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Lynn Messer: On Her Birthday

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Today marks Lynn Messer’s 55th birthday. Her last birthday on earth was celebrated a few weeks before her disappearance/death in 2014 at age 52. Today we will honor Lynn’s memory with photos of loved ones, and people she ministered to, who brought her great joy and purpose.

I continue to think of Lynn’s family; especially today as they remember her, miss her, and long for answers surrounding her death.

Please say a prayer for them that they will receive great comfort, clear answers, and Sovereign justice from their Heavenly Father.

Family, friends, and law enforcement are currently waiting for pathology and forensic reports to be completed and turned in to the F.B.I. There is no time line for this testing and the case remains open.

I still remember the morning our local homeschool group was notified that Missouri State Lobbyist, Kerry Messer’s wife, Lynn Messer was reported missing from the family farm in the middle of the night.  Our homeschool group was notified for prayer support and help searching for Lynn. My background of studying domestic abuse immediately sent up a red flag since most women who disappear, or who are murdered, are victims at the hands of their husband or significant other.

Lynn’s husband Kerry runs Missouri Family network which lobbies in Jefferson City for: ALLIANCE FOR LIFE, AMERICANS UNITED FOR LIFE, FAMILIES FOR HOME EDUCATION, MISSOURI ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN CHILD CARE AGENCIES, MISSOURIANS FOR PERSONAL SAFETY (gun safety), and SAMARITAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL.

For over two years Lynn’s family did not know where she was or if she was still alive. Her remains were found November, 2016, on the family farm on the far side of the cow pasture that had been in question since Lynn’s scent trail was originally found there by search dogs. The same cow pasture where Kerry Messer insisted his son Abram move the cows in the early morning hours of Lynn’s disappearance before the police had been called. It has been verified by investigators that Abram did not move the cows by choice, but rather at the demand of his father. The question remains; did Kerry purposefully destroy evidence of Lynn’s trail and location?

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It was reported by the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department that Kerry Messer said the last time he saw his wife was before going to bed just before mid-night. Messer said he awoke to the sound of a storm and realized his wife was missing from their bed. He told the authorities that he searched the 250 acre property and came to the conclusion Lynn was not there.

*Click on quotes below for original published internet article and author. 

The local St. Louis Post Dispatch reported the morning of July 8, 2014: “The patrol said that Messer has a broken right toe and does not have her walking boot with her. Her purse, cell phone and other personal items were left at the home. She has a history of depression and evidence at the scene indicates she may be in personal danger, the patrol said, though they didn’t provide more details.”

“Lynn Marie Messer, 52, walked away from her 300-acre farm in the 6300 block of Route DD, and an endangered person advisory was issued Tuesday night by the Missouri Highway Patrol.”

July 16, 2014: “Lynn Marie Messer, 52, walked away from her home on her 270-acre farm in the 6300 block of Route DD. Her husband, Kerry, woke up at about 4 a.m. and noticed she wasn’t there. He told police he searched his home and property and wasn’t able to find her, and called police at about 8 a.m.” 

Lynn’s sons Abram and Aarron have pointed out that Aarron was the person who called the police. Their statements have been confirmed by the recorded 911 tapes that were aired on Investigation Discovery Channel Disappeared: American Gothic.

“On July 8, on a rainy, dark morning, as Kerry Messer tells it, Lynn, 52, got out of bed sometime before 4 a.m. while he slept and then walked away from the family farmhouse. She left without her keys. She left without her wallet and cellphone, and the passport she used on regular church missions to Ecuador.”

“An intense investigation started the morning Lynn was reported missing and after Kerry searched the common areas around their 250 acre farm where she would normally be found.”

When Lynn’s remains were found on the family farm: “Schott said all the items located with Lynn’s remains were collected and picked up by the FBI Forensic Team. They either took them or the sheriff’s department sent them to the Missouri State Highway Patrol crime lab and the St. Louis Medical Examiner’s office.”

According to the Ste. Genevieve Sheriff’s office, Spring Thomas admitted that she has been in a relationship with Kerry Messer since at least eight weeks after Lynn’s disappearance. Lynn’s sons believe it was significantly earlier than the given time line. Friends say they have seen Kerry with Spring, and he has been known to bring her to lunch/business appointments with him.

On Kerry’s Facebook page: Find Lynn Messer he still actively writes about his shredded heart, his loneliness, his lengthy stories about himself, and the memories of “Ma” his “Bride” interspersed with what seems like contempt for Lynn while telling all the things she couldn’t do right.

Spring Thomas is never mentioned by Kerry on the Find Lynn Messer FB page.

The Lynn Messer case remains open and the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department maintains custody of Lynn’s remains. The family has told me that Kerry’s wish for Lynn’s remains, when they are released, is that they be donated to science. This is not the wish of Abram’s family or Lynn’s side of the family. After over two years of not knowing where Lynn was they do not wish for her remains to disappear. They want to know, “she’s at rest, and that they will have a place to take the grand kids and say goodbye.”

As for the forensics testing:  “I’m not sure what type of specific testing is being done,” said Schott. “It will depend on the results that come back to determine what we do from there. Once they give us results on what they are doing, then it may lead us in another direction.”

There have been no arrests made in the disappearance or death of Lynn Messer as of this date.

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

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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

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Lynn Messer: Note, what note?

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

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This letter is reprinted with permission.

Aarron and Abram Messer have been cowriting public letters and posting them under notes on Aarron Messer’s Facebook page.

Aarron and Abram Messer, Wednesday, November 30, 2016

 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Week before last during an interview my father seemingly opened his wallet and showed the world a note that my mother allegedly left when she disappeared on July 8th 2014. That’s it right up there. Of course that’s not all of it. As Kerry said in that interview he couldn’t share the other half because it wasn’t addressed to him. My daughter commented to me the other day almost nonchalantly “grandma didn’t write that.” “What do you mean?” I asked and she said what I have thought and wouldn’t couldn’t say out loud, “grandma didn’t call grandpa, “Pa” she called him “Pop.” Grandpa would get so frustrated and correct her because he wanted to be called Pa, but she called him Pop”. It’s true and it’s just one of many questions and problems with the truth about this note that my dad has now shared.
See on that morning, one I never wanted to experience, I can remember as clear as day hearing about the note from my dad, I was the first person to hear about it. The very first words that were told to me about it led me to assume it was a suicide note. But that is not the case. At 6:30 AM I pulled down the driveway and parked out by the barn. My daughter Emily had a show steer that she needed to work with and mom had left me a message the night before about being sure I was there before 7AM when the summer day would start to heat up.
I had been working at a firework stand in Concordia Missouri several hundred miles away for the past few weeks. The kids had been with their mother in Nebraska and in-between when the kids weren’t with me Kris my Ex refused to bring the kids to work with the show steers like they needed too. The drama between my Ex and my parents is a footnote though. The long and the short is simple Kris would not step foot on the farm so during her summer custody times my mother had been working with Emily’s steer.
Just the week before that steer had stepped on her foot breaking her toe. But that morning while my grumbling teenage daughter stubborn and bitterly began to work with her steer. I listened as the sound of a 4wheeler somewhere on the farm came closer. I saw my dad driving down the hill that’s where my mothers scent trail that the search dogs followed from the house ended, and the path to the back field where we eventually found mom. He came down the driveway and into the barnyard. Emily and her steer were just crossing the barnyard and I was preparing to close the gate to the show ring in the middle of the barnyard when he began to speak.
My dad asked, “What’s your plan today?” I told him we were working with the steer, that I needed to be in Fenton to do a little side work, and that mother was going to watch the kids that morning till I got back. My dad’s next words, I will never forget. “Well, I can’t find your mother, and she left a note that has me concerned.” He explained that he had been looking for her since early that morning when he woke up alone, and then he said, “why don’t you just take the kids and head on home today?” Now I was in total shock and my mind was racing a million different ways.
I asked him if he had checked my house? We had spent the night at my girlfriends 20 miles away and hadn’t been home so my house a mile away just off the farm would be a quiet place to get away too and no one would have noticed her being there. He told me no, and as I stood dumbfounded and confused in the middle of the barnyard he parked the 4 wheeler, jumped in his truck and drove off the farm. Kerry as we found later lied to the investigators multiple times denying he had left the farm that morning. He only admitted to having left the farm after he failed a polygraph in May of 2015, this was the second polygraph he failed. All just before investigators informed us of his new relationship.
I want you to understand and it’s important that you grasp this, in the same breath as learning my mother was missing my dad told me the note existed and that the note was something that clearly had my dad convinced that my mother may have harmed herself. That’s right the very first words about mom being missing and the note that my dad spoke to anyone was that the note caused him to be concerned that she might hurt herself. He said this with a tone that implied mom might have just killed herself. In fact the very first phone call I made to anyone a few minutes later was a weeping overwhelmed conversation with my girlfriend telling her that my mom is missing and that my dad is afraid she might have killed herself.
I want you to contrast this with the intentional words that my father has spoken telling us and insisting that this was not a suicide note, and making the case that my mother was off her rocker because of medication and had maybe wondered off confused in the middle of the night. I panicked but me panicking is a somewhat reasoned response, I searched the farm around me immediately. Now I had no reason to think my dad was hiding my mother’s body, but I will be frank I didn’t know what to do. So, I searched the trunk of their car, their basement, the attics, I searched the outbuildings, the apartment, the loft, I opened the grain barrels in the barn, I ran frantically searching any place a person could be hidden right there in the barnyard.
My daughter had practiced with her steer and she was done, so I sent her to put him back in the backyard. I put my kids in the car and drove home. My overwhelming dread was compounded, my dad had driven off he hadn’t answered any questions he was gone, my mom was missing I hadn’t been home for 2 weeks and the front door to my house was wide open when I pulled up. I had the kids wait in the car and I searched my own home, every room, the garage, the basement, the attic. No signs of anyone. It hit me maybe dad had left the door open moments earlier? I tried to call dad, no answer, I called 911. If my dad has been searching for my mom since 4AM and he hasn’t seen anything we need help.
I like many people had no idea what they could do? After all don’t the police make you wait 24hours before you can file a missing person’s report? Dispatch said they would have an officer call me. I have no home phone and I often lose signal in my home, so I gave them my parent’s phone number. Almost as soon as I hung up I realized dad isn’t home! I called Abram. I asked him did dad call the police yet, “I don’t know… “Well did he tell you about the note? ” just now, he called me and told me to go move the cows… he was up here at 4:15 this morning and he didn’t tell me anything about a note, earlier! … “Well when I was working with Emily and her steer this morning dad said mom is missing and he found some note she left that has him concerned.””
As we talked it became clear Abram woke up at about 4:15AM, as Kerry was trying to open his front door. Kerry asked how the 4wheeler ended up at his house, Abram explained he had driven it home the afternoon before. After asking about the 4 wheeler Kerry turned and walked away pausing momentarily at the end of the house to casually say “well I don’t know where your mother is, and I don’t know what’s going on”. But that was the whole conversation. Kerry never spoke a single word at 4AM about the note, its content or why he was worried about finding mom. Abram went back to bed unaware that there was any crises.
Elizabeth and Abram have reflected their conversation was along the lines of what did he want? He can’t find mom… What? Since mom and dad had been having septic tank problems, they had been using the bathroom over in the apartment across the driveway. She’s probably in the bathroom over at the apartment. Abram reflected, anecdotally commenting to Elizabeth about a time when we where young, how mom had gotten up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and found herself turned around in the dining room, and was lost in the dark walking around in circles around the dining room table… They had no idea dad was worried that mom had disappeared or that she had left a note implying she was going to hurt herself the way dad told me.
Moments before I called Abram, Kerry had called him and told him, “move the cows into the bottom field.” When Abram pressed him trying to find out what was going on, Kerry told him “I don’t need you to do anything. Just move the cows and go back home.” As Abram tried to question him but Kerry again responded by telling him “just move the cows and go back home… don’t come down.” While Elizabeth couldn’t go back to sleep after the whole house of dogs had been awakened at 4AM she sat on their porch. She watched around 6am as Kerry drove the 4 wheeler up and checked on the waterer for the cows. Casually, he drove around examining different cows. He looked over at her from the 4 wheeler and shrugged his shoulders with arms outstretched as if to be like ‘well I don’t know?’
Sitting on the porch Elizabeth never heard him drive all over the farm searching for our mother as he claimed later to have done. Frankly after waking them up and driving off he never expressed concern to them again until he heard that I had called police already. So Abram related how the morning had gone and he asked if I had been able to reach dad on his cell phone? Abram had tried to call him as had I, calling his cell and his house phone multiple times. Since neither of us could reach him and the only thing dad had said to Abram was to move the cows we really began to wonder what was going on.
I drove back to the farm, with the kids. I sent them to play on the rope swing in the backyard and I grabbed their cordless phone. I frantically reviewed the last few numbers dialed on my mom’s cell phone and house phone considering maybe she had, called her sister, or a friend and had gone with them somewhere. I contemplated calling her sister to ask, but was too afraid of upsetting her and causing a panic. The last few numbers showed no unusually calls or conversation with her sister or friends. The phone rang it was a deputy; he asked a few questions and told me he was on his way out.
Thankful I hung up waiting for them to arrive. Within seconds my dad returned to the barnyard with the truck he had left in. He looked at me rather perturbed like why are you still here? I asked him, have you called the police? He said “no”. But before he could talk further I said, “well I have already, they’re on their way.” But before another sound came out of my mouth in an agitated and angry bark my dad said, “I want you to leave.” My dad was so angry, if steam could have been pouring out his ears it would have been. I just turned and walked to the backyard.
My kids had known that grandma was missing they were with me they understood something was seriously wrong. So they were confused as I asked them to come on get in the car we’re going to go. While I herded my kids to the car, Abram pulled up to the house. He was eager to help find mom, knowing now that something was seriously amiss and coming down despite dads admonition to stay home. Kerry met him in the barnyard Abram asked “What’s going on?” Dad was still seething, “your brother’s already called the cops and they’re on their way, you need to just go home”. But Abram was pushing asking more questions trying to figure out what was going on, only to be met with yells of “GO HOME”. Finally since Kerry was getting so hostile, Abram who was at this point extremely shook up began to head back up the driveway.
As Abram drove up the driveway he met the Sheriff’s deputy coming down the driveway. The officer asked what was going on and Abram related as much of what he knew as possible. As I drove out of that barnyard with my kids I had no clue what any note said or where my mother was. But I watched as my dad walked out of the house towards the gate at the end of the yard to meet the deputy who was getting out of his car. I took hope knowing that whatever had happened at least the proper authorities were involved now.
In 2015 when I confronted my dad and as Abram, Kerry and I talked my dad revealed how in those minutes between getting rid of Abram and I he rushed in the house and made copies of this note. He took those copies cutting the note in two and throwing away half the note. So in the video interview earlier this month my dad lied as he claimed that he couldn’t show all the note because a portion was not written to him and was not his to share, the truth is on day one he threw away the portion of the note that was addressed to Abram. The reason he couldn’t share that portion of the note has nothing to do with to whom it was written but that he threw that part of the note away!
Now 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. In fact my dad has continually tried his best to keep Abram not just from knowing about the note but from ever seeing the portion written to him. So publicly dad says oh that part of the note isn’t written to me, privately he would like to pretend that portion of the note doesn’t exist and Abram should never see it even though it was written to him.
Months later investigators would find out from third parties that Kerry had made these copies of the note. That he had been showing people the note but not his kids. So when they found out that he had made these copies and was showing them to people, they were very concerned. On the first day they had asked him several time did you make any copies or taken any pictures of the note and he insisted, “no.” When they came to him and asked about him having the copies well why did lied about making them? So they asked him “why did you make copies?” and he responded by saying “because I knew this was going to be a long drawn out ordeal, and I didn’t know when I was going to get the note back.” So once again investigators scratched their heads wondering, How could he possibly know that this was going to be “a long drawn out ordeal” that’s certainly not what he told the public, or our family.
Over those months Abram and I both experienced incredible feelings of guilt and shame, as a direct result of his decision to hide the note from us. When you are doing everything possible to try and grasp why your mother would disappear, and you know that some devastating note that made your father think she killed herself is hidden from you and you are never allowed to see it, imagine the thoughts your mind goes through thinking why shouldn’t you see this note? Perhaps it says, it’s your fault Aarron, it’s your fault Abram, maybe that note goes on about how disappointed and how ashamed she is of your divorce, or that her grand-kids aren’t perfect enough, maybe we upset her so much with our lives, maybe she was so upset at us that she decided to kill herself and she said that in this note. Why did we have to go through every iteration of guilt and fear over what that note said? Because, Kerry decided we don’t deserve to read the last words our mother wrote.
Consider how our dad put his photocopied piece of the note on video for the public, but never showed his own family that note. Despite being asked and after knowing fully what the note said he would lie. He had copies of the note he was showing others but not us. During 2014 when Abram asked him about the note he responded by saying “the only thing we know from the note is that your mother is either dead, or will spend the rest of her life in a mental institution.” Now parents want to protect their kids, but consider that while Kerry is putting us through a living nightmare of shame and fear, the entire time he is carrying around a copy of a portion of that note, clinging too it in his wallet. So he takes peace and comfort reading it to himself while keeping us from knowing a single word of what it says.
For the entire time he refuses to tell us what the note says, when we repeatedly ask him what did it say. Abram asked him directly “was I mentioned in the note?” Kerry said “No”, over and over again, “it has nothing to do with you”, “it wasn’t written to you”, “it doesn’t have anything to do with you” and “THIS IS MY NOTE… IT BELONGS TO ME!!” All of which are absolute lies. The portion of the note that you have not seen that I have not seen is addressed directly too Abram it speaks directly to him and it has nothing to do with any kind of note finality as Kerry has said. It is a discussion of things that Lynn and Abram had argued over in the weeks prior to her disappearance.
In one of the more bizarre interactions when the investigators were asking Kerry about that portion of the note, he said, “I told her not to write that.” The officer asking him stopped and said “what did you tell her not to write?” And Kerry said, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to correct myself, I did not just say I told her not to write that- that is not what I said”. Now he has never explained how or what he could have meant by that. Just he accidentally let slip that he watched her write the note, and that he criticized what she had written, and maybe just maybe that explains why he cut out that portion of the note and threw it away. Perhaps he knows that it doesn’t have anything to do with my mother disappearance. I don’t know any other possible way to explain this fact. Either he watched her write the note on the morning of July 8th or had he watched her write the note to Abram on the Thursday before when they had argued? Does that explain the forensic results?
Investigators have been evaluating and examining this note for years now. It has been evaluated by the foremost forensic handwriting specialists with the FBI. Looking for clues as to the mental state of the writer, considering their emotional state, hesitation in their writing, was it written under duress, who wrote it? All these things were examined, and in the end the best information shared has been that investigators cannot definitively say even if my mother wrote the note. I would love to be able to share the note with you but too this day I have never seen the original note or read the entire thing. Even this picture he submitted to the media is not remotely close to the same thing as the original note. What? That’s right look at the way the note looks crisp clean, do you believe it’s the same note he has carried for two and a half years in his wallet? My daughter said again to me what I didn’t want too, that’s not been in his pocket for years. If I carry a note in my pocket for a day it fades, the paper looks blue, that note was just put in his wallet.
Now that may not mean a thing but think about it. My dad orchestrates an interview yes he has shut out the media, NBC has been preparing a documentary on my missing mother for months and he has refused to speak with them. But he calls reporters and invites them over, sits on my bench in front of the apartment I rent from him and pretends to make an impulse decision to open his wallet and share the note my mother wrote him. He says he has been carrying the note… But he shows a fresh copy probably one he made that day it has one set of fold lines, that aren’t crisp or aged, the paper he pulls out and pretends to be emotionally unable to read on camera is clearly a brand new note he just put in his wallet.
My dad told Abram and I the same story in 2015 when we confronted him about his secret girlfriend and he admitted and told us how he had demanded that investigators keep the note from us. He threatened the detectives saying that if they showed us the note he would not cooperate with the investigation. When we confronted him Dad opened his wallet and pulled out a faded old paper that looked completely different than the one he just put on camera. He read it to us, explaining how it was written too him and it belonged to him and he was livid that the police would violate his demand to keep it from us.
So the picture above, the note he prepared ahead of time, which I feel has been enlarged and clearly was freshly folded and placed in his wallet for the purpose of pretending to pull it out and read it. It fails to demonstrate exactly what my mother wrote anyone. What I do know is the note that was given to investigators, is written in two different colors of inks. Investigators believe it was actually written at different times, clearly it was not one thought but two separate thoughts both written on the same page. Why would anyone sit down to write a note with one pen write two lines then switch to a sharpie write something completely different to someone else and then go back to the other ink pen and write another line which also doesn’t fit with anything else you had written?
The first half was written above and the rest was written directly too Abram. It discusses a biology text book from high school and refers to the chapter on human reproduction. Abram had brought several issues to my mom’s attention and had discussed how she had lost her temper with his kids. That she had developed a habit of ambushing his wife with complaints. She would let her concerns build until in an overwhelming moment of frustration she would unload on people. When mom argued that she had never ambushed anyone Abram shared how, in high school, the kitchen full of teenage girls participating in a home economics class mom was teaching that a discussion unfolded where the class of girls laughed at Abram for not knowing what a sanitary pad or tampon was for. Abram embarrassed and being humiliated by mother who stood outside the bathroom door in front of kitchen full of teenage girls, explained in specific detail female menstrual cycles.
Abram hid in the bathroom mortified that his mother would ambush him in such a harsh way. That example was one of the issues that Abram had just discussed with our mother and had been a major discussion regarding why Abram would be upset that mom lost her temper and snapped at his kids while they were working with their 4H steers. She had made repeated outlandish comments to her grand-kids about how if they didn’t work harder with the show steers that there would be no money.
Mom was always devastated and terrified that the family was broke. She was not allowed to know the details of her financial affairs because my dad insisted on keeping that hidden from her. She was not allowed to know what the balance of the checkbook was. She was incredibly upset that if the steers did not show well at the fair that coming weekend that they wouldn’t sell for a good price and they would lose thousands of dollars already spent in feed on the steers. In fact she repeatedly called her sister imploring and begging her to buy one of the steers at the fair almost terrified in her pleas that if they didn’t buy one of the steers maybe there wouldn’t be food to eat. Of course after Kerry calculated the cost of the feed and the final sales price of the steers the kids each sold their steers for more than a $1,000 more than was spent raising them.
So this note Kerry says he found the second portion is written to Abram and it talks about the textbook and the discussion between Abram and Lynn. In fact the note was left on top of that textbook for Abram. But Kerry never allowed Abram to read it or told him anything about how it was written too him. While, Kerry had not been present for the argument between Lynn and Abram he was fully aware of the context that the note was written in. In fact he said so during the confrontation between my dad, Abram and I during the spring of 2015. Kerry lied to the investigators saying that he had no idea what the note meant and he hid the details of the argument with Abram and its relevance to the content of the note.
In interviews Kerry has claimed that he had no idea about the argument and that he never understood the second portion of the note until discussing the details with us in the spring of 2015. This is a lie. In fact he discussed and brought up the argument with Abram numerous times with investigators. During my confrontation with Kerry, he also acknowledged that he knew that Abram and my mom had made amends. He knew that as soon as Abram realized that he had lost his temper with mom he immediately apologized and made a commitment to her that he would make sure that he took proactive steps to make sure they would not let stress build up between them.
The day after their argument Abram and his family had gone to a get together with my mom and dad at a friend’s house for the 4th of July. Clearly things had been settled between Abram and mom since they had a great time together eating, talking and laughing late into the evening together. It has become clear that Kerry has viewed and used the note as a means to indict Abram claiming that he had driven Lynn off the mental edge. There is no doubt from the numerous times Kerry has said exactly that too me, that my dad has convinced himself that my mother is dead today because of Abram. Or at least that is the story that he is telling behind closed doors. If this were in fact true, do you really think my mom would have spent hour after hour with Abram and his family the very next day laughing and talking over dinner, fireworks and a bonfire?
Kerry’s relationship with Abram has deteriorated not simply because of Abram’s questioning of dad, but because Kerry has tried to blamed Abram from day one. He knew that the note the second portion was not written too him, it was too Abram and he has expressed that he would like to pretend that that portion of the note doesn’t exist. While Kerry has privately excused his lies too Abram, investigators, and I about the note as some type of attempt to protect Abram from feeling guilty, he has in fact blamed Abram and actively shifted guilt and blame too Abram. What has really happened is Kerry has blamed Abram completely and to hide his own feelings and or actions he has lied over and over again.
In April of 2015 the detectives sat down with Abram. They explained to him how that Kerry had told them that if they showed anyone the note, or talked about it that he would no longer cooperate with the investigation. They continued to outline the problems they were experiencing in the investigation. That Kerry was no longer cooperating with the investigation. In an effort to have some questions answered they showed Abram the note. It is also important to know that on the morning of July 8th 2014 Abram had told the investigators in specific detail all about the argument that he had with mom. The investigators knew from the beginning the context which that portion of the note was written in… in spite of Kerry’s lies about not having any idea what it meant. It was in fact the nature of conversations between Mom and Elizabeth, and Mom and I about Abram that investigators first focused on.
It is important to know that mom would often leave notes for us. Many times she would leave notes for Abram and Elizabeth sometimes at their house and sometimes at her house. The fact that a note exists would not be unusual by any means if anything it would be ordinary. So when you read the note understand that its content is not atypical but is more passive aggressive than typical. As I mentioned previously the note is written with two different types of ink most likely at two different times. The top lines are written with a fine blue pen the middle section written to Abram is written with a green Sharpie marker and the closing line is written with the same blue pen as the top two lines.
The text of the note as best as Abram could relate are as follows.

“I am sorry pa to put

you through this

I love you with all my heart.

Abram on the table you will find the biology book. the last chapter has the stuff that you were told to read but we never discussed. there is also the bible study book with the information that I “never taught” you. I am sorry I made you hate me.

Sorry everyone”

The wording may not be exact because Abram is recalling it from memory only seeing the note once, but this is the most accurate reproduction we can make. As you can see the note is certainly not cohesive and seems to be completely separate thoughts collected on the same page. If you look at the actual note that was written to Abram it would make total sense if she wrote the note to Abram on Thursday the 3rd of July given Kerry’s admission saying “I told her not to write that.”
So to conclude, my mom wrote a note. A note to her family, to everyone…maybe. A note was written either way. Mom, wrote a note to Abram and dad hid it from him, from me, from everyone and lied and lied and lied about it. Dad manipulated the investigation, has misrepresented what he knows about the note to the public, to his family, to investigators. He has used the note to control us, the investigation, to try and get pity from you. We don’t even know if mom wrote the note, or maybe he did? At least the portion written to Abram looks like mom’s hand writing. So the note doesn’t answer many questions but it certainly doesn’t indict Abram for having driven mother over the edge. Speaking of which, we need to talk about my mom, she was upset. She was depressed, she was overwhelmed and she didn’t get help. My dad knows that, he denies it but he knows it. My mother’s mental health is the subject of our next discussion.

 

 

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

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Toxic Tuesday: Church Leadership Supporting Sexual Offenders Part 2

Part 2

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 18:10 ESV

I am concerned about many churches in America, and abroad, regarding their lack of discernment or care for children’s safety.

For background leading up to this post see Church Leadership Supporting Sexual Offenders: Part 1

I am not a confrontational person at heart but last week the Lord gave me an assignment; a difficult uncomfortable lesson to present to people in places of church leadership and authority. I would rather pass on this project but at the same time; I am privileged for the option to obey.

So here it goes.

How would you feel if a sexual offender were in your house attacking your child, or had just left your house after attacking your child, and you called 911 for help but the 911 operator did not believe you? Instead they asked to speak to your attacker to hear their side of the story. Then they believed the attacker instead of you which in my book is the same as saying, “You’re crazy! Your child is lying! It never happened to your child; in fact, you invented this propaganda and told your child to repeat the lie. Admit it, you don’t like this person and you are trying to run them out-of-town and ruin their career. How could you say such a terrible thing about that person?” The operator then threatened you and your family should you decide to involve the law.

You turn your attacker in to the local authorities on your own but for doing so you experience hostility from the 911 operator and the staff from their office. You receive threats and your name is slandered in the community.

This is happening to children and their families in the church world-wide. There are predators in our society who are attending college and seminaries to train for working in the church to gain access to supply; children. Unsuspecting leadership and church goers are clueless to this fact so it isn’t surprising that when sexual abuse allegations come up; they are quickly denied by the perpetrator, not believed by the church staff or members, quieted or ignored.

I am disappointed, sad, sickened and frustrated when adults do not believe the children or take seriously the Biblical mandate to look after and welcome the little children; especially when they need protection from a predator. Children need to be believed.

I have witnessed churches, friends and ministry associates support such an offender and I believe they have much to answer for to the Lord, to the church they were entrusted with in leadership roles, to the children, and to the children’s families. I’m not alone in my opinion.

Here is a note I received from a well-respected man of God who specializes in bringing to light the plight of child sexual abuse in the church, Christian universities, para-church organizations, and on the mission field.

“Though I am glad this predator was finally caught and removed from having more opportunities to abuse little ones, I am sickened by the fact that the faith community has embraced him and advocates for his innocence. I have no doubt these individuals will one day be called into account for their failure to protect the vulnerable as they were too busy protecting evil. So glad that justice finally arrived…”

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42 ESV

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40 ESV

Church is one of the places where children and abuse survivors should be the safest. The unfortunate truth is that molesters, pedophiles and sexual offenders know that the church is the one place where they can  be a new attendee, volunteer to help in children’s ministry, and be gladly received.

Most churches have a process in place for doing criminal background checks on volunteers but the fact remains that many people with sexual addictions and attractions to children have never been arrested; therefore, they pass the background check.

I’ve heard of numerous instances where churches hired staff knowing there had been child sexual abuse allegations in the person’s background but the church believed the, “I’m innocent of the allegations. Someone was mad at me for ________ (fill in the blank). The church leadership and/or search committee believed them and gave them the authority to abuse more children. That’s exactly how I look at it.

Here is one example of a convicted sex offender: “The allegations were false’: At the time he was hired, the pastor informed the church of his past conviction and claimed the allegations were false. Despite the fact that a court of law found sufficient evidence to convict this man of a sexual offense against a child, the church preferred to believe his words. I have seldom encountered child sexual abusers who did not claim that the allegations made against them were false. I even prosecuted cases where the defendant gave a full confession to law enforcement as he maintained his innocence to friends and family. Anytime we are dealing with someone who has been prosecuted for sexually abusing a child, we don’t have the luxury to accept his or her words of denial.” [i]

The church needs to be concerned about the safety of children not concerned about the church’s reputation. When children are protected, families and people will know they are part of a loving godly ministry. While on earth Jesus did not teach, “Protect the reputation of the church, the pastors, or the leaders even if it means sacrificing the children.” This is not scriptural.

“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:5-6

Beginning today I pray that churches, pastors and friends recognize God has set local authority over us; therefore, we need to use God’s tool (local authorities) by getting out of the way and allowing the law to do its job.

The church must believe and protect our children. We live in a world where drugs are readily available to help lessen or deaden the pain and where suicide claims the lives of so many children and young adults who have suffered at the hands of molesters and pedophilic offenders. If the church were doing its job drug usage and the suicide rate would be considerably less.

Pastors, friends and family members need to do what is right and when they don’t; we need to make the consequence a heavy weight that reminds them and shows people around them the importance of believing and protecting the children. It isn’t your job to decide guilt or innocence. Always report sexual abuse allegations to the authorities and allow the professionals to do their job. Children rarely lie about sexual abuse.

For the church members and friends who stood as character witnesses with the above/below mentioned pastor or wrote letters of reference for him to the court; you should have made a few phone calls before helping this sexual offender. The ex-wife, previous ministries and former mentors would have been the obvious choices. There was a trail of legal paperwork, medical paperwork and witnesses which should have removed any doubt or at least placed doubt and many questions in your mind.

“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:5-6

Here are excerpts from the Independence Daily Reporter article, by Allen Smith, about Butler’s Montgomery County District Court sentencing.

“The former minister of the Community Christian Church of Independence, Kansas, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years for aggravated criminal sodomy of a child.” [ii]

The next portion is by the mother of the then 3-year-old boy who Steven Paul Butler was sentenced under Jessica’s Law for victimizing.

“I have prayed many different prayers over the past 4 ½ years. In one of the constant prayers I have asked God, that no child would ever be hurt by Steve Butler,” She said.

“I have watched my son go from a joyful confident child, to a shattered mess of confusion, fear and heartbreak, shame and anger.”

“He feels unworthy of love, friendship or success,” she said.

Then she focused her anger on Butler.

“I trusted a man who acted like a great man of God with the most important things in my life, my children. He abused his power. My son has suffered so much and the only hope he has, the light at the end of the tunnel, is Mr. Butler will never hurt another child again.”

“I merely ask you not to let my son’s suffering be in vain,” the mother wrote.

The boy’s grandfather also spoke at the hearing.

“This act of sexual abuse towards our grandson has robbed him of his precious childhood innocence,” he said. “He has had to relive the incident over and over for the past four years.”

“When he should have been enjoying things like Christmas, birthdays and the simple things of life, he has spent these years in fear, worrying that Steve Butler would be set free to come after him and harm him again.” [iii]

Here is the last segment I will share:

“Cullins (the judge) acknowledged he had received and reviewed ‘thoroughly,’ letters of support from several people including, David Bycroft, pastor at the Tryo Christian Church, Reggie Epps, Dave Rutherford, Larita Jones, Charles Rice, Ilene Vance, Bess Clark and Vicki Edington, among others.” [iv]

The local reporter believed one of the moms and her child to not be believable. Let me point out that this momma and her child were the perfect targets for any child predator. No, she didn’t show overt emotion. Yes, her child suffers from mental illness. Any child victimized before the age of 6 is at high risk for developing personality disorders. This momma’s child was 5 when the defendant was accused of molesting him. If the defendant followed his usual plan of attack he knew the child’s history of emotional difficulties, including abuse, and knew the mom’s personal and family history; preying upon the child specifically for these reasons. The defendant knew that even if he was caught, no one would ever believe the child or his mom. See : How Sexual Predators Choose Child Victims and Pedophile or Molester

Ronnie Epps, founding pastor of Johnson County Christian Church/Legacy Christian Church in Overland Park, Kansas, and Reggie Thomas of White Fields Evangelism in Joplin, Missouri attended as supporters of the defendant. As a former adult victim of the defendant I can tell you that it felt like they were screaming at me, “He never raped you. He never abused your child. You’re crazy. How could you say such a thing about this wonderful man of God?”

I understood the words of past victims who have said, “It felt like I was being violated all over again.” That was exactly how I felt and it was painful but the torment came in how I felt for the helpless children who weeks earlier had to testify in front of their abuser while church members and pastors/evangelists sat there supporting the defendant. I pleadingly submit to you; the church should have been there for the children.

You blindly supported a sexual offender without investigating past allegations by contacting former churches, mentors and former family members and you betrayed innocent children; the apples of Jesus’ eye.

Now all of you who are supporters of this man have some accounting to do. You didn’t allow the little children to come to Jesus. You owe them and their families an apology. You need to decide how you can minister to them and help facilitate healing.

I understand that you may not recognize or understand a fraudulent deceiver when you see one because you are not deceitful. Perhaps you had no idea what to look for. But the fact remains that when the allegations arose you should have thought first and foremost about the innocent children and dug into the accuser’s background. You didn’t.

Some people have asked, “Where was God?” This question is an easy way of bucking the church’s responsibility.  I ask where the church was.

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42

The local church needs to publicly apologize for their inexcusable behavior and the denial of the facts; for not investigating past allegations as soon as they learned about them, for believing the offender, for leaving children alone with Butler, and for not supporting the children and their families in court. I believe you have lost some of your reward. Have you regretted second guessing, remaining silent, or not supporting the children? You are partly responsible for the abuse that took place in the church building. I whole heartedly believe Jesus wants you to make amends and make sure children in your care are always protected today, and in the future.  For help on how to protect children in your church and how to minister to abuse survivors I recommend, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment or visit G.R.A.C.E. at their Facebook page.

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16

The church and the defendant’s supporters hindered the little children. You added to their heartache. The children will likely always remember that the church, Christians and Christian leaders/pastors did not believe them. This will make their journey to healing more difficult and could possibly interfere with a how they relate to God their Father. It has the potential to keep them from an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. They will have a tendency to resist the Holy Spirit. Did you stop and ask if your response would hurt the child’s relationship with the Lord or if your support would add trauma to an already difficult circumstance?

Now for the good news; the reminder. The Lord in His great mercy, grace and beauty offers all of us the gift of repentance.

Repentance is not God’s way of condescendingly reminding us of our sin, failures and mistakes. Quite the opposite. It is our chance to approach Him, and through repentance, receive forgiveness, healing, power, wisdom and blessing. Repentance is a beautiful gift. God does not dole out punishments, although there may be natural consequences, but instead gives good gifts to those seeking His heart and will.

I will end this week’s post with a quote from my friend Cindy Sigler Dagnan’s Facebook author page. She had no idea about my blog or the fact I was asking the Lord if my post was appropriate.  I was inquiring of the Lord what to write and how to handle a sensitive subject. I knew I was to show firmness from a biblical viewpoint fueled by love for the Lord’s church. At the same time I was feeling completely inadequate and questioning what I had written. Then I felt the Holy Spirit almost blow me over as He reassured me through Cindy’s Facebook status update. I read it, then re-read it through blurry tear-filled eyes.

“It’s a poverty when God’s words are watered down for the sake of being culturally sensitive, in the name of comforting others or not being offensive. His absolute truth is by nature going to offend because it requires of us change. Perhaps more scary, it requires us to do nothing but ACCEPT His grace and the promise of salvation — we CANNOT earn it! We can sooo love others to Jesus without backing down. Confronting wrong is NOT the same as pointing unkind judgmental fingers. After all, Jesus saved His most pointed comments for those who should KNOW BETTER, not for the unsaved. He loved them, but gently and firmly said, “Go and sin no more.” He DID NOT say, “That’s not really sin if you really want to do this.” Cindy Sigler Dagnan 9/14/2014

Next week: Part 3 of Church Leadership Supporting Sexual Offenders

[i]Boz Tchividjian, “4 lessons we can learn from a church that hired a sex offender”, Religion News Service, June 27, 2014- See more at: http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/06/27/4-lessons-learn-church-just-doesnt-get/#sthash.04Tyr82H.dpuf

[ii]Allen Smith, “Former minister Butler receives life sentence for aggravated sodomy”, Independence Daily Reporter, August 22, 2014

[iii] Smith, “Former minister Butler receives life sentence for aggravated sodomy”

[iv] Smith, “Former minister Butler receives life sentence for aggravated sodomy”

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Toxic Tuesday: Church Leadership Supporting Sexual Offenders

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

Part 1

Matthew 18:10

“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

This post has kept me up late at night shaking—literally. I know the Lord has called me to blog about my prayer life, about the boundaries He is patiently helping me learn to set (I’m an extremely slow learner in this area) and about the life difficulties and traumas I have experienced. The subjects tend to be downers; heavy and sometimes dark instead of fun, witty and uplifting. I’m a girl who wants to have fun. I want to quit writing about the subject content of a sex offender’s recent trial I waited, for what seemed a life time, to be successfully prosecuted and I wanted last week’s post to be the end of the subject, but I had no peace about my decision.

This week a statement kept surfacing in my mind, “The church; my people who are called by my name,  are not protecting or believing the little children.” I wanted to know if this was my discernment or words from the Lord. The statement wasn’t during my quiet time or during any prayer time. I’m good at reminding the Lord I am made from dust and fully capable of making mistakes, misreading Him or disobeying. I don’t want to be guilty of any of these things and I needed to confirm His heart and will in the matter and make sure my frustrations weren’t taking over my thought life.

I was awake at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning wondering if I was really supposed to continue with the ‘trial’ subject. I prayed about it—a lot. There was no instant answer so I asked questions, gave thanks and told the Lord I would skip it for this week, maybe forever, unless He specifically spoke to me on the subject in any way of His choosing.

I woke up Tuesday morning opened a workbook I studied years ago and which I am now taking my boys through for morning Bible study.  The study is, Jesus the One and Only by Beth Moore. We began week 8, Day 1, Causing Others to Sin. Please read Luke 17:1-5 to familiarize yourself with the passage.

Then at lunch my boys and I listened to Eric Metaxas on YouTube speak about Bonhoeffer. My boys enjoy listening to Eric Metaxas so I pulled up YouTube, searched his name, and clicked on Bonhoeffer so we could count it as part of a history lesson. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a man who did the right thing, a hard thing, despite the resistance and social climate of the day. He was a Nazi resister who defied the evil and false biblical teachings surrounding him to the point of death by execution in a concentration camp.

Great heroes of the faith who have gone before me climbed to much braver, more difficult, impossible, and courageous callings—unto death.

I received an easy assignment: Share what the Lord is teaching me through typing. I can do this.

Back to Beth’s lesson: In Luke 17:1-5 Christ was addressing his disciples about things that can cause people; more specifically, little children to sin. Jesus said, “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.” Luke 17:1

I will not attempt to re-teach something Beth Moore has taught. Here are a few excerpts from week 8, day 1. I will refer to the sex offender as the trapper and defendant but the message is to the people who attempted to shield the trapper:

The Greek word for offenses, skandalon, means, “the trigger of a trap on which the bait is placed, and which, when touched by the animal, springs and causes it to close causing entrapment… .Skandalon always denotes an enticement to conduct which could ruin the person in question.” [i]

It is obvious the trapper is the defendant but I believe the defendant’s supporters (those who attempted to shield the trapper/defendant) should ask God to show them why they so easily and foolishly were vulnerable to the defendant. Then they should be resolved, that if ever another situation like this comes to light, they will demonstrate due diligence in performing a background check to the best of their ability—and believe the children. Young children rarely lie about sexual abuse.

“Christ issued a woe to anyone who causes another person to sin. But look at the pronounced indictment against anyone who causes one of these little ones to sin. Who are these little ones? The original word is mikros. Study the following definition: ‘of age meaning small, young, not grown up; in the comparative degree meaning less, younger…figuratively, of dignity, authority, meaning low, humble.’ We certainly know Christ’s reference to little ones includes literal children because in Matthew’s version He actually ‘called a little child and had him stand among them’ before He issued these statements in Matthew 18:2.”[ii]

“Christ’s reference to little ones spotlights children,” those young in age, “…or inferior to the trapper in knowledge, experience, authority, or power—anyone of whom it might be easy to take advantage. That Christ holds the trapper greatly responsible is a gross understatement! He appears to be saying, if you have entrapped a weaker, more vulnerable person in sin,” a child, “you’re going to wish you had drowned in the deepest sea rather than deal with me.”[iii]

“A day of reckoning is coming. No trapper gets away with entrapment—of human kind or spirit kind.”[iv]

Let’s go back to who Christ was addressing; His disciples. “Christ wasn’t just issuing an assurance of horrible consequences for the trapper. He was also issuing a warning that His disciples better not be among them.” Shielders. “If Christ’s temperature rises over the godless trapper, can you even imagine how His temperature would rise over the trapper who bears His name?” (Or those who help or shield the trapper.) “God forbid!”[v]

“If God would judge those outside His own household, I think we can rest assured He would discipline His own…by all means let’s be on our guard never to cause another person to sin. The Word is clear we have that potential.”[vi]

“So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” Luke 17:3-4 (NIV)

“If we are functioning as a healthy body, ideally we should be able to bring issues that affect us to the table with one another and dialogue and, when appropriate, even rebuke or receive a rebuke. This type of approach demands the maturity expressed in Ephesians 4:14-15 (NIV)” [vii]  “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

Thank you for reading this introduction. I will continue on this theme the next 2-3 weeks of Toxic Tuesday posts. I’ll call them ‘Sticky Posts’ because they are about to become stickier.

[i] Beth Moore, Jesus the One and Only,  (Nashville, TN, LifeWay Press, 2000), 171

[ii] Moore, Jesus the One and Only, 172

[iii] Moore, Jesus the One and Only, 173

[iv] Moore, Jesus the One and Only, 173

[v] Moore, Jesus the One and Only, 173

[vi] Moore, Jesus the One and Only, 174

[vii] Moore, Jesus the One and Only, 174

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Tex-Mex Black Bean Salsa

Tex Mex Black Bean Salsa

My favorite time of year to eat this Black Bean Salsa is when I have fresh Roma tomatoes from my garden which usually places this salsa around the 4th of July. My daughter and I make this salsa throughout the year but tonight was the first batch with homegrown Romas.

My sister, one of the best cooks ever,  introduced me to this recipe years ago and I have since adapted it to my taste bud’s preferences. I like Roma tomatoes, Serrano peppers and lots of lime juice.

 

Fresh ingredients

Fresh ingredients

Black Beans and Shoe Peg Corn

Black Beans and Shoe Peg Corn

chopped veggies

Chopped Veggies

Serrano Peppers

Serrano Peppers

This Jalapeno Corer tool is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. It works for any type of pepper and also cores the tops of tomatoes. My favorite use is for coring Jalapenos. Cut the tops offs and rotate the corer down inside the pepper to remove veins and seeds. This allows you to stuff the Jalapeno for baking, grilling or placing in a smoker. The Serranos above are small and need to be cut in half, then deveined and seeded one half at a time.

I ordered my Jalapeno Corer at Amazon.com. I also ordered the Jalapeno Roasting Rack for use in the oven, on the grill or in a smoker.

Jalapeno Corer Tool

Jalapeno Corer Tool

Limes juiced

Juiced limes

Toss chopped veggies with lime juice, Canola oil, salt and garlic powder

Toss chopped veggies with lime juice, Canola oil, salt and garlic powder

Add tomatoes

Add tomatoes and mix

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

TEXMEX Recipes

 

Tex-Mex Black Bean Salsa

1 can black beans

1 can Shoe peg corn

1 bunch cilantro

½ Bell pepper—any color, chopped

1 small or medium purple onion, to taste, chopped

4 cups Roma tomatoes, chopped

2 Serrano peppers seeded and deveined, minced

Juice of 2 medium limes

1 T. Canola oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Drain and rinse beans and corn. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add cilantro, bell pepper, purple onion, Serrano peppers then mix in lime juice, Canola oil, salt and garlic powder. Add and mix chopped tomatoes. Serve immediately. Refrigerate left overs.

Serve with Restaurant style white corn tortilla chips or Tostidos Scoops.

 

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Tex-Mex Creamy Serrano Enchiladas

TEXMEX Recipes

 

 

I like flavor—bold—can’t miss it flavor. These enchiladas are full of flavor but not heat.

I often create as I go and since Colson requested some type of enchilada for dinner I used what I could find in the fridge and pantry. I already had the Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip which I had made over the weekend. I had also loaded up the grill at the beginning of the week with hamburgers, hot dogs, fajita chicken and chicken marinated in Italian dressing. I use this chicken in casseroles, pasta and salads. I sometimes throw chops and steaks on the grill too. This saves me valuable time during the week because my meats are already cooked and ready to be used for meal preparations. I slightly undercook the meats on the grill to allow for reheating.

I only have one picture of the dish since I was attempting to quickly prepare dinner in time for Riley to take A.J. to Youth Group for his very first time— ever. I had tears in my eyes as they drove down the driveway. Where did time go? He was still a little boy in my heart. How did he advance to Middle School age? This was not right!

I digressed; back to the subject. When Riley finished eating she told me I needed to write this recipe down because it tasted like restaurant enchiladas.  A.J., who thought he would not like the enchiladas wound up drooling over them, Colson was thrilled with the final product, I could have eaten a whole pan by myself and Farm Boy, who is an Italian food fan, had at least thirds and suggested I write down the recipe.

My family knows I fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to preparing meals. They also know that if I don’t immediately write the recipe down I will forget within hours the ingredients I used and the approximate measurements.

If you skip the Grilled Fajita Chicken and the Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip you will have, in my snobbish Tex-Mex opinion, blah Mexican enchiladas—you will.

Here is the recipe with the only, end of the meal, picture I have of the enchiladas.  You won’t be sorry you made these!

Tex Mex Creamy Serrano Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 – 4 oz. cans diced green chiles
  • 1 packet McCormick Fajita Seasoning (My favorite)
  • 4 grilled, (small-medium) shredded chicken breasts
  • 10 oz. mild enchilada sauce (I used Great Value brand)
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 16-18 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup Creamy Serrano Ranch Sauce/Dip (See recipe below)
  • Canola or olive oil
  • Chopped Cilantro

Instructions:

  1. Rub 4 small/medium chicken breasts on each side with seasoning from a McCormick Fajita seasoning packet. Grill chicken; sprinkling more seasoning once on each side as it grills.
  2. Sauté cream cheese (smash with fork), green chiles, and pre-grilled chicken until they are warm and well combined. If it seems too dry add more Creamy Serrano Ranch.
  3. Heat and oil pan. Warm tortillas on both sides filling one as you warm the next. Reapply oil as necessary.
  4. Fill tortillas with meat mixture and some of the cheese, reserving some cheese to sprinkle on the top.
  5. Roll up tortillas and place seam down in a 9×13 baking dish and an 8X8 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray or olive oil.
  6. Spoon enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.
  8. Top with fresh chopped Cilantro before serving.

 

Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip (Jalapeño)

IMG_0044

½ cup sour cream

½ cup real mayonnaise (low fat is not tasty in this recipe)

¾ cup milk

½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar (this turns milk in to buttermilk)

1 (4 ounce) can green chilies

1 (1 ounce) packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

2 Serrano peppers (remove seeds and veins for mild) Remove seeds for medium heat. Leave seeds and veins for hot heat.

¼ cup cilantro

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

IMG_0046

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth.

IMG_0049

Refrigerate for two hours before serving so ingredients can soak into the dressing.

Serve with chips or use as salad dressing on Mexican salads, or sauce for Mexican foods and casseroles.

*Heat oven to 350 degrees and place a cookie sheet of White Corn Restaurant style tortilla chips in the oven for 3 minutes. Enjoy fresh restaurant style chips and dip.

Original Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip post: https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/creamy-serrano-ranch-dip/

 

Enjoy!

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Toxic Tuesday: The Supernatural

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

 

Last week provided opportunity for me to sit down with my children and use our prayer tool box. I take this prayer box out when I want to spend lengthy concentrated prayer on an issue or need.

Last week such a need was upon us. There was a possibility of seeing a long-awaited prayer request answered concerning a toxic person from our past. This toxic person had wreaked havoc in four innocent children’s lives that we knew of and possibly, according to investigators, in hundreds of other children’s lives. After sixteen years of praying for children’s safety I could possibly see God’s hand provide permanent protection. I believed I had received the answer to the prayerrequest over two years previous but felt the pressing duty to pray it into being.

Please understand I was not fighting against a person. I fought for the safety of children from childhood victimization but more than that; I fought for their heart, soul, mind and strength. Because perhaps nothing can mess with a child’s heart, soul mind and strength more than being victimized in the name of Jesus while being told how special they are, how loved they are, and that God is going to use them in great ways for His work. ENOUGH! There are things worth fighting for, through the power of prayer, and this was one of them.

By products would be the vengeance of the Lord, vindication from my past for the hundreds of people who never knew the truth of why I left this relationship, and a reminder to those who knew but refused to do anything about it that God knows all, sees all, and will hold them accountable for the harm that came to the children.

I was in desperate need to see God’s final answer of justice, in this case, on this side of heaven, “Please Lord?”

“A hostile world! I call to God, I cry to God to help me. From his palace he hears my call; my cry brings me right into his presence— a private audience!” Psalm 18:6 (The Message)

Ah yes, that is how I feel every time I take out our prayer tool box; in His presence—a private audience!

Here are two of the prayer cards we filled out during our time praying for justice in this court case.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Write your own Psalm 100 by filling in the blanks—

 

Know that the Lord is powerful and in charge

It is He who brought this child abuser to trial

And we are His prayer warriors praying for justice

Enter His arms little children with assurance of rest and healing,

Give praise to Him and trust and glorify His name.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Describe how you are asking God to work in this circumstance:

A mazingly swift

B elieve the children (jury)

C omfort the children

D eliver defendant to prison

E mpower prosecutor & team

F inish the trail this week

G uilty verdict

H elp children to remember

I ntercessor for the witnesses

J udicious

K indness toward children from the defense

L ove the children tenderly

M ighty to save

N ever forget what happened

O verwhelm the jury with truth

P eace while giving testimony

Q uiet the court room

R emember the victims

S ave the children from fear

T welve guilty verdicts

U understand defendant’s history & character (jury)

V indicate the children

W onderful counselor

X tremely wise jury

Y ielding professional testimony

Z ealous for the children; the apples of Jesus’ eyes

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We were extremely bold in our asking; after all, the book of Psalms sets the precedence for asking boldly for victory against our foes.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

Two days later I was present in court to hear the verdict with my own ears: Guilty.

See previous post: “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin

We need to wake up, pray up and speak up. Sin, specifically childhood victimization, wants to shut us down and shut us up but God has so much more for us.  God wants us to join Him where ever we see Him working; including protecting children. Jesus left His believers supernatural power to get the work done. “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12

So I will boldly speak out. God’s church has often been quiet about childhood victimization sometimes treating the victims as the problem. Why? Because it is an uncomfortable ugly topic and it is next to impossible for many people to believe abusers, molesters and pedophiles exist.  They would rather not talk about it and if they must; please leave the shocking terminology out of the conversation. Smooth it over, soften it, make it nicer. No one should have to hear about such things.

I strongly disagree. Many Christians need to wake up, know the facts and do everything they can to protect the children; at the very least, believe the children and pray for them.

We must participate in God’s cause, battle and victory against the forces of darkness. Bad things happen in real life. You can’t hush it, soften it, rewrite it or ignore it. Be real! Childhood victimization is real! If we will not intercede for the children, who will? If we will not bring to light the sin hidden in darkness no one will.

Do you know of a toxic person who needs brought to justice? Join God and fight for the children. Pray.

Here are two links to help you with prayer tools as you take on remembering to effectively pray.

DSCN1898Prayer Tool Box: https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/?s=prayer+tool+box

Prayer boardPrayer Board: https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/?s=prayer+board

 

Here are three links with helpful scriptures to pray over abused children and the abusers.

https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/p-r-a-y-e-r-for-innocent-children/

https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/pedophile-or-molester-content-warning/

https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/mene-mene-tekel-parsin/

 

P R A Y E R acronym

 

word filled linkup

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Pedophile or Molester? *Content Warning

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard

WARNING: GRAPHIC WRITTEN CONTENT

 

Diagnostic criteria for pedophilia

Pedophilia is a well-known disorder. It’s defined by the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV-TR.

To be diagnosed with pedophilia, a person must:

  • be sexually aroused by, have intense, recurring sexual fantasies of, or be involved in sexual behavior with a prepubescent child or children (generally 13 years or younger);
  • be aroused by, have sexual fantasies of, or be involved with a child for at least six months.;
  • be at least 16 years old, and
  • be at least five years older than the child or children he or she is attracted to.

 

Let’s say a man with sexual addictions toward children was caught multiple times over the last two decades; although investigators in different states who have investigated are certain the history goes back to early teenage years and most likely includes dozens, possibly hundreds, of victims. He likes very young children both boys and girls with brown hair. Is he a pedophile or a molester?

Is there a difference between being a pedophilic sex offender and being a molester?

Answer: Yes

The media tends to use these terms as synonyms (a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another) though they are not. Although both pedophilic sex offenders and molesters abuse children; statistically pedophilic offenders have a ‘look’ or ‘type’ of child they prey upon plus they victimize more children over time.

 

Pedophiles and Child Molesters: The Differences

Although virtually all pedophilic sex offenders are child molesters, not all child molesters are pedophilic sex offenders. Pedophiles have a clear sexual attraction for children. The focus of a pedophile is a child or children generally under the age of 13. Pedophiles often report they are attracted to children in a particular age range (DSM-IV), build, look, hair or eye color. Pedophilic sex offenders are those who act on their attraction to children by violating a child.  Child molesters are sexual offenders who have committed either intra-familial sexual offense (incest) against a child victim or extra-familial sexual offenses against a child victim or both.

Pedophilic Sex Offenders:

  • True offenders may abuse family members, but the majority of their offenses is extra-familial and is directed toward vulnerable children whom they court or groom for the purpose of victimization. Their relationships with children are based on exploitation of the children for sexual gratification.
  • Offenders, who seek out children to victimize by placing themselves in positions of trust, authority, and easy access to youngsters, can have hundreds of victims over the course of their lifetimes.
  • Offenders, especially those who molest boys, or both boys and girls, are the sex offenders who have the highest recidivism (relapse) rates after incarceration and/or treatment.
  • Offenders frequently are uncomfortable with adult intimacy and may spend their lives maneuvering to be near children. They may be extremely charming and skilled at manipulating adults, and they may use adult relationships to gain access to children.
  • The pedophilic sex offender may spend years working up to a position of authority and trust within a church, school, or youth organization in order to have access to children. Of course, most such individuals in these types of authoritative positions have no sexual interest in children.

Child Molesters:

  • The non-pedophilic molester is someone whose primary sexual orientation includes adults, but who may molest children in a maladaptive attempt to meet emotional needs.
  • Research has found that many men who molest their own children or related female children have sexual interests that are indistinguishable from those of non-offending males.
  • Data suggest incestuous offenders, regardless of the gender of the victim, have lower numbers of victims and are less likely to be rearrested for new sex crimes after they have been convicted.
  • A child molester may turn to a child for sex out of a perceived inability to be close with an adult partner, out of poor self-esteem, or to escape feelings of powerlessness and loneliness. This type of offender usually has had appropriate (but often dysfunctional) relationships with peers and may be married

 

—Outcome studies have demonstrated consistently low rates of recidivism (relapse) for incestuous only offenders.

Retired FBI special agent, Nancy Fisher, says pedophiles and molesters don’t change.

“I’ve never had a success with a child pornographer or pedophile, never, not one, ever, ever, ever, ever. They never change,” said Fisher.

Read more: http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/18258238/crimewatch-difference-between-pedophiles-child-molesters#ixzz33XhQaJZl

No cure for pedophilia has been developed. A number of proposed treatment techniques for pedophilia have been developed, though the success rate of these therapies has been very low.[1] Medications are used to lower sex drive in pedophiles by interfering with the activity of testosterone, such as with Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate), Androcur (cyproterone acetate), and Lupron (leuprolide acetate).

The Mayo Clinic reports perpetrators who meet the diagnostic criteria for pedophilia offend more often than non-pedophile perpetrators, and with a greater number of victims. They state that approximately 95% of child sexual abuse incidents are committed by the 88% of child molestation offenders who meet the diagnostic criteria for pedophilia.[2] A behavioral analysis report by the FBI states that a “high percentage of acquaintance child molesters are preferential sex offenders who have a true sexual preference for [prepubescent] children (i.e., true pedophiles)”.[3]

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Please pray this Psalms over innocent children who have been abused. May their day of justice be upon them.

Psalm 3

Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.

 

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.

 

Psalm 54

Save me, O God, by your name;
vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
listen to the words of my mouth.

Arrogant foes are attacking me;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
people without regard for God.

Surely God is my help;
the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Let evil recoil on those who slander me;
in your faithfulness destroy them.

P R A Y E R acronym

Previous post: https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/p-r-a-y-e-r-for-innocent-children/

____________________________________________________________________________

1.  Crawford, David (1981). “Treatment approaches with pedophiles”. Adult sexual interest in children. 181–217.

2.  Lanning, Kenneth (2001). “Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis (Third Edition)” (PDF). National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. pp. 25, 27, 29.

3.  Hall RC, Hall RC (2007). “A profile of pedophilia: definition, characteristics of offenders, recidivism, treatment outcomes, and forensic issues”. Mayo Clin. Proc. 82 (4): 457–71. doi:10.4065/82.4.457PMID 17418075.

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Pico De Gallo Recipe: My habit

TEXMEX Recipes

 

Spring brings great hope to my Tex-Mex lov’in taste buds.

Yes, my gustatory receptor cells know the salsa garden is planted and fresh cilantro is already being harvested. Ah, the scent the taste of fresh cilantro!

Here is my dilemma this spring: The lime supply is not sufficient.

I should not, will not, cannot eat Tex-Mex without lime and the cost of limes has tripled in price. They are sometimes teeny tiny, Key Lime size, and I can only express one to two teaspoons of juice from them. Other times the stores do not have any in stock.

Have you heard about this inconvenience?

The explanation for this disruption is one more reason to abhor the Mexican drug cartel industry. The drug cartels decided they need more money so they set their financial ambitions on lime groves. They are using armed force to take over hard-working farmer’s lime groves and the cartels are ambushing and robbing produce trucks on the way to market. In response to the crime, some farmers are burning down their groves and not giving in to the cartels.

Add to this the Huanglongbing, citrus greening disease, in Mexico, the California drought, and Florida’s poorly sanctioned diseased lime crop policy enacted shortly after Hurricane Andrew over a decade ago. (Read more at  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/25/lime-shortage_n_5191607.html)

This is why I am forced to pay $1.00 for an almost microscopic lime. Which makes me thankful that our family’s finances allow me the ability to feed my habit—my drug of choice; lime—because I’m a lime junkie.

Juiced limes

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Today I am sharing how I make my favorite Pico De Gallo recipe. Some cooks use yellow onion, some use any type of tomato but I only use white onion and Roma tomatoes.

Because the heat and taste of onion can vary from crop to crop, I cut a piece off and inspect it by smelling it and tasting it. This is a necessary evil because not much is worse than taking the time to chop all your ingredients, mix your recipe and find out a bad onion spoiled the flavor of the entire dish. I use equal parts tomato, onion and fresh cilantro but if the onion is too strong I cut the amount back to ¼ to ½ depending on the onion’s strength.

This recipe can be made as small or large as needed.

In my house we consider Pico De Gallo a nutritious meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner and it is eaten as such; with tortilla chips. Yep, that’s it—nothing more—just Pico. I hope you don’t have a problem with that.

Homemade salsa is also served as a meal option. The salsa recipe will be posted soon.

Pico De Gallo

Pico De Gallo Recipe:

6 Roma tomatoes, rinsed  then core the top, chopped

1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped

1 large bunch of rinsed cilantro, chopped; remove long stems at the bottom of the bunch

1 large lime—juiced, you may use zest too if you like it

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

*Optional-2 seeded, deveined Serrano peppers, minced

 

The importance is equal amounts of tomato, white onion & cilantro. I add lime juice until I can taste it mixed throughout the entire batch. Sometimes I make it with Serranoes, sometimes hot by NOT removing the seeds and veins. Serrano peppers, to me, have the best flavor of all the Mexican peppers. My daughter occasionally likes to make Pico with 2 large chopped (yes, chopped not minced) Jalapeños in the mix.

Serve with restaurant style white corn tortilla chips warmed in the oven for 3 minutes @ 350 degrees.

Eat plain with chips or as a topping on your favorite Taco, Fajita, Burrito, Quesadilla, Chalupa, salad, meat or casserole.

~Enjoy!

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Toxic Tuesday: Boundaries

Boundaries

TOXIC TUESDAY warning

Last week I shared a sampling of scriptures teaching about fools—common day toxic people. I’m not referring to nuisances or dealing with someone who appears to be in a bad mood today. I’m referring to the very character of a person who shows no regard for you, your heart, your needs or your boundaries. You know something is wrong; you just don’t know what.

First I need to acknowledge that I have been a fool of Biblical proportions on many occasions; especially as a youth. Without Christ, I cannot imagine where I would be emotionally, spiritually or even logistically. I know for certain I would be a toxic mess in every way; including contaminating those around me.

Second I need to acknowledge my gratefulness to my Savior, Jesus Christ, for living to intercede for me. For His sacrifice. His grace. His mercy. He saw me, a foolish—toxic person, who loved Him and wanted to be used by Him as redeemable and usable.

That being said, in my adult life, I have encountered numerous unhealthy people who were users, manipulators and who were abusive in nature.

How I easily fall prey…

I naturally trust people even though life experiences have taught me multiple times over that I should use caution.

I assume I am wrong when someone tells me I am wrong, that I am misinformed or that I am not remembering correctly. My insecurities leave me feeling wrong in almost any circumstance. This drives me crazy.

I want to be a peacemaker. I do not want to make someone angry or mad at me and I want to avoid problems at all cost.

I have to stay close to the Lord in prayer and in His word or I have the potential to continually make mistakes. I am capable of messing up even when staying close to Lord through prayer and through His word but I would rather make a mistake acting in faith than make a mistake because I did nothing at all.

You can understand how the above plays into my thought life when interacting with an abusive person.

Here are some controlling mechanisms I have encountered: If you want specific signs to look for and responses to use for the below topics; they may be found in: The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond By: Patricia Evans.

  • Withholding companionship and/or conversation
  • Not allowing you to have a different opinion which ends all possibility of a discussion
  • Your experiences and feelings mean nothing
  • Making jokes about you that actually cut to the bone but are disguised as ‘funny’
  • Withholds information from you so there cannot be a discussion, purposefully changes the subject or gives multiple answers to a question but never the answer to the original question
  • Diverts all accusations back at you (think of a mirror being held in front of the person reflecting all your comments back onto yourself)
  • Judgmental or condescending tones that criticize you; even when you are complimenting them it may not be a grand enough compliment and is therefore received with anger or resentment
  • Makes light of your significant words or actions as having little significance. This can be as matter-of-fact or subtle
  • Undermines you, your ideas, your experiences or your needs
  • Threatens  you emotionally or verbally
  • Calls you sarcastic, condescending or mean names
  • Everyone forgets once in a while; this forgetting is denial and manipulation to avoid taking responsibility or apologizing for something they have said or done; or regularly forgetting important commitments to the other person
  • A drill sergeant who orders you around instead of respectfully asking
  • Denies your reality – “I never said that.” “You are making that all up.” “We never had that conversation.” “I don’t know where you got that.”
  • Abusive anger

You can imagine how off balance I become when dealing with an abusive person.  Even when I begin to understand something is intrinsically wrong with the person, their ideas or perceptions it can be difficult for me to decide the healthy way to deal with it. My first concerns are usually, “Did I do something to cause this issue?” “I don’t want to make the situation worse than it all ready is.” “I want to reach them for Christ so how can I handle this in a positive way?”

Do not explain yourself or defend yourself. Do not get emotional. A word of caution when interacting with an abusive person: They often feed off of your reactions. Do not feed the monsters! And if you are in relationship with a narcissistic person; they feed off of positive or negative emotions. They may be nice to you, hoping for praise and accolades to feed their ego but when it does not work they will turn to negative behavior hoping for a negative reaction out of you; again, to feed their ego. This is called Narcissistic Supply. DO NOT BE THEIR SUPPLIER. Indifference is the key to keeping your sanity when dealing with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Keep your emotions to yourself.

“Don’t spend a second trying to explain that you weren’t doing what you were accused of doing or guilty of what you were blamed for. Just say, ‘Stop it.’ Abusive statements are lies about you which are told to you. They violate your boundaries. The abuser in effect invades your mind, makes up a ‘story’ about your motives, and then tells it to you. No human being has the right to do that to another.

 Generally, accusing and blaming involve lies about the other person’s intentions, attitudes, and motives. They leave you feeling frustrated and misunderstood and, therefore, especially desirous of explaining yourself. If you do try to explain yourself, the abuse is perpetuated.

 One more word about ‘explaining.’ If you are encountering abuse and feel that if you could explain things the other person would understand, remember this: If someone started throwing rocks through your windows, you would be more inclined to tell them to stop than you would be to explain to them why they shouldn’t throw rocks. Verbal abuse is like a rock thrown through your window.” Patricia Evans (2010) The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond. Massachusetts: Adams Media. p. 141

Simplicity: “Stop it.”

Say it. “Stop it.” Keep practicing.

If you wonder, or know, that you may be dealing with a foolish, toxic, abusive person I highly recommend keeping a dated journal. Depending on the type of abuse; this may require keeping your journal in a safe place, password protecting your electronic journal or typing your journal as an email and sending it to yourself at your password protected email address.

Why journal? To show yourself that you are not the crazy person you are constantly told you are or feel like you are. This will help you decide how to set healthy boundaries for yourself or your family. You may even find that the traits or problems you are dealing with in the other person are listed as mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This is available at your local library and you can find criteria for specific mental illnesses online.

If you are in a physically or sexually abusive relationship you need to report it to the police and/or seek help at your local Domestic Abuse Shelter. You need to begin a paper trail that could later be used for seeking help not only for you, but for the abuser, and a paper trail that would stand up in a court of law. In the right margin of my blog you will find a link under ‘Resources’ for Domestic Abuse/Domestic Violence with hotline numbers for abused women and men.

I am not saying we can avoid all difficult people or all difficult circumstances. Placing our faith in Christ  is not an insurance policy for avoiding pain and suffering. We need look no farther than Christ on the cross to put away that argument.

In Romans 8:35 Paul asks whether, “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword” can separate us from the love of Christ. Since this was included in scripture we can be certain Paul knew of what he wrote. We will experience hardships.

So stay close to the Lord, nothing can separate us from His love. Pain, suffering and difficult relationships should not drive us away from God, but rather allow us to identify with Him and allow Him access to our hurts. Only then can He give us the complete healing we need.

Pray about it. If you need help on how to pray specifically for a difficult relationship, take a look at my blog post: DIY Prayer Box. It will give you numerous ideas for spending time with God.

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Toxic People

     TOXIC TUESDAY warning

          In an earlier post, Flashing Billboards on My Forehead, I began explaining my history of unhealthy relationship issues and how I know God is calling me to recognize and respond to them in a biblical way.  I have not always been a beacon of healthiness myself. When I became serious about a daily relationship with my Savior and began spending time in the scriptures and in prayer something extraordinary happened; I invited Christ to show me my sin. My unhealthy ways of thinking, talking and interacting with others. And do you know what happened? I began to be convicted in my heart, soul, mind and strength. I acknowledged the problem, repented of it, asked Jesus to heal it and replaced the empty healed place with something good leaving no room for the problem to return. This is a continual process.  As my son, A.J., articulated this week while we were studying Jesus the One and Only, “Jesus was born naturally perfect.” To which my son Colson replied, “Man, I wish we could have been born that way. We were born sinful.” Yep, every single one of us. That is why we need Jesus the One and Only!

Here is my continuation:

When prayers were not answered in a way I could detect I turned to reputable Christian books on being a peacemaker, developing healthy relationships, remaining purposeful in prayer and resolving conflicts biblically but they were of no use. These books are beneficial for most people living in a sinful world when interacting with mentally and emotionally healthy people or even being in relationship with those suffering from mental illness who are willing to admit they need and want help. Relating to a person suffering from mental illness who refuses to seek help goes beyond the practical application offered in most books with the exception of the Bible. Applying grace and mercy is essential in relationships with those who suffer from mental illness because God calls us to love others. That being said, God does not call us to abuse at the hands, or the mouth, of a foolish person. The Bible has much to say about the foolish; in fact, a word search at biblegateway.com yielded 182 verses pertaining to a fool. Here is a sampling:

Psalm 107:17 -Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 13:20 – Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

Proverbs 14:7 – Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips

Proverbs 14:8 – The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.

Proverbs 17:21 – To have a fool for a child brings grief; there is no joy for the parent of a godless fool.

Proverbs 17:25 – A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the mother who bore him.

Proverbs 23:9 – Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.

Proverbs 26:11 – As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.

Proverbs 27:3 – Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.

Proverbs 27:22 – Though you grind a fool in a mortar, grinding them like grain with a pestle, you will not remove their folly from them.

Ecclesiastes 10:2 – The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left

Ephesians 5:11 – Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Titus 3:10 – Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.

Wow! Scripture is clear that we need to stay away from foolish people and that includes those who are dysfunctional, abusive and boundaryless.

I have a history of allowing anger, toxicity, to be taken out on me so when it comes up it feels natural but I know God is calling me to recognize and respond to it in a biblical way. This is anything but easy for me.

Several books I have read referred to these foolish people as, “Toxic” which I consider spot-on terminology. When you come in contact with a chemical toxin you can become contaminated to the degree you are damaged in part or in whole. Spiritually, emotionally and physically speaking we become damaged by “toxic” relationships but instead of calling a HazMat response team to stabilize and remove the toxins we have the Ancient of Days. The Creator of the universe. The Author of Math and Science who created the properties of every toxin known and unknown to man. God knows our entire history and is capable of locating, speaking truth over and eradicating the poison from our very being.

God’s word has everything we need for understanding how to live on planet earth.  This does not necessarily mean our life will be easy or that we will never have impossible issues or problematic people to deal with. God’s word does not tell us we will never encounter difficulties or be allowed more than we can handle just because we are Christians.  You have heard the quote, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” You will not find this quote anywhere in scripture. I have lived through more than I could cope with in multiple areas of my life.  Scripture says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13. My times of strenuous challenge have not come from temptation but rather from God allowing me to live through more than I could understand or deal with in a healthy way. This caused me to pray and read the Bible more believing God would heal me and He did; however, not always the way I hoped He would. My help usually came in ways I never imagined. God’s word says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10. God’s track record for sustaining me and not failing me is 100%.

God continually allows me more than I can handle which leaves me utterly dependent on Him. I don’t mind this and I actually enjoy rubbing Satan’s stupidity into his own face because every time he sets out to destroy me; my inabilities and weaknesses are turned into strength. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” 2 Corinthians 12:9. You see God does tell me in scripture that when I am weak He will be strong. When I cannot get up off the floor from deep despair His word says He will be the, “Lifter of my head” and He is.

You may be asking, “Who are foolish—toxic people?” If you have to ask you may not have such a person in your life. Or you may have grown up in a toxic relationship and not be aware of it because it is all you have ever known. For others, you may have had a name or two in mind while reading this post.

Foolish (toxic) people are the ones who complain all the time about you and/or pretty much any topic. They are the ones who always blame you for their problems. When you lovingly confront them they always turn things around so things you felt they had done wrong are suddenly your fault or you are the one who did it or you are crazy because it never happened. They drain your energy and leave you feeling tired, angry or depressed. No matter how much you try to cheer them up or compliment them it is never enough and may even come across as an insult to them. They constantly find fault with you and you can’t do anything to please them. Even the Proverbs 31 woman could never please this type of person. They may take advantage of you and manipulate you. They do not respect boundaries you have set. There are controlling aspects of your relationship with them. They are verbally, emotionally, spiritually, physically or sexually abusive to you or a loved one. Are they so nice then so mean, or so mean then so nice, to the point you are left dazed and confused as to what just happened? These are some of the signs to look for in a foolish—toxic relationship.

Do you recognize yourself in such a relationship and want to know how to respond?

The Bible clearly teaches that we are to have nothing to do with a fool but what are we to do if the person is a family member, long-time friend or co-worker?  If you are asking yourself this question I highly recommend you commit the issue to God through prayer. Faithfully ask Him what His heart and will is for you in this relationship and petition it in the name of Jesus.

I would like to tell you that God always repaired and healed toxic relationships in which I was involved but He did not. Not because He wasn’t capable of doing so but because the other person had free will, given by God, but did not choose to be reconciled and healed.

In the right margin of my blog you will find links to articles on abusive relationships, resources for counseling services and referrals and a link for those who are victims of domestic abuse.

Here is a list of books I have read over the years and can personally recommend:

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Cloud, Henry and Townsend, John

Boundaries in Marriage by Cloud, Henry and Townsend, John

Boundaries with Kids: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Children by Cloud, Henry and Townsend, John

Boundaries with Teens: When to Say Yes, How to Say No by Townsend, John

Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren’t by Cloud, Henry and Townsend, John

Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships by Cloud, Henry and Townsend, John

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to recognize it and how to respond by Evans, Patricia

Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited by Sam Vaknin

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Allender, Dr. Dan B

If after praying, studying the Bible, receiving godly council, reading and applying applications and setting healthy boundaries you still see no improvement in your relationship with your fool; it may be time to move on.

Maybe you are asking, “What does this application of setting boundaries look like in real life?” I will attempt to share some of my life lessons on boundary setting in upcoming blog posts. I’ll think of them as: Toxic Tuesday: Self-protection from fools of Biblical proportion.

I am no authority in this area, just a fellow sojourner, who God happens to be very serious with in the area of setting boundaries for the purpose of protecting myself and those I love.

Remember: There isn’t any problem a little bit of chocolate and a whole lot of Jesus can’t fix!

LivingWell