5. First Full Day on the Train: A Train Buffs’s Russian Trans-Siberian Adventure

5.  First Full Day on the Train

Woke up Sunday morning Moscow time, and looked outside. All long distance trains and train stations in Russia are on Moscow time, regardless of the time zones in various regions. During the day on Sunday, June 18th, the train went through hundreds of miles lined with greenery trees, most of them  birch and other trees, and farm lands. Lots of small houses, and very few train stops, because this train is the fastest train, called Rossiya, and stops at 25 or less stations between Moscow and Vladivostok. The weather changed from sunny to few showers, and sunny again.

The train the first day traveled through Ural regions and few rivers. Also the weather is slightly cooler, but comfortable. Passengers are friendly. Two other cabin mates in our cabin, is one Russian man (Vladimir), and the other a German who spoke fluent Russian (Michael). Both were very helpful and courteous, and spoke Russian with the train attendants, and the Michael the German, translated into English. None of the train attendants or servers in the diner spoke English. I was ready with my Google translator, if it was required or necessary. All four of us had breakfast together at the trains diner (restaurant) and shared conversation.

The other two cabin travelers are going to Irkutsk, a 4 night journey. They are very good cabin members. In the afternoon around 3pm, I bought two more large water bottles at the station. Now I’ve enough bottled water for 3 days. I’ve enough provisions for at least 3 days or even more. Maybe in Irkutsk, I’ll buy more provisions for the remaining 3 nights. So far on the first day the journey on the train has been very comfortable and very little stress. The train attendants (women) also sell coffee, bakery, puzzles, to raise revenue for the train system. The attendants stand outside the carriage steps every time the train pulls into the station, and they stand there until the train leaves. Kind of precision work.

By 8pm, the train covered 1436km to Perm II, from Moscow. There is a list of complete train stops and the time, in the walkway for the passengers to read.


Teach children about God’s blessings

Children do need guidance towards understanding God’s blessings. Many of the young children born these day and age get caught up in materialistic environment such as cell phones, video games, computers, sports and watching lots of TV. Parents must take time to teach their children the countless blessings they have been bestowed upon them and the family. An early introduction to prayers is wonderful. Say a blessing every time the family eats together. Morning, lunch and dinner. The more prayers of thanks are taught at an early age, it will reside with them the rest of their lives. It’s a sense of awareness of God’s blessings that will reside in children’s lives and carry-on through their adult lives.

I was about five or six when my family taught me to bless the food we were about to eat. Our simple prayer was “God bless this food”. The blessing is powerful indeed. When I was attending a Christian boys boarding school in South India from ages 12 through 18, we said blessings for all the meals for the day, every day. While I was growing up, I used to see several young children begging for food in India. I said a prayer to bless these young children with food and for their daily life. It’s sad to see so much waste in US, especially the food we eat. US is a land of plenty, blessed with very productive agricultural crops and raising cattle and fowl. We must encourage our children to give thanks and gratitude to God for our farmers and cattle raisers to put food on our tables.

Not only food for the blessings, but also teach them for a home to stay and sleep, clothing, and their education. The children will learn the value and respect for what they have and be in awareness for those that do not have basic necessities of daily existence. Maybe even take children, especially teenagers to visit homeless shelters. by witnessing some homeless children and adults how they live. This will help the children to be more thankful to God, for what they have.


Rev. Ernie Martin, The Reverend of Love, Las Vegas, Nevada

Give thanks to God for your family, friends and prosperity

Some of us may have money and power. But, that does not bring happiness and joy in our lives. What brings love, joy and happiness are family, friends and a sense and feeling of prosperity. I’ve observed in many instances in our materialistic world, that when we are constantly wanting and desiring materialistic things, ego fulfillment, many of us put God or divine spirit in the backdrop. Instead we should give thanks to God by praying for having family, friends and being prosperous. We can sense deep down a feeling and a sense of security when we experience love from our family and friends. For some reason or other, when we “feel secured and comfortably prosperous”, God the spirit is not recognized or hidden in the background.

Time to time, I collect canned food for the homeless people at homeless shelters. Also, very poor people come to the shelter to collect canned food and bread in a bag for their families. I look at their faces. They are happy to get food in the bag for their families. I pray that these poor people better their lives. The homeless people in the shelters are getting help from the contributors and donors. The shelter managers constantly ask for donations for money, to keep these shelters open. And in Las Vegas, the city of lights, there is lack and prosperity. Amongst prosperous casinos with so much wealth, that can be seen from the shelters, there is homelessness. God will guide the angels to help and guide the homeless, and that is through ones awareness and enlightenment from within.

I thank God for what I have and with gratitude. A wonderful wife, shelter and food, friends, my sons and grand children, wonderful health. For me inner peace, harmony, and a sense of well-being is important. I encourage rejoicing, kindness and caring for each other. We are in this world to experience our created heaven on this earth. I encourage praying and meditation, communicating with God and listening to our inner voice from within. Feel God’s blessings.


Rev. Ernie Martin, The Reverend of Love, Las Vegas, Nevada



God bless this food

Hunger - poor persons Just when I start eating my food, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, I give thanks and acknowledge God silently. It’s an inner spiritual awareness. I am so fortunate to eat 3 meals. I pray and meditate for others who do not have food to eat for the day. I pray that a good Samaritans would step in and care for the hungry. Here we are in the 21st century with all the high-tech and advanced agriculture and farming and still have worldwide hunger in several countries. Even in advanced countries like USA has hunger problems. One need to just drive through some “homeless corridors” near downtown areas and get the picture. Most advanced technological societies have problems of hunger too.

Hunger - homeless It’s the inner spiritual awareness, which is God-given, is awakened. Many do have compassion and kindness. But, many have a tendency to “leave it to other guy or gal” mentality, to feed the hungry. Ofcourse, there are some places with beliefs (devotion) in USA who care for these hungry people. God bless those shelters who provide food for the hungry. God works through people, and that’s through the awakening of the spirit from the self, to reach out the less fortunate and concerns of others. I’ve witnessed watching tremendous amount of reaching out to the hungry people during Holiday season, especially in December month. We must realize that these hungry souls do need to eat and have shelter beyond holiday month. With our spirits being awakened, we will help and reduce hunger in our own communities by caring the unfortunate.

Hungry - children reaching for food God also loves the hungry and the homeless. Next time when you see some people begging for food, carry some canned soup and energy bars in your car. It helps. Who knows God is sending some begging people in disguise to check and see if you can give to feed that hungry soul with compassion and love. Many in the 3rd world countries, such as in Africa and some Asian countries, many go hungry for days. Please pray and meditate for those hungry souls to be taken care of. Pray for sharing and applying our technological resources to care for the hungry. Pray for a giving heart for all the people in our communities to reduce suffering.


Rev. Ernie Martin, The Reverend of Love, Las Vegas, Nevada



You are abundant

Abundance of tree During holidays season, such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, etc, many people are depressed or lonely especially among singles and couples with relationship problems. For somehow they are not happy with themselves. They can’t wait to get the holiday season quickly vanish and hoping for January to come as soon as possible. Realize that you and I are a miracle. We have been blessed abundantly with good health, loving family and developed friendships. Also, developed working relationships at work environments and at businesses. The key here is to be grateful and thankful for what we have. When we look around us, we are bombarded with materialism and wanting to keep up with neighbors and peers.

Abundance mother earth Acknowledge God has given you energy, good health, loved ones and friends. We might want to have more of materialism because of our ego needs for fulfillment. The ego needs are short-lived. Have you ever thanked for air that you are breathing? Cheap water from the reservoir you are drinking to quench your thirst? 3 meals a day? A bed to sleep? Loved ones and friends around you? A car or bus to move around? You are blessed with abundant in your daily life and experiencing prosperity in your life. There are few who do not see the abundance in their life, such as the homeless or relationships gone bad. But, there are solutions to get back to normalcy and ask for them. Friends and even outside agencies are willing to help and guide the resource seeker for bettering their lives.

Abundace of prayer When we acknowledge and recognize how we are blessed with abundant prosperity within us, we are experiencing harmony, happiness and peace. Do thank God for that state of existence and feeling. Once we recognize to enjoy what we already have, bless them and enjoy to the fullest. We have to think in terms of prosperous consciousness, not just wanting more to fulfill the ego, which is temporary. Take time to bless the abundance you enjoy everyday with joy and with a smile. Meditate and pray on abundance and thank God for your inner contentment. When you act and project your happiness, harmony and joy, others see you what an abundant life you’ve been living and experiencing.


Rev. Ernie Martin, The Reverend of Love, Las Vegas, Nevada