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A New Book!

Since the Friday post actually went out on Wednesday, to help us pray for each other as we face the holidays, I want to use this space for a special announcement.


Walk with Me, a grace devotional, has been published on Amazon!


30 daily readings to encourage you in your relationship with the Lord who loves you.  These simple, but powerful, readings will reset your thinking about God.  They will show you His love and your only responsibility: to accept and live in His love.

What a great way to begin the New Year!  Many will want to read and re-read these devotionals to help find their way back to God again.  Others will find them to be a quiet place of reassurance as the world spins crazily around them.

Until mid-January, you can buy the e-book for only $4.99 by clicking the link below (the price will go up around January 15).  It has been published as a Kindle ebook, but those who don’t use Kindle readers can download the Kindle app for free to use on their PCs, Android, or Apple products.  (If you cannot or don’t want to use Kindle, I will send you a PDF version for $10.)

The printed book is also available on Amazon for $16.59.  That price is set according to Amazon’s minimum for printing because of the color photos throughout the book.   It’s a little late to think of it as a Christmas gift, but the paperback is something you could give any time to someone who needs a kind word of faith.

You should know that I do not address narcissism in this book.  Instead, the purpose is to build your identity and assurance in Christ, so that you are able to stand in Him against all opposition.  Knowing who you are and how much He loves and accepts you gives you strength.

I have copied an excerpt below, and here are the links for purchasing:




“Take a walk with me.  Let me show you a reality you may not have expected.  Prepare yourself to experience something new, something that will lift your heart. Life is not barren or regimented, especially in relationship with the Lord.  You know what your heart needs.  You need a friend.  You need someone who truly cares about you.  Wouldn’t it be great to know someone who is good and right, but not uptight and judgmental?  Someone who will understand you and your dreams and not put you down?  You need to meet the real Jesus.

I want to show you a Jesus who laughs, who loves children, who wants you to succeed.  This is the Jesus of the Bible.  This is the Jesus who went to the cross with joy—because He knew it was the way to you.  This is the Jesus who doesn’t think of sin when He sees you.  God in human flesh, come to set His people free.

I want to teach you about grace.  Not “book grace” or “theological grace,” but the grace found in a Person who can do anything and has done everything you and I will ever need.  You see, I have come to understand that the love of God toward us is so great it could not be expressed strongly enough in words or ideas.  The love of God became a Person.  The deepest mystery of our faith is the amazing fact that the Lord God Almighty took on humanity and gave Himself for us.  There is no story that touches the sensitive area of the heart like the true story of the love of God for us.  Your heart needs a real connection with the real and living God.  Jesus is God’s grace for your heart!”      (Excerpt from pp.3-4 of Walk with Me by David Orrison)

May God richly bless you and yours!  



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Christmas Prayers

It’s Narcissist Friday Wednesday!     

(This post ran last year and many were encouraged to know that others would be praying.  Let’s keep a good thing going!)


I have written a couple of Christmas posts on dealing with the narcissists in the past. They usually meet with mixed reviews because some who have reached the point of anger (a very natural point!) don’t like my suggestions on trying to get along. I understand and value the objections just as much as the words of appreciation. I will provide links to those posts at the end of this post.

This year I would simply like to assure each of you who have to deal with uncomfortable situations with your narcissist that there are people praying for you. I am also going to post this on Wednesday, so you will know ahead of your visit.

If we have learned anything here, it’s that many people are struggling in narcissistic relationships. That means you are not alone. I know you may have to physically be alone in your situation, but there are people here who believe you and care. We will be praying for you.

To make that a little more personal, I invite those who desire prayer to write a note in the comments. You don’t have to write a lot, just “Pray for me!” If you use a pseudonym, that’s okay. The Lord knows who you are and what you are going through. And if you are able to pray, maybe just once or twice over the weekend, write a comment that says, “I will be praying for you!” Just a general comment, not in answer to a particular request. It will be a wonderful word of encouragement.

So, again, here’s the plan:


If you need prayer, write – Pray for me!

If you can pray, write – I will be praying!


If you are uncomfortable asking for prayer, please know that we will still be praying for you.  Even if no one asks, we know that many will need help.  So we will pray anyway.  For you.

Know that you are loved!


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It’s Narcissist Friday! (Almost)     

Each week in our little church we pause to give folks an opportunity to share the things they are thankful for. So often an answer has come to prayers, or an unexpected blessing has happened, or someone just wants to express gratitude for a regular thing we usually take for granted. It is a happy time.

When I counsel people I hear them apologize for talking about their pain all the time. They think they should be looking at the good things in their lives instead of the struggle. But I usually just say that it is hard to think about how good your arm feels when your leg is hurting. The purpose of pain is to focus our attention on something that isn’t right. So we shouldn’t be surprised or ashamed when it works.

But when pain is ongoing, when it is chronic rather than acute, we have to do more than learn to live with it. We have to find ways to overcome it. That’s when being thankful is so important. Being thankful, counting our blessings, changes our focus. We tell our pain to step aside while we remember the good things. The pain might not go away, but it seems to back down for a while.

So, for those in ongoing narcissistic relationships, where the pain continues, I encourage you to take a moment to look away from the struggle. Don’t worry, it will be there when you get back. But you need some time away, don’t you? You get a little time away—in your heart—whenever you stop to give thanks.

There are people in your life who are not narcissists. Give thanks for them. There are places you can go without the narcissist. Give thanks for those places. There are minutes in your day without the narcissist. Give thanks for those minutes. There are people who believe you. Give thanks for them. There are people who would believe you if you told your story. Give thanks for them. There are people who love and are kind even though they know little about you. Give thanks for them.

And there is a God who loves you and never leaves you. He sees everything. He has helped you to be strong. He has walked with you through the valleys. He gives you hope and promise. He accepts you and welcomes you into His presence. He cares for the victims and repays the abusers. He is a God of justice and love.

I understand that words like these can feel empty when you are in the midst of your pain. But there will be a time when you can stop to give thanks. When that time comes, enjoy it like a vacation. Let the love of friends and Jesus flow over you like the warm sunshine. Let the good memories bring light into the darkness that has surrounded your heart. Let hope give you strength.

The day of Thanksgiving is always most poignant in times of suffering and worry. To stop and smell the roses, count your blessings, or live in the light is always refreshing for our souls. There is much that is good in our lives, even though it is hard to see those things when we are hurting. It’s just that the pain does go away a little when we remember the good things.

Giving thanks is far more than a duty. Giving thanks is a blessing from God in itself. Those who are able to give thanks find themselves, at least for a moment, in a place of freedom and peace.

Obviously, I posted this early, before the holiday, hoping to give a word of encouragement. I am so grateful to and for all of you who read here. Your comments and prayers and support are blessings indeed. If you would like to share anything you are thankful for, you are welcome to do so in the comments. Your words may well add encouragement to others. Don’t preach. Just be thankful.


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It’s Narcissist Friday!     


Several years ago a man told me that he thought he had “presence.” He felt that people noticed when he entered the room. I have often chuckled at that, mostly because I didn’t think anyone particularly noticed when he was in the room. He simply wasn’t as great as he thought he was. So I sometimes joke about people who have “presence.”

By the way, he didn’t tell me that I had presence. That wasn’t something he considered. Besides, he was talking about himself. I remember that he often used the narcissist’s soft voice, speaking so quietly that people had to work to hear his words. In that way, they focused even more on him and what he was saying. I don’t know if I would call him a narcissist, but he certainly seemed to lean in that direction.

Above all else, the narcissist wants “presence.” If you look at the definition of narcissism and the nine characteristics, you can’t help but see that the narcissist is someone who wants to be noticed and valued. I have shared the definition in this post, but it is good to share a reminder from time to time. Here’s the list from Wikipedia:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
1.      Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
2.      Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3.      Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4.      Requires excessive admiration
5.      Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
6.      Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7.      Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8.      Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
9.      Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
– From Wikipedia

Notice that numbers 1-5 and 8-9 are all about feeling superior or more important, having presence. That’s seven out of nine. The other two are simply the price the narcissist is willing to pay to get this feeling.

The narcissist wants you and me to drop everything and pay attention to him/her. If others are being served, the narcissist demands, “Well, what about me?” If others are being honored, the narcissist might try to get in the way or take the credit. If others are just going about their work, the narcissist might do something obnoxious or mean.

The narcissist wants to be the elephant in the room, the person no one can ignore. He wants heads to turn, strong men to quake, ladies to swoon. Not getting those things, the narcissist might turn heads because of some joke or some need. He might purposely arrive late to a meeting where he is needed. He might generously buy drinks for everyone, or beg poverty to get sympathy. Again, whatever it takes.

Politicians build careers on this presence. Top CEOs expect others to notice it. Preachers expect to be revered. And other narcissists see this and lust after it.

A person with presence stimulates others. He might be able to make you feel like you are important, and you will feel like he is important because of that. She knows how she looks to others and flashes that smile that warms the heart. You open yourself to the person with presence because of their personal power and attraction.

Presence opens doors.

No wonder the narcissist wants that!



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I am traveling this weekend and am unable to post. Sorry everyone. Please know that I am praying for all of you. You are loved!


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It’s Narcissist Friday!     

When did it become wrong for us to consider our own needs? If you ask some people, taking care of ourselves is simple selfishness. We should focus on taking care of others, they say. Don’t worry about yourself, they say. God will take care of you. You just take care of others.

But if I can trust God to take care of me, can’t I trust God to take care of others? Why does God need me to take care of others if He is great enough to take care of me?

Yes, I believe God takes care of me. I also believe He takes care of others… and doesn’t need me to do it. Instead, He blesses me when He uses me to bless others. He allows me to participate in His work. There is joy and blessing in that kind of service, when I realize that the results are in His hands and all the power and glory belong to Him. My job is simply to be available to Him. Grace means that all power and responsibility are His. He does His work. I am along for the ride.

If my call is to be available, then I should take care of myself. I should see to it that my needs are met so that I can be ready and willing to do whatever He asks. Think about that. I should get enough sleep, eat well, and pay attention to my emotional needs. If I do that, I will be available to Him.

To be selfish is a bad thing, in our culture. We have been taught that thinking about ourselves limits what we can do for others. Selfish people push others away, use others. We understand this and don’t really disagree. But to drain ourselves for the sake of others, without finding ways to rebuild our strength and enthusiasm, will take us out of the serving game altogether.

I always enjoy the little speech the airline attendants give before takeoff, especially the part where they tell parents to put the oxygen mask on their own faces before trying to put them on their children. Mom isn’t going to be much help if she is passed out on the seat next to the frightened child. Take care of yourself. That’s the only way to be truly available to others.

There’s a lot I could say about this. People in narcissistic relationships usually feel themselves being drained. When they get out, they have almost lost the ability to care for themselves. They have been so busy servicing the narcissist that they not only have nothing left, but they have little memory of how to rebuild. Adding to the injury, some have said that the more the life drained from them, the more the narcissist pushed them away. The abuser moves on to a new victim when the first is worn out.

If you are in a narcissistic relationship, find ways to take care of yourself. Small victories, basic boundaries, alone time, supportive relationships—these will give you strength even as the narcissist drains it from you.

If you have gotten away from the narcissist, don’t hesitate to take care of yourself. Just feed you for a while. If you have kids, you will want to pour extra into them, of course. But remember that you can’t give them what you don’t have. They will need to understand that you need to care for yourself sometimes. That shows them how to take care of themselves in the future.

If you don’t like the idea of being selfish, I understand. Use a different word. But do it. Find the things that rebuild you for the hour, the day, the week, and more. Invest in yourself. Even love yourself a little. It’s okay. After all, God loves you, so you are worth loving.


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About Honoring Parents

It’s Narcissist Friday!     


I am traveling, but I wanted to share something I wrote a while back regarding the question of honoring parents.  In our context, this can be challenging.  Think about this:


I believe that I honor my parents when I become a healthy, functioning adult and when I am able to pass that health on to my children or to use that health to bless the people around me.  It does not honor them for me to continue their brokenness through my life.  Even if they don’t see the need for me to be a person separate from them, I still must be able to establish and maintain boundaries, own and value my feelings, make independent decisions, and learn to share myself as a real person with others.  If, through their narcissism, my parents have dishonored themselves, I honor them best by finding a way to break the evil patterns in my life and in the lives of those who follow me.


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