My Woes of Online Dating..the Case of the Disappearing Men

Sometimes I can be foolish.  Such was the case when my friends begged me to try online dating to find that special man the Lord has for me.  If you have been following my blog, you know how much I love the Lord and consider Him my husband.  I believe He will cross my path with that special man when He is ready and if I am staying in His will and am where I need to be. “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18.

After watching the film Courageous, where the father asks the daughter for her heart to keep in safekeeping,  I gave the Lord my heart and asked Hm to do the same until He showed me the man He had for me. So the whole idea of online dating sounded wrong.

In fact,I had tried eHarmony twice in the past, but had bad experiences so I had sworn off online dating.  I know others who have had great experiences, including my friend Laura who met her husband online at ChristianCafe.com  But sometimes the Devil tempts us to go off God’s path and I fell into the temptation this past week. Did God really say don’t eat the online dating apple? he whispered to me.

My friends pressured me to try ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com, which I found out were both owned by Sparks Network.  Hmm.. that sounds strange for a company to have both a Jewish and Christian site.  I was told JDate.com welcomed Messianic Jews (Jews who believe in Jesus) and Christians looking for a Jewish spouse.  So I signed up for both memberships, putting pictures and profiles online at each.

Surprised, I instantly had a slew of responses on both.  Wow, I thought, there are a lot of men interested in a 52 year old woman! Compliments of ‘how beautiful you are” and smiley faces, stroked my female ego.  I was a bit overwhelmed by all the choices.  You could send a smiley face to say hello, a flirt, to flirt and a Ecard with a witty slogan.  If you chose to subscribe and pay, you could email or instant messenger (IM) through the service securely.  They suggested not to give out your personal contact information until you had gotten to know one another. Good advice I thought.

My first day, I got an angry response on JDate from a Reformed Jewish man saying that No one here embraced Jesus, you are wrong about Him being messiah. He enclosed a list of all the supposed lies Christian missionaries like Jews for Jesus use to convert Jews.  None had biblical truth. I felt the sting of rejection from standing for Jesus amongst Jewish people.  What am I doing, I thought. I can take the rejection when I am witnessing, but here?

Another strange thing happened.  When I responded in turn to a smiley face or email from  most of the men, I got a notice that their profile was no longer available due to ‘violations of the policies’ (for mentioning money or sex). Hmm, this is strange…why do these men keep disappearing when I contact them back?  Are they all sex addicts? I guess Jesus is protecting me from the wrong guys,I thought.  I also noticed most claimed to be ‘widowed’.  Really, widowed at only 48 or 50 years old?  Red flags started popping up in my mind.

Then I noticed I was getting the same profile of a man, with no picture, but from different parts of the US. Traffickers I wondered?  I valiantly reported these men and was sent a form letter thanking me for alerting management and that they had been deleted.  When I received a fourth one, I knew there was a scam going on.

I googled the owners, Sparks Network Inc., and saw a list of complaints against them stating they used fraudulent and old profiles, to get people to think they had lots of matches.  On Christian Mingle, I repeatedly received pat blurbs back in response to my email that told me how pretty and charming I was, with a ‘sensual smile’. They appeared to have been written by a good writer somewhere but didn’t answer any of my questions I had posed. I even got a woman match on my profile and wondered what that was about? Turns out men were getting the same pictures of a provocatively dressed woman like I had. Oops.

I did get one live one.  A local San Francisco man claiming to be a cultural Jew asked me to text him.  I debated.  Shouldn’t I wait to make sure he wasn’t some mass murderer who would then have my phone number?  Feeling tempted, I textted him.  Let’s IM on Yahoo, he textted back.  No idea how to do this, he then sent me 20 texts explaining how to, all the while asking me about myself.  Feeling so flustered, I finally got him on Yahoo.

Five minutes into our chatting, he told me he had to do something and would be right back. Confusion hit me.  How long do I wait?  Not knowing the rules of IM, I sat there for 1/2 hour getting more angry with each minute.  How could this guy be so rude?  Finally I chatted him, Seriously, Mr. XYZ, what could be more important than talking to me?  I am working on some documents, baby, he chatted back.  Baby? Are you getting fresh with me on our first chat?  I asked.  No response.  We were disconnected. I stormed off to the kitchen in search of a glass of wine, being so frustrated from the whole experience.

Awhile later, I heard the IM blurp and he was back  I was calm now. He apologized for the ‘baby’ and hoped I wasn’t annoyed. I forgave him telling him we Christians were good at giving grace (!) and we chatted. I asked him why he wanted to chat with me since I was a Christian and he was Jewish?  I want to get to know someone like you, you sound so interesting and religious he replied.

Next came the smiley faces.  First he sent the flirty smiley face, winking at me.  Flattered, I responded, Thank you I needed that today.  We talked of keeping sabbath and how we both loved Israel.  He had only been on JDate 2 days and we LOL over how we newbies had found each other.

Then came the smiley face again.  Not to be outdone, I sent the flirty smiley face back.  He rallied with a smiley face that looked like it was kissing me, but I couldn’t be sure because I didn’t have my glasses on! The smiley face licked its lip after the kiss.  Ewwww I thought.  Are you sending me a kiss with a lewd smiley face, because if you are I will have to report you! I replied, jokingly.  Poof.  He was gone. Signed off.  I guess I scared him off. Good.

So I wonder, is this what the online dating world is all about.  Deception and rejection?  Lustful men using smiley faces?   Lord please forgive me, I am sorry I didn’t trust you and wait on you liked you asked.  I deleted my profiles on both sites and wrote for a refund since there was a three day grace period for Californians. I wonder if I will receive them.

Lesson learned?  Don’t listen to pressure from your friends but trust in the Lord.  Why am I blogging on this?  To warn others about the deceptions and dangers of online dating and certain sites.

I recommend the best way to meet that special man is to get involved in your church and meet godly men that way..  Attend singles groups which are in most churches.  Go to Christian singles retreats.

Protect your heart.  You only have one heart and you don’t need to have it broken by ungodly men.  Jesus loves you and adores you.  You are known and accepted by Him.  Only He can fill that deep place that longs for true love.  Once you know this love, you will be ready to receive the love of a godly man.  I am preaching to the choir and myself today!  Wait on Him. My blessing to you? May you meet the man of your dreams in His timing.

And watch out for those smiley faces.

He who finds a wife (husband) finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.- Proverbs 18:22

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What has been your online dating experience, leave me a reply?


My Sweet Valentine…

Something beautiful happened on Valentine’s Day. I spent an intimate afternoon with the Lord visiting Filoli Gardens, a historical house and English gardens, in Woodside near my home.  It has always been a special place to go and spend quiet time in reflection and in the Word, a  tradition of mine to go on Valentine’s Day.

So Valentine’s morning I picked up my red Zip Car, because red equals love, and drove

The Tea House at Filoli Gardens

over to Filoli.  It was a beautiful sunny day, early spring weather, and I noticed the daffodils were in bloom as I arrived.  I took the time to admire the watercolor art exhibit and found my way to the Tea House, a cool reflective building in the middle of the gardens.

The former owners used to have tea here and play cards. It has breathtaking views of the lily ponds and fountains found throughout the gardens.  A welcoming antique chaise lounge beckoned me. I sat quietly with my bible on my lap, taking in the smell of the jasmine and watching a small hummingbird fly back and forth as he had lost his way.

I opened my bible and asked the Lord to direct me.  He gave me one beautiful Psalm after another, talking of His love and faithfulness, of His protection and deliverance, of being my Husband and my Maker, all the while infusing His love into my heart.

I closed my eyes and prayed, seeing Him in the Spirit, kneel down next to me and take my hand in His.  He kissed my hand gently and love for Him flowed through my heart. Lord I love you so much, I adore you, you are the lover of my soul, my husband  (Isaiah 54:5). Thank you for loving me.  Soon I got up to dance with Him, dressed as Cinderella at the Ball, He as Prince Charming.  We waltzed our way out unto the patio and onto the grass, all the while twirling around and around.  Did you know Jesus loves to dance?  Because He does.

I got lost in the moment, until a guest walked in announcing the time. I opened my eyes.  I quickly asked the Lord if there was something else he wanted to say to me or surprise me with this Valentine’s day.           I want to give you a new beginning Miriam, to remove the reproach of your sexual abuse and past, to take the spiritual burden off your shoulders and the shackles from around your neck. (Isaiah 58:6) In a vision, I saw Him removing them and standing at the edge of the sea, throwing the burdens and shackles in.  I joined Him by the water’s edge, putting my arm around Him and leaning into Him. Yes, Lord, I am ready to move on from having my identity being as an incest survivor, to being simply your child, the daughter of the King.

My heart felt so light, because carrying that burden around for so long had taken its toll on me.  Everything in my life, my art ministry, my book, my relationships, had all evolved around my past. How I had overcome. How I was now helping others overcome. But now it was time for me.  To take a break and find a new path with a new freedom in Him.

How would I define myself now, if not author, artist, advocate, prayer warrior, healer, minister of the gospel and most importantly, blogger?!  How about friend, sister, Jewish believer in Jesus, future wife, mother and homemaker?  All my dreams for the future.  So I started.  I lit the Sabbath candles tonight, promising the Lord to honor the Sabbath like I used to….spending the day in rest, honoring Him in worship and time in nature, no worries, fretting or Facebook.  I remembered the promise of keeping Sabbath in Isaiah 58: 13-14:

“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the Lord honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
14 Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Yes. I wanted to delight in Him and have Him give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4).

To return to my Jewish roots by taking a trip back to Israel where I had served Him as a missionary in the 1990s.

Hiking the Jesus Trail, Israel

To hike the Jesus Trail, a 40 mile road that leads from Nazareth to Capernaum, where Jesus lived and ministered along the Sea of Galilee.

To cook a new recipe every week preparing myself for that Jewish believing husband I am waiting on.

To dust off my sewing machine and make my wedding quilt for my Chuppah (Jewish Canopy).

To get back on Weight Watches online, avoiding white flour, sugar, potatoes and diet coke to lose the weight I need so I can look pretty in my wedding dress when that day arrives.

To blog just for the fun of it, with no goal in mind!

To bike along new areas of seashore I haven’t visited before.

To Just Be Me.

I am excited about this time of new beginnings, of seeing myself healed and free of past labels and disabilities, a whole person in Jesus, ready to follow Him on this new adventure, with Him by my side. Yes, I love Him. He is my sweet Valentine. And always will be. No matter who I marry!

Stay tuned!

What is your secret dream? Leave me a reply.

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My Big Dream…getting my book published…and how you can help…

The road to Mt. Hermon

Every year there is a wonderful Christian writers conference in March amongst redwood trees at Mt. Hermon in the Santa Cruz mountains south of San Francisco.  It is every writers dream to go as it is the most prestigious conference in the United States.

I was blessed to go last year for the first time, a nervous first time writer with the first draft of my newly written book Running from the Witches: How the Redemptive Love and Power of Jesus Christ Healed my Life. I was what they call a newbie, not knowing what to expect for the jam packed five day conference.  They assigned me a buddy who was there to help orient me and support me throughout the conference named Rebecca.I checked into my room, met my roommate Laura, and went for a hike to ask God what His will for me was during this time.  Of course, like every writer, I wanted to sell my manuscript.  THE BIG DREAM.  How naive I was.  God had other plans. Rewrites to be specific..and trusting Him in the process of getting published.

This past year He has been faithful and blessed me to have one of my devotions published, making me a published author (see my publications tab above). I have developed many writer friendships from the conference that encourage me in the writing process.

This year I am hoping to return to the conference and find an editor and agent for my now rewritten and polished manuscript. I will have a chance to pitch my story in five minutes as I eat lunch and dinner with editors and agents.  I will be able to submit my book proposal for review by publishing houses. Network with other writes and take a zillion workshops. All amongst the redwood trees and fresh air of the mountains. Glory.

My manuscript has been edited, critiqued and professionally looked over by my critique partner, Jenni, and my dear author friends Kay Marshall Strom and Dan Kline, who I met last year when they both took me under their wings to help guide my path.  I took Kay’s How to Write with Sizzle Class at the conference and Kay helped me turn my book from a memoir into a memoir with self help genre which it now is.

My book highlights my experiences on the mission field in Israel and the trauma I endured, the abuse I suffered as a child, and how God came and healed me from it all through the love and power of Jesus Christ.

It is a great read filled with adventures in Israel and England, but mostly it is a love story of how God came and found me, this little Catholic girl lost in the dysfunction of my home, and began an intimate journey with me that has lasted five decades. The best part is the book has self help notes for the reader at the end of each chapter on how to overcome all the issues I have dealt with in my life, including depression, abortion, sexual abuse, eating disorders and dating “Hell boys”!

(You can read excerpts from my book in the archive section of my blog)

In order to go to this year’s conference, I am asking you my readers, who are blessed by my blog, and want to help get my book published, to financially sponsor me to cover the $1000 fees to attend. (This covers room, meals, conference fees and incidentals).  As a faith based ministry, I am trusting the Lord to move on hearts to help me go.

Will you sponsor me?  It’s simple, you can make a donation online securely on my website www.giftsofhisglory.com using your credit card or pay pal account. I ask for donations by February 28, 2013.  However, you can still donate after that date to help support my art ministry as well. I will give you a autographed free copy of my book once published as a way of saying thank you for your donation. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father. James 1:17

Whew!  It’s always hard asking for money!  But I think I did o.k. (smile).

Thanking you in advance for your gift and giving Glory to God for what He is going to do at this year’s Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference. I am expecting miracles!  http://mounthermon.org/event/122

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