Kevin Menezes

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

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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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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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Family Fights: You Lose Even When You Win

​The only battle you’ll never win is the one you fight against your own family. Any man who verbally, emotionally, physically or psychologically beats his own wife, kids or parents down and expects to win is a fool because when they lose, YOU LOSE.   

Jesus said, “a house divided against itself shall not stand” because fights within the family are like cancer. The real reason cancer is so deadly is because it’s not caused by an external virus or bacteria. It’s an internal fight. Cancer is basically your body fighting you. It’s like a civil war breaking out inside you. You can only survive when the fighting stops. 

So, what you really need is for everyone connected to you to be winning everything — all the time. That’s why you’ve got to take the high road and walk away from some fights. They are really not worth your time and energy because even if you win, you still lose. The Bible says “anger rests in the bosom of fools” and “avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarrelling.”

Basically, God is asking you to be wise and stop fighting against everybody and yourself.

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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Spot the Right Guy; Marry Him

2015-09-04-17-03-17-1If you are dreaming of marriage and happily ever after, choose a righteous man (someone who really loves God) over someone who is just plain religious. Confused? Let me sort this out for you.

Men who make a great show of their religion are usually also very obtuse, fanatical and obstinate – not to mention boring. (Think Pharisees, the ISIS, the other right wing terror groups and you get the picture.) Such men are willing to kill and be killed for their religion. You don’t want to be stuck with someone like that.

A man who really loves God will love everyone made in His image. He has no issues with anybody. He has no enemies. Such a man avoids conflict and is actually a peacemaker because He realizes that God can fight his own battles. He understands that God is sovereign and does not need a man’s help to accomplish anything. His happiness is rooted in the confidence that if God wants something done, He can get it done all by Himself. He therefore gets out the way and let’s God handle His business.

A righteous man understands that God is looking for spiritual fruit NOT religious nuts. So, he stops acting like he has the last word on God, he stops advising God about what should be done, and instead focuses his energies on what God expects a man to do. He busies himself doing good, helping the poor, feeding the hungry, and above all caring for his wife and family. He is thankful because he knows life is a gift and he values it – not just his own but also the life of others. He lives to the fullest and enjoys every moment.

If you find a man like that, marry him.

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Let Go

If you think you are busy now, wait till you get married. And if you think there aren’t enough hours in a day to do all that you want, wait till you have kids.

The biggest drain on marriages is that couples hardly have time for each other once the kids arrive on the scene. But here’s what i learnt:

Your firstborn should never take the place of your first love. After all, you did not marry for kids, remember? You married for love. Your kid(s) are a byproduct of that love.

Also, your relationship as a couple and your responsibilities as parents are two different things. You should not interlink the two.   You didnt marry your man because he was an experienced father; you married him because of how he made you feel, right? Besides, nobody is born with a degree in parenting. We all make mistakes. We learn on the job.

It is enough for me to know that my wife loves the kids as much as i do (possibly more) and she is doing her best. That is good enough.

So, next time you are tempted to be critical, i suggest you cut your spouse some slack. And instead of giving your spouse a hard time about their parenting skills, I suggest you just love them for who they really are. Because if you look up close, you’ll find someone trying just as hard to make it work.

Life is tough. Don’t make it harder. LET GO. Do it for your spouse. Do it for the kids. Do it for yourself.

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Kids: Your Responsibility | Your Reward


I got a call from an e-learning institute yesterday. They wanted to know if I’d be interested in enrolling my son for any of their “special” courses.

Well, not really,” I responded, “coz my son is just three-and-a-half.

“Well, sir, this course is for kids 6 months and above,” the woman on the phone  explained.

“Um, okay. Not interested.”

“But why?! We’ll teach your child to read, write, and it will be a very engaging experience for him. Most importantly, his IQ will improve significantly,” she persisted.

“Well, I am sure your course is as good as you claim it is, but I am not very keen to raise my son’s IQ at this age. And as far as reading and writing go, I am sure he’ll pick it up when the time is right.”

“That is true, sir, but your son won’t have a competitive advantage,” she corrected me.

“Well, ma’am, I understand where you are coming from. But I am going in a completely different direction with regard to how kids should be raised. I am not eager to have my son compete with other kids in any sort of rat race. At his age, I’d rather he just enjoy being a child.”

She finally got the message and hung up. But the gist of what she said lingered in my mind. Was I being unfair to my kid by not letting him gain any sort of advantage in a competitive world? I debated that in my mind for a while and discussed it with my wife when I got back home. We had decided long ago that we wouldn’t let our children be sucked into the rat race like we were. We decided to stick with that.

I am not at all undermining the value of education—yes, it is important. However, the school can only teach a child about the world around him. It is a parent’s responsibility to show a child how to live and breathe and walk confidently in that world. We parents have the power to influence our child’s character, his thoughts and views positively. However, we only have a small window of opportunity to do that. Once that window closes, it is hard to open it again. Then, the world takes over. Whatever a child absorbs at a young age remains with him forever. That’s why the Bible advises: “Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

There are two lasting gifts you can give your kids: one is wings, the other is roots. Your decisions today will shape your child’s tomorrow. Give your child the best education you possibly can. But please remember that education is not a substitute for good character. Education may help your child earn a lot of money, but it may not help him spend it wisely. Education may help your child land a good job and find a good spouse, but it cannot guarantee a happy life or a happy marriage. In my personal opinion, character formation is the primary duty of every parent. These are your kids. Don’t expect the school or anybody else to raise them up for you. They are your responsibility. And if you raise them well, they will be your reward.

Want your kids to be special? Be a special parent.