Erntedankfest! "Giving Thanks for the Harvest"

Hello All, 

So what is this theme “Erntedankfest” and what’s this service all about?  Literally, Erntedankfest means “Thanksgiving (for the Harvest)”! Those of you who are familiar with the American Holiday in the 3rd week of November each year should remember that this service is in Switzerland, the date of the service is September 30th, and no turkeys or football are offered! 

As I shared last week at our service, I believe it was some 20 years ago that Stami was also having their services in the same place at Vorstadt 30 during their early days.  This local Swiss church, with faithful service to the Lord and our community of Zug over the years has made an impact (a Harvest) in many lives along the way, including mine!  It was in 1997 at Stami while living here for a few months that Tanya and I got our first glimpse of a Swiss evangelical church, and from that time our burden to share Jesus in Switzerland began to take shape.  A few years later in 2003, Ken and Kristin Eales arrived from South Africa and also found themselves worshipping Jesus with Stami and yearning to serve and be effective somehow but slowed (in Ken’s case) because of German. I think most of you know the history since the “birth” of LIFT in 2004 and the following three years now where the Eales and Bests and all of LIFT have experienced a harvest of sort becoming a reality……….and we are still just a “baby” church growing and going for Jesus into the future!  

So we as LIFT find ourselves this Sunday together with Stami, in many ways, a part of Stami’s actual Harvest, celebrating and worshiping together!  The service will be bilingual and team led from both churches.  A few folks will share a testimony of how the Lord has blessed them this year, from LIFT it’s Ron and Maria sharing their Guatemala adoption of Lorena.  Some songs we will lead in English, some they will lead in German and some we will combine and alternate verses and choruses in both languages. 

KIDS SUNDAY SCHOOL AND NURSERY ARE ALL COVERED BY STAMI AND THERE IS A FELLOWSHIP AFTERWARDS WITH FOOD (ALSO PROVIDED BY STAMI)!

Of course, we aren’t done yet with reaching our community for the Lord and there is plenty more harvesting to do, but it’s an honor and a privilege to take a Sunday and just say: “Thank You God, for how You have blessed us!”

I hope you can join us and I look forward to seeing you there.  Please call for directions or questions if the map doesn’t help enough and we’ll make it clear.  For GPS: Chollerstrasse 35, Zug 
 
In His grip and grace,

Corey

“HOSANNA”

Hello all,
 
Easter is just around the corner.  A time to remember what Jesus Christ did for us in giving His life on the cross and rising from the grave that first Easter morning.  He paid the ultimate prize and He is a living and personal God!  That is Easter!  Of course, as Christ-Followers, we should live our faith ALL of the year with thankfulness and joy in Christ, and I am thankful for all of you at LIFT to share this hope in Jesus together as part of His body today, tomorrow, and all the year(s) long!  
 
With this in mind, I hope you are encouraged by the following verses from John.  Knowing what was about to come, and after coming into Jerusalam in a joyous celebrative reception of the people (as Palm Sunday is this Sunday), Jesus shows the full extent of his love.  He serves His followers in washing their feet, shares the Last Supper and gives His life for them and us today!
 
John 13:1
13:1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. 

John 13:34-35
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 
I am looking forward to sharing Easter with you this year!  We are continuing our journey through 1st John this Sunday.  We begin chapter 5 and Ken is giving the Message!  I hope to see you there.
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey

Praise God, I am a Unicorn!

Hello all,
 
Going, going, gone! I hope to hear those words soon in my head as I am rounding first base. What??? You must be wondering what a Unicorn, going, and first base have to do with each other. MY PERSONAL LITTLE MISSION OF BEING A WITNESS IN MY REALM OF INFLUENCE.

Currently we are looking into God’s Word regarding “GOING” and telling others about the Gospel Message of Jesus! Well, for me, I have recently joined the Hunenberg Unicorn Baseball Club here in Zug to relive a long ago passion of this American pie, Chevy driving man’s sport of baseball! If I can get the cobwebs out of my shoulder and be able to throw and hit that little baseball again, I hope to hear the crowd (in my head) cheer as I can hit one (going, going, gone) out of the park (actually soccer field acting as a baseball diamond). To be honest, the baseball may be fun and help me stay fit over the summer, but the last thing I have time for between juggling time with my family, LIFT and work is to go and play ball. But at the same time, I am attempting to “walk my talk” regarding getting into one’s realm of influence and telling others about Christ. My fellow teamates are all local Swiss guys (all but one are several years younger than me) and they have no idea about who I am other than I am a funny sounding Swiss German speaker married into the Red Passport country……but can play some ball. I am excited to do something so Swiss (like joining a Verein (club)) but still have a decent chance of holding my own since it’s a sport I played my entire life, ALL THE WHILE, being a living witness for Jesus Christ to those around me. It’s the last point, being a witness that is my true motivation. I pray that the Lord opens opportunities to share my faith, with my words and my actions this summer.

Perhaps you too can be intentional to share the Message in the next months. For added encouragement and inspiration, come join us at LIFT to hear how the Lord is working in others as we are continuing to have special missionary guests in the next weeks. Pastor Tony Gschwend and his family are Swiss missionaries from Zug who have been in the U.S. as missionaries to the native American Indians of Arizona for the last five years. We will be blessed to hear what the Lord shares through Tony this Sunday evening.
 
Below is a very important announcment regarding our worship service times for the month of June.
 
Last but not least, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

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