“The Journey Continues”!

Hello All,
 
As announced this past Sunday at LIFT by the Servants Leaders (and I), there is  a  new era for LIFT in the months ahead in going and growing forward in faith with the Lord……..just as LIFT has done from the beginning.  On behalf of my family and our church I want to thank the Servant Leaders for their wonderful hearts, encouragement, insight, wisdom and prayers during our discussions over the past months in preparation for the year ahead of 2010 and beyond!  The following is the announcement that was shared to LIFT and over the next weeks, I intend to continue the conversation together via the LIFT updates!  Oh yes guys…..the journey of faith and the journey of LIFT continues and I look forward to seeing the Lord continue His blessings upon LIFT beyond our expectations!  

Beginning in January 2010, the Best family, after 5 years of “tentmaking” missionary work at LIFT, is taking a “sabbatical” for 2010 and turning over the active LIFT church leadership to LIFT’s Servant Leaders and LIFT. Although it is often that a missionary family takes a furlough year after 4 or 5 years in the field, it usually means the family returns to their homeland and home church. In this case, however, the Best’s (2nd) homeland is Switzerland and their “home church” is LIFT, thus we’ll all be seeing them around quite a bit.  For their family, 2010 will also be a year of pursuing passions that God has placed within them regarding a broader Kingdom vision of connecting other church plants from around Switzerland and Europe for mutual encouragement and synergies.  
 
So folks, I first want to underline the part about “we’ll all be seeing them (the Best’s) around quite a bit” at LIFT. Aside of taking several weeks away from January to the end of February, we are so thankful that for the rest of the year we have a home church within our (2nd) homeland to be refreshed by and blessed to belong to such a wonderful body of believers and friends.  As we are turning over the daily active leadership of LIFT and also the various ministries both Tanya and I are involved with, we totally look forward to enjoying the freed up time to be able to follow the Lord’s leading and pursue passions the Lord has placed within us, all the while doing more things as a family of five as well, many of which will also include being with families of LIFT that we just haven’t had the time to fellowship with. 
 
Part of our DNA at LIFT is “Serving Together- ALL of us!”. It’s been mentioned every single week for the last 5 years since LIFT began……you know, right after “The Bible is our source, living our faith and giving it away and  being counter culturally friendly”.  Although Tanya and I are involved with numerous ministries, LIFT isn’t Corey’s church, nor is it Ken or Bedros’ church, but LIFT is (put your name here)’s church…..or actually LIFT is all us together as part of Jesus’ church! 
 
Furthermore, one of our 5 core values of LIFT called “BODY”- Ministry and Service (formerly known as the Element of Wood) again reminds us that we are all in this together with Jesus, the Head of the church!  Together, as many individual parts of one body, of course with many stepping up a bit more in serving one another at LIFT, we will continue our wonderful journey…….the journey of living our faith and giving it away, first right here in Zug and unto the nations around us and beyond!  Here’s some of the Scriptural background to this core value:
 
Romans 12:4-7
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
 

Matthew 20:28
“Just as the Son of Man (JESUS) did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

I encourage you to do three things:

    1) Pray for our church LIFT and for one another!
    2) Talk about it, meaning don’t hesitate to ask me, or the Servant Leaders what it means that the Best’s are turning over the leadership to LIFT, or what broader Kingdom vision means, or any other questions you may have.
    3) Consider your calling and what ministry you can serve in as a stronger part of the BODY!

 
In closing, Tanya shared this verse with me a couple days ago in how during this week in particular and the months ahead, it is a great Word of encouragement in faith in the One who endured the cross for us!
 
Hebrew 12:1-3
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
 

Yes, the journey continues………
 
In His grip and grace, 
Corey

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

Servant Leaders of LIFT!

Hello all,
 
This past Sunday at LIFT, Ken and I “wrapped up” our journey through 1 Timothy with a recap overview of this New Testament book and closed the message with focus for all of us to “unwrap Christmas” and remember to share with those around us what CHRISTmas is really about; Jesus!

We started the 1 Timothy journey in late August pointing out three main themes of this letter from Paul to Timothy in Ephesus, and then week by week we went chapter by chapter and verse by verse until this past Sunday.  The three main themes are the following: 

-LIVE IT “EXTRAORDINARY! –Paul’s mentor/mentee encouragement and insisting of high standards for Timothy in faith! And for the church too!
-RESIST FALSE TEACHERS/TEACHINGS –Paul urges Timothy to equip and provide firm resistances to FT’s in Ephesus. He identifies them and the nature of their false teaching.
-A “HEALTHY” CHURCH! –Paul’s gives strong emphasis on the importance of developing quality leadership with integrity of faith, a crucial element to a healthy church! (Timothy/Titus are NOT just a church organization manual!)

The third theme, regarding developing quality leadership with integrity of faith was something that LIFT actually “lived” these past months as well in real life and in real time!  Beginning in the summer, Ken and I met with several regarding developing a broader leadership at LIFT, with the passages of 1 Timothy and Titus in mind, as to overseers and/or deacons.  Through the months since, it has been a blessed experience of stepping forward together as seven Godly men (9 including Ken and I), with their wives (and children), having shared their “desire to aspire” to lead others in growing their faith in Jesus!  Along the way, one shared how LIFT’s leadership should not be that of a corporation with the CEO and Managers at the top, but instead upside down, with the leaders, as servant leaders, serving and supporting the body.  This “servant leadership” became a focus point for us in remembering that it was Jesus, who took off his robe and put on a towel and lowered himself to serve in washing the feet of his disciples.  None of us are perfect, but all of us have the grace of God in us and it is an honor to go forward into the future together with the LIFT body to share the Gospel Message of Jesus to all in our community of Zug and wherever the Lord may lead us in life!

Your Servant Leaders of LIFT (in no particular order): Corey and Ken (co-Pastors), Trevor, Ron, Christoph, Chas, Robert, Don and Ashok

May we as LIFT pray for one another (especially for these men, their wives and families and their commitment to leadership at LIFT), may we support one another and may we all together make a difference in the Kingdom of God, especially right here in Zug.  Also pray for our facility issue of needing more space as there are a few possibilities being looked at currently. 

Of course, pray for this month of December as the world is thinking about “X-Mas presents” and as we at LIFT together with many other churches are pursuing to “unwrap CHRISTmas” in remembering that the true gift at Christmas is God’s gift of Jesus and life in Him!

In His grip and grace,

Corey

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

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.