This Sunday we had a wonderful Holy Communion and thanksgiving service. Our senior Pastor Richmond Leigh celebrated his 70th birthday. Pastor Tony Kadiri preached from the Book of 1 Corinthians: ‘Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ’ (1Cor 11:1; NKJ). He said that Apostle Paul did not say like many of our church leaders: ‘Do as I say but do not do what I do’. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul said: ‘Listen to me! Look at me! Do what I say and also do what I do’. These are the words of a true Christian leader. These days there are very few leaders worthy of emulation. We need to see Christ in our pastors. We need to follow their examples. These days there are so few genuine good examples to follow. We are not to follow theology, common sense or science. We are to follow Christ and Him crucified! Because Paul’s life is patterned after Christ he is confident to invite us to follow him, to imitate him. The problem in the churches today is that many leaders have lost their vision. They shifted their focus from Christ to men or money. These so called ‘men of God’ are not responsible. There is a proliferation of hirelings and false prophets in the vineyard of the Lord. These hirelings lead the flock of Christ astray. They lead the sheep into the pastures meant for the goats. The sheep eat grass that is meant for goats and they start behaving like the goats. These false brethren preach wrong doctrines and offer another ‘Christ’. Multitudes are deceived. There are so many ‘celebrities’ in the churches. These people are no longer accountable to Christ, the Head of the Church. They have pushed Christ from the center to the periphery.
But Paul was a man of the Spirit. He trusted Christ as the head of the Church who said to Peter long ago: ”And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18). Apostle Paul was not among the first 12 disciples who saw Jesus face to face. He became born again thru the direct revelation of the resurrected Christ (Gal 1:11-18). Paul was an expert of the law. After his conversion he became the Apostle of grace. He was not converted or trained by man, but by Christ Himself thru the Holy Spirit. He wrote three quarters of the New Testament.
Pastor Tony Kadiri announced to the congregation that the senior Pastor Richmond Leigh (fondly called ‘Tali’) is 70 years today. He said that Pastor Richmond Leigh is of the order of Paul. Tali also got converted thru a crisis experience. Tali is a true man of God, a true shepherd. Tali is a truly humble man. He has died to the flesh and to the world. His only desire is to know and serve Christ crucified. Jesus was humility personified. As Tali imitate Christ in this humility, we the children can safely imitate Tali. Often Tali says: ‘I don’t want to cross that line’. He is careful not to take the glory that belongs to God alone. In the past, Tali was a successful medical doctor. As a politician he rose to the national level. But after he got converted he left all the glamour, wealth and fame to follow Christ. He has put his hands on the plough and did not look back. Such a man we can safely follow. Tali is a worshiper of God. Like his ‘mentor’ King David, Tali often says: “I will not offer anything unto the Lord that cost me nothing” (2 Sam 24:24). Tali started building this sanctuary at the age of 64. Many men at that age are ready to retire. But Tali dressed with jeans and came to the site daily to supervise the building of the house of God. We did not ask for any loan and there was no building committee. The Holy Spirit directed the work until Father’s House Bible Church’ building was finished.
Tali is man of faith. When we were building the church he often said: “I’ve counted the cost” (Lk 14:26-33). Pastor Kadiri said: ‘I thought that he had some millions in the bank…’ But what Tali meant was that Christ Himself is ‘the cost’. Christ is sufficient! That is faith! Tali’s spiritual children have also connected with his vision! Thru this faith in Jehovah Jireh they have built their own houses. Tali is a worshipper! He loves to praise and worship God. Like Daniel, he has ‘a spirit of excellence’ (Dan 5:12). Tali is a loving husband to Malia (Pastor (Mrs) Lia Leigh). He applies the Biblical principles of marriage (Eph 5:22-31). When Tali says that he is ready to lay down his life for his wife Malia, as Christ did for the church, he is not joking. As couples we imitate them. We testify that many people’s marriages have improved as we imitate them. Tali is a loving father to his children and grandchildren, both natural and spiritual. He is wise, gentle and strong with us. He is an encourager. But he is not afraid to chastise when we need correction. Tali gives all glory to God. He often says: ‘I have no power of my own… It is Christ in me that does the work..’ Tali is a anointing teacher and a preacher of the Word of God. In this area, he is of the order of Paul. For example, under his leadership we study the Book of Romans for years. Our lives have changed. We testify that revival is in our midst. Sometimes, younger people misunderstand Tali’s humility and accessibility. They become disrespectful to him. But he always reacts as led by the Holy Spirit. Like a father, he patiently endures many things. No matter the provocation, he perseveres in following Christ. For him, there is no going back, no going astray. It is Christ to the end! Many successful men live double lives. But Tali has only one life to live! This scripture written by Paul represents him the best: ‘For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain’ (Phil 1:21). These things we have observed. These things we have seen. We testify that Tali is a true father in Christ and a godly mentor to us all. On this special day, we celebrate Christ in him. Happy birthday Tali! To God be all the glory!
(In the picture, Pastor and Pastor (Mrs) Richmond Leigh, kneeling before the Lord as the pastors and the congregation pray for them)
A young sister in Christ wrote these beautiful words about Christ in me…
“CHRIST in Pastor Silvia Lia Leigh…
Her eyes speak FIERY FLAME PURSUIT. Her voice rings TOTAL DEVOTION TO JESUS. Her love for the Holy Spirit is evident in every word from her lips. Her relationship with/submission to her husband is convicting.
You can sit at her feet to learn all day and alĺ night, but she’d rather not take all your time, urging you to go EXPERIENCE INTIMACY WITH THE LORD YOURSELF.
The wisdom that flows from her is the one Apst. James described in James 3:17. For more info, pls check her out in Proverbs 31:10-31.
One of her favourite verses, Isaiah 12:2, gets you to feel her tempo of TOTAL TRUST IN GOD. “Has *HE* said it?”
She’s not mindful of her reputation. She lost her desire to please men a long time ago.
Her faith? She tells you: *Trust God 100%*.
She tells you doubt disqualifies you from having communion with God and your prayers won’t pass the ceiling.
Her love walk? 👌🏽 She’ll correct you without mincing words and ensures you’re fine in your heart immediately after. Her passion for lost souls is like that of her Lord.
Her life is a testimony of worship. Her marriage is a model and blessing. Her children, natural and spiritual, call her blessed.
I’m blessed to have you Ma’am. I’m giving glory to God for you. I don’t have to wait for your birthday to celebrate you.
I look forward to greater times of fellowship. Thank you for staying true to God. Pastor SILVIA LIA LEIGH, my generation is blessed to have you. 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼”
“You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!” (1Sam 30:8)
Yesterday during the Women’ Fellowship we praised, prayed and shared testimonies, to the Glory to God. We are fasting and praying during the month of January. We expect great things from God! We pray to grow spiritually, first of all. We also pray for blessings upon our marriages, husbands, children and the work of our hands. It is in line with the lessons taken from the Book of Ester. This is a wonderful testimony given to the glory of God, to the shame of satan and for the encouragement of many! Sister R said that the Holy Spirit gave her a word for this year: “There shall be no loss!” She held to this promise by faith. She started the fast since the 1st of January. Two weeks ago something strange happened. She is a trader. She is selling dresses. She had a bag with some dresses, all new, with the tags attached. In the evening she stopped along the road to buy oranges to break her fast for the day. She took the bag with the dresses intending to put them in the boot (the trunk, US English) of the car. She paid for the oranges, entered her car and drove off. She did not know that she left the bag with the dresses on the ground, near the orange seller. In the evening, when she arrived home, she discovered that the bag was missing. She phoned some people if they’ve seen it. Nobody saw the bag. She looked at the CCTV camera at home, thinking that maybe the gate-keeper took it but there was nothing like that. She prayed and asked God: “Dear Father, You said that there shall be no loss. I now lost this bag with new expensive dresses. I don’t understand…” She left the matter in the hands of God! She refused to be discouraged and she continued the fast. Two weeks passed… Yesterday, as she was coming to church, somebody called on the phone. The unknown woman’s voice asked: “Have you lost anything?” Sister R was confused and did not know what to answer. Then the same woman said: “Did you no forget a bag with some dresses near a woman selling oranges?” Then Sis R said: “Yes!” Then she was told: “The bag is with me. Come tomorrow and take it!” This is a miracle of recovery (more so in Nigeria) because these are new expensive dresses.
What are the lessons? When the Holy Spirit gives you a prophetic word, the devil will do the opposite. This is to make you doubt God’s Word. God will allow the attack so that your faith in Him is tested. Have faith in God! If God has said something to you, no matter how long it takes, no matter what happens in between, things can be missing, some hope can be lost, but that Word cannot be lost! God’s Word will surely come to pass! We give God all the glory for this wonderful miracle and for a successful testing of faith! Praise the Lord somebody!
Note: The following Biblical lessons apply only to those who are born again by the Holy Spirit! My sister, please give your life to Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit! Fast and pray that you may be a woman of God and fulfill destiny!
*God is sovereign! God has the power to do what He wants to do! Nothing stops God! His glory is Eternal!
*The story of Queen Esther is a story of tragedy that became triumph; problems that became praise; worry that became worship! God changes all things! This should be your testimony too! Be willing to be used by God!
*The word ‘God’ and the word ‘prayer’ do not appear in the Book of Esther. God is ‘silent’ and invisible. But God is sovereign and in charge of everything and everybody. God is not too early and not too late. He is right on time! God can never lose any battle! Trust God! God will come and manifest on your behalf! If you have faith in God you shall not be put to shame; you shall not regret or be disappointed.
*God has a plan for your life! Let the vision for your life increase. Queen Esther was an orphan poor girl and a refugee in Persia. But she was a child of God. She became the Queen Esther! God used her mightily to save His people. Do not allow your past to determine your future! Pray that you shall fulfill God’s destiny and that you shall be a blessing to your generation!
*Prepare to be a servant of God. Humble yourself! Learn to do spiritual warfare! Be filled with the Holy Spirit! Stand and be filled with courage! God is with you! Have faith in God! There is nothing impossible for God! God gives comfort and courage in times of trouble!
*Esther got married to a difficult man, an unbeliever. She was probably not happy in her marriage. But she used her position to glorify God! Do the same even as you pray for your husband to become saved!
*Fasting and prayer opens the door of heaven. It releases God’s favor. Miracles happen! You shall experience healing and deliverance! Your mind will become clearer. You will know what to do. Your flesh, with its pride, doubts and fears, will become weak. Your spirit, your faith and love becomes stronger! The anointing for ministry will increase!
*God demands obedience and blesses it! God punishes pride and rebellion!
*Problems and hindrances do not stop God. These should not stop you! God can use anybody, even the sinners, the wicked people. God is sovereign not only in the church or among godly people. He is sovereign everywhere; in the President’s office or at the juju shrine. God is totally in control of your life even when things make no sense, when the doctor gives you no hope, when your spouse wants to divorce you, when people cheat and betray you. *Things and people change but God never changes!
*Wicked people may prosper for a time but they will be punished by God. If you dig a pit for another, you shall fall in it yourself. Never envy the wicked! Pride comes before fall! Fight evil by inviting your enemy to the party!
*If you refuse to answer God’s call for His work, He will use another. You do not lose your salvation, but you will lose opportunities for ministry, rewards and inexpressible joys! God’s work is risky! Prepare to make sacrifices! People will be offended at you! But God will reward and compensate you beyond your dreams!
*Reach out to others for help. Do not stay lonely! Make friends even talking the risk of a broken heart! God will heal you! Tell others that you need counsel, prayer or help!
*God knows the end from the beginning! Exit Vashti! Enter Esther! Exit Haman! Enter Mordecai! There is a time for God’s vengeance to manifest!
*God’s people suffer many things in this life but they are victorious at last! ”All things work together for good for them who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28).
*Never lose hope in God!
(In the picture, a beautiful Ethiopian bride, which to me, resembles Queen Esther)
Testimony! This beautiful baby is our youngest grandson! His name is Emory David Oakes! He is 2 months old! Is he not cute? To God be all the glory for making us grandparents!!!!
I received this letter from a daughter in Christ. She is a young wife and mother. She is a faithful in her ministry in the church. She is a woman of God. I am blessed seeing that my spiritual children are maturing spiritually and live fruitful lives. I use her letter as a point of contact to encourage anyone who is under attack and especially who wants to start a new business. May God help you! Trust God to the end! If you want to bless this sister, feel free to comment. She will read it. God bless you my readers! In Jesus’ name!
“Dear Malia, Thank you for finding time to read my letter. Ma, I appreciate that. For some time I have been under attack. I am trying to start a new business and the devil is trying to stop me. I have never done this type of business before. It is totally new for me but I have prayed to God and I have peace about it. God gave me the idea. I trust God for everything, for the location of my shop, for the wisdom, strength and the capital. I know that the devil cannot stop me but he has been deceiving me that he is able to block my way. I fasted and prayed for discernment and I now recognize that it was an evil spirit tormenting me, telling me that I made a mistake, tormenting me about the business plans and making me having regret about resigning my present job… the devil brought fear about the type of business I want to start which is different than my present job… I had serious anxiety about a new beginning in my career, in ‘my business-life’. For some time I fell for its deception and distraction but God will have His way in me and there will be victory in the end!
This past Sunday, my pastor spoke on ‘tormenting spirits’. And tonight, I remembered the sermon and realized the negotiation about the money was tormenting me. To make its worse, my baby got sick. I was burdened because of my child and in that moment of weakness these tormenting spirits attacked me.
Last night I could not sleep. I was inspired by your letter about ‘night ministry’. I prayed to God. I silently cried on my bed. God restored peace, faith and courage to my soul. The devil is wicked and perverts thoughts and puts fear to replace confidence from God. I am humbled today to have discovered this and all the more want to hide inside the deepest part of the Holy Spirit. I already prayed that even when I make mistakes, that God will turn it around for good. My scripture that I’ve been trying to memorize this week is Jeremiah 17:7 (I think) it says blessed is the one whose trust and confidence is in the Lord. I am blessed. God bless you Ma! Your daughter in Christ…”
“Blessed is the man (the woman) who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he (she) shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit” (Jer 17:7, 8)
“All glory! All honor! All power, to You!
Holy Father, we worship You!
Precious Jesus, our Savior!
Holy Spirit, we wait on You
(From this Sunday’s service)
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Mt 13:44)
This is a word for the born again children of God. I encourage you to pay the price to gain the assurance of your salvation and spiritual maturity! Christ is the ‘treasure hidden in a field’. The man who found the treasure is me and is you.
Many seek for hidden treasures all over the world. I read that seeking for treasures is a very expensive form of adventure. They say that pirates hid their stolen treasures in some islands. They wanted to come back later to get them. But they died before they could come back. People look for things like these. But it is not easy to be a treasure hunter. It takes time, physical and mental effort, and a lot of money. It is a dangerous work. Looking for treasures in strange places you are exposed to attacks from wicked men, thieves or wild animals. It is also a lonely work. In the open field it is just you and the dreams that you chase. You need to encourage yourself to go on. There are no human encouragers around. It is not easy… I have been there… I know…
In Greek, the word ‘field’ means a village farm. Try to imagine this story as you seek God. Finally, after years of seeking and digging, you find the greatest treasure of all, Jesus Christ! But you cannot shout for joy! You quietly rejoice by yourself. This is not the time to run and tell your family and friends: ‘I am a rich man! I have made it!’ This is not the time to post it on Facebook “I have found the fulfillment of my dreams!” It is true, you have found it but it is not yet your own! By freely taking from that treasure you will be called a thief. This is because the land that hosted the treasure for thousands of years is not your own. You need to buy the land before you have the treasure. It is like a man who wants to marry and he finally finds the girl of his dreams. He cannot announce that he is married to that girl. People will insult him! He has to pay a ‘bride price’ in the presence of witnesses before he can call that woman ‘my wife’. If not, he is an adulterer and a thief. The man who finds the treasure has to bury it again. This is the wisdom of the Kingdom of God: You find Christ and then you say to Him: ‘Good bye for now…I will come back and see You again…You shall be mine forever…’
The man goes back to the city and announces that he wants to become a farmer. His rich sophisticated friends laugh at his foolishness. ‘A farmer… What a joke…’ But that is all that he can say, for now. He announces that he is selling all his property in the city so that he can buy a farm in the village. He does not sell his things grudgingly. He sells them rejoicing. There is something strange about this man… he is so happy with his decision to change his address….this transition is mysterious to many who do not understand his new love for village things…. he is selling his expensive ‘condo in the Trump tower’ to go and buy a farm in the village… he sells his Mercedes Benz telling people he needs money to buy a farm… nobody knows the secret or the source of his joy…deep secret joy… not shared joy, at least not now…
Do you understand this parable? To ‘find Christ’ is not enough. You need to possess Christ, to be filled with His Word and His Spirit! Then you can truly say that Christ is yours! Not every Christian can say this: ‘My Beloved is mine and I am His”. You need to lose your life for His sake before you can have Christ! There is a price to pay to enter the mystery of this treasure called Christ. In Him there is all the wisdom and the knowledge of eternal life!
I have seen people who claim to be born again but they turn back from total commitment to the Lord, holding tight their little treasures money bought for them. Like with the rich your ruler who could not sell his things to truly find eternal life, a man may see Christ face to face, worship Him for a time but still go back to the world of sin, sad ‘for he has great possessions’.
This is my testimony! This is the truth that I have found: Christ is the greatest Blessing of all! He is the Gift from heaven! He is worthy more than silver or gold, more than the friendship of the best of friends, more than fame and more than culture. I testify that me, a sinner saved by His grace, I have found Him buried in the field called Nigeria! I thank God for the wisdom of not cheaply and foolishly brag about my achievement in finding Him ‘whom my soul loves’. For a long time I had to let go of His benefits and go back to my world of wealthy educated sinners. I simply told them that I am selling my things.
One by one, my cherished treasures of a life time of struggle were sold. This was a painful transition. But there was joy in that pain. I walked on the royal way of the Cross knowing that one day I can openly boast that Jesus is mine! Persecution is part of the price you pay to possess Christ. But it is all worth it! Oh…it is all worth it! After losing all things, I took my money and went to buy that field. The owner, an agent of the devil, had no idea why I am willing to pay all that for a ‘dirty old God forsaken’ field. That is what the devil called my dream. He said that he tried planting cassava and yam there, but the field is barren. I did not argue with him. I just wanted the deed of the land. I did not buy it to plant flowers there. I did not need a garden in Warri. I wanted what is hidden beneath the surface. The devil did not know what I was looking for. Thank God he did now know! He finally sold it to me. Jesus shed His Blood to be my Savior. I shed my tears and sweat to be His Servant! The deed is sealed! This is an eternal transaction no man or devil can steal. I declare that God loves Warri- Effurun, in Nigeria! Glory to the Lamb who seats on the throne! Now and forever! Amen! I am a child of God!