The Kiss. The Thinker. And the Gates of Hell. A Day in the Life of an Artist…

It was a beautiful fall day, clear blue skies with a soft breeze, as I waited for the train with my friend Sylvia.  “What exhibit are we going to see today at the Cantor Museum at Stanford?”  I asked her.  “I think the Rodin statues.” she mused.  “Hmm…Rodin, didn’t he sculpt the famous The Kiss and The Thinker?” “Yes, and the Gates of Hell,” Sylvia replied.  Excitement began to grow as the train rushed us to the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto.

The Tinker and Me

We met up with my fellow artists from our Arts of the Covenant group, a faith based group of artists who meet monthly and exhibit our work in gallery shows.

As we began our tour, the docent, an elderly lady with a walker, surprised us all by the fascinating story she told of Auguste Rodin, complete with pictures of him throughout his life.  The museum has 200 ‘casts’ or bronze statues of his work, the largest collection outside of Paris.

As we passed through the galleries, I was pleased to see his statue The Kiss and The Thinker and took my photo by it.  Next we came to his work Gates of Hell and I was overcome with emotion. These large

doors depicting the Gates of Hell had over 20 figures and took him 20 years to sculpt. I said a quiet prayer of thanks, that I would never have to go through those gates, as I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and His free gift of eternal life.

“I wonder how he kept the clay wet all those years?”, I commented to my fellow artisans.  “How do you even make a cast?”I pondered. I grew up working with clay and throwing pots on the potters wheel but hadn’t specialized in ceramics, so was unsure. “His talent is remarkable, how he molds his subjects in such likeness and beauty.” I reflected.

It got me thinking. We are referred to as lumps of clay in the Bible and God as the potter, molding and making us into a beautiful image of Himself.  “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)  Like Rodin, God chips away at our imperfections, refining us through the process.  We need to admit our powerlessness in His hands and give Him permission to shape us as He wishes.  But we often fight Him, trying to jump off the potter’s wheel and take charge of our lives.

The Bible also refers to us as jars of clay. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Corinthians 4:7) His Holy Spirit shines out through the cracks of our pots leading other to Him. Just like Rodin’s sculptures reflect his creative mastery, so God’s creative mastery shines through us, His creations.

As the tour ended, we gathered for lunch in the cafe, and then for a walk amongst statues in the garden. I thanked the Lord for His gift of creativity that allowed me to point others to His love and saving grace through my artwork and writing. Yes, even as a cracked pot.

Do you need to ask the Lord to use your brokenness and pain to be a vessel for his love and light to others?  Do you need to ask His forgiveness for trying to be the potter in your life rather than the clay?  If so, please pray this prayer:

Dear Jesus, I admit I have tried to run my own life and have made a mess of it.  I want to ask you into my heart as my Lord and Savior, forgiving my sins and mistakes and filling me with your Holy Spirit. I receive your free gift of eternal life with you in Heaven. Thank you I will not have to enter the gates of hell and have eternal separation from you. Have your way in me as your child and creation.  Amen.

Art Greeting Card

To see my Scripture paintings and greeting cards, visit ‘my art’ above or www.giftsofhisglory.com I invite you to purchase my art and share His light with others in your life.

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L’ Shanah Tovah (Happy New Year) & Introducing My Art Greeting Cards!

Fall Tree New! Scripture Art Greeting Cards at Gifts of His Glory by author Miriam Sarzotti

One of my favorite parts of the Fall season is the Jewish High Holidays that usually start in September with Rosh Hashanah (Head of the Year), followed by Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and finally ends with Sukkot (Feast of the Tabernacles).

My dream is to experience them in Israel one day.  They say it is an unforgettable sight to see Sukkot or little tabernacles built in every front and backyard throughout the Land.  Jewish people celebrate the time that God provided for them in the wilderness with temporary shelters, called a sukkah or sukkot. They build their sukkah and then eat and sleep in them during the seven days of the festival. It foreshadows when we will ‘tabernacle’ with God again in Heaven and in His new Kingdom on earth.

What I love most is the promise of a new year and beginning that Rosh Hashanah brings. It is customary to send a greeting card wishing a sweet and prosperous new year.  In keeping with this practice,  I am celebrating the release of my new Scripture art greeting cards, a line of Christian greeting cards that combine my paintings and my love of writing greeting messages! (see below)

Also this year, on September 4th, I will pick up my Zip car and zip up to San Francisco to the Jews for Jesus Rosh Hashanah celebration.I am looking forward to seeing old friends from my time as a volunteer with them doing street evangelism and others from our monthly Chaverah (Fellowship).

I anticipate a beautiful ceremony…the prayers and songs in Hebrew, the sound of the shofar (ram’s horn) being blown as it will be the day Jesus returns for us in the clouds, the humorous and engaging testimony of a Jewish believer in Yeshua (Jesus), and the yummy honey cake and apples dipped in honey (for a sweet new year) at the Oneg (party) following the service.

Last year, what touched me most during the service was the sermon on the books of God. The speaker preached on The Book of Life and The Book of Remembrance that God keeps.

Butterfly Resurrection Cross New! Art Greeting Cards

I was struck that God was an author and writer just like myself!  He wrote the bestseller The Bible, did he not? And to think He writes our names in the book of Life when we accept His Son Jesus as our Messiah.  So when we stand in Judgement before Him one day, He will open His book and see our name and admit us to heaven to be with Him for eternity.

I don’t know about you, but I wonder…Does he use a quill pen? What is the parchment like? Or does He have a laptop?  He must be very busy as He has recorded every day of our lives from before time began. He records every tear we cry, happy or sad. That to me shows a God who cares, who knows our every move, and knows the day He will call us back home to Him.

Is your name written in the Book of Life?  Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, asking Him to take your sin and make you a new creation in Him? That is what

Cross with Rose Petals New! Art Greeting Cards

Rosh Hashanah is all about.  Starting over with a new beginning.  On Yom Kippur, which follows 10 days later, we acknowledge the sacrifice and atonement (forgiveness) by Jesus when He died on the cross for our sins.

Would like to pray to ask Jesus into your heart and forgive your sins?  If so, you can pray this prayer and receive salvation.

Dear Jesus:
I admit I am a sinner and am in need of forgiveness.  I believe you died on the cross for me personally and that you were raised from the dead and am in Heaven right now.  I ask you into my heart to take control of my life and to be my Lord and Savior.  Thank you for loving me enough to lead me to repentance and show me my need for you.  Help me become the person you intend for me to become and may your plan for my life come to pass.  I love you Lord and thank you for forgiving me today and giving me the gift of eternal life with you.  Amen.

Welcome to the Kingdom of God! Angels are rejoicing over you right now!

Red Tulips New Art Greeting Cards

To see my new art greeting and note cards, click above on “My art” or giftsofhisglory.com.

Each card comes with a Christian themed message written by me, perfect for giving to family and friends, for all occasions.  They can also be framed and hung at home. Get a print of one of my paintings for a fraction of the cost. Take a peek, you’ll love them! And send one to your Jewish friend with a new year greeting written by you (they come as blank note cards as well)

Eye update!  Today I received the news at the doctor that the inflammation in my eye was totally healed and my eyesight restored. God is still in the business of miracles!  Thank you again to all my blog readers who prayed for me.  It was a tough summer and I am free now to enjoy the new fall season and all that the Lord has in store for me! 🙂

 

 

 

 


The Eyes Have It – God’s Healing Power Today

Today I get to share the good news of answered prayer.  Many of you readers will recall my earlier post where I talked about the problems I was having with my eye…the jelly part detaching and inflamation in my left eye.  A serious problem. (see My New Creation post earlier this month)

The best doctors at Stanford where concerned it indicated a autoimmune disease common in young women (well I am not THAT young, but the doctor thought so!).  They tested me for a lot of scary diseases including cancer.  I was wondering if I was going to Heaven earlier than I expected but I received the news the day before July 4th, that all the test were negative!  Yes negative!  What freedom to celebrate along with our National Independence Day here in America.

I was still worried though as the specialist had said chemo was the preferred treatment. However, as I waited to see my doctor again in a few weeks, a miracle began to happen.  My eye got better.  The floaters decreased. I was encouraged.

At my appointment, my doctor was surprised how well my eye scans looked and said, “Miriam, these look beautiful. Your inflammation is down and the floaters are less.”

“Well Doctor, I have had many people praying for me for divine healing. All my Facebook friends and blog  readers.  I put it in God’s hands because I knew I would never survive chemo and He is faithful to hear our prayers and answer them.”

He silently nodded along with me.

Now this is a very unexpected reaction from my doctor.  He is the top Eye Specialist in the country who feels he can heal anything, and says he is like God in that matter. I, of course, kid him and say, “oh get over yourself, you are too much. only God is God.”

He then said something else remarkable.  “Miriam, I want to give you some non steroid eye drops for the floaters and remaining inflammation.  They probably won’t work, but let’s try.”

As I pulled away in the cab, tears came to my eyes.  I cried for how good and amazing God is. I cried for how much He cares for us, even though we sin and mess up all the time. I cried for how faithful my friends and readers had been to petition God for me and how He is still our healer today.  I cried that I wouldn’t have to do chemo.

Once home, I prayed and asked the Lord to anoint the eye drops . I began to use them four times a day as instructed.  Another miracle happened.  My eyes got even better! The cloud of floaters kind of parted like the Red Sea. I can read words on the page now. I am trusting the Lord for total healing of my eye and that by next month’s appointment, the inflammation will be gone.

What healing miracle do you need today?  Do you know that Jesus healed all kinds of diseases and afflictions while He was on earth?  Read it for yourself in the gospels in the New Testament that record His deeds. Start with the Book of Matthew. His power to heal is still available to you today. Besides physical healing, Jesus can heal you spiritually by setting you free from sin and death and reconciling you with God.

All it takes is opening your heart to Him and asking Him to forgive your sins. His Holy Spirit will come and dwell in your heart and give you the gift of eternal life. The Bible says “If you confess with your mouth and believe on the Lord’s resurrection, you will be saved and live.”  (Romans 10:9) Now, that’s glorious good news. And I might add, a miracle of grace that only comes from God  If you want this free gift of spiritual healing and life forever in Heaven, please pray this prayer below:

Lord, I confess with my mouth you are the Son of God and came to die for my sins.  I believe you rose from the dead after three days and make your home in Heaven now.  I ask for a new life in you and the free gift of eternal life.  Please come heal my body, mind and soul from all my pain. I ask for a miracle of healing in you name. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, do three things:

1. Tell someone you accepted Jesus into your life today.

2.  Find a Bible teaching church and start attending to be part of the fellowship of other Christians and learn God’s character and heart for you through hearing His Word preached.

3.  Get a Bible and start reading it a little every day.  Most churches will give you one if you ask or you can find them at a Christian bookstore where they can help you pick out one.

Leave me a reply if you prayed this prayer so I can rejoice along with the angels in Heaven who rejoice every time a person becomes born again in Jesus.

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


The Counterattack…The Devil Strikes Back

One of the lesser know facts about being a Christian, is that as we step out in Faith to serve the Lord in our ministries, we have an adversary, the Devil, who is not happy with our progress, particularly when we have a huge Victory for Jesus.  This was the case Halloween week which I shared on my blog how God gave me the Victory of raising money and advocates for She is Safe and the work they are doing around the world for abused and exploited women. (see Blessings, Paintings and Spooks….Oh My!)

Cross with Pearls Matthew 13:46

Not only did I sell quite a few paintings, but my blog post on how people could help stop human trafficking went viral!  I had over 100 views a day on my blog post and trafficking to my entire site was up well over 200 views.  Now that might not seem like a lot, but it is for me!  I only started this blog last summer and I have watched the Lord increasingly bring more traffic to my site and receive good feedback.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I came down with the flu/bronchitis/sinusitis with a vengeance, feeling like a bomb was dropped on me. The Devil loves to put illness on God’s Saints and I was down for the count.  I had just started a holiday job at Sees Candies (another blessing) and had to stop in the middle of training.

Would I lose my job?  Would I still be able to go to the Jews for Jesus Retreat the following weekend?  All these thoughts rumbled around in my feverish head, at one point wondering if I was going to be called home when my fever spiked to 104 degrees.  Getting this sick is scary for me as I am allergic to most antibiotics so it is a risk for me to take them.  I dragged my body to my Zip car and drove to the doctors (one of the worst things about living alone is getting sick alone) where my doctor played a guessing game of which antibiotic to give me.  “Let’s try Zithromax, I’ll give you a five day high dose that will last in your system for 10 days.”  “Alright” I nervously replied, hoping and praying this one would attack the virus.

As I tossed in bed with my fever, the Scripture “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me,” ran through my Spirit. (Psalm 23:4) Yes, I was at a breaking point for either life and healing, or death and eternal life.  I knew I was in God’s hands and was a peace with His outcome.  I had the assurance that I wouldn’t taste death, that my soul would go straight to heaven, and in fact, Jesus would come get me as He promises He will do. (John 14:3: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.)

My fence and rail quilt

As I slowly got better, I sat on the couch covered in my rail-fence pattern quilt I had made, slurping chicken noodle soup and sucking on sugar free popsicles, all spacy on the codeine cough syrup, yet coughing, coughing, coughing.  I realized I was going to have to stay home from my retreat.  I had so looked forward to hanging out with my Messianic Jewish friends at the Jews for Jesus retreat, singing to the Messianic music, eating wonderful meals at Missions Springs Conference Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains and the divine appointments the Lord had for me.  I was sensing that this might be the time that I would meet that Jewish believing husband I have been waiting patiently (o.k. not so patiently!) for.  To hike in the beautiful redwoods, sit in on stimulating lectures and just be all around blessed and relaxed.

California Redwood Forest

So it made me start wondering, Lord why does it appear you let the enemy win this round and keep me too sick to go to the retreat, which I know was your will for me?  What He said to me surprised me: “You have been working too hard, and not having enough fun.  I have been missing spending time with you and now we have all week to snuggle together on the couch as you watch movies and hold you at night so you rest comfortably.” To be honest, I much rather spend that time with Him at the retreat but He is Sovereign and knows best. I trust He can cross my path with that future husband another way very easily.

Last night, I asked Him to reveal what He would have done for me at the retreat.   He showed me my low self esteem and the negative messages I tell myself, mostly about how unattractive I feel growing older, especially losing my neckline, which I laughingly tell my friends, is getting the “turkey neck”.  “I want a neck job as a wedding present” I tell them, but I am serious!  Having been a former beauty queen at age 18, Miss Belmont of 1979, my looks were always something that made me feel good about myself, as inside I felt such shame and ugliness from the abuse I suffered as a child.

Me modeling at Miss Belmont 1979 pageant, look at that hair!

I know Scripture tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made in Psalm 139:14:

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

So I asked the Lord to let me experience His love for me in a more deep and personal way as I recover this next week, before I return to work at Sees.  Because this brokenness in me that let’s me see myself in this negative light, is my real sickness, my soul sickness.   God can turn what the enemy meant for evil (this flu sickness) and work it for good, (healing me by allowing me to see His viewpoint of me). “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” – Genesis 50:20.

Will you pray that the God who made us and knew us before the foundation of the world, who brought us together in the dark places of the womb, would heal our souls of the lies and wounds of the enemy, giving us Victory today over our pasts?  Do you need to ask God for this soul healing for yourself today?  If so you can pray this prayer along with me:

“Dear Lord:  I need to feel your love for me as your child.  I know I have believed the lies of my family, friends and the Devil, who have spoken negative things into my life.  I believe you created me in the innermost places and made me unique and like you.  Help me to let go of the shame and self hatred I feel, and replace it with your love and the way you see me.  Bright. Beautiful. Full of your Joy.  Accepted and Loved in the Beloved.  For this is truth and you are Truth and I ask you to pierce my heart with this truth today.  Thank You Jesus, I love you.”

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To view my art click on ‘my art’ above or here.