Dr. King’s Angelic Message!

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Today we commemorate the life of a great servant of God, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We also celebrate the fourth anniversary of our website AngelAtTheDoor.com and the first of our three ongoing series of inspirational articles, Diet for Dreamers.

We chose to launch our website and our first series on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for two big reasons, the most obvious one being that Dr. King had a great dream — and we intended our weekly articles in Diet for Dreamers (along with our Encouragement for Creators) to feed the spirits of dreamers everywhere. We genuinely wanted to encourage people to pursue the goals and visions with which God has inspired them, and we’ve stayed the course through hundreds of “adventures” that examine the origins of such cool and iconic things as Star Trek and slinky toys, cotton candy and Liquid Paper, Peter Rabbit and Edison’s lightbulb; and the success stories of dreamers and creators such as Stan Lee and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Orville Redenbacher and “Rocky Balboa,” Morgan Freeman and Agatha Christie, Irving Berlin and Satchel Paige.

We conceived AngelAtTheDoor.com to be our internet home, a base of operations for our mission as messengers of love, hope, truth, and hospitality. In Biblical times, God employed supernatural messengers called angels to deliver such truths. These angels had a habit of showing up on the doorsteps of some of the great heroes of the Bible, and a few times they looked exactly like normal people who were just passing by. We realized that in a manner of speaking, we all have the potential do be God’s “angels” — whenever we choose to be God’s hands extended, His messengers of love. Hence, the curious name of our website.

And in a way, every thing that God created, such as a blade of grass or a rain cloud, can take on an angelic role, teaching us important truths about the nature of life and relationships. And we discovered that even in the kitchen, working with food and kitchen tools and appliances, we could “see” examples of God’s wisdom. This inspired our third series of whimsical articles, Angel in the Kitchen, many of which were recently published as a book — along with another volume, a collection of our Diet for Dreamer articles. Which brings us to the other reason we chose to launch on January 18, 2015.

Dr. King was exactly the type of angelic messenger we had in mind when we conceived our website. He chose to be God’s emissary in a divided world, an “angel” of peace but with a steadfast message of equality. Dr. King had a dream that “one day [all people will] live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” His angelic message is one of unity and harmony, and as followers of our loving Savior, Jesus Christ, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, we share both his dream and his message!

We pray for the destruction of every last “wall” that so easily divides us: age, gender, ethnicity, and religion, as well as social and economic status. We intentionally leave out the word race, because we feel it’s a misnomer. We are all members of a single race, the human race, created in God’s own image and descended from a single bloodline. Each of us, on this basis, has great worth, value and potential — and is deserving of respect and no small consideration.

Yes, we are all equal! But thank goodness we’re not all the same! We may have our differences, and come from a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds, but that just keeps life and people interesting. God loves diversity — just take a look at nature and you’ll understand this — and when He created the human race He seasoned the world with a wide variety of “flavors” (sabor)!

The prophet Samuel wrote, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV) In other words, God determines who we are by looking inside; it’s the condition of our hearts that signifies the kind of people we are, not a set of external factors. So, as we reflect on Dr. King’s message and legacy, let’s also examine our own hearts — honestly. Once we do, we should ask ourselves if what we discover would be pleasing in the eyes of the God who is Love!

Let’s work together to root out any prejudice, hatred, or bigotry toward our fellow man. We don’t have to agree with another person on every single issue in order to accept them; and we don’t have to adopt their worldview in order to love them.

Please join us in this prayer from the Biblical King, David, whom God declared “a man after My own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” (Acts 13:22 NIV):

Search me, O God, and know heart: try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24 KJV) Create in me a new heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10 NIV)

Most of us dream of a better world. If we’re going to pursue this dream, we’ll need to start by being better. With God’s grace we can do it — together! Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

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Sweet, Satisfying and Inspiring! (Encouragement for Creators)

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In the late 1800s, the American candy maker Milton S. Hershey had a dream to make chocolate both available and affordable to the general public. Despite two failed business ventures, Hershey persevered and, in 1900, he introduced the first Hersey Milk Chocolate Bar. (See our previous post.) But the candy man’s dreams and creations went further. Seven years later, he developed and treated Americans to Hershey’s Kisses! The following year he gave us the Hershey Bar with Almonds!

But Hershey’s innovations and contributions went far beyond chocolate. In his future were further creations, as well as numerous acts of philanthropy. Hershey truly wanted to help people in any way he could. Fortunately for all of us, he got his chance. But things might have turned out differently were it not for a sudden business matter Hershey needed to address on April 10, 1912. Before we explain further, we’ll continue with Milton Hershey’s accomplishments and acts of kindness.

In 1905, he completed construction on the world’s largest chocolate manufacturing company eat your heart out, Willy Wonka! — in the center of a dairy farming district in Pennsylvania. Soon after, his delicious milk chocolate became the first nationally-marketed brand of candy.

Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, a character loosely based on Hershey, in the 1971 movie Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: “I’m just a fictional character, but Milton … he’s a real hero!”

But Hershey didn’t stop there: with his support, homes, shops, churches, and a transportation system sprang up around his chocolate factory. In 1909, he established the Hershey Industrial School to help disadvantaged kids. He also founded a teaching hospital with an initial endowment of $50 million. Hershey once stated, “One is only happy in proportion as he makes others feel happy and only useful as he contributes his influences for the finer callings in life.”

Hershey’s company continued to spread happiness. During WWII his chocolate factory supplied the U.S. armed forces with specially-made chocolate bars. No small feat: The bars, two types called Ration D Bars and Tropical Chocolate Bars had to meet stringent military requirements. They had to weigh one or two ounces each, and resist melting at temperatures higher than 90 degrees. No problem!

Between 1940 and 1945, the Hershey plant produced and distributed over 3 billion chocolate bars to soldiers throughout the world. At the height of production the company was making 24 million chocolate ration bars a week, and it ultimately received five Army-Navy ‘E’ Production Awards for exceeding expectations for quality and quantity. (Sorry, Charley!) And, of course, the famous Hersheypark and Hershey Museum were yet to come. Milton Hershey’s many contributions are remembered there, and kids young and old delight to tour the chocolate factory.

Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, in the 2005 movie Charley and the Chocolate Factory: “Milton, even I must tip my hat to your amazing accomplishments!”

Thank God this great man, who gave us so much, needed to attend to some last minute business affairs on the morning of April 10, 1912. You see, Hershey and his wife had booked passage from Southampton, England to New York on the maiden voyage of the ill-fated British luxury liner RMS Titanic. But something concerning the chocolate company suddenly came up, forcing the couple to cancel their reservations at the last minute! Whew!!

Hershey lived happily to the ripe old age of 88, blessing millions of people with his kindness and candy.

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