FAITH WITH ACTION

Hello All,
 
Can I get an A-Men?  It’s been great to see that the special A-Men retreat that took place a month ago has had a continuing impact and effect amongst our men.  Two morning studies (one in Zug and one in Horgen) have been launched and take place early Wednesday or Thursdays journeying through the Wild at Heart book.  It has also been so encouraging to see many e-mails and SMS’s exchanged as many men are sharing aspects of needed prayer or just praising the Lord as things occur during their busy weeks.  This is evidence of the body of Christ IN ACTION! 
 
And can I get an A-WO-Men too? At the same time ladies, once again you have stepped things up a notch in active faith in response to the request of help regarding a couple of ministry needs with snacks and the kid’s ministry (by the way men, you can be of help here too!)  I believe nearly 10 offers of assistance came back, and with such quick response……….all glory to God!
 
Things are happening right now at LIFT, great things, and I ask for all to keep our young church in prayer, alongside praying for each other.  It seems we will outgrow our meeting space in the near future and already a look around town for other options is underway.  Our vision of starting a new kid’s ministry program aside of Sunday school (CLUB LIFT) is about to begin and perhaps after the New Year a youth ministry (for teenagers) might begin once per month.  Last time I checked, I didn’t see many teenagers in our midst, but somehow, I trust the Lord that as we minister to our community in this area, He will bring draw them in to hear His word! 
 
Can LIFT really do all this? To be honest, I can’t tell you exactly if I have everything figured out and how it will all look.  But I do know, and have faith enough to know, that as we take action in our faith, God will show up and take His action as well! A year from now, we can chat about this again and look back and clearly see how God showed us the way!
 
At LIFT we often pray to the Lord of the Harvest to continue to send forth His workers to help in the fields that are so ripe and in need of the Gospel. (Luke 10)  At the same time, we remind each Christ’s words from John that says the world will know His disciples by their love for one another! 
 
Luke 10:2 -(Jesus speaking)
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. Go!
John 13:34-35- (Jesus speaking)
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

As our LIFT Men, Women and Children (ALL OF US AT LIFT) are beginning to share life together, more than just on Sunday’s, it is wonderful to see how God’s church reflects this love that Christ spoke about!  
 
Come join us on Sundays as our journey through Ephesians kicked off with an Extraordinary start last week! This week it is chapter 2 and Extraordinary Life!    
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey

EXTRAORDINARY

Hello All!
 
Times are changing!  Actually, this Sunday, literally, time IS changing!  Don’t forget to back your clocks one hour and enjoy an extra hour of sleep Sunday morning before coming to LIFT! 
 
As far as other change in the air at LIFT, we want to let you know about our new journey ahead.  After wrapping up several weeks with messages on Holiness, we are now beginning a new series. An Extraordinary Journey through Ephesians!  Starting this Sunday and continuing through mid-December (just in time to focus on Christmas) we will go chapter by chapter through this wonderful book of the New Testament.  Inspired by God and penned by Paul, there is a Message the Lord wants to share and encourage you with in your faith and walk with Him!  Ken, Derek and I are humbled and honored to share these messages as we will team teach this journey!
 
Extraordinary PLANS, LIFE, LOVE, UNITY, JOY, PEACE and HOPE!  We look forward to journeying together!
 
By the way, in case you didn’t notice there are a few other changes going on and perhaps your help is needed too.   Aside of some new look worship service enhancements (o.k. I’ll admit Mac has some great things that a PC can’t do) and recently expanded music ministry team, there are other areas that are expanding as well!

MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES: 
-The children’s ministry is growing and needing a few others to help share our faith to this next generation of believers.  If you can give once (or sometimes twice) a month to assist Tanya and Kristin, it would be of great help.  Also in the near future we will launch Club LIFT, a new program on Sunday afternoons (probably twice per month) to give a fun and playful boost of energy and faith to our kids.
-The SNACK ministry is being upgraded.  Coffee, juice and water go so much better with something else!  A list will be circulated and if you can provide snacks from time to time.We will all be blessed with such an international variety!  
 
With all of these, a rotating schedule will be established so many can participate and serve the Lord in these manners and as to not overextend individuals.  Furthermore, we are more interested in you serving in a ministry that you are “passionate” about and not something you really don’t want to do.  So if you have an area of service that isn’t listed but want to serve in another way, we are encouraged to hear about your passion and seek how we can grow a new ministry opportunity that we may not even be aware of yet! 
 
Same verses as last week but still very true this week!

1 John 4:4-12
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey

“IN THE WORLD”

Hello All!
 
Although sometimes my life can be quite hectic and ever changing, it is a blessing for me to both serve the Lord in ministry AND at the same time, have a “normal” job in the world. This is the case of all of us, being in the world but not of it. For me, it keeps me grounded in connecting my spiritual faith and the Gospel message to many who would never step foot into a church.

That being said, a few nights ago while on business in Germany with clients from the U.K., I found myself at a dinner table with 6 others and began to question myself; “Is it worth it? Is it really worth it to sometimes waste my time on earth speaking about pointless things in contrast to using my time speaking about eternal hope?” It was one of those seemingly pointless conversations with work colleagues speaking about pointless things like business in general, world headlines, making money, etc, etc. Then a couple of pointed questions were asked of me. Questions about why I moved my family to Switzerland and what is important in life. My heart was screaming out that my purpose in life (in or out of Swissland) is about Jesus Christ and definitely not about business and money. So my heart screams this, but my head was more rational because sitting next to me was a Pakastani British colleague who is quite important in the next months in business. Furthermore, we have already had a great start in our relationship the past couple of months and I didn’t want to offend him in a short blurt of my faith in Jesus, when I can show the love of Christ in the next months. I was thinking that when the time is right, I would be able to better dialog in love, about God and Allah. (He had previously shared with me a couple months ago about a very difficult period in his life of a failed marriage that was pre arranged by his parents and other parents of like culture and Muslim faith so I knew at least something about his background.) It was a quick decision of holding back what was truly on my heart and using rationally wording in order to share for the Lord in the longer run. So I gave some half truth answer about my moving my family to Switzerland was embracing both cultures of my 12 year long multi cultural marriage. Furthermore, the job I found after arriving has been a dream job and a wonderful opportunity. (Of course, this IS true and my company was buying the dinner!) Going to bed later that night, I felt a bit “defeated”. Should I have shared my heart? Did I quench the Holy Spirit’s leading in a potential conversation? Of course, I always miss my family while travelling, so it was just one of those nights………

I’ll keep it short, but the next night I find myself in the spa of the hotel in the sauna with my Pakistani British colleague. Keep in mind, this is a mid thirties man who was born and raised in the U.K., speaking proper Queen’s English, but at the same time, from a Pakistani Muslim home, similar to the profile we’ve been seeing lately on the news. At one point I was finally bold enough to share that although we come from very different backgrounds, my faith in God is more important than what this world has to offer. To my amazing surprise this man began to tell me about his faith too, which is in the Lord Jesus Christ! My heart jumped and for the nearly too hours we shared about how the Lord is real in both of our lives! His story of coming to know Jesus was truly divine!  The next morning over breakfast, the sharing continued and I can honestly say, God is absolutely real! The way He reveals Himself and gives His grace to His creation is “a very beautiful thing”!

Sorry the writing is a bit long this week, but I think that for most of us, we can relate that while living in the real world, it can be intimidating to share what’s really on our hearts. As the Lord leads, be comforted that He will back up your words and actions of faith in a very real way! Below, the Lord states in much better than me in the book of 1 John:

1 John 4:4-12
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
!!!
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey

The journey is ahead!

I for one had an incredible experience this past weekend during our A-Men retreat.  To have 24 men of so many different backgrounds, cultures, languages and even social statuses together for a common cause, the cause of Jesus Christ, was astounding.  Also putting aside the reality of our busy lives, marriages, families, jobs for a couple of days and realizing that we are not alone and that we have similar needs and grace from our Lord was quite eye opening (and heart opening too)!  Either is was a past tense experience that was simply “touching to the soul” or it was the beginning of future experiences of taking actions to improve our relationship with God, our wives and/or families and others.  I pray that it is the latter and that the encouragement and momentum carries forward and we are stronger men of faith and integrity in the days ahead!   
 
Thank you wives and kids for letting us get away for a weekend with intentions of growing our faith! Many thanks again to Gordon and Rean (and Sue and Liesl too) for coming all the way up from South Africa, using your personal vacation time to be so encouraging to us here in Swissland!
 
May we continue to move ahead in the weeks to come, praying for each other, meeting with each other and worshipping our Lord Jesus Christ together!   As the body of Christ, we need each other AND we are so blessed to have each other!!!
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey
 

“SO MANY THINGS GOING ON!”

Hello All,
 
Wow, so many things are going on!  The ladies, 18 of them, have just started their new Tuesday night study on “Believing God!”  About 25 men are signed up for the upcoming A-Men retreat in two weeks. (By the way men, you can still join if you haven’t yet!  Send a reply and we’ll get you the info)  The morning service format is going very well! The kids program on Sunday’s is taking shape!  And …………..???? 
 
As a newly forming church plant, we are just getting started!  I truly believe there are many wonderful things that lie ahead in the next 12 months for LIFT!  God is at work and it’s exciting to be a part of it.  I realize the world is thinking back in memory of September 11th, 2001 a date that will be remembered for a long time.  Not to minimize the impact of that date, I would like to draw your attention to September 5th, 2004, another anniversary date of a special “birth” that took place. Two years ago, LIFT began that night with a meeting in our home with 8 adults and five kids.  For the weeks that followed, it was mainly us Bests and the Eales and a few brave others that came together each Sunday night, worshiping, praying and seeking God’s Word with expectation and faith, that God was to take that worship and service to Him and bless it into something broader for His purposes in Zug!  Now re read the top paragraph above!  It is clear, God’s hand is in LIFT as part of His church reaching others for Jesus!  Yes, we are still just a “baby”, but that is so exciting and encouraging to think that our whole life as a church is still before us!  May we seek our nourishment and strength in the Lord and grow up according to His plan for us, as individuals and as a church: LIFT- The International Church of Zug!    Yes, I think the time is right to even use the word “church” and not just “a ministry”.  
 
I don’t want to jump too far ahead, but it is clear that we are going to outgrow our 40 person meeting place someday and that our kids ministry is going to outgrow the two leaders that lead them each week.  The ladies already outgrew the living room they used to meet in.  Of course, when 25 men are energized in faith, one can excitedly expect great things from men too!  We just wrapped up a preaching series about “The Body” and as our LIFT body is growing and needs the individual parts of the body to serve and work together!
 
I can honestly say, I don’t know exactly what LIFT will look like beyond the next 12 months, but I can confidently say, that we will still exist as a church body with passionate hearts, in worship and love, seeking His Word for our lives and then giving this amazing love to those we encounter.  The greatest thing is that God can supply all our needs. He already has!
 
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field. GO! Luke 10:2,3a
 
As we look around us in Zug, it is so true, the harvest is plentiful.  So many around us need the love and hope of Jesus Christ in their lives! We have been praying this verse from the beginning and the Lord has continued to bring in the workers for His harvest!  YOU ARE PART OF GOD’S ANSWER TO THIS PRAYER! Let us continue to “GO” together for the Lord! 
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey