Sexual Trauma Awareness: Breaking The Silence

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month! #SAAM

Did you know that one in four women and one in ten men are sexually assaulted?

And these are only from the ones that are actually reported! The prevalence of childhood sexual abuse, date rape and other forms of sexual assault is outrageous and statistically kept hidden.

The reality of sexual trauma is tragic, and we are breaking the silence! Join us as we share awareness for our community, hope for the survivors, and a challenge to fight this atrocity.

This event is open to the public and free of charge. Light refreshments will be provided.

Saturday (April 22) from 10am – 12pm
Sunday (April 23) from 10:30am – 12pm

Click Here to Register:

Click here to join the event on Facebook: Sexual Trauma Awareness – Breaking the Silence

Meet Crystal Sutherland, author of Journey to Heal: Seven Essential Steps of Recovery for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse and founder of Journey to Heal Ministries.

Meet Abbi Tenaglia, founder of Transforming Hope Ministries. Abbi will be sharing at the event on Saturday, April 22.

Monica Daye is the voice of many silent whisperers and she is the founder of StandUp SpeakOut!

Meet Michelle Viscuse, founder of Journey Pink. Her passion is to inspire women who have been sexually abused or violated to find courage, hope, and freedom in Jesus Christ!


Encourage Me.

Encourage Me.

Can you imagine a room full of people who wore shirts that said “Encourage Me”?  Every person would have a smile on their face, but each shirt would have fine print that would help you to see why encouragement is needed.  Perhaps, their marriage is in shambles. Or, maybe their kids are struggling.  Whatever it is, when you say “How are you?”, they smile and say, “I’m fine!  I hope you are!”  But, the words on their shirt tell you a different story. You stop and take the time to speak encouraging words to them. You look them in the eye as you speak, and maybe even give them a hug. With just a few words and a simple gesture you encourage them and they are strengthened. They walk up to the next person, and now you see them speaking kind words to that person, and someone taps you on the shoulder and hugs you.

A chain reaction of overflowing encouragement occurs. The domino effect of tears and smiles can be heard as people speak the words they wear. They share their hurts. They hold each other up. They stand together, united in purpose.

I want to be in that room. Who wouldn’t want to be in that room?? How can we be in that room?

Simply remember the shirt! Let it remind you to be an encouragement to others.

We all need to be encouraged.  We can all sincerely reach out to each other in love and be encouraging. How? What do we say? What can I do?

In our current Bible Study – “The Power of A Woman’s Words” by Sharon Jaynes, we reviewed two questions last week and shared our responses on what we would like for others to say or do to encourage us!

We are sharing them here so we can all have ideas, ways, and words to say to encourage one another!  Let’s put them to use!  Let’s remember the shirt that says “Encourage Me.”

Question 1 (pg 67)  Things I would like a friend to do to encourage me: 

  • text, email, call
  • pray for/with me
  • bring me cookies/treats
  • remember my birthday
  • invite me to lunch
  • give me a genuine compliment
  • spend time with me
  • offer practical help (watch my kids for a few hours etc)
  • invite me to your home
  • call me on my house phone
  • let me know when I have encouraged you
  • give me tokens of love (homemade gift etc)
  • don’t judge me or be overbearing
  • offer to be a support buddy
  • let me speak in confidence
  • send me a bible verse that touched you recently
  • listen – be a good listener
  • trust me with your stuff, tell me your stuff
  • go for a walk with me
  • make me feel needed
  • get yogurt or coffee together
  • let me know when you see Jesus in me
  • Don’t diminish or dismiss my pain or difficulty

Question 2 (pg 67) Words I would love to hear from a friend:  

  • Let me know if you ever need to talk
  • You have made great progress!
  • You are not alone
  • You are not a failure
  • You are special
  • You are not the only person going through this.
  • Thank you for being honest.
  • Thank you for being a sister to me.
  • Thank you for helping me to grow in Christ.
  • I want to help any way I can
  • I see your uniqueness
  • I admire you for standing up for that!
  • Let’s talk about it.
  • I really admire you
  • Your present is not your future
  • It won’t always be this way.
  • It will get better!
  • You did a great job!
  • I believe you
  • I believe in you
  • You are brave, strong and courageous
  • Speak truth and scripture to me
  • I am proud of you
  • You can do it!
  • You are going to make it!
  • Don’t give up.  Keep going.
  • You are loved
  • Great job!
  • I see a lot of growth in you.
  • I see that this is really difficult for you.
  • Jesus is crazy about you!
  • You are His favorite
  • God is going to use you!
  • You look great
  • You’ve lost weight
  • I like your hair cut
  • I notice you

We took the time to openly share and really think about what helps to encourage us.  We discovered that by encouraging others we are encouraged as well!

What about you?

What would you add to these lists?  What do you do to encourage others?  How have others encouraged you?

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 

In the Place of God


This post is submitted by Kyla:


In the Place of God


Genesis Chapter 50 Paraphrase:  And when Jacob, also called Israel was buried, Joseph’s brothers who had thrown him in a pit and sold him into slavery in his youth in order to rid themselves of him, feared for their livelihood.  They feared that Joseph held a grudge against them and would repay them for their wrongs now that their father was no longer with them.  They presented themselves to Joseph saying, “we are your slaves”.

Verse 19: “But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid.  Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.  So then, don’t be afraid, I will provide for you and your children’.  And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” NIV

As I read this chapter this morning, I realized that life is very much, all about places and positions.  By all accounts, the actions of Joseph’s brothers were driven by their discontentment with their position in the family, their jealousy of Joseph, and quite frankly their perspective on Joseph’s dream and their father’s love, all of which led to an accumulation of lie’s, pain, and competitive drive.  Growing up we learn both the “art” and the fun of competition, along with how to assert the power we’re afforded within the positions we hold.  Whether, in athletics, academics, or sibling rivalries…we learn to compete for the power of position.  As we grow older the field of competition escalates to broader landscapes such as, the workplace, social status, and even Churchingdom, all bringing yet another set of rules and races.

Yet, as I sit here in my vehicle surrounded by the beauty of glistening snow, slush, and ice, almost 3000 miles from home, I am thinking about the rising demands of being me, not just any me, but the BEST me I can be in this season of my life; the revelation of Himself that the Lord has brought to my remembrance through this highlight of the journey of Joseph is astounding.  It has instantly, taken my focus from the “me” I see in the mirror to the He that is in my heart, Reigning over my life, and ordering my steps.

I once heard it said that we can live life at our field of vision or from the Lord’s, as believers, as HIS Children, we have access to knowing and seeing His perspective…Mountaintop or molehill.

How we value His perspective, affect’s our ability to live victoriously, love others, love ourselves, receive peace, and trust Him.  Truth is our human nature leads us to pursue what we value, and the perspective’s we hold on to (HIS or ours) will yield the equipment we use to respond to life’s constant bombardments of competitiveness, be it with outside influences or in and of ourselves.  Joseph was given the Lord’s perspective ahead of his journey, He valued it, He trusted, He loved the Lord.

Here’s a Key:  No matter who you are, what you are, what you did, how you did it, what you didn’t do, what they did to you, what you said, what they said, what has happened, what hasn’t happened yet, what you have, what you don’t have, where you are, where you aren’t…

Romans 8:28– “And we know that in all things God works for the good of  those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”. NIV


This should free us from the retrospect’s

This should free us from our holding others in contempt

This should free us from the frustration of getting it all done in perfection

This should bring us JOY!


Stinking Thinking

It wasn’t an audible voice, but it was crystal clear:  “You have stinking thinking.”

This wasn’t the accusatory voice of the enemy.

This was the gentle voice that speaks softly to my heart.

I knew it was true.  I just didn’t know what to do about it.

We were surrounded by the quiet beauty of the mountains, and I had prayed this verse:

Psalm 5:3

In the morning Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.


I posted it on Instagram with the hashtag #bestill and #listen.

“You have stinking thinking.”

I heard it.  Loud and clear.

I still didn’t know what to do about it.

As we were leaving that morning, we took the Blue Ridge Parkway, and we kept passing several skunks.  We didn’t see them, but we knew they were near.   My youngest said “eeeeeewwww!  What is that smell??  It’s all inside our van!  Yuck!  Why does it keep coming in here?”

It reminded me that my stinking thinking permeates my being and it lingers just like that skunk smell.   It affects me not just in my mind, heart and soul, but it ultimately spills over into my relationships with others and more importantly my relationship with Christ.  It keeps me from doing things that I should do, and it makes me do things I shouldn’t do!

I really don’t want to have stinking thinking, so I am going to use three R’s to work on this.   Will you join me?

Let’s recognize the stinking thinking and reject the thoughts by replacing them with the TRUTH of God’s Word.

I am sure I can come up with many examples of my smelly thoughts, but let’s start with THE BIG ONE:

I worry what others think, and what they could think, and what they might think, and what they should think.  Is that stinking or what?  How can I possibly know what others are thinking and why do I waste anytime thinking about it?   What does me worrying about it change?  Why do I care?



Galations 1:10 

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. 

I assume.  A lot.  Maybe he is upset with me. Maybe she is mad.  I don’t think they like me.  I think they are talking about me.  I should believe it only when I know it’s true, not assume it is true.  Don’t assume anything.  Go with what I know.  Period.  Ask or clarify if necessary.



Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG) 

 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.

I measure my worth with a virtual measuring stick at times.  The virtual world we live in makes me daily and hourly consider how others perceive and value me.  Friends, followers, likes, retweets, favorites, and other responses or lack of responses are not the real measuring stick.  The real measuring stick that determines my worth is the WORD!  I am who God says I am, and with Him, there are no clicks required.  He created me and he knows every detail about me!



Luke 12:7 

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Stinking Thinking.  It didn’t get that way overnight and it’s not going away overnight.  But, I’m starting to call it out.  Just recently, I went to do something nice for someone else.  Right before I did it – this is what I heard in my head “If you do that for her, others will think why didn’t you do it for them?  Maybe you will hurt their feelings?  Maybe you will embarrass her?  People are going to think you are doing this for attention. Should you really?”

Yes.  That is just a glimpse of 30 seconds of the noise.  But I recognized it this time, and I pressed on.  I did it.  I ignored the smelly thoughts, and God blessed it.  He used it.

I’m letting God change my thinking.



Romans 12:2

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

I want my thoughts to please Him, and to permeate my being and linger.  I want them to ultimately spill over into my relationships with others and more importantly my relationship with Christ.  I want my thoughts to help me do the things I should, and keep me from doing the things I shouldn’t!  I want to my mind, heart and soul to be a pleasing aroma.



2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (NIV) 

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

What about you?  Do you struggle with stinking thinking too, or have you in the past?  What verses help to remind you to be a pleasing aroma?  Click to comment and share below!   Join us as we recognize, reject and replace our stinking thinking with the TRUTH of God’s Word!