About Remy

Straight Talk to Solve Problems

Welcome to my site! I offer practical advice grounded in both personal experience and biblical truth. I don’t discuss theory. And this isn’t where I do deep biblical teaching. My goal is to offer advice and thoughts on timely topics related to faith and church and emotional health.

People tell me I’m a “no-nonsense, straight-shooter.” I think they are probably right! If you have a topic you’d like me to address, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

In addition to this blog, I’ve written six books:

I also offer retreats to encourage pastors. Click the link to learn about them.

A little bit about myself

I grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota where I met my wife. We became followers of Jesus in college. After a number of bad church experiences we rejected the institutional church and moved into a community of other Christians in rural Wisconsin. But that had its problems too. So we reentered the church and decided to quit complaining and become a part of the solution.

I am the founding and lead pastor at Cedarbrook Church in Menomonie, Wisconsin and currently serving as their teaching pastor.  I consult at Arbor Place Treatment Center and I coach pastors in the Evangelical Covenant Church.  I’m married with three adult children.

I welcome your comments and questions below.

F. Remy Diederich

14 thoughts on “About Remy

  1. Kathy Matti

    Dear Mr. Diederich,
    About 4 years ago I attended a group on “Healing the Hurts of Your Past” that was given by a Church Elder in the church I attended. It was awesome, it completely changed my life around. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic with a pretty shady past. Getting rid of that shame has made me into the Christian that I am today. Since than I have shared my testimony speaking to different groups. Including the “Healing the Hurts of Your past” group after I finished it. I also do volunteer work at a Womens Shelter in my area. We have a group once a week and talk about many different issues that these women are facing that God has gotten me through. I would like to possibly try doing a one day seminar type thing with your book. However I know when I took the class the man who gave it was able to order different types of tapes along with the book and a workbook.
    I guess my first question is, even though I am not a Pastor could I give this group? I know that I cannot duplicate the workbook that I have from back than without your approval so I want to ask that first. Also, do you still sell the workbook and the tapes? I think that would be easier than trying to copy it.
    I think the work you are doing is wonderful. The world really does need more Pastors like you. So many times Pastors tend to be very theological. Which is great, that is part of the training I am sure. But to relate to people today and be able to help them, we need the emotional and spiritual aspect.
    Thank you for your time and I will be looking forward to hearing from you.
    God Bless
    Kathy

    Reply
    1. F. Remy Diederich

      You must be from the church in Big Lake, MN? Great to hear of the impact the material had on your life. Thanks for the thanks!

      The cd’s you listened to are no longer available but the book has been recorded as an audiobook that you can purchase on Amazon.com. I give you permission to use my material as long as you don’t take credit for it or tell people that you represent me in any way. It’s your story, so I’m glad you want to tell it! I don’t need money, I’m just happy to hear God used me to help you. But please keep me posted on how things go!

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Hi Remy: You have helped me a lot; I have read “Stuck,” “Return from Exile,” and am almost finished with “Healing the Hurts of Your Past.” My retirement and divorce came within 4 months of each other, and I have been in a period of “seeking.” The metaphor of “exile” so perfectly expressed what I have been feeling…and was very healing, and I so thank you. You do have a unique gift for communicating with directness to your readers. In your writing I sense your very sincere (and successful!) efforts to lift us up.

    I am a (retired) Registered Nurse who has also done casework in a half-way house for convicted drug offenders in Washington, D.C. I mention this in relation to my comment below: in regards to the use of therapy dogs as described in Chapter 25 of HTHOYP:

    I think the inclusion of the remark about “treatment” being preferable to the “crutch” of a dog demeans both patients and dogs while “elevating” the psychiatrist. As a nurse I worked with all kinds of mental health professionals and therapists (and have experience with therapy dogs used in a clinical setting). This remark on the part of the (unnamed) psychiatrist in Chapter 25 smacks of the arrogance I have sadly encountered in 25 years of professional nursing, much of it on the part of psychiatrists whose main “treatment” consists of pharmaceuticals.

    The benefits of therapy dogs are well researched and widely documented. I think the inclusion in HTHOYP of the “diss” against therapy dogs, or the implication that they are a “crutch” is completely out of sync with the entire tone of the book and worse, has the potential to inflict emotional harm.

    I do not know what “treatment” the doctor was referring to. But if you are crippled, and someone kicks the crutch out from under you because a shiny new wheelchair waits for you several yards away and because they know that wheelchair will take you farther and further than your crutch will, you are going to hit the pavement hard, and it is going to hurt.You may never get up again.

    I thank you over and over again for your books. I hope someday you will write a book on marital infidelity. The bible speaks out so strongly against Divorce, and having experienced it first hand, it is devastating. There is nothing more degrading than being put aside by the person who vowed before God they would cherish you until death. I am 68, and the challenge (thank you very much Remy) is to “reframe the identity” (Gee-where did I hear that before?) True, there is so much written about it, but nobody could do it with your directness, skill and compassion.

    Kindest Regards, Lynda

    Reply
    1. F. Remy Diederich

      Lynda;
      I feel terrible that I just saw this comment now. I apologize for being so slow to reply. I am glad you have appreciated my books. I apologize for the offensive quote about therapy dogs. If I had it to do over, I’d remove that quote. I appreciate you bringing it to my attention.
      Remy

      Reply
  3. Sandy

    I am a born again Christian. My sister-in-law has some form of bipolar and is very manic. She calls and talks 3 to 4 hours, changing the topics constantly. She said I was going to hell because even though I have forgiven my mother for having affairs on my father and walking out on him when I was 9 months pregnant I still suffer from the loss of her being absent as a grandmother to my daughter and mother to myself and my two brothers. My younger brother died one year after she left my dad.

    My mother and I talked and asked for each other’s forgiveness prior to her death at age 66.
    My sister-in-law claims to see angels, people in heaven and that Christ talks to her. She tells me

    Reply
  4. Tianna Richards

    Hi. I want to speak through email. I’ll make mine available and I hope that u’ll get back to me.

    Reply
  5. Joseph

    Hi Remy
    How are you?

    I would like to ask about tithe, is tithe only meant for the Israelites and not gentiles ? and why do so many Pentecostal churches teach that everyone needs to tithe ?

    Reply
  6. Jeryl Monroe

    Do you know anything about Bethel Church in Redding, California? I live in Ohio, and our pastor’s son (we are a non-denominational church) married a beautiful young lady from Kentucky who attends a church that is associated the Bethel. Our pastor and wife are horrified and state that their son lost his salvation because he’s now involved in this church. They did not attend the son’s wedding and no longer talk to him. I’m kinda stuck in the middle, because when she would come up from KY to visit, I invited her to stay with my husband and I since our pastor & his family have been living in our church for 3 year now. It’s because he can’t sell his home in Illinois and he has one in Arizona. I got to know her and really like her. The pastor has been really upset and his wife crys all the time. I’m confused about the son and young girl having lost their salvation because of this Bethel Church. Can you give me some insight if this church is evil?

    Reply
    1. F. Remy Diederich

      Interesting. I don’t know alot about Bethel. I’ve read some about their movement and school. They seem to be taking over Redding in some ways and it’s making people uncomfortable. I’m sure some people think they are a cult. Some might think they are controlling. I can’t say. I listened to a sermon from the leader and thought it was sound and encouraging. I know they have a strong emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit.

      There is a large range of beliefs within Christendom. Some very conservative, some very liberal, some very pentecostal. I try to flex and bend as much as I can with people, as long as they aren’t abusive. I don’t think this girl has lost her salvation by being a part of Bethel. That seems to be a more extreme view than what the pastor fears from Bethel. There is plenty on the internet about Bethel. Sorry I can’t be more definitive but I think the pastor is overreacting.

      Reply
  7. Vicky-Ann Wittock

    This is probably a question I already know the answer to but…just in case. I recently came out of a spiritually abusive situation that involved more than two churches (mostly involving false accusations, belittling, even surveillance) and several members of leadership. IVe read your book. I’ve read several blogs and even read up on the associated symptoms of abuse in general. I was just wondering…it is normal to experience shock over the experience for a “long” time isn’t it? At one point I started to become paranoid and thought I was losing my mind. I was losing my mind at one point sincerely. The extent of the abusive behavior was extreme and lasted for at least 2 years. The shock for me is that none of those involved thought their behaviors were inappropriate and even justified their actions by twisting scripture. When I do wrong or even think to do wrong…God shows me. So…I can’t grasp how a pastor can be doing something wrong like belittling the congregation or telling suicidals to stop feeling sorry for themselves and nobody recognized it was inappropriate. Regardless of all the info I’ve learned…I’m still in shock. Not so much denial but…I guess I’m experiencing grief and shock (or denial?) is the part I’m stuck in. I pray about it all the time but the shock remains. Part of why I’m shocked is I attended this church for over a decade and all of a sudden these behaviors were displayed. God doesn’t lie so He doesn’t make me think what I experienced was fake…but I want the shock to go away. I’m considering counseling although part of the spiritual abuse involved a counselor and so Im fearful about it but…willing to try it. I want it to go away. Like yesterday. It’s lasted too long. And I already have a history of experiencing every kind of abuse imagineable with depression and addiction issues following.
    So part of the shock is why God saw it fit to place me in such an overwhelming situation. This has been happening my entire life…it really has messed me up completely. Psychologically, spiritually,…I’d literally move to another state or country. I’d do anything to get better. Well…almost anything…
    I’ve always wondered why God sometimes takes so long to grant me relief from overwhelming things. Ironically part of the abuse was pastors accusing me of living in sin because there was no other way I could be suffering so much they said. Although ironically…I was suffering because of their abuse! I’m also shocked because I can’t understand why God appoints leaders who will harm His flock…none of this makes any sense. I literally worry about all the people they hurt. I know God cares but…does He? I’ve often understood many things most people can’t but not spiritual abuse…it just doesn’t compute…
    Surely church ought to be safe…

    Reply
    1. F. Remy Diederich

      You’ve raised some good questions, Vicky. I’m sorry for what you’ve experienced and the impact it’s had on you. I’ll try to address your questions as succinctly as I can.

      1. Is it normal to deal with the effects of abuse for a long time? Yes, unfortunately. Abuse is traumatic and the impact is long lasting unless you actively deal with it. So I encourage you to get counseling.
      2. Why would God put you in a place of abuse and allow it to happen? You could say that about any kind of trauma in life…a car crash, etc. Bad things happen all the time. I don’t believe God orchestrates this. People choose to do evil. We often can’t help it. Sometimes, we might put ourselves in harms way, unknowingly. Hopefully, through your experience with abuse, you’ll have a better sense of what a healthy and unhealthy church looks like for the future. In a perfect world, the pastor wouldn’t have gone wrong or you would have been trained to see his error the second he went bad. But it’s not a perfect world. It’s a broken world and we have to continually bring our brokenness to God for healing.
      3. How can pastors do these things? I have no idea. I would love to know the psychology of it. It’s a mystery to me. Sadly, we can’t trust leaders as blindly as we’d like to. As a pastor, I realize that many people come into my church with their guard up, having been burned before. I don’t like that, but it is wise of them to force me to earn their trust and prove myself to them.

      Experiencing spiritual abuse makes Paul’s words in the New Testament about watching out for false teachers, very real. He knew the problem and tried to warn us. But we often don’t heed the warning until we’ve been hurt. I’m sorry you were hurt but please believe that God can not only heal you but he can use what you’ve learned to help others and make a stronger church.

      Reply
      1. Vicky-Ann Wittock

        Thanks for your reply. I try to remember that heaven is the end goal. No more pain in heaven 😁.

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