“In my Chevrolet”!

Hello All,
 
Okay, I admit that my inspiration in this week’s word of encouragement from Corey may be coming more from a male perspective, but since I am a man, please bear with my “car talk theology”.  Today it’s a triple tribute to Chevrolet, my dad, and our Heavenly Father.  I’m throwing in a 4th tribute to a long time Christian band, Audio Adrenaline and their song Chevette as well.
 
The Lord often has an interesting sense of timing with various things in life. For our family, this past month was seemingly NOT a very logical month for us to get a nearly new car and definitely not planned. However, due to my seemingly minor automobile mishap with our VW golf that ended in what insurance companies call “totalled”, I’m now driving a little orange Chevrolet.  What’s illogical to us, has again showed us God’s faithfulness in working out all the details and timing in ways that only the Lord can orchestrate. 
 
For sure, I realize that materialism is just about things, which cars too often become objects of too much focus (especially for men), but at the same time, there is an interesting “personality” that a car can bring into a season of life and memories for a family or individual.  Tanya & I once had a white minivan when Livia was a toddler that we all referred (still do today) to as the “viniman”, due to the cute way Livia misnamed it.  Today we call our GPS navigator by the name of “Dolly Direction”, and honestly, I like Dolly. She has been a great part of our family vacations in getting us to hard to find places in foreign countries.  Say what you want about my family’s car-isms but you know you have had them too with your family, or growing up as a kid yourself. 
 
With this as a backdrop……….here’s the triple tribute with bonus adrenaline added.
 
Tribute 1:  Chevrolet:
I have to admit, living in Switzerland and now owning another American Chevrolet sure feels good!  My first car that I drove when I got my driver’s license the day after my 16th birthday was a lil’ black Chevy Luv pickup.  I can still “sit” in that driver’s seat in my mind and “feel” the freedom and adventure that truck empowered me with…..of course my middle brother probably still isn’t completely over the fact that he had previously owned that truck before my dad “let me use it”!  I remember the winter of 1986 when my dad came home with our new family car, a new white Chevy Chevette.  Later this Chevette became mine as well (which again, my middle brother still hasn’t come to grip with the real truth of how this also became mine….but being the last of three boys and all……) I’ll always remember that Chevette, especially after tinting the windows, putting in a stereo worth twice as much as the car and adding white rim covers on the wheels. (Perhaps I should have tried to market such ideas at the time for a future TV show concept that MTV uses today?). 

Oh, the memories….I was driving that car when I met Tanya at Mesa State in Colorado.  I surely can’t forget and be thankful for the tremendous memories and blessing that our current Chevy Venture “viniman” that we brought from the USA to Switzerland 5 years ago that is still providing memories for our family that even Sarah too, our 10 month old baby, will someday recall as well, if just from the pictures!  Yep, I’m a Chevy guy at heart…..and my middle brother is a Ford guy, go figure!  (I’m sure there are few real men out there laughing about now, as you know that a Luv as a little truck, a Chevette is NOT a Corvette and a Venture is a minivan, so my manly talk isn’t really so manly, as in monster trucks and Ferraris.  But laugh all ya want ‘cause my Chevette’s two Rockford Fosgate 15 inch Punch sub-wolfers really were manly enough bass at the time and the CD player was still considered new technology then as well!)
 
Bonus Tribute: 
Audio Adrenaline’s song from 1994 called “Chevette”.  Before I continue my other tributes, I believe this one will bring many things to light of why I am writing what I am writing today, as this song has been one of my favorites since the first time I heard it soon after its release.  Obviously the memories of a new family car and faithful father impacted this guy’s faith and life as well.  It’s not about the car at all, but about a faithful father, and about a faithful God that drives us along life’s roadways.
 
LYRICS- Audio A’s song Chevette:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ht3pgS2L7M if you wanna hear it.

Twenty years ago I watched in awe as my dad drove up the driveway.
More than proud to have a brand new family car.
Thirty miles to the gallon, 0 to 60,…………….sometimes.
I remember putting down the back seat and lying in the hatchback.
Looking at the sky watching trees go by.
I was the son of a preacher, and he was a rich…………………. poor man.

No A.C. No FM, And no regrets, in my Chevette.

The winter cracked the highway and we tried to dodge the potholes.
He never promised us it would be a gentle ride.
He never had a problem though, keeping it on the narrow road.
 
Tribute 2: My dad.
Thanks Dad, not just for bringing home new family cars as part of our family’s heritage and memories, but for “bringing home” (y)our faith in God and living it in a real way along the roadways of real life.  Potholes, smooth roads, good directions or finding our way on faith, you navigated us spiritually and we three boyz arrived at the destination of true faith in Jesus long ago and now are driving those roadways with our children as well, even if one of us is in a Ford.  (Mom, thanks for always being there too….but this tribute is a guy thing this time around!)
 
Tribute 3: My Heavenly “Daddy” and His Son:
The only “vehicle” in life that really matters is the vehicle You provide for everyone in life and for life eternally: Faith, Hope and Love in You, Jesus!  May I continue the pursuit to let You drive, lead and guide my life and family as you have done beyond expectations thus far! 
 
For all, whether you own a car or take public transportation, I pray you too have found the true vehicle to navigate life’s roadways, that being Jesus Christ!  Whether you are currently on a smooth stretch of nicely paved road, or trying to make it around giant potholes that have you feeling desperate to find a better way in life, He’s always there desiring to show you the way of the road less travelled, and worth every moment of the journey with Him along the way! 
 
In His grip and grace,
Corey

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.‘

We are human BEings!

Hello All,
 
I am really excited to be writing this update…..I believe as you read along you’ll understand why!   It’s been several weeks since I have had a chance to simply sit down and write from “the heart”! Although it’s normal for me to multi-task many things in life (even if I am a guy), I do admit that this year in particular has been an extremely busy season in my life trying to balance family life, work and LIFT; three areas that have all grown in responsibility this past year.  Lately, with so many recent ministry launches, special service and various other activities, I was mainly sending out announcements and not really my normal updates, which for me these updates have always been intended to be more about words of encouragement in strengthening others in faith (mine too actually) and less about specific church announcements or details. So although, I’ve been very busy, perhaps too busy the last couple months, I’ve also been very intentional to personally reflect and seek the Lord’s leading and guiding in the big picture of all that’s going on…….and getting to the heart of the matter, the Heart of Jesus!  The last two Sundays have been so refreshing to me to start this new preaching journey ahead (alongside Bedros and Ken), in sharing John’s intro and background and the first 14 verses of chapter 1 that are profoundly revealing about God, Jesus and His plan for us. Since I didn’t preach much in August and September, I was also able to really get into the Gospel of John, including studying old seminary notes and fresh researching of what was/is behind John’s Gospel.    
 
Regarding getting my heart back to the big picture during these past couple of months, I was reminded by the Holy Spirit of a great illustration that a mentor (and former seminary professor) once shared with me several years ago.  He stated, “We are human BEings, not human DOings!”  And from that statement about individual people he applied it to the church in a profound way that the church is comparable to simply “be” the church to the body and community around it, and not just “do” church.”  Meaning, too often a church can finds itself “doing” church really well with many programs, ministries, structures and services, but miss the heart issue of simply “being” the church of Jesus to one another and to the community outside the walls of the church.  This mentor was really good at breaking it down further and further, such as a typical church family that can sometimes get caught up in the “doing and not being” without even realizing it. 
 
For example:
Sunday mornings: family attends church, splits up in age specific groups where the kids go one way and parents another. 

Sunday afternoon, choir practice for mom, club activity for kids. 

Evening study group for one parent on Tuesdays, the other on Thursdays and the teen on Wednesdays…..and don’t forget the special ministry event (car wash) fund raiser on Saturday either. 
 
Of course, all these things are supposed to be and can be wonderful, spiritual and truly uplifting to building and growing a family in faith, but there is a huge difference of being in worship at church ministries versus just doing or participating in church ministries/activities, and often it may be difficult to see the difference on the outside, because it truly is more from the inside, inside the heart!  
 
By now, you may be asking yourself, “Is Corey for real here in what he’s writing?  He’s normally the high energy start up guy that has passion and gives passion to others to serve and start new ministries.  He’s the guy with a broad definition of worship and has even said snowboarding (amongst many other things) can be worship, even as a group together as long as you’re intentional to include Jesus.  And now he’s seemingly downplaying ministries in fear of authenticity, or too much is too much?” 
 
To be honest, I was actually thinking some of these questions a few weeks back myself, perhaps even doubting my own big picture vision and thinking that others may also be getting tired and worn down……..and then it happened!  It?  First, a clear “coming back to Jesus” moment in the field nearby my home while walking Samson, our dog.  Perhaps you’ve also had one of those times of a special and refreshing prayer time that the Lord gives an additional boost of the Holy Spirit touch that strengthens your faith from within your heart! That was a great morning, the kind that only comes around every few years or so.  But the Lord didn’t stop there, one by one, and then another after another, many more “its” continued to flow in with various glimpses and from several sources in and around LIFT that testified and confirmed what I truly knew in my heart the whole time; THERE IS SOMETHING ESPECIALLY AUTHENTIC AND SPIRITUALLY UPLIFTING AT LIFT AND THROUGH THE VARIOUS (AND NUMEROUS) MINISTRIES OF LIFT!  I could write a long list of very recent examples and statement of LIFT “being” an active faith church body, and not just a church “doing” church ministry; from preschool children quoting God’s Word impacting their visiting grandparents, to school kids openly living their faith in class, to teens driving forward in faith together with no fear, to ladies and men and singles serving one another or sharing things how another was impacted by God’s Word……and visitors to Switzerland who somehow found their way through our doors and were led to share with us, even with just a short glimpse, of what the Lord is “being” (ok I substituted that because they really said “doing”, but we know what they really meant!) here at this church called LIFT.  I should state, it’s not about LIFT, but about Jesus and the Gospel Message actively lived in His church here and His church(es) elsewhere as well!
 
Folks, this is my prayer and reminder to myself (although made public for all of us wherever we find ourselves in life and faith) in order to ensure that I and we keep our hearts in check with “being” a Follower of Jesus- a Christian, and not just “doing” Christianity or doing church.  The being makes all the difference!   Even if I was a bit tired and worn down as September rolled around, the Lord has re-strengthened and restored my big picture, in His own way and also through so many of YOU who have also been my inspiration in seeing you “be” strong in serving Him and LIFT in many wonderful and often quiet ways that most don’t see….although the Lord has seen and blessed it all!  Yes, we are human BEings and the being makes all the difference!
 
As I wrote in the first line, I am so excited to have been able to write this update…from the heart.  There are however a few “announcements” below of various ministries and opportunities for you to “be” a part of!
 
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

“5-4-3-2-1-"GO!" -Launch and re-launch!

Hello All,

For years, LIFT’s overall theme verse has been Luke 10:2. 

Here’s verse 1, 2 and part of 3. 
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. 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! I am sending you…

I can’t express how exciting it is to see so many that have stepped up in “GO”-ing as part of the local harvest workforce!  Our growth just continues to “GO” forward and many new faces are jumping right in…….and that’s a beautiful thing!  Below are the many, many announcements of various ministries launching (or re-launching)! 

There are two reasons for this weeks update being mainly announcements:

    1) So that you can join in to attend and participate in one (or more) of the various ministries alongside others in growing in your faith! 
    2) For some, you need to be part of the “workers” and get fit in your faith by serving others in one (or more) of these various ministries.  

Have a look below and join in and/or step up and be a volunteer in helping serving in a ministry!  Most of the contact info is below so feel free to contact ministry leaders directly, or click reply and we’ll get ya connected with the information you seek!

Reminder of the work day tomorrow at LIFT starting at 9:30 with various facility projects.  And a reminder of the more important event this weekend, the Baptism service at 9:00 am down at the lake before our normal 10:00 am service at LIFT.

Re-read it above from Luke.   I believe it’s happening again right now in Zug.  Jesus IS sending us into our community around us, often in pairs (and 72 is just about true for us as well).  Note in verse 1, “where He was about to GO”.  I believe Jesus (who have been here long before LIFT of course) IS still currently GO-ing  before us in the months ahead!

The harverst IS ripe around in Zug, with countless souls in need of the Gospel and grace of Jesus!  Let’s continue to pray in asking Jesus to bring forth the workers!   And of course…….LET’S GO!  Each of us individually into our realms of influence of those around us, and together as a church into our community!

It is an honor and a privilege to serve alongside you!

In His grip and grace,

Corey