1 December 2013

Dear Online Friend...

Beloved,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord who has shepherded us so gently all through this year! Surely goodness and mercy have followed us all through (Psa 23). Praise Him! Now and then I receive quotes from friends through SMS. Perhaps the best in recent times: “Let’s thank God for the troubles we don’t have!”

Less preaching, more writing

As per God’s guidance I started reducing my outstation preaching engagements considerably from last year. I almost stopped it this year, though invitations have been many, both inland and overseas. God’s will is becoming increasingly clear to me that I must spend the rest of my life in bringing my spoken materials to bookform and editing them as CDs and DVDs. I have found over the years that writing is more difficult and time-consuming than speaking.

“Bible Treasures” in English

The first project I completed this year is the 832-page book, Bible Treasures, in English. This is actually a compilation of all my sermon notes which I used from Nov 2008 to Jan 2013 for recording the Talks for the weekly TV Programme, Sound Doctrine, English to Tamil. The wide coverage of subjects, from Repentance the beginning of Christian life to Death the end of physical life, as 200 corrective lessons, has added tremendous practical value to this book. This was released on 23 April in the Christian Medical College Hospital campus, Vellore, where I had my heart bypass surgery 17 years ago that day, as a thankoffering to God. My Surgeon Dr. Roy Korulla dedicated the book, and the Hospital Director Dr. Sunil Chandy received the first copy.

“Bible Treasures” in Tamil

With the help of 20 Tamil Translators the Tamil edition of Bible Treasures was released in the first week of October, to thankfully remember how God called me to step into fulltime Christian ministry 38 years ago the same time. The dedication of the book was in Palayamkottai where I did my Pre-University class in 1962-1963. Both the English and Tamil editions of this book are moving fast, and I thank God this has become a reference book for many zealous Christians and preachers. Have you ordered your copy? (Rs. 500/- plus 50/- for forwarding. 30% discount for 10 copies and more.) You may consider gifting this to your friends for Christmas.

“Bible Treasures” in other languages

The translation work of Bible Treasures into Telugu, Hindi and Kannada is already taken up. Ten of us involved in editing these vernacular editions gathered for two days of intercession and interaction on 19-20 October in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. The Telugu edition is scheduled to be released in July 2014, and the Hindi and Kannada editions in October 2014. There have been requests from a few other vernaculars also, which we are prayerfully considering. This is an expensive project. A complimentary copy of this book in Tamil has been sent to over 60 Tamil TV preachers.

Next book (?)

With God’s help I’ve started working on my next book of, may be, 1000 pages. It’s quite a strenuous job. Keep me in your prayers and await details. I was down with severe back pain between 4th and 10th of November, but the Lord granted me relief in the following week. You may recall that I had a spinal surgery in 2006. Sitting for long hours for writing, of course, is one reason for my problem. I count on His strength in my weakness (2 Cor 12:9,10).

TV Programme in Hindi

Our Sound Doctrine TV Programme in HINDI begins on Thursday the 19th December. You can watch it in Shubhsandesh TV every Thursday from 9.30 to 10.00 pm. The programme is directly in Hindi without any translation. Attached is a bookmark about this Telecast. Do let me know if you need more of these cards, in English, Hindi or Tamil, to give away to your friends to encourage them to watch the programme, and to mobilize prayer and financial support. The Lord, who met our needs wonderfully for the English-Tamil TV programme for 5 years from 2008, is the same today. We trust Him. Pray regularly that Christians in North India will be definitely enlightened by this Telecast. I sometimes wonder — and worry — why I have spent most of my ministerial years for the Tamils even though only 3.1% in India speak Tamil whereas 41% speak Hindi. Dear Christian friends, keep these figures in mind when you distribute the Lord’s money. You may consider sponsoring atleast one 30-minute Telecast per year, fully or partly (Rs. 25,000/-)

TreasurePoint

The Lord has led us to bring the Sound Doctrine lessons into PowerPoint format. We call it TreasurePoint. The first and second subjects, namely Repentance & Faith, are now available on CDs in this format. Each has over 250 slides of pictures and animations with the entire text from the book, Bible Treasures. These are ideal for personal study and classroom teaching. See for yourself how these lessons come alive on the TreasurePoint CDs. Each CD costs Rs. 100/- only. The other subjects will be released one by one every other month.

Bible Answers

It’s always my concern that Christians get Biblical answers to their genuine questions. The Boy Jesus grew by “listening to the elders and asking them questions” (Lk 2:46,47,52). Several frequently asked questions are rarely answered. I started answering them from 1989 in the Blessing Magazine of the Blessing Youth Mission. Testimonies started pouring in from readers. These Questions & Answers were compiled and released as two volumes of 50 answers each under the titles Frank Answers-I and Frank Answers-II. In May this year I combined them as a single volume by rearranging the order of questions, and deleting and adding a few and released it under the title, Bible Answers, both in English and in Tamil. The BYM published it. These Questions & Answers are arranged under seven heads: (1) Christian Life (2) Christian Doctrine (3) Holy Spirit & Gifts (4) Church (5) Christian Ministry (6) Sex & Marriage (7) Social Life. This 240-page book has become a handbook for many. The answers are forthright and objective. The hardcover edition sells for Rs.125/-, and the paperback Rs.100/-. Do order copies for you and your friends. The entire book is available on my website also, for free downloading. Please forward relevant questions & answers to your friends who are in confusion over these issues. Living with unanswered questions will stunt spiritual growth.

“Better Everyday” in CD

More and more people seem to prefer hearing to reading or watching. They spend considerable time in travelling to and from their workspots. We see men and women plugged with earphones in buses and trains. Our 432-page daily devotional, Better Everyday, in Tamil, is now made available on an MP3 CD, running for 60 hours. I have personally read out the entire text of each of the 365 devotions and also the daily portions of Bible reading. You may download this CD of 3 GB on your laptop or mobilephone and listen to the devotions wherever you go. It costs Rs.100/- only. Forwarding Rs. 25/-. You may order copies of this CD for your friends from me, or make copies yourself. Help your friends begin each day with a solid devotional thought. It may be an ideal gift for the New Year! If the Lord leads and enables us so, we would record these devotionals in the other
languages also. Pray for this.

Strengthen the Shepherds!

The Blessing Youth Mission for which I had been the Founder-leader for 33 years (1971-2003) lost 4 of its workers in quick succession between April and August this year, all of them at the average age of 45. Needless to say, this shook the entire staff community. I volunteered to address the staff for two days to share with them whatever inspirational insights I received from the Lord in this context. The leaders kindly arranged for such a Meet with 45 select missionaries from all over the country, in Chennai, 13-14 November. On the first day I gave a Talk on “Questions & Fears” for 4 hrs 30 mts in 3 sessions, and on the second day on “How to finish well” for 3 hrs in 2 sessions. Hearts were more than encouraged. These Talks in English-Hindi were videographed to be edited and sent to all mission stations, and if possible to all Missions. Tragic deaths are reported in every other Mission in India. When the enemy’s strategy is to “strike” the shepherds, we must do all that’s possible to “strengthen” them (Zech 13:7; Mt 26:31).

In addition, several Missionaries and senior servants of God are quite sick. To cite just a few names, Brother Emil Jebasingh is down with cancer; Brother Prakash Yesudian suffers from ascending paralysis; and so on. Quality workers and leaders are already few.“Lord, have mercy on us, lest we have sorrow upon sorrow!” (Phil 2:25-27).

Post-retirement works

A servant of God may retire from an “organisation” but never from the “ministry!” I retired from the Blessing Youth Mission, as per the norms, in 2003. In October 2013 I completed 10 years in the post-retirement ministry. I am humbled to recollect how these 10 years have been so productive in the cause of God’s Kingdom. I share here a few of the works of this period with you so you may praise God with me —

  1. Helping the leaders of the Blessing Youth Mission as its Chief Advisor; guiding young preachers and leaders; contributing articles to the Blessing Magazine.
  2. “Better Everyday,” 432-page daily devotional, in 10 languages namely Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Tamil and Telugu; several reprints.
  3. Numerous preaching assignments on invitation all across India and overseas in General Conventions, Leadership Seminars, Pastors Conferences, Missionary Challenge Meetings, Staff Retreats of Missions & Relief agencies (FMPB, GEMS, World Vision, Compassion Intl., Methodist Churches, etc.)
  4. Recording of Better Everyday devotionals in Tamil for daily Telecast.
  5. Reprinting of Rev. David Pawson’s book, Unlocking the Bible, 914 pages, in India; reproduction of this material in Video format as a 44-DVD pack.
  6. Attaching a Studio to our residence; equipping with two video cameras and accessories.
  7. Sound Doctrine TV Programme, English-Tamil, weekly, Nov 2008 to Jan 2013.
  8. Production of about 250 Video & Audio CDs in various languages.
  9. Sound Doctrine Seminar, II & III, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi; Sound Doctrine Seminar-I in English-Marathi.
  10. Preach Better Seminar, English, Tamil & Hindi; release of the book “How to Preach Better” in Tamil.
  11. Old Paths Retreat, English-Tamil.
  12. Jesus’ Footsteps Retreat, English-Tamil.
  13. Release of “Bible Foundation,” a pack of my handwritten teaching notes of weeklong Summer Study Programmes of 1977, 1978, 1979 & 1987.
  14. Release of “Bible Treasures,” 832 pages, 200 corrective lessons, English & Tamil.
  15. Revision of Frank Answers-I & II under a single volume titled, Bible Answers.
  16. Revision of several Blessing Books.
  17. Publishing of Sound Doctrine topical booklets, a Bible Reading Calendar, a Guide to Bible Study aids and a few tracts.
  18. Volumes of freely downloadable Bible Teaching material, in written and video formats, in the website: www.StanleyOnBible.com
  19. Sound Doctrine Video Talks in numerous TV networks like Salvation TV, Holy God TV, etc.
  20. Introduction & Distribution of reliable Study Bibles and Bible study aids to believers; two 4-wheelers, called Bible Wheels, for literature ministries; two rented buildings, known as Bible Houses, for stocking literature; supply of Bible Teaching materials to Christian bookstalls.

I thank everyone of you who stood with me for these and several other activities through your prayers, personal involvement and offerings. The future is in God’s hand. I am not ambitious but I pour myself into whatever work God leads me to do. In all my endeavours I aim at the (i) Edification of the Church, (ii) Evangelisation of the World, and (iii) Expansion of God’s Kingdom. I covet your ongoing support. My daughter Evangeline Jones, alongwith the three other staff of StanleyOnBible, helps me a lot in this expanding work.

Another year

Every year brings us closer to the Return of Christ. Jesus always worked with a sense of urgency, saying, “The night comes when no man can work ... I must work while it is day” (Jn 9:4). The “night” may come for each of us. It may be a paralysing sickness, physical weakness, a terrible crisis or death. Let’s rededicate ourselves to do our “utmost for the Highest” in the coming year, 2014. My wife and I wish you all the best!

— R. STANLEY


(For Contributions online: R. STANLEY, Account No. 10545862765, State Bank of India, Branch No. 7274,
Vellore 632 006, Tamilnadu. IFS Code: SBIN 0007274; SWIFT Code: SBININBB473)