MAY 19, 2022
Last Saturday was such a terrible day for Buffalo and Western NY. Because of the acts of a clearly disturbed, racist person (against both Jewish and Black people), 10 precious lives were lost. 10 people who were created in the image of God will not come home to their families again on this earth just because of their skin color or their religious-ethnic heritage.
MAY 19, 2022
Last Saturday was such a terrible day for Buffalo and Western NY. Because of the acts of a clearly disturbed, racist person (against both Jewish and Black people), 10 precious lives were lost. 10 people who were created in the image of God will not come home to their families again on this earth just because of their skin color or their religious-ethnic heritage. One of them was a family member of my good friend Pastor Bill Smith’s church in Buffalo (North Buffalo Community Church).
This is horrific!
Sadly, it didn’t take long before this incident was politicized. I won’t even share all the ways it has/is/will be, but I’m sure you’ve heard a few of the ways by now. In reality there is one cause of this evil act: human depravity. When people reject God, their depravity can end up on full display. It usually doesn’t get this bad, but it always can.
To me, more laws will not fix this— we have plenty of them in this area. The only thing that will fix this is Jesus Christ. When Jesus Christ enters a human's life, He transforms it. He gives us the power to overcome sin, to love people like He does, and to be able to handle the challenges of life so we don’t explode in rage (like we’ve been talking about in our “When The Going Gets Tough” series).
Contrast this to what happened at Lakeshore a day later: 7 precious lives were baptized last Sunday and gave amazing testimonies of how God changed their lives through faith in Jesus. From kids in elementary and middle school to adults who, through the power of God, overcame drugs, unbelief, and self-centeredness.
This is why we do all we do. To see more people in Rochester (and everywhere through our online services) come to faith in Jesus and glorify Him with their lives, and to see fewer people live self-ruled lives apart from Him.
Let’s pray that God helps more people experience what we witnessed on Sunday at Lakeshore so that we won’t again experience what we heard about on Saturday in Buffalo.
MAY 12, 2022
This Sunday we will have more baptisms in our church— seven people to be exact. And these are, in the words of Executive Pastor Frank De Luccio, “Payday for our church!” Baptisms help us realize that God is at work here in our church by using all of us to help lives change...
MAY 12, 2022
This Sunday we will have more baptisms in our church— seven people to be exact. And these are, in the words of Executive Pastor Frank De Luccio, “Payday for our church!” Baptisms help us realize that God is at work here in our church by using all of us to help lives change.
We aren’t a church that tries to maximize our numbers at all costs and at the expense of baptizing people who aren’t really ready or spiritually qualified for baptism. Unfortunately, I know that there are churches that do this because I’ve heard the stories of people getting baptized and then thinking that baptism made them a Christian (among other things). Needless to say, it does not. How sad.
However, we want as many of the right people as possible to be baptized. People who have actually become Christians, who have taken the Baptism Orientation Class and understand baptism, and who have written their faith stories out for us to evaluate for baptisms. These are the right people.
I hope that you get as excited about baptisms in Sunday services as our Staff, Elders, Trustees, and LEAD Team do. Because by attending services, welcoming new guests, giving generously, and inviting people to join you here, you have made it all possible.
Best of all, these baptisms reflect lives changed by Jesus Christ. God is the life-changer, we’re just the people He uses in the process. And when people see God change their lives, arguments against whether God exists, or whether our faith is real, begin to lose their meaning for this simple reason: you can’t argue with a radically changed life of godliness and holiness!
Thanks for all of you who make this happen through your investment of time, talent and treasure. I’m absolutely sure that you couldn’t make a better investment with your life.
MAY 5, 2022
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a day that brings out lots of feelings in lots of people. I know because for 27 years around this time, people share their thoughts and feelings with me...
MAY 5, 2022
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a day that brings out lots of feelings in lots of people. I know because for 27 years around this time, people share their thoughts and feelings with me.
Motherhood is amazing. Think of it: our mothers carried us in their bodies, gave birth to us, and (in most cases) cared for and nurtured us as we grew up. This was all ordained by God and we should thank God for it, especially as Mother’s Day approaches.
I think of all that my mother did for my brother and I, and I'm forever indebted. I still think of some of her words to me, so many of the ways she showed me love, the sacrifices she made, and even my last visit with her a few months before she died two-and-a-half years ago. Most importantly, my mom became a Christian and we would talk about the Bible and attend church when we were together. I am a blessed man.
While many can identify with this, there are some who can’t because their mom wasn’t the best mom to them. There are many reasons this can be the case, and I feel so saddened when I hear these accounts.
Regardless of which it is, God calls us to honor our parents (Exodus 20:12). If your mom was special like mine, this is pretty easy. If she’s alive, call her, tell her you love her, send her a card, some flowers, or whatever will make her smile. If this wasn’t the case, do all you can to honor her for everything you can honor her for. As hard as it may be to do, this is God’s will for you. Then let God fill you up with the love you need inside.
If you’re local, be sure to bring your mom to Lakeshore. We will be honoring all the women in attendance and talking about an important subject: fear.
APRIL 28, 2022
Life is filled with problems. Some of them we can avoid by living wisely, but others we can’t avoid because they are designed to help us live more wisely. And the only way to see this is by getting God’s perspective on our problems...
APRIL 28, 2022
Life is filled with problems. Some of them we can avoid by living wisely, but others we can’t avoid because they are designed to help us live more wisely. And the only way to see this is by getting God’s perspective on our problems.
These past few weeks, I’ve talked to a number of people who are really struggling with their problems, more frequently than I normally do. And some of them are really hurting and sharing things that really break my heart. The truth is, we all will be there at times in life. The key question is this: How will we see them?
What differentiates people who thrive in their trials and those who struggle to survive? It’s whether or not they get God’s perspective on what they’re going through. Without it, life seems haphazard. Without it, our response to problems is haphazard too.
No matter what you’re going through, remember three things:
1) Look at life from God’s perspective, not just your own (Romans 8:28-29).
2) God wants to help you, but you have to turn to Him (James 1:5).
3) The church is God’s support system for persevering through problems. That’s one of the many reasons Lakeshore (and other churches) exist.
So never forget this truth: you’re not alone when problems plague you. Avail yourself of all that God provides for you, and your problems won’t be as much of a struggle.
This past weekend was a busy and crazy one for our church. Between Good Friday service and our Easter services, we had 1,131 people which is up about 27 percent from last year (but still down from our pre-COVID numbers). The staff did all we could to make the services meaningful and hopefully you found them to be just that.
I invited lots of people and while most did not attend, a surprise family I invited did.
In the midst of Holy Weekend, we had a birthday… ours! So as not to distract from the Lord and Easter, we didn’t say anything during services, but on Saturday, April 16 we turned 27 years old!
It was April 16, 1995 and such an amazing day in our history!
The weather was nice but chilly. After three practice services the previous three Sundays, and after 14,464 direct mailers were sent out to all homeowners 54 years old and younger (I was only 33 years old back then), Lakeshore held its first public service... in a bar... at the Marriott hotel... that held 75 adults comfortably... The rest had to sit in a booth and watch the service... sideways (you paid a price for being late back then). On that day, 112 people showed up and three people became Christians in the somewhat beer-scented bar. It was an exciting day for our family and many others. Lakeshore Church was born!
God has done amazing things since then:
- 749 people have been baptized
- About 1,200 people have professed a first-time faith in Christ
- Just over half of our attenders are involved in serving somewhere in the church
- We’ve given away well over $1.1 million dollars to world missions to impact our world for Jesus
Though time has passed, we are still passionate about reaching people in Rochester! In truth, that’s not the norm because most churches gradually turn inward and focus on their needs. I choose to believe that our best days are still ahead of us. I hope you do too.
Thank you for your part and for being passionate about the unique mission that God has given us. Sue and I thank God for you! After God, you’re the reason why we’re still impacting people and helping them discover and develop a growing relationship with Jesus. People still matter to God, and I know they still matter to so many of you. That’s why we honor God when we invest in and invite others.
Happy birthday to you, to us!