To All Single Parents, Be Happy Because God Loves You And Has Plans For You! (Part 1 – Hagar the Single Mother)

Long ago here in the Philippines, I noticed there were negative vibes against single parents. Specifically I’m talking about the individuals who became parents without getting married and also those who became parents (having at least one child while being married to a spouse) who became widowed (losing the spouse).

Decades ago, I noticed that there is this expectation within many families that getting married and raising a new family is a traditional goal which is expected to be fulfilled by the children as they grow into adulthood. This expectation, in my observation, is for the most part the result of religion-based traditions and rituals that influenced Philippine society for many generations.

As a result, there is a side effect caused by those religious traditions and rituals that emphasize marriage – discrimination towards individuals who became parents without getting married.

For the people who became single parents as a result of losing their respective spouses, they (as widowed individuals) often encounter expectations or suggestions from others to get married again.

In my experience, I noticed single parents get questioned harshly, get viewed with skepticism, and even get discriminated by others because most people got indoctrinated by the religious influence and expectations related to marriage. Of course, I am not saying that marriage itself is bad.

I personally know people who strongly believe in religious views of marriage and carry in their minds the false belief that single parents and their descendants are cursed and will always be treated as lower-class people. This belief, of course, adds to the discrimination against single parents. As such being a single parent is often challenging not only here in the Philippines but also in other parts of the world.

If you are a single parent reading this, fear not about your status. Do not let others put you down because what many of them do not know is the truth that God loves, cares and has plans for all single parents! That’s right! God values single parents and for as long as they keep faith in Him and maintain personal relationships with Him, they will be blessed by Him!

The good news here is that it is all recorded in the Holy Bible and in this article, we will focus on the true story of Hagar!

Let’s look back at the Book of Genesis.

Hagar the single mother

Some time after God established the first blood-sacrifice covenant with Abram (Chapter 15), his wife Sarai had no children with him (Chapter 16). She told her husband, “See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” (Genesis 16: 2 NKJV)

Sarai took her Egyptian maid Hagar and gave her to Abram to be his wife. After getting involved with him, Hagar conceived. Sarai dealt harshly with Hagar who fled from her presence. An Angel from the Lord found her by a sprint of water in the wilderness.

The Angel, who called her by name and her occupation as Sarai’s maid, asked her where she came from and where she was going to. Hagar replied that she was fleeing from Sarai.

“Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.” (Genesis 16: 9 NKJV)

The Angel’s message did not just end there. He further said (Genesis 16: 10-12 NKJV):

“I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.”

“Behold, you are with child,

And you shall bear a son,

You shall call his name Ishmael,

Because the LORD has heard your affliction.

“He shall be a wild man;

His hand shall be against every man,

And every man’s hand against him.

And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

It was made clear to Hagar that God really has plans for her and her son with Abram. As she was not married to Abram and her involvement with him was the result of Sarai’s intervention (which symbolizes the dangers of taking God’s promises into our own hands), Hagar was illegitimate but God did NOT abandon her nor cursed her.

God really cared for Hagar and even before the birth of Ishmael, He made a plan for him as well. Eventually Hagar bore Abram his son. Abram, who was already eighty-six years old, named the baby Ishmael. At this stage, Hagar became a single mother.

Some time after Sarah (formerly Sarai) gave birth to Isaac, her son with Abraham (formerly Abram), Hagar and Ishmael’s time with them came to an end.

According to Genesis 21: 8-21, Isaac grew and was weaned and Abraham made a great feast on that very day. Then Sarah saw Ishmael. She told Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.”

This displeased Abraham. Eventually God said to him, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.”

In case you got lost, Hagar is referred to as the bondwoman. The single mother’s challenges continued but God still cared for her and Ishmael.

The fateful morning came when Abraham gave bread and a skin of water to Hagar, then he sent her and Ishmael away.

So did the single mother and her boy just get lost and died shortly after? Absolutely not! There definitely is more to the truth about them in the Holy Bible. As recorded in the Bible, the land promised to Abraham became Israel which was passed on to Isaac and Jacob. While Abraham’s line went on to become highly significant as God fulfilled His promise to him, this does not mean that Hagar and Ishmael ended up empty and abandoned by God. Now we go back to them.

Together Hagar and her son wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. Eventually the water ran out and she placed Ishmael under one of the shrubs.

Hagar went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot. She said to herself, “Let me not see the death of the boy.”

Then she sat opposite him and lifted her voice and wept.

The God responded to the voice of the lad and He sent an Angel to Hagar!

“What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.”

Then Hagar’s eyes were opened by God and she saw a well of water. She went to the well, filled the skin with water and gave Ishmael a badly needed drink.

As God had plans for him, Ishmael grew up and dwelt in the wilderness where he became an archer. He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran and Hagar took a wife for him from her native Egypt.

Lessons learned

Hagar’s story in the Holy Bible clearly showed that God loves, cares for and made plans for single parents like her. This also means that blessings from God were extended to their children as seen through Ishmael.

While Ishmael did not inherit anything from his father Abraham, he still went on to live a life as an archer and as a husband as God fulfilled the promise he made to Abraham regarding his son with Hagar.

Along the way, God made clear to Abraham that He would establish his covenant with Isaac.

As recorded in Genesis Chapter 17: 18-20, Abraham mentioned Ishmael to God stating that he (son with Hagar) might live before Him.

God responded, “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.”

Going back to Hagar, the single mother in the Holy Bible symbolizes the person who has been unfairly treated, deserted, and cut off with little provision. But even so, the Lord intervened with provision (both spiritual and physical) for her. She and her son went on to live longer as God fulfilled His promise of making a great nation out of Ishmael.

When Hagar was desperate and struggling to survive in the wilderness, she called out to God crying. Even in the worst of times (being put down by Sarah, getting banished by Abraham and the like), she still believed in the Lord and trusted Him. From Heaven, God sent an angel to her and the well of water that suddenly materialized right there in the wilderness was only the beginning that led to the realization of His blessing for Ishmael. This proves that God will never abandon nor forsake His children. All it takes is having faith in Him and putting our trust in Him no matter how bad or how challenging life becomes.

To put things in perspective about God’s love and care for ALL of us (including single parents), here is a scripture from Deuteronomy 31: 6 (NKJV)

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

In John 14: 18 (NKJV), Lord Jesus (the Son of God) said, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

In Isaiah 41: 10 (NKJV), God said, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

To put into perspective God’s love, mercy, care and plans for all of His children, heed this scripture from Jeremiah 29: 11 (NKJV).

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Going back to the topic at hand, it is obvious by now that for as long as we keep faith in Him and maintain personal relationships with Him, God will always love us, provide for us and accept us into His Kingdom. All of these apply to single parents and the story of Hagar and Ishmael is the biblical truth that can be lived with.

God’s love and provision for the single mother Hagar and her son easily kills the false belief that single parents and their children are cursed. If you know someone who still lives by that false belief and looks down at single parents and their children, tell that misguided person to read Genesis 21: 8-21 in the Holy Bible. The truth should set that person free!

If you are a single parent who has suffered a lot and you lived a life of religion or unbelief, and you truly want to establish faith and a relationship with God, then you must realize that you need to be born again because Lord Jesus said so (refer to John 3: 3 and the subsequent verses).

It is indeed true that by nature, religion is mean, it will frustrate you and prevent you from establishing a relationship with God. You may not realize it until now but you really do not need religion at all. What you need is faith and relationship with the Lord. I know! Religion and its believers frustrated me and kept me in prison (literally) and it even pushed me away from God and made me a lost soul for a number of years. After that, thanks to the Lord and His Instrument (my dearest friend in life) I repented, submitted myself to God and I willingly accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I have been saved and been blessed a lot, and my life has moved forward a lot in a short span of time.

You have the power to decide to be born again. This includes repenting to God for all the sins you committed, submitting yourself to Him and then accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It is never too late to be born again and never too late for you to break the chains of religion (along with all the idolatry, rituals and traditions it comes with) or unbelief that has hindered you and your child (or children) for so long.

Think of the truth in the Holy Bible. Apart from the truth of Hagar and Ishmael who got banished by Abraham, there is also the truth of Adam’s rebellion against God which caused chaos and brought humanity downwards. Even with all the chaos that happened, God sent His Begotten Son Jesus into the world to spread the good news, died to redeem humanity (caused by the Fall of Man and Adam’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden), came back to life, made His resurrected presence felt and ascended to Heaven with the promise of His return.

If you seek salvation right now by becoming born again, be prepare to repent to the Lord, submit to His authority, let go of all the elements that hindered you from connecting with Him (the idolatry, traditions and rituals of religion and other unholy elements) and be ready to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. No more worshiping people and idols in any form. It is only the Lord you should always worship from this point on.

Ready? 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, reader! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! The Holy Spirit is in you. As such, I encourage you – the born again single parent reading this – to read the holy scripture in Acts 16: 31. Grab the Holy Bible to read it as your first lesson and whatever new lessons you learned afterwards, do the Word of God by applying it in your life.

In the near future, another article about single parents and their situations in the Holy Bible will be discussed. Remember that God is not a tyrant and therefore nobody living in the flesh has the right to put you – the single parent – down. God is a loving, caring and providing father to all of us who believe in Him and have a personal relationship with Him. It is true that single parents like you who have faith in Him are welcome in His kingdom.

In closing this, here is a Christian music video for your reflection and faith in the Lord.


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

With regards to Christianity, if you are within the BF Homes or Alabang areas of South Metro Manila and you are spiritually lost looking for someone to talk to or to join a Christian church that will welcome you, please feel free to contact me by mobile phone at 09053350831 or by email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com to schedule a meeting.

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Christian Music Appreciation: The Potter’s Hand (August 11, 2019)

Hello everyone! Welcome back to the latest installment of my Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series which puts focus on songs that are not only great to listen to but are also holy and worthy of praising the Lord with.

Today, we take a close look at the song The Potter’s Hand which was released in 1998 by Hillsong Worship with words and music by the great Darlene Zschech. This is truly a beautiful song and at the same time, its lyrics are very meaningful and should make you reflect about your purpose and your existence.

Here are the lyrics…

Beautiful Lord, wonderful Savior

I know for sure all of my days are held in Your hand

And crafted into Your perfect plan

You gently called me into Your presence

Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit

Teach me dear Lord, to live all of my life

Through Your eyes

 

And I’m captured by Your Holy calling

Set me apart, I know You’re drawing me to Yourself

Lead me Lord, I pray

 

Take me

Mold me

Use me

Fill me

I give my life to the Potter’s hand

Call me

Guide me

Lead me

Walk beside me

I give my life to the Potter’s hand

 

You gently call me into Your presence

Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit

Teach me dear Lord, to live all of my life

Through Your eyes

So what does the song mean?

In my honest opinion, the clearest meaning behind the song relates to the creation of humanity done long ago by God and the purpose He prepared. In the song’s title, the word potter was used to symbolize the creator. The potter is the one who creates pots using raw materials and special skills (molding, timing, estimating, shaping, etc.). It was God, not some accidental phenomenon of science, who created the human race. As such, we need to go back to the very beginning in the Holy Bible starting with the Book of Genesis.

It was written on Genesis 1: 26-28 (NKJV):

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

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

Take note that on verse 26, God’s words were “Our image” which turned out to be the Holy Trinity as explained in the New Testament. “Our image” most likely refers to such qualities as personality, reason and intellect along with the abilities to hear, see, speak and relate. In short, the human race was created with God’s characteristics and He really had a plan on establish the earth as a world filled with His creations that carry His traits. This truth alone is worth reflecting when we ask ourselves why God created us in the first place.

Part of humanity’s creation was for man to be God’s kingdom agent on earth. Man was meant to rule and subdue the rest of creation, including the aggressive satanic forces. God said, “let them have dominion,” which gave man the authority to execute and maintain His rules on earth. In return, it was expected that man be always obedient to Him for He is, after all, the Creator of everything. Man’s power to reign in life will extend only as far as his faithfulness to God’s law.

God’s creation of man and woman formed the foundation of the house of the Lord. Through them, He intended to manifest His character and authority, express his dominion over the earth, display His indisputable power over the works of darkness, and subdue His archenemy Satan. It was clear all along that God had plans for humanity. Those plans were created before each and every one of us were even born!

From the song was the line I know for sure all of my days are held in Your hand followed immediately by And crafted into Your perfect plan. These two lines strongly reflect what God intended when He created the human race. As such, evil human traits like racism, extremism, discrimination, killing, idolatry, unfaithfulness, destruction, rebellion and abuse are clearly wrong and completely in opposite to God’s plans for humanity.

As recorded in Genesis chapter 3, humanity failed when Eve was tempted by the serpent (the evil one) into eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil which she gave to Adam who ate it. Adam, who was specifically commanded by God to never eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2: 15-17), committed rebellion against Him which led to an enduring series of chaos (wars, genocide, fascism, murder, crime, abusive governments and the like) in our world even until now.

Generations later, God sent to us His Son Jesus. It was Jesus who performed miracles, made people aware of God’s plan and love for them, set examples in accordance to God being a just creator, and ultimately redeemed humanity from Adam’s rebellion (refer to Hebrews 2: 14-15, Romans 8: 38-39, John 11: 25, Romans 6: 3-5, Galatians 3: 13 and Revelation 20: 6).

Clearly God had planned to save the flawed human race with Jesus! His own Son was sent to not only bring hope but also give humans the good news that God cares, loves and is willing to welcome them into His kingdom…and all it took was having faith in the Lord!

Jesus, who died for people’s sins, came back from the dead, made His return felt to several people and eventually rose to Heaven, achieved the most tremendous victory for humanity through redemption. He truly is the Messiah, the Redeemer and the Son of God whom we should all be thankful, faithful and obedient to. Jesus is the one we all should look up to for all time in our lives. Jesus is also God in the flesh which alone makes it important for us to reflect upon our creation. Creation itself is what The Potter’s Hand reflects.

To truly connect with Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, it is essential to be born again (this includes receiving the Holy Spirit into your heart) and this means breaking ourselves free from the chains of religion (along with its idols, teachings and rules that hinder people from establishing relationships with God) as well as the chains of unbelief. Being religious is NOT the same as being faithful to the Lord. Christianity is not religion but a way of life complete with faithfulness and a living relationship with the Lord. There is more to the personal relationship with God than there is to religion, and this is the truth that religious people don’t realize or have refused to accept as they allowed themselves to be trapped by religion. By becoming born again and receiving His spirit, you will truly become a child of God as well as a saved soul.

Trust me. I know! In my old life, religion ultimately led me to ruin and becoming lost. I was even hostile to Christianity during my lost years. After becoming born again, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and then a series of positive changes plus blessings (including love) followed. Thanks to Jesus, my life has moved forward by leaps and bounds! My true purpose in life has been realized and my faith in the Lord will never fade away. I have been saved, reformed and redeemed!

As Lord and Savior, Jesus is the true reformer and redeemer for humanity. Reform to be worthy of becoming part of the Kingdom of God is only possibly by having faith in Jesus. Reform led by Jesus is way beyond what any man could ever achieve. A man living in today’s age of social media and smartphones can arrogantly present himself as a reform-minded savior (or “reformer”, a fake one at that) and attract some fans (some of whom become obsessed by his charm and even commit idolatry) by using technology but ultimately he will NEVER match the impact of Jesus! People who seek salvation don’t need idols, don’t need to worship people and don’t need religion. They need Jesus!

Remember these very powerful words Jesus said in John 3: 3 (NKJV)

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

Going back to The Potter’s Hand, take note of the following lyrics.

You gently called me into Your presence

Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit

Teach me dear Lord, to live all of my life

Through Your eyes

 

And I’m captured by Your Holy calling

Set me apart, I know You’re drawing me to Yourself

Lead me Lord, I pray

As His children, God called us and He has plans for each and every one of us since before the beginning of time. The true purpose of being Christian includes humbling ourselves, submitting ourselves to the Lord, learning and re-learning His lessons with deep dedication (this means intense learning from Him through the Holy Bible), realizing His plan for each of us, repenting our sins directly to Him, being faithful to Him, following His lead and meeting His High Call. The above lyrics symbolized these elements.

Truly God created us all with very solid purposes. By realizing our true purpose as Christians, we acknowledge the Holy Bible (not rituals, not traditions, not idolatry and not religion) is the ultimate authority as it is the true path to Lord, having faith in the Lord is sufficient for salvation, having a personal relationship with God is essential, spreading our Christian faith to help save the many unsaved souls.

All these lessons as confirmed by Holy Bible make The Potter’s Hand truly a very holy and meaningful song. As such, The Potter’s Hand is worthy of praising the Lord with, especially on Sunday worship at church.


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

Christian Music Appreciation: You Are Holy (June 12, 2019)

I love worshiping Lord Jesus and God the Father at church on Sunday worship along with our local community of very faithful and prayerful Christians. As part of our worship, our church’s musicians perform Christian songs using a combination of vocals, drums and electric guitars.

Before, I explained in detail why I love the song Happy Day which sometimes gets played at our church. There are many other Christian songs that can be admired, be enjoyed and be used to worship the Lord. One particular song that caught my attention lately is You Are Holy.

Released in July 1998 as part of the Hillsong Worship album Touching Heaven, Changing Earth, You Are Holy was written by Reuben Morgan and, to this day, many millions of Christians around the world listened to it and praised the Lord with it during Sunday worship. The late-1990s Hillsong Worship performance of it is available in video through YouTube which I recommend you watch and listen. Oh yes, Darlene Zschech‘s leading of the vocals is great.

To understand the essence of the song, posted below are the lyrics for you all.

You are holy, holy
Lord there is none, like You
You are holy, holy
Glory to You my Lord

You are holy, holy
Lord there is none, like You
You are holy, holy
Glory to You my Lord

I sing Your praises forever
Deeper in love with You
Here in Your courts
Where I’m close to Your throne
I’ve found where I belong

I sing Your praises forever
Deeper in love with You
Here in Your courts
Where I’m close to Your throne
I’ve found where I belong

You are holy, holy
Lord there is none, like You
You are holy, holy
Glory to You my Lord

And I sing Your praises forever
Deeper in love with You
Here in Your courts
Where I’m close to Your throne
I’ve found where I belong

The lyrics clearly emphasize holiness, praising the Lord, glorifying Him, loving Him and the faithful Christian’s dedication to Him. Lines like I sing Your praises forever and Lord there is none, like You are understandably powerful. The lines Where I’m close to Your throne, I’ve found where I belong perfectly conclude the song.

The holiness aspect of the song easily reminds me of my relationship with the Lord and my true purpose in life. I should say that as long as we Christians keep being faithful, keep learning from His teachings and achieve whatever tasks the Lord assigned us with, we will ultimately be rewarded by Him accordingly (Revelations 22: 12) and God is always the righteous judge (2 Timothy 4: 7-8, Deuteronomy 32: 1-4) whose decisions are final, just and definitive. As faithful Christians who already accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we all should look forward to judgment because it is our opportunity to be found faithful.

Going back to the song You Are Holy, I love listening to it. Going beyond appreciation for it, the song really helps me praise the Lord in a very personal way. Truly You Are Holy is a holy song! As such, I recommend to you readers to take time out to listen to it from start to finish.  Don’t forget to read the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to the Lord afterwards.

In closing this piece, I must tell you, my readers, to resist and disregard the propaganda being spread online emphasizing that the use of drums and electric guitar for playing music at church on Sundays is inappropriate to the Lord. That is simply false and whoever composed such propaganda are pawns of people who have narrow views about what church and Sunday worship music should be. Do not let those people fool you and instead of wasting time on them, focus on your relationship with the Lord and do not let religion get in the way. Back to music, the use of drums and electric guitars for Sunday worship music at church is actually fine and legitimate, and also useful to help Christians praise the Lord and connect to Him spiritually. Christian rock music is okay and so is having a band at church. Now we can move forward to the Lord!


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

 

Praise The Lord and Be Faithful To Him Eternally

Today is Sunday, the day the Lord made. Every Sunday, we go to church with our family members and our friends. We gather together not merely as a community of people but as faithful worshipers as well as a large spiritual family dedicated to praise and worship God and His Son Jesus.

Why go to church every Sunday? Is it because we do it as a tradition? No! Is it because we do it as an obligation? No! Is it because we practice religion? Absolutely not! We go to church on Sunday to praise and worship the Lord, learn the lessons from the Holy Bible (the ultimate authority filled with holy scriptures!), realize our true purpose as members of God’s Kingdom and be always faithful to Him! The praise and worship to the Lord are meant to be eternal!

Being faithful to the Lord is different from being religious. Religion, by nature, will frustrate you, will trap you, will limit you and will hinder you from truly connecting to God and His Son Jesus. I know! Because I experience that in my old life! To end the darkness and break away, I decided to truly reform myself by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Truly there is more to your relationship with God than there is to religion. To realize your true purpose under God, you need to be born again (read John 3: 3-7). You need to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and only then will the Holy Spirit come to you and place Itself in your heart. You have the power to decide and make it all happen. What could be better than entering the Kingdom of God and be recognized as one of His children and be blessed with Kingdom Wealth, love and peace?

If you are a lost soul or a religious person whose soul remains unsaved, it is not too late to be born again and truly receive the Holy Spirit. Upon realizing your true purpose under the Lord, you will become a new creation. You will learn to pray in tongues (praying with the spiritual language), read the Holy Bible and understand it and live with it, do tithing, singing praise to the Lord with Christian worship music performed by the church band (complete with drums and electric guitars), engage more with members of your spiritual family (as Born Again, you are all children of God and members of His Kingdom), learn more from the pastor (who communicates with God), learn a lot from the ministry, and then you will realize how essential praising and worshiping the Lord directly really is.

As a new creation, you will realize how unnecessary religion truly is. You also will realize the futility of worshiping idols, both the living and the man-made non-living idols. You don’t need religion to connect to the Lord…you need faith, be born again and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. You can break the chains of religion and get rid of all those idols! Get rid of those statues and those images of the living and non-living idols because they are not worth of worship. Certainly those idols are not worthy of praise!

If you want to be saved, refer to the prayer at the end of my faith article Trust in God, Disregard those Idols (published April 17, 2019).

Going back to praising the Lord directly, learn from the holy scriptures of Psalm 150 (Let All Things Praise the Lord) I prepared for you below.

Psalm 150: 1-6

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!

In concluding this piece, I embedded below the YouTube video of You Are Holy performed by Hillsong Worship. This is an example of praising the Lord with the performance of Christian worship music done by a band with singers playing with true holiness.

May you have a very blessed Sunday and keep strong faith in the Lord.


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

 

 

 

Adam’s Rebellion Towards God Is The Root Cause of All The Chaos And Suffering of The World

We all live in a world that is often problematic and we share the pain of living in it. Were you able to randomly watch the news on cable TV or through social media? There is always some sort of intrigue or bad news happening around the world like political strife, social division, economic collapse, civil war, military strikes and the like. There were times that watching or reading news became so depressing, I myself decided to avoid the news temporarily to get some much-needed peace of mind. Staying away from the global chaos magnified by giant media also allowed me to set my priorities straight and do something better. The best way to recover from the magnified chaos is to read the Holy Bible and keep learning about God’s Word.

Whether we like it or not, global chaos is a part of our lives. It does not matter if the problems happened near us or far away from us. The fact is those unfortunate developments just happen creating a huge temptation for giant media entities to focus on in order to attract viewers/readers and convince advertisers to support their “journalism” by buying advertising space or airtime. Sad to say, there is money to be maid out of people’s misery and suffering.

It cannot be denied that all the chaos, all the suffering and all the problems the whole world has been going through started thousands of years ago when Adam rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden. This factual event, recorded in the Book of Genesis in the Holy Bible, is often referred to as the Fall of Man and it was emphasized heavily during a Sunday worship service I attended at our church. The teaching of this event struck me deeply.

The Fall of Man

To put things in perspective, you have to go to Genesis chapter 2, versus 8 to 10 (Genesis 2: 8-10) in the Holy Bible. It states:

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads.

Genesis 2: 8-10 clearly explains the establishment of the garden which also has both the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was also explained what God planned for the garden involving man who is actually Adam.

This brings us to Genesis 2: 15-17 which states:

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

God placed Adam in charge of the garden of Eden and this shows He trusted him to do the job to take care of it. God also made clear to Adam that it is forbidden to eat a fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and that a severe consequence will happen if he violates His command. There is no denying that Adam was commanded.

As many of us know already, God gave Adam a companion in the form of a woman named Eve. God stated “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2: 18) So God took a rib from Adam and formed Eve (who was named by Adam after the fall of man).

Some time later, the Temptation and Fall of Man took place as recorded in the entire Genesis Chapter 3 and it happened gradually.

Firstly, Eve encountered the serpent (the evil one) who communicated with her and deceived her into eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In response to Eve’s mentioning that she and Adam were forbidden to eat from that particular tree, the serpent told her “You will surely not die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3: 1-5)

Secondly, Eve saw the tree of knowledge and found it to be pleasant to her eyes. She took a fruit from it and ate. Then she gave to Adam who ate it as well committing rebellion against God who previously commanded him to never eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Thus the fall of man started. (Genesis 3: 6)

As a result, Adam and Eve realized they were naked and got ashamed of it they went on to cover themselves with sewed fig leaves. Then God arrived and noticed Adam and Eve hiding.

After hearing Adam’s response to His inquiry and confirmation that he was afraid, God said Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Genesis 3: 11)

Adam pointed to Eve as the giver of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve then pointed to the serpent that deceived her into eating the fruit. God then established enmity between the serpent and the woman.

To Eve, God declared he will multiply her sorrow and conception and that in pain she shall bring forth children. Her desire shall be for her husband who will rule over her.

To Adam, who rebelled by eating the fruit already knowing what God commanded him back in Genesis 2: 15-17, God stated (Genesis 3: 17-19):

Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

Cursed is the ground for your sake;

In toil you shall eat of it

All the days of your life.

Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,

And you shall eat the herb of the field,

In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread

Till you return to the ground,

For out of it you were taken;

For dust you are,

And to dust you shall return.

After being clothed by God, Adam and Eve eventually left the garden of Eden and the presence of the cherubim wielding a zigzagging sword (that certainly would cause death) at the east of the same garden ensured that they would not be allowed access to the tree of life. Given their impure status, God’s decision of sending them out was made.

The lesson about Adam’s rebellion towards God impacted me, corrected what was wrongly taught to me

Long ago in my old life, I was in a high school in Paranaque. At age 13, my classmates and I were taught during class that Eve was fully responsible for the fall of man for she allowed herself to be tempted and be deceived by the serpent to eat from the tree of knowledge. Adam was hardly mentioned in the class session of that day as far as I can remember because attention was focused on Eve.

Unsurprisingly, there were voices near me stating “It’s all Eve’s fault!”, “She caused original sin!” and “We all became sinners because of Eve.”

Going back to that day decades ago, I remember clearly that our teacher did NOT point out God’s command to Adam as recorded in Genesis 2: 15-17. As such Adam’s rebellion was NEVER EMPHASIZED in class.

To learn about Adam’s rebellion during our church’s Sunday worship service was more than just an eye-opener or a mind-opener. It completely changed my perception of the fall of man as well as the chaos, the problems and turmoil that our world endured. I strongly admire a fellow sister at our church who preached the lesson.

Now that this essential lesson is made clear, it is recommended that you, the reader, take time out to read the Holy Bible to do your own research about Adam’s rebellion. You want to help other people especially the lost souls around you? Preach the truth to them and help them find direction to the Kingdom of Light.

Impact of the Fall of Man

Adam’s rebellion towards God had major implication on the whole world even up to this day. Famine, war, assassination, crime, scandals, smuggling and plundering are just some of the multiple unfortunate events that affect many people in more ways than one.

The fall of man as recorded in Genesis 3: 16-24 clearly shows that disobeying God means man will lose his dominion under Him. Everything of his delegated realm (Earth) comes under a curse as his relationship with God is severed.

It is no wonder why until now so many unfortunate events happen worldwide. Even if these events took place far away from you, you somehow will get affected by it through cable TV news feed, YouTube videos or social media posts that get shared with you. In other words, these distant unfortunate events can affect your perception and worse they can take your attention away from the Word of God. All the more reason why we all need to have our Holy Bibles with us to read, understand and apply into our lives.

There are many unfortunate events that can distract you like the collapse of Venezuela. Even turmoil from the past can affect you like the socio-economic-political turmoil caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or how World War I and World War II caused the deaths of many millions of lives and global destruction. Before the Iran-Contra Scandal of the 1980s broke out in the news, multiple men, women and children in Nicaragua got tortured and killed by the Contras. And then there are those “small-time” incidents of conflicting personalities like the 2018 clash between a political commentator and a US senator in front of reporters who in turn reported the incident as “news”.

Lord Jesus saved us from Adam’s Rebellion

Worldly unfortunate events aside, humanity went through several trials, errors and suffering as recorded in the Holy Bible. Look at how much suffering the Hebrews endured under the rule of Egypt as recorded in the Book of Exodus. It took the ultimate sacrifice and victory of our Lord Jesus Christ to redeem humanity from the rebellion of Adam (refer to Hebrews 2: 14-15, Romans 8: 38-39, John 11: 25, Romans 6: 3-5, Galatians 3: 13 and Revelation 20: 6). These events recorded in the Bible clearly show that Jesus is indeed the Eternal Savior and the Definitive Redeemer of humanity.

As such, as part of maintaining strong faith to the Lord, we must never give in to the spirit of rebellion, never be disobedient to God and never give in to the mystery of lawlessness. For the said mystery, learn from the amplified version of 2 Thessalonians 2: 7 which states:

For the mystery of lawlessness [rebellion against divine authority and the coming reign of lawlessness] is already at work; [but it is restrained] only until he who now restrains it is taken out of the way.

We must also realize that it is not God’s will to see his believers suffer or be distressed (caused by the acts of going on with their own ways after God saved them as told in Psalm 107: 1-14 which also reveals people’s rebellion against Him).

The lesson is very clear. Rebelling against the Lord is itself forbidden as it truly led to suffering, distress and death. We who are faithful to the Lord should never forget the truth from the Holy Bible about Adam’s rebellion and Jesus Christ’s ultimate victory of saving humanity from the fall of man.

God’s Plan and Redemption by Jesus

Truly God has a plan for each and every soul He created and those plans were already written even before people got born in the flesh. To be redeemed through Jesus is part of God’s plan and in order to realize it, one must have faith in the Lord who Himself rewards the faithful abundantly. We are also the Lord’s workmanship and there is no doubt that God is the Master Designer! Learn from the following scriptures:

As written in Jeremiah 29: 11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

As written in Acts 16: 31

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.

As written in Ephesians 2: 10

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

You need to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ if you want to be saved and be spared from the chaos that originally started with Adam’s rebellion. You still have hope and all it takes is to believe in the Son of God and reforming yourself deep inside. Learn from the following scriptures.

As written in John 3: 16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Finally, as written in John 3: 3

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

If you have not read the Holy Bible recently, I encourage you to do it now and don’t forget to open your heart to the Lord. Pray to Him and always be faithful. Hope for renewal is real and you can be saved by the Lord by believing in Him and by being faithful. Jesus is truly alive and you only need to believe in Him.

If you seek salvation now, learn that the first step is to receive Jesus as your personal 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, reader! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! The Holy Spirit is in you.

 

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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 want more Christian articles, please contact me or comment below.

Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Finally, please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco.

The Model Prayer

If you want your prayers to be heard clearly by God, then you must do your praying properly. For one thing, you must open your heart to the Lord before you do any praying at all. Also keep in mind that faith in the Lord is done by the heart and not by the brain.

What is the most proper way to pray? The answer is the Model Prayer recorded in the Holy Bible (New King James Version), specifically at Matthew chapter 6, verse 5 to 15.

Recorded in Matthew 6: 5-15 are the words of Jesus in red:

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

My explanation: The scripture above points out that as we pray to the Lord, we should not be like the hypocrites who are defined as people doing public displays of praying which is improper. To really pray properly, showing off is a big no-no and praying privately is the way to do it. Each of us have intentions and personal messages to send to the Lord through prayer and to pray while being seen by others is just wrong. This brings me to the next scripture.

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

The scripture clearly shows that praying in private (in this case doing it in the privacy of a room with the door shut) is essential. This ensures that you have not only a better environment for praying but also a clearer channel of communication between you and God who is in His secret place. We the believers of the Lord must keep up with the Lord’s requirements for whatever communication we have with Him. As part of your praying method, it is recommended to pray in tongues as it enables your spirit to pray, enables you to speak to God, enables you magnify Him and edify yourself along the way. To understand praying in tongues, I recommend reading Acts chapter 1 to 10.

We move on….

“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

This one is self-explanatory. Repetitive prayers do not work at all. Just because you repeat words of your prayer does not mean it will boost your prayer’s chances of being heard by God. You only need to pray to the Lord with a clear message that is also straight to the point. You should make yourself transparent to God when communicating with him. That is why before praying to Him, you must write down what you have in mind and make sure you pray to Him with a complete message as possible so that repeating will be unnecessary. We should understand that God prefers us to be clear and go straight to the point with Him. Repeating prayers, at least in my view, is an annoyance. A time waster event.

We move on…

“Therefore do not be like them. For Your Father knows that things you have need of before you ask Him.

The scripture points back at the hypocrites who not only do public displays of their praying but also repeat their prayers. They don’t realize that they have been doing their prayers the improper way. As such, we the believers of God know better and we must take advantage of the knowledge on praying properly and privately to Him. Note that God can see through us and anticipate what we would ask of Him. All the more reason to be clear and go straight to the point when communicating with the Lord.

Now we move on to realize proper praying…

In this manner, therefore, pray:

 

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed by Your name.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done.

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors.

And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the

power and glory forever. Amen.

Never forget to pray with the above holy words spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember them, reflect upon them and live by them as you practice faith in the Lord.

We move on…

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

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

The above scriptures explain clearly that forgiving others is an essential thing to do in order to be forgiven by the Lord. There is simply no exemption nor exceptions here. Even if you have a mortal enemy or a rival who cannot forgive you, you still must forgive that person because if you don’t then the Lord won’t forgive you.

What you just read were passages from Matthew 6: 5-15 emphasizing the Model Prayer. Clearly praying to the Lord requires the proper ways of praying that includes praying to Him privately, being transparent with Him, being ready with our intentions or personal messages to communicate with Him while avoiding repetitions, familiarizing ourselves with the holy words of prayer and learning to forgive others. Also never forget that praying to the Lord has so much to do with your personal relationship with Him.

Before each of us were even born, God made plans for every one of us. We who believe in the Lord must prove ourselves faithful to Him so that we will know our true purpose from Him, so that we will each receive a task from Him, so that we will prosper and get rewarded by Jesus (Revelations 22: 12).

I pray that you, the reader, learned something essential here and will learn how to apply these lessons into your Christian living. Finally, I recommend you read the words Jesus said in John 3: 3.


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

You Want The Truth About The Ten Commandments? Pay Attention To The Holy Bible, Not The 1956 “Classic” Movie.

I am a geek and I love watching movies, playing video games, reading comic books, attending pop culture conventions and the like. But more importantly I am believer in Lord Jesus Christ and God The Father.

TenCom
As a person of faith, I don’t hold this classic movie with high regard anymore. We are better off reading the Holy Bible if you really want to follow the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments from God.

Very clearly the Holy Bible contains the Word of God and it truly is the definitive source of holiness and the Truth.

Already there have been many movies around the world that adapted stories from the Holy Bible which created mixed results with regards to accuracy and portrayals.

One notable movie to tackle here is Cecile B. Demille’s 1956 Hollywood “classic” film The Ten Commandments which starred Charlton Heston (who played Moses), Yul Brynner and many others.

I first saw the movie on television as a young boy and found it to be engaging. Of course, that was my old life and I was not yet dedicated on reading the Holy Bible. In fact, I was rather lazy to read the Bible back then.

While The Ten Commandments is an epic film of the 1950s with acting that feels rather unnatural by today’s standards (note: stage-style acting and speaking was the norm in the 1950s), it certainly is NOT the proper way to realize the Truth and the Word which can only found in the Holy Bible.

For one thing, the script of the movie adapted content from non-biblical sources like the Sepher-ha-Yashar, Josephus and the Chronicle of Moses (this only provides a mere hint of verses from the Bible). Next is about the the rulers of Egypt who were named in the movie and yet in the Holy Bible they each were referred to only as “Pharaoh.” Oh, are you aware that the mother of Moses in the Holy Bible (New King James Version) goes by the name of Jochebed (Exodus 6: 20) but in the movie she is referred to as Yoshebel?

Also there is no reference in the Holy Bible about Moses having any early relationship with any of the Pharaoh’s sons.

Truly The Ten Commandments had lots of inaccuracies (and missing details) here and there and this alone should compel each of us believers in Christ to focus mainly on the Holy Bible. Personally, I don’t hold the 1956 movie with high regard anymore.

It may have been a major cinematic epic of the 1950s that also won lots of acclaim and sold a lot of movie tickets. It sure was included in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in America for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” but the thing remains that Cecile B. Demille’s The Ten Commandments still does NOT come close to the Holy Bible for truth and accuracy when it comes to following the story of Moses, the Hebrews and God’s Ten Commandments.

If ever you watch the movie, do not take it seriously as the definitive reference about Moses. The definitive reference of Moses, the Hebrews and God’s Ten Commandments is still the Holy Bible!


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