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.


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Be Specific

Our Creator is a prayer-answering God. And He knows what we need even before we ask Him. But since God is a gentleman and does not like messing with our free will, He patiently waits for us to voice our needs. Like, for instance, He may not grant healing for an injury unless you ask Him coz, who knows, you probably are an attention-getter who wallows in self-pity and you actually think the limp makes you look like a cool hip-hop gangster.

Yeah! I know that kinda sounds weird, but trust me there are all kinds of people out there.

So, it pays to be specific when you pray. And no one understood that better than Jesus.

There is this story in the Bible where Jesus is walking from one place to the other and He’s got this huge fat crowd following Him. And there is this blind bloke who starts calling out to Jesus. He yells “Son of David, have mercy on me” over and over until some people are so pissed they ask him to shut up. But the guy just won’t quit.

Then, Jesus calls him over and asks him “What do you want me to do for you?”

And he begins his “Son of David, have mercy on me” tirade once again.

And Jesus is all like, “Dude, I got that part. But what do you want?” (Yes, I am majorly paraphrasing here. If you want exact details, check out Luke 18)

Now, the blind man is probably thinking, “Well, I am blind, if you haven’t noticed yet. I thought the whole world had that figured out. But since you are asking, I desperately want to see.”

Now, if it was someone like me instead of Jesus and if I had power I would probably call that guy over and heal him instantly with a wave of my magic wand without even bothering to ask him what he was yelling so much about. But Jesus is wise. He won’t do anything until we say exactly what it is that we want Him to do for us. I mean why risk it? What if He gave the guy his sight without asking and it turned out that the guy actually didn’t mind being blind as long as he was healthy and had a long life, or that he was actually calling out for something more important like Wisdom or Salvation.

What a person actually needs and what we assume s/he needs are often poles apart. So, it’s always better to confirm.

Anyways, coming back to our story, after all that yelling, the guy finally makes his need known. “Jesus, I want to see.”

If it were me, I’d probably say something like, “Gee! Thanks! I thought you’d never ask.”

But Jesus simply says, “Receive your sight.”

And the blind guy starts seeing that very instant. (This is cool stuff, right?)

In many ways, Jesus personifies God here (which should not be surprising since He is, in fact, the Son).

You see, God understands our needs and is so eager to grant our requests that it’s a pity we never bother asking. I can imagine God looking down on us and thinking “Just say a word. Say it! Say it! I can’t infringe on your right to choose. But I’d like so much to help if you just called out to Me once. Come on, man! I am here for you. Ask Me. Say what you want. Say it! Say it!”

Too bad so many people swimming in so much shit are so cut off from God (and by choice, may I add) that they don’t give Him a chance…ever!

Every once in a while though even a lame hip-hop gangster finds it in him to pray. Imagine God’s excitement when He sees the bloke finally going down on his knees. God’s thinking, “This is it! I am going to heal this guy today.” Imagine His disappointment when the dude raises his hands to the heavens and asks for a Ferrari. “A tomato-red one please.” God is like “Man, you got one good leg on you, and I don’t want you to lose that one too. Nope! No Ferrari for you.” The bloke then runs out giving God a bad name telling everyone praying is a waste of time since God never answers anyways.

I’d say being God is tough when you are dealing with so many nutcases.

If you are one of those lost guys, or if you are one of the good guys yelling, “Son of God, have mercy on me,” maybe you should consider changing the words a little. Be more specific. Choose your words carefully. Say it once.

God. Will. Hear.

The safest prayer to pray is: “God, let Your perfect will be done in my life. I surrender everything into Your hands.”

By praying that you are essentially telling God, “I can’t see where my life is headed from down here, but You have a better view from up there. You can see what’s coming down the road. Please take care of it for me.”

Trust me, that’s good enough.


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Be Specific

Our God is a prayer-answering Father. And He knows what we need even before we ask Him. But since God is a gentleman and does not like messing with our free will, He patiently waits for us to voice our needs.

For instance, God may not grant healing for a leg injury unless you ask Him because, who knows, maybe you don’t really want to be healed. You probably are an attention-getter who wallows in self-pity and you actually think the limp makes you look like a cool hip-hop gangster dude. Yeah! I know that sounds weird, but trust me, there are all kinds of people out there.

So, it pays to be specific when you pray. And no one understood that better than Jesus.

There is this story in the Bible where Jesus is walking from one place to the other and He’s got this huge fat crowd following Him. And there is this blind bloke who starts calling out to Jesus. He yells “Son of David, have mercy on me” over and over until some people are so pissed they ask him to shut up. But the guy just won’t quit.

Then, Jesus calls him over and asks, “What do you want me to do for you?”

And he begins his “Son of David, have mercy on me” tirade once again.

And Jesus is all like, “Dude, I got that part. But what do you want?” (Yes, I am majorly paraphrasing here. If you want exact details, check out Luke 18.)

Now, the blind man is probably thinking, “Well, I am blind, if you haven’t noticed yet. I thought the whole world had that figured out. But since you are asking, I desperately want to see.”

Now, if it was someone like me instead of Jesus and if I had power, I would probably call that guy over and heal him instantly with a wave of my magic wand without even bothering to ask him what he was yelling so much about. But Jesus is wise. He won’t do anything until we say exactly what we want Him to do for us. I mean why risk it? What if He gave the guy his sight without asking and it turned out that the guy actually didn’t mind being blind as long as he was healthy and had a long life, or that he was actually calling out for something more important like Wisdom or Salvation.

What a person actually needs and what we assume s/he wants are often poles apart. So, it’s always better to confirm.

Anyways, coming back to our story, after all that yelling, the guy finally makes his need known. “I want to see.”

And Jesus is like, “Gee! Thanks! I thought you’d never ask. Receive your sight.”

And the blind guy starts seeing that very instant. (This is cool stuff, right?)

In many ways, Jesus personifies God here (which should not be surprising since He is, in fact, the Son).

You see, God understands our needs and is more than willing to grant our requests. However, some people never give Him a chance…ever! And more often than not, even the few that give Him a chance have their own agenda—they want God to do things on their terms, in their way and in their time.

It’s a crazy world out there. Every once in a while though even a lame hip-hop gangster finds it in him to pray. Imagine God’s delight when He sees the bloke finally going down on his knees. God’s thinking, “This is it! I am going to heal this guy today.” Imagine His disappointment when the dude raises his hands to the heavens and asks for a Ferrari.

“A tomato-red one, please.”

God is like “Man, you got one good leg on you, and I don’t want you to lose that one too. Nope! No Ferrari for you.

The bloke then runs around giving God a bad name telling everyone praying is a waste of time as God never answers anyways.

I’d say being God is tough when you are dealing with so many nutcases.

If you are one of those lost guys, or if you are one of the good guys yelling, “Son of God, have mercy on me,” maybe you should consider changing the words a little. Be more specific. Choose your words carefully. Say it once.

God. Will. Hear.

The safest prayer to pray is: “God, let Your perfect will be done in my life. I surrender everything into Your hands.”

By praying that, you are essentially telling God, “I can’t see where my life is headed from down here, but You have a better view from up there. You can see what’s coming down the road. Please take care of it for me.”

Trust me, that’s good enough.


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Make Room! Make Room!

I bought my wife a big, brand new fridge recently. And she is mighty happy, which is not surprising considering she waited almost four years for it. Of course, we did have a fridge all this while, but because we lived in a smaller house with a cabinet-sized kitchen until recently, I couldn’t get her the type she really wanted.

So, she prayed and waited and prayed and waited and prayed and waited a little more… And like an answered prayer, the fridge is finally here now.

In the hours preceding its arrival, my wife spent time making room for it by moving some kitchen furniture around and sweeping the place clean. And when the delivery guys finally arrived at the door, she opened it wide so that they would have no problem getting the fridge to the place she had specially prepared for it.

The kid couldn’t care less as long as he is fed, but the wife is happy. And I, too, am content. Life is good.

In fact, this is exactly how things work out in all aspects of life. God answers every prayer—either He says “Yes” and gives you what you asked for, or He says “No” and gives you something better, or He says “Wait” and gives you the best.

However, there are countless others who never get what they prayed for…not because God has not granted their request, but simply because they don’t know how to receive it.

Like, for instance, you can pray all you want for a bigger house, and God may cause you to receive an increment in your salary. But if you spend every dime of that extra cash on fast food, fancy gadgets and other junk instead of saving it to make a down payment on the house, you are never going to make it.

Similarly, you can pray all you want for good health, and God will grant your request. But if you never stop eating like a pig, or boozing like an elephant, or smoking like a chimp, sooner or later, your body will give in and you could suffer multiple organ failure.

So, those who pray for things must also, in faith, prepare to receive what they asked for. The key word here is “faith”. By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land even though he couldn’t see the storm coming. The result? His family was saved. By faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. But he obeyed and became extremely rich. By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what He said. (Hebrews 11 has all the details.)

That’s why we are encouraged in the Bible to exercise our faith and stop “worrying our prayers”. Some folks do that. They get down on their knees and pray, “God, I want one thing and one thing only. Give me a car.” Then, even as the angels of God are working on the answer to that prayer, the bloke comes back and says, “God, I need a house! Fast! Help me.” A little while later the dude returns and says “God, it’s okay if you don’t give me a house or a car, just get my wife to stop nagging me.”

This kind of praying will get you nowhere. “If you are like that, unable to make up your mind and undecided in all you do, you should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” (James 1:7,8)

So, if you are praying, be resolute and then pray with firmness. And when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. (James 1:6) In other words, if you prayed for something, trust God to do it for you, act in faith and prepare wholeheartedly to receive what you prayed for.

If you prayed for a house, act in faith and do the groundwork. Go see some houses. Speak to various banks about a home loan, work out the interest rates, and start saving for the down payment. That way, when God finally leads you to the house He has chosen for you, you won’t be caught unprepared.

Similarly, if you prayed for healing, allow yourself to be healed too. You don’t go the see the doctor about a bad cough with a cigar in your hand, do you? It’s the same principle: Want healing? No problem. Stop smoking. Stop overeating. Give the bottle a break (or break the bottle). Stop indulging yourself ever so often. Wind down. Breathe. Rest. Most importantly, keep praying. Don’t let yourself be tricked into thinking that nothing is happening. Your body suffered years of abuse at your hands, so don’t expect the healing to happen overnight. Only Jesus offers instant healing. Only He can. And He says “I stand at the door and knock.” (Revelation 20-21) If you want instant healing, you’ve got to open the door of your heart – and open it wide – so that Jesus can come in take His rightful place. You’ve got to make room for Him in your heart. And once Jesus is in, I guarantee you this: There is no sickness on earth or demon in hell that can withstand His majesty. You’ll be free of all your afflictions before you can say “Amen”.

That’s the beauty of our God. Our Creator is a prayer-answering Father. And He knows what we need even before we ask Him. But since God is a gentleman and does not like messing with our free will, He patiently waits for us to voice our needs. In fact, God is so eager to grant our requests that it’s a pity some of us never bother asking. I can imagine God looking down on us and thinking, “Just say a word. Say it! Say it! I can’t infringe on your right to choose. But I’d like so much to help if you just called out to Me once. Come on, man! I am here for you. Ask Me. Say what you want. Say it! Say it!”

Too bad so many people swimming in so much shit are so cut off from God (and by choice, may I add) that they don’t give Him a chance…ever!

If you are one of those people, today is your day. Take a stand. Raise your hand. Pray for what you need. Then, go one step further and invite Jesus in. And I promise you this: You Won’t Regret It. Ever!