Where do I start

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I dare you to dream!

Over the years, I've lived by one principle above others regardless of how good, bad or terrible things/situations in my life have been...My bible says in Psalm 24:1 "The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof; The world and they that dwell therein." So regardless of what I face or who I face, I tend to remember that my life is in God's hands and He created all that is in the earth, as such I can only come out of this victorious...this unwavering belief I must say hasn't come without a price...The confidence this has generated through years of internalizing and exhibiting it, has caused people to wonder if I am not just being cocky & arrogant...I recently stumbled upon a quote by Bette Davis which I felt captured this perceived cockiness/arrogance, the quote says, " I was thought to be 'stuck up'. I wasn't. I was just sure of myself. This is and has always been an unforgivable quality to the unsure". Dear friends... what you've perceived as cockiness or arrogance is nothing but my complete and absolute trust in the word of God and His promises concerning my life. I must say in my short walk with God, I am yet to see an overconfident person whose trust is in God. Rather I've seen and come across achievers...for the word of the Lord says in Psalm 37:25, 32-33
25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, seeking their very lives;
33 but the LORD will not leave them in their power or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

I am tired of seeing Christians living below their true potential. I am tired of Christians that continue to see money as the root of all evil and as such the desire to be successful, as lust for the material things of the world. Jesus our personal savior understood the value of money...even if you struggle to agree with that, ask yourself why then did Jesus have Judas as his treasurer? (John 13:29). I am tired of Christians blaming the devil for everything that has gone wrong in their lives and not taking any responsibility. "The devil is a liar, he is the devourer"...that has never been in question! But the devil cannot be the reason everything in your life is the way it is...if you truly believe he is, then in a way you are saying the devil is everywhere, every time and in everything (omnipotent and omniscient)...I come against such thoughts today and I ask that the Lord renew our minds. The devil was an angel, created by God, just a bit higher than man (Hebrews 2:7) meaning unlike God, his powers are limited.

If there is one thing I became increasingly grateful for as I researched material for this entry, it's the fact we've been blessed with our imagination. Anyway, I decided to look up the meaning of DREAM and it was interesting what I discovered...dream can be defined as follows:
1. a series of mental images and emotions occurring during sleep; "I had a dream about you last night"
2. ambition: a cherished desire; "his ambition is to own his own business"
3. imaginative thoughts indulged in while awake; "he lives in a dream that has nothing to do with reality"

If there's anything I've found in these definitions, it's the fact they all talk about self perception. So hopefully before we switch gears, you'll agree with me that the way we perceive ourselves is really critical in terms of our ability to succeed or fail. If you do then, permit me to share with you a few nuggets I've discovered as I have meditated over this topic.

If you can dream it, you can achieve it
Before you jump at me, let me clarify something ...if you see yourself flying with no man-made wings, please reject that dream immediately oooo....Start to banish, rebuke and reject it in the name of Jesus...lol....That potentially could be your village peeps hollering at you....lol... Seriously though, I truly believe there is nothing you'd dream about that you can't achieve if you set your mind to achieving it and you have the right ingredients (I'll share the common ingredients in my conclusion). Martin Luther King had a dream...one of integration at a time when segregation was all the eye could see, imagine and trust. Years later, that dream became a reality but only as a result of MLK making the conscious choice of dedicating his life to the pursuit of that goal. We all know the story of Joseph the dreamer (Genesis 35:1-29; 37:1-11). This dude took dreaming to a different level...but I am yet to read where one of his dreams failed to become reality.

Dreams will bring envy and enemies
Depending on the size and potential of your dream, I must warn you, it could and probably would lead people to envy you. If you find that your dream doesn't cause people to envy you or doubt it's possibility, then my brethren I must say your dream isn't going to propel you to your true potential. Your dream should be one that causes people to doubt it's ability to manifest... the greater the doubts and doubters, the higher your potential truly is (Because the God we serve isn't in the business of doing what is humanly possible...rather he has made the impossible His bed rock)... If you spend some time reading the story of Joseph, you'll find that every time he dreamt, it caused his brothers to despise him the more...I mean can you imagine how unbearable they must have found his constant dreams to be that they decided to sell him to a merchant?

A Conversation with God
Your dream whether while you sleep or an innate feeling is one of many ways God communicates with His people. The bible is full of such stories...Samuel, Joseph,
Nebuchadnezzar Mordecai e.t.c. So if this holds true and we believe God is not capable of lying, then in due time the dream will manifest.

Category of dreamers (Talkers, Carriers and Achievers)
The category you fall under, will determine whether you reach your full potential or not. Clearly, as I break down the various categories, I trust we'll either find ourselves entrenched in one category or some hybrid of these categories.
These are the people that seem to have big dreams but all they seem to do is just talk with no action. They share with any and every one willing to listen...You speak to them years after the dream was birthed and you find they haven't made any significant progress.

This weekend I actually heard a man of God describe these people best though in a different context. The carriers are like sign posts they lead others to their destinations but yet remain stagnant. They carry the dreams of others yet have none of their own or never seem to realize theirs. Some actually feel they've been called to mock the dream of others...they carry peoples dreams to others with the hope of getting a laugh or two out of it.

Now these are the people that wake up each day, realizing they have a dream and they work towards achieving it. They are the folks you speak with and each time they talk about their dreams you notice they've taken huge strides in the direction of accomplishing their dreams. They are so meticulous in terms of how they handle their dreams. They protect and refuse to allow the naysayers pull them back. They realize the ingredients needed in order to ensure completion and excellence.

Ingredients Needed:

1. Relationship with God- I agree we hear this all the time but it's a vital ingredient if we are to fully achieve our true potential. I believe you can only truly enter into a conversation with God when you know Him and understand how he communicates. Can you imagine how much the children of Israel would have suffered if Pharaoh did not realize the significance of his dream and there was no Joseph to interpret it? Regardless of what Pharaoh's beliefs were, he knew his dream was a message. After many so called interpreters had tried and failed, the one who knew God was called in and only then did Pharaoh get the revelation...Have you ever wondered why Pharaoh accepted a prisoners interpretation? What about Daniel? My friends, God is vital regardless of how you choose to see it.

2. Faith
In Hebrews 11:1 we are told that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". You can have more dreams than Joseph but if you lack faith, trust me those dreams become like pictures in a frame...Stagnant! Forget the walls you might feel would keep you from achieving your dreams...they are just walls...Psalm 18:29-30 says that " For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven;He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

3. Focus and Dedication
Some dreams require a high degree of focus and dedication. Tonight as I prepared to complete this entry, I was watching Monday Night Football and I got into a conversation with a friend who had experienced the drill these football players go through...People wonder why they get paid so much for playing about 15 games but they fail to realize how much these athletes have been through...the deprivations they've experienced all their lives in order to achieve their dreams...For those that have read about Tiger Woods, its not hard understanding why he is the accomplished golf player that he has become...He was focused and dedicated ...he pictured the end and worked towards achieving it.
4. Positive reinforcement
I'll be lying if I tell you that all dreams are easy to accomplish...they aren't! But what makes it harder is when you have too much negativity around you. Seek out people or things have achieved the level which your dream aspires to take you to.
5. YOU
Some people are scared of their dreams. I mean the size scares the life out of them, defeating them even before they begin. At all times you have to understand and believe that you are bigger than any dream. God gave you that dream because He knows He has given you all the tools and the ability to manage it...He won't give you more than you can handle.

As a kid, I dreamt of being successful...How it was going to happen, I had no clue because based on what my eyes could see at the time, it seemed like I was destined to follow in the ways of the men I had seen around me. They did okay but were clearly living below their true potential. As I came into the knowledge of God, I realized that though based on my mothers bank balance we were classified poor, my true potential wasn't tied to what the eyes could see or the limitations the world had placed on me but rather on how far I was willing to go and how much of a role I believed God could play in ensuring I accomplished my dreams. Today, I share with folks that my life is a dream...I am not done yet but I am happy to say I have started on my way to achieving those dreams that a little boy never thought he could achieve.
My prayer for everyone reading this today is that God will give you the passion to chase your dreams...He will give you the will and desire to even dream bigger dreams and the assurance you need to see those dreams come to reality. I pray that He will shake you from a level of comfort to that of exceeding expectations. I pray that He makes you uncomfortable with your present position, that while others accept mediocrity, he dissatisfies you with the status quo. I pray that you will live to accomplish the desires He has for you and that through you, people will come to realize their true potential and understand that NO ONE is able to set a limit on their lives other than themselves and that God desires them to reach and exceed their true potential.

So in closing, I dare you to dream. I dare you to dream big. I dare you to trust in God with whom ALL things are possible. I dare you to live to your full potential...you know what? I DOUBLE dare you!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Aging and Chucky Cheese

Yo! Yo!! Yo!!! (trying to recapture my youth)... How have y'all been? Well I have been cool..thanks for asking. Still in Atlanta...Didn't fly out to Orlando as planned had some family matters to handle (This weekend I learnt that being your mums first son in a polygamous family isn't an easy task...it comes with a lot). Coming out of this weekend, I can promise my kids two things...By God's grace, I won't be marrying more than one wife and secondly I'll educate and expose them to culture but never to the traditions of my people.

I spent my Saturday at Chucky Cheese...My boy set me up real good...apparently dude only invited friends with kids...he had the courtesy of telling our married friends without kids not to show cause he figured they'll be bored but in my case (being that this was my first visit to Chucky cheese) he asked me to attend...He was courteous enough to ensure that I had the right location and time. Anyway I showed up and let's just say I ended up being the single dude carrying the babies (good grief! those babies were heavy...if you need to work on your biceps, pick up a couple of babies). Let me just say it plain and simple...it was torture!!! Friends kept watching me carefully as I carried their kids...who could blame them...baby shoes were coming off.. I had no clue how to put them back on...a couple of babies cried..thinking if I smiled they'll stop...no way it just intensified their cries...to add to this my friends kept asking when I'll take the leap... I must say I feel like I am missing something cause there seems to be an unspoken competition between my friends... folks are just dropping kids...I mean friends that have been married for almost two years are heading for their second kid, some have even hit three already... As I tried to tease them about this, they all ganged up against me (you would think they were part of an association "United Parents against Miguel).."Dude be laughing now...we'll be laughing when you have kids at an old age"...

While we are still on the subject of old age, My baldness is becoming evident... I mean life is unfair...my brothers inherited my dad's height, while I inherited his baldness (don't you dare tell me it's not hereditary). To be fair, in my case I think it's just karma...every other night I watch the Rogaine commercial, I can't help but laugh...Now I guess the joke is on me! Rogaine for life!!!
On second thoughts, I should at least be thankful I experienced a full head of hair unlike my boy 3T who was born bald and it's been that way all his life...o ma se oooo

Anyway it seems like my travel plans will be changing...I'll have to make a pit-stop at my second home to take part in a program...will keep y'all informed

I'll leave you guys with this joke about TD Jakes

When his plane arrived, there was a limousine there to transport him to his home in Dallas . As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver. "You know" he said, "I am almost 50 years old and I have never driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove it for a while?" The driver said, "No problem. Have at it." T.D. gets into the driver's seat and they head off down the highway. A short distance away sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap. The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone. The trooper pulled out and easily caught the limo and got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure. The young trooper walked up to the driver's door and when the glass was rolled down he was surprised to see who was driving. He immediately excused himself and went back to his car and called his supervisor. He told the supervisor, "I know we are supposed to enforce the law but I also know that important people are sometimes given certain courtesies. I need to know what I should do because I have stopped a very important person." "The supervisor asked, "Is it the governor?" The young trooper said, "No, he's more important than that." The supervisor said, "Oh, so it's the president." The young trooper said, "No, he's even more important than that." The supervisor finally asked, "Well then, who is it?" The young trooper said, I think it's Jesus because he's got T. D. Jakes for a chauffeur!!!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The women in my life

First off thanks for the comments left on my last post.. I must admit reading it actually set somethings off and I'll probably blog on a couple of those things later. I am currently out of town, traveling around the country( a month of travel..Nice!!!)...decided to touch home (Atlanta) first before setting out. My trip has been good so far... Sunday was Ms. May's birthday I had been planning a surprise for her for over a month only for me to show up late for the surprise.. I tell you I am the worst person to plan surprise parties.. I normally get people to do it but being it was for such a dear friend, I decided to take it on...anyway I trust she had a blast...The night before, I attended a naming ceremony...ended up winning the dance chair competition (I trashed Biodun....lol...in your face girlll... You could tell that I attended the NTA Ribena party back in the days...lol..you should have seen my dance moves and the skills I displayed... Britney could have learn't a thing or two from it)... My weekend in all was splendid...nice crowd, super conversation and correct food (Biodun...that fried rice was da'bomb oooo kai but for my rep in that town I would have packed to go...shhh...lol)

I plan on being here for another week (my God son's birthday is on Saturday...we are having it at chucky cheese....yippeeeeee...) will jet out to Orlando, Saturday evening to hang out with a couple of friends...then head back to Atlanta before taking off on my 5 state tour (Call Ticket Master cause I could be in a city near you...lol). Anyway leaving my base was exactly what the doctor prescribed... a couple of events left me sour and in need of a break.

This visit has been great... I must confess if things remain this way for the remainder of my stay, I might extend my visit... I made up my mind rather than getting mad with my mum over her constant marriage pressure to actually speak with her about it but before I could have this conversation with her, I noticed a lot of things which have practically led to the title of this entry.

So after my last visit, I vowed that each time I come into town, I'd stay in my own place or a friends place rather than staying at home...the pressure of finding a partner had gotten too much... to my surprise, this visit has been void of all that...my mum hasn't mentioned a word about settling down... the lady had my favorite meals prepared and awaiting my arrival... I mean you name it...fried rice, white rice, jolloff rice and my favorite drink cranberry. she even got me a chocolate-strawberry cake... I wake up each morning to something special... Though I am enjoying the pampering and all.. I must say a part of me is worried....Who knows I might wake up tomorrow to find a babe imported from my village lying next to me...or I could wake up tomorrow and find her church members and their pastor in my room, celebrating a wedding held while I was asleep... Trust me folks... there is something going on....this evening while in the office, she came by and sat around me for over an hour...talking about her hobbies...I even introduced her to a female friend and after the friend had gotten off the phone, my mum failed to harass me like she usually does...Who is she? what is she to you? when are we meeting her?... Anyway, I'll keep y'all posted but just in case you hear I am married between now and next week, just know that whatever my mum's plans were succeeded.

Big Sis

Ok now myself and my big sis are relatively close... we don't talk as much as we used to but when it comes to her taking huge decisions or something bothering her, she calls me to speak about them. Normally when I visit, she's always working...she's in the medical profession so she works crazy hours... So most times I get to see her probably once each time I visit...but for some strange reason, ever since I got here, she's made herself available...she went as far as going to the African store to buy me naija movies (I love naija movies)...we'll be hanging out in an electronic store tomorrow (I love electronics as well)... Add this to the change I've noticed in my mum, then you can start to understand why I am worried. I mean she got my favorite yeast bread...She hasn't mentioned anything about marriage..well normally she doesn't...in her case she keeps asking after the "ladies" but for some strange reason, she hasn't said a word about women...we've actually been talking about things that interest me.... the other night while talking to a friend on the phone, I tried being loud as we spoke about women in the hope that she would say something when I got off but fa fa fa foulllll...she said nada!

My Niece

The love of my life! she's been avoiding me... I mean my niece cannot hide a secret from me... The other night I practically had to hunt her down and force her to sit down for us to talk... the conversation was mono-directional... I did all the talking, she just nodded her head and when I was done, we shared our "I love yous" and off she went... Normally when I am around before she heads out, she'd come into my room to wish me a good morning or inform me she was heading out...that hasn't happened!!!...

So my people you see why there is cause for alarm...the women in my life are up to something and I can't seem to figure out what they are up to...But if I am just reading unnecessary meaning into nothing, then like I say always I love these women..'cause i can only imagine that they now know and understand how upset I get when they put too much pressure on me in terms of settling down...

Anyway I need to run up stairs now...I need to watch the other naija movies..yesterday I watched faculty (Jim Iyke, Ramsey Onuoha, Oge O.). I'll leave you with a quote from Ramsey "you can take the pig out of the sty but you cannot take the sty out of the pig"...lmao

I'll be back to gist you about my travels... In the meantime, I don't know where members of your family reside but pick up the phone, drop an email or send a text and just remind them how much you love them and how blessed you are to have been born into a family like yours...

I am grateful God placed me in this family... I am grateful for the mother he gave me...the big sister he blessed me with and the funny, sweet niece he's allowed me watch grow into a lady (she starts college in a few days).

A special thank you goes to a friend who constantly amazes me and gives me reasons to thank God for bringing our paths together...Dude thanks for picking me up from the airport at such a late hour... thanks for the car and best of all thanks for not wasting time in dropping my first God son...By God's grace, as he turns one on Saturday, we'll be marking another milestone in our friendship... I'll forever be indebted to you and your wife.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What happened to trust?

I recently connected with a babe I knew in my teenage years. Facebook I must say has been a blessing and a curse...a blessing in the sense that I can connect with long lost friends and a curse because certain people you'd rather not associate with tend to locate you and ask to connect.
Anyway back to this babe...it's amazing how things have changed over the years... Our conversation has made it more difficult to trust women. Don't get me wrong I am not using her as a standard for women but of late, I've had reasons to question the motives of certain women in my life.

Well ol' girl has been kicking it on the side with her girl friend's dude...it's gotten so bad that she's contemplating moving in on her friend and breaking up her relationship in order to take her friend's place. The troubling part is, she has no issue still being friends with the girl while she plots her moves...Have things gotten this bad? Sad thing is I bet her girlfriend doesn't even have the slightest clue what this babe is up to...I bet she's been pouring out to this babe..thinking this is one of her most trusted friends...poor babe has no idea that this babe has ulterior motives.

Anyway she invited me to join social moth...a place where you can reveal amongst friends your deepest secrets without anyone tracing it back to you...funniest thing is though they post anonymously, it's kinda easy tracking who posted what because some say the most blatant things...anyway so I am reading the post and I discover that even a babe within the circle that is engaged is also cheating on her man...for goodness sake YOU ARE ENGAGED!!!

What happened to being able to trust the person you are with or a friend? what happened to loyalty? If you are unhappy with the one you are with, end things!!! If you can't be a true friend, don't be a friend at all!!!

This episode got me reflecting...It's funny how some people come into your life and expect you'd lay your guard down and trust them completely...One thing I've learnt through my experiences, is be wary of people that demand trust and when you have certain reservations about people, it's more than a hunch ...you need to pay real close attention.

People tell me I shouldn't let my past affect the way I associate with people...especially the opposite sex but when you hear stories like this, you can't help but pull up those walls. A friend said Miguel you've got to learn to trust. A relationship is dead before it's started if you can't trust the other party...Well tough! I've seen enough and now heard enough...you'll have to earn my trust. Period!!!

Yes ladies and gentlemen, My name is Miguel and I have trust issues!

What is your take on trust?