“Giving Away CHRISTmas!”

Hello All,

A few nights ago we had some friends over for dinner and they asked my son a question in which his answer made me smile.  The question was, “What is your family tradition? Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?”  His answer was a quiet, simple (but profound), “Actually, this year we are giving away Christmas.”  It was a memorable moment for me  because his answer gave evidence that he’s getting an important value in life at Christmas that Tanya and I are being very intentional to try and pass on to our children. 

As a family we’ve been having an internal discussion for weeks now (in continuation from last Christmas’ discussions) on how we should try to focus on others at Christmas, versus a “me attitude” of what presents under the tree have my name on it.  Clearly, we’re not the perfect family (even if our last name is Best) and we will have one family gift that’s not exactly inexpensive under our tree, but overall, we are trying to figure out real tangible ways to “give away Christmas” with focus on others. 

It’s not that it all started last year for our family with such a topic since we downplayed Santa Claus with our kids from birth and “up played” Jesus as the real gift at Christmas.  However,  last year we were challenged by another who went out of her way to do something for other families in our community who may not have a lot of means to really celebrate Christmas as a family, even in such a wealthy nation as Switzerland.  I hesitate to share details of some of the ways our family is “giving away Christmas” this year, but at the same time, I hope and pray you may be challenged as well to look outward away from the presents with your name on them under your tree and think of others during Christmas.

First, it’s simply been an open conversation with our kids and seeking their input in practical ways we can “give away Christmas”.   One way is that we will buy food baskets and take to our village’s social service office for them to give to families in need.  We found out last year that there are a few (very local) families that are in need and they can anonymously take these baskets too.   A catch in this is that we (each of us in the family) are finding ways together to set aside funds (giving up something) so we can purchase these gifts for others.  There are a lot of creative ways to do this and we’re putting the saved money  in a “Giving Away Christmas” box.  There are a few other things involved in this family savings box, but you get the idea. 

Another thing we did this year in particular was to sponsor a COMPASSION CHILD.  This first month’s sponsorship is again a family thing that our kids have been involved with in setting aside support for it.  Years ago we sponsored a child from Brazil while we still lived in the USA, and we are honored and excited to share in another’s life, this time in Togo.   By the way, Ken N at LIFT is a Compassion “Advocate” who can provide you with more information on how you too can “sponsor” a Compassion Child somewhere in the world.  Personally, I strongly endorse and have seen first hand the integrity of how Compassion International operates in a wonderful way of ensuring the sponsor’s finances truly makes it to those involved in a transparent and effective manner.

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO SHARE ON WAY’S TO GIVE CHRISTMAS AWAY:
The world around us has made CHRISTmas into a spending frenzy and commercial business called X-Mas and I’m not one who desires for my kids to only know that kind of a world and the world of the fat guy in a red suit or only the Swiss version of Samichlaus and his cohorts “Schmutzli” from the “Waldhuus” (cabin in the woods).  Jesus IS the reason for the season and CHRISTmas is called CHRISTMAS for a reason.

Again, my family isn’t “the model” family and we’re imperfect in many ways but I hope to challenge others to also be intentional to “GIVE AWAY CHRISTMAS”, just as God gave His Son as the original CHRISTmas gift to the world…..knowing Jesus would live His life to die for us, and GIVE us life through His death and resurrection! 
I have a favor to ask of you and a challenge all at the same time.  Since our family is still trying to seek practical ways to “GIVE AWAY CHRISTMAS” (this year and future years).  If you, as a family, couple or single have found your own way of “giving away Christmas”, please click reply and share it with me?  Preferably by next Wednesday.  I intend to keep the names confidential, but would like to share various ideas that others out there may have found in giving away Christmas on next week’s LIFT update.

In His grip and grace…..because He first gave me the real gift of Christmas!
Corey

PS- A great friend of ours sent this link about couple days ago about “Giving This Christmas Away”- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2ulYpoNXC0

LIFT “being” Mission!

Hello All,
 
If you’ve been to LIFT the past two weeks, then you’ve heard “live” what the Lord has been up to in blessing LIFT and LIFT being a part in blessing others across the Kingdom during this year in 2009 regarding missions! 

What a privilege to write and share about the core Element of LIFT that we call WIND which is Mission and Evangelism.  In this case of LIFT “being” mission, we are intentional (alongside our daily living and giving our faith around us locally) to be a blessing abroad “unto the nations” as the Lord has provided through the faithful giving of finances through our church congregation at LIFT. Back in March the approved budget set aside 12,500 CHF for missions giving with mention of 4 main mission entities that LIFT has partnered with over the years. In the past two weeks, those funds have been released and transferred to our mission partners. For those who have been around for a few years, you’ve been able to hear first hand of these missionary partners as all (but one entity) was able to preach and share at LIFT.  The following are these Kingdom partners of LIFT with a summary too brief to share what all the Lord is doing in their part of the Kingdom. Into the future we intend to continue to share more and more about these mission partners and their ministries, whether via the TV in the back at LIFT, letters or special opportunities of visiting together.
 
VARIOUS MISSION(S) THAT LIFT SUPPORTS:
• South Africa:  Drop in Centre in Pretoria: 3500 CHF- A ministry helping kids in poverty )often without parents due to HIV issues) get a good meal each day and have a place for help with studying.
• Belize: Kings Campus: 3500 CHF- A seminary campus training future national Belizean pastors/church leaders.
• India: Joseph P: 3500 CHF- A national Indian missionary and his family serving in India with Campus Crusade for Christ.
• Mosaic Alliance: 2000 CHF- An international network of churches and ministries serving the Kingdom. Lift gifts blessing 2 church plants in Germany.
 
What an wonderful testimony of “being” a mission minded church as part of the Kingdom of God, locally with our lives and unto the nations with our tithes!  In all things, let’s continue to pray for on another and those across the nations so others can know Jesus!
 
In His grip and grace,
Corey
 
WIND
(mission & evangelism)

Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
 

Luke 10:1-4,8-9
10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road……….
8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick* who are there AND TELL THEM, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.‘

5 Years of Living it and Giving it!

Hello All,

It was five years ago today, that 13 people gathered in our little apartment and began to worship, fellowship and share God’s Word together.  It was also the first time that Ken and I met each other (Tanya and Kristin met a couple weeks earlier). Whether you were there that first night, or have come alongside LIFT in the years since, it’s an honor and a privilege to share life and faith together.  Our God is an amazing God, and what LIFT has “lived” has been a testimony to His faithfulness; all glory to God!  The future looks good………….we can already read the end of The Book and find out that with Jesus, we’ve got an eternity to look forward to together!  In the meantime, the journey continues for us to GO into our realm (in Zug and the nations) and share the Gospel message of grace, love and hope!

Check this out, it’s the very first LIFT update I ever sent out back on Sept 2, 2004.

+++
—– Original Message —–
From: Best’s
To:
Cc:
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 5:39 PM
Subject: New Ministry-Zug/Baar
Greetings everyone,

This e-mail is in regards to a new ministry group beginning right here in the Zug/Baar area.  The vision is to have an English speaking ministry that glorifies God as we share life with others, including the Gospel message, and also as we individually grow in our faith in God through Jesus Christ.  Or in other words, “to Live it and Give it” right here in the canton of Zug!  Regardless of nationality or church background we welcome you and others to join us in getting to know our Creator in a deeper and closer relationship!

We, as part of the team effort, are Corey and Tanya Best. We have two children (Livia; 7 and Silas; 3) and we all are fresh “off the boat/plane” from Colorado, U.S.A. and are beginning our next adventure in life here in Zug/Baar.  Our journey of faith begins and ends with Jesus and we are simply excited to serve Him and see what He has in store for the future.  Our connection to Zug is through Tanya as she is also a “Zugerin” growing up here for half of her life, although she was born in Aspen, Colorado and lived the other half of her life in the U.S.   Our family has dual citizenship, but I am the one with the accent over here.  I grew up in Washington State and moved to Colorado in 1988.  Being raised in a Christian home, I was blessed that God made it easy for me to know Him as my Personal Savior.  I have a background of both general management/marketing and ministry, and feel that God has shaped Tanya and me in a manner that He has divinely led us here.  For the last couple of years I completed my Master’s Degree in Theological Studies and served in student ministries at a Bible Church in Colorado.  We will share more later…

Beginning THIS Sunday (Sept. 5th) we are launching LIFT NIGHTS here at our home from 6:30 pm -8:30 pm.  This theme is about lifting up the name of Jesus and “L”iving “I”n “F”orever “T”oday, as we feel that an eternal relationship begins when one accepts Jesus on this side of heaven and not just after one dies.  Our time will begin with a casual fellowship time including snacks, then a time of “Praise & Worship” to the Lord (I can manage with the guitar until others can help too) while sharing “life” together in regards to getting to know each other better and what/how we can pray for one another. We will end with a teaching time from the Bible.  Kids are welcome.  I did mention casual and please come as you feel comfortable.

We are looking forward to seeing what God does in this area for His kingdom!

In His grip and grace,
Corey and Tanya

+++

Yes all, we are still looking forward to seeing what God continues to do in this area for His Kingdom! 

In His grip and grace,
Corey

NEW MEETING LOCATION STARTING TOMORROW!

Hello All,

We worship and serve an Awesome God!

So much I would want to share but l’ll simply let God’s own Word testify His glory in doing something far greater than we could ever plan, accomplish or expect! 

“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!”

Starting tomorrow morning at 10:00 am, LIFT worship services will be at Ibelweg 18 in Inwil (Baar 6340).  The Lord has blessed LIFT with a full time “home”, that we will also be able to use 7 days a week for LIFT church ministries!

Attached is a map with the Ibelweg 18 location (note the “showroom” red font letters).  Basic directions are as you approach the big corner on the map you will see a sign with “GLENCORE (amongst other company names “Lux Int” “Fontana Restaurant”)  Turn here onto Baarermattstrasse and take your first right which is Ibelweg (there is an arrow shaped sign that says “Mars” as their Int. headquarter is there too).  On the left is Ibelweg 18, a white building that The Stone Connection Co. and Volcom share also as their same building.  LIFT- The International Church is now located in the 1st floor of this building!. 

It’s just in time that the Lord blessed us with a larger meeting space, as obviously last week with approx. 80 people we were going to find it tough to squeeze into Vorstadt again. Furthermore, yesterday our congregation of LIFT grew again as TALEA EALES was born!  Mom & baby and daddy and two sisters are all doing very well!

I am so looking forward to worshiping together with you tomorrow at LIFT!

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.

GROWING FORWARD

Hello All,

As we are journeying through Timothy, a key point that Ken and I have brought out regarding Paul’s letter to Timothy, is that of Paul’s personal encouragement and support of Timothy. Like a “son” to Paul, he includes many personal words of affirmation to Timothy.

I had a nice experience this week on a plane back to Zurich from Amsterdam where I was reminded of a former “Paul” in my life. This “Paul” inspired me, encouraged me and served as a Godly example to me, who looking back had a bigger impact than I realized at the time, more than 12 years ago. His real name isn’t Paul, it’s Kurt and he is the former youth pastor of my former church in Colorado. Tanya and I met him and his wife Brenda shortly after getting married in 1994 and by 1995 we began to volunteer under Kurt and Brenda with the youth ministry on Wednesday nights. Every once in a while we even helped with events and/or occasionally weekenders. By 2000 when Kurt and Brenda moved to serve the Lord in another state, Tanya and I were mainstays with the students and the ministry there and as most of you know, by 2002 I left my “day job” and went into ministry full time at the church and began my seminary studies as well (which led us to “Go” with Jesus to Switzerland in 2004).

What triggered my remembering Kurt was a book that I was reading on the flight which gives an example of the author/pastor and his first “sermon”. This author was challenged by his pastor as a teenager to share a Sunday sermon and not just a quick testimony as he was asked to do. So this guy worked hard to have his 30 minutes of a full sermon just to in the end, deliver his first message with passion……but in only 7 minutes! Well, that reminded me that Kurt did the same thing to me a little over 10 years ago. After I was already sharing “messages” with 30 or so students frequently, Kurt challenged me to share a “message” to the church congregation. I put “message” in quotes, because I specifically asked him if he wanted a testimony or a sermon and if he wanted just 5 minutes or a full 25 minutes. His answer was “share a message of whatever the Lord puts on your heart and you have whatever time you need or want”. In the end, I don’t think I ever told him (until now that is) that I was aiming for the full “message” but delivered only 7 minutes, and then of course he jumped on up there to fill in the rest of the time that was expected! Thinking back, I believe that was my first time sharing a message to an adult congregation. Today, I do it on a near weekly basis and still feel inadequate as a public speaker, but fully adequate on passionately following Jesus and therefore I’m not afraid to talk about Jesus in front of people and prayerfully He can use my availability to make up for my lack of strong preaching ability! I am thankful that Kurt believed in me and challenged me to share what was on my heart!

Last Sunday was great with many of you committing to serving at LIFT in various ways. Your availability is a huge encouragement for all at LIFT and whether you feel adequate or not, Jesus will bless what you commit to Him with devoted hearts and a willingness to serve Him and others! Attached are the various ministry lists that now include many of your names. Someone asked that we send it out for others to have opportunity to know what kind of ministries/needs there are at LIFT.  In the next weeks, we are intending to broaden the leadership roles and follow up with you regarding these ministries. If you didn’t sign up last week or weren’t there to sign up, please prayerfully consider if and how God would have you be involved in serving at our church. Let us know (personally or via email) where you might want to serve.
 
Lastly, let’s continue to pray for one another and for LIFT as a body that the Lord will continue to bless our church as we “grow forward” together in unity and for His glory!

 
Looking forward to seeing you Sunday.

In His grip and grace,

Corey