A Pleasing Aroma! (Angel in the Kitchen)


As previously discussed, people are drawn to pleasing aromas. The smell of fresh bread baking in the oven will draw friends and family to your kitchen like bees to honey. And know what? There’s one very pleasing fragrance that attracts our Heavenly Father. It’s the irresistible aroma of PRAISE!

When we thank God and exalt Him in our words and music, we are in a sense offering up a sacrifice to Him: “the sacrifice of praise.” (Psalm 50:23; Jeremiah 33:11; Hebrews 13:15) Sacrifices made in Old Testament times gave off a fragrance that God described as “the pleasing aroma of your offering.” (Leviticus 26:31) As such an offering, our praise smells absolutely delicious to our Lord; and it draws Him near to us, the source of the “pleasing aroma”!

Psalm 22:3 teaches us that God “inhabits” or “dwells amid” the praises of His people. When we honor God with our songs of praise and worship, He quickly joins the festivities!

Having God close by is definitely a good thing! Besides, it’s only right that we honor the One who blessed us not only with life, but also with eternal life! “Praise the Lord! How good to sing  praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting! (Psalm 147:1 NLT)

But exactly how often should we praise the Lord? “I will praise the Lord at all times [in every situation]. I will constantly speak His praises.” (Psalm 34:1 NLT) King David, the Psalmist, gave us an example of this: “I will praise You seven times a day because all your regulations are just.” (Psalm 119:164 NLT)

What should we praise God for? “…With my whole heart, I will praise His holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for Me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and … fills my life with good things.” (Psalm 103:1-5 NLT)

Where should we praise God? Wherever we are: at home and in school; on the job and at play — and NOT just in our houses of worship. The definitive answer, however, is “in His presence”; and He’s everywhere! “Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise” (Psalm 95:2 ESV)

Under which conditions should we praise God? In what circumstances? Only when things are going our way, right? WRONG!! When we praise God in spite of our situation in life, despite adversity and heartache, we really are making a “sacrifice of praise”! God realizes this, and He finds the aroma of our offering that much sweeter.

“…Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise; the fruit of lips that openly profess His name.” (Hebrews 13:15 NIV)

Facing a challenge? Struggling through a bad situation? Or are you just hurting today? Praise God anyway — through your pain and tears. Praise directed at God will take the focus off you and your problems and put it on God, the problem solver; the miracle worker; the God of all comfort. And God will join you wherever you are. He’ll sit by your side, work on your behalf, and raise your spirits!


“Leeked” Out — the Truth about Onions! (Angel in the Kitchen)


Life, love, and leeks. What do they have in common? Glad you asked.

Leeks belong to the Allium genus of plants, which includes garlic, chives and onions. Since the onion is the most versatile and popular of these pseudo-veggies — sorry, dear friend Garlic! — and has an infamous reputation for being able to bring tears to the eyes of even the toughest of us, we’ll examine onions in today’s post.

Aaaaahhh-cheew! Sniff! Please pass me an onion.

Onions are chock full of Vitamin C, B1, B6, Potassium and fiber. George Washington used to chow down on a raw onion whenever he felt a cold coming on. We’re not sure if it warded off the cold, but it sure kept Martha away!

Trivia time: Way back in 1648, what was the first thing the Pilgrims planted in the New World? It certainly wasn’t corn or pumpkins. And although Europeans brought their onions with them to North America, Native Americans already knew all about onions: they used them in cooking, medicinal poultices, and dyes!

Athletes in Ancient Greece ate lots of onions, believing they “balanced” the blood. Roman gladiators were rubbed down with onion juice to firm up their muscles, and in the Middle Ages, people could even pay their rent with onions. And doctors frequently prescribed onions to relieve headaches, coughs, snakebite and hair loss. And get this, the ancient Egyptians actually worshipped the onion! They believed its spherical shape and concentric rings symbolized eternal life.

Hi there, you!

Which reminds us, we promised to compare onions to life and love, didn’t we? Let’s list some similarities. First, like life and relationships (the “love” part of our post), the onion takes many differing forms. There are common onions, available in three colors (yellow onions, red onions, white onions). There are wild onions, spring onions, scallions, and pearl onions. Onions come fresh, frozen, dehydrated, and canned. They can be chopped, pickled, caramelized, minced, and even granulated. All this variety, all this utility, reminds us of the diverseness of relationships, and the many turns that life can take.

And like an onion, life and people have multiple layers. Our experiences in this world are like periodically peeling back another layer of the “onion” to reveal new mysteries, new opportunities, new lessons. And the same can be said of relationships: in order to truly get to know someone — and to fully understand why we do the strange, idiosyncratic things that we all do — we again need to peel back the layers that insulate people from people.

Onions and Life are fascinating and many splendored things! So are onions and people!

“How numerous are your works, LORD! You have made them all wisely; the earth is filled with your creations.” (Psalm 104:124 ISV)

Thursday we’ll discuss why peeling back the layers of life and relationships is exactly like cutting into an onion!  Tune in for more Kitchen Wisdom about Life, Love and Leeks — er, onions!