HOLIDAYS 2011 Newsletter

 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 9, ISSUE 3                                                                                                                           HOLIDAYS 2011
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:
Rev. Renee Pittelli
Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 684
Chestertown, NY 12817
or E-mail us at:
Please ask about our Luke 17:3 Ministry in Tennessee, founded by Rev. Denise Rossignol.
By Rev. Renee
            After my birth-mother died, my abusive birth-father moved in with his former secretary and long-time girlfriend, who he had spent years flaunting in my mother’s face. He began cleaning out the house he had shared with my mother in anticipation of selling it. This was about two years after my parents had disowned me and he banned me from “his” house, my childhood home, for refusing to put up with or expose my kids to his abuse anymore.
            So after two nice, peaceful years of him not speaking to me, I got a big manila envelope in the mail. It was stuffed with childish poems and other school assignments from first and second grade, and cards and pictures I made for my mother, all from the 1950s! When I was in grammar school (I was now forty-nine years old). Most of it was falling apart, frayed, crumbling, stained, moldy and….
(Cont’d on Page 2….)
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this…..Isaiah 9: 6-7NIV.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus….1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 NIV
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will   be raised imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ…..1 Corinthians 15: 50-56NIV
mildewy, disintegrating as if an ancient mummy had just been opened and exposed to the air. SHE must have saved them, because he couldn’t have cared less. I doubt he ever looked at them in all those decades. He didn’t even look at them when I MADE them. But when he found them, he figured he could get some use out of them. Maybe get me all blubbery and sentimental about “family” again. That’s the way sociopaths think, always looking to exploit your weaknesses and use whatever they can to their advantage.
            Why would Daddy Darling think I would be sentimental over things I gave my mother when I was a child? I GAVE them to her. They weren’t mine and they didn’t belong to me. They were hers. Are you sentimentally attached to pictures you drew when you were still using crayons? Do you even remember them? It’s not like he was doing me a big favor returning some long-lost things of mine that had great sentimental value. Why would I want them back? Now if it was something SHE had left for ME, then it might have meant something to me. But it wasn’t. It was something HE sent, with his usual ulterior motives, which automatically tainted it. Birth-father had a long history of usurping and using OTHER PEOPLE’S property and money to make himself look good, taking the credit for generous gestures that hadn’t cost him a thing and were actually calculating, self-serving, and manipulative.
            One dynamic behind the arrival of a Special Delivery is the abusive parent’s stubborn refusal to accept that you have grown up. This has been his pervasive attitude throughout your adulthood, no doubt contributing to the rift between you today. In his fantasies, you are still a helpless little child, dependent on him for guidance and direction, unable to think for yourself and see through his ruses, someone who he can control. He refuses to see that you have grown and changed, like normal people do, because narcissists never grow and never change. He is in denial, stubbornly clinging to the good old days and refusing to acknowledge that you are now a fully functioning adult- HIS EQUAL, and maybe even HIS BETTER. No longer naïve, simple, and blindly trusting your parents, no longer easily played. In his mind, you are mentally and emotionally still that child of six or seven. It’s as if you just made these cards and drawings yesterday, so of course he thinks that they would still mean something to you. When he sends them to you, the intent is to play with your head. It never occurs to him that decades have passed and you might not even recognize them, much less give a hoot.
            These little homemade gifts are a token of a child’s love. My cards and pictures to my mother spoke of my innocent love for her, years before I was capable of seeing through her façade to the abuser she really was. Reminders of how she had spit on my love for her by sacrificing my childhood to her husband and her own selfish needs weren’t likely to bring back fond memories. The only childhood pictures I felt attached to were the ones MY kids made for ME, as a token of THEIR love. Would you want the cards back that you gave someone years ago? Maybe I should have planned ahead and made or picked out cards I liked, so I’d be happy when I got them back. I mean, who thinks like that? It’s just so bizarre. But that’s dear ol’ dad for you- always playing to your emotions, because he thinks you’re weak.
            Unfortunately for Daddy Darling, I can hardly remember last week, much less almost FIFTY YEARS AGO! For goodness’ sake, it’s half a century! Give me a break. There is just too much stuff swirling around in my brain. And besides, I’ve got bigger fish to fry. I had vague memories of some of the things in my little surprise package, but for the most part, if the cards and drawings didn’t have my name on them, I would not have had the slightest idea that I made them. If I recall, the whole thing went in the garbage. The smell of fifty years of mildew was bothering my asthma. Or else I lost it when we moved. Who knows? But I seem to remember dumping it in the trash after showing it to my family and sharing the appropriate chuckles and eye-rolls.
            Since the arrival and disposal of my Special Delivery and waste of five dollars in postage, I have heard of quite a few more Special Deliveries being received by the children of estranged parents. It doesn’t seem to matter who disowned whom. When your abusers decide it’s time to reel you in again, they will often bait the hook with some mementoes from the Dark Ages. These packages typically contain a variety of mostly worthless items that can be anywhere from five to forty years old, most of it crumbling, stained, and falling apart like the things in my package. Even if it was nice at one time, it will be reduced to sometimes unrecognizable garbage after spending three or four decades carelessly stored in a damp attic or basement. You can bet there will never be anything of actual value, like a piece of jewelry or a family heirloom, because THOSE they keep for themselves, or give to your sibling, the Golden Child. This wacky ploy seems to be fairly common. Just another sad and disturbing chapter in the epic saga of abusers who will do ANYTHING to maintain a connection, no matter how creepy or insane, EXCEPT to just apologize and knock off the abuse.
            In the delusional, conniving, addled brain of the narcissist, one wonders just what they hope to accomplish with this little mind game. They are definitely sending us a message here, although it’s not always clear or effective. I think for the most part, the weird package of ancient history is meant as a nasty reminder. Of several things:
            1. Remember all the good times we had? Now you threw all that away. Aren’t you sorry? Don’t you miss all this?
            2. See, I’m normal and nice. Look at all the pictures of me being normal and nice. And taking care of you, just like a good parent. You USED to love me and appreciate me, because you gave me all these crayon drawings. YOU’RE the one who changed, not me. You used to be so affectionate, and now you’re always rude to me.
            3. See, I care about your feelings. I’m returning your things to you in case they mean something to you. So stop telling people I abuse you.
            4. If you think I’m going to let you forget all about me, you’re sadly mistaken. I’m too important to forget. So every now and then I’m gonna remind you by sending you some piece of junk from thirty years ago.
            5. Why should I let you go on and have a nice life without ever thinking about me? If I have think about you all the time, then you should have to think about me, too.
            6. It’s been awhile since I heard anything about you or from you, so I have to stir the pot a little. Maybe I can get you to respond. 
            7. I’m doing something nice for you by sending you stuff you might want. So now you’ll have to call me and thank me. Otherwise, you’ll feel guilty and I’ll tell everybody I can what an ungrateful B***H you are. You don’t even appreciate it when I do something nice for you.
            8. I get my kicks out of getting a reaction out of you and upsetting you. But since you won’t talk to me, it’s no fun anymore. So I’ll send you this, and I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing I’m getting a rise out of you even if I’m not there to see it. I love having so much power over you.
            9. You’re not paying attention to me anymore. I have to have attention. So I’ll do something to get your attention. Now you’ll be thinking about me and talking about me. Me, Me, Me.
            10. You’re having too much fun without me, and I’m jealous. So I’ll just bring you back to earth again with a real buzz-killer.
            Remember that probably 90% of our Special Deliveries are timed to arrive during the holidays or in the three months preceding them, to take advantage of us already being in a warm, fuzzy, sentimental mood. Our abusers are hoping to cash in and use the timing to their advantage, but it can also be turned around and used to our advantage as well. This is the busiest time of the year, with plenty of chores and happy planning to occupy our minds. The coming holidays are a perfect reason to ignore the Special Delivery, instead of thinking about it and dwelling on it like our abusers want us to. Dump it in the garbage, or throw it in your own attic or basement to look through a few years from now, but do not leave it in view where you’ll be tempted to keep looking at it and letting it bother you. Don’t break No Contact. Just keep ignoring and share a good laugh over it with your loved ones. The past has no power over you unless you allow it, because God has made everything new.
By Rev. Renee
                Did you know that the Lord speaks to you through His Holy Spirit? Do you know that He answers your prayers, and that he hears you and listens to you when you pray? In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears….Psalm 18:6KJV. In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud…Psalm 81:7NIV.   As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me…Psalm 55:16KJV.    Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall…Psalm 55:22NIV. Let’s talk about how to ask the Lord to speak to us, and how to open our hearts to hearing whatever he tells us.
                 If there is something on your heart, something troubling you, you can ask God for a word. The Lord wants you to come to him. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge…Psalm 62:8NIV.    Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity….Jeremiah 29:12-14NIV. The word will be an answer to your prayer in the sense that it will give you direction. 
                We are told how to pray so that our prayers will be effective. In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus himself gives us a perfect example of how to pray in the Lord’s Prayer. He teaches us that our prayer should include praise and thanksgiving, acknowledgement of God’s supreme majesty over all that he has created, submission to God’s will, asking God to provide for us, and asking for forgiveness, as well as the strength to resist temptation and deliverance from evil. In Ephesians 6:18, we are told, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”(NIV) 
                We must believe that we will receive an answer and not doubt. Our fathers trusted in thee; they trusted, and thou didst deliver them…Psalm 22:4KJV. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer…Romans 12:11-12NIV. But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him…Hebrews 11:6KJV. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord…James 1:6-7NIV.
                We must wait patiently for our answer, without trying to rush God or interfere with His plans by taking our own actions. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…Psalm 37:7NIV. I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry….Psalm 40:1KJV. I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God…Psalm 38:15NIV. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord….Lamentations 3:22-26KJV. 
                The answer is not always what we expect or desire, but it will be what is best for us, and what is God’s will in accordance to his own purposes. One example of this in the Scriptures is the story of Jesus’ good friend Lazarus, who became gravely ill. (John chapter 11) His sisters Martha and Mary asked Jesus to come and heal their brother. Jesus delayed until Lazarus died, and then did not arrive in Lazarus’s town until Lazarus had been entombed for four days. The Lord then used this tragedy to perform a wondrous miracle as he raised Lazarus from the dead, so that his disciples and all who witnessed this could believe. (John 11: 15). In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me: I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?…Psalm 118:5-6NIV. Then Moses said,” Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said,” I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said,” you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”…Exodus 33:18-20NIV. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me,” My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong….2Corinthians 12: 8-10NIV. 
                We must ask God that His will be done, not ours, as Jesus teaches us in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:10). In the garden at Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”….Matthew 26: 39NIV
                We must not fear. Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: When thou walkest through the fire, thou shall not be burnt.”…Isaiah 43: 1-2KJV. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: Yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet….Proverbs 3:24KJV. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust…Psalm 18:2KJV.
                We must trust God and know He is in control. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”…Jeremiah 29:11NIV. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is…..Jeremiah 17:7KJV. For we know in part and we prophecy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 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. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known….1Corinthians 13: 9-12NIV. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted and thou didst deliver them….Psalm 22:4KJV. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm….Psalm 20: 7-8NIV.
                Many times the Lord is speaking to us but we do not hear his voice because we do not recognize a word from him when we receive it. For help in knowing when the Lord is speaking to you, see RECOGNIZING A WORD FROM THE LORD on our site or a future issue.
    If you would like to learn about personal prophecy and receiving and recognizing a word from the Lord in more detail, we found these books to be very helpful:
The Elijah Task, by John & Paula Sandford, Elijah House, 1000 S. Richards Rd., Post Falls, ID 83854 (208)773-1647 Victory House Publishers-(800)262-2631
Prophets and Personal Prophecy- God’s Prophetic Voice Today, by Dr. Bill Hamon,( foreword by Oral Roberts), Christian International Ministries Network, PO Box 9000, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 (800 388-5308) www.christianinternational. org Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., (800)722-6774.
Dear Sisters,
    Well, it’s already started. As I write this, it’s only the third week in September, and already the pre-holiday aggravation is well underway for many of us. The traffic to our site has doubled, and the e-mails are flooding in.
    The stress is over one of two things:
    1. How to survive spending the upcoming holidays with abusive relatives, or how to finally get out of doing so.
    2. Having suddenly been contacted by an estranged relative, or having the abuser we no longer have a relationship with sneak behind our backs and make contact with one of our children.
    If you are going through this, or anticipating it, rest assured that you are not alone. In fact, this experience is practically universal. Control freaks just aren’t known for accepting defeat and bowing out gracefully.
    Abusers whom we no longer speak to will often lurk around in the background till they can catch us at a weak moment. They figure we'll be all warm & fuzzy & sentimental around the holidays and they think they can take advantage of that and get to us through guilt. Then when we let our guard down again and start trusting them a little (or as soon as they're nicely sitting at our family table for Thanksgiving dinner and know we wouldn't have the nerve to throw them out or to even stand up to them in front of everyone else)-Bam! Their true colors come out and we're right back to square one!    
     This must have happened to me 150 times before I finally got it and stopped falling for it. I think a big contributing factor is that we're so conditioned to expect family problems during the holidays. We joke about it and even make movies about it. Magazine articles are written about how to "handle" difficult relatives at get-togethers. We treat it like it's a given. But it's not. 
    After 47 years, I for one got fed up with trying to "handle" my relatives, always having to anticipate what might set them off, be one step ahead, and smooth things over fast before they exploded. It was upsetting, stressful, draining and exhausting. I don't know when this became my responsibility, but it was never going to stop until I stopped it. I did that by just point-blank refusing to spend anymore holidays with them. And for the first time in my life I was able to enjoy the holidays like I should have all along- with peace, joy, and my husband and kids. 
    I also started a tradition of inviting distant relatives, friends, neighbors, and anyone who might be alone. Everyone was great company and we all enjoyed every minute. So we continued with that tradition and pushed the "delete" button on the abusers. 
    If there's one message I'd love to be able to get out there is that anyone and everyone can do what I did, and should do it if the alternative is spending Christmas or Thanksgiving getting abused. I'm amazed that so many don't realize they have this option, and I didn't either. For 47 years I never imagined that I had a choice. 
    Every year from about now till mid Jan, it’s always the same, and suddenly we get this tremendous increase in emails and hits on our website. It is just a hideous time of year for so many Adult Children as their abusers manufacture so many crises that never have to be. It's really disheartening. I just wish the light bulb would go on and everybody would realize that they have the power to just say No and make holiday plans without including their abusive families. 
    Yes, it will probably cause a rift when you rock the boat, but you have to get to the point where you're so desperate for some peace that you just don't care about their reactions anymore. There's a whole other world out there that our abusers don't want us to ever see or taste- a world of normal people who appreciate their families and can actually manage to be nice to one another. We all deserve joyful holidays, but those of us from abusive families will have to grit our teeth, take that first step, and MAKE IT HAPPEN. 
    This holiday season, let’s support each other as sisters and brothers in Christ. Please keep those facing this heartache and stress in prayer. We all need the courage to take a stand and start our new life, and the Lord’s comfort as we mourn and adjust to changes in our long-term traditions. If you know someone whose family is abusive, please consider inviting her to join you for the holidays, so she’ll have an alternative to spending Thanksgiving and Christmas alone or suffering through her relatives’ abuse. Take a deep breath and just say no to your abusers, reach out to someone else, and may the Lord fill your home with his peace and joy. I'll be praying for wonderful holidays this year for all of us...   Love, Sister Renee
The Wisdom Of Proverbs
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed…Proverbs 16:3.
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
How long will you assault a man? Would all of you throw him down-this leaning wall, this tottering fence? They fully intend to topple him from his lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. Selah.
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah.
Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them. One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.