“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Mt 19:26)
Today we had a wonderful Holy Communion service. The presence of God was so real. The Holy Spirit helped us to see the Cross of Christ and to love our Lord even more. When the anointing is so strong, you don’t need much prayers before miracles happen. This evening a brother sent me this note. I use this testimony as a point of contact for others to be encouraged and healed! With God, all things are possible! May your faith increase! Be healed! In Jesus name, amen! To God be all the glory!
“Mummy, good evening, I have been inviting my colleagues in the office to church for a couple of month now. Infact my nickname in the office is “fathers house” that’s what they call me. Today one of them came to just observe and worship with us and he had ulcer pain. He said as soon as he took the holy communion that the ulcer pain disappeared automatically. I am so happy that he was healed in church. I didn’t comment on his post. Am just so happy within because he will testify to other of my colleagues in the office tomorrow morning of the healing power in church and he has promises to be a member of Father’s house bible church. I am so happy… Thank God for me-oh…”
I am singing…
“My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now”
(by William R. Featherston, 1864)
“Brothers and sisters, pray for us” (1Thess 5:25)
My husband, Pastor Richmond Leigh and I have been married for almost 44 years. We got married as unbelievers and, by the grace of God we are now children of God. Our story is the testimony that grace is real and eternal life is sure. Both of us have tested that the Lord is good. Both of us have seen salvation. We are happily married giving thanks to God!
I am blessed beyond words that my husband married me. We met in the Medical School, Timisoara, Romania. He was a foreign student, trying to learn my language and to adjust to a strange culture. Both of us were very young. I was not the richest, most beautiful or intelligent woman in the campus. Why he chose to marry me is a mystery (to me) until today. But looking back, I can see that Almighty God was behind our timid steps of understanding life and learning to walk in love. We got married against much opposition. The Romanian Government at that time forbade its citizens to marry foreigners. We were persecuted in school. My parents did not understand my choice of a husband. Most of our friends rejected our marriage. But I made up my mind that I marry this man or I will die single. I fell in love with him even before I knew were Nigeria is on the map. He was learning to speak Romanian and I did not speaking English at all. We used sign language at the beginning. I made up my mind to marry him and follow him to his country. We came to Nigeria in March 1980. We had trials and temptations. It was not always easy. But we survived and we became better, stronger and wiser. Once we surrendered our lives to Christ, everything ‘made sense’. The pain was no longer painful. The tears became worship. The rejection became ministry. Over the years we observed that all men who fought to destroy us, or our marriage, destroyed themselves at last. Glory to God!
I have never once regretted marrying this wonderful man. I know that many people are tired to hear sweet poems of love; they are angry when someone sings of hope, of romance and happiness. They focus their attention on politics, tribal wars and daily frustrations of life. I try to understand your pain and anger. I live in the same planet with you. But for me, in my little world, the light of God is shining, the grace of God is working and the love of God overflows its bounds. I am happy and I must declare it! To God be all the glory!
Let me say this: I can ‘manage’ any problem, but I could not have survived in Nigeria without the love, patience, help and guidance of my dear husband. He has blessed me as his wife, as the mother of our children, as a pastor and co-laborer with him in the Lord’s Vineyard. He covers me with prayers. He predicts my desires and goes ahead to fulfill them even before I am aware of what I need. He is my English teacher, my doctor, my lawyer and even my police. If you look in my heart, next to Jesus Christ, my Savior, you will find my husband. He gives me the freedom to be what God wants me to be. He encourages me to stand and fulfill destiny! Today is my husband’s birthday. We do not want money, cards, cake, drinks, rice or fried chicken. We only desire your prayers. That is the best gift of all. Thank you! And God bless you in return! In Jesus name, amen!
“One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, He saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!” Then He touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. Oh, how she praised God!” (Lk 13:10-13; TLB)
This is a wonderful testimony, how Jesus teaches the Word, heals the sick and rebukes His enemies, all in the same time. Only our Lord can do all these things in the same time! It was the ‘Sabbath day’, the same as our Sunday service. Jesus was teaching the congregation the Word of God. He then sees a woman there who was very sick. She was bent over and could not stand straight. She has been in this condition for 18 years. Her family, the pastors and the members of her ‘church’, had no hope for her. They viewed her sickness as incurable. No one was praying for her or encouraging her to hope that one day she will be ‘normal’ like them, healed and happy. Nobody had faith that this unnamed woman can one day join the choir. Everybody who came to church ignored her or maybe gave her some food. That’s all. But this sad, sick, ugly, lonely and hopeless woman decided to continue to come to church. This is called faith! Her body was bent but her heart was getting straight. She knew that in the presence of the Holy Spirit anything can happen. For as long as she breathes, she will come to church! This was the key to her miracle! She knew that nothing is impossible for God to do. She knew that God does not discriminate. Staying at home or in the hospital was useless. Coming to the presence of God opened the door for the precious miracle. For 18 years this woman has been punished by the devil with a sickness that doctors could not cure. We don’t know why it was so. But we know that in the presence of God there is fullness of joy, the captives are freed and the hungry are filled…
Then suddenly ‘Jesus saw her’! Oh, the blessed look of the Master! May Jesus see you! He interrupted His sermon and called the woman forth. In the full view of the congregation, she came crawling like a worm. She came to Jesus!!! This is faith! If Jesus commands you to do anything, do not excuse yourself. Just obey! Faith has no excuses! Jesus said: “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness … You are loosed from your infirmity!” Then He touched her and instantly she could stand straight. Immediately she started praising God! She sang and she danced! If she was in Warri, she could have said: “Oghene – Doh…Migwo – Doh…”
This is what I called a holy disturbance in the church! I love that! Jesus loves people more than we love our church protocol. Jesus looks at the heart! Her body was bent and nobody saw that in her heart she made a vow: ‘God, if You heal me, if I can stand straight, I will praise and worship You forever!’ Her praise was released from the crippled tight and suffocating vessel. “Imela e…”
Jesus said: ‘you are loosed from your infirmity’. This word ‘loosed’ means to completely free someone from any bondage or to divorce that one from the devil. Her sickness was ‘an infirmity’, a spiritual bondage that manifested as a crippling condition of the body. Her ‘spiritual husband’ was an evil spirit. He bent her! He tried to possess her! He tried to conquer her body and her soul. For 18 long years the demon tried to force her to kiss his ugly face. But he failed! Dr. Jesus healed her! Judge Jesus separated her from the criminal spirit husband and ‘married’ her Himself. She became a born again, free, healthy, strong, happy member of the Bride of Christ. Hallelujah!
What are the lessons for us? These are simple lessons but very powerful. Come to church! Serve God in the church! Even when you are sick, have faith that by coming to church, you can encounter Jesus Christ and you shall be healed. Child of God, even if your situation seems hopeless, there is always hope with God! Jesus said that when two or three of us gather in His name, He will be there, in our midst, doing wonders. Do not stop praying! Do not stop believing in Jesus! What do you lose if you believe in Him? Nothing, only your doubts! God hears your prayers. God answers your prayers. No matter how long it takes, continue to have faith in God. One day, Jesus will see you, call you and touch you. In the midst of many, Jesus will find you and bless you. Let your faith rise. Finally, bless God if the church you attend is a living church where the pastors preach the Word of God. But if the church you attend is more like a night club, business center, bank, comedy show or entertainment place, run away from there! Go to God’s House! Go to Jesus! Look unto Jesus! He is not dead! He is risen! He is alive forevermore! Jesus is the Lord!
(In the picture, one of the sisters in our church, praising God with dancing)
“Then He (Jesus) spoke a parable to them that men always ought to pray and not lose heart… Shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Lk 18:1-8)
This is one of the parables of Jesus. He says there was a poor woman, a widow, who had a big enemy she could not fight by herself. In the Bible, symbolically, a woman stands for the church. A widow means a believer in Christ who has no human helper and is facing strong opposition. This woman knows that she has no strength and no resources to fight her strong enemy. But she wants vindication and victory. The only man who can help her is a judge in that town. But this judge is very harsh. He does not fear God and he cares nothing about anybody. But he is her only hope for a breakthrough. This woman is not intimidated by the difficulty of her position. She decides to go to see the judge and to plead with him as often as she can. For fear that he will get ‘weary by her continual coming’, the judge finally grants her plea. What is the lesson for us?
Jesus said that we should learn from this woman and pray to God until there is an answer. God always answers His children. His answers can be: Yes, No or Wait. If the answer is yes, then your miracle will manifest immediately. If the answer is no, you will lose ‘the push’ to pray. But if the answer is ‘wait’, then you are to pray until the answer changes into a ‘yes’. Jesus says that ‘the elect cry to God day and night’. The sign that you are a child of God is that you pray until God answers. If you get tired of waiting and praying, it may be that you are not a true believer or that you are backsliding.
Why do believers stop praying? The danger is to become over-involved with the cares of this world. Being too anxious about your ordinary natural life (about your marriage, children, job, school, money…) will quench the spirit of prayer. Knowing that God alone can truly help, you have no excuse to stop praying before God answers you. The prophet Samuel said that to stop praying or to stop teaching others the Word of God is sin. “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way” (1Sam 12:23).
Jesus connects prayer and faith (verse 1 and 8). When you pray for a particular blessing, as you pray, your faith will increase. Then you use your higher faith to pray even more. Both faith and prayer shall become stronger, helping one another. But if you stop praying, your faith will become weak and you shall faint spiritually. The lesson: continue to pray and ask God for your heart’s desire! You know that you pray well when you sense your faith increases. That is the time when God answers! Christianity is not easy. You must read the Bible and you must put into practice the Word you have read. This is the way to spiritual maturity. May God open your spiritual eyes, open your spiritual ears and touch your heart to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit! Go back to the prayer room! God is waiting for you! Glory to God!
This is the Word of God:
Pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Quench not the Spirit.
Despise not prophesyings!
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Abstain from all appearance of evil.
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithful is He that calls you, who also will do it” (1Thess 16-24)
“If I stand or I should fall
You know me well, You see it all,
My darkest nights, my deepest fears
I cry to You and You will hear
In Your fullness, I will rest
I find Your peace beneath the cross
Knowing You, my one desire
Take me now to where You are
Here we stand now in Your name,
You’ve changed our hearts, We’re not the same
Your love has captured all we are
Oh Lamb of God, Sweet Morning Star
Boundless love, Come carry me
To the place where I at last I’m free
Where I belong and You will be
Where all of You is all of me
Boundless love, Come carry me”
(Women of faith)
HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT
“Joseph—who was sold as a slave…
They hurt his feet with fetters,
He was laid in irons.
Until the time that his word came to pass,
The word of the Lord tested him” (Ps 105:17-19)
The Saturday night prayer meeting was very good. The Holy Spirit helped us to do warfare in preparation for worship. In the name of Jesus we totally rejected all evil spirits that hindered our worship of God. We had to make a choice: do we seek God tonight or not! In the unity of the Spirit we chose to seek God, His presence and His Word! Therefore we rejected every contrary spirit of religion, double mindedness, doubt, control, lust, fear of the future, bareness, poison, depression… In the Name of Jesus! At the name of Jesus Christ every knee must bow! At last, we welcomed the Holy Spirit with thanksgiving in our hearts and lips. We sang a new song of love to the Lover of our souls. The atmosphere changed and gently, we were ushered into the Most Holy Place. Glory!
Prophetically, we are in a season called ‘Shalom’. In Hebrew, this word means peace, health and wealth, friends and favor with God and man. In 2018 we shall experience all these spiritual blessings in a higher level! To the glory to God! The Word was taken from Isaiah 55: 8-12 and Psalm 105:16-19. God’s Word is not like an ordinary word. It is not just a sound or a letter. It is eternal life and it comes with overwhelming power to change hearts and circumstances! The rain and the snow water the earth and produce vegetation. In the same way, the Word of God read or preached under the anointing of the Holy Spirit produces spiritual ‘vegetation’, better said ‘fruitful eternal life’ in our spirits. You cannot hear the Word of God and remain the same! You must change! And change radically!
We began to study the life of Joseph. He was the favorite of his father. When Joseph was just 17 years old Jacob made a beautiful coat of many colors and gave it to him. This coat is a prophetic sign. It tells everybody that Joseph is the ‘heir to the throne’, the future leader and the savior of the family. It is a royal coat telling people that Joseph is a prince and he will not do manual labor. He will sit on ‘the throne’ and others will work for him. As Joseph started dressing with that beautiful royal coat. God gave Joseph two dreams. In them, Joseph is seen as the head of the family and all others will bow to him. By these dreams, God confirms Jacob’s choice of leadership among his sons. These dreams look childish. The name of God does not appear in Genesis 37. But God speaks to the family and to the nation thru these ‘secular’ dreams. Therefore the dreams are the Word of God. His brothers are very jealous and want to kill Joseph. They hate him because of his coat (leadership, promotion), because their father loves him more than them (God’s sovereign choice), because of his words and his dreams (the Word of God). By hating Joseph, they hate the Word of God. By killing Joseph they want to kill the Word of God (who is Jesus Christ, our Lord). But nobody can kill the Word of God! Even if you kill it, the Word of God shall resurrect! And judge the sinners! The two dreams will be fulfilled later. In between the receiving of the dreams and the fulfillment of the dreams, Joseph must pass thru painful trials of rejection, manual labor, slavery and prison. But nothing can stop the Word of God from manifesting. At last, the Word of God spoken by him proved him to be true and not a liar!
Application: think of your life! Remember when God spoke to you thru the Bible, thru the Holy Spirit or thru prophetic utterances. Since then you have not seen any manifestation of that Word you have received. But be encouraged! God who gave you the Word many years ago, watches over that same Word to perform it! Your prison of circumstances, your trial and pains are only temporary. Like the rain comes down from heaven and produces vegetation on earth, so that Word shall be fulfilled in your life! It cannot go back to God ‘void of power’ but it shall perform the pleasure of God in your life! God is faithful! God’s Word can never fail! For example…Were you happy on your wedding day? You and your spouse now quarrel and have misunderstandings? They shall pass away! Your marriage will be happy at last! When your baby was born, did you rejoice or did you weep? If you rejoiced, then no matter the sickness and troubles that may come your child’s way, your child will be a blessing to you at last! Did God say that you are healed! Then the sickness cannot talk where God talks! Has God said that you shall buy a land and build a house? Even if all the cement sellers in Nigeria go on strike, you shall be a landlord (landlady). This is the Word of God! It can never fail! Give praise to God for He alone will do it!
HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT
The Women’s Fellowship was very good. Today was our first meeting this year. We had a full house. We shared testimonies of God’s goodness and power. We praised God with songs and dancing. We prayed and prophesied over our lives, marriages, children, businesses and ministries. We did warfare: we rejected the evil spirits of empty religion, depression, barrenness, fear, doubt, poverty, sickness and sorrow! We prayed two by two, one for another. We prophesied that the single sisters above 30 shall marry this year. We prophesied that the married women who pray for the fruit of the womb shall be pregnant and have children! In Christ we declared that God has opened a new door for us in 2018. It is a good and great, surprisingly sweet new platform for ministry and family blessings. No devil and no man can shut it. Our testimonies will increase! Our joy shall be full! In Jesus name, amen! Then the sermon came. It was about the joy of an ideal godly marriage. It was inspired from the Song of songs. Our marriages must be better! There is always room for improvement! Amen!
THE WINE, FIRE AND ECHO OF THE SONG OF SONGS
“The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s” (SS1:1)
The Song of Songs is the most romantic Book in the Bible. Most Christians ignore this book because they either do not understand it or they feel uncomfortable reading it. The Song of Songs is a poem written by King Solomon, the son of King David. He describes how he deeply fell in love with a simple shepherd girl, even when he already had hundreds of wives and concubines in his harem. Symbolically, the poem describes the love between Christ and the Church. The same poem perfectly describes the ideal love found in a godly marriage, when both husband and wife are mature believers in Christ. This holy love in marriage has four attributes: Passion, Self-control, mutuality and eternal life.
*LOVE IN MARRIAGE IS PASSIONATE
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
For your love is better than wine
Because of the fragrance of your good ointments,
Your name is ointment poured forth;
Therefore the virgins love you.
Draw me away! … The king has brought me into his chambers…” (SS 1:2- 4)
Passion is described as a strong and barely controllable emotion. Love in marriage must be romantic, exciting, full of interesting gifts and sweet surprises. Like wine, it must be intoxicating to the heart and to the brain. Its source is the sacrificial passionate love of Jesus, who died to save His sinful Lovers. This love is jealous and very protective. It fights to death the enemies of love. In this Song, the passionate love in marriage is described in many ways: kisses on the mouth, fragrant ointment poured forth, getting drunk with wine, getting sick with love, going out in the night searching for the offended lover to make peace with him and many beautiful intimate praises poured out between husband and wife. This passionate love involves their bodies, souls and spirits. There is no shame in this love. Their love is a reflection of the original purity designed by God for marriage when: “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Gen 2:24, 25). The fire of love burns all guilt, all shame and all inferiority complexes. They feel happy and safe to love each other. They are generous with the best they have. There is no fear of betrayal, deception or divorce. Their sexual life is passionate but limited to marriage. There is no wasting drainage to adulterous affairs. The ‘strange woman’ must be disappointed. If your love is holy and passionate then ‘your fountains will not be dispersed abroad and your streams of water will not flow on strange dark streets’ (PV 5: 16). Love’s passion is an anointed overflow able to destroy all the evil plans and opposition of marriage. Lukewarm love is dangerous. It is on its way to defeat. Keep the fires of holy love burning! Quench not the Spirit of love! Let the fire burn, day and night! Be drunk and be filled with the Holy Spirit!
*LOVE IN MARRIAGE IS CONTROLLED
“I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the does of the field,
Do not stir up nor awaken love
Until it pleases” (SS 2:7; 3:5 and 8:4)
The beauty of true Christian love is that it combines great passion with great self-restrain. Only the Holy Spirit can produce this unique combination. Flesh is a coward. It always looks for escape in one way or the other. Flesh loves until it destroys itself. It quenches the very life of passionate intimacy. Fleshly love oscillates in between erotic lust and frigid vows. But the love of Christ is both hot and controlled in the same time. Two of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, the first and the last, are ‘love and… self-control’ (Gal 5: 22, 23). Mature love is spiritual and balanced. That is why it does not break and it lasts forever. The Bride tells ‘the daughters of Jerusalem’, her friends, to be patient with the manifestation and harvest of love. Lust boils immediately and burns the kettle. But ‘love is patient’ with itself (1Cor 13:4). The passion of love in marriage must increase gradually. Love is wise. Love knows when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’. Like driving a car, love has one speed pedal and two breaks. There is a time to love more and times when you love less, so that you can rest your soul (Ecc 3:8). Going on the high hills and the deep valleys of life, even when stumbling, it must go on, for ‘love never fails’ (1 Cor 13:8). Love in a godly marriage is ‘A garden enclosed… A spring shut up… A fountain sealed’ (SS 4:12). This love has a secret address and a codded password. It is separated from the eyes of strangers. The fence of holy fire around the marriage bed keeps its passion safe. Marriage is a mystery protected by God Himself (Eph 5:32; Mal 3:5).
*LOVE IN MARRIAGE IS MUTUAL
‘My beloved is mine, and I am his…’ (SS 2:16; 6:3; 7:10)
In a true godly marriage the husband and wife are free to be themselves, free to talk and free to manifest their love to each other. Love is a two way street. Love is a duet. Love is like tango dance! Love is a mutual feeling experienced by both of them. In this poem you see that both the Lover and the Beloved initiate speeches and actions. The leadership of the husband and the submission of the wife were curses placed after the fall, to restrain sinful behavior in marriage. But in this poem we see that agape love equals both players and brings them together unto ‘the hill of incense’ to dance for joy. In a golly marriage there is no violence, wickedness, manipulation or oppression. There is love, trust, purity and peace. Both husband and wife are free in each other’s arms. They give themselves one to the other in a happy and safe surrender. Each one teaches the other how to live, love and laugh. They weep together and they rejoice together. No one is left behind. No one is lonely. The blanket of Love is wide enough to cover both of them. True love is hated by many. In the forests of this world you will encounter many ‘little foxes that try to spoil the tender shoots of springtime love’ (SS 2:15). Both husband and wife are ready to fight the enemies of marriage. They are both jealous over their love and they protect it unto death. ‘Love always protects’ (1 Cor 13:7). Spiritual warfare done in the name of Jesus, in the unity of the Spirit, in a godly marriage is always successful. The devil has no chance here! The monster of adultery dies immediately when marriage covenant partners hold hands in prayer and worship their God.
*LOVE IN MARRIAGE IS FOREVER
“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave;
Its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house,
It would be utterly despised” (SS 8: 6, 7)
The marriage covenant is done in the presence of God, among witnesses in heaven and on earth. It lasts a life time. After death, the surviving spouse is free to live single or remarry. But the love they had for one another endures beyond the barrier of death. The fruits and effect of their holy love will survive the destruction of their bodies. Their children and friends have been touched by their true passion. Their love will continue to sing its song in the hearts of many, forever! This love cannot be destroyed, quenched or sold for money. It is a proof that Jesus Christ is the Husband of the Church. It is a sign post directing seekers to the sacrifice on the Cross done by our Savior, King and Lover! The color of true love is red for the Lover’s Blood payed its way to the heart of His Beloved. ‘God is Love” (1 Jn 4:16). God always ‘keeps the best for the last’ (Jn 2:10). May your love be fruitful and free!
This is the testimony of agape Love found in Christ alone! May we worship the God who loved us first! May true agape love be found in our hearts! May the Song of Songs echo in our marriages, now and forever! In Jesus name, amen!
“For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground…
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied” (Is 53)
What does it mean that our Savior was a tender plant growing in a dry ground? How Jesus did survive so much opposition? Why did He not die before His hour came? What is the secret of His holy eternal success?
When Jesus was born everything was against Him. Herod the Great hated Him. He killed all the boys but Jesus escaped. Mary and Joseph were poor people. There was no other place for Mary to have her baby except the stable where animals stayed. There is no doubt that during her labor Mary experienced feelings of rejection and loneliness. No woman, however poor she is, wants to deliver her baby in a stable. I believe that it was also cold and she had to endure the unpleasant smell of animals. The pictures of Christmas may look romantic but the reality is different. Then they became fugitives in Egypt. Eventually, they come back and settle in Nazareth. Nathaniel said about that village: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” The childhood of Jesus was in a place where nobody saw any good thing coming from it. Jesus did not go to a regular school He learned the trade of carpentry from his father, Joseph. It is true that He was from the royal lineage of David. That could have been something good, but Israel did not have a royal dynasty anymore. It was the Romans that now chose their kings who had nothing to do with David. When Jesus entered ministry, the disciples that followed Him were poor un-educated people. The religious leaders hated Him and rejected His teachings. The religious leaders arrested Him and brought Him before their tribunal. Jesus did not have any lawyer. He did not even defend Himself. He did not write any book. He was a king but He did not have any army. He was eventually killed on the Cross. Humanity killed their Maker on Mount Calvary. He was buried in a rich man’s borrowed tomb. The Roman soldiers guarded the burial place. That should have been the end of the story… But Jesus rose from the dead and He lives forever!
All these factors against Him describe to us the ‘dry ground’ of the life of Jesus. There was nothing in His environment that helped Jesus survive or succeed. There was no place where He could lay His head… There was no man who can take the credit of saving His life. How then did this Jesus survive all the hatred and negativity against Him? Not only survive, but how did He succeed to become the most famous Man all over the world? Why is His name on our lips, more than 2000 years later? Why so many people call Him their Savior? Why do so many people worship Him, in every city, every country? What is the secret of His Holy success? The answer is that He is God! He is Jehovah, I AM, the self-sufficient God, who does not need anything man has to offer to live eternally. If you are a child of God, think about your Father…
This evening I say: If you are ‘trapped’ in an unloving marriage and your spouse does not encourage you at all… if you are a missionary and, with all your labor of love you see no visible fruits… If you live in an area where churches are all lukewarm, you desire to mature spiritually but there is no mentor, no Spirit filled pastor…If you are alone and afraid or even hopeless, then go to Jesus Christ, the hope of Glory! Go to Jehovah, the self-sufficient God who does need His creation to live eternally! Go to the Holy Spirit who will give you the strength to live and succeed even if the whole world is against you! For no ground is as dry as the one that held the roots of the tender plant called Jesus Christ! Allow the Holy Spirit to enlarge your vision to see how that Lonely Seed planted in that dry ground, against all the odds and plans of the devil, became the King of the Kingdom of God! If you are born again then you are part of the lonely painful travail that has satisfied the Son of God! This is the work of God! If God has started a work in you, nobody can quench it! No circumstance, no enemy, no devil can destroy the work of God! Once the zeal of God is involved in a work, nothing can destroy it!
This is our testimony! This is the very faith that propelled my husband and I to have the boldness to start a church in Warri, Nigeria. The ground is dry but the seed is Holy! The faith in Jesus Christ proved to be enough for us! Let us be encouraged to trust God when all things go against us. Like Jesus, we do not need anything to survive and succeed, only God! Jesus is enough for me! I am satisfied!
In Christ I declare:
Even if the spiritual atmosphere in Warri- Effurun, Nigeria is as dry as a ‘bonga fish’, the Kingdom of God shall be established here! Many souls shall be saved! Father’s House Bible Church is blessed! All to the glory to God! In Jesus name, Amen!
A question is a sentence used to find out information from another. In an exam, a question is a problem that tests a person’s knowledge or ability: A question produces doubt about the truth of something, creating confusion in the minds. The devil was the one who asked the first question in the Bible. “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Gen 3:1). According to the definition of the word ‘question’ these are the motives in the devil’s mind when he talked to Eve: he wanted that she should open her heart to him. The devil wanted that Eve should give him more information about her relationship with God, about her marriage and her life in general. As you can see, a question provokes an answer. This is an invitation to intimacy, a manipulation to close friendship, stolen love…
This is a spiritual lesson: When the devil is asking you a question, you should totally refuse to answer him. You rebuke him instantly! Do not cooperate with him! For that, you need to know the difference between the voice of God and that of the devil!!! You should not give the devil any information about your life, not even jokingly! Secondly, when the devil is asking you a question he wants to test your knowledge about God and His Word. If you fail the test, the devil will be more confident to attack you further. For example, when Eve replied that God said they should not eat or touch the forbidden fruit, the devil immediately attacked her again, tempting her to disobey God’s command. This is because Eve misquoted God’s command. God did not say that if they touch the fruit they will die. Eve failed the test of the devil’s question. As a teacher, the devil ‘punished’ his student called Eve. All Eve’s daughters are still paying the price for their mother’s foolishness.
The devil’s question was designed to create doubt and confusion about God’s character and love towards men. This doubt is a poisonous arrow creating anxiety and inferiority complex. Eve started thinking that she is too foolish and she needs more wisdom so that next time she can impress ‘Teacher-devil’ with her intelligent answers. She forgot that God created her perfect and she needed nothing more than an intimate relationship with her Maker. Looking for that wisdom, she eats the forbidden fruit and convinces her husband to do the same. Sin and death entered their spirits and bodies that very moment. This is the story of the fall. The deadly effects of sin can only be destroyed at the Cross of Christ.
Since Eve’s deception, women in particular have struggled with (many) questions and (fewer) answers ever since. Many are still confused about who to ask and when to ask questions. They still struggle with doubts and confusion more than the men. They still have inferiority complexes about their intelligence and wisdom. They still want to impress men with their education and intelligence. That attitude makes them look childish. In the Bible there is a restrain upon women, not to ask questions in public. This is so that they will not reinforce their inferiority complexes and expose their foolishness to outsiders. “If they (the wives) have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for women to speak in church meetings” (1Cor 14:35). For married couples, asking questions and giving answers is to be done at home, in a quiet, safe and loving atmosphere. The Holy Spirit is your Teacher.
MY TESTIMONY AS A WIFE
May years ago, based on my understanding of the Word of God, I decided that I will never ask my husband any question in public. I can talk to him in public on any subject. He can ask me any question he likes. I will answer him to the best of my knowledge. But my strategy is not to ask him back anything! (Of course, if it is matter of life and death, I will break my rule). Generally, when we are in public, I am very careful with my words, with the tone of my voice and with my body language. I made up my mind not to talk to him as I am his boss or judge. I will not query him. He is not my child. Even if what he says sounds terrible to me and I ‘die’ for an explanation, I will wait for us to go home. I learned how to wait… Inside, I can ask all the questions I want. We are safe from the world. I do not want to be seen to be his teacher, his older sister, his mother or his pastor. My voice does not go higher in tone, does not become harsh, demanding or threatening. My body language speaks of love and submission too. I do not stand ‘tall’ ‘towering’ over him, intimidating him or bullying him, not even jokingly. I know that many women ‘joke’ with their husbands’ feelings. This is their excuse to fight back. It does not work with me. My husband does not approve of jokes that make us look foolish, divisive or rude. I too have learned to behave well, to protect the ‘image’ of our marriage, not to give the devil any foot hold to use something against us. I am very protective of his reputation and honor. I trust him with my life and he trusts me with his. This trust has not come easily. Many tears of regret and repentance have flown under the bridge of God’s mercy. But we are so much better now… Dear reader, there is hope for you too. Our testimony as a happy married couple is one of our greatest accomplishments on earth. It has become a ministry for the encouragement of many people. To God alone be all the glory!
“Awake, O north wind,
And come, O south!
Blow upon my garden,
That its spices may flow out.
Let my beloved come to his garden
And eat its pleasant fruits” (SS 4:16)
I have been living in Nigeria since 1980. My husband and I worked as medical doctors until 2000. Then we started a church called Father’s House Bible Church. We are now pastors in full time ministry. There is no secret that I love Nigeria. There are many reasons why I love this country. First of all I am married to the best Nigerian man. Secondly, I got saved here in Warri, Nigeria in 1986. Our three children, John, Alina and Jemine grew up here, in Warri. I speak English with a Nigerian accent. I also speak ‘pidgin’ English. I am proud of these my achievements!
As you can see, there are many reasons why I love Nigeria, my adopted country. One of it is this: the soil and the weather is so good for the plants. These are pictures from my garden in Warri Nigeria. People may grumble because of economic hardship and other issues, but I chose to see the good around me. One thing is clear: my flowers bloom without any troubles. Their leaves are not less green because the Naira is falling. The birds and the butterflies zoom around them with no fear that the price of fuel will increase. God who created these beautiful things just to make us happy is the same God who will take care of us. Fear not! Jehovah Jireh is in charge! God loves flowers. And flowers do well in Nigeria. Why will I complain?
“Abba Father I thank You for saving my soul! I thank You for sending a Nigerian man to marry me and bringing me to this beautiful and interesting country that You love so much! I trust You for mighty change here and for revival to come! In Jesus name I pray, amen!”
(In the picture you see some of my beautiful flowers in my Effurun garden. Jesus visits me here. Thank You Lord!)
“There are times when I feel despairing,
when all around seems dark
and my cry for help is unheard…
Then, unexpected, a faint light appears,
gradually dispersing the darkness.
The silence is broken
by the sound of angelic voices.
I know that God has heard my cry
and reaches out to heal me.
I experience transforming power…”
And suddenly I know,
That I am healed!
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1:5)
Yesterday, during the Sunday service, as I went up to minister on the altar, the power went off. (Later we were told that our big generator ‘caught gas’). For about 15 minutes the church was in total darkness. The microphones, and the musical instruments (with the exception of the drum and the saxophone) went silent. Some people in the congregation put on the lights on their phones. Our church has no windows, so when it is dark, it is really dark. Without the microphone, my voice could have been ‘lost’ in the big auditorium. I had the option to go back to my seat and miss my ministry ‘slot’. But long ago, I made up my mind not to bow to contrary spirits or negative circumstances. I am a soldier for Christ. I have to fight to the end and if I have to die, I must die standing! I chose to worship God no matter what.
I could not preach a message but I could raise my small voice and sing: ‘Imela-e… Imela-e…For the great and might things that You have done…Chineke … Idinma… Ezeh!” (It means: Thank You Lord, My God and My King…)… The congregation loves the song and we all worshiped God with singing the same song again and again.The ACs stopped working. It was hot and dark. But nobody was showing impatience, whistling angrily (as many youths sometimes do…). Everybody remained calm, hands lifted up in worship singing: Imela-e… Once more we discovered that the devil is a liar and a loser! He tried to stop the service, cause confusion and anger but he failed completely. The Holy Spirit was totally in charge and the anointing became even higher…At last, the power came back! Praise the Lord! The worship must continue!
In Christ I declare: God loves Nigeria! I am a witness to this love rooted in His grace! The light of Christ shines in the darkness of Warri- Effurun and in Nigeria! The power of evil is fighting back but it cannot quench the light! One little candle is stronger than the most ‘professional long standing thick’ spiritual darkness! We declare that Jesus Christ is Lord over Nigeria! Against all odds, Nigeria will make progress, spiritually and in the natural! Christ in us is the Hope of Glory! If the hope died, the Hope shall resurrect! Love is as strong as death! We reject every demon of fear, armed robbery, kidnapping, tribal wars, depression, inferiority complex, slave mentality, poverty, empty religion and foolish pride! We destroy every covenant done by any person, past or present, with territorial evil spirits! Holy Spirit please come and take control! It is well with my soul! It is well with Father’s House Bible Church! It is well with Nigeria! Revival shall come! To God alone be all the glory! In Jesus name, amen!
Do you want to know God’s will? So that you can do it? Read the Scripture above. God desires that you should be ‘sanctified’. This word means to be holy like God. If you say that you are a child of God, then you must resemble your Father in heaven in the way to think, speak and behave. To be holy it means to be different than the ordinary men and to be dead to sin. Do you hate sin? Or are you still addicted to sin, still a slave to sin?
Sanctification means to be separated from the world (from its way of thinking) and unto God (for pure and holy living, for true service and spiritual worship). Sanctification is a process. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul of the believer. The Holy Spirit uses God’s Word to teach us faith and obedience. Sanctification starts when you become born again and it continues until you die and see Jesus in heaven.
This is my testimony: Immediately I became saved I became consumed with a holy hunger for God’s Word. I was born in Romania, a Communist country at that time. I did not see a Bible with my eyes until I came to Nigeria in 1980. I did not pray any prayer before March 1986. I became born again thru a crisis conversion. I became filled with the Holy Spirit even before I understood ‘the technicalities’ of religion. What a day!!!
God, the Holy Spirit started to do a deep work in my heart to separate me from men’s desires and from their expectations of me… The Holy Spirit destroyed ‘the unholy battery’ that moved me to perform to please the world…Since then I hate entertainment especially in the church The same Holy Spirit pushed me closer and closer to God, to love and understand God… I cannot take any credit for this mighty transformation… This deep work is totally for God’s glory…To my greatest surprise I became free from all fears (fear of death, of sickness, of poverty, of men’s opinions, of the future…).
(I have changed so much that when I visited my parents in Romania after I became saved they could not understand me, they thought that I am a stranger… This change scared them and provoked them to seek for the same Jesus who is now my Lord. Before my father died he became saved and my old mother is also saved now…)
God called me to preach His Gospel. In the natural I am a very shy person. But the Holy Spirit strengthens me, surrounds me and carries me on His ‘wings’. He gives me the right words to be spoken, in the right way at the right time… What is left is just for me to co-operate with the Spirit of God, which is my wonderful privilege…). More and more I see my heart free from the power of sin and I hear my spirit singing songs of worship… I find the peace of Jesus filling my heart and surrounding me… it is all around me… It is so comforting… I am never alone… God is with me…
“I worship You Lord! Yes, Your name is Wonderful…”
The first picture is taken on this day in 2012. By the grace of God we just started the building of our church. I liked this brother’s T-shirt, so I took the picture. God who started the foundation will complete it! The second picture shows our sanctuary as it is now. We did not take any bank loan to build the house of God. We did not beg for money. The brethren in the church supplied the labor and all the resources. God alone takes all the glory!
The farmer plants in the season of planting. After waiting patiently he will rejoice at the harvest. This is the harvest season for us! Therefore we rejoice! Praise the Lord!
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6)
Heavenly Spirit, gentle Spirit,
O descend on us, we pray;
Come, console us and control us,
Christ, most fair, to us portray.
Hear us pleading, interceding,
Thou interpreter of love;
With Thy fire, us inspire,
Holy flame from God above.
Come to cheer us, be Thou near us,
Kindle in us heaven’s love.
Keep us burning, humble, yearning.
Dwell in us, O heavenly Dove
Pilgrims, strangers, ‘mid life’s dangers.
We on Thee would e’er depend;
Spirit, tender, our Defender,
Guide us, keep us to the end.
(J. Blomquist, 1950)