75, Not Out

When I arrived at 70, I was exhilarated, because many did not enjoy the privilege of entering their seventies. I was singing, “I am seventy, going on seventy one...” I was excited that I made it to old age to experience the shifting landscapes. When I hopped out of 74 and peeped into 75 this year (2021) I was all laughter. To add to that, as I turned my Bible to Genesis 12 to prepare for the “Little Lambs” ministry we are doing, my heart pulsated loudly when I read, “Abram was 75 years old” (v4). When God called Abraham he was 75, and is He calling me too at 75? It was no coincidence. I knew I had turned a corner. So, I decided to obey God and take up my journey from 75 and beyond. Since we don’t have a crystal ball to see the future, just like Abraham followed the call not knowing where he was going, I decided to plunge into my future trusting God. Whenever I thought of my end, I would tell myself what Jesus told His disciples, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Mt 6:34). The “Therefore” is important. Five times Jesus uses the word “worry” and admonishes us not to worry, in the preceding verses. He points out to the birds and flowers and encourages us not to worry. So, I decided to live one day at a time and often commanded my mobile to sing that for me.

Journey into the unknown can be scary. But when God comes along, we can be cool. Abraham might have thought that he was no young blood to start a new project. But God did not think so. Age mattered least to Him. He just wanted someone who would believe Him or have “faith” in Him. That Abraham could guarantee - he believed God and that was enough for God. God did mighty things through him. He even went to war and won. Let’s be encouraged. As senescence sets in, none of us should think we are too old for God to use. You may not have a clear idea about what next, but you must have a clear idea of what God wants you to do with your life right now

Looking back..

Genesis:

Anyone who knew me as a child would keep his finger on his nose if he sees me today. I had a massive health problem and was not expected to live beyond ten. Some miracles are instantaneous and others are slow. I am a slow miracle. “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your Book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).

If you are discouraged anytime, remember what God said about you: “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” ( Jer 29:11).

Exodus:

I started my exodus from Egypt when I was thirteen. I left my cucumbers and onions, garlic and fish BLESSING / May 2021 10 behind and started feeding on the manna my Lord provided throughout. There were times of rebellion and longing for the garlic. The Lord sent serpents to sting me. But I always looked up to the cross and my gracious Lord always healed me of the poison.

If you fall, don’t be lying on your back like a dying cockroach. Get up and move forward like a Christian. Life is like a boxing match. The announcement that you have lost is made not when you fall down but only when you fail to get up. Even if you fall seven times, look to the cross with utter sincerity and live. “The just shall live by faith”(Rom 1:17). That is the secret of victorious Christian life. The heroes of the Bible are heroes of “faith,” not strength or wealth.

Leviticus:

Even as I did my medical course the urge to serve God was pushing me strongly like a steam engine. My Sunday School teaching experience laid the foundation. What I saw my parents do, helped build the superstructure. My parents’ principles were the bedrock of the family. I saw God’s hand gently taking my right hand and leading me step by step.

The call to serve God is for everyone. All need not become full timers but all need to serve God in some capacity. “Go,” said Jesus, so go; don’t be sitting on your hands.

Numbers:

As I started ministering as a shy and timid teenager, God started blessing me with souls. Not only my spiritual children multiplied, without my knowledge or conscious effort I was also producing soul winners. When a seed falls to the ground and dies, not only does it become a tree, it then produces other trees.

When you decide to serve God, be prepared for some death blows. Never remain single. Multiply like yeast!

Deuteronomy:

Whenever there was discouragement, I looked back at what God had done in my life and was strengthened to go ahead.

Meditate on the “Forget Not”s of the Bible; then like the crippled beggar, you will jump to your feet and run, praising God! (Acts 3:8). How right is the song, “Count your blessings name them one by one; and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”!

Joshua:

The Promised Land was spread out before me. I felt like a small bird on the edge of a cliff, looking out onto a vast landscape. There were places to capture. Times of fruitfulness in other Indian States and other countries, reminded me of God’s promise to Joshua.

Never be satisfied with what you are doing for God. There is much more to be done. Keep moving onward, forward! “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” is the promise for you! (Josh 1:5).

Judges:

How wonderful! Women can lead the war too! Whenever God’s Spirit prompted me to take up a giant project, He always stood by me and did not let me be ashamed.

Your family may despise you, your organisation may not honour you; but God’s women are God’s instruments. Never think you are “only” a woman. You have a vital role in the Kingdom of God.

Ruth:

Can I survive the tragedies of life? Oh, yes I can! There were times when there were no stars in my sky and I thought I was not a Naomi (pleasantness) but Mara (bitterness). During those dark BLESSING / May 2021 11 days I learned that suffering need not destroy, that deep loneliness can be turned to creative solitude, that water can be turned to wine.

Have you ever wondered if God is really involved in the circumstances of your life? If so, you may wonder why life is such a struggle. Neither Ruth nor Naomi saw God or heard His voice. In our lives too God’s influence is felt as a gentle breeze, though we don’t see Him or hear His voice. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isa 43:2). Learn to keep your chin up. Each trial should help you bounce back to life with renewed zest. “My house burned down. Now I can better see the rising moon,” wrote the 17th century poet Mizuta Masahide. You can decide to start dying earlier. You see so many people do that - they just give up.

Samuels:

Here we meet the man after God’s own heart. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). From the early years onwards, this verse spoke loudly to me.

If your heart is right, you are right. So, like David spend more time with your heart (Psalm 4:4).

Kings:

Can you avoid the inevitable degradation? God’s chosen race disintegrated. But that was not God’s plan for them. “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day” (Prov 4:18). Once I put my hand on the plow, there was no turning back. I don’t remember a time in my life which I can call as backsliding.

As you grow older, you must shine brighter. If your life has gone off the rails, remember the Prodigal and run to your father’s open arms waiting for you.

Chronicles:

Chronicles is not just a rehash of other Old Testament texts. Samuels and Kings were written to a people in exile and Chronicles was written to a people returned from exile.

When you are back to God, you can still fi t into God’s plan and rewrite your history. Never give up hope. Don’t let your past strangle your present. “A bruised reed God will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out” (Isa 42:3). Every failure opens up a new vista.

Ezra:

I always saw myself as the temple of God and tried to maintain it so. Every day I spend at least ten minutes in heart-searching and confessing. I fi x even small cracks then and there.

If your temple is broken down, you need to rebuild it. It is no small task. We are a house of prayer for all nations (Isa 56:7). Let’s not make it a den of thieves. We should not give occasion for the Lord to take the whip in His hand (Mt 21:13; 1 Cor 6:19). A Japanese proverb says that the shadow of the whip is enough for a good horse.

Nehemiah:

God’s word was my compound wall. I trembled to go beyond it. I needed the strength of a giant to keep myself under control. That Giant was God. “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control” (Prov 25:28). Like Nehemiah, start building a compound wall around BLESSING / May 2021 12 you with the word of God. “Do not go beyond what is written” (1 Cor 4:6). This principle will prevent us from being swept away by the floods of false teachings.

Esther:

“One” is a big number. One person who was ready to throw her life on the line, changed history forever. Climbing the hills of Saundatti in Karnataka to see the dedication of girls as devadasis was a daunting task. I took in the heartbreaking scenario. Bus loads of devotees were disgorging everywhere. A lot happened since that modest beginning. Prayer was mobilised. Work among devadasis was started. Soon the government cracked down on the practice and put an end to it. Today a church stands in Saundatti as a witness. It was up and against a monster.

You can make a difference in this world if you believe in God and yourself. All it takes is one individual to say, “This will stop.” Don’t just chase someone’s tail light, but chart your own course. Choose a life which is less ordinary, changing the world a little in the process. Do all you can, then it’s up to God.

Job:

Whenever I faced temptations and trials, I learnt to lift my eyes to see the heavenly vignette. Satan challenges God that Lilian would buckle under trial. But God laughs in his face saying she would never let Him down. That gave me the gumption to punch satan on his nose.

Never make your Lord hang His head before satan.

Psalms:

My wristwatch is no more my master. Whenever my heart races, I tell myself, “Calm down baby, calm down, what’s the hurry?” I have stopped burning the candles on both ends. No deadlines and I am learning to relax. 2020 was not all doom and gloom. I wanted to brush up my piano lessons of yore. I just couldn’t turn off this ambition. So, my husband gifted me a keyboard when lockdown started. I was beside myself with excitement. I plinked and plonked and now playing and singing. It lifts me up to the clouds and brings me unbidden joy. I have completely forgotten to be depressed. I forget the world around me and feel, “I am like a green olive tree flourishing in the house of God” (Psalm 52:8,9). The words of old-time hymn writers help me touch my Lord and I catch myself singing in the kitchen. I also read my Hindi and Oriya Bibles and memorize verses to give a pat to my brain. I walk for 40 minutes and exercise my joints for one hour and forty minutes a day to keep my arthritic body moving. My small garden fi lls my dreams with colours. To top it all my husband made a swing for me in the terrace. Even though my to-do list never really shrank so much as recycled itself, I take the time to swing.

Never lose your personal touch with the Lord. “A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success, bound with constant unrest,” said Albert Einstein, German physicist. Be ambitious, but don’t be blinded by ambition. It’s almost never too late to do, on some scale, what you’ve always wanted to do. The key is to move forward, to make changes. You must add to your life. Don’t hesitate to try something new. Subtract activities you don’t enjoy anymore. Make old age as happy as possible.

The Preacher:

I hear preachers and read lot of sermons and books. But my principle has always been to look for fruit in the preachers (Mt 7:16). For me what they are is more than what they do, what I am is more than what I do. If I find no fruit in them, I do what they say but do not do what they do (Mt 23:1-3).

Let, Joshua 1:8 take deep root in you. “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to DO everything written on it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Song of Solomon:

All couples aspire to be Romeo and Juliet; but life has its own sinister twists and turns. The rustic love here brings to my memory a jingle for men and women –

Some marry the man they love,

But my prayer would somewhat vary,

I pray to the heaven above,

That I love the man I marry

Why bother whether marriages are made in heaven or not; let’s concentrate on making a heaven in our marriage.

Prophets:

Prophets give me hope and help me stay upbeat all the time. They throw open a window that will never close. They speak of a glorious future and a wonderful land. That makes me throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles me, and run with perseverance the race marked out for me, fixing my eyes on Jesus! (Heb 12:1-3).

Life is a race; keep running till you reach your goal. A crown awaits you.

Gospels:

The Gospels have always been my favourite Books. They teach me the principles of life. I learnt to produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Mt 3:8). I started shedding my viper nature gradually.

You might have had a spiritual experience; but you must show it in your life. Don’t think your baptism will shield you from God’s anger.

Acts:

This Book is an assurance for me that nothing is happening to me that had not happened to the disciples. All the problems and hindrances that happen in my ministry happened to the apostles, only in a larger proportion. If they could do it to green trees, how about me, a dry wood! So, I brace myself as my Captain goes before me.

Never be discouraged in ministry. Keep going, keep on going like a bulldozer, let come what may. Having kept your hand on the plow, never look back.

Epistles:

These letters to an assortment of people are full of street smart advice. They are like letters written to me by well-meaning friends. They chided me, encouraged me, warned me, fed me, helped me develop salutary habits and kicked me forward. When doubts assailed me, they encouraged me saying: The God who makes a plant bloom, will He not make your life bloom?

Friends BLESSING / May 2021 14 and extended family twinkled in my dark sky. The Mission has been my home and missionaries my family. Like a top that spins and slows and lies down, I’ve slowed down and am ready to lie down. “I will lie down and sleep in peace” (Psalm 4:8). “After my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God. I Myself will see Him with my own eyes - I and not another. How my heart yearns within me” (Job 19:26,27).

So enter every day with enthusiasm. You can fill your days with nothing or smiles. You can laugh and keep life’s worries at bay. You have a choice. Happiness is the best cosmetic for old age, isn’t it? Gospels are not the end of your spiritual journey. There is much more. Listen to the advice of these epistle friends and become a presentable pure virgin for Christ (2 Cor 11:2).

Revelation:

George Washington Carver said: It is not ‘When am I going to die’ but ‘How much can I do while I am alive.’ As I am nearing the fi nish line, the call of the Spirit and the bride saying “Come” rings louder in my ears. It is drowning the noises of the world. I fi nd myself responding, “Amen, come Lord Jesus!”

Behold, He stands at the door and knocks. The time of His coming is not far off. Get ready. Don’t be slack and be found sleeping. In spite of Noah’s warning many people missed the boat. Let it not happen to you. Be absolutely ready!

“You live only once, but if you do it right, once is enough” - Mae West

www.lilianstanley.com

(English & Tamil)

 அனுதின அலங்காரம் (தமிழில்)
   Updated

  •   September 24 Fulltime dangers!
      Sep 24, 2021
    Fulltime dangers! more...
  •   September 23 Stop playing God!
      Sep 23, 2021
    Stop playing God! more...
  •   September 22 Hello!
      Sep 22, 2021
    Hello! more...
  • Click here for more 

 Daily Devotional for Women (English)
   Updated

  •   267. September 24 Fulltime dangers!
      Sep 24, 2019
    The secret of your successful ministry is your secret time with God more...
  •   266. September 23 Stop playing God!
      Sep 23, 2019
    Stop playing God! more...
  •   265. September 22 Hello!
      Sep 22, 2019
    Let the mobile be your servant, not your master more...
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 General
   Updated

  •   Onward, Forward, Shout Aloud Hosannah!
      Aug 09, 2021
    Onward, Forward, Shout Aloud Hosannah! more...
  •   Wife Beating
      Jul 11, 2021
    Wife Beating more...
  •   75, Not Out
      May 30, 2021
    75, Not Out more...
  • Click here for more 

 Women

  •   Golden Girl
      Aug 27, 2018
    As India basks in the glory of the golden girls who kissed their gold medals in the 2018 Asian Games, let us meditate upon the Golden Girl who glitters in the Scriptures. The Psalmist profiles her in his 45th Psalm: ?At Your right hand is the royal bride more...
  •   Sister Sodom
      Jan 16, 2017
    Sodom is always associated with wicked ''men''. But here God calls her as 'Sister Sodom!' more...
  •   Women,Leaven and Heaven!
      Sep 30, 2016
    Women,Leaven and Heaven! 'The Kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened ' ,said Jesus (Mt 13:33). more...
  • Click here for more 

 Youth

  •   Parties Gone Wild!
      Dec 27, 2020
    Parties Gone Wild! more...
  •   A Teenagers Story
      Oct 04, 2017
    In the Bible we read about many teenagers. One such is David. When we are introduced to him, he is probably fifteen or sixteen, trying his more...
  •   Why Not Wait ?
      Oct 21, 2016
    It was a whirlwind romance - all moon-beams and star dust; until one day in a moment of madness, they succumbed to each other?s charms. That was the last cruise of their love boat. The world seemed to crash around her when she fo more...
  • Click here for more 

 Family

  •   Creepers Without Support
      Sep 30, 2016
    Creepers Without Support The Bible mentions ?pure religion? only once. ?Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unspotted from the world? (Js 1:2 more...
  •   Mothers,Be Mothers!
      Sep 30, 2016
    Mothers,Be Mothers! In the first chapter of Proverbs we meet the dynamic personality called mother. She is presented not as a wobbly- footed weakling but as one who passes the law. Even inside the home she does not appear as a second class citizen, ra more...
  •   The Mother-in-laws Son!
      Sep 17, 2016
    Many a wife would introduce her mate as her mother-in-law?s son, rather than as her husband. Nearly 80% of Indian husbands continue to be (their mother?s) sons. According to a recent statistics, not less than 10% of suicides in India are due to the proble more...
  • Click here for more 

 Ministry

  •   I am a Missionary!
      Aug 14, 2018
    1. I am a missionary and so I work for God and not for an organisation. Though I am under the discipline of an organisation, whatever I do, I do with the fear of God. God is my Master and so I subject myself to the leaders. I quell any rebellious spirit t more...
  •   Sewer turned Sower!
      Mar 13, 2017
    To understand John chapter 4, we must first understand about the Samaritans. Samaria was between Judea and Galilee so much so any Jew travelling from Galilee to Judea or Judea to Galilee needed to go through it. Many Jews, because of the aversion they ha more...
  •   Afraid of Iron Chariots?
      Jun 29, 2016
    Afraid of Iron Chariots? more...
  • Click here for more 

 Sweet Sixteen

  •   019 - Mala the Great!
      Jun 25, 2015
    7 Dec 1988 Dear Aunty, It?s been 2 months since we were in touch. I?m saturated with ?news? to give you and nearly bursting with curiosity to hear what?s been happening at your end. The last letter you wrote to me was an eye-opener. To more...
  •   020 - The Rainbow
      Jun 25, 2015
    On the day she arrived, she was at my doorstep! ?Hi aunty? ?Oh Mala, how are you?? She shook my hand so long and hard that it ached, and planted a kiss on my cheek - so unusual of her. ?Why didn?t you write aunty?? ?Oh, I knew you?d be coming soon. So more...
  •   021 - What to Do?
      Jun 25, 2015
    7 Jan 1989 Dear Aunty, Christmas holidays were great fun. It was lovely getting in touch with friends and relatives. On New Year?s Day I gleaned thro? my diary- There was so much to thank God for! My friend Esther is in Rajasthan. She wrote asking for g more...
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 Little Stories For Little Hearts

  •   Introduction
      Jun 06, 2013
    Story Behind The Stories more...
  •   001. Is GOD For Real
      Jun 05, 2013
    There were two scientists. One was a believer in the true God and another was an aetheist more...
  •   002.The Language of Love!
      Jun 05, 2013
    A circus was running in town, and crowds elbowed each other to buy tickets. One day an unusual incident happened more...
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 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 2

  •   001 The Modern Prodigal
      Jul 11, 2013
    The Modern Prodigal more...
  •   002 Lower One Foot, Lord!
      Jul 11, 2013
    Lower One Foot, Lord! more...
  •   003 Beautiful Cheques
      Jul 11, 2013
    Beautiful Cheques more...
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 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 3

  •   094 Ant and Worm
      Jun 01, 2016
    An ant was majestically walking along a forest. She saw a worm crawling. The ant told the worm: ?Look at me. I am so brisk and smart. You should be faster and dress up beautifully. You look ugly.? Despising the worm the ant moved along. more...
  •   095 Diligence Pays
      Jun 01, 2016
    Ragu was very jealous of the humble minister, Ra more...
  •   096 Poor Minister
      Jun 01, 2016
    A poor minister of God used to go to a rich businessman asking for contribution for the work he was doing in villages. The rich man would give excuses and ask hi more...
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 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 4

  •   051. Blessed Accident
      Feb 21, 2018
    A sailor wanted to go round the world in a boat and set up a record. Sadly, a storm lashed his boat and it broke to pieces. The sailor swam and reached a small uninhabited island. He ate wild fruits and roots and survived. He made a more...
  •   052. Offense
      Feb 21, 2018
    An elaborate feast was arranged for all the palace staff on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth?s birthday. It was a grand affair. The table was loaded with a variety of dishes. Everybody enjoyed the feast and sat down for dessert. In the meanwhile the table more...
  •   053. Great and Small
      Feb 21, 2018
    A small zero collided with a big zero. ?Don?t you have any sense? Don?t you know I am much bigger than you?? asked the big zero; ?You must be ashamed of yourself.? more...
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  Address for Correspondence Contributions

Dr. Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
 +91 9843511943
  lilianstanley@gmail.com

Blessing Youth Mission

Blessing Youth Mission
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
 +91-416-2242943, +91-416-2248943
  hq@bymonline.org
  www.bymonline.org

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To buy books written by Dr. Lilian Stanley, kindly reach to us in the follwing address

Blessing Literature Centre
21/11 West Coovam River Road,
Chintadripet,
Chennai 600 002, India.
 +91-44-28450411, 8806270699
  blc@bymonline.org

 அனுதின அலங்காரம் (தமிழில்)
   Updated

  •   September 24 Fulltime dangers!
      Sep 24, 2021
    Fulltime dangers! more...
  •   September 23 Stop playing God!
      Sep 23, 2021
    Stop playing God! more...
  •   September 22 Hello!
      Sep 22, 2021
    Hello! more...
  • Click here for more 

 Daily Devotional for Women (English)
   Updated

  •   267. September 24 Fulltime dangers!
      Sep 24, 2019
    The secret of your successful ministry is your secret time with God more...
  •   266. September 23 Stop playing God!
      Sep 23, 2019
    Stop playing God! more...
  •   265. September 22 Hello!
      Sep 22, 2019
    Let the mobile be your servant, not your master more...
  • Click here for more 

 General
   Updated

  •   Onward, Forward, Shout Aloud Hosannah!
      Aug 09, 2021
    Onward, Forward, Shout Aloud Hosannah! more...
  •   Wife Beating
      Jul 11, 2021
    Wife Beating more...
  •   75, Not Out
      May 30, 2021
    75, Not Out more...
  • Click here for more 

 Women

  •   Golden Girl
      Aug 27, 2018
    As India basks in the glory of the golden girls who kissed their gold medals in the 2018 Asian Games, let us meditate upon the Golden Girl who glitters in the Scriptures. The Psalmist profiles her in his 45th Psalm: ?At Your right hand is the royal bride more...
  •   Sister Sodom
      Jan 16, 2017
    Sodom is always associated with wicked ''men''. But here God calls her as 'Sister Sodom!' more...
  •   Women,Leaven and Heaven!
      Sep 30, 2016
    Women,Leaven and Heaven! 'The Kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened ' ,said Jesus (Mt 13:33). more...
  • Click here for more 

 Youth

  •   Parties Gone Wild!
      Dec 27, 2020
    Parties Gone Wild! more...
  •   A Teenagers Story
      Oct 04, 2017
    In the Bible we read about many teenagers. One such is David. When we are introduced to him, he is probably fifteen or sixteen, trying his more...
  •   Why Not Wait ?
      Oct 21, 2016
    It was a whirlwind romance - all moon-beams and star dust; until one day in a moment of madness, they succumbed to each other?s charms. That was the last cruise of their love boat. The world seemed to crash around her when she fo more...
  • Click here for more 

 Family

  •   Creepers Without Support
      Sep 30, 2016
    Creepers Without Support The Bible mentions ?pure religion? only once. ?Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unspotted from the world? (Js 1:2 more...
  •   Mothers,Be Mothers!
      Sep 30, 2016
    Mothers,Be Mothers! In the first chapter of Proverbs we meet the dynamic personality called mother. She is presented not as a wobbly- footed weakling but as one who passes the law. Even inside the home she does not appear as a second class citizen, ra more...
  •   The Mother-in-laws Son!
      Sep 17, 2016
    Many a wife would introduce her mate as her mother-in-law?s son, rather than as her husband. Nearly 80% of Indian husbands continue to be (their mother?s) sons. According to a recent statistics, not less than 10% of suicides in India are due to the proble more...
  • Click here for more 

 Ministry

  •   I am a Missionary!
      Aug 14, 2018
    1. I am a missionary and so I work for God and not for an organisation. Though I am under the discipline of an organisation, whatever I do, I do with the fear of God. God is my Master and so I subject myself to the leaders. I quell any rebellious spirit t more...
  •   Sewer turned Sower!
      Mar 13, 2017
    To understand John chapter 4, we must first understand about the Samaritans. Samaria was between Judea and Galilee so much so any Jew travelling from Galilee to Judea or Judea to Galilee needed to go through it. Many Jews, because of the aversion they ha more...
  •   Afraid of Iron Chariots?
      Jun 29, 2016
    Afraid of Iron Chariots? more...
  • Click here for more 

 Sweet Sixteen

  •   019 - Mala the Great!
      Jun 25, 2015
    7 Dec 1988 Dear Aunty, It?s been 2 months since we were in touch. I?m saturated with ?news? to give you and nearly bursting with curiosity to hear what?s been happening at your end. The last letter you wrote to me was an eye-opener. To more...
  •   020 - The Rainbow
      Jun 25, 2015
    On the day she arrived, she was at my doorstep! ?Hi aunty? ?Oh Mala, how are you?? She shook my hand so long and hard that it ached, and planted a kiss on my cheek - so unusual of her. ?Why didn?t you write aunty?? ?Oh, I knew you?d be coming soon. So more...
  •   021 - What to Do?
      Jun 25, 2015
    7 Jan 1989 Dear Aunty, Christmas holidays were great fun. It was lovely getting in touch with friends and relatives. On New Year?s Day I gleaned thro? my diary- There was so much to thank God for! My friend Esther is in Rajasthan. She wrote asking for g more...
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 Little Stories For Little Hearts

  •   Introduction
      Jun 06, 2013
    Story Behind The Stories more...
  •   001. Is GOD For Real
      Jun 05, 2013
    There were two scientists. One was a believer in the true God and another was an aetheist more...
  •   002.The Language of Love!
      Jun 05, 2013
    A circus was running in town, and crowds elbowed each other to buy tickets. One day an unusual incident happened more...
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 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 2

  •   001 The Modern Prodigal
      Jul 11, 2013
    The Modern Prodigal more...
  •   002 Lower One Foot, Lord!
      Jul 11, 2013
    Lower One Foot, Lord! more...
  •   003 Beautiful Cheques
      Jul 11, 2013
    Beautiful Cheques more...
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 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 3

  •   094 Ant and Worm
      Jun 01, 2016
    An ant was majestically walking along a forest. She saw a worm crawling. The ant told the worm: ?Look at me. I am so brisk and smart. You should be faster and dress up beautifully. You look ugly.? Despising the worm the ant moved along. more...
  •   095 Diligence Pays
      Jun 01, 2016
    Ragu was very jealous of the humble minister, Ra more...
  •   096 Poor Minister
      Jun 01, 2016
    A poor minister of God used to go to a rich businessman asking for contribution for the work he was doing in villages. The rich man would give excuses and ask hi more...
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 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 4

  •   051. Blessed Accident
      Feb 21, 2018
    A sailor wanted to go round the world in a boat and set up a record. Sadly, a storm lashed his boat and it broke to pieces. The sailor swam and reached a small uninhabited island. He ate wild fruits and roots and survived. He made a more...
  •   052. Offense
      Feb 21, 2018
    An elaborate feast was arranged for all the palace staff on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth?s birthday. It was a grand affair. The table was loaded with a variety of dishes. Everybody enjoyed the feast and sat down for dessert. In the meanwhile the table more...
  •   053. Great and Small
      Feb 21, 2018
    A small zero collided with a big zero. ?Don?t you have any sense? Don?t you know I am much bigger than you?? asked the big zero; ?You must be ashamed of yourself.? more...
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75, Not Out

When I arrived at 70, I was exhilarated, because many did not enjoy the privilege of entering their seventies. I was singing, “I am seventy, going on seventy one...” I was excited that I made it to old age to experience the shifting landscapes. When I hopped out of 74 and peeped into 75 this year (2021) I was all laughter. To add to that, as I turned my Bible to Genesis 12 to prepare for the “Little Lambs” ministry we are doing, my heart pulsated loudly when I read, “Abram was 75 years old” (v4). When God called Abraham he was 75, and is He calling me too at 75? It was no coincidence. I knew I had turned a corner. So, I decided to obey God and take up my journey from 75 and beyond. Since we don’t have a crystal ball to see the future, just like Abraham followed the call not knowing where he was going, I decided to plunge into my future trusting God. Whenever I thought of my end, I would tell myself what Jesus told His disciples, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Mt 6:34). The “Therefore” is important. Five times Jesus uses the word “worry” and admonishes us not to worry, in the preceding verses. He points out to the birds and flowers and encourages us not to worry. So, I decided to live one day at a time and often commanded my mobile to sing that for me.

Journey into the unknown can be scary. But when God comes along, we can be cool. Abraham might have thought that he was no young blood to start a new project. But God did not think so. Age mattered least to Him. He just wanted someone who would believe Him or have “faith” in Him. That Abraham could guarantee - he believed God and that was enough for God. God did mighty things through him. He even went to war and won. Let’s be encouraged. As senescence sets in, none of us should think we are too old for God to use. You may not have a clear idea about what next, but you must have a clear idea of what God wants you to do with your life right now

Looking back..

Genesis:

Anyone who knew me as a child would keep his finger on his nose if he sees me today. I had a massive health problem and was not expected to live beyond ten. Some miracles are instantaneous and others are slow. I am a slow miracle. “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your Book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).

If you are discouraged anytime, remember what God said about you: “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” ( Jer 29:11).

Exodus:

I started my exodus from Egypt when I was thirteen. I left my cucumbers and onions, garlic and fish BLESSING / May 2021 10 behind and started feeding on the manna my Lord provided throughout. There were times of rebellion and longing for the garlic. The Lord sent serpents to sting me. But I always looked up to the cross and my gracious Lord always healed me of the poison.

If you fall, don’t be lying on your back like a dying cockroach. Get up and move forward like a Christian. Life is like a boxing match. The announcement that you have lost is made not when you fall down but only when you fail to get up. Even if you fall seven times, look to the cross with utter sincerity and live. “The just shall live by faith”(Rom 1:17). That is the secret of victorious Christian life. The heroes of the Bible are heroes of “faith,” not strength or wealth.

Leviticus:

Even as I did my medical course the urge to serve God was pushing me strongly like a steam engine. My Sunday School teaching experience laid the foundation. What I saw my parents do, helped build the superstructure. My parents’ principles were the bedrock of the family. I saw God’s hand gently taking my right hand and leading me step by step.

The call to serve God is for everyone. All need not become full timers but all need to serve God in some capacity. “Go,” said Jesus, so go; don’t be sitting on your hands.

Numbers:

As I started ministering as a shy and timid teenager, God started blessing me with souls. Not only my spiritual children multiplied, without my knowledge or conscious effort I was also producing soul winners. When a seed falls to the ground and dies, not only does it become a tree, it then produces other trees.

When you decide to serve God, be prepared for some death blows. Never remain single. Multiply like yeast!

Deuteronomy:

Whenever there was discouragement, I looked back at what God had done in my life and was strengthened to go ahead.

Meditate on the “Forget Not”s of the Bible; then like the crippled beggar, you will jump to your feet and run, praising God! (Acts 3:8). How right is the song, “Count your blessings name them one by one; and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”!

Joshua:

The Promised Land was spread out before me. I felt like a small bird on the edge of a cliff, looking out onto a vast landscape. There were places to capture. Times of fruitfulness in other Indian States and other countries, reminded me of God’s promise to Joshua.

Never be satisfied with what you are doing for God. There is much more to be done. Keep moving onward, forward! “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” is the promise for you! (Josh 1:5).

Judges:

How wonderful! Women can lead the war too! Whenever God’s Spirit prompted me to take up a giant project, He always stood by me and did not let me be ashamed.

Your family may despise you, your organisation may not honour you; but God’s women are God’s instruments. Never think you are “only” a woman. You have a vital role in the Kingdom of God.

Ruth:

Can I survive the tragedies of life? Oh, yes I can! There were times when there were no stars in my sky and I thought I was not a Naomi (pleasantness) but Mara (bitterness). During those dark BLESSING / May 2021 11 days I learned that suffering need not destroy, that deep loneliness can be turned to creative solitude, that water can be turned to wine.

Have you ever wondered if God is really involved in the circumstances of your life? If so, you may wonder why life is such a struggle. Neither Ruth nor Naomi saw God or heard His voice. In our lives too God’s influence is felt as a gentle breeze, though we don’t see Him or hear His voice. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isa 43:2). Learn to keep your chin up. Each trial should help you bounce back to life with renewed zest. “My house burned down. Now I can better see the rising moon,” wrote the 17th century poet Mizuta Masahide. You can decide to start dying earlier. You see so many people do that - they just give up.

Samuels:

Here we meet the man after God’s own heart. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). From the early years onwards, this verse spoke loudly to me.

If your heart is right, you are right. So, like David spend more time with your heart (Psalm 4:4).

Kings:

Can you avoid the inevitable degradation? God’s chosen race disintegrated. But that was not God’s plan for them. “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day” (Prov 4:18). Once I put my hand on the plow, there was no turning back. I don’t remember a time in my life which I can call as backsliding.

As you grow older, you must shine brighter. If your life has gone off the rails, remember the Prodigal and run to your father’s open arms waiting for you.

Chronicles:

Chronicles is not just a rehash of other Old Testament texts. Samuels and Kings were written to a people in exile and Chronicles was written to a people returned from exile.

When you are back to God, you can still fi t into God’s plan and rewrite your history. Never give up hope. Don’t let your past strangle your present. “A bruised reed God will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out” (Isa 42:3). Every failure opens up a new vista.

Ezra:

I always saw myself as the temple of God and tried to maintain it so. Every day I spend at least ten minutes in heart-searching and confessing. I fi x even small cracks then and there.

If your temple is broken down, you need to rebuild it. It is no small task. We are a house of prayer for all nations (Isa 56:7). Let’s not make it a den of thieves. We should not give occasion for the Lord to take the whip in His hand (Mt 21:13; 1 Cor 6:19). A Japanese proverb says that the shadow of the whip is enough for a good horse.

Nehemiah:

God’s word was my compound wall. I trembled to go beyond it. I needed the strength of a giant to keep myself under control. That Giant was God. “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control” (Prov 25:28). Like Nehemiah, start building a compound wall around BLESSING / May 2021 12 you with the word of God. “Do not go beyond what is written” (1 Cor 4:6). This principle will prevent us from being swept away by the floods of false teachings.

Esther:

“One” is a big number. One person who was ready to throw her life on the line, changed history forever. Climbing the hills of Saundatti in Karnataka to see the dedication of girls as devadasis was a daunting task. I took in the heartbreaking scenario. Bus loads of devotees were disgorging everywhere. A lot happened since that modest beginning. Prayer was mobilised. Work among devadasis was started. Soon the government cracked down on the practice and put an end to it. Today a church stands in Saundatti as a witness. It was up and against a monster.

You can make a difference in this world if you believe in God and yourself. All it takes is one individual to say, “This will stop.” Don’t just chase someone’s tail light, but chart your own course. Choose a life which is less ordinary, changing the world a little in the process. Do all you can, then it’s up to God.

Job:

Whenever I faced temptations and trials, I learnt to lift my eyes to see the heavenly vignette. Satan challenges God that Lilian would buckle under trial. But God laughs in his face saying she would never let Him down. That gave me the gumption to punch satan on his nose.

Never make your Lord hang His head before satan.

Psalms:

My wristwatch is no more my master. Whenever my heart races, I tell myself, “Calm down baby, calm down, what’s the hurry?” I have stopped burning the candles on both ends. No deadlines and I am learning to relax. 2020 was not all doom and gloom. I wanted to brush up my piano lessons of yore. I just couldn’t turn off this ambition. So, my husband gifted me a keyboard when lockdown started. I was beside myself with excitement. I plinked and plonked and now playing and singing. It lifts me up to the clouds and brings me unbidden joy. I have completely forgotten to be depressed. I forget the world around me and feel, “I am like a green olive tree flourishing in the house of God” (Psalm 52:8,9). The words of old-time hymn writers help me touch my Lord and I catch myself singing in the kitchen. I also read my Hindi and Oriya Bibles and memorize verses to give a pat to my brain. I walk for 40 minutes and exercise my joints for one hour and forty minutes a day to keep my arthritic body moving. My small garden fi lls my dreams with colours. To top it all my husband made a swing for me in the terrace. Even though my to-do list never really shrank so much as recycled itself, I take the time to swing.

Never lose your personal touch with the Lord. “A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success, bound with constant unrest,” said Albert Einstein, German physicist. Be ambitious, but don’t be blinded by ambition. It’s almost never too late to do, on some scale, what you’ve always wanted to do. The key is to move forward, to make changes. You must add to your life. Don’t hesitate to try something new. Subtract activities you don’t enjoy anymore. Make old age as happy as possible.

The Preacher:

I hear preachers and read lot of sermons and books. But my principle has always been to look for fruit in the preachers (Mt 7:16). For me what they are is more than what they do, what I am is more than what I do. If I find no fruit in them, I do what they say but do not do what they do (Mt 23:1-3).

Let, Joshua 1:8 take deep root in you. “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to DO everything written on it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Song of Solomon:

All couples aspire to be Romeo and Juliet; but life has its own sinister twists and turns. The rustic love here brings to my memory a jingle for men and women –

Some marry the man they love,

But my prayer would somewhat vary,

I pray to the heaven above,

That I love the man I marry

Why bother whether marriages are made in heaven or not; let’s concentrate on making a heaven in our marriage.

Prophets:

Prophets give me hope and help me stay upbeat all the time. They throw open a window that will never close. They speak of a glorious future and a wonderful land. That makes me throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles me, and run with perseverance the race marked out for me, fixing my eyes on Jesus! (Heb 12:1-3).

Life is a race; keep running till you reach your goal. A crown awaits you.

Gospels:

The Gospels have always been my favourite Books. They teach me the principles of life. I learnt to produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Mt 3:8). I started shedding my viper nature gradually.

You might have had a spiritual experience; but you must show it in your life. Don’t think your baptism will shield you from God’s anger.

Acts:

This Book is an assurance for me that nothing is happening to me that had not happened to the disciples. All the problems and hindrances that happen in my ministry happened to the apostles, only in a larger proportion. If they could do it to green trees, how about me, a dry wood! So, I brace myself as my Captain goes before me.

Never be discouraged in ministry. Keep going, keep on going like a bulldozer, let come what may. Having kept your hand on the plow, never look back.

Epistles:

These letters to an assortment of people are full of street smart advice. They are like letters written to me by well-meaning friends. They chided me, encouraged me, warned me, fed me, helped me develop salutary habits and kicked me forward. When doubts assailed me, they encouraged me saying: The God who makes a plant bloom, will He not make your life bloom?

Friends BLESSING / May 2021 14 and extended family twinkled in my dark sky. The Mission has been my home and missionaries my family. Like a top that spins and slows and lies down, I’ve slowed down and am ready to lie down. “I will lie down and sleep in peace” (Psalm 4:8). “After my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God. I Myself will see Him with my own eyes - I and not another. How my heart yearns within me” (Job 19:26,27).

So enter every day with enthusiasm. You can fill your days with nothing or smiles. You can laugh and keep life’s worries at bay. You have a choice. Happiness is the best cosmetic for old age, isn’t it? Gospels are not the end of your spiritual journey. There is much more. Listen to the advice of these epistle friends and become a presentable pure virgin for Christ (2 Cor 11:2).

Revelation:

George Washington Carver said: It is not ‘When am I going to die’ but ‘How much can I do while I am alive.’ As I am nearing the fi nish line, the call of the Spirit and the bride saying “Come” rings louder in my ears. It is drowning the noises of the world. I fi nd myself responding, “Amen, come Lord Jesus!”

Behold, He stands at the door and knocks. The time of His coming is not far off. Get ready. Don’t be slack and be found sleeping. In spite of Noah’s warning many people missed the boat. Let it not happen to you. Be absolutely ready!

“You live only once, but if you do it right, once is enough” - Mae West

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