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Who Is Killing American Women? Their Husbands And Boyfriends, CDC Confirms.

A new report finds that most female homicides involve domestic violence.

 

Most murders of American women involve domestic violence, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.

 

The CDC analyzed data from 18 states, finding 10,018 female homicides between 2003 and 2014. Over half ― 55 percent ― of cases where circumstances were known involved domestic violence. In 93 percent of those cases, victims were killed by current or former intimate partners: boyfriends, husbands, and lovers. The other 7 percent of victims were female friends, family members, first responders and bystanders who were killed during a domestic incident.

While the facts seem shocking at face value, they’re not surprising or new.

It is already well-established that women in the U.S. are far more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than by any other group of people. As HuffPost previously reported: It’s not strangers, friends or acquaintances who pose the biggest threat to women’s lives. It’s the men they date and marry.

According to the report, one in 10 victims of homicides involving domestic abuse had experienced some form of violence in the month before their death, suggesting an opportunity for intervention.

 

“These assessments might be used to facilitate immediate safety planning and to connect women with other services, such as crisis intervention and counseling, housing, medical and legal advocacy, and access to other community resources,” the CDC report read.

 

Click her to read the entire article: 

Who Is Killing American Women? Their Husbands And Boyfriends, CDC Confirms.

 

If you believe you or another person is in danger right now,
contact police immediately.

If you question if you are in danger or not; take the Mosaic Threat AssessmentMOSAIC is an error avoidance method, a computer-assisted method for conducting comprehensive assessments – in the same way that diagnosis is a method used by a doctor. An effective medical diagnosis results when a doctor knows which questions to ask, knows which tests will produce the most accurate answers, and then knows how to draw relevant conclusions from all the answers combined together.

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A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce

So many women and children have been sacrificed on the altar of “The High View of Marriage” where divorce is looked down upon in the church. Women and children who are suffering through abuse need understanding; not condemnation for formalizing an already broken covenant by their abuser.

This article is a healing balm for the many women I personally know who have been shunned by their churches, or scolded by friends and family for finally walking away to once again claim their strength, health, and sanity.

The following article is a guest post by Rebecca VanDoodewaard, author of Uprooted: A Guide for Homesick Christians and Your Future ‘Other Half’: It Matters Whom You MarryShe is married to William VanDoodewaard, Professor of Church History at Puritan Theological Seminary. They have four children.

I am thankful for her willingness to express her thoughts so clearly and powerfully in this article.   

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

God hates divorce, doesn’t He? Absolutely. Isn’t the gospel about forgiveness and love? Yes, it is. And pastors and elders can use these two truths in isolation from the rest of Scripture and biblical principles to deny people divorce for biblical grounds. “But marriage is a precious thing,” one pastor told a woman whose husband was in prison for pedophilia. “It would be a wonderful picture of God’s grace to move on from this and focus on your marriage,” another one told the husband of an adulteress. “We’re working with him; he’s really struggling, and so you need to forgive him,” a session tells a woman whose husband has been using pornography for years.

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

The first lie is that forgiveness means that the offended party is bound to continue living with the guilty party once there’s an apology. Wives in particular are told that God requires that they forgive a repentant spouse, which is true, and that this means that they need to stay in the marriage, which is not true. It’s like saying to parents who discover that the babysitter molested their children: “Oh, but the sitter said sorry. It would be unloving to not ask them to watch the kids again. You need to demonstrate your forgiveness.” The argument is that Jesus forgave you and took you in: Why can’t you do the same for a spouse? Because I am not God: I am human, too, and can’t atone for my spouse’s sin in a way that can restore an earthly marriage.

Sacrificing a person to save a relationship is not the gospel. The gospel is that Someone was sacrificed to free us from sin and bring us to God. We cannot always bear the relational punishment for someone else’s sin. We can forgive them, and will if we are a Christian, but that doesn’t mean we have to live with them. You can forgive someone and divorce them. Scripture commands forgiveness where there is repentance, but it never requires that a relationship be continued in the way that it was before covenant was shattered. This lie of “forgiveness” places the burden on the innocent party. The sinner gets counsel, support, help and prayer, while the sinned-against gets pressure, guilt and a crushing future. Acceptance is often labelled the “Christian” thing to do. Since Christ gave divorce as an option in some circumstances, divorce can be the Christian thing to do, too. Forgiveness is always the Christian thing to do, and it simply means that the guilty party is forgiven, not absolved from all earthly consequences.

The second lie is implied: God hates divorce more than He hates abuse and sexual sin. To put the lie a different way, God loves marriage more than He loves the women in it. While God created marriage, loves marriage and says that it is a picture of Christ’s relationship with the church, Jesus didn’t die to save marriage. He died to save people. He sacrificed His life to protect His sons and daughters, and hates when they are abused, violated and humiliated, particularly in a relationship that is supposed to picture Christ and the church.

This fact is especially true for women, who suffer at the hands of men whose actions mock servant leadership and so blaspheme the name of the Christ whom they are called to represent. Denying a woman legitimate divorce allows an unrepentant man to continue in this abuse and blasphemy. If we want to value and treat marriage rightly, we need to think about Jesus! His care for His church is not an abstract idea. We see it lived out in the gospels every day in purity, tender care for widows and intolerance of the Pharisees who thought they could be right with God while checking out beautiful women at the market. Christ’s love for His church found very concrete expression on the cross—willingness to die to save His beloved people. Yes, God hates divorce. And there are some things that He hates even more.

The third lie is that divorce is an unclean thing, often the fault of the innocent party. This is a misunderstanding of divorce. Divorce is not the innocent party ending a marriage. Divorce is the innocent party obtaining legal recognition that the guilty party has destroyed the marriage. So often, we see the divorcing person as the one who ends the marriage—they are not! Where there has been sexual unfaithfulness, abuse or abandonment, it is the guilty party who ended it by breaking covenant. While legitimate divorce is not mandatory, it is a biblical option, on moral par with maintaining the marriage. The 1992 report by the PCA study committee on divorce and remarriage comments:

It is also interesting to recall in this connection Jeremiah 3:8, where Yahweh is said to divorce Israel for her spiritual adultery (idolatry):―“I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries.” If God himself can properly divorce his bride because of adultery, then, given Christ’s unqualified adherence to the authority of the Old Testament, it seems difficult to conclude that Jesus would not have had similar words on his own lips. (218)

The church needs to be clear about this: Legitimate divorce is holy and biblical if God Himself can speak of initiating it. And it is initiated to publicly recognize the destruction already there. Divorce does not end a covenant. It protects the spouse whose covenant has been violated—a picture of covenant protection in the face of human unfaithfulness. Always discouraging divorce, always making it a last, desperate option that really fails to show gospel power, implies that we know more about marriage than God does and value it more highly. If there are legitimate reasons for divorce, then making divorce look like a lesser option is wrong. God allows it: Who are we to discourage people from choosing a biblical option?

The fourth lie usually involved in this discussion is about pornography. It is often classified as not technically adultery, so spouses are denied the biblical right to divorce. This is mind boggling. Someone who seeks out sexually explicit material and has a physical response to it is in the same mental, physical and spiritual condition as someone in bed with a coworker. The difference is that the relationship with the coworker is at least private and limited, while porn use accepts and subsidizes an entire industry of sexual sin that is maintained by abuse and slavery, involves hundreds of people, and is tracked by the producing companies and Internet servers. Deliberate and repeated porn use is at least adultery, regardless of whether there is repentance at some point. Denying this makes people ask why some pastors are so committed to denying what porn really is. Our pre-technology definition of adultery allows souls and marriages to be ravaged from the inside out because we fail to admit what a porn habit really is. We look away from the institutionalized rape that it subsidizes. Countenancing sexual sin for any reason reveals a poor understanding of sexual sin as well as the gospel.

Do you see how these lies, sometimes borne out of a desire to protect marriage, actually bring about a low view of marriage? By granting, supporting and even facilitating a biblical divorce, we take a stand to say that we can forgive without being forced to live with people who have shattered us. This protects marriage by allowing the innocent party to leave a relationship that has been broken. By backing biblical divorce, we protect women whom God loves, showing Christ’s love when spouses have not. This protects marriage by refusing to allow sinners to abuse the institution with impunity. By publicly stating that sexual sin and abuse, not wounded spouses, ends marriages, we hold the marriage bed in honor. This protects marriage by creating a holy fear of violating it. By offering biblical divorce, the church affirms that pornography is depravity, and will not be countenanced by Christ’s church. Naming and disciplining sexual sin as the evil it is and offering divorce to the innocent party makes the value of marriage clear as we refuse to see it damaged, abused or treated lightly.

Developing and maintaining a high view of marriage does a lot. It protects women and children, often the people most hurt by sexual sin. It keeps us from falling into sin ourselves: The higher our view of marriage, the less likely we will be to dabble in something so devastating. And a high view of marriage honors the One who created it for our good and His glory—the One who promises to judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral.

This article originally appeared here.

 

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Again I ask… Where’s the church?

The Lynn Messer case

I’m grateful more people are picking up this story. Let’s keep this in the public’s eye and pray that law enforcement is nearing making an arrest. The question in my mind at this time is will it be one arrest or two arrests? Did Kerry Messer have anything to do with his wife’s death…as in murder? If so, did Spring Thomas help, have knowledge, or conceal evidence or knowledge after the fact?

The investigation remains open and tips were still being called in to law enforcement as of a month ago; the last time I spoke with a detective on the case.

You may click the links below…

Saturday, A Cry For Justice picked up the story. I’m grateful for their coverage since they have a large national and international following. Their mission is to awaken the evangelical church to domestic violence and abuse in its midst. Follow this link: The Mysterious Disappearance and Death of Lynn Messer—Husband Not Cleared in Investigation

And today:

Source: Again I ask… Where’s the church?

Here is a bit more information that reader Cheryl Summers added to, Again I ask…Where’s the church?

“Wow, wow, wow! What a great article! An amazing summation of the most troubling angles of this case. The only thing that Holly missed was that the relationship between Kerry and Spring seems like it was probably in place way before 8 weeks after Lynn’s death. Spring was asked to give a statement to police only about a month after and then promptly hired an attorney and stopped cooperating with police. From ‘Who is Spring Thomas?” – “At the six week point of the investigation into moms disappearance Spring confirmed in a written statement that she was in fact in a relationship with my dad. After she made her statement to police she messaged Abram and in an odd conversation asked Abram if it was appropriate for her to continue to participate in searches?” https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/…/who-is-spring…/

This article is from Aarron Messer’s Facebook page. He has given me permission to print it in its entirety. Our…
CHOCOLATEORELSE.WORDPRESS.COM

 

Here is part of Holly Ashley’s article:

In July of 2014, the wife of a Missouri state lobbyist for Christian, Biblical, homeschooling, pro-life, and family values – disappeared. Kerry Messer stated that he woke up at 4:00 am from the noisy storm, realizing that his wife was not in bed. According Mr. Messer, Lynn simply walked away from her bed in the middle of the night, in the midst of a raging storm… She did not take her phone or her wedding ring or any personal items for that matter. In addition, Mr. Messer would like for the church to believe that Mrs. Messer simply decided to leave the house, the children, her Vacation Bible School commitment, and her grandchildren behind.

Prior to the police search and rescue attempt – Mr. Messer had the cattle moved across the property – and he mowed his grass… removing any chance of trace evidence, let alone scent for the dogs to follow.

But, after THREE YEARS, Lynn Messer’s body was found on the property – incidentally, right where police and rescue workers had been – three years earlier – wearing their GPS tracking suits.

Mr. Messer has tampered with evidence, lied to the family and friends of Mrs. Messer, lied to police on multiple occasions. Mr. Messer has failed to pass a polygraph test- twice. Mr. Messer began dating another woman 8 weeks after his wife’s “disappearance.” Mr. Messer is still under investigation by police – he has not been cleared to the date of this publication.

But the most disgusting thing about this case was that the two sons of Mr. and Mrs. Messer went before the church asking for help – and to this day, there has been no disciplinary action taken whatsoever. This a man who is representing “The Church” at the highest level! Yet, no disciplinary action – no public statement – by the church, has been made.

Although it is true that the police have not yet charged or convicted Mr. Messer, it does not negate the duties of the church to rise up and do their covenantal duty to the Lord.

Finish reading the article here: Again I Ask…Where’s the Church

#JusticeForLynn Fundraiser: YouCaring.com

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Assaulted mom needs help.

Will you help?

A Facebook friend posted a plea for financial aid and prayer help for a local mom with whom she goes to church and she has known for many years. Michelle and the children fled their home the evening of the assault and spent the next three weeks in a domestic violence shelter. During that time, an order for protection was filed against her husband. She is now back home with the children.

Of course, I began private messaging information that I thought might be useful and important during this time of financial and legal need for her friend.

Mid-week brought an opportunity for me to talk with and pray for this abused mom, Michelle. I’m overwhelmed for her! Michelle has multiple sclerosis so she obviously battles health issues. Michelle has nine children and is in a high risk pregnancy with number ten on the way. Put that combination together and imagine how a woman who has been a stay-at-home mom the last nine years is going to find a job to support her family when she isn’t capable of working during this pregnancy; plus not many employers will be thrilled to find out a new employee will need time off for MS health issues, and/or time off for taking care of sick kids when they come home from school with the latest virus.

There is a common thread woven through Michelle’s abuse that I often refer to on my blog under Toxic Tuesday posts. It’s a common factor (term/diagnosis) I hear of over and over by abused women.

I’m not able to go into details about the attack against Michelle for legal reasons, or about what is taking place in the courts. I can tell you that she is optimistic, hopeful, joyful, and is living day by day trusting in God…and praying…and keeping scriptures printed out and in front of her to help through difficult daily moments.

I’m asking my readers to go to the below  YOUCARING link and make a contribution to help Michelle purchase groceries and take care of immediate financial needs for her family.

Please pray for Michelle, and for her kids. Obviously, when abuse happens with children in the home the children are also traumatized.

Thank you in advance for your compassion.

Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

Michelle Teeter

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4th Short Clip: Disappeared Lynn Messer

Disappeared Lynn Messer

 

Disappeared: American Gothic will air tomorrow, March 26, 2017 on  Investigation Discovery Channel at 9:00 p.m. central time.

In this clip Lynn’s son Abram brings up a perceptive and logical talking point about suicide victims. I agree with Abram. I’ve never heard of a person committing suicide and doing this either. I looked under dozens of Google search terms and came up with zero such instances.

Watch what Abram has to say here: I was not able to embed the video to my blog so you will have to click on the link. Disappeared Investigation Discovery Channel

Also, friends of Lynn’s have set up a new Facebook page; Find Lynn Messer II where Lynn’s life may be remembered and  honored in a loving, caring and loyal setting.

https://mobile.twitter.com/DiscoveryID/status/845668372884926464/video/1

 

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Remembering Lynn Messer observations & interview

Lynn Messer

 

From the Find Lynn Messer Facebook page, January 13, 2017, written by Kerry Messer:

(Most media is only interested in sensationalism rather than helping us to find any true answers. To sell advertising they create as much drummed up drama as they can. Thus it is getting harder and harder to discern which media may be willing to report on facts and truth, verses those looking for and creating false accusations just to hype their ‘so called’ ‘news reports’. This is why I have reinstituted our 33 year old policy of no longer allowing media onto our property or in our home.)

I haven’t found any media outlets sensationalizing information and drumming up drama to sell advertising. This remark sends up another red flag to me. It reminds me of how some people have the innate ability to detract from the problem at hand (usually something to do with them self) to keep people off-balance, or to hide the truth. I think the media have been unusually easy on Kerry Messer; possibly due to his political standing in the state. I haven’t heard, or read, of any tough questions proposed to Kerry.

A popular Facebook trend is to leave a one word status describing you or someone else, or a character trait you want to be known by. The word that comes to my mind for the above post is, ‘bizarre.’ As for accusations, Mr. Messer has left himself wide open due to the nature of his posts on his Find Lynn Messer Facebook page, coupled with his relationship with Spring Thomas and the fact that Ms. Thomas is never mentioned by him in the posts. He seems to long for Lynn as if Ms. Thomas doesn’t exist and doesn’t matter; or could it be he wants to hide his relationship with Spring Thomas from the modest loyal followers he has on his Find Lynn Messer page?

The below interview mentions a protective order separating the family at this time. I found it interesting the reporter didn’t mention who was granted the ex parte; order of protection. The judge heard credible testimony which allowed for the order to be granted.

As for Aarron and Abram; they remember what mattered most to their mom: God, love and family. They draw from the lessons their mom taught them about selfless love. They choose to, “honor her and carry on—not for her—but in her stead”¹  “together; by being there for each other,” and by using the lessons she taught them to help guide them.

I hope Lynn was allowed to gaze down from heaven during her memorial service to view her sons’ love in action. More so, to see all her grand children lined up in a church pew together; enjoying each other’s company. Affectionate smiles, giggles and heads leaning in to one another—cousins chatting while patiently waiting for the service to begin.

Witnessing loving relationships. Hearing about the goodness of the Lord in the midst of difficult circumstances. Holding on to hope. Serving others. Loving God. These are the lessons Lynn taught, and these are the lessons being lived out that she would have seen from heaven’s view.

 

Click below to read more and watch:

Remembering Lynn Messer, family reflects on disappearance

 

 

 

¹ http://www.kfvs12.com/story/34245902/remembering-lynn-messer-family-reflects-on-disappearance

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In Loving Memory of Lynn Marie (Hoog) Messer

Lynn Messer

Born: June 4, 1962

Disappeared: July 8, 2014

Recovered: November 1, 2016

 

Last weekend, December 17, 2016, nestled  between the hours of two winter storm systems, Lynn Messer’s sons and their families,  Lynn’s extended family, and Lynn’s friends held a private, memorial service to celebrate a life well lived. A family friend, Pastor Pat Crisler officiated at the service. It was a quiet, peaceful goodbye filled with loving memories.

I felt honored to attend and was given permission to share Lynn’s eulogy with my readers. Many of you have shown compassion, understanding and agreement with Abram and Aarron’s testimony and questions surrounding their mom’s death.

Many people have taken great interest in this case and have faithfully followed every news outlet awaiting evidence and answers; hoping and praying for Lynn to be found—and now for truth to be revealed.

So for you who have felt helpless during the wait and wondered what you could do that would make a difference; I have a way you can participate in a purpose that was dear to Lynn’s heart. You may click on the link at the end of this post to leave a memorial gift in Lynn’s name and show the family that you haven’t forgotten. Let’s keep Lynn’s  memory alive and help further a ministry important to her.  Most of all, continue to pray for Lynn’s family as they wait for answers.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

Lynn Marie (Hoog) Messer,

BORN: At Saint Anthony’s on June 4, 1962

To the best we know, Lynn Died in July of 2014 under unknown but sudden circumstances. It is not for us to debate the cause of her death here today. But we will remember the life she had with us and celebrate her everlasting life with our Eternal Father at His throne in Heaven.  

Lynn was a beloved and devoted daughter to her parents: Mother—Flo Hoog (with us today) and Father—Charles Hoog (gone on to be with the Lord in 2014. She was the middle sister of three; the oldest being Debra (Hoog) Donze, and youngest sister Julie (Hoog) Rayfield. Lynn was an adoring and beloved mother to her two sons Aarron and Abram; a protective and doting grandmother to her grand children; Emily, Morgan, Isaiah, Gabriel, Gideon, Grace and Gage. Lynn was a caring, mentoring mother-in-law to Elizabeth and Kris. Lynn was a cherished and loved friend to all of us.

Most importantly, Lynn was a true child of God.

Lynn grew up in Arnold Missouri, and moved to Bloomsdale when she was 13 years old.

Her childhood would be described as a loving member to a warm and loving home; spending time with her cousins and sisters where they would put on skits and perform little shows for their parents and family.

She really loved going out to her grandparents hog farm by Tower Rock… where she developed a lifelong dream of someday having her own hog farm.

Lynn attended school in Saint Genevieve, MO graduating from Valle High School.

Lynn always loved education and learning new things. She later in life went on to college learning soil sciences, and agriculture, which she was able to use later by serving on the local Soil and Water Board.

Lynn’s life was full of great and wonderful accomplishments for a small town girl from Southeastern Missouri. She served in a wide variety of programs and projects at church. She fell in love with foreign missions in Ecuador where she made numerous trips, made friends and was even looking forward to not only teaching and leading people to the Lord, but also was making plans to use her knowledge of soil science to help teach the indigenous people of Ecuador how to use their natural resources to better provide for their families.

At her home church, Lynn was extremely active in Vacation Bible School, WMU, Sunday school, home missions projects, mentorship programs such as Apples of Gold, and nursery; particularly having a heart in any area which included children.  

Previous to living in Saint Genevieve County, she was instrumental in creating Backyard Bible Studies in St. Louis where she lived, and was involved in inner city ministries.

She was also heavily involved in the home school community. She created multiple coop classes, organized field trips and immersed herself in her children’s educational experience.  

Lynn’s hobbies and interest included a love for painting, drawing, quilting, gardening and farming. She would spend hours in front of her sewing machine making clothes, quilts for people at church who were having babies, designing and creating props for teaching aids in ministries, and doll clothes for her granddaughter’s dolls.

She loved crafting, and creating gifts and decorations which made her house a warm and welcoming home to everyone.

Her love of animals and her desire to encourage her grandchildren to develop an interest in animal sciences helped her to become involved in 4H, and group projects with her grandchildren.

If you had to pick one defining character trait for Lynn it would be Love for others, all others.

Ask anyone who has ever met Lynn and they will tell you she was filled with a love for people. She was filled with a desire to demonstrate by her life’s example and Christian testimony how the love of God knows no limits. She was always looking for an opportunity to tell somebody of the hope which she had found through Jesus Christ. For her, the relationship she had with Christ was not simply a part of her life, but rather it was a driving force which motivated her to put her life into action for God. She saw it as her duty to live out her faith. There are countless stories over the years of how she would go out of her way to minister to total strangers.

A scripture from the Bible which best describes Lynn’s life, and one of her favorite passages was:  1 Corinthians 13 (HCSB)

If I speak human or angelic languages
but do not have love,
I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy
and understand all mysteries
and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith
so that I can move mountains
but do not have love, I am nothing.
And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor,
and if I give my body in order to boast[a]
but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
Love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
But as for prophecies,
they will come to an end;
as for languages, they will cease;
as for knowledge, it will come to an end.
For we know in part,
and we prophesy in part.
10 But when the perfect comes,
the partial will come to an end.
11 When I was a child,
I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child,
I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man,
I put aside childish things.
12 For now we see indistinctly,[b] as in a mirror,[c]
but then face to face.
Now I know in part,
but then I will know fully,
as I am fully known.
13 Now these three remain:
faith, hope, and love.
But the greatest of these is love.

 

Please click here to leave your tax-deductible memorial gift in Lynn Messer’s name. This will redirect you to the Sainte Genevieve Area Center for Life secure website. In the ‘NOTE” section please enter “In memory of Lynn Messer”. You may add anything else to the note also.

Or mail a check, Memo: ‘In memory of Lynn Messer’ to :

Ste. Genevieve Area Center For Life

P.O. Box 375

Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670

 

~Thank you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Validation and Help for Abused Women

Yes, yes I did read the Gary Thomas blog earlier this week! My text messages, emails and Facebook messages have been lighting up with the forwarded article.

I’m always grateful to read a godly man addressing an issue that is largely overlooked in the Christian community. More than overlooked, it is commonly hushed, ignored, or mishandled. (*Disclaimer: I’m not including my home church in this statement. I’m pleased to say that they have addressed abuse in the home on multiple occasions and support the abused spouse and/or child in their civil/legal and biblical recourse to report and/or leave an abusive person and seek help and safety.)

The church overall; however, is utterly failing abused women and children. The church often insists on the victim submitting, forgiving, forgetting, enduring, staying, saving the husband’s reputation, the church’s reputation, and…I’ve even heard; not obscuring the name of Christ.

I’m quite confident Christ does not need us to protect his reputation. He is secure in who He is and He will never ask us to protect an institution over an individual.

“I am God, and I’m passionate about one thing; My relationship with you.” Exodus 34:14 Paraphrased

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
    ensure justice for those being crushed.
Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
    and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT

If you haven’t read the Gary Thomas article; here it is. My heart is for every church staff member, leader, teacher and attendee to read, understand, and then step forward when you learn of abuse. Abuse victims need validation, understanding and help achieving safety.

I’m including multiple links to help those living in an abusive relationship. These links are what I consider the cream of the crop. The best for quickly understanding what God has to say about the victim, the abuser, and the means for obtaining help, safety, sanity and healing.

Click the below links for more information. Also, please copy the ‘Enough is Enough’ article and distribute it to your church staff and leadership. An abused woman in your church will be thankful.

enough-is-enough-2-1

Gary Thomas article: Enough is Enough

Leslie Vernick

Leslie Vernick,Photo credit: Twitter profile picture

Leslie Vernick:Author of… The Emotionlly Destructive Relationship and The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. If you are in a difficult or abusive relationship, Leslie’s website is the place to begin for help, hope and healing. Leslie also provides a great blog community of support  for women in destructive and abusive marriages.

 

unholy-charade

A Cry for Justice: Awakening the evangelical church to domestic violence and abuse in its midst. 

Jeff Crippen, author and pastor for over 30 years, and Barbara Roberts, author and survivor of domestic abuse, created this website to:

 

visionary-womanhood

 

Visionary Womanhood: Because to live courageously, we need to see clearly. This is another blog community for women who want to recover their sanity by learning to identify and heal from emotional and spiritual abuse.  

 

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Millenials and “Cool” Christianity

Damaris

Allow me to introduce you to Damaris.

I have known her since she was a young elementary grade student and now she’s in college. I adore her—so when I saw that she was writing I naturally wanted to share her thoughts with you.

Damaris recently wrote an article for an online website, Odyssey, which showcases student-written articles that are posted on Facebook and shared on all forms of social media.  Odyssey is a social content platform for millennials, from all walks of life, to share their ideas and perspectives about relevant topics which otherwise may not be heard. I’m so proud of Damaris for her bold stand.

We live in a society where words; descriptions and slang, are tossed around without thought and Damaris does a terrific job of addressing the issue.

Please hear the gentleness in my voice: For those of you who are not believers in Jesus; this article does not apply to you. This is fodder for debate among those who claim to be Christians.

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Image credit: Damaris Wyand

Millenials and ‘Cool Christianity reminds me of when God, in Genesis, gave Jacob the name Israel. We read in Exodus 1:9 that God’s people, who are slaves in Egypt, are still called the Israelites. They could have been forced to assimilate into the Egyptian culture, or they could have attempted to become part of the Egyptian empire, but they didn’t. They remained different from the nation and culture around them.  I think their peculiarities kept them enslaved; knitted together. If the Egyptians had been friendly to the Israelites it would have been easy to melt into the surroundings.  God didn’t want them to blend. He wanted them to be set apart; not accepted as friends of the society. We are not called to soak in our culture. We are called to exude Christ-likeness.

“Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.” Psalm 1: 1-2

The above verses also speak to us on the topic of ‘Cool Christianity’. We are called to be Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard smallfriendly, to love other people, and to speak the truth in love which is different than walking alongside them and absorbing their worldly philosophies. We do not stake claim with them, or affirm or agree with what they are saying, or doing, if it is out of line with scripture.

Keep writing, Damaris! You do it well and I agree with you, “Let’s try to have as much of Jesus as possible and become more like Him. If the world rejects us, all the better. We are not here to blend in anyway.” We are to glorify God, love Him while we love and serve others, maintain unity with fellow Christians, and keep our identity in God—like the Israelites did.

A person who knows right from wrong and chooses to do what’s wrong is a sinner.

Is there forgiveness of sins? Of course! Christ’s finished work on the cross provides our redemption through the free gift of grace.

The apostle, Paul, addressed this in the book of Romans:

 So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!

That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.” Romans 6:1-5 The Message

 

Read Millenials and “Cool” Christianity by Damaris Wyand at theoddyseyonline.com

 

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Guest Post: The Secret Language of Narcissists: How Abusers Manipulate Their Victims

 

Validation.

Isn’t that what so many people who suffer from narcissistic abuse long for in their lives? Yes!  (Most sufferers are women since the majority of narcissists are men.)

I hear from so many of you who live with, or are in some type of relationship with, a narcissist. Many of you tell me of being divorced from your narcissist, but your children are stuck in the middle and are still heavily influenced, and/or abused by him.

Here is another article that will remind you: You’re not crazy, and you can take back the control and power from your abuser.

GUEST POST:

The Secret Language of Narcissists: How Abusers Manipulate Their Victims

 

a real man is

 

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Why Men Don’t Change

Source: Why Men Don’t Change

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I’ve been a reader of Gary Thomas’s books for several years and I’m always thankful for his spiritual insight and practical applications.

This article will be helpful to many of my readers who are in difficult marriages, or know a friend or loved one in a difficult marriage. The difficulty could be due to mental illness or ‘functional fixedness.’ Although some mental illnesses have roots in chemical imbalance or genetics; many are due to long rooted sin that has become a ‘normal’ way of life, but make no mistake, it is a sinful pattern and it CAN be changed. The person has to want to change and that is where Gary Thomas has insight into how to pray for this change. His future blogs will have practical application on the subject.

“Many wives live with great frustration because even though they point out to their husbands how much they are hurting, their husbands don’t seem to care and they don’t change. In many cases, this is due to ‘functional fixedness,’ which means a man isn’t motivated by his wife’s pain; he’s only motivated by his pain. This is a spiritual condition and directly related to his spiritual maturity. If you or someone you know is stuck in the mire of living with a recalcitrant spouse, you might find this post particularly helpful.”

 

Read more…

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Why I Chose A Toxic Husband; and He Me

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I was recently asked if I received counseling before, during or after my divorce from my narcissistic, delusional, abusive, sex addicted, first husband; who was also a pastor. This was followed up with an inquiry of what I learned.

Here are some details of my answers.call on Him in truth

Yes! Yes, I went to counseling…for several years I went to counseling; in fact, any time I feel like some aspect of my life is consuming my thought life or spiraling out of control, I seek a professional, Christian counselor or psychologist.

My personal opinion is: Strong people seek help when feeling weak.

The first nine years of my first marriage I had avoided counselors for three reasons. 1.) I was constantly told, by my husband, that our marriage and ministry problems were because of me.  2.) I could not afford a professional.  3.) By the time I realized it wasn’t all me I felt I didn’t have anyone I could tell. We were in the ministry and seeking help meant telling someone what was going on in my marriage, but a good wife doesn’t say bad things about her husband and I had some serious issues to reveal.

In year nine, of eleven, I decided I was seeking help no matter who I had to tell, or what I had to tell. God provided a safe person, a safe married couple, for me. And guess what? They already knew from observation that I was in an unhealthy marriage with a mentally ill man who was refusing help and healing. From there I sought a godly Christian counselor, who as God would provide for me, had also been married to a man with narcissistic personality disorder. So she had in-depth knowledge of a portion of what I had endured.

My question to my helpers, counselors and doctors was, “What is wrong with me that I choose someone this mentally ill; this messed up? I have to be suffering, untreated, from mental illness myself. Please help me find what it is so I can heal.”  Sobbing and pleading, I begged people to tell me what my mental illness was. After all, you can’t receive help and healing if you don’t know what is ill, or wrong.

I never asked myself, “Why me? Why did this happen to me?”

I knew why. It was a consequence of my own sinful choices and actions before marriage. Yet I wanted to know why I was drawn to him.

Here is what I found out about myself:

I gravitated toward what I knew.

There was some generational bondage that needed to be addressed.

My track record of boyfriends was heavily dotted by young men with emotional problems; not all of them, but most of them. In hind sight, picking an emotionally traumatized husband was no shock.

I was a huge enabler. Not only could I handle my own life; including, my own junk, I took on his too.

I did not know how to set boundaries. After all, having my own opinion about something had not been optional that I could remember. Voicing my own opinion usually landed me in trouble or an argument. Narcissists respect no boundaries so I was  textbook prey.

I liked to find the positive traits in people and overlook the negative. I greatly desired to please others and put their needs ahead of mine. I could not stand the thought, or feeling, of being disliked. These are highly attractive traits to a narcissist because they need an endless supply of reassurance that they are wonderful, beautiful, highly talented, intelligent, gifted, funny, extremely amazing, nice, and the utmost special person on planet earth. They surround themselves with, ‘Yes’ men and women who would never want to hurt the narcissist’s feelings by saying, “No.”

I was accustomed to being treated harshly while being told I was loved.

Narcissists are attracted to strong women. The problem is that once they have you the strength they were attracted to becomes an object of the narcissist’s wrath; they despise your strength. They hate their own lack of self-control so they want to control you. They want to absorb you; become you because they don’t have their own identity. They spend their life demolishing the essence of who you are; or at least, chipping it away piece by piece. They want you to believe the lie that everything is your fault, and since I was a young, boundry-less, enabling nineteen year old when I married a minister five years older than me; I assumed he was right. Even when he lied to me about me I thought there must be something terribly wrong with me.  They know you are strong and that you won’t put your problems on their shoulders. In fact, since your shoulders are so strong they want you to solve and take care of their problems too; hoping you will heal their wounds.

I was a pro at picking up subtle hints and catering to them.

Narcissists are experts at manipulation and control so he used my big heart for his own ill purposes.

Waiting for a narcissist to love you is like waiting for a person whose eyes are gouged out to see again; it is not possible for a narcissist to bond or love.

Although I should have known, I did not know crazymaker (gas lighting) was a real term that embodied human flesh.

I learned that being too nice can cost you and your child your safety, your life, and your sanity.

I also learned that when the line of safety is crossed with your child; fierceness like no other can come out of you.  It’s a healthy fierceness that should have been employed sooner than it was.

I’m grateful to say I learned I am not suffering from mental illness and I don’t have a personality disorder. My life’s traumas did; however, leave me with auto-immune diseases.

So…if you or a loved one is in a relationship with an abusive, addicted or mentally ill person who refuses to acknowledge their struggle and seek help; please know, they can’t stop you from seeking help, safety, protection and healing. There is help and there is hope.

 LYRICS:

You could not plan for this. No, there was no silhouette

Up against the pink horizon; to warn you of the hit

But you absorbed it all with grace; like a child you spoke of faith unmoved

That holds onto you.

Chorus:

This thing is going to try to break you, but it doesn’t have to

You’re showing us how. This thing is going to bend and shape you,

But He won’t let it take you. You know it somehow.

This thing is not going to break you.

You could take your loss. You could hide away from us,

With your grief lassoed around you, but you’re laying it in the sun.

And you stare straight into the light. You say you’d rather go blind than look away.

What can I say?

Chorus:

This thing is going to try to break you, but it doesn’t have to

You’re showing us how. This thing is going to bend and shape you,

But He won’t let it take you. You know it somehow.

This thing is not going to break you.

This thing is not going to break you. This thing is not going to break you.

Why Wait Till Marriage: What No One Tells You. What I Wish Someone Had Told Me

Written by Ann Voskamp; this is by far my favorite explanation and sound reasoning for teaching why God’s way is the best in every way.  CLICK the above link.