ENJOY A LONG LIFE

“But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands” (Is 53:10; NLT)

When I was little I loved the story about a wild bird, a quail, that pretended to be injured to distract the attention of the predator. This bird had five chicks. She saw a vulture coming toward her nest. She told her babies not to move no matter what. She then boldly went before her enemy and started shaking. Her wings were fallen to the ground. She was making painful cries. The vulture thought that she is helpless or wounded and it will be an easy prey. He tried to catch her. But limping, she was going farther away from the nest. She wisely kept her distance from the hunter. Little by little the mother bird drew away the enemy from her babies. Once she arrived at a good distance she flew in circles and then went back home. The vulture slept hungry that night. Good for him!

I have faith to apply this story to my present condition. At least twenty five years ago I made a covenant with God that if my children (natural and spiritual) are under attack, I am ready to take that on myself. God approved my request. Over the years I have been attacked spiritually by arrows meant to hurt my children. I have my wounds as a testimony of my work as an intercessor. I know that I am stronger than them. It is better that I am attacked instead of them. This is spiritual warfare and a labor of love. For example: a spiritually poisoned arrow is able to make my child sick enough to have a surgery in the hospital or an accident. But it will only give me a headache. I gladly chose the headache. I am a mother and a spiritual covering for them. These are not just empty titles or cheap words. This is the truth and God is my witness.

Like I said, a month ago I fell and broke my left ankle. It is very possible that the devil attacked my family. Who knows what could have happened if my children had to take this attack on themselves. I am so grateful to God for the ‘diversion’. This is an encouragement to my children to praise God for their deliverance and to serve Him more! The devil is a deceiver but this time he was deceived. He ‘missed road’ as we say in Nigeria. Like the vulture, he is gone away Disappointed! Thank God for that! My bone will soon heal and we shall dance to the glory of God!

My children, be strong and happy! Arise and shine for your light has come! The devil has failed! The enemy shall regret this attack! Our family is blessed! The blessings shall increase and multiply! There is an overflow of joy coming directly to us! The anointing has increased! Happy! Happy! Happy! This is the time for that! I see it… Do you see it? The breakthrough has happened! Have faith in God! The sick is healed; the jobless one has a good job; the single shall marry; the oppressed shall be free! To the glory of God! In Jesus name, amen!

TWO WRESTLERS- TWO WINNERS

“Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed” And He blessed him there. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip” (Gen 32:24:31)

It is more than four weeks since I fell and broke my ankle. My husband is my hero in this time of need! He is a champion and a true man of a God. He is helping me the best way he can. I thank God for his life! But he is also a very busy man. So, I am alone in my room most of the time. I now have more than enough time to read the Bible, to pray and to meditate about God and my life. It is my desire to find a higher level of the grace of God. I don’t want to waste my pain. This is a great opportunity for me to have an encounter with God. Because of the cast, I cannot go to church as usual. But nothing shall stop me to go to the throne room of God. I do not need legs to go there. I only need faith. I have faith!

I am interested in particular in the scriptures that describe the blessings associated with brokenness, which is the Royal Way of the Cross. One of best stories is found in Genesis 32. We see here Jacob wrestling with the Angel of God who is the pre-incarnate Christ. It is the story of Peniel, seeing God face to face and live. Jacob is coming back to the Promised Land. The pain and the blessing found at Peniel is the visa to enter the Promised Land.

Jacob ran away from home because he was afraid Esau will kill him. He cheated his older brother by taking his birthright. He deceived their father Isaac and took away the blessing of the first son. Afraid for his life he runs away from home. He has an encounter with God at Bethel. He goes to his uncle Laban. God prospers him there. He marries and has children. He becomes a wealthy man. At part, he deceives Laban by running away from him. His name Jacob means ‘Deceiver’. Deception and scheming was his strategy of success in life. And it worked for him in the past.

He is now ready to come back home. Jacob is humbled. He needs a new strategy of success. He does not want to deceive Esau like in the past. He wants to live as a man of God. He wants to be a worshipper. He needs a change of heart. He needs to be delivered from himself. He needs to discover his weakness. He needs to know the power of God in his weakness. He needs a new name and a new identity. He needs God to bless him with a true new beginning. He needs the anointing of God for ministry.

How can God bless him? By breaking his will, by killing his flesh, by crippling him. This is the strange way God blesses strong men for ministry!

Jacob is left alone. He wrestles with God in Christ the whole night. God dislocates his hip. From now on he will limp and use a walking stick. But from now on the Sun of righteousness, Jesus Christ, will rise on him with healing in His wings. His name will be called Israel, Prince with God.

Here we see God’s grace hunting and hurting a man until he conquers that man. We see God and man wrestling on the ground until the connection of holiness and the eternal blessing is established. In the natural, in a wresting match, there is a winner and a loser. It is a battle for control and superiority. But in an encounter with the living God there are no losers. God wins and man wins! There are two wrestlers and two winners. This is the way of The Lord! Pinned to the ground, finally, God has His man in the grip of His grace. From now on, God can trust man with His resources. Delivered from the power of flesh, man can now rest in the power of a new identity and a most special blessing.

Waiting for God to heal my broken ankle, there is nothing more I desire than the blessing of His presence upon my life. Let my pain lead the way to Peniel! Let me see God face to face! Let my travail be not in vain! Let it bring forth eternal fruitfulness to the glory of God! Like Jacob, let me lean on my staff and worship God! May the power of Christ find my weakness acceptable as a dwelling place! May God bless my husband with a stronger anointing for ministry! May God bless my children (natural and spiritual) with the blessings of Christ! In Jesus name I pray, amen!

Penuel

HONORING MY FATHER

“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Eph 6:2, 3)

Today is Father’s Day and I remember my father, Prof. Albai Ion. I want to honor his memory. He went to heaven about 15 years ago. He was my loving father, my history teacher and the principal of our school. The best thing I remember about him is that he loved his wife (my mother), my sister and I very very much. He was very protective of his daughters. I loved to be his daughter. My mother was a disciplinarian. My father was the mediator. Each time my sister and I misbehaved and our mother punished us, he always ‘begged’ on our behalf. Because of that we decided never to misbehave and hurt him. It was not the punishment that changed us it was his constant love! I remember that… His love was the greatest encouragement for us to be good!

He encouraged us to be the best we can be. As a father, he was an ‘action man’. Until he died he never left us alone in our time of need. For example, when we have to wake up in the night to go to the train station to travel somewhere, he always insisted to come along. It did not matter if it was cold winter or heavy raining. He said that he can’t sleep when his children have to go out in the night. When I was in the Medical school in Timisoara, if I received any letter or a parcel at his home address in Orsova he will not wait for me to come home. He will travel 6 hours with the train just to bring that letter saying that he is sure I will be happy to see it sooner than later. He heard that princesses play a musical instrument. He insisted that my sister and I go and take piano lessons two times a week. The piano teacher lives far. He will always come and take us home. His presence was always comforting. Other men wanted sons but my father never ever made us feel inferior. He was very proud of us his daughters!

When I told him that I want to marry a colleague who is a Nigerian, he was very upset. He said that going to Africa is too far and he cannot help me there. But once he met my husband he loved him immediately as the son he never had. He did for him exactly what he did for his daughters. My husband loved him very much too.

Like all the teachers during the Communist Romania my father had to say that he is an atheist. Later, I discovered that he was a silent believer in God. Six months before his death he gave his life to Christ and openly confessed his faith. He died and was buried with a smile on his face. His unconditional love helped me to understand the love of God the Father. I am sure that he smiles in heaven seeing that I am saved now… Oh, Tata…

‘Thank You Lord Jesus for saving my father! Thank You Lord for giving me such a wonderful heritage! Thank You Lord for saving my family! To You alone be all the glory! In Jesus name, amen!’

(in the picture is my father and I as a baby)

Tata si eu

CHARIOTS OF FIRE

 
One of the best movies i have watched is called ‘Chariots of fire’. It is inspired from the true life story of Eric Liddell who won the gold medal at the Olympics in Paris in 1924. He was a Scottish athlete and a committed born again Christian. His parents were missionaries in China. He was a very fast runner. He prepared for the 100 meters race. When he was told that the heat for that race was on a Sunday he refused to run. He said that God commanded His people to rest on the Sabbath and to go to church. His stand brought him a lot of persecution. The news went all over the world. The Olympic committee put pressure on him but he refused to compromise his stand. Then one of his team mates suggested that they can exchange their races. Eric can run the 400 meters race and he will run the 100 meters. This was a much more difficult race and he was not prepared for it, but he agreed. Miraculously, the Olympic committee approved the switch.

The very Sunday he was to run he was invited to the Church of Scotland in Paris to preach. He encouraged the congregation from the Book of Isaiah 40:31.
“But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint”
He ended by saying: ‘if you honor God, God will honor you!’

The word of truly prophetic! Two days later he ran in the finals of the 400 meters race. The Americans were the all time favorites. Nobody gave Eric a chance. They all stated running. Half way in the race the French runner pushed him and he fell injuring his knee. For few seconds he lied down there looking the sky… He had to chose between victory and defeat. He silently called the name of Jesus. Then, in much pain, he got up. Limping, he stated running again. To everybody’ surprise he overtook them all and won the gold medal to the glory of God! After this success he fulfilled his vow. He never ran again. He went as a missionary to China. He died there in 1945 serving The Lord!

I remember this story especially now. It is such an inspiration! As you know, four weeks ago I fell and broke my ankle. For now, I have to stay on bed rest in a cast. But this early Sunday morning, I am encouraged to get up and dance again! To the glory of God! This is a great lesson for us all: Even if you fall, you don’t have to give up your dream! Against all odds, you can rise again and still win that battle! Your enemies shall be disappointed! The devil is a liar! Your friends shall rejoice! God is on your side! Jesus is Lord!

This is is a quote from his book:
“It has been a wonderful experience to compete in the Olympic Games and to bring home a gold medal. But since I have been a young lad, I have had my eyes on a different prize. You see, each one of us is in a greater race than any I have run in Paris, and this race ends when God gives out the true medals.” (Eric Liddell)

(The movie can be seen fee of charge on utube. The original song is very anointed! in the picture you see the real Eric Liddell)

Chariots of fire

MY STRONG TOWER

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe” (PV 18:10)

Today is exactly four weeks since I fell and broke my ankle. It has been quite a journey. I know that God could have prevented my fall, for He has done so all my life. But He allowed this accident to happen so that thru it all, He may be glorified!
There are so many revelations I have received since this fall. Like I said to you, God’s ways are often strange to us, human beings. His ways are different and much higher than ours. As a child of God you should be always grateful and give thanks to your Father in heaven! This should be your attitude in life!

My dear children, let me remind you of this: God is never afraid of what we call emergencies of life. He is never shaken from His throne in heaven by our crises and challenges. Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses for as a Man He experienced all our pains. But He is never troubled by them. After our Lord went back to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit that we may live in victory just like He did. He also gave us access to the authority invested in His wonderful name. Oh, the name of Jesus…

This is my testimony: the moment I fell, I did not stop to ask any questions. I ran to hide in the power of the name of Jesus! It is not only that I called His name aloud, but my spirit ran towards the throne of mercy and grace to find help in that my time of need. Like we say in Nigeria… ‘See race…’ But if I did not know how to go there, I could have been in serious trouble. If I did not know how to seek God at the mercy seat, I could have been confused. If I did not know God’s ‘address’ I could have been captured by the devil. If I did not know how to dive into the ocean of God’s grace, I could have been shaken spiritually. I could have ended not only with a broken bone, but with a broken spirit, filled with anger at what has happened and querying God in all this. Then the devil could have rejoiced at his victory. But thank God for victory!

This is my experience: the name of Jesus was too strong for my enemy to break, too high for him to climb its walls, too hot for him to quench. I ran there as a child runs to the mother when he is afraid. And immediately I entered the strong tower of the name of Jesus, I felt safe, secure and strong. My leg was still paining me but my spirit had the victory!

This is an extremely practical lesson: It is what you do when there is peace that you can apply in times of war. Walk while you have light so that when darkness comes and the walk stops, you may be found in a good safe place. Learn to love the name of Jesus before the trouble comes! Study the Word of God and find the revelation of the power invested in the name of Jesus! This eternal deposit of holiness shall be your strength in times of trouble when no man understands and no man can help.

My children, please listen to me: If you are lost and you need salvation, if you are afraid and you need comfort, if you are lonely and you need a friend, if you are poor and you need provision, if you are single and you need a life partner, if you are barren and you need a child, if you are weak and you need help, if you are anxious and you need peace, if you are sick and you need healing, if you are confused and you need direction, if you are foolish and you need wisdom, if you are under attack and you need protection from enemies, if you need the strength of a father, the compassion of a mother and much more that all these things, go to Jesus! Run towards Jesus! Do not look back, left or right! It does not matter what men or devils say about your situation! Believe the report of The Lord! Run to Jesus! There is power in the name of Jesus! Dwell inside His name and you shall be saved!

Singing: ‘No other name like the name of Jesus… no other name like the name of my Lord… No other name like the name of Jesus.. Is worthy of glory, is worthy of honor, is worthy of power and of praise!’ Hallelujah!

run to Jesus

MY STRENGTH IS RENEWED

“Why do you say, O Jacob,
And speak, O Israel:
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
And my just claim is passed over by my God”?
Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint” (Is 40:27-31)

Tomorrow shall be four weeks since I fell and broke my ankle. I have to stay on bed rest because of the cast. There are so many lessons I am learning from this time of slowing down. During that fall, my flesh was weakened and my bone was broken. But surprisingly, my spirit became stronger and more alert than ever. It is like I suddenly became wide awake from a deep sleep! Right now, the power of resurrection bubbles in me like an engine fueled from heaven! This revelation is a great mystery but such a blessing to me!

If I ever have to chose between flesh being strong or spirit being strong, I will always chose the latter! I wrote ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’ on my cast so that I remind myself that in whatever situation of life, in poverty or riches, in sickness or in health, the covenant of God stands forever! The name of Jesus shall be the standard by which all things shall be judged! At His name all knees shall bow and all tongues confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!

My flesh is slower than before because I am not supposed to apply weight on my left leg. Standing on only the right leg, even with the help of the crutches, it is not easy. I feel unbalanced and insecure. In the past, I will just look ahead and move, talking my feet for granted, that they will cooperate without grumbling. But now I have to look well, study the path ahead of me, and calculate my steps. The ground should not be wet and slippery… Things should not be scattered on the floor to hinder my steps… I am thinking like a baby now… But there is progress… I have discovered that I am now faster and more confident on my crutches… Of course I could have desired to walk without them but until then, I am grateful for this little improvement… I have also discovered that my right (good) leg is getting stronger to compensate for the weakness of his twin ‘brother’ that is hurt… I can now stand longer on the right leg without shaking or getting tired… ‘Right leg, well done!’

All these little gains remind me that God has created me and not myself. My 62 years old body, even with a broken bone, is clearly ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ by God. That is why I have hope that I will walk again without the help of crutches! As I am waiting for God to do His work in me I have faith that He will not abandon my body in this cage of infirmity! His promise stands that I shall rise up with wings like an eagle! My new wings are getting ready! I am not a chicken! I am an eagle with a broken leg but still an eagle! The coward chickens on the ground should still fear me! I shall fly like an eagle! I shall hunt like an eagle! This is what the Holy Spirit tells me and I am ready to believe every word He says!

You too my children, please be encouraged! Our God knows the future because He is the One who creates the future! His plan shall prosper in our lives! Imitate me as I imitate Christ! I am not saying that you should fall like me… But from whatever cage of limitations you find yourself in, put all your trust in the Living God! He is the God of miracles and wonders! He is the God who changes the impossible into the possible! He is the God who heals you! He is the God who fulfills the words of the prophets! He is the God who created the eagles! He renews our strength! God is not afraid of your problems! Let’s arise and shine, for the glory of The Lord is risen upon us! In Jesus name, amen!

cast

FIND REST

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Tske My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)

My dear children, I have received a word of wisdom for you… For you who are over- worked and under- payed: I believe that you carry more load than you are supposed to carry. This is a spiritual problem. God gives us burdens to carry, responsibilities to fulfill. He tells us to pray for some people… He also gives us the wisdom and the strength to carry those. Then the devil comes and adds his own, secretly trying to deceive us that it is God’s burden. But the devil’s load comes with anxiety and depression. He is merciless and wicked. His intent is to frustrate you and blame God for your failure in life. The devil will not help you carry these fake burdens. He will deceive you to waste time and energy in prayers God cannot answer!

Practically, what should you do? Come to God and ask Him to forgive you for being careless with your responsibilities. Then ask for mercy. The devil has no mercy but God has mercy for He is merciful! Ask God to sift your burdens; to keep the right ones and to throw away the fake ones. This is deliverance! Immediately you will feel a sense of relief and great freedom! You shall become ‘light’ in your spirit and you shall love to freely worship God! Anxiety and depression will fly away like birds run at the sound of a gun shot! No more free foolish parasitizing!

I pray for you this morning, that you be willing to do what is right! In Jesus name, amen!

rest