Church Sunday 11:00

Church Sunday 09-11-2005

Church Sunday 09-11-2005

Lakeshore Baptist Church gathered for worship yesterday. Most of our congregation still have not been able to return to the area since all their houses lay demolished. We have no electricity, water, or shelter. None the less, about thirty-five did make it to the church property. God blessed us with hope and encouragement as we sang, prayed, cried, and heard the Word of God preached.

I said we would meet on the church slab, but to be accurate the building did not have a slab. It sat on concrete blocks and a few years ago we pumped concrete underneath to solve an erosion problem. We met on that rough piece of cement with the rubble of our buildings all around us. We found the pulpit across the road in the woods. We drug it out and set it up on blocks and plywood left from the building for a makeshift platform. We rummaged through the debris and found a dozen or so metal folding chairs and a couple of broken pews. We set the pews on concrete blocks and cleaned them off as much as we could. My brother built a cross from the broken beams that used to support the church building and set it up behind the pulpit. The cross of Christ will continue to support us as we rebuild and move forward as a community of faith to the glory of God.

We sang Amazing Grace and I preached from Habakkuk 3:17-19 and John 14:1-6. Habakkuk walked in our shoes as he saw no fruit on the trees, no oil in the press, no flocks or heard in the stalls, but still trusted that God reigns in the heavens. We do not root our strength in the muddy soft ground of cars, and buildings, and land, but in the solid firmness of God’s hand of providence.

As we looked around our church property we saw nothing where it used to be. I pointed to where the piano used to be. It now lays shattered across the road. I pointed to where the steeple used to stand. Katrina tossed it into the woods on the back corner of our property. From where I stood preaching, the baptistery used to be right behind me, but it now sits all the way across the road. The pine paneling that used to embrace us in that room from every wall now sticks out from under the ruins of neighboring buildings, lays buried under mud, and splintered across the entire area. The storm deposited two trucks on the church property. We still have not discovered whose they are or where they came from. Our congregation’s houses either floated from where they belonged, or had their contents all sucked out into fields, ditches, and marsh. Beds, couches, tubs, washing machines, refrigerators, children’s toys all litter the landscape like monster confetti. Clothes once tucked neatly into dresser drawers now hang flapping from tree tops. All their things aren’t where they used to be, but God is still where He has always been – on his throne, ruling, reigning, and governing all things for His glory. He will establish our feet on the solid ground of His provision and we believe He will use this catastrophe to amplify the truth of His word and call many to anchor their hope in Him.

Church Sunday 09-11-2005

Church Sunday 09-11-2005

Church Sunday 09-11-2005

Church Sunday 09-11-2005

Church Sunday 09-11-2005

21 thoughts on “Church Sunday 11:00”

  1. This shows a lesson we all need to learn: The church is not about the building but about the people. Thanks for sharing the pictures as this helps us all to see what is really important and we here in Brea California continue to keep Lakeshore Baptist in our prayers.

    Grace and Peace to You,

    Tony

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  3. Don,
    What a great Lord’s Day. If the Lord is with you when you worship Him, enough is as good as a feast. Who knows what He is building in the hearts of you and your people by uniting you in His Spirit. Thanks for the great testimony!

    Jeri

  4. And being a good Baptist church you made sure you had a church sign for your first Sunday!

    Seriously, Don, you guys have been in my prayers non-stop for the past couple of weeks.

  5. Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    We are here to help you rebuild stronger and better than before. Let me know if you need teams to come down. I am in Sulphur, Louisiana. Life Church would be honored to help you.

    Building The Kingdom,

    Bobby Taylor
    Pastor
    Life Church

  6. Watching from Kite, GA! Bea, wave at me next time! I love all of you and I am praising God for your faithful testimony to His love and protection. God Bless You!
    Eva

  7. That was the most beautiful picture of a church I’ve ever seen. You may have lost a lot of physical stuff, but what you guys seem to have in spirit makes me jealous, in a good way.
    I think I’ve only said this 2 times before in my life because it sounds so pat, but I really mean it.
    May God bless you even more than he already has.

  8. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Bless the Lord. It is always good to be in the house of the Lord, even if its outside.

    Now, one pedantic observation…

    You wrote:

    >>>>All their things aren’t where they used to be, but God is still where He has always been – on his thrown,…

    I’m sure you ment to write “throne,” but, err, in the context of your environment and the description you gave, your spelling of the word makes God’s reign quite, err, picturesque. 😀

  9. Don,

    I wept with joy when I read todays update. A firm grasp of God’s providence establishes our security. While the world’s hope is in things seen but not known, ours (Lakeshore’s) is in things (the Person) known but not seen. I continue to pray for y’all. You guys are a real ‘lighthouse’ in a dark predicament. Press on!

    Tom

    PS: As regars a ‘good Baptist church, the real measure is taking an offering…! 🙂

  10. Don, Gary from the PMT list.

    Jok alerted us to the blog. These pictures tell a fantastic story of hope and how instances like this pull people together onto common ground and the differences pail into insignificance! Great work, I’m sorry I can’t come and phisically help, Latvia is a bit far:o( I forwarded the blog on and my friend in the UK is an editor of a small independant local paper and would like to publish the story for her readership, hope thats ok.

    Take care, God bless.

    Gary

  11. Hey Don, when I read this wonderful post I wanted to say to you – ‘You da man!’ But then I realized I had missed the point. So instead I’ll say ‘He da God!’

    Is that allowed?

    God is good.

  12. Sunday Evening before the Hurricane hit I read Habakkuk 3 to my church. What a rock solid foundation it provides.

    I am in agreement with Callalilly. You have given us a picture of what authentic, New Testament church looks like– an assembly of God loving, Christ exalting, Spirit filled people who come together in faith and love for the sole purpose of glorifying God. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

  13. All I can say is thank you!
    Thank you for your accurate doctrine, your Christ-centered perspective, your commitment to the truth, your perseverance in the midst of trials, and your example to all of us. (I am typing this through tears).

    Now I can say that I know by experience what Paul means when he thanks God for the Thessalonians’ “work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope.” Because I feel that way about your church! Praise be to God! You are in my prayers.

  14. Katrina means cleansing! The week following the storm was suppose to be Southern Decadance Week-100,000 gays were suppose to be in New Orleans! Guess God interrupted their party. Our nation, under God, needs to take notice and more churches like yours are! I praise God for your strength in time of adverisity!

  15. Don, I had no idea this had happened to you and the church there. I just checked your blog after a long time not checking and was blown away. The spirit of the living God is present among you all and I have no doubt that you all will emerge stronger than ever before! Will be praying for you all. Might be contacting you about the “Adopt a chruch” program. We are waiting for more information as to how that is all going to work out. By the way, I think I remember seeing you on a Palm ring or two. Take care. I hope tomorrow goes well for you and yours.

  16. Brother Don I have to say that I was truly blessed to be able to attend your church and listen to the words of encouragement that you spoke to your congregation on September 12th I am now back home in California and will continue to pray and send support as the Lord provides. So from Lakeside Ca. to Lakeshore Ms. God Bless you and your congregation

  17. God is still on His Throne and in control! He will be glorified in all things and your perserverance to worship Him in the face of adversity is a sweet savor to Him. I will be in your area at Thanksgiving and would count it a priviledge to visit your fellowship there. God bless you as you endeavor to spread His mighty Word, my brothers and sisters. You will be in my prayers. Agape, Julia

  18. Love & prayers from New Hyde Park Baptist Church, New Hyde Park, NY.

    “Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

    Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (James 5:10-11)

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