Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Serving: Plum Bread

In all my early childhood memories, my father is standing--standing and doing, standing and moving, standing and serving.

Memories of my father standing in church with hymnal in hand, skillfully leading the congregation in A capella harmonies.

Memories of my father standing in a circle with other men and praying as I danced around the periphery.

Memories of my father shuffling folding tables and chairs from fellowship here to fellowship there.

Memories of my father teaching Sunday School and telling children stories of Jesus and building in them a love for a gentle and yet wild savior.

Servant leadership is one of those terms Christians like to toss around and is often overused, but I love the concept and believe no term could better describe the type of leadership our Jesus displayed throughout his earthly ministry.

When I think of the servant leaders who I have know and who have influenced my life, my dad is always one of the first to come to mind.

There is no other way to describe his leadership:

He leads through serving.

And he's taught me to lead through serving.

To lead by giving away and giving of myself wherever and however I can.

To lead through generosity and hospitality.

To lead by believing the person in front of you is the most important person in the room and deserves every bit of your attention.

My dad and I have had a bumpy road of a relationship, but it has been good and sweet in the past few years to come to a deeper understanding of one another and to allow our similarities be what we most love about each other rather than what keeps us from getting along.

I am so grateful for his daily example of servant leadership in my life, and will always strive to be a faithful mimicker of that example.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy. Thank you for the being the father you are. Hope you enjoy this bread from one of your favorite fruits.

Plum Bread

Original recipe available at


  • 1 cup pitted, chopped red/black plums (about 3 small plums)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a 9x5-inch (23x13-cm) loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle chopped plums with 1 tablespoon of flour in a bowl and toss to coat (this will keep your batter from turning red if you are using red plums). Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter, white sugar and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. In another bowl, sift together the rest the of flour with salt and baking soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, alternating with yogurt until the mixture forms a smooth batter. Lightly stir in the flour-coated plums and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top of the batter with brown sugar.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan 10 to 15 minutes before removing from pan for slicing.

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