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

Hidilyn Diaz wins the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the Philippines!

By the time you are reading this, you should be aware that what was once impossible for the Philippines became a tremendous breakthrough – national weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz (her official Twitter and Instagram) defeated her Chinese competitor in the Tokyo Olympics women’s 55 Kg. weightlifting competition and won for the Philippines its first-ever Olympic gold medal the other night. The mainstream media of the Philippines went full blast with their coverage of the pioneering achievement.

The Manila Bulletin front page.
The hard copy of the Manila times.

That being said, we Filipinos should praise and thank our Heavenly Father for anointing Diaz to win the often-elusive Olympic gold medal for the Filipino people. Her victory is a clear reminder that with God, nothing is impossible. The Olympic gold victory is pioneering for Diaz and also marks the beginning of a new age in the history of the Philippines even as it remains struggling with the COVID-19 crisis. Before checking on the official news story, watch first these three relevant videos.

And now we can proceed with the official story of the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the excerpt of which is posted below. Some parts in boldface…

After 97 years, the elusive Olympic gold has finally been taken by the Philippines.

Hidilyn Diaz became the first Filipino athlete to win it all in an Olympic event after winning the women’s 55-kg. weightlifting competition at the Tokyo International Forum in Japan on Monday night.

Diaz, the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, prevailed in a neck and neck showdown with China’s Liao Qiuyun in the clean-and-jerk lift as their battle for the gold went down the wire.

Finishing tied with Diaz in the snatch with a 97-kg. maximum lift, Liao lifted 126 kg. in her final lift, forcing Diaz to go for 127 to steal the top spot from Liao.

Diaz, however, smoothly cleared the 127-kg. lift to win it all, also setting an Olympic record in the process.

Her 224-kg. total is also an Olympic record.

I don’t know what to say. It’s a dream come true. I just want to say that we Filipinos are strong. We Filipinos can compete here at the Olympics. We can do it,” a high-spirited Diaz was quoted as saying by Xinhuanet.

The 30-year-old Diaz gave advice to younger Filipino athletes to “please dream high.”

“That’s how I started. I dreamed high and finally, I was able to do it,” she added.

Liao admitted that she was surprised by Diaz’s improvement.

“I feel good today. I can lift 123kg at most due to injuries, and never thought of a successful 126kg lift. I didn’t expect her strength like this,” Liao said.

China’s coach Zhang Guozheng echoed Liao’s thoughts.

“I didn’t expect such a situation,” he said. “Liao has gone all out, so it’s not a huge pity for her to lose the gold medal. It’s just because we did not expect our opponent (Diaz) to be so strong.”

Diaz has also assured herself of a total of PHP33 million from various people who pledged monetary rewards to the gold medal winners.

Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan claimed the bronze with a total of 213 kg. lifted.

Muattar Nabieva of Uzbekistan, despite setting the Olympic record for the snatch with a 98-kg. lift, missed out on the podium as she could only clear 114 in the C&J for a total of 212.

Malacañang joined the entire nation in celebrating the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal since it joined the most prestigious quadrennial event in 1924.

As you can see in the above PNA story, the first-ever Olympic gold medal won for the Philippines is tremendous and the good news is that, as of this writing, there are still opportunities for other Filipino athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympics to win more medals (even gold) and help lift the nation in the medal rankings. Going back to Hidilyn Diaz (who was born in Zamboanga City in 1991), her pioneering achievement will earn her tremendous (and deserving) financial rewards from both the government and private sector. Check out the respective reports of the Manila Bulletin, GMA News and Nikkei Asia. To nobody’s surprise, a big welcome-back-home for her is being prepared.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people around the Philippines, notably public officials who enjoy the automatic mainstream media magnification, expressed their admiration for Diaz and congratulated her. Among the many acknowledgements and congratulatory messages for Diaz expressed by lots of people and organizations (both domestic and foreign), Planetshakers Church in Australia and the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines posted their congratulatory messages for her via their official their respective Facebook pages yesterday. Look at the screenshots below.

Facebook post by Planetshakers.
Post of the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines via Facebook.

Hours after her victory, Diaz posted a picture of herself and the Olympic gold medal on her Instagram as a picture story post. She thanked the people for their prayers.

National fame and Olympic achievement aside, Hidilyn Diaz’s gold medal achievement shows that nothing is impossible with God. Learn from the holy scriptures below…

Jesus looked at them and replied, “With people it is impossible, but not with God—God makes all things possible!”

Mark 10:27 (TPT)

Not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God!

Luke 1:37 (TPT)

I am convinced that my God will fully satisfy every need you have, for I have seen the abundant riches of glory revealed to me through Jesus Christ!

Philippians 4:19 (TPT)

I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.

Philippians 4:12-13 (TPT)

To our Lord is all the glory and let us praise and thank Him so much for anointing Hidilyn Diaz who not only won the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold medal but also all the many medals and honors she achieved in other international events as the representative of the Philippines. She truly deserves the financial rewards and the inevitable long-lasting fame that comes with being the nation’s first-ever Olympic gold medalist. Still you must always remember that worship is only for the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Never let idolatry dominate you for it is not only unholy, not only foolish but also will separate you from the Lord.

Let me ask you readers: How much of an impact did Hidilyn Diaz’s Olympic gold medal victory have on you as a citizen of the Philippines? Did you ever doubt she would win the gold medal in the Olympics? Does her gold medal victory inspire you to improve yourself?

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

In closing this article, posted below is a performance of the great Hillsong worship song King of Kings by Melody Hwang.

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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

I Love Israel: Israel’s medical experts on a mission here in the Philippines

I am very delighted to learn that the State of Israel continues to provide much-needed assistance to the Filipinos with regards to the COVID-19 crisis. To be specific, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported that another group of medical experts from Israel arrived here in the Philippines recently to take a look at the local response to the pandemic and to enlighten local officials and frontliners. To be clear, this is a follow-up to the previous Israeli health experts who arrived this past June for very similar matters.

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

Another group of Israeli medical experts arrived in Manila on Monday to observe the country’s pandemic response and share their best practices in treating coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.

They were the second group of Israeli experts to arrive in the country following the initial team who visited Manila last June to offer advice on ways to implement a successful vaccine rollout.

The four-member team is composed of infectious diseases and Covid-19 specialist Dr. Guy Choshen; Shira Peleg, head nurse and nursing manager at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center’s Emergency Department; Eyad Jeries, trauma coordinator at Galilee Medical Center; and Chaim Markos Rafalowski, disaster management coordinator at Magen David Adom.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the four will visit hospitals and hold a dialogue with the country’s pandemic response cluster from July 27 to 31 to share their local clinical guidelines for Covid-19, infection control protocols, hospital management, and other practices.

“They are all part of the treatment of Covid-19 in Israel so I’d like to welcome them all and we do hope that they can share with us their best practices in Tel Aviv so we can actually beat this Covid-19 pandemic as fast as we can,” Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said in a speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Director Maria Soledad Antonio of DOH-Bureau of International Health Cooperation said the country particularly looks forward to knowing how Israel was able to achieve a low coronavirus mortality rate.

“Baka mamaya may makuha pa tayo sa kanila na mas mai-improve ‘yong kaso lalo na ngayon. At present naman pinapalakas natin ang health system natin (We might get more information from them on ways to improve our situation now in terms of treating patients. But at present, we continue to boost our health system),” she told reporters.

“Sila ay mga batikan sa pag-handle ng pandemya, sila ang nauuna, one of the countries na nauuna (It’s a fact that they are one of the best in handling the crisis, they are one of the leading countries on this),” she added.

Chosen, meanwhile, was elated to visit Manila, seeing this exchange as a great example of strong cooperation between the two nations.

“I think it’s not a common practice in the last year of pandemia to see a coalition of friends, of colleagues, holding hands together, sharing information and trying to solve problems together in contrary to what you usually see, you see nations fight each other. And this is a great example of cooperation between Israel and the Philippines. Hopefully, there would be more in the future,” he said in his arrival speech.

From this point on, the local officials, frontliners and others should pay close attention to what Israel’s medical experts say, point out and emphasize. Organizing vaccination (and the storage for the vaccines), isolating infected patients and assigning the frontliners on each and every location is indeed very challenging due to the archipelago of the Philippines. If there are any major breakthroughs that will happen during the current mission of the Israeli medical experts, I’ll share them here.

For the newcomers reading this, here are some videos to help you know Israel better…

The latest exchange between Israel and the Philippines is a reflection of the stronger ties between the two nations. We should all be thankful to our Lord for making this happen.

Before I end this, here are two holy scriptures for you all…

Jesus looked at them and replied, “With people it is impossible, but not with God—God makes all things possible!”

Mark 10:27 (TPT)

Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Genesis 18:14 (NKJV)

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

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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

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: Exchange of scientists between Israel and the Philippines confirmed

As I was browsing the latest and most relevant news at the Philippine News Agency (PNA) recently, I spotted the latest development about Israel-Philippines ties and it is about the exchange of scientists. Very recently, Israeli health experts provided valuable advise to Philippine authorities on dealing with COVID-19.

For me, this is significant because I observed that Israel itself has made lots of advances in the field of science and this was confirmed by the Bloomberg Innovation Index wherein Israel finished as the fifth most innovative country in the world for the year 2019. Israel also has its high-tech industries and excels in green science or agriculture feeding the world along the way.

To put things in perspective about the Israel-Philippines exchange of scientists, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

Israel and the Philippines will be sending scientists to each other’s countries as part of capacity building and trainings, an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said on Tuesday.

“The specifics such as the number of the experts, duration and date of the visit will still have to be further discussed. While we want to proceed with the activity as soon as possible, we also need to consider the current situation, including travel advisories both in the Philippines and Israel,” DOST Assistant Secretary for International Cooperation Leah Buendia told the Philippine News Agency.

She said the Filipino experts going to Israel will be trained on drip irrigation, medicinal chemistry, Israel’s drug discovery, and artificial intelligence (AI).

On the other hand, the Israeli scientists going to the Philippines will meet with Filipino researchers.

“One of the agreements during the (Philippines-Israel joint committee meeting on science and technology) is to conduct a workshop which will serve as a platform for Filipino and Israeli experts to discuss their works, and identify potential collaboration. During the meeting, our Israeli counterparts said that they want to visit the Philippines,” she said.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the meeting with Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) chief scientist, Avi Domb, and other officials of both agencies was held virtually last June 30.

He said they talked about the potential joint initiatives to be implemented on the identified priority areas that include agriculture (water management); AI (robotics); and health (biomedical engineering and drug discovery).

The discussed priorities were guided by the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Scientific Cooperation signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during his official visit to Israel in 2018, he added.

Israel is a valuable partner for us. It is part of our 20 priority partners for STI (science, technology, innovation) international cooperation, recognizing their strengths in STI and considering the pronouncements of engaging with non-traditional partners,” Buendia said.

She added that the DOST officials are happy that they finally had the meeting to lay out their plans for the collaboration.

De la Peña earlier reported that capacity building activities include scholarships, visiting professors, and trainings.

The conduct of joint conferences to discuss the respective researches and projects of experts shall also be expected, eyeing the development of AI applications for government/public service and emergency response, among others.

And here are some videos to help you know Israel better…

The latest exchange between Israel and the Philippines regarding scientists is a reflection of the stronger ties between the two nations. We Filipinos should be grateful to the State of Israel, no matter what happens and no matter who are leading as national authorities both here and there. We Filipinos can also give back by supporting Israel in more ways than one. We can pray for Israelites and provide varied support for them (note: refer to the Christians United for Israel reference near the very end of this article below) knowing that there are still terrorists (sponsored by Iran) and other forces of evil that are obsessed in destroying Israel.

Before I end this, here is a holy scripture for you all…

Now, this is what Yahweh says:

    “Listen, Jacob, to the One who created you,

    Israel, to the one who shaped who you are.

    Do not fear,

    for I, your Kinsman-Redeemer, will rescue you.

    I have called you by name, and you are mine.

  When you pass through the deep, stormy sea,

    you can count on me to be there with you.

    When you pass through raging rivers,

    You will not drown.

    When you walk through persecution like fiery flames,

    you will not be burned;

    the flames will not harm you,

  for I am your Savior, Yahweh, your mighty God,

    the Holy One of Israel!

    I give up Egypt as the price to set you free,

    Cush and Seba in exchange to bring you back.

  Since you are cherished and precious in my eyes,

    and because I love you dearly and want to honor you,

    I willingly give up nations in exchange for you—

    a man to save your life.

  I am with you now, even close to you,

    so never yield to fear.

    I will bring your children from the east;

    from the west I will gather you.

  I will say to the north, ‘Hand them over!’

    and to the south, ‘Don’t hold them back!’

    Bring me my sons from far away,

    my daughters from the ends of the earth!

  Bring me everyone who is called by my name,

    the ones I created to experience my glory.

    I myself formed them to be who they are

    and made them for my glory.”

Isaiah 43:1-7 (TPT)

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

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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

I Love Israel: Thank you Israel for sharing your COVID-19 expertise to help the Philippines improve its ways

We Filipinos should be thankful to the State of Israel as their health experts shared their expertise to the national and local authorities about handling COVID-19 since they arrived here in the Philippines. They also visited and inspected vaccination hubs.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the most recent Philippine News Agency (PNA) article. Some parts in boldface…

Visiting Israeli health experts shared best practices in managing their country’s cold chain and logistics systems during a meeting held here with Covid-19 task force officials, members of the medical community and private sector representatives on Tuesday.

Considering the archipelagic composition of the Philippines, the health experts advised their Filipino counterparts to create centralized vaccine storage hubs that will cater to both urbanized and far-flung areas in the country.

“The Philippines needs more hubs since it is an archipelago. You should go for creating centralized hubs for Pfizer vaccines based on the ability to reach a certain population, and possibly with a customized approach in more remote areas,” said Adam Segal, logistics and operations manager of Salomon Levid & Elstein Ltd.

Centralized hubs for vaccine storage will work with metropolitan areas, with a dedicated approach in remote areas,” Segal added.

He said the Israeli Ministry of Health has also developed a smaller packaging for their vaccines. He explained that the vaccines are more secure and less prone to shaking with the smaller packaging they use.

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje requested the Israeli team to provide samples of their vials so that it will be easier for the Philippines to reproduce them.

Efficient data management

The effective management of Covid-19 data was also among the main topics covered during the learning session held between Covid-19 task force members and Israeli health experts.

Officials from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) led the discussions on the current strategy of the Philippines in managing its vaccine deployment data.

The three-member Israeli delegation explained how they developed and managed their vaccination data system.

According to Dafna Segol, the Israeli government uses a data-based approach when making decisions related to its vaccination program.

One key feature of the Israeli vaccine information system is its use of a “traffic light” model. Through this approach, Israeli authorities are able to identify cities or areas that warrant immediate action.

“It allows us to focus on cities that need more attention,” Segol added.

Data warehouse

DICT’s Christian Edmond Chua said the agency established a data warehouse to capture information related to the vaccine supply chain and then process them to make crucial day-to-day decisions.

Chua noted that the local government units’ lack of resources remains the biggest challenge for data management in the vaccination program.

To address this situation, he said the DICT has designated LGUs as the “data owner” of their vaccination records.

This means the LGUs are accountable for submitting accurate information based on their vaccination records.

“In terms of the development of the technologies and tools to help in the submission (of vaccine data), we are adopting a low tech and low internet process,” Chua said.

The National Task Force Against Covid-19 has also developed an application that will ensure transparency and accountability in submitting data to the National Vaccination Operations Center.

“We monitor not only the performance of the LGUs but it is also helpful in providing feedback for the public policy health experts in calibrating our vaccination program,” Chua said.

The Covid-19 task force officials thanked the delegation for sharing their insights on how the Philippine government can further enhance its data management system.

“We look forward to applying the same lessons we have learned into our own practices in the Philippines,” DICT Director Amelia Dean said.

Lessons learned

Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Ma. Carolina Vidal-Taiño noted that the meeting with the Israeli health experts would help the government further improve the implementation of its vaccine rollout.

“As we prepare for the arrival of the 40-million vaccines from Pfizer, the sharing of best practices and strategies from our Israeli partners will be a learning opportunity that we can adopt in our practice,” Vidal-Taiño said.

“We will consider the four success factors of Israel on vaccine distribution. First, the availability of trained human resources and the availability of infrastructure. Second, the small batch packaging, which we are very interested in. Third, the high usage rate and minimal waste. And lastly, the adequate preparation for the storage capacity and the outstanding cold chain distribution,” she said.

“We have to strictly follow the safe handling of the vaccines,” said NTF Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez during the discussions.

As you can see in the details above, the Philippines is very fortunate to learn from Israel’s health experts. As the Philippines has a population of over 100 million and an archipelago with lots of cities, towns and small communities scattered throughout, dealing with COVID-19 and getting people tested or vaccinated will always be a tremendous challenge. Israel’s success in handling COVID-19 and normalizing the lives of many people make a good starting point that leaders here in the Philippines – from the national government down to the provincial governments, the local governments, the barangays and to the homeowner’s associations – can learn from and be able to make adjustments. There are certain factors about the COVID-19 problem that the Philippines does not share with Israel, but new ways can made to improve the local COVID-19 programs now that the Israeli health experts shared their views and strategies to their local counterparts.

Watch this informative video about Israel’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Even though major breakthroughs in the Philippines’ effort on solving the pandemic-related problems and getting everyone vaccinated have yet to be realized, we Filipinos should be grateful to the State of Israel and give back by supporting them in more ways than one. We should also strengthen Israel-Philippine relations! Remember that Israel helped us and they committed with advising and improving the local COVID-19 efforts and processes. Iran did NOT help the Philippines. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) did NOT help the Philippines. Black Lives Matter cares NOTHING about the Philippines. The Democratic Socialists and SJWs overseas DO NOT really care about people here in the Philippines. Israel cared for us Filipinos.

Before ending this article, posted below is a holy scripture…

Pray and seek for Jerusalem’s peace,

for all who love her will prosper!

Psalm 122:6 (TPT)

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

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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 for NCR Plus extended until May 14, 2021

After weeks of anticipation by the public, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the other night the extension of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 14, 2021 for the National Capital Region (NCR) plus the bordering provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. In connection to this, Duterte apologized.

To put things about the extended MECQ in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article. Some parts in bold…

“Modified enhanced community quarantine. Modified ito so medyo strict. NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal (Modified enhanced community quarantine – modified, meaning somehow strict – will be imposed in NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal),” Duterte said in his talk to the people.

MECQ will be implemented in NCR Plus, composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, MECQ until May 14, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a separate press statement.

Quirino and Abra provinces, as well as the City of Santiago in Isabela, will also stay under MECQ for the whole month of May, Duterte said.

On the other hand, the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) will be imposed in Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur from May 1 to 31.

The rest of the country will remain under the least restrictive modified GCQ (MGCQ).

Roque said the latest quarantine status is still “subject to the appeals of local government units.”

The government is targeting to lower health care and intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates to ease the quarantine protocols in the country amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In recent times, the daily count of new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines fell below 10,000. It was reported the other day that the new COVID-19 cases was at 6,895 nationwide. Still the nation has over 1,000,000 COVID-19 cases grand total (including recoveries) and the secured vaccines cannot arrive fast enough from overseas. Also, it will take a lot of time before the local production of vaccines will become a reality in the nation.

Apart from public health, more attention should be paid on the economy which has been set back a lot since the latest ECQ (enhanced community quarantine). The current MECQ meanwhile resulted 13% of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to stay closed specifically in the NCR Plus zone.

More on the economy, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez is pushing to help the economy by recommending a flexible MECQ in NCR Plus with gradual reopening of labor-intensive sectors in mind.

For perspective, posted below is an excerpt for the Philippine News Agency article. Some parts in bold…

In a radio interview Thursday, Lopez said the agency is eyeing to reopen personal care services with a limited capacity of 20 to 30 percent as well as dine-in services in food establishments by 10 to 20 percent.

“Ni-recommend ho kasi naming ‘yong MECQ with flexibility. We are just after sa pagbabalik ng trabaho, pero yung higpit naman ng mobility ay nandoon pa rin. Ang importante lang ay itong trabaho. We’re talking about opening the sectors na sarado pa rin (We recommended the MECQ with flexibility. We are just after bringing back jobs, but the strict mobility will still be there. What’s important is the jobs. We’re talking about opening the sectors that are still closed),” he said.

He added that the gradual reopening of the personal care and dine-in services was “partially discussed” with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

“Iko-confirm na lang mamaya sa IATF kung ilang porsyento [The IATF will confirm later the percentage (of capacity)],” Lopez said.

An estimated 200,000 workers in personal care services and 1 million fast-food and restaurant crews were affected during the stricter community quarantine measures in National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal and about PHP60 billion worth of wages were lost during the two-week MECQ, Lopez said.

The current MECQ also shed PHP120 billion in gross domestic product, on top of the PHP180-billion economic losses during the two-week ECQ.

While it is essential for people and organizations to follow health protocols and avoid COVID-19 infections, the same goes with the economy. So many have been suffering from the lack of jobs, the loss of income and, in the case of businesses, the loss of customers and clients. Being in the private sector myself, I definitely want more businesses of any size to reopen, make money, hire the unemployed and contribute to the development of local society. I want to see the personal care services to resume operations, as well as the return of indoor dining for restaurants and cafes. I also want to see more of my fellow Filipinos to stay above poverty and rise higher. That being said, I say that capitalism is the way to go and the real way to restore prosperity for the Philippines even as we face varied challenges daily during this COVID-19 (China Virus) crisis.

From this point on, I encourage you to keep observing the moves of not only the national authorities but also those in your local government, your barangay and other organizations serving you. Pray that the public servants and community leaders will look up to the Lord and acknowledge His authority over them. Pray for the leaders to look up to God. Finally, no matter how good or bad your situation is, keep having strong faith in our Lord. If you are hurting and you need healing, come to Lord Jesus (read Mark 5:25-34 in the Holy Bible).

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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

A Look Back at Spider-Man 2099 #16 (1994)

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

By the year 1993, Marvel Comics’ new comic book line of the 2099 universe kept filling the shelves of retailers and made it into the hands of collectors and fans with the monthly series composed of Spider-Man 2099, Ravage 2099, Doom 2099, Punisher 2099 and the new addition of the year X-Men 2099. Back then, the Marvel 2099 line expanded a lot and saw the establishment of new fans. Even the quarterly series 2099 Unlimited caught the attention of some readers as it told the early stories of Hulk 2099 (who debuted in 2099 Unlimited #1).

Unsurprisingly, there were fans of the 2099 universe who wished for a crossover storyline that would bring together their respective favorite futuristic heroes. Remember the rivalry between classic Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and the Punisher (Frank Castle)? Some wanted Spider-Man 2099 and Punisher 2099 to encounter each other.

Eventually, the crossover dream of the fans came through in the form of The Fall of the Hammer storyline that took place in five parts. Specifically one issue each of Spider-Man 2099, Ravage 2099, Doom 2099, Punisher 2099 and X-Men 2099. It was also an opportunity for the 2099 creative teams (note: the legendary Stan Lee and Peter David were among the writers at the time) to get together and contribute to make something special under the watch of 2099 editor Joey Cavalieri.

With those details laid down, we can finally start examining the beginning of The Fall of the Hammer storyline in this look back at Spider-Man 2099 #16, published in 1993 (cover dated 1994) by Marvel Comics with a story written by Peter David and drawn by Rick Leonardi.

The cover drawn by Ron Lim.

Early story

The story begins with the arrival of the floating city of Valhalla, disturbing the people of the town of Randall below. On the floating city itself, a crowd of people – with Miguel O’Hara and Dana among them – stare at a hammer-wielding, caped blonde man who claims to be Thor (their idol). Accompanied by Heimdall, Thor tells them that a select few among them will remain in the city to act as sentinels while the rest will come with Heimdall to a place of departure.

Thor turns his attention on Dana causing Miguel to intervene and challenge his so-called authority. As Thor reacts to Miguel’s defiance, he throws a punch which got deflected. This causes the so-called god of thunder to be surprised given Miguel looking ordinary to him. In reaction, Thor grabs him and throws his body several feet over many people’s heads. This leaves Dana helpless.

Miguel crashes through a glass window, falling outside until he shoots a web to control his movement. He takes off his civilian clothes, revealing his costume as Spider-Man of 2099. He sets off to get back at Thor…  

Quality

The highlight of the comic book is Spider-Man 2099’s conflict with Thor.

To make clear the obvious, the writing by Peter David is indeed solid although the sketch-like aesthetic of the art of Rick Leonardi badly needed more visual details.

As for the story itself, it is succeeded in creating tension with regards to the caped figure who believes himself to be Thor who is the central figure of religion in 2099 America and has the means to wield power by even involving technology (with Valhalla as the center piece). That being said, Spider-Man 2099’s encounter with him was inevitable, and so was the result (a bit predictable). The story also sheds light on the perceived omnipotence of Thor and how Spider-Man 2099 (who was previously referred to by some people as Thor’s harbinger) got associated with his legend.

To make things clear, this one is purely a Spider-Man 2099 story that justifies the concept of needing other 2099 heroes as the threat was simply too great for any one hero to handle. I should also state that the crossover between any heroes does not begin until the final page of this comic book.

Conclusion

Nothing like being in a crowd of people watching helplessly in front of two so-called omnipotent figures.

Spider-Man 2099 #16 (1994) is still a good read and as the first chapter of The Fall of the Hammer storyline, it served its purpose well. This is mainly due to the strong writing by Peter David who also succeeded in establishing 2099’s Thor not only as the villain but also as a figure who truly is a threat to the people. This comic book also shows that people in 2099 failed to realize who their true Creator is as they embraced religion (instead of faith) and committed idolatry (which is truly unholy) by believing in a false god like Thor.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Spider-Man 2099 #16 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $40 while the near-mint copies of the newsstand and the signed-and-numbered editions cost $120 and $300 respectively.

Overall, Spider-Man 2099 #16 (1994) is recommended.

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: National Capital Region (NCR) and 4 nearby provinces plus a few other places now under MECQ until April 30, 2021

After two whole weeks of being placed under the restrictive ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal and Laguna (note: these form NCR Plus as called by the local authorities) are now under MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) until April 30, 2021. Far away from NCR Plus are the City of Santiago, the Province of Quezon and Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) which also have been placed under MECQ status.

The shift to MECQ was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte in relation to the commitments made by more public and private hospitals to provide rooms and beds for patients suffering from COVID-19 (China Virus). The President urged PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation) to expedite the payment of claims of hospitals. For more details on this, read the Philippine News Agency’s (PNA) article.

MECQ is supposed to be the less restrictive form of quarantine. For one thing, the hours of curfew in Metro Manila has been adjusted to 8PM to 5AM (versus 6PM to 5AM under ECQ). To put things in perspective, here is an excerpt from the PNA’s article…

According to amended omnibus guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) as of April 3, 2021, strict home quarantine shall be observed in all households under MECQ. Movement of persons shall be limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in permitted offices or establishments or such activities allowed.

Persons below 18 years old, those who are over 65 years old, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women shall be required to remain at home at all times except for obtaining essential goods and services or for work.

Under the IATF-EID guidelines, the following establishments, persons, or activities shall not be permitted to operate, work, or be undertaken during MECQ:

— Entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters, and cinemas;

— Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, and similar venues;

— Amusement parks or theme parks, fairs/peryas, kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom and kiddie rides;

— Outdoor sports courts or venues for contact sports, scrimmages, games, or activities;

— Indoor sports courts or venues, fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools;


— Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments except for the draws conducted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office;

— Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits;

— Outdoor tourist attractions;

— Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions;

— Personal care services which include beauty salons, beauty parlors, medical esthetic clinics, cosmetic or derma clinics, make-up salons, nail spas, reflexology, aesthetics, wellness and holistic centers, and other similar establishments; acupuncture and electrocautery establishments, and massage therapy including sports therapy establishments. It also includes establishments providing tanning services, body piercings, tattooing and similar services. Home service for these activities is likewise not permitted; and

— Indoor dine-in services of food preparation establishments such as commissaries, restaurants, and eateries.

Now that the MECQ is in effect, we will find out soon enough how the many struggling businesses will perform, how many affected employees will be able to return to work, how vehicular traffic on the highways and major roads will turn out and how these changes will affect the daily count of new COVID-19 cases which has been averaging over 10,000 a day recently.

It has been over a year since the China Virus spread worldwide and negatively impacted the way people lived, brought down their earnings, made attending on-site worship harder (note: the authorities in California did Satan’s bidding and the United States Supreme Court struck down their abuse of power legally), and pushed varied authorities to adjust the way they manage their places and constituents. No matter how grim the situation is, I urge you my readers to never lose hope and always look up to Lord Jesus who is the true Savior for us all. I encourage you to grab a copy of the Holy Bible and read the full Chapter 91 of the Book of Psalms, believe in it and come to Lord Jesus.

God will make a way for those who are faithful to Him. You do not need religion. You do not need unbelief. You do not need to believe in this screwed-up world we live in. You do not need idols for they are unholy and idolatry itself is foolish. You need unwavering faith in Him for He is holy and only He deserves our worship, trust and honor.

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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