Monday, October 28, 2013

Blessings Abound When…by Paula Rose Michelson

 Since the Obamacare website appears to be having a bigger “Failure to Launch” than the movie by that name did, I felt that today would be a good time to reflect on what makes life a blessing.

It seems like all my life, and perhaps yours to, I’ve been looking for a blessing. Being Jewish, I’d like to assume that this is a unique Jewish traitone that only a member of the twelve tribes can claim! However, thinking like that can get one into an awful state when it finally becomes crystal clear that the blessing is in the doing, not the waiting. I’ve had to remind myself of that reality of late. For, you see, given the blessing (?) of having my husband get ill and then be sort of forced to retire, and discovering that having him home all the time was an amazing err…well, sometimes less than wonderful experience, I found myself wanting to say, “This wasn’t supposed to happen to me!” I’m happy to say, I didn't do that because having a husband who loves to encourage me helped me become the me that I am. Now I'm able to do that for him! 

My I do sound Pollyannaish when writing about Ron because I know that God's in control of our lives. This tension  this pull between wanting to sound like the Pollyanna did this Christianizing  
everything verses owning our reality was summed up best by Rabbi Shaul (the Apostle Paul) who wrote in Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. Living by the Spirit sounds good, yet, how do we do that? How do we deny (subjugate) our wants, our perceived needs so that we, like Paul, recognize that blessings abound when…

Perhaps being ultraistic will work for some, others may look forward expectantly. I believe that the answer is found in 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight. Applying my faith in the infallibility of God's Word which is always effective, I trust in the one who is my all in all, and trusted in Him!

Walking as a bond servant of Messiah is a choice for all are called, some answer that call, and from that number God continues to ask, if any one will serve Him today. In Joshua 24:15 we read “… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Today it might be a good idea for you to ask yourself, what do you value, and does your life reflect those values. What we think and do reflects who we are and who’s we are.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Baby Tears by Paula Rose Michelson

For every child that is unwanted a woman's heart may be crying for what you have rejected. Before you make a choice to end a life, think about those arms that hunger to hold what you carry within your body...then chose life!

Baby tears,
Baby tears,
I cried them silently,
All the long lonely years.

Whether my husband was by my side,
Or far away.
Whether I felt the forgiveness of God,
Or watched as other people’s children played.

Within my yearning heart,
Was a brokenness that could not be mended,
A need that seemed to large to be tended,
A sad story that never ended.

Mama’s tears,
Mama’s tears,
There is no son or daughter here to see,
All the sorrow I cried out,
While others took for granted,
That which was denied me.

Papa’s tears,
Papa’s tears,
For the children that never came,
As my life played out and my husband left,
Unable to face the pain,
Of condemnation and religious shame.

Barren years,
Facing fears,
Fears of recrimination, and more,
Then, when I gave up,
Gave up all,
Look what God had in store!

Baby girl,
A blessing of love,
Mine to tend,
Given from above,
Not from my womb
Or my husbands seed,
Yet mine at last,
Mine indeed!

Teenage girls,
Gods’ sweet pearls,
Reassurance of the rightness of things,
Part and parcel of the joy Messiah brings,
No time to fret over children never born,
Less time to morn over a lifetime of love scorned.

Artist child, meek and mild,
Timid in every way,
Could the blessing be mine,
At last,
Will you run away?

Daughter mine,
So sublime,
Gods unending favor,
For a woman like me,
To have a daughter,
Like thee,
One whose very presence I savor!

Messiah mine,
Thank You for my baby tears,
Thank You for Your favor!
Thank You for the child you gave,

After I learned to call you my Savor!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Heart & Soul Devotional, by Paula Rose Michelson

 1 Chronicles 22:19 …devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.

There are dayssometimes too many to countwhen I have not made time to spend with you, God, and I feel your sorrow. There are other times when I short change us both by trying to spend time with you when I am on the run. I am even guilty of sending up arrow prayers at the spur of the moment before we have met and had fellowship. 

I have studied your word and know that you desire to have a relationship with me. I know that by my putting off time alone with you, I cheat both of us. Instead of giving you the “First Fruits” of my day, I fear that sometimes, I give you the leftovers, and I feel sorrow. In my sorrow, I feel yours, which is not like the sadness that falls upon us mortals, and then is lifted in the next few moments or hours when our mind is engaged in something else, another drama or perhaps another joy. Knowing Scripture, as I do, I believe your sorrow continues as I, your beloved child, keep myself away from you. 

Knowing you desire to have a dailymoment by momentrelationship with me, I still find myself put other demands first. Thus I watch as my need to give into the ‘the tyranny of the urgent’ causes me to drift farther and farther away until I cannot see you in my life. The things of this word become my focus, and I become a person doing instead of a human being. I lose sight of you; the creator God the one who called me into existence and the one for whom I was created. During these times, I feel as if I am a helium balloon floating on the winds of chance. Yet even in these situations, I hear you calling to me. For a brief moment, I am reminded of your overarching love, care and concern for me. Awareness dawns and I realize that I must return to you while my heart and soul still respond to your call. Returning to you, you once more teach me how to reorder my priorities and therefore bless me as I make our relationship the first priority in my life. You shelter me under your wings, and I rejoice, for only in you do I experience true and abiding love, faith and commitment because these attributes of yours will continue even though heaven and earth are no more!

Looking back from the shelter of your wings to that distant and troubled world, I realize anew that if your Scriptures had not reach me when I was far away from you, I may have become as one who has heard, received, and believed the gospel, but whose roots were not firm. Seeing the world and all it has to offer from the comfort and security of your nurturing care, I know that even in your sorrow your mercy was extended to me. I rejoice in the realization that you have again drawn me back to you! Yet in this joy I am aware that no mother, father, sister, brother or child, no one can understand the grief that I cause you. And I, only I know the grief I caused both of us when I allowed the world and all it deceptions to pull my focus to those things that will not last and in so doing see that my feet were planted on slippery sand rather than on the firm salvation that knowing you affords.  

Please God, I pray, help me stay close to you today, this very minute that I may replace the ‘tyranny of the urgent’ with a commitment to make my relationship with you the "Alpha and Omega" of my existence. Remind me to begin and end each and every day with you and allow my mind to be drawn to you again and again throughout the day for; succor council, wisdom and encouragement.  In this world there is no one like you; who graciously offers these resources to me from a wellspring of blessings and guidance that you have. Ah, to begin and end of each and every day with you...what joy! 

Because of your great love for me, because of my great need for you, I ask you to draw me close to you by the renewing mind so that I may be transformed though spending time with you and in your Scriptures. Amen

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Paula's Book Banter, by Paula Rose Michelson

Since I often post reviews I've written for authors, I thought it would be nice to share two reviews that Judy K. Burgi wrote about Casa de Naomi, Books One and Two. Before you start reading, I think it's a good time to mention that we authors really appreciate you posting a comment or a review whenever you've read a book that mattered to you. With more books being bought online than in a store, your thoughtful comments can help a reader decided which book they'd like to buy, and also help us writers. 

This 5 star review from Judy K. Burgi for Casa de Naomi; The House of Blessing, Book One says, "This is a book that you can't put down. The story draws you in and it seems that you are walking in Naomi's shoes. I found myself so engrossed in this book that my emotions were all over the place. As the story unravels, unseen things happen in Naomi's life. Will she survive the people who are out to harm her and the one who finally betrays her? Will Chaz, the husband she just married forgive her for the secrets she kept from him?

I am rooting for Chaz and Naomi. Will their love be enough to save their marriage? I hope to find out in Book Two!”

Then her second 5 star review, this time for Book Two, Judy K. Burgi says, "This is a book you do not want to pass up! I can't wait until Book Three is published. Thank you Paula Rose Michelson for your powerful God inspiring books! I don't even know how to write a review that will show the reader just how caught up I was, but I'll try! 

While Naomi struggles with new insights about God...Chaz, still furious over Naomi's betrayal visits his uncle in Mexico and learns more about his families’ secret.

Is there any possible chance for Chaz and Naomi to live as man and wife again? 
Will all the secrets come out and be dealt with? Can there be forgiveness? 

Maybe the powerful scene between Chaz and his uncle where I could actually feel the electricity flowing back and forth holds the key? All I know is I wish I was there to witness what happened next."

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pet Peeves & Little Bits of Business, by Paula Rose Michelson

Many, who know me, know that I can be downright...well, let's just say that when I've had it it's best to run for cover. So, to ward off everyone needing to flee, today I'm sharing some of my 'Pet Peeves.' Before going there, I must confess that when writing I had all of these. I became aware of them before I was writing to be published. Still I am certain that each of my books has some of these issues within them. Therefore, before I mention the writing 'No Knows' let me assure you that I need to continually apply these ideas to my own work because I know that using a 'Little Piece of Business,' which can be defined as a specific mannerism, vocal inflection, adding a fragrance, or any other unique quality which sets a character in your novel apart will negate your need to identify them by name for each verbal interaction or for that matter when they walk into a room.

Here’s an example of a ‘Bit of Business.’ If Doctor Watson was fumbling for his key and mumbled, "Dash it all, I know this is the right key because I live at 221 B. Baker Street,” and he heard violin music, we'd know that Sherlock Holmes was at home. Likewise, if we were visiting a friend who had some music playing and we heard a man sing 'Tradition!' we know she was listening to 'The Fiddler on the Roof.' 

Within every great book, move, or play these ‘Tells’ or as I call them 'Little Bits of Business' move the story along so we don't have to hear one character say another character's name before or within every scene or sentence. Applying this idea means that when two people are speaking to each other it is not necessary to continually tell the reader 'he said, she said.' When more than two people are in a scene the 'Little Bits' let the reader know who is speaking, thus allowing the drama to heighten by eliminating the need for the drama reducing 'she said, he said' information which slows down the story and might add to the cost of the book since the number of words determine the price. 

Equally important 'Little Bits' like vocal inflection were used in Shakespeare’s "The Taming of the Shrew" letting theater goers know who the shrew was without calling her that the moment she walked on stage. In playwright Edward Albee's Tony and Drama Critics Award winning “Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf” we meet another shrew but the audience isn't told that. It is Virginia who shows us who she is. 

Ah! Show! I love this word! Yet many prefer to tell! This one word is at the top of my 'Pet Peeve List' because, I want to see the characters living the story, which many times does not happen if the story is told.

Wonder if you have told or shown the tale? An easy way to discover the answer without having to ask anyone is to look at a few pages and see if you have lots of quotation marks. The less dialogue you have the more you are narrating (telling) the story. Every author struggles with this issue…if that weren’t so I would have written about something else.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Book Review O-Rama, by Paula Rose Michelson

Being offline to let an injury heal gave me time to read and review books, which is something I've become passionate about, since there are so many great new authors. The two book reviews I posted today were written with a smile on my face. One nonfiction, the other book fiction, I found each amazing authors work took me to another reality or showed me how to reframe the reality they were living with. Should you wish to purchase a book after reading a review the link for each book is there too. 

En Garde by Hamburger Fry

A valiant swordsman sauntering forth to battle in the weapons bay that seems like something snatched from an English hamlet of Robin Hoods day melded with the highest-tech Star Trek Ship. A fair damsel, a healer, light sabers, names of great literary figures sprinkled throughout that makes one wonder if they've stepped into Alice in Wonderland or entered the fifth or maybe even the sixth dimension. Words oddly chosen set ones teeth on edge to illustrate the juxtaposition of while illuminating the tension between what we know and don't in this amazing melee where confusion grabs the reader pulling them into this otherworldly tail.

Hamburger Fry (the authors name is itself a pseudonym) takes his reader on a quest and, like the Cyrano of old and the one we meet in this book, you'll have to take the journey of overlapping realities, or it is really fiction, "Nay! I think Steampunk Science Fiction!" to discover what is really real.

Surviving Life: Through Faith, Hope and Love by Melissa M. Carson

In her incredible account of daughter, Cori's cerebral palsy, mother, Melissa M. Carson tells us, "...we do not have to accept that we only live a certain life." This one thought grounded Melissa and because of her absolute belief that, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone," she challenged what she was told and discovered a life for her, her daughter, and her family, built upon the concept of doing things, "...that used to be considered "outside the box" and confronted, "...the opinions of...single-minded beliefs."

Her resilience in the face of the obstacles Cori faced gave her joy in discovering, "The true measure of a person's strength is how we continue to exist when that moment does arrive," as it shaped her journey and Cori's life. 

If you or someone you know is in a difficult place, or need words of wisdom, this journey of affirmation is one I recommend for within it you will discover that, to paraphrase Melissa M. Carson, "...there are no limits unless you set them." And this woman knows what she's speaking about because Cori traveled and graduated High School!