TOGETHER IN UNITY AND TRUE LOVE

‘How good and pleasant it is when sisters live together in unity! It is precious oil pouring… Like the dew falling… Here God has commanded His special family blessing, even life forevermore!’ (Ps 133)
We went to Abraka River for water baptism and picnic. I am talking of the members of Father’s House Bible Church, Effurun/ Warri. In my country, where I was born, nobody brings cream cake for picnic. But here where I live, in Nigeria, everything is better, brighter and more joyful. A dear sister bought a big cake for us all. We ate it all! Along Jolof rice, fish barbecue, chop- chop, fried chicken… And so many dishes… As you can see in the picture, in the natural, we are different (height, weight, complexion, skin color, tribe and nations). But if you look with the eyes of the Spirit, you will be amazed to see the unity and true love in us and among us! Only God can produce that harmony! To God be all the glory!
This is my advice for all who read this… If you want to learn how to enjoy life in general and as a Christian in particular come to Nigeria at Christmas time! If there is a competition among countries Naija will take first, every time! I have learned the secret of contentment in Nigeria! You do not need millions or sky scrapers to be happy! Serving God in a good living church with your family is more than all these things! I am a testimony! I am a witness! God made me a pastor to His people in Nigeria! What a privilege!!! From Warri to you, wherever you are, happy new year in advance!

Cake Abraka

PRAYER REQUEST FOR MARRIAGE

On Christmas day, a dear sister in Christ brought us a wonderful gift. She called it ‘a small Christmas hamper’. My husband and I were very surprised! We have never seen such a mighty ‘Christmas hamper’. It is a furniture type of a box. Very nice! It was filled with ‘oyinbo’ goodies. This sister (let’s call her ‘Onome’) is hard working, humble, faithful and beautiful inside out. She is in her late thirties. She started attending our church this year, I talked to her some months ago. I asked her what does she want God to do for her? She told me that she has two main desires she is praying about: That she should grow spiritually and that she should get married. (She said it is in that order). Please pray for her! That God will grant the desires of her heart! That she will be filled with the Holy Spirit and that in 2020 she will marry happily! For nothing is impossible with God! Praise the Lord!
(I use ‘Onome’ as a point of contact for all the sisters who pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit and that they should marry in 2020. Do not trust in your beauty or in your power! Just trust God! He will do it! May the testimonies multiply! In Jesus’ name!)
(In the pictures, you see our ‘small Christmas hamper’)

 

Christmas box 1

Christmas box 2

THE POWER OF INFLUENCE

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven!” (Mt 5:16)

One of the most unrecognized powers you possess is that of influence. How do we define ‘influence’? Simply said, influence is the effect of a person upon another. It is the power to have an important effect on someone or something. You can influence people, their thinking and behavior, without any direct or apparent effort. You can influence the course of events, by changing them in an indirect but important way. This power to influence is based on prestige, wealth, ability or social position.

Jesus says to the child of God: ‘you are the light of the world’ (Mt 5:14)! Spiritually speaking, as your light shines in this world, the darkness has no other option than to disappear! Ignorance, foolishness, doubt, fears, all these manifestations of spiritual darkness become less powerful in the lives of the people you encounter!

When we think about influential leaders, some may assume that only certain powerful people have the ability to influence others. My belief is that we all exert some sort of influence over each other. Is there some practice in your life that you can trace to something that someone else said or did? Do you remember your teacher in the primary school, who encouraged you to ‘make it’ in life? Or that your friend who saw your potential and directed you to the profession you practice now? Thank God for these people who on the journey of life, influenced you for better!

Influence can be good or bad. God can use anybody to influence you for good. But He uses His servants in a particular way. The devil uses people to influence people for bad. The ‘false prophets’ speak negative but attractive words, injecting anxiety, doubt, foolish and reckless behavior!

You have heard it said that ‘no man is an island’. We all influence others, for good or for bad. Parents influence their children, thru their words and actions. Pastors influence their congregations thru their preaching. Dear Friend, what kind of influence do you have on others? Be honest, is it good or bad? If it is bad, or if it seems to be a limited influence for good, why not determine to walk more closely with God and increase your influence? Why not ask the Holy Spirit, right now, to help you in that direction? Be filled with the Holy Spirit and God will use you mightily to change your generation! In Jesus’ name!

FROM WARRI, WITH LOVE…

Our older daughter Alina Yemi, surprised us. She came to visit us, just because she was missing her parents and her childhood home. She could only ‘squeeze’ two days. But how happy these two days have been! We took some pictures at the parking lot. What does a mother tell her fortysomething years ‘young’ daughter? I was just telling her how much I appreciate her heart, kindness, generosity, strength and humility. As I was telling her these words of love, the photographer took the picture. This was a moment in time… Alina wanted to look tough and ‘fashionable’ (and patriotic… see the Nigerian flag on her chest) in the picture, but I know that her heart melted looking at her mother’s eyes and hearing words no stranger can ever say.
Let me say it again: “Dear Alina, I am your mother! You are a child of covenant! No matter how far you travel, how much money you make, how low you fall or how high you rise in this life, our love to you is unconditional! Be who God destined you to be! Your dad and I love you very much and bless you with the blessings of Christ! God bless your beautiful children too! From Warri, with love…”

Alina and I

GOD BLESS MY HUSBAND!

“But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot… My heart grew hot within me. While I meditated (on God’s Word), the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue… The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words…” (Jer 20:9; Ps 39:3)

This picture was taken during the third day (12-12-19) of the evangelistic program we did at Jakande Market area, Lekki, Lagos. Pastor Richmond Leigh (my husband) was preaching to the needy and humble people in this area. (I cannot describe how bad the area is. I do not want to sound rude, but it may be the worse slump in Lagos).

I love this picture because it shows my husband’s heart! The picture capture the intensity of the anointing of the Holy Spirit on him. To preach God’s Word is a sacrifice that involves the whole being, spirit, soul and body. It is like a fire burning within. True ministry is never a form of entertainment. At the end of each day, my husband felt ‘virtue going out of him’. By the way, it is not easy for me, as his wife. I too need God’s grace to be able to help such a great man whose passion is to be like Jesus! Praising God is always a sacrifice. It is much more than singing or talking!

John Wesley once said: “I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.” May the anointing I see on my husband descend on many younger Christians. Money cannot buy it. Men cannot steal it. May you seek God’s fire from on high until it comes down and burns the sacrifice you’ve offered!

God bless my husband, a true Man of God!

Lekki 3d

I BELONG TO JESUS

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body” (1Cor 6:19, 20)

I heard of a story which illustrated the importance of being a man or woman of conviction, of having a true Christian character. A man was seated next to a beautiful woman on a plane. The man said to her: ‘I find you extremely attractive. I will give you a million dollars if you will spend the night with me.’ The woman thought for a while. She imagined the things she could buy with so much money. Eventually, she consented. After some time, the man said, ‘There’s something I have to tell you. I can’t really give you a million dollars. I don’t have that kind of money. Would you do it for $10?’ The woman was highly offended. ‘What sort of woman do you think I am?’ The man replied, ‘We’ve already established what sort of woman you are. We are just haggling over the price.’ George Washington was quoted as having said: ‘Few men have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder.’

The devil says: ‘every man, every woman has a price’. He believes that all people can be persuaded to sell their souls, their ministry or destiny if ‘the price is right’. For the unbelievers, this may be true But once you are saved, your life, your soul, your body belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus died to purchase you. He shed His precious Blood to redeem you from the slave market of the devil. You do not belong to yourself anymore. You are not for sale! Not even for a million dollars!

This is my testimony: Long ago, as a young believer, I made a covenant with God that it is better for me to die and go to heaven than to compromise with the devil and backslide. For me backsliding is not ‘a small thing’. I do not have the luxury to even think about it. This radical decision has helped me always, has strengthened me in my spirit, but especially in times when the devil attacks and offers me a big price to just bow to him. For me, that means disgraceful death. It is not just possible. Like Paul said: ‘For me to live is Christ and to die is gain!’ There is no ‘plan B’. The matter is settled in heaven and also in my spirit: In the unity of the Spirit, I say with my Lord: “Get behind me Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.'” (Lk 4:8)

In Christ I declare:
I am a child of God! Jesus Christ is my Savior and my Lord, now and forever! I am glad that I belong to Jesus! My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I am not for sale! I am not my own! My Righteous King has paid my ‘bride price’ with His Blood. The resurrected Christ is my Bridegroom! I honor God with my body! I honor God with my testimony! I live to worship God and to give Him all the glory! I bow my knees only to the Lord Jesus Christ! I serve Him only! This is my destiny! Nothing and nobody can change that! It is me and Jesus, now and forever! In Jesus’ name! Amen!

THE THIRD DAY IS ALWAYS THE BEST (Day 3)

We are still in Lagos doing an outreach at Jakande Market area. The first day was good. The second day was better. The third day was the best. We praised God with songs and dances. We repeated the Nativity and Throne Room Dramas. Everything was wonderful. More people came today. Pastor Richmond Leigh preached the same message of salvation. He said that even if we stay here for one month, he will preach the same evangelistic message until all are converted. First of all he did ‘the ‘law work’, as the theologians say. He did not waste time or words. He told the people that ‘the wages of sin is death’. He told them that ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’. He told them that they are sinners and that they need a Savior. He said that Jesus is that Savior! He asked the people: ‘Is anyone here among you who did not steal? Who did not lie? Who did not commit fornication, or abortion?… ‘Did you steal? Did you lie?’ They answered loudly ‘yes-o’. The people did not even hide. This is the advantage of preaching God’s word among the lowest of all. These men and women are among the poorest in Lagos. I can call them ‘the undesirables’, the forgotten of the society. They cannot afford to be religious hypocrites. That is a luxury! There are so many brothels and area boys here. The prostitutes do not hide from people. They do not pretend to be better than they are. It is hard to love them, or even to like them. But if you can see them with the eyes of Christ, you will be surprised to discover these people as the humanity the Savior died for. I observed that there are so many children running all over the place, playing in the sand. They look a little wild. But before the program started, they came and quietly sat down on the chairs provided. They look dirty and not well fed. But I saw the grace of God upon them. This was their ‘Christmas’. We came to bring them the good news that God loves them, that Jesus wants to save them. They drank the living words like people drink water.

Because of the grace of God, I will not be surprised that from among these children, the next president of Nigeria, senators, medical doctors, engineers, teachers, nurses and scientists will arise. I have learned not to look down on any child because God has the made them for His pleasure. Once the grace of God locates a child, He will keep him or her safe, even in the jungle. Many of these children answered the altar call. Pastor Richmond Leigh prayed for them. He also prayed for the community of Jakande area, that God will rise a politician who will care for the poor and speak for them. He prayed that the sick will be healed, the barren women will have children, that the jobless will have jobs. He also prayed for the ‘area boys’ that they will be truly converted. Their zeal to fight for survival will be used to serve God. He prayed that in 2020, peace and prosperity will be the mark in this forgotten community. For nothing is impossible with God. Pastor Richmond’s Leigh message was powerful because he mixed the anointing of the Word of God, with a rare to find genuine tenderness and kindness toward these people. It is the Holy Spirit who placed in His heart. This combination is unbeatable. Tonight, we declare that in the name of Jesus, the dynamite of the anointing of the Word of God has destroyed the strongholds of poverty, crime, hopelessness and prostitution in Jakande area, also called ‘the Sodom and Gomorrah’. Freedom has found a place in the hearts of men and women here. This is our story! This is our song! See you back in Warri! To God be all the glory!

“Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him?” (Jam 2:5)

(In the pictures, Pastor Richmond Leigh preaching. People, especially the children, listened attentively. Many answered the altar call)

Lekki 3a

Lekki 3b

Lekki 3c

Lekki 3d

Lekki 3e

Lekki 3f

Lekki 3g

Lekki 3h