Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bread of Life - Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Style!


"When He was at the table with them, He took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they could recognize Him...Jesus was recognized by them when He broke the bread."
Luke 24:30-31


Jim and I were humbly blessed to serve the Lord together in many ways this past weekend at the Love and Respect Conference at our church. One of the ways we were invited to serve was to host and hostess the "Green Room" for the speakers and their ministry partners with whom they travel. While Jim and I would have been quite content serving behind the scenes where truly only God sees, we were humbly blessed to serve the Lord by serving Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs and their precious "peeps". Making their "Green Room" a quiet and refreshing sanctuary for them before, after and in between sessions was lots of fun and a sweet privilege.


On Saturday morning, I was leaving my house at 6 AM and wanted to stop at the local specialty bread shop. Their seasonal "Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread" was a perfect selection to complement the Green Room nosh on an autumnal morning. As I pulled out of my driveway, I prayed, "Lord, I'd really love to pick up some of the Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread for our guests in the Green Room. I don't know if the bread shop is open at 6 AM, Lord, but You are the way maker. Please make a way for me this morning. Thank you, Lord."

As I pulled up to the bread shop, all the inside lights were on and I could see the bakers working. The sign on the door indicated that the shop opened at 7 AM. It was only a few minutes after 6 AM. Ugh. What to do?

I bashfully, but hopefully, got out of my car and walked up to the door. Knock Knock Knock. The bakers looked up and read my smile, which said to them, "Can you please open the door for me?" Because I frequent the shop with my cherubs, the bakers chuckled at my familiar face and said, "Are you serious?" I nodded.

One of the bakers came over and graciously unlocked the door. Here is our conversation:
Baker: [Laughing in a friendly way.] You want to buy bread at 6 in the morning?

Me: Yes, I do. Thank you so much for opening the door for me. We have some special guests speaking at our church this weekend, and I'd love to have some of the Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread for them.
Baker: Sure. Come on in. How many loaves would you like?

Me: Two please. [Paused and prayed for God to bless this baker. Then this is what God put on my heart.] I want you to know that you are an answer to prayer this morning.

Baker: I am? Really? Me...an answer to prayer?

Me: Yes. I prayed that God would make a way for me to get some of this bread for our guests. You were the way. You are my answer to prayer today. You opened the door and welcomed me in.

Baker: [He looked sincerely moved by this, but his words reflected his wounded soul.] Look, my wife believes in God and she takes our children to Bible classes. But me, I don't pray. I am a recent war veteran. I have seen lots of ugly in this world, and...I don't know....but my way of seeing things is different than my wife's and different than yours. Being in a war...that really changed my way of seeing things.

Me: [with a lump in my throat] I am so sorry for all the ugly you have seen through war. Thank you so much for serving our country. I can understand how you would feel the way you do. But you need to know that God loves you, and His heart is grieved over the same ugly sin you have seen. Ugly is not of God. The truth is God loves you, and God even used you today to answer a prayer. [I could see his heart softening a bit.]

Baker: Thanks, lady.
He packed up my baked goods, and we exchanged pleasantries before I went on my way. But I knew this pre-dawn encounter wasn't over. This was a God appointment. While the baker didn't come out and say he didn't believe in God, it was clear that he was very disappointed in God. The ugly he has seen in this world has damaged his view of the true and living God.

After arriving at church and re-setting the Green Room for Saturday morning, one of the Eggerichs' truly precious "peeps", Joanne, came in and said, "This bread is delicious!" I shared with her the bread story and about the baker. I also shared that as I was driving away from the bread shop, God put it on my heart (and hubby said "absolutely") to get the baker a "Love and Respect" book for him and his wife. Joanne asked me if I would share the bread story with Sarah. I happily agreed.


A bit later, I saw Sarah and right away, without me even saying anything, she said, "Joanne told me the bread story! We want to give the baker our DVD teaching set!" Wow! God had touched Sarah's heart for the baker, too. I could tell she was excited to lavish God's love on the baker through the DVD set of THEIR ENTIRE CONFERENCE! Oh I wanted to jump up and down and do a happy dance! I love when God works in tandem!

God is reaching out to this baker and his family. God is sending His personal, intimate love to them! My 6 AM visit to the bread shop had more to do with reaching and satisfying a wounded soul than filling sweet bellies. I love God's serendipitous blessings of allowing us to be His vessels. Isn't that just His way?

Please pray for our baker friend. We will be bringing him these gifts of God's love, hope and truth this week. God's hope does not disappoint. Please pray for God's mighty work in the hearts of him, his wife and his children. We are excited to see what God has planned! Just as the baker opened the door for me to purchase some bread, I pray he opens wide the door of his heart to Jesus, the Bread of Life. Just as God used the baker as my way that morning to buy some bread before hours, may the baker accept The Way into his heart before time is up.

Something tells me God is going to multiply the blessings of the Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread! We will keep you posted! Oh, and always remember to tell someone when they are an answer to prayer!



"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us."
Romans 5:5

15 comments:

Wylie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Beautiful!

Now I understand our conversation this morning. I had not visited before it - LOL!

Beautiful heart and God will honor your desire to share it and walk in obedience!

Love you!
Jill

Runner Mom said...

I love this!! And I love cinnamon chip bread too!!

What a great opportunity God gave you this weekend. Wow! And, He gave you the perfect words to say to this baker. I will be lifting up him and his family in my quiet time!! Thank you for sharing this precious message with us. What a beautiful blessing.

And,I love the Christmasy blog and lovely music!! You go, girl!!

Love you!
Susan
PS--My chronological Bible came today!!!! Whoohoo! I am going to do Wendy Pope's Bible Study in January! I can't wait!

Jennifer said...

Just stumbled across you blog today - and what a blessing! I am so excited about your baker ministry:) and enjoyed looking through your past posts as well! Have a wonderful Wednesday tomorrow (and sure wish you had a recipe for that pumpkin cinnamon chip bread...doesn't that sound yummy right now!?!)

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Oh my goodness! What a wonderful encounter from the Lord himself!! I am all teared up after reading about it.

I wonder how often God though our obedience in small things, wants to bless us and many others along the way through, as you put it, "his serendipitous ways".

I am stopping to pray right now for the baker, and that he will open the door of his heart to our Heavenly Father who loves him so much.

You are a blessing Sharon,
Lee Ann

Mich said...

beautiful.

God is so AWESOME! I love to see Him at work first hand.

Blessings and prayers always.

Kelly Combs said...

Sharon - first of all, I love your new layout. It is so beautiful.

Second - I loved this story! Oh my, our God is so good. Isn't it funny how your desire was to bless the guests, yet MULTIPLE blessings were achieved by this outreach. You are such a beautiful woman of God and I am honored to be your bloggie friend. :-)

Jules said...

Hey Sharon, I've been "talking" with Wendy on her blog and had questions about the Chronilogical NIV Bible verses the NLT Version. The NIV doesn't seem to line up with her lessons from the NLT. Is this because they use differnt lessons in different orders? I borrowed a friend's NIV Chron. Bible and have enjoyed looking & reading throught it. Wendy emailed me and said: "My friend Sharon Sloan use the NIV Chronological Bible last year. She will give you the skinny on the differences in the Bibles. smile" Thanks for any help you can offer. :o) -jules

Wendy Blight said...

Sharon,

I am SO not surprised to read this story on your blog. You are always ready and willing to serve the Lord...your heart always prepared to do His work. What a BEAUTIFUL story. I am praying now for the Lord to continue to show "baker man" that He is REAL and desires to be a part of His live. I pray for continued opportunities to share and visit.

You are always prepared to share the reason for the hope that you have!! God blesses that and uses it for Him glory.

Love you!!

Wendy

Edie said...

Oh Sharon I love this story! I have already prayed for this baker and his family. Oh what a blessing you are. I can't wait to see what God does next!

~ Dawn ~ said...

I love this story!! God works in such a great way. I feel so bad for the Baker, such awful things he encountered but I pray the Baker lets God into his life.

I am so glad I won the giveaway! Thank you! I look foward to reading this with my hubby. I am so excited. This book is something that my hubby and I will benefit from and he is actually excited to read it with me too. You can email at danniendawn@comcast.net and I can give you all my information.

Have a blessed day!
~Dawn

Jules said...

Sharon- Thank you so much for the info you left on my blog about the Chron. Bibles! It was a BIG help! :o) I'm really excited about getting one of my own. Will have to hint to Hubs for Christmas. :o) Hope you're having a great day!

Joyful said...

What a beautiful story Sharon. Love your obedience. Love your willingness. Love your heart.

I know this is just the first chapter in a story God is writing in the baker's life. Can't wait to read more.

You purchased Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Bread and shared Living Bread. Oh that the baker will taste and see that the Lord is good,
Joy

Pinkshoelady said...

Sharon,
I loved this post!
Thank you for your heart of obediance but also to share the stories of what God has done!
I needed this today...there is some ugly in my own life that I could use prayer on myself.
please visit my blog and pray with me about this!
Pamela

Eagles Wings said...

Sharon,
That is so awesome this story of the baker...He was an answer to prayer for you, but you may be an answer to prayer for his wife! God Bless you for being obedient!
God is so cool to meet people in so many ways! Awesome story!