Laurie Geisz“Faith is not a belief that everything will turn out to please us; rather it is the confidence that no matter how things turn out, God will somehow use the events of our days for His glory and our good.” (E. Stanley Jones)

When Jesus walked this earth, He encouraged people to have faith…“Don’t be afraid; just believe” (Mark 5:36). “Everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23). He performed marvelous miracles, displaying God’s glory, in those with faith…“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering” (Mark 5:34). On the flip side, when people did not believe, “He could not do any miracles…he was amazed at their lack of faith” (Mark 6:5-6).

Jesus STILL wants us to believe. He STILL wants to perform miracles in your life and mine, displaying God’s glory…working for our good and freeing us from our suffering.

May this blog be an avenue where you and I may “be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Romans 1:12). By browsing what I’ve already written, you’ll get to know a bit of my journey and my heart. You’ll be encouraged to start your own “Strength Journal” of Scripture that is personal and powerful to you, and you’ll find a one-year reading schedule of the Gospels which keeps the well of our soul continually replenished with Living Water.

Borrowing words from the apostle Paul in his prayer for the Ephesians:

“For this reason I kneel before the Father…I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:14,16-17).

The Power of “Will”

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Faith | 0 comments

IMG_4332Happy Resurrection Day, Readers! Following is a copy of my recent e-mail newsletter:

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).

First, thank you to all who responded to my Christmas message about “bending our knees” to experience God’s great and miraculous power. At the end of that letter, I mentioned God showed me something else I wanted to share. This Holy Week–reflecting on Christ’s crucifixion and rejoicing in His resurrection–seems the perfect time.

The setting was my New York hotel room, late at night. It had been a long, fun-filled first day at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, and I was now in bed, exhausted but happy to be watching on television my favorite player, Spain’s Rafael Nadal, in his second round match against Italy’s Fabio Fognini. For many years “Rafa” had been my favorite; besides being one of the most winning singles players in the history of men’s tennis, he’d always displayed exemplary sportsmanship on court and humility in post-match interviews. To see him play in person here at the Open would surely be the highlight of my trip.

But my “day pass” hadn’t included this night match, so I was watching on TV. As much as I wanted to stay awake, it was almost midnight, and my eyelids were wanting to close more. But that was okay; Rafa had won the first two sets and was ahead in the third. He’d hopefully win this set and the match, and I’d be able to see him play in the next round.

The next morning, while preparing to leave for the National Tennis Center, I caught a glimpse of ESPN’s “BottomLine.” I couldn’t believe my eyes. (more…)

A Christmas Message: “Bending Our Knees”

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Faith | 0 comments

IMG_4303Happy New Year, Readers!  Following is a copy of my Christmas 2015 Newsletter… its content to be enjoyed any day, all year long!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end….The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

This past September I had the pleasure of attending the U.S. Open and watching some of the best tennis players in the world.  A lover of sports competition and a tennis player since my youth, beholding a fantastic Grand Slam tennis match is for me a slice of heaven.  The norm, of course, is watching these gifted men and women on television, so to be up close and personal–witnessing how hard and how beautifully they smack the ball–was truly a treat.

But even more than the thrill, God surprised me by using these professional athletes to speak to my heart.  The late Yogi Berra’s statement, “You can observe a lot by just watching,” proved true.  For three days I watched the best of the best.  While my mind absorbed common traits of world-class tennis players, God showed me ways we can live the best in relationship with Him.  Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).  On Christmas Day we celebrate God’s most precious gift to us of Jesus, but I think having life “to the full” means unwrapping and cherishing that gift all year long.  Getting to know “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” each and every day (Ephesians 3:18).  Even if you’re not a tennis fan, I encourage you to read on; our Creator’s “coaching” is for us all, and because His “tips” are founded on love and truth, they always lead to victory. (more…)

A Letter to My Beloved Bella

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Faith | 2 comments

Screen shot 2015-04-29 at 4.25.44 PMTo my beautiful, beautiful Bella,

How I miss you.  I can’t believe it’s been a year since you’ve been gone.  Not a day has gone by I haven’t thought of you and your funny, silly, disobedient, precious ways.  How you’d look at me with those eyes, wagging your tail, asking me for more food (again), with that “smile” on your face.

As much as my heart has ached missing you, the worst pain has been watching Bolt miss you.  You were a wonderful mom, Sweet Girl, cuddling your son and playing with him.  I’ll never forget how he audibly cried for three days after you died.  He would look for you, confused, and cry.  It broke my heart.  I gave him stuffed animals about your size to cuddle with, and he still sleeps with them today.  He and we all love you so much, which is why we miss you so much.

Although images of your sudden, tragic death will forever sadden me, I choose to think of the countless times you made me smile.  The day we brought you home, when you went to the bathroom on William’s lap.  When we found you sleeping in the sun–in a flower pot.  How you’d bark and bark and dig and dig in the sand at the country house, trying to get some reaction from the turtle.  How you’d move your bowl around the kitchen floor with your nose, signaling to me it was time again to eat.  How you’d start licking something you had disobediently been chewing when you realized you’d been caught in the act. (more…)

Why Jesus Gained “First Love” Status in My Life

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Faith | 2 comments

IMG_2717Dear Readers:  Following is my latest email newsletter which was sent yesterday–February 9, 2015. 

Today is a special day in my life.  It’s not like Mother’s Day that others would notice, or like my birthday that those closest to me would remember.  Really, no one else would know of this day’s significance.  But in my heart of hearts I’m on Colorado mountaintops, declaring gratitude and joy.  The Bible tells us:  “Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.  Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts….Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles….” (Psalm 105:1-2, 5).  I love singing to Him because I am thankful.  I do remember.  And on this day that I celebrate 30 years of journeying with God, I want to “make known…what he has done” in hopes that my sharing might in some way encourage you.  Specifically, I’d like to “tell” why Jesus gained “first love” status in my life (Revelation 2:4).

I invite you to join me as I rewind three decades, back to February 9, 1985, when, as a teenager, I walked into a Christian bookstore here in Colorado Springs.  Within my mind lay “a mustard seed” of belief that there was something or someone much greater than I, watching over me, caring about me (Matthew 17:20).  I wanted to know more.  I wanted to know God.

I had come to buy a Bible. (more…)

First Love FITNESS, Week Five – His Grace is Enough

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 4 comments

IMG_2021As I’ve listened to my class members share their physical and spiritual struggles, I’ve noticed a common thread. Personal challenges may look different, i.e. getting out of bed in the morning to have quiet time with God, or setting foot in a gym to work out, or not giving in to the temptation to eat a cookie, but at the root of all these trials really seems to be the same issue: self-discipline. We can know in our mind and desire in our heart what we want to do, but we still have trouble implementing our good intentions in our flesh.

I don’t think our difficulty with self-discipline surprises Jesus. In the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus was “overwhelmed with sorrow,” He asked three of His closest friends to stay awake and keep watch for Him but they repeatedly fell asleep (Mark 14:34). Peter, James and John couldn’t do the one thing Jesus asked of them, when He needed them most. To His sleeping friends Jesus said, “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Mark 14:38).

Centuries later, His words still define our struggle with self-discipline.

And God knows our weaknesses go beyond what we’re willing to admit. He knows we sometimes keep our issues in a deep, dark place called shame. Someone reading this may be struggling with pornography or alcohol or anger, or not having an affair; for this person, self-discipline can seem more than difficult. It can seem impossible.

But do you believe that “nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37)? (more…)

First Love FITNESS, Week Four – “Just Rest!”

Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 0 comments

IMG_1951A benefit of writing your own study is that you get to decide what to say and when to say it. Even though I’ve led “First Love FITNESS” before, I continually ask God what He would have me teach for the upcoming lesson. I trust He hears me and will answer according to HIS plan.

At the start of this week–which was really just a blurry continuation from the end of last week–I was feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and discouraged. Probably what Jesus calls “weary and burdened” (Matthew 11:28). There were so many things I felt I “had” to do, that I didn’t think I even had time to write to my prayer team, asking for prayers to help me do them.

Does life get crazy-busy for you sometimes, too? Even when we’re filling up with good things (as we discussed in Week Three), it can feel we’re going, going, going. Jesus understands: “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he (Jesus) said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’ (Mark 6:31).

In the midst of my own personal chaos, God had just given me the topic for Week Four. I’m a major proponent of Nike’s slogan, “Just do it!” but I also desperately need to remember my First Love desires I “Just Rest!”

“Good Morning, God” ~ Seeking His Kingdom First

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Faith | 0 comments

IMG_1873Dear Readers,

This is the latest in my “Good Morning, God” series of prayers.  May it help during those times we find ourselves in a state of worry….  “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7

 Good morning, God
I’ve come to meet with You
Because I’m worried
About my children, my future, my life
Endless worries crowd my brain, creating anxieties that torment me
“Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest….”
Lord, I cast them all on You
And focus on Your Word
Which tells me not to worry
To not be anxious
To look at the birds instead
To seek Your kingdom first
I will try, Lord
But please help me
Please open the eyes of my heart
To Your kingdom (more…)

First Love FITNESS – Week Three

Posted by on Oct 3, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 2 comments

IMG_1845First of all, God is awesome. Yesterday morning, as I was about to leave home and head to church for First Love FITNESS, I felt an urgency to pray for any of the ladies in my class who might, for whatever reason, be considering not going to class that day. I dropped to my knees on the stairs I was ascending and asked God to please touch the ladies HE wanted in class–to in His own way direct them to come. You can imagine my delight when, about an hour later–after class had started–one woman shared in front of everyone that she’d been considering not coming to class that morning. She’d wanted to have her own quiet time with the Lord, but then sensed He wanted her to come to First Love FITNESS, so she did.

I smiled and felt chills all over my body. God works in mysterious ways, and although they are higher than I can understand, it gives me such joy when I sense I’ve been even a teensy-tiny part of His “work” in this world.

Week Three’s Lesson was on “Filling Up with Good Things.” My “Coach’s Tip” was that it’s much healthier to eat five or six small “meals” a day–every two to three hours–than to consume two or three larger ones. And please make absolutely, positively sure you eat breakfast! Ideally, every “meal” should contain protein and good, complex carbohydrates: protein keeps you feeling full longer, and the healthy carbohydrates regulate your blood sugar and give you energy. The greater frequency of eating keeps your metabolism going, not slowing! (more…)

First Love FITNESS, Week Two ~ “No Pain, No Gain”

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 0 comments

IMG_1786First, I want to apologize for not getting this recap of “First Love FITNESS ~ Week Two” written and posted sooner.  Suffice it to say I’ve been busy as a mom.  I imagine other mothers out there understand, but still I’m sorry I didn’t at least get our daily gospel reading schedule posted for you.  I will try to do better in the future, and I thank you for your grace!

As you can see, I had a helper at “First Love FITNESS” this past week: a precious little princess named Candice, the daughter of one of the ladies in my class. Our workout went longer than expected, so Candice joined in at the end. Copying her mommy’s every exercise move, excitedly lifting a pink 6-lb. medicine ball, and proudly showing me how fast she can run, I observed a little girl passionate about fitness! I think God may have planted a new seed within me… maybe “First Love FITNESS–for Kids!” will be next….

But back to our class, I was so blessed to meet again with ladies desiring to become physically and spiritually fit. After opening with prayer, I loved hearing the difference that some of last week’s scriptures had made in their lives, especially 2 Timothy 1:7… “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” Because self-discipline can be an area of such great struggle, our group as a whole found it extremely encouraging that God GIVES us the spirit we need to overcome our weaknesses and temptations. (more…)

“Good Morning, God” ~ When Your Baby’s Having Surgery

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Faith | 0 comments

IMG_1479Dear Readers:  This is the first in my new “Good Morning, God” series of prayers.  This prayer is for any mom (or dad) whose child will be undergoing surgery–if that is you, the prayer is for you.  It is specially dedicated to the mothers at CURE hospitals around the world who are hurting emotionally and spiritually because of their child’s condition.  If you know of someone in a similar situation, fearful and in need of God’s strength and comfort, please feel free to pass the prayer along.  To God be the glory.   

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.” ~ Isaiah 26:3-4

Good morning, God

I’ve come to meet with You

Because I’m scared

For too long

My baby’s been suffering

Now surgery is today

I am thankful

But also terrified

I’ve never been through this

And I feel so alone

And helpless (more…)