les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Update on family technology woes !

1) Pat's new sim card arrived and is installed in a slightly aging android phone that seems to be working OK. Phew !

2) Gwilym's pc seems to be a Vista problem.
Yeah, I know. Vista is the problem.
We'll load Windows 7 or 8 on it.

3) Pat's Kindle is being replaced by Amazon. Should arrive Tuesday.

4) Family PC is over eight years old. It's time to replace it with a refurb mac mini.

5) Printer cartridges changed. Nozzles deep cleaned. Several times ! Now OK !

We're getting back to normal !

Today is a Family Fun Day !

Woo hoo !

On the agenda - perhaps Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Then the Cinema to see The Lone Ranger !

Thursday, August 29, 2013

La Maison de la Bible fait peau neuve (hier)

La Maison de la Bible fait peau neuve

Seven reasons why every pastor should have a blog !

Thom Rainer - Seven Reasons Every Pastor Should Have a Blog
  1. Heavy doses of communication are vital in any relationship. This reality is powerfully true in the pastor/congregation relationship. Healthy churches have healthy pastor/members relationships. Healthy relationships are enhanced through ongoing communication. And the blog is an incredible way to communicate regularly. For this reason, I am very grateful for the Internet age.
  2. The pastor is able to present those most important emphases or visionary matters. The sermon just does not allow sufficient time to do all the communication a pastor needs to do. If done well, the blog can serve as an ongoing forum for communicating the most important matters in the church and to the church.
  3. No pastor can communicate with every member one-on-one. Church members can feel neglected if they do not get some type of communication from their pastor. Admittedly, a blog does not replace in person communication, but it certainly is better than no communication at all. I have heard from numerous church members who tell me that they really feel like they know their pastor through the blog.
  4. A pastor can do pastoral care via the blog. One of the most powerful blog posts I ever read was by a pastor who ministered to the entire church after the death of three teenagers in a car accident. While he spent hours of in-person pastoral care with the family of the teenagers, many others in the church were hurting. He reached out to them magnificently through his blog.
  5. A blog can be an outreach ministry. The first place a prospective guest visits is the church web site. That is why it’s mandatory for churches to have a quality site. If the church’s home page has a link to the pastor’s blog, many will read that article as well. Guests, both Christians and non-Christians, are more likely to visit your church if they feel like they know something about the pastor.
  6. The blog can allow for expansion on the sermon. Most pastors preach around 35 minutes a week. That is an incredibly short time to communicate God’s Word. The blog allows for an expansion and more detailed communication of the sermon.
  7. A blog is highly affordable. In fact, it can be free. There are no longer any financial barriers for any pastor who is serious about entering the blogosphere. It’s time for all of you to take that plunge!
Original article here

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

And the next one please

OK. We arrive home.

1) The printer prints funny colours.

2) Gwilym's computer won't boot

3) Pat's Kindle has funny lines on the screen after the x-ray machine at the airport

4) The family PC is too slow

5) Pat's phone has been lost

Right. Breathe slowly and tackle things one at a time.

1) Pat's phone reported lost and sim-card blocked

2) Pat's Kindle reported faulty and a replacement is on the way

3) Cartridges ordered for printer, then we'll have to clean the nozzles

4) Gwilym's computer may have to go to a computer-fixer for fixing

5) The family PC will always be too slow till it ends up in the dump

Wow ! They've invented spectacles to correct color-blindness !

Thanks, Challies, for pointing out this site.

I did the test. This is what they said :

Thank you for taking the EnChroma test for Color Vision Deficiency!
You are a STRONG PROTAN. Protanomaly is a type of red-green color vision deficiency related to a genetic anomaly of the L-cone (i.e. the red cone).
This information is not a certified medical diagnosis. Accuracy of the result may vary depending on test conditions such as the ambient light level, quality and calibration of your display device. Consult with an eye care professional for more information.

The bloke on the bus

This bloke got on the bus today.
I suppose he was about 60 and most definitely French and local.
But he is not accustomed to using the bus !

Firstly he didn't know what to do with his ticket.

You have to poke your ticket in the slot, white face up, in the direction of the arrow.
So there's three ways of getting it wrong and one chance of getting it right.

Many people take four goes.
This bloke asked the driver and saved himself time and hassle. (Good thinking, bloke !)

Then we approached his stop. He stood up. Just before the very steep speed humps.
"Wow ! You need to be an acrobat!", he said as he landed from his brief but unexpected flight.

The bus stopped.
He looked at the door.
Some people got on.
He looked at the door.
"You have to do something ?"

but it's not on the door, where he was looking, but on a handrail behind him.
Someone pushed it. He got off.

Taking the bus is really simple. I do it all the time. Children do it. Old folk do it. Everyone does it.
But when you're new to it the things you have to do are far from obvious.

We need to lose our fear of explaining things to people. Explain, explain, explain.
And we need to lose our fear of asking for explanations. "What do I do now ?"
Also we need to think where people will be looking when we position our BIG RED BUTTONS !

The Goal of Missions and the Work of Missionaries

Kevin DeYoung reflects on Acts 14 and our calling in the world here.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Holiday snaps ! Aber. (Well at least you were warned)

Holiday snaps ! The Moka Pot in action at Aber. (Well at least you were warned)

Holiday snaps 2 ! Bath. (Well at least you were warned)

Holiday snaps ! Bath. (Well at least you were warned)

Doing justice to Judges ?

Book review - Judges for you - Tim Keller

When I read Prodigal God I was, as they say, blown away. It immediately became the book I recommend first to folk. My response to King's Cross was less unequivocal; there were certain parts that I found less helpful.

So when I got Judges for You to review I was prepared for almost anything. Not only that, but I preached through Judges a few years ago, helped enormously by Dale Ralph Davis' book.  Judges is a wonderful book. It has everything : warfare, human interest, humour, heroic women and strong men - characters larger than life all set against a background of chaos and decline - and overarching it all, the covenant grace of the Saviour God. It's hard to really do justice to Judges !

Keller deals with the book very well indeed, and I think this could be the book of choice for small group Bible study. 

He does enjoy the humour - witness the story of Ehud. He does face up to the more earthy details of the story. He does direct the reader to Christ - more than I expected, I was pleasantly surprised. 

Keller is going to address the issues that concern him in his contact - so there's sections that deal with judgement, battle and slaughter, for example. His approach to Deborah's ministry is well-discussed and measured. His conclusion is attractive but would need careful thinking through before it could be implemented in a local congregation. Jephthah's is a story that invites long and hard reflection. Keller doesn't shrink from hard-hitting conclusions that search us deeply.

In short, this is a very good book indeed. It is a good complement to other volumes. Used for personal reading and reflection or for group study it will confront us with the dreadful possibility that for us, too, perhaps God's people have become indistinguishable from the people around, effectively lawless and kingless - and will direct us to the King we need. 

I received this book free from the publisher through the Cross Focused Reviews book review programme. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Le Gallois est de retour !

Hi there ! We have been on holiday ! Together ! As a family ! Sometimes.

We spent just over three weeks in the UK, firstly in North Wales, in Deeside.

Some friends loaned us their house while they were on holiday in low places so we had pretty total freedom. It was great to be with our home church and then to be invited to coffee, to lunch and to tea/dinner/supper pretty well every day.

While there we rekindled our relationship with Asda, where I used to be on the team of chaplains, and I made what would prove to be the serendipitous discovery of the holidays, namely a moka pot coffee maker of unknown fabrication (it doesn't say made in China) at the very decent price of £5. It became my constant friend and companion and has accompanied me back to France.

We met up with our friends, the Griffins, in Chester. We thought that they had deliberately crept up on us, but then discovered that four years in Burkina Faso turns a somewhat exuberant family into a rather quiet bunch. We exercised our jaws pretty hard, however.

We attended a church officers' social evening, and it was good to see new church officers filling the lounge in the new pastor's house. Matt Francis started at the church in July (I think) and I have just remembered that I have not yet answered an email from him !

During that first week Catrin was on camp but Gwilym was with us, turning in a memorable performance in a rather crazed karaoke evening at the home of some church members.

The second week was spent at the Aber Conference. Catrin had now gone to spend the week in London with friends. Gwilym was in a yoof flat in Aber keeping his kitchen clean and keeping the noise down at night, honest. We were in a super little flat with two sofas in the kitchen, sharing with two health-food-eating ladies (chia seeds and wheat grass powder stuck in my mind, if not my craw), one super chap from the Black Evangelical Reformed Church in London and two assorted pastors from neighbouring countries (England and Ireland, I think) These latter being alone and omnivorous we established a common larder and so ate MOUNDS of spaghettis bolognaises and curry and so on. The moka pot came in handy.

At Aber we were detailed to man our mission's stand on two days, carefully chosen so as not to prevent us from going to seminars I fancied. As it turned out I didn't go to the seminars anyway. We took the week easy. However there were many highlights :

1) Geoff Thomas in Bethel, with his timeless liturgy. "Let us worship God, let us pray."

Geoff preached on the Ascension in three messages. We benefited from the first two but missed the third.

2) Bernard Lewis on Monday evening, preaching with a calm seriousness. Bernard was a missionary in Papua New Guinea with our mission and now pastors the church where our ex-colleague Carol Liddiard is a member.

3) Alistair Begg in the mornings on "With Christ in the School of Evangelism". He's a lovely man, his looks belie his 61 years (it's definitely a wig) and the messages were engaging with a lovely self-deprecating humour. I was glad he didn't say anything like 'barely ambulatory'. I thought that these were good times but that they didn't hit their stated goals. There we are...

4) Iain D Campbell. For me Iain was man of the match. He preached on "But I" from Romans 7, then "But Christ" from Galatians 2. They were cracking messages. Just grand. And since I love him dearly anyway, ever since he laughed when I said in his church "and the Auld Alliance - well the less said about that, the better", then you can see that he and I have this special bond...

5) Vaughan Roberts. I don't think anyone was surprised when he revealed his secret. Maybe you have already heard? Anyway, just in case the news has not reached you, Vaughan confessed that he is Welsh. Well both his names are Welsh, aren't they! He preached very well from Habbakuk.

6) Ian Parry. Well Ian and I have this special bond, you see. When I was 30 and Ian was a little younger we were both in Emmanuel Baptist Church in Cardiff and we have kept in touch over the years. He is a great lad, a Keller devotee (without the tee-shirt, he protests) and a brave minister and a faithful pastor. On the Friday he preached a brave pastor's message on "As the Father has sent me, so I send you" and let's just say that I got the message.

The third week was completely different. We went to stay with some friends in Bath, calling on my sister Kathryn on the way.

It was great to see Huw, Kath and Peter in good form and to catch up on the family news. We see so little of each other.

Catrin arrived in Bath from London on the 19:30 bus. Gwilym went off to "Soul Survivor" from Sunday to Friday. And we walked the pretty streets and alleys of Bath. Mrs Davey and Catrin visited the Jane Austen Museum. We met up with friends just outside Bristol and visited Tyntesfield together. I made two visits to that temple of coffee, Colonna and Smalls, one by accident and one by design. Gwilym's visit confirmed his preference for quantity over quality (he prefers ... Costa) and I happily browsed the bookshops.

I got a chance to attend the prayer meeting at Deeside and home groups at Bath. I was also able to meet up with my friend Rupert Bentley-Taylor for a coffee, and we caught up with our dear friends, Keith and Janice Hoare erstwhile of Aix-en-Provence but now at ... Herne Bay.

Yesterday we caught the 7:25 plane from Bristol, rising at 4am to do so, returning our hire car unblemished (Phew ! Relief !) en route, enjoying a super flight to Bordeaux and being met at the airport by John Wooley of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Cardiff (see above) who had borrowed our house with Deborah and Jessica. We spent the day exercising our jaws and today I feel I still have a sleep deficit to make up!

Probably a sign of a good holiday!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sarah Vaughan - Alone again naturally

We heard this on the radio and were astonished at how different and powerful it was :

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Today I saw a super mug in a shop.

It said "Gan bwyll a daliwch ati" : Keep Calm and Carry On

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Pillar New Testament Commentary Series giveaway...

Look here !

Review : Paul Washer : The Gospel Call & True Conversion

What is a Christian ? What is the Church ?

These are questions that face every pastor, preacher, Christian worker and everyone who professes to follow Jesus Christ. What is a Christian ? What is the Church ?

Other questions flow from them. What is an evangelical ? What is the gospel ? What is salvation ? Is evangelicalism a style ? A culture ? A current ? A movement ?

In this book Paul Washer takes us back to the Bible, and not just by quoting proof texts but by looking closely at what the Bible says when it speaks of salvation, of the Christian's nature and life and of the people of God.

And it's a very good book. It deals with guilt, not just as feelings but as fact. It deals with repentance, not just as feelings of sorrow but as a radical change of heart and mind and life. It deals with the call to discipleship and to serve Christ as Lord. It deals with the believers incorporation into the people of God. It scratches us where we itch.

It's a very wise book. Washer doesn't confront individuals or cite situations or name names, but he does confront the way evangelicalism thinks today and presents a biblical understanding of the grace of God in Christ.

I am sure the book will do a lot of good. How much good depends on the authority the reader gives to the Bible. Sadly sometimes lip-service is done to Biblical authority - so that where the Scriptures confront our way of thinking in the end we are judge and the Eternal Word is subject to my changing thoughts, attitudes, opinions and fancies. History shows that it was ever so.

Faced with that we are often swimming against the tide. It's hard to avoid drift. We need help, the occasional rope to cling on to to help us get back on track.

So all power to Paul Washer. May God use this book and others like it to purify our hearts and minds.

If you consider yourself to be, or aspire to be an evangelical Christian I strongly urge you to read this book slowly and thoughtfully, and to let it click you back, reset you, restore you to a more biblical view of God, man and the Good News of the Grace of God in Jesus Christ.

Monday, August 05, 2013

A little video to practice your French listening skills

The video is part of a series called "Meeting the Bordelais" and this time it's a woman who has written a book about her experience of unemployment.

Again !

More storms hit on Friday night, but this time mostly in the Dordogne. HAILSTONES (not golfballs...) the size of cherries fell, destroying acres of vineyard. Read in French here.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

After the storm

I went in the loft just now for the first time since the storm. I had been having kittens in case I saw big holes from missing tiles, but no.

Our neighbour came and sawed up the branch of his tree that fell across our driveway. I had managed to get a pretty big car down there anyway, but it's good to have that sorted.

Another neighbour said that she came home to find that water had flooded into her house under the doors and soaked her rugs. She's hung them outside in the hope of rescuing them.

Our local library is closed and will be closed now till the end of August.

Our local park, and the nicest through-cut to the shops, post-office and banks, is closed because of dangerous branches.

It was quite a storm !