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! 🙂

 

 

 

 


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.

Help you friends find this Faith and healing in their lives by clicking on LIKE, TWEET or PINTEREST…

Tell me how God has sewn your life together?  Reply below…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Smile and Say “Head Shot”

One of the fun things of being a writer is having head shots taken.  A head shot is just that, a photograph of your head, hopefully smiling and looking professional.  They are used on  book jackets,  blogs, Facebook and other social media pages and for publicity.

How I came to have mine taken is a God story.  And I would like to share it with you.

I came to realize that I needed a professional head shot if I was going to be taken seriously as a writer.  It is year two for me on writing my book and I am almost ready to self publish.  I knew it was time to upgrade from the fuzzy digital camera shots that graced my Facebook and blog pages, you know the ones taken with your own arm extended out capturing yourself in the shot at the local flower gardens?

So I asked the Lord in prayer one day. “Lord, I need a good head shot, but don’t have the money to pay a professional.  Will you help me get them when I am at Mt. Hermon’s

Picture A

Christian Writer Conference coming up in a few weeks?  Knowing my prayer had been heard, I promptly forgot about it.

Fast forward to the last day of the conference,  I was exhausted and had slept in late.  I was hurrying across campus and saw a photographer set up outside taking what appeared to be head shots. I stopped dead in my tracks. “Oh are you taking head shots today for us?” I asked the kind looking photographer.

picture B

“Actually we are shooting staff photos today but I would be happy to take yours for you.”

“Really?  Gosh, I couldn’t today,  I look a mess, have no makeup on and haven’t slept well for five nights.” I gushed. “I live locally, could I come another time?”

“Sure, give me your business card and I will email you and arrange a time and date.”

He introduced himself as Dan Dawson, the official webmaster and

Picture C

photographer at Mt. Hermon.  “We were actually thinking of offering head shots at next years conference.  Would you be willing to take a short survey to help us determine what to offer and how much to charge? We are thinking of offering hair and makeup as well.”

“Oh, I would be happy to” I smiled.  “But Dan will you photo shop out my double chin for me?

“Yes Miriam, I will be happy too”. he smiled.

I laughed out loud as I hurried to breakfast. God had answered my prayer in such a miraculous and last minute way!

Picture D

Two weeks later, I zipped over in my red Zip car and met up with Dan at the studio.  We took some inside shots in front of a dark and light screen for book jackets then went out into the sunny yet breezy spring day.  I sat on a park bench with a beautiful purple azalea behind me as he clicked away.  I posed all my former Miss Belmont of 1979 poses and tried to look like a fun but serious writer.

At one point, the wind came up and blew my hair all over just like I would get with a wind machine in studio.  I let the joy of the Lord smile out of my eyes and escape in the

Picture E

softness of my laugh.  I felt beautiful and special. What fun I was having.

Today I got the proofs back.  I was very pleased how Dan made this fifty something year old woman look gorgeous.  I sent seven photos of my favorites back to  him to photo shop out those frown line and double chins!  I guess I am still a vain beauty queen down deep. 🙂 But God loves me as I am, and He loves you how you are.  We are all beautiful to Him.  He has made everything beautiful in His time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Will you help me?  Share in my God story by voting for which shot you like best.  Leave me a reply by clicking on comments below with your choice. A, B, C, D, E.

And praise God with me for answering prayer in the humorous way He knows best!  My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

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My Christmas Miracle…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hi, what’s your name? I asked.

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

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

I am a Christian too, he replied.

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

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

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

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

No, he softly replied.

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

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

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

Thank you again, Miriam.

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

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

Ice Skaters at Union Square, San Francisco

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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When you are so mad you could spit!

What do you do when you are so angry you could spit?  Tonight, finding myself in this situation, I did three things,  I rode my bike (thing #1) under a bright full moon to McDonald’s with my flashing red and white lights warning others to stay away, to get a large diet coke, with lemonade in it.  To give you an idea how mad I was, I am not supposed to be drinking diet coke but I didn’t care.  To heck with it, I thought.

As I arrived I was greeted by one of the workers, a young African American man, whom I had met before and had given him my card as he was interested in my website and blog.  He greeted me warmly,

“Hi, I read your ENTIRE blog and I now know your entire life..how you stole cookie dough out of the refrigerator as a child, all your trips to Israel, and by the way, were you scared when you went there?” he asked me.

I laughed in unbelief to hear such a good report on my blog.  “No I wasn’t scared, I was fearless back then in my 30s, now in my 50s, it is another story” I exclaimed.  “What did you learn about Jesus from my blog” I asked him expectantly.

“That Jesus is the one and only Savior…I knew that already but your blog makes it real clear”.

The smile on my face was huge as I digested this news. I asked him if he had ever made it to my church.  He said he hadn’t been able to yet and asked me to write the name and address down.  Fumbling through my purse, I found an old receipt and borrowed a pen from the night manager.

‘I need to get some Sundays off, as I have to work Sunday afternoons” he said.

“We have an early service at 8:30am” I replied.

“You do, where is the church?” he asked me in return.

As it turns out he lives a few blocks away and can ride his bike.  Amazed how God can arrange a divine appointment in the middle of the night when I am in a foul mood, I had to laugh as I biked away with my drink.

The scripture from Psalm 4:4 “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent” went through my mind as I contemplated sending another email to the person I was angry at.  It involved  not being able to show my art at an important function I was hoping for.  Disappointment, hurt and anger fed my soul.

Indignant thoughts ran through my mind “How can they not bless my art ministry as I am a MEMBER there?” I implored of the Lord.  “And they told me not to take it personally and I am an ARTIST, of course I will take it personally,” I screamed.  Crying in frustration I sobbed, “Lord how am I going to raise money for the poor girls in sexual slavery all over the world if you won’t open doors for me?  I try so hard, and yet so many people really don’t care about helping these poor girls who are raped 20 times a night, day in and day out, who die from the horror of it or from internal bleeding as they are too young to be raped” I lamented.  “And to top it off, I am overdue on writing my blog and have nothing to say.” Sniff, sniff.

Pinterest

When I got home, I felt better, but soon the hurt filled my heart again.  I played on Pinterest for an hour (thing #2), pinning all kinds of comfort foods that I wished I could eat right then and there, but had to settle for salivating over them and printing up the recipes, promising to try them tomorrow.  “Amish church noodles” and “Southern chicken and dumplings” made the list.  I had tasted the yummy Amish noodle dish on my last trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, two years ago and fell in love with it.  I had been blessed to eat the chicken and dumplings at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee,  during a trade show I was working way back in my corporate life in my early 30s. And yet I still remembered it fondly. Time to eat them again.

Amish church noodles

I decided not to send another email as I could see that was exactly what the Enemy wanted me to do and destroy a relationship.  I prayed very quickly the scripture “My grace is sufficient for thee” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ) asking the Lord to give me the grace to not take action.  This is a new thing for me to do, when I am angry or offended and need to forgive someone. And each time I ask the Lord for His grace, He miraculously gives it to me.

Finally, it being midnight now, I felt I needed to write out my feelings so I started writing this blog post (thing #3), having no idea where it would go.  As I typed, my anger dissipated as I laughed out loud at the absurdity of my situation, as I could clearly see God’s hand and salvation as the night wore on.  I realized it is painful at times when He says “NO” to a door opening.  Yet I see His blessing as I had been recently telling Him, and all my friends, how frustrated I was not knowing who was reading my blog or how it was affecting my readers. I get very few replies, most being spam.  And then I walk into McDonald’s in the middle of my funk and He rewards me with personal feedback by an enthused reader.  What are the odds?

HUGE SIGH: I am feeling better now, as writing always has a soothing effect on my soul and I believe I shared some important things tonight about anger, God’s grace and unexpected blessings.  I hope you will take these away and remember them the next time you are so angry you could spit!

PS My heart turns to praise as the Lord reminds me that I have on average 9000 views per month. He has given me a ministry of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world through my blog.  Now that is something to be thankful for!

Please do leave me a reply below…it means a lot for me to hear from you and how you have been touched by my blog…

To see my Scripture art, click here or on the ‘My art” tab above.  Consider purchasing a painting as 50% goes to rescuing girls in sexual slavery and abuse around the world. And they make lovely gifts for the upcoming holidays….I ship anywhere in the US or worldwide.

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