Holly & Dave Ashley: Lynn Messer case

Holly and Dave Ashley recorded an interview: Redemption, Restoration and Recovery on Freedom through faith: The Kingdom Crossroad’s podcast.

Holly and Dave teach their court approved, Christian, domestic violence curriculum to those mandated by the courts. Holly consults churches and ministries; setting up biblical counseling resource centers and domestic violence, legal aid, counselor programs at their ministry and church locations. They have been involved in grassroots advocacy in the field of abuse for over 30 years. Holly’s work has been locally and nationally recognized and she has assisted local prosecutors in mock trials for high-profile ‘violence’ cases.

Holly and Dave have been working on the Lynn Messer case. She has much to say about Lynn, Kerry Messer, and the church that loves and welcomes Kerry.

If you have a heart for people fleeing abusive relationships you will find this interview educational.

Part 1: The first 8 minutes include Holly’s commentary on the Lynn Messer case. 

If the Part 1 link is overwhelmed/busy you can try this link for Part 1. It is written in Spanish, but if you click the orange arrow on the left, the podcast is in English.

Part 2: Who abuses? Men and women.

This is a precursor for a series of testimonies I will be publishing by people who are trying to leave, have separated from, or have divorced an abusive spouse.

It has been a goal of mine for a year to begin working toward changing our state laws in regard to child custody cases. As I have ministered to abused women for the last few years and heard story after story of their abuser deceiving and winning over the guardian ad litem to win full custody, 50/50 custody, or unsupervised custody of the children in cases of extreme abuse; I came to realize the system needs fixed.

My goal for the state of Missouri is to bring about change to our current legal system.  Our present day system does not mandate domestic violence training for people involved with family/divorce court. I would like to see judges, attorneys, guardian ad litems, social workers, law enforcement officers and church leadership trained to recognize domestic violence and deal with it accordingly. Domestic stats

If you would like your testimony to be included in my presentation, you may send me your concerns. Please type your story, short and to the point. You may include your name and address if you like, or if you’re in the middle of divorce court and don’t want to use your full name, you may use your first name or a fake name.

I don’t know who ever proposed that an attorney with no background in child development, domestic/spousal abuse, child abuse, psychology, psychiatry, social work, or zero understanding of personality disorders was made responsible for the current and future well-being of children. It literally turns out that most often the abuser, or unstable partner, is believed over the stable parent/partner/victim.

I’ve heard of women losing their sanity upon the court awarding full custody of the children to a documented abusive father. (This also applies to men who have been in destructive or abusive relationships.) There are new, published studies showing the majority of abusers are in fact believed over the healthy, stable person.

I’ve also watched women be left financially desolate while the man drags the court case out for years without having to pay his share of child support and bills. I’ve seen women walk away from receiving financial support and court mandated child support to escape the abuse and control.

Something needs to change and I’m willing to put in the time to see it happen. Please help me by telling me your story, or your loved one’s story, about an unsatisfactory encounter with a guardian ad litem or the one thing you would like to see changed in the process of navigating family court.

I in no way mean to bash the guardian ad litems, I’m just pointing out that they don’t have domestic violence training. How can they be expected, in minutes or hours, to see and figure out what likely took the victim years to conclude?

If you don’t want to publicly post your story, please leave an anonymous note. My blog adminstration receives your email address and I’ll resond to you through my private email.

domestic violence 2-hp


*Disclaimer: This podcast is published in its entirety by outside sources not affiliated with GiveMe Chocolate. These are their opinions and do not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of this website. The commentary presented in this podcast does not constitute legal fact.



2 thoughts on “Holly & Dave Ashley: Lynn Messer case

  1. Lisa says:

    Just a thoughtful question: Does the Bible- God’s inerrant word – teach us to love the sinner and hate the sin? Or are we to close the churches doors and exclude each person who habitually and continually sins? Is sin in different “degrees”/”grades”? Does the Bible- God’s inerrant word – teach us that some sins are not as bad as others or did Jesus die to save us from ALL sin?
    If churches only allowed sinless people to enter, they would be empty. In ANY church, we, Christ followers, cannot pretend that we know what is in any heart, good or bad. We are called to love all people, as Christ loves us.
    We can discipline but we MUST love first and foremost. Prayers for all involved!

    • Yes, we love the sinner, hate the sin, and love all people. All people have worth. Obviously we all sin; that’s why Jesus died for us. While we were yet sinners Christ died for our sins. Christians are forgiven and saved for all eternity because of Christ’s finished work on the cross.
      In this case we are talking about out in the open public sin; confessed by his mouth and verified by his sons. He knew his sin and refused to leave it. It was ongoing before his wife’s remains were discovered; before it was confirmed that she was deceased. In this case there is ample scriptural precedence to lovingly confront the sin.
      I was told the church removed him from being a deacon and no longer allowed him to teach. That was a start. But he still didn’t end the extra marital relationship. For that reason the church should have followed scripture.

      Matthew 18:15-22
      If your brother sins go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.
      But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.
      If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as Gentile and a tax collector.
      Galatians 6:1
      Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
      The above verse reminds us that sin can easily and quickly spread through the church body. In this case, it sends the message to unfaithful spouses that the church doesn’t believe scripture to be inerrant. It sends the message to spouses hurting from an unfaithful spouse that the church doesn’t care about the trauma they are suffering. To the children caught in the middle it could forever harm their view of their Heavenly Father; keeping them from an intimate relationship with Him.
      Matthew 18:6
      “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
      James 5:19-20
      My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
      Titus 3:10-11
      Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.
      2 Thessalonians 3:14-15
      Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.
      Here are the loving reasons for following scripture:
      It is for restoration, so that the person can’t be in denial about their broken relationship with God and can be convicted into repentance.
      Repentance is not God’s way of condescendingly reminding us of our sin, failures and mistakes. Quite the opposite. It is our chance to approach Him, and through repentance, receive forgiveness, healing, power, wisdom and blessing. Repentance is a beautiful gift. God does not dole out punishments, although there may be natural consequences, but instead gives good gifts to those seeking His heart and will.
      The end goal of discipline, correction, or separation is to encourage the person to seek healing and reconciliation.


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