“WHY AM I HERE?”

Hello All,
 
It happened again this week, but this time I thought I would share it with others…….. I had one of “those experiences” when I ask myself; “How did I, Corey, a guy from the town of Richland, from the state of Washington, of the U.S.A. get here?” I asked myself this yesterday afternoon while sitting in a Jacuzzi pool, looking up through the trees at the sky at some resort in the middle of seemingly nowhere, way up in the Artic Circle at the midpoint of Finland. With my travels, I do seemingly find myself in different worlds often. At the same time, asking at another question; “How did I get to Zug?”

For many of you internationals, you know what I mean, because you sometimes ask yourself the same question; “Lord, How did I (insert your name) from (your birthplace) get to Zug, Switzerland?” Whether family, a job, spouse, or whatever your circumstance that got you here, I imagine that sometimes you look back and are amazed at how things in your life brought you here.

So much for my moment of pondering on questions of life because “MY LIFE IS NOT ABOUT ME!” (I read this statement in a book once, “It’s not about me” and somehow I have begun to realize the truth behind it.) I can try to get God to reveal to me why He does what He does, and of course, I can try to convince Him to do what I want His plan for me to be, but in the end, it is still not about me, but about Him! And that IS enough! With my eyes, I see what I see, but by faith, I see what God has for me to see through His eyes.

Thus it brings me back to that moment yesterday, just the quick glimpse of God’s beauty of such white clouds rolling in a blue sky, with tall evergreen and aspen/birch trees (very much like those in Colorado where I moved from) moving slightly with a soft breeze and a quiet moment of worship before my God!
 
After getting home to send this message, I found this Message in our e-mails to Tanya from a wonderful friend.  Perhaps it’s God’s way of summarizing the above:
Remember Paul’s words as paraphrased by Eugene Peterson:
Romans 12:1-3  –  Place Your Life Before God.  (from The Message, The Bible in Contemporary Language) 
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

We are all “here” for a purpose!

In His grip and grace,
Corey

PROJECT ANALYSIS

Hello All,
 
Special Praise and Worship Service Tonight (Friday 18th) At Stami: 19:30 h
The Evangelische Stadtmission Zug (Stami) is having a Praise & Worship service tonight through songs and music. Ken and I will also be a part of the team.  Many songs will be those that we know from LIFT and a few new ones too.  Both English and German lyrics.  What a great opportunity to get to know some of our fellow Swiss Christians from around Zug!
 
REMINDER: LIFT’S SUNDAY SERVICES ARE NOW EVERY SUNDAY MORNING AT 10:00 (Fellowship 9:30) at Vorstadt. 
 
The summer is flying by!  I can’t believe the kids already start back to school on Monday morning!  Looking back on the past couple of months, it’s been interesting to see the Lord’s hand in “shifting” LIFT to Sunday Mornings and I’ll be honest, I am pleased and feel it is truly His leading.  As the school year starts (don’t worry the warm weather isn’t gone for good yet, even if it is raining as I type this) and the vacation season tapers off, we will soon be back to our “normal” schedules!  Normal?  Of course normal means different things to different people, but I’ve found in Switzerland that the months of July and August are truly different when it comes to schedules. 
 
So, with normal life beginning again, we all have an opportunity to reach out to those around us and perhaps even invite them to join us sometime at LIFT.  Normally, I’m not one to promote to “invite people to COME”, but rather for us “to GO and share God’s love” with those around our lives.  But at the same time, worshipping together is also very real and needed for Christians. Below I am attaching something I read last week that I found to be a good reminder for Christians.  I often challenge you to GO and even now, to INVITE, but I trust that in sharing the Gospel, it is a HEART issue.  For your heart, for your friends/family/neighbor/work colleague’s heart and most importantly from the heart of the Lord!  We GO in LOVE!
 
Be blessed this week and I hope to see you soon!
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey
 
———
Project analysis
by John Fischer

I have been an evangelical Christian for a long time. I have been taught in evangelical institutions. We are not called “evangelicals” for nothing. That word means evangelism is a priority for us. We are always hearing how important it is to witness to those who don’t know Christ. And witnessing is OK, but actually leading someone to the Lord is the pinnacle of spiritual attainment. Good evangelicals are result-oriented.

It’s hard when you are schooled in this kind of thinking to not end up seeing non-Christians as projects. Their worth to you lies in the fact that they could be possible jewels in your crown. The more people you save, the more important you are to God, and the more confident you can be of your own salvation. Yes, I’m being pretty ruthless here, but I know all these thoughts and feelings all too well, and I am guessing I am not the only one.
Our evangelical mission in the world is very important. It is why we are here – why we aren’t all raptured as soon as we are saved. But I am learning that unless my name is Billy Graham, my role in evangelizing the world is more related to my lifestyle in the world – befriending and loving those around me who may not know Christ, and letting my witness be the natural outgrowth of what Christ means to me. I’m not a salesman. I’m not a missionary, spending two years of my life knocking on doors. I am a neighbor. A co-worker. A fellow student. A soccer dad. Ultimately, I am a friend, and my friendship is not measured by whether or not someone becomes a Christian, but on how loved and accepted they are by me.

I don’t go next door to witness. I go next door to borrow the lawn mower, which may lead to loaning something of mine in return, which may lead to finding something in common, which may lead to doing things together, which may lead to a friendship, which will undoubtedly end up in my being a witness, but that’s not the point. I’m not done when I witness. I’m called by Jesus to love my neighbor, and I’m never done doing that.
People know it when they are seen as a project. People know it when you really don’t like being around them, you are just putting up with them so you can fulfill your witnessing obligation.
I am learning to love people, to value who they are, regardless of their standing with God. And I’m pretty sure that’s how God feels about them, too. “He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Let’s focus today on loving and serving someone who doesn’t know Christ. Who knows, we might even be a witness in the process.
 ______________________

THE BODY

REMINDER: From now on- LIFT SERVICES: 10 a.m. “EVERY” SUNDAY MORNING! 
 
Hello all,
 
The Body:  We continue this Sunday with the theme, “THE BODY”!  I hope you can come and worship with us and be encouraged to know that You are part of the Body of Christ, and that you are important to God and the rest of us who are also part of His Body! 
 
-MEN, I want to take this time to officially invite each of you to the A-Men Course and Retreat from Sept. 27th to Oct. 1st, 2006.  Another e-mail will follow this  one with a brochure attached so you have all of the information needed.  If you desire to become stronger in your faith, a stronger husband/father or simply are curious to see what 20-30 men can accomplish together in the alps of Switzerland, I pray you take this opportunity to join this A-Men Course.  Only on Friday (29th Sept) would you need to take off the afternoon of work as the first two nights are evenings only and then Saturday and Sunday morning are the weekend.  Please send a reply if you are considering going (even if you’re not 100% sure yet) so we can start getting a more accurate head count!   

-WOMEN,  Encourage your men to go!  It’s worth missing them for a couple of evenings and one weekend!  I’m confident they will return a better man for the Lord…….and for their wife and/or kids too! 
 
Looking forward to seeing you at LIFT on Sunday MORNING!
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey 

“GROWING UP!”

Hello all
 
As a kid, there are things that you can look back upon and remember them as markers or turning points of growing up.  (In the past I’ve referred to them as “standing stones”.)  You know: your first day of school, your first date, the first time you drove alone with your own license, graduations and getting your first job, etc. etc.  Of course, I hope all of us remember that point of salvation for each of us too, when we believed and received Jesus as our personal Savior!
 
Well, as LIFT, we have two exciting “standing stones” to remember that are currently being stood up as a marker in our journey we continue to “grow up” as a ministry and church for Jesus Christ. 
The first standing stone is that we will stay with the Sunday MORNING worship service format at 10 a.m. and not return to Sunday nights in Aug.  We have prayed about this and truly feel it is of the Lord that we continue to meet in the mornings as our mainstay worship service time.  Please help get the word out as you see people that have joined us in the past during the evening times.  So, from now on, we look forward to seeing you on Sunday mornings!  Also, we praise the Lord and thank some of those from our sister churches who often attended Sunday nights at LIFT as support to us in the past! 

The second standing stone is that of LIFT giving of financial blessings to the Lord’s Kingdom as we have been blessed!  As the Word of God says, it is more blessed to give than to receive, we are being faithful at an early point in our church ministry to bless other missionaries or churches around the world.  From our LIFT account balance of 14,000 Swiss Francs we are given away 50% to two missionary needs that LIFT intends to “partner” with.  3,500 to both Zachariah, a pastor in Sudan who spoke at LIFT last November (this via Tearfund.ch) and 3,500 to a national ministry in Belize who’s seminary project is training the future national pastors of Belize.  Specifically in Belize our gift will help them complete getting a water source established on their 26 acre seminary site.  More information about these ministries will come in the future as we all intend to share what the Lord is doing in our ministries alike!
It’s exciting to look ahead and imagine what the Lord has in store for all of us as we faithfully walk forward together in serving Him here in Switzerland!
 
Sorry for the delay since my last update as I had a heavy travel schedule and then our family enjoyed a break last week together.  Thank you to the Eales, Haefligers and others who wonderfully lead the worship service last Sunday!
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey

“THERE IS POWER”

Hello all,
 
We’re still not done “GOING” at LIFT.  Tomorrow, Ken will bring a wonderful Message regarding what ENABLES us to GO!  The power and name of Jesus Christ and specifically, what His shed blood for us means.  There is an old hymn many may remember that the chorus goes; There is power (power, power) in the blood (in the blood)of the Lamb (of the Lamb) -Repeat and throw in Wonder working power, In the precious blood of the lamb!  (Add of couple of bass, tenor and alto harmonies and you can almost hear the choir singing it!)  It is true!  There IS power in the blood that Jesus Christ shed for our sins and atonement and His saving grace is sufficient for all of us!  As the Message and service closes, we will share the Lord’s Supper (Communion) in rememberence of Him!
 
In the verses below we are reminded about the results of those who “GO” for the Lord.  HE is with us and HE does provide for us! And all Glory to HIM for the results!
 
Luke 10:21-24 (after the 70 who were sent have returned)
21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
 
22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
 
23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
NIV
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey 
 
====================
Lift Ministry- For July 2nd, 2006!  
“LOVE GOES!”

Hello All,
 
I’m looking forward to this Sunday morning and I hope you are able to come join us at LIFT!  We’ve been “GOING” on for weeks with the subject of “GO”, meaning as a Christian, we GO with the Word of God and take it to others around our realm of life.  It was great the last couple of weeks hearing Ken share HOW we are able to GO, with the power of God through the blood of Jesus Christ!  This Sunday morning we add in another aspect that causes us to GO and that is LOVE……..simply said, “Love Goes!”.  Derek Webster is joining us once again and giving a message that is near and dear to his heart.  This message being just that, “LOVE GOES”!
 
By the way, Derek will also be sharing his musical giftedness and joining in on the keyboards during the Worship through singing/music part of our service as well!
 
I hope to see you there!
 
In His grip and grace,
 
Corey