Century Club of Tahanan Celebrates Christmas 2019

The Century Club of Tahanan, Inc. (CCTI), a private club of senior citizens living in Tahanan Village, Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City, had its annual Christmas party held at their village’s multi-purpose facility (covered basketball court) on the evening of December 6.

According to CCTI president Florencia Umali, there were roughly two hundred guests who attended, including the visitors. When asked about their club’s total membership, she told me that they currently have four hundred and thirty-nine members all in all.

 

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Century Club president Florencia Umali with guests who posed for this website.
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The guests lined up for food.
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The registration table and the dining tables.

Apart from enjoying the delicious food and drinks, nice music was played by hired musicians that kept everyone entertained.

In addition, varied local officials visited and greeted the guests. Parañaque City mayor Edwin Olivarez, his brother Congressman Eric, City Councilor Tess de Asis and former Barangay BF Homes chairwoman Florencia “Beng” Amurao arrived to personally meet the guests and have their pictures taken with them.

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The Olivarezes and Councilor Tess de Asis with the guests.

Sometime after De Asis, Amurao and the Olivarezes left, City Councilors Wahoo Sotto, Juvan Esplana and Bong Benzon arrived together. After greeting the guests, they each delivered short speeches and gave the people some updates regarding city legislation.

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City Councilors Wahoo Sotto, Juvan Esplana and Bong Benzon with Umali during the raffle draw.
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City Councilor Sotto updates the guests with latest developments.

Finally the last city personality to arrive (after the City Councilors left) was former Congressman Gus Tambunting. He danced with the guests and delivered his remarks.

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Century Club president Florencia Umali with former Congressman Gus Tambunting.

Throughout the evening, music was played, special prizes (including those donated by the local politicians) were raffled off, guests danced and socializing transpired. Like in previous years, Century Club’s Christmas part continued to not only be a fun event for the members and invited visitors, but managed to attract the local personalities and local authority officials.

One last thing I want to emphasize in closing this. There was one local community print media news publication based in BF Homes that incorrectly published that Century Club’s Christmas party was scheduled to happen on December 4, 2019. Upon reading that publication, I immediately called and verified with club president Umali who responded that December 6 is the precise date of their Christmas party. At the party, I asked other Century Club officials if they had previously planned to organize their Christmas party on December 4. They officially denied it and stated that December 6 has always been the original and precise date of schedule for their party.

So what’s with the incorrect publishing of the Century Club Christmas party date as December 4? Error with editing? A lapse of the mind? Lying to the public? Irresponsible journalism? Imagine advertising your business with such a careless local community print media publication.

Let me end this with a verse from the Holy Bible.

Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.

Proverbs 12: 22 (NKJV)

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To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business/special event or project to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

You can check out my varied marketing services (including Twitter boosting) right here.

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


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

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Barangay BF Homes SK Kagawad Irene Juanico

A few years ago, Irene Juanico represented Barangay BF Homes during a beauty pageant that was part of what was back then Parañaque’s 19th cityhood anniversary. She did not make it to the final round but that did not stop progress in her life. Then on May 2018, she ran in the Barangay and SK elections, and ultimately got elected as a kagawad of the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK).

Recently I got to interview the incumbent SK Kagawad at barangay hall. This is the special feature of Irene Juanico.

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Barangay BF Homes SK Kagawad Irene Juanico.

Background

Irene Juanico was born in the Dela Rama community inside BF Homes subdivision. She is the only child in the family. Her mother is currently a government employee and her father is a customer associate for a courier. The SK kagawad is currently studying at San Beda Alabang taking Marketing Management.

Since she was young, Juanico got into modeling. She learned the way on not just looking pretty but also how to pose, what to wear, when to move and the like. Along the way, she participated in several pageants, modeling events and appeared as a muse in academic and sports events.

In 2017, she found a major opportunity to compete with other beauties from around the City of Parañaque by joining the Binibining Parañaque representing Barangay BF Homes.

“During my younger days, I noticed similar pageants that got organized by the SK and wondered, ‘what would it be like if I joined such events?’”, Juanico recalled. “My handlers, who paid attention to the 2017 Parañaque pageant, asked me to try out and compete since I was already into modeling. I was hesitant back then since I was just seventeen years-old but eventually I agreed to represent the barangay and compete.”

As Ms. Barangay BF Homes of 2017, Juanico joined the other candidates from different barangays practicing for the pageant, participating in showcase events (including the Sunduan-related event at SM City BF Parañaque) and more. Along the way, she had to adjust her schedule with school and family.

“The Sunduan showcase alone was challenging because I had to decide how to present myself in front of the judges, the special guests and many people watching. The pressure is real.” she said.

When asked about the evening of the Bb. Parañaque, Juanico confirmed that there was a lot of pressure not only on her to do her best but also on the other candidates as well. This was because there were so many guests watching including City Government officials, barangay officials, barangay fan groups, members of the media, family members of the candidates and the like.

Even though the pressure was high, Juanico simply focused on her future.

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Irene Juanico as Barangay BF Homes’ candidate in the 2017 edition of the Bb. Parañaque. (contributed by Irene Juanico, photo credit to Kevin Rebollo)

“I said to myself ‘win or lose, I at least represented my barangay well’. My experience also me motivate myself on participating future events representing the community,” Juanico said.

As it turned out in the 2017 pageant, Juanico’s name was not called when the organizers announced the five finalists. She and Barangay BF Homes did not go empty handed however as she won the Boardwalk Model sponsor award. That award was fitting considering the fact that Juanico had been modeling since she was little.

After the pageant, Juanico gained not only improved self-confidence but also respect and recognition from the residents of the barangay. A lot more people noticed her and remembered her participation in the city pageant.

Getting elected into the SK

A year later, Irene Juanico joined the Sangguniang Kabataan team of candidates under the umbrella of Paolo Marquez who ran for Barangay Captain (succeeding his brother Jeremy Marquez).

How did Juanico become candidate for the SK in the first place? It started with curiosity in a rather funny way.

“It all started with a joke with my friends, wondering if I should run for a seat in the youth council (Sangguniang Kabataan). They said I should do it but I reacted I was just joking. Eventually Zeny Pascual contacted me and asked me if I was willing to run. I replied that I would do it,” she recalled.

For Juanico, her candidacy was to inspire other youth of the barangay to aim higher in their lives. It was also her way of showing that a pretty face like her can climb up higher and become a public servant under the reformed Sangguniang Kabataan system. She really went against the local community’s conventional thinking that pretty faces or models have no place in public service which itself is ironic because charm (which comes in very different forms) is a factor on getting elected. She formally met with Paolo Marquez finalizing her candidacy.

During the summer of 2018, she and her teammates struggled to convince voters to trust them and vote for them. They went around from one house to another both in the mission areas (depressed communities) and also inside gated subdivisions. Shook hands and met with people of different walks of life (even former classmates of hers). They also took part in caucuses to reach out to the voters.

“When the campaign ended at last, I recovered by treating myself to a fast food meal. Then I went home to finally get some rest. I prayed to God. I had a very restful sleep and I really felt rejuvenated. Shortly after, my mother told me I won,” Juanico said.

Juanico’s victory in the 2018 Barangay and SK Elections for Barangay BF Homes was, indeed, a major milestone in her life. She and her friends celebrated and she cried out of happiness.

SK Kagawad Juanico and the SK Committee on Health

As an SK Kagawad, Juanico served with her colleagues under chairwoman Mariel Tumang. She is handling the SK Committee on Health. In recent times, the BFSK organized seminars about AIDS, mental health, teenage pregnancy, reproductive health and PWD (persons with disabilities) all of which were projects of her committee.

As of this writing, SK Kagawad Juanico is striving to get not only youth but also pre-teens and children involved with health projects and activities. There are also PWD children (as young as 1-year-old) that she wants to assist. The BFSK is also looking for private organizations as key partners to serve the youth and those with special needs. Team-ups with the health activities of Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Cielo Lazatin have been made.

Juanico confirmed that her committee has several more projects coming in 2020.

Message to the Readers

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BFSK Kagawad Irene Juanico (3rd from right) with the other members of the SK (chairwoman Mariel Tumang is 3rd from left) with guests who took part in a seminar about HIV, STDs and AIDS awareness.

“Service is something that can be given to others without position and without expecting anything in return. It is better to give than to receive. Public service requires not only action but a whole lot of heart.”


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

Philippines is the BEST in Southeast Asia in Triathlon!

December 1, 2019 will be remembered for a very long time here in the Philippines specifically with regards to the followers and enthusiasts of the multisport of triathlon (swim-bike-run) as the Philippines won two gold medals and two silver medals of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) triathlon events for men and women held at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. As I write this, the triathlon victories continue to generate buzz around the nation through social media and the news media.

Specifically, John Chicano won the gold in the men’s triathlon (1.5 Km swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run) with a time of 1 hour, 53 minutes and 26 seconds! Literally speaking, he upgraded from the silver medal he won in the 2017 SEA Games (2nd to then gold medalist Nikko Huelgas) to gold medal. The silver was won also for the Philippines with the 2nd place finish of Cebu’s prized triathlete and 1st time SEA Games participant Andrew Kim Remolino who clocked in at 1:55:03. Indonesia’s Muhammad Ahlul Firman won the bronze after coming in at 1:57:10.

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Philippines’ Andrew Kim Remolino and John Chicano won the silver and gold medals of the 2019 SEA Games men’s triathlon event at Subic Bay on the morning of December 1. (source – 2019 SEA Games Facebook page)

Among the ladies, the event of which started around 2 hours after the men’s race stated, Marion Kim Mangrobang proved once again she is Southeast Asia’s best female triathlete as she won her 2nd SEA Games gold medal with a time of 2:02:00. The Santa Rosa, Laguna native now has a grand total of three SEA Games medals. She won a silver in the 2015 SEA Games (Claire Adorna won the gold back then) and her first gold medal in the 2017 SEA Games (Adorna meanwhile got the silver).

Mangrobang’s teammate Kim Kilgroe won the silver medal finishing 2nd with 2:05:02. She said to the reporters that she felt so great and happy with her achievement. Like Remolino, this was her first SEA Games performance.

The women’s triathlon bronze medal went to Indonesia’s Nethavani Octaria who finished the race in 2:16:33.

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Kim Mangrobang of Santa Rosa, Laguna won her 2nd straight SEA Games women’s triathlon gold medal! She previously won a silver medal in the 2015 SEA Games and the gold in the 2017 SEA Games. (screenshot of CNN Philippines video)
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Teammates Kim Kilgroe (silver medal) and Kim Mangrobang (gold) during the awarding ceremony. (screenshot of CNN Philippines video)

Notable details

Chicano’s gold medal performance was very notable given the fact that his time of 1:53:26 is noticeably faster than the 1:59:30 Nikko Huelgas achieved in 2017. In an ABS-CBN report, coach Melvin Faustino said that Chicano previously timed 1:56:00 and they were aiming for 1:55:00. Of course, things turned out even better with today’s race and Faustino claims that the 1:53:26 time Chicano achieved is a Southeast Asian record for men’s triathlon.

For the newcomers reading this, the Standard Distance (AKA Olympic Distance) for triathlon is set at 1.5 Km swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run. This is the same distance of triathlon implemented in the Asian Games and the Olympics.

For her part, Kim Mangrobang stated to the reporters that her achievement was meant to inspire youth to get into sports and also contribute to the growth of triathlon here in the Philippines.

With the single-day haul of two gold medals and two silver medals in the two SEA Games triathlon events, the Philippines got boosted in the medal standing. Medal competition aside, rewards from the national government will follow soon.

According to Section 8 of Republic Act Number 10699 (RA 10699 or “AN ACT EXPANDING THE COVERAGE OF INCENTIVES GRANTED TO NATIONAL ATHLETES AND COACHES, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, REPEALING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9064”), SEA Games gold medalists who won in individual events will be rewarded P300,000 each while the silver medalists will receive P150,000 each.

Gold medal victory in Mixed Relay (December 2, 2019)

The triathlon glory continued for the Philippines on December 2 when the team composed of Chicano, Mangrobang, Claire Adorna (2015 SEA Games gold medalist and silver medalist in 2017) and newcomer Fer Casares won the gold in the Mixed Relay triathlon event of the SEA Games.

Thank the Lord for His blessing of victory!

Let me stress to all of you reading this that these major victories of the Philippines in the SEA Games would not have been possible with God’s blessing.

Before the two triathlon events happened, I made a public call to viewers on my official Facebook page to pray for the SEA Games victories of not only the Philippine triathlon team but also the duathlon team. I also reached out to my church mates to pray as well.

And the Lord answered our prayers! The blessings in the form of twin gold and twin silver medal victories of the two triathlon events plus the gold medal of the mixed relay team triathlon event of the SEA Games prove that the Philippines is the best in triathlon in Southeast Asia and take note that the next SEA Games won’t happen until the year 2021. Apart from being congratulated by many, gold medalists Chicano and Mangrobang, and silver medalists Remolino and Kilgroe will be remembered for many years to come not only among the triathlon enthusiasts of the Philippines but by Filipinos in general and among people all over Southeast Asia!

On her official Facebook page, Kim Mangrobang acknowledged the Lord!

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When it comes to victory, God is the source of it apart from the blessings, opportunities and progress He provides to His creations who are faithful to Him. The Lord rewards the faithful abundantly and there is no denying that!

In closing this, here is a scripture from the Holy Bible.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4: 13 (NKJV)

For continued triathlon and multiport updates, come back here.


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

Christian Music Appreciation: Thank You, Lord

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

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

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

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

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

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

For all the You’re going to do

For all that You’ve promised

And all that You are

Is all that has carried me through

Jesus I thank You

And I thank You

Thank You Lord

And I thank You

Thank You Lord

Thank You for loving and setting me free

Thank You for giving Your life just for me

How I thank You

Jesus I thank You

Gratefully thank You thank You

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

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

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

For all the You’re going to do

For all that You’ve promised

And all that You are

Is all that has carried me through

Jesus I thank You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

You Are Holy

The Potter’s Hand

The Stand

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremiah 29: 11 (NKJV) 

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

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

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

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

PART 1 – Forgiveness in the Holy Bible

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

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

Psalm 86: 5 (NKJV)

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

2 Corinthians 2: 5-10 (NKJV)

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

1 John 1: 9-10 (NKJV)

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

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

Matthew 6: 12 (NKJV)

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

Matthew 6: 14-15 (NKJV)

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

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

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

Psalm 5: 4 (NKJV)

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

Psalm 34: 21 (NKJV)

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

Psalm 37: 12-20 (NKJV)

PART 2 – Letting Go and Moving Forward

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

Take note of this holy scripture.

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

Romans 12: 2 (NKJV)

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

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

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

2 Corinthians 7: 10 (NKJV)

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147: 3 (NKJV)

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

John 16: 33 (NKJV)

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

John 3: 16-18 (NKJV)

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

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

John 3: 3 (NKJV)

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

John 3: 5-7 (NKJV)

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

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

2 Corinthians 5: 17 (NKJV)

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

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

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

Have faith in the Lord and praise Him always!


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

Reject Halloween, Stand With God

In my old life, I used to be fond of celebrating Halloween. Having been Born Again, I realized my true purpose in life under God the Father and His Son Jesus. That being said, I realized how wrong it is to celebrate which is essentially evil and unholy for any Christian (including those who practice idolatry which itself is sinful). Halloween will take Christians away from the Lord and that alone is reason enough to reject it.

Halloween’s origin is Celtic by nature and it is connected with observing the sacrifices to gods under the Druidic culture. There is also Samhain, a dark lord who sends out evil souls to attack humans can only save themselves by disguising themselves with the images of those very evil souls.

Sounds familiar? It is because there are these modern day Halloween practices that are linked to the evil rites and superstitions of Halloween. In the modern world where Halloween gets celebrated, people (including many children) go out and around their local communities wearing costumes of horror figures like zombies, demons, monsters and pop culture-related villains (examples: Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers). These costumed Halloween participants, looking horrific, would visit any household that offers candy for trick-or-treat. Wearing “non-horror” costumes like superhero attire or fantasy attire (example: dressed like a princess) does NOT reduce the evil that comes with Halloween. There is no such thing as an innocent way of celebrating Halloween.

And then there are those multimedia-related ways of celebrating Halloween like watching horror movies back to back or playing video games that carry strong horror themes. There is also the business aspect of Halloween as food retailers promote the season by linking it with selling candy and chocolate (clearly to take advantage of families or groups that intend to give away the sweets during trick-or-treat Halloween celebrations in the local communities).

Halloween trick-or-treat here in the Philippines even made its way to local government units. In October of 2016 and 2017, the City Government of Parañaque organized trick-or-treat at City Hall which attracted kids wearing costumes (including horror and superhero attire) who visited varied offices that give away candy. During those times, the City Government even organized special events at the nearby city sports complex celebrating Halloween which I find rather disturbing.

In my old life, I enjoyed celebrating Halloween and I used to ignore the claims that it was unholy and evil. While I never went out for trick-or-treat as a kid, I helped out in giving candy to costumed visitors. I also hiked around the local area photographing the Halloween activities flocked by participants, and then uploading those pics online for social media users to view. I also took time celebrating Halloween by watching horror movies.

Looking back, I honestly admit that celebrating Halloween was indeed wrong. Now that I’m a saved soul and a dedicated Christian with a living relationship with the Lord, I declare that Halloween is wrong, unholy and evil. Halloween is a popular tool used by Satan to take people away from God and Jesus. Halloween definitely should be rejected always and we Christians must always be with God. Let me discuss the following points.

“Is it okay for a Christian to celebrate Halloween?”

The answer is a definite NO. Let’s take a look at the Holy Scripture below.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons

1 Corinthians 10: 21 (NKJV)

And now the Amplified version.

You cannot drink [both] the Lord’s cup and the cup of demons. You cannot share in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons [thereby becoming partners with them].

1 Corinthians 10: 21 (AMP)

Very clearly, there is no room to worship both the Lord and evil. If you want to be with the side of God and Jesus, you really need to purify yourself and free yourself from whatever form of evil thrown at you by Satan. Satan is a loser indeed, however he still exists because Adam gave him dominion (read about Adam’s Rebellion) and as long as he exists, he will do anything to take you away from God, to prevent you from worshiping the Lord and will use anything (including religion and idolatry) to prevent you from making progress with the Lord. Halloween is one of Satan’s weapons against Christianity. Halloween is also a long-time tool of the enemy to embrace evil.

If you sinned by celebrating Halloween and committing other sinful acts in your past, you can still be saved (note: you need to be born again to be saved. Heed the words of Jesus in John 3: 3) because God is merciful and you need to be willing to repent, submit to Him and dedicate yourself to Him with an established personal relationship with Him.

Be aware that goodness comes from God and evil comes from Satan. It’s as clear as night and day. If you are a saved soul, then it is clear you should stand with God and His Son Jesus. Being dedicated to the Lord will spare you from evil, and that takes willingness and decisiveness from your end.

Learn from this Holy Scripture.

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2: 1-10 (NKJV)

Each and every one of us was created to be loyal, faithful, loving and dedicated towards our Heavenly Father God and His Son Lord Jesus even as we were granted the freedom to think, act and decide. Even before we were even made, God established a plan for each and every one of us. Worshiping Satan, embracing evil, celebrating Halloween and living a life full sin and wickedness are obviously NOT part of God’s plan for us all.

By realizing the true purpose of your existence under God, you will realize that it is your destiny to be saved and to be faithful (not religious) to the Lord. Satan used a whole lot of tools to prevent God’s creations from being with Him. Satan used not only Halloween but also religion, idolatry, money, power, destruction, secularism, atheism, agnosticism, entertainment and a whole batch of other tools to bring Christians down and make evil stronger.

Going back to Halloween, that celebration of evil includes witchcraft which is an abomination! In our world, it is too easy for people to go out wearing costumes to look like witches and this alone spreads the influence of evil around. There are also filmmakers and other creative people out there who made witchcraft look cool or even a good custom to practice. The 1996 Hollywood movie The Craft is one such example of spreading Satan’s influence to the public and I personally recommend to you readers to avoid watching that movie (note: destroy whatever physical or digital copies you have of it) at all. Witchcraft and related stuff like sorcery, necromancy and magic are abominations as written in the Holy Bible. Read the Holy Scripture below.

“When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.”

Deuteronomy 18: 9-12

Those abominations that look good in entertainment media are all made to deceive you and prevent you from achieving progress and purity with the Lord. From time to time, there are media reports about real life people who practice witchcraft, sorcery and other unholy customs that make this world a terrible place under the eyes of God. That is, obviously, very unfortunate because it proves how screwed up our physical world really is.

Even appearances can add to the influence of evil. You think going out in local community Halloween celebrations dressed as a witch, or as a magician or as a sorcerer (or even cosplaying as Marvel’s Doctor Strange) is okay with the Lord for as long as you don’t practice witchcraft and the like? Wrong! Imagery or appearances of evil spread evil and deceives others. Such imagery also will influence people to embrace idolatry which itself is a sin. Idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God!

Rejecting Halloween Effectively

You might be wondering: how are we Christians supposed to reject Halloween and its evil effectively?

First, we must realize our purpose as Christians from the following Holy Scripture.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in this world.

1 John 4: 4 (NKJV)

And the Amplified version…

Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].

1 John 4: 4 (AMP)

With that Holy Scripture in two versions, it is clear that as children of God, we are victorious for we believe in the victory of Jesus over Satan. With God on our side, nothing is impossible and we have the power to reject fear, reject evil and reject Satan ultimately. It is by faith in the Lord, not religion and not idolatry, that Christians are special and holy. Stronger than Satan too.

With God on our side, Halloween’s global popularity can be wiped away and its influence of evil on others can be removed and be replaced with the goodness and the biblical truth emphasizing the holiness and victory of Jesus.

If you are looking for practical ways to reject Halloween (and Satan), I would suggest the following:

Instead of watching horror movies or anything that carries the influence of evil, go watch YouTube videos of Christian praise-and-worship songs like the following below.

Instead of going out on Halloween trick-or-treat, pray to the Lord in your room with the door shut (refer to Matthew 6: 6 in the Holy Bible) and be aware that in this way, the Lord is in a secret place and when He sees in secret, you will be rewarded openly. If your church is open or has a holy activity at the same time as Halloween is being held on October 31, make an effort to go to church with the Lord in mind.

Instead of looking at evil images or reading materials that are related to Halloween, better read the Holy Bible or a Christian book.

20191024_233456.jpg
Christian books that you must read.

By now, it is clear that as Christians we must always maintain strong faith, trust and dedication to God and His Son Jesus. It also means we must be pure in holiness and there definitely is no room for us to accommodate evil in all its forms. As such, Halloween must be rejected always and its evil presence only means we must persevere more to meet God’s high call. We are all God’s creations and He made plans for each and every one of us even before we were even created. Obviously we were NOT created to worship nor magnify evil at all! We are destined to be saved (be born again) and live in holiness following Jesus. We pray to Him, serve Him, thank Him and dedicate ourselves to Him for the rest of our time.

Let me end this with one more Holy Scripture.

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.

Colossians 1: 13 (NKJV)


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

Christian Music Appreciation: The Stand (September 22, 2019)

Hi everyone! I got something nice to share to you in this latest edition of my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series.

Recently while attending Sunday worship service, our church musicians (who are very blessed by God with great talent as each of them is faithful to Him) performed a song that really engaged me and my fellow Christians. That song was The Stand.

Written by Joel Houston and released in March 2006 as part of the United We Stand album of Hillsong United, The Stand is a lively reminder that each of us was created by God. As His creations, we truly have a purpose to honor Him, serve Him, worship Him and keep on being faithful to Him. Along the way, the Lord loves us and He is so generous and merciful to us. Don’t forget how long and how much God has blessed the faithful. God is the source of all prosperity, opportunities and progress!

For your reference, here are the lyrics of The Stand.

The Stand

You stood before creation

Eternity within Your hands

And you spoke all life into motion

My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure

And carried the cross for my shame

My sin weighed upon Your shoulders

My soul now to stand

So what can I say

And what could I do

But offer this heart O God

Completely to You

So I’ll walk upon salvation

Your Spirit alive in me

This life to declare Your promise

My soul now to stand

So what can I say

What could I do

But offer this heart O God

Completely to You

So what could I say

And what could I do

But offer this heart O God

Completely to You

So I’ll stand

With arms high and heart abandoned

In awe of the One who gave it all

So I’ll stand

My soul Lord to You surrendered

All I am is Yours

(So I’ll stand

With arms high and heart abandoned

In awe of the One who gave it all

And I’ll stand

My soul Lord to You surrendered

All I am is Yours)

So I’ll stand

With arms high and heart abandoned

In awe of the One who gave it all

And I’ll stand

My soul Lord to You surrendered

All I am is Yours (Oh Lord I will stand)

So I’ll stand

With arms high and heart abandoned

In awe of the One who gave it all

I’ll stand

My soul Lord to You surrendered

All I am is Yours

So I’ll stand

(With arms high and heart abandoned

In awe of the One who gave it all

I’ll stand

My soul Lord to You surrendered

All I am is Yours)

So what could I say

And what could I do

But offer this heart O God

Completely to You

Before the song was played during Sunday worship, the Passion Translation of Romans 12: 1 was displayed on screen and emphasized by the lead singer of the service. It read:

Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.

This particular holy scripture is related with the lyrics of The Stand. Truly, we should humble ourselves and submit to Him. We who have been saved should not let ourselves be dominated by religion and its idols (note: do not worship people, images, those carved figures and many other elements that keep you away from the Lord) so that our respective personal relationships with Him will not be affected negatively. Each and every one us should be mindful as to why God created us and we really have a purpose to live in holiness under Him.

Those who are unsaved (or even lost as souls) can be saved and the good news is that there is still time for them to willingly decide to be born again. Anyone who has sinned a lot before can still surrender themselves to the Lord directly for His forgiveness and acceptance. Anyone who does not want to remain an unsaved or lost soul anymore can still reach out to Jesus and make the major decision to accept Him as Lord and Savior. Truly to be born again means becoming a new creation of the Lord with a purpose to live in holiness.

If you are already a saved soul living with the Holy Spirit in your heart, try to reach out to the many unsaved souls out there and invite them to your church to the best you can. Saving the unsaved and the lost souls is a goal worth achieving again and again all for the Lord. Those who will be saved will not enter religion (which itself is unnecessary and deceptive) but have a genuine personal relationship with God. There is more to the relationship with the Lord than religion.

Back to the song, there is a clear message about gaining salvation through God who sent us His begotten son Jesus to save us all. We all struggle with sin, temptation, frustration, darkness and challenges before realizing that we were all created by the Lord who had been watching us all the time. These were emphasized in the first three paragraph of the lyrics of The Stand.

You stood before creation

Eternity within Your hands

And you spoke all life into motion

My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure

And carried the cross for my shame

My sin weighed upon Your shoulders

My soul now to stand

So what can I say

And what could I do

But offer this heart O God

Completely to You

As I mentioned previously, Adam’s rebellion towards God recorded in the Book of Genesis marked the fall of humanity and in the many generations that followed, people struggled and sinned until Jesus came to spread the good news (as well as God’s love), died for everyone’s sins and returned from the dead. Jesus ascended to Heaven with a promise that He will return to us.

Clearly, as creations of God, we are destined to be saved and that can only be realized by believing in the Lord willingly and by practicing faith by the heart (not the mind). As I learned from our pastor, we have free will (which God gave us) and we can decide to authorize Heaven on Earth.

There is still time and hope for any unsaved soul to be born again (refer to Jesus’ words in John 3: 3 and the subsequent verses) to become a child of God, to stand with arms high and heart abandoned in awe of the Lord, and truly be His. Now that you’ve read this, I encourage you to read the Holy Bible and apply what you learned into your life, listen to The Stand and let its holy lyrics flow in you, reach out to the Lord, pray to Him always and follow His plan for you!

In concluding this article, embedded below are YouTube videos of performances of The Stand. Enjoy these and move forward the Lord! 😊


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