Hillsong Conference 2023 set for July 3 to 5 next year

Hillsong Church, one of the major Christian churches in Australia, announced recently that the next edition of their popular Hillsong Conference will be held from July 3 to 5, 2023. The good news here is that people are welcome to register online for Hillsong Conference 2023 by clicking here.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from Hillsong’s official announcement about Hillsong Conference 2023. Some parts in boldface…

With the success of Hillsong Conference 2022 including over 300 decisions for Christ, 49 nations represented in person and online, and an amazing atmosphere of worship and Spirit-inspired preaching, we are excited to announce that we have dates for Hillsong Conference next year on Monday 3rd – Wednesday 5th July.

2023 conference theme is, Again to our First Love.

This is a new era for Hillsong Conference, and with this in mind we asked for your thoughts on how we can best take the conference forward in the most relevant and meaningful way. A huge thank you to those who participated and provided valuable feedback to help us move forward in strength and with relevance. Survey results were particularly useful as a window into the specific areas of delegates’ interests. This information helps us to focus and refine our direction.

The results revealed approximately 60% of those surveyed want to keep Hillsong Conference in July and for the same length of time. 2022 was attended in the majority (75%) by members of Hillsong Church and 25% from other churches – in keeping with our mandate to champion the cause of the local church. Many of those who attend, do so to hear the speakers and experience corporate worship. Over 65% of those who responded to the survey said their areas of interest were leadership and creative, although almost 25% expressed other areas such as evangelism, the Holy Spirit, theology, and biblical learning, plus areas of social and family support, among others. Feedback on the availability of streaming services and interactive live sessions was very positive, with 75% saying they were open or interested.

In relation to the above announcement, check out this official promo video about Hillsong Conference 2023.

For the newcomers reading this, Hillsong Conference is a very popular and long-running annual worship and Bible-focused event of Hillsong Church. The local church where I attend regularly has pastors who were sent to attend Hillsong Conferences years ago and what they learned was not only valuable but also anointed by the Lord. Hillsong Conference undeniably helps worship leaders from around the world gain insight on worshiping the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and leading more people to the Lord.

To see the official photos of Hillsong Conference 2022, click here. To register early for Hillsong Conference 2023, go to https://hillsong.com/conference/

Let me end this post with the bible scriptures below.

Lord Almighty, you are the one who created all the nations. Look at them—they’re all on their way! Yes, the day will come when they all will worship you and put your glory on display.

Psalms 86:9 (TPT)

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker [in reverent praise and supplication].

Psalm 95:6 (AMPC)

Beloved friends, what does all this imply? When you conduct your meetings, you should always let everything be done to build up the church family. Whether you share a song of praise, a teaching, a divine revelation, or a tongue and interpretation, let each one contribute what strengthens others.

1 Corinthians 14:26 (TPT)

Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Colossians 3:17 (NASB)

Know (perceive, recognize, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God! It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Psalm 100:3 (AMPC)

That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.

Ephesians 2:19-22 (MSG)

Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you. Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser!

Ephesians 6:10-11 (TPT)

For more about Hillsong Church, visit https://hillsong.com/ and their official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/hillsong

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there. Also please consider making a donation to support my publishing of faith articles and CMAs.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Christian Music Appreciation: The Coming King

Welcome back, my readers and fellow Christians! In this newest edition of my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series, we will focus on The Coming King, another original worship song from New Life Music. For the newcomers reading this, the previous New Life Music worship songs I examined and analyzed were Touch From HeavenNow I’m Alive and God of the Breakthrough.

If you want to discover and learn more about New Life Music, I encourage you to click here (Facebook page), here (Instagram) and here (YouTube). New Life Music is part of New Life Philippines whose main church is located inside Alabang Hills Village in Muntinlupa City, Philippines. To know more about New Life Philippines itself, visit https://newlife.ph/

Before getting into the analysis of the Biblical relevance of The Coming King, posted below for your reference are the lyrics composed by Kyle Ruelo, Chynna Cuna and MJ Malubay.

VERSE 1

The Son of God who’s seated on the throne

Abandoned all to make my heart His home

No sin and shame could ever separate

His love for me will always make a way

CHORUS

Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty

Worthy Worthy is the Lamb who overcomes

Glory, honor, power to the One

The King who was, who is, and is to come

VERSE 2

Jesus conquered death, He’s risen from the grave

Oh abundant life to us He freely gave

The King of kings and Lord of lords, He reigns

Oh Jesus is the name above all names

VERSE 3

In the moment that we hear the trumpets ring

Every eye behold the beauty of the King

With a joyful shout to Him the Church will sing

Jesus Christ, the King above all kings

To begin with, let’s take a close look at the lyrics of Verse 1 of the song: The Son of God who’s seated on the throne, Abandoned all to make my heart His home, No sin and shame could ever separate, His love for me will always make a way.

The above lines emphasize the authority of Lord Jesus who came to us here on Earth to save us, love us and lead us to salvation that only comes from the Heavenly Father. Knowing that, those who are spiritually lost must let go of their old lives come to Jesus, submit to Him, repent and establish a personal relationship with Him by becoming born again. With an established personal relationship with Him, there absolutely is no more room for sin nor shame nor darkness. We are meant to be very faithful to the Lord and to be living by His Word. As children of God, we are certified members of His family (the spiritual family) as well as citizens of His Kingdom. Learn from holy scriptures below…

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

Matthew 28:18 (ESV)

When the Son of Man comes in His glory (His majesty and splendor), and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.

Matthew 25:31 (AMPC)

And I heard every created thing in heaven and on earth and under the earth [in Hades, the place of departed spirits] and on the sea and all that is in it, crying out together, To Him Who is seated on the throne and to the Lamb be ascribed the blessing and the honor and the majesty (glory, splendor) and the power (might and dominion) forever and ever (through the eternities of the eternities)!

Revelation 5:13 (AMPC)

For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; And the government will [a]rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (NASB)

For here is the way God loved the world—he gave his only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life.

John 3:16 (TPT)

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3 (ESV)

Jesus explained, “I am the Way, I am the Truth, and I am the Life. No one comes next to the Father except through union with me. To know me is to know my Father too.”

John 14:6 (TPT)

And every curse will be broken and no longer exist, for the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there in the city. His loving servants will serve him;

Revelation 22:3 (TPT)

Next, take a close look at the following lines of lyrics from the Chorus: Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty,  Worthy Worthy is the Lamb who overcomes, Glory, honor, power to the One, The King who was, who is, and is to come.

The above lines explain that the holiness of the Lord God is true, absolute and eternal. He created all of us and we are meant to worship Him, glorify Him, execute His commands and spread His Word here on Earth so we can help the lost and unsaved souls find their ways to Him through His Son Lord Jesus who is the definitive savior. In relation to this worship song’s title, the coming or the return of Lord Jesus in this world is something we should already be prepared for. His coming has been declared long ago and there is no denying that preparing for it is essential because it means we will be with Lord Jesus Himself and with the Heavenly Father in His Kingdom. Learn from the holy scriptures below…

There is none holy like the Lord, there is none besides You; there is no Rock like our God.

1 Samuel 2:2 (AMPC)

Come worship the Lord God wearing the splendor of holiness. Let everyone wait in wonder as they tremble in awe before him.

Psalms 96:9 (TPT)

And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Isaiah 6:3 (ESV)

And as I watched, all of them were singing with thunderous voices: “Worthy is Christ the Lamb who was slaughtered to receive great power and might, wealth and wisdom, and honor, glory, and praise!”

Revelation 5:12 (TPT)

My Father’s house has many dwelling places. If it were otherwise, I would tell you plainly, because I go to prepare a place for you. And when everything is ready, I will come back and take you to myself so that you will be where I am.

John 14:2-3 (TPT)

“Behold, I come quickly! Wonderfully blessed is the one who carefully guards the words of the prophecy of this book!”

Revelation 22:7 (TPT)

Behold, I am coming soon, and I shall bring My wages and rewards with Me, to repay and render to each one just what his own actions and his own work merit.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last (the Before all and the End of all).

Revelation 22:12-13 (AMPC)

Next, take a close look at the following lines of lyrics from Verse 2: Jesus conquered death, He’s risen from the grave,  Oh abundant life to us He freely gave, The King of kings and Lord of lords, He reigns, Oh Jesus is the name above all names.

The above lines emphasize further the undeniable power and eternal holiness of Jesus. The resurrection of Lord Jesus is victory over death and it symbolizes the hope and salvation that await those who are faithful to Him. As God’s only begotten Son sent to us here on Earth, Jesus is definitely the ultimate king of all kings, the lord who is always higher than all those other lords, and the one who rightfully deserves our glory, trust and praise. His resurrection strongly symbolizes God’s love and plan for us all. In return, we His children must live with unwavering faith in Him, honor Him always, remain grateful to Him and preach His Word while we are still here on Earth. Learn from the holy scriptures below…

“Martha,” Jesus said, “You don’t have to wait until then. I am the Resurrection, and I am Life Eternal. Anyone who clings to me in faith, even though he dies, will live forever. And the one who lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Then Martha replied, “Yes, Lord, I do! I’ve always believed that you are the Anointed One, the Son of God who has come into the world for us!”

John 11:25-27 (TPT)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10 (ESV)

“I tell you this timeless truth: The person who follows me in faith, believing in me, will do the same mighty miracles that I do—even greater miracles than these because I go to be with my Father!”

John 14:12 (TPT)

Then Jesus came close to them and said, “All authority of the universe has been given to me. Now wherever you go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And teach them to faithfully follow all that I have commanded you. And never forget that I am with you every day, even to the completion of this age.”

Matthew 28:18-20 (TPT)

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 (NKJV)

Next, take a close look at the following lines of lyrics from Verse 3: In the moment that we hear the trumpets ring, Every eye behold the beauty of the King, With a joyful shout to Him the Church will sing, Jesus Christ, the King above all kings,

The above lines further the greatness and holiness of our Lord. They also serve as reminders that as His children, we are living in victory because of Lord Jesus. That being said, when we go to the local church on Sundays, we do it not because of tradition, not because of religion nor because of worldly influences, and not because of obligations. We go to the local church on Sunday to be with the spiritual family (His Family) and worship Him together (note: praise and music do come together), to hear the pastor teach His Word, and strengthen our personal relationships with Him. Learn from the holy scriptures below…

Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in the heavens of His power!

Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to the abundance of His greatness!

Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp!

Praise Him with tambourine and [single or group] dance; praise Him with stringed and wind instruments or flutes!

Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals!

Let everything that has breath and every breath of life praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)

Psalm 150:1-6 (AMPC)

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (NASB)

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

1 John 5:1-4 (ESV)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If you truly want to follow me, you should at once completely reject and disown your own life. And you must be willing to share my cross and experience it as your own, as you continually surrender to my ways. For if you choose self-sacrifice and lose your lives for my glory, you will continually discover true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will forfeit what you try to keep. For even if you were to gain all the wealth and power of this world—at the cost of your own life—what good would that be? And what could be more valuable to you than your own soul? I, the Son of Man, will one day return with my messengers and in the splendor and majesty of my Father. And then I will reward each person according to what they have done. But I promise you, there are some standing here now who won’t experience death until they have witnessed the coming of the Son of Man in the presence and the power of the kingdom realm of God!”

Matthew 16:24-28 (TPT)

As for me, I will call upon God,

And the Lord shall save me.

Psalms 55:16 (NKJV)

Exalt the Lord our God,

and worship at his holy mountain;

for the Lord our God is holy!

Psalm 99:9 (ESV)

Jesus commented, “Even more blessed are those who hear God’s Word and guard it with their lives!”

Luke 11:28 (MSG)

Very clearly, the New Life Music team were led by the Holy Spirit in composing The Coming King. Its lyrics are truly holy and anointed and the music is expectedly beautiful. The Coming King will surely motivate your hearts and move you to come closer to Lord Jesus and the Heavenly Father. As such, The Coming King is a worship song worthy of Sunday worship as well as church special events. The Coming King is a lively reminder of not just about the pending return of Lord Jesus here on Earth but also of His undeniable presence in the hearts of God’s children, His victory and His eternal holiness.

In conclusion, posted below are the two official music videos of The Coming King for your faith and viewing pleasure. While watching it and listening to the music, remember to be faithful and thankful to the Lord. Always remember to realize the good life from the Lord, practice Christian habits (click here and here for reference), have private time with Godget yourself planted in a local church (allow the Holy Spirit to guide you) and remember the truth that He rewards the faithful abundantly and He established plans for you before you were even created! Continue to live with God’s Word, seek God through His son Jesus, and keep on being the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there. Also please consider making a donation to support my publishing of faith articles and CMAs.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

My return to Xtremely Xpresso Café in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone

During my most recent visit at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, I took the opportunity to revisit key places around as it has been more than two years since my previous visit. On the afternoon of April 30 (just a day before the 2022 Subic Bay International Triathlon happened), I took time out to revisit Xtremely Xpresso Café (social media here, here and here) located at Dewey Street corner Sta. Rita Road.

Xtremely Xpresso Café is more than just a place to enjoy good coffee. It is also a restaurant that sells to its customers a good variety of tasty meals from pizza to pasta, rice meals and others. The very first time I visited the food joint was in the early 2000s. Through the years I had coffee there during my solo visits and there were also times that I was with the family enjoying pizza and their meals. Xtremely Xpresso’s pizzas were always delicious and filling to enjoy with friends or family.

Xtremely Xpresso Subic Bay Freeport branch on the day I returned.

Going back to my April 30 afternoon visit, I easily recognized Xtremely Xpresso upon arrival. What I found interesting was that the place was bustling with customers both indoors (where it is air conditioned) and outdoors as if life was back to normal (note: Alert Level 1 status was in effect on the Subic Bay Freeport Zone back then). I saw some groups of people, couples and individual customers enjoying their meals and drinks on the outdoor area (note: lots of seats and tables with shade) and the simmering heat of the day did not seem to bother them at all.

Then I entered and saw the ever familiar-looking interior. Almost all the seats and tables were filled up by customers who mostly came in groups or pairs. Everywhere I looked, I saw people really enjoying their food and drinks, and having quality time together. As such, I decided to order a drink and dessert and have the waiter serve them to me at a seat outdoors.

I took sat at a place where there was enough shade to protect me from the sun. While the heat was obvious, there were moments I felt some relief in the form of coolness from the occasional wind coming from the sea water several meters away. After about ten minutes waiting, the waiter served to me the cheesecake slice and the Shockwave Xtreme Frappe’ that I ordered.

The cheesecake I ordered at Xtremely Xpresso.
A close look at a portion of the cheesecake.

As I was seated outdoors, I did not want to let the sun and the summer heat ruin the cheesecake so I started consuming it portion by portion. Each bite of it was smooth and in terms of taste, it had a mild sweetness to it. More notably, it tasted like any cheesecake. In terms of content, it is thick and long enough for me. As such, Xtremely Xpresso’s cheesecake slice is good enough.

Xtremely Xpresso’s Shockwave frappe was cold coffee with some chocolate to its taste with a creamy aesthetic. In my experience sipping it moderately, the Shockwave had a moderate sweetness to it and I felt a creamy coffee and chocolate taste. It was during the remaining small amount I sipped when I suddenly felt a sweetened taste. Then the drink ran out. Xtremely Xpresso’s Shockwave is a frappe that is completely different from what other coffee shops here in the Philippines offered. I can say it is a good drink to have at Xtremely Xpresso.

The Shockwave frappe was mildly sweet and had a coffee and chocolate taste.

So my recent visit at Xtremely Xpresso in Subic Bay was good one. I would not hesitate to return there and next time, I would definitely order a meal, a different drink and something else. In my previous dining experiences there with my family, I enjoyed the taste of their Big Ben pizza, the Seafood Pesto pizza, the Creamy Cheese Penne and their Spinach Omelette. All of those and a lot more are still being offered to customers.

While securing an indoor seat and table is challenging, be assured that there are a lot more tables and seats outside. In fact, having breakfast and coffee outdoors is a fresh and comfortable experience as the sun is not too intense in the morning.

For those of you reading this, if you are planning to visit Subic Bay and you want good food and drinks to enjoy, I encourage you to visit Xtremely Xpresso.

Let me end this piece with the following holy scripture…

So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (AMPC)

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

A wonderful lunch at Gourmet Garage Subic

When I arrived in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone just a day before the 2022 Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT) took place, I was very hungry as I left home very early without any breakfast and I was not able to stop at any of the gas stations (and their respective food joints) along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) as we took the counter-flow going north.

After settling at a hotel in close proximity to the triathlon venue, I drove to the one restaurant located at the Argonaut Highway-Rizal Highway corner that I’ve been eager to revisit…Gourmet Garage Subic (social media here and here).

The front of Gourmet Garage Subic!

Coming from the parking area of the business establishment, I entered Gourmet Garage Subic through the rear door and immediately I felt this atmosphere of class with classical music being played as I walked on and recognized their fine interior. It was a very welcoming experience and already there were people enjoying their lunch.

As I was pretty hungry and somewhat worn down by the long drive from Metro Manila, I ordered myself a Caesar (their version of Caesar’s salad) to enjoy something fresh. From the restaurant’s Main Event section of the menu, I chose the Lamb Madras Curry.

While waiting for my orders to be served, I took the time relaxing, enjoying the aircon and the continuous music, looked at the products displayed and browsed the web with my smartphone via Wifi. And then just like that, the waitress served me the Caesar which was faster than I expected. Upon seeing the salad placed in front of me, I was impressed with the way it was presented. There was some food art to it visually.

The Caesar of Gourmet Garage.
A closer look.

The Caesar was prepared with really fresh romaine lettuce topped (on a key portion) with Gourmet Garage Subic’s very own dressing mixed with parmesan shavings and bits of bacon. Right from the first bite of the salad (note: I used the fork and knife to cut myself a portion) that had the lettuce and dressing together, I experienced this very flavorful and pleasing taste! It was very delicious, I went on to cut portions of the Caesar and slowly consumed it along with the bits. I really enjoyed the salad as it was prepared by the cook to be flavorful, fresh and very satisfying! Gourmet Garage Subic’s Caesar is easily the best fresh salad I’ve had in a long time!

Just a few minutes after I was done with the salad, the Lamb Madras Curry was served to me. Right from the start, I noticed it was very well presented and the subtle heat I felt from it showed the lamb was newly cooked. I also liked the pleasing smell of the meal.

The Lamb Madras Curry was so nicely prepared and it tasted great!

The Lamb Madras Curry came with basmati rice on the bottom topped with the finely cooked lamb (itself topped with yogurt plus onion pieces and vegetables). On one side was a small tomato with a roasted onion and other onion pieces. The other side had more leaves. The meal was served with two sauces – garlic and chili.

As a first-timer of this particular meal – noted as a Chef’s Recommendation on Gourmet Garage’s menu – I decided to try out a small piece of the lamb without any yogurt on it and I found to be tasty on its own. There is no doubt that the lamb pieces were very finely cooked and the way it was prepared showed that special attention to details was done by the cook.

A piece of lamb by the fork.

I tried another piece of lamb and dipped it on the garlic sauce. The flavor of the said piece was enhanced by the said sauce as I chewed. I can say also say the same about the lamb pieces with yogurt on them. As for the spice level, I can say it is tolerable (pretty mild to be precise) and I never had a problem moving from one bite to another, also consuming the rice (really fragrant) and the vegetables. Along the way, I managed to cut some pieces of lamb placed on the fork along with the vegetable for that meat-and-veggies taste.

The Lamb Madras Curry from the side.

Every bite I had with the Lamb Madras Curry really had great flavor and big satisfaction. It is so great, this is easily the best lamb meal I had in years! Whoever designed the Lamb Madras Curry knew exactly how to ensure great taste, solid satisfaction and freshness (in terms of vegetables prepared and the cooking of the meat)!

Gourmet Garage Subic’s Caesar and Lamb Madras Curry are both highly recommended to all of you who love food! Make sure you try either of them once you visit the restaurant.

Apart from serving meals, drinks and desserts for diners, Gourmet Garage Subic also has a nice selection of imported products for your home consumption. On display for sale were lots of bottles of fine wine, fruit juices, frozen meat, condiments, snacks, pastry and other good products to take home! They also sell fresh bread products.

Looking for a new bottle of wine to buy? So many to choose here!
Bread and pastry offered.
Drinks, snacks, condiments and other nice products on display.

As mentioned in my past article, Gourmet Garage Subic also caters. Through their website, customers can also order Gourmet-in-a-Box (meals by the tray) and Party Trays (varied types of food with parties in mind). There is something that will surely interest you when it comes to good food! That being said, I urge you to check out Gourmet Garage’s website as well as their presence on Instagram and Facebook.

This is a great place to have your picture taken inside Gourmet Garage Subic!

The next time you visit Funtastic Subic Bay, I highly recommend you visit Gourmet Garage Subic at 1143 Argonaut Street (very near the Starbucks Coffee shop there) for very good food with your family, friends or business associates. On my next visit to Subic Bay, I’ll definitely come back to try their other meals.

Let me end this piece with the following holy scripture…

Whether you eat or drink, live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (TPT)

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Christian Music Appreciation: Now I’m Alive

Welcome back, my readers and fellow Christians! In this newest edition of my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series, we will focus on Now I’m Alive, another original worship song from New Life Music. For the newcomers reading this, the previous New Life Music worship song I examined and analyzed was Touch From Heaven.

If you want to discover more about New Life Music, I encourage you to click here (Facebook page) and here (YouTube). New Life Music is part of New Life Philippines whose main church is located inside Alabang Hills Village in Muntinlupa City, Philippines. To know more about New Life Philippines, visit https://newlife.ph/

To get started with Now I’m Alive, watch this official lyric video from New Life Music.

Before getting into the analysis of the Biblical relevance of Now I’m Alive, posted below for your reference are the lyrics composed by Faith Tugano, Kate Naranjo and Solomon Pagapong.

VERSE 1

Oh what love You have shown me

At the cross You have bled for me

My sins You erased

I am saved by Your grace

VERSE 2

I was lost but You found me

Broken – You delivered me

Forgiven I stand

Forever held in Your hands

CHORUS

Jesus, You have brought me back to life

Made righteous, pure and now redeemed in Christ

Jesus, You have brought me back to life

Now I’m alive

Now I’m alive

VERSE 3

No more fear No more shame

No longer bound No longer a slave

Jesus, You have won it all for me

CHORUS 2

Jesus, You have brought me back to life

Made righteous, pure and now redeemed in Christ

Jesus, You have brought me back to life

Now I’m alive

Now I’m alive

Jesus, You have brought me back to life

Made righteous, pure and now redeemed in Christ

Forgiven, set free, I’m alive in Christ

Now I’m alive

Now I’m alive

BRIDGE 1

Your love knows no end

Your love knows no bounds

Nothing can separate me from Your love

BRIDGE 2

No sin, No fear

No power can separate me

From Your love

From Your love

To begin with, let’s take a close look at the lyrics of Verse 1 of the song: Oh what love You have shown me, At the cross You have bled for me, My sins You erased, I am saved by Your grace.

The Verse 1 lyrics are truthful as they clearly reference the sacrifice of Jesus whom God sent to save us from sin. Jesus is our Redeemer, our Lord and Savior. For anyone who is still lost and unsaved, the way to establish a relationship with the Lord and get redeemed/saved is by getting born again. Learn from the following holy scriptures below…

For here is the way God loved the world—he gave his only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life.

John 3:16 (TPT)

Jesus responded and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3 (NASB)

For sin’s meager wages is death, but God’s lavish gift is life eternal, found in your union with our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.

Romans 6:23 (TPT)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 (NASB)

And they answered, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ [give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself into His keeping] and you will be saved, [and this applies both to] you and your household as well.

Acts 16:31 (AMPC)

Moving forward, take a close look at the following lines from the Chorus of the song: Jesus, You have brought me back to life, Made righteous, pure and now redeemed in Christ, Jesus, You have brought me back to life, Now I’m alive, Now I’m alive.

In my analysis, the Chorus lyrics emphasize the redemption and sacrifice Lord Jesus made to save us. Before the redemption happened, people were trapped by sin, idols, unbelief, rebellion, hopelessness and death. Jesus truly freed people from the darkness that clouded them. Remember that the Lord is always working on all things for our good and we only need to be faithful to Him, follow Him and believe in Heavenly things that are coming. Learn from the bible scriptures below…

Since we are now joined to Christ, we have been given the treasures of redemption by his blood—the total cancellation of our sins—all because of the cascading riches of his grace.

Ephesians 1:7 (TPT)

Little children, you can be certain that you belong to God and have conquered them, for the One who is living in you is far greater than the one who is in the world.  They belong to this world and they articulate the spirit of this world, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and whoever truly knows God listens to us. Those who refuse to listen to us do not belong to God. That is how we can know the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.

1 John 4:4-6 (TPT)

But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.

Romans 5:8 (AMPC)

Jesus explained, “I am the Way, I am the Truth, and I am the Life. No one comes next to the Father except through union with me. To know me is to know my Father too.

John 14:6 (TPT)

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we did in righteousness, but in accordance with His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

Titus 3:5 (NASB)

Yahweh, you’re the bedrock beneath my feet, my faith-fortress, my wonderful deliverer, my God, my rock of rescue where none can reach me. You’re the shield around me, the mighty power that saves me, and my high place.

Psalms 18:2 (TPT)

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

Titus 2:11-13 (NKJV)

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;

    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Psalm 34:18 (NLT)

Moving forward, take a close look at the following lines from Bridge 1 of the song: Your love knows no end, Your love knows no bounds, Nothing can separate me from Your love.

The Bridge 1 lyrics are about the love of the Lord which is very great and eternal for the faithful. To understand the meaning of the said lyrics and what His love is about, read the following scriptures below…

Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (TPT)

Who could ever divorce us from the endless love of God’s Anointed One? Absolutely no one! For nothing in the universe has the power to diminish his love toward us. Troubles, pressures, and problems are unable to come between us and heaven’s love. What about persecutions, deprivations, dangers, and death threats? No, for they are all impotent to hinder omnipotent love, even though it is written:

All day long we face death threats for your sake, God.

We are considered to be nothing more

than sheep to be slaughtered!

Yet even in the midst of all these things, we triumph over them all, for God has made us to be more than conquerors, and his demonstrated love is our glorious victory over everything! So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!

Romans 8:35-39 (TPT)

Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; remain in My love.

John 15:9 (NASB)

In this last analysis of the lyrics, I want you all to focus on the title – Now I’m Alive. As Christians, we are living under the watch, guidance and love of the Lord. We are alive – even spiritually – because Lord Jesus saved us and His spirit – the Holy Spirit – is in our hearts! We are the living faithful children of God dedicated to follow Him through His Word and the Truth! We are no longer trapped by darkness and sin because we chose to be saved by Jesus and accepted Him as our Lord and Savior! Learn from the following scriptures below…

Guard and keep [with the greatest care] the precious and excellently adapted [Truth] which has been entrusted [to you], by the [help of the] Holy Spirit Who makes His home in us.

2 Timothy 1:14 (AMPC)

But Christ (the Messiah) was faithful over His [own Father’s] house as a Son [and Master of it]. And it is we who are [now members] of this house, if we hold fast and firm to the end our joyful and exultant confidence and sense of triumph in our hope [in Christ].

Hebrews 3:6 (AMPC)

For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

Ephesians 3:14-20 (NASB)

And it’s true: “Everyone who calls on the Lord’s name will experience new life.”

Romans 10:13 (TPT)

Indeed, the lyrics and title of Now I’m Alive are holy and anointed! While I am clearly not involved with the composition of the song, it is evident that New Life Music wrote it to be true to the Word of God. Musically speaking, Now I’m Alive is beautiful and solemn to listen to. Very obviously, it is a great song for Sunday worship as well as special church events. Now I’m Alive is also an ideal worship song to help the faithful strengthen their faith in the Lord.

In conclusion, posted below is the official music video of Now I’m Alive for your faith and viewing pleasure. While watching it and listening to the music, remember to be faithful and thankful to the Lord. Always remember to realize the good life from the Lord, practice Christian habits (click here and here for reference), have private time with Godget yourself planted in a local church (allow the Holy Spirit to guide you) and remember the truth that He rewards the faithful abundantly and He established plans for you before you were even created! Continue to live with God’s Word, seek God through His son Jesus, and keep on being the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Glorify only our Lord, definitively and eternally!

Glory is truly meant only for our Lord. Not people, not carved figures, not images and not man-made creations. We only glorify the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and Holy Spirit.

In recent times, South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker glorified God and used her successful achievements at the Tokyo Olympic Games to lead others to Him. The said achievements include establishing new records in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke and also in the 200-meter breaststroke. To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the CBN News report. Some parts in boldface…

Tatjana Schoenmaker — an Olympic swimmer from South Africa — has shattered records this week in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke, and she’s using her success to point others to God.

The swimmer set a new Olympic record Wednesday in the preliminary round with a time of 2:19.16. Then on Friday, she went on to win the gold in the event, setting a new world record with a time of 2:18.95.

The 24-year-old Olympian broke another record in the preliminary rounds for the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:04.82. She ended up claiming the silver medal in the Monday event, Sportsnet reported.

In all her competitions in Tokyo, Schoenmaker has worn — under her green South Africa swim cap — another cap proclaiming her faith.

The white Speedo cap the athlete is wearing features a blue Jesus fish under the phrase “Soli Deo Gloria,” which means “Glory to God alone,” printed on the side of it.

Schoenmaker has used her platform to discuss her Christian faith before.

In an Instagram post last week, she posted a prayer as she traveled to Tokyo for the summer Olympic Games.

On the mentioned Instagram post, Schoenmaker wrote: Father God may your will be done, may your peace fill us up, may we praise you no matter what the outcome, may we be empowered by your strength to give it our all and may we forever be in the awe of your goodness! Thank you for bringing us to this very moment 🙏🏻

It is essential to be mindful that inhabitants of this deeply divided world struggle with the temptations of honoring and even worshiping their fellow people who achieved greatness or are simply charming. Think about all the people who idolized movie stars, sports champions, fashion models, dancers, politicians and even fictional characters! Idolatry towards individual persons begins when people get overwhelmed by the would-be-idol’s success or charisma, and this leads them to prioritizing those individuals and forget the Lord as a result. Idolatry is unholy, foolish and will separate people from the Lord! Nobody should ever give in to the temptation of idolizing because that is precisely what Satan wants. Learn from the New Living Translation (NLT) and The Passion Translation (TPT) of 1 Corinthians 6:9:-10 below…

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NLT)

Surely you must know that people who practice evil cannot possess God’s kingdom realm. Stop being deceived! People who continue to engage in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse, or extortion—these will not inherit God’s kingdom realm.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (TPT)

It is also important to remember that God is our Creator and our Source. Blessings in the forms of heavenly income and tremendous human achievements only come from Him. By comparison, idols will never bless their idolaters no matter how much they idolize! As such, it was right and proper for South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker to glorify God because what she achieved was made possible by Him. Only God can make the impossible become possible. In using her success to honor God, Schoenmaker is also doing her part in helping Him save the countless lost and unsaved souls of this world, and help Him build His Kingdom here on Earth.

Of course, I am not saying that fellow people who achieve greatness should be ignored. They can still be congratulated, rewarded and be celebrated to a certain limit. To worship or prioritize the human achiever over our Lord is very wrong. Glorify God, not people. Follow His Word, not those man-made doctrines or pieces of fiction. Be led by faith in the Lord, not religion, not unbelief, and not by this divided world. Learn from the following holy scriptures below…

Now to God, the only source of wisdom, be glorious praises for endless ages through Jesus, the Anointed One! Amen!

Romans 16:27 (TPT)

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3 (NKJV)

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!

Sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord, bless His name;

Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.

Declare His glory among the nations,

His wonders among all peoples.

For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;

He is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the peoples are idols,

But the Lord made the heavens.

Honor and majesty are before Him;

Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,

Give to the Lord glory and strength.

Give to the Lord the glory due His name;

Bring an offering, and come into His courts.

Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!

Tremble before Him, all the earth.

Psalm 96:1-9 (NKJV)

And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 4:13-15 (NKJV)

Every believer has received grace gifts, so use them to serve one another as faithful stewards of the many-colored tapestry of God’s grace.

1 Peter 4:10 (TPT)

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.

Mark 12:30 (NKJV)

Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others.

For we know that we will receive a reward, an inheritance from the Lord, as we serve the Lord Yahweh, the Anointed One!

Colossians 3:23-24 (TPT)

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)

From this point on, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists, the humanists and the secularists fool and abused you? Were you victimized by a religious zealot? Have you been living as a homosexual or as a transgendered person? Are you still addicted to sex, drugs and other inappropriate elements? Did you spend an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, images, people and relics? Are you a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists (Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, the abortionists and others) who got fed up fighting for worthless causes? Did you kill someone and have been living so long with the guilt? All of that darkness can finally end and you can decide to do it! How? You can save yourselves by submitting yourselves to the Lord Jesus willingly and realize He is the Light! No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from a pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church that God has chosen for you (note: ask Him for a local church!) and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family!).  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly  and continue to be people of the WordDeclare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. We can do our part in building up God’s kingdom here on Earth by preaching His Word, blessing the Jewish people and saving the countless lost and unsaved souls around us by leading them to Lord Jesus. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion. Never let the idolaters, the idol makers and other sinister forces fool you into becoming unholy.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Christian Music Appreciation: Mercy on Display

Welcome back, my readers and fellow Christians! In this newest edition of my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series, we will focus on the worship song titled Mercy on Display written by Darlene Zschech and performed by the music team of Hope Unlimited Church (HopeUC).

For the newcomers reading this, HopeUC is a Christian church founded in Australia. As of this writing, it is led by Pastor Darlene Zschech and her husband Mark. According the church’s website: Ps Mark and Darlene have a strong passion for the local church that exists to see the hope of Jesus Christ reside in every heart, across the Central Coast, Hunter Region and throughout the world.

Their desire is to see people living life out of the power that God intended for each and every one of us. Healing, wholeness and victory.

They believe in, and strongly support, mission works around the world and helping the poor by using what we have in our hands to make and be the change in this world.

They believe that the Church should be a people of faith and worship, who put God at the centre of their lives and that His Word is dependable and true for living successfully everyday, in every relationship, and situation.

To learn more about HopeUC, visit https://hopeuc.com/

Going back to the worship song, HopeUC premiered the official music video of Mercy on Display on their YouTube channel on April 14, 2021.

Before analyzing the Biblical relevance of the song, posted below for your reference are the lyrics of Mercy on Display.

Verse 1

I see the cross of Calvary

I see the pain you bore for me,

Your mercy on display for all to see

Verse 2

The earth grew dark and held its breath

As victory over hell and death was

Finished in Your perfect sacrifice

Chorus 1

The cross has made the way for us

So we can come and call upon Your name (Jesus)

And now oh death, you’ve lost your sting

As love has triumphed over sin & grave

Verse 3

For nothing now shall separate us

From Your love and from Your presence

Forever at the table of the Lord

Verse 4

Where everyone is welcome here

The veil is torn, the battle has been won

We worship You our God

Chorus 2

You Washed me clean as white as snow

I stand in awe, Your love won’t let me go, Jesus

I’ll Praise You now and evermore

You raised me up, Forever I am Yours

Bridge

You rewrote my story

I will ever praise Your name

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I am crowned with blessing

I will always sing Your praise

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

For analysis, let’s start with Verse 1’s lyrics – I see the cross of Calvary, I see the pain you bore for me, Your mercy on display for all to see. Calvary is the place where Lord Jesus got crucified at along with the criminals who were present with Him. For greater perspective and clarity, read the scripture below…

And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.

Luke 23:33 (NKJV)

It should be noted that Calvary is derived from the Latin term calvaria which means “a skull.” The Passion Translation of the same scripture is read as follows…

When they came to the place that is known as The Skull, the guards crucified Jesus, nailing him on the center cross between the two criminals.

Luke 23:33 (TPT)

As Lord Jesus got crucified, He endured tremendous pain and He also paid for humanity’s sins. It was also there at Calvary where His cross was set up in full view of the people. At His cross, Lord Jesus told the Heavenly Father to forgive the people (grant them mercy). Refer to the scripture below in New King James Version and The Passion Translation…

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

And they divided His garments and cast lots.

Luke 23:34 (NKJV)

While they were nailing Jesus to the cross, he prayed over and over, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”

The soldiers, after they crucified him, gambled over his clothing.

Luke 23:34 (TPT)

With the above scriptures, it is clear that Verse 1 of the song is indeed biblically relevant in reference to the crucifixion (Lord Jesus’ paying the price for our sins) and the mercy from God (as Lord Jesus reached out to Him to forgive the people).

Moving on, Verse 2’s lyrics are as follows – The earth grew dark and held its breath, As victory over hell and death was, Finished in Your perfect sacrifice. Personally, I strongly believe that Verse 2 is directly related to the holy scripture below…

Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.

So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”

Luke 23:44-47 (NKJV)

In the above scripture, the sacrifice of Lord Jesus was completed and the victory was realized not only for that point of time but for all time which paved the way for further generations of people to find Him and decide to repent to Him, submit to Him, become faithful to Him and receive salvation. The Roman centurion who witnessed His death realized that He was God, worshiped (refer to New Living Translation) and glorified (refer to the Passion Translation) Him. As we all know, Lord Jesus returned from the dead days later.

Moving on are the lyrics from Chorus 1 – The cross has made the way for us, So we can come and call upon Your name (Jesus), And now oh death, you’ve lost your sting, As love has triumphed over sin & grave. Those words remind me that not only is our Lord our source and salvation, He is also our protector and healer which in turn should remind all of you to come to Him. In any time of darkness or trouble, the Lord is our light and we need to come to Him and be faithful to Him. Learn more about coming to Him and reaching out to Him by calling His name wholeheartedly from the scriptures below.

God, hear my prayer. Listen to my heart’s cry.

For no matter where I am, even when I’m far from home,

    I will cry out to you for a father’s help.

    When I’m feeble and overwhelmed by life,

    guide me into your glory, where I am safe and sheltered.

Lord, you are a paradise of protection to me.

    You lift me high above the fray.

    None of my foes can touch me

    when I’m held firmly in your wraparound presence!

Keep me in this glory.

    Let me live continually under your splendor-shadow,

    hiding my life in you forever.

Psalm 61:1-4 (TPT)

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Acts 22:16 (NKJV)

in writing you this letter addressed to the community of God throughout the city of Corinth. For you have been made pure, set apart in the Anointed One, Jesus. And God has invited you to be his devoted and holy people, and not only you, but everyone everywhere who calls on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord, and ours also.

1 Corinthians 1:2 (TPT)

Lord Jesus, who overcame death, is truly the ultimate and definitive savior, and anyone who seeks salvation only need to reach out to Him and be faithful to Him. The above scriptures clearly reflect that and the lyrics in Chorus 1 of the song Mercy on Display are indeed holy. You want mercy from high above? Come to the Lord and get born again (read the words of Lord Jesus in John 3:3).

Movie forward, here are the lyrics in the Bridge – You rewrote my story, I will ever praise Your name, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, I am crowned with blessing, I will always sing Your praise, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. These words are a lively reminder that once you get born again and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you become a new creation. You also become a child of God, one who is faithful to Him, who follows His Word (the Holy Bible which is the ultimate written authority) and preach His Word to the rest of the world. It is also true that each of us has been created by God to worship Him, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit eternally. Learn from the holy scriptures below.

Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (TPT)

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV)

Come and kneel before this Creator-God;

    come and bow before the mighty God, our majestic maker!

Psalm 95:6 (TPT)

Everyone praise the Lord God of Israel, always and forever!

    For he is from eternity past

    and will remain for the eternity to come.

    That’s the way it will be forever.

    Faithful is our King! Amen!

Psalm 41:13 (TPT)

Indeed, the lyrics analyzed confirm that HopeUC’s song Mercy on Display is holy. Mercy from the Lord is true and anyone who repents and submits to Him will gain it and move forward with the new life dedicated and filled with faith in Him. Musically, Mercy on Display is beautiful to listen to and it is a suitable song to be played at church during Sunday worship services or during church special events whenever there is a need to play something smoother or more solemn to the church attendees. Lastly, I can say that Mercy on Display was written to help deepen a person’s faith in the Lord.

In conclusion, posted below is the official music video of Mercy on Display performed by the HopeUC music team led by Darlene Zschech herself! While listening to it, remember to be faithful and thankful to the Lord. Always remember to realize the good life from the Lord, practice Christian habitsget yourself planted in a local church (be led by Him) and remember the truth that He rewards the faithful abundantly and He established plans for you even before you were even created! Continue to be people of the Word, seek God through His son Jesus, and keep on being the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Strangers #5 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors, 1990s culture enthusiasts and fans of Malibu Comics! As of this writing, I am coming close to finally reviewing all issues of The Strangers series of comic books under the Ultraverse line of Malibu Comics. If you have been following my retro reviews, I reviewed issue #23 which was the 2nd-to-the-last of all published issues of The Strangers.

Then I checked for issues I have not reviewed. I went on to review issues #14 and #15. Now I am about to review a few more issues that were published during the first six months of The Strangers.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at The Strangers #5, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Rick Hoberg.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins somewhere in California (shortly after parting ways with Hardcase and Choice). It was decided by the team to take a break from being the Strangers and return to their respective private lives.

Bob Hardin/Atom Bob returns to his parents at home and learns that not only were he and his teammates publicized in the local news, there are many reporters who arrived and stayed just outside their home seeking him.

Zip-Zap arrives in his old neighborhood and immediately encounters a local gang of his fellow black people. Grenade and Electrocute, who are in the same neighborhood as Atom Bob, walk down the street and start to get close with each other. Elena/Lady Killer goes back to her business while Yrial finds herself unable to return to her private life (at the floating island). Suddenly, someone on the sidewalk calls out to Yrial for help…

Quality

Suspense and tension builds up for the Strangers.

Given how hectic times were for The Strangers in the first four issues, this story is a welcome change of pace. The pacing was adjusted to give readers some much needed breathing space to help them focus on the characterization moments, to get to know each team member better and to realize what their place in the entire Ultraverse truly is. For one thing, it is nice to see Atom Bob with his folks and it is quite something to see Yrial finding herself somewhat lost and lonely in the middle of the city as she is unable to come back to her tribe on the floating island.

More on storytelling, this comic book still has a good amount of space left for spectacle which was structured in a way to be a pay-off for all the character development scenes that preceded it. That being said, the new villain introduced here is Deathwish who turns out to be quite powerful (powerful enough kill and make corpses rot faster than usual) and easily challenged the Strangers a lot. The encounter results some pretty interesting character moments for each team member. Deathwish also is one of the many other people who rode the same cable car with the Strangers on the day they got hit by energy from above.

More on the spectacle, I just love the way Steve Englehart and Rick Hoberg presented the teamwork dynamics of The Strangers in their fight with Deathwish.

Conclusion

Elena/Lady Killer as the very busy businesswoman.

The Strangers #5 (1993) is another entertaining read from the Englehart-Hoberg duo. This comic book further developed the characters and even gave readers a look at their private lives before resuming the superhero spectacle. It also tried to be socially relevant for the 1990s with insertions about AIDS, cancer and homosexuality (an abomination as clearly written in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in the Holy Bible) which are channeled through one particular team member. More notably, it sheds light on the cable car incident from issue #1 to point out that the Strangers are truly not the only ones who got affected by the energy blast from the sky.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Strangers #5 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $14.

Overall, The Strangers #5 is recommended.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Idolatry is Foolishness

There is no doubt that idolatry makes a person (a creation of the Lord) unholy and unworthy of becoming part of God’s kingdom. Pay close attention to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in different translations below (key words in bold for greater emphasis)…

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NLT)

Surely you must know that people who practice evil cannot possess God’s kingdom realm. Stop being deceived! People who continue to engage in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse, or extortion—these will not inherit God’s kingdom realm.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (TPT)

Knowing the truth in the above scriptures, you definitely would not want to become an idolater. Idolatry is truly unholy and anyone who practices it becomes unrighteous. Idolatry has no place whatsoever in Christianity, no matter what the idolaters, the unsaved souls and lost souls around us say. In fact, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is a holy scripture that many idolaters (along with the homosexuals, the greedy, the perverts and others deemed unholy) are very afraid of because the truth goes against them.

Idolatry is not limited to the worshiping of statues, statuettes, paintings, relics and people. It also includes prioritizing human acts of addiction (examples: addiction to illegal substances or the Internet), prioritizing materialism and prioritizing other worldly matters over the Lord! Many people don’t know it but they should know the truth that idolatry must be rejected and they should always worship God our Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit! Learn from the following scriptures below…

You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Exodus 20:3-6 (NKJV)

Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.

Galatians 4:3-8 (NKJV)

Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:4 (NKJV)

As it is already clear that idolatry is unholy, there is also the truth that idolatry is also foolishness! The truth is recorded in a very specific holy scripture from the 44th chapter of the Book of Isaiah. Pay close attention to the details…

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,

And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:

‘I am the First and I am the Last;

Besides Me there is no God.

And who can proclaim as I do?

Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,

Since I appointed the ancient people.

And the things that are coming and shall come,

Let them show these to them.

Do not fear, nor be afraid;

Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?

You are My witnesses.

Is there a God besides Me?

Indeed there is no other Rock;

I know not one.’ ”

Those who make an image, all of them are useless,

And their precious things shall not profit;

They are their own witnesses;

They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed.

Who would form a god or mold an image

That profits him nothing?

Surely all his companions would be ashamed;

And the workmen, they are mere men.

Let them all be gathered together,

Let them stand up;

Yet they shall fear,

They shall be ashamed together.

The blacksmith with the tongs works one in the coals,

Fashions it with hammers,

And works it with the strength of his arms.

Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails;

He drinks no water and is faint.

The craftsman stretches out his rule,

He marks one out with chalk;

He fashions it with a plane,

He marks it out with the compass,

And makes it like the figure of a man,

According to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house.

He cuts down cedars for himself,

And takes the cypress and the oak;

He secures it for himself among the trees of the forest.

He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it.

Then it shall be for a man to burn,

For he will take some of it and warm himself;

Yes, he kindles it and bakes bread;

Indeed he makes a god and worships it;

He makes it a carved image, and falls down to it.

He burns half of it in the fire;

With this half he eats meat;

He roasts a roast, and is satisfied.

He even warms himself and says,

“Ah! I am warm,

I have seen the fire.”

And the rest of it he makes into a god,

His carved image.

He falls down before it and worships it,

Prays to it and says,

“Deliver me, for you are my god!”

They do not know nor understand;

For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see,

And their hearts, so that they cannot understand.

And no one considers in his heart,

Nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say,

“I have burned half of it in the fire,

Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals;

I have roasted meat and eaten it;

And shall I make the rest of it an abomination?

Shall I fall down before a block of wood?”

He feeds on ashes;

A deceived heart has turned him aside;

And he cannot deliver his soul,

Nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

Isaiah 44:6-20 (NKJV)

As seen above, the prophet Isaiah issued a warning against idolatry. Emphasized were the absurdity of idolatry when compared with the worship of the Lord who is the true God of us all. Simply put, idols are not only unholy, they are worthless and do not respond to the idolaters (who in turn are too blinded to realize the truth in the Holy Bible).

Pay close attention to what our Heavenly Father said: You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. (Exodus 20:4-5 NKJV)

Idolatry is absolutely foolish and it is a violation of God’s Word. The problem with humanity is that when people are unfaithful or got blinded by religion or got consumed by unbelief or other worldly influences, they violate the Lord by making idols in the form of statues, statuettes, art pieces, relics and substances that they dedicate themselves to. They don’t realize it but those idols became their top priority, while God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not. They are too blinded to realize that man-made idols are abominations that actually please Satan because those idols keep them away from the Lord. Learn from the holy scripture below…

The idols of the nations are silver and gold,

The work of men’s hands.

They have mouths, but they do not speak;

Eyes they have, but they do not see;

They have ears, but they do not hear;

Nor is there any breath in their mouths.

Those who make them are like them;

So is everyone who trusts in them.

Psalm 135:15-18 (NKJV)

The making of idols is a centuries-old problem in this world. Here in the Philippines, idolatry is part of the status quo of the people and their culture. Way back in the year 1521, the Spaniards arrived here in the Philippines and brought with them a distorted form of Christianity in the shape of religion along with idolatry, traditions and rituals. Think about it. For the following centuries of Spanish influence, countless generations of Filipinos were trapped by religion, lived in bondage and were really held back from realizing the truth in the Holy Bible and also held back from accepting Jesus as the definitive Lord and Savior.

Along the way, countless statues, statuettes, images and relics of religion were made and a lot of families wasted their money to buy them and place those idols in their homes, not realizing that those are an abomination to the Lord. Imagine for example someone praying to a statue or a statuette of Lord Jesus. This is unfortunate because the idolater does not realize the truth that Lord Jesus NOT in the statue/statuette but is in Heaven and His Spirit is in the hearts of Christians who got born again.

Think about a religion-led church (living with distorted Christianity) organizing a procession or parade with idols displayed from start to the finish in full view of the people around. Such unholy events continue to happen here in the Philippines and it shows that there are still a lot of lost and unsaved souls among the Filipinos still trapped by idolatry and religion.

Think about the other people who rejected our Lord because they believed in the secularists, atheists, Leftists, humanists and other non-believing people, and looked up to them as walking idols not realizing they are unholy and doing exactly what Satan wants them to do. As I am writing this, there are lots of youth here in the Philippines who did not truly believe in the Lord because they decided to believe in the Leftists whose loudmouths became idols to them. Instead of Christianity, the unfortunate youth believed in socialism, homosexuality, Communism, humanism, Marxism, unbelief and other unholy influences. Clearly, they have been fooled by these forces of evil which involve idolatry.

Also think about the other people who have this very casual way of idolizing people in rather worldly ways. People who idolize public figures involved in the world of politics, entertainment, sports, social media, dishonest news media, Internet influence and the like. What these kinds of idolaters do not realize is that there is no such thing as an innocent way of doing idolatry, and the Holy Bible itself – with lots of references about idolatry – is very clear about that.

Thanks to our Lord, true faith-led Christianity was realized worldwide in the 20th century and today, here in the Philippines, there are lots of Christian churches that are dedicated to the Word of God, the direct worship of the Lord, and prioritize faith and the personal relationship with Him. The truth is religion is not essential, faith in the Lord is essential. Religion is not essential, the personal relationship with God is essential. Unbelief will lead to eternal suffering and damnation, being faithful to the Lord will lead to salvation. Idols and idolatry are unholy, the Lord is holy. Reject idolatry for it is clearly written in the holy scripture below…

My cherished friends, keep on running far away from idolatry.

1 Corinthians 10:14 (TPT)

As it is clear the idolatry is foolishness and idols are unholy, we Christians can help our Lord save the lost and unsaved souls around us by praying for them and by preaching the Word of God (verbally and through digital methods) so that people will realize the truth, analyze and make their decisions. We can help the idolaters and all other sinners get saved before it is too late for them. Pay close attention to the words of Lord Jesus below…

“Again, heaven’s kingdom realm is like a fisherman who casts his large net into the lake, catching an assortment of different kinds of fish. When the net was filled, the fishermen hauled it up on the shore, and they all sat down to sort out their catch. They collected the good fish in baskets and threw the bad away. And so it will be at the close of the age. The messengers will come and separate the evil from among the godly and throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will experience great sorrow, pain, and anguish.”

Matthew 13:47-50 (TPT)

The idolaters and other sinners still have time to stop sinning, and come to the Lord who only requires submission from them to become His children. To the idolaters and sinners reading this…you can still save yourselves. You can reject all those idols (both the man-made and the walking) and free yourselves from both foolishness and sin to come to Him, repent to Him and allow Him to reform you fully. It is not too late to get born again. Learn from God’s words in the following holy scriptures below…

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.”

Ezekiel 14:6 (NKJV)

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and bring it about that you walk in My statutes, and are careful and follow My ordinances. And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

Ezekiel 36:25-28 (NASB)

From this point on, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists and secularists fool and abused you? Were you victimized by a religious fanatic? Have you been living as a homosexual? Are you fed up with being promiscuous? You spent an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, paintings and relics? Are you an anarchist, a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists who has had enough with darkness? Are you addicted to something for so long? All of that darkness can end! How? You can save yourselves bysubmitting to the Lord willingly and realize He is the Light! No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from a pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church near you and find your place in the spiritual family.  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly  and continue to be people of the Word. Declare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep on living with holiness under the watch of God. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Why You Must Stay Planted in a Local Church

Welcome back, fellow Christians and the seekers of Lord Jesus! Previously, I wrote about why one must be planted in a local church and why church hopping does not help. For one thing, the Lord always has a plan for each and every one of us who are His children, and that includes getting planted in a local church. It is the Lord we must prioritize when it comes to being planted in a local church and surely He knows best! Let’s start with a few scriptures from the Holy Bible below…

For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.

Psalm 92:13 (NLT)

Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (TPT)

For this article, I will emphasize more as to why you must stay planted in a local church led by the direction of the Holy Spirit. For those who just got planted by the Lord in a local church in recent times, let me discuss more about being planted.

The terms plant, planting, and planted relate to God’s garden in the Book of Genesis. Physically, a garden is composed of many natural things, most notably plants of varied species from the grass to flowers, to the trees. Of course, in order to establish those, planting must be done (in the case of God, His vast power goes beyond what mortal people could do). It should be noted that God placed Adam in His garden with a true purpose and with His trust. Read the holy scripture below…

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.

Genesis 2:8 (NKJV)

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

Genesis 2:15 (NKJV)

In relation to what the Heavenly Father did with Adam and the garden, following His direction on getting yourself planted in a local church always comes with good intentions and benefits for your dedication and worship of Him. The church is not merely a building for worship and certainly not a corrupted religious hierarchy, rather it is a community of God’s faithful children who follow His Word, live by His Word and worship Him in multiple ways. If you are already a child of God (note: read Lord Jesus’ words about getting born again in John 3:3), then you have been anointed and are righteous. That being said, you should have been planted already in a local church (you should have lots of spiritual brothers and sisters by now) and you certainly keep staying planted. Learn from the following scripture below (with a specific line in bold)…

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Psalm 92:12-15 (NKJV)

So why stay planted in a local church that God told you to join before? As seen in the above scripture, those who are planted in a place of worship as well as in a community of His other children (your spiritual siblings) shall flourish. You certainly would not want to miss out on that! You certainly do not want to live a troubled life, live with uncertainty and find yourself falling into poverty.

In addition, staying planted is essential because God knows where you are planted in. As I mentioned in my previous article, doing church hopping (moving from one church to another like a nomad) is a waste and your worship gets reduced into a ritual or a tradition. When God tells you to join a local church and stay there until He announces something new for you, you simply follow Him. There are indeed benefits with staying planted and enduring worship of our Lord with other church members that you will get to know.

While staying planted, you will want to align yourself in something strong as Lord Jesus builds up His church. The church is undoubtedly the safest place in the last days. That being said, it is destiny for you to commit yourself when God calls you to be planted. Learn from the scripture below…

But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

1 Corinthians 12:18 (NKJV)

When you stay planted, you need not worry at all. This is because God knows the best and suitable environment for you. You must allow yourself to accept His planting of you, similar to how certain plants acclimatize in a new location. Anyone who studied plant species, soil, the environment, harvesting and gardening can point out for you what containers, what type of soil and how much water are needed for specific types of plants. Our Heavenly Father knows everything and when He prepares something for you, you only need to have faith in His plan for you. You can easily trust Him and accept His plan or instruction for you without hesitation! Learn from the next scripture below…

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

Knowing that you can always trust the Lord and follow whatever He plans for you, you can always move forward with pure certainty that you will flourish when you stay planted in the local church He wanted you to be part of. To make things clear, flourishing does not happen instantly but you can always believe that God’s timing is always reasonable and His plan or promise for you manifests, the outcome is always positive and worth the wait! Flourishing takes time similar to how plants sprout and grow before producing crops or beautiful leaves or produce pollen, and the like.

That being said, you also have the luxury of time to get to know more of the pastor of your local church, keep tithing at least 10% of what you make, interact and pray more with other members of the church, take part in the local bible study activities or the local prayer groups, etc. As you keep pursuing the Lord while staying planted in the local church, you should have no trouble with being patient. You should not worry at all, nor be distracted by the enemy and his pawns. The local church has God’s presence after all. Learn from the following scripture…

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you.

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NASB)

With the Heavenly Father’s love, care, protection and blessing for you established when you stay planted in the local church He chose for you, you will bear fruit! You will mature more spiritually as you keep pursuing Him and live with His Word! As you grow, you will also learn from Him what unnecessary elements you need to let go of in order to keep progressing more and keep moving forward on the path with Him. Learn from what Lord Jesus said in the scripture below…

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

John 15:1-7 (NKJV)

The very powerful words of our Lord and Savior Jesus in the above scripture clearly emphasize that cutting by God needs to be done which will lead to new growth. Once again, the parallels between Lord Jesus being the true vine and plants of the physical world are clear. Look at plants near your place. By looking closely, you should find plants that have some parts that bore fruit and other parts that did not. With regards to faith, we need to maintain ourselves in accordance to what the Lord requires so we can keep on growing spiritually, become stronger as Christians and become more edified (as we live by His Word). Whatever weak parts or weaknesses you have as a Christian right now, you must tell it to the Lord immediately and let Him help you so you can keep on growing in faith and eventually getting edified! Learn from the scripture below…

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

Ephesians 4:11-12 (NKJV)

The above scripture is in reference to the spiritual gifts from the Lord given to His children whose individual purposes He knows best. Some members of your local church will be chosen by God to become a pastor, or an evangelist or teachers of Christianity in the years to come. As for me, I got born again in 2018 and as I kept pursuing the Lord by absorbing His Word and living by it, I am now a preacher. What further plans God has for me, I will soon find out. Going back to the above scripture, verse 12 had the word “equipping” which, in its Greek form, implies a recovered wholeness as when a broken limb is set and mends, and also a discovered function as when a physical member is properly operating.

Furthermore, take note that the work of ministry is the enterprise of each member of the body of Christ and not the exclusive charge of select leaders. That being said, verses 11 and 12 reveal the task of the gifted leader is to cultivate the individual and corporate ministries of those he or she leads. When it comes to staying planted in the local church the Lord wanted for you, Ephesians 4:11-12 makes clear sense!  

By staying planted in the local church, you will realize your purpose under the Lord through the community that you and many others are part of. This should remind you, once again, that church hopping is not only wasteful, it will also prevent you from realizing your role in the local church. You certainly do not want to miss out on what God has planned for you which can only be realized after you get planted and keep on staying planted in the local church. Ultimately, the Christian is not to be alone and he/she carries the spiritual family role and has responsibilities to live up to under the Lord. Remember, being part of the local church also means you are part of the church of Lord Jesus, God the Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit. Stay planted and progress with the Lord!

From this point on, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the non-believers fool you and abused you? Were you victimized by a religious fanatic? You can save yourselves by submitting to the Lord willingly. No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from our pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church near you and find your place in the spiritual family.  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there.

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close. The Holy Bible is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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