Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Spiritual Battlefield,The Persecuted Church




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





The number of countries where persecution is widespread is hard to comprehend. In our own United States, persecution occurs often but seldom results in death. Students, who hold to a biblical world and life view and attend American universities are ridiculed
and scorned by many of their professors.


America is just about ready to declare by word and by practice that the right to die will become the duty to die. Babies are being killed for nothing that they have done but because it is convenient for one or both of their parents. Other murderers (those who kill people who have actually been born)  seem to receive very "light sentences."

 Our daughter, who knew Christ and loved him, was hit by a car on September 11, 2001 at about 7:40 pm. The young delinquent who slammed into her, cared nothing about our troubled nation on that day of terrorism and certainly nothing of Christ. This is another case of home-grown terrorism.. The terrorist that killed her was on enough heroin, cocaine and marijuana to "put down six men" (according to the Michigan State Police Forensics Lab). It is likely that this addict, probably unknown to him, was connected to the Taliban, who  had been making and selling opioids from the poppy fields of Afghanistan.. The heroin that he and his friends were injecting, while in the car on 9-11-2001, must have come illegally into the United States.

 He was given three consecutive sentences of fifteen years. How can a person be given such a light sentence?  How can the  three sentences run concurrently? It is the language of lawyers and judges, a concept that the common man does not understand.  In fact, he served thirteen years and a number of his possible paroles were extended  because of his poor behavior in prison.



The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 3:15,16 
But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame."
 
“You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.”
Joseph’s words in Genesis 50 may reflect the sentiment of many front-line gospel workers in the persecuted world. These workers have seen an increased openness to the gospel among Muslims as a result of increased persecution. We have heard them request prayer, not for release, but that they will persevere in their faith as they continue to suffer for Christ. These men and women are the real heroes of today. They live out what we preach and we must remember to pray for them.


One thing I have heard people say about broad prayers for the persecuted is, "How can I pray in such general terms?" One person shared with me, that he prays for someone his own age who may be struggling in strength and grace and who may be also worried about a grown child who needs grace or grand children who miss their parents and grandparents because they are imprisoned. He just tries to be a little more specific in his prayers and to personalize his requests. You can also go to Voice of the Martyrs and get specific people whose names you can then take to the Lord. HE knows how to answer your prayers for them.




Thursday, August 3, 2017

Depression and Spurgeon



 As many of you know. my wife Robyn and I wrote a book called, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It.  In this book we talk about the great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, who had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). We were sailing in uncharted waters. We did not use researchers or electronic concordances to write this book.  It came from a heartfelt reading of his sermons. If you would like to purchase that book, please go to:http://heartfeltmin.org/resources.html. This deal is is brand new and it costs half the retail price which is $16.00.  Robyn and I will sign the book also if you wish. The cost buying from us is  $.8.00.  The shipping is $3.00. No one can beat this deal!This book which is published by Kregel comes in paper back and digital devices. This is a limited time offer.
Rev. Steve BloemCo owner of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries.
 Keep reading you won't want to miss the material below. For Kindle go to

I recently was sent a blog by a friend that talks about Spurgeon and depression.
Here is a good historical  treatment of the depression that Charles Spurgeon suffered
FYI: Christian George, “11 Reasons Spurgeon Was Depressed” (11 JUL 2017), on http://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/blog-entries/11-reasons-spurgeon-was-depressed [accessed 11 JUL 2017].
 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Exaltation is not grabbed. It is given by the Father...

"Exaltation is not grabbed.  It is given by the Father, in His Time and His way.
For some of us, it may be on the other side when we hear from Him, "Well done you
good and faithful servant." Fascinating isn't it, how many of us in spiritual leadership, program
our lives around ways in which exaltation can be gotten in our time and our way?
And when it never comes, we are discouraged and defeated.  A proper view of
 authentic Christianity is that it is not about the exaltation of ourselves, but about
the exaltation of Him.  It it not about building and gaining our kingdom but about the
advance of His Kingdom."  Joseph Stowell, Shepherding the Church into the 21st century,
Victor books,First Edition (1984) p.120)


"I began to look at God’s providential hand in our lives. As I sat by myself at my kitchen table, reading His Word, remembering that sermon, and praying in my faltering faith, I knew the greatest event in history still was at work in my heart.
I was still His child. I had not run from the cross. He was still enabling me to trust Him by faith. It was not a faith that said, “Everything will be okay.” It was a faith that said, “God is in control. If things are not okay, we will still follow.” I finally was able to accept God’s will, realizing that I may never fully understand why He has allowed a certain trial. But His plan is good, even if the reason for what He is doing seems to be none of my business. 
(Robyn Bloem, Coauthor of Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It Kregel Publications, p. 81,
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0825421187/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me=

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This is one of my favorite quotes regarding the depression and disappointment of Elijah.




"It was that he might know that the LORD was still the same God who had nourished and sustained His whole nation in the desert with manna from Heaven for forty years. And just as the forty years sojourn in the desert had been to Moses a time for the trial of faith and an exercise in humility and meekness (Numbers 12:3), so was the strength of Elijah's faith to be tried by the forty days wandering in the same desert and to be purified from all carnal zeal for the further fulfillment of his calling, in accordance with the divine will," (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume 3, I Kings. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing House, reprinted, 1983, page 255.




My wife Robyn and have many times conducted seminars in the United States and Canada. One of our favorites is called, "Whispers in the Foyer and Honest Look at the Christian and Mental Illness."  If your church or ministry desires to obey God's command to help the needy and to shepherd the flock of God, this will be an instructive eye opener for those who attend. 

If you   will have ten or more members, we will come either by plane or by car (depending on the distance). We live  in Florida, more specifically, Palm Beach County. 

You can email me at pathema@msn.com. 
Please tell me if you would like sent to you a brief introduction to the seminar on Power Point.
Every one who comes to the group will receive a certificate and if they wish a Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness (CAMI) membership. 
Please see our website heartfeltmin.org






 

Monday, July 3, 2017

If you are married and have depression, bipolar etc., read this blog.


Marriage, Mental Illness, and Love

Product Details  One helpful section of this helpful book, Broken Minds, is the authors’ emphasis on the importance of the Christian marriage covenant.  In other words, what does a husband do when his wife suffers a mental illness?  What does a wife do when her husband is debilitated by mental illness?  What do you as a husband or wife do when you’re the one who is mentally ill?  A brief biblical answer is love one another.  Keep your family in mind during a crisis.  The Bloem’s expand on this main principle.  I’ve listed their anchoring precepts for a family crisis below (they are edited for the sake of space).
1) Remember God holds the marriage covenant in high esteem.  If your loved one is sick, it can take what seems a superhuman feat to persevere.  Pray for grace and submit to God’s Word by sticking with your spouse and family.
2) Never make a decision of importance while either depressed or manic – especially manic.  In a state of mania, you must be aware that you cannot trust what you may be certain is true.  The side effects of some mental illnesses include inflated self-esteem, hyper-sexual fantasies, and other extremes.  Those with a tendency toward a manic phase are well advised to adopt a conscious habit to always doubt the truth of impressions, perceptions, feelings, and judgment.  Don’t trust yourself.  Rely upon someone who is trustworthy to help you sort out your thoughts, emotions, and desires.  Don’t trust perceived revelations from God, but stick to simple, direct precepts in Scripture, praying that he guides you through the valley.  And deny any urge to find previously hidden meanings in a biblical text.
3) Make a conscious decision not to sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.  The Devil wants to destroy God’s ordained institutions, and the breakup of the family is one of his chief aims.  Too many counselors are quick to advise the spouse that it is far more advantageous to separate or divorce than to stick it out when the symptoms become severe.  Some counselors will even say that to the one who has the mental illness.  You may have to utilize treatment centers or hospitals, but don’t take the “easy” way out of divorce.  When you and your spouse are in a right frame of mind, make this firm decision to press on together.
4) Do not go off your medications for any reason, except as directed by a knowledgeable medical doctor.  When you are feeling well, it is hard to remember how bad it can get.  Do not let your ‘recovered’ brain chemistry deceive you into thinking that the medicine’s benefits were ‘all in your mind’ or a ‘placebo effect.’  You are feeling better because the medicine is doing its work!
5) Do not abandon God’s economy for order in the family because of illness.  Whatever society may tell you, gender roles do matter, and they are biblical.  Husbands are the heads of the home. It may be difficult, but they must do their prayer-filled best to maintain their role even through illness.  And when a wife is ill, the husband has a holy responsibility to protect his wife and that means not shrugging off the times when she ‘has the blues.’  Pray for your wife, and support her as much as you can during the desperate times.  Sometimes you have to go through regular schedules and routines while ill; don’t throw in the towel.  Spouses should support one another in their biblical roles.  It is also advisable to seek help from your church family (p. 92-96).
Again, this is just a summary of a helpful – and much-needed! – discussion.   I recommend this book for pastors and elders who have parishioners suffering mental illnesses.  I also recommend it for those who struggle with mental illness as well as those involved in lives of others who face this difficult trial in life.  As Steve and Robyn Bloem know so well, there is hope in Christ and his Word for those who are mentally ill.  It is a hellish trial, but mental illness, like any trial, is temporary for the people of God.  It will not last forever.  On that last day when Jesus makes all things new, not a single one of God’s people will suffer any sort of illness.  Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

rev shane lems

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Stigma of Mental Illness


 Image result for shame and stigma



Fresh out of seminary over 30 year ago, I remember being so depressed that I was unable to candidate at a church in Florida. After a stay in a psychiatric hospital, I had gotten better and tried to reapply. The head deacon said to me, in a smooth southern drawl, "Steve, do you have a case of the nerves?" They did not want me back.

Certainly, mental illness has to do with the central nervous system. But the term nervous breakdown represents a pejorative perspective on mental illness. Mental illness is biological in its origin. Christians cannot claim to have immunity from it.

Let’s Pray For Our Poor, Mentally Ill Member

Evidences of the stigma of mental illness in churches persist. For instance, when is the last time in a church prayer meeting that you heard a prayer request for someone who is in a psychiatric hospital? If people in your church or your town would really be honest, they would be amazed how many people are being treated biologically for a mental illness.

However, most church goers will not mention mental illness, their silence for themselves or their loved ones in the church speaks loudly to us. Instead, there are whispers in the foyer about someone not being able to handle stress, having a case of the nerves or some other inane comment.

Heaven Knows No Stigma

Thankfully, there is no stigma in Heaven about our subject. Millions of perfected saints in glory are praising God that the Lord Jesus Christ through His shed blood and resurrection has delivered them from the horrible pain of mental illness, which to many was feared more than death itself. Matt. 5:3 tells us, Blessed are the poor in spirit for they shall see the kingdom of God.

A pastor friend of mine contacted me about a godly man in his congregation who had severe mental illness. The tried Christian died suddenly, in the middle of reading his Bible one morning and went to be with the Lord.  My friend, the pastor said, “Now his torment is over forever.”
Let us be brave and face the horrible suffering of mental illness head on.  By doing this we will bring glory and honor to God.

Romans 12:16, Be of the same mind toward one another ; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.


 Many books today by Christian leaders still blame the person who has the disease of depression. We do not create a "culture of blame."
You can still get one of the best Christian books that has been written about depression. It is a story, and a look at Christianity, the Bible and mental illness.
It is available in Kindle and paperback.
 https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Minds-Healing-Youre-Losing/dp/0825421187




 Steve and Robyn would like to invite you to a special support group! This is for people who suffer from depression, bipolar, panic disorder, OCD, etc., or for those supporting loved ones and friends who have these conditions.

 CAMI Support Groups


 










We meet every Thursday evening at
Boca Glades Baptist Church
10101 Judge Winikoff Road
Boca Raton, FL 3342


It goes from 7:00 – 8:15 pm in the Education building. Look for the signs!







If you have any questions or need any
 other information call Steve or Robyn Bloem 
at Heartfelt Counseling Ministries 561.909.9109.
We look forward to seeing you!
Come as you are!











Monday, June 26, 2017

Christians have sunshine and darkness



MORNING











Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon- public domain.
Edited by Steve Bloem while retaining the message.
.
“You are  are my hope in the day of evil.”
- Jeremiah 17:17



Image result for Dark sky

The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. True, it is written in God’s Word, “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;” and it is a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as heaven above; but experience tells us that if the course of the just be, “as the shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect day,” yet sometimes that light is eclipsed. 
At certain periods clouds cover the believer’s sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light. There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career; they have walked along the green pastures by the side of the still waters, but suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded; instead of Goshen (where Israel had light and  Egypt had total darkness), they have to tread the sandy desert; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say; “Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen.” 


Oh! "Don’t talk like that you who are walking in darkness." The best of God’s people must drink the bitter wormwood; the dearest of his children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows (where the musicians of Israel hung their musical instruments during captivity.   Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shave the  lamb, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God’s full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.
The above portion was abridged by  Rev. Steve Bloem. B.A. M.M.

If you have not read Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It, and you minister to the many needs in your church; you must read this book. It is available in book form and Kindle. It is being read world wide and has been a blessing to many.

https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Minds-Healing-Youre-Losing-ebook/dp/B004EPYNLE/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=





Monday, June 19, 2017

Important terms that you should know when it comes to disorders of the mind and mood.

Copyright, Kregel Publication (2005) From Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It,  See the appendix.

1. Delusions - A false fixed belief that makes incorrect inferences about external reality. This belief is steadfastly maintained in spite of contrary evidence.  
  •   Delusions of grandeur - involve incorrect perceptions of the self (inflating personal power or knowledge or relationship to deity).  This often   occurs in the manic phase of bipolar disorder.
  •   Delusions of reference -
    A delusion of reference makes a false inference about objects or people surrounding the person with the delusion. A car pulling to the side of the road may trigger a flight response off the highway. The sound of clapping hands can be interpreted as a cue to introduce himself or herself
  •  Erotica delusions revolve around another person, usually famous, who is thought to be in love with the individual experiencing the delusions
  •  Persecutory delusions
  • Somatic delusions. that one's body is sick or has a disease.

2. Depression - Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness . People tend to characterize themselves as “depressed” if they feel “down” or “sad.” In the social sciences and medicine, clinical depression describes a more profound and life-challenging state of mind. In many cases, the depressed individual has a lack of energy and motivation. Sometimes physical symptoms such as slow movement and speech are also present. Depression is described as “exogenous” (caused by identifiable life stresses) and “endogenous” (without identifiable environmental stress causes). See also major depressive disorder.
 
3. Depersonalization- A feeling associated with anxiety disorders that one is becoming unreal or is separated from their own body or thoughts. Sometimes it is likened to a dream state or a looking at one’s actions in kaleidoscope fashion,


4.. Derealization -A dreamlike feeling associated with anxiety disorders that the observable world and its experiences are strange or not real. For example, the world seems to be slowing down or reality is viewed as in a fog or from the inside of a fishbowl. 


5.  Demoralize -It means; "to deprive (a person or persons) of spirit, courage, discipline,  to destroy the morale of someone or some group  of people" (Merriam Webster).
 


If you wish to order Broken Minds it is available in book form or in Kindle.  please go to https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Minds-Healing-Youre-Losing/dp/0825421187

 Please go to our web site at heartfeltmin.org
 Robyn and I are poised to speak in churches, place of ministries and at public    events about mental illness and its appropriate treatment. We have written  three books on the subject (one is being prepared by Kregel Publications.If you cannot connect through our website, please go to  my email is camimovement@yahoo.com.