An actress, businesswoman,writer and speaker, Kathleen is a founding partner (with husband, Phil Cooke) and VP at Cooke Pictures in Burbank CA (cookepictures.com). Kathleen is responsible for casting and providing creative consulting for CP’s projects and productions which include some of the leading nonprofits and ministries in the country. She is on the advisory board for the Hollywood Prayer Network and Hollywood Connect and is the former director of Christian Women In Media Association Hollywood/West Coast. She and Phil recently launched The Influence Lab Foundation, influencelab.com, focusing on research, teaching and training the next generation of media professionals. She is the editor of the monthly publication of Influence Women, influencelab.com/women.
Kathleen has given Be-A BusyGal permission to re-publish her blogs and articles from their original sources.
Be-A-BusyGal Posting Date: June 5, 2017 | Posting #4
When I was a child at the grocery store with my mom there would be an enormous array of goodies that overwhelmed me. I would start to beg. I want that, and I want this, and I want that. My mom’s response was always, “But you don’t need that.” Being the smart child I was, I changed my approach to, “I NEED this. I NEED that!”
We do the same from God.
We have a lot of “want” today masking itself as “need.” We live in a present day culture of never enough. Whatever we have never seems enough so we grab bigger handfuls. Brene Brown in her book “Daring Greatly” calls it the “age of scarcity.” Our closets are jammed, our bodies are over-stuffed, and according to Fast Company Magazine we will double our digital universe every two years until 2020 in an effort to quench our thirst for more knowledge. Maybe it’s time to turn off the flow for a bit? Maybe it’s time to detox? But where do you start?
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Think about a cleanse – think about starting with a fast.
There isn’t a known beginning to fasting. It’s a natural habit that many animals do instinctively in an effort to rest, balance, and even conserve energy at critical times. Early philosophers, thinkers, and healers fasted – Plato, Socrates Aristotle, and Jesus. Today every major religion practices fasting and it’s widely recognized by the health community for many healing benefits. Scientific evidence is proving each day that the future of medicine may lie in our energy patterns and the knowledge that we are more than just a biological process.
The word “fast” in the Bible comes from the Hebrew word “sum” meaning “to cover the mouth” and the Greek word is “nesteuo” meaning “to abstain.” There are many examples and references within the Bible about fasting. The bottom line is that as a leader there is merit to taking that journey from time to time.
Fasting is not always about food. What if you unplugged from all your media? What if you stopped Internet surfing for a long period or stopped playing that video game?
What do you REALLY need – not want? Are you pondering a major decision or choice in your life? We are in the season of Lent and for the Christian it has traditionally been a time of fasting or cleansing. Even a one day fast can be beneficial. I believe God honors and listens when we get serious about renewing our minds, cleansing ourselves, and denying something in our lives that may be distracting us from following His lead.
Finally if you do fast, the Bible says it’s between you and God. It’s not the time to FaceBook, Twitter, or Instagram your empty plate. Matthew 6:16-18 says, ”Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
I don’t know about you, but I still get tempted in grocery stores. You truly never know what you will find – especially in those mega stores. I do know that when I have made a disciplined choice with regard to my mind, body, and spirit and trust God to meet the desires of my heart, I get all I need and reap some of the biggest and best treats I have ever found.
Be-A-BusyGal Posting Date: May 29, 2017 | Posting #4
WHY DESIGN MATTERS
In a recent top ten list of TED presentations, Margaret Gould, Director of Product Design at Facebook and formally at YouTube spoke on how design changes everything. Her presentation focused on the importance of design – not design in the classical physical sense of objects we love and use but on what she calls “digital experiences.” Digital design is about design for systems so big that the scale of how they effect us is incomprehensible. It immediately brought to mind God’s design of us and for us.
In our present digital world Google users hit the search button 1billion times a day, Youtube uploads 100 million images every minute – more than the top 3 TV networks combined in the last 5 years have ever broadcast, and Facebook users hit the “like” button 2.2 billion times daily which is 1/6th of our world population and half of the internet population. As a top digital designer, she says the two most important things a designer must consider when that many people are using your created technology is audacity and humility. Audacity to create and design something that the world needs desperately, and humility to know that it’s not about you but the people who you are designing it for that matters and how your design can help them and change their lives.
These two considerations are what I believe God must have had in mind when he designed us and launched His plan to send Jesus to bring us back to Him. We were a creation fallen from connection to Him (or the internet is down) and unplugged from the “Garden” – the place God created for us here on earth when time began. God’s love for us created a plan so that we could reconnect our souls which were designed for eternal Godly connection – unconditional love.
As a believer of God who created and designed the heavens, the earth, and mankind, and of Jesus Christ, his son, who came to earth for our redemption and to teach us how to live in this fallen world, being an influencer and a communicator to others of God’s perfect design matters. In fact it should matter to believers more than anything on the planet yet somehow we never hit the refresh button in our lives.
Listening to Margaret’s talk on TED made me think, what if believers took as much time with how we designed and presented the teaching of Jesus to the world as seriously as Google, FaceBook orYouTube designers? What if we cared so deeply about the people around us and how they understood the power of Jesus in this world and His Word that the slightest change to that message mattered? Recently when FaceBook changed their “like” button the designer took 280 hours to do so because they knew 22 billion people a day used it. What if we did what Margaret said was the three most important things a designer could do to stay connected to their users:
- Travel the world outside the bubble of where we live (the Christian bubble) to understand the people in other places to understand how the rest of the world lives?
Use language that the users understood – not Christianize. Find out what language works best for them.
Use their outdated tools occasionally so that a better understanding of their challenges would be felt and understood so that when new tools, ideas, knowledge, and ways of communication are introduced they would be accepted and embraced. Or as believers, we might call this the “grace of God.” To embrace them for who they are, where they are, and what they know and see them as God sees them in their varying states of understanding.
The top technology companies that affect our world spend countless hours on research, studies, and surveys to perfect their deigns because it matters. You matter to God. Are you spending hours studying the Word and chatting with Him in prayer?
Margaret’s last comment on TED was this: “Everything I’ve designed in my career is pretty much gone and everything I will design will fade away, but here’s what remains… the never ending thrill of being a part of something that is so big that you can hardly get your head around it and the promise that it just might change the world.”
Are you experiencing the “thrill” of telling others about God and His son Jesus whose design will never fade or become obsolete and who truly has the power to change lives and our world? The greatest designer of all designed you for His love, and His glory and all you have to do is “like” Him.
Matt. 24:35 – Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear
Be-A-BusyGal Posting Date: February 12, 2015 | Posting #3
“WHOLE-HEARTED” CREATIVE ARTISTS
It takes guts to be creative in today culture. That nagging little voice in our head is always telling us we aren’t good enough, talented enough, or trained enough. One of my favorite writers on the subject is Brene Brown. She is a brilliant researcher and professor at the University of Houston. She recently did one of the top 10 TED talks for 2014 on the Whole Hearted Person. Here is a portion of what she found and concluded from 6 years of research on vulnerability. She found that “people who have a strong sense of love and belonging – worthiness had it because they believed they were loved and belonged and were worthy.” She found that these people had three specific traits in common:
1. Courage – they had courage to be imperfect.
2. Compassion – they were kind to themselves and to others
3. Connection – they were willing to let go who they thought they should be in order to be who they were.
In today’s culture finding whole hearted people is becoming rare. It requires us to be completely vulnerable or as Brene calls it, excruciatingly vulnerable. As artists and creatives putting ourselves out there (opening our souls with our art) so the world can see our good, bad, and ugly instantly onYouTube, iTunes, Facebook, and Twitter is terrifying. So many great artists either stay hidden or numb themselves first because the risk is too excruciating. How many great writers have you read about that drank all night before they started writing a word? Or rock stars that had to get high on something before they went on stage?
What if you could take a different route as an artist in 2015 to deal with vulnerability and plug into a source of power that allowed you to be free and courageous without destroying your body, or mind, and sometimes your life? There is one, and His name is Jesus. He loves you unconditionally – imperfections and all. He makes you worthy because He has forgiven you – completely -freed you from guilt and shame and imperfection.
Want to be a whole hearted artist? Might be worth a try to talk to Him. He’s a breath away. Start the New Year on a new path and with new thinking – start whole heartedly.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self discipline.”
II Timothy 1:7 NLT
Be-A-BusyGal Posting Date: February 5, 2015 | Posting #2
OVERCOMING SELF DOUBT
Abraham is called the “father of faith.” He heard God’s voice and went for it – not perfectly, but consistently. We see many incredible examples of his enormous faith outlined in scripture. We also see a few times when Abraham didn’t have so much faith. Like when he tried to tell King Abimelech that Sarah was his sister and not his wife in Genesis chapters 20 and 21. I love how our human nature is revealed here and we see Abraham trying to be sneaky because Sarah was technically his sister – his half-sister. He tried to take care of the situation on his own and chose not to rely on God.
Are you trying to fix something, force something forward, or step out into a fearful situation but using your own strength and wisdom? Have you forgotten the promises of God?
God asks us to go – not alone…but with Him. Abraham tried to do this most of the time but he too failed. It was only Jesus that did it perfectly… every time. Abraham’s faith allowed him to journey with God relying on God’s promises that He was building a permanent place for Abraham and for his family for generations to come – a promised land. That fearless faith propelled Abraham to become influential and successful.
What has God promised you? Do you regularly re-visit those promises and use them to propel you forward to all that God has for you? Or are you compromising and avoiding God’s abundance in your life and relying on your natural talents and cleverness?
God seldom reveals our life’s building plan. Most of the time we don’t have a clue what we are doing, where we are going, or where we will end up. God just says “go” – obey – have faith. Are you willing to let God be your architect and lay a foundation of fearless faith built on consistent obedience?
Hebrews 11:8-10 says, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”
Don’t waiver, don’t compromise…stand in faith.
Be-A-BusyGal Posting Date: March 24, 2014 | Posting #1
What’s Driving You?
The need to excel, and to be great, noble, wise, strong, or a “rock star” is a natural human longing. It’s why we love hero movies. But our media culture today has brainwashed us into thinking that unless we reach “stardom” we are failures. We live in a culture that always wants more. More money, power, intelligence, or whatever our heart, mind or passions desire. If we aren’t beautiful enough, wealthy enough, or intelligent enough, we will never be happy or content. This “not enough” cultural virus is a rampant and pervasive disease in our world today. Striving for more can be a healthy and a noble thing, but slavery to it will kill you and can rob you of ever attaining happiness and contentment.
I was 5 when my brother, Robbie, died. He had been born without a valve in his heart and the doctors did experimental surgery and inserted a pigs valve to replace it. They thought it might last 6 months. He was 6 when it finally fell apart and in an effort to replace it again died on the operating table. Having experience this, I grew up wanting to be the perfect child to my parents that they had lost. I focused on being smarter, faster, stronger, and more cleaver than anyone else. But it became evident to me quickly, as I failed constantly, that I wasn’t enough and never would be enough.
I lived in constant fear and in hiding that I would be found out to be…well…human.
I was being raised in the city of lights, Las Vegas. It is a city centered on gambling, glitz, glamour, fast money, and the ability to be deceptive. That environment taught me how to be pretty, shiny, sparkly and manipulative on the outside while hiding the truth behind a façade. I saw how people manipulated reality which was usually short lived and disastrous. My best friends father was a gambler. She would literally show up for school one day with a brand new car and the next day a beat up clunker depending on whether he was winning or loosing at the tables. She lived a life of complete uncertainty and it had an effect on her decisions throughout her life. Las Vegas still holds the record for more suicides than any other city in the world. It is one of the brightest and most electrically lit cities in the world and yet one of the darkest and loneliness cities on the planet. Vegas gave me my first acting lessons and an introduction on how not to trust people. I saw how people played one role on the outside and one role in their personal lives.
I was also being raised in a (though not perfect) Christian home where I was able to experience the grace of Jesus. At an early age, I came to learn and understand unconditional love and forgiveness and that God was enough. In Him I found true connection that I could trust and contentment and peace from the disease called “not enough.” You will fail, and our world will let you down, but God’s grace allows you to tear down the façade, call your failure by name, and build a solid connection and foundation in life again. Learn to forgive yourself for being human. Jesus has already.
What experiences in life have you been through that have had an effect on your life and career?
What façade are you living behind or that you are in denial about that if you would change could effect the outcome in your life?