I Am A Gift


‘I am a gift from heaven to my mum and dad’. Those were the words of my friends’ little pre-schooler to someone who was asking him who he was and where he was from. I sat with my friend to lunch earlier this week, and she was telling me of her sons’ development. This was a long waited for young boy – a true gift from God. Today I will like to share what I learnt from the story of my friend and this little boy with you.

I got to know this friend of mine over ten years ago. She was my colleague and we got close, particularly because, alongside her career, she was also a pastor’s wife like myself.  My friend and her husband were then believing God for a child. They were faithful servants of God, loving believers who gave their all to people and God; yet they had this pressing need.

All through the time we worked together, we also prayed together for the visitation of God on this family in the area of the fruit of the womb. Alongside prayers were all the medical check-ups and there were so many negative reports that will make it so difficult to expect a baby with the natural mind. My friend had several health challenges and it looked like those things would need to be sorted before any baby could be brought into the picture.

At some point my friend and her husband felt strongly that they should go for an IVF. It was a very expensive as well as painful process, but she endured and went through it. They indeed conceived afterwards but unfortunately, they lost the pregnancy within the first few weeks. Though her faith was shaken but she stood strong. That was one of the most painful experiences my friend had during her waiting period.

A few months after losing the pregnancy, she just conceived miraculously without any further medical intervention and gave birth to a baby boy. It was a very unexpected miracle, as my friend had almost given up waiting for a baby at this point. She had now gone to register for courses and trainings that she had always wanted to do which she had been holding off due to her plans for a baby. My friend went through pregnancy without any unpleasant incident and gave birth to this lovely boy.

Once more, our God has shown that He is ever so faithful. When He promises, He will bring His word to pass in our lives; if only we can wait for Him.

God’s word says 

‘Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.’ Deuteronomy 7:9

God through His faithfulness keeps every single promise He gives, He especially looks out for those who love Him and those who keep His commandments. 

I will like to implore you to love God, stand on His word and He will continue to show Himself strong on your behalf, making available to you all that you ask of Him.

As my friend and I finished our lunch date, and I reflected more on what she has been through alongside her husband, what she did, how after receiving him, she started teaching her son the ways of the Lord without holding back, I once more congratulated my friend and we both concluded that if we remain faithful, we will experience His faithfulness; because He will never fail us.

Please always remember this, God will never fail you and He is on your side! 


Wait For The Answer

I was in the office this week when a few people came in. My observation was that we said, ‘hello and how are you’. I realised however that everyone expected a normal answer of OK and moved on quickly to talk about other things. I had to then pull up one of the people on the issue of not waiting for a full response and he said; ‘well, how are you is a rhetorical question, and no one expects an answer really’. Hmm – I wondered if I was the only strange one in the world; I expect genuine answers when I ask how people are and equally give genuine answers. This led me to the story of my encounter with my neighbour last week.

I ran into my elderly neighbour a couple of weeks ago and asked how she and her husband were doing. She said ‘fine but things are difficult’ – I asked her why and she mentioned that her husband was in the hospital. I empathised with her and said I would be back to chat with her about things as it was quite obvious she was rushing to get to the hospital for a visit with her husband.

Last week however, I realised that I hadn’t done anything about my neighbours answer and the Holy Spirit reminded me that I should do something; no matter how little. I went to my neighbour’s door only to realise that both husband and wife were now unwell, and bed bound. I was able to go in, spend some time with them both, encouraged them as much as I could before I left.

On my way out, their daughter thanked me for dropping in to spend a little bit of time with them and she said it’s the brightest her parents had been in about a week; though mum was in a lot of pain due to her surgery; she was able to sit up, chat with me; hence taking her mind off her pain.

I was very happy I gave enough attention to the answer the lady gave me when I asked how well she was doing. I was even much more excited about the fact that I decided to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit that told me to do something about the question I asked. I never knew the lady had an operation and was just recovering before I went to their door – but glad I did.

As I looked at these incidences, it crossed my mind that we need to develop a culture that helps us stop, and genuinely show interest, love and care.

Gods’ word says,

‘Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.’ Hebrews 13:2

Kindness or hospitality is something that can easily be forgotten when we get caught up in our busy lifestyles and schedules.

Busyness will never go away but stopping during our busyness to show kindness and hospitality to people is a great habit to develop so we can continue to be a blessing to others and in return, receive a blessing from above.

Do not forget – when you ask how people are doing, stop to hear their answer and act upon the answers. It is not always a rhetorical question. It is one that sometimes needs a response.


Eight Qualities of a Good Mentor to Help You Make a Wise Choice

A good mentor enjoys the mentoring sessions and feels rejoiced with the success of a mentee. A good mentor is supposed to be compassionate towards the unique requirements of all mentees.

  • He/she is supposed to possess the qualities of a good mentor, teacher, active listener and learned trainer.
  • A mentor who is committed to assist the mentees in finding the satisfaction and success in life or in the selected fields of profession may be regarded as a good mentor.
  • He/she may empower a mentee to nurture their strengths and personal attributes by showing what measures or steps are necessary in order to become productive and successful.
  • A productive mentoring relationship may even help the novice employees along with the interns move on the road towards success with professional expertise and knowledge of a mentor regarding a particular industry or service.

However, it is not easy to find a reliable, learned and dedicated mentor who can help you reach the goal whilst strengthening your skills and developing your expertise for the beneficial interpersonal relationships.

It is Essential to Learn about the Qualities of a Good Mentor

qualities of a good mentor

1. Bringing Positivity

An experienced mentor knows the importance of the positive attitude in order to become successful in this world. He/she may exhibit the personal attributes that are essential for a mentor to become successful in life or how to increase the productivity. A good mentor always shows a positive behavior and executes the positive actions that are necessary to become successful.

2. Inclination towards Share

The positive behavior or actions are not enough to direct a mentee on the path towards success. A good mentor is supposed to have the willingness to share his/her experience and knowledge with a mentee. The shared knowledge or experience may help mentees learn about the practical steps towards success. A good mentor also accepts a mentee without passing any judgment regarding his/her skills, as a mentor knows the steps that are necessary to become successful.

3. Dedicated Assistance

A good mentor is supposed to show a special interest in the requirements of a mentee. The dedication and enthusiasm of a mentor may increase your confidence and give you a feeling that your queries have value. A dedicated mentor can steer the mentees towards success.

4. Invested in Mentoring Relationship

A good mentor also receives gratification from the success of mentees. He/she does not take the mentoring responsibility lightly. He/she does not just possess knowledge about a field of business, profession or other aspects of life. He/she is compassionate towards the mentees.

5. Encouraging Progress through Advice & Feedback

A constructive feedback is delivered based on observation and available information. It is focused on a particular issue. A good mentor is supposed give a constructive feedback to the mentees along with a practical guidance depending upon the unique requirements of all mentees.

  • A mentor may use the constructive feedbacks to help mentees in realizing their unique strengths and may advice them on how to use their strengths in order to achieve success.
  • A constructive feedback may even identify the weaknesses of mentees without spreading any negativity.
  • A good mentor may even present challenges to the mentees in order to ensure success in the professional field.
  • The completion of challenges also delivers a sense of accomplishments to the mentees.

6. Continuous Growth

A good mentor is supposed to remain updated about the mentoring technique.

  • He/she is willing to learn new practices and to experiment with the traditional mentoring process.
  • A successful mentor may even write articles in journals.
  • He/she is supposed to have the willingness to share the knowledge/experience with the mentees or with trainee mentors who may significantly benefit from this type of guidance.
  • A good mentor is keen to enhance their skills and knowledge through seminars, workshops or professional conferences.
  • Hence, a good mentor believes in continues growth and keeps updated knowledge about his/her field of expertise.

7. Flawless Reputation

A flawless reputation is the primary sign of a good mentor, as the mentees look up to the mentors and may follow their footsteps in the future. Hence, it is crucial for a good mentor to have respected position in the society in order to mentor without leaving any negative effect on the mentees.

8. Setting A Good Example

A good mentor may present the journey of his/her success in professional field and personal life as an example for the mentees. A good mentor is also supposed to set a positive example for the mentees with his/her behavior or the tone of voice. However, it is equally essential for a mentee not to abuse the rapport with a mentor and to respect a mentor’s convenience.

Following these 8 important qualities of a good mentor will help you choose a great mentor wisely.


Who is a Mentor? An Overview of a Mentor’s Role

These days, a mentor’s role is not just limited to being a wise and trusted counselor. The concept of mentoring may be useful in every part of life.

Who is a Mentor?

  • A mentor may help you stay focused on the goal, may help you adapt to varying changes of your life and may help you achieve success with a positive attitude at all times.
  • A mentor may become a coach who motivates you, gives you a positive direction, supports you with the judicious and comforting advice and gives you the direction to reach your goal.
  • A mentor is also willing to commit his/her time for the betterment of your life and may help you identify your potential or new opportunities in different fields of life for improvement.

Hence, a mentor may truly become a friend, philosopher and guide to help you achieve great things in life.

Why Need a Mentor?

  • You may never witness stagnancy with a mentor in your life. Hence, a mentor can lead you towards success if you follow the suggestions and act upon the advice.
  • A mentor can help you identify the areas where you need improvement for better performance.
  • A mentor does not just help you set a goal; he/she helps you set a measurable and practical goal depending upon your capabilities and the available resources or manpower. A mentor may act as a disciplinarian and may set the boundaries that are necessary for the prevention of failure.
  • A mentor can give you the information you may require to succeed in a field of commerce or occupation.
  • A mentor also gives you the opportunity to stimulate professional and personal growth.
Having A Mentor Benefits

Diverse Roles of a Mentor

The usefulness of a mentor is equally important in your personal and professional life. In developmental mentoring, a successful entrepreneur or a professional may offer insight into the field of your work, as he/she has gathered wisdom through years of experience. These mentors can help you identify or focus on your goal and can help you lose the fear when taking an initiative.

Active Listening & Advice

At the first stage of mentoring, a mentor listens to the queries or problems of a mentee with undivided attention.

  • This stage allows a mentor to create an accepting and positive ambiance in order to establish a rapport with a mentee.
  • The active listening also enables a mentor to ascertain the personalized interests and requirements of different mentees.
  • A mentor may offer supportive and practical advice after listening to the queries of an individual.
  • A mentor may help you understand the rules and the culture of an organization in mentoring sessions pertaining to the growth in your career or to the start of your professional journey.
  • A mentor may also help novice entrepreneurs in identifying the unique challenges of different types of businesses.

Support & Training

A mentor does not just offer judicious advice. He/she also sharpens a mentee’s skills for a positive personality.

  • With adequate mental support and methodical training, a mentor may boost your self-confidence.
  • He/she may improve your interpersonal communication or relationship skills. It is crucial to have these skills in order to achieve success in professional fields along with personal life.
  • A mentor may even train the mentees in taking better control over his/her career.

Setting Direction/Goal

At times, it may become difficult for any individual to set a particular goal or to focus on the goal for various reasons. In this scenario, a mentor may help mentees set a goal or stay focused on the path to success.

  • A mentor may also educate the mentees on how to accept the feedback without any negativity in areas, such as the leadership skills, management or technical abilities
  • A mentor’s advice may even help you look at your goals from a new perspective.

Hence, the assistance of a mentor may become crucial for everyone in order to achieve success in different parts of life.

Achieving Success

To help a mentee achieve success in professional or personal aspect of life, it is essential to offer feedback along with the suggestions.

  • The feedback enables a mentee understand the level of progress.
  • It enables you to recognize your potential in terms of personal strength or skills.
  • The feedback may work as an encouragement letting you put more effort towards reaching the goal.

The aforementioned points clearly narrate the benefits of having a mentor in your life for personal development or professional growth, as a mentor enables you to nurture every bit of your potential.


Take It Back!

I saw a friend of mine earlier this week, I hadn’t seen her since June 2018, so I decided to catch up with her. I asked her how she was doing, and she replied me by saying that last year was her worst year ever. That seemed wrong because the last time I saw her prior to that, she was having a great year and even had outstanding stories of how things were in her life. I stopped to listen to her and realised that – truly she’d had a defining moment that year.

As hard as that was for her, I recollect that ‘HARD’  should never be the summation for the year she’d had. In thinking of her and her summary; I recalled a movie I went to watch with Eddie this week; The Upside – I promise you; I won’t say too much about the happenings, so you can watch and enjoy it.  But I need to take a reference and lesson learnt from one of the scenes.

The main actor is a paraplegic and he had his birthday which he mentioned he would rather spend privately due to his circumstance. On the said day, he got into his house alongside his assistant, only to find friends and family waiting to surprise him. He was extremely upset about it and focused on how hard things were for him and lamented about many things. At that point, his assistant who had a very hard life then told the gentleman to take his eyes away from just himself and his circumstance, but to look around at all he had and be thankful – rather than focus on feeling sorry for himself.

This scene made me realise how easy it is for many of us to spend time feeling sorry for ourselves based on the things that either have happened or not happened to us. It seems easier based on human nature to focus on what we don’t like rather than what we appreciate about an event or a period. This however is counter faith and will not add any benefit to us but make us full of self-pity and ingratitude.

Appreciating God, things, events and the people around us is a personal decision that is based on our focus. You can choose to have a great day, week, month and year or you can also choose not to – it has nothing to do with your experiences but your perspective.

God’s word says:

‘In all things give thanks for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus’ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

As I was talking to my friend, I remembered this scripture and then decided to help her see things differently. She agreed with my view and thanked me for gently nudging her into seeing how great a year she had last year – though she did have a relatively hard incident at some point in the second half of the year. That however, she decided, will no longer define her 2018!

What is defining your life? I want you to realise that it is not the issue, but you who have given the issue the permission to take over your life and joy. Do not let it! Take back your joy and gladness and redefine your days, months and year based on what you truly want to see.

So, the primary message of this post lesson today is that you should Take Back control of your life and environment. TAKE IT BACK because  GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE!


He Was Wrong!

I witnessed a gentleman shout on a group of Filipino tourists. They went to pick up one of the items displayed, meant to be used for some religious activities. Without knowing, they took the item and posed for pictures with the item. While doings that, this gentleman just came forward and started yelling at them. There were loads of people around and it was very embarrassing for these tourists – particularly because the tourists were completely ignorant of the impact of their actions and never planned to cause any offence. 

After that sharp correction, the guy still didn’t stop, he kept reprimanding them in a harsh and high tone; I decided to step in and said ‘sir, they never meant any offence, they were just taking pictures with this unusual item, so I will suggest you consider that’. The next thing, he just turned to me and said, ‘don’t even get involved with things, this is not America where you think you’re all free to say and do what you like, all you Americans!’ . This man assumed I was American, and that determined his reaction towards me. (I don’t quite get why he thinks I’m American, I don’t even remotely have the accent!)
I was in the company of my husband and a couple friends and we all looked at each other in shock; after which I looked straight at the guy and said ‘another mistake there sir, I am from England and originally from Nigeria!’. All of a sudden the gentleman’s countenance changed, he became very apologetic and started saying how he really loves Nigeria, been there before, had a business there, lived there for 2 years etc. He just couldn’t stop saying good things and was now sorry and apologising to me – explaining his reason for coming down heavily on the tourists.
I looked at this gentleman and his reaction in the space of 5 minutes. I asked myself and the people in my company why it should matter where I came from. Why would he be nice to me because I am not American and hostile to me because he thought I was? The fact that this gentleman came to some conclusions without knowing too much about the persons and even the nation he feels antagonistic towards truly baffled me and gave me food for thought. His quick anger reminded me of a scripture that says 
‘Do not be quick to anger, for anger sits comfortably in the lap of fools’ Ecclesiastes 7:9

The gentleman’s willingness to be angry so quickly in the presence of dozens of people surely made him look less in control, particularly when it was obvious that he had the wrong end of the stick and was reacting to his assumptions, not the reality. 
He had preconceived ideas about a set of people, and that showed in his reaction irrespective of the reality of the situation. How many times have you and I made quick decisions based on an immediate feeling and never had a chance to correct it?

The gentleman was wrong in more than one assumption, many of us may get things wrong at different times too but the good Christian action to always take is to slow down and clarify matters before reacting. That’s will ensure you are reacting to the right thing and not just your assumptions; which could potentially make a fool of you or loose you valuable relationships.