Last week I wrote about Faith and Menus–encouraging us to live a life that will encourage others to “taste and see that the Lord is good”. I spent some time thinking about some of my “Top Chefs”–individuals who have influenced my life for Him, and why they were such an influence in my life.
My first “chef” was my dad–he loved to worship and listening to him play his guitar while I was supposed to be sleeping as he sang “In the Garden” enticed me to want to walk with Him and talk with Him and let Him tell me I was His own. He took us to a variety of church denominations, tent meetings and faithfully encouraged us to live generously. I learned from him to honor God’s family
I have to include Darryl Rodman as another of my favorite chefs. Darryl was taught to be an atheist as a child, but when Jesus made Himself real to Him, He passionately served and shared Him all of His days. Everything he did included His gift of faith. He was authentic, transparent and served up such a real Jesus that it was easy to want to follow Him.
Listening to Jack Hayford and reading his books encouraged me to seek to allow my character to be shaped and formed into His character. I admire this man for his marriage, his heart of worship and his faithfulness to listen and follow Holy Spirit. There are many more I have met through their writings–amazing men and women who have given me hope during my struggling days. Joyce Meyer, John Maxwell, Steve Furtick and others who continue to serve up the Word in such a way that makes me want to grow closer to Him. They give me hope that God can use this vessel of clay.
Some of my favorite chefs may not be as well known–but Harold and Bonnie Harding were close enough in our lives to help mentor us. They modeled hospitality, listening ears and how to overcome when life doesn’t go quite as planned. Their lives exampled perseverance, humility and forgiveness when many would have walked away. Bonnie is still walking towards Him and allowing Him to shape and shift her life as a widow, she is my hero.
Pastor Kevin Wilson of Living Word Fellowship in Voluntown, CT. is another amazing teacher of the Word who also is authentic and inspiring. He always sets the Word in its context of history and that touches my own personal history bent. P.K. is a man who points to Jesus and encourages us to stand taller and pursue Him harder.
Another of my favorite Top Chefs, is my current local chef–Pastor Michael Hurley and his wife Reshaun. They pastor my home church. I trust them to serve healthy fresh bread and meat because he strives to hear His voice and follow Him, not only for those of us who are members of Life Church, but because he desires to be His disciple–no matter where or what that obedience calls Him to do. He shares the pulpit freely with our other local chefs–Pastor Josh Hubbard and Pastor Quin Snyder. He is transparent and encouraging. The meals (messages) served are fresh because he spends time with the Master Chef. I appreciate you Pastor Michael for your humility.
Each of these chefs serve up a Jesus who is authentic and real. They encourage me to read His Word, grow in faith and service. I love these chefs and I am grateful for their impact and impartation into my own life. I hope that using the analogy of a “chef” is clear and will help us all desire to share Jesus in such a way that others will “taste and see that He is indeed good”.