*** Billy Graham’s Son ***

Those of you who know something about my life story are aware that my first full-time job, after military service, was working for Billy Graham. That was 25 years ago in 1986! At that time, I had the opportunity to pursue graduate studies at a university specializing in Computer Science in Toulouse. I gladly accepted, but after praying, I realized that God’s will was something entirely different! I had to return to my mother’s home in the Paris area. Young in the faith, it was not easy for me to obey, and I must admit that I resisted as much as I could. But one day I surrendered and I said to God, “If it’s what you want, then I’ll do it. You win!” It was the end of my computer dreams … At least, that’s what I thought, but you know Top Chrétien and you see that God had the final word!

At that time, I found myself unemployed! That lasted six months. After six months, I was desperate. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I prayed to God, saying, “I can’t take this anymore. I am in this situation because I wanted to obey you. You’ve got to help me!” Shortly afterward, the phone rang, and Marcel, an elder from my church in Pontoise, said to me, “Have you ever heard of Billy Graham? He’s an American evangelist who is coming to preach the Gospel at the new Paris Bercy Auditorium (the Palais Omnisport in Bercy was brand new at the time). He is looking for a team of highly-motivated youth, willing to work without being really well-paid, so I thought of you!” I didn’t know Billy Graham at all, but I joyfully accepted. So that’s how my first job in life came to be preparing an evangelism crusade that would affect tens of thousands of lives in Paris and also many others by satellite retransmission.

My work was really very insignificant. My main job was to stamp letters, and since the machine was very noisy, I was relegated to a garage next to the offices. Often, I prayed for the people who would receive these letters. I was a very young convert and my attitude was far from excellent. Sometimes, I complained as I did my job, and unfortunately, I was also negligent. Nevertheless, these people trusted me even though I was the youngest member of the team. I learned a lot about serving God, about organization, about teamwork, about the big, multi-denominational family of God, and especially, about evangelism. On certain evenings, I had the great privilege, for a twenty-one year old, to sit on the stage and see thousands of people respond to the call. And it was there, on that stage at Bercy, that I said to Jesus. “I, too, want to be a soul-winner. Use my life, use me so that others know you!”

And this is what God has done! He has made me an evangelist, and my passion, which has not changed, is to see men and women find Jesus. And it is by means of the Internet and computers that this is happening! God has blessed me beyond my expectations by allowing me, with this great team around me, to see so many people come to him through the website KnowingGod.net. It now exists in sixteen languages. Glory to God! I know that this has been possible because the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) had confidence in me. Today, I would like to give back to them a “return on their investment”.

In a few days, I am going to meet Franklin Graham (the president of BGEA) and offer his organization a KnowingGod website that our team has specifically designed to reach the USA and the wider English-speaking world.

The meeting will take place on September 21st at 10.30 am (East Coast Time). I would really like for you to pray for this appointment. I believe that it is a time set by God from all eternity, and I would not want us to miss what God wants to do. Thanks for supporting your French friend so that I can represent you well. Stéphane, the coordinator of the TopChrétien web portal, will accompany me.

Will you pray for us?

Be blessed!

Your friend,

Eric

*** 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.

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

*** Persevere! ***

Oh yes! How we need perseverance: perseverance in trials, perseverance during sickness, and even perseverance when everything seems to be going well. The Bible says that it is by persevering in doing well that we inherit the promises!

And so, I would like to encourage you to persevere. Top Chrétien’s story is one of perseverance. If Top Chrétien still exists today, it is because many times we have had to persevere and wait for God’s help. And his help never fails to come! Someone once said that God’s help sometimes comes late but never too late! It’s those who persevere who are helped!

Jesus has often encouraged me not to give up ! And I have to admit that I have sometimes felt like it… May the one who has never felt like giving up, please tell me. I would like to know his secret.

A song has encouraged me during the years of sickness and opposition. It’s “Persévère” by Olivier Cheuwa. I even made it the ring tone on my telephone! Therefore, every time someone called me, even for a problem, I would let the phone ring a few seconds and I would hear:  persevere! oh oh, persevere… In this way, I was ready to face any situation.

Just recently, I discovered another song on perseverance composed and sung by my friend, Pastor Mohamed Sanogo of the Ivory Coast. I asked him if I could offer it to you. He said yes, so here it it, especially for you Top Blog readers whom I love so much. Mohammed and I dedicate it to all those who need to persevere. My friend, persevere!

This song is part of the album “Persévérez” available on Top Boutique

*** For one more soul… ***

The Top Chrétien Team is experiencing rather special times that I would absolutely love to share with you. Today I received this wonderful testimony by Rose Bishop: “Thank you for sending my message to the Top Chrétien members. Tell my pastor, Eric Célérier, that I have become God’s daughter. Top Chrétien has been a blessing to me. The Lord led me to your website and, as a result, I gave my life to Jesus and I found a church. This Sunday, I was baptized in Washington in the USA, where I live. Now I am officially part of God’s family! My life has been totally changed. I have no regrets for my decision. I am truly at peace and I know that heaven is my home.”

On this same day, July 19, 2010, we reached the significant statistic of two million people who had prayed to accept Jesus as Savior on the website KnowingGod.net, which exists in 16 languages! I would like for all two million of them to be just like Rose.

I believe that people like Rose are the reason why Top Chrétien and its services like MonEglise.net and KnowingGod.net exist! They are the reason why we have persevered day after day for 11 years to make Top Chétien advance. They are the reason why we want to buy our offices to make our “tent” larger and add members to our team. They are the reason why we continue to develop more and more innovative and effective tools.

Let’s go for the next “Rose” and the next million souls! To God be the Praise (in French, ADSL, à Dieu soit la louange)

Together for changed lives,

Your friend, Eric

*** How will you Respond to Pastor Claude Houde’s Appeal? ***

Already more than 1000 Christians have committed themselves to support the project and more than half of the needed amount has been promised. This is truly wonderful! Some have promised 10 Euros and others, 10,000! The Bible states: “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor. 9:7  Thank you to each one of these donors, for I know that much effort and sacrifice have been made, but they were made with joy! I am moved when I read the commentaries on the page Together, Let’s Buy Top Chrétien’s Offices!

More and more people understand that this is not just a real estate project. This goes much further: it’s a spiritual challenge! We want to be able to receive new team members, and thus, be able to receive more souls with the Gospel. We want to be able to develop new services on Top Chrétien.

This has been an extraordinary week! Decisions for Jesus by the thousands and, in particular, the son of one of our Top Chrétien team members who gave his life to Jesus on one of our websites, ConnaitreDieu.com! Imagine the joy of this father who found his son who was lost! This father is our treasurer and his son’s decision occurred the very same day that he wrote the letter of intention to the owner stating that we wanted to buy his property! At the same moment that our treasurer was making this very important step of faith, God saved his son. Thank you, Lord!

You see, this son is a living illustration of why we want to buy these offices: so that other sons and daughters will come back to their heavenly Father.

I would like to invite you to watch this video of Pastor Claude Houde of New Life Church in Longueuil. Thank you to him as well as to every pastor, church, or Christian who has added or would like to add his brick to the building.

How to make a donation? Go to this page, click on donate to the right, fill in the amount, and complete the form. If you prefer to send a check, the address is indicated.