Tag Archives: Sunday sermon

Sunday Sermon, Sales and Other Stuff

24 Apr

“We can’t see the air, yet we still breathe. We can’t see love, yet we still love. We can’t see God, yet we believe.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.” ― Paul Tillich

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A very chilly morning. I was very tempted to wear my sock monkey hat to church, just one last time, but changed my mind. It was good to be back greeting at 9 o’clock Mass with Mary. Today is Divine Mercy Sunday.

The Gospel was the story of Jesus appearing to the apostles. Thomas was not there and said unless he saw the wounds and put his hands there, he could not be sure that Jesus resurrected and returned. Jesus then appeared again and told Thomas to put his hands in His wounds so he might believe, then said…

“You have come to believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (Jn 20:29)

My take on it…you have to have faith and believe and trust in things that you may not see. We can’t see air, yet we breathe. We can’t see love, yet we still love. We can’t see God, yet we believe. Some need proof and others just believe.

Being Divine Mercy Sunday, I went to the Novena and Chaplet at 3 p.m. The theme of this day is forgiveness and mercy, asking for and giving forgiveness. I still need A LOT of help in that regard, so I decided to attend. The quiet prayers and solemn songs were motivational. 


After church, I went to Sprouts and had a field day with all the great sales, fruit and vegetables, and my favorite, dark chocolate covered pecans, only $5.99 a pound. Does anyone else get excited about red peppers, 3 for $1? 


I put away my  exciting groceries, then went for a long walk, bumping into neighbors, chatting here and there, and not landing at my front door until it was dark. But, before I went inside, I made a wish on the first star. You know the old…”Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight…” I believe in magic wishes, too. Don’t you?

Easter Sunday:) Sunday Sermon and MORE Cute Firemen

17 Apr

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” ― Pope John Paul II

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“Easter says that every ending ever experienced by man is exquisitely crafted to find its own ending at the feet of a fresh beginning.” 

― Craig D. Lounsbrough

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Easter is a time of renewal, rebirth, resurrection and rejoicing. As a child, sometimes I concentrated more on new clothes, Easter eggs, candy and family gatherings. As I matured, I learned the true meaning of the special day. Appreciation.

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Mom and I had fun making four dozen cupcakes with the cute bunny Peeps, complete with mini marshmallow tail and two jelly beans in front.


It was a labor of love, and silliness. If you know me, lots of silliness.


We baked through the night and freshly frosted and decorated through the morning.

Oh, I forgot to show you the funny face I made before I started mixing. Yes, lots of silliness.

We went downstairs for the 10:30 Catholic Mass, and we brought a cupcake for everyone there, and a few extra for family.

The Gospel today, of course, was about finding the stone in front of the burial place of Jesus moved away and and the tomb empty, the burial clothes on the ground. The disciples and followers realized what had occurred. Thus, we have the first Easter. Alleluhlia! 

My take on it….the ultimate sacrifice redeemed us all. The small sacrifices we make for the good of others could never compare, but are a tribute to He who did. Also, a good lesson on appreciating all those who have and currently sacrifice for us.

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My post from yesterday was about the screeching fire alarm here at Mom’s place and the five fire trucks that were dispatched to The Greens of Elgin. Mom and I decided that it would be nice to share some bunny cupcakes with the local firemen who sacrifice so much for their community, willing to put their lives on the line every day. I went over to Elgin Station 2 with a dozen cupcakes. I showed them Mom’s picture above, and told them that we appreciated all they do for the community. (I’ve expanded my Firefighter cupcake drive-by stops to another city and state. I hope my McKinney MFD guys don’t get jealous.)


Mom still isn’t able to get around too well yet, but she had enough energy to take her walker down the hall to a few neighbors. (Hmmm? I wonder where I get it from?)


Isn’t Mom adorable!

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.

Sunday Sermon, Stormy Weather, Blogging From the Bathroom, and Other Stuff

27 Mar

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” 

― Haruki Murakami

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A beautiful sunny Sunday morning. So many smiles and morning greetings before Mass. Today’s Gospel was interesting. It was the story of Jesus bringing sight to the man born blind. He spat on the dirt, made mud, and anointed the blind man’s eyes, telling him to go wash his eyes. He told everyone about the miracle and they didn’t believe him. 

“The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyesand told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash..’So I went there and washed and was able to see.”

Back in those days, people believed that illness, blindness,  and other physical disabilities were caused because of sin, something done by the person or passed down from family sins. They also felt the wealth and good health was bestowed to only good righteous people. Jesus said that wasn’t true.

“Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.

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My take on it…. there are many thoughts that cross my mind. The clay or mud that was made to cure the blind man was made from the earth or dirt, we are made from dust and shall return,  and His saliva was the faith. Then, if you believe, your trials will be washed away. Symbolism at its finest. Also, it makes me think and reinforces that illness, blindness, physical problems, poverty, and other tribulations are not curses from God. He helps us deal with them. 

There are many good, kind, generous, and loving people who are poor, sick, or have had to carry a heavy load. There are many bad, evil, selfish people who are rich, powerful, have good health, and an easy life. It’s what you do with your life that counts at the end. 

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After Mass, a quick trip to Sprouts, almonds, papaya, peppers and other fun stuff on sale. Yay! When I got home, I decided that almost falling asleep and nodding off at Mass wasn’t good, so Bella, my doggie companion and I took a nice afternoon nap, followed by a long walk. It was 80 degrees, sunny, and gorgeous out. I took her home then continued my walk. She was too hot. I stopped to chat with neighbors along the way and,…low and behold…Mr. Larry and Ms. Sandy were in the garage. I was forced, against my will,  to stop and have a beer. The clouds started rolling in and the sky turned grey. I scurried home, fed Bella and took her for another walk before the scary stuff rolled in.


The calm before the storm. 

The storm rolled in. I wrote this poem.

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Distant thunder drawing near.

Tornado watch announced, I hear.

A clash of thunder, a flash of light.

It’s bound to be a bumpy night….

It was….

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Somewhere around 8p.m. The thunderstorm started. The television shows were interrupted to show where the danger was. A short time later, the tornado siren warned to take cover.


Bella and I took pillows, blankets, a flashlight, and of course my iPad into the bathroom for safety. We are sitting here now, as I finish this post. BLOGGING FROM THE BATHROOM…hmm….could be a new exciting blog idea. Maybe not.


Well, it’s 9:40 now. It seems to have passed, but the hail pelting against the windows earlier was pretty scary, I sure hope that was the end of that. 

Happy Sunday, y’all. I hope everyone is safe and sound. 

Sunday Sermon, A Sunset and Some Other Stuff

20 Mar

“Each time you say hello to a stranger, your heart acknowledges over and over again that we are all family.” ― Suzy Kassem

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This morning I had the distinct pleasure of attending two church services. The first at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and the other, the First Presbyterian Church across the street. The good part was that both services had the same readings, so today, I actually remembered the Gospel without looking it up to write my post.

The Gospel was the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. First, Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along and weren’t supposed to speak to one another, and then, women were not supposed to talk to strange men, and this woman did not have the best reputation. But, Jesus not only spoke to her, but revealed Himself as the Messaih. This is an important lesson, and happens to be the longest recorded scripture reading in the Bible. 
My take on it…Jesus is showing, by example and words, that we should treat all people with respect, kindness, and compassion, whether it be friends, family, enemies or strangers. This is not necessarily a religious virtue, but should be just an everyday human kind virtue. It was a good lesson.
After church, Jim and I went to the local greasy-spoon diner and sat by the window at a vintage (nice way of saying real old) booth with torn red vinyl seats and a well-worn Formica table. The food was good, inexpensive, and the waitress was attentive. As we sat there, an elderly gentleman shuffled ever so slowly from his car to the door. It must have taken him a good ten minutes. He sat up at the counter and ordered a hamburger, no fries, no chips and water. The waitress poured him a cup of coffee, as he protested that he didn’t order it. She smirked and said to the regular, “Just drink your coffee John.” He smiled back and drank his coffee.

I made a smiley face in my hash browns, and you can’t beat biscuits and gravy with your omelette.

When we got our check, Jim asked our waitress to put John’s burger on our bill, and I handed her a $20 bill for her tip. That was probably the first time she ever got a $20 tip for a $17 check. And, maybe that was the first time someone bought old John a meal, maybe not. But, it was a nice way to share a little kindness and friendship on a fine Sunday with a couple of strangers. Also, a nice way to share today’s Gospel by example.

It was a beautiful warm day, and when we went out for an evening walk around Boomer Lake, God painted a picture perfect sky, and a red-winged blackbird squawked as he balanced carefully on a long bare limb, silhouetted by the setting sun.

 Happy Sunday!

Sunday Sermon and The Stupid Daylight Saving Time Change

13 Mar

“Nothing is predestined. The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.” 

― Ralph H. Blum

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 It was still dark when the 7 a.m. alarm went off. Thank goodness the iPhone auotomatically changes the time because I HATE changing all the other clocks. And, seeing that I didn’t get to sleep until 3, so with only four hours of sleep, I wasn’t on my top game. 

I was doggie sitting, so I  fed Bella, took her for a walk, then got dressed for church. It was only in the 40’s, so I donned my sock monkey hat, scarf and gloves and off to church. More than half an hour greeting at the door, I was cold, but too tired to realize it.

Usually, I comment on the Gospel here, but today I was impressed by the Second Reading. It also went along with the hardships and frustrations in life. I’ve had my share, more than some, less than others, but I’ve always felt blessed.

Reading 2 2 TM 1:8B-10

Beloved:Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made manifest  through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

My take on it…everyone has hardships to bear, but if you rely on the strength that comes from God, it makes it more bearable.

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After Mass, I stopped at Sprouts as is my tradition. Ah, dark chocolate covered raisins on sale $2.99 a pound. Score! I bought over 3 pounds and added it to my big container of mixed nuts that sits on the kitchen counter. I go through a lot of nuts. I’m a nut, what can I say? When I got back to my car, I realized that my clock needed to be changed because of Daylight Saving Time. You know what? This ain’t saving me any time. And, I don’t like change.

I turned on my car and attempted to change the time. I went to menu, then settings, then clock, then back to settings. I couldn’t figure out the dang thing. I do this every six months. Six months later, I forgot how I did it last time. But, what I do remember is that it took me several days to figure it out. I’d play with it, then give up. I was determined to figure it out before leaving the parking lot. I was prepared to sleep in the parking lot if necessary. 


Everything I tried seemed correct, but I couldn’t change the numbers. Help! I went back and forth for over fifteen minutes. Finally, I resorted to the unthinkable. I went into the glove compartment and took out the car manual. Duh!

The ten thousand page owners manual, (exaggerated, but close) was finally helpful after a good ten minutes of trying to find the section on changing the clock. Voila! I changed the time and didn’t have to sleep in the Sprouts parking lot after all. Yay!

I still have one old manual clock that I keep in the bathroom that I never change. I’ve had it nearly twenty years and have never figured out how to change it. It has no batteries and works on light or something, and it just won’t die. But, for six months it’s correct.

I had my share of hardships and frustrations and sleep deprivation today. I hope your daylight Saving Time frustrations were not as debilitating as mine.