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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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voice

#MakeTodayBetterIn4Words

images-5You know this writing thing is not all that it’s cracked up to be.  I sit, I ponder and usually out come words.  Then I am stuck.  No, it’s not writers block, I just know that I am going to start deleting words.  I guess it keeps me humble?  So I’m gonna start where I think God wants me to, and delete those other 400 words.

“May God continue the unity of our country, as this railroad unites the two great oceans of the world.”

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Continue reading “#MakeTodayBetterIn4Words”

Points to ponder..Marco Rubio speech

So this is not what was on my agenda for the morning, but I had to sit and quickly get it out.  I was doing my normal morning check of Yahoo to see if there was anything interesting going on, and I saw a Washington Post article that caught my attention.

“Marco Rubio just gave a really important speech – but almost no one paid attention” 

Now that headline coming from the Washington Post was enough to get me to read the article.  Even better than that though, they posted the video of the speech.  After reading the article, I watched the speech in its entirety and I would encourage everyone to watch it also.  I am glad I watched, as I took away two important things to consider.

First, it is about how we are going down a rabbit hole, my words not his, of not being able to have civilized debate on the issues.  He sees that as a problem, and on that point I agree wholeheartedly.   It is about eight minutes long, but really worth your time.  And while I have had this type of opinion for a while now, I am glad that I am not the only one thinking….what the heck?    I think you can disagree with this man on everything, but can agree that we have to communicate and try to understand each other, even when we hold different views.  Especially when we hold different views!

Now I did say that there were two important points, and this is the second one.  I did read the article from the Post, and while the author agreed with what the Senator said about the state of debate in our country, he also seemed to cast aspersions on the Senator himself.  Just reminding us that he is a politician, and you know?  That Rubio was saying this maybe not from his heart, but because it would serve his “long-term best interests”.   After I read the article, I watched the video itself, and agreed that it contained important thoughts.  So I decided that I would post it, but did not necessarily want to post the article with it.  So I Googled the speech, and that is when I really came to my second point.  I saw more headlines about the speech, but these had a different take.

“The Marco Rubio knockdown of Elizabeth Warren no liberal media outlet will cover”

Each side took the same speech, saw it through their own beliefs and gave it a little spin.  How can the same words have such different reactions?   What does it show me?  Well, it says to me that when we hear the news, we only get part of the information.  From both sides.  So do your due diligence.  Before you get all hot and bothered by someone’s remarks, go to the source.  Find the video, document or whatever!  If you can’t do that, then hold back that little bit in your brain that acknowledges that you might be wrong.  That you might not have been given the whole picture.  Maybe that will even help us with understanding each other.

So I would encourage you to listen to the speech.  To not worry about who is saying it, why he is saying it, and where he is saying it.  To take his remarks, on their own merit.  I know this is hard.  After you listen, consider his remarks and see how you feel just about the words said.  Make up your mind as to whether they make sense or not, and if you can take some wisdom out of them.  After that, you may go back to agreeing or disagreeing with him, as is your pleasure.

*I did not post a link on purpose.  If you are interested in seeing the video just Google Marco Rubio speech and you will find it.   

 

Once a foreigner…..

t715-00280657I have been sick for the past two weeks, and have found it hard to sit and write for extended periods of time.  So for some reason, this previous blog post popped into my head, and I decided to share it today.  I am hoping the coughing ends soon, but I think this blog post helps me remember who God wants me to be in these very noisy days.

 

During the week, I sat down with my husband and watched a PBS special on “Italian Americans”.  Being one myself, I was interested to watch the story of the Italian immigrants who started to come to this county in the late 1800’s.  Those who came to America faced prejudice, racism and a hard life in the midst of the industrial revolution.  They came though, for a better life!  While it was a hard road, they travelled it with their families, community and their faith.       I totally enjoyed the program, but I was not really encouraged by it until Saturday.  That was when I took some time to study for our Sunday lesson.

As I read through the story of the ten lepers that Jesus heals, I was struck by the one who came back to thank him.  He was a Samaritan, a foreigner.  In the Bible account, he is the only one who comes back and gives praise to God.  It is interesting that the author of the story points out the difference of his nationality.  I believe that may speak to the prejudice in Jesus’ own time.  It is the same prejudice that affected my forefathers, and the same prejudice I see affecting people today.  It was in that connection, that I heard the quiet whisper of encouragement.

What was so encouraging about seeing that prejudice has not gone away?  Well it was Jesus example.  Instead of bypassing those who were different, He chose to heal and forgive.   He did not pay attention to the prejudice of the day whether it was based on race, nationality, sin, religion or class.   Jesus looked past all these things to the actual person.  It was exciting, even liberating.  For me, it showed a freedom to ignore the classifications that society puts on people.  The freedom to treat everyone as if they were just like me, because they are, even if they don’t seem like it.    That is the freedom that Jesus gives us.  To accept the foreigner as if he were family.

And yes….that is the manifest for my Great Grandfather when he came to this country in 1898.  

 

 

New Year…still speaking

images-1So today is January 4th and an old blog post showed up from 2014 on my FB feed.  You know, one of those things they bring up every once in a while that you can share?   I never get my old posts coming up like that, so I decided to read it and see what my thoughts were back then.  As I opened and read the post, I knew it was what I was supposed to read this morning.

I was actually reading a little bit this morning on a very popular Christian blogger/author who is taking some hits recently.  I had been reading someone’s critique of her, and I really had to disagree with him on a point.  Why?  It was because I felt he was splitting hairs over semantics.  What was it about?  Well it was about how God speaks to us.

Since that is pretty much the reason I write, I immediately took notice.  Now his premise was that God has said everything He was going to say in the bible, and I agree with that.  He also said that looking anywhere else for God’s voice was wrong.   Well, I don’t go looking for God’s voice necessarily, but I seem to hear him throughout my day, and it may start with anything.  Reading my bible, a sermon, a prayer or something that I witnessed in my everyday life.  It could come from TV, a movie or something that is happening around me.  It typically doesn’t stop there, as these things come in waves.  I will then hear that same message again from various sources, and when I see that, I start to listen.  Then I start to ask God to clarify what I am hearing.  Is that God speaking to me?  Yes!  I believe so.

Is it something that will contradict scripture?  It never has.  Is it some kind of new revelation?  NO.  It is typically the same old reminders to be who He has called me to be.  They are usually the reminders of His presence, His care for me and further encouragement to finally do the things I already know I should do.   So this morning along with this post I have included the previous posting. Continue reading “New Year…still speaking”

Not to be silent

My son called to check on me this past Tuesday.  He wanted to see how my writin
g was going and how I was feeling.  We are a lot alike, so he knows how mental I can get.

He was frustrated, and it was over a Facebook post with someone that he restthects.  He said that they had a “discussion” and he had gotten irritated.  He said that he was glad that the post was taken down, but he was frustrated with himself. So he was thinking about just deleting his account for a while, which I think is a good idea.  It is hard.  I am his mom and know about the potential I see in him, but I also know of the demons he fights.

So I asked him about his voice?  You see, I started to write about my own voice the other day.  Not the one I sing with, as it is nothing to write home about.  It is the one that is heard by what I communicate with my life.  I was unable to finish the thoughts, but I decided to share with him what I started to write.

We all have a voice.  It is the things we think and feel.  It is our views, the things we consider important and our character.  Our voice comes through the words we speak, what we may write and how we act.  Some people have a voice that reaches millions, but most of us have a much smaller circle where we are heard.   My son has some good verbal skills.  He is a pretty good talker, and because of that, I encourage him to use his words wisely.  He has yet to fully adopt this advice, but I am hoping that he will one day.

Each of our voices are important, but there are times where I believe that my voice was silent.  When I was young, I was afraid to ask questions, to give answers or just in general talk to those in authority.  It made going to school very hard.  I told my son the story of not wanting to sneeze in class when I was in fifth grade.  Why?  Well my teacher would say snape001“God bless you”, and he would expect you to say “thank you”.  I can remember sitting there, trying so hard not to sneeze.  It was supposed to be all very pleasant, but because of his authority over me, it was breathtakingly scary.  I shared a few other anecdotes to give him a better picture, but they are much more embarrassing, so I will keep those between us.

 

I told him that even now, I have to fight to put my voice out there.  That my intent is to use my voice as a means to glorify God, and to the gifts He has given me to encourage people.

Since encouragement comes through my words I am working hard, not to be silent. A fact to which my husband and boys can attest.  I told my son that his voice is important too.  That there is someone, that he hasn’t met yet, that will need to hear what he has to say.  That he should not let things that are not important silence that voice.  Through my life there have been times that I have been made silent by fear.  I suggested to him that because of anger, he may effectively silence himself.

Why is it so important?

We are a world that has a lot of problems, but I believe there is a God who can transform.  I told my son that when he talks with people with differing views, the point is not to get them to change their minds, it is to make them think.  To spur them to seek wisdom from God, not to just win the argument.

He thanked me and we got off the phone, and I was pleased with the conversation.  The th-1last thing I asked him was to really think about what I had said, and even consider the effect his voice could have on his community.  I listed the problems we had discussed, and reminded him that there is a way for these problems to disappear.  It takes people loving God and then loving our neighbor as ourselves.  In his community, it can start with him.  In mine, it can start with me.  And even though I write in a blog that effectively, anyone around the world can read.  My real sphere of influence is right here in my own community.  This is where my voice can be heard best, and those around me get to see if I truly live according to my words.

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