A paradigm shift

I love it when I learn something new. I especially love it when it completely changes my way of thinking. I guess you could call it a paradigm shift. Have you ever spent years believing something, and then one day, bam, you realize that you were wrong and nothing is ever the same again? Now I know that sometimes that new revelation can be really bad, but this time I’m not talking about a bad thing, I’m talking about something good. Something really good. Something so good that it has the potential to change your life forever? It’s like your eyes are opened, your mind becomes clear and the funny thing is, that when this happens, a lot of things fall into place! Well that’s what happened to me this morning.

A few months ago I made the decision to purchase a new bible. It was one of those bibles that you could download on your iPad and most importantly, it had a built in concordance. A concordance is this wonderful gadget that allows you to touch a word and it gives you the original Greek or Hebrew. In other words, instead of just reading what some translator wrote, you have the wonderful opportunity to see what the writer of the book actually said. It always amazes me when I touch one of those words and the translation is no where near what the original writer intended to say. I think that we really have to be careful when we just take someone’s word for it, no pun intended. LOL I think so often words are translated into another language and the translator will impose his or her own bias, understanding or lack thereof, or even beliefs on that passage and by tweaking just one little word, it can change the entire meaning of what the author meant to say. If you don’t have a concordance, get one. It will be worth it, trust me.

Anyway, this morning as I was reading, still in the Gospel of Luke, but this time in chapter 6, I had one of those paradigm shifts in my thinking. For years, okay, I’ll be honest, for decades, ever since I became a Christian my desire and prayer in life has been to be like the disciples and have the power to heal people. This has been especially on my mind lately, having just lost a sister in law and friend to cancer. I have lost others to this dreadful disease. I have another friend who is battling this disease and I feel very helpless. So what was my paradigm shift? In Luke 6:40 it says the following:

A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.

Notice the word trained. That word makes it sound like something I have to do, something I have to learn, right? Well, that word does not exist in the original text. It simply isn’t there! What is there is the word “perfectly”. And that little word means this:

To mend (what has been broken or torn) to repair, to restore. To make one what he ought to be.

Oh. my. goodness! Now that is a completely different concept isn’t it? If I am restored to what I was meant to be, then I will be like my teacher, Jesus!!! In other words, when I am healed myself, when I have the mind of Christ, when I am delivered and made whole, I can do miracles, because that is what Jesus did!

So how do I become healed, whole, repaired, made like I was meant to be? Well, there’s the rub, isn’t it? I don’t know. But now that I have this revelation, I know that there is hope. I know that there is something that the Lord is going to do in my life, that will transform me into someone who will be like her teacher. And I will share as He heals me.

Early morning

I love getting up really early. The house is quiet, it’s still dark outside and I feel very much alone. But in this case, alone in a good way. What I’m really saying is that I love time to myself. That first cup of coffee is always so good, Jack is sleeping peacefully behind me on the floor and I am alone with my thoughts and with the Lord. My favorite time of day!

This morning I started reading in the book of Luke, chapter 1. This chapter is all about the angel Gabriel coming both to Mary and telling her she is about to have a baby and then going to her cousin Elizabeth’s husband and telling him that they are about to have a baby as well. Now when you read this story, their reactions are interesting. Both Mary and Zacharias, her cousin’s husband, ask basically the same question. How is this going to happen? I mean come on, I’ve not been with a guy before or in Zacharia’s case, my wife and I are both old. Good solid questions, right? But notice that these questions come from two different hearts. Mary believed Gabriel, Zacharias did not. Oh, my. May I please never be of the “I don’t believe you God” kind. I’m not sure how I would react if I was suddenly told by an angelic being that I’m going to have a baby. I might just be a tad bit skeptical myself, since it is no longer physically possible for me either.

At any rate, as I continued to read this story, something else jumped out at me and it was actually very much related to their reactions. After both Mary and Elizabeth are pregnant, Mary goes to visit her cousin. No doubt to give herself some time to consider the implications of being pregnant out of wedlock. But that’s a whole other story which we won’t delve into today.  When she enters the house of Elizabeth, her cousin says to her that the baby in her womb jumped for joy when Mary (now pregnant with Jesus) walked in. It is what Mary says next, that got to me. She says the following:

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoiced in God my Savior”. Luke 1:46

That word magnifies just jumped out at me and I began to consider what it means. When I think of the word magnify I immediately think of a microscope or magnifying glass. Does my soul magnify or enlarge the Lord? Do my emotions, my will and my mind enlarge, enhance, expand, intensify or make to appear larger, the Lord? Because if my soul does, then shouldn’t someone else be able to see that in my life? I couldn’t help but notice something else as I read the above passage. She is using a present tense and a past tense in the same sentence. Her soul magnifies the Lord, present tense, happening right now and her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior, past tense, happened already. In other words, my spirit has to have an encounter with the Lord, and rejoice in Him, my Savior before I can magnify the Lord through my mind, will and emotions. There has to be an awakening of my spirit before I can magnify Him through my soul. And if my soul is not magnifying Him, then what needs to change in my life?

Looking at this made me wonder if perhaps this is the explanation for the two very different heart reactions to the angel Gabriel’s announcement. Mary’s reaction even though in the form of a question, came from a heart of faith, because she believed God. Zacharias’ reaction, also in the form of a question, came from a heart of unbelief. Gabriel even says to Zacharias the following: Hey dude, I’m Gabriel, I stand in the presence of God. You’re not saying another word (read struck mute) until this stuff happens because you didn’t believe me. (translation mine) Luke 1:19-20

My desire in life is to magnify the Lord, to glorify Him, to show Him to others so they can see how wonderful, amazing, kind, loving, and faithful He truly is. Perhaps that fulfillment has to start with a heart of faith. Perhaps it has to start with a daily encounter with my Savior, which brings joy to my spirit. So I want to encourage you this peaceful morning, to spend time with Him. Rejoice in Him. Trust Him. Receive His words and His plans for your life. You will never be the same.

Hello there

This is the post excerpt.

I’ve thought about doing this for years, but I just never got around to it. I’m a paper and pen kinda girl, so I wrote my thoughts on paper and wasn’t really sure I wanted to share with the world. I love writing short devotionals, but inevitably after they were done, they would end up in a drawer, where no one would see them. I tried sharing them with a pastor one day, and he smiled at me and told me it was too bad I was a woman, or I could share them from the pulpit. Yup, that day was fun. And so the devotionals piled up, unseen and unread by anyone but me and perhaps a close friend that I dared to share them with.

Over the course of the past few months I really felt the Lord Jesus was telling me to start a blog but I didn’t want to. Frankly, I’m lazy and I have commitment issues. And worse, what if no one reads my blog or people say terrible things to me. I’m a blog reader however and I know that everyone, even those who have wonderful recipes, great crafts, awesome tutorials and amazing things to share, get rude comments. I guess it’s just par for the course. You put yourself out there and not everyone loves you.

So here goes. My first blog post. I pondered on what to call it and finally decided on the name cards coffee and God. I wanted the g in God to be a capital but they wouldn’t let me. It is however the God of the universe, Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords that I am referring to. And it is from His word, the Holy Bible and His Holy Spirit that I will share my thoughts and revelations from.

So you might be wondering what do cards and coffee have to do with God? Well, every morning when I get up, after I feed the cat who shall be called Jack hereafter, I go into a room that is set up as my craft room. It is my sanctuary because it is also a place that I pray, read the Bible and yes, drink coffee. Every single morning, coffee. Sometimes more than one cup.  I love to sit in this lovely room, with a window overlooking my deck, where I see birds and trees and sunshine, and create beautiful handmade cards out of paper. Most of my supplies are from Stampin Up but I’ve been known to cheat on them and buy things from Hero Arts and Tim Holtz and heaven forbid, even Michaels and Hobby Lobby. This little room with a view is my relaxing place, my place where I shut out the world and play and refresh myself. It is a place of peace and rest and joy, great joy. For it is in this place that I so often hear His voice, feel His presence, find answers to my questions, and find His peace. And it is from this wonderful room that I come to you today to share with you my heart and my thoughts. I will leave you this morning with this word from Jeremiah 29:11-13.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

These verses are pretty profound when you think about it. God has thoughts about you, and they are good thoughts. Not bad ones, not evil ones, not I’m going to give you a disease or destroy your home, or kill you thoughts, but good thoughts. He wants to give you a hope and a future. He wants to bless you. But notice that He says that once you realize that His thoughts are for good toward you, that the responsibility is now on you. You need to go and call upon Him. You need to seek Him with all your heart. You need to search for Him. And it is then, when you search for Him with all your heart that you will find Him. Be blessed my friends. And don’t forget to spend time with the Lord. He wants to share those amazing and wonderful thoughts with you. But you have to ask.

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