Fri-nally Happy Hour: Power Shots

HAPPY HOUR: Fridays AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard week’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true love and wisdom without putting a dent in your wallet. It’s like free fast food for your soul. ~Enjoy!

You know those bad days, bad moments, or bad thoughts you sometimes have?

I have them too.

Do you find yourself saying “I should be…

I shouldn’t do that.

I shouldn’t feel this way.

I should know better.

I should…

Or, if Satan would just leave me alone!”

He’s worked overtime trying to destroy me for most of my life, but I don’t blame every hurt, inconvenience, attack, or bad decision on him. Sometimes I’m capable of cultivating my own problems or focusing on unhealthy emotions.

So when I notice a pattern of negative thinking entering my daily thought life…again…and feel defeated by it, I decide to name the problem and claim God’s promise. This requires simple repetition.

It goes like this: I noticed I was reacting in anger toward my kids instead of coming to them in an attitude of grace as a teachable moment. No doubt, it was anger…and it was feeling pretty good…in a bad way. Seriously, it feels good to be angry sometimes! Do you ever feel like that? 

So I named it; anger. Then spoke out loud “God, I feel a spirit of anger in me and around me. This isn’t from You. You have not given me a spirit of anger, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1: 7.

Another day I had a situation causing fear so I named it. “Father, I’m sensing a spirit of fear. You haven’tI Timothy 1 7 given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  I believe you and I receive it.”

Then…I was confused over someone’s behavior and was taking it personally. “Lord, I’m confused and I know you didn’t give me a spirit of confusion, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I’m happy to have power, love, and a sound mind!”

The emotion that tries to take me over most often is anxiety. Anxiety is not my friend and may not participate in my life no matter how many times it tries. “God, anxiety wants to take over again! You did not give me a spirit of anxiety, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I’m kicking anxiety into the trash. Thank You for power, love, and a sound mind.”

Now that I think of it; I experienced this 16 years ago when I was overwhelmed by a new situation in my life. I had an overwhelming sense of something; something debilitating…so I asked Jesus what it was because I knew it wasn’t from Him. The answer came to my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Shame. Shame? Yes, it was shame and it wasn’t my shame. That was a lie straight from the father of lies; Satan. It was an act someone committed against me. I named it. Shame. “Jesus, this is not from You. You did not give me a spirit of shame, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” The feeling of shame instantly left, the tears stopped, and joy returned.

Every time I practice this simple application it works. Our job is to pray. God‘s job is to act on behalf of our prayers.  He’s always listening and always working in the lives of believers.

Praying the word out loud is like receiving an instant power shot. It centers me on God and His strength and healing rather than on my inadequacies and emotions. It’s faith in action. I’m telling ya, something changes when I practice this and it works. God works!


A Case Against Abused Women: Part 2

Read part 1 here…


I know this makes many people uncomfortable. I know there are those who believe I am shaming the church and bringing harm to the name of Jesus. I’m confident that Jesus wants us to shine light in the dark places and bring truth and critical thinking to the table. More than this; I’m confident that Jesus is sovereignly secure in who He is. I believe I’m faithfully living out what scripture teaches. You should defend those who cannot help themselves. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31:809 (TLB)inspire

So, I’ll continue…

First, allow me to share what I wrote on Facebook when the #MeToo, #Church Too movement began. I wanted to put it in terms our male brothers could understand.

You’re in prison with a 300 pound gang leader who stares, heckles, stalks, isolates, gropes, objectifies, overpowers, rapes you. No one cares. The guards allow it. If you want to keep your job, eat, or live you’ll have to tolerate it.

In Part 1 I said, “Let me begin by stating my disagreement with Piper’s recent teaching in his article: Sex abuse allegations and the egalitarian myth.” Egalitarianism teaches all people are equal in fundamental worth and social status and deserve equal rights and opportunities. Piper’s argument that sexual abuse is a recent problem resulting from egalitarianism marriages doesn’t mesh with studies, counselors, abuse cases in the media, my limited experience, or Biblical accounts of abuse.

I highly disagree with his reasoning. Abuse is not a theological/doctrinal or marriage problem. It is an abuse problem. I find absolutely no scripture to back this claim. Jesus calls sin; sin.

Abusers have bad character, or a duplicitous personality.

Character traits have nothing to do with doctrinal believes.

But let’s humor that idea for a moment and take a closer look at the suggestion that the complementarian Biblical view is the way out of abusive marriages. How has that worked for the following complementarian and/or patriarchal participants? Click on name to link to story.

Josh Duggar was raised in a complementarian home and embraced those ideals in his marriage. Yet he molested his sisters and a babysitter while growing up in their family home, joined Ashley Madison “Life is short. Have an affair” while married with children, and carried on illicit sexual affairs.

Doug Wilson

Doug Phillips is a Christian author, speaker, attorney, and homeschooling advocate of the patriarchal movement. He was the “ president of the now-defunct Vision Forum Ministries until he resigned due to an inappropriate relationship and grooming of an underage teen, then using his position of authority as clergy, boss, and mentor to continue the relationship after she became an adult.”

Sovereign Grace Ministries

Saeed Abidni  purchased his  license to be a pastor over the internet. His wife, Naghmeh Panahi, left him for proven allegations of domestic abuse, and unfaithfulness. He was recently arrested for violating a no-contact order.

Andy Savage 

The Catholic Church

Tullian Tchividjian

Ravi Zacharias

Correspondence I receive from pastor’s wives and missionary’s wives around the world who tell of abuse they suffer in their complementarian or patriarchal marriages.

I’ve ministered to around 25 women in my area, the Christian homeschool community, who are living through or leaving severe abuse in their complementarian or patriarchal marriages.

Biblical examples of domestic abuse: King Saul giving his daughter, David’s wife, to another man. King David and Bathsheba. Nabal and Abigail. Amnon violated his sister, Tamar. Judah (father-in-law) and Tamar (daughter-in-law). Judges 19 gives an example of serious domestic abuse from a patriarchal household. Polygamy throughout the Old Testament.

These examples nullify the possibility of egalitarianism being the cause of marital, sexual, and domestic abuse.

Controlling behavior, explosive anger, sexual addictions, and constant negativity, are signs you’re likely dealing with a domestic abuser. But if the person constantly denies, justifies, minimizes, or spiritualizes their treatment of others then you know the person is an abuser. It has been my experience the majority of, if not all, abusers have untreated mental health issues, addictions, and/or a personality disorder.

Of course, the man people at church see is always on his best behavior so they would never guess he has the capability to act as two different people. Church activities bring out his best public behavior; not the same as the private behavior in his home. (Again, I know there are  men who suffer from abuse, but my ministry is to women.) I want women, and our church family, to understand sexual and domestic abuse have nothing to do with gender roles. If you are abused, please tenderly hear this: The abuse has nothing to do with you. You can be nearly perfect in every way and it still won’t be enough to stop the abuse. Why? It’s about the abuser and his deep need for power over you. Even sexual abuse has nothing to do with lust or desire. It’s also about power and control.

To be continued…


Painting Pictures of Egypt

I don’t want to leave here
I don’t want to stay
It feels like pinching to me
Either way
And the places I long for the most
Are the places where I’ve been
They are calling out to me
Like a long lost friend

It’s not about losing faith
It’s not about trust
It’s all about comfortable
When you move so much
And the place I was wasn’t perfect
But I had found a way to live
And it wasn’t milk or honey
But then neither is this

Chorus: I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacks
And the future feels so hard
And I want to go back
But the places they used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I’ve learned
Those roads were closed off to me
While my back was turned

The past is so tangible
I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy
To discard
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
I am caught between the Promise
And the things I know
Bridge: If it comes to quick
I may not appreciate it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
And if it comes to quick
I may not recognise it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?

Songwriter: SARA GROVES



Andy Savage Sexual Abuse Resignation: A necessary decision

In case you missed earlier headlines about Andy Savage here is a recap.

Andy Savage was the teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in Memphis, TN. A Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard smallstudent from his youth group twenty years ago came forward and publicly named him as having sexually assaulted her years ago. The assault took place when she attended the church where Andy Savage was on staff. Andy said it was, “A mutually organic experience.” She was an underage high school student. He was an adult on staff. These two facts can’t add up to a mutually organic experience. This was the first time I’ve heard an abuser use this terminology.

I wrote more about this back in January. Read: 14 points the church needs to hear in the wake of the Andy Savage sexual assault case.


Is Andy Savage’s resignation over due? Yes!

Has he acknowledged wrong doing and accepted full blame? Yes and no. He has admitted wrong, admitted he poorly handled telling his church, and admitted to making mistakes, but is still spinning some wording and phrasing.

Has he admitted that he committed a crime? No!

Has anything good come of this? Yes.

Highpoint Church had an independent investigation performed and although they didn’t say exactly what all the conclusions were, they did agree that Andy Savage’s resignation was the correct decision.

We can be sure at least one church will do a better job safeguarding their flock. Hopefully, many churches are learning from example, instead of having to take a field trip to learn the lesson first hand. I hope another lesson learned is that is it never appropriate to give a standing ovation after someone divulges sin, abuse, or a crime.

I’m thankful for the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements. I know it makes many people cringe, but abuse survivors are not among them. I understand that ignoring the abuse or taking the side of the abuser is easier. This requires that you do nothing; see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Victims want you to share the burden of the pain they have experienced. They need validation. This will require action, engagement, and remembering.

“Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” ― Augustine of Hippo

Jules Woodson, the victim, has received hate filled messages from some of Andy’s supporters. I hope they all write her a heart-felt apology. She had every right to come forward, but that is a whole other topic. She was brave and courageous, and victims of church abuse everywhere can be thankful she spoke, and thankful it led to Andy Savage’s resignation.

I did notice that Andy Savage said he is stepping away from ministry; not leaving the ministry. He needs to leave full-time Christian ministry where he would have leadership access in any capacity.

I understand that Andy Savage’s family will now suffer the consequences of choices he made and continued to make. It isn’t fair to them. This is why we must be purposeful raising our children while helping them understand that their sin never effects only them. It has immediate and lasting results and usually impacts those around them.

Most importantly, I pray the church is listening, remembering, and acting on allegations of abuse as soon as it’s reported. Regardless of what you think, know, believe, or feel the only correct course of action is to imediately call the authorities and allow them to investigate and sort it out. 

Statements are available here… READ: Investigation Conclusion, Update from Highpoint Church, and Update from Andy Savage

I’m in favor of changing state laws to take the statute of limitations away for sex crimes; and making the new law retro active.






Saeed Abedini Update March 2018


Saeed Abedini, former husband of Naghmeh (Abedini) Panahi, is once again making the headlines.

He violated a current court ordered no contact and was subsequently arrested.

Read the Idaho Statesman article here…

Saeed’s current Facebook posts tell of his return from a trip to Turkey where he met up with Nasim, the woman Saeed has allegedly been in a relationship with since before his arrest and imprisonment in Iran. Naghmeh knew the night before Saeed was arrested that he had spent the night with his lover and that he continued the relationship with Nasim upon his release from the Iranian prison system.


Above photo credit: Saeed Abedini’s public Facebook profile picture


8:25 P.M. update: 

Boise pastor sent derogatory messages to ex-wife, violating no-contact order, court says


Past articles on this subject:

Naghmeh Abedini’s Leaked Letter

 She Said He Said: Naghmeh and Saeed Abedini

Naghmeh Abedini: How Do We Respond? Part 1  

Naghmeh Abedini: How Do We Respond, Part 2

Naghmeh Abedini: How Do We Respond? Part 3 

Naghmeh Abedini One Year Later

Naghmeh (Abedini) Panahi’s Divorce






A Case Against Abused Women: Part 1

I’ve wanted to address teachings sometimes heard in the church regarding marital abuse because it is this type of teaching that kept me and countless other Christian sisters in abusive marriages. I didn’t know if I would make it out alive, but did. Some women and children haven’t made it out alive.Be a conqueror

This week John Piper once again made the news for his views on women, and why some men abuse women; doctrinal differences. He addresses reasons for cases of widespread abuse being reported in the news.

Were it not for my intense bout with migraines the last few days I would have addressed this earlier. This is a lengthy piece so I will split it between multiple posts.


Cases that have recently been in the headlines include, but unfortunately are not limited to:

  • Bill Cosby sexual assault and rape law suits include 58 alleged victims, 19 of which will be testifying against him in court. Jury selection for the Cosby trial is set to begin March 29 at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. The trial is scheduled for April 2.
  • Harvey Weinstein is an American film producer and executive who is currently under investigation for multiple sexual assaults of at least 80 women which spanned 30 years. This scandal triggered similar allegations against powerful men around the world. It spurred the #MeToo movement.
  • Sovereign Grace Ministries had multiple recorded cover-ups of sexual assault and rapes committed against children in their care.
  • Saeed Abidni whose wife, Naghmeh Panahi, left him for proven allegations of domestic abuse, and unfaithfulness was recently arrested for violating a no-contact order.
  • Andy Savage who is the teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in Memphis, TN sexually assaulted a girl in his youth group when he was a youth pastor 20 years ago. The staff at Highpoint supports and is attempting to save Savage’s ministry.
  • Cases against Bill Gothard (and his board), founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles. This was a ministry where teens left their homes to live at headquarters to help with ministry opportunities. With my background, I still find it disturbing that an unmarried single man ran a ministry where he had constant unsupervised time alone with individual students. This is child safety and ministry safety 101 at any Christian based institution and has been for decades: For the students’ protection they are to NEVER be left alone with one person. There is safety in numbers. (Unfortunately many pastors, staff, and teachers don’t adhere to this safety measure).
  • The Catholic Church has been plagued with child sexual abuse cases for decades.
  • Josh Duggar: Ashley Madison scandal and reports of child sexual molestation.
  • The wife of Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee left him and is living in a shelter for safety and provisions. Although Greg Locke denies any wrong doing on his part I’ve read the hateful, scathing text messages he sent his wife about her weight, her looks, his disdain for her, and in which he used profane language against her. He was having a reported, emotional if not physical, relationship with his wife’s best friend who is also his secretary.
  • Ravi Zacharias sexual grooming relationship with a woman not his wife. This case was settled out of court and neither side can legally speak about it. This is convenient for Ravi because I was sent some of the text messages/emails and there is no way he can conveniently talk his way out of his wrong doing. I won’t ever be able to listen to him teach again knowing what he wrote. Some of it was sinful and some of it was weird, but all of it was an abuse of his ministry position.
  • Doug Wilson: I could write a book on the wrong theology of Doug Wilson and his wrongly placed allegiance to pedophiles who have attended his church. A 13 year old girl congregant was groomed, assaulted, and raped by a man from the church. Doug placed blame on the child because she was tall for her age, well developed for her age, and mature for her age. Doug Wilson preformed a wedding ceremony so a known pedophile at the church could marry a young woman from the church. It didn’t end well.
  • I receive correspondence from pastor’s wives and missionary’s wives around the world who tell of abuse they suffer from their husbands.
  • I minister to around 25 women in my area, the Christian homeschool community, who are living through or leaving severe abuse from their husbands.
  • Rachael Denhollander was the first woman to publicly accuse USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar (associated with Michigan State University) of sexually abusing her as a teenager, a case that led to more than 250 other victims coming forward for their day in court.

Rachael is a Christian who received her law degree from the Christian Oak Brook College of Law. This makes her the best credentialed child sexual abuse survivor to lead the charge in ridding our churches and institutions of predators, and teaching the public to always: believe the children first, contact the authorities second, and allow the law to sort it out.


Let me begin by stating my disagreement with Piper’s recent teaching in his article: Sex abuse allegations and the egalitarian myth. Piper’s argument is that the egalitarian doctrine, which teaches all people are equal in fundamental worth and social status and deserve equal rights and opportunities, has led to men becoming abusers since he doesn’t believe this is the way God intended men and women to function.

I highly disagree with his reasoning. Abuse is not a theological/doctrinal or marriage problem. It is an abuse problem. I find absolutely no scripture to back Piper’s claim. Jesus calls sin; sin.

Dear beloved church,

We must do better.

Marriage is


To be continued…

Afer all if we buy into, “Boys will be boys” we are reinforceing “Girls have no humanity; they’re just objects.”

Fri-nally Happy Hour: Victory over life’s storms


HAPPY HOUR: Fridays AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard week’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true love and wisdom without putting a dent in your wallet. It’s like free fast food for your soul. ~Enjoy!


Let’s turn an unhappy truth into a positive truth!

That person who has rejected you … mother, father, sister, brother, spouse, friend, co-worker…you know which person. Their rejection does not exempt you from God’s love for you. Ever!

So, don’t spend your day reliving the depressing, sad thoughts in your mind. These old patterns may seem comfortable and familiar, but they lead to emptiness. Spend your day pursuing Jesus.

Complaining won’t change your situation, but thankfulness can change your perspective.

Don’t spend your day finding comfort in T.V., social media, or addictions. Do you want to use technology (or your addiction) and finish the day feeling numb, wasted, and defeated? Or…do you want to spend time in God’s word and in prayer, and feel cherished, renewed, loved, and filled with purpose?

Your quiet time each day radiates your life in this sometimes dark world. It’s like walking through your house and turning on light, by light, by light.  Ah, light…that’s better. light in darknes

Cherish your quiet time with God. The truth you store up in silence, the light you glean from the pages, comes back to you in the storm. And some of you have a lot of storms.

Thankfully, you serve a loving Savior who walks on water and calms the storm.



 “By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.” Psalm 119:105 MSG



Listen…to her visible heart

This is a series of writings from women living in difficult, disappointing, or destructive marriages…or leaving destructive marriages/relationships. When women are physically abused the harm is often visible, but what about verbal and emotional abuse? The injury is internal…on the heart, soul, mind and strength. You may never guess her husband rages in a different way but the family knows. Her body knows and it often manifests in depression, anxiety, and/or auto-immune diseases. Allow me to show you the inner cries of these women’s hearts.

These are all true accounts from women I personally know.

Allow me to introduce you to educated, works in the non-profit sector, volunteers in her community, attends church and a women’s Bible study, has a small home-based business and all this while she homeschools her children. She has been emotionally traumatized by her husband, shunned by her family and his family when she finally told what was going on in her home, and chastised by her church for telling the leadership about her marital problems.

Several Christian counselors listen, understand and agree there are major problems but their patriarchal background leads them to encourage her to pray, wait on the Lord, and never say a disagreeing word to her husband.

Ellie has recently found excellent Christ-centered counselors who are giving her hope, validation, and practical application for setting boundaries to protect the safety and peace of her home. They have gently led her away from the hold of the false patriarchal teaching that keeps women and daughters living as objects instead of humans with worth and needs, and who should be regarded as precious treasure.

“She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.”  Proverbs 3:15 (NIV)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _hills and valleys 2


Heavenly Father,


I never want less of you.

I’ve found that the mountain top experiences,

The power, the deep relationship,

Hearing Your voice 

Come when I’m walking, sometimes crawling through the valleys.


For me, an ordinary life does not equate to extraordinary Relationship

But I’m tired, weary, under attack on all sides and I obtain no relief from my tormentors.

Those who I need love from most are not capable of reciprocating. 

It’s painful to love but not be loved. 


Thank you for Your sustaining love. 

You are love.

May I show the Invisible visible to a watching world.         

You are the only answer to why I am still whole.

Give me more of You; Your power, Your ways, Your purpose.

I love You, I trust you, I need You…

I want You.


Always Yours,

Your daughter