THE FRIENDLY WHITE CHURCH ON THE HILL



Topinabee Community Church is in the midst of change and renewal!  We have remodeled our Education and Nursery rooms as we move forward raising our young ones in the faith.  We are reaching out to the un-churched with advertising and direct mail.  We are getting ready to re-launch our Summer Services - an alternative time to Worship in the Faith.

In the midst of change, we can be tempted to let little things and non-essential issues grow out of proportion and steal our joy.  Let us never take our eyes off of why God placed our church here:
-to deepen our personal relationship with God       through Christ
       -to help others discover forgiveness and joy in Christ
       -to help others in need

Topinabee Community Church is an interdenominational church. We are dedicated to living and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

Have faith. It all comes right. Pastor Mike









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THIS WEEKS DEVOTIONS
by Pastor Mike

Winter Storm Named Kayla

 “O God...in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by.” Psalms 57.1 NRSV
 February 3, 2016
 We’re watching the radar carefully as we plan a trip. It's a visit to my primary care doctor for my annual physical and some questions about a knee that seems determined to remind me of my age.
         If the storm keeps the track they are calling for, we can take the southern route. Going that way, we should be able to slip around it because there is nothing more predictable than the weather, right? But we will do our best and leave the rest to God.
In the same way, there is no sure way to escape the storms in life.  It really doesn’t matter how good or careful we are, we are still hit by them.  Those people who seem to sail through life without even a strong breeze to slow them down will also encounters storms, just as we will, even if we don’t see them happen.
       The great promise is there is One Who will shelter us in the midst of the storm.
       Looking out the window at the moment I’m typing this, the snow is coming down heavily. It’s good to live in Michigan!
 Prayer: Lord, sometimes we just have to travel in the storms. Thanks for going with us.
Fear of the Lord’s Prayer


 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven..” Matthew 6.10   


 February 1, 2016


 Recently I shared with you the news that in England, the powers-that-be rejected the Church of England’s attempt to buy commercial time at the Cinemas.  The church wanted to put the Lord’s Prayer on the screen for a moment. Considering all the junk that is allowed in movies today, it seemed a little odd that the Lord’s Prayer was rejected because it “might offend” some people. I think now I better appreciate their fear of this prayer from Jesus.


         Sunday I read from the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Then I shared that each time we speak this prayer, we are, in fact, calling for a moral, ethical and spiritual revolution. We are seeking nothing less than a radical change in how all peoples everywhere live. No wonder they banned the Lord’s Prayer.


         This week, as we drive through our town or as we walk between stores, let us quietly ask that His will be done. And then, let us watch as God works and calls us to do our part where we live.


 Prayer: Lord, help me take this revolution of love and gentleness to heart. Amen.



A Bigger Nail Will Do It

 

“And they fasten it with nails so that it cannot be moved.”   Isaiah 41.7b NRSV
 
January 28, 2016
 
         Wednesday I watched as the broom tumbled all the way down the stairs to the basement floor.
         “What was that?” my wife called from the back of the house.
         “Ah, the broom slipped off the nail and made it all the way to the basement. Happens every once in a while. I’ll pick it up the next time I go down to the basement.”
         I wandered into the kitchen to grab a snack when I realized I have been chasing that broom – and assorted mops – down the stairs ever since we moved in ten years ago. And all I needed to do was get a longer, stronger nail and the problem would be solved.
         How many little irritations do we put endure without doing the simple thing that would cure the problem? At work, at home or in our personal lives, how many little things go unrepaired simply because we don’t do that one little thing?
         So I hustled down the stairs to the shelves where nuts, bolts and nails are stored. I discovered I didn’t have any large enough to solve that particular need. Oh, well, I reasoned, I’ve put up with it for all these years, what are a few days? Hey, wait. That’s what caused all this in the first place!
 
Prayer: Lord, there are things I should not put off any longer. A little might be good.



A Natural Born Whatever
 “For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge.”  2 Peter 1.5 NRSV


 January 27, 2016


 At a workshop, I was asked if writing came naturally to me. No. Neither was playing the French horn or finally getting a decent mid-range jumper. I know, nobody shoots those anymore.


         We sometimes inadvertently dismiss the accomplishments of others by calling them a natural. Maya Angelou has a great quote concerning this:


   “Of course, there are those critics – New York critics as a rule – who say, ‘Well, Maya Angelou has a new book out and of course it’s good but then she’s a natural writer.’  Those are the ones I want to grab by the throat and wrestle to the floor because it takes me forever to get it to sing. I work at the language.”
 Is what we are trying to do hard? Does it require sacrifice and discipline? Good. We will value it all the more when we succeed.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for requiring that I work, struggle and even sacrifice some little pleasures so that I may gain that which I value the most.

You Can’t Do That


 For it is God’s will and intention that by doing right you should silence the ill-informed criticisms of foolish persons.” 1 Peter 2.15 From the Amplified Bible
January 26, 2016

 Several months ago, I scanned an article proclaiming to name five new TV shows I should avoid. The critic went personal. He wrote that he didn’t know why anyone was still giving the actor Christian Slater another chance. Several weeks ago, Mr. Slater received a Golden Globe for his acting.

The writing field is legendary for turning down what became beloved books.

“Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.” From a rejection letter sent to Dr. Seuss. 300 million sales and the 9th best-selling fiction author of all time.

“You have no business being a writer and should give up.” Zane Grey ignored the advice. There are believed to be over 250 million copies of his books in print.

 “Anthologies don’t sell” was the constant theme of 140 rejections (Wow!) until the Chicken Soup for the Soul series by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen sold 125 million copies.

It is a cliché that we are beaten only when we quit. But it is true. Is our dream to start a new church? Write a book? Learn to play an instrument or paint? Get a degree? Get a better job than the dreary but safe one we have? Some of the most well-intentioned people will tell us that we can’t or shouldn’t do a thing out of a desire to protect us from hurt.

The real question for me and you is this: Would we rather fail trying to do what we’ve always wanted, or come to the end and mumble, “What could have been?”

I know my answer. Have faith. It all comes right.

Prayer: Lord, here we go!
On My Calendar

 “The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, ‘Raise your eyes now, and look from the place where you are, northwards and southwards and eastwards and westwards.” Genesis 13.14 NRSV

 January 25, 2016

 On my calendar for this week, I’ve written appointments, meetings and other activities that have each been carefully considered and given a spot to flourish. But I’ve never had a whole week go just the way I planned or expected. Indeed, there has never been a day when I really knew what was coming.

          I suppose this should make me nervous or even fearful. But I think of it this way: There are trees, the fruit of which I have yet to enjoy, waiting out there for me! And books, wonderful books, as yet unread that will reach into me and lift me high or challenge me. There is always a place unknown to visit, a trail to walk, an unexplored back road to drive upon and new friends to make.

          The one true thing I know is that the One Who gave me this day knows the way. Have faith. It all comes right. Enjoy!

 Prayer: Lord, this may not be the day I planned, but it is the day I have.