Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pastor Beheaded in Tanzania over Islamic Food Laws


VOM-USA Prayer Update for March 1, 2013


VOM Sources
Muslim extremists killed a pastor on Feb. 11 during an attack
on a group of Christians who had violated Islamic law by opening
their own slaughterhouse. Pastor Mathayo Kachili of the Tanzania
Assemblies of God church was beheaded, and two Muslims also
died from injuries sustained in the fighting, according to a VOM
contact. Christians in the mainland village of Buseresere were
attacked after they slaughtered several animals to sell in a local
market. In Tanzania, animals killed for human consumption must
 be processed at an approved slaughterhouse according to Islamic law.
Christians have long complained of being shut out of the industry.
 A freelance journalist told a VOM contact that fighting between
the Muslims and Christians lasted all day. At least two pastors
were arrested, and police were searching for several other pastors.

Syria--Christians Face Increasing Violence
Source: VOM Sources

VOM contacts in Syria report an increase in violence with a
corresponding decrease in basic services, all under the ominous
 "promise" from opposition fighters of a new Islamic regime.
 "They are dreaming and planning to make Syria like Afghanistan
," wrote a VOM contact. "Threatening Christians of killing
them or of the Islamic law is now daily in the opposition news.
[They are] advising Christians to prepare themselves for the
new Islamic regime." The VOM contact said three families
from his church have had to relocate because of the violence
and that while attempting to check on them, he was nearly hit
 by a sniper's bullet. He canceled his own plans to leave the
city because of rampant kidnapping, especially of Christians,
along the way. Two priests were kidnapped on Feb. 11.
 Our contact, who has been without electricity for four days,
closed his letter by saying, "Thank you for your prayers; they are     
 key to our resistance."

Saudi Arabia--Ethiopian Christians Arrested in Private
 Worship Service
Source: World Evangelical Alliance

On Feb. 8, Saudi authorities in Dammam, capital of the Eastern
 a worship service in the private home of a fellow believer.
Three church leaders were among those arrested. During a
hearing in an Islamic court, authorities alleged that the church
 leaders were converting Muslims to Christianity. Two of the
 Ethiopian Christians, who have residence permits, are likely
 to be released, while the others will probably be deported.

Iran--VOM Project

Pray for those involved in distributing Farsi Bibles in Iran via
smuggling and clandestine printing operations.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How do we get the peace of God?

David Martyn Lloyd- Jones

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6, 7.

The following is by David Martyn LLoyd -Jones
How do we get the peace of God?
First, he tells us to pray even before you make your requests known unto God. You realize that you are face to face with God, that you are in his presence and you pour out your heart in adoration. That is the beginning.
Second, he tells us to supplicate. Having worshipped God because God is God, having offered this general worship and adoration, we come now to the particular and the apostle here encourages us to make our supplications known to God. He tells us that we can take particular things to God, that petition is a legitimate part of prayer. So we bring our petitions, the particular things that are now concerning us.
Third, he tells us to offer thanksgiving. That is one of the most vital of all these terms. If while we pray to God, we have a grudge against Him, in our hearts, we have no right to expect that the peace of God will keep our heart and minds. If we go on our knees feeling that God is against us, we may as well get up and go out. We do not deny our problems as terrible as they may be. We look to our Savior and his death for us on the cross. We must remind ourselves that He is our Father, that He loves us so much that the very hairs on our head are all numbered. And we when we have reminded ourselves, we must pour out our heart in thanksgiving.

Please then look at Psalm 62:8,
Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah
Taken from Spiritual Depression, Its Causes and Cures (1965) by D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, Grand Rapids, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company pp 266-272.


Friday, February 22, 2013

If you feel threatned by life's circumstances?--Amy Carmichael

One day, deep in the forest, we came upon a rock in midstream scooped by the backwash of immemorial waters to a hollow like the palm of a man's hand.  Over this rock fell a crystal sheet of water, and through that moving clearness we saw maidenhair fern growing in lovely profusion in the hollow of the hand.  It was not the place where we should have planted a fern; at any moment it might  have been tossed, a piteous, crumpled mass, down the shouting river----------this is how it seemed to us.  But it was safe.  The falls flowed over it, not on it.  And it was blessed. When the fern on the bank shriveled in heat, it was green, for it was watered all the year long by dust of spray.  So does our wonderful God turn that which had seemed to be a perpetual threat to a perpetual benediction.  Is there anything to fear with such a God?
--Rose From Brier, Amy Carmichael

Missionary to India; founder of the Dohnavur Fellowship, a society
devoted to saving neglected and ill-treated children

                                                              Her birth and death
Amy Beatrice (a.k.a. Wilson) Carmichael (December 16, 1867–January 18, 1951) was a Protestant Christian missionaryin India, who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavur. She served in India for fifty-six years without furlough and authored many books about the missionary work.

Her pedigree
She was born in the small village of Millisle in Northern Ireland
to devout Presbyterians, David and Catherine Carmichael
and was the oldest of seven children. After her father's death,
she was adopted and tutored by Robert Wilson, co -founder of
the Keswick Convention. In many ways he was an unlikely
candidate for missionary work. She suffered
neuralgia, a disease of the nerves that made her whole body
weak and achy and often put her in bed for weeks on end.
It was at the Keswick Convention of 1887 that she heard
Hudson Taylor speak about missionary life. Soon afterward,
she became convinced of her calling to the same labour.

SouthernIndia and the Dohnavur Fellowship
Initially Amy travelled to Japan for fifteen months, but she
later found her lifelong vocation in India. She was commissioned
by the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society.
Much of her work was with young ladies, some of whom
were saved from forced prostitution. The organization she
founded was known as the Dohnavur Fellowship. Dohnavur
is situated in Tamil Nadu, just thirty miles from the southern
tip of India. Under her loving guidance, the fellowship would
become a place of sanctuary for more than one thousand
children who would otherwise have faced a bleak future. In
an effort to respect Indian culture, members of the organization
wore Indian dress and the children were given Indian names.
She herself dressed in Indian clothes, dyed her skin with coffee,
and often travelled long distances on India's hot, dusty roads to
save just one child from suffering.

Her injury
In 1931, Carmichael was badly injured in a fall, which left her
bedridden much of the time until her death. Amy Carmichael
died in India in 1951 at the age of 83. She asked that no stone
be put over her grave; instead, the children she had cared for
put a bird bath over it with the single inscription "Amma",
which means mother in the Tamil.

Her literary works
Amy Carmichael's work also extended to the printed page.
She was a prolific writer, producing thirty-five published books
including His Thoughts Said . . . His Father Said (1951),
If (1953), and Edges of His Ways (1955). Best known,
perhaps, is an early historical account, Things as They Are:
Mission Work in Southern India (1903).

Monday, February 18, 2013

Steve Forbes: Why The Treatment Of Our Nation's Mentally Ill Is An American Disgrace

When I first read this article by Steve Forbes I liked it.  I am thankful for the open discussion on helping the mentally ill. However, there are a few problems with his views on helping the mentally ill in the United States.

1.  He has a far too simple view of why America should not have shut down many of its psychiatric hospitals. He fails to mention how the discovery of Lithium by John Cade in Australia (it was first strongly resisted by the psychiatric community in the United States) eventually helped empty out the large state hospitals.

2. He actually minimizes the abuse and degradation that occurred in those hospitals. He states it was a deplorable if not barbaric movement to shut down psychiatric hospitals.  I have been in a number of psychiatric hospitals both as a mental health professional and a patient. It is a traumatic and painful place to be a patient. Abuses in these hospitals occur all the time.  There are many abuses that still occur especially as it relates to lack of coverage and managed care.

3. He fails to discern that the term "mentally ill" is for a group of persons who have many different types of illnesses that affect the mind, mood and the body.  Severe cases of those with schizophrenia (the people you usually see on the streets) need more time in the hospital. However as part of a third revolution of psychiatry, a highly skilled psycho-pharmacolgist with newer medications can accomplish much. Many with the above treatment and a recovery model can still play a part in society. Schizophrenic persons and those with bipolar disorder should not be locked up for five, ten or twenty years.  The equating of  schizophrenia to Alzheimer's is not an accurate one.  Those who suffer from Alzheimer's gradually lose all touch with reality and there is no cure in sight. Schizophrenia has an average onset of early to mid twenties; these people have a whole life ahead of them and years to deal with this illness.  The more money spent the better you can make their quality of life.

4. And last, but not least, the man in Connecticut suffered from a mild form of Autism called Asperger's Syndrome. Most experts believe that he did not shoot those precious children because he was psychotic. These massacres did not come about because the shooter should have been in long term psychiatric care; the shootings came about  because this young man was evil.

If you would like to read more about the subject of the mistreatment of mental illness, please see our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI, especially chapter 15, A History of (Mis) treatment.!events/c15sx or

Forbes' article begins here:

What happened in New Town, Connecticut is igniting discussion and debate about one of the most deplorable, if not barbaric, moves the U.S. has made in the past half-century–the shutting down of most of our institutions that treat people with severe mental illnesses.
The so-called deinstitutionalizing of mental patients was a result of a reaction to abuses some people suffered in those places and a perverse interpretation of individual rights. Instead of dealing with the particular problems and accepting the common sense notion that people with serious mental problems can’t rationally decide what is best for themselves, we have largely emptied our public psychiatric hospitals. Even though our population has increased by some 140 million since this movement began, the number of public psychiatric beds in the U.S. has declined by 90%. An estimated 3.5 million people with very serious mental diseases are receiving no treatment. We see many of them wandering around our city streets. As Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review put it: “Imagine the national outrage if people with Alzheimer’s were permitted to wander around the streets uncared for. But, by some perverse logic, it’s considered okay for schizophrenics.”
It’s almost impossible now for families to commit someone involuntarily to an institution so he or she can receive sustained treatment. Connecticut, in fact, is one of the worst states in this regard. To our shame, the only way most of our very mentally ill citizens can get treatment is behind bars. Almost one-fifth of prisoners are mentally sick.

Move up tMove do
There’s no federal solution here. Real reform has to be done on the state level. No one would assert that more proactive treatment of people with extremely serious mental ailments would prevent all mass killings. But the growth in the number of such massacres since the 1960s, when the deinstitutionalizing movement got under way, makes clear that these horrific occurrences could be sharply reduced. More to the point, hundreds of thousands of people leading tortured, miserable lives would get the treatment they so badly need.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Why persecute the mentally ill?

Blaming the mentally ill

The term bipolar disorder continues to be bantered about by the U.S. media as it relates to recent mass shooting tragedies.  According to experts, the lone male in the horrible shooting deaths of elementary school students in Connecticut did not have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. The  now dead Los Angeles police officer who had murdered many innocents did not appear to be acting on command voices. I believe that he  has been rightly diagnosed by some as having a narcissistic personality disorder. This is not a biological disorder.  He also is a socio-path, a killer with no conscience. He may or may not have bipolar disorder but again experts tell us this is not driving his murderous assaults.
Narcissism and Sociopaths
As a case worker I have met with many sociopaths and narcissists.  You can have bipolar disorder and narcissistic personality disorder at the same time. In the psychiatric world it is known as a co- morbid condition.  In the above cases both perpetrators knew what they were doing was wrong and they chose self murder. However they must stand before the bar of God and will be held accountable of their actions.
  It does seem fashionable to pick on the mentally ill lately and it is no wonder because mood disorders and thought disorders make it difficult for those who suffer from them to defend themselves.
As Christians we know that there is a devil and the Lord Jesus speaking with the Pharisees in the New Testament  said:"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies(John 8:44). There is no doubt in my mind that the Evil One was a motivating factor in both men's horrible destructive actions. A good piece from the DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) can be read below. Rev. Steve Bloem, B.A. M.M. CTPC.


 A definition of bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) is a treatable illness marked by extreme changes in mood, thought, energy and behavior. It is not a character flaw or a sign of personal weakness. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression because a person's mood can alternate between the "poles" of mania (highs) and depression (lows). These changes in mood, or "mood swings," can last for hours, days, weeks or months.

Numbers of Americans who have bipolar disorder

Nearly six (6) million adult Americans are affected by bipolar disorder. It usually begins in late adolescence (often appearing as depression during the teen years), although it can start in early childhood or later in life. An equal number of men and women develop this illness (men tend to begin with a manic episode, women with a depressive episode), and it is found among all ages, races, ethnic groups, and social classes. The illness tends to run in families and appears to have a genetic link. Like depression and other serious illnesses, bipolar disorder can also negatively affect spouses and partners, family members, friends, and coworkers.

Bipolar is different from major depression.

Bipolar disorder differs significantly from clinical depression, although the symptoms for the depressive phase of the illness are similar. Most people who have bipolar disorder talk about experiencing "highs" and "lows"—periods of mania and depression. These swings can be severe, ranging from extreme energy to deep despair. The severity of the mood swings and the way they disrupt normal life activities distinguish bipolar mood episodes from ordinary mood changes.
When people experience symptoms of both a manic and a depressive episode at the same time, they're said to be experiencing a mixed state (or mixed mania). They have all of the negative feelings that come with depression, but they also feel agitated, restless and activated, or "wired." Those who have had a mixed state often describe it as the very worst part of bipolar disorder.
Please also seem my blog which has a similar subject.

Symptoms of Mania: The "Highs" of Bipolar Disorder

· Heightened mood, exaggerated optimism and self-confidence                                                  
 · Excessive irritability, aggressive behavior
            · Decreased need for sleep without experiencing fatigue

· Grandiose thoughts, inflated sense of self-importance
             · Racing speech, racing thoughts, flight of ideas

· Impulsiveness, poor judgment, easily distracted
            · Reckless behavior

· In the most severe cases, delusions and hallucinations

Symptoms of Depression: The "Lows" of Bipolar Disorder

· Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
         · Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns

            · Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety

           · Pessimism, indifference

            · Loss of energy, persistent lethargy

· Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
· Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
· Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal
· Unexplained aches and pains
· Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Bipolar Depression

As you can see from the list above, the symptoms of bipolar disorder's "low" period are very similar to those of unipolar depression. That's why the "lows" of this illness are sometimes referred to as "bipolar depression." These lows are one thing that most mood disorders have in common.

People with bipolar disorder experience bipolar depression (the lows) more often than mania or hypo mania (the highs). Bipolar depression is also more likely to be accompanied by disability and suicidal thinking and behavior.

It's during periods of bipolar depression that most people get professional help and receive a diagnosis. In fact, most people with bipolar disorder in the outpatient setting are initially seen for—and diagnosed with—unipolar depression.

Studies show that, in the primary care setting alone, 10-25 percent of those diagnosed with unipolar depression may actually have bipolar disorder. And the percentage is even higher in the psychiatric setting.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

Patterns and severity of symptoms (or episodes of "highs" and "lows") determine different types of bipolar disorder. The two most common types are bipolar I disorder and bipolar II. disorder.  Please see /

For an earlier blog of mine on a similar subject go to the link below.

If you would like to order Steve's and Robyn's Bloem book,
Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It please visit!events/c15sx


Monday, February 11, 2013

Forced abortions in Shaanxi and Hunan; bloody reality shocks the world

      2_20120611040659_ZDQzOWI2MDAzYWYzM2E4NzU0NTU5NWIzYzY1YzEwMzg1MzQzYjU1YislMjgxJTI5XyVCOCVCMSVCMSVCRQ==On June 2, 2012, in Zeng Family town, Zhenping county, in the city of Ankang, Shaanxi province, Feng Jianmei, more than seven months pregnant, was abducted by local government officials and taken to a hospital where she was forcibly aborted of her unborn baby. Her baby girl was brutally killed. (see photo at right) The victim, Feng Jianmei, and her husband, Deng Jiyuan, are both Christians. Mr. Zhang Kai, a young well-known Christian lawyer from Beijing who had handled the infamous “My father is Li Gang” hit-and-run case outside the Hebei University campus and the Qian Yunhui case in Zhejiang province which shocked all of China, boldly and publicly took on this case. Mr. Yang Zhizhu, a former law professor at China Youth College of Political Sciences who has long been concerned about and has condemned the one-child policy, also started to take part in this rights defense case. In the meantime, Zhang Kai also took on the case of Wu Liangjie of Xianyou county, Fujian province, whose wife was aborted of her seven-month unborn son by the government on April 6. Overseas, ChinaAid actively appealed on behalf of this couple and made diplomatic efforts. Eventually, the government gave the two families large sums of money as financial compensation, the first such success in rights defense cases involving “family planning.” On June 6, local family planning officials and government officials in Changsha, Hunan province, dragged Cao Ruyi, who was five months pregnant, to a hospital, beat her, and were about to force her to have an abortion. However, due to the immediate advocacy of ChinaAid, especially a timely letter from Congressman Chris Smith to the Changsha government in Hunan province, as well as the efforts of the international community, Ms. Cao gave birth to her child safely a few months later. On July 5, the European Parliament voted on and passed a “Resolution on the forced abortion scandal in China (2012/2712(RSP)” in response to the tragedy of Feng Jianmei’s forced abortion, strongly condemning the human rights abuses committed in the enforcement of China’s one-child policy. (On June 19, Hu Xia of Zhengjiamen village, Shangche town, Jianli county, Hubei province, was forcibly aborted of her eight-month-old unborn baby by local officials.)

For more details, see:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

North Korea has 30,000 Christians in death camps.

Why does Heartfelt Counseling Ministries Minister to the Persecuted Church?
Many people have asked me why our purpose statement includes ministering to the world wide persecuted church. They don't see the connection to the other to facets of the ministry, which are helping the mentally ill and helping the bereaved.  My answer is because  of their  common suffering.  They all suffer from serious affliction of the mind and the body.  You can bet that a person in a Chinese prison or an Iranian prison or many other prisons  that hold evangelicals have people who are suffering  from Post Traumatic Stress syndrome (PTSD).    When a woman who was asked on Fox news about what it was like in an Iranian prison, she replied, "It is a living Hell."  She upon arrival was blindfolded and tortured.  They put her in a dark cell and would often beat on her daily.  This went on for years. Finally she was released and tells her story of the horror that pervades these terrible prisons.

Recently Robyn and I attended a Voice of the Marty's Regional Conference in Royal Palm Beach, FL.  It was called UNASHAMED.  It took place on January 26, 2013 and it was an eye opener.
 Eric Foley gave a powerful, informative presentation on North Korea.  There are about thirty thousand Christian believers in two different death camps.   In fact it has been reported that when the North Korean prisoners were made aware of the Nazi concentration camps that they said, "It seems that the Nazi's were more humane than our captors." I am  not at all an attempting to minimize the horror of the Holocaust but apparently the North Koreans work in mines and also sleep in them, lying on top of one another.  I hope you will join with me in praying for our North Korean brothers and sisters in Christ and  the persecuted church across the world.
There are modern day martyrs in many countries.  There have been recent murders of Christians in Colombia, North Korea, Nigeria and others.  Many pastors have been tortured and sent to prison.
Please pray for them.

Voice of Martyrs ask us to pray for the restricted countries of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.

 There are fifty four restricted and hostile nations in the world.   I would encourage you to not only pray for believers in other countries but to go to the Voice of Martyrs web site and the web site China Aid.  You will be given specific requests about real people in real time.  On the VOM site you can be helped to write letters to those who are in prison for their faith in their own language.

Here are some requests that comes from those who are persecuted:
  • that believers will stand firm in their faith ( 1 Peter 5:8-10)
  • that they will not fear but trust in God (Revelation 2:10)
  • that they would not retaliate, but entrust themselves to God (1 Peter 2:23)
  • that they will not take revenge, but leave that completely to God (Romans 12:17-21)
  • that they will be enabled to rejoice, even in suffering (1 Peter 4:12,13)
  • that they would be able to actually love their enemies (Matthew 5:43,44)
  • that they will keep their eyes on Jesus, persevere, and not grow weary or lose heart             (Hebrews 12:1-3)
  • that they will trust God to enable them to proclaim even while suffering (22 Timothy 4:16-18)
Here are some links:  (Voice of Martyrs)  (China Aid)  (Eric Foley, missionary to North Korea) Steve and Robyn Bloem's book about their experience with depression, and ways to fight it.

Friday, February 1, 2013

If you are pregnant please read this on post partum depression.

Postpartum depression is a treatable medical illness characterized by feelings of sadness, indifference, exhaustion and anxiety following the birth of your baby. It affects one in every ten women who have had a child, and can affect any woman, regardless of her age, race or economic background. It is not a character flaw or sign of personal weakness and it does not mean that there is anything wrong with your ability to be a mother. The exact cause of postpartum depression is not known, but certain chemical changes that take place in your body during and after pregnancy may contribute to it.

It can be hard to talk about feeling depressed after having a baby, because of our society's belief that this should be the "happiest time in your life." If you are suffering from postpartum depression, the time after you give birth feels anything but joyful. You may feel as if you aren't a good mother, or that the baby would be better off without you. These feelings may make you feel ashamed, and you may feel that you should hide them from your family and friends. However, it is important that you tell someone, whether it is your health care provider, a family member, friend or clergy member, and that you seek help. You can feel better, and getting treatment early is the best thing you can do for yourself, your baby and the rest of your family.

What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?

Get help right away if you have any thoughts of harming your baby or yourself. Tell a medical professional, clergy member, loved one or friend immediately.

What are some risk factors for postpartum depression?

· A history of depression during or after previous pregnancies

· A history of depression or bipolar disorder at any time

· A history of depression, bipolar disorder or postpartum depression in blood relatives

· Poor social support

· Unpleasant life events happening around the time of the pregnancy or birth

· Instability in your marriage or relationship

· Feeling unsure or ambivalent about your pregnancy

· Talk to your doctor about all of your symptoms, your medical history and any medications or "natural" remedies you are using.

· Consider taking medication ask your doctor which medications are least likely to pass into breast milk. When our daughter who is now in Heaven who can I do about postpartum depression

· Consider psychotherapy find a therapist or counselor with whom you feel comfortable, who can help you cope with the feelings you are having.

· Do your own research to learn more about postpartum depression and its treatment at your local library or on the Internet.

· Become part of a support group, where you will be able to share your thoughts and feelings in a caring environment with people who have "been there."

· Eat balanced meals at regular times.

· Do light exercise, such as walking.

· Work with a therapist or counselor to develop stress reduction techniques.

· Give family and friends opportunities to help you, such as doing housework or watching older children.

· Use a journal to express to your gynecologist, your thoughts and feelings, and record changes in your moods