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 [a]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 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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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 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

A Look Back at Mantra #12 (1994)

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

Hey everyone! Welcome back to my continuing effort on reviewing Ultraverse comic books of Malibu Comics from the 1990s. This time we will continue on the crossover between Mantra and The Strangers that started in The Strangers #13.

What I enjoyed most in The Strangers #13 is the interaction between Mantra and members of the superhero team as well as how Boneyard (mortal enemy of Mantra’s) impacts them. It comes to show that careful research of the characters and planning were done to ensure not only a very good story but one that makes mixing Mantra and the Strangers together memorable.

Will the high quality of story, art and crossing over continue? We can find out in the 2nd chapter of the Mantra-Strangers crossover in Mantra #12, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Mike W. Barr and illustrated by Terry Dodson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Mantra and the Strangers facing Boneyard, his companions and demons. Boneyard has Atom Bob held captive for his magic use. Determined to kill Boneyard, Mantra draws first blood by blasting one of the demons. Due to having weakened powers, Mantra struggles in battle until Electrocute helps taking the other demons off.

As the battle goes on, Boneyard (aided with Notch’s power) makes his move towards Mantra and touches her body with his….

Quality

Action in the city.

The script written by Mike W. Barr (in coordination with Steve Englehart of The Strangers) is pretty solid in the sense that it took the interactions between Mantra and the Strangers a few levels deeper which paved the way for some character revelations and further development of varied personalities. To say the least, this one is pretty wordy and there was clear effort to define the characters even as the struggle went on. There were also common things between Boneyard and Yrial that was nicely explored when it comes to their respective abilities.

This comic book daringly touched on gender issues, particularly with the ever unholy topic of homosexuality (note: read 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 in the Holy Bible) and even rape. There was this lesbian kiss scene between Electrocute and Mantra. Also it is made clear that even though Boneyard knows Mantra really is male warrior Lukasz occupying a female body, the said villain still wants to mate with the protagonist.

On the visuals, I found this one really looking odd even though it was credited to Terry Dodson. His art here really looked cartoony, so much so it’s almost as if someone else drew it. Try comparing Dodson’s art here with what he did in issue #1 and you will see what I mean.

Conclusion

At the coast.

While it is well written, I should say that the crossover between the protagonist and the featured superhero team could have ended better. Compared to the conclusions of the Prototype-Strangers and Hardcase-Strangers crossovers, Mantra #12 ended up lacking punch. As an anniversary issue, it is serviceable.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Mantra #12 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy costs $8.

Overall, Mantra #12 (1994) is recommended.

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

Lord Jesus Forbids Oaths

Let me ask you a few key questions.

Did you ever take an oath led by someone who looked more important than you?

Did you see photo releases of a city mayor leading the oath-taking ceremony of a board of directors of a civic group or a homeowners’ association (HOA) highlighted in your local community newspaper (most likely organized by people who really do NOT know law and/or journalism) and allowed yourself to be fooled into believing that such a ceremony was significant?

Did someone coerce you into taking an oath?

To make things clear, an oath is the solemn attestation of the truth or the inviolability of one’s words. By nature, oaths are composed of words mostly designed to impress. When it comes to Christianity, oaths are not heavenly and are in fact unnecessary. Oaths are earthly by nature and there is something significant as to why exactly oaths are unnecessary in the first place, as written in the Holy Bible.

As I mentioned before, we all live in a world that is so divisive and screwed up. The long-time loser Satan continues to abuse people and keep them away from Lord Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit by using unbelief, religion, traditions, idolatry, violence, looting, stealing, lust, abortion, homosexuality, distorted civil rights, distorted social justice, rituals and oaths. Satan does not want people to realize their true purpose under God, and he uses lots of tactics to prevent people from studying the Holy Bible and applying the lessons into their lives. The enemy knows that any edified Christian will defy him and defeat him in front of God.

Oaths and the ceremonies of taking them are actually unholy for any Christian.

Here is something that Satan does not want you to know: Lord Jesus Himself forbids oaths!

The truth about that is written in Verses 33 to 37 in Chapter 5 of the Book of Matthew in the Holy Bible. Below for you all are the words of Lord Jesus.

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

Matthew 5: 33-37 (NKJV)

To put things in perspective, Verses 33 to 37 above was about Lord Jesus setting His followers free with wisdom (greater understanding) and enable them to free themselves from the teachings and standards established by the Pharisees which literally constrained people.

This is because in previous times, the Pharisees created elaborate rules governing vows, and only those employing the divine name were binding Jesus associates their deception with the very nature of the evil one, and emphasize that a vow is binding regardless of what formula is used. Specifically, the use of oaths is superfluous (meaning unnecessary) when one’s word out to suffice. More importantly, oath-taking itself is an implicit confession that we do not always tell the truth.

As such, Lord Jesus is absolutely right about forbidding oaths! As Christians and the children of God, we should NEVER allow oaths to limit us, nor do we allow oaths to separate us from Him and His Word (the Holy Bible). It is sadly true that use of oaths is common in the modern world government units when officials take office, when a new batch of lawyers or doctors or architects formally start their careers, and more. For those who take oaths, they confirm they limit themselves to the rules and standards of their respective realm in society. This is definitely not what Lord Jesus wanted for His believers and followers thousands of years ago, and His kingdom is not of this world we live in.

If you are Christian and you were compelled to take an oath because of career, keep in mind that the oath will NEVER be more essential than your faith in the Lord and your dedication with the Holy Bible. Think of the oath as an earthly matter (society matter, career matter) that is only temporary and will never be essential with faith.

For us Christians driven by faith, we only need the Holy Bible. We don’t need oaths when it comes to Christianity and our relationship with God. Like idolatry, unbelief, religion, tradition and rituals, oaths are unnecessary. Since Jesus forbids oaths to set people free from what the Pharisees established, we Christians must take His action seriously! The Lord made the way and we should follow Him!

Now let’s take a look at the Passion Translation of the same scriptures and analyze.

“Again, your ancestors were taught, ‘Never swear an oath that you don’t intend to keep, but keep your vows to the Lord God.’ However, I say to you, don’t bind yourself by taking an oath at all. Don’t swear by heaven, for heaven is where God’s throne is placed. Don’t swear an oath by the earth, because it is the rug under God’s feet, and not by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the Great King. And why would you swear by your own head, because it’s not in your power to turn a single hair white or black? But just let your words ring true. A simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ will suffice. Anything beyond this springs from a deceiver.”

Matthew 5: 33-37 (TPT)

The Lord’s words: “Again, your ancestors were taught, ‘Never swear an oath that you don’t intend to keep, but keep your vows to the Lord God.’” mean that we should NOT perjure ourselves. Committing perjury means doing harm to the truth by knowingly telling a lie under oath. Clearly oaths are unnecessary for us – the church of Lord Jesus. We should be with Him, and not trap ourselves with oaths.

The next words from Him: However, I say to you, don’t bind yourself by taking an oath at all. Don’t swear by heaven, for heaven is where God’s throne is placed. Back during the days of the Lord and in the Middle Eastern cultural setting of Israel, the taking of oaths and swearing by something greater than oneself was the standard. It was the common practice of the times. The words of Lord Jesus trump culture and our bondage to doing things according to the expected norms of society. While He freed us the from limits of culture, society and its norms, Lord Jesus also taught us to be faithful and true with our words. In short, no pretensions and no dishonesty for us Christians. After all, the Lord can see through us. This is another solid reason why we should not let oaths bind us and our faith.

The Lord’s words: And why would you swear by your own head, because it’s not in your power to turn a single hair white or black? But just let your words ring true. What Lord Jesus meant was that our words must be backed with action. Meaning fulfillment on our part. The four things that He specified in Matthew 5: 33-37 – heaven, earth, Jerusalem and the person’s head – were considered sacred by the Jews. The Lord explained that words of truth make our lives sacred, and this alone will remind you about how essential it is to be serious with your Christianity and that you must not be limited by oaths. This leads to another holy scripture as follows:

But above all, my brethren, do not swear either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.

James 5: 12 (NKJV)

James 5: 12 points back to swearing as an attempt to involve the character and authority of God to support a claim or a promise (refer to Leviticus 9:12 and Deuteronomy 23: 23). What often follows is the name of the Lord getting debased (lowered in status) by means of using it to excessively emphasize a trivial point. As such, James cited Lord Jesus (refer to Matthew 5: 37) insisting that we should have integrity in what we say.

As such, to be really serious with your Christianity, stop saying or thinking of words like “I swear to you that I will do what you need me to do.” Stop saying or even imagining words like “I swore to the mayor of this city to do anything he commands me to.” Think very carefully. Imagine you took an oath to serve the mayor and the city residents only to find yourself in a legal bind later when you discover the mayor is corrupt and dishonest. You certainly would not want to be in such a predicament, and you certainly prefer to be with God!

As Christians who submitted to Him, confessed and got born again (refer to John 3: 3), and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, we already received the Holy Spirit and became new creations. As such, we are dedicated to serving Him, worshiping Him, thanking Him, honoring Him and maintain unwavering faith in Him (He will bless us, love us and take care of us) eternally! The holy words we each prayed with to get converted are understandably essential, and no earthly oath should get in our way of faith in God. Lord Jesus forbid oaths to free us from bondage of this screwed up world we live in, a world ruined by Satan whose acts of evil and temptations resulted countless people to become lost and unsaved souls. We have a duty to help the Lord save the lost and the unsaved souls around us, and that means inviting them (note: no force and no coercion) and letting them take time to decide on their own to get born again to be truly Christian.

In our Christianity and our journey of faith in God, the oaths and swearing of this screwed up world are truly unnecessary. Lord Jesus made that clear thousands of years ago. He made the way for us already! Dedicate yourself to the Lord by faith. No need for any earthly oath-taking nor swearing.

Now that my newest teaching about the forbidding of oaths is done, I would like to reach out to all and any unsaved or lost souls among you readers. This is your opportunity to get born again and become Christian. The decision is yours, not mine.

If you seek salvation and are ready to submit yourselves to the Lord, open yourselves up to Him and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

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

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by unbelief or religion (which is filled with idolatry, traditions, rituals and wrong theology). Your new life under Christ has begun!

From this point on, acquire for yourself a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its many lessons in your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born-again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family. Worship the Lord together with them and remember that each of you has a personal relationship with Him. Understand that your personal relationship with God is strictly off-limits to everyone, even to your biological family.

The Holy Spirit is in you and you are now a new creation! Remember that God loves you and He is definitely happy over your conversion.

Now is the time for you and your spiritual family to be the fearless and aggressive Church of Lord Jesus! Now is the time for you to realize that God made a plan for each and every one of us (read Jeremiah 29: 11)! Now is the time to realize that God created us and rewards the faithful abundantly (John 10: 10). Never ever stop on pursuing the love and goodness of the Lord, no matter how hard life turns out!

In ending this, here are some Christian worship YouTube videos for you to enjoy and connect to the Lord with.


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

Idolatry is Unholy

We all live in a screwed-up world. To say the least, our world is chaotic filled with fake news, war, crime, dysfunctional governments, fascism, dictatorship, abortion, Communism, corruption, socialism, homosexuality, SJWs (social justice warriors) terrorism, atheism, religion, idolatry, secularism and the list goes on.

This is because Satan is the god of the world we live in and there are billions of unsaved and lost souls who do not realize the truth of the Word of God (the Holy Bible). They also don’t realize that they need to be saved (get born again), ask God for forgiveness, submit to Him and then accept Jesus as Lord and Savior so that they can be saved and live on as true Christians driven by faith (not religion).

As I mentioned before, being religious is NOT the same as being faithful. In fact, religion is one of the more effective tools (in tandem with atheism) used by Satan to prevent people from becoming children of God. Religion itself is a hindrance to truly becoming Christian. Religion also has a bunch of man-made unholy rules like so-called blessed sacraments which prevent people from realizing the truth in the Holy Bible. Religion also comes with traditions and rituals, which are not even holy.

Another notable thing of religion is idol worship – idolatry – which continues to mislead people and prevent them from worshipping God directly. Idolatry comes with worshipping man-made objects (statues, statuettes, carved objects), images and people. Idolatry also includes allowing ourselves to be dominated by elements that prevent us from being dedicated to the Lord such as items we are too involved with (example: the smartphone), obsessing with people, being addicted to sex, being addicted to illegal substances, being addicted to liquor and even our local culture. Instead of trusting the Lord and being dedicated to Him, idolaters are trapped and actually separated from Him. Even the most prayerful, idol-worshiping, religion-oriented person is fooled into believing he is Christian when, in fact, he is not.

Having previously lived a life of following religion, its traditions, its rituals and wrongful teachings before getting saved (I got born again in 2018), I can clearly say that idolatry is unholy and is also more evil than it appears. I fully reject idolatry and I will never let it influence me now that I’m a child of God.

To put things in perspective, let’s take a look at key holy scripture in the New King James Version (NKJV) and The Passion Translation (TPT) of the Holy Bible.

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

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

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)

As seen above, idolatry makes one not only an idolater but also a practitioner and follower of evil which Satan loves. Idolatry involved with religion deceives idolaters into believing they are Christian when in fact they are unknowingly serving Satan. It does not matter that an idolater prays to a statue of Jesus because that is still unholy. Worship of Lord Jesus should be done to Him directly. Praying to a painting of Jesus (or any religion icon) or to an item deemed holy by a religion-driven church or hierarchy is also unholy. Take note of the following holy scripture below as well as the words bolded for clarity.

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: 4-6 (NKJV)

As seen above, verse 4 of Exodus chapter 20 makes it clear that objects (which obviously include images or painting) are not to be made at all and, at the same time, our worship must always be directed to God Himself without any hindrance. God is jealous and that alone is reason for us to reject idolatry and be respectful and obedient to Him eternally. We worship the Lord directly and definitely no object, no image and no person in between! We Christians have worship leaders and pastors to guide us to worship the Lord directly, while always remembering we each have a personal relationship with God. A church that claims to be Christian but practices idolatry and has its members worship objects and the church leader is not truly Christian.

Exodus 20: 4 also looks back to the time when Israel was surrounded by people who worshiped images that were also referred to as gods. As it is true that no human effort could represent God, God Himself forbade the making of images or objects about Him. This same truth is also applied to Lord Jesus.

Meanwhile, idolatry that does not involve religion but other things like entertainment (examples: movie stars, celebrities, superheroes, video gaming), government figures (example: politicians), sports (example: basketball superstars), culture and the like is also an abomination to the Lord.

Superhero movies have been wildly popular worldwide for the past twenty years, and those films used comic books as basis for storytelling and visual concepts. How many times have people seen Spider-Man swing above people, Superman fly high, Batman fighting criminals and Wonder Woman saving people? While I enjoy superheroes in varied forms of entertainment media, I know fully well that they are all just pieces of fiction and I NEVER worshiped any of them. I will never worship them, ever. I am a geek but I prioritized my faith in the Lord and I always will maintain my personal relationship with Him. Definitely I reject idols and idolatry.

To my fellow geeks reading this, I urge you to never engage in idolatry no matter how passionate you are with your geek interest. Don’t worship movie stars, superheroes, images and don’t let highly interactive, deeply engaging video games from enslaving you. Always look up to Lord Jesus and follow God’s Word.

Idols are truly distracting and have been used by Satan to keep the unsaved and lost souls away from God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It’s bad enough that our world is dominated by powerful, sinister forces whose acts are further magnified by the news networks that reached billions of viewers (notably news junkies) every day.

When it comes to true Christianity, we the Christians who got born again are the Church and our true leader is Lord Jesus who has been in Heaven so long ago, and He promised to return to us here on Earth. We Christians living in the flesh here on Earth are to reject idolatry (plus religion, traditions and rituals) and focus on engaging in the enduring race of faith remaining faithful to the Lord, praying in tongues, studying the Holy Bible and applying its lessons into our lives.

Idolatry really has no place in Christianity and we Christians must never let it dominate us.

Remember God is always good, always faithful, always loving and caring, always our protector and always our source. All those idols around us are NOTHING like Him. This brings me to my next point – being an idolater means getting involved with demons and paganism. Take a close look at the holy scriptures below.

They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. They sacrificed to demons, not to God, To gods they did not know, To new gods, new arrivals That your fathers did not fear.

Deuteronomy 32: 16-17 (NKJV)  

“They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.”

Leviticus 17: 7 (NKJV)

To put things in perspective, idolatry is the gravest sin in ancient Israel (refer to verse 17 of Deuteronomy chapter 32). The laws pertaining to the sanctity of blood prohibit involvement in the pagan practices of foreign worship. This is connected to verse 4 of Deuteronomy chapter 6 which states: “Hear O, Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!

For its part, the early church encountered similar concerns when they tackled the question of Gentiles who came from pagan backgrounds coming to faith in Jesus as the Lord and Savior. Refer to verses 20 and 29 of Acts chapter 15, as well as verse 25 of Acts chapter 21.

More on idolatry making idolaters involved with demons, pay very close attention to the holy scripture below in the New King James Version and the Passion translation. Key parts bolded for you.

Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.

1 Corinthians 10: 20 (NKJV)

Absolutely not! However, I am implying that when an unbeliever offers a sacrifice to an idol, it is not offered to the true God but to a demon. I don’t want you to be participants with demons!

1 Corinthians 10: 20 (TPT)

Very clearly in the two translations of 1 Corinthians 10: 20, idolatry is absolutely wrong and it is NEVER EVER a proper form of worship to the Lord. Quite simply, you make an offer or a sacrifice to an idol, it is not for the Lord. You pray to an idol, you are not connected with the Lord. Instead, involving yourself with an idol means involving yourself with false gods or demons.

As for having statues, statuettes and images of the Lord (or those so-called icons – both the dead and the living persons – of people trapped by religion), those things are never necessary for Christians. We the faithful Children of God should always reject idols, focus on the Lord and live by His Word. Get rid of those carved idols there in your household! Get rid of those paintings or other forms of images there in your household! Stay away from those unholy parades/processions that highlight statues for worship! Avoid worshiping people no matter how charismatic they look! Reject Satan, the demons and other forms of evil! Simply worship the Lord directly and always remember Jesus is always alive and is watching us from Heaven!

Going back to 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10, read it once more and you will realize that being an idolater will make you spiritually unholy and unworthy of God’s kingdom. It is undeniably true! 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 clearly shows that idolaters belong with other unholy and unrighteous elements such as sexual immorality, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse and extortion. Really, no faith-driven Christian would want to be deemed unworthy by God by embracing idolatry and all those unrighteous elements. The people trapped by the darkness of religion or unbelief, however, are among the idolaters, the adulterers, the covetous, the extortionists and the like. As such, those unsaved and lost souls need to be prayed over so that they will realize the Truth of God’s Word and someday make the decision to get born again and become a child of God.

As Christians driven by faith and living by God’s Word, we certainly do not want to fail in our pursuit and in our personal relationship with Him. Idolatry is a sin and this leads to the final holy scripture for this piece.

We know that we are God’s children and that the whole world lies under the misery and influence of the Evil One. And we know that the Son of God has made our understanding come alive so that we can know by experience the One who is true. And we are in him who is true, God’s Son, Jesus Christ—the true God and eternal life! So, little children, guard yourselves from worshiping anything but him.

1 John 5: 19-21 (TPT)

Now that my newest teaching about idolatry is done, I would like to reach out to all and any unsaved or lost souls among you readers. This is your opportunity to get born again and become Christian. The decision is yours, not mine.

If you seek salvation and are ready to submit yourselves to the Lord, and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

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

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! No more darkness in your life caused by unbelief or religion. Your new life under Christ has truly begun!

From this point on, acquire for yourself a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its many lessons in your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born-again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family. Worship the Lord together with them and remember that each of you has a personal relationship with Him. Get used to Christian rock music. Your personal relationship with God is strictly off-limits to everyone, even to your family.

The Holy Spirit is in you and you are now a new creation! Remember that God loves you and He is definitely happy over your conversion.

In ending this article, I embedded these Christian worship music videos for your enjoyment and the strengthening of your faith in the Lord. No more idols and other forms of sin in your life. Move forward with Lord Jesus eternally!

Now is the time for you and your spiritual family to keep on being the fearless and aggressive Church of Lord Jesus! Now is the time for you to realize that God made a plan for each and everyone of us before we were even created (refer to Jeremiah 29: 11)! Now is the time to realize that God created us and rewards the faithful abundantly (refer to John 10: 10).

Now is the time for harvest under Lord Jesus! Spread the Word of God, help save the unsaved and lost souls worldwide.


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

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

By accepting Lord Jesus, the youth will be protected from suicide

Suicide is defined as the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally (source – Merriam Webster Dictionary). For so long has suicide affected societies worldwide and left a lot of families very hurt.

If the World Health Organization (WHO) is to be believed, roughly eight hundred thousand people die worldwide due to suicide every year.

What is disturbing in the survey of the WHO on the said topic is that the age-group of 15-29 years saw suicide as the 2nd leading cause of deaths in 2016. To break down the 2016 statistics, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15-29 among both genders and the females. Among the males, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death.

While varied organizations and researchers have their own definition of the age group for youth, the Jesus Global Youth Day organizers defined it verbally as below the age of thirty, which I personally witnessed during the 2019 Jesus Global Youth Day held here in the Philippines. As such, the 15-29 age group would be counted as youth at least in this article.

Back to the topic at hand, the menace of suicide affecting youth right down to the local level of Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City made its presence felt when I interviewed Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) chairwoman Mariel Tumang twice in 2019.

During the first interview (published here), she told me that suicide among the youth in the local community was present not just in the form of committed suicide (confirmed death) but also in the form of thoughts (suicidal thoughts or suicidal thinking) inside the minds of young people.

Then, months later, in another interview Tumang confirmed to me that a tragedy happened when a 21-year-old man living in the depressed community of Masville hanged himself to death because he broke up with his girlfriend (click here). The victim was a loss not only to his family, his friends and the neighborhood, but also for the economy (note: he was already working in the private sector). Tumang stated that their definition of youth is 15 to 30-years-old.

Along the way, Tumang and her SK kagawads (Youth Councilors) attended seminars on dealing with suicide through the aspect of psychology and behavior. Whatever topics and skills they learned, they made ways to make their community youth aware of it by holding seminars locally.

The sad trail of youth suicide also goes a long way back in the form of archived news reports. In January 2014, a 16-year-old boy killed himself inside his house in Cebu City because of his failure in school (click here) and his school adviser confirmed to his mother that he would not be going to fourth year high school.

On April 2016, a 15-year-old girl was found dead hanging from a mango tree (click here) in Talisay City, Cebu. According to the archived news report, a suicide note was left behind by the victim (a stay-in student of a school) and she reportedly told one of her superiors she wanted to kill herself and no reason was given. Before the tragedy happened, her superiors at school found it disturbing that she (the victim) was very silent. Included in the news report was a police officer who revealed that the victim lost her father to insurgents while her mother (who was then linked to another man) was later killed in a vehicular accident with her live-in partner.

What cause young people to commit suicide? There are several factors related to society, economics and psychology. Here are the factors I narrowed down.

Failure to deal with fear early in life

Depression

Physical abuse

Loss of purpose

Peer pressure

Gender confusion

Lack of parental guidance or counseling 

Being misled by pop culture or online trends

Internet addiction

Being misled by fake news or distorted news

Getting bullied

Being misled by rumors

Living with negative vibes in his/her local environment (note: in the Philippines, most barangay youth councils have presence in economically depressed communities dubbed as developing communities)

Shame or embarrassment

Being misled by those living with unbelief 

Temptations

Obsession with people, images and things they idolized

Becoming addicted to something dangerous

Being trapped by religious traditions, rituals and other restrictions

Having selfish desires or very high expectations

Lack of focus on the Lord

While taxpayers’ money is being spent by government bodies of different levels to develop the youth and help prevent suicide, I honestly believe that the menace of suicide can be solved more effectively by having the youth realize their true purpose as creations of God. It is by having faith in the Lord that young people can truly become strong, stable and more knowledgeable with their lives. It is by having a personal relationship with the Lord that the youth can truly move forward with. If the youth can be educated to reject all forms of hindrances that prevent them from truly establishing faith in the Lord, they would be better off and youth suicide would be reduced dramatically.

Sadly, government programs for youth development remain insufficient to bring the youth to God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

What I noticed is that the Christian faith and spiritual approach to solving and preventing youth suicide is missing among the key development programs of barangay youth councils.

Ironically in 2019, in the city of Parañaque specifically, there were barangay youth councils that organized their own beauty pageants featuring local homosexuals as candidates which most likely added to the suicide factor of gender confusion. This is sad because not only was taxpayers’ money most likely used to fund such events, it gave the youth the false message that homosexuality is legitimate. In truth, homosexuality is an abomination and certainly Satan loves it when people are fooled into believing that homosexuality is good and accepted as normal in society. Let’s read a holy scripture confirming that homosexuality is wrong and evil.

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

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

As a whole, 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 made clear that people trapped by sin will never make it in God’s kingdom. As such, the youth today still have time and opportunities to turn away from sinful behavior, submit themselves to Lord Jesus for forgiveness, accept Him as their Lord and Savior to start a new life with dedication to live under His holiness. This is the good news that the youth, whether they are still trapped by the darkness of unbelief (read: atheism and secularism) or religion (read: idolatry, wrong theology, traditions and rituals) should know.

To help the youth understand their true purpose in life as God’s creations, they should be taught with the following holy scriptures (apart from teaching them they need to be born again as written in John 3: 3):

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, will all your mind, and with all your strength.

Mark 12: 30 (NKJV)

If you then were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3: 1-2 (NKJV)

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 (NKJV)

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

Colossians 3: 5-7 (NKJV)

By becoming Christian, the young one can start a new life free from the sins and youthful lusts of the past. As part of getting reformed by Lord Jesus, the new life youth should learn to strongly reject the many form of lust like gratifying sensual cravings (example: losing his or her virginity in exchange for sexual pleasure), desiring the forbidden (example: taking illegal substances), longing for evil (example: bringing down other youth to bring yourself up just to feel good and proud), and engaging in experiences that are contrary to God’s will. These are emphasized in the holy scripture below.

Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

2 Timothy 2: 22 (NKJV)

The Christian youth living the new life should learn to conduct himself or herself in an exemplary manner. This is expected because once someone gets born again, he/she is under the Lord and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit. Because really, under the watch and care of God, age does not matter and this also means being youthful as a Christian is NOT a disadvantage. It also does not matter if people will find Christians a peculiar people because this is expected. Learn from the next holy scriptures.

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

1 Timothy 4: 12 (NKJV)

The LORD has chastened me severely, But He has not given me over to death.

Psalm 118: 18 (NKJV)

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special peope, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 2: 9-10 (NKJV)

Conclusion

I believe that involving Lord Jesus in the lives of the youth will spare them from suicide and all other factors that lead to self-destruction. I honestly believe that no amount of taxpayers’ money spent and no sophisticated government program can be more effective on preventing youth suicide (and suicide in general) than emphasizing faith in the Lord, believing in His Word (with the Holy Bible as the main reference) and applying biblical lessons in life.

Please take note that the dreaded presence of secularism is still in the minds of many government officials (note: there is a so-called separation of church and state in the 1987 Constitution).

If the youth realize their true purpose as creations of God, then it would be great not only for the local community but also the whole world. An enlightened youth, as children of God, definitely would not even think about suicide nor give the devil any room into their lives. The youth should realize how essential it is for them to study the Word of God (the Holy Bible) and prioritize it as their ultimate authority among all reading materials. With the Lord on the youth’s side, the menace of suicide and Satan can be defeated and the youth can grow in holiness as they grow into adulthood. Christianity, not feelings or earthly matters, should be embedded into the minds and hearts of the youth. Because really, everybody needs Lord Jesus and the youth need Him. With more youth believing and trusting in Jesus, cases of youth suicide will be much smaller!

As such, I highly recommend that Christian teaching (complete with studying the Holy Bible) should be included more in youth development programs and suicide prevention programs of youth councils. The youth who are spiritually unsaved must be taught the truth that they need Lord Jesus and have faith (not religion) in Him.

At this point, I’d like to reach out to the unsaved youth reading this…if you seek salvation and are ready to submit yourselves to the Lord, and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

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

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

From this point on, acquire for yourself a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its many lessons in your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family. Worship the Lord together with them and remember that each of you has a personal relationship with Him. That personal relationship with God is strictly off-limits to everyone, even to your family.

The Holy Spirit is in you and you are now a new creation! You are a youthful Christian right now, and you can keep growing spiritually for the rest of your life. Remember that God loves you and He is definitely happy over your conversion.

As a new and young Christian with the Holy Spirit in your heart, never allow yourself to get involved in youth movements that involve unbelief, religion, idolatry, traditions and rituals because those are not holy. The only youth you need to get involved with are your fellow Christians (those who got born again like you), and the only reference of authority you need is the Holy Bible. Once you get involved in a new Christian church, you can always ask the pastor if they have a youth ministry you can join in.

Remember to overcome fear, never let your feelings (and the feelings of others) weaken your faith in the Lord and now that you have been born again, your sins have been forgiven and your past is way behind you. As a Christian, you must always be fearless and aggressive for you are now part of the Body of Christ (the church). We Christians are the church of Lord Jesus!

In ending this piece, feel free to enjoy these Christian praise-and-worship YouTube videos plus a few ones featuring the model Christian youth herself, Sadie Robertson! Hallelujah!!!


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