The email came as a response to our series on the gospel of John. "Jesus is the Son of God... Jesus isn't God." An exchange of at least 20 emails followed. I found out this older gentleman from Lyon was also in communication with two of my colleagues from there about the same subject. I often wonder what motivates the people who initiate a conversation with me, but the most important question I ask is - how can I encourage this person towards Jesus? In order to better understand his thoughts I referred him to our article on the Trinity, to which he responded with anger and threatened to unsubscribe from the email series. That was the crucial point where responding to hostility with love would keep the conversation open and allow the Holy Spirit to work. I sought out common ground where I could affirm his faith and assured him it's not my place to judge him. I then fast forwarded to the end of John when Thomas declares to Jesus, "My Lord and my God!" and asked why Jesus didn't correct him? His tone completely changed, asking forgiveness and sharing more about his personal life. The conversation continued back and forth, and each time I felt wholly incapable of explaining the inexplicable depths of the triune nature of God which, simply surpass our finite human minds. Suddenly he responded with, "I just now understood!! Of course, that's it!! God, all three at the same time, I just needed to think of it that way!!" I was so surprised I feared he was being sarcastic. But further emails seem to confirm, "you opened my mind to this truth that my hardened conviction persisted in preventing me from understanding. I see life with God from a new angle, I'm already changed…" Praise God!
Efrem worked quickly to move the orchestra's chairs off the stage. The conservatory's technician set up microphones, and then she tuned the sound board to his flute and the accompanying piano. He had at least two pieces he wanted to record, the first by C.P.E. Bach and another by Gabriel Fauré. Looking confident in his black suit, the auditorium resonated beautifully and the recording was spotless. These are initial audition videos to be sent to different music schools in England. He is now preparing new pieces to record for French schools that are due after Christmas break. We're not sure if he'll try additional ones. Meanwhile, we're currently enjoying the company of May's mom who is visiting us! Bea is enjoying seeing her grandchildren and tasting the many pastries at the bread store right on our corner. In addition to exploring Paris we also have spent time in Rennes and saw the pre-historic stone alignments in southern Brittany.