My Book Becoming Miriam is Now For Sale!

isJust in time for Christmas and Hanukkah, that perfect present for a loved one or even yourself (think stocking!) BUY HERE

img_1397I am happy to announce that my first book, Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God is now for sale on amazon.com! It was a five year labor of love. Here’s the book synopsis:

A Surprising Discovery. A Journey of Faith. God’s Healing Touch.

Born into a Catholic family, the author Miriam discovers a family secret, only to embrace her true heritage along her journey of faith.

Discover how God miraculously appears throughout her life, from her dark valleys of child abuse, clinical depression, and being deceived into witchcraft, to her peaks of missionary work in Israel and abroad. God shows His steadfast love and faithfulness at every turn, bringing healing, deliverance, and restoration to her broken heart and damaged life.The good news is He can do this for you,too.

Find steps to healing from issues Miriam overcame, ones you struggle with today: abortion, eating disorders, loneliness, sexual abuse, anxiety, depressions, PTSD, addictions, abandonment, and cult/occult involvement.

Experience hope and miracles only God can bring, as you get to knowis-1 and build an intimate relationship with the Healer Himself.

Bonus: Learn how to write and publish that book God has placed on your heart, as well as how to start a ministry that brings Him glory!

Praise for Becoming Miriam:

“Miriam, you describe your intimate relationship with Jesus with such sweet tenderness and affection. Although God allowed for some very dark times in your life, it is clear that His arms were always outstretched waiting for you to come back to Him. Yours is a very
powerful testimony of how God is with us even amidst the storms of our lives.”

Patrice, El Granada, California

“Miriam, your book is the most inspirational and motivational book I have ever read! I couldn’t put it down and read it in ten days! It helped me so much as I have gone through much of what you have. I highlighted Scriptures and parts that touched my heart and I am referring back to them to find the healing you have found. I discovered God again reading your faith journey, and I am so grateful to you for writing your story.”

Wendy, Sunnyvale, California

BUY NOW ON amazon.com

Please share this post with your friends and help them find healing and miracles too!


Magnificent Desolution – Guest Writer Rebecca Qualls

Today I welcome guest writer Rebecca Qualls to my blog.  I first met Rebecca when she was my ‘buddy’ at my first Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference three years ago.  She took me under her wing and helped me navigate the conference, offering encouragement along the way  We remained friends on Facebook, sharing the ups and downs of life and writing.I asked her to share her writing talent with you, as I  take a break from writing.  Enjoy her post!

“Beautiful!  Beautiful! Magnificent desolation.”-Buzz Aldrin, American astronaut

It’s been eighteen months. Eighteen months since we left suburban California life and bought a home on six acres in the high desert of northern Nevada.
We live in a beautiful agricultural valley surrounded by several mountain ranges and tumble weeds. You never forget the first time the strong winds pick up a tumble weed and send it into your backside. It’s like a right of passage.
In fact, there seem to be a lot of those–rights of passage. Butchering chickens. Collecting eggs everyday. Getting up early even on the weekends to feed the animals. Rural life is, well, sort of like leaving Oz to live in Kansas.
But living in the desert takes pastoral to a whole new level. It’s stark, with mind boggling weather shifts, intensely dry, arid and windy. (And not coastal breeze windy. I’m talking dust storm windy. See note about tumbleweeds above.)
When we first got here, I couldn’t help but think of the Israelites. They lived in a beautiful and fertile place. Until Moses. He led them smack dab into the desert. You know the story, right? The parting of the Red Sea, the water gushing out of the rock, manna, not to mention, the roaming for forty years. Hours of Sunday School Bible class watching as the stories were told using cut outs and a large flannel board. I had heard the stories so many times, I thought I had a handle on what living in the desert must have been like. Boy, was I wrong.
Granted, I’m not wandering around like a nomad or gathering our only food source out of the yard every morning. I haven’t marched on a walled city recently; but even now, eighteen months later, I ponder the similarities.
Stark, dry, windy, desolate. And yet, beautiful.
As I began to make the comparison, I contemplated the reasons for God transplanting the Israelites into the desert.
“Why?” I asked many times in the barrenness. Why here? Nearly every time I did, I would encounter a photo op as resplendent as this one.
Why here? I thought I had a budding ministry back in California.
If a picture says a thousand words, God was answering my question in tomes. I didn’t understand it at first. We live here simply because it’s beautiful?
It’s been eighteen months and although I still don’t understand completely what God is doing, that’s no longer the issue. “Why” in the desert has a way of getting lost. It disappears behind each breathtaking sunset and indescribable cloud formation.
God’s response to my persistent question has been gentle and consistent.
Repeatedly He simply shows Himself. His glory and His simplicity. His majesty and His mystery. Creator God. Orchestrator of the Heavens.
The why is swallowed by Who.
In the manner God so often works, it goes even deeper. There are the people around us and the animals we have taken charge over. Here in the desert, our neighbors aren’t the people we simply wave to when we are mowing the lawn. They are the one’s who drop what they are doing to help you catch the sheep that just got loose. They are the one’s who know your kiddos are going to be walking home in the rain from bus stop so they  meet them at the road and give them a lift home. Neighbors in the desert are the one’s who laugh when you laugh and cry when you cry.
“Beautiful! Beautiful! Magnificent desolation!”
Sometimes it takes the desolation to see the magnificence. Sometimes it takes the contrast of grandeur in the middle of stark to demonstrate truth profoundly.
There are so many things that happen in our lives that take shape beyond the scope of understanding. We strive to understand, to make sense of the chaos. I don’t know that I will ever fully understand why, but I see who. I see Who made the grandeur, and I see who I get to share it with. And maybe that was part of God’s plan for the Israelites, too. It was time they saw and experienced a lot more who.
In your own desolation, can you see the beautiful Who?
Rebecca Qualls currently resides in beautiful and quite rural, Smith Valley, Nevada, with her husband and three children. Her debut novel, “Distressed,” is available on Amazon.

Distressed
Driscoll, a law enforcement officer and his wife Alex, have worked hard to build a life for themselves, but when Driscoll heroically rescues a man from a burning car, and their young son is rushed to the hospital for an unexplainable seizure, the two discover they have taken different roads. They must find a way back to each other or lose everything. This suspenseful and emotional story will show you the burdens a hero bears and the strength required to love.

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

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

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

Mt. Hermon Conference Center

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

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

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

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

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

A Word about PTSD:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My Christmas Miracle…

Christmas Day.  The alarm rang at 9am and I looked outside.  Rain.  Lord, it isn’t supposed to rain till this afternoon, I complained. The thought of going into the City to Union Square to see the Macy’s tree and ice skaters, something I love to do each Christmas, in the cold and rain made me want to climb back into bed.  But no, I knew I had a divine appointment, so I dressed warmly and ran for the train.

Christmas Eve, I had visions not of sugar plums dancing, but of meeting my husband-to- be over the skaters park, perhaps a surprise rendezvous.  I had asked the Lord for a husband and a car for my Hanukkah/Christmas miracles, not necessarily in that order, and he had promised me a Christmas miracle the next day. I knew the time was getting short until He brought that special man into my life and hoped Christmas day would be it!

Cold, freezing winds met me at the San Francisco train depot. I pulled my jacket tightly around me and hopped on Muni (the bus). I got off at Powell Street, seeing a man peeing in the street, a typical sight in San Francisco’s panhandler area.  Merry Christmas, I thought to myself.

As I walked past the line of tourists waiting for the cable car ride over the hill, I began to see the beggars on the street.  Compassion started to fill my heart and I rustled through my change purse for some money.  I usually give a $1 and a Billy Graham tract entitled “Peace with God” as food for their soul.  What use is giving money when I can give the gift of Jesus and salvation instead?  I blessed the first young man with the lost look in his eyes, praying God would bless him that day.

I have been studying the concept of blessing in my Beth Moore Believing God Bible study. Today’s lesson was on using our tongue to bless God and others, not to curse, but to bless.  I wondered as I sat on the train watching the familiar scenery go by, why do we have to bless God?  Doesn’t He have everything He needs?  I know we are to praise Him, as He is our King and Lord, our Holy One.  So I pondered over this.  Beth states God SPEAKS His blessings over us, using our names.  I envisioned Him saying this morning:  Miriam, I bless you with meeting that special man today.  WOW, I could just picture it.  There is such power in our tongues and while we don’t have the supernatural power God possesses when He speaks, we can use our tongues positively by quoting Scripture and using Jesus’ name to move mountains and bless others. (Mark 11:23, James 3:10)

As I hurried up Powell Street to Union Square, looking for a place to get my hot cocoa to sip while I watched the ice skaters and waited on my husband, I glanced to my left.  There sat a dejected young man who looked on the verge of tears.  “Iraqi Vet, need some help” his cardboard sign said.  My heart was instantly pierced with compassion for him, but I was out of change.  I saw a Starbucks open up ahead and went in.  Miriam buy that man a sandwich and tell Him I told you to do so, I heard the Lord’s voice whisper to my heart.  I picked out a ‘grandma’s turkey and dressing’ sandwich, got my hot cocoa and returned to the young man.

Hi, what’s your name? I asked.

John, he replied,  He was shivering without a warm coat.

My name is Miriam and I am a Christian,  I said.

I am a Christian too, he replied.

God promises us we will not have to beg for bread, so what’s going on? I asked.

I lost my job and am living in my truck.  I need a master cylinder for my truck and I am trying to get the money together, he responded.

Here’s a turkey sandwich, the Lord told me to buy it for you. He looked gratefully down at the sandwich in his hands, placing it on top of his garbage bag belongings.

Do you know about City Impact, a Christian rescue mission nearby in the Tenderloin?  I asked.

No, he softly replied.

They have a breakfast of pastries and coffee with a service in the morning, and a homemade dinner in the evening, all free.  They have bible study in the afternoon and you can hang out there out of the cold. I used to volunteer there to pray for the homeless.  They are just over on Jones and Turk streets,” I told him. They are even having a big Christmas dinner today.

His eyes got big and he excitedly told me Thank you Miriam, I will go there.

He shared some more with me that he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and had shrapnel from the war, with no family to help him.  Well, you have the family of God to help you John, and you were my divine appointment for today.  God heard your prayers and saw you sitting here, and brought me up from San Carlos to help you find your way.  Tears came to my eyes and his.  I offered to pray for him and then hugged him.  I went into the nearby McDonald’s and returned with a hot coffee for him.

Thank you again, Miriam.

Tell them at City Impact Miriam sent you! I cheerfully replied.

As I walked away it happened.  A small flame of fire ignited in my heart and the love and compassion of Christ flooded me. Contentment and peace filled my heart. The joy of Christmas exploded in my soul. I silently blessed the Lord for allowing me to be His hands and feet to bring a Christmas miracle of hope to this lost little lamb of His.

Ice Skaters at Union Square, San Francisco

As I stood in the drizzle watching the ice skaters go round and round, reflecting on the beauty of the tall Christmas tree with its gold and red bulbs, I realized God had given me the best Christmas present ever.

I am a missionary by calling, and there is nothing that makes me happier than sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and reaching out to those lost in homelessness and mental illness.  I was once in that place myself, having returned from the mission field after being traumatized by people in the occult.  I fought a different type of war than my friend John, a spiritual battle and war with the enemy of our souls, the Devil.  I came home with a clinical depression and PTSD, lost in the blackness of my mind.

My family, not wanting to be financially responsible for me, dumped me on the County mental health system, abandoning me to a shelter.  Not just any shelter but a psychiatric shelter  Think drama. I share this part of my story in my pre-published book Running from the Witches:  How the Redemptive Love and Power of Jesus Christ Healed My Life.  Stay tuned for chapter 7 –  One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest)

I could relate to John’s mental illness, his being down on his luck, needing the hand of Christ to pull him up. God allowed me to go through that darkness and homelessness so one day I could help another in the same situation. What Satan meant for evil, God meant for good (You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20))

Just last evening, I told the Lord how much I missed hands on ministry and praying for people one on one.  And then today, He gave me this opportunity with John.  Do I believe God had me get out of my warm bed just to go to the City to meet up with John and be the answer to his prayer?  Yes I do.  And in my faithfulness, I was blessed in return.  As I walked away after giving John his coffee, another homeless man begging for change said to me God bless you for doing that. I knew God had given me my Christmas miracle, I had indeed met a special man. I had set out to get a miracle, instead I became a miracle for someone else.  I got back on the train, thanking, and BLESSING my Lord, for now I understood the concept of blessing; a blessing will always comes back to bless you.

Will you pray for John and others suffering homelessness and mental illness? The next time you see one on the streets, take a moment and speak to them and find out their story.  Most are hungry and you can buy them a meal and be their blessing for the day.  After all, that is what Jesus would have done.

How has God blessed you this holiday season?  Leave me a reply…

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