The All-Purpose Cleaner! (Angel in the Kitchen)

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Bleach is our best friend in the kitchen. Yes, it’s great for brightening whites in the laundry, but it’s also a versatile all-purpose cleaner. Bleach seems to remove any stain, no matter how stubborn. It cuts through grease. And it disinfects, too!

Pretend for a moment that you’re in one of those cheap 1980s sci-fi movies and civilization as we know it suddenly grinds to a halt. You’ll want your bleach handy: just a drop in a tankful of stagnant water will chlorinate it and kill all the harmful bugs. So even if the TV is useless, and there’s no cell phone service, you’ll still have plenty of clean water to drink as you contemplate rebuilding civilization — or simply returning to nature to run free with the wildlife.

In the meantime, we use our bleach to kill and remove mildew under the sink. It also removes grime from our kitchen cabinets. And it cuts through grease and cleans tupperware better than anything else we’ve used. In fact, bleach removes those creepy red stains that are always left after microwaving a plastic container of chili or spaghetti sauce.And if you’re like us and have a white refrigerator, bleach is great for removing those incriminating little finger smudges left by kids sneaking an ice cream bar or the last piece of lemon meringue pie.

We also use bleach to disinfect the cutting board and the kitchen sponge we use to wash the dishes. The beauty of bleach is that it deep cleans, removes stubborn stains, purifies and sanitizes! And if a lock of hair should fall across your face while you’re scrubbing the kitchen with bleach, just push it back. No need to wash your hands before running your fingers through your hair; when you’re done, you’ll have this cool bride-of-frankenstein streak of white that’s all the rage these days.

Household bleach has a divine counterpart, too; something that deep cleans, removes stains, purifies, and is far more precious and far more eternal. Churches still sing about this miracle all-purpose cleaner, in an old hymn:

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh, precious is the flow, That makes me white as snow.

The blood of Jesus Christ has the power to cleanse us of all unrighteousness, remove the stain of any sin, purify (sanctify) the immortal spirit within each us. This is the blood that Christ shed when he was crucified over 2000 years ago for our sins. “‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient….'” (Isaiah 1:18 NIV)

But just like bleach, in order for this supernatural cleaning solution to work, it must first be applied. God applies the blood when we: acknowledge our sins and need for a Savior; turn away from our sins (change the direction of our lives); trust Jesus for our salvation, and accept (by faith) His free gift of eternal life; and make Him the Lord of our lives.

“God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong.” (1 John 1:9 GOD’S WORD)

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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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