Saturday, September 29, 2012

Effective Casemanagement/Pastoral Care, Part 2

PERSONALITY DISORDER-- (continued), lesson 2,Copyright 2012
Utilizing pastoral counselors and mental health professionals
to provide optimum care for the mentally ill within the local
God cares deeply for the mentally ill. He recognizes the intense  pain of a broken spirit. Proverbs 8:14 states, “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?" The church of Jesus Christ must provide skilled comfort and help to those within its ranks who are mentally ill.
Below are a few practical suggestions for Bible study.
They are certainly not exhaustive in the area of Biblical

Preferably you have taken basic theology classes (not
just Christian Life), Bible Study Methods classes etc.
You should be reading your Bible every day and
applying what the Holy Spirit teaches you through the
Word. You should have a working knowledge of the
Wisdom Literature, Job – Ecclesiastes. The book of
Proverbs is full of wisdom, counseling principles etc.
So it is paramount that we have the ability to understand Scripture
and use it as part of our assessment tools and validation/change
You should have some key books available, for instance:
1. A Good Study Bible, It will have notes on passages and
cross references. I would either get a  New King James version, a
New American Standard Version or a New International Version. 
For more information on choosing a  Study Bible, please go to
2. A Strong’s Concordance which enables you to look up the use of a
word every time it occurs, the Bible. It also has a Hebrew-Greek Dictionary.There are a number of free Bible concordances on line.  One of my favorites is  found at
3. A Bible dictionary which has pertinent facts about subjects, names, places and also some theological definitions. The classic set is ISBE, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.   Again this can  be found free on line at .You can also buy  others at a Christian book store or online. A good one is Zondervan Illustrated  Bible Dictionary which can be found on line at
4. A Topical Bible which categorizes texts by subjects, the most famous
 being Nave’s Topical Bible.
5. A one volume commentary, which has an exposition of basically
 all the verses in the Bible. Always be sure to get good evangelical
commentaries.  If you have questions about this please email me at or respond in the comments section of this blog.
As mentioned, today you can get all these helps and more through
computer software. If you are computer literate, this
would be the way to go. However, there are some good
bible study helps that do not have computer software
You should have knowledge of suffering/glory themes in the Bible.
 For example,  2 Timothy 2:10-13: (10) Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that theyalso may obtain the salvation which  is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. (11) This is a faithful saying: For if we diedwith Him,We shall also live with Him(12) If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.  If we deny Him, He also will deny us. (13) If we are faithless, He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself (NKJV.).
A good principle of Bible Study is that you apply a literal,historical,
grammatical, interpretation to it. Below are three words that can be
used when studying a Biblical text:
Observation, What does the biblical text say?
Interpretation  What does it mean?
Application  How should I respond?
This to to be continued

Friday, September 28, 2012

Voice of Martyrs, Our brothers in prison

Friday, September 28, 2012 5:01 AM

The Voice of the Martyrs
vom groups
weekly prayer updates
VOM-USA Prayer Update for September 28, 2012
On Thu. Sep 27 2012 at 03:17 PM Moderator wrote:
Sierra Leone--More Muslims Converting to Christianity
Source: VOM Contacts

Psalm 22:22–24

In the past year, more Muslim leaders in Sierra Leone have
converted to Christianity than ever before, according to a
VOM partner. "My heart is overflowing with joy, by
taking a brief reflection on what the Lord has accomplished
," he said. Evangelists in the area, all of whom are
converts from Islam, have received support and tools that
 enable them to go farther for ministry and to visit converts
 more often. They are using motorcycles and bicycles to
reach new communities, and they are providing the
communities with solar and crank radios that broadcast
 Christian radio programs. "Most evenings brings a
group of new converts together to listen," the VOM partner
 said. "The result and outcome of these tools cannot be
overemphasized." Praise God for these new Christian converts in Sierra Leone.

Kazakhstan--Uzbek Pastor Facing Extradition
Sources: VOM Canada, Forum 18 News

Revelation 2:10

An Uzbek pastor who fled Uzbekistan in 2007 has been
 arrested in Kazakhstan and faces extradition to his home
 country on charges of illegally teaching religion and
distributing literature. Makset Djabbarbergenov, whose
wife is expecting their fifth child, was arrested after
police held his sister-in-law for two weeks in an effort
to discover his whereabouts. The 32-year-old pastor
 faces up to three years in prison on each charge.
A court in Kazakhstan has ordered that Makset be
detained until the General Prosecutor’s Office
decides whether to extradite him to Uzbekistan.
Please pray that Makset will not be turned over to
Uzbek authorities. Pray that his growing family
 will not be fearful but will continue to trust God.

Laos--Five Christian Leaders Arrested
Source: VOM Contacts

Psalm 69:33

On Sept. 11, three Laotian pastors and two other Christian
 leaders were arrested by district police. The three pastors
were bound with chains and sent to the Phin distric prison,
  while the two others were turned over to provincial
leaders and released two days later. The three pastors
 are enduring harsh conditions in prison -- all remain
 in handcuffs and one is in stocks, bound by
the ankles. District police have visited the pastors’
 homes and churches, asking members where
their churches obtain funds, why they became
Christians and whom the pastors have led to Christ.
All three pastors remain in prison, and two are
seriously ill. Pray that God will grant these pastors
 strength and endurance. Pray that authorities will
provide them with needed medical treatment.

North Africa
VOM Project

Pray for a team of teachers working in a "Mobile
 Bible School." The teachers travel across the country
 in a van, teaching in underground Bible schools.

 by Steve and Robyn Bloem

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Seminar- Mind, Mood and Faith

A One Day Seminar Focusing
On the Christian and Mental

Unfortunately, people who are diagnosed as mentally ill may not understand what is happening to them. This seminar weaves Steve Bloem’s personal story of major depression, including Robyn’s insights, to create a tapestry of practical, biblical and technical information, about mood disorders

This event will take place on Saturday, October 27, 2012. Registration will be from 9:00-9:15 a.m. and the seminar will end at 4:00 p.m. This seminar is a prerequisite for becoming a CAMI (Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness) group leader.

To Register in Advance

Phone: 616.427.0775



Rush Creek Bible Church
2334 76th ST SW
Byron Center MI 49315

The cost for the seminar is $60.00 per person. This includes a free copy of Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing
It and one copy of seminar notes. Please send a check for the above amount made payable to Steve Bloem. Address: Heartfelt Ministries, 4371 Northlake Blvd., Suite 256, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410.  Please visit our web site

Church group rates and student rates are also available. If you cannot afford payment, there are some scholarship funds available from Heartfelt Ministries. Contact us in regards to your particular situation. Note: Lunch is included with your registration.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Taking Up the Cross





WHAT IT MEANS IN PRACTICAL TERMS TO SAVE ONE'S LIFE: "It is getting up in the morning, going to work, coming home, going through the drill, playing some golf on the weekends, going to church, and taking a vacation now and then." In other words, "IT IS LIVING LIFE AND KEEPING ONE'S DISCRETIONARY TIME FOR ONE'S SELF."

ARE YOU IN FACT TAKING UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOWING JESUS? If you are, then "your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:5-8)

This post was written by guest blogger, Pastor Norman Armstrong, Holy Standard Ministries

Please visit our web site at

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pray for the Persecuted

Friday, September 21, 2012 4:02 AM

The Voice of the Martyrs
vom groups
weekly prayer updates
"Prayer is the pulse of life; by it the doctor can tell
what is the condition of the heart. The sin of prayerlessness
is a proof for the ordinary Christian or minister that the life
of God in the soul is in deadly sickness and weakness."
- Andrew Murray
VOM-USA Prayer Update for September 21, 2012
On Thu. Sep 20 2012 at 02:25 PM Moderator wrote: Afghanistan--Christians Gain Confidence and Faith
Source: VOM Sources

Christians in Afghanistan are less fearful than they were

 a couple of years ago, and many are dedicated to
witnessing and growing in their faith. "The fear that
gripped the believers in 2010 is gone," wrote a
VOM contact. That year, two Christian men,
  Said Musa and Shoaib Assadullah, were imprisoned
for their faith, and a parliamentary leader called for
 the execution of Christians. But since then, some
believers have become more open about their faith
and several small groups have started meeting again.
The Afghan Christians "see that God has kept them,"
the contact wrote. He said one group of believers
has drafted a statement committing themselves to
evangelism and discipleship. Today, persecution
comes mainly from family and communities, rather
 than the government. Among the ongoing difficulties
facing believers in Afghanistan are ridicule in the workplace, 
dismissal from jobs for being non-Muslim and the inability to
 find a Christian marriage partner. Thank God for his work
 among the Afghan people, and pray that their witness will bear much fruit.

Russia--Moscow Authorities Destroy Church Building
Sources: VOM Sources, Forum 18 News

Unidentified workers, backed by police and civil volunteers,
  tore down the Holy Trinity Pentecostal Church in east
Moscow in the early morning hours of Sept. 6. The workers
arrived at midnight with bulldozers and diggers, looting the
building of sound equipment, musical instruments, service
books and Communion materials before using heavy
equipment to demolish the structure. A church caretaker
was taken to the police station and prevented from
 contacting church members for three hours. By morning,
  the church building was a pile of rubble. The church held
 a service on Sept. 8 at the site of the destroyed church, 
using chairs and other materials salvaged from the rubble.
Authorities later threatened to punish Pastor Vasili
Romanyuk for holding an "unapproved religious meeting.
" Pray that authorities and the church will come to an agreemen
t about where the church can worship.

Laos--Young Pastor Killed
Source: VOM Sources

A 24-year-old Lao pastor was found dead in the forest in July, 
and Christians believe he was murdered. Thong Hak, of the
Khmu tribe, left his village on a Friday to go hunting.
When he didn't show up to preach in his church on Sunday,
  believers began to search for him and soon found his body
 in the forest covered in blood. Thong Hak attended Bible
school in the Laotian capital of Vientiane. Pray for his parents,
  siblings and the church he served. Also pray that his church
members will remain faithful and will continue to depend on God.

Armenia--VOM Project

Pray for those translating and printing Tortured for Christ in Armenian.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

New Drug may help depression

Anti-Inflammatory Drug May Help Severe Depression

By , Guide September 7, 2012 All rights reserved
A new study suggests that anti-inflammatory drugs may be helpful in treating depression.
According to study author Andrew H. Miller, MD, a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School Medicine, this may be because long-term inflammation can damage the brain. And, anti-inflammatory drugs could limit this process.
For the clinical trial, a biological drug called infliximab was used. Biological drugs mimic substances made naturally by the body. This particular drug is intended to treat inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis by blocking tumor necrosis factor (TNF). In addition to being involved in inflammation, TNF has also been found to be higher in certain depressed patients.
The study participants all suffered from severe depression and had not benefited from other treatments. They were given either a inactive placebo or infliximab. At first the researchers did not find a difference between the two groups, but then they examined data from just the patients who had high levels of inflammation. They found that these patients did experience improvement compared to the placebo group.
These results are important, according to Miller, because "prediction of an antidepressant response using a simple blood test is one of the holy grails in psychiatry." A blood test for markers of inflammation could not only identify which patients could benefit from this drug, it could also measure the patient's response to the treatment.
The study was published online on September 3, 2012 in Archives of General Psychiatry.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Persecution World Wide, Pray for One Another






VOM-USA Prayer Update for September 7, 2012
On Thu. Sep 06 2012 at 03:37 PM Moderator wrote:
Pakistan--Blasphemy Charge Leads to Riot
Source: VOM Contacts

An accusation of blasphemy against a young girl in Islamabad led to a Muslim riot and hundreds of Christians streaming out of their working-class neighborhood. A Muslim shopkeeper, who allegedly had a score to settle with Rimsha Masih's sister, accused the 14-year-old of burning pages containing Quranic verses. The accusation incited a mob to enter the mainly Christian neighborhood where Rimsha lives and riot while calling for the death of unbelievers. Fearing violence against them, about 150 families fled the neighborhood. Rimsha, who is mentally disabled, and her sister were severely beaten. She is now being held on suspicion of desecrating the Muslim holy book. So far, it appears that court will treat her favorably because of her disability and because of widespread international support. Pray for her family, who have gone into hiding. Pray also that the case highlights the maltreatment of low-caste Christians in Pakistan.

Indonesia--Evangelists Released in Aceh
Source: VOM Contacts

Two evangelists accused of forcing a housewife to be baptized near Banda Aceh were released for lack of evidence. Roy and Ribur were released July 30 after spending two months in police holding cells. The two invited a Muslim woman to attend their Bible study group and were meeting with her to explain their faith. When the woman realized they were Christians, she left the home and reported them to her village head. A group of neighbors beat Roy and Ribur and dragged them to police. The village head submitted their backpacks, containing a list of new believers, Christian books and a water bottle, as evidence of wrongdoing. He alleged the water bottle was used for conducting baptisms. After two months, a court dismissed the case against Roy and Ribur, and they were evacuated out of the city. Though the court dismissed the case, it left open the possibility for police to provide more evidence.

Iran--Earthquakes Kill 300; Injure Thousands
Sources: BBC News, VOM Contacts

Two major earthquakes that rocked Iran on Saturday, Aug. 11 killed at least 300 and left widespread destruction. About 3,000 thousand were injured and 16,000 rendered homeless in the massive tremors centered around the city of Tabriz in the northwest of the country. President Ahmadinejad ordered reconstruction to begin immediately. Several Christians in Iran reported they were assisting the injured and displaced. Iranian officials first rejected international assistance before being overwhelmed with the needs. Pray for families who have lost loved ones and for the recovery of the homes, schools and businesses in the affected area.

Central Asia
VOM Project

Pray for Muslim Background Believers in a safe house in Central Asia. These believers were expelled from their families and threatened with death. Children in this country are especially subject to extreme persecution. They are ridiculed and threatened at school during anti-Christian propaganda events organized by local

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How can a loser ever win?

Hi, I am going to be fifty-seven years old very soon.  When I was in college I thought that I was going to be a great preacher, rather famous. I even spoke at our school's Senior Chapel.  I married a beautiful and wonderful woman, Robyn Leeser on October 28,1978.  I hinted to her that I might be a great preacher.  After we were married about six years,  she gave me a little magnet that said on  it, you are a legend in your own mind. 

I told her that we were going to go to Scotland as missionaries and she said she would go.  It had been my dream since college.  I had gone there in 1976 and was part of a team of missionary apprentices who were the first to help Rev. William Carmichael start a new ministry.  Eventually, a church was planted and still exists on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Scotland.
We never made it to Scotland.. I could not understand God's providence but submitted to Him.

In 1981, Robyn and I decided to start a church in Palm Springs, Florida. We witnessed to hundreds of people and saw a number of converts who demonstrated having the fruit of the Spirit.  But our group dissolved because of members leaving for mega churches in West Palm Beach. I  felt that I was a failure and a loser.
After an exciting internship and ordination; I had my first episode of what then was called Major Depression.  The psychiatrist told me to consider it a medical internship of sorts, and I did just that.
I knew depression inside out. I continued to preach but my diagnosis was a problem for any dreams of a pastorate.  And the stigma of  being a patient in a psychiatric hospital burned deep into my reputation, though I had done nothing wrong.
I want everyone to know this, that being a Christian who has bipolar disorder, or depression, or schizophrenia or panic or obsessive compulsive disorder is nothing of which needs to be repented.
It is not a sin, not something nutty, or perverse or whimsical.  It is a horrible disease.
We at Heartfelt Counseling Ministries want you to know that we will pray for you and do anything within our means to help you.  Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.

They say you should quote someone who can get across an idea better than you can.

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.


If you wish to know more about our story of
God's grace and help given, please go to the link below.