Monday, 14 December 2015

Celebrating Pastor Bims!

Last week Thursday was the anniversary of the passing away of one of the greatest women who walked on the face of this earth.

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The Beautiful Pastor Bims!
Pastor Abimbola Rosemary Odukoya was an icon, a force to be reckoned with in both the Christian and secular circles. She was an inspiration to so many people and a blessing to many homes and hearts.

I remember the day I heard about her passing, it was a Sunday morning ten years ago and shock is an understatement to describe what I felt. I found it very difficult to believe that this amazing woman was gone.. taken away from us, just like that!. However, like the song says "He gives and takes away, blessed be His name!"

I am grateful for the blessing of Pastor Bims (as she was lovingly called), I am grateful that she lived such an impactful life to the glory of God, I am grateful to have been blessed by her ministrations and tutelage, I am grateful for so many things about her and many lessons I learnt from her life and teachings, a few I will mention below...


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Excellent Teacher!
1. Pastor Bimbo was a woman who was devoted to her God! Oh she talked about God with such a passion that you wanted to also get to know this amazing Supreme Being she spoke about with such reverence and respect. She worshipped Him with abandon and didn't mind expressing her love for God is such wonderful ways.

2. She was a passionate woman! She was passionate about everything she did - She loved her God with a passion, she loved her husband with a passion, she loved her children with a passion, she loved her church with a passion, she loved people with a passion, she loved and did things with such admirable passion!

3. She made it clear that her husband and family were priority in her life. I watched and learnt how to honour and respect your man in such a beautiful way, irrespective of how much accolade you get used to!

4. Pastor Bim was a woman full of life! You wanted to be with her.. She was so lively, so engaging! She made people around her feel good! You could listen to her talk for ages :-)

5. She preached Jesus without holding back! She was a woman who knew how to preach the word of God. She believed very much in confessing the word of God, holding on and believing in God's word.

6. She was a 'hot' Christian woman - not just spiritually but physically! She not only paid attention to what was going on inside but outside too! Being spiritual is no excuse to look dowdy :-)


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Fashionista!
7. She taught me a LOT about relationships, love and marriage! I still make reference to her today (and tomorrow too!).. Her books remain relevant, her video seminars and advice still work today!

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I could go on and on about this phenomenal woman who God gave the grace to walk the face of this earth for 45 full years!

I pray that God will make us vessels of honour that will be fit for use to His glory so that when it's time for us to exit this side of eternity, our impact and legacy would outlive us. More importantly, when we meet face to face with our Creator on that side of eternity, that we will hear the treasured words of welcome and well done!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Dear Daddy

My darling dearest King,

Lover of my soul, Owner of my head, Centre of my joy, Redeemer of my life, Lord of my destiny, Capturer of my heart, Reason why I live, Spring in my step, Confidence of my tomorrow, Hope of my future, Author of mhy salvation, Giver of my blessings, God of my youth!

I haven't written to You in a while Daddy and I have missed doing this! This is without doubt, the easiest of posts I have to write on here. I take pleasure in writing to You. Indeed as I type, with Your son William McDowell providing a bed of worship, I smile :-)

You make my heart smile, You make my soul smile, You make my now smile, You make my future smile :-) :-) I hope I make You smile too... I want to make You happy, to make You pleased, for You to see me and be proud.

Today Lord, may I just say THANK YOU.. Thank You for the many ways You have shown Yourself faithful. Thank You for how You have shown Your goodness, not just to me alone, but to everyone else because Your love for us is so deep, so wide, unquenchable..

Daddy, if I thanked You individually for ALL You have done, been and given me, I probably would not finish until You come. However, one person I am sincerely and forever grateful to You for is the woman You chose to be my mother on this earth.

Thank You for my amazing, wonderful mother. Thank You for the strength and grace You have blessed her with. Thank You for the kind of love you put in her heart for us her children and for others too. Thank You for making her such a responsible and intelligent woman. Thank You for blessing me with a mum that I can look up to, aspire to be like and absolutely admire. Thank You for blessing me with a praying mum. A mother whose knees and lips are never far away from heaven and whose tongue blesses, encourages and cheers us on to greatness. A mother whose love and devotion to You is something so beautiful.

Thank You for where You took her from, how far You have brought her and the plans You have for her future. Thank You for making her a pillar in her family; a daughter, sister and aunt that anyone would delight in!

Daddy, I am so grateful for this Your very special and unique daughter!

In blessing me, You chose to greatly favour me by making her my mother. Thank YOU Abba Father.

Thank You for being the wind beneath her wings. You rock, You rule, You reign. Glory to YOU my King!

I love You first, always,
One xx

My heart sings to YOU Abba xxx

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Waiting and Loving It!!! Feat Isioma and Tobore Benson

It is almost difficult to believe that the last time we had a Waiting and Loving It feature was in January!! Almost one year *eeeek*!

For all those who are visiting the blog for the first time (welcome!!) or haven't read a feature, it would be great to read a little background to the series HERE, HERE and HERE.

Right, now we've gotten that out of the way, let's go on to today's very special couple! Isioma is one of the ladies I refer to as my 'heart-sister', 'blood-girl' lol (no covenants there, just the acknowledgement that the blood of Jesus that binds us is deeep!).. I consider her a very dear dear sister, a contributor to 1 + The One (including Conversations with One), one of my 'accountability partners' and I know that we both looked forward to being featured on Waiting and Loving It! Indeed, when I sent her the email request, her response was "Yayyyy, I kent believe I can finally participate!" Lol.. Thank God for amazing friends!

I love the way her and her husband relate with each other. There's a deep friendship that is just beautiful and I am glad and very grateful to them for being a part of Waiting and Loving It (Isi-linyo, you did it!! Thank God for grace :-D)

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One: Hiya Isioma and Tobore, glad to have you on the hot seat! I think I am definitely giddy with excitement :-) Please could you tell us a little about yourselves?

Isioma - Hi!!! My name is Isioma Benson (nee Ikediashi), I’m a happy young woman and I recently got married to my gorgeous T-baby as I fondly call him (2 months in marriage). I am a worshipper, I just love to sing and show how good God is through my life. I’m also the first of 4 kids (all boys after me) so I can be pretty tough at times. I love talking to people and being an inspiration.

Tobore: I'm Tobore Benson, I can be quite reserved and enjoy my own company but I certainly love the company of my wife, my ‘Omotekoba’ as I call her. She’s the one person that can bring all of my different sides out. I love reading and researching and finding out facts about any and everything. I love to laugh and can laugh about anything. Oh and while my wife is the singer, I’m the listener.

We see how she listens alright.. :-)
One: Awww, that's lovely! So 'Omotekoba', how did you meet your 'T-baby'? :-)

Isioma: I’ve gotta say that my hubby will be more detailed here…lol! It was an early morning, sometime before 7:00am. I was on my way to a business lecture when I suddenly heard someone say – "Hey! Where do you think you’re going this early morning?" I turned to see who it was and he was just laughing. I told him I had a lecture and he found it ridiculous that I would actually attend an early class. He categorically told me he wouldn’t attend if he were me. Anyway, we chatted till I got to my faculty and he took my phone number and the rest was 10 years of friendship!

One: Wow! 10 years... That's amazing! Tobore, we would definitely like to know your version of events..

Tobore: I met my wife on Wednesday the 17th of November, 2004. Too much detail huh…lol!

One: Not at all, lol. That's nice actually. It means the chances of you missing an anniversary is slim to none *major points*.. Please go on...

Tobore:  I was on my way back to my hostel off campus at some minutes past 6:00am when I saw this young girl walking so fast and going to God knows where! I was curious as to where she could be going to at that time of the day while I was going to continue my sleep from where I stopped, at my friend’s hostel. I called out to her and asked where she was going and I was laughing at her as well. It was even funnier when she said she was going for a lecture and had to go early to secure the front seat. Anyway, I asked her to slow down and we started to chat until she got to her faculty and I asked for her number. She gave her number to me and our story began…

After 10 years... the smile must be huge!
One: .. And the story began indeed! So tell us Tobore, what would you say initially attracted you to Isioma?

Tobore: It’s a funny one but she looked like one of them girls that have never had their hearts broken – the ‘good girl’.

Isioma: For me, I was attracted to his ability to hold a decent conversation. Many guys in Uni lacked what to say to a girl. They just talked a lot of crap but he made a lot of sense and he was consistent at it.

One: .. A good conversation struck the deal for you, that's nice.. What would you say made you know that this was 'IT'..

Isioma: Hmmmm! Interestingly I only got to realise in 2014. We had been friends for sooooooo long and I had completely rested in the comfort of that friendship that it almost seemed weird to think we could spend forever together. One thing was sure, I cared about him a lot even though I fought with him a lot too. Anyway, in 2014 he rang me again and this time he wasn’t taking 'No' for an answer. I genuinely felt in my heart that it was time to listen, I felt a calmness in my spirit and a desire to tell God about it. I spent some time talking to God about him and my heart and spirit was at peace with the decision to take a next step.

Tobore: I remember going back to the hostel that day after I met her and I was telling my friend about her so excitedly and I was looking forward to an opportunity to meet her again. I knew in 2005 (one year after) after we became good friends that I needed her to be in my future. It sounded silly to my friends but I always wanted a good LISTENER in a person and she was 100% that person. I also wanted a person who was friendly and hadn’t been messed up by wrong relationships and she ticked it too.

This is IT!
One: That's fantastic! Now to the very important question, what made both of you make the decision to wait until marriage before having a sexual relationship?

Isioma and Tobore: Waiting was a desire for both of us. In all the 3 years of Uni that we were friends, he never made any advances at me. He saw me as one to protect. I think he felt he needed to keep me for himself eventually…lol! When we decided to start a proper relationship in 2014, we spent more time discussing other kinds of boundaries just to avoid any temptation but we were solid on waiting. On my own part, I had made a decision as a young girl to wait till marriage and by God’s grace, it was a strong resolve.

One: Was it difficult? Did you get to any point when you just wanted to let go?

Isioma: YESSSSSSSS it was hard! I think I can be quite the ‘toughie’, I won’t give in under any pressure and best believe I’m not tempted to at all but with Tobore the story changed. We only had a 1 year courtship and we spent most of it apart but it was tough. We were both so attracted to each other and of course we missed being apart for so long. The few days before the wedding were the hardest. The days became so slow….hahahahaha!

One: LOL.. Thanks for being real.. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak but God's grace is suffient aka Diarris God! So what practical measures did you take to ensure that you stuck by your decision?

Isioma and Tobore: We both wanted a good foundation for our marriage, one that is firmly rooted on the word of God. For me, I cringed at the after-feeling if I ever let my emotions win. I didn’t think I would be able to pray or worship and I don’t know if the marriage would be worth it after all. So we used the ‘guilt trip’ a lot….lol! We would say things like, what will God think of us now? How can you minister to other people 'Sis Isioma of the Holy Ghost'…hahahaha! I kept my godly girlfriends very close, I will tell them what I’m feeling, doing or planning. I wasn’t taking chances. Then we prayed sometimes when we felt high on emotions and of course we tried to spend more time in public places and with other people too. It also helped that we were friends, we would tell each other off if one person was losing it….lol!
One: Lol.. That's great, thank God. Now that you are married, what one advice would you give to your single self in preparation for marriage?

This is from the both of us – Nothing is impossible with God, not even the highest mountain or the darkest cloud. We couldn’t be more direct about this. We experienced God’s faithfulness at every turn in our preparation for marriage. From deciding to wait, to learning deeper things about ourselves, to submission, to wedding plans etc. We sought God like the air we breathed and He showed up big time!

One: Praise our ever-faithful God! Alright Isioma, 2 months in, describe in 3 words, the best part of being married?

Isioma: Companionship, Maturity, Satisfaction

Tobore?

Sex, Responsibility, Children

One: Nice one! Thank you very much.. Now, just before we go, It's PDA time! We'd like to step aside and allow you both indulge in some healthy Public Display of Affection.. 

Isioma: If I knew what I know now, we would have been married at least 5 years ago Baby T. Every day with you is never enough. I look forward to coming home now because I have a partner who’s also my friend. Cheers to forever baby xxx Oh and thanks for giving me a really kool last name….hehehe!

Tobore: I had an opportunity in my lifetime to share my life with you and I won’t trade you for anything in this world. Glad I stayed till the end. I love you Isiyoma Benson.

Mr and Mrs B!!
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Awww *sniff* don't you just love *sniff sniff*....

I thank God always for writing and making the very best love stories. I believe one of God's names is Jehovah El'Romantique - Creating love stories from time immemorial (Issac/Rebekah,  Ruth/Boaz) :-)

One of the reasons I love the Waiting and Loving It series is that it is an encouragement that there are so many expressions of God's love to us through people He brings into our lives. It's not impossible, it's real and God can make yours beautiful too!

Very importantly, God is LOVE so He alone has the authority on setting the standard and parameters for love.. Any other way is the wrong way of doing it, no matter how popular it may seem. I have had conversations with people who say that chastity is out-dated; impossible in today's world but time and time again, God proves that His word remains unchanged through generations and fads, He remains consistent.

It may not be easy but then, His grace is more than sufficient - that's a promise He has given that you and I can hold on to.. So, please join me to continuously ask "Lord, please give me your grace!!" Amen :-)

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