Miracle Shoes: A Devotion/Prayer

I’d like to share one of my devotions that has been published in Penned From the Heart last year to encourage you in your walk today with God. The devotion, or prayer, shows God’s faithfulness during my time as a Christian missionary visiting England.

May it bless you today…and may you find a miracle of your own!

Miracle Shoes

“But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 KJV

th-2I peered out the window at another rainy October day in Cranborne, England, What am I going to do? I only have summer shoes with me since I left my luggage back in London.

“Lord, I am trusting you for my finances as I travel as a visiting missionary. I need a pair of warm boots for this cold weather. My pocketbook is empty. Help!”

That afternoon I stopped at a shoe store on my way to speak at a prayer group. A pair of brown leather boots for 50 pounds was in the window. Those would be perfect, th-1Lord. At the meeting, the leader told me, “Miriam, we can support you with prayers but not financially, as we are all on a pension.”

Two days later, a check for 50 pounds arrived by mail from a woman at the group. God had miraculously meet my need. He cares about the little things, even keeping our toes warm. He increases our faith as we trust Him to supply all our needs.

Heavenly Father, I trust you to provide all I need, knowing every good and perfect gift comes from you.

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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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The Light of the World…The True Meaning of Hanukkah

Hanukkah Candles called a Hanukkiah - 8 candles plus the 'shemesh' or servant candle that represents Jesus (Yeshus) The servant candle lights the other candles giving 'light' to the world, as Jesus does.

 

As I write this post, the cold night air stings my face from my open window, allowing me to hear the Holiday Lights Celebration going on in my hometown of San Carlos, California. Soon they will flip the switch and the holiday lights crisscrossing above the main street will light up along with the Christmas tree in City Park.

Strains of “I wish you a Merry Christmas” float through the window as I hear the squeals of children playing in the artificial snow, even though we celebrated sunny, 70 degree weather today. I hear the ‘toot toot’ of the little train that will take them around the block.  I wish I could squeeze in a car and go for a ride too!

Toot Toot!

Reminds me of another “Festival of Lights’ that starts tomorrow night, December 8th, Hanukkah!  As a Jewish believer in Jesus, I celebrate Hanukkah as well as Christmas.  I believe in celebrating all the Jewish Biblical Feast days, as Jesus did, and he was Jewish too!  Jesus, or Yeshua as He was known throughout His life, celebrated Hanukkah, known as the Feast of Dedication.  We find the Scriptural reference in John 10:22-23:

“And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.”

Every year at the Feast of Dedication, the huge menorahs (Jewish candle holders 70 feet tall) in the temple courtyard were lit and could be seen from all over Jerusalem, the glow was that bright. Some bible scholars believe Jesus said “I am the light of the world, He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life (John 8:12) as he walked in the Temple, the light from the huge menorahs overshadowing him.  While in the temple some of the Pharisees (Jewish religious leaders) questioned Him as to whether He was the Messiah. Jesus replied:

“I told you and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.  But you do not believe, as you are not my sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any snatch them out of my hand.  My Father who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”  (John 10:25-30)

That’s a lot of promises if we believe in Jesus as our Messiah, our Light of Life.

He promises to: Dispel the darkness we walk in through our sin and addictions.  Give  the light of His love and Word through Scripture.  Be a shepherd to follow like the stumbling sheep we are.  Allow us never to perish, or taste death, but to have Eternal Life.  To be forever in the presence of Him and our Heavenly Father.  To shine the ‘Light’ we receive for others stumbling  in the darkness.

Hanukkah is really about Yeshua being the “light of the world.” He represents the ‘shemesh’ or servant candle that lights the other candles on the Hanukkiah. For He gives us all light. He came as our Servant Messiah to offer us forgiveness for our sins through the cross. (Isaiah 53: 4-6))

Traditionally, when we light the Hanukkah candles for eight nights, we celebrate the great miracle of God that happened in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. The Syrians had desecrated the Jewish temple by sacrificing a pig, an unclean animal, on the altar.  When the Jews recaptured the Temple, the temple priests found only enough oil to last one day.   God did a great miracle by making it last for eight days, the time it took to clean and rededicate the temple back to God.  In Hebrew we say, Nes Gadol Haya Sham, “a great miracle happened there.”  And indeed it did.

Spinning the Dreidel, a Hanukkah game with the four Hebrew letters that represent the phrase "A Great Miracle Happened There"

A bigger miracle can happen in your heart and life right now. At Christmas time, we celebrate the miracle of the baby boy born in a manger in Bethlehem, who grew up to be the Savior of all, the Prince of Peace and Emmanuel “God with us.”  Will you dedicate the ‘temple’ of your heart to receive the light of eternal life in Jesus this holiday season?

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.

Angels rejoicing in Heaven

Angels are rejoicing over you right now if you prayed this prayer. Welcome to the family of God.  May you experience the true peace, the peace of Jesus, that comes at this season of miracles.

Please reply to me if you prayed this prayer and asked Jesus into your heart so I can rejoice with the angels over you!

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A Thanksgiving Miracle: God at work in Israel

My heart is torn for the war now happening in Israel, as the Israeli people are assailed with rocket after rocket by the terrorist groups in Gaza.  I pray constantly throughout the day from Psalm 125:2: “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.”   My heart also goes out to the innocent Palestinian people wounded and killed in the crossfire.

Moutains Surrounding Jerusalem Israel

As the war has escalated, I have heard from some of my friends in Israel and others who are in ministry there bringing the Good News of Yeshua (‘Jesus’ in Hebrew).  I read on Facebook that some staff from Jews for Jesus in Israel were most likely going to be called up from the reserves to serve.  My friend Shaqed, a  young Israeli women whom I met while working in a Jewish summer camp near my home, wrote on Facebook that 847 rockets had been fired so far  and defended her nation’s right to defend themselves.   I have also seen first hand a video of Israeli families with children experiencing the rockets while in a bomb shelter. It’s terrifying.

I know too well the fear and terror this causes, having served in Israel as a Jewish Evangelist in the mid to late 1990s.  I remember Israeli citizens walking around with gas masks after President Clinton ordered an airstrike on Iraq. The Israeli people, fearing a return airstrike from Iraq on Jerusalem, carried them wherever they went, as I sat huddled in a closet wondering if I should return home to America.  (At the last minute, Clinton cancelled the airstrike.)

A few days ago, I received an email that encouraged me that God is still in control and still surrounding His people in Israel. May I share it with you? The email contained a letter from a Christian couple who run a guest house outside Tel Aviv.  To my surprise, they report on Messianic Jewish soldiers in the Israeli army, Jews who believe in Yeshua as their Messiah, whom God is using to bring victory in the conflict with Gaza. Below is the touching letter.

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The Director of the guest house writes:

We visited with Elan* (not his real name), a Messianic Jewish soldier serving with the new anti-missile crew “Iron Dome” just 15 kilometers from Gaza. Here’s our report:

This past Shabbat (Sabbath), Beer Sheva was like a ghost town. The streets were empty except for the few cats and dogs roaming for scraps. As we drove to the southern outskirts of the city, we turned right up a dirt road and ascended the deserted hilltop overlooking the city where the Iron Dome crew await the next missile attack from Gaza.

With the population of over 200,000 nestled just below the hilltop depending on their missile defense, the crew seemed surprisingly relaxed, some even in their Shabbat tee shirts and sneakers, munching on midday sandwiches watching the skies and waiting for the next attack. “It was not like this when those first missiles came in,” said Elan, a Messianic Jewish member of the unit. “When the alarms went off and that first barrage of missiles came, we were really scared,” he admits. “15 rockets all at once came raining down on us,” he said, “and it looked like they were going to fall right on top of us.” The hill these brave young men and women command on the southern edge of the city is in direct line of fire of the missiles from Gaza.

“At first we were not sure the Iron Dome would work,” said Elan. “We put on our helmets, kept our heads down and prayed” he said. “Now was the moment of truth if all our hard work training would pay off.” Pay off it did, as 85 percent of the missiles aimed at Israel’s city centers have been brought down by Iron Dome. “When we saw those missiles blown up by our unit we all started laughing and jumping up and down,” said Elan “We could hardly believe it!”

As we are talking war sirens ring out over the city and within seconds two rockets blast out of the Iron Dome battery on route to intercept the missiles. “Watch this,” Elan smiles. We cannot see the incoming missile, only the Iron Dome rocket’s white tail of smoke making its way up into the blue skies in search of the deadly missile. Then sure enough we see a grey puff of smoke about a kilometer above our heads and within seconds comes the echoing boom of the missiles’ midair explosion. After a week of fighting the soldiers are far more confident in the system’s capabilities.

Civilians are also feeling much safer with the Iron Dome success. “People from the city come up here to bring us care packages,” says Elan. “They want to tell us thanks for saving their lives,” he says. “Although it is forbidden, we allow a few to come. It’s great that we are joined together in these difficult times,” Elan explains. “It really feels like one big family. Everyone wants to help.”

Like most Messianics in Israel, Elan is proud to serve his country. There are hundreds of
Messianic Jewish believers serving in the Israeli Army. Many of them in elite fighting units now amongst the ground forces moving into the Gaza Strip. Most are exemplary soldiers who want to demonstrate that faith in Yeshua is not a betrayal of their Jewish heritage. In fact, faith in the Messiah is giving them an even greater purpose and desire to serve the nation of Israel. “I feel like I am doing something really important,” says Elan. “This is something I have waited my life to do for my people,” he says. “I am glad that I can be here for such a time as this.”

As we were about to leave Elan asked that we pray for him and all the soldiers in the Israeli army at this time. We assured him that we would and that people all around the world are standing with them praying. We hope that you will also join with us in prayer for these fine young men and women now serving Israel. And may God bless Israel.

NEWS FLASH:  As I go to publish this article, news is in a ceasefire has been reached between Israel and Hamas, the terrorist group in Gaza!  However we have seen from experience that this peace is just temporary, and in fact rockets continue to be leveled at Israel tonight.

I am grateful this Thanksgiving for the Lord’s miraculous intervention in protecting Israel especially though soldiers that believe in Him. He has answered our prayers. I therefore ask you to pray that all the soldiers, especially Elan and the other Messianic soldiers, who are  in harms way, will return home safely. Please pray Psalm 121:8 “The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”

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L’Shannah Tovah (Happy New Year)

 

Blowing the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah

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 a site not to be forgotten 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, Sukkot, so they build them and eat and sleep in them during the seven days of Sukkot. 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.  This year the Lord blessed me at my women’s conference at my church Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Mt. View, California on the Friday night two days before Rosh Hashanah started.  The theme was God’s Masterpiece and our first lady Ronda Hamilton spoke on doing God’s will.  She shared how God had called her to become a medical doctor when she least expected it and how we can step out into our callings that God has on our lives.

There was a time of prayer and healing and I went forward asking God for all He had for me and to start over in a new beginning with Him.  At one point Sister Hamilton asked “Women of God, do you want to be made whole?”  My heart leaped at the thought of being healed mentally, physically,emotionally and spiritually.  “Remember the man who laid at the pools of Bethesda for 38 years and Jesus asked him if he wanted to be made whole?.  Do you want that wholeness too?  My whole body came under the power of the Holy Spirit and I heard the Lord whisper to me “I am healing every molecule in every cell of you body.”  Then I felt heat throughout my head  and the words “I am healing your mind”.  My heart was next as I felt the Lord heal me from every hurt I had every experienced.  As I stood there shaking with the healing warmth of my Lord, I felt Him brake off the shackle of rejection on my heart I had experienced all my life and felt His love and acceptance flow over me. “You are accepted in the Beloved” ran through my mind from Ephesians 1:6 and I now could call Him Savior and Abba in a way I had never been able to do before.  I cried and cried thanking the Lord for loving me when others in my life would not and for healing me.

How can He top that, I wondered?  What else did God have for me this weekend? In anticipation of the Jews for Jesus Rosh Hashanah service two days later on Sunday, I picked up my Zip car and zipped up to San Francisco. I was looking forward to seeing old friends from my time as a volunteer with them doing street evangelism and others from our monthly Chaverah (Fellowship). The service proved to be as beautiful as I had remembered…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 young 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.

But what touched me the most was the sermon on the books of God.  The speaker preached on The Book of Life and The Book of Remembrance.  I was struck that God was an author and writer just like me!  He wrote the bestseller ‘The Bible” (true?!) and to think He writes our names in the book of Life when we accept His Son Yeshua 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 and 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 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.

Cross with Rose Petals Romans 5:8

Would like to pray to ask Jesus into your heart and forgive your sins?  If so, you can pray this prayer and 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 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!  LIKE below and leave me a comment that you began a new life with the Lord today.  And I will rejoice with you and the angels as well! (smile)

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Cross with Rose petals is for sale on my art website by clicking here or above at “My art”.

 

 

 

 

 


A Miracle in my Heart

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A Miracle in my Heart

Today is Labor Day and like most, I celebrated by going to a local Greek Festival in my hometown of Belmont.  I wanted to spend the day with the Lord doing something fun and I love Greek food and music.  There were dancers in native costumes, homemade moussaka (eggplant casserole) to die for, art showing the beautiful blue of the Greek Isles and a wild shuttle ride where we all snapped our fingers and sang to Greek music on the way back to the parking lot.  But mostly, there was peace in my heart.

Peace in your heart Miriam?  What is so different about that?  You see on Sunday the Lord did a miracle in my heart.  He finally took all the anger, resentment and unforgiveness that was in my heart, over the pain and trauma of my life.  In particular these past 12 years since I came home from the mission field, wounded and ill.  I had been crying out to Him to help me take the anger I felt all the time when someone hurt me, when I had to protect my wounded heart by pushing them out of my life…with the anger at myself for making the wrong choices on the mission field that led to my being deceived into the occult and terrorized.  Of the betrayal of male family members when they sexually abused me as a child.  Of my mother’s abandonment and cruelty over the years due to her own pain and illness.

I had become a judgmental, self righteous woman, always pointing out others inappropriate or ‘non Christian’ behavior, in the effort ‘to speak the truth” and hold others accountable.  I cried out to the Lord for a new beginning, to start over, but to please take this anger out of my heart.

That Sunday morning at church, we had a communion service.  The worship singer sang of God giving us a new start, of coming and holding our hand, asking us to trust Him with our hearts and lives.  Tears ran down my cheeks as I told the Lord I so missed how I used to be able to trust Him and hear His voice clearly, how all the years of pain and illness had robbed me of that.

As I closed my eyes, I had a vision of Jesus in a white robe, kneel down besides me and take my hand.  He whispered to my heart “Child, I want to give you a new start, a new beginning.  Will you take my hand and trust me anew with your life? Can we start over again?  As I nodded my head, I felt the Holy Spirit start to do a new work in my heart, I felt the old shackles of anger and pain break off, as if the Lord was doing surgery on my heart.  I felt a wave of refreshment and then peace just flooded my heart and body.

The spiritual surgery continued all day as I basked in the peace of his healing.  I chose to forgive my family and all those who had hurt me over the years, particularly in ministry, and release them from their debts of sin against me.  He taught me through Colossians 3:12-16 to forgive those who hurt and offend you, to put on love, and to be a peacemaker.  I had been a conflict maker and now I felt His love fill my heart where all that anger had been.

How will I keep this peace?  I asked the Lord.  “My grace is sufficient for you” He replied. I understood I was to ask for His grace, his tender compassion, when I needed to forgive someone and He would give me the grace to do this, and subsequently, ‘the peace of Him will guard my heart and mind.”

So today, when I woke, I took Jesus hand in mine and told Him “Lord today I will trust you to take care of me, to lead and guide me with each step I take, and to spend time loving you and people through you today.  And I did.  And just for today, I was blessed with peace.  I got to start all over again.

Do you need to ask the Lord for a new beginning…to find the forgiveness in your heart to set yourself and others free?  It’s easy.  Ask Him into your heart to take your sin and give you a new eternal life in Him.  He is faithful and will do it.  After all He is the great Physician and Healer, and Savior of our souls.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:12-16.

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