April 17, 2011

To Online friend,

Dearly beloved,

Greetings with prayers that God’s grace and mercy through Christ will abound towards you!

My last letter was in October last year. This is the first letter of this year! Amidst my hectic schedule and health setback I could not find time to sit and write these newsletters. I never realized that several of my friends would miss this communique from me. Thank you for praying whether or not you hear from me!

One of the chronic diseases I suffer from is Vertigo (Menier’s Syndrome) which has been bothering me once or twice a year over the last 25 years. But the episode in December 2010 was rather long and the attacks were more frequent than before. Several of you prayed for me on hearing this. It got cleared with the beginning of January. However I took it as a signal from God to take a break for atleast six months from my outstation programmes especially overseas. When I sent regret letters to the organisers, they were more than kind to accept my inability. Several of you might not be aware that I am a weakling. I live only by God’s supply of daily grace.

On 23 April I complete 15 years after my open heart surgery. It’s amazing how God continues to use this weak vessel. I make Psalm 71:17,18 my autobiographical prayer—

“O God, from my youth You have taught me,
and I still proclaim Your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim Your might to another generation,
Your power to all those to come!”

The release of the Bible Reading Calendar for Meditation & Memorization is the first highlight of the year. It was made available in English, Tamil and Hindi. Oh, how many thousands are regularly using it now! My wife sponsored the sending of nearly 10,000 postpaid copies to the Life Subscribers of the Blessing Youth Mission. Several Churches gave away this 72-page booklet as a compliment during their carol programmes. Some Pastors ordered them for each of their congregational members. The BYM gifted it to each of the 1400 girls who attended Aroma 2011 in January. Earlier anyone regularises his Bible reading habit, the better. Two of our friends, who got married in December 2010, gifted these Calendars to the Wedding guests at the Reception. I also made it available on my website for free downloading. The interesting thing is that you can start using it from any part of the year. God willing, this valuable companion to systematic Bible reading will be made available in the other major vernaculars by the end of the year. Let there be a revival all over Christendom in Bible meditation and memorization! Keep a supply of these Calendars with you to give away to Christians while you go visiting homes.

The Lord enabled me to finish editing the 6 Talks, English-Tamil, I delivered in the Old Paths Retreat conducted in Karaikudi, Tamilnadu, in October 2010. The Talks are: Old Path of the Scriptures, Old Path of the Spirit, Old Path of Solitude, Old Path of Simplicity, Old Path of Sacrifice and Old Path of Soulwinning. Several hundreds have purchased this 6-DVD pack titled Old Paths, at Rs. 300/-. The summary of testimonies from viewers is, “The messages are unusually insightful and thoroughly soulsearching!” Do order your copy with payment adding Rs. 50/- for forwarding.

The release of the Gujarati edition of my 432-page daily devotional, Better Everyday, as the 10th language edition, in Ahmedabad of Gujarat on 27 Nov 2010, was an unforgettable event. So many Pastors and Christian Workers were there in that evening gathering with words of testimony of how they had been immensely edified thro’ the English edition. Two hundred Pastors in the State are now blessed with a complimentary copy in Gujarati. The Nepali edition is halfway through. The Chinese translation has not picked up yet. Pray much for this.

About twenty of us gathered for two days, 29-30 January, in Chennai, to wait before the Lord in prayer. This gathering was with the conviction that while work increases, prayer must also increase. Otherwise we would start depending on “our” might and power rather than on “God’s” Spirit (Zech 4:6). The Lord poured out a mighty spirit of intercession on us.

It was a memorable event when my wife and I with our daughter and granddaughter visited God’s servant Sister Sarah Navaroji at her residence in Chennai on 28 August 2010. At 73 she faintly remembers how I used to attend the Sunday Services in her Assembly in 1968-70 while I was doing my M.Tech. in IIT, Chennai. We went just to thank her for the rich contribution she has made, both through her songs and messages, to the Indian Church. One of my strong suggestions to her associates was to bring out her audio-recorded songs in the video format. I’m highly excited that 20 of her most famous Tamil songs are now available as DVDs. It’s such an edifying experience to watch them! Buy them in Christian bookstores. She is truly a legend! We had included several of her songs in the songbook of the Old Paths Retreat for their richness and Scipturalness. These “old” songs are truly a “new” song unto the Lord!

The Salvation TV interviewed me for their telecast on 23 January in remembrance of the martyrdom of Graham Staines and his two sons who were burnt alive 12 years ago in the State of Orissa. The 90-minute interview in Tamil is released as a DVD for the blessing of a wider audience. “How has the martyrdom of Staines affected Orissa? Has this cruel incident affected the Indian Church? What about the feelings of Mrs. Gladys Staines and the daughter Esther? What are the roadblocks for Indian evangelism? How should Christians live in these last days?”—These are some of the questions I answered in this interview. Shall be happy to send you a copy of this DVD as my compliment if you ask for it. A must for every Pastor and believer!

The Sound Doctrine Telecast in the Tamilan TV, on Thursdays 9.30 to 10 pm, English to Tamil, is singularly blessed by the Lord. It was a humble beginning on 20 November 2008. Little did we realize that this venture would have such far-reaching results. To God be all glory because it’s “His” doing! As you are aware, the topics telecast so far are:

      1. How not to Pray
      2. How not to Meditate
      3. How not to Give
      4. How not to Worship
      5. How not to Battle
      6. How not to Minister
      7. How not to Think
      8. How not to Repent
      9. How not to Believe
      10. How not to Suffer
      11. How not to Plan
      12. How not to Work

Each topic is covered by ten 30-minute talks. The 120th episode was telecast on 7 April 2011. The 13th in this Series, titled How not to Operate Gifts, begins on 14 April. A vital and crucial subject for the day! Though I have taught on Spiritual Gifts earlier on various occasions, my fresh meditation and study this time was rewarding. Do watch the same. Inform your friends. You can also watch online: tamilantv.com The first 10 topics are available as a 10-DVD pack for Rs. 500/-. Individually each of the 12 topics as a 2-DVD pack costs Rs. 100/-. Kindly order these valuable teaching material for your family and fellowships. Each is a Video Bible Class! Pray for a rich anointing to rest on me as I prepare the Talks for the forthcoming topics.

As the Lord has burdened us, we have begun preparations for dubbing these video talks in Hindi. This is by no means an easy task. In course of time we must dub in the other languages also. I beseech everyone of you to specifically intercede for this endeavour which is meant to bless every State in India with sound doctrinal teaching.

The work of editing the above-mentioned Telecast Talks to publish them as booklets is done by our daughter Evangeline Jones. The titles— How not to Pray, How not to Meditate, How not to Give—are already released as booklets in English and Tamil. The first two are published in Hindi also. The first one has come out in Telugu also. Evangeline is now working on the topics: How not to Worship, How not to Battle, How not to Minister and How not to Think. Pray for her and all those involved in the translation work. The actual production cost of each of these 72-page booklets is Rs. 10/-. The selling price is also Rs. 10/- only. The retail price by any publisher is usually fixed as twice or thrice the production cost! The reason why I keep no margin is to somehow fill Christendom with sound doctrine against the floods of false doctrine. Pray with me that God would raise several sound doctrinal teachers and preachers all over India to snatch Christians from the seduction of the enemy (1 Tim 4:1-4).

As a token to bless who have grown with my writings for over three decades, I gifted the booklet, How not to Pray, in Hindi and Telugu, to the Life Subscribers of the Blessing Youth Mission. The dominating philosophy all through my life and ministry has been, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). The apostles operated closely on this principle (2 Cor 11:7,8). Friend, I would like to urge you to seriously consider what all you can give away for the sake of the Kingdom. The Blessing Youth Mission blessed me with a gratuity of a little over one lakh rupees when I retired in 2003 after 28 years of fulltime service. I invested this entire savings of my service the same year to gift over 1000 copies of my 432-page daily devotional, Better Everyday, to the longterm supporters of the BYM. See how God has honoured the act in that this book has become the most favoured one among other devotionals for thousands all over the world, and in less than 10 years it has come out in 10 major languages. Yes, if we sow bountifully, we shall reap bountifully (2 Cor 9:6). There should be no calculation or stinginess when we talk about Christian giving. These things I write not to boast of but as a testimony. God knows! (2 Cor 11:30,31).

Beginning with 2003 I have been producing DVDs of my messages and sermons to serve the people of God. These titles are available either in English or with simultaneous translation into Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Oriya and Gujarati. I was praying for Marathi and Bengali also. The Lord graciously enabled me to produce a 6-DVD pack in Marathi containing the lectures I gave in the Sound Doctrine Seminar, Kolhapur, 6-8 May 2010. A set of 4 Talks I delivered in the Kolkata Keswick, 10-12 Feb 2011, English to Bengali, is released as audio CDs. Editing of the DVDs consumes lot of my time because I try to insert as much detail as possible—the title, subtitles, Bible references and even what I have left out on the pulpit from my sermon notes! And later, in the providence of God, these talks can be brought to bookform. Pray that I may find time to work on the hundreds of unedited talks still in the videotapes. I’m seriously thinking of not accepting any new outstation preaching engagement so I can invest the rest of my life in the production of DVDs and books from the hundreds of sermons I’ve already preached. This would bless generations to come. What do you think? I also find travels and staying out quite difficult these days.

During the 2-day prayer gathering in January in Chennai, mentioned earlier, we placed before God our desire to gift 10,000 copies of my daily devotional, Better Everyday, to 10,000 Pastors all over the country. Blessing 10,000 Pastors would mean blessing 10,000 congregations! The enemy’s strategy is, “Strike the shepherd; the sheep will be scattered!” Our strategy is, “Strengthen the shepherd; the sheep will be strengthened!” This will work out to be roughly 1000 copies in each of the 10 languages in which this book is available. Including the forwarding charges this project would cost anything between Rs. 7,00,000/- and Rs. 10,00,000/- God is greater than our greatest need. Pray with us. Kindly collect for me the full addresses with telephone numbers of Pastors in your area who do not possess a copy of this book. Don’t forget to mention the language.

A Christian sister called me a couple of years ago enquiring about a particular Bible Study Aid. I asked her how she knew there was such a book. This was her reply: “I recently asked God’s servant Brother Sam Jebathurai how he was able to give so many Bible references in his messages. He said that he uses several Study Aids, and one significant Aid is what Brother Stanley introduced to me several years ago!” Oh, how my spirit rejoiced! Yes, with the God-given wisdom and discernment, right from 1971, I have helped thousands of missionaries, evangelists, preachers, pastors, youth and adult Christians to choose safe Bible Study Aids. The Bible Society of India thanked me that so many rushed to their bookstore to buy the ESV Study Bible which I highly recommended. People need help and guidance in this area. There are half a dozen friends who now help me in distributing Study Bibles and other Study Aids to Christian communities. Would you like to involve in this worthy endeavour? Please write.

The preparations have started for the Jesus’ Footsteps Retreat scheduled for August 13-15 in Karaikudi. Those who attended the Old Paths Retreat and those who later came to know about it are looking forward to this Programme. Christ is the central theme of the entire Scriptures. As such tracing His footsteps will be the most exciting study and experience. Pray much for this Retreat that the life of each of the organizers, speakers and delegates will be deeply impacted by the meditations on the theme. Satan cannot be silent over such a programme (1 Thess 2:18). Intercede much before the Throne that all his sinister schemes be thwarted. I would like to kneel with you whenever and wherever you pray.

Parents, do not be overanxious about the college courses of your children. Take time to pray and find out what’s God’s will for them. Don’t join the world’s rat race. Everyone need not become a doctor or an engineer. Why not take an Arts Course and prepare to write the IAS exam? We badly need Christian IAS Officers to minister like Joseph, Nehemiah or Daniel. Beware of the capitation fee system! People who are too stingy to give away Rs. 1,00,000/- to God’s work are ready to throw away Rs. 60,00,000/- to Rs. 75,00,000/- for a medical college seat! Will God be pleased with such an attitude? We can “buy” a seat for our children, but unless God “blesses” them...?

Summer is here. Don’t plan a hectic schedule. Rest and relax. Attend just one good Bible Conference or Seminar. Plan an outing with your family. Pick up one of the Bible Study Aids, say a Bible Dictionary, and read through. (The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary and the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary are among the best.) It’s better than visiting the “Holy Land” one hundred times!

—R. Stanley