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Very early in the morning
(Jasmine, my cartoon character was in a hurry for me to render her in 3D)...


In my dreams...
I walked through the slumbering village. Behind half-closed windows, I can see the sleeping inhabitants. I’m touched by this unexpected intimacy. These people are so precious to God and yet they don’t know it... like all of us (including me, sometimes) they beg for a few cents’ worth of affection each day, without realizing they’re sitting on a huge seam of unconditional love…
I cautiously wend my way through their dreams until I plunge into a forest as impenetrable as their slumbers.


The invitation 
Amidst the silence of this secret, awe-inspiring place, I come to talk with my Maker. As usual, I haven’t really thought through what would happen if He granted my requests...if I had, I’d perhaps have had second thoughts about what I asked for (especially this morning!):
- Hello God, I’ve a ticket for you to our concert tonight…will you be there?
Silence.
(His silence means something to me...but I’m not sure what exactly.)


That evening 


The concert
From the vantage point of the stage, the view over the lakeshore is lovely. My wife gets the audience singing and we’re off! Barely two songs in and the incredible happens. Without warning, a massive lightning strike hits, like a huge camera flashbulb going off, everyone’s shadow is plastered against the ground as a result. Its sudden appearance lights up every cloud with such intensity that we are suddenly all very much aware of the enormous expanse of sky around us (this sky, which is normally so understated). For miles and miles in all directions, everything alive is very much awake now. 


The downpour
Torrential rain, almost as dense as the lake itself, tore down on the audience. Unthinking panic took hold and the crowd rushed into the two or three refreshment tents that had been set up. Stuffed to the gills, these cramped premises saw personal spaces invaded in less than a minute in a way that normally is reserved for very close friendships built up over the course of years.

The show must go on
The surprise guest!
I may have been a musician on the covered stage (thank goodness there was a roof to shelter under!), but I had no less a feeling of being a mere spectator. That’s when I recognized him…
Silence.
The natural world unleashed, this electric atmosphere, this strength…He’s here! He who I invited this morning…has come! The Ancient of Days, the maker of the universe, the Creator Himself is at my concert!!! My awareness of my lack of musical talent only makes this visit even more of an honour! 


Like a child playing with their father
I reply to His lightning with a guitar riff which rips through the sky. At this moment in time, I play for Him and Him alone, with all my heart. I leap for joy with all my might (in time to the music too!). The thunder that shakes the ground at the end of the song is the best round of applause I’ve ever received.
A strong wind, mixed in with cool raindrops, caresses my face and my clothes billow and flap in the wind.
Away in the distance, a hundred balloons rise into the air in one go, creating a magical spectacle in one small part of the sky. Only those on the stage witnessed this last act in a show that was worthy of any fairy tale (ok, ok, the balloon salesman was there as well).

In the middle of the town square, abandoned by all the ‘sensible’ people, in the driving rain, a woman in a wheelchair was clapping her hands in time with our songs. She was really living life to the full, much more so than all the rest.
Her joy was so palpable that I could see her soul through her smile.
There were also two young girls dancing and laughing, absolutely soaked to the skin.


Crash landing 
A shower of sparks flew out from the second guitar’s wet amp before giving up the ghost. The sound guy in the tent opposite the stage would normally never give up but he threw his hands up into the air, signalling he was doing just that.
– We heard him say: There’s nothing I can do!! There’s nothing I can do!!
His voice was drowned out by the music (I didn’t want to stop !). By some miracle of technology, sparks continued to fly out of the speakers.


See you!
I left an astonished crowd behind me. A strange kind of whirlwind passed through them, but I know that they won’t have been aware of the real significance behind it… As I left the stage, I nodded to my God, off in the distance. He saw my wink and understood what I meant by it:
– See you tomorrow in the forest!"
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The path between dreams

Very early in the morning (Jasmine, my cartoon character was in a hurry for me to render her in 3D)… In my dreams… I walked through the slumbering village. Behind half-closed windows, I can see the sleeping inhabitants. I’m touched … More… More…

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  The lion in the pit Text from « Rendez-vous dans la forêt 1 »     I’d barely thawed out from my Canadian trip before I’d plunged into a whole new series of challenges that would push me to my limits, you know, witnessing in front of curious crowds, transforming the world before breakfast, burping the alphabet in one go, taking a leap of faith (or a mad leap into the unknown ?), etc. Sitting in the garden on my own, I talked it over with Jesus:  – ‘Lord, am I mad to take up the gauntlet like this?’ It seemed to me that God said to me:  – ‘Go on, the answer’s there, waiting for you ...’ As soon as I arrived at the apartment, my ten year old son called out to me from his bed:  – ‘Dad! Dad ! I’ve got a passage from the Bible to read to you...’ – ’?!?’ It’s about a warrior of King David’s who went down into a pit, armed with nothing more than a stick, and killed a lion there... This dude’s crazy; why did he do such a thing !? Was there nothing on the TV that day ?... David (often compared to Christ the King) must have been so proud to have such a top guy in his army. Wow ! Awesome or what ?...        People yearn for spiritual input into their lives but lions (a spirit of disbelief, reliance on the purely rational, the devil, garden gnomes, apathy, secularism, fear, excuses, etc.) have taken up strategic positions and stop people from drinking from the well of Jesus’ friendship... #%!! It’s so wrong... Well, here goes nothing... I’M GOING IN ! ... The Lord is with me ! That’s what I need to see first, before I see the lion... And of course, I’ll have you all praying for me, won’t I? (I hope there’s no spiders down there...)  
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The lion in the pit

  The lion in the pit Text from « Rendez-vous dans la forêt 1 »     I’d barely thawed out from my Canadian trip before I’d plunged into a whole new series of challenges that would push me to my limits, … More… More…

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Translation of a text from the French book "Date in the forest 1"

- “What on earth is that guy going to do with that bit of wood in his hand ?! Oh well... he doesn’t look so bad, he’s probably not going to hit us…” This is what passers-by must think when I come back from my daily walk in the forest, because each time I bring back a wooden stick.

Just as sure as the weather is warm at the moment, I know that the winter cold will come. That’s why I’m asking God for a wood stove to heat my comic book studio with its broken windows. So while waiting, as I know that He will give it to me: I am already getting the wood ready.

Flowers that fly
I walk on to a stretch on the edge of the forest that is particularly full of light, and right there: Whoosh! A multitude of multi coloured butterflies have all taken wing around me… I so love these moments of conversation with Jesus, they are sometimes (not always) totally magical... I look at my hand: is that really a branch I’m holding ? For an entire half-second, I thought it was His hand. My walk smells good this morning, it must be the flower fairies letting off little farts.

The loveliest reward
If God didn’t surround me with this whole little word, I’m sure I wouldn’t manage to keep the boat steady… Yesterday it was a young girl who came to stay overnight in our improvised guest-room. Having decided to go back to art college, she has come to help me in the studio. She was converted to a life with God three years ago… by reading one of my comic books… I think of all those winters believing in this, against the flow, and here’s another person who is being born again, like the Spring all around me…

 

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The guy with the stick

Translation of a text from the French book “Date in the forest 1” – “What on earth is that guy going to do with that bit of wood in his hand ?! Oh well… he doesn’t look so bad, he’s … More… More…

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03.11 – Aaaah ! There are three people in my bed !
My wife, myself and a problem so pressing that it feels like there’s a third person in our bed (a snorer too!)
3 h 32: and another one ! My little boy’s been driven from his bed by a nightmare and he’s come to seek political asylum !
3h46: it’s no longer a bed, more like a giant taco !
I’ve had enough! I’m going to pray in the woods...
It’s cold outside, but I know I’ll warm up as I walk !
The master of the road
    The streets are completely deserted (am I the only one with problems in this country?). Strolling down the middle of the main road with not a car in sight, it’s a bit of a cake-walk !
 – Oh! The road ! You see, I’m not afraid of you (in fact, I’m walking all over you...) !
Whoa, have I entered a parallel universe or something? !
At the gates of the Kingdom
    On the edge of the shadow-filled forest, tall trees clothed in the strange light of the moon seem to return my look. These giants contemplate me scornfully from on high, looking at the little man at their feet in a monk-like silence. Who dares disturb their sleep? It’s like I’m walking past the ranks of the Lord’s army, stood to attention:  frightening, powerful, imperturbable and…ever so slightly curious angels.
Not a sound is heard except my footsteps signalling my intrusion in this world. Even the birds have flown away to the country of dreams.
    I plunge into the thick shadows of this dense forest. It’s truly awe-inspiring, all of the usual sights and sounds have gone (well, they haven’t really gone, they still exist, if you know what I mean)...
It feels as if I’m going to be totally swallowed up in absolute darkness, but I can always make out enough to be able to take my next step (this happens so often in my life !). The really amazing thing is that I’m no longer scared (meaning that I must have matured)...
Just above my head: Wooooooow ! This universe that Dad’s created is mind-blowing (no, I haven’t lost my head, Jesus tells us we can call Him that)…
God is so much bigger than any worries we may have ! I want to turn my gaze to Him !
The quietness of my voice when I talk with him touches me very deeply (it’s a very personal thing)...
I no longer feel cold.
    In the distance, I see the studio where I write my comics. It could be mistaken for an old, rather tired-looking naval vessel... But at least it’s there !
As I stand before my bed, I realize that it’s no giant taco that’s in my bed, but the human beings that I love the most in this world ! Even the ‘problem’ seems almost benevolent (yes, it hasn’t gone away)... because after all, it was that which encouraged me to pray.
Jesus gave me His most precious gift tonight. Something that’s worth much more than just granting my prayer….
a moment in His presence, a foretaste of eternity !
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Five in a bed

03.11 – Aaaah ! There are three people in my bed ! My wife, myself and a problem so pressing that it feels like there’s a third person in our bed (a snorer too!) 3 h 32: and another one ! My little boy’s … More… More…

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The power of the Bible

Each person’s heart begins to change. Kérane opens up little by little and feels more at ease. A ray of sunshine warms up the atmosphere in their home and dispels the mystical fog. Alex wakes up from a long sleep and ‘washes off’ the negative image he had of himself. He gets involved in bringing up the children, becomes a stakeholder in the organisation and decisions of the family. Véro, who is accustomed to doing it alone, feels that she is being supported. Unburdened in this way, she naturally finds more room for their love. She learns to lean on his shoulder and on God’s, to let go. You’d think giving up her inner fears and her desire for control would be easy, but for her it means re-learning her life, her way of thinking from scratch. What’s more, giving up her role of ‘preacher of life’s lessons’ has something fundamentally restful about it (for everyone!)… During the summer holidays the two families now meet up every week and at the weekend. Round the table, they all speak with joy and passion, like pirates on the lookout for treasure. Questions find answers in the Bible, a well that they draw from as from an inexhaustible source of hope. The personal stories of the different individuals are like the description of lands that they are about to conquer. Alex, such an introvert, has clearly come right out of his usual shell and even he shares in the general enthusiasm. And if, at 3 o’clock in the morning, good sense urges them to go to bed, quite oblivious to it and completely overjoyed, they promise pretty quickly to put off that idea! The deal That night, before going to sleep, Véro makes a deal with God (those two are getting closer and closer):Listen, you get Satan out of my nightmares and I’ll give you my dreams ... How’s that?’ She closes her eyes and, right away, she is plunged into a dream that lasts all night in which she sees herself moving house and sorting out the books in her bookcase. When she wakes up, she opens her eyes and answers Him:OK, I got the message!’ Spring-cleaning With one accord, the Bertys decide to do the cleaning. They throw out the feng shui mirrors, the mirror balls with facets that are meant to provide light, the statuettes of Ganesh and the different Tarot games. From now on, they have no need of these lucky charms and protections, as they have all of that and more ... in Jesus alone! The bookcase in the living-room is also emptied of all its dodgy books. A bonfire is arranged in their garden on which they burn over 1000 euros’ (1100 USD) worth of esoteric books! The whole family decides to entrust itself to the God of the Bible, to let go... They no doubt have that sensation of leaping into the void, but that great pressure that was on their shoulders, it has leapt too... The nightmares are becoming rarer, to the point of disappearing! Véro has even visited in her dreams a wonderful garden (Paradise? the Garden of Eden?)... she walks there in incredible peace in the company of Jesus who invites her to let go, only to end up in her bed again, bathed in perfect peace and rest! This time she is the one who wakes up Alex to tell him! Eva’s imaginary visitors and their macabre din have chosen to flee this power that is greater than them and is now watching over the Bertys. There are no doubt still more challenges inherent in each of their lives, but they will no longer have to face them on their own!
And the story continues Véro got baptised * * in the sea recently (she couldn’t wait any longer!) and sent me some videos of that unforgettable moment. The Purmalt family has bought whole cardboard boxes full of ‘Date in the forest’ and ‘Bible express’ and continue to give them away to people around them. And already, I am getting testimonies from several others who have been touched thanks to their action... It’ll happen to you! I am very deeply moved and encouraged by this testimony (you can’t begin to imagine!), but I feel duty bound to be honest and to admit to you that it has very little to do with me; without Sandra and her family, who made the choice to share their zest for life, this would never have taken place... In short, this is what can happen when we don’t keep a hope like this just for ourselves! * not their real name… * * by ‘baptise’ don’t understand: to adhere to a new religion (that was never in question)... it’s just a tangible sign shown in the Bible used to confirm someone’s commitment to Jesus.  part 1   part 2   part 3" ["post_title"]=> string(58) "The Berty* family’s incredible date (Part 4, final part)" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(45) "lincroyable-rdv-de-la-famille-roitep-4-finale" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2016-12-01 14:44:48" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2016-12-01 12:44:48" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(32) "http://www.auderset.com/?p=11807" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_title_ml"]=> string(241) "[:fr]L'incroyable rdv de la famille Roité*p4 (fin)[:de]Das unglaubliche Treffen der Familie Bling* Teil 4/4 (letzter Teil)[:en]The Berty* family’s incredible date (Part 4, final part)[:es]La increíble cita de la familia Tada*parte 4/4[:]" ["post_title_langs"]=> array(4) { ["fr"]=> bool(true) ["de"]=> bool(true) ["en"]=> bool(true) ["es"]=> bool(true) } }

The Berty* family’s incredible date (Part 4, final part)

The power of the Bible Each person’s heart begins to change. Kérane opens up little by little and feels more at ease. A ray of sunshine warms up the atmosphere in their home and dispels the mystical fog. Alex wakes … More… More…

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