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For the young man, basic training in the Marine Corps provided excellent preparation for life and for the greater mission of defending America from foreign enemies. Upon graduation, he would be deployed to Iraq, where he would serve his country by joining others who are fighting A few years ago, I was visiting with on America’s behalf. a friend whose son had recently been accepted into the United States Marine Like that young man, we at United Corps and was attending basic training. I Christian Fellowship of Arlington are asked how his son was doing and he stated soldiers on a mission. Our mission is to that things were not going too well. The rescue the lost from Satan’s grasp and, to training was so rigorous that his son had this end, we adopted the motto, been throwing up quite frequently and lost a lot of weight. He was sleep deprived and to guide our work in 2010. By the constantly in pain but nobody even end of the year, we would have held more bothered to give him medicine to relieve the than 212 programs, including worship pain. With tears in his eyes, he wondered services, Sunday school classes, bible whether he had done the right thing in studies, marriage classes, fellowship allowing his son to join the Marines. meetings, financial seminars and a host of other programs with the singular purpose A few months later, I visited my of preparing every member to wage friend again and asked how his son was spiritual war against the enemy in our doing. His response was surprising. Instead homes, our church, our schools, our of the concern that he had expressed businesses, our jobs, our communities and before, he beamed with pride. He had just wherever the enemy may rear his head. No returned from his son’s graduation from doubt, the training has been tedious, basic training and was quite impressed by strenuous and even painful, but like basic the transformation that he had seen. The training in the Marine Corps, it is necessary young man had become more disciplined for the fulfillment of our mission. than he had ever been. He now said, “Yes, Sir” and “Yes, Ma’am” when talking to his Today, having received all of this parents and had even gotten rid of the training, we have reached the point as a baggy and ripped jeans that he used to church where we must be deployed for wear!! With the smile of a proud father, my service. Like my friend’s son, we have friend said, “I sent him to the Marines as a arrived at a stage where we must put all boy, but he came back as a man!!” that we have learned into practice in pursuit of our mission. As we enter 2011, let every man and woman, every young adult and

every youth, take their place, armed with spiritual weapons of prayer, praise, fasting and the Word of God, to engage the enemy and rescue the lost. Let us fight to recover every hope, every dream and every aspiration that God has granted but Satan has stolen!! Let us fight by faith, trusting in the promise of God that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against us. Let us remember that the church of God and all who belong to her are guaranteed victory as we wage war against Satan. Let us believe God. There must be no retreat and no surrender. 2011 is not a year for fear. Our motto is

Love,

Pastor Effiom

In this issue:


First, we must believe the word of God. Any word that proceeds from God is true and the •Prayers may be written Bible is the word of God. • It encourages verbal participation Jesus says “[a]sk, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the •Silent prayer is equally as powerful door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and for everyone who •Agreement prayer is another style searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened (Mathew 7:7-8). This •Instructional prayer may include adoration, is a great given calling (Matt. 6:5). confession, thanks and supplication •Brief prayer is a brief phase of thanks or intercession for quick or emergency Prayer is simply speaking out the will of God situations. through the mouth of a believer, in the presence of God, which is by faith in the heart •Praying with the scriptures for example “I of the believer. The believer asks in prayer for can do all things through Christ who the Lord’s will to be done. God sometimes let strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).” Ye are of God many of his resolutions go suspended due to little children, and have over come them lack of prayerful cooperation with Him from because greater that is He that is in you, than His people (believers). (Ezek.22:30-33) is an he that is in the world” (1John 4:4). example of where God is requiring us to pray so that disasters can be averted. Prayer is a relational communication with God through the Lord Jesus Christ who is the head of the church (Eph. 1:22-23). It is through prayer that God gives us wisdom and revelation that we need for ministry (Eph.1:17-19). The eyes of our heart is enlightened through prayer and it is the desire of God to give us direction and vision for ministry; Jer.29:11 explains this further.

Pray always without ceasing. This does not mean that the believer should always be on their knees or ever lifting up their hands and calling upon God aloud or silently. This is not necessary. Besides, it will be impracticable because it will clash with various engagements that believers are required to undertake during the course of the day. No matter how willing a spiritual being may be to

engage in the work of prayers always, the flesh is weak and would not be able to do so. The body requires food and drink, sleep and rest, for its refreshment and support. All these require time. Praying always and without ceasing means that believers should engage daily and often in prayer. We are dependent on God for every good; without him we can do nothing. Feel that dependence at all times and you will always be in the spirit of prayer and those who feel this spirit will frequently feel the need to pray and will pray. We should be in this frame of mind as to be ready to pray publicly if requested and when alone. There has been evil done to our soul if it is not prepared for communion with God at all times and if it will not find pleasure in approaching his holy throne. We are to observe the duty of prayer in the room, while alone, or with family members at home, and in any assembly convened to call upon the name of the Lord. Above all, have faith in God while you pray. “Therefore I say unto you what things you so ever desire, when ye pray believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24). Rev. Godson Eleda

Let your speech at all times be gracious, (pleasant and winsome) pain or stir strife/discord out of your lips. See others with the eyes of seasoned (as it were) with salt, (so that you may never be at a loss) God, be humble in your communication (James 4:6). to know how you ought to answer anyone (who puts a question to you) (Colossians 4:6.AMP). Be courteous, respectful and civil in your relationship with others. Never let the setbacks of today make you give up. Hope on You are the custodian of your Legacy. Many are yet to learn the tomorrow, for one without HOPE is like fish without water. A soft importance of the words "please", "excuse me", "thank you" in their answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir-up anger communications with others. Christian faith is who you are obeying (Provb.15:1). Remember happiness does not depend upon who you under pressure. There are erroneous beliefs that being polite is a are or what you have, it depends solely on what you think, so think sign of weakness in ones' character, but that is not true. Rather, being and meditate on the word of God for there lies your happiness. polite is something that reveals the strength of your character. You are actually displaying the wisdom of God that is in you, because your life has being scripted for success. Sometimes life will kick you around but sooner or later you realize you are not just a survivor, you are a warrior and stronger than anything life throws your way. So its imperative that you carefully consider the words that you speak. Let your words uplift, encourage, inspire, soothe & build. Don't allow communication that could inflict

BRO.MITCHEL CHUKS-OKONTA.

UCF page 2


Ah… it’s Christmas time again. I can just picture the sights: The last minute shuffling to put up the Christmas tree; the flashing of Christmas lights and reflecting tree ornaments; the pressure to get just the right gifts for your friends; the cutting, the wrapping, the folding and the taping of presents. Oh, and let’s not forget the anticipating and waiting for Christmas morning. I bet you can’t wait to shoot down the stairs to open some presents. Ah… what a great feeling that is. But while we are still imagining Christmas, let’s flip the script.

to the world so that we all can have something to be thankful for. His gift of eternal life is worth more than all the gifts you receive each Christmas which you might even lose six weeks from now. And it is a free gift that is as easy to receive as believing in Him. So as you read this right now, take some moments to reflect and thank God for His son and every other thing you have been given because “every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). And just as an extra advice: if you want your Christmas to be really special, thank people more often. Doing so increases the blessings you will receive from people and from God. The special thing about the gift of “thank you” during Christmas is that the birthday celebrant Himself, Jesus Christ, loves the gift a lot. So much so that the scripture says, “it is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Therefore, give out gifts if you can and give out as many “thank yous” as possible.

What if this year is different? What if the financial hardships have hit your family and mine? What if we have to cut back on Christmas expenses so that we can have a decent meal on Christmas? What if the presents, if any, are but a few? What if you don’t have enough shopping money to buy yourself a gift, talk less of me? What if this is the case this Christmas? How would you respond? What should you do? Well, the right response is to give a gift but it’s not the kind you might think. In conclusion: Although this Christmas might be different, and the usual gifts may not be present, pause and think of what has been 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the given to you, and tell the Lord, and everyone “thank you”. will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” The gift of thanksgiving should be our response regardless of our situation this Christmas. If we have a regular Christmas with lots of gifts, we should be thankful because many don’t have the same. And if we don’t get a lot this Christmas, Amen Omoragbon we should still be thankful, knowing that the ultimate gift of Christmas has already been given to us in Christ Jesus. Jesus came

As soon as Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and burned up the offerings. The LORD’s dazzling glory then filled the temple (2 Chronicles 7:1 CEV). Did you know you can have your home saturated with God’s presence such that at all times, you’ll experience the manifestations of His glory and power? Just in case you’re wondering how to go about this, I’ll show you what to do. "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the staircase". First and foremost, you have to create that atmosphere in your heart; if you can have it in your heart, you can have it in your environment. To create an atmosphere of the miraculous in your heart, you have to be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18-19 shows us how to do this: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

You have to speak the Word to yourself to be filled with the Spirit. If for instance you want to create an atmosphere of healing and prosperity in your home, you first have to speak words of healing and prosperity from God’s Word to yourself. Also, remember part of what we read above: Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord….” That means singing songs of faith, health, healing and prosperity to yourself. Making melodies in your heart to the Lord joyfully and in thanksgiving as you contemplate the perfect health and prosperity He’s brought you into. Do these until your spirit is stirred and your faith is established in God’s Word. Now, this shouldn’t be a one off activity; be consistent at it, and you’ll experience your spirit being constantly filled with God’s presence — that divine glorious presence that brings healing and prosperity. Extending this to your home, it’s the same principle. The Spirit of God can fill your house the same way He fills your heart. UCF page 3

Constantly declare God’s Word concerning your family, job, business, and personal belongings. As you do, your immediate environment will go in the same direction as your declarations! Your home will be filled with the full presence of God and the miraculous will be your constant experience.

BRO.MITCHEL CHUKS-OKONTA.


You hear a lot about living a healthy lifestyle, but what does that mean? In general, a healthy person doesn't smoke, is at a healthy weight, eats healthy and exercises. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

The trick to healthy living is making small changes...taking more steps, adding fruit to your cereal, having an extra glass of water...these are just a few ways you can start living healthy without drastic changes.

One of the biggest problems in America today is lack of activity. We know it's good for us but avoid it like the plague either because we're used to being sedentary or afraid that exercise has to be vigorous to be worth our time. The truth is, movement is movement and the more you do, the healthier you'll be. Even moderate activities like chores, gardening and walking can make a difference. Just adding a little movement to your life can: •

Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes

Improve joint stability

Increase and improve range of movement

Help maintain flexibility as you age

Maintain bone mass

Prevent osteoporosis and fractures

Improve mood symptoms of depression

Enhance self esteem

Improve memory in elderly people

Reduce stress

and reduce anxiety and

benefits are still pretty good. One study has found that just a 10% weight reduction helped obese patients reduce blood Eating a healthy diet is another part of the pressure, cholesterol and increase longevity. healthy lifestyle. Not only can a clean diet help with weight management, it can also improve your health and quality of life as you get older. You can use the new Food Guide Pyramid to determine how many calories you need and what food groups you should focus You can start the process of weight loss now on or, if you're looking for smaller changes, by adding a little more activity to your life. If you can use these tips for simple ways to you're not ready for a structured program, change how you eat: start small. Every little bit counts and it all • . Add it to your cereal, adds up to burning more calories. your salads or even your dinners • . Once a week, turn • . Add them off the TV and do something a little wherever you can--a tomato on more physical with your family. Play your sandwich, peppers on your games, take a walk...almost pizza, or extra veggies in your pasta anything will be more active than sauce. Keep pre-cut or canned/ sitting on the couch. frozen veggies ready for quick snacks. • . Look for small ways to walk more. When you get the mail, • . If you take a walk around the block, take eat full-fat dressing, switch to the dog for an extra outing each something lighter and you'll day or walk on your treadmill for 5 automatically eat less calories. minutes before getting ready for work. • . Switching to skim milk or fat free • . Shoveling snow, yogurt is another simple way to eat working in the garden, raking less calories without having to leaves, sweeping the floor...these change too much in your diet. kinds of activities may not be 'vigorous' exercise, but they can keep you moving while getting your • . Look house in order. through your cabinets or fridge and pick 3 foods you eat every day. Write down the nutritional content • . When you're on and, the next time you're at the the phone, pace around or even do store, find lower-calorie substitutes some cleaning while gabbing. This for just those 3 items. is a great way to stay moving while doing something you enjoy. •

. Make a list of all the physical activities you do on a typical day. If you find that the bulk of your time is spent sitting, make another list of all the ways you could move more--getting up each hour to stretch or walk, walk the stairs at work, etc. Babatunde Sanni

So, even if you opt for small changes and a more modest weight loss, you can see the UCF page 4


It is amazing how susceptible Christians are to get-rich-quick • schemes and how logical the schemes seem at first. Every year thousands of Christian families risk and lose money they cannot afford to lose while seeking that “big deal”. There never has been a get-rich-quick scheme that didn’t sound terrific on the surface. However, the promoters are a great deal better at disguising the bad deal than most people are at detecting them.

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5). The very essence of a get-rich-quick scheme is emotionalism. The promoter urges the potential buyer to act quickly before the opportunity is missed. The final ploy is to develop an attitude of covetousness by hinting that another prospect is waiting to snap up the deal. What is the best way to avoid this trap? “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes” (Psalm 37:7)

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel” (Proverbs 12:15). It is amazing how quickly someone who is not emotionally involved with a get-rich-quick scheme can spot its flaws. Good, objective Christian counsel should be a prerequisite to any financial decision. That counsel is most objective when it comes from someone who has no profit motive involved.

How then can Christians avoid all such schemes? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Below is a list of a few of the basic principles dealing with how to avoid get-rich-quick schemes. •

• •

“By wisdom a house is built and by understanding it is established” (Proverbs 24:3). Seldom will anyone be duped into a get-rich-quick scheme in his or her area of expertise. The vast majority of people who make money do it in the field in which they have the most training and experience. Those who lose it usually do so in an area they know little about.

“A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naïve proceed and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12). Its one thing to speculate with money that you can afford to lose and quite another to lose money that literarily belongs to another. The former is called speculation, the latter is surety. “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1)

• •

To avoid these get-rich-quick financial traps, you must establish your standard by God’s word: Seek God’s plan for your life, stick with what you know, seek good counsel, and wait on God’s peace before acting. “It is the Lord that makes “She considers a field and buys it, from her earnings rich, and He adds no sorrow to it” she plants a vineyard. She makes linen garments and (Proverbs 10:22). sells them, and she supplies belts to the tradesmen” (Proverbs 31:16, 24). Utility simply means buying something of use to someone else. Most get-rich-quick schemes deal with intangibles or at least remote tangibles.

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Psa 150:1-6 Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!

UCF page 5


In the book of Judges chapter 2 the Bible tells us that “Another generation arose and knew not the Lord”. Joshua had died and the bible says another generation took over. The problem was that they did not know the Lord. The question is how did they see all the miracles performed in the lives of their parents (Israel) and grandparents (Israel), but still not know the Lord? Maybe it’s because they were so busy experiencing God that they never made time to show their children who God really was. The generation that arose knew about God, but they didn’t know God. They knew religion and rules, but they didn’t know relationship. As parents we should not just tell our children who God is, but we should teach our children how

to know Him personally. Let’s not only tell our youth about our God experiences, but let’s teach our youth how to experience God for themselves. In His Service, Reverend Oza Jones Jr. Youth Pastor

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou The Bible tells us how a deadly viper fastened itself on Paul’s hand hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy one time when he was making a fire. All Paul did was to shake the Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly (Matthew 6:6). venomous beast off into the fire and continued doing his thing (Acts 28:4-5). How come he didn’t fall down and die from the viper’s Some people engage in prayers only when they’re in some form of venom as the onlookers expected? He was already full of the trouble or predicament, but that’s not the way it ought to be. You anointing before the incident! Paul shares the secret of how he was ought to get your spirit charged at all times by spending quality time able to do this and many other supernatural feats when he said in 1 in fellowship with the Lord through prayer. God wants us to be bold Corinthians 14:18 “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than and stirred ever before we come against adverse circumstances. He ye all.” wants you fired up by the anointing even before you hit the streets, so that when you come out, you’re already dressed with the power Speaking in tongues is one sure way to get your spirit charged at all of the Holy Ghost; drenched in the unction. times and stir up the anointing in you. Consciously practice this every day; before you go out, get your If you make this a consistent practice, nothing and no one will ever spirit charged; stir up the anointing be able to successfully withstand or defeat you, for the anointing in you by speaking passionately makes you invincible. When the anointing in you is stirred, having and fervently in other tongues. spent quality time in your closet charging up your spirit, people might Having stirred up the anointing in not immediately recognize it on you when you come out; because your closet, when you step out, the you’re calm, well dressed and got a smile on. But the opportunity to challenges you face will be bread manifest the anointing presents itself when you find yourself in a tight for you. situation. No matter what kind of situation it is, you’ll know it’s a done deal because you already settled it in your closet. BRO.MITCHEL CHUKS-OKONTA.

Our Mission To worship God, reach persons with Christ’s love, assimilate them into membership, grow together in the Lord, minister to the whole person, develop and equip members for mission in the world, in order to exalt the Lord our God. Our Vision Our church seeks to communicate the inspired word of God crossculturally, with the compelling love of Christ, to win souls, train members to discover their spiritual gifts, and use them to serve Christ in his church and in the market place. Our Core Values With respect to WORSHIP, it is our desire to worship God in spirit and in truth, both corporately and individually. Corporately, we strive for a worship experience that is consistently reverent of God, refreshing to the soul and inclusive of all who genuinely seek God, regardless of race, national origin, culture, economic status, age and ability. Individually, we strive for consistency and truth.

spend time together regularly and intimately, to know one another, love one another, protect one another, encourage one another and support one another both in times of joy and in times of grief. With respect to DISCIPLESHIP, it is our desire to minister to the total person, bringing each person into submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ, first in salvation and then in surrender. It is also our desire to equip each person, through a process of intentional and progressive study of the Word of God, to become a discipler of men. To this end, it is our desire to consistently teach the whole counsel of God and promote biblical stewardship in relation to faith, family, fitness and finances. With respect to MISSIONS, it is our desire to serve our community in practical ways, by identifying opportunities to help those that are in need, spiritually or materially, and rendering assistance to them in a meaningful way. It is our desire to use our mission activity as a stepping stone to deliver the gospel message to those who are unsaved.

With respect to EVANGELISM, it is our desire to be bold and active witnesses for our Lord, both intentionally and spontaneously, and to With respect to FELLOWSHIP, it is our desire to be an example of bear visible and measurable fruit to the glory of God. unity within the body of Christ by intentionally and proactively promoting fellowship among God’s children, regardless of race, national origin, culture, economic status, age and ability, and to UCF page 6


Many times we say we trust God, but do you really? If you really trust Him, then no matter what your physical eyes can see, you know that Romans 8:28-29 is not just words, but the truth. Knowing this means that you must trust God even though the outcome looks bleak from where you stand. Sometimes life gets that way. For example, say your spouse wants to make a decision that you know is not in the best interest of the family. You talk and pray about it, but the spouse is not bending on his/her decision. Well, don’t fight or get depressed, but trust God and know that ALL things work together for good for those who LOVE the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Yes, that’s right! Even the decisions that look bad can work out in your favor if you trust God. Let’s take Sarah for example, Abraham made not one, but two bad decisions, when he asked Sarah, his wife, to lie that she was his sister. No doubt, Sarah could have refused to do what Abraham asked of her, because it was sinful and even though Abraham was her husband and the head of the family, her ultimate allegiance was not to him but to God. But Sarah did not refuse or disrespect her husband and God made certain that no shame ever came to her. That’s the favor of God!

. The implication of this scripture is that even though the ways of God may look foolish and weak when evaluated on the basis of human knowledge, God always uses these “foolish” and “weak” things to produce the best possible outcomes. If God was able to bless Sarah with a son, Isaac, even though she went along with Abraham’s sinful decisions, how much more is He able to bless us when we obey Him by honoring our husbands!! Many times, our husbands are not asking us to commit outright sin as Abraham asked Sarah to do, and the disagreements between us are simply matters of opinion. Whenever we honor our husbands in obedience to God, we are putting the outcome of the matter in the hands of God and He will see to it that we will never lose. As Christians we need to know that God can be our refuge and our fortress as it says in Psalms 91:1-2, if we dwell in Him and allow Him to cover us. Let’s stop saying we TRUST GOD and really trust Him, knowing that ALL things work together for our good if we love Him and accept His rule over our lives.

There is a scripture in 1 Corinthians 1:27 that says, “ Sis. Kim Effiom

The book of 2 Chronicles Chapter 7 Verse 14 says

This was God’s gracious response to Solomon’s prayers. In the preceding chapters and verses it was recorded that Solomon had built a Temple for the Lord and had gathered his people together in a grand ceremony to officially dedicate the magnificent edifice to the Lord. It was the desire of Solomon that God would consecrate the area and accept it as a holy place of worship and fellowship with God. He had prayed that God would honor the prayers of His people towards the Temple. In the midst of the days of festivities the Lord appeared to him by night, and said to him: (verse 12).

(verses 15, 16). Although this promise was made solely to the Israelites and was particularly relating to a Temple that had been built as a place of worship and of honor for God, the principle of the promise God gave to the people of Israel then has similar application even now to other nations of the world, particularly to all the countries represented in our congregation at UCF. Even though the Old Testament record of this event was referencing a physical building, situated in a particular physical location in the world, the Temple in the New Testament, and in essence in our modern day society, points to Christ, our Lord and Savior. The whole basis of God’s promise to

the Old Testament folks has now essentially been amplified in Christ our Savior. Christ is our “Temple”. Christ is our “house of sacrifice”, and Christ is the one that has been chosen among the God-Heads as the only medium through which we, imperfect creatures, could ever come on to the perfect Father. Prayers that were once made in the earthly Temple are now made through Christ our Messiah. Worships that were once performed between Temple walls, in Jerusalem, are now done in spirit and in truth in all nooks and corners of our universe. And the holy name Solomon invoked then we know now to be the name above all names, the One in whose name we pray, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If we look deep into the verse of 2 Chronicles 7:14 it should be apparent to us how the Lord’s people were being dealt with for their sins. God brings a temporal judgment to bear heavily upon them. And to be delivered from the judgment God Himself prescribed first and foremost that they must humble themselves ("If My people which are called by My name shall humble themselves"). This humbling of self is expected to be taken care of first, as it will be vain to proceed any further until it be properly attended to. Pride, as recorded in the scripture, is more hateful to God than anything else. The next prescription given by God Himself is for His people to “pray". It should however be noted that until we have truly humbled ourselves before God there can be no real or meaningful prayer, hence the need to take care of the first thing first. The next is to “seek God’s face”. This essentially is re-emphasizing the prescription that we should pray diligently and with all our heart. And this is meant to draw us nearer and nearer to God, and to a point where we are face to face with Him.

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contd.... Next, God prescribed that His people "turn from their wicked ways.” Put differently, we are to forsake our sins with total abandonment and with purpose of heart and to resolve to go back to them no more. God followed the prescriptions with promises of what He would do if His people were to do all these things he had commanded them. "Then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." God’s gracious promises are to hear, to forgive and to heal. But we must be quick to note that these promises were preceded by the word “Then”. This essentially means that God’s promises are predicated upon the conditions He had laid out prior being fully adhered to by His people. How do all these relate to us and to our native countries of Africa? Well, first, we generally agree that all the ungodly things happening today in our nations are marks of God’s displeasure with these nations and their ways. The nations and their leaders obviously have been full of pride and have followed some wicked ways. If we all take a cursory look at all the nations of Africa, we will see countries with abundant gifts from God. The continent has been truly blessed by God with abundant resources: human, natural, economic, etc., some of which are in significant rate than those of other continents. But to harness all these God-given resources for the betterment of the land for all its people has been the major Achilles’ hill for the continent. Leaders entrusted by the people to oversee the free bounties of God have systematically and unrepentantly swindled their nations, carting away their ill-gotten fortunes to foreign lands, and perpetually pauperizing their people in the process. Lord have mercy! They seemed to have pitched their tents with the evil one that hovers around the earth looking for people or nations to pillage, kill and destroy. One must admit therefore that this probably is the single most valid reason for the exodus of so many people of African descent, willingly leaving their home countries to seek greener pastures in unfamiliar foreign lands. In so many cases, these pastures have been somehow elusive due to unique challenges that had not been anticipated by the persons moving to the new land.

collectively, good or bad. And when we do have the opportunity to go home to serve in any capacity, we should set ourselves apart from the existing norm by allowing the spirit of God to guide our thoughts and our actions by serving our people honorably as unto the Lord. It is amazing how many Christians have returned home to serve after many years of being arm-chair critics, criticizing the past and current leaders, accusing them of being ungodly, corrupt and inept, only for these same set of people to make a 180 degree change after getting there and they have started enjoying the trappings of power. They forget all about their holier-than-though principles, joining the discredited leaders in the same shady acts for which they had been criticized. It is instructive for us to not relent in our criticisms but we should also endeavor to match them with prayers for our nations, praying to God to take absolute charge, and cause the hearts, the minds, and the souls of our people (in and out of leadership) to be redeemed for great works in the societies. For while it is tempting to place all the blames on incompetent and ungodly leaders, if the followers are equally incompetent and ungodly in their thinking, in their actions and in their aspirations, then we have a catch 22 situation. It is generally said that people deserve the kind of leadership they get. God has instructed us to acknowledge His supremacy at all times by humbling ourselves, realizing that we are not our own and that on our own we are completely powerless in a world controlled by the prince of darkness. Once we have truly passed the first hurdle and hung on to God, the natural by-product of the new spirit that controls us is that we will pray unceasingly and we will be a people that rely on God as the sole source and the sole supplier of all the resources we could ever need. And once we are firmly rooted in this principle of God, we will be uncomfortable continuing in our wicked ways and thereby become God-like. This is hard to do as it is a constant struggle, but it is what we have been asked to do. This is why we should not take the call to pray for our nations lightly during the Pastoral prayer moment of our Sunday service at UCF. God has assured us that if we did all these things He would hear us from Heavens and He would forgive us and heal our land. Let us therefore resolve to play our own little role, no matter how minuscule, in the overall effort to bring God’s healing, God’s favor, God’s peace and God’s enduring prosperity to the nations of Africa.

Now that we are in foreign lands chasing “green pastures” the question now is what should we do about our nations of origins? Well, so many of our folks have given up and have considered the nations forever condemned to a state of eternal damnation. It will not be surprising if amongst such folks we have men and women belonging to the household of God, that is, those of our Christian God bless you. faith. But what shall we then do? I believe we need to start by humbling ourselves before God, and praying for our nations (just as Bro Adeolu Esho we are commanded to pray for Israel). After that we should resolve in our mind and with every fiber of our being to desist from doing those things that do not portray us and our people in good light, things that we ourselves know are not good and generally do not glorify God. We need to be good ambassadors of our nations and be proud to confidently tell people, when the opportunity arises, where we are from. We need to recognize that everything we do has a bearing on the perception of people of us and of our people

Deacon Fidelis Oweh: Deacon Fidelis is a Program Analyst, married to Carol Oweh, a member of UCF. They have 3 children, Olemena, Ofegor and Zino. Deacon Fidelis also serves as a Sunday school teacher and as UCF church council Secretary and as UCF Church Secretary.

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My journey as president of the UCF women’s ministry began with some ambivalence, resistance and uncertainty. In the weeks immediately following my election, the responsibilities of my new position seemed daunting and overwhelming. Of course the devil was busy planting negative thoughts of doubt in my head during this period. I doubted my ability to joggle and balance the responsibilities as women’s president with my other obligations as wife, working mother and business owner. After much deliberation, I reached a moment of epiphany; a revelation came - I did not solicit the position as president, God called me! With that revelation, I turned to Him in steadfast prayer. Though I did not know why He called me, I knew fully well that He who has called me will qualify me. Hence, I prayed regularly for direction, guidance and wisdom to lead me in a way that will be pleasing to Him. Then came the turning point, the Lord began to use me because I stopped resisting. When I yielded to God, I started enjoying serving rather than seeing it as a chore or burden. The more time I gave in His service, the more blessings I received.

new administration. I am thankful to: our senior pastor, Pastor George Effiom, for your prayers, spiritual guidance and for always being there with wise counsel when I called on you, our vice president, Sister Ira, for your dedication and the executive members for serving along with me, my husband Kola and our children, Bradley, DJ and Britney for your sacrifice, understanding and support. Brothers and sisters, it’s amazing what the Lord God can do through us if we will only yield and make ourselves available to Him. The position I doubted I could hold or manage for one term, turned into two terms and lasted for four years. What a testimony! While my term and service as president is ending in 2011, serving continues for me in different areas at God’s calling. I encourage each of you to serve and trust God by giving Him your time. I am convinced that nothing done for God, in true spirit goes unnoticed. He will reward you.

While serving was challenging at times, I must thank the women Finally, it is my prayer that we will all of UCF! Sisters, thank you for allowing me to lead our ministry the lastmake heaven. God bless. 4 years. I have enjoyed learning and growing with you all. It has been a privilege and wonderful experience that taught me virtues SIS. RONKE THORPE such as We must thank the Lord for how far He has brought us, all He has done through us and what He is yet to do in our ministry. With this said, let us give our full support to our incoming president, Sis Kim and the

Praise and glory be our Lord Jesus Christ who always causes us to triumph. For the victories God has brought in my life I give Him praise. Although the release of my album was not everything I thought it would be, it certainly was not as bad as it could have been. I thank God for every individual who did the very best they could to ensure the success thereof , the Lord is our rewarder. By faith we were able to accomplish our mission of fellowshipping with the homeless in the city of Dallas, we were also able to host an elaborate thanksgiving fellowship where we were all ministered to, we were all touched. We still have a lot of cds and encourage everyone who has not gotten one to support by buying one or two. May the Lord bless you as you be a blessing. Sis. Tsaone Muhwati

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Outside of my home, my job for 7 to 8 hours daily is looking into the disease, make sure to have your eyes examined through dilated people’s eyes. You will be amazed at the things you can discover by pupils by an eyecare professional every two years. looking into someone’s eye. In this article I will be addressing one of the second leading cause of What are the symptoms of glaucoma? blindness in the United State - GLAUCOMA. At first, there are no symptoms. Vision stays normal, and there is no pain. What is glaucoma? However, as the disease progresses, a person with Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye's glaucoma may notice his or her side vision gradually optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. failing. That is, objects in front may still be seen clearly, but Glaucoma occurs when the normal fluid pressure inside the objects to the side may be missed. eyes slowly rises. In other words, glaucoma destroys the As glaucoma remains untreated, people may miss objects back of the eye slowly leading eventually to blindness to the side and out of the corner of their eye. Without treatment, people with glaucoma will slowly lose their What is the optic nerve? peripheral (side) vision. They seem to be looking through The optic nerve is a bundle of more than 1 million nerve a tunnel. Over time, straight-ahead vision may decrease fibers. It connects the retina to the brain. (See diagram until no vision remains. Glaucoma can develop in one or below.) The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back both eyes. of the eye. A healthy optic nerve is necessary for good vision. In other words your optic nerve is like the wire that you use to connect your television to the power outlet. Txu How is glaucoma detected? is your brain, as long as Glaucoma is detected through a comprehensive eye exam. your wire is connected to the power source the television will show you ? pictures, other things Yes. Immediate treatment for early stage, open-angle been equal, like cable or glaucoma can delay progression of the disease. That's why direct TV you get my point early diagnosis is very important. While these treatments may save remaining vision, they do not improve sight already lost from glaucoma. Anyone can develop Medicines. Medicines, in the form of eye drops or pills, glaucoma. Some people are the most common early treatment for glaucoma. are at higher risk than others. They include: Some medicines cause the eye to make less fluid. • 1. African Americans over age 40. Others lower pressure by helping fluid drain from the • 2. Everyone over age 60, especially Mexican eye. Americans. • 3. People with a family history of glaucoma. Among African Americans, studies show that glaucoma is: Five times more likely to occur in African Americans than in Caucasians. About four times more likely to cause blindness in African Americans than in Caucasians. Fifteen times more likely to cause blindness in African Americans between the ages of 45-64 than in Caucasians of the same age group.

In conclusion I want to encourage every one of us to have a thorough eye exam, especially if you are above 40 years of age, you know how back home everything is attributed to a witch, that relative of yours that woke up one day and could not see, just might have had glaucoma, even though the villagers thought that poor old women who everybody calls a witch caused the blindness. We cannot afford to live by the river bank and wash our hands with our saliva, too many of us have walked into my clinic I know that most of us that will be reading this article with advance glaucoma, with are “Original Africans” please don’t subtract the severe lost vision that could have American from the African American saying thank God I been prevented. We have the be Niger not African American, it means those of us with technology, let us use it, go for your dark skin, the title is African first before American. eye exam. Don’t wait till the wire is A comprehensive dilated eye exam can reveal more risk completely destroyed before you factors, such as high eye pressure, thinness of the cornea, start praying for healing. and abnormal optic nerve anatomy. In some people with certain combinations of these high-risk factors, medicines in the form of eye drops reduce the risk of developing Thanks for your time and God Bless you all. glaucoma by about half. Dr. Evelyn Ayidu-Omo What can I do to protect my vision? Studies have shown that the early detection and treatment of glaucoma, before it causes major vision loss, is the best way to control the disease. So, if you fall into one of the high-risk groups for UCF page 10


It was another winter rival at UCF and the word of God came to us powerfully through our guest evangelist, Rev Dr Carl McElroy. Rev McElroy is the senior pastor of Mt Zion Baptist Church of Ft Worth Texas. Pastor McElroy is no stranger to our congregation. He was also our interim pastor between 2006 and 2007 at a time when the church was in search of a senior pastor. Over the revival period, Pastor McElroy encouraged us with the theme The focal passage was 2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. Day One: The focus on the first day was on the as a spiritual weapon. He emphasized the need to study and understand it to enable us to recognize the word as it applies to our daily life. He mentioned that, as believers, we are in a spiritual warfare that needs to be fought and won spiritually. He emphasized that the battle field was the mind and we should not give the devil a foot-hold because it will lead to him building a strong-hold. Day Two: On the second day Rev. McElroy again challenged us with a message titled “Are You Dressed For Battle?� He used Ephesians 6:10-20 to teach on dressing ourselves for spiritual battle with special emphasis on . Day Three: The third day was focused on as a spiritual weapon. The focal passage was 2 Chronicles 20:21-29. After taking us through the focal passage, Rev McElroy then used the experience of Paul and Silas, as outlined in Act 16:25-26, to emphasize the liberating power of praise in the life of a believer. The choir from Mt Zion was also there on the third day to bless us in a wonderful praise and worship session. It was indeed a great time of blessing for everyone that was available and if you were not able to join us for this session, plan on being there for the next revival that is scheduled for spring of the year 2011.

Congratulations!

Some church members Joining the Eleda family in celebrating the graduation of their son Gabriel Eleda from Midwestern State University In Wichita Falls Texas.

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A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as If it had gotten as far as it could go and simply could not go any further. The man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and stripped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, but it had a swollen body and small shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that at any moment the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body which could contract in time. Neither happened! In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly! What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle of the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. The lesson here is that, sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have or should have been. We could never fly! I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.

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I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve.

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I asked for prosperity and God gave me brain and brawn to work

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I asked for courage and God gave me danger to overcome

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I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help

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I asked for favor and God gave me opportunities.

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I received nothing I wanted but I received everything I needed.

Author - Unknown

To God be the glory because He has truly done great things for us you think your writing is not perfect, nobody is perfect. We will help at “UCFARLINGTON. BULLETIN”. God has a way of making things edit it and iron out the rough edges before it is published. happen in our lives even when we are unaware of steps we need to take. If God has done great things in your life, do not keep it to yourself; The planning of the church newsletter started a year ago with God share it with your family at UCF so others may also be blessed. placing the idea into one person’s mind; however, it took a while before the person acted on God’s direction. We all know that when God wants something to be done, it will be done whether we choose Finally, the editorial team (Bro. Mitchel, Sis. Yetunde and Bro. Debo) to be part of it or not. So if God is directing you in a particular path say a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to the success to serve him with your talents, do not worry about technicalities of this newsletter by having their articles published; we love you and because if it is truly God’s direction, every single detail will fall into hope you will continue to share your God-inspired wisdom with us. place. May 2011 be a year of triple-triple blessings for us all in Jesus name. Serving God brings many blessings your way and He rewards our obedience. 2010 was a year of great blessings for me and my family. Personally, it was truly a year of double-double and the Hand Thank you. of God was evident in every step. My passing the New York Bar exam was a miracle on its own, even the least detail was orchestrated by Sis. Tope Macaulay Him because everything just fell into place. The hotel I ended up staying became the venue of the exam. Prior to booking the hotel room, the venue was not made available and I was so worried about how I would get to and from the hotel for the two-day exam since I was almost nine months pregnant. However, God made everything so simple, I just had to literarily enter the exam hall straight from my room. The testimonies I have about God’s goodness and mercy towards my family and I are countless, this is just one. Share your testimonies with us at UCF, it does not matter whether you like to write or not, or UCF page 12


ucf quarterly - 2010 winter edition