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#21 attend at least one religious service this week

30 Dec

Yes, I did skip ahead. Todays way to be happy is in chapter 2. There are a total of 20 chapters in my book, so I am going to do 7 from each chapter and then move on. Chapter 2 is SEEK MEANING & PURPOSE TO HAVE A HAPPY LIFE.

Research has suggested that participating and belief in some sort of religious faith or spiritual tradition is vital for a purposeful, meaningful, happy life. The author, as I do too, recoginizes that some people do not have a specific faith. In this case, create some sort of ritual to do once a week on your own: read inspirational quotes, or maybe reflect upon your week and special things that happened.

I grew up with a church up the street. Then, I attended Saint Vincent College, which as you can imagine had a student chapel, in addition to the b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l Basilica. See it below.

I would say that in college,I generally attended mass at the student chapel once a week. This was especially true the second half of sophomore year, right up until graduation. We had one of the best priests: Fr. Brian Boosel. He was lively, friendly, and gave sermons that we as college students could understand and relate to. He always had a classic story he told at finals time (he slept through one of his finals freshmen year).

When I moved to Vegas, Shay and I went on adventures to find a church. We went to a terrible place in that there were flat screens, prayers omitted, and other I guess “modern” adjustments. Finally, we found St. Thomas More, which is great. The priests too tell jokes, make sermons interesting, plus the church community is great. There are several donations to kids and elderly (angel trees, back to school drives- which I blogged about earlier), pancake breakfasts (by the Mens Club…yum), and a Thanksgiving meal delivery program (which I also blogged about earlier).

So all in all, even though I don’t consider myself the most religious person, I like to attend mass. I find that when I do attend, I can clear my mind for an hour and feel apart of something that is bigger than me (in this case, God). I also find that when I am having stressful times, the readings and/or the songs are often applicable to my struggle in some way. Whatever your belief is, find something to do once a week….until tomorrow (New Years Eve! and my friend Megan’s birthday!)

My quote today comes from the Bible. It is from a reading that I first (and only) heard at SVC as a sophomore during the Lent season. The sentences resounded with me, and while I remembered part of it, I never heard the reading again. I always looked for it in the missilettes when Lent came around, but never found it again…until this past Christmas Eve. I was looking ahead and found the reading passage. I was so happy.  So here it is 🙂

“Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people.  He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.”

– John 2: 23-25

#436 volunteer with meals on wheels

26 Nov

“what is the ultimate purpose of life?”

-“to give…start giving.”

Those words were stated by Narayanan Krishnan. Never heard of him? I never had either, until this morning as  I was watching CNN Heroes: Tribute. Krishnan is one of the ten heroes being honored by CNN. He was a chef at a five star hotel in India, who in 2002 quit his job so that he could feed, bathe, shave, and love the homeless, mentally ill, and elderly who are left on the streets uncared for. His story made me cry, as have all the other AMAZING heroes. Please, please, please check them out and get inspired! Read about them there…and if you are able to catch a rerun of this tribute….please do!

I haven’t posted for awhile and I apologize. I had been busy, and tired! But the holidays have rejuvanted me to stay on top of my blogging. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to deliver a Thanksgiving meal to a homebound person. I also did this my first Thanksgiving in Vegas thanks to my church, St. Thomas More. After a nice breakfast and mass, I stood in line to get my meals. The meals consisted of two large turkey slices, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, cranberries, green beans, pumpkin pie, a bottle of lemonade, a roll, AND a prayer card with a decorative turkey. I was delivering two meals to a Ms. Nellie Rae. When I arrived, I found a quaint home…decorated so that it was clear that they were big fans of hunting and the outdoors. I also found two friendly dogs and Nellie. Nellie is bound to her hospital bed. She layed in her big bed, which was positioned in the living room, so she can watch tv. She was grateful to see me and to have a hot meal. I didn’t stay after I dropped the meal off, but she thanked me profusely for dropping the meal off and stopping by. It was a reminder of how LUCKY I am to still be relatively healthy (hernia and gastritis aside).

I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving and they realize how truly lucky they are to be alive. Please check out the CNN heroes. Think about how you can give…the holiday season is the “recognized” time of giving: Angel Trees, volunteering, donations, anything. Until tomorrow….

“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

#439 support your local film festival

24 Oct

So this deed is reflected by the adventures of yesterday…and it will be twinged too. 🙂

Instead of supporting the local film festival, I supported a local orchard and then a local music/food festival. The day started with meeting Shay and grabbing some Starbucks for breakfast. We then ventured our way northwest to Gilcrease Orchards ( to pick our pumpkins! Gilcrease was a HUGE land mass where you could pick pumpkins, corn, squash, apples, tomatoes, okra, and zuccini. Shay and I stuck with pumpkins but agreed we would like to come back and get veggies/fruits. We saw girl scout and boy scout troops, couples, and families. It was a great reminder of memories from when I was younger and went to pumpkin patches/corn mazes/hayrides with my family. 🙂  

Shay and I with our pumpkins…maybe we should have taken them out of the bags! Cool photo by Shay (quite the photographer huh?)

Later on we met up and went to Bite of Las Vegas. This has been a local event that we have wanted to attend since we moved here three years ago. Finally we were able to go! We met up with our fellow friends Hilary, Danny, Josh, Brian, Kristin and her bf Pat- who was in town to visit. 🙂 There were tents from local restaurants that were selling small portions of popular items (Zabas, Hash House, Stripburger, House of Blues, Panda Express, Mac Shack, Tropical Smoothie, just to name a few), tons of kids running around (even a lost little one I tried to help before he ran away and ran right past his parents who didn’t even notice), teenage boys in skinny jeans, and just general happiness! At 6:45, one of my favorite singers went on stage- Sara Bareilles. She was simply wonderful and even performed her cover of “Single Ladies” , which I must say rivaled Beyonce. It was a wonderful time to be with friends, hear live music, and support local restaurants (Shay and I dabbled in Stripburger- a cheeseburger slider and fries combo for 3 bucks! and then some chips and queso from Zabas courtesy of Danny). 

mmm…delicous combo with delicious golden wheat beer!

So wherever you are, find a local festival or orchard. Go alone or with a friend. Support the community around you. Check out Shay’s blog for her perspective on our adeventures and see more of her photos ( ) Until tomorrow..

“Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.”