Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Spring Up!

Spring Up!

By Ramone - October 25, 2008

I didn't know what to call this picture... "born"? "our prayers"? It's a picture of the bride being born, arising and crying out in hunger for her husband, Jesus Christ. It came as some friends and I were at a cafe praying for people in the area, and we finished by singing "As the Deer" before prayer-walking.

The Japanese words are,
"As the deer pants for streams of water
So my soul longs for You, O Lord"
After leaving the picture to sit for a few days, I prayed and He gave me the title for it: "Spring Up!" It's a picture of the Bride "springing up" -- arising as a result of His grace, mercy, love, and our prayers. The water streaming forward is His grace and our prayers, and she is born from that out of a dry and weary land!
"I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring,
and My blessing on your descendants.

They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.

One will say, 'I belong to the Lord';
another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
still another will write on his hand, 'The Lord's,'
and will take the name Israel."
- Isaiah 44:3-5

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Cafe Prayer (In His Hands!)

Cafe Prayer (In His Hands!)

By Ramone - October 10, 2008

Some friends and I meet once in awhile at a cafe to pray together, wait on God and sometimes worship. We pray for the area, too. This was just a sketch I made for myself, but I felt the Lord impressing me to put it up here online...

...Because He is calling us to realize that we can meet together like this, and we should! Somehow we have been locked down into thinking we must or ought to meet "in church" or in "Bible study," but He is calling us to be among the people of the world, in their cafes, in their restaurants, in their neighborhoods! Not to "have church" there, but to BE the Church there!

Wherever we are, wherever we go, wherever we meet, wherever we pray, there is the Church! And where the Church is, CHRIST is! Where two or three gather and pray in His name (according to His will, His heart), He is there in the midst of us!

Lord, raise up more people to meet in cafes and BE the Church amongst the people You love so much in the world, that You gave Your Son's life for! In Jesus' name I pray and call for harvesters to go out into cafes in Your harvest! Amen.

Monday, October 27, 2008




By Ramone - October 26, 2008

I don't know how many of you have ever had counseling (or how many of us would admit to it, hah!)... but it's wonderful. I've only seen one professional counselor (at University) for a short time, but I've talked with a pastor who also did counseling, and then with two spiritual mothers to whom I could open up and unload.

Opening up and unloading is wonderful. Paul wrote that we fulfill the law of Christ when we "carry one another's burdens" (Galatians 6:2). The few times I've been able to do this for others have probably been as fulfilling for me as for them!

Somehow, though, I never applied the wonderfulness of "counseling" to the word "counselor." You see, the Bible says that Christ is the wonderful counselor, and Jesus called the Holy Spirit "The Counselor." Somehow that always sounded very cold and factual, maybe like a military advisor. Perhaps it had something to do with how the "Holy Spirit" is generally intellectualized as your "conscience" or is not allowed to speak -- we often only allow Him to "impress" us as we read Scripture.

But one night He spoke to me about His name, Counselor, and He connected it with what I had experienced. The wonderful rest of opening to another, of being held by another, of a trusted one holding your hand, holding your head, stroking your hair, and holding your burden. Taking your burden. Taking it away. And leaving you there lying on the couch with rest, with a peace you can't quite explain, even if your "problem" didn't get "solved" immediately, you're set at peace because the Counselor is there, loves you, and you trust Him.

This is our Counselor. This is the Holy Spirit. Know Him anew today as your Counselor!


My Cross (2)

"My Cross" (2)

By Ramone - October 24, 2008 (after part one)
"Come, take up the cross, and follow Me."
- Mark 10:21
This is the cross to be carried, that we carry. It's rough and uncomfortable. Every splinter, crack and crevice is made just for me -- to hurt what I do not need, and build up my strength for what I do need. It's made especially for me, with every rough part tailored to prick each part of me in just the wrong way (that is, the right way).

Our cross is meant to crush the very life out of us, just as hanging on the cross made breathing difficult for the one being crucified. Christ hung there, being crushed under the weight of crucifixion (but more by our sins) until He voluntarily surrendered His Spirit to His Father and breathed His last.
Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
- Hebrews 5:8
In a similar way, although our cross is not made for atoning for our sins, our cross is made to be "heavy" for our flesh to bear, so that we have no other way to go on but by giving our breath & very life to the Father in surrender to Him. He gives us our cross to bring us to voluntary submission to Him, and in His strength we will be able to go on, finish the course, and drink the cup He sets before us, hallelu Yah! He will give our sufferings to us as a crown... He will redeem them and bring life out of them. And the "marks" on us will speak of life, of His life!

And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the good news, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself... his soul?"
- Luke 9:23-25 & Mark 8:34-36
"And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it."
- Matthew 10:38

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Praying for America

By Ramone - October 21, 2008

We must submit to the plumbline of the Gospel, to the Cross, and let go of our righteousness for His. The Good News is not about US, not "the American way", but the Good News is Him, Jesus the Way.

Most Christians know that the "prosperity gospel" is not the right Gospel, depending on and judging by riches & wealth. And we know that a "perfect healthy body" gospel is equally not right, attaching God's favor and righteousness to the status of your physical body. But we have been preaching a nationalized gospel, in our words and in our deeds, from our pulpits and with our soldiers. We have felt so from the very beginning of our short history. We have mixed the Gospel with our "nation", and the two do not mix because His Kingdom is not of this world. We have idolized our nation by including it in the Gospel and forcing others to acknowledge it.

He is calling us to allow Him to break up what we've trusted in. We must let Him break our foundations and bring us into seeing His Kingdom instead of just our nation (or His Kingdom and our nation).

This came one night as I was praying for my home country, the United States. I'll be writing more about this in the future, God-willing.


See also: "Foundation" (at Weeping Jeremiahs)


What We've Allowed

"What We’ve Allowed"

By Ramone - October 20, 2008

Most ancient Meso-American cultures practiced human sacrifice. The Aztecs did so out of a belief that blood needed to be spilled in order to keep the sun in the sky every day. Theirs was a culture that relished in war because it spilled blood, and thus they believed it helped their world and the universe keep going on and existing. Their gods demanded human sacrifices, and to these gods their leaders and priests sacrificed their own people. Sometimes it's historically portrayed as people nobly laying down their lives for everyone's sakes. But when you hear that children were sacrificed because the rain god demanded tears, you see the true spirit behind what was going on. It makes me cry to even think about it.

This is not a subject I enjoy writing about. I happen to be half-Mexican, actually. But this picture is not about Mexico. It's not about the Aztecs. It's about US. The U.S.A. It's about what's been happening spiritually in the USA in the last decade, and how Christians have been spiritually blind about it.

There is enough evidence that Iraq had no connection to Al Qaeda or 9-11. The evidence has been well-known internationally and at home since the beginning of the attempts to start the war. There have been enough re-tracked and re-spun statements to show that the "evidence" didn't actually matter. The war was going to happen whether there was evidence or not. There have been enough testimonies from insiders that the war was a goal from the day the administration took office. There have been enough revelations that the administration knowingly tried to link Saddam and Bin Laden in the public's eye and sentiment, and continually kept the nation in fear of attack.


Because as one Christian prophet boldly declared, "We wanted to go to war."

I don't know exactly "who" is behind everything, and I'm not sure it's critically important that we know "who" to blame. What is important is that we wake up to what's been happening, that we begin to see in the Spirit and discover our blindness that made it possible.

There are people in the administration and in the government (or behind it) that wanted this war to happen. The "evidence" they tried to assemble against Saddam was a cover. Yes, Saddam was a bad person. Yes, he did bad things. But the United States was never bothered by his bad deeds when he was doing them -- rather the U.S. government supported him and gave him aid during those years because he was at odds with radical Islamic fundamentalists in neighboring Iran. And yes, he was also at odds with Al Qaeda for his lack of support & religious enthusiasm. All this was well-known to the U.S. government even during the Clinton years.


"They" didn't start the war because Saddam was a threat.
"They" didn't start the war because Iraq was a terrorists' haven (it wasn't until the war).
"They" didn't start the war because Saddam had WMD's, WMD "programs", or "intention."
"They" didn't start the war because Iraqis were suffering.
"They" didn't start the war because Iraqis needed freedom.

What was so important that the evidence didn't matter? What was so important that the lives of soldiers, civilians and even enemies were esteemed so expendable?

One story I read back when it was all beginning revealed much of it very clearly and shockingly. Perhaps you remember that the United States sponsored several UN resolutions that paved the way to allowing for military action against Saddam because of his alleged WMD's. But before the final UN resolutions were even voted on, before the "evidence" came back about Saddam and what he did or did not have, preparation for the war was already in the works. Months before the start of the war, during the time the UN resolutions were being put forth and the administration was still trying to sell Saddam's guilt to the world (and the necessity of dealing with him militarily), long before the war began the US government was already handing out oil contracts to domestic companies for development of oil fields in post-war Iraq.

Oil profits. Power. Control. Greed. Military industrial profits. These have been the "gods" in the hearts of leaders or people in power. These have been the "gods" that they served. These have been the "gods" to which they sacrificed the lives of their own people, their soldiers, Iraqi people, Iraqi civilians, and even the lives of enemies who would come to fight the U.S.

They knew what to say. They knew which "buttons" to press in Americans' hearts that would arouse their fears, arouse their 'righteous' indignation, arouse their sense of believing that something needed to be done. They knew how to make honest Americans believe that they were doing the right thing. They knew how to sway things so that anyone who opposed America's course would appear to be suspect, corrupt, greedy, on the "bad" side, and anti-justice.

Most grieviously of all for me, they knew how to snare the hearts and indigation of Christians in the United States (and sometimes Christians abroad, too). They wore the right pins. They spoke about righteousness, law and justice. They even supported some of the right causes. And the Church did not investigate. We didn't look deeper. We didn't want to look deeper. We wanted to believe them. We wanted to believe our leaders were godly, righteous, and "God's men" for the job of leading our country in the way of righteousness. We were "a Christian nation" we believed, and our leaders were "born again". For a long time we'd actually been looking to some of our leaders for the final word on matters instead of investigating things for ourselves. And we had been endorsing them from our church pulpits for quite some time.

We were ready and waiting to be manipulated.
We were ready and waiting to be misled.
We were ready and waiting to be deceived.

We didn't want to listen to information that contradicted what "they" said.
We didn't want to hear the evidence that proved "them" wrong.
We didn't even want to stop to ask why the evidence didn't matter.
We didn't even want to stop to ask why the rationale for the war kept changing when the evidence began to melt away.

I'm not saying this because I enjoy blasting the mainstream Church in America. No, even though I am living abroad and disagree with the American Church sharply about Iraq and the last eight years, I include myself among them in heart and in the Spirit. We want to serve the same Lord. We call upon the same Lord. At times we look with no other help and plea than to the grace of the same crucified and resurrected One, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Because I live abroad, I haven't been under the canopy of nationalism and fear that the administration fomented following the 9-11 attacks and maintained until the Iraq war began. For some of us living abroad, things have been clearer from the beginning. It's been a shock to many of us (as it has to most of the world) how the American public (especially American Christians) became so fervent to start a war based on such a lack of cause and evidence.

It's weighed on my heart and caused me to grieve. It's split my own family at times. I don't hate the leaders involved. I don't hate the people who are probably orchestrating things behind them. I don't even know them. I just hate the deception itself. It weighs so heavily on my heart that the American Church is one of the last stalwart supporters of the administration and the righteousness of the war. As the evidence piled up and non-religious supporters began to see the truth, the Church has yet held on strongly, continually ignoring the evidence and plodding on in the same directions and avenues that enabled it to be deceived and led astray in the first place.

As the election approaches, I began to realize that no matter who won it, the Church would go on believing against the testimony of witnesses & the evidence and would continue standing in a spiritually-blind position ready to be manipulated again when the opportunity arises.

I began to ask the Lord how He saw this situation. I wanted to see it as He saw it and paint it. I wanted to say something about it. And this picture came. It came as my family and I ate at a Mexican restaurant here in Osaka. I hadn't expected such a picture of horror.

But this is what we've allowed. Human sacrifices.

We may believe we are "civilized". We may believe we are a righteous, God-fearing nation. Or that we were at least founded as one. That we are a "Christian nation" or something along those lines. But what we've allowed is for countless lives to be sacrificed to 'gods' of war, greed and control on the 'pyramids' of foreign shores.

Leaders (or people behind them) with blackened hearts have worn the flag and the 'right' pins, supported some good causes, and spoken the 'right' words as a smokescreen to blind us to what they've been doing -- to blind us to the 'gods' they are actually serving. Perhaps some of them themselves do not know that they are serving these 'gods' in their hearts, but actually believe their rhetoric and rationalizations. Perhaps like the Aztecs, they believe the sacrifices --the people whose lives they are choosing to die-- somehow keep the world going and work for the benefit of all.

This is a difficult picture. I confess I don't like it. I don't like what's happened even more. I don't like what's happening. I don't like how my Christian brothers and sisters are blinded, manipulated, and deceived. I don't like how the deception is so deep that many brothers and sisters are clinging to it tenaciously -- that their faith is being put in their leaders and their actions instead of in Christ. I don't like how they're being taught from their church pulpits that they needn't look for truth and search the evidence for themselves -- that they can just trust the "godly" leader in office and people who support the "right" platforms and positions.

I weep in the Spirit as I write much of this.

I must confess that I added something to this picture. And it makes me cry in the Spirit even more. As I saw the picture originally, the cross part was not there, nor was the sun or scales. I put them there because I needed hope. I needed to put something redemptive in this picture. It was too heavy for me to look on, to gaze on, to put before you the reader. Lord, if I should've done it without that part, please forgive me. But I can't do without Your cross, Jesus!

I believe that He did guide me in the 'cross' part of this picture, though. Because the cross is a double-edged sword. Yes, it is our redemption. But judgment is also weighed according to the cross: If we do not choose mercy and grace, mercy and grace will not be what we are judged by.

We have professed the cross, professed Christ, but we don't know how terribly we've been deceived into allowing terrible things (which amount to human sacrifice) to happen. I believe God is calling us out of our slumber and drunkenness (on words that have sounded good to us and inflated our nationalistic pride) because He will not sit by and let this happen forever. Every nation has a "cup" that fills up when things like this happen. He won't endure it forever -- especially when people professing His Son's name are inadvertently aiding it.

The gospel of God's grace is our hope. Repentance is our hope. Speaking the truth no matter what -- that is our hope. Praying for our beloved brothers & sisters to see through the smokescreen, to see the truth and be deceived no longer -- that is our hope. To look to the cross -- that is our hope!

And for the world, for the countless "Malchus's" who have had their spiritual "ears" cut off to the gospel by our wielding of the sword in Christ's name -- to them our only hope of telling them the gospel is by our repentance and asking for their forgiveness. It is humbling. It is pride-killing. It will offend our flesh. But it will bring life!

Lord, I pray all these things in Jesus' name. Help us see, Lord! Remove the blinders from our eyes! Shine through the smokescreen! Give us a divine dissatisfaction with believing whatever our leaders or preachers say instead of investigating for ourselves, Lord. Teach us to see what You see, even if it such terrible horror as this. Give us a repentant humility to take intercessory responsibility, to stand in the gap and repent and ask for forgiveness, and to do the intercessory deed of proclaiming the truth no matter what the cost to our pride or friendships or social standing, Lord! In Jesus' name, I pray, I cry out! In Jesus' name, amen!


See also: "Building Babylon" (at Weeping Jeremiahs)

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Eternal Gaze

By Ramone - October 19, 2008

Almost a year ago as I was walking to the station on my way home, I glimpsed something as I passed the movie theater. A poster of some not-so-well-known movie caught my eye, but not the contents of the poster itself. Rather it was the colors and what my heart put in the center...

The Spirit rose up inside of me with love, an eternal love, and it was as if I was fuzzily gazing upon a picture of a slow, eternal dance. A place where Lovers gaze into each other's eyes for blessed eternity.

It's a picture of the bride and her eternally Loving Husband dancing. His nail-scarred hand is holding and caressing her face, and she is staring lovingly ("I can't believe it!") into His eyes. There are stars in the background, but they are background compared to the "star" of her life (Him) and the "star" of His life -- you, His bride.

And the gaze begins now! Today!

And forever I'll look into Your eyes
As Your ransomed love
Your beloved bride

- More Than My Master (O My Husband!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Before My King

By Ramone - October 13, 2008

In Your presence, I forget what I wanted to say... in Your presence, I forget the "way" I got here! (>_<;) Thank You. Always. Thank You. I wanna be here with You all day, Lord God.


Monarch! (sketch)

By Ramone - February 7, 2007

I did this ink sketch at midnight when I realized what kind of 'butterfly' I am in the Lord! Awhile ago when God gave me this picture, He used the "butterfly" to tell me about myself and my struggles -- and how He was using them to strengthen my faith and teach me to fly in Him. That led to a series of personal pictures on the butterfly theme.

This particular picture came after watching an NHK documentary series called "Planet Earth", in which for several minutes they showed the migration of Monarch butterflies as they rested in Mexico. They were beautiful, but there were so many of them it weighed entire tree branches down! It was after watching that documentary that the Lord spoke to my heart and let me know what kind of butterfly I am!

When I saw the first picture ("Through it all") of a butterfly's wing and He told me it was me, I wasn't exactly sure what kind it was. And you know, I didn't bother to look it up before putting ink to paper. I just did it as I saw it (as best as I could see it from memory in my mind's eye!) and hoped it looked well. I kind of like those first pictures for that reason. But when this picture ("Monarch!") came along, I finally knew I could look at pictures and paint them better. But (haha), I thought I was done with the butterfly theme!

But later another picture and another followed. For those I looked at real pictures of Monarchs, but for this one, since I thought it was only a sketch and didn't anticipate more pictures to come, I just guessed from my poor memory and did it without looking at a picture of a real Monarch butterfly, so of course this picture looks nothing like a real Monarch butterfly! I don't know if I'll redo it someday. Maybe. Hopefully.

When I was little I used to keep caterpillars in jars. I remember seeing Monarch butterfly caterpillars and always wished I could get one of those and keep it. I think once I got one, but it turned out a wasp had laid eggs on it, and out of the cocoon came... a big nasty wasp! That was a little traumatizing! So I never got to keep my own Monarch butterfly. But I always wanted one. They were cool, beautiful, and ate a plant with a cool name ("milkweed").

So it was kind of nice to be "labeled" by Him as a "Monarch"! It's something I didn't know I wanted, but He did. Really, it's the butterfly that I knew most about, and that I kind of looked at as the best, or the king of butterflies, so to speak! And that's it's name, "Monarch"!

Isn't that true of us?
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

- Romans 8:17 etc.
He calls us to carry our crosses, to "share in His sufferings", and through that He strengthens our wings (our faith), and we find that we rise, fly and live in His resurrection. And more wonderful still, no matter how we feel, we live in Him and are free in Him, and are heirs with Him!

He is the Monarch, the Royal One, the King of kings! And He gave us His inheritance and made us adopted sons of His Father -- now our Father, our Abba, our Daddy. Thank You, God! I fly in You, in what You have done for me!


Beyond Measure

By Ramone - December 2006?

I can't remember exactly why I did this or what I was thinking, but it was just one of those things you feel in loving the Lord and being awed by His beauty, and you just worship in wonder, sketch it, and then draw a circle around it, and things like snow falling around!

I really love these words, which are from Psalm 62 and Psalm 71, loving on the Lord and in incredible loving wonder at Him.


Wisdom (Kanji)

By Ramone - Autumn 2006

Yoko and I were talking at a cafe or donut shop, I think, when this came up. Perhaps it was when we were thinking of names for our son? These are the Japanese characters (derived from Chinese originally) called "kanji". In this case, these kanji make up the word "wisdom" (pronounced "chi-e"). It is often a girl's name.

I wrote it down at the time because I was impressed by the individual meanings of the two kanji. The first character is "know" or "knowing", and the second character is "grace", "favor" or "blessing".

You could say then that "wisdom" means "knowing grace".



I'm putting this up for my friends Leslie & Laura Camacho in the States, whose daughter Sophia ("wisdom" in Greek) turned two recently! Happy birthday, Sophia! May you know His grace above all! In Jesus' name, amen.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


On Your Ruins

By Ramone - October 6, 2008
"I will restore you to health, and heal your wounds," declares the Lord... "I will build you up again, and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful... The city will be rebuilt on her ruins."

- Jeremiah 30:17, 31:4, 30:18
We get hurt in life, and at times we feel like we've been destroyed. But that is never the end of things with God. He brings us healing no matter how destroyed we feel. He redeems us and re-builds us. And what the enemy meant to harm us, God will turn into a blessing. He will re-build us on our ruins! In the very places that we've been hurt, broken and wounded, God will rebuild us right there.
"More Than My Master (O My Husband!)"

O My precious dove, My forsaken one
Hurt and desolate, hear Me call in love
You have ravished and so enthralled this King
I gave My life for you so that You might sing

O my Husband
O my Husband
More than my Master
You are my Lover

In your deserts and valleys of trouble
Know My heart for you is unshakeable
And through brokenness you will be restored
Washed and radiant, honored by your Lord

And forever I’ll look into Your eyes
As Your ransomed love
Your beloved bride








Come, Lord! (2)

By Ramone - October 1, 2008 (after the original version)

There's a lot that can be said about this picture. It came as I was worshiping with my family at Jesus Family Center (church), singing a song in Japanese about asking the Lord for His heart, asking Him to heal the land and bring revival. I saw a picture of Jesus giving us His heart...

And it's too big for us: bigger than our walls will allow. They're creaking, they're breaking. We've asked for Him for so long (thank You, Lord!) and He is coming to answer our cry! But as Mike Bickle wrote, before He is coming for the Church, He is coming to the Church. Before He comes to bring us resurrection bodies, He is coming for our hearts. Before He gives us Himself at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, He wants to give us His heart -- He wants us to accept His heart.

It is going to break us.

Break our hearts, Lord, break our hearts with Your heart. Break our walls. Give us so much of Your heart, Lord, that it is painful, in Jesus' name. Let Your love make our walls come crashing down so that the world may know Father has sent You, that You are the One, that it is all about You and not about us, and that we may pour out our lives for You and for the ones You love so much. In Jesus' name I ask: COME, LORD! Amen!

Friday, October 03, 2008


Eternally Precious

Being sick sucks. I've had to take off four days of work this week, and haven't been able to even take advantage of the time at home to do some art (I did put the finishing touches on this piece, though, and did this piece quickly when I was feeling good).

I was just at the doctor's office for the second time this week. While waiting for the "doctor's note" to give to my boss, my dry throat started up some coughing and I got up to ask for some water. While drinking I looked at some of the pictures on the wall... you know, those kinds of things that you always see in doctors' offices: watercolor & pen prints of pictures of beaches or cafes or famous sights. I remembered something I had read in John Eldredge's book, The Journey of Desire,
Scripture tells us that God has "set eternity" in our hearts (Eccl. 3:11 NIV)...

The return of Spring brings such relief and joy and anticipation. Life has returned, and with it sunshine, warmth, color, and the long summer days of adventure together. We break out the lawn chairs and the barbecue grill. We tend the garden and drink in all the beauty. We head off for vacations. Isn't this what we most deeply long for? To leave the winter of the world behind, what Shakespeare called "the winter of our discontent," and find ourselves suddenly in the open meadows of summer?

I am standing in my hotel room, which looks like every other hotel room I've been in over the past ten years. When you travel for a living, the excitement of hotel stays wears off pretty quickly. There is a picture on the wall, a painting of a small harbor town. It appears to be somewhere in the Mediterranean, with its azure seas and whitwashed walls. I think of the Greek islands, perhaps Santorini. Sunlight fills the place, and small boats drift lazily in the bay. There are cafes, I am sure, filled with laughter. Along the plaza, lovers stroll hand in hand. The seas are warm and inviting. It evokes a longing, but not for vacation. Vacations end. The longing evoked by the painting is for a life that never ends.

- John Eldredge, The Journey of Desire
There's something peaceful in those paintings, which is precisely why doctors choose them for their offices. They set you at ease, even if you're not looking at them. And often when we go to the doctor we need to be set at ease, especially at dentists' offices!

"Artists" often find these kinds of pictures boring. I can understand that. My friends and I in university used to go to Laguna beach where the town is lined with art galleries, most often filled with these kinds of pictures. Pictures that don't "say anything", don't strive to "be original" or do something "different". They're unambitious, cliche, and yet represent everything that common people long for -- idyllic peace, finally being able to relax. A life better than vacation, one which does not end. Perhaps this is why they're so distasteful to more "enlightened" artists who have left beauty behind in order to strive for a different goal.

My eyes drifted over to another wall which had two famous Van Gogh paintings, one of them being the Café Terrace at Night --

Maybe that's why I like Van Gogh's art. He also longed for that "eternity" and painted pictures of its beauty in everyday life -- snapshots of everyday beauty that speak of eternity, of eternally precious things in us, in our lives, and how eternally precious we ourselves are.

I then heard a beautiful tune playing in the background that I recognized. It took me a minute to recall from where, but finally I realized it was Atlantic Starr's early 90's hit, "Masterpiece"! How interesting. How wonderful the timing. Thank You, God. The words of the chorus came back to me,
Oh, I've found a masterpiece in you
a work of art it's true
And I treasure you my love
Oh, I've found a masterpiece in you
a work of art it's true
And I treasure you
Isn't it God speaking to us? Yes, the song was written for male-female romantic love, but even our love speaks of a deeper longing, an eternal longing. Our romantic love is something precious, a foretaste of what's to come and what does not end.

As I came home and looked up the lyrics, I felt like "God, I could sing this to You!" The song could almost be the Bride (us) speaking to the Bridegroom (Christ), and then the Bridegroom replying back to us, in love with His masterpiece, His work of art, His treasured bride.

A simple touch of Your hand,
And everything is right.
The gentle way You look at me,
When You kiss me goodnight.
You've given me the freedom no other love has known
And now I thank you Lord, thank you Lord

The countless ways You've touched my heart
Is more than I can say
The beauty that You've shown to me
takes my breath away
A picture perfect painting, that's what Your love is
And yes I need You so, and now I know
Oh, I've found a masterpiece in you
a work of art it's true
And I treasure you My love
Oh, I've found a masterpiece in you
a work of art it's true
And I treasure you
Sometimes I wonder what I'd be
Had I not found You
A least and lonely soul this world
could show me nothing new

But now my life's a canvas
painted with Your love
And it will always be
And now I see

The gentle walks together
Through time will never pass
This fairy tale we shared
is real inside our hearts
It will be forever
You'll never let it end
this promise You have made
Heaven is what You gave
Oh, I've found a masterpiece in you
a work of art it's true
And I treasure you My love
Oh, I've found a masterpiece in you
a work of art it's true
And I treasure you
When I'm lost and insecure
You build me up and make me sure
that everything will be alright
My love
Oh, I've found a masterpiece in you
a work of art it's true
And I treasure you My love
Oh, I've found a masterpiece in you
a work of art it's true
And I treasure you
(This fairy tale we're sharing
is real inside our hearts
It will be forever
You'll never let it end)

- "Masterpiece" by Atlantic Starr, adapted by Ramone Romero


Daddy's Little Girl (2)


By Ramone - October 3, 2008 (after b&w original)
She matters to Him!

She's not little in His eyes.

She is precious to Him.

Her love is great to Him.

His love is great to her.

His love is set on her.

He is captivated by her.

She is captivated by Him.



"Daddy's Little Girl"

No matter how small you feel, no matter how much attention others give you or don't give you, you are BIG in Daddy's eyes! You are HUGE in your Daddy's heart! Father God is our Daddy, and He loves you. He has given everything just to hold you in His arms forever. You are "Daddy's Little Girl" forever!


Jesus Family Communion

By Ramone - September 28, 2008

Last Saturday we visited Jesus Family Center (church) and had communion. As I'd drawn once in the past (see "This is My Body"), they split up into small groups to pray together and receive His body & blood together. I was in a group of three. I didn't do any talking, and couldn't understand the prayers in Japanese of the other two, but I was blessed. I felt like I was giving Jesus a hug -- or the other way around. I was overwhelmed at what He's given us in His sacrifice. Thank You, Lord Jesus.