Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Please help me my child has bipolar disorder

The most popular question that I am asked by families of those who have mental illness is; "How can I convince my daughter (son) she has bipolar disorder and needs effective clinical  treatment for it?"  These care givers are often at the "end of their rope". They are are devastated that their loved one is undergoing a brain storm.  They want to know how they can help her and why are they so resistant to treatment.

I have bipolar 2 disorder and it is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact it gives me great empathy in helping others with brain and mood disorders. It also makes me more of an effective pastoral counselor in relating to those who are "branded" because of their awful painful disease.
Let us not be deceived, being a Christian does not make you or your family not have bipolar disorder.  With the risk of being called nonspiritual; I would like to give some educational points about it in the next few blogs. 

What is Bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a serious brain illness. It is also called manic-depressive illness. People with bipolar disorder go through unusual mood changes. Sometimes they feel very happy and “up,”and are much more active than usual. This is called mania.And sometimes people with bipolar disorder feel very sad  and “down,” and are much less active. This is called
depression. Bipolar disorder can also cause changes in energy and behavior.

Bipolar disorder is not the same as the normal ups and
downs everyone goes through. Bipolar symptoms are more
powerful than that. They can damage relationships and
make it hard to go to school or keep a job. They can also be
dangerous. Some people with bipolar disorder try to hurt
themselves or attempt suicide.People with bipolar disorder can get treatment.
With help, they can get better and lead successful lives.

Who develops bipolar disorder?

Anyone can develop bipolar disorder. It often starts in a person’s late teen or early adult years. But children and adults can have bipolar disorder too. The illness usually lasts a lifetime.

What causes bipolar disorder?
Several factors may contribute to bipolar disorder,
1. Genes, because the illness runs in families
2. Abnormal brain structure and brain function.

The causes of bipolar disorder aren’t always clear. Scientists
are finding out more about the disorder by studying it. This
research may help doctors predict whether a person will
get bipolar disorder. One day, it may also help doctor prevent the illness in some people.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

Bipolar mood changes are called “mood episodes.” People may have manic episodes, depressive episodes, or “mixed” episodes. A mixed episode has both manic and depressive symptoms. These mood episodes cause symptoms that last a week or two—sometimes longer. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day. Mood episodes are intense. The feelings are strong and happen along with extreme changes in behavior and energy levels.

 People having a manic episode may:
 Feel very “up” or “high” Feel “jumpy” or “wired"
Talk really fast about a lot of different things.
Be agitated, irritable, or “touchy”
Have trouble relaxing or sleeping
Think they can do a lot of things at once and are more active than usual
 Do risky things, like spend a lot of money or have
reckless sex.

People having a depressive episode may:

Feel very “down” or  feel worried and empty
Have trouble concentrating
Forget things a lot
Lose interest in fun activities and become less active
Feel tired or “slowed down”
Have trouble sleeping
Think about death or suicide.

This material is from the NIMH of the United States.  It has no copyright.

Broken Minds was coauthored by Steve and Robyn Bloem and published by Kregel Publications
If you would like to view actual pages of the book please go to the link below.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Nigerian Christians killed by a suicide bomber

Hebrews 10:32-39
But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings:   partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated;   for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.    Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.   For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:   "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.   Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him."     But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.  
The Hebrew believers are reminded by its writer of what they did when they were first saved.  They endured a great conflict of sufferings.   They not only were persecuted by being insulted; they had to endure affliction of many kinds, that  set them forth as a spectacle to the world, exposed to contempt.
The text, in Hebrews 10:34, tells us they suffered because they showed sympathy and partnered with their brothers and sisters who were in prison.  This apparently resulted in their losing their houses. 
But even in the midst of that they had joy.

 Now they had become weary in running the Christian race. t most likely demoralization had set in and Satan was tormenting them. through enemies on all sides.  The writer of Hebrews tells them they need endurance, they should not throw away the confidence because in the future they will be greatly rewarded.
Christians across the world are being insulted, beaten, ostracized, tortured and imprisoned.
Some of you who are experiencing severe persecution may be able to read this blog.  I pray that you would be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to persevere in the faith.  Many of us in the United States,Great Britain. Canada, Australia and other countries. are praying for you.
If you are blood bought child of God, then somehow (especially when given the opportunity) you must show sympathy to those who are persecuted.  Why? Your part of the body.  If one member suffers, we all do.  You can go to actually send a letter in the language of those who are in prison. And of course you can pray.  Here is the latest.

VOM-USA Prayer Update for June 15, 2012
On Wed. Jun 13 2012 at 02:55 PM Moderator wrote:
Nigeria -- Boko Haram Attacks Church During Worship Service
Sources: Compass Direct News, Punch (Nigerian Newspaper)

Suicide bombers attacked the Living Faith Church in Yelwa, Nigeria, on Sunday, June 3, killing at least 13. Eight more deaths were later attributed to soldiers who responded to the blast. The Muslim extremist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the bombing, which also damaged the nearby Harvest Field Church. More than 60 people were taken to hospitals for treatment, 38 in critical condition. The suicide bomber detonated his bomb after his vehicle was stopped at a security checkpoint in front of the church compound. In a statement sent to journalists last week, a Boko Haram spokesman promised more violence. The group is responsible for the deaths of at least 181 Christians since December. The pastor of the Living Faith Church, Gauis Biyal, urged Christians not to seek revenge. Pray for peace in Nigeria, and pray that Christians there will be motivated to follow Christ wholeheartedly, at any cost.

Indonesia -- Two Evangelists Arrested and Beaten in Banda Aceh
Sources: VOM ContactsTwo evangelists were arrested and beaten after meeting with a Muslim woman on Indonesia’s Sumatra island. The evangelists, Roy and Ribur, were accused of coercing the woman, from a Muslim majority area, to be baptized. The pair had met with the woman previously and asked her to join their church. They were subsequently invited to her home on Wednesday, May 28, for further discussion. But when the evangelists mentioned Jesus Christ, the woman appeared confused and went outside to talk with her neighbor. She eventually went to the village head to report that there were Christians in the village. Roy and Ribur were then brought before the village head, who confiscated their bags containing gospel tracts, a list of new believers and a water bottle that was believed to be used for baptisms. News of the “forced” baptism quickly spread, and a mob that had gathered outside the village leader’s office began to beat Roy and Ribur. Police intervened and arrested the two evangelists. Pray for Roy and Ribur, and pray that God will soften the hearts of the people in Banda Aceh.

Laos -- Officials Seek Evangelists Responsible for Christian Conversions
Sources: VOM ContactsPolice in Laos are looking for the evangelists who led 55 Hmong people to Christ in two different provinces in May. In one province, 45 people converted to Christianity. “Police are searching for the one who spread the Good News,” wrote a VOM contact. In Luang Prabang province, a Christian evangelist led 10 people to Christ. Provincial officials there know who introduced the families to Christ and have reported the information to authorities. This worker is now being watched. Pray for the protection of this worker as well as the protection of other Hmong evangelists in the region.

North Korea
VOM ProjectPray for those involved in the production and broadcast of one-hour radio programs. The programs include hymns and readings from the Bible and VOM books.

Suggested Links
The Voice of the Martyrs official homepage. Find links to our programs, read news about recent events, and learn more about the organization.
Write to a Christian Prisoner in their own language! Use our letter-writing template online to build your letter, and send it by mail to a needy Christian.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Two more on 9/11, the story of Lindsay Ruth Bloem Hoover

Copyright - All Rights Reserved, 2012  from a book which Robyn and I are writing.

Severe Turmoil

Amidst the constant turmoil that had become our lives, Lindsay threw her backpack over her shoulder and threatened to “just move out.” I shook inside thinking of all the awful things that could occur if she were to really do that.  When that day finally did come, I was much braver than I ever thought I could be.  I had grown so tired of the threats and the confusion about her whereabouts.  She would tell us that she’d be spending the night with her college friend in the dorm and she wasn’t there.  She had started spending the night with her friend, Bill…on the futon. He was her all powerful rescuer from her “oppressive Christian parents.”  He took her in when no one else would…she had offers from many parents who assumed because of all the trouble we were having, that we just didn’t love her anymore, didn’t care where she ended up and supposed that we had just put her out.  Not one parent ever called us to ask what was going on. One family took her with them on Spring break without ever having spoken to us about our situation.  This friend’s mother also put her own daughter on birth control later so she “wouldn’t end up like Lindsay Bloem” --pregnant.

So, when she threatened to leave that last time, I told her (quite miraculously for the coward that I am) that she could step completely out of God’s will for her life, make a terrible mistake in sin and the moment she did, it would turn into God’s will for me to live with.  I told her I knew the Lord and I knew what He expected us to do as parents and He would give me grace to deal with her rebellion.  I was really very thankful that God gave me that attitude because it did not come naturally.

Not So Fast

She left for a few days and then decided since she wasn’t in school anymore, there was really nothing else that could be done to her,  she reasoned, she could come home.  There were no rules to follow; she could smoke, she could come and go, stay out all night with no consequences.  One morning I woke up around 6a.m. and she wasn’t in her room. I went back downstairs and looked around the house. Going across the living room, I looked anxiously out of the window and fainted. I remember hearing myself in my imaginations saying to the police, “I don’t really know the guy; but he lives a couple of miles down the road and he was the last person to see her.”  I was half afraid she’d be one of those stories of being killed by an unknown “boyfriend.”  Turned out, he wasn’t a sadistic killer, just an opportunist who took advantage of a situation that had fallen literally in his lap.

She did show up that morning, appearing safe and sound, but we knew that the upheaval she was causing in our home was not even close to acceptable.  Steve and I knew that we couldn’t have our family always arguing, fighting, yelling, threatening, crying…scenes that I know are repeated around the United States behind the wreathed doorways of suburban America.  The ones that nobody wants to talk about; the rebels of our churches who come to the services on Sunday morning, hung over from partying the night before, dimwitted parents who turn the other way and hope nobody ever finds out what is going on in their lovely, peaceful homes.  I know this is true, because these kids were the friends and acquaintances of our kids. Many of them smelled like smoke, and alcohol during their  high school years , got in trouble on a regular basis and posted pictures of themselves on social networks in various forms of degradation. Their parents describe them as “doing very well.” I remember the first time I heard the acronym, MIP. I had never heard of that until one of our son’s friends was charged with it.  Minor in Possession…not good for the record and dangerously deadly when it happens behind the wheel of a car.

 Robyn Bloem
more to come

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Should Christians Always Feel the Presence of God?

 I have set the LORD  continually before me  because He is at my right  hand, I will not be shaken (Psalm 16:8). Compare this with  Psalm 30:6-7, Now in my prosperity I said, "I shall never be moved."   Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.

God Hides His Face
It is true that God is always with us.  Nevertheless, we do not always enjoy  the light of His presence.  In Psalm 16:8, David, for a period, of time was able to  realize that God was at His right hand.  This was a source of great encouragement to him. Like David, we should seek to practice the presence of God. We should pray without ceasing.
 However, we see in the Scripture that when God hides  His “face,” His children suffer. We should pray often that the Lord would shine His Face on us.   Sometimes in our humanness, we will not be aware of His Presence and must by faith know He is with us.  The theologians of years past called this believing on the bare word of God alone.

Abraham is cited in Scripture for having this faith.
...who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be." And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb.   He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,   and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.   And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness, Romans 4:18-22.( NKJV)

Abraham had an amazing faith because he believed God's promise of a son in the face of  human inability and against all hope. He refused to look at his own body which was unable to procreate at this time. He also  refused to look at Sarah's womb which never had been capable of bearing children (See Genesis 11:30).

He did not vacillate regarding the promise of God.  The result was that by looking and clinging to the promise (that he would be the father of many nations), he was strengthened in faith and exercised saving  faith which made him justified in the sight of God. God  gave both Sarah and Abraham the ability to conceive a child. In fact there is not a hint that Sara was ever able to conceive, she was barren throughout the marriage.   God, Who doe the impossible rejuvenated her womb.

He has made everything is beautiful in its time
Perhaps the use of a metaphor would help us.  We love it so when the sun shines on our faces, warming us.  The Sun gives us health, energy and many other things. However, there are those times when the dark clouds cover the sun for many days. This is part of the cycle of nature. All sun brings desert, all rain, floods

 Mental illness has continuous cloudy days. There is a lack of flow of ideas in the brain due to a neurotransmitter deficiency.  There is a darkness of the mind which is be very troubling.   God’s timing is perfect, He will roll the clouds away and we will see the light of His countenance again.  He may hide His face from us but His love for us never waivers.  With the LORD, there is no “shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

 As the hymn writer put it, When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest
 on His unchanging grace.  In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil (Edwin Mote and William Bradbury).

Copyright, Steve Bloem, 2012

Do you want to read about our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rowland Taylor (sometimes spelled "Tayler")[1] (October 6, 1510 – February 9, 1555) was an English Protestant martyr during the Marian Persecutions.
At the time of his death he was Rector of a small parish in a market town, Hadleigh (also spelled Hadley), in Suffolk. His sentence was execution by burning at the stake, the common method for dealing with heretics in the 16th

Taylor's final words
As Dr. Taylor neared the day of his execution he spoke these words on February 7, 1555 (probably) Taylor was taken back to his own place of Rectory - Hadleigh - where his wife awaited him in the early morning hours at St. Botolph's churchyard. They exchanged a few last brief words and Margaret promised to be present for his burning in a couple days. That same day Taylor was handed over to the Sheriff of Essex at Chelmsford. Before he was handed over he spoke these words to his family:
"I say to my wife, and to my children, The Lord gave you unto me, and the Lord hath taken me from you, and you from me: blessed be the name of the Lord! I believe that they are blessed which die in the Lord. God careth for sparrows, and for the hairs of our heads. I have ever found Him more faithful and favorable, than is any father or husband. Trust ye therefore in Him by the means of our dear Savior Christ's merits: believe, love, fear, and obey Him: pray to Him, for He hath promised to help. Count me not dead, for I shall certainly live, and never die. I go before, and you shall follow after, to our long home."
Following Rogers on the February 4, and Saunders on the 8th, Taylor became Mary's third Protestant to be burned at the stake. His execution took place on February 9, 1555, at Aldham Common just outside Hadleigh. His wife, two daughters, and his son Thomas, were present that day.
His final words to his son Thomas as reported by Foxe:
"Almighty God bless thee, and give you his Holy Spirit, to be a true servant of Christ, to learn his word, and constantly to stand by his truth all the life long. And my son, see that thou fear God always. Fly from all sin and wicked living. Be virtuous, serve God daily with prayer, and apply thy boke. In anywise see thou be obedient to thy mother, love her, and serve her. Be ruled by her now in thy youth, and follow her good counsel in all things. Beware of lewd company of young men, that fear not God, but followeth their lewd lusts and vain appetites. Flee from whoredom, and hate all filthy lying, remembering that I they father do die in the defense of holy marriage. And another day when God shall bless thee, love and cherish the poor people, and count that thy chief riches to be rich in alms. And when thy mother is waxed old, forsake her not, but provide for her to thy power, and see that she lacks nothing. For so will God bless thee, give thee long life upon earth, and prosperity, which I pray God to grant thee."
A local butcher was ordered to set a torch to the wood but resisted. A couple of bystanders finally threw a lighted faggot on to the wood. A sympathetic guard named Warwick struck Dr. Taylor over the head with a halbard, which apparently killed him instantly. The fire consumed his body shortly thereafter. That same day John Hooper was burned at the stake in Gloucester.

Please scroll below to modern day persecution

VOM-USA Prayer Update for May 25, 2012
On Wed. May 23 2012 at 12:57 PM Moderator wrote:
Iran--Government Tracks Christians
Source: Mohabat News

Acts 12:24

The Ministry of Intelligence has ordered the leaders of a Christian church in Tehran to submit the names and national identification numbers of its members to authorities. Viewed as an attempt to deter Christians from attending church, the order will reveal the identity of Christian converts and enable security authorities to record detailed information about Christians. Although this most recent restriction will make church attendance riskier, previous restrictions have failed to decrease the rate of Christian conversions. Last February, the Ministry of Intelligence banned Farsi services at the only two churches holding Farsi services on Friday, when most people are off work. Pray that this most recent restriction will fail to hinder the spread of the gospel in Iran.

Laos--Mother Expels Children from Home
Source: VOM Contacts

Luke 21:16

An 18-year-old boy and 20-year-old girl have been expelled from their home because of their Christian faith. When their mother became extremely ill, village elders claimed that the spirits were displeased because the two Christian children were living in the house. An older son tried to persuade his brother and sister to recant their faith, but they refused. Their mother then accused them of hating their older brother and wishing him dead. She threw their belongings out of the house and told them to leave. The two Christians immediately moved to a Christian village where they originally heard the gospel, and they were welcomed with open arms. Pray for these two brave Christians as they begin a new life away from their family.

Indonesia--Churches Forced to Close
Source: Compass Direct News

Psalm 9:10

Seventeen churches were forced to close in early May after the election of a hard-line Islamic governor in Indonesia’s Aceh Province. The churches were closed under a controversial agreement that Christians signed in 2001, stating that only one church and four chapels would be allowed. Because building permits have been routinely denied or delayed, many Christians worship in houses and other buildings. There are reportedly 12,000 Christians living in this area. Pray for continued growth despite the number of churches being closed.

North Africa
VOM Project

Pray for the printing and distribution of 2,000 copies of the Bible in one of the main languages of people in a severely restricted area.

Our book
Thanks for praying -- Rev. Steve Bloem
Director - Heartfelt Counseling Ministries