Saturday Share with Mary Geisen

Welcome to Saturday Share! 

SS colossians 2.2

The purpose of this weekly feature is to provide a space for regular people to share their real-life encounters with Jesus.  It’s about living in the middle – on the way to the finish line.  Our race isn’t finished as long as there’s still breath in our lungs.

I believe we sharpen one another and delight God’s heart when we testify of His great work in our lives.  Be encouraged to put one foot in front of the other, and spur someone on while you’re at it!

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  Colossians 2:2-3 NIV

I am thrilled to welcome back my feature Saturday Share writer:

Mary Geisen

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Holy Habits

By Mary Geisen

Growing up, one of the first things I did each morning after I rolled out of bed, was neatly tuck the sheet and comforter back into their original spot.  It was one of the first chores I remember doing and it quickly became a habit.

Fast forward to now and you will see a very different scenario playing out.  I find I’m lacking motivation to complete that morning chore.  I figure if no one is coming over, it really doesn’t matter.  However, I’m learning this one simple habit is necessary for how the rest of my day will go.

 

SS Mary Geisen Holy Habit

 

You may wonder how making a bed makes a difference in the landscape of my day, but for me, it looks like making space for the sacred.

If God is the center of my life, anytime I make room for Him increases my holy habits. Daily routines are a huge piece to the puzzle of creating sacred space for me to sit with God.

Perhaps making your bed in the morning is beyond your capacity as you prepare for the day. Or you just never developed this habit. Either way, I want us to walk together as we unpack the need for making sacred space.

Recently, I was sharing with a group of women, whom I meet with weekly, that my quiet time looks non-existent. It’s hard to admit in front of a group who are learning discipleship together. But the truth is that when I feel off balance for any reason, I need to look at my daily habits. Where is my focus? How much time do I spend on any one thing? Why do I feel out of sorts?

Digging deeper into the “why”, I immediately recognized that I spend time in the Word but in the context of a Bible study. Or I choose to read Christian non-fiction, which is great, but I have lost sight of the daily invitation to spend time with God.

Holy habits are space makers, freedom growers, grace givers, and truth tellers. Here are some of the holy habits I am learning I need daily.

Worship music opens my heart to hearing and my soul to centering on what God has for me for the day.

Quiet time (no music, no reading, just silence, and solitude) allows me to hear directly from God without distractions.

Time in God’s Word creates a place for truth to dwell and grace to abound.

A sacred space that keeps my eyes, ears, and heart focused on God.

Finally, a time to reach out to others to encourage them in their own journey in developing holy habits.

 

SS MG Holy Habits are

 

Making my bed in the morning sets the tone for the day. When I take the time to do this one simple thing, it is like giving myself permission to engage in other daily habits. And in the process of making space for these routines, I am learning how God recognizes my need for order. But most importantly, He sees my desire to invite Him into my day.

I can’t lead others well in their own journey if I am struggling with my own. Let’s consider the one holy habit we can begin today. Name it and share it with someone close to you. Take the first step and watch all that God will do.

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:22-25, MSG

My journey of relearning to make my bed now looks like getting back on track. What was unbalanced is now providing focus for the rest of my day.

What is the one thing you will start and/or continue today?

Photo by Toa Heftibaon Unsplash

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Mary Geisen headshotConnect with Mary~

Mary Geisen is a lover of coffee and deep, soul-filled conversations. She is the mom of two married sons, a retired teacher, writer, author and seeker of grace in the ordinary. Several years ago, God called her to bravely step out by sharing her journey in written form. The power of God’s words has inspired her journey of healing and drawing closer to God through the power of grace. She continues to walk toward brave faith in her everyday life and encourages others to do the same.

 

Connect with Mary here:

Website  http://www.marygeisen.com

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/MaryEGeisen/

Twitter    https://twitter.com/MaryGeisen

Instagram    https://www.instagram.com/marygeisen/

 

Looking beyond the routine

Even in the routine, following Jesus is anything but routine.

Does that sound like just another catchy phrase to put on a picture and post on Instagram or is this a true statement?  I’m pondering this idea of routine early this morning before the routine of my life begins.

As I meet with Father in prayer this morning and ask this question for myself the examples of Jesus’ life on earth begin to pop like quick movie previews through my thinking.

Looking Beyond the Routine

When Jesus stepped into His ministry calling on earth, He also walked into the routine of many people’s lives.  His interruption of their routine was attractive and enticing.  Do you ever wonder why regular people in the routine of their lives would receive Jesus’ simple invitation to follow Him?

I think of the fishermen in their work routine, fishing to provide for their families.  They were simply doing what they knew to do and then Jesus interrupted their routine with an offer.  I imagine the encounter:

Follow Me, since you know how to fish, I will teach you how to fish for men.

With so many examples popping… tax collectors, prostitutes, a Pharisee, the beggar and the crippled spending their days lying on a mat…

Lastly, the woman at the well whose routine had become completely opposite the routine of the other Samaritan women.  Her shame caused her to choose a lonely routine until the day Jesus interrupted her routine at the well.  I wonder what she thought about a Jewish man asking her for water that day.  This was anything but routine and her experience with men was anything but the standard.

I imagine the encounter:

Woman trade in your routine of shame for the Living Water I offer, and I will give you a message to offer all the people of your village.  You’ll be restored to the routine with the women free from shame and helping them to live free as well.

So, Lord Jesus, as I head straight into the routine of this day, help me to see You interrupting my routine with Your presence.  Teach me to do Your Kingdom work right in the middle of my routine life for Your Glory!

Ponder:

What does this look like for you?  Would you like to see Jesus interrupting your routine?

Will you ask Him to do so?

Eyes on Jesus… you’re shining!

~Lisa

routine FMF-Square-Images-4Today I am joining Kate and her wonderful community of faith writers for some Five Minute Friday writing fun.  The word prompt for this week is {beauty}  If you’re in the least bit intrigued, come join us for the Five Minute Friday link up

All you have to do is ponder the word prompt, set your timer for 5:00, and start typing. When time’s up, publish and link up.  Oh so simple!

Just stop all the fussin’

“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” James 4:1-2, NLT

 

Years ago I ran the ‘mom taxi’ for my two middle school sons and friends.  Rarely did we taxi about town sans an argument.  “I call shotgun!”  “You cheated!”  “Stop looking at me”  “You’re a ­_”  “I HATE you!”  “I’m tellin’…”

Be completely humble

I scolded, gave consequences and quoted Scripture.  To no avail, I demanded teen boys speak only edifying words to one another.  Heart-broken over these word-brawls, we purchased an SUV with three-row seating.  Problem solved.  I claimed the front row with each son one behind the other.  No more carpool unification strategies.  I simply chose to divide to keep the peace and protect my sanity.

Afraid of being awarded ‘worst mother’ designation, I’m tempted to scrap this post and pick another topic.  However, Holy Spirit reminds me of truth.  My sons aren’t the first, nor are they the last siblings to treat each other with such selfish and jealous contempt.  My brother and I were no better, but we can trace sibling rivalry through the generations all the way back to Cain and Abel.

The truth is that such behavior is the natural condition of our flesh.  Unfortunately, all of God’s children, myself included, at all ages and stages of life are capable of similar unhealthy, unproductive and simply sinful behaviors.  And it breaks the Father’s heart.

Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Ephesians 4:2 NIV

Is the Father’s solution separation?  No the plan to divide and conquer is the plot of the evil one.  Instead, our Father calls for humility, gentleness, patience, and forbearance all wrapped in love.  To seek to live peaceably with all and in unity with His Spirit in love is to bless our Father’s heart and bear much fruit.  (Romans 12:18, Colossians 2:2, Ephesians 4:2-3, NIV)

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I have the honor and privilege of writing weekly devotionals for Daughter of Delight on Instagram.  This post with some slight variation was first posted as an original devotional for Daughter of Delight on Instagram – 1/13/2018.

I invite you to please take a moment to visit @daughterofdelight on Instagram.  I feel certain you’ll be encouraged and refreshed!

Saturday Share: God of Miracles with Rodrigo Cruz

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9

Timing – my timing is almost never God’s timing.  Guaranteed though, God’s timing is always better than my timing!

A month or so ago I asked Rodrigo if he would like to contribute to Saturday Share through a personal testimony of what truths God is currently teaching him.  Immediately he said, “Yes” because he can’t help himself from testifying to God’s goodness.Isaiah 55.8.png

Lately, though, the stuff of life has been pressing hard on Rodrigo and his family.  Time and energy constraints have kept us from connecting.  You see, the Cruz family has quite a few irons in the fire at home, in their church, on the sports fields, and in the community – just to scratch the surface.

Never mind though.  God has known all along this is the right time for just the message He gave Rodrigo to share here.  I’m so appreciative my neighbor and pastor friend deliberately carved out a few moments to share this message with me/us.  It’s timely… for me, and I’m going to believe for you too.

So, without further delay, grab your mug, find a comfy chair and prepare to be both challenged and encouraged.  Out of the mouths of babes…

God of Miracles with Rodrigo Cruz…

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Miracles… anyone?

A couple of weeks ago I was driving my oldest son (RJ) to his football practice when out of the blue he asked me a very interesting question: “Daddy, have you ever wondered if you are working for the wrong God?”

I was surprised by his question, so I asked him to explain himself. He responded: “Have you ever wondered if our bible is wrong, God doesn’t exist, and maybe other religions are right? See, if you are working for the wrong God?”

As parents, there are some questions that we get from our kids that we simply want to ignore or that we sincerely don’t want to answer. For example, I have been asked “Daddy, would you rather eat a giant booger or be stung by 1000 bees?” Or “Daddy, why does mommy always takes so long to get ready?” There are questions that we just don’t want to answer.

But the question of this day was different, it needed an answer. Not because my son was questioning his faith, but actually because he was questioning mine. So, this question made me take a deep breath and a deep look into my faith.

You may be wondering why should I even have to look at my faith since as a pastor the answer should be automatically yes. But it is precisely because I am a pastor, that I am exposed on a daily basis to so much brokenness in the community that I need to examine my faith and make sure I have enough to share with others.

The interesting thing about the question raised by my son is that it came in the week that in the church I was starting a new sermon series called “Miracles”. The question came at a time when I needed to have a clear answer to the question “Is God real?” You see, I was about to encourage people that regardless how big of a mess they may be living in, regardless how broken the world may be, and regardless how dark the evil that they may be fighting feels, there is a real God, that it’s actually a good/loving God and He is still doing miracles in this world.John 21.13.png

Let me suggest that in this particular moment of your life you may be wondering the same questions: Is God real? If so, is God good? If so, can God do a miracle in my life?

I believe the answers to all those questions are YES, YES and YES. But I also believe that you may need more than a YES. So, let me give you more. I believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ it’s the greatest example of God’s existence, God’s goodness and God’s love for all creation. In other words: Without the resurrection, everything else is pointless; with the resurrection, everything else is possible.

Now, let me assure you that I am not just being preachy to you, I am telling you what I really believe. You see, that night that RJ questioned my faith, I got a phone call from my dad (who is only 65) and he told me that he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

As you can imagine, there are so many things that we do not know what’s next for him, and all these unknowns are very scary and overwhelming. Yet, there is one thing that we do know, and that is that God is real, God is good, and God is still doing miracles on earth.

So, if you need a miracle (just like me), pray for one, God is listening.

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Rodrigo CruzRev. Dr. Rodrigo Cruz is lead pastor of The Nett Church @ Berkmar and welcomes you to visit their website – http://www.thenettchurch.com/ – for further information regarding the vision and mission God has given for casting The Nett.  Rev. Cruz is married to Kelly and is daddy to four precious children, who keep the couple continuously on their toes.

You can also connect with The Nett Church on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thenettchurch/