A Myth Busted

Tuesday, June 26, 2012
"If I am good, God will love me." - Myth or Fact?

Without even realizing it, many of us are trying to win God's favor. This world has reinforced for us time and time again that we have to DO something in order to be loved. So we try to be good little girls & boys and do things that will make God happier with us - working tirelessly to try to prove that we are worthy of Him.

But, the fact is that we are NOT worthy of him nor will we ever be. The gospel turns this world's logic on it's head. The Good News of Jesus Christ is that he offers FREE, UNDERSERVED, UNCONDITIONAL, ETERNAL LOVE and GRACE to ANY sin-stained, hopeless, ragamuffin person who turns to him.

Because of that you can :

Revel in His grace. This is the GREATEST gift in the universe; enjoy it. Live like you're free because YOU ARE!

Relax and rest in the ONLY unconditional love available. Human love ALWAYS has limits. God's love has NO limits. Stop trying to earn or win his love. Discard that performance-based faith. Let go and fall back into his safe and loving arms. You ARE accepted and DEEPLY loved.

Remember that God's love for you has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with you. It's not because of your good behavior that he saved you. 

He saved you because of Him, because He loved you, not because of you or something you did to earn it. His very personal love for you depends on him, not you - and He NEVER changes.

No Complaining, Book Club, & Cowboy Casserole

Monday, June 25, 2012
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life - in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. Philippians 2:14-16

This is such a great reminder for everyone everyday. Just imagine if everyone followed this simple step how much more peaceful the world would be.

The cancer of a complaining spirit can undermine the spiritual and emotional health of an individual and can infect an entire group. This can result in discontent, frustration and even rebellion.

We need to avoid a complaining spirit when serving Christ. Instead, rejoice and thank God for all He has done. When you feel like griping, start counting your blessings.


I know I have already raved to yal about Joyce Meyer's book, Approval Addiction, but seriously, it is TOO inspiring & touching not to tell you about again. If you haven't went and picked it up yet, please do. It really isn't just for someone who feels they always need everyone's approval, no matter what stage you are in your life, I promise you will love this book.

I am A.D.D. and literally I spent so much time reading this book & really trying to absorb everything she was saying, which is so unlike me. lol I'm on the Goodreads Yearly Book List & I have 50 books to read this year & I am 20% behind, but for this book I just didn't care. I highlighted pretty much the entire book because I feel like to really take in everything she said I needed to go back & re-read it, which again, is very unlike me. Usually if I have read it once, that is enough for me. 

I just started Divergent by Veronica Roth yesterday. It seems like a great book & a series that I can really get in to. It kind of reminds me of The Hunger Games.

Jason & I celebrated our 3 year dating anniversary on 6.20.12. I still can't believe it has been that long since we met in Eunice, NM on a construction site in a trailer. He always tells me he knew that day "I was THE one." *SMILE* I can't say I knew THAT day, but I did know very soon after. He is an AMAZING man & everyday I feel like the most blessed woman on earth. 

Anyways, for our 3  year dating anniversary I wanted to do something really sweet for Jason that we could keep for ever & show our kids someday soooo.. after searching for ideas I decided on making a book called "The Alphabet of our Love"! 

It turned out super cute! So, for each letter of the alphabet I wrote a characteristic of our love & what makes it special. Every page was decorated differently & all scrapbookish (prob. not a word). 

When I finally got to give it to him, he got all teary eyes & said that was the BEST present anyone has ever given him. I just want him to feel & know how much I love him everyday, plus won't it be so sentimental to look back 20 years down the road & recapture the moment?

While I was sitting on the floor, diligently trying to finish Jason's book before he came home, my BFF, Jessica came knocking on the door with a beautiful surprise!

He also had told me a couple days earlier that we were going to dinner, but it was a suprise. I am really not a fan of surprises because I like to know what is going on, but I tried to just go with it. He told me that I could dress like we were going to Pawley's Front Porch (amazing restaurant if you haven't been there already, their Fried Green Tomato BLT is DELICIOUS!), but that we weren't going there. Sooo.. we are driving along & I notice that the restaurant we are going to must be near Pawley's because everything looks similar, but Jason insists we are NOT going there. What do you know.. we pull into Pawley's and we walk in & Jessica & John are there with the table all set up cutesy with balloons & roses & gifts. It was absolutely perfect!

Jessica made us the CUTEST gift ever!! 

She made us a Jar O' Dates! There are tons of cute date ideas that we are supposed to pull from!! I love it! Thoughtful gifts are the BEST gifts!!


Last week I made a Cowboy Casserole that was just too delish not to share!

Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole

Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 35 min Total Time: 45 min Makes 6 Servings


1 package Ore-Ida® Steam n' Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes 
1 pound ground meat lean 
3/4 cup onion finely chopped 
1/3 cup bread crumbs seasoned

1/4 cup Jack Daniel’s® Barbecue Sauce, Honey Smokehouse 

1 egg lightly beaten 
2 teaspoon chili powder 
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup evaporated milk
 1 tablespoon butter
 1 cup crumbled bacon
 1/4 cup crispy fried onions canned
 2/3 cup Mexican blend cheese shredded


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 9x9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine beef, onion, breadcrumbs, Barbecue Sauce, egg, chili powder and salt until well mixed. Gently press into bottom of baking dish.
2. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Carefully pour off any excess fat if needed. Adjust oven to broil and place oven rack 6 to 8 inches from heat source.
3. Meanwhile, microwave Potatoes according to package instructions. In a large bowl, mix together hot Potatoes, milk and butter, and mash with a potato masher until smooth. For a smoother consistency, mix with an electric mixer to desired consistency. Stir in bacon and fried onions. Spread evenly on top of beef mixture and sprinkle with cheese.
4. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned. Serve hot with additional Barbecue Sauce if desired.

Well, I guess that's about all I have to say for now!


Pending Friend Request & Father's Day Bouquet

Monday, June 18, 2012

Did you know that you have a pending friend request from God? Have you accepted it yet?? This is one that you will not want to ignore!

Would you agree that it is hard to find GOOD friends

I wonder if God ever feels that way about us? Out of all the people in the Old Testament only ONE was ever called His friend. In Isaiah 41:8, God says that he chose Jacob, who was an offspring of "Abraham My Friend." That's a pretty exclusive club! So you can imagine how shocked the disciples were when they heard Jesus say "No longer do I call you servants... but I have called you friends" (John 15:15).

So, what does a friendship with Jesus look like? It starts with commitment. As He said, "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you" (v.14). Then He added the dynamic of communication. He promised to tell us all that the Father has told him (v. 15). 

Are you listening to God? 

Do you know how he speaks to you? 

God speaks to you in 3 ways: His creation, His Word (The Bible), and your human conscience.

As God's friends, we begin to bear fruit (v.160), sharing a commonality with Him by reflecting His glory in our attitudes & actions (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Jesus welcomes you to the privilege of friendship with Him!


Yesterday was Father's Day! Happy Father's Day to all you amazing Daddy's out there and especially to my Papa, Dad, & Jason! Each one of you have impacted my life in a positive way & filled my heart in a way that no one else ever could. I thank you for loving me unconditionally & just being you!

I made a super cute Man's Bouquet filled with candy & liquor for Jason! He LOVED it & it was pretty easy to make. Although, I am pretty sure I gave myself a 3rd degree burn with the hot glue gun. OUCH! That was a user error. lol

Sunday was also very special for Jason & I because we joined Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia, SC. It has been a long time coming & we really wanted God to guide us to the right church, but after much deliberation & prayer, we joined!! YAYY! We are both so excited that God led us to such an amazing church with an awesome church family! 

I was in love with the church the first time we went, but Jason was a little more skeptical because it was so large and we wanted to ensure we would still be able to meet other christian friends & couples. We decided to pray on it & see where God led us. That very next day we received a call from the Pastor, Dr. Dick Lincoln. He informed me of the Sunday School Class for Young Married Couples which he said was a much smaller group. I knew God was answering my prayer before I had even had time to pray about it. So anyway, we joined & we are super excited about what God has in store for us.

We got a collage wedding picture back! It's so cute!

This Wednesday, June 20, 2012, is our 3 year anniversary of dating. Best 3 years of my life! I can't wait to see what is yet to come! 

Life's Defining Choices

Thursday, June 14, 2012
Let me share a very inspirational story with you from Approval Addiction by Joyce Meyer. It is set in a courtroom trial in South Africa. Let me forewarn you, this story made me cry & truly touched my heart. Once you have read the story, ask yourself if you would have shown Mr. Van der Broek such grace.

"A frail black woman about 70 years old slowly rises to her feet. Across the room and facing her are several white police officers. One of them is Mr. Van der Broek, who has just been tried and found implicated in the murders of both the woman's son and her husband some years before. Van der Broek had come to the woman's home, taken her son, shot him at point blank range and then set the young man's body on fire while he and his officers partied nearby.

Several years later, Van der Broek and his men had returned for her husband as well. For months she knew nothing of his whereabouts. Then almost two years after her husband's disappearance, Van der Broek came back to fetch the woman herself. How well she remembers in vivid detail that evening, going to a place beside a river where she was shown her husband, bound and beaten, but still strong in spirit, lying on a pile of wood. The last words she heard from h is lips as the officers poured gasoline over his body and set him aflame were, "Father, forgive them..."

Now the woman stands in the courtroom and listens to the confessions offered by Mr. Van der Broek. A member of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission turns to her and asks, "So what do you want? How should justice be done to this man who has so brutally destroyed your family?"
"I want 3 things, " begins the old woman calmly, but confidently. "I want first to be taken to the place where my husband's body was burned so that I can gather up the dust and give his remains a decent burial."

She paused, then continued. "My husband and son were my only family. I want secondly, therefore, for Mr. Van der Broek to become my son. I would like for him to come twice a month to the ghetto and spend a day with me so that I can pour out on him whatever love I still have remaining in me." She also stated that she wanted a third thing. "This is also the wish of my husband. And so, I would kindly ask someone to come to my side and lead me across the courtroom so that I can take Mr. Van der Broek in my arms and embrace him and let him know that he is truly forgiven." As the court assistants came to lead the elderly woman across the room, Mr. Van der Broek, overwhelmed by what he had just heard, fainted. As he did, those in the courtroom, family, friends, neighbors - all victims of decades of oppression and injustice - began to sing, softly but assuredly, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me."

Even when we are hurting we are still responsible for making the right choices, which is difficult & painful. We often have to do the right thing for a long time before we begin getting the right results.We must do right and keep doing right, pressing past how we feel about it.

Example: Treating someone right who has hurt us in the past is emotionally & mentally painful and can seem downright unfair. Why should we be good to someone who has hurt us? Well, if we can't find any other reason, we can choose to do it just because Jesus told us to (See Matthew 5:38-44). Forgive & treat them as if nothing happened.

I'm Sharing Some of My FAVE Recipes!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I wanted to share a couple of my favorite recipes! They are all pretty easy & delish! I hope you enjoy!!


5 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream 
2 cups prepared salsa 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided 
1 cup shredded pepper-jack cheese, divided 
2 cups cooked ground beef (you can also use shredded chicken)
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed 
1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
1/4 teaspoon cumin 
Salt and pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced 
8 8-inch flour tortillas

1. Preheat oven 325 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl cream together cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in 1/2 cup salsa. Stir in 1/2 cup of each type of cheese.
3. In a second bowl toss together the beef, corn, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and half of the scallions. Add the beef mixture to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.
4. Spread about 1/2 cup salsa in the bottom of a baking dish. Place 1/3 to 1/2 cup filling on a tortilla, roll up and put in dish seam side down. Repeat process for remaining tortillas.
5. Pour remaining salsa over enchiladas, spreading to coat all of them. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. 6. Transfer to preheated oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions.



4 large chicken breasts 
2 sleeves Ritz crackers 
1/4 t salt 
1/8 t pepper
1/2 C milk 
3 C cheddar cheese, grated 
1 t dried parsley

14 ounce can cream of chicken soup 
2 T sour cream 
2 T butter

1. Cut each chicken breast into 3 large chunks.
 2. In a small food processor grind up the ritz crackers. 
3. Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Toss the 1/4 t salt and 1/8 t pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine. 
4. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk then the cheese and finally the cracker crumbs. 
5. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan. 
6. Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken. 
7. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy. 
8. Into a medium sized sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir over medium high heat until the sauce is nice & hot. Serve over the chicken.



12 slices day-old bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup fresh blueberries 
12 eggs, beaten 
2 cups milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup white sugar 
2 tablespoons cornstarch 
1 cup water 
1 cup fresh blueberries 
1 tablespoon butter

1. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange half the bread cubes in the dish, and top with cream cheese cubes. Sprinkle 1 cup blueberries over the cream cheese, and top with remaining bread cubes.
2. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and syrup. Pour over the bread cubes. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
3. Remove the bread cube mixture from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
4. Cover, and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned.
5. In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, cook 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in the remaining 1 cup blueberries. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, until the blueberries burst. Stir in the butter, and pour over the baked French toast


3 very ripe bananas, mashed 
1/2 cup peanut butter *I used crunchy*
1/4 cup oil
1 egg 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp salt 
8 oz bag of Reese’s Mini cups

1. Preheat oven to 350 
2. Grease your loaf pan (I used an 8 x 4 pan) with butter or shortening. 
3. In a medium bowl whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. 
4. In a large bowl stir together your bananas, peanut butter, oil and sugars. 
5. Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Batter will be

6. Fold in your Reese’s Mini cups and spread batter into prepared pan. 
7. Bake for approx 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. 
8. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges of the pan with a knife and remove from
loaf pan, transferring bread to a cooling rack.


- 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup prepared or refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, divided
- 1 Honey Maid Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.) <- (or buy a couple extra packages of cookie dough & make a cookie dough crust, that's what I did and it was AMAZING!)
PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F.  Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Add eggs; mix just until blended.  Remove 1/2 cup of the dough; drop by teaspoonfuls into batter.  Stir gently.
POUR into crust.  Top with level teaspoonfuls of the remaining 1/4 cup cookie dough.
BAKE 40 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool.  Refrigerate 3 hours or over night.  

I hope yal enjoy these as much as Jason & I did!! :)


Monday, June 11, 2012

A couple weeks ago, Jason bought me a new Bible called True.Identity The Bible for Women, but since we had it monogrammed I was the one who picked it up, therefore, he didn't get to write anything in the inside. So yesterday before church, I was sitting on the front porch, drinking my coffee, about to do a devotion when I opened my Bible I noticed he had written a sweet message in it. At the top he wrote, "I LOVE YOU! Faith, Hope, & Love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8,13)

There were more sweet messages inscribed in to my Bible, but this is the one that really touched my heart because as I turned to my devotion for the day, I was to read 1 Corinthians 13. I had to take a second glance to make sure I was looking at the correct page. Reading the devotion, I couldn't help, but cry (happy tears, of course) because little things like that remind me just how much God loves me & Jason and how He shows us how to succeed.

 After finishing my devotion, I had to ask Jason if he had looked at my devotion for the day & he was just as astonished as I was. I love when God reaffirms that your life is on the right track.

1 Corinthians 13 is often called "the love chapter" of the Bible. Paul writes that the greatest gifts of speaking, understanding, and sacrificial service are worthless without love.

Love itself is the foundation of winsome behavior, and its influence NEVER ends.

Perhaps your life isn't delivering the fairy-tale you'd dreamed of, but REAL LIFE is NOT a fairy tale, just as real love isn't a fuzzy feeling - it's a choice God calls you to make each moment of each day. CHOOSE to love everyone with the SAME unconditional love God continually shows you.

I just finished reading 23 Minutes In Hell by Bill Wiese.

I must admit, it was a hard book for me to finish. Not hard as in the understanding quality, but it is hard to think about Hell, to think that people you may know & love may actually go there. I must say that it does put a very strong message on your heart to tell others about Jesus & what he has done for us. All in all, it is a good book, just be prepared.

I am currently reading Approval Addiction by Joyce Meyer.

I am only 1 chapter in, but so far I LOVE it!!

I have some wonderful recipes to share with yal.... TOMORROW!! :) Get excited.