Christian Music Appreciation: Goodness of God

Happy New Year and Happy New Decade to everyone reading this! We are now living in the twenty-twenties (2020s) and for as long as we keep faith in the Lord, He will guide us, love us and take care of us. Keep the faith in the Lord always, no matter how good or how hard your situation is right now. Whatever decision you make in your life, never drift away from the Lord who is generous to offer us opportunities or options that we could use to move forward in life. Before making a decision, keep declaring Jesus as your Lord, Savior, Healer and Victory with a lot of heart. Your decision, by the way, is needed to authorize Heaven here on Earth.

For this new decade’s first Christian Music Appreciation (CMA), I chose the song Goodness of God written by Jenn Johnson, Ed Cash, Jason Ingram, Ben Fielding and Brian Johnson. The song was performed by Bethel Music.

Let’s start with the song and its lyrics now.

Lyrics:

Verse 1

I love You Lord

Oh Your mercy never fails me

All my days

I’ve been held in Your hands

From the moment that I wake up

Until I lay my head

I will sing of the goodness of God

Chorus

All my life You have been faithful

All my life You have been so, so good

With every breath that I am able

I will sing of the goodness of God

Verse 2

I love Your voice

You have led me through the fire

In darkest nights

You are close like no other

I’ve known You as a father

I’ve known You as a friend

I have lived in the goodness of God

Bridge

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give You everything

Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me

The song is about God our Heavenly Father being faithful, loving and caring for us (His children who willingly became faithful to Him). In other words, this song examines the personal relationship between the faithful Christian and God. It is a relationship that is strictly off-limits to everyone else and there is no room for intervention by another person (including the most misguided, self-righteous person blinded by religion, rituals, idolatry and traditions).

More on the title and subject matter of the song, God’s goodness is not only about His generosity but also His enduring generous attitude towards his faithful children. As I learned in church, God is not a tyrant (He punishes the wicked) and in fact He is gentle and caring, and He has plans for His faithful children to prosper. Of course, we the children of God who have been saved must keep on persevering with living in holiness under Him. The blessings from the Lord will come but that does not mean we can be lazy and just wait for blessings to land on us. We still have decisions to make and personal circumstances to handle on our own. As mentioned earlier, keep faith in the Lord, pray to Him and read His Word (the Holy Bible) before making decisions. When things are done properly with our Christianity, God’s goodness will manifest.

God’s goodness is emphasized in the Holy Bible and her are some scriptures for you.

The LORD is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.

Psalm 145: 9 (NKJV)

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16: 34 (NKJV)

So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God.”

Mark 10: 18 (NKJV)

Psalm 145: 9 and 1 Chronicles 16: 34 show that God is full of goodness and mercy. What we Christians can at least do is remain faithful and dedicated to Him, thank Him in return, and give back (tithing) in return.

Mark 10: 18 emphasizes that true goodness is the prerogative of God. However, the man called Jesus “Good Teacher”. If Jesus was only a teacher, then He did not deserve to be called “good”. On the other hand, if He was indeed good, then He was God. The lesson here is that Lord Jesus directed the man to pay attention to God who is the Heavenly Father, the Creator, the Source and the ultimate standard of goodness!

The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.

Nahum 1: 7 (NKJV)

As mentioned earlier, no matter how good or how hard your situation is right now, always keep faith in the Lord. This means keep on trusting Him and endure with Him. God is undeniably the stronghold for those who trust in Him. Because He knows His faithful children who remain trusting and faithful to Him, God will NOT abandon them! This is a powerful look at God’s goodness.

He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

Psalm 33: 5 (NKJV)

Psalm 33: 5 emphasizes that God’s goodness also refers to unfailing love, lovingkindness, mercy and steadfast covenant love. As we the saved Christians live in a very screwed-up world (read: anti-Semitism, Marxism, liberalism, socialism, idolatry, religion, sacraments, murder, crime, abortion, theft, corruption, secularism, atheism and the like), we must persevere living in holiness under the Lord, remain faithful to Him, preaching His Word to others and finish our respective efforts to meet God’s High Call. Our Heavenly Father loves the righteous and He is a just creator!

In closing this, and going back to the song Goodness of God, I encourage you to check out Bethel Music’s album Victory which carries the song. You can check out the album by clicking here.

Goodness of God is more than just a great Christian praise and worship song. It is a very lively reminder about our Heavenly Father’s goodness which cannot be matched by others. All the more reason to stay faithful to Him!

Remember, you don’t really need religion and unbelief. You need faith in the Lord and once that has been established (by repenting, submitting to Him and becoming born again), His goodness will manifest in your life.


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. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. 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: Thank You, Lord

God is our creator, our father and our source. The Lord is our provider (Jehova-Jireh) as it was written in Genesis 22: 14 in the Holy Bible: And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”

Truly the Lord is the ultimate source of opportunities, blessings, progress, prosperity and so much more. God makes His way through the world’s economic systems to provide us with the money and other essential resources we need to survive and grow.

Ultimately, in return to receiving provisions from Him, we the creations of God are meant to thank Him in return deeply.

This brings me to a wonderful Christian praise-and-worship song that was played at our church by the very talented band – Thank You, Lord.

Thank You, Lord is a song from the Hillsong Worship album “God Is In The House” which was released way back in 1996. It was written by Dennis Jernigan. Below are the lyrics.

For all that You’ve done, I will thank You

For all the You’re going to do

For all that You’ve promised

And all that You are

Is all that has carried me through

Jesus I thank You

And I thank You

Thank You Lord

And I thank You

Thank You Lord

Thank You for loving and setting me free

Thank You for giving Your life just for me

How I thank You

Jesus I thank You

Gratefully thank You thank You

It is truly a very beautiful song and a very ideal song to sing when thanking the Lord at church. Beyond the beauty of it, it is important to take note of the key parts of the lyrics.

Here’s a look at the opening section of the lyrics.

For all that You’ve done, I will thank You

For all the You’re going to do

For all that You’ve promised

And all that You are

Is all that has carried me through

Jesus I thank You

That section reminds me of the holy message in Psalm 107: 8-9 (NKJV) which goes as follows:

Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.

In reality, God created us all to worship Him and serve Him while living our personal lives with holiness under Him. He did not create us to be evil. As His creations, we are not meant to be consumed by poverty, darkness and frustration. For as long as we are faithful to the Lord, He will take care of us and provide for our needs in ways that go beyond our understanding while we live in the flesh. God always keeps His promises and we all have to be patient for the promise to be fulfilled because whatever turns out is always worth the wait for it came from Him.

As we are blessed and loved by Him, we should give thanks. Look at this scripture from Psalm 95: 2-3 (NKJV).

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is the great God, And the King above all gods!

God is great and the ultimate provider, the ultimate father and the ultimate justice! He is always the greatest no matter where you live in and no matter how many deities or idols there are in the culture of the place you live in. If we resort to idolatry worshiping people, the false gods or whatever, life will be hollow, sad and filled with darkness. But with God, we will be blessed and taken cared of by Him for as long as we remain faithful to Him. God is real and He is watching us all. All the more reason for us to thank God, give back to Him and honor Him! The above scripture relates well with the song’s line: For all that You’ve done, I will thank You.

Now let’s take a look at the scripture in 1 Chronicles: 34 (NKJV).

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

God is not only the ultimate provider, He is also very generous and kind to the faithful ones. It is a fact that the Lord rewards the faithful abundantly. The mention of His mercy enduring forever is related to His forgiving of those who repented to Him and submitted themselves to His authority. This alone is another great reason we have to be thankful to Him.

Going back to the song Thank You, Lord, you can clearly see now why it is a great and holy song to perform when thanking God for the love, the care and provisions He blessed us with in return for being faithful to Him.

Of course, while you are free to enjoy His blessings, don’t be too focused on yourself (avoid covetousness, greed, selfishness and the like) and never let your wants dominate you. Being blessed, remind yourself to give something back to Him (note: at least 10% of your income through tithing) and become a blessing to others. Without God, none of the blessings would happen and our existence would have been hollow.

In closing this piece, watch below the official Hillsong YouTube video of their 1996 performance of Thank You, Lord.

Enjoy it and always be faithful and thankful to the Lord!


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. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. 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

For other Christian Music Appreciation articles related to Hillsong, click the highlighted below.

You Are Holy

The Potter’s Hand

The Stand

 

 

Your Past Does NOT Define You For As Long As You Believe in God and His Plan For You

Some people out there cannot do anything but be stuck with the past, be panicky, be fearful, be frustrated, be trapped by religion or by unbelief and, even worse, drag other people down with them. It comes to show that we live in a physical world that is screwed up and chaotic. There are so many distractions (examples: politics, movements, entertainment) happening almost all the time people are being separated from Lord Jesus and God the Father.

And then there are others who say that for as long as you made mistakes in the past, you are automatically unworthy of God’s love and care.

That is not true! While it is true that none of us can change the past, we can live on to be better people for as long as we have faith in the Lord, trusting in Him and applying His Word for the rest of our lives. The truth is God wants us to have not just a future but one of peace and hope! Pay close attention to the holy scripture below.

For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, say the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29: 11 (NKJV) 

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Nobody has a perfect life. In varying degrees, people drift away from the Lord, knowingly or unknowingly, because of how society moves and affect its members. What is clear is that the more distant people are from God, the harder and more problematic their lives become.

The more people remain hurt or frustrated about their past – with the mistakes they committed, the bitterness they carried towards others, living with the mindset that there is no hope for divine change – the more they suffer.

I myself had frustrations over my past. I had religion which made my life directionless and frustrating. Later I lived with unbelief and even became antagonistic towards the Lord. Eventually, I met a very special friend who invited me to her church and there I saw the light from the Lord. A short time later, I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, repented to Him, received the Holy Spirit and became Born Again. My faith in the Lord is stronger than ever before and my true purpose as a child of God has been realized and I now have a true personal relationship with Him. Christian Living, not religion, is my path for the rest of my life.

My past cannot be changed nor could be erased. My sins, however, were washed away by the Lord because forgiveness from Him is true and I repented to Him plus I have forgiven others who hurt me. Forgiveness works three ways: be forgiven, forgive others and forgive yourself.

PART 1 – Forgiveness in the Holy Bible

Forgiveness from the Lord is real. Forgiveness is an act of kindness that helps people get healed under God’s light. Forgiveness also comes with responsibilities that are part of living with holiness afterwards. Forgiveness is not to be taken lightly and does not serve as a license to commit sin repeatedly with the expectation that you will be forgiven again. To be forgiven requires admitting our sins and there is no point of hiding them from the Lord who can see through us all.

For You, Lord, are good and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Psalm 86: 5 (NKJV)

But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent – not to be severe. This punishment which was afflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore, I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven the one for your sakes in the presence of Christ,

2 Corinthians 2: 5-10 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

1 John 1: 9-10 (NKJV)

Within the Model Prayer cited by Lord Jesus (Matthew 6: 5-15) are key references on forgiveness.

And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.

Matthew 6: 12 (NKJV)

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Matthew 6: 14-15 (NKJV)

Receiving forgiveness from the Lord should be valued deeply and remind you to change yourself for the better and refrain from committing sin again. As mentioned above, forgiveness is not a license nor an opportunity to commit sin again and again expecting to be forgiven again and again. Sin no more after being forgiven by Him, leave your past behind and move forward with holiness and strong faith (not religion) in Him. As such, there is a need to become Born Again.

Remember that God is a just creator. Clearly it means that sin, wickedness and evil have no place in His Kingdom. Evildoers will not go unpunished under the watch of God. As such, if you are wicked, constantly sinning, doing evil and you intend to abuse the Lord’s forgiveness thinking you can fool Him and sneak by Him to enter His Kingdom, then you will fail and you will be punished by Him in due time. Did your religious leader or a friend blinded with unbelief fool you? Read the holy scriptures below.

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness. Nor shall evil dwell with You.

Psalm 5: 4 (NKJV)

Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.

Psalm 34: 21 (NKJV)

The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth. The LORD laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword And have bent their bow, To cast down the poor and needy, To slay those who are of upright conduct. Their sword shall enter their own heart, And their bows shall be broken. A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, But the LORD upholds the righteous. The LORD knows the days of the upright, And their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. But the wicked shall perish; and the enemies of the LORD, Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish.

Psalm 37: 12-20 (NKJV)

PART 2 – Letting Go and Moving Forward

It is naturally difficult to let go of the past, especially the errors you made, the acts of foolishness, being shortsighted and the like. This is why there is a need to become Born Again (read Jesus’ words in John 3: 3), repent to the Lord to receive His forgiveness and allow yourself to be led by Him (and not by the people and society around you).

Take note of this holy scripture.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12: 2 (NKJV)

Reforming yourself to be better requires the Lord’s involvement. You cannot rely on any single person or an object or any man-made inspiration to better yourself. Do not even think about engaging in idolatry (looking up to someone or something followed by worship) because that is a sin (refer to Colossians 3: 5, Isaiah 45: 20, 1 Corinthians 10: 7, and 1 John 5: 21). To change for good requires looking up to the Lord, worshiping Him, praising Him, trusting Him and glorifying Him. Once you achieve those, then holiness, positive reform and blessings will come to you. This is how you can move forward from your past! I know, because it happened to me.

As you pursue holiness, never ever fall for the constant lie that your past mistakes or disappointments disqualify you on your future under the Lord. Satan, who has been defeated long ago when Jesus redeemed humanity, continues to fool and deceive people with that lie. Satan, whose evil values influenced religious teachings and practices (note: idolatry is just one of them), does not want you to know that hope from the Lord exists. Satan does not want you to achieve salvation under the Lord who truly cares and loves us, and is merciful. Satan wants you to be stuck in this chaotic world we live in and he wants you to be apart from God and Jesus (and the enemy prefers to manipulate you to be rebellious, defiant and unholy). Satan does not want you to know the truth from the following holy scriptures – including Lord Jesus’ own words in John 16: 33 and John 3: 16-18.

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

2 Corinthians 7: 10 (NKJV)

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147: 3 (NKJV)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

John 16: 33 (NKJV)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have an everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3: 16-18 (NKJV)

Clearly, to move forward from your painful past, you need to be Born Again and no less than Jesus Himself declared it.

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

John 3: 3 (NKJV)

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”

John 3: 5-7 (NKJV)

Once you are Born Again, you become a new creation under the Lord, a true child of God.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5: 17 (NKJV)

For as long as you are willing to submit yourself to God and His Son Jesus, you can reform yourself to be better, holier and be more blessed than ever before. By becoming Born Again, you can break the chains of the past that made you a prisoner of darkness, sadness and frustration. I myself have gone through these and left the past behind me as I persevere under the Lord. He has a High Call for me to live up to and a plan for me to follow. You will realize these and relate with these once you become Born Again.

Christianity is not about religion at all! It is about having an established personal relationship with God and living with holiness with the Holy Spirit in you and the teachings of Jesus always present in your mind. The Holy Bible – God’s Word – is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it. You will learn eventually that you will not only understand the Bible but also apply it on your life (read: living with holiness).

Don’t let your past define you and trap you. Never let religion and unbelief dominate you. Move forward with Father God and Lord Jesus! Follow the Lord’s plan for you!

Have faith in the Lord and praise Him always!


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. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. 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

Idolaters Will Not Inherit The Kingdom of God Unless They Repent, Disregard Their Idols and Submit To Him Willingly

I am a faithful Christian who got saved by Jesus through His Holy Instrument just over a year ago. I am no longer a prisoner of religion and no longer am I a lost soul. I am free to worship Father God and His Son Jesus. I left behind the useless acts of worshipping people, worshiping man-made objects, following rituals (that have little or nothing to do with the Holy Bible) and doing repetitive prayers.

Truly, the Christian life specifically requires reading the Holy Bible and applying its lessons in life, praising the Lord, seeking and following His plan which was written even before the beginning of time.

We live in a screwed-up world. A world so divisive, there are many people who drifted so far away from the Lord and the sad news is that those people do not even realize they are spiritually lost. I’m not just talking about the non-believers but also the people who are trapped by religion.

Religion is mean and frustrating. It comes with a whole bunch of rules, traditions and rituals that truly hinder a person from establishing true faith and a true relationship with the Lord. Among the many hindrances that come with religion is idolatry.

Idolatry, in its simplest form, is the act of worshiping an idol. In the context of the Holy Bible, idolatry is the worship of an image or a created object or someone (a person). Truth behold, idolatry is a sin and no matter what religious leader would say to defend it, it is truly a sin and there is no exception for it!

The people who commit idolatry are idolaters. You worship a picture or a statue or a person you find charming? That makes you an idolater and also a sinner in the eyes of God whom we should all be worshiping directly and trust fully. Consider the following scripture.

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

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

Now this is not the first time I discussed how idols hinder people from establishing faith and trust in the Lord. The purpose of this article is to go even deeper about idols and why they are not only worthless but are elements that lead to sin.

In this messy world we live in, there are still many people who are trapped by religion and its rituals and that means they believe that God is not approachable. These unfortunate people have been misled and oriented by their religious leaders into believing that worshiping idol (be it a handcrafted object or an image or a person who is supposedly holy) is necessary to connect with the Lord. It’s simply not true!

The worshiping of a statue, or a painting or some man-made object is unnecessary. And then there is the religion-based belief imposed on people that they should see God in their worship leader which requires them to worship that particular mortal person just to connect to the Lord. This one is also unnecessary and not true.

The truth is God is approachable and He does not require believers to worship an object nor a person just to connect to Him. Worshiping the Lord should be direct (with the guidance of a worship leader who does NOT require worship of him) and free from the obstruction of idolatry!

Apart from worshiping the Lord, people (whether they trapped by religion or unbelief) are vulnerable because they easily get charmed by people whom they find charismatic, heroic and capable of making reforms happen for their benefit. A person trapped by religion who thinks he’s worshiping God through idols, can always fall for the charm of another person whom he perceives to be a carrier of hope and change that would feed his selfish desire. Above it all, these acts of idolatry make one a sinner in the eyes of the Lord!

If you are someone who had to look up to idols to worship God, be aware that you’ve been moving down the wrong path all this time. Learn from the following scriptures from the Holy Bible.

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)

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)

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

Leviticus 19: 4 (NKJV)

Assemble yourselves and come; Draw near together, You who have escaped from the nations. They have no knowledge, Who carry the wood of their carved image, And pray to a god that cannot save.

Isaiah 45: 20 (NKJV)

Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy.

Jonah 2: 8 (NKJV)

See? The holy scriptures I just shared above are clear and definitive. We don’t need idols at all! We don’t need to do any idolatry! We don’t need to worship people to connect to God who is truly approachable and we are truly free to not only worship Him directly but also repent to Him directly, thank Him directly and converse with Him directly. We don’t need those statues, statuettes, paintings, drawings, and all those other religious ornaments that are truly unholy.

On the topic of idols, an idol is not limited just to man-made objects, images and people. Even things like alcohol, drugs, sex, a relationship, a vehicle, a computer, a smartphone, a very immersive video game or computer software, a highly interactive artificial intelligence and a home can also become idols in the sense that they will take you away from the Lord. You prioritize playing a very immersive video game like Fallout 4 (where you create a character and literally live a 2nd life within the game) over praying to the Lord and reading the Holy Bible? That is offensive already to Him. As God Himself said, He is indeed a jealous God and that means we must prioritize Him with our time and attention!

To understand this, take time to read this scripture.

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah; and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers. However I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying ‘Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate!’ But they did not listen tor incline to their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense to other gods. So My fury and My anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as it is this day.”

Jeremiah 44: 2-6 (NKJV)

Those were God’s words above. That was His anger against His own people because even though His prophets did their best, the people refused to listen and ultimately, they disobeyed God. God’s wrath is not to be taken lightly and we can all avoid it by destroying the idols! No more worshipping objects and people! No more spending ourselves on vices or hobbies that take us apart from the Lord! We need to reform ourselves, change our lifestyles, repent to God for the idolatry committed and then dedicate ourselves to Him.

Along the way, there is the need for each and everyone of us to be born again. To learn about becoming born again, read the words of Jesus in John 3: 3 and follow the subsequent verses. Take note that in order to receive the Holy Spirit from the Lord and become a new creation, becoming born again is essential! You can also refer to the prayer on becoming born again at the end of my previous article about trusting God and disregarding idols.

So it is clear once again that we do not need religion, we don’t need idols and we don’t need rituals. Idols are clearly unholy! What we need is faith and a relationship with the Lord who is truly approachable. To be born again, one must willingly accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Along the way, reading the Holy Bible and applying its lessons on our respective lives is essential.

The path with the Lord is clear! Idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God. The saved souls will.


Thank you for reading. If you find this Christianity article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. 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

My Observations: Participants Educated at Youth Forum in BF Homes

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A youth group discussion.

For the entire day of August 31, over sixty youth from varied developing communities of Barangay BF Homes had fun, worked together and got educated during the Youth Forum (full title: Edukasyon Para sa Lahat – Kaeskwela Youth Forum) held at the Phase 1 gym along Pilar Banzon street, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City.

Under the watch of Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Rocel Espino (in-charge of the education committee), youth from Masville, Sampaloc and a few other developing communities formed seven groups and their respective members not only bonded but also learned new things. For fun, they took part in a series of games and contests.

In the afternoon, each group took on the challenge of getting their members together to discuss what issues they see affect the youth of their generation today, express what can be done to not only survive and progress, and express their suggestions on how the local authority – namely Barangay BF Homes – can help them through service.

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Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Rocel Espino talks to the youth.

During her address to the youth, Kagawad Espino announced that the Barangay BF Homes Youth Camp is already being prepared and soon they will announce when and where exactly it will be held. Espino told me that the Youth Forum served as a prelude to the Youth Camp.

“Why are we doing these activities? We have objectives set. While we (the barangay) cannot always build the future for the youth, we can help the youth develop ways to prepare themselves for the future,” said the Kagawad during her address. “Local youth can learn a lot to move forward through the activities organized by the barangay.”

During the group presentation of the Youth Forum, common issues that affect youth include Internet addiction, social media obsession, drugs, avoiding or cutting classes, depression, obsession with video games and computer games, bullying, peer pressure, gender confusion due to LGBTQ propaganda, exposure to sensuality and the like.

As I watched the groups express themselves, I noticed how much of an impact social media had on the youth. Through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, young people of today are so exposed to lots of random forms of information or images, videos and sounds which are clearly distracting to them. Some youth participants admitted they had trouble resisting social media use while others said they experienced temptations while online.

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Youth brainstormed together by group.

Compared to what I witnessed more than twenty years ago (before social media was realized), the new issues that affected the youth was the rise of Internet access as well as the rise of computer and video games. Back in those old days, there were lots of concerns and complaints from parents/guardians stressing that digital games and Internet addiction made educating and nurturing their children harder. There was also a wave of concern that young people will become violent and obsessive with digital content.

Going back even further into the past – specifically just before Internet access became available here in the Philippines – sexual and mature or violent content shown in movie theaters, television and print media were the hot issues related to the development of young people.

By today’s standards, those old issues seem to pale in comparison to the wide and powerful influence social media has on the current generation of youth who now enjoy better access to Internet due to the availability of cheap smartphones and the numerous WiFi hot spots around the communities. Such a high number of opportunities to connect online means more exposure to videos, images, verbal expressions that could influence users and even impact their behavior. Even worse, there could be potential victims by hackers among these young users. Imagine yourself being the parent of these youth.

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The young people brainstorming as observed by Kagawad Espino.
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A youth signs at a tarpaulin confirming his part as a participant.

Going back to the Youth Forum, the event ended with a positive and promising note. I noticed several participants were already excited about the upcoming Youth Camp which could attract a potential five hundred participants. What Kagawad Espino told me was significant.

“Today’s event is very successful as it has been very challenging to reach out and convince these kids to decide to participate. It was also challenging to engage them and maintain their attention all throughout. Regardless, the fact that they attended until five o’clock proves the success,” Espino said. “This Youth Forum was the result of requests by the parents of these youth and this serves as a prelude to this year’s Youth Camp. We received feedback from parents who noticed that youth seem disturbed and they requested for another Youth Camp to be held.”

Supported by Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez, the August 31 Youth Forum was the latest youth-related achievement of Barangay BF Homes through the committee headed by Kagawad Espino. Prior to it, the Barangay BF Homes edition of the Linggo ng Kabataan 2019 celebration organized by the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) became a major success attracting more than three hundred (300+) youth. Kagawad Espino congratulated the BFSK during her visit at the August 17 Linggo ng Kabataan 2019 event.

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More youth signed on.
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A large group shot in front of photographers.

For updates regarding the youth activities and developments of Barangay BF Homes, come back here soon.

While waiting, you can read my exclusive interview with BFSK chairwoman Mariel Angela Tumang here, my exclusive scoop on BFSK’s campaign against youth suicide here and my exclusive interview of BFSK Kagawad Jerry Dalmero here.

Let me end this piece with this scripture from the Holy Bible.

The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men,

To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.

Psalm 14: 2 (NKJV)


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. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. 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: I Need You More

We all need the Lord. We all need God and His Son Jesus. After all, the Lord created us and we were granted dominion over the earth as written in Genesis 1: 26 in the Holy Bible. If course, we humans living in the flesh who have the power to shape the world we live in can never achieve true happiness, goodness and holiness without Him.

As written in Psalm 115: 16, the heavens belong to the Lord while He gave the Lord to us. Man was created to rule over the earth in communion and fellowship with the Lord. To rule the earth without God is meaningless and will only lead to chaos, disatisfaction, frustration, sadness and even to the traps set by the devil.

All the more reason we need the Lord!

This brings me to another beautiful and very holy song. A song worth of praising the Lord with. A song that will move your inner feelings, especially when you have the Holy Spirit in your heart as a result of accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior.

That song is I Need You More, written by Kim Walker-Smith.

Below are the lyrics for you all.

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

More than the air I breathe, more than the song I sing

More than the next heartbeat, more than anything.

And lord, as this time goes by, I’ll be by your side

Cause I never want to go back to my old life.

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

More than the air I breathe, more than the song I sing

More than the next heartbeat, more than anything.

And lord, as this time goes by, I’ll be by your side

Cause I never want to go back to my old life.

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

[x2:]

We give you the highest praise,

We give you the highest praise,

We give you the highest praise

We give you the highest praise,

We give you the highest praise,

We give you the highest praise

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

More than the air I breathe, more than the song I sing

More than the next heartbeat, more than anything.

As a Born Again, I strongly relate with the song. I know what it is like to be a lost soul and I assure you readers that having no faith in the Lord is simply wrong and makes life empty, even makes a person more vulnerable to temptations and wickedness.

Thanks to my dearest friend in life, I got invited to a holy seminar at her church. So there I was, a non-believer and lost soul, entering the church surrounded by lots of people who are faithful to the Lord. I just behaved myself and observed the proceedings and worship. My dearest friend gave me her old bible. After witnessing the playing of Christian worship music, the pastor went to the podium and started preaching with lessons from the Holy Bible. As I listened, I started to see the light from what turned out to be God’s kingdom.

It was the Lord’s call for me to return to Him. That holy seminar had a deep impact on me personally and just a few days later, I realized…..I need the Lord! I realized that I need to restore my faith in Jesus and God the Father. My life back then was hollow and limited only to just surviving financially and focusing only on making ends meet without even aiming to better myself and rise. I realized that I could never improve myself and move forward a lot without the Lord. So shortly after realizing I need the Lord, I believed in Jesus again, repented and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior and strive to be faithful to Him for the rest of my life. That was when I became Born Again, a saved soul and entered the Kingdom of Light. I have been very blessed by Him too and now I know that He has a plan for me (created even before I got created) that I must follow to meet His High Call.

When it comes to the lyrics of I Need You More, the following lines resonated with me a lot:

And lord, as this time goes by, I’ll be by your side

Cause I never want to go back to my old life.

Those lyrics only reminded me of my renewal under God and Jesus. Becoming Born Again is truly the greatest miracle, the greatest change and the greatest moment in my whole life. For the Lord saved my soul through the help of my dearest friend (the Lord’s Holy Instrument), I will forever be faithful to Him and as a new creation my true purpose has been realized.

Having been born again, I will never go back to my old life. The old life that includes being trapped by religion and being treated like a prisoner, losing faith due to religion and living a very hollow life as a non-believer. Those days are over and nobody will fool me nor manipulate me to go back to my old life. As a Christian who received the Holy Spirit, got reformed and blessed a lot, I dedicate myself to the Lord. Reading the Holy Bible, understanding its lessons deeply, praying in tongues, spreading my faith and doing what I can to save the unsaved souls are now normal to me.

The truth is undeniable that we all need the Lord! If you have not been born again, then you must do it. Read John 3: 3 as well as the subsequent verses. Learn from the words of Jesus: Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and He will forgive you, accept you, reform you and you will realize your definitive purpose in life. True reform happens under the care of Jesus and God’s grace is something we can receive.

You will need the Lord even though you may not realize it now. Perhaps local society and occupations made you too busy and wore you down. You became so exhausted with duty and varied appointments, you ran out of energy to even reflect upon yourself and your faith. I encourage you to listen to I Need You Lord and check out the following lyrics.

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

We all need the Lord! We cannot deny that and we cannot ignore God and Jesus! If you have been lost and frustrated, it is not too late to be born again to be with Jesus and become part of the Kingdom of Light.


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. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. 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: The Heart of Worship (June 30, 2019)

To truly connect to God and His Son Jesus (our Lord and Savior), one must have a genuine heart of worship and deep faith. In this piece, let me discuss with you the beautiful and holy Christian worship song The Heart of Worship (written by Matt Redman) which was part of the album Intimacy.

Below are the lyrics for your reference.

+++++

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless your heart
I’ll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
King of endless worth
No one could express
How much you deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is yours
Every single breath
I’ll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, lord, for the thing I’ve made it
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m coming back to the heart of worship,
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, lord, for the thing I’ve made it
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
++++++++
Clearly faith is meant to be done by the heart and not by the mind. There are verses in the Holy Bible about the heart of worship. Here are some for your reflection and enlightenment.
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore. (Psalm 86: 12)
speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5: 19-20)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 16: 3)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; (Proverbs 3: 5)

 

And Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (Matthew 22: 37)

Going back to The Heart of Worship, in my view the song emphasizes a person’s return to the Lord Jesus Christ with the will to worship Him. Lines like I’m coming back to the heart of worship, And it’s all about you, It’s all about you, Jesus, make this clear. It also acknowledges that the Lord looks into a person’s heart to determine if it is a heart of worship or not. In other words, there is no hiding on the part of people from the Lord.

This brings me to the lesson that worship is not limited in the form of words about a promise to worship but rather it is about dedication to worship the Lord, to trust in Him, to thank Him for His blessings, love and care, and live life with continued faith in Him. In short, worshiping the Lord is an essential part of genuine Christian living.

The song and the above bible verses strongly resonate with me for I had gone through the frustrations of religion-based living, descended into living in darkness (caused by religion), became a lost soul (for years I stopped believing in God and Jesus) before finding my way back to Lord by accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Being Born Again and being part of the Kingdom of Light, I received the Holy Spirit in my heart and I worshiped the Lord a lot more than my entire old life. My faith, my trust and my dedication to the Lord are stronger than ever before. This is my experience about living with a heart of worship.

It is indeed true that religion is not essential because the personal relationship with God matters more which requires faith (certainly not religion). As such, you need to be born again and I encourage you to read John 3: 3-7 in the Holy Bible.

Do not forget that you should only worship the Lord. Avoid worshiping idols, both living and non-living. Don’t worship people. For true Christian living, your heart of worship and faith are truly meant for the Lord only.


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. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. 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