Wednesday, 29 February 2012


(Is 1:19, 20 KJV) “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”

The book of Isaiah opens with the Lord pronouncing judgment upon the nation of Judah. They were sinful at this point, loaded with evildoers, whose children were given to corruption; and likened to Sodom and Gomorrah. They had a form of godliness, but no true relationship with God. The nation of Judah was reaping what they had sown and the Lord was offering them another alternative. They were in a bad situation, but the Lord offered them a way out. He basically instructed them to change their seed. By changing their seed, they would change their harvest.

God did not offer to look beyond their sin and their wicked actions to bless them anyway. No, He pleaded with them to change their ways, so that He could bless them. Why? Because God is so much a God of His Word that He will not honour sin. He honours faith and faithfulness.

So … If ye be:
1.  Willing: Willingness here deals with the inward desire of the heart. God knew their heart and knew that their heart was inclined towards sin and unrighteousness. The first step in a “turn-around” is acknowledging that you have the wrong motivation and changing your attitude. Once your attitude is changed, then you actions will follow. 
2.  Obedient: Obedience deals with the outward actions. Not only did God want their inward desires to change, but also for those desires to be manifested in outward acts of kindness and goodness. Obedience unlocks the favour of God in our lives. Willingness initiates progress, but obedience closes the deal. Obedience is the seed that will bring forth a harvest of righteousness. 

What does this mean to you today? It means that you have a choice to either be willing and obedient or to refuse and rebel. Either way, you will reap a harvest. God wants us to operate in willingness and obedience, so that we can eat the good of the land and enjoy His best.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012


If the future of the Christian faith depended on you, how long would it last? You met Jesus Christ because someone shared their faith with you; has the sharing now reached a dead-end?
There was a time when i'd get embarassed to talk to anyone about Jesus. Thanks to the Word Of God and the deep conviction i now have about the TRUTH of the Gospel! Sometimes a single line from the Bible is able to send me into a meditative trance that lasts for hours!
 When Andrew met our Lord, there was something in Jesus that made his heart burn with conviction.
Andrew was able to share with Peter what he had already experienced of Jesus Christ. There was something about Jesus that convinced Andrew he was the long-awaited Messiah, something that sent Andrew running to find Simon, to grab him by the lapels and to say, "You've got to meet this man; we have found the Messiah."

The author of the Gospel doesn't tell us what that "something" was, but from my own experience I can make a pretty good guess. I learned a little over three years ago that there is nothing I can do to make myself acceptable to God. I also learned there is nothing I have to do, because Jesus has already done it. Jesus accepts me, not because of who I am or what I do, but because of who he is and what he has done for me. Who is he, and what has he done for us?

 "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world," says John the Baptist. "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," says Simon Peter. John wrote, "We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us."

I now firmly believe that there is no sin you will ever commit that you can't share with Jesus because he promised to forgive every shred of it. There is no act so heinous that will make him turn his back on you, for he asked forgiveness, remember, even for those who drove the nails through his hands and feet.
The Bible calls it GRACE, and grace is nothing more nor less than God's unmerited, undeserved, unlimited, unfailing favour, offered to every living being. The Apostle Paul wrote, "By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God “not the result of works, so that no one may boast."  
I’ve realised for myself that BEFORE I AM to be a WITNESS for Christ…
There Is A Commitment In Salvation - Before anyone can witness, they must know what they are talking about! They have to be saved before they can share!
There Is A Confidence In Salvation - They must have their salvation 'nailed down'. When there is a lack of confidence in one’s own salvation, there will be a lack of power in one’s witness.
There Is A Clear Testimony Of Salvation - They must think their own salvation experience through in detail. Only then can they tell others what has happened in their lives.
Our most powerful illustration of salvation is our own personal experience with the Lord Jesus Christ! A successful soul winner must have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, 27 February 2012


Two days ago, i felt a sudden loss in acceleration in my Volvo Xc-90 car. Thinking it was something to do with the accelerator diaphragm, i took it to the Volvo service centre. I got an estimate for 2500 dirhams and i murmured inwardly that i was already burdened with expenses but then agreed to go ahead with the repairs.

Today i get a call from Volvo telling me that the road test showed that the problems had still not gone and that the whole transmission has to be replaced! Not just that but it would cost me 23000 dirhams!!!
Yesterday i murmured about having to pay 2500 dirhams, today my heart sank hearing this news!

I've placed this case before my Lord expecting a good outcome (HE has always been a FAITHFUL God and i know that only good will come out of this!)

I thought I'd share this with you ... have you ever experienced such tests in your life too? Has your peace been threatened too? Please share it with me :-)

Sunday, 26 February 2012


Yesterday, I was in Abu Dhabi attending a thanksgiving service for the success of the recently held Don Moen concert organized by VOICE INTL. For those of you who’ve attended this year’s concert will agree that it was an awesome ‘worship’ evening with Benny Prasad’s touching testimony, Don’s moving gospel renditions and Lenny Leblanc’s ethereal music and song.
All of us usually remember the concert and do not hear of the ‘hand of God’ in organizing such events (nor of the testimonies after the event!). During the meeting yesterday, we heard a few of those difficult times that VOICE overcame through the dependence on God, and the testimonies that followed.
I will share with you just two testimonies in order to keep the article short:
A Hindu girl had heard about the Don Moen concert of last year from another Christian colleague. She had a desire to attend his concert but was not sure how. When this year’s concert was announced, she claimed it as God’s answer to her prayers and attended it. During the worship, she surrendered her heart to Jesus and later realized that she had been miraculously healed of the long term illness she was suffering from!
Another testimony was in the selection of a venue and the budget. Firstly, VOICE did not know how many people would attend this year’s repeat concert. They prayed for God’s guidance and looked at many venues. They were running out of time in booking a venue. They knew that to break even on costs they needed an attendance of over 7,300 fully paid tickets (not counting the free passes to sponsors etc.). Of all places, God led them to the ARMY OFFICER’s CLUB to do a Gospel Concert! Even the staff of the place were amazed that a concert like this took place there! And guess what … Until a few days before the event; only 4000 odd tickets were sold. VOICE maintained their FAITH in an ever faithful God and ultimately, the total turnout on that day was over 7,600!
God truly looks at the heart! VOICE has a heart for UNITY amongst all churches when it comes to stand FOR CHRIST. Music is one medium that has no barriers and helps in their mission.
So … let us GUARD OUR HEARTS and experience GOD’S HAND in everything we do!

Friday, 24 February 2012


Funny how things turn out! Yesterday i stated that Lorine and i were going to church for the World Marriage Day service at church. I was to go directly from office to church and Lorine was to join me there. It so happened that a visiting priest from Kuwait dropped in at home and Lorine never made it to church! There i was alone and melancholy ... missing her at the renewal of vows!
After mass, at the cake and coffee stall (organised by the Family Ministry), i met someone who had just become a catechist and therefore had stopped attending the meetings held 'outside' the church. He made an interesting statement about the 'fig tree' (Matt 21 and Mark 11 speak about the cursing of the fig tree by Jesus and the withering of the tree thereafter). He observed that Jesus had cursed the fig tree because the leaves on the tree deceived Him into believing that there was fruit on the tree.

He observed that many of us are like that: Good Christians from the 'outside' but bearing no 'fruit' of the Spirit.

Thursday, 23 February 2012


St. Mary’s Church Dubai is celebrating WORLD MARRIAGE DAY today. How do I know this? My beloved wife who leaves for work whilst I’m still sleeping, poked me in my ribs and told me so!
The second Sunday of Feb every year is usually known to be the day when World Marriage Day is celebrated. The permanent theme adopted for the day is "Love One Another". Loving one another is a daily decision - simple but challenging. The symbol for World Marriage Day is two candle-like figures joined by a heart. The hope is that couples will be reminded of their calling as married couples to enlighten the world by being life-giving to one another.

In 1993, his Holiness, Pope John Paul II, imparted his Apostolic Blessings on World Marriage Day. World Marriage Day celebrations continue to grow and spread to more countries and faith expressions every year.
People the world over, celebrate the WMD in their communities in many different ways – special church services are held in which the marriage vows are renewed and those married for over 40 years are specially applauded. The longest married couples at the service are usually made to face the gathering and presented with a bouquet of flowers. In some countries, the radio and television networks run interviews with couples who’ve been married for the longest time. Sometimes newspapers run contests asking couples to submit their favourite marriage memory.
Lorine and I have decided to attend the special mass at St. Mary’s and sing in the choir too. Last year’s celebration was wonderfully conducted and I encourage those of you who live in Dubai to attend the service and renew your vows.
And hey! … Don’t forget to take your spouse out for a romantic dinner after that!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


It was a chilly morning as Lorine, myself and the boys drove out to church at 5.10 am. We had to park a mile away as others had beaten us to the race for a seat inside the church. We had to stand during the entire mass. All-in-all, it was a beautiful service ending in the queue for ashes.

In case you're wondering where the words, "Ashes to ashes dust to dust" occur in Holy scriptures, you won't find them there, however, the following scriptures is where the phrase is derived from:

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Before the season of Lent, i heard very interesting conversations like :
'This Lent i will be a total vegetarian. Last time i did that and i lost 6 kilos'
'I do not believe in fasting but i do a lot of charity during Lent'
'My type of fasting is depriving myself of whatever i liked to spoil myself with (massage, restaurant food, new clothes etc.) and give the money i would normally spend to the needy'

Whilst i see many variances among people as to how they observe Lent, i asked myself what i should be doing this season (To be honest with you, I've been no saint when it came to the observance of Lent!).

First of all i needed to know what Lent was all about and this is what i learnt and I'd like to share it with you:

Lent is the period of 40 days of fasting that is preceding Easter. Often this 40 day period is parallelled with the story of Jesus being in the desert for 40 days being tempted by the devil. (Matthew 4:1-11) and this is the reading for the first Sunday of Lent to remind us of that parallel.  Lent is a period for fasting, prayer and alms giving. Lent has become a period to prepare you heart for the Easter Season.

On a personal note I have to say i particularly like the Ash Wednesday reading that explains that when you fast don't wear it on your sleeve so everyone knows. When you pray don't pray on the street corner pray in the privacy of your own home and God will take care of you. I think this is a powerful message and it is always a great reminder (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18) to start off Lent in how we are commissioned to act and react.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. (Colossians 3:12-13 NET)
Paul reminds us in these verses to focus on who we are in Christ. He reminds us that we are “the elect of God” or “chosen of God” depending on your translation. He also describes us as “holy and dearly loved”. These descriptions are humbling and exalting at the same time. They emphasise God’s call of the believer from the mass of lost humanity to be His specially loved people. This is true for every believer, even the ones who cause us the most discouragement. When we are discouraged with another believer, we need to remind ourselves of these truths. We must focus on these truths and we must also fear dishonouring these truths.

Paul says we are “holy”. This means we are set apart to live exclusively for God’s purposes and for His glory. It means maintaining moral purity and living out the character of Christ in our relationships with others.

I know for me, many times my discouragement with others is self-centred. I am discouraged because they have let me down, made mistakes that frustrate me, or in some cases have hurt me in some way. I’m discouraged by this when my focus is on my comfort and how I want things to be. But, being called out of the world and called to God means we no longer live for ourselves, but “for Him who died and gave His life for us” (2 Cor. 5:15). This is an exclusive calling we’ve been called to. Living exclusively for God, His purposes, desires, and glory, means I am not living for mine.

When people get me discouraged by their behaviour because it makes me uncomfortable, I need to remind myself that I am not here for my comfort. I am here, exclusively, for God’s glory. I cannot let them get me down or impact my behaviour in any way that I dishonour our mutual calling in Christ.

Monday, 20 February 2012


The concept of 'inner healing' was first introduced to me in the Catholic Charismatic Group in St. Mary's Church in Dubai. I had begun attending church after several years of being an atheist (Secretly practised of course!). I'm talking of 1990, a year after I'd landed in Dubai.

There was an inner healing session announced for the next week and i was looking forward to it for some reason. I was carrying a lot of 'luggage' with me that i needed to shed. Someone had advised that an inner healing is the best way to make peace with myself and with God.

When i attended the meeting the next week, the blessed sacrament was exposed in the hall where the meeting was being held and one of the core group members was leading the worship. I clearly remember the one scripture that helped me open my heart to Jesus that night - "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me" (Rev. 3:20)

That night as the leader led us into a deep meditation which took me back into my mother's womb and Jesus started cancelling out all the bad effects of any thoughts and emotions of my mother that may have effected me. Every recollection of past occurrences which were causing me guilt and pain were revisited and Jesus helped me forgive and let go the person who had caused the pain. Where I'd caused the pain to others, i asked for forgiveness and resolved to repair the relationship at a later time. By the time i was brought back to the present, i was feeling like a new creation. Jesus had not only healed me spiritually but also bodily (I discovered that some of my long-term illnesses like asthma had also disappeared miraculously!).
I'm recollecting all this because i came across someone who was burdened with guilt just like how i was and i could help this person. By sharing this 'inner healing' technique with others who may need the 'release', you will have done a great act of love!

Jesus is alive and ever-ready to erase all that you thought was unpardonable. He is waiting patiently at the door of your heart. WHY DON'T YOU LET HIM COME IN?

Saturday, 18 February 2012


I decided to attend the Holy Spirit Interactive meeting last Wednesday too. As i was about to leave the office, i received a call from my boss who requested me to stay back to attend a late meeting in the office. Although i yearned to go for the meeting i now knew that i may not reach there in time after all! I just blessed my boss and attended the meeting. When the meeting ended, i looked at my watch and i thought of the traffic and decided to go no matter what. On other Wednesdays, it would take me 30 minutes to 45 minutes to get there. As i was driving, i was thinking of how great it was to enjoy God's favour upon my life. I began to thank the Lord for all that he had done in my life all the way to Jebel Ali. I didn't even realise that the road was wide open and i had covered the distance in only 20 minutes! Also, the meeting had not commenced as if God wanted me to reach there first!
Bro. Aneel preached on Daniel 6 onwards. 'Daniel and the Lions' is a well known story from our childhood days but i never knew it had such deep lessons to learn from it! To make it short, Bro. Aneel stressed upon the 4 P's in that story namely, PURPOSE, PRINCIPLE, PURITY and PRAYER. Daniel was a righteous man and just like Joseph in Genesis, the Lord's favour was upon him. Although he was a captive of the Persian ruler, his sound character did not go unnoticed and God's purpose was fulfilled in him becoming one of the governors of the King. Daniel held on to his principles even in the face of death as the others framed him for praying to his God. The king is forced to throw Daniel in the lions' den. Again, his right standing with God saved his life with an angel restraining the lions. Even the King prayed for Daniel to be saved and was the first to go down to the lion's pit to see if his friend was still alive. Daniel was indeed alive and the king prospered him greatly!
Therefore, discover you PURPOSE, never compromise you PRINCIPLES and seek to be PURE (blameless) in the eyes of God. PRAY always. Never lean on your own understanding.

Thursday, 16 February 2012


It is important that we believe in ourselves and that we are meant for greatness, and that our life can be used to make a great difference in this world. We must believe in ourselves because if we don't believe in ourselves then why should anyone else believe in us. When we make up our minds and be determined that our life is important and can be used to benefit humanity that is when a positive change will begin to take place. When we agree with God and allow His perfect WILL to take place in our life, that is when miracles will begin to happen for us.

When times of discouragement come our way, we simply must remind ourselves that God does not create anything without a plan and purpose behind it.  As long as we are alive on this Earth, then our story isn't finished yet.  The fulfillment of our life hasn't reached its potential. Our life's work hasn't been fulfilled or accomplished.  A new thing is always ahead of us.  We simply must believe in ourselves and make ourselves available to reach those goals, desires and dreams that are waiting to be achieved and accomplished.  It's okay to have a pity party for a short time, but we can't stay there. We can't allow our life to pass us by letting our dreams perish. The saddest thing in life is unfulfilled dreams. There are so many people who die with their dream still inside of them. They didn't believe they were meant for greatness and they took their gifts, talents and dreams with them to their graves.  Let's not let that happen to us.  Let us not have any regrets in life.  The things that we know we can do, we should not postpone for another day.  Tomorrow is not promised to us, but we do have today to start on the journey to fulfill our life's purpose. 

Believe in yourself again and know that with God by your side all things are possible. Don't listen to the negative reports or those who choose to doubt your ability.  Always remember that you and God are a majority.  You don't need everyone in your corner; you just need the right One in your corner. When you do believe, that is when miracles take place. I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to see that you have great potential in life.  No matter where you've been, you can begin again and reach the heights of victory that were once so evident in your heart.

(NOTE: The above has been 'pieced' out of an article on the internet, that touched my heart!)

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


So Valentines Day has come and gone ... At lunch today, a few of us who always share a meal discussed our Valentines Day stories. It turned out that almost all had either received or presented their spouses electronic gifts like ipads, phone's and Macbooks. I received a 'meaningful' card with which i am well pleased. i bought my wife a single rose and a small mini-component music system which we can both enjoy (Spiritual talks, Gospel songs etc)

Gone are those days when it was the 'thought that mattered'! Today, the expectations are very high (Diamond jewellery, branded watches etc. over and above the expensive dinner!). Lorine and i spent the evening with family pulling each others' legs and laughing to our hearts content. We prayed and thanked God for the innumerable blessings we had received over the years. Together, we recollected the moments when God, faithful as he is to His Word, had come to our rescue in difficult times.

Valentines has lost its true meaning due to the bombardment by ads on TV and radio commercials. Parents are under a lot of pressure when their young daughters insist on going out with their Valentines. I know of a case wherein a girl belonging to a devout Christian family realised that their daughter was pregnant (thanks to the 'license' of Valentines Day). Of course the parents will be held responsible by family for allowing their daughter to go on the date however, parents who've got grown up daughters know just how difficult it is to get them to listen! Daughters are even willing to move out of the home over such arguments (... and i know of such cases too!).

Yes it is a difficult world we live in. We are all under the pressure of evil and many of us succumb to it. All i can say is what the bible says: 'Resist the devil and he will flee from you'. Let us 'soak' ourselves in the Word and He will surely make our way 'prosperous'!

With the Word in your heart, each moment of the day will have its own value:

Morning will bring HOPE,
Afternoon will bring FAITH
Evening will bring LOVE,
Night will bring REST,

Hope you will have all of them everyday!

Sunday, 12 February 2012


Perhaps the most used word in the English vocabulary is love. Almost every other song is written with love as its main theme. As i walked to my office building after parking my car a few hundred meters away (to avoid the parking fee!), i was reminded of my conversation with a passer-by who stopped to enquire about my XC-90 Volvo's performance.It happened yesterday, at about 1.30pm when i was cleaning the boot of my car. This person greeted me and said he was considering buying a new car and wanted my opinion on the Volvo since i owned one.

The conversation shifted over to another topic when my Hindu 'friend' noticed the fat volume of 'Foundations For Live' by Derek Prince, in the car. This gave me the opportunity to share about my life as a NEW CHRISTIAN (I told him truthfully that i was a 'follower' of Christ for the last 3.5 years only ... although born into a Christian family).

He told me about what he believed: That every one born into this world comes with 'baggage' from a past life. He has to have 'Good Karma' to earn his salvation and then only then can he stop being re-born. He said he was afraid of coming back into this world as some creature to earn his salvation.

I asked the Holy Spirit to speak words of Life to my new friend. I told him about the unique spirit that God instills in us at the moment of conception. How we are then brought into the knowledge of Christ by our parents and elders. About Christ, whose coming has been prophesied not only in the old testament books written over thousands of years but also fulfilled by only one man in the person of Jesus. I quoted John 3:16 -"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life". I told him how beautiful it was to have a personal relationship with Jesus. For a Christian there is one life at the end of which he/she can look forward to that eternal life with God. I explained that everyone in this world who did not know the Good News was living under GRACE. Once the 'Good News' was given, one should chose not to continue to depend upon this grace but to deepen their faith by 'hearing and hearing by the Word of God'.

He was very amazed to know about the various words in the Greek language for LOVE whilst in English the word was the same for 'erotic love', 'familial love', and 'sacrificial love'.

My friend went away wanting to know more about AGAPE LOVE (A Love that is willing to die for another) and i left him with St. John's Gospel to vet his appetite!

God bless him mightily and may he hunger for the truth that will set him free!

It was 3.30pm when we said our goodbyes and we were not even feeling hungry!!!


I had an interesting conversation with a couple of friends at the Trinity Resource Centre in Dubai. It was to do with a particular singer in my band. Whilst I was saying that the singer should take up the offer made by Don Moen to help deliver her ‘promo track’ to the right people in the industry, the two friends objected saying that many have gone after the limelight that this world has to offer and have eventually lost their souls. They insisted that ‘the singer’ should listen to the ‘Lord’s voice’ and then decide to go for the lucrative offer!
This morning, the death of my favourite singer ,Whitney Houston,hit me very hard. Some time ago, when someone had sent me her picture that told me a sad story of what drugs had done to her once beautiful face and body (Moreover, to her VOICE!), I had prayed that she would come out of her issues and go back to her ‘gospel singing’ roots.
I recollected yesterdays conversation and looked at my singer friend’s golden opportunity to fame and I nodded my head and with tears in my eyes whispered, “ LORD, we must NEVER lean onto our own understanding”.
Perhaps Whitney would have done well staying with Gospel Singing. Surely, she would have been as famous and loved as she was in the POP world. Maybe she would have made less money but …

Thursday, 9 February 2012


It was an awesome evening! About 50 seekers of God's own heart gathered together in Bro. Harsha's villa in Jumeirah to hear the Word of God preached by Bro. Johnson Sequeira. Bro. J was supposed to preach in Kuwait today and tomorrow after his two days of preaching in Dubai. We were blest with an extra day of fellowship with him when an error was discovered on his visa and therefore was denied boarding. Many had a personal encounter with Jesus and several recieved their healing/restoration. I was totally lost in the love of Christ as i repented for 'sliding a little' from my beliefs. It was like as if Bro. J had clipped the red and black cables and jump-started me!
The topic of today was about David sowing love in the life of the Egyptian slave who was abandoned to die by his master, because he was sick and therefore useless to him. This very slave turns out to be someone who leads David to rescue his wives and all that the enemy had taken and more! (Read 1 Samuel 30:5 onwards). What you sow you will reap.
The other two days that he preached were awesome too. There were many healings that took place not only during the meetings but also when the sick were taken to Bro. J where he was living. There were many testimonies. The one that stood out from the rest was of Bro. Harsha, who stood on the example of Joseph in Gen. 39:2. I suggest you read the whole account of Joseph. The story has many lessons to teach us, most important being totally in the 'rest' of the Lord knowing that He is with you and will eventually deliver you from your problems. To be patient to the point of not opening you mouth and confessing 'unbelief', thereby losing your miracle which was right around the corner!
With the help of three plums, Bro. J explained how the same plum can change its appearance. He compared a plum straight from the box, with that which was washed and another that he polished on his jeans. Of course the one that was rubbed on the jeans shone brightly! He then inferred that Christians tended to be just like that. The more they rubbed the Word on themselves, the more they shone as lights of the world!
We also learnt to have a 'Mind Bath' besides the regular body bath. The Word of God is like soap that cleans your mind of stubborn grease and grime. The more you bathe your mind with the Word Of God, the holier you will be!

Monday, 6 February 2012


This is a story i read recently ... a real eye opener!

I saw him in the church building for the first time on Wednesday. He was in
his mid-70's, with thinning silver hair and a neat brown suit. Many times in
the past I had invited him to come. Several other Christian friends had
talked to him about the Lord and had tried to share the good news with him.
He was a well-respected, honest man with so many characteristics a Christian
should have, but he had never put on Christ, nor entered the doors of the
"Have you ever been to a church service in your life?" I had asked him a
few years ago. We had just finished a pleasant day of visiting and talking.
He hesitated. Then with a bitter smile he told me of his childhood
experience some fifty years ago. He was one of many children in a large
impoverished family. His parents had struggled to provide food, with little
left for housing and clothing. When he was about ten, some neighbors
invited him to worship with them.
The Sunday School class had been very exciting! He had never heard such
songs and stories before!
He had never heard anyone read from the Bible! After class was over, the
teacher took him aside and said, "Son, please don't come again dressed as
you are now. We want to look our best when we come into God's house."
He stood in his ragged, unpatched overalls. Then looking at his dirty bare
feet, he answered softly, "No, ma'am, I won't ever."
"And I never did," he said, abruptly ending our conversation.
There must have been other factors to have hardened him so, but this
experience formed a significant part of the bitterness in his heart.
I'm sure that Sunday School teacher meant well. But did she really
understand the love of Christ? Had she studied and accepted the teachings
found in the second chapter of James?
What if she had put her arms around the dirty, ragged little boy and said,
"Son, I am so glad you are here, and I hope you will come every chance you
get to hear more about Jesus."
I reflected on the awesome responsibility a teacher or pastor or a parent
has to welcome little ones in His name. How far reaching her influence was!
I prayed that I might be ever open to the tenderness of a child's heart, and
that I might never fail to see beyond the appearance and behavior of a child
to the eternal possibilities within.
Yes, I saw him in the church house for the first time on Wednesday. As I
looked at that immaculately dressed old gentleman lying in his casket, I
thought of the little boy of long ago. I could almost hear him say, "No,
ma'am, I won't ever."
And I wept.
-- Author Unknown

GET THE LAST LINE? (Our very own Melque too!)

Melque RodriguesShe greets diners, serves food, cleans tables — and sings. Oh, how she sings
It’s a busy Monday afternoon at Namaste Indian Cuisine — the tables are packed, the buffet line is buzzing. But the diners also seem to be waiting for something, and it’s not dessert.
They’re waiting for restaurant owner — also hostess, waitress and table-busser — Melque Rodrigues. She takes the tiny stage beneath a wall-mounted sitar in the corner, grabs a microphone and activates her MiniDisc player, triggering the opening chords of “Lisbon.”
Rodrigues pours forth a beautiful Goan pop ballad about a woman who broods for her boyfriend to return from working in the Portuguese capital. She dreams of marrying him one day in Goa, of having a family, of him securing a decent job back home. But like all dreams, there is an intimation of fragility, unfeasibility. Rodrigues communicates all of this using her plaintive, lovely voice.
Rodrigues’ own story is no less dramatic. She was born in 1976 in the West Indian state of Goa. The oldest of three daughters of successful bar owners, Rodrigues insists she never had a mind for business, only music. When she was 3, she sang English-language nursery rhymes for her grandmother, who predicted that one day Rodrigues would leave Goa for the U.S. and make it big. But first she needed to conquer her native state.
There were challenges. The beautiful, diminutive Rodrigues was a high-spirited young girl who preferred to sing competitively rather than do homework. Still, she stayed in school, and by 10th grade began winning contests across Goa with her rendition of “All I Have to Do Is Dream” (made famous by the Everly Brothers). She continued competing in college, mastering all styles from jazz to pop to reggae. But even with a fantastic voice, she had no formal training. She knew she’d have to eventually make a big leap to make it as a pro singer. So she auditioned for and joined the most popular band in Goa, Muzik Mann, as lead singer.
Under the tutelage of bandleader Brian “Bones” Monteiro, Rodrigues enjoyed tremendous success, becoming, she says, the highest paid vocalist in Goa. It wasn’t long before she earned the nickname “The Nightingale of Goa.”
Indeed, the wall adjacent to Namaste’s host stand is wallpapered in West Indian newspaper articles praising Rodrigues’ talent. After a time, she even earned the mentorship of Goa’s most revered musician, Chris Perry. He was the first producer to cause her to reconsider every technical aspect of what she did as a vocalist. The training was invaluable; she was no longer a raw singer but a polished performer. Perry, who died in 2002, offered his own prediction as well.
“He told me when he died I’d become a world-renowned singer,” she laughs. “I’m not quite there yet, but God willing I’ll have my chance one day.”

The voice of Vegas
Her next transition would be even more profound. After a stint singing in the packed nightclubs of then-booming Dubai, she saved enough money to move to Los Angeles in 2005. She managed a perfumery, worked at Macy’s and basically did whatever she could during the day so that she could go out and take in the nightlife. Still, opportunities seemed limited; besides, friends kept insisting she should try to sing cover tunes in Vegas casinos. After all, few can belt out Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” or Celine Dion’s “Because You Love Me” or Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best” better than Rodrigues (save for the artists themselves, maybe). So she packed her belongings and transplanted herself a bit more eastward. In Vegas, her dreams felt tantalizingly closer, yet somehow further away.
“When I arrived here, music was happening everywhere, playing from every car and every corner, and I heard its call,” says Rodrigues. “I knew I had the voice, the talent, but I lacked a manager and an agent. I couldn’t find a place to showcase myself.”
A devout Catholic (Goa was a Portuguese colony for centuries), Rodrigues would go straight from evening mass at Guardian Angel Cathedral on the Strip and walk into the hotel lounges — Riviera, Stardust, Sahara. Sitting in those smoky dens, she prayed to God for her own place to perform. The nightingale needed a roost. But in 2009, the economy continued to tank, lounges closed or were revamped and redesigned without live music in mind. The light at the end of the tunnel began to dim.
“I felt I’d been dragged here for mysterious reasons,” she says. “I went through a lot getting to Vegas. Now I had to find a way to survive. But what could I do? I had no skills except for performing.”

Food for the soul
Rather than get a gig in a casino, she used what cash she’d saved during her music career to invest in an Indian restaurant in Commercial Center called Namaste. As Rodrigues tells it, complications led to her partners pulling out of the business, leaving Rodrigues to hold the veritable bag.
But what a glorious bag. With the help of Chef David Dias, who makes some of the best butter chicken and garlic nan bread in town, Rodrigues, 35, has created a loyal following. Devoted diners show up frequently not just for the lunch buffet and dinner menu, but also the heartfelt music.
“From the moment I met Melque and learned she was a single woman with her own business, I became a huge supporter,” says Gina Quaranto, herself a single mom and small-business owner who runs an art gallery downtown. “I love to conduct business lunches in her place and hear her sing her beautiful Goan ballads.”
Back in L.A., Rodrigues had recorded an entire studio album’s worth of material written by her hero Chris Perry. “Americak Pauxi” (available for sale at Namaste) comprises 12 tracks of gorgeous pop sung in her native Konkani language. Most moving, perhaps, is “Muinem Vorsam,” a tune that laments the passing of time and how the bright light of day inevitably surrenders to darkness.
There’s added metaphorical resonance to Rodrigues’ battle to stay in the limelight of her own restaurant. She has been diagnosed with macular degeneration. In other words, she is slowly going blind at a very young age. Still, Rodrigues remains undeterred in her faith and in her mission to be a top musician — and to make Namaste thrive.
“God takes the prophet to a different land so he can find himself,” she says.

Friday, 3 February 2012


Some of you may be aware that i am open to worship in any church (... so long as Christ is 'celebrated...). Today, i was in the company of my 'non-catholic' brothers and sisters, practising some gospel songs. I was quite amused when the person who led us into prayer made a prayer for those who were 'still not saved' and made several mentions about those in the Catholic church! (... and interestingly enough i was the lone catholic there!)

Recently, a muslim colleague requested me to explain the difference between 'Catholics' and 'Protestants'. That was pretty simple to do but i struggled with his next question (which was kind of expected!) - "If that is so, there should have been only two types of Christians in the world, but why are there so many Christian denominations?"

When i went to the States last year, i was amazed to see the number of church signs advertising the various other 'Christian Denominations' each professing their own 'Doctrine'! Even in Dubai, there are over 200 'churches' registered with Trinity Church (Anglican), each professing their own doctrine.

As for me, i've dealt with this 'church politics' long ago by vowing to rise above all this confusion by making a firm decision to be a DOER OF THE WORD. Whilst i have my frustrating moments with my own church, i'm aware that many other preachers are STANDING INSIDE ST. PETER'S NET AND FISHING!
I believe there are many who DON'T even know CHRIST who need to be given the GOOD NEWS of the gospel. Let us not judge WHO within which church is 'saved or not saved'. Ultimately, God only looks at your heart!

If you are a new follower of Christ, stay away from anything that detracts you from the LOVE OF CHRIST! Stay away from CHURCH POLITICS ... believe me, it leads nowhere!


The language of Love has never failed me! Everytime one shows compassion towards someone and does something to alleviate someone's suffering, even though you've not expected anything from it, you've been blest abundantly (... and you just know it when it happens ... strangely you will be reminded why you're being blest!). It could be the same day, after a week or after months ... what you sow WILL come to you as a harvest! ... HAS IT NOT HAPPENED TO YOU?

But then ... i've seen some who never sow and yet hope to reap :-) It is sad that many who are blest with a lot are too busy adding to their 'lot'! I used to be like that. It was when i got out of 'religiousity' and started to practice LOVE that i began to feel 'ALIVE' and 'ACTIVE'.

If you say you are a Christian, let your LOVE show it!
Just wearing the Indian Team's jersey does not mean you play for India!!!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


My brother sent me an article that appeared on the INTERNATIONAL INDIAN by Frank Raj. I thought it would be a good read. Do let me know your thoughts on this article through the 'COMMENTS' section of this post. You may click the link below to access the article: