A Ministry of Christian Chefs International (CCI)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March 2014

From the Burner
Life Lessons from Christian Chefs

When life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life will be all like "What?!"
When life gives you lemons use as an all-natural, organic astringent…
When life gives you Lemons make…a world of fantastic things! 

Wow…as my mind reels and my taste buds begin to drool, I think of how immense the smallish fruit can be. It’s like the ant who can lift 50 times its body weight, and we gain a respect for that little creation. As a food lover I see God’s creations in all its diversity of texture, color, and flavor.  When we look at the lemon, it is beautifully bright and yellow; the healing color of the sun, the color of brightness, and inspiring lemon flavor. Yet, beneath the beauty, the freshness of aromatic brightness is the taste of….sour. A flavor profile that moves the very muscles and tendons in our faces into a scrunch, and yet, in the twitching musculature, a smile usually erupts.

Yes the lemon is a source of an acid—ooooo… sounds dangerous! Citric acid, sharp and powerful; yet, even before the knowledge of vitamins, lemon juice was a known source of healing. No scurvy no more! It cleans, it whitens, and brightens! It cooks proteins like fish to make them tasty and safe!  Vitamin C has shown cancer healing properties! The lemon was used even by the ancients to lighten, exfoliate, and tone skin. I’m beginning to wonder, is there anything this fruit can’t do? 

Yet, when we get a “lemon” the association is something that leaves a sour taste in our mouth, but why is that? It seems to me that ALL things work together for the good for those who are called to His purpose, amen?  But sometimes we have to go beyond the many levels of who, or what, we are. So much of the lemon is on the surface: scent, flavor (in the oils), color (that pleases the eye). Similarly, also we have a “presentation side,” and our attitude becomes a sweet smelling sacrifice unto the Lord, and the essence of flavor seasoning, and infusing those around us.

But then we go a level down, to the fruit. Now there is another wow factor. If I had tons of room to talk about the fruit mentioned in the Bible, we’d be here for quite a while. I encourage you to look up fruit and marvel at the depth of teaching and lessons; from the very beginning of the Bible to the very last book fruit is mentioned. Jesus Himself mentioned it with a depth of meaning. One example is in John 15:16:  “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.”

Let’s go back to our lovely lemon. As the old song bespoke, “Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet. But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.“  We shouldn’t say impossible, for as “With God ALL things are possible,” we can make that sour fruit and use it, create with it, sweeten it.

Fruit is the describer of what the Holy Spirit indwells us with. The Fruit of the Spirit sweetens all things with love. And so when life gives us lemons, don't ask why, but ask God how He can use them to cleanse and exfoliate us of the oily, greasy buildup in our lives, and sweeten us with Love. 

"I'm never quite confident I can do what God wants me to. In fact, I'm certain I can't unless God does something. But the beautiful thing is, he does do something. … Time and again. -- Carol Cymbal

Chef Leo Griego