Monday, 31 March 2014

Dear One - How do I help him understand my new faith and stance? 2 {RESPONSE}

Hello everyone.. Thanks to the lovely ladies who responded to the previous post Sayedero, Relentless Builder, Rai, Glowing Scenes and of course those who saw me in 'camera' lol (you know yourself, I appreciate you tres much!).. God bless you and may He respond to your every need in Jesus name! *kisses*

So, as promised, please see the response to the question asked HERE, in addition to all the comments given.... Most of all, I pray for God's grace and wisdom for her to do the right thing.

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Hello dear,

After reading your email, I took some time out to pray for you and your fiance and also for grace and wisdom as to how to manage this situation in a way that pleases God.

You have made one of the best decisions anyone could ever make - re-dedicating your life to God. Your relationship with God is the most important aspect of your life because that determines life here and life after here. And please always remember that God loves you soo much and He wants the best for you. He wants you to have life and to have it in abundance. He wants you to prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers. He wants you to have the very best that life has for you and afterwards, heaven.

I know that you must love your fiance and would want to be at peace with him as much as possible and I pray that God will make a way for you in Jesus name.

First of all, when you and your partner are not in agreement over an issue, it is difficult to work at it or succeed at it. Also, it may be more difficult for your fiance to understand this new you seeing as it was alright previously and he is not quite there yet himself.

I believe this is where communication matters a lot - I would encourage you to please take time out to explain your new relationship with God. Present it to him in the most loving of ways and explain to him how it would ultimately make your relationship with him better. Don't hide your faith from him, share it with him.

Let him understand that you are not condemning him nor trying to be wicked to him by depriving him of sex but you are doing it out of respect to God and then to him as well.
Please, when you make a new decision in your relationship, it is always important to be open about it and communicate it with your partner. He may not understandt the action but at least you will give him the opportunity to understand the reason behind it and not give room for false thoughts (he could think you are doing it to manipulate him, to have a sense of power, or because your love for him has waned etc - and I know that's not the message you are trying to pas on to him dear)..

When you have discussed with him, you need to help him too.. Understand what could turn him on or make the wait difficult for him and try to avoid it as much as possible - you know him, you possibly know what could be his undoing, don't give room for temptation. For instance, some men are very visual so if your dressing would make him 'stumble', tone it down for now, when you get married you can pump it right up! Reduce physical contact with him as much as possible.. Long hugs can lead to unplanned activities (lol).. Now, may not be a great idea to stay over at his house, if possible, make alternative sleeping arrangements until you get married. As you are helping him, you are helping yourself too because I'm sure you must be physically attracted to him as well. Look for alternatives to make your relationship interesting - go on dates in public places - use the opportunity to talk.. Discover new things about each other etc..

Furthermore, be purposeful about your relationship - Thank God you are engaged, focus on your wedding day. You have a set time-limit that you are working towards. It's like fasting - whatever happens, you know come 6pm you are breaking that fast and eating!

Finally and most importantly, you need the grace of God! The bible says that the hearts of Kings are in the hands of God. The heart of your fiance is in the hands of God, God can turn it however which way He desires. Never under-estimate the power of prayer! Pray to God for an unusual understanding from him. Pray that God will give both of you the grace to please Him in your relationship. Pray that God will help your fiance during this period to have self-control and to be patient - God can do it.
I will also be praying along with you dear.

My dear sis, please remember that our Christian walk is a personal one. The bible says that we must walk out our own salvation with fear and trembling. At the end of the day, when we come before God on the day of judgement, we will each stand alone - no husband, no wife, no mother, no father. It's therefore up to you to determinedly protect your relationship with God, and sometimes, you have to count the cost of obeying God. However, I can assure you by God's grace that the cost of following Jesus is never too high compared to the benefits.

My prayer for you is that God will give you the grace to fulfill His purpose in your life. That God will make your life an example to many in Jesus name. May He use you to glorify His name in Jesus mighty name. May your marriage and home be blessed in Jesus name. You are blessed and highly favoured sis.

Lots of love,
Ayo xx

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PS, you shouldn't miss tomorrow's Waiting and Loving It!! It sheds more light on the topic above xxxx
Email: oneplustheone@gmail.com
Twitter: @1plustheone

Dear One - How do I help him understand my new faith and stance?

Hello everyone!! A beautiful and blessed day to you! Isn't it just absolutely fantastic to know that today is the last day in March (which also happens to be the last day in the first quarter of 2014 - isn't that pretty amazing?) Thank God that you and I are still here, and we are still standing by God's grace.

Last week, I got an email from a reader that I would like to share with you as she has asked for your kind advice.. I would really appreciate your comments and I'm sure she's reading too..

I responded to her and would share that later today.. xx

Hi Oneplustheone,

My fiance and I are getting married towards the end of the year and
we have been having sex since the four years we have been together.
Lately I rededicated my life to God and have chosen to be celibate
till marriage.

The challenge now is that my fiance is having none of it. he says I
can't starve him of sex. Each time I bring up the issue of sex, trouble
starts. He says each time I talk against sex, it makes him feel like the
devil.

Please how do I handle this issue? It has seriously affected our
relationship. I'm even scared of going to visit him (we stay in
different states) cause I dont know how I will survive staying in the
same house and how to fight him off when he makes advances. 

Please I need Godly advice from you and the readers. God bless you.

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Like I said earlier, I would appreciate your practical help to this lovely lady..

PS I was so excited to read posts from my favourite bloggers this morning - a lot of people got busy over the weekend! Yayyy! You can check them out by following the links on the right side of the page under the heading 'My Blog Hall of Fame'
Also, I celebrate all the fabulous bloggers who are mothers! May God honour you and bless you for your immense hard work. You are appreciated xxxx
Also (also), I celebrate the beautiful Sisi Yemmie and her Bobo for winning the 'My Big Nigerian Wedding' competition yesterday!! Congratulations whoop whoop!!


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Pastor Lucie's Daughter

Let me tell you about this gorgeous human being that God blessed this earth with.. The meaning of her name itself is so apt - Light.

You see, when you see her, she already does her name justice as she illuminates the entire room with not just her beauty but her charming smile, bright disposition and spirit. A beautiful, bright, warm-hearted woman whose name is Lucie. Today, I crave your indulgence to celebrate this wonder-woman who happens to be my mother... I feel so honoured to be called Pastor Lucie's daughter.

                                  

I carry that title with such pride because it is indeed such a privilege to be blessed with a mother like mine. Infact, times when I reminisce of how much fun she made growing up to be, and how much effort she put into moulding her children to be all that God wants them to be, it makes me smile from within and just appreciate the God of this woman who has made in her such a vessel of pure gold.

There are so many special, funny and naughty (all mine of course :-) ) moments I recall.. How can I forget my first day at Secondary School - me and my young, bold (yeah right) self venturing into the 'unknown' and how my mother ensured that she walked me in and stayed to introduce me to my first friend - it was like Kindergarten all over again! (lol), and it wasn't even Boarding house - but I thank you Ma Mere for doing that, you made me feel so protected, so cared for.

 (My mum and I from very longgg ago!)

Thank you as well for honing my skills in letter-writing! haha - I hope you can remember the countless letters I wrote to you, especially when you upset me and I just had to 'express' myself by writing a letter, surreptitiously tucking it beside your pillow so you wouldn't see me doing so while ensuring that you couldn't miss it. Thank you that you never told me off for expressing myself, instead one way or the other, the letters worked and I found you listening to all my grievances spelt out therein - I laugh in Spanish - Thank you for not laughing at my childish antics but giving me the opportunity to love writing letters (I hope my husband thanks you later!)..

                            

Thank you for showing me how to give and how to love people - Teachers in our Primary School used to love having me or my siblings in their classes as they knew that come Christmas/New Year, the bounty would be worth it! Thank you for leading by example and having people over at our house all the time - it was never a dull moment, and I learnt how to go to extra lengths to help people.

Thank you for being a role model in looking FAB! Mehnn.. I don't even think I have that strength yet but I know that it's inside me somehow somehow lol.. I remember how you hated our hair looking untidy and always threatened to cut it off if we didn't manage it properly.. Err, I am still learning Mama hehe (but you are not allowed to cut it anymore!)

I could go on and on! However, I cannot finish this piece without thanking you for the very best lesson of all - thank you for showing us first hand what it means to love God and be devoted to His things. I remember you as the beautiful adult Sunday School Teacher that many people loved - you found a way to make remembering the weekly memory verses very interesting! I remember you coming tops in your Baptism class - my Mother the holy efiko! I remember you heading the Ladies' ministry and doing a wonderful job of it! I remember how trustworthy you are with money and keeping records and accounts, you are the organiser extraordinnaire! I remember the times you would call us to together to pray or to worship or to encourage us to fast till 12noon (That was the longest 3 hours ever!) Lol.. I remember so many sacrifices that I saw you (and still see you) make for your heavenly Father and you don't know how much it inspires me. Thank you for praying for us (sometimes, I feel I can close both eyes knowing you got me covered *wink wink*), thank you for encouraging us to do more, to do better while honouring God through it all.

I love you sooo much - words are ineffective to express how much! Today, Pastor Lucie, Princess Lulu, Mama Rere no 1, I Just want to say Happy Mother's Day. May you reap bountifully all the seeds you have sown and the labour of your love to God and to men.

PS I know you will read this, as you read every single post that's published on this blog... Your support is so strong. Thank you Mummy 
xxxx
(Looking like the Princess that you are on your 50th birthday!)

Friday, 28 March 2014

Dear Daddy

My dearest Daddy,

The Owner of heaven and earth.. The One who created all things and made it all good. Everlasting King of glory, Elshaddai, the One who is more than enough. Prince of Peace, King of my heart. The Balm in Gilead that soothes all pains and washes away all hurts. My heart rejoices in you.. My soul is gladdened by You..

You who never fail, You who never disappoint, You who never sleep, You who never slumber, You who crown me with glory and honour, You who laid down your life for me, even before I knew who you were - What a truly amazing God You are. I am so grateful to You Master.

Thank You for making my week so great! Thank You because I asked You for strength this week and You so delivered- On point God! Thank You for making a way for us in such a miraculous way.. Daddy, You sure know how to answer prayers..

It's Mother's Day on Sunday in the UK and many parts of the world and I would just like to say Happy Mother's Day Abba Father. For to me, you are both in one - Mamma et Papa.

I love You very much and I couldn't say it enough.

It's me again :-)

Your forever girl,
One xx


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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Must Love Children - Yay or Nay?


I was chatting with one of my wonderful marriage mentors yesterday and she sent me the picture above.

You know, when thinking about the qualities of the man you would want to marry, I don't know if many people think about this very important aspect (especially if they plan to have children) - Can this man be a good father? 

Can I trust him with raising our children? Can he be trusted to provide that much-needed role model figure for our children? Would I want my chidlren to inherit his traits (the good and the bad - because you know DNA doesn't consult you when it decides to give which to who! lol).. 

Would he help with raising the children or be quick to call out my name once there's a sign of discomfort! "Woman, thou child calleth" or "Are you crying again?! Come on, come on, go and meet your mother!!"

Would it matter to you if he helped with looking after the children or would you be happy to take on full responsibility as long as he provides financially for your home?

What if you both experience some form of delay before the children come, does he seem responsible enough to share the burden and be there to encourage each other or would he bail at the first sign of trouble?

These are important things to consider when you see that man that makes your inside turn inside out, that makes you want to trade your last name so fast, you almost put your family to shame (lol).. 

I know some of these things may not be fully determined pre-marriage but sisteh, there are signs.. Please shine your eyes.... And be wise. Discuss some of these things and understand your expectations before you say 'I do' - those 2 simple words that have the power to change the rest of your life!

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New here? You're most welcome! I love you already hehe
Please follow on Twitter @1plustheone, on Facebook www.facebook.com/1plustheone and if you want to, please send me an email too - oneplustheone@gmail.com - It's always lovely to hear from you :-) xx

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Chronicles of Sebastian - How a German Boy Ends up in Nigeria

Hiya everyone, last week I gave an introduction HERE to the new mid-week feature on 1 + The One about this guy who emailed me out of the blue some weeks back (the story itself is a testimony and I continuously give God all the glory!!)

Sebastian is a German guy who was an exchange student in Nigeria for 6months! He will be sharing some of the exciting, funny and interesting moments he had while he was here.. I hope you enjoy the read and please save all your questions for him, I'm sure he'll be happy to oblige :-)

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“Onyeocha!!!” This exclamation (meaning “white man” in Igbo) was either shouted (usually by children) or whispered (by adults) when I entered a remote village, a restaurant or a University classroom. People seemed astonished to see a young white student in their country, Nigeria. “Why did you choose to come to Nigeria?” was probably the question I got asked the most, straight after “How was your night?” and “How do you see the environment?” .

                             


In this ensuing blog series that Ayo graciously invited me to write, I’ll attempt to answer all of these questions and many more. In one of the many Nigerian choruses I’ve learnt to “Count my blessings one by one”, so rather than summarizing my experience in one single blog post, we will take on each topic and each blessing that I’ve received “one by one”. My goal is not to just write about myself, but to hopefully serve and help the readers of this blog with some personal and generals lessons that I’ve learnt along the way. 

Alright, without further ado, let us start with some of these questions. Concerning my night, I can join my Nigerian brothers in saying “We thank God” (I’ve learnt that this answer fits many questions!). Concerning to my coming to Nigeria, I need to explain a little more:

In Germany, I’m a student of both English and History, and in order to become a Secondary School teacher (I’m aware that this is not really the aspiration of most Nigerians, but don’t worry teaching has a slightly different reputation in Germany). Since all English students at my University are now required to go overseas for at least three months (unless they have a baby, which is not the case lol), I was forced to make a decision where to go. Going through the list of my university’s partner universities, I was surprised to find a university in Enugu-Nigeria. A few years ago I worked for nine months in Senegal and since then Africa 'had me'. 

Studying in Nigeria seemed liked an interesting idea, it offered me the opportunity to meet African students in a more natural environment, as opposed to the “helper-helped” hierarchy that volunteer work often brings along. 
So I’ve applied, prayed, got admission and now it was up to me to decide if I really wanted to go. I was not without doubts. A quick Google search on Nigeria presents you with all kinds of evil and dangers, be it Boko Haram in the North, kidnapping in the South or corruption everywhere. O yeah, I forgot to mention Malaria and all other kinds of tropical diseases. My parents were afraid my semester in Nigeria might be my last one and even some of my friends responded in amazement or disbelief when I told them about my plans. In hindsight, I’m glad back then God gave me the clarity and the courage to make my own decision to go to Nigeria nonetheless. I’m quite a people-pleaser and I know we’re to honor our parents, but I think part of growing up and maturity is, making a decision and stick to it, even despite opposition. 

Yet, making a decision does not really remove all your fears and worries. I was still wondering whether I will find friends over there, how my studies will be like etc… We Germans love certainty, we like to plan ahead and we like to sort out as many details as possible. One valuable lesson I’ve learnt in this process was that sometimes we just have to “to go for it” and trust God. 

There is always some level of uncertainty in life, whether you’re about to enter marriage, a new job or, as for me, travel to Nigeria. Prayer and remembering God’s faithfulness in the past definitely helped and gave me a deep sense of peace and confidence that it will be alright.
My five months in Nigeria have been so enriching, encouraging, “warm” (not just in terms of climate :-)) and plain funny, that I’m so glad God walked me through all my doubts and pushed me to go there. It was an adventure I’ll never forget. :)

In the upcoming posts, I will talk about certain aspects of Nigerian life, such as Nigerian Christianity, love and relationships in the context of Nigeria, Nigerian slang etc.. Next week we’re going to look at my impressions during my first weeks in Nigeria and how God helped me with His “small-small guidance”. If you have any special topics you want to hear my take on, please leave a comment below.
Sebastian aka Sabba Sabba


Thanks a lot Sabba Sabba! :-D
I hope you enjoyed reading and smiled at different points of the post like I did..

Don't forget to follow on Twitter @1plustheone
or send an email oneplustheone@gmail.com

May God guide us all every step of the way and give us the grace to make right decisions at every cross-road :-) xx

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Waiting and Loving It!!! Feat Tobi and Ben Ugbene

Hiya! I wouldn't say much in the way of introduction to today's feature because I don't want to distract from the great wisdom, lessons and joy of this couple's story! First of all, I absolutely LOVE their relationship and everytime I have the opportunity to hear their love-journey, I always leave with something new, with a smile on my face and with a renewed faith in God's ability to bring me the very best (and for you too!)!

I think it's the longest feature so far but very much worth the read! There are so many aspects of learning and I pray that God will 'speak' to you concerning the different areas that apply to you... (and I said I won't say a lot oh!! lol)..

Anyways, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a little of Tobi and Ben's world!! xx



1. Hiya! Welcome to Waiting and Loving It with 1PlusTheOne, please tell us a little about yourselves


Ben:
My name is Benjamin Chijioke Ugbene. Firstly I am a son of the Most High God, I am the husband to the most amazing woman (Tobi) that God has placed in this universe, I am the fourth of five children, and a Web Applications Developer.

We’ve been married for 11 months and 4days :-) – (Well you asked)

Okay, let me also add that we met in 2001, started dating in 2006, got engaged in 2010, and eventually got married in 2013 – phew!! We made it :-)

Tobi:
Hiya!! My name is Oluwatosin Oluwatobiloba Ugbene, born on the 17th of May, first of 4 kids. I got married to my first love on the 20th of April 2013.

I love to love, and enjoy searching for true friendships. Creativity is my middle name and to that effect run my cake business with a few dabbles into anything beautiful and crafty.


2. Thank you very much for that detailed introduction..So, Tobi and Ben, how did you meet?
Tobi:
Hahahahahaha!!!!!!!! CONFESSION…..well, this was in May 2001 a few days after I turned 18. I was studying for my A levels and had just gone back to University, when a family friend of mine (Bukky Sanni) asked me to accompany her to see a friend of hers. On getting to her friend's room, I was introduced to four guys, one of whom was Ben, a tall guy preparing golden morn, who also happened to be the same skinny tall guy from fellowship my roomates and I talked about…….. Well the first thing he said to me was; "Do you dress like your mum?" I guess he will explain why he asked that, but I was thinking to myself why will he ask me such, it did not help that I was wearing a gown my mum gave me, {LOL}, thinking back now, I was way ahead of fashion cause it was a 'colour-blocked' gown (haha). Anyways, I kept chewing my gum and saying in my head I really don’t know you , so, oh well.

As leaders of the fellowship, Ben and his friends would visit members who didn't attend fellowship - this meant that not going would attract a house visit from at least one of the 'crew members' Lol ( I remember standing in the middle of the road one day to check if the crew was approaching, as I had a late lecture that day and had missed fellowship)... I should have known that something was up in the heart of this 18year old girl, as I went to bed that night with a thought of… "Why did he not visit today, or didn’t he notice my absence...?"

Ben:
Well Tobi came over to my hostel with a friend of hers to visit my roommate – the Bible Study Secretary of the fellowship we attended. I saw her and just got a vibe that she was responsible, so I asked her if she dressed like her mother – I know very rude right? To be honest, she was very conservative in her dressing, which is something that was not frequently seen – or maybe I just saw what God wanted me to see :-).



3. Lol at dressing like her mother.. Ben! What a chat-up line (Guys please don't try this at home! lol).. So tell us, what initially attracted you to your spouse?

Ben:
Well – being the Follow-up Secretary of the same fellowship – I had to visit the brethren :-) every now and then, to check up on them. With time Tobi and I got closer, and I discovered she had a very cheerful disposition, and a heart of pure GOLD.

Now at this time though I was not interested in going into a relationship – honest, I wasn’t – so I missed a lot of signs. One thing I will say is that I told everyone I mentored then that we might get close, but that they should not be carried away by their emotions, because I was not interested. The thing is that I later realised I never told Tobi this.

I believe that it was on her 20th birthday that her dear friend Ranti told me that Tobi liked me. This took me by surprise. I proceeded to pray about what she had told me that night. I wrestled with God that night – because I had no intention of marrying a chubby lady :-) – however, God no gree make I sleep until I agree. By morning it was settled, God said He wanted her for me, but that it was not yet time. So the next time we met, I told her that I am not ruling out the possibility, but that I wasn’t ready for a relationship – my reason for that is a sermon on its own.



Tobi:
His love for God was deep. He was the first guy I met that loved God in a way I could relate with, and was still very human like me. We talked a lot and I found it less tasking to open up to him on any topic without feeling unworthy.

It’s funny how my next point is something he did not realise. I was in a drama group and anytime I went to his room to sell him a ticket, he would have already bought his and would assure me he would be there. He would also wait behind sometimes after the drama night to walk me back to my room, and would tell me how well I performed.

His sensitivity towards me.

4. That's so beautiful.. How did you know that this was IT and you wanted to spend the rest of your life with each other?


Tobi:
Right from when I was young I prayed to marry my first love. Well, Ben was my first love but not my first boyfriend. The first time I noticed I was more than liking him was in Sept 2001 during one of the many University strikes in Nigeria. I was home and wanted to call my younger brother, and the name 'Ben' came out of my mouth, I covered my mouth to muffle any other word that my heart wanted to blurt out and looked round to ensure no one heard me. It was a forbidden subject for a girl of 18 to have a boyfriend in my house! (big trouble!), and for me it felt like a betrayal of friendship to Ben (How dare I think this way of a very good friend). It took 2years for him to see me in a different way, even though we did nothing about it then.

The actual day I realised he was the one I wanted to spend my life with was when a mutual friend of ours asked me out (to go into a relationship with him) and I said to him, go and ask Ben first (this is a story for another day). I needed the permission of the present occupant of my heart (Ben) to allow someone else take it. 6 months after Ben was there to help piece a heart - I thought was broken - together, but I soon realised I never gave the heart away, it was always for Ben.

Ben:
Wow! That one na another long story… Okay, let me summarise it. Where do I start?

Like I said previously, I was not ready for a relationship yet – I did not want to get into one till I was in my final year – but with time, I started having feelings for an old friend of mine from Secondary School – forgetting what God had said about Tobi.

I knew who God wanted me to marry, but disregarded his timing. As a result of this – well let’s say things didn’t pan out well – this too is a story for another day.

Couple of months later, a dear friend asked me about all the ladies I was interested in, and I told her why I liked them. She then went on to ask about Tobi, but I told her that I loved Tobi, but because of the things that went down, I was not going down that road. She then went on to point out that I had said why I ‘liked’ all the other ladies, but that Tobi is the only one that I said I ‘love’. This caused the scales to fall from my eyes, and I realised that regardless of how things had played out, my love for Tobi was still burning.


5. Thank God! *Let it burn on! lol.. What made you make the decision to wait?

A. As you can see from my story above, I love God, so first I will say that it was the fear of God.
B.  Also, because I recalled a story in the bible in which after a man had satisfied his lustful appetite, the strong sense of attraction he had for the lady became a strong sense of disgust (Amnon and Tamar - 2Samuel 13:1-17)  
C.  Finally, I love and respect Tobi too much to have risked losing her to a few minutes of pleasure.

                          

6. What practical measures did you take to ensure that you stuck by your decision?

Ben:
This was not easy at all!! Before I say anything, I will like to say, “AVOID A LONG COURTSHIP IF YOU CAN OOO”.
There were a few close calls, so we decided that anytime I visited, I would stay at a hotel, sleep on the couch, or stay at a friend’s.

We prayed about it, and did all we could to hasten our wedding date.


Tobi:
Thank God for amazing friends that have become sisters, we made ourselves accountable to each other. At a point Ben would sleep on the couch when he visited, even though I felt bad as it was uncomfortable, but we had to put these barriers in place.

The tricky part was the 7 months wait between our Court marriage and the Church wedding. We had made a decision to recognise the Church wedding as THE WEDDING, thank God for strength when the other was weak, I remember a point that night in September I was ready to let go, my husband remained strong for the both of us, and we made it through the night! (I remember his soft but decisive voice, "Baby, I know we both want this, but you will feel bad in the morning so let’s sleep").

7. Thank God indeed.. What one advice would you give to your single self in preparation for marriage now that you’ve crossed that line?

Ben:
- Stay close to God.
- Be real to each other, so that no one is surprised and starts accusing the other of changing after getting married.
- Read up all you can about proper Christian marriages, attend seminars, and – if possible – find a couple to mentor you.
- Finally, ‘Do not awaken love before its time’. That fire is not easily satiated.

Tobi:
- The joy, peace and happiness we feel now that we are married is so worth the wait.
- It’s a whole deeper experience in marriage than the few minutes of sneaky pleasures it would have been before the marriage, so let’s not fall for the lie of the devil that makes it feel like it’s now or never.

8. Please describe the best part of being married for you...



Tobi:
- When my husband gives me that forehead kiss – it make me feel how much he loves me.
- Sliding to the middle of the bed and having my husband wrap his arms around me.
- Having a worship partner – we spend time worshipping our Father together as this brings us closer.

Ben:
- Coming home to someone that loves you.
- Waking up beside this same person.
- Married people things of course – making love to my wife :-)

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Don't you just want to thank God for God-ly relationships and marriages! He makes it so beautiful and so perfect. He can makes yours that way too!

I have learnt so much to hand it all over to God and trust His best for me. I am inspired to know that God does great things in relationships and His desire is never to see us suffer in or hate the institution of marriage. His timing is always the best - no matter how long He takes, as long as it's in His hands, you are safe..

The wait is worth it! The wait is worth it!! The wait is worth it!!!

May God give us the grace to wait patiently on Him in Jesus name, and may He continue to bless marriages and homes around the world.

Do you have any question, please do not hesitate to ask!
oneplustheone@gmail.com
@1plustheone

Also, you can read all the Waiting and Loving It Features HERE .. xxxx


Monday, 24 March 2014

How far is Far? Part II

It's another Monday morning *Woop woop*! Yeah, it sure is great to be alive so perk up and see the beauty of the day despite the fact that you had to wake up early for work!

There has been a lot of responses and reactions from the Tuesday Waiting and Loving It series and sometimes when I read an email, get a BB message, or read a comment with questions, decisions made et al, I just say 'Thank You Lord'.. Usually there are more personal questions that people want to ask or clarify in a private space and the truth is that people really want to do right by God!

One of the most common questions I get is "How far is 'far'?".. I have written a post about it HERE and I will also share an email I got about it which is a bit more specific.... I am sharing it with permission, hope it blesses you xx

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Dear One,

First of all I'm a V (proudly one :) {Team V aka Virgin r us}
I have the most amazing boyfriend on earth. We are heading to the altar as soon as we can. He is not a V, however he has been celibate since we met and has vowed that we are going to wait till our wedding night.
I'm so happy about this as this has always been a bone of contention in my past relationships.
However, we kiss, touch, fondle, quave, had oral, very few times.
We don't get to see often because we live in different countries. When I went to visit him, I stayed in his house because I didn't think it made sense to get a hotel there as he was the main reason I went.
We ve sort of vowed ourselves to each other. Something happened awhile back that caused us to commit to ourselves and God (Don't worry, it was not a blood covenant, lol). In my mind, I feel it is just formality that is remaining. In my opinion that was the day we got married. Because I feel, marriage is when two people commit to each other with God. Abi?

**********
Hello dear,
Thank you very much for sharing this with me and I believe very strongly that you reached out because you really want to do the right thing - that's wonderful. I believe that God loves a sincere heart and He gives grace to those who ask and I pray that God will give me the grace to respond properly.

I am very proud of you and the decision you and your boyfriend have taken to keep sex until marriage - thats wonderful. It's not a decision made only to honour one another but most importantly, it's done to honour our heavenly Father.

Before I answer your latter question about what qualifies as you being married, may I just share something with you. I wrote a post a while ago about "How far is far?" (http://oneplustheone.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-far-is-far.html ) and there I shared this bible passage which states

'But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people' - Ephesians 5:3 (NIV)

Simply put, as a chosen, holy child of God, we are not to have any kind or form or type of sexual immorality. Sex has been made for you and I to enjoy with our spouses in the context of marriage. In this context, there is no shadow of guilt, no questions asked, no looking back or second thoughts - the only thing probably on your mind is how can I please this man even more?

While, penetration itself is full sex, there are other acts that are of a sexual nature and I believe should be avoided too.

The truth is that when God asks something of us, He requires full obedience - no half measures. Therefore, if I'm saying no to sex before marriage, then I am saying no to sex before marriage and all its relatives. I hope you understand what I am saying? And you know what? God gives the grace to do it, and also bless you for it.

God loves you soo much and He wouldn't want you to hurt or be hurt in any way - He wants to protect you and protect your interest! My dear, there are some certain things that are left sacred for marriage between 2 people who have decided to fully commit to themselves for life before God - And God knows the reason why He made it so.

To answer your question about whether you can do 'married things' since you are as good as married, I ask 'What is marriage?' or 'What defines marriage?' - I don't think there's one complete human description of marriage because it wasn't created by human beings, it was created by God. God sets the standard. However for your question, you have to ask yourself some questions

1. Does the law recognise us as being married?
2. Do our parents and family members recognise us as being married?
3. If I wanted to make a claim on him, would I be justified to do so before anyone?
4. Is there something to prove that I am his wife or he my husband?
5. If anything ever happened, would I be covered or could he easily walk away as there's no obvious binding evidence of commitment?
6. If either of us died, would the reason for considering ourselves married be valid to present to God?

If you are unable to fully answer the questions honestly with positives then I would please encourage you to hold on until you do the right thing - God is a God of principles and order - Infact His word says let everything be done decently and in order (1Corinthians 14:40). God recognises the laws laid down by human beings too! (Remember Jesus said we must give to Caesars what is Caesers'). Therefore, in addition to the special bond you share with this man, please ensure that you do right by each other - before your parents and the law. Then you can boldy, unashamedly and unreservedly take what belongs to you in marriage - and that is very beautiful!

I hope this helps dear?

*********

PS, I also want to share this post on knowing yourself and trigger points in order to protect yourself.. Just like every act of obedience to God, it goes beyond making a decision, you have to determine your boundaries and limitations based on your strengths and weaknesses and ask for grace... http://oneplustheone.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-be-in-relationship-ones-school.html

I welcome your additional comments too! God bless you xx

If you have a question too, please email oneplustheone@gmail.com or follow on twitter @1plustheone
We are now on Facebook too - www.facebook.com/1plustheone

Have a wonderful and blessed week xx

Friday, 21 March 2014

Dear Daddy

Dearest Daddy,

It's me again! I am so glad that you never get tired of hearing my voice or speaking to your little girl or getting my mails.. What would I ever do without you?! :-)

Today, I just want to say thank You!
Thank You particularly for the new and wonderful people I have met in the past few days. Thank You for the encouragements and for putting things in place so that I know that you will never leave nor forsake me.

Thank You for strength this week (Cause Lord I sure needed it!!). Thank You for the lovely news I heard this week.. Thank You for making your girls giggle! Thank You for encouraging your daughter as she shared with me.. You rock!

Thank You for the faith You have given my family and I.. It is such a wonderful privilege knowing a God like You.. Thank You because every single time, You make it clear that it is so worth it, knowing and having a relationship with You!

Thank You for the blog community - Lord, You have indeed blessed this world with soo much talent! As I say thanks for them, I particularly want to thank you for Berry Dakara.. Sometimes, people do stuff for you that touch you so deeply; and Daddy I just want to ask that You bless her and her Cakes 'extra special' this weekend and let her be celebrated even more!

Thank You for so many things I cannote even count - Thank You for my past, thank You for my present and thank YOU for my future!!

I love you - King of my heart.

Your forever girl,
One xx

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Never Alone - He Sees, He Hears, He Knows (Introducing Sebastian!)

Hello everyone.. From next week, we'll be starting a new Mid-week series here *Midweek Chatter with Sebastian* ! Yippeee!

The background to 'meeting' this young man Sebastian aka Sabba Sabba (there's a story behind that lol) is a testimony in itself and one that makes me smile everytime I read or remember his first email to me.         


 Sabba Sabba! :-D


It was one Monday like that and I was feeling particularly 'down'.. You know those days when you just feel - "I'm getting tired Lord" and I remember I was having an alone time with God (not particularly feeling 'relational' at that moment lol) but knowing that I had no choice but to do so as I recognise that He is my only option! So I poured out my heart to Him.. Like really did, and I remember clearly one sentence I kept repeating - "Lord, I really need encouragement. Send me encouragement.. Like something real that I know it's from you.. Just encourage me!" 

Well, a little later that evening, I saw that blinking red light on my phone and I checked to see that I got an email.. When I saw the foreign name, I was like *rolls eyes*, "another spam email from Blogger! Arghh!".. I read the email title and guess what it was?!! "Encouragement from Germany" (I smile at God's extra faithfulness as I write this).. I read through and here was this young man who 'out of the blue' was writing me from Germany to just let me know that he just left Nigeria as an exchange student and he reads the blog frequently and it had encouraged his spiritual walk etc... In his words as written in the email..


"...Anyway, I don't really know why I am telling you all this, there are still so many experiences and impressions I need to process, but I just wanted to encourage you to keep it up."


As you can imagine, I thought it was a joke! Like a lie! Like "God, you mean you literally answered my prayer?!" Lol

... Yes He did.. My Abba Father listened to the request of His little girl in the most amazing of ways.. This is one of the many experiences that makes me fall deeper in this love relationship with the Lover of my Soul..

 'Angel' Sebastian! :-)


In the same vein, I want you to know that God IS mindful of YOU.. You think He doesn't hear you when you cry? You think He doesn't hurt when you do? You think He is not mindful of your labour of love? You think He doesn't understand when you just feel like giving up?

He does. He cares. He loves... and no one could ever match how much He does!

Don't stop trusting, don't stop asking, don't ever think that your 'little' or 'big' requests don't get to Him.. Every single time you pray, He listens..

And I pray particularly for you who need that reassurance, that hug from God - May He do something so real for you that you will know without a shadow of doubt that it was Him.

"Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget but I will not forget you" Isaiah 49:15

"What is man that you take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?" Psalm 8:4

"But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. "So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows" Matthew 10:30-31

"Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust." Psalm 103:13-14

PS Sebastian kindly agreed to a do a blog series on his experiences during his 6-month stay in Nigeria - Get ready for a very witty next few Wednesdays people!! xx

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Waiting and Loving It!! - Feat Adewunmi and Felix Makanjuola

Hiya! It's Tuesday and yup.. Waiting and Loving It!!! Hope you loved listening to Four Kornerz yesterday and also had the opportunity to take a bit of time to revel in the memories and love of the God of your youth!

Well, I have the pleasure of introducing the 7th couple here on Waiting and Loving It!! I am particularly excited as it's done a little bit differently! I've been chasing up on this fab couple for a while now and their busy schedules hadn't enabled them to respond until now - But I'm mighty glad they did and it was definitely worth the wait as you would find out soon..

We would be featuring them in 2 parts - First from the Mrs and next from the Mr! And they have aptly captioned their own mini-series as "How I Met Your Father" and "How I Met Your Mother"...

I'll stop right here and let you enjoy, learn, be blessed by their real-ness!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Waiting and Loving It Part VII

How I Met Your Father - Adewunmi Makanjuola

*cue music*

***It Was a Spring Day***


Wow!

Where do I start? Through a family friend, I was introduced to Felix; I remember the day clearly.

The phone rings, I say Hello’ and after observing the usual telephone protocols and pleasantries, the next question my friend asked was ‘Are you still single?’ I burst out laughing; typical of ladies right?! My answer was ‘err yeah, why do you ask?’, and her response was ‘I have someone for you’; I laughed again..{and Sarah laughed}

So, I said to her, that I'm not interested and wasn’t really looking for anyone. You see, to be honest, I really wasn’t looking for anyone, and I was enjoying my season of singleness, a season of just seeking after God and nothing else. She said to me ‘Don’t you know you are getting old?’, have in mind I was only 22 years old at that time; in my mind I thought to myself ‘Oh no, you didn’t!’. Anyway, after a long tussle, I finally succumbed to her match-making powers and said ‘Okay fine’; thank God for persistent friends.

She gave me his name, and straightaway I went on Facebook to check out who this guy was; oh come off it we all do it! I just wanted to make sure the person existed (laugh out loud). Apart from knowing he existed, I also wanted to have a mental image of who this man was; one peek and Oooooohh yes my baby is fineeeee (laugh out loud – don’t judge me).


From that day on I kept on praying, it took Felix about a month before he even called me, I thought maybe he’s not serious or even ready. After the initial calls and intermittent Blackberry messages, it took him a year before he actually proposed to see me in person! (Yes a year….a full, whole year!!… Hmmm that’s a book on its own.

During the one year period of just talking, I learnt a lot about God and about myself. I think God was really testing my patience, because after a few months of talking, I wanted to meet him already, but he wouldn’t ask me, and I kept silent too (Ladies, I believe in being lady-like and let him do the chasing – but it was hard – arrrgh!).

So one year later, here comes the light after a very long tunnel (!!), on that fateful Sunday afternoon I finally saw the man I had been speaking to on the phone, he wasn’t as tall as I imagined, but a mighty man of God.


***Just before summer***

So it took a year for me to see this guy. Who does that? I mean why? Was I supposed to just wait around for this guy like I had nothing better to do? The answer is YES....just joking!

The wait was the most trying time of my life. I didn't think I would survive it!

The hardest thing was being on his BBM contact list and he would not as much as say hello. Yet he'll be updating his status like no man's business; everyday is someone's birthday - and by the way they were mostly 'girls' - if it's not Michelle today, it's Bukky tomorrow (laughing out loud right now), but that wasn't funny back then, that just used to annoy me. Once in a 'very' blue moon, Mr 'Celebration of all Female Birthdays' will decide to send a BB message, 'Hi Wunmi'. That would just get me smiling but I'll make him wait a bit, like I've been busy or something (err, yes I said it), I didn't want to come across like I was just by the phone waiting for him to remember me). If I'm very honest those times were hard, how can someone be so close and yet be so distant at the same time?

Remember I said the waiting time was a trying and testing time for me, I finally got to a place where I was comfortable with me and secure with the promises of God for me. I took comfort in the Words of Habakkuk 2:3


"For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
I decided, if Felix was the God ordained man for me, then I need not worry or succumb to gimmicks, all I had to do was commit him to God's hands and when he has finished celebrating everyone's birthday, he will come home.

***Summer time***

So with continuous prayers, and limited communication, one day Felix begins to warm up, then he asked if he could meet up with me and that maybe we go for a meal. I still remember the day, it was a Sunday afternoon, I had just gotten back from church, and we went to Wagamamas. Felix and I talked long and hard. One of the things I liked was that Felix was intentional about the relationship right from meeting me. He said he wanted to be in a relationship with me and believed I am his wife... We had many talks and did a lot of getting to know each other. 


Waiting Till 'I Do'...

From the early stages of our relationship we talked about boundaries. Felix said he didn't want to kiss me, but will like the honours when we are joined and the officiating minister says, 'You may NOW kiss the bride'. I thought that was romantic of him, but secretly thought to myself if it was possible. We talked openly about what we can or cannot do. This was very helpful to both of us; there were times when Felix felt like he couldn't wait - fortunately I would be strong and firm, and there were times I would feel like just giving him the 'snog of life' (laughing out loud) but he would restrain me and remind me of why we chose to wait.

We tried to help ourselves because we both agreed we are human and anything could happen, for example, we made sure we didn’t spend too much time together alone especially at night. We realised that the later it was in the day, the more sensitive we were to touch and so on.

Why The Wait?

As a virgin, being in a relationship wasn’t going to change my status. I believed in keeping myself for that special person. Also, based on my personal beliefs as a Christian, I felt I wouldn’t be giving God and my husband the best of me if I didn’t keep myself chaste before marriage.

I had to speak to God, because there was no way else to know about it. I needed to hear from Him, to make sure that my steps where being ordered by Him. God being faithful would show me scriptures, this in turn reinforced the knowledge I had and also gave me the inner peace conviction that it was okay to go ahead and wait. Also, while I was waiting I went for single ladies conferences; I was working doing what I needed to do as a woman but most importantly spent so much time with God.

***Autumn leaves***

We started a relationship and on June 25th 2013, Felix proposed to me and the rest as they say is history…. Well not quite! When I crossed over into 2013, I didn't know I would be married before the year was out. There were many oppositions. Many people in my family thought it was too soon for me to get married being one of the youngest in the family (extended family included) but Felix reassured me that if God meant it to be that year, it will be – and so it was!


...And the best part about being married…

#Best-friends #Unlimited Sex (loooool) #Sharing together


*****
And there you have it folks.. Like I said earlier, I loved reading Adewunmi's love journey with Mr 'Celebration of Birthdays' lol.. Many pointers too and one of the ones that stood out for me is that it's great to be on the same page with your partner. Agree on significant areas of your relationship. There were clearly defined boundaries and time frame as well.. Also, being able to hold yourselves accountable.. You may not always be strong at the same time but just like the bible says -

"Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labour, for if they fall, one will lift up his companion..." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10b

So we eagerly await the Mr's response right? By the way, he blogs at www.justfmj.blogspot.com

If this is your first time here, WELCOME!! You can read the introduction to the series HERE as well as others by clicking on Waiting and Loving It.

Do you have personal questions or would like to be featured on this series? Please feel very free to contact me, I love it when you do! xx
Email - oneplustheone@gmail.com
Follow me on twitter too! - @1plustheOne

Monday, 17 March 2014

Flaunt It! Four Kornerz....You Can Lean on their Shoulders

It's Flaunt It Monday peopleeeeee! Yayyyy! Right, if you don't know what the excitement is about, please read about the idea behind Flaunt It HERE - It's all about celebrating new things, celebrating talent, celebrating initiatives and just absolutely flaunting the beauty of the gift and creativity of God which He has so richly invested in us all! Hope it also inspires you too!

It's my immense pleasure to present the 2nd feature here on Flaunt It! It's from a genre I absolutely love and love to talk about no, not food - Music!!

Four Kornerz - A brilliant all-male band made up of 4 good-looking, God-ly brothers! Like, it's so amazing to see 4 'all-together' guys who have the God factor.. and guess what?! They sing too! Infact, they sing, play instruments and worship! Did I hear you say *God is GOOD*!

Well, today they officially release their latest single and I encourage you to definitely have a listen and download too, and guess what?! As at 10am this morning, it was released and made FREE to download (Did I hear you say, Good-looking, God-fearing and Generous?!)

I won't say too much but allow you to judge for yourselves and understand how really fantastic these guys are! I saw the video first time I heard the song and I have to say the excellence in quality made me proud to know they serve an Excellent God! I absolutely love their music! See video below:



So you know I love you people right? Well, the lead singer and oldest of the brothers agreed to say a few things about the band and their latest single.. Here goes!

7 Questions with Four Kornerz (Lead Singer - Charles Deji Juba)

1. Background Check

                   


Four Brothers (Deji, TJ, Vidal, Daniel) of Nigerian heritage, living in the UK. We've been involved in music for over 10 years and have a passion for sharing our music and message to the Four corners of the world (hence the name Four Kornerz)

We started off in Church many many years ago. I remember singing in school and church choirs back in '92 so the musical gifts have been honed over many years. Four Kornerz debuted in 2004 so it's been 10 years in the making.

2. Memorable concerts you've done/been a part of?

                       

Too many highlights for us; playing alongside so many of our musical heroes like Kirk Franklyn, Tye Tribbet, Israel Houghton, visiting many countries and hearing people sing our songs...It's been a fantastic journey and we're looking forward to the next chapter. This summer is already heating up; we've got Big Church Day Out, a few European dates, one in Africa and we'll be headlining with Fred Hammond in May this year! (Super!!)

3. Who writes your songs?

                
It's a collaborative process. I write a lot of the lyrics, TJ is the MD, but the finished product is a combined effort

4.  What/Who inspires your songs?
The songs are a reflection of our Faith in Jesus, our personal lives and our love for good music. We like to party so a lot of our songs have a funk and RnB influence as well as the Nigerian rhythms. Plus growing up we listened to every kind of music so our range touches on Rock, Jazz, Hiphop and more. I'd describe us as a mix of Israel Houghton, Earth Wind & Fire, John Legend, Cold Play and Black Eyed Peas :)

                     
5. What inspired the song "Lean on my Shoulders"

It was inspired by a close friend of mine who had gone through a terrible episode (abusive relationship, health issues, emotional breakdown) At that point I realised I could do more good by just being a friend and be there for her...it made me realise a lot of times we can get overwhelmed with life's dramas and, even though we all put on a mask of confidence, we all need a shoulder to lean on.

                  

6. What one word/message would you like anyone listening to it to take away?

You're not alone. You're stronger than you realise so don't give up.

7. Any parting words?

It's crazy to think that a musical journey that started in a small youth church in the RCCG in Ebutte metta ( Lagos) could now be rubbing shoulders with Prime Ministers, Grammy award winners and travelling the world and getting fans and radio play globally. It's like Lupita N'yongo's Oscar speech "No matter where you're from, your dreams are valid"

 to 

I have heard their Lead Singer speak and I can definitely say that you can't miss the God in him - Absolutely wonderful and very inspirational!

You can download their new single 'Lean on Your Shoulders' FREE on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/fourkornerz
Also visit their website http://www.fourkornerz.com/

Got something new? YOU could also be featured here on Flaunt It Monday! Just send an email to oneplustheone@gmail.com or follow on Twitter @1plustheone..
Like us on Facebook too www.facebook.com/1plustheone

Have a wonderful week folks, don't forget to Flaunt It - God's styleee! :-) xx

Monday Morning Reflection

Hello people!

It's another Monday morning to love right? right? (I had to ask again cause that question is dodgy, lol).. But yeah, I choose to believe and be excited at the fact that this is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it! Woop woooop!!

Hope your weekend was great? Like I mentioned on Facebook (You haven't been on the blog's Facebook page?! *shock gasp* lol.. Here it is www.facebook.com/1plustheone.. Please like and share too!), Saturday was the birthday of a man I have deep respect and admiration for! A man of God indeed. A man who makes Christianity look mighty good, marriage desirable and restores much hope in Fatherhood! Please help me to say a huge GOD BLESS YOU to the one and only PAI, Pastor Agu Irukwu - son of God, Husband of one wife and father of 3 children + multitudes too + friend of soo many!

                             source

Anyways, over the weekend, I was also reflecting on the Dear Daddy POST of Friday and as I thought about the God of my youth, I couldn't help but reminisce a little on how far my love-relationship with God has come... It took me back to a place of singing old worship songs (Amen, Amen! I will enter His gates..).. I remembered the joy of being taught in Children's church Sunday School and all the many activities that made church so wonderful (it still is today, thank God!), I remembered the prayers made, the answers to them and wonderful testimonies from God.. I remembered the not so pleasant experiences too, the lessons learnt and how God saved me from them.. I realised even deeper that God is ever so mindful of me.. and not just me, every single human being on this earth! His love is so large that He can have a uniquely individual love relationship with each of us.. You have your own love-history with the King of Kings or if you haven't, you can have your own love-history with Abba Father.. What a JOY!

So I encourage you this morning, just like a wife or husband looks at their spouse of 10, 20, 30years and remembers the early days, the days when they would play-fight - the time she overlooked that misdemeanour and just proved her unconditional love for you, the time he nursed you back to health when you were ill and how it made you feel "I never want to let you go", the time she went all out to set before you a feast of delicacies and you thought "I sure hit gold!", the time he danced silly and sang off-tune just to make you smile and forget the tough stuff going on and it made you want to spend the next 50 years with him again!

In the same way, I encourage you..

Remeber when He healed your heart?

Remember the way you used to wake up early so you could spend time in fellowship with Him - your own personal time?

Remember the time you begged and asked "If only You could just do this Lord".. and He came through for you?

Remember how you promised Him that "No matter what you faced, you would still praise Him"?

Remember the God of your youth - It could have been 10years, 5years, 2years or even 1month.... I encourage you to go back to the place of your love anew! xx

                                             source

Have a blessed and wonderful week all!

Flaunt It Monday coming up!! :-) xx
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