Thursday, 18 December 2014

Joy This Christmas (JTC) - Reaching out to the Needy and Orphaned Children this Christmas


Christmas is here again!!!!

I am sure you are as excited as I am about this beautiful season of love, giving and sharing! If you haven't yet caught the Christmas spirit, here you go *catch* I'm sending you some from my overflow

At this time, a lot of people have put plans in motion of what they would do to celebrate this special time of the year - spend time with family, give and receive presents, eat a variety of food (well, more like stuff your face, lol), go for Christmas carols and hang out with friends generally.

While Christmas is traditionally a season of joy and celebration, this may not be the case for everyone as for some - especially disadvantaged people, Christmas is a sad reminder of what they do not have as their lack becomes even more glaring.

YOU CAN do something to make a contribution to changing that this year and bring joy, hope and laughter to an orphaned child's life through the 'Joy this Christmas' (JTC) project.


Some of the beautiful children with their gift boxes
This wonderful project was launched in 2012 by the Place of Victory Church, a registered charity in UK and Wales (Charity no: 1146646) in a drive to reach out to as many orphaned children as possible in Nigeria and ultimately across Africa through the participation of many interested people/parties like yourself.

With a contribution of N1500 or £5, you can pay for 1 gift box containing a variety of essential items such as personal effects (toothbrushes, slippers, t-shirts, pencils) and food (biscuits, food packs, candies, juice, water) for a child this Christmas and you can pay for as many boxes as you want to!

The first JTC outreach was done in December 2012 with 100 children beneficiaries. Last year, we went to 4 orphanages in Benin, Lagos and Ogun state. The joy and excitement on each child's face was wonderful to behold and they were full of gratitude at the generosity of the sponsors.
Bouncy Castle Time! Aunties and Uncles weren't left out :-D
The desire and aim is to make this year even better by reaching out to more children in orphanages across different cities in Nigeria and I would like to invite YOU to be a part of it!

You can sponsor 1,2,3,4.... as many gift boxes as possible and have the great privilege of being a part of the smile on a child's face - that's Christmas in action!


If you would like to be a part of this please visit the POV website http://www.placeofvictory.org.uk/?page_id=122 to learn more and make your online donation or contact any of the numbers below to get involved!

Nigeria
+234 805 678 6601 0r +234 817 960 0442

UK
+447944 701 400 + 447944 702 400.

You can also leave a comment or send a message to oneplustheone@gmail.com to get involved! (Deadline to give is this weekend please!)

We look forward to a truly Merry Christmas!

   

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Chronicles of Sebastian - A Star in the Night

Hello everyone!

Guess what?! We have another special guest star appearance by Sebastian! It's always a delight to receive a guest-post from him as I am sure just like me, you have missed the rich and funny Chronicles of Sebastian series where Sebastian shared with us weekly, his experience of him being a German student in Enugu (Nigeria) for 6months! So here goes wonderful people, another fantastic one 'A Star in the Night' by Sabba Sabba :-)

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LIGHT up for Jesus!
There were many things I loved doing in Nigeria. One of them was "star-gazing". There’s nothing quite like going out at night, sitting down, listening to the crickets and the frogs and watching the beautiful sky. With the mortar waking me up in the morning, the heat making me suffer at noon and all the chatter I enjoyed throughout the day, I really loved the quiet of the night. I know the quiet-thing doesn't work so well in "Lag" and even in Enugu it was sometimes not that calm at night, especially when in some night vigil, the preacher next door stretched the microphone’s capabilities by repeating "FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! SEND DA FIRE!".

Okay, back to the quiet lol… I've also prayed-oh! But especially at night it was more a calm prayer, when I reflected on the day, thanked God or just watched the stars. Particularly when NEPA took the light and there was no fuel for the gen, you could see the stars so clearly. If you’re in a village, star-gazing works even better, since there is less "light pollution" brightening up the sky with artificial lights. Spending Christmas in a village is probably a good opportunity for watching a clear sky. Now for all you romantics out there, doing that with your S.O./MGM (I’ve learnt all of these terms here on the blog! hehe) is probably a much more magical experience!

In Philippians 2, Paul uses this imagery of stars and night. He calls us to “shine like stars in the night”, night being a "twisted generation" (bad world), lights being us. Okay, now you might ask yourself, how do I do that? How can I be a light? By suffering for Jesus? Being an acclaimed pastor? Fighting poverty? Ending corruption? What does Paul say? Ready?: "Do all things without grumbling or disputing!" Wow, who would have expected that? "BE A LIGHT!!" How? "Don’t complain". It sounds too simple, too ordinary.

Yet, it is so true! We complain so much, don’t we? About bad service, annoying friends, uncomfortable situations, family pressure, the government, the weather, our work, our life, ourselves. I've heard that 30-40% of our conversations are about complaints. This number may vary from culture to culture, but I've found that people complain everywhere and in many situations - school, church, home, when we chat, jam bodi, etc. - we all be "gra gra" at times.

However, God wants us to be different. He wants us to be positive, to work without grumbling, to talk without nasty overtones, to not beef each other, to smile genuinely and to have a generally positive outlook at life. Because this can be so hard when we think we have all the reasons to complain, so here are some tips to fight complaining:

Smile, no grumbling today :-)
1. Let God work on your heart. You all know this, "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaketh"… God does not want us to put on a fake smile while deep down we resent everything. Complaining is usually a symptom that we are not satisfied with something, whether with small things or the world at large. Only God can give us a deep sense of contentment that goes beyond circumstances. He can help us by giving us the patience to cope with situations that we are not happy with or in control of; He can remove the pride in us that we always want to have it "our way" and when life or specific people or services don’t cater to us. We can honestly tell Him what’s on our hearts, we can lament and then ask Him to change us.

2. When you complain, have an aim. Not grumbling does not mean we can never utter criticism. Of course things need to get better, people misbehave, companies do anyhow: there is always room for improvement. But your complaint needs an aim - an aim to make it better. You can tell a friend what he or she is doing wrong and how he or she can avoid that in the future. That serves the person more than calling him or her "Idiottt!" and gossiping about him. If you don’t like something about your work, try to talk with your boss or your colleague about possible solutions. Now I know it’s not always that easy - fear, pride or emotions can come into play. In Nigeria, some debates end up in a huge quarrel where everyone talks at the same time in all sorts of languages, which actually looked quite funny from the outside… lol But even though it is sometimes hard to improve things, we should try to focus on solutions instead of just whining and doing nothing.

Correct in love :-)
3. Dwell on and share good things. You might ask, "But Sabba, what can I talk about if I don’t complain?" A couple of chapters later, in Philippians 4:8, Paul gives us an answer by encouraging us to "think about whatever is honorable, lovely, commendable etc.". Sometimes we can be so drawn to the negative that it is hard for us to talk about good things. But there is so much to talk about! Share a good story, show what a friend has done for you, what you have experienced or learnt, tell a joke etc. The key is to  redirect" your emotions and to focus on something or someone else. If you feel like grumbling, you can also just have a good conversation with someone and be genuinely interested in the person you’re talking to. This way you can often get a new perspective and forget about yourself for awhile.
Hehehe...
This very blog here is an excellent example of how all of this can work in practical terms: Not only through Ayo’s lovely posts, interviews and convos, but also through your comments, the blog’s positive spirit shines through! There is so much encouragement and hope that can be drawn from here. If we practice that in the real world as well; if we, in our individual lives, try to offer hope instead of grumbling, encouragement instead of harshness, purpose instead of cynicism and patience instead of frustration, we can be bright lights in the night. And even if you still have to watch the stars alone, just by being this kind of light in your environment you can already create "magic" in other people’s life. :)

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Another beautiful piece from Sebastian with a lot of wisdom and lessons from everyday activities! Thank you Sebs for this great reminder that God wants us to be His light here on earth. 
Like Sebs said, living in this world and holding yourself from complaining/grumbling is TOUGH! But that's what God asks of you and me. Let's start consciously practicing it, asking God for the grace to represent Him well!
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For all previous Chronicles of Sebastian posts, please click HERE
Also, you can 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
Facebook: www.facebook.com/1plustheone

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Da'Truth, Janette...Ikz, Ezekiel and More for Rhyme and Reason Concert in Lagos!

Hiya all!!

Have you watched this FANTASTIC spoken piece by Janette..ikz 'I Will Wait For You'?.. If you haven't, let me correct that and post it here :-)



It's one of the most powerful and brilliant pieces on waiting on God's best, that I have heard! I have listened to it so many times, yet it never gets old!

Now, the good news is that Janette..ikz will be in Lagos for the first time (EVER!) performing at a rap and spoken word concert 'Rhyme and Reason' in Lagos.. Landmark Event Centre, Oniru.

She won't be coming alone, but in tow with her Passion4ChristMovement (P4CM) 'brother' Ezekiel! Yes, yes, Ezekiel and Janette..ikz will be LIVE here in Lagos tomorrow evening!!

That's not all, one of the best gospel rappers of our time Da'Truth will be LIVE in concert, as well as our very own Superstar Atilola, RoofTop MCs, Kruseaphix, Lily Million, Provabs and more!!

I am excited just writing about it and I am literally counting down to what promises to be an EPIC and unforgettable night of rich spoken word, soul music and rap, ministering to not just our entertainment needs but deep down to our soul needs << --- What more could you ask for??

Make it a date tomorrow, SUNDAY, 14th of December at the Landmark Event Centre in Oniru, 5pm, (prompt).

Ticket details: N2500 (students with ID), N3500 (Regular) N10,000 (VIP)

For more information, you can visit www.rhymeandreasonconcert.com.. Also follow on Twitter and Instagram @rnrconcert .. Like on Facebook HERE

See you there!!!!!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy,

My Best and Greatest friend. Compassionate, Beautiful, Kind, Loving, Merciful, Gracious..

Oh your GRACE Daddy. How mighty is your wonderful grace.. Like the song writer says, it's Amazing - Amazing Grace.

King of my heart, today I want to revel and focus on your grace. Your grace that we could never buy, we couldn't afford it even if we tried. Your grace towards us Your children is so wonderful, it's a strong reminder of how deep Your love for us Your children is.

Where would I be if Your grace didn't keep me, hold me, sustain me? It's Your grace that shines on us Your children to make the difference - not by power, nor by might, but only by Your grace. We could never hold claim to anything we are or anything we have, You own it all, You give it all, it's only by Your grace.

Your grace ensures that often times, we don't get what we deserve, rather Your grace covers us. Daddy, your grace goes hand-in-hand with mercy and favour, it does not walk alone. We receive mercy and the forgiveness of our sins by grace, your amazing grace. We get the strength and ability to obey and walk with You by Your grace.

The beautiful thing about Your grace is that it's not only FREE, it is unmerited - we truly don't deserve it but Rose of Sharon, out of Your incredible love for us, You give us anyway. Thank You.

Your grace humbles me Daddy. I am aware that but for Your grace, I would be lost, I would be nothing, I would be irrelevant.. but for Your grace. Words cannot begin to describe how deeply grateful I am to You.

It's Your grace that found me when I was lost, Your grace took me in all my shortcomings and cleaned me real nice. Your grace disregarded the bad things I had done (and still do sometimes.. sorry!) and chose to lovingly make me Your royal priesthood, Your very own, daughter of the Most High God! Your grace gave me a clean slate, a brand new start, a shot at eternity! Thank You for Your grace!

Your grace sustains me, it holds me, and in Your daughter Tasha Cobbs' voice, "I'm mighty grateful for Your grace!".

Oh, I could go on and on Daddy but I 'll stop here for now.. However, I leave You with this wonderful expression of love from Your daughter (my sister :-)) Tasha Cobbs...

God loves me, adores me
Watches over me, you are for me
Grace loved me, and it’s not what I deserved
And nothing that I’ve earned
But daily
Grace saves me.

[Chorus:]
Oh but for your grace
Oh but for your grace
Oh but for your grace
I’d be lost but for your grace

I love You Daddy, and I am forever grateful to You.

Your Daughter by Grace,
One xx





Friday, 5 December 2014

Dear Daddy

My dearest Daddy,

Where do I start from? How do I even begin to praise and honour You?

You are wonderful, You are simply full of wonder!

I thank You for making me understand more and more the depth of Your love for me, Your compassion towards me, the fact that You are mindful of my every weakness and compassionate towards me.

Thank You for looking after me.. Oh Lord, You do look after me so well and I cannot express my gratitude to You enough. Thank You because I am so sure that You have only my best interest at heart. Lord, sometimes I reflect on how deep Your love for me is and I am just blown away, amazed at how a God like You could love a girl like me so much! Thank You Daddy.

I could never fathom how deep Your love is. Just when I think I get it, You show me a new dimension. Thank You for never giving up on me, for never looking down on me, for never despising me. Thank You because you 'get' me.. You 'get'  me real good.

All I want to say to You is THANK YOU.. Daddy, this girl here, YOUR girl is grateful. Thank You, Ese, Dalu, Nagode, Diolch, Shokran...

I love You now and forever,
One xx

PS I join your children here in Lagos at the Experience and in Manchester at the Festival of Praise in joyful Halleluyah, singing Your praise - To You alone be all the glory. I acknowledge You, I reverence You, I honour You, I bow before You, I worship You, One and Only True Living God.


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Conversations with One: MY Money Vs OUR Money!

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another edition of Conversations with One!!

A little introduction for first-timers:

Conversations with One is a chat-series on the blog.

Each week, the 1 + TheOne panel (made up of beloved and very wise friends with a variety of personalities) and I bring you snippets of our 'round-table' discussions from a male/female perspective.. We talk about any and every thing!!

Ladies! Have you ever wanted to get into the mind of a guy? (I know I do! lol), and for guys, I bet once in a while you wish you could just read her mind! Well hopefully week after week, we get to bridge that gap!

You can have a look at the last conversation where we discussed the wisdom of abandoning your career or dream for someone you are in a relationship with. You can read it and other previous episodes HERE.

Alrighty, now to this week's topic which came as a dilemma.. Please read:
Is it OUR money or MY money? I am an Executive Director at a bank and my husband is a bank Manager. I earn more than him but as the man, I believe he should still be fully responsible for providing for the family. I believe spending my salary is dependent on how I want to. Am I wrong in wanting my husband to bear full responsibility as the man and head of the home?
Also, during courtship, should this topic be discussed/agreed or should it wait till after we get married?
It's mine not ours!
Money and Marriage!! Hmmm.. It's usually a tricky one.. Interestingly, before this question came, the money issue had come up a few times in the past few days and I have heard a variety of responses with very strong arguments too.. Should we have joint accounts? Can the woman be the bread-winner and have a full-time Dad at home? etc etc.. What's your thought on this? Let's talk!

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Mr Motivation: In view of the topic at hand, I feel that a marriage should be seen as a UNIT and that should be held at the forefront of this discussion. As someone will say, "There is no "I" in TEAM" so money should be seen as "OUR" money and not "MY" money. Having said this, I believe that it is financial wisdom for both couples to also have personal savings as a means of a back-up should the joint account be running low. This personal savings account could also serve as a vessel for both individuals to satisfy their peculiar material cravings. But I must say that financial discipline is vital here, regarding how the personal account is also managed. Just because I have always dreamt of having a Ferrari doesn't mean I will empty my personal savings after having put in a certain percentage in the joint account, to acquire such a luxury at the expense of my family's well-being.

Cruising in my Ferrari while my family be sipping on some Garri...
As for such a discussion being had during the period of courtship, I feel it should take place. By doing so, it averts any chance of disagreement in the future and also aids both parties to be well aware of their partners financial perspectives as well as strengths and weaknesses.

Ms PumpkinUnited: I totally concur with Mr Motivation ..it should be seen from the perspective of a 'we we' thing not 'I , I' considering that in marriage two become one but at the same time also be wise enough for both parties to put something aside for the rainy-day.. 

One: Thank you very much Motivation! Ok, so you're saying joint + personal savings...
For me, I think if you love/trust someone enough to marry them + share your body and destiny with them, money should not be separated in terms of ownership.. I am strictly team-'what is yours is mine and what is mine is yours'.. No demarcation.
Now this is me saying it but it would be interesting to know how practical it is, particularly when one is way richer than the other...

Both not quite smiling to the bank...
As for discussing during courtship - you know I used to think it was too 'carnal' or at best trivial to be discussing money during courtship until I started to hear how important it was in marriage.. I thought we would just 'go with the flow' but having heard how it could cause major issues, I am all for talking it out before and during marriage too!

Ms PumpkinUnited: Financial talk is a must during courtship. As for when the wife earns more than the husband .. I believe in the school of thought that a woman should submit to her hubby in all things including finances, if indeed we are one and he is the head then let me give him that respect as the man, head and husband that he is, after all we are one, so it doesn't matter who earns more cause in the end, the money is being dropped in a common pool. I know this might sound easier said than done but not when its something you've thought about and willingly taken a decision on before time..

Miss Me: I agree with Mr Motivation. I think it is quite selfish to place the financial burden solely on the man especially when he may not have as much as the woman does. I doubt most of us would want to earn more than the man, the head of the home, but if I do find myself in that situation, it'll definitely be OUR money, as the song says we're all in this together!!! As much as I don't support this notion, I have heard of women who actually have their salaries paid into their husband's account and he manages the funds and gives her whatever he deems fit! This is definitely an extreme but it will definitely help to avoid any financial arguments!! :-) Seriously though, I believe the woman should only keep her money for herself, if the man is able to sufficiently provide for all their needs as well as afford some luxuries for himself! Oh and of course, talk talk talk about it during courtship, but be prepared to be flexible during the actual test!

Here darling, here's my pay for the month. 
One: Nice one! Thanks my darling MissMe.. Yes oh, that paying money into the man's account came up in discussions lol.. I actually subscribe to it :-).. Caveat is as long as you have a responsible and loving husband.. Unfortunately, some men would help you squander the money well well.. But may that not be our portion in Jesus name!

NubianPrincess: I never really gave this much thought to be honest till Boo dearest and I had the financial talk and I had to really define how I felt about this area. We're aligned.... Full joint account all the way. Whatever can't be done from the family purse, can't be done!

My parents also have joint accounts and it's worked very well for them. In fact, up till very recently, the banks only recognised my mum. The few times dad will go in, they'll call her to verify. LOOL!

Another example is of an amazing ex-colleague of mine... Her husband foots all the bills in the house, sorts out the kids and gives her "chop" money even, but every month, when she's paid, she takes her salary to him and asks what they should do with it, and he usually says keep your money my dear and prays on it with her. They're very happy in their marriage.

God bless my wife's income
One: Sorry I have to butt in, but mehn iLikee! lol

NubianPrincess: Lol.. Yet another example, my friend earns more than her husband... They've been married about 2 years now. Money used to be a big issue and they used to fight a lot, but one day, she prayed about it and purposed in her heart that money won't be an issue in her marriage. They don't have a joint account but they share bills depending on how things are looking that month.

In summary, different couples know how it works for them and how they handle financial issues. It's a great idea to speak about it during courtship and be flexible. Form your own rules as a couple depending on your unique situation. Also decide who will handle the finances and how you will save as a couple.

And an extra note for the guys: Be open about your finances. Believe me, when the woman knows what's coming in, she's able to save and stretch that much better. :-)

Be open, one to another..
One: Great stuff.. Thanks a lot NubianP.. And yes, I concur, be open about your income, it helps a great deal.. (That should be a topic for another day - should you reveal how much you earn to your spouse?)

Mr NumeroUno: There are two issues I see.
1. The general principle that should apply to marriages/courtship in general
2. A question specific to a woman who earns more than her spouse. And also believes her earnings should be spent at will, while his lesser earning should be channelled to manage the home.

Let me quickly state that, men are usually the more selfish spouse in general, but in this case, permit me to say this is a selfish view point either in the secular or for a Christian woman.
If you check great men who became great. There is always a woman behind their success stories. A mother who sells her gold to ensure the child finishes school, another who sells akara and buys a common entrance form for the child. A woman who helped a man rise up and climb, etc. The stories are exhaustive.

One: Hmmm.. Speak on NumeroUno! :-)

Mr NumeroUno
: While some say the Proverbs 31 woman is a myth, we notice that Ruth is clearly described to be a 'virtuous woman' in fact according to Boaz. Everyone knew she was a virtuous woman (Ruth 3:11).

How many women can accommodate their mother in laws even when her son is alive, let alone when the man dies? Ruth typifies a level of thoughtfulness and selflessness. Everything Boaz gives to her, she shares with Naomi. She does not hide it, nor conceal it.
While it is the responsibility of a man to provide for his household. A good woman builds with him, and does not stand to watch him do it alone. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Man or woman. If her money is not entering a united purse for the development of their home and marriage, then her heart is not there. It just requires time before such a marriage crashes.

Where your treasure is, there your heart lies..
That said. We must also bring a balanced approach to a united purse. Some men are squanders and reckless in spending. And if the woman is not wise, the man will bring all of them down. So it is not a straightforward answer. In principle build together, and yes discuss it during courtship.

One: NumeroUno! Thanks for not mincing words (as always :-). I like the "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be"... I believe so to be honest.
PS - Thank you for confirming to the world that men are usually more selfish hehehe

Mr NumeroUno: Lol

Ms PYT: Relationships differs, so what works for me might not work for another person.
In a normal relationship, it's our money. Both parties should bring their money to the table. I believe in joint account and also a separate account as a woman. It's absolutely important to have my own money and account.
It'll be selfish of me to expect my husband to take full responsibility when I earn more than him but it is absolutely important for the man of the house to take up some important responsibilities if he can afford it. I have a friend who earns more than her hubby and she has been taking the full responsibility of their needs but now that her hubby earns a lot, he still expects her to take more responsibilities while he spends his own money on unnecessary things.

One: Huh?! Really? Now that one is topic for another day...

Back to you ladies and gentlemen, what's your take on it? Should it be My money or OUR money? Would you have the money talk with your partner before you get married? Please share xx

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