THE FRIENDLY WHITE CHURCH ON THE HILL


Welcome to Topinabee Community Church. Our mission is simple – to help people develop and maintain an intimate relationship with God. We are a non-denominational church made up of people from a wide variety of religious backgrounds.

We are not perfect, but we are all genuinely seeking a way to celebrate what Jesus has done, is doing, and will do in our lives. We believe that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

We hope you will have the opportunity to join us as we enjoy fellowship with God. You will be welcomed, accepted as you are, and encouraged to grow in Christianity.
                          
  SATURDAY EVENING SERVICES IN  AUGUST


"What Does God Want From Me?" kicks off our casual Saturday night services at Topinabee Community Church. 

God has a purpose for us at every stage of our life. Come and learn what God has in store for you!



Worship in music and the word followed by a time of Q&A with Dr. Sanders.


These services begin the First Saturday night in August @ 6:30. Mark it on your calendar now!



SPECIAL EVENING PROGRAM
Branson Entertainers in Concert at Topinabee Community Church

The Haining Family, Branson’s premier Gospel Bluegrass Band, will be performing at Topinabee Community Church in Topinabee MI, on Tuesday August 12 2014.  A light dinner will be served from 5:30-6:15pm.
The concert will follow at 6:30pm.

Their unique blend of family harmonies, outstanding instrumental skills, and Internationally-acclaimed yodeling presents an energetic, inspirational approach to Gospel, Patriotic, and Family-friendly musical favorites. Described by fans as “True Americana at it’s best”, this is sure to be an evening you won’t forget. DON’T MISS THIS GREAT EVENT!

Topinabee Community Church is located at 5230 E Numbers Rd. Topinabee, MI.
For more details call 231-238-8161, or visit 
www.HainingFamily.com
No Admission Charge; a free-will offering will be received. 




GAIL GARRISON WAS FEATURED AS A PERSON OF THE WEEK IN THE CHEBOYGAN TRIBUNE


(CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE ARTICLE)



SUMMER BIBLE STUDY
A summer Bible Study will begin June 25 at 11:oo and continue through  the summer.  This study will delve deeper into the scriptures.  Debra Chapoton will lead the study.


CHURCH SERMONS

(WAIT FOR IT TO LOAD-CHECK THE SERMONS TAB FOR MORE SERMONS)


SERMON-JULY 13

MUSIC

CHECK THE MUSIC TAB FOR CHOIR PERFORMANCES


NANCY AND HEATHER
The music for Father's Day "Bless My Father" was written and arranged by Heather Duncan

Bless My Father






THIS WEEKS DEVOTIONS


A Different Measuring
“Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.” Psalm 86.11 NRSV
July 23, 2014
         The following excerpt is taken from my journal in 2002.  I choose not to edit myself so forgive the plainness of my notes:
         “I’m in my room at the motel after a full day at the Pastor’s Conference for this tiny, obscure denomination of barely a hundred churches.  The church where we met is run down.  The food they served was plain, uninspired and several dishes were barely edible. 
         By the clothes they wore, the cars they drove and the pattern of their speech, these people are never going to be asked how they succeeded in business. But the sweetness and purity of their faith surprised me.  Humbled me.  All I know as indicators of success pales in comparison to the genuineness of their faith.”
         Sometimes we in the church are still enamored with celebrity and style.  We fall into the trap of determining success solely on what we can measure and quantify.
         That is never how God measures true worth. God measures us by our “...doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with Him.”  Any other yardstick is inferior and flawed.
                 
Prayer: We are measured by you, O God, and not by the standards of this present world.  This is a good thing.

The Glory of Making a Mess

“Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.” Proverbs 14.4 KJV
July 24, 2014
Notice the delicate way this verse deals with the subject of working with oxen, the natural fertilizer they produce and the writer’s lesson concerning it.
If we do anything worthwhile, we usually make a mess. Sometimes we even have to break what we are trying to fix. We are like a surgeon finding a bone that healed wrong and now must break it again to set it right.  
I was once asked to go into a church and “blow it up” if needed to make it right again. I worked for a over a year to preserve it. Later, it folded. I should have blown it up and started over.
And, as the verse intimates, sometimes we have to raise a stink. Bad Pun Alert: So, go ahead, do the things that need to be done and let the chips fall where they may!

Prayer:  Lord, teach me to do what needs to be done and clean up later


I Like Coffee But This Was Ridiculous
“…all was vanity and a chasing after wind…” Ecclesiastes 2.11 NRSV

His last name was Winter and he had a singular ambition: He wanted to drink coffee at every single Starbucks in the world.  Ten years ago, he had already visited over a thousand and a documentary was being filmed on his unique quest.


         He was quoted as saying, “…Each time I go into a different Starbucks, I feel like I’ve accomplished something when, really, I haven’t.” Even he knew the vanity of his journey.


         How easily, how carelessly we spend the currency of our lives. We spend it working jobs that don’t matter or that slowly kill us. We stay in a toxic relationship because the familiar pain frightens us less than the unknown. We live our lives in grand quests for things that rust, break down and that we cannot ever really keep.


         We are made for more than this! Let us settle for nothing less than God’s purpose and God’s best in our lives.


 Prayer: Lord, help me let go of what I cannot keep and hold onto what I cannot lose.

Where Are We Going?



 If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.” Psalm 139.8 NRSV
July 21, 2014


 Out of World War Two comes the uplifting story of eight-year-old Jack Kelly. With the Germans bombing the cities of England, parents looked for ways to get their children to safety. So Jack was put on a ship bound for America and out of harms way. The ship he was sailing on was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat. So much for that plan.

         Young Jack popped to the surface and held on to floating wreckage until survivors in a small rubber raft plucked him from the frigid waters.

         It would be natural for his first words to be “Will you take me home?“ or “I want my mom and dad!” Not Jack. His first words were, “Which way to America?” Jack knew where his future lay. Do we?

 Prayer: Lord, if I turn to the right, if I turn to the left, You are there.



The End is Death
"Sometimes there is a way that seems to be right, but in the end it is the way to death.” Proverbs 16.25 NRSV
 July 17, 2014
 I’ve had the opportunity to be a church consultant over the years in my ministry with an emphasis on turning around stagnant or declining congregations.
         I received a call for help from the Southside Church in Illinois some twenty years ago. The church had declined for many years and they said they wanted to reverse the trend.
 I spent several months in background prep and then spent several weeks in the field. My recommendations to Southside were not extraordinary or spectacular. But they were a definite change from the way Southside had functioned before. The recommendations had the virtue of having worked in many places and in several different denominations before.
         They accepted my recommendations with gratitude and some enthusiasm at first.
         When I followed up a month later, I was informed they had decided not to follow any of the recommendations.
         “We think we will just keep going the way we are. We just need to try harder,” was the literal response from the pastor. They continued to decline.
         It was not the first or the last time I’ve encountered this curious human phenomenon. Even though a way isn’t working, even though there is another way to go, people reject change. They prefer to stay in the comfort of the familiar even when it means certain failure.
         I take it less personally now, but I still dismayed.
         Opportunities will come our way this year to make changes for the better in our lives, work and at church. Let’s keep our minds open and move forward.
 Prayer: Lord, nudge us out of non-productive ways, even when the nudge has to be a little hard




Of the Making of Lists
“…so that you may be mature and complete…” James 1.4b NRSV
July 14,
Lists are everywhere. They adorn the cover of magazines, reside on the Internet, and we hear them on late night TV. We have lists for the Ten Best/Worst Dressed People in America, Best Movies, Ten Best Baseball Teams of All Time (’64 Saint Louis Cardinals should be on any list!), Fifty Most Influential People in America, and on and on. 

I’m something of a sucker for these lists, rarely agreeing with them, but always reading them.

         I have a personal list I’ve considered of late I call, “The List of My Biggest Disappointments”.  The longer I live, the longer I try to walk with Jesus, the more I see how that list couples with the list I might name, “The List of My Greatest Joys”.

Over time the events, the people and the work that often hurt the most, the very things that made me complain to God also changed me in the best of ways.  It wasn’t the easy, fun stuff that has made me stronger, kinder or less selfish. Sometimes, genuine joy comes out of the greatest struggles and pain.

         Must be a lesson in there somewhere.

 Prayer: Lord, I’m a slow learner. Realizing You really do know best for me still takes some time on my part.  Sorry about all the complaints.