*** To Your Mobile Device! ***

The Internet has become mobile. More and more people connect to the Internet using a smartphone (iPhone, Android phone, Blackberry …). Perhaps you are already one of them?

The future of the Internet is clearly mobile. Top Chrétien could not wait too long without reacting and offering a quality mobile solution. It’s already available!

After having made some attempts with WAP a few years ago, our team seriously considered the need in recent weeks and is now responding with a mobile version much more like an application.

If you have a smartphone with an Internet connection, I invite you to discover this little revolution. To do this, simply type topchretien.com in the Internet browser of your smartphone, and if it is compatible, you will be redirected to topchretien.com/touch, the mobile version of the Top.

We want to give you what you are looking for the most on the Top, such as the Thought of the Day (with the possibility of leaving feedback), the Bible, TopMessages (with audio), TopFamily, etc.

I especially like the Bible because it can be found in 5 French versions and also listened to on audio. I find it very convenient and such a blessing.

I would like to thank the entire Top team and, in particular, Florent Maillefaud who especially devoted himself to this new development. Thank you also to our Top Chrétien donors who allow us to continue to develop new free tools to serve our Internet users.

If you have a smartphone, could you test the mobile version of Top Chrétien? Leave me your impressions, comments, bugs, ideas … below and our team will take them into account with great interest.

Everyone! To your mobile device! Have fun!

Together for changed lives,

Eric Célérier

PS If you do not have a smartphone and still want to see what it looks like, click here.

*** A Tribute to Jean-Claude Guillaume ***

Jean-Claude and Rakel Guillaume

Thursday, January 13, 2011, just before his 82nd birthday, the Lord took home the man who was the president of Top Chrétien for many years. He was also a counselor, a brother, and a friend. Seeing him go will leave us a great void, but through this blog, it is also with a heart full of hope that I honor the memory of this man of God. Over 60 years of ministry gave him exceptional wisdom and credibility.

His last contribution on Top Chrétien was September 26, 2010. I find that it represents him very well. Here’s what he wrote:

“How wonderful it is in the evening of life to find ourselves even more attached to each other after more than sixty-one years of life together! For us who are faced with the uncertainties of old age, the time of seduction is over, but we still have a pure love and profound gratitude to God for the great gift he gave us by giving us to each other! “

Jean-Claude was responding to a blog posted by Samuel Foucart entitled: “Blog Strongly Recommended to Men.” Jean-Claude loved Samuel, and he loved Top Chrétien and its entire team. He joined the Top team in November 2003, very shortly after the establishment of the full-time team. I asked Jean-Claude if he would join the team after receiving direction from God in a prophetic word given at Philadelphia Church. From 2004 to 2008, he also became President of the French-Speaking Top Chrétien Association. On the Top, Jean-Claude published more than 400 messages, to which many Internet users responded (over 200), and also messages of wisdom addressed to Pastors called “Heart to Heart” (over 100). Find all his posts here.

I would like to defer to a few Top teammates who knew him in recent years:

Sharmion Foucault: Jean-Claude and I had a special kind of complicity! It was his message on the occasion of  “5 years of the Top” that inspired me and incited me to make the verse he quoted (Psalm 127.1) in calligraphy for your desktop, Eric! We have always had the same concern for the Top: never to forget who the Great Webmaster of this beautiful work is, our Lord and Savior, Jesus! Success sometimes can have adverse effects, and we shared this concern whenever we met. We lost a sentinel. I send my affection, Eric … even though we are happy for him … how difficult it is  to lose a loved one!

Didier Biava: I enjoyed Jean-Claude’s humor and as Samuel Taylor said “The essence of humor is sensibility.” Jean-Claude was a sensitive man, it was his sense of humor that characterized him so well.

Muriel Celerier: Although already advanced in years, Jean-Claude was passionate about the Internet and, in particular, Top Chrétien for which he was available from the beginning. Always ready to answer Internet users’ difficult questions, he was a great help for us. Whenever there was a storm, with his Olympian calm, he always had his sense of humor to make us smile. Also, when Rakel accompanied him, I noticed the deep love that united them and the kindness he had for his wife; they were beautiful to watch, both of them, arm in arm …

David Nolent: I will remember Jean-Claude as a big brother, truly humble before God and always ready to serve others. I will particularly remember his excellent sense of humor, which I admit was far superior to mine. :) You helped me really want to be more like Jesus, Jean-Claude, and I’ll miss you on this earth!

Carolle Wright: I will always remember Jean-Claude as gentle, humble, as one who loved the Word of God with his little touch of appropriate humor. He greatly assisted me in the management of the Thought of the Day, and his comments were always relevant and non-judgmental. I loved him very much and I will miss him. Nevertheless, I am glad he is now joyful and without suffering in heaven with God. For me, he was a true servant!

Nathalie Almont: The very first time that my path and Jean-Claude’s crossed was at church. I was very young in the faith, and I saw this white-haired man with a white beard go up on the platform and enthusiastically share the message of the Bible. My first words in listening to him were: “Wow, he looks like Abraham!” Jean-Claude touched me with the wisdom that he emanated, the place he gave the Word of God in his life, and his firm faith in Jesus.

Stephan Piauger: His humor and creativity will leave on my life an imprint  colored with good humor, music, wisdom, and passion for God. After so many years of dedicated service to our Lord, he is now with him for eternity. For me, he remains an example, a friend and a brother.

Nathalie Texier: If I had to remember just one thing about Jean-Claude, it would be the example of his great wisdom and humorous insight! For me, he was a model of open-mindedness and of loyalty in his commitment with us at the Top. He taught me that sometimes wisdom rimes with boldness and that what matters most is to be consistent with God’s will even against all odds! Jean-Claude taught me to always keep looking up at our Daddy and to never doubt his help! His departure makes me sad, but he is better where he is now, at least he no longer suffers and we will see him again in great shape!

Michael Foucault: Three words come to mind when I think of Jean-Claude: Sentinel,  French, and Humor. Jean-Claude was present at moments when the enemy tried to destabilize us. His mastery of the French language allowed us to offer a number of corrected texts that have blessed thousands of Internet readers. His oral and written contributions were always imbued with a joyful sense of humor, even during periods when he was very ill. At all times, he showed us the grace of God in his attitude.

Yes, Jean-Claude will be missed. But one day we will be together again with the one we love and serve: Jesus Christ. See you soon, dear friend.

Together for changed lives,

Eric Célérier

PS: The funeral service will be held Tuesday, January 18 at 2:30 p.m. at the Evangelical Church “Peace Alliance”, 16 rue Charlemagne – 02200 Soissons, France. All our condolences to the family and friends.

*** V.I.P. Red Carpet! … ***

The TOP Team

We always enjoy receiving visitors at Top Chrétien. And believe me, the Top Internet users are not virtual. They are as real as you and as me! Recently, we received Elizabeth Dugas, a volunteer for the Top. Here’s what she wrote after her visit:

This week I had the honor and the joy of visiting the famous “Top Offices”.

Like many of you, I watched the visit of the offices on video and followed with great interest the various stages of the purchase. All this on the Net.

But in reality … it’s even better than what I saw!

Carolle immediately came to meet me and, after going up the stairs, just at the bottom of the screen showing prayers of commitment on KnowingGod.net in real time and places, I was greeted by a scrolling message welcoming me personally. Long live technology!

Watching the video footage filmed during the purchase of the Top Offices, one could have thought that the team members had purposely made themselves available for the filming. However, in reality they all dropped their work to meet me. I am still very touched. It’s very moving to hear and see in person the brothers and sisters whose names I have read for years.

I visited all the former and existing offices and then, the other premises. The one thing in common: lack of space. I have no details, but working at 3, 4, 5, 7 (or more) in the same workspace without getting irritated is really a challenge. Each one having less than one square meter makes for very close quarters! The meeting room and kitchen/dining room: we cannot even mention. One can only go in and out on a rotating basis. Note: When entering to eat, you must be very careful or very humble, or both, because you cannot go in without bending over completely!

So then, the new office space? That means the rest of the house. Well, it brings the much needed additional space, especially a large, beautiful meeting room with a magnificent stone fireplace and picture windows overlooking the garden. The garden is very beautiful and very well equipped: normal because the former (!) owner is a florist. Palms, shrubs, flowers: a treat, especially on sunny days. Another plus: new offices could be built in the garden space to enlarge again because I suspect that the space may run out again someday.

The Top Offices: A nice house in a beautiful hidden garden in the middle of a very plain industrial area. It boggles the mind and, in fact, it is a dream come true, a true gift from God, who answered not only the needs but also gave beauty. God loves to give great, beautiful gifts to his servants.

Conclusion: I am very happy with my visit, very touched by God’s servants in this place to proclaim the kingdom of God on earth, and also, very proud that it is happening at home, in France. Once will not make it a habit although …

Just as for the reception at TOPC: “Be careful, you could get used to it!”

Thank you, for who you are and what you do, and thank you to the Lord, who has created this beautiful work!

Elizabeth, thank you for your kind words. With you and with each Internet user, we bless the Lord for the beautiful Top Chrétien team and for this workspace that God has put at our disposal so that his work could be extended. Glory to God!

Together for changed lives,

Your friend Eric

*** The Top Offices are Ours! ***

This Monday, December 27, 2010, our dream became reality, all glory be to God!

The Top Chrétien offices have been purchased and we are now the owners. Isn’t this a beautiful Christmas present for each one of us?

What joy for the team to enter this space for which we have prayed for many years! Just after the signing, we gathered together to thank the Lord!

We can now expand our workspace and receive new teammates.  As a matter of fact, in just a few days a new webmaster will join us and we look forward to better serve you. We plan to produce a new Top Chrétien version that will be more mobile and more ergonomic.

Campaign donations for the purchase of the offices have amounted to half of the total. The other half has been financed by a bank. We will now begin the remodeling work, and we are looking for ways to finance it. If you have it at heart to help us, why not make a designated donation? Already dozens of Christians have pledged to support Top Chretien monthly to help repay the loan. Would you like to join in? (See below)

Once again, thank you for your interest in the work of Top Chrétien. This project has shown us that together we can accomplish great things and significantly advance God’s work in the French-speaking world.

Together for changed lives,

Your friend Eric

To donate, please contact:
David Broussard
Phone: 678-205-6859
FAX: 866-516-9404
givingfunds@ccfof.org

Mailing Address:
Christian Community Foundation of France
829 Stansbury Drive
Marietta, GA 30066
USA

The Christian Community Foundation of France is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organization, EIN #20-3098434.

*** Pastors, I love you! ***

The title of this blog may surprise you, but if you have a pastor, ask yourself this question honestly: “When is the last time that I expressed my appreciation and my brotherly love to my pastor?”

I know that all of you who read this blog do not necessarily have a pastor or a local church. I also know that some of you have been hurt, sometimes even by a pastor. Nevertheless, I want to encourage you to look beyond your past experiences and to ask God for all His grace to go forward.

Pastors are human like we are. They are Christians like any other Christian. They are saved by the same grace and are even prone to the same struggles, to the same doubts, to the sames fears as all other Christians. Didn’t the Apostle Paul write: ” … conflicts on the outside, fears within … ?”

Pastors are part of the body. Sometimes they are identified under the wrong name of “Pastoral body”, yet it is a myth to believe that they are so far apart! They simply have a special function in the body, with this divine call “take care of my flock.” Someone has said that being a pastor is the finest vocation and the most difficult occupation.

I remember I once read in a forum that the pastor should be “the church carpet on which you wipe your feet when arriving!” And whoever wrote this really meant it, alas …

Before I devoted myself full time to developing Top Chrétien, I was the pastor of several churches for a dozen years. My wife, Muriel, and I experienced the joys of birth but also the sadness of funerals. Some events will remain forever etched in my memory, as the death of Christopher or Malvina … As I write these lines, I still cry thinking about the pain of their relatives at their premature death.

I also remember those who left the faith and the guilt that invaded me at that time: “And if I had not been a good pastor …?”.

I remember some difficulties, divisions in the body of Christ, which unfortunately leave scars on the heart that are difficult to heal. However, I also cannot help but remember the wonderful moments, such as the conversion of an unsaved husband, the homecoming of a prodigal son, the baptisms in the Spirit, healings, deliverances, souls saved … What grace to be a pastor in moments like these!

So pastor, it’s true, you’re not perfect! And I’m not either! Besides, who would be? If such a person exists, I do not believe that his vocation is to be a pastor!

Pastor, I love you and I tell you: “Be courageous!”

Your friend,

Eric

*** Sur la route ! ***

With Franklin Graham ...

Yes, it’s French and for those who do not know the language of Rousseau that means: on the road! I have been traveling a lot recently and I will be “on the road” again soon!

I wanted to keep you informed of my interview with Franklin Graham held last week. You probably remember the blog: Billy Graham’s Son, and perhaps you even prayed for this appointment? If so, thank you very much because this meeting was amazing. God did things beyond my expectations! This meeting was supposed to take 30 minutes, but instead, it lasted for 3 hours. It seems this never happens since Franklin Graham’s schedule is so tight due to his multiple activities (Franklin is also the president of Samaritan’s Purse, a charitable organization that distributes among other gifts, 8 million gift boxes for children at Christmas). At the end of the interview, with tears in his eyes, Franklin listened and shared his own experiences as well!

God's Ambassadors!

The purpose of this meeting with Franklin was to see whether a partnership would be possible between the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and Top Chrétien to reach even more people on the Internet with the Good News of Jesus Christ. And the first result is that five people (four vice-presidents and a director for the Internet) are coming  to Paris in three days to attend our Jesus.net conference, which will take place next week! Can you pray for this conference?

Jesus.net is the name that includes all our international activities, such as various websites -  ConnaitreDieu.com (16 languages) and also a discipleship website we use in several countries (WhyJesus). At the conference, there will be 75 people (website coordinators) from 21 countries! We will discuss the progress made in different countries and give glory to God together! It’s just wonderful to see what God’s grace has accomplished, and it’s so encouraging to see so many people find Jesus as their Savior through the Internet. To Him be the glory!

With Stéphan and Jean Claude, a French chef we met at BGEA

After the Jesus.net conference, I have to go to South Africa for a conference that focuses on world evangelism. Four thousand representatives from around the world will gather to reflect on the proclamation of the Gospel, share and pray together (see my page on the website Lausanne.org). Some people will represent France. The conference was initiated by Billy Graham in Lausanne in 1974. That’s why it’s called the Lausanne Conference. It occurs very rarely and mobilizes hundreds of thousands of people worldwide (The Lausanne Movement) so that the name of Jesus, the only name given among men by which we can be saved, still be proclaimed forever!

The Top team has provided somewhat outmoded but very humorous communication for this conference to mobilize the troops for evangelism through the Internet. I will tell you all about it in an upcoming blog. Fasten your seat belts, we will soon take off ;-)

Be Blessed!

Your friend,

Eric

*** The Top Offices: Purchase Agreement has been signed! ***

I’m sure you have been following the fund-raising campaign for the purchase of the Top offices throughout the summer! Several thousand Christians were mobilized to pray and give so that the dream would become reality. If you are one of them, I want to say a big “Thank you” again on behalf of the entire Top Chrétien team and all the Internet users who benefit from this ministry.

Here’s how things went: the Monday after Pentecost Sunday, during a time of prayer, God put it on our hearts that the time had come for us to own the offices that we rent and expand the space to give the team more room to accomplish its mission: proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ through the Internet.

A few days later, though we hadn’t said anything to him, the owner contacted us and proposed that we acquire full ownership, that is, of our offices and of the other part of the house, which was more than double our workspace. After having had the property evaluated and negotiating the price, we reached an agreement. Then we approached you Top users to gather at least 300,000 Euros for the down payment to the bank. You answered the call with great generosity and encouragement. See this page, it is such a blessing!

Now, by the grace of God, we have met half the total. We believe that God will provide for what is missing. So, with great confidence in God, we signed the purchase agreement on September 16, 2010, as you can see in the video below.

TopMission, the organization, will buy the property. TopMission manages all the activities of the web portal Top Chrétien such as, TopChrétien.com, ConnaitreDieu.com, MonEglise.net, etc.. The President of the association, Nathalie Texier, was mandated by the General Assembly to carry out all the necessary steps. You see her signing the document in the video. TopMission is a recognized general interest organization, empowered to receive donations, give tax receipts, and, of course, buy offices to accomplish its objective.

Here is the agenda set at the signing: The final sale will take place November 30, 2010. Meanwhile, we have 20 days to prove that we have taken steps to seek the remaining funds from banks. Then, we have 40 days to obtain a loan agreement. That’s what the document states. However, we believe that God will provide for the full amount and we will not need a bank loan. This may sound crazy, but crazy and faith are two very similar words in the dictionary! We’re not crazy, but we have faith. How God will do it, I do not know; But, he will do it, that I know!

If we pay cash, we will not have to pay rent every month, and we will be able to invest more in Top Chrétien’s projects. Also, if God has already provided half the amount, why wouldn’t he provide the other half? Why limit God? It’s his work. It’s his kingdom. It’s for the salvation of souls for whom Christ died that we are buying this property! So count on him! He made water gush out of the rock, rained down manna, fed a prophet with crows … he is the same God we serve. As a friend wrote me recently: What God commands, he pays for!

Join your faith with mine and together let’s experience God’s provision. This purchase will not only be an encouragement to Top Chrétien, but for all of us, will also be further proof that our God is alive and that he owns gold and silver!

PS: If God leads you to talk about our need to those around you or to help the Top take this second step, we would be very honored. To donate, please contact:
David Broussard
Phone: 678-205-6859
FAX: 866-516-9404
givingfunds@ccfof.org

Mailing Address:
Christian Community Foundation of France
829 Stansbury Drive
Marietta, GA 30066
USA

The Christian Community Foundation of France is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organization, EIN #20-3098434.

This video was embedded using the YouTuber plugin by Roy Tanck. Adobe Flash Player is required to view the video.

*** The TOP! It's Each One of Us! ***

Yesterday, someone asked about the campaign for donations to purchase the Top Chrétien offices. I thanked the person. He answered, “You don’t have to thank me because the Top, it’s each one of us!”

He’s right! The Top is like a living building consisting of its members. Pastor Yvan Castanou told me, “Each Internet user must understand that he is a living stone in the building you want to buy.”

Do you feel that you are part of Top Chrétien, of its history and of its future, or are you just a user/consumer of the Top?

As of today, nearly 2000 Internet users have understood that they’re the Top. They have understood that it’s a collective work that we are building together. What an encouragement for our team! How we praise the Lord for their support!

The Top actually counts tens of thousands of daily users. Imagine if each one brought his little stone to the building. We could construct the house pretty quickly! Imagine that each one realizes the opportunity to invest by sowing seed in a ministry of evangelism like the Top! So then millions of people could be reached and discover faith, perhaps even their own families! It’s today that we need you and your step of faith, for tomorrow will be too late.

Mohammed Sanogo has captured it well. Watch this video and you will understand why this former Muslim, now a pastor, thinks that the Top is each one of us.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDutGDGdFoc]

If you are part of those who haven’t yet sown seed for the purchase of the Top offices, could you take a moment to ask God what you should do?

The Top is you, too!

Eric Célérier

Campaign for DonationsMake a Donation now

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P.S. Testimony of an Internet user: ” At our small level we made a gesture that has given us joy. The Top is a blessing for the French-speaking world and for the entire world through KnowingGod.net. … May the abundance of the Lord be poured out over all of you. Gaël

*** What if We Offered All Christian Music Free-of-Charge? ***

The Internet has changed lots of things in our lives, hasn’t it? Even the way we listen to music.

Cassette tapes are already a part of ancient history and maybe very soon, gone the good ole’ CD… it’s time for downloads!

Oh, yes, those famous downloads… At first, they were illegal with lots of hacking. But we have to admit that an easy way to buy music online just didn’t really exist. Then, new systems appeared like iTunes, for example. Now, it’s very easy to buy music online; so, no more excuses for hacking! Things seem to be coming back into order and the music industry has reset the standard, at least in the secular music field. And that’s good, artists need to be able to produce and live! Let’s hope, and especially act, to bring back this standard to our Christian music environment, too.

Did you know that websites for free listening are on the Internet, such as Last FM or Deezer? So, we started dreaming at the Top: Why not create a platform for listening to Christian music free-of-charge? In this way, we would make the French-speaking Christian artists known throughout the French-speaking world. If someone likes a certain artist, he could order the CD at a store or buy the songs by downloading.

We also became aware of this through our large survey in 2009 (Together, Let’s Improve the Top). Out of 18,000 respondents, 14,000 wished for a music section on the Top. Those results spoke loudly!

So, we began to consult with Christian artists who, in general, have reacted very positively. Special mention goes to Youth with a Mission (YWAM) who is putting its entire catalog for free listening on TopMusic … Surprises will rain down! I would like for all the Christian labels to do the same and for all the Christian artists to be there. Become leaders! Offer our resources and see God bless us! Would somebody say “Amen”?

No business transactions for the Top since we gain nothing on sales. The sales, particularly those relating to downloads, go to the artists. And I hope many of you will encourage them by buying their albums! At the Top, we will pay taxes to the SACEM who will then redirect them to the registered artists. Thanks to the donors of the Top, we will also pay for the significant costs of bandwidth that the service will generate: thousands of dollars each year …

So why do it? Our mission is to proclaim the Gospel and encourage Christians. Music is a great way to achieve both goals. In addition, we will encourage Christian artists by promoting them. So why not do it? This is planned for Sept. 6th with the launching of a new section on Top Chrétien: TopMusic.

What do you think? Do you like this idea?

Together for changed lives,

Eric

*** Should we discontinue TopInfo? ***

As you must know, the web portal TopChrétien offers various services such as TopMessages, its well-known Thought for the Day, TopFamily, TopTv, TopBible, etc. The main purpose of each one of these sections is to encourage Christians in their relationship with God.

TopInfo is one of the sections that attracts the most visitors. Its objective is to inform. Up to now, we have gathered information and then proposed the news that seems pertinent and interesting to the visitors of our portal. Every day thousands of people go to TopInfo and many comment on the different articles.

However, in the history of TopChrétien, I noticed that our problems often come from this section. For example, certain subjects (homosexuality, abortion, Islam, ecumenism, politics, …) regularly create controversy. In addition, we sometimes get complaints from disgruntled visitors. Some Christians do not understand why we have released this or that information and form a negative opinion of TopChétien through the narrow lens of one single article.

Moreover, following the dissemination of information from a Jewish Agency considered defamatory, we lost a lawsuit against an Islamic association, and we were forced to pay 15,000 € in damages and interest. It is the only lawsuit that we have suffered in the space of ten years, but logically, it has caused some changes in how we work.

Finally, after years of loyal service, Didier Biava, – who insured the information gathering – preferred to discontinue this service to focus on our evangelism website, ConnaitreDieu.com (KnowingGod.net). A big thank you to Didier for all those years of dedicated service to Internet users.

You probably now understand better the title of this blog! Should we discontinue TopInfo?

Personally, I see three options:

1 / Discontinue TopInfo, despite the large number of visitors, considering that this service no longer has its place in TopChrétien.

2 / Limit TopInfo to a feed aggregate (like Google News). TopInfo would automatically retransmit information from other Christian news sites.

3 / Transform TopInfo, so that the service is more consistent with the overall vision of TopChrétien: evangelism, encouragement, interaction and communication.

What do you think? The TopChrétien Team and I would love to hear your opinions and ideas. Tell us which option you prefer and why.

Together for changed lives,

Your friend, Eric