Thoughts on Luke 9:51-62

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before!
Christ, the royal Master leads against the foe;
forward in to battle, see his banners go.
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before!
This classic hymn, written by Sabine Baring-Gould for a children’s procession during a school festival in 1865, reminds me of my father, the late Rt. Rev. Leonardo Romero.  I can still hear him singing it with gusto, during many church services throughout his lifetime.  It was his favorite hymn, and probably his anthem, as the founding Primate of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Mexico.

Art Journal Illustration & Hand Lettering
Pen; Watercolors, & Pencil Shading
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Life On The Ocean Waves
More Mixed Media Challenge - Anything Goes
Paint Party Friday- Week 19 Year 9

Although he was an outstanding father to both my brother and myself, his position took a toll on us at times.  We never once doubted his love for us, he was never abusive, and he was an excellent provider for our family.  However, due to his position and as a faithful disciple of Christ, he often had to be away, ministering to the priests and members of the parishes throughout the vast geographical area encompassed by the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Mexico.  So what does my story have to do with today’s gospel?  Well, that it’s not easy being a disciple of Christ.

Flower Arrangement In Repurposed Starbucks' Bottles and Crate
We R Memory Keepers Letter and Tab Punches; Stapler; Green Jute Cord
What's On Your Workdesk #528
Sommerglück Linkparty
Inspirie Me Monday - Week 391

In Luke 9:51-62, Jesus traveled to Jerusalem, and encounters three would-be followers on his journey.  However, none of them appeared to be up to his standards.  The first one, who said he’d follow him wherever he went, he disses off with the statement, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.”  He then asks another man to follow him, but the man says he needs to bury his father first.  To which Jesus replies, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.”  As to the third man, he wants to follow Jesus, but first he wants to say farewell to those at home.  Well, isn’t that special, so Jesus’s response is, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.

Birthday Cards
Tim Holtz Cupcake Stamp; Tim Holtz Scissors; Scroll Punch; Markers; Distress Glitter; Permanent and Distress Ink Pads; Glossy Accents; Pen; Colored Staples; Labeler; Fiskars Paper Edgers; and Assorted Papers
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Add A Number
A Vintage Journey: Precious Metal July Challenge
Try It On Tuesday - Colors of The Rainbow

Do you see what I mean when I say that it’s not easy being a disciple of Christ?  Yes, Jesus appears to be harsh to the would-be followers, but he was setting a high standard.  Afterall, he was about to make the ultimate sacrifice on the cross.  Therefore, as a follower of Jesus, my father often placed our family time aside, so that he could tend to the sheep that were placed under his care.  If you're a follower of Jesus, you too must follow his lead, and face the cost of discipleship.  He’s not asking you to give up the joys of life, for the bible gives us examples of joyful occasions, such as the time he spent with Lazarus’ family.  However, following Jesus means that everything becomes secondary to serving the Kingdom of God, sharing the gospel and being living examples of the love of Christ.

The call of Jesus is more urgent than the need to bury our loved ones or saying farewell to our family and friends.  Yes, they should be the most important thing, in terms of human affairs.  However, they should be secondary to the Kingdom of God, which should take priority over everything else.  So, what does this mean to be a disciples of Christ?  No, you don’t have to become a bishop like my father or even a seminarian like me. Remember, all apostles were disciples, but all disciples are not apostles.  What it means is that we need to love our neighbors and make a difference in their lives, even though they may not necessarily look like us, think like us, love like us, speak like us, pray like us, or vote like us.  It means sacrificing our time off to come work at the church, volunteer to do charity work, and spread the Gospel of Christ through our words and our actions.

Bishop Jones Center, San Antonio, Texas
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Word Art Wednesday - Weeks #394-#395

It also means being good stewards of our wealth, no matter how meek it may be, to help as many people in need as we can.  For example, we live in one of the wealthiest nations in the world, and as such, we shouldn’t have children living in poverty or treated inhumanely.  Remember the words in Luke 12:48a, “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.”  Therefore, we need to be faithful disciples of Jesus, even if we have to give up some of our precious personal time and resources.  In a sermon I read in preparation for today, it said, “If we feel more secure than foxes and birds, perhaps we are spending too much time burying our dead, chatting with friends, and looking back over the plow.  Yes, it’s not easy being a disciple of Christ, but our reward as inheritors of the Kingdom of God is priceless.

In closing, I want to leave you with another verse from my father’s favorite hymn which talks about what we need to do as disciples of Christ:
Like a mighty army moves the Church of God;
Christians, we are treading where the saints have trod;
we are not divided, all one body we,
one in hope and doctrine, one in charity.
Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before!


carol l mckenna said…
Divine artwork ~ so colorful and creative ~

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
Gillena Cox said…
Gorgeous art pieces. Indeed the followers of Christ know its no easy job.
Happy PPF, thanks for dropping by my blog


Hi Arnoldo. Love reading your thoughts and seeing your art work. I am very fond of the Tim Holtz birthday cake with candle and have used it several times. Wishing you a very happy weekend, Angela xXx
I really like your birthday cards. - Margy
I love your journal page and your cards. They are perfect for our challenge at Try It On Tuesday. And now that hymn is in my head. Thanks for story about your father. Happy weekend. Erika
Shoshi said…
I love that hymn too, Arnoldo, but sadly it is rarely sung any more in the UK. Some people consider it too triumphalist, I think, as liberal views have infiltrated so much of the church! I know what you mean about how hard it is for clergy families when the ministry makes so much demand on the father. My husband is a retired Anglican clergyman and I had issues with this over many years - but so much harder for children who find it hard to understand.

As usual I love your art work, interpreting the Bible verses! The first one this time is stunning... I love your depiction of the sea!

Thank you for your visit and sorry to make you feel so hungry! I cannot give up salt either - with an ileostomy I need to eat more, not less, salt, because of the risk of electrolyte imbalance. However, there are plenty of ways to add flavour using herbs and spices instead of salt if you need to cut back - it is supposed to be bad for blood pressure etc. I frequently saute without oil, and add virtually no extra sugar these days - the only thing I buy sugar for is kombucha but the sugar is metabolised by the scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts) in the fermentation process. Kombucha is an excellent probiotic as well as being delicious. I am sweetening things much more with fruit these days, and if I need "sugar" added, I tend to use stevia. We are very blessed these days with so much choice, aren't we! No excuse not to eat healthy really.

God bless you Arnoldo, and I hope your studies are progressing satisfactorily.

Shoshi #9
Valerie-Jael said…
Beautiful art as always. Have a great weekend, Valerie
Sue said…
Hi Arnoldo, Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving your kind comment about my tag.

You mentioned you use to have a brindle Greyhound. My first one was a blue and I have two black and white girls now. My old girl is 12 and her back legs are growing weak. Vet didn't think I would have her in a year:( My fiend is fostering a brindle girl and if all works out I will adopt her.

As you miss your brindle, maybe it is time to get another one. You know what wonderful pets they make.

Hope you have a nice day. Sue

Cath Wilson said…
Fabulous journal page, such a beautifully illustrated verse. Wonderful cards for our Try it on Tuesday challenge and I love your repurposed 'vase' ;-)
You're clearly very proud of your dad - that's nice to hear.
Where our responsibilities lie is a tough one...but I believe that people matter more than things and love above all. Sometimes I fear we can spend so much time 'doing' church that we forget to BE church.
Cath x
sirkkis said…
Arnold, your postcards are lovely.
Thank you for thoughtful words and pictures.
Have a blessed weekend xx
Wonderful exposition of a wonderful hymn Arnoldo, such joyous uplifting words, I sang it this evening as I read it, it always remind me of my mid teens when I was a Sunday school teacher, I think our superintendent had it as her favourite too, as she chose it week after week and I’d sing it with gusto as was saved by then and loved the meaning as well as the tune.
Brilliant design in the first image with verse underneath, lovely waves colours and the following art pieces whether flora or cards etc were great too. Thanks for popping over.
Happy belated WOYWW. Thanks for sharing, Shaz in Oz.x #20

{Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
{Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}
DVArtist said…
Another lovely post. I do enjoy reading your thoughts and how you put things together. Your art is always an inspiration. Love the "vase" too.
Lindart said…
Your journal page is lovely, I love your style and the colours you chose, very "clean" and beautiful. I have the TH cupcakes stamps, you have used them better in these 2 cards than I ever have! Great inspiration! Thanks for your visit, Lindart #24
Great tribute to your father...and yes such a hard job. LOVE the art!
Rosie said…
Wonderful art pieces

Thank you for joining us at TRY IT ON TUESDAY
Linda Kunsman said…
lovely artwork, and such a loving and well written post Arnoldo.
Beautiful and thought provoking read. The Psalm and sketch work hand in hand. It can be difficult to live by the words in this rapidly changing world, making it even more important to stop and reflect on how we can find balance within our lives that suits us all whilst tending to the needs of our nearest and dearest.
Wishing you a super weekend, creative wishes Tracey.
artbyjune said…
Lovely art work. I do like that hymn.
Maura said…
Gorgeous watercolor illustration! I love how you've drawn the waves and doodled them! I'm so glad you joined our Life on the Ocean Waves challenge this week at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge! Maura
Beth Niquette said…
What a beautiful tribute to your father. Your artwork is lovely--I am sure he must be proud of you.
NatureFootstep said…
beautiful seascape. :)
Joan said…
Lovely cards and journal page

Thanks for joining us at Try It On Tuesday challenge

Courtney said…
You've got a lot of beautiful pieces to share this week. I especially love the cards and the way you repurposed the Starbucks container! Great idea! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, well written and thoughtful.
Beautiful cards and I especially enjoy the styling of the journal page - the way you illustrated the water and the typography has a timeless feel - wonderful!
Rosie said…
Wonderful birthday cards.

Thank you for joining us at TRY IT ON TUESDAY
JFM said…
Lovely and wonderfully illustrated~
Happy PPF. Your artwork is so colourful and happy, thanks for sharing it with us :D)
sarascloset said…
I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and message, Arnoldo. It is indeed a difficult job to be a disciple of Christ, but but we are certainly blessed with freedom to worship and share God's word here in the USA. I'm so glad you shared...And your AJP is gorgeous, too!

Thank you for your beautiful birthday cards entered into our Precious Metal challenge at A Vintage Journey! Sara Emily
Beth Niquette said…
Every time I see one of your pieces, my heart is made glad. Thank you so much.