Faith

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).

First Love FITNESS ~ Week One

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 3 comments

IMG_1733Yesterday was an exciting day–the first for “First Love FITNESS,” a 10-week class I’m leading at my church to help women become physically and spiritually fit. It was last winter that God asked me “to share with others” this particular passion of mine (Hebrews 13:16). For months I’ve been praying God would bring whomever He wanted to the class. It was a joy to tell the ladies sitting around me that they are the answers to my prayers.

Every week I’ll recap here some highlights of what we discussed and did in class so that those who aren’t able to physically attend may still partake and benefit. Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL day in Colorado Springs (today it’s snowing!), so I let our entire workout be outside.

After opening with prayer, I shared a key verse for First Love FITNESS: “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:7-8).

Getting to the heart of First Love FITNESS, I shared a quote by Richard Chenevix Trench: “No man can be without his god. If he have not the true God to bless and sustain him, he will have some false god to delude and betray him….For every man has something in which he hopes, on which he leans, to which he retreats and retires, with which he fills up his thoughts in empty spaces of time, when he is alone, when he lies sleepless on his bed, when he is not pressed with other thoughts; to which he betakes himself in sorrow or trouble, as that from which he shall draw comfort and strength — his fortress, his citadel, his defense; and has not this a good right to be called his god?” (more…)

Love and Tears on Mother’s Day

Posted by on May 11, 2014 in Faith | 2 comments

IMG_4132For this Mother’s Day–and with May 12 & 13 the eighth anniversary of the birth and death of my son Ben–I was all set to write you a note of encouragement, sharing some of the “beauty” that has come from my “ashes” (Isaiah 61:3). I wanted to offer hope to anyone who might be hurting. I wanted those with broken hearts to know that the beautiful promise in Scripture–“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy”–is true (Psalm 126:5). And then, on Tuesday night, April 29, 2014, after letting my three beloved dogs outside, only two returned.

With flashlights to aid us, my eldest son William and I began calling her name. Amid howling wind and increasing snow, we searched and searched. Bella was the precious puppy God had given me during my pregnancy with Ben. My heavenly Father knew how painful it was going to be for me not to have a baby to hold after nine months of carrying him within, so He’d graciously provided me a darling Beagle pup. Sweet Bella had loved me all these years, and I her; as any dog lover knows, she’d been like a child to me. Especially with the loss of Ben. Now, in the pitch-black night, Bella wasn’t responding to her name. William and I had been looking for at least an hour; I could almost feel my heart breaking. It was horrible not knowing where my baby was. (more…)

“Awaken Me” ~ A Prayer by Bob Hostetler

Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 in Faith | 0 comments

IMG_4973Any fans of Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love out there?  Yeah, me too… this beautiful work of fiction no doubt makes the Top Five of my “all-time favorite books” list.  You may recall the story is based on the book of Hosea in the Bible.  I’m currently reading another book based on Hosea entitled Falling in Love with God by my friend Bob Hostetler.  The content is wonderful, and Bob concludes every chapter with a prayer for us readers to pray.  This morning during my cardio/reading time at the gym, my heart was blessed by Bob’s prayer–so much that I can’t help but share it with you….

“Lord God, my faithful Lover, you have been so good to me, in spite of all my neglect and thoughtlessness.  From my earliest moments of moral awareness, I have chosen my own way instead of yours.  Over and over again in my life, I have wrestled the sovereign’s crown from your head and tried to place it on mine.  Too many times to count, I have failed to give thanks for all your care and kindness to me–worse than that, I have whined and complained like a bratty child rather than acknowledged and appreciated all your beauty and blessing. (more…)

A Heavenly Hug

Posted by on Dec 22, 2013 in Faith | 0 comments

Merry Christmas, Friends and Family!

With the grandest birthday party on earth only days away, I’d like to share with you a gift I was given last Christmas Eve.  On my favorite night of the year, I received an unexpected “present” from above.  My heart was overwhelmed by BEAUTY and LOVE, and all year long, to my continued amazement, the gift has kept giving.  It’s as if God has been “unwrapping the present,” revealing to me more and making abundantly clear the gift wasn’t only for me–I’m supposed to share!  “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you” (Psalm 63:3).

A lovely candle-lighting service had just ended.  My favorite Christmas song, Amy Grant’s “Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song),” had just been sung:  “Breath of Heaven, hold me together… Be forever near me… Lighten my darkness… Pour over me Your holiness, for You are holy….”  Celebrating the birth of Jesus had been divine.  The eyes of my heart were open and focused upward, on the wondrous Star of Bethlehem which had shone HOPE for all mankind.  My family had preceded me to our car, so I was exiting the church alone.  As I opened the door to the brisk night air, I was greeted by a complete surprise:  glorious white flakes falling gently from the sky–SNOW! (more…)

Grasping the Abundant Life ~ A Guest Post by Daniel Moore

Posted by on Feb 8, 2013 in Faith | 0 comments

IMG_2571Dear Readers ~ When I read this devotional written by my friend Daniel Moore, the Director of Strategy & Recruitment at Affirm Kenya, I was blessed and challenged.  I pray you will be, too–on your own journey towards “true fulfillment!” 

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10

I want to begin today by saying this is an amazing promise we have from Jesus! He has come to give us life, so abundantly that it overflows and we can’t help but sharing it with everyone! When we grasp this truth and really implement it into our lives, I believe that we can’t help but transform this broken world.

Unfortunately, I often return to the things that give me temporary pleasure, ignoring the lasting joy and abundant life that Jesus offers. Selfishness, pride, greed, laziness and so many other things get in the way, making me think that the gratification of these selfish desires will bring me lasting happiness. Even good desires, when taken out of context or placed above God, become idols that provide only a façade of joy. I was reading Tolstoy’s Ana Karenina a few months ago and came across a quote that resonates with me to this day. He says, “Vronsky meanwhile, in spite of the complete realization of what he had so long desired, was not perfectly happy. He soon felt that the realization of his desires gave him no more than a grain of sand out of the mountain of happiness he had expected. It showed him the mistake men make in picturing to themselves happiness as the realization of their desires.” (more…)

God Woke Me Up

Posted by on Jan 25, 2013 in Faith | 2 comments

IMG_2828So there I was–sleeping.  It was my first night on safari in the Masai Mara of Kenya, five months ago in August 2012.  I had spent the last week at CURE International’s hospital in Kijabe, a city near Nairobi.  I don’t remember hearing a sound in or outside my tent, or being afraid at all; I simply woke up to “CURE Moms.”  The words were not audible–instead just sort of floating within my mind and heart.  It was almost three o’clock in the morning.

I wasn’t remotely groggy; rather, I felt a peaceful alertness.  For a while I lay in the dark absorbing the thoughts invading my mind, but then reached outside the mosquito net for my laptop.  I needed to start writing down the ideas I believed my heavenly Father was giving me. (more…)

A Bird in a Window

Posted by on Dec 24, 2012 in Faith | 0 comments

This revised blog post is dedicated to each and every person suffering this Christmas due to the December 14th massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.  My prayers are with you. 

I have always loved Christmas Eve’s candle lighting services.  But seven years ago, on December 24, 2005, I knew I would not be going to our church’s service that night.  It was a very dark day for me… I had spent most of it in bed, alternating between crying and trying to sleep.  Less than 48 hours before, at the 19-week ultrasound of my fifth child, I had learned the baby within me had a couple abnormalities that could prove “fatal,” my doctor had said.  I would need to have an amniocentesis to learn with certainty if my baby would live or die.  And because it was right before Christmas, this department of the hospital had already shut down.  I was told I would need to wait until the following week to learn the fate of my baby, another precious son.

I had no idea how I would make it through Christmas weekend.  I had no idea how I could possibly be a happy mommy to my four other darling children–ages 9, 8, 6 and 3 at the time.  I didn’t want to rob them of their Christmas joy, but, honestly, I just wanted it to be Monday. (more…)

Fall’s Foods-of-the-Month: Dinner with Martha and Mary!

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 2 comments

Do you ever feel time is flying by–uncontrollably fast?  That it was just August, and you blinked, and now it’s November?  That’s how I feel!  I think, as a mom, the Fall months are especially susceptible to disappearing before our eyes.  With two kids in high school, one in junior high, and one in elementary school, “normal” life is already full; add on all the extra, unforeseen events–happy or difficult–and somehow the end of summer has become the beginning of winter.  During these months my blog has had to take backseat to other priorities.  But there’s always a silver lining….

Back in September, while contemplating my “Food-of-the-Month,” I happened to read the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42.  I’m guessing I had been praying for HELP in juggling the many activities, needs and concerns in my family’s life with my own when Jesus‘ words became personal to me.  Instead of “Martha, Martha…” I heard “Laurie, Laurie, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (more…)

My Latest Email Newsletter… “Broken Glass”

Posted by on Oct 22, 2012 in Faith | 0 comments

Dear Readers:  This is a copy of my latest email newsletter.  If you are not on my email contact list and would like to be, please enter your information at the top of the right margin.  I send a newsletter about every two to three months.  Thank you for reading–God’s richest blessings on your day!

Dear Friends and Family,

My heartfelt thanks to those who prayed for my time in Africa–and especially for Emmanuel!  Your prayers were answered in bountiful ways!  Before I went, I believed God was taking me halfway around the world to witness the transformation of a baby boy.  Now home and reflecting back, I think my heavenly Father had in mind another life He wanted to change.

Emmanuel is doing great!  Already two months post-surgery, the bandages on his hands and cast on his leg have been removed.  Emmanuel’s surgeon has personally let me know of the excellent prognosis.  This darling little boy will now grow up able to walk and run on two legs and enjoy the use of both hands.  Thanks to God and a four-part surgery at CURE International in Kenya, 10-month-old Emmanuel has been given new life! (more…)

Who Knew an African Safari Would Teach Christianity 101?!

Posted by on Sep 26, 2012 in Faith | 2 comments

It’s been my lifelong dream to go on safari in Africa.  But after my amazing week at CURE Kenya, I didn’t know how even the famed Masai Mara could possibly compare.  I had felt God’s Presence and Love so powerfully at the hospital!  It was bittersweet to leave such a meaningful experience and start a new, totally different adventure the same day… especially one that wouldn’t be as overtly “Christ-centered,” I thought.  But grateful for the opportunity–not to mention during peak season of the wildebeest migration–I asked God to open my eyes, ears, heart and mind to whatever HE wanted to reveal.  With my family back home in the States, this safari was a vacation with my “first love” (Revelation 2:4).  I was excited to take Jesus’ hand and follow wherever He’d lead… physically and spiritually.

The morning before my first game drive I prayed:  “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:4-5).  “Teach me” He did!  It didn’t take long to sense God’s glorious Presence just as strongly as at CURE Kenya–albeit very differently.  “All day long” my eyes feasted on image after image of the stuff dreams are made of, and I SAW different truths of Scripture… just like I had “seen” Psalm 23 the day I met Emmanuel!  My amazingly creative God revealed Himself to me in ways I couldn’t have experienced anywhere else on the planet.  There’s much more, but these are five highlights of what “God my Savior” showed me…. (more…)