Monday, April 27, 2015

Jim Elliot and the Auca Indians, pray for the persecuted.

Apr. 24, 2015 | Syria
 A Syrian church was destroyed in recent attacks by rebels.
   At least 17 people were killed on April 11 in Aleppo, Syria, when rebels from al-Nusra Front launched missiles into a Christian neighborhood. The attack occurred the same weekend that Syrian Christians celebrate Easter. Al-Nusra Front has made public statements inciting its followers to attack Christians.

Apr. 24, 2015 | Pakistan
 Pastor Azhar is still being threatened by radical Muslims

Pray for Pastor Azhar Threatened for Evangelism

Pastor “Azhar” was forced to relocate after receiving death threats for baptizing “Rashid,” a former imam. Rashid’s relatives threatened both him and the pastor, forcing them to flee the area. Rashid’s relatives severely beat the pastor’s son and informed Islamist groups of the pastor’s work among Muslims and Christian converts from Islam. Despite relocating to a larger city and changing his phone number several times, the pastor continues to receive death threats.
Apr. 24, 2015 | Senegal

Pray for Pastor Dilson, Facing Possible Imprisonment for Missions Work

 Pastor Dilson is facing possible prison time for his missionary work in Senegal

Pastor Jose Dilson, a Brazilian missionary who has worked in West Africa for 25 years, faces a possible prison term in connection with the Christian conversion of a Muslim leader’s son. The pastor spent five months in a Senegalese prison before being released in April 2013, pending final resolution of his case. While in prison, Pastor Dilson distributed 350 Bibles and witnessed to many fellow prisoners. The final ruling on Pastor Dilson’s case is expected soon. He and his family have asked us to pray that they will not be fearful but will “give a good testimony of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Monday, April 20, 2015

From our series on our depression. Spurgeon with an amazing understanding of depression..

This is part of a series. Please look carefully. It is one of the best treatments of spiritual depression which also has biological origins. He talks about chronic onset and a single episode onset. He talks about the problem of having the "patent remedy" for depression. 
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 tackling's 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, un-confessed 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 adds to the borrower’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 son ship 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 of fact 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 When You feel Like You're Losing It;  Robyn and I write about Charles author of this blog.    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
You can order it from

Steve and Robyn Bloem.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Biological Depression 3 in a series

Treatments for biological depression (NIMH)
Image result for darkness and depression
Once diagnosed, a person with depression can be treated in several ways. The most common treatments are medication and psychotherapy.

Antidepressants primarily work on brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, especially serotonin and norepinephrine. Other antidepressants work on the neurotransmitter dopamine. Scientists have found that these particular chemicals are involved in regulating mood, but they are unsure of the exact ways that they work. The latest information on medications for treating depression is available on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.

Popular newer antidepressants
Some of the newest and most popular antidepressants are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), escitalopram (Lexapro), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa) are some of the most commonly prescribed SSRIs for depression. Most are available in generic versions. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are similar to SSRIs and include venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).

SSRIs and SNRIs tend to have fewer side effects than older antidepressants, but they sometimes produce headaches, nausea, jitters, or insomnia when people first start to take them. These symptoms tend to fade with time. Some people also experience sexual problems with SSRIs or SNRIs, which may be helped by adjusting the dosage or switching to another medication.
One popular antidepressant that works on dopamine is bupropion (Wellbutrin). Bupropion tends to have similar side effects as SSRIs and SNRIs, but it is less likely to cause sexual side effects. However, it can increase a person's risk for seizures.

Image result for don't stop taking your medication

How should I take medication?
All antidepressants must be taken for at least 4 to 6 weeks before they have a full effect. You should continue to take the medication, even if you are feeling better, to prevent the depression from returning.
Medication should be stopped only under a doctor's supervision. Some medications need to be gradually stopped to give the body time to adjust. Although antidepressants are not habit-forming or addictive, suddenly ending an antidepressant can cause withdrawal symptoms or lead to a relapse of the depression. Some individuals, such as those with chronic or recurrent depression, may need to stay on the medication indefinitely.
In addition, if one medication does not work, you should consider trying another. NIM-funded research has shown that people who did not get well after taking a first medication increased their chances of beating the depression after they switched to a different medication or added another medication to their existing one.

Sometimes stimulants, anti-anxiety medications, or other medications are used together with an antidepressant, especially if a person has a co-existing illness. However, neither anti-anxiety medications nor stimulants are effective against depression when taken alone, and both should be taken only under a doctor's close supervision.

 Between Client and Therapist


(From SB),As you would expect the NIMH leaves out Biblical counseling, which is extremely important to those individuals who are depressed but know the true and living God. This counseling should give help and encouragement to the believer who is "small souled" (oligo- psuchos) and who has the Holy Spirit residing within him.

You should see a counselor on a regular basis for "talk therapy," which helps you learn ways to deal with this illness in your everyday life, and I'm taking medicine for depression."
Several types of psychotherapy—or "talk therapy"—can help people with depression.
Two main types of psychotherapies—cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT)—are effective in treating depression. CBT helps people with depression restructure negative thought patterns. Doing so helps people interpret their environment and interactions with others in a positive and realistic way. It may also help you recognize things that may be contributing to the depression and help you change behaviors that may be making the depression worse. IPT helps people understand and work through troubled relationships that may cause their depression or make it worse.

For mild to moderate depression, psychotherapy may be the best option. However, for severe depression or for certain people, psychotherapy may not be enough. For example, for teens, a combination of medication and psychotherapy may be the most effective approach to treating major depression and reducing the chances of it coming back. Another study looking at depression treatment among older adults found that people who responded to initial treatment of medication and IPT were less likely to have recurring depression if they continued their combination treatment for at least 2 years.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

O God give us homes

 God Give Us Christian Homes: 2006 Truth Magazine Lectures
Oh give us homes built firm upon the Saviour,
Where Christ is Head, and Counselor and Guide;
Where ev'ry child is taught His love and favor
And gives his heart to Christ, the crucified:
How sweet to know that tho' his footsteps waver
His faithful Lord is walking by his side!

O give us homes with godly fathers, mothers,
Who always place their hope and trust in Him;
Whose tender patience turmoil never bothers,
Whose calm and courage trouble cannot dim;
A home where each finds joy in serving others,
And love still shines, tho' days be dark and grim.

O give us homes where Christ is Lord and Master,
The Bible read, the precious hymns still sung;
Where prayer comes first in peace or in disaster,
And praise is natural speech to ev'ry tongue;
Where mountains move before a faith that's vaster,
And Christ sufficient is for old and young.

O Lord, our God, our homes are Thine forever!
We trust to Thee their problems, toil, and care;
Their bonds of love no enemy can sever
If Thou art always Lord and Master there:
Be Thou the center of our least endeavor:
Be Thou our Guest, our hearts and homes to share.

Please read our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It.
Without Christ, Robyn and I could have never survived my depression and the death of our daughter, Lindsay Ruth.  We were able to do so because Christ has always been the Rock on which our marriage has been built.  One way that you can support our ministry is to order our book directly from us at cost minus tax. 

Review of Broken Minds
I have a personal interest in Steven and Robyn Bloem's book because I too am a pastor 'on pills.' My depression remained undiagnosed from the age of twenty until the age of fifty. That was largely because I put my cyclic low periods down to fatigue and refused to seek medical help. I was greatly helped, however, by the elders and members of Little Hill Church near Leicester, where I was pastor for 15 years. They had the right ideas about clinical depression being organic in origin and eventually prevailed on me to seek appropriate help. . . .These spells I now recognise as being good for me, 'thorns in the flesh' keeping me from being over-elated or arrogant (2 Corinthians 12: 7). I also find that my personal experience of clinical depression has brought me two other benefits as a pastor; it has taught me to rely more on the God who is able to raise the dead and has given me a great sympathy for, and understanding of, those who suffer from depression (2 Corinthians 1: 3-11). -- David Gregson (09/01/2006)

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Depression in a Series, Part 2

Signs&and Symptoms

"It was really hard to get out of bed in the morning. I just wanted to hide under the covers and not talk to anyone. I didn't feel much like eating and I lost a lot of weight. Nothing seemed fun anymore. I was tired all the time, and I wasn't sleeping well at night. But I knew I had to keep going because I've got kids and a job. It just felt so impossible, like nothing was going to change or get better."
People with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency, and duration of symptoms vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.
Signs and symptoms include:
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.

Who Is At Risk?

Major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. Each year about 6.7% of U.S adults experience major depressive disorder. Women are 70 % more likely than men to experience depression during their lifetime.  Non-Hispanic blacks are 40% less likely than non-Hispanic whites to experience depression during their lifetime.  The average age of onset is 32 years old. Additionally, 3.3% of 13 to 18 year olds have experienced a seriously debilitating depressive disorder.


"I started missing days from work, and a friend noticed that something wasn't right. She talked to me about the time she had been really depressed and had gotten help from her doctor."
Depression, even the most severe cases, can be effectively treated. The earlier that treatment can begin, the more effective it is.
The first step to getting appropriate treatment is to visit a doctor or mental health specialist. Certain medications, and some medical conditions such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same symptoms as depression. A doctor can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests. If the doctor can find no medical condition that may be causing the depression, the next step is a psychological evaluation.
The doctor may refer you to a mental health professional, who should discuss with you any family history of depression or other mental disorder, and get a complete history of your symptoms. You should discuss when your symptoms started, how long they have lasted, how severe they are, and whether they have occurred before and if so, how they were treated. The mental health professional may also ask if you are using alcohol or drugs, and if you are thinking about death or suicide.
Other illnesses may come on before depression
, cause it, or be a consequence of it. But depression and other illnesses interact differently in different people. In any case, co-occurring illnesses need to be diagnosed and treated.
Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder, often accompany depression. PTSD can occur after a person experiences a terrifying event or ordeal, such as a violent assault, a natural disaster, an accident, terrorism or military combat. People experiencing PTSD are especially prone to having co-existing depression.
Alcohol and other substance abuse or dependence may also co-exist with depression. Research shows that mood disorders and substance abuse commonly occur together.
Depression also may occur with other serious medical illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease. People who have depression along with another medical illness tend to have more severe symptoms of both depression and the medical illness, more difficulty adapting to their medical condition, and more medical costs than those who do not have co-existing depression. Treating the depression can also help improve the outcome of treating the co-occurring illness.

Hello reader, I have suffered from clinical depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Panic Disorder.  I never thought I would come out of such a dungeon of depression. I could not sleep nor eat.  I could not think clearly and I felt like a thousand hornets were attacking my head.  But God was gracious to me and He guided me to good psychiatrists to get the right treatment.  Don't give up there is hope for your treatment.  Please go to our web site and see our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You're Losing It, Kregel Publications. Steve Bloem,

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