Kevin Menezes

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


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God, the Devil, and Adenoids

One of the biggest crisis I faced as a father is watching my 3-year-old suffer from an illness that neither the doctors nor I could explain. Every night, I watched my otherwise happy-go-lucky and playful child toss and turn in his bed and then inexplicably start coughing and coughing till neither he nor we could sleep. The countless sleepless nights took a toll on my son’s health and my sanity.

We visited more doctors then I can remember. All of them said the same thing: “Your son is fine, but he suffering from an allergy that apparently only flares up at night.” But none of them could tell me what he was allergic to. One doctor said this, the other doctor said that. Homeopathy, Allopathy – we tried it all. Nothing worked.

My son’s illness strained my marriage too. I would come home from work at the end of the day and sit down for dinner with my wife, talking about all the things that couples talk about. But then suddenly my son would have one of his coughing bouts and all romance would fly off the window. It’s hard to be romantic or anything else when your child is sick.

In my desperate search for the mystery allergen, I started de-cluttering the house – I changed the upholstery, rugs, carpets… We changed food brands and tried new diets every week. I lost countless hours chasing appointments in different hospitals around the city. I spent thousands on medicines. I considered everything there was to consider. I even considered changing my house.

I also struggled with God. And I waged warfare on the devil. I prayed and prayed and fasted and prayed some more, searching for an answer. Exasperated, one day, I sat in my car and let out a loud scream and then cried all the way back from work. When I got back home around midnight, I pulled out my Bible, sat next to my son, who was fast asleep and read the Book of Psalms out aloud until morning. After months – no years – of praying and fasting, I finally got my breakthrough. The answer was one word – ADENOIDS.

Adenoids are lymph tissues that sit in the upper airway between the nose and the back of the throat. They are similar to tonsils and help the body prevent or fight infections by trapping bacteria and germs. However, prolonged allergies and infections can cause the adenoids themselves to become swollen. Enlarged and inflamed adenoids can make breathing difficult, disrupt sleep and lead to recurring respiratory infections.

Turns out, this is a fairly common problem, especially among preschool kids. The remedy is to either treat the adenoids through medication or, as a last resort, have them taken out surgically. Sometimes, tonsils and adenoids are removed at the same time. I discovered that both of these are common surgeries for kids to have.

Once I found out what the problem was, I spent all my free time researching about adenoids. I obviously didn’t want my son to have his adenoids taken out through surgery, which is what most exasperated parents do. To me, that’s like taking out the engine alarm light in your car when it warns you that the engine is overheating. The alarm light is NOT the problem; it only tells you there is a problem, and taking it out won’t cool the engine. By that same token, if an allergy is causing your child’s adenoids to swell, you should not rush to have the adenoids or tonsils taken out. The adenoids are NOT the problem; they only indicate that there is problem — in my son’s case, an allergy.

Anyways, after lots of praying, fasting and reading, I finally discovered that my son was allergic to dairy products. Kids allergic to milk?! Who would have thought! But that’s what it was. In fact, nearly 70-80% of childhood allergies are in some way or the other related to food. Why is that so? I don’t know, but I am guessing it is all about balance. When you have too much of one thing in your diet, the balance is broken and the body’s alarm signals go off. If you ignore the signals, you could end up with major diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, heart ailments, stroke, cancer, etc. So, it’s best to maintain a balance in everything, especially your diet.

I thank God for bringing me through the biggest crisis I faced as a father. I also learned an important lesson: Prayer is our best line of defense, but you cannot always pray everything away. You need spiritual answers for spiritual issues and natural solutions for natural problems. For instance, you may be a praying man, but if your house was burning, you would do better to get a bucket of water first instead of sitting down and praying about it. Prayer does, however, open the eyes of our understanding and allows for God to point us in the right direction. That’s why we must never stop praying.

Screenshot_2016-05-04-20-27-33So, does this mean that sometimes even God is powerless to help? Of course, Not! On the contrary, He can do far beyond our wildest imagination. I have personally benefited from divine healing and protection on countless occasions. I was suffering from sinusitis and a dislocated shoulder for years. I was healed of both by simply entering a place of worship — I had not even begun to pray; i just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Um, if God can heal people just like that, why did He not heal your son? Good question. Look at it this way. If a smoker contracts lung cancer and God healed him, what would be the incentive for this man to stop smoking. Chances are he would contract the same disease again. Sometimes, God does not heal people right away because He wants them to wake up to what’s killing them. If God had healed my son right away, chances are I would continue giving him the same things that caused his adenoids to swell.

Anyways, to cut the long story short, we sleep well now. My son’s health is the best it has been in years. Most importantly, he did not lose any body parts. In my opinion, surgery is the prerogative of the busy and the rich. My heart grieves for children whose are parents are so busy that they completely miss all the red signals till it is too late. Oftentimes, these kids suffer from minor medical issues, but have to undergo major surgeries just because their parents were too busy to sit down, think and pray about what needed to be done.

This post is a shout-out to all parents considering a tonsillectomy or an adenoidectomy. Before you put your child under the surgical knife, I suggest you take a closer look at what your kid is eating. Try cutting out dairy products from his diet for about three weeks. Also, cut out processed and junk food, especially spicy and fried foods. We tried it and it’s worked wonders for us.

Last but not the least: Don’t forget to pray.

Hot or Not ~ I am Still Toasting Me

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Whenever I chance upon magazines like Men’s Health at the mall and look at men’s abs, I catch myself wishing I had those six-pack abs, instead of the jelly belly I am currently sporting. 🙂

I try to eat healthy and work out when I can. Frankly, I’d love to spend hours at the gym if I could. But my life schedule does not allow me the luxury of making that beach body look my primary goal in life, no matter how much I wish for it.

And, in retrospect, it doesn’t really matter. The world tells women you are only as good as you look. It tells guys you are only lovable if you have a rock hard body.

It’s all just a load of crap!

I read today that in the US, 50% of all preschool  girls (3 to 5 years old) worry that they are too fat. Eating disorders are up; self esteem is down. What’s wrong with that? EVERYTHING!

Our primary goal in life should be to be healthy, not erotically attractive. In fact, I find average, smiling, loving, content, happy people who have accepted and dance in the beauty that God has granted them quite stunning too. Plus, you know for a fact that they are the real deal and totally legit because their beauty has not been purchased at a beauty store — it shines from within!

And so I choose NOT to let fashion magazines body-shame me or talk me down. I am old enough to realize by now that how I see myself and talk about myself is more important than how others see me. And that outlook makes a world of difference to me, my girl and, most importantly, my kids.

I am raising my boys to be confident, young men. And I am choosing to lead by example. When they grow up, I hope and pray that they will cherish the girl-women that will one day enter their lives for who they are on the inside, rather than the media-reinforced image of “perfect” that only focuses on the outside.

So, thanks, but no thanks.

Yes! I am still gunning for a healthier me. But even if that does not happen, you’ll find me splayed on my couch, toasting life and celebrating me. 🙂


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Roll Out the Red Carpet!

My most ardent prayer today is that all children find love, peace and security in their own homes.

Although I never asked God for children, I rolled out the Red Carpet for them as soon as my wife conceived. I told my wife Sharel no child of ours will enter this world without a warm welcome from their father. I am their greatest cheerleader, one man welcoming committee, mentor, counsellor, friend, etc, etc all rolled into one.

It is really tragic that some men (and women) disown their kids and their responsibilities towards them even before they are born. I decided long ago that I would never disrespect God, my wife or myself by doing that. Children are a real blessing from God, and because they embody attributes of both the father and the mother, they are also the strongest declaration of your love — that the two of you are indeed one.

Think about it, guys. If we don’t welcome our own children into our lives, then who will? I can’t understand dudes who keep whining and blaming their wives for everything, from the timing of conception to the gender of the child.

Science has now proved that it is the gender of a child is determined by the father alone. If you give your wife an X chromosome it will be a girl; if you give her a Y chromosome it will be a boy. A woman has absolutely no say in the matter. So quit complaining and leave her alone. If you are man enough to make a baby, then also be man enough to take responsibility for your actions and stand up for your wife and kids.

How would you feel if you had to enter a place where no one wanted you? No child should have to go through that. What you want to hear instead is, “Don’t worry about a thing. Everything is taken care of. Just come. We’ll make you as comfortable as you can ever be. It may not be heaven, but it’ll be closest thing to heaven on earth. Come on over. We are waiting for you. We have you covered.”

Well, if that’s what you want to hear wherever you go, then that’s what you should be saying too.

Don’t go chasing after God, asking Him to bless you more if you haven’t learned how to handle what you have already been given with dignity and poise. If you reject your kids, you are rejecting God’s most generous endowment. And if you disown them, God will disown you.


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How Close Are You To God?

The Answer is in Your Prayers

wpid-praying-page-001-1.jpgIf you want to know how far or close you are to God, all you need to do is pay attention to your prayers. Those who are really close to God and have a strong interpersonal relationship with Him, talk directly to God. Jesus, for example, didn’t ask any of the Old Testament saints and prophets like Isaiah, Samuel, Moses, or Elijah to intercede for Him. He took his concerns, petitions and prayers to God directly, addressing Him as Father, and he encouraged us to do the same.

When Moshe, my 6-year-old, wants something, he doesn’t say things like, “Father of mine, how are you? It’s been a while. I trust in your benevolence and generosity. If it be thy will to grant me some food, you can surely do it…” That would be really weird. Instead, he just runs in regardless of whether I am busy or not and says “Daddy, I am hungry.” And I leave everything aside and feed him first. Jesus said, “If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)

People who enjoy a strong relationship with God, don’t need an appointment to pray talk to Him. They are constantly running to Him. And because they are regular visitors, they can skip the formalities and pleasantries – the hosannas and alleluias – and come to God just as they are. They tell him what they need and trust in His goodness and divine providence. And God honors their child-like trust.

People who have not cultivated that kind of close relationship with God, our Heavenly Father, feel more comfortable praying to Jesus, His Son. They take everything to Jesus, asking God to answer their prayers in Jesus’ name. If you pray to God in Jesus’ name, that’s like telling God, “Jesus sent me to you.” God knows Jesus, our eternal high priest very well (Hebrews 4:14) and He will never turn away anyone who approaches Him in the name of His Son.

People who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, pray to His mother or the saints. The subconscious reasoning is I can’t go to God directly because I am too sinful. He will never hear my prayer. But I can go to Mary or St Jude or St. Patrick. They were human too, just like me. They will understand me better and will surely intercede on my behalf. This reasoning confirms what the Book of Isaiah says: Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God. (Isaiah 59:1)

People refuse to go directly to God because of conviction of sin. To them God is an angry God waiting to punish them. And they are not sure about their forgiveness through Christ’s finished work on the cross. So they prefer to take the long and circuitous route. Actually, I see some logic in that approach too. Think about it. If you didn’t know the CEO of your company personally, wouldn’t you try approaching his secretary first? It’s all about relationship and who you are most comfortable talking with.

Frankly speaking, you can ask Mary, the saints and all the hosts of heaven to intercede for you if it makes you happy. After all, we even ask people on earth — our pastors, family and friends — to pray for us, don’t we? I am sure God doesn’t mind at all. He is not insecure about these things.

Your eventual goal, however, should be to try and cultivate an interpersonal father-child relationship with God himself. If you are the CEO’s son you don’t need to come through the secretary. Heck! You don’t even need an appointment. You have direct access 24/7. You can come and go as you please and have all your prayers answered even before you say Amen.

I can assure you that Mary and all the saints of heaven won’t mind one bit if you start talking to God directly. Even Jesus would be absolutely delighted. After all, He did not die so we could have one more religion; He died so we could have a relationship with His Father. And quite frankly, God likes wants that kind of a relationship with you too.


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The War Within

peaceTry this in your mind. Think about one person you could happily do without. This person could be someone from your own family, your neighborhood, your workplace, your school…it doesn’t matter. This person is a real pain in the a** and bothers you so much that you are certain your world would be better if this person wasn’t in it.

Have you identified your antagonist? Great! Now answer the next question: Does this person share your faith and practice the same religion as you?

If you answered yes, you are in the right place. Please continue reading.

I tried this exercise with my Sunday School Class during a discussion on religion and war. I was trying to show them that, contrary to what we think, people who practice other religions are NOT the problem. To their surprise, nearly all my students discovered that their biggest “enemy” was someone from their own faith.

Regardless of your religion, I can almost guarantee that nearly 70% of you would have discovered the same thing.

The reason there are so many conflicts over religion today is because devil has hoodwinked the world into thinking that all our problems are caused by people of one faith or the other. Depending on your age and the part of the world you live in, you’ve probably nursed the idea that your world would be better off without Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. But the fact – like some of you just discovered – is that most of your problems are neither caused by people from other communities, nor by folk with divergent political views.

According to the Bible, war and strife are caused by the conflict WITHIN the human soul. The primary triggers are PRIDE, GREED and ENVY. The Book of James is explicit about this. It asks: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.” (James 4:1,2)

That’s why even in supposedly Christian countries like the United Kingdom, the Protestants and Catholics have been at each other for centuries. In the predominantly Muslim Middle East, Sunnis and Shias are happily blowing each other up. In India, Hindus were fighting caste wars long before the Mughals and Europeans showed up. In predominantly Jewish Israel, the Reform and Orthodox movements continue to confront each other over religious, social, political and ethnic issues.

So, if you think all of the world’s problems would magically disappear if you got rid of all the Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Jews, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, Hitler had a similar idea about the Jews not so long ago and we all know how that turned out. If you are thinking along those lines too, what does that say about you?

All of us want PEACE. And we want it so badly that we are willing to fight great wars for it. We FIGHT so that we can have PEACE. You see the paradox?

If you really want world peace, first stop the war within.

Great wars begin from little wars, often kindled at home. Great peace also begins at home, often with a smile.


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War & The Butterfly Effect

Five years of civil war has torn Syria apart. Countless lives have been lost, families ripped apart, childhoods snatched, the economy destroyed. Syrians are finding out the hard way that in war there are no victors — everybody loses.

Funny thing is what’s happening in Syria and Iraq could happen anywhere in the world, even in our neighborhood. That’s why we must always strive for peace. But how do we do that? Can a handful of people thousands of miles away from the epicenter of conflict bring world peace? The answer is YES.

Have you heard of the Butterfly Effect?

The Butterfly Effect is the notion that the tiny flutter of a butterfly’s wings can cause a tornado on the other side of the world. In other words, if you change even the smallest of life’s details, you completely change its outcome. That means everything we say and do can affect our surroundings and the world at large for either good or bad.

Consider Jesus, for example. Jesus was just one man. He spent his whole life in and around Israel, moving within a 200 km radius. Yet, what he said and did 2000 years ago has affected billions of lives across the centuries and continues to do so to this very day. 

By that logic, all of us – even you – can do your bit to bring increase peace. Yes you — as small and insignificant as you may think you are — you can bring world peace.

How?!

Start with your OWN home.

Try your best to keep your spouse, your kids and parents happy. Love your wife and remain true to her. Respect your parents. Be nice to your kids.

Your spouse and kids will carry the ripple effect of what you achieved at home to their workplace and school, positively impacting the people they hang out with. You can start something good at home that will circle the globe several times.

Be good, do good. If all of us did just one thing to make our home a happier place, we would not have any wars anywhere in the world.

War looks good in movies, but sucks in real life. That’s why the Bible exhorts us: “never pay back evil for evil. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. (And) if possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” (Romans 12:17,18). It commands us to “make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; (for) without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)

What goes around, come around. If you do not strive for peace, you WILL reap war and everything that war brings – death, desolation, poverty, misery. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7).

So, if you really love your family, your wife and kids, and you want them to be safe, strive for peace. Remember, great wars start from little wars — often kindled at home. Great peace also starts at home — often with a smile.


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Nothing Is Free — Not Even PORN

Nothing in this world is free. Take  PORN, for example. If you think you can watch it endlessly and there is absolutely no price to pay, you are absolutely wrong. In fact, all of the devils wares — porn, drugs , alcohol — have a far higher price than money. The price is your LIFE.

Porn grows on you. First, it will suck up all your free time — you’ll become a loner, preferring to spend all your free time in the dark rather than the LIGHT. Then, it will slowly start contaminating your relationships. As you keep watching more and more porn, you’ll find yourself angrier, more abusive than ever before. If you are already addicted and hoping for a happy married life, FORGET IT! It’s NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

The reason porn subconsciously makes people angry is because porn is extremely violent. And you carry it everyhere with you — even to your marriage bed.

The real reason people hooked on porn don’t enjoy intimacy in marriage is because they are not really Making Love. Everything they do in bed is devoid of emotions, feelings, etc…they are just acting out what they saw on the screen, and they’ve defiled the sacredness of the marriage bed by bringing too many people to bed with them.

A friend of mine recently confided that her husband frequently hurts her in bed and doesn’t stop even when she protests. That’s because while she thinks he is with her, in his mind he is with somebody else. It is all about the act. And because it is just about the act, when it is over, it is really over. Because lust always runs out. Love, on the other hand, is Eternal. 

The dominant force in your marriage should always be LOVE, not lust. Married couples in love do exactly the same things in bed that people acting on lust do. But the first is a very intimate, powerful and fulfilling experience, while the other is just an empty act. In fact, people acting out on lust are almost always more miserable later.

So, whether you watch porn endlessly or just once in a while, remember there is a PRICE to pay. You are NOT watching it for free, you are watching it on credit. And the EMIs go on for the rest of your life.

I also guarantee that if you want to break your porn addiction and start over again, you won’t be able to. Try it and see. You’ll stop for a while and then start again…because the devil’s tentacles run deep. He didn’t give you all that free stuff so you could simply pack up and leave when you are done. He wants your very soul.

The only ONE who can free you from all your addictions and afflictions is GOD. If you are stuck and you can’t get out, you are looking for JESUS. REPENT of your sins and call out to Him. He will answer.

If you are still undecided about the consequences of watching porn, watch this: https://youtu.be/cQR4FF6qLBk