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

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

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

Here are the lyrics…

Beautiful Lord, wonderful Savior

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

And crafted into Your perfect plan

You gently called me into Your presence

Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit

Teach me dear Lord, to live all of my life

Through Your eyes

 

And I’m captured by Your Holy calling

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

Lead me Lord, I pray

 

Take me

Mold me

Use me

Fill me

I give my life to the Potter’s hand

Call me

Guide me

Lead me

Walk beside me

I give my life to the Potter’s hand

 

You gently call me into Your presence

Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit

Teach me dear Lord, to live all of my life

Through Your eyes

So what does the song mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You gently called me into Your presence

Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit

Teach me dear Lord, to live all of my life

Through Your eyes

 

And I’m captured by Your Holy calling

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

Lead me Lord, I pray

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

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

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


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

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Christian Music Appreciation: The Heart of Worship (June 30, 2019)

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

Below are the lyrics for your reference.

+++++

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

Meet Lynn Minmay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to your fellow Macross and anime fans. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your project or business, check out my services.