To my Friends...
Greetings with love! Though I don’t write to you
often, I know that you remember me regularly before the Throne of Grace.
Thank you for your calls, letters, enquiries and offerings.
I think I have overcommitted myself to outstation preaching
assignments during this year. Of course the results have been encouraging
and rewarding, but I feel exhausted. I thank God for His strength that’s
made perfect in my weakness, especially during these 12 years after my
heart surgery in 1996. As usual I keep the last month of the year for
rest and recuperation. I have turned down several invitations for 2009
so I would find time to finish up the pending works. I covet your prayers
more than ever.
The end of the year is a time of thanksgiving for God’s mighty acts,
stocktaking of our lives, and seeking guidance for the future, specifically
for the next year. Praise God for His hand that was on me when I stood
up to preach in these places in 2008: Jeypore (Orissa), Sydney (Australia),
Kannyakumari (Tamilnadu), Sharjah (UAE), Udupi (Karnataka), Atlanta &
Florida (USA), Banaswara & Jaipur (Rajasthan), Dublin (Ireland), Chennai
(Tamilnadu), Minneapolis & Chicago (USA), Nagpur (Maharashtra), Nagercoil
(Tamilnadu), Dehri-on-Sone (Bihar), Secunderabad (Andhra Pradesh), and
Dubai & Abudhabi (UAE). I would like to borrow Apostle Paul’s
words to testify about these programmes: “I was in weakness, in
fear, and in much trembling... But the Lord stood with me and strengthened
me, so that the message might be preached fully through me” (1 Cor
2:3; 2 Tim 4:17).
The Sound Doctrine Seminar-II we had at the end of last year, 27-29 Dec,
has had a significant impact on believers, preachers and Churches. Doctrinal
deviations have taken many sections of Christianity millions of miles
away from the Scriptures. Bible Teachers have become a rare breed. Because
of popular demand several servants of God who are called to be Prophets,
Pastors and Teachers have become Evangelists. The result? In the words
of the author of Hebrews, “Though by this time you ought to be teachers,
you need someone to teach you again the first principles...and you have
come to need milk and not solid food” (Heb 5:12). I admonish youngsters
in God’s Work to “make their calling and election sure,”
and not become victims of religious consumerism.
We have sent several hundreds of the 2-DVD pack of my 3-hour teaching
on “Spiritual Warfare,” English to Tamil, free to Pastors
and fulltime Christian Workers. We did so because this seems to be the
most abused spiritual exercise today in the name of prayer. This is one
of the six topics covered in the said Seminar. In this Talk, I have dealt
with the subjects of Prayer Walks, Bringing down Strongholds, Binding
Satan, and Generational Spirits. We have planned for two Sound Doctrine
Seminars for 2009, one in the UAE, Feb-Mar, and the other in Hubli, Karnataka,
The Youth Workers Seminar conducted by the Blessing Youth Mission in Theni
(Tamilnadu), 15-17 August, was a God-given opportunity for me to share
with nearly 600 delegates most of what I’ve learnt in youth ministry
during 40 plus years. Brothers Lionel and Victor Kumar, and Evangeline
Jonas were the other speakers in this Seminar. My topics were—
1. Biblical basis for Youth Ministry
2. Youth & Doctrinal Matters,
3. Youth with Churches & Missions
4. Youth & Society,
5. How to be effective in Youth Ministry
Hopefully these Talks would be released in DVDs shortly. I introduced
the following Youth Speciality Bibles in the Seminar—
a) Revolution: The Bible for Teen Guys
b) True Images: The Bible for Teen Girls
c) The Evidence Bible: Irrefutable evidence for the thinking mind
d) The Quest Bible: The Question-Answer Bible
I urge youngsters and youth ministers to possess these excellent tools.
Being relevant is vital to be successful in youth ministry.
Similar to the Preach Better Seminar we had in Tiruchy, Tamilnadu, English
to Tamil, in May 2007, we conducted another Seminar in Nagpur in September
this year, English to Hindi. Not less than 12 States were represented
by the 240 delegates. They returned with tears of gratefulness for the
practical lessons they received on (a) How to Receive Messages from God,
(b) How to Construct a Sermon, and (c) How to Deliver the Sermon. The
Talks, totalling 14 hours of teaching, are available in a 9-DVD pack for
Rs.750/-, plus 50/- postage.
The year 2008 has been a difficult one for the Church in India, especially
in the States of Orissa and Karnataka. Our hearts weep with the hundreds
and thousands of Christians and Missionaries who have lost their dear
ones, belongings and basic comforts (Heb 13:3). The 100-minute Talk I
delivered in the Missionary Convention of the CSI Home Church, Nagercoil,
24-26 October, titled “Blessed are the Persecuted!”, English
to Tamil, is released as a DVD. Every Christian must watch this in order
to learn how to handle persecution which will only intensify in the days
to come. You may talk to your Pastor to play this DVD on a large screen
to the entire congregation, preferably in a Sunday Service. Price Rs.100/-.
Please add Rs.25/- for forwarding. My friend, P. Manisamy of Oddanchatram,
has made 100 copies of this DVD and is distributing it to missionaries
and mission-minded Christians. How many of my DVDs have you copied for
such distribution to spread these Biblical messages? Have you noticed
the following statement at the conclusion of each of my video talks? “Copying
of this DVD for non-profit purposes encouraged!” I include this
announcement because my only burden is to spread the Word of God.
It was a treat for Lilian and me that we visited Israel for two weeks
in October at the invitation of the world-renowned Bible Teacher, Rev.
J. David Pawson of UK. It was actually alongwith the Conference for the
distributors of his teaching materials worldwide. It was a thrilling experience
to visit a Land where Jesus walked. But, more than anything else, the
close fellowship we enjoyed with Rev. Pawson and the Biblical insights
he shared with us at various tour spots in Jerusalem and Galilee were
precious and unforgettable. If you have enough money and get an opportunity,
do join a tour. However, you don’t miss anything big if you are
not able to make it. Read through a standard Bible Dictionary and use
it regularly in your Bible study. There’s nothing like it.
I’m delighted that my daily devotional, BETTER EVERYDAY, is released
now in Telugu as the 6th language edition. Just to recollect and thank
God for His hand on this book which is read all over the world, it’s
now available in English, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Oriya and Telugu. The
editions of Malayalam, Marathi, Gujarathi and Bengali are under preparation.
The Hindi, Telugu and English editions are now available in hardcover
also. The price is revised as Rs.200/- for paperback edition and 250/-
for hardcover. Get as many copies as possible for you and your friends
in this Season. Contact me for details about bulk discount.
The economic breakdown all over the world is a grave concern for everyone.
The worst affected are the poorer sections of the society. If we have
more than what we need, it’s in order that we may share it with
those in need (2 Cor 8:13-15). The call to abound in charity is dominant
both in the Old Testament and the New. The prophets of the OT, especially
the one greater than any other prophet, shouted this message aloud in
their times. It’s terribly missing in our modern pulpits. We’ve
lost the prophetic edge. If you set aside a tenth of your income for God’s
work, why not think of another tithe exclusively for the poor, whether
they are good or bad? Why not? Hardly any of us will go breadless if we
do so. You will see God in the smile of the poor!
This financial crisis is a shake-up for those whose heart is on money.
Jesus has commanded us to make savings in the Bank of Heaven. This Bank
never goes bankrupt! Please do read Matthew 6:19-21. Can words be clearer?
I have always taught students in Schools and Colleges not to choose courses
just because those are in great demand, but ask God for guidance. God
alone knows the end from the beginning. What’s considered great
in the world may not be the best for you. The collapse of the IT industry
is a stern warning to Christians so they would come back to Biblical principles
of finding God’s will in choosing a course of study or a career.
Several brilliant youngsters, who could have written Civil Service Exams
to become IAS officers, slided into IT courses to make quick money. The
result is that we don’t have many Josephs or Nehemiahs or Daniels
in top administrative positions in India. What God’s work in India
needs most today is not money but men who can influence and impact societies
with the wisdom of God’s Spirit (Gen 41:38; Dan 4:18).
My friends have been persuading me for many years that I should make my
Bible Teaching available on Television. With my hands already too full
with my ministerial responsibilities in the Blessing Youth Mission until
2003, the year of my retirement, and during the last 5 years with simply
too hectic a preaching schedule in order to minister to wider sections
of the Body of Christ, my response to these friends has not been positive.
But today when the tides of false doctrines have reached an unprecedented
height, there seems to be no other way than to establish God’s people
in Sound Doctrine through the media of Television. I’ve finally
accepted to record programmes regularly for telecasting though it would
mean extra load on me. Please pray for me, an unworthy vessel as I am.
To begin with, my friends have secured a 30-minute slot in Tamilan TV,
every Thursday, 9.30 to 10 pm, beginning with 20 Nov 2008. The Programme
is called, “Arokia Upadesam” (Sound Doctrine), English to
Tamil. We are told that the Tamilan Telecast is seen in several other
countries also. I’ve started with the topic, How not to Pray. Do
introduce the programme to your friends. If God prompts you to have a
part in this timely endeavour, you may send in a contribution to cover
the cost of one weekly programme (Rs.12,500/-) or for a month (Rs. 50,000/-).
Corrective teaching is like surgical treatment for the members of the
Body of Christ (Jer 8:22). Superficial treatment won’t help (v11).
If you can think of some of your family members or friends who would be
interested in this venture, please speak to them. Don’t feel obliged
in any way. If you want to contact a prospective sponsor for a day’s
or month’s Telecasts, I shall be happy to send you a free copy of
the sample DVD (2 hrs), which contains the first four 30-minute Talks,
to give it to him for introduction. I’m aware how a Telecast of
this nature would stir up the fury of Satan and his agents. I seek your
intercessory help over anything else.
It’s a happy coincidence that Christmas this year falls on a Thursday!
I’ve therefore recorded a message for that day, 25 Dec, 9.30 to
10 pm, exclusively for non-Christians. The title of this Talk is Why I
follow Christ. Kindly send the following SMS message to as many of your
non-Christian friends as possible to watch this Telecast on the Christmas
Day (Watch Tamilan TV, 25 Dec, 9.30-10 pm).Keep praying for them for the
greatest miracle of Salvation to happen to them. I am also making this
message available on a DVD alongwith two Tamil songs, in an attractive
box to give away as a gift to your non-Christian friends. I’ll be
happy to send you one copy free and postpaid if only you write to me mentioning
the name of your friend to whom you want to gift it. I don’t need
the address of that person. It’s your gift to him/her. If you want
extra copies of this DVD, it’s Rs. 50/- per copy plus 25/- postage.
Because it’s already subsidised, no more discount, please! But you
can make as many copies as you need. An excellent opportunity to reach
fairminded non-Christians! They cannot be doubleminded after watching
this Talk — either they would accept Christ wholeheartedly or reject
Him with perfect hatred!
When we talk about spiritual leadership, the prominent model pointed out
among the New Testament characters is Apostle Paul. But here’s a
book on leadership from the life of Apostle Peter, titled, “Becoming
a Spiritual Leader,” by Patrick Whitworth. This book challenges
us to be as real and as open as a broken Peter! I have a few copies for
those interested in this subject. 288 pages; Rs. 200/- plus 25/- for postage.
Unless I am able to find time, I cannot write these newsletters regularly.
But if you SMS your name and mobile number to Mr. Ruso (98423 68424) or
Mr. Ezekiel (94444 47744), my activities and programmes will be intimated
to you then and there. This is to help you pray specifically for me, which
I badly need. Thank you.
That’s all for now! With Season’s greetings and best wishes
for the New Year,