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: I Need You More (July 7, 2019)

We all need the Lord. We all need God and His Son Jesus. After all, the Lord created us and we were granted dominion over the earth as written in Genesis 1: 26 in the Holy Bible. If course, we humans living in the flesh who have the power to shape the world we live in can never achieve true happiness, goodness and holiness without Him.

As written in Psalm 115: 16, the heavens belong to the Lord while He gave the Lord to us. Man was created to rule over the earth in communion and fellowship with the Lord. To rule the earth without God is meaningless and will only lead to chaos, disatisfaction, frustration, sadness and even to the traps set by the devil.

All the more reason we need the Lord!

This brings me to another beautiful and very holy song. A song worth of praising the Lord with. A song that will move your inner feelings, especially when you have the Holy Spirit in your heart as a result of accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior.

That song is I Need You More, written by Kim Walker-Smith.

Below are the lyrics for you all.

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

More than the air I breathe, more than the song I sing

More than the next heartbeat, more than anything.

And lord, as this time goes by, I’ll be by your side

Cause I never want to go back to my old life.

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

More than the air I breathe, more than the song I sing

More than the next heartbeat, more than anything.

And lord, as this time goes by, I’ll be by your side

Cause I never want to go back to my old life.

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

[x2:]

We give you the highest praise,

We give you the highest praise,

We give you the highest praise

We give you the highest praise,

We give you the highest praise,

We give you the highest praise

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

More than the air I breathe, more than the song I sing

More than the next heartbeat, more than anything.

As a Born Again, I strongly relate with the song. I know what it is like to be a lost soul and I assure you readers that having no faith in the Lord is simply wrong and makes life empty, even makes a person more vulnerable to temptations and wickedness.

Thanks to my dearest friend in life, I got invited to a holy seminar at her church. So there I was, a non-believer and lost soul, entering the church surrounded by lots of people who are faithful to the Lord. I just behaved myself and observed the proceedings and worship. My dearest friend gave me her old bible. After witnessing the playing of Christian worship music, the pastor went to the podium and started preaching with lessons from the Holy Bible. As I listened, I started to see the light from what turned out to be God’s kingdom.

It was the Lord’s call for me to return to Him. That holy seminar had a deep impact on me personally and just a few days later, I realized…..I need the Lord! I realized that I need to restore my faith in Jesus and God the Father. My life back then was hollow and limited only to just surviving financially and focusing only on making ends meet without even aiming to better myself and rise. I realized that I could never improve myself and move forward a lot without the Lord. So shortly after realizing I need the Lord, I believed in Jesus again, repented and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior and strive to be faithful to Him for the rest of my life. That was when I became Born Again, a saved soul and entered the Kingdom of Light. I have been very blessed by Him too and now I know that He has a plan for me (created even before I got created) that I must follow to meet His High Call.

When it comes to the lyrics of I Need You More, the following lines resonated with me a lot:

And lord, as this time goes by, I’ll be by your side

Cause I never want to go back to my old life.

Those lyrics only reminded me of my renewal under God and Jesus. Becoming Born Again is truly the greatest miracle, the greatest change and the greatest moment in my whole life. For the Lord saved my soul through the help of my dearest friend (the Lord’s Holy Instrument), I will forever be faithful to Him and as a new creation my true purpose has been realized.

Having been born again, I will never go back to my old life. The old life that includes being trapped by religion and being treated like a prisoner, losing faith due to religion and living a very hollow life as a non-believer. Those days are over and nobody will fool me nor manipulate me to go back to my old life. As a Christian who received the Holy Spirit, got reformed and blessed a lot, I dedicate myself to the Lord. Reading the Holy Bible, understanding its lessons deeply, praying in tongues, spreading my faith and doing what I can to save the unsaved souls are now normal to me.

The truth is undeniable that we all need the Lord! If you have not been born again, then you must do it. Read John 3: 3 as well as the subsequent verses. Learn from the words of Jesus: Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and He will forgive you, accept you, reform you and you will realize your definitive purpose in life. True reform happens under the care of Jesus and God’s grace is something we can receive.

You will need the Lord even though you may not realize it now. Perhaps local society and occupations made you too busy and wore you down. You became so exhausted with duty and varied appointments, you ran out of energy to even reflect upon yourself and your faith. I encourage you to listen to I Need You Lord and check out the following lyrics.

I need you more, more than yesterday

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, than ever before

I need you, Lord, I need you, Lord.

We all need the Lord! We cannot deny that and we cannot ignore God and Jesus! If you have been lost and frustrated, it is not too late to be born again to be with Jesus and become part of the Kingdom of Light.


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: The Heart of Worship (June 30, 2019)

To truly connect to God and His Son Jesus (our Lord and Savior), one must have a genuine heart of worship and deep faith. In this piece, let me discuss with you the beautiful and holy Christian worship song The Heart of Worship (written by Matt Redman) which was part of the album Intimacy.

Below are the lyrics for your reference.

+++++

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless your heart
I’ll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
King of endless worth
No one could express
How much you deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is yours
Every single breath
I’ll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, lord, for the thing I’ve made it
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m coming back to the heart of worship,
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
It’s all about you
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, lord, for the thing I’ve made it
And it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
++++++++
Clearly faith is meant to be done by the heart and not by the mind. There are verses in the Holy Bible about the heart of worship. Here are some for your reflection and enlightenment.
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore. (Psalm 86: 12)
speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5: 19-20)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 16: 3)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; (Proverbs 3: 5)

 

And Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (Matthew 22: 37)

Going back to The Heart of Worship, in my view the song emphasizes a person’s return to the Lord Jesus Christ with the will to worship Him. Lines like I’m coming back to the heart of worship, And it’s all about you, It’s all about you, Jesus, make this clear. It also acknowledges that the Lord looks into a person’s heart to determine if it is a heart of worship or not. In other words, there is no hiding on the part of people from the Lord.

This brings me to the lesson that worship is not limited in the form of words about a promise to worship but rather it is about dedication to worship the Lord, to trust in Him, to thank Him for His blessings, love and care, and live life with continued faith in Him. In short, worshiping the Lord is an essential part of genuine Christian living.

The song and the above bible verses strongly resonate with me for I had gone through the frustrations of religion-based living, descended into living in darkness (caused by religion), became a lost soul (for years I stopped believing in God and Jesus) before finding my way back to Lord by accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Being Born Again and being part of the Kingdom of Light, I received the Holy Spirit in my heart and I worshiped the Lord a lot more than my entire old life. My faith, my trust and my dedication to the Lord are stronger than ever before. This is my experience about living with a heart of worship.

It is indeed true that religion is not essential because the personal relationship with God matters more which requires faith (certainly not religion). As such, you need to be born again and I encourage you to read John 3: 3-7 in the Holy Bible.

Do not forget that you should only worship the Lord. Avoid worshiping idols, both living and non-living. Don’t worship people. For true Christian living, your heart of worship and faith are truly meant for the Lord only.


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

 

Meet Lynn Minmay

screenshot_20180930-003308
For me this is Lynn Minmay’s prettiest smile in 1984’s Macross: Do You Remember Love?

I’m a long time Macross fan. For those of you who have been wondering who among the many characters of the entire Macross franchise I best remember, it’s Lynn Minmay.

For the newcomers reading this, Lynn Minmay (voiced by Mari Iijima) first appeared in Episode #1 of the Super Dimension Fortress Macross anime TV series that debuted in 1982. She was that sweet and pretty teenage girl who was born in 1993 (note: the TV series story started in the then-future of 2009) in Japan with partial Chinese heritage (which explains her relationship with the folks running the Chinese restaurant on Macross City). As seen in Episode #2, she was among the first people to meet with Hikaru Ichijyo who at the time survived a crash while piloting a Valkyrie (that transformed to Battroid mode).

Is Minmay a fighter? Nope! She’s a talented singer who became an icon among the people in the SDF-1 fortress (which carried the remains of Macross City inside). Given the fact that the Zentradi (the army of giant humanoids that pursued the Macross) are a people devoid of culture due to their artificial nature as clones, Minmay’s singing (apart from the Macross people’s own culture) has tremendous power to manipulate them emotionally.

More importantly, Minmay is a crucial part of the memorable Macross Love Triangle along with Hikaru and his superior officer Misa Hayase.

The Love Triangle of Macross is itself intriguing. Hikaru struggles emotionally whom to spend time and love. Minmay is the sweet young girl who matured into a young woman while dealing with the tremendous pressure of the world of entertainment as well as having the circumstantial responsibility of inspiring people and help maintain peace. Her military counterpart Misa meanwhile is the dedicated officer whose family has a history of military service.

I’m not going to spoil the whole plot of the Macross TV series to explain more about Minmay and the others. But if you want to discover more of the anime icon apart from the Super Dimension Fortress Macross series, watch more of her in the 1984 anime movie Macross: Do You Remember Love? Also don’t forget that there are Macross video games that have Minmay in them.

As for the Western interpretation of Minmay seen in the Robotech franchise, I would not recommend that. The mistranslated Robotech adaptation of the original Macross TV series had a bad voice actress for Minmay not to mention bad singing in English. The ongoing Robotech comic book series published by Titan Comics had an even distorted portrayal of the icon.

If you want to discover the genuine and respected Minmay, stick with Macross!

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to your fellow Macross and anime fans. 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 project or business, check out my services.