A Sisterhood Event or A Day Away, by Paula Rose Michelson

Torn between her growing love for and need of her husbands love, Naomi’s fears almost make her worries come true! When she awakens Chaz’s surprise invitation is there to greet her. Instead of reading the missive, she assumes she knows what is says, and balls it up intending to throw it away.

I must confess that in 2007, while writing the opening to the chapter title A Day Away, I wondered how many blessings I had not received, negated, or through lack of gratitude, asked that it be somehow changed making the gift less than the giver wanted it to be. And though it might seem odd to you, if you’ve been on this journey with me, faced with the reality of being asked to change the program I offered to my Messianic Sisterhood, on Saturday, I was sadly once again the giver whose gift was altered thereby making the gift something not quite right for the group I was presenting too. A month before I was to speak, I realized that would be the case, and asked them to find another speaker. I was told that I had accepted the event and would be speaking. 

Because of their requests, further reshaping of the presentation made me aware that I had erred in asking them to host a book signing for the pre-release of Casa de Naomi, Book Two and allowed them to select a Scriptural Counseling presentation instead. From the beginning it seemed that by asking to speak, leadership thought they were in control. Though I have spoken on and taught how Personal, Biblical Affirmations can Purge our Dross, and shared that this was not a light topic, none understood that what I would share had been gifted to me by God! Afterward several woman asked for assistance, which I am blessed to provide. Now that the event is over leadership understands why I wanted to do what I offered instead of what they insisted I do!

All this leads me to ask you if you haven’t found yourself in situations similar to those Naomi and I were in. Though they seem similar, these situations are very different because:

  • Naomi was invited. I asked.

  • Chaz’s outing was nonnegotiable. I offered to speak on a specific topic, but did as I was asked. 

  • Where Naomi knew and was falling in love with her husband, I discovered that I not was not known, and what I offered was not thought to be of value. 

  • Chaz wanted to bless Naomi, and she trusted him. I offered a blessing that was rejected, and was remiss in agreeing to something else. 

I share these insights with you, because in Isaiah 53:6 Scripture says, We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. So we can rejoice, forgive ourselves, and others because God in his infinite love and mercy has already forgiven us if we have claimed Messiah!

If you don’t know about God’s Forgiveness Gift it is spoken of in John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Without Messiah we cannot view life in a way that builds us up without making us puffed up. When we  affirm our person-hood in Messiah, and those above us insisted we do things their way, He is our advocate, and friend! He stands at the right hand of God interceding for us.

Until we meet again, I pray that you think about your choices, the ones you have made freely, and those you have been coerced to make, and take your burdens to the one who has always loved, known and cared for you.

Guilt and Yearning, by Paula Rose Michelson

At the end of the last chapter, Lola heard what Chaz said and laughed. She turned back, saw him grimace, and knew her laughter had found its mark. She reached the lower patio and looked up. He stood where she had left him. His were eyes vacant, his face devoid of expression. “I already smell your life’s blood being offered up to me on the defiler’s altar of immorality,” Lola whispered. She sashayed to the grandmother’s house and turned to look at Chaz once more. “You will choose to follow me of your own free will, or I will make you suffer.”

Now we find Chaz sitting by the fountain and asking himself, How could you be interested in a girl you revile

Naomi has cried herself to sleep and Lola's desire to tare the newlyweds apart seems to be working. 

Everything appears to be going as the teenager wanted, but God intervenes. Surprised? Don't be! God—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacobis actively involved in each of our lives. That's right! The same God who called the world into being pays attention to everything that's going on here, especially to you and me! He cares for us so much that when we read Isaiah 64:4 we discover He, "...searched each of us...knows our thoughts and is familiar with our ways." Furthermore, when we read the writer questions, "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?" we know that no matter where we go, God is there even if we don't acknowledge Him. Knowing this,  I find myself wondering if, Chaz, and Naomi's dilemma will cause each of them to ask the questions that lead non-believers to the certain knowledge that the hope they seek must be found in God. If they or you are searching for answers, you might find them in John 3:16 which tells us, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

That's right! The very God who says, in Isaiah 46:4 "Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you," knows and cares for you even if you don't know him yet!

Until we meet again, may Gods Shalom—
His peace that is beyond our understanding envelope you —
My friend