FEBRUARY 2004 Newsletter

LUKE 17:3 Ministries

for adult daughters

of controlling or abusive birth-families

A sisterhood for those who seek support in developing self-esteem, setting boundaries and limits, forgiveness, Godly confrontation, recognizing and cutting ties with reprobates, healing, and rejoicing in the peace and love of

 the Lord, our Father

take heed to yourselves.  If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him……..Luke 17:3

Volume 2, Issue 1                                                                                                                               February 2004


Luke 17: 3 is the scripture often misquoted, usually by an abuser or his enabler, when he tells you that the Bible says “Forgive and Forget”, or that you must forgive him because you are a Christian.  However, Jesus is very specific when he tells us to rebuke the sinner, and if he repents, to forgive him.  Have you rebuked your abuser, and has he or she repented?


If you have ever experienced Adult Child Abuse by a parent, sibling, or other relative, We Welcome You!

Our newsletter is sent to you free-of-charge, as the Lord continually provides. Do you know someone who would like to be on our mailing list? 

If so, please contact:

Sister Renee Pittelli

Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc.

P.O. Box 335

BellmoreNY  11710-0335

or E-mail us at:

luke 173@hotmail.com



Please ask about our Luke 17:3 Ministry in Tennessee, founded by Sister Denise Rossignol.

Praise our Mighty God!


  1. Read new articlesbeforethey appear in the newsletter.
  2. Seeexpandedversions of previously published articles.
  3. More scripture and stories.
  4. See topics we will write about in the future.

PLEASE VISIT OFTEN. www.luke173ministries.org


   By Sister Denise Rossignol

     What does it mean to honor your father and mother?  This was a very big stumbling block in my healing process.  “Honor your Father and Mother” was one of the only scriptures I remember being taught as a child.  And as an adult, if I got out of line in some way, I was told, “How can you call yourself a Christian when you don’t honor your parents?”  But the meaning of this scripture, as my parents taught me, was not scriptural.  Their definition of “honor “ was to do everything they said to do without question, serve them, endure their abuse, and put them before anyone or anything

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God’s word

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God:  Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world….1 John 4:1-3 NIV

Ye shall know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them. …..Matthew 7: 16-20 KJV

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything….James 1: 2-4 NIV

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 else.  I was told repeatedly, even as an adult, ”Your mother should always come first in your life, she was the one who gave birth to you.”  I lived by their definition for many years.


     As I drew close to the Lord, there became this great conflict in my life and I didn’t even realize it.  After spending time in prayer, the Lord showed me I was not honoring my parents, I was worshiping them.  God is so good!  He walked me through this step-by-step. 

     First off, there is no one else that I should put before Him, including my mother.  God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5).  I am the Lord your God.  You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:2-3NKJV).  I had put my parents before everyone for years, mostly to avoid conflict with them, but also to “honor” them.

     The Lord also showed me a few other things I needed to change.  First, I was supposed to be submitting to my husband (1Peter 3:5-6).  But instead, I would submit more to my parents.  When I first started submitting to my husband’s wishes instead of my parents, it created conflict with my parents. 

     Another area of my life that was affected with this theory of “honoring them above all” was my relationship with my children.  But God tells us to be more concerned with loving our children (Titus 2:4) than with parents’ feelings. 

     After the Lord taught me these things, it wasn’t long before I was put to the test.  My daughter’s birthday was right around the corner.  And because we didn’t have much money, we continued the tradition my mother-in-law had started when my husband was a child.  Each child would choose what they wanted for dinner and I would prepare it for them.  On every birthday, we would invite my parents for dinner.  But this year, money was very tight, and my daughter wanted steak and fries.  So my choice was to tell my daughter to pick something else because we couldn’t afford steak for grandma and grandpa too, or to just invite my parents for dessert.  I chose to put my daughter’s birthday dinner wishes first and just invited my parents for dessert.  This created a war with my parents.  But I had the peace of God with me.  I was doing as He taught me.  Not long after this, my parents stopped speaking to me for over a year.  But nothing was going to stop me from pleasing God.


     So how do you honor your parents?  Let me give you a few examples.  If your parents ruin every holiday, or, like my mother, make a mountain out of Mother’s Day, do what you feel comfortable doing without allowing them to ruin your day.  I started by limiting my time with them on holidays.  No more all-day holiday events.  The Lord also showed me ways to honor my mother on the annual dreaded Mother’s Day event. (watch for the upcoming article “But I’m A Mother, Too!”)  Honoring my mother was as simple as bringing her a card or some flowers or spending an hour with her.

     Of course, this was not acceptable to my mother.  But it was acceptable to my God. 

     Also, honoring could be as simple as just sending a card to let your parent know you are thinking of them. 

     We just need to learn God’s meaning of “honoring” our parents, without compromise.  For me, it was time to end the control of being forced into showing love and to begin doing things from my heart.  I believe that is true honor.


Honor: To regard or treat with honor or respect, A showing of usually merited respect.

Obey:   To follow the commands or guidance of.

Submit:  To yield to governance or authority

Worship:  To honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power.


By Sister Renee Pittelli

     The Silent Partner can be any relative who stands by without protest while someone is victimized or who takes the abuser’s side against the victim rather than draw the abuser’s attention and wrath to herself, or for a variety of other selfish reasons.  Sometimes, there are several Silent Partners in a family, perhaps a sibling, grandparent, or aunt, who joins a parent in a conspiracy of silence and secrets.

     The Silent Partner is just that: the silent partner to your abuse.  She (or he) is usually the other parent who does not protect you from the obviously abusive parent, or, worse yet, sacrifices her children to make her own life easier.

     The Silent Partner abdicates her responsibility as a parent to protect her children.  She will try to justify or rationalize away the abuser’s behavior.  She will tell you, “Oh, that’s just the way he is”, “He doesn’t really mean it”,  or “You shouldn’t take it so personally- he’s that way with everybody”.

     She will claim she is “only trying to keep the peace” as she pressures the victim to accept the abuse, instead of pressuring the abuser to change his behavior.

     She may outright deny the abusive behavior and claim it never happened, even if she has witnessed it herself many times, and seen it directed at a number of different victims, not just you.

     She will tell you that you are the only one who has a problem with the abuser (and, indeed, it is possible that, rather than you imagining it, he does single you out more than others), despite the fact that he probably has a long history of lost friendships and broken relationships.  You will find this comment especially frustrating if she herself has complained about his behavior on a regular basis, when it suits her purposes, usually to make her look saintly or to gain sympathy or attention for herself.

     She will minimize the abuse, telling you it’s not so bad, or that you are “making a mountain out of a molehill”.  She will undermine your self-confidence and try to make you doubt your own perceptions of reality as she clings to her delusions.

     She may actually “sic” the abuser on you, to try to force you to do something you don’t want to do.  Or she may instigate or make up a problem between herself and you, and then cry to the abuser about it, in a sick effort to draw close to him by uniting against a “common enemy”, or to reassure herself that he cares for her or so she can feel “safe” while he defends her!

     The Silent Partner may be so caught up in what people will think, and so interested in preserving an “Ozzie and Harriet”  Perfect-Family illusion that she will demand that you not  tell anyone else about your abuser’s behavior.  It is interesting that she can deny the abuse on the one hand, while on the other hand,   she will pressure you not to reveal something that supposedly doesn’t exist.

     She will make you feel guilty for trying to avoid the abuser.  Since she has chosen him over you, by avoiding him, you will also be seeing less of her, and she will be sure to let you know how much you are hurting her by trying to protect yourself.  Of course, she could make it her business to see you without the abuser having to be present, perhaps for a lunch date, but she won’t.  All the concessions will have to come from you- there will be no compromising on her part, because she really is partners with the abuser, and ultimately wants to maintain that partnership at all costs.

     She may try to appear weak, long-suffering, and helpless, by telling you she is “dealing with him the best way I know how” or “the only way I can”, but she will fight you like a tiger if she thinks you are going to upset the apple cart by standing up to the abuser.  Her way of “dealing with” the abuser is to inflict him on everyone else!  She will completely negate your needs and demand that her needs be put first, continually exposing you to abuse for her own purposes.

Page 3.

     She may manipulate you into defending her against the abuser, gladly putting you in the line of fire without a second thought, for her own selfish reasons.  She chose to marry an abuser, she chose to stay with an abuser, and she chose to allow an abuser to separate her from many other relationships. You will find yourself paying a steep price for her decisions in life.

     If you allow it, she will ruin your health and ruin your life, and not show an ounce or remorse.  She will use you for her own purposes and then tell you not to “make such a big deal about it”.  She is the only person who matters!  She has the ability to abuse and appear pathetic at the same time, managing to gain sympathy for herself while all along she is victimizing you!

     The Silent Partner is an abuser every bit as guilty as the abuser himself, but she is much sneakier and more manipulative than he is.   His abuse is obvious and blatant while her abuse is more insidious, but extremely damaging just the same.

     Many victims feel much more anger and resentment toward the Silent Partner who never protected them, than they do toward the abuser himself!

     The Silent Partner often operates under an Ahab spirit, and her abusive partner under the Jezebel spirit*, although both abusers may display characteristics of either spirit.  Ahab, Jezebel, and the Babylonians worshiped many false gods and idols.  One of them was Molech, the god of Child Sacrifice.  And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin….Jeremiah 32:35KJV

     Allowing another (not God) to run your life and make decisions for you, or protecting evildoers are both forms of idolatry.  Sacrificing one’s own child is an abomination to God.  Moreover, thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured.  Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, that thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?….Ezekiel 16:20-21 KJV

     Sister, I’m sure that you realize by now that the Silent Partner I am writing about in this article is my very own birth-mother.  And these are only a few in the repertoire of tactics she used to control me and keep me in submission to my abusive birth-father and herself, ever since I was a very little girl.  As I grew in the Lord and became stronger, she did not understand that her tactics no longer worked, because I wasn’t a helpless child anymore, nor was I the same fearful person I was before I knew the Lord.

     Make no mistake about it, dear Sister, a mother who does not defend or protect her young goes against the very laws of nature!  Anybody who stands by and watches another, especially one weaker or more helpless, be victimized is shameful.  But a person who allows her own child, or anyone she claims to love, to be abused is selfish, cowardly, and disgraceful!  This is detestable to the Lord!

He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. …..2 Kings 16:3 NIV.

     It is interesting to note that Silent Partners often project a long-suffering, saintly, peace-desiring, or even, hypocritically, a very religious, church-going outward appearance (The spirit of False Religion).  This is a clever deception, which often works on those without discernment, calculated to get sympathy and to draw attention away from the fact that they are parties to your abuse. 

Then confront them with their detestable practices.  For they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands.  They committed adultery with their idols; they even sacrificed their children, whom they bore to me, as food for them.  They have also done this to me:  At the same time they defiled my sanctuary and desecrated my Sabbaths, on the very day they sacrificed their children to their idols, they entered my sanctuary and desecrated it.  That is what they did in my house.…..Ezekiel 23: 36-39 NIV.

     Sister, you do not owe any allegiance to a Silent Partner.  She has already gotten more from you than she will ever give in return.  Your feelings will always be invalidated and your needs will always be neglected if you let her influence your life any further or stop you from standing up for what you know is right.

     Ask God for the courage, Sister, to start setting limits on your abuser, no matter how much his enabler, the Silent Partner, may protest.  Ignore her pouting, whining, cajoling, anger, tantrums, or threats.  Protect yourself, because she never will.  You do not need to be in bondage to her and her ulterior motives any longer!  No man (or woman) has dominion over you!  You are a child of God, and you have been set free in Christ Jesus! HALLELUJAH!  THANK YOU, LORD!

* If you are interested in learning more about the Jezebel spirit and her partner, the Ahab spirit, we encourage you to do a study on them.  We found this subject to be fascinating and enlightening.

Recommended books and readings are:

SPIRITUAL WARFARE, by Richard Ing, Light of the World Missions, PO Box 37451, Honolulu, Hawaii 96837.  Published by Whitaker House, 30 Hunt Valley Circle, New Kensington, PA 15068

JEZEBEL, SEDUCING GODDESS OF WAR!, by Jonas Clark, Spirit of Life Ministries  (800)943-6490 http://www.catchlife.org

UNMASKING THE JEZEBEL SPIRIT, by John Paul Jackson  http://www.streamsministries.com

The Latter Rain Page,  http://www.latter-rain.com/eschae/jezebel.htm

Helpful definitions:

Idolatry:  Immoderate attachment or devotion to something.

Idolater:  A worshiper of idols; A person that admires intensely and often blindly one that is not usually a subject of worship.

The Wisdom of Proverbs

A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord….Proverbs 19:3

Page 4.



Finding Peace in Your Life

By Sister Renee Pittelli

                If you had asked me what ingredient I thought was essential for living a happy, fulfilled, good life, I would have given you different answers at different stages in my life.  There was a time I believed the key to living a good life was financial security- not having to worry about money.  At other times, I believed the answer was having family and friends in your life, or love, or good health. 

                But looking back and knowing what I know now, I would have to say that I was wrong, or at least off-base.  The one real necessity for happiness and living a good life is PEACE. 

                I did not fully appreciate peace until I went through a prolonged period of having no peace in my life.  After being controlled and abused all my life by my birth-family members, in my mid-40’s, they caused me to endure a period of almost four years of unrelenting stress and upset..  Only because of this traumatic time in my life, did I come to understand that, no matter what else you have, without peace it is next to impossible to live a happy life.

                I am not just referring to peace in the “peace-and-quiet sense”, although I greatly appreciate the benefits of that kind of peace. (Better  a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife…..Proverbs 17:1)

                What I really mean is a deeper peace- being at peace – with your life- whatever your circumstances.  If your parents are a part of your life, it is important to be at peace with that.  If your parents are no longer a part of your life, it is so important to be at peace with that.  Many terminally-ill people eventually come to terms with their fate are at peace even with death- the one thing that so many others fear the most.  Having the assurance to be at peace with your choices and decisions in life is also invaluable.

                Many times, we are filled with doubt and sorrow, and find that peace is often elusive, yet it is so vital to our well-being.  Peace in our hearts and peace-of-mind is what we all need to thrive and live happy lives.  The only way to true peace is through our God.  Peace is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22).  Now that I have tasted the peace of the Lord, I see the other things I once thought were most important from a different perspective.  I understand that while they are desirable, their importance is just on the surface.  They are important, but in a more superficial sense when compared to the much deeper significance of peace.

Jesus tells us that if we come to him when we are heavily burdened, he will give us rest for our souls , which is peace of mind and heart.  Sister, do not suffer any longer!  Reach out to our Savior Jesus and let his peace wash over you.  (Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light…….Matthew  11:28-30 KJVTHANK YOU JESUS!

                So if you asked me now what one thing I believe is absolutely essential for living a good life, I would answer without hesitation-PEACE.- The Peace of the Lord! 

The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace….Numbers 6:26 KJV.

Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble…..Psalm 119: 165 NIV

A heart at peace gives life to the body….Proverbs 14:30

For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given:  And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller,  The mighty God.  The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace………Isaiah  9: 6 KJV

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee………Isaiah 26:  3 KJV

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests………Luke 2: 14 NIV

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:  not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. …..John 14: 27  KJV

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world……. John  16: 33 KJV

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ……Romans 5: 1  KJV

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus…. Phillipians 4: 7 KJV

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way…… 2 Thessalonians 3: 16 NIV


Reading Spotlight

DIVORCING A PARENT, by Beverly Engel, M.F.C.C.,Fawcett-Columbine, Ballantine Books, RGA Publishing.

     Besides its content, this book is interesting in a very unique way.  After the author divorced her mother, she wrote this book.  Her mother bought it and read it, apologized to the author and made an effort to change her destructive behavior, and they have now reconciled.  The author then wrote a follow-up book called The Power of Apology, which we will review in our next newsletter.

     Beverly Engel is a psychotherapist and recognized expert in the fields of relationships, women’s issues, and abuse.  She is the author of 14 books, and has been on Oprah, CNN, Ricki Lake, Sally Jesse Raphael, and other national talk shows.  She found it necessary to divorce her mother, not because of past childhood abuse, but because of the continual abuse she suffered as an adult.  No one should have to endure an abusive, unhealthy relationship that threatens her well-being, even if that relationship is with a parent.

     Divorcing A Parent explains the right and wrong reasons for divorce.  Some of the right reasons are:  to break the cycle of abuse, when it’s either you or them, when your parent is hypercritical, controlling, or manipulative, and when your parent continues to abuse you or continues to deny the truth.

     We are taught how to confront our parent and what to expect, including our parent divorcing us when we stand up for ourselves.  We learn that abusive people don’t mellow with age, they usually just get worse.

     The book teaches you how to prepare for the divorce, how to separate emotionally, and takes you through the process of letting go, mourning the loss of your parent, and completing the grieving process.  We learn how to deal with pressure and criticism from our siblings and other relatives who want us to continue accepting the abuse.

     There are also suggestions to the divorced parent, to mates, friends, and loved ones, and to therapists.

     Divorcing A Parent  is a sympathetic and practical guide for adult children who need to free themselves from an abusive relationship with a parent.

Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord;

My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young- a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.  Selah

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. 

As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, O Lord God Almighty; listen to me, O God of Jacob.   Selah

Look upon our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.


Glory to God!

Bless that Wonderful Name of Jesus!

You alone, Lord, are worthy of all honor and praise!

Dear Sister,

            You can help our ministry grow.

            Please tell your friends about our new website and invite them to visit us at www.luke173ministries.org.

             If you would like to sow into the Lord’s work, your tax-deductible offering may be sent to:

             Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc.

  1. O. Box 335

             Bellmore, NY  11710-0335

            Thanks and God Bless!