COVID-19 Crisis: MECQ for NCR Plus extended until May 14, 2021

After weeks of anticipation by the public, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the other night the extension of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 14, 2021 for the National Capital Region (NCR) plus the bordering provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. In connection to this, Duterte apologized.

To put things about the extended MECQ in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article. Some parts in bold…

“Modified enhanced community quarantine. Modified ito so medyo strict. NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal (Modified enhanced community quarantine – modified, meaning somehow strict – will be imposed in NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal),” Duterte said in his talk to the people.

MECQ will be implemented in NCR Plus, composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, MECQ until May 14, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a separate press statement.

Quirino and Abra provinces, as well as the City of Santiago in Isabela, will also stay under MECQ for the whole month of May, Duterte said.

On the other hand, the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) will be imposed in Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur from May 1 to 31.

The rest of the country will remain under the least restrictive modified GCQ (MGCQ).

Roque said the latest quarantine status is still “subject to the appeals of local government units.”

The government is targeting to lower health care and intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates to ease the quarantine protocols in the country amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In recent times, the daily count of new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines fell below 10,000. It was reported the other day that the new COVID-19 cases was at 6,895 nationwide. Still the nation has over 1,000,000 COVID-19 cases grand total (including recoveries) and the secured vaccines cannot arrive fast enough from overseas. Also, it will take a lot of time before the local production of vaccines will become a reality in the nation.

Apart from public health, more attention should be paid on the economy which has been set back a lot since the latest ECQ (enhanced community quarantine). The current MECQ meanwhile resulted 13% of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to stay closed specifically in the NCR Plus zone.

More on the economy, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez is pushing to help the economy by recommending a flexible MECQ in NCR Plus with gradual reopening of labor-intensive sectors in mind.

For perspective, posted below is an excerpt for the Philippine News Agency article. Some parts in bold…

In a radio interview Thursday, Lopez said the agency is eyeing to reopen personal care services with a limited capacity of 20 to 30 percent as well as dine-in services in food establishments by 10 to 20 percent.

“Ni-recommend ho kasi naming ‘yong MECQ with flexibility. We are just after sa pagbabalik ng trabaho, pero yung higpit naman ng mobility ay nandoon pa rin. Ang importante lang ay itong trabaho. We’re talking about opening the sectors na sarado pa rin (We recommended the MECQ with flexibility. We are just after bringing back jobs, but the strict mobility will still be there. What’s important is the jobs. We’re talking about opening the sectors that are still closed),” he said.

He added that the gradual reopening of the personal care and dine-in services was “partially discussed” with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

“Iko-confirm na lang mamaya sa IATF kung ilang porsyento [The IATF will confirm later the percentage (of capacity)],” Lopez said.

An estimated 200,000 workers in personal care services and 1 million fast-food and restaurant crews were affected during the stricter community quarantine measures in National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal and about PHP60 billion worth of wages were lost during the two-week MECQ, Lopez said.

The current MECQ also shed PHP120 billion in gross domestic product, on top of the PHP180-billion economic losses during the two-week ECQ.

While it is essential for people and organizations to follow health protocols and avoid COVID-19 infections, the same goes with the economy. So many have been suffering from the lack of jobs, the loss of income and, in the case of businesses, the loss of customers and clients. Being in the private sector myself, I definitely want more businesses of any size to reopen, make money, hire the unemployed and contribute to the development of local society. I want to see the personal care services to resume operations, as well as the return of indoor dining for restaurants and cafes. I also want to see more of my fellow Filipinos to stay above poverty and rise higher. That being said, I say that capitalism is the way to go and the real way to restore prosperity for the Philippines even as we face varied challenges daily during this COVID-19 (China Virus) crisis.

From this point on, I encourage you to keep observing the moves of not only the national authorities but also those in your local government, your barangay and other organizations serving you. Pray that the public servants and community leaders will look up to the Lord and acknowledge His authority over them. Pray for the leaders to look up to God. Finally, no matter how good or bad your situation is, keep having strong faith in our Lord. If you are hurting and you need healing, come to Lord Jesus (read Mark 5:25-34 in the Holy Bible).

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

Darlene Zschech and Planetshakers

I deeply admire and follow Darlene Zschech. For the newcomers reading this, Darlene Zschech is a long-time worship leader, a great singer of Christian music and she has been following Lord Jesus and living by the Word of God for decades now. I love her worship songs such as Shout to the Lord, You Are Holy, The Potter’s Hand, and In Jesus’ Name to name a few. I also own a copy of her book The Art of Mentoring: Embracing The Great Generational Transition. Apart from listening to Christian worship songs she performed, I also attended worship services of Hope Unlimited Church (HopeUC) online and learned from her teaching of the Word of God.

From her teaching of the Word during the HopeUC worship service of February 28, 2021, Darlene Zschech stated the following lines that I personally related.

 “Worship is our life before God.”

“Worship gives expression to a life made right with God.”

To this day, Darlene Zschech continues to follow our Lord and help bring countless others to Him. She truly has been anointed by the Lord and lives on by His holiness. I strongly recommend you follow Darlene Zschech via her website and her social media channels. I also encourage you to do the same by following HopeUC online.

Next I want to talk about Planetshakers Church. I often watch them on Sundays. They truly are great with their performances of Christian music (check out my Christian Music Appreciation pieces about their worship songs How I Praise, Great Outpouring, 247 365, Encounter Song, and All) and along the way they actively emphasize the biblical truth, emphasize the Lord presence and help lead people to Him. Planetshakers truly is dedicated with their enduring mission to see generations of people around the world to unite together to worship God.

“Our heart is to see people encounter God, be transformed by His presence and empowered to make a difference in our world,” Planetshakers stated on their Facebook page. I encourage you all to also read their statement of beliefs at their official website.

During their Sunday worship services, pastor Sam Evans leads very powerful prayers (which I love following to deepen my faith in the Lord) between the performances of worship songs. Her husband senior pastor Russell usually teaches the Word of God. I should also state that Planetshakers last visited my native Philippines in January 2020 and organized successful events, attracting a whole of attendees and help lead them to our Lord.

To put it short, our world has been blessed by the Lord with Darlene Zschech (along with HopeUC where she and her husband Mark serve) and Planetshakers serving Him faithfully and passionately.

And then a blessing happened in 2020…

Planetshakers organized their video program titled Friends of Planetshakers and in one of their episodes, they had Darlene Zschech as their special guest! The good news here is that anyone who missed out can watch the said special episode on Planetshakers’ official YouTube channel!

That being said, I posted below for your convenience Darlene Zschech on Friends of Planetshakers! There are lots of great moments of talk and interactions between Darlene Zschech and Planetshakers! So many great moments and wonderful sharing about faith and experiences are there. I will not post any excerpt or quotes from the Friends of Planetshakers episodes here as I want you all to watch and discover them all. Just click, watch, enjoy and keep on having unwavering faith in Lord Jesus, God our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit!

In ending this piece, here are a few significant scriptures from the Holy Bible for you all. Be led by faith, always worship our Lord and keep on being the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

2 Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV)

And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: “For He is good, For His Mercy endures forever toward Israel.” Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, and because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Ezra 3:11 (NKJV)

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.

Psalm 98:4 (NKJV)

For God is one, and there is one Mediator between God and the sons of men—the true man, Jesus, the Anointed One.

1 Timothy 2:5 (TPT)

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

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

Idolatry is Foolishness

There is no doubt that idolatry makes a person (a creation of the Lord) unholy and unworthy of becoming part of God’s kingdom. Pay close attention to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in different translations below (key words in bold for greater emphasis)…

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

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NLT)

Surely you must know that people who practice evil cannot possess God’s kingdom realm. Stop being deceived! People who continue to engage in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse, or extortion—these will not inherit God’s kingdom realm.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (TPT)

Knowing the truth in the above scriptures, you definitely would not want to become an idolater. Idolatry is truly unholy and anyone who practices it becomes unrighteous. Idolatry has no place whatsoever in Christianity, no matter what the idolaters, the unsaved souls and lost souls around us say. In fact, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is a holy scripture that many idolaters (along with the homosexuals, the greedy, the perverts and others deemed unholy) are very afraid of because the truth goes against them.

Idolatry is not limited to the worshiping of statues, statuettes, paintings, relics and people. It also includes prioritizing human acts of addiction (examples: addiction to illegal substances or the Internet), prioritizing materialism and prioritizing other worldly matters over the Lord! Many people don’t know it but they should know the truth that idolatry must be rejected and they should always worship God our Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit! Learn from the following scriptures below…

You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Exodus 20:3-6 (NKJV)

Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.

Galatians 4:3-8 (NKJV)

Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:4 (NKJV)

As it is already clear that idolatry is unholy, there is also the truth that idolatry is also foolishness! The truth is recorded in a very specific holy scripture from the 44th chapter of the Book of Isaiah. Pay close attention to the details…

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,

And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:

‘I am the First and I am the Last;

Besides Me there is no God.

And who can proclaim as I do?

Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,

Since I appointed the ancient people.

And the things that are coming and shall come,

Let them show these to them.

Do not fear, nor be afraid;

Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?

You are My witnesses.

Is there a God besides Me?

Indeed there is no other Rock;

I know not one.’ ”

Those who make an image, all of them are useless,

And their precious things shall not profit;

They are their own witnesses;

They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed.

Who would form a god or mold an image

That profits him nothing?

Surely all his companions would be ashamed;

And the workmen, they are mere men.

Let them all be gathered together,

Let them stand up;

Yet they shall fear,

They shall be ashamed together.

The blacksmith with the tongs works one in the coals,

Fashions it with hammers,

And works it with the strength of his arms.

Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails;

He drinks no water and is faint.

The craftsman stretches out his rule,

He marks one out with chalk;

He fashions it with a plane,

He marks it out with the compass,

And makes it like the figure of a man,

According to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house.

He cuts down cedars for himself,

And takes the cypress and the oak;

He secures it for himself among the trees of the forest.

He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it.

Then it shall be for a man to burn,

For he will take some of it and warm himself;

Yes, he kindles it and bakes bread;

Indeed he makes a god and worships it;

He makes it a carved image, and falls down to it.

He burns half of it in the fire;

With this half he eats meat;

He roasts a roast, and is satisfied.

He even warms himself and says,

“Ah! I am warm,

I have seen the fire.”

And the rest of it he makes into a god,

His carved image.

He falls down before it and worships it,

Prays to it and says,

“Deliver me, for you are my god!”

They do not know nor understand;

For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see,

And their hearts, so that they cannot understand.

And no one considers in his heart,

Nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say,

“I have burned half of it in the fire,

Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals;

I have roasted meat and eaten it;

And shall I make the rest of it an abomination?

Shall I fall down before a block of wood?”

He feeds on ashes;

A deceived heart has turned him aside;

And he cannot deliver his soul,

Nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

Isaiah 44:6-20 (NKJV)

As seen above, the prophet Isaiah issued a warning against idolatry. Emphasized were the absurdity of idolatry when compared with the worship of the Lord who is the true God of us all. Simply put, idols are not only unholy, they are worthless and do not respond to the idolaters (who in turn are too blinded to realize the truth in the Holy Bible).

Pay close attention to what our Heavenly Father said: You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. (Exodus 20:4-5 NKJV)

Idolatry is absolutely foolish and it is a violation of God’s Word. The problem with humanity is that when people are unfaithful or got blinded by religion or got consumed by unbelief or other worldly influences, they violate the Lord by making idols in the form of statues, statuettes, art pieces, relics and substances that they dedicate themselves to. They don’t realize it but those idols became their top priority, while God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not. They are too blinded to realize that man-made idols are abominations that actually please Satan because those idols keep them away from the Lord. Learn from the holy scripture below…

The idols of the nations are silver and gold,

The work of men’s hands.

They have mouths, but they do not speak;

Eyes they have, but they do not see;

They have ears, but they do not hear;

Nor is there any breath in their mouths.

Those who make them are like them;

So is everyone who trusts in them.

Psalm 135:15-18 (NKJV)

The making of idols is a centuries-old problem in this world. Here in the Philippines, idolatry is part of the status quo of the people and their culture. Way back in the year 1521, the Spaniards arrived here in the Philippines and brought with them a distorted form of Christianity in the shape of religion along with idolatry, traditions and rituals. Think about it. For the following centuries of Spanish influence, countless generations of Filipinos were trapped by religion, lived in bondage and were really held back from realizing the truth in the Holy Bible and also held back from accepting Jesus as the definitive Lord and Savior.

Along the way, countless statues, statuettes, images and relics of religion were made and a lot of families wasted their money to buy them and place those idols in their homes, not realizing that those are an abomination to the Lord. Imagine for example someone praying to a statue or a statuette of Lord Jesus. This is unfortunate because the idolater does not realize the truth that Lord Jesus NOT in the statue/statuette but is in Heaven and His Spirit is in the hearts of Christians who got born again.

Think about a religion-led church (living with distorted Christianity) organizing a procession or parade with idols displayed from start to the finish in full view of the people around. Such unholy events continue to happen here in the Philippines and it shows that there are still a lot of lost and unsaved souls among the Filipinos still trapped by idolatry and religion.

Think about the other people who rejected our Lord because they believed in the secularists, atheists, Leftists, humanists and other non-believing people, and looked up to them as walking idols not realizing they are unholy and doing exactly what Satan wants them to do. As I am writing this, there are lots of youth here in the Philippines who did not truly believe in the Lord because they decided to believe in the Leftists whose loudmouths became idols to them. Instead of Christianity, the unfortunate youth believed in socialism, homosexuality, Communism, humanism, Marxism, unbelief and other unholy influences. Clearly, they have been fooled by these forces of evil which involve idolatry.

Also think about the other people who have this very casual way of idolizing people in rather worldly ways. People who idolize public figures involved in the world of politics, entertainment, sports, social media, dishonest news media, Internet influence and the like. What these kinds of idolaters do not realize is that there is no such thing as an innocent way of doing idolatry, and the Holy Bible itself – with lots of references about idolatry – is very clear about that.

Thanks to our Lord, true faith-led Christianity was realized worldwide in the 20th century and today, here in the Philippines, there are lots of Christian churches that are dedicated to the Word of God, the direct worship of the Lord, and prioritize faith and the personal relationship with Him. The truth is religion is not essential, faith in the Lord is essential. Religion is not essential, the personal relationship with God is essential. Unbelief will lead to eternal suffering and damnation, being faithful to the Lord will lead to salvation. Idols and idolatry are unholy, the Lord is holy. Reject idolatry for it is clearly written in the holy scripture below…

My cherished friends, keep on running far away from idolatry.

1 Corinthians 10:14 (TPT)

As it is clear the idolatry is foolishness and idols are unholy, we Christians can help our Lord save the lost and unsaved souls around us by praying for them and by preaching the Word of God (verbally and through digital methods) so that people will realize the truth, analyze and make their decisions. We can help the idolaters and all other sinners get saved before it is too late for them. Pay close attention to the words of Lord Jesus below…

“Again, heaven’s kingdom realm is like a fisherman who casts his large net into the lake, catching an assortment of different kinds of fish. When the net was filled, the fishermen hauled it up on the shore, and they all sat down to sort out their catch. They collected the good fish in baskets and threw the bad away. And so it will be at the close of the age. The messengers will come and separate the evil from among the godly and throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will experience great sorrow, pain, and anguish.”

Matthew 13:47-50 (TPT)

The idolaters and other sinners still have time to stop sinning, and come to the Lord who only requires submission from them to become His children. To the idolaters and sinners reading this…you can still save yourselves. You can reject all those idols (both the man-made and the walking) and free yourselves from both foolishness and sin to come to Him, repent to Him and allow Him to reform you fully. It is not too late to get born again. Learn from God’s words in the following holy scriptures below…

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.”

Ezekiel 14:6 (NKJV)

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and bring it about that you walk in My statutes, and are careful and [a]follow My ordinances. And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

Ezekiel 36:25-28 (NASB)

From this point on, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists and secularists fool and abused you? Were you victimized by a religious fanatic? Have you been living as a homosexual? Are you fed up with being promiscuous? You spent an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, paintings and relics? Are you an anarchist, a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists who has had enough with darkness? Are you addicted to something for so long? All of that darkness can end! How? You can save yourselves bysubmitting to the Lord willingly and realize He is the Light! No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from a pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church near you and find your place in the spiritual family.  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly  and continue to be people of the Word. Declare your love for Him as well!

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Behold the Light of Lord Jesus

Have you been living in darkness? A life of darkness is always filled with unending trouble, deep loneliness, sadness, frustrations, temptations, sin and wasting your life away in the company of the wrong people as time passes in this screwed-up world we all live in. Darkness is a tool of Satan who also uses religion, unbelief, idolatry, poverty, wickedness, corruption, war, terrorism, and homosexuality to name some, all meant to separate people away from God.

I know exactly what living in darkness is like. My old life was composed of a meaningless period of religion which was so full of bondage, arrogance, idols, traditions, rituals and the influence of a very corrupted religious hierarchy (note: headquarters in Rome, Italy). After religion, unbelief came into my life and still no positive changes happened. I was still living in darkness.

The turning point in my life happened in early 2018 when my dearest friend in life invited me to a church where she and her family were part of. It was a night-time, spirit-filled seminar that I attended and the first time I witnessed the pastor teach the Word of God, I started to not only get enlightened but also started to see light shining through the darkness that dragged me for so long. It was God’s calling for me!

Over a month later, I got born again and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and received the Holy Spirit in my heart. The darkness has ended! My new life as a faithful Christian since started and the Lord blessed me, lifted me up and continues to guide me and lead me until now. Truly Jesus is the light of the world and there is no denying that. Behold the powerful words of Jesus in these translations of John 8:12 in the Holy Bible.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 8:12 (NKJV)

Then Jesus said, I am light to the world and those who embrace me will experience life-giving light, and they will never walk in darkness.”

John 8:12 (TPT)

Jesus once again addressed them: I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”

John 8:12 (MSG)

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

John 8:12 (NLT)

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

John 8:12 (NASB)

I do confirm that Lord Jesus is truly the light of the world. I progressed forward a lot in many ways since I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I follow the Holy Bible a lot more and kept feeding me with the Word of God. I joined a local church and found my place in the Spiritual Family (God’s Family). I pray in tongues regularly and always kept coming back to the Holy Bible for the Lord’s guiding light! I got rid of the poison of religion and unbelief, and now am led by faith and I now have a personal relationship with God. As such, I preach the Word of God and do my best to help Him save the many lost and unsaved souls around.

Going back to the holy scripture of John 8:12, Lord Jesus presupposed that the world is in darkness apart from Him. Without Jesus, the already screwed-up world we live in would have been much worse and it would have been filled with a lot more sinners, lost souls and unsaved souls living in flesh. That being said, Jesus is everyone’s hope and His light will overwhelm the darkness when the sinners, the lost and unsaved submit to Him and get born again.

Jesus is truly the light of the world and in Him is the light of life! His light brings sight to both the spiritually and physically blind. With His light realized, you can join Jesus on the same path He is taking! Why go for darkness when Jesus showed the light and the way to God’s kingdom? Behold the light of Lord Jesus!

To put things in perspective, the believers of Lord Jesus and the children of God are citizen’s of God’s kingdom. Kingdom citizens – we the faithful Christians who got born again – have responsibilities and must immediately follow the Lord’s directions and commands. We have missions to spread God’s Word around no matter how difficult and how dark the world is. Learn from the scripture below which contains the words of Lord Jesus…

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:13-16 (NKJV)

In Matthew 5:13-16, the essential character of kingdom citizens has been emphasized, and the metaphors of salt and light indicate the citizens’ influence for good as they penetrate societies that have been secularized. Secularism, no matter what its defenders and promoters say, is morally bankrupt, worldly and definitely unholy. Christians living in such societies must always maintain unwavering faith in the Lord, keep on following His commands and live responsibly to bring glory to God. That being said, we who are God’s children and believers of Lord Jesus led by faith must keep on persevering to bring light to the dark world, spread His Word, spread faith and help God establish holiness on the world as it is in Heaven. Lord Jesus is in Heaven and in our hearts, and knowing that we must spread His light around and make the world shine, overwhelming the darkness and defeating Satan. We do the good works in serving God who made plans for each and every soul since before the beginning of time!

Going back to getting born again which is essential (heed the words of Lord Jesus in John 3:3), the light of the Lord is undeniably true. Learn from the following scriptures below which are clearly connected to each other.

For you were once darkness, but now you are the light in the Lord. Walk as children of light,

Ephesians 5:8 (NKJV)

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

John 3:3 (NKJV)

But you are God’s chosen treasure—priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvelous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world.

1 Peter 2:9 (TPT)

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (NKJV)

I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.

John 12:46 (NKJV)

As seen in the above scriptures, the Lord loves people so much He comes to save them, bless them and put light into their lives and free them from darkness once they get born again and submit themselves to Him. Faith, not religion, is essential. Worshiping the Lord directly and specifically is essential, while the worship of idols is unholy and should not be done. Below is one last scripture for this bible lesson.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 4:6 (NKJV)

From this point on, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists and secularists fool and abused you? Were you victimized by a religious fanatic? Have you been living as a homosexual? You spent an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, paintings and relics? Are you an anarchist, a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists? Are you addicted to something for so long? All of that darkness can end! How? You can save yourselves by submitting to the Lord willingly and realize He is the Light! No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from a pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Father God,

I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a local Christian church near you and find your place in the spiritual family.  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. When you are at home, be in your room with the door shut and have fellowship with our Heavenly Father. On a personal level, practice Christian Habits here and there. Remember the truth that God rewards the faithful abundantly  and continue to be people of the Word.

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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

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

Christian Habits (Part 2)

Welcome back, my fellow faithful Christians. We are about to have another series of biblical lessons now. Today, I am about to continue the topic of the Christian habits we need to develop so that each of us can remain strong in faith with the Lord, be guided accordingly and keep on moving in the same path with God. Christian habits are necessary for us because they will keep us strong, protected and victorious under God who is watching us.

Previously, the Christian habits discussed were as follows: Prioritizing God and His Word, building up your faith, and speaking the Word of God. All the details for each of these habits are available for your reading in the past article published October 28, 2020.

With the recap done, we can now proceed on the next Christian habit.

Christian Habit #4 – Control your thought life

Remember when you were told to guard your mind and control what you think about? Such important are lessons are very true for us Christians but the difference is that the stakes are much higher because we are children of God and we have responsibilities to live up to.

The stakes are higher not because there are so many bad elements and distractions all around us. It is because Satan is persistent to ruin us through our thoughts by using deception on us and exploiting our human weaknesses. Although the stakes are higher, it certainly is not impossible for us to get edified with God’s Word and live with totally solid faith in the Lord which includes controlling our thought lives. As Christians, we don’t just control what we think about, we also focus on the Lord, remember the victory of Lord Jesus and live with it. To learn more, let’s look at the holy scripture below…

“This Book of Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)

The above scripture emphasizes that meditating on God’s Word is essential and that includes learning all the holy lessons and implementing them on your daily life. That being said, dedication and uncompromised focus on God’s Word will help you guard your thoughts no matter what happens around. Satan can try to bring you down by tempting you with riches or sex, or he can try to spark your anger to spread negativity around, or mess with your dreams with wicked visions, or manipulate you to worship idols which is a very unholy thing to do. The enemy will also try to deceive you into believing that prosperity from God is false, poverty is good and money is inherently evil. Satan will attack you with thoughts to prevent you from realizing the good life from the Lord and prevent you from getting planted in a local church chosen by God for you. Do not be surprised that the enemy will try to make you think about embracing Leftism, Communism, socialism, Marxism, homosexuality, atheism, abortion, religion, idolatry, traditions, rituals, secularism and other forms of evil just to set you apart from God. I should state that Satan loves to use worldly beings like fake news makers, Leftist activists and politicians, anarchists, terrorists, secularists, abusive publishers, irresponsible journalists, idolaters, atheists, religion-led hierarchies and wicked people to bring down Christians and keep misleading the many unsaved and lost souls to cause chaos.

That being said, do not despair because with God, you will be protected, get guided and be built up to be a very strong and uncompromising Christian. With the Lord, nothing is impossible! By having unwavering faith and living with God’s Word, your thoughts can be protected and, more notably, you can resist and reject Satan. Once you are edified, you can defeat Satan and make him walk away the loser he has always been.

Meditating with the words of the Lord can help you strengthen your soul and build up the defense of your mind. Remember always that thoughts really affect the words you speak, your physical and mental health, your joy and peace. Meditation will help you get rid of the negativity in your mind, and it also helps you to always open your heart to the Lord and have fellowship with him wholeheartedly. Now we can go to the next scripture…

casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV)

The key word above is obedience as it signifies attentive hearing, to listen with compliant submission, assent and agreement. Obedience is essential for you to obey the commands of God and being obedient to Lord Jesus. With regards to controlling your thought life, healing will happen when you renew your mind with God. His Word is required and you need to believe in it to receive divine healing from Him.

Along the way, you must control your thoughts to strongly focus and believe in God. Declare God’s Word by speaking from your heart. Back to your mind, never let your thoughts be unanswered. If there are any thoughts that bother you because they go against God’s Word, answer them by standing up with Him. This also means avoiding focusing on negativity and anything that Satan attacks you with. Don’t let your guard down, be very strong and vigilant with your faith in God. Always focus on Him.

Christian Habit #5 – Anchor your heart through praise

Praise is to commend, to praise, to adore and to glorify. For us Christians, we praise only God the Heavenly Father, His Son Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. By praising, we as God’s creations and children should also do it by heart (wholeheartedly). There is joy in fellowship with the Lord as seen in the holy scripture below…

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.

Psalm 63:1-4 (NKJV)

As I learned from a local pastor who is totally edified under the Lord, praising is the highest form of prayer. Praise is also a language of faith. Singing is one way of praising our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit. In Hillsong Worship’s song King of Kings, there are notable lyrics emphasizing praise that go as follows: Praise the Father, Praise the Son, Praise the Spirit, Three in one.

More on praise, learn from the following holy scripture below…

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psalm 34:1 (NKJV)

The above scripture is about the singing of praise is to be continual. Praise in the scripture refers to a hymn of praise or the singing spontaneous praise to God (refer to Psalm 40:3). You sing and make melody in your heart to Him. With a heart filled with praise, it will find expression in songs and words being spoken and really overflowing from our mouths.

More on anchoring our hearts through praise, learn from what Lord Jesus said in the holy scripture below…

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you praise, believe that you will receive them, and you will have them.”

Mark 11:24 (NKJV)

Through hyperbole, Lord Jesus stressed how essential and truly powerful faith is. This also involves our hearts. No matter how great or how disastrous your situation is right now, keep on being very faithful to Him, keep on praising Him and never back down! Being a strong Christian also means being fluent with praise, and you must remember this permanently. Here’s another holy scripture to learn from…

Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psalm 103:1-6 (NKJV)

As seen in the above scripture, praising the Lord is essential! God is truly merciful and forgives us. God is loving and caring for us – His children and creations – He saves us and heals us inside out upon submitting to Him and getting born again. After all of these holy teachings, it is clear that you must make a habit of anchoring your heart through praise!

Christian Habit #6 – Praying in the spirit

Praying in the spirit is essential. Let’s start with the holy scripture below…

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

Jude 1:20 (NKJV)

Praying in the holy spirit is vital for spiritual growth. Such praying includes praying in tongues (note: for deeper understanding read Chapters 1 to 10 of the Book of Acts, plus 1 Corinthians 14:4 and verse 14) which truly helps in building yourself up spiritually. Praying in tongues, which I included in my faith article about being in the privacy of your room for fellowship with God, is the doorway to the supernatural, and it allows you to go above the natural. Praying in tongues clears up the path ahead of you and help lead you to wisdom, revelation and encouragement. By praying in tongues, the Holy Spirit will move and fulfill God’s will for you. The truth is undeniable as you can see in the following holy scriptures below (note: key phrases in bold for emphasis)…

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:1-4 (NKJV)

He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophecies edifies the church.

1 Corinthians 14:4 (NKJV)

For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.

1 Corinthians 14:14 (NKJV)

Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.

Acts 2:11 (NKJV)

For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

1 Corinthians 14:2 (NKJV)

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.

1 Corinthians 2:7 (NKJV)

For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, To whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”, Yet they would not hear.

Isaiah 28:11-12 (NKJV)

The above scriptures are all related and connected. Praying in tongues is indeed praying in the spirit and the Holy Bible explains why we use a language (note: praying in tongues is done by using random syllables) others cannot understand but we are assured God hears us and understands us correctly. That being said, we should not ignore the signs of communication to us by the Holy Spirit. We should follow the lead of the Holy Spirit and you can learn from this scripture below…

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Romans 8:26 (NKJV)

Christian Habit #7 – Get rid of baggage

In this topic, baggage refers not to physical baggage but varied elements that set you back emotionally and spiritually. I’m talking about human factors influenced by this screwed-up world filled by many, many unsaved and lost souls. The types of baggage that set people back include unforgiveness, fear, anxiety, stress, sin, jealousy, unbelief, homosexuality, lust, envy, idolatry, pride, dishonesty and worry. I assure you that NONE of them should be part of your Christianity as all of them are not only human and worldly, but are also tools of Satan to set Christians back and separate them from God.

That being said, always remember that Lord Jesus paid the price to redeem us all so that we live on with His victory. As God’s children who got born again, we must always be very strong, edified, fearless, compassionate, loving, caring and aggressive members of the Body of Christ! You have problems, come to the Lord directly! You can get rid of baggage by learning from Lord Jesus in the holy scriptures below plus the scripture about the armor of God…

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

John 14:1 (NKJV)

Don’t worry or surrender to your fear. For you’ve believed in God, now trust and believe in me also.

John 14:1 (TPT)

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace, I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 14:26-27 (NKJV)

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Ephesians 6: 11-13 (NKJV)

We Christians all have a race of faith to complete. In sports terms, foot-based racing involves generating a lot of speed and maintaining stamina to ensure you finish the race. In the sport of triathlon, you need to have speed, stamina, strength and carrying no heavy weight (baggage) to ensure you complete the swim, bike and run stages that the event is composed of. Going back to Christianity, baggage that set you back with your faith in God should absolutely be removed pronto and without hesitation! Your race in faith is essential! Learn from this final scripture below in the New King James Version and the Passion Translation with key parts in bold for emphasis…

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)

As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race[d with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us.

We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!

Hebrews 12:1-2 (TPT)

So there you have it! This completes my current two-part teaching about Christian habits each of us must do as we live by God’s Word (the Holy Bible) and continue to pursue the Lord for holiness, enlightenment and guidance. We are truly the Body of Christ. Right now, the seven Christian habits discussed as a whole set are: Prioritizing God and His Word, building up your faith, speaking the Word of God, control your thought life, anchor your heart through praise, praying in the spirit, and get rid of baggage.

From this point on, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. You can save yourselves by submitting to the Lord willingly. No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from our pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

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

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always uses religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.

With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to get yourself copy of the Holy Bible (start with New King James Version), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a Christian church near you and find your place in the spiritual family.  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God.

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God.

In ending this, here are some videos of Christian worship music for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Why You Must Be Planted in a Local Church

Have you heard of the term church hopping? To put things in perspective, church hopping is the act of going from one church to another church to worship the Lord. Church hopping also indicates a believer’s inability to find a definitive local church to belong to.

As children of God, we are supposed to listen to Him and let Him direct us which church to be planted in. This means surrendering ourselves to Him, letting go of the hassles of our lives, and leaving up to the Lord to decide which church to join for the years to come.

As we live in this world filled with problems, challenges and confusion, it is natural for us to think of convenience about being part of the local church. Some people go to the church nearest to their homes. Some go to the church located in a community filled with lots of commercial joints to enjoy after attending services and activities. And some go to the church that has the least amount of problems with regards to traffic and parking spaces.

When it comes to joining a local church for the medium to long term, we must keep in mind the Lord who laid out plans for each of us. It is the Lord, not the conveniences and certainly not the other worldly factors that affect many, whom we must prioritize when it comes to being planted in a local church. Also remember always that the church is not just a building and certainly it is not an overgrown, corrupted worldly religion-led hierarchy…it is the community of people who believe in the Lord and live by the teachings of the Holy Bible (God’s Word) always pursuing Him and His holiness.

If God sends you a message (directly to you personally or by having one of His believers invite you to join the church) to join a local church, be assured that the said church is not only the right place for you but also has pastors who are very spirited in teaching His Word (the Holy Bible) and its members are sure to be welcoming, loving, caring and devoted as well. That being said, you should follow God’s instruction without question and do it without hesitation.  Learn from the holy scripture below.

Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Psalm 92: 13 (NKJV)

As you can see in the above scripture, God already laid out plans for you when it comes to joining a church whose community members will be your brothers and sisters in Christ! God always has good plans and He always keeps His promises for you. Once you get planted in God’s designated church for you, you will flourish! I know, because I myself experienced the love, direction and blessings of the Lord after getting planted by Him in a local church He chose for me. Church hopping has, literally, been buried in my past.

As mentioned earlier, whatever local church God chose for you is sure to be a really good one. Its pastor is sure to be anointed and in constant communication with the Lord, and this means he or she will teach you deep lessons from the Holy Bible as they are written. Their church members will welcome you with open arms, take care of you, help you in deepening your faith in the Lord, teach you how to pray in tongues, learn and perform the lessons of the bible and pray a lot with you. As the newly planted member, you will realize faith in the Lord is essential, having a personal relationship with Him is also essential. You will also learn that religion, unbelief, idols, traditions and rituals are unnecessary when it comes to having faith and the personal relationship with the Lord. Together with the pastor and church members, you will flourish and prosper with them. These I personally experienced.

That being said, it is notable that a good local church will teach you prosperity with ways to manage your finances in accordance to biblical principles. Not only that, you will get opportunities to tithe (give back 10% of your income to the Lord through the local church) and wait for God’s supernatural set-up for your prosperity to follow. Tithe, be patient and believe the promised blessings from Him will arrive. In other words, you sow (seeds) and you will reap under God. Learn from the scripture below.

Do not be deceived. God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Galatians 6: 7 (NKJV)

To put things in perspective, Galatians 6: 7 emphasizes seed faith. God has a timetable for every seed we plant. His holy timetable is not the same as our respective timetables. With seed sowing in the local church, think of the way seasons move. You will want to wait for God and not lose patience because His timing is perfect and the promised blessings will come…they will be worth the wait! While you keep on pursuing the Lord in your local church, keep on tithing/giving, keep on sowing and NEVER lose faith and patience in Him. The holy harvest of the God will come! Trust in Him! Learn from the words of Lord Jesus in the holy scripture below in the New King James Version (NKJV) and the Passion Translation (TPT).

“Give, and it will given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Luke 6: 38 (NKJV)

“Give generously and generous gifts will be given back to you, shaken down to make room for more. Abundant gifts will pour out upon you with such an overflowing measure that it will run over the top! Your measurement of generosity becomes the measurement of your return.”

Luke 6: 38 (TPT)

Luke 6: 38 clearly emphasizes that God truly gives in return after you give. It is the law of divine reciprocity and this also means the Lord’s abundance. Think about this example: you put money in the bank and in due time the bank returns interest. You give 10% of your income back to God through the local church, and you will receive His abundant blessing in due time. When it comes to tithing, never look at it as an additional expense on your part. Instead, tithing is truly essential as it is part of your responsibility as a child of God. The Lord expects you to receive a harvest from your giving. That being said, do NOT follow the examples of others who do not even give back to God and still expect Him to give them something. Again, tithing is key in receiving blessings from Him and your local church will explain to you why it is part of prosperity. Kingdom wealth is real and so is heavenly income.

Now for the next point about getting planted in a local church: The local church will help you on your relationships. Read the holy scripture below…

Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Psalm 92: 13-15 (NKJV)

The above scripture is another confirmation about God’s plans for each and every one of us. He made those plans before we were even created. In return for our unwavering faith and service to Him, God will bless us with prosperity, good health, happiness, love and a whole lot more. Going back to the plans He made, the restoration of our relationships with our biological family and other people in this world will manifest and the local church is part of the restoration process! In the local church, the pastor and other members can help you if you are willing to seek the Lord’s help through them. Do you have a strained relationship with your parents or your siblings? Did you break up with someone you once loved? Were you a victim of harassment or bullying? Do your classmates hate you in school? Whatever strained or trouble relationships you have, pray to the God in private, share the details and ask Him for help. In due time, the Lord will choose someone in the local church to help you. Trust Him on that and be ready to receive His help through a chosen instrument (someone faithful) of His.

Be aware that God does not want His children to live with strained relationships. For one thing, when one gets born again, he or she becomes a child of God and established a personal relationship with Him. Life for the child of God would not be complete without the restoration of relationships here on Earth. By simply being faithful and trusting in Him, restoration of relationships will transpire. Do not doubt, nor hesitate, let the Lord work on the restoration. With restoration, forgiveness, renewal of love, renewal of trust and peace between you and others will be realized.

God also does not want His children to be divided nor isolated. He is our Heavenly Father and the definitive creator. God also has His family and we the children who got born again, restored and blessed are the one who fill it. This is the spiritual family you will learn about. The spiritual family is God’s family, and the local church you plant yourself in is the spiritual family (on the local level, a branch of God’s family here on Earth). Being isolated, being self-centered, being filled with superiority over others and being filled with pride definitely will prevent you from earning your place in the spiritual family. Learn from the following scriptures below…

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good words, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10: 23-25 (NKJV)

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.

Proverbs 18: 1 (NKJV)

The confession of our hope written in verse 23 of Hebrews chapter 10 relates to hope of the future consummation of our salvation will never waver as long as it is grounded on the faithfulness of the Lord who promised (and always fulfilled His promises). Verses 24 and 25 emphasize the love for one another in Christ must manifest itself in works of love and gathering together in His name, especially in light of His Coming.

Hebrews 10: 23-25 reflects the truth that God uses His believers to reach you with the intention to help you, bless you, and invest in your life to become what God wants you to be. In the local church, your presence is need so the Lord Himself will guide you, command you and bless you. Be aware that – as a planted believer – when you attend Sunday worship services at the local church in the presence of the pastor and other members (note: your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ), you are not a mere spectator but are member of the spiritual family in attendance! This truth makes clear that church hopping will limit you to being a spectator than a true church member. You want your membership in the local church to validated with holiness? Be planted, be faithful, open your heart to God and be in harmony with your brothers and sisters in Christ! It is the local church that the Lord blessed before you get planted. As such, be committed to God in the local church and live up to your responsibilities as His child.

Going back to what I mentioned earlier about isolation and the related factors, Proverbs 18: 1 makes clear that being isolated will only lead you the wrong way and will lead you far away from God. If you are an isolationist, you certainly cannot commit yourself to the Lord in any church. Being an isolationist also makes you vulnerable to temptations by Satan and you will not even notice that. Don’t be an isolationist because being one will keep you out of the family of God.

As children of God, we go to church to please Him, not people. We follow His Word through learning and application. We humble ourselves to Him and open our hearts to Him. That being said, it is clear that we open ourselves to fellow faithful Christians in the local church who can offer spiritual assistance when needed. Learn from the scripture below…

As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27: 17 (NKJV)

Proverbs 27: 17 clearly emphasizes that it is beneficial and helpful for children of the Lord to be support each other as God is always watching us. If a certain member in the local church is backsliding (losing faith), another member can offer to provide support needed to strengthen the faith. If a member is doing Christianity the wrong way, another member can offer correction. If you are already a member of the local church and got problems with regards to faith and practices, do not hesitate to reach out the pastor or other members already strong and edified. That being said, the truth about these is made clear in the holy scripture below…

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6: 2 (NKJV)

In the local church, the pastor is you mentor. He or she is to be followed in accordance to the Word of God. The pastor is NOT to be worshipped for that constitutes idolatry which is unholy. Follow the pastor and all the biblical teachings, but always focus your worship exclusively to the Lord. We were created to serve and worship God, His Son Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Going back to the pastor, he or she will not only constantly study the Holy Bible, communicate with God and teach bible lessons to you. The pastor, along with the other members of the spiritual family in the local church, will pray for you.

Moving on, there is the truth that the local church will help you spiritually.

To put things in perspective, church attendance itself is great but it is not the definitive purpose because church is where we are planted to grow spiritually under the Lord. Each faith-led Christian and member of the local church has his or her own responsibilities to live up to, and spiritual growth is one of the requirements. You yourself want to be involved in the local church because your purpose is to grow spiritually, deepen your faith and establish your personal relationship with the Lord.

As members of the body of Christ (the church) and God’s family, we the children must come together to worship Him, learn His Word, do His will, and always maintain an unwavering faith in Him no matter what happens. The more you understand all the teachings of the Holy Bible entirely, the more you will understand the nature of the Lord and what He wants you to do in serving Him and helping Him save the many lost and unsaved souls around the world.

Understand that being planted is also about being obedient to the Lord. Keep on pursuing the Lord no matter what happens. Keep on tithing. Keep on being active in the local church with the goal of growing spiritually. Never limit yourself in honoring the Lord because in due time, He will allow something supernatural to happen to you. Great change will happen in your life. Learn from the final set of scriptures below…

If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures.

Job 36: 11 (NKJV)

Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.

Proverbs 16: 9 (TPT)

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Matthew 6: 33 (NKJV)

Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37: 4 (NKJV)

I hope you have learned why you must be planted in a local church through this article of mine. Always seek God’s kingdom, His righteousness and you will be blessed, protected, guided and go on to live holy under Him. Remember that church hopping is detrimental and won’t help you on establishing your relationship with God.

At this point, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. You can save yourselves by submitting to the Lord willingly. No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide. For those who have decided to get born again now, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from our pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

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

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to acquire a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a Christian church near you and find your place in the spiritual family.  Be planted when the Lord shows you the way! Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God.

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future.

In ending this, here are some Christian worship YouTube videos for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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

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

Be in Your Room with the Door Shut and Pray to the Lord Wholeheartedly

Praying to the Lord is truly sacred and honorable. Prayer is an extension of having faith in the Lord and maintaining the personal relationship with Him. That being said, prayer is more than just a form of communication with Him…it is your personal time together with the Lord and it should never be disregarded nor compromised!

I pray every day and I always pray to God wholeheartedly in the privacy of my room here at home with the door closed and locked (which I normally do) for it is clearly written in Matthew 6: 6-8 in the Holy Bible. Knowing that idolatry is truly unholy, there are no images, no statues, no statuettes and no relics in my room that detract me from the Lord. Definitely there is no display of religion as well! What I always have with me is the Holy Bible (the Word of God) and when I pray, I reach out to Him wholeheartedly and acknowledge the presence of the Lord who is also watching me and listening to me. Praying in tongues to Him is also part of the process. These I urge you, my readers, to be aware of and you are always free to decide when to pray to Him in your respective rooms and available time. When you pray to God, you must do it in an honest and sincere manner.

Right now, we can examine the holy scripture of Matthew 6: 6-8 in the New King James Version of the Holy Bible. These are words of Lord Jesus and are part of the Model Prayer He taught long ago.

“But 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 you in secret will reward you openly. 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. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

Matthew 6: 6-8 (NKJV)

Lord Jesus’ words are very clear when it comes to praying to God with the right place (note: physical location) that ensures you have a controlled local surrounding that is not only completely private but protects you from disturbances from outside. The secret place referred to in verse 6 is none other than our hearts where the Holy Spirit dwells in since the day we got born again. Our hearts are also where our believing happens.  As such, the secret place is not to be confused with the closed room we pray in.

The Lord is pleased when you prepare yourself to reach out to Him. This includes making time for Him, isolating yourself to be with Him and prioritizing your relationship with Him. As such, these actions are ways of honoring God. While it is true that we, His children, must converge as a spiritual family to worship Him as His church on Sundays, each of us (as individuals) still must prepare ourselves to be with Him more personally (individually) and privately. In other words, praying to the Lord should not be limited at all. Believe in Him and pray to Him, and He will reward you in return. Also remember that when you have fellowship with God, always be ready to quickly listen to Him, go where He tells you to go to, speak His Word to others when He orders you to do, and accomplish whatever He tells you to do. He is our Heavenly Father and with the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we will be blessed, guided and protected always. As such, always treasure your time with the Lord.

In verse 7, the vain repetitions done by the others (the heathen) Lord Jesus referred to are the empty babblings and long prayers that confuse meaningless verbosity with piety. To put things in perspective, Lord Jesus actually teaches that we must always have focused prayers that truly acknowledge God’s needed reign in every facet of life and society. As His children, we are not supposed to pray like the others who do not truly know the Lord. Those others are wasting their lives with their belief that God will hear them only because of their repetitions and excessive words used in praying to Him. I should also state that praying in tongues (which means praying in the Spirit to Him) is itself a method that also prevents vain repetitions.

Moving on to verse 8, Lord Jesus said that we should not be like them. Praying to the Lord should always be by faith and by heart. It’s not supposed to be hypocritical and pretentious. To put things in perspective with regards to biblical times, Lord Jesus wanted to free people from the pretentious practices of piety of the Pharisees.

For additional faith-based learning you might seek, posted below are the Passion Translation and the New Living Translation of Matthew 6: 6-8.

“But whenever you pray, go into your innermost chamber and be alone with Father God praying to him in secret. And your Father, who sees all you do, will reward you openly. When you pray, there is no need to repeat empty phrases, praying like those who don’t know God for they expect God to hear them because of their many words. There is no need to imitate them, since your Father already knows what you need before you ask him.”

Matthew 6: 6-8 (TPT)

“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!”

Matthew 6: 6-8 (NLT)

As it is clear in Christianity, faith is really done by the heart, not the brain. When we pray to God, it is by heart and not by rituals and certainly not by traditions. Prayer itself is an attitude of the heart! Whenever we look up to Him, we do it wholeheartedly and sincerely! And when we deepen our personal relationship with Him by means of prayer, we must have a private place to have fellowship with Him. This is why as a spiritual family, we gather together as one church on worshiping Him on Sundays and during prayer group sessions or bible studies. Between Sunday worship services and the mentioned activities, we have opportunities to individually have fellowship with Him. This means only you and the Lord having precious time together in private! Remember, the secret place is your heart where the Holy Spirit dwells.

Now that this bible lesson is done, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. You can save yourselves by submitting to the Lord willingly. No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide. For those who have decided to get born again now, please read the instructions below and follow the prayer that I learned from our pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

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

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to acquire a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born-again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family). Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God.

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Since then, Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future.

In ending this, here are some Christian worship videos for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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

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

Realizing the good life from the Lord

We all want the good life. In fact, we need the good life! As we live in the flesh in the middle of a very screwed-up world that has long been ravaged by Satan, it is clear that without God, without the Holy Spirit and without Lord Jesus, we cannot survive both physically and spiritually. Unbelief misled many people to believe they can survive and prosper on their own but ultimately, they end up being unhappy, lost and unsaved spiritually. For its part, religion (along with its traditions, rituals and idolatry) misled people into believing they are Christians when in fact they end up wasting their lives following a whole bunch of rules from many man-made doctrines (described as blessed sacraments) which ultimately keep them away from the Lord. Religion also misled people into believing the falsehood that being religious, idolatrous, traditional and ritual-oriented is the same as being faithful to the Lord.  

As Christians led by faith, we all had to go through the process of conversion (getting born again in accordance to what Lord Jesus stated in John 3: 3), studying and living the Word of God (the Holy Bible), submitting to Him and establishing personal relationships with Him. We are His creations and there really is no other way apart from living in holiness and doing our responsibilities as Christians, as citizens of God’s Kingdom and as His children.

The Lord will not abandon us (refer to Jeremiah 29: 11) and He knows well we need to have a good life. We are His children after all. To live the Christian life here on Earth does not necessarily mean living an easy life but being blessed, guided, directed and protected by Him. It naturally means not suffering the emptiness, the sadness and hardship of the lost and unsaved people around us. They need help and saving. They don’t realize it but they need to know the Lord and start having faith in Him.

As I mentioned some time ago, the Lord blesses the faithful abundantly. God is our source and His promises of prosperity are true and He always keeps His promises (refer to Genesis 39: 2-6, Psalm 1: 1-3, Hebrews 6: 10-12, Deuteronomy 8: 18, Jeremiah 17: 7, Genesis 13: 2, Leviticus 26: 3-5, Psalm 35: 27 and Psalm 37: 3-11). As faithful children of the Lord, we can enjoy riches and luxuries and never feel ashamed nor worried as we know that the blessings came from the Lord who worked legally through the existing financial systems of this screwed-up world we live in. In short, God always finds a way and His timing always makes sense. We need to be patient with Him and still believe in His works to bless us no matter how bad or how good our situation is.

Of course, as blessed children of His, we must never ever let riches and abundance separate us from Him. God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit must always be prioritized. The Lord is our source and therefore we would not be enjoying the blessings without Him. As such, we must never ever fall into the temptation of covetousness which leads to greed. To be covetous means to obsessively acquire wealth and things that ultimately will not satisfy the lust of acquiring more than what is realistically needed. Covetousness also means the corruption of the soul and getting separated from the Lord. Earthly things that are acquired without prioritizing the Lord are clearly not blessings from Him. Learn from the following holy scriptures below…

He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he loves abundance, with increase. This is also vanity

Ecclesiastes 5: 10 (NKJV)

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

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

Speaking to the people, Jesus continued, “Be alert and guard your heart from greed and always wishing for what you don’t have. For your life can never be measured by the amount of things you possess.”

Luke 12: 15 (TPT)

“I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Acts 20: 35 (NKJV)

As you can see, it is written in the Holy Bible that covetousness and greed are destructive. Becoming materialistic is bad! To be dominated by covetousness and greed means giving in to the love for wealth and material things which also means cutting yourself away from God, our ultimate creator and source! Lord Jesus’ words about guarding our hearts from greed clearly shows that we should not only be mindful of what is happening but always resist the temptation of acquiring too much and going beyond our needs. There are many people around us who believe in the falsehood that acquiring too much and obsessing for more all the time is part of the good life the Lord has in store for them. That is simply distorted and untrue! There are truly limits on what we need and how much in blessings we can receive. The abundant blessings we receive from God is great enough, and we certainly should not become covetous. God truly does NOT want us Christians to live in poverty (a curse from Satan) and He surely wants us to be disciplined with the way we live, the way we use His blessings and the like.

How to keep ourselves in check and be more responsible with the abundant blessings we receive from the Lord? You can start with tithing, the guaranteed giving back of 10% of your income to Him through your local church. Next, you can be a blessing to others by cheerfully giving something (in cash or in kind) to someone you are willing to share the Lord’s blessings with. If you know a fellow Christian at church trying to raise money for a planned bible-led outreach, then you have the opportunity to donate to that person so he or she can succeed in preaching the Word of God and saving lost souls. Cheerfully giving back to the Lord and blessing others are effective ways to prevent yourself from becoming selfish, greedy and covetous. Lord Jesus’ own words that it is more blessed to give than to receive is in reference to our time as well as our money, and that supporting the weak (the less fortunate) is something He desires for us to do for it is His nature to give. When we become blessings to others, we do it cheerfully and do it in accordance to the character of Lord Jesus. These ways are truly part of the good life from the Lord.

Of course, in opposite to the covetous and the greedy, there is a bunch of people out there who cannot help but be extremely obsessed with anti-materialism. These are lost and unsaved souls who do more than just tell you to avoid being materialistic. They will express their wrongful beliefs that money is the root of all evil (note: money itself is actually neutral and is a useful tool in receiving blessings from the Lord), that you are not meant to prosper (note: this puts them at odds with God and they don’t realize it), and that the only people to support (by means of donation) in the entire world are the impoverished (note: God’s provision is NOT exclusive to the impoverished).

I even encountered one of these anti-materialism fanatics. She is so obsessed with her wrongful beliefs, she seems willing to someday leave her children with not much left to survive with only because she believes money is cursed and wealth is immoral. She also made clear her personal beliefs that prosperity from God is not true and that poverty is not a curse. She does not know the truth written in the Holy Bible. This is the result of her living a life dominated by religion, idols, traditions, wrongful theology and rituals. As such, these lost souls and unsaved souls blinded by anti-materialism obsessions need saving and they need to be prayed for.

As such, being blessed by the Lord and being disciplined (rejecting fully covetousness greed) and being responsible (having our needs met and being able to give back to Him and bless others we could) with what we received are part of the good life from Him.

More on the good life from God, it is undeniably true that Lord Jesus offers us peace and joy that the world itself cannot match nor replicate. Pay close attention to His words in the following bible scriptures below.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 14: 27 (NKJV)

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

John 15: 11 (NKJV)

John 14: 27 is about the ultimate form of peace that only Lord Jesus can give to those who truly believe in Him. By comparison, worldly peace made by governments, or a truce between rival factions, or special agreements made between powerful groups are all temporary, ultimately fragile and each are bound to break down in due time (which can lead to another bout of fighting, even wars). With Lord Jesus’ peace, you can be assured that the said peace is eternal and will never get corrupted. This is why we should not let our hearts be burdened with pain, worry and doubts under Him.

As for John 15: 11, it emphasizes that our joy becomes full through experiencing Jesus’ own joy within us. To be full of happiness, hope and rest with Him is easily connected with His telling us not to have troubled hearts.

Being born again, we Christians must always keep the Holy Spirit in our hearts and eternally be faithful to the Lord, living by His Word (the Holy Bible). What we study in the Holy Bible, we apply the lessons in our lives.

By comparison, a person who does not have the Holy Spirit in his heart is very vulnerable to temptation and evil. Satan knows this and he knows that for as long as people do not believe in the Lord or are living with religion (along with idolatry, traditions, wrongful theology and rituals) that prevent them from achieving true faith in God, they are easy to be manipulated to serve his evil purposes. The enemy knows how to cause chaos around people and then reach inside the lost and unsaved souls to bring out more wickedness. Satan obviously does not want people to know the Lord and he manipulates them to suffer and live the painful life instead of having a blessed, good life from God. Take a close look at the following bible verses below…

“Evil originates from inside a person. Coming out of a human heart are evil schemes, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, treachery, debauchery, jealousy, slander, arrogance, and recklessness. All these corrupt things emerge from within and constantly pollute a person.”

Mark 7: 21-23 (TPT)

What is the cause of your conflicts and quarrels with each other? Doesn’t the battle begin inside of you as you fight to have your own way and fulfill your own desires? You jealously want what others have so you begin to see yourself as better than others. You scheme with envy and harm others to selfishly obtain what you crave—that’s why you quarrel and fight. And all the time you don’t obtain what you want because you won’t ask God for it!

James 4: 1-2 (TPT)

A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!

John 10: 10 (TPT)

As you can see in the above scriptures, having the Holy Spirit in our hearts and dedicating ourselves to the Lord are truly essential. Without the Holy Spirit in us, we would have been very vulnerable to the temptations and manipulations of the enemy. Satan rules over people who are not edified under the Lord and it is easy for him to manipulate the unsaved person into giving in to wickedness, temptations, strife, violence, greed, immorality and destruction to name some. To put things in perspective, Satan gained dominion when Adam rebelled against God and, as written in the Holy Bible, this led to a downward spiral for humanity. Committing sinful and unrighteous acts became too common among people before the Great Flood happened.

Before gaining the Holy Spirit in our hearts upon getting born again, our hearts contained no holiness. We were vulnerable to wickedness, to the impulse and lust of the flesh, and we were too easy to be manipulated by Satan to commit sin. Now that we know the truth in the Holy Bible and we know better, we Christians can defeat Satan by having strong faith in the Lord and doing His Word in our lives. Strong faith and being a doer of God’s Word are essential for us to gain the good life from Him. Always remember that Lord Jesus is the definitive Savior of us all and He always restores believers who previously suffered from the darkness caused by the enemy!

Now pay close attention to the following holy scriptures below…

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

John 3: 3 (NKJV)

“Don’t keep hoarding for yourselves earthly treasures that can be stolen by thieves. Material wealth eventually rusts, decays, and loses its value. Instead, stockpile heavenly treasures for yourselves that cannot be stolen and will never rust, decay, or lose their value.”

Matthew 6: 19-20 (TPT)

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Matthew 6: 31-33 (NKJV)

About the above scriptures, let me declare to you – my readers and fellow faithful Christians – that becoming born again is truly the greatest miracle that happened in my life. In my old life, I gone through decades of pointless religion and even several years of being faithless. I responded to the Lord’s call when my dearest friend in life invited me to her church, and then weeks later I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. What He stated in John 3: 3 is undeniably true! My life has turned around for the better and I now know my true purpose under the Lord.

Matthew 6: 19-20 confirms the existence of wealth in the kingdom of God which we, His children, will inherit. What blessings we receive from the Lord while living in the flesh here on Earth are not only temporary but are just a fraction of kingdom wealth. Kingdom wealth is so much greater than all of the wealth of this screwed-up world. As such, Matthew 6: 31-33 confirms that the Lord is watching us all the time and He definitely knows our needs and in due time, He will keep blessing us. That being said, the very least we Christians must do is seek God’s kingdom and achieve holiness under Him. Pursue God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and then the good life He planned for us filled with peace, prosperity, stability and happiness will manifest.

At this point, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. You can save yourselves by submitting to the Lord willingly. No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide. For those who have decided to get born again now, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from our pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

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

Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to acquire a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born-again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family).  Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God.

The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future.

In ending this, here are some Christian worship YouTube videos for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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

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

Christian Music Appreciation: Yahweh Oh

Hey everyone! Welcome back to this newest edition of my ongoing Christian Music Appreciation (CMA) series. I should state that Christian music that strongly lead people to our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus (our Lord and Savior) and the Holy Spirit is truly essential given the fact that we – His children – live in a world that is truly divided and screwed-up. No matter what happens, we must never, ever lose faith in the Lord. Always remain faithful and live up to the responsibilities and the tasks He assigned us with.

More on Christian music, some of my favorite praise-and-worship songs include You Are HolyHow I Praise, Happy Day, Because of Who You Are, I Need You More, and King of Kings. Each song is truly holy as I analyzed their respective lyrics and discovered their connections with the truth emphasized in the Holy Bible. Those songs were also written by composers who were anointed by the Lord.

Now I can say that there is another praise-and-worship song that I’ve been listening to a lot in recent times for it truly is great and really holy. That song is called Yahweh Oh, an original worship song of the mega church Church of God, World Missions Philippines. Written by Notnot Maranan, Yahweh Oh was performed by COG Worship during the September 20, 2020 Sunday worship service of the said church at their venue in Dasmariñas City, Cavite Province, here in the Philippines. COG Worship, by the way, is also responsible for Go Beyond. Also take time out to visit their FB page at https://www.facebook.com/cogworship. To see the said performance of Yahweh Oh, watch the short clip below and enjoy.

As seen in the above short clip, COG Worship’s musicians were truly anointed by the Lord as their performance of Yahweh Oh was very lively and powerful. So powerful, it can stir any Christian’s heart to pursue the Lord and have unwavering faith in Him! The performance has to be seen as a whole! I really love the song and COG Worship’s performance, both of which fulfilled what was written in Psalm 68: 4 in the Holy Bible! That being said, below are the lyrics (note: UPDATED April 21, 2021)

Yahweh oh oh oh

Yahweh oh oh oh

Yahweh oh oh oh

Whoa (Sing it!)

Yahweh oh oh oh

Yahweh oh oh oh

Yahweh oh oh oh

Whoa (Yahweh!)

Yahweh!

Yahweh!

Almighty God

We want to praise You

For all the things You’ve done

For us

You’ve shed Your blood

To take away all our sins and shame

To You be all the glory

And the praise

We raise our hands

And shout Your Name!

Yahweh oh oh oh

Great are You Lord

Yahweh oh oh oh

Yahweh oh oh oh

Great are You Lord

Yahweh oh oh oh

Great are You Lord

Yahweh oh oh oh

Yahweh oh oh oh

Great are You Lord (Yahweh!)

Unfailing God

We want to thank You

For Your unending love

For us

Your promises

They come alive more and more

In our lives

To You be all the glory

And the praise

We raise our hands

And shout Your name!

Yahweh oh oh oh

Great are You Lord

Yahweh oh oh oh

Yahweh oh oh oh

Great are You Lord

Yahweh oh oh oh

Great are You Lord

Yahweh oh oh oh

Yahweh oh oh oh

Great are You Lord

We will worship

‘Til tomorrow comes

Forever we’ll sing our praises to You

In Your presence

You have changed our lives

Now we’re ready to go  

Yahweh oh oh oh

Great are You Lord

Yahweh Yo Oh Oh

Great are You Lord

Whoa Whoa

Before analyzing the holiness of the lyrics, let me start with emphasizing Yahweh which is the Hebrew name of God our Heavenly Father in the Holy Bible. Yahweh is not only the most well-known name for God in the Old Testament, it also shows His covenant lordship over Israel. In Exodus 3: 14 (New King James Version), God told Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He also told him that he shall say to the children of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.”

Right there, God revealed His divine name and declared His character and attributes, reinforcing that the issue is not who Moses is, but rather who is with him. This name is related to the Hebrew verb meaning “to be,” and therefore, the absolute existence of the Heavenly Father is implied. As such, we the faithful Christians must always be mindful the Lord is always with us and watching us over.

God then told Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.” (Exodus 3: 15 NKJV).

For lyrics analysis, we start with: Great are You Lord. God’s greatness is undeniably true and there are many verses in the Holy Bible that confirm it. Below are a few to pay attention to. Believe in His greatness, you will.

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.

Psalm 145: 3 (NKJV)

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.

John 3: 16 (NKJV)

For You Lord, are good, and ready to forgive. And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Psalm 86: 5 (NKJV)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

James 1: 5 (NKJV)

Next lyrics for analyzing are: We want to praise You, For all the things You’ve done. For us, You’ve shed Your blood, To take away all our sins and shame. As Christians, it is essential to worship our Lord who is the ultimate creator. He created us not to be lost in this divided world and certainly not to be evil. We were created to be holy, to worship Him, serve Him, and deepen our personal relationship with Him. Becoming born again (which involves deciding to submit yourself to the Lord, confessing your sins directly to Him, dedicating yourself to Him, being guided by His Word and living with His holiness) is inevitable to everyone who walks here on earth for it is written in the Holy Bible. By getting saved, we receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts and become new creations under the Lord. As Christians, we should ALWAYS  worship Him, thank Him, honor Him and follow His instructions. This is why we have Sundays that should be dedicated to the Lord. Learn from the holy scriptures below.

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

John 3: 3 (NKJV)

Sing to the LORD, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and gladness are in His place. Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Give to the LORD glory and strength. Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved. Let the heavens rejoice, and the let the earth be glad; and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”

1 Chronicles 16: 23-31 (NKJV)

We lift up our hearts and hands To God in heaven.

Lamentations 3: 41 (NKJV)

Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.

2 Corinthians 5: 17 (TPT)

Next lines for analyzing: To You be all the glory, And the praise, We raise our hands, And shout Your name! As children of God, we have responsibilities related to faith. Faith in our Lord requires more than just dedication…it has to be very strong and maintained as such eternally. Apart from worshipping Him, we should also study His Word and do what we learned. Be doers of the Word of God, eternally! God always keeps His promises to the faithful, and He truly rewards the faithful abundantly. In return to His love, blessings and constant care for us, we give Him all the glory and our praise. We should also do our part in spreading God’s Word to others by preaching, praying and help save the lost and unsaved souls so they can return to Him (by deciding on their own to get born again). Help them truly know Lord Jesus and help them learn why He is the definitive Mediator between us and God in Heaven. Learn from the holy scriptures below.

Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures all generations.

Psalm 100: 1-5 (NKJV)

For God is one, and there is one Mediator between God and the sons of men—the true man, Jesus, the Anointed One.

1 Timothy 2: 5 (TPT)

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, And bless the LORD.

Psalm 134: 2 (NKJV)

And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: “For He is good, For His Mercy endures forever toward Israel.” Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, and because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Ezra 3: 11 (NKJV)

Let them give Yahweh the glorious praise he deserves and declare his praise in the islands!

Isaiah 42: 12 (TPT)

Now here are the last lines from the lyrics for analysis: In Your presence, You have changed our lives, Now we’re ready to go. Those lines strongly resonate with me, especially the part emphasizing the change that the Lord made. It reminds me that my getting saved (becoming born again) is undoubtedly the single greatest miracle in my entire life. To the newcomers reading this, I lived through decades of religion and about a decade of unbeliefbefore getting born again and my dearest friend in life became the Lord’s holy instrument in saving my soul. Since getting saved, several positive changes followed in my life along with the blessings and I am no longer lonely now that I am part of a spiritual family. I do confirm that change in my life under the Lord has been very tremendous and it was only a few years ago I got born again. As such, the lines In Your presence, You have changed our lives, Now we’re ready to go always connected me to the song. Truly Yahweh Oh was written by someone anointed by the Lord.

So there you have it! Yahweh Oh is indeed a great and very holy worship song. By default, it is an upbeat song meant to energize anyone who is faithful to the Lord and, in my honest opinion, it is comparable with other energetic worship songs like How I Praise and So Good (both from Planetshakers). It was written to lift up the hearts of the faithful to keep on pursuing Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God. It is also a great motivator for Christians to keep on preaching and reaching out to the billions of lost souls and unsaved souls all over the world. As for you reading this, I highly recommend listening to Yahweh Oh right now! One more holy scripture for you before closing…

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

1 Peter 2: 9-10 (NKJV)

In closing this CMA piece, posted below is (UPDATED April 21, 2021) the official music video of Yahweh Oh (produced by COG Worship) for your viewing and faith. Also included below a raw video of a rehearsal by some people of Church of God – Cabuyao with the blessed song performed by their band. As you enjoy these videos, always remember to raise your hands, shout His name and always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

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

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

The 7th death anniversary of Antonio P. Antonio

It has been seven years since prominent BF Homes resident and business tycoon Antonio P. Antonio died as a result of a tragedy that happened at his family’s home. It all happened on September 11, 2013 when Antonio (referred to as Tonton by his friends and associates) was shot several times by his son Nelson after their private meeting at Villa Antonio and, after a desperate attempt to get him treated at Asian Hospital in Alabang, passed away at age 63. Antonio has been buried at Everest Hills Memorial Park in Tunasan, Muntinlupa City, where friends and family members pay their respect to him each whenever his death anniversary passes.

His son, the suspect Nelson, is still being tried in court in Parañaque City for the charge of parricide. The trial has yet to conclude.

His other children – Xialen, Vladimir and Lenin to name a few – have taken over the family business left behind.

Prominent in BF Homes and overseas

The late Antonio P. Antonio.

The late Antonio P. Antonio was well established with many community leaders and personalities in BF Homes subdivision (which itself is part of Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas). Apart from being highly successful in the world of business, Antonio served as a director as well as president of the old federation United BF Homeowners Association, Inc. (UBFHAI).

Over in Japan, Antonio P. Antonio has his own OHAKA tombstone in a cemetery in Odawara. This is in relation to his being honored by his Japanese business associates who trusted and believe in him very much. He is the only GAIJIN or foreigner to have a tombstone in the mentioned cemetery and it is a high honor for the Japan to do to a friend.

Remembering the father

On behalf of the family, Xialen Antonio shared some insights about their father and how the family turned out over the past seven years.

“I can only say that life hasn’t been easy without our father, his demise simply put us in a chaotic life. Eventually, life paved the way on how we can deal with our loss. Our lifestyle has changed dramatically and it only made us humble before the LORD,” Xialen stated.

When asked what she missed the most from her father, she pointed to his presence, his sense of calm, and protection towards adversities. Xialen’s siblings simply adapted ways to build resilience especially in trying times. The tragedy, unsurprisingly, compelled them to adjust themselves and live on.

Justice pursued

As mentioned earlier, justice for the father is being pursued by Xialen and her family. The parricide trial of Nelson Antonio is continues to be held at Branch 257 of the Parañaque Regional Trial Court (RTC). The status of the trial is as follows…

“We are down to the cross examination of our last witness which will happen very soon. We can never be confident until we finish this trial and there are still obstacles in fighting for the Justice of APA. But then I have put our faith in our justice system, the local government, the police, the media and with the help of the community that put focus and attention to this case,” Xialen stated.

What led to the trial

When tragedy struck on September 11, 2013, Antonio P. Antonio was seen wounded and bleeding shortly after the shooting. His son Vladimir and their driver rushed him to the Asian Hospital in Alabang in an attempt to save his life. Before passing away, the former UBFHAI president told Vladimir that it was Nelson who shot him with a gun.

Back in BF Homes, suspect Nelson arrived at the Philippine National Police (PNP) sub-station along Elsie Gatches street, Parañaque City to surrender himself. Based on the written Investigation Report at the Las Piñas City PNP signed by three officers (SPO2 Edmund Alfonso, PO2 Christian C. Yanga and PO2 Mark Billy S. Carbonell), Nelson’s arrest from the Parañaque PNP sub-station was confirmed. This meant sending a Las Pinas police team to fetch the suspect at the Parañaque sub-station. What was noticeable, however, was that the report had no indication of the recovery of the firearm that was used in killing the father.

Because of the fact that the Antonio residence occupied the border of the cities of Paranaque and Las Pinas, there was confusion with regards to jurisdiction. In fact, police officers from both cities visited the site of incident. Suspect Nelson was turned over to the police of Las Piñas. A release order dated September 27, 2013 was issued by Las Pinas City Prosecutor Zelica Longcob due to the lack of jurisdiction.

After much struggle over the issue of jurisdiction, the case for parricide was tossed back to legal system in Parañaque, specifically at Branch Number 257 of the local Regional Trial Court. On February 27, 2014, Branch 257 Judge Roland G. How issued a Warrant of Arrest for Nelson who was charged with parricide (Criminal Case Number 14-0222). By the time the order was made, the suspect was already overseas. According to flight records, Nelson left December 28, 2013 for Singapore.

On February 16, 2018, Nelson Antonio was arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This was the result of a particular overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who saw an investigative report on television (aired December 2017) which exposed the suspect. The OFW recognized Nelson and contacted the Philippine police attache to arrest him. Eventually an international arrest warrant (the Interpol Red Notice) was issued by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) which alerted the police force in the UAE.

Escorted by law enforcers, Nelson Antonio arrived here in the Philippines on April 30, 2018.

Xialen’s message to the readers

“Our family would like to seek the support from our community to help us fight for Justice for APA. We want to be the living example of how we can attain TRUE JUSTICE during these unprecedented times. May we request everyone to pray for this and let this be a community standard of a wonderful collaboration among all sectors that are involved.”

An official portrait of the late Antonio P. Antonio.

For more updates, follow Justice for APA at https://www.facebook.com/JusticeforAPA

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