Monday, 30 June 2014

Love Cakes, Learn Cakes, Make Dough!

Hiya everyone!!

Hope your weekend was good? Mine was greattttt! Many things to be grateful for and Abba Father is just absolutely trust-worthy and wonderful. If your weekend wasn't so great, I pray that you will end the month of June in grand-style and that your July would be full of pleasant surprises in Jesus name!

So, raise your hands if you love cake as much as I do!!! You see, if you want to make my day, just get me those soft scrumptious cakes with loads of soft icing (oh, I see the calories.. calories.. calories - Kill-joys!!)... But you can't steal this joy, calories aside, I.Love.Cake.. 

In my younger days when folly was a more constant companion, I used to dream of having a fridge/freezer in my house exclusively for cakes and ice-cream! I thought that would be the dreammm! Alas, ice-cream kinda fell out of favour, but cake hung on tightly!..

My dream wedding cake? Tiers of cakes with a variety of types!! (Options of Red velvet, Carrot cake, Marble cake, Soft White Chocolate, Soft Brown Chocolate, Mixtures *sigh* #DreamofLife hahaha)... And no, guests are not sharing, we will make alternative arrangements for them + None of that 'family members distribution of cake things' like they do sometimes, there will also be alternative arrangements made too :-D

                                            

So, why all this talk about cake? Would you believe if I told you that as far as my love for cake goes, I have never actually indulged in the pleasure of learning how to bake one?! I have had several opportunities over the years that I haven't grabbed with both hands!! Imagine home-baked, fresh-from-the-oven delights of yumminess at will!!

Also, I would really like the pleasure of teaching my little munchkins how to bake too! (I've seen pictures! + buying little aprons with chef hats for them is just too attractive lol).

If your love for cake is not as great as mine, you may want to create some serious money-making avenue from it (those Bakers aren't 'smiling' with their prices!)...  You could learn from scratch or develop your skills in cake-making and cake-decoration..

Interested? Then the classes below will be perfect for you!!

!!! Cake Training Class !!!

Date: July 14th - 25th

Venue: Shop 3 Howson Wright Estate, Oregun, Ikeja (Lagos, Nigeria)

Time 11am- 3pm

Price: N50,000

Course Content: Sugar-craft, 3-tier Ruffled Wedding Cake, Iced and Piped Sugar-cookies, Cookies, Ballerina shoe (Cake-art), Birdcage Cake, Stenciled and Piped Cupcakes. 

Course Facilitator - Tobi Ugbene, Head Baker - Teespiration, Nottingham.



To register (quick!), please contact -   


Confirmation of place would be on a first-come basis!

Go on, register quick!!!

PS, I shall be very happy to be used for all cake-tasting sessions/activities *sigh*, things we do for love ey? :-D xxxx

Yum!!
                       

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Worship Got Me

I’ve always loved to sing, right from a young age. I remember attending a regular evening Christian event when I was about 7 or 8 years and I would plead with my Aunties to teach me a song every evening to be able to sing before a gathering of hundreds of people!

Well, fast forward to University days, I was still that girl who loved to sing, tried to live a good life, keep away from bad friends/company, went to morning masses very religiously (well it’s the upbringing eh!). I joined the choir, loved it for a bit but I soon got bored with it. I also joined the youth choir at home and soon again I was out.

Then I went for my National Youth Service (a compulsory 1year service to my country after University) in 2007 and one thing led to another, I was at this evening fellowship and there on the altar was this 'tiny' young lady, seemingly insignificant until she opened her mouth to sing…..I was dumb-founded for the first 5 minutes, I couldn't speak but just stare.

It wasn’t just the fact that she had the most beautiful voice I had heard, it was the humility and brokenness with which she worshipped. I sat there thinking, what could make a person sing from her soul? I ran to her after the worship and said "Please teach me how to sing…." Lol!
I soon learnt that most of the young people in that fellowship could sing… Wow! I wanted so bad to be part of them. Then again, I met another young man. He may never remember this day nor know how much he has impacted my life but I heard him worship God in his room. 
He was weeping like someone died and singing and when I asked him later why he was crying, he told me, "God overwhelms me so much I can’t help but cry." That day I told God I wanted to know Him so desperately... I needed to talk to him.

I knew I had stood up a ‘few’ times when they made an altar call for people who wanted to give their lives to Christ to raise their hands or come forward, but I knew then that I didn’t have Jesus yet.

Fast-forward again, 2009, I’m back home and my parents already learnt that I had changed church, but didn’t know how serious until I got back and was sneaking to Pentecostal churches (I was trying to find a bible believing church that I could connect with).

... But oh oh! Not good! First my Dad says it will NEVER HAPPEN in his house!
We argued, we quarreled, we bore malice, we hated each other…and oh….so many nights of tears! In fact my dad couldn't wait to quickly shove me to the UK to obtain my Masters degree as he had earlier promised so that I wont be influenced any further. 
I received counsels here and there and it almost seemed like I was a possessed person in need of deliverance. However, I couldn't shake the feeling of wanting more, knowing more about this God and being led by Him.

... Then I found a bible believing church with ‘The Amazing Choir’ and I was in, totally sold!
Long story short, one day, we had a worship program and an altar call was made for those who wanted to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. On that fateful February evening, the Holy Spirit was nudging me hard to get on my feet - it was my day! I knew it because I heard Him call out to me loud and clear. The overwhelming feeling was unexplainable and for the first time, I knew I was home!

Soon after, we started a series on ‘Spiritual Authority’ and there I began to learn how to love ‘the Jesus way’. I bore the pain of coldness at home, constant family meetings to discuss my ‘disobedience’, and many turned down requests because I wanted to go to ‘that church’. Whereas for me, it was finding Jesus and doing the one thing that gave me peace – worship!

Well I had to meet my family half way. Go to my family church in the morning and my new-found church straight after. 

I remember one of the many experiences I had in the earlier days, it was the day of my training exam to join the volunteer workforce of my church, I was excited because I had attended all classes and read for it. That afternoon my dad said we were going to a party and that’s final. I felt so disappointed and very sad. I called my Pastor to tell him but his response was a simple – "What are you going to do?" 
I was like what??? Is that all he had to say? Why I called?!! 
Well, I made the decision to honour my father and not go for the test. I got to church later that day where I met my Pastor and he said – you would have failed the test if you disobeyed your father and came….

I'm grateful to God that now I can look back with immense gratitude to Him. It has been a life-changing relationship with Him that I possibly couldn't fully recount, and it only gets better.

I thank God that my experience has become my story, and now, worshipping God is what I live for.

Isioma Ikediashi

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Were you blessed by Isioma's personal experience? Would you like to also experience this wonderful encounter and relationship too? Just say this simple prayer with me - 'Jesus, thank You for dying for my sins on the cross. I appreciate and acknowledge your sacrifice. I want to invite you into my life today Lord. I believe in my heart that You are Lord and I want You to be my Lord. Please forgive me for my sins and make me brand new today in Jesus name. Thank You for a new start, I give You praise. Amen'

Wow! Congratulations, your life just became amazing! Welcome to a new life, a new relationship :-) xxxx

Ps If you prayed that prayer or want to know a bit more about all that has been said above, please send me an email at oneplustheone@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!

Also, if you would like to share your own experience too, please send me an email.

Have a wonderful weekend people! Lots of loveeee xxxxx

Friday, 27 June 2014

Dear Daddy

My Dearest Daddy,

Wonder-working Power! How I worship and adore You today!

Thank You so much for the past week and for the past month. Thank You Daddy for the month of June.

Thank You because it's not over so I know that there are still some 'last cards' to be revealed - I'm excited Lord.. Daddy, your little girl is very excited :-D

Thank You for the many testimonies - things that I can remember and some that I may not even remember right now. Thank You for the ones that I hear from others. When I listen to some mind-blowing acts of yours, I can't help but stand more in awe of You. You are simply magnifique Papa!

Thank You for some of the 'surprises'.. I'm not sure I really like this one but thank You anyway because I know that You always have something 'up' and I am learning to trust in Your good judgement (always GOOD judgement). I have to be honest though, this trust business is not as easy as it looks, but I am glad that experience has proven that the end result is worth it again and again. Thank You for being patient with me. For being patient and understanding when I doubt (again!) - I sometimes wonder how You could be so patient and loving through it all! For this, I am forever grateful.

Thank You for reminding me about how special I am to you and unique in myself by the way You have made me.. Particlularly when I doubt myself. Thank You for countering every word of self-doubt with a greater assurance of what Your thoughts of me are. Thank You for making me complete in You and feeling that way too.

It's a privilege to know you Daddy and I am so so very very grateful for it. Thank You for loving me first and loving me altogether.

I love you too and You remain my no 1 now and always.

Forever your little girl who loves you very much,
One xx

Thursday, 26 June 2014

No need to make a fuss, this is IT!

I was reading the book of Luke recently and in the 2nd Chapter, it describes the birth of Jesus. Now what impressed me was the fact that even though it had been revealed to Mary and Joseph that their baby was the promised Messiah, in addition to all the amazing signs that followed, 8 days after He was born, he was circumcised and named. Also, after the days of Mary's purification, according to the Law of Moses, just like every other child, the boy Jesus was presented in the temple.

This was the One whose birth was revealed by an angelic visitation to both parents, whose conception was by the power of the Holy Spirit, whose status as Messiah had already been confirmed in many ways, by different witnesses to His parents, yet His parents deemed it fit for him to go through the 'process' of life at that stage of his life... His whole life in terms of his development stage was just like every normal child.

He didn't wake up an adult, he didn't start prophesying the moment he came out of his mother's womb (that would have been a tad scary! lol), he didn't spend 3 months in the womb and then become born, he didn't grow teeth from the womb nor was he baptised before birth!

                                 Nah ah! Lol  - Pic Source                                             
Now my point in stating the above is that it struck me that this was the Messiah! If anyone had the grace to 'bypass' some 'processes' in life, he had all the justification, and ability to do so! But no, just like you and me, he went through the process.

The BIG lesson for me as I read was that it is important to 'go through the process'...

I related what I read in Luke to relationships (figures, right? lol). You know, sometimes we meet that person that we 'click' with so well... or probably even see a vision, have a dream or have a clear idea that this is clearly the one for and we jump right in, bypassing a few things here and there because we 'know' that this is IT.

The 'process' could include actually getting to know this person well, asking questions, gauging reactions to different things, working out how you work out differences and handle conflicts or celebrations. Discussing dreams and aspirations and checking that they align, and where they do not, prayerfully considering where compromise needs to come in.

The process could also include allowing yourself to be properly 'courted'.. No 'rush rush' something like that (borrowing the words of Princess the Comedian lol). Going out on dates where possible and having very necessary conversations or just generally being with the person, to understand both spoken and unspoken modes of communication.

Some brothers have 'fallen my hand' a number of times when I hear stories of them 'receiving' for a sister (that is when the Lord has revealed to them that you are his wife) and expecting that from then on, 'sharp sharp', things just have to follow quick quick.. No wonder they say that 'brothers' could be the most unromantic of men lol.. How about having the privilege of that wonderful information (because it's a real privilege when God does reveal things to you), and then 'wooing' her properly. Pray brother pray, but in addition to that, buy her flowers, ask her out to dinner, think of creative ways to go the extra mile - after all, faith without works is dead right?

Also, sometimes, when the waiting period has been quite a while, it is great to meet someone wonderful and want to progress things fast, but it is also important to ensure that we are not carried away by the headiness of love and the experience of waiting for a while that we forget to get to know the person properly too. One of my favourite Preachers on relationships Pastor Bimbo Odukoya of blessed memory once used the analogy of a woman who experiences some delay in having children, she said even if she takes in at the age of 45 or so, would God say ok because I see that time has really passed, don't bother about 9months, in 3months have the baby! No, infact you would be very worried if it happened that way.

I guess I just wanted to remind you that yes you may have received the perfect confirmation, waited quite long, wanted it so bad, but don't be afraid of, or forget to go through the process. Don't bypass certain things or excuse certain things because of that.

Race to the altar? lol Pic Source
You deserve that time of courtship, you deserve the romance too (no matter how brief), most importantly, you deserve to get information. You would never know everything about the person you intend to marry during courtship but I dare say that it would probably make you better prepared for the significant journey ahead. xx

Saturday, 21 June 2014

A Faith Transformed

After the post A Belief and a Spoken Word was published on the blog, I received a very heart-warming email from a lady who blogs at www.withtomi.com sharing her own experience too. To be honest, I am always interested in, and excited to read or listen to people's experience of how they started a relationship with God and I hope to feature as many as possible here.

One of the things I love about reading individual experiences is that it goes to show that this walk with God is a relationship.. It's not an enigma or a mystery, it's very real and anyone at all can access it through Jesus.

I hope that you are blessed as you read. Also, please visit Tomi's blog, it's really fantastic!

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Tomi
Here's my personal experience of my relationship with God when I received the Holyspirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues in February 2010, right there in my living room. I was reading a blog in which young people shared their testimonies of how they met Christ and I started crying as I read testimony after testimony and I was praying for that exactly. Right there and then, I started speaking in tongues, but because it wasn't flowing as much as I thought it should, I had doubts. Anyway, here's my testimony below :)

"OMG, its 13:00pm, need to get some breakfast/lunch, wait a minute I haven’t read my open heavens and Bible today. I better get that out of the way before going downstairs….ok, done!

Two hours later…

So what did I learn from the Bible today? Wow, I can’t even remember. Anyway Lord, you know I’m trying, it’s just that I don’t seem to understand what I read. That’s not my fault, is it?

Sunday morning…

Oh my, I’m really enjoying this sleep, wish I could continue. Oh no, I can’t, I need to go to church. That’s what Christians do on Sunday morning, right? Hang on, I should read my Bible and pray before going, no, it doesn’t really matter, that’s what I’ll be doing in church anyway.

During the sermon…

‘You can’t say you are in love with God and go clubbing/raving’- good for me, I don’t club. ‘You can’t say you’re a Christian and you are an adulterer or fornicator’ - cool, cool, I don’t do that either. ‘You can’t say you are a Christian and you don’t have a personal relationship with God’- well, *clears throat*, Lord, you know I’m really trying here. I’m not saying You don’t want me or You don’t love me, after all, my pastor says you love me, but things are just not the way they ought to be between us. Ok, this time around, something has got to change. I’ve got to make a move, have got to do something. Yes, a change is coming. This time, I’m for real!

Monday ‘morning devotion’…

I still don’t understand these things. I’m really trying to be good now, but some things are just not clicking. I need help!

On the internet…

Oh look, Claire has added new pictures; it’s probably the ones from her birthday. Hey, I’ve got a Facebook message, hope it’s a good one…*hiss* I think I’m going to leave this group, they keep sending me messages about reading new posts on their blog. I’m not interested!

On Facebook again…

It’s already 1.30am and I’m still not sleeping. Facebook is so addictive. Whooo, new message…Again, I better leave this group right now. Erm, on second thoughts, let me have a look at the blog… reading, reading, reading, *slowly, I’m breaking down into tears*, wow, God you actually speak, you speak to all of these people, they have a personal relationship with you. *weeping more profusely* God I want this, I want this so badly, fill me with your Holyspirit. Lord please, slowly but surely I begin to say some things. I have no understanding of what they are, and it’s not fluent like I thought it would be. Maybe, I was just saying things on my own. Anyway, I’m sending a message to the blogger, I’m telling her about my experience.

In the evening…

I’m reading her response now “I jumped in thanksgiving to God when I read the few lines”. How can she be so excited when I’m not even sure about what I’m saying. I read on, “don’t let doubts get in your way, just keep speaking. There’s nothing wrong. The thing is your mind doesn’t understand it, so it tells you that you are saying rubbish”. Ok, this is getting clearer.

And from then on…

I just love reading the bible; I understand everything so much better now. Holyspirit, you make everything so easy. I feel like a veil has been taken off my face. I can see everything more clearly now. I hear You through Your word more clearly now. Though, that bit was hard for me to understand. I found it difficult to personalize the Bible; after all, everyone was reading the same thing too. That reminds me, I remember reading Matthew chapter 7 to Matthew chapter 11 one night and there was this verse that caught my attention. By the time I finished reading, I had absolutely no idea where it was. I mean, I was looking for one verse out of the 173 verses I had just read. I asked the Holyspirit, and He told me the EXACT verse. Need I say I was gobsmacked! Unknown to me at that time, that particular verse was the answer to a question I had been asking God for a while. So, He actually does speak through His word, because He is the Word (John 1:1)

God is so awesome in every way, and there is no limit to what can be known about Him. I leave you with this verse Jeremiah 9:23-24

"Thus says the LORD:
“ Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
24 But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight,” says the LORD."

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Would you like to experience this wonderful encounter and relationship too? Just say this simple prayer with me - 'Jesus, thank You for dying for my sins on the cross. I appreciate and acknowledge your sacrifice. I want to invite you into my life today Lord. I believe in my heart that You are Lord and I want You to be my Lord. Please forgive me for my sins and make me brand new today in Jesus name. Thank You for a new start, I give You praise. Amen'

Wow! Congratulations, your life just became amazing! Welcome to a new life, a new relationship :-) xxxx

Ps If you prayed that prayer or want to know a bit more about all that has been said above, please send me an email at oneplustheone@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!

Also, if you would like to share your own experience too, please send me an email.

Have a wonderful weekend people! Lots of loveeee xxxxx


Friday, 20 June 2014

Dear Daddy

My dearest Daddy,

King of kings and Lord of lords, Lover of my soul, Jehovah! Today Oh, I want to lift up my voice in praise, because when I remember your promises I just want to shout Halleluyah, when I think about your goodness oh Jesus, my very soul screams HALLELUYAH!

Daddy, here's my worship, take joy in it, make it your dwelling place, your little girl just wants to put a smile on your face..

I stand amazed in your presence, there is nothing You cannot do! Your presence amazes me, your glory surrounds me, who is there like You Oh Lord?! You who created us in Your Likeness.
You are the air I breathe, Your very presence living in me. You are beautiful beyond description, too marvellous for words. You are the Love of my life, the Hope that I cling to.
Among all the gods, who is like You? Glorious in holiness, Fearful in Praises, always doing wonders - Water You turned into wine, opened the eyes of the blind, there's no one like You. I could search through all eternity Lord and still find that there is none like You - nobody greater than You!

My Covenant Keeping God, there is no one like You, You alone are worthy to be praised and adored. Alpha, Omega, you are worthy of my praise today and forever. With You, I know I'm covered and for Your glory I would do anything... Just to see you, to behold You as my King.

Oh Lord you reign! Forever you're the same... Ancient of Days, as old as you are, You never change! God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Jehovah the Man of War. You are the Everlasting God, you do not change, You do not grow weary. Jehovah is Your name, mighty Warrior, great in battle! You are the most High God, Glory, glory Lord!

Father today, I declare my everlasting love for you, I lift up my hands standing unashamed because to worship You I live.

Arise oh God! Be enthroned in my praise, it's yours alone.

Always and forever Your little girl,
One
For whom mercy said no xx

When the spirit of the Lord is upon my heart.... :-D



Thursday, 19 June 2014

Chronicles of Sebastian - Knowledge, Love and its Connection *Curtain Falls*


I know this blog covers a lot of 'heart things' - emotions, relationships, friendships etc.. Today, we’ll move a bit up the body towards the head, to talk about knowledge, the mind and wisdom. When it comes to knowing stuff, I observed that we tend to go into extremes - if someone knows too little, he is labeled as being an “imbecile” without having “number 6”, yet if someone knows a lot, they are sometimes accused of reading “too much book” or maybe even of being arrogant. In universities and churches people complain that there’s a wide gap between theory and practice. We know that knowledge is somehow good, but people in history and present times are often ultimately assigning more value to feelings and practical things. However, I firmly believe that it’s not “either heart or head”, but both “head and heart”. We were created to love God and people with everything in us - our heart, mind and soul (Mt 22:37). Knowledge, if dealt with properly, can actually lead to more love and affection. So let’s have a look at how this can be possible:

1. Be Curious. Some people wondered whether I really just stayed for one semester in Nigeria. Now, I no be lying, I really just spent a few months in Nigeria, although these months were really intense. I think one thing that helped me in learning much in a short time was my natural curiosity. As a small child, to the dismay of my parents, I often broke their technological things by experimenting with them. Even when we grow older, I believe we should still be curious about the world around us. Back in Naija, I asked myself questions such as: "Why are things done this way?" "What is on the mind of this gateman?" "Why do birthday guests “clean the chair” with money?" "Why do most people vote by tribe and not by party?" "How do people perceive politics?" "What is this 'NYSC' that everyone is talking about and what are they doing there?" "Why do so many sellers never have "balance" (lol)?" "What is the difference between garri, eba and fufu?".
Be inquisitive, be interested and explore the world around you with a sense of wonder - there is so much to learn if we’re willing to take the eyes off ourselves. The funny thing is that you will actually learn more about yourself by interacting with others, since contrasts help us to be aware of who we are.
Even in a relationship, curiosity is a great tool to know your partner in a better way. What does he or she like? What makes her tick? How does her family differ from mine? If you stop being curious about your spouse, you’re essentially saying “I got you, there is nothing I need to know anymore”. I always feel honored when friends ask me questions about myself, it signifies interest and care. At the same time, I don’t like people who are so sure about who I am that they put me into a box and leave me there suffocating … lol.
Education and knowledge might frighten some people in Nigeria (e.g. Boko Haram), since educated people can question the status quo and think for themselves; but as much as possible, never let anyone drown out your curiosity abeg.

2. Read non-fiction and fiction books: See these books? 

Chai! Diarris...
In order to write a term paper on my experiences in Nigeria, I went through some of them. Reading them was such an interesting and eye-opening experience! You see, if you just read news about a country on the internet, you only get a superficial view - Boko Haram, kidnapping and other catastrophes. But digging history and “yesterday talk” really helped me to see how past events impact nowadays life in Nigeria; how artificial colonial borders put together many different tribes into one country, how the discovery of oil boosted both economy and corruption and how many other things are related to history.
While non-fictional books help us to see the “big picture”, reading fiction (such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novels) enabled me to enter “someone else’s mind” and see their world through their eyes. I was often so immersed in African novels that I felt I connected and sympathized with them and their way of thinking. Once you read novels, you’ll learn a lot of “emotional truths” which can shape the way you interact with real and actual human beings. I often find myself being a little less judgmental and more understanding of others when I just finish a good book.
PS: I know books can be expensive, but I borrow most of my books from the library or buy them electronically (Kindle books are far cheaper than real ones). In Nigeria I also found a lot of pirated copies to be fairly cheap, but it’s up to your conscience to decide whether you like to get them. :-)

3. Process your thoughts by presenting them to others. “Thoughts disentangle themselves passing over the lips and through pencil tips." Once you try to explain someone else what you think or feel, you are forced to make your foggy thoughts somehow understandable by breaking them down for others. That process is immensely helpful and reason enough for talking (and writing) openly with others and not just keeping everything for yourself. Writing these “Chronicles of Sebastian“ has helped me personally to be aware of what I’ve experienced and learnt. I had to force myself to think: “Yeah, what did I actually learn about Naija worship / love / time etc.?” The same goes for spiritual truths: I remember my own spiritual lessons best by sharing them in sermons, conversations, writings etc. If I just keep everything to myself, I’ll suffer “spiritual obesity” :-)
So I would like to encourage you to write down your experiences and thoughts (e.g. in a diary), to jot down your “spiritual takeaways” in sermons or your “quiet times” and to, if appropriate, share some of your thoughts with good friends or even publicly (e.g. on a blog). It really sharpens your thinking.

My oldest sister gave me a map before my trip to Naija :-)
4. Be an expert in one or two areas. We all know how to say a little on politics, relationships or money. In order to go beyond the superficial and the general, you might need to specialize in a few areas you care about.
You really love the dynamics of relationships? Go ahead, become an “expert” - ask people, go on conferences, read books, structure your thoughts, help others. Personally, I love everything African and I aspire to know a little more about the continent and its people than most Germans do. For example, yesterday I went to a reading of the Kenyan author Meja Mwangi, who came to my city to read from his book “Rafiki”. It was interesting to notice differences between Kenya and Nigeria. Other people might be passionate not so much about cultures, but about businesses, family, natural hair or education and that’s totally fine. Do your thing, become better in it and help people to be successful in this area. 

Be an expert in your field
5. Acknowledge your limitations. Paul warns us that “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” (1 Cor 8:2) The more we know, the more we are prone to put our trust and our pride into our knowledge. Before going to Nigeria, I went to Senegal. Now I intentionally had to force myself to not just trust my prior experiences. I could have just said “I know now, how things work”, but it was good to admit that I needed to start afresh, to “re-depend” on God again, to come to Nigeria with a teachable attitude.
The same principle applies to the opposite sex: My lovely sisters revealed many mysteries of how women think and act. Yet, once I left my home and started talking with other girls, I noticed how different each woman still is and how I cannot really apply my general knowledge to every girl in the world. I had to learn to see each girl and each person as an individual instead of pretending to be the “know-it-all”. In Nigeria as well as in Germany I have met some people who are so sure of what they believe (about denominations, other tribes, other people) that they never even consider other voices. That’s dangerous, since the moment we stop listening to and learning from others, conflict and pride are just around the corner.
Considering all the things we don’t know yet, I believe we just have to confess that we “no sabi nothing”. This will keep us humble and teachable. Don’t trust your past, your experience, your money, your self-help books or your wisdom - be “soft clay” and trust God instead. 

My lovely sisters and I
6. Use all your knowledge and experiences to the glory of God and the good of others. You can only love someone you know. Humans naturally don’t care about strangers. Thus, the more you desire to know God, His attributes, His works, His ways, His creation and His people, the more you begin to wonder and appreciate Him for his great power, creativity and for the gifts He bestowed on us. So don’t just read the Bible, read it with a sense of expectation and amazement, just as you try to get to know a loved one :) 

With some great Nigerians I met in Germany
After coming back to Germany, my prayer was that I would be able to use my knowledge and my experience to the good of others. I am immensely grateful that He answered my prayer and opened up some doors in Germany (e.g. speaking at conferences) and led me to some really kind Nigerians in my environment. He also used Ayo to encourage me to write for this blog and I hope that my write-ups have blessed or encouraged you in one way or the other. Unfortunately, I’ve decided to “call it a day” and finish the series for now. I’ve tried to pass on some of the most important experiences, observations and lessons I’ve learnt. Recently I sensed that I’ve exhausted the little knowledge I got, so I thought it would be wise to end it here.

Once again I want to thank all of you for reading my stuff, for supporting me, for writing comments and for creating a lovely atmosphere here. Your contributions really helped me to keep up the work for three months!
I will keep on reading this blog and try to contribute to this awesome community to the best of my ability, so we won’t have to say good-bye for good :-)

                                     

So finally, let me share my last point:

7. Know what’s truly important. At the end of the day, there is a lot to know about and a lot of things we will never know. Our minds and our time are limited; so in order to live your life well, you need to know what you ought to know. So what really matters? What do we leave behind? Looking back at Nigeria, at my life; I think of the faces of people that I’ve met, the encounters we had and the memories we created. The moments of joy, the winks in class, the stories we shared, the hug in the end. Then, I think of someone less visible, of someone whose face I’ve never seen - Jesus. The man who made all this possible, who changed me into the man I am now, enabling me to meet and truly love all these people in the first place, by saving me, from my sin, my pride, my self-centeredness and my idols. Knowing Him, and knowing all those He created and loves is what really matters. To do that, we might need to read, to ask, to look and to learn – learn about all the ways in which we can know and love Him and others better. But ultimately, it’s just that: knowing Him, and knowing them. And since true, intimate and heartfelt knowledge leads to the love we were made for, the love we ought to appreciate and the love we ought to share (1 John 4:7); go for that knowledge, the knowledge that really matters.

Thank you very much and God bless you :-)

Sebastian


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Wow.. What an amazing way to end the series Sebastian *standing ovation*.. 
I have met many great people in life and I will definitely count Sebs as one of them. Even though I have actually never met him face-to-face, I have been truly blessed to know this wonderful and kind-hearted man who is consistent in his encouragement, humble, very reliable, open and has such a heart for God.
When he told me that the series was coming to an end as really there's only so much that one can write about a 6-month experience, I sent him a one-line response "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo" lol. The answer hasn't changed but I understand the wisdom of his decision :-).. 
Thank you Sebs from the bottom of my heart for being a blessing and for yielding yourself to be used so greatly to be a blessing!

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For all previous Chronicles of Sebastian posts, please click HERE
Please visit Sebastian's blog http://seb2nigeria.wordpress.com/ It's in German, however you can use 'Google translate' if English translation is required - Lovely lovely blog!

Remember you can send an email: oneplustheone@gmail.com
Follow on Twitter: @1plustheone

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Waiting and Loving It!!! Feat Bukki and Sheun David-Onamusi

YayyY! It's another Waiting and Loving It feature today and I am excited about today's fabulous couple! (as always :-).. It's a real privilege to be allowed a glimpse into the world of the many wonderful couples who have been featured on here. I truly celebrate you all and thank you for using your experiences to bless the lives of others.

**Before I go on, I would like to crave your indulgence to please digress.. I have a wonderful blog-friend who is amazingly gifted and talented, some of you may know the lovely Atilola who blogs HERE and has built a great business called African Naturalistas - for all things natural hair! She's been nominated for an International Competition called The Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Contest and I would really appreciate it if you could take 2mins (only) of your time to vote for her HERE.. Not to worry, once you are done, Waiting and Loving It would be right here :-) Thanks a lot beautiful people :-) xx

Ok, now that you've voted (thanks a lot!! :-)), I present to you a truly beautiful couple who have chosen to put God at the centre of their home and have so kindly agreed to be today's feature on the blog.. They waited and are loving it!! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the very lovely (fashionista, hot-stepper) Bukki and her husband Sheun (Still and always dapper :-) David-Onamusi! Enjoy and be blessed...

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Mr and Mrs David-Onamusi
Hiya Bukki and Sheun, thanks a lot for being a part of the blog today, it's great to have you on the 'love' seat :-). Could you kindly introduce yourselves please?

Thank you! We are Sheun & Bukki David-Onamusi and we have been married for over 18months now :-)
We love life and we love people. We are passionate followers of Christ and are determined to make a tremendous impact on the face of the earth. We have a heart for young people, having said that we are young people ourselves lol. We enjoy playing Badminton, eating out, watching stage plays and meeting new people.

'WE'
That's lovely! I like the way you respond as a unit 'we' :-D. Could you tell us how you both met?

Bukki: We met at a friend’s birthday party where a mutual friend introduced me to Sheun for him to give me a ride home as I had no way of getting home.

Sheun: We met at a mutual friend’s get-together, I gave her a ride home.

Lol.. Ok, thank God for rides home. So after the ride, what next? What was the attraction that made you want to marry each other?

Bukki, please say you'll be my wife :-)
Sheun: We had great and meaningful conversations.

Bukki: He was funny and light-hearted and struck me as a focused young man.

We both got along very well and we had convictions from God that we were right for each other.

Beautiful. Now for the main question, what made you both make the decision to wait?

We did because we knew it was the right thing to do as Christians, as we had an understanding that sex is a gift from God. Sex is God’s idea not Hollywood’s idea. However, sex only glorifies God and was created by God SOLELY for the context of marriage between a man and a woman. Sex outside of marriage was not God’s intent and is a perversion of God’s original intent so we looked to God knowing this could only be achieved by His Grace and by His Spirit that lives in us. 

We knew that we could only achieve the decision to wait by God’s grace so we never looked to our self-will to make it happen from the get-go. There were times it got difficult because we were very attracted to each other and cared deeply for one another but we both had each other’s backs at the same time by being the stronger person when the other person was feeling vulnerable. 

                      We had each other's backs, we have each other's backs..                        
That's the thing, sometimes people know it's the right thing to do but doing it is what may be seen as challenging. How did you both make it work?

We had boundaries we put in place to further help protect our decision such as not indulging in French kissing during our courtship…. French kissing stimulates one's sexual desire and we did not think it would be wise to indulge in it if we wanted to maintain sexual purity and even though this decision proved very tough we were able to stick with it by God's grace.
We were tempted many times! Lol! These boundaries helped us a lot, however it was ultimately our reliance on God’s grace and our tenacity to stick to our decision to glorify God that saw us through. 

Thank God for His grace indeed! Thank you so much for being real. Do you have any last nuggets for us?

We would say, don’t indulge in stolen waters. It is worth the wait when you do it God’s way. Sex is God’s gift to us and in marriage you enjoy it so much and will get to do it as much as you want till you are tired even LOL! God rewards openly what we do and who we are in secret. The best part is this, God is not expecting you to do it on your own or in your strength, His strength is made perfect in our weakness and it is through Him alone that you can do it so rest in that. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”

Word! That's fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing with us today... At this point, I think it would be great to give you some 'you' moments.. Any 'last' words to each other? 

Bukki: 
"Seanie Bunny, you are God’s gift to me and I could not have asked for a better partner to do life with. You inspire me every day and I love you to the moon and back!"

Sheun: 
"Bukki Pie, God flattered me when He sent you my way and I keep falling in love with you day by day as you show me different sides of the amazing woman you are and continue to become."

Marriage to us is: Growth, Companionship and Synergy!
Bukki and Sheun are committed to living for God, spreading His love and inspiring other young people to be the best and live a purposeful life. It's truly wonderful to see the passion with which they do it. 
You can engage with Sheun via his website: www.sheundavidonamusi.com and on Instagram & Twitter: @stilldapper
In addition, you can subscribe to Bukki's Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/oasiswithbdo as well as follow on Instagram too: @mrsbdo

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Aww, isn't it lovely to be in love? *cheesy smile*.. I think it's even more beautiful when God is the foundation of that love. It's priceless to honour God in everything, particularly in one of the most important areas of our lives which is our life-time relationship to one man or woman in marriage. God makes the difference always and like the David-Onamusis said, when you make a decision to obey God in your relatonship, it may be difficult sometimes, but God doesn't expect us to rely on our own strength. His grace is more than sufficient for you and I.

Please click HERE for other wonderful Waiting and Loving It Couples!

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Do you have any question, or would you or someone you know like to be featured here? Please do not hesitate to contact us!
Email - oneplustheone@gmail.com
Twitter - @1plustheone
Facebook - www.facebook.com/1plustheone



Saturday, 14 June 2014

A Belief and a Spoken Word!

I remember that lovely day in May 2008. I was preparing for an event I was responsible for at Uni and I had been speaking to potential partners and sponsors.

I sat across the wonderful woman who remains my mentor today, and we talked. She was very well known for her achievements and numerous people admired and looked up to her.

As we rounded off the discussion, she began to talk about this great relationship she had. How it had totally transformed her life and how she couldn't have achieved any of the things she had without it. She spoke about the importance of having great dreams and goals, but how they eventually mean nothing the day we die - which is an inevitable end. 

I listened with interested attention but thought within me, a bit amused that oh she doesn't know I know about what she's talking about and I already had that relationship. But our discussion captivated me still as she spoke in such a way that I knew I hadn't experienced. 

I was a Christian, yes. I had committed my life to Jesus from a young age, yes. But what I got to know later on was that that day would become a defining moment for me. 

You see, I had indeed come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour at a young age but as the years passed, I had 'allowed' a few compromises, mellowed here and there and I guess the reason why was probably because I didn't fully understand the full implication of the decision I made that beautifully wonderful night of the 31st of December, 1999.

But that afternoon in May changed that. I will never forget the scripture reference that she shared 'Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will be added to you' (Matt 6:33) and 'For what profit is it to a man if He gains the whole world and loses his own soul?' (Matt 16:26)

Hmmm, indeed, what profit is it if I become the greatest on earth, marry the best, be the wealthiest, have the most amazing children, be at the peak of my career, yet when it all ends, spend eternity in hell? Heaven on earth, hell for eternity? That's too huge an error to make. 

Now, what makes the difference is a simple yet awesome relationship. All it takes is a belief and a spoken word. The bible says that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you'll be saved (Romans 10:9)

It's really that straightforward. 

I don't know if you've ever made that decision, or if like me, you did, but the real impact of it hasn't yet sunk in so it's been casual all along. Jesus is serious about you, very serious. 

I invite you to the best and most important relationship you could ever have. 

Like me, your life will never be the same. There's a big change, a good change. There's fulfilment and the beginning of living a purposeful life. With Jesus, you find purpose. 

There's breaking of bad habits that could destroy, there's love - so deep, so rich, so sure. There's healing - oh yes there's healing - emotional and physical. There's mercy. There are so many things, I cannot begin to count but I can tell you that Jesus makes the difference. 

If you would like to take that step right now, just say a simple prayer with me - 'Jesus, thank You for dying for my sins on the cross. I appreciate and acknowledge your sacrifice. I want to invite you into my life today Lord. I believe in my heart that You are Lord and I want You to be my Lord. Please forgive me for my sins and make me brand new today in Jesus name. Thank You for a new start, I give You praise. Amen'

Wow! Congratulations, your life just became amazing! Welcome to a new life, a new relationship :-) xxxx

Ps If you prayed that prayer or want to know a bit more about all I've said above, please send me an email at oneplustheone@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!

Have a wonderful weekend people! Lots of loveeee xxxxx