Saint Patrick Once Prayed This Prayer

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, Everyone!

This isn’t a holiday dedicated to leprechauns,  four leaf clovers, Ireland, pinching people, or even green beer. It’s a day to remember the historic life of a man who loved God and His people. St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate the heroic nature of a man who lived surrendered and set apart, giving his all to the cause and fame of Christ.

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The Prayer of St. Patrick

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.

If you don’t know the life testimony of St. Patrick, here is a great retell of his story. Although much information is unverifiable, this seems to be one of the most common and credible accounts  of Patrick’s life. {www.catholic.org}

Paleo Pumpkin cakes {Recipe}

Paleo Pumpkin Cakes

These are amazing. Simple, easy and they taste great. Don’t worry, the pumpkin isn’t overpowering. In fact, for mine, we could hardly taste the pumpkin at all. Go ahead, try em out and enjoy!

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Ingredients

[BATTER]

3/4 C of Pumpkin Purée

1 C Nut Butter (peanut or almond)

1/2 C Agave or Honey

2 TSP Natural Apple Sauce

1 tsp Baking Soda

Pinch of Salt

Cinnamon, optional

[TOPPING]

Cinnamon

Pumpkin Pie Spice

 Coconut Palm Sugar

Dried Cranberries, US

Sunflower Seeds

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Instructions

Preheat Oven 350

Mix the ingredients for the cake together in a bowl.

In a separate bowl combine the ingredients for the topping.

Prepare a greased 8×8 baking dish, muffin tin of any size, or baking molds.

Pour in batter.

Sprinkle with sugary topping.

Bake for 15-30 mins, depending on what you bake these in.

Enjoy!

90 Minutes In Heaven {Book Review}

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90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper
→Book Review←

I’ve heard about this book off and on for a few years now. About a month ago I went book thrifting and found a brand new copy sitting on a shelf. I love book thrifting. I can’t count how many books that I’ve thrifted that I would have otherwise not known of, seen, or possibly read if I had not gone looking. I’m a firm believer in Amazon.com. It’s my number one place to shop.. Lol Mostly because the number one thing I buy is books! Even so, some of the greatest books I’ve ever read are ones that I have found tucked away on a dusty shelf in an old thrift store with scratches and countless dog-eared pages. I paid all of about 25 to 75 cents at the most for each book. These books have drastically changed my life, fueled the flame and made me a more passionate daughter. Books like Another of Wave Revival by Frank Bartleman, which I found at a thrift store. I had ever so slightly heard of Bartleman and his part in the Azusa Street Revival but had no clue he had written a book. I bought that book and cried my way through it. Since then I’ve found a second copy and couldn’t resist buying that one as well. As much as I love book thrifting, such a book like this one deserves to be held at a greater honor then a dusty old shelf. That book changed my view of prayer like few books have. I have multiple stories like this one. I could go on and on about random books I discovered in thrift sores that I otherwise wouldn’t have known existed. So many original copies, first additions, signed copies, and more glorious treasures that have been passed on. It’s a joy. I love book shopping – old and new. Maybe I’ll write a whole post solely dedicated to book thrifting. lol I’ll just add that to my list.

Now that I’m done with that rabbit trail of mine, let’s get back to the main subject. I found a great, and what seemed to be brand new, copy of 90 Minutes in Heaven and couldn’t resist. I began reading it immediately after my thrifty purchase. The books is awesome. I love things about Heaven. I love reading through the book of Revelations. For some, it’s creepy and weird and they’d rather wait to deal with it when that day comes. I understand that, a bit. I use to think that when i was little. I’m the opposite now. I love reading Revelations is like the ultimate movie scene. It has everything you could want in a great movie yet, surprise, it’s reality! All the stuff written about angels and “creatures”, and the descriptions of Heaven, and the elders around the throne and so much more – it’s excites me. So naturally I’m all for Heaven encounters. I believe God is a limitless God and He can encounter His people how ever He pleases.

I completely recommend this book. It’s different then some of the encounters I’ve read about in books. Don shares a lot about his life and journey before and after the experience. The encounter itself all started when Don was in a horrible car accident. His story is probably one of the more gruesome accounts that I’ve heard of. The way God orchestrated the Heavenly encounter is beautiful. To be honest, there are parts of the book proceeding the chapters when he tells of his time in Heaven that drag on. Without spoiling to much for you all, Don waits a long time to tell anyone about his encounter. So there’s a bit of suspense while you wait for him to finally share it with someone. Inbetween that are pages full of his horrific pain and heart ache from the accident itself. Some pages are filled with a burning to leave his crushed body and return Home. There is a true feeling of a love-sick heart. He saw what he had always longed to see and wanted to stay.

It’s a really good book. Be sure to pick up a copy and read it. Pass it on to a friend. I loved the testimony and all the special little details that God brings to mind throughout the books – its screams “He is faithful”! Throughout the chapters things begin to align, the dots connect, and God is the one standing firm and faithful like always. He is so good!

Enjoy!

SPOILER ALERT!

Do not read the next few paragraphs if you haven’t read this book and are planning to. If you are not planning on picking it up for yourself then go ahead and enjoy my mini retell of a few bits and pieces from the book. Here are some of my favorite parts. This is my retell, so yes, I may miss a few words, etc. For those of you who have read it, bare with me. Thanks.

So the accident itself was a bloody mess. Don was on his way home one afternoon from a pastor retreat. He’s driving down a narrow two-lane bridge in the rain when all of a sudden an eighteen-wheeler swerves and hits him head-on. His car was totaled and he was crushed in so many ways I can’t even remember all of what was damaged and wrong with his body. He had pieces of bone and ligaments that were ejected from his body at the impact of the crash. Body parts were hanging on by the skin as pools of blood began to fill the car. Don died instantly. The driver of the semi, who was an inmate of a local prison, was fine. The prison needed a shipment of their food supply picked up. Due to lack of experienced drivers who could handle the rain and the semi, they risked it and allowed an experienced inmate to go. The two cars of people behind Don who were also hit when the semi ran into Don’s car were fine as well. After Don left his body he was standing at Heavens Gates. I won’t retell his whole experience there because I don’t want to mess it up or tell it wrong. His emphasis was on the worship. The main thing he encountered in Heaven was the awestruck sound of worship that filled the air.
Fast forward some minutes… A friend of Don’s named Dick was also at the retreat with his wife. The two would have to take the same route back to their home as Don did. When they finally reached the road with the bridge they were stopped by traffic due to an accident. Don’s accident. After a few minutes Dick got out of his car and started asking others what had happened. Other passengers who had been in the traffic longer were able to retell the accident. Dick, as a minister, went to ask the paramedics about the scene and if there was anything he could do. They told him the same and confirmed for him that the man in that smashed red car underneath the tarp was long gone. They were simply waiting for someone to come and pronounce it.

Instantly Dick heard God tell him to go pray for the man in the red car! Now, that sounds radical doesn’t it? He knows that man is dead, the paramedics know, and more then anyone God would know! Yet God verbally tells Dick to pray for the man in the red car! To fill you in, Dick and Don are both Baptist pastors. This isn’t even close to their realm of reason.

I’m gonna speed up the story and skip some details.. Read the book for the more. Lol Dick convinces the paramedics to let him pray for the man in the car. By now they think Dick is a crazy person but what do they have to loose, the man is more then dead. So Dick starts to tread over to the smashed car. He was warned heavily by the paramedics that it’s a blood bath and his body is almost unrecognizable. Dick not only goes to the car – he climbed in! Dick climbed in the back seat of the car and lies his hand on Don’s shoulder. Dick has no idea what to pray or even who the man in this red car was. All he knows is that God spoke to him and told him to pray. Dick began by praying a simple prayer that God would restore the inside of this man’s (Don) body. He prayed for the organs to be restored – any unseen injuries to be healed. He basically prayed all he could think of to cover the insides of this mans body. Because, let’s be honest the outside was gone. In between praying, Dick decides to start worshiping. He begins singing a hymn in the back seat of that red car. He prays again and then resorts back to singing, and off an on for a short time. While this is going on Don is in Heaven encountering the presence of God. Back to earth, Dick is in the car with a hand on Don’s shoulder singing a hymn. Dick is remaining faithful and doing what God said. As he is singing the hymn, ‘What A Friend We Have In Jesus’ he hears something.. Or rather someone! Someone is singing the hymn with him. He’s no longer the only one singing. But who could is be? There’s only two people in that car, Dick and a random dead man.

Who do you think it is?

Yeah, it was Don! God raised Don from the dead in that car while Dick prayed and sang. Dick never once asked for him to be raised. He prayed that the mans inside organs and such would be restored. He sang and believed God. God brought Don back to life while singing praises. Funny how the main thing he encountered during his time in Heaven was the worship and then minutes after he is raised from the dead and worshiping! Needless to say, his friend Dick jumped and ran as quickly as he could out of that smashed car. He waved down the paramedics as he ran towards them proclaiming the man is alive. The paramedics didn’t believe him. After all he was that same crazy man who just recently told them God spoke to him saying to pray for a dead guy. Now he’s saying the mans alive? After much persuasion one paramedic decides to give in and take a peek. Sure enough this man is alive and breathing.

After some times they carefully take Don to the hospital. There were many complications and many many many surgeries required. His body was crushed, the outside at least. The doctors were stunned and amazed that he not only wasn’t brain dead after 90 minutes but his internal organs and such were fine. Dicks prayer worked. His random, has no clue what or why he’s praying that, kind of prayer worked wonders!

So that’s just part of the story. There’s more where that came from. I wanted to share at least a small portion for you to enjoy. So so good. I love how God moves, and constructs, and works wonders. He is a good good God.

Blessings!

P.S. Feel free to leave some book suggestions in a comment.

Kindness {Guest Post}

I am so excited to finally be able to share this post with you all. This is our very first guest post here at The Hem Of His Garment, hopefully not our last. Not only do I love and adore the rich content of this post but the author is my absolute favorite person on the face of the Earth – my momma! Read what she has to say on the topic of kindness and be inspired. She is the real deal, folks. Be sure to leave her some love in that comment section. Enjoy!

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When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.

Proverbs 31:26 NLT

Be kind and affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.

Romans 12:10 NKJV

 

→Kindness←

I have not yet known a person who did not appreciate true genuine kindness? Kindness is the tender side of love. It’s a beautiful character trait that we cultivate and grow within our spirit as we give it away. Kindness is palatable like sweet honey making even the most difficult of times feel lighter.

Have you ever been in a situation when you couldn’t express how you were feeling because your heart was full, maybe even at the point of breaking and someone, selfless and full of tender compassion, kindly comes along side of you and says a simple”how are you doing”? The next thing you know you’re weeping uncontrollably. You are aware that your crying but the flood gate was just opened by kindness and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Or perhaps you have been working hard on loosing weight but have kept it a secret and someone quietly whispers to tell you how great you look. Maybe you’re a mom and you’ve been raising your kids just plugging away in the midst of school days, doctors appointments and bath times and a kind word is spoken from a complete stranger who lets you know what an amazing mom you are as they see your beautiful family in front of them. That kindness, that comes attached to such sweet words, goes deep into our heart and soul and completely melts us. It give us peace within our minds and a renewed strength overall to continue on and in a special way it seems to validate us as a person and whatever it is we are walking through in that moment.

Kindness can also come in the simple form of touch. Even if you are not a touchy feely person the kindness shown to you by just a loving pat on the back sends a feeling of gratefulness through your heart. Often when praying with hurting people words don’t come to adequately help breakthrough the sadness. This is when the kindness of The Lord comes through embracing them and allowing love to flow conquering and crumbling all barriers. Sometimes you just need a warm hug and a good cry to change a perspective. Do you remember how just the kind soft brush of your father or mother’s hand along your brow made you feel cared for and secure as a child? When trying to find a way to comfort a mourning friend simply sitting down next to them and putting your arm around them in silence says more then many words could possibly say.

The scriptures hold many stories of people who experienced the kindness of The Lord. Often it is interchangeable with the term favor or faithful. Some versions use the word lovingkindness. What could possibly be better than this? Love and kindness are what we all truly desire and at times quietly but desperately need. Kindness is a healer healing both the soul and spirit when it is ministered through our loving hands and lips. Consider today taking just a moment or perhaps a few hours and show genuine kindness to one another. Remembering how someone’s kindness once made us feel will make it an easy and rewarding act for us to do.

Kindness.

by Michelle Walsh

10 Verses // Clear and Simple

→10 Verses←

Clear and Simple

These 10 verses are ruining my life for good. Over the last few months, God and I have been dwelling on a few different themes such as, favor, nations, wisdom, judging righteousness, and more. Here are just a few, 1o to be exact, of the verses that have been involved and are responsible for wrecking my life in a great way – for good.

Ahhhhh, I love it. Thank you, God.

Enjoy.

ONE // Proverbs 22:29

Do you see a man who excels in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before unknown men.

TWO // Proverbs 16:15

In the light of the king’s face is life,
And his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.

THREE // Proverbs 14:35

The king’s favor is toward a wise servant,
But his wrath is against him who causes shame.

FOUR // 1 Kings 4:34

And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.

FIVE // 1 Kings 10:9

Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.”

SIX // 1 Kings 10:23, 24

So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. Now all the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.

SEVEN // 1 Kings 3:10-14

The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

EIGHT // Psalm 2:8

Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

NINE // Psalm 67:4

Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth. Selah

TEN // Joel 3:12

“Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.

Wanna Read The Article I Wrote For An Online Mag? {Of Course}

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I recently wrote an article for a lovely online magazine called Scarlet Heart Magazine. The article is on the subject of Valentine’s Day and it is hot off the press and available for your enjoyment! Now that their February issue has arrived I have just posted the full-length version of my article here on my blog. Obviously you should ‘treat yo self’ and read my lovely Valentine’s Day article on both sites. Feel free to read them, LIKE them, comment on them, share them, tweet them, pin them, and whatever else you’re in to. But most of all enjoy!

Here you can find my article on Scarlet Heart Mag Valentines Day Menu: Fire, Passion, and Love

Here you can find my article on my blog which you are currently reading Valentines Day Menu: Fire, Passion, and Love

Valentines Day Menu: Fire, Passion, and Love


 

Valentines Day Menu: Fire, Passion, and Love

I come before you now with a humble disclaimer. I have borrowed a chocolate box full of historical goodness from Wikipedia and other sources for the writing of this article. Give credit where credit is due. Read on, be inspired, burn with fire, be convinced by passion, and compelled by love.

For days now I have been racking my brain trying to think of what Valentine’s Day is to me. What does it mean? What does it amount to? Uhhhhhm, nothing…? Classically, Valentine’s Day is a day where people everywhere show their love materialistically through the giving of flowers, candy, and unnecessary stuffed animals. (I mean really, unless you are anywhere between 5 and 13 years old…) If I gave you my honest and somewhat sarcastic answer, this would be it: Greeting-card-holiday merch will be exchanged followed by a dinner. It’s the greeting card markets second favorite shindig. Next to Christmas, Valentine’s Day is the second most profitable card-mailing holiday of the year. Read for yourself.

How greeting cards came to the surface: “In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year.”

The oldest known valentine in existence: “Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.” (Both Quotes Via: history.com)

So what does Valentine’s Day mean to me? First things first: I am single, still pretty young in age, and I’ve never dated. As you can probably guess Valentine’s Day isn’t that big of a deal for me. Yet, if we are going to ride this love themed wave that is Valentine’s Day maybe you would appreciate if I shared with you just a little bit about myself. I’m a very loving person. I am fascinated by people. Success for me and my life is learning to love people well. At the end of my life, I want to have given people a reason to be able to wholeheartedly proclaim that the most memorable thing about me was how I loved God, and them…well.  I want the echo of my life to ring in the halls of eternity and say, “She loved well.” I believe one of my life messages is love – to love God and others. Love is a journey, and I am all in.

As much as I love people as a whole, there is one in particular that I am fond of. The secret is out. If you don’t know, now you do. I am deeply and passionately in love with a King. The King! He takes care of me. He provides for me. He shares His heart with me. He is passionate. My love for people is inspired by His. The rhythm of His heart fuels me and cheers me on. He is fun and funny! He sings over me. We are traveling the Nations together. We go on adventures. I knew I had found my place in life when I first met Him. You should see His eyes up close – they burn with fire. This is a passionate and fiery heartthrob kind of love. He’s the sweetest and most loving person I’ve known. He even opens doors for me! I will spend the rest of my life with Him. He is my King. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, my Savior, Jesus.

Even with my fondness for love, I’m not super ecstatic about this Valentine’s Day shindig. While contemplating Valentine’s Day I had this “random nudging” (aka: the Holy Spirit) to find out the history of this popular greeting card holiday. In my heart I knew that Valentine’s Day was a bit more than just a calendar holiday, but I had never taken the time to research it. Now that I have, I’ve found a whole new meaning for this day. It’s not a meaning that steps on the world’s popular purpose of the date set for celebrating our loved ones but one that accompanies it.

When I Googled how Valentine’s Day began, I found more then I bargained for. I assumed that I would find a nice little love story, some heroic tale of a prince saving his future princess and this magical Cinderella love story that was so sweet the world wanted to remember it forever, etc., etc. What I did learn from Google, Wikipedia, and History.com wasn’t too far off from my assumption. It wasn’t far off but it was way better.

Here is Saint Valentine’s story: Another popular hagiography describes Saint Valentine as the former Bishop of Terni, a city in southern Umbria, in what is now central Italy. While under house arrest of Judge Asterius, and discussing his faith with him, Valentinus (the Roman pronunciation of his name) was discussing the validity of Jesus. The judge put Valentinus to the test and brought to him the judge’s adopted blind daughter. If Valentinus succeeded in restoring the girl’s sight, Asterius would do anything he asked. Valentinus laid his hands on her eyes and the child’s vision was restored. Immediately humbled, the judge asked Valentinus what he should do. Valentinus replied that all of the idols around the judge’s house should be broken; the judge should fast for three days, and then undergo baptism. The judge obeyed and as a result, freed all the Christian inmates under his authority. The judge, his family and forty others were baptized. Valentinus was later arrested again for continuing to serve Jesus and was sent to the prefect of Rome, to the emperor Claudius himself. Claudius took a liking to him until Valentinus tried to lead Claudius to Jesus, whereupon Claudius refused and condemned Valentinus to death, commanding that Valentinus either renounce his faith or he would be beaten with clubs, and beheaded. Valentinus refused and Claudius’ command was executed outside the Flaminian Gate February 14, 269. Story borrowed via: wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Valentine

Saint Valentine was, as far as we know with little recollection of his powerful and ancient legacy, a man who stood for Christ. Valentine proclaimed the gospel. He set a standard. He healed the sick. He risked it all for the One he loved. Valentine laid down his life for the One who gave him the gift of life in the first place. When Valentine stood before the judge, knowing what power this man had and the devastating outcome that a wrong answer or action could provoke, he stood on the promises of God. Valentine spoke out about of His wonder-working power, showing the judge that the God of the Bible still heals today. He is the same yesterday, today, and FOREVER. (Hebrew 13:8)

Probably one of the greatest parts of this testimony is Valentinus’s obedience and willingness. He didn’t wait for a sign. He simply knew God’s will. Through a relationship with the Holy Spirit and studying His Word, he knew that God is the only god who can heal. Valentinus didn’t just know that God can heal, he actually prayed for the judge’s daughter to receive her sight back. Unlike a good portion of the church today, Valentinus didn’t wait to pray for the judge’s daughter until he got home and alone with God. He took his opportunity to prove God’s power right then and there, even in the midst of having his faith openly tested. He prayed with faith and the daughter was healed. Is it just me, or do you get excited when you hear about things like this? God is so good.

I see love all over this story. I see a love for Christ that moved a man to rid himself of the fear of failure, the fear of man’s rejection, and even fear of death or imprisonment. I see a father’s heart that longs for his precious daughter to be healed and to see as she was destined too. I see a love that is willing to risk it all, give its life and be as faithful as it claims to be with its mouth. I see a passion for the lost, for the blind, for souls and for hearts to turn to the one true God. I see a very sweet love story. “Meanwhile, the saints stand passionately patient, keeping God’s commands, staying faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 14:12 (MSG).

As the story goes, immediately the judge was humbled by this merciful and powerful act of God. The judge asked Valentine what he should do. Valentinus replied to him with boldness and a confidence that helped build a bridge between this man and the Savior. The judge did exactly as Valentine advised and even set free all the Christian inmates under his personal authority. C’mon Jesus! The judge and his family plus forty others became baptized. This is incredible! What a beautiful sight this is of Gods wonder-working power. Not only does God meet Valentine when he steps out in faith but God heals the judges daughter, moves the judge into holiness by having him destroy all his idols, brings freedom to imprisoned and persecuted saints, saves the judge, his family and forty other people – one glorious miracle after another. I call that revival.

Once again Valentinus was put on trial for his bold love for Christ. Valentinus refused to deny Christ and continued to stand for His faith. He was later arrested again for continuing to serve Jesus. This time they sent him to the “prefect of Rome”, to the emperor Claudius himself. They take him to the head honcho. What I find funny is that Claudius actually liked Valentine. It wasn’t until Valentinus tried to lead Claudius to Jesus, which Claudius refused and “condemned Valentinus to death, commanding that Valentinus either renounce his faith or he would be beaten with clubs, and beheaded.” Valentinus refused to deny Christ and continued to stand for His faith. Once again this man risked everything for his passion, the Love of his life. On February 14, 269 A.D. Saint Valentine was executed for his belief in Christ Jesus. Valentinus was martyred for his passion. February 14, a day which our culture celebrates as a lovey-dovey hallmark and greeting card holiday, was originally the day where once again a child of God stood for his faith to simply bow before His King. On this day we exchange flowers and candy when hundreds of years ago Saint Valentine was exchanging His life for the glory of Christ.

I have no real objections to the way we celebrate “Valentine’s Day” in our twenty-first century world. I do, however, believe that as a people we have not seen the legacy behind this celebration. Love others – yes. Lay down your life, yet again, for the ones you love – I don’t think we fully comprehend the roll this plays in our holiday called Valentine’s. For me personally Valentine represents this pictorial invitation, not to die at the first opportunity of conflict or warfare but to lie down and live every day of our lives surrendered.  “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13 NKJV.

I am all for laying down our lives to follow Christ and being willing to stand for Him regardless of what opposition there is to come even if that could result in death. What I am not okay with it this silly and trendy mindset that I’ve seen become intertwined with young people in the church today where it’s now “cool” to be killed for Christ. I’ve seen this with some lately where people think and make statements such as, “Just call me a martyr!” Are you kidding me? Please note that I am not implying that this is every one and everywhere. It isn’t – thank God. Yet I have seen this with some in our area to the point where young ministers are labeling themselves as “future martyrs”. I understand the heart behind it that says I’m willing to die for Christ because I love Him enough to stand for Him no matter what. Amen. If we are truly going to stand for Christ until the end we must not forget that what He came to bring to the world was life, along with much more.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:16, 18 This passage, and the similar in John 15:13, isn’t about death. This is about LIFE and life abundant. When we do what God has called us to, what He has asked of us, we gain life and as He hopes for us all – life more abundant. (John 10:10) This passage is about giving everything inside of you to the purpose of Jesus just as He did for us. God wants you to live a long prosperous, fruitful and enjoyable life walking out His will upon the Earth. It’s for us to live our lives intentionally dedicated and set apart for His glory. While I’m alive I get to live for Him and when I die I get to live with Him. Either way we win. When it came to death at the measure of the cross even Jesus was like, “Father if we could find another way to do this that would be great! Although I like that idea, Your will is My greatest desire. Your will is what I’ve committed to bring here on Earth. I will do whatever it takes. Not my will but Your will be done.” (This is clearly my paraphrase.)

In Matthew 26:39 is where I see Jesus lay His life down for us all once again. Jesus spent His life laying it down for us and on that cross is where He died. Not just in the sacrifice of the cross do I see Jesus lay down His life for me, but in countless other times throughout scripture where He makes a decision to follow through with His faith. “Nevertheless, not My will but Your will be done,” as Jesus words it. That has “lain down” written all over it. Even though I would rather not die just yet, or in that way, I made a covenant with You Lord to follow You, serve You, love You and stand for Your name here on Earth. I lay down my life in order to honor Yours and fulfill Your will. I believe this was also in the heart of Valentine. It wasn’t about death or dying and becoming a martyr but living for Christ and laying down his life for Him.

This isn’t the worlds typically intriguing steamy love story, no doubt. From a Kingdom perspective it’s full of love, passion and a consistent fire. Valentine’s Day should be a day that shifts our focus and fuels the flame for the remaining 364 days of the year – reminding us to keep on loving. Keep on loving God and others. Find that love of Christ that stirs you so that you would actually give your life for His cause. What a legacy Valentine and others like him have established for us. Walking in love with years of inheritance that have been paid for at a high cost of surrender, faith, and pure risk is our Valentine’s Day gift from these revivalists and pioneers of the gospel.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day celebrations and buy as many cards, flowers, candies, teddy bears, and meals as you would like.  This one thing I ask, as you’re showering your loved ones in gifts of tangible love, is that you remember why we are here. Remember what this day is all about. I pray that Valentine’s Day would once again be the picture of what it looks like to represent Christ well as Valentine himself did back in 269. February 14th, Valentine’s Day was set in place to remember a man who loved God profoundly and laid his life down for the purest of loves. As we continue on with our present day festivities may we remember the heroic stance of the ones who have gone before us and ultimately the One we stand for.

I pray that on this Valentine’s Day you would gain an increase of Heavenly perspective to fuel the fire burning in your soul for all of your days. I pray that your menu would be filled with countless options for a lifestyle of deep passion and fiery love. Available to us all is a love that breaks down barriers, is faithful to its faithful, captures hearts, and catches the attention of the King. Hold fast to a love that keeps you going not one that leaves you dry. Happy Saint Valentine’s Day everyone! The day to remember God’s grace and love, to be thankful for the privilege it is to surrender all, willingly and intentionally. May Jesus continue to give us the grace and passionate love that we need to live fully for Him in the Earth and proclaim the good news of His salvation to the world! May your greatest adventure in life be to love God and love others well.

Grace and LOVE,

Sarah Walsh

P.S. I have found a new meaning for Valentine’s Day – it is Jesus – my love and my life.

 

 

 ♥

“Love does not dominate; it cultivates.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” Zora Neale Hurston

“I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart.” Alice Walker

Protein Cookies {part two}

birdsblog

My most famous blog post has been my old “protein-cookies” recipe I posted a few years back. It has had thousands of views and just under two thousand “pins” and “re-pins”. And of course, many thumbs up and compliments. I’m glad! 

The ever lovely sugar-less, flour-less, butter-less, gluten-free, and so on protein cookies were a hit! I randomly made up that recipe while I was on a 40 day fast from all sugars, flours, and much more. After recently receiving more awesome feedback for that recipe I thought I’d take a shot at another “protein cookie” recipe. So I did. I hit the kitchen, preheated my oven, and got to baking. Here is my new Protein Cookie recipe – Part Two. It’s the revised recipe. I hope you like it as much as the original.

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Shall we begin?

INGREDIENT LIST

1 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old Fashion Rolled Oats

1/3 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour

2/3 Cup Almond Meal

2 TSP Ground Cinnamon

1/2 TSP Ground Nutmeg

1/2 TSP Baking Powder

Pinch of Salt

1/2 Cup Big Tree Farms Organic Coconut Palm Sugar

1/2 Cup Dried Coconut Shavings, wide flakes

3/4 Cup Dried Organic Cranberries, naturally sweetened with beet juice

1/2 Cup Dried Organic Golden Raisins, unsweetened

1/2 Cup Raw Pecans, chopped

1/2 – 3/4 Cup of Organic Agave Syrup

You can use honey, but i prefer the consistency of agave more when baking. 

1 Lg. Egg

Optional* A splash of all natural Maple Syrup

STEPS

Preheat Oven 350°

ONE // In a bowl combine Oats, Coconut Flour, and Almond meal.

TWO// Stir in Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Baking Power and a pinch of Salt.

THREE // Mix in Palm Sugar, Coconut Shavings, Cranberries, Raisins, Pecans.

FOUR // Add Agave syrup, Egg and Maple (if you choose) and mix well.

Feel free to add extra Agave, honey or maple if your mixture seems to dry. This isn’t the typical cookie recipe, so don’t overdue it with moisture. 

BAKING

{FOR COOKIES} Once everything is combined spoon cookie mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 mins and follow with 5 minute increments if needed. I think i baked the cookies for about 15 minutes total.

{FOR BARS} Spoon mixture into a parchment paper lined baking dish. Using an extra piece of parchment paper or even wax paper, place the sheet over the mixture and press the cookie dough into the pan. Even everything out. Bake for 15 minutes and add 5 minute increments until golden. Lift paper out of the dish and once they’ve cooled cut into bars.. OR do what we did and just pull a chunk of it off. lol

These tastes especially AMAZING warm! So don’t let them cool to long before trying some.

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These are sooooooooo good! And I am not just saying that because It’s my recipe. These cookies and bars were gone in less than two days – shamelessly. Thank God they are sugar-free, gluten-free and so on.

They really do tastes especially delicious when warm. So we were heating each cookie up before eating them.

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I baked this mixture both ways.

First, as cookies dropped on a baking sheet. And second, as bars baked in an 8X8 baking dish. Both ways worked great. So the possibilities are endless. You can double the recipe and make a 9X13 or a think 8X8, or stick to a dozen or more drop cookies.

For me, making the recipe both ways, I was able to make 7 Cookies & and 8X8 dish of bars. So I would say this yields about 1-2 dozen cookies

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Super cute mint green striped parchment baking sheets courtesy of Cost Plus World Market..

Or better know as my favorite store.

ENJOY!

XxXx, Sarah

I Love Giving Things Away! {giveaway}

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GIVEAWAYS. There you have it folks. Giveaways are my favorite. I love to give. I hold frequent random giveaways on my Grace Co. Handmade Facebook page and I’d love for you to win! Who doesn’t like free stuff?

Recently I have given away Bow Ties, Aprons, Crocheted Hair Bows, Earrings, Store Credit, Fixed Discounts, etc. I am currently giving away a Custom Made Grace Co. Pillow. Our winner will have the opportunity to design their own Grace Co. pillow and we will create it and ship it to them.

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Grace Co. Handmade GIVEAWAY
ENTER TO WIN //

A free Custom Made Grace Co. Pillow! You design it & we will make it just for you. See our Facebook post for details on how you can enter and win.

You should really get in on this.

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Click on any of these photos to be taken to our Facebook page.

Until next time.

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Reminiscing About Nations {a recap}

Reminiscing on the nations.

This past October I went to Haiti with a group of friends on a week long mission trip. It was remarkable and life-changing. My heart is full. I’ve tried multiple times to write about my experience in Haiti. Many times. Putting pen to paper. Transcribing my heart. It’s super easy. Not.

Before Thanksgiving I had finally written about half a post worth of my Haitian experience. All of a sudden, one day when I decided to write the second half, the notes app on my iPhone decided to voluntarily clear out all of my notes. That included my very very long note full of Haiti goodness. As you can guess, that’s really encouraging.. After being a bit bummed out by that I decided to enjoy the holidays with my family and write again another day.

My long over-due post about my trip to Haiti is on its way! I promise. Until then I thought I would write a little post about my first missions experience back in 2010. I’m reminiscing on the nations. Technically one nation in particular – the Dominican Republic. I miss it. I especially miss my adorable Ahjiado (godson) Danni. 

Here are a few older posts from “back in the day”. Also known as 2010. If you like missions you’ll enjoy these post below. I like to keep it real. So there full of good stories!

What nations have you been to? Mission trip or not. Tell me in a comment! I’d love to hear.

Reminiscent Posts

Dominican Republic 2010

Hope’s Voice מקווה

Candy bag update

Handmade Candy Bags