29 October 2018

1 WL - Are You Offended with God?

And they took offense at Him [they were repelled and hindered from acknowledging His authority, and caused to stumble]. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house. And He did not do many works of power there, because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in the divine mission of Jesus). ~ Matthew 13: 57, 58 [Amplified Bible]

There are times when Christians who think they are faithful tend to be offended with God. However, the offense may be so subtle that they too may not be aware of this. It is important to examine our heart about the thoughts and feelings we have. The Bible says that we should “lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5.  

Let’s search for what the word says about offense and what holding offense against the Lord can do in our lives.

Matthew 13: 57 shares how when Jesus was alive, people in His hometown “took offense at Him”, meaning that they were “repelled and hindered from acknowledging His authority, and caused to stumble” from the path of faith.

What was the result of their offense? The very next verse says that He did not do many works of power there, because of their unbelief or “their lack of faith in the divine mission of Jesus.” 

Let us try and understand what we just read.

Jesus, Who had power to do great miracles and had a record of healing, raising the dead to life and multiplying food to feed people in thousands… came to His own hometown and wanted to do miracles for His people. But the people of this town refused to accept Him as He was and questioned His authority. They questioned His powers and did not trust and believe in Him. In doing so they restricted Him from being Himself completely in their midst and therefore… “He did not do many works of power there” and they did not see miracles in their midst.

How often have we wondered why miracles break out only in some places? Or why is it that only a few people seem to be able to receive miracles from the Lord? 

Believer, have you wondered why some people seem to have testimony after testimony but you don’t?

Well, today’s verse challenges you to check your faith, your beliefs and whether you lack acceptance of the authority that the Lord Jesus has over you and your life. Check if unbelief has kept you from seeing your prayers answered, seeing miracles and amazing testimonies from unfolding in your life!

In Acts 10:34,35 Peter says “God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons. But in every nation he who venerates and has a reverential fear for God, treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly, is acceptable to Him and sure of being received and welcomed [by Him].” [Amp]

God is not unfair! If you open your heart to Him and revere Him, He will do great miracles for you too! 

Just like the father of the boy who was tormented by an evil spirit we too can cry out to the Lord saying, “Lord, help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) The Bible says that Jesus responded to his cry and the boy was set free. 

What is it you need from the Lord today? Pray in faith, believing that He has an answer and that He will do His best for you. When you don’t receive an answer – persist in praying, don’t give up! Luke18: 1-7 encourages us to keep praying and seeking till we receive an answer. 

Just like the widow who kept knocking on the door of the unjust judge till she got justice we can keep praying and seeking God’s intervention. Be open to receive the answer that God has for you as He assures us that He will do what is best for us. 

Words of Life! - a new section of Henrietta's Blog

Words have power!

Let us learn, dig deep to discover life-giving truths from the Word!

Sometimes we wander in life without answers just because we haven't asked the right questions. What is the point in spending years in the darkness just because we are familiar with it when one spark of Light can drive away all the darkness and refresh us with renewed energy and vigor for life!

Let's hunger and thirst for 'Truth' and find the answers that will bring us solutions to make our life better!

This part of my blog titled 'Words of Life!' focuses on the amazing truth I encountered while reading the Word or by learning from teachings shared by others.

I hope you will find it refreshing and helpful to you in your life-walk! I will add new posts to this section with a number and WL before the title so it is easy to identify. (1 WL, 2 WL... etc)

If you find these posts are helpful to you and would be a blessing to someone else, do share it with them so that they can also gain from these insights.

I welcome you to share your insights and experiences in response to what I have written. However, do understand that I won't be able to respond to each of them.

I understand and acknowledge that there will be comments and views that I may not agree with. For these I would 'agree to disagree' in a respectful manner and request that all of us maintain peace at all times. Every person has a choice to believe what they want to believe. While we may see the benefits of holding our own beliefs we cannot force anyone to accept them for themselves. Each person will eventually reach the point of understanding these truths in their personal journey as they keep seeking the Truth.

Also do understand that I do not have answers to all questions but I can pray for you and hope that the Lord will send us answers to our questions and concerns.

May all of us grow in our walk with the Lord God, our heavenly Father and become all that He created us to be! 🙏🙏🙏

~ Henrietta Decruz
29th October 2018

03 October 2018

Salaam Zindagi! – A Salute to Life

My life has come full circle
I started out with many minuses
There were many tearful years
But everything turned out beautifully for me
The negatives were dealt with
The positives I held on to
Became lifesavers… literally!

I am not saying I’m a hero
I am not saying I did it all by myself
I am not saying that life is a bed of roses
But I am saying that my life turned around!
My sadness and sorrow was turned to joy!
From living in despair not knowing my future
I have become a person who is happy and content.

sky road street advertising sign symbol blue street sign signage blue sky outdoors clouds text signpost warning information traffic sign

There was a time I stood at the brink
Not wanting to live
Not having a reason to live
There wasn’t a soul who knew of my predicament
No human soul…
But the God Who created me…
He knew and held on to me.

I cannot but stand in awe that…
This great God Who holds the universe in His hands
Should care so much for one tiny little soul
Like me.
Why would He stoop so low to touch the ground
Just to comfort one hurting soul,
One girl no one else wanted.

Yes there He was day after day,
Night after night… without fail
Patiently bearing with my unbelief
Waiting for me to look to Him with faith.
It took Him years but He got my attention
When it dawned on me
That I had been saved in every way possible. 

Today I know that no matter what
My God is for me, He is with me and will never leave me!
I can vouch that even in troubled times
He will always be by my side…
My biggest encourager, support, teacher and guide
My most gracious provider and protector
He even fights my battles for me!

Today I have no doubt
That anyone anywhere can make it
If they just give Him one chance
To touch their life.
The ever-loving hands of the great ‘I AM’
Are ever reaching down to hold a soul
To touch, to comfort, to fill their every need. 

This great Creator didn’t stay in a heavenly mansion
Cut off from the pains we endure as humans
Jesus instead chose to become man,
Live a life like us and become a sacrifice
So we wouldn’t have to suffer ‘forever’.  
His love for each soul compelled Him
To make the supreme sacrifice… So great is His love!

If you have doubts or fears
If your eyes are full of tears
If you have no source of joy or supply
Try Him! He won’t let you down 
If friends and family have abandoned you
In your most dire need…
Call Him! He will be there for you!

~ Henrietta Decruz

18 September 2018

Flow - A spontaneous song by Henrietta

Recently my friend Olga had visited India. After a hectic two weeks we spent some hours at Varkala Beach to unwind. While I was enjoying the waves of the sea... I remembered wanting to record a song with the sound of sea waves in it, that was a long time ago. It was around 24 years back when I thought about it as I stood in front of the roaring sea in Mumbai.

Standing there, enjoying the breeze and the sound of sea waves... Suddenly I felt the urge to record something! I quickly took out my mobile phone and started recording using the Voice Pro App. At first I didn't think of anything... I thought I'll hum something... and as I began to hum, an idea for a song came to my mind and I went ahead and sang it just like that! So there were no retakes... just one single take. The song is as it came... natural with all the sounds even that of the people around and a notification on my phone!

At this point in my life I feel at peace and have joy in my heart. I thank the Lord God and also all those friends who stood by me in the dark and difficult times of my life. Recently, I was able to connect with Patricia King Ministries, she and her team have been a great blessing to me!

The lyrics of the song contains the message that I am telling myself.... Flow, flow my soul...

Moreover, I only recorded the audio while singing the song, I didn't record the video. Amazingly I noticed that the two videos of the sea waves I had recorded later and added to the sound track, they synced well too!

The credit for all the background 'music' goes to God, the Creator and my heavenly Father! Thanks to Him for the sound of the sea waves and the wonderful breeze. I wish you could feel the breeze caress your skin as it did mine while I was singing!

So here is the song... I hope you like it!

Have you tried doing anything spontaneously? Feel free to comment about it.

A New Beginning!

Its been a while since I wrote a blog. I was always meaning to write one... but weeks became months and I got really busy too.

In the course of Life, there are so many lessons to learn... some from our own experiences and some through those of others. There is never a dull moment!

Questions become essays and essays become chapters... and life goes on!

The good thing is that some questions do have answers... and some of these answers are helpful and interesting too.

In the recent months, I experienced the generosity of someone I haven't even met. Her generosity gave me the most priceless gift. The gift of overcoming the obstacles that I had encountered in my earlier years of life. Obstacles that had become stumbling blocks and didn't let me move ahead.

When someone has had to experience a lot of rejection, pain and suffering for years, the most obvious conclusion they would come to is that 'humans cannot be trusted.' But when someone comes through the chaos, the confusion and lights a lamp in the midst of the darkness that engulfs you... something magical happens... you begin to feel, to care, to believe that goodness still exists in the world and there is hope for you!

This somewhat describes what happened to me. The generous good deed by this precious lady had a great impact on me. It happened out of the blue!

My life's course took a great leap forward! I could see, learn and understand myself, my life situation and have a clearer more positive image of my future, thanks to what she facilitated. I pray that the Lord will bless her greatly just as the impact she had on my life.

I also got back to art! I got myself a new drawing book and decided to try using pastel colours for a change. And the result? This!

Colourful! - Henrietta Decruz

Drop of Life! - Henrietta Decruz

Scenery - Henrietta Decruz

The Cross at the Center - Henrietta Decruz

From Chaos to Clarity - Henrietta Decruz

Are you grappling with questions too? How do you deal with them?

Do you have hobbies that help you express yourself and what you are going through?

If you feel like it, do share about it.


Where Is Your Treasure?

This video asks some very pertinent questions!

Do watch it!

P.S: I take no credits for this video. 

02 July 2018

Heroes Come and Heroes Go

Heroes come and heroes go
Time goes on and no one knows
What the future holds for each
What the present tries to teach.

When we rave about someone
Make them bigger than they really are
It’s not fair, it sets them up
To lose their tag of being a star.

And on that day, people will cry
Some will wail a wail
While others will die
Because they said he wouldn’t fail.

Wake up people! This is life
If you fight a fight you can win or lose
Life is full of strife
Win or lose it’s not for us to choose.

Let your hero have some peace
Surely he didn’t want to lose
He works so hard, he paid a price
Don’t let his stardom become a noose.

Remember the good and great things he’d done
Thank him for his good skills and good work
Remember the matches and battles he won
Thank God for memories we have to look back.

- Henrietta Decruz 

Dedicated to the Football heroes, teams and fans who were sorely disappointed in this World Cup. 

21 June 2018

An Old Song & A New Journey

It has been a while since the ‘Good Old Golden Oldies’ have been tugging at my heart. They were reminding me of the times when I was just a quiet little girl who would almost always be found near the radio listening to songs. These were the songs that played at that time!

I was a shy girl who didn’t like to come up in front when visitors came home and found it difficult to make conversation with anyone! (Well, that is history!)

Music was life to my soul! I breathe music and the melodies and rhythms of my favorite songs was everything to me. I would sing Hindi Bollywood songs, Western songs and even sit glued to the radio when classical music played! I loved almost every kind of music.

What was special about my singing along was that I would imitate the singer, whether it was male or female. I enjoyed mimicking Kishore Kumar, Mukesh and Mohammed Rafi as much as I liked singing along with Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle! I sang the Western numbers too!  

As time passed I noticed that the quality of songs in Bollywood movies came down drastically. Since I am a writer-songwriter, the lyrics mattered to me a lot. The lyrics of many songs that came then were terrible and I just could allow myself to sing those songs. Disheartened I left my post beside the radio. But the Golden Oldies lived on at every Antakshari I could be part of, any picnic or event where anyone loved them.

Anyway, many years later, some months ago, I wondered if I can still sing in the male voice as I used to. It took some weeks and finally I mustered up the confidence to sing and record it.

While a lot of songs dallied with my heart to be the first one… somehow the song “Aanewala Pal Jaane Wala Hai” from the film Gol Maal (1979) managed to grab my attention. So here I was downloading a karaoke track to sing too and recording my voice, mixing them and voila! My own cover version of the song happened! I was quite happy with the results so I decided to share it with my friends on Facebook. Their sweet comments and appreciation have made me smile much more than I usually did!

Here’s the link to check out my cover version of this song…

If you love the Good Old Golden Oldies’ I hope it rekindles old memories and makes you smile too!

My experience with this cover song has opened up a new chapter of the Good Old Golden Oldies once again in my life. I am happy that I can sing them and bring joy to so many people.

Smile and keep on smiling!!!

08 March 2018

What does it mean to be a woman?

In some parts of India, it means you have no right to live, the female foetus is killed in the womb or the baby girl is killed after she is born.

In many cultures it means being born a human being but being counted as less than that because you were born to be a girl.
It means being conditioned to think what they want you to think
It also means to be 'free to be oneself and have your own dreams’ is a lonely and tiresome battle.

It means you’re taught to think of others so much
That you forget to learn to take care of yourself.

The onus is so much on ‘others’ that you begin to believe you are invisible and you will get by while others take you for granted almost always.

It means when you go through abuse, people tell you, “It didn’t happen, forget about it”
Because if you spoke about it, it will give your family a bad name.

It means suffering in silence while the one who is causing the suffering keeps on hurting you.
You bear it up until you can’t take it anymore and then you run for your life.

It means having different parts of your ‘self’ that don’t seem to fit together
You cannot be yourself in different places so you become the ‘role’ you have to play.

It means being emotional and being looked down upon for being emotional
Because this world doesn't care for sensitive people and ‘feelings.’

It means you get treated like you’re dumb-doll if you’re beautiful
And getting treated like a doormat if you are simple and plain looking.

It means having to work double or triple the amount to be counted in the world
You manage your household, take care of the children and do your job as though it was the only thing you do!

It means seeing rapist after rapist let out by the courts of the land citing lack of evidence
And finding the victim was treated worse than the criminal and had to go through torture during court proceedings.  

It means managing your family single-handed when your husband is alcoholic, an addict or absent,
Having to slog day and night and still be misunderstood and have to bear the brunt for doing it alone. 

It means no matter which day it is, you have no rest – day or night, holiday or working day…
Whether you are sick or healthy, whether you are down in the dumps or not… Just cook, clean up and feed others before you care for yourself.

It means the life-partner may not be present in the family and still some will call him the ‘Head of the family,’ 

For some women it means not being in touch with your own friends and not having time to have a hobby of their own, many men on the other hand are able to go for recreational activities like playing cricket or other sports with their friends.

For some women, it means not being able to call, meet or speak to their own family members
For some others, their own family doesn't care if they are dead or alive as they think that 'She is from that family now'. 

In many places it means not getting the same wages for the same work,
And in some countries it means not having the right to decide for yourself.

I am a woman. How do I see myself?

I see myself as a human being first and then as a woman. 
It means that as a human I have intelligence, abilities, talents, dreams and desires as any man does.  

The Bible says in Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them." This means God created men and women as equals and both are made in 'His likeness'. God Himself makes it clear through this verse that He did not create women to be substandard or to be lesser than men in any way.

Moreover Galatians 3:28 says, "There is [now no distinction] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Isn't it great to know this! If only everyone knew and understood this. It would change how they view women and treat them. Wouldn't it?

I believe each person is special and unique. 

A woman is not a separate species. She belongs to humankind. Human rights are applicable to everyone which means it is applicable for women too. 

Having said that let me acknowledge that there is a difference between men and women. The  difference lies in the fact that the female gender has a special role in the continuity of the race. Women give birth to children and spend a lot of time as mothers taking care of their children. This doesn't mean that men have a less important part in bringing a child into this world, the truth is that they have an equally important duty in teaching children how to live right by being a father and a good role model for them. I am happy to see that many men now take their duties and roles as fathers seriously compared to in bygone years. 

Let us stand up for women, uphold their dignity and self-respect and support them so that all women can be and become all that God the Creator created them to be. Let us also ensure that all women are treated equally.  

Free to be myself!

04 February 2018

Save the Voice - a song

More than a week back, I had a terrible cough that caused me to lose my voice. I could barely speak! During that time, while at work, I read about Hugh Masekela and his anti-apartheid songs. Though I have written cause related songs before, suddenly I thought why not write another one. As I pondered on the subject to write on... I thought of the people who had to pay a price for speaking up against an injustice. Some were treated badly, some beaten up and some were even killed because they stood up for the truth.

Being in a place where I wanted to speak but couldn't because I had lost my voice... I thought about those who are in a terrible situation and have no voice, no one to bring them justice. I could feel the importance of speaking. Just sharing what happened with others is a very important thing. Even if it doesn't change the situation immediately it brings a feeling of relief that someone else knows about the problems being faced by the sufferer and is supportive.

In the last year, we have had many women come forward and speak up in the #MeToo and Time's Up campaigns. Not just the women who suffered due to sexual assaults by Harvey Weinstein, it was heart wrenching to hear the accounts of the brave US gymnasts who had suffered silently at the hands of doctor Larry Nassar for many years. Imagine the heart crushing weight they carried on their souls even as they fought for their Olympics medals. They were all brave women and yet it took so long for the truth to be known and dealt with. The gymnasts who had spoken up earlier were all silenced and this led to the grave injustice being perpetrated for many more years as a result of which the number of sufferers increased alarmingly.

It is important that truth has a voice. It is important that injustice is dealt with speedily. No one should have to suffer, this is especially so for the innocent, the helpless and the needy. So we need more heroes. We need more voices... people who will choose to be the voice of sanity in this generation!

And that is how my song was born.

Save the Voice

Save the voice
Save the voice of sanity
Because we have a choice
A choice to save humanity
Save the voice
Save us from this insanity
Save the voice
Save the voice of humanity.

We’ve come out of the dark ages, long ago, long ago!
Don’t let them tear out the dark pages - of history
We left all of the tears behind
We left all of the grail and grind
We’re better now (2)
So just save the voice.
They may do all that they may dare
We must speak up and show that we care!
Yes we must save the voice
Because we have a choice
If we keep silent, the world will change
If we stand still as though locked in a cage
Who will survive? (2)
And who will know.

So just make the choice
Come on and make the choice!
You too can rise up and be that voice
Be that voice, yes you can be that voice!

It doesn’t matter if they come to blows
They may get worse till their insanity shows
You can speak up so everyone knows
Be the voice, make that choice
You too can be that voice
No one knows those who’re silent and lost
If you gotta stand up, you’ve to pay the cost
Of being someone
Of being known
You too can be that voice
So choose to be that voice!

Come on everybody!

Be the voice (2)
Be the voice of sanity!
Because you have a choice
You have a choice
To be the voice of humanity.

- Henrietta Decruz (C) 2018

P.S All image credits belong to their rightful owners. Heartfelt thanks to each of them. 

24 January 2018

Turn around - Look you’ve come so far

So many setbacks
So many obstacles
You’ve travelled too far
Yet you think
You’re not fulfilled
Stop, look and think.

Look again
You will see
You are much more
Than what you think
You have come quite far
From where you had begun.

Very few can ever know
The battles you have fought
To come this far
The gaps and voids you lived with
You walked without help
Every step is a milestone.

It is easy to achieve success
When everything is handed over to you
Real greatness comes from the humbled
Who had no one to lift their head
Try running a race when you limp
Or flying when you have no wings!

Survivor, overcomer, victor
These are words you should wear
Inside your soul
They are embossed
No one can take away
Your victory

Henrietta Decruz