*** What’s Your Perception? ***

“Perception is a more or less clear understanding of something” the dictionary tells us. This is already not a very clear definition… But if we add to this that our perception goes through the filters of our culture and our feelings, you realize that the perception we have of something can be very far from its reality.
Recently, I received some news from Japan. I was so happy about this news, that I considered excellent according to my perception, that I sent it to an American friend. And this friend answered me: “Eric, are you so egotistical that you would send me such news?” Ouch! For him, this news was really bad news. Surprising, isn’t it?
That made me think about two famous animals that we love in France: frogs and roosters. Do you know the sounds of these animals? I am not sure! So, try to imitate them…
Did you know that a frog says “Croa” in France but that it says “Ribit” in the United States? And that a rooster says “Cocorico” in France and “Cockadoodledoo” in the United States? Who is right in your opinion? Do you think that it’s the French because we eat frogs and the rooster is our national emblem? Oh, no! The French and the Americans are both right!
You are going to say to me: “Eric, why are you telling us all this?” To explain to you that it isn’t easy to work with partners who have another perception and who hear something different from what you are telling them. I thought that I had said “Croa” but they heard “Ribit”. All this is to say to you: Pray for me because there are some days when communication is really very complicated, and I am afraid of losing precious partners over a simple question of perception. Really! Anyway, I hope that you have truly understood me. :-)

Eric Célérier

*** Imagine! ***

Oh no, that’s not a photo of my boat. But, when I saw the name -IMAGINE- on this nice speedboat during a stay in Corsica, I couldn’t keep myself from taking a picture for you. :-)

IMAGINE is also the beginning of the statement which sums up the dream of Jesus.net (a network of international partners whose goal is evangelism through the Internet). Here it is: “Imagine a world with every single person having free access to the Gospel, knowing God, growing in Jesus, and sharing faith easily…” This is what we want to do through this tremendous network, Jesus.net. Share the Gospel with everyone and everywhere.

IMAGINE is also a vision for the future. I want to imagine, by faith, everything that God is going to do. I already imagine Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, reached by the Gospel. Did you know that in Jakarta alone (capital of Indonesia) there are 17 million Facebook users? Would you join me in prayer for this country?

IMAGINE is just a simple word allowing us to dream and to see what God can do through ordinary people like you and me. When I started Top Chrétien in 1999, I think I was far from imagining all that it has become today. Would I have imagined such developments? Such encouragement? Such an impact in the lives of Internet users of whom you are perhaps a part? Here are some testimonies to illustrate my point.

“My brother decided to return to church after many messages received via PassLeMot. Thank you Lord.”

“A cousin who isn’t a Christian thanks me because PassLeMot does him a lot of good and reminds him not to forget God.”

“I was an atheist and my life changed on this website. It’s too immense, and there is no word on earth to describe it.”

“Thanks to the Top I have the feeling of really being part of a big family.”

“I knew a young Christian through your website, oh so helpful. He gave me a Bible in Arabic and he put me on the way of the Lord Jesus. Since then, I never cease to grow in faith and obedience (despite difficult conditions) because I was born and live in Algeria.”

“Thanks to your messages, my life changes from day to day.”

“Top Chrétien is a revolutionary tool that allows us to receive and share.”

So keep moving forward and IMAGINE what God will do. ”The sky’s the limit” as the saying goes. And I think that’s what God wants for the Top and for each one of us …

Thank you for being a part of this dream of God. I imagine you like Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ arms on the mountain while Joshua and the people of God were fighting in the valley. Thank you for holding up our two arms, our vision and our passion, while our team is in the battle.

Together, IMAGINE what God will do with us in 2012! And let him use us as he sees fit. What do you think? Do you have stories to share?

Together for changed lives,

Eric

*** An Incredible Team ***

Muriel

ONE TEAM …

The team is incredible. They are all passionate. For example, Muriel handles very seriously our donor relationships. She prays with them and for them. We thank Muriel for her devoted service and her empathy for each person she contacts. Muriel now has a new assistant, Iris, who came to replace Sylvie whose contract ended. Sylvie did a great job and our prayers and best wishes are with her.

Stef and Christine, two pillars of the Top Chrétien team. are a blessing for many.

Stef and Christine

PLEASE PRAY FOR  …

1. Transformed Lives
Our websites for India and China were relaunched thanks to a donation. This allowed us to buy advertizing in Google and to increase the visitor rate. A large number of people accept Jesus every day ever since the relaunch. Pray for them!

2. The Team
We still need team members called by God to serve with their talents as missionaries at the Top.

3. Eric & Muriel
Some traveling is foreseen. May the Holy Spirit direct us in managing our schedule.

4. Creativity
May the Lord help the team to discern between good ideas and those that come from our Creator.

5. The Finances
May divine provision be accorded to us in abundance so that more souls are put in contact with the Gospel. May we be able to finance the “couples” and the “singles” courses, expected to be filmed soon.

Your prayers are essential!

Thank you,

Eric Célérier

*** Things are Happening! ***

ONE PASSION …

Things are happening in Israel! Jews for Jesus, an international evangelistic organization, is ready to become our partner for the Hebrew website.

Things are also happening in Indonesia. We are testing an original evangelism approach in French via Facebook. Did you know that in Jakarta alone (capital of Indonesia) there are 17 million Facebook users? We are now in contact with an organization in the country for our first steps. Let’s pray...

Curious to see our Facebook version of ConnaitreDieu? Click on this link: http://tinyurl.com/connaitredieu Great, isn’t it? I like it!

Our "video learning platform" is ready. TopFormations is already running on it and soon we are going to use it to offer training specifically for people new to the faith like "12 Days to Discover the Bible" or "40 Days with Jesus".

Take heart, friends. The journey will be long, but our cause is wonderful.

All the Best for Jesus,

Eric Célérier
Founder, TopChrétien and ConnaitreDieu.com

*** An Open Letter to My Friends ***

ONE VISION ...

Our ministry developments are impressive. They are occurring nationally with Top Chrétien and internationally with Jesus.net. Opportunities present themselves one after the other, and the list of projects is getting longer and longer. As our Anglo-Saxon friends say “Every one of them is very exciting.”

Recently the president of a big international ministry told us: “I want this project for 5 million churches...” All of this seems very good but one question keeps growing in me: “What does God want? What should we accept, refuse, put off until later?” I have an evangelist’s heart. I would like everyone to know Jesus but I cannot save the world. It’s Jesus who is the Savior!

I am also feeling the pressure on our small team. Lots of work but few workers. I do not want them to “burn out.” They are very precious, especially my wife.

So what should we do? I know the spiritual response: “Pray, ask God, let the Holy Spirit lead you,...” That’s true, but it’s not that simple! God also speaks through opportunities, divine connections, circumstances,... What I understand is that God expects me to become more and more of a “true” spiritual leader, that is someone who listens to him and obeys him. God says: “My thoughts are not your thoughts!”

It's a challenge for me. The future of a family, a team, and a ministry depends upon this listening and divine direction. Would you like to accompany me with your prayers? I never want to stop learning, growing and, when necessary, changing.

Thank you for your friendship and your advice which are so precious to me.

Eric Célérier

*** It’s Your Mission! ***

Do you know what the last words of Jesus were to the eleven after his resurrection and just before being taken up into heaven?

“Go, therefore, 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.” Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus could have chosen a thousand and one words for his last speech to his followers. He could have told them again: “Love one another!” or invited them thus: “Relax after all these difficult events” or why not tell them: “Stay together and have fun, you’ve earned it!” But instead he asked them to separate, to move away from each other, and go far away. He could have told them to go to the next town, but at this moment, his call is to reach the nations.

Jesus’ call embraces all nations. It is not limited to my area, my circle of friends. The call of God is beyond me. It is open to all creation! Why? Because God desires that all men be saved, that all people hear the gospel wherever they may be.

In this time of Christmas, Jesus’ words still echo in my heart and I realize even more their significance: “Go, make disciples of all nations …”

But what do these words  “make disciples” really mean? How do you understand them? For me, this video explains it so well that I could not help but share it. It really touched me …

And you, what do you think? What is your mission?

God bless you in this holiday season and may he help us to rediscover our mission.

Together for changed lives,

Eric

P. S.: A little bonus? CIJEM Force’s Top visit … To view after leaving your comment of course ;-)

*** One Vision … ***

In this photo I was 22 years old. The man in front is Billy Graham. My wife “happened to see” this photo while she was visiting the Billy Graham Headquarters in the USA. What an incredible memory to have seen thousands of people come to Jesus during the 1986 campaign at Bercy!

It was there that this vision and this passion for the salvation of souls were birthed in my heart. On the platform, behind this great evangelist, I prayed: “Lord, use my life. I would like to be an evangelist like him.”

Just one year prior to the campaign, I had been offered the opportunity to study at a technology university in my hometown, a job,  my driver’s license… but God had told me: “This isn’t my will.” With a heavy heart, I obeyed him.

Fortunately… If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have had that tremendous experience in 1986 and today, Top Chrétien and KnowingGod would probably not exist. Neither would I have met the most marvelous spouse  of whom a man can dream.

Thank you, Lord, for insisting that I take the narrow way. Twenty-five years later, I do not regret this choice, and I am so blessed to see the vision realized. Never would I have imagined that one day our team would help the Billy Graham Association announce the Gospel… in the USA! It’s happening today. Thousands of lives are reached every day. And we are delighted to give back what they did for us.

Thank you for your involvement in Top Chrétien’s vision. Each one of us has a part in this extraordinary plan of God.

“Whatever he tells you, do it” said Mary, the day of the marriage in Cana. Could you ask Jesus what he expects from you concerning Top Chrétien? Do just what he tells you to do :-)

Together for changed lives,

Eric

PS: I am currently en route to the United States with two Top Chrétien teammates, Michael Foucault and Marc Ariberti. In fact, we are going to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) as part of our partnership with Top Chrétien. I will once again meet with Franklin Graham (President of BGEA). Can you pray that God blesses this trip and that His grace be upon all of our appointments?

*** And if we had Thanksgiving in France? ***

We have an American on our Top team. Her name is Suzanne and we like her a lot. She prepared a turkey for us on Thanksgiving day, the famous Thanksgiving in which everything stops across the Atlantic.

We, French, wrongly tried to import Halloween to France, and I am glad that organizations like the Protestant Evangelical Committee for Human Dignity mobilized against it successfully. Congratulations to you, CPDH -  Protestant Committee for Human Dignity! You do a great job. You are so brave and efficient. Please do keep it up! The road is long and difficult, but your fight is just!

Now it seems that we, Christians, can mobilize ourselves FOR something. Being the light of the world and the salt of the earth means to have a positive influence on society. It’s not lighting a lamp in the manner of old police films and “shining” it in the eyes of the accused and saying, “Go! Confess your sins now!” Fortunately, the love of God that leads us to repentance is gentler than that :-)

I propose that we influence our society through a new holiday in France and in French-speaking countries, “One Day to Say ‘Thank You’.”

Say “thank you” to God, of course, but also say “thank you” to those we do not appreciate enough: our wives or husbands, parents, the teacher, the mayor, the deputy, the sports club volunteer, the garbage collector that picks up trash every day, the mailman, etc..

When I looked at the origins of the North American festival of Thanksgiving, I found some very encouraging elements: the French, oh yes! Cocorico! God at the center! An important and symbolic date 1777 … And values: family, prayer, etc.. Not to mention an origin in the festival of Sukkot, the harvest festival; therefore, in the Bible and Israel. You can find all these items in the following article in Wikipedia: Thanksgiving.

Would you support me in this proposal to create for the French-speaking world: “One Day to Say ‘Thank You’”?

And if we Christians showed an example for once? If we tried to be ahead instead of being late? If we forgot for one moment our church differences to join hands and say thank you together? We can, of course, replace the turkey with a boiled chicken in Henri IV sauce or with a good French chicken, but the key is not there!

Let’s learn to say THANK YOU. Let’s express our French creativity. Do you have any ideas for this? I tried to inspire you with an idea that is on my heart. For many years, I have prayed and believed that among our Internet users, someone will start – “One Day to Say ‘Thank You’” … And in advance, I say, “THANKS!”

Together to say “Thank You”

Eric

*** Christian Terrorist? ***

While two terrible attacks shook Norway, a suspect was identified and arrested.

And because this man had put “Christian” as a religion on his Facebook profile, some journalists rushed to an unjust and dangerous mixture! Here’s what we heard: “A terrorist attack committed by a conservative Christian …” “A fundamentalist Christian sets off a bomb and shoots people …”

As Christians, we sympathize with the suffering of the Norwegians. We, like everyone, are shocked by this tragedy. We are praying for the bereaved families and this afflicted country. Christians are absolutely opposed to all violence. According to the teachings of Jesus, they believe they should love their enemies and bless those who persecute or mistreat them. Being a Christian and a terrorist is totally incompatible.

Eric Celerier

P.S.: And what do you think? Do you have a message for the Norwegians?

*** Hope for the Japanese! ***

March 11, 2011 will remain an infamous date for Japan. That day, the country was hit by a powerful earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale, causing a devastating tsunami. The human and material losses were heavy! The events that followed would confirm it!

Perhaps, right now, Japan is no longer in the headlines, but the painful Japanese reality has not changed. Beyond the material losses and the nuclear consequences that no one can ignore, what about the moral injury the Japanese suffered? How can they grieve and believe that this will not happen again? Japan is one of the countries in the world the most vulnerable to earthquakes. The country has one fifth of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater. In this context, where does one find peace? How does one heal and forget the past? How does one plan for the future with hope for a better tomorrow?

In our view, the answer lies in the one the Bible calls the Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ! We believe he is the only one who can make all things new! For several years, it has been the desire of our heart to reach the Japanese through the Internet, and ever since the tsunami, we have felt an urgency in our hearts. Action is needed now, not in 10 or 15 years! It is today, at the heart of their suffering, distress, deprivation, and trauma of all kinds that the Japanese need to hear this message of hope of the Gospel!

And God, who knows our hearts, permitted the opening of a “Jesus.net” office in Yokohama, Japan, just a few days ago. Our local partner, Andy Game, had already begun to mobilize people in prayer and action for Japan at the time that the tragic events struck Japan. There is already a movement in place, and here is the website: http://www.crashjapan.com/

Today, after months of prayer and effort, Andy has an official office on site. These premises were leased through the generosity of  the former owners, committed Christians, who rented their property at a reasonable price. These people have exercised their generosity, as many of you have done for us to be current owners of the Top Chrétien property.

For years, these premises were used for prayer for the city but also for the nations. And this action will be able to continue. Indeed, in these offices several meetings will be held, each one as rich as the other: pastoral meetings, e-coach training for the spiritual follow-up of Internet users who are searching, and non-stop prayer meetings twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

As of September, our partners in Japan will launch an exciting new project called “Hope for Life” in collaboration with several ministries. In April 2011, just one month after the disaster, partners from the Netherlands and Switzerland went to Japan to design the strategy and the websites for Japan. The KnowingGod website, 5 landing pages, and a WhyJesus website in Japanese are also being prepared and will be launched in the coming months. In addition, 10 video testimonies are being made to show God in the lives of the Japanese people. What grace to know that soon we will see displayed on the Google Earth map, real-time decisions of spiritually-seeking Japanese!

Our desire is that these offices serve to build the unity of Christ’s body, to create a passion for prayer, and also to find new ways to reach people searching on the Internet. It is a small stone in the edifice that God is building in Japan, but we pray that it triggers a spiritual tsunami. Below are some pictures of the offices purchased:

I think the most important need for the Japanese is that they know the only true God and His son, Jesus Christ! May these new Jesus.net offices in Japan be visited by the presence of God and may millions of Japanese hear the Gospel on the Internet and through new technologies!

Also, pray that lives are changed, support our partners in Japan in prayer or financially if God puts it on your heart. To do this, please contact us here and mention “Japan” in the notes so that your donation is specifically earmarked for this project!

Together for Changed Lives,

Eric Célérier and the Top Chrétien Team