Where do I start

Friday, February 22, 2008


An additional year has passed. I don't believe the dead read but I choose to remember today, this way because I know somewhere around the world, someone else is experiencing some type of hurt. Like myself, it could be the hurt of losing a loved one, it could be from losing something or just the struggles of life. I miss my dad!

It's been sixteen years and as much as I'd love to write a tear jerking poem, as heavy as my heart is, I really don't think that's how I want to celebrate today. People said as the years go by it gets easier to handle (the loss). I tell you as each year went by I kept praying they were right but year in year out, it's actually been worse. I am consoled by the fact that after you were taken away from us, I got introduced to your maker. I have gotten to know Him over the years and I must say, He is ALRIGHT!

I have decided from now on each year I celebrate you, I'll share a fact, confession or just something with you.... I still haven't learnt to speak your language and probably will never..lol.. ...Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! it's been 16 years but dad, your language unlike others is not a skill but a talent. When folks sit around and speak it, it's like they are spitting out bullets. I only recently learnt how to pronounce my native name correctly. Not to worry, I'll make sure your gran-kids learn to speak it.

My heart misses you but all I know point to the fact, you are resting in a better place. Rest well dad.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The teacher and her student

So no new post for four days and no one bothered to send a search party to locate me? What is going on peeps? where is the care? Forget love 'cause I trust some of you hate my guts...lol

Anyway, I have been sick since my last post...actually restricted to my bed...I am still recovering but couldn't help but give into the itch to put up something. My friends say I sound sweet when I am sick..I guess because the level of my sarcasm drops by a ton...oh well too bad for them 'cause in a day or two, I'll be back to my usual self (by God's Grace!). Someone needs to call the FDA and actually have my mum put on notice...she can come up with concoctions to cure any sickness if given the chance...lol... From garlic & hot water, ginger & hot water, to a drop of olive oil and oranges...for the first time in a long while she didn't offer me Noni juice!

So a friend sent me a link to a Nigerian website (forum) and as I read through the contributions, it reminded me of an embarrassing moment in my short life. So while pursuing my first Masters degree, I signed up for a Business Law class. I had no need for this class but was looking for a class that would counter my quant-intense course load. Anyway, I showed up first day of class and let's just say if prior to walking into that class I had no real interest in Business Law, after seeing the female instructor (professor doesn't sound quite sexy to me...), I was willing to go to Law School if I knew I could win her heart that way. She was young, sexy, curvy and had a cute smile. Let's just say my attendance was impeccable...She'd always show up 30 minutes before the start of class...for some strange reason, I noticed three other guys would show up early, stay back after class to ask dumb questions...so I joined them in staying back after class with a list of dumb questions. I read all my cases (those things are boring), researched those cases, had questions and counter-points. Folks, I was battle ready for every class. Well in the third week of the class, she asked that I see her after class...Kawabangaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! kai Kunta Kente don hit jackpot oooo ...anyway waited after class, walked with her out of the classroom... she said she wanted to tell me how impressed she was, in terms of my contribution and how I made the class exciting and vibrant...kaiiiii...the school building couldn't contain the swelling of my head ooo... Now I need to pause here

A normal student hearing that from their professor wouldn't read anything into it....Nope not me! I analyzed the way she said it, how her eyes rolled and the way she said good night (her class was in the evening) and in less than 10 minutes came to the sole conclusion she was feeling me. I mean she never asked the other guys to meet with her after class. She asked MEEEEEEEEE!!! I couldn't sleep that night ooo...I kept thinking up ways to make a move (I am about the shiest, bold-faced dude (lol) you'll ever come across...in the words of my boarding school mates...I be Jew man...Liverless!!!) . After the next class, I walked up to her and asked if I could set up some time to speak with her about going to law school... she seemed so excited...gave me her card...apparently she practices law during the day and teaches in the evening. So she asked me to call her during the day whenever I was free...Hmmm my people I'd give almost anything to take back what happened next...Your boy decided to send her some flowers, with strict instructions to the flower company not to release the senders name. So after I got confirmation she had received the flowers, I called her office (dumb move in retrospect). Conversation started off well, we spoke about her experience in law school, spoke about the best programs and how to prepare for the LSAT...Just when I was about to hang up, the lady goes .."oh by the way thanks for the flowers...it was so nice of you...I should let you know though, that I have a fiance and I think the school would frown at a professor dating one of her students"...My people..my jaw dropped...I mean it dropped!!! Anyway, I owned up and apologized. Now how was I to face this lady in class...my people! I became so quiet in class, you'd think I had gone mute...to add insult to injury, I got a B in the class... a BBBBBBBBBBBBBB!!!

Years on I cant even remember her name or what she looked like but I know I was caught up...infatuation is a terrible thing ooo....Before you all start, I was quite young when this happened oooo...

Anyway just thought I'd share.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Post-Valentine, A few extra nuts

Sooooo wait none of you dear readers could help me search for a good last minute bargain huh? It's all good oooo.... Anyway I'm back in town...I guess I have no choice but to spend the weekend here. I must say last night as I was heading back into town, I felt a heaviness in my heart...I think it's time I took a bow from this town...even if it's just for a couple of weeks...I'll hear what the pastor has in store for me tomorrow when I get to church...she always seems to have a message directed at me. I think it's time I went to a town I've never been, know no one and just chill. Hmmmm.... that might just do the trick...any suggestions?

Anyhowwwwwwwww....I trust y'all had a swell Valentine's day. I have come to the conclusion that some friends are just mean. So I get a call first thing in the morning and it's one of my close mates. Dude called to wish me Happy Valentines day and share with me what his girlfriend had done. A couple others decided it would be best to harass me on MSN but I am glad folks had fun...For one friend it rekindled their love and I was really happy hearing that. My prayer continues to be that for those in search of love, that true love finds them and for those that have a partner that their love never cease and for those in relationships or marriages experiencing problems that they remember the love they have for each other and hold on to the favor God has granted them for the devil seeks to destroy only the great ones. Don't give up! in due time you will receive the fruit of your struggles, in Jesus name. Amen.

So how did I spend my Val's day? Oh well I spent the day packing (I am a last minute packing machine), spent the afternoon at the airport, the evening in the air. I must say though, one day trips are stressful... you hardly have time to sleep (it takes forever to adjust to the comfort of hotel beds), you are active all day and when you are done, you are back at the airport boarding another flight. It was actually wonderful watching spouses hug and kiss...on arrival there was a cameraman at the airport...I think some dude proposed to his girlfriend. Driving into town, you could see couples holding hands, walking, laughing and others clowning...I just wish more people would remember these times when they have problems in their relationships...the divorce rates would be down (ok maybe just a tad bit but its still a start!).

So heading back into town, I noticed a strange pattern...Whenever I am heading out of town, I seem to get the best seats available (window, front row) but each time I am heading back to this town, I get the worst seats (by the toilet or the exit). Yesterday night was no different...I got the last seat by the aisle and let's just say breathing wont be the same for me at least for a day or two...kawai!!! I tell you when it comes to the bathroom, people have levels.... I respect women ooooo... One guy went in, came out and delivered shock...one pretty woman, went in and when she got out, it was shock and awe! Ah! Ah! send this woman to the mountains of Tora bora...trust me Osama will come out of hiding! I guess the airline hostess understood the pain I was going through.. the babe gave me extra peanuts and extra drinks... but I still plan on writing these airlines...I think it's unfair to charge passengers seating back there the same price as others... you should have a discount. Let's call it Nose-Discount...

I want to use this post to thank Tee... your email was a source of encouragement...Your email was just what I needed. Reading your email as I started my day, actually helped me put life into perspective. It's so true God is on the throne. Thanks a bunch!

So my first of many testimonies... I don't know if you all read about the armed robbery that happened in Ebonyi State, where people were robbed and eleven people killed. My kid brother was beaten and robbed. A girl that served with them lost her life. May her soul rest in peace. I thank God for His mercy. We should continue to pray for our loved ones near and far...it's only God that can protect them.

Since I had nothing to do on Val's day, I wrote a short poem to love

To Love:
I've thought about you over a thousand times
written about you over a thousand times
but each time I write, it never seems to capture everything about you
I write, I shred, I write, I shred and then it finally hits me
Words can never capture your essence
In the eyes of many, you are seen
In the hearts of many you are felt
As I write this final line, it can never be enough to express what you mean to me

Have a swell weekend Allllllllll.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Due Diligence!

I was going to put up a different post but decided against it for reasons I'll gloss over before concluding this post.
I remember taking an interesting class in school called Due Diligence for Mergers and Acquisitions. Prior to any merger or acquisition, the management of an organization must perform the necessary due diligence. The purpose of this due diligence exercise is to determine that the information about the company to be acquired is correct, accurate, and properly disclosed. During this process, the parties need to determine that all critical issues have been identified and that key assumptions used in the investment proposal are accurate. I remember the professor also adding that it behooves any sensible person looking to have a long-term/meaningful relationship to equally carry out due diligence on their prospective spouse (boyfriends and girlfriends inclusive). The thinking is, if you carry out proper due diligence, it reduces your exposure (risk).

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with one of my lady friends last night. I must say her call was what I needed...conversation started with catching up on things and then delved into a situation she found herself in. So the gist is, she's been seeing some dude for about three months and only recently discovered, dude has a child and has been married before. Previously, I'd go duhhhhh...confront the dude, decide if you can handle your latest discovery or move on but I've learnt that the issues of life aren't always that cut and dry. Anyway, I gave her my two cents and we got off the phone. Hanging with another buddy later on, my thoughts kept drifting back to that conversation. So it just made sense I share my thoughts..not particularly on her issue but just the issue of due diligence before a relationship.

You decide
Let no one decide for you what is important to know or ask when deciding to get into a relationship. Like our elders say "it is he who wears the shoe that knows how much it hurts". It's important that you are comfortable with how much you know of a person before committing to a relationship. Don't for one second have the other party tell you what you can ask and what you can't...it's your responsibility and that of the other party to make sure you are both comfortable about the step you are about to take. You'll find that some relationships (e.g. booty calls, no strings attached-type relationships) are void of this. Why? Because the people going into the relationship see it as a temporal thing...at least one party knows what he/she wants as such the need to get to know the person in-depth is pointless. Haven't you been around people who talk about meaningless sex? Ask them how much they know about their partners and you'll be shocked at how little they care to know.

Have a list of questions
You should always have a standard list of questions to ask any prospective girlfriend/boyfriend.
The older you get and as your priorities and concerns change, they should be reflected in your questions. The bad experiences that you've had in the past or have heard of from others should also be included in the questions you ask (depending on how important they are to you). I'll say as I interact with more people, and I get to listen to them share their experiences, I have been able to modify my questions. Don't get me wrong you can never fully know a person but this is a great starting point. I hear some asking "What if he/she lies to you?" I have an answer for that Your gut feeling (read below). Having a list of questions that would hopefully be answered could teach you a thing or two in terms of how to relate with that person or handle situations concerning that person.

Have an idea about the things you'd be willing to compromise on and those things that you'll never compromise on. Don't ignore things you like or that mean much to you in a relationship for the simple fact you are desperate to get into a relationship 'cause like I've found out, you'd only end up with regrets or disappointed. If romance is huge for you, it's not wise then getting into a relationship with someone who isn't romantic or willing to be.

The past
If you plan to be with someone, it's important you know about their past. There are a thousand and one questions you could possibly ask about a person's past. Trust me, if you can't handle a person's past there is really no use getting into that relationship. When you know about a person's past and are able to accept their past, it's easy to deal with the rumor mill that will surely be put to work in order to destroy that relationship. I am weary about people who are scared to or adamantly refuse to discuss their past...it's a clear sign they are hiding something. We all have one or two (in some cases more) skeletons in our cupboards but the last thing you need is for your past to come back and haunt you when you least expect it. I know marriages that have ended because one spouse failed to divulge pertinent information about their past. My lady friend is an example..if only dude had told her he had a kid from a previous marriage, it would have saved them the drama they are currently dealing with. Barack Obama knew he was going to run for office at some point and he decided before people go searching for dirt on him, he might as well put it out there. In his book "The Audacity of Hope", he reveals certain things about his past that could potentially return to bite him if people discovered it on their own. Today, you hardly hear his opponents use those things in attacking him and those who do, have failed woefully. If you are scared that someone could use your past against you then clearly you should find comfort in the fact that without a doubt, that person loves you not and you should probably not be with that person. The fear of that shouldn't be a reason not to open up.

The present
You also want to ask questions about the present. There are some people who are just out there looking to catch some fun...there is nothing wrong with this...they aren't interested in having anything serious...While some of us are looking for something serious...you need to understand where in life's cycle they are...if you are looking for something serious, it makes absolutely no sense wasting your time with someone that is looking to catch some fun...why? Cause your priorities will definitely be different...potentially how they perceive the relationship should go, would differ greatly from your perspective.

The Future
Realize what is important to you and where you desire to be in the future; Match that against what the other party brings or could potentially bring to the table. Understand and ask to know where they see themselves in the future, match that against what they've done and are currently doing and you'll have a clear picture of whom you are dealing with. The information obtained could now be used to make an informed decision on whether it's worth getting into a relationship with the person, what you need to prepare for and work towards.

Your gut feeling
Listen to your gut. If your gut keeps stirring, then more than likely there is more to the person than meets the eye. I tend to pray a lot when I meet a person...most times when I ask questions and get half-answers, my Spirit stirs within me, clearly signaling there are things I don't know about the person which the person may be keeping away from me intentionally. Every single time I have listened to my Spirit and dug deeper, I've either found out there are things the other party is hiding from me or questions I've failed to ask that need answering. Most people ignore their gut feeling until things go bust and then you hear them say "something inside of me wasn't comfortable with him/her when we first started talking..I should have paid attention".

News update: Myself and the MISS have gone our separate ways. I was going to address that in my initial post but out of whatever respect I have for her, I decided it was best I don't go into details. Two wrongs never make a right and I am learning more than ever to repay wickedness with kindness. In this past month, I've learnt that you could desire the best for a person but so long as that person has no such desire for themselves you'd be wasting your time even trying. Some people have chosen certain paths to travel and its best you let them suffer the consequences or experience as a result of the choice they've made. Like they say experience is the best teacher.

To the lady that sent me an email. Thanks for reading my blog and I am glad it has helped you in one way or another but I am not perfect...one of these days, I'll write about the mistakes I've made. It's a combination of these mistakes and lessons learnt, that have helped in shaping my thoughts. To others out there that may have questions or may want me to touch on a topic, feel free to drop me a line at Spicymiguel@gmail.com.

So Valentine's day is in a couple of days...what do you all have lined up? My "Casablanca" ritual won't be happening this year...I am thinking I'll travel out for the weekend (probably go skiing, if I can find a cheap last-minute deal...any suggestions?)...If you've got no plans, give me a shout...we could sit in our various parts of the world, with a bowl of ice cream and tell sob stories...lol!!!
To all the love birds out there, here is wishing you a more fulfilled relationship. Cherish what you have understanding that there are many out there who wish they had someone to share a day like this with.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Let me start by saying how sorry I am for not putting up this post earlier. Being the news junkie that I am, this election fever has taken more of my time than I'd like to admit. One thing is certain...the word of God is never late.
So in my initial post, I shared the fact that when God wants to do a work in you or with you, He separates you from the crowd. It's also fair to say that when the devil wants to deal with you, he seeks you out when you are alone (remember when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness). The passage I used in sharing my thoughts with you was taken from Mark 4:35-38 and like I mentioned, what sparked this was how blessed I was listening to a message by Pastor T of Jesus House Baltimore.

I am often lost when I hear Christians and people praying against the storm. Lost because I truly believe what builds your character isn't the battles you've avoided but rather the scars from battles you've lost or won. You see, regardless of what you do, how nice you are to people, how good a Samaritan you are, the fact that you pay your tithe without cease, storms will surely come your way... it's a question of time. I like the second part of Isaiah 59:9 (NKJV) which says "When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him". That passage clearly conveys the fact that it is only a matter of time before each one of us faces our own storm. So I say rejoice when your enemies gather against you, rejoice when things seem to get out of hand...rejoice because it only goes to show God is up to something. Be excited when you hear your enemies have gathered against you...realize the battle isn't yours...rather than rant and rave, trying to defend your position, rejoice because by their gathering, they've made their destruction easier...for they will not come near you; only with your eyes will you see the reward of the wicked.

I have gone about 8 months without a job since I graduated from Business school. Yes, I have been really particular in terms of what I am looking for but even at that I must confess, I've walked into some interviews, walked out lost as to why I didn't get the job. I have walked into others, sure that I'd be getting a call back only to be given one excuse or another. I have had recruiters turn what was believed to be my strengths into my weakness...walked into an interview where it is obvious they were expecting someone else...had about 5 rounds of interview with one company only to receive a generic email ending the process with no reason attached but in all these I have remained grateful and sure that an end is near. I've witnessed and heard people make all kinds of assumptions as to why I find myself in this position (or in their words predicament)... Some have added salt to make the story sweet, while others have added ginger to make it bitter but in all I remain assured of what God has in store for me. As the days go by, I am learning more and more what it is that God is trying to teach me... My pride has been bruised in so many ways, my patience tested so many times but in all I can testify to the fact that God is shaping me. I remember a recruiter who called and told me I had a certain amount of time to accept an offer or else I was as good as unemployable and I remember the word of God (which is the standard He has lifted on my behalf) that says "The race is not to the swift, nor battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all (Ecclesiastes 9:11). My life isn't controlled by the timing of men but by that of God.
As a human being, it would have been so easy for me to run around crying and screaming "Why is this happening to me?" but Ecclesiastes 7:14 says "In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, so that man can find out nothing that will come after him"...Meaning, God has permitted life to consist of both good and evil so that man cannot independently determine what the future holds for him.

So I don't know what it is you are going through and how many people have given up on you as a result of your situation but I know that as long as our redeemer lives, your story will not end in sadness...for the bible says the end of a thing is better than its beginning.

So you ask Miguel what do I do when in the middle of a storm?
1. Go to Jesus
He is in-charge of every storm (Psalm 118: 5-14). Remember when Jesus was asleep in the boat with the disciples and the storm was raging. All he had to say was "Be still" and the storm stopped. You see, every servant knows his master...the devil bows at the mention of the name Jesus. Psalm 24 tells us that "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof and all that dwell in it..He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters". Regardless of the level you think you've attained in life, always remember that for every level there is another devil.
2. Don't panic
Don't be like the disciples, who despite having the uncreated creator (Jesus) with them, panicked at the sight of a mere storm. Remember the stories of Job (lost his property, children and health), David (lost a son, was running away from Saul), Joseph (falsely accused and imprisoned), Daniel (the lion's den) and a host of others, despite the trials and tribulations they faced understood the power of God and the need to worship Him. Let's take Job for instance whom after losing his property and children, fell to the ground and worshiped God saying "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord." Understand that when you know and trust in the God that created you, no storm should cause you to panic...When you have that faith, understanding and trust in God, though everything around you may crumble, you will realize that everything works together for your good. Read Isaiah 55 you will see that His thoughts differ from ours but one thing is for sure it is to bring us to an expected end.
3. Fix your eyes on the prize
The storm comes to shake you. You have to realize that the sender of the storm knows that if you are able to make it through that storm, there is a promotion awaiting you. If because of a storm you remove your eyes from the prize, you've only succeeded in regressing. Your village people have nothing to do with it nor the funny tasting bottle of fanta you drank at Bimpe's place. If your foundation is strong, the winds cannot blow away your building but if every time a storm comes, you waiver, then be sure that the storm that defeats you today will surely return. So regardless of how the storm may come, like Job, fix your eyes on the prize... "Despite the storm, yet will I trust in Him".
4.The storm won't last forever
Every thing in life has an end! So also the storms we face. Now we determine how long our storm lasts for. If the initial time we face a storm we are able to stand up against it, I can guarantee you though another storm may come, it won't be the one you've defeated. The thing about the storm is, regardless of how long it rages on, it has an end...regardless of how much destruction it's caused, there is an end. Look at New Orleans for instance...despite the length and magnitude of the storm, it came to an end and now we can join hands in helping re-build the city. Job faced three storms; his property, children and health but at the end you see after he withstood it all, God blessed him a thousand-fold. I tell you if you think your storm is overwhelming, read the book of Job. Sorrow my friends may last for a night but joy comes in the morning.
5. Rebuke the storm
Yes! while in the storm, open your mouth and rebuke the storm NOT God. Most people I find when they experience a storm immediately want to call God in for questioning. "Ah Ah what is this God? I am a tithe paying Christian..why is this happening to me?"... rather than that why not speak God's word and promises back to Him and come against the storm...When you face the storm, I find Psalm 18 to be a good passage to pray with. Rebuke the situation but while in it seek to learn the lesson that the storm is trying to teach you. If you built your house with wood and the storm swept it away, I can guarantee you that if you are sensible enough or have learnt something from that storm, when you are re-building, no one would have to advise you on the advantages of building with cement.

I'll conclude this post with some excerpts from Job 38. In Job 38 after Job has done all the talking, in the previous passages, God reveals His Omnipotence to him by saying

“Who is this who darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?
Now prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
To what were its foundations fastened?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Or who shut in the sea with doors,
When it burst forth and issued from the womb;
When I made the clouds its garment,
And thick darkness its swaddling band;
When I fixed My limit for it,
And set bars and doors;
When I said,
‘This far you may come, but no farther,
And here your proud waves must stop!’
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
And caused the dawn to know its place,
That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
And the wicked be shaken out of it?

My brethren the storm only lasts for a time, God lasts forever...so cast your cares and burdens unto Him. All the best as you battle your storm.