More Precious Than Gold!  

Beloved, I left Barcelona on yesterday and arrived in Chicago and have to wait til this morning to leave for LA. Yes I spent the night in the airport. Not as bad as it may seem. They kicked me out of the first class lounge at 1am and I came back in at 3:30am.

Let's add this up: Long day of traveling, not over yet, slept on a couch, neck hurts, feet swollen, need to shave and bad breath! My Lawd! Why hast thou forsaken me or at least supplied a tooth brush?

Well, I came in the lounge not smiling with a slight grumpiness,  grab a banana and some coffee, sat down to relax and pray in a comfy lounge chair and heard a message alert ring from my phone. I was going to ignore it, finish what I was going to do and try to go back to sleep. But I checked it. 

It was an email message with the sub text, "Hola Ray desde El Rusc."  I thought, oh, a message from one of my new family members at "El Rusc" where I did the little concert and shared about my ministry this past Thursday in Spain. El Rusc is a care facility that provides care for those that require special needs. 

So, I started smiling just seeing who it was from but that smile changed to a very big smile and crazy laughter when I read the message but I scrolled down and saw the picture that was drawn and then came the flood of tears! Do you see that picture? There's love all over that and I feel it! Humbled to the "Nth Degree! Again, they were the stars. That's why i had them all give me their autographs on a shirt from the facility with their pictures.

I say it over and over again that this is the reason why I sing. I'm blessed to be a blessing and even with all that said, it's not about me but who that good news gospel proclaims! I love them so much! This is the message:

Hola Ray 

Soy José Mª del Rusc 

Me ha gustado mucho tu música, me lo pasé muy bien el otro dia. Conoces a John Travolta? a mi me gustan mucho sus películas sobre todo la de Grease. 

Eres buena persona. Tienes las puertas abiertas para cuando quieras volver al Rusc. 

He dibujado una caricatura tuya para tenerlo en el plafón de las notícias del Rusc.Te gusta como has quedado? Te pareces mucho! 

Hasta luego Ray, un abrazo! 

José Mª Prats

Beloved, I truly thought I was getting "Punk'd" 

I don't think everyone will believe me and unfortunately I don't have any pictures but I am being very truthful to you all!

Here in Spain the hotel I'm staying in doesn't have a fitness center but they've made an arrangement with a local center. So yesterday even though I had a little workout at 6am I went to the facility for workout #2 around 10am. I needed it because I've been eating too much! One of the hotel staff members walked over with me to the center, showed me around and then it was on!

The place is cool with everything to get in a decent workout. I'm not training for the Olympics, just trying to get and stay in some kind of shape. There are 2 floors of equipment so I started out on the first floor to warm up before going on the 2nd with the free weights. There's one older lady working out as well. Very friendly and helpful so I'm locking into my half sleep but grind mode as shown in the picture on the cover.

Well, after taking the picture I noticed 8-10 young ladies coming in wearing similar sweats suits. Some kind of sports or athletic team and the name of the country on the back was, Slovakia. From the quick glance I could see they were all athletic and very fit in those sweat suits but they were not there to play. They all went right to work on the equipment like professionals. Direct, no smiles, just take care of business. Ok cute, fit young ladies working out. No problem. They started breaking out of the sweats, no problem.

After a while they all went to the 2nd floor where the free weights and more advanced training things were. Again cool, no issues. Soon after I went up as well to finish my workout. They were all on the far end of the gym and I could see they were serious athletes indeed. They knew what they were doing. So I started my bench pressing and maybe I put more weight than normal. I wasn't trying to impress anyone, it just happened. so of course I was struggling to do even 3 reps because of too much weight. Well finally struggled to get the bar back up cause I didn't want to get stuck and have to cry for help. I didn't even know if they spoke English. I glanced in the mirror at what was going on at the other side of the room and I could see most of the ladies had come out of their workout tights and now were wearing bikinis. They were taking photos and selfies of themselves working out.

At that point it hit me that I must be getting Punk'd! Everyone all over the world will be watching my reactions to this perceived skulduggery!  I knew I didn't have to go home but i had to get up outta there! I laughed, I put the weights back and ran out as fast as I could! The receptionist told me there was some kind of fitness/swimsuit contest going on somewhere in town so they were legit. 

My Lawd! 

Feeling Devine on Cloud Nine!  

Beloved, I am feeling so good right now! My new family and friends at "El Rusc" blessed me beyond measure! It's a special needs care facility and I was invited to come share some songs and talk a little about my ministry. I was indeed honored to be there and as always wanted to see how God would bless these sweet spirits that are sometimes in society considered the least of these. Wow times Wow and O. M. to the Almighty G! I didn't know what to expect but I felt the love and excitement as soon as I arrived. I was greeted with big smiles, hand shakes, big hugs and even a few kisses on the cheeks!

I was also told that hadn't had anything similar presented to them before in this manner. Well, with my prayer always being no one leaves like they came and not going away singing my praise but singing His praise. We had such a wonderful and powerful time! They listened, they asked questions, we sang, danced and made me feel like I was indeed family. Some of them even sang a few traditional songs for me! It was so hard not to be in tears but now that I'm going through these pictures, I'm balling like a big baby! They blessed me with a shirt from the facility and of course I had to have all these Super Stars give me their autograph! What a way to spend a day! I am so grateful and thankful for having had this opportunity.

Again again, the reason why I sing! Thank you so much Noemi and Pere and all the staff/volunteers for being a blessing to so many! Love you all big time!

Michigan again and hopefully again! International Blessings indeed! 

Beloved, It's been a little while since my last blog but, my Lawd! Holy Ghost Party still rolling on down the way!

I'm in Michigan this week and I arrived Tuesday evening in Detroit. I was picked up at the airport by my friends, partners in the Japanese ministry and hosts Rebecca and Philip Masters.

I came Tuesday evening because Wednesday was going to be an early morning. It started with the St Matthew men's fellowship/bible study/prayer time breakfast at 6am. A special time indeed because one of the members went to be with the Lord the week before. Rest in Heaven Henry. We'll see you again!

From there I was taken to St Matthew Lutheran Church/School to share in chapel at the school. Such an anointed time! I love those kids and staff so much! One of the students is hearing impaired and they gave me a personal monitor to wear. I hope hope I didn't hurt their ears! A mic I can pull back from when I get loud, but that monitor was right there in my power zone!

After Chapel I worked with 2 of the Japanese groups with the International Friends ministries. We sang, dance, laughed and I shared about my ministry in Japan and other countries. Powerful time that continued on to Thursday. I worked with another group in the morning and then the afternoon I had a special time with the International Women's Chorus! Wow! They are so awesome! I wish I could make their concert on Sunday.

Friday was a relax and prepare to travel day. I loaded up the "Blue Danube," (thank you Dawn and Ed Kirk) made sure I had enough coffee and snacks in case of an emergency and hit the road (20 mins drive) for Highland Park Baptist church in Southfield, MI to be apart of their Mission's conference. I'm a guest director working with a choir on Saturday and putting on a concert on Sunday! My Lawd! Too excited!

 

The Reason Why I sing 

Beloved, I'm having an amazingly awesome time here in Japan sharing the good news gospel in song and (if you give me some room) sometimes dance! It's truly special to witness the power and joy of the Lord move in and over people's lives and situations.

Even though I've been sick the whole time I've been here I'm comforted, encouraged and I get a lot of energy from being able to share to a wide variety of age groups and circles. The good news gospel is for any and all so I praise God for the opportunity to be amongst the young, not as young and also the sometimes forgotten. Truly and sincerely the reason why I sing! 

 

Back to the land called Japan!  

Time to start blogging again! So Beloved....if you're ready say , Yeah! I'd like to invite those who haven't read my blogs before to check out some of the previous ones so you will get a feel for it. Like Liver it is indeed an acquired taste. You may not like it at first but keep reading and eventually you may hate it so just pray for me!

Before Japan I'll be in Singapore ministering alongside Toyomi-Sensei and the J-Gospel choir at the Trinity Christian Centre. Always such a blessed time. Can't wait to get back there and do what I love. Proclaim the Mighty Name of Jesus! When praises go up, blessings come down! Send them Lord!

Seoul For Real!  

The first part of my September to remember Asia trip is in Seoul So Korea. I have long time partnering ministries and Kingdom Builders I can truly call my friends here in Seoul. To name a few, Dr Eiko Takamizawa and the students/staff at Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Missionary Koo with JASTA (Japanes Students Abroad),  and then there's this "little church" named Onnuri. Early in my calling there were things that made me question what I was doing but it was a meeting with the previous senior pastor Ha that helped me to understand and see the validity of God's calling on my life. He told me he was made aware about my ministry in Japan to the Japanese and said we should partner! He went on to say Onnuri has a lot of resources that he feels could help me. 

Ok Beloved, I was just kidding about the "little church" named Onnuri. Onnuri is a very very huge, thriving, building, sharing, caring, impacting, changing and blessing ministry with a global reach. So, the senior pastor says, "let's partner!" At that point I said yes Lord, yes Lord yes, yes Lord and haven't turned back since.

Now, this is how my first day went on yesterday. You're looking at Breakfast (Tonkatsu) I had after worship team rehearsal with the band,  Lunch (Kumja Tang) 2 hours later with Missionary Koo and Mr Kim and then Dinner (Galbi) after my concert at Manna Cafe. Stick a fork in me, I am done!

 

My Apologies!  

Sorry everyone! I didn't mean to mislead people! As you can imagine the picture in my facebook post is not from a restaurant here in Japan. It's from M&M's soul Food in LA. I'm sure you can find something like that here, I just don't know where just yet.

In my own, eloquent way might I add, I was trying to prove a point that regardless of how my body feels I may not be able to pick up a dumbbell but I can still pick up a fork. I might not be able to get down on a set of crunches but I seem always able to get down on some mac n cheese or I may not be able to find any room for lunges but I can always find room for dessert! I can keep going if you want! Someone asked me why do I exercise so much. Well, because I eat a lot but that's not the main reason. 

My ministry/Calling requires traveling to some amazingly Wow times Wow places. When you add the people and that's what it's all about, it becomes Awesome times Awesome. God prepares you. He won't send you without being equipped or up for the task. I always liken it unto a soldier being prepared for battle with all the training, conditioning and discipline required because as you can imagine with all the travel it can take a toll on your mind, body and soul! Maybe that's why I am such a big fan of the TV series, "The Last Ship" how important it is to stay true and focused to the mission or task at hand. I experience many cultures, climates, time zones, customs, rituals and so on. Love them all!

So, again very sorry for the confusion! If there is a place here in Japan that offers these items on the menu and tastes as good as they look please let me know so I can inform the world!

 

 

Food for the Soul. My Lawd!  

Ok here you go Beloved. Since arriving on Tuesday evening May 23rd I've been eating Japanese, Indian, Chinese and Korean food! I hope you enjoy the ride and view down food ministry alley cause I have !

 

M.G.E. .......Meet Greet and Eat in full effect!  

What a simply amazing, powerful, very rewarding and filling (in every since of the word) 4 day work week to start things off here in Japan. Started in Tachikawa, Ami/Ushiku and moved on to Sano. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were the amazing, powerful, rewarding days but today, Monday was all that plus filling! Thank you so much Katsuhiko and Yumiko-Sensei for the grand hospitality, the meet and greets and even the few impromptu times I had to share a few songs. Yes, let's just say, after that lunch, I won't be needing dinner!