After Losing A Child – Does time heal?  

Short answer – no, not really. LaurieMom

Long answer – partially – perspective alters, prayer cries are automatic, thought control kicks in faster, life goes on because it does, not because you want it to, and because you learn to separate your public and private grief. You come to accept that it is unchangable, and you are thankful for what you had. Time deepens the loss – it doesn’t erase it.


Life, and death, it seems, are filled with oversimplifications and generalizations that really cannot be completed here – like a puzzle with a missing piece. Despite the outward absence, the inward presence continues to make itself known, not unlike what the doctor thought were phantom kicks from the son he was sure I’d miscarried. They were not phantom and neither are the pangs of grief.



Grief is the reality of the emptiness of a space when the life-force is absent, and the silence continues to shout against life’s real and contrived white-noise.


img715 1 fixedTime etches the background with peace, yet knowing the loved one’s faith and eternal destination continues to be overlapped with a hundred thousand layers of memories and hopes, dreams and plans you lived to help fulfill. Every tiny moment constantly shutters in and out of visibility like a continuous slide show with the beginning replaying and the ending out of view.


Promises made, and even promises kept seem hollow, and you realize, gratefully, that you will never stop saying hello and reliving the life-show in which you had the privilege to participate.


LauriesunlightTomorrows keep arriving, winging by and becoming yesterdays. I feel like I am supposed to be doing something. Something more. I am a mom who tries to fix things and have to acknowledge it is impossible to fulfill my role. When I say I am supposed to be doing something, several dear ones tell me -. No you are not, you are doing what you need to do; you are grieving. You are acknowledging that a huge piece of your life and your heart are missing.


Three quotes that keep me going: Change your self-talk – at the end of the day, tell yourself gently you did the best you could today. Even if you didn’t accomplish all you planned, I love you anyway (Franjois). Reminds me of Isaiah 57:18 – I have seen their behavior, but I will heal them and give them rest, and I will once again console those who mourn.


LauriegreetingmeI’ve accepted my loneliness. I don’t know the cure for it and maybe it will always be there. Maybe that’s simply part of what we call the human condition. But I also remind myself those are emotions. And my emotions fluctuate constantly. I know I’m loved by God, by others, and have finally learned to love myself.

When I feel lonely and isolated

I remind myself, “Those are my emotions. They aren’t reality.” – Cec. Murphy


Reality is that Laurie lives on  – both in body and spirit. I have God’s Word on that and hers, as well.

“Don’t worry about me Mumzie, it is well with my soul.”– Laurie Liesner-Kujawa –



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What’s Next Papa?

The news lately has been anything but encouraging.  Around the world disasters of every 1-bad-news-financial-newspaper-shocked-businesswoman-mouth-open-reading-office-desk-46751936kind are reported along with prophetic messages of escalating doom.  Were I to depend on that for daily motivation, I’d be in deep, deep trouble.

Personal stress seems at an all time high with lightening speed changes and challenges. Were I to depend on the emotions this raises, I would also be in deep, deep trouble.

I’ve written before about an around the world online group called The  Lazarus Experiment. We meet annually for 40 days after Easter, but the relationships we’ve developed carry through the rest of the year. When you walk together through challenges, tender guidance, laughter, tears, and all of life’s joys and troubles in between you develop a special bond.  It’s to the point that many of life’s happenings makes you think of your Laz friends, and the familiar story that brings life to any situation.

I recently had an experience where a stranger went totally ballistic because someone left angrymanthe car in front of him and gone into the gas station leaving him to wait to use the pump. I mean this was a red-faced, screaming, hair-raising, is-the-guy-going-to-have-a-stroke or cause someone harm kind of rant.  I looked at the people around us, a couple looked fearful (likely wondering if the big fellow had weapons in that big truck), one looked very angry, one was in his car nearby ‘lost’ in his phone and was unaware of the whole situation, and the fellow on the other side of the gas pump smugly grinned like he knew the fellow’s only accomplishment would be making himself look like a fool.

For me it was a flashback of manic behavior, and the drive, the urgency to soothe – and avoid the confrontation and emotional explosion.  I’ve had several people in my life that wanted to do harm and I quickly learned you don’t push an angry rat into a corner.

So – considering this volatile situation and Lazarus’ life-after-death experience, I think of one detail: that “a great multitude came to see not only Jesus, but Lazarus also,” …and that the chief priests were plotting ‘that they might put Lazarus to death also.’

While it is interesting to speculate how Lazarus felt coming alive, coming out of the tomb, and wondering were it me, what would I do or not do, there is also a life-flashes-before-you feeling in the midst of seemingly crazed anger. What if he did ‘go postal’ and start shooting?   What if this was my last day?

This situation was averted and we left the man with his mouth hanging open. But what difference did that confrontation make in my life?  If I could go back and prepare for either the potential unknown crisis (which the world seems to be faced with more and more each day) or a fresh start-over like Lazarus had – what would I start or change or finish  about my life that I had or had not done before breathing my last? Would I worry less about what

Thrive In Life - Online Magazine - www.thriveinlife.... "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style" ~ Maya Angelou

Thrive In Life – Online Magazine – http://www.thriveinlife…. “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” ~ Maya Angelou

people think about me, or what I do or how I dress and just be able this time to help others without worrying if I was an accomplice or enabler for their problem or addiction. Could I be myself for the joy of being? If I knew there was a plot out to kill me, would I live life on the run or just keep living?   Would I worry that my presence could endanger those I am with, or would my lack of fear for what man could do to me concern my enemies or my loved ones? What is my mission?

Would I eat to live or live to eat?  Would I run to my family and embrace them one more time? Would my old cravings and priorities return or  what would be my new priorities?

Would I have the freedom to dance like no one is watching…to run in the rain…to do something joyful to make another person smile or would I be constantly examining motives and wondering what is truth?

Each day has the possibility of raising all these questions and more. Many question if there remain any righteous men or women in leadership.  Many long and fearful experiences have taught no present or future peace can come from trusting mankind alone.  We are all as broken as the man at the gas station and the priests who wanted to kill Lazarus because his existence and life disproved their beliefs and threatened their power and control.

So instead of wondering or worrying over those questions, I can ask: Has my new life in Christ in any way reflected the answers I thought to those questions? If that were to be my final hour, what would those watching have seen or heard?

I read some words in Romans 8 (The Message) this morning that also reminded me of IMG_3401Lazarus:

Rom. 8:11-15 It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised

So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent.

There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life.

God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life.


adventurously expectant,


greeting God with a childlikeIMG_0056


“What’s next, Papa?”



That’s the kind of questions I’ve been asking. What about your life? Are you adventurously expectant? When is the last time you greeted God by asking,

“What’s next, Papa?”



  • Photo of angry man by Chris Roll
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Preparing for the future

We left home anticipating our vacation trip, and before we knew it our time was winding down to peachtreeoursinclude anticipating home.


I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to swing by my niece in lower Michigan and nab some peaches (and pears) on the way home.


Preserving peaches (I prefer canning, others prefer freezing) is a way to anticipate a taste of summer in the midst of freezing weather.


The few simple steps of preserving teach me things about spiritual preserving too

  1. Harvest – Someone had to tend the fruit so I could harvest it peachhand
  2. Prepare all the steps – kettles, jars, lids, knife, boiling and cooling water, sweetener syrup
  3. Remove the protective outer shell
  4. Cut and remove the seed
  5. Immerse in the syrup
  6. Remove any residue that would get in the way of a complete seal
  7. Immerse in water
  8. Process for appropriate amount of time


Spiritual preserving also has the goal of feeding others. We all have cold and barren ‘winters’ of the soul and need to prepare for a way to anticipate the new life and fruit that basketpeachesfollows the dying off times. Like preserving peaches, the process starts a ways before the actual happening – with the preparation and planning. I once met Wayne Gretzky – his success he said was because “I skate to where the puck will be, not where it has been.” Similarly, when I look at the peaches, I envision the coming winter enjoying the pleasure of the taste of summer.


  1. Preparing for the Harvest – I’ve found the best thing for my barren winter times is to get my focus off myself and nurture others – planting seeds of restoration and hope, feeding, nurturing and watering those seeds by personal prayer and effort, and yes, makingpeachpiehelping to remove weeds too. All in anticipation of the harvest.
  2. Preparing all the steps – gathering appropriate equipment and materials can take some investigation, because people, unlike peaches often require different methods of application: Bible Study, scripture memory, music, feeling useful, teaching them to help others through realizing purpose of their creation, calling, and talents
  3. Removing or sloughing off the protective outer shell is vital to getting to know someone and revealing their heart. If we haven’t done this ourselves, it is challenging if not impossible to genuinely help another to go where we have not been.
  4. Cut out and remove the seed. We all were created in God’s image and the seed has life peachpiewithin it. But to bear fruit that seed has to die. I look at the seed as choice. Sometimes I choose the wrong things and need to seek God’s help to always choose life. When I harvest produce, I love to save seeds for another future crop. But first they have to be set aside and either dried (removing chaff from the seed) or fermented (remove germination-inhibiting substances to prevent mold and other disease from growing).
  5. Immerse in the sweetening syrup – spiritually speaking, the Spirit sweetens our mood, our journey, our outreach
  6. Remove any residue that would get in the way of a complete seal. Apply I John 1:9. Thank God forgiveness is available.
  7. Immerse in water – Scripture refers to our washing in the water of the Word. Daily peachesncreamdips are necessary (for me sometimes hourly or more!) to cleanse the way for the Spirit’s complete immersion.
  8. Join me in preserving fruit for the future (and allowing God to preserve us) – for God’s fruit is even better than this golden harvest:

    Prov. 8:19 “My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,

    And my yield than choicest silver.”

    1-Peaches on shelf

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Some of the Important People in My Life

Whether we realize it our not, there are important people in our lives. Some have likened1-MarlNmesistersthe people journey to a canvas – some people make such an impact in our lives, that they become part of the permanent background.  My sisters are like that – always there, always marvel0001ready to give a hand even before you ask, crying with 3sistersvint091you, rejoicing with you, giving of themselves totally before thinking of their own needs.


Onto the background is painted various focal points – friends, spouses, children and special relatives and teachers are some who make that impact – you cannot look at the picture of my life without seeing them, or some permanent effect they have had on my development into who I am.  Aunt Angie is one of my focal points. angietonymalone099

When I explained to Auntie not long ago the story and reasons behind my frequent visits to her arms, and the cumulative years spent in the playhouse in their backyard, she cried. She wished she had known.  But it would not have made any difference if she had known – she showed complete love, acceptance and understanding – she was herself, which was all she need to be, and all I needed at the time.IMG_4880




Of course my family have been great focal points in my life, and I’ve prayed that God would permanently ‘stain’ their lives from their presence in our family canvas. (Hopefully in good ways and with the ability to wash off any undesirable smudges). PenzafamSMKevkris



img717 3










In addition to the focal points are the bright bits of color that attract us to any painting. I’ve had many friendship ‘bouquets’ across my canvas and though some live far from me, the fragrance of their giving hearts has also brought light to my countenance and changed my heart so that just the thought of them brings my focus back to the God of Hope.

O1-maryne of these examples is Mary.  She has been my friend for decades. Her family lived with us for awhile and that experience made their children like mine, and she has loved my children like hers. We have each lost a daughter – forever friends now in heaven together. Going through hard times together mixes the paints into new colors.


Yep, there are shadows in the picture too – but did you notice how shadows enhance and highlight the depth of the brighter portions?  I know when I’ve walked away from the Son, the dark shadows mingled with my own and it was hard to believe there was any light left in the world – but the shadows caused me to chill, and to run to the light and warmth of those who taught me how to walk in the light.

Did any of these descriptions remind you of people in your life?  They should – and perhaps they will do for you what they did for me – cause me to send up prayers for the shadows on my canvas – as well as for the bright spatters of hope and life, giving thanks today, for all of those God-sent people that make the son-light spread across my life’s canvas.

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I am on a sister-trip and we have unanimously named this trip DETOUR.1-carflood

Many plans to get to the trip were detoured. Finances of course are always full of surprises.  The lost keys detoured clever plans to keep 2 keys for the trip as we change drivers.  On the way to pick up sister 3 we were half way down the last road when we saw the barricades. Road closed. Why don’t they tell you this when you turn on the road?

Then there were the storms. On the way to Indianapolis we had a storm delay in Burlington, WI. We finally got a late lunch and thought we would see how far we could get when one sister spotted another huge dark cloud moving toward us. We quickly turned off the freeway and headed for a motel. We barely got the car under the portico when the cloud opened and winds picked up to 50 mph. Glad to be inside, we had to also detour the healthy diet and order pizza.

On the road the next morning we were warned a bridge was out where we were headed but “you’ll probably be ok, unless you want to take exit 10 or 14 and go around it”.  Yeah, sure. We took the suggested exit and about 20 minutes later came to more blockades -road closed, and the detour had a detour!  Another hour out of our way but we finally made it to destination 3 hours late.There were more detours, of course – several of them happy ones like the nephew who saw our moose picture – taken outside a restaurant we would not have visited but for the detour that preceded it. We were glad to be able to see him!  birdexercise

Is your life filled with detours too?   We think it is pretty hard to avoid those unexpected events – and we seem to be three times as likely to find them when traveling together.  And what can we do about them?  Not much besides look around us and see what we would have missed but for the barricades, the recalculating GPS, the storms that forced us to seek shelter.  What would have we missed if the barricades had not been there?  Rough roads, potential danger, and a blessing we treasure. Just like the storms forced us to curtail our plans and seek shelter, so do those other storms of life stop us in our tracks and eagerly seek shelter and directions with The Lord!

We are currently analyzing another detour in our plans. How about you?  Recalculating? Seeking shelter?  Needing direction?  Psalm 119:105 says God will shed a light on our path step by step – detour by bumpy detour. TombCalvary

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Announcing: Be The Miracle!

WHOOO HOOOO – Dream Come True!

I’m on the road with a sister trip and will do a launch party in early September – but in the 1-miraclecover  meantime couldn’t wait to announce the book is out and available on Amazon!


I’ll be posting in a couple of days, but wanted to take a minute to thank all my followers and prayer warriors for their encouragement for this dream come true!  I couldn’t have done it without your faithful friendship.



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Starting Over

What joys and struggles our niece and her family have gone through to reach this long 1-TrinLarryawaited goal – their new home.   When first married the husband’s job transfer took them out of state. Finally settled, they went into the city for her job interview and while there, lightening struck their apartment complex, destroying all their possessions – even their precious kitten.   What could they do but start over? Gradually they rebuilt their lives and expanded their families with a little girl. Work, plus the commute didn’t give the family much time together. Daddy’s subway commute to work ended at the twin towers, so they decided as often as they could to go early as a family and breakfast together at a little spot beneath the tower, then Daddy would go off to work from there, Mom and daughter could pick up any necessities and return home. The night before 9-11 baby was fussy and the exhausted couple overslept. They awoke to the devastating news of the 9-11 attack, and realized that if they’d awakened on time, they would have been beneath the towers. Grieving the great loss with the rest of America, they soon had to grieve Daddy’s job too – like many other companies that needed to rebuild, jobs were eliminated.   What could they do but start over? The importance of family rose through new heights, and when a new job was offered back in the area where they married, they returned to Florida. They gradually rebuilt their lives again and at long last moved to a lovely apartment complex. Here their family expanded by another daughter and a son. The only drawback from this location was that Daddy’s aging parents were in another state 1-LarryTrinFamilyabout 14 hours away. Their vacations and job searches focused on getting near Daddy’s parents – especially when his mother had a life-threatening crisis. While on one of their trips to visit his parents, a new challenge was literally spreading over their sweet apartment. Apparently one of the renters in their multiple-apartment complex had bedbugs and improperly sprayed without contacting the manager to properly seal off the area. Instead of being eradicated, the bugs spread to other apartments, and our niece and family came home to a condemned apartment building. Once again everything was destroyed. It was heart rending to lose baby mementos and all property except what they had taken on vacation. It was heartbreaking to discover their insurance considered the loss an ‘act of God’ and would not reimburse anything.   What could they do but start over? While staying with friends, word spread of their need and someone mentioned a trailer that was available, so they loaded the mattresses and other gifts they’d received from friends and family and relocated again. A few months later, they thought there must be a mistake with the $600-$800 electric bills, but a utility company survey said the property and window air conditioner were old and there was not anything that could be done to reduce that expense. Scrimping to cover their debt the little family determined to find a way out, and to get near to Daddy’s parents. Their prayers 1-LaryTrinRedHousewere answered with a job transfer a couple hours away from parents, where a lovely home now awaits their arrival. A couple of the people involved in the purchase proceedings were going to sell some furniture to them, but instead called and said, just come, we will have a surprise for you.   Their faith and determination have carried them through some big storms. We are almost there and eager to see their surprise and, this time, a joyful starting over. I have her mom with me. Tomorrow about this time we will get to join them to celebrate their fresh start.   Lam. 3:22-23      The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness. 1-Larrytrin-redhouseside   Today – and each day – is an opportunity to start over!   Has there been a time when you had to start over?            

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Offended? Accepting Offense is a Choice.

Life will always have difficult people, whether it is on the job, in the family, at work or evenmean  in the church. Scripture is clear that we are not to be the offenders (2Cor. 6:3 giving no cause for offense in anything, in order that the ministry be not discredited).


Though we may know how to correct our own disobedience if we offend someone, it is sometimes harder to accept that we all have people in our lives who have the power to offend. But accepting the offense is in our power. We can choose to accept the offense and be offended (resentful, indignant or annoyed), or we can choose to reject the offense and respond Biblically.


There are a number of possible reactions to offense. Here are 5 Biblical responses:


  1. Thoughtful

Proverbs 12:16 A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.mad0


Proverbs 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.


Opposite: Speaking without thinking or reacting instead of responding, would be thought-less instead of thought-ful. Instead of reacting, think about it and pray about it before you respond.


  1. Gracious

Proverbs 5:1 Pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words fo insight


Ecclestiastes 10:12 Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips


Gracious – godly, pleasing, marked by kindness and courtesy, tact and delicacy are seldom heard when emotions are high. A wise man looks to the end result for others, instead of satisfying his own emotions.


  1. Pleasant

Proverbs 16:21 The wise in heart are called discerning and pleasant words promote Buddy Greeneinstruction.


Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones


How can our words be pleasant and profitable for others? By asking yourself before speaking – how can I speak so I will bring profit to this person?


Besides, aren’t we all more likely to listen to and learn from pleasant words?


  1. Kind

Job 6:25 How painful are honest words! But what does your argument prove?


2Timothy 2:24 And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, IMG_2612able to teach, patient when wronged


If our words are in the best interest of the hearer, they will heal instead of hurt.


  1. Beneficial

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.


3John 11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.



but if we are to make the choice to apologize.


I hope you feel armed – you and I will be offended – likely every day – but how you and I respond is our choice.










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Review – Divine Walls

I am so blessed to be part of the CWA review crew!  This review of wall art by Divine Walls is one example of one of the many awesome products we get to test run and keep :)

I’ve seen several homes enhanced with wall art, but didn’t know how easy it is to apply.

Step 1 – a wall in need:


I love the sign a dear friend made, but felt my office wall needed “something more.” The call for reviewers for Divine Walls was just the thing!

Since my tagline is Be the Miracle!  I went to their website and simply entered Miracle in the search bar. Several choices came up.  Each selection is available in varied sizes from 15″ wide and 4.9″ tall  to 135″ wide x 44″ tall and is available in your choice of color!  The size of my Divine Walls art is 25″ x 8.3″.

Once I’d selected my wall art, I had only to eagerly wait. :)  Next the package arrived – a round tube, with the rolled up wall art and a sheet of simple directions.

IMG_6736My wall as you see is over the desk, and so I called upon my can-do-most-anything hubby.

Four simple steps:  mark the wall where we wanted it, slowly and carefully peel off the backing and apply to the wall using a credit card to smooth away any bubbles or wrinkles,


IMG_6741Then apply to the wall using a credit card to smooth away any bubbles or wrinkles…. and final step – carefully peel off the top paper, revealing my beautiful saying.

It only took about 20 minutes. Voila!


I am very pleased to have this lovely Divine Walls saying of my choice to brighten up my office space.  Knowing I can also order custom sayings of my choice, I will definitely be visiting their site and ordering more!

Check out their website at and find Religious Wall Art Decor the many uplifting and encouraging sayings for those who believe!  Here’s the difference it made in my sunshine room.  We are very pleased and next time I will try a bigger one!IMG_6744


 I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.




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Spiritual Selfies

We can be grateful that our spiritual selfies are not usually revealed on Facebook. But have armorhelmet no doubt that God and others recognize spiritual selfie look-alikes. Jesus helps us to see our Spiritual Selfies within parables. A new project – quick snapshots of  Old and New Testament Biblical characters who unknowingly revealed their own spiritual selfies through their behavior. We are no different, really.


For a taste – check out Absalom’s — It is longer than usual, but I’d like to know what you think.

Absalom – Creating an Image


All photos are accurate. None of them is the truth. ~Richard Avedon


Political figures are all about creating an image they want people to believe. Absalom would be in his glory in our politically oriented world. He had every reason to admire what he saw in the mirror, as 2 Samuel 14:25 tells us: “in all Israel was no one as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no defect in him.” Selfie material for sure! And Absalom knew how to promote it.


Physically, Absalom had it all. Outwardly he was attractive to the extreme, and continuing chapters reveal that he was also very cunning and clever. The city’s gate was the hangout place in Absalom’s day and he would often show up there telling the disgruntled if only he was their representative, he would solve their problems. People say if you hear something often enough, you will come to believe it, and Absalom was using his words and his natural features to win and manipulate the hearts of the people – and to hide his secrets.


Absalom’s passion stirred from anger over a grave injustice to his sister – an understandable reason to seek justice. However, Absalom’s choice of how to handle his burden (retain and inflame bitterness and refuse God’s justice) created a Spiritual Selfie that mocked what he was daily ‘selling’ to admirers.


What do we hide behind in our selfies? The majority of us don’t likely see the perfection 7001Absalom saw, but we do try to capture the fleeting moments of our own glory. Like Absalom, we also have the power to choose to manipulate those who love us, and to let the evils in our past guide and control our actions in the present and the future.


You likely know Absalom’s ending – his head and renowned hair were caught in a tree, once again calling attention to himself, though quite by accident. He was discovered and defeated on his way to what he assumed would be certain victory.


Absalom’s spiritual selfie is not so very attractive because he chose to misuse the gifts God gave him in order to execute vengeance himself.


How can we avoid Absalom’s path? Romans 12:19 is clear: “ Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.”


The choice is still the same – to put off bitterness we need to duck and put on forgiveness.

IF you are like me, you have tried it. Many times, and many ways, like a temporary diet, the bitterness, the craving to exact justice, always returns. Why is that? Because we try to put off behaviors in our own strength – as though we can suppress our old desires and change our ways (while keeping a bottle, a bag or a burden hidden away just in case it doesn’t work). We sometimes try to cover our spiritual selfie with new clothes, a hairstyle Delores Pic 1or makeup in order to hear, like Absalom, the praise of friends and followers that we are “lookin’ good.”


But we know the truth. God is taking our spiritual selfies. He sees what and who we can be – through the lens of our Savior – IF we accept His Lordship.


God’s pattern is to first put on. NLT Romans 13:14 instructs us to give up trying what we can never do on our own: “Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.”

In other words duck! Get out of God’s way. Our performing vengeance “for the Lord” can only be ineffective or make things worse. When we try to role-play the Holy Spirit and mete out actions we feel others deserve, we are actually blocking God from doing His work.

We know how things are, and we spend a lot of time whining to God whose fault it is that things are the way they are. We also spend too much time putting our “Absalom” forward – creating an image of what we want the world to see.


The presence of Christ, however, helps us to see things as they should be and can be.   We can give the critical spirit to God…and begin to see the enemy as God sees them: already defeated.


Psalm 9-(The Message)

They’re trapped, those godless countries, in the very snares they set, prison-bars-590x354

Their feet all tangled in the net they spread.
They have no excuse; the way God works is well-known.
The cunning machinery made by the wicked has maimed their own hands.

The wicked bought a one-way ticket to hell.
…Shake them up, God!
Show them how silly they look.

Show us too, God, how silly we look trying to create and enhance our own image, and trying to act out your role –playing God instead of forgiving. Help us, Lord, to put on your character qualities and create a selfie that focuses on you.


The Spiritual Selfie:


Reverse the Focus: Forgiveness

Read Jesus’ response to judging another; then search my own heart

Jesus’ response to judging one another

John 8:7-9 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” And again 7229He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And when they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the midst.


Search my own heart

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me,

And lead me in the everlasting way.

What forgiveness is not:

  • It is not forcing the other person to say they are sorry.
  • It is not, if they do apologize, expecting or requiring them to name the specific way they hurt you.
  • It is not interfering with God’s judgment, in his own way and time. (That is the hard part for most of us)


It is rather, releasing the offense and all resulting repercussions to God. Forgiveness is to resist judging or displaying a lack of love.


Instead I want to submit and let God search my motives, thoughts, words, and actions. Pray that I may recall how only God has the power to condemn or forgive, and how He chose to love and forgive me while I was still a sinner. Now He chooses to demonstrate His love through me, by giving me the choice to allow His spirit to work through me – or not.


It’s been jokingly said that some people never get ulcers because they are only the carriers,FierceWomancover but in reality each offense taken from life issues offers the choice of ulcers or healing (spiritual as well as physical); and erosion a natural result if we constantly choose to internalize life events rather than (thinking on these things) processing the event into an opportunity for God to work.


Zoom In: Remember John 4:7. The first two words – Draw near – imply an action – a choice of movement toward Jesus. If we put ON the rain repellant, our coat can RESIST the water. In the same way Putting OFF – resisting – is a result of our choice of action to apply the solution and power available. In moving closer we clearly recognize the fact that we are not alone and now have the strength of the Savior replacing our own.


Capture it: Draw 3 columns on a journal page

Column 1 – List each grievance, injustice, or bitterness followed by initials or name.

Column 2 – Give them to God – Literally pray, visualize if it helps, placing grievance and person in God’s hands, and then write GTG (gave to God) next to each.

Column 3 – Fill in date or change when it comes to either party (injured or antagonist). This could come in hours, days, months, or years.


It has been said that not forgiving is like you taking poison and expecting the other party to suffer the effects. This exercise is for YOU – to free you from the effects of bitterness, and to change your Spiritual Selfie.


Filling up with – Forgiveness

Repels/puts off – Judging – In light of God’s love, what is the right thing to do or say?


Matt 7:1-2      “by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”


Likes: Let God create your new image – you will both love it!IMG_1939






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