Tag Archives: Sunday sermon

Sunday Sermon and Arts In Bloom on the Square

15 Apr

“Only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believes.”

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Saturday was a completely miserable rainy dreary washout kinda day. Today, nothing but crystal blue skies, sunshine and beautiful weather. What a difference a day makes.

It was a pleasure to greet before Mass today. Mr. Jerry was back from his trip to Israel, so he and Helene saved my seat, on this solemn Palm Sunday. Today’s Gospel reading was the long story that began with the Last Supper and continued through all the tragic passions, betrayal, trials and ending in the crucifixion and death of Jesus. I’ve heard this Gospel a million times, but I always get misty at the end.

The part that really spoke to me was when Jesus was praying alone at the Mount of Olives and He asked…

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.”

My take on it… sometimes we are given a heavy burden to carry, and often the cross we are asked to carry seems unbearable. Even Jesus asked God the Father for a reprieve, but He said “your will be done.” He was obedient to His Father’s will. God gives us the strength to get through our suffering. It’s ok to question, just keep the faith.

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After Mass, a quick stop for coffee at McDonald’s to hear about Jerry’s awesome trip, and an even quicker stop at the store for one loaf of bread, I scurried home. I walked the dog, talked to my friend Debbie in Chicago on the phone, then headed off to meet Helene at Arts In Bloom on the Square. The three day festival was great Friday and a huge rainy disaster Saturday, but today it was perfect.

Talented artists and friends we visited today. Some wonderful creative artwork.

My talented friend, Gary Williamson, is a fantastic paper sculpture artist.

Then, Helene and I stopped at The Cove, where the amazing potters had been building, throwing, and firing and demonstrating all weekend.

I visited with Flat Minda and Flat Alex, too.

Watch this cool, actually, smoking hot video of emptying the kiln.

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

Then, to finish off a great day, Helene and I stopped at Taqueria Hernandez for my favorite… gorditas.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

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.

Sunday Sermon and Some Really Cool Stuff

1 Apr

“Sometimes my days are filled with so much cool stuff and fun activities that it’s almost impossible to recount it all.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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It was pretty darn chilly this morning. I almost wore my sock monkey hat to church, but I’m going for a more sophisticated image at our beautiful new church. (Let’s see how long that lasts.)

My favorite part of Sunday morning is greeting at the door before 9 am Mass, sharing hugs and smiles, and seeing my little friends that anxiously wait to see what little treasure my pocket holds.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus bringing sight to the man who had been blind since birth, a miracle that He performed on the Sabbath and was ridiculed for. The blind man insisted that only someone sent from God could do such a thing. The Pharisees did not believe and threw the blind man out.

Jesus said: “It is for judgement that I have come into this world, so that those without sight may see and those with sight may become blind.”

My take on it… We all have the opportunity to have faith in God and believe in a greater power. It is our choice to see and believe in miracles. Those who have all the money, status, and opportunities in life may never see what’s right before their eyes. Those are the ones who are truly blind.

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Now, for more Sunday fun. I got a last minute text from my dear friend Sherri Murphy asking if I’d like to go to a play this afternoon. Well, SURE! I had just enough time to get home, and walk the dog before she was at my door. She had two tickets for the play, “The Dixie Swim Club” over in Grapevine.

We had a little time before the play started, so we walked around the quaint downtown district.

The play at the Runway Theatre was just hilarious. Sherri’s good friend, Laura Sosnowski, played the ever vivacious serial divorcé Lexie, that kept everyone in stitches. The five friends from their college swim club days meet every August for a girlfriend getaway throughout all the many years and stages of their lives. We just giggled out loud the entire time. And what made it even more hilarious was it was so true to life, and we could all relate to the outrageously silly people and antics of friends and family.

Laura and the cast came out and visited with folks after the play ended.

Then, to make a great day even greater, Sherri and I stopped for dinner at Ernesto’s and we had margaritas and Mexican food. Life doesn’t get better than that, mi amigos.

THE END….

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

17 Mar

“White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background.”

Jan Tschichold

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A beautiful sunny Sunday, perhaps a bit chilly, but no wind. That always makes for a fine day. Mary and I greeted before Mass and chatted between saying good morning and hugging friendly faces. Next week is our big Church Opening Celebration, so everyone is excited about that.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus up on the mountain, being transformed into a glowing light, speaking with Moses and Elijah and a cloud appeared. They entered the cloud…

35And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” 36And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

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The homily was very interesting. The topic was white space, and how we think of the white space or empty space around the focal point as not being important. But often, the empty space, or negative space, is just as influential as the positive space.

My take on it… just like in a painting or any artwork or just in life in general, the positive and negative elements are as equally important and vital to the whole. They go hand-in-hand. In a painting, if it the entire canvas is filled with busy activity and color, with no place for the eye to rest or focus, it’s not pleasing. I guess that’s true in our lives. Without the negative or the empty spaces, how do we see or feel the positive? Something to think about.

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On a less philosophical note, 🎶, Miss Pat invited a few of us to her place for a fabulous St. Patrick’s Day feast of corned beef and cabbage and all the fixins. She cooked and baked enough for a small army, and everyone went home with some leftovers.

Miss Pat also sent me home with an entire banana cream pie, cookies, bread, and potatoes to drop off for my friends at Fire Station 9. It was greatly appreciated.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all. 🍀

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

10 Mar

“Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour … If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?”

― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

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Well, that beautiful sunny Saturday dribbled into a gloomy grey Sunday. And, don’t even get me started about the time change, and Daylight Saving Time. It didn’t save anyone anything. That 7 am alarm was not very welcoming. But, off I went to church and greeting at the door before Mass. I even took a selfie. See that big ol’ heavy door? I’m going to have muscular arms pretty soon.

My adorable little friend Avery was thrilled to receive a little white stuffed bear. That smile could melt any heart.

Little Liam always checks to see which pocket I have his Matchbox car in, and after a quick hug, he scampers off.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus in the desert without food for forty days and nights. The devil came to tempt Him and taunt Him, mocking Him, saying if He was the Son of God, He should turn the nearby stone into a loaf of bread. Jesus replied with the memorable “Man does not live on bread alone.”

Then, the devil showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said if Jesus would pay him homage, he would give them all to Jesus. But Jesus answered him, “Scripture says: You must do homage to the Lord your God, him alone you must serve.”

Finally, the devil took Him to a high parapet of the temple, and taunted Jesus, saying that if He really was the Son of God, He should throw Himself down, and the angels would protect Him and carry Him up. But Jesus answered him, “Scripture says: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” The devil finally left in defeat.

My take on it… we are all tempted to do wrong now and then. Sometimes the devil whispers in your ear, or sometimes that supposed friend whispers in your ear, and you are tempted to do things that you know are terribly wrong. The strongest evils and temptations that are resisted and thwarted are the building blocks of your character, virtue, and your morals. Remember, just like the devil, there are people out there that try to bring you down to their level, drag you into the gutter with them. Misery loves company, and so does the devil. Be strong.

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After Mass, I stopped for coffee at McDonald’s with Mr. Jerry. I can always make him laugh with all my silly ramblings. Especially when I get up and scoot next to him saying, “Selfie-time!” He thinks I’m a nut, but that’s ok. I am.

I stopped at the store for a couple of things, and I was SOOO proud of myself. I only bought 3 things. It’s a miracle! Bread and turkey to make sandwiches for the dance tomorrow, and grape juice, just because I heard it was good for you. (No added sugar or junk) I resisted buying a cartloads of stuff. I avoided temptation. I wonder if it was today’s Gospel and Sermon? 😇🤷‍♀️

Happy Sunday!!!!!

Sunday Sermon and Special Friends and Family

4 Mar

“No beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart.”

~Shanina Shaik

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It was SO cold this morning! How cold was it? It was so cold that my sock monkey hat had a frozen banana for breakfast. (Just kidding) I was alone greeting before Mass this morning. As I held the huge heavy door of the new church open for people, everyone commented, “You must be freezing!” I just replied, “I’m from Chicago. I’m tough. This is a piece of cake.”

Today’s Gospel asked the question, can the blind lead the blind? Can a bad tree bear good fruit, etc.?

My take on it… you reap what you sow. If you fill your heart with evil and hate or associate with bad people, that is who you become. On the other hand, if you fill your heart with goodness and love, and associate with good, kind, loving people, that is who you become. I have been blessed with the kindest most loving family and friends. My heart is full with the best of the best.

Gospel, Luke 6:39-45

39 He also told them a parable, ‘Can one blind person guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit?

40 Disciple is not superior to teacher; but fully trained disciple will be like teacher…….

45 Good people draw what is good from the store of goodness in their hearts; bad people draw what is bad from the store of badness. For the words of the mouth flow out of what fills the heart.

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After Mass, I stopped for coffee with Mr. Jerry at McDonald’s. I don’t drink coffee and usually get an iced tea, but today it was a large hot chocolate.

I stopped at Sprouts to pick up a few things. Avocados were on sale 3 for $1!!!! Wow! I bought 9. Don’t judge me…I love avocados and you can freeze them, but I usually don’t get that far. Cucumbers 3 for $1 too. Be still heart.

Then at 12:30, I met Miss Pat (the cookie lady) and Miss Loretta for lunch at Braum’s. It was a quick 3 1/2 hour lunch. What can I say? We had a lot to catch up on, as we hadn’t seen each other in over a week.

Of course, Miss Pat had a big plate of cookies for each of us to take home. I didn’t get that far. I ate a cookie in my car on the way home. A girl’s gotta have a little dessert after lunch.

So, it was a fine Sunday. Of course, the highlight of my evening is when I get that call that asks if I want to FaceTime with the grandchildren. ❤️❤️

Truly blessed. I hope your heart is filled with love, kindness, goodness and that you are blessed with a wonderful family and loving friends.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff~ Forgiveness

24 Feb

“Turning the other cheek isn’t submissive. It’s defiant.”

Roy H. Williams

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A glorious sunny day for my first Mass in our new St. Gabriel the Archangel church. Mary and I were positioned at the huge heavy doors on the right, and others were at the doors on the left. Interesting observation… although everyone walked up the center stairs, the majority of people entered on the right side. I momentarily flattered myself by thinking that it was because people wanted to say good morning to me and Mary. Then, it occurred to me that people are creatures of habit, and mostly right handed and right brained, thus entering on the right. Well, so much for flattery.

The huge heavy wooden doors were difficult to keep opening and closing. Mary joked and said that she and I would need to alternate pulling the doors open so as to strengthen both sides of our biceps, because we were getting a workout. I feel stronger already.

The service was beautiful and the bishop and several guest priests joined in officiating.

Today’s Gospel was the old familiar “turn the other cheek” story. Gosh, that’s a tough one, isn’t it? It goes on to tell us to love our enemies, forgive our debtors and those who have hurt us, be compassionate to all and do not judge, and treat others as you would like people to treat you.

Gospel, Luke 6:27-38

27 ‘But I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly.

29 To anyone who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek as well; to anyone who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic…

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My take on it… as the quote says…

“Turning the other cheek isn’t submissive. It’s defiant.”

Roy H. Williams

I think you can turn the other cheek in defiance, BUT in my humble personal opinion, you can only turn your cheek so many times until it turns into abuse and cruelty. I don’t believe God wants anyone to be abused. Yes, stand up and show your strength by not flinching at the first slap, but then it’s time to walk away.

Yes, pray for your enemies and those who hurt you, but you don’t have to be a punching bag. You can loan money and be generous and forgive the debt, but you don’t have to let people rob you at gun point and say, “Thanks, anything else I can do for you?”

Now, here’s the part I have been struggling with for a LONG time…FORGIVE and you will be forgiven. I honestly pray for those who have hurt me, and I try to be kind and generous at all times, but to forgive everyone for anything?

We’ve had this discussion in our support group at church and I generally get a sideways look when we discuss forgiveness. When someone says God forgives everyone of all their sins no matter what, then I have to disagree. I do believe if you are sincerely sorry for something you have done, then God will forgive, and so would I. But, you can’t murder, steal, lie, cheat, betray, stab people in the back and harm others without remorse, and just spit in God’s face and expect all to be forgiven. Nope! Otherwise, why bother having commandments or rules or morals. Just take what you want and do as you please, all is forgiven. Who cares? Everyone goes to heaven, open doors, murder away. No, no, no! (You can tell this is a sore subject with me.) Sincere remorse or regret and asking for forgiveness is necessary. (Just my opinion.)

I’d love to hear your view or comments on the subject. Feel free to say what you think or blast me out of the water. “I’ll turn the other cheek.”