God has used this lockdown to teach me the value of a simpler life. It has forced me to become more humble (with the facemask on, why do I need to put on lipstick?). For a proud woman like me, to become humble in just few months, it is a miracle! Also, knowing that I am not alone in this ‘prison’ of circumstances, has helped me a lot. Other people suffer. So, for me, to complain about my so called ‘difficult life’, it will be a sin! I live in Nigeria. I look around and I see wonderful ways people cope with hardship! I admire the people who have found a way, not only to survive, but to become successful even in limitations! Once I tasted the beauty and the freedom of a simpler life, I became happy, with God and with myself. Something good came out of something bad. Thank God for everything! Let’s smile ‘online’!
This picture was taken in 2012. We were building the sanctuary (Father’s House Bible Church, Effurun, Warri, Nigeria). That day, my husband and I just came back from a short vacation. The brethren were so happy to see us back to town. Let me tell you another secret: One thing why I love Nigeria is the way people greet one another, especially after a ‘long time no see’. Nowhere in this world there is so much noisy singing joy when friends or family members meet, as I see it displayed here in Nigeria.
Because of centuries of racism, I see so much pain in the faces of the African Americans in the US. Only God can help them overcome the deep fears, mistrust and hatred. Our children and grandchildren live in the US. I pray for the people over there. But this is the truth: Blacks, whites, yellows and browns, they all need Jesus in their hearts, first of all. “Dear Lord, Jesus Christ, You are the Hope of all Nations; have mercy on them and on all of us!”
Many people look down on Nigeria. But God made this country my home. Nigeria is not perfect but I love it! From my heart to yours, from Effurun/ Warri, Nigeria, to the world at large, I send greetings of peace and joy, in Christ Jesus!
This is God’s word: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is when brothers live in harmony! It is like fine oil on the head, running down on the beard, running down Aaron’s beard over the collar of his robes…” (Ps 133:1)
I received another testimony of healing, from a daughter in Christ. She is a married woman, mother of two children and faithful as a worker in the church. This testimony is given to the glory of God, to the shame of the devil and for the encouragement of the brethren. Read and be blessed! (Please encourage her too. She will read your comments). Thank you and God bless you!
“Dear Malia, I had this pain in my armpit for about a month now. It’s been so disturbing that I just kept touching it and trying not to be scared even though the discomfort and slight pain won’t let me be. So, on Wednesday, my husband got back from work and as he was having dinner, I was telling myself I had to tell him about this pain. Just then my phone light came on, I looked behold it was your testimony of chest pain and the supernatural healing you got. Immediately it occurred to me I had not spoken to the Lord about this particular pain. I decided not to discuss it with my husband but take it to God in prayer. Hmm!!!! This God enhhh… I said a simple prayer that night. The next morning my entire prayer time was devoted on this pain….. At the end of the day I realized there was no longer discomfort nor pain… I waited for the next day which is Friday still no pain. We had a communion service in the house, and I shared the testimony with my family. Up until now no pain, no discomfort… No be small totori this God dey do Him children….. Truly I can’t thank God enough for this supernatural healing. I am glad I belong to Jesus and I eat this healing bread He has so freely given to His children. This kind God o, I never see Your type ooo…. This kind God o… Blessed be Your Holy Name….. Hallelujah!!”
“My soul longs, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself where she places her young by Your altars, O LORD of Hosts, my King and my God. How blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they are ever praising You. Selah! (Ps 84:2-4)
After two months of lockdown, we shall have church service tomorrow in the sanctuary. The brethren in charge of cleaning the house of God came this morning with buckets and detergent, and made everything spotless. God bless them! My husband and I live in the church’ premises but we miss the brethren coming together to serve and worship God. During this lockdown a pair of sparrows made their nest to raise their babies in the street light in the church’ parking lot. The cover was broken and they just took advantage of a quiet and safe spot to become our ‘free tenants’. You see, even the little birds appreciate the presence of the Holy Spirit! Until their babies fly away, we shall leave the nest there. Kindness is more important than esthetics. I believe that the God that helps these little birds, will help you too and provide for your needs! Dear Brethren, Praise the Lord!
(In the pictures: 1-The birds and their nest… 2-the sanctuary sparking clean waiting for the brethren to come tomorrow)
“YOU SHALL NOT LISTEN to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut 13:3)
Here we see a peculiar sin that starts with the ears and ends in the heart. God commanded His people NOT TO LISTEN to false prophets. In Hebrew, the word ‘listen’ means to hear intelligently, to give attention and try to understand the words you hear so that you can obey them. This is the sin of a student listening to his teacher. This sin means to listen humbly and respectfully the words of the false teacher. The sin is to ‘borrow’ your God given ears for the devil to use. God is the ‘landlord’ of your ears, but you invite the devil to be the free tenant. As the sexual lust of the eyes is equal with adultery, so the lust of the itchy ears is sin! Lies pollute the ears and poison your spirit! This spiritual contamination destroys your wisdom, peace, joy, and faith! Listening to lies is very addictive. It is like taking cocaine or drinking alcohol! It gets worst with time! Have you thought of that? There are many prophetic ‘what-sup and Facebook’ messages… Must you listen to them all? Must you have an opinion about them all? Be careful! Be jealous over your ears! Are your ears clean? Are your ears circumcised and cleansed by the Holy Spirit? If not, your ears will only bring trouble to you and to your ministry (2Tim 4:1-5)!!! Selah!
Our Lord Jesus Christ warned His disciples to be careful with their ears! He said: “Pay attention, therefore, to how you listen. Whoever has will be given more, but whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him.” (Lk 8:18). He said that if your ears are ‘dirty with the sin of error’ more error shall be added to you until you backslide! But if, by the power of the Holy Spirit, your ears are cleansed from lies and deception, you shall become cleaner and stronger still. Good ears are necessary so that faith can be built in the heart! “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17). If you still struggle with doubt and anxiety, if your faith is still small compared with the challenges you face, it may be that you need to cleanse your ears with the earbuds of the Spirit! “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 2:29)!
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father. we confess the sin of being carless with our ears. We did not use them to listen to Your voice. We borrowed our ears to the devil’s agents to listen to lies and deception. We have sinned! We ask for mercy from You. We are sorry, Father God! Cleanse our ears and our hearts with Your Spirit. We plead the Blood of Jesus over our bodies, souls, and spirits! Please help us to love only Your Word and to listen only to Your voice! Holy Spirit, please fills us afresh! In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!
This is the second healing testimony I received today. He is a young brother, about 21 years old. He lives with his mum. He goes to school and he works part time. He is a very talented and creative young man in the area of media. He is a true worshipper. He is always encouraging me with scriptures and songs. He sent me this note. This testimony is given to the glory of God, to the shame of the devil and for the encouragement of others. Jesus is Lord!
“Dear Malia, I have a testimony. Recently, I was in a dark mode (I was very sick). On Sunday afternoon, there was a very simple headache and I didn’t give heed to it. But after some time, the headache increase but this time dizziness kick in. I had to go to the near by pharmacy with my mom because I can’t see properly. When we got there, the guy question me and did some check up. The result was TYPHOID FEVER (I wasn’t scared, I’m praying this out). But he added: “guy, blood nor dey your body oh”. Immediately I heard this word, my heart dropped. I took the medicine. I forwarded a message to Pastor … (our light house leader) about my condition. I did prayed. I waited for the healing to come. Monday and Tuesday night I slept with difficult breathing. I was still waiting for my miracle… Today I woke up well! Thank You Jesus! Right now, by the grace of God, I’m strong, in fact, more than healthy (if there is any word for it) . I’m super excited MA. All glory, Honor, Adoration be unto God! Glory! Glory!”
This testimony is given to the glory of the only Living God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is given to the shame and defeat of the devil and for the encouragement of others. Last night, a brother in Christ sent me this inbox message. He is happily married with children. I am a witness that both him and his wife are faithful with God’s work in the church. three days ago he became very sick. they prayed! God touched him and healed him instantly! All the brother wants is that together, we should all praise God for what He has done! Halleluiah! Read and be blessed!
“Good Evening Ma Lia. I know that this is rather late in the night, and I am very sorry for the inconvenience to you but I just can hold this in my spirit and I have vowed to always testify about God’s goodness in my life hence forth.. I have been feeling very sick since Monday evening experiencing body pains, nagging headaches, weakness, chills and high fever that I had to commence self medication for malaria yesterday morning. In line with Covid19 protocols in my work place I had to report this to my company’s doctor who advised that I stay at home until my malaria treatment is over and then report to him about my condition. The truth is I became very worried about the possibility that this could be Covid19 and my family could be at risk so I had been taking care to maintain some distance from my children and to an extent my wife, even though it has been difficult. Since the fever started on Monday night we have been praying together lifting me up for healing. This night, some few minutes ago, while we were praying, I was moved in my spirit and began praying in tongues… Suddenly I felt strength coming into my body, and peace in my mind…A kind of release came upon me and I started laughing… I knew instantly that I have been healed by God!!! I immediately told my wife and children and we all started worshipping and praising God. I used to get exhausted just by talking, my walk that had been slow but now I have vigor … Right now I am singing, clapping and dancing freely with strength and power, no headache and no body pains and no weakness!!! Glory to God Almighty who has healed me and to Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior who paid the price for this healing. I thank God for His unfailing love and grace upon my life and for this miracle of healing which has strengthened my faith and trust in God and my desire to know Him and to pray to Him about challenges and difficulties I may encounter. God bless you and Ta Leigh for spiritual teaching and nurture you provide us about the Lord Jesus. Good night Ma!”
God’s Word: “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise!” (Jer 17:14)
I live in Effurun/ Warri, Nigeria. I love our garden. The plants we planted are humble plants. They are ‘low maintenance’. They are very happy with just sun shine and water. I took this pictures two days ago, after the rain. The plants revived and look so happy! Their simplicity and beauty teaches me that my life too, should not be complicated and cluttered with many things. My mind should be clean and transparent. I should be humble and grateful for my life. Then I will be happy! And, like our plants, I should always remember to praise God always!
God’s Word: “The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:12)
“Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them!” (Mk 11:24)
This is my testimony: I remember once, I had a serious chest pain. Because I am Christian. you may take it for granted that I pray always. But at that instance, I was deceived! I thought that I prayed, but I did not!!! I was only complaining about the pain. Like Elijah, I was using complaining as a form of ‘prayer’. That was wrong! Complain is not prayer!!!! Talking to God in the name of Jesus, that is prayer!!! I forgot that in all situations, God is my first ‘option’. In fact, my only ‘option’!!! The pain continued and I was surprised that God is not hearing me. I was saying ‘Why, God, why?” Once I saw the deception, rejected the devil and I truly prayed, the pain stopped and ‘there was a great calm’. What a difference!
What is the lesson? Ignoring to pray is a very common mistake. When pastors, friends and doctors fail, after suffering for a long time, finally, we remember God. He is patiently waiting for us to pray. Once you pray trusting the Lord Jesus Christ, with faith 100% and Doubt 0%, God answers the prayer immediately! God does not waste our time! It is only we that waste our own time! It is a pity that even after this, I repeated the same mistake. Sometimes I assumed that I prayed…But I did not! The devil deceived me not to pray anymore saying to me: ‘you have prayed already, why disturb the Master?’ It was very much like the way Jairus’ family members discouraged him to trust Jesus for a miracle. “While Jesus was speaking, someone came from Jairus’ home and said, “Your daughter has died! Why bother the teacher anymore?” (Lk 8:49). Jesus told Jairus, ‘fear not, just believe!’ To my shame, if it is not for the grace of God, I could have accepted the death of my dreams as they were lying in bed, helpless and fainting for lack of prayers… Thank God that He has overruled my mistakes so many times, I cannot count them…. In all things, we give thanks… But one good thing coming from our past pains and mistakes is that today, we can exchange testimonies of the grace and the goodness of God! I am waiting for you to share with me prayer testimonies. Let’s worship the Lord Jesus together!
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (PV 4:7)
Somebody gave me this advice long time ago. It has been useful to me all these years. It will be wisdom of life to you too! Never forget! This is the order of importance starting with the greatest:
1-Your relationship with God! (Know God!)
2-Your relationship with yourself! (Know yourself)
3-Your relationship with your spouse! (Know your husband/wife)
4-Your relationship with your children! (Know your children)
5-Your relationship with church people and your co-workers
6- Your relationship with others!
This list must be in this order! Once you switch the order, you will fall into trouble! For example, if you love your children more than you love your wife, you will fall into trouble! But the most important thing to remember is this: God first! God first! God first!
Jesus said: “In the evening you say that tomorrow, the weather will be fine because the sky is red” (Mt 16:2)
This evening, I took some pictures from our parking lot. Are these not beautiful? This is Effrun, Nigeria. Time 6:30pm. You see our church’ food-court and a portion of our fence. But what attracted me was the sky above us. To me, it is like the student angels were trying their new water colors. The day was downcast. But suddenly, there was an opening in the sky that lifted my spirit. No matter what you people say, I love Nigeria. I love it for one reason alone: it is because the Holy Spirit loves it! Let me saying again: “God loves Nigeria!”. Don’t worry… I am not a politician. I am just a worshipper of the Only Living God! So, according to the sign of the sky, soon… we shall gather again to serve God in the sanctuary… Hope is in the air… Halleluiah!
My Lord, my Lover, “Take me with You. Let’s run away. The King has brought me into His private rooms” (SS1:4)
This pandemic of COVID19 and the lockdown has reveled many hidden things, in our homes and in our churches. By the order of the Government, all churches are to be shut down. As all government authorities are there with the permission of God, it means that God’s will for us, for now, it is to stay at home. I believe it is the loving discipline of God the Father; a form of ‘time out’ for His stubborn children. Discipline is not hatred. It is is tough love! We may not like it, but this is His will for now. We must thank God in all things. We need to quiet our spirits and find God in our ‘lockdowns’. Each child of God must have new testimonies of God’s provision, protection and peace in his home. We are hearing different stories: some families, some marriages are getting better; others are quarreling every day. The lockdown did not bring the peace or the quarrel. God used it to revealed what was there before now, when in the past, the business, the visiting of friends and the church activities were used to cover up for cracks in the relationships. Jesus said: “every house divided against itself will not stand” (Mt 12:25). May your marriage be healed from divisions and may it stand the test of time! In Jesus’ name!
Please listen! God’s first command is to love God with all your heart and strength! The second command is to love others as you love yourself! But sin tries to deceive us. He wants to turn things upside down. Many Christians love people more than they love God. They obey the second command more than the first. Many Christians go to church, not to seek God and His Word, but to meet with friends and to do business. To expose our hearts, God, who knows everything, decreed that for now, we should stay at home and examine our motives for going to His House. Until we repent of religious hypocrisy, the doors of the church will remain shut. The earlier we humble ourselves, repent and change, the faster the day of going back to church shall come. But the ones who refuse to repent, will not be able to come back. There is a harvest in the Kingdom of God. The harvesters are angels. The wheat shall be gathered in the Lord’s barn and the tares shall be burnt! There is a testing and a proving in the Body of Christ! It is not done by man. It is done by God! Glory to God!
For now, stay at home! Read your Bible. Fast and pray! The truth is that if you are not happy when you are alone by yourself, you will not be happy when there are friends around you. Stop pretending! If you are not happy at home, you will not be happy in the church! Find yourself in Christ! Find your calling! Find your destiny! Find your spiritual gifts so that you use them! About the married couples… use this lockdown to revive your romantic godly love! Do you still remember your ‘honey moon’? You wanted the marriage celebration to end quickly so that you go and be alone with your lover! Have you forgotten that feeling? Alone with my husband!!!! Alone with my wife!!!! Do these words not stir some happy memories in you? On your honey moon, you did not need a crowd around you. You wanted to go to an island and be alone with your loving spouse. May this lockdown become ‘a honey moon’ to you! Church activities should not replace a bad marriage. Go back to basics! Go to Jesus and pray for healing, pray for deliverance. Pray for revival in your home! Use this pain well! I am waiting for your ‘romantic’ testimonies! And finally, remember your covenant before God: in sickness and in health, in bad times and good times, Jesus is still our Lord forever! Let’s worship Him!
(In the picture, my husband and I, some years ago)
“Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (Ac 8:4)
God used persecution to scatter the disciples. They went away from Jerusalem, away from the Apostles. They were lonely and afraid. But during this difficult time, they were forced to depend on the Holy Spirit alone and His gifts. Using the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit they preached the Word of God to all people they met.
Are you going through some kind of pressure today? Well, it is not punishment for our sins — Jesus took our punishment fully, on the Cross. The pressure, the trials, and the problems that come are by no means always the result of sin in our lives. Sometimes they are, but it may be God’s way of moving you, of pressuring you into a new experience, into a new understanding of his truth and of His gifts in your life, and giving you a new opportunity to put them to work. Read the Bible. Pray for opportunities to do ministry. Open your mouth and preach the Word to anybody you see! Don’t wait for big men or fancy madams! The poor woman selling fruits near your house, the house boy, the house girl, somebody’s driver, the jobless youth, the sick person in a hospital… any one who has a soul, preach the Gospel to them! This is working for God! It will kill your shyness and the fear of men! It will give you more boldness to speak in public. And God will reward you greatly! God does not owe His servants! I am a witness! I am waiting for your testimonies! Recycle your pain into praise! Let’s do it!
“Brothers (sisters), if you have any word of encouragement for the people, you can speak!” (Ac 13:15)
“Sharing (or giving) a testimony” in Christianity is telling someone else about your relationship with God. You give your testimony on how God has saved you, how God is helping you during difficult times, how you are changing to become like Jesus! You testify how God is your Healer and Provider. Your testimony can be verbal or written. Each testimony must give God all the glory, must put the devil to shame and encourage the brethren! Dear brethren, I want to hear more testimonies from you! Bellow, is a testimony from a dear daughter in Christ! Read and be blessed!
“Dear Malia, I know that you and Tali are doing well. We see you during the online services. I thank God for your lives! My husband and I, and the children are well. I want to share a few simple but awesome testimonies with you. When the lock down started, I was excited because I needed the break from work and also I loved the fact that I would have time with God & family. After about 2 weeks, I realized it was difficult having family devotions. I prayed that God would help organize our time and HE did! We started in the mornings with the kids and it’s been awesome; they have learnt a WHOLE LOT and we are grateful to God. M… even said we should also have family devotions in the evenings which we immediately started. It’s wonderful. God is good and it’s glorious serving God. Secondly, we prayed as a family that God would remove the bad habit of T… sucking her two fingers and now she has stopped sucking even at night. Praise the Lord. This has increased the faith of all of us especially the children. Thirdly, no sickness, not even fever I love this scripture: “The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us” (Romans 8:11). As for me, I’m learning more about God’s grace; my salvation is not by my works. I started reading the book of Romans a few days ago. Malia I really long for God’s words. I know it’s the work of the Holy Spirit. I desire to spend more time in his word. There are countless testimonies!!! Thank You, Jesus!!! God bless you Mum, we love you…”
I read this story long ago. I ‘found’ it again today. It has touched me then and it still touches me now. A Chinese pastor called Pastor Wu, was arrested because he was preaching the Gospel. He was sent to one of the worst prisons in China. He continued to share the Word even in the prison. The prison guards flogged him each time they found him praying or singing Christian songs. But he remained faithful to God. One day, to punish him more, the guards put him in charge of cleaning the toilets. Using a metal bucket, he was to collect the excreta of all the prisoners. He will carry it outside the prison, onto an open field. He did not complain. He thanked God for this ‘promotion’. He soon became very happy. Why? Because of the terrible smell, the guards refused to come with him. He did this work alone. He used the excreta as a fertilizer. He planted flowers on that field. Each morning, after carrying the excreta, he was free to stay alone in his garden for hours. He never took advantage of this ‘freedom’ to run away. With time, the smell of the flowers he planted overpowered the smell of the excreta. He said that each morning, as he went to his little garden, he will sing:
“I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses
And He walks with me and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known!”
With time, some of the prisoners and even the guards became convicted of sin and surrendered their live to Jesus! After five years, Pastor Wu was released. By this time there was more freedom of religion. He went back to his village church to continue his ministry as a pastor. Praise the Lord!
What are some of the lessons? All things work together for good for the children of God! Be faithful! Be persistent! Don’t complain! Pray that you understand God’s mysterious ways! God can use any means (even difficult circumstances) to help you come closer to Him and to establish your testimony among men! To God alone be all the glory!
(Bellow, some years ago, my husband took me a picture at the flower market in Amsterdam)