Wednesday, August 26, 2015

.Pray for revival

           Image result for pray for revival

I have been part of two mini revivals in my life.  Let me say quickly that I am not talking about revival meetings that often take place at campgrounds and churches.  The revival that I am talking about is a Christian revival; it is an increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a church congregation or society with a local, national or global effect. This should be distinguished from the use of the term "revival" to refer to an evangelistic meeting or series of meeting.

The first one  I experienced took place at the Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music in 1974.  I was a freshmen at the time.  My friends and I in our dorm, Victor Hall, had been praying fervently for weeks.  We were praying for a revival.  One Spring  morning, I had read in my devotions that, "Nothing is impossible with God."  I had been wanting to give a testimony in chapel but protocol dictated a person had to stand up before seven hundred people and share their story. At that time I was not yet called to preach and I was very fearful of speaking in public.  In fact I had recently bought a book on how to be an effective public speaker. But God would show me on this morning that He could speak through me with power and conquer my fear. We traveled to chapel on a bus and often all of us students would sing hymns on our way to the school.

  Image result for IMAGE  OF grand rapids school of the bible and music, franklin street, Grand rapids, MI

 When it came testimony time, I knew God wanted me to say something but I was frozen with fear in my chair. I finally told myself that I was going to trust God. I stood up from my seat and suddenly there were seven hundred pairs of eyes staring at me, including the President of the College and many of my  professors. Now I was committed! I walked up in front of chapel took the microphone and began to speak.  I told them that I had been afraid but I decided to stand up and say a word for God.  When I was finished, many of them began to clap and yell, "Way to go preacher." After this other students began one by one to stand up and give their testimonies. The President of the Grand Rapids School of Bible of and Music came to the podium and said that because of the obvious movement of the Spirit of God he would cancel classes for that day. For about three hours young men and women shared stories of God's grace. Often during other historical revivals, believers have been convicted of hidden sin and  unbelievers are saved. At our mini revival at GRSBM I remember one young man standing up and saying, "I have been coming to school every day and I have been parking in a no parking zone."  He was weeping as he confessed his deception and his lack of respect for authority. This is a perfect example of the Holy Spirit's work in revival. There were similar stories related and I have never forgotten the impact of this in my own life!

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The second time I experienced a mini revival was while I was a Missionary Apprentice in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The missionary that I was working with took us to a place in Edinburgh called, "The Mound."  It was a place where anyone could come and speak to small groups of people about their passion.  My passion and the rest of my team was evangelism.  I went to a place where some young men had gathered and they were listening to an elderly man teach from the Bible.  (It was 1976 and I was 21 years old).
They were mocking him at the time; I mean really giving it to him.  I decided to lend some support so I spoke out and said that I agreed with the preacher of the gospel. He then, turned to me and said, "Young man would you like to say a word?"

As I begin to speak many people rushed to where I was standing.  I don't think that before this time I had ever preached but I had been part of an Evangelism Explosion team in my church and I had learned a gospel outline. So I began to preach, just using that outline.

The devil does not like gospel presentations and preaching.
The minute I opened my mouth, I saw a man out of the corner of my eye walking fast toward meHe began to say the Lord's name in vain and other blasphemies and he would not stop. I preached on.  I also began to encounter questions from others and one in particular came from a man who was a Buddhist.  His disciple was with him.  The Lord immediately brought Scripture to my mind and I was able to refute his false teaching.  Afterward a young couple told me that they were living together but "because of tonight" they decided to get married and make things right with their parents. People from many churches were praying for us six missionaries that night. We,too, had prayed for revival and for souls to be saved and God answered the prayers of all of us.  I hope that some of those we met were truly saved that night and that some day I will see them in Heaven. There is no greater joy than that! 

I would like to challenge you to pray for a revival in your own heart and then in the hearts and lives of others. Wouldn't it be great to see God move in that way? 
It would be an event you wouldn't forget!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

They're Invisible In China: Portraits Of The Mentally Ill

This article is a must read.  It pulls at the heartstrings of every one who reads it. It  shows how the Chinese have many millions of cases of mental illness and they deserve our prayer and advocacy. This article does an excellent job of explaining what is happening in China regarding their handling the epidemic of mental illness.  Mental illness is a global problem. I have a considerable amount of Chinese who visit my blog. I am glad that they read the posts.  We must be praying for them.

Here are some important things to know: by Liu Yuyang's documentary  At Home With Mental Illness in July won him an Ian Parry scholarship recognizing young photographers. He went to two cities in the Guangdong province and documented the daily lives of six families struggling with mental health patients — a group, Liu says, that is too often ignored by the Chinese government and stigmatized by the public.
China has a staggering 173 million people with some sort of diagnosable mental disorder, according to a 2012 study in the journal Lancet. Of those, 158 million have never received any treatment. And China averages one psychiatrist for every 83,000 people. So many patients depend on their families for help.
"We can't see the mental illness patients in society. You won't have a friend or a classmate who is mentally ill so I think they are kind of invisible in our lives," Liu says. "They don't walk on the streets or go to the [places] you go to."

Mei Lin, who's 83, enjoys a moment with her two granddaughters, both of whom are mentally ill.For more on this article see:

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Jiagui Su, 33, stands on a ladder to the loft in his parents' house. He's lived with them since he was diagnosed with schizophrenia 10 years ago.

Jiagui Su, 33, stands on a ladder to the loft in his parents' house. 
He's lived with them since he was diagnosed with schizophrenia 10 years ago.

Monday, August 17, 2015


 One of the purposes of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries is to make known to Christians the persecution and killing of other true believers in the world around them. We seek to  to stimulate the evangelical community in every place to pray for the persecuted church.

Woman- sad- Middle East
August 10, 2015 by Janelle P in Middle East

 The terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) has apparently abducted dozens of Christians in Syria late last week.  Several sources from Syria reported that dozens of Christians were taken hostage by IS in the city of al-Quaryatayn.

But the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) reported in a press statement that ISIS captured many Assyrians which included women and children.

The city is located 62 miles southwest of the ancient city of Palmyra that was captured by IS earlier this year. ISIS confirmed the takeover of al-Quaryatayn that is populated by approximately 40,000 inhabitants, a mixed population of mainly Sunni Muslims and Christians.

 More than 1,500 people have fled al-Quaryatayn since fighting began a week ago.

IS is also responsible for the kidnapping of more than 200 Assyrian Christians from the Khabur River region in northeastern Syria. They were taken hostage from their villages when they were overrun by Islamic terrorists at the end of February. Most of the hostages are still missing.

Syria is ranked #4 on Open Doors’ 2015 World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians. Approximately 4 million Syrians have left the country. Inside Syria there are 6.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). It is estimated that 700,000 Christians have left Syria since the war began over four years.

Pray for those who have been abducted and for their relatives. Pray for the other Christians remaining in al-Quaryatayn. Also continue to pray for the Christians who were abducted in February.

Open Doors continues to work with churches and Christian partners in Syria to provide food, clothing, medical supplies and trauma counseling.

For praying for other Christians, please go to 
 Please go to the link below to learn more about "Open Door Ministries.

If you contact us by our web site, I will give you $6.00 discount on our book seen on this page.  It sells retail for $16.00.  I charge $3.00 for shipping and I pay the tax.
Steve Bloem. Please go to this web page and scroll down all the way to the donation button. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call us.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Left on the Curb

Women Sitting on Curb in Black and White

Left on the Curb 

 By Robyn Bloem

After our daughter died in 2001, we had a special speaker come to our church. He was a young dad with little children. As I have grown older, I’ve seen a certain naiveté in young people; that may sound harsh or condescending and I don’t intend for it to sound that way. But life’s trials and experiencing God for forty plus years has shown me a side of Him I cannot reduce to human parental feelings.

In his sermon, this young speaker gave an illustration of his trip to watch a parade with his young son. After walking a few blocks his son got too tired to walk anymore. He told his dad he would sit on the curb and wait for him to come back with the car. Obviously, Dad would not leave his boy there alone. He picked him up (as he affirmed that God does with us), put him on his shoulders and carried him for the rest of the way. He correlated that act with the way God deals with us. When we are worn out or weary in the way, God picks us up and carries us.

Lindsay as a teenager

With the backdrop of watching our daughter die in a tragic head-on collision with a drugged driver, my heart silently protested, “Well, God didn’t pick me up. He left me sitting on the curb.”  
In A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis addressed this exact feeling when he said,
“When you are happy, so happy you have no sense of needing Him, so happy that you are tempted to feel His claims upon you as an interruption, if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be — or so it feels— welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence.” 

After Lindsay’s death, I probably thought life would come under a heavenly state of over-indulgence. I mean, God saw our suffering and the excruciating pain we were enduring. Although, nothing could come close to compensating for losing Lindsay, certainly He would shower us with other blessings to encourage us in all of this. He is God, after all. If we ever felt like the fibers of dust we were, this was the time. We were weak and weary of life trying to understand what had happened so suddenly to violently disrupt our weeks, our days, our moments with insurmountable grief. We determined by His grace that we would hold on to Christ. I told myself that I was going to tuck myself up under the Lord’s armpit and stay as close to Him as possible; this was so far beyond me that I knew if I got out in that vast sea of life alone I would never make it. I felt sometimes that I was praying the longest version of Peter’s “Lord, save me” prayer on record.  Sometimes that was all I could pray. How He would make something beautiful out of this was beyond me. But we had to believe the things we had said in other difficult circumstances; we believed. That was all we had.   

Dad and Mom and Lindsay

When Steve came down with clinical depression in 1985, he was in pain that only those who suffer that kind of mental anguish can understand. We had seen God use that episode of our lives to build character in us and to help others with what we had learned through that trial of our faith.  We had to believe He also had a purpose in our loss of our only daughter and first grandchild.So, I was experiencing a side of God that really wasn’t like the father who picked his child up from the curb and carried him. I would never say that the Lord didn’t come to me, He did, but He required an effort from me that I didn’t have, at least not in my own flesh.  
The word of God
Charles Spurgeon

My testimony at the time was that if I made an attempt to find Him in my grief; I would walk a few steps in His direction and He would walk a mile to meet me. I read sermons by Charles Spurgeon from a set of books that Steve had “all the way downstairs in his office.” That is how it felt to me; “all the way downstairs.” That long and deliberate walk down those steps was so difficult then. I felt a weight of grief on my shoulders that almost made that walk impossible, but here is where God met me.  When I got to the books and started to read, God showed up. He met me very personally and lovingly and spoke to my heart as only Someone who understands can speak. The Bible and Spurgeon were the tools God used to help me the most. Those times alone of weeping and weeping with those books in my lap, a highlighter in my hand and divine peace in my heart were precious and personal as I grappled with God and my own severe grief.

I had always thought when Christians suffered a difficult trial that God somehow opened up a hole in our heads and poured grace, God’s grace into the hole. I thought the peace that passes all human understanding would engulf my heart and make me not only endure the suffering but cause me to count myself blessed to suffer for Him. My pastor said, “Well, you will understand the fellowship of His suffering in a way others do not.” I told him that I didn’t want to understand that; I felt I knew Him “quite well enough, thank you.”  I don’t know that even now I understand the fellowship of His suffering, but I understand my suffering- and if your child lies in a grave somewhere- I understand yours, too.