“LIFE SEEMINGLY CUT SHORT”

Hello All,
 
James, the Journey…….  It’s been just that: a journey thus far through this blessed book of the Bible.  Thoughtful lessons and insight in living the reality of life in a fallen world, but at the same time, living in joyful worship with our sovereign God in heaven. We continue this Sunday night as Ken gives the message.  I hope to see you there! 
 
I received some difficult news this week.  A friend of mine, whom I shared some life together during my seminary “process”, died this past week with his infant daughter in an auto accident during a terrible snow/ice storm in the state of Wyoming, U.S.A.  His wife was injured severely, but is expected to recover physically.  Please keep her and those close to their family in prayer during this difficult time. 
 
I write this in tribute to an incredible and humble servant of our Most High God, who IS sovereign.  Shane was 33 years old when he died and he was one who during those 33 years on this earth made a difference in people’s lives.  His passion and friendship with Jesus was so evident in His humble joy in life and strong walk with the Lord.  His talents and gifting from God (musically and otherwise) were first and foremost used for the Lord’s glory.  As much of Shane’s service was that of a public ministry, behind the public eye, Shane did so many hidden acts of service for others with humble and gracious sacrificial giving of himself.  For this reason, even I can’t help but wonder why God took Shane home to heaven “seemingly” too soon.  What is comforting for me (and all Christians) is knowing that Shane knows this answer already, for Shane is in God’s presence and can ask God directly. I take comfort also, knowing God has a plan for Casey, his wife, who is still on this side of heaven, without her husband and daughter……. and yet, God’s love and grace ARE sufficient (although I can’t even try to express this in my words).  Perhaps God has even revealed to Shane His plan for Casey and Shane is also aware that she is fully in the Hands of God now and in her future.  Again, may we lift her up in prayer. 
 
A couple thousand years ago, there was another man who lived about 33 years on this earth and made an eternal difference in those lives he touched, then AND now (and forever).  Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, and His life on earth was “seemingly” cut short, but today we can rest assured in our salvation and eternal life in heaven, knowing that this was/is according to God’s purpose and perfect plan!  It was only a couple of weeks ago that we learned from James that our life here on earth is only a vapor in comparison to eternity.  (James 4:14-16  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”)
 
Thank You God for your love and giving Your Son, and extending grace and salvation to this world.  Thank You God also for giving us Shane, who You used to touch others around his life for Your eternal glory!  May we all continue to do our part in being Your Light and Love to this world around each of us!
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey  

FAITH TAKES ACTION!

Hello All,

It has been a great journey thus far through the book of James for us at LIFT. As Ken and I have “tag teamed” and shared the messages every other week, I hope you have appreciated getting into this study of God’s Word! This past week, we covered the second half of chapter two, which contains basically the main overall theme of James; FAITH TAKES ACTION!

Here’s a little reminder- James 2:18: But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

With this one verse in mind, the following are the words of a song Ken played for us a couple of weeks ago that reminds us how we are all a part of the Church, the Body of Christ.


If we are the body,

Why aren’t His arms reaching?

Why aren’t His hands healing?

Why aren’t His Words teaching?

And if we are the body,

Why aren’t His feet going?

Why is His love not showing them there is a way?

THERE IS A WAY!

Jesus paid too high a price for us to pick and choose who should come!

And we are the body. There is a way!

We ARE the body! The hands and feet (and all the other parts too) that are to take the wonderful Gospel Message of hope and love to those around us! How is Zug going to know and hear about God’s love and that THERE IS WAY? Faith takes action! We (that means YOU too!) are part of the Lord’s mode of communication! Of course, it is delivered by our lives, what people see in us, and yes, the words we speak as well………especially using His Words!

Speaking of using words, the 3rd chapter of James has a great deal to say about the tongue and it just happens to be the message tomorrow night! Hope to see you there!

In His grip and grace,

Corey

“THE FREE MESSAGE”

Hello All,

For those of you who were traveling over the holidays, welcome back to Zug and LIFT in 2006!  We are continuing our study in the Book of James this Sunday evening and hope to see you there.  Great to have Ken, Kristin and the girls back as well, refreshed and ready to help lead again!

“Isn’t the Word of God supposed to be free?” This was the question of Gregory, a late twenties young Irish man at a coffee shop in Dublin this past Monday afternoon.

As I was in Ireland again on business, I found the Lord’s peace hanging out once again in a small little Christian bookstore/coffee shop called CHRISTIAN.  This time, aside of a good coffee, I met Gregory.  He was there, asking the lady working about the different Bibles, their prices, and then complaining of the idea of the Word of God not being free, I couldn’t help but to slip into the conversation a bit myself. At this point he looked at the lady and me and point blank stated that “he was trying to figure out how to know God.”  WOW, just so simply stated and sincere!  How can someone know God? The lady began to have a wonderful conversation and shared the Gospel message of love and hope with him.  Her words of truth were right on in steering him towards knowing God through “relationship” and not “religion”.  Even as he asked so many questions like;  “How does evolution fit with creation?” or “What about the tribal people who don’t ever see a Bible in the jungles?”,  steady in truth she stated with her confident Irish accent, “You’re trying to answer too many questions when you need to find the answer to the first one, ‘How can I know God’.  Only when you find this answer for yourself first, can you understand and find the rest of the answers. It’s through knowing Jesus, and receiving Him and what He did for you on the cross that you can know God…………”

I was so blessed just to watch the Lord at work right there in the shop.  After some moments, I simply put a Bible down on the counter and said, “Today, for you Gregory, the Word of God is free and I would like to purchase this Bible for you.”  He said, “Why would you do that, you don’t even know me?” My reply was simply, “Let’s just say that Jesus knows you, and wants you to find the answer to your question?”  From there we walked out together and continued our discussion for a short while until we parted ways.  I had told him about a passage in James (one we will cover in the weeks to come) regarding: as we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.  (James 4:8 “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” I believe for Gregory, this truth has and will continue to happen!  The process and journey is worth it when it comes to knowing God!

The Lord uses all of us, during normal every day circumstances to share His Word … and as you LIVE your faith and GIVE it away as well…  Jesus did that and the world and eternity will never be the same again!

Looking forward to seeing ya
Sunday night at LIFT!

In His grip and grace,

Corey and Tanya