All posts by chris

And the peace of God…

Friday is shopping day, in Beauvais, about 25 minutes drive away. On the drive… another song! In English, with the title And the peace of God:

Greater is He that is in you,
Than he that is in the world.
Repeat

And the peace of God,
Oh, yes, the peace of God,
And the peace of God,
Which transcends all understanding,

Shall garrison your hearts and minds,   x 3

In Christ Jesus, in Christ Jesus,   x 3
Our Lord.

Cick here for a recording of the English version. The words are from 1 John 4:4 and Philippians 4:7.

En français, avec le titre Et la paix de Dieu:

Plus grand est celui qui est en vous,
Que celui dans le monde.
Répétez

Et la paix de Dieu,
Oh oui, la paix de Dieu,
Et la paix de Dieu,
Qui dépasse toute compréhension,

Sera une garnison autour vos coeurs et pensées,
Une garnison autour vos coeurs et pensées,
Une garnison autour vos coeurs et pensées,

En Jésus-Christ, oui en Jésus-Christ, x  3
Le Seigneur.

Cliquez ici pour un enregistrement de la version en français. Les mots viennent de 1 Jean 4.4 et Philippiens 4.7.

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A song for Montdidier

Last Saturday, 30 March, Joanna and I went to Montdidier to do some more prayer walking. We had a great time: the sun was shining and we were really encouraged in prayer.

Whilst walking and praying, the Lord gave me a song, which I felt was particularly for the town of Montdidier. It was initially in English, with the title A day full of wonder:

A day full of wonder,
A day full of joy,
The day when we see
Your Holy Spirit fall…
Holy Spirit, fall…
     Repeat…
Right here.

Come Holy Spirit and fall in this place,
Come in your power and mercy and grace.
Push back the darkness and let in the light,
Yes, we are ready, we’re ready to fight…

Chorus

Click here for a recording of the English version.

I then created a French version, with some changes to make the song work, with the title Un jour plein de merveille:

Un jour plein de merveille,
Un jour plein de joie,
Le jour quand on voit
Ton Saint-Esprit tombe…
Saint-Esprit, tombe…
     Répétez
Ici.

Viens cher Saint-Esprit et tombe en ce lieu,
Viens en ta puissance, ton amour, ta grâce ;
Repousse les ténèbres, laisse entrer l’éclat,
Nous sommes préparés, prêts pour le combat.

Refrain

Click here for a recording of the French version.

Musical week-end at Montdidier

Long time no post! We have now been living in Clermont-de-l’Oise for around two years. How time flies.

We work with various evangelical churches in the area, with a particular heart for the Plateau Picard: for us, the rural area between Clermont and Amiens (south-north) and between Ham and Grandvilliers (east to west).

As part of this, we are involved with several churches, under the name la communauté de chrétiens évangélique du Plateau Picard  in organising a musical weekend in Montdidier on 27 and 28 April.

Resting In God

Here’s a song which has blessed and helped us recently, by Martin Smith, called Waiting Here For You. In all the hectic rush of our days, we find we need to constantly be aware of God’s presence, His rest, and to relax into the Lordship of Christ, lifting our hearts to Him.

Spring Is Here

Spring has definitely arrived here in the Oise and it’s beautiful. There are bluebells…

…and spring lambs…

…and the oilseed is flowering brilliantly (the Church you can see is that of Rémérangles, where we are staying):

Here is a view of the three dominant landmarks of Clermont, from left to right: the ruined castle, the Church and the Mairie (town hall):

Near Bresles, a larger village close to us, is one of many hills which has the name of Mont César (or Camp César sometimes); here is the view from near the summit:

These hills are the sites, real or (perhaps often) alleged, of camps or forts built by the Romans. The forests of the Southern Oise are simply breathtaking:

To celebrate Joanna’s birthday we visited Compiègne, a town to the East of here. The forest comes up to the Southern edge of the town and there is a wonderful viewpoint back to the town:

Later that day we went to Pierrefonds…

…where there is an extravagant fairytale château:

Just in case you think it’s all play and no work, we had an interesting afternoon of training recently for the festival which the Church in Clermont is putting on next weekend (6/7 May). Chris got into the spirit of the occasion…

We are encouraged by all that God is doing here, but the spiritual situation is very much like this:

A green shoot of life and vitality, growing strongly, in a sea of spiritual death and decay. We need more shoots, more life, springing up all over the Oise, the Somme and all of France. God is moving — keep praying!

Do It Again, God

We’ve been exploring our surroundings here in l’Oise, especially the big spiritual “hole” between Clermont and Amiens to the North, stretching from the Oise to the Somme départements, where there are lots of people, but no evangelical Churches.

The people are in lots and lots of villages and a few small towns. Places which are hard to reach with the message of Jesus’ love, in which it is hard to plant Churches.

A couple of days ago I discovered a worship group which I’d not come across before: Elevation Worship. One of the songs from their latest album, There is a Cloud, struck me:

The first verse and chorus are:

Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet

I’ve seen You move, You move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again

The spiritual walls in France can seem very resistant, sometimes it does seem they will never fall. But they are falling, because the battle is won, God moves mountains. In those plateaux de Picardie, God is already moving in the hearts of women, men, girls and boys by His amazing Holy Spirit, drawing them to Jesus. To human minds, there may sometimes not seem to be any way, but God makes a way where there is no way!

God has done amazing things in France, He is doing incredible things now in France. And I believe, I’ll see You do it again — yes, Lord, here!

Clermont

We are here in the Oise to work with a small church in the town of Clermont, population 10,500 (2014). Here is the main street in the old part of the town:

There is a mix of better-off and poorer areas in the town, not all of it looks quite so attractive!

The church was only planted in September last year, so is very young, but is going very well. There are no other evangelical churches in Clermont.

We attended our first service yesterday afternoon (5pm). Here is the outside of the premises used for the services:

The church is called La Source, meaning The Spring, reflecting the Spring of Living Water we have in Jesus!

Can you guess what the premises are used for during the week?

Yep, it’s a weight training gym, in French une salle de musculation. Weight training is very popular here and there are a number of similar places in the town. The owner is part of the church.

We enjoyed meeting our brothers and sisters and we all had a great time together, with worship, testimonies and a message.

The church emphasises doing fun things for the community of Clermont. The next fun activity will be a board games evening this coming Saturday: