LIFT- Laughing and Lots Going On!

Hello All,

LAUGHING: Recently, Tanya was reading to me from a little devotional book that sits on our coffee table called, Laughter & Latte!  Hearing a few quotes from women such as Beth Moore, Luci Swindoll or Barbara Johnson written about taking life with humor and actually laughing during the day versus worrying and stressing about everything began a fun discussion with Tanya and I about how laughter can change one’s perspective during a busy and chaotic day or season of life.  Take the weather for example, especially here in Switzerland, and the fact that it rains a lot and that the fog will be returning soon:  Either I can worry about whether the weather (pun intended) will rain on our plans or I can laugh when I pull out my umbrella and think that at least I didn’t get my hair wet, or even better laugh when the sun is shining (The Son IS shining!) and the rain never even showed up (o.k.- that doesn’t happen so often, but at least you are smiling as you read this!) 

It’s a very busy time of the year as school has begun and life and work projects are again in full swing.  At the end of the day, and during the day, let’s try to remember that laughing and not taking everything too serious is good for us……… and others around us too!
 
Psalms 68:3-4
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.  Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds– his name is the LORD– and rejoice before him.”
 
LOTS GOING ON: With the happy and joyful hearts of the verses above, LIFT is launching many new ministry opportunities to get involved with in September.  Have a look and for more details and either reply back or seek out the noted contact. 

ALL OF THE BELOW MINISTRIES ARE STARTING THE FIRST WEEK OF SEPTEMBER!

KIDS: 
-CLUB LIFT- Ages 3-12 – every 1st Sunday afternoon of each month!  – Contact Corey or Tanya
-SUNDAY SCHOOL – Ages 0-10 – every Sunday during the message. Leaders/Volunteer meeting this Sunday right after the service to explain the details. Contact Tanya
TEENS: 
-Girl DayAway- An event in Zurich, Sept 22nd for teen girls (12-16)- Contact Rachael Lewis
-Father +Teen Outing- Saturday, Sept. 1st.  Father and teen(s) getting an afternoon out together at the Seilpark Pilatus near Luzern.  50 CHF (+ 25CHF for each extra teen). Contact Derek or Melissa Webster.
LADIES: 
-Tuesday Nights Study- “Positive Life Principles” study on Tuesday nights at Jill’s in Baar.   Contact Leonie, Tanya or Kristin
A-MEN: 
-Men’s Morning Studies-  Thursdays in Horgen (contact Ken) and Fridays in Zug (contact Corey)

W/STAMI: 
-Combined Worship Service- For the Sept. 30th Morning Service, LIFT will join Evengelische Stadtmission Zug for a combined (bi-lingual) service at their location at Chollerstrasse in Zug.  Contact Corey or Andy Stalder 

So, you can see that lots is going on and yes, a bit of laughter in life makes a difference as well! Looking forward to seeing you this Sunday as Ken shares the message. 

In His grip and grace,

Corey

STANDING STONES OF 2006

I looked back into my old files and found this writing regarding standing stones.  It is relevant to use it again with a couple of changes as we head into 2007.  What an amazing year these past 12 months have been to see how the Lord faithfully provided and blessed us at LIFT!
 
 
STANDING STONES OF 2006

Hello All,

 
This past week at LIFT was a celebration point in time, or I should say another “standing stone” in the existence of LIFT- The International Church of Zug. Our very first Christmas (Eve) services!  As we say we use the Bible and the English language as common tools to share the Gospel Message, the message of Christmas IS the Gospel! What an experience as family, to have had about 65 people gather together Christmas Eve to sing carols and hear the message of Christmas from Luke 2!

What do I mean by “standing stone”?  In the Old Testament, God’s people didn’t have computers and video recording equipment to tape and replay important events. What they did instead was take rocks, stones or pillars and stand them up or stack them up. This pile of stones, (or sometimes a huge stone) would stand tall as a MARKING POINT. Usually this coincided with a “worship service” of declaring what God had done and how this stone was to be a testimony to God. As they saw it in the future, they would remember what the Lord had done. Sometimes the stones were stood up as a statement of “changing their ways” (after a period of Godless living) and proclaiming that they turned back toward God, and the standing stone was a point to remember the commitment.

What was really cool is how these stones were a “testimony” to later generations, even sometimes hundreds of years later (or in our case millenniums later). As a family was traveling, in their culture the children knew standing stones meant something, and the kids might have asked something like “Daddy, what happened here?” And the father was able to share what the Lord God had done for their people in delivering them, etc. etc.

As we look back at this past year, or as you look back in your life, there are many standing stones. Some are stones standing as praise to wonderful blessings the Lord gave us, some are stones that are amidst very difficult times in life, but yet, they are standing there to remind us of our continued walk with our God.

Early in 2006, one great stone was stood up marking the launch of a children’s ministry that now gives our kids, the next generation of the church, a time of teaching and Biblical training during the sermon time. Thank you, Kristin and Tanya, who so selflessly have served every week in this ministry! Later in the year, CLUB LIFT was launched giving additional monthly training of our youngsters in a fun way! What a wonderful praise and perhaps these youngsters will be “living stones” with the Gospel message during their lifetime! 
 
Other stones from 2006 were the continued momentum of the ladies ministry, who had several Bible/book studies and various events throughout the year!  And the men?……or should I say A-Men?  In October we had a men’s retreat that has truly left an impact on many men who are still striving to grow in faith as stronger A-Men of God!  In the summertime, we shifted to a morning worship service time frame which has also provided LIFT with momentum and growth!  The Webster family coming alongside in leadership with the Eales’ and us Best’s has also been a huge blessing!  Of all the messages over the year, the message series about “The Body” stands out to me personally.  To have seen our LIFT body forming and working together in unity with all the parts working together for the entire body – this is the church of Jesus in action!    

As we look to the future to “conquer” life ahead of us, remember one more proclamation from a little boy of the Old Testament who turned a few stones himself: DAVID.  As a young shepherd standing before the king and stating what he was about to do in the near future, he was using standing stones from his past as a reminder of God’s hand with him:

1 Sam 17:34-37 (David before taking on Goliath)
But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”

Notice the standing stones of the lion and bear giving David the strength and faith to go boldly into the unknown future!
 
We serve an awesome God. “Go into 2007, and the LORD be with you!”
 
This Sunday, Ken will be sharing a message about God’s faithfulness over the past and what the Lord has shown us.  The following week, I will share the message regarding future thinking and how we walk forward in faith with the Lord as the journey continues! 

In His grip and grace,

Corey

Ephesians 3:14-21
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Unwrapping Christmas-Part 2

Unwrapping Christmas-Part 2
 
Hello All,
 
In continuation of the Unwrapping Christmas theme, I again am blessed to share another true “glimpse” of God regarding the statement from part 1.  The statement was “Even in the world, if one looks hard enough, despite the X-Mas clutter and noise, Jesus IS still there, and showing His loving gift of grace in beautiful ways.”
 
As political correctness is more and more eroding the true meaning of Christmas and in the name of tolerance of not wanting to offend anothers beliefs, wishing one Merry Christmas is being replaced with Seasons Greetings or Happy Holidays.  I was so blessed that in spite of this mentality that is currently moving across the world, last Friday night I saw my true Christmas glimpse in a moment of real worship in an unexpected place.  My daughter Livia’s 4th grade class (together with another 3rd grade class) had their drama/musical presentation for parents and our little community in and near Menzingen.  These 30 or so students (a couple of them foreign and even Muslim) dressed the part and sang praises while acting out the Nativity story of Christ’s birth.  True to Matthew and Luke, they dramatized how the angels came to speak to Mary and then Joseph, how the census was announced and that they had to go to their hometown of Bethlehem, and due to no room in the inn the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger!  O.k., so a few traditional Christmas Nativity aspects were added like the 3 Wise Men there about two years too early, but still, I was encouraged to see that there are still glimpses of true Christmas to be found all around us, even in our busy world of X-Mas Holidays! 
 
I pray that you too, are blessed with moments of worship in true celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ this CHRISTmas season!   
 
We look forward to celebrating Christmas together at LIFT this Sunday morning at 10 am and don’t forget the special Christmas Eve Service that will be from 5:00 to 6:00 pm! 
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey

Easter is about Jesus!

Hello all,
 
Easter is about Jesus!
 
It’s an important week for all of us.  Why, because it is in honor of what our Lord Jesus Christ did for each of us (and all mankind) about 2000 years ago.  This year, I intend to somehow, even if just in my mind and spirit, try to honor Him with my worship.  Not that I have to do something big or exceptional, but something to intentionally worship Him in a closer manner than normal.  Pray for me and perhaps you can come up with your own intentional worship over this year’s Easter! (Perhaps it may extend even beyond this week and begin a renewed and fresh time of faith in your walk with Him! I pray this will be the case!) 
 
Having a day off work on Good Friday and on Easter Monday is something new for me and my family living in Switzerland.  On one hand, I appreciate the time off work so I can be at home and do “work” around the house.  On the other hand, it’s an official holiday here, which means I can offend my neighbors if I am caught “working” around the house.  Furthermore, if I was to make noise with a lawnmower or power trimmer, then I would really be a bad neighbor by disrupting their “peaceful” holiday.  Should this bother me that I am restricted in what I can or can’t do on my days off?  I’ve thought about this and……….the truth is, I really don’t care.  Meaning, whether I work…..or not, offend……or not, or just spend my time worrying about trying to come up with the right answer, I am missing what Easter IS about in the first place.  It’s NOT about me, or what I do.  Nor is it about being legalistic in religion or culture.  It’s about God, His love, His Son, Jesus’ death and resurrection and giving His life so I can have my life!  This is profound and this is God’s grace, salvation and perfect plan! 

We have planned a special LIFT Easter Worship Service on Sunday night at our normal 7 pm time (6:30 fellowship) at Vorstadt 30 using songs of worship throughout the message/service as we take a Journey to the Holy of Holies and understand what Jesus did for us in His death and resurrection in providing us with a personal and intimate relationship with God.  After opening the service the children will have their own program upstairs.  I hope you can attend and even bring a friend, neighbor or colleague that might be blessed from our worship of God! 
 
I close with an insert of something a read on Monday which was an encouragement for me this week to remember what my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ did for me!
 
Moving in silent desperation and Keeping and Eye on the Holy Land:
Moving in silent desperation: There are places in the world today where the desperation is all but silent, but for a lot of us in America and Europe, this is an accurate description of our lives. We are moving about – we are busy with many things – but we are silently desperate. We may not even know what the desperation is, but no matter, it is still there. We may be financially secure – we may even be believers with lots of faith – but the desperation is still there, because it is part of the human condition.
Keeping an eye on the holy land: This is the week many will take notice of what happened in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. Most people know that Easter is not really about eggs, bunnies, and spring. It’s about remembering the events of a holy week in a holy land. And those events are important, because what happened there is the only thing that can adequately address the silent desperation in everyone’s heart. God came. God conquered. God offers hope because of it. And Christ will return some day in the same way in which he left to take all who believe to an eternal home far removed from any kind of desperation, silent or otherwise. So, best keep an eye on that.
Meanwhile, we’ll be keeping an eye all week on what happened in the Holy Land on that most important week in history.
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey

JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!

Hello All,

“Sie” oder “Du”? As a native English speaker who does speak some German, it’s been quite the year on remembering who has given me the “Du” or not.  Many of you know exactly what I’m talking about.  At the workplace, my company’s official language is English, but there are still many discussions in German.  Some of my colleagues and I are in the “Du” and some still in the “Sie”  What’s crazy for me is that in English, everyone is “You” (but one may still be Mr. or Mrs. terms and not with the first name), but in German I have to remember who is who and who is “Du”.  The worst is when there are many in the same conversation and some are “Sie” and some are “Du” and it’s not polite to mix them up.

O.K. O.K, so what’s the point?   When Jesus was born, God got personal with each of us in a very close way.  Jesus, in some ways was God offering the “Du” to each of us personally, once and for all.  We can know His name too, Immanuel, God with us!  We can talk to Him as our best friend and walk with Him in throughout our lives!

Matthew 1:18-25
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”-which means, “God with us.”

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
NIV

Have a wonderful Christmas!

In His grip and grace,

Corey and Tanya