Sunday, March 30, 2014

How do I comfort a friend whose child has died?


 


I just got an email from your friend, Val and she told me that you just lost your precious son. I am so very sorry, Mary. Val and I have become friends over the past 12 years as she has become a woman and mom; I initially knew her as a teenager when she and our kids were in high school together. She was friends with our daughter who was killed in 2001. Val has faithfully “been there” and loved me as I have grieved these years. I am so glad you have her in your life.

I know there are really no words that can do anything at this point, but I can tell you, you will make it. You may not always even WANT to, but the raw, torturous pain WILL lessen. I know the horror that comes over you when you open your eyes in the morning and realize it is not just a bad dream. I know the effort everything has become and will be for a while.
Someone told me “When we bury our parents, we lose the past, when we bury our spouse, we lose the present, but when we bury a child, we lose the future.” I know this is not how it is supposed to be; we are supposed to outlive our children and all the times we protect our kids when they are little and hover over them to make sure they are all right-then they become adults and die. It isn’t fair, it isn’t right, it isn’t normal.
 
I have found comfort, (the only true comfort I really have) is that there is a future, an eternity where all things will be made right.  You know now that a person doesn’t die of a broken heart. It feels like you should; I thought certainly the pain would kill me, but it didn’t. I survived. Your friends will want to help and they won’t know what to do. Let them in. Let the ones who you love come alongside of you and be there with you in the midst of your sorrow and grief. I used to think, “Why should I answer the phone? There is nothing anyone could say to me unless they are calling to tell me it was all a mistake and Lindsay is actually sitting in the driveway. So why should I talk to anyone?”
 
 But I had one friend who persevered with me and kept calling and telling me she loved me and would bring me flowers with another bouquet for Lindsay's grave. So, how would I know I wanted that or needed that? I didn’t, but she did and she always helped me just being with her. So, I guess I would say not to isolate yourself even though you feel like it. I really don’t know if anything I have said has even made sense. You are right in the thick of it and everything seems blurry and nonsensical, I am sure. Just know you are loved by your friends and family and you will make it. You will even be stronger and better in the long run, but it will take a while.

Again, I am very, very sorry. I will be praying for you and if there is a time you would like to talk or ANYTHING, you can tell Val and I would be glad to. My husband and I have a ministry now where we help people with depression, bipolar, etc., and also with bereavement issues from loss of a child, especially. May God help you and give you strength to go on. My deepest care and sincerest love, Robyn Bloem
 
 

Robyn and Steve are writing a book at this time about God's grace that helped them when they lost their child.  Robyn is the cofounder of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries and is a biblical life coach. If you  are a publisher or know one who might be interested in us (no self publishing please), please give them our website, heartfeltmin.org . SB
 
If you want to know more about their book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You
Feel Like You're Losing It, please visit,

 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Nehemiah, Ten Attributes of a good leader, part 2













6, He was a man who sparked great opposition to the work of God in his times and successfully resisted his opponents.
The source of this opposition was demonic.  You can see the intensity of this opposition through the book of Nehemiah.  Nehemiah 4:1-2 – “When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall; he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, what are those feeble Jews doing?  Will they restore their wall?  Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day?  Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble--burned as they are?"


7. He was a man of courage, he defended the poor and afflicted, and was a righteous governor who had a heart of compassion for the people of God
“Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers. For there were those who said, we, our sons and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain that we may eat and live." There were others who said, we are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our houses that we might get grain because of the famine. Also there were those who said, "We have borrowed money for the king's tax on our fields and our vineyards. "Now our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. Yet behold, we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters are forced into bondage already, and we are helpless because our fields and vineyards belong to others. “Then I was very angry when I had heard their outcry and these words. I consulted with myself and contended with the nobles and the rulers and said to them, "You’re exacting usury, each from his brother! Therefore, I held a great assembly against them (Nehemiah 5:1-7).”

8. He was a man of good reputation. Nehemiah 6:11-13- “But I said, "Should a man like me run away?  Or should one like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!  I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.  He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.  Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophetess, and the rest of the prophets who were trying to frighten me.
9. He was a man who loved God and made sure that the priests and Levites were able to teach the people. 
 Nehemiah 8:1-3… “All the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded for Israel.  So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”

10. He was a man of the people, a servant leader.  We see this throughout the book of Nehemiah.
Then Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.  For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law. “Then he said to them, "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved. All the people went away to eat, to drink, to send portions and to celebrate a great festival, because they understood the words which had been made known to them” (Nehemiah 8:9-12).”

 

 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How would you feel if your teenage boy or girl were persecuted and killed?


Helping the Persecuted Church


From the Voice of Martyrs

Twenty nine teenagers killed in attack by the Boko Haram
Five Christian students were among those killed in a Feb. 26 Boko Haram attack on a boarding school in Yobe state. At least 29 students, all teenage boys, were killed in the overnight attack. Before carrying out the deadly attack, the Islamists rounded up the female students and told them to go home to their families, get married and stop their school studies. They then began hurling explosives and spraying gunfire into the student dorms where students were sleeping. According to VOM contacts, at least 23 homes and other properties were burned during the attack.
Nigeria: Girls Flee Boko Haram   
Many have been killed or kidnapped by Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group, but six girls who managed to escape their brutality are now living in Christian centers, where they are putting the pieces of their lives back together.

The girls—Anna, Hajja and four others—were kidnapped in separate attacks.
Hajja was held for three months, while others were held for several days.
On May 15, 2013, Anna boarded a bus in Maiduguri, Borno state, along with five other passengers. When they reached their destination, they were attacked by Boko Haram as they got off the bus. Anna watched as the militants killed the other five passengers, all men. The lone survivor, she was taken to the Boko Haram camp as their hostage.


While in captivity, she saw more than 50 others killed by the militants.
Those brought into the camp were quickly identified as either Christian or Muslim by their ID cards. The Christians were immediately executed, and the Muslims who refused to join the Boko Haram were also killed. On May 26, Anna was told by one of her captors to be ready to convert or face death the next morning. That same day, one of the hostages tried to flee in an unoccupied vehicle. As he started to drive away, others, including Anna, ran to get into the vehicle. Only Anna and another young man made a successful escape, finally walking a distance of more than 160 miles to safety.


Another abductee, Hajja, was held captive for three months after being abducted in July 2013. One of the Boko Haram members planned to marry the young girl, but they still beat her mercilessly, demanding that she convert to Islam and wear a hijab. After finally managing to escape, Hajja was taken in by a Christian center, where her hope is gradually being restored. The home of the girl’s parents was burned by Boko Haram during an attack on their village shortly after the girl’s escape.
Like Anna and Hajja, the other four girls were abused and told that they must convert or face death. All of them were terrorized by Boko Haram as they watched loved ones and others die around them. Three of them, including two young sisters, were forced to marry their captors.
Each of the six girls managed to escape, and because their villages and homes have been destroyed and their families displaced, they are living in Christian centers supported by VOM. They are all reportedly in good physical health and are also very happy to have hope for a future.
Posted: March 20, 2014 persecution.org

One facet of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries is to help the persecuted church.  Why is it included in our mission statement?  It is because these people have a serious affliction of mind, mood and body. They don't really have an advocate. Hebrews 13:3 states, " Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body."  (NASB)
We know that God uses the part of His flock which are not being persecuted to help those who are. SB
If you wish to donate to HFCM please go to our website


 http://www.heartfeltmin.org/#!donations/c1mb0


If you need counseling please go to the website above, leave a message and we will get back to you.











If you want to read more about our book, Broken Minds, please go to:  http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Minds-Healing-Youre-Losing-ebook/dp/B004EPYNLE/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=















Saturday, March 22, 2014

Do you know a person who suffers from schizophrenia? This is part 2 of a series.


Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three broad categories: positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms.


Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors not seen in healthy people. People with positive symptoms often "lose touch"with reality. These symptoms can come and go. Sometimes they are severe and at other times hardly noticeable, depending on whether the individual is receiving treatment.


They include the following:
Hallucinations are things a person sees, hears, smells, or feels that no one else can see, hear, smell, or feel. "Voices" are the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia. Many people with the disorder hear voices. The voices may talk to the person about his or her behavior, order the person to do things, or warn the person of danger. Sometimes the voices talk to each other. People with schizophrenia may hear voices for a long time before family and friends notice the problem.
Other types of hallucinations include seeing people or objects that are not there, smelling odors that no one else detects, and feeling things like invisible fingers touching their bodies when no one is near.


Delusions are false beliefs that are not part of the person's culture and do not change.


The person believes delusions even after other people prove that the beliefs are not true or logical. People with schizophrenia can have delusions that seem bizarre, such as believing that neighbors can control their behavior with magnetic waves. They may also believe that people on television are directing special messages to them, or that radio stations are broadcasting their thoughts aloud to others. Sometimes they believe they are someone else, such as a famous historical figure. They may have paranoid delusions and believe that others are trying to harm them, such as by cheating, harassing, poisoning, spying on, or plotting against them or the people they care about. These beliefs are called "delusions of persecution."


Thought disorders are unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking.
One form of thought disorder is called "disorganized thinking."
This is when a person has trouble organizing his or her thoughts or connecting them logically. They may talk in a garbled way that is hard to understand. Another form is called "thought blocking." This is when a person stops speaking abruptly in the middle of a thought. When asked why he or she stopped talking, the person may say that it felt as if the thought had been taken out of his or her head. Finally, a person with a thought disorder might make up meaningless words, or "neologisms."


Movement disorders may appear as agitated body movements.
A person with a movement disorder may repeat certain motions over and over. In the other extreme, a person may become catatonic. Catatonia is a state in which a person does not move and does not respond to others. Catatonia is rare today, but it was more common when treatment for schizophrenia was not available.


Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors. These symptoms are harder to recognize as part of the disorder and can be mistaken for depression or other conditions. These symptoms include the following:

  • "Flat affect" (a person's face does not move or he or she talks in a dull or monotonous voice)
  • Lack of pleasure in everyday life
  • Lack of ability to begin and sustain planned activities
  • Speaking little, even when forced to interact.
People with negative symptoms need help with everyday tasks.
They often neglect basic personal hygiene. This may make them seem lazy or unwilling to help themselves, but the problems are symptoms caused by the schizophrenia.


Cognitive symptoms are subtle.
Like negative symptoms, cognitive symptoms may be difficult to recognize as part of the disorder. Often, they are detected only when other tests are performed. Cognitive symptoms include the following:
  • Poor "executive functioning" (the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions)
  • Trouble focusing or paying attention
  • Problems with "working memory" (the ability to use information immediately after learning it)..
Cognitive symptoms often make it hard to lead a normal life and earn a living. They can cause great emotional distress.

Steve Bloem was a clinical case manager  for those who  had a severe and persistent mental illness.   He did this for ten years. He also developed a unique way of evangelism with those who suffered from schizophrenia as well as those with bipolar disorder. . He  is a DBT, therapist and studied under Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington.
Steve does phone counseling, Skype counseling and if you live in Palm Beach County he does counseling in the flesh.  Please go to the following link and let us know what kind of counseling you would like. We are a non-profit organization with the IRS and we counsel on  a sliding scale.   http://www.heartfeltmin.org/#!contact/cito




You  can get a biblical, technical and personal account of mental illness in our book, Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. You can see reviews by going to http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Minds-Healing-Youre-Losing/dp/0825421187 .










http://sbloemreflections.blogspot.com/2013/08/study-links-schizophrenia-symptoms-to.html

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spurgeon on melancholy






Verily, there are many causes for melancholy. Some have their spirit pitched upon a low key constitutionally—their music may never reach the highest notes till they are taught to sing the new song in another world. The windows of their house are very narrow and do not open towards Jerusalem but towards the desert. Something is wrong with their bodily frame—the tacklings are loosed, they cannot strengthen the mast—and the vessel labors terribly. When there is a leak in the vessel, it is little wonder that the waters come in even unto the soul. With other mournful ones depression began through a great trial. As we have heard of some that their hair turned gray in a single night through grief, so doubtless many souls have aged into sorrow in a single trying hour. One blow has bruised the lily's stalk and made it wither. One touch of a rude hand has broken the crystal vase. Suns have been shaded in the midst of the brightest summer days and a morning of delight has been followed by an evening of lamentation. In some cases, God knows how many a secret sin, unconfessed to the Father, has festered into misery


"The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can bear?" I have also known an unwise ministry add to the sorrower's woe.  A legal ministry will do it and so, also, will that teaching which bids men look within for comfort—and sets up one uniform experience as the standard for all the people of God.
The causes are various but the case is always painful. O you who are walking in the light, deal gently with your Brothers and Sisters whose bones are broken, for you may also suffer from the same! Lay yourselves out to comfort the Lord's mourners. They are not good company and they are very apt to make you unhappy as well as themselves, but for all that, be very tender towards them, for the Lord Jesus would have you so. Remember what woes Ezekiel pronounces upon the strong who roughly push the weaker sort. God is very jealous over His little children, and if the more vigorous members of the family are not kind to them, He may take away their strength and make them, even, to envy the little ones whom once they despised.
You can never err in being tender to the downcast. Lay yourself out as much as may be in you to bind up the brokenhearted and cheer the faint—and you will be blessed in the deed. When the natural spirits sink in those men who have no God to go to, their depression takes its own particular shape


If a man is a Christian, it is very natural that his troubles should assume a spiritual form. The only shades which can effectually darken his day are those which arise from sacred things. The fears which haunt him are not fears about his daily bread, but fears about the Bread of Life and fears as to his entrance into the Eternal Kingdom. The disease, from the physical side, is at bottom probably the same in the Christian as in the ungodly man, but, as his main thoughts are set upon Divine things, he, in his depression, naturally dwells most upon his soul's affairs.

At such times the spiritually afflicted are filled with horrible apprehensions. What, let me ask you, is the most horrible apprehension that a Christian man can have? Is it not that of the text, I am cut off from before Your eyes? Nothing distresses a Christian so much as the fear of being a castaway of God. You shall find no real Christian in despair because he is becoming poor. You shall not find him utterly cast down because worldly comforts are taken away. But let his Lord hide His face and he is troubled. Let him doubt his sonship and he is overwhelmed. Let him question his interest in Christ and his joy has fled. Let him fear that the life of God never was in his soul and you shall hear him mourn like a dove.

How can he live without his God? Yet this bitter sorrow has been endured by not a few of the best of men. If it could be said that only those Christians who walk at a distance from Christ, or those who are inconsistent in life, or those who are but little in prayer have felt in this way, then, indeed, there would be cause for the gravest disquietude. But it is a matter off act that some of the choicest spirits among the Lord's elect have passed through the Valley of Humiliation and even sojourned there by the months together. Saints who are now among the brightest in Heaven, have yet, in their day, sat weeping at the gates of despair and asked for the crumbs which the dogs eat under the Master's table.

Read the life of Martin Luther. You would suppose, from what is commonly known of the brave Reformer, that he was a man of iron, immovable and invulnerable. So he was when he had to fight his Master's battles against Rome. But at home, on his bed, and in his quiet chamber, he was frequently the subject of spiritual conflicts—such as few have ever known! He had so much joy in believing that at times he was carried away with a tumult of boisterous exultation. But on other occasions he sank to the very deeps and was hard put to it to bear up at all. And that happened, too, even in his last moments, so that the worst battle of his life was fought upon that mysterious country which stretches towards the gates of the City Celestial .



In our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing It Robyn and I write about the author of this blog.    His name is Charles Spurgeon. He has been said to be one of the greatest preachers that ever lived. He preaches  that we should saw kindness to those who are depressed. His depression was so  bad that he had to leave his pulpit for sixth months a year a go to the sunny, Menton, France. We believe he had a severe case of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

You can get a personal, biblical and clinical treatment of depression and mental illness in Broken Minds.  If you would like to support our ministry, you can have a signed copy of it for $15.00 or more.


http://www.heartfeltmin.org/#!donations/c1mb0 



Steve and Robyn Bloem.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Lindsay and Emily, Is there a right way to grieve?

Grand Rapids, MI, the place of our daughter's grave.

I did not frequent the grave site of my daughter Lindsay and my grand-daughter, Emily Hope as much as I did the first and second year of her death. My wife, Robyn every Easter faithfully goes there to remember the promise of our Lord, found in John 6:40, "For this is the will of My Father that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."

People vary in how often they go to grave after there loved one dies. There is certainly no biblical mandate for how often it should be done.   My visits are usually not planned. And so it was with this visit. I happened to be going by the cemetery and decided that I would visit the grave site. When I go to the cemetery, I begin to cry almost immediately. I still remember the day when our precious daughter and her daughter in her arms were lowered into the grave. My grief on that day cannot be described.
Eight years later, as I looked upon the grave stone with both Lindsay’s and Emily’s picture on it, I was strongly impressed with the Scripture of an angel at the empty tomb of Christ saying, to the women who stood by , "Why do you seek the living One among the dead” (Luke 24:5 NASB)?

The angel was speaking to them of a Christ that is raised. But I knew that all who are in Christ are living for Him, whether they are on Earth or Heaven. This is way we put on the grave stone, safe in the harbor, to be with Christ, which is far better.

In Florida

It has been about twelve years and six months since Lindsay's body along with Emily Hope was lowered into the grave. Robyn and I have moved to Florida, away from the grave site a couple of years ago.We can only now visit the grave when we are in Michigan. Our belief in the Bible and the resurrection have not changed. And if you are alive and reading this blog it is not to late. You can be saved from your sins.  Christ can redeem you from an eternal hell. He shed His blood for your sins, the Just for the unjust. If you have faith in the Lord Jesus, you then will have a place in eternity forever. If you are a skeptic,  listen carefully to the words of Peter, an apostle of Christ.

"For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased, and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God ( 2 Peter 1:16-21, NASB)." Let me know if you have made your decision to be saved after reading this blog.

For the born again believer in Christ 

Beloved Christian, no matter how great your sorrow is, God someday will cause it to cease. It is not wrong to visit a grave and to grieve. But we must as Paul told Timothy; "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel" (2 Timothy 2:8, NASB).

Would you like to be part of a Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness on line support group then please go to our website heartfeltmin.org and write something on the contact us page.  You can also call Heartfelt Counseling Ministries at 561-909-9109.
Would you like to read some reviews about our book Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It?  Here is a link http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Minds-Healing-Youre-Losing/dp/0825421187. Would you like one of our new free brochures?Please go to our web site and request one on the contact us page. You need to give your address.    http://heartfeltmin.org/  

Monday, March 10, 2014

Leadership Principles from Nehemiah, Part 1


Copyrighted, All rights reserved, Steve Bloem 2014
























Nehemiah was a leader who God had called to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The walls under his leadership were rebuilt in the year 445 B.C. It took fifty two days for the remnant to rebuild them. The walls had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in about 586 B.C. He had also destroyed Solomon’s temple at that time.  These events occurred because Israel and later Judah had failed to keep the stipulations of the Mosaic Covenant, which are in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 27-30.  The prophets had repeatedly urged them to repent of their sin, but they would not do so.


I have listed ten characteristics of Nehemiah which help us understand why he was such a good leader.

  1. He was a man of compassion which flowed from his knowledge of God.
Hananione of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.  They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire. When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:2-4."

Principle – You cannot serve God unless you know Him personally and as a result are compassionate. Our Lord Jesus said, "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent, John 17:3, NIV. Jesus is our great example of compassion.

  1. He was a man who believed the word of God Nehemiah 1:8-11
"Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name. They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand Oh Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man." I was cup bearer to the king"(NASB).

Principle -Nehemiah believed God's word was to be trusted. He was able to discern God's timing and he prayed, depending on the promises of God.



  1. He was a man who was big enough to admit that he was afraid.
In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before; so the king asked me, "Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.I was very much afraid."

Principle -God uses weak men to do His work so that He alone will get the glory, 
Nehemiah 2:1-2 (NASB).


  1.  He was a man of prayer - He spent prolonged times in prayer and he also lived in an attitude of prayer.
The king said to me, "What is it you want? Then I prayed to the God of heaven,  and I answered the king, If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it,Nehemiah 2:4,5 NASB.

Principle - Pray without ceasingBelievers as the true sons of God have freedom and boldness when praying to God. Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:18.


5, He was a man who as a leader had a Biblical cause and was able to get others to own that cause.   
Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work.  But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and the Arab  Geshem  heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. "What is this you are doing? they asked. Are you rebelling against the king? Answered them by saying, The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it," Nehemiah 2:11-20 (NASB ).

Principle - Leaders usually have the gift of exhortation and  are able by the Holy Spirit and the word to convey God's plan to His people.

Did you know that Steve Bloem is a Counselor who sees children and adults. He does so by phone, Skype and of course person to person.
Call us at 616.427.0775.


The Bloem's best selling book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It.  Please visit http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Minds-Healing-Youre-Losing/dp/0825421187 .

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Persecution in the Middle East Hits minority Christians!!!



The situation of Middle East Christians is deteriorating to such an extent that they face existential threat and are forced to flee their homeland Mesopotamia, which is the Cradle of Civilization and Christianity.
Revolting is that human tragedy is happening in the 21st century. It goes almost unremarked, as it is not covered by international media. And international governments remain particularly silent and inactive.
It goes without saying the Christians, by their very nature and faith, condemn all conflicts, wars and killing of any single human being whatever its origin and beliefs.
Like in any conflict or war, the minorities suffer the most and do not benefit from any protection.
This is especially true in countries where minorities are not considered as full citizens and are not politically represented.
Even more dramatic is that the minorities and especially the Christians living in Middle East, although being indigenous people of Mesopotamia, are treated as foreigners.
The recent and majors attacks in Syria and Iraq should take away any doubt about the horror and terror lived by all Christians and other minorities in Middle East. This is happening systematically since 2003 in Iraq and since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in March 2011.
In Egypt, the situation is similar and has only become worse since Egypt’s popular revolution which overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. In the past three years, more Christians were killed in Egypt – for the only reason that they were Christians – than in the last 20 years.
The current report focuses on the situation in Iraq and Syria where Christians, mainly Assyro-Arameans, represent smaller percentage of the population compared to Egypt’s Copts. In Iraq and Syria, Christianity could become extinct in the next few years if nothing is done very urgently.
It should be emphasized that the Christians are not begging for financial help or charity even if they need it due to the circumstances; they are not fleeing their homeland for economic reasons but only to save their lives and those of their relatives!
The Christians would rather prefer to stay in their homeland Mesopotamia where they live for many millennia; they therefore request to live safely, freely and in peace and be treated as full citizens in their respective countries. They request the Middle East governments to protect them and allow them to contribute in building a multicultural and secular state and taking part in all societal activities and responsibilities as well as in the public administration.
Since a decade we see the same patterns of atrocities of the 1915 genocide taking place again in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Iran, and probably soon in Lebanon and elsewhere if this horrible process does not stop very soon!
Therefore it is the international community and governments’ responsibility to take actions to prevent this extermination.
“It is what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.” (Paulo Coelho)
Suleyman Gultekin
Independent Assyro-Aramean Activist
Mobile: +32 (0) 488.99.73.93
Mailto: suleyman.gultekin@gmail.com

Monday, March 3, 2014

Circadian rhythms,a stress hormone and biological depression


The New England Journal of Medicine says,
The cardinal biologic manifestations of a major affective (depression) disorder consist of: alterations in the hypothalamic centers (of the brain) that govern food intake, libido, circadian rhythms, and the synthesis and release of hypothalamic hormones into hypophysial portal blood and the systemic circulation. Patients with melancholia (endogenous depression or major depression typically have anorexia, decreased sexual interest, altered timing of the cycle of rest and activity (i.e., early-morning awakening), diurnal variation in mood, and endocrine abnormalities such as hypercortisolism. In a typical depression, the defining characteristics include hyperphagia and hypersomnia.The first neuroendocrine investigations into major affective disorder rested on the demonstration that monoaminergic   Clinical and Biochemical Manifestations of Depression, New England Journal of Depression) Philip W. Gold, M.D., Frederick K. Goodwin, M.D., and George P. Chrousos, M.D.N Engl J Med 1988; 319:413-420.
Experts tell us that the fundamental biological manifestation of endogenous depression also called major depression) consist of changes in the hypothamlic centers of the brain that govern food intake, sexual drive and circadian rhythms..  Circadian rhythms which involve the timing of the cycle of rest and activity are altered which results in symptoms being worse in the morning, (early morning awakening) and endocrine abnormalities such as increased stress hormones (cortisol)