Monday, August 27, 2012

How To Recognise Your Best Use

I was struggling to put finishing touches to something I had been contracted to do when my phone rang.  I took the call but the caller who incidentally is my Coach could tell that I was distracted.  I was speaking to her on the phone but even in that distance she could tell I wasn’t fully present.  After about five minutes she asked me; “Is this a bad time? I can call later, because you are not responding to me.”  I apologized and told her that indeed I was distracted because I was rushing to meet up a deadline on a contract I had to deliver on within the hour.  She said she understood and hung up.

Weeks later, we were face to face, and out of the blue, in one of the rare times we shared a one on one together on that trip, she recalled that telephone conversation and asked me “So tell me, that particular contract, is it your best use?” Wow!  That one got me, and was an answer to the questions a lot of people have asked me over the past few years.

Most people are confused as to what God has called them to do, or the reason why they are on earth and it is not because they are bereft of gifts and skills. Rather it is because they are good at so many things that it becomes almost impossible to settle on what they should really be doing.  Perhaps you fall in this category; Well, thinking through the question “is that your best use?” did help me and I hope it helps you too.
First what does the question “Is this your best use?” mean? My Coach wanted to know if that particular task I was doing that day was my best I could do.  Now the thing is I am very good at this task, I am really good at it!  So initially I felt since I am good at this, shouldn’t I find a way to convert it to income amongst all the other things I do?
However, the more I thought about it, the more the quotation by Tim Redmond comes to mind “There are many things that will catch my eye but there are only a few things that will catch my heart.”  When you chose to be the best and most impactful you in a particular field the first thing you must know is that it is not because this is the only thing you can do well.  It is just that on the scale of preference, priority and impact that which you choose carries more weight, both in value and reward.

So how do you recognise your best use? By asking and answering the following questions:
1.      Is this a taught or acquired skill or is it a gift bestowed?
2.      How many other people within your circle or team can do this at least 80% as well as you can?
3.      Honestly can you keep doing this even if you are not paid for it? What are you willing to sacrifice to continue to be used in this way?
4.      Is the time you spend on this use commensurate with the reward?  To answer this question, please note that it is critical to define what a reward looks like to you.
5.      Do you look forward to retiring from being used like this, or is this your lifework?
6.      How many other people are blessed with this use, besides you?
7.      Does this blessing endure or is it temporal?
8.      Whose life gets better, really better because you did this?
9.      What is the worst that can happen should you not be used in this way?

Well for me by the time I got to question four, I recognized quickly that indeed that was not my best use.  The question now is, am I discarding that use totally?  No I am not; I chose to only use it for those who I really love as an act of service and love rather than a tool to earn an income.  I believe that if I focus on my best use, amongst which is serving you on this blog, I will make more impact and ultimately more reward.

Sistar B

Monday, August 20, 2012

Where's Your Calling Card?

We had just disembarked at our destination and we had run into someone who was very interested in what we do and wanted proof.  My Coach turned to me and asked “Bidemi do you have a copy of Effectual?”…and as has been my answer to that question almost every time I have been asked lately, No, I didn’t have a copy.  She reached into her bag and brought out the copy she had with her and we handed it to the gentleman.  I cannot begin to tell you the return that simple gesture has brought our way.

Not one to miss a teaching or coaching moment, once we were settled in the car on our way to the hotel, my coach turned to me and said “Do you know what it is you have Bidemi? Effectual is your calling card, you should never go anywhere without copies of it in your bag!”  I do make it a habit of having them in my car, but somehow, I never remember lately to have copies in my bag for when I cannot reach my car.

The point of today’s post is that until you birth and nurture your first gift, you may never have something to point others in the direction of what you can do for them, or the value you bring to the table.  I find that most people change their tone or reaction to me, once they see what it is that I have produced.  

 Here are a few tips on how to ensure that whatever you do is an appropriate and effective calling card.

1.       Identity what you want to be known for. 

2.      Carve a niche of excellence in that one thing.  My opinion is that you need to be first really good at the one thing before you branch off to all the other things that you can do.  How do you want to prove that you can deliver excellently?

3.   Know your craft!  It is important that you learn the craft complete with the language of what obtains in your industry.  Expertise comes with a proficiency in skill.

4.      Don’t be too modest to let other people know what you have got to contribute.  (I suffer from this modesty that doesn’t work!)  It is not a call to be rude or brash but understand that you are worth something and be willing to use it to the end of gaining the opportunity to add more value.

5.      Get better even when you know you are good at what you do.  Ask for feedback and respond accordingly.  Be grateful for the feedback you receive and give credit when implemented.

Over to you. What is your calling card? Are you proud to show and tell? 

Till next time, remember no one ever won a medal from watching on the sidelines… medals are won by players, and proficiency at the game qualifies the athlete for participation in the big play.  It is time to get in the play.

You will make it NeverTheless… you will make it!


 Sistar B

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

JOSHUA: Ten years later.

My third child turns ten today and I cannot but think back to this time ten years before, I cannot help but reflect on all that surrounded the pregnancy, and ultimately, his birth.  How can I forgot that I could so easily have died that day in the delivery room and that my husband could also have died on his way back from the hospital that morning but for the mercy of God!

All these reflections have done something for me. Yes, they have put me in the season of gratitude, to not only be alive to witness his tenth birthday but also to witness the grace and creativity that God almighty has packed into him.  I cannot forget that through that pregnancy, if God didn’t intervene, I was so sure that I was going to die. But then God had mercy on me and I am still here today, and hopefully will be here to see him go to Secondary School, University, marry and even have his own children.  My prayer is that I will be here.

Reflecting today made me ask God a question that I had not dared to ask Him before, “Lord, can you look at me today and say it was worth your while saving me from physical death that fateful day?”  I have no idea what His reply is or will be, but I so hope He is smiling right now and saying yes, Bidemi, it is so worth it!  I hope so!
This reflection made me think about my children and wonder if they ever ask that question; if they, being my children, have been worth my while. Thinking that, had I died that day of his birth, they will all be huddled together with their father reading another one of the many letters that I write for each special day, I decided to share Joshua’s tenth birthday letter.

Dear Joshua Chibunor Isiioluwakiiti,

Happy Birthday.

My son, the one God told me He will use on the government mountain.  As you celebrate ten years today, isn’t it great that your daddy will make all the effort to get a cake and all your aunties and uncles are fussing over you?  It is wonderful to feel this special isn’t it?  Well, you are not meant to just feel special, because you truly are special!  I remember that at about five months being pregnant with you, God told me you were going to be a very effective person in government, and I know now that it is because that is one mountain that has been messed up greatly by the world system.

Today I want you to recognise that you are not another ordinary child, you are God’s ordained one on assignment, and I know He will ensure that you don’t miss your destiny!  From today, begin to prepare for the greatness that will come out of you, begin to ask God in your private prayer time to show you who will be your friends, who will walk with you and how you should speak.  Too early!  I can hear your aunty Evelyn say, but she knows it is never too early.  My son, God has work for you to do, and as long as you get that right, I know you will get everything else right.

I know your daddy doesn’t stop praying for all threeof you , and I know that his prayers are effective because he is in tune with God’s plan for you.  Josh, as you prepare to leave home for college, always remember who you are and where you came from.  When you are not sure what to do; always remember that God is only a prayer away.

Today I want to remind you of your name: ISIIOLUWAKIITI. It means that the opening of the Lord can never be shut.  I want you to always remember that whatever door you knock on and doesn’t open, isn’t God’s door for you, because that which He has ordained for you will always come to pass and no man will be able to stop you from going in.  I love you so much and I am honoured to have been the one who carried you in her womb! I love you.

Your Mother

Of course, I didn’t die but I am still really honoured to be the one who gave birth to this greatness in seed form. 
As parents and dreamers, let us all ponder today, will God be able to say that it was worth His while releasing that dream or child in your care? Think about it.  will it be worth anyone’s while having you in their lives?

You will make it Nevertheless

Sistar B

Monday, August 6, 2012

Heartfelt Appreciation! (ROTH 2012)

Hello people! 

Been missing from this page, I know; too much to do with so little time. We were in the middle of our annual conference and between the planning leading up to the events and all the other aspects of life that never stop for one to catch up; I was forced to take a break from writing this blog.  It was to give attention to urgent and timed issues and I am glad that it all went well and we can report a resounding success!

Today’s post is just to appreciate all those who God released to be on board this year to help with the planning and execution of ROTH conference.  And to say a big thank you for being my support and to buttress what I had said on this page before that no vision or dream can happen with the dreamer and the visioneer alone.
There are and will always be helpers of destinies and the more you have around you, the more impact you will be able to make.  In my case, I had my extremely supportive husband, Mark, who never says to me that my dream is too huge!  I see how overwhelming execution can be sometimes, but I salute today your grace in helping fight through till we arrive at the destination, thank you!  I love you so much it is hard to say, sometimes!

My fabulous Sistas: Audrey, Ini, Inyang, Enife, Nneka, in no particular order, for all that you do to pull me up and for getting under the load with no questions and no agenda other than to see me excel in my calling, how can I say thank you?  Words will not work, so please feel my heart and know that ROTH 2012 will not have happened but for you, and I mean every word! Hugs, big time!!!!

Remi, my Editor, sister and friend, for all the ways you worked so hard, and I was scared you might break down but you didn’t; for all the innovation you bring to add value, thank you. God Himself will repay you, because I cannot.  This I need you to never forget, you always have a place in my heart!

Blessing, Toyin, Nancy and Nelson, my trustworthy crew who practically ensured that water came out of rocks, thanks for enduring me and for giving your very best.  Judah, the Praise Team money couldn’t bring together, thank you for lending your gift to my dream!  You are loved and appreciated!   My beautiful ushers Folake, Chika, Ame, Nneka, Dupe and Feyi.  God bless you! Help will never be far from you!

These next set of people, I will only classify as ‘the husbands’, for giving us the authorization to go and be a blessing. Thank you so much for believing in us and in a God who does extra ordinary things with ordinary people. Thank you for keeping the faith! May you never miss your way!

Bokang! All the way from Southern Africa! You are so loved!  How can you see a light so dim and get on a plane to find it?  Thank you for coming, your days with us will forever be cherished, and please know that we do not take your charge to us lightly; we will work for the next generation. We promise, we will teach them how to win in God!
Everyone who dipped in their wallets, accounts and purses to make this year grand, thank you so much, may your seed yield a harvest unprecedented!  

Liz, all the way in Abuja Nigeria, you heard the call and answered so that we could take God’s charge to the women in the city where justice will be released for our nation, thank you so much for your obedience.  Never forget, God has His eye on you! You will do great things! Of course and you: Precious and Iyedele! Dayo, thank you so much!

Coach Anna and Mama Linda, (Ambassadors of the brand Nigeria) how can I love on you but to ask God to never allow His presence be removed from you?  For giving so much, Nigeria is grateful, we love and thank you!

To my family who took time off their lives to stand with me in faith, thanks for your vote of confidence.  To my sisters in the United States who kept the prayer touch burning, your sacrifice can never be in vain! Nigeria thanks you.

To all who left their Saturdays open to spend with us, thank you so much for listening to God’s tug on your heart.  Never forget that you are indeed Designed For Success! You will make it NeverTheless! 

Sistar B

More pictures from ROTH Conference

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Insights from ROTH 2012 by Audrey Joe-Ezigbo

 Hello People.The ROTH Abuja conference was awesome! It has been a glorious three weeks and words are not enough to capture the essence of it all. My Sister and friend Audrey did a wonderful post on her experience from ROTH and I'd love to share it with you.


It has been a joy and a privilege over the past three weeks to have my soul sisters, mentors and friends Coach Anna McCoy and Linda Wallace present with us here in Nigeria. Deeper bonds of love, deeper spiritual bonding and experiences with not just ourselves, but our entire families.... simply awesome! I love that these women both give of themselves so freely in furtherance of the gospel. These are women who clearly love the Lord and are deeply committed to bringing as many women (and men) with them on this journey. They continue to exemplify the love of God and to teach us the real meaning of worship; of being in the presence of the Lord; of being fully yielded to Him life as a Zero – decreasing so that the greater One within, the ‘I am’, can increase in us. I simply love and appreciate you both Coach Anna and Ms. Linda. Indeed, Nigeria has been blessed simply by you being true to the assignment the Lord has placed upon your lives.

Over the course of the past ten days, the Return of The Helper (ROTH) conference [convened by my sister Bidemi Mark-Mordi  in response to a clear mandate from God] held its 5th edition in two different States of the country. This is one part of the reason Coach Anna and Mama Linda have been over here. ‘Mind blowing’ is what comes readily to spirit as I reflect on these events. Fresh Word, fresh oil and fresh waters flowed freely as the Holy Spirit unfolded more and more of Himself through the Bidemi, Anna and Linda as they spoke to us in the course of those two days.

A couple of things ministered very deeply to me and these are the things I am moved to share with you today. Clearly because of time and space, I cannot develop each of these to the fullest but I trust the Spirit and He will surely minister to you as you choose to meditate on a part or all of what is to follow.

In order to be a more excellent you, you must commit to certain levels of accountability in your life. Simply put, you can only become the best you that God designed you to be by holding yourself accountable to be excellent in every area of your life. No one can force personal accountability on you. It is a very personal decision and commitment and it is only in this space that you develop the fullness of character that has you living a life that truly always pleases God.

Going deeper in your relationship with God will need you to ask Him what you need to adjust in your life to have more of Him.  As I see it though, the bigger question would be if God turned to you and I and asked “What would you be willing to adjust for me, my daughter?” I am seriously pondering what my answer(s) will be at this time sis, and I ask that you do too for surely He will ask that question of you and I time and again as we grow from one level to the next in our relationship with Him.

We need to host the presence of the Holy Spirit”. Amazing how Mama Linda brought clarity to the fact that while our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we need to ‘host’ Him. In the physical, what does a host do to make their home welcoming to their guests? In the physical, how much effort do we make to keep our homes clean, tidy, warm and inviting so that it is always welcoming and comforting to those who live within it? How much time and effort are we giving towards being a good host to the Holy Spirit so that He never wants to leave, but rather His presence goes with us wherever we go? Hmmm!

“God is interested in our faithfulness. He wants to know if we will stay the course.” Beyond our salvation, God is interested in our faithfulness. Wow! Questions to self and to you sis, ‘In your day-to-day living, are you staying the course and standing in faithfulness, trusting God always and completely – regardless of what comes your way or how circumstances appear? Are you walking in the constant assurance and confidence that He is with you and He is in control? Is this evident in your decisions and choices; your fears and anxieties? Hmmm!

Your greatest enemy is comparing yourself with something that does not align with God’s image and identity of you.” You will never walk in the fullness of who you are designed to be if you are too preoccupied with how other people perceive you. Don’t worry about how you look in the eyes of others; your entire focus should be on how you measure up in God’s eyes, and the starting point is to have a strong mental picture of how He sees you – fearfully and wonderfully made; above only and not beneath; full of potential; created in His image and likeness; endued with power to do exploits; an overcomer; an achiever; a blessing unto generations; a king and a priest; etc. See yourself in nothing less than this frame and yours will be a life of peace and fullness of joy.

You are intentionally crafted by God Himself for a purpose.” Visualize God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit having had a long and involved planning session where they designed you to fill a specific purpose on the earth, and then equipped you fully with every potential and resource you would need to fulfil that purpose. You are not a mistake – irrespective of your birth circumstances. You are God’s original design and intent. Everything you need to live a successful life is within you. You were (and are)  intentionally designed for success.  Imagine that! Awesome!

Don’t worry if you are yet to find your purpose. Just go deeper in Christ; just listen out more intently for the Holy Spirit; just Zero-out and allow Him to lead you always. Since He created you for His purpose, He will order your steps and will surely not lead you on any path apart from the path of your purpose.

Lionesses arise! There is a clarion call from God for His daughters to come out from among the daughters of the land. The only thing the land has to offer you is the compromise of destinies. We need to go back to God. He will add every other thing to us. We must go back to chasing God and not the things of the world! As women, we are contending for generations and whether things will remain stagnant or they will move forward is in our hands.

"Trust yourself to deliver on God’s mandate for your life. You can do it! Enough of the complacency!" You, yes you can make a big difference just as you are and with the ‘little’ you think you have. It is God Who will make the way and the provision. You don’t need to know the process. All you need to know is that God has committed destinies into your hands and He has equipped you with all you need to deliver on this mandate if you accept the call.

Destinies of others are hinged on your commitment to be a success; your commitment to die empty of every gift and talent the Lord has chosen to bless the world with through you. Move immediately God speaks to you. Stop calling committees to discuss the mandate God has given to you. Otherwise while your committee is discussing, your assignment might pass you by.

Don’t just seek success when God has ‘good success’ in store for you. Why choose to be average when God has designed you intentionally to be great? The greatest success you can have – good success, is in the presence of God and in your obedience to do what He asks you to do while you are in His presence.

The pursuit of God must be a habit and a pleasure in my life and in yours sis. The pursuit of God must be a discipline in our lives. Put a high value and a high priority on the presence of God. Your cry should be ‘Lord, I don’t want to do anything out of Your presence and Your glory’.

We are standard-bearers for holiness. We must adjust whatever needs to be adjusted. We must shift whatever needs to be shifted in order to meet the call from God to ‘Be holy as I am Holy’. As women, holiness is not an option because we are the covering for mankind. We carry the womb. "We have to close the gap so that the enemy does not have access to the next generation."

Serious food for thought right? I so wish I could have shared the entire sets of messages with you sis, but if you think quietly through what I have been able to share, I know God will speak to you. Indeed what ministers to me is that something in here will be a confirmation of something that He has been speaking to you for a while now. My prayer is that the Lord Himself will bring clarity to you sis. May He give open the eyes of your Spirit to see; open your understanding to help you discern; and give you a heart to be fully obedient to His will.

Be blessed sis..... for surely you are!

 Audrey Joe -Ezigbo.
Please visit her blog at


Sistar B