Monday, December 26, 2016

Moderate Depression, How it Feels!

 Image result for biological depression

I have suffered from endogenous (biological) depression for many years. Its intensity has ranged from moderate to severe. If you really want to know what depression is like you should speak to those who have suffered from it.  Here are some of the notes that I jotted down while being moderately depressed.

1. It is a kiss good bye to pleasure.
2. It is a shot of Novocain to my brain.
3. It is a broken mind, that does not work right.
4. It is like being in a dark, foggy mist that covers my brain.
5. It is to  have heaviness in my heart.
6. My mind is dead.
7. I lack spontaneity of thought and speech.
8. I feel like I am in a depressive purgatory.
9. It is a great opportunity for growth and character.
10. It is a call for perseverance in the faith.
11. It is a riddle to be solved.
12. It is a link to suffering humanity.
13.It causes a preoccupied and  quiet spouse.
14. It is a constant forcing of one's self to act and to help others.
15. It prepares me for comforting the people of God.

Some people believe that having moderate depression means that your
depression is not biological in its origins.  While some of the above
characteristics may be true of spiritual and reactive depression, it differs from
it in that it is a constant disturbance of the body, the intellect, the
will and the emotions.
 Image result for wind blowing tent

Having and coping with  moderate depression is like trying
to pitch a tent while in a hurricane. This is why it is important
 to see a mental health professional to help diagnose your problem
and help you with appropriate referrals . You may need  to have
 your medicine go to a higher dose or get on another anti-depressant.

 End of the Year Donations
We are a small agency and we never turn anyone away because of finances. We help save the lives of those who are on the precipice of suicide.  We  also help the  persecuted evangelicals church  around the world.
Losing our daughter, Lindsay and granddaughter, Emily hope qualifies us for a bereavement ministry. I can assure that your donation will help real people in real time get the help they need. Your gift will enable you to get a tax deduction if you live in the United States. Rev. Steve Bloem B.A. M.M. CTPC. Please go to our website and please share this blog with others. Please go to our website, and scroll down to the donate button.
Thank you, Steve and Robyn Bloem

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Where is the Child at Christmas?

We all talk about Christmas being a time for friends and family, a time for gifts, choice desserts and even new cars. Have you ever complained about Christmas being too materialistic? I know I have.  But we still spend too much money for presents (and sometimes even go into credit card debt) in spite of resolutions to cut back on the craziness.

I would like to briefly share what the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ means.  
The Bible is the place to look for who really is the Christ of Christmas. Christmas is about the birth of the Son of God.  As a nation drifts from what the Bible says Christ becomes more and more neglected. 

Luis Palau tells this illustrative story of this very problem:
"Many years ago a wealthy family decided to have their newborn baby baptized in their enormous mansion. Dozens of guests were invited to the elaborate affair, and they all arrived dressed in the latest fashion. After depositing their elegant wraps on a bed in an upstairs room, the guests were entertained royally. Soon the time came for the main purpose of their gathering, the infant’s baptismal ceremony. But where was the child? No one seemed to know.
The child’s governess ran upstairs, only to return with a desperate look on her face. Everyone searched frantically for the baby. Then, someone recalled having seen the child sleeping on one of the beds. The baby was on a bed, all right-buried underneath a pile of coats, jackets and furs. The very object of that day’s celebration had been forgotten, neglected, and nearly smothered!"

Truths about Jesus Christ Birth.

1. It was a Messianic birth; Matthew 18:21 tells us, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: He was the Logos, the Son of God who was born of a woman, and born under the law. As the God/Man, Jesus was the promised Messiah. The term Messiah translates as the "Anointed One."  Jesus was and is the anointed Prophet, Priest and King.  As a prophet He preached the gospel, As the Priest He offered Himself through the Spirit as a sacrifice for sin; As the Son of David He will reign  during the Millennial period      He now is on His Father's Throne.

2. It was a Virgin birth; when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child  by the Holy Spirit. Joseph had nothing to do with the birth of Christ except to help Mary during her pregnancy. The virgin birth is miraculous and to deny it is blasphemy. The apostle John tells us that Christ was the Word of God (second person of the trinity) who became flesh and revealed God to mankind (John 1:1-18).

3. It was a birth that was accompanied by angels; we know that angels are beyond numbering (Hebrews 12:22). The special angel called Gabriel appeared to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist in the Holy of Holies. Gabriel  also appeared to Mary and told her that she would give birth to the Messiah (Luke 1:19).

4. It was a birth that made it possible for the God/Man to preserve the honor of womanhood that was lost in the fall. His birth was also the conduit where the Son of God could shed His blood for the sins of the world.
It was a sinless conception and It was a conception where He did not join himself to a man but rather to an impersonal human nature. He had a human body and a human soul. He learned obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:7-9). It was fitting that men should become adopted sons because of God's natural son.

5. It was a birth which gave him human emotions; sorrow (Matthew 26:38), surprise (Luke 7:9), He felt agony (Luke 33:44), He felt desolation in the garden and on the cross where He, as an infinite person, bore the wrath of God (Matthew 27:45-46).

6.It was a birth which had human limitations such as the need to eat (Matt. 4:2); the need to exercise Matt. 1:26); and the need to rest (John 4:6).

7. Finally, it was a birth that fulfilled Messianic prophecy. Many prophecies were fulfilled while He visited earth.  Many  prophesies will yet be fulfilled and will be until the end of time. I ask you reader: Have you ever been saved by Jesus Christ? Have you experienced the wonderful cleansing and saving that is written about in this song?

You can have the most precious Gift of ALL gifts this Christmas season! Take some time to think of the Wonderful Savior who came and lived and died for you. The cross was always the point of His coming. Let's not leave Him under a pile of "things" to be neglected and forgotten; He, Who is the reason for our celebration, needs to be brought to the forefront of our activities with love and praise for all He has done for us. 
Merry Christmas!  Steve (and Robyn)


Saturday, December 10, 2016

What is the Christmas spirit?

This is a re-post, All rights Reserved, 2015

Do you have the Christmas Spirit?

Have you ever heard of the concept of "The Christmas Spirit?"  Years ago, I  belonged to a church which presented an elaborate musical production every year during the Christmas season. It almost always revolved around the theme of the "Christmas Spirit."  Along with this elusive spirit of the holiday was the "magic" of Christmas. I remember waiting and waiting for the gospel to be presented but I waited in vain.

With everything going on this time of year, we can get caught up with external signs of the holiday, but we should be mostly concerned with the signs within. My wife, Robyn, says that she can focus on Christ more fully on any given Tuesday than during the Christmas season which is only made possible because of Him. But the hectic holiday parties and concerts and shopping and trying to please everyone with the perfect gift are distractions that can actually rob us of the meaning of the season altogether.

                                                                      THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS

An online article I read recently attempted to explain how to capture this Christmas spirit.
What is it, anyway?  How would you define the Christmas spirit?
  “It is about giving to other people more than to yourself.”

 “The Christmas spirit is being jolly and remembering all the things to be jolly for.”
 “The Christmas spirit is about getting excited, and having belief, and magic, and faith.”
 “The Christmas spirit is about having everyone available in your family together.
 “The Christmas spirit means, even when you don’t get what you want, you’re still grateful for what you did get.” She paused thoughtfully. “But if you don’t get what you want, don’t start yelling at the person, as they tried their best.”

Now I will take a turn with this true spirit of Christmas. I have thought about this for quite a while and I have three things I'd like to share.
1. It is focusing on the fact that Jesus Christ was God who became the God-Man. The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and in her womb, the Son of God from eternity past became a man. The Son of God put aside the insignia of deity and and became 
  the God-Man. He  was born in a manger, which was a feeding trough in a barn,

 2. Part of the true Christmas spirit  involves looking intently at the person of Christ and realizing He came, through the Holy Spirit, to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin. One of the greatest statements about the incarnation of Christ was said by the Apostle Paul; For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake's he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich ( 2 Corinthians 8:9). He was rich in all of his glorious attributes but put aside the independent use of them.  He was rich in righteousness but came under the wrath of God so that in Him we might become the  righteousness of God. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 The Bible says, He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (NASB).

The Hymn writer, Issac Watts, says about this:
Was it for crimes that I have done,
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut its glories in,
When God, the mighty maker, died
For His own creature's sin. 

3. It recognizing that Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and the LORD of LORDS.  He  now sits at the right hand of God and will some day rule from His throne in Jerusalem. See Philippians 2:9-11.

Charles Wesley said:
Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings

Ris'n with healing in His wings
 Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

 The United States is fast becoming a nation who wants the spirit of Christmas without the Christ. What can we do this season to honor Christ?  We can share the gospel with our neighbors, our friends and even those we barely know. We can share the good news that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins in our place. 

The apostle John tells us in His epistle:
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;  and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the Antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
 Your Turn: Today, take a moment to bring the Christmas spirit alive in your household. Ask each family member, over dinner, to define the Christmas spirit. Then post their answers on your refrigerator as your personal family-reminder of what this season is all about.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

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In my opinion, Charles Wesley was one of the greatest hymn writers of all time. He was said to have averaged ten poetic lines a day for fifty years. He wrote 8,989 hymns, ten times the volume composed by the only other candidate (Isaac Watts). He composed some of the most memorable and lasting hymns of the church: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," "And Can It Be," "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing," "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling," "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today," "Soldiers of Christ, Arise," and "Rejoice! the Lord Is King!" And yet he is often referred to as the "forgotten Wesley."

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His brother John is considered the organizational genius behind the founding of Methodism. But without the hymns of Charles, the Methodist movement may have gone nowhere. As one historian put it, "The early Methodists were taught and led as much through [Charles's] hymns as through sermons and [John] Wesley's pamphlets." For the rest of this very informative article, go to:
What I am concerned about at this time is Wesley's words of that great Christmas song.
Hark the Heralds Angels Sing.  Please take some time to meditate on these words and then to think about the biblical principles on which they are based.
There are many Christmas "stealer's" these days.  One of them is the Christmas spirit. Another is crass materialism.  And then there is the hideous phrase, Xmas. You can bet that  the demons of Hell have for many years introduced ways to take the Christ out of Christmas.
Many wish people happy holidays and go out of their way to be politically correct. In doing so they neglect Christ the Lord.Our view of Christmas should come straight out of the Bible. And that is what Wesley accomplishes in this wonderful Christmas hymn. Thanks, SB

Now you have to go to a You tube post to see a flash mob sing Hark the Herald Angels Sing. I think it will go viral! 
If you would like to donate money to Heartfelt Counseling Ministries at the end of this year, then please go to the link below.  We are a IRS non profit and you will be able to write off the gift.!donations/c1mb0

Here is the song:

Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled:
Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
With the angelic host proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem:    
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the new-born King."

Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin's womb!
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel:
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the New-born king!"

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings;
Mild, he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth:
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the New-born king!"

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Noble Man

 This is a figurine I bought for Steve when he became depressed the first time. It is called "Onward Christian Soldier" and shows a warrior banged up and battle-worn with bandaids, scrapes and bruises.

A note from a "guest" writer; Robyn, Steve's wife.

Last night I left Steve in a psychiatric hospital. I didn't "leave" him there, although that's how it felt. He was admitted to get help for some result of medications... or result of the wrong medication. We don't know what it is, so he is there with the experts. Thank God for psychiatrists, psycho-pharmacologists, research scientists and hospitals where there is help. On the way to the hospital, we both cried but when I left, he was okay. In fact, much better than the other three times he has been admitted to such a facility. He is not actually depressed; he started having hallucinations three days ago. This scared both of us and we knew he had to be evaluated. 

I am sneaking into his blog today to post a piece I wrote a couple of months ago for Steve. I came across this verse in Isaiah during my morning devotions and thought of my noble and amazing husband, one of the bravest people and the most honorable man I have ever met. He would blush to know I am publishing this on HIS blog, but that is a liberty I will take to express my feelings and use a privilege of marriage to share. 

Oh, well, Steve; when the cat's away, the mice..well you know the rest.  
Here is my essay, or my blog; well, these are my feelings about my Steve.

A Noble Man
One day when God was planning His universe, He decided to save a young teenage boy named Noble. Before he met Christ, he wasn’t really noble at all, but who is? God knew his heart would be changed  and He had great plans for him but most of all, God knew he would be obedient.

When this young kid was saved, he had some bumps and rough edges to be sanded off. He had a good heart though, and read his bible with a voraciousness that could only come from the heart of God. So as he read, he began to grow. He had unusual insight for a new Christian but he also had a fear of public speaking. So over a period of time with individual study and discipleship in his local church, he began to sense God’s call on his life to full-time ministry. He got over the fear of speaking. After all, since God had given him the gift of pastor/teacher, He had to help him in that area. And Noble blossomed. He handled the Word of God in such a way, that when people heard him preach, they were astounded at his giftedness. He finished his education and had a landmark ordination. He answered the questions the gentlemen posed in such a way, that they were amazed at this young man's ability to handle the Word of God and discuss the issues of his theology and his ordination.

As he was planning for his life’s work in ministry, God began to develop Nobel for the ministry that HE had in mind. God gave this trusted, honorable man, a disease that affected his strength to such a point, he could barely carry on with life. Weak does not begin to describe this illness.  You see, it was an illness of the mind; the worst malady known to humankind. For when a man’s body is sick, he can sustain his illness but who can bear up under a wounded spirit? This illness, although the most painful was also the most misunderstood. When Noble became sick, no one knew he was ill. He and his family hid it, because, of all things, they were ashamed. Ashamed of something from the hand of God? How can that be? Well, when something as confusing and debilitating as this happened to Noble, he and his family didn’t have a clue what to do. If you don’t know what a disease is, how can you seek a cure? Who do you even consult?

Since this was an unknown malady and humans being afraid of things they don’t understand, the simplest thing to do, was ignore the problem or blame Noble himself. After all, if one is faced with a situation that cannot be resolved within a few day, then we can just assign it to chastening for sin. He must have be hiding a sinful behavior that God is trying to root out of his life. Nobel suffered more and more from this awful disease and not unlike Job of old, he was blamed.

His family saw him struggle; his family saw him work, his family saw him pray and they saw him cry. Some days were so bad that Noble despaired even of life itself.
He prayed from a list because his memory was bad. He carried one verse at a time in his pocket because his concentration was bad. He faithfully followed God with all of his broken heart. He questioned himself and his motives; he examined his spirituality and his life; he doubted the truths that he had so adamantly defended-all because of his broken brain but only a few inches away beat his sweet and noble heart.

Noble did ministry wherever he went. He pastored a couple of small churches where the congregants were heard to say things like, “How did we ever get him?” “He is an amazing pastor/teacher!” And “This place should be packed to the walls!” More than one man said they sensed God’s deep and purposeful calling on his life. Nobel knew he was weak. Noble’s family knew he had a vulnerable side that made him always more dependent on God. Others didn’t know. What they saw was a good and godly man, but how exactly that came to be, they didn’t have the slightest idea.

To top off the sadness of this illness, Noble seemed to be unqualified for ministry, by everyone but God, his Father and his Maker. For God is the One who made his gifted mind, called him to ministry and handed him this illness, no doubt, always remembering his Noble name. Noble wasn’t disqualified, noble was being trained.

The loss Noble felt was very, very sad. He desired the care and maintenance of a flock; he wanted to work in pastoral ministry. He had been faithful. He had survived a Job-like trial and yet where was the other half of the story? What does a pastor do when churches think he is disqualified and weak?
Well, he did what one would expect from such a man. He took his theology and his odd, misunderstood illness and decided to be a spokesperson for others with the same disease. He put his bible training and his theology to work. He developed a helping and mercy ministry so others wouldn’t have to wander through dark days of disease alone like he did. He continued to trust in the Sovereignty of God, the biblical teaching that all things are under God’s rule and control and that nothing happens without His direction or permission

He also watched for God’s providence, the foreseeing care and guidance of God. Noble used what he knew, he expanded his world into areas he didn’t know and he turned his heart toward the hurting,
The bible says: A noble man makes noble plans and by noble deeds he stands. Isaiah 32:7

This is what Noble did. It is also how he got his name. His ministry is still thriving; not to the rich, the famous, the society hounds, but to the hurting, the sick and the depressed. He is after all, a good and noble man and God knew He could trust him.

Get well soon, honey. The others are waiting. I love you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Thanksgiving quandry, Why does God allow evil and suffering?


Thanksgiving in the United States is a legal holiday. But for many,  trials have robbed them of happiness and a sense of well being as this day approaches. For those who have lost a young son or daughter by way of war, accident or illness, the empty chair causes grief.
A Thanksgiving meal will not be much for those who have lost a child or a spouse and face a holiday without them. Giving thanks in these circumstances can take quite an effort.
Robyn and I lost our daughter, Lindsay and our granddaughter, Emily Hope to a drugged man whose weapon was his car.  Lindsay was eight months pregnant when she was killed. We had her baby laid in her arms in the casket. We were driving behind her and witnessed her death on September 11, 2001.

This morning I walked into a department store and saw the Christmas lights on the trees. My heart ached because of losing Lindsay. My mind also went to my sister, Cindy, who committed suicide in 2006. I have many memories of our youth and celebrating the holidays together. These things are painful and I don't believe that any of us should have to paste a smile on our faces and fake our way through the holidays.

Please don't forget our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids. MI.
By the way, these topics of loss, confusion in trials, and grief are discussed by Robyn and me in our book. We have faced many trials and we candidly share our responses to these events. Many have shared the encouragement they have found from our candid discussion.
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The remainder of the blog is one of the best articles I have read on the subject of suffering and why God does or does not allow it.  It came to me in tract form. It was written by David Scholer

"A 20-year-old woman had been murdered by her husband in her mother's kitchen.
The man then shot his 18-month-old son (who survived) and finally killed himself. In the hours that I sat with the grieving mother at the funeral home she repeated over and over, "God wanted my daughter murdered."

In her grief and despair this woman was attempting to reconcile and maintain what she believed about an all-powerful God in the face of evil and suffering.
We sense immediately that her conclusion is not right; God could hardly have wanted her daughter murdered. Our problem is, "How can a God who is both loving and all-powerful allow evil?" It seems that God is either not loving enough or is not powerful enough to prevent some evils. It is a dilemma, a legitimate theological problem.

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Reflection is important if only to keep us away from irresponsible thoughts about God that captivate some people from time to time. These seven perspectives have helped me and others cope with the problem of evil and suffering, even if they do not totally solve or answer the problem.

James 1:3

"When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone" (James 1:13).
Whatever the omnipotence and omniscience of God mean, they do not imply that God causes evil .

The Scripture Says: SIN AND EVIL ARE REAL
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). In the face of the first assertion, some people have attempted to resolve the issue of evil by claiming that there is no reality to sin and evil. This is a delusion. Both experience and history on the one hand and biblical evidence on the other are stout witnesses to the grim and fearsome reality of sin and evil in our world and in our lives. The Bible affirms that sin and evil entered our world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12-14). And so, all of human history and God's creation are subject to the reality of sin and death, decay and evil (Hebrews 2:14-15).

Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted.
The biblical stories are replete with examples, from Abraham to Paul, and of course the Gospel story of Jesus is itself the ultimate confirmation that God never guaranteed deliverance from pain, suffering, abuse or evil. The author of Hebrews points out this reality: "Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted" (Hebrews 2:18) and, "He learned obedience from what He suffered" (Hebrews 5:8).

This must be the intent of Paul's affirmation in Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Notice also the Lord's response to Paul's request for relief from physical pain: "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). This is another witness to the conviction that God works through the realities of sin and evil.

God never effects evil, (ed.)
I think the teaching that we should thank God for everything, even that which is evil, is wrong.
It is not for everything that we thank God, but in and through everything, for God is never overcome by evil or sin but uses for His purposes even the tragic realities of human experience. I do not need to understand how God's purposes work out. It is enough for me to embrace the biblical understanding that God does work in and through all experiences.

 The Bible is clear that among God's purposes for us in the midst of suffering and pain is the molding and strengthening of our character
 James wrote, "You know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete" (James 1:3-4). Challenge, even the challenge of suffering and evil, can provide a  unparalleled opportunity for growth toward spiritual maturity.

The Love of God
Paul's assertion, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), is consistent with the whole Bible; God provides comfort and support and love and assurance to those who turn to Him in their sorrow and suffering.

In the introduction to the beautiful narrative of Jesus' healing of the man born blind, Jesus' disciples asked, "Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? (John 9:2)". Jesus explicitly rejected the disciples' assumptions and declared that the man's blindness provided an occasion for the good purpose of God to be demonstrated: Jesus is the light of the world (John 9:3-5)! Unconfessed sin and unbelief have their consequences. to be sure, but this is not the answer to the problem of evil and suffering.

From the beginning of the Bible in Genesis to the final testimony in Revelation, the Bible reveals that God will triumph over sin and evil. God's victory is given through the Lord Jesus Christ's defeat of death (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). The reality and triumph of God's raising Christ from the dead means that tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, death, life - indeed, "nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:39).
 Image result for person being robbed in 1600's
More than 360 years ago Georg Neumark, as a youth of 20, was robbed on his way to study law at the University of Konigsberg. He had to give up his plans to study and wandered for some time as an unemployed, destitute person.
Then he unexpectedly found a position as a tutor. On that day young Neumark wrote what has become the well-known hymn, "If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee." It was his expression of thanksgiving for the grace of God in his life. And it was his testimony of trust in God and the belief that God will "give thee strength, what e'er betide thee, and bear thee through the evil days."
As we respond to God's calling, facing again and again the problem of evil and suffering, we too can join together in the affirmation that "God never yet forsook at need, the soul that trusted in Him indeed."

Blog by Steve Bloem. I added the pictures and links.I also added the headings.

If you want to order the tract:
American Tract Society
Box 462008
Garland, Texas 75046-2008 USA
For orders in the US: 1-800-548-7228

Monday, November 21, 2016

Rutherford on suffering

 Image result for samuel rutherford's pictures

Samuel Rutherford was born about the year 1600 near Nisbet, Scotland. Little is known of his early life. In 1627 he earned a M.A. from Edinburgh College, where he was appointed Professor of Humanity. He became pastor of the church in Anwoth in 1627.
Anwoth was a rural parish, and the people were scattered in farms over the hills. He had a true pastor's heart, and he was ceaseless in his labors for His flock. We are told that men said of Rutherford, "He was always praying, always preaching, always visiting the sick, always catechizing, always writing and studying." Of course it helps when you get up at 3:00 every morning!
His first years in Anwoth, though, were touched with sadness. His wife was ill for a year and a month, before she died in their new home. Two children also died during this period. Nevertheless God used this time of suffering to prepare Rutherford to be God's comforter of suffering people.

 When the monarchy was restored in 1660, it was clear that the author of "Lex Rex" would could expect trouble. When the summons came in 1661, charging him with treason, and demanding his appearance on a certain day, Rutherford refused to go. From his deathbed, he answered,
 "I must answer my first summons; and before your day arrives, I will be where few kings and great folks come." He died on 30th March 1661.
To read more on this biography, please go to this link:

"If the Lord calls you to suffering, do not be dismayed, for He will provide a deeper portion of Christ in your suffering. The softest pillow will be placed under your head though you must set your bare feet among thorns. Do not be afraid at suffering for Christ, for He has a sweet peace for a sufferer. God has called you to Christ’s side, and if the wind is now in His face, you cannot expect to rest on the sheltered side of the hill. You cannot be above your Master Who received many an innocent stroke. 

The greatest temptation out of hell is to live without trials. A pool of standing water will turn to stagnant. Faith grows more with the sharp winter storm in its face. Grace withers without adversity. You can’t sneak quietly into heaven without a cross. Crosses form us into His image. They cut away the pieces of our corruption. Lord, cut, carve, wound; Lord do anything to perfect your image in us and make us fit for glory. We need winnowing before we enter the kingdom of God.

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"Oh what I owe to the file, hammer, and furnace! Why should I be surprised at the plough that makes such deep furrows in my soul? Whatever direction the wind blows, it will blow us to the Lord. His hand will direct us safely to the heavenly shore to find the weight of eternal glory. As we look back to our pains and sufferings, we shall see that suffering is not worthy to be compared to our first night’s welcome home in heaven. If we could smell of heaven and our country above, our crosses would not bite us. Lay all your loads by faith on Christ, ease yourself, and let Him bear all. He can, He does, and He will bear you. Whether God comes with a rod or a crown, He comes with Himself. “Have courage, I am your salvation!” Welcome, welcome Jesus!"

  Samuel Rutherford

Please don't forget us in regards to year end giving. We are a 501(3)  non profit agency, registered with the IRS.  We help those who are suffering  from insanity, depression, schizophrenia, panic attacks and many other type of mental illnesses We have known the depths of sorrow because our daughter and granddaughter were hit head on  by  a man who was driving a car while shooting up Heroin. It happened on September 11, 2001. Lindsay Ruth was coming home from a specially held prayer service at her church.  The last thing she did was pray!!
We are a small agency and we never turn anyone away because of finances. We also bring attention to Christians who are being persecuted throughout the world. I can assure that your donation will help real people in real time get the help they need. Your gift will enable you to get a tax deduction if you live in the United States. Rev. Steve Bloem B.A. M.M. CTPC. Please go to our website and please share this blog with others.