Monday, November 30, 2009

Wisdom of G. K. Chesterton

Every year I take it out again and start all over. This is a good thing. There are some traditions that are new. This one started 3 years ago when my dear friend Martha gave me the book, Advent and Christmas, Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton, edited by The Center for the Study of C. S. Lewis and Friends and published by Liguori Press. Over the years I think we've forgotten that preparation for Christmas is a time for serious reflection on the life of Christ and how our journey with Him is progressing. We are so bedazzled by the glitz of the season and all that it entails that we forget that this is the beginning of our salvation history in Christ Jesus. Today I would offer this for reflection.

The Gift of Hope

It is currently said that hope goes with youth, and lends to youth its wings of a butterfly; but I fancy that hope is the last gift given to man, and the only gift not given to youth. Youth is pre-eminently the period in which a man can be lyric, fanatical, poetic, but youth is the period in which a man can be hopeless. the end of every episode is the end of the world. But the power of hoping through everything, the knowledge that the soul survives its adventures, that great inspiration comes to the middle-aged; God has kept that good wine until now. It is from the backs of the elderly gentlemen that the wings of the butterfly should burst.
Charles Dickens: Last of the Great Men

Hope in the Gospel
In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for your in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. ~Colossians 1:3-6

God of hop, Give of hope, help us in our hopeless moments. Turn our hearts and minds to promise of the gospel, to your dear Son, Jesus Christ. Strengthen our faith in what we have heard. Especially in our troubles, remind us of our true home with you in heaven. Help us to hope for eternal life with you.

Advent Action
Make a list of the things you are currently hoping for. This may include advancement in your career, the success of an important relationship, the completion of a project, or any number of things. When you have finished the list, look over it. Circle one item and say a brief prayer for God's help in bringing this about. If praying feels uncomfortable, consider whether the time you have chosen is something you should hope for. Ask God for clarity. Resolve to hope for those things that bring you closest to God.

And so it is that I begin, again, to hope that this season will bring me a new awareness of my role in the work of salvation? I will make that list. I will circle the one that I hope can be accomplished. Then I will pray that, by the grace of Almighty God, it can be accomplished.

What is your hope today?


Thanks be to God!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Once Upon a Recipe

It has occurred to me that every time I post a recipe here, it's because it's a family favorite. With each recipe there is a story. It sounds like the title of a book doesn't it? Well, not yet.

Once in a while I'm going to post a recipe that we have had in the Keller Family for some years. When I post it I will share a story that is attached to it's history and this family. At the same time, I would ask you to share a recipe with a story you would like to share. This is a perfect time of the year to begin this project, because this is the season when we're all cooking and baking our way into just one more family tradition or continuing one that we have cherished for a long time.

So today I offer you a Keller standard. Cranberry Salad. I've been making it for about 35 years. I was first introduced to it when we moved to Eufaula, Oklahoma. It was our first Pot Luck Dinner at St. Paul's Church. It reminds me of the families who welcomed us that day and the family bond we developed. St. Paul's was a very small parish and Father Brooks had to drive 35 miles to say Mass every Sunday. Other members of the parish drove that far as well just to attend Mass. Every time we gathered we gathered as a family that had so much to offer and share. This recipe soon became part of the Keller Family Holiday Tradition.

Cranberry Salad

2 packages of raspberry Jello
2 cups hot water
16 ounce carton sour cream
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 cup chopped nuts

Dissolve Jello in hot water. Cool until thick. Add sauce, sour cream and nuts. Chill to set in your favorite holiday mold.

Please share your family recipes and memories surrounding it. Make your comments here and then go to Mr. Linky so we can visit and share your recipe. Who knows your recipe might start a new holiday tradition at someone else's holiday gathering.
Thanks be to God!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wonderful Day!!!

"Thank God! Give him the praise and the glory. Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things he has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song. Before all men, honor and proclaim God's deeds, and do not be slack in praising him." Tobit 12:6

Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Bit of Thanksgiving Humor

Maggie sent me this tale. Please take time out from stuffing, cooking, baking, mopping and cleaning. Rest and enjoy!!! You NEED a break!!!

A Parrot And A Turkey

A young man received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.

Every word out of the bird's' mouth was rude, obnoxious, and laced with profanity. The man tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, he was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back and cursed him.

He shook the parrot, and the parrot got angrier and even ruder.

The man, in desperation, threw up his hands, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, he quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto the man's outstretched arms and said, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I am sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do verything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

The man was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.

As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird spoke-up, very, very softly: "May I ask what the turkey did?"

~~~Happy Thanksgiving~~~

Thanks be to God!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Praise God!

Jennifer at My Chocolate Heart sponsors this and it has been forever since I have done this!!! Today is a good day to add my list!

~~~Praising God for a wonderful family.
~~~I praise him for the wonderful weather we have been experiencing.
~~~I give praise and glory to God for the friends he has given me to share his words with in Bible Study.
~~~I offer praise and thanksgiving for less pain in my tooth and a request for affective treatment on Wednesday when I see Dr. Reitz.
~~~I will offer praise for all those who have shown concern for me! Thank you, too!

Wishing you all a grand week of praise and thanksgiving of your own wherever you may be!

Thanks be to God~

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's BACK...

Yep, don't know why but the toothache has returned...The root canal seemed to have worked. But yesterday afternoon the pain returned. Will be called Dr. Pitt as soon as I get to work! Oh, me!

Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving with Maxine...

I always feel badly for those who find baking a turkey a stressful challenge. I've had a couple "dry" turkeys, but all in all even then the kids were soooo hungry they didn't take time to critique it. My philosophy is, " Be thankful you have a turkey to eat."

Turkey, turkey bird
White meat, dark meat and stuffing
Just love to eat it!

Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Best Cranberry Nut Bread Ever!!

Fresh from the oven!!!

I love ...nut breads, banana nut bread, pumpkin nut bread, apple nut spice bread, but my favorite ...nut bread is cranberry nut bread. The best recipe I have found is on the bag of FRESH cranberries by Ocean Spray! If you lived near me I would make you a loaf for your holiday morning breakfast.

But since I don't, here is the recipe. Of course if you buy a bag of Ocean Spray fresh cranberries it's on the bag.

Cranberry Nut Bread

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons of shortening
1 tablespoon of grated orange peel
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x5 loaf pan. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, shortening, orange peel and egg. Mix until well beaten. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight. Makes 1 loaf.


Thanks be to God!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Well, ya know "stuff" happens. And last night it happened to Ron. On his way home from work he was stopping for gas. The car ahead of him was slowing and stopped short...Ron didn't! The Little Red Corolla is now in the impound lot and has seen better days. Today, we look for a replacement.

Good and gracious God, thank you for your guardian angels. Thank you for prevention of injuries. Thank you for kindness instead of anger and blame. Thank you in the name of your son Our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!!!

Thanks be to God!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving with Maxine...

Thanksgiving has never been that stressful for me...It's always the same menu. The family expects it. Easy. It's Turkey, Aunt Marjorie's stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry salad and pumpkin pie! I'm full just thinking about it!

Thanksgiving will come
The family will all be there
And no leftovers!

Thanks be to God!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Picture Puzzle Day

Click to Mix and Solve

Last summer we had a grand time in Montana. It's has a wonderful history. Ron and my bother, Phil, went to pick up my niece from volleyball camp and so they stopped at the Montana History Museum to wait for her to be finished. I particularly like this picture that he took.

Please enter into the game and ENJOY. Post one of your favorite pictures as a puzzle and we'll all have a go at it. Also, leave a comment. And when you post your puzzle please add it to Mr. Linky so we can visit and PLAY at your house.

Have a grand day
Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Say Something Nice About a Priest

Abbey at Abbey's Road tagged me for this MEME. It is not hard for me to say something nice about a priest. The most difficult part for me is to decide which one to tell you about. There are so many Men of God that have touched my life that I just don't know where to begin.

Perhaps, I will tell you about Father Gene. When we first moved to Indiana we were new to St. Philip Neri Church. We had only lived here a year when a newly ordained deacon was assigned to our parish. Deacon Gene was a vibrant and enthusiastic young man. We invited him for dinner on a number of occasions and we developed a wonderful friendship. He was ordained to the priesthood the following April and we were all invited to his ordination. It was our first (but not the last) and it made a glorious impression on me.

We have had the opportunity to share many happy hours with Fr. Gene since then. He is a wonderful friend and he has been my Spiritual Adviser for a number of years. He's a member of the family. I remember how wonderful it was when he surprised us by arriving at Laura and Roy's wedding and con celebrated with Father Ken, another family friend.

My life has been full of the presence of God through his ministers. For the most part they are men of integrity, compassion, humor, and love of their church and vocation. There job is not an easy one. Their life is full of many challenges.

My hope is that after reading this you will call your pastor and invite him to your home for dinner. You will thoroughly enjoy his company and you will find a true gratitude for your kindness. I have not met a more appreciative guest.

Now I will tag:




My best to all and Thank your priest today!

Thanks be to God!

Monday, November 09, 2009

I Am Renewed

And for that I want to thank you all for your prayers. To Ron, my ardent supporter, thank you for always being here for me. To my children, thank you for loving and supporting me. And to all my dear friends who have taken this journey with me to this point either here at A Bit of the Blarney or in my church/work family for your prayers and encouragement.

There were no fireworks, lightening bolts, just contentment, peace and encouragement as I continue my Provident Journey. For this is only one of many celebrations along the way to the ultimate celebration! So again, Thank You ALL!!!

Thanks be to God!
Originally uploaded by Lucy Abrams

Friday, November 06, 2009

Road to Providence

This is the day the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad.
Psalm 118: 24

On the eve of my commitment to the Sisters of Providence I would ask for your prayers. Tomorrow is the day I am accepted as an Associate of the Sisters of Providence. Pray that I will be worthy of this honor.

Thanks be to God!!!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Picture Puzzle Day

Click to Mix and Solve
Quebec City
June, 2000

Truly a lovely city!!! What struck me most about the city was the language. French is a lovely language. I am sorry to say I have never mastered any language well, not even English, but hearing the French language spoken was like music. The shop keepers do very nicely helping the tourist. But the most difficult thing for me on the trip was to walk into a book store and find NO books written in English. I had to confront my own "American Pride" that day and turn it from "How dare they not have any books written in English" to "Thanks be to God for the diversity!" It was a real education!!

Again I say,
"Thanks be to God."

Here is the link to JigZone so you can create and submit your puzzle. And Mr. Linky is available below for you convenience so we can enjoy your puzzle.

You are invited to leave a comment, too. Please join in the fun!!! I can hardly wait to put YOUR puzzles together!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Climbing the Ladder

Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.

~Saint Rose of Lima~

I was really struck by these words this morning. The image of the cross as a ladder is really profound. Imagine it as a ladder and at the top of the ladder our Savior offering a helping hand. Isn't that what he does every day? He continually offers that loving hand and we may choose to allow him to help or reject it because we think we can do it better...When we succeed though, did we really do it by ourselves?

Thanks be to God

Monday, November 02, 2009

You Broke The Reigns of Death, All Souls Day

Spiritually, I love the month of November, when the church seems to exercise a maternal concern for her suffering children and when the communion of saints seems more alive. In addition to my prayers for the church, for souls, for my loved one, and for those who have asked to be remembered, I especially like to pray for the souls in purgatory, for the dying.

~Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur

So it is that we pray for all the faithful departed this day.


Thanks be to God!