On Pins and Needles… God’s Healing Through Acupuncture

acupuncture needles

acupuncture needles

Every Tuesday I take the train to Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto for an acupuncture sessions with Dr. Huang. Now this is a miracle. I was always one to doubt Eastern medicine, figuring it was ‘phu phu’ stuff, involving centering your energy and ‘Chi’s’. Until I injured my hands, arms and shoulder from overuse. In pain, not able to write, paint or bike, or even get to the grocery store without a friend taking me, I found myself in a humble spot with the Lord.

My conventional doctors could only give me cortisone shots and the possibility of surgery, which I did not want. Physical Therapy did not help. So when my pain doctor suggested Acupuncture, I prayed about it.

“Really, Lord, acupuncture? Isn’t this dangerous to do spiritually?”

Hearing the Scripture over and over, “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” (Proverbs 3:5-6), I felt God was leading me to try this, so I made the appointment. Wondering how I would pay for it, as my insurance did not cover it, I was offered a 80% discount by Stanford, a welcome surprise.

And so it began. Dr. Huang, with his Chinese accent and sense of humor, studied the practice in China before he began practicing at Stanford 20 years ago. I was a bit nervous, as I did not know what he was doing, placing up to 14 needles all over me, but I trusted God would use his hands to help heal me.

They say acupuncture works for some and not for others, but my very first session, I felt its magical effects. I felt my life force or ‘energy’ as they call it, move and center me. I felt a deep peace and calm come over me. After the very first session, for which he was treating my carpel tunnel in both hands, with pain radiating up to my neck, I was able to write on the computer without pain for 15 minutes, which believe me, was a miracle.

To work on my frozen shoulder, he asked me if I could take a ‘big’ needle. I assured him if I could take a cortisone shot in my wrists, I could take this needle.

“Now don’t kick me,” he said, as He placed the needle in my right shin.

“O.K. I won’t” not knowing what to expect. He turned it twice, and i felt my nerve travel into my foot and my foot kick up, luckily missing him.

“Now, move your shoulder through all the pain points for one minute.”

I did this, and low and behold, all my shoulder pain was gone! I could move my left arm. I was pain free for four days! When I told my orthopedic doctor, Dr. Roh, he exclaimed;

“I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it…but give me his name as I have a patient who want to try it.” I laughed all the way home from the doctors office.

images-2The best part happens while I lie on the table for 45 minutes after the needles are placed in various places. I hear the Holy Spirit whispering to me above the relaxing Chinese meditation music. I hear words of comfort, as He also moves through my soul, healing it from past hurts and trauma. I feel deep peace and calm come over me and all my worries float away. I see Jesus in a vision, sitting at my feet, touching my body as His healing power flows through me. Tears spring from the sides of my eyes, as my heart expresses my gratitude to the Lord for this provision of healing to me: body, mind and spirit.

Dr. Huang puts two needles in my head and he tells me this aligns and balances my energy. Do I believe it now? Yes, I do, as I have seen how my emotions have stabilized and my mind is clearer and calmer.

God works in mysterious ways. He can take an unbeliever like myself and turn me into a believer, when I see His power and majesty move on my behalf. Dr. Huang jokes with me by saying, to heal my depression he would have to sick a long needle into one ear and out the other, to which I laugh. But it is no laughing matter to be able to type this whole blog post, to be able to ride my bike again on occasion and to paint with my pastel crayons. images

God is in the business of restoring broken parts and places with whatever means He chooses. I give Him all the Glory. I share my testimony with you today, hoping you will trust Him with your broken places, asking Him for His healing touch in whatever way He brings it, including ‘pins and needles’. Amen.

To see my Scripture art and greeting cards click on ‘my art’ above or www.giftsofhisglory.com yellow daffodils 5 x 7 scan

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Love Works.

Today a miracle happened.  I faced one of my biggest fears and God completely delivered me from it.  You see, 14 years ago, I came off the mission field after spending two years in England and parts of the United States, involved in a prophetic underground movement, that turned out to be a cult.  I came home bruised, beaten by the devil, and very ill with depression and post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). My family, not wanting to be burdened with me, dumped me on the County mental health system, and I found myself homeless in a shelter.  Yes, a shelter.  I write about this in my prepublished book of my journey of faith entitled,”Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God.”

I share this with you today to encourage you how the redemptive love and healing power of Jesus Christ can heal even the most wounded soul and damaged life.  I was told I would never recover from these illnesses and the fear that gripped me.  I felt like God had abandoned me and the devil had put me out to pasture, never to be in ministry again.  But there is hope in my story, as God did bring healing and restoration to my life, and can for yours too.  It starts with a seed of faith, to believe in Him as your Lord and Savior, and ask Him to forgive your sins and come dwell in your heart.  Jesus was all about healing during His time on this earth, and He still heals today through the power of His Holy Spirit, that resides in believers.  You are sealed with the Holy Spirit and redeemed for all eternity when you are born again (John 3:7)

So what was the miracle Miriam?  Today I went to do a LOVE WORKS project with my new church at a homeless shelter for people with psychiatric illnesses.  I was a bit afraid that it would trigger bad memories of that time in my life, the great pain and depression I was in, and the spiritual torment I was under.  Deep down I feared that somehow I would end up homeless again.

Well, you know what? God’s love worked, as I showed up to paint the shelter rooms.  I looked around the place in amazement, how clean and well kept it looked, how sunny and bright.  I fellow-shipped with two women residents at lunch, then asked them if I could peek in the women’s dorm.  When I pushed open the door, I was met with the sight of new wooden wardrobes at the foot of each bed, unlike the old metal lockers that had been there before. I shared my testimony how I had been in this very same shelter 14 years ago. God had met me there, when one summer day a black pastor from the church down the street stopped by and invited me to his church.  I went and found my way back to Him and church, and the rode to recovery began.

As I stood in the dorm, Shivon* and Cathy* asked me to pray for them, so we formed a circle and held hands, I prayed for God to protect them, to open doors for housing and jobs, and to heal their mental illnesses. I saw God’s love work in their hearts, and mine.

I had come full circle. I stood there strong in His love, sharing it with others who needed it that day.  My fear of being homeless again just dissipated, as the Lord healed my heart.

*not their real names.

The residents saw God’s love through our serving them.  I hope one day, one of them will say, “You know, it was when that church group came and painted our shelter, and shared their testimonies of hope in Jesus, that the turning point came for me.”  Just as it had for me that summer day years ago.

May LOVE WORK in your life and through your life to others today…

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God can Heal your Broken Heart

Today, while I was watching my Beth Moore bible lesson video on my laptop, I heard the wonderful news:  God can heal your broken heart, your pain, you mental anguish over wounds from your past. I stopped the tape and sat for a moment. He never meant for us to stay wounded, if fact that is why He died on the cross for our sins and was wounded for us.  He took our woundedness so we don’t have to carry it any longer.  This profound truth settled into my heart.

He knows what it is like to have emotional pain, mental anguish, and the physical pain of nails driven into his hands and a sword pierce his side.  There is nothing we have gone through or are going through that He hasn’t experienced himself.

This is why He is our Savior and Healer.

As I sat on my sofa in my living room, looking out the clear glass doors at the white fluffy clouds float by in the bright blue sky, I bowed my head and humbly asked the Lord to heal my wounds. He placed His hand on my heart and healed me through His Holy Spirit.

He withdrew the sword that had pierced my heart when I was abandoned by my family over my illness. He took the pain of losing my nieces and nephews in my life when I came forward with my sexual abuse from childhood.  He soothed the hurt when an old high school friend took advantage of my vulnerability and betrayed me. He knit together my wounds through His healing balm in one afternoon, that began as an ordinary day, and turned into an extraordinary one. And He can do it for you too.

Once I turned the video back on, Beth shared that Jesus calls us away to a solitary place and time with Him to be able heal our wounds in the quiet of the moment.  We need to make time out of our busy lives to just sit with Him and be still.  Only then can he show us our wounds and the love in His eyes as He desires to heal us.

Even if your heart is shattered into a million tiny pieces like mine was, He can still knit it together because he promises in His Word, the Bible to. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)  and
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)  Even if you are suffering from depression and despair, He loves you enough to heal you as He did me.

Please pray this prayer:  Dear Jesus. I believe you died on the cross for my sins and took my wounds upon yourself.  Please heal my broken heart and damaged life from all my pain, anguish and despair.  I open my heart to you today and invite you to come in as my Lord and Savior at this special time of Easter when you died and rose from the dead so I could have eternal life with you.  Please touch me now even as I pray through the power of your Holy Spirit. Thank you Jesus for loving me.  Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, know God was faithful and began the work of healing you. Sometime He heals instantly as He did for me today, other times it is a process that takes time. Here are some practical ways to seek healing.  I share these in my my pre-published book: Finding God in the Midst of My Mess: A Love Story, to be published in 2015.

-Attend a church that has healing prayer groups and ask for healing.

-Read Leanne Payne’s books: The Healing Presence; Restoring the Christian Soul; Listening Prayer and The Crisis in Masculinity (for men) all on emotional healing.

-See a Christian counselor who can incorporate healing prayer into your sessions. Google you local Christian Counseling Center or ask your Pastor for a referral.

-Take a Beth Moore bible study for healing such as Breaking Free available online at www.lproof.org.  You can take them online or at a local church that offers her classes.

-Call the Minirth-Meir New Life Clinics 1-888-7 CLINIC (1-888-725-4642) for a counselor or inpatient program in your area, especially if you are suffering from depression or chemical dependency.

-Attend a Christian 12 Step group to find support and healing for addictions through a local church.

-If you in a crisis pregnancy Google your local Christian Pregnancy Center and make an appointment for a free sonogram and find help in choosing life for you and your baby.

-If you need healing from an abortion, some Christian Pregnancy Center’s  offer post-abortion counseling where you can find forgiveness and healing from God. I took such a class and found so much freedom. On your own you can read the book and workbook Forgiven and Set Free, and for men, Healing the Father’s Heart by Linda Cochran available at Christianbooks.com,

You can also contact me at miriam@giftsofhisglory.com for a confidential reply to your need or problem for healing. I am happy to pray for you.

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Special Easter Greeting Card available with Christian message. www.giftsofhisglory.com.

To see all of my Scripture art paintings and greeting cards click on ‘my art’ above.




A Chair by Any Other Name….is a Scripture Art Chair!

Old theater chair

A Chair by any other name….is a Scripture Art Chair!  I recently had the pleasure of being asked to donate my artwork by decorating an old theater chair. It was to be  auctioned off by the Pacific Art League of Palo Alto, a local art gallery.  100 artists were selected and given the freedom to use their artistic gifts to decorate a chair as they desired.

I received a green light to incorporate my faith as a Christian, which is a rare thing in the art world.  Often my Scripture art is turned down at art shows because of the images of the Cross or Scripture, which saddens me.  But clearly the Lord was giving me an open door through this project.

My art friend, Sylvia and I, approached this project with excitement, only to

sanding chair

discover the hard work of sanding, priming and painting the chair before we could do our artwork design. I chose to paint mine a watermelon red with my Scripture painting ‘Red Tulips with Forget Me Nots” on the seat. I added James 1:17 (Every good and perfect gift comes from above) and Ecclesiastes 3:11 (He makes everything beautiful in its time) around the painting. Ribbon was added along with my name, website and signature in gold paint.

When I was done decorating the chair, I was pleased to see God’s Glory reflected through Scripture and nature. The mission of my art ministry, Gifts of His Glory. giftsofhisglory.com  is to reflect the gifts of His Glory, His Word and His Creation, in my artwork.  Do you think I accomplished my mission?  Take a peek at the before and after pictures below:

The chairs will be on display at local businesses prior to the auction for publicity.  I ask your prayers for mine to draw attention of an art licensor who would like to license my Scripture paintings and greeting cards. My dream.

Red Tulips with Scripture

I know God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20) so I am excited to see what doors He will open.

God has gifted me with this new art venue.  If you are interested in having me paint a Scripture Art Chair(s) for you, please contact me at miriam@giftsofhisglory.com or my website giftsofhisglory.com.  My one stipulation is that the chair be ready to be painted with my artistic decor!

To see my paintings and greeting cards, click on ‘my art’ above.

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Two New Devotions Published – Take a Peek!

Yes, it is always a good day when I hear that a devotion was chosen for publication and it is a double blessing to discover two of them were selected!

I am pleased to announce I am featured in the 2014 edition of Penned From the Heart, a yearly devotional published by Son Rise Publications.  I was published last year in the 2013 addition, my first ever publication. God is good!

2014 edition or Penned From the Hear

PFTH is a compilation of 366 devotions and poems from writers across the US, and Australia and New Zealand. The book can be read in any year and begun at any time during the year. Two of Miriam’s devotions “Miracle Shoes” and “Thanksgiving Surprise” are included. They make a great gift for yourself or as a Christmas gift to a friend or family member.  Many are donated to soldiers and prisoners to spread the Word of God and inspire and touch hearts.  Do you have a ministry that would benefit from giving these out?  If so, be sure to order them now before they run out!

The are a steal at $10 a book…

To purchase them, call Son-Rise Publications at 1-800-358-0777 and ask for Debby.  They take MC, VISA or DISCOVER and will ship your books right away.

(I am sorry I can’t post my devotions here on my blog as there are copyright infringements on the web all the time and I need to protect my work.)

To see my Scripture paintings and greeting cards click on ‘my art’ above or www.giftsofhisglory.com

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Finding Healing for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (plus a great book review of Until We All Come Home)

Do you ever have one of those days when you pick up a book to read and can’t put it down?  I did yesterday, when I read my friend and fellow author Kim de Blecourt’s new book, Until We All Come Home. I was up to midnight finishing it, spellbound!!

Mt. Hermon Conference Center

I had been looking forward to reading her story since meeting Kim at Mt. Hermon’s Christian Writers Conference two years ago.  We discovered we both had been through trauma abroad, hers while doing an international adoption and mine while on the mission field in England. We felt an instant kinship when we realized we both suffered  from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). We were able to share how this illness had impacted our lives in similar ways.

Kim’s book, Until We All Come Home: A Harrowing Journey, a Mother’s Courage, a Race to Freedom tells her story of adopting her son from the Ukraine. It is a page turner, with bureaucratic corruption, a vindictive prosecutor, and a race against the clock to freedom. Kim was forced to stay in the Ukraine for a year, in a state of culture shock, fighting to get her son out of the country and home to the United States.

As I read her story, I emphasized with the trauma that led up to her despair, depression,  insomnia and ‘fight or flight’ reaction that is so prevalent with PTSD.  I cried when she spoke to the judge on behalf of her orphaned son, who was rejected and abandoned by society, of his need for a loving family, one she and her husband could provide.

I cheered when God was faithful and showed up through all kinds of battles. I admired Kim’s perseverance to fight for her son no matter what the cost. And finally, my own heart was touched by God’s heart for the orphan. It reinforced my own desire to adopt a child one day.

I highly recommend Kim’s book to you as a great Christian suspense story. You can purchase it on her website nourishedhearts.com and see the work she is doing on behalf of orphans everywhere.

A Word about PTSD:

PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. A “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in PTSD this reaction is damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.  Flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety and hyper-vigilance are coommon symptoms.

I was traumatized by people in the occult while on a furlough in England. I was terrorized for over a year, at times being held against my will. When I returned home, I suffered from clinical depression and PTSD, and was put on medication.  I felt horror, helplessness and extreme fear as I relived the terror I had experienced.

Thirteen years later, I am happy to say the Lord has healed me of most of the illness, even though I was told I would never recover. I believe one day I will be totally healed for the Bible says  “For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37) and “Perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.” (1 John 4:18). I write about my experiences in my soon to be published book, Finding God in the Midst of My Mess:  My Love Story with Jesus.

Do you need to trust God for healing from PTSD today?

Please pray:  Dear Lord, I ask you through the power of your Holy Spirit to come and heal those dark and fearful places in my mind, soul and body.  Only you know the terror I feel and can heal me.  Please lead me to the people and resources that will be an instrument of your healing light and touch. I trust you today and thank you in advance for what you are going to do.  Amen.

What to do now?  Read and claim the promises in the Bible on healing.  Contact a local church for healing prayer. Explore EMDR therapy which was very successful for me. Look into medications, such as antidepressants and tranquilizers that will calm your mind and emotions. Pursue talk therapy with a licensed Christian psychiatrist or therapist. God is waiting to heal you.  He loves you.

To see my Scripture art and paintings click on ‘my art’ above or www.gifstofhisglory.com

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The Eyes Have It – God’s Healing Power Today

Today I get to share the good news of answered prayer.  Many of you readers will recall my earlier post where I talked about the problems I was having with my eye…the jelly part detaching and inflamation in my left eye.  A serious problem. (see My New Creation post earlier this month)

The best doctors at Stanford where concerned it indicated a autoimmune disease common in young women (well I am not THAT young, but the doctor thought so!).  They tested me for a lot of scary diseases including cancer.  I was wondering if I was going to Heaven earlier than I expected but I received the news the day before July 4th, that all the test were negative!  Yes negative!  What freedom to celebrate along with our National Independence Day here in America.

I was still worried though as the specialist had said chemo was the preferred treatment. However, as I waited to see my doctor again in a few weeks, a miracle began to happen.  My eye got better.  The floaters decreased. I was encouraged.

At my appointment, my doctor was surprised how well my eye scans looked and said, “Miriam, these look beautiful. Your inflammation is down and the floaters are less.”

“Well Doctor, I have had many people praying for me for divine healing. All my Facebook friends and blog  readers.  I put it in God’s hands because I knew I would never survive chemo and He is faithful to hear our prayers and answer them.”

He silently nodded along with me.

Now this is a very unexpected reaction from my doctor.  He is the top Eye Specialist in the country who feels he can heal anything, and says he is like God in that matter. I, of course, kid him and say, “oh get over yourself, you are too much. only God is God.”

He then said something else remarkable.  “Miriam, I want to give you some non steroid eye drops for the floaters and remaining inflammation.  They probably won’t work, but let’s try.”

As I pulled away in the cab, tears came to my eyes.  I cried for how good and amazing God is. I cried for how much He cares for us, even though we sin and mess up all the time. I cried for how faithful my friends and readers had been to petition God for me and how He is still our healer today.  I cried that I wouldn’t have to do chemo.

Once home, I prayed and asked the Lord to anoint the eye drops . I began to use them four times a day as instructed.  Another miracle happened.  My eyes got even better! The cloud of floaters kind of parted like the Red Sea. I can read words on the page now. I am trusting the Lord for total healing of my eye and that by next month’s appointment, the inflammation will be gone.

What healing miracle do you need today?  Do you know that Jesus healed all kinds of diseases and afflictions while He was on earth?  Read it for yourself in the gospels in the New Testament that record His deeds. Start with the Book of Matthew. His power to heal is still available to you today. Besides physical healing, Jesus can heal you spiritually by setting you free from sin and death and reconciling you with God.

All it takes is opening your heart to Him and asking Him to forgive your sins. His Holy Spirit will come and dwell in your heart and give you the gift of eternal life. The Bible says “If you confess with your mouth and believe on the Lord’s resurrection, you will be saved and live.”  (Romans 10:9) Now, that’s glorious good news. And I might add, a miracle of grace that only comes from God  If you want this free gift of spiritual healing and life forever in Heaven, please pray this prayer below:

Lord, I confess with my mouth you are the Son of God and came to die for my sins.  I believe you rose from the dead after three days and make your home in Heaven now.  I ask for a new life in you and the free gift of eternal life.  Please come heal my body, mind and soul from all my pain. I ask for a miracle of healing in you name. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, do three things:

1. Tell someone you accepted Jesus into your life today.

2.  Find a Bible teaching church and start attending to be part of the fellowship of other Christians and learn God’s character and heart for you through hearing His Word preached.

3.  Get a Bible and start reading it a little every day.  Most churches will give you one if you ask or you can find them at a Christian bookstore where they can help you pick out one.

Leave me a reply if you prayed this prayer so I can rejoice along with the angels in Heaven who rejoice every time a person becomes born again in Jesus.

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Quilting by Faith

 

Faith.  It is the thing God requires of us and the thing that pleases Him most.  In the Bible it says: “It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 The Message) So in keeping with my faith and wanting to please God, I have decided to make a quilt by Faith.

What does this mean Miriam?  Well, I am trusting the Lord by faith to bring me a husband, ideally a Messianic Jewish one who believes in Jesus.  And along that cord, I am making my wedding quilt for my chuppa or canopy that will hang over our heads during the ceremony.  Once the wedding is over, it will be my gift to my husband to use when he goes into his cave or hideout, to wrap himself in and remember my love.

Being part Jewish myself, and a believer in Jesus, I chose to make a heart quilt that would use

recipe for chicken soup

both Jewish and Christian fabrics.  I had fun shopping online to find these patterns.  My favorite one was called “Making Chicken Soup” complete with recipe and “How to Find a Husband” which by the time the quilt is made and I am married, will be redundant, but it was fun to add.

Jewish stars. Christian crosses. A bird of peace representing the Holy Spirit.  Hanukkah candles. The nativity scene. Passover symbols. All representing the

merging of two people with Jewish and Christian backgrounds into one of faith in Yeshua (Jesus).

So last night I started sewing the quilt blocks of hearts.  After I finally figured out how to thread the bobbin, I applied my foot to the electric pedal and whizzed away.  There is

My vintage 1960s Singer machine

something so rhythmic to sewing and quilting.  You get lost in the motion and hum of the machine.

My favorite time to quilt is on a rainy winter day, but for some reason I find myself quilting in the springtime.  I was excited to be taking this step of faith, this act of love, very much like the Lord does with us.  He pieces the patterns of our hearts together, giving us a heart full of His love and peace.

Sometimes, our hearts are broken and He needs to sew all the broken pieces back together with His healing touch.  He is the master quilter.  Our lives become like a quilt, with one side showing all the tangled threads, the other side showing a beautiful pattern.

piecing one of my quilts together

The Lord has done much sewing on my heart over the past two decades since I became a born again Christian.  I had so much pain and trauma in my life, even from childhood.  Added to this were the messes I made with my own life through sin and bad choices.

But God has been faithful to show His love and heal me.  I think of this love as I sew the blocks together, adding the square patches to the pattern.  Just like my wedding quilt will be special and beautiful when it is finished, so the Lord will make a beautiful pattern of your life if you give him the chance.

If you want this faith, to step out and trust the Lord with your life, you can pray this prayer.  It will bring His salvation and healing presence to your life as He takes up residence in your heart through His Holy Spirit.  He will come take your mess and start sewing it into a beautiful quilt.

Will you ask Him for Faith today?

Dear Jesus:  I ask you for the gift of faith today. By faith, please come into my heart as my Lord and Savior.  By faith I believe you died on the cross for my sins and mess and rose from the dead three days later.  By faith I receive your free gift of eternal life by grace.  Please knit the broken parts of my heart and life back together and bring me healing, as you are the divine healer. Thank you for loving me enough to heal me.  I walk forward today with Faith in you.  Amen.

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Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, I Want to Write Greeting Cards, How about You?

There are days that are just surprises. When the Lord throws you a curve ball and all you can do is laugh and say Really?   But watch out ,laughter got Sarah in trouble and one year later she had Isaac at 90 years old! (Isaac means laughter by the way) God had told Abraham and Sarah they would have a child in their old age. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” Genesis 21:6.

“Miriam, I want you to write greeting cards for the Christian market” the Lord whispered to my heart. A loud chuckle slipped out of my mouth. Really, Lord?

I had just returned from Mt.Hermon’s Christian Writers Conference in Santa Cruz, California. While there, I took a workshop on How to Write Greeting Cards for XYZ Publishers (not their real name).  One of the largest Christian publishing houses for greeting cards, my critique partner Jenni Brummett had written some ideas for them which I helped edit. They liked what they saw and published a few of her ideas. Secretly I thought, if Jenni can do it, so can I (shh don’t tell her)!

So I found myself before a cracking fire with a group of other wannabes in the workshop, being led by the lovely editors. They explained writing Christian greeting cards is a ministry that serves to bring God glory and healing to hurting hearts through Scripture from the Bible. The editors told us, first, you need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you the words and inspiration to touch the heart of someone in need. Encouraged to try my hand at a sample, I prayed and diligently started to write. I have a sensitive ear to the Holy Spirit, I think I will enjoy writing these.

This week I sat at my computer and began to write the words that flowed out of my soul.
-For the loss of a child….The Lord hears your cry and cares about your loss…He promises to be close to the brokenhearted and a bruised reed He will not break…the card went on. Hmm, that was fairly easy, I’ll try another…
-For a mother sending their child off to school…While our children are apart from us each day, they are in our heart and prayers….WOW, I am enjoying this. Four more flew out of my hands.

I sent them off to Jenni to critique and with her edits and encouragement, I forwarded them to the editor at the publishing house. Usually it takes weeks to hear back from a publisher but to my delight and surprise, there was an email waiting for me when I returned home.

I clicked the mouse on my email and…..Voila!  I found a rejection letter stating my ideas where too similar to other copy they had used for previous cards, but they were well written and please submit again. Ouch. A rejection. Wait.  Stop Miriam. Well written. Submit ideas again.  Encouragement filled my heart. I then began to laugh. Holy Spirit, these were your ideas….you need to come up with something more unique and different now if I am to get published.  I think He laughed too.  I know God has a sense of humor.

I felt a nudge to start writing cards for other publishers, including secular ones with a religious line, to earn some income. Oh no, I thought, you mean like one of those writer’s who is so poor he can’t eat and is waiting for his royalty check to come in the mail?   “Miriam, remember last night I reassured you that I would open doors for your calling?  And that I am calling you to have a wiring ministry?” Yes, Lord, I remember. “Start writing Child and I will meet all your needs as you step out in faith.” Gulp.

So this afternoon, I sat in the air conditioned library at my computer again, praying and asking the Lord to inspire me with words that touch a hurting heart and bring Him glory.  I obey because I love Him and I don’t want to end up like Sarah writing a book one day entitled My Isaac.

Do you have a dream of writing greeting cards?  As a small child I thought it would be a fun job and here I am doing it now!  The Lord promises to give us the desires of our hearts if we delight in Him.  (Psalm 37:4) Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Here are five things you can do to start pursuing your dream:

Pray and ask the Lord if He is calling you to write greeting cards. If you have a ‘yes’ or peace about it, give it a try. Don’t give up after a few rejections.  Rejections are part of the writing game.

Attend a Christian writers conference and take a workshop on writing cards like I did.  You will find them across the country (and world) and are a great way to meet editors and get your foot in the door.  My favorite and most renowned in America is Mt. Hermon’s Christian Writers Conference held each spring in the Santa Cruz Mountains of northern California.  The contacts you make will be immense and you can also find a critique partner there.

Read The Christians Writers Market Guide by Jerry B. Jenkins.  This is the Bible for writers and has a list of all greeting card publishers, including secular ones looking for religious cards.  It lists the writers guidelines, the types of cards they are looking for and what they pay.  You can buy it at amazon.com or online at www.christianwritersguild.com.  They are updated each year. (This is also a great help for book, magazines, and gift ideas publishing.)

Take a writing correspondence course on greeting cards.  You will find a list within the Christian Writers Market Guide listed above.

Join a critique group of other writers who can give you feedback on your writing and might be writing cards as well.  They are a great place to find support, tips and ideas from other writers, who are a unique kind of people!  Google critique or writers groups in your area to find one, or start one like I did.

Happy Dreaming and Writing!

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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.

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