Godspeed, Anthony

Jenny, Mikos Mike, me, Anthony, Sonja and Russ
Mike, Anthony and me
Anthony and me

On January 4, 2021, Anthony Estrada breathed his last. Surrounded by his son, Marcus, his sisters Vicki, Caroline, and Elsie; his brother, Jess, and Jess’ wife Dawnee; nieces Candace, Cerissa, and Melissa; Lorrie, his former wife, and the caregiver.  By the time Monsignor King arrived at the home of his sister Vicki, Anthony was restless. Monsignor King spoke in a loud voice to get Anthony’s attention. “Anthony, this is Monsignor King, I’m here to absolve you of your sins and lead you into heaven.”  Anthony turned to face toward the  Monsignor and heard the prayer of the last rite. Together as a family, they prayed. After the prayer, the family felt peace and Anthony’s spirit was calmed.

Our family considered Anthony as part of our own. Mike met Anthony while he was in the tortilla business. We needed to purchase a fryer, and Anthony’s family had one for sale. This first encounter was the beginning of a brotherhood that was never broken.

Back in the day before Mission Foods took over the tortilla industry, many small family-owned businesses happily co-existed. The competition was friendly, but the friendships made along the way endured all the mergers and takeovers of the giants in the industry. These tortilleros became a fraternity and have always remained friends. Mike and Anthony were part of this group.

The last time we saw Anthony was in December of 2019. Anthony was in town to pay his last respects to Alfred, one of the circle of friends they had from the tortilla industry. Our friend stayed as a guest in our home and took part in our annual Christmas party. I remembered and regretted  making him a judge of the Tamale Contest. Anthony was a talker, and if you were lucky you could get in a word or two. There are rules to the contest, which I personally go over with each judge: No talking was the main rule. As the contest proceeded, Anthony never once kept his opinions to himself. He was hilarious, and his remarks influenced the other judges. I held him accountable for my loss that year, but we would never have it any other way.

Anthony, Our Friend and Brother

The first time I met Anthony was also because of a business venture. He had invited us to Pueblo, Colorado. Mike did all the planning, so I was in the dark about our accommodations. Anthony picked us up from the airport and we headed to his house. He gave up his master bedroom for us,  we had dinner, and then he disappeared. It was not until the wee hours of the morning that we heard him come in. At that time, our kids were four and two years old.  In the morning I got up and got the kids ready for the day. Anthony was sprawled on the couch, sound asleep. I needed to feed my kids but there was not a drop of milk for the cereal. We did not have a car because Anthony insisted on chauffeuring us around.  I called Mike to the room. “We can’t stay here! We don’t even have a car! and the kids are hungry! You need to fix this, we need to get a hotel!” Mike calmed me down as best as he could and woke Anthony up.”I bet you guys are hungry, I’m going to take you to the best restaurant in town,” Anthony promised. I was relieved but when he pulled into a driveway of a home with a sprawling yard, I said. “Why are we stopping here?” He said,”Oh, you are going to eat the best food Pueblo has to offer.”  This was his mother’s home. From this day forward, this family has warmed our hearts. We endured four days with Anthony and got to know a man with a great heart.


Anthony and Mike
Lorrie, Anthony, Mike and me

The Gentleman

This was our friends attire: a crisp white shirt, a smart sports jacket, slacks, and fancy shoes. As soon as he got off the plane, he needed carnitas tacos with the works. He’d spend a good chunk of money by the time we left the local Mexican market. Chicharrones, tripas (cow guts), Mexican bread, and whatever else he could get ahold of. Then the feasting began. Anthony would talk throughout the meal. He loved elegant meals as well, and our many dinner ventures were filled with so much laughter because no one could outtalk his stories. Anthony was the guy who would greet you with a friendly shoulder rub; not one person was spared this. When he read something, he would bring the paper right up to the edge of his glasses, bending down his head to focus. Mike and our son Mikos were “cuz” and the girls were all referred to “honey.” He could never pronounce the word what; it was always “wha.” But in the end, it was always the lavish, descriptive stories that he shared that we will remember most.


Carter, Mike, Anthony, me, Lorrie, Marcus, Mikos and Tonio
Marcus, Carter, Mikos, Sonja, Aaron, me and Anthony


When we were younger, we took several vacations with the Estrada family. We skied Vail and Deer Valley. Mike and I would always splurge one night to eat at La Caille, a beautiful French restaurant  tucked in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. I will never forget the dinner when we all had a little too much of the high altitude mixed with spirits; we were referring to the chic restaurant as “La Calle, which in Spanish means the street.” Our memories are all filled with love, and our families will forever be connected because of Anthony.

Saying Good-bye

In early November, Anthony was diagnosed with diabetes. He decided to take better care of himself and started eating healthier and walking. His feet started to swell, and he attributed that to the diabetes, but he also had a nagging stomachache. In the emergency room of the hospital after several tests were run, tumors were discovered. Anthony never made it to his appointment with the oncologist.

Our family, due to COVID-19, cannot attend his memorial service, but we wanted to be with this incredible family to support them in their great loss. Anthony, you leave us with an empty hole in our hearts. All who knew you share this grief, and you will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, my brother.

My Prayer: Dear Lord, I find it so difficult to believe that Anthony is no longer with us. Give us comfort in our grief knowing that Anthony and his son Arron are together. We pray for the repose of their souls. Most merciful God, we lift up Anthony’s family, bring them to a place of understanding knowing that You are there in their midst.

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The Great Divide

President Trump

How does a president who was voted most admired not get re-elected? Seventy-five million of us know how this played out.  How many more assaults can a human take? How does the media get away with one blow after another yet Trump is still standing? Allow me to enlighten you with the godly truth. President Trump is still standing because this is a supernatural act of God. No human being would be able to sustain this type of mental abuse, not one! We, as Christians who fear God, are fighting for our religious rights, and President Trump is on our side. We pray against all odds. Despite all the media’s attacks against us, we pray. Operating in the supernatural I, for one, will never give up on the promises of God. I, along with millions of others, will continue to pray for our country. In the end God always prevails.

Open Your Eyes

Recently on Facebook  a comment was made on a Catholic site. This is what one lady wrote. “We should all be happy that a Catholic was elected president. Now we have someone on our side.” No, Joe Biden is not on the side of our Catholic core beliefs. His policies will attempt to destroy what God has established as law.

Others on Social Media are crying out, describing us as poor losers who need to get over it and work together for America. Really? Are they going to work with me?  I stand for Pro life, I stand for the sanctity of marriage, and the teaching of truth. In fact over 75 million Americans feel as I do, and these insulting remarks only strengthen my belief  in God. We may have to use face masks to protect us from COVID-19, but that does not mean you can muzzle our voices. We are a powerful force to deal with. I don’t need any labels either. The only thing that I stand for is the Word of God;  if that makes me patriotic, call me a patriot.

This type of hatred is being blamed on conservatives, but in reality it is subliminally being done by the Left. You can see the subtle basis and political indoctrination encoded in a letter written to thousands of students by Common App.

Common App

Common App is used by over 900 colleges and universities to help with the admissions process. If you want to get accepted into these colleges, you must go through the Common App. This is what one of my friend’s daughter received on Friday. Mind you this was sent to all students!

January 8, 2021
Dear Student,

We witnessed a deeply disturbing attack on democracy on Wednesday, when violent white supremacist insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undo a fair and legal election. The stark differences between how peaceful Black and brown protesters have been treated for years relative to Wednesday’s coup again call attention to the open wound of systemic racism, and highlight the work we still have to do to create a more just and equitable global society.

As students like you work diligently toward pursuing higher education, I urge you in moments like this to continue that pursuit. An educated, just, and more equitable society has never been more critical, and a college education is still the best investment you can make for your future. Our community needs bright minds like you to help us all achieve a better world.

The Common App team and I are here to support and encourage you. Please remember that we are here, if you need us, 24/7/365 to help you navigate your college application process.

I look forward to celebrating you and your success, and wish you all the best in 2021.


Jenny Rickard
President & CEO

Do you think that Jenny Rickard waited for an investigation before sending out this letter? Are these encouraging words? The only thing that can be ascertained by this letter is the subtle yet systemic mind control our colleges are imposing on our young adults. This bigoted person won’t even get a slap on the hand for these remarks because she’s part of the program that fits the narrative of socialism. By the way, Ms. Rickard, this was not a fair election, and for you to portray Trump supporters as white supremacists is reprehensible because the overwhelming majority of those people were peaceful protesters. Please do not attempt to twist this story because in no way am I condoning the actions of those who stormed our Capitol. They will get their due punishment. It’s the double standard and hypocrisy in the way of how Black Life Matter protestors were treated, that we will never accept. But the truth will be exposed. Do I need to remind you how Hollywood celebrities were bailing out the BLM criminals? Was this not considered mob behavior?

Tech Giants

Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Twitter, your day will come in the court of God. The arrogance of these billionaires! Their heads are so puffed up that there is no room for reason. Everything you have is because God allowed it. Be careful how you climb up that mountain of success, because it’s lonely up there. There will be insurrections among you because there can only be one king in your haughty principality.

10 For there is no sincerity in their mouth;

    their heart is corrupt.
Their throat is an open grave;
    on their tongue are subtle lies.


I watched and listened for several hours to the testimonies taking place in the state of Georgia. Over ten eye witnesses testified about all the fraud that happened during our national election. These hearings were being held throughout the country in different states. They were all thrown out of court with no recourse for the people who witnessed the cheating. How do you think they felt? Were all these thousands of people crazy and making up stories? What about the mysterious suitcases that were pulled out after the counting was halted? Even with the proof of truth, we did not get a fair hearing. We were left with no answers and no one would hear us out. I asked God and I cried out to God. My only conclusion was that God would fix this – not the federal judges, not the Supreme Court – but God Himself would intervene. God will manifest and hear our pleas. After much prayer I have peace about Biden being unfairly elected. God will take over from here, and we will see the hand of God move over our country. When He does this, the world will know that it is He Who will have the victory.

My Prayer:  Dear Lord, we are  in a mess! The lines of division are as a great gorge. I am not a person of complacency because I understand Your Word. If you see something in me anything that needs changing, help me to become more loving. Lord, help us to meet each other in peace by exposing the truth. I praise You, Lord,  knowing that You will help us as we make our way out of the Via Dolorosa. Amen.


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Intercessory Prayer For The End Times

Did you know that according to the Pew survey, more than half of Americans have prayed for an end to the coronavirus? People turn to God when they cannot find answers. Prayers are effectual, and they strengthen our faith.

When you pray it lessens your anxiety and clears your mind of unnecessary worry. Prayer is sacred, and the Devil knows this. If you are not accustomed to regular prayer, the distractions of life will surface the moment you start to pray. Your mind will wander; focusing on the things of God becomes secondary. Don’t worry, because we all at one time or another have experienced this distraction. This is why when you first start to pray, separate yourself from the world.

Prayer Closet

Prayer is a simple dialogue between you and God. You talk to Him as you would a loving father. I always start by praising the Lord,  either verbally or with praise music softly playing in the background. To be in union with God is one of the most inspiring encounters you can experience. We are empty vessels waiting for our Master to fill us with His love. We empty all of our burdens and clear our minds of any clutter so that we can receive what the Lord has in store. We must be still and know that God is ever present. Our Father is patiently waiting for us. He wants to free us of all the worries, pains and the unknowns that we face on a daily basis. We seek Him because without Him we perish.

Interceding For Others

These past two weeks have been a whirlwind of prayer. I have loving friends who are suffering with COVID-19 and one from cancer. My friends are too weak to pray because their bodies are on “high alert,” fighting an internal battle. They are using their strength to combat this virus. This is when the intercessors come in. We become the Aaron’s and Ben Hur’s lifting them up in prayer. We are spiritually fighting the their battle on their behalf. They are physically exhausted, but we are fueled with the Holy Spirit to help bring them out of this battlefield.

Intercessors need to fuel up as well. My strength comes from receiving Holy Communion and attending Mass on a regular basis. I fill my ears with only Christian radio stations and watch Christian programing like EWTN. More than anything, I pray the Rosary with special intentions. At every decade I name the person or persons for whom I am praying. This prayer is done with much reverence because my heart is in each bead. Padre Pio, one of the greatest saints known to mankind, said, “The Rosary is the most powerful weapon against Satan.” Satan has his blueprints written all over COVID-19, but we have the Triune God on our side.


Closing our churches did not stop the prayer of the faithful; in fact, it made those of us who pray on a regular basis much more spiritual. This pandemic has brought us all to our knees. The more the virus spreads, the faster the spirit of God is moving. There is unity in prayer, and I thank God for technology because through calling and texting we can keep an open line to God by reaching out to those who need prayer.

My parish, St. Norbert, has remained faithful in allowing us to attend outdoor daily services. The sacrifices that our church has made are many, but we remain steadfastly faithful, adhering to all the restrictions imposed on churches. Each day faithful volunteers set up the altar, bring out the Crucifix, the candles, tables, and chairs. At the end of the service this must all be put away until  the next Mass. This is not an easy task, but at no time do you hear any complaints. The work is done as unto the Lord.

End Times?

According to Lifeway Christian Resources, Bible sales have skyrocketed; the demand has increased the sales by 62%. Why? People are looking for hope, and looking to God is a good start; however, there are others who believe we are living in the Last Days.

Many novice Bible seekers are mistakenly starting with the Book of Revelation for answers. All this will do is feed into their fears. What does the Bible say about the Last Days?

  1. Be Ready
  2. Occupy Until He Comes
  3. No one knows the day or the hour
  4.  Lawlessness  brought on by Satan

Being ready means to have your life in order; more importantly, your spiritual life. Only God knows the day and the hour of your last breath.

We learned long ago from I Thessalonians to occupy until He comes. When St. Paul wrote the first letter to the Thessalonians, his deep concern was that they were recent converts to Christianity. St. Paul encouraged them to remain chaste and charitable in a great time of persecution. St. Paul shared with them about the Second Coming, warning them that believers must be ready and watchful because Christ’s return would come unexpectedly. The Thessalonians were baby Christians who took this message to heart. The misunderstanding of St. Paul’s words caused them to behave irrationally. The Thessalonians were convinced that Jesus could return at any moment, so many stopped working for a living; hence, II Thessalonians was written to clarify the true message.

We are still waiting for the Second Coming but, unlike the Thessalonians, we live our day -to-day normal lives.

36 “But about that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

We should not get caught up in worrying about the “Last Days.” We do need to remain watchful by keeping our eyes on the things of God.

the one whose coming springs from the power of Satan in every mighty deed and in signs and wonders that lie,10 and in every wicked deceit for those who are perishing because they have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved. 11 Therefore, God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie, 12 that all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned.

This verse is speaking of demonic powers which are meant to captivate sinners and lead them astray. This is how people start to believe that the truth is a lie. When you are deceived by Satan, you will be judged by God. We cannot accept lies over truth because with truth comes light, and with light all is exposed.

My Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, My eyes have grown weak with tears for those for whom I am praying. Lord, it is in Your hands that I place these special souls for their healing. I extend my hands to heaven and continue to intercede on behalf of all that I have been called to pray for. I praise You, and give You all the glory due Your Name. Thank you for the small signs You have given me. Jesus, I trust in You. Amen.

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