Christian Music Appreciation: Shout of the King

Welcome back fellow Christians and music enthusiasts. In this latest edition of my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series, we will take a close look at another Hillsong worship song that was greatly performed by pastor Darlene Zschech during her time with them. That song is titled Shout of the King.

Shout of the King was released as part of the 2002 album Blessed by Hillsong Music. The song’s words and music were done by Ned Davies. The album itself was a strong seller peaking at #4 on the ARIA Albums Chart.

Now that the details have been laid down, we can take a close look at Shout of the King starting with its lyrics and followed by an examination of the holiness of the lyrics in connection with the Holy Bible…

Lyrics

Verse 1

I give You praise for You deserve it

I give You praise for what You’ve done

I give You praise for You are able

I give You praise ’til I overcome

Verse 2

I give You praise when the sun is shining

I give You praise in the dark of night

I give You praise when the battle rages

I give You praise ’til it works out right

Chorus

The shout of the King is among us

God lives here in our praises

The shout of the King is among us

Praise Him

Praise Him

Praise Him in everything

Bridge

Heaven opens as we sing Your praise

Angels join us as we praise Your name

End Tag:

Praise Him

Praise Him

Praise Him

Praise Him in everything

As you can clearly see, the word praise is often present throughout the lyrics from Verse all the way to the end. There are many expressions of the words praise as the song went on. Praise related to why the Lord deserves it all, praise in times of challenges or good times, praise for the name of the Lord and so on. The Holy Bible itself has lots of scriptures about praising God and here are some I found for you all.

Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His might firmament! Praise Him for His might acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!

Psalm 150:1-6 (NKJV)

Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name.

2 Samuel 22:50 (NKJV)

“He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen.”

Deuteronomy 10:21 (NKJV)

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:24 (NKJV)

At this point, we can start examining parts of the lyrics and search for their relevance to the Holy Bible starting with: I give You praise for You deserve it, I give You praise for what You’ve done, I give You praise for You are able, I give You praise ’til I overcome.

As it is already made clear in the Holy Bible, we would never have existed without God. He is the definitive creator of all life, the worlds, the universe and all the universes we have yet to discover. We Christians are mandated to praise Him, give thanks to Him and help Him spread His Word in this divided world we live in surrounded by many souls that are lost and unsaved. This is the truth that Satan does not want you to realize which explains why he uses tools to separate people from God like Communism, Marxism, political correctness, terrorism, anarchy, homosexuality, sexual immorality, feminism, idolatry, wokeness, covetousness, traditions, rituals, liberalism, abortion, social division, social justice (distorted justice), secularism, religion, atheism, socialism, racism, immorality and more. In other words, the enemy will do anything to prevent people from realizing their relationship with the Lord and stop them from praising Him. Satan does not want you to know that God is deserving, God’s creations and achievements can never be matched, God is able for He is omnipotent, and we His children who know the truth will keep praising Him not only while living in the flesh but eternally when we join Him in Heaven. By being faithful and edified under the Lord, we the children of God can easily resist Satan and make him walk away from us completely rejected and defeated Learn from the following scriptures below…

You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.

Revelation 4:11 (NKJV)

In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both of which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him, we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 1:7-12 (NKJV)

Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only shall you serve.”

Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

Matthew 4:10-11 (NKJV)

As seen in the above scriptures, God’s authority is unquestionable and untainted. In fact, His authority stands very tall permanently for He is just, loving, caring and fully moral as our source and creator. God is the Heavenly Father and Satan knows that when we are with the Lord, he will never be able to bring us down. Satan hates it when we know the truth of God’s Word and are edified under Him. Satan hates it when we follow Lord Jesus who Himself defeated the enemy more than once, and each victory proved to be significant forever. Lord Jesus redeemed humanity which sealed Satan’s permanent status as a loser and reversed the fall of humanity that Adam caused. The Lord is worthy of all our praise. Satan deserves nothing at all.

Next lines from the lyrics to analyze are as follows: The shout of the King is among us, God lives here in our praises. When the Lord talks to us, we should really listen. When He shouts, we definitely should focus on Him and respond accordingly. Learn from the holy scriptures below…

God has gone up with a shout, The Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!

Psalm 47:5-6 (NKJV)

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 (NKJV)

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.”

Revelation 12:10 (NKJV)

The LORD shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies.

Isaiah 42:13 (NKJV)

So there you have it! Shout of the King is indeed a very holy song with an uncompromising focus on praising our Lord. Its lyrics really connect with the Holy Bible a lot. Musically, Shout of the King is one of the more energetic songs I saw Darlene Zschech led when she was still with Hillsong’s musicians. The drums, the electric guitars and the trumpets used combined with the great vocals by Hillsong in performances led by Zschech really made the song very upbeat from start to finish. So energetic and holy it is, Shout of the Lord is ideal to play to really stir up Christians attending Sunday worship services or a special worship event. This song is highly recommended!

In conclusion, posted below is the official Hillsong Worship performance video from the 2000s. Enjoy the song, enjoy Darlene Zschech’s lead and always be faithful and thankful to the Lord. Anticipate His voice and His shout. 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 abundantlyAlways 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 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

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!!!


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