Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why would people build a house without a foundation? Perhaps to save time and avoid the hard work of preparing a stone foundation. Possibly because the waterfront scenery is more attractive or because beach houses have higher social status than cliff houses. Perhaps because they want to join their friends who have already settled in sandy areas. Maybe because they haven't heard about the violent storms coming, or because they have discounted the reports, or for some reason think disaster can't happen to them. Whatever their reason, those with no foundation are shortsighted, and they will be sorry. When you find yourself listening but not obeying, what are your reasons?


"But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and it's destruction was complete"
Lk 6:49

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Matthew's Connections

Well, I talked last time about how I learned that Matthew specifically is the gospel writer that focused on Jesus being the Messiah in fulfillment of prophesy. Once again time has elapsed, but being holy week I find it appropriate to elaborate on the same concept.
In the beginnings of this book Matthew shows that the very way in which Jesus came into this world has been foretold:
1) In how his lineage traces back to David which was prophesied centuries before.
2) In how he will come to us: MT 1:23 : "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" - which means "GOD WITH US"

I have to stop right there for a moment and try my best to conceive that the God of the universe put on human flesh and came here to be with us, to lead us back into relationship with him, pretty amazing.

His coming, The character of Jesus and his Mission were revealed to us centuries before in Isaiah 11: 1-5
1.A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2.The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD -
3.and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4.but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5.Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

A week before his death Jesus rides in to Jerusalem on a Donkey, prophesied in Zechariah 9:13

In Matthew 16:21, 17:22-23, and 20:17-19 Jesus predicts his death and resurrection for the first second and third times to his disciples.

During his last week he predicted Judas' betrayal (MT 26:20) and Peter's denial (MT 26:34)

So all of these scripture references tell us how the birth life and death of Jesus Christ was no coincidence at all, in fact the only time in history where so many events and prophecies all came true.... but more importantly point to one thing [person] that is Jesus.
Why is that so important? Because we're all broken and hurting in some way or another, no matter how hard we try to mask it. Jesus came to make it right. He came to sooth us, he came to show us that we don't have to pretend we're something that we are not, he came to give us perspective that in a crazy world where there is disease and death, and money is never enough and people are critical and jobs are hard to find [insert your stressers here] that none of that matters. He came to free us from all of those worries and give us hope for eternal life.
He came to tell us that he already knows we're not perfect, and he still loves us anyway. You don't have to become a better person to begin a relationship with Jesus. He wants you right now EXACTLY the way you are... and there is freedom in knowing that he already knows your worst thoughts and deeds, he understands why you thought or did those things and he still wants to use you to be a light for his ETERNAL kingdom.
Now that's the kind of Lord I want to bow down to for ever and ever... how bout you?

"Look to the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life" MT 6:26-27


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bible Readiing

Okay, here's the problem about not posting very often... I have too many things to talk about; hence forced to be general in order not to drive my reader(s) crazy!

I'll share a piece of my journey today.... please don't laugh [about how long it's taken me] but I started reading my NIV Bible cover to cover a LONG time ago... and have just these past couple weeks had the joy of diving into Matthew which is the first book of the new testament. Now, if you went back I mean WAY back in my posts you'd probably be able to figure that it has taken me 2 and a half years to get to this point. (reading an average of 5 days a week) However I have been digesting each and every verse, lesson, story along the way, including all of the "life application study notes" [which are great and very helpful].

So I'll share some basic knowledge that I have attained in these past couple weeks...

I Enjoyed the last several books of the OT. They are all written by prophets who had some form of communication with God and were to [and did] deliver the message to the people. The common theme being "To Shake the people of [mainly Jerusalem because they are God's Chosen people] out of their complacency and urge them to return to God" And also to give them hope for a future and deliverance through the Messiah who Christians believe to be Jesus Christ.

I have also learned that the reason or one of the reasons Matthew is the first Gospel (written account of Christ's life) is because the purpose of his teachings was "to prove that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal King" or in other words to prove that Christ's life was a fulfillment of prophesy and promise by God.
This information may be trivial to some and profound to others... In any case, it's something that I learned and found that by reading consecutively its really helping me to make connections that I otherwise would not have.

Hmmm.... There are so many other things that I would like to talk about because I am just drinking this in and enjoying Reading about Jesus's teachings... many or most of which I have read through in random order... what a difference it makes to chew on each piece and reflect. It's helping me to think things though and evaulate my own perspective.

So anyways my intention is to post more often and chat about/brain dump my learnings.

In closure, I want part with a recent finding [like 5 minutes ago]
While writing paragraph 4 of this blogpost, I pulled out my old friend Meriam Webster just to see what he/she had for a definition of Gospel.... interesting that one of the definitions is : "any information which is accepted as unquestionably true."


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Social networks and professionalism

A couple years ago when I started this blog, my intention was to use it more to share who I am with those I was in ministry and the students I was ministering to at the Stone Church in Palos Heights IL. Well everyone else was doing it... so I jumped on the band wagon... lol (and also to make an attempt at some creative writing or journaling... whatever) It was actually a fun little network we had going there for a while... I looked forward to everyone's posts every day or couple of days. And it's still a neat way to keep in touch.. although most of us don't update as often. I think twitter took us by storm :)
Anyways after chugging through the first couple of posts, and feeling stupid about having basically a public journal... I started keeping things in mind to write about, and looked forward to the opportunity to share a piece of myself with my friends and whatever random visitors.
Anyways I started using the space to provide links to Kustom Kate, and share some of my work and promote my business. Hey, it's real-estate.... use it, right??? I mean I coulda seperated business from personal, but that's a lot of juggling! I've had a couple eyebrows raised about sharing my faith in one post and then promoting my services in the next. And then became a conservative political junky talking about policy and gov.. knitting... gardening... Well you get it , all over the map. I just have too many interests and really enjoy the opportunity to express myself in writing [and pics].
Well, it's interesting to me how social networking media have progressed. This stuff was all supposed to have different compartments... like linked in for your professional contacts, myspace (I AM referring to 5 yrs ago) for personal, then facebook and twitter etc etc. Now, not only for me, but for anyone who chooses to participate, it has muddied together, and I think it's a beautiful thing!
Now employers look at how you conduct yourself on Facebook and Twitter as much as they scrutinize your resume and past experiences. I mean think about it, wouldn't you? As a business owner myself, I care just as much [if not more] about character over credentials (for obvious reasons).
When given the opportunity to choose, wouldn't you rather do business with an accountable, honorable respectable person than a smarty pants? (I mean take a look a look at the unexperienced Harvard grad running the country.... oops I mean... nevermind)
Anyways the sum of my thoughts are... Maybe I was a little ahead of the trends, (as always, but I'm in a good industry for that ;) ) but, social networking DOES affect your professional life. It's unavoidable; but it really shouldn't matter if your character is consistent.
It's a small world, be who you want this world to perceive you to be.

I feel that I could elaborate further, but I fear that this post is already a confusing mess of words and punctuation.....

(this post was not written with any one in mind, it's just a thought I had rolling around and wanted to share)


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Extreme: Connecting and Creating

This week I had the priviledge of participating in the Extreme Makover home here in Tulsa. Initially I was reluctant to commit to volunteering. Not because I didn't want to volunteer... heck it seems that I do a lot more volunteering than paid work [wait, that's because I really do]. It's because I wasn't interested in an all-nighter... my adrenals just can't handle it anymore. I probably have United Airlines to thank for that, LOL.
Anyways, my friend Marilie volunteered her workroom to do some sewing for the project, and nominated (? I don't know if that's the best choice of a word but we'll go with it) me to get involved in the decorative artwork... so I agreed. It sounded like they really needed the help. Crazy that it's so last minute, but I guess that's how it works. The designer from the show said he needed 8-10 artists.. and asked me to help gather. So, me, the people organizer got on it 'cause that's what I do.
My first thought was: let's call the best in town... now I don't know who they are because, since moving here my efforts to connect with any Decorative Artists have been thwarted; So I basically gave up months ago... Anyway I googled and called a few. Everyone seemed willing and eager to get involved.
It was exciting to be involved in helping a deserving family, and the whole tv production thing was nuts, but for me the biggest blessing was in the 2 friends that I made. The past few months have been tough for me, I've been working hard at this thing and constantly praying and evaluating how much more I wanted to give it .. or be forced to make a decision to transition out of it. Well, not forced but.. how long can you keep running to stand still??
My interactions with the local decorative artists showed evidence that I have "moved that bus" (get it?). So I'll keep on doing what I'm doing... I'm not as invisible as I feared.
Don't get me wrong, my life is a abundantly filled with joy and blessing.. I just didn't know if I needed to be directing my energy elsewhere. I walked away from this experience with some long-awaited answers, and am EXTREMEly (haha I did it again) thankful for that.
Here are a couple pics... don't know what I'm allowed to post... so hopefully I won't get in trouble :)

My new friends: Teena and Lisa


Friday, January 29, 2010

Olives on Olive and more...

Set on an olive green background, this 3-piece kitchen art work set (Olives, Mushroom, Onion) is done on 8x10 gallery style canvases with artwork wrapping sides. [Also making them super easy to hang]

While traditional color and subject remain dominant, use of copper leaf highlights and reflective patterned backgrounds give a modern / contemporary edge. Making these pieces perfect for any kitchen!

They can be found for sale at kustomkate's shop, contact Katie for custom colors, sizes or individual prices.

Stay tuned for more fun kitchen art and other canvas creations!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Birdy Feeder.. before the storm

A few weeks ago, this colder than usual winter here in Oklahoma got me thinking that maybe I should put something out for the birds... anyway I picked up a couple bags of seed and waited ..... it took a few days but they started trickling in...

First were these BIG Crows! There were 2 but they were sorta camera shy...

Then they flew away...

Later that day these little guys were in there.... once again there were 2 but I wasn't fast enough

Then word came about this Ice storm and this morning the Blue Jays came, and brought some friends .....

Then about an hour or so ago came the Cardinals, and they brought a bunch of Robins and friends...

Now, hopefully the growing population of birds is not an indication of how bad the strom will be, or this will be my last post in a while....


Kitchen Sets

This fall, I was just having fun and creating and came up with the Charcoal Kitchen Art set which is shown in an earlier post. I was so thrilled about how they came out that I decided to make a few more sets and start building inventory to either open an Etsy Shop or to enter a few art festivals. So during some down time around the holiday I cranked them out and just last week and opened a shop on Etsy. Pictured is the purple [eggplant if you will] set, it's called Garlic, Mushroom, Olives (for obvious reasons). There is copper leaf highlights on all 3.. awesome! I love purple and copper together! Also note the fun, shiny background patterns... that's kinda my trademark..
I'll be posting them seperately for content sake... [you know, ya have to capitalize on this whole internet marketing thing, feeding the google bots] but also so I have blog post material 'til I come up with some more stuff ;)
Enjoy, and as always, feedback is welcome. They're for sale and will ship same or next business day depending on what time you order. kustomkate's shop


Friday, January 15, 2010

Thoughts on Devastation

It's been a while and I really have had the best intentions of sharing pictures from our Christmas Vacation, or talking about the things I plan to do or improve on this year... the typical blog topics that are fun to share this time of year. I still plan to do those because part of keeping a blog is like a journal to document the highlights of the year... or week or whatever...
However, today somethings have come to weigh out heavier on my heart and quite frankly require more immediate attention. I am referring to the crisis that an earthquake has brought on in Haiti. I won't lie, the first 36 hours or so, I'd see things coming across the wire (Twitter or Facebook) but was kind of out of touch and had no grasp of the gravity of the situation. I hadn't turned on the television in a couple days, and really hadn't seen any footage. Then wednesday night Mike was telling me about the number of people projected to be dead and I became aware. I did some Google-ing and took a look at a series of photos my cousin posted on twitter and realized the devastation. It's horrifying; and I could only think: these folks are really in need... How many of their medical facilities collapsed? How many people can't even FIND their loved ones? There are so many questions yet to be answered... and many will go unanswered for a while.....
Something that brought saddness to my heart was in a comment string of 600 or more after one article I read was filled with comments like "Where is your God now?" "Don't pray, it's a waste of your time" and "Some God you have"
Let's be open here, how could one not have questions like this in the midst of such a horrific and devastating situation? How are the people of faith supposed to respond?? Obviously not by insinuating that these people made a pact with the devil and are now the product of God's wrath... yikes... even if there were any truth to that, it cannot be proven nor does it matter.
What matters most is how we respond...

Outwardly, we can respond with an out pouring of love, prayer and generosity. These actions are absoultely necessary for the help and continued healing of the people of this region.

But how are we supposed to respond Inwardly? What are we supposed to think... what role did God have in this and why did he allow this to happen?
I'd like to share a couple thoughts and experiences I have had:
As I was thumbing through a devastating series of pictures, I felt sad and helpless. In that same seires of pictures, I also saw strangers helping strangers, and cavalries from around the world suiting up to go help. Thousands of people from the nations of the world willing to face disease and devastation, blood and saddness to blindly help the poorest, most oppressed nation in the western hemisphere... not knowing where they will sleep or what they will eat while selflessly coming to the aid of those in need. Whether they made this decision in the name of God or in the name of Humanity, I see pure beauty. Seeing many willing to make such a sacrifice provoked emotion in me.... the outpouring of generosity too is beautiful, because not all of us can physically go and help.

But what about the whole God thing?
Well, I cannot speak for God, but I and take a look how in relationship and through his word he has revealed to me that he is trustworthy. He is trustworthy in that he has fulfilled every single promise he has ever made to us. He came here to show us his love for us (Jn3:16) and he promises that he will always be with us "to the end of the age" (Mt28:20, Heb13:5)
He gives us hope and reassures us that he is in complete control in Jn 16:33
When he says:
"I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world"

So in times like these, I am saddened by the happenings of the broken world that we live in and the hurt that surrounds us. But, I am thankful that I have a God that I can seek peace and find refuge. A God that helps me to keep things in perspective of this short life and an everlasting future with him to set my eyes upon. It is that very future that drives me to make the best of this life and share what I have and what has been revealed to me with those I am privleged to walk through this world with.