Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spy Wednesday

I learned something new this week.  Did you know that today is known as Spy Wednesday???  Do you even know what that means?  I surely didn't!  I've never even heard the term!

Wednesday is known as Spy Wednesday because on this day Judas made a bargain with the high priest to betray Jesus for 30 silver pieces (Matt 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:1-6). In Poland, the young people throw an effigy of Judas from the top of a church steeple. Then it is dragged through the village amidst hurling sticks and stones. What remains of the effigy is drowned in a nearby stream or pond.

This is also the day that Jesus was anointed with an expensive jar of alabaster by the woman at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper (Matt 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-19).

Additionally, these two passages would be interesting for you to read if you have never compared and contrasted what each of the books of the bible see how each writer saw things a little differently, or put a different spin on something, or emphasizes something the other two didn't.  Just like in our real lives, today!  :)

One of our duties as Catholics is to uphold the six precepts of the church, with two of them applying directly to Holy Week!  The third (of the six) precept is to receive Holy Communion at least once during the Easter season.  Also, the second precept says that we need to "confess (our) sins at least once per year".  Many of our local churches offered community penance services earlier in the month, but I know this is probably one of the hardest of the Catholic precepts to uphold.  It's hard for us to come forth and list the things we have done wrong (some times much more difficult than others) -- but, in the end, I know I always feel better when I leave.  So, if you haven't been to the Sacrament of Reconciliation for a while, there's still time!  Call your priest and see if he can fit you in sometime this week!  :)  (if you are unfamiliar with the other precepts of the church, you can always consult the Catechism of the Catholic Church -- if you don't have your own copy, it's online and you can google it.  :)

I hope your Holy Week is going well. 

Holy Week

Don't just survive Holy Week. Submerge yourself totally into the life, passion, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
 Sorry I've been a little AWOL :) -- our computer was down for a few days.  Ugh!
I had big plans for Holy Week, too!  I hope yours has been good so far.  I always find myself evaluating to find within myself whether or not I feel I have grown during Lent.  Sometimes are better than others!  LOL
I ran across this article the other day when looking for something and thought I should post it here.  If you are looking for ways to grow in your faith, here are 12 ways that might just help you out!!  From making palm crosses, to quizzes about things that happened during the triduum, to things to do this week, it's a handy dandy little link!

So we find ourselves ready to head into Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday this week.  Do you typically honor these days by attending church?  We went for several years without going, or alternating years that we went, when the kids were little -- too long and, especially Friday, during naptime did not make for a service that we (or anyone around us) got much out of.  It's nice that the kids are older now that we can go as a family.  
A couple of years ago, I took the opportunity to go to the Chrism Mass at the cathedral in Cincinnati to watch the Archbishop bless all of the oils that will be used in the upcoming year in our parishes.  That is, in and of itself, a beautiful celebration -- if you ever get the chance to go, or can make yourself available, it is certainly a mass you will remember.  To me, any mass in the cathedral is memorable because of the pure beauty of the church.

Holy Thursday is such an emotional mass for me, every year.  This year, for some reason, Palm Sunday caught me offguard and I found myself with tears streaming down my face throughout mass.  However, when Father transfers the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, and (at least in my church) we sing, "On Holy Ground" -- I feel so........not sure what the word is that I'm looking for......holy, I guess.  Not that I'M holy, but feel as if I'm in such a holy place.  I guess it's the beginning of the end, the last before Jesus dies on the cross for me, and for you.

I'm really looking forward to that mass on Thursday.  I promise to stay away from my friends in church that I know will also cry, and I promise to not look at anyone in the choir, lest we all start crying together.

I wish for you the holiest of Holy Weeks.  God bless!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Last night, I finished this book.  It took me a long time to read it -- not to actually read it, but I've had it in my possession for a while and a couple of weeks ago put it into my queue to read.

I'm not sure why I waited so long.  In fact, I'm upset with myself for waiting so long.  This book is so wonderful, and such a good read, that I am sorry that I denied myself this gift for so long.

This is the story of a man, Mackenzie, who goes on a journey back to the shack where he was able to see remnants of his daughter's death.  He is invited there by "Papa", who is quickly identified as who we call "God", but who appears much differently than what most of us think God looks like (LOL).

It's a beautiful story of faith and forgiveness, on many levels.  It's a story that made me smile, and, at other times, made me cry.  I often wonder what heaven and the afterlife looks like, and certainly have my own views.  However, this book was able to offer some really neat alternatives, that neither confirmed nor denied what my vision is.

I absolutely cannot say enough about this book.  If you've read it, let me know your thoughts.  I was telling someone today that I have never been a part of a book discussion group, but would LOVE to be part of one for this book.  There are so many levels to it!!!

If you have not yet had the chance to read this book, please pick it up.  Pick it up at the library, or the bookstore, or at's definitely worth it.  And if you do read it, let me know.  I would love to talk about it with you.

If you are comfortable with your faith, this is sure to "mix it up" a bit, and help you to think.  If you are uncomfortable with your faith, this may just be the thing to help get you moving a little closer.

And if you own a copy of the Shack that you haven't seen for a while, you may want to check with me.  I think I have your book.  :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Deadly Impact

I saw an accident today.  I saw the police come, the ambulances come, and the fire trucks come.

I watched a mother stand helpless as her daughter was loaded into a Careflight helicopter.  I watched as a volunteer firefighter helped extract his very own son from the wreckage.  Perhaps worst of all, I watched a mother see her daughter extracted from the car, and then get put into a body bag and loaded into a hearse.  She hadn't made it.

Luckily, I was only watching a mock accident happening at the high school.  I was really standing with those moms, though, and for what I saw, there were lots of tears.  I asked Jeanne, the mom whose daughter went into the helicopter, what that was like.  She said, "It's so real.  Because, as we all know, in the blink of an eye, this could really be happening."

I really appreciate that our high school goes through the process of re-enacting this mock accident every couple of years.  We tell our kids when they walk out the door to be careful, don't be stupid, and really hope that they are listening when we tell them that.

I honestly think that the part of the afternoon that impacted everyone the most was when a mom who lost her son at 17, came forward and spoke about the night her son died, the days following, and the guilt of his friend who was driving that night.  Her honestly and real view was difficult to listen to, but at the same time, the reality of her taking something from his loss to help others was refreshing.

They read this today.  I have heard it/read it before.....I actually think I read it in "Dear Abby" long ago.........but it had just as much impact today.

The day I died was an ordinary school day.
How I wish I had taken the bus.
But I was too cool for the bus.
I remember how I wheedled the car out of "MOM."
"Special favor," I pleaded.
"All the kids drive." When the 2:50 bell rang,
I threw all my books in the locker.
I was free until 8:40 tomorrow morning!
I ran to the parking lot,
excited at the thought of driving a car
and being my own boss, FREE!

It doesn't matter how the accident happened.
I was goofing off - going to fast.
Taking crazy chances.
But I was enjoying my freedom and having fun.
The last thing I remember was passing an old lady who
seemed to be going awfully slow.
I heard the deafening crash and felt a terrible jolt. My whole body seemed to be turning inside out.
I heard myself scream.

Suddenly I awakened; it was very quiet.
A police officer was standing over me.
Then I saw a doctor.
My body was mangled.
I was saturated with blood.
Pieces of jagged glass were sticking out all over.
Strange that I couldn't feel anything.
Hey, don't pull that sheet over my head!
I can't be dead.
I'm only 17.
I've got a date tonight.
I'm supposed to grow up and have a wonderful life.
I haven't lived yet. I can't be dead.

Later I as placed in a drawer.
My folks had to identify me.
Why did they have to see me like this?
Why did I have to look at Mom's eyes
when she faced the most terrible
ordeal of her life?
Dad suddenly looked like an old man.
He told the man in charge, "Yes, he is my son."
The funeral was a weird experience.
I saw all my relatives and friends
walk toward the casket.
They passed by, one by one, and looked
at me with the saddest eyes I've ever seen.
Some of my buddies were crying.;
A few of the girls touched my hand and
sobbed as they walked away.
Please - somebody - wake me up!
Get me out of here!
I can't bear to see my mom and dad so broken up.
My grand-parents are so racked with grief
they can hardly walk.
My brothers and sisters are like robots.
In a daze, everybody.
No one can believe this.
And I can't believe it, either.

Please don't bury me!
I'm not dead!
I have a lot of living to do!
I want to laugh and run again.
I want to sing and dance.
Please don't put me in the ground.
I promise if you give me one more chance,
God, I'll be the most careful driver in the whole world.
All I want is one more chance!
Please God I'm only 17!

Author Unknown 

God bless the woman who spoke today, along with her family.  God, please also watch over our kids (and us, too!) -- especially in the coming weeks with prom, graduations, and parties.  Please help our children to make wise decisions and keep themselves (and others) safe.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I think I'm glad this week is over.....

It's been quite a week in the Kaiser household!  As they say, never a dull moment! 

We've had track meets and more track meets (and still more track meets tomorrow!), celebrated my niece's Confirmation, combined with the normal activity -- school and homework, etc. -- Jim is working on a pretty big project at work, which takes many hours every week -- a chicken dinner for the Boy Scouts.......yikes!  It seems like there was something else in there.....what was it???  Oh, yeah......sick kids!!!  Wednesday was Abby with a sore throat and Emily with a yucky tummy; Thursday was those two plus Harry with a sore throat; and today?  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  We had five -- count 'em, five! -- kids home.  Three with the yucky belly thing and Abby and Harry still with the sore throats.  Enough already!  Give me spring!  Give me open windows, and Lysol!  Hanging sheets out on the line!  Yuck!!!

I try not to complain about these things -- many have it much worse than we do!, but we've been hit more than our share this winter.  And I am sick of it!  We're done!  When everyone is better after this, no more sickness!  :)

We have a pretty fun weekend ahead.  I can't wait to celebrate the pending birth of a baby to a couple that I love very much, as well as the rest of the women-folk of the family, at a baby shower.......track meet tomorrow should be good.  It's supposed to be nice!  :)  Yes!

I hope life is treating you well.  It's days/weeks like this that really remind me that life is not in our control, as much as I would like for it to I will accept that and move on :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Survivor: Redemption Island - Real Reality

So, have you been watching Survivor this season???  I have.  It's been....well, pretty amazing!  Besides the bugs, and rice, and rain, and backstabbing, of course.....there's a unique component this time.  And that unique component is one of the players, Matt.

He found a friend, Andrea, early on.  Rob, who has played 2 other seasons, knows alot about he ins and outs of this game, and worried that a "team" can gain power and eventually win the game.  (As Rob found out when he played with Amber, the woman who would eventually become his wife -- and they won.).

So, Rob got the team to vote Matt out.  This year, instead of being out of the game, players that are voted out are sent to Redemption Island, where they get the chance to play the next ejected player in a dual to see who gets to stay and eventually come back into the game.  Well, they didn't realize Matt's strength and endurance obviously, because Matt was the first player voted out, but went on to beat 5 competitors at duals, and eventually come back into the game.

Prior to each dual, the two players get to share a bit of time (I'm guessing a day or so) and share game play on their team's part, as well as personal information.  Obviously we are not privvy to all of the information exchanged, and we really only get what the producers choose to show us. 

I have been surprised and actually shocked by what I have seen this season.  Matt discusses his faith a lot, talking about how God will put him where He wants Matt to be.  However, in the clip above, we see what I think to be an amazing moment. Krista, the other player who has been voted out, eventually loses the dual to Matt.  I think everyone's jaw dropped at the next scene.  She asks Jeff Probst, the host of the show, if she can give Matt her "luxury item", which is her bible.  They had discussed their faith, and she knew it was important to him, but he didn't have his (I have no idea what his luxury item was).  So, he now has a bible that he can refer to during his time on Survivor!  Awesome!

Last night's show was almost as awesome, on a faith-sharing note.  I won't share in case you haven't seen the show.  If you haven't, but want to watch, all of the shows are online.

I love that Matt is being so open with his faith.  I'm sure there are some on his tribe that don't understand, or are bothered by it, but I'm so proud of him.  Not only is he showing his faith, he is sharing it with the other people on the show, and, more importantly, the entire viewing audience!  How awesome is that???

I think sharing our faith is sometimes a difficult thing, especially when we are in situations that we are not familiar with.  For him to do it on such a level is awesome!  Sometimes, even writing this, I feel a little vulnerable, making my faith journey so visible, but, as I said in the beginning, I have felt a call and am trying my best to answer it!

I'm on Team Matt!!!  :)  Go Matt!  :)  Go Team Jesus!  :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dancing With The Saints

So, how are you doing?  So sorry I've been absent for a few days.  Life gets busy sometimes!  :)

We've reached the halfway point of Lent.  How are you doing with your Lenten promises?  Great?  Notsogreat?  If notsogreat was your answer, never fear!  There's still time!  Actually, I always feel a sense of increasing anxiety and preparation the closer we get to Holy Week.  Sometimes I even add additional things in, just to increase in my preparation for Easter!  So, if you have fallen off the wagon, or never got around to figuring out a lenten sacrifice, there's still time.  For those of you doing great, keep it up!!  It WILL be worth it in the end!

Any of you who know me well, know that I am a huge reality TV fan.  Give me Survivor (who is your favorite this year, by the way?  That's really a topic for another day, I think -- they've had some neat spiritual moments this year), or The Biggest Loser, or the Amazing Race, or Dancing With the Stars -- even though this go-around I feel like it's almost Dancing With The WhoAreYous???  LOL  Aside from Kirstie Alley and Ralph Macchio, I'm not really certain who some of these people are.  The other night one of the kids looked at me and asked who would name their kid Sugar Ray, and, by the way, who was he?  LOL  Ralph Macchio is way out of their frame of reference -- but he's a great dancer who did a choke-me-up routine the other night in honor of his wife.  It was beautiful!

So we get caught up in all of these reality shows and whatnot, we ever get caught up in our faith?  I read this really neat story a couple of weeks ago -- called Dancing with the.....Saints?  and thought I would share.

As you may or may not know, on May 1, John Paul II will be beatified.  I've spoken of him before on here, so you probably know by now that as much as I love DWTS, I also love and admire Pope JPII.  He was a wonderful gift to our world, and especially to our faith.  In fact, this past Saturday was the anniversary of his passing.  I remember the days leading up to his death, as well as the days following.  We knew he was sick, but not the day, nor the hour of his passing until it happened.  What followed, with the search and installation of Pope Benedict XVI, was really interesting to me, as it was really the first Pope I remember seeing elected (and caring about) and then installed.  If I think back, I remember Pope John Paul I and his short term as our pope, and then a little of Pope JPII's election, etc., but not enough to count.  It was very interesting to me how involved the media was this time, thinking they knew so much (because they want to lead us always to think they do), when they really didn't.  That made me happy!

At any rate, please pray for Pope John Paul II as we prepare to beatify him in just a few short weeks.  What a beautiful process for all of us to be able to witness!

We have some great news and tv watching coming up in the next few weeks -- between John Paull II's beatification and the royal wedding, we should be seeing some really neat things!

By the way, my niece, Heidi, is in Rome right now and I'm pretty sure she's going to be attending some of the events surrounding the beatification.  I'll be sure to keep you in the loop and even post some pictures if she lets me! 

God -- let me always be a reflection of you!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Christ is Risen (well, almost!)

I must be on a video roll this week!  :)  Really, I love this video....."Christ is Risen" by Matt Maher.  Matt is a Christian recording artist that I have had the opportunity to see perform a couple of times.  He has a spectacular voice, but always has a wonderful message.  If you are my friend on Facebook, you will recall I posted a video a week or so ago of a bunch of people singing in a hallway.  He was in that. 

So why did I choose this song to write about today?  I feel it is a great anthem for Lent!  More specifically, it's a great song for Easter Sunday.  Christ is Risen from the dead!  Oh, death, where is your sting?  Oh, hell, where is your victory? 

It's a celebratory song, celebrating the fact that Jesus has risen from the dead!  I love Easter songs, because after the dark and gloomy preparation days of lent, we are finally able to sing Alleluia! and happy songs once again.

If you haven't heard any of Matt's songs, go check them out.  You can listen to many of them at (and order any of them if you are so inclined).  There is also a podcast there of him discussing this song specifically: <==click on that to hear it.

I love Christian music, and specifically many of the artists that are on spiritandsong.  I'm no expert, especially since I have a limited spectrum of the TYPES of music I like to listen to!  :)

I saw today that there is a movement to get everyone to pray a rosary on Good Friday.  Might you want to accept this challenge?  Imagine how powerful that would be, if we all decided to pray one on that day.  If you would like to, and yet have questions about how to pray the rosary, check out -- they are sure to have help for just that.  And many other things.  It's a great site!

Hope your weekend is off to a good start.  Here's a funny for you:  Will, with a very straight face at dinner, asks, "Do cats lay eggs?"  After the ensuing laughter, we filled him in.  Hope that put a smile on your face.  It did mine!