God has really taught me a thing or two in the past few years about His requirements of a person for Him to be able to do His work through him or her. Although I have failed at doing this many times, ever since God set me on fire for Himself I have always tried to stay open to whatever God might have for me to do.
Not long after I really started to get into God's Word for the very first time, God called me to go to culinary school. This was not long after I had stopped studying to be a commercial airline pilot, and I knew very little about scripture. One thing I did soon come to realize was that it was following God's direction for me to attend culinary school. There was no use waiting any longer about something God had clearly shown me, so I spent a short time researching the different schools, and off to New York I went. I still wasn't very knowledgeable about scripture, but was excited to learn more and also was excited to find out what God desired to do through me by bringing me into this industry. Well, it wasn't long until God called me to lead the Christian club on campus. The leader was graduating and no one else wanted to become the leader. Sensing God's leading, I volunteered. I had absolutely no clue how God could do it through someone as unknowledgeable about His Word as myself, but by His grace, I submitted to His direction and He gave me all the strength to lead the group for most of that year, and much of my second year of school as well. God ended up teaching me more than I could ever have imagined during that time, and I was so excited about the campus fellowship at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) that I began to think how awesome it would be to work with a worldwide ministry to cooks and chefs.
Little did I know that there was none in existence. I researched online, through friends, through other ministries, and more, but couldn't find a ministry like that anywhere. I felt that I would be completely unable to start something like that, as I was a broke college student in a great deal of debt from culinary school and aeronautical school, and had only a little culinary knowledge, didn't know anything about websites, newsletters, leadership, or ministry in general. Still, even though all those thoughts were rolling through my mind of how I wasn't able to do such a great task, I was continuing to keep myself available to whatever God would have me to do, knowing that I couldn't do it, but if He wanted to, He could.
It stayed in the idea stage for a few months, but a worldwide ministry to cooks and chefs was on my mind often. It wasn't long before God allowed me to buy a computer. From there, I found that free webspace was available and found out how easy it was to write HTML code to build a website. I later started learning how to put out an e-mail newsletter, and that was it. Through staying available to God's will for my life, God started CCF. Now, 3 years later, God continues to grow me personally, grow the number of people this ministry reaches out to, and grow the ministry in general, both spiritually and physically. He's given me that culinary knowledge through school and through some awesome restaurants He's allowed me to work in throughout the US, France, and Australia, helping me to better understand cooks from all backgrounds. God has also allowed me to take some Bible college classes, and has allowed me time for personal study enabling me to better minister to them spiritually as well. He's brought CCF from our first newsletter (http://www.christianchefs.org/newsletters/1998/09.html) to the current newsletter, and from the original 2 members to the current almost 650 (and growing daily). He's ministering to cooks and chefs through CCF in more ways than I could've ever imagined before, including the new Christian Culinary Apprenticeship, the culinary charts, the Message Boards, industry job listings, and many other many resources. All this by my own strength? I think not!
And, as always, the focus remains on staying available to His will for the ministry, which is kept that way with the few others like myself that God has led to carry out His work in this ministry of His. In staying available, I've found that there is no such thing as being too busy to serve God either. Just over a year ago God had called me to continue serving Him, giving me all the strength needed to take care of the newsletter, website, e-mails, and everything else that needed done while working one 55-75 hour/week job, one other 15 hour/week job, and continuing to have a good social life at the same time. Now that's God!
I'd just like to encourage you to keep yourself available to whatever God may have for you, both in the big things and in the small; whether He's called you to be a witness in the kitchen you work in or ministering to other Christian cooks and chefs around the world. And in all things remember, it's not about what ability you have or don't have, for just like Paul said in Philippians 4:13 (NKJV), "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Notice that Paul doesn't state that Christ helps grow Paul's strength, but rather that Christ IS Paul's strength.
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Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. -1 Cor 10:31 ESV