Saturday, December 20, 2003

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

The Plian Goespl

Aocdrnicg to a rsecareh at Cmbagrdie Uinervtisy, it denos't mtater waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.

The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

For God so leovd the wrlod taht he gvae his olny bttegoen son, that woehvesor belvetieh in him sholud not peisrh, but htah evlerainstg lfie.

Whether you are an 'old hand' at preaching the Gospel, or your palms sweat, and your tongue twists as you talk like the above, just do your part, and let the Holy Spirit do His work.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

No matter how you write it folks, the Gospel is as plain as day. It's for whosoever will.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Ephesians 5:1-4

This text stood out to me today so I typed it up in French and English and stuck it on the wall in the bathroom upstairs for all to see and contemplate.




Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:1-4)


Sunday, September 14, 2003

Now that's a leg of lamb


... actually, a ram that we killed yesterday. Thought you might like to see this shot taken this morning. That leg weighs 6.5 kilos. Boned. We might need to invite a few more people over for lunch today! :-)

Monday, August 18, 2003

Love from France to The Gambia

Dear Michael & Peace and family,

Thanks for your note: it's always good to hear from you and how the Lord is blessing you.

Yes, we had a very hot two weeks here in August with temperatures over 40° which is quite unusual for France. We heard that over three thousand people died as a result of this heat, directly or indirectly.

This may be normal temperatures for you but here we are not equipped for it. Now we seem to have resumed more normal weather (which is still uncomfortably hot) with temperatures back in the thirties after a couple of days of refreshing rain to cool things down and water the plants.

We can't believe you will have 13 grandchildren! That is truly wonderful and you are certainly blessed of God. People say we have a 'big family' but there are only 12 of us in all, and only one is a grandchild! But we are so thankful to the Lord for all He is doing with us.

We are continuing our translations into French (http://www.eglisedemaison.com) and studying the Word together daily. In two weeks we will be having our second training session for new believers here at the house so that is taking a lot of preparation too.

The Lord has been teaching us a lot about discipleship and the importance of good works to the coming Kingdom of God on earth. We have recently run across a book by a brother named Milton Green that we are translating because it is so necessary for the church today.

Have you ever heard of him? The book is called The Great Falling Away Today and deals with some of the false doctrines that have infiltrated churchianity; another gospel, another Jesus to the one preached by Paul. It is very sobering and a challenge to us.

Let's continue to keep in touch! The grace of God be with you,

Derrick & Sarah



Saturday, August 09, 2003

Marçon to Bordeaux

An exchange between the team of seven in Bordeaux, led by Raph, and the five (myself included) left behind in Marçon.



Hello there one & all!

You can write to us at this new address I just set up. We are at Louis & Annabelle's house and I am going to take a shower & go to bed.

It's been a tiring day, but it was nice meeting these brothers. They are very friendly. Becky has been trying out her Chinese and we practiced using chop sticks.

It's strange because they said in China they don't even have forks or table knives, only spoons for babies and then chop sticks! They said that if things need cutting, that should be done in the kitchen!

Must have something to do with the culinary culture I suppose, and l'art de la table must be a foreign concept. I guess you need months and years of practice in the finger muscles to be able to consistently pick things up because when we tried, the tips hardly ever lined up!

A message for the Dindonnier & his assistant Dindonnière :

Hello! We're missing you and hope you guys are having fun! We're sure thankful that you are looking after the animals so well. Perhaps we will find a little something to bring back that comes from Bordeaux!

Tomorrow we will help the Chinese friends to make Chinese tortellinis. For supper, we had some very good food which was unusual : it was spaghetti with peanut butter sauce, spicy minced meat, pimento and spicy chicken wings and sliced cucumber!

For desert they made some kind of pastry with raisins & chocolate. Hope you're having fun & see you soon! You can ask Daddy if you can write us a message if you want...

Lots of love,

Raph.


Dear Famous Five Seven!

What a good idea to set up a web account to keep in touch! (Let's hope it works better than 37.com!)

It has now just struck 7am and I'm downstairs (by myself, of course) :-). We deliberately blew the evening and stayed up late and even didn't insist that the little ones get to bed on time so we all went upstairs together about midnight.

Though yesterday was just as hot as always, this morning it seems (so far) to be a little cooler. At least it is cooler for the moment. I left all the doors and windows downstairs open last night and it seems a little misty this morning. We'll see...

So glad to get your news last night and to hear that you are all well. We had Franck and Angela over last night and sat with them for two hours at the table and talked; they are quite nice and young in the faith, which may turn out to be their saving grace.

I mean that they don't seem to have too much church system indoctrination in them yet and seem fairly open to the message of truth. They want to get together regularly so we will see what happens. They are certainly too young to meet the Jays.

Now it's half past seven and everyone is here. Claire has just come over and is going to send a message: "Tell Raph no more animals died." I can't seem to get any more intelligent comments out of anyone yet — maybe it's too early.

We love you all and miss you, of course and will be glad to get back together. I'm glad that Bordeaux is only four hours away and that you had a good trip. I had better get going for the day.

I found another new Christian site in French called www.spirituellement.info which I think is a strange name for a site but never mind. He's done it in the same software that you used for CLB. You ought to stop by and say hello and maybe leave an encouraging word. His site looks good actually.

Much love from the REAL famous five,

Dad


Hi there!

Thanks for the message. We had morning watch and the others have gone to the market to buy stuff for today and tomorrow. We are preparing for lunch with Louis.

Please could you send a shot of the front of the book shop (with sign) so we can show them? Thanks.

More later. Love, Raph



OK here you are!


One visitor to the bookshop this morning: a Congolese lady who bought a Martin Bible and a copy of Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee.

Praise the Lord!

Dad



Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Lo, the Holy City!

A special treat for you all this weekend! (Hope this doesn't overload your mailbox!) Play this song (mp3 format) on your computer and print the words out to sing along. We sing it over and over here and are so lifted up in the Spirit as the Lord makes the words come alive to our hearts. The mystery of Christ ...


Sunday, July 27, 2003

Letter to a Single Sister

Good evening, Jeanette,

Just a quick note to send you our greetings. I had thought that I was the only anglophone on the disciples list but by your address, I can see that I must be wrong.

I was particularly touched by your last note concerning Christian marriage and not really altogether in agreement with either Nicolas or Yvan — but I may not bother to mention it on the list; I think I am already getting the reputation as a bit of a rabble-rouser. :-)

My wife and I have often spoken of this very subject that you mention because we have seven children of our own, of which only one is married and several others that are rapidly approaching marriageable age.

The word of encouragement that I wanted to give you is simply to remind you of what Abraham did when he found himself in a very similar situation. His eldest son, Isaac, was getting to the point where a wife would be most desirable.

But he did not want Isaac to marry a local girl but wanted rather, a woman from his homeland and from his own tribe. So instead of just sitting back and praying for God to send someone, he 'put feet to his prayers' and did something of his own, something that he could do; he sent his servant to get a wife.

I just say this as a little 'other side of the coin' to you in your situation: Nicolas' advice is excellent. But don't go to the other extreme of waiting for God to do it all. The Lord wants us to do what we can do.

He will raise the dead, but we must roll away the stone. So, don't be afraid to put your faith into action! Put God first in your life and He will supply all your needs. But be open to His leading in however a way that it might occur. Amen?

Grace and peace be to you,

Derrick
http://www.eglisedemaison.com



Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Ask a Bible Question

The following is a brief exchange of emails I had with a site proposing I ask any Bible question I wanted. I was just starting to really see clearly on this issue and wanted to push it to see if it would stand up.



Question: According to the Bible, who is a Jew and who are Israel?
Name: Derrick


Hi Derrick,

Literally speaking, Jews are the ancestors of Abraham. But spiritually speaking, Christians are God's children today and they are the true Jews (Phil. 3:2-3; cf. 1 Pet. 2:4f).

Thanks for writing. Please feel free to ask any further follow-up questions.

Allan


Dear Allan,

Thank you for your answer! That is pretty much the conclusion I have come to.

But I want to go further: If Christians are the true Jews, what is the relationship of the Lord to the ancestors of Abraham today? Can we say that there is no difference in God's eyes between a physical Jew and say, an Eskimo?

Thank you!

Derrick


Hi Derrick,

God is not a respecter of person; therefore, he does not respect one person over another based upon his nationality (Gal. 2:6) — there's no difference between a physical Jew and an Eskimo. All those who obey Jesus (Heb. 5:9) and are baptized into Christ are made sons of Abraham (Gal. 3:26f).

Thanks for writing. Please feel free to ask any further follow-up questions.

Allan


Hello Allan,

Thanks for answering so clearly. Can I now ask you, as a further follow-up question: If this is all true — and I have no doubt that it is — if God is no respecter of persons, if there is no difference in His eyes between a physical Jew and an Eskimo, if it is the true Christians who are children of Abraham and heirs according to the promise ... then, why do so many Christians seem to think that God still has a 'plan' for the physical Jews? People talk about Jesus' parable of
the fig tree putting forth its leaves but forget that He also cursed it and said the kingdom would be plucked up and given to another nation bringing forth the fruits. Am I getting this right? If so, how can so many people be getting it wrong?

God bless you and thanks for your time,

Derrick


Hi Derrick,

People in the denominations don't under this, but I don't know any congregation of the Lord's church that does not understand that Christians (not physical Jews) are God's chosen people and that God is not a respecter of men.

As to why this is misunderstood in religion today, I can only guess it is because they do not truly understand God's word concerning Christ and the kingdom.

I hope this helps. I hope to hear from you again,

Allan


Thanks for your help, Allan. If you know any French-speaking people you could send them to our sites, if you like. We're at :

http://www.eglisedemaison.com (discipleship and deeper life teaching)

http://www.connaitrelabible.org (basic messages for unbelievers and weaker brethren)

In Christ,

Derrick




Sunday, June 08, 2003

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Sunday, May 04, 2003

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Home news

A couple of weeks ago we were so glad to finally get some gates up around the property to protect the littlest ones from straying onto the road this summer. Now we have large double gates at the main entrance as well as three smaller single gates at other points. The workers did a good job and it looks good.

Another "house improvement" is the double-glazed windows that we got installed in the three upstairs bedrooms, the kitchen and the dining room. They are very nicely done and keep the place a lot warmer (or cooler, in the summer!) and quieter. Now, the whole house is double-glazed, thank the Lord. The guest room has also been completely redone with new carpets and wallpaper. Clean and bright.

The 'farm', as the boys call it, is progressing with leaps and bounds and we are now at the point of getting around 35 eggs a day, which means that we have lots to give away. We're trying to find different ways to pickle or store them for the winter months too when production will be down. The two nanny goats had their babies a month ago so now the four of them are keeping the grass under control in the field.

Last year saw one of our long-time goals realized: the building of a wood-fired bread oven. We got the oven in a kit from Le Panyol, a company based in the south of France specializing in these ovens. If you'd like to see a picture report of the step-by-step installation of the oven behind our fireplace take a look here. (There are quite a few pictures, so be patient while it loads.) As you can see, it was quite a big job but what we have now is such a blessing!

You can always check out our family site (Neve-Family.com) to read and see our activities. The site gets updated in fits and starts so check back from time to time. By far the most important and enjoyable part it is the collection of literature we have been able to accumulate and put on line for the world to read. We know that God's word does not return to Him void, but it will accomplish what He has planned for it. One of our recent additions is A Needed Reformation, by A. W. Tozer. When you realize that this short little article, which could have been written yesterday, was in fact written fifty years ago it just shows you that this man heard from God and that, unfortunately, little action was taken to what he then had to say!

Fellowship

We just returned from the annual Paris conference which is usually held around Easter time for 3 days. We went just last year for the first time but were excited to be able to attend again this year. There were about 120 people like last time, from all over the country as well as some brothers from Switzerland, England & Spain. This year's theme was the "Believer's Growth in Life" and we were able to renew acquaintances we had met last year. We also had a bit of time to chat with Bill about plans for the different publications and projects and he told us that they are planning to print four new books this summer, including our "New Believers Series" that was last year's project, and "The Gospel of God." As always, the little ones were well taken care of with Bible studies and crafts and we had time for study and singing and fellowship. Afterward, Craig & Diane invited us all over to their home in Paris for lunch which was very kind.

At home, we have settled into a pattern of Friday evening meetings with Jean-Claude & Françoise coming over every week for singing, Bible study and a meal. One a month we meet on Sunday afternoon with Jerome & Josephine and Lucy & her children for fellowship and a snack and lots of singing.

A few months ago we ran across some videos by a fellow named Kent Hovind and downloaded them to watch on our computer. We enjoyed them so much we invited some friends over and make copies of them for others. Kent Hovind deals with creation science and just destroys the evolutionary fable in no time with a wonderful humorist touch. These videos cost a lot if you want them on VHS but are free to download (but they are BIG) so if you'd like a copy of this CD just let me know and I'd be glad to burn one for you.

Outreach

As some of you know, last weekend we decided to hit the local area and give them something to think about on Easter morning so we went out the night before and spent three hours sticking up bright, black-on-yellow posters announcing "Jesus Is Risen!" on all the hoardings and public areas we could find. We had so much fun that we want to do it again. This time we've ordered some saying "Jesus Is God!" so we'll let you know how they go down.

Some of you know of our idea to open a Christian bookshop in downtown Château du Loir. Well, it has been slow since there was a certain amount of paperwork to do but last week we just signed the lease. The "famous five" (Raphaël, Elisabeth, Camille, Jonathan, and Nathalie) formed an association which was the best way to handle the paperwork, we found out. We have a few ideas of books and tracts that we can "sell" but mostly we're going to have to get ideas as we go along. Mostly the project is done to be a witness and a testimony that here, in this town, there are people that care about the Lord enough to want to make His presence known. Praise the Lord!

For a past couple of years we've had a literature outreach through our web sites and in particular, our French one www.eglisedemaison.com (house church). If you don't know it yet, you can see it here. Want to brush up on your French? Won't find a better place to do it! The site is constantly being updated with translations from men of God like Tozer, Nee, and Austin-Sparks. Recently, due to the spiritual depth of the articles we have online, we have felt the need to expand into another area of outreach for those who are not even saved; those who need more basic teaching. So last month saw the launch of our new site www.connaitrelabible.org (Know the Bible) which is being completely handled by Raph, and as you'll see, is quite different in its approach. You can take a look at it by clicking here.

Microtec

This is our biggest 'baby' but one that is finally starting to pull his own weight. This is our 'tent-making' that puts bread on the table for the twelve of us, as well as paying all our bills.

We had our best year ever last year with a turnover of nearly half a million Euros and were able to invest a lot of money into building improvements creating two new offices, a meeting room, and the cyber-café.

We also used the results to upgrade everyone's equipment which needs to be done every couple of years in our business. The Lord truly blessed our work last year and we felt led to hire another programmer (our third, now) full time in January. Hiring is a big decision with far-reaching financial consequences in France so one needs to hear from the Lord about it.

There are now six of us employed here and the prospects look good as we keep our priorities right. We are now in our ninth year and God has given us wisdom in the management of the affair for which we must give Him thanks and all credit.

Next month is the mois gruyère (the Swiss-cheese month) as we call it here because of all the holidays in the month of May; the first (labor day), the eighth (VE day), and the last Thursday (Ascension) which all land on a Thursday this year meaning that many companies will 'make the bridge' and take the Friday off for some of them too!

As a family, we don't celebrate Ascension Day much but we sure are looking forward to the second ascension of the corporate Christ (otherwise known as the rapture) which is surely due before long!

Reading

Reading is always a big part of our lives and now we are working through the Collected Works of Watchman Nee (62-volume set) together in the morning. When we first got them we decided to start at the beginning and read through the complete set together. We are finishing Vol 3 right now which is starting studies on the book of Revelation. We're on the 80-page introduction to his Meditations on Revelation which is wonderfully rich.

In the evening we are doing a reading with simultaneous translation of Vol 15 Studies on Matthew which is a chapter by chapter, verse by verse commentary and study of the entire book. It is very slow and we only find we can do about two pages a day that way but it is great to be able to get a translation done at the same time. In the evening we sit around the dining room table and I do the reading while everyone gathers round and takes notes and looks up references.

Raph does the translation and types it in in French at the same time using his laptop while Nathalie has a copy of the Martin Bible that we use for all direct quotes in French. Elisabeth, Camille and Jonathan contribute to get the exact meaning of different phrases and words so it is a group effort.

As soon as we have finished a chapter, I print out a copy of it for Camille who is our final proof-reader. Once typos and spelling mistakes are corrected, I put it online at our site for the world to read. See it here. I then send out the chapter to a French-language discipleship list that I am part of for their feedback. It is slow work but very satisfying. We are currently preparing to finish chapter six. If you read French, check the site regularly and read along with us!

Among some of the many good English-language sites on the Internet proclaiming the gospel is the prophetic voice of Cutting Edge Ministries (Cutting Edge) which, if you don't know yet, is worth a visit. Be prepared to be shocked and motivated at their uncompromising position. I don't go along with everything they have to say and some of the graphics are a bit gaudy but there is a lot of good there, and a lot of biblical common sense. I particularly like their "Fellowship of the Unashamed" (based on reflections from Daniel 12:2). Here it is:

"I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed; my present makes sense; my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I no longer have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer."

This is surely a time for this world's few Christians to come out and take an uncompromising stand while we can. We only have today to come out from Babylon and make our life count for the Lord!

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Bonne année 2003


La famille Neve
parents, enfants, petits, et grands
vous souhaitent :
Une Bonne Année 2003 !
Dieu créa les cieux et la terre ...
tout ce qu'Il avait fait était très bon !”