Monday, July 9, 2018

Why did I write, The Pastoral Handbook of Mental Illness?

This book was  written so that pastors, deacons, and other Christian workers might know how to help people who have mental illness. It is meant to be used in all cultures, since mental illness knows no boundaries.  I believe that a correct biblical theology includes validating mental illness as a true disease entity as well as securing the appropriate help for those who are suffering from it. 

Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a medical doctor and a very effective pastor/teacher. He knew the importance of having a book in print that would aid pastors to clearly differentiate between spiritual and medical issues. He avoided the one-size-fits-all mentality. I submit a paragraph from his writing where he explains: 

“Having insured that the approach has been right, we come to the actual diagnosis. If   you cannot make a diagnosis you cannot help your patient. Here again lies the importance of an accurate knowledge of the facts, the facts of life and the spiritual facts.   They all come together here. To me the thing that is needed above everything else at the   present time is an accurate textbook which deals with the borderland where the spiritual, the psychological, and the psychiatric meet. This is the most difficult sphere of all in the practice of medicine, and in Christian pastoral work. I have thought about it for some forty-five years, for ministers have been in the habit of sending people to me and  explaining, “I don’t know what to think of this case, is it a spiritual physical or a psychological   one?” There is really no adequate textbook on this problem, and it is very important from every standpoint. Much time will be lost if you cannot differentiate. You will be unhelpful to the person who is confronting you and perhaps even harmful.  D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Healing and the Scriptures, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982)  p.77
Our website is getting some important work that needs to be done. If you would like to more about this book, please email me at or text me at 561.909.9109. and I will get back to you.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Why do Christians struggle with feeling faint many times throughout their lives .?

The Great English Pastor, often called one of the greatest preacher/pastor that has ever lived.

From: A Plain Talk Upon An Encouraging Topic

Here is a message from Robyn Bloem.

A piece about the new book,  The Pastoral Handbook Of Mental Illness: A Guide for Training and Review.
Please see Steve's wife,Robyn talk about his new book. 

Prolonged Pain

Image result for person in severe pain

A spirit of faintness will come over us, at times, through the prospect of prolonged pain or severe trial. You have not yet felt the cruel smart, but you are well aware that it must come and you shudder at the prospect. As it is true that “we feel a thousand deaths in fearing one,” so do we feel a thousand trials in the dread of one single affliction. 

Anticipatory Anxiety

The soldier is often braver in the midst of the battle than before the conflict begins. Waiting for the assault is trying work—even the crash of the onslaught is not so great a test of endurance. I confess that I feel an inward faintness in the prospect of bodily pain. It creates a swooning sickness of heart within me to consider it for a moment and, beloved friend;

The Pressure of Constant Sorrow

 Faintness will also come upon true Christians in connection with the pressure of actual sorrow. Hearts may bear up long, but they are very apt to yield if the pressure is continuous from month to month. A constant drip is felt even by a stone. A long day of drizzling rain is more wetting than a passing shower of heavy drops. A man cannot always be poor, or always be sick, or always be slandered, or always be friendless without sometimes being tempted to say, “My heart is faint and weary; when will the day break and the shadows flee away?”

Long and Heavy Trials 

I say again, the very choicest of God’s elect may, through the long abiding of bitter sorrow and heavy distress, be ready to faint in the day of adversity. The same has happened to earnest Christians engaged in diligent service, when they have seen no present success. To go on tilling a thankless soil, to continue to cast bread upon the waters and to find no return has caused many a true heart to faint with inward bleeding. Yet this is full often the test of our fidelity. 

Faint hearts of that kind there may be among my fellow soldiers, ready to lay down the weapons of their warfare because they win no victory at this present. My brothers, I pray you do not desert the field of battle but, like Jonah, remember the Lord and continue to abide by the royal standard! It may be that inquiries will be made as to why we should thus enlarge upon the different ways in which Christians faint. 

New Christians 

Our reply is, we have been thus particular in order to meet the temptation so common among young Christians, to fancy that they are singular in their trials. “Surely no one has felt as I feel,” says many a young Christian. “I don’t suppose another person ever hung down his head and his hands and became so utterly overcome as I am.” Do not listen to that suggestion, for it is devoid of truth! Faintness is very common in the Lord’s hosts—and some of His mightiest men have been the victims of it. Even David himself, that hero of Judah, in the day of battle waxed faint and had been slain if a warrior had not come to the rescue. Do not give way to faintness! Strive against it vehemently, but at the same time, should it overcome you, cast not away your confidence, nor write yourself down as rejected of
 God A Plain Talk Upon an Encouraging Topic, by Charles Spurgeon.

Here what Scripture has to say about God never being faint in spirit.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:28-31 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Mother of Persecutioni is Hate Speech

 Are you in a country that persecutes you because you are giving the good news of the gospel? I mean the true gospel,which includes that the Lord  Jesus was born to die for our sins. The Son of God humbled himself by being united to a human nature. He was and is the God/Man, If you believe the gospel with head and heart, then you  are blessed and are saved forever.  But some countries know little overt persecution. God is in control of how much each and every country gets persecuted. They are part of His eternal decrees. The attempt to ban, "hate speech" may tip the United States  to oppress evangelical churches in the United States of America. But of course, 
God uses his people to risk freeing the church

 But what is hate speech?

It is speech based on labeling something that a select group of people believe  that is detrimental to others of another group.

Pastor's that expound the Bible, from Genesis through Revelation, who are faced with a choice. It is, "will you be faithful to explain the word of God and ask for a change in a person's life,as proof of repentance,  or will you speak well of everyone and everything." One of the apostle's favorite terms for himself and his relationship was bond slave.  He was trouble maker but a truth speaker. Here is part of the legacy that the Lord Jesus Christ gave to us.
Matthew 5:11,12

"There are many true Christians who are persecuted daily, some are blinded, others have a machete taken to them and still others are killed. We must  be prepared, wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

Jun. 28, 2018 | India
Four Christians Charged with Forced Conversions
On May 29, four Christians in Jharkhand were arrested and charged with forcibly converting people to Christianity. A group of villagers who follow a traditional animist religion told police that Pastor Sudarshan, Sumanti, Rupash and Neelam beat a man with a bamboo stick because he refused to convert to Christianity. In addition, two of the believers, Sumanti and Rupash, were to be married the next day, and the villagers did not want their Christian wedding to take place in the village. Pray that these believers remain strong in faith despite the false accusations against them. Pray that they continue to be a light for Christ while in jail and in their village. Pray also that Sumanti and Rupash will be able to reschedule their wedding, and pray for their marriage. Pray that those who oppose them will come to know how much God loves them.

Jun. 28, 2018 | China
Christian Couple Detained for Sharing Their Faith

Pastor Liang Ziliang and several other church members in Heshan, Guangdong, were distributing Christian brochures and carrying anti-abortion banners in a local park when police began to photograph them. That night, Liang and his wife, Li Yinxiu, were called to the police station and detained on arrival. Following their arrest, police searched their home without a warrant. Their family later received two criminal detention notices accusing Liang and Li of violating Article 80 of China’s criminal law and organizing and supporting illegal gatherings. They are currently being held at the Heshan Municipal Detention Center. Members of the couple’s house church are very concerned about their arrests. Pray that Liang and Li will grow stronger in faith and feel God’s presence in jail. Pray that they will be released soon and be able to continue sharing the gospel and God’s love for the unborn. Pray that their house church members will remain committed to the gospel despite their anxiety.

You may already know that over half our people who visit our blog are from other countries. This means many countries, not a few. I was talking with one of our editors (Kregel Publications ) about making it available to these countries. She told me it will be helpful in the Untied States, Europe, Great Britain, Australia, Canada
Russia, Ital Some  of our  countries that are the top of the list are
United States
United Kingdom
Some village churches in India meet in the open air.
Some village churches in India meet in the open air.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Pastoral Considerations and OCD'.

Steve Bloem

2005 All rights Reserved.
Kregel Publications,Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel
Like You're Losing It Robyn and Steve Bloem

This brings us to a difficult pastoral question. What is the difference between temptation to sin and an obsession? All of us have to deal with thoughts that are sinful and even blasphemous. There is a difference, of course, between the temptation to sin and the actual act of sinning (James 1:13–17), yet we also know that thoughts can be sinful when we dwell on them.

Where, then, does theology fit in treating O.C.D.? Most secular psychiatrist, social workers, and psychologists do not believe in a literal devil or demonic hosts. That doesn’t mean everything these professionals say is wrong, but Christians should keep in mind that a therapist may not be able to recognize spiritual forces at work. Demons do have schemes by which to discourage, depress, and make the child of God feel that God is displeased. Think of how Satan can use unbidden thoughts of O.C.D. to burden one with guilt. A counselor or pastor must acknowledge that these thoughts are not sinful in and of themselves.
As a pastor though speaking more generally about temptation and sin, Lloyd-Jones has some helpful thoughts in how the devil can use OCD to bring sorrow upon sorrow to the Christian, 

All Rights Reserved Baker Book House
The Christian Warfare: Ephesians 6

D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

We move now to the consideration of another very fruitful source of trouble in the Christian life resulting from the “wiles of the devil,” namely, the confusion between temptation and sin. . . . It includes such problems as evil thoughts, thoughts which may at times be blasphemous, evil imaginations—the imagination tempted to play upon things that are wrong and evil and unworthy. . . . The devil deals with this along certain lines.
Image result for snakes

One line is to suggest that to be tempted at all is sin. . . . The devil comes in and he says, “Obviously you are not a new creature, you have not been born again, you have not got a new nature. Temptation belonged to the old life and to the past, therefore the fact that you are still tempted is a proof that you are not really what you think you are.” So he comes and says that either the temptation is sin, or else that as Christians we should not be tempted. 

Lloyd-Jones goes on to remind us, that we are neither perfect nor sinless, and that we should 
apply Romans 8:10, “If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin,and that goes for the brain, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.”   We have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. We are being saved from the power of sin, but we live in this body that is dying We have disease and temptations and weakness. Some day when we are glorified, we will receive “our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23). Our minds while be without any sin, there will be no "gray" moments and problem with memory.

SB- Again.some Christians with O.C.D. get stuck on 1 John 1:9 and work at a continual, compulsive confession of sin. They fear that they might not have confessed according to God’s standards, so they do it over and over again, sometimes almost chanting the litany of their failings. O.C.D. can be a great trial for a believer. SB. 
Pastors and Christian counselors must remind, those who come to them, “who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us” (Rom. 8:33–34).

This book will be available to the public ,on June 26,2018.
How  would like to be one of first people to get this book? You can let me know by  going to my email at via pathema@msn.   
The Cost  is $23.00 and that includes the shipping to the United States.
How to pay?

1.You can do this by going to our web site and pay by using  our paypal site.2. You can can send us a check made out to Steve Bloem.

Please don't forget that Robyn and I have written a book called Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. It is published by Kregel Publications. It was nominated by Forword Magazine to be the best non-fiction book of 2005. Broken Minds is a different book and I think you will like it.  We are having a sale right now, which will end soon.

You can see it by going to,

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I think that Spurgeon would like my new book, The Pastoral Hand book of Mental Illness; A Guide for Training and Review.

 Image result for pictures of charles spurgeon

As the pastor of a large church, I have to observe a great variety of experiences, and I note that some whom I greatly love and esteem, who are, in my judgment among the very choicest of God’s people, nevertheless, travel most of the way to heaven by night. They do not rejoice in the light of God’s countenance, though they trust in the shadow of His wings. They are on the way to eternal light, and yet they walk in darkness.

man in the dark.jpg

Darkness has a terrible power of causing fear; its mystery is an influence creating dread. It is not what we see that we dread, as much as that which we do not see, and therefore exaggerate. When darkness lowers down upon the believer’s mind it is a great trial to his heart. He cries, “Where am I? And how did I come here? If I am a child of God, why am I thus? Did I really repent and obtain light so as to escape the darkness of sin? If so, why am I conscious of this thick gloom? Did I really joy in Christ and think I had received the atonement? Why, then, has the sun of my joy gone down so hopelessly? Where are now the loving-kindnesses of the Lord?”

The good man begins to question himself as to every point of his profession, for in the dark he cannot even judge his own self. What is worse, he sometimes questions the truth which he has before received, and doubts the very ground on which his feet are resting. Satan will come in with vile insinuations questioning everything, even as he questioned God’s Word when he ruined our race in the garden. It is possible at such times even to question the existence of the God we love, though we still cling to Him with desperate resolve. We undergo a life and death struggle while we hold on to the divine verities. 

We are at times sorely put to it, and scarcely know what to do. Like the mariners with whom Paul sailed, we cast four anchors out of the stern, and look for the day. Oh, that we could be certain that we are the Lord’s! Oh, that we could apprehend the sure promises of the Lord, and our portion in them! For a while the darkness is all around us, and we perceive no candle of the Lord, or spark of experimental light with which to break the gloom. This darkness is very trying to faith, trying to love, trying to hope, trying to patience, trying to every grace of the spiritual man. Blessed is the man who 

can endure this test.

The quote by Spurgeon above is a quote I use in my new book. The Pastoral Handbook of Mental Illness: A Guide for Training and Review. Why did I use Spurgeon? It is because he suffered from severe depression. He eventually had to leave his huge church six months out of the year which numbered over fifteen thousand people for light therapy on the sunny coast of Menton, France.

 If you would like to be put on the waiting list for The Pastoral Handbook,  email me at I will give you an alert as soon as I get the copies. The list is going and I will sign it.

 Robyn and I wrote about Spurgeon's Seasonal Affective Disorder in our book, Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. Kregel is the publisher for both books.

 If you would like to get this book, (no one can beat our price), please use the link below to order Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It , go to

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Sometimes your antidepressant (s) poop out. Don't give up!

 Steve's expertise is dealing with mood and anxiety disorders. He provides answers and knows that a person can be spiritually depressed. He is a certified DBT Therapist. He also is an experienced marriage counselor.  He does in person and phone counseling, including Skype.

Hi to All,
I found this article interesting. I have experienced the 'poop out' effect while on Zoloft, Paxil. and fluvoxamine,  I would cycle into a deep depression. I would have another one of the above prescribed
medications but they did not last.

Antidepressant Medication “Poop Out”

A reader from Roswell, Georgia asks: “I have been taking 20 mg/day of Celexa (citalopram) for about a year and a half for depression. It was the first medication I tried, and it worked great. For the past two months or so, however, I haven't been feeling great. I have been sleeping a lot, crying a lot, and feeling antisocial. Is it possible for Celexa to "poop out" and just stop working over time? Should I talk to my doctor about increasing my dosage or changing medications? Or maybe this bout with depression is just extra bad and I should tough it out?” Here’s our advice.

Antidepressant tachyphylaxis -- known less formally as the "poop out" effect -- was first described in 1984 when researchers observed that some patients experienced relapse of mood symptoms on antidepressants that had previously been effective therapies. There is some suggestion that serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, such as Celexa, are more prone to tachyphylaxis than other antidepressants, such as tricyclic medications like nortriptyline and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) like Effexor.

When antidepressants appear to "poop out," there are four options available to the physician and patient. 

The first is to increase 
the medication dosage in an effort to boost the antidepressant effect, assuming the maximum dose is not already prescribed. For example, the maximum dose of Celexa is 60 mg daily. A common pattern with SSRIs is for there to be an initial response to a lower dose that is not sustained, requiring titration over time to higher doses. Increasing the dosage alone may be sufficient to jumpstart recovery.

The second option is to switch antidepressant medications, either to another medication within the same class or to a different class. This method has the benefit of simplicity, in that it continues to be a single medication regimen.

The third and fourth options involve augmentation of the current antidepressant, either with the addition of a second antidepressant or a non-antidepressant augmentation drug. If a second antidepressant is chosen, it is common to add a medication with a different mechanism of action. For example, if someone is already taking an SSRI, the physician might add a tricyclic antidepressant. Non-antidepressant augmentation strategies include lithium, low-dose atypical neuroleptics such as Zyprexa or Risperdal, thyroid hormone, the blood pressure medication Pindolol, or the anti-anxiety drug Buspar (buspirone).

Bottom line: In most cases like yours, the simplest intervention is to increase the dosage of the antidepressant medication you're already taking, particularly because it has been effective in the past and you're not currently taking the maximum dosage. The key to successful treatment of depression is ongoing communication between you and your physician and not settling for partial recovery resigning oneself to "toughing it out."Johns Hopkins Health Alert

I would like to give one more option.  Iwas on Paxil and Zoloft and Luvox, three SSRIS. They all "pooped out."  My long time psychiatrist said that I maybe suffering from bipolar two disorder. He first  tried Lithium, from which I become toxic, and almost died, and then he decided to try a new drug at the time called Seroquel (Generic Quetiapine). Seroquel acts a mood stabilizer.  It has been about sixteen years and I have never had a severe depressive episode since then. SB

It will soon be in the bookstores and online. If you like, I could give you a signed copy. I am not collecting money now, but I can put you on alert status. I will inform you when it is available.

Please read the following review.

I applaud Steve’s courage and professionalism in coming forward with this much needed book. The church is made up of everyday, real people and mmental illness is a real problem that cannot be swept under the rug. 

As God gave us doctors to help us with heart attacks, back surgeries, and diabetes, he also gave us doctors to help us with mental illness. Of course God can heal somebody
immediately of any disease or illness, but oftentimes he uses doctors, medicine, and other tools to help. In that regard, I believe Steve’s book is a godsend.

It gives pastors the knowledge, information, and tools they need to successfully and confidently address this critical issue with those they oversee.
God bless you Steve for having the courage to come out of the darkness and shine
a light on your own experience so that others may be helped, healed, blessed,
and God glorified throughout it all. 

Steve Bloem delivers the information in a way
that will help pastors and impact the kingdom of God today and in the ages to
come. God has used Steve’s personal journey mightily to help him understand
the tragedy, effects, trauma, solutions, and answers for dealing with mental
illness. This book is a must read for every pastor and I believe should be taught
as a course in every seminary.”
—Jack Alan Levine,
Executive Pastor, Purpose Church,
Orlando, Florida

Monday, June 4, 2018

Do you know what OCD is? Did you think it did not have a biological origin? Think again@

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Largest-Ever Cortical Imaging Study of OCD Patients Offers Clues to Causes
A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on May 1, 2018 gives researchers new clues into which parts of the brain may be disrupted in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Abnormalities were identified in both pediatric and adult patients.

OCD is a common disorder that causes recurring, uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors. Its causes remain poorly understood. Abnormalities in certain information-processing circuits have been implicated, but these do not seem to explain all of its symptoms.

The new study is the work of the ENIGMA-OCD consortium, a large international team of researchers who share a research interest in OCD, led by 2009 Young Investigator Odile A. van den Heuvel, M.D., Ph.D., a psychiatrist at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands. They used MRI scans to compare brain structure in 1,905 people with OCD with that of 1,760 healthy controls. Their study, which used clinical and imaging data from 27 sites worldwide, is the largest analysis to date of the structure of the brain’s cortex in people with OCD. The cortex is the brain’s outermost layer, and the portion that performs its most complex functions, which give rise to memory, attention, perception, cognition, thought, language and emotion.

Dr. van den Heuvel and colleagues used the brain scans to create detailed maps of each study participant’s cortex. Comparing these maps, they found that the surface area and thickness of certain regions of the cortex were smaller in people with OCD. Because the study was so large, the team was able to link subtle structural differences to the disorder, something that hasn’t been possible to corroborate in previous smaller studies.

In particular, they noted that the parietal lobe—a part of the brain thought to be involved in attention, planning, and response inhibition—was thinner in people with the disorder. These brain functions are often impaired in people with OCD, and such abnormalities might contribute to patients’ recurring thoughts and repetitive behaviors, the team says.

The parietal cortex was found to be consistently implicated in both adults and children with OCD. More widespread cortical regions were found to be thinner in medicated adult OCD patients (versus controls), and more pronounced surface area deficits (mainly in frontal regions) were found in medicated pediatric OCD patients (versus controls). Because of the way the study was designed, it’s not possible to determine whether or to what degree medication contributes to changes in patients’ brain structure. That will be the subject of future studies, the team says.