Are You Putting Me On? (Angel in the Kitchen)

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When working in the kitchen, we usually put on an apron to protect our clothing. The last thing we want is to get a big grease spot on a nice shirt or blouse. It wouldn’t exactly help our fashion image to wear stained duds to church or a dinner engagement. Sometimes we get in a hurry and forgo this simple piece of protective wear, and those tend to be the very occasions when something spatters on us. So we’ve learned from past mishaps that putting on an apron is a lot easier than removing a stain — and takes less time, too!

There are other things we frquently wear in the kitchen, such as oven mitts. We wouldn’t dare reach into a 450 degree oven without this thermal protection on our hands. Well, actually, we probably did at some point reach in with our sensitive bare pinkies — but only once!

As in life, some things are too hot to handle on your own. So we also use pot holders to remove lids, because when a pot gets hot and pressure builds inside, it tends to let off steam — like a few of our friends. No, we don’t want any steam burns.

When doing the dishes, we put on dishwashing gloves. Being exposed to abrasive soap pads, for extended sessions of scrubbing, can be rough on the hands. And we don’t want to become calloused.

We’re making an analogy again. Of course we are! That’s what we do best in Angel in the Kitchen. So, are there things we can put on in life, when dealing with people, when handling sensitive situations, which can similarly protect us? You bet! Romans 13:14 admonishes us to “…Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh.” (ESV)

Ruv! Heee-hee-hee-heeee!

What does it mean to “put on Christ”? It means adopting His attitudes about life and people. Jesus is loving and patient with us, and He wants us to act the same way toward others. Putting on Christ is the opposite of having a negative, resentful, grumpy, downright nasty attitude. Wear the latter out in public, and waitresses and dogs will avoid you like the plague. Putting on Christ — putting on an attitude of love — will protect your disposition; which in turn, will protect your relationships, your job, your interactions at the market, as well as your reputation and your witness for Christ. Hence, your good character won’t get stained.

Instead of being defensive and ready to bite the heads off defenseless chickens and babies, putting on a meek and humble attitude can prevent singed feelings when handling friends, family, and coworkers. When constantly dealing with abrasive people, putting on an attitude of compassion and understanding can protect you from becoming calloused. “…Love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8 NASB)

We particularly like Romans 13:14 in the New Living Translation: “Instead, clothe yourself in the the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Being in the “presence” of Christ means you’ll also be adorned with His strength and clothed in His grace — so you’ll be dressed to handle hot situations and deal with coarse people. Oh, and you’ll be stain-resistant, as well.

So when in the kitchen, put on your apron and oven mitts. In life, put on Christ. Wear a smile and adopt His attitude of Godly Love toward people. What does Godly Love look like? Read 1 Corinthians 13.

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Rocky Road to Success (Diet for Dreamers)

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During his birth, in July 1946, a mishandled forceps delivery severed a nerve on the lower left side of Sylvester Stallone’s face, causing partial paralysis of his lip, tongue, and chin. As a result, Stallone grew up with slightly slurred speech and a sad, drowsy-eyed countenance. In school the other kids taunted him. At age nine his parents divorced, and for a time, Stallone was shuttled from one foster home to another. But the talented American actor, director and screenwriter didn’t let any of these circumstances hold him back in life. His disadvantaged childhood was only the first round in a grueling fight to be a success.

Early in his acting career Stallone struggled to support himself. He took bit parts in television shows and cheap films, but it was never enough. He was evicted from his apartment and ended up sleeping in a New York City Bus Terminal for three weeks. Stallone once said, “…I was at the end — the very end — of my rope.” At one particularly low point, in order to keep his electricity turned on, the actor was forced to sell his best friend, a Bullmastiff named Butkus, for $25.

Even Butkus got to be in ROCKY.

About 2 weeks later, early in 1975, Stallone saw the Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner heavyweight boxing match. That night Stallone went home and started writing the script for the movie Rocky. Three days later, and after 20 straight hours of writing, he’d completed it. Then started the next grueling round, actually several rounds: he tried repeatedly to sell his script, and repeatedly it was rejected. In fact, Stallone received hundreds of NO!s Maybe one deterrent was his stipulation that whichever studio purchased the script also had to hire him to play the title role. The actor knew his concept was a valuable property, and he also knew he was born to play Rocky Balboa. It was his best shot, his chance of a lifetime, and he refused to throw in the towel.

Finally, United Artists offered to buy the script for $125,000. But the studio wanted a big star for the lead role, perhaps Robert Redford or Burt Reynolds. Stallone was actually the LAST person UA wanted for the part. The studio didn’t think he could act and that he wouldn’t be believable in the role of a weary club fighter who suddenly gets a shot at the World Heavyweight title. So Stallone refused the offer.

But producers Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff really wanted Stallone’s script. They upped their offer to $350,000, but they were adamant that someone else would play Rocky. Oh yeah? Bottom line, UA got the script and Stallone got the part, a plum role for a virtually unknown actor. But the studio had grave doubts the movie would succeed without a more talented, better-known performer, so they drastically cut the film’s production budget and agreed to pay Stallone a paltry $35,000 plus a percentage of the profits — should the movie make any!

Stallone immediately used the money to buy back his dog — for a whopping $15,000 — proving that: a) some opportunistic person took advantage of the actor’s windfall; b) Stallone really loved that pooch; and c) dogs may be the world’s greatest financial investment!

Rocky was made for $1,000,000; pretty cheap even for 1976. The movie proved both a critical and popular success. It won the Oscar for Best Picture, and grossed over $200,000,000. Not bad. And Stallone, the down and out actor, the unknown quantity who kept slugging it out for what he believed in, received two Academy Award nominations that year, for Best Actor and Best Dramatic Screenplay. Stallone went the distance with his dream. The actor can say, just as his Rocky character shouts it from the ring at the end of Rocky II, “I did it!”

Don’t give up! And if you have deep convictions about a project, then don’t give in! “Keep standing firm in your faith. Keep on being courageous and strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13 ISV) “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 Jubilee Bible 2000)

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