Loving Your People (& Pull Apart Apple Bread)


A little Grandma love for Jobay.

Hi all– I’m sure you have your people to love– the ones you stick with through thick & thin.  You know the ones I mean!  And I wrote about loving my people recently for a Women’s blog at church– Here it is:

LOVING YOUR PEOPLE

The Beatles famously sang it, “All we need is love!”

Blogger, Shannan Martin advises, “The way we spend our love is the way we spend our lives.”

Of course when our Lord Jesus was asked for the greatest commandment, he spelled it out, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” — Luke 10:27

And Francis Chan wrote, “Do you know that nothing you do in this life will every matter unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made?”

OK, got it. Sounds good. I want to be that all out ever-loving kind of person. I’m asking myself how that works.

And I’m thinking there’re two components I need to have in place:

#1. I can’t really love people until I know them well, what they need, the things that make them feel loved. I need to pay attention to the people God has given me, be quick to listen, to truly know them.

#2. And actually, I’m not that naturally loving. So first, I need to wallow in God’s love, draw on his tender mercies, rest in his daily care. Sit with him. Ask for his help! Then I’ll have the wherewithal to go out and love my people…

Saw this on Instagram this week and wrote it on a little card to carry with me–

“Today’s order of business: Pay attention. Be captivated. Practice gratitude. Share something with someone in need of love.”

So I’m trying to dig in and love the people God has given me. Love them with a pot of soup. Love them with a phone call and a listening ear. Love them with a ride to the doctor or with help cleaning out a closet. Love them over tacos and long talks. Light candles and sing to them on their birthday. Pray for them. Cry with them. Hold them. Laugh with them. Love them deep and wide. Stay with them for the long haul.

I think this this way of all out loving won’t be easy. People have messy painful lives and love means joining them in that pain and mess. But isn’t that exactly what Jesus came and did?

“The way of Jesus is an invitation to be attentive to the people near us, to dig deep with each other and to stick around for the long haul. This is the abundant life. It’ll cost us, but it’s worth it. “ (Shannan Martin from her new book, The Ministry of Ordinary Places).

 

Here’s a few of the people that I love to love…

     
Extended family on vacation in Wisconsin, our Young Adults from church, and some of those Monday night ladies.

And thinking about the Monday night friends– here’s an Apple Bread we had together a few weeks ago:


PULL APART APPLE BREAD

Bread:
5 tab. butter, cut into chunks
3/4 cup whole milk (or half & half)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 package rapid rise yeast
2 eggs, room temperature
3  1/2 cups flour

Filling:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups apples, peeled, cored & coarsely grated (about 3 apples)
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

Glaze:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tab. whole milk or half & half (or use maple syrup!)

To make the bread, melt the 5 tab. butter in a large heat proof mixing bowl (about 30 seconds).  Then add in the 3/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar.  Warm the mixture a 10 to 20 seconds in the microwave until it is 120 to 130 degrees.

Stir the yeast into the warm mixture and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Then stir in the eggs.  And finally, stir in the flour.  When it’s all blended work it with your hands to make a spongy ball.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and set it in a warm place (away from drafts) to rise for 1 hour.

While that is rising, make the filling.  Melt the 1/2 cup butter in the microwave. Then stir in the vanilla, cinnamon and 1/3 cup sugar.  Peel, core and grate the apples. Mix the apples into the cinnamon mixture.   Chop the nuts.

When the dough has risen, knead it a few times and then set it out onto a center that has been dusted with flour.  Dust the top of the dough with flour as well. and roll it out with a rolling pin to about a 20″ square.

Spread the cinnamon apple mixture over the the dough from edge to edge.  Sprinkle the chopped walnuts all over the top.

Cut the dough into 5 strips vertically and then 5 strips horizontally to make 25 little squares.  Stack 3 or 4 squares together and set them on their sides into a standard loaf pan* that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Repeat with the other squares stacking them loosely on their sides to fill the pan.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set it into a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and bake the bread at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the bread cool a few minutes while you prepare the glaze.  Drizzle it over the bread.  Best served warm!!

*Sadly, I don’t have a standard loaf pan, so I used a 9″ springform pan in it’s place and it worked just fine.

“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.” 
― Ursula K. Le Guin

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
― Jane Austen

“The art of love is largely the art of persistence.”  –Albert Ellis

“Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.”  —I Corinthians 13:4-6
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One more favorite photo of people I truly love:

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Known & Loved

tim-keller-preconf
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”

–Tim Keller (pastor, author, Redeemer Church, NYC) 

Hello friends– This man always makes me think.  We do have people we truly love, who do love us.  And that’s a comfort.  But the true sustaining, constant love of our lives is the perfect love God has for us.  I’m deeply thankful.

“But I trust in your unfailing love.”  — Psalm 13:5

Psalm 143:8

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Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.    –Psalm 143:8

Hello friends– I’m depending on these words to carry me through the next few weeks.  School is starting up and this year it’s looming like a mountain I don’t quite think I can climb. Last night I even had one of those crazy “teacher dreams” where everything in room #2 goes from bad to worse!   I won’t bore you with all the daunting new complications ahead, but just want to say I’m hoping to not lose sight of the kindness and joy of teaching children, seeing them flourish and grow.  That’s what I’m there for.

So I’m starting my days with this Psalm in mind.  Resting, trusting in the all encompassing love of God and lifting up my soul to him each morning to see me through.  Lord have mercy.

Resolving

DSC00344Hello friends–  By now I’ve made my full share of unkept New Year’s resolutions. You too?  You’d think it’s time to give up on them.  But maybe it’s packing up the Christmas tree and setting the house back to rights, or having a couple restorative weeks away from school, or maybe just opening a new pristinely blank calendar– but this time of year still feels fresh and open…

So I’m taking a deep breath and setting down my hopes, my goals for this year– keeping it simple.  That’s an advantage of being 63– there’s a little perspective what whittles it down to what is truly important in my life– and what is happily optional.

I resolve just two things– to love God more, to stop to adore and worship him through my days ahead.  And to show love to the people I care for, my family far and wide, friends I share life with, students in my class every day.  If I can do that, it will be a worthwhile year.

“May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.”    –Psalm 33:22

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P.S.– photo is from a Crystal Cove beach walk last week with Ani, Brian & Larry.

Loving People

IMG_0234Hello there– I’m an avid reader of the blog, Flower Patch Farmgirl, following the true and honest renderings of the writer’s full but simple life.  She knows what’s important.  This week she included this poster a friend made for her.  It set me to thinking.

Loving people sounds easy enough.  Just open up your arms for hugs, be encouraging and do your best to take care of them.  But I find myself holding back, guarding my own time, taking better care of my own wants.

If I’m going to do this loving right, I can’t just pretend to love people, I have to go for it wholeheartedly.  Lord have mercy.  I need help again.

Then I ran across this:

“The fact is I need God to love God.  And if I need his help to love him, a perfect being, I definitely need his help to love other fault-filled humans.”  —Francis Chan (Crazy Love)

OK, so it’s not easy.  But what is more worthwhile than loving the people God has given to me?  It’s my most important calling (with God’s help)…

“Dear friends, since God loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  –-I John 4:11

P.S.  Here’s the link, so you can read Shannan’s inspirational, funny, inventive life blog.
 http://www.flowerpatchfarmgirl.com

Faith and Love

faith_love_peace.

Hey there–  I think I’ve mentioned I’m a list maker.  Not just a list.  Multiple lists– lists for school, for blog posts, for errands, grocery lists and lists for projects around the house…    You bet I can way over-fill a day, trying to check things off those lists.

And then I ran across this:

Unknown“The whole being of any Christian is faith and love.  Faith brings the person to God, love brings the person to people.”   –Martin Luther (German monk, reformer, 16th century)

I love this simpler “list.”  Have faith in our God.  Love people.  So I’m letting go of my stack of long lists, hoping to spend more of my days with these two straight forward tasks–  Faith in God and loving the people around me.  That should be enough.

Someone asked Jesus which was the most important commandment and he answered–“The most important one, answered Jesus, is this: …Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.”   Mark 12:29-31.

I think I should have know this all long.

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thank you to faithlovepeace.webs.com for the graphic