, lack of care, or pride. Christian patience is built upon self control and self control comes from joy…Where does your patience arise from?

Blessing

May you go about your day with patience and perseverance being gracious and present to all and through all things.

Day 3

Contributed by: Melissa Schultz, Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer

Lord, help me to be patient and kind to those I meet today. May this spirit be a blessing to others and help them through the burdens they may be carrying.

Scripture

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.  For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.  Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever.  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on the things that cannot be seen.  For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 

Reading

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” -David G. Allen 

Reflection

In reflection and retrospect, it can be so much easier to understand the “bigger picture”…to see why God took you down the specific path in your journey, especially if that path was riddled with challenges.  But in the moment…in the thick of it…it can feel so difficult to understand and accept the barriers.  Especially when you feel that the end goal is for the good of His kingdom.  In those moments, when every step forward feels like you’re lifting your legs out of quicksand, when you start questioning the goal and if all the effort is worth it, think of an image of one moment where you thanked God for unanswered prayers. One moment where the journey He led you on was more magnificent and beautiful than any you could have imagined.  And rest patiently knowing that in this current situation, He is also doing good works within you.   

Blessing

May you go about your day with patience and perseverance being gracious and present to all and through all things.

Day 4

Contributed by: Marq Caughell, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Lord, help me to be patient and kind to those I meet today. May this spirit be a blessing to others and help them through the burdens they may be carrying.

Scripture

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. - Ecclesiastes 7:8

Reading

They say of temporal suffering, “No future bliss can make up for it,” not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. - The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis

Reflection

A difficult task is always daunting before I have begun the hard work, and it is often extremely painful in the middle of it all. In all honesty though, I have never looked back and been proud of doing nothing when I should have done something. 

Blessing

May you go about your day with patience and perseverance being gracious and present to all and through all things.

Day 5

Contributed by: Jacque Poole, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Lord, help me to be patient and kind to those I meet today. May this spirit be a blessing to others and help them through the burdens they may be carrying.

Scripture

Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. -Proverbs 14:29 

 

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. -Ephesians 4:2

Reading

Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, “rush” and “more” usually mean less. -Mother Teresa

Reflection

I have learned that my impatience does not serve me well in any aspect of my life. Especially as I strive to be the person God intends. Impatience reflects my selfishness, thoughtlessness and unkindness. It pretty much is all about me. I am a much better person when I invite God into each moment and focus on others. Patience comes to me when I practice gratitude and joy and let go of scarcity and fear. I see more, feel more and hear more. Go back and read The Daily on Joy (May 3-8) as a reminder to assist you in growing patience. Focus on love and God says you will be humble, gentle and patient. Ironically, you will get more out of life with patience.

Blessing

May you go about your day with patience and perseverance being gracious and present to all and through all things.

Day 6

Contributed by: Keith Killen, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Lord, help me to be patient and kind to those I meet today. May this spirit be a blessing to others and help them through the burdens they may be carrying.

Scripture

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

 

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: Romans 5:3-4

Reading

Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. -Joyce Meyer

Reflection

My wife once expressed that she prayed for patience and got me; seems I was the tribulation she needed to learn patience. God allows difficult times to come into our lives so that we can learn to patiently wait upon Him. It is this ability to keep calm and trust through the storms that people notice and provides the greatest testimony. Patience also allows for me to respond to those who might have wronged me or been difficult with compassion rather than with anger or contempt as they might expect from the world. As our second scripture shows, learning patience is what leads to hope.

Blessing

May you go about your day with patience and perseverance being gracious and present to all and through all things.

Kindness

May 23 - May 29

Click here to check out this week's song for inspiration: 

Don't Give Up On Me by Andy Grammer

Day 1

Contributed by: Melissa Schultz, Cypress Elder

Opening Prayer

Jesus, help me to be kind to others as you have been so kind to me. May my kindness provide opportunities for me to introduce people to You, the kindest person of all.

Scripture

But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters.  Why would you come with me?  Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands?” Ruth 1:11 

 

“Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.  Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1:15-16 

Reading

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.  Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile” Mother Teresa 

Reflection

Everyone is fighting some kid of battle, large or small, seen or unseen.  And no matter our personal circumstance or challenge, we get to choose how we treat others in all of our interactions.  When given the opportunity, choose kindness.  Assume the best.  Show up with patience and grace.  Choose calm over confrontational.  Not only will these choices impact your world and perceptions, they may very well change the trajectory for a wounded soul.  

Blessing

May you show love and kindness towards others as God has shown toward you. May your acts of kindness bless others and help you to experience the joy in doing them.

Day 2

Contributed by: Jacque Poole, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Jesus, help me to be kind to others as you have been so kind to me. May my kindness provide opportunities for me to introduce people to You, the kindest person of all.

Scripture

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. - Ephesians 4:32

 

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. - Proverbs 31:26

Reading

There are three ways to find ultimate success. The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. - Mr. Rogers

Reflection

Kindness is not something to take for granted. Kindness is something to learn, practice and cultivate. Mr. Rogers summarizes God’s truth about kindness with clarity. If you want ultimate success...be kind, be kind, be kind. 

 

Teach kindness, speak kindness, cultivate kindness. As you go through the day, look at every encounter as an opportunity to practice kindness.

Blessing

May you show love and kindness towards others as God has shown toward you. May your acts of kindness bless others and help you to experience the joy in doing them.

Day 3

Contributed by: Marq Caughell, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Jesus, help me to be kind to others as you have been so kind to me. May my kindness provide opportunities for me to introduce people to You, the kindest person of all.

Scripture

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? -Romans 2:4

Reading

Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him. - The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis

Reflection

As beings created in the image of God, we have a seemingly limitless capacity to do anything we can conceive of. We are able to do Great Things, both horrible and wonderful. No matter what we choose though, God continues to extend his kindness towards us. He does not punish or afflict us, guilt or shame, laugh or smirk at us getting what we “deserve.” Where then can I be more kind to those who may be looking for help? 

Blessing

May you show love and kindness towards others as God has shown toward you. May your acts of kindness bless others and help you to experience the joy in doing them.

Day 4

Contributed by: Keith Killen, Cypress Tribe Member

Opening Prayer

Jesus, help me to be kind to others as you have been so kind to me. May my kindness provide opportunities for me to introduce people to You, the kindest person of all.

Scripture

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. -Ephesians 4:32

Reading

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

Reflection

Most people remember true acts of kindness because it makes them feel valued and significant. These acts work with your children, your spouse, your family, your friends, and with perfect strangers. Why not begin some random acts of kindness. Not only will it make them feel better but see also how it makes you feel.

Blessing

May you show love and kindness towards others as God has shown toward you. May your acts of kindness bless others and help you to experience the joy in doing them.

Day 5

Contributed by: Douglas Poole, Lead Pastor

Opening Prayer

Jesus, help me to be kind to others as you have been so kind to me. May my kindness provide opportunities for me to introduce people to You, the kindest person of all.

Scripture

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, cloth yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. -Colossians 3:12

Reading

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile. Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. -Come Be My Light by Mother Teresa

Reflection

Kindness is a choice. What choices will you need to make today to chose kindness?

Blessing

May you show love and kindness towards others as God has shown toward you. May your acts of kindness bless others and help you to experience the joy in doing them.

Day 6

Contributed by: Taylor Fletcher, Worship Leader

Opening Prayer

Jesus, help me to be kind to others as you have been so kind to me. May my kindness provide opportunities for me to introduce people to You, the kindest person of all.

Scripture

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ -Luke 10:33-35

Reading

“Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” - Anne Herbert

 

“Practice routinely purposeful acts of kindness and deeply intelligent acts of beauty.” -Dallas Willard

Reflection

There’s nothing wrong with either of these quotes but one more clearly reflects the heart of God and the parable of the Good Samaritan. Random acts of kindness put a smile on a person’s face but routinely purposeful acts of kindness change lives. Which one do you find yourself practicing more often?

Blessing

May you show love and kindness towards others as God has shown toward you. May your acts of kindness bless others and help you to experience the joy in doing them.

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