Monday, September 30, 2013

What do you say, when someone has lost a child?


I have known mega-grief in my life time. Our loss of a daughter and a grandchild (Lindsay and Emily) was very horrific and traumatic and there are many other emotions that roll out of a person when such a disaster occurs. They were killed by a heroin addict. The day was September 11, 2001, the driver and his two friends were shooting up heroin (syringes were found in the car) and the driver of  the car did not have a license. Robyn and I and two of our sons were right behind her and saw her get hit by the car.  After repeated, heroic efforts to save her were done by the fire department they both died. This sorrow was both surreal and indescribable.

It did not take long to run it to someone who was insensitive about my loss.  A police officer said to me, "Come on, stop crying and get yourself together for your family." I was on a cane and was still suffering from Lithium toxicity.
I would be helping my family for many years walk through the black surges of grief and post traumatic stress disorder which it caused.

By the grace of God, a chaplain who was one of the first responders was a Christian and actually had attended the same college that I did. He said little but his presence helped. My pastor and a missionary couple from our church talked to me at the scene while I wailed and cried and paced around. We would spend the night with our pastor and his family, and the missionary couple whom we had just met, the couple said very little but they listened and listened and I am sure prayed for us throughout the night.

Recently, I ran across a quote by Nicholas Woltersoff, who wrote the bestselling book, Lament for a Son. Here is the excerpt that I recently read again.

What do you say to someone who is suffering? Some people are gifted with words of wisdom. For such, one is profoundly grateful. There were many such for us. But not are all are gifted in that way. Some blurted out strange, inept things. That's OK, too. Your words don't have to be wise. The heart that speaks is heard more than the words spoken. And if you can't think of anything at all to say, just say, "I can't think of anything to say. But I want you to know that we are with you in your grief."

Or even, just embrace. Not even the best of words can take away the pain. What words can do is testify that there is more than pain in our journey on earth to a new day. Of those things that are more, the greatest is love. Express your love. How appallingly grim must be the death of a child in the absence of love.

But please: Don't say, it's not really so bad. because it is. Death is awful, demonic. If you think your task as comforter is to tell me that really, all things considered, it's not so bad, you place yourself off in the distance away from me. Over there, you are of no help. What I need to hear from you is that you recognize how painful it is. I need to hear from you that you are with me in my desperation. To comfort me, you have to come close. Come sit beside me on my mourning bench (N. Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son).

We are writing a book on grief. If you are a publisher (not self publishing) and it you feel led by God, please contact us.!contact/cito

Our book Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It is about the trial of severe major depression and how our family coped with it continues to sell well, since 2005.

Steve Bloem,
Cofounder Heartfelt Counseling Ministries



Friday, September 27, 2013

Church Bombing-Largest attack on Pakistani Christians Ever.!

Heartfelt Counseling Ministries presents



VOM-USA Prayer Update for September 27, 2013
On Thu. Sep 26 2013 at 03:01 PM Moderator wrote: Pakistan--Suicide Bombers Kill 81 During
Worship Service
Sources: VOM Sources, CNN News
Isaiah 64:1-3

At least 81 people, including choir members and children attending Sunday
school, were killed on Sept. 22 in the suicide bombing of a church in
Peshawar, northwest Pakistan. VOM sources estimate that the final death
toll could be over 100, with well over 120 people injured. This is thought to
be the most deadly attack ever on Pakistani Christians. The suicide bombers
 entered the church compound through the main gate before detonating their
explosives near the worshipers. The attack has prompted significant public
 outcry and rioting in the streets. Most Muslim leaders are strongly condemning
 the attack, and the government is working to help victims.[/quote]Tanzania--Pastor Severely Burned in Acid Attack
Sources: VOM Sources, The Washington Post

A pastor in Zanzibar, Tanzania, has suffered severe burns after having
acid poured on him by one or more Muslims just outside an Internet café.
Pastor Anselm Mwang'amba, 61, received burns on his face, chest and
 arms. VOM sources report that although Mwang'amba cried out for help,
  the Muslim owners of the Internet café delayed bringing water to dilute
 the burning acid. Mwang'amba was taken to the Mnazi Mmoja Hospital
in Zanzibar, but church leaders are considering transferring him to a
hospital in Dar es Salaam to keep him farther away from his persecutors.
 Christian leaders have linked the attack to an Islamist group known as
 "Awakening," who are campaigning for Zanzibar's independence as
 an Islamic state.[/quote]Laos--Believers Persecuted by Family, Government and Community
Source: VOM Sources
1 Corinthians 15:54

Christians in Laos continue to face persecution from a variety of sources.

Nong Bon, a 14-year-old girl, was beaten by her parents for converting
to Christianity. After she refused their demands that she renounce
Christ, the family threatened to sell her into prostitution in the capital
city of Vientiane. Nong Bon fled her home before the family could
sell her, and she is now living with a Christian family in another village.
Elsewhere, a pastor named Asa was arrested and charged with
converting others to the Christian faith. VOM is supporting his
wife and four children. In other villages, Christian families have had
their crops destroyed and have been evicted from their homes. In some
nstances, the government has even loaded Christians into trucks, 
driven them miles away from their village and forced them to live
in areas with poor soil and no water.[/quote]Jordan--VOM Project

Pray for indigenous evangelists that VOM helps disciple and support.

These evangelists live in difficult, unreached areas where Christians
have been attacked and killed in recent years

Monday, September 16, 2013

ECT Good Morning America

This picture is from Google Images

Hello Readers,
There continues to be much misinformation about ECT which stands for Electro  Convulsive Therapy.  I have had it as an inpatient, outpatient and on a maintenance schedule as needed. It was a very effective treatment for me;  I have found it to begin to take effect after three treatments.
In two of the above cases I had about  14 treatments, each time.  I do not know how many maintenance treatments I had. I have provided the link below that was on Good Morning America's web site. When you open this link make sure that you scroll down until you see Medical Treatment Makes Shocking Comeback.

This tape is about three minutes. When you It first aired  on Good Morning America, August 30, 2013 copy right CBS.

Please also go to my blog,;postID=3357573875121056499;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=1;src=postname

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11, 2001, the day we lost Lindsay and Emily

Repost from 11/09/11

This poem was written by my wife, Robyn Bloem, in December of 2001, just a few months after our daughter, Lindsay, was killed on September 11, 2001. She was eight months pregnant with our first grand child, Emily Hope, who was also pronounced dead at the scene. Robyn and I were driving behind her when it happened and two of our sons were also with us. We firmly believe that it was no accident that Lindsay went to church that night to pray for the families of the victims of those dreadful terrorist attacks. She also wanted to pray for the first responders, our President and the terrified nation. She and Emily were brutally killed by a seventeen year old man who was returning from a cancelled rock concert that night; cancelled because of the terrorist attacks. On his way home from the cancelled show, he and his buddies were shooting up heroin as they drove. The police found open syringes in their car. A few months later, we finally were told the toxicology reports. When the examined blood results came back, it stirred this response by the head of the Michigan State Forensics Lab; This man had enough heroin, crack and marijuana in his blood stream to put down six men.
I believe Robyn's response in this poem is a testimony to the strong faith she has in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Something's happened in my heart
That words cannot describe;
Life on earth has changed for me
Since my precious ones have died.

The angels were attending,
Their wings were closed to wait;
The "accident" that took your lives,
We're left to contemplate.

Your purposes completed
"Early" seems so true-
For life is long and grief is ours
Continuing without you,

Plans for future, plans for us-
All stopped the day you slept,
Two little souls now rest in Christ;
We know His Word's been kept.

We, wet and somber clay,
This world does not entice.
Our happiness does not grow here
And grief is shared with Christ.

Meeting you again my Loves,
A day I think of often,
The curse so great and cumbersome.
Reunion thoughts do soften.

You both eternal rest enjoy,
Willing, loving servants;
Our prayers no longer needed
But our love is just as fervent.

The saints you've met we cannot know
Being so completely earthbound;
Consigned humanity we live
Traverse on curs-ed ground.

Soon, I pray, reunion's song
We'll sing with heaven's tune,
We'll cry no more for loved ones missed,
Nor visit grassy tombs.

For just a twinkling will you wait-
Without the fear and dread?
For then together raptured up,
The living and the dead.

O Come, O come, Emmanuel
With angels' wings extended,
The joy, reunion, no more strain;
Heart-gripping pain is ended.

We'll shout for joy as heaven claps
Eternity begins-
With tears of joy unspeakable
As He cups our weary chins.

Please look at reviews for our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You're Losing It.

Please scroll down for links to other blogs that talk about Lindsay and Emily Hope

Justice and Forgiveness

Imaginary Conversation with the Lord about the death of Lindsay and Emily

Lindsay, We Will See You by the River

Lindsay and Emily, A Great Loss but a Great Reunion

Are you a Christian who is suffering for God?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Nero's Persecution and Pray for brothers and sisters in Christ in China!


The First Persecution, Under Nero, A.D. 67

Fox's Book of Martyrs
The first persecution of the Church took place in the year 67, under Nero, the sixth emperor of Rome. This monarch reigned for the space of five years, with tolerable credit to himself, but then gave way to the greatest extravagancy of temper, and to the most atrocious barbarities. Among other diabolical whims, he ordered that the city of Rome should be set on fire, which order was executed by his officers, guards, and servants. While the imperial city was in flames,
he went up to the tower of Macaenas, played upon his harp, sung the song of the burning of Troy, and openly declared that 'he wished the ruin of all things before his death.' Besides the noble pile, called the Circus, many other palaces and houses were consumed; several thousands perished in the flames, were smothered in the smoke, or buried beneath the ruins. This dreadful conflagration continued nine days; when Nero, finding that his conduct was greatly blamed, and a severe odium cast upon him, determined to lay the whole upon the Christians, at once to excuse himself, and have an opportunity of glutting his sight with new cruelties. This was the occasion of the first persecution; and the barbarities exercised on the Christians were such as even excited the commiseration of the Romans themselves. Nero even refined upon cruelty, and contrived all manner of punishments for the Christians that the most infernal imagination could design. In particular, he had some sewed up in skins of wild beasts, and then worried by dogs until they expired; and others dressed in shirts made stiff with wax, fixed to axletrees, and set on fire in his gardens, in order to illuminate them. This persecution was general throughout the whole Roman Empire; but it rather increased than diminished the spirit of Christianity. In the course of it, St. Paul and St. Peter were martyred. To their names may be added, Erastus, chamberlain of Corinth; Aristarchus, the Macedonian, and Trophimus, an Ephesians, converted by St. Paul, and fellow-laborer with him, Joseph, commonly called Barnabas, and Ananias, bishop of Damascus; each of the Seventy.


I have noticed of late that this blog is being read by persons from China.  I want you to know that I pray for you often.  There are people who read this blog from all over the world, some live in countries in which the persecution is intense, others may be persecuted by being mocked, ostracized and/or losing their jobs.
You are a great example to us!  Remember that were ever you are, if you know Christ then you have access to the Father through the Son, being guided by the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,   through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand ; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.   And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:1-3).

Pray for China

China Aid learned from Brother Zhang of the China House Church Union, that brother Liang Zhongxin and sisters Liu Guilin, Yu Qingming, and Cao Ling were arrested by Xinjiang Region police on August 31, 2013. The house church members were arrested for organizing a Sunday school. As a result, their families are now in danger of being arrested as well. Brother Zhang reported that even the children of these four Christians were interrogated. Police have yet to release these Christians.  China Aid will continue to monitor and report the situation. We ask that the Christian community in China and the rest of the world lift up a prayer of safety for these brothers and sisters and their families.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pray for the Persecuted Church in Etritrea!

Eritrea (MNN/ODM) ― Eritrean authorities arrested 30 members of the Church of the Living God gathered for evening prayer on August 24.The Christians were located in the Kushet suburb of the capital Asmara. Their group includes 12 women. Sources with Open Doors USA say the Christians are being held at Police Station 5 in Asmara and are under pressure to recant their faith.
Since the beginning of the year, the religious atmosphere in Eritrea has deteriorated with authorities arresting at least 261 Christians.
Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have reported that the government of Eritrea continues to incarcerate prisoners under inhumane conditions.
Officials continue to deny access to organizations like The Red Cross to investigate the state of prisons.
"The Church in Eritrea is deeply saddened by the continued scrutiny and distrust from the government and highly appreciates the prayers of our brothers and sisters around the globe," commented an Open Doors source who remains anonymous for security reasons.
Eritrea is ranked 10th out of 50 countries for extreme persecution of Christians on Open Doors’ 2013 World Watch List. Evangelical churches in Eritrea were closed in 2002 after a government ban on religions other than Orthodox, Lutheran, Catholic and Islam.
Please pray for religious freedom in Eritrea and for the arrested Christians to be released.  From the Voice of Martyrs