Sharing With Steve
The wait continues. It seems like it has been forever since we have been together whether it has been as a small group or a Sunday meeting, and yet it has only been a little over two months. Check out a few examples. It took sixty-six days for the Mayflower to sail across the Atlantic. You think it is bad being cooped up for two months with television and the internet, try it on a wooden ship with no amenities. The people did it because they were looking for a better life and a chance to worship God in freedom. It took four to six months to travel the Oregon Trail in a wagon pulled by oxen. Your couch is a much better place to sit and your food is probably a whole lot better. We are not fighting any prairie storms or encountering any conflicts with Indians. Water is readily available from your tap. Yet the pioneers still persevered to find a better life in Oregon. I guess it is a matter of perspective. In the scheme of eternity two months is not very long.
David in the Old Testament had a similar issue. He was being pursued by an opponent and he was very frustrated. He felt that God ought to act, but God was silent. Read the words:
Psalm 13:1-6 (CSBBible)
1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me? 3 Consider me and answer, Lord my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, I will sleep in death. 4 My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,” and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken. 5 But I have trusted in your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in your deliverance. 6 I will sing to the Lord because he has treated me generously.
You can tell that David was really struggling. He even demanded that God answer him. He deserved an answer. And then it was like David came to his senses and knew that God was still in control. His focus turned from his problems to God. He remembered God’s faithfulness and looked forward to the deliverance that God would give him. He realized that even in this bad situation that God had been more than generous to him.
We need to take a lesson from David and step back and see how God has been good to us. This has been and will continue to be a difficult time, but it will end. We must show the world that our confidence is not in worldly things, but in the things of God. God will protect and preserve us. The Church will endure. Nothing can separate us from God, not even COVID-19.
Zoom in with Zack
I am so excited to start seeing signs of a return to normalcy. I am filled with anticipation as the NHL has put together a plan to finish the season and playoffs starting in July. I am also a huge disc golf fan and love to play. The governing body of disc, the PDGA, has started reopening certain states for sanctioned tournaments and I know it won’t be long before I can play in tournaments again.
Recently I was playing disc golf at Stoney Creek. I had really been working on my form so I could throw farther. My max recorded distance was 429 feet. We came to one hole with a down hill slope. I released my best drive and used a range finder to measure it at 470 feet. I was super excited. We came back to the same hole on round two. This time I was filled with confidence, determined to repeat my feat. I let go of the disc and instantly knew I had done it. But then the disc didn’t stop. It kept going past the basket into the woods further and further. I dramatically overshot my previous throw, but it went so deep into the woods that we couldn’t measure it.
There were two different reactions from the tee pad. My partners that I was playing with were excited and cheered. I was not excited and had virtually no reaction. I was in shock. I didn’t know that I could even do that. I didn’t cheer, smile, or show any emotion. I just stood there mouth open watching the disc continue out of sight into the distance. I was just amazed and couldn’t believe what just happened. In one day a 450 foot hole entered my range and then all of sudden I have to be careful not to throw too hard!
I think that our faith can often times look like this. We practice and we practice, but it never really seems to be enough. If only I read my Bible more. If only I had the courage to speak up more. If only I had the answers like so and so does. For me it tends to be, if only I could preach like that person can. Then all of sudden one day it clicks. Everything comes together and we just stand there in awe. I can’t believe that just worked!
Have you ever stood in amazement of something you’ve just accomplished? Ever done something you thought you were never capable of doing? Those moments never happen without practice, practice, and more practice. As we continue to endure this pandemic, we need to understand that the church will be defined in the eyes of the world based on how it acts now. On the one hand I know that we want to weather the storm, get through to the other side, and then we can worry about our faith and kingdom matters once things settle down. But that is never the answer that the church has taken. The church historically had always stood tallest when it displayed great sacrificial faithfulness in the midst of the storm. The church is not about surviving, it is about thriving.
Don’t read into this and think that I am talking about opening the church building for services, that is for a different discussion. What I am asking is, are you exercising your faith while we are apart? How are you serving God today? I believe that if we continue to practice our faith in a serving manner today that we will have some of those amazing moments where we say, I can’t believe that just happened.
So, get up. Work out your Christianity a little. Flex those Jesus muscles. We need to not only keep them fresh, but we need to put them to work. When I throw a disc, it is entirely dependent upon my form, my strength, and my execution. But when I practice my faith, it is reliant on God’s work, God’s strength, and the presence of the Holy Spirit. How much more can be accomplished when we understand that it is not our strength we rely upon? If I threw a disc with the strength of the Holy Spirit, get ready from some shock and awe!
What can I do with my faith? Or rather, what can He do with my faith? It may not happen as fast as you like or in the moment you want it, but know that if you exercise it faithfully there will be a moment where you can stand in awe of what God has done in you. Get out into those fields and start practicing and get ready to be amazed.
Dan Bright – June 5
Ron & Ruth Lindhagen (Ann.) – June 14
Matthew Zaremba – June 18
Jaysun & Traci Thomas (Ann.) – June 18
Ron & Marian Murphy (Ann.) – June 20
Sue Rose – June 20
Dick Tenniswood – June 22
Larry & Cindy Esterline (Ann.) – June 23
Randy & Jerri Gilbert (Ann.) – June 25
For the foreseeable future, all events have been postponed. We are still hoping to have a church picnic this year at the Auburn Hills Community Park. This will depend on things opening up even more. We will have access to the Auburn Hills calendar the first part of June to see which dates are open later in the summer. We will stay in touch with everyone concerning this.
Lake James Christian Camp
The camp season for the summer of 2020 has been cancelled. There was hope that by delaying the start of camp and combining weeks that most of the weeks could still proceed. After receiving the guidelines from health officials and discussion with the board of trustees, the decision was made to cancel camp for the summer. Please keep the camp in your prayers as it weathers this storm and looks to future camps and ministry.
Meadowbrook Website Gets a Fresh New Look
Our Meadowbrook website has been updated, basically re-arranging some of the features to make it more user-friendly. All of the information is still on the website, but sorted in a different manner, with a new addition. Take a look where you will find:
- A brand new tab, MCC Online, where YouTube church services can be accessed and will be potentially used in the future for online pre-recorded classes, workshops, devotional plans, etc.
- Who We Are tab now includes Meet our Ministers and Meet our Staff in addition to About MCC (Why We’re Here, Our Model, What We Believe). These were separate pages, and now all fall under one tab.
- Ministries tab now includes Missions and Service Opportunities. These were separate page, and now all fall under one tab.
- Contact Us provides church information (address, phone, locator map) and an area where messages can be sent to the church. Again bringing together separate pages under one tab.
Many thanks to Zack Schewe for taking a fresh look at the website and sharing his ideas, as well as to our leadership for their inputs.
And remember, the calendar is always posted with information about church schedules.
If you have any questions or comments about the website, please contact Theresa Meegan.
It is a joy to see God working throughout the world in the mission fields that we as a church collectively support. Every month we receive updates from each of the 13 mission groups we work with. Here are some highlights, and some things to be praying about.
Each of our 13 missions are suffering some level of hardship due to COVID-19. Most have reported loss of income since their giving base has also lost income. These are trying times. Many groups have turned to technology such as internet streaming to carry on their work. Our overseas missions continue to work hard to advance the gospel in unreached and sometimes hostile areas. All are thankful for your continued prayers and support.
One group, IDES (International Disaster Emergency Service) gave us a detailed report on all their COVID-19 related projects. They are purchasing supplies in all corners of the world. They have provided financial help for people who have lost jobs, they are providing food for people in developing countries, and even providing motor bikes for missionaries in remote Southeast Asia.
Christian colleges and universities are also facing financial challenges. Many students had to be refunded when colleges closed dormitories. Colleges and universities have struggled to relocate coursework to online offerings. There is great uncertainty related to enrollment for fall of 2020. A major recruiting point for Christian colleges is the community that exists on the campus. If campuses remain closed in the fall, will students still choose a Christian college? As such, our Christian colleges and universities are bracing for a steep decline in enrollment.
In recognition of these challenges, the Meadowbrook missions’ team has reached out to His House Christian Fellowship, Johnson University, and Great Lakes Christian College, with special gifts of $300 each this month. The generosity of the body at Meadowbrook makes this possible.
God Bless you all for your faithfulness in prayer for all of our missions.
The foul smell noticed in the nursery and main hall, has been traced to a raccoon living in the duct work located in the attic. An animal trapping company has caught and removed it. The attic was inspected and deemed raccoon free. We are now scheduling a duct cleaning company to clean and sanitize the system.
Thank you, Mike Rose, for your extra effort on this project.
To Those who are maintaining the church lawn:
Thank you to all the mowing teams. Hopefully, we can come back soon and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
A trip down memory lane:
To the ladies who worked the church garage sale at the Bright’s will remember Sam the Cat. Sam loved to be right in the midst of the sale. We lost Sam to age this past week. We all will miss him (Sammy-2001 to 2020, RIP).
Words to live By:
“There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with the people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living” *