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Episode 35: Groomed by Darkness, Pursued by The Light: From Staunch Atheist, to "Toe In the Water" Christian, to Full-Blown Jesus Fanatic - Danny Baideme
1st June 2021 • Your Biggest Breakthrough • Wendie Pett and Todd Isberner
00:00:00 00:50:54

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“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6 

What if the person you look up to the most taught you everything you're not supposed to do in this life?

How would it affect you?

It would probably make you afraid of everything. Your father, teaching you to steal, then chiding you for getting caught - even when you follow his exact instructions on what to do should you get caught.

And this happens when you're six years old.

That basically sums up the childhood of Danny Baideme (pronounced “Bay-de-may”). Danny’s father (whom she was named after) was a bookie in the ghetto of Omaha, Nebraska. Respected by all who knew him outside the home, life was absolute hell on earth inside it.

She was taught how to steal cigarettes when she was 6. If one of her father’s petty heists went awry, Danny would soon feel the blunt end of his Size 11 boot - and it wasn’t just on the backside either.

Is it any wonder that Danny chose to embrace “the dark side” spiritually? 

Then a literal slap in the face changed everything. Meaning Danny slapped a guy while on a date. The guy reacted in a non-threatening way, i.e. the way Jesus would want a person to react, and it was over. She wanted to know more about this Jesus person in the man (who is now her husband). 

After accepting Jesus as her savior, and spending years as a “toe in the water” Christian, a providential meeting with a roving security guard at a museum compelled her to take up the cross she bears to this day.

In our conversation with Danny Baideme, you'll hear:

-Danny's childhood groomed her to be a thief and a con...04:55

  • father was a bookie in an Omaha, Nebraska ghetto
  • people would owe his dad money and dad would go after them, shoot them, run them over with a car, etc (while Danny was in the car)
  • youngest memories are lying, stealing, listening to dad beat her and her mom up
  • "You're stupid, you're worthless, you're nothing"
  • "If I'm doing bad, he's proud of me. If I'm doing good, he's beating me and locking me up"
  • No friends and didn't belong anywhere

-The 'first' time Danny's dad took a shot at her...09:50

  • Danny was 6 years old

-What led Danny to become an atheist...12:00

  • father shot guns in the house
  • cocaine frenzy/lost his mind for 24-48 hours and would just shoot stuff
  • Dad locked us each in our rooms, shooting a gun and laughing as he slowly walked to each room and said, "I'm coming to kill you"
  • "God, if you're really there, I'll do whatever you want, just kill my dad." (11 years old)
  • Dad still came in and destroyed her room and beat her up a little
  • This was the night Danny became an atheist.

-Selling out to the Devil...17:50

  • So filled with hate, she had no conscious anymore
  • She started shoveling drugs in her nose, smoking, selling her body, ran away from home, dad almost blinded her
  • Dad would be nice to her to get drugs for her
  • No moral guide led to her not caring
  • I empathize with them because I understand what it's like to be a monster and not have any feelings.
  • Adopted a very tough persona "I wanted to be as big of a monster as he was"

-Meeting Phil...20:50

  • Worked at a casino - she got clean to get the job and learned to look more feminine
  • Phil was a kind computer nerd
  • Smacked him in the mouth on 2nd date - he grabbed her hand and said, "If we're going to do this, you can't do that"
  • He smiled at my brokenness - strongest, most masculine man I'd ever met
  • Danny started asking questions like, "If God is really real, ....."
  • Phil used scripture to answer Danny's questions

-Danny becomes a toe-in the water christian...26:00

  • 22 years old she read John 3:16, asked for forgiveness and gave her life to Christ
  • By this time, Danny had 2 abortions and never felt anything about them, despite knowing abortion was a sin
  • Day after being saved, she began witnessing to her family
  • Phil and Danny were soon married and started a family
  • Phil wanted to go to church but Danny felt she didn't belong
  • started scheming to get Phil drunk on Saturday so they could skip church on Sunday
  • witnessed often, didn't pray, didn't read anything biblical

-Danny's biggest breakthrough...30:10

  • "These God people" kept coming to the house
  • Our church, River Valley had a 7 day prayer challenge cards
  • Phil encouraged Danny to volunteer at the prayer challenge
  • "God, if you want me to volunteer or anything stupid like that, you better hit me in the head with a 2X4"
  • 16 years of marriage
  • She was "comfortable" being a toe-in-the-water christian
  • Made eye contact with the security guy, "You two are down with the bible, huh?" - What?!?
  • Always dressed to get hit on - "I don't look like a lady who believes in God"
  • Security officer says, "I think I'm supposed to tell you you're supposed to volunteer or something."
  • Prayed with and witnessed to people at the men's shelter

-How Danny became comfortable with ministry...43:10

  • We all have to do our parts, collectively
  • Driving vans and picking up kids in the inner-city
  • Women are breaking free from prostitution, choosing not to get abortions
  • Friday Night Street Ministry in Minneapolis
  • Befriend Danny on Facebook to get involved

Resources:

Danny's book: Godcidence: Chased by the Devil But Caught by Christ

Call to action:

To learn more about Wendie and her Visibly Fit program, visit wendiepett.com

To find out more about Todd and his coaching program for men, find him on the web at toddisberner.com.

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