MY CHRISTMAS SONG 

“Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:10, 11)

This is my testimony: I was born in Romania where the winters are always heavy. I married my husband, Richmond Leigh and we came to Nigeria in 1980, to settle. We had three children. Both of us we practiced medicine here. When we came to Nigeria I could not speak English. At the beginning I struggled. The culture, the weather, the food, the people… everything was different than what I knew about life back home. As a wife, mother and doctor, I struggled to remain happy facing opposition, misunderstanding and anxieties of life. There are no winters in Nigeria. For many years I missed the winter especially at Christmas. It is like I left my child(hood) far away, in another land. I had to let go of my memories which only hunted me… I had to forget the past so that I can receive new blessings…

Light shone into my darkness when in 1986 I became saved! Yes, I gave my life to Christ in our house at that time, in a building at Okoro street Warri, in Nigeria. My life changed again! Little by little, I started developing new feelings, learned new songs and creating new memories. For a long time I felt like a stranger in my own body. It took many years for the war in my heart to end and for peace to reign.

This morning, as I have my quiet time, my heart is at peace… I smile… I am grateful to God for being with me all these years in a country I could not have chosen by myself. I am grateful to God for helping me to chose a Savior I could not have chosen by myself. I thank God for helping me to more than adjust, more than survive here in Africa. I found eternal life, my Savior and my destiny here. Nigeria is not what you call ‘a cute’ country. But the Holy Spirit loves Nigeria and pours the rivers of water on this thirsty land. It is my privilege to be a pastor together with my husband, here in Warri- Effurun, Nigeria. It is my honor to represent the Satisfier of men’s souls, the Joy of all generations and the Hope of all nations to the people here. I speak His Word, I share His joy and I pray that they are filled with the Holy Spirit! I do not trust myself to impart in your hearts a passion for the Holy Spirit. But I trust that God will touch you and fill you with Himself. In Jesus name I pray! There is no greater prayer than this!

From Nigeria to the world I say: Oh come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord! For He alone is worthy! Christ the Lord! Merry Christmas! God bless you all!

Merry Christmas FHBC

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GOD IS FAITHFUL 

This is a letter sent to me this morning from a sister who had to relocate to another city. She, her husband and children were faithful members of our church. This testimony is to the glory of God and for the encouragement of others. As a pastor I rejoice when our spiritual children move in life filled with faith, wisdom and courage. To God be all the glory!

“Good morning Malia, how are you? Malia since the last time l saw you, we didn’t move to… immediately. l believe all things work together for good, for they that trust in the Lord. There were some minor delays, but to God’s glory we have now moved. Its a new apartment two bedroom and l like it. Malia, l want to give God all the glory for bringing my family and l safely, we prayed that there would be no police harassment or car troubles, because our car had faults, to God’s glory, we were barely stopped by any police and the car drove smoothly, then before we left, my husband filled the petrol tank, because we didn’t have much money on us, but we prayed and we trust that the Lord will provide according to our needs and Malia few days after we arrived the petrol tank was still full, 1week after it had barely changed, 10 (ten) days later we are still using it,

l want to say God is Faithful, Merciful and kind,i love these little details and great mercies God shows His children, l am so excited and grateful, so many things He has been doing, our gas bottle was leaking and l got worried, l called my husband and he said we have to change it, he had gone to work, l prayed that we wont be charged and if we are a token, when l got there, the sales personnel told me he would check it and he changed something we tried it, it was no longer leaking, l asked how much and he said no charge,

Malia, it pays to put our TRUST in God Almighty, l want to thank Him for been with us, even as my husband is away, His presence surrounds us. Our daughters especially our eldest is excited with the new place, says mummy l like it, at night l went into a room to worship&pray, the next thing they both woke up and joined me, let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Malia l will send pictures, my phone is faulty now, but soon l will be able. Have a lovely week Malia. Your daughter…”

I AM AN ELDER IN THE KINGDOM

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony” (Heb 11:1, 2)
 
Christianity is a walk of faith. No matter what I tell you, if you do not believe the Word of God, I will speak in vain. Faith is ‘the baby conceived’ when the spirit of man becomes one with the Word of God. Faith is the fruit of the Holy Spirit produced in the spirit of the believer. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, which is the truth. Examine your life if your faith is growing! That is why you need to attend a living church and listen to the preaching of the Word of God. You need to study and meditate on the Word! Pray for understanding. Be filled with the Holy Spirit! This is how faith grows ‘organically’. God shall reward you more than you can tell!
 
Try to imagine this: Faith has strong hands. Faith grabs and holds the promises of God knowing that they are real. When doubt tries to hold the Word of God, it slips thru its fingers like water. Doubt is always empty handed and frustrated. But faith holds and holds the Word of God until it manifests as a visible testimony. Christianity is a life style that starts with faith and ends with sight. This ever maturing faith, tried and tested in the furnace of fire, is acknowledged and rewarded by God. By this blessing, your position shall change from a ‘baby Christian’ to an ‘elder’ in the Kingdom. From a prince you shall become a king! These are spiritual ‘titles’. No man can give them or take them away from you. No mater your natural age, if you are a child of God, you are either a baby or an elder. A baby trusts God. But an elder is more than that. He trusts God and God trusts him! Selah!
 
May this be your heart’s desire and prayer this morning: “Father God, please help me to be an elder in your courts! Please increase my faith! Help me to pay the price for a mature fruitful faith! Help me to trust You always! Give me the testimony of a true servant of God! For Your glory alone and for my own good! In Jesus name I pray, amen!”
Hands and Bible

I AM A HELPER MADE RIGHT FOR MY HUSBAND 

“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is right for him.” (Gen 2;18)

My husband and I we are married for almost 44 years. From the revelation of the Word of God and from my experience as a wife, mother, grandmother and pastor, I write these notes…

God invented the institution of marriage. God alone has the key to a successful marriage. He gives that secret key to them who are born again and who want to know His ways in all things, including their married life. Because we are born sinners, it is very easy to take love or marriage for granted. To take for granted it means to accept or to use something or someone in a careless manner. In marriage, it means to live together, have children but without true love for one another and without giving glory to God. This is a sad but very common reality even in the Christian homes.

Human beings are created to love God and to love others. God invented marriage where love can have a place to grow so that He can bless it. True love means to intimately know each other. This intimacy requires spiritual maturity and emotional stability. Each partner needs to know self and the other. Marriage is a deep mystery and full time work of love. A lazy man will make a bad husband. A selfish woman will make a bad wife. The fear of intimacy is poison to satisfaction in marriage. It leads to loneliness and depression even while married. In this way marriage has lost its godly purpose.

Marriage, love and true friendship are not easy. There are many snares to avoid, many tests to pass along the way. In the process of knowing one another, we fall into many temptations. Sacrificial love is risky because we are sinners saved by grace. We dream big but we invest too little for our dreams to come true. Most lovers get disappointed in life. A relationship can be wounded superficially or very deeply. Hurts received in marriage are very painful. The wounds of betrayal, even with prayers and patience, are slow to heal. It is easy to give up and decided to be ‘on your own’. This is the root of divorce. Many married couples have divorced spiritually or emotionally but they still live together. They sleep in the same bed and take care of their children. But their love got sick and died long ago. You should know that the devil hates Christian marriages. He will fight with all his strength to destroy your home. These are some lessons to improve your marriage. To apply these Biblical principles you need to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Do not take your marriage for granted. Be very careful to avoid quarrels which cause division. Be sensitive when you sense that ‘the devil is in the room and the quarrel is coming’. The Holy Spirit will prepare your heart to sense that you need to keep quiet and still. Communication is like playing table tennis. Each partner feels like responding to the words of the other. Be careful: if the tone of voice becomes too high, the tendency to argue increases. Show self-restrain. Both love and self-control are fruits of the Holy Spirit. Talking is like driving a car. It is exciting to drive it full speed. It is fun to defend your opinions. But look at the Holy Ghost ‘traffic signs’. Keep below the speed limit. Learn to use your breaks. From time to time check your spiritual brakes, if the pads of patience are still functioning well and the oil of wisdom still intact. Quarrels between close friends, between husband and wife can end in disaster. You can wreck your marriage and it may not be possible to repair it on earth. Behave and speak in such a way that tomorrow, you do not need to apologize for your actions and words of today.

MY TESTIMONY
For me, apology is a friend and an enemy in the same time. For example, if my husband tells me that he is grieved by my actions or words, I apologize immediately. If I am not aware that he is wounded that is different. But if he tells me that I grieved him, the apology must come instantly from my heart. This is not the time to analyze my behavior. I know that he loves me. He prays for me. If he says I was wrong, then I am wrong. Period! Pain for me is a wonderful teacher. I do not waste it. I learn from everything, even from my ignorant mistakes. I apologize and promise to change. And I keep my word. I pray and trust God to change. I do not foolishly repeat the same mistake again and again taking for granted that the Holy Spirit will help us ‘to settle’. I always remember that love is a very delicate thing. A sudden electrical surge of one second can destroy a very expensive computer. Even so, a ‘little’ quarrel can damage trust and quench the spirit of love. So, I am very careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit! In Christ I declare that Jesus Christ is my first Lover! My husband is second lover! Then follow the children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters and friends! I thank God for them all! This is my story! This is my song!

Child of God, when things are hard, when tears freely flow and nothing is able to stop them, when you make mistakes, when you are misunderstood, when friends fail and family withdraws… then remember that God is always faithful! “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever!” (Heb 13: 8). He was betrayed by sinners but He loved to the end. Crawl into His loving arms and find peace. You may not have all the answers. You may not need to have all the deep revelations of conflict because God knows them all. He knows your heart. He knows that you love Him. He knows your weakness and strength. He knows each word even before it comes on your tongue. He loves you with an everlasting love. You are secure in knowing Jesus, your Savior, King and Best Friend. He died for you. He forgives you. He is still with you. Inside your heart, no matter what, you can rejoice always! Love is not easy. But love is still the best gift of God. Be jealous over your heart! Cherish it! Give thanks to God for everything! Praise the Lord!

R and L 2

WALK LIKE JESUS WALKED

HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT

“And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus” (Mt 14:28, 29)

 

The prayer meeting was good. To me, ‘good’ it means that the Person of God the Holy Spirit was here moving freely in our midst. The Holy Spirit gave us a word so that we can pray and worship God with it. This was the word: ‘Come back to Me!’ The Holy Spirit was leading the way so that we are able to come back to the Rock of our salvation. Thru thanksgiving, The Holy Spirit ministered entrance to us, into the presence of God, Thank You, Abba Father! The message was about Jesus and Peter walking upon the stormy waters (Mt 14:22-33). This is the story: Jesus miraculously fed thousands. They wanted to make Him king by force (Jn 6:15). He forces His disciples to take the boat, to cross the sea and to go ‘to the other side’. Jesus separates the disciples from the crowd because there is a danger to become attracted to desire only material things.  Spirituality is a personal race. The crowd may ‘swallow’ you into following a false gospel of ‘prosperity’. “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong” (Ex 23:2). Lesson: If Jesus commands you to go somewhere, you shall arrive at the destination. No storm is able to stop you! Jesus is the King of the storm! Fear not! In God’s time, you shall arrive at heaven! But God does not prevent storms in life. The trials come so that your faith is purified and your hearts established in grace. Jesus separates you from the materialistic crowd. Do not have too many friends. Do not follow unbelievers because they will drag you away from God. Pray for God to bring quality spiritual friends who challenge you to repent and to follow Jesus! True friends are more than gold!

 

It was a great storm. The boat was in serious danger. Jesus was not with them. It was in the middle of the sea and in the middle of the night. The wind was contrary and the waves terrifying. The disciples thought that they will die. At about 4 am Jesus comes walking on top of the waters. He was not running like somebody who is panicky. Jesus walked towards them calmly. Lesson: The trial will not kill you. Jesus will come to save you! Jesus is never too early and never too late.  They thought He was a ghost. Fear of death was added on top of fear of death. When fear is too much you should know that the devil is attacking you. How many deaths do you want to die? The devil is a liar! The stormy waters represent your problems. To be free from fear you need to see Jesus walking on top of your problems. For example, there is the problem of poverty, loneliness or sickness. What is it that you need? You need a fresh vision of the Resurrected Christ calmly walking on top of that poverty, that loneliness or that sickness. You need to hear the Lord’s voice that is stronger than the storm saying to you: ‘Come!’ His voice is above and louder than many waters (Rev 1:15). His courage will ignite courage in you. Because He lives, you shall live also! You shall come out from the boat of human effort and you too shall walk on top of your problems. The solution to all your problems is fresh spiritual sight and fresh spiritual hearing. ‘Walk like Jesus walked’ (1Jn 2:6). This is how progress, healing, deliverance and financial breakthrough is made. I pray that God will open your eyes to see Jesus, open your ears to hear His Word and give you the courage to get out from that passivity-doubt-fear boat into the faith that knows no borders. In Jesus name, amen!

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APPOINTED TO BE WITH JESUS 

“And He (Jesus) appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach” (Mk 3:14)

A Minister wrote me saying that he is frustrated with his ministry. This is my answer to him:

“Dear Brother, I understand that there are some challenges, but please do not be frustrated about things you cannot do. Some days we move on and make progress… some other days we can only stand on the same spot… But after you have done all, stand! It is God’s ministry. It is not by your power of by your might! It is by the Holy Spirit! Even on the Cross Jesus was never frustrated… Be like Jesus! The Lord Jesus Christ called you to Himself to make you a new person… To be His child… it is after you are sure of your identity in Christ and secure in His love, then you can work for Him… Work is a product of identity overflow… Work does not give you your true identity, which is found in Christ alone!

For example, you marry a woman to be your spiritual companion and good friend, first of all. That is true intimacy. Secondly, she may have children for you and cook, take care of your house… The ‘being’ is before the working or the preaching. The root must be right before the fruitfulness manifests. I pray that you meditate on these words… Pray, repent and yield to the Holy Spirit for the new things God wants to do in your life… God can never fail! God will supply all that you need! God supplies the need first and the provision later.

“I reject the evil spirit of impatience, discouragement and frustration in your heart! Holy Spirit please take control! Thank You Father! In Jesus name, amen!”