Tag Archives: Faith

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

11 Aug

“What we spend, we lose. What we keep will be left for others. What we give away will be ours forever.”

― David McGee

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A beautiful, yet steamy Sunday morning. It’s going to be pretty darn hot all week. It was nice to be back greeting at the door before Mass. All my little children, “the usual suspects” were there today. I gave away three matchbox cars and a little stuffed doggie, and a lot of hugs were exchanged.

Today’s Gospel according to Luke was about living this life in preparation for the next. Sell your possessions and share with those in need.

“For wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart will be too.”

Be vigilant, like the servants waiting for their master to return.

“Blessed those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. In truth I tell you, he will do up his belt, sit them down at table and wait on them.”

My take on it… This life is just a preparation for the next, a testing ground, so to speak. We aren’t sure how long we have on this earthly planet, but we should make the most of it. Not just for ourselves, but for all of those around us.

Haven’t you felt that wonderful warmth in your heart when you do something nice for a friend or neighbor, or a random act of kindness for a stranger? That’s a wonderful feeling. The more you give away, the more you receive. It’s not a one time deal, or an occasional act, it’s should be a way of living.

I’m sure you are all feeling the aftershocks of the tragedies going on in our world right now. Instead of condemning and blaming, let’s rally together and support and help one another. Baby steps… one step at a time. We are all one family.

After church, I stopped at McDonald’s as I usually do with friends, but this morning, the usual friends weren’t there. So, I sat alone a while, drank my iced tea, looked at the church bulletin and did my traditional people watching. Being a writer with an active imagination, I always imagine who these strangers are and what their lives are like. Everyone has a story. I make up stories in my head about these folks, just from their mannerisms or who they are with or what they are wearing or eating. It’s a fun pastime.

The rest of my day has been very quiet. It’s too hot out to do anything outside or go for a walk. I miss my walks. But, tomorrow is the dance at 1 and Creative Community in the evening, so I’ll get some baking and running around in. Well, no actual running. It’s too darn hot. Google says it’s 98 degrees now. Yikes!

Friday:) Friends, Faith, Fiery Skies, and My Firemen

13 Jul

“I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you’re grateful, you’ll see God open up new doors.”

~Joel Osteen

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Friday again! How did that happen? Where do the days go? I left the house this morning around 11:20 to go to Zumba at theYMCA and didn’t get home till after 6pm. After Zumba, I rode the redundant bike for a couple of miles. (One time Mom called it the redundant bike, and I can’t get that funny name out of my head. So funny and appropriately named.) Then, I met Helene at Palio’s for lunch and had a nice long lunch and visit.

Miss Pat had called me during lunch and had a computer question, so I stopped at her place to see if I could help. It was an easy fix. Plus, I had some butter and eggs to give her for her massive cookie baking war chest. Another nice visit. By now, it was after 4pm and I still needed to stop and water plants for my vacationing friend, then over to Walmart to buy a 12 volt battery that I needed to replace at home.

I was driving down Stonebridge drive when I remembered that St. Gabriel has all day Adoration on Thursday and Friday. I stopped into the sanctuary for a quiet prayer before going to the chapel for Adoration. I love this alone private time when I’m the only one there.

There were several people in the back chapel for Adoration with the Eucharist on display. I closed my eyes and said a rosary. It’s been a while since I’ve said the rosary. I keep a one decade rosary in my purse at all times. You never know when you need one, right?

Scooting to Walmart was my next stop. It wasn’t too crowded. I was sad to see that the back to school supplies were already out. Come on, it’s July! Scouring the shelves for my 12 volt battery had me asking a nearby clerk stocking the shelves where they were. They don’t carry them. 😔 Unfortunately, I found a lot of other things that I didn’t need, filling my cart to the brim.

I went to the check out lines where they only had two real live people checking, and the lines were long with loaded up carts. The rest of the lanes were self check-out only. I hate to use them because it seems like those dang machines are putting people out of work. They used to have at least eight cashiers at all times, now only two. Where are those other six people? Out of work! That’s where they are, and those folks didn’t make all that much to begin with. But, I didn’t want to wait an hour in line, so I went to the self check-out,

Who was in front of me scanning a zillion items under the bar code reader but my dear friend Sherry Joplin? I would have taken a selfie, but she was fuming mad at Walmart. She had put all her MANY items on the counter after waiting in a long line with a cashier, then I think something happened, and she had to put all her stuff back in the cart and go to self check-out. She had just gotten back from vacation and had to stock up. She was flustered. After a few mumbled possible expletives, we hugged. We chatted a few minutes about her fun vacation and grand babies and such. Then she said, “Thanks for calming me down.” Which is funny because Sherry is the most laid-back, mild mannered sweetie pie in the world.

So, a busy fun day. I went for a walk later before the sun went down. I love the sunsets. Look at this great sunset. I stopped at Mr. Mike’s to walk Bella and ask him about my 12 volt battery. He ordered me one from Amazon. He has Prime and it will be here tomorrow. Cool!

Now for my firemen. I did a lot of baking this week, so I was able to stop at three different stations with my famous candy bar brownies.

Happy Friday, My friends.

Sunday Sermon, Some Lemonade, and Smiles

24 Jun

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade and set up a lemonade stand. Make it count.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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A sizzling steamy Sunday, but the impending rain held off. It’s always wonderful greeting at the door before Mass, with lots of smiles and hugs.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus talking to the crowds and healing the sick. When it started to get late, the Apostles suggested that they send the five thousand people away because the crowds were hungry after a long day. Jesus said that they should be fed, but only five loaves and two fish were available.

16 “Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven, and said the blessing over them; then he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute among the crowd.

17 They all ate as much as they wanted, and when the scraps left over were collected they filled twelve baskets.”

My take on it…sometimes you think there isn’t enough or things couldn’t possibly work out. With a little faith and a lot of determination, not only is anything possible, but sometimes the outcome is better than you could have ever imagined.

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After Mass, I stopped for coffee with Miss Mary. We barely get to talk while greeting at the door, so we had a lot of catching up to do. Then, a quick stop at the grocery store.

On my way home, I saw a lemonade stand by the entrance of my neighborhood. I remembered seeing it advertised on our neighborhood Nextdoor app. The children were raising money for Scottish Rite Hospital. I stopped by and just made a donation. I said I really didn’t need any lemonade, but maybe if a couple kids passed by later with no money, perhaps they could offer them a glass of lemonade. Pay it forward.

Storms are expected tonight…again, so I changed clothes and went for a walk. Wow, it was still hot out there. The heat index was around 105.

The best part of my Sunday is always my FaceTime with my adorable grandchildren. Sophie was already in her crib, so Belle kept me well entertained with stories of her two socks and daddy has two socks and mommy has no socks. She went to the park and went on the swing. Isn’t it funny how those trivial stories are so adorable? I love that little face. She looks so much like my angel mother.

Ah, the skies just opened up and I can hear the rain pelting down on the roof. The Directv is scrambled and sputtering, as usual. Oh well. Here we go again.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

27 May

“Find peace in the space berween the ideal and reality.”

― Mary Jo Tate

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It’s good to be home and back into my old monotonous wonderful routine. Memphis was great, but ” there’s no place like home.” Sunday morning greeting at the door before Mass is always a highlight. I saw the Chateau bus round the corner with my senior friends, so I scurried down the long hall to the far side door to greet them as they got off their bus. I got to hug them all and they smiled like they won the lottery. It was grand. Then, back to my front door greeting with Mary and Ron, and more hugs and welcoming smiles. A beautiful sultry spring morning.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus relating to the apostles that the Holy Spirit would be sent from the Father to bring comfort and peace.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

Not as the world gives do I give it to you.

Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

My take on it…if you are a good person and you follow the teachings of the Lord, you will find peace of heart and spirit. Some might find this through meditation or contemplation, but to me, that’s what prayer is. It’s finding an inner peace and quiet content spirit. It’s gotta come from somewhere. Is it that invisible intangible thing called your soul? Me thinks it is.

After Mass, I stopped to shake hands with Father Robert and to say thank you. I also asked if he would be so kind as to bless the St. Jude medals that I had purchased at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Saint Jude, sometimes known as Saint Jude Thaddeus, was one of the original apostles of Christ, a brother of Saint James the Less. He was known for preaching the gospel in particularly difficult circumstances. As such, he became the patron saint of “hopeless cases, and things almost despaired of.”

I remember my sweet mother praying very often to St. Jude. I guess we had a few lost causes and hopeless cases here and there. Mom was my go-to prayer warrior, and you know what? She always came through when I asked her to pray for a special intention. She would say, “I’m always tugging on God’s toga. He gets tired of me pestering Him, so He answers my prayers.”

It was a good Sunday and a good day to be me. Happy Sunday, my friends.

This statue of St. Jude guards the gardens behind the chapel at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Now, that’s a great story about God sending a sign and Danny Thomas answering the call.

Theme Song Thursday:) Broken Wings

2 May

“Take these broken wings and learn to fly.”

Paul McCartney

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When I was walking the other day, I saw a butterfly fluttering around the grass, hovering low. I reached down and she jumped up onto my hand. I lifted her up and saw a broken wing. We communicated a while, (yes, I speak fluent butterfly) and I could empathize with her situation. After our little talk, I put her down safely under a shady tree, hoping she would be safe and perhaps rest, mend and soon be able to fly away.

There was a time when I felt my wings were broken, so I could definitely relate. But, I had great faith and a wonderful family and amazing friends to hold me while my wings mended. THANK YOU!

GOD’S STRONG SAFE HANDS

You just found me there, with my broken wings

And a broken heart, among other things.

Then you picked me up in your strong safe hands

Giving only love, making no demands.

You wiped away the tears

Whenever I would cry

You always held me close

You never questioned why.

You kept me safe from harm

When nights were dark and long

You cared  for all my needs

Until my wings were strong.

Now you look at me, with my mended wings

And a joyous heart, among other things.

Then you set me free, with your open hands

Now the choice is mine, there are no demands.

So very scared at first

Much to afraid to try

I asked, “What if I fall?”

You said,”What if you fly?”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

Watch this video…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ_TN1zmPW0

Sunday Sermon and Very Special Grand-babies

8 Apr

“She loved them so much that she felt a kind of hollowness on the inner surface of her arms whenever she looked at them- an ache of longing to pull them close and hold them tight against her.”

― Anne Tyler

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Wow! Anne Tyler got that quote right.

Another Sunday, another overcast and dreary day. But, as always, a good day greeting before Mass, hugs and handshakes, and dispensing little toys to a few little friends at the door.

The Gospel today was the story of Jesus bringing Lazarus back to life after being dead for four days. The sisters, Mary and Martha, had faith in Jesus even though their brother was dead.

40 Jesus replied, ‘Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?’

My take on it… the early followers of Jesus came to believe His divine powers and infinite love by His many miracles and teachings. Sometimes it’s difficult to believe in something we can’t see, but if you have faith and trust, then you will see clearly. If you think about it, when we are little babies, we have to trust that we will be loved and nourished and taken care of. When a loving mother holds her newborn baby in her arms, she would sacrifice anything for that child. That’s how God must feel when He looks at His children.

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After Mass, I stopped at McDonald’s all by myself. I didn’t have a friend to stop and have coffee with, so I decided that I kinda like my own company, so I treated myself to a large iced tea. I sat and read my bulletin and just people watched a while.

I stopped at Tom Thumb to pick up a few things. Oh no, another sale. I bought more cake and brownie mixes and canned pie filling. Miss Suzy, the checkout lady, asked if I planned on doing a lot of baking. I told her that I do bake a lot, but I always double my recipes so I can take some to my friends at the fire station. I had to laugh when she told me, “There’s this sweet lady that comes in here all the time and buys a lot of baking supplies too. I call her the cookie lady because sometimes she brings me cookies.” Ha! I said, “That’s my friend, Miss Pat. Everyone calls her the cookie lady. She bakes cookies for everyone.” Small world.

When I got home, Helene texted asking if I had plans for the afternoon. We met for a long lunch at Panera. When I got home, Joe texted to see if I wanted to FaceTime with my grand-daughters. Yay! I wasn’t expecting another call because we did FaceTime yesterday when Uncle Matt was visiting. My little girls are getting so big. Thank goodness for technology.

I FaceTime and talk on my iPad and take pictures and videos of what’s on the iPad with my iPhone. Pretty good for an old grandma. I love my little girls.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CPL81vBv1E

She loves her singing penguin and plays it all the time. Some crazy old grandma got that for her at Christmas. Drives Mom and Dad crazy. (That’s what grandmas are for, right?)

She was putting on her pretend eye makeup and said, “Now Gamma?” So I put my face up close to the camera and she put pretend eye makeup on my image on the phone. Such a beautiful imagination.

Sundays are so special. I hope yours was great too. Happy Sunday, my friends.

Thursday:) This is Worth Repeating

21 Feb

“A beautiful story must be shared over and over again.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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When I checked my Facebook page this morning, this memory from last year came up. Everyone I share this story with gets goosebumps when they hear it. So, I’m sharing it again today. It’s beautiful. Only angels can send these signs…

Pennies From Heaven:) A True Story About An Angel

22

FEB

If you don’t believe in angels

I’m here to say it’s true

There are angels up in heaven

They’re watching over you,

So, I asked my angel mother

I whispered in her ear

When you get up there in heaven

Please show us you are near.

If only you could send a sign

As only angels can

We will know you’re safe in heaven

And that you have a plan.

To watch and guard us every day

You’ll guide us from above

So, you left two lucky pennies

Beneath your painting, signed with love.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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This is a true story of faith and love and angels. As my sweet mother grew weaker and less alert, my sister and I would talk to her and sing to her. I prayed the rosary out loud to comfort Mom during her final days. One of the last things I whispered in her ear was, “Please Mom, when you get up to heaven, could you show us a sign that you’re OK, that there really is a heaven? I know if anyone could do it, you could. I know you’ll always be my guardian angel.”

We’ve done a lot of crying since Mom passed away last week, but today, the crying was a celebration. Mom left us a sign. Those of you who know me, you already know that I believe in lucky pennies. They always appear out of nowhere when I need them most. I always look up to heaven and say, “Thank you.”

This afternoon, my sister and I went out for some lunch. We’ve spent days and days sorting and reminiscing and making arrangements and crying, It’s been a whirlwind, so it was good to get out of the house for a little while. My sister said, “Let’s go to the library so I can vote. They have early voting, and we can return Mom’s audio-books.”

Well, early voting hadn’t started yet, so we just returned the books and got a bit teary-eyed, because Mom loved the library and all the people. She had donated her very large “Cinco de Mayo” painting to the library several years ago. It takes up an entire wall on the second floor. When I asked my sister if she needed any books or videos while we were there, she said, “Not really, let’s just go home.” Then I said, “Should we go upstairs and see Mom’s mural before we go?” Of course, we needed to do that.

The elevator opened and we walked ever so slowly towards the mural.

There on the bench, right beneath her painting, were two lucky pennies from heaven. We both burst into tears as I blurted out, “Here’s our sign. I asked Mom to send us a sign. Here it is! Two pennies, not just one. What are the chances that they would be here waiting for us today, right beneath her painting?”

I hadn’t told my sister the story about asking Mom to send us a sign right before she passed away, until that moment. If she didn’t believe in angels before, I’m pretty sure she does now. We both knew Mom was an angel here on earth, but now, we both know that she’s up in heaven. She gave us a sign.

Thanks Mom.

What does “Pennies from Heaven” mean?

You might have come across this phrase “pennies from heaven?” It’s meaning is not as simple as it sounds. Thinking about it just means pennies being tossed down from the heaven, which has no significant meaning. But, let me enlighten you about the true meaning of this phrase. Pennies from heaven indicate the occasion when angels miss you and therefore, toss down a penny from the heaven that you receive. That penny signifies the fact that some angel in heaven is missing you and therefore wants to communicate with you.

Spiritual meaning of finding pennies

We all are aware of the fact that numbers are attached with a significant spiritual meaning but, have you ever wondered that pennies might have spiritual meaning attached to them too? If not, you will know soon.

The spiritual meaning of finding pennies from heaven is that there is more to this world than what meets the eye. It is a sign from the Heaven and our loved ones who have passed away. The sign indicates that there is magic in the world we live in, and those that have passed away are watching over us in a spiritual way; it’s their way of showing love and reminding you that they still are a part of your life.

(From Blog of the Angels)

Tags: Angels, everyday life, miracles, pennies from heaven, Poetry, quotes, true story