St. Patrick’s Breastplate ~ “Lorica of St. Patrick”

This is a repost seven years back.

Over twenty years ago, I was introduced to a prayer attributed to Saint Patrick. Having Irish ancestors, I had some basic knowledge about the Irish patron saint. But I was so moved by the prayer, I decided to do some more research on this iconic and legendary character.

Did you know that St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is not Irish? 

He was born in Roman Britain to aristocratic parents around 385 A.D. Even though his father was a deacon and other members of his family were clergy, the family was not particularly religious. At the age of sixteen, he was captured by Irish pirates who took him to Ireland, probably around County Mayo, and sold him into slavery. While there he was assigned to tend sheep. It was during that period in relative isolation that his prayer life developed and he began to believe that his captivity may well have been part of God’s plan. He began to dream that he was to free the Irish people from their druid beliefs and to share the gospel of Christ with them. After six years, Patrick believed he heard from God that he was to escape and make his way back to Britain. When he had walked the two hundred miles to the Irish coast, God gave him another revelation; that he would return to Ireland as a missionary.

Window in Gloucester Cathedral of St Patrick being taught by St Germanus

He was reunited with his family in England briefly before departing for France where he would remain for fifteen years. In France, he entered the priesthood and studied under the missionary St. Germain. However, he never lost sight of his dream of returning to Ireland to spread “The Good News”.

Around 431, Patrick was consecrated Bishop of the Irish and returned to the island of his captivity.

 

While Patrick initially experienced some resistance, Patrick eventually convinced the Druids to abandon their belief system that kept them enslaved and convinced them to find freedom in Christ. He built up the church in Ireland, establishing monasteries and organizing the land into dioceses. Patrick died March 17, 461 in Saul, County Down, Ireland where he is said to be buried.

Did you know that St. Patrick did not introduce Christianity to Ireland?                                                 

He was not the first Christian missionary, but he was the most successful.

Did you know that St. Patrick did not chase the snakes out of Ireland? 

That’s the stuff of legends. However, if the snake is a symbol of paganism, St. Patrick can be credited as removing paganism from Ireland and converting it to Christianity.

Do you know what the association is between St. Patrick and the shamrock?      Shamrock 2 

St. Patrick used the shamrock, a common clover, as a metaphor to teach the Irish people about the Trinity.

Do you know when St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated in the colonies?                                                 

St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated as a Catholic Holy Day in the U.S. in Boston in 1737. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not in Ireland, but in Boston in 1762 when Irish soldiers serving in the British army marched in New York to honor their Irish heritage.

 As the Irish migrated, more people became familiar with the remarkable story of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day remains a Holy Day in the Roman Catholic and some Protestant denominations. For many throughout the world, St. Patrick’s Day is a secular holiday, celebrated with parades, traditional Irish meals, and all sorts of festivities.

gold and green celtic cross

ST. PATRICK’S PRAYER

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.
I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of 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 shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.
I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.
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 when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

To Learn More About Our History and Supplement Education

If you are seeking to learn more about our history or to add to a child or grandchild’s education, there is a wealth of books and videos available.

100 Bible Verses That Made America: Defining Moments That Shaped Our Enduring Foundation of Faith

https://www.amazon.com/Bible-Verses-That-Made-America/dp/0718079620/ref

 

Excellent books by Peter Marshall and David Manuel (though written years ago) detailing fascinating information not found in government school textbooks. The authors also wrote versions of these books for children. 

 

 

 

The Light and the Glory: 1492-1793 (God’s Plan for America)                                  From Sea to Shining Sea: 1787-1837 (God’s Plan for America)                                  Sounding Forth the Trumpet: 1837-1860 (God’s Plan for America)

Can be found at  https://www.Amazon.com                                                                                                  https://www.christianbook.com/                                          https://www.barnesandnoble.com/   40 Episodes of Liberty Kids are DVDs (It’s more expensive now than when I ordered them for grandchildren though they cost less through resale.)

https://www.amazon.com/Libertys-Kids-Complete-Dustin-Hoffman/dp/B00CMDPTTA/ref

Learn Our History is another great series https://learnourhistory.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAs5eCBhCBARIsAEhk4r61JphkGDiYHfIm-skp1nQ3k6MVpo3eInVfPYY6p_NR6zzF8d23XREaAhnrEALw_wcB

There is also excellent material available from the publishers or Christianbook.com or used from local homeschooling conventions that can add to a student’s education. My homeschooling adventure was many years ago, but six of my grandchildren are currently homeschooled by a daughter-in-law. She has graciously provided some input to this post. 

Additional curriculum resources:

https://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/local-support/homeschool-conventions-conferences-and-events/

Abeka     https://www.abeka.com/Homeschool

Bob Jones   https://www.bjupresshomeschool.com/content/home

Classical Conversations  https://www.classicalconversations.com/

https://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/

Christianbook.com    https://bit.ly/2P2hsHq

A valuable subject often neglected in school is business or consumer math. For example https://www.christianbook.com/abeka-consumer-mathematics-in-christian-perspective/pd/226603?event=Homeschool|1008960

www.rainbowresource.com is an excellent online retail store to purchase almost all homeschool curriculums.If you plan to homeschool, it’s wise to learn what the requirements are in your particular state. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is the nation’s largest, most trusted homeschool advocacy organization and it can answer most of your questions. https://hslda.org/

Homeschooling Conventions

Look up Homeschool Conventions to find some near you. Here are some places to start.

https://greathomeschoolconventions.com/

https://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/local-support/homeschool-conventions-conferences-and-events/

Popular curriculum for teaching various subjects:

All About Reading https://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/all-about-reading/

All About Spelling https://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/all-about-spelling/

Institutes of Excellence in Writing (IEW) https://iew.com/

Handwriting without Tears  https://www.lwtears.com/hwt

Saxon Math    https://www.hmhco.com/programs/saxon-math

Singapore   https://www.singaporemath.com/

MathUSee  https://www.mathusee.com/

These are just a few of the many resources available.
Joining other homeschoolers in your community is a benefit for the teacher as well as the student for support and friendship. Some homeschoolers form cooperatives where one parent may provide math instruction to two or more students while others may teach another course of study. I did this with another parent, allowing each of us to teach two boys one day a week in our favorite subjects, giving us each a “day off”. Guess which subject was my specialty? 😉

 

Canceling or Changing Our History

Cancel Culture or political correctness run amuck.

While people have been maligned for behaving outside of perceived social norms for centuries, more recently cancel culture has entered our lexicon. This movement to eradicate statues, books, movies, shows, the names of streets, schools, sports teams, and even people from social media.

Cancel culture is the practice of publicly rejecting, boycotting, or ending support for particular people or groups because of their socially or morally unacceptable views or actions by people who appoint themselves as the arbiters of right and wrong.

Fact: This silencing of anyone or thing that does not agree with the currently prevailing “acceptable” attitudes is robbing us of our first amendment rights and silencing people from expressing their opinions for fear of being castigated.

The preamble to our Constitution reads:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Individuals or organizations who are eager to find fault with our past or founders don’t acknowledge that all people and nations have flaws. Attitudes have changed over the centuries and should be evaluated in the context of their times. The institution of slavery was certainly a tragic part of our history, but our country has and continues to make great strides to be a more perfect union. Scripture states:

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

For too many years our nation has witnessed the altering of history to suit a person’s or group’s agenda. I witnessed this in my public school in the sixties and it has only gotten worse. In the eighties, I took my sons out of the government schools due to the social engineering programs that were being instituted at the expense of academic programs. Our family was fortunate to be able to have them educated in private and parochial schools.

In comparison to the public schools, I noticed the vast improvement in the curriculum, history in particular. I even homeschooled for a time. Arthur Schlesinger made an important observation as did George Santayana:

“History is to the nation much as memory is to the individual.                                     The individual who losses his memory doesn’t know where he came from  or where he’s going and he becomes dislocated and disoriented.”

Arthur Schlesinger

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana

Many families do not have the financial resources to send their children to private or religious schools. But that doesn’t mean parents can’t provide facts about our history and supplement what their students are receiving in schools. Fortunately, there are many resources available to expand their knowledge and equip them whenever they hear or read false information. (I will share some of those resources in my next post.)

For example: Growing up I was taught our nation’s founders were Deists. Many years later, upon reading their writings and the actual proceedings of the Continental and Constitutional Conventions, I learned that they often stopped to pray during their deliberations. Deists believe in a Creator, but He does not intervene in human history, and certainly would not respond to prayers. That theory is certainly not supported by the writings of the founders. Here are just two.:

“How has it happened that we have not, hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our Understandings?”

Benjamin Franklin (during the Constitutional Convention)

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.                           It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”                                                                    John Adams

Recommended resources:

We Will Not Be Silenced by Dr. Erwin Lutzer is a book every adult and teen should read because it exposes what is behind the attack on Christianity, as well as cancel culture, climate change, sexuality issues, racism, Marxism, and capitalism. Besides the book, listen to Dr. Dobson’s interview with the author.

We Will Not Be Silenced: Responding Courageously to Our Culture’s Assault on Christianity https://www.amazon.com/Will-Not-Silenced-Courageously-Christianity/dp/0736981799/ref

Dr. James Dobson Family Institute—Interview with Dr. Erwin Lutzer Part 1 and 2 https://www.drjamesdobson.org/broadcasts/we-will-not-be-silenced-part-1?hss_channel=fbp-296680801734

https://www.drjamesdobson.org/broadcasts/we-will-not-be-silenced-part-2

Tucker Carlson The radical lesson plans that are being taught America’s kids            https://video.foxnews.com/v/6233884972001#sp=show-clips

In my next post, I’ll share resources parents can use to supplement their children’s education.

Hopping John ~ A New Year’s Tradition

For many years our family begins each New Year with Hopping John for lunch or dinner. It’s a family favorite and easy to make. Many people believe black-eyed peas on New Years bring good fortune.

Spicy Hopping John 

2 cups of canned black-eyed peas                                                          ½ lb bacon   (reserve 2 Tablespoon of bacon drippings)               

1 medium chopped onion            2 minced garlic cloves 

½ teasp. of crushed red pepper flakes   ½ teasp. Black pepper

½ teasp. Salt                     1 cup white uncooked white rice

Cook rice according to directions. Fry bacon and set aside. Sauté chopped onion in reserved bacon drippings until soft and clear. Add garlic and pepper flakes to onion and heat for a couple of minutes. When rice is done, add black-eyed peas, cooked bacon, and salt and pepper. Stir together and heat on low heat for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Chill leftovers and reheat when you are ready for more.

There are many variations for this southern dish so feel free to experiment and make it your own.

My sons enjoyed it and wondered why we only had it once a year. While we never ate it because it would bring good luck, we enjoyed Hopping John every New Year and hope that our new year would be blessed.

I hope your New Year will be healthy, safe,

and filled with hope and joy.

SETTING TWO HEARTS FREE ~ Releases October 6th

History has always fascinated me, particularly people and events that change the course of a nation or the world. When interpreting history through a Biblical worldview (Providentially) one sees God’s presence, provision, protection, power, and at times permission to accomplish His will. Our world has been polluted by sin since mankind’s fall, ushering in all manner of evil over time. And while God does not endorse these horrible events, we know that He often works through them or despite them to accomplish His greater purposes.

Discovering God’s direction and intervention in the years leading up to, during, and after the American Revolution inspired me to write a series of stories about the American Revolution. I’m delighted that the final book in the series Setting Two Hearts Free releases October sixth.

Setting Two Hearts Free is dedicated to all who suffer the invisible wounds of war and other trauma. And to their families and loved ones, sometimes struggling to best know how to help and cope.

A HEART SET FREE ~ A story of Forgiveness

1770 ~ Heather Douglas, a woman, disillusioned and desperate to escape her native Scotland, signs a seven-year indenture and flees aboard a British merchant vessel to the Virginia colony.

Matthew Stewart, a widowed farmer with two young children needs someone to help raise them. Is God leading him to take this unknown indentured servant as his wife? How would these two individuals, from opposite sides of the Atlantic, each having experienced tragedies, bridge their differences to make a life together?

A HEART FOR FREEDOM ~ A story of Faithfulness

1775-1776 ~ When hostilities break out between the British and colonials, the antagonism between colonists and the British escalate to confrontation. Throughout Virginia, strife between factions loyal to the crown and those demanding independence pit friends, neighbors, and families against each other.

Like so many others, Heather and Matthew’s world is turning upside down. Loyalties are questioned and odd and unexplainable events create doubt and suspicion. Their journey is filled with challenges but God’s faithfulness will encourage His people.

SETTING TWO HEARTS FREE ~ A story of Forbearance

1781-1783 ~ Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons, battling the British while enduring deprivation and hardship on every side. The war has changed him, and now the battle is internal. Returning home to Virginia is in sight where a new life and his Mary wait for him.

Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts’ Green, helping them operate their ordinary. Daily, she prays for Donald’s safe return, eagerly waiting for him … until that day the evil side of war touches her.

Two hearts are challenged by a war that dragged on for six years. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew. Is there a path for them to rekindle what was lost, Setting Two Hearts Free?

Life During COVID During the Spring and Summer of 2020

Sometimes it’s easier to endure and thrive during times of crisis when we know others are sharing our same struggles. So about a week ago, I asked some friends several questions regarding their journey through this challenging period COVID-19 has given us. Here are the questions and their answers.

1. Besides missing contact with family, friends, and usual church activities, what has been the most challenging for you during these past six months?

~ Surprised and sad at how people ‘shut down & shut off’ friends they disagree with. I have missed the ‘freedoms’ experienced before this (just going & doing, & not feeling the ‘heaviness’ of others who are so hurting). 

~ Not being able to just jump in the car and go somewhere, anywhere, without “suiting up”. It discourages me from going out. 

~ I also greatly miss the freedom to go somewhere, anywhere, without consciously remembering to wear a mask.  This action just reminds me that there is an invisible threat to my health.

~ Not feeling I can make normal plans and a sense of uncertainty around others in their homes. Do I wear a mask? Do I not wear one? Political unrest.

~ My husband, who worked part-time from home, was laid off in the beginning of the quarantine. He has required a lot more of the time that I was used to devoting to writing. I almost given up writing because I feel guilty being busy when he is unsettled and lonely. 

~ Being with people, and our biggest challenge is that we’re tired of zoom, though it has had its place. 

~ Managing my diet and making healthy eating choices.

~ Keeping myself busy, I don’t have any more closets or cabinets to straighten or clean out; spring cleaning was accomplished earlier than scheduled.

~ I miss seeing people’s smiles and going places.

2. Are you finding it difficult to concentrate or accomplish what you want to do or maintain a normal routine?

~ To-Do lists have helped but I don’t complete them all.  My day to day routine is Not the routine I had before this… 

~ Yes. Without attending church and no appointments, no lunch with friends, and avoiding shopping as much as possible, it’s hard to stay on a routine. With less socializing, I find it difficult to be creative. 

~ Feeling like this “season” seems endless, it has taken much more intentional discerning what to do each day. 

~ I find it hard to concentrate on reading. I thought, for sure I’d finish all the books I started. On the other hand,)

~ I find myself sleeping later, and not always getting dressed for the day the way I did pre-COVID.  I can’t seem to really structure myself productively some days.

~ It’s been hard to adjust to my husband working from home some days. Not feeling well. It’s harder to make goals as one day flows into another, not having my regular activities going on.

~ Finding motivation to accomplish something as simple as cleaning a closet is difficult; not hard to convince myself to push it off until tomorrow.

~ I set goals when the quarantine started that I haven’t met but wait … it’s not over yet.

~ We’re finding it very difficult to maintain a normal routine, I find being outside working in our yard is a help, except when the temperatures are 90  degrees!!

 

      But Mom, we’ve already been                        on three walks today.

3. What are some of your coping strategies during this unusual season?

~ I started a small exercise routine, which I am motivated to keep. When I take my cat out in the morning, all he does is sits, so I jog in place!

~ I tend to hide in a book, reading to escape. 

~ Our coping strategies are just trusting the Lord.  We know He is sovereign and is doing amazing things during this chaotic time.  Knowing He has this in His hands gives us the freedom to live life with joy and peace. 

~ Counting my blessings as well as more time in devotions, prayer, study & reading of God’s word. I am so grateful for His goodness.

~ Keeping my time in the Word and with God every morning anchors my heart and mind. There’s nothing like the W.O.G to level all playing fields, keeping hope and truth upfront and center!

~ I listen to music, mostly classical and Christian more.  I also have been listening to Prophecy YouTube videos, rereading Christian books, and working on a Bible study that I started in June.  My husband takes me on drives in our beautiful community several times during the week, and a milkshake is always a good idea.

~ Reconnecting with friends and family, staying in God’s Word and prayer, my husband and I working on communication and our relationship.

~ Make a list of what needs to be done and DO IT, and don’t make the list unrealistically demanding; daily time in prayer and the Bible for the correct perspective of circumstances.

~ I enjoy making cards, rubber stamping, and coming up with ideas for birthday cards and Christmas cards. so have been working on ideas for cards.  I’ve also been trying out new recipes for dinner ideas and desserts (which I should not be doing, desserts that is.)

~ Keep to a normal routine … spend time in God’s Word and pray.

4. What positive outcomes have you discovered during this period?

~ More than usual special times with daughter & her family. An affirmation of whose hands hold me and whose plan is perfect. 

~ I’ve enjoyed every day. I have come to appreciate the simplicity of each day. Getting up, getting dressed, exercising, watching, my Korean dramas… sitting on the front porch while my young neighbors climb my front tree and talk to me! Making meals, being so grateful for food, for my husband’s work(it makes him happy) God’s provision… and the grace and opportunity to pray for others and the world. With the pandemic killing so many, I found myself praying for mercy for the world’s people. I pray it’s a sprout of mercy I’ll take the time to nurture and grow. 

~ I have most definitely grown closer to the Lord.  My house is cleaner, and my husband and I enjoy watching old movies and TV shows together.  I also have been writing notes to people.  It is my joy just to sit on my porch and watch the birds, and the squirrels among my favorite plants.  I also love to just sit on the porch when it rains.

~ Having time to face some issues and relinquishing them to God. Praying for our country and leaders.

~We enjoyed taking long walks. However, the recent air quality issues due to forest fires from other states have made that difficult. We have spent a lot of time with my sister and her family. That has been a blessing. 

~The Body of Christ has been out of the building and in their neighborhoods and ministering to those around them. We see more clearly the spiritual battle going on and know our prayers are important.

~ The increased time with my husband has been a blessing; financial savings with no maid service and less eating out!

~ Positive thoughts – Even with all the negative things that are impacting our lives at this time. Regularly able to raise prayer in thanks for so many blessings. We have a wonderful community with loving Christian friends that we keep in touch with. We are fortunate to be retired and even though my husband was laid off of his second job, God continues to provide all we need. Many of us are still able to participate in

 our church services both electronically and in-person for regular reinforcement. We see many things occurring around us that are obvious answers to our prayers.

~ Done more baking, organized closets, and spent more time in prayer … and exercising.

I hope this has been an encouragement as you travel through these challenging times … and stay well.