Tag Archives: spiritual abuse

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

Abusers, Denial, and 10 Tips From Their Playbook

I keep writing about abusers because once you know one, live with one, survive one…you can see patterns of abusive personalities in society.

This is one of the reasons I took on the Lynn Messer case which you can read about here. I thought I was possibly seeing glaring red flags of Lynn being the victim, not survivor, of domestic abuse.

Understanding abuse is like understanding a football playbook. Abusers have a built in playbook and if you know the signs you understand the lurking danger.

Abusers can be found in different settings: domestic, clergy, spiritual leadership, athletics, educational, family court, or anywhere in society. They follow the same playbook/guidelines regardless of where you witness them.

Today I’m comparing what I know to what I saw in
Gayle King’s CBS interview with R.Kelly last night. Singer/songwriter Robert Kelly (R.Kelly) is charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, with children and underage girls, dating back to 1998. He is also accused of holding women against their will in a so called sex-cult. Court documents show three of the victims were between the ages of 13 and 17. At the time of the alleged crimes, Kelly was at least five years older than these victims and there are other allegations that include a child.

R. Kelly’s reactions are typical among abusers, regardless of their background.

Play #1: It begins with denial, repeatedly reaffirms denial, and ends with…denial.

R. Kelly was explosive in his denial but denial can look different from abuser to abuser.

Here are some acts of denial I’ve seen:

  • Angry and hurt…becomes silent.
  • Angry and violent…hoping fear and wanting to maintain safety will stop the conversation/confrontation, or achieve agreement.
  • Calm and positive…they believe the victim has problems and they are willing to give said victim time to heal.
  • Befuddled….turns accusations against them into questions while placing the focus on victim/interviewer.
  • Reflectful and prayerful…toward the victim who is obviously emotionally unhealthy.
  • Angry but calm…spins the story.
  • Hang their head, shake their head, roll their eyes…because some people are just too stupid to understand the lies.
  • Condescending with a straight face…while explaining why they were justified to do what they did.
  • Sad and hurt…cries.

These are all forms of denial even though many do it with an air of believability.

Please understand that any emotion mixed with tears IS NOT because the abuser is sorry for what they did. It is from their frustration of their specialness being called into question; their sin or crime being brought into the light of truth. They believe they are above moral code and law and shouldn’t have to answer to anyone. (This is especially true of individuals with narcissistic personality disorder). The tears are not for the victim and not from remorse of doing wrong.

“When we do not understand an abuser’s capacity for deceit we make it is easy for the offender to continue in deception and sadly, often call it ‘grace’.  If it lacks truth then it is not grace.”  ~Diane Langberg

Here is a detailed list of denial from an abusers’ playbook:

  1. Select, groom, and brainwash your perfect victim.
  2. They (abusers) are the real victim.
  3. The person speaking truth is made to be the liar.
  4. The offender is the good, healthy, benevolent person.
  5. The victim is retaliating for vengeance, money, or notoriety.
  6. Believes the heart of their motive has been misunderstood.
  7. Judgement has fallen on them for conduct that was ‘private’ and should never be made public.
  8. They deny all private abuse or explain why it was necessary or beneficial.
  9. There is one way to do anything and everything and it’s their way. To them this is perfectly normal and logical.
  10. They hold power over the victim they claim is victimizing them.

How do we know if an abuser is rehabilitated? Conviction, repentance and change all have to take place. This is the only way you will know if your abuser is sincere.


Don Hennessey, relationship counselor and former director of the National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency, refers to abusers as psychephiles and lumps them in the same category as pedophiles when it comes to recovery. Statistics agree that abusers stand little to no chance of recovery because they don’t believe they have a problem, and “I’m sorry” isn’t in their vocabulary.

We all know that pedophiles target children for sexualized abuse.” Don Hennessy coined the word psychephile for the man who abuses his intimate female partner. “A psychephile targets the psyche of the woman he has selected as his target for a long term intimate relationship.”

Link to Gayle King interview here… (it has been broken into several shorter segments so you will need to scroll down to watch all of them).

Happy New Year: You can do this!

I know many women who have walked a long and lonely road in a difficult, unhealthy, unfaithful, abusive, destructive and/or dangerous relationship. Some of you decided to leave and have been re-traumatized by your church who insisted you forgive, forget, pray for, and stay with your abuser while you wait on God to change his heart. This happens due to misapplication of scriptures and because of deceptive tactics used by abusers. See: Do You Have Biblical Permission to Leave a Toxic Spouse?(Please remember: God does not make anyone change if they do not want to change. Rarely will an abuser want to change). I applaud you for your courage to stand strong, shining a light on the evil around you; for darkness cannot overcome the light.

You have made it through another year! As Samuel did in the Old Testament, raise your Ebenezer stone and repeat, “The Lord has helped us this far.” (I Samuel 7) You can do this! You’re learning how to care for yourself, set boundaries, and protect your children. You may be limping into the New Year with a tear stained face, Bible pages wet from those tears, barely breath to speak at certain moments, but you have your sanity and are actively exercising your faith. God knows! He sees, He hears, and He has counted every tear (Psalm 56:8). God’s grace will again be sufficient this new year.

“Abuse, adultery, and addictions are not marital problems. They cause problems in a marriage for sure. But they are first and foremost character issues, personal issues, sin issues and are best treated working individually with the person who has damaged the marriage. It is only when that part is done can you attempt to do the work to repair the relationship.

So many therapists and pastors treat these issues as marital issues and the victim starts to feel as if she or he is the bad guy for “causing” someone to act out in such a destructive way. That is not true.

Each person is responsible for his or her own reactions and behaviors. If you’re living with a guilt trip or are taking responsibility for someone else’s ways of managing their frustrations or problems, stop it. You are not at fault. Yes, there may be mutual marital problems for you to work on once the destructive behaviors have stopped but until safety is maintained, there can be no close marital or any other kind of relationship.”  ~Leslie Vernick


(This applies to a few men I know too, but my ministry is for women surviving destructive marriages or leaving them.)

Happy Hour: Celebrating 20+ years following Beth as she follows Christ

HAPPY HOUR: Fridays AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard week’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true love and wisdom without putting a dent in your wallet.    It’s like free fast food for your soul. ~Enjoy!

 

I want to encourage one of my closest friends; whom I’ve never met, Beth Moore. 

I advocate for women who are in, or are leaving, destructive marriages. What I’m seeing take place on the internet in recent months is nothing short of destructive theology and it’s targeted at women. It’s abuse. As I minister I tell the woman I’m meeting with and praying with, “You’re not crazy. You didn’t do anything to bring this on yourself.  You’re strong. You will survive this and come out stronger on the other side. I know you have moments when you feel like you can’t take any more but remember; Jesus lives to intercede for you so, don’t listen to or fear those who come against you. The distance makes no difference to Jesus; He is praying for you!”

“It is because of Jesus that anyone is set free. And remember, it is only in him that women gain true equality. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28.)” -Tim Fall

Twenty five years ago I had done the Bible studies Experiencing God by Blackaby and King and The Mind of Christ by Hunt and King. They left me hungry for more in-depth studies but I couldn’t find any.

Enter Beth Moore. For 20+ years she has been a godly influence in my life by encouraging me to read my Bible, pray God’s word, ask God questions while reading his word, spend time in praise and worship, disciple others, minister to others, be mission minded, pass on a spiritual heritage to my children, and be involved in my local church.Beth

I thank her for being real and transparent, being a humble servant, keeping her eyes focused completely on Jesus, not throwing in the towel when nay-sayers came against her, for knowing she isn’t perfect and sharing with her readers how God is growing her and working in her life, and for helping eager students dig into the word and find how God has carefully and purposefully woven a beautiful tapestry of His story throughout history while finding hidden treasures in His word.

I’ve followed Beth as she’s followed Christ. I’ve read and studied almost all of her books and studies. I checked for accuracy. I understand her heart for Jesus, and for women.  I feel like I know her and her family, and I’m a better woman because of it. I can’t imagine I would be as in love with Jesus had Beth not shown me the depth of relationship possible with God the Father, Jesus the son, and our comforter; the Holy Spirit.

I was so pleased, and changed, from spending time with God that I had a burning desire to pass on the love of studying the Bible to my children. My daughter had watched me do these studies for years and I often found her peeking over my shoulder to see what all the tears, laughter, and amazement were about, or to watch a video on-line with me when I was too sick from pregnancy to regularly attend a study at our church. By age 8, my daughter was asking when she could do the studies. If my memory serves me correctly, I lead 7 studies, written by Beth, during my daughter’s high school years. We hosted a mother-daughter study in our home and had between 14-18 moms and daughters every-other Wednesday night. It was some of the most beautiful treasure a mom’s heart could uncover. I’ll never regret the time, heart, tears, laughter, and ministry poured out during those studies. Everyone grew from participating in the studies!

Then my boys (currently ages 14 & 15) wanted to do the studies. I offered to take them to the bookstore to pick out something geared toward them, but they said, “No, we like Beth.” This week we finished our fourteenth in-depth study together; ten of which were written by Beth Moore, two by Lysa Terkeurst, one by Blackaby and King, one by Hunt and King, and the next two are by Priscilla Shirer.  After each study I give them the option to buy something written by a man but they have been pleased with their own personal growth in knowledge, prayer, relationship with the Lord, and zeal for the Lord that Beth’s studies offer.

Beth, you’ve made my life so much happier, joyful, purposeful, and loving as I’ve grown in love with Jesus through your hours of studying, praying, writing, and passing on your passion. I know Jesus loves you, delights in you, speaks to your heart, soul, mind and strength, and will continue to use you.

Happy weekend! Happy Hour!

Cheers! To Beth Moore and her contagious love for our Savior Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

Saeed Abedini Update March 2018

 

Saeed Abedini, former husband of Naghmeh (Abedini) Panahi, is once again making the headlines.

He violated a current court ordered no contact and was subsequently arrested.

Read the Idaho Statesman article here…

Saeed’s current Facebook posts tell of his return from a trip to Turkey where he met up with Nasim, the woman Saeed has allegedly been in a relationship with since before his arrest and imprisonment in Iran. Naghmeh knew the night before Saeed was arrested that he had spent the night with his lover and that he continued the relationship with Nasim upon his release from the Iranian prison system.

 

Above photo credit: Saeed Abedini’s public Facebook profile picture

 

8:25 P.M. update: 

Boise pastor sent derogatory messages to ex-wife, violating no-contact order, court says

 

Past articles on this subject:

Naghmeh Abedini’s Leaked Letter

 She Said He Said: Naghmeh and Saeed Abedini

Naghmeh Abedini: How Do We Respond? Part 1  

Naghmeh Abedini: How Do We Respond, Part 2

Naghmeh Abedini: How Do We Respond? Part 3 

Naghmeh Abedini One Year Later

Naghmeh (Abedini) Panahi’s Divorce

 

 

 

 

Naghmeh Abedini’s Leaked Letter

 

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard small

Have you seen the recent news regarding imprisoned pastor, Saeed Abedini? His wife, Naghmeh, revealed to her inner circle of friends abuse she has suffered from her husband. The letter was somehow leaked to the media.

Here are my thoughts on the matter:

If it is true; oh, please don’t think unkind thoughts of her. Abused people don’t always make sense to the outside world. I speak from experience as one who has been down the path.

Search my past posts:

Why I Chose a Toxic Husband; and He Me.

I Received a Reversal of Destiny, He Did Too.

I Am Known As a Liar.

My Destructive Marriage.

How To Love a Woman in a Destructive Marriage. 

Many abused Christian wives are simply doing the best they can at the time. Most of all, they are attempting to hear the Lord and be obedient to the calling He has placed on our lives.

And here is a thought you perhaps have not thought of: Sometimes God calls people to marry a person who is unfaithful and/or abusive.  If you think this goes against everything God stands for; think again. Read the book of Hosea for starters. God ordained for Hosea to marry Gomer; who was unloving and unfaithful. We are reminded through this story how undeserving we are of God’s always faithful, unconditional love. His love is constant and our salvation, eternity living in His presence, is guaranteed to those who place their faith in His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ.  God is Sovereign—although I admit I don’t always agree with or understand His ways or timing—I do trust Him.

Although abuse cannot be verified, it is possible that Naghmeh has survived and blossomed under her, supposed, oppressive relationship with her husband. She may have suffered in silence for many years while being viewed as nothing more than a man’s piece of property; without losing her sanity, integrity in Christ, her ability to raise her children, and obedience to follow God’s calling to advocate for those wrongly imprisoned and for the persecuted church.  She may have needlessly, in some regards, and obediently in others, sacrificially given of herself.

I speak from experience when I tell you that it can be nearly impossible to reconcile in your heart and mind a public man who boldly teaches the word of God and prays, with the private man who secretly treats his wife in the home with ridicule, resentment, the silent treatment, physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse due to his addiction to pornography.

Naghmeh may be on her way to healing, if it is all true, while still not seeing Saeed’s sin in full. I remember those days all too well. When I was divorcing my abusive husband years ago, I had two different attorneys tell me I was still protecting my husband instead of revealing his problems. I was told I was the text book example of an abused wife and that I would need extensive counseling to help me find my way through the fog. They were right! I pray the Christian community, and well known Christian counselors, make themselves available to Naghmeh and her children for ongoing therapy, Bible study and prayer.

Naghmeh talks of Saeed’s love and passion for Jesus, which I believe, but if he abuses his wife; even though his salvation is secure, Saeed is out of fellowship with God and his prayers are not being heard. (John 9:31, Proverbs 28:9, Psalm 66:18, Isaiah 59:2, James 4:3, Galatians 5:22-23) And as for Saeed being, “An amazing dad who pours spiritual truths into his children’s lives;” the bigger truth is perhaps, if he is indeed abusive, that proclaiming scriptural truths at the same time as abusing your wife has huge, profound ramifications on your children’s perception of God and their ability to follow after Him. And if it is true, for her children’s sake, I hope a counselor is able to teach her how to help her children understand that daddy’s abusive behavior is not normal, healthy, or acceptable to God.  Should Saeed be freed from prison; and healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation be found they will know how to set healthy boundaries and protect their heart, soul, mind and strength if any generational abusive tendencies resurface.

Naghmeh showed her vulnerability to her closest friends, but I’m glad she chose it none the less. Women aren’t always believed when they finally find the courage to expose their abusive husband. Sometimes women are accused of being vain, other times people turn away in disgust, or think the wife is looking for sympathy or fame. Naghmeh wrote to friends whom she believed would provide safety and hope for healing and peace. Sharing her secret pain has most likely been the greatest sacrifice of her personal feelings. If she did so out of obedience to the Lord; she can trust it is God working out His plan for her family’s life.

My family has been praying for Pastor Saeed’s release from prison for three years; as well as, for God’s heart and will to be done in this situation. We will continue to pray the later while praying for Naghmeh and her children’s healing, and we will pray for Pastor Saeeds restoration, healing and freedom from injustices.

Here are the original articles:

Naghmeh Abedini Claims Abuse, Halts Public Support for Imprisoned Husband Saeed

Citing abuse, wife of U.S. pastor held in Iran says she’ll stop public campaigning

The Christian Way to Deal With Sin in the Camp

Naghmeh Abedini regrets emails of marital woe

The below letter is from Naghmeh Abedini’s personal but public Facebook page published yesterday, December 7, 2015:

“To my dearest friends,

After a month of resting and healing and sitting at the feet of Jesus, today I felt led to share.

Three years ago, when Saeed was put in the Iranian prison for his faith, the Lord called me to get up and not only advocate for Saeed, but also to share the Gospel message and to advocate for the persecuted church. I was freed from so much fear and it was a step of faith for me to get up and move. When I did obey, I could see that I could DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME (Philippians 4:13) That by Grace of God I could get on airplanes. That by God’s Grace I could speak in front of heads of governments, parliaments, the congress, thousands of people and our own president and I was able to open my mouth through the Grace of God and represent Christ and to share Christ with so many. It was overwhelming seeing how Jesus had become my STRENGTH through my utter WEAKNESS.

A month ago, the Lord asked me to stop and sit. It took another step of faith to stop everything and just sit at the feet of Jesus and to hear from Him. It was freeing to see that by Grace of God none of the fame and attention or praises of men had gotten to me and that I could drop everything the moment my Savior told me to drop it and to go back to being a single mom in Boise, Idaho. It was freeing to let go of the FALSE SENSE of SECURITY that money was bringing into my life (through speaking engagements) and to know that the only thing that all I desperately needed was Jesus. That my true security rests in Jesus. That Jesus is my day to day provider.

I had to turn off every voice including my own and only care about what Jesus was saying to me. It was hard. With the news that came out recently (an email I had sent to prayer partners was leaked to media), stones were being thrown at me left and right and many religious leaders who saw me wounded and bleeding passed on by afraid to touch me or this whole mess/situation. It was hard, but Jesus kept telling me to be silent and to look to Him.

The truth is that I still love my husband more than ever and my advocacy for him has taken a new form of interceding on my knees. The truth is I can not deny Saeed’s love and passion for Jesus and that he continues to suffer in the Iranian prison because of his genuine love for Jesus and his refusal to deny Him. I can not deny the amazing dad he has been to our kids and the spiritual truths he poured into their life until the moment he was arrested. But at the same time I can not deny the very dark parts of our marriage and serious issues Saeed continues to struggle with.

So I open myself up once again and become real and raw in asking you to join me in praying for Saeed. This time not only for his physical chains, but the spiritual chains that have bound him for so many years. Those chains that have stuck to him from the culture he was raised in (Middle East) and from his former religion (Islam). I believe that God will use Saeed’s imprisonment to break Saeed of these chains and to refine him and use him as a vessel for the work that He has prepared for him.

I am not sure how often I will be providing updates, but I will share as the Lord leads. Starting January 5, I am going to start another 21 days of prayer and fasting. It will be a time of drawing closer to the Lord and sharing what He lays on my heart. I hope they will be a source of blessing and encouragement to you as well.

I praise God for all of the ups and downs, excitements and disappointments, and for the many pains and tears. They have been good for me. They are a great tool to refine us and keep our eyes on Jesus.

With much Love in Jesus

Naghmeh Abedini”

Many churches continue to fail victims and the innocent by giving child abusers, molesters, and pedophiles the benefit of the doubt. Pedophilic offenders are a segment of the population who will never reverse their desires and will not stop acting upon those desires of their own free will.

Companion text: CLICK HERE

Spiritual Sounding Board

Pastor Doug Wilson and Ed Iverson encourage marriage of Pedophile Steven Sitler, Christ Church


Sins are like grapes; they come in bunches. ~Doug Wilson

Doug Wilson, Steven Sitler, Pedophile

I read a disturbing article yesterday that sent me reeling. I think we always want to hope for the best in people, but after having seen this pattern taken place so many times, those who were familiar with the story could see the inevitable train wreck before it took place. Our fears were in fact confirmed this week, and I am heartbroken.

Many times when we hear of breaking scandalous stories, the focus is on the perpetrator and those who enabled the abuse. The background to this story can be broken down into several important topics, and I hope other bloggers will cover some of the other aspects to this story. (A little bird told me that The Wartburg Watch will also be covering part of…

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