Friday, March 30, 2012

See what's happening @ Cypress this don't want to miss!

This weekend marks the much anticipated return of our favorite game show host, Alec Tribek, from the all-time hit, BUZZ he guest host this week’s show, IS IT FAKE OR IS IT REAL!  Subject matter of this game show should be appropriate for all ages, but we do have an amazing Children’s Ministry each and every weekend.

We are also looking at the final bend in "THE ROAD" as Christ heads toward the cross. 

Hypocrites…got a love them, or do you? 

See ya this weekend as we dive in…Final Hours.
Pastor Ken

Peyton taking a line drive...has many takeaways

Many of you know our youngest son, Peyton, took a line drive to his nose and cheekbone that required surgery yesterday.  I thought I would share a few of my thoughts and reflections over the past several days; obviously, these are not in order: 

1. The power of social media amazes me.
I sent a message, via Twitter and Facebook, of what happened, and over the last three days, close to over 100 people have responded to pictures and updates.  If over 100 people responded, it makes me wonder how many other people have viewed and prayed but simply never commented. 

Takeaway = never underestimate the power of what you / we / I put out on social media.  People are reading.

Takeaway = I believe personal evangelism / invitations to church work best within the context of a relationship, but I will throw out opportunities and invitations to the “masses” via social media…scattering seed.

2. Never take family for granted. 
I love my wife and my kids.  I love hanging out with them.  We get along really well (most of the time).  BUT, when people I love suffer, not only do I suffer with them, it reminds me to take advantage of every minute…a simple car ride to practice to talk about something significant rather than tuning into my favorite “oldies” station.  I don’t think anyone means to take family and friends for granted, but when health is threatened, we do see things in a new light.

Takeaway = be disciplined to invest in people (especially family) more than stuff.

3. Perspective changes a lot…Christ changes everything.
Just about the time it’s easy to start feeling “sorry” for oneself, if I choose to think of others who are in far tougher situations than I…and if I choose to think about how God has been / is / and promises to be…gracious, all sufficient and faithful in the future unto me and my family, it really does change how I view the current situation.

Takeaway = I don’t want to just count my blessings when life is a struggle; I’d love to develop the pattern all the time.

Takeaway = I don’t want to be “thinking of and praying for” others who are in tough times only when I am, just to encourage myself…I want to develop a better pattern of care for others all the time.

4. Pain gets our attention quicker than prosperity.
I don’t like pain so I try to avoid it when possible.  I do realize though, some pain is needed for growth to occur and sometimes pain is needed for healing to occur.

Takeaway = when in pain, I will ask, “Am I causing this…what might the Lord be trying to teach me in the midst of it…even when he isn’t the author of it?”

5. Often times, physical wounds will heal faster than other kinds…relational, mental, etc…
Healing the nose is one phase...fielding our first ground ball when some we return to baseball will be another "Big Day."

Takeaway = life really is ONE DAY AT A TIME.

6. I’d rather suffer than see my kids suffer.
As we approach Easter, I can only imagine what God the Father experienced as HIS SON went through all that he did…for me ~ for you ~ and for a ton of our friends…Let’s get the word out.

Hope to see ya this weekend at Cypress,
Pastor Ken

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An invitation for you...

This year, I would like to extend a personal invitation to attend one of our seven identical Easter services called, The Road…There’s No Place Like Home.  Whether you are heading out of town or staying home Easter weekend, we have designed a schedule that will allow you to be a part of our Easter celebration!  The services times are:

Thursday, April 5 ~ 7:00pm
Friday, April 6 ~ 7:00pm
Saturday, April 7 ~ 3:00, 5:00 & 7:00pm
Sunday, April 8 ~ 9:30 & 11:15am

I’m asking you to do two things at Easter this year…(1) attend one of the seven identical services with your family, and (2) bring someone with you.  Easter is the time when people are most likely to accept an invitation to church; your invitation could change someone’s eternity.  We have invite cards at the Connect area, located just outside the café.

There are exciting events planned for the kids and a great mixture of elements intended to connect with the hearts and minds of all, as we celebrate the Hope of Easter.  There really is “no place like home”… when home is as it should be.

If we may serve you in any way, please let us know by going to the “Connect” area in the lobby.

Have a wonderful Easter,
Pastor Ken

PS. I’m really looking forward to our three-week series beginning the weekend after Easter:      
            DOORS … How do you close the “door of regret…”
                                    How do you open the “door of opportunity…”
                                            How do you walk through the “door of greatness…”

Monday, March 26, 2012

Get the info on Easter tickets @ Cypress...

For several years now, we’ve been doing FREE tickets for Easter and Christmas services here at Cypress Church.  Let me share why:

1.     FOUND PEOPLE - FIND PEOPLE…As a church, we want to make it as simple as possible for YOU to INVITE your family members/friends to church on Easter so they can experience a presentation of the Gospel unlike anything they’ve ever seen. There really is “No Place Like Homewhen home is as it should be.”  FREE Easter tickets are a powerful tool you can use to invite someone. (“Hey, I picked up four tickets for the 9:30 service on Easter Sunday for you and your family…”)

2.     We want to make sure we are able to serve everyone effectively. By getting Easter tickets for the service you prefer to attend, you are allowing us to make sure we have room for everyone…from a place to park, to a place to sit.
3.     On several occasions, our Christmas Eve / Easter services have been standing room only.  By getting a ticket, you are able to assist your church by directing people to services where they can have the best experience possible.

AND…here are a few other things you might want to know about the tickets…


5.     If you (or someone you invite) do not have a ticket, you can STILL come to any service.

6.     If you forget your Easter ticket(s), you can STILL come to the service. (You might wonder…If this is the case, then why get them at all?  GREAT question - the answer is that it really does assist the church in making sure we are adequately prepared to take care of everyone who will be in attendance with us during this season.)

7.     Easter is a time when people are MOST LIKELY to visit a church if asked by someone they already know/have a relationship with; getting a ticket communicates that you made an extra effort because you care about them.

8.     After Christmas Eve services, we had around 500–600 new people make weekend worship at Cypress a part of their regular routine!  We need to be prepared for 7,400 friends to worship with us this Easter season.  I know lives will be impacted for eternity. 

Invest & Invite -
  Thursday, April 5 @ 7pm
  Friday, April 6 @ 7pm
  Saturday, April 7 @ 3, 5 & 7pm
  Sunday April 8 @ 9:30 & 11:15am

See you soon,
Pastor Ken

Friday, March 23, 2012

THE ROAD called LIFE...tough times...don't miss this weekend!

If you’ve ever faced really tough times in life…feelings of being overwhelmed or being alone, then this weekend is for you!  And, let’s be honest, who among us hasn’t.  Everyone experiences those incredibly challenging times in life, even Christ did.  We’ll be looking at principles and strategies from Christ’s life, to strengthen our resolve and make it through, when “The Road” called Life leads us to tough times.  Some of life’s challenges are avoidable; others require us to walk right through them. 

I want to share something else I’ve been thinking about recently.  Yesterday at church, I heard several stories of teams who will be serving others this coming weekend.  One was shared by Pastor Rick Rucker, our Student Ministry Director.  He shared how several middle and high sponsors will be showing Christ’s love, in a tangible way, by giving some TLC to a church family’s home.  Twice this past week, I saw two different teams preparing meals (in the church kitchen) to serve others.  And our Medical Missions Team just left to serve in El Salvador.  I want to encourage you to find someone to serve today or this weekend…and do it in Christ’s love.  We exist to connect people to Christ and one another…Reaching, Growing, Serving…

Thanks for doing your part! 

I can’t wait to celebrate with you this weekend,
Pastor Ken

PS. Don’t forget to pick up Easter invite cards and be sure to grab a “free” Easter ticket, found in the lobby. Tickets will help all of us see which services are filling up and which ones still have available seating and parking.

Friday, March 16, 2012

THE experience you don't want to miss!

As we continue our series, THE ROAD, we’ll be looking at the people Christ encountered his final days on earth before the cross.  We’ll also be doing something I have never done before.  I am interviewing / interacting with a Jewish Rabbi as he leads us through the traditional meal Christ had with his disciples on the night he was betrayed.  The Jewish Seder meal is rich with tradition and has been passed down from generation to generation.  I believe this is going to be a very memorable experience.  I can pretty much guarantee we will all learn new insights from scripture that will open our eyes to even more of the Greatness and Goodness of God at work in our lives!
Starting this weekend, all our first-time guests will receive “VIP Treatment.”  When you invite, bring, or meet friends at Cypress, make sure to show them our new VIP station.  Also, “CONNECT” is here!  If you have a question, want to register for classes, sports, or anything else being offered at Cypress…check out our new “CONNECT” area in the lobby!  Cypress will be known as the place where everyone is a VIP.
We are also celebrating baptisms in every service this weekend!  We’ll see the public celebration of the church, for the evidence of God at work in the life transforming business. This is going to be a weekend to remember!
See you soon,
Pastor Ken

Friday, March 9, 2012

Don't forget...Daylight Saving Time

Don't forget to set your clocks ahead this weekend...
you don't want to miss out!

THE ROAD...VIP...CONNECT...all this weekend @Cypress!

We continue THE ROAD series this weekend! Who were the people, places, and encounters Christ had along THE ROAD during his final week leading up to the cross? We will dive into a story that can only be described as an “awkward dinner party” with a distinctive smell! 

Also, this weekend…

Ø  We are sharing our Easter service times and plans. Tickets will be available, starting this weekend, to help assure everyone has a seat when they arriveJ

Ø  We are introducing an improved system and strategy to help new people feel welcomed and connected…VIP treatment.

Ø  We are introducing a new “one-stop shopping” area called “CONNECT.” It’s a place to go if you have a question, need information on a ministry, want to register for classes, sports, or anything else being offered at Cypress...making it more convenient for you to be involved and in the know.

Ø  We might just give away our own dinner gift card to help someone throw a “non-awkward dinner party!”

You don’t want to miss…see ya soon,
Pastor Ken

Thursday, March 1, 2012

An update and reminder you don't want to miss!

Twelve-hundred thirty-one may seem like just a number, but that is the number of cards turned in which represents individuals and families who made a commitment to honor the Lord with their finances from this past weekend.  The decision to honor the Lord with one’s life is a decision that is never regretted…it’s not always easy, and often requires faith, but never regretted!  Stay faithful and stay strong, you can do it! 

This weekend is the “Celebration & Collection Weekend” for the El Salvador Medical Mission Project.  We are asking every family to bring a bottle of children’s ibuprofen and children’s vitamins (non-gummy).  We’ll be collecting the supplies in each service and having a special time of prayer for God’s favor upon the team and the recipients of the medicine collected. 

This weekend also kicks off our new series, The Road…on the road with Christ during his final week leading up to the cross. 

Start March Madness off right…be at Cypress and bring a friendJ

See you soon,
Pastor Ken