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Cheryl Mendoza

How He speaks to me…..Or… can't He just call my cell when He wants to talk?

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faith

A prayer for a lifetime

_DSC2940Lord this world needs you.  I need you.  Help me not to react, but to find the path that leads to shalom in my life and in the lives of all.  Today as we think of that day so long ago when You gave us the power to make “Your kingdom come,” help us to not be distracted.  Give us the strength to be a conduit of the Holy Spirit that gives us the power that can change the world.

The angels sang on the day You were born and told the outsider, “Don’t be afraid!”  They made it clear that the redemption you were offering was “GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY, FOR ALL PEOPLE.”  Forgive us who call you LORD, but do not proclaim YOUR good news.  Forgive us for muddying the waters.  Let this Pentecost be different.  Help us to lay down our lives (our opinions/rights/our idols)  for our brothers and sisters.  What is done in humble love, though imperfect it may be, will be honored by You….and in that there is HOPE. 

Turned away from it all like a blind man

Sat on a fence but it don’t work

Keep coming up with love but it’s so slashed and torn

Why, why, why?

Love, love, love, love, love

Insanity laughs under pressure we’re breaking

Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?

Why can’t we give love that one more chance?

Why can’t we give love, give love, give love, give love

Give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?

‘Cause love’s such an old fashioned word

And love dares you to care for

The people on the edge of the night

And love dares you to change our way of

Caring about ourselves

This is our last dance

This is our last dance

This is ourselves under pressure

Under pressure

Pressure

Under Pressure….. Queen

Easter: Coffee, jammies and HOPE!

IMG_4885So here we are …. Stuck in the middle again.  I felt like this last year, when Mike was recovering from brain surgery.    Now?  Well there’s nothing like a global pandemic to put life on hold.  But is life really on hold, or has the focus just shifted?   Maybe here in the middle is where we regain perspective? 

 

They were in the middle too that Saturday, but they didn’t know it yet.  They thought it was over, the wise teaching, the healing and the restoration of a nation.  Everything they had been living for was changed in one day.   Continue reading “Easter: Coffee, jammies and HOPE!”

Hosanna?

img_8960So Palm Sunday is typically my favorite Sunday of the whole year.  I think back to spending it with preschoolers and how we would tell them about that special day when Jesus entered Jerusalem.  Making leaves, doing a parade and shouting Hosanna!  For preschoolers, it’s the perfect lesson!  There is a lot of energy, color and activity in the re-telling of the event.  Today though I sit alone in my backyard, missing the energy of the typical Palm Sunday celebrations in church. 

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I am beginning to think though, that maybe this is how it’s supposed to be?  Instead of songs and shouts of Hosanna, I have wind and rain shouting a chorus.  And while there are no palm fronds, there are the trees in my backyard violently waving their praise!   

While this might not be the Palm Sunday you were imagining, maybe it’s just what you need?  This week as we all move toward a very different Easter, may it be a time of reflection and focus.  A time to look at life and our priorities.  To decide if what we think is important, really IS that important! 

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure.  It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others.  It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds.  It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.  James 3:17

Ready to soar in 2020

I was able to talk to my oldest son for a while last night.  We stood outside beneath the stars, wondering at the beauty of the night sky.  We talked of the new year and the feeling that something was coming.  It was a bit foreboding, but we both agreed that no matter if it’s good or bad in store, God would have our backs.

Those were the words I wrote on December 31, 2018, and how prophetic they would turn out to be.  So in the few weeks following, my hubby endured more pain, doctor visits and the diagnosis that would change everything.  Brain tumor.  Even now when we hear the words we shake our heads in disbelief and laugh.

imagesNow that it’s (mostly) behind us, we are looking forward to the new year more than we typically do.  Mike is looking forward to regaining strength and feeling more like his normal self.  I am looking forward to …. well I am not sure what?  Don’t get me wrong… for Mike I am praying for excellent recovery, and for the boys that they would continue to make strides forward in their lives.  Above all that they…….that we all would be able to know God’s presence.  But while I felt foreboding last year, I am not sure what I feel this December 31st?  It’s definitely not the same heaviness as last year, but it’s also not the normal New Years day feeling. Continue reading “Ready to soar in 2020”

Advent: Rejoice!

dsc_0835-2So it’s Christmas Eve and I am fighting my feelings.  I’m sitting here with my hubby on a quiet evening.  No family…. Not that normal excitement that usually comes with the season.  In some ways it seems kind of sad, but it’s just because things have changed.  Most of the boys are now with significant others and living out of town.  So we spent our “Christmas” together on Saturday, so that they would be with their ladies families on Christmas day.  It was wonderful to be together, but the new normal is taking some getting used to.  It was kind of getting me down having such a quiet Christmas Eve and anticipating the same on Christmas Day.  It didn’t help that I was going to the doctor because I wasn’t feeling well.  Really?  Is this how the holiday is supposed to be?   Continue reading “Advent: Rejoice!”

Advent: Hope

I started tearing up the other day.  They were on me so fast, I could barely stop them from coming.  It was because of the rain.  Now it typically rains during the fall/winter, but this was the first of the year.   I may live in California, but here in the Central Valley, there is not a beach in sight.  That’s OK though, because I do live just west of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and they are amazing!

  IMG_7158There are good points and bad points to this area, but the worst is the air quality.  It sucks to put it mildly.  As the year goes on, the air quality deteriorates to the point where you can’t even see the mountains, that are with a short drive away.  The funny thing is, at some point, I forget they are there.  I drive east every morning, and eventually they fade into the haze.  So with the first rains of the year, I knew the mountains would be making a comeback.  I also knew that since it was raining, they would be obscured by clouds for now, but soon I would see them.  And in the anticipation, I found hope.   Continue reading “Advent: Hope”

Advent: Focus

IMG_8720Advent.  It is a new tradition for me, so the first Sunday of Advent almost passed me by.  Yikes!  It is not my fault!  I don’t come from a background where Advent is celebrated, so it just kind of snuck up on me.  I was barely over the turkey and it just appeared! 

So just like anything in my life, I take what is celebrated by many and use it for my own nefarious purposes.  Ok…. Maybe not nefarious, but I definitely do make it my own.  I need to have help in keeping focused, and writing helps.  I tend to be shall we say….. wordy.  So if I have to post something, like for Advent, it helps me to focus and get the writing done.   Continue reading “Advent: Focus”

Remembering…..

What do I want to remember?

IMG_7423I want to remember that in my actions, I sow seeds. They can be seeds that lift a person up, encourage and give strength. Or they can be discouraging, defeating and used to tear down.

I may never see the fruit of those seeds, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a result or even a price that’s paid.

I think of those days and the men who lived here, planned and executed evil.  The seeds sown in their lives were ones that exploded in death.

What seeds could have changed that?

Continue reading “Remembering…..”

Living the best life!

IMG_8198Friday was a hard day.  I had been out of sorts for the last few days.  Maybe it was hormones, a heavy heart, work, hate pouring through the tv screen or a combination of that and more.  I was blue I guess, so yesterday morning I tried to do what would put me in a better frame of mind.  I read my bible and sat in the backyard in the only cool part of the day. My yard is not any kind of oasis, but there is enough growth and color to bring me peace.  So as I sat there, I chose not to open FaceBook.  I typically do it, so it was kind of weird for me, but I went with and hoped that it would contribute to a more peaceful state of mind.

As I sat and drank coffee, I wondered if part of my feelings were due to what we have
just went through and what is coming up. God has been so good and showing me peace, provision and presence during Mike’s surgery and recovery, but I wasn’t sure if I was still feeling like that.  So as I pondered, I felt like I wanted to go back to that time.  No… not Mike going through pain.  More like I wanted my trust to go back to God, in all things. To really live my life.  I have felt fear creeping back in over things that don’t even matter, and I knew I was returning to an old way of reacting.  My mind went to an upcoming trip we’ve planned and are so excited about.  It’s not till the end of September, and I was thinking, “am I going to put living on hold till then?”  No! That isn’t right!

_DSC2940I asked God to help me resolve to identify those things that are a step backwards for me, and to help me go forward.  To LIVE fully!  Every day!  To work hard, play hard and most important…. LOVE hard.

It was encouraging and lifted me up.  God set the bar a little higher for me, helping me to look up and seek to live a life that is full and honors Him.  How better can life get?

My time in the yard ended, and I got ready for work.  As I got in the car, I opened my phone to sinc my music and FaceBook was open.  So without thinking,  I started to scroll through the feed.  It was then that I saw a post that caught my eye.  It was a verse:Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of our souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9

 Now I love the verse, but I couldn’t understand why a sad face with a tear?  I don’t feel sad with that verse…. It gives me peace and brings joy of a life that comes to a full circle in faith.  It really irritated me.  I thought wait…. what kind of mixed message is that?  Then I saw it again on another post and I realized why.

61090122_372332523391263_2373045765493751808_nI had known her as a girl serving preschool kids with a knack for telling a story, my hubby knew her as a student athlete, and during her illness we met the young woman she had become.  I will always remember the day she came to our house.  Mike had set up his “photo studio” and Kay, who is a cancer survivor, came to offer encouragement to a young lady fighting her own battle. We all talked about her treatment, school, photography among other things.  Faith and hope were sprinkled in the conversation, that included lots of smiling and laughter. 

And as I sat in my car, I realized why I hadn’t looked at FaceBook that morning.  God wanted to give me an example of what he was showing me.  The right perspective before I heard the news. While she was so young, her life was well lived.  She had used it to funnel love, grace, laughter and faith to those around her.  And in that life, we see the truth of what God is encouraging us all to do. Live your best life through Him.

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