HOLIDAYS 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 4                                                                                                                          HOLIDAYS  2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

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 684

ChestertownNY  12817

or E-mail us at:






Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result”……Albert Einstein

     The Christmas Holidays and Thanksgiving are a time peace, joy, and thankfulness.  We thank God for all our blessings and rejoice over the birth of our Savior Jesus.                    We all expect a certain amount of stress and fatigue during the holidays.  Shopping, cleaning, decorating, and cooking can take a lot out of us.  And after all the work and rushing around is done, most folks can look forward to being rewarded with an enjoyable time surrounded by their loving family.        But for some of us, these holidays, as well as others (especially Mother’s Day) are a time of extreme stress, anxiety, upset, depression, and exhaustion.  We do not have an enjoyable time with family to look forward to.  Instead, we dread the coming aggravation from controlling, ill-tempered, selfish, jealous, or abusive relatives. We end up being disappointed, disillusioned, and saddened that every holiday has to be ruined by family members who should be expressing their love and gratitude instead.  We feel doomed to never having a nice holiday.  Continued on page 2…..


You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you will give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end….Luke 1:31-33NIV

He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived.  For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time is near.’  Do not follow them.  When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened.  These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away”….Luke 21: 8-9 NIV

I will search for the lost and bring back the strays.  I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy.  I will shepherd the flock with justice….Ezekiel 34:16NIV

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours….Mark 11:24 NIV


HAPPIER HOLIDAYS- continued from page 1…..

And yet we do it again the next time.  We keep doing the same things, over and over again, hoping that this time, maybe it will be different, but it never is.  We think we’re doing everything right, but we must be doing something wrong!  Guess who needs to make some changes here?  (If you said your abusive relative, you’re wrong- and you know that’s not going to happen anyway!)                                     Sister, are you ready to make some changes?  Are you ready to have the happy holidays you always wanted?  Are you ready to change your definition of a ‘family holiday’?  Are you ready to experience the kind of holiday you and your husband and children deserve?                                    Please read the articles in the  Happier Holidays section of our website.  We pray that our testimonies as well as the articles in this newsletter will help you claim the peace and joy of the holidays, in Jesus’ name.  God bless you and pour out his love, and the love of family and friends upon you during every holiday!      In His love,

Sister Renee and Sister Denise

Glory to God!


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

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed….Proverbs 16:3



By Sister Renee Pittelli


            There are two basic concepts that are foreign to many of us who are used to being victimized, abused, or taken advantage of by family members.  The rest of the world has always accepted and put into effect these concepts.  It is time that we internalize them for use in our own lives as well.  Dear Sister, repeat after me:

  1.   I have the right to set limits on the behavior I will tolerate in my presence, or in the presence of my children.
  2.   It is perfectly reasonable to expect adults to control themselves.


            Forgive me for repeating a story which I originally told in the article “Enriching Your Holidays While Including Your Birth-Family” (See Happier Holidays section of website), but I feel it best illustrates a couple of points I would like to make.

            One time when I tried to reason with my birth-father, he grudgingly told me that he would modify his behavior in my home, but that I “had no right to tell him how to act” anywhere else, even if it was in my presence or my children’s presence.  I found this response fascinating and enlightening for several reasons.

            First, even though he was a grown man, his statement was very juvenile and immature (“You can’t tell me what to do!”) I almost expected him to stick his tongue out at me!  Second, without even realizing it, he acknowledged being perfectly well aware that his behavior was unacceptable; otherwise, why agree to stop it in my home?  The third interesting insight was that he could control his behavior if he wanted to, he just wasn’t going to because I had asked!

            My birth-father had chosen an adversarial spirit, rather than a spirit of cooperation.  He wasn’t going to let me “win” without him getting some concessions from me.

            Sister, I am here to tell you that the devil is a liar and he always tries to negotiate or bargain with you- to make a deal so he will still come out a winner!  Satan wants you to agree that some form of his evil is acceptable.  Do not compromise what you know is right!  Never make a deal with the devil!

            We all know we need to set and enforce boundaries and limits on unacceptable behavior, but many of us are not sure how to go about doing that. 

            Many therapists recommend using “I” statements to avoid making the offender feel that you are attacking him and to enlist him as your partner in solving the problem. An “I” statement is worded in such a way as to put the focus on the feelings that the hurtful behavior elicits in you, rather than coming right out and stating that the behavior is wrong.  You might say, “I feel _______ when you say______”.

            “I” statements may work in your situation, and are certainly worth a try.  In my personal situation, they not only didn’t work, but backfired on me in the sense that now that I had let my birth-father know his behavior was bothering me, he did it even more!

            When I said to my birth-mother, “I feel hurt when you criticize me,” she brushed me off with “That’s because you’re too sensitive”.  Another time, I told her “It makes me feel bad when you keep pointing out that I’ve gained weight”, and her answer was “It’s for your own good.”

            Once, when I told my birth-father, “It upsets me when you call me ‘stupid’”, he told me “Oh, stop it! You take everything the wrong way!”  Well, at least he didn’t say, “That’s because you are stupid!”

 My “I” statements were certainly not having the desired effect, because the offenders preferred not to “get the point”.  “I” statements pre-suppose goodwill on the part of the offender toward the offended.  They attempt to give the abuser the benefit of the doubt. When you use an “I” statement, you are assuming that the offender actually  cares about your feelings, and that it wasn’t his intention to make you feel bad.

“I” statements don’t take into account that an offender may very well be a malicious person, who is deliberately trying to hurt, upset, or degrade you.  And worse yet, now that you have let him know it worked, he’s going to do it even more!  Some people really are trying to get your goat, and you will have just handed him his tool for success on a silver platter.  With a true abuser, if you show any vulnerability, he will smell blood.  Now that he knows your weakness, he will go in for the kill!  After all, “abuser” is just another word for “Bully”.

 I believe that you need to come from a position of strength when dealing with an abusive relative.  It is the only thing I have seen work, at least to some extent, with a truly abusive person. There are some people you simply cannot reason with. You have to stop acting like a victim, begging the abuser to take pity on you.  It doesn’t help to talk about hurt feelings and let him see that you are vulnerable.  What helps is to show him that you’re tough and strong, even if you really don’t feel that way, and that you will not tolerate being treated disrespectfully.

That being said, and regardless of goodwill or malice on the part of your relative, you need to begin to take control. First, let’s define a boundary, or limit, and a consequence:

Boundary (or Limit):  What you are or are not willing to do, accept, or tolerate.

Consequence:  What steps you will take to protect yourself or your loved ones from someone who does not respect the limits of others, to minimize the damage an abuser can inflict, and to ensure that your boundaries are indeed respected.

There are three easy steps to taking control of your life and your environment, and they include two chances for your relative to change his behavior before it results in a negative consequence for him:

  1. Decide on your boundary, and let your relative know what it is.That will give your relative the benefit of the doubt by giving him a chance to respect your boundary. You can consider this his first warning.
  2. If he chooses to repeat his objectionable behavior again, reiterate your boundary and inform him what the consequence will be the next time he does it.  This is his second warning.
  3. Hopefully by now, your relative has taken you seriously and it will not be necessary to enforce your consequence.  But if he still chooses to disregard your boundary, you need to enforce the consequence.  If you don’t back your words up with action, they will be seen as just an empty threat, and any limits you try to set in the future will be ignored.

Following are some examples of empowering statements that will inform your relatives of your new limits, and the consequences of not respecting them.  Customize these sentences to your own situation, and then begin to speak up!




I will limit my exposure to abusive behavior. (I will call my mother no more often than once a month, I will not spend my birthday with my parents, etc.)

            I will set an example for my children by teaching them that we do not tolerate or accept evil or abusive behavior.



            We won’t be coming for Thanksgiving this year.  We are going on a ski trip.

            My religious beliefs are personal.  We need to respect each other’s differences. You do not have the right to impose your beliefs on me.

            I am not asking for your opinion on this subject.

            I am the mother of my children, and I want you to respect my authority concerning them.

            I would like us to relate to each other as friends, but we cannot do that if you continue to speak to me in a condescending manner.

            I don’t feel it’s appropriate for me to discuss my marriage with you. Let’s talk about something else.

            I don’t feel it’s appropriate for you to discuss your marriage with me.  Let’s talk about something else.

I’m not asking for your input right now.

I will not loan you my car again.  The last time you returned it dirty and with an empty gas tank.  You will have to make other plans.

I’ve already made my decision and I’m not going to change my mind.  Let’s not talk about it anymore.

We are not here for you to evaluate me.

I am an adult and I will not be spoken to as if I were a naughty child.

When you discussed my decision not to have children with my aunt, you violated my trust.  Do not discuss my personal business with anyone else again.

This is not open for discussion.  Let’s change the subject.


CONSEQUENCES: (Any variation of “If you do_____, then I will do____”)

I will not permit you to call me names.  If you cannot control yourself, then I will leave.

I will not allow you to drink in front of the children.  You cannot see them unless you are not drinking.

I don’t like it when you compare me to my sister.  Unless we can talk without you making comparisons, she will have to be an off-limits subject.

If you feel you need to reveal or discuss my personal business with other people, then I will no longer tell you anything personal.

If you continue to raise your voice, I will hang up the phone and we can discuss this when you are able to address me in a respectful manner.

If you criticize me in front of people again, I will stop going out with you.

If you continue pressuring me, I will leave the room.

I will not expose my children to your tirades.  If you cannot keep yourself under control in their presence, then you won’t be able to be with them.

My bedroom closet is my private space.  If I find that you have looked through it again, then you will not be invited back into my home.

I will no longer be around you when you are drunk. You will have to be sober if you wish to speak with me.


Some situations call for setting a limit and enforcing it at the same time. For example:


I understand quite clearly what is being said.  You don’t need to explain it to me.

I see you have a lot to say about this subject, but can you hold that thought?- I want to hear what other people’s opinions are as well.

Let me interrupt you for just a minute.

LAST RESORT (to be said in mid-sentence-there will be no other choice):  Excuse me, I’ll be right back. (Then walk away and don’t come back– they probably won’t even miss you!)



You seem like you’re in a bad mood right now.  I’ll go home and come back another time when you’re feeling better. (If you ask “What’s wrong?”, I guarantee you’ll be sorry you asked!)



I’m not willing to have all the holidays at my house anymore.  I’ll host Christmas this year if you’ll have Thanksgiving at your house. (BOUNDARY, shows willingness to compromise)…..

If the answer is NO:  Okay, then I guess we’ll go our separate ways this year.  Maybe we can work something out next year.  (CONSEQUENCE– Be sure to enforce it by making your own plans and not breaking down and inviting the person who will not reciprocate.  Having to stay home or make other plans isn’t the worst thing in the world and maybe it will help them to appreciate you more.)


When you advise others of your limits, you are doing them a favor.  You are giving them a chance to change before it becomes necessary for you to protect yourself.  If you never tell a person that her behavior is offensive, then you really can’t expect her to change.  Maybe she honestly doesn’t realize that she is being hurtful.  Maybe she has her own issues and is angry, jealous, etc.  Maybe she is just downright malicious and thinks she can keep getting away with it.  The only thing you can be sure of is that if you don’t set and enforce some boundaries, in all likelihood, nothing will ever change.

 It is time to relate to your inconsiderate or controlling relative as an equal. Unfortunately, we cannot teach others to treat us with kindness if they are simply unkind people, but we can teach them to treat us with respect.  We pray for you to be filled with the courage and strength of the Lord as you do what needs to be done, and it is our hope that your birth-family relationships can improve and become more enjoyable for you.  And if a relationship can’t be salvaged because of an abusive relative’s stubborn refusal to respect your limits, we pray for you to be at peace with that, as well, and secure in the knowledge that you have done all you could do to resolve your differences before it became necessary to walk away.  God bless you, dear Sister, as you take back your own life from those who would swallow you up!

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me …..1Corinthians 13:11 NIV

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit….Proverbs 26:5 KJV     

 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee….Deuteronomy  31: 6 KJV


Our Savior Is Born!


The Wisdom of Proverbs


 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you….Proverbs 25:21-22

Joy in Jesus


Thank you, Father!


Bless that Wonderful Name of Jesus!  


     Sister, did you know that the King of Kings is your brother?!

He replied,’ My  mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.’….Luke 8:21 NIV

     Did you know that the Lord of Lords is your friend?!

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you…..John 15:15 NIV

     Whenever I read those scriptures, I am struck by how awesome they are!  How great is our God!  How deep is his love and caring for us!  Thank you Jesus!

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid……John 14:27 NIV

Come unto me, all ye that labour 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 unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light….Matthew 11:28-30KJV

    Hallelujah!  Jesus will lift your heart!  He will give you peace and joy!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!





1 John, 2 John, 3 John

By Sister Renee Pittelli


            These books of the Bible are believed to have been written by the apostle John, who also wrote the Gospel of John and Revelation.  John teaches us many interesting things about God’s nature, our relationship with him, and our relationships with others, including the reasons behind some of the sorrow we experience at the hands of those we love, but who don’t love us in return. 

            With a few decades after Jesus’ crucifixion, many false prophets were in the land, including those who taught that Jesus was never human, but always a spirit.  John wrote these letters to refute false teachings about Jesus.  He emphasizes that God is truth, goodness, and love. He teaches us about truth, and very importantly, how to discern who is of God, who is of the world, and who is of Satan:

            God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives…1 John 1:5-10

            Yet I am writing you a new command: its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining….1 John 2:8

            How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!  The reason the world does not know us is that it does not know him.  Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is….1 John 3:1-2

            We love because he first loved us…1 John 4:19

            We are taught that the children of God acknowledge Jesus as his Son and do not continue in their sinful ways.  We learn that God loves us and protects us and we have nothing to fear from the devil because he cannot harm us. As God’s children, we can ask anything of him, according to his will, and he will answer:

            We have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.  And this is his command:  to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us…. 1 John 3:22-23

            This is the confidence we have in approaching God:  that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us- whatever we ask- we know that we have what we asked of him….1 John 5:14-15

            We are taught that the Spirit of God lives in us. If we are Spirit-filled, we need no man to teach us, because the Spirit teaches us. Discerning the spirit of a person will help us understand their nature, whether they are righteous, worldly, or wicked, and whether they are a sister or brother in Christ:

            We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.  The man who says, “I know him”, but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him.  This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did…1 John 2:3-6

            Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come…1 John 2:18.

            But you have an anointing from the Holy One and all of you know the truth… lie comes from the truth.  Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ.  Such as man is the antichrist- he denies the Father and the Son.  No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also…1 John 2:20-23

            I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you….1 John 2:26-27

            If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him .… 1 John 2:29

            No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him….1 John 3:6

            We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.  We know that we are children of God and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.  We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true….1 John 18-20

            And this is how we know the he lives in us:  We know it by the Spirit he gave us….1 John 3:24

            We are instructed not to desire the things of the world.  John explains why and how we are different from worldly men and women, why they cannot understand us, and why they will not listen to us.  We are warned not to be surprised if those of the world hate us.  The whole world is under the control of the evil one, and only we, who believe that Jesus is the Son of God, will overcome the world:

            Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him….1 John 2:15 

            The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever…1John 2:17

            Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother.  And why did he murder him?  Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.  Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you….1 John 3:12-13

            You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.  We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.  This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood….1 John 4:4-6

            John makes several points about good vs. wicked behavior.  We know the spirit of a man or woman by his or her actions.  Those who do right and love their brothers are righteous and children of God, but those who continue to sin and do evil and do not have love in them are children of the devil:

            Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray.  He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.  He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work…. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are:  Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother…1 John 3: 7-8,10

            Let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him….1 John 4:7-9

            Many of us know people in our families or churches who claim to be Christian, sometimes putting on quite a show, but whose behavior is exactly the opposite of righteousness. Such people have the spirit of False Religion, and use their “faith” or “holiness” as an excuse to abuse others or to lead others astray, as well as for protection from being challenged about their destructive words or actions.  We should not be intimidated by such people and the religious appearance they attempt to give, but should discern their spirit according to the instructions we are given in the Scriptures:

            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 in the world…. 1 John 4:1-3

            Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world.  Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.  Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.  Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him.  Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work….2 John 7-11

            I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.  So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us.  Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers.  He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.  Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.  Anyone who does what is good is from God.  Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God…. 3 John 9-11.

            Finally, the apostle John sums up the most important lessons he wants us to learn:

             Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well…..Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.  This is the one who came by water and blood- Jesus Christ.  He did not come by water only, but by water and blood.  And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.  For there are three that testify:  the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and the three are in agreement…..And this is the testimony:  God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life….1 John 5:1, 5-8, 11-12


Praise to our God for his wonderful Word!  Hallelujah!  Thank you, Lord!


Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise his holy name.  For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.  ….You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever….

…Psalm 30:4-5, 11-12.