Last Year – This Year, by Paula Rose Michelson

Although living in Southern California one might not notice the change of seasons, every now and then one stands out amongst the others. One summer might bring sweet breezes instead of Santa Ana’s, and one winter might be cold enough for Ron and I to drive to the mountains before the snow melts, thus reminding us that although the names of the seasons stay the same, things are not stagnant.

For more years than I can count Ron and I were in change of hospitality for those that volunteered to make the MJAA Conference an event others could enjoy. Though often seen we were seldom able to snatch more than a few moments to visit with friends, renew acquaintances, attend a lecture, or enjoy shopping at The Messianic Marketplace. However, that changed last year when I felt the Lord encouraging me to pre-sell Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing during that three day event. Though I worried about selling a book that I did not have, those in charge let me pay my fee, and it was my joy to meet and speak with thirteen people who choose to buy the first book of The Casa Saga! I could hardly believe it when I counted the amount and discovered that the sales met the provision I had prayed for and not one penny more! LAST YEAR I prayed that I would sell enough books to cover the cost of the table, and I, no rather He, did! THIS YEAR I had the first volume of the six-book Casa Saga to sell. Nevertheless, once again God challenged me to do the unthinkable and pre-sell book two. And like last year people were eager to buy that book!

Since I shared a table with my good friend and fellow author Marlayne Grion, on occasion she would ask me how many books I had sold. Looking back, I know that when I said what I am sharing with you, my words might seems as odd to you as they probably sounded to her, for you see this is a faith walk. By faith in God’s providence I probably gave away as many books as I sold. I gave a book to a woman who told me that she had spoken with someone she felt needed to read Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing more than she did. I joyfully gifted her a replacement. I gave a book to two women who wanted to bless others, others I gladly gave to people eager or promote my work. I gave books to those who needed but could not buy a book. Lastly I gifted a book to Eva Rydelnik who years ago had read the manuscript at my request because, as a teacher Messianic Literature at Moody Bible College, I hoped to receive an endorsement from her. After she finished reading the manuscript a lengthily dialogue ensued during which she informed me that she could not give her endorsement because there were no hidden Jews in Spain. She offered to give me her endorsement if I set the date back 100 years. I could not do that for I had meet Sephardic Jews from Spain and heard their stories. Our parting was bittersweet, and I did not hear from her again until she walked the length of the marketplace.

I still do not know what caused me to look up when I did, but seeing her eyes riveted on me, a smile on her face, a spark of excitement kindled within me. Yet it wasn’t until she stood before me and proclaimed, “You made a believer of me!” that I understood that she had been observing all I did,  and read what I posted!

I have only seen Eva twice in my life. The first time I saw her was to ask her if she would read my manuscript. The second time was to hear from her own lips that she now knew that there are still hidden Jews in Spain!

1 Corinthians 13:12 says, For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known… and I believe that just as Eva and I loved each though we could not affirm the others point of view when we disagreed, the Lord loves us with an ever lasting love though we contend with Him.

May we like Levi, whom you may know as Matthew walk in the certain knowledge of Gods truth, as that apostle wrote in Mathew 6:21 remember, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

My prayer for you is that you walk in the certain knowledge that your faith walk is ordained and directed by God for without Him we may stumble or worse yet become sidetracked by what is not of God. 

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