Our Culture’s Aroma: What Do You Smell?

Pleasant smells are wafting from my kitchen–both sweet and savory. My appointments cancelled today, morphing my plans…so I’m spending much of the day in the kitchen. 20150212_192908A friend’s father passed this week and my neighbor had a baby, so it seemed a good time to send out some meals. While waiting to exchange my oven’s contents of lemon bars and chocolate chip cookies for lasagna and chicken divan I’ve been catching up on trending topics around this area of the world.  My custom is not to blog on a soapbox or get preachy…but I’m changing the tempo a bit today…feeling saddened and a bit outraged over our media’s continued extensive push of pornography and violence…most recently with a “Valentine’s” movie called 50 Shades of Grey, marketed as a love story. What does this have to do with lasagna and chocolate chip cookies you may wonder?

The food coming out of my oven will taste as good as the ingredients that were put into the dishes…and the way those ingredients were put together. In the same way, the outcome of our lives will be dependent upon the ingredients we use and the care we take in putting them together.

My husband and I recently celebrated forty years of marriage and many people extended their congratulations. While I would highly recommend our marriage to anyone—it is wonderful, deep, pure, intimate, purposeful, and satisfying  for one reason. It is a result of God’s instructions and our desire and determination to follow his recipe for living. If we had done it “our way” we would likely not be together…much less celebrating. I then might sit in a movie theater over Valentine’s Day looking for something I hadn’t yet found. (Wyndham would be fishing for it.) I cannot possibly thank God enough each day for the recipe for life he left me and the ingredients he made available for my use. The Bible contains those directions not only for salvation, but for life here and now—how to think, to react, to respond, to love, to build a marriage and a family….

Never forget that the world is trying to deceive us “big time”.  It always will because Satan is the great deceiver and father of lies. The world’s entertainment venues offer us a tantalizing meal, promising to please our palates.  While we are often concerned (rightly so in my opinion) about the hormones and additives in our physical food, how much more concerning is the addictive poison being poured into our hearts and minds through many of our books, web sites,  movies, TV shows, and songs—and calling it love. People are dying all around us—spiritually and emotionally and yet the world keeps asking for more of these meals. And they sell well. It would be preposterous for me to enter my kitchen with the desire to defy the recipes and lace the ingredients I use with arsenic.Yet, that is exactly what is happening around us. God’s recipe for love and relationships is being rewritten and poisoned. And the lies are killing our culture. Do you smell the lies?  In the words of Solomon, the wisest man except for Jesus, that ever lived:

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:18-27 (NIV)

As I wrote in my book, “Prime Rib: Exploring a Woman’s Value and Purpose”, when we live loved, we can then live loving and love living. As the scripture below states, the love of God can fill the aroma of our spiritual kitchen and satisfy our souls. That’s no lie. If you are tempted and curious to “just look and be entertained with the lies,” remember these words:

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:1-14 (NIV)

Guard your heart, guard your eyes, guard your ears, and guard your mouth.  It makes an eternal difference.

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  1. Katherine Pugh

    Jeanie, thank you for sharing and living those words. And I bet your kitchen smells yummy!

    • jeanieshaw

      Thanks, Katherine. It’s been too long since I’ve seen you. And yes, it did smell good :-). Sending love to you and Phil.

  2. Carolyn Harrell

    In re to Katherine, I know your life smells yummy even though I’m not in your kitchen. I love what you do with your Morning Cup, your kitchen, and your life.
    Best love,
    Carolyn (feeling a bit chilly on a sunny 54 degree Gainesville afternoon with cherry trees in bloom…sorry for that image…visit sometime!

  3. Susan Shell

    Thank you Jeanie. I started my day off by reading your post. It is so refreshing to see someone like you and Wyndham married 40 years now, and still incredibly happy, not complaining or fighting, or wishing they were with someone else. That’s what I want too. GOD IS GREAT! Have a nice day, and hope your cooking excursion went well. 🙂 Love Susan xoxo.


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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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