Her Faith Just Like Ours


Sep 18, 2012

Introducing..., THE SCENT OF WATER by Sinmisola Ogunyinka

Please check out some reviews on Amazon.

Introducing Sinmisola Ogunyinka, an Inspirational Author. To get her books and many more of Sinmisola Ogunyinka's books, please visit Amazon or her website

The Scent of Water is a dreamy book that will leave you with a goody-goody feeling after you turn last page. A well-written, well-thought out  Nigerian Inspirational romance, pretty much like a blast of cool fresh water on a hot sunny day. 

The story: Scent of Water, set in Calabar and Lagos, captured the life of a single young lady and an inmate in a federal prison. What started as a dream and a deep conviction to follow through with the dream, after she saw a physical manifestation of it, turned into a pursuit of love and destiny. Unlike most romance novels that set up an eligible or available bachelor with a Spinster, what sets this novel apart from the norm is that we cannot immediately romanticize the idea of a God-loving beautiful woman and a thin, underfed scraggly looking criminal. He unfortunately is our hero and that debunks the idea of the gooey goody feeling inside. Nobody wants a prisoner as a romantic hero.

 That exactly is what will draw you in. You will be hungry to see the transformation of this condemned criminal; physically, morally and spiritually. How would he change and would we accept the change? Would it be believable enough for us? Would he eventually fit into the romantic stereotype? Then the question of how he got into the prison and why the heroine, Esam, had the dream the way she did would be uppermost in our minds. 

Esam had a dream about a condemned prisoner. It was so vivid it startled her out of sleep. She dismissed it as just a dream until she saw a replay of the same dream, the same person she saw in the dream, the hero, Mike Dabi, on network television. There and then she knew it was no ordinary dream. She was on a quest to find the meaning of her dream and how it became connected with this stranger in the prison. That conviction was what drove her to meet with Mike Dabi, the prisoner and our eventual tall, dark and handsome hero.

What you will love about the plot is the uncertainties in the beginning, several cliffhangers in the middle and of course an amicable end. The twists and turns came with Mike's past as a chronic unbeliever, a convicted murderer, drunk-driver and a one-time millionaire with a gold-digging wife. Esam's past as a faithful child of God full of zeal, a widow who was traded off in marriage to a man twice her age, raped several times by her step-son and unable to bear children. Sinmisola brought these two characters together in a clever way.

There's nothing in the snippet below to set off a romantic rendezvous:

“You are in God’s agenda. I know; that’s why he sent me to you. He wants to deliver you…”

“Who do you think you are?” He stood up slowly, glaring at her.

“I saw you in my dream. God revealed you to me. He wants to help you. He loves you… ,” she said, pleadingly looking at him.

“Stop it!” he screamed, covering his ears. “I don’t want to hear about your God.”

“Sit down, 1106.” The warden stood up and started toward them.

“Get out of here before I kill you, and don’t ever come back!” Mike banged on the table. The warden reached him and slapped handcuffs on his wrists, pushing him away.

“Please, please give God a chance.” Esam broke down and wept as the prisoner was led away.

As you can see, there can be no sparks, physical contact or candle-lit dinners. So what exactly can bring these two together? A dream. That's what. Sinmisola cleverly crafted scenarios upon scenarios where we are unable to tell the outcome of the story. The intrigue of money laundering, the Nigerian justice system, betrayals, lusts, greed, men and women who preyed on their spouses and family for the sake of money; against a godly family who live daily by faith, who believe in the power of prayer, who are full of integrity, hope and love for their fellow mankind.

The only issue with the plot was the information dump in the middle when Esam's twin sister was on an investigative mission to Ilesa. It was good geography of the western parts of the country but it was a tad long and felt it was not absolutely necessary to the plot nor did it move the plot forward in any way.

The Style/Voice: This is where we believe Sinmisola will be set apart from many contemporary African Inspirational writers. She has this uncanny ability to delve deep into the emotions of her characters, skillfully connect with her readers and reveal them to us. She has used her writing skill to opt out of the Authorial intrusion and engage us scene after scene rather than narrate the story in a lifeless way. Her delivery of the scenes are apt and remarkable. 

As she moved slowly from Mike and Esam's first tense meeting, as showcased above, to the softening of their hearts towards each other, we are carried along every step of the way. She employed the right words and body language to convey their emotions and really, you will feel every emotion the characters felt. Her command of the English language is commendable. 

She has a unique voice in not shying away from the good, the bad and the downright gory episodes in the life of her characters. She is bold and assertive in her writing and presentation. She made a clear distinction between the way she presented the hero and heroine through their dialogue, attitude and body language.

Her prowess lies in creating a dreamy but realistic romantic atmosphere, with the sensitivity of our Christian faith, without being graphic. She knew where to put a full stop to suggestive scenes. That is the challenge a lot of Christian Inspirational writers face; how to write romance without being too explicit in the love scenes that would make you squirm. It also was not full of verbose language or adverbs, common to most romance novel, that merely force you to feel the emotions. And my most favorite part of it is when the emotional walls broke down between the two of them. The Epilogue was apt and fitting.

The Message: The message of hope, grace, forgiveness, love and redemption is at the core of this book. How does a condemned prisoner end up not just regaining his freedom but getting back all he lost, acquitted from a life sentence for a crime he did not consciously commit, being forgiven by God and accepted into God's intimate circle. Plus, falling in love with a virtuous and godly woman. The answer is GRACE. There is nobody that God cannot redeem, no matter your past. You are not gone past redemption.

Please grab a copy of her book from Amazon and Debonair bookstore, Lagos.

You can get her books from Amazon or visit her website to learn more about her.

Aug 1, 2012

DIARY of a DESPERATE NAIJA WOMAN in the year 2011 by Bola Essien-Nelson

The latest 'DIARY OF A DESPERATE NAIJA WOMAN' by Bola Essien-Nelson is out and on sale at Laterna Bookstore and Terra Kulture.

Hurry, go get your copy of this special, photo-laden and last edition of the DDNW. Please support a sister and get a copy. It's just N3,500.

Visit her blog: DDNW

Jul 22, 2012

Respecting Jael (Judges 4:17-23 & 5:24-27)

I don’t know about you but I never really thought much of Jael. I did not hate her but I was not crazy about her either. I am not sure why but I just was unable to wrap my mind around how a woman could drive a tent peg through another human being’s skull. I mean, enemy or no enemy, was that not a tad ‘too gory’? Could she not have accomplished the same goal in a more ‘humane’ manner, I would always ask God each time I read that part of Judges 4. But yesterday, at the Return of the Helper (‘ROTH’) 2012 Conference, I stopped questionning what Jael did and why.

And I began to respect her.

I now respect Jael because I realise that she is a woman to be reckoned with even if we never hear of her again after Judges 5. As you and I know, she was pivotal to Deborah and Barak’s success and Israel’s victory as it was by her hand that Sisera met his waterloo so to speak. As awesome a feat as that was, that is not what now draws me to her. It is the fact that for Jael to have done what she did, she must have been on top of what was going on around her. The Message bible refers to her as a ‘home-making woman’ so this tells me she was a stay at home mom yet she was not oblivious to the happenings around her. She did not spend all day watching E News and the Food Channel (like me). She also watched SkyNews and read the daily papers. If for nothing else, to guide her prayers.  And on this day when she prayed God must have told her he had an assignment for her. And when the time came for her to act, she acted. She did not waste time thinking “Who me? Little old, plain old, insignificant, stay-at-home mom that I am, can I possibly do this great thing for my nation?

Like many of us think today. I am too young, too old, too poor, too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat, don’t have enough of this or have too much of that, not smart enough, not cool enough, not fine enough. not enough connections and on and on our list goes. 

But the truth I believe Jael is showing us that is that we are ‘just enough’ for God to do whatever he has called us to do right there where we are. All that we need to do for God is already inside of us.  All we have been through is part of God’s ordained plan to equip us to do for him. I don’t know for sure but I am guessing this was not the first time Jael was using a tent peg and a hammer.  It takes some measure of skill I would think to drive a tent peg through someone’s skull like that. I want to believe that it was something she did often and I am sure she thought it was boring some days. Perhaps she felt it was just a mundane skill. But that mundane, ‘ordinary’ skill is what led to her being immortalised in Bible history today. How many other women do you know have their names written into a bible hit song? Check out the lyrics of the track that Deborah and Barak released to celebrate Israel’s victory (Judges 5:24-27) and you will see how come I now respect Jael.

Let us put skill and talent apart in this matter. I still find it difficult to believe that Jael could have done what she did in her own strength. The human skull was not designed to be easily cracked. This woman must have had some ‘higher power’ coursing through her arm to drive that peg right through Sisera's head and into the ground! That power, as I see it, could be no other than the power of God. What am I saying? If God sends you on an assignment, HE will empower you to do it.  So we need to stop second-guessing ourselves and just go and do as God as sent us to do.It's not about you. It's about the God in you.

Jael was a woman living ready to fulfill her assignment. Are you? How many ‘Siseras’ have you let get away because you felt you did not have the skills to ‘kill’ them? Or worse still, how many ‘little foxes, little enemies’ are you still allowing to sleep in your life when you should be ‘driving the tent peg down’ on them? Why are you still refusing to be decisive about that situation in your life? So you have been nice to him/her, given him/her milk to drink. That’s nice but the enemy is still the enemy. Deal with the situation! Or it will deal with you.

Can you imagine if Jael had lightly tapped that tent peg on Sisera’s temple? Hmm, the man would have woken up and strangled her dead! Yet, we go around trying to handle the devil and his vices with kid’s gloves. We need to be decisive about this walk of ours. We need to be like Jael and drive the tent peg down hard and kill off anything keeping us from living our lives as authentic, purpose-driven and fulfilling, Christian women.

I did not stay for the entire ROTH 2012 conference as I had to leave early but I am so glad for the thirty minutes I was able to spend there. It was well worth it and I brag on God for its organisers for now I not only like and understand Jael...

I respect her deeply.
(c) the dnw

May 30, 2012

The faith of Hannah

I want to talk a little bit about the mother of Samuel.

She is such a courageous woman to be able to do the kind of things that she did in the bible. I cannot imagine waiting years and years for a child and then submitting that same child to God. She must have loved God greatly so much that the desire of her heart was no longer for a child. In those months she had her son, she must have come to know God so well.

I am in a place where i want to expand the way i think about God, i want to increase in my trust and in my faith in Him. I want a refreshing faith, my faith has long been be-laboured (if that is a word). Hannah is such a strong woman of God. Sarah too, i fear that sometimes i fail in my expectation in being a daughter of Sarah, a woman who believes God extremely.

Lord, help me to trust you for good gifts, help me to entrust these gifts into your hand and help me to walk with you per second per second to accomplish your goal for my life.

I admire the courage of Hannah and i thank the Father that with the faith of Jesus i can do more than all this women of old. I thank God for grace to be able to believe and hope and trust God more. Ciao! 

May 17, 2012

The Woman the Earth Helped


I am happy to be here today. I have not posted anything on Faithdames for a while now and I did not plan to do so today. But about 20 mins ago, I had this huge burden for ‘a woman’. Some woman out there, who like the woman in the Book of Revelation, is travailing in labour about to bring forth a child. I sense this might not be about birth in the pure physical sense of it. It is about bringing forth the fruit that God has placed on the inside of her. She, like the woman the Bible described as ‘a wonder in heaven’, is the target of ‘a beast’ of some sort. Something or someone or some situation does not want her to bring forth. I asked my PapaGod who this was and how he wanted me to get his message to her. 'Faithdames' dropped quietly in my spirit. Post it there. She will see it . She will read it and she will know that it is going to be just fine.

Because the Earth will help her. Do you hear me, dear one out there groaning in pain, not knowing where your help will come from? Your God says he will send forth a divine command and all that is needed for you will come forth. Even if the earth itself has got to open up its mouth and swallow up some people. It will. Because God will make it happen. You do not believe me? Please take out some time now and Read the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelations. Not only did God command the earth in her favour, earlier on, he had given her wings like an eagle to fly high above her situation, her obstacles, her foes. Just like he is about to do for you.

I know that the woman in the book of Revelation is a symbol for Israel and her child is Christ but that is why I love the Bible. No matter the grand, theological, future meaning, I can apply it to my life today. Please apply it to yours dear Faithdame. OK?

As a daughter of the most High, you are robed in the sun and you have the moon under your feet. Your head bears a crown of stars which means you are completely surrounded by heavenly lights! God’s favour shines upon you day and night. True, you labour sometimes and true, you bear much pain, but that is just because it takes hard work to produce an important result. God has planted something important in you and will bring it forth no matter how impossible it looks to you now. Do not be discouraged. Do not give up. Look at what Jesus went through. Pain and plenty of it.  Now look where he is today. In glory, reigning victoriously having accomplished his God-ordained destiny.

This too shall be your testimony.

Because the God all of the Earth is going to command the earth to open up its mouth to help you.