Tag Archives: Faith

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.”

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.