1. In My Early Years: A Train Buff’s Russian Trans-Siberian Adventure

  1.  In My Early Years

 I love train travel. Ever since I was 12 years old, I traveled overnight train from outside of Bombay to Hyderabad in South India. It was twice a year to the boarding school in Hyderabad, for 6 years till I was 18. I was the only student in the boarding, coming from a distant region to attend school and stay in boarding, and go home in summer and Christmas holidays. All the locomotive engines were steam from Pune to Hyderabad.

At age 18 I moved to USA in 1964, joined my dad and family. First time I returned to India was for 3 weeks in 1987, and most of the travel was by plane inside India, and one overnight train journey. It all started back in 1998, when I took off to India for 60 days. I quit my subcontractor position as a financial analyst at an aerospace company near Los Angeles, and told my girl friend Denise, I want to ride the Indian rails on a mass scale. She encouraged me to take that long trip. I let go of the apartment I was renting.

 So there I went, with a 60 day Indrail Pass, which allowed me to travel on any train, but had to make reservation for a sleeping berth. Indian trains are crowded , and requires lengthy planning. It helped getting reservations on AC2 (Air Condition) carriages on various trains, due to foreign reserve quotas. The longest duration I traveled was on Kerala Express, from New Delhi to Trivandrum. Kerala Express was a 3 day, 2 night travel. The train went through various states, all the way to deep South India. Some were electric engines.

On this trip all the other train journey’s were a one night journey, and did visit few relatives in various Indian states. I enjoyed the 60 day trip to India. This was primarily a spiritual pilgrimage journey. I thought I had a good fill with trains, for a while. I stayed at many hotels close to train stations, about 15 of them. Just before starting my journey, I came across “India by Rail” guide book, and was a great asset.



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

Your Eyes – Window to your soul

Eyes - Man and a woman at a cashier Have you ever noticed looking at people’s eyes when they are talking and you are listening, or vice versa? Did you look into their eyes and not analyze or rationalize their other parts of their bodies or personalities? Your eyes are the windows to your soul. There is somethings about the eyes. You can see yourself in other persons eyes, and goes straight into their mind and soul. They can see your eyes too, and see your soul through their eyes. The beauty is to be aware or in the knowing when you look into other people eyes while sharing and talking. You see your spirit or the God in you while looking deep into their eyes. This phenomena of connecting the divine with each other subconsciously in the moment are connected and see the charm and beauty of each other.

Eyes - Wedding officiant As a minister and a wedding officiant, I’ve seen several wedding couples who are standing just two feet from me, exchanging marriage vows and rings, I can see in their eyes the joy, love, elation, light, charm, the closeness projecting into each others eyes and into their soul. Most of the brides at that time were very emotional and tearing. I’ve seen few grooms shed their tears too. I make the couple to hold hands and look into each others eyes and repeat the marriage vows. The couple show the God in them in action and travels in each others souls. I feel much joy and elation looking at the couples eyes and taking the marriage vows and exchanging weddings rings.

Eyes - couple at cashier So, next time in your daily life, make an effort to look at them in the eyes. Maybe at a grocery store, when the cashier looks at you for the payment for your groceries. Look into her or his eyes. See yourself into their eyes and her/his in your eyes. Or next time when you see and converse with your supervisor at work, or your business associates, your customers, or at school/college, or your minister at a church/temple, or at a restaurant. You will be amazed how much trust and confidence you will develop. Looking into people’s eyes with focus, also helps the other person. they will develop trust and confidence  in you too. Let the God in you shine and project that light.


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