Chelsea Tower Hotel Apartments – Excellent Dubai Accommodation

Our flight landed on Dubai International Airport, and after collecting our luggage we headed straight to get a taxi which is available just as you step out of the airport. Surprisingly, we reached Chelsea Tower Hotel Apartments in just about 15 minutes. Enroute, got out of the taxi to see the majestic Burj Khalifa Tower with all its grandeur; towering above us.

Check- in process was fairly simple and quick. Diana the receptionist was understanding enough to get over with the process as fast as possible seeing how exhausted we were after the long flight. It was quite a busy time, I suppose, because the lobby was filled with people and that made it look so vibrant. There were 5 lifts so one never had to wait longer than a minute.

Fast forward to the room on the 41st floor, gigantic and beautiful with huge windows and a balcony that overlooked the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai skyline on one side and the Arabian Gulf on the other. I think we were already in love with Chelsea Towers apart-hotel by that time. Comfortable beds, spacious rooms, free Wi-fi and a kitchen with all necessary equipment were a few of the other amenities provided by the hotel.

We would go to the gym each morning and sometimes we’d also take a swim in the pool alternating with the Jacuzzi at times. The poolside staff and the spa masseuses were always extremely polite and helpful. Sometimes we took morning breakfast at the Chelsea Garden Restaurant & Café (they served amazing coffee by the way) and sometimes we went outside to the many popular eateries just around the corner such as Tim Hortons and Starbucks. There were other bistros and joints like Nando’s, Chilis, Burger King, KFC and Pizza Hut also very close to the hotel.

Talking about travelling around, we never had to worry because the Financial Centre Metro Station 1 was right across the road and incase of short distances, taxis were a life saver and always readily available. My friends and I were stoked about the fact that the hotel was just 10 minutes from the Dubai Mall and so we visited the mall every other day of our trip.

The Chelsea tower hotel which was in the centre of the city and right on Sheikh Zayed Road made Dubai’s major shopping destinations, tourist destinations, beaches, leisure parks and theme parks easily accessible. This was one of the main advantages for us, being tourists.

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The "Aggressive Forgiveness" of Grace

What an amazing term it is: grace. Nothing bad, The Message tells us, has any power over it. Even though it appears illogical, «grace… invites us into life.»[1] With this sort of power, and the knowledge of it, it’s only a fool who would pass it up – yet, we often don’t trust its power; we have to experience it first-hand. It’s a «what comes first: the chicken or the egg?» situation. We can’t experience grace until we take a risk with our heart and try it or see someone else give it to us; giving grace in essence is giving someone a chance they don’t deserve. Many people never actually experience this grace in a personally meaningful way, although one could argue that life itself (i.e. the provision of life) is an act of grace.

The supreme example of grace was the Passion of Christ. The power of this salvific act was, is, and will always be, undeniable and irrefutable, as millions upon millions of human beings are given the ‘second chance’ at new life, and we might say, real life. It transformed the meaning to life by making life with God a possibility.

Perhaps one of the better popular songs, When Love Comes to Town, describes best the effects of grace on a life; this ministry of the second chance. The lyrics below summarise what so many have experienced through the loving power and grace of God:

Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down,

But I did what I did before love came to town.

What is actually a gospel song sung by U2 and B.B. King soared through the charts through the world. These lyrics above describe what so many did before coming to know God. Lives punctuated by sin, both covert and overt. These lives were most often useless for anything other than self-gratification, disorder, misery, and the antithesis of real hope, as well as contradiction and hypocrisy. Only rarely did glimpses of the light of grace emanate from within this person. Then a miraculous thing happens. Love comes to the ‘town of the heart’ of that person. Grace is ‘love coming to the town’ of our hearts. It is knowing and accepting our true selves in the light of life. This love came to us; we did not go to it. The love of God that is grace seeks and finds us, and it truly finds us when we turn and look, and then it is there – and it is there to be seen! We are the ones who have to ‘see’ it.

Here are some more lyrics from the above song that feature the theme of this ‘aggressive forgiveness’ we know as grace:

I was there when they crucified my Lord,

I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword,

I threw the dice when they pierced his side,

But I’ve seen love conquer the great divide.

Theologically, these are correct statements. In essence, we killed Jesus and he, the resurrected Lord, still forgives us; further, that is precisely why he did it; so we could have a way of being set right with God, and also to facilitate the process to «make us fit for him [i.e. the Father].»[2] It is grace that made the way possible; the undeserved favour of God. It is so we could be saved from our sinful selves.

The Greek word charis means grace. It can mean all manner of things connected with the theme of grace including: matter of approval, benefit, a charitable act, free favour, gracious provision, or simply, grace. The Bible is littered with this term as a response to the fall of humankind in the days of Adam and Eve and the serpent. Even at that point grace was evident. Grace has been and always is evident.[3] People who are grace-filled have charisma, another Greek word for someone with charm, allure, and who is persuasive; a natural and at times divine leader.

Grace is anything that we do that we illogically forgive for. If someone harms us, slanders us or gossips about us, or doesn’t consider us, we normally have the right to defend ourselves and exact revenge – not with grace; we leave any of that justice to God, and he sorts them out, eventually! It simply doesn’t matter to the person who has grace. Grace is finding love in the heart to cover all wrongs; it may lack sense to you but until you try it you won’t know true life. To forgive someone a transgression is also about forgiving yourself, as you release all the pent-up anger in a most beautiful and safe (and graceful) way.

Grace collides with freedom. It challenges incredibly all captivity. It’s fighting courageously for the ethical right. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s «I have a dream» speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963 oozed grace for both his, and inevitably all, people:

«Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring-when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children-black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics-will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: «Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!»

Grace is freedom for everyone. It is knowing that wrongly holding something from anyone is a bondage to one’s self too. That’s the power and allure of grace.

Sadly, Rev. Dr. King was shot dead not quite five years later, and this is depicted in another U2 song, Pride (In the Name of Love). The lyrics of the song underscore one man’s pride for his people, and for love to win the day, through the justice and righteousness of God; of action. «Early morning, April 4, shot rings out in the Memphis sky, Free at last, they took your life, they could not take your pride.» Indeed, King’s ‘pride’ lives on! Now, that is descriptive of the provision and justice of grace. As powerful as grace is for the good, it also ushers in the presence of God for justice to pervade situations and groups and individuals. In this way grace is theologically both prevenient and irresistible. It is irrepressible.

Grace is about relationship: between God and humankind. It’s knowing the joy of life. The experience of grace for Jews in Old Testament times brought about joy. Grace is not a New Testament, purely Christian concept though Christ sought to ‘finalise’ the deal by fulfilling the law and the prophets. «The ancient Israelite looked on the law not as a burden, but as a gift of grace, a delight, precisely because of the warm and personal relationship with the LORD that it enabled and expressed.»[4] The law was always a provision of grace. Covenant (the relationship) always came before the law.

In yet another U2 song, One, what sounds like a ballad is actually a painful song of the opposite of grace within the relationship between lead singer Bono and his father. Here are some of the lyrics that allude to this sentiment:

Did I ask too much?

More than a lot.

You gave me nothing,

Now it’s all I got,

We’re one,

But we’re not the same

See we,

Hurt each other,

Then we do it again

You say

Love is a temple,

Love a higher law,

Love is a temple,

Love is a higher law,

You ask me to enter,

But then you make me crawl,

And I can’t keep holding on,

To what you got,

When all you’ve got is hurt.

The italicised portions of the lyrics above highlight the awkwardness seen in relationships lacking grace; for instance, where father will lord it over the child. It acknowledges that genetically for Bono and his father, ‘we’re one’ and at the same time ‘we’re not the same,’ because of this grace that is somehow missing. It highlights the hypocrisy and incongruence of the father preaching ‘love is a temple and higher law,’ and yet the same father who makes his son crawl. We see in the antithesis of grace an absence of beauty, favour and ‘way.’ It is clumsy and inelegant.

The father who experiences no grace can issue only hurt to the life of the son or daughter whom desperately needs the father’s love. I used to know such a man; one who tried so hard to say the right things and do the right things, yet invariably when push came to shove wasn’t able to consistently offer grace. This can be for a range of reasons. For the individual who hasn’t got grace it is frustrating; it’s inexplicable. Something just isn’t right. One thing is for sure, the person who misses out on grace misses the mark in life, and so do those who rely on this person. There we have the recipe for generational cursing.

Grace comes to us. We recognise it and respond. It is beauty and favour. If we respond the right way its beauty and favour become part of us and the way we operate and behave. Then we have ‘charisma.’ This is a spiritual word. Only when we ‘move in time’ with God can we have this charisma, which is an aggressive form of forgiveness. It’s a miraculous gift of God to have this insight and requisite character quality.

© Copyright 2008, Steven John Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

REFERENCES:

[1] Romans 5:21 (The Message).

[2] See Romans 5:1-2 (Message).

[3] Even during events like the 6th Century BCE Exile of the Israelites and the great flood (Noah’s Ark) grace was evident.

[4] Christopher J.H. Wright, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God, A fully revised, updated and integrated edition of Living as the People of God and Walking in the Ways of the Lord (Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 2004), p. 317.

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Is Money the Most Important Motivational Factor in Football?

Now, we know that players would literally pay from their own pockets, as Fabregas did, in order to move to big name clubs such as Man Utd, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern (I won’t be including any Italian clubs here as they have been quite horrible as of late). It’s quite understandable as players feel like they have achieved their well-awaited dream, if they move to these clubs. Do they realize that the same move could either tarnish their image or reduce their minutes on the pitch? Real Madrid as a club can be taken as a very good example, because of the high profile players it has attracted in the past years. After the original Galacticos, highly talented players like Michael Owen, Robinho, Arjen Robben, Van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder have represented the clubs unsuccessfully. All the players mentioned here actually under-performed since their time at previous clubs.

Except for Anelka, Robben and Sneijder, haven’t really seen these players get their pre-Madrid form back yet. Isn’t football about trying to play and perform consistently? Yes, playing in a team like Madrid will enhance your performance, that is if you are on the pitch but what are the chances of making it into the midfield line up of current Madrid or the Manchester City team? Madrid is loaded with superstars like Ozil, Khedira, Xabi Alonso, Kaka, Altintop, Lassana, Di Maria and the latest addition Nuri Sahin (from Borussia). These according to me are all class players especially Nuri Sahin. His performance for Dortmund last year played a huge role in them winning the Bundesliga. What are the chances of him playing consistently with the presence of others around? The same goes for Man City as well. I support the team with all that I have but someone will be disappointed. Milner, De Jong, Nasri, Johnson, Barry, Silva, Toure and Hargreaves. Great for the eye but in terms of sustainability – not so good.

But in the end, who are we to judge or truly understand the motives behind the switch. Maybe it was for the money or maybe it was for the coach they were playing under or may be it was basically for the credibility of the club. Whatever the reason, every year we have the opportunity to see the actual worth of the transfers by the end of the season. At least my man Eto’o came out saying clearly that he was moving to Anzi for the money. Come-on 20 Million Euros per year. 20 Million? I obviously don’t blame Eto’o for accepting the money. For 20 M, I would move to Dagestan and eat a Siberian Yak’s frozen testicles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. His family, grandkids and great grandkids could be well off with that sort of money. However, I blame the prevailing bodies for tolerating that amount to be paid.

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