Friday, August 29, 2014

Chrisian Leaders, Some killed, others spared.

Boko Haram militants attacked the village of Bargaram, Cameroon, on July 24, killing dozens, including Pastor Jean Marcel Kesvere. The militants kidnapped pastor Kesvere during the raid, and authorities discovered his body four days later in a rural area a few miles from the village. The pastor is survived by his wife and eight children. Boko Haram, an Islamic militant group, has displaced thousands of Nigerian Christians, many of whom have fled to refugee camps in nearby Cameroon.

"Ranjay" used to be a leader with a radical Hindu group, but is now an evangelist and shares the Gospel with many throughout India. Now RSS leaders in India want to see all Christians convert back to Hinduism or leave the country.
"Ranjay" was once an area leader for the Shiv Sena, a radical political group in India which, like the Hindu nationalist RSS group, seeks to establish India as an entirely Hindu country in which no other religious or political organization is welcome. Now, after receiving a New Testament, he is a dedicated follower and an evangelist who has used his own money to distribute 3,000 Gospel tracts and 1,700 New Testaments. He and other Christian leaders may face persecution in the months to come from members of the RSS. Speaking at an event on Aug. 10, RSS leader Mohan Bhagwat said, "The cultural identity of all Indians is Hindutva," a fundamentalist Hindu ideology that views all other religions as invalid. Two days later, an RSS coordinator in Uttar Pradesh told a local news agency that the group plans to use Dec. 25 to convert Christians to Hinduism and believes that the area will be entirely free of Christians and other minority religious groups within two to three years.




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Your Brain and Booze

Don't forget our seminar. Please go to our link

If you have worked in the field of treating mental illness then you probably already know that antidepressants, and mood stabilizers do not mix well with  alcohol or drugs. They also obscure the clinical picture.  I trust this blog will be helpful.

Your Brain on Booze
Another way of looking at the effects of alcohol is by examining the parts of your brain it suppresses as you progress from happy hour to party to after-party:
  • Frontal lobes: These parts of your brain, which “help you make decisions – good decisions – and control your urges,” become increasingly suppressed as you drink, White says. So after a few drinks, you might tell a co-worker how you really feel about him, or indulge in a midnight slice of pizza (or five). As you continue to drink, the effects may become more serious. “If you suppress [the frontal lobes] enough, then it becomes risky sex, jumping off a roof into a swimming pool and drinking more alcohol,” White says.
  • Amygdala: This part of the brain warns us of danger and makes us feel afraid, worried and anxious. “One of the reasons that people seem to like alcohol is that it takes the volume of the amygdala and cranks it down,” White says. He gives the example of planning to have only a drink or two, because you have class or work in the morning. “But then you have your two drinks, and you’re like, ‘Hey, I’m not so worried about work anymore,’” he says. The hushing of the amygdala turns more dangerous as people become really drunk; they can feel fearless as their abilities to make decisions and control impulses weaken.
  • Hippocampus: Here’s the part of your brain that makes memories. If you become really drunk really fast – say, with concentrated alcohol on an empty stomach – the alcohol can swamp the memory circuits before your brain has time to adjust. The result? A blackout, when the hippocampus is shut off or significantly suppressed. “In essence, you’re going through life, but it’s not being recorded, because those circuits have been knocked offline,” White says.
Kill switches  in the brain stem
These three parts of the brain become “seriously suppressed” at about .15 BAC, White says. Then, “death happens when areas of the brain stem deep down in the base of your skull get turned off.” These “kill switches” are the reflexes that control breathing, keep the heart beating and recognize when something is clogging the airway. White explains why alcohol is so deadly: “Even if you don’t get killed in an accident or hurt somebody, if you go too drunk, you can just drop dead.”

Warning Signs of an Overdose
While there may seem like relatively few steps between tipsy and totaled, there are often plenty of warning signs of danger along the way. Look out for these clues in yourself and among your friends:
  • Slurred speech, impaired balance and trouble focusing: At this point, someone is in the “danger zone,” White says. “If you can, cut them off, get them home and separate them from alcohol.” Monitor your friend for more severe signs, too, because you don’t know if his or her alcohol level is on its way up or down. White also says it's a "recipe for disaster" to continue drinking after vomiting, which is your body's way to reject a poison.
  • Vomiting, slowed or irregular breathing, trouble remaining conscious or bluish skin color: “Once you’ve gotten to these signs, you should really stop even considering how to help your friend and get help,” White says. Call 911.

Our  eight monthpregnant daughter Lindsay was hit head on by a man who was shooting up heroin and using crack,cocaine with friends in his car. She  died at the scene on September 11, 2001 in Grand Rapids, MI.  She was returning from a prayer vigil on.
Please don't drink or use drugs while driving. The car is one of the most awful weapons on the earth.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A plea from Steve Bloem for Christians to not take their own life.

From the Reformed Reader Blog

This is a repost by Steve Bloem of the Reformed Readers web site in light of the recent suicide of Robin Williams
Several weeks ago, Steve and Robyn Bloem were gracious enough to send me a copy of their book, Broken Minds: Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're "Losing It" (Kregel Publications, 2005). Shane has drawn attention to this book before.
I've been working my way through this book and was really struck by a list of reasons Steve gave to himself to convince himself not to commit suicide. This is a dark and difficult subject and is often not blogged about in polite company, but I was struck by how thoughtful and gripping this list was. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, perhaps this list might serve as a place to start when thinking of reasons to choose life:
  • It is a sin and would bring shame to Christ and His church.
  • It would please the Devil and would weaken greatly those who are trying to fight him.
  • It would devastate family members and friends, and you may be responsible for them following your example if they come up against intense suffering.
  • It may not work, and you could end up severely disabled but still trying to fight depression.
  • It is true - our God is a refuge, "and those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you" (Ps. 9:10). God, your Father, will deliver you through what you are facing. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1:10 that God "delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us."
  • Help is available. If you push hard enough, someone can assist you to find the help you need.
  • If you are unsaved, you will go to hell. This is not because of the act of suicide but because all who die apart from knowing Christ personally will face an eternity in a far worse situation than depression.
  • If you are a Christian, then Jesus Christ is interceding for you before the Father, that your faith will not fail. He shares your afflictions. Psalm 56:8 says, "Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in your book?"
  • God will keep you until you reach a day when your pain will truly be over. Wait for God's time for that, not your own. According to Revelation 7:17c, "God will wipe every tear from their eyes." After going through some awful things, Paul was still able to say, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Rom. 8:18).
Pgs. 59-60.
May God be pleased to strengthen his dear ones who are at the edge of despair and fighting the temptation to take that short-cut through suffering instead of waiting on God's timing (something easier said than done, and indeed, impossible to do in one's own strength). May his Holy Spirit indeed comfort them with that peace that passes understanding (Phil 4:7).
R. Andrew Compton
Christ Reformed Church (URCNA)
Anaheim, CA The End
If you would like to buy our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It, we are offering a signed copy for $10.00 + $3.00 shipping. If you bought ten copies the shipping would be about $6.00. The total for one copy from us would be $10.00 a copy + shipping and you don't pay the tax.. This is a good time. to buy it and give to a friend or read it yourself. I guarantee that if you read it prayerfully God will in some way bless you. You can read it with your Bible open. It is one of the first books where Christian authors, one,depressed and two, the Caregiver talk about how depression hit their family and how the grace of God comforted and healed them in a mighty way.
You can order it in two ways. 1. Go to . Just follow the prompts and put the amount of money per copy you order. We will get your shipping information off the Pay Pal. 2. You can send us a check for the amount using as a guide the top of this page. If your mailing address is not on the check, please fill out our Contact us form with the information. You can send the check. Our address is Heartfelt Counseling Ministries, 4371 North Lake Drive,

Saturday, August 16, 2014

I had a plan for suicide; Depression runs in the family.

Because of stigma, most obituaries do not mention the word suicide. It seems to me the most common label used in obituaries is "died unexpectedly," or “died suddenly."  Recently the suicide of Robin Williams has shocked the world and left many to wonder "How could he do such a thing?"
One answer is that he is part of a statistic.  Fifteen percent of people who suffer from depression successfully kill themselves.  But Robin Williams' suicide took that wooden statistic and made it 3 dimensional to millions across the world.

My sister, Cyndi, had read the book that my wife Robyn and I wrote. It is called
Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. The largest chapter in our book deals with suicide. She ordered about 20 copies of our book to give away. She was proud of us for getting my depression out in the open. Cindy had bi-polar disorder and for years Robyn and I
 (and our kids) tried to snatch her from the dark clutches of mental illness. She lived in Florida and we lived in Michigan.

Vain regrets
I am a pastor and a mental health clinician but she hid her dark thoughts from me. Cyndi visited my parents in Michigan a month before she shot herself and we spent time with her. While she was with my parents and us, she put her fingers up to her head in the shape of a gun and pulled the trigger.
I asked her not to do that but did not probe further. I wish I had done so. Survivor's guilt is a common thing when someone close to you commits suicide. Two days before the act I had called her and talked to her about some problems that she was having with her children. She made a veiled comment about "taking less responsibility" in regard to her children. I mentioned it to my mother, but neither she nor I thought it warranted a response. I regret this. Some people have wondered why I could not stop her. I don't have the answer to that question.
But the real culprit is the disease, itself. I will repeat the statistic: fifteen percent of those who have major depression successfully end their own lives. The best answer to suicide is early detection and crisis intervention. The church of Jesus Christ must talk more about the subject of suicide.

The Perfect Storm
A suicide is like a perfect storm. Cyndi used hollow point bullets and had checked the internet about how to commit suicide without maiming herself. There are many web sites today that press others in chat rooms to actually end their lives. Stresses in the environment, alcohol and drug abuse as well as the biology of mental illness all intersect to set the stage for suicide.

I have had depression for almost thirty years. Suicide is a great temptation for me when I am in an episode of depression. It is because I want to move away from the horrible brain storm that is in my head. Robyn and I are dedicated to help those who are in the throes of mental illness.

I encourage you to get our book and read it. As I said, our largest chapter is on suicide. If you would like to help our ministry,  you can purchase our book. You can contact me confidentially through our website. It is!contact/cito.  We are upgrading our pay-pal at this time but if you give any gift to our ministry, you may receive a copy of Broken Minds. You can also pay by check made payable to Steve Bloem and sent it to:
Heartfelt Counseling Ministries
4371 Northlake Blvd, Suite 256
Palm Beach Gardens, FL

If you would like to read reviews of Broken Minds, just  do a google search on "bloem, broken minds."Thanks and remember there is hope and help for your depression. Don't give up-we will help you"!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Suicide in the church.


Copy right all rights reserved, 2014 by Rev. Steve Bloem B.A. M.M.
I am starting a series of repost on suicides because of the recent suicide of the famous American actor Robyn Williams.   I will post them sometime every day and sometime every other day. This is a good time to use our comments section if you have something to say about suicide or if you have questions.  If you have questions of a more personal nature,  please go to our website!contact/cito

Statistics on suicide tell the story. Fifteen percent of persons with a depressive disorder will successfully commit suicide. It is hard to understand how a person can ‘out of the blue’ begin to have intense thoughts of taking his/her own life. However, if you have been seriously depressed you can empathize with those who are stepping near the threshold of eternity.

“Just say no” will not work when you are dealing with suicide.
The nature of the disease and the devil himself, prove formidable obstacles to cause a person with severe depression and other symptoms to keep living.

Suicide, the elephant in the room
Suicide is the subject and the death that very few talk about. It happens all the time. If you don’t believe that, just look at the statistics for this last decade. It is not getting any better; in fact, it is getting worse.

Pastors should be trained in suicide assessment
Yes, we know that The battle belongs to the LORD. However, this does not mean that churches should just “let go and let God” when its members come up against suicide. In your church, you should have a Suicide Hot Line. The pastors should be trained in suicide awareness and stop gap interventions. The devil is a very intelligent being. He knows more Scripture than we do. He takes advantage of the hopelessness and horrible psychic pain of depression. Suicide leaves in its wake, children who will practice it like the parents who model it. Most people don’t commit suicide the first time they try it. Each time a person attempts suicide, it weakens his/her resolve to live.

Suicide Acrostic All rights reserved, CAMI 2007

Severe depressive symptoms must be relieved.

Unconditional Love should be shown to the suicidal person.

Interventions are in order, such as, obtaining lethal means of suicidal people, implementing a more detailed treatment plan if necessary, which includes such things as getting them effective medications or possibly ECT, (electro-convulsive therapy.)

Cries for help should be attended to -- not ignored. These cries may
be verbal or could be actions that a suicidal person takes to be noticed.

Intoxication of drugs and alcohol impairs judgment and loosens
inhibitions which make it easier for the suicidal person to take his/her life.

Deliberate planning by a person contemplating suicide should be identified
and sometimes psychiatric hospitalization is required.

Exhortation needs to be done by a fellow believer urging the suicidal person not to buy into demonic deception or submit to the devil who appears as a roaring lion.

Bloem, Steve and Robyn, CAMI (Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness) Leaders Guide

Stay tuned for blogs on this subject.

 You do not have to go it alone if you are a loved one is suffering from mental illness. We provide a safe environment for you. We Study the CAMI support group material, we get real with one another and we have been there ourselves. We get it! We don’t blame or shame the victims and we consider it a privilege to be called to this ministry. Come join us every Thursday night from 7:00 - 8:15, every Thursday night at Boca Glades Baptist Church, 10101 Judge Winikoff Road,Boca Raton, Florida, 333428. If you have questions call our office at 561-909-9109.
CAMI is a ministry of Heartfelt Counseling. The groups are led by Steve and Robyn Bloem. They are the co-founders of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries and published authors and are available for seminars and speaking engagement.
Have you read our book? The largest chapter is on suicide.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Depression or Brainstorm

Depression - We know that not all depression is of biological origin. William Styron felt that using the word depression for a biological (clinical) depression is a misnomer. He says, "As one who has suffered from the malady in extremis yet returned to tell the tale, I would lobby for a truly arresting designation. 'Brainstorm,' for instance, has unfortunately been preempted to describe, somewhat jocularly, intellectual inspiration. But something along these lines is needed. Told that someones mood disorder has evolved into a storm--a veritable howling tempest in the brain, which is indeed what a clinical depression resembles like nothing else--even the uninformed layman might display sympathy rather than the standard reaction that "depression" evokes, something akin to,
 "So what?" or "You'll pull out of it?" or "We all have bad days." The 'phrase nervous breakdown' seems to be on its way out, certainly deservedly so, owing to its insinuation of a vague spinelessness, but we still seem destined to be saddled with "depression" until a better, sturdier name is created." (Darkness Visible A Memoir of Madness), Styron, William. { Random House: New York} pp 37, 38

I think that we who have been and/or are depressed should begin to try to use more descriptive words for mental illness or depression.  And some tips for those who have never been depressed, please let go of the old cliches and  non-validating comments like:
"So, do you think a magic pill will help?"
"This too shall pass."
Some other ludicrous statements should also be abandoned:
"So, are you are having emotional problems?"
"It's your own fault that you are feeling this way."
"Get a hold of yourself."
"I have never been depressed a day in my life."

How about becoming a member of this blog? The Bible says that we should encourage one another and build one another up.

Do you have a brief saying that someone said to you about your mental illness that really made things worse for you? Please use our comment segment at the end of the blog.
So far I have had 47,000 hits on my blog.  Half of those who visit are not from the United States. If you are from another country besides  the United States and are experiencing persecution and you would like prayer, please to our web site and use the contact us form to give a confidential, not to be shared with anyone but Robyn and me and we will pray for you.!contact/cito

For a signed copy call us or use the above contact us form.

You can find out more about depression and mental illness in Steve and Robyn Bloem's Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. (c. 2005), Kregel Publications.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Biblical Helps for the Persecuted, Thomas Manton


The renowned Thomas Manton (1620-1677), whose writings have long been prized by thousands, was known first and foremost as a great preacher. In a day when good preaching is sorely lacking, we need the reprint of his Complete Works, in which twenty of his twenty-two volumes are sermons. These sermons are the legacy of a powerful preacher devoted to the systematic teaching and application of God's Word. Whether he is expounding the Lord's Prayer, Psalm 119, Isaiah 53, James, or Jude, Manton presents us with the best that English Puritans had to offer in careful, solid, warmhearted exposition of the Scriptures." - Dr. Joel R. Beeke

If you would like to read sermons by Manton and other Puritans which are free of cost, go

Have you heard about Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Llike You're Losing It?

Robyn and I have written a book Broken Minds. One of the appendices is a sermon preached by Thomas Manton. It is very encouraging.  He believed in  a biologicl mental illness. to

MANTON --It giveth us confidence in the power of God. He which made us out of nothing is able to keep, preserve, and supply us when all things fail, and in the midst of all dangers. Saints are able to make use of this common relation. And therefore it is said, 1 Pet. iv. 19, that we should ‘commit our souls unto him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator.’ The apostle speaks of such times when they carried their lives in their hands from day to day. They did not know how soon they should be haled before tribunals and cast into prisons. Remember, you have a Creator, which made you out of nothing; and he can keep and preserve life when you have nothing. Thus this common relation is not to be forgotten, as he gives us our outward life and being: Ps. cxxiv

 Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.’ As if the psalmist had said, as long as I see these glorious monuments of his power, these things framed out of nothing, shall I distrust God, whatever exigence or strait I may be reduced to? Thomas Manton Volume 1   

The Apostle Paul said,I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons, as also the high priest and all the Council of the elders can testify. From them I also received letters to the brethren, and started off for Damascus in order to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem as prisoners to be punished. "But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?'"And I answered, 'Who are You, Lord ?' And He said to me, 'I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.'Acts 22:4-8

From the above text of Scripture we see that when the ungodly persecute the true disciples of Jesus Christ, they are actually persecuting the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. It is true that He is the resurrected exalted Christ whose deity cannot be diminished and He is also is forever the God/Man and the Head of the church. Note the text, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting." Could they in any way lay a hand on the Ascended Christ? Could they smite him with rods as they once did? The answer is no, but to malign and crush His people is to by association persecute him.
Persecuted Christian, think about this when the devil roars like a Lion and seeks to do away with you. For news about prisoners who are suffering for the Lord Jesus Christ around the worldl, go to:

Monday, August 4, 2014





Patients in steam cabinets, c 1910.

American Psychiatric Association Archives

If the word "hydrotherapy" conjures up images of Hollywood stars lazily soaking in rich, scented baths, then you probably weren't an early 20th-century mental patient. Building off the idea that a dip in the water is often calming, psychiatrists of yore attempted to remedy various symptoms with corresponding liquid treatments. For instance, hyperactive patients got warm, tiring baths, while lethargic patients received stimulating sprays. Some doctors, however, got a bit too zealous about the idea, prescribing therapies that sounded more like punishment than panacea. One treatment involved mummifying the patient in towels soaked in ice-cold water. Another required the patient to remain continuously submerged in a bath for hours or even days—which might not sound so bad, except they were strapped in and only allowed out to use the restroom. Finally, some doctors ordered the use of high-pressure jets. Sources indicate that at least one patient was strapped to the wall in the crucifixion position (never a good sign) and blasted with water from a fire hose. Like many extreme treatments, hydrotherapy was eventually replaced with psychiatric drugs, which tended to be more effective "¦ and more pleasant.

If you would like to read more about old fashioned treatments for the mentally ill, go to

Our Seminar

Event: Whispers in the foyer... an Honest Look at the Christian and Mental Illness.
Date: Saturday October 18, 2014.
Solid Rock Bible Church
670 Church St,
Plymouth Township, MI 48170

Time: Registration 9:30 am
Seminar:10:00 am-4:00 pm
One hour lunch 12:00- 1:00
Cost: $60.00 per person.

This includes seminar notes and one copy of
Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It.
Couples Rate: $90.00 which includes one book and two sets of notes.
Send a check to Heartfelt Counseling Ministries for all those you would like to register.
Heartfelt Counseling Ministries
4371 Northlake Blvd. Suite 256
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410.
For credit card please contact us by phone, l 561.909.9109.
We hope to see you soon,
Group/Student rates are also available.
At this time we are renovating our pay pal system but it should be up
and running in the next week.