Culinary Artistry

Holly Culhane touches on a familiar verse in Joshua chapter 1 and the ingredients that is needed for shepherds to act with true wisdom.

By Holly Culhane


It’s a familiar passage – the words of God to Joshua after Moses’ death. And it’s been such a real part of our lives that it is boldly and deeply engraved on a large multi-colored wooden plaque in our home.  


Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened,  and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  —Joshua 1:9 


Recently, however, in my morning devotions that included this verse, it was not these words that captured my attention. It was the Father’s earlier admonition to this newly promoted shepherd leader… 


Only be strong and very courageous,  being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you.  Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left,  that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth,  but you shall meditate on it day and night,  so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. —Joshua 1:7-8 


As I read these words, Yahweh gently and firmly embedded them into my soul like a seasoned connoisseur using a mortar and pestle to combine spices and herbs – decisively and powerfully. Not with brute force, but with a Divine deliberate hand He scraped everything off the sides of the mortar of my heart into the middle of my soul and gently and firmly rotated the pestle of His Word, quietly rotating it until it was firmly mixed into my being. Just as the use of the pestle and mortar in the hands of a culinary artist, the work of the Master’s hands used elements that released fragrant oils found only in Him… 

Simplicity – “only be strong and very courageous” 

Intentionality – “being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant  commanded you” 

Obedience – Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left” 

Discipline – “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you  shall meditate on it day and night.” 


It is only from these ingredients that shepherds can act with true wisdom, the wisdom that produces the fragrant oils of a victorious life, everywhere they go.   


What path to success have you been trying, fellow under-shepherd?

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Presence Point

Presence Point equips leaders to intentionally live into their calling as shepherds in the lives of those they lead, and partners with multipliers to do the same within their sphere of influence.

1 thought on “Culinary Artistry”

  1. Kevin VanWagner

    Joshua 1:9 has been my “go to” verse over the last 3-4 years as I follow God’s call to a job that I would not have picked.

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