How do we walk in selfless love and sacrifice for others?

It comes from a foundation of loving God and being loved by Him. Knowing God and being known by Him. Made whole and complete in God and understanding your true worth in Him.

When we understand our worth in Him, we’re able to let go of trying to achieve what this world measures as worthy. We’re able to freely offer ourselves up and make ourselves less important than others and walk in humility because we are saved by Jesus, and have been given so much more than this world has to offer.

Jesus knew His worth and did not find it a loss to walk as a servant and get down to wash the feet of man or be abused at the hand of sinners and evil men. He was looking toward the reward of future glory and saving His people for all eternity. (John 13:3-5).

{Philippians 2:3-9}
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, although He existed in the form of God, who did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.”

We’re to walk in the steps of Jesus.

We recognize that this world is extremely temporal and there is nothing in it for us as His saints. We understand that our purpose is to love with the love of Christ and be lights with the true light of Christ.

When we’re full of His love, His forgiveness and have experienced His mercy and kindness, we’re able to walk in a way that is completely abandoned to Him. We become free slaves to God and our eyes are on Him so much so that gain for ourselves no longer carries the weight in our hearts and lives that it once did.

We don’t have to be on top in this world because we have everything in Him. We don’t have to constantly look out for our own needs because we have a God who cares for us. So we can then care for others. We’ve been crucified with Christ. It is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us. {Galatians 2:20}

Because we’re secure in Him, we don’t need to act in ways that will make us feel secure in this world which leads to selfish ambition and elevating ourselves above others. This kind of love humility and selfless poured from us can only be given to others if we experience the endless love of God Himself.

When we’ve been saved, we see with spiritual eyes and act in spiritual ways – ways that are foreign to this world but are the epitome of who God is.

And of course, there’s sanctification. We’re constantly being molded, shaped, and refined to act in selfless love. He teaches us, He trains us, He grows us, He prepares us, and He is with us all along the way during our time on earth.

In short, abide in Him. Only then can a person give themselves as servants in this world because we’ve received all riches, love, and honour in Christ.

{Ephesians 4:2-3}
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.” 

Halloween

Brothers and sisters in Christ,

If you’re Holy Spirit-filled, it means you have been bought at a very high price. The price of the blood of God Himself, to pay for all of your wickedness and darkness. He took your sins upon Himself and suffered, and in exchange He gave us His righteousness and freed us from death and shame. We are called to live Holy lives. It isn’t a request, it’s our identity. We are light to this dark world and we’re not to partake in anything that is unholy or wicked. We are to love what God loves, and hate what God hates.

God hates Halloween. It is dark, evil, disgusting, wicked, demonic, and sinful. Christians have absolutely no place to partake in Halloween in any way, shape, or form. It isn’t fun and games, and it isn’t innocent. Real human sacrifices take place on this night. Real suffering, real torture, real demonic activity.

As His saints, we’re called to stand out. We’re not called to look like everyone else or live like everyone else. We’re a peculiar people. Please, stay away from Halloween and keep your children from it. Instead, stay in and pray and read the Bible.

If you insist on partaking in Halloween, ask yourself – why? Why are you attaching yourself to something God hates? Do you love God more than partaking in a wicked thing? That’s the test of the heart. Do you love God more? Test yourself to see if you’re in the faith.

Delight yourself in being different, living Holy, and keeping away from the dark things of this world. I take delight in it! It brings me joy. I’m not trying to put a burden on you – but if you love Him, it’s not a burden. I love Him more than anything, and as someone who has experienced His salvation, I would give up anything and everything for Him. Jesus said if you love your own family more than Him, you are not worthy of Him. How much more unworthy if you love a dark holiday more than Him?

{Isaiah 5:20}
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”

{1 Peter 1:16}
It is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

{1 Thessalonians 5:22}
“Abstain from every form of evil.”

{Matthew 5:16}
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

{1 Peter 2:9}
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

He Loves Me

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Swoon. Have you ever meditated on the luxurious thought that the Creator of all that exists: He who made sunsets and sunrises, rainbows, storms, butterflies, flowers, fruit, colour, scents, animals, bees, rain, humans, earth, fire, lightening, oceans, starfish, hearts, lungs, eyes, feeling, emotion, breath…the Creator of all of this extravagant, incomprehensible, complex, lavish and heart-quickening beauty and life, loves us? Not just loves us, but when you have a relationship with Him, He loves you so much that He will never let that relationship end. Ever. From death to life, you become one who will never die. 

Romans 8:38-39: And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

He loves us with a wild, jealous, beautiful, intense love and it’s the kind of love that fills us in exuberant satisfaction and makes our heart feel like it will explode. He is our Warrior-God, rescuing us from everything, alluring us into His romance with His love, protecting us like a Knight in Shining Armour, and keeping us for all eternity. Not only did He make the most majestic mountain, but He places Himself in a humble position, allowing himself to FEEL deep emotion for us.

Song of Songs‬ ‭4‬:‭9-10: You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace. Your love delights me, my treasure, my bride. Your love is better than wine, your perfume more fragrant than spices.

This makes me swoon like nothing else can. Those are His words to those who belong to Him. When we love God, it’s not a bunch of rules. That’s a lie. It’s a hot, fiery love that drastically changes our lives and melts our hearts. It’s a love that makes us alive, and it’s a love that makes His divine heart beat faster as we love Him back. He is a beautiful God worth all of our love. He is our Lover. He is our Rescuer. He is our Warrior. He is the King. And He loves us. And the thought of this stops my heart.

Zephaniah‬ ‭3‬:‭17: For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” 
‭Psalms‬ ‭91‬:‭14-16‬: The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”

It’s a Divine Romance with your Maker. Nothing can compare. Nothing ever could compare, and nothing ever will compare to a love-filled, passionate, holy love with God Himself.

Smoothie Bowl & Glory

The beauty in food astounds me.

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It sings of the God who makes it.

It absolutely fills my heart in awe as excitement ripples through my being when I gaze my eyes upon the glory of God. It spins my mind like a merry-go-round. My eyes grow large in pure wonder as they behold the extravagance and utterly delightful beauty found in our natural world. Food is a gift that is so appealing to all of our senses, is so enjoyable, and keeps us alive. And I don’t mean big macs – I’m talking about real, natural, and plant foods that we’ve been bountifully provided. Foods that are grown on this wonderful earth.

I mean, look at it. The colours, the tastes, the texture, the nutrient and vitamins so abundantly found in each and every single whole food. It’s wonderful. We’ve been consuming food since being in our mother’s womb, so we’ve grown accustom to it. However, look closely, and allow your senses to be amazed and wooed.

Only a divine, creative, glorious Creator could supply us with this kind of beauty.

There is purpose behind this. Extravagant beauty behind this. Provision and deep care behind this. Creativity behind this. Intelligence behind this. Immeasurable wisdom behind this.

Love behind this.

Oh, the decadent tastes. Not only are plant foods exceedingly pleasing to our eyes, but oh…the tastes. Fruit, for instance. Juicy, vibrant, ripe, luxurious fruit that sustains our entire beings physically and mentally. It’s a taste of who our Creator is.

It’s a taste of God Himself.

God is so incredible, and so much more beautiful than even the beauty we can see in the things He makes. Because these things simply came from Him. Imagine Him. We couldn’t possibly comprehend the depth and extreme beauty that He Himself possesses.

That said, here is a delicious and pretty smoothie bowl I made! The smoothie mixture turns out like sherbet and it is oh so delightful. That vibrancy, tho. It’s so very inviting. It tastes like such a treat, and all it is is bananas and strawberries mixed in a blender! It’s amazing what you can make with real whole plant foods. You can essentially eat ice cream every single day and know that you are eating optimally for your health.

Mind = blown. Every single day. Thankfulness to Jesus, every single day.

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.

Colossians 5:15-17 so eloquently enlightens us on Jesus Christ’s divinity, power, and splendour. And when we realize that this is who He is and become intensely aware of Him, our hearts melt and come alive at the same time as we become saturated in His creation – His majestic qualities pouring forth into the magnificently beautiful things we see and experience.

He made these things, and He is glorious.

Smoothie Bowl DirectionsIn a blender, I throw in frozen bananas with fresh strawberries (stems and all!) and blend with about 1/4 cup  – 1/2 cup of water for it to turn into a smooth ice cream mixture. Then, I top it with healthy yummy things – with whatever suits my fancy! In this picture I have it topped with: sliced banana, sliced strawberries, chia seeds, hemp heart seeds, granola, and cacao nibs. You can go crazy. Oh my yum!

Psalms & Banana Bread

Warm, soft, fragrant banana bread. Mmmmm.

During the winter months, curling up under my blankets and reading the Psalms became my pastime. As the snow fell and the ice continued to crystalize outside in the cold, I would cover myself in warm, fur-like blankets, and fall into the pages as my heart warmed to the beauty of God’s love and glory. One night, as I dug into the psalms, I made myself some warm banana bread. Truly, the combination of beautifully written scripture expressing love towards God and the warm spicy scents radiating from the oven is the perfect recipe for feeling cozy and close to Jesus!

As my heart would come alive to the words so magnificently expressed in scripture, I pondered the magnitude of what my eyes were looking at. It’s utterly amazing how powerful the Word of God is. How totally error-free beyond human ability to accomplish and perfect it is. It’s completely trustworthy. Your soul can cling to every single word in that book and know that your soul is holding onto the very purpose of our being. Your soul can cling to every word in that book knowing that it will never rust, mold, or deteriorate, ever. It’s eternal, and putting your hope in Him leads to eternal unwavering delight.

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:21

It’s not the kind of book that you read once and then you tip up your hat and walk away, having gotten all you can out of it.

No, completely opposite, actually.

The more you consume the Word of God into your being, the hungrier you are for it. For Him.

Though He perfectly satisfies the human soul, perfectly fills, perfectly provides all of our richest desires, the more we get of Him, the more intense our hunger for Him becomes. Because we realize that nothing on this earth tastes as good as Him. Nothing even compares. So when we experience intimacy with our Maker, the cry of our soul is satisfied – and our hunger intensifies – all at the same time. We do anything and everything we can to receive more of Him. More intimacy with Him, more of His faithful love filling us, more of His peace, more of His closeness, more of His joy, more of His presence, more of His voice, more of His wonderful company. When we pursue Him like this, He responds. He promises that when you seek Him, you will find Him.

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

The LORD is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you. Psalm 9:9-10

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.” Psalm 27:8

Scripture is saturated with God telling us people to seek Him. He wants to be found! He desires us to reach out to Him and allow Him to be our shelter, our refuge, our shield.

A relationship with Jesus Christ is a real, ongoing, close relationship – closer than any other you could possibly have. When He responds and you experience deeper and deeper intimacy and closeness to Him, you then respond back to Him. In the same respect, He’ll pursue us with a relentless, intense, passionate pursuit. He always pursues us, it never ends. He pursues us in countless ways, all you have to do is look around. He woo’s us with glorious sunsets and sunrises. He feeds us with a bountiful assortment of food supplied on the earth. He speaks to our hearts. He draws us in using countless of life situations to get our attention. Some bad, some good. He wakes us up everyday. He heals our bodies. He reveals Himself to you. He convicts your heart of His existence. He comforts you in times of distress. He fills you with His perfect love. He offers peace when you’re anxious. He mends our broken hearts. He fills us with His light, shining Himself through us when we come to Him. He died and experienced gruesome unthinkable torture so that you could live in a close bond with Him forever. He keeps you alive. He gives you breath each moment and wakes you up every morning. He pursues us. 

Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. Hosea 2:14

The Sovereign LORD has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will. Isaiah 50:4

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Hosea 2:14 is one of my very favourite Bible verses. It has melted me and excited me. It has filled me and thrilled me and lifted me and has made my heart feel like exploding. It has pulled me in, desiring Him deeply, longing for Him more than air, wanting Him more and more and more. He has touched me and stirred me and warmed me with His presence through this verse. This verse shows of his passionate pursuit of us. He’s a God of love, a God of romance with those in relationship with Him. And there is absolutely nothing that could even compare in this world. It’s so incredible, that when people start to experience His love and who He is, they feel compelled to realize that everything else in this world is a loss compared to Him. He compels people to give up anything and everything just for Him. 

Because there is nothing better. 

To have a God that protects you and pursues you and loves you to no end…is the most blissful feeling that one could ever experience.

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ. Philippians 3:8

Isn’t it beyond incredible that even the most valuable things on this earth would be considered garbage in comparison to having a relationship with Jesus Christ?

This world contains a vast amount of worth, of value, of beauty. I stand in awe of it every day. But it’s all nothing in comparison to God Himself. That’s how immeasurably valuable God is! That even the most valuable things on this earth is nothing compared to Him. To the one who made all of that beauty and worth and value.

One does not realize the immensity of this until they reach out to Him in faith. When you respond to Him in an act of faith, thus beginning a real relationship with Him, you will experience the greatest love, the greatest treasure a man can posses.

You will rack your mind wondering how you lived a single moment without Him prior.

It’s just a beautiful relationship altogether and my heart feels like it’s going to burst when I try to wrap my head around it.

And God was gracious enough to give us His Word. His Word contains His character, His personality, His attributes, His beauty, His love. We get to know Him through this text, this powerful supernatural God-breathed text. The Word of God isn’t a bunch of text written of people’s interpretations of Him – rather, the Word of God is a text written by God about Himself and how much He desires a relationship with us. It’s a love story. The love story. God and the people He has a wild love for.

He reveals Himself through scripture. People, under the complete inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote this holy book and every word in it is ordained and carefully written by God. It’s who He is.

Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1: 1-5

The Word is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God. God is the Holy Spirit.

With God, you go deeper and deeper into fellowship with Him in your Christian walk. Until your last breath on this earth, you’re in His loving hands – granted you have a relationship with Him. Going deeper with Him means that as you read a passage, the Holy Spirit will touch and minister to you and stir your heart in new and different ways. He speaks to you through His word, ministers to you through his word, tends to you, comforts you, guides you, holds you, disciplines you, and above all, loves you through his word. Oh, the joys of his love are never-ending, always freshly flowing, and radiantly filling us lowly human beings. He brings incomparable delight to our hearts, taking tender care of us until the day we meet Him face to face.

I am so thankful He left humanity with the gift of His holy Word. His Word is His love letter to us, and once you begin a relationship with Him, His Word becomes a light to your eyes and a lamp to your feet. God’s Word isn’t just a bunch of printed sentences on paper. God’s word is truly Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ is truly, completely God Almighty. Therefore, holding the Bible in your hands is the most valuable physical thing you can hold in your hands. It’s God and his love and his treasures, on pages written out in love.

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

So, reading Psalms again brings a new delight to my heart and a sparkle in my eyes, as I’m taken even deeper into fellowship and understanding of God.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13

So as I’m reading the Psalms in my warm fleece cuddly pjs, smelling that banana bread just enhances the experience.

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And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times. Psalm 12:6

We’re not meant to walk through this life alone, wondering what on earth we are here for, spending our days meaninglessly wondering and doing and working and sleeping. We were meant to experience so much more. We were meant to know why we are here, and where we are going. We were meant to know Who made us, and Who loves us with an overwhelming, consuming love. The greatest love.

And when you find this out, you light up brighter than the sun.

Clinging to God

I would like to take a special moment to more thoroughly elaborate on something I mentioned in my last post.

Clinging.

Clinging to God. 

I have been deeply meditating on this truth lately, and the beauty that lies behind it. I had previously mentioned that God wants us to cling to Him, in this close, ongoing, intimate, everlasting relationship.

My mind started to toy with the wonder of what clinging actually looks like. What clinging actually means. What the definition of clinging, unaltered with my own ideas, consists of. God says in His word over and over and over again for us human beings to cling to Him. I’ve always received so much deep joy and have actually cried over this because I find it to be so tender, intimate, and sweet, as well as it displays His desires in His relationship with us. God reveals Himself through the scriptures, and when we see Him long for us to cling to Him, it displays who he is and what he wants.

I remember the time I first came across God telling His people to cling to Him, it somewhere in the Old Testament. I remember the feeling of being so captivated and awe-struck by this valuable truth, as I was only a couple months deep into my relationship with Him and was just learning who He is, and what He is like. When I came across it, I would be lying if I said that tears did not well up in my eyes and poured onto the pages. This is my God, whom I love so desperately, and I’m seeing that He loves me desperately too. Enough for Him to desire for me to cling to Him.

So, what does clinging mean, and what does clinging actually look like?

 

So basically…in a nutshell.;)

When I typed ‘clinging’ to google images, koala bears clinging to trees came up.

And I thought, how perfect.

We’re made to hold onto Him.

In curiosity, I looked up the definition, and reading it, I felt my heart become full and flooded with his love, as I took a deep breath in. Everything within me wanted to shout in love for Him and melt at the same time.

The definition?

Clinging: fitting closely to the body and showing its shape; hold on tightly to; adhere or stick firmly or closely to; be hard to part or remove from; remain very close to; remain persistently or stubbornly faithful to something; dependent on someone emotionally. Synonyms: hold on to, clutch, grip, clasp, grasp, attach oneself to, hang on to; embrace, hug; stick, adhere, hold, cohere, bond, bind; hold to, stick to, stand by, abide by, cherish,  remain true to, have faith in.<3

Upon reading this, everything within me exhaled YES!

Really. This is exactly how we’re to cling to God. With all our strength, soul, heart, and might. He wants us to cling to Him, because He’s our protection. He’s our Daddy. He gives us life. He’s our steadiness. He is our safety. He’s our love. Koala bears on trees are physically what it looks like to spiritually cling to our Maker. He wants us to be this way with Him. He desires this type of close, intertwined, mended, molded together relationship. He’s in us, we’re in Him.

 

Jesus’ words,

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.
 John 10:28

I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. John 17: 21-23

Aaaand, errrrrr –let’s face it– clinging to God is pretty much the only thing we can cling to that’s actually good for us. I mean, really, really good for us.  It’s what we were designed for. To hold on to the One who made us and knows how many hairs we have on our head. The One who knows all our thoughts, needs, desires, wants, and yearns to fulfill them in us with Himself. The One who knows our worries, fears, struggles, hardships, downfalls, flaws, hurts, and tears, and yearns to wipe all our tears away, make our fears disappear, and heal and protect our hearts. He yearns for us to cling to Him. He sees and captures every tear that falls down our cheeks. He doesn’t let one tear fall without collecting it, and without knowing every single reason behind those tears. He hurts when we hurt, and he so desires to make every wrong right in our lives. He will, if you let Him.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8

The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; Isaiah 25:8

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Revelation 21:14

He is deeply concerned with every single tear that falls down our face! He’s tender and soft with us.

 

When we give Him our hearts, we belong to Him forever. We become supernaturally sealed with His Holy Spirit. Nothing can reverse it. In that moment, he commits Himself to closeness with you, and devotes Himself in love to you. And God would never go back on His promises. He’s perfect. He holds us, and we cling to Him, and nothing and nobody could ever take us away from Him. He’s ours, for eternity. And we’re His, forever.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. Psalm 48:14

Oh, the deep joy and satisfaction of clinging on to our beautiful God for dear life. Because he is life. There is absolutely nothing better than this kind of relationship with Him. Nothing better.

That said, here’s a nice cup of hot chocolate I made from scratch. It turned out so yummy and filled me with warmth.

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I warmed almond milk (measure in your cup first so you know how much to use!) in a pot, added a heaping tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa, and coconut sugar (sweetness desired to your liking) you can also use honey. I let it bubble up around the edges of the pot, whisked it well, and poured the steamy drink into my cup to enjoy a warm treat on a very cold night.

Clinging to God all the days of my Life

I reigned in my 31st birthday (hands covering my eyes) :’) with none other than homemade mac and cheese. Because, you know, it’s adult and I’m hip like that.

But really, this is not like your old-fashioned kids macaroni and cheese. This is the most adult mac and cheese I’ve ever seen in my life. Not even over-exagerating. In fact, it’s so adult, I doubt children would even like it. Yes, you heard me! This really is adult mac and cheese, so you can feel proper while eating it. Haha.

Made with edamame and mung bean fettuccine noodles, with a legit mixture of cheddar, goat cheese, and a special truffle mustard I found in a small Italian shop, this adult mac and cheese turned out golden – figuratively and literally.

I was able to eat some healthier-version comfort food while actually going into my 30s. Before, I was just 30. Now, I’m in my 30s. As you can see, big difference.;-) But in all honestly, I love it and couldn’t care less. Bring 40 on! Better yet, bring 55!

Falling in love with God and beginning a real relationship with Him completely abolished any ‘age-issues’ that many people face. I know what it’s like, because I had age issues myself, before Christ. Getting older into your adult years puts many in a panic, because life is so short. It seems long while you’re in the moment, but when you look back over the years, it’s like the snap of your fingers. An uncle of mine told me that as you get older, it only goes faster. He’s 56 and can’t believe how old he is. Many don’t like aging, and there’s a deep rooted reason that is planted well into our hearts as to why this is. And it’s not as superficial as one would think.

It’s because we don’t like endings. People have serious fears of aging, getting wrinkly, getting older, dying, not accomplishing what we think we should have accomplished by a certain age – and all of these things consumed me before I met God. I can tell you with a great deal of confidence that if I didn’t have my Saviour to cling to while turning 31, I would literally be running in a panic with no peace in my soul.

He gives me peace.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3

The peace He gives is like no other. Nothing in this world can give us humans the peace He gives. Nothing even compares to it.

I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27

The peace the world gives is temporal, circumstantial, and physical. The perfect peace that God gives is eternal, steadfast (unwavering), and intangible. Nothing can move it. Nothing can move you.

He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved. Psalm 62:6

After He filled me, all of those concerns and fears drifted away and vapored into nothingness as I set my eyes on the real reason for living. Him. He’s our constant Rock through everything we face in life. He never changes, we do. Clinging to Him gives us peace and love that we simply can’t find anywhere else. The most awe-stricken thing is that He, the majestic powerful God, wants us to cling to Him. Reading the bible, I can’t even count how many times He has told His people to cling to Him. Isn’t that beautiful? It melts me, totally melts me. He’s such a tender, sweet, loving, caring God. He desires to be close to us in deep fellowship and intimacy.

My soul clings to you. Your right hand supports me. Psalm 63:5

He supports us. He holds us.

Now clinging to Him, climbing up the ladder in years matters to me not even in the slightest! Because I know where I’m going.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. Revelation 21:4

Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? 1 Corinthians 15.55

Not even scared one bit. Not even slightly. Bring life on.

What freedom that Jesus Christ gives one who calls out to Him as his or her Saviour!

People fear things like this, because we don’t like endings. The ending to a good book, a good movie, a good trip, saying goodbyes, and the end of a life. We don’t like these things, these endings.

Do you know why?

Because God put eternity in our hearts.

We weren’t meant to like endings. We’re eternal beings, and when you trust Jesus Christ for forgiveness and believe that He is the God who came down to put on human flesh and be the sacrifice – the only sacrifice – for our sins so that we may live with Him in Heaven forever, you will experience the true joy, peace, and fearless unending love in life that all humans yearn for.

Endings feel unnatural, and many don’t know why this is.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

The temporal on earth will only last a short time until we’re with Him forever in Heaven. If you put your trust in Christ and receive Him into your heart, putting all your hope in Him, He will give you the greatest gift. This gift is so beyond our human comprehension, that our life in paradise has never even been thought up by a human being. We can’t conceive it.

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9

Oh, those who call on Him in their hearts and who love Him are in for a treat beyond our wildest dreams. It’s outside anything we could ever think up in our minds. It will be glorious.

Back to my birthday, another interesting thing that has changed is that birthdays used to be so important to me. It was my day. The day to celebrate me. Birthdays are surely fun and they make us feel special, but all of that tension to have a really important day for myself just disappeared into thin air. And it’s all because of Him. When he enters your heart, the things you used to care about – the things of this world that hold no value or security – aren’t held the same in your heart, mind, and spirit as they used to. Because you have Himyou have all of the security, value, worth, love, and feelings of being special…all in Him.

He makes you feel abundantly, crazily, passionately, and perfectly loved. He makes you feel valuable, cherished, beautiful, protected, cared for, shielded, set apart, and in His hands. He makes you feel embraced, unique, thought of, and He loves you perfectly and satisfies your heart completely. Therefore, the need to put so much heaviness on one day just literally melts away. The fear of aging is no more. The fear of death is not even around you. In fact, when you belong to Him, death is used as a means to serve you. Death brings you into transition from living in this world, to living with Him forever in His presence. Everything you held onto in this world vanishes, as you fall into His arms and His warm, sweet embrace. You realize there’s only one true thing that matters in this life, and it’s the One who made you.

Plus, who cares about gifts and balloons when you have the God of all that exists. ❤

Going back to my mac and cheese, I really enjoyed making and eating this. It was a last minute late dinner idea, and it turned out rich and mouthwatering.

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The beauty of these noodles is not only are they made with whole foods grown from the ground, but they are certified organic, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and pure. Meaning, the ingredients are literally edamame and mung beans. That’s it, that’s all. Kinda makes my heart happy. :’)

In addition, the mixture of goat cheese, old cheddar, and truffle mustard (raw and fermented) was a superb blend, adultifying (Yes, I just made a word up!traditional mac and cheese. The result is golden crispy heartiness in a bowl.

 

I made this recipe completely my own, once I gained the fundamentals (amounts of milk, cheese, pasta) from a basic mac and cheese recipe found on the internet. Here is my recipe:

  • 1/2 pound of edamame and mung bean pasta
  • tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour
  • 3 tablespoons truffle mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups old cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta. While pasta is cooking, take a large deep saucepan and melt coconut oil. Whisk in the flour and mustard until a thick sauce forms. Pour in the milk, whisk fast and continuously until sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper. Stir in cheeses until all melted. Pour in the cooked, drained pasta, stir altogether, and pour entire mixture into a glass baking dish (8×8 works for this recipe).Bake for 30 minutes, or until brown and bubbly on top.

And be ready for a treat.

Beautiful Decadence

A spark of passion has been igniting within me to bake beautiful desserts. The idea of turning a beautifully presented, hand-crafted, made-with-love dessert and put together with essentially a few random ingredients (eggs, flour, butter, sugar, etc) is just amazing. How wonderful!

I love seeing the finished product, and love even more giving these baked goods as gifts to people. They’re so much more personal than something purchased. A handmade desert took time, effort, creativity, patience, and tons of thought. And not only that, but umm…hello deliciousness! So I’ve taken the opportunity lately to bake yummy, beautiful treats for occasions that have come up. And I can honestly say, it’s been such a joy. Even slowly and patiently and intently frosting a cake brings up a glimmer in my eyes.

Yeah, I could have slammered all of the icing on and it would have tasted the same. But theres something about the creativity involved and close precise effort to making it look pretty and well presented that just gives this world a little bit more beauty. I’m realizing good things take work. Effort shows love, and love lights people  up! I know this first hand from the couple very beautiful desserts I’ve made so far. It excites me, and I love seeing people’s thrilled faces when they receive it. That “wow! look what i am about to eat!” face.

I’ve always been into this, but was too impatient that I never gave it any real effort. Well, one of the fruits of the Spirit is patience, and I definitely see this fruit at work in my life and in my being since giving my life to Christ and receiving His life in my heart. And because of that, fruits such as patience now exudes out from me, even in something as seemingly insignificant as baking a cake.

But it’s really not insignificant.

Because Jesus knows that it’s an act of love, and it is something that strengthens my caring of others, my patience in making complex and beautiful desserts, building my time management (i.e. minimizing procrastination and thinking ahead – something that’s always been a struggle) and making things beautiful with God’s creation, thus bringing Him ultimate glory. In showing love and taking time to make others feel special, I’m showing the glory of God and I’m radiating His Spirit who lives inside of me.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:23-24

It’s a misconception to think that only the ‘big things’ matter to God. On the contrary, the small things matter to Him just as much. All those little things you do because of your love for Him. He notices, and it delights Him. He feels, and He is humble. He puts himself in a position to be moved by us humans. What a beautiful God! 

For the LORD takes delight in his people; Psalm 149:4a

The LORD takes delight in his faithful followers, and in those who wait for his loyal love.Psalm 147:11

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

As you can see, there’s a great deal of delight going on between God and those who belong to Him! Delight beyond anything this world has to offer. Delight beyond the physical, delight beyond the temporal, delight beyond the circumstances. Delight with no conditions, delight with no fear.

Pure delight in our Saviour, as He delights in those He created and who are His. There’s nothing more beautiful than this. Nothing more precious. Nothing more sacred. Nothing more treasured.

Making gorgeous desserts is essentially a shadow spilling out of me of how I feel about God, and how God makes me feel. He’s beautiful. Beyond beautiful. And, I’m in love with Him, He’s in love with me (more than I can even fully grasp because His love is so beyond me) and His love endures forever and ever and ever. Literally, His love never ends. Oh, when I think of these things this warmth joy radiates out of me that is completely indescribable! So, because of this love and beauty I experience with my loving Maker, I naturally want to make beautiful things that flow out of my mind and heart.

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

If I could put an emoticon on this post, it would be heart eyes.

Instead, I’ll show you the cake I made! This was for my Uncle’s birthday, and I jumped right up at the opportunity to bake a cake for him.

Homemade yellow cake from scratch, with a rich and sweet buttercream frosting, also from scratch. Delicious.

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Since it’s December, I wanted to make something not only for a guy (blue) but also something that exudes the essence of the winter season. Ice blue, white border, and silver sprinkles.

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Frosting a cake with that perfectly smooth finish is hard and takes patience! But it’s fun, and you are really able to step back and enjoy the end product. I love cake decorating, and I can’t wait to make more cakes and build on this skill, as well as apply my creativity!

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So there you have it! What a joy to make. Even more of a joy to present it to my uncle.

If you would like the recipe for the cake and/or buttercream frosting, I would be more than happy to share in the comments!

xo

A Good Boost of Energy

Protein bars. Energy bars. Granola bars. When we think of these things, we usually think of those packaged ‘healthy’ snacks that take up half an isle. When we need a boost of energy or feel those 3pm hunger pangs kick in, or when we had just worked out and need to refuel, much of western culture buys processed, sugar-laced crack in a neatly shaped bar, wrapped with loud and bright logos. To our dismay, these can even deceive the most trained and passionate athletic gurus into thinking that they are healthy. Those protein bars packed with sugar and a bunch of ingredients we can’t even begin to pronounce are not good for you in any way, shape, or form. Sadly, what manufactured companies advertise as healthy usually isn’t the case. They’re packaged to solicit healthy-lifestyle and workout junkies; however, they aren’t nourishing to your body. Yeah sure, they’ll give you an energetic high. That’s because of all the sugar in them! And yes, protein is good for you, but in manufactured form…not so much. Not even close. Not only that, they charge 4-6 bucks a pop, basically ripping money out of the hands of folks desiring to lead a healthy lifestyle.

According to an article I found on The Globe and Mail, many protein bars contain these horrid ingredients: soy protein isolate, high-fructose corn syrup (HSCS), fractioned/hydrogenated palm kernel oil, artificial sweeteners, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and natural flavourings (which are not natural!). Without making my blog post too entirely long, I didn’t include the descriptions or what they do to your body [please do research!]. But, they aren’t good for you, and I feel grateful to have the opportunity to shed light on them and help encourage another way.

Before I go on any further, I’ll be the first to admit that I will splurge on candy, chocolates, and when my mom lays out a beautiful german chocolate cake in front of me, I won’t say no. Haha. But my argument here is that these bars are packaged to endorse a healthy lifestyle and are geared towards those trying to be healthy. When I eat chocolate cake, I know that it’s a splurge. But I wouldn’t want to eat something I think is healthy and nourishing yet it be anything but that.

I can tell you that it breaks God’s heart to see people deceived and caught up in the advertising and sale schemes of big money-hungry companies, and the people behind them.

Don’t be deceived, my dearly loved brothers. James 1:16

Just because it’s packaged as healthy, doesn’t mean it is. In fact, these corporations don’t even slightly care about your health. They want your money.

Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life. Proverbs 1:19

God doesn’t want the precious human beings that He created to fall into this advertisement, passivity haze. Jesus Christ is the all-powerful, Almighty God, but He also feels so deeply. More deeply than human beings can fully grasp. And His heart breaks when He sees His people nutrition-deprived, especially when he gifts us with an abundance of food that comes from the earth. This goes way beyond packaged bars. It’s the fast-paced convenience-centered culture in which we live. The kingdom of consumerism as an entity spills out into every facet of our lifestyle, and greatly effects our culture, society, and way of living as a whole. It goes deeper, but for the sake of this post, I’m only going to discuss packaged protein bars. The good news is that with the right knowledge, we can go against the grain! We can open our eyes, become purposeful in our well-being, and walk in a different direction.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

God doesn’t want us to blend in with this world. Let Him give you wisdom and insight on how you should take care for yourself and live this ever-so-difficult and pressing life.

Now, I’m not saying all protein bars are bad for you! Nor am I saying you should never eat them. Some bars on the market are clean and whole and good for you, albeit being expensive. Whether you love protein bars or hate ’em, that’s up to you. But, I’d like to provide insight on them because I believe there are so many different possibilities  – ways that invest nutritiously into bettering your mind, body, and overall health. Ways that give you natural energy and satisfy your hunger.

What’s important is fueling the body with real, natural, whole foods.

It’s easy (and fun!) and almost sickeningly quick to make, and for pennies on the dollar of those sugary monstrosities.

Did I mention they are oh-so good? I mean, those manufactured bars ain’t got nothin’ on the homemade whole food versions!

You can really be creative when you make your own energy bars. That’s the beauty of it! Recently, I made move to rid of all things in bags and packaged and put everything into jars. (Okay, I’m kinda obsessed with jars. Once you start, you won’t stop.) I made a huge trip to bulk barn, bought raisins, craisins, dates, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, shredded coconut, flax seeds and more. My heart literally gets excited at filling all of my jars with various foods.You name it, it’s probably in my cupboard. Haha.

 

 

Here, I made energy bars that came out so yummy, filling, and healthy. They are like the homemade version of larabars. Fruit, nuts, dates = yumminess and energy at my fingertips. I made two different kinds! The first batch, I threw in….

Recipe:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • dates
  • 1-2 tbs. almond butter or any nut butter (use at your discretion – used to hold everything together!)
  • 1 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • dash of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (for good measure, of course!)
  • flax seed
  • chia seeds
  • unsweetened coconut

Put it all in the food processor, mix it all together, then form it into a glass dish! Put in fridge to further seal it all together, and it’ll be ready for you to cut into squares. Batch number two was the same, except I omitted the unsweetened cocoa and chocolate chips, and added a bit more dried fruit almond butter.

 

Here’s some energy balls I made as well:

 

Recipe:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup nut butter (I used sunflower seed butter! Yum!)
  • 1/3 cup honey, warmed
  • 1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup flax seeds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tbs chia seeds

In a large mixing bowl, put all ingredients except honey. Pour warmed honey over everything, and mix with a wooden spoon (or your hands!) form into balls, and place in fridge to harden.

They’re amazing squares and balls of goodness! And the best part is sharing them with a friend! There’s a great deal of joy to be said about receiving that text saying, “your bars are so delicious! Thanks!”. Ah, the little things in life that touch the heart. :’)

I hope you enjoy making these. I’d love to hear your feedback on them!

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