Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Sholly’s “Rising” Is Here Again!



Sholly’s “Rising” Is Here Again!


My sister, Sholly was so beautiful. Inside and Out. She was my Chief Cheer-Leader. I can’t even articulate how much I miss her. 


It’s funny how you can be so sad and excited at the same time. The Shola Adefolalu Gąska Foundation was birthed from a deeply painful place BUT in the one year plus we’ve been in existence, God has, through the Foundation, done some exciting things that have helped me bring purpose out of my pain. 


Today, I’m excited to ask you to please block Saturday, September 29 for Sholly’s 2018 ‘Rising’ event. Last year, we held our very first one and it was tagged “Sinking in Grief yet Rising with Purpose” and was one of my 2017 highlights. This year’s theme is “When Life Goes Low, We Rise Up” and I’m trusting my PapaGod to makes it a day all our guests remember for a long time.  


Sholly turns 38 on September 25 and while I don’t know if they have birthdays up there, you can be sure we’ll be celebrating her life on the 29th.


It’s going to be a one of a kind Celebrating-Sholly-Peer-Coaching-Workshop-Thanksgiving-Worship-Fiesta-Mental-Spa-Just-Chill-GodsGotYou-event! So if anyone asks you what Rising is about, and you can’t say all of the above, just say it’s a “Party with Purpose”😂👍.


More than anyone in my life, Sholly taught me how to keep rising no matter what life throws at me. There are so many people learning this same lesson and three of such people will be sharing HOW they are doing it with us that day. So excited! 


I really hope you join us. Come, let’s learn how to keep “Rising Up” no matter how low life gets sometimes. 


Watch this space for Speaker and  Venue details! It’s free but if you plan to come, please send your name and gender to theshollysmilefactory@gmail.com.

It will help our planning😊👍.


#thesholaadefolalugaskafoundation

#theshollysmilefactoryinvitesyou 

#Whenlifegoeslowweriseup

#PartyWithPurpose

#September29









Sunday, 29 July 2018

Because I Am a Christian


Because I am a Christian🌻

If there is one thing that upsets me is when people say to me: "After, you will say you are a Christian." Counting to ten usually doesn't help. I try. I promise. 

Since when did 'being a Christian' mean I should stop having feelings or start exhibiting stupidity levels alien to me. I'm called to be meek. Not a mumu.  Don't push me. I am TRYING to be like Christ. I am not there. It's going to take a life time. 

Yes, I am a Christian but that doesn't make me impervious to manipulative behavior. I'm gentle as a dove but will use discernment to spot a con a mile off. I'm too naive not to trust the Holy Spirit to help me distinguish who is who. Eri ko no fe. Trust me. There are smileys and there are smileys. I, Salt will not hold manipulative and devious fire to my bosom all in the name of 'Charity'. That's not how being on fire is doing me. I pass please. 

Because I am a Christian does not mean I'll tolerate nonsense conduct. I will call you out. Wrong is wrong please. Gone are the days this statement will get to me. 
Your perspective of me is none of my Christian business. Only God has the right to judge me. And till you can see into my heart, take two seats back.

So, if you behave badly around me, I must let you know. I must give you an opportunity to explain yourself or correct yourself. If neither happen, I owe it to myself to remove you from my space. 

Because I am a Christian, sometimes, to pursue peace, you flee the human-vessels of the disquiet and negativity. 

Ain't nobody got time for jatijati🙄.





Saturday, 14 July 2018

Dear Pastor Weyinmi

Dear Pastor Weyinmi


Is this how you are? I thought I was one of your personal people? See as I was looking for you with a torch light in the weeks to my Golden birthday. I had it all planned. You would do the opening prayer and Pastor B would close. 


If only I knew that as I sent my last WhatsApp message to you that you were ill. Maybe then instead of warning you to ‘better come out of your hiding’ to attend, I’d have been

calling on God to have mercy. On you. On us all. 


I had no clue. In my mind, you were invincible. I still maintain my view. God wanted you home. Dass all. In the physical, it may look like sickness took you. Lie. Your Papa called you home. Your job was done. Boy! Did you do your job! And my family and I were part of all you did! 


In my whole life, I’ve never been to a more emotionally charged service of Songs! I cried through out. To see Sister Regina and the children. Ah! Looking at your children! Seeing Laju erupt in pain. To hear you sing! To know you wrote one of my favorite Nathaniel Blow’s songs: You are Holy, Wonderful and Kind’. To watch those clips of you preaching. To see your siblings broken. To listen to Pastor Siju’s poem. Funke Amobi’s tribute. To see Pastor ID crumble. All of it was just so much. I was undone. Even till now, I’m not myself. 


But I am happy. I too knew you. Even though I honestly can’t remember what you called me. Why didn’t you give me a nickname now? It’s just not fair! 


Pastor Weyinmi? Thank you. For being that friendly face since we joined City of David over 15 years ago. Thank you for writing the Foreword to my book, True Confessions. I loved your words before. Now, they are priceless.  I have read them over and over and I’m so glad God made me ask you to do that. I’m so honored to have your words etched into the lines of my life this way.  



Thank you for all you did to make Sholly’s Service of Songs come to pass. You held my hand through it all. It was so special but can I tell you something? Yours beat that. I felt the same pain but I cried more at yours the other day. At a point I wondered if people would ask me ‘how far’ cos I cried like I was family. I think I was crying for you, my Papa and my Sholly! Oh! Pastor Weyinmi! Your death hit me o! 


Oh! How I pray my MGM and all Husbands and  Dads borrow a leaf from you. How I pray we all determine, thanks to your testimony, to live by godly standards in all we do. How I pray! 





Pastor Weyinmi. I will miss you. I remember you coming to apologize for the late start of Sholly’s Service. The choir members were late. Traffic was horrible that day. Pastor Weyinmi? Trust me. On your day? The choir was on point. It was clear. They sang their hearts out for you. Even as they wiped their tears. Because you too touched them. You touched us all.  

City of David ? You tried. You wanted us all to connect deeply with Pastor Weyinmi and we did.  


Pastor? Thank you for coming with Henry and our family to Calabar for my Daddy-in-Love’s burial. I know you took it personally. 





I’m probably rambling but I pray I’m still making sense. I’m hoping I’ll find some Peace doing this post. I’m praying maybe, joined with all the other testimonies, mine will provide some sort of comfort to  your Shadow and the children. I pray they will take some small solace in knowing that we are many who know that you were the Real MVP. Most Valuable Pastor. 





You walked your Talk. For that. I thank you and give Glory to God. 


Who will try to ‘komo le’ with me now during Thanksgiving Service? You can bet that every time a testimony is read in COD, I’ll think of you. 


Bliss on Pastor Weyinmi. Bliss On. 








  

 

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Corresponding Actions

Corresponding Actions

I love it when I go to church and know that my spirit has been fed with good, strong teaching that will change my life. Today, I come to share something I believe is already radicalizing my praying and harvesting life. Let's go. 

In this coming week, I encourage you to search out the precise word of God for that situation that has caused you sleepless nights. Write the scriptures down personalizing them.

Then pray to God about the situation using His Word to engage Him. God honours His Word even above His name. Talk to Him in His own words. 

Next, begin to plant your Faith-seeds by confessing God's Word out loud as if that were happening live; as if they are existing facts in your life right now. 

Regardless of what is going on around you, keep confessing God's Word because not only are you planting your faith seeds, you are also releasing the power of God into your situation!

While you are doing the above, be sure to ask God continuously to grant you grace to hear His Spirit's guidance on what your 'works' must be. Remember, Faith without Works is Dead. Many of us pray and confess non stop but we forget to ACT! 

Our confessions of faith must be followed by what Pastor Poju calls 'Corresponding Action'.

But so we don't fall into foolishness or  error, God must guide us on what our action must be via His Spirit in our hearts.  Once we hear Him and heed His instruction, the power we have released by our Faith Confessions above will manifest in the physical!!! We will see God move even as we have prayed and confessed! Glory to God!!

Examples abound in the Bible of Corresponding Action but this is one of my favorites: 

Acts 3: 4 -7

Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. 

But Peter SAID, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” 
(Prayer/Confession of Faith Releasing Power) 

Then Peter TOOK the lame man by the right hand and HELPED him up. 
(Corresponding Action) 

And AS HE DID, the man’s feet and ankles WERE INSTANTLY HEALED and STRENGTHENED. 
(Manifestation of the Power Released Power!) 

Think where would this crippled man be if Peter had only prayed but not acted by taking the man's hand? 

Selah🌻




Sunday, 8 October 2017

Dear Sholly, Some Feedback/Testimonies from Rising🌻


Dear Sholly

I promised I'd share some of the feedback we got from #Rising🌻 Guests, Speakers and Volunteers and that's what I'm about to do now. 

Hope you enjoy reading them! 

(Guests)

Thank you so much. It was a wonderful experience. No holds barred.  God bless u

************* 
......I went home with my grief crushed and my purpose rising to its full potential. PapaGod and Sholly are truly proud of you.

********** 

We cry. We groan. We smile. We cry & we groan again......and thus we grow through our pain. 9 years after my dad passed on, it is still so very raw. And very many times I still can't deal with it. My life is shattered in so many ways because of that traumatic death... and of other associated things. I just take it 1 day at a time.


Today, I caught a refreshed word. ALL things work for my good. God knew all about it. He knew it was coming. He allowed it to happen. And He stands with me in my purpose even now, 9 years later. And there lies some comfort for me. That is all I have to hold on to. It keeps me going.....

********** 

(From an Online guest. She watched the whole thing online!)

E ku ise Oluwa. It was a beautiful event, peaceful, fun and memorable in so many ways. Over 4hrs of my Saturday very well spent. 

I know you will have a good night rest, because our Father is surely smiling down on you ... well done faithful daughter 🤗🤗🤗 and your sis must be soo proud.

************ 

(This was from one of the guys! His notes were more comprehensive than mine! )

Find attached my 'unedited' notes from yesterday's session. 

I must confess that I came out a sense of duty to you and your cause, but left 'rising' to a higher call of duty to God Almighty.....

********** 

I should say thank you for putting together such a beautiful programme. I was really blessed.

*************
It was an amazing experience, eye opening and the honesty in the room amongst everyone was challenging, thank you , thank you , thank you!

*********** 

....It was an opportunity for me to let go of a lot of baggage. I dont know what you must have passed through in life......Just Arise and Walk...and He who sees you will surely perfect that whch concerns.....

********

Thank you Sis for that wonderful programme. Keep on being true to your purpose and being real.

I do not regret every minute spent and it truly resonated with me.

Speakers were truly real and sincere. Coaches wonderful and very sincere.
Indeed Sholly lives on and is still touching lives....

***********
Twas an awesome experience im nt in a hurry to forget. The glory of God filled the hall when the Coaches and Speakers made their speeches. A healing balm it was also to a lot of pple. Thank you for putting together this Forum. U are indeed Salt, a vessel unto God....

*************. 
(From our Rising Speakers)

Thanks Sis. I'm still reeling from your awesome programme.

********* 

Thank you so much Salt for creating the platform for us all to heal!!!
Saturday will remain indelible in my heart!!!

********** 

It was truly great to meet you, and sitting with the kingdom giants at the table left us wondering how on earth God could have picked us for such an assignment.

We can still feel all of heaven hugging us tight.

*******
(Our Rising Volunteers)

I truly died to my old self and rose up to my new life in Him at Rising and was incredibly blessed by every Speakers story and experience.

********** 
....I went home with my grief crushed and my purpose rising to its full potential.

*********** 

There you have it Aburo mi. It's such a great feeling to know that we touched lives for good in your name. I just give God my highest praise for giving me a meaningful way to dull the pain in my heart.

As the Lord lives, the Shola Adefolalu Gaska aka the Sholly Smile Factory will continue to create positive news around you and your name. Yes, the light of the smiles you create will trump their darkness. In Jesus name. Amen.

P.S If you attended and would like to add your voice to this post just DM or email your thoughts to me. I'll be super grateful to hear from you. To all those whose thoughts are reflected up there? Thank you. We love you🌻❤️

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Dear Sholly, Your Rising🌻 was good


Rising Speakers and Coaches

Dear Sholly

Yesterday was amazing. 

Like I promised you, it wasn't some stiff, follow the rules, everything must be perfect session. It was fun, it was quirky, cozy-ish, the microphone 'fell my hand' and we ran over time. Oh! But Sholly! It was a great day spent honoring you and God kept his promises too. 

First of all, he filled the room. He brought the guests. He spoke through the Speakers and He dropped life changing pearls of wisdom  through the Coaches. 

He made sure we heard the Word. He made sure we expressed His Love. He hugged us when we teared up. In short, God kept his promise to make 'Rising' 'good' like when he created the world 'good'.

I miss you so much but I thank you. Thank you for making a way for my life to become even more purposeful. Thank you for jolting me out of being almost at ease in Zion. God has much more for me to do Sholly and because of you, I'm paying more attention. Like Coach Olusola said, 'being born again is not enough!'. 

And Sholly, that brings me to my next thing. I can't capture every little morsel of goodness that God served us yesterday through the Speakers and Coaches. I'll make a video from all the FB live clips to do that. For now, let me just share my nuggets from each one. Then, I'll share photos! 

God bless Fotolighthouse for me. The Rising pictures are all manner of gorgeousness. But first my key takeaways: 

Sola Macaulay
I was thoroughly amazed by this my sister because I know how nervous she was. But God doesn't care about that. Whom he sends, he equips. Sola is a true #RisingChampion🌻. 

  1. I cried many tears asking God why he couldn't have made it such that I was with you when you died. Listening to Sola, our first speaker, I'm not sure anymore. Watching a loved one die seems much harder than just hearing about it. Bottom line? There is no better way. They both suck.
  2. Live your life now! Focus on your purpose. 
  3. Even in your pain, you must find a way to please God

Dr.  Bode Abass
Shola! Did you hear this man's story? My heart broke because I understood his guilt and how it can ravage your insides! Yet, daily he #RisesUp🌻

  1. God trumps medicine! When a doctor says this, you must pay attention. 
  2. Always try to see God in everything you go through. 
  3. Take your eyes off yourself when guilt hits and instead focus on God.

Dr. Toyin Abass
Sholly, did you see how lovely she is? But you can't miss the inner steel that runs through her spine. Spiritually speaking. 

  1. Quit the anger. Admit your pain to God. Never let your pain make you think God has left you. 
  2. God is super able to work in you to sort you out. Be real with him.
  3. God uses us through our places of pain. 
  4. Be practical about supporting grieving people. Talk less, act more. Cook, help with laundry, baby sitting, etc.

Gozie Udemezue 
The Igbotic Soup Mama! She cracked the room up so much even as she brought us to tears. When she talked about profit from loss, I looked at all the people in the room because of you and knew she was right. They were "my profit from the pain of losing you". God bless each one of them. 

  1. No matter how deep you sink or how dark it is, God is there with you.
  2. Your pain has the power to drive you to your purpose. 
  3. There is 'profit' in our loss because God is able to make all things work together for our good.

Aburo! We had the best Coaches! Together, they ignited in me this desire to go 'be' better and therefore 'do' better. 

Coach Lanre Olusola
  1. Let yourself grieve. Cry. Express your pain. Then accept the death.
  2. Plan for your own death. Make a will. How I wish you and I had talked about this Sholly😢. 
  3. Make your life count for God. Being born again is not enough! It's the first step in the journey of being who God has called you to be and doing what he's created you to do.  
  4. Accept that what you have right now is what you need. Embrace your own lane. He reminded us in his own way to quit looking over into your neighbors yard. The grass might be greener but so is the water bill.  
  5. My best bit was when he used Job's story. The conversation with God to underscore how 'in charge' God is. There is nothing that happens without his permission. Sholly, that hit me. Nobody could have hurt you or done you wrong 'behind his back'. I must accept that it's part of his 'good' for me and for you and for our family. Your work was done. I just must. To not do so is to deny God is who he says he is.
I had so many high points but one of the highest was when Coach said that in all his years of coaching and counseling, he had never been to an Programme like your Rising! Sholly! He said I was "not OK"😊 at all.  Best compliment ever! 

Coach Laila St. Matthew-Daniel

Was the icing on the cake. In spite of not feeling well, she still came out for us. 
  1. You will be angry but you must deal with it. Or it will eat you up.
  2. Challenges will come but you must not turn your back on them, you must confront them. "Whatever you are going through, please do not back it, face it".
  3. You must understand who you are!!! She spoke encouraging words into us and then made us sing Sinach's Believer's anthem! One of the guests told me she's going to look herself in the mirror every morning and sing that song to herself. That's how powerful Mrs. D's talk was. She made someone connect in a new way with an old song.

Joint Q and A
As both Coaches responded to questions, here's what I gleaned:  
  1. Your purpose is in your pain
  2. The problem is the way you see your problem. (As in 'wow').
  3. Don't shun getting professional help if you've prayed and gone through all the steps on your own and depression is not going. See a Counselor. It doesn't mean you are 'kolo'. 
  4. For your body, you have doctors; for your spirit, you have your pastor and for your mind/soul, you have the Therapists. Seek the help you need!
  5. Don't let what has happened to you steal your days on earth and rob you of fulfilling God's plan for your life.
  6. This one is specially for my sisters/couples seeking children. Children are gifts from God. Gifts can come through various channels. The gift of a child doesn't always have to come through you being pregnant yourself and giving birth. You can adopt. There are many of God's gifts currently 'unclaimed' in orphanages right now. Pray on it and see perhaps that's how God wants to give you 'your gift'. 

Uncle Henry shared updates on the case and gave the Vote of Thanks and  then we wrapped up. And that, in summary, are some of my key takeaways from your Rising🌻 my love. It was glorious. 

Next blog, I'll share some testimonies with you.

I love you Sholly and again, thank you for giving my life new meaning. I'm just praying there are more like me out there who may be sinking with grief but will read this and choose to #RiseUp🌻 with purpose. Daily.

Talk to you again soon. 

Click this link to check out photos highlights from the day,



Friday, 22 September 2017

To All Our Registered Rising Guests.....Please.


Before I begin my 'Pleases', let me first of all, thank you for registering! You are each a source of encouragement to me and I have been praying for you. My prayer is simple: The reason for which God is bringing you should be made crystal clear to you and you must get your 'word'. So please be expectant.

So now to my 'Pleases'.

Please come on time. Start time is 10am for real. Even if I am the only one there at the venue with the volunteers, we shall start. But I am trusting God that you will all be on time.

Please do not come with little children. I am sorry. I know but I am not sure it is the sort of function to bring small children. I wanted to have a small creche close by but it did not work out and that is why I am happy it is just four hours from 10am to 2pm. So I can give you back most of your Saturday.

Please if you cannot make it any more, let us know. We are putting people on a wait list from today as we don't have any more seats so let us know if you cannot make it. Thank you. You will be there next year by God's grace. Yes, we aim to do this every year. Every September.

Please come with money *laughing*. Well, if you love books because there will be a 'Rising' Book Stand.

Were you one of the first 20 to register? If you were, before the day, you would have gotten a mail from me confirming it. PLEASE be sure to let them know when you register. They will have a list also to double check. Once confirmed, you will get your special gift.

Please come and once you sit down in the venue, just chill and open yourself up to receive what you need for YOU. I am hoping we have a cozy-crowd kinda time together. God moves in mysterious ways and I have asked him to do just that at Rising. 

See you there by the grace of God

For now, stay lifted and hold fast to your Saltiness!





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