Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Romans 15:13 Ministry: Week #3 {Pumpkin Bread}

Simple. Sweet. Satisfying. That is exactly what I had in mind for this week's Romans 15:13 Ministry treat when I decided to bake a big batch of Pumpkin Bread.
There is nothing as basic as bread. It represents some of the fundamental tenants of life, especially the Christian life. The Lord is the bread of life. We, His children, are called to be "broken bread". Bread was multiplied by Jesus. Bread is eaten together in unity and fellowship not only in the Bible but even today in churches as an act of communion and obedience.
That is how I decided upon bread. Being the season for all things pumpkin I decided to throw in some fall festive flavor into the mix, too. I clicked around all of my usual blogs for recipe inspiration but every list of ingredients was too complex. They all had too much going on in the dough. Most had chocolate chips. Some had raisins. Others kept the fancy to the top in the form of a glaze. Many recipes called for pecans or walnuts and others called for a swirl of cream cheese or even Nutella. But I didn't want a gussied up pumpkin loaf. I wanted a loaf that would satisfy a desire for something sweet while maintaining the simple integrity of basic bread. 
After clicking in and out of boxes on my computer screen I decided that the internet wasn't going to be my golden ticket to the perfect pumpkin loaf recipe. Over-the-top recipes boasted too many chips and not enough loaf for my liking. So I went back to the basic, a cookbook. And not just any cookbook but the cookbook that every baker and chef undoubtedly has on their shelf, Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.
Sure enough, filed under "breads" and then "quick breads" I found the simplest pumpkin loaf ever. Trusting the New Cookbook authority, and the fact that it has stood the test of 15 editions, I didn't even look for reviews online. I simply preheated my oven and opened a can of pumpkin.
The simple recipe calling for lots of flour, sugar, eggs and only one can of pumpkin, yielded three generously sized loaves of bread. They were perfectly golden brown with a tint of orange. They rose just the way every baker prays their bread will rise. And they smelled absolutely divine!
The beauty of this bread is that it didn't need any chocolate or dried fruit or sweet glaze to be satisfying and delicious. The bread's star was pumpkin and that's all it needed. The simplicity of bread paired with the fall's favorite vegetable made these loaves the perfect sweet delivery to the ladies at the Women's Connection Bible study.

My prayer is that the ladies who feasted on those loaves of bread saw the beauty of the baked dough, just like I did. A simple loaf of bread can remind us of how Christ can simplify our lives when we turn our struggles, pain and control over to Him. Don't get me wrong, this life won't always be simple. The world is not without its complications and trials. On this earth, surrounded by humans and sin, sometimes it feels like all that surrounds us are imperfections and trials.
But Christ can simplifying even our messiest of circumstances. When we get back to the basics, turn our lives, problems and complications over to Christ He can do a sweet work of simplification. He can remove our worries, burdens and heartache and fill us with His satisfying Spirit of peace and calm. Even in the midst of this chaotic and upside down world, Christ can step in and put our hearts at rest. It is His work of simplification that makes it all possible. Our Bread of Life, King of Kings and All-Sufficient Savior can turn our lives into a place of refuge even in the midst of the fiercest of storms.
All it takes is getting back to the basics and simply asking Christ to take over, take control and release our complications into His care. And just like a simple Pumpkin Loaf, He will come into our lives and simply satisfy our every need with His Holy Spirit that always hits the perfect sweet spot.

{ Recipe found in Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook}

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