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Put Your Best Foot Forward

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Am I the only one that feels like we exchanged Happy New Year greetings just yesterday? How is it June already? Well, it’s here and we’ve got to make the best use of it!

For some, it’s been a great year filled with pleasant surprises and things going up, up, up. For others, it’s not been as good as expected, maybe a sudden death, relationship issues or just unexpected incidents you didn’t bargain for. Either way, you’re alive! So you’re still in the running to have a successful life.

No one has life easy, no one sails through, even the most wealthy people face challenges, but what separates the men from the boys is a heart that peseveres, one that chooses to keep pushing through, against all odds.

2017 might seem like it’s just starting for you, but it’s better late than never. This June, I encourage you to put your best foot forward. Regardless of what you get paid, give your job your best, add value to your team. If you’re in school, go the extra mile in your reading time and knock those tests out! If you’re volunteering or interning, make sure you prove yourself in the tasks you’re given so much that your line manager speaks highly of you. If you run your own business, take the next bold step for your business, make your business portfolio worthy of an investor’s attention.
Whatever you do, give it your best. Excellence is key, even in the little things.

Have a great month. Remember to put your best food forward.

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The Need for Patience

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Pretty much everything in the world is automated, technology has taken over, everything is instant: text messaging, social media, same-day delivery. There’s hardly any need to wait and no one really wants to. We’re slowly losing the virtue of patience. It’s slightly worrisome because while some results can be achieved instantly, not everything can be a quick fix. I understand that some things should only take 5 minutes, like grabbing a Starbucks but the full benefit of certain things need time to yield, like the development of a baby.

It feels like the ability to wait has been forgotten, and things that come with time are no longer appreciated. For some, waiting in line for the bus is a hassle, the process to rise in career is too long, can’t this process just be sped up? Unfortunately not. Waiting increases your ability to appreciate a thing, many things received on a platter are often taken for granted.

I recently attended a conference aimed to encourage people to live their dreams and a common point the different speakers made was the need for patience in the pursuit of your passion and dreams. They explained that their jobs involved hard work and many of them started out earning little or nothing, but with time and consistency, their businesses grew to the point where they became sought after in their fields. This is something a few people either don’t know or have chosen to ignore: success is a process. That process involves falling, failing, sleepless nights but eventual progress. Behind every success story is years of toil and perseverance, a lot of self-motivation and hard work. Everyone must pay their dues. No one rises without first serving, observing and learning from those ahead of them in the industry.

Today, we admire certain individuals but none of them just sat and made money or impact instantly, they worked hard, pushed through challenges and consistently found ways to do something great with their gifts and skills and evolved over time. What are you doing with your skills and talents? Waiting for a miracle or putting effort daily to ensure that you achieve your desired goals.

I hope that someone will not misunderstand my argument and take it to mean sit on your butt and wait because you want to practice patience. No. Patience is not the lack of action, it is consistent action, with the awareness that the result may not be apparent immediately and an appreciation of that knowledge. (Aye! Sounds like a quotable quote, no?)

Here are some quotes from individuals of repute on this subject:

Why is patience so important? Because it makes us pay attention.” – Paulo Coelho

Patience is a conquering virtue.”- Geoffrey Chaucer

Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.”- Moliere

Hasty climbers have sudden falls.”- Robert Greene

I really hope this helps you appreciate your waiting process, if you’re in one right now and challenges your mindset or thought patterns towards this subject. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section.

P.S- Have you seen the latest King Women interview? It underscores the need for patience. Watch it here.

Have a great day!

King Women

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I think it will be unfair of me not to talk about this. I mean, it’s the age of women empowerment and supporting your sisters and acknowledging good when you see it. I know the whole world has a smartphone and 80% are on Instagram, but some people might not know (p.s- those are not real stats).

Let me be the one to break it to you if you don’t know already- King Women is amazing!

King Women is a collection of interviews by Kemi Adetiba of powerful Nigerian women as they share about their lives, loves, passion and struggles. She captures truths that have never been heard or shared about these women. Watching it, you see strength and beauty in vulnerability. The women she interviewed, according to the teasers are Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett, Tara Fela-Durotoye, TY Bello, Chioma Omeruah (Chigul), Funmi Victor-Okigbo and Adesuwa Onyenokwe. 

Kemi Adetiba is a cinematographer and film director. Her latest movie, ‘The Wedding Party’ (which is now on Netflix) was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. She has also directed many music videos (such as Bez’s ‘More You’ and ‘Say’, Niyola’s ‘Toh Bad’, TY Bello’s ‘The Future’). With a degree in Law and another in Film from New York Film Academy, Kemi knows her stuff, does it excellently and always brings professionalism to the table.

Kemi started out releasing teasers of the videos and everyone kept asking when the full videos will be out. They’re out now! The episodes with Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett, Tara Fela-Durotoye and TY Bello are out on Accelerate TV’s channel on Youtube. New episodes are released every Monday! I’m so excited.

The great thing for me about King Women is how inspiring it is. It’s the stories of great women who are seen as role models but it reveals some of the things that they’ve been through and how they pushed through it to be greater; how bad experiences were etched in their minds and became the driving force for their ambition and success.

King Women will teach you that you have something you can work with, and no matter what life hands you, you can make something of it. It will remind you that giving up is not an option because if you push some more, you’ll find strength inside of you. You’ll learn how to love, and know that things don’t just happen, there’s always a reason and a bigger picture. No matter what stage of life you are at, you will have something to hold on to as you watch these videos.

I’m grateful that Kemi ran with this vision and blessed the world and our generation with the gift of these stories. It is just what we need and the inspiration it provides to various people who watch it is inestimable. Thank you, Kemi.

With these few points of mine, I hope I’ve been able to convince you and not confuse you that you should watch and share the King Women videos. And this is to encourage you to spread the word when you find good things, online or even in print. Someone might need to read or hear it. Let’s look out for each other. Be a bearer of good news today and always!

Happy New Month!

 

The Best User

I know I may not be enough but still use me
Perfectly flawed, true imperfection, use me still
I have my wrongs, my faults, many reasons why not
Let your heart find a reason to
Use me, Lord

In your service, I don’t feel abused
You do not take my hard work for granted
You encourage me, constantly cheering me on
Even when I make mistakes
You don’t end my time and send me away
Your loving arms embrace me
I absolutely want you to use me*

 
Have you ever thought about how much people can take advantage of others? How people can ‘use’ people?
This came up in the cause of a conversation and I realised that there are only a few people who could have the chance to use you but decide not to, most other people, if aware of the fact that they can ‘use you’, will take full advantage of it.

A few examples came to mind:
The Employer– If an employer spots an employee who is willing to go the extra mile, work longer hours and give his 130% best to the job, this makes his day. If he knows that this employee will do things on short notice and with the available (though inadequate) resources, he will take advantage of that as well.
If he knows that that employee is likely to overlook the terms of his contract and run personal errands for the employer, he’ll probably be delighted. In the light of these, who do you think the employer will call if he had a deadline to meet but failed to meet it because of his busy weekend in DisneyLand?Yes, this hardworking employee!
The issue for me is the thin line between maximising your employees’ strengths and using them. If they are given more work to do, they should be paid more, that’s only fair but when you make them do four people’s job and you’re ignoring their emails about a salary increase, that’s using them.

The (supposed) Friend– because a real friend will not be a parasite but encourage a symbiotic relationship. A friend is using you when they are gaining things from you that they will not be willing to give in return. Sometimes you may have more emotionally and your friend, academically, and that’s great, as long as you give your best to each other in your areas of strength; but when you pour into someone and they’re not willing to do the same for you, it’s parasitic. It may not be a healthy friendship. Check yaself !
When you can go all out for a person without feeling cheated and have the assurance that you’ll be given similar treatment, were the tables reversed, that’s a healthy relationship and you’re not being used.

The Teacher– We’ve all had that classmate that’s very bright and the teacher loves. I’ve also seen instances where the teacher get a couple of students to do research or write essays in certain subjects which they then use for their own tasks or teaching aids. Why I would term this as using the student is that the teacher most likely won’t give credit to the student because they’ll probably use it to teach other students in the same school. Does that sound like plagiarism to you? It does to me, but we love our teachers and are pleased to help with their research so it’s all good.

The one and only person I know who I’d actually allow to use me anyway possible is:s
The Father – when I think of being used, it means being taken advantage of, or not being given full credit for work done. This is the exact opposite of what Jesus does. He is the rewarded of those who diligently seek Him (). In Exodus 23:25, He says that you will serve and He will bless, pretty symbiotic relationship there, you see?
He does not cheat you, He even looks for opportunities to give to you. He sets before you life and death, but urges you to choose life (Deut 30:19)

His every promise is based on a premise: you do x and I’ll do y. And a lot of the time, x is a smaller deal than y, but He loves us too much to care that His side of the deal is tougher, He’s also the King of Kings so it’s nothing to shim to do what He says.
It’s great to know that service to God is really a benefit to yourself. It a seed that will reap harvest.
When you feel like you’re being stretched, that’s a process of growth, God is grooming you for something even bigger. At the end of the day, you’ll look back and understand. He won’t give you all the pieces of the puzzle at once, you probably won’t be able to handle the magnitude of it. Stay strong, stay in service. God has a plan for you.
If you’re going to break a leg for someone, let it be worth it, as led by God and therefore to His glory.

*The poem was written by Ifeoluwa Gbosi 

My Houston Experience

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Hey,

I hope you’re good? Thanks to a successful completion of my Law degree (praise God), I had some free time and with it came an opportunity to travel. My destination was Houston, Texas. I had a great time and I’ll share some of what I did while I was there.

I spent 13 days visiting family, relaxing and a lot of window-shopping with some purchases here and there. Someone mentioned that Houston is a ‘foodie town’ and I found that to be true during my stay as I ate out a lot (in my opinion, at least). I tried food, ice cream and doughnuts from a total of 13 places, and no, it wasn’t one a day. Like I said, Houston is a food town, so going out to eat is quite the norm and there’s so much variety.

Thankfully, I had people who are familiar with the area and were able to recommend places to eat. Some of the places I had stuff from were: Cafiza, Snooze (their sweet potato pancakes are so good), Reggae Hut Cafe, Hunky Dory, Shake Shack, Lee’s Fried Chicken, FatCat Creamery, Hugs and Donuts, Kitchen 713 (pause, think back, “bless the  hands of that chef, Lord”), Marble Slab Creamery.

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My cousin, her best friend and I drove to Austin to pick up her siblings and we had some food there too. There was this amazing doughnut place called Gourdoughs …that was the highlight of the Austin trip for me. If you’re ever in Austin, please make it a date. If you have to bookmark this page, it’s worth it 🙂

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Gourdough’s Big.Fat.Doughnuts.

I also did some thrifting, which I love to do. Affordable clothes are just a delight. Thrifting also helps me practice being patience and remind myself of the fact that good things are sometimes hidden in unexpected places. It also doesn’t make me feel too bad for shopping when there’s better ways to spend money because the clothes are cheaper than usual.

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Thanks to my adventurous brother, I went indoor skydiving at iFly and it was really exciting. I didn’t anticipate as much as wind as I got but if I have the chance, I’ll probably do it again.

On my last day in Houston, I went to the Galleria and my cousin and I went ice skating. It was the first time for both of us but it was a lovely time. The initial plan for the day was to go to Kemah but it rained and that couldn’t happen. My forward thinking sister-in-law suggested going ice-skating and that’s was how we made good use of the day.

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Took me holding the rails for a while but I finally made it. Yay!

It was a fun time. I didn’t want to leave, but there’s a time and season for everything, innit? Looking forward to my next travel opportunity.

If you’ve been to Texas before, please share your experiences or any fun spots you visited.

Hugs and love from a satisfied traveler, MBW*

Dear Traveler

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This is a true story of a lady’s travel experience earlier this month. I hope you pick up a few lessons from it. I share mine after the story:

After a few days meeting and bonding with her niece, her brother-in-law dropped her at the airport. Due to poor planning, she didn’t get to check-in online and thought she’d be able to do it at the airport. She arrived an hour before her flight was scheduled to leave ‪at 7.05p‬m.

She inquired about checking in, and was told it would cost her €45 for the service. Way to go, Ryan Air! Being as she was flying back to the UK and didn’t anticipate a need to spend at the airport, she didn’t have any euros but had some pounds, which is not accepted as tender in Köln. She was directed to a bank where she could change the money and then come back to pay. “But hurry,” the agent said, “you have limited time.”

At the bank counter, she asked how much £40 would get her. “That would be (clicks calculator buttons) €37.” With a look of desperation, she asked, “Is that all I can get? I need €45.” At this point, she could feel the tears coming. She had a feeling this would happen since she didn’t check in online as she usually would have. He paused and pressed some more buttons, “the most you can get is €42.” Ok, she thought. That’s better than thirty seven.

Now with some tears having pushed through the barriers of her eyes and coming down her cheeks, she asked, “please can you spare €3 of your own money? I really need €45 to pay for my check in. Please.”
She showed him the slip she’d been given at the counter with her name and some abbreviations with boxes beside them, only one checked, but not the required amount to be paid. Still, somehow, she hoped it’ll help.

He handed her the €42 and a receipt, then got his wallet, confirmed how much she needed and gave her €3. “Thank you”, she said through tears. More than anything, she was moved that this stranger saw the truth in her eyes and allowed himself to believe in her. Angels still walk the earth, she thought.

Putting herself together, she headed back to pay at a different counter where she was given a receipt, after which she went to finally get this service. The agent made a phone call and then said to her, “I’m sorry, Ma’am, the flight is now closed”. Her head was spinning. This people sent me on a wild goose chase only to tell me I can’t go?
“What? Wait. Please. You have to help me. But I’m here and the plane is still here. Please. It’s only‪ 6.35pm.‬”
“I’m sorry Madam, there’s nothing I can do. I’ve called my supervisor and checking in is closed. It closes 40 minutes before departure.” She was disappointed.

She was directed to see his colleague “over there” for more information about alternative flight options. There was another in 2 hours that would cost €100 and there was yet another the evening of the next day which would cost €26 if it was booked online.

She weighed her options: getting her brother-in-law to come back and make the airport trip again the next day to drop her off versus just going with the next one. Plus this is a new daddy who should be bonding with his princess not making unnecessary airport trips.

On the other hand, she had another trip in two days after which she had to get back to the UK to catch. Going with the €26 option on the evening of the next day would truncate her plans. She decided it was better to take the next available flight, which got her home a few hours later than planned, but at least on the same day.

Therefore, dear traveler, here are a few things to note, whether on your first trip or your fourteenth.

• Check-in Online
Set a reminder to check-in online, just in case you get so deep in errands that you forget or have a lot of last minute things to do. It saves you time and clearly, money.

• (Accessible) Vex money
This means extra cash, in case of an emergency. Having savings is a blessing, a MasterCard or some extra cash in hand is a brilliant idea. Take a bit more than you need in case something comes up.
If you have savings you can’t access on the proverbial ‘rainy day’, what’s the point?

• Do What You Need To
Do the needful. Step out of your comfort zone. Asking that man for €3 was probably not the easiest thing for the lady in the story, but when the going gets tough, fine girl swag goes out the window for a little while. Furthermore, you’re abroad, you’ll probably never see this person again so it’s okay.

•Ask Again
Notice also how she was offered €37 for £40, but ended up getting €42? Its not clear why the money merchant was trying to keep her fiver but by asking again, she wasn’t cheated.

I hope this story helps someone and hopefully saves you from having a similar experience. Do you have any travelling tips? Please share in the comment section.

Have a great day!
MBW

A Proverbs 21:1 Story

This is an account of real-life events that occurred on January 13th 2017 in a city called Milton Keynes in the UK. The narrator has provided an excerpt from her journal and given her consent for it to be published. All names used are fictitious, for the purpose of this post, and any similarities are purely coincidental.

For the past two days, I had an excruciating tooth pain. I couldn’t sleep at night and that side of my mouth felt paralyzed. My attempts to call dental clinics were unsuccessful; none could attend to me because I wasn’t registered and/or they had a long waiting list. At this point, I was frustrated and in tears after making so many futile calls. I remembered a prayer from some days before – ‘God is concerned with every area of your life’ – I thought, ”Hmmm really?” But I prayed it anyways, I begged God to take away the pain. I cried, I praised, I prayed this pain away. Yet, it didn’t go.

On the third morning, after speaking to the emergency services, I was told I could get to see a dentist at 6.30pm. This was at 11am. I was broken, I asked God what I did to deserve this. I decided to get some medication from the pharmacy. On the way, I was listening to Travis Greene’s Intentional – ‘all things are working for my good, you don’t have to worry ‘cos it’s working for you’. I waited till 1.45pm to take the medicine and the pain seemed to increase. Ah! Where could I have gone wrong? A friend of mine, Eve, had come to visit and we decided to call the pharmacy again. I explained the situation to them but they said nothing could be given to me except a gel to numb the pain, I got this and applied it. Ten minutes after, the pain was back. The gel didn’t work. At this point, I was just calm.

Around 4pm, the pain increased, in fact that word is too lenient – it intensified. I started crying, begging God to have mercy on me. My friend said we should call the private practice again, they basically shut us down saying they couldn’t do anything. She suggested we go to the practice, since it was just around the corner. When we got there, the receptionist said nothing could be done, I wasn’t registered with the clinic and she couldn’t help me. This was at 4.45pm. Eve pleaded, explaining that I had been in pain for two days and really needed to see the doctor. She apologised that there was nothing she could do. I started crying and begging, for her to just give me something. As I was talking, the emergency service called me to say nothing could be done till 6.30pm as earlier stated.

While I was on the phone, the receptionist, Cassie, walked away to speak to the doctor, explaining the situation and describing how distraught I was. After a few minutes, she came out and said, ”The doctor will see you.” She took my details and led me to his office. Within 30 minutes, he had fixed the issue and I was out (apparently, I had an infection). I thanked Cassie on my way out. , ”Nah”, she replied, ”you’re luckyThe person who had an appointment didn’t turn up that’s why we were able to see you.” I smiled. In my mind, I knew that God had made a way in what seemed to be an impossible one. He came through for me just in time.

This experience gets to me because a tooth is so small but the amount of pain it caused was intense. Also, holding on to the Word that God is interested in all areas of my life because He is my Creator helped me. What others might call luck, I say was a divine coincidence. If God can make a way in such a seemingly small situation, how much more the bigger things? As long as you have God, your ship will never sink. He will always give you testimonies. He is never late, sometimes we’re just too early! When the time is right, He will show up for you.

I learnt so much from this story such as the importance of having a Word and standing on it, the way God can use people to help you and how faith requires you to step out and act. I really hope it encourages someone. Please share your thoughts or what you’ve learnt from this testimony.

Until my next post, stay winning!

MBW.

Christmas Charge

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Merry Christmas!
It’s a season to remember the birth of Jesus and the wonders that came with his entry into the world. It’s a time to reminisce on the gift that God gave to us in his Son, and all the love that Jesus we experience as God’s children.
As the year comes to an end, its useful to reflect on God’s goodness and to be thankful for the many things He has done for us, the things we got and those we missed, for in all things God was working things out for your good.

For some people, 2016 may have been challenging, for others, it may have been amazing. But either way, as long as you are alive, you have a reason to be grateful. The story of the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19 illustrates that giving thanks is a wise thing to do. No matter how many things you did right or could have done better, with life, there is hope and you can try again tomorrow. God’s mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23).

I work with the teenagers at church and we recently composed a poem together about Christmas because we couldn’t find anything online that we thought truly captured the essence of Christmas. I thought you share it with you:

When I was a baby
Christmas was just for fun
Now I’m a teen
I’ve figured it’s so much more

The story of Jesus birth told to me
Has become a reality
No longer just to look beneath the Christmas tree
But it’s the beginning of a journey
That set me free

Santa is not the reason I celebrate
Nor the angel on top of the tree
Nor the tinsel or stuffed turkey
Although delicious, that’s not for me

Instead I celebrate Christ’s birth
For He’s the true meaning of Christmas
Nothing else can come first
Its even in the name
He deserves all the fame

So this is an invitation
To shift your focus from the gifts, decorations, parties and all the other things that take our focus off the Master
Unto Jesus- the true reason for Christmas

Merry Christmas.
*MBW

Prayers for Children- Zelophehad’s Daughters

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Hello,

I recently viewed a Periscope session by Pastor Bimbo Fola-Alade (@Esthers_company) and she read about Zelophehad’s daughters from Numbers 27:1-10 and raised some prayer points for children from the story. I hope you find them useful and find time to pray them for your children/grandchildren or future children.

  • It took strength from Zelophehad’s daughters. Women were like chattel in that time, they were not recognised at the time. They were asking to be treated as men, to be valuable, to carry on the name of their father (vs 1). Pray for a spirit of boldness and courage to come upon our children. That strongholds of fear and timidity be removed (2 Tim 1:7)
  • The women could have been confined to a life of lack and looking for fulfilment in a husband, but God did not allow that to happen (vs 2). Pray that our daughters will not be limited by societal restrictions, but will be outstanding and take territories. That God will give them a strong sense of self and identity. (Gal 3:23)
  • Pray for a strong sense of natural and spiritual identity that will cause them to thrive and prosper and give their life a direction (vs 3).
  • Pray that our children will lay hold of all that is due to them both naturally and spiritually (vs 4). To lay hold of this, the children must know that it is possible to be achieved and that they have access to it or the capacity to get it. As parents, you must know your child’s capability (and in what area- academics, sports, music, etc) and stretch them to reach it. Pray that God will give parents a clear vision for the lives of their children.
  • Pray that the petition of our children will have favour with authority figures and be granted (vs 6). It’s not everything that is due to you that you get, you need to claim some things like Zelophehad’s daughters did.
  • Pray that our children will be trailblazers in the field that God has called them to. And they will leave an imprint for their generation.

These are profound declarations which you can speak daily over your children and even over yourself. Your words are powerful and creative: Speak!

Love and hugs,  MBW

 

The First Class Ticket 

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I was riding with some friends to the airport about a month ago and we got talking about travelling and trips we had made in the past. We talked about our preferred airlines for domestic and international travel and then got talking about favourite seats.

One of my friends said she preferred the aisle seats because she has long legs and needs the leg room. She also preferred to be disturbed than to disturb others with going through to the bathroom or to stretch.  Another friend riding with us said she preferred the window seat because she liked to look outside and see things plus she could lean against it to sleep. Our friend who was driving chipped in on how amazing first class is because there’s no issue of legroom since there’s adequate space.

My leg-room-loving friend shared an experience where she was upgraded to first class on one of her trips, without paying for it. She got to the airport and asked to check in and was told she was being upgraded. Of course she was happy and pleasantly surprised. On board, she was offered all the perks made available to first class passengers. However, she does not like eating on planes and didn’t take anything but water.

This conversation sparked a thought in my head. Coming to Christ is like getting a first class ticket. Being in Christ, you have access to all the good things that are in Him (2 Pet. 1:3). You have a choice to fully experience and get all of His goodness- all the perks available in first class, or you could scratch the surface like my friend and just taste a little of His power.

It is much more beneficial to tap into all of God because there is so much to Him, so many levels and dimensions. He is inexhaustible. The moment you think you’ve experienced a great thing, He turns another side of Himself to you and shows you that you can’t put Him in a box.

Regardless of where you’ve been, what you’ve gone through or are still going through, God is committed to you; and as hard as that may be for someone to believe, it’s true. He wants you to experience all of Him and He loves you so much (1 John 3:1, John 3:16). Just as you don’t owe the air hostess an explanation as to why you have been upgraded, you don’t owe the devil or anyone an explanation for your life or the choices you’ve made or the fact that Jesus loves you. You just need to believe that He loves you and have faith in the promises He’s made to you.

You can find these promises in His Word and as you meditate on them, you will find it easier to believe them. You have something much better than a first class plane ticket. You have an audience with the King of Kings! What a privilege.