When Life Gives You Lemons…Make Art!

Hello, Readers!  It has been awhile since I blogged, and I hope you have been blessed by my guest bloggers during this time.  I have injured my shoulder, arms and hands from overuse, yes, actually writing too much.  Writing a book will do that to you!  I am an avid biker and that added to the problems. So, now I spend my time at doctors and in treatment with the hope and faith the Lord will heal me completely.  Physical therapy, cortisone shots and next acupuncture is the plan.  And of course, healing prayer.

It has been a scary time, to not be able to write on my laptop, paint, or bike for that matter, and to be in pain. I have had to trust the Lord and others for help getting to the doctors and Trader Joe grocery runs.  I am grateful my book is completed and with an editor at a large Christian publisher during this season of rest and healing.

But, I want to share how faithful God is and how even when illness, injury and trials come our way, He makes a way. Tonight, I stepped out in faith and began to paint again, a new way, with a  new medium, pastel crayons.  Yes, it is a little like finger painting, you get to use your fingers to smudge the colors just like we did in Kindergarten.  I bought a sketch book and a set of 24 soft pastel crayons and sitting on my purple sofa with a favorite picture from this summer’s trip to Victoria, Canada, I began to ‘color’ with my pastels.

I found it’s not like using acrylic paints, my normal, and you can’t really mix colors, but it was easy on my hands, not lots of big arm movements like usual, and in an hour I was done.  I was so happy with joy that I was able to create again!  I share my painting entitled Biker Blues with you.

This is a view of the Olympic Mountains and Bay from Victoria Island, Canada with timber driftwood, taken while biking around the island.  I am taking a break from painting my usual Scripture Art with a new vision from the Lord to paint His Glory, seen in nature.

I hope you enjoy it, and I ask you, my faithful readers, to pray for my healing, and that I will be able to give a wonderful testimony in my next book how the Lord restored me to complete healing!  Be blessed!

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

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Single Mom’s and Summertime….Guest Blogger Columba Lisa Smith

Today I have asked my writer friend Columba Lisa Smith to guest blog while I take a break from writing!  I met Columba at Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference two years ago and love her writing style.  She writes about being a single mom and her faith in Jesus.  Enjoy her post, and check out her blog SingleMomFaith.com.

Summer in the Fast Lane

It happens every summer.

My three teens and I stagger to the end of an intense homeschool year. I hope to catch up on a few projects, visit with friends, perhaps review some college information with the kids.

Also, paint a few rooms, remove all fire hazards from the yard, organize my files, finish my novel and my single mom book, start a freelance business, resolve my past, secure my future, write my will, and maybe even date again.

And boys, would you
PLEASE CLEAN YOUR BATHROOM!!!

I don’t like being out of control. As a single mom, I feel pressured to handle everything. And launching my teens into adulthood is an emotional roller coaster, whooshing me daily from the heights of gratitude and glowing pride to the depths of anxious self-doubt.

Stress, anyone?

Recently, God handed me my summer survival kit: I was invited to a Beth Moore Bible study on Proverbs. My daughter babysits while I fellowship with other moms and soak up Beth’s deep, profound teaching via our weekly DVD lesson. It’s an oasis. I’m super thankful; and my daughter can pay for her violin lessons. Bonus!

Last week, we learned about the heart. Some inner pain is so unique that no one else will ever quite grasp it. Even those who have experienced trials similar to our own can’t understand exactly what we’re experiencing, because everyone processes differently. This can be terrifying.

Sometimes, a mom will tell me that her husband travels a lot, “so I’m a single mom, too!” I want to scream, “No! You’re not! You have no idea what single moms go through!” But even other single moms can’t relate exactly to my experiences. We all live unique variations on the theme, and interpret life uniquely.

Beth shared a reassuring Biblical truth from Saint Augustine:
God is closer to me than I am to myself. He is deeper in me than I am in me, and higher than my highest.

Therefore:
-I don’t have to fear the strange heart pain that I can’t explain to another living soul. God is deeper still. He holds my broken depths.
-It’s OK if I can’t handle my life. God has got this. He’s in it with me.
-I have the luxury of falling apart at His feet. He holds me together.
-I’m God’s business and God’s idea. He is more about me than I am about myself. Everything that concerns me concerns Him more.

God wants to be so close to me that we’re one. Jesus prayed we would all experience this unity: “Righteous Father…I have made you known to them… that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:25-26 NIV).

As I rest in this comforting truth, I automatically produce lasting fruit, without striving. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4 NASB).

It’s the only way to get anything done that really matters.
Raising teens alone is a weighty job. I can’t carry it. This summer, I’m experiencing God’s strong support and fellowship, helping me do what I never could without Him.

Have you ever felt out of your depth? How did God help you through that?

Columba Lisa Smith became a single mom in 2000, when her sons were two and four years old, and her daughter was an infant. She blogs at SingleMomFaith.com, sharing stories of God’s faithfulness that provide Biblical encouragement to single moms. She is also working on her first book, Faith and Single Mom Dilemmas, inviting single moms to a journey of rest in God’s steadfast love.

To see Miriam’s Scripture paintings and Christian greeting cards, click on my art above or giftsofhisglory.com

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My Book is Completed, and so I wait….

Celebrate with me the completion of my book: Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God. After two and one-half years of hard work, tears, laughter and editing…and rewrites…and editing…and rewrites, I have completed my manuscript. Now the fun part starts…waiting.

Waiting to hear from the Lord how I am to publish it. Waiting to hear back from the agent I just mailed my manuscript to, to see if he wants to represent me and if my book is marketable to the Christian Booksellers Association (CBS) Is it too dark a subject? Do I have more than one book within my book?  Is it well-written enough? All these questions form in my mind, knowing it will take 6-8 weeks to hear back. If I hear back.

I am blessed with a wonderful mentor, Kay Marshall Strom, a well-known Christian author of fiction and non-fiction, who has guided me and critiqued my book along the way. At this year’s Mt. Hermon Writers Conference, she gave me the thumbs up on my book, as did another writer friend, Joseph Bentz. With this encouragement, I sent my manuscript with sample devotions and greeting cards I had written, off to the agent I met my first conference. He kindly gave me permission to send my book proposal to him when I was done. So I did that this week.

And now, I am taking a rest. The Lord whispered to my heart yesterday to take a break from my art and writing ministry and enjoy the summer. After all, it is His book, and He will publish it when He is ready, whether by a traditional publishing house or self published by me.

Same with the art. I am seeking to license my art and recently got back my first rejection letter from a well known art publishing company.  Tears and disappointment filled my heart. They said they had an artist already with my style.  With my style? Really?  Is that possible someone else paints the same prophetic paintings I do?  I think it was a form letter, and it just wasn’t the right fit. I saved it in my rejection letter file.  Yes, I have one of those. Every writer/artist does. Just to wallpaper the bathroom with when we do finally get published.

So you ask, what will I do with my summer? First read. I have a stack of my favorite John Grisham novels to devour.  Then I will read some of my author friend’s books. Next go to the Pleasanton County Fair, which I go to each year, as they have incredible art. Then I will paint a picture of something different, not just my Scripture art. Go to a Giants game, by train, with my bestie Anne. Buy wine and cheese and listen to the Friday night concerts in the park nearby my home. Write fun and whimsical blog posts that don’t have anything to do with my creative talents! Go on bike rides all over the Bay Area.

And hopefully, go to Paris, and write my final chapter, my afterword. It has been my dream to sit in a Parisian cafe and write. To see all the beautiful art and architecture of the city for writers and artists (and lover’s too!)  Wouldn’t that be a dream come true? So I wait…

What are you doing this summer? Any great ideas for me?  Thank you for supporting my blog and I hope you will enjoy my blog posts this summer….as I wait 🙂


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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God can Heal your Broken Heart

Today, while I was watching my Beth Moore bible lesson video on my laptop, I heard the wonderful news:  God can heal your broken heart, your pain, you mental anguish over wounds from your past. I stopped the tape and sat for a moment. He never meant for us to stay wounded, if fact that is why He died on the cross for our sins and was wounded for us.  He took our woundedness so we don’t have to carry it any longer.  This profound truth settled into my heart.

He knows what it is like to have emotional pain, mental anguish, and the physical pain of nails driven into his hands and a sword pierce his side.  There is nothing we have gone through or are going through that He hasn’t experienced himself.

This is why He is our Savior and Healer.

As I sat on my sofa in my living room, looking out the clear glass doors at the white fluffy clouds float by in the bright blue sky, I bowed my head and humbly asked the Lord to heal my wounds. He placed His hand on my heart and healed me through His Holy Spirit.

He withdrew the sword that had pierced my heart when I was abandoned by my family over my illness. He took the pain of losing my nieces and nephews in my life when I came forward with my sexual abuse from childhood.  He soothed the hurt when an old high school friend took advantage of my vulnerability and betrayed me. He knit together my wounds through His healing balm in one afternoon, that began as an ordinary day, and turned into an extraordinary one. And He can do it for you too.

Once I turned the video back on, Beth shared that Jesus calls us away to a solitary place and time with Him to be able heal our wounds in the quiet of the moment.  We need to make time out of our busy lives to just sit with Him and be still.  Only then can he show us our wounds and the love in His eyes as He desires to heal us.

Even if your heart is shattered into a million tiny pieces like mine was, He can still knit it together because he promises in His Word, the Bible to. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)  and
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)  Even if you are suffering from depression and despair, He loves you enough to heal you as He did me.

Please pray this prayer:  Dear Jesus. I believe you died on the cross for my sins and took my wounds upon yourself.  Please heal my broken heart and damaged life from all my pain, anguish and despair.  I open my heart to you today and invite you to come in as my Lord and Savior at this special time of Easter when you died and rose from the dead so I could have eternal life with you.  Please touch me now even as I pray through the power of your Holy Spirit. Thank you Jesus for loving me.  Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, know God was faithful and began the work of healing you. Sometime He heals instantly as He did for me today, other times it is a process that takes time. Here are some practical ways to seek healing.  I share these in my my pre-published book: Finding God in the Midst of My Mess: A Love Story, to be published in 2015.

-Attend a church that has healing prayer groups and ask for healing.

-Read Leanne Payne’s books: The Healing Presence; Restoring the Christian Soul; Listening Prayer and The Crisis in Masculinity (for men) all on emotional healing.

-See a Christian counselor who can incorporate healing prayer into your sessions. Google you local Christian Counseling Center or ask your Pastor for a referral.

-Take a Beth Moore bible study for healing such as Breaking Free available online at www.lproof.org.  You can take them online or at a local church that offers her classes.

-Call the Minirth-Meir New Life Clinics 1-888-7 CLINIC (1-888-725-4642) for a counselor or inpatient program in your area, especially if you are suffering from depression or chemical dependency.

-Attend a Christian 12 Step group to find support and healing for addictions through a local church.

-If you in a crisis pregnancy Google your local Christian Pregnancy Center and make an appointment for a free sonogram and find help in choosing life for you and your baby.

-If you need healing from an abortion, some Christian Pregnancy Center’s  offer post-abortion counseling where you can find forgiveness and healing from God. I took such a class and found so much freedom. On your own you can read the book and workbook Forgiven and Set Free, and for men, Healing the Father’s Heart by Linda Cochran available at Christianbooks.com,

You can also contact me at miriam@giftsofhisglory.com for a confidential reply to your need or problem for healing. I am happy to pray for you.

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Special Easter Greeting Card available with Christian message. www.giftsofhisglory.com.

To see all of my Scripture art paintings and greeting cards click on ‘my art’ above.




Luck or God’s Grace?

Today, I was reflecting on St. Patrick’s Day which is tomorrow March 17.  Being part Irish, I am familiar with the custom of wearing green and pinching those who don’t.  My thoughts turned to how as a Christian, nothing is left up to luck, but God’s grace.

The Scripture that comes to mind is, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, but lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

It is by God’s grace, his unmerited favor, his love, his provision, that my life unfolds.  I have given my heart to Jesus as my Lord and Savior and I belong now to Him.  He promises to give us His free gift of grace, of salvation, forgiveness of our sins and eternal life.  If only we believe.

You might say it was ‘luck’ when in the throes of a clinical depression, at the lowest part of my life, that I found Jesus.  Or really, He found me. He saved my life and my soul from the darkness of a life of sin and deception.  When I surrendered my life to Him, I found my life, one I live by faith and trust in God now.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 16:25).

Which leads me to the Scripture in Proverbs.  When we trust God and turn over our problems and sorrows to Him, not counting on our own understanding about the issue, but acknowledging Him as the answer, He will direct our paths. I have seen this so many times in my life, once I gave up control of my life, and let Him lead.

Recently, I trusted Him to help me raise the money to attend this year’s Christian writing conference at Mt. Hermon Conference Center.  I felt his lead to write a letter to those close to me from my church family and God was faithful. I received the sponsors and donations I needed to go. In His timing and His way.

Do you trust God with your heart and your life?  Have you let go and surrendered your will to His will?  If you want the beautiful plan God has for your life, you need to do so.  If you are relying on ‘luck’, then you are at the mercy of this world, not of God, and He is the safest place to be.

Often, what you have thought of as ‘luck’ and coincidence has really been God operating on your behalf and goodwill.  You just didn’t know it. I even suggest it was not ‘luck’ that brought you to read this blog post, but God’s grace directing your path to find Him.

So, I am here to ask you today to consider how He has been wooing you to come follow Him, to allow Him to be your Lord and Savior. He has two beautiful gifts that don’t require any luck, just grace. A forgiven heart and a life spent in eternity with Him and your loved ones.

Can you trust Him right now?  If so, pray this prayer to turn your ‘luck’ into God’s favor in your life.

Dear Jesus:  I admit I am a sinner and need your free gift of grace.  I have been searching for luck when in reality I should have been searching for you.  I want to surrender my life to you as Lord and Savior, asking you to forgive my sins and give me eternal life.  I ask you to help me trust you and live by faith in you.  I trust your promise that by trusting in you, not in myself, you will guide my steps and life into your perfect plan.  Thank you Jesus.  Amen.

Congratulations!  Angels are dancing in Heaven to celebrate you being born again into the Kingdom of God!

To see my Scripture art and greeting cards click on ‘my art’ above or at www.giftsofhisglory.com

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Cooking Middle Eastern Style: A Recipe for You!

One of my biggest joys these days is spending time in the kitchen cooking Middle Eastern food that I grew to love from my time in Israel. I discovered a wonderful cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi, who is a London restauranter, at a local bookstore.

Every week I have been making three different recipes, shopping for ingredients like eggplant, tahini paste and saffron and za’atar spices.  I remember walking through the souk or marketplace of the Old City of Jerusalem, where they sold spices in large barrels where I haggled over the prices.  Oh how I wish I could be there now.

My favorite memory of food during my time there was  lunch made by an Arab Christian cook at a local congregation in East Jerusalem.  Every Sunday, I would take the bus, looking forward to a homemade meal, something that was rare for us missionaries.  The cook would make Maqluba, a savory dish with chicken, eggplant, tomatoes, cauliflower and rice.  He would cook it up in a big round pan and then, plop, dump it upside down unto a platter, and serve.  This was the traditional way of serving Maqluba and our mouths would water in anticipation.

On this rainy day in March, I am cooking Maqluba for the first time, hoping I don’t dump it all over the floor.  I wish I could invite you, my readers, to my home to taste it so you can celebrate this special dish.  Instead, I will share the recipe here with you for your own culinary efforts. Enjoy!

And stay tuned here on my blog for when I publish my book, Finding God in the Midst of My Mess, that includes my travels in Israel and my adventures in food!

Maqluba – reproduced from Jerussalem, A Cookbook, by Yotem Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

click here to see recipe

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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.

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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

Why Are All the Santas Deflated?

This morning I awoke to bright sunshine and warm weather, typical of  Northern California at Christmas time.  I decided to take a bike ride through the neighborhood on my way to my favorite cafe, La Tartine, in the next town over.

As I pedaled my bike under a bright blue sky, I marveled at the Christmas decorations at each house-colorful ornaments hanging from tree limbs, dazzling in the sunshine, red and white candy canes lining the driveways and a slew of wire reindeer looking naked without their twinkling lights.

And then it struck me.  Many of the houses I passed had huge, inflatable Santas, faced down on the lawn. Why were all the Santas deflated? My mind raced.  Did someone pop poor old Santa as a prank?  But wait.  Frosty the Snowman was down also.  I grew more confused. Perhaps, I wondered, they were inflated with air each evening, only to dissipate like a melting snowman come light of day?

Then it dawned on me. We too are like those deflated Santas during Christmastime. We get all pumped up about the tinsel and gifts, the chocolate and peppermints, and the sparkling lights at night. Then we find ourselves depressed, with the air let out of us. Maybe, it’s an unkind word or act of meanness by our boss. Deflate.  Or most likely, that hurtful thing said by our dysfunctional family member.  Pop.   Perhaps, the school kids didn’t like our home baked cookies or even the Costco bought cookies  Flattened.

But there is good news!  We don’t ever have to be deflated again!  God fills us with His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, when we believe in His Son, Jesus, as our Lord and Savior.   He fills our hearts with Joy, Peace, Love, Patience, Kindness and Goodness. And hope. All the things Christmas is supposed to be about.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16.) 

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14.) 

Immanuel means “God with us.”  Jesus came to earth to dwell with us. He takes up residence in our hearts and promises to never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5-6.)   We can ask him to refresh our spirits and He will do so.  He will comfort our pain, encourage our discouragement, and shed grace and light on our difficult situation. We never lose His presence in us and He is immediately there when we ask anything of Him.

Do you want His joy, peace and love in your heart?  Wouldn’t this be the perfect time to accept God’s free gift of salvation, knowing Jesus came as a baby, just for you, to forgive your sins and reconcile you with God?

Yes? then pray the prayer below:

Dear Jesus:  I know I am a sinner and ask you to forgive my sins.  I invite you to come dwell in my heart as my Lord and Savior.  I want to be filled with your Holy Spirit and know you as my God.  Thank you for coming down to earth to save me and for loving me so much.  I love you Jesus.

Do you know angels are rejoicing in Heaven right now because you’ve entered the Kingdom of God as His child?  Merry Christmas-you have received the most perfect gift of all!

And a special Merry Christmas to all my readers and followers. May you be transformed by the miracle of His birth this season…

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