Tag Archives: Faith

Sunday Sermon and Some Spectacular Sunsets

14 Aug

Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible. 

~Mary McLeod Bethune

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This morning, I had the pleasure of attending Mass at at St. Francis Xavier Church in Stillwater, OK. It’s a beautiful old church, and I hear they are nearly finished with construction of an even bigger and more charming church a few miles away.


I love the beautiful stained glass windows, and the alcoves where the candles are.



Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus walking on the sea and calling Peter to walk out towards him.

“Jesus said, ‘Come.’ Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but then noticing the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord,’ he cried, ‘save me!’Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘You have so little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ ”
My take on it…sometimes we get distracted or scared and lose faith that God will take care of us. But, when we call out and ask for help, He will “put out His hand at once” and save us. 

I guess we’re all guilty of losing faith once in a while. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a wonderful family and fine friends, and when I get scared or hurt or discouraged, there is always someone there to reach out with a hand to help me back up. I have helping hands here on earth and “upstairs”, whenever I call out. Lucky me!


Now, my spectacular sunset…


Boomer Lake at sunset. These three shots were taken just minutes apart.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

7 Aug

“The transfiguration of matter occurs through wonder.”~James Hillman
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It was another very warm Sunday. After missing last week’s  greeting at the door because I was at the CRHP retreat, it was wonderful to see a lot of my new CRHP sisters and friends. It was neat to see their families, too. Lots of hugs. 

Today is the Feast of  the Transfiguration Sunday. Today’s Gospel is story of when Jesus appeared to the three disciple and was transfigured. 

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Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light……..

While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 

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My take on it, Jesus wanted to show his disciples something miraculous so they might believe and keep their faith and share His word. We are asked to keep our faith and believe through the teachings of the disciples. Sometimes we can be transfigured and changed through faith alone.

In a way, our retreat last weekend, was kind of a transformation. Very appropriate for today’s Gospel. A nice Sunday.


After Mass, I stopped at Sprouts and bought a whole bunch of vegetables so I could roast them for dinner. I am trying to eat healthier, BUT, I also bought a couple of pounds of chocolate covered peanuts. So much for healthy. I came home, popped in the veggies, and went for a long walk. 


Oh yum! As soon as I post this, I’m eating. 

Have a great Sunday!

Sunday Sermon and Sustenance for the Soul 

31 Jul

“The soul is imbued with a yearning that is carried, like a torch, from incarnation to incarnation. It burns with a curiosity about life and it’s true identity. Souls live, strive, and evolve, driven to seeking the truth about the world and themselves.” 

― Stefan Emunds

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My two day CRHP retreat at St. Gabriel’s this weekend was nothing less than extraordinary. Did I learn anything new about myself during this wonderful experience? No, not really. I already know myself. (The good, the bad, and the ugly.) But, what I did learn was how I, Toni, can become a better me. How I can learn to see the world and other people through different eyes. I learned how total strangers can embrace you and love you, making you feel like a very important person. We are all children of God. He thinks we’re all special. We should do the same.

The common denominator here is faith. This happened to be a Catholic retreat, but I believe that faith, trust in God, no matter what you call Him or where you worship, is the glue or the foundation. A faith that can build a strong soul or heal a heavy heart. 

This morning, we all got up early and attended 7a.m. Mass. Getting over forty women up, dressed, and ready all before 7 is a miracle in itself. But, it happened.

The Gospel for today was about the kingdom of heaven. A person finds a treasure in the field, or the merchant in search of the perfect pearl. They give up or sell everything to obtain it. 

My take on it…once you’ve found something special, that wonderful treasure, don’t let go. Do everything you can to hold on to it. Hold on to your faith, your family, your friends. Those are the treasures on earth, and will also lead to the kingdom of heaven. 

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Gospel MT 13:44-52Jesus said to his disciples:”The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field…..

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All my wonderful experiences of my CRHP retreat are too many to share, but also, it’s kinda like Vegas. What happens at CRHP stays at CRHP. That’s so all the people who haven’t attended yet will have the same great surprises and life changing experiences. 

I made some beautiful new friends this weekend, and I know these new “sisters” will be a part of my life for a long time.


Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom~ Don’t Talk to Strangers ~ NOT

22 Jun

“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.”

~Fyodor Dostoevsky*******************

Back home to McKinney today. My sister took me to O’Hare early this morning to catch my flight to Dallas. No traffic jams, and we arrived in record time, so I had two hours before my flight boarded. I like to get to the airport early so I can 1.Not stress about being late 2.Relax and have some breakfast 3.Talk to strangers and meet new people.


I printed out my boarding pass at the kiosk, tsa approved, so I got through security in just a few minutes, THEN, when I went to get my bag off the rollers, there on the floor, right at my feet, was a lucky penny. (Good sign.)


I walked through the crowds and over to the food court, stopping at McDonald’s. With my brown bag with Golden Arches in hand, I scouted around to see where I would sit. Here’s what I always do at the airport…I look for someone sitting alone, and I go over and say, “Do you mind if I join you?”

I saw a gentleman with an airport employee badge on who just sat down. When I asked to join him, he was more than cordial. I introduced myself, and he said his name was Ray. Ray, a baggage handler, was on his lunch break at 9:30 a.m. I asked how he was doing, and he said tired. He started work at 4 a.m. 

(Ray had his serious selfie face on here, but he mostly had a wonderful smile when we talked.)


Ray and I talked a long time about family, work, Chicago, McKinney, hopes, dreams, faith, and more. It’s amazing how you can get to know a person pretty well in less than an hour. Subtle cues, gestures and words tell a lot about a person. Ray was very polite and called me Mam when I asked to sit down. He stood up to shake hands upon introduction. Before he started eating, he folded his hands and said a prayer before he ate. He smiled and joked and was open and honest when we talked, sharing stories about his life and his family. So, within a short time, I met a man of faith, a caring father, a man who admitted to having a turbulent troubled youth, but now blessed with a good happy life. Conclusion: a good, kind, sincere, hard working, optimistic, honest man of faith.

That’s why I like to talk to strangers. Everyone has an interesting life. Everyone has an interesting story. You’ll never hear that story unless you talk to them. It was a pleasure to meet Ray. We shook hands and said goodbye, wishing the other a good day. I said, “Take care Ray. Maybe I’ll see you next time I visit Chicago.” 


It was a good day, smooth flight, and safe arrival. My friend Karen picked me up at the airport, we stopped for an early dinner, and caught up on the latest news. 

When I got home, I unpacked, which entailed pretty much just throwing all the laundry in the washer. Then, I went for a long needed walk. I talked to a few neighbors on my journey, and caught the evening sunset. The sun was out till well after 8p.m. Because it’s the first day of summer.



It’s good to be home. Happy First Day of Summer!!!

Sunday Sermon and Some More Santa Fe

22 May

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”

~J. M. Barrie

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I had the honor of attending Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe. A beautiful cathedral and lovely service. I especially liked that the hymns were sung both in English and Spanish. 

The sermon was a simple one. My take on it… Just follow the commandments. It doesn’t get easier than that. Even if you don’t particularly believe in a stone tablet that God engraved on a mountain top and gave to Moses, all the principals apply. Honor God, parents, spouses, neighbors, don’t lie, cheat, steal, and treat EVERYONE with respect. Easy peasey. 

The Gospel ends…
Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”



I lit a candle and offered my prayer and petitions. 

After church, the plaza was packed with people on a lovely spring day. There was an antique car show, and entertainment at the bandstand of Folclorico Dancers. Dancers of all ages in colorful costumes. 


Great old cars lined all four streets of the plaza. 

Another fine day in Santa Fe. 

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

10 Apr

“The future is certain. It is just not known.” ― Johnny Rich

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It was a lazy Sunday morning. Poor Mom really wasn’t sure if she wanted to go down for Mass at 10:30. She’s still recovering from a recent fall, and hasn’t been down in six weeks or so. Volunteers from St. Thomas More Parish come every Sunday to officiate the service in the community room. Mom was concerned that her back might start hurting and she wouldn’t want to walk out. I gave her a Tylenol, and said, “It’s Palm Sunday. We can’t miss Palm Sunday.” 

Here’s Mom saying, “No, not another selfie!!!”


We went downstairs and when Mom entered the room, about twenty-five people applauded and welcomed her back.

Mom was glad to be back in her old routine. She always does the Second Reading, and today was no different.

The Gospel today was a long story about Jesus being betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and turned on by his followers. He was sentenced to crucifixion even when the crowd had the choice of releasing Him or the criminal Barabbas. They chose to release the criminal. Jesus, “suffered, died and was buried.” The story continues…

My take on the Gospel…this story is filled with betrayal, lying, suicide, anguish, suffering, and death. Jesus knew this was his destiny and He chose to die for us and our salvation. After so much pain and suffering, He did not go back on His word or promise to His Father.

If we could all be just the tiniest bit as sincere, honest, and brave as this. It’s difficult to keep going after betrayal and cruelty and lying and evil. If faith can help you through your trials, reach into your heart. If friends and family can help you through your pain, reach for their hand. Some things cannot be changed, it’s how YOU choose to live and accept your lot in life is what determines your future. CHOOSE WISELY.



Happy Sunday, my friend.

Sunday Sermon and Some Special Firefighters

3 Apr

“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” 

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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A gloomy rainy dreary Sunday here, but that’s OK. It was a good day to grab an umbrella and go to church, stop at the store, catch up on chores and more. 

I was still outside greeting at the front door when Mass started. The opening hymn was “Change Our Hearts.” I love that song now. The first few times I heard it and sang it over three years ago, tears would come streaming down my face. Now, I smile and sing with a happier heart. 

The Gospel was the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead after he had been dead for four days. 

I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? She said to him, Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world. (Jn 11:25-27) 

Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, said that they believed and had faith that Jesus could perform this miracle, and He did. 

My take on it…a very common theme. If you believe, truly believe and continue to have faith, miracles can happen. Ask me how I know. That’s rhetorical. 

After church, I stopped at the store and scurried home just in time to beat the big storm that roared in. A lazy rainy day.

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Yesterday was a fun sunny day. I had to write my April Fools Day story, so I’m saving my firemen post for today. I’ve been baking my Peep bunny cupcakes for several years, and I always take some to neighbors and my local fire stations. They appreciate the effort, not to mention my wonderful baking skills.

Firefighter Thrasher answered the door at Station 5. He gave me a big smile and invited me back into the kitchen to say hi to the other guys.

My neighbor Diane went with me to Station 2 on our way to lunch. When I went to the front door, no one answered, but the large bay garage door on the side was open, and the fire truck was gone. They must have all been out on a call. Seeing as I was very familiar with the station, we just walked in the back unlocked door by the kitchen. I called out, “Hi, anybody here?” No one answered, so I just left the cupcakes on the counter with a note that just said, “Thanks for all you do.” They all know who brings the blue Peep cupcakes.


It was a good weekend. I hope you had a good one too.