Reports of Strange Kitchen Phenomena! (Angel in the Kitchen)

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Scientist and science fiction novelist Arthur C. Clarke once wrote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” The author used this astute observation as a plot device in 2001, A Space Odyssey (both the novel and the movie). But what exactly constitutes “sufficiently advanced” tech? We imagine it’s practically anything beyond human knowledge.

Are you SURE this is the way to the kitchen?

But we all have different life experiences; and as a result, what we know may not be what you know. For instance, there are things going on in our kitchen that we can’t quite understand. Seemingly magical changes are taking place before our very eyes; processes as ancient as time itself, and yet beyond our limited knowledge.

Join us now, as we journey into the deepest recesses of the kitchen, and plumb the depths of the curious and arcane. Keep a firm grip on both your flashlight and your sanity, for we shall encounter the unexplainable, the unimaginable, perhaps even … the unspeakable!

Actually, we’re more likely to encounter the unspeakable in the laundry room, when we take a load of clothes from the dryer. Yes, by the Rings of Saturn, crouching atop the pile of sheets and towels are … (Oh, the horror! Dare we say it?) some of our unmentionables!

Ahem, on to the kitchen, brave heart.

There … in the cabinet … can you see it?!?! Dear Lord, it’s a box of … Jell-O! And next to it — Gasp! — baking powder! What manner of witchcraft be lurking in yon cupboard?

Have you ever noticed the strange sorcery that takes place when boiling water is added to gelatin? Out of sight within the dark regions of the refrigerator, the steaming liquid cools, and slowly transforms into a semi-solid jiggling mass of allegedly edible dessert … with a fruity flavor that is not its own! Okay, we know it’s not magic, but rather science. We also realize we can google the chemistry behind gelatin, but…. Seriously, we don’t really care, because we already know what we need to know: Jell-O works every time. Like magic! We’re not sure how, but we have confidence that mixing a little powder and H2O produces Jell-O! Onward!

Dost thou understand what gibbering madness cries out for baking powder to be added to the cauldron in which thou mixeth a batch of brownies? What dost the baking powder actually do? For that matter, precisely what is baking powder? We actually know this one. Yet, many cooks don’t. They simply follow the age-old wisdom of the cookbook. They may not understand all the hows, whys and wherefores, but these people have been promised good results by a chef much wiser than them, and they have faith that any given recipe will work!

Call it kitchen faith!

The reason things work in the kitchen is because they are backed by natural laws. We trust in these natural laws — even though we may not understand all the principles behind them. And we know it’s not magic, but rather an as-yet-unlearned part of the puzzle revealing life’s great mysteries. Interestingly, not too many seem bothered by not knowing the reasons behind all the intricate workings within the average kitchen. They’re too busy enjoying all the tasty things produced within the kitchen!

Regarding the spiritual realm, most of us have far more questions than answers. There are Biblical principles, the reasons for which we may not know or fully understand. Furthermore, God has promised things that seem impossible. He can take our mistakes and use our circumstances to make our lives nicely “gel” into something wonderful. How does He do it? Why does He do it? Do we really need to know in order to enjoy His blessings? “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5 NLT)

Most of the answers are in His Holy Word, but there will always be a little mystery to His divine workings. Some things we just won’t know for sure until we go home to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father. But, like all the cooks who have kitchen faith, we should have faith in God’s promises and precepts. We may not be able to see and understand the intricacies behind them, but we should realize they are not “magic”; but rather truths backed by God’s divine laws and supernatural principles.

You don’t need to know or understand every single truth in the Bible in order to start enjoying the blessings of a life spent with God. You can accept salvation without knowing when Christ wll return and whether or not it will be before or after what theologians call The Great Tribulation. You can have faith in God’s promises without knowing all the hows, whys, and wherefores! Simply follow the age-old wisdom of the spiritual cookbook (the Word of God). Trust what it says, and you’ll have good results — because the “Master Chef,” who is much wiser than any of us, has promised that all His “recipes” will work!

“‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the LORD. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.'” (Isaiah 55:8 NLT)

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The Element of Surprise (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers 21.9)

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Dr. Abraham Erskine saw great promise in “a skinny kid from Brooklyn.”

Captain America, the First Avenger continues to offer valuable truths regarding dreams, determination and spiritual warfare. The hero, Steve Rogers, has a big dream (to serve in the U.S. Army during WWII). Trouble is, Steve’s a sickly ninety-pound weakling who can’t pass the enlistment physical — until his mentor Dr. Erskine injects Steve with a super-soldier serum. Now Steve is realizing his once impossible dream — and then tragedy strikes! A Nazi saboteur gains access to the secret facility where Steve’s transformation is taking place, and shoots and kills Dr. Erskine!

The military facility chosen for Steve’s transformation into a super soldier was fortified and heavily guarded. It was supposed to be a safe and secure environment for Dr. Erskine to work … among friends and allies only. So the presence of a Nazi spy took everyone by surprise. Even the MPs were caught off guard by the actions of this saboteur, and the consequences were horrible: death, destruction, and great personal loss.

In any wartime situation, the element of surprise always gives one the advantage. It allows one to attack their enemy at its weakest and most vulnerable moment — when it’s least expected and they’re totally unprepared. For instance, the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor on December 6, 1941 was a total surprise, and resulted in chaos and mass destruction for the U.S. Forces stationed there.

Understanding this strategy, the time and precise location for the Invasion of Normandy on D-Day was one of the most heavily guarded secrets of WWII. As was the Manhattan Project, which resulted in the creation of the world’s first atomic bomb. Maintaining secrecy is vital to having the upper hand in military strategy. And uncovering the secrets of one’s enemy is just as important — which explains the presence of spies (often where they are least expected).

Counterintelligence is vital to the war effort. In spiritual warfare, we believers have our own Department of Counterintelligence. Thanks to God’s spiritual training manual (the Bible) for Boot Camp and Life in general, we can know exactly how Satan operates and what his evil plans are. It’s like having an army of super spies! Hence, we don’t have to ever get caught off guard. To the contrary, we have the element of surprise to our advantage.

In Captain America, The First Avenger, the enemy was able to sneak in and wreak havoc: Dr. Erskine is killed, a Nazi spy manages to swipe a vial of the doctor’s secret formula, and part of the facility is blown up. Sound familiar? Satan, too, likes to sneak in. And he also “comes to steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) But since we know his tactics, since we know the enemy of our soul is relentless, Satan has lost the element of surprise!

The Apostle Peter writes, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1Peter 5:8 NKJV) And we particularly like the directness of the Message translation of Peter’s warning: “…Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up.”

Let’s be clear. Satan doesn’t fight fair. Like the bully he truly is, he’ll wait for the right opportunity to strike: when everything’s going just great and your guard is down; or when you’re already struggling through tough times and feeling a little spiritually weak; when you’re on a roll and you least expect it; and sadly, when your back is turned. Yes, the enemy of your soul loves to hit you where it hurts most: he’ll target the areas of your life where you’re most vulnerable — and he’ll even use those closest to you when he attacks! (See Boot Camp Session 14)

Satan loves to hit below the belt. And he loves to steal our peace, as we previously discussed. And yet, we still have the advantage. First, we have everything we need to defeat him. Second, as the Apostle Paul writes, “…We are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Corinthians 2:11 NKJV) “The point is that we shouldn’t be outsmarted by … satan. We know what he’s up to!” (NTE) Thanks to the truth of God’s Word, we have a complete Intelligence Report on all of Satan’s tactics and activities: The who, what, when, where and why of all his foul schemes.

Steve Rogers’ first triumph on the road to realizing his hopes and dreams was bittersweet. What should have one of the happiest days in his life instead became an occasion for sorrow. With the tragic murder of his friend and mentor Dr. Abraham Erskine, Steve’s victory quickly turned to disappointment and sadness.

Fellow creators and dreamers (that’s all of us), another of Satan’s tactics is to use life’s disappointments to halt us in our tracks. Our enemy wants to discourage us to the point that we’ll give in and give up … on people, on God, on our hopes and dreams. Satan wants to derail us long before we reach our destination: the complete fulfillment of the unique plan and divine purpose God’s chosen for each and every one of us.

So, to paraphrase an Army recruiting poster, we can be all God intended us to be … or we can wind up being a train wreck. Don’t let Satan win!

Like Steve Rogers, who stood up to bullies, on both the streets of Brooklyn and the German front lines, we also must stand up to Satan, the ultimate bully. “Therefore,” the Apostle James writes, “submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:7-8 NKJV)

What’s more, if we’re going to realize our hopes and dreams, and live a victorious life, we must learn to overcome disappointment — because like wild onions growing amongst the honeysuckle, disappointments are a bittersweet fact of life! After all, we live in a fallen, imperfect world. It’s inhabited by imperfect people (that’s us) who have a knack (albeit an unintentional one) for letting us down. Then, too, there will always be a few who actually get their kicks by intentionally trying to hurt and disappoint us. Such people, whether or not they realize it, are rendering aid to the enemy; like that Nazi spy who struck down Dr. Erskine in the “Cap” movie, these “aggravating agents of antagonism” allow themselves to perpetrate evil.

It’s okay, though. We can foil the enemy and have victory over disappointments in life by putting our trust in God and our expectations on the Lord. HE is the only ONE who is PERFECT. And He will always see us through!

The Great Psalmist, King David, who suffered his fair share of disappointments, left these words of comfort and reassurance (Psalm 62:5-7 NKJV):

My soul, wait silently for God alone,

For my expectation is from Him.

He only is my rock and my salvation;

He is my defense; I shall not be moved.

In God is my salvation and my glory;

The rock of my strength,

And my refuge, is in God.


Click here to all the Boot Camp lessons.

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