I Love Israel: Thousands of Christians celebrate with Israelis in this year’s Feast of Tabernacles

Something significant happened in Israel recently. This year’s Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated big-time as thousands of Christians from around the world joined the Jewish people and Israelis in the event which itself is a comeback from the 2-year-old COVID-19 crisis that affected everyone, according to a Christian Broadcasting Network News (CBN News) report. The revival of the Feast of Tabernacles as well as Israel’s gradual return to normalcy prove that the Lord God is at work and watching over.

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

This week, Israelis and Jews around the world are celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles – or “Sukkot” in Hebrew.

Thousands of Christians have come up to Jerusalem to join the gathering of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ).

After two years of limited tourism to Israel because of the COVID pandemic, over 2,000 Christian pilgrims from more than 70 nations came here to take part in the Feast of Tabernacles.

THE ICEJ has celebrated the feast for more than 40 years.

The Feast of Tabernacles is a fall harvest feast on the biblical calendar that also has a prophetic purpose hidden within it and that is the second coming of the Lord. So, we are here celebrating every year in anticipation of the coming of Jesus here to Jerusalem and it’s always this glorious celebration of Christians, the Body of Christ from all over the world,” ICEJ VP David Parsons told CBN News.

Sharren Haskel, a member of Israel’s parliament, came to welcome the pilgrims and why their presence means so much.

The Jewish people throughout history didn’t have many friends,” said Haskel. “They had a few but not many. And to see thousands of people, Christian leaders and believers that are coming here to celebrate with us – people who are advocating for Israel – who are bringing that message that Israel is a light in the Middle East. How we bring those shared Judeo-Christian values of freedom and liberty and equality. And it’s important to me to show them that it’s not taken for granted.

Haskel also mentioned in her message the prophetic fulfillment of the Feast.

The prophet Zechariah spoke of a future time when all the nations would come to Jerusalem to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot,” Haskel told attendees. “Look around you now. We are the living proof of the accuracy of the Bible and the truth of the Word of God.

She continued: “The prophecy speaks about bringing people from all around countries, all around the globe from different nations, from different religions and celebrate here in Jerusalem. You can feel it in the air. You can see those people, how important it is for them, and how important it is for us to fulfill it, to celebrate it.

For many pilgrims, the feast is a time of joy.

Andrea from Bolivia told CBN News it’s a “miracle” to be here.

“It’s the Promised Land. I’m so happy to be here,” she said.

“It’s hard to describe. It’s really something you have to experience and to be here in person in the eternal capital of the nation is just profound,” said Ashely from Zimbabwe.

Jenni, who is also from Zimbabwe, said it is a “privilege to come and take part in worshipping the King at the Feast of Tabernacles.”

One of the highlights of the Feast of Tabernacles is when Christians from around the world join Israelis for the annual Jerusalem March.

“What a joy to be here in Jerusalem. I’m telling you to see the nations going up is a fulfillment of prophecy and I just love it every time and it’s amazing to be here after two years,” Adam, a parade attendee, told CBN News.

For Israelis, the Christian presence touches their hearts.

“They came here to support us. I don’t have words to bring my happiness,” said Gershon.

Haddasha Sharoni described the feeling as “amazing.”

“The vision is coming true. The vision that we read just now in Shabbis Zechariah is coming true that all the countries are coming to Israel and Sukkot,” she said.

For added insight, posted below are two related news videos of CBN News’ YouTube channel. Watch them and pay close attention to the details.

The revival of the Feast of Tabernacles this year was not only expected in relation to the recovery from COVID-19, it is also biblical. Learn from the following holy scriptures below…

And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

Zechariah 14:16 (NKJV)

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord.’

Leviticus 23:33-34 (NKJV)

Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the Lord on the Lord’s altar which he had built before the [temple] porch or vestibule,

A certain number every day, offering as Moses commanded for the Sabbaths, the New Moons, and the solemn feast days three times in the year—the Feasts of Unleavened Bread, of Weeks, and of Tabernacles.

2 Chronicles 8:12-13 (AMPC)

Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing.”

John 7:2-3 (NKJV)

Along the way, it is essential for us Christians to love and bless the Jewish people in accordance to our Heavenly Father’s declarations. Learn from the following holy scriptures below…

And I will bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves].

Genesis 12:3 (AMPC)

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,

The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

Numbers 6:22-27 (ESV)

The Lord will never forget us in our need; he will bless us indeed! He will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron, his priest.

Psalms 115:12 (TPT)

Pray and seek for Jerusalem’s peace, for all who love her will prosper! O Jerusalem, may there be peace for those who dwell inside your walls and prosperity in your every palace. I intercede for the sake of my family and friends who dwell there, that they may all live in peace. For the sake of your house, Yahweh our God, I will seek the welfare and prosperity of Jerusalem.

Psalms 122:6-9 (TPT)

Be thankful to the Lord for the revival of the Feast of Tabernacles, for the gradual recovery from COVID-19 and for Israel and the Jews. Thank the Lord also for the return of Christians to the Holy Land and the new opportunities for them to deepen their faith in Him even further! Thank the Lord also for the new and upcoming bible experience tours! Be thankful as well for the enduring and strengthening Israel-Philippines ties!

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.

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

Better than Streaming: Piranha (1978) 4K Blu-ray all set for November 1, 2022 release

Welcome back, fellow geeks, Blu-ray collectors and movie buffs! If you are fond of low budget horror/comedy films or movies that were made to make money because their producers wanted to imitate the success of certain blockbusters back then, then you might be interested to know that Piranha (1978) will be released on 4K Blu-ray format on November 1, 2022. Already, pre-orders are being accepted online.

The 4K Blu-ray cover of Piranha (1978).

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt and key details from the 4K Blu-ray announcement at Blu-ray.com. Some parts in boldface…

Piranha features a stellar group of talent in front of as well as behind the camera. The top-notch cast of cult stars includes Kevin McCarthy (Invasion Of The Body Snatchers), Barbara Steele (Black Sunday), Belinda Balaski (The Howling), Dick Miller (A Bucket Of Blood), Paul Bartel (Eating Raoul), and Richard Deacon (The Dick Van Dyke Show).


Special Features and Technical Specs:

DISC ONE – 4K BLU-RAY

  • NEW 4K RESTORATION OF OF THE FILM FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE (2022)
  • DOLBY VISION/HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
  • Audio Commentary With Executive Producer Roger Corman
  • Audio Commentary With Director Joe Dante And Producer Jon Davison
  • DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature

DISC TWO – BLU-RAY

  • NEW 4K RESTORATION OF OF THE FILM FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE (2022)
  • NEW Interview with director Joe Dante
  • Audio Commentary With Roger Corman
  • Audio Commentary With Joe Dante And Jon Davison
  • “The Making Of Piranha – Interviews With Roger Corman, Joe Dante And Actors Dick Miller, Belinda Balaski And More …
  • Behind-The-Scenes Footage
  • Bloopers And Outtakes
  • Still Galleries
  • Behind-The-Scenes Photo Gallery Featuring Photos From Creature Designer/Animator Phil Tippett’s Archives
  • Additional Scenes From The TV Version
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spot
  • Radio Spots
  • DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature

Posted below are the specs of Piranha (1978) 4K Blu-ray

Video
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio – English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono (48kHz, 24-bit)


Subtitles – English SDH


Discs – 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc, Two-disc set (1 BD-66, 1 BD-50)

Packaging – Slipcover in original pressing

Playback – 4K Blu-ray: Region free, 2K Blu-ray: Region A (B, C untested)

Movie poster of Piranha (1978)

In my experience, I saw Piranha (1978) a number of times since the 1980s. I never saw it in the cinema as I was too young back then but I first saw it on home video followed by showings on cable TV. Strangely enough, the 1978 movie not only spawned a sequel in 1982, it also had remakes in 1995 and 2010.

More on the 1978 movie itself, it was made just a few years after Steven Spielberg’s Jaws made tremendous impact commercially and socially. To its credit, Piranha (1978) was produced by low-budget movie king Roger Corman and it had Joe Dante as director and Kevin McCarthy as a supporting cast member. For the newcomers reading this, Dante is best known for directing Gremlins while McCarthy is best remembered for Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).

A foreign movie poster.

Ultimately, the main feature of Piranha (1978) is its emphasis on water-related fear, particularly the idea that a person in water can be eaten alive by multiple piranhas. It’s like an extension of Jaws’ influence which people afraid of the sea because they could be eaten by a shark.

Already it has been confirmed that Piranha (1978) 4K Blu-ray will come with native 4K visuals. To the best of my memory, the movie was not a very visually appealing movie. Still, the idea of it getting remastered into 4K is interesting.

Watch out for Piranha (1978) 4K Blu-ray on November 1, 2022.

In closing this Better than Streaming piece, posted below is the Piranha (1978) video.

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

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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. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

I Love Israel: The enduring partnership of Israel and the Philippines discussed

Recently, the Manila Times had a virtual interview with Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss. Content of that interview was published online by the newspaper and it sure contains lots of details about the strong ties between Israel and the Philippines.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the article of the Manila Times. Some parts in boldface…

The Manila Times (TMT): Could you give us an overview of Philippine-Israeli bilateral relations? What is the direction of our bilateral relations?

Ambassador Fluss: I would like first to say that I want to congratulate The Manila Times for its anniversary — 124 years is long, many years. So, congratulations.

Generally speaking, the relations are, I would say, very good and warm. Historically, we always remember 1928, the Philippines giving a safe haven to 1,300 Jewish refugees trying to escape Nazi rule where most countries, not all countries, closed the borders for refugees.

And the Philippines during the time of President [Manuel] Quezon showed the gesture of giving the message of helping those who are in need. And it is something that we appreciate very much.

And the second thing I would mention, which is very important to us historically, is 1947 when the Philippines voted in support of the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel, voted in the United Nations. This gives the foundation for the political foundation for the establishment of the State of Israel.

For this reason, until today, Filipinos do not need a visa to enter Israel and I think this is one of the reasons why we are seeing a really very good flow of people, movement of people between our two countries because it is easier with no visa.

Hopefully, when we see direct flights between our two countries, and I am very optimistic it will happen sometime next year, I think Manila-Tel Aviv will be a very busy line.

First of all, there is always a very good sense of people feeling very comfortable, very interested, very warm to each other I think it comes from similar values — the importance of family, value of family, value of charity, of helping each other, the community, I think these are the issues that we share between our societies, our two countries.

Today, we just had a JCM, the joint committee meeting, which is an annual political meeting between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel and the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) here. We did an overview of the relations.

And generally, things are going well between our two countries — friendly, warm, open discussions.

TMT: In terms of trade and commerce, are there new avenues that we can explore to further enhance our economic cooperation?

Ambassador Fluss: I’ll say my vision as the Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines is to create bridges of innovation and technology between our two countries, which means one side to transfer the knowledge, what we’re doing in Israel.

Because Israel is known as a global hub of innovation. I want to share this experience and to help the Philippines in creating its own system of innovation where you can have local innovation, entrepreneurship. And to support that, I’m working on both government-level and private sector, academia, and also introducing relevant Israeli technologies that can support the development process here in the Philippines.

In this regard, we had a delegation in the Philippines last week of companies in the agricultural sector who came to a big agricultural expo in Davao, which is the “food basket of the Philippines.” We participated there. I was there in Davao last week.

There is a lot of interest in Israeli technologies and this is also part of the vision and one of the main goals of the President (Ferdinand Marcos Jr.) is enhancing agricultural productivity and food security, and we are trying to support these efforts. The State of Israel is a leader in agriculture technologies.

So, for one side the economy and trade, so more business delegations. We are also looking at another delegation coming to the Philippines on the area of water. We are also planning to have an exhibition on Israeli innovation in the Philippines, which will be presented here. We have Israeli experts to talk about Israeli innovations.

During the pandemic two years ago, the Israeli Embassy expanded and we opened a trade and economic office in the embassy which shows Israel is now investing more in promoting the relations between our two countries in this sector.

To read the rest of the interview, I encourage you all to visit https://www.manilatimes.net/2022/10/11/tmt-anniversary/ph-israel-an-enduring-partnership/1861565

Ambassador Fluss confirmed that Israel-Philippines ties are in a really good state not just diplomatically but also socially and economically. This past September, it has been confirmed that the State of Israel will assist farmers in the Ilocos Region by sharing their solutions to modern agriculture which should boost the local productivity. Ambassador Fluss visited the province of Ilocos Norte for the first time and met with the officials there.

Be thankful to the Lord as Israel-Philippines ties continue to grow stronger. As such, I encourage you all to not just read Manila Times’ interview with Ambassador Fluss but also pay close attention to the many details recorded in the interview so you can have a clear view about the state of Israel-Philippines relations. That interview is a blessing from our Lord. Keep on praying to Him to have the two nations rise high strongly and stand out among all nations of this very divided world we live in. Pray to Him that no enemy will ever succeed on opposing Israel and the Philippines. The evil ones will be exposed and will fall down in due time.

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel! Israel-Philippines ties are essential!

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos plus one Philippine news video for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.

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

A Look Back at Superman: The Man of Steel #18 (1992)

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, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a key chapter in the post-Crisis era of DC Comics through a Superman comic book – the first full appearance of Doomsday!

To those of you who read my retro review of Adventures of Superman #498 (1993) – which was the opening chapter of the Funeral for a Friend storyline – you might be wondering why I decided to revisit the Death of Superman storyline so suddenly. It all comes down to context related to Superman’s eventual death and what killed him. Not only did Doomsday become a very important part of DC Comics’ gallery of super villains having achieved the killing of the Man of Steel, the oversized monster became part of DC’s further comic book universe reboots as well as part of multimedia adaptations of DC Comics stories specifically in the Smallville TV series as well as in 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Indeed, Doomsday’s place in American pop culture is sealed and that shows how much of an impact was made by the unstoppable super villain co-created by Dan Jurgens, Brett Breeding, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson and Roger Stern. Doomsday was conceived way back in 1991 during the brainstorming session of the Superman comics writers and editors of the time.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Superman: The Man of Steel #18, published in 1992 by DC Comics with a story written by Louise Simonson and drawn by Jon Bogdanove. This comic book marked the beginning of the Death of Superman saga.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins deep underground as the left fist of a covered, large being keeps punching the metallic wall to get out of containment. As the punches keep on pounding the wall, the glove gets torn revealing a fist with gray skin and sharp bones protruding through the knuckles. After making its way out of containment, the earth shakes and the animals got disturbed as the creature – mostly covered with an alien body suit  with only the left arm freed – makes its way from deep underground.

Miles away within the city of Metropolis, a young black boy buys a spray paint container (which has a fluorescent yellow paint that glows in the dark) inside a hardware store. In response to the curiosity of the store owner, the boy denies that he would use the glow-in-the-dark pain on a subway wall. The boy has a very tough task ahead of him as he will be going after monsters.

At a power station, a group of intelligent creatures make their way to steal electricity for their war machines…

Quality

Even with only his left arm free, Doomsday still caused massive destruction causing injuries and deaths to others.

To make things clear, this comic book tells two stories that moved in parallel together. The first story involving Superman, Lois Lane and the affairs that involved the mentioned young black boy is the typical good-versus-evil superhero tale. What made that story standout was Lois Lane’s involvement as she got into trouble facing the opposition before Superman came in to save the day. As before, seeing Lois Lane talk to Superman in the presence of others while keeping his identity secret remains engaging to read. This tale was good enough to read.

The other story that follows the sudden appearance and the early rampage of Doomsday is the more engaging one to read. This was clearly a build-up for the Death of Superman concept but it was highly effective, well-paced and clearly defined by the creative team. Not only will you see Doomsday’s unstoppable power of destruction, you will witness his complete disregard of life – animals and humans – which strongly hints the an immense danger that Superman, the Justice League America (JLA) and the people of Metropolis are not prepared for. Like the Terminator, Doomsday cannot be reasoned with as massive destruction and death are his core elements. Within the pages of this comic book, it can be viewed that Doomsday was designed for endless waves of destroying life and anything that gets in the way.

Lastly, I should state that Simonson and Bogdanove presented Doomsday not only to be destructive but also as a frightening force that people in real life would not want to see realized.

Conclusion

The other tale that involved Lois Lane and the young black boy.

Superman: The Man of Steel #18 (1992) remains a very powerful read. Yes, it is a build-up of Doomsday and the Death of Superman saga but it remains highly significant as it kicked-off the creative change of direction of DC’s Superman creative teams going towards tragedies that Superman and his allies cannot easily stop. This one marked start of Doomsday’s eventual high rise not only in comics but also in pop culture in general. That being said, this comic book is a must-have in your collection.  

Overall, Superman: The Man of Steel #18 (1992) is highly recommended.

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

A Look Back at Superman: The Man of Steel #20 (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, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a key chapter in the post-Crisis era of DC Comics through a Superman comic book.

Previously, I reviewed Adventures of Superman #498 (1993) which marked the first chapter of the Funeral for a Friend storyline and dramatized the impact left behind by the death of Superman. That particular comic book had strong writing and succeeded in dramatizing how Superman’s friends, associates and other characters coped with his death with the future looking uncertain to them.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Superman: The Man of Steel #20, published in 1993 by DC Comics with a story written by Louise Simonson and drawn by Jon Bogdanove. This comic book marked the third chapter of the Funeral for a Friend storyline.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with people in Metropolis struggling to move forward not only because their hero Superman died but also because of the tremendous damage left behind by Doomsday. In his headquarters, Lex Luthor is talking with the telephone surrounded by several people with Supergirl watching. The matter being discussed was the burial of Superman at Centennial Park particularly in a structure Luthor himself donated. While he has to live on with the fact that he failed to kill Superman, Luthor tells himself he can still bury him.

At the Kent farm far away from Metropolis, Jonathan and Martha Kent are agonizing not only because of the death of their beloved son but also because they realized they cannot even get near him at his funeral as it will be organized as a major event with only the important people allowed to attend…

Quality

It seems like destiny to have the super villain Lex Luthor in the presence of a fictionalized Bill Clinton and Hillar Clinton during the funeral of Superman. By today’s standards, the Clintons made it normal for America to bow to terrorists and make deals with them. That being said, their inclusion in this comic book is just wrong.

To go straight to the point, like Adventures of Superman #498 (1993), this comic book continues to dramatize the impact of Superman’s death on Metropolis and its people in a very engaging manner. It shows that DC’s creative teams in charge of Superman comic book at the time were really organized and coordinated with each other on crafting the Funeral for a Friend storyline. What makes this comic book stand out is the funeral itself which was organized as a public event (with the burial itself done in the presence of important people – including a very evil couple from the Democrats who love abortion and terrorism) and this includes the presence of many other DC Comics superheroes like Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Maxima, Shazam (AKA Captain Marvel) and others. The burial had its own share of intriguing and dramatic moments emphasizing the people’s struggle to adjust themselves knowing they don’t have Superman anymore to help them.

Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Robin help out as the huge crowd became rowdy.

More on the post-death dramatization, the creative team managed to keep Superman’s associates Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and the other Daily Planet people feeling uneasy over the Man of Steel’s death which makes their work covering the funeral professionally a challenge. Unsurprisingly, Lois Lane gets her own fine share of the spotlight agonizing over the fact that she lost her beloved Clark (Superman to the public) whom she was supposed to get married with. The emotional struggle within her intensified as she experiences difficulty of informing the elderly Kent couple about what happened. This is rich writing prepared by the creators.

Not only that, the creative team also went all-out with dramatizing the impact of Superman’s good deeds on the people. You will see several people from Metropolis’ general population talk about how Superman helped them or inspired them. There are certain lines of dialogue that are quite touching to read.

Conclusion

A pretty powerful portrayal of Lois Lane’s struggle on dealing with the new reality that she lost her beloved Superman.

Superman: The Man of Steel #20 (1993) is another solid, post-death story emphasizing the new normal that Metropolis people and Superman’s friends are having difficulty adjusting to…a world without the Man of Steel. Based on the high quality of the storytelling and character development, it is easy to tell that the Superman titles’ creative teams planned ahead and prepared themselves for telling a post-death saga which was pretty risky given the iconic status of Superman and his decades-long legacy in comics and pop culture. This comic book really made Superman’s absence feel powerful and undeniable.

Overall, Superman: The Man of Steel #20 (1993) is recommended.

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

A Look Back at Adventures of Superman #498 (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, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a key chapter in the post-Crisis era of DC Comics through a Superman comic book.

To put things in perspective, the Death of Superman which climaxed in Superman #75 (1993) was a major comic book event published by DC Comics and it sure involved a whole lot of risks taken by the creative teams. To put the storyline’s concept short, Superman was beaten by an overwhelming, deformed alien humanoid from outer space who caused massive destruction around. Having no real choice and knowing that his fellow super-powered allies could not stand a chance against the alien called Doomsday, Superman went all-in fighting and stood up against him while defending Metropolis and its people. Superman #75 went on to sell many millions of copies and became an instant collector’s item.

Of course, just because Superman died does not mean that the shared DC universe at that time would come to an end and DC Comics had to keep on telling what happened afterwards.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Adventures of Superman #498, published in 1993 by DC Comics with a story written by Jerry Ordway and drawn by Tom Grummett. This comic book marked the first chapter of the Funeral for a Friend storyline.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins just moments after the Superman passed away in Lois Lane’s arms. Jimmy Olsen, the body of Doomsday and a few of Superman’s allies were near them. Bloodwynd and Dubbilex shared their respective findings that there is no life left in Superman. As emergency personnel slowly approach Doomsday’s body, Lois Lane turns emotional stating that someone has to do something for Superman. More emergency personnel arrive and attempt to revive the Man of Steel who remains lifeless.

Nearby, a man spots an unrecognizable human-like body among the rubble which turns out to be alive. Suddenly the red-headed tycoon Lex Luthor arrives to take care of the ruined being and walks away carrying it. Luthor refers to the being as a female…   

Quality

The Ordway-Grummett team should be recommended for this simple yet very dramatic look at the elderly Kent couple reacting to the death of their adopted son from Krypton.

As a post-death Superman story, it is clear that the creative team carefully explored how the many people of Metropolis would react to the sudden death of the Man of Steal while also leaving some room to set the stage to develop Lois Lane – who at this stage knew Superman’s true identity and kept it all secret – in a new way. There were also sub-plots started here particularly with Lex Luthor and Supergirl, the people working for the Daily Planet and the Kents (Clark’s earthly mother and father). The way all the dialogue and character expressions were crafted, there is an undeniable tone of discomfort and uncertainty which dominated the narrative as I read from start to finish.

What I liked the most about this story was how the creative team showed the heavy toll of Superman’s death on Lois Lane who not only has to deal with the loss of her beloved Clark (perceived by her peers to be missing as a possible victim of Doomsday’s rampage) but also do her best to keep working professionally as a journalist of the Daily Planet. I felt Lane’s pain a lot as I read on.  

Conclusion

Tension and emotions turned high in relation to Superman’s sudden death.

In my view, Adventures of Superman #498 (1993) is a really gripping and highly dramatic post-disaster superhero tale to read. The way it was made, it strongly kicked off the Funeral for a Friend storyline with high emotions as well as an understandable amount of uncertainty that can be seen in the characters. Understandably, there is no good-versus-evil conflict in the story nor any superhero spectacle to watch out for but the sub-plots implemented added some depth which made this post-death tale worth reading. More notably, the creative team succeeded in making the people – both in the story and the reading public – start missing Superman.

Overall, Adventures of Superman #498 (1993) is recommended.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For added insight, watch the following news videos below…

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

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

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

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

Christian Music Appreciation: The Coming King

Welcome back, my readers and fellow Christians! In this newest edition of my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series, we will focus on The Coming King, another original worship song from New Life Music. For the newcomers reading this, the previous New Life Music worship songs I examined and analyzed were Touch From HeavenNow I’m Alive and God of the Breakthrough.

If you want to discover and learn more about New Life Music, I encourage you to click here (Facebook page), here (Instagram) and here (YouTube). New Life Music is part of New Life Philippines whose main church is located inside Alabang Hills Village in Muntinlupa City, Philippines. To know more about New Life Philippines itself, visit https://newlife.ph/

Before getting into the analysis of the Biblical relevance of The Coming King, posted below for your reference are the lyrics composed by Kyle Ruelo, Chynna Cuna and MJ Malubay.

VERSE 1

The Son of God who’s seated on the throne

Abandoned all to make my heart His home

No sin and shame could ever separate

His love for me will always make a way

CHORUS

Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty

Worthy Worthy is the Lamb who overcomes

Glory, honor, power to the One

The King who was, who is, and is to come

VERSE 2

Jesus conquered death, He’s risen from the grave

Oh abundant life to us He freely gave

The King of kings and Lord of lords, He reigns

Oh Jesus is the name above all names

VERSE 3

In the moment that we hear the trumpets ring

Every eye behold the beauty of the King

With a joyful shout to Him the Church will sing

Jesus Christ, the King above all kings

To begin with, let’s take a close look at the lyrics of Verse 1 of the song: The Son of God who’s seated on the throne, Abandoned all to make my heart His home, No sin and shame could ever separate, His love for me will always make a way.

The above lines emphasize the authority of Lord Jesus who came to us here on Earth to save us, love us and lead us to salvation that only comes from the Heavenly Father. Knowing that, those who are spiritually lost must let go of their old lives come to Jesus, submit to Him, repent and establish a personal relationship with Him by becoming born again. With an established personal relationship with Him, there absolutely is no more room for sin nor shame nor darkness. We are meant to be very faithful to the Lord and to be living by His Word. As children of God, we are certified members of His family (the spiritual family) as well as citizens of His Kingdom. Learn from holy scriptures below…

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

Matthew 28:18 (ESV)

When the Son of Man comes in His glory (His majesty and splendor), and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.

Matthew 25:31 (AMPC)

And I heard every created thing in heaven and on earth and under the earth [in Hades, the place of departed spirits] and on the sea and all that is in it, crying out together, To Him Who is seated on the throne and to the Lamb be ascribed the blessing and the honor and the majesty (glory, splendor) and the power (might and dominion) forever and ever (through the eternities of the eternities)!

Revelation 5:13 (AMPC)

For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; And the government will [a]rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (NASB)

For here is the way God loved the world—he gave his only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life.

John 3:16 (TPT)

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3 (ESV)

Jesus explained, “I am the Way, I am the Truth, and I am the Life. No one comes next to the Father except through union with me. To know me is to know my Father too.”

John 14:6 (TPT)

And every curse will be broken and no longer exist, for the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there in the city. His loving servants will serve him;

Revelation 22:3 (TPT)

Next, take a close look at the following lines of lyrics from the Chorus: Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty,  Worthy Worthy is the Lamb who overcomes, Glory, honor, power to the One, The King who was, who is, and is to come.

The above lines explain that the holiness of the Lord God is true, absolute and eternal. He created all of us and we are meant to worship Him, glorify Him, execute His commands and spread His Word here on Earth so we can help the lost and unsaved souls find their ways to Him through His Son Lord Jesus who is the definitive savior. In relation to this worship song’s title, the coming or the return of Lord Jesus in this world is something we should already be prepared for. His coming has been declared long ago and there is no denying that preparing for it is essential because it means we will be with Lord Jesus Himself and with the Heavenly Father in His Kingdom. Learn from the holy scriptures below…

There is none holy like the Lord, there is none besides You; there is no Rock like our God.

1 Samuel 2:2 (AMPC)

Come worship the Lord God wearing the splendor of holiness. Let everyone wait in wonder as they tremble in awe before him.

Psalms 96:9 (TPT)

And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Isaiah 6:3 (ESV)

And as I watched, all of them were singing with thunderous voices: “Worthy is Christ the Lamb who was slaughtered to receive great power and might, wealth and wisdom, and honor, glory, and praise!”

Revelation 5:12 (TPT)

My Father’s house has many dwelling places. If it were otherwise, I would tell you plainly, because I go to prepare a place for you. And when everything is ready, I will come back and take you to myself so that you will be where I am.

John 14:2-3 (TPT)

“Behold, I come quickly! Wonderfully blessed is the one who carefully guards the words of the prophecy of this book!”

Revelation 22:7 (TPT)

Behold, I am coming soon, and I shall bring My wages and rewards with Me, to repay and render to each one just what his own actions and his own work merit.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last (the Before all and the End of all).

Revelation 22:12-13 (AMPC)

Next, take a close look at the following lines of lyrics from Verse 2: Jesus conquered death, He’s risen from the grave,  Oh abundant life to us He freely gave, The King of kings and Lord of lords, He reigns, Oh Jesus is the name above all names.

The above lines emphasize further the undeniable power and eternal holiness of Jesus. The resurrection of Lord Jesus is victory over death and it symbolizes the hope and salvation that await those who are faithful to Him. As God’s only begotten Son sent to us here on Earth, Jesus is definitely the ultimate king of all kings, the lord who is always higher than all those other lords, and the one who rightfully deserves our glory, trust and praise. His resurrection strongly symbolizes God’s love and plan for us all. In return, we His children must live with unwavering faith in Him, honor Him always, remain grateful to Him and preach His Word while we are still here on Earth. Learn from the holy scriptures below…

“Martha,” Jesus said, “You don’t have to wait until then. I am the Resurrection, and I am Life Eternal. Anyone who clings to me in faith, even though he dies, will live forever. And the one who lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Then Martha replied, “Yes, Lord, I do! I’ve always believed that you are the Anointed One, the Son of God who has come into the world for us!”

John 11:25-27 (TPT)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10 (ESV)

“I tell you this timeless truth: The person who follows me in faith, believing in me, will do the same mighty miracles that I do—even greater miracles than these because I go to be with my Father!”

John 14:12 (TPT)

Then Jesus came close to them and said, “All authority of the universe has been given to me. Now wherever you go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And teach them to faithfully follow all that I have commanded you. And never forget that I am with you every day, even to the completion of this age.”

Matthew 28:18-20 (TPT)

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 (NKJV)

Next, take a close look at the following lines of lyrics from Verse 3: In the moment that we hear the trumpets ring, Every eye behold the beauty of the King, With a joyful shout to Him the Church will sing, Jesus Christ, the King above all kings,

The above lines further the greatness and holiness of our Lord. They also serve as reminders that as His children, we are living in victory because of Lord Jesus. That being said, when we go to the local church on Sundays, we do it not because of tradition, not because of religion nor because of worldly influences, and not because of obligations. We go to the local church on Sunday to be with the spiritual family (His Family) and worship Him together (note: praise and music do come together), to hear the pastor teach His Word, and strengthen our personal relationships with Him. Learn from the holy scriptures below…

Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in the heavens of His power!

Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to the abundance of His greatness!

Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp!

Praise Him with tambourine and [single or group] dance; praise Him with stringed and wind instruments or flutes!

Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals!

Let everything that has breath and every breath of life praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)

Psalm 150:1-6 (AMPC)

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (NASB)

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

1 John 5:1-4 (ESV)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If you truly want to follow me, you should at once completely reject and disown your own life. And you must be willing to share my cross and experience it as your own, as you continually surrender to my ways. For if you choose self-sacrifice and lose your lives for my glory, you will continually discover true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will forfeit what you try to keep. For even if you were to gain all the wealth and power of this world—at the cost of your own life—what good would that be? And what could be more valuable to you than your own soul? I, the Son of Man, will one day return with my messengers and in the splendor and majesty of my Father. And then I will reward each person according to what they have done. But I promise you, there are some standing here now who won’t experience death until they have witnessed the coming of the Son of Man in the presence and the power of the kingdom realm of God!”

Matthew 16:24-28 (TPT)

As for me, I will call upon God,

And the Lord shall save me.

Psalms 55:16 (NKJV)

Exalt the Lord our God,

and worship at his holy mountain;

for the Lord our God is holy!

Psalm 99:9 (ESV)

Jesus commented, “Even more blessed are those who hear God’s Word and guard it with their lives!”

Luke 11:28 (MSG)

Very clearly, the New Life Music team were led by the Holy Spirit in composing The Coming King. Its lyrics are truly holy and anointed and the music is expectedly beautiful. The Coming King will surely motivate your hearts and move you to come closer to Lord Jesus and the Heavenly Father. As such, The Coming King is a worship song worthy of Sunday worship as well as church special events. The Coming King is a lively reminder of not just about the pending return of Lord Jesus here on Earth but also of His undeniable presence in the hearts of God’s children, His victory and His eternal holiness.

In conclusion, posted below are the two official music videos of The Coming King for your faith and viewing pleasure. While watching it and listening to the music, remember to be faithful and thankful to the Lord. Always remember to realize the good life from the Lord, practice Christian habits (click here and here for reference), have private time with Godget yourself planted in a local church (allow the Holy Spirit to guide you) and remember the truth that He rewards the faithful abundantly and He established plans for you before you were even created! Continue to live with God’s Word, seek God through His son Jesus, 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. Also please consider making a donation to support my publishing of faith articles and CMAs.

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

The Lord blessed the Philippines with Planetshakers

Welcome back, my fellow Christians, music enthusiasts and all those who seek the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit! As I write this, I declare that I, along with many thousands of others, got blessed by the Lord through the Planetshakers Greater Asia Tour worship event I attended on the evening September 10 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

For the bigger picture, Planetshakers returned to the Philippines for the first time since early 2020 (shortly before COVID-19 lockdown happened) and they organized worship events for four consecutive nights from September 8 to 11, 2022. Indeed, the Lord blessed the Philippines with Planetshakers whose music and leading of worship are clearly anointed by Him.

For the newcomers reading this, Planetshakers is a Christian church based in Australia and their worship music team produced a lot of worship songs that became not only popular with Christians around the world but also became part of their worship of the Lord. I reviewed several Planetshakers worship songs on this website and I encourage you to take to read my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) articles of their songs by clicking hereherehereherehere, here and here.

In relation to their Greater Asia Tour, Planetshakers’ newest album is titled GREATER and you can see more about it at https://www.planetshakers.com/music/albums/greater/

If you want to discover and learn more about Planetshakers, I encourage you to click here (Facebook page), here (Instagram), here (Twitter) and here (YouTube). To know more about Planetshakers itself, visit https://www.planetshakers.com/

Before attending the Planetshakers Greater Asia Tour worship event of September 10, 2022, I should say that I literally wrestled a bit to secure an Upper Box ticker online at SM Tickets’ website when the tickets where first released on July 21, 2022. On that particular day, I was in a virtual line as there were more than 2,600+ others ahead of me on SM Tickets. That was a great reminder of how popular Planetshakers worship leaders and musicians really are among my fellow Filipinos. I did not see the long line as a problem at all as I kept faith that my turn will come and that a ticket with a good seat will be available.

After more than 30 minutes waiting, I had my turn searching for whatever available tickets I could find and all the tickets for the VIP section were already sold out which is not surprising at all. Thanks to the Lord, I got myself an Upper Box ticket and successfully used my credit card to complete the transaction. Eventually, all four nights of Planetshakers worship events here in the Philippines got sold out! I picked up my ticket at an SM Tickets branch a few weeks later at the near SM shopping mall.

On the evening of September 10, I went inside SM MOA Arena more than 90 minutes ahead of schedule. As I arrived, I noticed Planetshakers merchandise being sold as well as backdrops related to the church for picture-taking. I bought two posters before moving upstairs.

As I made my way going upstairs, I felt the excitement and high energy around me which is not a surprise since the Planetshakers worship event was expected to be amazing as it has been anointed by the Lord.

Planetshakers Greater merchandise sold at the ground floor of the SM MOA Arena.
The Planetshakers backdrop for picture-taking.

Finally, with the help of an usher, I find my assigned seat in the Upper Box section of the SM MOA Arena. While the foot space was little, my seat was comfortable enough and I had a diagonal view of the stage below. Already, I was thankful to our Lord and Savior Jesus for the blessing. This event was my 2nd time in life to see Planetshakers lead worship with music but it was my first time to actually attend a Planetshakers-led event. To be clear, I first saw Planetshakers live on stage during the Jesus Global Youth Day in 2019.

Another spot for Planetshakers event merchandise at one of the upper floors of the SM MOA Arena.

At a little past 8PM, almost all the seats were filled and then Planetshakers’ worship event started very energetically! The music was amazing and the lights on the stage and in other parts of the venue really dazzled! It was more than a raving experience…it was holy as the Holy Spirit in my heart moved within. As the music was played, I really experienced blessing from Him, I reached out to Him, expressed my thanks to Him for the blessings and emphasized the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

While my Upper Box seat was distant from the stage below, the monitors by the stage were clear enough to help me see who was speaking and who was on stage. Planetshakers co-founder and global senior pastor Sam Evans was there and so was Joth Hunt, their dance ministry members and the others.

The view from seat. Tremendous worship led by Planetshakers combined with music, dazzling lights and the strong faith of the attendees in the Lord proved this was an anointed event.

The worship songs played during the event was a mix of past and new (from the newest album GREATER). Each song played drew praise towards the Lord from the many thousands who attended. A lot stood up, raised and waived their hands to the Lord as the music played and the lights dazzled. The praise towards the Lord was undeniably real and powerful with Planetshakers helping lead attendees to Him. This reminds me of what was written in Chapter 150 of the Book of Psalm in the Holy Bible which goes as follows:

Praise the Lord!

Praise God in His sanctuary;

Praise Him in His mighty firmament!

Praise Him for His mighty 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)

Very clearly, Planetshakers’ worship events are aligned closely with the above holy scripture. What I attended was a lot more than “just a concert”. It was truly worship of the Lord with Planetshakers’ worship music, modern instruments, strong focus and a strong leading of prayers to Him.

Speaking of prayers, I am very thankful to God that I personally witnessed Pastor Sam Evans leading prayers and got blessed that night. Whenever she leads prayers, it is always powerful, truly wholehearted, engaging and compelling! Pastor Sam Evans is truly anointed by the Lord to lead people to Him. The power and holiness of worship led by Pastor Sam Evans is even more tremendous when she is physically present with you. Her prayer was clearly done with all of her heart! This ultimately confirms the Lord’s blessing of the Philippines with Planetshakers and its sold-out worship events! More on the power of praying to the Lord and the truth about Him listening to us, learn from the holy scriptures below…

Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).

Jeremiah 33:3 (AMPC)

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

Jeremiah 29:12 (ESV)

Seek the Lord and His strength;

Seek His face evermore!

1 Chronicles 16:11 (NKJV)

You are the Lord who reigns over your never-ending kingdom through all the ages of time and eternity! You are faithful to fulfill every promise you’ve made. You manifest yourself as kindness in all you do.

Weak and feeble ones you will sustain. Those bent over with burdens of shame you will lift up.

You have captured our attention and the eyes of all look to you. You give what they hunger for at just the right time.

When you open your generous hand, it’s full of blessings, satisfying the longings of every living thing.

You are fair and righteous in everything you do, and your love is wrapped into all your works.

You draw near to those who call out to you, listening closely, especially when their hearts are true.

Every godly one receives even more than what they ask for. For you hear what their hearts really long for, and you bring them your saving strength.

God, you watch carefully over all your devoted lovers like a bodyguard, but you will destroy the ungodly.

I will praise you, Lord! Let everyone everywhere join me in praising the beautiful Lord of holiness from now through eternity!

Psalms 145:13-21 (TPT)

During that same event, a prepared video was played recalling Joth Hunt’s bout with cancer a few years ago. Being hit with cancer is always difficult and even heart-breaking. Ultimately, Hunt did not give up as he kept his faith in the Lord. He never gave up on God! He recovered successfully from cancer and remains active with Planetshakers to this day! Hunts’ testimony and recovery are proof that the Lord will never abandon His children and only He can heal and restore you as long as you maintain unwavering faith in Him! Learn from the following scriptures below…

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

Isaiah 41:10 (AMPC)

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

Jeremiah 29:11 (AMPC)

Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;

Save me and I will be saved,

For You are my praise.

Jeremiah 17:14 (NASB)

And the Lord turned the captivity of Job and restored his fortunes, when he prayed for his friends; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Job 42:10 (AMPC)

More on the latest album GREATER – which itself is a key theme in the latest Planetshakers tours of worship events – there is biblical significance behind its title. It is a lively reminder about the greatness of our Lord and that we must always be with Him, follow Him and walk with Him in faith. The Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit are always greater! Learn from the scriptures below…

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised; and His greatness is [so vast and deep as to be] unsearchable.

Psalm 145:3 (AMPC)

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (NASB)

For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed.

Deuteronomy 10:17 (NLT)

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and Yours it is to be exalted as Head over all.

1 Chronicles 29:11 (AMPC)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

Go ahead—sing your new song to the Lord! Let everyone in every language sing him a new song. Don’t stop! Keep on singing! Make his name famous! Tell everyone every day how wonderful he is. Give them the good news of our great Savior. Take the message of his glory and miracles to every nation. Tell them about all the amazing things he has done. For the Lord’s greatness is beyond description, and he deserves all the praise that comes to him. He is our King-God, and it’s right to be in holy awe of him.

Psalms 96:4 (TPT)

Another shot from my seat. See if you can identify who is who on stage.

By the end of the September 10 worship event, I got very blessed by the Lord and I noticed many others around me left for home happy, thankful and positive. There were no signs whatsoever about disappointment and that is not surprising at all because the event was a blessing from the Lord. I felt great and deeply satisfied as I walked to the parking area to get into the car. I was overwhelmed with the Lord’s holiness and was really happy as I drove all the way back home.

Very clearly, Planetshakers and their highly successful worship events are big blessings of the Lord for the Philippines! In 2020, people prayed for His protection as COVID-19 swamped the nation. In 2021, people prayed to Him for social and economic recovery from COVID-19. This year, our faith in Him strengthened further which will lift the Philippines to emerge from the COVID-19 stronger and more confidently. Planetshakers’ events here in the Philippines are clearly part of the Lord’s plans for the Filipino people. As such, I urge you my readers to always pray to the Lord, ask for His plan for you, follow His Word and live with uncompromising faith in Him. Become a blessing to others as you get blessed by Him. Always remember that the personal relationship with the Lord is truly essential.

Always remember that God has plans for you and you only need to decide to let Him into your hear, to walk with Him, follow Him all the way and let His Spirit – the Holy Spirit – in your heart work in guiding you. Never forget that Jesus is our most definitive Lord and Savior and it is only through Him that we can connect with the Heavenly Father. That being said, the Planetshakers event I attended heavily emphasized Lord Jesus’ name as worship went on inside the SM MOA Arena. All our praise and all the glory are for God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Always have unwavering faith in the Lord! Always praise, honor and thank the Lord with all your heart!

At this point, I encourage you all to pray to the Lord wholeheartedly and with enduring faith in Him. For true quality time with Him, be in your room with the door closed and locked, then pray to Him. As the Lord blessed our nation with Planetshakers and their four nights of sold-out worship events, I also encourage you to pray for Planetshakers so that their ministry and network of church will continue to preach God’s Word and help people come to Jesus. Pray for Planetshakers’ co-founders Russell and Sam Evans so that the Lord will bless them as they keep on working tirelessly in serving Him and leading people to Him. Pray for Planetshakers’ pastors, musicians, dance ministry members and all their employees and stakeholders so that the Lord will bless them and support them as they organize more worship services. As Planetshakers keeps on serving the Lord and help lead people to Jesus, the following holy scripture below will resonate with the faithful and those who seek Him. I also encourage you to share the scripture to others…

Those who give thanks that Jesus is the Son of God live in God, and God lives in them.

1 John 4:15 (TPT)

In ending this article, I posted below the official music videos of worship songs related to Planetshakers’ latest album. May these enlighten you, delight you and motivate you to come to God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit without hesitation. Seek Lord Jesus first, follow His light and always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Live by Jesus’ eternal victory! Peace and amen to you all!

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

A Look Back at Harbinger #19 (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, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a part of the Valiant Comics shared universe through the Harbinger monthly series.

In my previous retro review, the creative team of Fontenot-Simpson told another story that built up Harbinger’s concept some more while introducing yet another new character – Screen – who is not part of the team led by Sting. The story symbolically showed the further growth of the tremendous power of Toyo Harada not only through his control of the Harbinger foundation but also of his connection with the new United States President of the time. 

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #19, published in 1993 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Maurice Fontenot and illustrated by Howard Simpson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins on the afternoon of January 25, 1993. Inside the New York facility of the Harbinger foundation, a pretty blonde, young lady named Natalie Toynbee – codename: Stunner – gets scanned by the technicians handling the technologies. A technician’s request for Natalie to urinate into a cup reveals that the lady has a huge ego and pride of herself as she reacts negatively. 

Suddenly, the wall near Natalie and the technician got damaged by force unleashed by Sting who is accompanied by Faith, Flamingo and Shatiqua. Their mission is to free Natalie from the clutches of the Harbinger foundation which is a small part of their long-term vision of freeing and recruiting more powered young adults.

After subduing the Harbinger foundation personnel, Sting begins to explain to Natalie the situation and tells her to just trust him. Sting tells her to come with them which only drew more of Natalie’s ego along with skepticism. This reaction makes Faith think Natalie is not worth saving…

Quality

Imagine Iran invading America and causing terror like in this scene. Imagine Joe Biden and the Democrats allowing this to happen to Americans.

While the story was not crafted to follow-up closely on the events of issue #18, this comic book puts Sting and his teammates into a collision course with a new force of evil – the Iranians (note: issue #20 confirms their national identity) who have interests on specific young adults with powers and special abilities. Along the way, the Fontenot-Simpson team introduced a new sinister force in the form of a very manipulative Iranian named Kaliph.

Kaliph’s introduction here is easily the biggest feature of the story and he unsurprisingly overwhelms the debut of Natalie. Kaliph here works in service of his unidentified superiors and as he does his job, he uses his special ability of manipulating people’s minds through sight and sound to gain information, find directions, make them do his orders and gain access into places that he could never have had he been an ordinary person. By the end of the story, I was convinced that Kaliph was created to be an enduring or recurring villain for Sting and his team.

More on the primary characters of this monthly series, Sting and his teammates were portrayed to get more harbingers (powered young adults) to join them and become part of their long-term opposition against Toyo Harada and the Harbinger foundation, even though their own team lacks the resources needed to support themselves. The lack of resources was cleverly highlighted through Natalie’s reactions (related to her big ego) to what Sting’s team has for her to live with. Looking at the bigger picture going back to issue #1, Sting’s vision of defeating Harada and winning the trust of powered young adults without any solid foundation (specifically resources, connections and security) emphasize his recklessness and false sense of maturity as a team leader.

Conclusion

Kaliph and his companion arrive in America with a sinister plan.

In my view, Harbinger #19 (1993) is a solid change of direction for the monthly series complete with the introduction of a new, strong villain who originated from Iran which by today’s standards is the major force of terrorism in this world. The new villain Kaliph has a creepy aesthetic that other villains in this series lacked. More notably, the story remained consistently very engaging and pulled off some notable surprises which were indeed entertaining.

Overall, Harbinger #19 (1993) is highly recommended!

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