The Day my Blog Died

Can blogs crash?, I said to myself, as I frantically tried to load my home page to no avail.  I had a pesky plugin give a fatal error a few days prior and the dreaded “internal service error” appear, over and over again. Who would have suspected that in the middle of my publicity campaign for my aft ministry Gifts of His Glory, that my blog would crash? 

Fortunately, I had a Wordress.com blog supported by Yahoo Small Business and was able to get some tech support.  Calling India at midnight, I waited patiently on the phone as they tried to ‘clear up the back end’ and get me rebooted.  The dreaded words were spoken to me “I am sorry but you will have to deactivate the blog and start over.”  My stomach sank.  My heart dropped.  Start over?  What about all my posts?  Each is like a baby to me.  And each with a bit of the gospel and love of Jesus in them. Tears came to my eyes as I realized I would lose the story of my art and writing journeys, all documented on my blog.

Lord, I asked.  Why have you allowed the enemy to steal my articles?  I knew the hand of the Devil was behind this, as he did not want people to read my blog that was raising money for victims of sexual trafficking.  I believe he owns the internet and could easily cause the problems behind the crash.  In Hebrew, each letter of the alphabet has a numerical value.  And www is equal to 666, the number of the Devil.  Need I say more?

In my despair I frantically tried to rebuild my blog, as over 200 people where ‘hitting’ my blog that Saturday afternoon. The Lord placed the Scripture “Taste and see that the Lord is good… Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” on my heart. I fought the good fight and got my blog up and running with the article on my art ministry re-posted.  I wasn’t going to let the Enemy win.  And he didn’t.  I had over 500 blog hits in the three day period I had the guest blog on She is Safe.  Loyal Facebook fans to the ministry shared the article and it went completely viral!  Think of all the hearts stirred for helping girls and women exploited and abused around the world.  Think of all the people now aware of the ministry Gifts of His Glory.  Think about all you subscribers to my blog who are reading this now!  All to give the Lord the glory due Him.

Two days later, I asked my subscribers to send back any posts they had saved.  I received some, alas, only the opening excerpt was included.  I realized I would have to rewrite them, but how Lord? “Taste and see that the Lord is good’ kept running through my spirit.  O.K. Lord show me your goodness here, please bring back the articles to me somehow.

The next morning I received an email from my writer friend Eric who explained how I could find the articles due to Google’s cache’ feature.  In his email he included the post “Bottom on Chair Time” in its entirety!  Yes completely there.  I cried.  I had wanted to republish this article in a publication and now I could!  Love and goodness filled my heart.  Jesus had done it. After all, He is in the Resurrection business!

When we are going through battles in life, know that God is in control and working behind the scenes.  He promises us the victory when we are in Christ Jesus.  The Bible states “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37. And it is true.  No matter who you come up against.  Including the Enemy of our souls.

Will you praise the Lord along with me today, as I celebrate the return of Miriam’s Writing and Art Happenings?  I hope you will enjoy my posts and learn more about the Lord’s love for you.

Taste and See that the Lord is Good...Psalm 34:8

You can view my biblical Scripture art  by clicking on the ‘my art’ or on tab above.  Recently I completed a painting entitled:  “Flower Petals” with Romans 34:8 inscribed on it. Please consider a purchase, 50% of each sale goes to help prevent and rescue girls in sexual slavery.

May God bless you today…


Forgotten Girls…

Forgotten girls…

Commit you way unto the Lord...Psalm 37:5

One of the most wonderful things that came out of my attending Mt. Hermon’s Christian Writer’s Conference last March was a friendship with Kay Marshall Strom and her husband Dan Kline.  Both are celebrated authors and Kay has a heart for helping exploited girls and women around the world who are sexually trafficked. I met Kay and Dan as she taught the “Writing with Sizzle” class during the conference which I attended.  Kay took me under her wing, helping me to take my book in a new direction, turning it from a memoir into a personal experience with self help genre.  They have been kind enough to critique my new outline and book proposal as a gift to me.  (a little bit on getting my book published as I promised you!)

One day during the conference, I was browsing the authors bookstore and came across a book called ‘Forgotten Girls” by Kay.  I quickly picked up the book and read the book jacket.  Kay had traveled with a group all around the world telling the plight of young orphaned girls and women with no hope who were being trafficked across borders and sold into sexual slavery.

The Lord had been tugging on my own heart regarding working with children who had been trafficked.  I had a vivid dream two years ago of children being trafficked right in my own backyard of San Francisco.  In the dream, i heard the pleas of three little five year old girls, asking why men were hurting them, as their mother sold them into slavery.  As I read Kay’s Forgotten Girls, and the work being done by She is Safe, an international ministry whom Kay had collaborated with in writing the book,

I knew in my heart and spirit this was the work the Lord was calling me to. I now had a focus for my artwork and ministry Gifts of His Glory.  My Biblical Scripture paintings would be dedicated to helping young orphaned girls and women in places like India and Indonesia find rescue and hope of aftercare through the sales of my paintings.  I decided to donate 50% of all sales to the work of She is Safe, targeting the places and stories that had touched my heart

The Lord also prompted me to donate paintings to Christian ministries such as Freedom House in San Francisco and Zoe Children Homes in Los Angeles, as a gift to help them raise money through auctions and galas for their work..  In my own small way, I was now able to help stop this horrible crime against children.  The most amazing thing is how it has brought healing to my own heart from my own abuse as a child by giving me a voice for others who have no voice.

I include here my latest painting entitled “Purple Daises”, taken from a garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, where beauty resides in the midst of hidden and dark suffering of children.  I chose Psalm 37:5 to include in the collage “Commit your way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass”. Amen.

(Purple Daisies sells for $100 and can be purchased at www.giftsofhisglory.com – Won’t you take a peek at the artwork for sale and help rescue a child? Thank you!


Bridges and Connections

Bridges and Connections…

San Francisco is  my town.  I was born at Kaiser Hospital on Geary Blvd, 51 years ago!  I love sailing on the Bay, the cable cars, Christmas at Union Square and biking at the Presidio right under the Golden Gate Bridge.  That beautiful Golden Gate.

Gets me thinking of other bridges and connections in our lives, namely Jesus, our bridge to peace with our Heavenly Father and to Heaven.  One day we will travel that bridge in the Spirit to the other side and meet Him face to face.  Can’t wait, how about you?
So when my Arts of the Covenant group decided to have our next gallery show to celebrate the Golden Gate’s 75th birthday, entitled “Bridges and Connections: Manmade, natural, and metaphorical” I pondered on what type of painting I would do.

So I thought of painting the bridge, but rejected it as being too hard.  Other famous bridges?…no, didn’t want to do them either.  Ahh Ha!  yes, I will do one of my Scripture paintings of…..No, I am not going to tell you!  You will have to come out and see it at the Gallery show on July 21 and 22nd in downtown Menlo Park, (the old Bank of the West Building at 950 University Avenue) where you will find a beautiful show by artists of faith along this theme.  At the same time, the City of Menlo Park is having its annual art marketplace so there will be lots of art to see and things to do.  Come have a cool glass of lemonade and mingle with me and my fellow artists at the reception.

Speaking of art, I just finished a new piece today entitled “Orange Tulips” with Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”.


Orange Tulips Proverbs 3:5
 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths
It is for sale for $100 at my art website (click above) or go to www.giftsofhisglory.com.  I give you a peek at it above…(remember:  50% of art sales go to She is Safe to help orphaned girls and women be free of abuse and sexual slavery and trafficking.)

When you think of bridges, what comes to mind for you?  Leave me a reply, would love to hear from you!


I am published!

I am published!

Today I reached a milestone in a writer’s life…to get published.  Along the journey to have one’s book published by a traditional publishing house, one is encouraged to publish a piece of writing on the local and national level.  This summer, I have been attending Menlo Park Presbyterian Women’s Writing Haven, a group of women of faith who write to prompts. It has been an exciting journey for me to see my writing expand and to get encouraging feedback by others in the group.

Today at our last session, we ate a smorgasbord of bundt cakes, homemade quiche and strawberries dipped in yogurt and shared our lives and news. At the end of the meeting, our leader Sally, presented each of us with a beautiful bound book entitled “Summer Potpourri:  A Miscellaneous Anthology” which included pieces of writing we had all submitted.  We sat around reading our stories, following along with our minds and hearts, laughing and delighted at our accomplishments. So with joy in my heart, I can now say I am published at the local level.  Amen. (And i can’t wait to share it with my writers critique group tonight!)

I would like to share a short story I wrote on my Mother which is included in the book, written in response to a prompt on a ‘favorite memory of your mother”.  I sent it to my mom for Mother’s Day and I know it brought joy to her heart.  I hope it brings joy to your heart as well.

Mother.
Seamstress.  Baker. Hand holder. Comforter.  These are the images of my mother.

My mother was often overwhelmed with four daughters.  She was a traditional mom, staying home with her children until my youngest sister was in First Grade.  I would come home from school and find he sitting at the kitchen table with sunlight streaming in from the window in a perfectly quiet house.

My mother loved to sew and taught all of us girls to sew on the old fashioned treadle machine..  I remember the rhythmic sound of the peddle going faster and faster as my feet pumped it.  She made all our costumes for Halloween and plays.
Saturdays would find us in the kitchen learning to bake her famous lasagna.  Layers of noodles. sauce, cheese, ricotta, filled my memory as I repeated noodles, sauce, cheese, ricotta cheese, until the pan was full.

Bead baking day was my favorite.  She would set the ball of dough to rise in the laundry room on the washer, the smell of yeast permeating the air. I loved to sneak into the room to  punch the ball down, causing my fist to make an imprint in the soft dough.
Chocolate chip cookies were my favorite dessert and I can still hear her scolding voice saying,  “Who is in the cookie dough?” as we snuck dough from the metal bowl in the refrigerator, the covering plate clanging against it, giving us away.

Best was my mother’s shoulder to cry on as boyfriends stood me up, friends betrayed me and sisters were mean to me.

My Mother.  My Friend.  My first love.


Bottom on Chair Time

Bottom on Chair Time

Where I spend my BOC time

Today I spent a whole day doing what is known amongst the writers clan as Bottom on Chair (BOC) time.  It is really called something else besides ‘bottom’ but I want to be politically polite on my blog site!

BOC time means you sit at your desk with your laptop and write…it doesn’t have to be a lot of writing, just that you are in your chair and writing.  It is like a rite of passage, one must spend quality BOC time in order to become a good and successful writer.  I joke with my writer friends, saying to them “Have you spent some BOC time lately?” or “You’d better go do some BOC time sweetie, this piece needs it!”

I had an agenda for today, rewrite my devotion, what my writer friend Jenni calls ‘the smelly roses’ piece, for an  international publication that was considering me for publication.  I had met the nice editor at Mt. Hermon’s Writers Conference and she had challenged me to write for them.  So three and a half months ago, I submitted my piece and forgot about it…until yesterday when her email showed up in my inbox.  “OMG” I said to myself, “she wants me to rewrite it to fit their guidelines, I don’t think I can give her what she is looking for – help me Lord.”

I chewed on it all night then this morning set out to write at my favorite cafe in Redwood City.  I hoped on the bus (as my car was totaled and I am without one at the moment) and made my way there.  Now the bus is another entirely different experience than say, BART or the train – but that’s another blog post for another day.
My cafe is across from the movie theater and I knew the new Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones flick was opening today called Hope Springs.  I LOVE Meryl Street and Tommy Lee Jones and it is the first time they are together in a movie.  Oh and Steve Carrell is in it too, another of my favorite actors.I got my coffee and sat down at an outside table procrastinating what I knew I had to do. Write my devotion over.  The heat of the day started in and I just couldn’t do it.  So I went and bought a matinee ticket to see the movie.  Well the movie is FABULOUS, I loved the Maine scenery and laughed throughout, but had a nagging guilt behind my ear.
So I took the bus home, had a chicken salad salad for lunch and went into my bedroom to my desk and turned on the fan.  I reread the editor’s instructions, looked at my devotion. Blank. No words.  I got up to get a popsicle and sat down again at my laptop.  Stared again at my devotion.  Got up to get another popsicle.  Prayed.  Finally a few words started to form in my mind and I wrote them on the page.  More words flowed.  Rewrote one paragraph.  Got up to get some naan bread with butter.  Rewrote some more. You get the picture.
Three hours later, full in my tummy, I finished my piece and sent it out to my writer’s group to have them critique it for me.  Ahhh, the beauty of a writer’s group, you receive free input and better writing than your own!  We meet monthly and are all former Mt. Hermon attendees.  It is a prerequisite to join. Jenni and I started the group as there wasn’t one in our area.  We are all serious about getting published and encourage one another on in the process.

Took a cold shower as I was all sticky from the heat and popsicles and went out in the dusk of the evening for a long walk, to get all the kinks out from my BOC time.  By the way, my chair is a hot pink swivel chair that I got free on Freecycle and I love it.  The color pink makes me a serious writer, don’t you think???!!!  Anyway it was on my walk that I thought about doing my next blog post on BOC time.  The Lord is good about that, He gives me a subject each week when I think I have nothing to write on. Now I can reward myself with a session on Pinterest, which I have grown to LOVE.  I have one board on Israel called “Ani Ohevet Yisrael – Everything Hebrew” which is picking up followers.  I so enjoy sharing my faith and art even on a social media such as Pinterest.  Come follow me!

I hope one day you will be able to read my ‘smelly roses’ devotion in print. Say a little prayer for me it will be so…

Enjoyed this little ditty? Please “Like” or “Tweet” below and share with your friends!


I am interviewed! Helping girls in sexual slavery…

There comes a season when the Lord blesses your ministry and gives you free publicity and brings Glory to himself.  Such is the season that She is Safe interviewed me and GIfts of His Glory on my art ministry since I am now an advocate for them helping rescue girls in sexual slavery and abuse.  I was thrilled it went to hundreds of people who had a heart for human trafficking.  Will you help share even more by sharing this with your friends and clicking LIKE/facebook or twitter below?  I and the Lord would so appreciate it. The interview is below:

She Is Safe has posted a new item, ‘Gifts of His Glory

We are thrilled to see artists using their gifts to free and empower enslaved women and girls. Miriam Sarzotti is an artist and writer who learned about SIS and decided to dedicate 50% of the income from her sales to the work.

We were deeply impressed by her decision, and we are big fans of her work, so we asked her if she’d be willing to do an online interview to tell us a little more about her work, how she connected with SIS, and where she sees it all going. Read on to learn more about this gifted artist and her advocacy work for SIS:

“Pink Potted Tulips” by Miriam Sarzotti

When did you begin painting, and what role does it play in your life today?

I began painting at the tender age of 3!  There is a picture of me at the easel in nursery school, with my paint-spattered apron on, painting away.

I painted through college then stopped for a long absence, starting my art ministry Gifts of His Glory, which features Scripture, two years ago. I feel the Lord has given me back my gift of painting after all these years and I now use it to give Him glory. I paint often today, and enjoy being inspired by the Holy Spirit in my artwork, believing each painting is an evangelistic tool expressing God’s beauty and His Word which “will not return to Him void.”

How did you connect with She Is Safe?

I met Kay Marshall Strom at a Christian Writers Conference in northern California when I took her “Write with Sizzle” class.  I saw her books, Daughters of Hope and Forgotten Girls in the author’s bookstore, co-written with SIS President Michele Rickett. It intrigued me to read about other women in ministry around the world who were being persecuted. I had served as a Christian missionary in Israel and knew persecution as a messianic Jew in Israel, as well as the persecution of Arab Christians in Israel. When I returned home, I read Forgotten Girls, and my heart was broken for the girls and women trapped in sexual slavery.

We love your idea of creating and selling artwork to help SIS work around the globe. Where did this idea come from?

After reading Forgotten Girls, I had such a burden for your work.  I prayed and asked the Lord what I could do to help.  I was  praying  for a new vision and purpose for my artwork at the same time.  His answer was for me to dedicate the art ministry to Christian ministries dealing with human trafficking through donation of paintings for their auctions and fundraising venues.  In particular He directed me to give 50% of my sales to SIS and your work around the globe and to become an advocate for you here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Do you think that working for this cause will motivate you or influence your art?

Yes it will motivate me! I have a particular heart for the orphaned child victims, and as I paint, I imagine how the money from the painting will go to help rescue them.  I know I am doing my small part to end this horror of human trafficking. I am also motivated to attract a Christian art merchandiser to turn my art into posters, greeting cards and such, bringing donations to SIS.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the SIS family?

“Cross with Petals” by Miriam Sarzotti

YES!  I am currently writing my first book on my life experiences including the trauma I experienced, both in my childhood from sexual abuse and on the mission field in Israel, and how the love of Jesus Christ healed and restored my life.  I am blogging on my writing and art journey’s on my blog www.giftsofhisglory.com/ miriamsblog .

I am working to start an advocacy group on the San Francisco Peninsula for SIS work. We will study Forgotten Girls and then raise funds for selected SIS work.  We will begin meeting in early fall, so anyone who lives in the area and has interest can e-mail me at miriam@giftsofhisglory.com.

To look at or purchase Miriam’s artwork, learn more about her story, and follow her writing, you can visit giftsofhisglory.com. If you have ideas for how you can put your gifts to work t0 help free and empower women and girls, leave a comment or drop us a note at info@SheIsSafe.org.

You may view the latest post at
http://sheissafe.org/2012/08/gifts-of-his-glory/


Eternity in Our Hearts

Colorful Zinnias Ecclesiastes 3:11

He makes all things beautiful in its time….He places eternity in their hearts..
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Yes He does.  Jesus that is.  He is in the business of making all things new.  Including me and you.  We are his precious works in progress, once we accept His free gift of grace.  He forgives our sins.  He places the Holy Spirit into our hearts to restore and renew all our fuzzy places and sinful spaces.  He changes us into the image of Himself.  And to give us hope, He puts eternity in our hearts.
What beautiful Words.  I thought a lot about this Scripture as I painted my next biblical Scripture painting today.  As always, I prayed about what to paint as a subject and what Scripture to go with it.  This time it was the colorful zinnias in a patch at Filoli Gardens.  I was drawn to their colors and sizes and how beautiful they were in the sunshine, with their petals reaching upwards to the sun.  How we will be one day in the glory of the Lord’s brilliance as we step into Heaven.  I imagine His smile of happiness on seeing me will be so bright. And I will radiate happiness and light in my new glorified body. Halleluiah. Just like the zinnias.

Do you ever think about eternity in the day to day struggles and problems of life here on earth?  I have to be honest and admit it is a passing thought now and then but lately I have been thinking of it more,  Maybe its getting older.  Knowing my time and work here on earth is going to come to an end.  Thinking thoughts such as “Lord, I feel I am not making enough impact for the Kingdom here on earth.  It seems I spend so much time waiting on you (!) and so little time leading others to you. Will my life matter in the scope of things?”
And then He whispers this Scripture in my heart….”I make everything beautiful in its time”….and I realized just for today, I used His gift of creativity in me and made a beautiful painting of His creation to bring joy to someone else’s heart.  And my life was made more beautiful for today…and I realized eternity IS in my heart.  I imagine seeing my Nana again and my baby daughter Lynley who did not live past the womb.  I imagine talking to Jesus’ mother Mary, who is my namesake of Miriam, (the Hebrew way to say “Mary” ). I will ask her to tell me what Jesus was like as a little boy, how it felt to be used by the Holy Spirit for a miracle. I imagine what it will be like to live FOREVER in peace with no tears or weight gain!  To have my family all restored, no longer dysfunctional, and not talking to one another.  To have a pure love for my mother and father despite the abuse and shame done to me as a child.

Because that is the kind of God we have.  He cares enough about us and our times of despair and hopelessness to give us the hope of being with HIm in eternity.  Heaven is real.  All it takes is being like a zinnia, turn your face up to the Son, Jesus, and ask Him to come into your hearts and forgive you for your sins.  To be your Lord and Savior.  It really is that simple.  And He will come and give you His Holy Spirit to make you all beautiful in His time…and deposit a little piece of eternity in your heart as a safekeeping and promise.
Please take a moment and share my post/painting by clicking on the “LIKE” button below and share the gift of eternity with your friends….
What do you look forward to most about eternity?  Leave me a reply..

I hope you enjoy my new collage “Colorful Zinnias”.  It is for sale for $100 at my art website.  Just click on ‘my art’ above or go to www.giftsofhisglory.com
Shalom and peace.

 

 


Summer Surprises

Today was one of those great summer days, it wasn’t too hot, and had a nice breeze.  I found myself waking up at 6a.m. which I never do, unless the Holy Spirit has something in mind.  I had a summer adventure planned not quite an hour away in Livermore and Pleasanton, two bedroom communities somewhere East on the way to Stockton. That’s all I knew.

I love exploring new places.  I love California architecture and how it reflects the Spanish influence of the early missionaries and the wild west salons that still stand in some towns.  When I found myself in downtown Livermore at 7a.m, I admired its quaintness and quickly found the local cafe.  Spending some time journaling all my worries and frowns, I sipped my cup of decaf (yes decaf, that’s all I drink) and asked the Lord to take my hand and plan some surprises for me on this day.

The first was stumbling on the open doors of St. Michael’s Catholic Church.  I swerved the car over to the side and went in.  I love the quiet stillness of Catholic churches, the smell of incense, kneeling down on the kneelers, seeing Mary’s statue  in the corner so comforting, and sipping real wine (surprise) in the chalice for communion. The priest’s sermon was just 10 minutes long, but touched on the Scripture that I so needed to hear this morning, (another surprise) from Mattew 6:25-34.”Do not worry”. I chuckled to myself.  The  basic premise being to live in each moment today, experiencing God’s love and grace for that moment and don’t worry about tomorrow.  I vowed to enjoy today with the Lord as my travel companion.

Next I was off to Trinity Church, for the Christ Centered Art Exhibit.  I had entered my painting entitled “Cross with Pearls” based on the parable of the “Pearl of Great Price”.  No one was there yet so I tiptoed into the sanctuary to peer at the artwork, all by Christian artists depicting the parables of Jesus. SURPRISE, the commentary on my painting was missing, I had sent it in but obviously, it hadn’t been received.  I heard a voice and turned to see the Pastor, greeting me.  When I voiced my frantic concern of no commentary in sight, he warmly replied, “Miriam, come into my office and you can type up your commentary there.”  I quickly found the email I had sent with the description and printed it up.  Hmm…lucky I was here early, I thought…The Holy Spirit nudged me “SURPRISE, this is why I got you up at 6a.m.” he whispered to my heart.

I was so in awe of the beautiful artwork inspired by the Holy Spirit that hung around me on the sanctuary stage.  A warm and knowledgeable professor of ‘spiritual art’, from a local seminary, went around the room stopping to reflect on each piece of art, acknowledging the artist.  When he got to mine, I was nervous as I wondered if He would like it and think it as good as the others, “Surprise” said the Holy Spirit again, “It was my vision I gave to you to paint, you used your gifts to create it for me.  Remember this.”  I was humbled.  Yes, the glory should go to the Lord.   After eating lunch of chicken and egg salad sandwiches, prepared lovingly by the hands of the women of the church, I dashed off to my next destination.

I drove toward the hay colored, rolling hills sprinkled with green vines, into the heart of Livermore’s wineries.  I had decided to visit a few small wineries for a tasting of these local wines I had never experienced.  Not quite the beauty of the Napa Valley, still there was a cow here and there, and many pink limos carrying brides nervously awaiting their special moment at the winery venues.  I pulled into the Crooked Winery and put my $5 tasting fee on the counter.  The woman served me 6 tastes, which was 5 tastes too many for this lightweight. Worrying I might now get a DUI, and not wanting this SURPRISE, I got back in my car and vowed not to visit any more wineries.

Soon I was in downtown Pleasanton which was a surprise, a quaint old western town with many cute cafes and shops.  “I could really live here”, I thought, but remembered how hot it got there in the summer.  I had a scoop of cold strawberry ice cream and let the cool breeze run over me as I watched people go by.

Next stop was the Alameda County Fair at the fairgrounds.  I love this fair and go every year.  I headed for the art, which exceeded my expectations.  So much talent. I lovingly stopped at each painting that caught my eye and marveled at the technique of these artists.  What is a county fair without a corn dog? and SURPRISE! mine was lukewarm and chewy.   YUK.   I walked through the beautiful flower gardens and next watched children racing on sheep! What a SURPRISE that was to see them hold on for dear life!  I ended my day, sipping a diet coke and eating a whole bag of kettle popcorn, listening to the country music singer, sing about lost love and how women love cowboys. Amen. The Lord sat beside me tapping his foot to the music and I swear I saw Him in the Spirit get up and dance a country jig!

As I drove home, trying to maneuver all the confusing freeways, I thanked Him for the day full of fun and surprises that only He could have orchestrated.  Once home, I glumly discovered  that bag of popcorn had 25 weight watcher points.  SURPRISE!

What surprises has the Lord brought you this summer?  I would love to know.  Leave me a comment or reply.

To see my painting “Cross with Pearls” go to my earlier blog post on the home page entitled: Our Pearl of Great Price.  To see all my art, click on the menu above on ‘art website’ or go to www.giftsofhisglory.com


Our Pearl of Great Price

Image

Our Pearl of Great Price

Recently I was invited to submit an art piece for a show of Christ Centered art based on the parables of Matthew 13.  Upon reading the chapter, I alighted on verse 46 which describes the parable of the pearl of great price. My mind flashed back to a year and a half ago, when the Lord first gave me a vision for painting prophetically.  That evening, as I was under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, I saw a picture of a cross with peals at the foot and top of it, and was directed to the scripture reference of Matthew 13:46.  Upon opening my bible to this passage, I read the following:  “The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant who goes in search of pearls of great value and when he finds one, he goes and sells all he has to buy it.”

Back in the present, I felt the Holy Spirit direct me to paint this vision of the cross with pearls, and that it would be perfect for this show.   I placed 12 pearls at the base of the cross,  representing each one of us, whom when the Lord found us lost as sinners, went and gave all He had for us, dying on the cross, paying the ultimate price for us.  I placed three pearls at the top of the cross representing the Lord (and Trinity) for He is our pearl of great value, whom we give up all we have for, receiving the gift of eternal life.

What a perfect exchange this is, each of us being a pearl of great value to one another.  I marvel how the Lord works and wonder whose heart and spirit will be touched by the vision of my painting and the words of Scripture entwined in it.  I smile in thanks to the Lord for allowing me to be a vessel of His creativity. After all, He is the ultimate Artist.””


Nana’s Hands

My Nana’s Hands

My Italian grandmother Nana was the matriarch of our family, the glue that held us  together.  She was a devout Catholic, rising early to walk to mass each day.  She instilled in me her love of Jesus, praying the rosary every day, her worn hands moving the beads silently, as she said the Hail Mary.

Nana’s hands would bake her anise cookies from scratch, rolling out the dough and cutting the pieces to be placed on the cookie dough sheet and slid into the oven, to be enjoyed with bowls of homemade ice cream later.

My fondest memory of my Nana is how her soft warm hands with the scent of Pond’s hand cream, would touch my face and forehead as she tucked me into the sofa for a night’s sleep, her hand crocheted blanket covering me.

She would sit in her rocking recliner crocheting homemade slippers for my sisters and I, imparting words of wisdom to us, and asking us if we were being ‘good girls’. I would see her hands roaming over the pages of her large Catholic Bible, her hands clasped tightly in prayer.

Often Nana would shake her finger at us, scolding us when we were naughty, calling us ‘piagas’ which means ‘brat’ in Italian.  We knew then to scamper away and hide out in the tall corn stalks of Papa’s garden.

My last view of Nana’s hands, so still and white, was in her coffin on the day of her funeral.  I reached out to touch them and they were cold.  I quickly withdrew my own hand, not wanting this to be the last memory of her.

One day, a few years after she went to heaven, I was writing my life story.  I was writing how Nana had been the one person who had loved me unconditionally and how much I had loved her.  I suddenly smelt the fragrance of roses and felt her presence so strongly, it was if she was standing right next to me.  I felt her hand on my forehead, like she had done so many times growing up.  I knew the Lord was blessing me with a moment of her presence from Heaven.