New Year Musing, by Paula Rose Michelson

Throughout our life we are taught, questioned and confronted on all sides. Those in the world say, "Do not think, just follow along and be happy like everyone else is." Those of various ideologies swear that following their belief is the only way. And what do we hear from those who love Messiah? Are we encouraged to have a personal relationship with God through his son? Or are we asked to conform to one denomination and is so doing so we lose sight of our Kinsman Redeemer and all he accomplished?

In Mathew 4:4 Yeshua (Jesus) tells us, "It is written: 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but in every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

I had been told that my husband and I should not partner with the Lutheran Church because Luther was Anti-Semitic. Yet it was a Lutheran Pastor who contacted my husband and me once he heard of our work. Together we have reached out with the message of the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua Hamashiach (Jesus the Christ) and together we have rejoiced at the ingathering.

Similarly within each person, each church and congregation, each state, and our nation are the seeds of unity and division. In Mathew 7:19-21 we read. Every tree that does not bear fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will  be recognized. 

So my musing today is about the fruit we have used wisely, and the fruit that nourished no one. What I am suggesting is that we begin our spiritual New Year by examining ourselves, or better yet, by asking God to examine us: our actions, and reactions. Are we motivated out of love for one and other? Do we build each other up, or try to pull each other down? Are we especially nice to those who can help us, or do we behave as Messiah taught and treat everyone with the dignity they deserve?

If you wonder why I ask you to do this kind of reflective work, it is because I believe if all who profess Messiah walked as close to him as his Word tells us we should, our nation would not be in the fix it is in. I'm not blaming anyone more than I blame myself. Yet, if we want to correct the course we are on, to regain what many call American Exceptionalism, then we must once again become exceptional by admitting where we erred so we can return to the principals our forefathers clung to because those ideas so well articulated within our founding documents are what made this nation great, do away with them and we are less than.

In the New Year when so much seems amiss let us remember Psalm 121:1-3 I lift up my yes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slipHe who watches over you will not slumber... 

I pray that God will find us faithful with all he has gifted to us individually, and as a nation.
Until we meet again, may Messiah grant you his Shalom!
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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, by Paula Rose Michelson

In memory of the Sandy Hook Children, and the years before I received Messiah’s sacrifice as my atonement, I’ve posted a true story about the year my husband, children and me did something for no other reason than ‘It was the Season of Giving!’

It’s Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas

            Every year for as long as I could remember, my husband and I would wait until it was dark and have our daughters, Danae and Cheryl put on their warmest clothes and jackets. We’d grab some warm blankets as we scurried out to the car with a thermos of warm coco and a feeling of Christmas cheer. Then we’d turn on the radio and listen to Christmas music as we drove to Candy Cane Lane. During any other time of the year, we would never have been able to find the place. For you see, Candy Cane Lane, just like Christmas itself magically appears then disappears every year. Just as everyone knows that Santa Clause lives in the North Pole, we thought Candy Cane Lane with its myriad of lights and festive regalia appeared and disappeared yearly like Brigadoon, to remind us that who we are and what we do matters more than what we get. However, that certainly didn’t seem to be the case on that one Christmas so long ago. But I’m getting ahead of myself. So let’s begin at the beginning since that’s where any good story begins.
            I remember it as if it were yesterday. Although looking back now and counting the years it was a long time ago. Nye onto thirty years or more if my memory servers me…Yep, I think that’s about right because my kids were still little. Just like you. And it was Thanksgiving…just like it is today. It was one of those rare holidays where we’d eaten early, cleaned up quick, and everyone who’d come, including grandma and grandpa left just as is was getting dark. So my husband and I looked at each other, smiled and nodded towards the coat closet.
            I hurried into the kitchen to make some coco.
            “Girls put on your warmest clothes,” Ron said.
            As if on que, they joyfully shouted, “Hurray! We’re going to Candy Cane Lane.”
            They rushed off and Ron forged in our linen closet.
            A few minutes later, we smiled at each other as we gathered in the vestibule.
            Then with a nod and a wink reminiscent of old Saint Nick, Ron opened the front door and we ran to the car, faces aglow. He joined us and backed the car out of the driveway, while I turned on the radio and heard Andy Williams singing,

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go;
Take a look in the five and ten glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow.

            Before we knew it, we were singing along to the old song. Now to an onlooker this might have seemed odd since we were Jewish, so let me share that as far as we were concerned, having holiday cheer in our heart had nothing to do with what faith you practiced. It had everything to do with wishing for peace on earth and extending good will towards men…and women. And as far as Candy Cane Lane or even Christmas itself was concerned, everyone who knew me and mine knew were we always ready for a party of any sort…so off to Candy Cane Lane we went.
            While Ron drove into the night, we reminisced about all the years we had visited the lane. We remembered the year we had seen carolers dressed as if they were characters from a Dickens novel caroling up and down the street. When we noticed that the women carried baskets filled with muffins, the men had thermoses filled with hot apple cider, Ron pulled over. We hopped out, got a muffin and some cider and got back into the car much to the consternation of those in the cars behind us that let us know what we had done caused the traffic through the lane to backup more than it usually did.
            But we didn't care because we knew the ride through the lane was for family and memories. We loved the fact that a drive, which should take five minutes or at the most ten, took at least an hour. While we waved those in a hurry on, we listened as Cheryl  reminisced about the first time she’d seen the giant Snoopy rotating in time to Christmas carols. Then Danae spoke about how lovely each family had decorated their tree and wondered if their choices reflected the people within the homes. When she spoke about that, we talked about what it would be like to live on this street. After our reminiscences were finished, we oohed and aah-ed as we pointed at each and home. Our giggles and joy mingled with the music in the air and the Lane worked its magic into our hearts. 
            We had heard that when the people who began Candy Cane Lane sold their homes their children, relatives or dear friends bought them thus keeping this tradition alive from generation to generation. By the time we visited the place, I believed generations of families had visited. Knowing that brought me a sense of community and a feeling that as difficult as things could get, for one brief moment, everyone really did want to bless each other. And as we inched our way along in a sea of cars which seldom moved more than two at a time and gawked at the beautiful, amazing, religious, funny, outlandish, and at times thought provoking decorations, I believed everyone thought as I did.  
            Some believe that all good things must end…I don’t …Neither did my family the next night when we turned on the news and discovered that vandals had defaced Candy Cane Lane and ruined all the decorations leaving the owners forlorn. That’s right…that bastion of cherished values, of joyful memories, a place where children could experience the wonder of people going out of their way to bless their community and others who made the yearly trek sometimes pulling over in their car to catch a few winks before they hurried on…had vanished. Where once the song “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” was heard, now on the news the faces of homeowners who had remind behind the scenes were lined with concern and they bemoaned the passing of this legacy which they had pledge to continue.
            As the reporter interviewed one of the owner, I realized that he stood in front of the home where, just the night before, we had heard the song,
Have a holly, jolly Christmas, 
It's the best time of the year, 
I don't know, if there'll be snow, 
But have a cup of cheer,
being played as a child sized choo-choo train chugged between presents wrapped in red and green, which were as large as a side table or larger, and my kids had wondered if there really were presents inside them. Now we knew that whether there were present in those boxes or not, it didn't matter. What mattered was that someone need to do something or Candy Cane Lane would vanish into the either as surly as Brigadoon did. However, unlike that fabled town, if our beloved yuletide street vanished it would never appear again.
            Each of us wanted to do something. We each knew without saying anything that whatever we did would have to gain media attention and be done anonymously. Just as the homeowners had gifted our community, we would bestow an affirmation upon them, which was a tall order because how could one family of four gift a block of people and do it in a way that the newspapers would carry the story? We didn't know. And being Jewish we didn't have anything in our home that gave us an idea. So we got in the car and drove to our local five and dime where we scurried up and down the isles in search of an idea.        A few minutes later, we gathered by the art supplies and smiled. Above us hung a Christmas display, at eye level were the supplies needed to make what we saw. Danae got a cart and we packed it full. Of course we weren't going to make a replica of their display…in fact we weren't sure just what we were going to do until we got home, opened the leaf in our table, dumped the bags of supplies and reviewed what we had. Glue - check, poster board - check, markers - check, extra red and green markers – check, and check. Red and green ribbon - check…And the list went on. We had bought out the section which meant we’d be eating allot of noodles with guess what…noodles as the side dish. But that didn't matter. What mattered we realized, as we stared at the supplies, was coming up with an idea that would overshadow what the vandals had done…And we had to have the project done and place on Candy Cane Lane before daybreak.
            Ron and I voiced idea after idea. None worked. Time ticked by. It was way past the kid’s bedtime and they were yawning.
            I looked at the clock and said, “It’s getting late and you guys have school tomorrow.”
            I’ll never know if it was the idea of leaving the project undone or the fact that their hearts hurt for the homeowners, but it was at that very moment that the girls suggested, “How about if we tell them we love them.”
            Ron and I nodded and smiled.
            The next night we turned on the news and saw the same reporter interviewing the same homeowner. Only this time instead of the man sounding forlorn he was joyful. In fact, all the homeowners were because someone…and we swore we’d never tell who, had hung or tapped poster boards with, “We Love You Candy Cane Lane,” as far as the eye could see. The camera scanned the street. Where the day before all we saw wreckage now posters proclaimed what we and generations before us had felt…love for those who had gone out of their way to make our holiday a little more special than it would be without their gift.
            Today my kids have kids of their own and Danae, my eldest daughter, lives a few miles from where we did. Each year she and her husband bundle their kids up and take them to Candy Cane Lane. I’ve never asked her or Cheryl if they ever told anyone about the year that Candy Cane Lane almost vanished. But since that was a long time ago, I think its okay to tell the story today. In fact as we approach Hanukkah and Christmas, I think it’s more than okay because stories like this remind us that people matter…even people we don’t know.
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This is Much More Than…, by Paula Rose Michelson

When my friend, and sister in Messiah, Heather Micaela wrote, “This is much more than a romance and I recommend it to men and women alike. I felt intimately involved in the challenges facing Naomi, Chaz, and the others that are involved in their life. The author has a way of making you really care about the characters. You feel as if you are in that house in Spanish Harlem. I could hear the accents of the people as they spoke; even the way they spoke English as bilingual people was very real. I am eagerly awaiting Book Two,” I had no idea how God would show me that what she wrote was true! Yet that’s exactly what he did when a lady walking her dog stopped to talk to me while I was inscribing Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing a few Sundays ago.

I must share that our discussion seemed decidedly odd since she told me she didn’t have time to read fiction. However, her questions were thoughtful, and no one else was walking up, so I answered them in more detail than I usually do. When she told me, she was a Dean at The University of California, Irvine and knew the Dean of Social Services was looking for speakers for the program being developed for the Dream Act Students who would soon enroll, and asked if I was interested, I realized this was an ordained meeting!

Aware that it was the book that caused her to stop and that there is nothing on the marketplace like it, I mentioned that if the University would like the novel, I was certain my publisher could assist since a portion of these students’ expenses is being offset by the government. My publisher agreed! And that my friend is all I have to share for now, except to ask that you lift this up in prayer because I will be contacting the Junior Colleges, Colleges, and Universities in my area to if they would like the book too. 
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The Mommy Syndrome, by Paula Rose Michelson

For much of my life…looking back I think it began when I was seven, my job was to take care of others. Though I enjoyed this role my mom foisted upon me, it’s taken several decades to discover how taking care of others meant I seldom told anyone if I needed help or felt ill until I was really needy or sick. Even then I’d try to put others first perhaps because it made me feel good about myself or perhaps because, like my brother, they seemed to need me.

The mommy syndrome served me well until Book One of the Casa Saga was published and I had so many additional ‘Must Does’ on my list that little by little, I began to disappear as I became a person doing instead a person being. A little at a time being an author who needed to tell others about the book God asked me to write seemed to eclipse just being. It was during this time that my posts on this blog became irregular, and though I was saddened to pat my first child on the head as I hurried to post on my Casa de Naomi Reflections blog, I told myself that the blog for the book had to be posted because the url for that blog was on the back jacket of the book!

Little did I know that it would take a six month undiagnosable illness, which had me almost bedridden for me to discover that my water purification system had algae growing in it! A quick email to my Osteopathic Doctor confirmed that this system made up of living rocks and minerals which supposedly did not need a new filtration system, was indeed the source of my illness.

Thinking it best to throw the entire unite out, my husband did that before the doctor told me that we needed to keep everything as it was because if I did not feel better the lab would grow that particular algae culture to find out what would kill it and not me! Having a limited income and insurance plan, I decided to take a wait and see approach, which was, I believe best, given the reality that I’d taken a lot of medications and all of them weekend me.

It’s taken me three additional months to get back most of my energy! Where before I gladly though of others before myself, as I had been trained to do, now I find that I need to Mommy Me!

If your life revolves around the ‘Mommy Syndrome’ I pray you remember King David’s    admonish to his son in 1 Chronicles 28:9And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought.

Until we meet again,
May you experience God in all you think,
Do and say… today and everyday!

Shalom, my friend
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I’m hosting author B. J. Robinson whose new novel One Rainy Summer will release soon

One Rainy Summer by B. J. Robinson releases October 21 from Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc., California.
One Rainy Summer by B. J. Robinson is a story of old and new love. Granny has a secret. Hope falls for the boy next door. Her grandmother rekindles a relationship her family didn't approve of years before. Hope finds an old picture of her Grandma clutched in the embrace of a man with icy blue eyes. Who is he? Hope scoots out the door and back to her own room, dashes to the window, and peeks outside. The moonlight reveals a funny sight. Her beach-ball granny climbs a ladder like the prince climbed Rapunzel’s hair. A man stands at the bottom and holds it. He gazes up at Hope's window, and she shivers and lets the curtain drop. Grandma is a grown woman. Why is she sneaking around with this mystery man? What's going on? Why is my honest, respectful, Bible-reading granny slipping out her bedroom window in the middle of the night like some teen?


My mind ran rampant with thoughts of Matthew. What had gotten into me? I'd never thought of him other than a good friend. We'd lived in stifling hot, muggy-buggy, mosquito-infested,cattle-ranching, timber-raising, and citrus-growing Holopaw our entire lives, right next door to one another. You had to experience a place like this for yourself. I loved how riding my four-wheeler down the rutted dirt paths in Suburban reminded me of bunny hops on a roller coaster. I'd ridden all the coasters in Florida from The Hulk and The Dueling Dragons at Universal Studios to the newest ones at Busch Gardens in Tampa.

Holopaw and St. Cloud, Florida, had both been used for military training during World War II. Both towns had been a major source of sugar cane production, and a railroad was used for transportation. That fit, since Holopaw's Indian name meant "place where something is hauled. "I shook my head in wonder when I thought about what a rich and diverse area we lived in. I couldn't help but love it. There was never a dull moment, always something to do. My history teacher would be proud of me if she knew I remembered what I learned in class. Lost in thought, I let Matthew take the lead, and he strode ahead down the winding trail that lead to Sandy's. I gazed at his lithe figure and wondered when things had begun to change between us. When did I begin to think of him other than just the boy next door? Did he think differently of me, too, or was it all one-sided on my part? I didn't want to let him know how I felt, just in case. Only time would tell.

Author B. J. Robinson has been writing and seeing her work published since the third grade when her teacher submitted her pet story to a local newspaper. Her first college essay was published in another local paper, and her first college short story won first-prize, publication in the university's literary magazine, and ran as a serial for three weeks on the front page of her hometown newspaper. She developed that story into the novel Southern Superstitions.

Author B. J. Robinson writes from Florida where she lives with her husband and pets, two dogs, and a cat. She's authored three romantic suspense novels, and One Rainy Summer is her first sweet YA book, a short novel. She published short stories that can be found on Her children live in Louisiana and Maine, and have all made her a grandmother multiple times. She has 12 grandchildren. Visit her at the following locations. Sign to follow her blog for an opportunity to win free novels, both paperback and e-book. will be available as an e-book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony,, etc. YA, sweet rating. Connect with author on her Facebook Page Connect with author on her blog.

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Meet Lynne Walding, Author of a “Handful of Demons”

Back Matter - Handful of Demons is a purely fictional story about the very real battle we fight daily against Satan and his demons. God calls His trusted servant, Witt Gregory, to intervene in the life of a pastor who's losing the battle and destined to destruction. But there's one problem . . . Witt discovers Pastor Edward's wife, Casey, is the love of his youth. And the only woman he's ever loved. Beset and vulnerable, she'd his for the taking . . . At the cost of Edward's soul


 What is your genre? “Christian fiction doesn’t describe it adequately, since that genre can cover everything from Biblical stories with fictional details, to a murder mystery with a main character who prays occasionally. My genre could best be described as “honest, contemporary Christian fiction.” God always has an active role in the plot.”

Why are you drawn to this particular style? “I feel uniquely qualified (for a pastor’s wife) to write on the things that beset women, having been on both sides of the fence. I’ve experienced, first hand, the awesome redemptive power of God in my life. I’ve lived through an abusive marriage, divorce, and the death of a child. But I have no desire to dwell on the negative. God created us to be winners.”
How many books have you written? Had published or self-published? “I’ve completed four novels. “Handful of Demons” is my debut novel, released in July of 2012. The sequel, “Devil’s Digs” is slated for the spring of 2013. They’re all love/Christian stories. God knows I’m a hopeless romantic, and He’s allowed me to include a generous amount of mortal love in my stories.”

Share something about your writing life. “I’ve written for major magazines, mostly on clocks. (Clockmaking is a family trade) I wrote a correspondence course on clock repair, and for a time, a column for syndication. Music, poetry . . . you name it. I've written it. But I had no passion until . . . I married and served in the ministry beside my husband for a few years. That’s when I knew what I was called to do. Unfortunately, there was no time to write. Being in the ministry is a full-time job. I had to wait until retirement.

Which authors do you most admire? “A few short years into the ministry a lady joined our church who had her own ministry in spiritual warfare. She introduced me to Frank Peretti’s work. I devoured “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness” and have been a great admirer of his ever since. I’m humbled and more than flattered my work has been compared to his.”

If we know each other, share how we met, and what interests we share. “Although I’m not immersed in the Jewish culture, I have a great love for the Jewish people. In our churches we always attempted to observe their religious holidays in some small way. The love I feel is so strong, sometimes I think I must have some Jewish genes, but there is a total lack of evidence of this in my family history. Then I realize it’s because they’re my Father’s Chosen People. I’ll never forget the time we celebrated a Jewish holiday with a church dinner. Each lady brought a Jewish dish. The ladies who had been assigned Matzo balls realized too late they didn’t have the proper ingredients. They substituted most things, thinking we wouldn’t know the difference. We knew . . . because they were like small stones…Totally inedible. I’m still looking forward to having some good Matzo balls someday!”

To enter the drawing for a copy of "Handful of Demons," leave a comment.
I looking forward to hearing from you, and who knows, Lynn might drop by to answer some of your questions or respond to a comment or two.     

Lynne Wells Walding spent more than twenty-five years in the full-time Christian ministry. She wrote many of the praise and worship songs for their services, served as pianist, co-worship leader, and minister to women. She and her pastor husband are now retired and live in the Piney Woods of East Texas with their dog, Sarah. There they enjoy frequent visits from children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 

She writes a blog called "The Battle is Real" . . . an exposé of Satan's bag of tricks. And is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), where she's currently serving on a panel of judges in a writing contest.

Drawing from her years in the ministry, her greatest passion is writing novels to demonstrate the spiritual battle we all face daily, and the power of Jesus Christ to overcome the Enemy.

MaryLu Tyndall, best-selling author of the Legacy of the King’s Pirates series wrote: WE ARE SURROUNDED BY INVISIBLE ENEMIES who are out to destroy our lives, our marriages, and our happiness. Don’t believe me? Handful of Demons may convince you otherwise. With this unique blend of the movies Ghostbusters and The Exorcist, Ms. Walding crafts a story that rivals C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, a story that allows the reader a peek into a realm beyond our five senses but a realm that is no less real. This book deals with so many topics and in such a real way—love, betrayal, marriage, spiritual warfare, sacrifice, pride, fear, and more—that I had a hard time putting it down each night! A refreshing and poignant look at a subject rarely addressed in Christian fiction.”
Readers have said: That they can’t put it down. But my most treasured statements come from people who've gained knowledge into Satan’s agenda for the believer and non-believer alike. I’ve been told the story is poignant, funny, and scary all at the same time. To learn more or purchase a book, I'd love for you to visit me at  
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Today's Guest Blogger is Stephanie Guerrero

Christmas Romance at Dickens on Main
 Anthology Novella: Time for Christmas
By: Stephanie Guerrero

Much ado has been made of Charles Dickens and his amazing works. I just released a book surrounding a real life Dickens Event in Boerne, Texas, entitled Christmas Romance at Dickens on Main. In England they are celebrating 200 years of Charles Dickens this year. I'm sure we all have our favorite stories.

Among my personal favorites, and I'm sure a favorite of many others, is his book, A Christmas Carol. The new romantic suspense anthology, I’ve written, Romance at Dickens on Main, is based on a real life event in Boerne, Texas surrounding the tale of A Christmas Carol.

Time for Christmas

Love is the last thing on FBI Agent “Wolf” Davis' mind. On leave for Christmas, he wants nothing more exciting than to sink his teeth into some good German pastry and enjoy the Dickens on Main event in his hometown of Boerne, Texas. Then his partner, Angelika Muller, shows up with terrifying news. Terrorist sleeper cells are targeting small town celebrations nationwide with Boerne, Texas at the top of their list. Posing as a couple for the weekend , Gabe and Angelika forge a love that goes deeper than partnership; but will they be able to unmask a mole, stop a terrorist, protect the President-elect without tearing their budding relationship apart? Will be four days be enough? Only time will tell, and for Gabe and Angelica: the clock is ticking.
Author’s Comment

Real life doesn't wait for us to hit the pause button and catch our breath. How I wish it did. Gabe and Angelika learn to walk out the scripture in Matthew 6:34: "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

In the midst of terrible trials, we can only live moment by moment walking and trusting in God Almighty's care. May God bless us everyone as we remember He is our source!

Did You Know? 

1. The names of the Main Characters, Angelika and Gabe, are rooted in the Christmas story. Angelika is for "Angel" and Gabe is for "Gabriel!”

2. There really is an annual Dickens on Main Event in Boerne, Texas every year just after Thanksgiving, and people do dress up like Gabe and Angelika get to do.

3. The Guadalupe River really is both clear and green due to lime deposits. It is beautiful.

 Fun Facts About the Author

1. My favorite foods: Mexican and chocolate! 

2. I once had a hive of bees covering my arms! Since I’ve been a beekeeper, they were gloved of course! 

3. I'm passionate about a redemptive story because my Savior: Yeshua, Jesus the Christ, has redeemed me.

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