IN YOUR LOCKDOWN, FEAR NOT! SEE JESUS! HE DIED BUT HE IS RISEN! HE IS ALIVE FOREVERMORE!

“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord (Jn 20:19, 20)

 

TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE (HONORING MY HUSBAND)

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up” (Ecc 4:9, 10).
“Pay everyone what you owe him… respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due” (Rom 13:7)
I recently wrote my testimony as a wife and a mother, living in Nigeria for the past 40 years. Somebody commented: “Malia, thanks for the admonition through your testimonies. Apart from the Holy Spirit leadership, I perceive you being transparent, flexible to adjust to any situation and truthful”. Others told me that it is a miracle how I adapted so well to the Nigerian culture and still retaining my identity as a ‘Naija wife’ (meaning an Oyinbo or foreigner wife). I thought about it… I often learn from people’s comments. If the comments are positive, I give glory to God. This is because if people see something good in me, it is not a natural gift. It is Christ in me, the hope of glory, the work of the Holy Spirit. That is why I cannot take any credit for any qualities you admire in me. God takes all the glory! If the comments are ‘negative’, I do not just delete them, or insult them. I always pray about things people say about me that I do not like. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit says that I should ignore them. Other times He tells me to pray for that ‘negative’ person, that he has a problem with misdirected anger. In other cases, I gain wisdom by correcting my behavior or at least my attitude. I’ve learned to use everything around me. I do not waste spiritual or natural resources. I have learned that from the Holy Spirit! Little is much when God is in it! I have often found diamonds in the trash can. My hands may become dirty, and my nose filled with some bad odor. But this is a small price to pay for redeeming a pearl of great value found in a most unexpected place.
Lastly, I want to add that marriage is a teamwork. I am sure you know that! Next to God, my husband (Pastor Richmond Leigh) must take the credit for my testimony as a happy wife living in Nigeria. The Holy Spirit has empowered my husband to be a true leader and teacher to me. He is the one who thought me 99% of what I know about the Nigerian culture and how to respond to it. He is also my pastor and my spiritual leader. When I came to Nigeria in 1980, I could not speak English. My husband speaks Romanian fluently. He helped me to learn English and ‘broken English’. He is always challenging me to improve my language. He is the one who advised me to write books and letters on Facebook. I am shy by nature. My husband encourages me to stand in public (in the church) and preach to Word with confidence! We talk about the Bible and how best to apply the lessons so that many will benefit from them. We try to practice what we preach. My husband has never manipulated me, and he has never forced me to bow to the Nigerian culture (or any culture). He patiently explained to me again and again, what is expected of me, not just as his wife, but as a ‘our wife’ living in Nigeria. He gave me the guidelines and then, he trusted me to apply them as I think best. He is the most wonderful teacher as many other people in our church can testify. He trusted me to behave well within the boundaries of Nigerian culture. He also trusted me to retain my originality and creativity; in other words, to still be myself. For that, I will be eternally grateful to him, as my husband, the father of our children, as my pastor and my teacher. This story is a work in process. I made many mistakes. Sometimes I will be tired of ‘Naija ohala’. So many times, my husband will encourage me to keep going, saying that ‘I am trying’ and I can do better next time. You see, my testimony is in fact, OUR TESTIIMONY! I use our testimony as a pint of contact to pray for the happiness and success of your marriages! I also pray that the singles marry well, led by the Holy Spirit. As you can see, a true marriage is ‘made in heaven and enjoyed on earth’.
This morning, I give honor to my husband, because this honor is due to him! Please pray for him and ‘greet him for me’ when you talk to him! Glory to God! Thank you! God bless you all!
(In the picture, my husband and I as newly weds, In Romania, about 1975 and as we are now (2020). To God be all the glory!)

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RSL and SLL 5

MY MINISTRY AS WIFE AND MOTHER

The older women should ‘teach the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Tit 2:4, 5)
My husband and I are married for 46 years. We have three adult children and seven grandchildren. I live in Nigeria without any interruption (except for short vacations) since 1980. I worked as a medical doctor for twenty years. My husband and I are the founders of Lily Clinic, Warri. I work as a pastor for the past twenty years. My husband and I started Father’s House Bible Church, Warri/ Effurun. All these are the achievements of God’s grace and not mine! To God be all the glory!
My testimony as a wife and a mother is based on my understanding of the Word of God. It is also influenced by the Nigerian culture. My husband is a Nigerian and I have lived here in Nigeria for the past forty years. Because I lived here more than I lived in Romania, I understand the Nigerian culture and ‘flow’ with it more than any other. To God be all the glory!
This testimony is just a part of the bigger picture. In Nigeria, the responsibilities of a wife and a mother, as the ‘manager’ of the household, are bigger than in Europe. I had to adjust to that mind set. During all these years, I needed help in the house, especially when the children were still little. On and off, as needed, we hired nannies, gardeners, drivers, cooks, ‘house-boys’ and ‘house-girls’. We treated all of them with dignity and respect, as members of the household. Some were faithful to us and some were not. That is not important now… God always gave us the grace to move on no matter the challenges we had encountered. As a wife and a mother, one thing was clear to me: this is my work and responsibility given by God! I am a steward and a servant of Jesus Christ, and He is my Boss! I must give account for the choices I make and the things I do. I have always seen my work at home as a ministry. Because of that vision, God has promoted me and blessed me in so many ways! Another thing I have decided: to be jealous over my home ministry. I pray daily for wisdom and strength to do it ‘as unto the Lord’. I do spiritual warfare as the Spirit leads. Please listen! I’ve never abandoned my home to any man or woman from outside. These people worked as our helpers, not as our leaders. In the kitchen, I never stopped deciding what we shall eat or how to prepare the food. I can learn how to cook new dishes but at the end, it is my recipe that stands, not the cook’s. The nanny can help but it is my ideas of how to bring up children that stand, not the her own. I can listen to advice about the traffic and danger in different parts of the town, but it is where I want to go that matters, not where the driver wants to go to. When it comes to cooking for my husband, I never delegate that ‘holy work’ to nobody. (There was a time of transition, when I came to Nigeria. I had to learn how to cook the Nigerian dishes. God bless my mother in law, now late, Mama Apopo Leigh, who thought me the basics (and the spices) of how to cook Nigerian Itsekiri dishes, especially how my husband likes them! Since then, I took control over the matter. Thank God for His grace!)
It was my decision that I should never ‘retire’ from doing household chores. I have never abandoned my skill to clean the house, cook for my husband and wash his clothes. This keeps me busy and it is a good exercise for the body and for the mind. I can handle a broom and a mop with as ease as I can teach Bible studies. You may laugh now… but it is the truth… It is my privilege and my pleasure to be ‘a full-time housewife’. This title is not related to time only. It is a spiritual position that it’s mine alone. God has entrusted me with the well being of my husband, spiritually and physically. I must answer to God for all my decisions and actions, including the little details like what we shall eat for dinner. Now, with this lockdown, I need to be wiser, to always have a plan B in mind. But the principle remains the same! In this way, we are both safe and happy.
Finally, let me say this: It is true, that some women are incapacitated one way or the other and cannot do what I recommend here. I understand! God gives different levels of grace to each one of us. Obedience, even to a good advice, must not be legalistic. But try to apply these ideas in your own home. This advice is spiritual and general. Be flexible! Be encouraged too! God rewards our work in the home. Don’t look down on yourself or on your work. Let it be a labor of love! I mean love for God, for your husband and for your children! For example, I can wash the dishes with a frown on my face. The dishes do not mind. But the Holy Spirit minds. So, I do the dishes with a smile on my face, listening to praise and worship music in the kitchen. It is so much better! Frustration has no place in my home! Holy Spirit, You alone are welcomed! Dear daughters, natural and spiritual, may God bless you, your families and the work of your hands! In Jesus’ name! Amen!
(In the picture, I and our older daughter, Alina, ‘gisting’ happily about life in general)

Malia and Alina

YOUR SEASON OF SHALOM AND VINDICATION

SATURDAY PRAYER MEETING

For almost two years, as we gathered for our Saturday prayer meeting in the church, we declared that we are living in the season called ‘Shalom’. In Hebrew, this is a great word. It means peace, coming alive at the end of a war. But this word means more than just peace. It is the benefits that come with living in peace. War time requires a particular mind set. You are ready to fight every day. But peace, is different. During peace people fall in love and marry. They have children. They go to church to serve God. They buy lands and build houses. The word Shalom means supernatural health, supernatural wealth, friends, favor with God and man. We declared that we live in this season of supernatural prophetic peace and prosperity! No man, no demon, no virus or parasite can change that! You brethren who believe in these prophetic declarations, even now, in these challenging times, you must be healthy, wealthy, make many good godly friends and be favored above others, by God and by man! Selah!

The very last time we came for Saturday class, we declared that we have entered in our season of vindication. Jesus Christ was betrayed, suffered, died on the Cross and He was buried. He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven as the glorious Son of God and Son of Man! We are one with Him! We too died and rose with Christ! In Him, we share in His sufferings and in His glories! “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory” (1Tim 3:16). Halleluiah!

We defined vindication as God’s proof that what we said and did in the past, in His name, was right and true. After people said that we are wrong, God, the Holy Spirit, shows that we are free, cleared from all guilt, accusation or blame. We said that vindication is a very powerful spiritual reality. For example: a student has been blamed of cheating by his classmates. They are jealous of his progress. They falsely accuse him to their teacher. The next day, when the teacher comes and declares publicly that he did not cheat, that is true vindication! Please note that if the teacher says he is not guilty in private, that is not enough vindication. His reputation must be cleared in the presence of all his colleagues who accused him of cheating. Open offense must be cleared in the open court! Any innocent man who is said to be guilty of a crime longs (from the bottom of his heart) to be vindicated!

We said that Almighty God is the Great vindicator! “For the Lord will vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants, when He sees that their power is gone and there is none remaining, bond or free” (Deut 32:36). Sooner or later, you shall be vindicated! You have suffered much injustice from devils and men. But God speaks at last. God will vindicate you and promote you. In Christ we declare that “No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall condemn every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.” (Is 54:17). God has answered your prayers! If the devil likes it or not, your God given dreams will still come true! To the glory of God, to the shame of the devil and for the encouragement of the brethren! In Jesus’ name, amen!

Let’s pray: Dear Heavenly Father, we come to You in the name of Jesus! You commanded us to give You thanks always and in all situations. With a grateful Spirit filled heart we say Father, thank You! For who you are; for who you are to us! There is none like You! No one compares with You! You are the eternal fountain of all wisdom. You need no counselor! For You alone are God! We worship You! We thank You for taking notice of us. We have suffered much injustice in this world. We trusted in You alone to judge all people and all circumstances. Thank You Lord for assuring us that this is our season of Shalom (peace, health, wealth, friends and favor). Thank you also that You have granted us the special grace of vindication. When people accused us wrongfully, You have made all things right. Help us to see it! Thank you for restoring back to us our testimonies, that we are Your children and Your servants. Thank You Abba Father for restoring to us what we have lost in the past. Like the way you blessed our brother Job, thank You Father for blessing us now, more than ever before. We command every evil spirit of doubt, depression, debt, divorce, lies, poverty, sickness and the fear of untimely death, to go away, in the name of Jesus! We command you evil spirit of Jezebel, Ogbanje, Mammy water, false prophets and empty religion, to pack your load and go away from us! In the name of Jesus! Holy Spirit please come afresh! Revive our bodies, souls and spirits! We cover ourselves, our families, our church (Father’s House Bible Church) the people in Warri/ Effurun, Delta state and Nigeria, with the Blood of Jesus! No demon, no virus can penetrate the blanket of the Blood of Jesus, ‘that speaks better things’ of faith, love, comfort, courage and hope! We declare that during this time of quarantine and staying indoors, no one will die untimely, and no property will be lost! Father, God, You have done it many times in the past! We testify to Your mercy, grace and to Your power to do miracles! You will do it again! We long to come back to the sanctuary and to praise Your name! See our hearts! We have faith 100% in the power of the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord! We vow to give You alone all the glory! In Jesus’ name we pray! Amen!

FH 27

GOD’S WAYS

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Is 55:9)

God never imitates anyone! He is the uncreated eternal Original! He always behaves like Himself! He is always faithful to His own self! God reveals Himself to man only through Jesus Christ! It is my privilege to know God’s name and His higher ways!

In Christ I declare:
I shall pay the price to know God as a Person and to understand His ways! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

JOY COMES IN THE MORNING

“For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me; my worst fears have all come true and have overtaken me” (Job 3:25)
These are challenging times. We need to go to the Word of God, for answers and encouragement! The main attack is not physical; it is not done by the coronavirus. This is a spiritual attack coming especially from the evil spirit of fear. You cannot fight fear with common sense or medicines. You need spiritual weapons, the Word of God, fasting and prayer! Do not cover up your fears. Do not pretend that they are not there. Face them! Confront them! Expose them! Little fears or big fears; do not tolerate them in your soul! They are the enemies of faith! Fight them until they go away! Then be filled with the Holy Spirit!

This is the story of a man of God called Job. There is much we can learn from him. Job was a righteous man who worshipped the true God. But he harbored silent fears in his heart. He was afraid that God may disappoint him one day and stop blessing him. He was afraid that one day, the devil will be stronger than God and he will lose everything he has: his reputation as a believer, his health, his marriage, his children and his property. These silent fears did not manifest when everything was good. But once the tragedy fell, the fears were exposed. At last, Job repented of all his hidden sins: fears, doubts and foolishness. Like gold that passes thru fire, his faith in God was purified and he became an established man of God. His story is an inspiration to all believers. This is the truth: God has the last say in all human affairs. The devil may attack but God sets boundaries, in space and time. Please repent of every hidden and cherished sin. Trust God, not 99% but with all your heart and with all your strength! Fear not! In Christ, there is no loss, no defeat and no disgrace!

Coronavirus or not, God is above all in every storm of life! God decided when the pain starts and when the pain will end. “He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire” (Ps 46:9). This is our God! This is how He will destroy this virus! Shout halleluiah! “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Ps 30:5). God limits our weeping. He wipes away all tears! The eternal victorious King Jesus, who gave us His own personal joy, must come in the morning! This is His promise! “Even so, come Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20). Soon, we shall meet again in the sanctuary. That place can never be quiet! We will shout and sing and dance! To the glory of our King! Have faith in God! With eyes of faith, you must see this joy even now, from the midnight hour! You must rejoice at the break of the day! Be encouraged my brethren! God bless you all! The worship must continue! In Jesus’ name! Amen!

SLL 43

TESTIMONY – THE WORSHIP MUST CONTINUE

This morning I was so blessed!!! Each Saturday morning many brethren come to the house of God to clean the chairs and mop the floors. But with the many restrictions we shut down the church until further notice. This morning I went to the sanctuary to ‘greet’ the Holy Spirit. The drums were silent. The piano and the loudspeakers were covered. No sound at all… Then, to my surprise, I saw two young men cleaning the chairs. I asked them, why did they come? They said that they could not stay at home and they came to do their work for God, even if nobody comes to church tomorrow. They said that they have faith that soon, the worship will start again in the sanctuary. Two young men trying to clean thousands of chairs, moping wide floors… Working silently, not for thank you, just for God… I was touched…
I could have given you their names but that is not important. They represent our hearts! We all want to come back to worship God in the sanctuary. I know that the church is not the building, but we dedicated this building to God and the Holy Spirit has been here since. Because of the situation in town, I don’t know how long these brethren can come.. The future belongs to God! But for today, these two young men, coming as living sacrifices unto God, representing our hearts, please bless them! They are men of faith! For cleaning the sanctuary no evil shall come near them! God bless them, their families and the work of their hearts! They are right! The worship must continue!
(Now you know why I love Nigeria! The Holy Spirit moves upon this land. I can see His mighty fruits. God bless Nigeria!)

Brother Peter

Brother Collins

Buckets at FH

Silent drums

Silent piano