Kate's Arts and Crafts

I am Kate - I love Jesus, nature, gnomes, painting, and joyful things. I try to make things that reflect my own vision for the world - hope and beauty.

To The Conservative Christians: Stop

writingsbykate:

"Thou shalt protest Caesar vigorously if he is bad."

"Thou shalt fight to keep and maintain thy religious liberties because you have grown accustomed to having it easy and do not want to struggle." 

"Thou shalt expect all thy neighbors to have the same morality as you do even if they do not follow thy religion."

"Thou shalt store all the armaments possible so thou canst kill the bad guys if they come for you." 

"Thou shalt put politics before Me."

Stop. 

This is not meant to be mean, although perhaps it may contain a pinch of sarcasm. (That was sarcastic). (So was that). 

Many people today identify as Conservative Christians. Note this. “Conservative” comes before “Christian”. The word “conservative” on it’s own, has come to represent a certain set of views that in reality do not align with the Word of God whatsoever in many areas. Unfortunately, the word “Christian” and ‘Conservative”, for some, have become interchangeable. These people aren’t bad. They have been deceived by what has become the American idea of life, which is hardly the idea of life that the rest of the world holds, or what is normal. 

Yes, it is good that this country was founded on Christian principles, but it was hardly founded on Christ. Slavery, massacres of native people, all under the watch of the founding fathers prove that it was never truly a “Christian” nation. Nations cannot be Christian. Only people can be. True, as a whole we could ALL believe in the same God, which then labels us collectively “Christian”. But from the very beginning there was no such uniformity. 

These Christians who label themselves ‘conservative’ put the almighty nation of America higher than the kingdom of God. Nations come and go, but the kingdom of God is eternal. We go about complaining that people are turning aside from their Christian heritage and fight tooth an nail to implement laws that prevent people from doing so, but what will that accomplish? 

Did Paul, in all his years, try to change the heinous ways of the Roman empire by sucking up to the Senate, or holding “Impeach Caesar” rallies? No, because those things DO NOT MATTER. The world will be the way it is. Trying to coerce people to follow your idea of morality will never win their hearts. And that is what it is all about. I will never argue the atheist into believing. Christianity is not a product that can be slapped into shelves and shoved down people’s throats. At least, it shouldn’t be. 

"Blessed are the meek."

"Love thy neighbor as yourself".

"Pray for your enemies." 

"Turn the other cheek".

"Put no other gods before ME." 

Instead of fighting to keep musty old laws, we must lay down our arms at the Cross, and give the Lord control of His Kingdom. Scratch that…we cannot “give” anything to the Lord except ourselves - so we must give our hearts to the Lord instead of to the world. Only with Him in control can we accomplish anything. 

Our accomplishments will look like nothing. We will not be senators. We will not be in control of the country unless God puts us there. But since when has that been a requirement? Since when has that been the goal of Christianity? The goal of Christianity is to preach the news of the gift of salvation to all men, not to keep the moral code from disintegrating. 

Someone told me in rebuttal to my argument, “The surest way for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” This is true. But perhaps what “good men” must DO is pray. Maybe what we must do is visit our sick neighbor with some soup and a friendly hug. Maybe what we must do is stand up for the hurt, and the orphans, and the marginalized, and the widows, and the racially oppressed. Maybe what we MUST DO is immerse ourselves in the Word of God, live lives for Him, our hands open and not clutching to our useless guns and first amendments. The early church had none of these things and yet the commandments were the same as they are today. 

Expect holiness within the Church, but not from the world. Within the Church is the only place that we can judge each other or expect conformity to the Word. Or so the Bible says. We have become so focused on forcing the rest of the country to see things the way we do, that we have neglected our own hearts and the evil of the world has crept its way into our midst, and we didn’t even notice. 

Do not become upset when the world stops conforming to your ideals. Do not be outraged. Most of history has not conformed to them, so what makes you think it will continue? Our ONLY focus must be on following the Lord’s commandments, not on securing our political future or winning the vote. 

"Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you." - Matthew 6:33

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,  and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” - Luke 14:12-14

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matthew 28:18-20

 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” - Matthew 23:23-24

"Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

 

Best kind of day. #art #painting #flowers #stilllife #garden #gallery
Beginning to hang decorations! The map is up. Got some ideas for the tables- well have to wait and see if any of them work! #progress
More garden painting…these crazy colors are making me so happy. #art #artist #artshow #painting #gallery #garden #flowers #summer
Section of a new painting, 20x24. After doing those three smaller ones with the intense colors I was itching to do a larger one. Well see how it comes out! #art #flowers #painting #color #artist #garden
Finished painting. #watercolor #italy #art #artist #painting #color #flowers #garden #ancient #wall #rustic

When Killing Became Christian

"I don’t know what to tell you, my sister," he says with a laugh. "All I can tell you is that there’s something in your uterus."

"We gotta get it out of there," she says.

He can help with that, he assures her.

The video began with some nice graphic designs, and showing triumphant militants waving their guns, joking around with each other. Soon, defiant and scared faces of the captured Shiite men were shown, and finally the video progressed to a desert pit, where these men were placed on their faces and promptly shot, their bodies twitching as the bullets pierced their skulls and red mist evaporating into the air.

Then, the video moved on to ISIS rounding up more men, taking them to a river where one-by-one they shoved them to the edge of a dock covered with blood, shot them in the neck, and pushed them into the river. Senseless. Ruthless. People are dead and no one really cares since it doesn’t affect them. It’s not a movie. I almost vomit just thinking about that video. I could not finish it, but I am glad I saw it because it was a wakeup call unlike any other.

Most people would agree that this is terrible, awful, and should not be happening.  But most people would stand up for killing if it had a different sheen on it. If murder looks and sounds good, even the most pious person will be in favor. The only reason we as a country are astonished by ISIS and it’s methods is because they look bad, not because they actually are. 

Today, one of my facebook friends posted a link to an article about a Christian doctor in Mississippi who performs abortions. Interested about what this could say, I decided to read it. As with the video of the ISIS massacres, reading this article made me physically ill - the “Christian” doctor casually describing the various bits of a murdered baby, pointing them out as if they were pieces of a high-school science dissection, all done under the repulsive guise of doing Christ’s work by “helping” women in their hour of need. Interestingly, this article was posted on Esquire’s website, one of the most lewd and over-sexualized magazines, and one that has done more to harm the empowerment of women than many others. This article, claiming that abortions empower women to lead sexually fulfilled lives free from worry or condemnation of having to put up with a resulting baby, is put forth by a website that reduces women to objects of sexual fantasy, and then says that this reduction is actually empowerment. 

No one should condemn anyone. We do not have the power to do so. Only God has that power. But we can certainly stand up for what is right, and protect the innocent, as well as the mothers. However, simply because Jesus loved us sinners did not mean He condoned their behavior, and I am fairly certain He would not smile down on the destruction of innocent children. (Of course, many would claim that these “blobs of flesh” are not children at all, but mere blobs. That, to me, is a cop-out and an easy way to ease the conscience.) 

I am sure that for most women (hopefully) the choice to have an abortion is not an easy one. Caring for these women is the job of the Church, and in that area most Churches have failed by either condemning those who have had abortions, or just doing nothing at all. Neither of these things does anything to help the issue. My home church supports a local shelter that (free of charge) gives counseling and support for women to carry their babies full-term, and then help with the adoption process, should the mother decide to take that course. More places like this should exist. Doctors like Willie Parker should put down their scalpels (or suction tubes) and with their brilliance, start organizations that both support the mother, AND save the life of the child. 

Putting this “Christian” sheen on senseless murder is doing nothing to “help” mothers; is doing nothing to raise people out of poverty; is doing nothing but creating a society that embraces death while calling it life. It is creating a “Christianity” that holds values opposite to the Christianity of the Apostles, and a community that stands up for nothing unless it is socially acceptable. 

One of the greatest powers is truth with a twist - enough of “Christ” to make it seem right, while underneath the glossy, loving surface boils a potion of destruction that many are drinking, happily, believing the lies that they are partaking of the fountain of youth. “Death of a blob does not matter - it is the well-being of the mother that matters.” Both matter. 

When she leaves, he points to the screen. Triplets. He’s seen lots of twins but never triplets. Some women think multiples are more special, so they get more upset. (Maybe they think they are more special because it is three lives instead of one - and that knowledge SHOULD be more upsetting.) 

After another scan, he points at the tiny blob on the screen. Eighty-nine percent of pregnancies are that small or smaller at termination. “That’s what we’re fighting about. To people against abortion, that’s a person. And that’s more important than the woman.

Ironically, many of the women mentioned in this article simply did not “feel like they could care for a child” or were “Getting a promotion - I can’t have a child now”. Are those NEEDS? Do they NEED to get an abortion? Will those women DIE without one? If it comes down to the life of the mother vs. the life of an unborn child, that is a different story. But this is not what is being discussed. What is being discussed is a culture that is SO ENTIRELY self-centered, and COMPLETELY entitled, that we have begun to believe that something that inconveniences us NEEDS to be removed at all costs. We NEED freedom to express our sexuality, we NEED to have abortions so we can pursue OUR dreams. We NEED to do this, we NEED this or that. Really? Do we? Don’t think so. There are actually very few things that we as humans really need, and most of the things that we see as necessities would be regarded by most of the world as luxuries, atrocities, or frivolities. I NEED a car. Nope. I NEED birth control. Not really. I NEED a phone. Are you sure? Do you NEED to kill your baby? Certainly not. But it is much easier to end the life in 5 minutes than wait a whole 9 months and give the baby up for adoption. 

None of these things need to happen. Babies do not NEED to die. These things do happen, and will happen, and people convince themselves they are essential to a fulfilled life, free of restraint. But one who professes to follow a God who sacrificed His very own life to save ours, can in no way profess to follow a God who looks favorably on the destruction of innocent life or on those who condone it. Following Christ is not a path of ease. It is not something we do so that we can pursue the American dream. We do not follow Christ so that we can explore the limits of our sexualities. We follow Christ, sacrificing all these things, because He sacrificed everything for us. 

No Christian should be in favor of abortion. It is an abomination and the great shame of this age. Christians should be there not to condemn, but offer the hope of Christ to those in need, and offer physical assistance to those who are struggling - not in the way Dr. Willie Parker assists, but with life, hope, grace, forgiveness, and the truth of Christ. 

"And I address this because if those people are getting inside your head and you’re feeling conflicted, if you are not comfortable with what you’re doing, you may be processing this far longer than you need to. There’s nothing immoral about taking care of your health. There’s nothing immoral about making the decision to not become a parent before you want to become one. There’s more than one way to understand religion and spirituality and God. I do have belief in God. That’s why I do this work. My belief in God tells me that the most important thing you can do for another human being is help them in their time of need."

We most certainly must help each other in our time of need, but helping someone to kill another life is not “help”. True help is caring for a woman the way she deserves - with love, compassion, and ultimate truth, which is the fact that every life has value, including their child’s, because Christ died for every life, not just theirs. 

http://www.esquire.com/features/abortion-ministry-of-dr-willie-parker-0914

Efron Edits. Necessary. I am having way too much fun making these. 

Fun in the garden. Giant leaf selfie. Only kind of acceptable selfie in my opinion. 

The Mr. Gnome and Mr. Mouse alphabet books have just arrived from the printer! There are only 100 copies, and each is numbered and signed. These would make a perfect gift for anyone with/expecting a child, or for the young at heart! They’re going fast, so be sure to claim your copy! 
To purchase visit my website, JollyGnome.com