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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My Woes of Online Dating..the Case of the Disappearing Men

Sometimes I can be foolish.  Such was the case when my friends begged me to try online dating to find that special man the Lord has for me.  If you have been following my blog, you know how much I love the Lord and consider Him my husband.  I believe He will cross my path with that special man when He is ready and if I am staying in His will and am where I need to be. “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18.

After watching the film Courageous, where the father asks the daughter for her heart to keep in safekeeping,  I gave the Lord my heart and asked Hm to do the same until He showed me the man He had for me. So the whole idea of online dating sounded wrong.

In fact,I had tried eHarmony twice in the past, but had bad experiences so I had sworn off online dating.  I know others who have had great experiences, including my friend Laura who met her husband online at ChristianCafe.com  But sometimes the Devil tempts us to go off God’s path and I fell into the temptation this past week. Did God really say don’t eat the online dating apple? he whispered to me.

My friends pressured me to try ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com, which I found out were both owned by Sparks Network.  Hmm.. that sounds strange for a company to have both a Jewish and Christian site.  I was told JDate.com welcomed Messianic Jews (Jews who believe in Jesus) and Christians looking for a Jewish spouse.  So I signed up for both memberships, putting pictures and profiles online at each.

Surprised, I instantly had a slew of responses on both.  Wow, I thought, there are a lot of men interested in a 52 year old woman! Compliments of ‘how beautiful you are” and smiley faces, stroked my female ego.  I was a bit overwhelmed by all the choices.  You could send a smiley face to say hello, a flirt, to flirt and a Ecard with a witty slogan.  If you chose to subscribe and pay, you could email or instant messenger (IM) through the service securely.  They suggested not to give out your personal contact information until you had gotten to know one another. Good advice I thought.

My first day, I got an angry response on JDate from a Reformed Jewish man saying that No one here embraced Jesus, you are wrong about Him being messiah. He enclosed a list of all the supposed lies Christian missionaries like Jews for Jesus use to convert Jews.  None had biblical truth. I felt the sting of rejection from standing for Jesus amongst Jewish people.  What am I doing, I thought. I can take the rejection when I am witnessing, but here?

Another strange thing happened.  When I responded in turn to a smiley face or email from  most of the men, I got a notice that their profile was no longer available due to ‘violations of the policies’ (for mentioning money or sex). Hmm, this is strange…why do these men keep disappearing when I contact them back?  Are they all sex addicts? I guess Jesus is protecting me from the wrong guys,I thought.  I also noticed most claimed to be ‘widowed’.  Really, widowed at only 48 or 50 years old?  Red flags started popping up in my mind.

Then I noticed I was getting the same profile of a man, with no picture, but from different parts of the US. Traffickers I wondered?  I valiantly reported these men and was sent a form letter thanking me for alerting management and that they had been deleted.  When I received a fourth one, I knew there was a scam going on.

I googled the owners, Sparks Network Inc., and saw a list of complaints against them stating they used fraudulent and old profiles, to get people to think they had lots of matches.  On Christian Mingle, I repeatedly received pat blurbs back in response to my email that told me how pretty and charming I was, with a ‘sensual smile’. They appeared to have been written by a good writer somewhere but didn’t answer any of my questions I had posed. I even got a woman match on my profile and wondered what that was about? Turns out men were getting the same pictures of a provocatively dressed woman like I had. Oops.

I did get one live one.  A local San Francisco man claiming to be a cultural Jew asked me to text him.  I debated.  Shouldn’t I wait to make sure he wasn’t some mass murderer who would then have my phone number?  Feeling tempted, I textted him.  Let’s IM on Yahoo, he textted back.  No idea how to do this, he then sent me 20 texts explaining how to, all the while asking me about myself.  Feeling so flustered, I finally got him on Yahoo.

Five minutes into our chatting, he told me he had to do something and would be right back. Confusion hit me.  How long do I wait?  Not knowing the rules of IM, I sat there for 1/2 hour getting more angry with each minute.  How could this guy be so rude?  Finally I chatted him, Seriously, Mr. XYZ, what could be more important than talking to me?  I am working on some documents, baby, he chatted back.  Baby? Are you getting fresh with me on our first chat?  I asked.  No response.  We were disconnected. I stormed off to the kitchen in search of a glass of wine, being so frustrated from the whole experience.

Awhile later, I heard the IM blurp and he was back  I was calm now. He apologized for the ‘baby’ and hoped I wasn’t annoyed. I forgave him telling him we Christians were good at giving grace (!) and we chatted. I asked him why he wanted to chat with me since I was a Christian and he was Jewish?  I want to get to know someone like you, you sound so interesting and religious he replied.

Next came the smiley faces.  First he sent the flirty smiley face, winking at me.  Flattered, I responded, Thank you I needed that today.  We talked of keeping sabbath and how we both loved Israel.  He had only been on JDate 2 days and we LOL over how we newbies had found each other.

Then came the smiley face again.  Not to be outdone, I sent the flirty smiley face back.  He rallied with a smiley face that looked like it was kissing me, but I couldn’t be sure because I didn’t have my glasses on! The smiley face licked its lip after the kiss.  Ewwww I thought.  Are you sending me a kiss with a lewd smiley face, because if you are I will have to report you! I replied, jokingly.  Poof.  He was gone. Signed off.  I guess I scared him off. Good.

So I wonder, is this what the online dating world is all about.  Deception and rejection?  Lustful men using smiley faces?   Lord please forgive me, I am sorry I didn’t trust you and wait on you liked you asked.  I deleted my profiles on both sites and wrote for a refund since there was a three day grace period for Californians. I wonder if I will receive them.

Lesson learned?  Don’t listen to pressure from your friends but trust in the Lord.  Why am I blogging on this?  To warn others about the deceptions and dangers of online dating and certain sites.

I recommend the best way to meet that special man is to get involved in your church and meet godly men that way..  Attend singles groups which are in most churches.  Go to Christian singles retreats.

Protect your heart.  You only have one heart and you don’t need to have it broken by ungodly men.  Jesus loves you and adores you.  You are known and accepted by Him.  Only He can fill that deep place that longs for true love.  Once you know this love, you will be ready to receive the love of a godly man.  I am preaching to the choir and myself today!  Wait on Him. My blessing to you? May you meet the man of your dreams in His timing.

And watch out for those smiley faces.

He who finds a wife (husband) finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.- Proverbs 18:22

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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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L’Shannah Tovah (Happy New Year)

 

Blowing the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah

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 a site not to be forgotten 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, Sukkot, so they build them and eat and sleep in them during the seven days of Sukkot. 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.  This year the Lord blessed me at my women’s conference at my church Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Mt. View, California on the Friday night two days before Rosh Hashanah started.  The theme was God’s Masterpiece and our first lady Ronda Hamilton spoke on doing God’s will.  She shared how God had called her to become a medical doctor when she least expected it and how we can step out into our callings that God has on our lives.

There was a time of prayer and healing and I went forward asking God for all He had for me and to start over in a new beginning with Him.  At one point Sister Hamilton asked “Women of God, do you want to be made whole?”  My heart leaped at the thought of being healed mentally, physically,emotionally and spiritually.  “Remember the man who laid at the pools of Bethesda for 38 years and Jesus asked him if he wanted to be made whole?.  Do you want that wholeness too?  My whole body came under the power of the Holy Spirit and I heard the Lord whisper to me “I am healing every molecule in every cell of you body.”  Then I felt heat throughout my head  and the words “I am healing your mind”.  My heart was next as I felt the Lord heal me from every hurt I had every experienced.  As I stood there shaking with the healing warmth of my Lord, I felt Him brake off the shackle of rejection on my heart I had experienced all my life and felt His love and acceptance flow over me. “You are accepted in the Beloved” ran through my mind from Ephesians 1:6 and I now could call Him Savior and Abba in a way I had never been able to do before.  I cried and cried thanking the Lord for loving me when others in my life would not and for healing me.

How can He top that, I wondered?  What else did God have for me this weekend? In anticipation of the Jews for Jesus Rosh Hashanah service two days later on Sunday, I picked up my Zip car and zipped up to San Francisco. I was looking forward to seeing old friends from my time as a volunteer with them doing street evangelism and others from our monthly Chaverah (Fellowship). The service proved to be as beautiful as I had remembered…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 young 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.

But what touched me the most was the sermon on the books of God.  The speaker preached on The Book of Life and The Book of Remembrance.  I was struck that God was an author and writer just like me!  He wrote the bestseller ‘The Bible” (true?!) and to think He writes our names in the book of Life when we accept His Son Yeshua 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 and 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 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.

Cross with Rose Petals Romans 5:8

Would like to pray to ask Jesus into your heart and forgive your sins?  If so, you can pray this prayer and 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 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!  LIKE below and leave me a comment that you began a new life with the Lord today.  And I will rejoice with you and the angels as well! (smile)

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Cross with Rose petals is for sale on my art website by clicking here or above at “My art”.