Blessings, Paintings and Spooks…Oh My!

 

Me and Michele Rickett of She is Safe

Halloween is not a favorite holiday of mine.  I hate how it celebrates the Devil and his works.  Every week right before Halloween I feel the intensified evil in the air as witches and satanists do their ritual sacrifices in the forest areas around my home. Spooky ghosts and goblins decorations on nearby homes sends a shiver down my spine. So this week I am celebrating how God used this season to glorify Himself.

It started Thursday night. Excitement was in the air as Michele Rickett of She is Safe, the ministry I advocate for, came to speak at my church to people who were interested in hearing more about human trafficking.  I was invited to show my art, as a percentage of my art goes toward the work they are doing in China with Aids orphans.  These are precious little girls who have lost parents to Aids and are in danger of being trafficked.

I call them ‘my girls’ as in “gotta sell a lot of paintings for my girls” and “Lord please bless my paintings and bring people to buy them for the girls” and “oh goody, sold another painting, more money for my girls.” I get so excited and can’t wait to make the donations via their website SheisSafe.org.

Michele’s speech was great and we had a good crowd.  As I stood in front of the group,  I shared how my goal as an advocate was to rescue one girl and support her for one year.  I imagine one little girl in East China around 6 or 7 years old, malnourished, living in poverty and unwanted because she is a girl.  She is vulnerable to being sold in child marriage by her family or to a trafficker and then brothel.

I imagine how the money I am raising will go toward the $1 day it costs to educate, feed, shelter and clothe her.  While it doesn’t seem like much to rescue one girl, this is one girl rescued from the ravages of darkness and the clutches of the Devil.  Just imagine if we all did this and rescued one girl, what an impact that would have on ending the evilness of human trafficking. And after that I will rescue another little girl, then another. (God was faithful and paintings were sold.)

“Miriam, what can I do to help?  It seems so overwhelming and impossible to stop?”  Here are some immediate ways you can help:

Purchase a Scripture painting on my website giftsofhisglory.com.  What says unique gift more than an original piece of artwork with Scripture in it? (think holidays around the corner)  $50 of each sale will go to help ‘my girls’. That’s 50 days of her being ‘safe’.

Forget Me Not Tulips Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"

Donate money. Visit She is Safe’s website and click on donate.  What I love about SIS is that you can donate directly to a specific work or area of the world via their work page map.  So if you have a heart for helping former Muslim women in Indonesia learn a trade and become self supportive or want to reach out to children in India being tutored and taught about the love and value Jesus has for girls, visit this page.

Become an advocate like me. Click on Advocacy for ways to get easily involved. Consider hosting a Village Gathering party, where you host a group of friends in your home and sell jewelry made by rescued girls that goes to support them in their new lives in Jesus Christ.  Or organize a Run to Rescue to raise money through a walk or run sponsored marathon.  Better yet, get your children involved at home or in your Sunday school or classroom by doing Read to Rescue, raising money by reading books, yes reading books!

Rescue beads and earrings for your Village Gathering party

Subscribe to their blog and keep yourself informed on what is happening in the world of abuse and exploitation of women and the wonderful work SIS is doing. Then pray regularly for their work. You can also read the interview they did of my art ministry Gifts of His Glory.

Join an advocacy group in your area. I will be leading a new group on the San Francisco Peninsula soon.  We will raise money as a group for the China Aids orphans and study the book Forgotten Girls, written by Michele and my friend Kay Marshall Strom. For more information email me at miriam@giftsofhisglory.com. (Many people signed up to join!)

LIKE and TWEET this post below so your friends can hear about how they can help too!

SheisSafe.org

I recommend She is Safe because I love how they PREVENT girls from being abused and trafficked into sexual slavery.  Won’t you help through one of the above ways and make a difference in these precious children of God? They are suffering in the worst possible ways and are crying out to God and someone to help them.  Thank you!

 

 

 


The Holidays are here…Come see my Scripture art!

Fall Lancaster Tree Ecclesiastes 3:1 'For everything there is a season and a time and purpose under Heaven"

The Halloween decorations are up and the Christmas ornaments are on display, yes it’s that time again, THE HOLIDAYS!  However, this is good news for me. I look forward to the holidays as it is a time to feature my art in person and help sell it for a good cause.

Here’s your chance to see my art in person:  My biblical Scripture Art will be for sale at my church, Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Mt. View, California on October 27 and 28th after each service. (call for times 650 625-1500) This is a fair that partners with Heavenly Treasures which sells arts, crafts and jewelry made by women and girls who are rebuilding their lives from trafficking, abuse and poverty.  It is a great place to come and do all your holiday shopping in one stop!

I have dedicated my art to supporting ministries that help victims of human trafficking.  I donate my paintings to these ministries for their auctions at their galas to raise money. I also have committed to donating 50% of each painting to She is Safe, an international ministry that prevents and rescues girls and women from slavery and exploitation in the hardest places of our world, like India, China and Africa.  They work to stop child marriage, female genital mutilation, selling girls into sexual slavery and infanticide of girls, to name a few of their wonderful deeds.

SheisSafe.org

SheisSafe.org

I am an advocate for them here in the San Francisco Bay Area and will be starting an advocacy group on the Peninsula where we will study God’s heart for exploited girls and women, pray, and raise money for a cause close to my heart:  orphaned girls in China whose parents have died from Aids and are in danger of being trafficked.

With our raised money, She is Safe’s partners in China will step in and shelter, clothe and feed the girls and most importantly send them to school so they can break the cycle of poverty and abuse.  We will pick one other country to support such as India, where transformation groups that empower women and teach them the love of Jesus, are being started. For more information on the group, contact me at miriam@giftsofhisglory.com

Cross at Sunset "And by His stripes we are healed" Isaiah 53:5

I ask you this holiday season to consider a purchase of a Scripture painting to be a part of God’s answer to the work of rescuing these girls and women from the darkness in their lives, allowing the love and light of Jesus to shine in.  Come on out to the holiday fair if you can or you can shop online at www.giftsofhisglory.com.  I ship anywhere in the USA and beyond! Remember each painting has a Scripture to bless the viewer whether if is hanging in your home, office or classroom. God’s Word will not return to His void. (Isaiah 55:11). And they make wonderful gifts for that seeking friend or family member.

(I know some of you are saying “Miriam it is hard to see what the paintings really look like online. I am afraid if I buy one I won’t be happy.”  Well, I assure you the paintings are more colorful and pretty in person! I have a seven day return policy for any reason. I will refund your money, minus the shipping fees. Just ship it back to me. The Scripture references in each painting are hand printed in gold or color metallic ink by me. Each collage includes textured paper, making them two dimensional).

Let’s remember those less fortunate than us this Holiday Season and bless them with the love of Jesus, as after all, He is the reason for the season!

To view my art, go to ‘my art‘ above or click here.

Will you LIKE this post and help spread the news of my art and advocacy ministry to your friends and family?


My devotion is published!…a love letter to the Lord..

My love letter to the Lord

My sweet Lord, such love and goodness happened this week. Your miracle of allowing me to show my art at my church’s mission holiday fair after all. And yesterday finding out some of my writing is being published on the national level.  Oh, and not to mention the possible job.

I love how faithful you are, that in the dry seasons of our life, when we are so anxious for you to open a door, you open three at once!  I love how you have a way of raining down blessings, and how I know from experience you wait till the last possible moment, yet your timing is perfect.  I have seen you come through when I am down to my last few dollars in my savings account and I don’t know where money will come from for next month’s bills.

From Pinterest

My heart overflows as I watch your perfect sunset of my favorite colors, pink and purple tonight.  I saw a pin on Pinterest today that said God is a designer. How true.  You are the ultimate Artist and Creator.  Every sunrise and sunset you paint a canvas of color for us, and every evening you hang the moon and stars in a navy blue sky.  I have enjoyed so much walking at night and riding my bike under the bright moon.

I have noticed I see things more clearly with an artist’s eye now, with your eye, such as how the seasons change and the beauty of each.  Fall, one of my favorites, brings baking, homemade soups, quilting while sipping pumpkin lattes and crunchy gold, red and yellow leaves on the ground.

This evening, I realized how blessed I am to do the things you do, be an artist and writer.  It took 51 years to get to this place but I love painting and I love being a writer, and now an author.  WOW, author.  It was nine months ago I picked up my pen and stated writing my book, on a rainy day in January at Peets Coffee.  Nine months of joy, frustration, rewrites, editing, critiquing, writer conferences, blogging, subscribers, plug ins, Facebook cartoons, statistics, submission, rejection and now finally acceptance.   An editor felt my devotion “Our Sweet Fragrance” was good enough to publish.  In a book.  That many will see, read and grow closer to you because of it.  WOW.

As an author, you write our names in your book , our tears in your book and our days in your book.  My art contains your Word in Scripture, knowing that my word that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void. (Isaiah 51:11)  How is it I am growing to be more like you and your image everyday? (smile)

I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys - Song of Solomon 2:1

Thank you Jesus for being my sweet fragrance (2 Corinthians 2:15), and my Rose of Sharon (Songs 2:1). For giving me the words to write the beautiful devotion to you and the ability to paint a Scripture painting to go along with it, entitled Rose of Sharon.

For giving me a vision of you tossing dozens of red rose petals all over me as I rolled on my bed in glee, over finding out my devotion was accepted for publication in Penned from the Heart*.  Of confirming my dream and encouraging me in my journey with you. My heart is full of gratitude and love for you. Ani Ohevet atah Yeshua.
Your love, Miriam

Rose of Sharon is for sale on my website giftsofhisglory.com.  Click here or above on ‘my art’ to see all my Scripture paintings that make wonderful holiday gifts.

Yearly Christian devotional for 2013

*I am sorry I cannot publish my devotion here on this blog until after it has been printed and published in the devotional book.  Rules of the publishing game!  Devotional books can be ordered beginning in December for the 2013 version in which my devotion appears,  at www.gloriaclover.com.  Retail at $9.95)

Leave me a reply:  What dream has the Lord given you?

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When you are so mad you could spit!

What do you do when you are so angry you could spit?  Tonight, finding myself in this situation, I did three things,  I rode my bike (thing #1) under a bright full moon to McDonald’s with my flashing red and white lights warning others to stay away, to get a large diet coke, with lemonade in it.  To give you an idea how mad I was, I am not supposed to be drinking diet coke but I didn’t care.  To heck with it, I thought.

As I arrived I was greeted by one of the workers, a young African American man, whom I had met before and had given him my card as he was interested in my website and blog.  He greeted me warmly,

“Hi, I read your ENTIRE blog and I now know your entire life..how you stole cookie dough out of the refrigerator as a child, all your trips to Israel, and by the way, were you scared when you went there?” he asked me.

I laughed in unbelief to hear such a good report on my blog.  “No I wasn’t scared, I was fearless back then in my 30s, now in my 50s, it is another story” I exclaimed.  “What did you learn about Jesus from my blog” I asked him expectantly.

“That Jesus is the one and only Savior…I knew that already but your blog makes it real clear”.

The smile on my face was huge as I digested this news. I asked him if he had ever made it to my church.  He said he hadn’t been able to yet and asked me to write the name and address down.  Fumbling through my purse, I found an old receipt and borrowed a pen from the night manager.

‘I need to get some Sundays off, as I have to work Sunday afternoons” he said.

“We have an early service at 8:30am” I replied.

“You do, where is the church?” he asked me in return.

As it turns out he lives a few blocks away and can ride his bike.  Amazed how God can arrange a divine appointment in the middle of the night when I am in a foul mood, I had to laugh as I biked away with my drink.

The scripture from Psalm 4:4 “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent” went through my mind as I contemplated sending another email to the person I was angry at.  It involved  not being able to show my art at an important function I was hoping for.  Disappointment, hurt and anger fed my soul.

Indignant thoughts ran through my mind “How can they not bless my art ministry as I am a MEMBER there?” I implored of the Lord.  “And they told me not to take it personally and I am an ARTIST, of course I will take it personally,” I screamed.  Crying in frustration I sobbed, “Lord how am I going to raise money for the poor girls in sexual slavery all over the world if you won’t open doors for me?  I try so hard, and yet so many people really don’t care about helping these poor girls who are raped 20 times a night, day in and day out, who die from the horror of it or from internal bleeding as they are too young to be raped” I lamented.  “And to top it off, I am overdue on writing my blog and have nothing to say.” Sniff, sniff.

Pinterest

When I got home, I felt better, but soon the hurt filled my heart again.  I played on Pinterest for an hour (thing #2), pinning all kinds of comfort foods that I wished I could eat right then and there, but had to settle for salivating over them and printing up the recipes, promising to try them tomorrow.  “Amish church noodles” and “Southern chicken and dumplings” made the list.  I had tasted the yummy Amish noodle dish on my last trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, two years ago and fell in love with it.  I had been blessed to eat the chicken and dumplings at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee,  during a trade show I was working way back in my corporate life in my early 30s. And yet I still remembered it fondly. Time to eat them again.

Amish church noodles

I decided not to send another email as I could see that was exactly what the Enemy wanted me to do and destroy a relationship.  I prayed very quickly the scripture “My grace is sufficient for thee” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ) asking the Lord to give me the grace to not take action.  This is a new thing for me to do, when I am angry or offended and need to forgive someone. And each time I ask the Lord for His grace, He miraculously gives it to me.

Finally, it being midnight now, I felt I needed to write out my feelings so I started writing this blog post (thing #3), having no idea where it would go.  As I typed, my anger dissipated as I laughed out loud at the absurdity of my situation, as I could clearly see God’s hand and salvation as the night wore on.  I realized it is painful at times when He says “NO” to a door opening.  Yet I see His blessing as I had been recently telling Him, and all my friends, how frustrated I was not knowing who was reading my blog or how it was affecting my readers. I get very few replies, most being spam.  And then I walk into McDonald’s in the middle of my funk and He rewards me with personal feedback by an enthused reader.  What are the odds?

HUGE SIGH: I am feeling better now, as writing always has a soothing effect on my soul and I believe I shared some important things tonight about anger, God’s grace and unexpected blessings.  I hope you will take these away and remember them the next time you are so angry you could spit!

PS My heart turns to praise as the Lord reminds me that I have on average 9000 views per month. He has given me a ministry of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world through my blog.  Now that is something to be thankful for!

Please do leave me a reply below…it means a lot for me to hear from you and how you have been touched by my blog…

To see my Scripture art, click here or on the ‘My art” tab above.  Consider purchasing a painting as 50% goes to rescuing girls in sexual slavery and abuse around the world. And they make lovely gifts for the upcoming holidays….I ship anywhere in the US or worldwide.

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