Reports of Strange Kitchen Phenomena! (Angel in the Kitchen)

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Scientist and science fiction novelist Arthur C. Clarke once wrote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” The author used this astute observation as a plot device in 2001: A Space Odyssey (both the novel and the movie). But what exactly constitutes “sufficiently advanced” tech? We imagine it’s practically anything beyond human knowledge.

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, astronaut and scientist Dave Bowman witnessed strange things far beyond his limited understanding.

But we all have different life experiences; and as a result, what we know may not be what you know. For instance, there are things going on in our kitchen that we can’t quite understand. Seemingly magical changes are taking place before our very eyes; processes as ancient as time itself, and yet beyond our limited knowledge.

Join us now, as we journey into the deepest recesses of the kitchen, and plumb the depths of the curious and arcane. Keep a firm grip on both your flashlight and your sanity, for we shall encounter the unexplainable, the unimaginable, perhaps even … the unspeakable!

Actually, we’re more likely to encounter the unspeakable in the laundry room, when we take a load of clothes from the dryer. Yes, by the Rings of Saturn, crouching atop the pile of sheets and towels are … (Oh, the horror! Dare we say it?) some of our unmentionables!

Are you SURE this is the way to the kitchen?

Ahem, on to the kitchen, brave heart.

There … in the cabinet … can you see it?!?! Dear Lord, it’s a box of … Jell-O! And next to it — Gasp! — baking powder! What manner of witchcraft be lurking in yon cupboard?

Have you ever noticed the strange sorcery that takes place when boiling water is added to gelatin? Out of sight within the dark regions of the refrigerator, the steaming liquid cools, and slowly transforms into a semi-solid jiggling mass of allegedly edible dessert … with a fruity flavor that is not its own! Okay, we know it’s not magic, but rather science. We also realize we can google the chemistry behind gelatin, but…. Seriously, we don’t really care, because we already know what we need to know: Jell-O works every time. Like magic! We’re not sure how, but we have confidence that mixing a little powder and H2O produces Jell-O! Onward!

Dost thou understand what gibbering madness cries out for baking powder to be added to the cauldron in which thou mixeth a batch of brownies? What dost the baking powder actually do? For that matter, precisely what is baking powder? We actually know this one. Yet, many cooks don’t. They simply follow the age-old wisdom of the cookbook. They may not understand all the hows, whys and wherefores, but these people have been promised good results by a chef much wiser than them, and they have faith that any given recipe will work!

Call it kitchen faith!

The reason things work in the kitchen is because they are backed by natural laws. We trust in these natural laws — even though we may not understand all the principles behind them. And we know it’s not magic, but rather an as-yet-unlearned part of the puzzle revealing life’s great mysteries. Interestingly, not too many seem bothered by not knowing the reasons behind all the intricate workings within the average kitchen. They’re too busy enjoying all the tasty things produced within the kitchen!

Regarding the spiritual realm, most of us have far more questions than answers. There are Biblical principles, the reasons for which we may not know or fully understand. Furthermore, God has promised things that seem impossible. He can take our mistakes and use our circumstances to make our lives nicely “gel” into something wonderful. How does He do it? Why does He do it? Do we really need to know in order to enjoy His blessings? “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5 NLT)

Because we don’t always “get it”, the spiritual realm can sometimes feel a little like The Twilight Zone.

Most of the answers are in His Holy Word, but there will always be a little mystery to His divine workings. Some things we just won’t know for sure until we go home to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father. But, like all the cooks who have kitchen faith, we should have faith in God’s promises and precepts. We may not be able to see and understand the intricacies behind them, but we should realize they are not “magic”; but rather truths backed by God’s divine laws and supernatural principles.

You don’t need to know or understand every single truth in the Bible in order to start enjoying the blessings of a life spent with God. You can accept salvation without knowing when Christ wll return and whether or not it will be before or after what theologians call The Great Tribulation. You can have faith in God’s promises without knowing all the hows, whys, and wherefores! Simply follow the age-old wisdom of the spiritual cookbook (the Word of God). Trust what it says, and you’ll have good results — because the “Master Chef,” who is much wiser than any of us, has promised that all His “recipes” will work!

“‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the LORD. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.'” (Isaiah 55:8 NLT)

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Sending Out an S.O.S. #2 (Diet for Dreamers)

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Are your dreams shipwrecked on an island of neglect? Are they drowning in a sea of too many activities, interests and responsibilities? If your unfulfilled goals could talk, would they be screaming for help? Would your unfulfilled dreams be sending out an S.O.S.? Last Monday, we began our discussion of the steps necessary to rescue your dreams.

If you want to find the time, energy and resources necessary to pursue your goals and rescue your dreams, then you probably need to take three important steps. The first step is to simplify key areas of your life: your schedule, finances, hobbies and interests, as well as your relationships and your focus. Too much “stuff,” too many “friends,” too many interests, too many directions — can leave you confused and dazed, with no time or energy for your dreams. So, the first letter in S.O.S. stands for simplify.

Step 2: “O” is for Organize! Everything. Your home, your kitchen, your office, your desk or creative space. Believe it or not, clutter can impede the ability to think clearly. And from a practical standpoint, you can accomplish more in less time, IF you’re not continually shuffling through drawers, files, stacks of papers; looking for whatever it is you need in order to get something done. Think about a cook in a disorganized kitchen, where the drawers are a jumbled mess, dishes are piled on the counter, etc. In the course of trying to prepare a meal, the poor cook will be digging for the right utensils, pushing pots out of the way to free up work space, and running back and forth while accomplishing very little.

But your organization shouldn’t be confined to physical spaces. Organize your finances. You’ll spend less time wondering which bills are due when, and whether or not you’ve already paid them. Result: less stress, no surprises, more time and energy to pursue goals. “…God is not the author of confusion, but of peace….” (1 Corinthians 14: 33 KJV)

Organize your schedule. Know what needs to be done — and when — and prioritize your responsibilities. Keep notes and make lists, to help remind you of things you need, projects you should be working on, pressing responsibilities and deadlines. If you’re driving into town, make it count, by arranging and scheduling other things you can accomplish on your trip. The last thing you want is to waste time. And if you suddenly find yourself waiting, seemingly with nothing to do, you can pull out your “Things To Do” list. Chances are you have calls to make, a bill you can pay on your phone, etc. — or you can spend the time updating your list!

“Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14: 40 KJV)

Organize your free time. Yes, there are occasions when it’s nice to hide the clocks, find a spot of ocean sand, throw down a blanket, and just listen to the surf. But if you do this too often, we doubt you’ll fulfill your dreams. People will remember you as a beach bum and not as someone who achieved great goals. Balance is key: realize how much of your time will be spent playing video games versus pursuing your dreams. Organize! Some people know well in advance what needs to be done, how long it will take, how to go about doing it, and when to start. They are organized, and hence more efficient: they get more done in less time. Other people run about squawking like chickens with no heads — and they accomplish very little.

“Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity….”  (Ephesians 5: 15-16 NLT)

Monday: Find out how the third “S” can launch you to your dreams.

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