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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremiah 29: 11 (NKJV) 

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

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

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

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

PART 1 – Forgiveness in the Holy Bible

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

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

Psalm 86: 5 (NKJV)

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

2 Corinthians 2: 5-10 (NKJV)

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

1 John 1: 9-10 (NKJV)

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

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

Matthew 6: 12 (NKJV)

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

Matthew 6: 14-15 (NKJV)

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

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

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

Psalm 5: 4 (NKJV)

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

Psalm 34: 21 (NKJV)

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

Psalm 37: 12-20 (NKJV)

PART 2 – Letting Go and Moving Forward

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

Take note of this holy scripture.

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

Romans 12: 2 (NKJV)

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

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

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

2 Corinthians 7: 10 (NKJV)

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147: 3 (NKJV)

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

John 16: 33 (NKJV)

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

John 3: 16-18 (NKJV)

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

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

John 3: 3 (NKJV)

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

John 3: 5-7 (NKJV)

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

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

2 Corinthians 5: 17 (NKJV)

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

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

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

Have faith in the Lord and praise Him always!


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

Mobbing Is Wrong and It Should Be Stopped!

From my own experience in life, I know what it is like to be mobbed and get hurt by bullies. I know what it is like to be outnumbered by many others who could not control themselves.

Mob1
A mob of people from a page of an old EC Comics story from the 1950s.

Mobbing is defined as an act of bullying against an individual committed by a group of people (referred to as the mob). It is an act that happens in schools, the workplace, the family, online and in communities.

Usually a mob acts with its members united by the pursuit to hurt or even destroy the individual in varied ways like using physical violence, picketing, becoming rowdy and causing a disturbance while pointing at their target. Sometimes the mob can abuse the legal system to bring down their target.

Examples of acts of mobbing:

1)  Spreading rumors or propaganda or organizing a smear campaign against the individual target.

2)     Gate-crashing or deliberate trespassing into someone else’s territory.

3)     Isolating the target to make him/her look undesirable in front of others.

4)     Filing cases in court versus the target even though they don’t have solid evidence to win.

5)     Beating up the individual physically.

6)   Protesting in public and trying to fool members of the public into supporting their cause.

7)   Lying to local authorities and telling them exaggerations just to fool them into supporting their cause against the individual target.

Why do mobs keep on mobbing? I have my own theories.

1)    They really have nothing better to do in life and the temptation of organizing to “win” (hurting or destroying their target) is too irresistible to them.

2)      Hate versus their target is so strong in their minds, they are too blinded to think rationally.

3)     They are cowards deep inside and because they don’t have the law on their side, mobbing is their option.

4)     They want to grab power or feed their own pride as a united group. They may even have some vanity in their minds that they don’t even realize.

5)     They are driven by a political or sociological ideology.

6)  Their group leaders are mentally unstable and the “follow the leader” approach still gets executed.

7)     They believe that being united gives them the freedom to take the law into their own hands, to trespass into any territory and misinform people who discover their group. They may as well have adapted the culture of impunity.

8)     They simply enjoy violence and want their target to suffer.

9)     They don’t give a damn about right and wrong.

How to protect yourself from mobbing

1)    Know your rights and study the law extensively. Get a very credible and experienced lawyer.

2)    Prepare your own pieces of evidence that will discredit the mob.

3)   If you can afford it, hire security personnel when you know the mob will resort to physical violence against you. Also consider a more protective location you will be staying at.

4)    Observe how the mob thinks and acts. You should be able to analyze their flaws and use them to your advantage.

5)  Avoid following their tactics and prove you are more civil than they are. You can influence members of the public when you discredit the mob successfully.

6)   Research each member of the mob, especially their leaders. Also take a look at their personal interests that could explain their agenda in mobbing you.

7)   While researching the mob members, observe how they act in front of others. Some mob members pretend to have been victimized (by the target individual) when in fact they are the ones on the offense. It’s too easy for mob members to pretend to be victims and blame the individual they want to destroy. It’s also easy for bullies to lie about the facts.

8)  Wherever mobbing happens, do not hesitate to call for help from the immediate authorities. If you get mobbed in school, call the principal or a faculty member. At work, call the supervisor or the nearest security personnel.

Mob2
Mobbing can also result serious injuries or even death. As such make sure the place you live in is highly protective and very secure. Bullies have a tendency to gate crash or trespass.

Mobbing is simply wrong and in a way it is considered uncivilized. The mere act of a group bullying an individual person is just despicable especially when he/she is innocent.

I myself experienced being targeted by a mob of grade school students back in 1983 and it was a very difficult experience to overcome. It took me some time to recover from and, thanks to the Lord, I survived and got to live to tell about it. I certainly don’t want to see such a tragic experience happen to others who did not commit anything wrong.

If you, the reader, want to make a big difference in local society in a positive way then I urge you to learn why mobbing is wrong and why mobs are more destructive than their worth. If you get mobbed, fight back using civil and legal tactics!

More importantly, do not ever forget to pray to the Lord Jesus Christ for He will protect you and never abandon you. Also as a Christian, you will have to forgive the people who bullied you and that includes their most violent member or the gang leader. Remember that unforgiveness or the unwillingness to forgive will only lead you to more pain, more regret and put some darkness into your life. Everyone living in the flesh is flawed and that means looking up to the Lord for forgiveness. Learn from the Holy Bible.

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”

Mark 11: 25 (NKJV)

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

Matthew 6: 14-15 (NKJV)

Let all the bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4: 31-32 (NKJV)

With the Lord on your side, the mob will eventually fall down no matter how violent and persistent they are and no matter how bad your situation looks. All you must do is be faithful to the Lord and eventually you will win over the bullies. You and your household will be saved too.

Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish, That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth.

Psalm 83: 17-18 (NKJV)

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.

Acts 16: 31 (NKJV)

Never lose faith in the Lord!


Thank you for reading. If you found this article to be engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well.

Author’s Note: This article was originally published at my old Geeks and Villagers blog. What you read on this website was an updated and expanded version. In other words, this newest version you just read is the most definitive version

My Observations: The Macross Plus Love Triangle

As a long-running anime franchise, Macross is well remembered for not only its portrayal of war, action-packed transforming machines (mechas) and engaging storytelling but also for its use of love triangles to emphasize the human element of the saga.

The Super Dimension Fortress Macross anime TV series (1982-1983) would have ended up looking generic with other robot anime series had it not featured the love triangle of Hikaru-Misa-Minmay. That love triangle was clearly the centerpiece of the saga and each member got developed individually throughout the 36 episodes.

Over a decade later, the sequel Macross Plus was released in the form of a 4-episode original video animation (OVA) (and in reimagined form via a theatrical version in 1995) and it featured a brand new love triangle with Myung Fang Lone, Isamu Dyson and Guld Bowman.

Spearheaded by the legendary Shoji Kawamori as co-director and mecha designer, Macross Plus was a more challenging story to sell to fans and anime enthusiasts given the fact that it had no conflict of good-versus-evil nor hero-versus-villain. There was not even a war to focus on. Instead its conflict was more centered on the love triangle.

MacP1
Guld. Myung and Isamu.

The background is like this. In the year 2033, Myung, Isamu and Guld were close teenage friends until something terrible happened to them which not only destroyed their friendship but led them to taking separate paths carrying pain and unforgiveness deep inside.

In the present day of 2040, military pilot Isamu got re-assigned to his home planet of Eden as a test pilot for the prototype fighter plan the YF-19. This re-assignment happened because Isamu was too reckless and dangerous to be in active duty. Shortly after arriving he encounters Guld who is also a test pilot assigned with the stealthy YF-21. Right from the start their bitterness and rivalry intensifies.

The stakes grow even higher when Myung returns to Eden as a producer of Sharon Apple, a powerful computer designed to project holograms of a digital lady who could not only sing but also express emotions. She’s described by her handlers to be a living artificial intelligence but behind the scenes her programming is incomplete and Myung herself has to provide the emotions and singing.

Enough with the plot. Let’s move on to my analysis of the love triangle.

The love triangle

MacP2
A close encounter between them.

Let’s start with Isamu. On face value, he’s a handsome young guy who has achieved a lot when it comes to flying and combat but he is too risky to be with due to his impulsive nature, love for danger and recklessness. His cocky personality reminds me somewhat of Maverick (played by Tom Cruise) from Top Gun but the difference is that Isamu is much more dangerous.

Oh yes, Isamu also acts childish. This is evident during the first test flight of the YF-19 and most of the time he was playing around, cheering and expressing himself instinctively. The very ironic thing about his childish act is that he got to push hard the technical and technological capabilities of the YF-19 with regards to how it moves, how fast its speed is and how efficient its functions are.

But is Isamu an ideal man for a lady to spend her life with? Absolutely not. He loves fun too much and his being a loose cannon is a headache for his military superiors. His lack of self-control alone will make any relationship end quickly. At least in the context of Macross Plus, Isamu is not meant for marriage nor love but for dangerous fun. Still there are certain aspects of him that show he can still change for the better such as daring to find answers to be certain and pushing forward with life even though painful times strike along the way.

Next is Myung. She is an example of a very talented young singer who failed to become a professional artist. As a teenager she loved to sing and was described to have sung during her sleep. Somehow the violent falling out she experienced with Isamu and Gul impacted her ability to make it big in the world of entertainment. Think about it. While there are many talented wannabees who made it as singers but did not achieve super stardom, there are others who never qualified to be singers.

In the present day, Myung still carries pain and unforgiveness deep inside. She deals with her pain by burying herself with her work as a producer and rides along the tremendous success of Sharon Apple who is not even real. As such it is no wonder why she felt uneasy being reunited with Guld and Isamu. During her time in the forest with an injured Isamu, she got to try a fruit (which she suspected to be sour) after being told by him (who already had a fruit) to do it. Upon tasting the sour thing, she expressed that she always hated how Isamu dared people to try something even though he already knew the answer or what would happen. Before going to the forest, however, Myung was the first person Isamu saw after sleeping for days in the hospital due to a test flight accident. The mere fact she attended to him proves that she has feelings for the hot shot pilot.

Finally we have Guld, the half-human half-Zentradi person with grayish skin. Like Isamu, he has the passion and skill for flying. He does not have the recklessness and impulsiveness of Isamu, but he could be very violent due to the warlike tendencies (example: rage or outburst) he inherited from his Zentradi heritage. Remember in Macross, Zentradi was a race of artificially made giants produced through cloning and because they were bred for war and militarism they were devoid of culture.

As test pilot of the YF-21, he is oriented to control the plan mentally and this allows him to actually feel the machine as if it was his own body. Remember how Guld sped right into a barrage of rockets and got away untouched with the YF-21? That was the result of not only the YF-21’s stealth features and ability to predict the direction of the missiles but also of Guld’s extension with the aircraft.

Still Guld has feelings and he is far from being a living killing machine. Right from the start of his reunion with Myung, he expressed his feelings for her and swore to protect her (even though she did not need such protection). This shows that he was willing to adjust for Myung, forget the past and move forward. Guld does not have the charisma of Isamu but that does not make him less human nor does it make him an undesirable person. He also does his best to be something that Isamu cannot be – an honorable pilot.

MacP3
When things get way too personal, Isamu (right in YF-19) and Guld (left in YF-21) violated military protocol to fight each other.

Overall the love triangle of Guld, Myung and Isamu is still engaging to follow whether you watch Macross Plus in its OVA format or in its theatrical version (titled: Macross Plus: The Movie, Macross Plus: Movie Edition). At the same time this triangle is geared towards adults and one of the themes behind Macross Plus is growing up or coming-of-age. Other moral lessons worth learning: dealing with the painful past, maintaining discipline while doing your duty and learning how to forgive.

In reality, unforgiveness or the unwillingness to forgive truly causes more harm than good. There really is no escaping the negative effects. Repenting and forgiving each other go together and only then will healing happen. Forgiveness is emphasized in the Holy Bible. Below is a scripture for you all.

bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Colossians 3: 13 (NKJV)

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well.


Author’s Note: This article was originally published at my old Geeks and Villagers blog. What you read on this website was an updated and expanded version. In other words, this newest version you just read is the most definitive version

 

Why I Love The Song Happy Day

happyday

I really love listening to the song Happy Day which has the holiness of our Eternal Savior Jesus Christ in its lyrics.

As a Born Again Christian living in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, I regularly attend Sunday family worship with the Joseph Kack Ministries International (JKMI) community at the World Prayer Center (WPC) in BF Homes, Paranaque City. Ever since I became Born Again saved by my dearest friend under the guidance of the Lord, I felt the Holy Spirit return into my life. Specifically Jesus Christ occupies and lives in my heart. In fact, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit a lot more as a Born Again than compared to the last 22 years and 11 months of my old life as a Catholic (including the 9 years I stopped believing in the Lord).

Listening to the holiness and beauty of the song Happy Day adds a lot of depth to my worship of the Lord as a Born Again.

I remember attending Sunday worship service at WPC on June 24, 2018 with the JKMI spiritual family and that particular service had holy communion prepared for us. Happy Day was one of the early songs played with a fast-paced Christian rock by the church’s very talented musicians creating a whole lot of energy for all of us. As the music rocked and energized me, I paid close attention to the lyrics displayed and instantly those lyrics brought back memories of my becoming Born Again and becoming a saved soul now part of the Kingdom of Light under God.

Some time later during the service, holy communion was served and a slightly slower but more sentimental version of Happy Day was played. As I stood in line for holy communion, I listened to the song and it brought me into tears because the song’s holiness from the Lord touched me deeply as I recalled my becoming Born Again (moving from the dark age of my life – started April 7, 1995 – into the Kingdom of Light – happened on March 4, 2018 – becoming Born Again).

During the July 29, 2018 Sunday worship service at our church, Happy Day was played again and this time it was played thrice. The first was upbeat Christian rock, the next was slower and sentimental, and the final time was instrumental. Like what happened on June 24, I was moved into tears by Happy Day during the holy communion rite.

I should mention that JKMI’s musicians did a GREAT job playing Happy Day. They should be praised! Their great talent is no surprise as they were very blessed by the Lord!

There truly is a lot of holiness in the lyrics of Happy Day. Let’s take a look at this portion of the lyrics.

The greatest day in history
Death is beaten, You have rescued me
Sing it out, Jesus is alive

That early segment of the lyrics made clear its expression about the saving of souls performed by Jesus Christ and His followers. God created all humans and because the world we live in is so chaotic, a lot of people lose direction in their lives and many also end up being spiritually lost to the point that they lost their focus on God and His Son Jesus. Living in the flesh is indeed a hard struggle but for as long as we strongly honor, praise, serve and follow God, we can make it into His Kingdom. Jesus Christ is present even though we mortals cannot see Him. Jesus is with us, He lives in our hearts, He always guiding us and always keeps on caring for us. It is very true that Jesus is indeed alive.

Oh, happy day, happy day
You washed my sin away
Oh, happy day, happy day
I’ll never be the same
Forever I am changed

This is chorus of the song. I very strongly relate with it as a Born Again. My old life as a Catholic was difficult, painful, disorienting and lacked the presence of the Holy Spirit. I really felt like a prisoner as my old life had these restrictions connected with many Catholic rites and being pushed to follow the figures of the Catholic hierarchy (including joining the wrong groups of people) hindered me from truly connecting with the Lord. I grew frustrated and got lost. Speaking of the word change in the lyrics, becoming Born Again is the single greatest form of change to ever happen in my life and I ever since I’ve been making moves to improving myself and no less than my mother noticed this. In fact my mother accepted me being Born Again and she thanked God for my conversion. I should also mention I reconciled with my mother on the day (March 31, 2018) I revealed to her and my father that I became Born Again.

Going back to the lyrics, the words “I’ll never be the same.” and “Forever I am changed.” strongly resonates with me. I became Born Again on March 4, 2018 (I made a decision some days prior to that happy day) and that was truly a very happy day for me as my faith in God and Jesus was not only restored but also greatly reinvigorated. I found a new purpose in my life that same day. Truly a day I will never ever forget and definitely I’ll never be the same.

Oh, what a glorious day
What a glorious way
That You have saved me
And oh, what a glorious day
What a glorious name
Jesus!

That part of the lyrics is truly powerful. So powerful it is deeply moving and can move anyone into tears. Let us remember that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save all of humanity from sin. Lost souls that end up being saved (and permanently changed) to enter the Kingdom of Light is clearly in accordance to Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice in saving humanity. It takes faith and personal renewal to believe in God and His son Jesus. Jesus’ saving of lost souls is undeniably glorious and His love for us cannot be denied.

In return, we dedicate ourselves in honoring, following and serving the Lord. What lies ahead in the Kingdom of Light are peace, love, tranquility and Kingdom Wealth.

Before I became Born Again, I was a frustrated Catholic who drifted away from the Lord in 2009. My dearest friend, who has long been Born Again, saved my soul under the guidance of the Lord. Afterwards my faith in God and Jesus got restored and reinvigorated and I became Born Again ever since. Jesus (through my dearest friend) saved me in a glorious way (Jesus living in my heart) on a glorious day! Let me state that I made the decision to be Born Again which completed the process of being saved.

Whenever I listen to Happy Day, I don’t think of amusement at all. I think of the Lord and how He saved me through His instrument (my dearest friend) and changed me forever. Happy Day also reminds me of the blessings God made for us all. On July 1 as I was driving fast along the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) coming from Subic Bay going home to Metro Manila, I listened to Happy Day on my smartphone with auto-replay set.

There was a segment of the fast drive in which a beautiful, scenic view of the land and the mountain on my left appeared as Happy Day played on. That moment easily reminded me of God’s creations and blessings for humanity.

In closing this article, I posted below the lyrics of Happy Day plus a few YouTube videos of the song in Christian Rock and in slower, sentimental performance (at an American church). I love Happy Day and you will if you believe in God and His son Jesus. For deep inspiration, read John 3: 3 in the Holy Bible. Open your heart to the Lord!

Happy Day

The greatest day in history
Death is beaten, You have rescued me
Sing it out, Jesus is alive
The empty cross, the empty grave
Life eternal, You have won the day
Shout it out, Jesus is alive
He’s alive

Oh, happy day, happy day
You washed my sin away
Oh, happy day, happy day
I’ll never be the same
Forever I am changed

When I stand in that place
Free at last, meeting face to face
I am yours, Jesus, You are mine
Endless joy, perfect peace
Earthly pain finally will cease
Celebrate, Jesus is alive
He’s alive

And oh, happy day, happy day
You washed my sin away
Oh, happy day, happy day
I’ll never be the same
Oh no, forever I am changed

Oh, what a glorious day
What a glorious way
That You have saved me
And oh, what a glorious day
What a glorious name
Jesus

Hey, and oh, happy day, happy day
You washed my sin away
Oh, happy day, happy day
I’ll never be the same
Oh no, forever I am changed
What a glorious, glorious day
I’ll never be the same



Thank you for reading. If you find this news article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Author’s Note: This article was originally published at my old Geeks and Villagers blog. What you read on this website was an updated and expanded version. In other words, this newest version you just read is the most definitive version.