First Review of My Book: Becoming Miriam

It’s the review every writer hopes to get, when they have finished their book and th-3asked a non-writer friend to read and proofread it. Such was the case with me this month when my friend “P” shared her review with me:

Hello my talented friend (Miriam):

You truly have the gift of writing. I enjoyed reading your story and wanted to keep turning the pages to see how God was going to reveal himself to you next!  Your love story with Jesus warms my heart and reminds me that I need to spend more quiet time with Jesus to experience the intimacy that you so tenderly write about.

I have been captivated by the many adventures and places that you have been. It has made me sad to read about the horrible things that have occurred in your life, yet your willingness to get help and the many ways that you have sought healing are truly admirable. Your testimony is very touching and powerful. – Your friend P

th-1I was ecstatic. My spirit soared. I danced around the house. My heart filled with gratitude to the Lord as I saw His confirmation to me in her words. It has been 3 1/2 hears since I first started writing my book and now it was finished, and put to the test. Would an average Christian person (my target audience) like my book? Would they find reader takeaway? Would they find the love of Jesus and healing in the pages? Yes, came the answer for the first time!

I basked in the kind words that dispelled my doubts as a writer; “Talented, gifted, powerful, tender,” all which boosted my flagging self-confidence.

Can you guess what gave me the most joy? That she read the first chapter, and kept on reading the rest! Yes, every writer’s nightmare is that a reader will read the first chapter or so and not pick up the book again. All the advice I had from my mentors (Kay Marshall Strom and Joseph Bentz), my critique partners, and writers group, paid off. My toil of rewriting the book FIVE times, was not in vain. Now would the rest of the world love it too?

I am one step closer to self-publishing the book, now titled Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God, which tells my faith story; how God has healed and transformed my life from the many traumas I faced. It promises insight and healing to the reader too, through the self help notes at chapter end.

You, the reader, can help me publish the book by LIKEing my FACEBOOK page, Miriam Sarzotti Author and Artist, or subscribing to my blog above. When the time comes, you thcan pre-order copies (including ebook) through my GOFUNDME campaign which includes some awesome gifts. So FOLLOW me and stay tuned!

Thank you Jesus for this beautiful gift of encouragement! (and thanks “P!”)

To see my Scripture paintings and greeting cards, click on ‘my art’ above or giftsofhisglory.combutterfly cross scan 5 x 7


Writers Conferences: A Writer’s Best Tool

Now that the new year is upon us, my mind is focusing on this year’s writers conference this April at Mt. Hermon Christian Conference Center in the Santa Cruz mountains of Northern California.  This will be my third year attending and it is a delight and blessing to be able to attend this premiere conference.

Every year about 300 writers converge to network with literary agents, editors and publishers, to pitch their books or writings.  The conference is five days of workshops, morning tracks, and critiquing of your work.  I have met wonderful writer friends who have encouraged me and critiqued my work along the way.  For the past two years I have led a writers group on the San Francisco Peninsula, and hope to meet others this year who will want to be part of the group.

I am writing my first book, my memoirs, particularly on my time as a Christian missionary in Israel.  Tentatively titled:  Finding God in the Midst of My Mess:  My Love Story with Jesus, it tells my life story, the traumas I have faced in childhood and on the mission field, and how God has healed and restored my life.  I am writing the book to bring healing to others who have suffered the same things I have, like depression, sexual abuse, and addiction, through the love and healing power of Jesus.

This year at the conference my friend and mentor Kay Marshall Strom will be leading a morning class on writing memoirs.  I will be there expectantly, to learn how to strengthen my manuscript, and hopefully complete it with a fourth rewrite.  Writing is all about rewriting.  I began my book journey two years ago

Jenni and I at last year's conference

this January and have rewritten it three times.  I was blessed with a talented critique partner, Jenni Brummett, who helped me make my story more compelling and refined my grammar and flow.  Now I am seeking how to engage the reader more effectively in my story.  I know Kay, a renowned Christian author, will have those tools for me to do so.

As a small Christian art and writing ministry, money is tight and I need to solicit donations from others who believe in my book and would like to see it published.  The cost of the five day conference is $1100 which includes room, meals, transportation and the conference. Would you prayerfully consider helping me with a donation? As a way of saying thank you, I will send you a free copy of my book once it is self published 🙂

Secure donations can be made through Pay Pal below. My deadline to raise the money is April 9, 2014. Thank you so much!

Donor Name and Address for Free Book

To see my Scripture Art paintings and greeting cards go to www.giftsofhisglory.com or ‘my art’ above.

 

 

 

Donor Name and Address for Free Book

L’ Shanah Tovah (Happy New Year) & Introducing My Art Greeting Cards!

Fall Tree New! Scripture Art Greeting Cards at Gifts of His Glory by author Miriam Sarzotti

One of my favorite parts of the Fall season is the Jewish High Holidays that usually start in September with Rosh Hashanah (Head of the Year), followed by Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and finally ends with Sukkot (Feast of the Tabernacles).

My dream is to experience them in Israel one day.  They say it is an unforgettable sight to see Sukkot or little tabernacles built in every front and backyard throughout the Land.  Jewish people celebrate the time that God provided for them in the wilderness with temporary shelters, called a sukkah or sukkot. They build their sukkah and then eat and sleep in them during the seven days of the festival. It foreshadows when we will ‘tabernacle’ with God again in Heaven and in His new Kingdom on earth.

What I love most is the promise of a new year and beginning that Rosh Hashanah brings. It is customary to send a greeting card wishing a sweet and prosperous new year.  In keeping with this practice,  I am celebrating the release of my new Scripture art greeting cards, a line of Christian greeting cards that combine my paintings and my love of writing greeting messages! (see below)

Also this year, on September 4th, I will pick up my Zip car and zip up to San Francisco to the Jews for Jesus Rosh Hashanah celebration.I am looking forward to seeing old friends from my time as a volunteer with them doing street evangelism and others from our monthly Chaverah (Fellowship).

I anticipate a beautiful ceremony…the prayers and songs in Hebrew, the sound of the shofar (ram’s horn) being blown as it will be the day Jesus returns for us in the clouds, the humorous and engaging testimony of a Jewish believer in Yeshua (Jesus), and the yummy honey cake and apples dipped in honey (for a sweet new year) at the Oneg (party) following the service.

Last year, what touched me most during the service was the sermon on the books of God. The speaker preached on The Book of Life and The Book of Remembrance that God keeps.

Butterfly Resurrection Cross New! Art Greeting Cards

I was struck that God was an author and writer just like myself!  He wrote the bestseller The Bible, did he not? And to think He writes our names in the book of Life when we accept His Son Jesus as our Messiah.  So when we stand in Judgement before Him one day, He will open His book and see our name and admit us to heaven to be with Him for eternity.

I don’t know about you, but I wonder…Does he use a quill pen? What is the parchment like? Or does He have a laptop?  He must be very busy as He has recorded every day of our lives from before time began. He records every tear we cry, happy or sad. That to me shows a God who cares, who knows our every move, and knows the day He will call us back home to Him.

Is your name written in the Book of Life?  Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, asking Him to take your sin and make you a new creation in Him? That is what

Cross with Rose Petals New! Art Greeting Cards

Rosh Hashanah is all about.  Starting over with a new beginning.  On Yom Kippur, which follows 10 days later, we acknowledge the sacrifice and atonement (forgiveness) by Jesus when He died on the cross for our sins.

Would like to pray to ask Jesus into your heart and forgive your sins?  If so, you can pray this prayer and receive salvation.

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 am 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 come to pass.  I love you Lord and thank you for forgiving me today and giving me the gift of eternal life with you.  Amen.

Welcome to the Kingdom of God! Angels are rejoicing over you right now!

Red Tulips New Art Greeting Cards

To see my new art greeting and note cards, click above on “My art” or giftsofhisglory.com.

Each card comes with a Christian themed message written by me, perfect for giving to family and friends, for all occasions.  They can also be framed and hung at home. Get a print of one of my paintings for a fraction of the cost. Take a peek, you’ll love them! And send one to your Jewish friend with a new year greeting written by you (they come as blank note cards as well)

Eye update!  Today I received the news at the doctor that the inflammation in my eye was totally healed and my eyesight restored. God is still in the business of miracles!  Thank you again to all my blog readers who prayed for me.  It was a tough summer and I am free now to enjoy the new fall season and all that the Lord has in store for me! 🙂

 

 

 

 


Meeting God Amongst the Redwood Trees- My Week at Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference

My head hurts from all the talking and conversation.  I look up at the tall Redwood trees and take a deep breath.  Do I have the courage to approach one more editor or agent and have my manuscript edited or rejected again?  Can I eat one more bit of chocolate without exploding?  Should I self publish or go for a traditional publishing house?  Is my writing good enough for publication?  All these thoughts rolled around in my mind this past week at Mt. Hermon’s Christian Writers Conference in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California.

My critique partner Jenni Brummett and I arrived early Friday morning and checked into our cute cabin like rooms just up a little hill from the main conference center.  We were excited to see what divine appointments the Lord had waiting for us.

my roommate Laura at our room

We met up with my roommate Laura Bennet  and we quickly became the three musketeers. We would gather each evening in our room, and compare notes in our PJ’s, while eating the sugar confections they served us right before bed.  Did you hear how that one man used the phrase “watch out or you will go to hell” in the learning to write greeting cards class? I asked, as shock registered on all three of our faces. We burst into giggles, not believing a writer would write that!

The week flew by as I went from appointment, to workshop, to critique, to picking up my manuscript with its comments from editors.  One kind editor met with me and showed me that my life story had many books within it and I should break it up into three or four books.  WOW, that was an unexpected suggestion.  But as I met with my author friends such as Kay Marshall Strom and Joseph Bentz, I realized she was right.

Add more characters to your story, Miriam, and weave a universal theme throughout, Kay suggested.  Rewrite your first chapter starting with your time as a missionary in Israel and include the bombing story, to catch your readers attention, Joseph told me.  Your writing is publishing quality and you write better than some of our current authors we are publishing, one editor told me. Music to my ears, I broke out into a big smile at this news.  However, Miriam, a non fiction narrative like you are writing needs fiction techniques such as showing, suspense, characterization and dialogue, Liz told me.  I can do that, I thought to myself.  My head swam with suggestions and ideas.

But what to do with my original manuscript of my life story that I believe the Lord told me to write, that would help many people, especially woman, all over the world?  I couldn’t let go of my story, it was my baby. The Lord spoke through my roommate Laura.  Have you heard of Create Space, the self publishing arm of Amazon the popular online bookstore?  You can basically design and publish you book for free, it was started to help authors like us publish our own books, she shared.

Immediately, I felt a peace flood my heart and knew this was the answer to my prayer.  Unlike other self publishing companies where you are left with a garage full of books, Create Space allows books to be printed on demand and even have an ebook feature for their Kindle readers.  I felt a release to self publish the book and go on to write other books for the Lord through traditional publishing houses in the future.

Jenni and I networking at the dinner table

The Lord was faithful to answer each and every one of my prayers, from getting free head shots to meeting and inviting other non fiction writers to the writers group Jenni and I have started after last years conference.  Big smiles of happiness met my invitation to the group by fellow writers who would find encouragement and free critiques of their manuscripts there.

After our talented and funny speaker McNair Wilson spoke for the last time on

me amongst the redwoods

Tuesday morning, the leaders asked us to stand,  They prayed over us and commissioned us to go forth as writers for the Lord, bringing Him glory.  My heart beamed with joy realizing I have the privilege to minister to others through my writing, to express His love in our fallen world.

May you find His love for you this Holy week as we celebrate the redemption of the Lord through Passover,  Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  He came to save us from our sins on the cross.  Three days later He Resurrected so we too could have eternal life.

Resurrection Sunrise Cross Painting I Corinthians 1:18 www.giftsofhisglory.com

All it takes to receive His free gift of grace is to ask Him to forgive your sins and place your faith in Him.  You can pray the salvation prayer below to ask Him into your heart as your Lord and Savior right now.  Won’t you come join the family of God and have the promise and hope of eternal life this Easter week?

Pray with me:  Dear Jesus.  I ask that you take the darkness of my sin and replace it with your light to shine deep within my heart.  I believe you died on the cross for my sin and rose from the dead, with the promise of eternal life with you in Heaven.  I ask you to be my Savior and Lord over my life today. Thank you for loving me with an everlasting love and giving me peace with God through you. Amen.

Angels are rejoicing over you as you step into the family of God.  Welcome!

Share the salvation of Jesus with your friends by clicking on Like or Tweet above or below…

To see all of my biblical Scripture art click on ‘my art‘ above or at www.giftsofhisglory.com.

 

 


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

Your friends can help send me to the conference too!  Click LIKE or TWEET below.

 

 

 


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!

 

 

 


Sharing my passion…an interview by author Kay Marshall Strom

New Press!  Read how you can use your passion like I did to make a difference!

I am interviewed by my friend Kay Marshall Strom, Christian author and speaker for her blog  www.kaystrom.com. Thank you Kay for this blessing and sharing my passions…

=========

What Can One Person Do? Ask Miriam Sarzotti~

Great things about writers’ conferences:  we learn, we share, we network, we gather ideas, we meet new people.  One of the people I met at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference last spring was Miriam Sarzotti.  I invited Miriam to join us and talk about the way she found to promote her passion.

Welcome, Miriam.  When I first met you, I was immediately impressed by your passion. Tell us about that.

First and most important, I am passionate about my faith in God.  I do have a particular heart for Israel and the Jewish people. And I love Israeli ice cream! My most tender passion is being a voice for the voiceless who are trapped in sexual slavery. I’m doing that through my art, writing and advocacy ministry.

Ah, yes.  That’s where we really connected.  How does your art meld with your passion?

I have loved to paint since the age of three.  I mix my love of art with my passion of sharing God’s Word through my signature biblical Scripture art.  These collages feature God’s creation with Scripture woven in.  Each is a way of demonstrating Isaiah 55:11: “My Word will not return to me void.”

You have recently become associated with She is Safe (SIS).  Can you tell us about that?

At the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, you shared your heart with me for SIS.  Then I read your books Daughters of Hope and Forgotten Girls.  With my heart broken for the young girls in sexual slavery, I prayed and felt led to donate 50% of all my art sales to the work that SIS is doing around the world. Now, I am an advocate for them here in the San Francisco Bay area.

Those two books you mentioned, which I co-wrote with Michele Rickett of SIS, changed my own life.  When I wrote Daughters of Hope, it was difficult to find a publisher.  Everyone told me, “Americans don’t care about anyone outside their borders.”  I am so, so glad to report that we absolutely do care! Miriam, you are also writing a book. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Yes!  I am writing my first book of my memoirs that includes my time as a missionary in Israel. My goal is to bring hope to others by showing them how the redemptive love and power of Jesus healed my life from trauma in childhood and on the mission field. It offers self-help sections to show how He can heal your life too.

What words of wisdom do you have for people who are looking for a way to make a difference?

Start by finding YOUR passion. Ask the Lord to show you each small step to take. Then use your gifts, no matter how small, for the Lord. As Zechariah 4:10 states: Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” You will be amazed how He will meet you and open doors for you.  Soon you might even be starting a ministry like I did, and being interviewed by Kay for her blog! (LOL!)

That just may be!  Any last message for us?

Please visit my website. If you purchase a painting, it will help rescue girls in slavery and abuse.  It is one small step you can take to make a difference!  The paintings make lovely gifts for home or holidays. View my artwork at www.giftsofhisglory.com.

Keep up the Good Work Miriam!


You can follow Miriam’s art and writing
journeys on her blog at
www.giftsofhisglory.com/miriamsblog. Please come follow me!

“Writing is my new passion, and I am grateful to the Lord for this gift that brings Him glory!”

Miriam Sarzotti