|A periodic Letter to my Friends / 22 July 2007|
Greetings with prayers that God’s grace and peace would abound towards you!
More climbers have conquered Everest this year than in any year since the world’s highest mountain was first scaled in 1953. It is reported that 514 climbers have scaled Everest as of May 28. Famously conquered for the first time by Tenzing and Hillary, the 8848-metre peak has since been reached a total of 3514 times. An American 18-year old became the youngest foreign woman to climb to the top, and a retired Japanese teacher became the oldest person, at 71. This is a challenge every Christian must carry into his walk with God. You can go as high as you want to. Revivalist Leonard Revenhill (1907-1994) observed: “Christians normally go through three stages: Salvation, Satisfaction, Stagnation!” Here are a few questions for personal introspection:
The Preach Better Seminar conducted in Tiruchy, 22-24 May, was more than a programme. It was an event in the lives of the 240 delegates who had come from all over India. Though the Seminar was conducted in Tamilnadu, the percentage of participants from non-Tamil States was more than 30%. It was heartening to see several pastors, some of them seniors, of both mainline and free Churches, sitting with humility to learn. Thanks to the leaders of parachurch organisations who had sponsored some of their staff to this Seminar. The climate was quite hot when the Seminar began, but God granted good showers on the second day!
The most important thing about the Seminar was the manifest presence of God throughout. Raybin and Sanjeevi with their team members led the singing. The 5-stanza hymn, Spirit of the Living God, composed by Leonard Ravenhill was the theme song. A spirit of brokenness gripped the delegates every time this song was sung. I taught the following three subjects, one each day, in 15 sessions, totalling 15 hours—
The simultaneous translation into Tamil was done superbly well by Mr. E.L. Ephraim. Thank God for the rich anointing and the good health He granted us for this challenging assignment. Ruso was the Programme Coordinator.
Each of the delegates on registration was given a cricket cap with the slogan, I love my Bible! It was a sight to see everyone, men and women, wearing it as they were walking to the dining hall from the auditorium in the hot sun! Tender coconuts were served instead of tea! The Camp coordination was meticulously done by Mr. D.M. Hastings. The volunteers worked like bees! BYM Missionary Stephen and Brother Ezekiel with a few volunteers handled the bookstalls. As and when a Bible Study Aid was recommended, the delegates would rush to the stall! What thirst!
The Lord wonderfully met all the expenses of the Seminar. All bills have been paid, and there’s a balance which is invested in the literature ministry. Praise God for His goodness. Thank you for your generosity and prayers. Friends have requested this Seminar in the other States also with respective vernacular translations. The need is there, but my question is, Where is time? Pray.
The Talks delivered in the 10 sessions of the Preach Better Seminar are now made available in an attractive 10 DVD pack for Rs. 750/- per set. This pack will be an asset to anyone who is in the ministry of sharing God’s Word to small groups or large audience. You can also gift a copy to your Pastor or a Preacher friend. You cannot perhaps give them anything better! Kindly include Rs. 50/- for forwarding.
Immediately after the Seminar in Tiruchy I had to rush to Hubli to participate as the Guest Speaker in the 10th Anniversary Celebrations of the Operation Equip India ministry led by its Director Mr. Tim Swauger. The ministry of this organisation among the disabled and lepers is commendable. I spoke on “The Believers’ Response to a Suffering World.” Joni’s greetings sent through a DVD was prophetic and punching. How God turned a mishap in her life to become a blessing to thousands all over the world! She broke her neck in an accident in 1967 and has been confined to a wheelchair since then. Her life-story is a testimony to God’s power being manifested over human weakness. Buy her autobiography from a Christian bookstore. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has produced her story as a film, Joni. Thrilling! She supplies mobility aids all over the world thro’ organisations like Operation Equip India in Hubli. Dear friend, don’t waste your sorrows! Turn them into songs to God and service to man. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 gives the most satisfying answer to the question, “Why bad things happen to good people?” Here it is—
The Bible Revival Meetings in Mangalore of Karnataka, 1-3 June, witnessed a visitation of God’s Spirit in Revival blessing among His people. The meetings were organised by His Harvesters, a fellowship of likeminded believers, in association with all the Churches of the City. Several Pastors testified that the Christians of this City heard such messages after many long years. Pray that God would raise from here men like Dr. Augustine Sallins (1914-1985) who was called the “Weeping Prophet of Karnataka.” I thank God for my friend Mr. E.D.Chelladurai who translates for me from English to Kannada in these meetings.
The three days I spent with the 250 students and the faculty of the India Bible College in Kumbanad, Kerala, 14-16 June, refreshed me a lot. I handled three sessions each day. It was so encouraging to see students from 14 States of India in this College. Such an atmosphere helps students to develop their crosscultural adaptability which is vital to missionary work. Being a non-seminarian I stand with apprehensions whenever I go to address the students of the theological colleges. I thank God for His special grace which equips me to minister in such situations. Ministering to 250 Bible College Students means preparing 250 leaders for the Church of today and tomorrow. The teaching staff of the Seminaries carry a tremendous responsibility on them in shaping the lives of the youngsters committed to serve God. Pray much for them specifically. The pioneering spirit of the Keralites is a boon to missionary work worldwide provided there’s clear focus and channelisation.
Thank God for the ministry of Pastor L. Joseph of Muzhangal Yutham (Warfare on Knees) based in Hosur near Bangalore. He is an unassuming but a mightily anointed servant of God. All he has is “vision” and “burden” for India. His prayer handbooks in Tamil are like firewood for prayer altars! It was my privilege to minister to his congregation in Hosur on June 30 & July 1. A few years ago Pastor Joseph had started his ministry as a small prayer group. Now over 3000 believers worship in his huge auditorium. Let’s intercede that God would raise many such prayer movements in the North Indian States also. Write to Muzhangal Yutham, 46/AA Shanthi Nagar West, Hosur 635 109, Tel: 04344-221616, 226336, for a catalogue of Pastor Joseph’s Prayer Handbooks in Tamil.
After about 20 years the Lord took me again to Pondicherry on the 14th and 15th instant to preach His Word there. It was an Inter-Church Revival Meeting organised by the Pondicherry Unit of the Youth For Christ (YFC). Paul Isaac with his wife Shyla and the team did a tremendous job in organising the meetings. There was participation from all the Churches. Friends from surrounding places like Villupuram, Panruti, Tindivanam, Cuddalore and Neyveli had come. On both the days I spoke on Revival as the dire need of the Church today. 800 to 1000 Christians attended the meetings and were richly edified. Eventhough it was YFC which hosted the programme, no promotional work was done for this organisation. The focus was on Revival—and only that! Leonard Ravenhill wrote his world-famous book, Why Revival Tarries, in the year 1959. After about 50 years now, we have to ask, Why Revival Still Tarries?
The results of the Presidential election in India are announced today. We must pray regularly that Mrs. Pratibha Patil would be given God’s wisdom for her new responsibility. What really bothers us is that the Presidential election was so highly politicized. Everything is politicized today. Once the Church was talking about “National” politics. The Missions were talking about “Church” politics. What shall we do now about “Missions” politics? There’s a saying, “As the Church goes, so goes the world!” The Church is the salt of the world. If that salt has lost its saltiness...?
Thank God for the life and testimony of Ruth Billy Graham who at 80 had her Homecall on 14 June 2007. How she took care of their children, when Billy kept travelling all over the world, is a great challenge to every mother, especially the wives of preachers. I met her in Amsterdam ’83 and had a brief chat. What impressed me most was her unassuming character! She was moving around in that huge auditorium and talking to the delegates so normally that nobody would think she was the wife of the most renowned Evangelist of the world. She had once said that the daily newspaper had been her prayer handbook! Being the daughter of missionary parents who laboured in China, she always carried a missionary burden. Keep Dr. Billy Graham, now 89, in your regular prayers as he struggles with many illnesses.
The Operation Mobilisation India in collaboration with a Publishing House of Poland has brought out the Family Bible to influence children at the right time in the right direction. The 426-page Family Bible with magnificent paintings of the Bible stories from Genesis to Revelation is a godly alternative to the increasing number of TV programmes and books that promote ungodly fantasies, superstition, destorted beliefs, perverted values and the presence and power of evil forces. The Bible text is from the New Living Translation (NLT). Art paper and durable hardboard binding. Weight 1.2 kg. Made in Poland. Ideal for children upto 10 years. Price Rs. 400/- only. Purchase from OM or other Bookstores. You can order from me also. Add Rs. 75/- for forwarding.
It has been a burden in my heart for quite sometime to send out into various States of India several mini-vans loaded with my books, VCDs, my wife’s books, Study Bibles, Study Aids, etc., to meet Christians at their doorsteps, Church gates and in their localities. Folks are otherwise too busy to visit Christian Bookstores, or several towns don’t have a bookstore. House-to-House, Street-to-Street and Church-to-Church literature ministry has no equal. As a first step, God willing, a Maruti Omni Cargo will be purchased for book sales in Tamilnadu in a month or two. These Vans with books display facility will be called Bible Wheels. Pray much for this humble endeavour.
Teaching the Word of God to Christians in order to lead them to maturity and establish them in sound doctrine, is a burden implanted in my heart ever since I started my Bible Teaching Ministry in 1963. There is not enough of corrective teaching against the floods of false doctrine which confuse God’s people. The Lord enabled me to lead a 5-day Sound Doctrine Seminar in Tamilnadu, English to Tamil, in 1997, under the auspices of the Blessin...g Youth Mission. The same was repeated in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, with the respective vernacular translations. The thousands who attended these Seminars remain grateful for the timely input. It’s now time, after 10 years, to go for the second Sound Doctrine Seminar. Participation by selection. 250 to 300 candidates would be invited. Ask for an Application Form. I encourage you to apply if you can follow teaching in English or in Tamil. Over 40 volunteers gathered for a day of prayer and planning in the venue of the Seminar on 07-07-07. A spirit of prayer with unusual burden fell on all of us that day. The Enemy will be extremely furious because such corrective teaching will unmask his face. A huge prayer force needs to be built up. Start praying regularly from now on whether or not you apply.
My programmes for July & August—
The Study Bibles & Study Aids displayed
in the Preach Better Seminar, Tiruchy,
1. The NIV Scofield Study Bible III One of the oldest among Study Bibles, now adapted for modern readers, which served as a foundation for many other Study Bibles.
2. The NKJV Study Bible A Bible, with the mind of a scholar and the heart of a pastor, with more than 2400 pages of text and helps by eminent scholars. Non-sectarian and well-balanced.
3. The NIV Quest Study Bible A Question-Answer Bible for anyone who looks for answers to the puzzling passages in the Word of God, suitable for new believers and mature Christians.
4. The Holman HCSB Illustrated Study Bible The most informative and visual Bible with pictures, maps, charts and illustrations so you may discover the people, places and events of Scripture in a whole new light. A Bible with its background!
5. The Experiencing God Study Bible (NIV) A Bible that literally focuses on your relationship with God. This is a Bible for knowing and doing the will of God. The Word of God becomes like a personal letter!
6. The Amplified Bible A boon to those who have not studied Hebrew or Greek. Gives various shades of meaning for the original words.
7. The Message—The Bible in Contemporary Language Available in MP3 CD also. Young and old fall in love with its freshness.
8. The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge 500,000 Bible references! You cannot have more references than what you find in this unusual volume.
9. The NIV Nave’s Topical Bible
10. The Outline Bible Every verse in the Scripture outlined. Good for personal meditation, group study and sermon preparation. The best among Outline Bibles.
11. Richards Complete Bible Dictionary Rich in historical and devotional content.
12. Zondervan Pictorial Bible Encyclopedia (5 Vols.) A must for the library of any serious Bible student.
13. Rose Book of Bible Charts
14. Cruden’s Complete Concordance
15. Unlocking the Bible by J. David Pawson Available as DVDs, VCDs, MP3 and in bookform.
16. 1000 Bible Study Outlines by F.E.Marsh
17. The Complete Works of E.M.Bounds on Prayer An unparallelled classic!
18. Spritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders The King of books on Christian Leadership!
19. Spurgeon’s Sermon Notes Over 250 sermons including notes, commentary and illustrations by the Prince of Preachers / 725 pages / Hard Cover
20. Nave’s Complete Word Study Topical Bible (CD-ROM included) Nearly 2000 pages / Hard Cover
Please purchase these precious items from Christian
Bookstores or wherever available.