Be Ready

Some fellas look at the eyes,
Some fellas look at the nose
Some fellas look at the size
Some fellas look at the clothes
I don’t care if her eyes are red
I don’t care if her nose is long
I don’t care if she’s underfed
I don’t care if her clothes are worn
…First I look at the purse!
…If the purse is fat, that’s where it’s at!
The lyrics of this 1965 song which was released by the Contours, a Motown men’s soul group, and later covered by Rod Stewart, in 1993, SAYS IT ALL!  Yes, we live in a materialistic world, that often overlooks what’s really important in life, and most importantly, our salvation.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus begins with an affirmation, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you his kingdom.  It’s absolutely free to us.  As a matter of fact, all he requests of us is that we sell our possession to give alms, that is, food and money to the poor.  He tells us to make purses that don’t wear out, for “where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.  The latter dresses us for action as we wait for our Master.  For he tells us, blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes, for he will serve them, if he finds them so.  He doesn’t tell us when he’ll come, but lets us know that the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.  

Although a beautiful passage to read, it may appear a little scary.  After all, are we ready to receive our master, the Son of Man, if he was to come in RIGHT NOW through the front doors of St. James’ Episcopal Church?  Well, let it be known that we are saved in Christ’s grace through the Spirit, in the life and sacraments of our church.  We are buried with Christ in his death and share his resurrection through the water of our Baptism.  In addition, the consecrated elements of the eucharist are the bread of life and the cup of salvation for God’s people.  Thank God, for otherwise, I believe most of us would not be saved.

The Journey Begins
Tim Holtz Dies, Embossing Folder, Stamps, Tissue, Distress Inks; Acrylic Paints; Assorted Papers; K&Company Fish; Markers and Pen
Three Muses: Art In Round
T Stands for Journey

However, as Christ followers, we are also given a specific directive in today’s Gospel.  Besides asking us to give alms, he asks us to “make pursesthat don’t wear out.  Other than the fact that a purse may be the equivalent of a wallet for many of us these days, what does that mean?  Should we all go out and buy Dooney and Bourke’s,  Coach’s, Louis Vuitton’s, or other such designer purses and wallets which are made of the highest quality materials and under the strictest of quality control circumstances?  Well, although some of us would certainly love that, I’m sure you know this is NOT what Jesus meant.

The problem Jesus is trying to address here are the social injustices that existed then, just as they exist today.  It sounds like all he wants of us to do is give all our money to the poor.  However, I believe it is much more than that.  Jesus is addressing the social, economic, and political structures that unfairly victimize some people and unduly privilege others.   In the book, “Wrestling with God,” by Ronald Rolheiser, he says, “injustice is… the result of social, economic, and political policies that, whatever their other merits, help produce the conditions that spawn poverty, inequality, racism, privilege, and the lack of conscientious concern for the air we breathe.  Therefore, it’s good to take care of the needy, but we must also go above and beyond to address the root of the problems which are creating the many social injustices we are witnessing currently.

Love You Card
Tim Holtz Die Cuts, Tissue, Stamp, Alcohol Inks, & Distress Ink Pads; Martha Stewart Punch; Faber-Castel Gel Sticks; Pen; Assorted Papers
Moo-Mania - Butterflies
More Mixed Media Challenge - Anything Goes With Optional Bright
Sommergluck Linkparty

Let us consider the ongoing controversy over the overwhelming migrant issues in our country these days.  Our borders need to be respected and defended for our well being, as citizens of the United States of America.  I don’t know of any American that would dispute that, although there have been some misconstrued arguments on both sides of the political circus we currently have.  However, as Christians, we must be clear on the teachings found in the scriptures, especially those from Jesus Christ himself.  We are to welcome the stranger, irrespective of personal inconveniences and even if there is the possibility of some dangers.  Not welcoming everyone is contrary to the essence of Jesus’s message, for we were once outsiders as well.  In addition, we must remember our current diocesan directive, which is to “Walk in love, as Christ us.” 

A horrifying example of not following Jesus’ teachings on welcoming strangers resulted in the recent shooting at Walmart, in El Paso - 22 people were killed and about 2 dozen were injured.  Most of the dead had Hispanic last names and eight were Mexican nationals, but not all were of Hispanic origin, and there was a veteran too.  The shooter was a 21 year old white male, who had written a racist creed online before the shooting that rallied against an influx of Hispanics into the United States.  The document parrots the rhetoric used by political and others in our country.  However, we all know that rhetoric is not new.  Other racial and ethnic groups have been targeted throughout time in the US, such as the Chinese, Japanese, Italians, Irish and Jews, to name a few.  Presiding Bishop Curry and other religious leaders have condemned the racial rhetoric and pray for reconciliation.  Then there’s Ruben Martinez, the 11 year old boy from El Paso, who initiated the #elpasoCHALLENGE.  The purpose is to honor the people killed, and the plan, for everyone to do 20 good deeds.

Heading Out - Please Drive Safely!
Tim Holtz Dies, Embossing Folders, Distress Ink Pads, & Tissue; K&Company Sentiment; and Pen
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog - Midsummer Blues
Try It On Tuesday - Wish You Were Here!
Inspire Me Monday - Week #396

Some people are reluctant to speak up, due to the strong immigrant, discriminatory, political, and gun control issues involved.  But, we must speak up, and “not keep silence,” as we read in todays appointed Psalm (50:3).  It’s not always easy being a Christian.  Therefore, my St. James’ brother’s and sisters in Christ, don’t be afraid, for it is our father’s pleasure to give us his Kingdom.  All he is asking us to do is fatten our purses with the fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  These fruits can provide us with wisdom to discern between good and evil; armor us with the strength to break worldly barriers and obstacles; and give us the courage to demonstrate grace and compassion for those in need, just as Jesus Christ did for us when he died on the cold wooden cross.  So, be ready and alert to receive our Master, the Son of Man, by going forth to share the fruits of the Spirit in your bag with the world.

Happy Birthday, Cole!
Tim Holts Dies, Embossing Folder, Stamp, & Distress Ink Pads; Assorted Papers; Higgins Black Magic Pen; and Cord
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog - Midsummer Blues
Word Art Wednesday - Weeks 400 & 401
A Vintage Journey - A Cup Of Coffee For Your Art


I enjoy your amazing art and your sermon.Thank you for sharing your weekly thoughts and art with the world!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting Moo Mania & More as well as Art Journal Journey again this week. Great idea with the YT channel!
Susi xxx
sirkkis said…
You've been very productive, Arnoldo. Your art is impressive and include always wise, important message. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Wishing you happy PPF and blessed weekend.
Beautiful art journals and inspiring words!
Oh just look at all the loveliness you treat us with today, so creative in words and pictures. There's food for thought with those lyrics.. this material world is the devil reincarnated!
Happy PPF it's always a pleasure to pop on over.
Creative wishes Tracey.
Gillena Cox said…
As always, your art and Christ mix is a blessing
Happy Friday

Valerie-Jael said…
Beautiful art, as always, and thanks so much for joining us again at More Mixed Media, much appreciated. Happy PPF, Valerie
Rosie said…
A fantastic post with a lot of artwork. Love it

Thank you for joining us at MOO MANIA & MORE and TRY IT ON TUESDAY
LA Paylor said…
powerful... thank you. I have been so increasingly sad and afraid in today's administration. Bullied even. I needed to be reminded that this is temporary, God is eternal. I do what I believe is right daily, or try to and I can't let the other stuff interrupt my peace if I can help it. I will pray today, that truth and beauty will overcome my fears. LeeAnna
carol l mckenna said…
Message is wonderful ~ be ever mindful ~ and what gorgeous artwork you create ~ ^_^

Happy Day to You,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
Christine said…
Beautiful work Arnoldo!
Hi Arnoldo, enjoyed reading your words today. I know that not everyone agrees with me but I wish America would ban guns. I know that it wouldn't put a complete stop to killings but it seems that too many people die in America because it's too easy to get the weapons. Why would you need one unless you intended using it, the thought sickens me and I'm glad we were strong enough in the UK to do the right thing. I would love to visit America but this scares me too much to make the trip. Sorry to have to say this. Anyway, loving your cards and wishing you a very happy and creative weekend, Angela xXx
So much fabulous art in this post. Thanks for linking up and sharing at Try It On Tuesday. Hugs-Erika
Your art is always stunning. I love how you intersperse it with your words of wisdom. I am always appreciative of your art that makes me wish I had even 1/3 of your skills. Great art, including your contribution to both Art Journal Journey and T Stand For Tuesday.
Sarah Brennan said…
As always a clear and inspiring message. Love the art work which goes with it too Arnoldo. Happy WOYWW. Sarah #10
toni said…
A fabulous card! Love the colours and the added texture, I am going back to read the rest of your post. Thankyou for sharing your work with us over at A Vintage Journey. Toni x
What amazing artwork Arnoldo! So much wonderful detail.
As I was scrolling down to comment, I noticed someone had wrote 'As always a clear and inspiring message' and I thought..yes, thats so true - thank you for that.
And thank you for sharing with us at AJJ once again.
Best wishes..Gill
Lindart said…
Lovely cards, I especially like the first two! Inspiring message as well! Have a great week, and thank you for your visit! Lindart #26
You do expressive eyes and your collages are wonderful. - Margy
Courtney said…
You've created some wonderful pieces! :) I also enjoyed reading what you shared in the post. Lots of great things there...yes, we do need to do a better job speaking up and so much more. :)
I came here because you entered the SSSWchallenge and found so much more.

Diana @ Playingwithoutlimits
A hard read today Arnoldo! Your art work is fabulous and I love the 'Wish You Were Here' card! Thank you for joining us at Try It On Tuesday! Chrisx
Thank you for writing this post. I really enjoy reading it.

Many greetings
NatureFootstep said…
lol, my favorite this week is the Heading out piece :)
Linda Kunsman said…
Oh what wonderful art projects Arnoldo! You truly are fulfilling your calling to not only your art but to your commitment to God. Beautiful.
Sharon Madson said…
Beautiful artwork. Thank you for your blog. I have subscribed to get emails so I won't miss any of your posts.
Shoshi said…
Wonderful artwork and words of wisdom as always, Arnoldo. I must say the words of the song really made me laugh! I agree that we live in a material world, but that really is a very funny song! Thank you for your visit, and I do apologise for taking so long to visit you - I think I got submerged beneath a sea of veggies this week! They did look pretty magnificent all laid out like that, didn't they! We've got a bit left but not too much. I had another delivery yesterday but a bit less, but I did spend most of the day in the kitchen again! The whole-foods plant-based diet is an excellent and effective weight loss programme as well as being the most healthy way to eat all round - it's the only diet which has been proved to actually reverse heart disease, and other serious chronic conditions as well.

Happy extreeeemely belated WOYWW,
Shoshi #18 (#1 this week)
All your cards and inspirational messages are simply amazing, Arnoldo! Thanks so much for your visit last week and I'm so sorry it took me this long to get back to you! I've only just found your comment on my blog from last week - might see you again later today! zsuzsa #19 (from last week's WOYWW).
Beth Niquette said…
What lovely artwork. I loved your post. Thank you.