Back in the (Writing) Saddle Again…

Rain, rain, go away come back some other day…Do you remember this little ditty from your childhood?  I do.  And that’s exactly how I feel.  We have been having a drought in Northern California where I live, and I am grateful for answered prayer, but the last three days it has been raining steadily and I am climbing the walls.

I sewed on my quilt, with all the frustration sewing brings, while I watched movies on the DVD machine.  Then I napped.  Then I ventured out to get a coffee at Peets.  Then I sewed some more. Repeat for three days.

But today, I finally logged on to my computer and opened the manuscript of my book.  Yes, that book, my memoirs, lovingly referred to as Finding God in the Midst of My Mess:  My Love Story with Jesus.  It’s been five months since I set it aside after finishing my third rewrite last summer.  It has been sitting in my desktop files as I knew it needed some additional work, but wasn’t sure how to go about it.

In two months time, I will know how.  I will be taking a class on writing memoirs at Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference in April.  Yes, God has been faithful and blessed me with the money to attend.  Thank you to those of you who donated to my art and writing ministry, Gifts of His Glory. www.giftsofhisglory.com.

I am now on a writers roll.  There is nothing like typing away on my laptop as the creativity flows through my fingers and the rain pours down on the roof.  Did I say rain?  Yes, bring on the rain!  I love to write in the rain!  Not actually outside in the rain, but inside with a decaf coffee, a few pieces of sugar free chocolate, some inspirational music, and I am set.

I wrote the first draft of my book while sitting in a French cafe in my hometown, drinking French coffee, and listening to French music play in the background. I pretended I was in Pairs and wrote the book in two months straight.  Oh how easy writing is, I thought at the time, only to discover that what I lovingly referred to as ‘my book’ was actually called a ‘first’ or ‘crappy’ draft in the industry!  Yes and crappy it was!

Fast forward two years: one critique partner, two writers groups, three rewrites, many edits and now here I sit.  Not to mention building a social platform – BLOGging, TWEETing, FACEBOOKing and PINTERESTing. On top of writing devotions to get ‘published’ in order to ‘get book published’.  The Lord was faithful and three of my devotions were published.Smile. Oh and I forgot, the need to establish a speaking ministry.  So far I have spoken twice and will have more opportunities to speak once the book is published. WHEW, are you tired yet?  I am!

All to fulfill my dream of writing a book one day.  Don’t let anyone fool you and tell you it is easy.  Because it is hard work, with oodles, and I mean oodles, of rejection.  But in the end, I will have my story, a testimony of the healing power and redemptive love of Jesus Christ.  And it will bring healing to others and Glory to God.  Making it all worthwhile.

Thank you Lord for the rain.

Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Acts 14:17.

To see my Scripture art paintings and greeting cards go to ‘my art’ above or click here.

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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

Smile and Say “Head Shot”

One of the fun things of being a writer is having head shots taken.  A head shot is just that, a photograph of your head, hopefully smiling and looking professional.  They are used on  book jackets,  blogs, Facebook and other social media pages and for publicity.

How I came to have mine taken is a God story.  And I would like to share it with you.

I came to realize that I needed a professional head shot if I was going to be taken seriously as a writer.  It is year two for me on writing my book and I am almost ready to self publish.  I knew it was time to upgrade from the fuzzy digital camera shots that graced my Facebook and blog pages, you know the ones taken with your own arm extended out capturing yourself in the shot at the local flower gardens?

So I asked the Lord in prayer one day. “Lord, I need a good head shot, but don’t have the money to pay a professional.  Will you help me get them when I am at Mt. Hermon’s

Picture A

Christian Writer Conference coming up in a few weeks?  Knowing my prayer had been heard, I promptly forgot about it.

Fast forward to the last day of the conference,  I was exhausted and had slept in late.  I was hurrying across campus and saw a photographer set up outside taking what appeared to be head shots. I stopped dead in my tracks. “Oh are you taking head shots today for us?” I asked the kind looking photographer.

picture B

“Actually we are shooting staff photos today but I would be happy to take yours for you.”

“Really?  Gosh, I couldn’t today,  I look a mess, have no makeup on and haven’t slept well for five nights.” I gushed. “I live locally, could I come another time?”

“Sure, give me your business card and I will email you and arrange a time and date.”

He introduced himself as Dan Dawson, the official webmaster and

Picture C

photographer at Mt. Hermon.  “We were actually thinking of offering head shots at next years conference.  Would you be willing to take a short survey to help us determine what to offer and how much to charge? We are thinking of offering hair and makeup as well.”

“Oh, I would be happy to” I smiled.  “But Dan will you photo shop out my double chin for me?

“Yes Miriam, I will be happy too”. he smiled.

I laughed out loud as I hurried to breakfast. God had answered my prayer in such a miraculous and last minute way!

Picture D

Two weeks later, I zipped over in my red Zip car and met up with Dan at the studio.  We took some inside shots in front of a dark and light screen for book jackets then went out into the sunny yet breezy spring day.  I sat on a park bench with a beautiful purple azalea behind me as he clicked away.  I posed all my former Miss Belmont of 1979 poses and tried to look like a fun but serious writer.

At one point, the wind came up and blew my hair all over just like I would get with a wind machine in studio.  I let the joy of the Lord smile out of my eyes and escape in the

Picture E

softness of my laugh.  I felt beautiful and special. What fun I was having.

Today I got the proofs back.  I was very pleased how Dan made this fifty something year old woman look gorgeous.  I sent seven photos of my favorites back to  him to photo shop out those frown line and double chins!  I guess I am still a vain beauty queen down deep. 🙂 But God loves me as I am, and He loves you how you are.  We are all beautiful to Him.  He has made everything beautiful in His time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Will you help me?  Share in my God story by voting for which shot you like best.  Leave me a reply by clicking on comments below with your choice. A, B, C, D, E.

And praise God with me for answering prayer in the humorous way He knows best!  My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

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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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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!

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

 

 


Spring is in the air….Here’s my latest paintings…

Orange Daffodils Revelation 21:5 Behold I Make All Things New

I love springtime.  It is my favorite time of year, when all the daffodils bloom bright yellow and the magnolia trees blossom, with their heavenly scent.  I happily shed that winter heaviness and the cold of the air to welcome the early California warm weather.  It is also biking time again, when I can get out and ride without the drizzle of rain.  But mostly for me, springtime is about painting.

I recently returned from a trip to Palm Springs (see Marilyn, Elvis and God post) where I was able to snap some beautiful plants in the desert.  I paint all my biblical Scripture art from original photography I take, often at Filoli Gardens near my home.  Right now I am working on an orange bougainvillea bush, a color I rarely get to paint in, so this excites me!

Spring means new beginnings as well.  Easter with its brightly colored eggs and deviled

Resurrection Cross Ephesians 2:8-9

eggs, celebrating Jesus’ Resurrection and promise of eternal life to all who believe. Passover with the Seder plate and story of God’s redemption for the Jewish people from slavery.

It’s also a new beginning for me as I search for work outside of ministry, wanting to work in an art environment using my artist background and somehow have children involved (I am a former elementary school teacher and have taught a lot of bible camps here and abroad)  It is exciting to send in my resume, praying God will open the right door for me for this new career.

It is also an exciting time as I prepare for a new beginning of hopefully selling my book and finding an agent at Mt. Hermon’s Christian Writer’s Conference in one’s weeks time.  I am happy to be rooming with my writer friend from last year, Laura Bennett and can’t wait to meet up for coffee in the ice cream parlor or amongst the redwood trees with my Facebook writer friends whom I haven’t seen since last year’s conference.

I am believing the Lord for divine appointments as only He can bring.  I anticipate learning a whole lot about publishing while I sit in workshops that range from how to become a freelance speaker, to how to write greeting cards and what really happens to your non fiction book behind closed publishing doors!

Mostly, I look forward to what the Lord is going to do with my heart while there. I plan on taking quiet hikes along the creek bed, listening to what is on His heart for me.

Off course, I hope the book sells, and I get a nice big fat advance (oh, the new car I can now buy and that trip to Israel my soul wants to take). But if it doesn’t, I know the Lord will bring a new beginning as I start to rewrite my manuscript, having the knowledge from my classes to now do so.

Open Tulips Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you with an everlasting love...

Recently the Lord has been putting a Scripture on my heart from Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with loving kindness.  Yes, I sense His love and kindness in my life as I step out in faith to the promise of new beginnings and hope.  So much so that I included this Scripture in one of my latest paintings for your enjoyment.  It is titled Open Tulips Jeremiah 31:3 and sells for $100 at my art website www.giftsofhisglory.com. (or click on ‘my art‘ above)

Come see all my new artwork for sale and bless yourself or a friend with the gift that keeps on giving:  an original piece of art with biblical Scripture embossed within it. For the Lord said: It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. Isaiah 51:11. New Living Translation.

Happy Spring!

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What is your favorite part of Springtime?  Leave me a reply…

 

 

 

 


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

The road to Mt. Hermon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My devotion is published!…a love letter to the Lord..

My love letter to the Lord

My sweet Lord, such love and goodness happened this week. Your miracle of allowing me to show my art at my church’s mission holiday fair after all. And yesterday finding out some of my writing is being published on the national level.  Oh, and not to mention the possible job.

I love how faithful you are, that in the dry seasons of our life, when we are so anxious for you to open a door, you open three at once!  I love how you have a way of raining down blessings, and how I know from experience you wait till the last possible moment, yet your timing is perfect.  I have seen you come through when I am down to my last few dollars in my savings account and I don’t know where money will come from for next month’s bills.

From Pinterest

My heart overflows as I watch your perfect sunset of my favorite colors, pink and purple tonight.  I saw a pin on Pinterest today that said God is a designer. How true.  You are the ultimate Artist and Creator.  Every sunrise and sunset you paint a canvas of color for us, and every evening you hang the moon and stars in a navy blue sky.  I have enjoyed so much walking at night and riding my bike under the bright moon.

I have noticed I see things more clearly with an artist’s eye now, with your eye, such as how the seasons change and the beauty of each.  Fall, one of my favorites, brings baking, homemade soups, quilting while sipping pumpkin lattes and crunchy gold, red and yellow leaves on the ground.

This evening, I realized how blessed I am to do the things you do, be an artist and writer.  It took 51 years to get to this place but I love painting and I love being a writer, and now an author.  WOW, author.  It was nine months ago I picked up my pen and stated writing my book, on a rainy day in January at Peets Coffee.  Nine months of joy, frustration, rewrites, editing, critiquing, writer conferences, blogging, subscribers, plug ins, Facebook cartoons, statistics, submission, rejection and now finally acceptance.   An editor felt my devotion “Our Sweet Fragrance” was good enough to publish.  In a book.  That many will see, read and grow closer to you because of it.  WOW.

As an author, you write our names in your book , our tears in your book and our days in your book.  My art contains your Word in Scripture, knowing that my word that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void. (Isaiah 51:11)  How is it I am growing to be more like you and your image everyday? (smile)

I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys - Song of Solomon 2:1

Thank you Jesus for being my sweet fragrance (2 Corinthians 2:15), and my Rose of Sharon (Songs 2:1). For giving me the words to write the beautiful devotion to you and the ability to paint a Scripture painting to go along with it, entitled Rose of Sharon.

For giving me a vision of you tossing dozens of red rose petals all over me as I rolled on my bed in glee, over finding out my devotion was accepted for publication in Penned from the Heart*.  Of confirming my dream and encouraging me in my journey with you. My heart is full of gratitude and love for you. Ani Ohevet atah Yeshua.
Your love, Miriam

Rose of Sharon is for sale on my website giftsofhisglory.com.  Click here or above on ‘my art’ to see all my Scripture paintings that make wonderful holiday gifts.

Yearly Christian devotional for 2013

*I am sorry I cannot publish my devotion here on this blog until after it has been printed and published in the devotional book.  Rules of the publishing game!  Devotional books can be ordered beginning in December for the 2013 version in which my devotion appears,  at www.gloriaclover.com.  Retail at $9.95)

Leave me a reply:  What dream has the Lord given you?

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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…

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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