This September: Eight Years A-Love A-Blog

Eight years ago today, I opened a WordPress account with my Nokia X-2 phone. Since that day, I have always shared my thoughts on any issue of my choice periodically on my blogs on WordPress – soccergunz.com & amoscp.wordpress.com.

More importantly, within this period 8 years ago, I switched gear in my relationship with the love of my life – Joy. Last week, we took our nuptial flight. You have to love Love.

The Queen and I

There were challenges but never enough to question the love. They only altered the time and increased the resolve to love – to sacrifice.

Sacrifice has been one key part of my journey in the last 8 years. Blogging is a sacrifice. I loved what Enigma was doing on goonerdaily.com. Arseblog is awesome. I love the freedom of expression..

This expression is needed in love. If you can’t be free in who/what you love then why continue?

Joy has brought the better of me. Our best is yet to discovered. It is a continuous flux and we are on the path on bringing out the best of ourselves – all in Christ Jesus.

We know we can do better – blogging & loving. So we have to put in our shift to make it better. We will be better.

Oh yea, September is an anniversary for me and my brother – The Firebrand. Now we have added another major event to the anniversary.

Thank you to those that made September 5/10 a memory. God bless you wella.

To our blog followers, thank you for your encouragements.

How Ready is Your Backup?

It was a Friday night. I had waited till the wee hours before allowing the hunger to hit alarming levels. I was hungry. No, I wasn’t angry.

I was pretty comfortable that the ingredients to make a meal were available in the house. All was set. Few minutes into the heating process, the gas supply went off. What?

Why does this happen every time? No notification, no alert. It just goes off. Pheew. Ok. I had a back up. No worries.

The backup for my gas cylinder has always been a kerosene stove. It is less efficient than the gas but you can check the level easily.

Unfortunately, the threads on the stove were short and weak. I tried to manage the stove but I saw the huge risk and aborted the cooking process entirely.

That night, I had bread and coke for supper but made plans to ensure my backups are fit for purpose. I got gas first thing in the morning.

The koresene stove was serviced and ready for another of such day. The option of a backup cylinder was considered.

Are you sure that power bank is fully charged before you embark on that journey? Do you have your transport fare to bring you back home in case your uncle disappoints you?

Do you have a spare tyre? Is it fit for purpose? If power goes off, do you have a means of light other than your phone torchlight?

You can also backup your contacts on Google so you don’t need to start afresh. Just save your contacts to Google and you can access it anytime and anywhere with internet.

How ready is your back up?

Note: not all things require a backup. You can’t have a backup God, wife or husband. Doing so is a show of lack of faith & love.

Ezy: The May of June

In recent years, June has turned out to be my second best month of the year. Or should I call it the second most memorable month?

First, it is traditionally a month of spiritual exercise for my family. Fasting was stressful then. As kids, we thought of it as punishment, counting the minute hand on the clock, waiting for last tick to 12 o’clock.

Today, it is different and of a greater dimension. Much more than overcoming the urge to eat but to seek something deeper – inner peace, divine search.

June is an indicator of an end for me with the opportunity to trigger a new beginning.

The Big Red came calling in June, a year after the camp in Paiko. On my third working day, I was introduced to The Grey Team.

Standing like we were at Bernabau for a UEFA Champions League game, twelve of us recited the anthem faced the congregation and introduced ourselves.

Ezy was the chief. The service chief. His presence sent shivers down my spin. My words were staggered as I introduced myself. He remarked, to everyone’s laughter that, I needed to muscle up. I laughed too.

Months grew to years and Ezy turned out to be one you can’t do without. A man you can trust, ready to go the extra mile to achieve a collective goal. I grew into his ally and the comfort thereof.

In the last few years, the respect grew. The efficiency and confidence that the other will do his part was there. The support. The hope. The gift. The benevolence. The intelligence.

We became partners in execution as we were sent to fix unique problems like The A-Team. QH calls us SWAT. His presence has a degree of guarantee in them. We went a hat-trick but he missed out on the quadruple.

Sadly, Ezy couldn’t join me in this June. It was a heartbreak. The Grey House went black. Pitch black. Quantum emptiness. Sounding void.

I have been trying to put this down but my fingers fail me always. I still can’t believe it. It is almost a month now since he passed on and the pandemic Covid-19 hasn’t helped.

Good night Ezy. I would miss you. But who would be there for Amanda?

An Unusual Easter Celebration

Today is the lunar anniversary of Christ’s resurrection after he died on the cross on the 14th day of Nisan. Best time to resurrect this blog after over a year. Easter!!

Historians say His crucifixion happened in either April 7, AD 30 or April 3, AD 33. I choose the later despite its relative insignificance.

This year’s Easter celebrations stands out from the previous due to current pandemic – COVID-19. The Corona virus has infected over 1.7 million persons globally. About 109 000 deaths have been recorded while ~405,000 have recovered. (Stats via Worldometer)

Back home here in Nigeria, we have had 318 recorded cases, 70 recoveries and 10 deaths. This record is as at 11pm on Satuday April 11.

Expectedly the Government imposed some level of movement restrictions in and out the states. Lagos and the FCT are on a complete lockdown for the past 2 weeks. Other states have closed their borders. All trying to curb the spread of the virus.

This lockdown has taken the shine off celebrations and travels. Many of us travel back home to celebrate the Easter with our family – extended family. But this year, it would have to be done in some kind of isolation.

In this Easter, there will be little or no movement. The celebrations will be within small circles and nearer to heart than before. There will be no congregational gathering nor ceremony. It would be celebrated in-house. There will be no visitors. There will still be Easter rice. Maybe not as much as before.

It also gives us an opportunity to pray for the community against the virus, thank God for safety and His sacrifice and bless the health workers at the frontier.

Happy celebrations. Happy Easter. Stay home. Stay safe.

Isn’t He the God of the Tired?

That eventful week came to an end with my brains nearly fried from an aptitude test. I was tired – mentally, physically and emotionally. I needed rest but had to push on till the last hour of the day.

Taking a cue from Kings of Egypt where a man was named the god of impossibility, I cried on my WhatsApp status: “Is there a god of tiredness?”. I needed help. I needed a complete overhaul. My legs were just holding on like Hodor when the Night king attacked the home of the three eyed raven. Pheew.

I dragged my body through security and managed to make my way to my terminal. I had one agenda – SLEEP. I got to the gate with my economy class boarding pass, put a smile and greeted the steward “Good evening Ma”.

She smiled, picked up my pass and passport for verification. She returned it with a broader smile saying “we’ve changed your seat to the business class”.

I thanked her without hearing what she said, I just needed to sleep. And then it struck me – Business Class! Yipee!! My mind rose from its slumber, and moved my body to expression to thank the steward and The God who hearkened to my prayers. With a chip on my shoulder I bounced into the Boeing 747.

God has a way of answering our prayers in unique ways. All i needed was to sleep, he provided more.

And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest. – Exodus 33:14

That was how I flew business class – just like that. A good sleep, an upgraded service and a safe trip.

Isn’t He the God of the tired?

With Love, AmosCP

Goodbye My Love

December 1 is always for Joy and signifies the summary of the year. This year, it was much more than expected. The celebrations lived only for an hour before she began a new watch in the afterlife.

Blessed with four kids and a beautiful granddaughter, mum lit the fire of discipline, honour and love in the dynasty. Against all odds, she led us through the Red sea and desert – overcoming the demands, pressure and expectations of life. A humble mother, our achievements were her pride and a testament of her sweat. A defender of the defenceless, she was a shield to many, a shoulder to cry on and a custodian of the Word.

Last-born of her house, yet she was the brightest of them all as testified by her sister. Her brightness outshines the darkness and is a gene carried along to the next generations by her five generals. They passed through her fire, refined like gold and unique like diamond. She was impartial and you could hardly differentiate between her children and our cousins who lived together. They were treated like her children. I used to think I was not the firstborn.

She was my first love, irreplaceable by any. She scolded me as required, whipping me for my misdeeds and piercing my soul with her eyes when I act dishonourably and not within her arms reach. I remember disobeying the order of “don’t come downstairs, till I return” in my first decade. I did, she saw me. I ran upstairs and wore an extra short to withstand the strokes to come. The strokes came, lashing through the “double-nicker” and resetting the obedience in me. Who would flog me now?

She breezed through the barricades of admission into Unity Schools, sending her first three kids to Odogbolu. She was with me on that cold harmattan Friday morning as I began my journey in FEGO. The joy on her face still radiates everlasting. Even when I lost most of my clothes, she never gave up until I began to be more careful. Today, we tell tales from FEGO and it triggers laughter and happiness in the house. She will not hear the tales again.

Before the arrival of ShopRite and Spar, she ran a mini-mart, which was a farm for her generals. We raided her store for Ribena, biscuits, drinks, books, and many more. Despite our constant raiding, the mini-mart stood strong thanks to her business and management skills. There, we learnt to buy and sell, supporting the farm that fed the home while dad took up larger expenses. Whose shop will we raid again?

Her culinary skills lives on in her daughter – the new mother of the house. I will not forget that Oha soup I ate in her shop – the mountain of eba was levelled down. The soup was top-notch.

Now her watch is ended here. She lives on in the Amos Dynasty – The Five.

Goodbye my Love.

Goodbye mum.

AmosCP

Burial date: January 8, 2019.

Goodbye Dom

Few days ago, I went with my colleagues to visit a widow. Her husband used to work with us but crossed to the other side few days before.

Red as fire, her eyes were flowing with tears. Irrespective of the amount persons in the room, she couldn’t hold her tears. Her loving husband will not return back from work again to hug her and her three kids.

The thought pierces the heart and you can understand her pains. Dom was a good man but the illness didn’t care. Now, she will have to take care of the kids without him. The news paralysed the group. It was a big blow.

As a colleague, he was dedicated and eager to take up and finish up responsibilities. One of best, his output were exceptional. But now his watch is over.

I sat on that chair, pondering. Life on earth has its limitation. We won’t be here forever. We all have our set time. We have to make the most of it while we are here. Show love. Live life. Be a blessing. Smile. Give a helping hand.

Goodbye Dom.

Go Fever

On January 28, 1986, after five weather-related delays, the space shuttle Challenger lumbered heavenward amid a thunderous overture of noise and flame. A mere 73 seconds later, system failure tore the shuttle apart, and all seven crewmembers perished.

The disaster was attributed to an O-ring seal known to have vulnerabilities. Insiders referred to the fatal mistake as “go-fever” – the tendency to ignore vital precautions in the rush to a grand goal.

Be still before the Lord abd wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7

Our ambitious human nature relentlessly tempts us to make ill-advised choices. Yet we are also prone to a fear that can make us overly cautious. The ancient Israelites demonstrated both traits. When the 12 scouts returned from spying out the Promised Land, 10 of the 12 saw only the obstacles (Num. 13:26-33). “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are,” they said.

After a fearful rebellion against the Lord that led to the death of the 10 spies, the people suddenly developed a case of “go-fever.” They said, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised” (Num 14:40). Without God, the ill-timed invasion failed miserably (Num 14:41-45).

When we take our eyes off the Lord, we’ll slide into one of two extremes. We’ll impatiently rush ahead without Him, or we’ll cower and complain in fear. Focusing on Him brings courage tempered with His wisdom.

A moment of patience can prevent a great disaster.

Before making a quick decision, consider why you want to make it quickly. Consider if it will honour God and what it might cost others. If yiu are afraid to make a decision, think about why that might be. Most of all, PRAY!

Culled from Our Daily Bread, written by Tim Gustafson.

Soccer and Saturdays

Last week Saturday, I reunited with Hal FC, a non-league side, to spend quality time keepinh fit and burning fat. Where is the fat sef?

I had missed the training section the week before and was refrained from participating 2 weeks before due to the monthly sanitation exercise, spiced up by poor communication.

Soccer, as my US friends would call football, no be beans. 3 hours of running around with a leather ball with the aim of outscoring the other team is work. The pitch was not the best of pitches but that was the best we could get after the Real Madrid wind blew us away from our initial Emirates.

Without any professional coach or cones, poles et al, we enjoy ourselves, especially in the rain. I have missed 2 consecutive rain balls and it is an experience I hope to reignite after one in my Higher Institution days. Have you heard of the Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL)? How FUTO is not being featured is another discussion. Follow the trend.

My team went unbeaten last week, coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in one of the most difficult games. We edged the other team via penalties. Today, we clawed back from 5-2 to earn a 6-6 draw. No fear, na 2 hours monkey post. (Don’t tell me it is mocking post).

I launched my Nike Hypervenom boots last week but it was a terrible pitch. It did another hitch today before calling it quits, hoping to be resurrected by one of the teens who needed a boot badly. While we await for his replacement from across the Atlantic, my Mercurial without studs will “stand in”.

In all, Saturday is a good day to burn that fat, work the heart, gasp for air and keep fit. For bodily exercise profiteth little.

Time to sleep. Oh – the Premier League!!

Reunion: The Musketeers and The Fishes

My phone rang and the number didn’t look familiar. When I answered, the voice sounded familiar. The unique laugh followed, in confirmation that it was Prof. I had learnt that laughing style yet he still accused me of using the style.

I have not met Prof since a Federation Cup final at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos – should be 2015. But he was in town on an official trip and it was a great opportunity to catch up on ourselves.

He had a “Bud” oiling his system while two fishes was being grilled down the poolside. It was a cool evening, sitting by the pool catching up with tales and events. We rarely had such cool evenings at school buy with time and life, we could own it to enjoy it.

While we sobered at the missed opportunities in the region, in came Le Banks. He joined my Maltina ministry – I hung my drinking cups very early life and I have never seen him with a bottle. Prof drank his “Bud” while we spoke about everything – from the World Cup, Russia, marriage, school flames and politics.

Early on in school, the four of us were seen as unserious especially after we botched someone’s sales because we identified the error in the material. The salesman didn’t take it likely and swore to get back at us. Young at heart, mischief on sleeve, we didn’t care. We shone on.

The fish came, embroidered in potato chips, salad and spicy sauce. Beautiful as a bride, adorned with onion rings and a worthy sacrifice to the gods that rule the belly. It was hot and worthy of the 8 years reunion by the Three Musketeers. If only the fourth – Abobi – was there.

And then the second fish swarm to the table despite the steel pool water. Diego Costa was on fire at the other end but it didn’t stop our fingers from dissecting fish into consumable parts.

It was an evening well spent. Thanks Prof and Le Banks. Let’s do this again. Respect.

Socrates…