New Year Message (2022)

Happy New Year to all of you my readers wherever you are! The year is now twenty twenty-two (2022). During the past year, the pandemic of COVID-19 still impacted everyone around the world but thanks to our Lord, breakthroughs happened and humanity (no matter how divided) moved on.

2021 is notable with the release of COVID-19 vaccines which were injected into many people globally and along the way there were signs of economic growth confirming socio-economic recovery is real and going on right now. Along the way, more venues of churches reopened and even though there were specific limits on capacity, more people returned to those said venues to worship God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit together. As I mentioned last year, no matter what happens, we must never lose faith in the Lord. It is only He who can protect us, lift us up, restore us and bless us. Also do not forget to thank God for the blessings and breakthroughs that happened in your lives. With God, nothing is impossible!

For this website, which has lasted almost three years now, I am delighted to share to you all that for the calendar year of 2021, www.CarloCarrasco.com registered around 285,000 hits (page views) and was visited by more than 205,000 users! Both figures are improvements over the 2020 numbers! More on the 2021 website hits, the single biggest source among nations is my native Philippines with more than 104,000 followed by India with over 76,000, Brazil with almost 16,000, the United States with more than 12,000 and Egypt with over 11,000. In terms of lifetime statistics (since January 4, 2019), this website has registered more than 645,000 hits worldwide!

2021 is also the record year of publishing new posts through this website with 594 which had a mix of faith articles, Christian Music Appreciation pieces, retro entertainment reviews, press releases, news-related pieces and more. I should state that two new series of articles composed of “Better than Streaming” and “I Love Israel” were notable additions not just for the variety of posts of this website but also for the enlightenment of the readers.

Considering all the website achievements and other blessings of 2021, I am very thankful to the Lord and I also declare my deep thanks to you my readers, to my business partners who kept trusting me and my publishing outfit, to the stakeholders among the different units of authority (from local government units to the homeowners associations), to the pastors and preachers of different churches of Lord Jesus, to the special people and organizations who agreed to be featured on my website in exclusive articles, and to others who trusted me.

In ending this piece, I invite all of you to join me in praying to our Lord with the following holy scriptures from the Bible. Let us all look forward to the new year living on with unwavering faith in the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit!

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, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NASB)

The Lord is my shepherd,

I will not be in need.

He lets me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

For the sake of His name.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil, for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You have anointed my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

Certainly goodness and faithfulness will follow me all the days of my life,

And my dwelling will be in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23:1-6 (NASB)

Delight yourself also in the Lord,

And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4 (NKJV)

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 15:7 (NKJV)

Once again, Happy New Year to all of you and always remember that you are loved by the Lord!

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Note: Cover photo of this article was sourced from Parade.com

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/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Rejoice with Lord Jesus this Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of you readers and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! It is Christmas time once again and that only means that we must keep honoring, thanking, remembering and praising Jesus for He is our Lord and Savior sent by the Heavenly Father.

Previously I blogged that Christmas has always been about Lord Jesus and this new faith piece I am writing is a follow-up to that. In this very divided and screwed-up world we live in, it is simply too easy for people to celebrate Christmas without prioritizing Lord Jesus at all. There are some, knowingly or unknowingly, who celebrate while forgetting or even disregarding Lord Jesus. And there are some who celebrate Christmas in a rather covetous manner, making material gains the top priority of the season instead of prioritizing the Lord. There are also others who celebrate Christmas without Lord Jesus as they were influenced by the works of entertainers who organized or published these so-called Christmas specials with unholy influences. In many cultures around the world, the fictional Santa Claus became the figure of the season instead of the Lord Himself. Christmas is to be celebrated with Lord Jesus first and foremost! To rejoice with Lord Jesus every Christmas season is the definitive way of celebrating the very season!

To understand the truth that Lord Jesus is the definitive reason of Christmas, let’s go to the Holy Bible with the following holy scriptures below…

Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him;

All nations shall serve Him.

Psalm 72:11 (NKJV)

For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)

Listen! A virgin will be pregnant, she will give birth to a Son, and he will be known as “Emmanuel,” which means in Hebrew, “God became one of us.”

Matthew 1:23 (TPT)

During the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent from God’s presence to an unmarried girl named Mary, living in Nazareth, a village in Galilee. She was engaged to a man named Joseph, a true descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Rejoice, beloved young woman, for the Lord is with you and you are anointed with great favor.”

Mary was deeply troubled over the words of the angel and bewildered over what this may mean for her. But the angel reassured her, saying, “Do not yield to your fear, Mary, for the Lord has found delight in you and has chosen to surprise you with a wonderful gift. You will become pregnant with a baby boy, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be supreme and will be known as the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will enthrone him as King on the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign as King of Israel forever, and his reign will have no limit.”

Mary said, “But how could this happen? I am still a virgin!”

Gabriel answered, “The Spirit of Holiness will fall upon you and almighty God will spread his shadow of power over you in a cloud of glory! This is why the child born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your aged aunt, Elizabeth, has also become pregnant with a son. The ‘barren one’ is now in her sixth month. Not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God!”

Then Mary responded, saying, “Yes! I will be a mother for the Lord! As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” And the angel left her.

Luke 1:26-38 (TPT)

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2:7 (ESV)

As seen above, the prophecy of the birth of Lord Jesus was recorded in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. Psalm 72:11 and Isaiah 9:6 are just a few of many references to His birth. God our creator and Heavenly Father already made a plan to save all souls and bring to them peace, wisdom, love and salvation. The prophecy of Jesus’ birth continued in the New Testament and Matthew 1:23 is just one recorded reference.

As recorded in Luke 1:26-38, an angel from God came to Mary and told her she was anointed her with great favor and that she will be pregnant with none other than the Heavenly Father’s own son Jesus. Out of faith, Mary overcame the initial uncertainty (her being a virgin) and accepted her destiny to be God’s instrument on taking care of Jesus whose birth was nearing. Think about that very carefully! Imagine yourselves being approached by God and knowing how faithful you are to Him, He would approach you and trust you to follow His command and that His plans for you are always good. That being said, doubts and fear should easily be set aside to follow God’s command and be a part of His plan manifesting here on Earth. Faith in the Lord truly makes tremendous, positive changes happen! To serve the Lord with deep faith in Him is always an honor!

As recorded in Luke 2:7, Mary, who was accompanied by her husband Joseph, gave birth to the infant Jesus even without the privacy and comfort of an inn. People back then also had to live under the shadow of uncertainty and death in connection to the rules of the time. No matter how difficult their situation was, the birth of our Lord happened! There was no luck nor coincidence involved at all! The birth of Lord Jesus happened according to God’s plan! It was destiny realized with God’s favor!

More on the birth of Lord Jesus and His being the reason of Christmas, pay close attention to the following holy scriptures below…

Jesus was born in Bethlehem near Jerusalem during the reign of King Herod. After Jesus’ birth a group of spiritual priests from the East came to Jerusalem and inquired of the people, “Where is the child who is born king of the Jewish people? We observed his star rising in the sky and we’ve come to bow before him in worship.”

King Herod was shaken to the core when he heard this, and not only he, but all of Jerusalem was disturbed when they heard this news. So he called a meeting of the Jewish ruling priests and religious scholars, demanding that they tell him where the promised Messiah was prophesied to be born.

“He will be born in Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,” they told him. “Because the prophecy states:

And you, little Bethlehem,

are not insignificant among the clans of Judah,

for out of you will emerge

the Shepherd-King of my people Israel!”

Then Herod secretly summoned the spiritual priests from the East to ascertain the exact time the star first appeared. 8 And he told them, “Now go to Bethlehem and carefully look there for the child, and when you’ve found him, report to me so that I can go and bow down and worship him too.”

And on their way to Bethlehem, the same star they had seen in the East suddenly reappeared! Amazed, they watched as it went ahead of them and stopped directly over the place where the child was. And when they saw the star, they were so ecstatic that they shouted and celebrated with unrestrained joy. When they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, they fell to the ground at his feet and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests full of gifts and presented him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Afterward they returned to their own country by another route because God had warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod.

Matthew 2:1-12 (TPT)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16 (NKJV)

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (NLT)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (ESV)

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (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)

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV)

With this in mind, we constantly pray that our God will empower you to live worthy of all that he has invited you to experience. And we pray that by his power all the pleasures of goodness and all works inspired by faith would fill you completely. By doing this the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you will be glorified in him, by the marvelous grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (TPT)

As Christians and children of God, we must always remember and live with the truth that our Lord and Savior Jesus is truly the reason for Christmas. No matter how savage or uncertain this world is right now, we must never lose faith in the Lord and it is only the Lord who can lift us up when we fall down. It is only He who can restore us, bless us and pave the way for us. The birth of Jesus has always been a key part of God’s plan for us all! The Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit love us all and we simply have to do our parts and responsibilities as members of the Body of Christ and the spiritual family (God’s family). That being said, celebrating Christmas with our Lord Jesus is the true way of celebrating the season.

From this point on, I would like to reach out to all 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 persecuting Israel while supporting the terrorist-sponsored Palestinians and the wicked BDS movement? Have you been living as a homosexual or as a transgendered person? Are you still prioritizing addictions to sex, drugs and other inappropriate elements over the Lord ? Have you been causing trouble as a social justice warrior (SJW)? Did you spend an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, images, people and relics? Have you been condemning churches and people of faith for a long time now? 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? Have been a Planned Parenthood supporter or activist? Did you kill someone and have been living so long with the guilt? Have been practicing sorcery and witchcraft? 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 LightGlorify only the Lord!

There is 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 my first 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 in reference to what I published here and here. 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 at all. 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 Christmas music videos for your engagement and immersion. Merry Christmas to all of you and always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this Christian article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing the love of Christ can make a tremendously positive difference with 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/

COVID-19 Crisis: Increased consumer traffic and economic activities seen in Muntinlupa City on first day of Alert Level 3

Since Metro Manila officially shifted into Alert Level 3 this past Saturday, there was indeed an increase of the number of people who visited the restaurants, the shopping malls and other places in the City of Muntinlupa which is the result of the easing of restrictions. What the Manila Bulletin reported, I myself confirm it is true. That being said, the local food and beverage businesses now have a better chance to recover as there are more people of Muntinlupa who got fully vaccinated and the relaxed rules on their operations provided a lot more freedom.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin report. Some parts in boldface…

There was an increase in the number of people in restaurants, malls and parks in Muntinlupa on Oct. 16, the first day of the implementation of Alert Level 3 in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) downgraded the alert level in NCR from 4 to 3, which took effect on Oct. 16 and will last on Oct. 31.

Under Alert Level 3, more business establishments and activities are allowed to operate including cinemas.

According to Muntinlupa police chief, Col. Melecio Buslig, because of the downgraded alert level in Muntinlupa, there was an “abrupt increase” in individuals eating in dine-in restaurants and going to malls, parks, and other places of convergence.

He also said there was an increase in public and private vehicles on major thoroughfares, and an increase in the number of commuters in transport terminals.

Heavy traffic was observed from Muntinlupa to Binan, Laguna from Saturday afternoon to evening as more vehicles were on the road.

Shopping malls in Muntinlupa adjusted their operating hours due to the new alert level. SM Center Muntinlupa now operates from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Starmall Alabang announced that until Oct. 31, its mall hours are from 9 a.m. to 8 a.m. from Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every Friday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Saturday to Sunday.

Customers aged 18 to 65 years old only are allowed in the mall. Supermarket, drug stores, convenience stores, banks, courier services, money changer & remittance services, ATM centers, hardware & home essentials are open. Restaurants & food establishments are open for al fresco dining at 50% capacity and indoor dining at 30% capacity for fully vaccinated customers only. They are also open for pick-up, takeout and delivery,” it said.

The mall added that “pet shops, book stores, IT shops, toy stores, fashion and retail shops are open. Beauty salons, barber shops, and nail spas are open at 50% capacity if conducted outdoor and at 30% indoor capacity for fully vaccinated customers only. Recreational venues such as arcades, bowling alleys, cinemas, and similar venues are open at 30% capacity for fully vaccinated customers only.

In relation to the above news report, I can confirm that during my visit at Molito here in Alabang on Saturday I saw more people eating outdoors at a few restaurants I passed by and there was a long line of customers at a certain Japanese restaurant nearby. During my visit at Festival Mall on Sunday (2nd day of Alert Level 3) in the late morning, I noticed the crowd of people was light (note: the mall opened at 11AM) but I noticed more customers flocking to the restaurants and coffee shops than before. For the newcomers reading this, to dine in or seat in a food/beverage joint, you must be fully vaccinated with evidence shown and you must use the StaySafe.ph app for online contact tracing. With a lot more people vaccinated fully (2 doses of vaccines of different brands or with the single dose of the Janssen vaccine) already, there is a huge market of customers for the food/beverage joints to cater to indoors. Alert Level 3 also paves the way for people to worship the Lord at church venues both indoors and outdoors.

Alert Level 3 is still far away from achieving pre-pandemic conditions but it sure is much better not only for businesses but also for the people who have gotten tired of the restrictions of Alert Level 4, the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and the dreaded enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Alert Level 3 is a positive development and we should thank our Lord and glorify Him for the breakthrough as it is a crucial step towards normalcy and socio-economic recovery!

Residents of Muntinlupa City who remain unregistered and unvaccinated should make a move to get registered by learning the ways to do it. Those who are prepared (with personal information available) and willing to go through online registration for the free vaccines in Muntinlupa are encouraged to click https://vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac/

Muntinlupa minors may register online through the city’s COVID-19 vaccination registration system at www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac and choose category “C – Rest of Population.”

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what do you think about this latest local development?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Planetshakers’ newest album REVIVAL and latest music videos now available!

Welcome back, my fellow Christians, music enthusiasts and all those who seek the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit! There is something new and exciting to help you keep worshiping the Lord with and that is none other than the brand-new album of Planetshakers Church (Australia) titled REVIVAL!

REVIVAL was recently released and people around the world can avail of it through multiple online venues such as Planetshakers’ official YouTube channel, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music and Deezer.

To understand REVIVAL more, posted below is the excerpt from Planetshakers’ official announcement. Some parts in boldface…

As the world faces one of its most challenging predicaments and the church globally faces restrictions in the free world that are surprising, to say the least, God declared over Planetshakers, as a movement, ‘REVIVAL!’

REVIVAL, the album was recorded live during the Planetshakers REVIVAL Conference held in Melbourne, Australia, during a brief break in the pandemic lockdowns.

He then opened up a window of opportunity for us to join together as a church to hold REVIVAL Conference…It was raw, emotional and powerful! In the midst of restriction, God was not restricted. He moved in healing power—restoring, renewing, reviving.” exclaims Worship Leader and Pastor Sam Evans.

A view of the REVIVAL conference of Planetshakers and their unwavering worship of the Lord.

Capturing the pent-up, heartfelt roar of praise and worship that erupted during the conference, in perhaps the most raw live recording ever released from Planetshakers, REVIVAL is a full production experience.

“The songs we were singing and the declarations we were making were sothe opposite of what we were experiencing. We want to share this experience with the world with the hope of encouraging and empowering others to stand on God’s promise and believe in His ability to revive any situation with His mighty resurrection power.” continues Pastor Sam.

In relation to what was stated above, it is indeed true that when God’s children fall down, He lifts them up. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on people and societies around the world and the effects include the prohibition of on-site, indoor worship services in churches. Still Planetshakers successfully organized its REVIVAL conference when the situation in their city eased thanks to the Lord’s intervention and I still believe that in due time this pandemic will end because God will make a way for as long as we have unwavering faith in Him and continue to praise Him and glorify Him eternally. Learn from the following holy scriptures…

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13 (NLT)

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Praise God in his holy sanctuary!

    Praise him in his stronghold in the sky!

Praise him for his mighty miracles!

    Praise him for his magnificent greatness!

Praise him with trumpets blasting!

    Praise him with piano and guitar!

Praise him with drums and dancing!

    Praise him with loud clashing of cymbals!

    Praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals!

Let everyone everywhere join in the crescendo

    of ecstatic praise to Yahweh!

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Psalm 150:1-6 (TPT)

Going back to Planetshakers’ music, REVIVAL’s worship songs include I Know You Can, Way Truth Life, All My Life, I Stand in Awe, Back to Life, Above The Storm, Free Indeed, I Gotta Praise, Running, In Your Presence, and Revival’s Here.

In ending this piece, posted below are the latest music videos of the songs All My Life, I Know You Can and I Stand in Awe from REVIVAL for you to enjoy. All praise and glory to our Lord! Be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

For other Planetshakers-related articles of mine, click here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

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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

COVID-19 Crisis: Metro Manila under GCQ from September 8 to September 30, 2021

Finally, residents and businesses of National Capital Region (NCR) will experience relief and added liberty as the national authorities declared that starting September 8 until September 30, Metro Manila will revert back to general community quarantine (GCQ) according to a report by the Manila Bulletin. It should be noted that August 2021 was full of restrictions for Metro Manila such as the sudden enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the prohibition on outdoor exercise and the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) (which saw an extension) due to the rise of COVID-19 cases. These same restrictions also resulted damaged to the national economy in the form of increased unemployment and further business hardship which prompted the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to make a proposal with economic recovery in mind.

Very recently, granular lockdown action happened around the NCR and such forms of restrictions look like will become the new normal for communities with infections.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

After enduring a month of strict lockdown, Metro Manila will shift back to a general community quarantine (GCQ) although it will also serve as the pilot area for the implementation of granular lockdowns starting Sept. 8 until the end of the month.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement on Monday, Sept. 6, or a day before the expiration of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status of the National Capital Region (NCR).

In his press briefing on Monday, Roque announced that Metro Manila will be placed under the more lax GCQ beginning Sept. 8. He also confirmed reports that granular lockdowns will be implemented in the region as a new tact against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Roque said limited dine-in services and religious gatherings will be allowed again in Metro Manila once it shifts to GCQ.

Granular lockdown

However, Roque said details about the granular lockdown were still being finalized and will be announced before Sept. 8.

He explained that it will be the governors and mayors who will decide on the granular lockdowns. The Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases can reverse the decision of the local chief executives, he said.

The Palace official explained that the granular lockdown should cover the smallest area as possible.

“The granular lockdown does not have to be an entire barangay. It can be a street, it can be a house, it can be a community. It should be as granular as we can,” he said.

According to Roque, the government shifted to granular lockdowns because the number of COVID-19 cases did not seem to go down despite the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)–the strictest quarantine level possible.

“Ang tingin ng mga eksperto, mas epektibo po kung tayo po talaga ay magpapatupad ng systematic at scientific granular lockdowns (Exprets think that the implementation of systematic and granular lockdowns will be more effective),” he said.

We have the Lord to thank for the Metro Manila GCQ. So much economic damage has been done already and it is high time for businesses and the affected employees to move forward and lead the way for economic recovery. It is also high time for the faithful to be allowed to worship the Lord on-site at church facilities as it is a fact that online worship is very limiting (especially when Zoom is used as a digital platform). When it comes to public health, people of Metro Manila should have more freedom and time to exercise outside of their homes to gain fitness and strengthen their immune system which itself is crucial during this pandemic.

Of course, each and every individual has a personal responsibility to properly follow health protocols (social distancing, using sanitizers, contact tracing and more) whenever he or she enters a church to worship the Lord, or enter a restaurant or a personal care service provider to be served, or visiting random places outdoors. Each of us has a role to be taken seriously to stay safe, be safe and avoid getting infected while moving around in public to fulfill our respective objectives.   

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Does the new GCQ announcement for Metro Manila surprise you in relation to the daily high numbers of new COVID-19 infections?

If you are a Metro Manila resident, do you trust your mayor or the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) when it comes to making big, sweeping decisions that affect you and your family? Have you prayed to the Lord to enlighten all the government and community leaders so that they can do their jobs better and rightfully?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: MECQ in effect in Metro Manila until August 31, 2021

Finally, the surprise enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for Metro Manila has ended as the national government announced late Thursday night that the new level of restriction for the metropolis is the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) which is now in effect and will last until August 31, 2021. For the newcomers reading this, MECQ is supposed to be lighter than ECQ when it comes to restrictions.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The quarantine classification in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Laguna and Bataan has been downgraded from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to modified ECQ (MECQ), Malacañang announced Thursday.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte, upon the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EUD), approved the latest quarantine status in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“These latest classifications are without prejudice to the strict implementation of granular lockdowns,” said Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, in a press statement.

Roque said Metro Manila will be placed under MECQ from Aug. 21 to 31.

Bataan, on the other hand, will be under MECQ from Aug. 23 to 31, he added.

Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan were initially placed under ECQ, the strictest form of community quarantine, due to the spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections.

Roque stressed that despite the deescalation of quarantine level, religious gatherings should remain “virtual” in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan.

He added that indoor and al-fresco dine-in services, as well as personal care services such as beauty salons, beauty parlors, barbershops and nail spas should remain prohibited.

Roque said local government units in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan are likewise directed to improve the vaccination rates within their localities, as well as intensify the “Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategies to control the spread of Covid-19.

And here is a related news video to watch…

In an article by the Manila Bulletin, curfew hours in Metro Manila still remain and quarantine passes (QPs) are not required. MECQ also means no cash aid (ayuda) will be released by the national government. There are also other MECQ-related guidelines to follow in another article by the Manila Bulletin. As for the unpopular ban on outdoor exercise approved by the Metro Manila Council (MMC), that one has ended and therefore the freedom to exercise outside our homes has been restored but to a certain extent.

As seen in the details regarding MECQ, there is no real ease nor positive change for several businesses and churches. Restaurants, coffee shops and convenience stores that have tables and chairs are still prohibited from having customers dining inside and on the immediate space outside their joints. In a business sense, this is bad because take-out and delivery services are not good enough for food/beverage sellers to make their ends meet. People of faith, meanwhile, are still literally blocked from worshiping the Lord physically at the venues of their faith communities or ministries. As such, the online form of worship in Metro Manila is still the way but I can tell you from my experience that onsite, physical presence worship of the Lord is the better and more preferable way to worship Him. Online worship has its limits and it lacks the immersion that on-site, physical worship has.

That being said, I encourage you all reading this to pray to God to enlighten all the public officials (from the barangay up to the national level) to look up to Him and come back to Him for His guidance which they really need when it comes to managing the people and their communities as everyone still struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic. The public officials need prayers for the Lord to guide them, strengthen them and prevent them from getting lost.

It should be noted that just days ago, the Metro Manila Council left the decision on community control to national government. Just think about that! Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Benhur Abalos and the mayors met and that was all they could come up with – letting someone else decide for the many millions of people living and struggling in the National Capital Region (NCR).

As such, praying to the Lord to help the public officials is very much needed. It is a fact that each local government unit (LGU) in Metro Manila is struggling not only with their respective COVID-19 vaccine operations but also with all other functions.

Also pray to the Lord that the national government will be more accommodating to the businesses and churches that got negatively affected by these community quarantine levels. Pray to the Lord that the employees, the business owners, the people of faith, the pastors and ministries will be assisted and accommodated better.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about the shift to MECQ for Metro Manila? If you are a manager or owner of a restaurant or coffee shop, how did the recent ECQ affect you and your employees?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

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

I Love Israel: Israel opening up on May 23, 2021 to foreign tourists who got vaccinated for COVID-19

Israel (population 9.3 million), which recently celebrated its 73rd Independence Day, announced that it will welcome foreign visitors who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 (China virus) starting May 23, 2021. The opening of the borders for foreigners will be done gradually (by stage). Filipinos or Philippine passport holders may enjoy visa-free access into Israel for up to ninety (90) days.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the recent news article published through Philippine News Agency (PNA). Key parts in bold…

Israel is opening up its borders to foreign tourists who have been vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) starting next month.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism said the initiative will begin on May 23, starting with a limited number of groups that will be increased based on the health situation and progress of the program.

Individual travelers will be allowed into Israel in its “second stage”, with health considerations determining the timeline.

All visitors will be required to undergo a PCR test before boarding the flight to Israel, and a serological test to prove their vaccination, upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport” it said.

In the meantime, discussions will continue with various countries to reach agreements for vaccine-certificate validation, so as to cancel the need for the serological test.

Israel’s vaccination program has been successful, outpacing much of the world in inoculating its population.

“After opening the economy, it is time to allow tourism in a careful and calculated manner. Opening the tourism is important for one of the fields most hurt during the COVID year. We will continue to look at easing regulations in accordance with the health situation,” said Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s Minister of Health.

This is really great news! Personally, it is my heartful desire to visit the Holy Land in Israel where I can discover places Lord Jesus had been to, realize what I’ve learned in the Holy Bible and deepen my faith in Him even more.

I also strongly value the friendship between Israel and my native Philippines. In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte and his delegation had a groundbreaking visit to Israel. The friendship of the two nations was clearly reflected during the Networking Night of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) of 2019 which I personally attended. It should be noted that Filipino caregivers in Israel were vaccinated for COVID-19 for free. Truly the Israel-Philippines relationship should be treasured forever! For insight about the many Filipinos who got vaccinated in Israel, watch the video below…

For all Christians reading this…if you are looking for spiritual tours of the Holy Land with a credible tour organizer, I suggest Behold Israel. You can check out their Holy Land tour packages online. For those who have yet to know Behold Israel, it was founded in 2001 by Amir Tsarfati who grew up and lived in Israel all his life. After the end of his military service, he studied at Israel’s School of Tourism at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and worked as a licensed tour guide for Sar El Tours and Conferences, and was eventually promoted to CEO (Chief Executive Officer). While guiding dozens of church groups from around the world, God convicted him of the great need – particularly within Evangelical Christianity – to explain Israel and its role in God’s plan. Since 2013, Behold Israel became a major provider of the worldwide, real-time access to reliable sources of news and information about Israel from within the powerful context of Bible history and prophecy. I encourage you to visit https://beholdisrael.org/ and for insight, I recommend watching the videos below (one of which was Amir Tsarfati’s online interaction with my fellow Filipinos).

There is also the organization Christians United for Israel (CUFI) which now has over 10,000,000 members worldwide who are dedicated to defend Israel and fight against anti-Semitism. CUFI is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States and is the foremost Christian organization educating and empowering millions of Americans to speak and act with one voice in defense of Israel and the Jewish people. The organization is committed to confronting indifference and combating anti-Semitism in all its forms wherever it may be found. CUFI was founded in early 2006 and since grown tremendously. They are accepting donations online and if you believe in protecting and empowering Israel, head on to https://cufi.org/donation/donate/

Going back to Israel-Philippines relations, there is also the online presence of the Israeli Embassy in the Philippines (Facebook page: Israel in the Philippines). Check out their web page welcoming message below…

We will never forget how President Manuel Quezon opened the doors of the Philippines to Jews fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe during the Holocaust.

Israel has a great deal of admiration for the approximately 30,000 Filipino caregivers who are working in Israel and have an integral, cherished and respected part of Israeli society.

Israel is considered global high-tech power and a leader in cyber industry. I’m also very proud of the long agriculture cooperation between our two countries. We are excited to promote cooperation in these areas.

Ambassador Rafael Harpaz

On the Facebook page Israel in the Philippines are lots of useful updates related to Israel and its ties with the Philippines. They also publish videos about Israeli culture, cuisine, places of Israel and more. Important or special events are also announced. As such, I recommend you to visit and follow Israel in the Philippines.

In ending this, here are videos related to Israel from the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and from Hagee Ministries for you to watch. Love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem! 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. 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

Darlene Zschech and Planetshakers

I deeply admire and follow Darlene Zschech. For the newcomers reading this, Darlene Zschech is a long-time worship leader, a great singer of Christian music and she has been following Lord Jesus and living by the Word of God for decades now. I love her worship songs such as Shout to the Lord, You Are Holy, The Potter’s Hand, and In Jesus’ Name to name a few. I also own a copy of her book The Art of Mentoring: Embracing The Great Generational Transition. Apart from listening to Christian worship songs she performed, I also attended worship services of Hope Unlimited Church (HopeUC) online and learned from her teaching of the Word of God.

From her teaching of the Word during the HopeUC worship service of February 28, 2021, Darlene Zschech stated the following lines that I personally related.

 “Worship is our life before God.”

“Worship gives expression to a life made right with God.”

To this day, Darlene Zschech continues to follow our Lord and help bring countless others to Him. She truly has been anointed by the Lord and lives on by His holiness. I strongly recommend you follow Darlene Zschech via her website and her social media channels. I also encourage you to do the same by following HopeUC online.

Next I want to talk about Planetshakers Church. I often watch them on Sundays. They truly are great with their performances of Christian music (check out my Christian Music Appreciation pieces about their worship songs How I Praise, Great Outpouring, 247 365, Encounter Song, and All) and along the way they actively emphasize the biblical truth, emphasize the Lord presence and help lead people to Him. Planetshakers truly is dedicated with their enduring mission to see generations of people around the world to unite together to worship God.

“Our heart is to see people encounter God, be transformed by His presence and empowered to make a difference in our world,” Planetshakers stated on their Facebook page. I encourage you all to also read their statement of beliefs at their official website.

During their Sunday worship services, pastor Sam Evans leads very powerful prayers (which I love following to deepen my faith in the Lord) between the performances of worship songs. Her husband senior pastor Russell usually teaches the Word of God. I should also state that Planetshakers last visited my native Philippines in January 2020 and organized successful events, attracting a whole of attendees and help lead them to our Lord.

To put it short, our world has been blessed by the Lord with Darlene Zschech (along with HopeUC where she and her husband Mark serve) and Planetshakers serving Him faithfully and passionately.

And then a blessing happened in 2020…

Planetshakers organized their video program titled Friends of Planetshakers and in one of their episodes, they had Darlene Zschech as their special guest! The good news here is that anyone who missed out can watch the said special episode on Planetshakers’ official YouTube channel!

That being said, I posted below for your convenience Darlene Zschech on Friends of Planetshakers! There are lots of great moments of talk and interactions between Darlene Zschech and Planetshakers! So many great moments and wonderful sharing about faith and experiences are there. I will not post any excerpt or quotes from the Friends of Planetshakers episodes here as I want you all to watch and discover them all. Just click, watch, enjoy and keep on having unwavering faith in Lord Jesus, God our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit!

In ending this piece, here are a few significant scriptures from the Holy Bible for you all. Be led by faith, always worship our Lord and keep on being the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

2 Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV)

And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: “For He is good, For His Mercy endures forever toward Israel.” Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, and because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Ezra 3:11 (NKJV)

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.

Psalm 98:4 (NKJV)

For God is one, and there is one Mediator between God and the sons of men—the true man, Jesus, the Anointed One.

1 Timothy 2:5 (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. 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