Karen Geisler - Bringing Old Stories to Life
Karen Geisler is retired and living in Florida with her husband. She shares the stories of the Old Testament, bringing them to life through her presentations. Audiences have included private schools, special interest groups and churches of varying denominations. She also enjoys walking, biking, kayaking, reading, and volunteers for Hospice. It is Karen’s hope that through her books, others will cherish the Old Testament and come to fully appreciate what Jesus experienced. As our Author of the Day, she tells us about her book, The Plan.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Plan is about.
Do you wonder who Jesus is or why he had to come save us? Why did he have to die? If you know the answers to those questions, can you truly appreciate what it was like for Jesus to make the sacrifice he did? This book will answer those questions and help you experience his life through a young boy named Abe. Abe goes on an adventure that can only be imagined. You will go with him, and his guardian angel Zag, back in time. You will experience what life was like before there was sin. You will also make a few stops through time and experience some amazing events that Abe’s relatives went through. You will be left with no doubt about who Jesus is. You may even come to love Jesus as Abe did. You will come to understand that nothing happens for nothing… because God has a plan.
What inspired you to write about a young boy who lives in the time of Jesus?
I was born into a Christian family, and my faith was grounded through years of biblical teachings, both at home and in the church. I knew in my head and my heart what it meant to be a Christian. I had no doubt that Jesus died for me, yet deep down, I didn’t fully appreciate what Jesus did for me on that cross. It was hard for me to relate to it.
The best way to explain my lack of appreciation is to compare my faith to being born with the proverbial silver spoon in my mouth. I’m rich, but I don’t know anything but rich, so I don’t appreciate it.
For years, this troubled me. I often asked God to help me understand and appreciate what Jesus did. It was in writing this book that I finally experienced that understanding through the eyes and heart of a child.
Tell us more about Abe. What makes him so special?
While everyone in Abe’s world was wondering who this Jesus is and why he can do miraculous things, Abe knew. He is able to understand not only who Jesus is but why he had to come and save us. His youth allows him to believe what he sees and hears, while the adults in his life can not. Because of that, Abe has to carry the burden alone, of knowing what is going to happen to Jesus in the end. Abe demonstrates great faith in God because he knows God has a plan.
You are committed to helping unchurched generations discover Jesus. Tell us more about this.
My generation was taught to be religious out of fear. Fear of hell, fear of church leaders, or fear of breaking strict and rigid rules. This contributed to our misconception of who God is and His love for us. Many of us chose to live our lives without guilt and took a break from the church.
The next generation didn’t even have a chance to learn about God because we chose to take a break.
There is now a third-generation that may know there is a God but knows nothing about Him. They don’t know why God would send His Son to save us, or why we even need to be saved.
This is why I wrote my first book. A Story Forgotten... rearranges all the stories from the Old Testament into chronological order and rewrites them in storybook form. This story takes you on a 4000-year journey through the Old Testament in a way you can easily read and understand it. It leaves you at the doorstep of the New Testament. If you read the stories of the Old Testament, you will absolutely know how great and wonderful God is. You will clearly understand God has a plan.
If a person makes even a little effort to get to know God, they will come to love Him. Young people today are missing out on how wonderful it is to know God and to have Him in their lives… because we chose to take a break from the church. It is for these reasons I write.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I love to sew and read.
Why did you title this book "The Plan"?
Because from the very beginning, God has had a plan to save His creation. It’s like a tapestry with thousands and thousands of stitches. Every situation and every decision that has ever been made, good or bad, is like another stitch with a different color in that tapestry. Adam and Eve, the Hebrews being slaves in Egypt, the wars won and lost, and even our daily struggles—they’re all part of the tapestry. The first stitch is just as important as the last one.
The tapestry isn’t finished yet. But when it is, it will be beautiful. We just have to have faith in God’s plan.
Instead of only focusing on the New Testament, you also blended a bit of the Old Testament into your story. Why did you take this approach?
The Old Testament is the foundation for the New Testament. A lot of things happened, including tremendous sacrifices just to get us to the point where Jesus came to save us. How can anyone appreciate why Jesus came, or why he had to save us? Who does he save us from? Without a firm base of understanding, one cannot fully appreciate what Jesus did.
The book has an interesting cover. Please tell us how that came about.
I wanted the cover to reflect Abe visualizing Jesus coming to save us from the powers of evil that are trying every day to rule God’s creation through darkness, deceit, and destruction.
What was your greatest challenge when writing this book?
I spent a tremendous amount of time researching the events of Jesus’ life to put them in the correct sequence, as well as customs, traditions, and the layout of Jerusalem. But in the end, my greatest challenge was sensing the pain and anguish Jesus must have felt in his last hours of being arrested, tried, beaten, humiliated, and crucified.
What did you have the most fun with when writing this book?
Trying to establish a relatable relationship between Abe and his guardian angel Zag. And also making Abe’s experiences feel real when he went back in time.
When you were writing the book, was there that one person who you always went to for advice or when you needed an opinion on something? If yes, who was it?
I prayed over it a lot. I have no doubt, this storyline was truly a gift from God. My publisher also gave me a great editor that made all the difference.
Do you consider yourself a disciplined writer? Do you have a schedule that you stick to, or is it more in the moment?
My husband and I are both retired. I love to write and our guest bedroom is my dedicated working space. It’s just way too easy for me to disappear into my writing world when I get motivated with ideas. However, I try to be sensitive to the fact that I need to share some of my time with my husband.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on a book where Zag takes Abe into the future to learn what John wrote about what is going to happen in the future. He reads what John wrote but his curiosity gets the best of him. Zag and Abe travel forward in time two thousand years to see what life is like in a country that proclaimed their trust in God. He sees what Satan has done to destroy God’s creation and gets a glimpse of things John wrote would happen in his book called Revelations. I believe the name of this book will be “Pilgrim or Dweller?” Stay tuned.