A Ministry of Christian Chefs International (CCI)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May 2012

The Soul of an Apprentice

- Food for your Spirit

Soil and Seed

Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. - John 12.23-26, NIV

Just as Jesus willingly gave his life, so should we. As long as we refuse, the abundant life remains an unclaimed promise.

Seeds need good soil to grow into strong plants, and a gardener to remove weeds that would otherwise choke the tender plants. Likewise, the Gospel message needs a good heart to produce much fruit.

The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. - Luke 8.14-15, NIV

God tests our hearts to see what’s in them (2 Chron 32.30-31). Although being tested by God is not something we look forward to (for the battle of the flesh against the spirit can be fierce), afterwards there is joy.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. - James 1.12 NIV 

Unfortunately, instead of willingly giving ourselves, we experience a desire to isolate ourselves, for relationships hurt; we want to protect ourselves. But soon we realize that we’ve made a mistake: we find that loneliness causes pain too.

Pain is part of life. It cannot be avoided, but it can be embraced. When we embrace pain, we let it transform us into something different. We become more compassionate, patient, forgiving, willing to suffer for, and with others. This in turn heals relationships, arresting pain before it even begins.

A seed that refuses to die remains unfruitful; a seed that dies produces more seeds. It is God’s desire that we die to the life we cannot keep in order to receive the life that we cannot lose. When we do so, we become fruitful: our lives become filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These lead to healthy, joy-filled relationships. We no longer feel a need to isolate ourselves, instead we seek others out.

Jesus died for us to have his kind of life - eternal and abundant. When we hold on to our kind of life, we will never know God’s kind of life. We must die to our desire to grasp, covet and envy, for as long as believe we must protect our lives, we will surely lose them. As soon as we let go, we receive the life that cannot be lost; the abundant life becomes a reality.

Susanna Krizo
Board of Directors, CCI


God's Garden
- Herbs, Spices, Vegetables, Fruits, and Grains

Preparing the Soil

Soil is the most important part of gardening, for the soil provides plants with water and nutrients. Plants make their own "food" by converting carbon dioxide and water into starches and sugars through photosynthesis. In addition, the plants need nutrients in the form of minerals, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulfur; and in smaller quantities boron, copper, iron, chloride, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc. In fact, soil is 50 percent minerals and 50 percent water and air. These minerals, water, and air must be held together somehow and that is done through clay, sand, and silt.

Providing the right kind of drainage is the most important part of preparing the soil. Soil that consists mostly of clay drains poorly, and pools water which can suffocate the plant’s root system. Soil that consists mostly of sand drains quickly – sometimes too quickly - killing the plant due to lack of water. Silt is a sedimentary material that together with water makes mud, which is why it is the half-way house between clay and sand. When all of these three components are found together (in a ratio of 40-40-20), you have loam. Loam is what gardeners want in their garden due to its optimal nutrient content, and water retention ability.

Although loam is optimal, it needs to be tilled; however, the old method of roto-tilling kills beneficial fungi, dissects worms, and other micro-organism the soil needs to remain a healthy environment for plants. Tilling by hand is hard work, something that deters people from becoming gardeners. But what if you didn’t need to till? What if you could create the perfect soil without having to dig?

Tired of tilling, Patricia Lanza created an ingenious concept called Lasagna Gardening (how appropriate for Christian Chefs!)


Instead of digging into the soil, you will build a new soil above the existing soil through layers of organic materials. Anything organic can be used to create a layer: fruit and vegetable scraps, cardboard, newspapers, grass clippings, leafs etc. Not only will a lasagna garden keep your home and garden clean, and the landfill emptier, it provides an excellent home for micro-organisms that will make your plants grow strong. A lasagna garden can be started in the fall, in which case it will “cook” throughout the winter. Or, it can be started in the spring, in which case you will need to add some soil around the plants for the root-systems until the lasagna has been “cooked” and the layers have transformed into soil. Either way, the lasagna garden will produce a plentiful harvest with minimal effort, something busy professionals are sure to appreciate!

Susanna Krizo
Board of Directors, CCI


From the Burner
 - Life lessons from Christian chefs

Being "In Your Gift"

Hello Sisters and Brothers! Just thought I would share a little encouragement as the events of recent begin to grow and express themselves.

I had an awesome weekend cooking for a Men's Encounter weekend here in North Carolina. The menu was well received and was blessed at the reaction of the men who "Tasted and saw... Just thought I would share these "first thoughts" as I got home and passed out! haha Praise the Lord! Wow what a weekend... As we are challenged by prophetic encouragement from Sister and Brother Chefs and leaders in our lives, such as  "We are moving towards a new encounter with Christ. We shall see him like we have never seen him before, Get ready church, ” by Chef Fred; and from Bro Rodney, “Are you ready? Are you ready?..."

Through the exhaustion and physical struggle of what we do in our jobs comes the Blessing. As we were cooking this weekend one of the pastors and Encounter leaders visited us in the kitchen late one night and told us how awesome it was to see persons “ In their gift.” And it was very encouraging to hear that - that someone could see the passion, joy, and love that we were expressing through our cooking. The blessing was in the expression of Our Father: by using our gifts we were on Holy Ground, and encountered a relationship with God in a new and powerful way. A Holy Spirit, that set our hearts, minds, and mouth free to taste, speak, run and dance, and cry that God is Good! The blessing of being obedient to the call to get away with Him, and to let Him get into you; in giving a little time, we received, and in receiving - like Peter, Paul and all the disciples - We Got the Goods!

“He delivered unto them his goods.” (Matthew 25:14)

Few things are more frustrating to people than to be faced with a task and not be given the time, the training, or the tools to get the job done. And fewer situations are more likely to produce this frustration in a person than the workplace, and the general state of affairs in our contemporary spiritual lives. Those of us who desire to serve and lead, to teach and learn, and share the keys to success in the Culinary industry, and the Eternal, share a common thread with those who lead us spiritually: one premise that is revealed is that a Chef IS a pastor! The people in our sphere of influence are loved incredibly, cared for, and responded to as the Bridegroom loves His bride. We must express that Love, care, and response, in the same way we see Jesus teach. We want our employees to succeed so as to bring favor, and yes, “Glory” to the owners, and operating philosophy of a finely run Food Service establishment. While in the workplace, or culinary school, we look to our Chef to lead us us and teach us the ways that we are to live, move, and work, to accomplish the mission of becoming successful cooks, and representatives, of the Food Service operation we are in. Whether it be the Catering event, the day to day Restaurant presentations, or the daily feeding we do in commercial residential feeding, Camps, Missions, or correctional facilities.

While in church life, the worship, service, and sermons, are theologically sound, verbally astute, and passionately presented—feeding and fueling the soul more often than not, they can end up not being enough. And we find out it is what we "bring" to the services, worship, and preaching - our hearts and attitudes open to the Spirit and Love for what we do - the same attitude must prevail in our culinary training, and jobs. What is really cool is when it comes to really training and equipping men and women to actually make a difference in their daily world, and being trained and equipped. Ultimately (at the end of all our trying on our own) we go to the source, the headwaters of that Living water that needs to flow from within.

The disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” And Jesus did so. On another occasion Jesus said to His disciples, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They followed, and Jesus delivered on His promise. These two occasions show us that the desire to be taught the things of the Spirit is strong in the heart of godly men and women, and that Jesus is more than accommodating.

Furthermore, Jesus doesn’t just train us, He also entrusts us with the resources to get the job done. As the scripture says, “He delivered unto them his goods.”

How strange it must have been for a fisherman named Simon Peter to be called by an itinerant rabbi named Jesus, to follow Him so as to become a “fisher of men.” In his later years Peter wrote, “His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). He was writing from personal experience. Jesus called him, trained him, trusted him, and entrusted him with the high privilege of presenting the Gospel to ordinary men and women with extraordinary results—thousands were saved!

Peter had no idea that first day he met Jesus just how radically different his life would become in a few short years. The same is true of you. Your life matters to God far more than you may realize. And by placing it fully in His hands, trusting Him to keep you in step with His Spirit, you can do whatever the Lord has called you to do—for He has also given you everything you need to get the job done.

As we look to earthly leadership, we get the tools, equipping, training, and inspiration we need, and as we look to the Lord we receive the same thing!  We become trained, and entrusted to represent the teachers, and ultimately THE Teacher - Jesus.

I encourage you to run to the Word for that communion, communication, and that “touch” from God, who Loves us incredibly, and learn from Jesus, God manifested for us. Jesus said to Peter and through the living word today to us,“ Do you really love me?  Feed my sheep...” Read John 21 and put yourself in Peters place and get ready to be amazed at the change that comes from being an obedient servant, and one with a teachable spirit and positive attitude towards the things of God. I am sure you will be as amazed as Peter was about himself!  Life is a great experience, Sisters and Brothers; the great adventure from our Our Father God. I pray that in all things you remain solid “in your gift,” and rooted in the Word, and built on a firm foundation of solid Rock.

You got the goods! You got THE God! You got the "I AM"! Now you can go forth, and say as Moses did, "I AM has sent me to you." (Exodus 3:14) It's that personal and that intimate; expressing the Spirit of God in Jesus in your heart.

Rock and Roll! Jesus is the Rock and we ROLL!

Chef Leo Griego
Board of Directors, CCI



Did You Know?
- Miscellaneous helpful hints and technical advice
from the kitchen

When baking, use a little flour to quickly remove the dough from your hands when you are done. It'll save you the unpleasant task of having to clean the sink.

Chef Jim Krieg