Friday, October 28, 2016

The story of one man's obedience to God, and the losing of his life for the kingdom of Christ.

Jim Elliot

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When I was in college,  I got a copy of a book by Elisabeth Elliot, Jim's Elliot's wife. The  name of the book is In the Shadow of the Almighty. Jim was heading for the Mission Field and He was educated at Wheaton, College.  He wrote the following which  is now in the above mentioned book.  Here is an excerpt:  

 "The night spread black and blossomed brilliantly with stars.  I walked out to the hill just now.  It is exalting, delicious to stand embraced by the shadows of a friendly tree with the wind tugging at your coattails and the heavens hailing your heart, to gaze and glory and to give oneself again to God.  What more could a man ask?

 Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on earth.  I care not if I ever raise my voice again for Him, if only I may love Him, please Him.  May hap in mercy He shall give me a host of children that I may lead through the vast star fields, to explore His delicacies, whose  finger-ends set them to burning.  But if not, if only I may see Him, touch His garments, and smile into my Lover's eyes--ah then, not stars, nor children shall matter-- only Himself."

Jim Elliot was killed shortly after landing with fellow missionaries in the territory of the Auca Indians.  He was speared by one of the Indians. The entire missionary party was killed. From the human standpoint, this was horrendously tragic and devastating. Only God knew what lay ahead. By His amazing grace and the faith of a dedicated woman of God, his wife, Elisabeth, went back into the hostile country and with some others she was the means of a great revival. She then wrote a book called, Through the Gates of Splendor.  Jim Elliot, Martyr to the Auca Indians. If you would like to read more about Jim, please go to this link:
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Monday, October 24, 2016

E Fuller Torrey, Showing results for Impaired anosognosia Part 2

Impaired Awareness of illness: Anosognosia Part 2

All rights reserved, Torrey, E. Fulller

By Dr. E. Fuller Torrey

SUMMARY: Impaired awareness of illness (anosognosia) is a major problem because it is the single largest reason why individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder do not take their medications. It is caused by damage to specific parts of the brain, especially the right hemisphere. It affects approximately 50 percent of individuals with schizophrenia and 40 percent of individuals with bipolar disorder. When taking medications, awareness of illness improves in some patients.

Impaired awareness of illness is a strange thing. It is difficult to understand how a person who is sick would not know it. Impaired awareness of illness is very difficult for other people to comprehend. To other people, a person’s psychiatric symptoms seem so obvious that it’s hard to believe the person is not aware he/she is ill. Oliver Sacks, in his book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, noted this problem: 

It is not only difficult, it is impossible for patients with certain right-hemisphere syndromes to know their own problems ...And it is singularly difficult, for even the most sensitive observer, to picture the inner state, the ‘situation’ of such patients, for this is almost unimaginably remote from anything he himself has ever known.

What is impaired awareness of illness?


Impaired awareness of illness means that the person does not recognize that he/she is sick. The person believes that their delusions are real (e.g. the woman across the street really is being paid by the CIA to spy on him/her) and that their hallucinations are real (e.g. the voices really are instructions being sent by the President). Impaired awareness of illness is the same thing as lack of insight. The term used by neurologists for impaired awareness of illness is anosognosia, which comes from the Greek word for disease (nosos) and knowledge (gnosis). It literally means “to not know a disease.”

How big a problem is it?

Many studies of individuals with schizophrenia report that approximately half of them have moderate or severe impairment in their awareness of illness. Studies of bipolar disorder suggest that approximately 40 percent of individuals with this disease also have impaired awareness of illness. This is especially true if the person with bipolar disorder also has delusions and/or hallucinations.

Is this a new problem? I’ve never heard of it before.

Impaired awarenesss of illness in individuals with psychiatric disorders has been known for hundreds of years. In 1604 in his play “The Honest Whore,” playwright Thomas Dekker has a character say: “That proves you mad because you know it not.” Among neurologists unawareness of illness is well known since it also occurs in some individuals with strokes, brain tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. The term anosognosia was first used by a French neurologist in 1914. However in psychiatry impaired awareness of illness has only become widely discussed since the late 1980s.

Is impaired awareness of illness the same thing as denial of illness?

No. Denial is a psychological mechanism which we all use, more or less. Impaired awareness of illness, on the other hand, has a biological basis and is caused by damage to the brain, especially the right brain hemisphere. The specific brain areas which appear to be most involved are the frontal lobe and part of the parietal lobe.

Can a person be partially aware of their illness?


Yes. Impaired awareness of illness is a relative, not an absolute problem. Some individuals may also fluctuate over time in their awareness, being more aware when they are in remission but losing the awareness when they relapse.

Are there ways to improve a person’s awareness of their illness?


Studies suggest that approximately one-third of individuals with schizophrenia improve in awareness of their illness when they take anti psychotic medication. Studies also suggest that a larger percentage of individuals with bipolar disorder improve on medication.

Why is impaired awareness of illness important in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder?


Impaired awareness of illness is the single biggest reason why individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder do not take medication. They do not believe they are sick, so why should they? Without medication, the person’s symptoms become worse. This often makes them more vulnerable to being victimized and committing suicide. It also often leads to re-hospitalization, homelessness, being incarcerated in jail or prison, and violent acts against others. 

If you have have not read Anosognosia Part 1 please go to anosognosia-why-people-who-have-certain.html

If you have not read our book Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It  please go to: You then need to scroll down to the donation button. After you click it put it the amount of the donation $13.00. This includes shipping.The retail is $16.00+ shipping. It is a savings of $6.00.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Anosognosia - Why people who have certain mental illnesses don't think they are sick. Part 1


Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are considered to be a couple of the most horrible diseases that exist in our world. Robyn and I have conducted seminars across the United States and in Canada. The most common question we are asked at these events is, "I have a loved one with bipolar disorder (or schizophrenia) and I cannot convince them to seek help. They don't realize anything is wrong and they refuse to take medications or even to investigate ways to help themselves. What can I do?"
I usually tell them, "If I had the answer to that one, I would be a millionaire!" In these disorders, a person's judgment is off-kilter because that very important part of processing in the brain is not firing correctly. You can see how difficult this situation can be. This denial is called Anosognosia.

I have Bipolar II disorder but I have never lost touch with reality.  In many mental illnesses, a person may become psychotic for a while or even chronically. So, since the brain is the organ that helps you perceive things in your environment, some harmful, some helpful, then if you have a brain disease and especially mental illness, your brain may not be able to give you the insight you need to get proper help for your illness.

Robyn and I are amazed that there are so many large movements that rightfully advocate for those who suffer from other diseases but advocates for the mentally ill are scarce. Could one reason be that because the mentally ill do not think that they have a disease, why would they fight to educate and raise awareness of it?  Everyone knows a person has to admit or at least realize there is an issue before anything can be done to help.

One of the best things you can do is maintain a relationship and always hope and pray for a teachable moment.   I worked in Grand Rapids, Michigan for an evangelical non-profit ministry to the "urban mentally ill," one of my duties was to teach volunteers how to make friends with those who suffered from hallucinations and delusions.  I remember it took about six years to get a man who suffered from schizophrenia to get treatment.  It took time and and much prayer.

This is one of the reasons why we have started a grass roots movement for those who have mental illness and for those who are their caregivers. The name of our movement is CAMI, which stands for, Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness. We have named it this way, because we do not blame people for a disease of the brain that affects mind, thinking and behavior. Why would we? It is our passionate burden to educate, counsel and advocate for those who cannot do so for themselves. Blame and shame will never be a part of this movement. We do seminars which I think you would want to attend. The feedback we get after our seminars include words like "encouraging" "educational" "supportive", "helpful" and "motivating." We are starting support groups in Canada and the United States of America. If you would like more information or knows someone who would, please go to our "Contact Us" page on our website.


Don't forget our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It,
 Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications.  If you go to the following link and you scroll down to the donation button.  Just click on the button and put in a dollar amount of $13.00. I will give you the book for half the price of the retail value.  This amount will also pay for the shipping.  Limit 5 per person.  Broken Minds will also be signed by Robyn and I. Thanks, Steve Bloem
We will have a part two of this blog in the near future.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Civil War Song on Christmas Eve: A Story About Ira Sankey

 Image result for Ira Sankey, in union army uniform

by Grace MacMullen
One of my favorite Christmas stories is about the sweet singer Ira D. Sankey, who led the music for so many D.L. Moody's campaigns, and who wrote many beautiful songs including the classic gospel solo, "The Ninety and Nine."

The year was 1876, and Sankey was traveling on a steamboat up the Delaware River on Christmas Eve. Travelers on such a holiday, seemingly cut adrift in a world where everyone else is celebrating with loved ones, often seem to cling together making a circle of warmth in a waiting room, in a plane, or in an almost deserted restaurant.

It was such a journey. On the deck were gathered a number of passengers, looking out at the calm, starlit night. Someone said, "Mr. Sankey is aboard!" and immediately there were cries of "Let him sing for us! Let's ask Mr. Sankey to sing!"

He stood leaning against one of the great funnels of the boat. Before he began, he stood for a moment as if in prayer, deciding what to sing. He wanted to sing a Christmas song, but somehow the words of the Shepherd Song were what came to his heart.

"Saviour, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need thy tender care.
In thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use thy folds prepare."

Among the listeners, there was a deep stillness. The words telling the sweet story of God's love for wandering men, and the beautiful melody floated out across the deck, across the water, into the night. Every heart was stirred.

At the end of the song, there was an almost audible response. One man stepped forth—a rough-looking man.To Sankey, he said, "Did you ever serve in the Union Army?"
"Yes," answered Sankey. "In the spring of 1860."

"Can you remember if you were doing picket duty on a bright moonlight night in 1862?"
"Yes, I do," answered Sankey, with surprise. "Were you...?"
"I did, too, but I was serving in the Confederate Army. When I saw you standing at your post, I said to myself, 'That fellow will never get away from here alive.' I raised my musket and took aim. I was in the shadow, completely hidden, while you walked in full moonlight.
"At that instant, you began to sing—ust as a moment ago. The song was 'Saviour, like a shepherd lead us...'

"The music reached my heart. I took my finger off the trigger. 'I'll wait until the end of the song,' I said to myself. 'I can't miss him, and I can shoot him afterwards.'
"As you sang, you reached the place where it says,
"'We are Thine, do Thou befriend us,'
"'Be the guardian of our way...'

"I could hear every word perfectly, and how the memories came to my heart! I began to think of my childhood and my mother. She loved God. She had sung that song to me many times. But she died all too soon, otherwise I think my life might have been different.

"At the end of the song, I could not raise my musket again. It was impossible for me to take aim, though you still stood in the bright moonlight, a perfect target.
"Then I thought of the Lord. I looked at you and thought, 'The Lord who was able to save that man from certain death must surely be great and mighty.' My arm dropped to my side and I cannot tell you all the things I thought at that time. My heart was smitten, but I didn't know what to do.
"Just now, when you were about to sing and stood quietly as if praying, I recognized you. I've wandered far and wide, since that other occasion.

 I have never found that Shepherd. Please help me now find a cure for my sick soul."
Deeply moved, Mr. Sankey threw his arms about the man who had been his enemy, who, indeed, could have ended his life. That Christmas Eve night, a former soldier found the great and tender Shepherd as his Saviour.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

2016 Children’s Mental Health Report

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Mental health disorders are the most common health issues faced by our nation’s school-aged children. One in five children suffers from a mental health or learning disorder, and 80% of chronic mental disorders begin in childhood. There is an urgent need to identify the signs of these conditions early in life if children are to get the care and support they need to thrive.
Children struggling with mental health and learning disorders are at risk for poor outcomes in school and in life, and outdated approaches to discipline are only making matters worse. Instead of putting kids further at risk, schools should be identifying and supporting at-risk children. A widely deployed, integrated system of evidence-supported, school-based mental health and preventive services is needed. If we want to help our children and our schools, we cannot wait.

Of the 74.5 million children in the United States, an estimated 17.1 million have or have had a psychiatric disorder — more than the number of children with cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. Half of all psychiatric illness occurs before the age of fourteen , and 75 percent by the age of twenty four.
In spite of the magnitude of the problem, lack of awareness and entrenched stigma keep the majority of these young people from getting help. Children and adolescents with psychiatric illness are at risk for academic failure, substance abuse, and a clash with the juvenile justice system — all of which come at a tremendous cost to them, their families, and the community.
This is a public health crisis that must be addressed. For more of this excellent report please go to:  

Robyn and I will discuss children and adult mental illness at the seminar below.  If you would like us to have a seminar, at your church or place of ministry; we will go to Great Britain, Canada or the United States.

Don't forget our seminar. Whispers in the Foyer An Honest Look at the Christian and Mental Health.
It will be Saturday, October 15,2016.  It will take place at Boca Glades Baptist Church in Boca Raton, Florida. You only have to look for signs.  You can register at the door. Registration is at 9:00 am.  Here is some more information on line.  

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Persecution is world wide, what is our responsibility ?

I've not faced any serious persecution.  I have been made fun of at times for being a Christian and there have been times when I was treated poorly because of my faith.  I was fired at one of my jobs because of my Christian faith. It was a matter of the rich, taking the poor man's money. I vehemently protested and I followed the money trail.  it cost me the job. It  was at the same time my Robyn was diagnosed as having breast cancer.

But I haven't faced jail time or physical torture for following Christ.  I'm guessing quite a few of our readers have had similar experiences as I have had.  However,  some of our readers have experienced serious persecution from their family, friends, neighbors, or authority figures. This blog has over eighty thousand hits,  and half of them are from other  countries, than the United States of America. Heartfelt Counseling Ministries is very concerned about the cruel persecution and genocide that is happening in the world today. We are commanded to remember  them and pray for them!

Pray for Josephine, Receiving Treatment for Injuries Suffered in Attacks

Josephine is finally receiving medical treatment for injuries she suffered for being a Christian.A young Christian woman is receiving medical care for injuries suffered throughout her life because of her Christian faith. When Josephine was 5 years old, a group of Muslims confronted her family about their Christmas decorations and tried to burn their house down. Josephine sustained severe burns on her chest and stomach, but her family was too poor to get the treatment she needed. Later, as an adult, she was harassed and mistreated by her boss for being the only Christian at a beauty parlor where she worked. In one incident, her boss pushed her into a broom she was using, causing her to lose her right eye.

 VOM is assisting Josephine with medical care, and she has already had two surgeries. Please pray for her healing and that she will continue to be bold in her faith.

Oct. 07, 2016 | Pakistan
 Pray for Five Families Expelled from Their Village Because of Their Faith

Some of the Christian families in India who were kicked out of their Hindu village for refusing to pay for a festival. Five Christian families in India were expelled from their village on Aug. 10 when they refused to help pay for a Hindu festival. The 10 adults and three children all belong to a church in a neighboring village. Recently, Hindu extremists and village leaders interrupted a worship meeting and began beating all of the Christians, including a pregnant woman, and two of the men suffered internal injuries. Each family was forced to pay an $85 fine before being evicted from their property and kicked out of the village.

 Brother “Xi” has been falsely accused of human trafficking
Brother Xi faces criminal charges after locals in Myanmar falsely accused him of a crime for being a Christian.

Because of his Christian activities in Myanmar. “I have peace in the Lord, though I was falsely accused because of my faith and Christian activities,” he said. “The opposition has tried to cause me problems in many ways. But the more I face persecution in my life the more my church members and I grow in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our prayers always work.” Please pray for Brother Xi, whose court case is expected to take several months. VOM is helping with legal fees.
We are having a seminar called Whispers in the Foyer, An Honest Look at the Christian and Mental Illness. It is Saturday, October 15, 2016. It will be in Boca Raton, at Boca Glades Baptist Church.

For more information,  please go to the link to our website.
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Monday, October 3, 2016

If you want to see what depression looks like, look at Steve's eyes!

Robyn Leeser Bloem's photo.

We have been talking about our upcoming seminar on the Christian and mental illness. It is less than two weeks away and the seats are filling up. I thought I would just give you a sample of the things we share. The first picture is of us in 1985 during Steve's first depressive episode; he could barely fake a smile. We were completely in the dark about what was happening to him (to us) and what we should do about it. We had a 5 year-old, 3 year-old and a newborn. We were both 29 and our world was collapsing around us. Steve was called to pastor a church in Orlando that we had to turn down because of the severity of his depression. We ran through our savings and our spirits were sagging, to say the least. There were no ads on TV for antidepressants. No one talked about this "thing." We kept it private for as long as we could. When we did share, Steve was criticized for being "unspiritual" he was accused of having "anger issues" and told to just "confess your sin and get over it." We were the only ones that knew he was not doing those things.

Robyn Leeser Bloem's photo. 

 I saw him pray from a list for 2 years because his concentration was so bad he couldn't remember who to pray for without it. I saw him carry a verse on a 3 x 5 card in his shirt pocket to remember God's promises because he couldn't read the bible like he used to. He worked and dragged himself around for two full years and FINALLY he tried that "one more" medication and all his "sin" and "neuroses" and "anger issues" went away. We share this and more in our seminar, "Whispers in the Foyer." We don't blame you or your loved ones for having a brain disorder. Come on out. I think it will be worth your time.

If you would like to pay online go to
You can also send a check to our address: 4371 Northlake Blvd., Suite 256, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida  33410 SB