Tag Archives: Faith

Saturday:) Miracles and Anniversaries

11 Jul

“When God sends you a sign, you are blessed. When He sends you three, there’s no doubt in your mind that God performs miracles.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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(I share this miracle every year on this day. It’s the first of three, and everyone who has heard my trilogy of miracles will agree that only God could do this.)

Today is 7-11. July 11, 2013 was the worst, most painful and devastating day of my entire life. I will never forget that awful day, and all the tears, trauma, heartache, hospitalization, and betrayal that followed. That’s the day I confronted my now ex-husband about his affair with the waitress at his country club. We were married 39 years. But, there was so much more, and such unfathomable disgusting behavior that I can’t even begin to reveal. My heart was broken, and my life and my health was in turmoil. I said it was the “day that will live in infamy.” For two years, when I saw that day on the calendar, I cringed and I cried. Not any more. Now it’s a celebration.

Fast forward two years later…7-11-2015 was the day my son got married to the most beautiful and amazing girl of his dreams. That beautiful July 11th day, I danced at my son’s wedding and celebrated with friends and family. Now, this is a day of celebration and joy and love. They had no idea that this particular day was the worst day of my life, and was now transformed into a day to celebrate. BUT, God did.

Happy 5th Anniversary Joe and Lindsay!!! I love you “To the moon and back.”

It’s been five years now, and this beautiful couple has also blessed me with two beautiful granddaughters. Even more reason to celebrate. I love 7-11.

7-11-2015 A celebration and miracle.

More celebrations!

Look at this ever growing miracle!

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

15 Jun

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

John Muir

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Another exciting and busy morning, rolling out of bed, walking ten steps into the family room, and watching Mass in my pajamas. So exhausting!

Today’s Gospel on this Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ Sunday is from John 6:51-58.

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

My take on it… just like bread is a simple and basic way to sustain our bodies, the consecrated bread is a simple way to nourish our souls. Christ said that consuming the blessed bread and wine was the same as His flesh and blood, allowing us to live forever, instead of temporarily. A very difficult concept to comprehend, but true faith doesn’t require absolute comprehension.

The rest of my Sunday, I was busy doing squats… DIDDLY SQUATS! A very lazy day. Bit, the day is still young. Oops! No it isn’t. It’s after 7 pm. The day is done. But, I will get out for an evening walk shortly.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff~ Quo Vadis

27 Apr

You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.

Maya Angelou

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Well, another Sunday going to church in my pajamas, tucked under my covers with a nice cup of green tea. I’m getting awfully lazy. It took me a few minutes to get the live streaming going because the Facebook page wasn’t working, so I had to get to the St. Gabriel website. I miss my greeting of friends, and hugs, and smiling children. I can’t imagine how long it will be until we can gather again.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus joining some disciples on the road to Emmaus, but they didn’t look up nor recognize that it was Jesus. As they talked, Jesus asked about their discussion. They said that people were talking all about how Jesus was sentenced to death and crucified, yet two days later, the tomb was discovered empty.

When they got to the village, they asked the stranger to stay and eat with them…30 Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them.

31 And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight.

32 Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’

My take on it…. sometimes the truth or the obvious is right before our eyes and we don’t recognize it. Remain strong and faithful and all will be revealed to you.

Today, the theme of the Third Sunday of Easter is Quo Vadis, translating to where are you going? That’s a very good question, isn’t it? That’s a good question to ask ourselves today and every day. Where are YOU going on this journey we call life?

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After my tedious adventures of getting to church on time, I checked my emails and Facebook a little, then rolled over and went back to sleep. Now, that’s pretty lazy. I lolligaggled and dillidallied for a couple of more hours, then did my meditations before starting my day.

My goal was to try and get up, showered, hair washed, and dressed before 5 pm. 🤦‍♀️ Didn’t make it today! It was about 5:45 before I got those goals accomplished.

Then, the highlight of my Sunday, FaceTime with my grand babies.

I celebrated my Sunday later with a toast to good health and happiness for all. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere. CHEERS!!!!🍷

If you’re starting to worry about me drinking too much during these trying times, don’t worry too much, it was cranberry grape juice in one of my pretty hand-painted wine glasses. CHEERS!

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

20 Apr

“To believe with certainty we must begin with doubting.”

~Stanislaus I

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This morning I was able to sleep in a little because there was going to be a very special live streaming Divine Mercy Sunday Mass at 11 am at St. Gabriel. But, as is my custom, I still attended Mass in my jammies. The service was officiated by Dallas Archdiocese Bishops Burns and Kelly. Bishop Kelly was our original founding pastor at St. Gabriel back in 1996, so it was a special service.

Today’s Gospel was the “Doubting Thomas” story. The disciples were all locked away in a room after the resurrection, fearing for their lives. Jesus appeared before them saying, “Peace be with you, ” and showed them His wounds. Thomas was not with them, and when they told him that they saw Jesus, Thomas said he wouldn’t believe unless he could see and touch the wounds himself.

Eight days later, Jesus appeared in the closed room, and invited Thomas to touch the wounds so he could believe.

28 Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’

29 Jesus said to him: You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.

My take on it… sometimes you have to believe in things that you can’t see or don’t have physical proof of. That’s what faith is. You can’t see the air, but you know it’s there and you breathe. You can’t see love, but you can feel it.

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Bishop Kelly gave a wonderful homily comparing how our situation today is similar to how the disciples were locked away in fear of the unknown, but they still had faith. We are locked away in our homes, uncertain of our future and our safety, so we must remain faithful. He also reminded us what Pope Francis said. During these difficult days, we need to help one another and the less fortunate.

“We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other,” he said during his homily in front of a rainy St. Peter’s Basilica, before an empty square and a single priests.

It was a beautiful Mass with a wonderful message and amazing singing.

Bishop Burns gave his final blessing to all.

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Then of course, the highlight of my Sunday is getting to FaceTime with my little granddaughters and watching them grow right before my eyes.

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

23 Mar

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

~ Mark Twain

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Today is the Fourth Sunday in Lent, it is the Second Sunday of watching Mass on my iPad, and the First Sunday of celebrating Mass with St. Gabriel under the covers in my pajamas. Very strange.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus healing a man blind from birth. In those days, the blind and deaf were thought to have sinned or their parents had sinned, thus the punishment. Jesus disputed that idea and healed the blind man. The Pharisees and the Jews did not believe this miracle, and questioned the former blind man twice. The man was convinced that Jesus was the Son of Man sent by God.

Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.

We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.

While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes,

and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

The Pharisees still questioned this miracle.

Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”

Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?”

Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.

My take on it… Sometimes those supposedly wise or intelligent people who question everything unless it is proven to them, those are the ones who miss out on what is truly important. Blind faith is an appropriate concept. We don’t need concrete proof to believe in God. We just need faith.

I am thankful that we can continue celebrating the Mass together, thanks to Father Don and all the St. Gabriel staff.

During these stressful times of confinement and confusion, it’s good to focus on our blessings and not dwell on our hardships. “Instead of stressing, count your blessing.”

I spent a lot of time on the phone in a group FaceTime with my girlfriends, laughing and sharing stories. I checked in with friends and family, and my son and his little family sent lots of photos of the babies to keep grandma entertained.

Then, there was a lot of time on Facebook sharing uplifting stories, pictures, and funny jokes. Even if we can’t hold each other close in person, we can hold each other close in our hearts.

Be safe, healthy, and happy my friends, and most of all, be kind. If you are lucky enough to be confined with your family, hold them close and appreciate your blessings. “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Happy Sunday. ❤️🙏

Sunday Sermon, or Lack There Of

16 Mar

“Panic causes tunnel vision. Calm acceptance of danger allows us to more easily assess the situation and see the options.”

~Simon Sinek

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My Sunday morning routine was all discombobulated today. I didn’t set my alarm for 7 am, and I stayed in bed most the morning, feeling kind of sad. St. Gabriel was not celebrating Masses, and will cancel until the end of March. The church is still open for individuals to pray or worship, weddings, funerals, etc., but no Masses. As I said yesterday, I never thought I’d live to see the day.

But, like many other churches and denominations, a celebration of the Mass was recorded on video to share with the parishioners. It’s still not the same.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well. Jews did not associate with Samaritans, but Jesus spoke with her and made her a believer….

13 Jesus replied: Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again;

14 but no one who drinks the water that I shall give will ever be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will become a spring of water within, welling up for eternal life.

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My take on it… faith and salvation are not narrow concepts, meant only for a particular group or religious belief. The earthly water we drink and the earthly food we eat will only sustain our bodies. All who believe in a supreme being, a creator, are sustained from within. In my book, which is pretty short, there are only two rules, Honor and love God, and honor and love your fellow man. All the rest falls under those two headings.

The rest of my Sunday was pretty much a blur. I only left the house to walk the dog a few times. I made a few phone calls, and then of course, the highlight of my day… FaceTime with the granddaughter. Gosh, they are getting bigger by the day. I guess the Chicago area is pretty much on lock down, too.

I just pray that we all survive this mass panic and confusion and illness. It would be nice to leave the world a better place than we found it for our future generations… like these little angels that God has blessed me with.

Happy Sunday my friends. Stay healthy, stay strong, and keep the faith.


Sunday Sermon and Some Awesome Artists

9 Mar

“The artist has one function–to affirm and glorify life.”

— W. Edward Brown

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Woa! It was really hard waking up this morning with the time change. If you know me, you know I’m not a fan of change, much less one where I lose an hour of sleep. The 7 AM alarm was greeted with a few expletives. But, I rolled out of bed and looked forward to church, friends, and enjoying my day.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus leading some disciples up the mountain where he was transfigured in a bright light, joined by Moses and Elijah. Later…

While he was still speaking, behold,

a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,

then from the cloud came a voice that said,

“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;

listen to him.”

When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate

and were very much afraid.

But Jesus came and touched them, saying,

“Rise, and do not be afraid.”

And when the disciples raised their eyes,

they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

My take on it… even though the disciples were afraid after witnessing and hearing such powerful and frightening things, Jesus comforted them and told them not to be afraid. I think we all, if we haven’t already, are going to experience confusing, overwhelming, or terrifying experiences in our lives. If we have faith, God will comfort us and tell us not to be afraid, and He will send us earthly angels, in disguise as family and friends to help us through our darkest hours. (Just my personal experience.)

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Now for the awesome artists and friends in my life. Yesterday, my friend and awesome author, Allison Bottke, invited me to go with her to the farmer’s market, shopping, and lunch. It was a great day for scooting around town. I love seeing my talented friends who work the market.

Alex and Minda Macias, very talented potters and terrific friends. The bowl that Alex is holding found a new home at my house.

Allison and I bought up the last of the mango pineapple y habañero salsa from Bernard’s Salsa. (Best salsa I’ve ever had.) My pantry is fully stocked now.

After the market, we stopped at Goodwill and did some power thrifting. We both found all kinds of treasures. Then, off for a late lunch. When I got home, I only had a little time before scooting off to The Cove for the Empty Bowls preview event. Several of my bowls were on display, and I took along a few blank bowls to paint while I visited.

Just when I think I’m pretty talented, I see the other magnificent bowls that will be auctioned or raffled off at the Empty Bowls Event on April 30th, then I am in awe.

As you can see, there is a lot of artistic talent right here in McKinney, and I am proud to know most of these artists and call them friends. How blessed am I?

It was a great weekend. I hope yours was too.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

25 Nov

“Nothing erases the past. There is repentance, there is atonement, and there is forgiveness. That is all, but that is enough.”

― Ted Chiang

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A beautiful Sunday morning. Always the highlight of my week. It was a little chilly, but not cold enough to wear my sock monkey hat. Darn! A lot of hugs and handshakes greeting before 9 o’clock Mass.

One of my little friends sporting his new haircut, and thanking me for his Matchbox car.

Then, a big surprise hug from my friend Gil, who I haven’t seen in months. It was especially great to congratulate him on his upcoming wedding next month. Congratulations Gil!

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus hanging on the cross, along with horrible criminals. He was mocked and jeered at, and people telling Him to save himself if he really was Christ. One criminal hanging next to Him said Jesus should save Himself and the others in a mocking way. Only one criminal defended Jesus saying that he and the others were justly punished, but Jesus did nothing wrong.

And indeed, we have been condemned justly,

for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,

but this man has done nothing criminal.”

Then he said,

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

He replied to him,

“Amen, I say to you,

today you will be with me in Paradise.”

My take on it… it’s never too late to repent and see the errors of your ways, but you truly must make atonement and change those evil ways. I’ve had this discussion with others who have said God forgives everyone, so we must forgive everyone. I truly believe that even God will not forgive certain people. Like the quote states, “There is repentance, there is atonement, and there is forgiveness.” The key words are repentance and atonement. Without those, forgiveness should not be expected, even from God.

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After Mass, Helene and I stopped for coffee at McDonald’s, and I stopped at the grocery store afterwards. I had to laugh. I was over in the dairy aisle picking up eggs when a stranger came up to me and asked, “Do you have any idea where the Cool Whip is?” I told her that I was pretty sure it was right down this aisle with the frozen pies and stuff. She turned around, and there it was. She laughed and said, “My goodness. It’s right behind me.”

Of course, I had to tell her about my no bake Snicker peanut butter pie that I made yesterday and proceeded to tell her the quick recipe and ingredients. Another lady standing right there said, “Wow! That sounds really good and easy to make.” I showed them a picture of the pies on my phone. I think I made a couple of pie converts.

When I was checking out, I was telling the young cashier my pie story, and he said that it sounded cool. I showed him the picture, too. He stopped what he was doing and grabbed a scrap of paper and started writing down, 1 Cool whip, 1 cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, etc. I had to laugh. He said he was going to ask his mom to make one for Thanksgiving.

It’s the little things in life that are special to me. If I can brighten someone’s day or give them a new idea or a new recipe, that makes me smile.

When I got home, I changed and went for a nice long walk. Then, I hopped in my car so I could take my Snicker pie over to my friends at Fire Station 9 so they could have it for dessert after dinner.

Later, my absolute favorite part of my Sunday. I get to FaceTime with my little granddaughters. I am so blessed. I hope your Sunday was just as wonderful.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Friday:) A Fabulous Day, Fun Friends and My Firefighter Freinds

16 Nov

“Enjoy life. There’s plenty of time to be dead.”

― Hans Christian Andersen

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I stayed up well past 2am this morning, working on a painting project. I lose track of time when I’m painting. When I glanced at my phone for the time this morning, it said 8:30, so I rolled over and went back to sleep. Here’s where I count my blessings. How lucky am I? Each day is a gift, and each gift is mine to open and do with as I please.

Zumba class was my first fun activity for the day. I lobe the music and dancing and exercise is fun. Afterwards, Doug and I stopped for breakfast at McD. Then, errands, the dry cleaners, post office, grocery store, and a stop at church for Adoration. This is my special quiet/thankful time. I lit a candle in the sanctuary, and I was totally alone. There’s something awesome about having a huge gorgeous church all to yourself.

When I got home, I did a few things, then went for a nice long walk. It was a beautiful day, and a glorious sunset along the way.

I made a quick stop at Fire Station 9 with some cookies that Miss Pat kindly made to share with our fine friends in blue.

You would think that was already a full day, but Miss Pat had invited a few of us for a steak dinner at her house. Wow! She bought delicious T-bone steaks and everyone brought sides or appetizers. We had a great dinner with great friends.

Yes, my life is very full and very blessed. I plan on enjoying life every day because there’s plenty of time to be dead later.

Now, for Black Russian Friday. Ahhh! The perfect ending to a perfect day.

Sunday Sermon and 60+ New Friends

21 Oct

“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.”

~Henri Nouwen

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Another beautiful Sunday. I love greeting before Mass, getting lots of hugs and handshakes. I passed out little cars and a beanie baby to my little friends, and ran over to welcome the Chateau bus. I gave each senior friend a big hug and a piece of chocolate candy from my Halloween stash.

Today’s Gospel was Jesus telling his disciples about the necessity to always pray, using the parable of an unfair judge who kept denying justice for pleading widow. The judge finally gave in, saying that he didn’t fear God nor respect anyone, but the widow kept bothering him so he would finally render a just decision “lest she finally come and strike me.”

The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.

Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones

who call out to him day and night?

Will he be slow to answer them?

I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.

But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

My take on it… the parable is telling us that the Lord will make sure justice is quick to those who are faithful and constant, but when the final day comes, will God find any faithful? I sure hope so. Don’t give up or give into the ways of sin, greed, and corruption.

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Well, I just took a short break from writing here because the tornado sirens went off. Scary! I grabbed a big pillow, blanket, flashlight, and cell phone and took cover. I called my sister and talked to her until the sirens stopped. Now, we are just under severe thunderstorm warnings. So far, so good.

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Back to Sunday. After Mass, Helene and I had volunteered to dispense our parish picture directories in the cafeteria. Very nice books. Everyone was impressed. They looked like high school year books. We joked around saying that we should bring our books next Sunday and get autographs and ask friends to sign our books like we did in high school. “Good luck next year.” “2 good 2 B forgotten.” Remember those? They were also passing out the baby banks, where we put in our loose change and cash for a few weeks to support various children’s groups.

I got home in time finish up my pasta salad and divide into containers. I was invited to a friend’s house for a potluck barbecue at 1 o’clock Wow! Lots of great food and even better company.

Then, Helene and I had joined a church group called 60+ that was meeting at 5:30. We didn’t even know such a group existed, but we saw the sign up sheet at the church picnic a couple of weeks ago, and we decided to check it out. The only requirement is being 60 years old or more. Well, we’ve got that covered.

We met at Dave Manders’ gorgeous home in McKinney. There were probably 40 to 50 people there, with so many wonderful folks and delicious food. It was so nice to talk to people that I see every Sunday at church, but never knew their names or get to chat. Then, there were new friends to meet. We were welcomed with open arms.

Father Don was there to give the blessing before we ate, and to join us for fellowship, food, and conversation.

I feel so blessed to be part of such a loving church community. I’ve made so many good friends at St. Gabriel the Archangel, but more importantly, I’ve become even stronger in my Catholic faith. I like this quote below. “Church is who you are. Church is what you do.”