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)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A wee ditty for Wednesday

Sorry, they've only put the first movement online :

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review : Salvation by Crucifixion, by Philip Ryken

Philip Ryken is the current president of Wheaton College, Il, USA, and a literary man, the son of a literary man. This meant that when I received the book in Kindle format, free of charge, in return for an honest review on the blog and on amazon.com, I knew I would read a well-written book.

Of course, the book was originally a series of sermons given in the weekday lunch hour in Philadelphia, PA, USA in the lead-up to Easter of 1998, and this is good news, because it gives us a book of seven short chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of the cross of Christ : its Necessity, Offence, Peace, Power, Triumph, Humility and Boasting.

This is an excellent book. It's biblical, serious and helpful, but gives short chapters that remain deep and interesting, quoting Chamberlain, Cicero, Chrysostom and ... Bertrand Russell among many others.

If you read these words in the next few days you could do a whole lot worse than to buy this book in Kindle format and read a chapter a day over the next week or so. For Christians it will help you to focus again on those things which are of first importance, "that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures".

But the messages transcribed in the book were not aimed at Christians but at those who as yet do not believe in Jesus Christ. Here we have a well-written and serious book which is of excellent quality but easy to read, just the kind of thing to give to unconvinced friends who need something more than a leaflet to read. Of course, for that you'll have to buy them a printed copy.

Roger Carswell recommends a biography of Charles Simeon

A happy weekend

Saturday morning was spent hacking back the jungle, that is strimming the paddock that is our garden. When the house was built the garden around was a paddock and a horse lived there. Since then the grass has never been relaid, levelled or whatever, so we just strim it back to reasonable levels. Pat also planted seeds and some bulbs in our new border.

The afternoon found us getting ready for the Chinese meeting and haring off to Cenon at grande vitesse because they now start at 5, and not at 6 as I thought. The topic I was given was the Trinity, because they have been hassled by JWs and Mormons. We had a nice evening, though I was over an hour late ! the most late that I have ever been, I think!

Sunday am we were at Cenon for the Palm Sunday service, Maurice Raetz preached on why the disciples were so ready to abandon or deny Jesus, highlighting the difference between hearing and listening.

At the end of the service history was made with a new interim pastor being unanimously voted for.

More history in the evening with the last Evening Service at the Daveys. We break for two weeks during the Easter Hols, then the next meeting will be on May 4th at Dan.

A happy and exciting weekend was marred only by the demise of Moses, a cat belonging to two colleagues here. He has been buried in our garden alongside the neighbour's cat and sundry rats and guinea pigs.

Friday, April 11, 2014

"I want to come back to you" 2

One aspect of being with this doctor is that she sends you for an annual blood test, so this morning before breakfast but after a couple of cups of green tea I hauled myself off to the local laboratoire d'analyses. I remembered the prescription, my carte vitale and my justfiicatif de couverture de mutuelle and waited in a very eccentric queue that seemed designed to keep everyone as far apart as possible. Was bled quickly and efficiently and home by 9am for a slap-up bumper spread of porridge.

Just got the results. All looks OK, I think.

A Thursday full of meetings

In the morning the CNEF33. There were just 4 of us in the meeting, two of whom are leaving Bordeaux in the next couple of years. Humph.

On the agenda, our Big Easter Service on Easter Monday Morning, then prospects for the future, finance etc. I shared the news of our International Startup in the city centre and we talked about current dogma in Church Planting and stuff.

there were two jobs that need filling. One we conveniently ignored for the moment - we'll have to tackle that sometime. The other we divided into three. I got one part - liaison with CNEF Central. We'll share out another - travel to Paris for CNEF meetings - and the third part we'll decide as and when it arrives - writing to and liaising with local authorities.

Then off to the city centre to meet up with a friend who owed me some money and who repaid me.
You can't just take the money and waltz off, so we had a coffee together in a café I'd never been to but wanted to try, it's the one where the waiters wear kilts. There we are. Done that. It's OK but noisy because of passing traffic.

Then off to the bank to open an account for the Communauté Chrétienne Internationale de Bordeaux, otherwise known as Bordeaux Church. The lady in the bank was charming, intrigued to meet a protestant pastor, inquisitive about our family finances, and she said that banking for associations is free as long as all they need is a chequebook. Ace!

Then home.

The big problem with days like this at this time of year is that in the morning you need a sweater and a fleece. At lunchtime you are COOKED! So you end up traipsing round dragging your jacket and wishing you could tie your sweater round your waist like a cricketer.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

"I want to come back to you"

Those were my words to my old doctor.
She asked why.

Well in the time I've been seeing the other one he's never taken my blood pressure, checked my breathing, nothing. Though he did propose a colonoscopy.

Did you have a colonoscopy?


But no examination at all?

No, he just wrote the prescriptions.

So I'm back with my old doctor, and she weighed me and said "OK", and took my peak flow and said "Good!" and checked my bp and listened to my breathing and on Friday morning I have my annual blood test, and she's proposing an echograph of the heart when I am 55 and I think she quite liked the idea of the colonoscopy, but I'll talk her out of that...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Oh well, "the best laid plans", and all that

I arrived at the station to pick up the Citiz car to scurry off doctorwards and saw that the front nearside tyre was flat.


So I phoned the center for the car pool and then phoned the doctor to reschedule for tomorrow.
Then wended my way home to accompany Patricia to the restaurant to which we had been invited.
The Entrecôte.

Our rendez-vous time was 12.
We arrived outside the joint at 11:33, and there was already a queue.
So we joined the queue and I texted our host to tell him where we were.

The Entrecôte is a funny old place. Three stories of restaurant.
We looked pretty fit, so we were sent to the top floor.
Lots of tables in rows. As we mounted the stairs we saw kitchens on alternate floors.

The waitress seated us, then asked if we wanted wine.
There's one kind of wine. It's their Entrecôte bordeaux.
She then brought our starter - salad with a vinaigrette and some walnuts on top.

Then arrived our meal. Steak pan-fried in butter with their special Entrecôte sauce, then sliced ready for you and served with a mountain of skinny chips. The steak was delicious and perfectly prepared, the sauce smooth and rich. The skinny chips were skinny chips.

As we progressed through our meal she brought extras of steak (the portions were decent rather than large) and refills of chips were available, but only one of us took that.

Then there's a dessert menu and coffee available.

During lunch we enjoyed talking with our fascinating host, who's a naval chaplain in Marseille.
He has a wonderful apartment in Bordeaux that he's having renovated by an architect friend or ours.

Afterwards we spent a short moment in the Apple shop where I needed a connector for doing presentations in churches next week.

Then up to the Nespresso shop, because Pat had never seen it.
It's a breathtaking place, like a temple to standardised podded coffee.
A well-dressed and well-groomed young man offered us samples in beautiful little china cups.
One was supposed to taste of toast, the other of cocoa.
Both tasted of coffee.

Quack, moo !

About 18 months ago, I think, I decided to change doctor for one here in Pessac within 2 minutes walk of our home. Recently I decided to change back. For various reasons, the main being that the new doctor hasn't done anything resembling an examination, no listening to lungs, to measuring of nothing at all. He just writes the prescriptions.

Oh well...

So it means booking a share-car and hurtling round the orbital motorway to Villenave. It'll be good to see the old doctor again.

Then, and in a burst of irony that we could never plan, we have to zoom downtown to the most popular restaurant in Bordeaux, l'Entrecôte. All the students have been there. We have heard so much about it. It's a Bordeaux rite of passage you have to do sometime before leaving the city. But it's not cheap, at 19€ a head - even at lunchtime, and you have to queue up for the place. You can't book a table. So we've kind of reserved it as a place to go before we leave.

Then along came a friend from another city who said "I have to take you to l'Entrecôte." I proposed another place. "Oh no. It's a Bordeaux institution." So I shall go almost directly from the doctor to the steakhouse!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Planning for the future

We had a lovely time this morning meeting three of the Chinese friends to pray and plan, and to eat lunch together. It's very exciting. Well some of us are very excited and Daniel and I are keeping our habitual calm !

Saturday, April 05, 2014

A CRAZY Saturday

I'm not good at lying in bed, so I got up and had a gentle slow breakfast of porage and tea contemplating the chores that await me in the garden and idly looked in my diary...

EEEKKKK! I'm in the bookshop this morning !

There ensued a state of wild alarm, a shower, dressing, the assembling of my various accoutrements and a rapid depart for the faithful number 4.

I arrived just after 10 and opened up. A nice peaceful morning serving sundry folk, sending others to the Barque des Apôtres for the divers paraphernalia of private catholic rite.

I was to be relieved at two. That would leave time to get the supplies for Mrs Davey's pizzas for Sunday and perhaps to do some chores.

Two came and went.

At half past two I called the gentleman who would be relieving me. There was no answer.

At three I called our excellent bookshop manager.
"Ah yes, often he's late."
"Ah no, sometimes he doesn't come at all."

Right. OK. I thought, "Well I'll have to shut the shop and get the supplies and go. I can't stay till 6"

Then a client phoned asking for a particular book.
Yes, we had it in stock.
No, he wasn't in Bordeaux.
No, he didn't live in Bordeaux, but he could come and collect it in, say, an hour.

Thus it was that at 6, after waiting three hours for the client to NOT come, I shut the shop, hurried to get the pizza ingredients and hurtled off home.

In the meantime I had a constant stream of eager customers, so it was a joyful and irritating day - in equal measure!

Friday, April 04, 2014

Franchise 2

Now there's something stewing in the back of the ageing skull about networks and stuff.

Because I have friends and colleagues working in various networks. Some encourage me to come to their conferences, retreats, workshops and to join. Others leave me tranquil, as we say here.

You know what I mean by networks. Acts29, CTC, etc. (In fact I used to be in the CTC, the Cyclists' Touring Club, till it dawned on me that I used my bike to commute, not to tour, and before it dawned on the CTC that they could broaden their scope. But that's a different CTC.)

I am reluctant to sign up for any of them. For a variety of reasons :

1) I already have more conferences, retreats, workshops, pastorales, study days etc than I can possibly ever hope to attend, and people tell me that I disappoint them terribly by my absence.

There's so much disappointment in this world.
Let's not add to it by accumulating even more events to not attend.

2) Franchise. I watched a video produced by an American mission this morning where the guy talked about how often church plants are plants of a branch of a particular style or type of church - like expanding your franchise.

Yeah. That's it.
No matter how good your brand of church is, are you called to establish a franchise ?

It's still stewing. This is not a mature reflexion, but I thought I'd pop on some work in progress.

Franchise 1

Yesterday was the RéseauFEF pastorale for South-West France. It includes folk from Bordeaux, Toulouse, Tarbes, everywhere...
I've never been before. The only FEF event I have ever attended was in the first winter of our time here when Carole Liddiard and I want to the FEF Assemblée Générale in Paris. Anyway...

I nearly didn't make it. I had to take bus 44 to Dassault, then get bus 36 to Pyréneés. All the buses going up the main Arcachon road were delayed by monstrously heavy traffic linked with the installation of the tram lines so as we slithered our way towards Dassault I emailed the guys to say I probably would miss my connection and therefore not make it for the meeting. (If you miss that 36 there's a long wait for the next.)

Anyway at Dassault I had to cross the road and as I waited at the crossing there was the 36 at the bus stop by the roundabout at the other side. Someone stopped. I crossed. I waved. The bus pulled away from the stop but then pulled in just where I was to let me on.

The pastorale was about conflict and it was kind of based on communication style rather than exposition as such, but the time to reflect and discuss was pretty enlightening and it was good being with the folk.

Then off home - a short wait for the 36 back from Pyrénées, then a short wait at Serpent, and the journey back was uneventful.

Oh yeah, franchise. The word in French means frankness, straight talking, and speaking straight to folks is a sign of love, said our tutor for the day.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Récépissé réçu

We now have a number for our association and we can make an appointment to open a bank account!

Commission Exécutive à Montauban

The CommExSudOuest met yesterday from 16h to 18h at Montauban.

The trains are such that I could either arrive over an hour early or half-an-hour late, so I chose the 12:47 train from Bordeaux and happily bundled myself off with Mrs Davey to Bordeaux. She was going to the bookshop and I had decided to sample the wares fo the fish and chip shop before taking the train.

It was not to be. The fryer had broken down, so instead I went straight to the station and foraged for something there.

Montauban was sunny and warm. I didn't need my scarf and cap as I skipped through the quaint and shoddy streets around the station. A Carrefour sold me a bottle of water for 30c and I found a bench to sit and read in the sun.

The meeting was fraternal and constructive, but time was short and we had weighty matters to discuss, like the accompaniment of pastors in ill-health and their churches, and also how to reinforce and encourage orthodoxy and orthopraxy in our congregations and pastors.

We overran. It was inevitable. My return train was at 18:44 so a mad dash ensued in a Peugeot 307. I charged into the station to find my train was delayed 1/2 hour.

The Station café was run by a splendid type who made me a nice long coffee "une dose de café et deux doses de flotte", sold me a really nice croissant "café croissant 2€, c'est pas cher" and refilled my water bottle with chilled water from the bar "c'est glacé, filtré, mieux que ce qu'il y avait avant". 

The train came eventually and I got home just after 10.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Barb'CUB - The next step for Bordeaux

One of the good things about living in Bordeaux is the network of facilities that you can use freely or at minimal cost.

BatCUB : As well as the buses and trams, your public transport season ticket includes the BatCUB - boats that follow a circuit from one side of the river to the other. I can't imagine that anyone uses them for commuting, but maybe... We use them to show visitors the city.

VCUB : there's a network of bike stations with bikes for hire.

BlueCUB : A network of electric cars that you can use for buzzing from one part of the city to another.

Regular readers know about the CITIZ car-share club that we use, and also about the Maison du Vélo with its bikes on free loan, including, soon, the Pibal, designed by Philippe Starck.

Now the city is setting up a network of barbecues set at strategic points around the city. Read about them here.

* CUB = Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux - Bordeaux and it's suburb towns.