Tag Archives: Sunday sermon

Toni’s Extrovert Diaries ~T.E.D. Talks and Walks and Sunday Sermon

29 Mar

“The difference between an extrovert’s and an introvert’s story is about five hundred words per minute. Ask me how I know?”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


An early morning walk around the neighborhood this morning was a perfect start to my day. I always start my by counting my blessings and not my troubles. A beautiful sky, singing birds, and the lush green growth of Spring add to the count.

My traditional Sunday begins with greeting before 9 o’clock Mass, but today greeting Mother Nature preceded my live streaming view of Mass at St. Gabriel with Father Robert and Father Don. I enjoy following along, reciting the prayers and singing along with the hymns. Plus, I was sitting on the couch with my feet up, no kneeling. (Bad knees.)

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Martha and Mary were sad that Jesus did not come when their brother was ill, but believed that he would rise on the resurrection of the last day. But, Jesus proved with His Father’s power, that Lazarus could rise even after four days in the tomb.

My take on it…. anything is possible with faith.

“Did I not tell you that if you believe

you will see the glory of God?”

So they took away the stone.

And Jesus raised his eyes and said,

“Father, I thank you for hearing me.

I know that you always hear me;

but because of the crowd here I have said this,

that they may believe that you sent me.”

And when he had said this,

He cried out in a loud voice,

“Lazarus, come out!”

The dead man came out,

tied hand and foot with burial bands,

and his face was wrapped in a cloth.

So Jesus said to them,

“Untie him and let him go.”

But, this Extrovert missed the stopping at McDonald’s with friends after church, then picking up a few groceries at the store, and maybe a stop to visit a friend or two.

I’ve been trying to make some calls to old friends and family that I haven’t talked to in a while. Here’s a good tip. Make a list of people you miss, but always forget to call. Then, call one or two every day. That’s a VERY long list for extroverts who have a lot of friends. Life is short, my friends. Tell people you love them.

I’m still watching a lot of Hallmark, BUT I’ve been recording some movies to watch when I overdose on schmaltzy Hallmark movies. Today, I’m binge watching STAR WARS movies. It’s like Hallmark but with light sabers.

A few more afternoon and evening walks, a few more chirping birds, and another slow “sheltering in place” Sunday.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

23 Mar

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

~ Mark Twain


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


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.


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


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.)


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, Special Friends, and a Sunset

2 Mar

“The greatest temptations are not those that solicit our consent to obvious sin, but those that offer us great evils masking as the greatest goods.”

― Thomas Merton


It was a cloudy blustery Sunday morning. The winds were so strong, while I greeted and held the door before Mass, that most parishioners had a tail wind that shoved them in the door. I had a heck of a time holding that huge heavy metal door open. But, who knows, my biceps may be getting pumped.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus fasting in the desert for forty days, where he was tempted and taunted by the devil. The devil taunted Him saying if He was truly the son of God, He should turn the stones into bread, or that He should throw Himself from the tower and call the angels to save Him. Finally…

Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain,

and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,

and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you,

if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”

At this, Jesus said to him,

“Get away, Satan!

It is written:

The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.”

Then the devil left him and, behold,

angels came and ministered to him.

My take on it… the devil or evil, or whatever forces that are out there, will constantly bombard us with very tempting offers. The weak and greedy and ignorant will succumb to these temptations. Yes, it isn’t easy, and one must be very strong and faithful to resist. Sometimes we just have to say, “Get away, Satan,” as Jesus did. It may also be necessary to distance yourself from people or friends who try and drag you into the devil’s evil web. I learned and witnessed from experience how people who do evil and disgusting things try to coerce and tempt others into joining them. Misery loves company and so does evil.


On a cheerier note, 🎼, I am very blessed to have the greatest, most honest, loving, and caring friends. The only thing they tempt me with is chocolate candy, ice cream or an occasional chocolate chip cookie. After Mass, Helene, Jerry and I stopped for coffee at McD’s, as we do every Sunday. Helene and I stopped at Tom Thumb to pick up a few sale items for Holy Family School.

Speaking of Holy Family School, last week, my good friends Joni and Bob gave me a very generous check to donate to the wonderful non-profit Christian pre-school on the east side of McKinney. Miss Sondra was so appreciative and said the teachers would be able to purchase some much needed supplies for the young children.

Thank you, Bob and Joni.

I am so blessed and inspired by my many kind and generous friends. These are the people I surround myself with. These are the people that inspire me and make me a better person by their example.

Now, for a beautiful sunset…

Sunday Sermon and a Sunrise

24 Feb

“If you slap my face, I will turn the other cheek. If you slap me again, you better run like hell. Just sayin’.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I took Bella for an early morning walk this morning before church. I love my sunsets, but sometimes the early morning sunrise is just breathtaking. Look!

So many hugs, smiles, and handshakes before Mass. That’s why I love greeting at the door. It just brightens my day, and energizes my spirit.

Today’s Gospel was a tough one for me…

Gospel, Matthew 5:38-48

38 ‘You have heard how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.

39 But I say this to you: offer no resistance to the wicked. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well;

40 if someone wishes to go to law with you to get your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

41 And if anyone requires you to go one mile, go two miles with him.

42 Give to anyone who asks you, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.

43 ‘You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbour and hate your enemy.

44 But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you;………..


My take on it… I do believe in turning the other cheek, but how many times? I think turning the other cheek is more of a way of standing your ground and not backing down. Turn your cheek once and you have proven your point. If you get slapped again, then your assailant has proven his point. I don’t believe even God wants us to be physically, mentally, or verbally abused. I do pray for my enemies and those who have harmed me, but I pray that they may find their way, stop their evil ways, and bring peace to their soul.

After Mass, I stopped for coffee with Mary. We greet together every Sunday, but we don’t get to visit and chat that often, so it was good to catch up. Before we knew it, two hours had slipped away and her husband texted that they were supposed to be at a meeting at 12:30. It was 12:29. Uh oh! We left in a hurry. When I got to my car and opened the door, guess what was sitting there right on the ground next to my car? Yep, a lucky penny. Right there, waiting for me.

By now it was gloomy and drizzly, so when I got home, I put up my hood and took Bella out for another walk. Did I mention she loves her walks?

I was meeting Zelda later at Olive Garden for an early dinner at 4. By the time 4 rolled around, I was starving. Did I mention that Miss Toni loves Olive Garden. A wonderful dinner and visit with my good friend Zelda.

By the time I got home, it was starting to get dark, so it was time for… yep… you guessed it, another walk in the park with Bella.

I made a few phone calls, catching up with friends, but no FaceTime with the grandkids today. We did that yesterday. Now, writing about my day, and another lovely Sunday. Another day to count my blessings, and thank God that I didn’t have to turn the other cheek. I’m not in the mood.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

10 Feb

“What is life worth without trials and tribulations which are the salt of life.”

~Mahatma Gandhi


A dreary drizzly Sunday morning. I let Bella out the back door while I put food in her dog dish. She came in a few seconds later, but refused to eat. She is spoiled and wants me to take her for a walk first thing in the morning. She sat with her back to me, refusing to eat her breakfast, until I got dressed and took her for a walk. The cold shoulder…

We went for a drizzly walk, she did her business, and she came in and gobbled up her breakfast while I got ready for church.

Sunday is my favorite day. I get to greet at the door before Mass, hugs, hand shakes, smiles, prayers, singing, cute babies, beautiful families, all coming together to worship. It reinforces my faith in humanity when sometimes the world appears dark and things might look bleak. Thus, a beautiful Sunday morning.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus comparing his disciples to the salt of the earth.


MT 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

My take on it… it is our responsibility, just as it was for the disciples, to teach by example. Be the salt, and the strength. Be the light to guide the way. Deeds speak louder than words.


After Mass, Mr. Jerry and I stopped for coffee. Helene didn’t make it, as she was at the airport with family. She was missed.

Afterwards, I stopped at three different stores because each had cool sales that I needed to take advantage of. This was a little challenging because I still have my rental car while my car is in the shop for repair. (Another long story for another day.) Every time I walked out with my shopping cart, I had to say, “What does my car look like again? Where did I park?” Do you know how many little white cars are in the parking lot? By the time I got home, Bella was ready for another walk. Have I spoiled her? Yes! But, I enjoy the walks as much as she does. I just put up my hood, and off we go.

The groceries got put away, then I made my Sunday phone calls. I put up my feet after I made a big cup of hot tea, and proceeded to make my calls.

Of course, my favorite call is my Sunday night FaceTime with the grand daughters. They are so adorable and growing every day. I sure do miss them.

Happy Sunday, my friends.