Christian Chefs International
The 'Big Bears' In Our Lives (part 1)

Jesus' "Power" is with us in all situations.

"Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you."
Luke 10:19

We get so involved with our busy schedules and stressful situations that we often find ourselves "doing things our way." We forget to put our Lord and His protective power and wisdom into the equation.

So, this old retired Mountain Camp Chef would like to share some bear stories. I served twenty-four years in camps located in high mountain back-country. In other words, BEAR country!

We owned a business where we offered food service to groups renting camp/conference center facilities that did not provide culinary service in the winter months. Then, every summer my family and I would pick one of the camps to spend the summer working in.

I have never worked in a camp without bears around. We've put up wire cages for our trash. We've tried wooden sheds. We've used wooden fencing. Nothing keeps a big black bear out if he wants in!

I was always the last to leave the kitchen at night. I liked to be sure for myself all was "ship-shape" for the next busy day. I would be walking out the last of the trash and heading back to my quarters usually around ten or eleven at night. I would soon become on a first-name basis with that camp's particular bears.

I used our verse from Luke to bolster my courage as I made those lonely walks late at night. I discovered if I spoke gently to my bears and let them know I was there - they NEVER bothered me in the least. I would walk along singing or talking out loud to my Lord, thanking him for giving me the privilege to interact with these wonderful, awesome bears. They are really gentle creatures once they know you are there and mean them no harm.

I recall one night, I was very tired and it was very dark out. I was walking between my quarters' wall and the wooden fence around the trash bins. Well, I was NOT singing or praying out loud and I startled a very large black bear inside the fenced area. He rose up on his hind legs with a growl and stared me straight in the face which was about 12 inches from his. He growled loudly and I was so startled that I nearly fainted. The Lord and I talked to him and assured him he could finish his dinner without interruption from me. He lowered himself to all fours and continued to graze among the trash. Now was our Lord there protecting me? You bet! You better believe I sang and prayed out loud coming back to quarters the rest of that summer at that particular camp. :-)

How often we make mountains out of molehills by our "fears". I have tried to explain to my staff that they had nothing to fear from any of the abundant wildlife as long as they trusted our Lord for protection and then acted on the wisdom He has shown us. A comforting word even calms wildlife.

Try it on your difficult staff members; we all truthfully know we have them. :-) I have always loved using love and calm words when working with difficult team members. This was especially true in the later years when I worked with the Sheriff's Dept.

"If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
For you will heap burning coals on his head,
And the Lord will reward you."
Proverbs 25: 21,22

Written in Love by Chef Diane Boone
Retired Camp/Conference Center/Institutional Cook


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