Gang of kidnappers busted; one of the victims was abducted in Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque

A gang of kidnappers whose members were described as transgendered people got busted by the personnel of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) as a result of a joint operation with the Anti-Kidnapping Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and some military personnel, according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) news report. The gang referred to as Warla had victimized more than ten people (including one victim in Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque  City according to a Philippine Star news report) and they collected millions of Pesos worth of ransom money for the purpose of sex reassignment surgery (AKA sex change) for themselves.

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

Members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) dismantled a kidnapping syndicate whose members are transgenders.

In a press briefing at Camp Crame, Quezon City on Tuesday, CIDG director Brig. Gen. Ronald Lee identified the suspects as Francis Villa, Lawrenza Lingo, Johnas Belonio, Bernard Torres and Mark Joseph Pelonio, all members of the “Warla” kidnapping group.

They were nabbed in a joint operation with the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group, National Capital Region Police Office and military troops on Oct. 1.

Lee said the modus of the group is to lure victims from dating apps and sites to meet up with their good-looking members.

Once abducted, the victims are brought to their safehouse and the suspects demand money from them in exchange for their release.

After receiving the ransom, the suspects drop off the victims in random places around Metro Manila.

The group is said to be operating in the southern part of Metro Manila, specifically in Parañaque, Pasay, Taguig, and Makati and has victimized around 14 persons.

They were able to collect total ransom money amounting to PHP4.2 million which will be used for their sex reassignment surgery or “sex change”.

Lee said the group was made known to the police after Taiwanese victim Michael Lee was rescued on Sept. 7 in Parañaque City, after he was abducted on Sept. 3.

The kidnapping group demanded a sum of money from the victim’s friends in exchange for his freedom. The victim’s friends were able to send money to five different digital wallets reaching a total of PHP308,000.

“For the longest time that I have been in anti-kidnapping operations, this is the first time we have encountered this group of transgenders who have already victimized 14 people. We are still backtracking to find out who they are and fortunately, Michael Lee complained and sought the help of the Taiwan police so that was the breakthrough in this case,” Lee said in Filipino.

Lee said the kidnapping group is led by a certain Mikey Ebol, a.k.a Mike Collado Ebol, who is now hiding.

After trailing transactions of the group, the police located four other suspects who had already surrendered — Dewie Shaine Collado Garcia, Charlemagne Olunan Vargas and Christian Paredes.

In their statements, they said the SIM (subscriber identity module) cards they owned were bought by Ebol.

During the investigation, Lee said the group was formed in 2018.

Col. Hansel Marantan, CIDG National Capital Region field unit director, said the name of the group was coined from the gay lingo “warlalu” which means “let’s get it on, let’s go to war”.

They will post themselves as beautiful women on Facebook to lure their prey. And that’s it, once the victims are kidnapped, they will start negotiations like asking for PHP500,000 and the span of negotiations is very short. It takes only about three to four days and they use GCash as an avenue for the collection of money which is very hard to trace,” he added.

Further probe revealed that the group is involved in the illegal sale of firearms.

The PNP-AKG filed kidnapping charges against Ebol and his cohorts before the Department of Justice on Sept. 12.

Meanwhile, continuous manhunt operations are being conducted to track the whereabouts of Ebol, and his other members Lexi Villanueva, Jaine Martinez, Hector Magallanes a.k.a. “Yanyan”, Erwin Flores a.k.a. “Marga”, and Matthew San Diego.

As mentioned earlier, one of the victims was abducted in Parañaque City – specifically in Barangay BF Homes – on September 3 before getting rescued a few days later. The Philippine Star noted this in its own report. Posted below is an excerpt from the report. Some parts in boldface…

Three of the suspects – Dewie Shaine Garcia, Charlemagne Vargas and Christian Paredes – surrendered to police after they were found to be connected to the kidnapping of 58-year-old Taiwanese businessman Michael Lee in Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque on Sept. 3. He was rescued last Sept. 7.

Unfortunately, the Philippine Star report did not specify where exactly in Barangay BF Homes did the kidnapping happen. Right now the local authorities and their investigators are trying to figure out what exactly happened and what resources the kidnappers had.

This newest development should serve as a warning to all those who use dating sites or dating apps. There is the need to be cautious when interacting with someone through an online dating source. It is bad enough that there are lots of scammers here in the Philippines who try to lure people through text messaging and social media to get their money.

For added insight, watch the following news videos below…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about these new developments? Are you concerned that you may have interacted with kidnappers pretending to be attractive individuals on dating sites or dating apps? Do these events make you afraid of online dating? Do you think your local community could be easily infiltrated by kidnap-for-ransom gang members?

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

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others as well as making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

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

Praise and thank our Lord for the June 24, 2022 miracle that happened in America!

We have great reasons to be thankful to our Lord and to keep on praising and honoring Him as a great miracle happened in the United States of America on June 24, 2022 – the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) struck down Roe v. Wade (the 1973 legalized abortion decision) which paves the way for the states to ban abortion by means of legislation. That’s right, my fellow Christians, decades worth of prayers to overturn the wrongful 1973 SCOTUS decision have been answered and clearly Jesus is our Lord and Savior!

The overturning of Roe v. Wade is indeed a miracle from our Lord and it sends a clear message to not only people around the United States but also to governments around the world that abortion is evil and totally wrong no matter what abortion advocates believe. Take note that I previously encouraged readers to pray to our Lord to have Roe v. Wade overturned.

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

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned its 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide for nearly 50 years. The ruling came in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The case challenged Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, and whether it was unconstitutional. It was enacted in 2018 but was blocked after a federal court challenge. 

The state of Mississippi asked the high court to uphold its law and directly challenged the precedent in Roe and the 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood that held that states cannot ban pre-viability abortions, those done before a child can survive outside the womb.

Friday’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

The decision, unthinkable just a few years ago, was the culmination of decades of efforts by pro-life advocates.

The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the court was prepared to take this momentous step.

Alito, in the final opinion issued Friday, wrote that Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed the right to abortion, were wrong the day they were decided and must be overturned.

We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” Alito wrote.

Authority to regulate abortion rests with the political branches, not the courts, Alito wrote.

Joining Alito were Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. The latter three justices are Trump appointees. Thomas first voted to overrule Roe 30 years ago.

Chief Justice John Roberts would have stopped short of ending the abortion right, noting that he would have upheld the Mississippi law at the heart of the case, a ban on abortion after 15 weeks, and said no more.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan — the diminished liberal wing of the court — were in dissent.

“With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent,” they wrote.

President Joe Biden said Friday he would try to preserve access to abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and he called on Americans to elect more Democrats who would safeguard rights upended by the court’s decision. “This is not over,” he declared.

As CBN News has reported, since Roe has been overturned by the high court, thirteen states have trigger laws in place to prohibit abortion. The issue will now shift to the state legislatures. 

Those existing laws have been estimated to possibly close approximately 202 clinics or 26% of all publicly advertised abortion facilities in the U.S., according to a recent study from Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), a program within the University of California San Francisco’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health.

According to the study, among all U.S. states, California had the most abortion facilities, with 168 open facilities as of 2021, followed by New York (89) and Florida (55). 

For further understanding about the fall of Roe v. Wade, posted below is the related Faith Nation video from the Christian Broadcasting Network’s CBN News YouTube channel…

The impact of the overturn of the 1973 Supreme Court decision is undeniably powerful on both sides of the spectrum covering countless Americans. Unsurprisingly the believers of abortion (note: the murder of unborn babies) have gotten louder, more violent and more chaotic as I write this. There in America, the LGBTQ people suddenly turned their pride events into reactions to the June 24, 2022 SCOTUS decision while Satan’s followers are raging over the same decision. Unsurprisingly, Joe Biden (a pro-abortion Catholic) and his fellow Democrats are disappointed and angry with the now landmark decision of the Supreme Court. Already the Democrats are fighting back to continue murdering unborn babies.

No matter what the pro-abortion people say, abortion is always wrong and evil as it is the act of killing the unborn child inside the woman’s womb. Abortion was never compatible with healthcare and it is easily the deadliest and highly sinful decision any pregnant woman can make within the concept of women’s choice or civil rights. No matter what the Satanic Left say, abortion will never make society better and it certainly will never solve the problem of poverty. In America, pro-abortion believers have turned violent and already there are churches and women’s pregnancy centers that got damaged physically. Very clearly abortion is evil! Abortion is always murder. Learn from the holy scriptures below…

You must not murder.

Exodus 20:13 (NLT)

He said to Him, “Which ones?”

Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’”

Matthew 19:18 (NKJV)

As for the pro-abortion mob, they are clearly living in sin and they are doing Satan’s work in this very divided world we all live in. People who are unsaved and lost often do not realize they are doing things the way Satan wants them and this means spreading death, causing more chaos and hurting the innocent. They move on to violate God’s rules and they chose to be worldly instead of submitting themselves to Him. Many of them don’t even realize the true values of being faithful and repenting to the Lord. For context, learn from the holy scriptures below…

And so, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve of Him or consider Him worth the knowing, God gave them over to a base and condemned mind to do things not proper or decent but loathsome,

Until they were filled (permeated and saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, iniquity, grasping and covetous greed, and malice. [They were] full of envy and jealousy, murder, strife, deceit and treachery, ill will and cruel ways. [They were] secret backbiters and gossipers,

Slanderers, hateful to and hating God, full of insolence, arrogance, [and] boasting; inventors of new forms of evil, disobedient and undutiful to parents.

[They were] without understanding, conscienceless and faithless, heartless and loveless [and] merciless.

Though they are fully aware of God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them themselves but approve and applaud others who practice them.

Romans 1:28-32 (AMPC)

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Revelations 21:5-8 (NKJV)

Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion:

eyes that are arrogant,

a tongue that lies,

hands that murder the innocent,

a heart that hatches evil plots,

feet that race down a wicked track,

a mouth that lies under oath,

a troublemaker in the family.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (MSG)

When it comes to society and politics, the pro-abortion mob is quite vast. Other than the obvious abortionists, they have socialists, homosexuals, Marxists, Communists, anarchists, unpatriotic citizens, climate change fanatics, humanists, the woke fanatics, transgendered people, SJWs (social justice warriors), the so-called reformers and other types people who often vote for the Democrats. Is it any surprise that their members are so chaotic?

That being said, I urge you readers and fellow siblings under Lord Jesus to pray for the unsaved and the lost. Preach the Word of God to others and help lead the unsaved and the lost to Him so that they will have the golden opportunities to decide submit to Him, repent to Him and accept Jesus as the Lord and Savior. I know this is hard to do as the abortion believers and their Leftist allies are out there causing chaos in public but I urge you to still pray for them and tell them that the Lord is forgiving and it is only He who can restore them. Preach to them that salvation is only possible with the Lord. Share with them how you got saved and received the Holy Spirit.

I also urge you to pray for the victims persecuted by the unsaved and the lost as only God can lift them up and restore them fully. As I am writing this, there are people who are pro-life or those who do not believe in abortion who are getting harassed or even hurt by the pro-abortion mob members.

Going back to the strike down of Roe v. Wade, we must all be very thankful to our Lord and pray for the US Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn the 1973 SCOTUS decision. SCOTUS Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett will forever be remembered for overturning Roe v. Wade which makes them admired figures of the pro-life people and also as targets of the violent abortion advocates. The legislators and officials of state governments who have already approved trigger laws on banning abortion are also being targeted by the abortion mob. The same can also be said about states that are about to move forward with banning abortion through legislation. That being said, these officials, legislators and leaders need our prayers for protection, for their continued work on public service and for peace to happen. We don’t know how long the abortion mob will keep on being violent and chaotic towards people who don’t share their views but we need to look up to God to shed His guiding light to all in order to bring back peace.

Once again, abortion is wrong and wicked. The killing of the unborn child is clearly evil and it violates God as well. Each and every one of us were created by the Lord and He established plans for us all even before we were born. Children are God’s gifts as well as the living expressions of His love for us! Learn from the following holy scriptures…

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

And before you were born I consecrated you;

I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:4-5 (NASB)

The Lord gave me this message:

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.

 Before you were born I set you apart

 and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:4-5 (NLT)

Children are God’s love-gift; they are heaven’s generous reward.

Psalms 127:3 (TPT)

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB)

So, dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape your notice: a single day counts like a thousand years to the Lord Yahweh, and a thousand years counts as one day. This means that, contrary to man’s perspective, the Lord is not late with his promise to return, as some measure lateness. But rather, his “delay” simply reveals his loving patience toward you, because he does not want any to perish but all to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:8-9 (TPT)

You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside and my intricate outside, and wove them all together in my mother’s womb. I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex! Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking. It simply amazes me to think about it! How thoroughly you know me, Lord! You even formed every bone in my body when you created me in the secret place; carefully, skillfully you shaped me from nothing to something. You saw who you created me to be before I became me! Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me were already recorded in your book.

Psalms 139:13-16 (TPT)

In closing this piece about the strike down of Roe v. Wade, I should remind you all that it is indeed a miracle that got realized in America. It was God’s answer to all the prayer for it to happened. The overturning of Roe v. Wade is proof that with God, all things are possible and the tremendous odds we face here on Earth can be dominated by the Lord! Let this remind you to always have unwavering faith in the Lord and thank Him always! Learn from the holy scriptures below…

For with God nothing will be impossible.

Luke 1:37 (NKJV)

Looking into their eyes, Jesus replied, “Humanly speaking, no one, because no one can save himself. But what seems impossible to you is never impossible to God!”

Mathew 19:26 (TPT)

Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

Isaiah 41:10 (AMPC)

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

Mark 10:27 (ESV)

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”

Jeremiah 32:27 (NASB)

From this point on, I would like to reach out to all the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Did you waste years of your life as a pro-abortion activist? Are you feeling very regretful with being responsible for aborting many unborn babies? Did a religious and idolatrous extremist ruin your life? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists, the humanists and the secularists fool you and abused you? Were you victimized by a crook? Have you been living as a homosexual or as a transgendered person? Are you still addicted to sex, drugs and other inappropriate elements? Did you spend an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, images, people and relics? Are you a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists (Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, the abortionists and others) who got fed up fighting for worthless causes? Did you kill someone and you have been living so long with the guilt?

All of the darkness related to what were mentioned above can finally end and you can decide to do it! How? You can save yourselves by submitting yourselves to the Lord Jesus willingly and realize He is the Light! There is no force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from a pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord. Also, do not ever hail Mary (the mother of Lord Jesus) because all the praise and honor belong to God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit only.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church that God has chosen for you (note: ask Him for a local church!) and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family!).  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them, stay planted as long as He desires and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly, only He can lift you up and restore you fully,  and continue to be people of the WordDeclare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. We can do our part in building up God’s kingdom here on Earth by preaching His Word, blessing the Jewish people and saving the countless lost and unsaved souls around us by leading them to Lord Jesus. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion. Never let the idolaters, the idol makers, the ritual practitioners and other sinister forces manipulate you into becoming unholy.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Female sports in Iowa are strictly for biological females!

While I was able to visit the United States several times in my life, I never got to visit the state of Iowa. Very recently, Iowa made waves in the news as their governor Kim Reynolds signed into law a significant piece of state legislation that prohibits transgender girls and women from participating in sports events of females – specifically from kindergarten through college –, according to a CBN News report.

In the presence of many young ladies and little girls, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds formally signed into law House File 2416 which prohibits biological males from competing in females’ sports. (photo source – @IAGovernor)

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

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a bill Thursday that prohibits transgender girls and women from participating in female sports from kindergarten through college

During the signing of House File 2416, Reynolds was surrounded by a group of cheerful young female athletes. The measure received approval from the state’s House and Senate, passing with a vote of 31 to 17.

This is a victory for girls’ sports in Iowa,” Reynolds said in a statement. “No amount of talent, training or effort can make up for the natural physical advantages males have over females. It’s simply a reality of human biology. Forcing females to compete against males is the opposite of inclusivity and it’s absolutely unfair.” 

Under the new law, schools at all levels must designate sporting events as male, female, or co-ed. Students wanting to compete in sports must play with others that match the gender listed on their birth certificate.

Numerous groups shared their support of HF 2416 and applauded Gov. Reynolds for defending female sports in Iowa.

Protecting girls’ sports isn’t political; it’s biological reality,” said The Family Leader, a conservative group based in Iowa. “Allowing genetically male athletes to compete in women’s sports puts our girls at an undeniable physical disadvantage and threatens their athletic opportunities. Our high school girls and college women deserve to compete on a level playing field, and today, that playing field is protected.” 

Trans girls are boys, not girls. Trans women are men, not women,” remarked State Senator Jeff Taylor (R-District 2) during a hearing about safeguarding women’s sports.   

Christiana Holcomb, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), praised Iowa for passing the legislation.  

When the law ignores biological reality, female athletes lose medals, podium spots, public recognition, and opportunities to compete,” Holcomb said. “Comparably fit and trained males will always have physical advantages over females – that’s the reason we have girls’ sports.

However, Iowa Safe Schools, an LGBTQ youth advocacy group, called the measure “a solution in search of a problem” to score “petty political points at the expense of Iowa’s children,” the organization tweeted.

Iowa became the 11th state to ban transgender athletes from competing in female sports. Others include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

While I am clearly not a resident of Iowa and it has been many long years since my time of sports officiating has ended, I must say that the new law of Iowa makes perfect sense and it should help the collective American efforts to push back against the wrongful allowing of biological males competing right along with their female counterparts in sports events that are meant for female competition.

I personally saw lots of local sports events which had competitive categories specific to age-groups (apart from the normal men’s open and women’s open categories) which are further split by gender. Take for example, in a foot race that attracts several hundred participants, the athletes belonging to the 20-24 age-group who emerged as the top 3 finishers of their gender result the awarding of medals and prizes to the top 3 males and top 3 females under the 20-24 age category. Winners of different genders under the same age-group are not to be awarded in a mixed-gender approach.

The trend of transgendered females – who are biological males identifying as females – competing with true females (biological females) in female sports events is very wrong and clearly unfair. As such, I strongly agree with Iowa’s new law and I can say that the other states that implemented the ban on transgender athletes from competing in female sports did the right thing. Transgender athletes’ participation will ruin not only female-focused sports events but sports events in general as we know it.

Let us be clear here. God created human beings only in the form of male and female. There is simply no in-between and no alternatives to the male and female. Read the holy scriptures below. Key parts related to gender in boldface for you readers…

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 1:26-28 (NKJV)

So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones

And flesh of my flesh;

She shall be called Woman,

Because she was taken out of Man.

Genesis 2:20-23 (NKJV)

The holy story of God’s creation of humans with male and female as the genders is definitive and clearly truthful. “Transgender” refers to an individual whose gender identity differs in some way from his/her birth or biological sex. To put it clearly, transgenderism is an abnormality and like homosexuality, it is also an abomination. Transgenderism is clearly unnatural. In addition, there is a Satanic Left effort in this world that exists to not only cause gender confusion but also distort humanity as well. For added insight, watch the video below…

For added insight about the unfair inclusion of biological males in females’ sports events, watch the videos below…

Going back to the CBN News report, I strongly agree with Governor Kim Reynolds that the law she signed is a victory for girls’ sports in their state and that having biological females forced to compete against biological males is both unfair and the opposite of inclusivity. I also strongly agree with The Family Leader group that the protection of girls’ sports is a biological reality and not political. Iowa state senator Jeff Taylor pointed out the obvious – Trans girls are boys. Trans women are men.

We should praise and thank the Lord for this Iowa breakthrough. We should pray to Him that more states around the United States as well as nations around the world will follow Iowa’s example and set the record straight – females’ sports are strictly for biological females.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about Iowa’s approved law banning transgender girls and women from participating in sports events of females? Do you agree that biological females should always be protected from the biological males trying to compete against them in sports events that are meant for females? Do you think that the transgendered people are being discriminated? If you are a parent and you know that your athlete daughter will be competing with a disadvantage in a sports event that includes biological males as her competitors, how would you feel?

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

Only God can lift up the persecuted and restore them fully

As I write this, many people around the world are focused on the 2022 Winter Olympics (AKA Beijing 2022) as it is a sports spectacle. Along the way, I read two notable articles recently published by CBN News relating to not just the Olympic games but also the persecution towards Christians in China as well as other people which has been happening for years now. That being said, there is a need to pray to God for the sake of those who are being persecuted by the wicked forces of this world we live in.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the February 4, 2022 article (an analysis by Bob Fu) published by CBN News. Please pay close attention to the details below. Some parts in boldface…

The upcoming Olympics in Beijing are putting a spotlight on China’s human rights abuses, and rightfully so. Religious freedom conditions are continuing to deteriorate in China. Things were so bad for one house church, that they fled together to South Korea. Now, that same group of Chinese Christians could be repatriated.

This is the dangerous reality for the 60 members of the Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church, nicknamed the “Mayflower church.” South Korea has chosen to deny these asylum-seekers, but they deserve a place in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

In China, Pastor Pan Yongguang and his congregation faced increasing pressure. By 2014, authorities were often interrogating him multiple times a week, urging him to join the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-approved Three-Self Patriotic Movement. Yet, refusing to teach Party-approved doctrine, Pastor Pan resisted.

Chinese authorities targeted the church for extra surveillance. Soon, the church-run elementary school was evicted. It was devastating for parents in the church who simply wanted to educate their children with a Christian worldview.

Pastor Pan explained the situation to Radio Free Asia, saying, “Our church would educate our children about our religious beliefs, and the police would come along and force them to enroll in school so they could be brainwashed. They didn’t want us to teach our children the Bible, and children are banned from attending church. This went against our faith and our consciences.”

The church held a vote in 2019, the majority choosing to leave the country together to start over in a place that would afford them religious freedom. They fled together to Jeju Island in South Korea and applied for asylum. Sadly, South Korea — a country that accepts almost no refugees — has denied their asylum applications multiple times. Members of the group have appealed the decision to the highest court and were again rejected. Now, they have less than 14 days to leave the country.

Pastor Pan said, “I have been charged with subversion of state power, colluding with anti-China foreign forces and human trafficking. [That’s because] I took these believers out of China, so now I’m suspected of trafficking or smuggling them. Just one of those charges would be enough to send me to jail for a very long time.” Pastor Pan’s friend, Pastor Wang Yi is currently serving a 9-year prison sentence for “subversion of state power” for his uncompromising and outspoken allegiance to God’s Word. If he’s forced to return to China, Pastor Pan could face something similar.

The hopes of the Mayflower church members were modest. They wanted to educate their children as they thought best — incorporating biblical teachings — and live peacefully with their families and attend their church. Yet, under the CCP, this is not guaranteed in China.

The Mayflower church no longer feels safe in South Korea, and that is not an unreasonable fear. Church members have received repeated calls from someone claiming to be from the local Chinese consulate, trying to entice them to come to the consulate. Multiple church members who remained in China were arrested and threatened by Chinese State Security agents accusing the church members who fled to South Korea of committing “treason.” Now, without legal status in South Korea, the congregants will be largely vulnerable without state protection.

Chinese authorities can make the lives of people whose religious beliefs the government disapproves of very uncomfortable. I know from experience. Before the United States accepted me, I was a leader in a house church in China. I was forced to flee to Hong Kong before finally making it to America. This country has afforded me and my family the freedom and opportunity to flourish. Now, the Mayflower church needs the same refuge and generosity America has so often extended.

Pastor Pan and the church members have expressed a desire to come to the United States. The United States is well-positioned to help them. Will the State Department step up?

The Mayflower church has exhausted all options in South Korea. The State Department should admit Pastor Pan and his congregants as humanitarian parolees and offer them asylum in the United States. American churches and resettlement agencies are already prepared to help give this group a fresh start. The State Department’s own annual religious freedom report details the CCP’s brutal religious persecution; it’s time for the U.S. government to act with that reality in mind and help this group of persecuted Christians while we have the chance.

The above details truly disturbing. Freedom to worship the Lord and read His Word is restricted in China. It is not surprising, really, because Communism is itself evil and very opposed to God the Heavenly Father, His Son Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The same thing can be said about other parts of the Satanic Left like Marxism, Socialism, liberalism and other modern forms like Critical Race Theory (CRT), rabid left-focused feminism, wokeness, Cancel Culture, unrestrained secularism, unrestrained atheism and more. There is also the connection China has with American government leaders who are secretly working for them to weaken America’s sovereignty and rule of law.

Truly we the faithful children of God are living in a very divided and harsh world. What is worldly is unholy. As such, I urge you readers – including those who are lost and unsaved who don’t realize the evil influences of the Left – to look up to God, follow His Word, pray to Him wholeheartedly (not ritually) and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in praying for the persecuted as well as the nations being attacked by China and other evil forces (like terrorist-sponsor Iran).

Before proceeding to the other CBN News article, I encourage you all to watch these related CBN News videos below…

The next article is more news-oriented about China, the Winter Olympics and the persecution towards Chinese Christians and others. For more perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the February 2, 2022 article published by CBN News and I urge you to pay close attention to the details. Some parts in boldface…

Some human rights groups are calling this week’s Olympics scheduled to start on Friday in Beijing the “Genocide Games.”

China is accused of holding more than 1 million ethnic Muslims in concentration camps while continuing to severely restrict religious freedom and trample on human rights.

“They have oppressed basically every dissent in China,” Wu’er Kaixi told AP.

Kaixi is Uyghur, and at just 21-years-old, he fled China for his leading role in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

“It’s a country that uses Olympic as a platform to show muscle to the world, while they’re at the same time oppressing dissent and violating human rights within their own country,” he said.

The Chinese government has denied all accusations of any human rights abuse.

It creates a situation of plausible denial. It calls these concentration camps vocational training centers to eliminate poverty in the region, to eliminate terror among Muslims, which is absolutely laughable,” says Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute. “Our military is estimated 1 to 3 million of these Muslims have been incarcerated for indoctrination in these camps.”

The United States, along with the U.K., Australia and Canada, are staging diplomatic boycotts of the Games by not sending government officials in protest of Beijing’s human rights abuses.

We must show that the United States is [an] unyielding and unapologetic advocate for human rights and unafraid of speaking the truth and upsetting General Secretary Xi and his Communist Party thugs,” says Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL).

Activists are urging athletes and sponsors to speak out during the games.

“Your silence is their strength. This is what they want more than anything: that the world will play by China’s rules, that we will follow China’s lead, that we will look away from these atrocities and crimes for the sake of business as usual,” says Lhadon Tethong of the Tibet Action Institute.

Meanwhile, it’s business as usual as Beijing continues its typical crackdown on political and religious activists ahead of sensitive dates, like Friday’s opening ceremonies.

They round up the dissidents and known critics of the regime or people that they think will speak out, they put them in detention, they’re called black jails, they are hidden detentions, it’s unofficial, it’s extrajudicial, and they do that as a pre-emptive strike so that there is no opportunity to protest,” says Shea.

With the eyes of the world turning toward Beijing, Voice of the Martyrs is launching PrayforChina2022.com to remind people to pray for China’s Christians.

Christians are seen as a threat, their message is seen as a threat, and the government is doing everything in their power to keep that message from spreading,” says Todd Nettleton, Voice of the Martyrs’ Chief of Media Relations.

China’s President Xi Jinping has severely suppressed religious freedom in recent years, especially going after Christians.

China sits at number 17 on Open Doors’ World Watch List of the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians.

China is using a blanket of surveillance monitored by artificial intelligence to watch the movements of people of faith. It’s even using facial recognition to monitor those who enter places of worship,” says Open Doors President David Curry.

Thus far, thousands from more than 100 countries have pledged to pray during the Olympic games.

At this point, you my readers should be aware that the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing are not really meant to be celebrated as China’s persecution against Christians and others continue to happen. Never allow yourselves to be fooled. Keep having unwavering faith in the Lord! Resist the dark forces of this world and stand with God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit! Never compromise!

Pray for the persecuted so that the Lord will lift them up and punish the wicked. The wicked will then repent to Him and submit themselves to Him.

As mentioned earlier, we need to pray to God to stop the persecution by China (as well as the persecution done by other dark worldly forces towards others) and lift up all those who have fallen down, help those who are being held in prison and getting tortured, and lift up those who are suffering from terrorism. Never let the Olympic Games distract you! For added insight, watch the videos below about the wickedness of Communism and how it negatively affects people to this day. Yes, it is indeed true – socialism, Communism, Marxism, progressiveness, political correctness, Cancel Culture, authoritarianism, fascism, totalitarian rule, atheism, secularism, terrorism, discrimination, dictatorship, poverty, idolatry, brainwashing, injustice and violence always go together and they truly represent the evil of Satan.

Pray to the Lord to lift up others! Remember that Lord Jesus is the definitive and true Savior for all! Pray also that the faithful who are suffering will retain unwavering faith to the Lord no matter what happens. Preach God’s Word to others and remind people that God will never abandon those who are faithful to Him! Refer to the following scriptures below and let these empower you and others through faith!

Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

Isaiah 41:10 (AMPC)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 14:6 (NASB)

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”

John 15:18 (NASB)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 (NASB)

Why would anyone harm you if you’re passionate and devoted to pleasing God? But even if you happen to suffer for doing what is right, you will have the joyful experience of the blessing of God.  And

Don’t be intimidated or terrified

by those who would terrify you.

But give reverent honor in your hearts to the Anointed One and treat him as the holy Master of your lives. And if anyone asks about the hope living within you, always be ready to explain your faith with gentleness and respect. Maintain a clean conscience, so that those who slander you for living a pure life in Christ will have to lie about you and will be ashamed because of their slander.  For it is better to suffer for doing good, if it is in God’s plan, than for doing evil.

Christ suffered and died for sins once and for all—the innocent for the guilty —to bring you near to God by his body being put to death and by being raised to life by the Spirit.

1 Peter 3:13-19 (TPT)

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:10-12 (NKJV)

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”

Revelation 2:10-11 (NKJV)

Little children, you can be certain that you belong to God and have conquered them, for the One who is living in you is far greater than the one who is in the world.  They belong to this world and they articulate the spirit of this world, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and whoever truly knows God listens to us. Those who refuse to listen to us do not belong to God. That is how we can know the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.

1 John 4:4-6 (TPT)

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

Romans 12:19 (NKJV)

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge;

    I will pay them back,”

    says the Lord.

Romans 12:19 (NLT)

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

Romans 12:19 (NASB)

Beloved, don’t be obsessed with taking revenge, but leave that to God’s righteous justice.  For the Scriptures say:

“Vengeance is mine, and I will repay,” says the Lord.

Romans 12:19 (TPT)

From this point on, I would like to reach out to all the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists, the humanists and the secularists deceive you? Were you victimized by a religious zealot? Have you been persecuting Israel while supporting the terrorist-sponsored Palestinians and the wicked BDS movement? Have you been living as a homosexual or as a transgendered person? Are you still prioritizing addictions to sex, drugs and other inappropriate elements over the Lord? Have you been causing trouble as a social justice warrior (SJW)? Did you spend an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, images, people and relics? Have you been condemning churches and people of faith for a long time now? Have you been working as an agent of Iran to cause terror on others? Are you a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists (Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, the abortionists and others) who got fed up fighting for worthless causes? Did you kill someone and have been living so long with the guilt? Have been practicing sorcery and witchcraft?

All of that darkness mentioned above can finally end and you can decide to do it! How? You can save yourselves by submitting yourselves to the Lord Jesus willingly and realize He is the LightGlorify only the Lord!

There is no force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from my first pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church that God has chosen for you (note: ask Him for a local church!) and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family!).  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits in reference to what I published here and here. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly  and continue to be people of the WordDeclare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion at all. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God.

We can do our part in building up God’s kingdom here on Earth by preaching His Word, blessing the Jewish people and saving the countless lost and unsaved souls around us by leading them to Lord Jesus. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion. Never let the idolaters, the idol makers and other sinister forces fool you into becoming unholy. With God, nothing is impossible!

In ending this, here are some Christan worship music videos to stir you all up. Always have unwavering faith in God and always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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

Brand New Saints Row game coming to Xbox consoles on February 25, 2022

If you are a fan of the Saints Row series of video games or if you are a gamer who is constantly looking for fun-filled, action-packed open-world games, be aware that the brand new Saints Row game is coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X on February 25, 2022! It is indeed a series reboot and already you can order a copy of it for your Xbox by clicking here.

For your excitement, watch this official announcement video…

The next video below is about the production of the game which includes words from varied creators at Volition plus actual gameplay footage. Watch closely and pay attention.

Now to put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Xbox.com article written by Deep Silver Volition chief creative officer Jim Boone. Some parts in boldface…

Saints Row is back and better than ever! We’ve completely rebooted the game, with a brand-new setting, new characters, and new tone, bringing the Saints franchise up to date for today’s gamer.

The game is set in Santo Ileso, a vibrant fictional city set in the American Southwest with nine unique districts and two deserts, currently controlled by three enemy factions: Los Panteros, The Idols, and Marshall Defense Industries.

You start out as the future Boss, our charismatic murder machine, and you get to decide who you want to be, with extensive customization options; you literally get to be Self Made. You team up with your three best friends, Neenah, Eli, and Kevin and begin your mission to rise to the top and build your criminal empire.

However, as this is Saints Row, it’s not an easy ride. You must defeat the three enemy factions and take Santo Ileso as your own. Experience epic gunfights and highspeed chases as you explore the biggest and best Saints Row playground ever, laced with the signature humor the series is known for.

An arsenal of extensive, customizable weapons is all available to you, with cars, bikes, VTOLs, helicopters, and wingsuits all adding to the enormous fun. And two-player co-op means you can enjoy all this with a friend.

Shooting and high-speed chases are part of the Saints Row formula of gameplay.

I am personally very interested with this brand-new Saints Row game. I first got to play the original Saints Row on Xbox 360 way back in 2006 and it was one of my first games on the console. That original game was developed by Volition and published by THQ. I had even more fun with Saints Row 2 and I had the best and most fun-filled gaming sessions with Saints Row: The Third. Saints Row IV turned me off, however, as it was way too outlandish and it was made at a time of uncertainty.

Going back to the Saints Row reboot, based on the above details and the short gameplay clip, I still see some traces of the key gameplay features that defined the Saints Row franchise’s first three games. Players will get to lead a gang and gain respect as they build themselves up in the presence of rival gangs within a fictional city that is divided into sections. The feature of customizing your weapons and vehicles is also back. Also it has been confirmed that character customization is back.

Honestly, this creative design as the default look of the “Boss” that gamers will get to play is ugly and ill-conceived. Good thing that gamers will be allowed to customize their character.
How many cactuses have you spotted in your city?

Here is hoping that more updates about the features and setting of the new Saints Row game will be released over the next few months heading towards the February 2021 launch. I am hoping that the game developers will seriously pay attention to the features that made the Saints Row: The Third so much fun such as owning properties, cyber blazing and the signature activities like Mayhem, Snatch, Insurance Fraud, Trafficking, Heli Assault, Tank Mayhem and Professor Genki’s Super Ethical Reality Climax.

As the new Saints Row is a reboot and has a very brand new setting as well as an obvious Millennial-inspired cast of characters (it looks like there are some woke, politically correct and diversity-obsessed people inside Volition), it is uncertain if most of the above-mentioned gameplay features will be included.

Saints Row and Xbox

The new in-game setting reminds me of Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.
A helicopter lifting a car. The in-game action should be wild like before.

Nothing changes the fact that the Saints Row franchise really started commercially on the Xbox 360 even though the very first game started development as a PlayStation 2 project. That first game sold over 2 million copies as an Xbox 360-only release while Saints Row 2 saw stronger reception on Xbox 360 than on PlayStation 3 and went on to sell 3.4 million copies worldwide by September 2010. The peak of the franchise Saints Row: The Third, which was released November 2011, sold more than 5 million copies worldwide as reported by GameSpot.

The connection between the Saints Row and Xbox brands is notable and real even though it is not obvious enough to be noticed. In my experience, I played the first SR games on my Xbox 360 and by the time I played the 3rd game, my console was already aging. Fortunately my Xbox 360’s problems did not prevent me from fully enjoying Saints Row: The Third.

When backwards compatibility on Xbox One was realized, I replayed the three SR games on my console and had a lot of fun replaying them. As for the remastered version of Saints Row: The Third, I have yet to play it but it has been confirmed to run at 60-frames-per-second with dynamic 4K resolution on Xbox Series X. Just imagine how the new Saints Row will run on Xbox Series X.

Will the Saints Row reboot be a fun and engaging game to play once it finally comes out? We will only find out on February 25, 2021.

In ending this piece, here are some Xbox and Saints Row-related videos for your enjoyment.

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

Glorify only our Lord, definitively and eternally!

Glory is truly meant only for our Lord. Not people, not carved figures, not images and not man-made creations. We only glorify the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and Holy Spirit.

In recent times, South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker glorified God and used her successful achievements at the Tokyo Olympic Games to lead others to Him. The said achievements include establishing new records in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke and also in the 200-meter breaststroke. To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the CBN News report. Some parts in boldface…

Tatjana Schoenmaker — an Olympic swimmer from South Africa — has shattered records this week in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke, and she’s using her success to point others to God.

The swimmer set a new Olympic record Wednesday in the preliminary round with a time of 2:19.16. Then on Friday, she went on to win the gold in the event, setting a new world record with a time of 2:18.95.

The 24-year-old Olympian broke another record in the preliminary rounds for the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:04.82. She ended up claiming the silver medal in the Monday event, Sportsnet reported.

In all her competitions in Tokyo, Schoenmaker has worn — under her green South Africa swim cap — another cap proclaiming her faith.

The white Speedo cap the athlete is wearing features a blue Jesus fish under the phrase “Soli Deo Gloria,” which means “Glory to God alone,” printed on the side of it.

Schoenmaker has used her platform to discuss her Christian faith before.

In an Instagram post last week, she posted a prayer as she traveled to Tokyo for the summer Olympic Games.

On the mentioned Instagram post, Schoenmaker wrote: Father God may your will be done, may your peace fill us up, may we praise you no matter what the outcome, may we be empowered by your strength to give it our all and may we forever be in the awe of your goodness! Thank you for bringing us to this very moment 🙏🏻

It is essential to be mindful that inhabitants of this deeply divided world struggle with the temptations of honoring and even worshiping their fellow people who achieved greatness or are simply charming. Think about all the people who idolized movie stars, sports champions, fashion models, dancers, politicians and even fictional characters! Idolatry towards individual persons begins when people get overwhelmed by the would-be-idol’s success or charisma, and this leads them to prioritizing those individuals and forget the Lord as a result. Idolatry is unholy, foolish and will separate people from the Lord! Nobody should ever give in to the temptation of idolizing because that is precisely what Satan wants. Learn from the New Living Translation (NLT) and The Passion Translation (TPT) of 1 Corinthians 6:9:-10 below…

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NLT)

Surely you must know that people who practice evil cannot possess God’s kingdom realm. Stop being deceived! People who continue to engage in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse, or extortion—these will not inherit God’s kingdom realm.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (TPT)

It is also important to remember that God is our Creator and our Source. Blessings in the forms of heavenly income and tremendous human achievements only come from Him. By comparison, idols will never bless their idolaters no matter how much they idolize! As such, it was right and proper for South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker to glorify God because what she achieved was made possible by Him. Only God can make the impossible become possible. In using her success to honor God, Schoenmaker is also doing her part in helping Him save the countless lost and unsaved souls of this world, and help Him build His Kingdom here on Earth.

Of course, I am not saying that fellow people who achieve greatness should be ignored. They can still be congratulated, rewarded and be celebrated to a certain limit. To worship or prioritize the human achiever over our Lord is very wrong. Glorify God, not people. Follow His Word, not those man-made doctrines or pieces of fiction. Be led by faith in the Lord, not religion, not unbelief, and not by this divided world. Learn from the following holy scriptures below…

Now to God, the only source of wisdom, be glorious praises for endless ages through Jesus, the Anointed One! Amen!

Romans 16:27 (TPT)

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

John 3:3 (NKJV)

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!

Sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord, bless His name;

Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.

Declare His glory among the nations,

His wonders among all peoples.

For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;

He is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the peoples are idols,

But the Lord made the heavens.

Honor and majesty are before Him;

Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,

Give to the Lord glory and strength.

Give to the Lord the glory due His name;

Bring an offering, and come into His courts.

Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!

Tremble before Him, all the earth.

Psalm 96:1-9 (NKJV)

And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 4:13-15 (NKJV)

Every believer has received grace gifts, so use them to serve one another as faithful stewards of the many-colored tapestry of God’s grace.

1 Peter 4:10 (TPT)

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.

Mark 12:30 (NKJV)

Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others.

For we know that we will receive a reward, an inheritance from the Lord, as we serve the Lord Yahweh, the Anointed One!

Colossians 3:23-24 (TPT)

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)

From this point on, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists, the humanists and the secularists fool and abused you? Were you victimized by a religious zealot? Have you been living as a homosexual or as a transgendered person? Are you still addicted to sex, drugs and other inappropriate elements? Did you spend an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, images, people and relics? Are you a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists (Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, the abortionists and others) who got fed up fighting for worthless causes? Did you kill someone and have been living so long with the guilt? All of that darkness can finally end and you can decide to do it! How? You can save yourselves by submitting yourselves to the Lord Jesus willingly and realize He is the Light! No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from a pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church that God has chosen for you (note: ask Him for a local church!) and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family!).  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly  and continue to be people of the WordDeclare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. We can do our part in building up God’s kingdom here on Earth by preaching His Word, blessing the Jewish people and saving the countless lost and unsaved souls around us by leading them to Lord Jesus. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion. Never let the idolaters, the idol makers and other sinister forces fool you into becoming unholy.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Strangers #5 (1993)

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

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors, 1990s culture enthusiasts and fans of Malibu Comics! As of this writing, I am coming close to finally reviewing all issues of The Strangers series of comic books under the Ultraverse line of Malibu Comics. If you have been following my retro reviews, I reviewed issue #23 which was the 2nd-to-the-last of all published issues of The Strangers.

Then I checked for issues I have not reviewed. I went on to review issues #14 and #15. Now I am about to review a few more issues that were published during the first six months of The Strangers.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at The Strangers #5, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Rick Hoberg.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins somewhere in California (shortly after parting ways with Hardcase and Choice). It was decided by the team to take a break from being the Strangers and return to their respective private lives.

Bob Hardin/Atom Bob returns to his parents at home and learns that not only were he and his teammates publicized in the local news, there are many reporters who arrived and stayed just outside their home seeking him.

Zip-Zap arrives in his old neighborhood and immediately encounters a local gang of his fellow black people. Grenade and Electrocute, who are in the same neighborhood as Atom Bob, walk down the street and start to get close with each other. Elena/Lady Killer goes back to her business while Yrial finds herself unable to return to her private life (at the floating island). Suddenly, someone on the sidewalk calls out to Yrial for help…

Quality

Suspense and tension builds up for the Strangers.

Given how hectic times were for The Strangers in the first four issues, this story is a welcome change of pace. The pacing was adjusted to give readers some much needed breathing space to help them focus on the characterization moments, to get to know each team member better and to realize what their place in the entire Ultraverse truly is. For one thing, it is nice to see Atom Bob with his folks and it is quite something to see Yrial finding herself somewhat lost and lonely in the middle of the city as she is unable to come back to her tribe on the floating island.

More on storytelling, this comic book still has a good amount of space left for spectacle which was structured in a way to be a pay-off for all the character development scenes that preceded it. That being said, the new villain introduced here is Deathwish who turns out to be quite powerful (powerful enough kill and make corpses rot faster than usual) and easily challenged the Strangers a lot. The encounter results some pretty interesting character moments for each team member. Deathwish also is one of the many other people who rode the same cable car with the Strangers on the day they got hit by energy from above.

More on the spectacle, I just love the way Steve Englehart and Rick Hoberg presented the teamwork dynamics of The Strangers in their fight with Deathwish.

Conclusion

Elena/Lady Killer as the very busy businesswoman.

The Strangers #5 (1993) is another entertaining read from the Englehart-Hoberg duo. This comic book further developed the characters and even gave readers a look at their private lives before resuming the superhero spectacle. It also tried to be socially relevant for the 1990s with insertions about AIDS, cancer and homosexuality (an abomination as clearly written in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in the Holy Bible) which are channeled through one particular team member. More notably, it sheds light on the cable car incident from issue #1 to point out that the Strangers are truly not the only ones who got affected by the energy blast from the sky.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Strangers #5 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $14.

Overall, The Strangers #5 is recommended.

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

Idolatry is Foolishness

There is no doubt that idolatry makes a person (a creation of the Lord) unholy and unworthy of becoming part of God’s kingdom. Pay close attention to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in different translations below (key words in bold for greater emphasis)…

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

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NLT)

Surely you must know that people who practice evil cannot possess God’s kingdom realm. Stop being deceived! People who continue to engage in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse, or extortion—these will not inherit God’s kingdom realm.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (TPT)

Knowing the truth in the above scriptures, you definitely would not want to become an idolater. Idolatry is truly unholy and anyone who practices it becomes unrighteous. Idolatry has no place whatsoever in Christianity, no matter what the idolaters, the unsaved souls and lost souls around us say. In fact, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is a holy scripture that many idolaters (along with the homosexuals, the greedy, the perverts and others deemed unholy) are very afraid of because the truth goes against them.

Idolatry is not limited to the worshiping of statues, statuettes, paintings, relics and people. It also includes prioritizing human acts of addiction (examples: addiction to illegal substances or the Internet), prioritizing materialism and prioritizing other worldly matters over the Lord! Many people don’t know it but they should know the truth that idolatry must be rejected and they should always worship God our Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit! Learn from the following scriptures below…

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)

Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.

Galatians 4:3-8 (NKJV)

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

Leviticus 19:4 (NKJV)

As it is already clear that idolatry is unholy, there is also the truth that idolatry is also foolishness! The truth is recorded in a very specific holy scripture from the 44th chapter of the Book of Isaiah. Pay close attention to the details…

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,

And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:

‘I am the First and I am the Last;

Besides Me there is no God.

And who can proclaim as I do?

Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,

Since I appointed the ancient people.

And the things that are coming and shall come,

Let them show these to them.

Do not fear, nor be afraid;

Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?

You are My witnesses.

Is there a God besides Me?

Indeed there is no other Rock;

I know not one.’ ”

Those who make an image, all of them are useless,

And their precious things shall not profit;

They are their own witnesses;

They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed.

Who would form a god or mold an image

That profits him nothing?

Surely all his companions would be ashamed;

And the workmen, they are mere men.

Let them all be gathered together,

Let them stand up;

Yet they shall fear,

They shall be ashamed together.

The blacksmith with the tongs works one in the coals,

Fashions it with hammers,

And works it with the strength of his arms.

Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails;

He drinks no water and is faint.

The craftsman stretches out his rule,

He marks one out with chalk;

He fashions it with a plane,

He marks it out with the compass,

And makes it like the figure of a man,

According to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house.

He cuts down cedars for himself,

And takes the cypress and the oak;

He secures it for himself among the trees of the forest.

He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it.

Then it shall be for a man to burn,

For he will take some of it and warm himself;

Yes, he kindles it and bakes bread;

Indeed he makes a god and worships it;

He makes it a carved image, and falls down to it.

He burns half of it in the fire;

With this half he eats meat;

He roasts a roast, and is satisfied.

He even warms himself and says,

“Ah! I am warm,

I have seen the fire.”

And the rest of it he makes into a god,

His carved image.

He falls down before it and worships it,

Prays to it and says,

“Deliver me, for you are my god!”

They do not know nor understand;

For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see,

And their hearts, so that they cannot understand.

And no one considers in his heart,

Nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say,

“I have burned half of it in the fire,

Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals;

I have roasted meat and eaten it;

And shall I make the rest of it an abomination?

Shall I fall down before a block of wood?”

He feeds on ashes;

A deceived heart has turned him aside;

And he cannot deliver his soul,

Nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

Isaiah 44:6-20 (NKJV)

As seen above, the prophet Isaiah issued a warning against idolatry. Emphasized were the absurdity of idolatry when compared with the worship of the Lord who is the true God of us all. Simply put, idols are not only unholy, they are worthless and do not respond to the idolaters (who in turn are too blinded to realize the truth in the Holy Bible).

Pay close attention to what our Heavenly Father said: 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. (Exodus 20:4-5 NKJV)

Idolatry is absolutely foolish and it is a violation of God’s Word. The problem with humanity is that when people are unfaithful or got blinded by religion or got consumed by unbelief or other worldly influences, they violate the Lord by making idols in the form of statues, statuettes, art pieces, relics and substances that they dedicate themselves to. They don’t realize it but those idols became their top priority, while God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not. They are too blinded to realize that man-made idols are abominations that actually please Satan because those idols keep them away from the Lord. Learn from the holy scripture below…

The idols of the nations are silver and gold,

The work of men’s hands.

They have mouths, but they do not speak;

Eyes they have, but they do not see;

They have ears, but they do not hear;

Nor is there any breath in their mouths.

Those who make them are like them;

So is everyone who trusts in them.

Psalm 135:15-18 (NKJV)

The making of idols is a centuries-old problem in this world. Here in the Philippines, idolatry is part of the status quo of the people and their culture. Way back in the year 1521, the Spaniards arrived here in the Philippines and brought with them a distorted form of Christianity in the shape of religion along with idolatry, traditions and rituals. Think about it. For the following centuries of Spanish influence, countless generations of Filipinos were trapped by religion, lived in bondage and were really held back from realizing the truth in the Holy Bible and also held back from accepting Jesus as the definitive Lord and Savior.

Along the way, countless statues, statuettes, images and relics of religion were made and a lot of families wasted their money to buy them and place those idols in their homes, not realizing that those are an abomination to the Lord. Imagine for example someone praying to a statue or a statuette of Lord Jesus. This is unfortunate because the idolater does not realize the truth that Lord Jesus NOT in the statue/statuette but is in Heaven and His Spirit is in the hearts of Christians who got born again.

Think about a religion-led church (living with distorted Christianity) organizing a procession or parade with idols displayed from start to the finish in full view of the people around. Such unholy events continue to happen here in the Philippines and it shows that there are still a lot of lost and unsaved souls among the Filipinos still trapped by idolatry and religion.

Think about the other people who rejected our Lord because they believed in the secularists, atheists, Leftists, humanists and other non-believing people, and looked up to them as walking idols not realizing they are unholy and doing exactly what Satan wants them to do. As I am writing this, there are lots of youth here in the Philippines who did not truly believe in the Lord because they decided to believe in the Leftists whose loudmouths became idols to them. Instead of Christianity, the unfortunate youth believed in socialism, homosexuality, Communism, humanism, Marxism, unbelief and other unholy influences. Clearly, they have been fooled by these forces of evil which involve idolatry.

Also think about the other people who have this very casual way of idolizing people in rather worldly ways. People who idolize public figures involved in the world of politics, entertainment, sports, social media, dishonest news media, Internet influence and the like. What these kinds of idolaters do not realize is that there is no such thing as an innocent way of doing idolatry, and the Holy Bible itself – with lots of references about idolatry – is very clear about that.

Thanks to our Lord, true faith-led Christianity was realized worldwide in the 20th century and today, here in the Philippines, there are lots of Christian churches that are dedicated to the Word of God, the direct worship of the Lord, and prioritize faith and the personal relationship with Him. The truth is religion is not essential, faith in the Lord is essential. Religion is not essential, the personal relationship with God is essential. Unbelief will lead to eternal suffering and damnation, being faithful to the Lord will lead to salvation. Idols and idolatry are unholy, the Lord is holy. Reject idolatry for it is clearly written in the holy scripture below…

My cherished friends, keep on running far away from idolatry.

1 Corinthians 10:14 (TPT)

As it is clear the idolatry is foolishness and idols are unholy, we Christians can help our Lord save the lost and unsaved souls around us by praying for them and by preaching the Word of God (verbally and through digital methods) so that people will realize the truth, analyze and make their decisions. We can help the idolaters and all other sinners get saved before it is too late for them. Pay close attention to the words of Lord Jesus below…

“Again, heaven’s kingdom realm is like a fisherman who casts his large net into the lake, catching an assortment of different kinds of fish. When the net was filled, the fishermen hauled it up on the shore, and they all sat down to sort out their catch. They collected the good fish in baskets and threw the bad away. And so it will be at the close of the age. The messengers will come and separate the evil from among the godly and throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will experience great sorrow, pain, and anguish.”

Matthew 13:47-50 (TPT)

The idolaters and other sinners still have time to stop sinning, and come to the Lord who only requires submission from them to become His children. To the idolaters and sinners reading this…you can still save yourselves. You can reject all those idols (both the man-made and the walking) and free yourselves from both foolishness and sin to come to Him, repent to Him and allow Him to reform you fully. It is not too late to get born again. Learn from God’s words in the following holy scriptures below…

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.”

Ezekiel 14:6 (NKJV)

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and bring it about that you walk in My statutes, and are careful and follow My ordinances. And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

Ezekiel 36:25-28 (NASB)

From this point on, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists and secularists fool and abused you? Were you victimized by a religious fanatic? Have you been living as a homosexual? Are you fed up with being promiscuous? You spent an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, paintings and relics? Are you an anarchist, a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists who has had enough with darkness? Are you addicted to something for so long? All of that darkness can end! How? You can save yourselves bysubmitting to the Lord willingly and realize He is the Light! No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from a pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church near you and find your place in the spiritual family.  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly  and continue to be people of the Word. Declare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep on living with holiness under the watch of God. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Christian Music Appreciation: Great Outpouring

Welcome back, my fellow Christians, music enthusiasts and those who seek the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit! In this newest edition of my ongoing Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series, we are about to examine the holiness and relevance of another worship song by the great musicians of Planetshakers Church (Australia) titled Great Outpouring.

Great Outpouring is one of the songs included in Planetshakers’ most recent album Over It All. Its title alone is a great reminder of the truth recorded in the Holy Bible…there truly is a significant outpouring of the Holy Spirit which is something that Christians, each and every member of the Body of Christ, can always keep living with while being faithful to the Lord.

Here are the lyrics for your viewing and musical learning. The analysis of key parts of the lyrics will follow afterwards.

[Verse 1]

Come upon me

Overwhelm me

Overshadow

In Your glory

I am ready

I am willing

Heart surrendered

To Your leading

[Pre-Chorus]

You said to wait

For power to clothe me

You’d send a flame again

[Chorus]

So come now

Lord resurrect us

In Your power

Fill us afresh

And here now

Pour out Your Spirit again

Pour out Your Spirit again

[Verse 2]

There’s a stirring

Things are moving

There’s a hunger

You’re restoring

We are counting

On Your Spirit

Send Your rushing

Wind again

[Pre-Chorus]

Oh You said to wait

For power to clothe me

You’d send a flame again

[Chorus]

So come now

Lord resurrect us

In Your power

Fill us afresh

And here now

Pour out Your Spirit again

So come now

Lord resurrect us

In Your power

Fill us afresh

And here now

Pour out Your Spirit again

Pour out Your Spirit again

[Bridge 1]

I can hear it

The sound of a rushing wind

I can feel it

The flame of Your fire again

I receive it

The power that raised the dead

This is the great outpouring

[Bridge 2]

Can you see it?

Revival is in the air

There is freedom

Let churches be filled again

In this season

Heaven is rushing in

This is the great outpouring

[Refrain]

Woah

This is the great outpouring

Woah

[Chorus]

So come now

Lord resurrect us

In Your power

Fill us afresh

And here now

Pour out Your Spirit again

So come now

Lord resurrect us

In Your power

Fill us afresh

And here now

Pour out Your Spirit again

Pour out Your Spirit

[Bridge 1]

I can hear it

The sound of a rushing wind

I can feel it

The flame of Your fire again

I receive it

The power that raised the dead

This is the great outpouring

[Bridge 2]

Can you see it?

Revival is in the air

There is freedom

Let churches be filled again

In this season

Heaven is rushing in

This is the great outpouring

[Refrain]

Woah

This is the great outpouring

Woah

[Outro]

For analysis, let’s start with Verse 1’s lyrics – Come upon me, Overwhelm me, Overshadow, In Your glory, I am ready, I am willing, Heart surrendered, To Your leading. Verse 1 is about making the decision to submit to the Lord, repenting to Him and allowing the Holy Spirit to come not only to you but also into your heart – receiving the Holy Spirit! From that point on, being led by the Holy Spirit and being faithful to the Lord become the new ways of living. This also means living as the new creation under Christ which is the result of getting born again (that Lord Jesus Himself made clear)! All of these happen when the seeker willingly decides to be Christian and get baptized spiritually (note: water baptism does not save anybody). Learn from the following holy scriptures below…

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Matthew 3:11 (NKJV)

Peter replied, “Repent and return to God, and each one of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus, the Anointed One, to have your sins removed. Then you may take hold of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38 (TPT)

We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God freely gives to all who believe in him.

Acts 5:32 (TPT)

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born [a]again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3 (NKJV)

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)

Moving on, the following lyrics from the longer version of the Chorus, I believe, is the very heart of the song as it deals with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which goes as follows – So come now, Lord resurrect us, In Your power, Fill us afresh, And here now, Pour out Your Spirit again, So come now, Lord resurrect us, In Your power, Fill us afresh, And here now, Pour out Your Spirit again, Pour out Your Spirit.

Let’s get straight to the point here…the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is real and here are the holy scriptures that confirm it is indeed true…

And it shall come to pass afterward

That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;

Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

Your old men shall dream dreams,

Your young men shall see visions.

And also on My menservants and on My maidservants

I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

Joel 2: 28-29 (NKJV)

And it shall come to pass

That whoever calls on the name of the Lord

Shall be saved.

For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,

As the Lord has said,

Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.

Joel 2:32 (NKJV)

For I will pour water on the thirsty land

And streams on the dry ground;

I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring,

And My blessing on your descendants;

Isaiah 44:3 (NASB)

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:1-4 (NKJV)

But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,

That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;

Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

Your young men shall see visions,

Your old men shall dream dreams.

And on My menservants and on My maidservants

I will pour out My Spirit in those days;

And they shall prophesy.

I will show wonders in heaven above

And signs in the earth beneath:

Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

The sun shall be turned into darkness,

And the moon into blood,

Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

And it shall come to pass

That whoever calls on the name of the Lord

Shall be saved.’

Acts 2:16-21 (NKJV)

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

John 14:15-17 (NKJV)

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Ephesians 1:13 (NKJV)

As seen in the above verses, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was prophesied in the Old Testament by the prophets Joel and Isaiah. The Old Testament prophecies got fulfilled within the New Testament on the Day of Pentecost and the apostle Paul, in front of many people, confirmed that the prophecy of Joel was fulfilled. By believing in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we get saved and allow the Holy Spirit to occupy our hearts. Jesus Himself referred to the Holy Spirit as the Helper from the Heavenly Father, and the Spirit of Truth. Getting saved (born again) makes us children of God and as such we must allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit, let Him guide us, reform us, restore us, prosper us and ensure we each have a personal relationship with the Lord. Along the way, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for us manifests and becomes clearly true.

Going back to the lyrics in the longer chorus, I believe that the line Pour out Your Spirit again is about urging the Holy Spirit to make its presence felt not only for faithful Christians who continue to pursue the Lord but also to those who are still lost and unsaved which our screwed-up world is so full of. It should be noted that there are also Christians who, unfortunately, backslid and lost faith due to circumstances (example: the current pandemic that brought down societies and economies worldwide) at a time when their faith was not strong enough nor refined enough.

That being said, I believe the song Great Outpouring can help deepen the faith of the faithful ones while also working as an invitation to the lost and unsaved souls who have not realized that they can stop suffering by becoming born again and submitting themselves to the Lord for true reform. I assure all of you reading this that there are still lots of people who did not accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior because of religion, unbelief, idolatry (which is truly unholy), traditions, rituals, homosexuality, anarchy, terrorism, socialism, Communism, racism, Leftism, feminism, corruption, immorality, critical race theory, rebellion, political correctness, anti-Semitism, dishonesty and other negative elements used by Satan all over the world. There are lots of people who remain lost and unsaved because of their failure to have true fellowship with the Lord, because they did not believe nor prioritized the Word of God (the Holy Bible), because they allowed themselves to be consumed by evil forces in this world, and because they embraced religion or unbelief instead of getting into a relationship with the Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Obviously, the lost and unsaved souls have not realized the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and they can have it by simply deciding to submit themselves to the Lord. That being said, we Christians should keep on persevering with praying for the lost and unsaved souls, and help them realize God’s Word is always true. Again, the song Great Outpouring can be used to reach out to the lost and unsaved souls around us.

Musically, Great Outpouring is indeed beautiful to listen to and, more importantly, its lyrics are truly holy. I believe that Planetshakers’ music team were led by the Holy Spirit in composing the song and formulating its music before officially recording it. Take note of the following lines from different parts of the lyrics – Let churches be filled again (Bridge 2), The flame of Your fire again I receive it (Bridge 1), There’s a stirring, Things are moving (Verse 2) – and you should see that they are all based on the Holy Bible.

When it comes to playing Great Outpouring at church during Sunday worship service, I would suggest to church music teams/bands to consider playing the song as the conclusion if they want to set solemnity with the church attendees after playing the more energetic songs during the early part of the musical performance. Planetshakers’ Great Outpouring is highly recommended!

In conclusion, posted below is the official music video of Great Outpouring performed by Planetshakers. While listening to it, remember to be faithful and thankful to the Lord. Always remember to realize the good life from the Lord, practice Christian habits , get yourself planted in a local church (be led by Him) and remember the truth that He rewards the faithful abundantly. Continue to be people of the Word and keep on being the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

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A Look Back at Mantra #4 (1993)

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

Welcome back Ultraverse fans, geeks and fellow comic book collectors! If you want to discover more of the fantasy elements within the Ultraverse through Mantra – the pretty sorceress whose body is occupied by the soul of a male warrior named Lukasz – then you are in for something rather different.

To put things in perspective, the fantasy-swords-magic concept was made clear in Mantra #1 and that Lukasz and his band of warriors (led by an elder sorcerer) as well as their enemies (led by Boneyard) were definitely from another world. That other world will be explored at last in this look back at Mantra #4, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Mike W. Barr and drawn by Robb Phipps.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the world of Boneyard, at his castle specifically. Down on her knees, Mantra is just in front of the villain Boneyard who says, “So this is Archimage’s last, best hope. Just a woman!!”

Boneyard tells Mantra not to rise nor move. As he does not yet know that Lukasz is inside Mantra’s body, Boneyard welcomes her and states that it is his right to choose any woman in his kingdom as his bride. In reaction to being selected as Boneyard’s newest mate with a purpose to potentially give birth to his children, Mantra strikes him with an energy blast symbolically rejecting him.

Boneyard then says, “Enough. I tolerate this dissent because your body carries much potential for magic, woman. It is only your body that saves you from death. Your bewildering loyalty to my defeated brother, Archimage, would ordinarily be enough to condemn you. Your genes, combined with mine will yield children to whom magic comes as easily as taking breath.”

As the villain talks, Mantra notices the sword pointed at her was the same one used to kill her when she was man (as Lukasz). She then makes moves to get Boneyard off-balanced and try to leave the castle…

Quality

Mantra visits the tavern in the kingdom controlled by Boneyard.

I’ll start with the writing. What Mike W. Barr did here successfully was raising the stakes for Mantra which involves the drastic change of location and setting from the modern society of Earth into the fantasy realm where Boneyard and his army are based in. The mentioned change literally opened new opportunities to develop Mantra’s personality while at the same time offered readers a lot of new things and places for their exploration.

With the all-new setting, lots of fantasy genre tropes are present. There is the ever-present tavern filled with lots of people that include humans and non-human beings that go beyond dwarves and elves. There is also the slave auction of both men and women standing almost nakedly in front of the bidders. There also were people wearing capes, hoods, swords, spears and armor which Mantra smoothly blends in with.

Along the way, there is a lot spectacle here mainly acts of magic alternated with hard action moves. The way the spectacle is presented fits in excellently with the fantasy setting and I should state that Robb Phipps did a very solid job visualizing such elements while succeeding in making Mantra, Boneyard, Archimage and Warstrike look recognizable.

Back to the writing, Mike W. Barr prepared a lot of details in the story that explained Boneyard’s nature and even his status as the husband of multiple wives. This comic book also reveals that Boneyard is likely bisexual since, apart from being married to multiple women, he kissed Mantra and lusts for her even AFTER he learned that Lukasz is occupying the woman’s body. His intention to marry Mantra symbolizes homosexuality as well. To put things in perspective, this makes Boneyard very guilty of sexual immorality on top of his wickedness. Refer to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (sexual immorality and homosexuality), Galatians 5:19-21 (sorcery and sexual immorality) and Deuteronomy 17:17 (polygamy) in the Holy Bible.

Conclusion

Boneyard’s intention to marry Mantra (whose body is occupied by the soul of the male eternal warrior Lukasz) and impregnate her to produce his children is disgusting, even more so when the villain knows Lukasz is in Mantra.

To say the least, Mantra #4 (1993) is entertaining enough mainly due to its fantasy setting and exposing key elements about the rivalry between Archimage and Boneyard. This was a daring and refreshing change of pace for Mantra series since the first three issues already emphasized Lukasz’s struggles on living in the body of Eden Blake (note: reincarnation is false and goes against the Holy Bible, read Hebrews 9:27 and Psalm 78:39 for insight) and living with her family as Eden’s soul was pushed into limbo. More notably, this issue shows more of how evil and wicked Boneyard is not simply because of his leading his army of evildoers but also because of his evil-filled nature. By comparison, Lukasz/Mantra is the lesser evil to Boneyard under the pretense of good-versus-evil in the story (which itself concluded in a predictable and underwhelming fashion).

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Mantra #4 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of comic book costs $8.

Overall, Mantra #4 (1993) is satisfactory.

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