A Periodic Letter to my friends 12/ 14 Dec 2008

To my Friends...

Beloved,

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, May.


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,


Yours,

R. Stanley