Christian Music Appreciation: Thank You, Lord

God is our creator, our father and our source. The Lord is our provider (Jehova-Jireh) as it was written in Genesis 22: 14 in the Holy Bible: And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”

Truly the Lord is the ultimate source of opportunities, blessings, progress, prosperity and so much more. God makes His way through the world’s economic systems to provide us with the money and other essential resources we need to survive and grow.

Ultimately, in return to receiving provisions from Him, we the creations of God are meant to thank Him in return deeply.

This brings me to a wonderful Christian praise-and-worship song that was played at our church by the very talented band – Thank You, Lord.

Thank You, Lord is a song from the Hillsong Worship album “God Is In The House” which was released way back in 1996. It was written by Dennis Jernigan. Below are the lyrics.

For all that You’ve done, I will thank You

For all the You’re going to do

For all that You’ve promised

And all that You are

Is all that has carried me through

Jesus I thank You

And I thank You

Thank You Lord

And I thank You

Thank You Lord

Thank You for loving and setting me free

Thank You for giving Your life just for me

How I thank You

Jesus I thank You

Gratefully thank You thank You

It is truly a very beautiful song and a very ideal song to sing when thanking the Lord at church. Beyond the beauty of it, it is important to take note of the key parts of the lyrics.

Here’s a look at the opening section of the lyrics.

For all that You’ve done, I will thank You

For all the You’re going to do

For all that You’ve promised

And all that You are

Is all that has carried me through

Jesus I thank You

That section reminds me of the holy message in Psalm 107: 8-9 (NKJV) which goes as follows:

Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.

In reality, God created us all to worship Him and serve Him while living our personal lives with holiness under Him. He did not create us to be evil. As His creations, we are not meant to be consumed by poverty, darkness and frustration. For as long as we are faithful to the Lord, He will take care of us and provide for our needs in ways that go beyond our understanding while we live in the flesh. God always keeps His promises and we all have to be patient for the promise to be fulfilled because whatever turns out is always worth the wait for it came from Him.

As we are blessed and loved by Him, we should give thanks. Look at this scripture from Psalm 95: 2-3 (NKJV).

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is the great God, And the King above all gods!

God is great and the ultimate provider, the ultimate father and the ultimate justice! He is always the greatest no matter where you live in and no matter how many deities or idols there are in the culture of the place you live in. If we resort to idolatry worshiping people, the false gods or whatever, life will be hollow, sad and filled with darkness. But with God, we will be blessed and taken cared of by Him for as long as we remain faithful to Him. God is real and He is watching us all. All the more reason for us to thank God, give back to Him and honor Him! The above scripture relates well with the song’s line: For all that You’ve done, I will thank You.

Now let’s take a look at the scripture in 1 Chronicles: 34 (NKJV).

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

God is not only the ultimate provider, He is also very generous and kind to the faithful ones. It is a fact that the Lord rewards the faithful abundantly. The mention of His mercy enduring forever is related to His forgiving of those who repented to Him and submitted themselves to His authority. This alone is another great reason we have to be thankful to Him.

Going back to the song Thank You, Lord, you can clearly see now why it is a great and holy song to perform when thanking God for the love, the care and provisions He blessed us with in return for being faithful to Him.

Of course, while you are free to enjoy His blessings, don’t be too focused on yourself (avoid covetousness, greed, selfishness and the like) and never let your wants dominate you. Being blessed, remind yourself to give something back to Him (note: at least 10% of your income through tithing) and become a blessing to others. Without God, none of the blessings would happen and our existence would have been hollow.

In closing this piece, watch below the official Hillsong YouTube video of their 1996 performance of Thank You, Lord.

Enjoy it and always be faithful and thankful 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

For other Christian Music Appreciation articles related to Hillsong, click the highlighted below.

You Are Holy

The Potter’s Hand

The Stand

 

 

Reject Halloween, Stand With God

In my old life, I used to be fond of celebrating Halloween. Having been Born Again, I realized my true purpose in life under God the Father and His Son Jesus. That being said, I realized how wrong it is to celebrate which is essentially evil and unholy for any Christian (including those who practice idolatry which itself is sinful). Halloween will take Christians away from the Lord and that alone is reason enough to reject it.

Halloween’s origin is Celtic by nature and it is connected with observing the sacrifices to gods under the Druidic culture. There is also Samhain, a dark lord who sends out evil souls to attack humans can only save themselves by disguising themselves with the images of those very evil souls.

Sounds familiar? It is because there are these modern day Halloween practices that are linked to the evil rites and superstitions of Halloween. In the modern world where Halloween gets celebrated, people (including many children) go out and around their local communities wearing costumes of horror figures like zombies, demons, monsters and pop culture-related villains (examples: Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers). These costumed Halloween participants, looking horrific, would visit any household that offers candy for trick-or-treat. Wearing “non-horror” costumes like superhero attire or fantasy attire (example: dressed like a princess) does NOT reduce the evil that comes with Halloween. There is no such thing as an innocent way of celebrating Halloween.

And then there are those multimedia-related ways of celebrating Halloween like watching horror movies back to back or playing video games that carry strong horror themes. There is also the business aspect of Halloween as food retailers promote the season by linking it with selling candy and chocolate (clearly to take advantage of families or groups that intend to give away the sweets during trick-or-treat Halloween celebrations in the local communities).

Halloween trick-or-treat here in the Philippines even made its way to local government units. In October of 2016 and 2017, the City Government of Parañaque organized trick-or-treat at City Hall which attracted kids wearing costumes (including horror and superhero attire) who visited varied offices that give away candy. During those times, the City Government even organized special events at the nearby city sports complex celebrating Halloween which I find rather disturbing.

In my old life, I enjoyed celebrating Halloween and I used to ignore the claims that it was unholy and evil. While I never went out for trick-or-treat as a kid, I helped out in giving candy to costumed visitors. I also hiked around the local area photographing the Halloween activities flocked by participants, and then uploading those pics online for social media users to view. I also took time celebrating Halloween by watching horror movies.

Looking back, I honestly admit that celebrating Halloween was indeed wrong. Now that I’m a saved soul and a dedicated Christian with a living relationship with the Lord, I declare that Halloween is wrong, unholy and evil. Halloween is a popular tool used by Satan to take people away from God and Jesus. Halloween definitely should be rejected always and we Christians must always be with God. Let me discuss the following points.

“Is it okay for a Christian to celebrate Halloween?”

The answer is a definite NO. Let’s take a look at the Holy Scripture below.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons

1 Corinthians 10: 21 (NKJV)

And now the Amplified version.

You cannot drink [both] the Lord’s cup and the cup of demons. You cannot share in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons [thereby becoming partners with them].

1 Corinthians 10: 21 (AMP)

Very clearly, there is no room to worship both the Lord and evil. If you want to be with the side of God and Jesus, you really need to purify yourself and free yourself from whatever form of evil thrown at you by Satan. Satan is a loser indeed, however he still exists because Adam gave him dominion (read about Adam’s Rebellion) and as long as he exists, he will do anything to take you away from God, to prevent you from worshiping the Lord and will use anything (including religion and idolatry) to prevent you from making progress with the Lord. Halloween is one of Satan’s weapons against Christianity. Halloween is also a long-time tool of the enemy to embrace evil.

If you sinned by celebrating Halloween and committing other sinful acts in your past, you can still be saved (note: you need to be born again to be saved. Heed the words of Jesus in John 3: 3) because God is merciful and you need to be willing to repent, submit to Him and dedicate yourself to Him with an established personal relationship with Him.

Be aware that goodness comes from God and evil comes from Satan. It’s as clear as night and day. If you are a saved soul, then it is clear you should stand with God and His Son Jesus. Being dedicated to the Lord will spare you from evil, and that takes willingness and decisiveness from your end.

Learn from this Holy Scripture.

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2: 1-10 (NKJV)

Each and every one of us was created to be loyal, faithful, loving and dedicated towards our Heavenly Father God and His Son Lord Jesus even as we were granted the freedom to think, act and decide. Even before we were even made, God established a plan for each and every one of us. Worshiping Satan, embracing evil, celebrating Halloween and living a life full sin and wickedness are obviously NOT part of God’s plan for us all.

By realizing the true purpose of your existence under God, you will realize that it is your destiny to be saved and to be faithful (not religious) to the Lord. Satan used a whole lot of tools to prevent God’s creations from being with Him. Satan used not only Halloween but also religion, idolatry, money, power, destruction, secularism, atheism, agnosticism, entertainment and a whole batch of other tools to bring Christians down and make evil stronger.

Going back to Halloween, that celebration of evil includes witchcraft which is an abomination! In our world, it is too easy for people to go out wearing costumes to look like witches and this alone spreads the influence of evil around. There are also filmmakers and other creative people out there who made witchcraft look cool or even a good custom to practice. The 1996 Hollywood movie The Craft is one such example of spreading Satan’s influence to the public and I personally recommend to you readers to avoid watching that movie (note: destroy whatever physical or digital copies you have of it) at all. Witchcraft and related stuff like sorcery, necromancy and magic are abominations as written in the Holy Bible. Read the Holy Scripture below.

“When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.”

Deuteronomy 18: 9-12

Those abominations that look good in entertainment media are all made to deceive you and prevent you from achieving progress and purity with the Lord. From time to time, there are media reports about real life people who practice witchcraft, sorcery and other unholy customs that make this world a terrible place under the eyes of God. That is, obviously, very unfortunate because it proves how screwed up our physical world really is.

Even appearances can add to the influence of evil. You think going out in local community Halloween celebrations dressed as a witch, or as a magician or as a sorcerer (or even cosplaying as Marvel’s Doctor Strange) is okay with the Lord for as long as you don’t practice witchcraft and the like? Wrong! Imagery or appearances of evil spread evil and deceives others. Such imagery also will influence people to embrace idolatry which itself is a sin. Idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God!

Rejecting Halloween Effectively

You might be wondering: how are we Christians supposed to reject Halloween and its evil effectively?

First, we must realize our purpose as Christians from the following Holy Scripture.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in this world.

1 John 4: 4 (NKJV)

And the Amplified version…

Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].

1 John 4: 4 (AMP)

With that Holy Scripture in two versions, it is clear that as children of God, we are victorious for we believe in the victory of Jesus over Satan. With God on our side, nothing is impossible and we have the power to reject fear, reject evil and reject Satan ultimately. It is by faith in the Lord, not religion and not idolatry, that Christians are special and holy. Stronger than Satan too.

With God on our side, Halloween’s global popularity can be wiped away and its influence of evil on others can be removed and be replaced with the goodness and the biblical truth emphasizing the holiness and victory of Jesus.

If you are looking for practical ways to reject Halloween (and Satan), I would suggest the following:

Instead of watching horror movies or anything that carries the influence of evil, go watch YouTube videos of Christian praise-and-worship songs like the following below.

Instead of going out on Halloween trick-or-treat, pray to the Lord in your room with the door shut (refer to Matthew 6: 6 in the Holy Bible) and be aware that in this way, the Lord is in a secret place and when He sees in secret, you will be rewarded openly. If your church is open or has a holy activity at the same time as Halloween is being held on October 31, make an effort to go to church with the Lord in mind.

Instead of looking at evil images or reading materials that are related to Halloween, better read the Holy Bible or a Christian book.

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Christian books that you must read.

By now, it is clear that as Christians we must always maintain strong faith, trust and dedication to God and His Son Jesus. It also means we must be pure in holiness and there definitely is no room for us to accommodate evil in all its forms. As such, Halloween must be rejected always and its evil presence only means we must persevere more to meet God’s high call. We are all God’s creations and He made plans for each and every one of us even before we were even created. Obviously we were NOT created to worship nor magnify evil at all! We are destined to be saved (be born again) and live in holiness following Jesus. We pray to Him, serve Him, thank Him and dedicate ourselves to Him for the rest of our time.

Let me end this with one more Holy Scripture.

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.

Colossians 1: 13 (NKJV)


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

Christian Music Appreciation: You Are Holy

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. You can order the album right here and here. 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