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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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Love

A question of loyalty…

For a while, I have had a love/hate relationship with living in the Central Valley.  It may be because I bought into what people were saying….there is nothing to do!

IMG_6894Well, this isn’t the bay area, where there are plenty of museums, venues, and events, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do!

Case in point, the Kingsburg Historical Park is hosting an interesting exhibit on the Japanese internment experience.  While it may be small, it provides some perspectives and spurs questions that are applicable even today.

The few things that really stood out to me….. Continue reading “A question of loyalty…”

Of Beauty and pain…

IMG_6847I think it is going to be an interesting year.  There are things that I am looking forward to, but I also feel a little concerned.  Why?  Well it all comes down to themes.  When I read or see things, sometimes themes appear.  So far this year, I have seen this thread of beauty through pain, and it has caught my attention.

It was reflected in the conversation of mother who is watching the cancer spread through her daughter’s body, but showed such strength, love and hope in that same conversation.  Continue reading “Of Beauty and pain…”

A time to hate?

So I am finding it hard to write.  Why?  Mostly because I seem to be…..how can I say this?  Wordy.

thSo today, since I am not feeling well (still feeling the effects of the flu) I am going to try and make these observations short.  These are just some things that have stood out to me the past few days, and they seemed appropriate to think about on this day we remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I read the following verse this morning…… Jeremiah 22:13  And woe to you, King Jehoiakim, for you are building your great palace with forced labor. By not paying wages you are building injustice into its walls and oppression into its doorframes and ceilings.  Continue reading “A time to hate?”

How you look at it…..

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It is all about your view.  The first two pictures were taken during the summer inYosemite, by Mirror Lake.  There is a whole area where people have stacked rocks. (Much to many people’s irritation….but that is a story for a different time)

 

 

 

 

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The third was a stack that was done by the Merced River in the park. (Ok…I did that one)  I liked how much bigger it looked when I snapped a picture from a low angle.  It made the rocks look only slightly shorter than the trees.   I was pretty impressed with all those piles of rocks, as they seemed like a memorial of some sort, put there to remind someone of something.   That was of course until our last visit this week.

 

 

 

Continue reading “How you look at it…..”

Making room for others….

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What do you do when  you are feeling low?  Well since I am not really the drinking kind of girl (except for that one trip to the coast) I went back to find encouragement in some of the things that God has already talked to me about.  Today….  I was encouraged to finally post a “speech” (for lack of a better word) that I gave at a women’s breakfast last year. 

Good morning.  My name is Cheryl Mendoza.  I am usually with the preK (Sunday school) department on Sunday mornings, but they let me out to speak to you today.  If things don’t seem to be going well, I may fall back on a trusty puppet to liven things up a bit.

I was graciously invited here this morning by Mona, to come and speak with you. Well, she really only invited me to the breakfast…..then I kind of invited myself to speak and I have to tell you that she immediately and enthusiastically said YES.  No questions as to why, what was I thinking?  So to Mona I say thank you.  Not only for bringing us all together, but trusting me with some of the precious time we have here this morning.  Then of course she asked if I could help MC the event…I thought…no problem.  They have to be easier than preschoolers….right?

So after I had invited myself to be a part of this event.  I continued to chat with Mona about what was on her heart and the motivation behind getting all of us together.  She mentioned this study “Uninvited”  by Lysa Terkeuest.  What moved her heart was community….each one of us having a place. When I heard the heart reasons behind the event, I was hooked.  But the more we chatted, the more I knew that God had a plan.  You see, a couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post about circles.  That’s right….I am a blogger.  So here is my shameless plug…..Cherylmendoza.com.    So I wrote about circles.  And it was really because of something that happened to me in the preK class.

I was filling in for one of the ladies, and it was during 2nd service, so there was a LOT of new-member-to-circle-image-white-background-34649901kids.  As we brought them in and worked to get them into their circle, we were running out of room.  So without thinking, I said, “let’s make our circle bigger so we can let more friends in.”  I heard myself saying it….and knew then that it was important.  In the blog I wrote of the little slice of heaven that seemed to be pictured that day.  We have a diverse group of kids… and to see them move back to let more in was amazing.  It was also a little heartbreaking.

UnknownI get it…. Sometimes it is hard to keep that open spot for someone new.  That open spot leaves a big question mark.  Will a new person change the dynamic?  Will they bring in baggage?  Can I trust them?  Do they have a good pot luck recipe?  There are all sorts of questions, but more than likely, the answers are not deal breakers.

 

A couple of days after that happened, Marcus had posted on FB about his small group.  Now I have seen the pics of his group.  They seem to really enjoy each other, learn from each other and boy do they eat some good food!!  This post though was announcing the split of this group.  It was not due to a problem, but to fulfill its purpose.  They had grown so large, that they split into two, so that each group would then have room for new people. They made their circle smaller, so that they had room to grow bigger and make room for new friends.  Room for more people, room to give somebody a place.

Acts 6:7 – God’s message was preached in ever-widening circles, and the number of disciples increased vastly in Jerusalem; and many of the Jewish priests were converted too.

Ladies, we have two groups in this room.  Those who are in a circle and those who are not.  For those of you who are, I would encourage you to be intentional in keeping those circles open.  Continue to make sure you are not accidently closing the loop without even knowing it.  You have a place for someone who needs it.  Remember when you did not have a place?  Do all you can to make it easy for those on the outside.

images-1-6-31-45-pmAnd I want to encourage you who are trying to find your place.  It is not easy!  I have
been in the preK dept so long, and now that I am out, I am just trying to find my new place.  It is somewhat uncomfortable at times, but I know the harder it is, the better the payoff will be.  The ladies in my new group are getting to know me, and I am privleged in starting to know them.  Keep at it!  Don’t let being uncomfortable keep you away from what God wants for all of us.  Community.  Influence.  Support.  And where ever widening circles of the good news spread as far as God will take it!

 

A Dream of Their Own – Wendoline

She called me objective.  My friend is a bit older and has seen a bit of life.  When she said that to me, I took it as a compliment.  The more I thought about it, I accepted that it’s true.  The problem with being objective?  I don’t get to have a side.  Sometimes it’s lonely where God has put me, out in left field.  Then again, sometimes I am not alone.

It started with a friend of my hubby’s.  She is actually an ex-volleyball player that he has kept in contact with.  He told me that she needed prayer.  I didn’t really need to know why, but he told me anyway.  She was going to Mexico, because she had to enter the U.S. correctly as part of the process to become documented.  Stupid me, I was surprised!  I mean, what does someone who is undocumented look like?  If you have read any of my writing, you will know that I don’t typically “not” think about things.  So when this came across my path, I was hooked.  Pondering…. Who really are the people they are talking about on the news?

It doesn’t matter which side is talking, they tend to lump people into a big group.  And while these “dreamers” may have similar stories, I know that they are also more than that.  So since I have been working on some other “getting to know you” type of writing projects, I thought about doing one of these.  The problem…I just wasn’t sure?  That was until, I knew I wasn’t out in left field by myself.

Mike (my hubby) came to me one day and proposed another project.  “How about finding out who these people really are?”  Not what the news, political parties or other people say they are, but straight from them.  It’s good not to be alone.  We had a moment when I told him that I had been thinking the same thing.  (Thirty years of marriage must count for something.)  So I hope you will join us.  We hope to take the “issue” and present it for what it really is, the lives of everyday people.  Taking this from what was once a dream of their parents, to “A Dream of their Own”………

 

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Wendoline

My name is Wendoline.  In 2002, just a few months after my seventh birthday, my brother, sister and I were brought to the U.S. from Michoacán, Mexico.  My brother was eight and a half, and my younger sister just five. My father had already been in the United States a few times, but he would miss us too much and would come home. Things were financially rough when we were in Mexico. My memory of Mexico is sort of blurry, as it’s been over fifteen years since I was last in my hometown.  The things I do remember though, is that it’s nothing like it is here.  We lived in a small village, everyone was poor, but everyone loved each other.  I remember when my dad was here and we were in Mexico, he would call us every day.  He would tell us how he couldn’t wait for us to see how wonderful this country is, and he couldn’t wait to buy us all the toys that he couldn’t afford for us in Mexico.

Continue reading “A Dream of Their Own – Wendoline”

Less politics, more Jesus

“Less politics and more scholarship!  And don’t give so much of yourself to this cause.  Yours is scholarship-and one can never know what the future may bring politically.  You understand me-my advice places me in your hands, I wish you well.”   I Will Bear Witness by Victor Klemperer.

The advice from this German professor was something that caught my eye as I read his diary today.  The gentle advice to this woman, whom he said was “an adherent to the new regime,” was daring.  It was advice that I think makes sense for many of us today.  As soon as I read it though, my mind changed it up a bit.

Maybe for us, we could change it to “Less politics, and more Jesus!  And don’t give so much of yourself to this cause.  Yours is Jesus-and one can never know what the future may bring politically.”

Have we spent too much time on politics and not Jesus?  Sadly, I just have to think yes.  How else do Nazi’s have such a strong presence right now?

(The fact that I wrote that sentence tells me that something is very wrong with the world but more importantly that something is wrong with us in the church)

“We are all infected impure with sin.  When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.”  Isaiah 64:6

Of dreams and dementia

Unknown-1 8.24.34 PMI once had a dream where I was swinging a baseball bat.  The problem?  I wasn’t playing baseball.  I was swinging away at things (I’m not even sure what?)  just smashing objects at will.  When I woke up and remembered my dream, I could still recall the anger and frustration I had felt.  It was really weird to see myself that frustrated, even if it was in a dream.  It was a bit scary to realize that this anger and frustration was buried in my sub conscious.  Like I said, the first time I had the dream, I was dealing with teenage boys.  I love my children and the men they are becoming, but there was a time that they were struggling badly.  Really….it was hard! Continue reading “Of dreams and dementia”

What’s the moral?

UnknownOnce there was a woman, and she had gotten her feelings hurt.  Nothing too bad, but the unkindness hit her especially hard at that time.  Maybe she was feeling a little vulnerable.  Anyway, the more she tried to analyze the situation, (sound like anyone you know?) she decided that the only thing she could really do was pray for them.  She did that, not because she was so smart, but because the hurt was taking over her mind.  She knew the person was probably tired, and under some stress.  She also knew that the reaction she had received was not normal for them.  It was then that she thought, better me than someone else who maybe wouldn’t be able to let go of the hurt. Continue reading “What’s the moral?”

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