Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Tatami Gallery - 50

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My Joy 礼拝の中 The Narrow Way

Foreknown The Great Commission My Precious Treasure

"Trust Me" Washed Away A Home

Gallery notes:

October - November 2009

After the joy of the last gallery, I see in this gallery so far (it's only five pictures in as I write this) that the prophetic ache of His heart is returning in the pictures. I am rocked because He is my joy, my life, and I love worshiping Him, yet He is calling us to follow Him and receive the burden of His heart, and that makes me burst out in tears in the Spirit. I don't know where this will go from here, but there is no better way than following Him, no matter what the cost now.


The Great Commission

The Great Commission

By Ramone - October 24, 2009

This picture came as the church worshiped with a song called 全てが生きる, which talks about how wherever God's river flows, everything will live ... like Ezekiel 47. What broke me down in tears in the Spirit is seeing where that river comes from in us...

On the back of the picture, I wrote:

Wherever Your river flows, there will be life... Now what I see (and I am melted in tears in Your Spirit) is that the river comes from our brokenness before You, and before the world.

How do I draw this, Lord? The same clay pot as in "Perfection"? Yes, and below is the city (all cities of the earth & the nations) receiving the water of life...

But the broken pieces that flew off the pot in that picture... here they are long gone underwater! This means that we find and have found wholeness in brokenness! We've let our fragments go, and they are long out of sight... the things that You broke from out of our lives. I feel like the first picture was me, and this second picture is the Church, with Your Spirit now flowing out to the nations.

The Spirit told me these words from Revelation 22 go with the picture:
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show His servants the things that must soon take place."
I am broken and in tears, barely understanding, and barely scraping the surface of describing this, but somehow floored in the Spirit by the impact of this...

When we--the Church--accept and admit our brokenness before God and before the world, recognizing our imperfection and hailing His perfection alone, when we share our brokenness, His Spirit will flow out through our very "cracks" to the thirsty, to people in the world who are also broken but are dying of thirst. His river of life will flow down the streets of our cities, not failing to bear fruit, bringing healing wherever it flows. With our attempts to look perfect utterly gone, His Spirit in our midst will become "clear as crystal", unpolluted by our flesh, by our laws, by our "putting on faces" and attempts to sound righteous and win people with our moralities. Curses will be reversed. Where wounds and curses had been sown, grace will flow, and the throne of God and the Lamb will rest in our midst, and in the midst of people who had not known Him at all, but whose brokennesses had been spoken to and ministered to by the Spirit pouring out through the brokennesses we admitted before them. By sharing ours, the Spirit was allowed to flow into theirs!

His face will be seen, and His name will be on our foreheads. We will be broken vessels, but His face will be seen in ours! We are constantly afraid that if we are broken and imperfect before unbelievers, that they will not see Jesus. So we want to "be Christlike", usually meaning being perfect and winning them with our perfection. But when we are naked and not ashamed before the world about our imperfections and brokennesses, against all logic somehow His face will be seen! Because then we will have "no face", and His face will be the only one visible! We were afraid that without saving face, that without being perfect, that all would be darkness and the commission God gave us would fail. But letting go of our artifical "light" (our lamps) to make things artificially brighter, and letting go even of the natural gifts and things we think are attractive, His presence alone will be sufficient light -- not only for us, but for all the nations to walk in the light of!

And these things must soon take place! (Or the stones will cry out!) That is why the sky is a sunset: the sun is setting on this world. It is time to be broken before God, and to be clothed in Him alone, naked and open about our imperfection, hailing His perfection alone, in Jesus' name even among the nations! Amen!


See also: "First Judgment" (at Weeping Jeremiahs)




By Ramone - October 22, 2009
All the days ordained for me
were written in Your book
before one of them came to be.

- Psalm 139:16


My Prayer

My Prayer

By Ramone - October 2, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009


The Narrow Way

The Narrow Way

By Ramone - October 18, 2009

I was praying about what pictures to display at the Jesus Family Center 2009 culture festival, and I felt the Lord stop me at one picture called The Relief of God's Kingdom of Love. He wanted to show me another picture close to that, a picture of the sheer relief of His agape love in contrast with the un-grace of the world, its systems, its values, its tit-for-tats, and how His unconditional love & forgiveness is just such relief from all that!

But I had no idea what I would show in the picture. I prayed what He put in my spirit was the relief of His words "Go now and sin no more." I asked Him and felt Him telling me I should paint the John 8 scene. But how, I asked? "Lord, should I paint You standing between me and the crowd?" He answered, "No, the other way around." He wanted me to paint Him stopping me from stoning and judgment, because what He did in that scene was just as much for them as it was for her!

Not only did He rescue us from the guilt of our sins (like hers) or the delusion of our false righteousness (like theirs), but with His agape love and forgiveness He rescued us from the burden, guilt and unberable weight of judgment, justice, and tit-for-tat unforgiveness.

I was worried the picture was not good enough because of the differing size of the people, the differing planes they seemed to be standing on, and the dark pasty color of some of their faces. While I felt that I should do better planning in future paintings, I also felt Him telling me that He knew it would turn out this way. Their sickly color reflects their stony hearts. Their differing heights and positions has to do with their "stature", as He said in Luke 16:15,
You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.
All that said, it is easy to point at "them", isn't it? It's easy to be shocked, shocked, shocked by their judgmentalism. It's easiest for us to identify ourselves with Christ in this scene, and then with a little more honesty we can then identify ourselves with the woman, the "sinner". But here I felt the Lord telling me (and many of us) to look more carefully, because there are so many times when Christians (particularly in America) are standing on the sidelines, waiting to condemn people "in immorality".

Jesus presented another way. A narrow way. A way of grace. And He bids us follow Him in that narrow way. I was surprised when He gave me that as the title for this picture. Why? Because we all think of "the narrow way" as if it means personal holiness, perfection or righteousness. We don't think of the narrow way as being the way of agape love. But the context of Matthew 7 is judging one another, and the narrow way passage follows right after the golden rule.

So He is calling us, calling us out of the wide road of our "righteous" condemnation. He is calling us to another way, a narrow way: To love as He has loved us while we were still sinners, while we were His enemies. To encourage the weak. To forgive the unforgiveable. To cleanse the unclean. To touch the outcast. To wipe the dirt away and lovingly help someone up. To identify with the transgressor. To follow Him on the narrow way of grace, the way of agape love.


See also: "Right" vs. "Righteous" (at Weeping Jeremiahs)


Reihai no Naka 礼拝の中


By Ramone - October 17, 2009


My Joy

My Joy

By Ramone - October 10, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009




By Ramone - October 8, 2009

The picture came up because at last week's Heart Healing Art class, the question God gave me to pose was "Lord, please show me something I don't want to see." You know, 'cause there's stuff about ourselves (or others) that we don't wanna see sometimes... so the question to Him was basically saying, "Lord, I trust that You are love and whatever You show me is for my redemption, rebuilding, and betterment... so please show me something I'm afraid to see that I need healing for or need to let go of, etc."

And He showed me a picture of my old dog, Rags. Surprised me because I was expecting some dastardly hidden sin or something ... I was half-afraid to ask, already feeling guilty! But He is love, and it was like giving Him permission to shine in on my fears about myself. So He surprised the heck out of me by showing me Rags. I had expected doom (haha), but as usual, He showed me that He just ain't like whatever guilt or fear I was having. That was the *other* guy making me feel that way!

So after I finished the picture, I began to ask God about it. By the way, my picture doesn't do him any justice, but it was the best I could do off of memory and guessing. In fact, just as I merely thought about Rags and pictured him in my memory, there was this pain inside and I found myself nearly crying, but I didn't know why. As I felt that and realized that I had some pain I didn't understand, I asked God about what that was and asked Him to lead me through His healing. I recalled whatever memories I could of Rags (I couldn't recall many), and God guided me to two things.

I think Rags died in 1986 (I was maybe 8 or 9) over at some hospital near my father's place, I think, and my brother and I were usually at my mom's place. She woke us up at night to tell us that Rags had died, but I don't remember much except that I couldn't really process it, and went back to sleep quickly. I just kind of slid through the experience. I don't remember seeing his body or really grieving or saying goodbye to him. Of course I didn't realize there was that unhealed pain inside until God had me draw a picture of the old boy!

The other thing was this sort of guilty feeling I had as if I had done Rags wrong, or abused him or not loved him. The strongest memory I had of him was at my father's place, when I would throw this nasty saliva-soaked tennis ball down the hall and he would go and get it and bring it back for more. And more. And more!! He just never stopped! I remember being tired of it and wanting him to stop or go away, and I felt guilty about that. He was this raggy ball of unconditional love, and I had turned away from him, and then he was gone.

I hadn't consciously realized all of this, but inside there was part of me that felt guilty for not loving him as much as he loved me, and felt helpless to do anything about it because he was suddenly gone.

So I asked God to apply His healing and truth to this. I know Jesus' blood covers my sins, and I needed release. My soul felt guilty, like I had wronged Rags. Was this true? I asked God, and He said No. No, I had not wronged Rags. I had loved him, and he had loved me! That's what God told me, and He told me that that is what Rags was telling Jesus as I was asking Him! I burst out crying. Dogs are amazing. They just give such *unconditional* love. They love you and love you. They teach us about God's unconditional love for us. So I accepted what He said and thanked Him. I thanked Jesus for loving me through Rags, and I know that Rags loved me and still loves me, and received my love and God's love through me, and I'll see him again someday.

God, You are good. Thank You. Thank You for uncovering an old, buried grief and feeling of guilt, and bringing me healing and peace there. Thank You that You leave no stone unturned in bringing us to rest in Your love. Thank You, Jesus.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Tatami Gallery - 49

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Delivery My Sabbath Forever Belongs To

The Scapegoat Your New Life My Prayer

Divine Rendezvous Wash One Another Rags

Gallery notes:

September - October 2009

I'm struck at how bright most of the pictures are in this gallery! As the first picture shows, the Lord blessed us with our daughter Joanna Mika in September! Perhaps these pictures are like her-- bright, beautiful, light! At the center of all is this new life we have in Christ, packed in layer upon layer of light in the shape of His cross, more deep, passionate, loving and rich in His heart than I can explain, imagine or know! Thank You, Lord!

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Wash One Another

Wash One Another

By Ramone - October 8, 2009 I have washed you.


Divine Rendezvous

Divine Rendezvous

By Ramone - October 2, 2009

This was done at a cafe and after I finished I had some errands to run, but looking at her sadness in the picture made something in me pause. I had to ask God about it...

Originally I thought of this as the shadow of the cross, of what You've done. Is this the shadow of the cross? Yes. But what does that mean?! We find rest in what You've done. In Your shadow. Let Your shadow fall here, Lord!

She is sad... she is confused. She is frayed and broken, out of focus. The sky is the same. She needs to look up. Look up to see you, and find rest in Your shade.

This also reminds me of a story Philip Yancey told in his book What's So Amazing About Grace? about how after a powerful volcanic eruption destroyed part of a national park, they wondered if grass and plants would ever grow there again. The next spring, indeed, grass did grow there. And strangely enough the grass first began growing in the shapes of animals. They soon realized that where an animal had died, there the ground was more fertile and life was more able to take root and grow. In the same way, where Christ's death is received, where His blood falls, there roots can take hold for life to grow.

This picture is similar, a little. Where You have died, there is life, lie anew. Grass withers and flowers fade, but You are forever.


1. A meeting at a prearranged time and place. See synonyms at "Engagement".

2. A prearranged meeting place.
She has been through brokenness and confusion, through her own death she comes to this point, this divine appointment of seeing His death. She sees the shadow of the cross, of His death, and life growing there anew in its shadow. She doesn't realize it yet, but this is the turning point for her, this is the beginning of new life, of ashes becoming roses.


Your New Life

Your New Life

By Ramone - September 28, 2009

One day I was worshiping with some dear friends who were trying to share about God with some new believers or interested friends. My dear friends were sharing about this and that blessing or thing which God could give you, or how He's promised to give you those things, and about His miraculous power, and how He'll get you work and stable living, and so on.

I sat there respectfully and quietly, but inside I was grieving. I wanted to explode. Or cry. Or plead or shout out:

That isn't what the Christian life is about! Your new life is Christ! Not a lot of things!
Everything you need and could ever want was given to you when He died for your sins on the Cross! Your life is in the Cross! Not in a lot of "things!"

Through the Cross we learn that we can do all things and survive all things, whether in plenty or in want, and we will have peace to carry us through. The Cross doesn't promise us a lot of stuff, but rather that Christ has overcome the world and every thing that will ever trouble us, and He has promised resurrection on the other side!

Yes, He will often provide ways out of difficulties for us, but not always. More than that He wants us to trust Him and rest in Him. And often He will call us to carry our own cross, which will be death to what we "want" but will be life to us!

My God! Where is that message today?


See also: "Here is Life" (at Weeping Jeremiahs)


The Scapegoat (2)

The Scapegoat

By Ramone - September 27, 2009

(Please read here about Christ, the Scapegoat)

Aaron is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites--all their sins--and put them on the goat's head. He shall send the goat away into the desert... The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place.
- Leviticus 16:21-22
"Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"
- John 1:29
My righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities...
He was taken away... He was cut off... for the transgression of My people
...We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
- Isaiah 53:11,8,6
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
- Psalm 103:8-12