A periodic letter to my friends / 7 January 2007

 

Dear friends,


This is the first Sunday of the Year. I write this letter from Ranni of Kerala State where I have come to preach in a District Convention. May God make you more fruitful than ever in this New Year! There’s so much to be done in His Vineyard. Our usefulness depends on how much we make ourselves available and yielded to God. Walk humbly before Him. His grace will flood into your soul (Js 4:6). And make sure you have no selfish, ulterior motives.


The Indian Government has declared 2007 as the “Water Year.” Poor irrigation and acute dependence on rainwater have seen farmers getting poorer over the years. Rural poverty is on the rise. Is this not the state of affairs in the Church also? Mercy drops round us are falling, but where are the showers? Religious excitement is no index of genuine Revival. On to our knees “until” the Lord would rain a Revival of Righteousness in the Church and the Country! (Hos 10:12). Give a fresh reading of the Book of Acts and books on the Revivals of the past. Quoting Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994), “Revival tarries because we have learnt to live without it!” Did you ever come across his book, Why Revival Tarries? Grab it!


New Year decisions are commonplace. Include in your list a decision to maintain a Bible Notebook in which you would jot down points of inspiration from your daily meditation of the Bible. Unless you do this, you are bound to forget many a rich truth God teaches you from His Word. Seeds which lie uncovered by soil on the wayside get easily snatched away by the birds (prince) of the air! (Mt 13:4,19; Eph 2:2). My diaries are my treasures. I have stacked them for frequent reference. The most important thing is that you must write it then and there. Even the next day would be too late to recollect!

Many Churches and Ministerial organisations pick up a Biblical promise or theme to be claimed and studied throughout the year. This is an excellent practice. Besides what your Church or organisation serves through its magazine and meetings, give yourself to a personal study of the subject with the help of Reference Bibles, Concordances and Bible Study software. It is God’s desire that you are enriched in the knowledge of His will through His Word (Col 1:9; 3:16). The Blessing Youth Mission has declared 2007 as the Year of Faith. What a theme! We are saved by faith (Eph 2:8); Our Captain is the Author of Faith (Heb 12:1,2); We belong to the Family of Faith (Gal 6:10); Our life is in the Spirit of Faith (2 Cor 4:13); Our message is the Word of Faith (Rom 10:8); Our cry unto God is the Prayer of Faith (Js 5:15); We are the Children of Faith (1 Tim 1:2); Our battle is a Fight of Faith (1 Tim 6:12); and so on. One of my Corrective Teaching Sermons, preached on 2 Sept 2006, is just released under the title, How not to Believe, as a 3 VCD pack of 3 hrs 15 mts duration. It’s in English to Tamil. The first audience testified that it was an eyeopener to them. This is available with me at Rs. 150/- per pack. It doesn’t matter if you cannot follow Tamil. The time in between each English sentence and its Tamil translation can be used for taking down notes and for contemplation! Here are the 10 subtitles of this Talk—

1. Do not generalise Bible promises.
2. Do not be overoccupied with material blessings.
3. Do not exceed your measure of faith.
4. Do not struggle alone to maintain faith.
5. Do not hesitate to confess the facts.
6. Do not be overridden by disappointing experiences.
7. Do not isolate faith from other devotional exercises.
8. Do not expect all questions to be answered.
9. Do not depend on your goodness.
10. Do not forget God’s works of the past.
I have so for given the following Talks on this “How not...” series—
1. How not to Pray
7. How not to Suffer
2. How not to Meditate 8. How not to Plan
3. How not to Give 9. How not to Believe
4. How not to Worship 10. How not to Work
5. How not to Battle 11. How not to Think
6. How not to Minister 12. ?



Some of the friends of the Kannyakumari District in Tamilnadu came up with a request to pack the first 10 of these talks in VCDs as a set and supply them 100 sets. They have planned to sell these to keen Christians in the District as an attempt to stop the floods of false doctrine. Great! You can also plan such a VCD Distribution Programme (VDP) for your District or region. The retail price of each set (totally 23 VCDs) is Rs. 1000/- only. It’s attractively packed in booktype cases. The case of each title has the 10 subtitles of the Talk printed on the back cover for ready reference. If you order 10 sets or more, you get a discount of 25% . That will take care of your local expenses for this distribution drive. Sit with your friends and chalk out a plan. If we sleep or stay inactive, the enemy will countinue to sow weeds among wheat! (Mt 13:25). Contact me for your requirements.

There were certain works I could not do while I was the Chief Executive of the Blessing Youth Mission from 1971 to 2003. There were simply too many things demanding my time and energy. After my retirement from the organisation (not from ministry, of course) I have started to take up some of those untouched works one by one. Bringing out my recorded sermons in VCDs is one of them. I started this in a humble way two years ago. I am surprised that the number of my sermon VCDs released so far in English as well as with vernacular translations has exceeded 75. This is the Lord’s doing! I’ve enclosed herewith a Catalogue. This is a time-consuming job but I do it joyfully as a “service” to the Body of Christ to edify, exhort and encourage its members. Ours is an audiovisual age. Last month, the Blessing Youth Mission has purchased from me 8000 sets of the “How not to Work” VCDs for its life subscribers for the year of 2006 which it observed as the Year of Excellence. This Talk I had delivered in the BYM’s Annual Camp of 2006. Kindly go through the Catalogue and find out if you would thus need large quantities of any one or more titles for your Church or Organisation.

The series of Talks I delivered in Germany, English to Tamil, in 1993 and 1995, respectively on the themes, “Holiness unto the Lord” and “First His Kingdom,” each for a duration of totally 15 hours, are now made available in MP3 format, each as a 3-CD set. Earlier these were in audiotapes only. It has been an enriching experience to thousands who listened to these tapes. Each MP3 set of 3-CDs is Rs. 150/- only, plus forwarding. Order these from the Blessing Literature Centre, 21/11 West Coovam Road, Chintadripet, Chennai 600 002, Tel: 044-28450411.

The afternoon Talk I delivered in the Trichy Bible Conference on 2 Sept 2006 titled, Ministry or Business? has impacted many. In this 1hr 30 mts English to Tamil Talk I have pointed out the following 7 differences between a “ministry” and a “business.”

Ministry
Business
  1. The glory of God is the primary motive.
  1. Expansion of the work is the top priority.
  1. Dedicated to bless people.
  1. Interested in using people.
  1. Endeavours to please God in preaching.
  1. Preaching to the taste of the hearers.
  1. Reports are for praise and prayer
  1. Reports are to impress the readers and raise contributions.
  1. Builds the Body of Christ and the Kingdom of God.
  1. Multiplies buildings and raises empires for self.
  1. Focusses on the poor, the downtrodden and the needy.
  1. Goes after the rich, the affluent and the influential.
  1. Essentially guided by the Holy Spirit.
  1. Predominantly influenced by public opinion and the modern trend.


I am burdened to gift this Talk on DVD to atleast 1000 Preachers and Pastors. Religion is getting highly commercialized. Please send me before Feb 15 the residential addresses with telephone numbers of Evangelists, Pastors and Preachers known to you whom you think would be benefitted by this Talk. I shall be happy to send this DVD to them as my gift without mentioning your name. If you want copies for your own use or distribution, these are available at Rs. 100/- per copy. 25% discount if you order 10 or more.

I have received so many requisitions for the Application Forms for the “Preach Better Seminar” scheduled for May 22-24. Here’s a bookmark for your prayer. If interested, ask for an Application for yourself or a friend, before Jan 31.

Praise God for the wide circulation of my 432-page Daily Devotional, Better Everyday, in English, Tamil, Hindi and Kannada. Pray for the speeding up of the translation work in Malayalam, Oriya, Telugu, Marathi and Gujarati. Do you own a copy? The price is Rs. 150/-

Besides inviting people to listen to my Sermons and to read my books, I have been regularly introducing to them various authors and preachers over the years. The cost of the overseas edition of Leonard Revenhill’s Revival classic, Why Revival Tarries, was prohibitive for an average Indian buyer. With his permission I got it reprinted in India in the 1970s by the Blessing Youth Mission. The same has been translated into several Indian vernaculars. Another one is Rev. J. David Pawson from England, a Conference Speaker and Author, whom I greatly respect. The BYM reprinted his book, The Normal Christian Birth, in India and had him as the Guest Speaker for its Bible Lovers Camp in Danishpet in 1992. He is now 76. It’s difficult to come across another Bible Teacher like him. With his permission I am now reproducing his audio and video CDs in India. His 66-VCD or 44-DVD set of Unlocking the Bible, an overview of the whole Bible book by book from Genesis to Revelation, is going like hotcakes. Enclosed is a pamphlet about it. Order this precious teaching material for you and your friends.

I have several such projects in mind, to equip God’s people. But I am ever-conscious of the Word: “It is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy” (Rom 9:16). David was a man after God’s own heart. It was in his heart to build a Temple for God. But God did not allow him to build it. He gave that assignment to Solomon. Let God be God!

I beseech you to pray for a rich anointing on me and for good health as I prepare to preach in the forthcoming meetings of this month and February—

Jan 26-28

National Staff Retreat of Haggai Institute, Hyderabad

29

National Consultation on Revival, Blessing Youth Mission, Hyderabad

Feb 2,3

Video recording of a few short sermons

9-11

District Convention of IPC, Tiruvalla, Kerala

23-25

Interchurch Revival Meetings, Davanagere, Karnataka

 






If you desire to receive brief news of my meetings then and there, kindly send your mobile number with a request by SMS to Mr. T. Ruso, 098423-68424. In turn you may forward the messages to your circle of believing friends to increasingly mobilize prayer support for me. This letter is on my website also which you can copy and forward to your e-mail contacts. Thank you so much.

During the last two years I have been sending out letters like this one, only in Tamil, to some of my Tamil friends. From now on I will send the same in English also, responding to numerous requests from non-Tamil friends and to be in touch with new non-Tamil friends. You may give copies of this letter to anyone who would love to pray for me. I shall be happy to add them to my address list. A line of acknowledgment now and then from you will be an encouragement. My prayers are with you that you would find God’s enabling grace sufficient for you each day of the year.

R. Stanley