Thursday, December 19, 2013

"BIG MISTAKE..HUGE"

7:31 PM 6
    Don't do it, Don't do it, stop, stop, put down that computer.  I just can't, I can't, I'm gonna do it, yep I am doing it.  Hmm what to write about??  Have ya'll heard about Phil getting suspended from the hit reality series Duck Dynasty?  First words that came to mind "Big mistake...Huge" thank you Julia Roberts!  Ok so I will keep this short and for the most part sweet.
     Everyday I turn on my TV, which is less and less these days, and I am inundated with rhetoric.  Rhetoric that has no meaning, no conviction, and absolutely anything but "tolerance" that word the media loves to throw into the face of someone with my particular beliefs.  It is a bunch of political garbage aimed at folks who work for a living, pay their taxes, and pray to Jesus.  All in the name of "fairness," "tolerance," and "equal rights." Except it's NOT equal rights, in fact there is nothing equal about it.  No, you take the position of the "mainstream media" which is fueled by our politicians and Hollywood elites or you my friend are considered a racist bigot, unloving, and then are roasted so badly that few are able to stand by their convictions.  Until Phil.
     In fact, his own words to my husband on the afternoon this all went down were as follows "Well, Jesus was a perfect man and they hated him.  I am NOT a perfect man and they're gonna hate me.  I'm ok with that.  And you know what else?  I don't hold it against 'em."  Wow!  Sure doesn't sound like hatred to me.  Phil is not anti-gay, he is anti-sin, and if he truly believes in the man named Jesus and follows the Holy Bible inspired by this very man then why would he preach anything different?  If you are a believer in Jesus and actually believe that 2000 years ago this man came to earth and "took the bullet" for us all then we should never stop spreading the truths of our savior to the world.
     The gospel is offensive.  It's offensive, because we are sinners.  It was offensive to me, because I new that I was living a life of sin.  But I am so thankful to the dear man who shared the gospel with me that he didn't fail to include all the ways in which I was living in opposition to the savior of the world.  What kind of christians would we be if we never told people or addressed our own sin problem when sharing the gospel?  It would be like telling someone they had won the lottery, but refusing to tell them where to pick up the money.  I realize it is not PC to say that Jesus is the only way, but you have to ask yourself, what if He really is, and further more, what if you really believed it, would you not then be compelled to share the good news?  The amazing part is that I have been delivered from a whole mess of sin that was entangling me and I am now free from the burden of those sins as well as the ones in my future because I am now a new creation in Christ and I am part of the Kingdom of God.  He has given me a helper, the Holy Spirit to guide me into all truth.  (John 16:13) I have had folks sit on my couch who have come out of all kinds of addictions, alcohol, heroin, homosexuality, etc and hear them talk of healing and how they were able, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to overcome a life that was destroying them.  Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?  
 
You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. MATT 10:22

"My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other."   -Phil Robertson  
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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Are the Ducks Drunk??

12:32 PM 3
     Let me start this off in a state of complete vulnerability.  Since the start of my husband's family fame several years ago I have been very careful not to "name drop" or blog about them in any form or fashion for several reasons.  If I am being honest, which I always strive to be, it would primarily be because of my pride.  I never wanted them to feel that I wanted something from them or that I wanted to use their name to boost my audience, but mainly I always wanted them to know that I loved them regardless of it all.  Fame or no fame there are members of the Robertson family who have had tremendous impact on my families life.  However, and I am fearful even writing this now, but in light of resent post and talk that I have heard over their decision to embark upon the wine business I am forced to break my silence.
     Through the continuing process of sanctification since becoming a christian in 1999 I have become increasingly obsessed with TRUTH, not doctrine, but truth.  So much so that if you know of any other way that makes since other than christianity I would like to know about it.  No joke, I do not want to believe anything simply because I would like for it to be true, or because it is convenient to my lifestyle, no!  I want to know what is true and I always and will always be open to that discussion.  With that being said I am deeply saddened at the hundreds of comments that I have read regarding the "boycotting" of the Robertson's and the mean spirited jabs that are coming from the mouths of those who claim to represent the Kingdom of God.
     The Robertson's along with every other famous person on this planet are human beings last time I checked.  They are not God, they are not omnipresent, they are not all knowing, but rather they are souls who have been given life by the almighty God.  Why we hold "humans" to such a high standard of unattainability, while we ourselves struggle within the walls of our own earthly flesh, I will never understand.  My opinion on their decision to enter into the wine business is absolutely irrelevant, but what I know for fact is that that decision is not a sin and they are not responsible for everyone who struggles with alcohol because they sell wine.  I find it hard to believe that we can completely throw out parts of the bible to make it consistent with our own line of thinking simply out of fear that someone might interpret scripture wrong or go to far.  The God who created all things did not put us on this planet and provide this amazing book to guide us into all truth simply to confuse us.  His word is very clear and the more that I read the more amazed I become at the nature of God.
     Drunkenness, yes, always wrong, along with sexual immorality, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, orgies, and the like.  So, therefore, do we refrain from having sex within our marriage because it may lead us into immorality?  Do we disfellowship our neighbors when we become fearful that they might be tempted to struggle with jealousy, do we disown our children when they become angry, because that could possibly lead to "fits of rage."  Do we stop cooking enormous Thanksgiving feast, because we fear becoming a glutton?  If this is the route we as "Christians" believe to be the most benefitial then I am afraid the Robertson's are the least of our worries.  In fact, lets rip the TV's out, get rid of your guns, and never leave our homes, but something tells me there will always be an element of temptation lurking in some form or fashion.  Sin is sin and we should not be afraid to back down from the truths of what sin is and how it can destroy our lives, but making something out to be a sin because you are fearful that someone may abuse it or because you know someone who has is not what Jesus was in the business of doing.
     The alcohol is not making people drunk, people are.  The guns are not killing innocent victims, people are.  Sex is not the reason that 100's of thousands of babies are being aborted every year, people are. People that are believing a lie from Satan and thus he is able to wreck havoc through their lives in devastating ways.  I have read several comments such as this "think of all the people who will now take to drinking because Willie does."  To that I would say this: the very idea that we are looking to human beings for our standard of righteousness is a recipe for failure.  No man, aside from Jesus,  no matter how righteous, would be able to carry you into the realms of heaven on his back.  The answer is not to condemn Willie out of fear that he may disappoint the cause for Christ, we will all do that and are doing it every day as we battle our flesh.  Aside from Jesus Christ there is not a man worthy enough on this planet for us to use as a measure of righteousness.  So if we are going to be in the business of "boycotting" then it is my suggestion that we boycott the one whom all sin is derived from and who wants nothing more than to render us useless for the kingdom because we are too busy arguing over issues that have nothing to do with salvation.
      Like I said at the beginning, I want to know the TRUTH, whatever that may intel.  So, if I am wrong and you can show me where alcohol is a sin then I am always open for the discussion.  In the meantime, I pray for enduring strength for the Robertson family as they are likely to face many trials and persecution.  My prayer is that the power of the Holy Spirit will remain so very strong within them and throughout them that they will stand firm on this battle field. However, if they were to ever fall I hope that I am right there with open arms ready to help them back on their feet and I would hope that the Kingdom of God would do the same for me.



       


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Saturday, November 9, 2013

FREE MAKEOVER

1:47 PM 0

      I'm a bi-polar writer, that is, there are phases of my life when I will journal about the lost hamster, my child's loose tooth, and the sunset.  While other times I will birth a whole child and not take the time to right down the order of events.  If you happen to follow my blog you probably already know this about me.  But it's always fun to run across an old one and pick it up for a look into what was going on in my life during that particular era.  Yesterday I happened upon an old one because my two year old was frantically coloring over all the pages, I guess he is going to be a writer as well.  This was not a typical journal entry, but instead it was a lesson of sorts I had prepared for a woman's bible study.  Apparently I was only suppose to pick one verse and share it with the group, but that proved to be difficult for this southern gal with a loud mouth.  Yeah, I'm not real sure if that is my spiritual gift or curse, but either way I love to talk, actually I prefer the term "teach" not that I am qualified, but I love discussions involving my Savior.  So today I am going to share with you what I wrote, raw and unedited thoughts that the Lord had laid on my heart years ago.
     
     "Erica asked me to read my favorite verse and to share why, she did not ask me to preach, but shock to you all I have something to share, ha.  When I say that God laid this on my heart, I mean it in the literal since.  I sat up in my bed at 10:10 on Monday night, I go to be early, and this is what came out.  On Sunday night at house church we watched the video some of you may have seen at church.  Louie Giglio talked about creation and the magnitude of it all, the stars, planets, and the complexity of the human body.  It is amazing, if you haven't seen it, you must!  So, I was laying in bed thinking of the greatness of God and this verse came to mind, Psalms 139:17
   
     "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb.  I praise you           because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.     My frame was not hidden from you when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your    eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me where written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts O God!  How vast is the sum of them!  Were I to count them they would outnumber the grains of sand.  When I awake I am still with you."

     I just stopped and thought about what this verse was saying.  I thought of our God who created the heavens and earth, the animals, and me.  He ordained my days before I even came to be.  I actually began picturing His hands as they were knitting my children together.  I was in awe.  But one thought kept plaguing me as these thoughts were running through my mind.  How many times do I look at God's work in myself and think "man, you know if I could only change this, or tweak this, then I would be a better more pleasant looking creation."  Please know that when I said God laid this on my heart it was because He was speaking to me.  I guess the only reason I am sharing this with all of you is because I was so excited about what He revealed to me.  So He told me this: Guess what, you were knit together by the creator of the heavens!  Do you think that there is anything that you could do to "perfect" the creation of God Almighty??????  Uhhhh....Ummmm...nnnnnooooo!  Yes, he knit you together, He chose blue eyes for you, brown hair for another, etc, etc... I even brought props (side note I was referring to my resent um how should I say this breast augmentation, heck boob job.  This portion was added for clarity to the reader;-)  There isn't a plastic surgeon on the face of this planet that can make you more beautiful than your heavenly father already has.  It's sad that it took $5,000 and many uncomfortable nights to realize this.
     If knowing the power of our savior, seeing His mighty works, and realizing the death He died so that I might live doesn't make you feel loved and beautiful, then nothing else will.  Satan will get you caught up in the lie that this and that will make you beautiful, but what he doesn't tell you is that the "beauty" he is offering will fade very quickly and cost you more than you ever intended to spend.  But the beauty of a soul that seeks to find their fulfillment at the foot of the cross is a beauty that will live for eternity and never fade away, not to mention IT IS FREE!!!  BILL HAS BEEN PAID!  So, my charge is this, as women and Mom's battling a society that defines beauty in a cup size, pant size, or # of wrinkles, etc, lets be different.  Lets seek that unfading beauty, the beauty that comes from knowing that we were created by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the God that knows how many hairs are on our head.  Lets seek that beauty not just for ourselves, but for our daughters and sons who will likely view beauty though our eyes.  Each one of you is a beautiful, beautiful creation!"

Yeah, that's all I got guys.  Sure am glad I ran across this one, a little reminding never hurts anyone.  Love to ya!

HERE ARE SOME FAM PHOTOS
TRUNK & TREAT


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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

OH SAY CAN YOU SEE...

2:52 PM 6
     As long as I am alive I will never forget where I was or what I was doing on this dreary morning 12 years ago.  I was in route to "beauty school" in Memphis, TN when reports started coming in about this tragic scene that was unfolding in New York.  I will never forget the crowd of students and instructors huddled around our small TV in the break room and I remember the sound of my husbands voice when I was finally able to get him on the phone.  It was a feeling of hopelessness, a feeling of extreme sadness, and at the same time a feeling of patriotism that was so strong that even a stranger on the street looked more like a brother.  Our country was changed in a matter of minutes and the lives of thousands of people will never be the same.  For this reason I pay tribute to all of the families that must relive this tragedy every year as they remember their Sister, her laugh and her smile.  Their Mother and the times spent around her table.  Their Father, his strong hands and big heart.  Their Brother, who was their very best friend.  It is for this reason that we can find hope that our country was founded on someone who cannot be destroyed by weapons of mass destruction, someone who will never back down or give up, and someone that has already won the war and conquered death, so that what was lost may be found once again.  ONE NATION UNDER GOD.

So even as I am about to attach this video I am preparing my rebuttal in my mind, because I know that he is going to kill me!!  Like seriously, kill me.  I mean not literally, but it's gonna be interesting.  However, I am just so dog gone proud of him.  My man, Zach Dasher singing the National Anthem at a meeting in Dallas, TX.


Don't tell him, maybe he wont find out!!!:-)
SORRY IT'S CROOKED!!



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Saturday, July 27, 2013

My 2 Cents.

11:46 PM 10

My Two Cents

ATTENTION: All The Single Ladies!!! Correction PARENTS, AUNTS, UNCLES, ETC!!!

    Please someone tell me where the "Fish face" originated??? Surely I have missed something somewhere along the way and am totally confused about this phenomenon, but it has become apparent to me that the "fish face" is suppose to be somewhat attractive and appealing as well as a sensual invitation to "check me out I'm hot." Now for those of you who are oblivious to what I am referring to,  
have no fear, you are only a click away from being let in on this little secret.  Login to your Facebook page/instagram/whatever other slew of social media that you subscribe to and in probably under 30 seconds you will come face to face with this epidemic.  What to look for: lips poked out, eyebrows raised, possible hand on hip with extremely over exaggerated extension of the hip.  This my friends is the "fish face." 
     Now that we are all on the same page lets discuss.  If you are a frequent "fish facer" even if I offend you at least take notes.  As a mother of a 9 year old daughter who I have seen attempt such a face on occasions while having no clue to what it is exactly that she is doing I must offer "my two cents." Some of you may be thinking what is the big deal.  Well in some aspects you would be correct, no big deal it's a stupid expression, but what I am about to discuss goes much deeper than the simplicity of the expression. I am referring to a message behind this expression. In fact it is a message that young girls everywhere have began to believe about who they are as woman.  Girls as young as nine and ten years old are requesting to follow me on instagram with profile pics that look like that of sixteen year olds (almost always the fish face) and that state things like "single hot chick" and "taken by so and so." WHAT!!!!????? I scroll through some of their pics and I am blown away!!!! Well yeah you should be single and what does taken me, like you can possibly understand love at the age of 9.  Boys as young as 11 with pictures of porno movie covers and other highly inappropriate images on their picture role.  PARENTS: if you think your child is protected because he or she has a private account on instagram then you better WAKE UP!!! All of these images that I am referring to are from people who simply requested to follow me. I in turn click on their name to see if I know them and then I automatically have access to their photos because the majority of them do not have private accounts.  Let me stress again that these are primarily 9-12 year olds.  
     So I trailed a little from the "fish face," but truly it's all related.  We are creating a culture where kids and woman as a whole view there worth based solely on there "sex appeal" This is not only robbing our daughters from their childhoods, but our sons are just as affected.  They also value a woman based on what she has to offer sexually because that is what our culture and social media tells them to do and parents are too busy or distracted to teach them otherwise.  Where does this lead?  It leads to a culture that values sex above just about anything else.  It leads to a loss of pride and dignity. It leads to our daughters dressing like strippers and no one even noticing because "everyone is doing it." Have you happened to take a look at the "shorts" or might as well be underwear that are gracing the racks and sadly our children as well.  It leads to our boys developing porn addictions at a very young age that will plague them the rest of their lives.  They will experience unfulfilled relationships and marriages because they have an extremely distorted view of what sex was truly intended to be.
    Yeah so maybe I didn't intend to visit all of these topics so candidly, but something tells me it has  got to be done.  Moms, Dads, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, Etc, let's take hold of the reins and get our children back!!! Let's teach our daughters about respect and dignity. What it means to value yourself as a daughter of the King and not as a piece of meat.  Our sons need to be talked to about the dangers of what they allow into their minds and shown by example by strong men of God what it means to respect a woman.  Our children do not need the "don't do it, don't do it, don't do it" speeches in reference to sex. Instead they need to be taught up front and candidly about the way it was designed to be and the joy that can come from experiencing it Gods way.  Girls, you are much more than a "fish face" in a pair of cut off booty shorts, you were made to do great things, you were called for a higher purpose, to represent the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Boys, be different! Do not allow our culture to reduce you to mindless robots that can only think about one thing.  You too were made for so much more.

P.S. GET IN YOUR KIDS BUSINESS OR SOMEONE ELSE WILL!!

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Friday, June 7, 2013

3:00AM

5:18 AM 2
MY FRED LOVES PB&J'S
     It's 3:00am in the great city of West Monroe, LA and after laying in my bed for what has felt like hours (only minutes I'm sure) I have finally decided that the only way to lull this gal back to sleep for (if I'm lucky) three more hours is to write my thoughts.  My husband always says "if the Lord wakes you up in the middle of the night he's surely trying to tell you something."  I agree whole hardily.  
     Today was a typical day around the Dasher house, no big plans, some spilled OJ, PB&J's, a few sibling tangles, "pick up your toys," "don't leave your shoes outside," "If I tell you one more time," "Fred get out of the fridge," "Fred get off the counter," "Fred! How did you get on that counter??" "Bear Dasher, did you get in the poison ivy again?"  "Mom! I'm itching!" "Mom! I'm hungry" "Mom!! I'm thirsty, can I have coke?" "NO!" "Zach, did you give him caffeine??"  You know, a typical day.  
      So when I finally was able to lay my head on my pillow and reflect upon today, I'm a reflector, always have been, there were a few things about this day that dominated my thoughts.  It was none of the things that I previously mentioned, although those little incidences far outweighed the ones I am about to mention in the amount of time and effort required from me as a mother.  These little moments, however, came and passed in the blink of an eye.  One of those moments took place when I was preparing a hardy lunch of PB&J's and as my daughter took her plate she looks at me, ever so casual, and says "I love you Mom."  Man, in that moment I felt like I had just prepared a seven coarse meal.  Later on in the afternoon Max was rushing in and out of the house changing several times, I suspect that it had something to do with our neighbors "pretty cousins" being in town, but nonetheless runs up to me real quick like and asks for a hug.  Oh how I wish he would never grow to old to ask Momma for a hug!!  My precious kids probably thought nothing of these sweet little moments and scurried off into their day as normal as "Si's sweet tea" but to their Momma they were priceless.  If I could have stopped time and soaked up every ounce of that moment and put it in a jar for a rainy day I no doubt would have.  
       So, back to why I think the Lord woke me up.  It wasn't the words from my daughter or the affection from my son that held the most meaning.  There have always been lots of "I love You's" and "hugs" around our house, but I think what made today so special for me was that it was the most ordinary, uneventful, no bells and whistles kind of day, borderline "bored" (I forbid my children to say this word, but hey, there's a time and place for everything.)  I began to think of my heavenly father and how quick I am to praise him when things are going well in my life.  When prayers are answered, or good news comes my way.  I am also so very quick to run to Him when the storms hit in my life or the life of a friend and I cry out to Him in need of His wisdom and strength.  Yet there are many days that come and go, ordinary, PB&J kind of days, when I forget to even call upon His name.  My Lord and King, creator of all things, Savior of my soul, Lord of my life and I forget to speak His name in praise.  Our Father loves our prayers of praise and seeks our prayers when we are afflicted, but He is a God that deserves our everything.  He deserves our ordinary, nothing major going on, PB&J kind of days.  Psalms 34 David, one of my favorites, speaks these words "I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips." 
     
Lord of heaven and earth I give you praise in this moment.  I want to tell you that I love you.  I want to thank you for my sleeping children that are safe in their rooms and free from harm or sickness.  I want to thank you for this perfectly ordinary day that I was able to spend with the people I love.  I thank you for the man laying in my bed (probably stretched out to my side by now) and for the source of strength he is for our family.  Lord God if you were sitting beside me, and I pray that you are, I would love to ask you for a hug.  Thank you for this ordinary day and our PB&J's.  In the mighty name of Jesus, deserving all of my praise, amen.

TELL JESUS YOU LOVE HIM AND GO AHEAD AND ASK FOR A HUG!

      
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Monday, May 6, 2013

More than Chicken Pot Pie

7:36 AM 8
DECORATING WITH THE EXTRA DOUGH IS MY FAV!
     So a couple of nights ago I was making this chicken pot pie for a mens bible study that my husband was having at the house.  There was nothing special about this night or the fact that I was cooking a chicken pot pie.  In fact, I have probably cooked this same recipe hundreds of times for friends and family in the nearly 12 years that I have been married.  It is my "new baby" meal, my "get well soon" meal, "welcome to the neighborhood" meal, and finally a family favorite meal where every kid has at least two helpings.  So I am not quite sure why tonight was the night that I was struck with this realization, but nonetheless is was a moment of reflection.
     
     As I was busy going through the motions of this recipe that I have memorized over the years something struck me and literally brought me to tears.  Hormones??? Can't ever completely rule those out around here, but I am choosing to believe otherwise on this one.  As I was making the crust, A VERY ESSENTIAL PART, I looked down at my hands and saw the hands of my Grandmother, my Nanny, and my Mother.  I immediately paused and a flood of memories began replaying in my mind.  I saw my Grandmother standing around her beautiful large oak table setting out all of her finest china complete with matching serving bowls (even at the children's table) in preparation for what was sure to be the meal of a lifetime.  I saw my Mom putting the finishing touches on one of her world famous carrot cakes and scurrying off to ready her house for a group of guest.   My "Nanny" (other Grandmother)  would sneak me a snickers bar even if it was right before a dinner of fried chicken fingers and mashed potatoes.  I thought that was hilarious.  It hit me that I have had the privilege of being surrounded by women who because of their abounding love for the Lord have served hundreds of people in their homes, including myself. As a child I took every bit of this for granted, but now that I have graduated from the kids table I see things from a whole new perspective.   

     It seems to me that in some ways we have forgotten what a simple meal can do to bring joy to someones day.  We have forgotten that stories can be told around our table.  Those from our own family or those from new friends that God has just brought into our lives.  We have forgotten that even if we don't have matching china we can still warm someones heart with a plate of fried chicken.  So what if we had to pick it up from KFC.  Our culture is busy slam packing our schedules so full that there is rarely room for sit down dinners within our own families much less time for guest.  I want to be different, really different.  I want my children to grow up having the majority of their meals around a table and not in the back seat of a car.  I want them to have the chance to see different faces around our table as different people fill our home and share their life stories.  I want them to know what it means to "do the dishes," "set the table," and "let our guest go first."

     It doesn't matter how nice or humble your home may be.  You'd be surprised how many people we've fit into this single wide trailer the past seven months.  It doesn't matter if you eat on fine china or paper plates.  And trust me, if you don't have a dishwasher, your eating on paper plates! (Sorry Grandmother;-)!!!  It only matters that you show love to people who enter your home and love to people who LIVE in your home.  I've found that FOOD is a really great way to do that.  I pray that one day when Laela is making her chicken pot pie that she will think of me;-)

SIT DOWN AT YOUR TABLE TONIGHT AND COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!
           
GRANDMOTHERS CHICKEN POT PIE
Ingredients:
3-4 chicken breast
2/3 cup of butter (real butter)
1 cup carrots
1 cup celery
1 cup onions
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Crust:
2 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
2/3cup plus 2 Tbsp of shortening
4-6 Tbsp of cold water

     Pre-heat oven to 400.  Start by washing your chicken and patting it dry.  Season top and bottom with garlic salt and pepper.  Cook chicken in 1/3 cup of butter until almost done, but not completely and remove from pan cut up the chicken and set aside.  In the same pan add remaining 1/3 cup of butter and sauté carrots, celery, and onions in butter over med heat for 10 min.  Add 1/2 cup of flour and continue stirring for one minute.  Mix chicken broth and milk together and slowly add them to the vegetable mixture stirring continually.  Continue stirring over medium high heat until mixture becomes thickened and bubbly.  Once the mixture is thickened you can turn off the heat and stir in your salt, pepper, and chicken.  Once you have mixed in the seasoning and chicken well pour the mixture into your favorite pie pan.  

CRUST:

     In a large bowl mix together flour and salt.  Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender and sprinkle cold water on top.  Using a knife blend the water into the dough until you can form the dough into a ball.  If your dough seems too crumbly feel free to add a littler more water.  Roll onto a floured surface and roll out your dough until it is large enough to cover your pie dish.  An easy way to transfer your dough to your dish is to fold it in half and then transfer it to your pie dish.  After pressing the dough into the sides of the pan I use any extra dough to decorate the top.  Christmas tree at Christmas, Easter eggs at easter, baby initials for new baby arrivals, etc.  Bake for 30min at 400 or until bubbly and enjoy!!!  
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dear JESUS:

8:23 AM 2

Dear Jesus,
     I am sitting on my couch in the comforts of my home where I am warm when it's cold, cool when it's hot, and sheltered from the raging storms.  All of my four children are quietly sleeping in their beds and even my husband is silent from a hard days work.  As the silence closes in around me I am thinking of You.   As I stare at the plaque hanging on my wall which reads, "as for me and my house we will serve the Lord," I am thinking of You.  I then look at the mess my kids have left from their school work and I see the globe sitting on the counter.  I immediately envision Your hands wrapped around the entire circumference and children very softly singing "He's got the whole world in His hands."  My eyes are then drawn to a picture on my refridgerator of my son Bear as a newborn and my mind drifts back to that moment when you are looking into the eyes of your newborn son and for a moment the world seems as though it is a perfect place.  This could only have taken place because of You.  As I am forcing myself to be still and silent I am becoming quite aware that my entire world is revolved around You.  
     For years I want You to know that I spoke of You, that I attended church every time the doors were open, that I checked the "Christian box" underneath the church affiliation section of each and every form that I have ever filled out.  I even sponsored a family at Christmas and sent supplies to an orphanage in Africa.  I've sent out sympathy cards in Your name, I've volunteered in Your name, and I have also made it a point to say "I am praying for you" to anyone that I knew may have been struggling.  And now, for all of this, I want to say that I am sorry.  I am sorry that I was so blind as to view my faith as mere religion, as if I was somehow going to bring before you my good deeds and with my fingers crossed behind my back hope and pray that they would be good enough that you would see me fit for Your kingdom.  I am sorry that I so completely undermined your death and more importantly your Resurrection by simply "playing church."  
     Jesus, I know that You forgive me, as You have so many times before.  I also know that You for-knew that there would be a time in my life when the truths of who You are would begin to unfold.  That tiny voice that would sometimes plague me "is this all real??" would one day be silenced forever.  I thank you that now beyond a shadow of a doubt I know that You are real.  I know that the stories that fill the Bible are history that actually took place in this world.  I know that 500 or more people saw you resurrected and that every one of Your disciples went to their death proclaiming that you were The Son of God.  I know that the tomb was empty!!! Actually empty!!!  Even Your enemies had to formulate a story as to why the tomb was empty.  If the disciples really stole your body and hid it, why on earth would they die proclaiming something that they new to be false.   Many have died for countless things they have believed in, but if your resurrection was merely "made up" then many of your disciples died for something they knew to be false.  You rose.  
     Jesus your word is alive to me now more than it ever has been in my life.  I can no longer begin to bring my works before you as if I could do anything to earn your affections.  Instead I realize that you are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who created life and everything that is good.  I realize that you chose to leave your thrown of perfection to come to earth as a man so that through your sacrifice I might have the chance to one day dwell in Your presence.  I cannot think of your resurrection as a sweet little story with the picture of an empty tomb.  No, instead I tremble at the fact that the Son of God would take on my sin as well as the sin of the entire world in order that we might have the hope of eternal life.  I know now that "Faith" is NOT hoping that God is real.  NO! "Now faith is being SURE of what we hope for and CERTAIN of what we do not see." Heb 11:1 Not crossing our fingers and hoping for the best.  You are REAL.  You are MIGHTY.  And I anxiously await your return.  Any good that I might accomplish on this earth is ALL and ONLY for your glory, even though my ego may attempt a little credit.  I serve now, not out of duty, but because I cannot proclaim who You are without allowing Your love to penetrate through me.  Praise God that I don't have to be perfect and that You want my heart, not my check list.  My check list might not, correction, will not ever measure up, but I pray that my heart will bring You joy and praise as long as I have breath and even longer after.  
Sincerely and with all of my heart,
your loving daughter Jil

NOTE: IF YOU HAVE READ THIS TODAY AND YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO REALLY STRUGGLE WITH KNOWING THAT GOD IS REAL OR MAYBE YOU DON'T EVEN BELIEVE IN HIM AT ALL PLEASE SEEK THE TRUTH NO MATTER WHERE THAT LEADS YOU!!!  DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS! DO NOT BE AFRAID OF WHERE THOSE QUESTIONS MAY LEAD.

BOOK SUGGESTIONS:
I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek
The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel
On Guard, William Lane Craig

PODCASTS:
willingtothink.org
     
 
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

OH YEAH BABY!!

12:33 AM 0
So I've thought about this whole aging thing quite a bit lately, I mean not that I have any reason to being that I am sooo young, but it's never to early to think about these things, right?  I have come to the conclusion that I am stoked about it!!  Really and truly I am so excited about what the future holds as well as the joys of living in the present.  There are a few things that come to mind when I think of my future.  These make me smile!

I Finally can get my convertible!!  Dad said no at sixteen and God said no when He blessed me with my four loves.  I'll probably look like this adorable lady above(except my roots will be covered), but....

In my mind I will look like this:-)

There is nothing more beautiful to me than to see a woman "age gracefully" through the years.  Not afraid to allow her years and life experiences to accentuate her beauty and to laugh at her wrinkles instead of living in a state of disappointment that she is no longer physically what she once may have been.  I want to be this way.  I think of my mother, one of the most beautiful women I know, she is ever so graceful with each passing year

Joan unfortunately did not get the memo;(

Ok so ever since my elementary Librarian I have wanted a pair of these suckers and by golly I am determined to get me some.  When you are old enough to rock the "glasses chain" you are super cool!
I often think of the man I love when I think of my future.  I think wow, I will finally have an excuse for my "goofiness" and he will finally have an excuse for forgetting my birthday!  Thats love, right, through thick and thin, highs and lows, peaks and valleys.  Lord knows we have had them all, but I sure hope he is by my side to catch me when I trip over the sidewalk in my "granny heels"
   Doubt I will ever wear a sweater like that, but hey, you never know???
This just gives me goose bumps

I could not possibly think of my future and not have children somewhere in the mix, so, I want one of these...
note: disregard the names.  Surely my grandkids will have unique names(no offense if your name is on this plate!!)
I also want a t-shirt like this.  The more "bedazzled" the better!!
and finally a button like this to wear everywhere I go.

Really and truly I am not promised another day on this earth and have no idea if my dreams and aspirations will ever take shape in this life.  What I do know is that I am blessed to have been given life and to have shared it with some pretty special people.  Most of all I am blessed that I have an everlasting home awaiting me that far outweighs the very best of what I could imagine in my mind for my future.  I have quoted this scripture many times and will many more times I am sure, but it is my hearts desire to be this kind of woman.  "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." Proverbs 31:25

P.S. A few reasons I have the best husband and kiddos!!

KNOWING MY HUSBAND CUT OUT THOSE NUMBERS JUST MAKES ME SMILE;-)

YES THAT IS ATHLETIC TAPE, BUT WORKS GREAT WHEN WRAPPING A PRESENT;-)



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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Arrows in the Hands of a Warrior"

12:47 PM 2

     So it has been a while since i've put the old pen to paper, but I had a moment a couple of nights ago that is totally worthy of a few words.  My youngest son Fred was up all night sick and so as you might guess, so was I.  The amazing thing is my husband never heard a sound, hmmm.  This next sentence may come as a shock to you but it was a night that I will cherish.  Every sleepless hour I will hold dear.  Apparently, when holding your son in your arms in the wee hours of the morning one is able to reflect on a whole slew of things.  As he lay helpless in my arms breathing heavily in an attempt to ward off the unending congestion I had one thought run through my mind.  How mind blowing is it that the God of the universe chose me to be the mother of someone so infinitely special.  This perfect being depending on me for his very survival, how in the heavens could I ever do justice in raising this precious soul that God has entrusted me with.  The next image that crossed my mind as it has a hundreds of times before was this...       
 
Here you see Nakia and Belinda, two of the orphans that I grew attached to while on my first trip to Haiti.  These smiles have filled my heart and I will never be the same.  It has been almost a year since I had to leave these sweet children behind.  The plane ride home was one that will forever be singed into my memory.  The first class seat that I somehow managed to occupy due to who knows what was no doubt coated with a trail of tears.  As I thought of them last night I couldn't help but wonder, Who will hold them when they are sick?  Who will comfort them from their nightmares and dry their tears when someone breaks their heart.  Who will tell them that they are beautiful and more importantly who will tell them of their creator.  The Almighty God who made them to do great things, how will they know Him?  I cried as I sat there rocking my precious Fred knowing that the love and hugs he has received already in his lifetime will far outweigh those that countless of orphans will ever know.
     Those that are close to me know that I have always dreamed of adopting one day.  When, how, if, where, is only in the hands of the Lord.  But this I know for sure, children are a gift, a masterpiece of the Almighty.  They don't come with instructions and they can make your life very difficult at times, but they also can bring a light into your world that is so warm, so bright, and so fulfilling.  I have also learned that being a mother is not simply giving birth to a child and in fact often times some of the greatest mothers are those who have never given birth.

Being a Mother means your life will change.

Being a Mother means you automatically become a nurse, counselor, driver, cook, teacher, etc!

Being a Mother means countless sleepless nights as you fret over a high fever or battle the dreaded stomach virus!

Being a Mother means you say No when "everyone else" is saying yes!

Being a Mother means you forgo your friendship with your child while they are young so that you can be assured it remains when they are grown.

Being a Mother means you withhold from giving them everything they want so that one day they will understand the value of what they have.

Being a Mother means you love their father with all your heart even when the world says to give up.

Being a Mother means that you show them Jesus everyday in everything you do.  Sunday mornings are just a bonus!

Being a mother is the greatest title I will ever know aside from being a Daughter of the Lord God Almighty.  As I awake to my four children in the morning (or however many may join our table) who may or may not be in the best of moods I will remember the gift.  The gift that I have been given and therefore must pass along to my children.  The very fact that I was so special, so unique, that the Lord of creation came to earth as a man leaving behind His throne on high, the most perfect place in all creation.  All in an effort to give me the hope of sharing in His glory one day.  That hope is worth it all.  That hope is the very thing that I place everything else in my life under.  It is because of that hope that I am compelled to give my children the very best of what I have to offer.  Thank you Lord for the gift of my four children and I praise you in advance for anyone else you may send our way!
"Jeri" (my heart)

This sweet angel called me "Mamma" the whole time we were visiting the orphanage.  Simply to be hugged and touched was a treat to these sweet babies.
Psalm 127:3-5 NIV 
Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. 
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Monday, January 21, 2013

A MOMENT OF SILENCE

12:50 PM 0
IT'S THAT MOMENT THAT EVERY MOM LOVES AND DREADS AT THE SAME TIME.  WHEN EVERYTHING IS QUITE, NOT A SOUND TO BE HEARD, AND THERE IS A CHOICE YOU HAVE TO MAKE...DO I ENJOY JUST A FEW MORE SECONDS OF PEACE (or in my case, finish straightening my hair) REASSURING MYSELF THAT THE KIDS ARE FINE...OR...DO I GO AHEAD AND ACCESS THE DAMAGE???

IM GUESSING HE WAS REALLY ENJOYING THAT COFFEE

NOW THATS THE LOOK OF A MAN WHO'S JUST BEEN CAUGHT!

JUST ONE MORE SIP!

LOOKS LIKE HE THOUGHT HE MIGHT BE ABLE TO CLEAN IT UP??

NOT THE CREAMER TOO!!!!!!! THAT STUFF'S A FORTUNE!!
JUST ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE!
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I am the Woman at the Well

11:29 PM 1

I had to repost this blog I wrote several months ago because I was once again reading one of my most favorite stories in the Good Book about the woman at the well.  Every time I read it I am completely drawn to this woman and what it must have been like to sit and chat with Jesus.  I can only imagine!!


     If you happen to pass by me on the road in my beloved minivan you may happen to also notice arms flying, hands raised, or kids shouting at the top of their lungs.  If you see any of these things you could be possibly witnessing my attempt to swat a leg while driving due to an unnecessary smart mouth comment or the kids yelling over each other to see who might win the award of my attention and therefore the answer to their oh so very important question, but hopefully you are witnessing the all out praise session going on as we sing along with one of our favorite bands "Casting Crowns." Praise music is an outlet for me and so therefore I have also made it one for my kids.  This post revolves around my most favorite song on Casting Crowns latest CD, which also happens to be the title of that CD, "The Well."  There have been so many mornings that I start my day with this song and it brings me to a place where I know that I am free and I know that I am loved, no matter what mistakes the day may bring.  Today I will share with you what this song means to me.  I hope this song can bring joy to your life as well.  My interpretation of "The Well," by Casting Crowns.

Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
(leave the mess of what this day or life has brought you, drop your worries, release your fears)

I have what you need,
But you keep on searchin,
(we try so hard to fill the void in our life, we search and search through various means, yet somehow we come up empty.)

I've done all the work,
But you keep on workin,
(maybe if I'm good enough, important enough, wealthy enough, pretty enough, kind enough, strong enough, powerful enough, skinny enough, ........I will feel worthy)

When your running on empty,
And you can't find the remedy,
Just come to the well.
(when all your efforts seem futile, when the race is to much to bear, and you can't make it another day, come to me. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest Matt 11:28)

You can spend your whole life,
Chasin what's missing,
But that empty inside,
It just ain't gonna listen.
(So many of us do, myself included.  Sometimes I get caught up in searching my life's purpose or finding that "one thing" that will make my life or your life complete, (the perfect husband, wife, that child we've always wanted, the dream house, a car better than a minivan:-), your dream job, or that feeling of significance (what I do matters), this list could go on and on and on and on.  Ask yourself this, have any of you found that "one thing" that will sustain you? What I have found, instead, is that no matter what we may accomplish or the moment we finally get that "one thing" that we have wanted so badly eventually what always happens? We want more!

When nothing can satisfy,
And the world leaves you high and dry,
Just come to the well.
(So at the end of it all, when we still end up wanting more, where do we go?  We go to the one who can truly satisfy our thirst.  JESUS. 

Chorus:
And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well.

So bring me your heart
No matter how broken,
Just come as you are,
Jesus did not come for those who claim to "have it all together."  He came for people like you and me who are sinners, broken, and at times have no idea what are place is in this life.  He came for those of us who are hurting and lost, sick and alone.  We are imperfect parents, imperfect wives and husbands, imperfect people that he loved enough to die for, even in our state of imperfection.  "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6  This verse is a powerful demonstration of God's love for us, even when at times we feel so unloveable.

When your last prayer is spoken,
Just rest in my arms a while,
You'll feel the change my child,
When you come to the well
(When I made the choice to be a follower of Jesus, when I confessed that he LIVED, DIED, and ROSE again for me and I buried the old "Jil" in the water of baptism and came up a new creation my life did not instantly become perfect and in no way is perfect now, but I was changed forever.  I will forever be changed by the realization that I do not have to be perfect, that I can't even begin to earn the gift that was given to me through the cross and that realization is a peace that I cannot put into words.  Days when motherhood is a little overwhelming or when I am in a "valley" in life I can remember that God will forever fill my thirst and more importantly my hope is not in anything that this world can provide.  It is the hope of being raised one day to a life that far exceeds any earthly pleasure.    

Chorus:
And all who thirst will thirst no more, 
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well.

Yeah
Leave it all behind

The world will try, but it can never fill...leave it all behind

And now that you're full,
of love beyond measure,
Your joy's gonna flow,
Like a stream in the desert,
Soon all the world will see that living water is found in me,
Cuz you came to the well.
(I can only imagine what the woman at the well must have been feeling when she met Jesus in John chapter 4.  Every time I read that story I picture myself at that well listening to the savior of the world.  My favorite part of that story is when the woman leaves behind her jar of water to run back to town to tell the people about who she met.  The very thing that she thought she needed was no longer important once she met Jesus.  Once I met Jesus it completely changed what I viewed to be important, but everyday since and probably until the day I die satan wants me to believe otherwise.  He wants me to base my importance on what this world deems important, he wants me to carry that jug of water everyday of my life and to be consumed by it, but I refuse. LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND.     

Chorus:
And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well.
(The world will try to fill your voids, the world will tell you that you are not good enough, the world will throw at you many things, the world will thrive on your addictions (drugs, sex, alcohol, etc.)  But the world will never give you PEACE.  The world will never keep it's promises and the world can offer you nothing when it has reached it's end.  COME TO THE WELL!
"Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."John 4:13
I'll have some of that please:-)

Leave it all behind, leave it all behind,...repeat

 Love and Joy to you this day!!
Jil


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