A Nudge from the Lord: Searching for God’s Truth.

Today, I visited a new church that is held in a local Jewish Temple. I felt a nudge from the Lord to find a church that is centered on the authority and truth of God’s Word, where salvation comes from being born again, by accepting Jesus as you Lord and Savior alone. The Bible says we must be ‘born again’, in fact Jesus himself said it in John 3:1-10.  We do not get ‘saved’ by attending church, being baptized as a baby, or serving faithfully in our church.

In fact, Jesus was quite clear that good works cannot save you, we cannot ‘earn our way’ into Heaven.  It is through accepting His free gift of grace, by His dying on the cross and shedding his blood for our sins, and rising from the dead, that we have eternal life. Romans 3:24. No other way.  Not Buddha, not crystals, not worshiping the moon or stars, or another false religion.  Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Light, no one comes to the Father, but through me.” John 14:6.

So this morning, as I worshiped with the light stemming through the menorah in the stained glass window, the symbol of light for the Jewish people, I felt like I had come home.  As a Jewish believer in Jesus, I love Israel and the Jewish people.  God has given me a burden to share their Messiah, Yeshua, (Jesus in Hebrew) with them whenever possible.  I have studied Hebrew, volunteered with Jews for Jesus, and shared the gospel in Jerusalem.  Don’t forget, Jesus was a Jew, who came for the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 15:24.

To further share my faith and testify of God’s healing power, I am now writing my life story which encompasses my travels as an evangelist to the Jewish people. It has a new title: Becoming Miriam:  A Life Transformed by God.

I just returned from Mount Hermon’s Christian Writers Conference in the Santa Cruz mountains of Califrornia.  There I received good feedback and direction on how to finish and publish my book. I am thrilled my book is almost complete,  a 21/2 year journey of hard work and trust. I believe it will bring healing and truth to many who are searching for the Healer himself. My message is that God can heal the most broken heart or wounded life, just like he did mine. “For He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3.

To follow my book, and purchase your copy when it is published, subscribe to my blog by placing your email in the ‘subscribe’ box above.

If you need to find Jesus for yourself, you can pray the prayer below to be born again:
Dear Jesus:
I admit I am a sinner and am in need of forgiveness.  I believe you died on the cross for me personally and that you were raised from the dead and are in heaven right now.  I ask you into my heart to take control of my life and to be my Lord and Savior.  Thank you for loving me enough to lead me to repentance and show me my need for you.  Help me become the person you intend for me to become and may your plan for my life happen. I love you Lord and thank you for forgiving me today and giving me the gift of eternal life with you.  Amen.

After praying this prayer, it is important to tell someone else you prayed the salvation prayer, find a Bible teaching church and attend, and read your Bible every day. If you can’t afford a Bible, many churches will give you one for free.  Leave me a message and tell me you are now born-again 🙂

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Luck or God’s Grace?

Today, I was reflecting on St. Patrick’s Day which is tomorrow March 17.  Being part Irish, I am familiar with the custom of wearing green and pinching those who don’t.  My thoughts turned to how as a Christian, nothing is left up to luck, but God’s grace.

The Scripture that comes to mind is, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, but lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

It is by God’s grace, his unmerited favor, his love, his provision, that my life unfolds.  I have given my heart to Jesus as my Lord and Savior and I belong now to Him.  He promises to give us His free gift of grace, of salvation, forgiveness of our sins and eternal life.  If only we believe.

You might say it was ‘luck’ when in the throes of a clinical depression, at the lowest part of my life, that I found Jesus.  Or really, He found me. He saved my life and my soul from the darkness of a life of sin and deception.  When I surrendered my life to Him, I found my life, one I live by faith and trust in God now.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 16:25).

Which leads me to the Scripture in Proverbs.  When we trust God and turn over our problems and sorrows to Him, not counting on our own understanding about the issue, but acknowledging Him as the answer, He will direct our paths. I have seen this so many times in my life, once I gave up control of my life, and let Him lead.

Recently, I trusted Him to help me raise the money to attend this year’s Christian writing conference at Mt. Hermon Conference Center.  I felt his lead to write a letter to those close to me from my church family and God was faithful. I received the sponsors and donations I needed to go. In His timing and His way.

Do you trust God with your heart and your life?  Have you let go and surrendered your will to His will?  If you want the beautiful plan God has for your life, you need to do so.  If you are relying on ‘luck’, then you are at the mercy of this world, not of God, and He is the safest place to be.

Often, what you have thought of as ‘luck’ and coincidence has really been God operating on your behalf and goodwill.  You just didn’t know it. I even suggest it was not ‘luck’ that brought you to read this blog post, but God’s grace directing your path to find Him.

So, I am here to ask you today to consider how He has been wooing you to come follow Him, to allow Him to be your Lord and Savior. He has two beautiful gifts that don’t require any luck, just grace. A forgiven heart and a life spent in eternity with Him and your loved ones.

Can you trust Him right now?  If so, pray this prayer to turn your ‘luck’ into God’s favor in your life.

Dear Jesus:  I admit I am a sinner and need your free gift of grace.  I have been searching for luck when in reality I should have been searching for you.  I want to surrender my life to you as Lord and Savior, asking you to forgive my sins and give me eternal life.  I ask you to help me trust you and live by faith in you.  I trust your promise that by trusting in you, not in myself, you will guide my steps and life into your perfect plan.  Thank you Jesus.  Amen.

Congratulations!  Angels are dancing in Heaven to celebrate you being born again into the Kingdom of God!

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Lord Open My Eyes…Finding God’s Perspective on Your LIfe

Today I woke up in a funk. I knew I needed to get back on schedule and write, but I didn’t want to. I was irritated about my eye and the partial blindness I am experiencing. As you can imagine, as an artist and writer I need my eyes to see and accomplish the tasks God asks me to do. I spent all day yesterday at the doctors to discover the jelly part of my eye had totally detached, causing a wall of floaters, flashing lights and dimness.  It was difficult for me to see and read.  The doctor told me it would take 3-4 weeks for the eye to calm down and restore to a more normal state, however the floaters would remain. He informed me I was prone to having the retina detach, and going blind in my eye. Great. That’s all I need now Lord. Will you heal my eye please Lord?  I am scared and don’t want to lose my sight.

Hoping to pull myself out of my bad mood, I went to Peet’s Coffee to spend some time in God’s Word.  I opened my bible study Write His Answer, A Bible Study for Christian Writers by Marlene Bagnull,  I laughed, seeing today’s lesson was on Proclaiming Freedom and sight for the blind. I knew this was not a coincidence. The chapter quoted Luke 4:18-19 from the Bible when Jesus first spoke in His hometown of Nazareth at the Temple.  He was handed the book of Isaiah and began to read:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor, he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted and to announce the captives shall be released and the blind shall see, that the downtrodden shall be freed from their oppressors and that God is willing to give blessings to all who come to Him.”  He then said “These Scriptures have come true today in Me” and sat down.

Jesus was proclaiming He is the ultimate freedom giver.  He came to heal the blind, the brokenhearted, the captive. Sometimes, however, Jesus wants to open our eyes to spiritual truths my Bible study read.  Hmm, I think I need some spiritual truths this morning, I thought as I sipped my coffee.

He showed me I was not seeing His perspective on my writing ministry or the time he was giving me to stay home and write full time. I was complaining about the financial sacrifices I had to make to do so.  Having so little money and living on a tight budget.  Was it worth it?, I wondered. He gently corrected my ‘sight‘ as I spent time in His Word. My Child, it is a blessing to help bring freedom to those who are blind, brokenhearted and captive each and every time you write My Truth. I am giving you the freedom in this season to do this.” “Yes Lord, I see that now. I am sorry for grumbling.” I replied. “You can trust me to heal your eye physically in my timing, as I am the God that heals you.” (Exodus 15:26) “Thank you Lord, I will hold tightly to your promise.” I said.

What about you?  Are you seeing things clearly or is you vision blurred?  Do you need him to touch you and heal you so you can see life from His perspective? He is a God….

“who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s”  (Psalm 103:3-5)

To correct your vision, simply pray:  Lord, please give me your perspective on my life.  Show me the areas I need to repent of and heal my heart and soul from the pain and hurts of the past. Give me freedom from any negative thoughts and patterns. Show me your love and compassion. I want full freedom in you. I ask you to remove any spiritual blindness I have and show me your Truth by coming into my heart as my Lord and Savior, to forgive my sins and give me eternal life in Heaven with you.  Come walk side by side with me as my Friend every day through your Holy Spirit.  I trust you Jesus.  You are faithful.  Amen.

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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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A Mother’s (and Father’s) Day Story: Finding life after abortion…

This mother’s day I will be doing something different in celebration of my daughter Lynley.  I will be standing on Mother’s Day Sunday at church when they ask all the mothers to stand.  You see Lynley was my sweet baby who didn’t live outside of the womb.  I aborted her when I was 30 years old.  The shame that I hadn’t given my baby life always kept me from acknowledging I was a mother.  But not this Mother’s Day.

I am able to do this as I have received healing and forgiveness for my abortion.  I want to offer that same healing to women (and men) who are reading my post today.  I know this is not an easy topic to address, but one I feel the Lord wanted me to share with you.

Before I became a born again Christian, I lived a very worldly life.  Sexual relationships with unhealthy men was my norm. A fast paced life as a MBA in the corporate world running after success and money.  This coupled with carrying the pain of an abusive childhood  caused me to crash and hit bottom at age 30.  I was diagnosed with a clinical suicidal depression and hospitalized. In the midst of this, I got pregnant by my boyfriend who my doctors were trying to seperate me from because he was abusive.

I was so happy to be pregnant when the home pregnancy test came back positive.  Joy filled me.  I had always wanted to be a mother, but wondered how could I possibly me one now.  I was so ill and depressed, fighting for my life every day.  My doctors, fearing I couldn’t sustain a pregnancy,  recommended a ‘therapeutic’ abortion, to save the life of the mother, me, over the unborn child.

My Catholic psychiatrist even told me the Catholic church, which I had grown up in, would agree.  I was so worried the baby would be deformed on the powerful medications I was taking.  My parents did not offer me any help, refusing me shelter to raise my baby in.  Helpless, on disability I did not know where to turn.  I did not know about Christian crisis pregnancy centers or help within the Christian community.  I listened to the worldly advice and scheduled the abortion at my hospital.

A few days before, I changed my mind and wanted to keep my baby.  My parents and boyfriend refused me any promise of financial help or shelter.  I was alone and abandoned.  Trapped.

I cried the whole way through the abortion as my baby was suctioned out of me.  My girlfriend held my hand and her knuckles were white from my grip.  I screamed in pain and afterward threw up in the sink.  My baby was gone.

But there is hope in my story.  You see my baby, whom I named Lynley, had a soul and spirit upon conception.  In the Bible it says of God: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13.)  God breathed life into her.  She had a beating heart as early as 21 days.  She was not a blob of tissue as Planned Parenthood will tell you.

When I aborted her, her soul and spirit returned to God where she is alive in Heaven, waiting for me to join her.  How do I know this for certainty?  God promises us in the Bible: “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.  (Ecclesiastes 12:7.)

I was blessed to find healing through the love of women at a Christian pregnancy center near my home. I read and worked through the workbook entitled: Forgiven and Set Free: A Post-Abortion Bible Study for Women by Linda Cochrane with a class of women. I found healing for my abortion 22 years later.

We studied Scripture that told me who I was in Jesus, and that I was forgiven for even the sin of aborting my child. I learned others had sinned against me by not offering help to me and their child and grandchild.  I found comfort in knowing  they would be held accountable by God one day but God was calling me to even forgive them.

I found understanding of the grief process a woman (and man) goes through. How to be set free from the horrible shame, secrecy, and darkness I felt. I learned Jesus came to shed His healing light into our darkness.  To free us from the bonds of guilt, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, all symptoms of Post Abortion Stress Syndrome. (PASS).

Jesus in Heaven

I was overjoyed to discover that I get my daughter back. I know I will spend eternity with her as I have received the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  He promises us eternal life, free of any pain or tears, if we trust Him as our Lord and Savior.

This means we ask Him for forgiveness of our sins, sins He took on the cross for us so we could spend eternity with Him. Because He rose from the dead on the third day, we are promised that same resurrection when we die, to receive a new glorified body in heaven, where there is only light.((1 Corinthians 15:44; Romans 6:5: For since we have become one with Him by sharing in His death, we shall also be one with Him by sharing in His resurrection).

If you have had an abortion, or played a part in a decision for abortion, asking for and receiving the Lord’s forgiveness is the key to healing.  If so, please pray this prayer.

Dear Jesus: I thank you that you have received my baby’s (babies) souls into Heaven where I can see them again one day.  I ask you to forgive my sins and come into my heart as my Lord and Savior today.  I believe you died on the cross for me and rose from the dead so I could have eternal life with you in Heaven.  Heal my heart from the pain of my abortion(s) and set me free so I can live a life free from the past.  Thank you Jesus.  Amen.

If you are pregnant, know there are options for you besides abortion.

Contact a Christian crisis pregnancy center or pregnancy resource center and go for an appointment.  Google on the Internet or look in the yellow pages for their number and address.

Call a confidential pregnancy hot-line such as 1-800-BETHANY. They will help you understand your options for either adoption or keeping your baby and help you with resources to do so (even if your family abandoned you and you are homeless).  And most likely give you an ultrasound of your baby where you can see its heart beating. All for FREE.

Talk to your pastor or minister in confidence.  Tell a trustworthy friend.

Give life to your baby and for you too!  Abortion doesn’t just murder your baby, it murders your soul as well.

If you have had an abortion:, Attend a class for post abortive women (or men) offered at a Christian pregnancy resource center or church. Many have classes and retreats you can take to help you work through the process of healing. There is also a workbook for men entitled: Healing a Father’s Heart: A Post-Abortive Bible Study for Men by Linda Cochrane.

Lynley's resurrected spirit painting

As part of my healing process, I celebrated the life of my child in Heaven.  I was encouraged to do something creative to thank Jesus for keeping care of my daughter.  I decided to paint a picture of Lynley’s resurrected spirit to thank Him and bring me peace.

I also planted a tree for her in Israel through www.treesfortheholyland.com. I am a Jewish Christian and love Israel, having been in ministry there for many years.  Planting a tree is a symbol of giving life.  In Judaism, each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value.  The letter Chet equals the number 18. Chai which means life consists of the letter Chet symbolizing the number 18. Therefore, it costs $18 to plant a tree and give life. In return for doing so, I was blessed with a beautiful watercolor reproduction of a Jerusalem scene with a commemoration of my daughter. It read :

Tree Planted in Holy Land poster www.treesfortheholyland.com

A Tree had been planted in the Holy Land, In Celebration of Lynley, my daughter, For her heavenly homecoming, April 1991, Planted by Your ima (mother) Miriam.

I now have peace when I look at it framed on my wall.  I no longer feel shame or guilt. I can acknowledge myself as a mother and tell others about my daughter now. I am excited to see her one day soon and hold her in my arms for the first time. I am forgiven and set free.

Will you find the peace and forgiveness only Jesus can bring to you today?

 

If you need a confidential ear please feel free to leave me a private message at miriam@giftsofhisglory.com.  I am here to help you.

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