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






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

 GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OR THE CAUSE OF EVIL
"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.
 GOD NEVER PROMISED FREEDOM FROM PAIN AND SUFFERING
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).

 GOD USES PAIN AND SUFFERING FOR HIS PURPOSES
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
WE HAVE GOD'S PROMISE OF LOVE AND COMFORT
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.

EVIL AND SUFFERING ARE NOT EXPERIENCED BY ANY PARTICULAR PERSON AS GOD'S PUNISHMENT FOR SIN
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.

GOD HAS PROVIDED A TRIUMPH!
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
http://www.honeywagonseptic.com/Study%20Items/Studies/discipleship/suffer.html





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:

http://www.puritansermons.com/ruth/ruth6.htm
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"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. http://heartfeltmin.org/join-us.htmlhttp://heartfeltmin.org/join-us.html

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The man who wanted the preacher to let him light himself on fire.


















Our non-profit is doing something about the stigma of mental illness that is so prevalent in evangelical churches. We are trying to destroy any falsehoods about mental illness because 
we know Satan deceives people about the truth.  Mental illness is a disease.

 A few years ago I was preaching at a gospel mission. During the day, I also was employed by a Community Mental Health agency as a triage clinical case manager. This was when Robyn and I lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The congregation were a mixed group of races, colors and creeds.  Some were substance abusers, some were mentally ill. They had just finished the mission meal and now I was ready to preach. I looked out and realized these were my people. 

Image result for mel trotter mission grand rapids michigan
Mel Trotter Mission



 In the middle of my sermon, one of my clients from my triage job  stepped up to the platform with a lighter, saying, "I am going to burn myself up preacher!  What are you going to do about it?" Of course I had been trained in handling exactly these situations.  I stopped my message, immediately restrained him and plied his fingers from the lighter.  Two of the younger men took him to the back of the auditorium. 
I told them to call the mental health crisis center affiliated with my other job.  Instead, they sought for six hours to cast the demon of mental illness out of him. This was nonsense; he suffered from schizophrenia.  He should have been petitioned into a psychiatric hospital but instead he went off his medications and avoided our agency at all costs.  And then he wound up in a psychiatric hospital anyway. The young men at that mission needed to learn about what mental illness is. Schizophrenia and other mental illnesses are neuro-degenerative diseases.  The longer you go without the proper medications the worse you become. 










As a Co-founder of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries, I use various means to train people to implement social services.  Many of the incentives to performing social ministry are in the Bible. Whether it is by lecture or by meaningful discussions on current events or going into the community, we must apply the truth of the Scripture and its outcomes to the issues of every generation. This may also include going to a local mental health agency or visiting a place that provides housing for homeless persons. Mental illness is not only a personal disease, it is a disease which has costly social consequences such as suicide, time lost at work, divorce and many more problems. My wife, Robyn and I started our own ministry in 2004. We have helped many people who are mentally ill, bereaved and abusing substances.   We believe strongly in prayer and we have a new understanding of life because we know the Savior, Jesus Christ. Helping the mentally ill requires intelligence and an awareness of the biology of mental illness. A person may want to help, but like the well-meaning young men at the mission, if we don't understand the problem, how can we possibly provide the solution? 

If you would like to give an end of the year gift to enable Heartfelt Counseling Ministries to continue to help low income people access mental health care, please go to our website, and scroll down to the donate button. http://heartfeltmin.org/join-us.html





Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The burning of John Huss

John Huss

John Huss

 Huss was a Czech priest who was burned at the stake for heresy against the doctrines of the Catholic Church. Particularly he fought against the doctrines of Ecclesiology and the Eucharist as taught by the Roman Catholic Church. He was an early reformer living before the time of Luther and Calvin (other well-known reformers of Roman Catholicism).

Huss was martyred on July 6, 1415. He refused to recant his position of the charges that were brought against him. On the day he died he is said to have stated, “God is my witness that the things charged against me I never preached. In the same truth of the Gospel which I have written, taught, and preached, drawing upon the sayings and positions of the holy doctors, I am ready to die today.
For more information on Huss go

The Persecuted Church Today


A young girl in southern Mexico has recently returned to church, after being forbidden from attending last year by her Zapatista parents. At the end of October, Carla visited her Christian grandparents and was able to return to the church where she accepted Christ. She was nervous about returning and feared that she might be shunned for failing to attend the Christian children’s group. Zapatistas, such as her parents, often shun community members who do not participate in meetings. Pray that Carla and her grandparents will remain faithful despite pressure from Carla’s parents and other members of the Zapatista community. Pray also for Christians who continue to reach out to children and others in the Zapatista community. [/request/450/carla/]https://www.icommittopray.com/request/450/carla/


A local church leader and teacher in Kazakhstan was sentenced to two years in prison on Oct. 3, 2016, after being convicted of making a false emergency-services call. On April 14, 2015, someone using Yuri Pak’s cellphone made a prank phone call to Kazakhstan’s emergency services, similar to calling 911 in the United States. The evidence used against Yuri Pak is a two-minute recording of a drunken man making a bomb threat and using prison jargon. Expert witnesses testified that the caller’s voice does not match Yuri Pak’s voice. Additionally, the caller references spending 10 years in prison and being angry at police, but Yuri Pak has never been in prison. The government in this majority Muslim country appears to be using these false charges to persecute him because of his role in the Christian church. Pray for justice and that God will use Yuri Pak as a shining light for Christ while he is in prison.

Post Your Prayer

Yuri Pak has been sentenced to two years in prison in Kazakhstan for being a church leader.
Yuri Pak has been sentenced to two years in prison in Kazakhstan for being a church leader.







Carla was allowed to visit with her Christian grandparents after nearly a year of not seeing them because her Zapatista parents do not want her to be part of a church.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Child of the Light walking in darkness-C.H. Spurgeon.













This blog is dedicated to Heidi Strater.

 The Child Of Light Walking In Darkness
A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 25, 1887,
BY C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

 But enough of this. I have given you a picture which some of you will recognize as a portrait of yourselves. Personally I have often passed through this dark valley—there is a bog on the right hand and a deep gulf on the left—and all along the murky way, the howling of the dogs of Hell and the hissing of evil spirits are never out of one's ears! And, worst of all, the whispers of the fiend make you think his vile suggestions to be your own thoughts. The sword in the hand becomes useless, for in the dark you do not know where to strike. No weapon remains except that of All-Prayer. To walk on all through the night and not to see a step before you is anxious work—and yet thousands of God's pilgrims who are now yonder among the shining ones, praising and blessing His holy name—have traversed this dreadful road.

  Lord, help us when we, also, penetrate its blackness!

Note that the Lord not only makes an enquiry of these people, but He takes note of their condition. He is not indifferent to their state. When they walk in darkness, He is with them. And when they have no light, He still beholds them. The Lord is very sensitive to the sorrows of His chosen and very quick to help them. When He finds them walking in darkness, He graciously counsels and advises them, so that He may most effectually help them. Thus says the gracious Lord to the benighted one—"Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and rely upon his God." That same God who says of His vineyard, "I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment lest any hurt it. I will keep it night and day," also spies out His children in the dark and, looking upon them with an eye of tender love, He directs their course. This is the Word of Wisdom by which He directs each one of them through the darkness—"Let Him trust in the name of the Lord, and rely upon his God.

https://www.ccel.org/ccel/spurgeon/sermons33.xlviii.html?highlight=child,of,god,walking,in,darkness#highlight



Sunday, November 13, 2016

Steve, Lindsay  and Robyn Bloem

My wife Robyn and I were in deep sorrow regarding the loss of our daughter Lindsay and her daughter, Emily Hope.  A long time friend sent a card along with a CD of Sela.  It was just at the right time.  The card was wonderful and the tape had many encouraging songs on it.Where would we be as Christians if we did not have the medium of music?  

The old hymn that was on the card was  Abide with Me. For some of you young people listening to the song Abide with Me song without musical instruments will be a move out of your comfort zone.

Abide With Me Hymn


Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5nbq_VEea0&playnext=1&list=PLD58EEA074D8183B8&feature=results_video


 






















Tuesday, November 8, 2016


 



Leader and Student Guide for         
Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness.  (CAMI                                           AMI 
The Purpose of Study Guide
What it is not

This study guide is not intended to replace the services of a psychiatrist or a primary physician. We believe that anyone who suffers from a serious disturbance of mind and mood should be under the supervision of mental health professionals.  In our experience, there is a dreadful need in the local church for groups or ministries that target the mentally ill. 

One of the chief reasons the church has neglected this area of ministry is that
those in church leadership have assigned mental illness and its treatment to mental health professionals.   From the onset of our study, we must proclaim that a mental illness support group in the local church is not for treating the mentally ill.  Nevertheless the
Evangelical church has much to offer mentally ill people.


What it is


This starter/study guide is intended to help local churches start support groups for the mentally ill. This type of group is for the mutual encouragement of those who suffer from mental illness in the local church.  It would also be useful in other settings such as small groups (fellowship), Adult Bible Studies, Recovery Groups and the like.






 
A Scriptural Foundation

People who have a mental illness often describe it as a “darkening of the mind.”  Some have likened it to being in a pit {Ps 40:2}. King David said “He (God) brought me up also out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (NASB).

One of the helpful  admonitions to people who are mentally ill is found in Isaiah 50:10, “Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God” (Is. 50:10 (NASB).

You can be in “soul darkness” but still fear the LORD.  In this case the prophet tells us that the one “in the dark” needs to trust in the name of LORD (Jehovah) God, (see Exodus 3:13-16). A person’s name stands for one’s character, honor and person hood. 


Who is Involved?
A CAMI support group will have a facilitator who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is a born again Christian.  Others in the group who have come out of the darkness of depression/mental illness will be able to share stories of God’s faithfulness with those who are suffering what they have suffered.This encouraging of tottering, trembling believers is very biblical.  It is commanded by the Apostle Paul who in  I Thessalonians 5:14, states, “We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (NASB).


Why Have a Mental Illness Support Group?
     
 The word “encourage” (para-mutheomai) in the above text of Scripture, in the original language (Greek) is a compound word which means, “to get close to a person in a very friendly manner and offer them consolation, using narratives of Scripture to provide healing of the soul."  The word fainthearted in the New American Translation is the Greek word, oligos-psuchos, which literally means “small souled.” The minds of mentally ill people are subject to great weakness.  They possess a fractured mind and the result is very little inner resource.  This is reflected in Proverbs 18:14, “The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, but a broken spirit who can bear (NASB)? 

 We meet on Thursday nights at Boca Glades Baptist Church from 7pm-8:15 pm.
 If you would like to participate in our support group and using Skype please let us know.  I am refreshed and encouraged by hearing from others in the group and by the biblical discussions. We also talk about mental health issues.Would you like to join us? For more about our support group, please go to: http://heartfeltmin.org/resources.html














Plagiarism is not only the reproducing of CAMI
  Materials but also using the idea and expression of CAMI support groups.






We will go anywhere in the United States, Canada or Great Britain to conduct a seminar. We have one called Whispers in the Foyer, An Honest Look at Mental Illness and many more.  Be sure to contact us about this, because our schedule for the next year is starting to fill up. You may get more information at
http://heartfeltmin.org/what-we-do.html