Category Archives: 2016

Book Release: What Is a Girl Worth?

I was given an advance copy of both of Rachael Denhollander’s books to read in exchange for my honest opinion about the books. These reviews are in my words.

The power of one voice.

Rachael Denhollander is an attorney, advocate, and educator who became known internationally as the first woman to file a police report and speak publicly against USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, one of the most prolific sexual abusers in recorded history. In her book, Rachael gives you a look inside her heart, soul, mind, and strength and you will appreciate the sacrifices she made to protect others with no strings attached. I consider this book the most important book for our generation’s most pressing issue surrounding the safety of our children. We must be alert to the dangers around us, trust our gut instinct regarding potential abusers, and report ALL allegations to law enforcement; allowing them to sort out the truth. We must protect our children.

The thought process and preparation that went into Rachael’s plan of attack to bring Nassar down was brilliant. Unheard of! He messed with the wrong girl…yet the right girl because she would grow into a woman bent on ending her abuser’s reign of terror. Rachael did what was needed to stop him and protect other young girls. She was born for such a time as this; to carry on as Christ would to restore the worth, dignity, calling, and voice of girls and women.

I’m so grateful she is sharing her story and changing our culture through her engaging and brave storytelling. She pulls the reader into the moment.

Our culture must change.

Women and children are not objects for satisfying someone’s deep, dark need for power and control. Abusers are preying for more victims. “Bullies and predators prey on the defenseless. They count on victims being unable to protect themselves. More important, they count on everyone else being too afraid to confront them. I hate injustice, but I hate silence and apathy in the face of injustice even more. Far too often, bullies’ belief that no one will challenge them is both well-founded and devastating for the people they target. But it doesn’t have to be this way.”

Men, women and young men and young women need to read this book. They need to develop an aversion to abuse, porn, human trafficking, and the objectification of women.

I’ve been interested in Rachael as an abuse advocate since I first heard her give her victim impact statement at Larry Nassar’s trial. Of course, I had heard of her name months before but her statement was the first time I heard her speak. I thought: She gets it. She’s lived it. She is a mighty woman full of courage, mercy, and wisdom. If anyone can further the cause of bringing sexual abuse to light and change our culture’s response to victims…she’s the one who can do it!

I listened to Rachael speak at the Southern Baptist Convention Sexual Abuse Panel in Birmingham, Alabama, in June 2019. She is brilliant, articulate, scripturally grounded, in love with Jesus, and sacrificially pouring herself out as a drink offering to the Lord in how she ministers to abuse victims.

I was thrilled to be part of her book launch team. I was mailed advanced copies of her new books which are released to the public today.  I honestly cannot recommend this book enough!

Who is this book for?

If you are an abuse survivor, you will feel validated, seen, understood, and ministered to as an individual.

If you are married to an abuse survivor, you will see a beautiful picture of how to love your traumatized spouse and care for them while they learn to manage the pain of what happened to them. Jacob, Rachael’s husband, is an amazing example of loving your wife the way Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

If you want to understand the struggles, hearts and minds of abuse survivors, what they need, and how you can help, this book is for you.

Are you concerned about the worldwide problem of pornography and the effect it has on abusers? If you struggle with understanding the extent of sexual abuse in our culture and in our churches, this book will stir you to prayer and to action without making you defensive toward those who report allegations.

This book will show you that professional, dynamic, friendly, nice, personable people can be abusers. The person living in your house with you could be an abuser. I know this first hand from past experience, but most people cannot fathom the possibility.

I wholeheartedly recommend both of Rachael’s books. You will understand her heart for justice, for protecting innocent children, and for changing our culture. Most importantly she does all of this through her love for the gospel, for Jesus, and for survivors; not for herself. In What Is a Girl Worth you will see how deep Rachael’s sacrifice has been and continues to be for others.

The only thing I saw as problematic while reading the book is that Rachael, at the time of the trial, had not yet seen a professional therapist to help her manage her sexual assault trauma. Time does not heal and anyone who has been abused needs to talk to a professional. I highly recommend EMDR therapy with a Christian therapist. I know therapy was recommended to Rachael and hopefully she has secured a trusted therapist to help her. I don’t want any other survivors to think they can manage on their own, only to find out later that they cannot. Optimal healing and strength comes from the wisdom and care of a trained professional.

Rachael Denhollander is a world changer. I’m grateful to the parents who raised her and for her husband Jacob who stands by her. Jacob is a rare find in today’s world and is a shining example for other men to emulate.

REVIEW: How Much Is a Little Girl Worth?

Foundational truths simply stated yet profound. How Much Is a Little Girl Worth is beautifully written and illustrated with a whimsical look that little girls will adore. Rachael’s purposeful inclusion of little girls of color is priceless!

I cried reading the book as I thought about everything I went through when I attempted to protect my own little girl from a pastor/pedophile predator. I want to sit her 24-year-old self next to me and read the book to her.

“You are worth fighting for, raising my voice,
Worth every sacrifice, every hard choice.
Worth changing laws, worth all the fight,
Worth whatever it takes to do what is right.”

All our little girls are worth the fight and this book helps convey their worth and dignity.

This is a must read bed time story so little girls can have sweet dreams of love, stability, safety, worth, and a bright future. Little girls need to hear these truths.

This book is going on my Christmas, birthday, and baby shower gift list for all little girls. A book for boys in the works and I look forward to buying it.

Buy a copy of How Much Is A Little Girl Worth for your child’s school, church library, doctor’s office, counselor, domestic violence shelter, homeless shelter, Sunday school classrooms, adoption agency, and MOPS group. Be sure to stop at your local library and ask them to order both of Rachael’s books.

**Disclaimer** I received a free copy of these books in exchange for providing an honest review. My opinions and words are my own.**

Who is Rachael?

Rachael Denhollander is an attorney, advocate, and educator who became known internationally as the first woman to file a police report and speak publicly against USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, one of the most prolific sexual abusers in recorded history. As a result of her activism, over 250 women came forward as survivors of Nassar’s abuse, leading to his life imprisonment. Additionally, her courageous tenacity and ongoing advocacy helped trigger a complete upheaval at both USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where former executives and high-ranking officials face numerous criminal charges for their complicity in covering up Nassar’s abuse and lying about what they knew.

For her work as an advocate and educator on sexual assault, Rachael was named one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and one of Glamour Magazine’s “Women of the Year” in 2018. Additionally, she received the “Inspiration of the Year” award from Sports Illustrated, was a joint recipient of ESPN’s “Arthur Ashe Courage Award,” and was named a “Michiganian of the Year” by the Detroit News. She is the recipient of numerous other awards and recommendations, including the “CHILD Protector Award” from CHILD USA, the “Integrity and Impact Award” from Dow Jones Sports Intelligence, and HeartAmbassador’s “Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributing to Social Justice.”

Rachael has been recognized and honored in both the Kentucky and Michigan legislatures for her advocacy, and has been active in spearheading legislative reform at the state level. She has lectured and participated in live Q&A’s on the campus of numerous universities across the nation, including Harvard, Stanford, NYU, UC Berkeley, USC, and others. She continues to educate on issues of abuse through supporting and speaking at organizations that advocate for victims of sexual and domestic abuse, teaching at abuse prevention conferences, and helping companies and other institutions create safe environments for addressing abuse and harassment. A committed Christian, Rachael has also been at the forefront of condemning the problem of abuse that often plagues churches and religious organizations while working to address the underlying dynamics. Additionally, she was a panelist with a United Nations Peace Messenger Organization at the UN’s 62nd Commission on the Status of Women.

A member of the California Bar Association, Rachael has educated attorneys on the dynamics of sexual abuse at the American Bar Association’s Sports Law Forum, and was the commencement speaker at the graduation ceremony of Brandeis School of Law in Louisville, KY.

Prior to beginning her work as an advocate and educator, she worked in public policy, performed research and writing for human rights organizations, and spoke in a variety of capacities, including testifying before state judiciary committees. She has also taught in legislative action days, and authored and taught a summer camp course on appellate advocacy and judicial philosophy to talented high school students.

She has appeared on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX News, BBC, NPR and regularly appears in national and international print media, including the Washington Post, Der Spiegel, Wall Street Journal, and the Associated Press, and is a New York Times and Vox op-ed contributor.

Rachael holds a Juris Doctorate from Oak Brook College of Law and possesses an honorary doctorate from the American University of Paris.

She, along with her husband Jacob, lives in Louisville, Kentucky with their four young children

Survivor of SGM on Josh Harris leaving his wife and his faith

Above photo credit: Joshua Harris Instagram public account

I’m sure you’ve read the news: Josh Harris, author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye is divorcing his wife, the mother of his three children. Harris says in regard to his faith in Jesus Christ that he has “fallen away,” and “By all measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.” He admits that he can’t even read the Bible to see alternative interpretations.

Christian publications and Christians all over social media are commenting about this. Comments range from grace, peace and prayers to, he never was a Christian if he has fallen away…to…show him no mercy in light of the SGM sexual abuse cover-up scandal. Some prominent homeschool leaders have been the most unmerciful toward him.

When Harris hit the big time in the homeschooling community, and the book publishing industry, he was immediately singled out and groomed. Yes, groomed. I’ll let you read about it below in the piece written by Elle Renee, a fellow domestic violence advocate and former homeschool mom.

One point of interest I must include is that Harris recently apologized for the harm his book caused for countless young people. At age nineteen he taught: don’t date, don’t kiss until marriage, and other do and don’t statements that are not found in scripture. His books flew off the shelves and were taken as the gospel truth by eager readers. What made it worse was that adult leaders took liberties with his book and turned it into the foundation for the purity culture. He discontinued his book’s publication, as well as other supplemental resources tied to it. When is the last time you heard of someone doing that?

So where am I going with all this?

Harris and his soon to be ex-wife have been in a system of spiritual abuse for over two decades. It will take them years to find their way through the mess, find some healing, and find a way to manage the damage done to them. Harris will also have to deal with the cover-up damage he caused or contributed to for innocent children who were sexually abused.

Please hear me, I am not excusing his leadership in the sexual abuse cover-up scandal at Sovereign Grace Ministries if he was indeed involved. He allegedly knew what was going on and I’m sure law suits are not finished. As more states abolish the statute of limitations there could possibly be charges filed against him. Only Josh will know what part of his ministry was manipulated, which responses were made from the brain washing he suffered, what was willful, or what was guilt by association. This we know; at SGM children were harmed. Crimes were committed. Innocent children may never come to know Jesus because of the abuse they suffered in the church.

As in domestic abuse and extreme psychological abuse people do things they shouldn’t, things their abuser talks them into doing because their abuser is a professional liar who can talk just about anyone into anything. Victims say and do things they later regret. This can happen with spiritual abuse too. It’s rare that adults realize the extent of the spiritual abuse they have endured. I’ve seen it first hand. And as with domestic abuse, the victim often believes they are the one to blame. Add in the discovery that your ministry/job, close friendships, and the ‘faith’/religion in your life have been built on and around a lie. I don’t know with certainty this is any part of the explanation for what is taking place with this case, but it is highly probable.

I hope Harris does come forward and deal with the SGM sexual abuse cover-up with sincerity and truth. He needs to speak out about it.

As for his faith, I pray he can find his way out of legalism and realize it had nothing to do with who God is, and legalism is not the heart and will of Jesus; nor is lawlessness. I hope he finds it was legalism he was finished with; not Jesus.This road he is walking will be long as many survivors can attest. When the Bible is used to control you and destroy you that last thing that brings healing to your life is the Bible. Unless you’ve experienced this you might not be able to understand it, but please, believe it.

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The below commentary is shared with permission.

Written by Elle Renee, Mom 🖥 Graphic Designer 🎨 ✝️Art & Ministry Director🎗DV Survivor Advocate 🙋‍♀️INFP/4w5 Below photo credit: Elle Renee Facebook profile picture.

This story just makes me so sad, especially in light of my previous post on spiritual abuse. Indulge me an extra long post as I wrestle aloud with some thoughts on this one here on FB (Facebook).

This is Joshua Harris.

If you’re familiar with the uber conservative, homeschooling, evangelical movement, you know his wildly popular book from the 90s, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.”

If you’re familiar with the current conservative, Together 4 the Gospel, Gospel Coalition, neo-Calvinist, reformed, charismatic & specifically Sovereign Grace network of churches, you’ll recognize him as ex-Senior Pastor at SGC flagship church in Maryland.

He was groomed for leadership by SGC founder/president/lead pastor, CJ Mahaney. His name is familiar if you’ve followed any of the sex abuse scandals in Sovereign Grace churches in the news from 2011-2014.

I am particularly interested & grieved over this story for a number of reasons. One, I attended a Sovereign Grace church from 2002-2011. Two, my life exploded in 2011 (to include within this church & faith) at the same time “the documents” & the beginning of the sex abuse info & significant issues with CJ, et al, was being exposed. (unrelated circumstances, but crazy to have so much of my personal SGC exposed to me at the same time it was happening at a national level!) This also affected Joshua Harris, who, by this time, was senior pastor in MD.

I read a lot of the documents & paid close attention to the numerous news stories for several reasons. One thing that jumped out at me as a couple of the earlier years went by was Joshua Harris’ attitude. I noticed a mark difference between him & some of the other leaders in SGC. I won’t pretend he did everything right – I don’t know the details enough to comment on that. However, he seemed to shift & present a spirit of humility.

He began making some HARD decisions, choices that were not going to ingratiate himself with CJ or other SG leaders. He started to do some REAL reflecting & what he discovered was that he & the church had made some significant mistakes over the years. He began to listen to the people, really listen, & was willing to do some inner gutting.

He talks about inspecting his actions, his thoughts, his feelings, his words, his counsel, etc. – and as he shares in this article & other places, what he found wasn’t super lovely. In fact, some things were plain ugly & grievous to have to admit. The amount of shame & guilt that must have plagued him in various seasons, I can only imagine.

Y’all, they had IT ALL. A.L.L. They were wildly successful, beautiful young couple, three children. Both creatives (writer, singer) besides being ministry leaders. He was tapped by THE “denomination” leader. I’m assuming up until 2011 they figured they had found the golden groove of Christianity.

Yet, when it all exploded – and they had the option & power to side with the “safe” leaders (CJ Mahaney & others), they appear to have sided with Truth. Even though it jeopardized their church family, their standing with SGC, their friends, their community, their support… and as time continued, even their book sales & income & careers. Over the last few years, Josh has recounted his advice in his book & asked forgiveness for much of the content & especially how it was weaponized & used to oppress young people, and especially women. I cannot even imagine what that was like for him, his wife Shannon & their children at this time.

And this guy – he was just a kid when some charismatic, powerful christian leader back in the 90s told him he was “special” & began to take him under his wing. They like to call it discipling or mentoring and evidence of grace & love. But if you dig a little deeper, I’d call it taking advantage of a naive, idealistic 19 yo kid. I’d say he was love bombed & groomed & unless he was a PhD student armed with info on personality disorders, he wouldn’t have had any idea. He was selected because he was moldable & easy to manipulate into what CJ though he should be, for CJs purposes, under the guise of “God’s purposes.” Tons of rewards for behaving the way he was “supposed” to as a “good” christian.

I can’t imagine the level of psychological trauma, pain & horror as Joshua (and Shannon) began to discover a lot of their framework for their life was built on religion & false fears & manipulated, pseudo acts of “love.” And like anyone coming out of spiritual brainwashing, you ask yourself, if you could be duped or simply wrong in one area, where else are you wrong? If you can’t trust this particular spiritual leader, who else can’t you trust? If I believed one thing about God, was so sure I was right but now am confident I am wrong about a part of God, well, what else could I be wrong about with God?

I would imagine these are just some of the conversations & anguish Joshua has been wrestling with.

I’m not justifying any of his decisions – I’m actually choosing not to judge any of them at any level, certainly not here on FB. Sometimes, we are called to just show mercy – this guy doesn’t even know me & he’s certainly not accountable to me so I think mercy makes more sense.

So, with that perspective, OF COURSE everything is falling down around him 😞. Of course nothing is the same as it once was & he has no answer in the moment for how to move forward.

I think he needs our genuine love & support (they both do, I think, in this case) – not a weird, “I’ll support you by praying that God wakes you back up & you’ll see how you’ve gone off the deep end & turn your life back to Jesus but until then we either won’t hang out or when we do, it will always be to bring this back up & push you back to God/church/religion.”

Maybe they just need an “of course” from us – empathy, grace, space to grieve & process & heal.

*Maybe they need us to not fear their actions right now, but to love them enough to trust the God that’s in them to handle & redeem it all.*

Spiritual abuse is evil. He & Shannon have already been caught up in so much of this nonsense, from many sides, for decades. I pray they both find a season of rest, compassion, gentleness, tenderness, healing & hope from the Presence who showed up in the very same way when my faith was shattered. He is so very Kind & Patient in this process.

I hope we can be the same towards them, and others who are detoxing spiritual abuse.

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CHURCHLEADERS article: Josh Harris Says He’s “Fallen Away” From Faith

22 Years After Bestselling ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye,’ Joshua Harris Leaves His Wife And Faith

Lynn Messer case timeline |GoFundMe for Abram’s family

Thank you for joining Lynn’s family in honoring Lynn’s memory on this 5th anniversary of her disappearance and death, and to pray for answers, truth and justice.  I’m Carolyn Deevers, a local advocate and I minister to women living in, or leaving, destructive marriages/relationships with angry and controlling men. Like many of you, I’ve been following Lynn’s case since day one of her disappearance. I come from a background of domestic abuse and I was concerned I was seeing similarities in my background and Lynn’s case. I’ve written extensively about Lynn here on my website. Many of the articles can be found under Lynn Messer case history, or by typing Lynn Messer in the search bar.

Today I’m going to review the timeline surrounding Lynn’s July 8, 2014 disappearance.

  • In the years before Lynn’s disappearance Kerry has been heard by his sons and by church members jokingly saying, “We don’t believe in divorce. Murder, yes. Divorce, no. Lynn had car accidents, falls, and times when she thought she must have accidently taken the wrong medication or too much medication. That is how she would explain some of her accidents and injuries to her family.
  • January 2014 Kerry purchased life insurance policies on Lynn, Abram, and Abram’s wife Elizabeth.”
  • 2014 early spring there was an unexplained fire at Abram and Elizabeth’s home which the fire department was able to put out just short of the fire reaching the propane tank on their property.
  • Since 2012 and leading up to Lynn’s disappearance, Abram took issue with the way his dad, a married man, interacted with Spring Thomas.
  • May 9, 2014, Coincidental or not, was the day Spring Thomas’ estate probate case was finalized for inheriting her parents’ estate. Information from Missouri Case Net court records.
  • Coincidental or not; a week before Lynn went missing law enforcement went to Abram and Elizabeth’s house asking about Kerry burning some of his mail on the neighbor’s property.
  • A few days before her disappearance Lynn told a friend she was on her way to visit a friend who kept cattle in Wildwood for her family. Family said this had to be Spring Thomas.
  • Sunset July 7, 2014. Kerry Messer washed the dog in the back of his truck. His family had never seen him do this before because Lynn always took care of the dogs.
  • 9:30 PM Lynn arrived home from supply shopping at Walmart for VBS the next evening. She had plans to watch her grandchildren the next day and to teach at VBS again.
  • 11:45 PM someone reserved a spot at the church picnic on the computer before midnight and shared something about Lynn’s favorite summer activities on Facebook.
  • Kerry claims he awoke at 4AM, July 8th to find his wife gone.  Her purse and cell phone were still in the house.
  • 4:15 AM Kerry went to Abram and Elizabeth’s house. Kerry had a key to their house but didn’t know about the new chain lock on the door. When he opened the door, the chain lock caught and woke the dogs, alerting the family to an intruder. After the dogs began barking Kerry called for Abram. When Abram went to the door his dad announced, “I can’t find your mom” and then asked about the 4-wheeler. No one knows what his intentions were for entering their home.
  • 6 AM Elizabeth watched Kerry casually drive the 4 wheeler to check on the cows. She never heard him drive all over the farm searching for Lynn as he claimed later to have done.
  • Kerry insisted that Abram move the cows to a specific pasture. This was odd to Abram because his mom was the one who always took care of pasture rotations. Why would Kerry be thinking of such an insignificant detail during an emergency?
  • Between 7:30-8:00 AM Kerry mentioned a note to Aarron.
  • 8 AM Aarron called the authorities to report his mother as missing.
  • Kerry told Abram NOT to come down to his house. Instead of wanting Abram to help locate Lynn, he wanted him to move the cows, and stay home. 
  • Kerry was irate that Aarron called the police and he told his sons to leave his house.
  • Law enforcement arrived.
  • Law enforcement asked if Lynn suffered, or ever suffered from depression, or took medications for it. Kerry said, “No.”  Elizabeth interjected and said that’s not true. Yes, she has.
  • Kerry left the house and left his cell phone in the kitchen. A cell phone is an essential tool for communicating during a missing person emergency; unless perhaps, you don’t want your phone to be pinged for location identification.
  • Kerry allegedly tells law enforcement he didn’t make copies of the note, when in fact law enforcement would find out months later that Kerry made multiple copies of the note.
  • Lynn’s scent trail is followed to the pasture where the cows were moved, but the cows being moved along with a freshly mowed lawn made it difficult for the dogs to stay with Lynn’s scent.
  • Although Kerry says he didn’t know Lynn was missing until 4 AM of the 8th; the timeline allows 9:30 PM of the 7th as possibly the last time Lynn was seen alive.
  • July 10th Kerry began writing the Find Lynn Messer Facebook page.
  • For 3 days grid searches were performed by search teams and by trained search and rescue canines. Searches were done by foot, by all terrain vehicles, on horses, and by air. Searches were done during daylight and during the dark of night.
  • July 11 professional searchers pulled out and handed the search over to the family to be continued by civilian volunteers so that the sheriff’s department could continue their investigation on other levels.
  • At some point Kerry and Ray Rolland organized a search from Kerry’s house to Spring Thomas’s house to look for Lynn under the premise that Lynn may have been on her way to her close friend Spring’s house. Lynn’s kids were deliberately kept unaware of this search.
  •  The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported Spring Thomas was seen by police among search parties organized soon after Lynn’s disappearance. Searchers commented they were seeing something relationally going on between Spring and Kerry.
  • A note was found. Lynn’s sons say their dad kept them from knowing the note’s true content and asked the local sheriff’s department to keep the note from them to protect them in case something bad happened to Lynn. Kerry said he didn’t want his sons to blame themselves. Abram was told by his father that the detectives told Kerry he was not allowed to talk about the note to anyone because investigators wanted the letter to be kept a secret. It appears Kerry kept both sides from the truth.
  • Mid-August Abram receives a text message from Spring Thomas… asking if it was appropriate for her to continue to participate in searches.
  • Early September Spring communicated to law enforcement that she was in a relationship with Kerry Messer.
  • A few hours after the investigators heard from Spring, Kerry Messer called the sheriff’s office to inform them about his ongoing friendship with a woman named Spring Thomas.
  • Kerry told investigators he had sexual needs and needed companionship. He also confessed that he was earlier interested in a younger woman from church but she was offended, so he continued with Spring. This is eight weeks after Lynn disappeared and Kerry was already romantically interested in two different women.
  • This is when Kerry stopped cooperating with the investigation.
  • Spring also refused anymore interviews with investigators.
  • Around September a towel was found at the edge of the creek downstream from where Lynn’s remains would later be found. Kerry allegedly knew the protocol for not handling evidence and allowing investigators to document location, photograph, and collect all evidence. Kerry walked up to the towel and asked, ‘has anybody touched it?’ He was told, “No.” Kerry stated ‘Well I’m going to touch it’ and he reached down and picked it up, rubbed it all over his face, up and down both of his arms, the back of his neck and then he says he doesn’t “think this is anything.” Abram said the towel matched the towels from his parents’ bathroom.
  • Fall 2014 Abram and Kerry took the cows back to Spring’s farm, in conversation Kerry said to Spring, ‘I just got rid of one wife; I’m not in a hurry to get another! It seemed that Spring thought it was the funniest thing she had ever heard.”
  • November 2014 Kerry encouraged hunters to become volunteer searchers and report anything unusual to law enforcement by taking a photo and a GPS ping or other location documentation.
  • Late 2014 when after Abram told his father that he believed his behavior around Spring for several previous years was inappropriate Kerry flew into a rage.
  • Weeks after Lynn disappeared Kerry sent out a letter seeking financial support for Missouri Family Network. He lamented that he was financially crippled from a summer of distraction. Kerry told Abram the letters brought in more money than ever before and he was thinking of sending another one. According to his sons, Kerry was not hurting financially because he owned properties in multiple states and had a large amount of financial assets. His sons said they nor Lynn knew about Kerry’s financial investments until months after Lynn was missing. The land was purchased “etux” which means married but wife not present. Kerry owned land in two counties outside of Missouri.
  • 2015
  • May 2015 after failing a polygraph Kerry was found to have lied to investigators multiple times about leaving the farm. He denied he had left the farm the morning of July 8 when in fact he had.
  • June of 2015 Kerry admits to his sons he was romantically seeing Spring Thomas and sneaking around to be with her, but only after Aarron discovered their father was in an illicit, and what Kerry called a “covenant relationship’, with  Spring Thomas. Kerry said his relationship with Spring began around Christmas 2014 — about five months after his wife disappeared.  Major Schott of the Sheriff’s Department said detectives had confirmed a relationship between Kerry and Spring months earlier — about eight weeks after Lynn Messer disappeared. Detective White also confirmed this with me.
  • Lynn’s sons attempted to bring Kerry before his church for public discipline as scripture admonishes but were unsuccessful in having him held accountable by his church as his pastor refused to do anything. This is typical secondary spiritual abuse and is common amongst abuse survivors. Churches tend to take the side of abusers over that of victims and survivors. To not speak is to agree to something wrong that God has called sin. The absence of empathy and understanding causes great harm to the innocent.
  • June 2015. Kerry admitted to writing a fake suicide note that’s sole purpose was to manipulate people who disagreed with him.
  • Feb. 2016 Aarron and Abram were going into Kerry’s bathroom and counting his Viagra pills; which were dwindling in number; despite Kerry denying a physical relationship between him and Spring.
  • Early June 2016 Kerry unilaterally dissolved the legal partnership/job with Abram, and used creative accounting to claim that Abram owed him $5,000. Which is roughly equivalent to the 5% ownership of Missouri Family Network which Abram owned. Kerry’s way of getting out of paying Abram.
  • June 4, 2016, Abram and his family have to leave their home, which Grandpa Messer had given Abram, but Kerry had creatively kept out of Abram’s name. They left for safety concerns and because Kerry was demanding they start paying rent for the house that belonged to them. They couldn’t pay since Kerry had just fired Abram. They left with a few possessions and some, but not all, of their pets. They were never allowed to return for their other belongings.
  • Abram and Elizabeth were evicted by Kerry from their home in Jefferson City. In this home they discovered a peep hole directly above the on suite bed with a pair of men’s white underwear stuffed in the hole to blend with the white ceiling. Elizabeth, who did the laundry in Jeff. City identified the underwear as belonging to Kerry. Upon going back for their possessions, after being evicted they found Kerry had installed cameras so they had to leave their belongings from that home behind.
GoFundMe
An account has been established to help Abram, Elizabeth and their kids with moving into their own home. (They’ve been living with relatives for safety purposes, while Abram looked for a new profession/job, and to help them save for their own home). They are starting over since they had to leave almost everything behind when Kerry forced them out of their home on the farm, and evicted them from the rental in Jeff. City. It’s worse than losing everything in a fire or natural disaster because insurance doesn’t cover any of their loss. GoFundMe
“Chipping in” is similar to “many hands make light work.” Please consider being a blessing to this precious family! GoFundMe


  • Shortly after Abram and Elizabeth moved Detective White asked if they knew a young woman in Farmington who claimed she was being stalked. She reported being followed, then the next day the man followed her to work. She called the cops and it was allegedly Kerry.
  • Late summer and into fall Aarron saw Spring trying to sneak onto the farm without being seen. He found Spring’s car hidden in a barn. He saw Spring and Kerry driving through the field sitting side-by-side and saw Spring helping Kerry with farming.
  • October 2016 two weeks before Lynn’s remains were recovered Aarron witnessed Kerry and Spring kissing in Kerry’s kitchen.
  • Law enforcement acknowledged the FBI could not conclude that Lynn wrote the entire note.
  • Detective White confirmed with me the FBI was involved in different aspects of the case.
  • August 2016 Aarron says, “Of the many wrongs my mother experienced—not recognizing the signs of abuse and not helping her is one of my biggest regrets.” Aarron, many abused women don’t know they are being abused, and if a mom wants to hide it to protect her children there is nothing you can do.
  • November 1, 2016, Lynn’s granddaughter discovers Lynn’s remains while scouting the farm for a place to hunt.
  • Nov. 4, 2016, Lynn’s dental records are a match and the authorities confirm the remains found were Lynn’s. 
  • Late November 2016 Aarron’s daughter comments, “Grandma didn’t write that note. Grandma didn’t call grandpa, ‘Pa’ she called him ‘Pop.’”
  • Kerry and Spring cleared Kerry’s house of Lynn’s belongings giving them away without allowing Lynn’s sons and all her grandchildren to have mementoes and belongings of Lynn’s.
  • December
  • The pathology report states Lynn was deceased and her body exposed to the elements the entire time. 
  • Detective White told Lynn’s sons that he would not release Lynn’s remains to Kerry until a cause of death was determined, but while Detective White was on vacation Lynn’s body was released to Kerry.
  • Kerry had Lynn’s remains transported across state lines to Arkansas. He and his girlfriend held a private burial without telling his and Lynn’s sons.
  • Aarron called his dad and said, “I heard that you buried mother yesterday?” Kerry angrily responded: “Why do you care?”
  • March 26, 2017. Disappeared: American Gothic—The Lynn Messer Case from Investigation Discovery Channel aired.
  • Kerry’s friends, church family, and supporters are confused because they are being told that the investigation is closed, that Kerry has been cleared in the investigation of Lynn’s disappearance and death, and that Kerry did not become involved with Spring Thomas until fifteen months after Lynn’s disappearance. I called Detective White to clarify. He confirmed that the investigation was not closed. Kerry Messer was not cleared in the investigation of Lynn’s disappearance and death. As for Kerry and Spring not becoming involved for fifteen months; he didn’t know where that information came from but it didn’t come from law enforcement. Law enforcement knew about the relationship early in the investigation and knew what type of relationship it was.
  • July 6, 2017 Death certificate is released: Undetermined at this time. ….upon completion of investigation.
  • July 9, 2017, On Find Lynn Messer Kerry writes, “ I expect to eventually donate most of Ma’s personal items myself (To Sunshine Ministries.org). No mention of his sons and their families.
  • August 19, 2017 – Lynn’s supporters could not understand why First Baptist Church Festus/Crystal City would choose to be more conduit to Kerry’s deception. The church decided to cancel the memorial service Kerry planned for Lynn.  Reasons cited were the pastor and deacons were not pleased with Kerry’s ongoing behavior or his different accounts of investigative information, church members’ were concerned about Kerry’s relationship with Spring, safety concerns and possible protests.
  • October 2017 Kerry left a letter on the door of Aarron’s home telling Aarron he, Kerry, was doubling Aarron’s rent for his house on the family farm. Kerry also placed restrictions on Aarron’s use of the farm demanding that he only drive down the driveway and leave the same way; going nowhere else on the property. Aarron asked if Kerry really wanted to raise the rent or if he wanted Aarron and his children to leave the farm.  Kerry responded that he wanted them to leave his farm.
  • Throughout the entire time Lynn has been gone Kerry wrote on Facebook of his loneliness and longing for Lynn as if Spring Thomas didn’t exist.
  • Throughout all of this time I was been told by some of Kerry friends, fellow church members, some people in the homeschooling community, some of his financial supporters, and the groups he lobbies for in Jeff. City that Aarron, Abram, the media, and law enforcement were lying about there being a romantic relationship between Kerry and Spring.
  • August 4, 2018, Kerry and Spring were married.

“Lynn’s disappearance and death raise many questions: How did Lynn die? How could a small woman with an injured toe and with hip replacements walk through pouring down rain in a thunder storm, in the dark of night, over muddy ground, and according to family members, have to avoid electric fences in the dark, and open and close multiple heavy gates to arrive at her destination? Was it murder? If so, was it premeditated? If it was murder, was her body moved or somehow concealed to keep search and rescue from finding her? Trained dogs should have found her scent; especially after a few days of her remains being in the hot and muggy summer elements. Tonight we pray for truth, answers, and justice. We pray they are on their way and right around the corner.

GoFundMe
An account has been established to help Abram, Elizabeth and their kids with moving into their own home. (They’ve been living with relatives for safety purposes, while Abram looked for a new profession/job, and to help them save for their own home). They are starting over since they had to leave almost everything behind when Kerry forced them out of their home on the farm, and evicted them from the rental in Jeff. City. It’s worse than losing everything in a fire or natural disaster because insurance doesn’t cover any of their loss. GoFundMe
“Chipping in” is similar to “many hands make light work.” Please consider being a blessing to this precious family! GoFundMe

Lynn Messer prayer vigil update: Important

If you have been using the Facebook, Lynn Messer Prayer Vigil page please take note. DO NOT use the “Get Directions” from Facebook. They are WRONG. Type in 55 South 3rd Street, Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670 and get directions from your phone or computer, or you will end up at the wrong place. The vigil will be held outside the Ste. Genevieve County Court House which houses the prosecuting attorney’s office. We will be outside the front doors on 3rd Street. Look for the signs. We will have an on duty officer present for safety precautions. Bring lawn chairs if you want to sit, and an umbrella in case of a pop-up rain shower.

Speakers are:

  • Aarron Messer
  • Abram Messer
  • Gabe Messer
  • Cheryl Summers
  • Shawn Summers
  • Carolyn Deevers

Lynn Messer’s Death Certificate: What it does and doesn’t say

The team for Lynn’s prayer vigil is preparing for Monday night. We’ve been hearing from many of you that you plan on attending. The forecast for Monday has changed multiple times over the last few days and right now it looks clear, but with all the pop-up thunderstorms and rain showers we’ve been having, we highly suggest bringing an umbrella.

We’ve been hearing from people who supported Kerry Messer for years. They believed him when he assured them that he was not dating or romantically linked to Spring Thomas, and that everyone saying so was lying. But then…he married Spring Thomas. Now their suspicions, and odd things Kerry said and did over the last five years are adding up…and it doesn’t look good to them. They feel like they were hoodwinked. These people are now joining the #JusticeForLynn prayer vigil. Even if you believe Kerry, we hope you will join us in praying for answers about how Lynn arrived at the spot where she was found, and/or how she died, and pray for her family who will always grieve the traumatic separation they went through not knowing where Lynn was or if she was safe for two and a half years.

Lynn 1

ABOVE: Lynn on a mission trip giving care and attention to the little children.

July 8, marks the five year anniversary of the reporting of Lynn Messer as a missing person.

Upon her disappearance, the family farm where Lynn lived with her husband was mapped with grids and searched by rescue and recovery teams, along with trained search and rescue dogs. Searching was done by air, foot, and all-terrain vehicles; by day and by night. 

Rescue dogs are trained in locating human remains by tracking, trailing, and air scenting. This should have been an easy job in the outdoor air of the extreme summer heat during July and August.

3 1/2 years ago, November 1, 2016, Lynn’s remains were found on the farm; recovered from the direction of the scent found that first morning in 2014. The problem was that Kerry, Lynn’s husband, had the cows moved from one pasture to another that first morning, July 8, 2014, possibly contaminating evidence of her scent.  The pasture where he had the cows moved was located between the house and the field where Lynn’s remains were discovered.  Rotating cows from pasture to pasture, according to Lynn’s sons, was always Lynn’s responsibility. Lynn’s son Abram told law enforcement that his father was adamant the cows had to be moved that morning; the morning Lynn had been missing since the middle of the night, and her husband said he had been out looking for her. In my first interview with Abram he admitted that in hind sight, moving the cows for his dad is the one thing he wishes he had not done.

Lynn was considered missing until November 1, 2016. We’ve been told by law enforcement, after a coroner’s autopsy, that Lynn had been deceased the entire time, since July 8, 2014.

I am a survivor of domestic abuse and I minister to and advocate for women in, or leaving, destructive marriages, and women who have suffered sexual assault and misconduct in the church.  I also advocate for women and children who have encountered secondary spiritual abuse after disclosing to their church the abuse that has been going on in their home.

When I heard Lynn’s story I thought I recognized similarities to life experiences I’ve lived. I think, after talking to Lynn’s family and friends, that she possibly lived in a destructive marriage, and didn’t survive to tell her story. This is why I advocate for her…waiting for answers, keeping her story alive, and hoping for justice for Lynn. 

Lynn 2

Lynn’s husband, Kerry Messer, has not been cleared in the investigation surrounding Lynn’s death.  Kerry is a Missouri state lobbyist who represents family, homeschooling, right-to-life, gun rights/safety, and Christian/Biblical values. 

Weeks after Lynn was reported missing law enforcement found out that Lynn’s husband Kerry was involved with another woman. Spring Thomas, according to law enforcement, admitted to being in a relationship with Kerry at least 8 weeks after Lynn went missing. Abram, one of Lynn’s sons has messages from Spring that dates the time to at least 6 weeks after Lynn went missing, but he thinks the romantic relationship predated his mom’s death.  He has based this upon the previous years of watching his father interact with Spring. In fact, before Abram knew anything about Kerry’s relationship with Spring, Abram says he expressed concern to his father about his  inappropriate behavior around Spring in the past as well as their behavior around each other when Spring showed up for organized searches to help look for Lynn, after Lynn’s disappearance, on the family farm.

Below is a copy of Lynn’s Messer’s death certificate which was issued June 20, 2018. In other words; recently. I want people to understand and consider that this case is not over.

death certificate internet

I find this hopeful. The state could have listed the cause of death as ‘unknown’. They didn’t.

Instead it says, ‘MANNER: PENDING INVESTIGATION’ 

‘UNDETERMINED AT THIS TIME’

The death certificate does not say ‘Could Not Be Determined’.

Undetermined at this time leaves legal room to easily come back and make changes to the certificate.

This case is not closed.

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

After the television airing of American Gothic: Finding Lynn Messer on Investigation Discovery, Lynn’s story became an international public interest. It has aired dozens of times in different countries around the globe.

Kerry Messer is a public figure/state lobbyist who fund raises from private citizens in the state of Missouri; making this a public interest case. *See disclaimer in margin.

When it comes to my website, I listen to stories and make a judgement on the honesty of the statements. I don’t have to prove that it is true but I must believe that it is true. I can assure all readers that I would never deliberately lie and I take great care to be as truthful as possible and to investigate claims and accusations because I write to shine light on the problem of abuse in the church and abuse in Christian homes. I do not write to defame anyone. I make no claims against anyone. I write from experience for educational purposes only.

Here is a simple outline of what a person MUST prove when claiming defamation. All three things must be proven in order for a successful lawsuit for defamation. As you will see, it is exceedingly difficult to prove defamation.

  1. The writer must lie.
  2. The writer must knowingly lie.
  3. The writer must knowingly lie in order to bring malicious harm to another.

My homestate, Missouri, has enacted an Anti-SLAPP statute, § 537.528.1 R.S.Mo., designed to protect conduct and speech made in connection with a public hearing or public meeting. By enacting this statute, Missouri has created a policy by which speakers under its jurisdiction shall be afforded extra protection against lawsuits merely aimed at stifling speech and conduct related to public participation.

The format of this site has changed. You’ll find many of the past articles I’ve written about Lynn Messer under the link: Lynn Messer case history. Articles are listed by title and dated from recent to earliest. Comments are now easier to find and post at the end of each article.

Lynn Messer prayer vigil signs

I’m grateful for the many people who are working together to make the vigil for Lynn Messer possible.

July 8, 2019, marks the five year anniversary of the disappearance of Lynn Messer. Lynn was a wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, homeschool mom, and most importantly…a follower of Jesus Christ. Lynn disappeared July 8, 2014, from the bed she shared with her husband. Lynn’s remains were discovered on their farm over two years later, November 1, 2016.

Lynn’s husband Kerry Messer is a Missouri state lobbyist who represents family, homeschooling, right-to-life, gun rights/safety, and Christian/Biblical values. 

Both of Lynn and Kerry Messer’s sons, Abram and Aarron, doubt aspects of their father’s accounting of events relating to the disappearance and death of their mother.

CANDLELIGHT PRAYER VIGIL SIGNS:

You may right click on these signs, do a “SAVE AS’ and print them off for the candlelight prayer vigil. You may also send them to Office Depot or a nearby copy store to have them printed as posters. If you would rather receive an email link to the posters leave me a courtesy request for the poster files and I will send you the link. Your email will not be made public to other readers.

Spring Thomas (Messer) 20 Talking Points

The majority of this content is used with permission from Aarron Messer’s public Facebook page. Link at the bottom of the article.

My apologies for the print being in all caps. My formatting has been giving me grief for a few months. I needed a numbered list for this article which turned it into all caps when I published it. After an hour of trying to figure out how to use normal print; I gave up and left it as is.

1.     Dr. Thomas, Spring’s father was a dentist for 62 years he owned and operated a small dental clinic on Manchester Rd in St. Louis. He held a very public, faithful, Christian service to his church by organizing Easter Sunrise services in Babler State Park for half a century and beyond. He was a founding board member of Westminster Christian Academy and was an extremely sacrificial supporter of Kerry Messer’s ministry for as long as Kerry and Lynn’s son Aarron can remember. He not only was the families dentist, a role in which he offered his services for free to support the ministry, but he personally paid for an orthodontist to extract all four of Aarron’s impacted wisdom teeth 20+ years ago. He financially was a faithful donor to the ministry throughout his life until he passed in 2012.

2.     Spring lives on a substantial piece of real estate in Wildwood on a farm which she inherited from her parents. Spring was an only child, and both her parents have passed away. Spring was a caregiver for her parents caring for both of them as they aged until they died.

3.     Spring has never been married and has no children.

4.     Spring housed the Messer’s cattle in Wildwood to graze fields that were not being used; in turn, Kerry helped with the upkeep on Spring’s farm. This relationship continued after Lynn’s death.

5.     Abram has never been comfortable with the behavior between Kerry and Spring when working on her farm.

6.     Lynn personally asked a close friend in the weeks prior to her disappearance for prayer because she said, “I am going to have to have a confrontation with someone and it’s not going to be pleasant.” Was that person Spring?

7.     The week leading up to Lynn’s death a friend met Lynn in the city to buy ground beef from Lynn. Lynn told the friend that she was not heading back home, but rather driving to Spring Thomas’ house to see her. Regardless of the content of their conversation this was a critical point in Lynn Messer’s life.

8.     According to what Kerry told Aarron, Spring has refused to answer further questions or submit to a lie detector test, on the advice of her attorneys.

9.     Spring was among volunteers during the first days of searching for Lynn on the family farm and surrounding areas.  In the first week of searching Kerry established a rule that no one come in the house. This rule was strictly enforced. He asked women and family friends not to hug him, because he was, “uncomfortable feeling their breasts” against himself.

10. During the search participants came forward testifying that they noticed a special connection of a close nature between Spring and Kerry. Without prompting, numerous people have identified and reflected that they knew something was up in the manner in which they interacted in those early days of searching. Spring herself had seemed glowing as she spoke with other searchers about her feet getting wet, and how Kerry had taken her inside the off limits house, in private, to dry her feet off and provide her with dry socks and shoes to wear.

11. Eight weeks after Lynn’s disappearance Spring Thomas confirmed in a written statement to law enforcement that she was in a relationship with Kerry Messer.

12. It appears Spring had no problem or reservations dating a married man; after all, no one knew Lynn was dead. Did they? There was still a search for Lynn Messer going on while Spring and Kerry, a married man, were in a relationship.

13. Detectives explained to Aarron and Abram Messer their dad’s conversation with law enforcement regarding Spring. Kerry asked permission to satisfy his urges for female companionship because he was accustomed to an active sex life and that the absence of Lynn was not simply emotionally draining but physically unbearable.

14. Kerry and Spring denied their relationship to friends and their churches going so far as to tell people Aarron and Abram, law enforcement, and the media were all lying about a romantic relationship between Kerry and Spring. While, according to Aarron, law enforcement saw Spring on a regular basis having dinner in private, dating, talking on the phone every day, and spending the majority of her time with Kerry.

15. Kerry told his sons he was deeply in need of sexual satisfaction and that he couldn’t take not having sex four to five times a week. He said this was why he needed the relationship with Spring, but then he said he only held hands. So his reasoning for needing the relationship was for sex but he insisted he wasn’t having sex. Meanwhile, his sons said they would go in their dad’s house and count his Viagra pills to see if he was telling the truth about not having sex. The Viagra pills were disappearing one by one.

16. Kerry told his sons that in the first few weeks after Lynn disappeared he was drawn to Spring and had feelings for her. He tried to distract himself from Spring and tried to pursue a relationship with a younger woman from his church, but the woman was deeply offended and spoke to investigators about it…so Kerry returned his attention to Spring.

17. Throughout the 2015 legislative session Kerry spent most of his time on the phone with Spring or was with her in secret.

18. The boys know nothing of Spring attempting to stop Kerry from kicking his sons out of their homes.

19. Spring was as adamant as Kerry that the romantic rumors about them were not true.

20. According to his sons, Kerry lied in his last media interview when he said his relationship with Spring was on hold. Aarron saw them cooking dinner and kissing each other through Kerry’s kitchen window two weeks before Lynn’s remains were found. Spring helped Kerry bale hay and worked on the farm during the summer months. Spring has been spotted trying to hide her car on the farm to keep the relationship secret.

Despite all the denials about their relationship…this happened last summer:

 

Link here to the original article: Who is Spring Thomas? by Aarron Messer.

*Correction on #7: The article originally stated, “This friend knew Spring Thomas.” This was incorrect. She did not know Spring Thomas. Lynn told her that she was visiting a friend in Wildwood that owned land where they took their cows. She assumed Spring was the only friend they had in Wildwood where they kept cows. Lynn’s family confirmed that Spring’s land was the only location in Wildwood where cattle were kept.

12 problems with Kerry Messer’s Version of Lynn’s Case

July 8, 2019, marks the five year anniversary of the disappearance of Lynn Messer. Lynn disappeared July 8, 2014, from the bed she shared with her husband. Lynn’s remains were discovered on their farm over two years later, November 1, 2016.

Lynn’s husband Kerry Messer is a Missouri state lobbyist who represents family, homeschooling, right-to-life, gun rights/safety, and Christian/Biblical values. 

You can read the reason I began writing about the Lynn Messer case here…

Here are what I consider to be the top 12 disputable issues with the case:

  1. On the morning of Lynn’s disappearance, Kerry stated to the Sheriff’s Department that Lynn had never been depressed and had never taken any kind of antidepressants. False: Lynn suffered from depression for years and was taking antidepressants. Facts which many family members were aware of, even Kerry himself was fully aware of this, referring to Lynn’s antidepressants as her “happy pills”.
  2. During Kerry’s time line of the first morning he told the police he didn’t leave the farm. False: He left his phone at home and left the farm. He only admitted to having left the farm after he failed the polygraph in May of 2015. Why would you leave your phone at home when looking for your lost wife? What if you found her hurt, harmed or worse? You would need the phone to call for help. What if someone found her and needed to call you? It seems like the most important tool you would want to have with you while searching for a missing person. Well…unless…possibly you don’t want your location to be pinged by the phone company for law enforcement.
  3. Kerry has been cooperating with law enforcement. False: Law enforcement revealed in April of 2015 that Kerry was not cooperating with the investigation, and had not been “for quite some time.” All just before investigators informed family members of his new relationship with Spring Thomas.
  4. Spring Thomas is just a family friend who has been helping him cope, helping him with eating, and caring for him. When I talked to some family members, homeschooling friends, and church friends of Kerry’s they told me what they had heard from Kerry; that his sons Abram and Aarron, law enforcement, and the media were all lying about the relationship between himself and Spring. False: We know according to law enforcement she has admitted to being in a relationship with Kerry at least 8 weeks after Lynn went missing. Abram has messages from Spring that date the time to at least 6 weeks after Lynn went missing, but he thinks the romantic relationship predated his mom’s death.  He has based this upon the previous years of watching his father interact with Spring. In fact, before Abram knew anything about Kerry’s relationship with Spring, he expressed concern to his father about their inappropriate behavior around one another in the past as well as their behavior around each other when Spring showed up for organized searches to help look for Lynn; after Lynn’s disappearance on the family farm. Aarron has stated on Facebook that he witnessed numerous romantic interactoins between Kerry and Spring while he, Aarron, still lived on the farm. Kerry and Spring Thomas married last year, August 4, 2018.
  5. Kerry told law enforcement the first morning that he didn’t make copies of the note. False: He made multiple copies of the note before the police arrived. Months later investigators found out from third parties that Kerry had made copies of the note and was showing it around, but not showing it to his sons.When questioned again about making the copies, Kerry 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” because that’s certainly not what he told the public, or the family. He took those copies; cutting the note in two and claims to have burned the other half of the note.  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.” He has never explained how or what he could have meant by that. Just that he accidentally let slip that he watched her write the note, and that he criticized what she had written, and maybe that explains why he cut out that portion of the note and burned it. Perhaps he knows that it doesn’t have anything to do with Lynn’s disappearance?
  6. The note: Kerry told law enforcement and media he didn’t understand the note and it didn’t make sense. False: He told his sons that law enforcement demanded he, Kerry, not talk to his sons about the note. False:  In private he told Abram and Aarron he understood the note and understood it from the beginning.  Aarron’s daughter commented nonchalantly “Grandma didn’t write that.” “What do you mean?” Aarron asked.  She replied, “Grandma didn’t call grandpa, “Pa” she called him “Pop.” That’s correct. Grandpa would get so frustrated and correct her because he wanted to be called Pa, but she called him “Pop.” These facts and others have only been complicated by the way Kerry took a portion of the note which he retained, enlarged it, and enhanced the lettering for a TV interview he orchestrated.
  7. Different articles and Facebook posts over the last two years led readers to believe Lynn’s husband, Kerry, was the one who called the sheriff’s office. Several media outlets have stated that Kerry called 911. False:  Kerry had over four hours in which he could have called law enforcement—but did not. At least a four hour window of time for Lynn to have been missing exists, but if one retraces the timeline there are possibly eight hours of missing time during which something could have happened to Lynn.
  8. Kerry passed his polygraph. False:  Kerry (that we know of) has taken two polygraph tests. The first one, was considered “inconclusive” and the second polygraph which he took in May of 2015 was considered an outright failure.
  9. On Facebook Kerry publicly pines away for his “bride.” False: In private he pursued secret and private rendezvous with another woman. Even after claiming that his relationship with Spring was on hold, he still continued to actively lie and hide her. Abram describes; “He puts on a public act of piety. In private engaging in sin. The word of God repeatedly warns us about making a public profession while our hearts are far from God. We must all be aware of the biblical cautions for attempting to “serve God and man.” These attempts to serve God while secretly gratifying our own lusts exemplifies what the word of God calls a double minded man who is unstable in all his ways.”
  10. Kerry has repeatedly claimed that no evidence has been found. False: Lynn’s scent trail was immediately found and it led through the field where Kerry had Abram move to cows early the first morning. Which, in the end, led to where Lynn’s body was recovered. Kerry chose to hide this information from family, friends, supporters, and Lynn’s extended family. Adding emotional, mental, and psychological stress to their lives through worry and efforts of mile after mile daily searching— month after month, and year after year. Efforts which were still active until her remains were discovered. “They found a towel in the edge of the creek (on the back corner of the farm) that had been washed up,” Abram said. “One of the reasons we were rechecking all of the creeks is because we were hoping and praying if she was out there somewhere, there might have been something, anything that could have been washed down in that significant rain. “(After the towel was spotted) “We get up to this towel that is laying in the edge of the grass, which had obviously been washed up there and my father walks up to the towel and says, ‘has anybody touched it?’ I told him no, because that was one of the first questions I asked the folks who discovered it originally.” Abram explained that they needed to get the detectives out there. “My father said ‘well I’m going to touch it’ and he reached down and picked it up,” remembered Abram. “Keep in mind this is early August, it’s sweltering hot outside and we are all drenched in sweat. My father picks up this towel, rubs it all over his face, then he rubs it up and down both of his arms, wipes all the sweat off of him, he rubs the back of his neck and then he takes the towel and says he doesn’t think this is anything.” Abram said Kerry said it was some towel that a searcher must have dropped. “As he is saying this, he is vigorously rubbing the towel up and down on the outside of his chest,” recalled Abram. Never mind the fact I’m looking this plain white towel knowing that it matches the other five or 10 plain white towels that they have under their cabinet.” Abram said they now understand the location of that towel was a few hundred yards downhill from where his mother was discovered.  “We had been searching, begging, hoping and praying that we would find something, anything and we did. There is no doubt in my mind, I feel very, very confident, saying publicly and openly that my father has taken very direct active steps into destroying the trail of evidence. (Searchers, including Kerry, were instructed in recovery protocol. They were told NOT to touch anything that was found. Kerry violated this. Why?) Yet, some of Kerry’s lobbying principals expressed glee in how upright, forthright, and honest Kerry has been for keeping them abreast of every detail and development in the case from day one.
  11. Kerry and Lynn were happy in a loving and abiding marriage. False: There have been witnesses step forward with contrary testimony of what took place in the marriage. See:  Lynn Messer Case History, April 26, 2017, : Random Thoughts. Abram explains, “He had deliberately misrepresented their marriage, relationship, and family structure. They did not have a healthy marriage. Loving husbands do not hide financial information from wives. Christ honoring  husbands love there wives as Christ loved the church. Kerry’s relationship even by his own story telling seems to be one which required Lynn to make personal sacrifices while he enjoyed the public accolades of political achievement. Not the biblical picture of husbands sacrificially giving themselves to their wives. For years his public story telling on Facebook is one which defames Lynn’s honor, promotes himself, while minimizing the severity and impact of his own unbiblical view of marriage.” The Facebook stories seem to be full of fabrications and untruths; according to family members who can recall the real stories.
  12. Lastly, I will allow Abram to once again use his words. After all the boys have been through they deserve to tell it from their viewpoint; not Kerry’s Find Lynn Messer Facebook version; or how he has deliberately misrepresented the investigation, and especially his family. Kerry has claimed that his son Abram who worked for him in the capital for over a decade has mental problems, and Kerry has accused his entire family of abandoning him and turning their backs on him. False: “Kerry has gone to great lengths to tell absurd and unfounded stories and accusations for the sole purpose of misrepresenting his own children. These obvious attempts on his part to control the narrative reveals not only his own desperation but his desires to suppress the truth. Including but not limited to a consistent theme claiming that he has been abandoned by his family. By all accounts public and private; Kerry’s family members have repeatedly begged him for reconciliation and pleaded for truth and honesty so that Kerry can come to a right relationship with the Lord. Instead, my father has turned his back on us and accused us of abandoning him. When in fact he himself has abandoned his self-professed personal ethos. Choosing the pleasure of sin for a season over the freedom and forgiveness which God himself offers.”

DISCLAIMER:

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by SpiritualBattles.org and while I endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, I make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

This website offers domestic violence/abuse, psychological, and spiritual information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical, psychological, psychiatric, legal, law enforcement, or spiritual advice, diagnosis, charges, services or treatment.

My opinions are my own. My guests who contribute to articles are going off of their memories and opinions.

Lynn Messer Public Prayer Vigil, July 8, 2019

July 8, 2019, marks the five year anniversary of the disappearance of Lynn Messer. Lynn disappeared July 8, 2014, from the bed she shared with her husband. Lynn’s remains were discovered on their farm over two years later, November 1, 2016. Law enforcement continues to investigate her death while waiting on the conclusion of all forensic testing. We now know that Lynn has been deceased the entire time and law enforcement confirms that her husband Kerry Messer has not been cleared in the investigation surrounding Lynn’s death.

Kerry Messer is a Missouri state lobbyist who represents family, homeschooling, right-to-life, gun rights/safety, and Christian/Biblical values. 

I have written dozens of articles on my thoughts about the case, evidence in the case, questions and answers to the lead detective on the case, and oddities and questions surrounding Kerry Messer’s actions, testimony, and writings on the Find Lynn Messer Facebook page.

You can read the reason I began writing about the Lynn Messer case here…

Many women who disappear do so at the hands of their significant other; not by the women’s choice. Fifty percent of women who have been murdered are killed by intimate partners. I combined this knowledge with what, in my opinion, were duplicitous writings of Kerry Messer on his Find Lynn Messer page, and some similarities Kerry appeared to have with my former husband. The similarities gave me reason for concern. Talking to some of Lynn’s family members and friends strengthened my concerns.

I have not forgotten about the questions surrounding Lynn’s disappearance and death; neither have her children, grand children, extended family, and friends.

To keep Lynn’s case in the public eye, to remember her life, and to pray for answers, truth, and justice there will be a public prayer vigil on Monday, July 8, 2019, in Ste. Genevieve. It will be held outside the prosecuting attorney’s office at 55 South 3rd Street, Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670. I will be speaking and praying along with a few other people including Cheryl Summers, founder of the For Such A Time As This rally. FSATAT rallied at the Southern Baptist Convention in 2018 and 2019. FSATAT is a group of Christians asking the SBC for: 1. A clergy database to track sexual abusers. 2. Mandatory training to recognize and address abuse (sexual assault and domestic abuse). 3. Treating women with honor and dignity.

I will post the complete prayer vigil line-up soon.

This is open to the public. If you have followed Lynn’s case we hope you will attend. If you are new to the case, you are invited to attend. If you are an advocate, abuse survivor, current victim, or concerned citizen; please join us.

Together we will seek #JusticeForLynn through a peaceful prayer vigil.

*This is not sanctioned by a church, law enforcement, or government agency.

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

DISCLAIMER:

I’ve been asked if I’m concerned about being sued for writing about Lynn’s private life.

The thought has crossed my mind but I have this information that keeps me protected from anyone winning a lawsuit against me:

To hold someone liable for slander or defamation the plantiff must prove the defendant purposefully  lied/ made a false or defamatory statement for the purpose of  bringing harm to the plantiff.

I’m amazed at the freedom that we have in our country. Information from Dee at thewartburgwatch.com  

Here is a simple outline of what a person MUST prove when claiming defamation. All three things must be proven in order for a successful lawsuit for defamation. As you will see, it is exceedingly difficult to prove defamation.

  1. The writer must lie.
  2. The writer must knowingly lie.
  3. The writer must knowingly lie in order to bring malicious harm to another.

So, when it comes to my website, I listen to stories and make a judgement on the honesty of the statements. I don’t have to prove that it is true but I must believe that it is true. I can assure all readers that I would never deliberately lie and I take great care to be as truthful as possible and to investigate claims and accusations because I write to shine light on the problem of abuse in the church and abuse in Christian homes.

A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.[1]Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech.

In the typical SLAPP, the plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs, or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. In some cases, repeated frivolous litigation against a defendant may raise the cost of directors and officers liability insurance for that party, interfering with an organization’s ability to operate.[2] A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. A SLAPP is often preceded by a legal threat.

My homestate, Missouri, has enacted an Anti-SLAPP statute, § 537.528.1 R.S.Mo., designed to protect conduct and speech made in connection with a public hearing or public meeting. By enacting this statute, Missouri has created a policy by which speakers under its jurisdiction shall be afforded extra protection against lawsuits merely aimed at stifling speech and conduct related to public participation.

Plus, Kerry Messer is a public figure in the state of Missouri who raises financial support to fund his lobbyist activities. This makes Lynn’s case a public interest story.

New Website: carolyndeevers.com

Eeeekk!

I’m rolling out my new website after a few months of working on it. Let me tell ya, I had NO idea how difficult it would be to build a site by myself. I’m changing platforms and it isn’t ready made like this Spiritual Battles platform.

It is a work in progress but I wanted to have it up and running before the For Such a Time As This Rally in Birmingham next week. If you would like to see the rally you can watch it live on Facebook here…. I will be doing a live segment from the rally at 6 PM and offering the closing prayer at the end of the rally.

If you would like to financially contribute to help with the costs of the rally; permits, handouts, signs, recording and sound equipment please head over to For Such A Time As This Rally’s website…here. You may purchase rally gear directly from Justice Junkie…here. Thanks!

My new website will incorporate podcast Bible studies for people who have found their lives tipped upside-down from difficult or destructive relationships. I’ve heard you say one of the most difficult aspects of finding your new normal is not havinge time or energy to spend time with God. Well, I’m going to help you with that!

Next, I am starting a greeting card line, SOLE SISTERS, with two of my favorite people. We’re having a blast and look forward to offering you a sneak peek soon! These cards are for those who are relationally challenged with people who fall under the category of dysfunctional, toxic, energy zapping. Perhaps you need a card that says just the right thing for someone going through cancer treatments, suffering the loss of a child or a loss by suicide, or…suffering from a mental illness or a terminal illness. For those times when there aren’t any words…we found some.

Understanding. Validation. Kindness.

Here is the link: carolyndeevers.com

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention: Safety Questions for Parents to Ask Kids


Trust.

I don’t trust easily these days. Life has been blinding, littered with betrayal from the last place I would have ever suspected it, and has been steeped in emotional trauma.

How does a parent trust this world where danger and sexual addictions abound? How do we safeguard our children?

As I stated in my 3 part series on Abusers; having the hair stand up on the back or our neck, or getting a vibe are not common occurrences and are not good indicators that we are in the presence of a molester or pedophile. These are more likely to happen though if we know signs of grooming. Abusers can groom children, and they can groom the adults they will have to deceive to gain opportunity/access to the children.

I had a couple of occasions the last few years where my, ‘Abuser Radar Alert,’ went off because I knew about grooming.

The first occasion: When a man I met for the first time asked if he could sit in my house and watch my daughter, whom he had never met, play the piano since he: 1) Heard me say she plays the piano and 2) He enjoys listening to piano music. Seriously…NO! The man may have been innocent in his asking but for this momma it came across as creepy and inappropriate.

The second: When a man I had never met, but who had met my boys at an extra-curricular activity, invited my boys to his house. He was an older man with no children left at home. He told my boys that the next time their mom needed to go shopping or the next time their parents needed to go out, they could stay at his house with him to play and swim. To me, this came across as a grooming technique of an abuser looking for an opportunity to molest children. See: Protecting Children from Predators part 2 for signs that an adult is using their relationship with a child for sexual reasons, along with other warning signs and how to be alert.

Since my history includes once upon a time being married to a pedophilic offender,  pastor who used the ministry to gain employment granting him immediate leadership access to potential victims, my radar is at high alert over such propositions.

My boys thrilled at the prospect of swimming; what a fun invitation to receive!

It never happened.

I’m all about having fun, in fact; one of the questions I always have when my kids are through with an activity, or are finished visiting with a friend, is if they had fun. Fun is important to me; always has been.  But fun doesn’t necessarily equate with safe or beneficial.

Here are a few questions I have learned to ask over the years. I’ve been known to ask these questions after play dates, youth group, extra-curricular outings, and even after church on Sundays.  I don’t ask every question after each encounter and I don’t question each activity. I ask these questions so casually that I don’t know if my kids are aware of my motives. All activities are randomly questioned: new people, places, and activities; as well as, friends and regularly scheduled activities. This is where the greatest vulnerability can enter; most molestation acts do not involve stranger danger, they are the result of a close family member or friend who gained trust and access to the child. Single moms’ children tend to be the biggest targets for such predators; but not the only targets.

I do not ask my children questions in the presence of other people. This ensures my kids feel secure in speaking their heart and mind.

QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION:

What did you do at the event?

What was your favorite activity or part of your visit?

Was there anything you didn’t like or anything that made you feel uncomfortable? (This is a good time to reinforce that children do not have to obey everything an adult tells them to do.)

Did anyone insist on, or try to, tickle, hug, massage, wrestle or touch you in unwanted ways or without your consent?

Did you feel safe? (I’ve been asking this questions since my boys were wee little things.)

Tell me something you liked about the adult/s in charge? Was there anything you disliked?

Is there anything interesting about a helper or kid that you can tell me?

Is there any reason you would not want to go back there again?

Did anyone ask you to keep a secret today?

Did anyone show you something on their cell phone or computer that was inappropriate, or pornogrpahy?

Do you have questions about anything that happened?

Did you understand everything that was said or that was asked of you?

Is there anything you want to tell me about your visit today?

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

The next 2 questions I reserve for stranger danger and body/health educational teaching at home:

Has anyone ever touched you, or asked to touch you in your private places (penis, testicles, or bottom/butt for boys), (breasts, vagina, bottom/butt for girls)?

Has anyone ever shown you their private places (name them so there is no confusion or exclusion) or asked you to show them your private places?

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

When at a private residence or at public places with public restrooms my kids know the rule: 1 person per bathroom/stall, and to never hesitate screaming for help if someone makes them feel uncomfortable.

You never know who has an attraction to children or who has a sick abusive desire on which they plan to act. It could be a trusted adult or it could be a close friend. Sadly, we never know if a friend, cousin, or relative has abused or taught a child something they should not know that could be passed on to your child.

If your child has an answer that concerns you or startles you; always believe the child! Children rarely lie about childhood victimization.

DO NOT approach or question the accused and keep your child out of the accused’s presence.  Call the child abuse hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD) or call your local authorities. Professionals will know how to legally investigate your child’s allegations. You would not want to jeopardize the case being thrown out of court due to leading the witness with questions.

Seek medical attention from the child’s doctor or at the emergency room to find out if he or she was physically harmed. Creating a paper trail will be very important in seeking protection and justice.

Find a licensed counselor to guide your child through the psychological trauma of abuse and victimization which will continue beyond the physical trauma. Ongoing therapy for coping and healing is a must. (I highly recommend E.M.D.R. therapy) Read about E.M.D.R. here…

There is wisdom in asking questions at the right time.

Listen and learn from your children.

Read: How Sexual Predators Choose Child Victims Part 1

Protecting Children from Predators: Childhood Sexual Abuse part 2

Childhood Sexual Abuse: Symptoms part 3

Pedophile or Molester: *Content Warning

Pedophile or Molester?

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. They are always on the look out for opportunity.
  • 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, unlike offenders, most 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: My Fox Austin

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There is no cure for pedophilia. 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]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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 on prayer 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.

____________________________________________________________________________

Childhood Sexual Abuse: Symptoms Part 3

This is the last post of a three-part series on childhood victimization including:

Part 1: How Sexual Predators Choose Child Victims

Part 2: Protecting Children from Predators

I write to bring child sexual abuse to the attention of anyone who will read, and to answer nagging questions of parents who are concerned about their children’s safety.

I especially write to the wife who is caught in an unspeakable circumstance. One where she suddenly finds out her husband is addicted to pornography, has a personality disorder, is mentally ill without medical or psychological intervention, or a combination of these issues; and the realization of who he is or what he is doing is unimaginable. You may see with your eyes, but are unable to process with your heart the evidence that your husband is crossing healthy emotional and sexual boundaries with you; or worse, with your children. (Sometimes it isn’t the husband but rather a sibling, cousin, friend, or neighbor).

If you suspect your child is being abused keep your eyes and ears open. Keep your heart set to ‘facts only’ with the possible perpetrator, and keep your heart, soul, mind and strength turned toward God. Pray scriptures out loud over the situation. *I have included scriptures at the end of this post. Immediately make an appointment for your child to see a child psychologist.

Spend time with your children. Study them. No one cares for their needs or loves them as much as their parents. If your spouse is the abuser then you may be the only parent who can advocate for and protect your child.

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE SYMPTOMS

Emotional/Behavioral signs:

  • Changes in behavior or personality; sudden mood changes or aggressive behavior. You notice it or other adults notice it.
  • Changes in academic performance at school.
  • New sudden fears of usual occurrences. Examples: fear of the dark, fear of going to bed, fear of a person, fear of going home, fear of going to school, fear of a place, fear of separating from you. Abused children may show anxiety or express apprehension about going somewhere with the person who is abusing them. They may hide from the person who is abusing them when they see them.
  • Loss of acquired language or memory problems. New inappropriate language which you did not teach them.
  • Changes in what they eat, or gagging on foods they normally eat. Loss of appetite.
  • Withdraws from family and/or friends.
  • Changes in sleep. They may begin having nightmares, night terrors, difficulty falling asleep or attempting to place borders/protection around their bed. Insomnia.
  • May find areas of their life they can control and become obsessive about it. Clothing, food, habits, body hygiene.
  • May begin high-risk activities; drugs, alcohol, self-abuse, sex.
  • Inappropriate sexual behaviors or language for their age; if they say or do something to you that they should now know about.
  • Becomes unusually secretive.
  • Talk of a new, older friend and unexplained money or gifts.
  • Becomes depressed or suicidal.
  • Complaints of headaches, stomach-aches or chest pain that accompany any other signs.
  • Afraid of undressing, or wearing extra layers of clothing.
  • A new fear of going to the bathroom. This could be psychological or due to pain.
  • Difficulty making friends.
  • Arriving to school early and staying late; to avoid being in their home.

Physical signs:

  • Unexplained injuries such as visible signs which your child has no explanation for or has an unconvincing explanation for.
  • Difference in their underwear; torn, stained or bloody.
  • Difficulty walking or sitting.
  • Redness, bleeding or rash in the external genital/bottom area.
  • Frequent, unexplained urinary tract infections or sore throats.
  • Sexually transmitted infections.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Trust your instincts. Suspected abuse is enough reason to make an appointment with a child psychologist. You can also call the victim coordinator at your local prosecuting attorney’s office and ask them where to go for help.

If you suspect abuse; do not ask your child questions. Allow a trained professional to interview them. Asking questions is considered leading the witness and the issue will most likely be thrown out in a court of law.

In the right margin of my blog I have listed several Christian resources to aid in the event of childhood victimization.

Also see: 

How Sexual Predators Choose Victims—Part 1

Protecting Children from Predators: Part 2

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

*Scriptures to pray: (NIV)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, II Corinthians 4:13

“Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14b

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I Peter 5:6-7

No weapon forged against you will prevail,
    and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
    and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord. Isaiah 54:17

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:28-29

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; Isaiah 43:2-3

If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6

The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. Psalm 28:7

You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. Psalm 103: 1-6

Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
    save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord,
    for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
    for I put my trust in you. You, Lord, are forgiving and good,  abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me. Psalm 86:1-7

Do not hide your face from me
when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
when I call, answer me quickly. Psalm 102:2

Pour out your heart like water
    in the presence of the Lord.
Lift up your hands to him
    for the lives of your children, Lamentations 2:19

Protecting Children from Predators: Childhood Sexual Abuse Part 2

First, let us clear up misconceptions I have heard from people regarding how to identify a child predator:

Myth: “You’ll know because the hair will stand up on the back of your neck when you see or hear them.”

Truth: Most predators are someone you know; and most often, someone you trust.

Myth: “They give off vibes; you’ll know!”

Truth: Most predators are someone you know; and most often, someone you trust.

Myth: “I’ve taught my kids about ‘Stranger Danger,’ we are prepared.”

Truth: Most predators are someone the child knows; and most often, someone the child trusts.

Myth: “I know my child and I know my child would tell me if anyone tried to do something to them.”

Truth: Estimates suggest that only 3% of all cases of child sexual abuse (Finkelhor & Dziuba-Leatherman, 1994; Timnick, 1985) and only 12% of rapes involving children are ever reported to police (Hanson et al., 1999).

Boys tend to have a more difficult time with abuse than girls and are less likely to report sexual abuse than girls. Lyon, T.D. (2002). Scientific Support for Expert Testimony on Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation. In J.R. Conte (Ed.), Critical issues in child sexual abuse (pp. 107-138). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Myth: “If they are normal looking, well-educated and/or a well-known leader they do not fit the description of a predator.”

Truth: Predators love the general public’s assumptions. This makes their attack all the easier. Child abusers come from all classes, racial and religious backgrounds and may be homosexual or heterosexual.

 Myth: “I can’t believe he is a molester, after all, he has been alone with my children several times and never touched them or made them uncomfortable.”

Truth: Predators are very careful in their selection so as not to get caught. They do not molest all children they come in contact with; contrary, they select few and the victimization is usually a gradual process, or a moment of oppurtunity.

Here is an admission from a convicted molester: When a person like myself wants to obtain access to a child, you don’t just go up and get the child and sexually molest the child. There’s a process of obtaining the child’s friendship and, in my case, also obtaining the family’s friendship and their trust.  When you get their trust, that’s when the child becomes vulnerable and you can molest the child.” (Salter, 2003, p. 42)

Myth: “Once an abuser is arrested everyone will know their guilt.”

Truth: People are too quick to believe that the accused is innocent, even if there is plenty of supporting evidence. According to Dr. Salter, “Normal, healthy people distort reality to create a kinder, gentler world than actually exists” (p. 177). Salter, A. C. (2003). Predators: Pedophiles, rapists and other sex offenders: Who they are, how they operate, and how we can protect ourselves and our children. New York: Basic Books.

Myth: Molesters are usually unmarried men in need of sexual release.

Truth: They are often married; sometimes for the purpose of throwing people off their tracks. Sexual gratification is not necessarily the primary motivation for victimizing children.  Power, control and anger are often the primary motivators. Again, studies show that most predators are married or in consenting relationships.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The signs that an adult is using their relationship with a child for sexual reasons may not be obvious. We may feel uncomfortable about the way they play with the child, or seem always to be favoring them and creating reasons for them to be alone. There may be cause for concern about the behavior of an adult or young person if they:

  • Refuse to allow a child sufficient privacy or to make their own decisions on personal matters.
  • Insist on physical affection such as kissing, hugging or wrestling even when the child clearly does not want it.
  • Are overly interested in the sexual development of a child or teenager.
  • Insist on time alone with a child with no interruptions.
  • Spend most of their spare time with children and have little interest in spending time with people their own age.
  • Regularly offer to babysit children for free or take children on overnight outings alone.
  • Buy children expensive gifts or give them money for no apparent reason.
  • Frequently walk in on children/teenagers in the bathroom.
  • Treat a particular child as a favorite, making them feel ‘special’ compared with others in the family.
  • Pick on a particular child.

Other warning signs:

  • They enjoy watching their children play naked.
  • They bathe with their children of the opposite sex past age two (This is open for debate as a matter of a difference in parenting. If you have a adult who is attracted to same sex children you have to be careful with all young children. Trust your instincts).
  • Play seemingly ‘innocent’ games involving bondage where the children become frightened and have to beg to be released.
  • Takes pictures of children who are not their own; at the park, at parties, in the neighborhood.
  • View child pornography. Child pornography viewing/possession is punishable by law. TURN THEM IN TO THE AUTHORITIES.

Be Alert:

  • Be alert to people, especially men, who work with youth but do not themselves have youth in the activity. If they have a strong desire to be with youth and you notice they seek affection from the youth; there is great reason for concern.
  • Watch who your children hang out with in the neighborhood, park, church or youth club. Get to know the leaders. Offer to assist with the activities.
  • Internet safety is paramount. Consider a ‘No technology’ policy in your home when guests are visiting; or keeping all technology in the kitchen within everyone’s sight. Just like a coat rack, shoe rack or bench; you could have a tech bench where all guests’ electronics are placed.
  • Consider having an ‘Open door’ policy when your children’s friends are visiting. Bedroom, office, family room doors stay open for safety purposes. You should never assume you know what goes on in another person’s home. You never know what has been said or done by a family member, relative or neighbor that a child may unknowingly act out or repeat.

Most Importantly:

Pray for and with your children. Keep avenues of discussion open and let them know how much you love them. We cannot protect them from everything by micromanaging their lives, but we can watch, listen and be proactive.

If your child tells you of abuse inflicted on them…

  • Keep calm.
  • Tell the child you believe them.
  • Show interest, care, and concern. (Don’t become hysterical. It could make the child feel responsible for your response causing them to take responsibility for their victimization).
  • Reassure and support the child.
  • Take action – it could save a child’s life. Report child abuse to your local or state child protective service agency AND to local law enforcement.
  • Seek professional help from a pediatrician and a licensed child psychologist.


This is not a complete list. I will continue to post more on child abuse and child safety during the month of April.

How Sexual Predators Choose Child Victims: Part 1

Phone Calls Needed to Stop MO HB229

I need help making phone calls today (Phone #s at the bottom of list).

OFTEN, men ask for 50/50 custody in divorce court so they can get out of paying child and spousal support. The problem is, most of the dads don’t show up and take the children 50% of the time leaving the mom to foot the bill. Rarely do women have the money to modify the arrangement in court. Also, the women are glad to have the children; especially since many of them were trying to get their children away from a physically, sexually, or verbally abusive father. This bill does not take into account abusive fathers. It starts with the assumption all fathers are safe. Women will have to spend months or years proving abuse while the children continue spending time alone with their abuser; often times against the child’s wishes and safety.

HB229 is on the bullet train to the Senate Floor. It has been assigned to the Senate Committee for Seniors, Families and Children. The members of this committee need to hear opposition to this bill. It is likely there has been absolutely none up to this point. Often the elected in the capitol only consider the information that is put right in front of them and don’t look deeper.

https://house.mo.gov/billtracki…/…/hlrbillspdf/0808H.02C.pdf

This bill mandates that all custody arrangements begin with a 50/50 split between parents.

Missouri Statutes already give judges the ability to decide a 50/50 custody arrangement if the situation warrants. And judges already start at this point in deciding custody in most cases.

The reason judges have for so long started at this point in custody decisions is because they have been creating a scenario where they can reduce child support for women, giving the fathers a financial break. That is the catalyst behind this bill. It’s about money, not about custody or the best interests to children.

Mandating this arrangement in the statute is redundant and only furthers an agenda that is anti mother, anti traditional family values.

More than 25% of women/children across the country go on some type of welfare/government aid after divorce. Bills like this one and HB 194/SB 307 will further send divorced women on to government aid if these bills are passed.

Please contact the members of this senate committee and tell them to kill this bill. Share your stories. Ask them to focus on keeping judges interpreting existing statutes instead of creating more statutes.

Here is the quickest way to email all of them at once instead of filling out contact forms for each senator:

David.Sater@senate.mo.gov

Cindy.Olaughlin@senate.mo.gov

Andrew.Koenig@senate.mo.gov

Karla.May@senate.mo.gov

Gary.Romine@senate.mo.gov

Jill.Schupp@senate.mo.gov

OR contact them individually with the below phone numbers/web addresses:

Chairman David Sater: (573) 751-1480 https://www.senate.mo.gov/D29WebApps/webmail.aspx

Vice Chair Cindy O’Laughlin: (573) 751-7985 https://www.senate.mo.gov/D18WebApps/Contact.aspx

Andrew Koenig: (573) 751-5568 https://www.senate.mo.gov/D15WebApps/Contact.aspx

Karla May: (573) 751-3599 https://www.senate.mo.gov/D04WebApps/Contact.aspx

Jeanie Riddle: (573) 751-2757 https://www.senate.mo.gov/D10WebApps/Contact.aspx

Gary Romine (573) 751-4008 https://www.senate.mo.gov/D03WebApps/Contact.aspx

Jill Schupp (573) 751-9762 https://www.senate.mo.gov/D24WebApps/Contact.aspx