Colossians 3:23,24 New Living Translation
During this beautiful season of reflection over the events of the past year, I would love to encourage all my fellow chefs and cooks with a "jewel" our Lord gave me this year.
As some of you know by now, I was a camp/conference cook for twenty-four years before I became a Sheriff Cook II.
This story goes way back to the early seventies. I was working at Camp Seeley. For those of you who might have seen the remake of the movie, "The Parent Trap", it was filmed at Camp Seeley and at our beautiful Lake Gregory, here in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California.
The kitchen is located way down behind the camp by a beautiful mountain steam. As my staff and I worked down there, we always took time to pray for our campers; especially when we had Christian groups renting this City of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation camp.
This particular year, we had a large group of youth from Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in for a week. I remember this particular group because their music was so full of joy and spirit. This was the early "Praise Music" as we call it today. I would close down the kitchen at night and was invited to join their campfire. They would always stop and greet me and sing "Sweet, Sweet Spirit" to me. How I have always loved that song. There was a wonderful sense of the presence of God with this group of adults and young people. This was my first exposure to Chuck Smith and the "Jesus People" movement of the sixties and seventies.
We would all be sitting or standing there, singing sweet praises to the background sounds of the crackling fire and the bears rummaging through the day's garbage in my dumpsters down by the kitchen. :-) I have lots of fun bear stories - as the Lord has sent me many bear friends - but that is a reflection for another time. :-)
I grew to love these particular campers in a very special way. I have continued to pray for them to this day.
So, why do I tell you all this? What is the "jewel" in all this? Not long ago, in a Sunday morning message, my Pastor Tim dropped the "jewel" right in my lap. He shared how he had given his life over to Christ during a retreat up at Camp Seeley when he was a young teen. I was sitting in the back of the church and just started to weep with joy. My heart of hearts was so blessed - my pastor was one of those special campers - one of thousands I have served meals to in Jesus' Name!
We so seldom "see" the eternal fruit of our food service ministry. It is my prayer for you that you don't see your "work" as just a job, but see it as a service to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
After the service, I went up and shared this little story with Pastor Tim. We have been friends for many years now and never knew about this unique spiritual connection before. Now I look up and see my dear Pastor, but I also see one of "my" camper kids.
The Lord gave me this special "jewel" at a difficult season in my life. I am now becoming more and more disabled due to my job injury and at times it is hard to keep my spirits up. The Lord just gave me this little bonus "jewel" to lift me up. Isn't our Lord wonderful? Our dear precious, gracious, loving Father God! Pastor Tim has encouraged me to become involved in ministry to folks with chronic illness/pain. I now divide my time between this ministry and HopeKeepers (my support group for Christians). HopeKeepers is a ministry of Rest Ministries out of San Diego (link below).
See how the ripples continue out from the center of that one little moment in ministry at a camp way out in the woods?
So dear brethren ~ HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Keep praying over those folks receiving those seemingly endless lines of plates of wonderful food that you prepare and send out of your kitchen. You are all working right where the Lord wants you. He put you there. Keep praying :-)
PRAISE THE LORD!
Do you have a "jewel" that would encourage the rest of us? If so, please send it to us so we can all praise the Lord with you.
by Diane Boone, Retired Chef