Wednesday, March 30, 2016

This past weekend many people committed or rededicated their life to Christ or decided to take a step of faith and break free from something that was holding them back from living life to the fullest as God intended (John 10:10). If that was you, or if you know of someone who did, I encourage you to read this and pass it on.

Here are few things I want you to know:
  1. The Cypress staff prayed together for you on Monday morning and we are continuing to pray for you.
  2. By this time of the week you may be thinking, "I'm not feeling like I did before." You are not alone. God sees you. He is alive. He is real. You belong to Him. Read Romans 8:14-15. It will remind you, as the song we sang this weekend, that you are "no longer a slave to fear, you are a child of God."
  3. Building our faith in Christ is a daily process. As your view of God grows, so will your trust in God.

Here are some things to do:

  1. Start reading your Bible. If you do not have one, we have one we can give you.
  2. Come back this weekend for our series on "Secrets".
  3. Use our online resource page- Cypress Resources
  4. Get into a small group at Cypress where you will grow and be cared for- Cypress Groups
  5. Attend Discover Cypress and/or New Believers which are coming up very soon.
Let us know how we can pray for you. See you this weekend!
Pastor Ken

Friday, March 11, 2016

Core Values – Why They are Important and How to Find Yours

Today, one of Cypress’ Next Wave residents wanted to meet with me to talk about determining his personal core values. He said the message this past weekend on our Cypress Core Values made him really think about what that would look like for him as an individual.

He explained that he has always considered his core values to be his belief in Jesus Christ and the Bible as the infallible word of God and that he builds his life on that. However, he wanted to know how to go about determining additional core values besides reading his Bible and praying to get answers (which is the first and most important step to start with) that will continue to guide him into his future.

Here's what I told him:

  • Determining and writing down your personal core values is very important.
  • Personal core values guide your behavior, choices, who you want to become and what you chase after every day. At the end of the day, they are what you return to and each time they give you clear direction. Personal core values become your “measuring stick” for every decision in life. I think determining your core values is a huge part of preventing you from heading down a path and one day wondering how you ever got into the mess you are in.
  • Personal core values help you select friendships, relationships, business partnerships and make decisions. Your core values also help you lead your family and wisely manage your personal resources such as time and money.
  • Your personal core values are standards that greatly influence your attitude and character. They are deeply etched into your emotional and mental make-up, and are not easily changed.

So here's what you should do to set personal core values:
  • Pray and read your Bible for direction and answers.
  • Make a list of personal core values you want to have and also a list of core values you don't want to have. Be honest with yourself when looking at the values you don't want; this may help you determine some of the values you need to make sure you work on. Writing your core values down really helps clarify them, so I highly advise writing them down and not just making a list in your head.
  • Think about character traits you want to have and make sure those are covered in your personal core values.
  • Other things to think about when determining your core values: What are you passionate about? What do you absolutely love? What motivates your achievements?
  • Determine your final list of personal core values and refer back to them every day. They should become your guiding principles that shape your behavior and decisions on a daily basis.

Here are four of my personal Core Values and how I determined them:

  1. Leadership - to continue to develop as a leader. People always told me I was a born leader. In high school, I began understanding what they meant and I determined I wanted to continue to develop my leadership skills to maximize my own life and the influence God has given me to impact others.
  2. Prayer - prayer has always been one of the most important things in my life. I have always had a vibrant, personal prayer life but I am determined to continue to grow in my prayer life and spend more time praying for my wife, my sons, my church and many other things.
  3. Evangelism - I always knew evangelism (reaching lost people for Christ) was in my heart and I wanted to lead people to Christ but I also knew this was something that needed to be built up in me. I determined long ago to commit to grow in this area and I am still committed today. Because my heart leans toward evangelism and because God has given me a gift in this area, I knew I needed to become the leader of a church that would do whatever it takes so the world will know about Christ. That's the reason choosing to do video teaching and multisites was an easy decision for me and for Cypress.
  4. Teach, train and pour myself into the next generation of pastors and leaders. This is why we have the intern and resident program at Cypress. 

I hope this has helped explain the importance of writing down your personal core values and that you'll take the tips I've provided to help you determine and set yours.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Picture this with me: a mother has her "little guy," about four or five years old, with her in "big" church. Mom also brought coloring books, cars, Transformers and crackers with her, all in an attempt to keep her little guy occupied during adult worship. Do you know where I am going with this? Do you want the short story of how this turned out? It didn’t work out very well. Her little guy would have been a lot happier and entertained in his own class and mom probably could've heard a lot more, too. 

Let me share 4 Big Reasons Why Kids Should Go To Kid's Church:

  1. We believe Jesus Christ is so important that we want kids to hear and experience Him and His love in a way that connects with them! Cypress invests a lot and our Cypress Kids team works very hard to creatively capture the hearts and minds of children and teach them to follow Christ. I promise, your child will truly benefit a whole lot more in their own age appropriate class than in an adult service. In fact, we have some kids who ask to attend Cypress Kid’s services more than once a weekend (mine being one of them). Now, that's pretty incredible if you ask me. Also, we've invested a lot into the safety of your child. We have a system where the person who drops the child off is the only one able to pick the child up. In addition, we have police officers walking our halls during all services and monitoring our kid's area and our volunteers have all gone through an interview process, training and background check.
  2. Consider this, when you want to think, listen well and take time for yourself, do you like distractions going on around you? I don't. One hour, once a week of adult worship, is your uninterrupted time to worship God and be challenged on what step He wants you to take. If you are taking care of your kids and trying to keep them quiet, you really aren’t giving God the undivided attention He deserves. Parenting is hard work, and you need an opportunity to be filled up through worship and the teaching of God’s word during the one hour adult service. Believe me, this will help you be a great parent the other 167 hours of the week!
  3. Also, that one hour is your time to worship and the other 167 hours are available for you to worship as a family because really everything we do is worship! I promise you that your kids are going to notice your priorities and they will model what you do. Can you imagine someday hearing your grown child say, "My mom and/or dad made it a priority to worship God so he or she took me to church every week where I could understand Jesus' love for me. Now, I am making the choice to raise my children the same way"? I promise it can happen with God's help!
  4. One more thing to please consider: if you were at the movies and there was a child walking around, making noise and talking to his or her parent, would you be distracted and maybe a little upset that you couldn't hear? I would and it’s just a movie! In church we are talking about the Love and Hope of Jesus Christ, which is the most important thing in the world. A couple weeks ago as I was looking into the faces of the people sitting in one of our services, I felt like God impressed more than ever to me that we are the church and we offer the hope of the world…to the couple sitting there who I know is struggling in their marriage…to the mom two rows in front of that couple whose husband just walked out the door a few days earlier…to another woman who had just made the decision to stop chemo treatments for her fast growing cancer. And as I looked into the eyes of others, it was evident they were deeply in need of a touch from God. 
I understand it can be difficult to leave your child with kid’s ministries. Serena and I are raising three boys and these are things that have helped us:
  • Volunteer to serve in an area of Cypress Kids to become more familiar and comfortable with the incredible, fun, clean and safe learning environment we provide.
  • Remember, a healthy, growing you is one of the greatest gifts you can ever provide for your kids. That starts with taking the time to be alone with God.
  • Miss Angie, Miss Heidi, Miss Vicki, Mr. Dylan and all our wonderful Cypress Kids
    volunteers would love to help your child get connected in Cypress Kids Ministry. We want to partner with you in raising your child to follow Christ. Let's all do our part!

Thanks for being part of the Cypress family,
Pastor Ken