Better Together (Angel in the Kitchen)

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Ever notice how certain foods work really well together? Like bread and butter. Rice and beans. Cream and sugar. Biscuits and gravy. Peaches and cream. Salt and pepper. Lettuce and tomatoes. Mac and cheese. Peanut butter and jelly. We call these delectable duos “palatable pairings”! We’ve only listed a few, but our list could on and on. And we’ve probably started you thinking about a few of your own favorite culinary couplings.

We can do this if we work together! We can unite to make an awesome snack!

Although any of the items listed above can stand alone, although each one has individual value and can fill a need all by itself, bringing two of them together greatly increases the appeal and value. Peanut butter is a good source of protein, but it can be a little dry and a little blah. Jelly is fruity and sweet, but it’s not very filling. Either one works well as a sandwich spread, but just ask any kid: mix the two and you have a nutritional sandwich that tastes like a snack! Because these two foodstuffs are BETTER TOGETHER!

Bet you already guessed this kitchen wisdom: there are tons of examples of things in life that work well together. Spices, such as brown sugar and cinnamon. Foods, such as apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Comedy teams, such as Abbot and Costello, or Laurel and Hardy.  Musical duos, such as Donny and Marie, the Righteous Brothers, or Simon and Garfunkel. (And by the way, did Art Garfunkel ever do anything noteworthy while he was on his own? Just curious.) And PEOPLE can work together to do great things. You, us, and them, too.

No one is an island. God created people to be relational beings: to have interaction with Him, obviously, but also to interact with those around us. “…The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.'” (Genesis 2:18 HCSB) Although this verse relates to marriage, the first institution God created (which we’ll examine in a future post), its wisdom applies to ALL relationships.

Let’s spice things up!

The Bible is full of relationships. Actually, it’s all about relationships. And it’s THE Book of God’s relationship to us! God knows us better than anyone, and what He knows is that WE NEED RELATIONSHIPS. Every human being has a basic need and desitre to love and be loved, to share, to communicate, to socialize. Even the grumpiest, seemingly most unapproachable person needs to talk to someone! Perhaps that’s why social media is so popular today.

Two people working together are better able to achieve their goals and realize their dreams, because there is power in two people who are mutually supportive and accountable; two people who can encourage and assist each other. That’s what the “buddy system” is all about. That’s why there are support groups such as AA, and mentoring groups such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters. That’s why a prayer partner can help keep us tuned in to God. And why corporations hope you have a “best friend” at work. Such connections make work more bearable, and life more enjoyable.

Please don’t face life alone. “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 NLT)

“…One person (can) chase a thousand … (but) two people put ten
thousand to flight….” 
(Deuteronomy 32:30 NLT)

So find a friend, whether online, on the job, at church, or next door. And never forget that the Lord also longs to partner with you in every endeavor. He’s “… a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 NIV)

Please join us in prayer for the healing of our nation. Take part in Prayer March 2020 on Saturday, September 26th, Noon to 2 PM, in Washington, D.C. Go to PrayerMarch2020.com for details. Also on September 26th in D.C.: The Return (Prayer) at 9 AM and 6 PM. Go to TheReturn.org for details.

“Thus the Lord was moved by prayer for the land.” (2 Samuel 24:25 NASB)
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Not Just Lucky (Or, What’s YOUR Brand?)

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For most Americans during the Golden Age of Hollywood, his was the most recognizable face in movies. He was handsome and well built, with a distinctive voice and presence many perhaps found intimidating.

Weissmuller, as Tarzan, tries to steal this big scene.

He began his film career in 1926, and during the next thirty years he appeared in over 100 movies. MGM, the studio that employed him, was so pleased with his work that they ensured he was featured in at least one brief scene in nearly every picture they produced, including such classics as Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. And yet, he’s never listed in any of the movies’ credits!

He posed for publicity photos with legendary Hollywood starlets, including Greta Garbo, and often participated in studio promotional tours. His most enjoyable performances, however, were in a series of low-budget Tarzan movies, in which he played opposite the Olympic Gold Medalist (for swimming)-turned-actor Johnny Weissmuller. Only in these cheaply-made jungle flicks did he get the opportunity to truly show off his acting chops.

However, the most remarkable part of his career was his uncanny good fortune. He survived two train wrecks, an earthquake, and a studio explosion! But his most amazing death-defying escape involved a plane crash!

Wreckage of Leo's plane!
Wreckage of Leo’s plane!

Shortly after departing from San Diego, on a heavily-reported publicity tour, the star’s specially designed single-engine plane crashed in the Arizona desert. The pilot, Martin Jenson, left his VIP (very important passenger) lounging in the “guest suite” with plenty of sandwiches, milk, and water, and then made a four-day trek through the wilderness. Once Jenson found a phone, he called the studio bosses, who immediately wanted to know just one thing: Was their star okay?

Miraculously, MGM’s most visible talent came out of the crash totally unscathed. So, the folks at the studio started calling their star Leo the Lucky. That wasn’t his real name, of course, but he did look like a “Leo.” Have you guessed the identity of this ubiquitous performer? His name was Jackie. Just Jackie. He was the famous MGM lion who roared, perhaps a bit irritably, at the beginning of most of the studio’s movies.

Jackie patiently awaits her close-up.
Jackie patiently awaits his close-up.

We can imagine that you’re wondering exactly how we intend to use this bit of biography to encourage dreamers to never give up and creators to keep on creating. Well, it’s like this….

Actually, we just thought it would be fun to write about Leo, one of the most recognizable trademarks in the world, and…. Hey, that’s it! Trademarks! Branding! That’s how we’ll round out this story!

Trademarks can facilitate and protect the dreams of creators and entrepreneurs. And maintaining a recognizable brand name can ensure that writers, artists, singers, and musicians — as well as designers, manufacturers, and inventors — keep a loyal following; which is necessary if these creators hope to sufficiently fund their work (and hence, be able to continue pursuing their dreams).

The MGM Grand Hotel proudly displays its famous trademark.

Companies rely on trademarks to protect their products and services. And of course, brand names help consumers to find these commodities. And believe it or not, some authors and artists have gone so far as to trademark their names.

Publishing competitors Marvel and DC Comics even joined forces to trademark the word superhero. So, although third-party companies may use the word inside a comic book, these publishers who arrived late to the party CANNOT use superhero in their magazine titles or anywhere else on the covers of their books. In this way, industry giants Marvel and DC hope to ensure that readers looking for exciting tales of good guys in colorful costumes will pick up one of their comics.

Personally, we too have a “brand” — and we share it with all those who believe in Jesus Christ. We identify ourselves as followers of the Son of God, who’s also known in the scriptures as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah! He may not have had His own dressing room at MGM, but His story is far more fascinating than even Leo’s. And His “stamp” of approval is upon all His creations, including the earth and all its inhabitants — even the feathered, furry, and finny ones!

Leo wasn’t just Lucky! The protection of MGM’s mascot is a perfect example of how much God cares about all His creation. The Psalmist writes, “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations. All the creatures look expectantly to you to give them their meals on time. You come, and they gather around; you open your hand and they eat from it.” (Psalm 104:24-30 MSG)

Does the “Lion of the Tribe of Judah” care about you too? Absolutely! You are His highest creation, “fearfully and wonderfully made” in God’s “own image.” (Genesis 1:27 and Psalm 139:14 KJV) And He loves you dearly! (John 3:16)

Jesus said, “Stop being worried or anxious about your life [and your
dreams]…. Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?”
(Matthew 6:25-26 AMP)

Indeed you are! So go ahead and roar!

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