TESTIMONY OF FRUITFULNESS 

‘The Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful’ (Deut 16:15)

A dear brother in our church who is happily married and a wonderful father, who is a worship leader in the choir, working full time as a teacher, surprised us yesterday. Some months ago he told us that he wants to start farming. He got a plot of land outside the town. He said that he will go there each weekend to plant vegetables. He said that it will be good exercise for him. He is a ‘city boy’ and has no experience with farming but he was willing to learn from those who know better. Yesterday he came with a bag full of fresh cucumbers, to give us as a gift. These are his ‘first fruits’. He said that they are ‘organic’. I see that God has blessed the work of his hands. As a teacher, all these years, even as a worship leader, it is hard to see visible fruits. But this harvest of cucumbers brings joy to my heart to see that God has indeed blessed this our son in Christ! Praise the Lord!

I use this testimony as a point of contact for others who are willing to start a new business! May God enlarge your territory! May God bless your labor! May you honor The God who blesses you! In Jesus name’ amen!

cucumbers

I HONOR MARRIAGES 

“Marriage should be honored by all…” (Heb 13:4)
The idea of being ‘a career woman’ is more common in the western world than in Nigeria where I live. But the advice is universal and we can all learn from it. I write this with a new found compassion for the older single women who made mistakes in their youth. Life is not easy. To be a woman especially is not easy… A ‘career woman’ is a woman whose main priority in life is achieving success in her career or profession. It may specifically refer to a higher interest in career than in marriage or having children. In other words, her job is her ‘husband’ and her office is her ‘child’. This term can thereby be used in contrast to what is called ‘a housewife’. Interestingly, there is no male equivalent. Have you ever heard of a “career man?” No!

The truth is that not all working and successful women CHOSE to be ‘career women’. They just ‘become too old to marry’ while working in their offices. There is a season for everything in life. They postpone marriage or having children until it is ‘too late’ for that. Time passes them by… Some delay motherhood for years because they feel they need to stay competitive in their businesses. Later they regret that decision. Some women believe that their dedication to their career, and the good that they are building through their work, is their ultimate legacy. Oprah Winfrey is the best example of that. Finally, some women have absolutely no interest in becoming mothers, their careers notwithstanding. Their identity is rooted in their business.

I am a medical doctor by profession. My husband and I ran a private hospital for about 20 years. I know the attraction of success, money made thru hard work and fame knocking at my door. I am a wife, a mother and a grad mother. I am now a pastor, in full time ministry. From the Word of God I find that the majority of women want to ‘settle’, to marry and have children. They want to have time to enjoy their home and the gift of motherhood. Most of the scriptures encourage the women to marry and have children. But because the women know marriage is hard work, it competes in their mind with the hours of work in the business. Many of them pursue a successful career or money instead of building a family. It is true: Marriage and motherhood is hard work and sacrificial ministry. The sacrifice is great but the reward is greater. I testify to that!

This is my advice to the women who come to my office battling between a life in the business world and another (simpler) life at home. This is not an easy choice. If you are working in the office, there are some advantages: you compete with others, to climb ‘the ladder of success’. You dress ‘corporately’ and you earn praises from men. This life style is very interesting, powerful, attractive and addictive. I know it. The other option is to choose to marry, have children and ‘manage a small’ business. Your husband who is now your ‘boss’ may appreciate your efforts or he may not. This choice is difficult. To be a happy wife you need to be loving, wise, spiritual and patient. But God will reward you at last…

But the worst thing is to live a life of regret. What I mean is this: you choose a career in business and you regret for sacrificing marriage. Or you choose to marry and cooking in the kitchen, you day dream about working in a Shell office or in a bank. Because I experienced both these life styles, I can give you a good, time-tested advice: a business career cannot satisfy your soul!!! The money you make cannot buy joy! The fame you gain cannot manufacture peace! Even your husband or your child cannot satisfy your deepest longings. Only Jesus Christ can do that!!! For me, this is what I believe: To be a happy wife and mother is more rewarding than any promotion in any office in any country. Dear sisters, women, wives and mothers, be encouraged today! Reject regrets! Trust God! May the Holy Spirit direct your path! May God help you to choose the right thing now! In Jesus name! Amen!

HEALED TO BE HOLY 

“When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” (Jn 5:6)
This is the story of a man who was paralyzed for 38 years (Jn 5:1-15). He was lying down by the pool of Bethesda, in Jerusalem. There was crowd of people there. Most of them were very sick and dying. Jesus passes thru the crowd and comes to this man. Jesus asks him: ‘Do you want to be made well?’ This is a ‘strange’ question. Why does Jesus ask a sick man if he wants to be well? Why does Jesus ask a blind man if he wants to see? Why does Jesus ask a poor man if he wants money? For us these questions seem unnecessary. But Jesus does everything with a purpose in mind. Every miracle must bring glory to God. The longer the wait, the greater the glory!

The reason why Jesus asked the man who has been waiting for 38 years in that situation if he wants healing is because that means a total change of life style. For example, you have always been poor, not able to feed or pay house rent. Then suddenly you become the owner of a mansion!!! Think of it… You who have never been married suddenly the best Christian man you know, that handsome and rich man says he wants to marry you. How will you feel? You who never had a child, suddenly you are pregnant with triplets. Try to imagine the change in your life…

If you depend on people for feeding, for prayers or for help, every moment of your life, you accept defeat and doubt as normal. But God loves you. For as long as you are alive and praying, anything can happen! God still works His wonders among men! In the midst of that crowd of hundreds of sick people, Jesus finds this man. He heals only this man. This is grace. This is peculiar love. No man can buy it with money. In that crowd, Jesus can locate you! After many years of knowing that you are dying, captive to incurable disease or slave to a hopeless situation… will you still trust God for a miracle? Sarah was ninety when she became pregnant with Isaac. What if she said to God: ‘I wanted to be a mother all these years. But now I am too old. I don’t want a baby again…’ Many people reject God’s gift because they think that they are too old to enjoy life! What a loss of opportunity!

The miracle has happened! You suddenly become well. Now you need to change! You need to work and take responsibility for your life. From a beggar you now become the boss! You need to choose today! Jesus heals so that you become holy. Jesus saves you to become sanctified. Many people once they are healed, they use their health to go back to the world. Jesus warns anyone who prays for a miracle to use the new health and the new riches to remain in the faith and serve God more than before! If not, a worse thing may happen!

There is a demon called ‘Begging’. Another one is called ‘Complaining’. You need to let go of those demons! Stop begging men! Stop complaining! Pray to God! You must give your life to Christ! Your healer must become your Savior and Lord! You become filled with the Holy Spirit who is a generous Spirit! Walk by faith! You are strong enough to make others strong! You are rich enough to bless others with your money! You become spiritually mature to be able to pray for others in their need. Are you willing to be made whole? Do you really want this miracle of a changed life? Are you willing to pay the price to be a blessing to others? Then Jesus will come and touch you. He knows everything and everybody. His power has no measure. The suffering may be long but the healing is immediate. Come back with your testimony! Glory to God!

JesusBethesda2

PRAISE THE LORD! I AM HAPPY! 

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Phil 4:11)
Many people ask me: ‘how can you be happy in Nigeria?’ I tell them that the secret of my happiness is not Nigeria, is not Romania and it is not America. My secret is not rooted in the ground of this earth. That is why it cannot be stolen and it cannot be destroyed. My secret of happiness, peace and success is found in Christ alone!

My life is not always easy. But I do not pray for ‘an easy life’. I pray to fulfill destiny in Christ. Things gained without effort will be lost without a tear. My discomfort in Nigeria has pushed me to Jesus and made me willing to answer His call for ministry. Joseph named his second son Ephraim. It means ‘God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction’. I identify with him. When the pressures of life come, I always look ahead to see what God will do with my pain. He always does something beautiful in His time. My pain is never lost. It becomes worship.

If we are too comfortable in this world, it is impossible to birth life in others. I had learned over the years to see life thru the eyes of my Lord Jesus Christ. My eyes deceive me. But His vision planted in me gives me strength to stand when I should stand, and to move, when it is time to move.

One secret that I have learned is to die to complaining about the things around me. There are enough reasons to complain in Nigeria. But it drains my peace, my joy and my anointing for ministry. When things are hard, when I do not understand what is happening around me, I chose to quietly wait for the Holy Spirit to speak. He alone knows everything. When He talks, every pain becomes a painting and every fear becomes a poem. His voice still stops the storms on the sea!

May God bless you and your family. It is well!

MY TESTIMONY AS A WIFE AND A PASTOR

“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands… when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear… rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God… as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord…’ (1Pet 3:1-6)

I shall now boast in the Lord! My husband and I are married for over 42 years. In Christ and by the grace of God, I declare that I am quiet, gentle, precious and beautiful! The Word of God says so! My husband says so! What others say it does not matter. I have learned over the years to speak less than my husband, especially when we are in public. For example, if he speaks 10 words, I speak maybe 3. If he is not around I can speak 8. You may joke about it, but this is the truth. I mentally count the times I open my mouth. If I do not have something good and godly to say, I am not ashamed to keep quiet. I do not have to prove that I am intelligent by talking.

But when I talk, I make sure that I am on my husband’s ‘side’. I do not come from the opposite side. I do not stand against him spiritually speaking. I do not threaten him positionally. I am never on the side of them who argue with him, even if jokingly. If I do not understand something he says I make a mental note to ask him at home. I do not want to ask him any question while others listen to us talking. If it is an ‘emergency’ I ask him in Romanian. Thank God, most people do not understand this language. I do this because I do not want to be seen as his boss, teacher or mentor. I gladly submit to him because of God’s command. I also do not ask other men questions in my husband’s presence. I do not want to be seen as a foolish ignorant wife. That attitude will place the blame on him implying that he did not teach me well at home.

You may say: ‘this is so hard’…You may also ask: ‘what is your gain in all this’? My gain is God’s pleasure over our home! The Holy Spirit is free to rest, move and work in us from inside out. Obviously, my husband and I are ‘a work in progress’ but if we obey God’s Word, the progress is faster. We love that!

The devil loves to ask questions causing division, doubts, fears and confusion. It is very easy to be rebellious. It is very hard to love and to submit. It takes the training and the discipline of the Holy Spirit to achieve this mighty work of loving submission for Christ’s sake! I pray before I talk. I choose when to answer or when not to answer a question that is ‘thrown’ at me. My husband is the only one who has the right to ‘demand answers’ from me. No other person has the same right. I refuse to be intimidated into foolish submission by ‘strangers’ even if they are friends or family. That will mean betrayal to our marriage. I do not regret talking too little but I regret talking too much. This strategy of keeping quiet (well… most of the time) is not legalistic or religious. It is the result of the leading of the Holy Spirit who gives me the power to choose silence over speaking when silence is the winner.

Finally, this counsel is for couples who serve God together: Since we started the ministry, the greatest attack has been on our marriage in particular; to destroy the unity of the Spirit between us. The devil knows that if we are not united in the Spirit, we shall ‘fall’ as a couple. We may not divorce but we will be separated in our hearts. That fall will affect the ministry. The false believers in the congregation are very smart to detect and increase any division among the leaders. Because both of us preach and teach, both of us we need to be very sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Our spiritual gifts are different. The way we approach the things of life and the strategies to solve problems are different. But we are born of the same Holy Spirit and we are one in Christ! The strength of the unity and the freedom of expression must be displayed each time we minister. Only God can do that! We know it! We appreciate it! That is why without the leading and power of the Holy Spirit, we do not know how to ‘conduct’ a service. That is why we are always so grateful for the Holy Spirit, our Comforter! This is our testimony: by the grace of God we are happily married! By the grace of God we are making impact as spiritual leaders! To God alone be all the glory! Amen!

Tali and M6

WE ARE RICH, GENEROUS, GRATEFUL AND BLESSED

HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT
“God will make you rich enough so that you can always be generous. Your generosity will produce thanksgiving to God” (2Cor 9:11)
 
The Women’ Fellowship was very good. We praised God with songs and dancing. This was the last fellowship this year and it became a thanksgiving service. Every sister (married and single) had an opportunity to share a testimony of God’s goodness and to give thanks to God. We all agreed, with one accord, that without God we are nothing. We declared that our God is the only living, good, wise and faithful God. 2017 was a good year. There were challenges but God gave us the strength to overcome them for His name sake. We declared that 2018 will be even better. We believe that God’s plans for us are good and not evil to give us hope and a glorious future.
 
As women of God we shall lay a godly Holy Spirit foundation for next year with one month (January 2018) of daily fasting and prayers. We shall pray that God will fulfill His destiny in our lives… that our marriages will be better… that our husbands will grow in grace… that our children will be saved, that they will be good and healthy children… we pray that God will bless the work of our hands and our ministries… we pray for Father’s House Bible Church, for the leaders and all the departments… for revival in our land..
 
We pray that the anointing of Queen Esther will be our portion, that God will change our lives from nothing to glory, that God will remove any hindrance that blocks our progress in life… that God will give us favor with Him and with men… that just as Mordecai and Esther (father and daughter) were promoted at once, so we and our children (both generations) shall be promoted… We come against all evil spirits of fear, doubt, empty religion, confusion, depression, sickness, untimely death… We reject you all in the name of Jesus! We plead the Blood of Jesus over our bodies, souls and spirits. We declared that God is jealous over our lives and testimonies as women of God. We know that Jesus fights our visible and invisible battles and the victory is sure! To God alone be all the glory! In Jesus name, amen!
 
In Christ we declare:
By the Blood of the Lamb, we are saved!
We are women of God like Sarah, Leah, Esther, Deborah, Ruth, Abigail, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary of Bethany…We shall fulfill our destiny!
We are free from the spell of any evil spirit! Our enemies are defeated already!
Our marriages and children are blessed! The work of our hands is blessed! Our ministries are blessed!
Father’s House Bible Church is blessed!
The Women’ Fellowship is blessed!
To God be all the glory!
In Jesus name
Amen!
(In the picture, my husband, I and a group of brethren from our church)
FH6