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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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Women

Believe=Live

DSC_0132“I gotta live how I say I believe.”  It doesn’t roll off the tongue very easily, but t’s something I’ve been saying a lot lately.  It’s mainly due to my children and their struggles or downright danger they put themselves into.  Ok, honestly? Some of it just has to do with me and my response to the world around me.

I was reading this morning and came across the story about the friends who bring a crippled man to Jesus.  These guys did everything they could to get their friend into the room where Jesus was teaching.   They let nothing get in their way, not even someone else’s roof. I’ve told this story and heard it many times, but something about it hit me differently today.  When I tell the story to kids, we always used the word “friends” when describing the men who carried the guy in.  I even used the word friend when I started writing this, but the bible never uses the word friend?  It always says men.

images-2What’s the difference?  Well, it seems to me that it’s all about perspective.  If I see these men bringing in their friend, that makes sense to me.  I can “help” my friend see who Jesus is in my life and maybe they will be like “cool….tell me more”.   Sounds great! But I checked out 5 or 6 different translations and they all just said MEN not friend.

So what might the story really have looked like? There’s a couple of guys, and they’re hurrying off to see this teacher they’ve heard about.  He says the craziest things, but what they’ve heard has them thinking.  I know….four men thinking…. Who would have thunk it?  So either they know each other or better yet….maybe they don’t?  Probably at least 2 did and they were walking together. Maybe then third and fourth are just walking that way too and they all converge at this intersection that is just down the street from the house.  It is so close they can see it.  They are intent on getting there before too many more people show up.  Picture Disneyland when they first open in the morning. Some are walking enjoying Main Street, some are doing that funny walk/run and some are downright sprinting to be first in line at Indiana Jones.  Well as these guys get to the intersection, they are greeted by someone who can’t walk.

Maybe he is calling out to Jesus because he has heard the scuttlebutt.  Or maybe this guy is calling out for money? For whatever reason, they choose to do something. They see that he is laying on a blanket and they grab the corners and go.  They walk for just a bit but stop.  It is really hard with just the two of them and they put him down.  They’re panting, thinking “this is harder than the WOD,” and as they catch their breath a shadow falls across them.  Two more men have stopped.  They all look at each other and without another word they each grab a corner of the blanket, mat, whatever the guy was on and well you know the end of the story.  Jesus, forgiveness and healing.  The end seems to point to the conclusion that maybe they don’t know each other.  When the man is healed, he just gets up and just walks out.  Maybe these guys go and have some goats milk together at the local whatever was back then, or just maybe after listening to Jesus they go their separate ways.

IMG_0143It seems to me this is kind of how life works.  We are all in need of healing and could use a little Jesus to do that.  Along the way people can come beside us and take a corner to help us get to where we need to be.  If we see this story only through the lens of helping a “friend” then we might miss out on all of the other opportunities to help people we don’t know see Jesus.

Sometimes it takes a long time for someone to make that complete journey to forgiveness and healing.   And every day is a new opportunity to pick up the mat of those around you.  Whether they are technically a friend or not.

So how does this relate to “I gotta live how I say I believe?”  Well if I believe that everyone around me is someone I can “bring” to Jesus, it should really influence how I treat everyone.  Right?  And that means in every situation.  School, work, grocery store, politics, baseball field, FREEWAY and even in church.  Sometimes it takes a long time for someone to make the complete journey, and everyone I meet is another opportunity.  A new chance for me to pick up the mat and help them on their way.

16939225_10211261381504215_4523643083069843847_nThat is the plan, and it is way harder to do than it sounds.  But you know… gotta live how you say you believe!

A cuppa JOY!

IMG_7020So we have been doing some sprucing up of our home, and with each new task completed, we are more and more comfortable. (Really…we have only been here 13 years!)  Our latest venture was bringing some interest to a kitchen wall, over the counter where we keep the coffee pot.  (Or our coffee shrine as I call it)

I had seen a couple of different metal signs done with sayings, and I really liked them.   So I set out to find someone local who made them and came across Vintage Metal Co. out of Visalia. (you can find them on Etsy)  They could do a custom saying and the cost was pretty reasonable.  Now the problem…what would I have it say?

It really didn’t take long, because I had seen it somewhere before.  So I ordered our sign, and it came out perfectly.  I have seen the Cuppa Joy done by lots of people, but for my husband and myself, it has meaning far beyond coffee. Continue reading “A cuppa JOY!”

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…..”

A Study in Pink – Patricia Diaz

_DSC9229When I started “A Study in Pink” I guess I thought I would be sharing the stories of women, highlighting different occupations, and maybe even inspiring someone out there to reach for a dream.  I didn’t think it would challenge me so much, and maybe even change my own thinking about what I do.  The more I talk to women though, the more I feel like that is exactly what’s been happening.  Maybe even more so when I met the latest entrant in this series, Patricia Diaz of P.A.T.Y’Studio.

 

Continue reading “A Study in Pink – Patricia Diaz”

A Study in Pink – Jamie Pierce Tulak

_DSC9028So when your husband leaves a home store and says, “that place is really cute,” then you gotta know it’s something special!  That was my husband’s response when we went into Studio 12 Homes in downtown Lemoore.  It was time to get back in the “pink” and see what the professional women of Kings County have going on.

Continue reading “A Study in Pink – Jamie Pierce Tulak”

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!

 

Book Review: Shine; Stepping into the Role You Were Made for

IMG_0123So when I received, Shine; STEPPING INTO THE ROLE YOU WERE MADE FOR, I immediately wondered what I had gotten myself into.  I really felt like I had just stepped into an Andy Hardy movie and was being told that we were going to “put on a show”.  As I read further, I understood why.  Allison Allen is an actress who has been on Broadway, and even a featured performer on the Women of Faith tours.  Now if you’ve never been in drama or wanted to be an actor, don’t worry, the analogies that she uses are so clearly presented that you don’t have to have a theater degree to understand.

What comes through in the retelling of her own journey, is an encouraging, challenging and perspective changing book.   She so clearly brings examples of the “who” she was and how that person reacted, with the “what” she has learned from it.  Her observations bring clarity in who we are in relationship to God, and even how we are all a part of this magnificent story, that belongs to Him only.   Easy to understand, engaging and so encouraging that it was hard to put down.  Shine was a great read!

A Dream of Their Own – Zulema

After a too long pause in writing (or at least editing)….I am back at it.    When I hear people discuss DACA I don’t think of these people in a group……I think of their individual stories.  I think of a spunky, fun loving young lady that my husband coached in volleyball.  I think of Zulema…….

Zulema - Hidden ValleyMy name is Zulema. I was born in Michoacán, Mexico, and I am 20 years old. I was brought to the U.S shortly after my fifth birthday along with my brother and sister, who were also very young. My dad had already been to the U.S. a couple of times in an effort to support our family and give us things he never had as a child. While we stayed behind with our mother, she did everything she could to make sure we were okay. With our dad being thousands of miles away from it wasn’t easy for her, and we knew it.  Continue reading “A Dream of Their Own – Zulema”

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”

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