Kevin Menezes

Loved and Saved by God alone to Love and Serve God alone.


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Bigot!

Do you use Google often? Do you know what Larry Page looks like? If you answered ‘No’, you are not alone. Of the millions of people who use Google every day, many have never even heard of Mr. Page.

In the same way, it is possible to work for Microsoft and never have met Bill Gates. It is possible to work for Reliance and never have met Mr. Ambani. You get my drift?

In quite the same way, it is possible that you have been in church all your life and have never yet met God.

And in the absence of a personal experience with the Creator all we are left with is the Culture. You look around and you think ‘Okay, so this is what church folk do. Sing a few songs. Stand up and sit down on cue. And then out the door we go’. And after a while that becomes such an empty experience.

It’s like attending the private party of someone you don’t know personally. In the absence of a relationship, once you are done with the cake and the food, you will always look for a way to sneak out.

And because there is nothing else to it, after a while you won’t come for the cake and cheese either, except maybe on Christmas and Easter — and even then only because grandma said it’s an obligation, and everyone’s going and besides you haven’t worn your new suit in a while. Get what I am saying?

But when it’s the party of someone you know and love dearly, you hang out till the end, you bring gifts, and you wait until you have had a chance to personally wish them. Why? Because you have a personal relationship with them and you cherish that.

A Personal Relationship with God — wasn’t that the crux and theme of Jesus’ life and message?

The way I see it: Jesus did not die so that the world could have another RELIGION, or so that we could have church on Sunday. He died so that we could have a Personal Relationship with God. And in the absence of that RELATIONSHIP, you are just another bigot masquerading as a Christian when you are anything but. And even you know that.

#StoryOfMyLife


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Fasting & Prayer: The Benefits of Lent

I usually back off from a lot of things during Lent, including social media, to make time for prayer and reflection, and to declutter my life…and it is always such a rewarding experience.

We tend to think of Lent as a period of abstinence, fasting and giving up, but actually the opposite is true. If you do Lent right, you can actually gain a lot more…

Lent and everything that goes with (prayer, fasting, etc.) is basically for people who want to move forward. If you have anything pending, like a court case, a health concern, an illness in the family, a loved one who is struggling with an addiction, a strained marriage, or an increment that is overdue, then Lent is the perfect season for you.

There is so much to be said about this subject, but let me keep it simple. The way I see it fasting is for people who want things FAST. And there are some things in life I want more badly than food. But if we only abstain from food and don’t mix that sacrifice with prayer then we are not really fasting — we are dieting. And the only thing you can expect from a diet is to lose weight.

But fasting is not just about losing weight…it’s so much more. Through fasting, I’ve gained wisdom, revelation, insight, I’ve had all of my prayers answered, my kids are thriving, my wife is happier, my health is better than it has ever been (and that includes my mental, emotional and spiritual health).

Yes – I did lose some weight too and in all the right places. The little tuck I’ve gained around the middle makes me look younger and I actually feel very youthful. Through fasting, I’ve also gained more tolerance, patience, perseverance, discernment. I am more relaxed, more calm, I am smiling more…you get the picture, right?

I admit: fasting is not easy. The hardest part about fasting is getting started. Sometimes, the hunger really gets to you. And people usually try to offset it by eating something heavy just before starting the fast. In my opinion, that’s self-deception. The whole purpose of fasting is that you must feel hungry. It’s a sacrifice, right? It must make you uncomfortable and want to eat badly. And in that state, when you get down on your knees and pray, you begin to move mountains.

The irony is that once I got past the initial discomfort and started reaping the benefits of fasting, I wanted to fast more. And the thing with fasting is that the more you fast, the easier it gets.

The Bible presents fasting as something that is beneficial for everyone. If you asked me, as a friend, I would strongly recommend it too. And you don’t have to wait until Lent to get started, although that’s the best period. Why Lent? Look at this way. If you want the bank to sanction a loan, you’ll go during business hours, right? You won’t go at midnight when the bank is closed. Similarly, it makes sense to approach the Throne of Mercy in the hour of mercy. It’s as simple as that.

People often misunderstand what abstinence is all about. We can always have a feast and we rarely miss an opportunity to eat. In fact, most of us eat way too much most of the time and that’s not very good either. But that’s not what fasting is about. God does not derive any sadistic pleasure from our hunger. Fasting is less about what we’re giving up and more about what we’re making room for. When we fast, we exchange what we need to SURVIVE with what we need to LIVE. Fasting frees the body and mind from the things holding us down and helps us hear God more clearly.

If you are past the age of 30, you already know by now that life has this propensity to throw all kinds of curve balls. You’ll be challenged in your job, your marriage, your health, your finances, etc. And every once in a while you will want something so badly that you would be willing to give up anything for it. Even food. That’s what Lent is really about. It’s for us and our benefit. When we fast and pray we are essentially telling God, “I need You. I can’t see where my life is headed from down here. I don’t know what’s coming down the road, but You have a better view from up there. You can see the big picture. Please take care of this for me. I trust You.

I don’t know about you, but I try to take my life one day at a time. I look at what’s happening in my life. I look at my marriage, my kids, my home. I look at what’s happening around me and in the world and then I decide what I need to do. Some days I am FEASTING and some days, especially around this time, I am FASTING.

What about you?

You have 325 days in the year to eat what you want, when you want and how much you want. But you only have 40 days of Lent to fast and pray. And this is the final week. If you are not maximizing what this period is all about, you are really missing out.


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Tender Love Trumps Tinder Love

If you hold something under pressure for too long, it has the potential to explode, but if you release the pressure, it dissipates — right?

In the same way, when you have sex with whoever you want whenever you want, it loses both intensity and value. But if you confine sex to marriage, it can be a dynamite.

That’s why sex within marriage is potentially so explosive.

Who would have ever thought that the reward for sexual purity is pure pleasure — but it is so by God’s design.


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Jesus the Hitchhiker

If Jesus ever went hitchhiking, I imagine almost everybody would want Him in their car. After all, life is a journey and we need all the help we can get.

Hop right in, Jesus. I could surely use you — like when I am in trouble, or when I am sick (I heard you’ve healed a lot of people), or when I am hungry (they say you are good with making food appear out of thin air), or when I need money (you can help me get some right out of the mouth of a trout), or if I die (you can raise me up).

Jesus, the Savior, would be the most popular hitchhiker in history.

Jesus, the Lord — um, not so much.

Because while we all want Jesus in our car, we don’t want Him to drive. We want to be in control and we want Jesus to hang at back, ready to jump in at our call every time we are in trouble — like a bodyguard, or a handyman.

Some of us wouldn’t mind Him sitting in the passenger seat upfront either.

“We can be co-drivers, Jesus. I’ll drive sometimes and then when we hit a difficult bend, you could take over. How about that?”

But Jesus is not just our Savior, He is also our LORD. And so the only way you are going to get anywhere with Him is when you let Him have the driver’s seat.

Figuratively speaking, you’ve got to get out of the car, hand over the keys and say,“Here you go, Jesus — You drive. I’ll ride at the back or even the boot if needed. But please take charge of my life and my destiny. Or I might just mess it all up. My view is limited, but You have a better view from up there. You can see the big picture. You know what’s coming down the road. And I trust You.

Now here’s the thing: When you give Jesus charge over your life, don’t expect a smooth ride. Remember Luke 8 when Jesus told the disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side.” Halfway into their expedition, they were hit by a storm and their ship almost capsized — until Jesus rebuked the wind and the sea and calmed everything and everyone down.

Bottom line: When you decide to give Jesus control over your destiny, you don’t get to choose the route. You just have to sit back and trust Him to get you to the Promised Land. Oftentimes, God leads us down roads we never intended to take, and yet we end up EXACTLY where we intended to be.

If you liked this write-up, you will love my book Crossing Over. It is packed with sound advice, personal anecdotes, case studies and quotations that will encourage you to stretch your faith and reap a bountiful harvest in every aspect of life.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.


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God & The Lottery

I don’t know about you, but I am really amazed at some of these Rolls Royce and Bentley driving social media preachers who make it seem like God is running a lottery business. Jesus warned that there would be plenty of them in the Last Days and here they are.

“Want to get blessed? Want to get rich? No problem. Just share my post on your social media feeds and type Amen. And next thing you know a bucket-load of cash is headed your way.”

Are you kidding me?!

If you think that gimmick holds any currency with God, you have absolutely no idea who He is and you’ve completely misunderstood what Jesus is all about.

How about this one? “Wanna get rich? Easy! Just follow Jesus.”

Dude! Are you serious?!

Let me clear this up for you: Jesus is not roaming around with a wad of cash looking for people He can hand it over to. Jesus is in the business of SAVING people, not making them RICH.

Who said “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.

Who said “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Do you get it? Jesus is interested in our ETERNITY, not our LUXURY. When you get Jesus you only get JESUS. And in Him we have everything — He is more than enough.

So, if you are waiting on God to stop by your house and dump a truckload of cash on you just because you forwarded something to 25 people within 4 minutes, you’re off your rocker. Nobody cares about your social media account, how many posts you shared and how many times you typed Amen.

But God does care about YOU and how you are using this Gift of Life He has given you. So if you want to get blessed, first HONOR GOD with the way you LIVE.

Have you actually bothered to HELP any poor people? Did you freely GIVE your stuff away to those in need (and I am not talking about your leftover change)? Did you go out of your way to help a destitute? Did you FEED the hungry? Do you have LOVE in your heart for anyone other than yourself? Do you HONOR your parents? Do you flee from evil? Do you strive for PEACE?

These are the things that really please God.

If you want get rich just so you could buy your cute self some more stuff, you’re going to be waiting a LONG TIME. Because quite frankly, my dear, God is not going to help you pamper yourself a little more. You have a better chance getting rich the old fashion way — by using your brains and Working HARD.

But having said all of that let me also say this: INDEED, GOD DOES BLESS PEOPLE. He does not mind us having money and stuff as long as the money and stuff do not have us.

Here’s the deal: God has already pronounced all the blessings we’ll ever need over this planet. Our task is to call them down. And we have the power to call down both blessings and curses upon ourselves.

Be Good, Do Good and you call down BLESSINGS.

Be Bad, Do Bad and you call down CURSES.

In other words, what we say and do determines how our life is going to turn out. When you turn your life over to God, the things you do to honor Him, the zeal with which you obey His commands — those are the things that get you BLESSED.

So, if you are watching porn one moment, typing Amen the next and thinking God is going to be pretty pleased because you balanced your crap out by sharing a “holy” post on your social media feed, you’ve got to stop deceiving yourself.

Your blessings and everything else pertaining to your life are tied to just one question: DO YOU LOVE GOD FOR WHO HE IS, or FOR WHAT YOU CAN GET FROM HIM?

And God already knows the answer to that one.