Are You Interested in Upgrades to the Site?

I has occurred to me that it might be a good idea to share with you some of the things I would like to add to this site, to better serve you. The reason these things haven’t happened yet is simply an issue of funding. So I’m presenting them to you to see what you think.

The first thing I would like to add is a dedicated phone number for this work. Occasionally I talk on the phone to those who have written in. I would like to be able to do that on a regular basis. However, I cannot put my personal phone number on the internet. That means only a very few end up being able to take advantage of this potential.

I feel that being able to talk on the phone is far more effective than dialoging by e-mail. There is SOOOOOO much more I would like to be able to say and communicate, that I just can’t do with the restrictions of writing an e-mail. Also, it would be my preference to be able to pray directly with every person who contacts me. That can’t happen by e-mail. I pray for you all frequently, but it would be better to be able to pray with you — both to be able to be available at the time you need it, and so that you can be encouraged directly. Knowing in a vague way that I do pray is just not the same.

The second thing I would like to add is a toll-free number for that dedicated phone so that those who do not have unlimited long distance service on their phones can freely pick up the phone and give me a call. Part B to this would be to add international toll free service.

The next thing I would like to add to the site is podcasting. I have more material that I want to communicate than there are hours in the day. Literally, I probably have a good two years worth of writing material in my “must write” pile, if I were even able to write full time. But much of it would actually be better communicated — and more easily communicated — verbally by the medium of podcasting.

It has been suggested to me that people would also like video-casting. One thing I would like to be able to do, whether by video or audio (but most preferable would be video for this purpose), is a regular Bible study. I have a huge desire to do a series on Living without Distress, which I know would be a blessing to virtually everyone who regularly reads here. However, knowing the cost restrictions in adding these, I haven’t even looked into them. They may also not be cost prohibitive, but they are so far down the line I haven’t gone that far.

I also plan to add a monthly e-newsletter strictly for supporters of this ministry. If I am able to add podcasting, I have also thought of doing a special monthly podcast just for supporters. Supporters will receive a partners’ newsletter each month by e-mail with material that has not been published on the blog and previews of upcoming articles before the rest of the world sees them.

The fly in the ointment is financial. I am a single mom attempting to survive on child support alone. I am in school full-time, full-time mom (my ex lives out of state and has visitation every other weekend), and the rest of my time, outside of working in church ministry, is consumed in this work. Between writing articles, researching, communicating through the comments, answering e-mail, and helping people on the phone I generally spend hours a day here. This leaves no room for adding a job. This is something I wrestled with God about for quite awhile. But He ultimately affirmed to me that this work is most important.

Needless to say, child support doesn’t cover the bases. LOL! And I am unable to add any of these features I would like have to be able to better help you. However, if several people were willing to give a small amount each month, these would all be possible. None of them are very expensive individually.

Here are some estimates:

Dedicated phone – $35/mo
Toll-free phone number – $25/mo (This depends on call volume; the next higher plan is $50 per month. It also does not include international calls. Plans including international calls are higher. And, yes, people from all around the world contact me through this site.)
Podcasting — approx. $50-$150 at a rough estimate for equipment; the variable is the quality of equipment and I would prefer to use quality equipment to ensure that the sound quality is high. At this point it is still possible to find free hosting for podcasts
Video function — ??? I haven’t researched this one, since it is several steps out

What do you think? Let me know. If you would like to partner with this work, check out the details for making donations.

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What’s Next?

So, no sooner do I put the site on static mode than God starts showing me more things to write. LOL! He is so funny that way.

God has made it very clear to me that I need to immerse myself in the positives, rather than the negatives. He has also shown me that the site as a whole needs to focus on facilitating healing, not just focusing on the negatives that happen in abuse. Another verse He pointed out Tuesday was:

Philippians 3:13-15

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Another passage He has had me thinking about a lot lately is:

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

The fact is that sometimes the facts aren’t positive – though the truth still can be. But, for my peace and wellbeing, I need to still, in the midst of the negative, choose to find God’s positive perspective. I must still confront sin where required to do so by the Word, but I can’t live there – in perpetual conflict.

In fact, the Word also says,

James 3:13-18
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Whether dealing with domestic abuse, clergy sex abuse, or other abuse in the church, there has to be a way to remain in peace on a personal level. Division will result in situations where there is unrighteousness, but God still wants us to refrain from becoming immersed in it:

Romans 16:17-19

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

All in all, as I’ve thought and prayed about this, I think I’m seeing that we do have to address unrighteousness, but then when our efforts to bring about change are ineffective, we need to move on in our own relationship with God and separate ourselves from those who refuse righteousness. If we have made every attempt, whether in a domestic abuse situation or a spiritual abuse situation, etc., to affect righteousness and have been rebuffed, then it is time to shake the dust off our feet, metaphorically speaking, and move on with God.

And it is time to do that with this site as a whole. Right now, I’m thinking that I will not post more clergy abuse news since there are plenty of other sites doing so. But I hope people will still find the articles here helpful – that was my purpose from the first.

I will also be gradually editing some of the articles in the family abuse section. In the category of keeping no record of wrongs, I want to do as much as I can to eliminate the “record of wrongs” without compromising the awareness factor of the materials. So this is going to take me awhile. Most of the content on the site will remain unchanged and, as I can, I will continue to add.

Blog Going to Static Mode

In the wee hours of the night, God pointed out this verse to me:

James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

Grudge — to make (intransitively, be) in straits, i.e. (by implication) to sigh, murmur, pray inaudibly:–with grief, groan, grudge, sigh.

I have come to believe that continuing to focus on the negatives that have happened in the past keeps us from being able to reach healing. I do not know what role there is for warning people of danger or how that is supposed to look. But God has been putting this word under my nose repeatedly over the past few months about focusing on the negatives.

As a result, I will be putting this entire site on static status for at least awhile. I will be closing comments and removing my e-mail link. Before/until I have a greater understanding of this, I need to pull back and seek God’s direction.

This is something that I feel God has been gently nudging me to do for at least a couple months, and has to do with the entire site. In the meanwhile, the resources here will remain available.

Donations to Danni Moss & Because It Matters

Donations for Because It Matters & Danni Moss

Several people have asked about making donations to me and to this work. I have thought long and hard about this. I believe that God is my provider. This is what He has given me to do – and He knows all my circumstances. I am no different than most women who have gotten out of an abusive marriage, especially those of us who did so later in life, in poor health, and/or with children to support. Anyone who has been there knows the needs are huge, overwhelming and continuous. And God is faithful.

Yet, the Word does say not to muzzle the ox who treads the corn, and that the laborer is worthy of his hire. I have been reminded by more than one person that there are those who may like to give to such a work as this. By not having a donation mechanism I am depriving others and myself of this blessing.

I have put a link to a permanent page like this in the left sidebar, which will stay there for ease of location. The donation buttons here go to New Hope Outreach’s account for Danni Moss and Because It Matters. New Hope Outreach is an organization of which I have been part for several years. We offer online and local help for women in need, especially addressing issues of abuse, child abuse prevention, etc. New Hope has offered to accept donations on my behalf, enabling readers to make a tax-deductive donation.

If you wish to make a donation to Danni Moss and Because it Matters, simply specify Danni Moss in the payment process.

Donations for Because It Matters & Danni Moss

Back to School… Again

Well, the time has come.

Tomorrow I head back to school for a two-day honors leadership seminar prior to the start of the semester, which begins next Monday. So all the lovely hours of writing time will have to take second fiddle to school once again.

However, I am planning my schedule for the foreseeable future on a much lighter timetable to allow for additional writing time. Hopefully that means I won’t go completely absent like I had to do this past fall for long stretches in order to keep up with my studies!

Welcome to 2009!

Well here we are on the first day of the last year in the first decade of the 21st Century. Weird thought, isn’t it?

I’m excited about this year though. I feel like, after the struggles of the past few years, I’m standing right on the brink of God doing some really amazing things. If the resistance from Satan is any indication, God is about to blow my socks off. 😉 Because Satan is really, really mad about something!

I hope you have a God-blessed year. Most of all I hope you grow in your relationship with God this year and that you learn to understand Him, and who you are in Him, in ways you have never seen before!

Refining the Vision — Freedom from Abuse in Christianity

What is the purpose of this blog? Is it just to revel in smut? Is it to vent anger about the church? Is it a bitter tirade about grievances?

No, these are all things this blog is not about. I weighed long and hard before starting this blog a year ago, because the world doesn’t need another bitter gripe fest. I don’t have time for it and no one needs to waste time reading it.

But God was pushing me to start writing. I always knew this was coming. Throughout all the years of suffering I knew the day would come when He would want me to write and talk about it. The time was coming when He was going to have me start to tell what He taught me during the years in “bondage” like Joseph (ironically, my marriage was legally 21 years long, too).

During the past several weeks I have been grappling with God again. I feel it is time for another step in the process. But what exactly is the step? A lot has been accomplished in the past year. But there are more depths that have not even been touched. Whole worlds of truth haven’t been tapped. I have pages and pages and pages of notes of things to write about. There is so much more He wants to say.

Two primary issues have been nagging at me.

One, the nature of this subject can tend to seem like it is all negative all the time. And that is not the point. Awareness requires revealing what is really going on. People cannot, and will not, ever stand up to the abuses that are happening within the church if no one ever lets them know what is going on in the shadows.

Darkness is Satan’s best tool to keep people in bondage – the light of exposure is the first step to change. But there has to be more to this than just the negative, even though the negative cannot be avoided.

The second is that exposure alone doesn’t bring freedom to anyone. And without freedom no one is really helped. Awareness is great. But I know my life didn’t change just by knowing I was living in abuse. Big deal. I needed to know how to change my life – not just know how to label what I was living with.

God has given me freedom. Freedom is what He spent 13 years teaching me while I was on my face with Him in my marriage. I spent 13 years asking Him to change me and that is exactly what He did. At the end of that 13 years I finally understood I could also walk free of my abusive marriage.

I don’t know if I’m a slow learner or if that was His timing. But this I do know — God is a God of freedom. None of this blog is worth anything if it doesn’t share that freedom.

In the early, early hours of this morning God woke me up and told me that. THAT is the point of this blog – empowering people to find freedom from abuse in the church. This is what He taught me during 13 years. He is a God of freedom. Abuse is not of Him. He has clear and direct answers. And He wants His people to walk in freedom from abuse — especially in His church of all places.

You may notice that the blog has a little different organization today than it did yesterday. This reflects some changes in preparation for implementing this vision more fully. I’m limited in the number of tabs at the top of the page so I’ve had to do a little rearranging. Hopefully, the new arrangement actually makes clear sense and will be easy to navigate. All the same content is still here. Articles are under their appropriate subject tabs rather than under their own tab. More changes will appear over time.