FOOTBALL- When it just seems so “normal”!

Hello all,

Last Sunday afternoon was a special Sunday. For the first time in nearly 4 years I was able to watch my beloved NFL football (American style) on a Sunday afternoon! It was the first ever European hosted regular season game that was played in Wembley Stadium in London featuring the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants. The time zones weren’t an issue and my South African neighbor’s satellite and spontaneous hospitality created a reality of something I used to normally do long ago. Although I have watched the annual Super Bowl the last three years (the only games I’ve seen live since moving to Switzerland) it just wasn’t very “normal” with time zone differences watching from midnight to 4:30 in the morning. It wasn’t quite the same as a Sunday afternoon, and my work ability the next day obviously suffered as well. What was so cool about last week was experiencing it with others as well. Another American family joined in the normalcy and the South African family learned a lot about U.S. culture and a really cool game. It was just like old times, enjoying a game amongst friends and it wasn’t even important who would win or lose; just the experience was worth it all! (That is, unless the Denver Broncos were playing!) What I was most proud of was when my son Silas was able to explain part of the rules (pass interference) from his football “lessons” that he’s been getting from daddy and Nintendo. Really, it just felt so NORMAL, although I hadn’t had the opportunity for years. It was simply a great Sunday afternoon!

So by now you might be thinking: what’s the point? It’s been very encouraging the last several months with experiencing our growth at LIFT. What makes me more excited is that many new folks have said that just by entering our LIFT community and/or worship service they feel welcomed, encouraged and have found a place to belong amongst others who care. Often we Internationals can feel awkward and lonely in a foreign place, but worshiping together on Sunday or just hanging out with others of LIFT, simply feels “NORMAL” in a good way! For me this approaches what the Kingdom of God is supposed to be like; to love God and love others (simply stated from Mark 12)! Regardless of cultural backgrounds, church backgrounds or one’s nationality on their passport, as Followers of Jesus, we can come together and it can feel “normal”, in love and fellowship and worship. Regardless of the style of worship services or songs or preaching you may have had before, it feels “normal” to come alongside others as fellow Christians with hearts seeking God! This is the body of Christ and the “normal” aspect is the Holy Spirit touching us and uniting us together in the body of Christ! This is LIFT- The International Church of Zug!

Below is LIFT’s mission statement that sums up what we’re about. We also express that a core value for us is being counter culturally friendly!

We are “people”, with many different backgrounds, nationalities and even languages – though English is our common language – that come together to seek to worship and glorify God through our lives, fellowship with each other, grow in our own personal faith, serve Him and each other, and share our faith with others around us, – all for the kingdom of God in the area of Zug, Switzerland! BELONG! BELIEVE! BECOME!

You are more than welcome to come and feel “NORMAL” with us this Sunday. We will be meeting at the larger venue at the Kirchgemeindehaus of Zug’s Protestant church as it’s the first Sunday of the month. I hope to see you there!

In His grip and grace,

Corey

Christmas season

Hello All,

It’s Christmas time, and a new step for LIFT is upon us.  The last two years, we did not have services over the holiday break for simply two reasons.  One, we were very small in numbers to begin with.  Two, many families were travelling “home” over the holidays (including leaders), therefore “small” was an understatement.  This year is different and LIFT intends to take action on our statement that, “We use the Bible and the English language to share the gospel message”!  The real meaning of Christmas IS the gospel message, the good news of God sending His son into His creation as a baby, born of a virgin, who would live the perfect life, and give this life to us today so that we may live, and live eternally with our Lord in heaven!  
 
Christmas, as other holidays, can be a difficult time for us internationals who miss “home”, miss extended family and miss traditions from our native lands. I’m not just writing about us from LIFT, but all of the internationals around us in Zug.  Perhaps we can be intentional this year to welcome and encourage others from the international community (and the Swiss too, of course!) in a special way.
 
Aside of our normal Sunday worship services at 10:00 am over the holiday season LIFT will have a special Christmas Eve service (24th of December) at 5pm-6pm where we can come as families to sing traditional Christmas carols and share in a brief reading of the first Christmas from Luke 2! There is just something about singing those Christmas songs that we sang since childhood, that brings “home” to the present!  Children will be included in this entire service and we will simply just have to make room as needed if many show up. Flyers have been created to help you invite others from the community. 
 
One other special “gift” on Christmas, is that the Eales are opening their home on Christmas day for a Christmas lunch with others from the LIFT family that would like to join them.  It’ll be a “Bring and Share” (potluck style) gathering.  Those interested please contact Kristin for details and to RSVP. 
 
As an FYI, the 10:00 services on Dec. 17th and 24th, our theme is “Unwrapping Christmas”, getting behind the man and the red suit and gifts under a tree, and rediscovering the true meaning of CHRISTmas! 
 
Before we get too far ahead, remember it’s still only December 3rd this Sunday and we still have two weeks left in our Extraordinary Journey through Ephesians.  Ken, Derek and I will all three team teach on Extraordinary Peace this Sunday, at the same time!  Hope to see you there!
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey

What we are

Hello everyone,

Our LIFT statement of “what we are” on our website says:

We are “people”, with many different backgrounds, nationalities and even languages – though English is our common language – that come together to seek to worship and glorify God through our lives, fellowship with each other, grow in our own personal faith, serve Him and each other, and share our faith with others around us, – all for the kingdom of God in the area of Zug, Switzerland! ……….Sounds kinda like a church!”

With this in mind there are a couple of exciting things that have “spontaneously” begun that seem to include pretty much all of the above.  The gals have set a great example of sharing life together in “Ladies Nights” where they are simply getting together and enjoying some nice time of fellowship and encouragement.  This next Tuesday night is the next one and if your interested, give a reply or contact Tanya or Kristin for details.

The guys too have found an outlet for fellowship, encouragement and even getting fit in the realm of European football (soccer for those who grew up like me).  Wednesday nights in Zug (behind the Spital on top of the parking structure) at 7:00 pm is becoming a nice time to for us men to get to know each other and see how many goals a South African (or Swiss, or American, or Kenyan, etc) can make in one night!  For more information, send a reply or call Ken or Corey.  We expect to play football on Wednesday nights until October, so even if you are vacationing at the moment, come get your foot in the game soon!

THIS WEEK: WE CONTINUE OUR STUDY OF PRAYER? For the summer months, we at LIFT will be “digging into” the Scriptures about PRAYER!

Looking forward to growing in faith and prayer together!  I’m off to Dublin, Ireland in the morning and am looking forward to a dose of LIFT tonight before I leave!

In His grip and grace,

Corey

“ENJOYING SERVING!”

Hello All,

As I prepared the message for this week’s LIFT service, I realized that I was totally ENJOYING myself. Yes, having FUN is a good thing. And to read the Word of God and dig deeper to understand what He said thousands of years ago, and what He is telling me right now is something to enjoy!  (And an amazing concept to grasp!) God’s Word is timeless and transforming.

Yes, we can have a relationship by simple faith and belief in Jesus alone for salvation, but we can ENJOY and deepen our walk with Him by intentionally including Him in our lives and by reading His love letter to each of us! I hope you spend time reading the Bible. It might not always be easy to understand, but the process can only begin when you pick up the Book and see what’s inside. Also, we can learn a lot from each other by encouraging, sharing and challenging each other in what we are finding in God’s word!

The Gideon’s (you know, the men and women that give away Bibles around the world, like in Hotel rooms, etc., often use a verse from the Bible, from Isaiah, that is so true regarding God’s Word. Isaiah 55:11 says “so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” As they pray this before going out to distribute Bibles, they remind each other that God’s Word will not return empty. And it’s true! Below is more from this passage!

By the way, I am so thankful that the Lord gave me such a wonderful mommy that helped raise me to know Jesus as my Savior! God bless all of you mothers out there and the rest of you, be sure to call your mother and thank her too!

Happy Mother’s Day and have a great week everyone!

In His grip and grace,

Corey and Tanya

Isa 55:9-12

9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 As the rain and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

12 You will go out in joy

and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and hills

will burst into song before you,

and all the trees of the field

will clap their hands.

NIV