Christian Music Appreciation: How I Praise

Planetshakers is an evangelical Christian Pentecost church based in Australia driven by a desire to empower generations to win generations. Planetshakers confirmed it believes that the Holy Bible is God’s Word which is accurate, authoritative and applicable to people’s daily lives. Founded in 1997, it has a long-lasting pursuit for the presence of God and already they helped many people come to the Lord and establish personal relationships with Him. Planetshakers also has a contemporary worship music band which has several internationally acclaimed albums on its record of achievements.

I am thankful to the Lord that I personally watched live the performance and worship leading of Planetshakers during one of the nights of Jesus Global Youth Day that was held here in the Philippines. Since then, I followed them on Facebook and viewed many of their Sunday worship services. Planetshakers returned here in the Philippines on January 2020 and was unsurprisingly successful in attracting a huge audience and leading them to worship the Lord.

The one Christian praise and worship song that always remind me of Planetshakers is their hit song How I Praise, which is highly energetic, has a cool sound and very holy lyrics. The title of the song itself is a nice reminder of how we Christians should praise the Lord.

Before teaching a bible lesson, let’s read first the lyrics of How I Praise. The song is part of their album Glory, Part One.

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[Verse 1]

This is how I praise You

I throw my hands up

To You my Saviour

I’m gonna stand up

And give You everything, everything, everything

All that I am

[Verse 2]

This is how I praise You

I’m going all in

Yeah I’m on fire

I’m gonna dive in

And give You everything, everything, everything

All that I am

[Pre-Chorus]

‘Cause I’m in love with You

Yeah I’m in love with You

For all You’ve brought me through

My praise belongs to You

Woah, oh, oh, oh, oh

[Chorus]

This is how I praise You

This is how I praise You

[Verse 3]

This is why I praise You

‘Cause You’re amazing

And You are greater

You’re everlasting

And You are everything, everything, everything

Jesus You are

[Pre-Chorus]

‘Cause I’m in love with You

Yeah I’m in love with You

For all You’ve brought me through

My praise belongs to You

Woah, oh, oh, oh, oh

[Chorus]

This is how I praise You

This is how I praise You

[Bridge]

Glory to the King, glory to the King

To the one who reigns on high

Everybody sing, let the praises ring

To the one who reigns on high

Glory to the King, glory to the King

To the one who reigns on high

Everybody sing, let the praises ring

To the one who reigns on high

[Chorus]

This is how I praise You

This is how I praise You

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I really love How I Praise. Many times I saw them perform it during their Sunday worship services and also during their January 2020 stop here in the Philippines (via YouTube). I not only enjoy the song every time, I also lift my praise to the Lord.

The lesson we can focus on in relation to this song is the praising of the Lord which the Holy Bible is full of. Christians as well as unsaved souls who could become Christians, will always learn the ways and value of praising Him. Let’s start with this holy scripture.

Sing to the LORD, all the earth; 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 also 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 gladness are in His place. 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 before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved. Let the heavens rejoice, and the let the earth be glad; and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”

1 Chronicles 16: 23-31 (NKJV)

The above scripture has lines about the Lord and glory which instantly remind me of the lines Glory to the King, Glory to the King, To the one who reigns on high from the lyrics of How I Praise. The scripture’s lines of Give to the LORD relates well to the song’s lines of I’m gonna dive in, And give You everything, everything, everything, All that I am. Ultimately, both the holy scripture and the song strongly emphasize praising the Lord in very lively ways which is the least we Christians can do since it is God who created the heavens and created us, and He is the ultimate one that idols (gods of the people) can never ever match. Defy idols, reject idolatry and don’t worship people, relics and images. It’s all about focusing strongly on the Lord and praising Him strongly. Worship the Lord directly! God is great!

Let’s check the next few scriptures.

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up hands holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

1 Timothy 2: 8 (NKJV)

Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.

Psalm 63: 4 (NKJV)

We lift up our hearts and hands To God in heaven.

Lamentations 3: 41 (NKJV)

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, And bless the LORD.

Psalm 134: 2 (NKJV)

Uplifted hands are an integral part of Christian worship. It is done not in tradition (other churches do it as their tradition) but as a definitive part of worshiping Him with all your heart, honoring Him and blessing Him. The above four holy scriptures about lifting hands to the Lord are related to key lines in Verse 1 of the song which read: This how I praise You, I throw my hands up, To You my Saviour.

God is our creator and eternal father. For all the good He made, for all the provisions He made, for all the promises He made and kept, and for sending His Son Jesus to save us all, God deserves all of our praise. Planetshakers’ hit song is a lively reminder of this.

Overall, How I Praise is a praise and worship song I encourage you all to listen to with the Lord in your heart. We Christians who got born again are the Body of Christ. We are the church! As such, I recommend you approach your church musicians to consider playing How I Praise during Sunday worship service or during holy seminars (for as long as live music is needed). If you need an excellent song that will surely energize your church members on worshiping the Lord, How I Praise is it!

In ending this, here are a few YouTube videos of How I Praise for your enjoyment and faith in the Lord! Be led by the Holy Spirit, 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. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved 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

My Observations: COVID-19’s impact on crowded fun-oriented events should be taken seriously

For the past few weeks, the coronavirus disease COVID-19 halted much of the world’s societies and economies compelling families to stay at home as the authorities struggle to prevent infections from spreading.

Community quarantine and regional lockdown have been implemented which strongly limited people from traveling around and also negatively affected truck deliveries which really hurt manufacturing and other key economic sectors like food production (and the businesses that sell food), retailing and more.

Unsurprisingly, special events that attract a lot of people as attendees have been postponed or cancelled. In the city of Parañaque here in the Philippines, the planned 2020 cityhood anniversary celebration had to be scaled down dramatically because of COVID-19-related fear. The said celebration’s most popular events such as the Bb. Parañaque beauty pageant and the Sunduan Festival could not be organized and as of this writing, no new dates for organizing such events have been announced. Under the current quarantine procedures, mass gatherings have been prohibited.

That being said, it would be best to forget about crowded fun events for the short term and just focus on being safe at home, managing your precious funds and maintaining faith in the Lord (note: study the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to Him).

Speaking of fun events, Comic Book Resources (CBR.com) published a new article that caught my attention titled Coronavirus Could Be the Beginning of the End for Super Conventions. It caught my attention because I myself had attended several pop culture events, including the gigantic Comic-Con International in San Diego, California (AKA San Diego Comic-Con).

Let’s focus on this excerpt from Comic Book Resources:

Comic conventions long have been an integral part of fan communities. Before comic-book movies and TV shows were a multibillion-dollar enterprise, fans looked forward to these annual gatherings as a chance to be surrounded by people who shared their interests. They (were) a sacred place where fans could collectively celebrate something they were really passionate about.

And they were fun. Really fun. Fans from across the country would make the pilgrimage to get up close and personal with the writers and artists they idolized. It was a dream come true for members of what was then a tight-knit community.

Over the years, that’s all changed. The conventions that were so beloved by a small group of people have ballooned into massive undertakings, drawing thousands of people from all over the world. They’re not so much fan-driven conventions anymore as much as they are trade shows for the entertainment industry.

That’s not to say these super conventions aren’t fun in their own right; they absolutely are. They offer fans a chance to witness major announcements, take part in Q&A’s with their favorite stars and celebrate pop culture on an unprecedented level. They’ve become an annual staple for the promotion of the latest film and television franchise projects, and big names continuously turn up.

Now, however, with the justifiable closure of these conventions due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s unclear how much we really need these super conventions.

To put things in perspective, any convention that is focused on fun would not be possible without the strong interest of multiple fans or enthusiasts who are not only willing to make time to attend such an event but also bring a good amount of money with them and spend on their respective interests.

The San Diego Comic-Con in California, the New York Comic Con in New York, and the AsiaPop Comicon here in the Philippines all require paying a fee (for the ticket or badge) in order to enter the venue which has most entertainment events and booths that fans can go to.

When it comes to special activities, private screenings of trailers of upcoming blockbuster movies occasionally get organized as well as Q&A panel sessions with entertainers or industry professionals, press conferences and more.

However, we are now living in the age of social media, wide access to the Internet and smartphones which enable users to take pictures or videos in high-definition and upload them for people to see online. Think about it carefully.

What good is a closed-door press conference with celebrities when a fan in attendance can capture everything on video and beat the bloggers and members of the press by releasing content on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?

What good is a private screening (which restricts attendees from taking footage) of a trailer or a short scene from a highly anticipated blockbuster movie when such content will only be released by the movie studio on YouTube, Facebook and other sites where Internet users can watch for free at the comfort of their homes?

What good is a fan convention if attendees post pictures/videos of embarrassing moments (example: someone throws a pie on the face of a movie star in front of the fans) online within minutes and become viral?

What good is buying classic comic books at the comic convention when the comic publishers themselves failed to wipe out the widespread online piracy (note: entire issues of comic books in digital form) of their comics which people can find and read for free?

One key point here is that fan conventions and other fun-oriented events that attract a lot of people are slowly losing their relevance. Convention organizers will have to come up with ways not only to stay relevant, not only to ensure exclusive stuff in their event is truly exclusive, but also innovate and raise the convention’s overall quality.

Going back to COVID-19, it is clear that the said virus is highly infectious and this alone defeats the purpose of organizing a huge event for as long as the risk of infection remains. As of this writing, local authorities are struggling to clean and disinfect places. Killing the virus is a costly and time-consuming affair.

Recently, the 2020 edition of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) had to be canceled due to COVID-19 which was a huge blow to many video game and technology companies that had signed up for the event. Microsoft, which was supposed to showcase their upcoming Xbox Series X console at E3, promptly announced it will organize a digital event instead.

Think about those words: digital events. Digital events can be done by companies to make a special presentation of their products or services in the form of a lengthy and detailed pre-recorded video or by organizing privately their showcase event (held in a venue that the company has all to itself) live via livestreaming. With the access of the Internet and the massive reach that social media provides, digital events can make fan conventions even more unnecessary. Digital events are also very useful for companies because they not only have complete privacy but also a lot more control in terms of creativity as well as amount of information to be released. This also spares companies from the hassles of crowd control as well as rampant questioning from members of the news media.

Together, COVID-19, wide Internet access and social media are factors that make organizing crowded fun-oriented showcase events more challenging than ever before. Why bother attending a local beauty pageant live in Parañaque City when viral infection, live-streaming and even crime incidents could happen?

Even after the end of this COVID-19 crisis, the community quarantine and regional lockdown, I foresee that it will take a lot more time before life really goes back to normal.

By then, I don’t think enthusiasm for crowded fun-oriented events would be restored to high levels immediately. Sports events, in my opinion, have a better chance of resuming given the nature of sports competition which remains very important with Filipinos. Other events like food fairs and shopping bazaars are more important to people in the local communities than beauty pageants or fan conventions. What people clearly want once this current crisis is over is worshiping the Lord together at church on Sundays.

Attending church is more essential than a crowded beauty pageant or a fan convention. There is no doubt about that!


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

Never Let Your Feelings Weaken Your Faith in The Lord

It is simply too easy for us people to let our feelings dominate us and lead ourselves to undesirable outcomes in life. There are times that we make decisions not based on faith but based on how we feel at the moment. Even worse, is carrying wrongful feelings for long even to the point of putting ourselves in a crisis.

To get to the point, feelings are part of our living in the flesh but as Christians who got born again and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, we must always remind ourselves and even orient the unsaved souls the truth that faith in God is much more essential than feelings. Let’s start with a bible verse.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 3: 5 (NKJV)

The verse above is about moving by faith, not by feelings and not by the limitations of our perception and understanding.  When you trust the Lord, you do it wholeheartedly and not because you relied on the inaccurate indications of your feelings deep inside. You should not rely on your feelings to do something with your faith. Remember that God’s kingdom is not of this world we live in which is full of unfortunate events or things that move people’s perception and feelings almost all the time.

Let me cite an example here. Imagine yourself anticipating a blockbuster movie you waited months for and already you secured in advance a ticket for a specific time slot for opening day. Suddenly, as your drive on the way to the movie theater, you received a call from a family member who needs you to go to the bank to do a very essential transaction which ultimately prevents you from watch that movie. The natural effects of such a scenario are disappointment, anger and, worse, resentment. In other words, negative feelings fill your heart which should never be because you already have the Holy Spirit in your heart. You should always be led by the Holy Spirit, not your feelings.

In the Kingdom of God as well as in the Body of Christ (we Christians are the church), we are supposed to be pure in heart and be living with the holiness of the Lord. Feelings, whether negative or positive, are not essential and they are never meant to be utilized as indicators on how we live, what we do and what we think of. As Christians, we are supposed to be more reasonable and be wiser under the watch of the Lord. Always remember that while you can hide your feelings from people, you can never ever hide those feelings from God. Remember that whatever feelings we have here on Earth are meaningless in the spiritual realm.

Let’s examine some notable examples of life that cause people to feel (and then giving in to those feelings) while they live in the flesh.

First example is unbelief. You see those secularists or atheists who speak out loud on TV or on social media? They often reject God and deny His existence. They believe that humans can exist, remain moral and prosper without God, without faith (or religion as they often call it) and without discipline. Those secularists and atheists can easily offend the feelings of a Christian at first. However, any anointed and mature Christian would always know to prioritize God and maintain faith in Him instead of giving in to feeling offended or feeling weakened by those who have no faith. Remember this always and go around telling your fellow Christians to never give in to their feelings and never ever let unbelief dominate them. Remind them of being faithful to the Lord. Remind them that they already have the victory of the Lord over Satan. Let’s read the following scripture from the Holy Bible.

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)

Wow! Those were powerful words from Lord Jesus Himself! He achieved a major victory that nobody else could ever match – redeeming the whole world by sacrificing Himself, then returned to enlighten more with holiness before ascending to Heaven! Jesus holiness is very real and there truly is a God who created us, accepted us as His children when we got born again and blessed us since. The truth of Christianity shows that there is no good reason at all as to why we Christians should surrender to our feelings and allow the non-believers to drag us down to their level. We Christians are not only believers but are also citizens of God’s Kingdom complete with armor, weapons and other spiritual means that with Him, we are more than conquerors. Moving on, let’s read the next holy scripture.

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

2 Corinthians 2: 14 (NKJV)

2 Corinthians 2: 14 is another clear example as to why we the faithful are living in victory. Unbelief combined with feelings are actually a weak combination and we Christians are never meant to allow ourselves to be defeated by them. We are spiritually stronger under God. Always remember that!

Secularists and atheists are more likely to manipulate other people (those with weaker faith or even none at all) through their feelings and then trap them into accepting unbelief. This is sad but not hopeless for us Christians. We can unite and pray to the Lord that unbelief will be overwhelmed and then time will come that the secularists and atheists will realize the errors of their ways and soon will decide willingly to apologize to the Lord and submit to Him peacefully. We can also pray for the victims as well as all the unsaved and lost souls who embraced unbelief. Remember that unbelief is a weapon of the ever-stubborn loser Satan. We can always defeat Satan by remaining strongly faithful with God and preach His Word to this screwed-up world we live in.

The next example that spark feelings in people is religion which is often confused with faith. To put it in simple terms, religion is a deeply flawed approach of worshipping the Lord as it involves a lot of man-written rules, sacraments and a bunch of other stuff that are not really holy. Having gone through a past life of religion (followed by a short life of unbelief) myself, I confirm the truth that religion is frustrating (this is the most notable feeling) and is actually a hindrance to achieving truth faith in the Lord.

Religion involves idolatry (worshiping people, images and man-made items) which is very wrong as confirmed by the following holy scripture.

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

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

Think about the sin of idolatry carefully. You worship a person, that makes you unrighteous. You pray to a statue or statuette, that makes you unrighteous. You pray to a painting or a relic, that makes you unrighteous. You keep on practicing idolatry, it will impact you to developing a whole bunch of unnecessary feelings deep inside you which will give you a false perception of faith in the Lord (which you are not really achieving). In religion, idolatry is also a tradition falsely believed to be holy. Be aware that idolatry itself makes religion unholy and our Heavenly Father is a jealous God. Even Satan uses religion and idolatry is a useful tool for him to prevent people from being with God. Learn from the following scriptures.

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

Exodus 20: 3-6 (NKJV)

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

Leviticus 19: 4 (NKJV)

Apart from idolatry, religion also comes with its own traditions that were not made by God’s chosen people who wrote the Holy Bible. Such traditions trap people and make them more emotional and prone to being dictated by their feelings. This alone should be of deep concern for anyone seeking the Lord. In my old life, I practiced religious traditions of visiting seven churches of religion, praying with repetitive prayers, praying with a relic that was never holy, submitting to a religious hierarchy that has a history of abuse and corruption for centuries, praying to man-made objects, forcefully getting pushed to participate in a religion-driven brainwashing event called family encounter (now a tradition for a certain group religious people here in the Philippines), participating in a religion-based youth movement (also a tradition for the above-mentioned group of people) and the like. So I went through all of that in my old life and ultimately I really never got connected with the Lord, nor was I ever able to discover the ways to establishing a true personal relationship with Him.

Religion and its traditions, rituals, idolatry and culture of forceful imposition deeply frustrated me. This is the ultimate feeling I had long ago. Because religion was hollow, mean and so frustrating to me, I rejected religion and, incidentally, I got myself separated from the Lord which is why there was a period of almost ten years in which I lived a non-believer. I even became antagonistic towards the Lord and Christianity as whole. All that time before, I did not realize that faith and religion are not one and the same. I also had not discovered back then that it was possible to be with God without religion.

And then, when I was a little over forty-years-old, something wonderful and holy happened. My dearest friend in life invited me to her church to attend a holy seminar. I attended with her and the many church members (the Body of Christ) present, just behaving myself since I was still a non-believer. I was still living in darkness (which started since my old life with religion). After attending that event, meeting the pastor and brought home with me a holy bible that was given to me, I saw the light again and eventually I willingly got born again. I became a new creation, a true Christian and a child of God. The darkness of religion and unbelief that overwhelmed me ended and I have no desire to go back to my old life ever again.

Since then, I attended Sunday worship regularly and also participated in bible study sessions and holy seminars to grow spiritually and deepen my established personal relationship with God. Along the way, I learned from our pastor that our faith in the Lord should never be dominated nor affected by our feelings which is the precise topic of this article. To end this part, religion is truly frustrating and unnecessary. Being religious is not the same as being faithful with the Lord.

Another factor that sparks feelings in us is Satan. The enemy knows well that feelings, emotions and sentimentalism are effective weapons for him to dumb us Christians down, and worse, overwhelm people who are not aware of their true purpose under God. The enemy would not hesitate to use a person or an event to arouse our feelings inside to keep us distracted from being focused Christians. Satan is also known to spread temptation which itself sparks feelings.

Take for example, an earthquake rocks and heavily damages a major city causing a lot of deaths, injuries and property damage. That tragedy gets magnified by the morally bankrupt cable TV news organizations which only cause viewers around the world to feel sad, sorry, fearful and even defeated. Such tragedies that spark tons of feelings to weaken people delight Satan. We as children of God should never ever allow our feelings nor our perception of magnified tragedies overwhelm our faith in the Lord. We the Christians have been redeemed by Jesus long ago and it is our mission to always remain focused and very strong with faith in Him. We the children of God are not mere followers but we are special and we have a much greater purpose in the spiritual realm even though we are still living in the flesh on this world that Satan had screwed-up long ago. Learn from the following scripture.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6: 10-20 (NKJV)

Those were such powerful words! More than that, Ephesians 6: 10-20 confirms the truth that we the faithful should always be strong in the Lord and with Him, we have the means to overcome Satan and all other forces of evil. That also includes completely defying the feelings we have while living in the flesh. That being said, we the children of God have no reason to be fearful at all. We only fear the Lord because it leads to wisdom (Proverbs 9: 10), strong confidence (Proverbs 14: 26) and opposing evil (Proverbs 8: 13).

Satan is not as powerful as most people think. He is simply a loser who just refuses to stop and will continue to exploit the weak to screw up many people and spread chaos worldwide. War, famine, riots and pandemics are such examples of global tragedies with people falling for Satan’s tricks and failing to keep strong faith in God.

We the children of God know much better. Therefore, Satan’s strategy of using chaos (being magnified by the global news media giants), fear and negative vibes to bring us down through our feelings can be deflected for as long as we continue to be strong with God. It is a matter of being faithful over being full of feelings.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying feelings are totally useless. As God’s children living in the flesh here on Earth, it is okay to have feelings like the happiness that comes with being with the family or a special someone, the deep satisfaction we have inside as we enjoy the prosperity and protection God blessed us with, etc.

We can live with feelings but we always prioritize our faith in the Lord eternally. We can keep on living with feelings but we must not be led by them because we were created by God to be led by the Holy Spirit.  We were not created to be religious but to be faithful Christians.

Now let me reach out to the unsaved souls and the lost souls among you, my readers…

If you seek salvation now, learn that the first step is to receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Never be fooled into believing that your past defined you and your future. With Jesus, you will become a child of God and a whole new creation complete with your sins from the past washed away! You will become a true Christian with a holy purpose!

Once you are ready, pray this simple prayer (I learned from my pastor) in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

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

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! No more darkness in your life caused by unbelief or religion (and the idolatry, traditions and rituals that come with it). Your new life has begun!

Always study the Holy Bible, apply its lessons into your life and pray in tongues regularly to Him. The Holy Spirit is in you and you are now a new creation! You can also start your spiritual growth immediately under the eyes of the Lord! Today is a happy day for you!

In ending this piece, feel free to enjoy these Christian praise-and-worship YouTube videos. Hallelujah!!!


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 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: Shout to the Lord

It is one of the most popular Christian praise and worship songs of all time in the whole world. For many, it is the one song that defined pastor Darlene Zschech’s place in the world under the eyes of God for it is undeniable that it helped lead people to Him. The song described is none other than Shout to the Lord, released in 1993 by Hillsong as part of their album Simply Worship with words and music done by Darlene Zschech.

It is a very beautiful song that always succeeds in making people realize their true purpose under God which leads them to Him, motivates them to praise and thank Him more and ultimately move on with Christian living. Shout to the Lord is sung by millions of churchgoers every week and is unsurprisingly the favorite of many Christian churches for Sunday worship. Now let’s take a look at the lyrics of this famously powerful Christian song.

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My Jesus

My Saviour

Lord there is none like You

All of my days

I want to praise

The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort

My shelter

Tower of refuge and strength

Let every breath

All that I am

Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord

All the earth let us sing

Power and majesty

Praise to the King

Mountains bow down

And the seas will roar

At the sound of Your Name

I sing for joy

At the work of Your hands

Forever I’ll love You

Forever I’ll stand

Nothing compares to

The promise I have in You

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As seen in the above lyrics, Shout to the Lord is not about merely shouting to Him but rather praising Him out loud not for a moment but with a will to keep praising without ever giving up. The lyrics opened with references to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who was sent by God to us here on Earth (refer to John 3: 16) and paid the price for our redemption. Of course, Jesus went on to return back to life and spent some time with His believers before ascending to Heaven with the promise of returning to us.

Back to the song, there are powerful lines such as All of my days, I want to praise in the opening. The next section in the lyrics has Never cease to worship You while the next section has Shout to the Lord, All the earth let us sing as powerful lines.

There is basis for the song within the Holy Bible. Let’s start with this holy scripture.

Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures all generations.

Psalm 100: 1-5 (NKJV)

That holy scripture emphasizes that we the creations of God (certainly not idols) are welcome to enter His presence express ourselves to Him with dynamic praise which includes happiness, singing, thanksgiving, worshiping and honoring Him. Because we are so occupied with daily living, duties and social responsibilities, we Christians sometimes forget to approach the Lord with high energy, deep appreciation and strong confidence.

We are supposed to be strong, happy and excited to praise God always and this is reflected in the line I sing for joy in the song. As Christians who got saved by the Lord, we no longer live in darkness for we are already citizens of His kingdom, the kingdom of light! We are supposed to be lively spiritually and even while living in the flesh.

Here’s the next holy scripture.

Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it! Shout, you lower parts of the earth; Break forth into singing, you mountains. O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, And glorified Himself in Israel.

Isaiah 44: 23 (NKJV)

As children of God, we should always acknowledge His works on overcoming evil, saving more unsaved and lost souls. We acknowledge to the Lord not by merely thanking Him but praising Him with happiness, thankfulness and honor. For every victory of the Lord, we have real reasons to celebrate with singing and shouting joy. The song Shout to the Lord reflects that especially with the lyrics Praise to the King, Mountains bow down, And the seas will roar, At the sound of Your Name.

As Christians who are faithful (not religious, not idolatrous and not trapped by relics, traditions and rituals) and peaceful thanks to Jesus’ redemption, we have every reason to be very lively in worshiping the Lord. We should not allow others to silence us from shouting praise and joy to the Lord even though they prefer silence (or that they prefer their tradition of less lively worship not knowing or ignoring what was written in the Holy Bible). This brings me to the next holy scripture.

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

Ezra 3: 11 (NKJV)

The great shout in Ezra 3: 11 refers to God’s followers shouting loudly by voice along with the blast of trumpets expressing praise and giving thanks. The shout was also victorious in nature. Now we can proceed to one more holy scripture.

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

Psalm 98: 4 (NKJV)

The above scripture’s first lines are very similar to the following lines from Shout to the Lord: Shout to the Lord, All the earth let us sing. Did Darlene Zschech take direct inspiration from Psalm 98: 4 when she composed Shout to the Lord? That I’d like to find out from her someday.

In closing this piece, here are three YouTube videos of Shout to the Lord performed by Darlene Zschech when she was much younger, from some years ago and in recent times. Remember to always praise, honor and thank the Lord in a very lively manner. Study His Word (the Holy Bible) and pray in tongues to Him always. Be led by the Holy Spirit! Enjoy!


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 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

Declare Your Love for God

For months now, people and governments around the world have been struggling with fear, anxiety, uncertainty and even death due to infectious microbes. No matter what happens, we as Christians who accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior should never lose faith. It is faith in the Lord that spares us from disaster, poverty and evil. Of course, we Christians each have our own respective challenges in life to overcome and the ongoing crisis is the newest, major challenge for this particular time of the 21st century that happens to affect a lot of people around the world.

No matter how bad and depressing life becomes, we Christians must always put God first in everything we do. This includes constantly reading the Holy Bible (the Word of God), praying to Him, deepening our relationship with Him and applying His Word into our daily lives. We keep strong faith in Him and in due time, we will see God’s continual blessing in our lives.

Being faithful Christians, we certainly should never let religion, unbelief, idolatry, tradition and rituals hinder us from living with God’s Word and holiness. We are members of the Body of Christ. We are the church! Refer to 1 Corinthians 12: 12-30 in the Holy Bible.

Therefore, as Born Again people, we should declare that God’s love is with us and nothing will separate us from Him. We must always declare our love for Him in addition to thanking and honor Him! We are not mere mortals for we are God’s creations with a holy purpose. We are tasked to spread God’s Word and help the Lord save the many, many unsaved and lost souls around the world. Remember, true faith in the Lord does NOT include force nor coercion nor shaming nor idolatry. As such, we emphasize God’s Word to others gently and always let them decide on their own whether to accept the Lord or not. After all, each and every person has a personal relationship with God which is strictly off limits to everyone else (even the biological family).

Moving on, let’s read a scripture from the Holy Bible.

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Galatians 3: 13 (NKJV)

We all know that Adam’s rebellion towards God marked the downfall of humanity which lasted for many generations as recorded in the Holy Bible. Even though humanity was sinful, God never wiped humanity away because He planned for grand redemption and restoration to happen. In His greatest expression of love for us all, He sent us His only begotten Son Jesus. When His time came, Lord Jesus never despised the cross and went on to die for us all for redemption. It was Lord Jesus’ work, not ours, that removed the curse upon humanity. To express it in a different way, it was the blood of Jesus that cleansed us all! Satan was defeated! Jesus got resurrected and spread more of His holy enlightenment to those who witnessed His return. Then He ascended to Heaven to join God, our Heavenly Father. A promise was made by Jesus to return. Jesus is alive, always!

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 35-39 (NKJV)

Romans 8: 35-39 makes clear that as children of God who were saved, we have no reason to despair, no reason to live in fear and no reason to be defeated. We have the love of the Lord that lasts eternally and also the Holy Spirit is in our hearts! Even in hardships that we are experiencing now personally and globally, we can be more than conquerors because we are God’s children! We are faithful and we can excel in life as long as we put God first, we remain faithful to Him and execute His Word to save all the unsaved souls around us! We have a relationship with God and nothing can separate us from Him.

To you who are reading this, if you are living with darkness (caused by unbelief or religion or deep ignorance), it is not too late for you to be born again. No less than Lord Jesus emphasized the point of being born again in John 3: 3 in the Holy Bible. You can become a true Christian and an actual child of God by getting born again and willingly accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

Now we go to Chapter 91 of the Book of Psalm in both New King James Version and the Passion Translation.

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from perilous pestilence.

Psalm 91: 2-3 (NKJV)

He’s the hope that holds me and the Stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, and my great confidence. He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy, and he will protect you from false accusation and any deadly curse.

Psalm 91: 2-3 (TPT)

The scriptures above point out that God, who is the Creator, the Source and Provider, is our stronghold (refuge) that we can always rely on and never worry about anything. Not even a global financial crash, nor a plague nor a major natural disaster nor someone very evil could crush us spiritually for as long as we are faithful to Him. We are God’s children and He will always protect us, deliver us from trials and He will fight and defeat the enemy for us. Remember that contrary to the teachings by religion-minded authorities, Satan has always been a loser and with God on our side, we can keep on defeating and rejecting Satan. That being said, always let the Holy Spirit lead you.

One more scripture.

Keep you heart with all diligence. For out of it spring the issues of life.

Proverbs 4: 23 (NKJV)

It is essential for us to keep our hearts. This mean valuing and protecting our minds, emotions and will. We all live in a screwed-up world with lots of problems plaguing people all around us. Even with all the hassle and problems, we should never lose faith in the Lord.

Now let me address the unsaved readers among you…

If you seek salvation now, learn that the first step is to receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Never be fooled into believing that your past defined you and your future. With Jesus, you become a child of God and a whole new creation! A true Christian with a holy purpose!

Once you are ready, pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

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

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! No more darkness in your life caused by unbelief or religion (and the idolatry, traditions and rituals that come with it). Your new life has begun!

Always read the Holy Bible, apply its lessons into your life and pray in tongues regularly to Him. The Holy Spirit is in you and you are now a new creation! Declare your love for God!


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 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

 

 

 

Overcome Fear by Keeping Faith in Our Lord and Staying Pure with His Holiness

There is so much fear in people’s minds nowadays mainly due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus, or specifically COVID-19. Not only has the coronavirus infected and killed many people worldwide, it is also bringing down most forms of business or economic sectors such as tourism, investments and manufacturing.

Here in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte suspended classes in Metro Manila for the days of March 10 to 14 as the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that there are now locals infected by coronavirus.

Considering these mentioned developments are only a few of many negative developments related to the spreading coronavirus, they have still proven to drag down a lot of people deep inside. Instead of being optimistic, those who believe in the danger of coronavirus are feeling lost, scared, depressed and even panicking.

Even though the danger of COVID-19 is real, I am not scared at all and there is no good reason for me to be afraid and panicky. Why? Because my faith and trust in the Lord remains as strong as ever and I know for a fact that God will never leave us nor forsake us. It is faith in the Lord – not religion, not unbelief, not feelings and certainly not idols – that will spare us Christians from the danger and disasters of this screwed up world we live in. Instead of hiding or spending our time on our smartphones, we all should still be reading God’s Word in the Holy Bible and keep praying to Him no matter what happens.

To puts things into perspective, let’s look at key verses of Chapter 91 of the Book of Psalm in the Holy Bible.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by the day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;

Psalm 91: 1-10 (NKJV)

The scriptures above make it clear that our Heavenly Father is a caring, loving and protective creator and we, as His creations, need to be faithful to Him and keep serving Him. Remember that in emphasizing His love for us, God sent His Son Jesus who spread the good news, died on the cross, got resurrected and flew to Heaven. Jesus saved humanity! He redeemed us! He saved us! Jesus made people realize their true purposes as God’s creations!

Verses 9 and 10 of Psalm 91 emphasize the promise of divinely protected health. The passage promises protection from sickness as a blessing of the redeemed life. Always remember these details and for as long as you remain faithful and trusting in the Lord while applying His Word in your personal life, you will be protected from harm, poverty and disease. Not even coronavirus will bring you down.

It is essential to remember that fear is a weapon of Satan who never gave up in trying to neutralize Christians and make them fail in their relationship with God. Like past diseases, coronavirus struck fear into the hearts of many people around and those who panicked showed signs that their faith and trust in the Lord are weak. Coronavirus also made people panic and doing desperate acts like panic buying. What also come with panic buying are increased vehicular traffic on highways, increased physical presence of people in and out of the retailers (note: this incidentally would increase the risk of getting infected with COVID-19), increased air and noise pollution, and other risks of incidents.

The coronavirus paranoia shows how powerful fear is and why Satan is delighted to see people lose control of themselves and, at the same time, separate Christians from the Lord through their weakness. First of all, God did not just create us to be mere creations on Earth. He really wanted Earth to be filled with perfect beings which was what He planned with Adam and Eve. Unfortunately, Adam rebelled against God when he ate the fruit Eve gave him (which was the result of her getting tempted by the serpent to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil). This rebellion (note: God specifically commanded Adam to never eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) committed by Adam gave dominion to Satan and cursed humanity with sin, and this led to a downward spiral for the human race thousands of years later as recorded in the Holy Bible. As we know by now, God had a plan to redeem humanity by sending His Son Jesus into the world. It was through the acts and sacrifice of Jesus that humanity was saved and He proved God loves and cares for us. Jesus Himself stated that becoming born again is needed in order to see the kingdom of the Heavenly Father (read John 3: 3 in the Holy Bible).

God’s plan for His creation is so great, Satan will stop at nothing to take it all away by exploiting human weakness. Fear is a favorite weapon Satan uses along with unbelief, religion, idolatry, doubt, greed, hatred, covetousness, homosexuality, deception, division and temptation. Fear leads to anger, hatred, panic, desperation, resentment and the weakening of faith in the Lord.

As Christians who were born again (accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior), we are targets of the enemy. Satan, who was defeated long ago when Jesus redeemed humanity, will strike against each of us through feelings, fear, pressure, symptoms and negativity. For us Christians, living in holiness with Jesus in our hearts becomes challenging due to our obligations such as careers, businesses, family matters and other worldly matters. As if that was not hard enough, our screwed-up world has lots of religion-blinded authorities who teach the wrong theology that God is in control of everything and allows bad things to happen to the innocent as well as to His own children (us Christians). And then these same authorities teach people to worship idols (both the living and those man-made objects like statues, statuettes, images and relics) which is sinful (refer to 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10), to practice religious traditions and rituals, and to follow a bunch of rules that were not really part of the Holy Bible. Being religious is not the same as being faithful to the Lord.

As I mentioned before, we Christians need faith in the Lord, not religion, not idolatry, not traditions, not rituals, not sacraments, not feelings, and certainly not unbelief. By being faithful with Him, we each can establish a personal relationship with God which is strictly off-limits to others (even your own biological family members have no right whatsoever to interfere in your relationship with the Lord).

Let’s read these scriptures from the Holy Bible.

Therefore He says: “Awake you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”

Ephesians 5: 14 (NKJV)

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.”

Luke 21: 34 (NKJV)

The scriptures above clearly show that as we have been redeemed by Jesus, He warned against spiritual lethargy and wants us to be always ready for His return. To live in holiness with Jesus in our hearts, read God’s Word through the Holy Bible, pray to Him constantly and dedicatedly (which include praying in tongues), preach His Word around, help save the unsaved and lost souls, keep trusting Him and maintain strong faithfulness in Him are all part of preparing ourselves for Jesus’ promised return.

Next scripture…

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

2 Corinthians 4: 3-4 (NKJV)

The above scripture makes clear why there are many unsaved and lost souls around the world. In verse 4, Satan blinds the minds of people (including the ones who practice religion, idolatry, traditions and rituals) and the sad thing is that they choose not to believe which results their failure to see and realize the glory of Christ.

Once a man realizes the light of God and starts being faithful to Him, Satan gets defeated.

Yes, you read that right! Christians who are edified by God can defeat Satan and keep resisting him each time he tries to strike back. By having powerful faith in the Lord and following the examples of Jesus, we Christians can truly live in holiness and in victory over the enemy! Fear becomes nothing!

Having lived an old life of religion, idolatry, traditions, rituals and unbelief myself, I can say that I was hounded by darkness all the way. Since the day I got saved I realized that faith in the Lord is truly essential and true Christian living is simpler than I thought. My becoming born again is the greatest miracle in my whole life and through Jesus, I became a new creation free from the darkness of unbelief, religion, idolatry, traditions, sacraments and rituals that burdened me. I also realized that with the Lord, Satan and any other forms of evil can be defeated not once but multiple times!

The following scripture will compel you to be with Jesus.

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)

Now let’s look at the Passion Translation.

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

2 Corinthians 5: 17 (TPT)

To put things in perspective, being a new creation means having a fresh, new start spiritually. By realizing your true purpose under God, you are in a race for holiness, a race to meet His High Call. To live in holiness with Jesus in your heart. This leads me to the next 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)

We live in a chaotic and screwed-up world. As we live in the flesh, we are vulnerable to the trouble around us and that only means we need to resist the fear sparked by Satan that started the mess. The loser Satan thinks he can use this physical world against God by going after us and trying to defeat us spiritually. All the more reason why we should NOT be conformed to this world and we must focus always on maintaining holiness under God. We Christians have the Holy Spirit already in our hearts, and we should always be led by the Holy Spirit. We must live with purity under Jesus. The truth is that the path to godly living is not complicated, nor is it energized by our flesh. We the believers should always submit to God’s provisions and ways.

The next scripture will remind you of the battle with Satan.

Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

1 Peter 5: 8-9 (NKJV)

You are definitely not alone with your effort to resist Satan and living on as a Child of God. You are part of the Body of Christ (the church – refer to 1 Corinthians 12: 12-30) and it is essential for us to keep living in holiness, serving the Lord (who will never abandon us nor forsake us – read Deuteronomy 31: 6) and always ensure that the enemy will NEVER win. Satan can use unbelief, temptations or religion (with idolatry, traditions, rituals, sacraments and the wrongful theology) as weapons against you but as long as you know you were saved and got anointed by the Lord, and as long as you know your true purpose as a Christian, you will get to defeat Satan and beat him again on each and every subsequent attack he throws at you. Always maintain strong faith in God! God is the source and the following scripture explains why.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

James 1: 17 (NKJV)

James 1: 17 emphasizes that the Heavenly Father is not responsible for human sin. God is in fact the source of all good, He is also faithful, He is just and He always keeps His promises. God’s promise to Abraham of a son (Isaac) through his wife Sara is one of the most notable promises ever made and fulfilled. Behold the existence of Israel which not only has the Holy Land but also its own State. We Christians have a goal to support the State of Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Whatever promise God made to you, rest assured He will fulfill it in due time. Don’t let the devil or anyone representing darkness fool you. Don’t let fear overpower you. You definitely do not want to settle for less knowing that God has a plan for you complete with blessings coming.

Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His Love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1: 12-14 (NKJV)

The above scripture emphasizes that we Christians are qualified to receive blessings from the Lord and this includes Kingdom Wealth. As citizens of God’s Kingdom, we will each be rewarded according to our respective work. Lord Jesus Himself said in Revelations 22: 12And behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.

Lord Jesus Himself pulled us out of darkness and helped us break the chains that symbolized danger, death, sickness, hostile situations, wickedness and other negative elements the enemy used on us. As Christians, we have been freed and saved by Jesus. We are new creations, citizens of God’s Kingdom and are living in victory under Jesus whom we worship directly (note: we are not hindered by a religion-led hierarchy which itself only exists to get in the way between a Christian and the Lord).

On with the next scripture…

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12: 1-2 (NKJV)

We Christians each have a race to endure and finish. The race, if you are imagining sports competitions like foot races, is obviously about our souls and the goal of achieving holiness. This means laying aside anything that would hinder the progress being made. Avoiding the committing of sin is a must! However we race, we should not focus on each other as contestants or competitors at all since we are God’s children and citizens of his Kingdom. Instead, when we race, we should always focus on Lord Jesus who saved us.

As part of living in holiness, we Christians should do more than just attending church every Sunday. For one thing, going to church on Sunday is to be done not as an obligation, not as a tradition but rather to prioritize our relationship with God by truly connecting with Him right in the presence of the many members of the spiritual family. Apart from Sunday worship, we need to attend, as much as possible, seminars and prayer meetings at church held during the weekdays. The learning of God’s Word is ever enduring and we need to keep on learning and applying the lessons into our respective lives. This is living in holiness! By doing these dedicatedly complete with strong faith in the Lord, fear as well as other forms of attacks launched against us by Satan will be futile! There is more to deepening our personal relationship with God. Let’s examine the next scripture below.

The LORD upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The LORD preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.

Psalm 145: 14-20 (NKJV)

It is clear in Psalm 145: 14-20 that God is gentle, loving, protective and caring for His children while remaining firm to punish those who are wicked. For us, His children, God really loves us and wants to bless us, and all we need to do is to keep submitting to Him, live in holiness and endure to honor, praise and serve Him. Those who sin and keep on doing what is evil and what pleases Satan will end up with doom. This should serve as a reminder that we Christians must make efforts to save the unsaved souls around the us by preaching God’s Word and magnifying the Lord to them. Eventually the unsaved souls will realize something and decide to reach out to God.

Going back to fear, we only need to fear God because it will lead to wisdom (read Proverbs 9: 10). All other forms of fear are to be rejected and resisted without question! This way, Satan is defeated yet again!

Another reason to constantly pursue holiness under the Lord is that God has a vision to make you and your church unstoppable and moving on driven by faith. God, after all, is the source of all vision, success, prosperity, progress and holiness. We Christians all need to humble ourselves to Him and to realize His vision for you, you need to tell Him to show it. For insight, read Jesus’ words in John 12: 26 and the Lord’s words in Jeremiah 33: 3.

Here’s one more scripture…

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

Jeremiah 29: 11 (NKJV)

God truly loves us. When we His children commit errors, He makes ways to correct us. When we His children are troubled, he comes to us to help and pave the way for the better. For as long as we His children remain faithful to Him, God’s plans for each and every one us will manifest in due time. Knowing that God’s plans are definitely good, there is no more reason for us to be fearful and weak. Satan has been defeated and will only be defeated again and again.

As of this writing, we in this chaotic world are living in the middle of the storm caused by coronavirus COVID-19. There are people who are suffering from coronavirus and there were those who died. Still no matter what happens, we the faithful Christians have no reason to be scared and lose hope because the Lord is with us. Always maintain strong faith in Him, keep trusting Him, honor Him and thank Him for all the good and the care He keeps on providing us.

We all need to pray to the Lord and trust in Him that coronavirus COVID-19 will fade away, that no more people will be infected and those who are already infected will be spared. Don’t limit your prayer into asking (note: also you should not beg), but believe that God will do it. Trust the Lord! The fear that has crippled millions of people worldwide has gone far enough and already economies have slowed down. The time to keep standing with the Lord on ending this time of crisis is now! The coronavirus COVID-19 crisis is the battle that only the Lord can fight and conquer!

The Lord is our refuge, our protector and provider! Fear and all other negative elements are nothing when we the faithful are with God.

Let me conclude this post with this holy scripture. This one will be remembered for a long time.

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41: 10 (NKJV)


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

New Life Community Care Feeds and Assists Taal Volcano Eruption Victims

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from New Life Community Care by means of an interview and 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.

New Life Community Care Feeds and Assists Taal Volcano Eruption Victims

For a period of nine days, the New Life Community Care Foundation International, Inc. (NLCOM) and its personnel worked hard to take special care of the many evacuees of the Taal Volcano Eruption (which happened on January 12, 2020) in the province of Batangas

It was there where the NLCOM’s very own mobile kitchen was set up. With precision, careful management of resources and dedication to help the evacuees, the team behind the mobile kitchen produced several hot meals daily during the nine days feeding a whole lot of evacuees who had no choice but to leave their respective communities behind.

According to NLCOM’s program assistant Thessa Joy Jimenez, a total of 52,000 hot meals were served to the evacuees who came from varied communities affected by the January 12 eruption. Mathematically, the mobile kitchen produced an average of more than 5,600 meals per day (breakfast and dinner specifically). This was made possible by having the sophisticated food preparation equipment and sufficient supplies of food and ingredients collected from their donors. The feeding is just one form of NLCOM’s assistance for the evacuees.

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One of the many meals being prepared with the utmost care. (photo source – New Life Community Care)
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A child watches as NLCOM’s people prepare to serve him. (photo source – New Life Community Care)

Along the way, their team coordinated closely with the local authorities and helped keep things in order. Their assistance to the evacuees was not limited to feeding as they also provided them with hygiene kits, grocery bags and medical services. They also interacted closely with the local community members with a strong focus on helping. These recent acts were in accordance to the NLCOM’s core approach of Respond-Reach Out-Rebuild.

“During calamities, we organized training for the congregants and the volunteers involved in our foundation. We reached out by doing relief operations, medical missions and the mobile kitchen operation to help those who got affected. We rebuild by means of doing livelihood assistance for them,” Jimenez said during my interview with her at their office.

 

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Relief goods like water, hygiene kits and other useful items were released to the victims by NLCOM. (photo source – New Life Community Care)
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Packages of relief goods organized carefully by the basket inside New Life Alabang. (photo source – New Life Community Care)

Behind the scenes, NLCOM responded quickly to the eruption by communicating first with the local authorities in Batangas. At their facility inside Alabang Hills Village, their team organized a huge collection of relief goods and cash from their donors (including churches within New Life’s own network), carefully arranged all the relief goods (which include the sleeping mats, blankets and water to name some) in a very orderly fashion, and piled up all the needed supplies before making the long trips to Batangas. Their team was led by their Executive Director Edwin Tugano.

“Our initial plan for the Taal Volcano eruption operation was to operate for three days which was followed by an extension of two days. This was in response to the local authorities’ request for more assistance,” Jimenez said. “Shortly after, our operation became seven days all of which were in Bauan. After that, our team rested and eventually returned to Batangas to serve other barangays in different evacuation areas for two days. Breakfast meals were provided during those two days.”

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With sharp precision, NLCOM team prepared the items for relief operations in a very orderly fashion. (photo source – New Life Community Care)

Ultimately, the volcano eruption victims were happy with all the assistance they received. Jimenez recalled that after the seventh day, the victims were very thankful to NLCOM and there were some who verbally expressed their love to them.

“They were very thankful and we could tell through their personal expressions and their hugs to us,” she said. “We really saw the positive impact we made to them. It was all a very heartwarming experience for us all. Tiring but very fulfilling.”

Regarding NLCOM’s volunteers, Jimenez said that they consistently orient them with disaster preparedness methods, group assistance and working closely with the victims and local authorities. Then on February 19, NLCOM completed another distribution of relief goods for Taal Volcano eruption victims (four hundred families) in Barangay Barigon, Agoncillo, Batangas. They assessed the homes that were damaged (partially or totally) from the disaster.

To date, New Life Community Care continues to engage with its partners, its own network of churches and outreach units, and the varied local authorities around the nation. For the future, Jimenez confirmed to me that NLCOM is continuing its preparation of provisions for further emergency operations as well as maintaining contact with varied authorities and planning what could be the next step to take for future assistance.

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Personal interactions with members of the local community is another thing that NLCOM does well. (photo source – New Life Community Care)

Truly New Life Community Care lives up to its name and has an undeniable record of assistance for those who badly need it.

What is New Life Community Care?

New Life Community Care is a foundation, operating exclusively for charitable and social welfare purposes. While associated with New Life Alabang, it is separate and has an independent board.

New Life Community Care is a non-stock, non-profit organization registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with registration number CN200323699. It is also registered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with registration number DSWD-SB-RL-001582015. Their website is at www.nlcom.org.ph

How Did It Start?

It began in 2003 when their Senior Pastor Paul Chase was led to respond to the needs of street children who were abandoned and neglected. The NLCOM eventually partnered with the City Government of Muntinlupa to take care of the said children.

Ten years later, super typhoon Yolanda (internationally referred to as Haiyan) overwhelmed the Philippines very hard, especially the regions south of Luzon. Tacloban City in the province of Leyte got hit so hard, people lost their homes and belongings, their lives got terribly disrupted and there were several casualties. The damage was so immense, Tacloban caught the attention of the whole world.

In response to the disaster, Senior Pastor Paul Chase and some volunteers of the church came to Tacloban to provide much needed help. This resulted the creation of a makeshift kitchen at the said city and went on to produce six thousand hot meals daily for school children there.

You must be wondering: how was New Life’s team able to create such a high number of meals every day back then? The answer is this: New Life Alabang partnered with Rev. Kim Beam Kon of Truly Good Friends Foundation from South Korea. The joint effort resulted a feeding program that lasted for a year and led to the establishment of the New Life Community Care Foundation.

Along the way, Senior Pastor Paul Chase envisioned the local church to stand in the gap, step up to meet the need and demonstrate God’s love by responding, reaching out and rebuilding the lives of families and communities in the event of disasters. In times of disaster, New Life church provides manpower to NLCOM to enable it to assist victims.

The Foundation’s program is structured this way: Respond to the immediate needs of disaster victims by providing food, relief goods, medical services and executing rescue operations. Reach out with their pro-active volunteers who engage in raising awareness and increasing the knowledge and skills of families, churches and communities on preparing them for disasters and teaching them how to respond during those times. Rebuild by helping the victims by means of clearing the debris, providing shelter kit materials and assisting families and the local communities in the repair and reconstruction of the properties that got damaged from the disaster.

Conclusion

Let me end this post with these three scriptures from the Holy Bible.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6: 2 (NKJV)

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

Hebrews 6: 10 (NKJV)

We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.

Romans 15: 1-2 (NKJV)


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