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Kerry Messer: Update

Here is an update for concerned citizens who have been advocating to remove Kerry Messer from lobbying for family, Christian, homeschooling, and pro-life principles in the state of Missouri. Your letter/email writing and phone calls made a difference. You were successful again. Kerry was removed as a lobbyist for Americans United for Life.

Kerry Messer is a Missouri state lobbyist whose wife Lynn Messer disappeared July 8, 2014. Her remains were discovered on their farm November 1, 2016. Law enforcement continues to investigate her death while waiting on the conclusion of all forensic testing. We now know that Lynn has been deceased the entire time and law enforcement confirms that Kerry Messer has not been cleared in the investigation surrounding Lynn’s death.

Below is a list of principals Kerry is still listed as lobbying for, and those who have deleted their association with him as their lobbyist.

April 2017, Alliance for Life (417) 598-1040- Kerry is listed as a lobbyist but they mainly works with Sam Lee.  August 2017 – They do not currently employ anyone as a lobbyist. They need to call the Missouri Ethics Commission  (573) 751-2020 to delete Kerry’s name from their listing.

April 2017 MISSOURI ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN CHILD CARE AGENCIES, INC. (660) 347-5982- As of last contact, April 2017, Kerry still works for them. They knew his wife was missing but didn’t know her remains had been found. August 2017 – MACCCA was contacted two more times but did not respond.

Missourians for Personal Safety (816) 455-2669: April 2017, I spoke with Kevin Jamison. Yes, Kerry represents them. They have been pleased with how Kerry has been very honest, upfront, and forthright with updates on everything. Kerry informed them when Lynn went missing, Kerry told them about his relationship with the other woman, told them when Lynn’s remains were found, and informed them when he, Kerry, secured Lynn’s dental records for the authorities; and just in time because they were about to be destroyed. Mr. Jamison said everybody but Kerry (referring to his colleagues, knew Kerry’s wife was dead and wouldn’t be returning).  August 2017 –  Said that Kerry hasn’t worked for them for years. The Missouri Ethics Commission shows that Kerry still represents them. They also need to call the Missouri Ethics Commission  (573) 751-2020 to delete Kerry’s name from their listing.

Missouri Family Network is Kerry Messer’s own organization from which he works in Jefferson City.

Kerry Messer update

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Next:

There have been numerous calls going back and forth for several months waiting for the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board to name Kerry Messer’s replacement for his seat. This was achieved at the end of August 2017 and confirmed to me today, for publishing, by Sarah Smith in the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect office, and by Scott Turk, Director of Boards and Commissions at the Office of Governor Eric Greiten. The Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board, is a board in which Governor Nixon had appointed Kerry Messer, and although Kerry’s term had expired, there was not a replacement voted in so Kerry maintained his place on this board.; not any more.

I have been down the traumatic road of not being able to keep a child safe from a predator, and the court silencing me from telling what I knew about the predator to churches who hired him. After over a decade, I succeeded in helping to put this pedophile offender away for life without the possiblity of parole for 25 years. For this reason, I needed the reassurance that people of integrity who have a passion for innocent children serve on the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board.

Thank you, Governor Greitens, for replacing this seat with Donna Neely.

Donna Neely

Donna Neely Photo credit: Missouri KidsFirst public Facebook page

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Child Abuse board 2

Governor Eric Greitens Announces Appointments to Boards and Commissions

It recently came to my attention, through a GiveMe Chocolate reader, that Kerry Messer also serves on the board for The Good News Voice: Missouri River Christian Broadcasting.

Radio is one of the most used forms of communication and is a powerful and effective way to advertise and get a message out to a mass audience.

Should someone who is not cooperating with an open and active investigation in his wife’s disappearance and death, who according to law enforcement, Spring Thomas, and Kerry Messer has been in a relationship with a woman not his wife within weeks of his wife’s disappearance, be representing the Christian broadcasting community?

If your answer is no, please take action and call to voice your concerns and disappointment in The Good News Voice for continuing to allow Kerry Messer on their board of directors. Phone number (877) 385-3787. Below is a screen shot of the current Good News Voice website.

goodnewsvoice

Thank you for your continued interest in this case and for your citizen activism for the benefit of the state of Missouri.

 

Click ‘LYNN MESSER’ in the margin for more articles.

 

Audio

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.

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*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.

 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Play Book

What happens when an individual you suspect may suffer from narcissistic personality disorder is having a genuinely difficult week?

First, understand that these individuals need narcissistic supply and huge, massive amounts of it.

Second, understand that the supply can be positive or negative. They prefer positive, but supply 2when enough of it can’t be found; example: shallow narcissistic supply. Receiving fleeting comments—especially words that are perhaps written and not in person, or from people they don’t deem special, wealthy, influential, or popular. Then…they will turn to extracting concern or compassion out of people to obtain their positive narcissistic supply. Examples: feigning amnesia, inventing health problems, faking a suicide and often with a grand suicide note, avoiding their usual social activities, not keeping up with normal commitments, avoiding social media. Yes, these are prime ways to extract the supply they need, and for the people who don’t understand this aspect of narcissistic personality disorder, or don’t realize the person in question suffers from it—they become unaware suppliers by showing concern,compassion, and/or asking if everything is all right. If the NPDer hears that people have been asking about them, even through the grapevine, they score a personal goal…narcissistic supply.

For those of us who truly do notice when someone is missing, not interacting, or not communicating we have to muster up the strength to practice tough love. This is one instance when caring hurts the individual more than helps them. And they do need help…professional help. Not the type of help any friend, Christian, pastor, or family member can give. The recovery rate for these individuals is low; most professionals believe 1%-2% recovery is the most; if at all possible.

Also, when becoming aware that you may be interacting with someone suffering from narcissistic personality disorder; take note that this is the first step to diagnosing if the person is a full-blown sociopath.

supplyThe narcissist who introduced me to this disorder now sits in prison. He never tired in attempts to extract narcissistic supply. Even after being fired from a ministry, when they told him he needed professional psychological help. His mentor from that ministry told him he met the criteria for having narcissistic personality disorder. These former church leaders and mentor most likely saved my daughter and me from being killed by this man; which led to my divorce of him, yet still…  When my former husband would get a new ministry where he didn’t know people well enough to extract supply from them he would call and email his old supply. The people who fired him, outed him, and wanted nothing to do with him. Why? A narcissistic will return again and again to ensure you never move on from the pain they caused you. They know you don’t like them, but they also know you’re most likely too kind to be rude so they feed off of you; positive or negative…they don’t care. You’re just supply.

If you were literally starving, famished, and in need of nourishment you would eat what ever was set in front of you to supply your body with energy and nourishment. Think of it the same way with narcissistic personality disorder. Their ego is literally starving and they will take psychological nourishment any way they can get it; positive or negative.

Remember the signs in forests that say, “Don’t feed the bears.” Feeding bears encourages them to come around the campsites where civilized people are camping. It discourages them from hunting for their own food and makes them dependent on humans.

“DON’T FEED THE NARCISSIST!” Don’t encourage them to come near you. They need to learn to care for their own needs; in a healthy way, and only a professional has a slight chance of being able to help them with that.

Criteria for…narcissistic personality disorder

For more on this disorder read…Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Narcissistic Sociopath?

You can also look up the criteria for a sociopath/antisocial personality disorder here…

Excellent book for educating yourself…The Sociopath Next Door : 1 in 25 ordinary Americans secretly has no conscience and can do anything at all without feeling guilty. Who is the devil you know?

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Naghmeh Panahi (Abedini’s) Divorce

 

Here is an another update on Naghmeh Panahi (Abedini). It has been over a year and a half since I first began writing about her, and eight months since my last update: Naghmeh Abedini One Year Later.

Naghmeh gave me full permission to post a letter she wrote. She’s in a place where she is growing closer to Jesus; where He will redeem the lost years and heal her heart, soul, mind and strength.  I bring people like Naghmeh to my readers who feel alone, broken, and hopeless in their abusive marriage. I want to validate them, tell them they’re not crazy, they are not weak. Actually, they’re stong to have endured for so long. I want to point them to True Hope: Jesus. He can and will do the impossible to care for them and protect them. Women need to understand that divorce is an option; it is a gift from our good, gift giving Heavenly Father for times such as these.

I wrote about Naghmeh’s revelation of marital abuse in a high profile case involving her then imprisoned husband, Iranian, American Saeed Abedini in the Iranian prison system. Read more about this here: Naghmeh Abedini’s Leaked Letter.

It turns out Saeed ordered his certificate to be a pastor over the internet. This coupled with his abusive treatment of his wife and family; along with, the extreme verbal abuse many who advocated for him during his imprisonment received from Saeed does not qualify him to be a pastor.

Many in the Christian community didn’t believe Naghmeh even though she had legal evidence: She Said He Said: Naghmeh and Saeed Abedini.   For some who did believe; they still said derogatory things about her for speaking out against her husband. How dare she say something bad about him; especially considering what he had been enduring in prison!

I understand much of what Naghmeh shares in the below letter because I had some of the same thoughts when I was in a difficult and abusive marriage; knowing that good wives don’t tell, especially good Christian wives. I briefly wrote about my journey here: Naghmeh Abedini: How Do We Respond? Part 1  and here My Destructive Marriage.

I still believe in listening, affirming, and believing spouses who say they are in an abusive relationship as I wrote about in Naghmeh Abedini: How Do We Respond, Part 2.

You never know what goes on in someone else’s home. You have no way of understanding if the woman sitting next to you in Bible study, or worshiping next to you in church is secretly being mistreated in  her home. If she should muster up the courage to tell you; please listen. Please believe her.

I worked off the premise that, domestic violence and abuse of any type is not a marital issue; it is an abuse issue.

The abuser needs healing. I don’t believe women should go to counseling with their abuser. Why? The victim shares no responsibility in the abuser’s character, attitude or actions.

There is scriptural precedence for blame not being split down the middle.

We considered Nabal and Abigail from I Samuel 25; and other examples that you can read about here…Naghmeh Abedini: How Do We Respond? Part 3 

So many women have a similar story. There is a strong community of these women across the country, and throughout the world.

This is Naghmeh’s story. Yet I remember having some of the same thoughts and feelings. I’m grateful that today we have the tool of the internet to connect  hurting women to one another. They can find help navigating a seemingly impossible road and find encouragement and support from one another.

Naghmeh believed what so many other women are taught; that having a good marriage is up to them alone and based solely on their ‘dying to self.’ This is a destructive and often deadly teaching for women married to abusers.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
By: Naghmeh Panahi

 

This is in reference to one of the best articles I have read: A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce. I hope it is a source of encouragement to those who have had to walk through this and that it gives a deeper desire to study the Word of God carefully and to know Jesus more.

Until two years ago wherever I traveled and spoke, my advice to women (those who even confessed to me horrific abuse and adultery) was to die to themselves and love and obey more. You can look up YouTube videos of my talks at different conferences and churches (under Naghmeh Abedini).

Therefore I put the burden of saving a corrupt marriage on the oppressed. I believed with all of my heart that if we, as women, would just die to ourselves more and love and submit more, a marriage could be salvaged. I judged those who divorced and specially the woman. I would think to myself “I am sure she was not so innocent herself and was to blame.”

No one in the world could have changed my mind. It was deeply rooted in what I was taught by the church of how much “God hates divorce,” but also my deeply rooted Middle Eastern culture that as a woman you put up with anything for the sake of the children; not to mention the shame and rejection a woman of Middle Easter origins has to face when she is divorced.

I was taught that love “covers a multitude of sin” which meant that I should hide the sin of my spouse, not talk of it, and in the process created a false image of our family. Oh, the shame I felt whenever the smallest negative word or confession would escape my lips about my husband…even to my parents and closest friends…I was taught not to even approach another about sin because “we are not each other’s Holy Spirit.” That a good wife hides and not airs the dirty laundry…

So I gave it my all. And in the process of giving it my all and trying desperately to get mySave Saeed husband out of prison and to honor him as my husband, a very false image was created of him. I gave and gave convincing myself that if I laid down my life enough, he would change. But things got worse and the world didn’t know. The world didn’t know that the abuse and porn addiction continued from behind prison doors. How could he have a smart phone with internet inside of an Iranian prison??? I kept crying out to God! The world did not know and the burden got heavier and heavier to carry. No one knew the night before his arrest he had cheated on me with the same woman that he now advocates for from the minute he got out of the Iranian prison. But a godly Christian woman would forgive the adultery and the porn addictions and abuse. But would I have to live with it for the rest of my life? Under such darkness?

Yes. I gave it my all until I had nothing to give and reached the end of myself. It was then that I cried out to Jesus and I heard the gentle voice of my Savior, “Enough!” It was through His Strength that for the first time I drew boundaries and said no more to such darkness and abuse.

My heart was broken into a million pieces when Saeed filed for divorce. I had hoped that my separation and pleading would end in him getting help and it would end in reconciliation and a healed marriage. NOT DIVORCE.

Saeed prayer vigilHow I was broken. Facing my worst fear of being a divorced single mom. Yet I could not back down. The same love that took me before presidents and governments to get him out of the physical prison, demanded that I would not back down on my boundaries in the hopes that he would be freed from his spiritual prison.

Through it all my Savior stood with me and cleansed me and is healing me and my children with His Word. For almost two years I have sat under the feet of Jesus and am learning to pay close attention to the Word of God and step into obedience of His Word by His Grace alone. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know and what a filthy sinner I am covered by the blood of The Lamb and in desperate need of God’s Grace.

So I have been hesitant to share. Surely most Christians know so much more than me. I feel like a babe in Christ. And the times I do share, I see it tinted with pride and arrogance. Oh this fallen nature. To be freed of it one day when I see Jesus face to face!

So I share this article and hope and pray that more rise up and are a voice for the oppressed.

“Evangelical and confessional churches are striving to maintain a high view of marriage in a culture that is ripping the institution to shreds. So extra-biblical barriers to divorce can be well-meant. They try to protect marriage by doing everything possible to avoid divorce. In doing so, they not only fail to keep a high view of marriage. They also spread lies about the gospel, divorce, the value of people, the character of God, and the nature of sexual sin.”
Naghmeh Panahi

Read the article referenced here…A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce

 

My Toxic Marriage

NPD 16

A recent Toxic Tuesday post, How to Love a Woman In a Destructive Marriage, detailed how to respond to a friend who confides in you about abuse taking place in her home.

Unfortunately for some women—friends, family and church members don’t believe her story. After all, many abusers are wonderful at playing the devoted victim! I believe this is true because many abusers suffer from narcissistic personality disorder and consider themselves special. They are not held to the same standards, morals or laws as the general population. Even when caught, if they admit to doing it, they insist it is not who they are. It’s a twisted mind for sure!

After nine years in my own destructive marriage I finally told my parents, and my husband’s and my ministry mentor, what had been going on in my home since shortly after I said, “I do.” No one was surprised. The mentor told me that he had believed for some time now that my husband was mentally ill but he hadn’t said anything to me since he didn’t know if I was aware or if I would believe him.

Why did I take so long to tell? you may be asking.

Good Christian women don’t tell.

Good wives don’t talk poorly about their husbands. You never tell your family because that will incite them to not like him—and they might encourage you to leave him. We are taught at Bible college, in the church and by godly older women that we never speak poorly of our husbands; especially when you are in the ministry—which we were.

We are to encourage our husbands, respect our husbands, forgive them, pray for them, hope in them, help them, and make love a daily action even when we don’t feel like it. Be intentional about how we respond in love; not frustration or anger. Don’t dwell on the negative; concentrate on the good parts. Be the one to set the tone for the atmosphere in your home to keep it positive and productive. Let go of pride.

Don’t compare your marriage to anyone else’s marriage. Don’t compare your attitude or actions to his. Pray that God will change your heart and through that, improve the difficulties in your marriage.

Care, adore, smile, kiss passionately, forgive, forgive again, be gracious, listen, compliment him, comfort him, and be content. Stay…always stay the course—it WILL pay off. It will!  It does not matter how you feel; what matters is how you respond. With God, all things are possible!

Here is the catch—God gives us free choice and your spouse has a choice in the outcome. The above does not apply in an abusive marriage or a marriage plagued with unfaithfulness.

Through the advice of my mentor I confided in one local friend, a long distance friend who would help my mentor confront my husband in hope of reconciliation and healing; as well as, tell a friend/spiritual leader of ours and our mentors from a former ministry who was very concerned about my marriage, concerned about my husband, concerned about me and wanted the very best for my daughter. It wasn’t easy telling a single detail. I didn’t know if they would believe me, tell on me to my husband, or walk away from the relationship.

Two of these close friends who knew all the ugly details of the abuse and walked the road with me for a time after telling them of my destructive, abusive and unsafe marriage, still attempted to silence me from speaking truth and achieving safety. I can’t speak for what their heart motive was; perhaps my truth made them uncomfortable. Did it hit too close to home? Was the evil, messed up truth about my spouse unbelievable? Had the narcissist won them over? Was legalism involved?

One of my friends told me, “I’ve prayed about this and God will remove his hand of protection from you if you go through with this divorce. You are taking yourself and your daughter out from underneath God’s covering, blessing, provision and protection. You are not supposed to do this and you will be sinning against God if you go through with it.”

I thanked her for her concern and told her I would pray about it more before finalizing the paperwork; however, I had only taken these measures after prolonged prayer, in depth Bible study, extensive counseling, and out of obedience to the Lord. I felt like God had held my hand while I skimmed the surface of hell begging my husband to return to me. He refused. In fact, during our time of a therapeutic separation when he was supposed to be seeking professional help and healing so our family could be reconciled; he instead took a preaching ministry and moved away. Because after all, God had called him to preach first and foremost and he was following God’s calling on His life. Good-bye to his wife and daughter—we were in the way of his career. I had spent the last two years refusing to seek another ministry because he needed spiritual guidance and serious professional emotional, psychological and psychiatric help. He decided to no longer wait for my permission; he left and moved on without me.

The other friend, George (name changed to protect his identity), whose own wife was delivered from an abusive marriage through the death of the abuser (first husband), wrote me an email after I gave him the latest report I received from my husband’s psychiatrist. I received discouraging news at every psychologist’s, neuro-psychologist’s and psychiatrist’s appointment I attended with him. But on this given day I heard the final blow that sealed the fate of reconciliation.

Unfaithfulness I had forgiven and mental-illness I could live with if he would acknowledge it and seek help and stay on his medications but hearing, “He has started down the slippery slope of pedophilia from which there is no return” was the death blow and I knew our daughter would never be safe. Before this day I kept thinking he was just mentally ill with an addiction to pornography and with help he could get better.

My hope for my husband’s healing was over. I asked the doctor a few questions and sought clarity but the doctor was clear, serious, and gave me his professional opinion about my daughter’s safety.

George had asked to be kept updated on doctor appointments, progress and prayer needs but the pedophilia information proved to be, unbeknownst to  me, the last straw. Here is the reply I received via email:

Carolyn-

I understand that life has been difficult for you. But please don’t make it more so by continually pleading your case in the court of public opinion. Whenever I hear from you it is a constant stream of bashing your husband. I’ve not said anything before, but now I must. Your husband is my friend. I know he is not perfect, but then again neither are you or I. It’s almost as if you’ve been building a case against him ever since the first of hint of problems last year. Your husband has always been different. Always. He was when we were in college. He was when you fell in love with him and married him. He is now. He could make us laugh like no one else. His nice guy looks and golden vocal cords along with his love for God and the church made him a joy to be around. All he ever wanted was to succeed for God. That dream appears to be a long shot now. But give him some dignity. Stop confessing his sins for him. You said in the email that you have been able to help some women whose husbands have left them, as if that is your situation.  Carolyn…he didn’t leave you.

If you made a mistake marrying him, say, “I made a mistake. I left him because I couldn’t take him.” Don’t write husband bashing emails. What good is that doing??? Are people lining ups saying, “Poor Carolyn,” and that’s helping you? If so, then something’s wrong there.

In love (for all three of you),

George

To this day I cannot imagine how I could have made it through this time in life without my godly ministry mentor and his wife.

Sobbing, I called them and asked if I had been inappropriate with the details I had given about my marriage and my husband’s issues. They said I had not been and then asked me to read the email from George.

After hearing George’s reply they recommended I stop all contact with him; immediately. They were dumbfounded at how he could feel this way after seeing and hearing first hand, my husband’s delusional and irrational behavior and his denial of needing help for his problems and mental illness. All they could guess was that the classic textbook narcissist had struck again; a professional liar and actor who had won over another pawn in his game.

As for, “His love for God and the church made him a joy to be around,” investigators from three different law enforcement agencies have contacted me through the years investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by my ex-husband. All these investigators have said they believe his pedophilia goes back to his teen years and that he purposefully chose the ministry as a way to access child victims from a place of trusted leadership; pastor. The investigators also believe the list of child victims is well into the hundreds but because he targets very young children, who are mostly too young to tell, he stayed under the radar. Until last summer…his reign of terror is over.

No, my husband did not file the separation papers, I did; but make no mistake…he was the one who left in every way except for the paperwork. For him to file the papers would potentially ruin any hope of his future in ministry and preaching. He HAD to be portrayed as the victim.

Had I listened to George and my other local friend, my daughter and I would most likely be dead; at the very least we would have been further abused with my daughter suffering the greatest through it.

God allowed, encouraged and provided a way out of this marriage along with Biblical grounds for divorce.

I hope this testimony brings awareness to women who desperately need help, friendship and love while they seek safety and support during an unsafe and/or difficult marriage.

Be a blessing. Pray scripture over them; in person. Offer to watch their children so they can see a Christian counselor, run an errand, or just need an hour to be alone. Invite them over for lunch. Take their children to the park for an hour. Give her a gift certificate for a massage. Drop a bag of groceries at the door. Or head over to Give Her Wings ministry website to find out how you can help. There is a , “Books we like” tab for suggestions on books that would make a great gift for a hurting wife, and it would be one way you could show her you understand and care.

You could not plan for this
No, there was no silhouette
Up against the pink horizon
To warn you of the hit
But you absorbed it all with grace
Like a child you spoke of faith unmoved
That holds onto you

This thing is going to try to break you
But it doesn’t have to
You’re showing us how
This thing is going to bend and shape you
But He won’t let it take you/You know it somehow
This thing is not going to break you

You could take your loss
You could hide away from us
With your grief lassoed around you
But you’re laying it in the sun
And you stare straight into the light
You say you’d rather go blind than look away
What can I say?

This thing is going to try to break you
But it doesn’t have to
You’re showing us how
This thing is going to bend and shape you
But He won’t let it take you
You know it somehow
This thing is not going to break you
This thing is not going to break you
This thing is not going to break you

Lynn Messer letter response

I’ve heard and read that the letter to the church from some of Lynn’s concerned friends seems over the top to a few of you, but I understand the concern and frustrations behind the letter.

Before I go any further I want to address the letter from Holly Ashley’s “Oh, Did I type that outloud?—Wolves in Shepherds Clothing: Justice for Lynn Messer and Victims of Abuse everywhere. Abram Messer did not petition for a protest or have knowledge that a protest was going to be recommended. A protest is not at all his desire or request.

From: Abram

I am publicly calling anyone who is planning on protesting the memorial service to please cancel those plans.

Any one who chooses to engage in this activity is directly acting in opposition to my express desires and wishes, and are operating on their own.

 

Before I continue…

I understand that tone of voice and emotion are left up to question when writing and/or reading so allow me to clear the question of my intent. 

I’m not angry or being demanding. I have a calm, quiet voice and am fueled by my love for Christ’s church. I have some questions and concerns I desperately want the church leadership and membership to consider. No one’s motive is to attack the church; the body of Christ. The motive is to ask them to reexamine the decisions they have made because the decisions don’t line up with scripture. 

I also need to remind you in this post with what I’ve been seeking all along—that the church hold Kerry Messer accountable for his ongoing relationship, with a woman not his wife, since shortly after Lynn disappeared…when no on knew where Lynn was, or if she was alive or dead. I am not asking them to pass judgment on his guilt or innocence in Lynn’s disappearance or death. The pastor and the church may have their own opinions on how to handle this; but scripture doesn’t leave room for our opinions. That is what I want to make clear and why I desire the church to act justly. Seek justice for Lynn and her family.

I have lived on the side of an abuser being believed over the victims. I see far more churches who accept an abuser’s testimony without checking the facts, I have a passion to see the church come to an understanding of how rampant this problem is throughout all denominational and non-denominational backgrounds.

Here is a list of a few biblical counselors, organizations, and survivors who minister to victims of marital abuse, and other abuses within the church. Most of these offer educational tools to local church’s and individuals.

  • Leslie Vernick
  • Patrick Doyle
  • A Cry for Justice
  • Emotional Survivor
  • The Psalm 82 Initiative
  • G.R.A.C.E. Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment
  • Claire Roise
  • Give Her Wings
  • Gary Thomas
  • Jeff Crippen
  • Holly Ashley 

For those of us who study abuse in the Christian environment we desperately want the church to see the way they are contributing to the demise of victims while putting their trust and support behind abusers and/or duplicitous individuals.

These leaders may not be clever enough to see it, but the abused women and children get the message loud and clear: If you come to us about abuse, we will cross-examine you, we will doubt you, we will endanger you, we will use God to pressure you, we will blame you, and we will shame you.

I often see churches that believe in being sweet and soft toward people who need corrected. Jesus was not soft-spoken and syrupy sweet when dealing with blatent sin. He was wise, just, caring, firm and factual. I think it’s time for church leadership to act with biblical wisdom, justice and boldness. There is no other way to deal with difficult personalities if you see they are trying to manipulate you.

Regarding the letter to the church, no one was judging the motive of the pastor’s heart. Please reread the scriptures listed in Abram’s letter: regarding obedience. You are picking one sentence and using it out of context. Your pastor is not responsible for Kerry’s action, but he is responsible for safe guarding the flock God has entrusted to him.

Let’s also apply this verse:

Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.  Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.  But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” (NIV)

I understand your concern for your pastor. I’m not God and I can’t say with certainty that what I think about Kerry Messer is correct, but if he is anything close to what I speculate about him then he could hoodwink the most world renowned doctors in the field of psychology. Which could mean your pastor should chalk it up to a lesson learned and humbly apologize, and ask forgiveness from Lynn’s sons and his church family. He wouldn’t be the first person to believe a professional liar.

 That is why the apostle Paul warns us in I Timothy:

The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden. (1 Timothy 5:24-25)

Paul wrote to Timothy to be on guard. He warned about people whose sins are visible and easy to see. That’s easy! What’s difficult is the second part of the verse; “the sins of others appear later.”  Paul wrote this to Timothy after he said, “Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.”  (1 Timothy 5:22)

Those evil ones whose sins “appear later” hide in the church, especially abusive husbands. Although I don’t know why; statistics show a higher rate of spousal abuse in the church than outside the church community.  Abusers thrive in this environment and satisfy their hunger for power and control in every local church body…and the church members sitting next to them in bible study and worship have no idea.

This is where the church, and especially leadership, needs to grow in wisdom. Abusers can appear outwardly holy in speech and even in actions—for a short time—yet be inwardly evil. Usually only the family experiences this side of the person, but occasionally so do co-workers. We shouldn’t be shocked when someone steps forward with allegations of abuse. It’s sad, but we should believe the victim’s side until a full investigation has proven innocence. I so strongly believe in this where spousal abuse is reported. Not believing has left countless women and children battered or dead.

Believe Her

In C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, no one believes Lucy when she tells them she has found an entire new country through the back of the wardrobe. Perplexed, the other three children go to the professor about Lucy. After all, Lucy has always been honest. She has never displayed acts of manipulation or craziness. The children cannot understand why Lucy will not recant. They are stunned when the Professor asks them, “How do you know that your sister’s story is not true?” He then explains that there are only three logical possibilities: either Lucy is lying, she has gone mad, or she is telling the truth. Lucy was never a liar nor had she gone mad. Not only that, but the Professor asks them which one of the two children (Edmund or Lucy) was most likely to tell the truth. Lucy was more likely to tell the truth. A new perspective had developed.

This perspective is what is sadly missing in the lives of so many people surrounding abused women. I am at a loss as to why a perfectly sane, honest woman is all of a sudden a liar when it comes to the abuse she is suffering at the hands of her husband – behind closed doors – LISTEN – where no one else lives. I see this all the time now. A woman is respected, honored, looked up to by so many people in the church…until she admits to someone that her personal home life is a living hell. NOW she is doubted, questioned and treated like a squeaky, high-pitched crazy woman who is crying wolf. Where did this come from? Emotionalabusesurvivor.com 

Witnesses stepped forward at Lynn’s memorial service and luncheon in December and told me that Lynn confided in them about spousal abuse. Abram and Aarron have also written and spoken; confirming these accusations.

There is a spiritual disconnect with abusers. Why?  They have a veneer of Christianity but don’t have the actual spirit. Jesus said, “I’m leaving but I will send you a gift; the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin (right and wrong) what’s true and what isn’t, and to comfort. If I don’t see conviction and comfort in someone I doubt  their spirituality. You can feign the fruit of the spirit but you cannot feign conviction and comfort. The spirit is dead or not present.

Religious denial is the worst because, its sneaky, the most dangerous denial there is. Not only do these types of people believe they’re okay but they have  a sense of nobility and righteousness about themselves. It appears he has spiritualized what I think is his sin. He doesn’t see the problem; he believes he’s doing God’s work. It looks like he’s ignoring his sons, not caring about their hearts, withholding relationship, while losing his children’s respect and love.

Scripture says we confess our sins to one another that we might be healed; the only person this does not pertain to is Jesus. Hardness happens when we don’t confess. He’s avoiding truth and making the world as he’s see it; which is not his family’s reality. That is in essence idolatry.

Truth is more important than comfort—so I press on to reveal truth and bring sin out of the darkness and into the light. The light is where Jesus dwells; it’s what He is and in this place there is healing and restoration.

We must call abusers out on the darkness; and ask those who support them to step back and allow the consequences to fall where they may. This is tough but it is not unloving, unkind, or judgmental.  We call them out because we do love; we love with the love of Christ and we want them to receive wisdom, power, and healing to have victory over their stronghold. This is true love…anything less is the oposite and in reality is unloving. 

 

“When you meet someone who seems soooo “Christian” and sooooo “warm” and “kind,” remind yourself that the verdict is still out on what they really are. Don’t let yourself get swept off your feet by someone’s charm, no matter how good it might feel to do so. If you permit yourself to be “charmed” and come under their spell, it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to be able to warn you, and you will have to learn the hard, hard way as most all of us have had to. In the same way as time will show the genuineness of a real Christian’s heart, so, in time, the wicked deceptive person will be revealed for what they really are.” ~ A Cry for Justice: He is just the nicest man I’ve ever met—Beware the abuser’s charm.

Unfortunately, people who live a double life will always have their following…even after the prison doors clang shut behind them. I’ve seen it!

 

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*This case is of public interest. Kerry Messer is a public figure who fund raises from the citizens of Missouri to provide professional and personal finances through his organization  Missouri Family Network.  Lynn Messer’s sons and extended family continue to point out moral and ethical issues they have witnessed by Kerry Messer. I do not write these posts or publish letters as a professional in any field of expertise, but rather to educate my readers from the life experiences through which I have lived. See the disclaimer in the side margin. The content of this post does not constitute legal facts, a guarantee, or a prediction regarding the outcome of advice given. 

Click link ‘LYNN MESSER’ in margin for more articles.

#JusticeForLynn fundraiser: YouCaring

 

Video

Toxic Tuesday: The Great Porn Experiment

Porn alters the brain: Bad news

If/when you stop using porn the brain can heal over time: Good news.

I’ve seen this TEDx lecture by Gary Wilson circulating over the last month and every time I think, “I’ll post this on my blog”. Today is the day.

When discussing sensitive topics I like to give a warning: This could be a trigger for different people in different ways. For the abused it could trigger painful thoughts or body memories. For the porn user it could trigger temptation.

There is a brief picture of women in bikinis at one point in the lecture/video.

I hope that every person who has access to the internet watches this video because Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard smallsooner or later porn will likely rock your world. Porn is everywhere; especially soft-core, and it’s impossible to not have it turn up somewhere before your eyes. It’s not impossible to look away. Watch this video for clarification as to why we must look away and teach our children the importance in doing the same.

 

In Defense of Lysa TerKeurst

This is in response to some of the backlash I have read against Lysa TerKeurst over the last few weeks regarding her decision to pursue divorce.

I recently posted a letter written by Lysa TerKeurst, “Rejection, Heartache, and a LysaFaithful God,” posted 6/13/17.  Lysa is a popular women’s ministry leader and teacher, and she is a New York Times bestselling author. Her ministry, Proverbs 31 Ministries, is named after the chapter reference in the Bible of the well-known passage depicting what a virtuous woman looks like. If you’ve ever checked out my list of favorite blogs in the margin (header or footer depending on which digital platform you use) you know I’ve had Proverbs 31 there since I began blogging in August 2013.

In all fairness, I’ve read more comments in support of Lysa than against. Yet I’m not sure why some in the Christian community are shocked by the news, and saddened or enraged that Lysa decided to pursue divorce.

Lysa had the right to walk away from infidelity and to publicly name the reasons, biblical reasons, why she was choosing to file divorce proceedings.

“My husband, life partner and father of my children, Art TerKeurst, has been repeatedly unfaithful to me with a woman he met online, bringing an end to our marriage of almost 25 years….I don’t share this to harm or embarrass him, but to help explain why I have decided to separate from him and pursue a divorce.”                     ~Lysa TerKeurst

I’m sure she was well aware that some in the Christian community would take the opportunity to verbally shred her over the airwaves, in the blogosphere, and on podcasts. Many Christians believe Christians should not divorce—ever!

I especially notice this in legalistic backgrounds and those deeply engrained in the patriarchal movement.

I ascribe to the Biblical grounds that God allows for divorce under specific circumstances. I consider divorce a merciful gift from our gift-giving Heavenly Father for a spouse enduring unfaithfulness, a spouse’s addiction and/or abuse.  (I’m yet to hear of a pornography addiction that didn’t fuel verbal and emotional abuse.)

I’ve also read excerpts of Lysa’s letter picked apart and spun in different ways. As a woman who was in ministry, and who divorced a pastor, I’ll add my commentary to the mix.

Lysa writes,

“I so wish we were sitting face-to-face so you could see my tears and hear the deep grief in my voice as I share this with you.”

It took courage and I imagine hours heaped upon hours of Bible study, prayer, and professional counseling, topped off with immeasurable puddles of tears for Lysa to reach the conclusion to file for divorce. I’ve personally never known a sister-in-Christ who made this decision quickly, thoughtlessly, or gladly. It’s just not an emotionally healthy woman’s nature. We are nurturing, long-suffering, forgiving, and abounding in providing extra chances for the offender to make things right.

Even if Lysa didn’t have deep grief, or was past that stage, she would still receive my compassion and prayer support for choosing to divorce her unfaithful husband who was also not seeking healing for substance abuse issues.

Next, she writes about her commitment to marriage:

“Anyone who knows me and Proverbs 31 Ministries knows how seriously I take marriage. I’ve always encouraged women to fight for their marriages and to do everything possible to save them when they come under threat.”

I believe her.  It takes the commitment of two people to get married, but only one person to break the vow. Lysa learned like many of us that one person is not capable of fighting the battle alone to save a relationship between two people who both have the free will to choose. We are not the Holy Spirit and cannot convict the unfaithful spouse of their error/sin. Even the Holy Spirt won’t make them do what they don’t want to do. It only takes one person to abuse, abandon, and destroy the marriage. I know Lysa took her marriage covenant seriously and earnestly wrestled through her husband’s infidelity.  If she is anything like me she refused to give up or give in until she knew she had done everything humanly possible to save her marriage while waiting on God and waiting on Art. After all, as Christians we know God can provide the healing and restoration…but here’s the catch: both people must desire it. In the end, Art didn’t desire it and he made a choice. Lysa simply decided to make Art’s abandonment of their family legally official.

Lysa also mentioned the effort she put into trying to “save” her marriage after discovering her husband’s infidelity 18 months prior. 

She concludes:

“But sadly, though I have repeatedly forgiven and accepted him back, he has continued to abuse substances, be unfaithful, and refused to be truthful to me and our family.”

She went above and beyond to give Art time to repent, heal, and restore their relationship even though she was not biblically responsible for doing so. He was the cheating party who should have been putting in the time required for the hard work of winning her back to save their marriage and keeping their family intact; as well as, restoring his fellowship with God. Art rejected reconciliation; he broke the marriage vows and refused to stop cheating. Lysa may have been the one to file for divorce but make no mistake; he is the one who first left and his choices led to divorce.

 

Moving on…

“After much prayer and consultation with wise, biblically-minded people, I have decided that Art has abandoned our marriage.”

Yes, he did. He also defiled their marriage bed and broke his covenant between him, Lysa, and God. 

I understand and agree with Lysa that her husband abandoned their marriage. If only it were a past action that could be filed away. For those who haven’t lived through betrayal you should realize…it is an ongoing, active trauma that continually violates a woman’s heart, soul, mind and strength. The road to healing is long.

I’m grateful for Lysa’s courage and vulnerability to share the facts with her readers, without going in to details, as to why she is choosing divorce.  Lysa strives to be real, even when life is messy or ugly, for the sake of passing on gospel lessons.

“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” I Thessalonians 2:8

Lysa’s a teacher at heart; with a heart that is broken but still nurturing. Her marriage failed because of her husband’s choices; she did not fail. I believe it’s safe to say this trial has not been fun or easy, but when she comes through on the other side she, because of her faithfulness to God, will see fruit—not just in the circumstance—but in herself.  God knows the fruit is there because He’s already prayed His will over it.

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26

Lysa kept her husband’s secrets, endured his unfaithfulness, chanced danger from his substance abuse and possible STDs, loved him, and offered him forgiveness multiple times.

Telling Lysa, or any other betrayed or abused wife, that she should … remain subjected to lies, neglect, cheating, emotional trauma, and probable STDs while loving him and hoping to save their marriage because God hates divorce is not biblically necessary.  I imagine Lysa did that for a time; hoping Art could come through the mess holding his head high with his dignity intact.

I desire for Christians to put away the, “God hates divorce” as the one size fits all quote to prevent a marriage from ending. God hates unnecessary divorce that could be prevented by spouses loving each other, being faithful, and placing each other’s needs above their own. He hates the pain divorce causes each member of the family.

Divorces feels like it will surly kill you when you are suffering through it.

God hates the wounds and the pain caused by divorce…but…God allows divorce in the cases of infidelity and abuse.

Over the last 5 years of ministering to broken women in destructive marriages I have been heart-broken at how quickly the church takes the unfaithful abuser’s side in an attempt to persuade the woman to stay.

Let’s stop assigning damaging words and expectations on the faithful spouse and instead understand their hurt, pray for them, and offer practical help as they walk through the valley of abuse, betrayal, abandonment, and/or divorce.

I’m grateful Lysa will continue to pour her energy and gifts into her ministry, Proverbs 31. I’m thrilled that those around her have not placed blame on her for the wrongs her husband committed against her, nor asked her to step down from ministry. To remove Lysa from ministry and from her current source of income would be revictimization. Her husband’s failure does not damage her character and gifting; in fact, she has been subjected to exemplifying the Proverbs 31 woman in the middle of extreme stress while enduring the public’s eye and a few Christian’s judgementalism. Some Christians believe divorce is sin and should never be used as an option. Others believe that the offended or abused spouse should die to self, take up their cross, and endure more unfaithfulness and/or abuse. God does not place the institution of marriage above the safety, sanity, and health of the victim. He is a God of relationship and he does not expect us to experience the death of our personality, energy, heart, spirit, and strength to appease the offender/abuser and keep the marriage together.

Honestly, I see that the Christian world places more expectations on the innocent victim of the divorce than they do on the offender. Our community of believers tends to want more details so they can verify if you have biblical grounds for divorce.

I sure would like to see this same community hold the unfaithful spouse, or abuser, to the same standard of accountability. Perhaps if they did, the intervention and accountability would have relieved the victim from more heartache and—perhaps—helped to save the marriage.

In the end only One opinion matters—the One who forever calls Lysa worthy.

I’m sure Lysa waited patiently for the Lord, and He allowed her time to work through everything. Through this, Lysa knew she did everything she could to save her marriage and did not prematurely leave.

Did Lysa find what many of us who went before her found? The greater and deeper our emotional trauma; the more intense our spiritual walk becomes. When we are too weak and the problems too big; God supernaturally exerts His power in us resulting in a life of extraordinary growth.

 

“Marriage and family are important to God; just as important to him are the individuals within those marriages.” ~Leslie Vernick, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope

 

For more perspective see: Biblical Permission to Leave a Toxic Spouse 

Lynn Messer 3 Years Later: New Q’s & A’s

 

July 8, marks the third anniversary of the day we were told Lynn Messer Lynn 1disappeared from her home. Interestingly though, I have noticed recent posts on Kerry Messer’s Find Lynn Messer Facebook page changed the date of Lynn’s disappearance from July 8 to July 7. I wonder why?

Lynn vanished from the bed she shared with her husband, Kerry Messer, a Missouri state lobbyist for Christian, Biblical, homeschooling, pro-life and family values.

Kerry told his sons and the authorities that a storm woke him up around 4:00 a.m. and that is when he noticed his wife was missing.

In honor of this three year anniversary let’s help Lynn’s sons with legal and investigative fees to achieve #JusticeforLynn.

Click here to donate: It’s quick and easy.

New questions and answers are at the end of this article.

  • Click on colored text to link to the original published article in below paragraphs.

In the first week media stated that Lynn was reported missing by her husband from the family farm, “When Kerry still couldn’t locate her he became increasingly concerned and called 911 to have the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department come out to help assist.”  Abram and Aarron Messer, Lynn’s sons, insisted that it was Aarron who placed the call early in the morning, July 8, 2014. The dispatch recording verified Aarron Messer was the person who called law enforcement. 

The public was told, “Evidence at the scene indicates she may be in physical danger.”  

“She has a broken right toe and does not have her walking boot with her. Messer’s purse, cell phone and other personal items were left at her home.”

Law enforcement,  trained dogs, and searchers wearing GPS units searched the entire property. “People wore GPS units on them so we knew what areas we were covering and how dense we were covering them. Once one crew would get done with an area we would send another crew back in the same area with new eyes and different dogs.”

“Messer’s husband had mowed the property and moved the cattle. The sheriff said this becomes a problem for search dogs trying to follow a scent — one dog goes one way while another goes the other.”

During the first days Kerry Messer was quoted, “I could not count the number of specially trained dogs and handlers, all fitted with real-time GPS tracking being fed real-time into a base computer to provide us with a huge map showing the entire path (color coded) of each individual dog throughout the entire day and night.”

”They even reorganized and did a special night-time simultaneous ‘grid search’ in which the entire army of searchers were broken into teams which then swiped the entire farm in small bite-sized pieces.”

“Sadly, this initial search and the outstanding performance of this massive effort produced no fruit other than helping us know with a high probability that Lynn is not physically located on the farm.”

A month after Lynn had been missing Kerry Messer addressed Lynn’s medications in the media.

“The only thing we have got to go on is that her prescribed pain medication could have had an adverse effect on her mind.”

Kerry hopes that it will help others to understand that they may not be looking for someone who knows she is Lynn Messer. He believes that it’s the only real explanation.

“All we know is that the pain pills your doctor prescribed can have a severe reaction, causing you to be totally confused. We fear that you may not even know for sure who you are.

“This confusion can lead you to be fearful of people around you and cause you not to trust anyone. It can also lead you to go places without understanding why you are there.

Sheriff Gary Stolzer. Ste. Genevieve Sheriff County:  We have sent computers off and different things to have tested and analyzed by other people, but the case is just taking its course. We will continue to look into any leads we receive.” 

During these numerous interviews, and in Kerry’s long letters on his Find Lynn Messer Facebook page, he actively reminds the public of his suffering, loneliness, and struggles while missing Lynn. In fact he still writes about his shredded heart over missing Lynn.

What has been frustrating to Kerry’s sons, Lynn’s family and friends, and those who have followed the story is that law enforcement found out just weeks after Lynn ‘disappeared’ that Kerry was already in another relationship with a woman named Spring Thomas. Spring had been a family friend for many years and according to Abram and Aarron Messer there was, and is, more to the relationship than what is being reported.

A recap of events wouldn’t be complete without mentioning ‘the note’. Kerry showed a note to law enforcement; a note that he said was written by Lynn. Kerry refused to show the note to his sons. “Kerry said in the very beginning, law enforcement asked him not to talk about the letter. He didn’t understand why, but just complied. Kerry said he avoided talking about it and the few people he had already told he went to and asked them to not say anything because they wanted to honor what law enforcement had requested.”

According to Abram and Aarron, “for the first 11 months the police refused to allow anyone to see the note. I understand investigators need to withhold information but this was not the case. As they had shared with me, they had refused to show us the note because Kerry asked them not too.”

Lynn’s remains were discovered early November, 2016, on Kerry Messer’s farm property.

At this date forensics tests have concluded that Lynn has been in the elements, in that spot, about the entire time, and hair follicles showed no evidence of a cause of death. 

I, Carolyn, spoke with Detective White of the Ste. Genevieve Sheriff’s Department on Monday, July 3. He was generous with his time and answered the below questions for me.

I will present them in question/answer form.

Q: Were Lynn’s recovered remains a complete skeleton?  Were there any remains missing?

A: They were consistent with remains that have been in the elements since 2014.

Q: When I spoke with you this time last year you confirmed that Kerry Messer was no longer cooperating with law enforcement. Is this still true?

A: We are not in contact with him and have not reached out to him. We were told last year that he no longer wanted to speak to law enforcement and we have respected his wishes. He did cooperate when Lynn’s remains were found on his property. He could have required us to have a search warrant but he didn’t.

Q: Does this also mean you have no contact with Spring Thomas?

A: Yes

Q: Do you know if law enforcement has been able to search Spring Thomas’ house and property?

A:  I do know, but cannot say. I will say I have not seen the inside of her house.

Q: Kerry Messer has changed, or authorized the change, for the Find Lynn Messer Facebook cover photo. It now says his “page is the only official family and authority-sanctioned page.”  I think most people equate authority with law enforcement. Has law enforcement sanctioned this page?  I’m concerned about what this implies. Could Kerry be referring to law enforcement when he references ‘authority-sanctioned’?

A: No,  we don’t sanction anything.

Q: Has Kerry Messer been cleared of the investigation into Lynn’s death?

A: No, he has not.

Q: The death certificate currently reads, “Undetermined.” Could this status change in the future?

A: A cause of death will not be stated until the investigation is closed.

And lastly, to hear “We won’t stop until we determine what caused Lynn’s death.”  Spoken by Major Jason Schott of the Ste. Genevieve Sheriff’s Department in an interview last week had me thinking there is evidence. Now we just wait on timing for the investigative puzzle pieces to fit together.

I doubt Lynn disappeared from her own bed on a stormy night only to be found dead two years later in an area that was professionally searched by search and rescue dogs, helicopters, and searchers wearing GPS units to map/grid where they had searched.  A woman whose hair samples showed no evidence of a cause of death. As far as we know there were no weapons found with her. What happened to Lynn?

In honor of this three year anniversary let’s help Lynn’s sons with legal and investigative fees to achieve #JusticeforLynn.

Click here to donate: It’s quick and easy.

 

Click link ‘LYNN MESSER’ in margin or header for more articles.

Lynn Messer: Care and Share

Do you remember the first time you heard about Lynn’s disappearance? I do, and it captured my interest and heart from the get-go.  Obviously it captured yours too. You have been passionate about truth, caring toward the family, and waiting for answers.

I’ve blogged 45 times about Lynn’s story over the last year to help keep this mystery in Lynn 1the public’s eye, to honor her memory, and to tell her story through the voice of her sons and their families.

I’ve heard from many of you over the last year. I appreciate that some of you have considered what you may know, through hind sight, and been willing to talk to law enforcement about your knowledge.

As the 3rd anniversary of Lynn’s disappearance/death approaches, it’s time for her family to find closure and truth as to how her life ended. Law enforcement has worked countless hours and I imagine the investigation is on their minds even in their off duty hours.  The sheriff’s office continues to investigate while the FBI runs forensics tests; looking for a cause of death so they can determine if they need to take the investigation in a different direction, or if crime was committed.  

For the family, retaining an attorney and/or an investigator of their own will help them navigate the process.  An upfront cost of $40,000 was quoted for this extensively involved case; a major expense that most people can’t fund from their own bank accounts. So…let’s ALL do this together.  Let’s unify, donate, and help bring ongoing questions to an end…for Lynn, for her loved ones, and for her legacy.

A donation of $10 per reader will help them reach the goal of paying a lawyer’s retainer fee. If you can’t do $10, do whatever you can afford.

Thank you for your loving, generous support donated on behalf of Lynn’s family. May they soon have the answers for which they’ve been waiting.  

Won’t it feel good to know you were able to participate in their journey, and in Lynn’s justice!

Please forward this link, on social media or by email, and help urgently share this need.

The YOUCARING compassionate fundraising website is quick and easy using a credit card or PayPal. I have made donations on this sight in the past, and to #JusticeForLynn, and can testify that it is professional and safe for your financial transaction.

*Note:  YOUCARING will give you a box to make a donation to the family, and a separate box to make a donation to YOUCARING. You many enter any denomination in the YOUCARING donation field;—including 0.00

 

DONATE by clicking here: YOUCARING fundraising #JusticeForLynn 

Lynn YOUCARING

Organized by concerned friends. Fundraising website graciously set up by Cheryl Summers.

Click link ‘LYNN MESSER’ in margin or header for more articles.

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Lynn Messer: Media Release Statement, Letter to the Sheriff, Kerry changes FLM page

Above photo: Some of Lynn’s favorite flowers were dark red roses

For those of you who have followed the Lynn Messer case I am posting her son Abram Messer’s statement which he released to the media today. (If you are new to this case you may click  “Lynn Messer” in the margin or header; depending on the media platform you use.)

Abram Messer 1

Photo Credit: J.B. Forbes, St. Louis Post Dispatch

PRESS RELEASE: DISCLAIMER: This press release is Abrams opinion. I will preface it with he thinks this, but it has not been proven and no arrest has been made.  Please recognize that their memories of the events described in this press release may differ. 

So as many of you are aware, I’ve been getting calls from media outlets in light of the information we received yesterday. Here is the statement which I have released:

“Our family is both saddened and heartbroken over the actions that my father has chosen.

No one should be surprised at the devastation which comes from choosing sin. But God is faithful and just to cleanse, forgive and restore us through the blood of the Lamb. He is also a God of justice, and we will stay the course in seeking that justice. So we are renewing our call in begging my father to come clean, and tell the truth so he can experience the peace which only comes through Gods forgiveness.”

There are many Christians who have deliberately decided to twist the Word of God only talking about forgiveness, choosing to ignore Gods commands for His people to be a people who pursue justice…. my friends this has nothing to do with vengeance. We are commanded by God Himself to stand for truth. We are commanded by God Himself to call out sin publicly (after we follow the Biblical steps confronting that sin privately; which yes we have done), no matter how much it hurts. 

Why? Because whatever pain and heartbreak we experience through out that process-—it is nothing compared to the spiritual pain and heartache which comes from complacency.

Please continue to lift our family up before the Throne of Grace. He is faithful… and I must decrease so that He will increase. Whatever you may be going through in your life remember that God is faithful and just to cleanse and forgive. But to receive His forgiveness and restoration we must all acknowledge our sin before Him. His long suffering love which He extends to us has limits which only He can define—for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. Repent, turn to Christ—only then will you experience His peace and rest. For when we plant our feet upon The Rock… there is no storm which can shake you.

LETTER TO THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT AND ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE (From one of the GiveMe Chocolate readers who commented on the article “Lynn Messer Secretly Transported Across State Lines and Buried”

Last night, I sent this to the St. Genevieve County Sheriff, Major Schott and copied the Attorney General’s office.

“I am highly concerned about the lack of activity surrounding the disappearance – and now we know – death of Lynn Messer. Based on the publicly available information, it would seem that Kerry Messer was most certainly involved somehow in her death. I can only assume that law enforcement has even more information pointing in his direction. Nearly three years after her disappearance and nearly a year after the discovery of her body, we still have no action being taken toward Mr. Messer. It would seem that the Sheriff’s department did not adequately search the property in those early days or that the body was subsequently brought to the property after it was searched. Either way, action is called for here.

Today, I’ve learned that the St. Genevieve County coroner released the body to Mr. Messer only to have him take it over state lines into Arkansas without the knowledge of Lynn’s sons, sisters or mother. It would seem that the Sheriff’s department as the lead investigative agency would have certainly known that the body was going to be released and understanding the circumstances, they could have let Lynn’s family members know what was about to take place. These family members could have sought injunctive relief to block the release of the body to Kerry given the high level of suspicion surrounding him and his lack of honesty with Lynn’s family members as well as his reported lack of cooperation – and his girlfriend’s lack of cooperation – with the investigation. Unfortunately, St. Genevieve County didn’t afford Lynn’s family this option. That adds another layer of tragedy upon an already tragic situation.

I called Carl Kinskey’s office several months ago about the progress on the investigation and he said he was just waiting on the Sheriff’s department. Why hasn’t information been sent over to the prosecuting attorney’s office? Where’s the grand jury? Is this an open investigation at this time? I certainly hope that the Sheriff’s office isn’t withholding information from the prosecuting attorney’s office waiting for some kind of air tight case to develop in this very bizarre circumstance. I urge you to send the information you have on the investigation to the prosecuting attorney. “

 

Find Lynn Messer page update…

Did anyone else notice? Kerry changed the “Find Lynn Messer” Facebook page cover photo. It now says the page is “authority-sanctioned.” The sheriff’s office confirmed to me a year ago that Kerry and Spring have not been cooperating with the investigation since their relationship was revealed to investigators. Which authorities is Kerry referring to?

The same cover photo says Lynn is missing as of 7/8/14. Why did Kerry not include that she was found?

authority sanctioned

And here is what Kerry Messer has to say about the ongoing investigation:

 

Click here to link to the full length news segment/video:… 

 

Click here to support #JusticeForLynn Messer Fundraiser for legal and investigative fees

Below is yesterday’s post:

Lynn Messer secretly transported across state lines and buried

Kerry Messer secretly transported Lynn’s remains across state lines for burial.

Aarron, Abram, and Elizabeth contacted family members this morning so they heard it from them first instead of from media.

Rumors have been circulating for the last 2-3 weeks that Lynn’s remains were going to be released to Kerry Messer in the near future. Kerry has posted on his Find Lynn Messer Facebook page that he intended to obtain Lynn’s remains soon.

My sources told me that Kerry informed his church First Baptist Church Festus/Crystal City that he in fact obtained her remains and buried them yesterday.  Lynn’s remains rest next to Grandma Messer. According to the funeral home a pastor was present at the grave side service; along with, Kerry, an unnamed woman, and two of Kerry’s relatives who were named.

Lynn’s sons had remained hopeful that as long as the investigation was ongoing their mom’s remains would not be released. They have reached out to investigators but do not yet have answers.

Aarron spoke with his dad, Kerry Messer, on two separate occasions this morning and this is what Aarron says transpired:

Aarron: “I heard that you buried mother yesterday?”

Kerry: “Why do you care?”

Aarron: “She’s my mother.”

Kerry: “And I’m supposed to be your dad.”

Aarron: “You…are…”

According to Aarron, Kerry hung up on him mid-sentence.

Kerry also stated that Lynn was buried by “the only family she has left, that actually love her.”

“This is who supporters of MFN are endorsing.  A man who takes the body of his children’s mother from the coroner in secret and buries her without a word to her own children, her mother, or her sisters; all out of spite because he is the primary suspect in her disappearance and death.”

Lynn’s remains were released from the St. Louis coroner’s office last week and Kerry had her remains transported to Arkansas. They were cleared yesterday and buried the same day. The sheriff’s office did not have a say in how this transpired; it was up to the coroner. The husband, even if he were sitting in jail, has control of the remains.

Was this a controlling, abusive act Kerry committed against his sons and their families?

This is no quick commute for Aarron’s  and Abram’s families, or for Lynn’s side of the family to visit Lynn’s gravesite.  What else can a father do to traumatize his children?

Lynn’s remains rest in Walcott, Arkansas, in Mount Zion Cemetery under the direction of Heath Funeral Home in Paragould, Arkansas.

Like Aarron, I too thought of organizations who continue to retain Kerry as their state lobbyist. Families for Home Education, is this the type of parents you are? Do you treat your own children in this way, or do you consider this highly dysfunctional? Why do you want someone like this representing you?

Make no mistake; Lynn’s remains being released to Kerry Messer in no way indicates he is no longer a part of the investigation into Lynn’s disappearance and death. The case is open and active with new information still being received by the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office.

 *Correction: Lynn ‘ s remains were released from the Ste. Genevieve County coroner.

 

Click link ‘LYNN MESSER’ in margin or header for more articles.

 

*Opinions expressed are not from me. There has not been an arrest made in this case and no one is presumed guilty until proven in a court of law.

 

 

6 Things Personality Disordered People Do

personality

What do you do when you attempt to understand and be understood by someone with a personality disorder? (narcissistic, borderline, or obsessive compulsive personality disorder) but you’re stonewalled from the onset?

What do you do when you can’t have a conversation because they begin with trying to protect their lies to you and about you, and maintaining their abusive behavior toward you?

Remember: It’s not their fault.

1) They refuse responsibility.  (This is the #1 sign of an abuser. They never accept responsibility; and therefore, never apologize.)

2) They lie.

3) They look down on you.

4) They slander your reputation.

5) They are duplicative (phony).

6) They project (mirror their abuse on to you as if you are the one who committed it).

Abuse is never their fault.  It’s always your fault. Someone’s fault. To them, it’s not their Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard smallfault they hurt or abused you, it’s your fault for being hurt-able…abusable. If your feelings are hurt it’s your fault – for having feelings. You may be told you’re making the choice to feel bad, or hurt, or that you’re being overly sensitive.  If caught doing something insensitive or selfish, they will insist they have no idea what you’re talking about. Or they will mirror the truth of what they did back on you. Crazymaking at its best—gaslighting.  In their mind they had to do it because of someone or something else. If you imply that anything is their responsibility, they give you excuses, lies, and/or denial. From their perspective, you shouldn’t care — you should be willing to put the past behind you and pick-up as if the abuse never happened.

This may sound like a good idea; putting the past in the past. Not bringing it up again and allowing the relationship to continue on as if nothing happened, or with the forgiveness to forget and go on.

Forgiveness in our heart is always healing for the abused person but that doesn’t mean we extend the forgiveness to the abuser in word or deed. If they haven’t confessed, repented, and asked for your forgiveness then God does not require you to verbally extend the forgiveness to them.

Here is the problem with forgiving or forgetting without an apology and a change of heart from the person with narcissistic personality disorder (borderline, or obsessive compulsive personality disorder)…it is the same as telling them: “I’m okay with the way your treat me, the way you lie about me—the way you abuse me. You may continue this treatment and I will continue to allow it.”

You may need to change the dynamics of how you interact with this type of person. Remember: Abuse is not a relationship problem, a communication problem, or a marriage problem. It is an abuse/sin problem. For this reason victims should not receive counseling with their abuser; not even in marriage. The abuser needs serious, long-term, professional help for their abusive nature so they can find the root of it, receive healing, and gain freedom.

 

This is what ANA (After Narcisistic Abuse) has to say about this subject in regard to a narcissist:

“Many mentally disordered individuals project frequently. Narcissists, however, are some of the most actively and severely projecting people encountered. Ever full of accusations and criticisms, the most crazy-making thing about most of the narcissist’s claims is that YOU are doing exactly what THEY are doing. (Projection.) Have they just lied to you? Well, you’re about to be called dishonest. Are they cheating you out of an opportunity? You’re going to get the finger pointed at you for being sneaky. And you can’t say a word to them about something hurtful they have done, because that makes you an abuser – of them. You can’t give them anything but glowing feedback without their raging at you, but you’ll be the one constantly criticized severely and then called freakishly oversensitive if you show any feelings about it. And if they say so, it’s law — you don’t know what you’re talking about.

If you dare to question a narcissist or request things like healthy boundaries and honesty, you’re going to become public enemy number one. The “Mr. or Ms. Wonderful” mask immediately comes off, and there is no level they will not stoop to in order to “punish” you. They have myriad ways of attempting this; some are covert, and some are open and obvious. The narcissist has a seemingly inexhaustible obsession for making people who cross them “pay”. Once they set their sights on you, you’re a permanent enemy, and their seething spite will feel as intense years down the road as it did when it first began. The length of time they can keep up the full intensity of their hatred for you and their campaign to exact revenge is absolutely dumbfounding to non-narcissistic people.”

If you have a personality disorder, or are in a relationship with someone who suffers from a personality disorder you will likely need ongoing, professional counseling at some point.

My motto is: Wise people; strong  people seek help.

Counseling/therapy is not for “crazy” people. Counseling is for human beings. Don’t let anyone shame you away from receiving the help you need.

See: Solutions-Hotlines-Help, or Articles/Videos: Other Sources in the margin, header or footer of this blog (depending on which digital platform you use).

Video

Toxic Tuesday: Lysa TerKeurst’s Betrayal

My heart aches for Lysa.Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard small

I suspected this for several months. The  times I listened to Lysa in Bible studies or on pod casts over the last year I wondered if this was the difficult circumstance she was living in of which she couldn’t speak. There are some things so profoundly deep and traumatic that when you hear someone else speaking with such words…your betrayed heart reaches through multi-media and feels their secret soul-hurt.

I realize publication dates precede the release of her letter. I don’t know when it happened or when she made it public, but I’m grateful she was obedient in her calling to write a book and Bible study that would help her, and help others who would go through similar circumstances.

Rejection, Heartache, and a Faithful God

No person’s rejection of me can ever exempt me from God’s love for me.

“A Gut-Honest Look at Love.” That was the title of my first blog post of this year. Based on 1 Corinthians 13, I wrote, “Love isn’t what I have the opportunity to get from this world, love is what I have the opportunity to give.

This perspective on love has been a lifeline during the most painful season and decision of my adult life. I so wish we were sitting face-to-face so you could see my tears and hear the deep grief in my voice as I share this with you. My husband, life partner and father of my children, Art TerKeurst, has been repeatedly unfaithful to me with a woman he met online, bringing an end to our marriage of almost 25 years. For the past couple of years, his life has sadly been defined by his affection for this other woman and substance abuse. I don’t share this to harm or embarrass him, but to help explain why I have decided to separate from him and pursue a divorce. God has now revealed to me that I have done all I can do and I must release him to the Savior.

Continue reading the continuation of Lisa’s letter here….

 

If you find yourself in a season traveling the same road as Lysa you may find her book “Uninvited” at Amazon or Christian Book Distributors (Book, study guide, DVD study, or Audio book)

Uninvited…

The enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than. When we allow him to speak lies through our rejection, he pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of Christ’s powerful love.

In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection—from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over.

With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers:

    • Release the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt.
    • Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady their soul and restore their confidence.
    • Overcome the two core fears that feed our insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging.
    • Stop feeling left out and start believing that “set apart” does not mean “set aside.”
  • End the cycle of perceived rejection by refusing to turn a small incident into a full blown issue.

 

Continue reading the continuation of Lisa’s letter here….

Image

20 Signs You Were Raised by a Narcissist

Do you have dysfunctional family dynamics or know someone who does? If you were raised by a parent with narcissistic personality disorder you will relate to these statements. Many of the sayings apply to being raised by someone with any type of personality disorder, but all of the below testimonials will validate children, young or grown, of a parent, or parents, with narcissistic personality disorder.

NPD 000NPD 67

Narcissist:

Someone so toxic they are willing to jeopardize

anybody’s reputation or future, including their own children,

to help themself get out of a sticky situation, conversation, sin, or

crime.  In their personality disordered mind it’s no big deal.

NPD 64NPD 62Toxic40NPD 58NPD 56NPD 44NPD 37NPD 27NPD 21NPD 16NPD 6toxic people boundariesToxic48Toxic47

narc parent 2narc parent 4

Narc parent

Aarron Messer: Prison, Love, Desertion

aarron-and-abram-messer

Photo Credit: J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Lynn Messer was thought to be missing almost three years ago on July 8, 2014. Her husband Kerry Messer, 57, a conservative Jefferson City lobbyist, claims he woke in the early morning hours at his Ste. Genevieve home to find his then 52-year-old wife missing.

We now know Lynn was not missing, but deceased. Her skeletal remains were discovered on Nov. 1, 2016, in the woods on the back edge of one of the family farm’s cow pastures.

Kerry, on the morning of July 8, 2014, demanded multiple times for his son Abram to move the cows across the area where Lynn’s scent trail would be found later that  morning, this trail led to the cow pasture where Lynn’s remains were found. This has been confirmed by the Ste. Genevieve Sheriff’s Office (Also reported on: Investigation Discovery: Disappeared -American Gothic.)

Aarron Messer and his daughters were scouting the same cow pasture for areas to hunt on Nov. 1, 2016, when one of Aarron’s daughters spotted what she thought was a human skull. Aarron, upon closer look, confirmed it and instantly believed it was his mom’s remains. The authorities were called and the woods were immediately considered a crime scene while the sheriff’s department, along with the FBI, collected forensic evidence to help find answers.

At this time forensics have confirmed that Lynn was in the elements the entire time. There are still no results on the cause of death and soil sample results have not been released.

Once again, Aarron Messer is allowing me to share a personal letter from his Facebook page. These are his words through which he shares his opinion of what he thinks transpired in the middle of the night and early morning hours of July 8, 2014. Aarron confirms Abram’s claims that they did not abandon their father; but rather, Kerry deserted his entire family.

From Aarron Joseph Messer:

I want to share with you all my heart.

In many ways it hurts to imagine all the worst possible reasons my mother ended up where she was left. I don’t want to accept or embrace those theories yet I cannot deny the obvious. In my heart I want to believe in an answer much simpler than all the theories.

I would like you to know that in my heart I see a frustrated and confused Kerry. Maybe he had an affair, maybe he didn’t. Maybe he killed my mother, maybe it was suicide, maybe it was an accident, a fight, an argument gone wrong, maybe she accidentally overdosed on pills, or maybe she had a heart attack or blood clot and died in the middle of the night.

However it happened the undeniable is that my father had my mother’s dead body in front of him. In that moment of irrational fear, shame, remorse…whatever it was; he moved her into the woods. Whether it was a premeditated act or just an impulse—he made a horrible decision. He covered it up, he lied, and I called the police. Abram and Elizabeth didn’t tell the story he wanted told. I am certain he thought they would discover her body years ago. But he had already lied. There was no going back and there was no coming clean. His lies were told so much and so often it became truth to him, truth that had to be the way it was. At this point he doesn’t know what’s true, and he will not come clean. He believes his own lies.

Forgive me, but no matter about all the other stuff– insurance, affairs, any of it, I know he hid her and I know he knew where she was 100% of the time. I just could care less though about all the other stuff.  His lies are more than enough—and those lies—that’s what hurts me. I may be abrupt or defensive, it’s not just my whole life and family in question, it’s everything.

I believe in justice and my father belongs in prison. I love him still and I will visit him in prison, but I will stand on the victims side of the court and I will take the stand against him for my mother. But my dad has not been deserted by us, he has left us.

Click link ‘LYNN MESSER’ in margin for more articles.