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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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My New Creation: Scripture Art Greeting Cards!

It has been one of those weeks, you know when the Lord is testing you faith and the devil

is trying to destroy it?  Yes, besides a heat wave (and i can’t tolerate the heat), I found out I had Intermediate Uveitis, an inflammation in the middle part of my eye which is quite serious, causing floaters and diminished eyesight. This is in addition to the jelly part detaching.  (See Lord Open My Eyes)

My top doctors at Stanford are running blood tests for some pretty scary diseases, like Cancer, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis, which can all cause inflammation. Treatment:  Chemotherapy.  Oh no.  Never Lord.  I can’t go through that. How will I see to write and paint? I implored of Him. On top of all this my internet went out today. Can anyone say Devil?

In spite of all this, I did manage to create my first samples of my art greeting cards:  Christian greeting cards featuring my paintings with Scripture. The Lord gave me a vision to combine my paintings with verses I write, and pitch them as a new greeting card line to publishing companies.

I was amazed I figured out how to print them right side up, not down, and get the inside verses on the right page.  They looked beautiful when I was done.  See for yourself!  God has been faithful with my art and writing ministries and it is very special to be able to combine both in one new creative form to give Him glory.

I spent yesterday in the cool air conditioned library researching publishing companies to send to. Later at home I took pictures of my samples turning them into jpeg files so I could submit them via email to the editors.  Some I mailed out via snail mail, feeling like I was turning my babies over to the US Postal Service, hoping they would arrive safely into the editors hands.

With a prayer and a wish, I now leave the outcome in the Lord’s hands as to if and when they will be published.  But one thing I know, His Word will not return to Him void, and the Scripture embossed on each card will touch hearts and deposit seeds of faith as only God’s Word can do. (Isaiah 55:11)

Would you pray for me my readers? 

I have placed my eye in the Lord’s hands and ask you to pray for His healing power to heal the inflammation in my eye and restore my eyesight to normal.

For peace for me as I wait for the test results.

For favor with the editors as they view my sample greeting cards.

For boldness as I volunteer with Jews for Jesus in their online chat room the month of July.

And for protection from the Devil and his schemes as I step out in faith to further the Kingdom of God.

Whew that is a lot to pray for!  It comforts me to think of you all around the world lifting me up to the Father. Thank you, my friends. (smile)

To see my Scripture art click on ‘my art’ above or www.giftsofhisglory.com.

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Quilting by Faith

 

Faith.  It is the thing God requires of us and the thing that pleases Him most.  In the Bible it says: “It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 The Message) So in keeping with my faith and wanting to please God, I have decided to make a quilt by Faith.

What does this mean Miriam?  Well, I am trusting the Lord by faith to bring me a husband, ideally a Messianic Jewish one who believes in Jesus.  And along that cord, I am making my wedding quilt for my chuppa or canopy that will hang over our heads during the ceremony.  Once the wedding is over, it will be my gift to my husband to use when he goes into his cave or hideout, to wrap himself in and remember my love.

Being part Jewish myself, and a believer in Jesus, I chose to make a heart quilt that would use

recipe for chicken soup

both Jewish and Christian fabrics.  I had fun shopping online to find these patterns.  My favorite one was called “Making Chicken Soup” complete with recipe and “How to Find a Husband” which by the time the quilt is made and I am married, will be redundant, but it was fun to add.

Jewish stars. Christian crosses. A bird of peace representing the Holy Spirit.  Hanukkah candles. The nativity scene. Passover symbols. All representing the

merging of two people with Jewish and Christian backgrounds into one of faith in Yeshua (Jesus).

So last night I started sewing the quilt blocks of hearts.  After I finally figured out how to thread the bobbin, I applied my foot to the electric pedal and whizzed away.  There is

My vintage 1960s Singer machine

something so rhythmic to sewing and quilting.  You get lost in the motion and hum of the machine.

My favorite time to quilt is on a rainy winter day, but for some reason I find myself quilting in the springtime.  I was excited to be taking this step of faith, this act of love, very much like the Lord does with us.  He pieces the patterns of our hearts together, giving us a heart full of His love and peace.

Sometimes, our hearts are broken and He needs to sew all the broken pieces back together with His healing touch.  He is the master quilter.  Our lives become like a quilt, with one side showing all the tangled threads, the other side showing a beautiful pattern.

piecing one of my quilts together

The Lord has done much sewing on my heart over the past two decades since I became a born again Christian.  I had so much pain and trauma in my life, even from childhood.  Added to this were the messes I made with my own life through sin and bad choices.

But God has been faithful to show His love and heal me.  I think of this love as I sew the blocks together, adding the square patches to the pattern.  Just like my wedding quilt will be special and beautiful when it is finished, so the Lord will make a beautiful pattern of your life if you give him the chance.

If you want this faith, to step out and trust the Lord with your life, you can pray this prayer.  It will bring His salvation and healing presence to your life as He takes up residence in your heart through His Holy Spirit.  He will come take your mess and start sewing it into a beautiful quilt.

Will you ask Him for Faith today?

Dear Jesus:  I ask you for the gift of faith today. By faith, please come into my heart as my Lord and Savior.  By faith I believe you died on the cross for my sins and mess and rose from the dead three days later.  By faith I receive your free gift of eternal life by grace.  Please knit the broken parts of my heart and life back together and bring me healing, as you are the divine healer. Thank you for loving me enough to heal me.  I walk forward today with Faith in you.  Amen.

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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 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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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.

=

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.”

Please LIKE or TWEET and share how God is intervening in Israel and have your friends pray too…

 

 


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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Forgotten Girls…

Forgotten girls…

Commit you way unto the Lord...Psalm 37:5

One of the most wonderful things that came out of my attending Mt. Hermon’s Christian Writer’s Conference last March was a friendship with Kay Marshall Strom and her husband Dan Kline.  Both are celebrated authors and Kay has a heart for helping exploited girls and women around the world who are sexually trafficked. I met Kay and Dan as she taught the “Writing with Sizzle” class during the conference which I attended.  Kay took me under her wing, helping me to take my book in a new direction, turning it from a memoir into a personal experience with self help genre.  They have been kind enough to critique my new outline and book proposal as a gift to me.  (a little bit on getting my book published as I promised you!)

One day during the conference, I was browsing the authors bookstore and came across a book called ‘Forgotten Girls” by Kay.  I quickly picked up the book and read the book jacket.  Kay had traveled with a group all around the world telling the plight of young orphaned girls and women with no hope who were being trafficked across borders and sold into sexual slavery.

The Lord had been tugging on my own heart regarding working with children who had been trafficked.  I had a vivid dream two years ago of children being trafficked right in my own backyard of San Francisco.  In the dream, i heard the pleas of three little five year old girls, asking why men were hurting them, as their mother sold them into slavery.  As I read Kay’s Forgotten Girls, and the work being done by She is Safe, an international ministry whom Kay had collaborated with in writing the book,

I knew in my heart and spirit this was the work the Lord was calling me to. I now had a focus for my artwork and ministry Gifts of His Glory.  My Biblical Scripture paintings would be dedicated to helping young orphaned girls and women in places like India and Indonesia find rescue and hope of aftercare through the sales of my paintings.  I decided to donate 50% of all sales to the work of She is Safe, targeting the places and stories that had touched my heart

The Lord also prompted me to donate paintings to Christian ministries such as Freedom House in San Francisco and Zoe Children Homes in Los Angeles, as a gift to help them raise money through auctions and galas for their work..  In my own small way, I was now able to help stop this horrible crime against children.  The most amazing thing is how it has brought healing to my own heart from my own abuse as a child by giving me a voice for others who have no voice.

I include here my latest painting entitled “Purple Daises”, taken from a garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, where beauty resides in the midst of hidden and dark suffering of children.  I chose Psalm 37:5 to include in the collage “Commit your way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass”. Amen.

(Purple Daisies sells for $100 and can be purchased at www.giftsofhisglory.com – Won’t you take a peek at the artwork for sale and help rescue a child? Thank you!