Got A Light? (Angel in the Kitchen)


Have you ever had trouble finding something in a kitchen cabinet because all the labels were shrouded in shadows? Have you ever scrubbed furiously to remove a stain from a dinner plate, only to realize later that it’s a blemish in the plate itself? Have you ever had difficultly reading a cookbook laid open on the kitchen countertop? Responding yes to any of these questions could be an indication that your kitchen has insufficient lighting.

Ah, there’s nothing as romantic as a candlelight dinner — even if you can’t see the food on your plate. “HEY! You’re about to eat the cork from the wine bottle.”

Assuming there’s nothing wrong with your eyesight, the lights in your kitchen may be too few, or improperly placed, or simply not emitting enough bright light. And most cooks agree, there’s nothing more frustrating than working in a dimly lit kitchen where you can’t see what you’re doing.

You can have the latest, most expensive “designer kitchen,” but if it’s poorly lit, you’ve just wasted your money. You won’t be able to see which spices you’re sprinkling into the soup, or how badly you’re bleeding after accidentily slicing open your finger while dicing onions … because you couldn’t see!

Let there be light!

A great kitchen has lights everywhere: over the stove, over the sink, above every foot of counterspace. And if you have an island, over that too. There are even lights for UNDER the counters and INSIDE the cabinets! You need to be able to see what’s lurking under the sink! But lights aren’t just for function. Good lighting adds to the esthetics of both the kitchen and dining area. In fact, a handsome light fixture properly positioned above the table, such as a chandelier, is just as important as your place-settings and centerpiece.

Form and function. Lights are useful tools that add beauty to life. It’s close to impossible to get along without light; but light is something you rarely think about until you have to do without it. Living in the woods of New Kent, we’ve had many occassions when we lost power. And when it gets dark in the woods … IT REALLY GET’S DARK! So we’ve stocked up on candles, flashlights, and hurricane lamps. Sitting in the dark is no fun, and a world without light would be a dark and gloomy place.

In society, light promotes safety and order. (If you don’t believe this, read your history: people seem to go crazy during blackouts in major metropolitan areas. When the light goes out, the looting and vandalism starts.) Lights illuminate and guide our way. (Streetlamps and fluorescent signs.) They control and direct traffic, further ensuring order. (Traffic and crossing lights.) We could go on, but we think you get the point.

The Bible explains that God and His holy Word are the ultimate source of Spiritual Light.  Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John  8:12 NLT) “Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NLT)

This Divine Spiritual Light serves the same purpose as natural and man-made lights: it illuminates the truth and guides our ways; it brings beauty to life; it promotes order and safety; it directs all human activity. And without God’s Word, this world would be a dark and gloomy place. Funny thing is, just like natural and man-made lights, we often don’t miss the illuminating, organizing, cheering, reassuring, and safety-promoting effects of God’s Word until it’s taken away from society. People living in countries where Judeo-Christian beliefs have been banned, know this truth well.

One last thought: When the sun goes down and the house grows dark, we switch on a light. Flashlights and candles bring light into the darkest corners of a room. In life, we’re to be God’s spiritual flashlights and candles, helping to dispel darkness wherever we go. In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told His followers, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see….” (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT)


And To Think (How) It Happened…. (Encouragement for Creators)


Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, he worked variously as a cartoonist for magazines such as Vanity Fair and Life, or as an advertising artist for companies that included Standard Oil and General Electric. But Ted Geisel envisioned using his talents in an entirely different way.

Ted was born on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was the grandson of German immigrants. Ted’s father managed the family brewery, and had it not been for Prohibition during the 1920s, the creative young man might have ended up making good German beer. But instead, after the brewery was forced to close, Ted enrolled at the University of Oxford, studied art, and became a successful illustrator. Despite this success, however, Ted wanted to write books.

In 1936, while returning from an ocean voyage to Europe, Ted got the idea for a children’s book. He made notes and composed lines of verse while standing at the ship’s rail. After arriving back home in New York City, he spent the next six months writing and illustrating his first book — and rewriting it; and sweating over every little detail of the words and pictures.

How many times do I have to tell you? No. No. NO!!!

When he finished A Story That No One Can Beat, he tucked the original manuscript beneath his arm and started making the rounds at all the major publishing houses. From 1936 through much of 1937, Ted showed his illustrated story to 27 different book editors — none of whom apparently felt it was A Story That No One Can Beat. All 27 rejected Ted’s book. And they all gave essentially the same reasons: your book is “too different” from other children’s material; fantasy doesn’t sell these days; and worst of all, a story told in verse is simply out of vogue! The editors also complained that Ted’s book contained “no moral or message,” and they didn’t care to publish anything NOT written with the aim of “transforming children into good citizens.”

Ted repeatedly argued, “What’s wrong with kids having fun reading without being preached to?” His words, though, fell upon deaf ears.

After his 27th rejection, Ted tucked his tattered manuscript beneath his arm once again, and headed home. Depressed, frustrated, and more than just a little angry, he intended to burn the book when he reached his apartment. But along the way, he bumped into an old friend. The man asked him, “What’s that under your arm?”

“…A book that no one wants to publish,” came the answer. “I’m lugging it home to burn.”

Ted’s friend explained that not three hours earlier he’d been made an editor at Vanguard Press. In fact, he said, “We’re standing outside my new office.” He then invited Ted up to his office so he could look over the manuscript. Once inside, the man introduced Ted to the children’s book editor, who almost immediately agreed to publish the book, but with a single stipulation: “…You’ve got to give me a snappier title!”

Vanguard Press published Ted’s first children’s book, retitled And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street, in 1937, with an impressive print run of 15,000 copies. The book received glowing reviews, and it sold reasonably well. But after six years, and a couple of reprints, the book had only sold about 30,000 copies. Ted had earned less than $3,500 in royalties, so Mulberry hadn’t exactly made the author rich.

Geisel’s first book got the same reception as green eggs and ham–which, once tasted, is actually really good!

No matter, Ted was on his way. He continued to create children’s books. He also continued to write and illustrate them under the pseudonym of Dr. Seuss! His later books include The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Today, several decades later, most of these books are still in print, with sales now totaling over 600 million copies. Several have been adapted as animated TV specials, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been made into two big-budget movies, both of which were incredibly successful at the box office!

A “chance” meeting with a man who was willing to lend a helping hand had put Theodore Geisel on the road to success. Geisel once wrote of that
encounter, “If I had been going down the other side of Madison Avenue, I’d be in the dry-cleaning business today.” What a sobering thought! Imagine a world without Dr. Seuss or Green Eggs and Ham !! Thank God for “chance” meetings and kind souls everywhere, who are willing to facilitate worthy endeavors!

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” (Psalm 37:23 NLT)