Monday, February 27, 2017

Have you had your house taken away? You may some day!

  But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings,  partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.  For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. (Hebrews 10:32-36, NASB).

Heartfelt Counseling Ministries is committed to helping the persecuted church across the world. How does that fit in with our purpose statement? 
Here is our purpose statement: "The primary purpose of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries is to offer comfort, support and guidance to those who suffer from mental illness, bereavement and other disturbances of mind and mood."  It is obvious that those who are mistreated, tortured and killed are having severe disturbances of mind and mood.  And it is not their fault.  The sufferings of the persecuted church fits well with the purpose statement of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries
The book of Hebrews tells us that the church was growing but the intensity and the chronic nature  of their persecution was wearing down a certain sector.  The Hebrew Christians had their houses taken from them and they had "persevered  under tribulation."
Hebrews 10:32 -34 says, "But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.  For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.

 The word remember in the original (Greek) means to continually think of your endurance in suffering.

Our text tells us, in the past that they had endured a "great conflict of sufferings."  The Greek words for a great conflict of sufferings depicted  a great athletic contest or perhaps a picture of the Olympic games or gladiator battles.  They were also were  made a public  spectacle. It may be that the Greek theater had attacked them,   which means some type of a public humiliation.   

The first was through reproaches (insults) and tribulations (afflictions).
The second was they shared (in this case they identified themselves with those who were suffering).  The writer exhorts them in the face of these past persecutions and sufferings to press on. They had  not separated themselves from fellow believers. Many of them had lost their own  houses ,"for you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one."  The writer of Hebrews then says,  Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward and that you may receive what was promised.  This entire book is very helpful to those who are being persecuted at this time. God has not and will not forget you.   Rejoice in hope and persevere in tribulation. We are praying  for you.
Feb. 24, 2017 | Mexico
 Christian families in Chiapas meet to worship even though they face persecution.

A Christian family in Chiapas, Mexico, was forced to flee their home after being threatened by members of their Zapatista community. Mardomio and his family were ordered by Mardomio’s father, the village “religious teacher,” to stop attending church and to return to their traditional beliefs, but they continued to attend church secretly. When they invited their pastor to their home for a special celebration, Mardomio’s father and some other villagers disrupted the celebration and beat the pastor before running him out of town. Mardomio’s children were then banned from the local school, and his family was ordered to leave the village. They have had to move several times but continue to meet with other believers for worship. Please pray for Mardomio and his family.
Dabay's daughter and the entire family are still grieving the pastor's death.
Dabay's daughter and the entire
 family are still grieving the pastor's death.

Dabay Madhi lost her husband, Pastor Gurumurthi Madhi, a year and a half ago when he was abducted and killed by a communist guerrilla group. Members of the Maoist Naxalites abducted Pastor Madhi, who led two churches in India, in August 2015 and held him for 24 hours before shooting him to death. The guerrillas subsequently closed both churches, one of which had 200 members. Dabay, 24, now struggles to raise their three young children alone. Pray for Dabay, their three children and the pastor’s mother, who lives with them.
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Sunday, February 19, 2017

 Just Hand it over to the Lord

 D Martyn Lloyd Jones in his book, The Christian Soldier says, in chapter 3, who does the fighting?   People are constantly being told; “Hand it over the Lord. It is not your battle, it is His; hand it over to Him.” Another saying is: “Let Him do it  for you; that is what He is offering to do.”   They say that there is no need for a struggle; that our mistake is that we have gone on struggling;  and striving; but that is quite unnecessary. There is no need to struggle there is no need to feel any difficulty.”

"Surrender it all" Theology is Erroneous 

“There are many Christians who are trying to surrender, trying to be willing to surrender, trying to willing to be made willing, as the phrase goes…. There are certain considerations, I suggest, which show this teaching is contrary to the plain teaching of Scripture itself, and that is the first test we must apply. I mean, for instance, that if this teaching is correct, then the second thing the Apostle tells the Christians to do here is unnecessary, namely, “Put on the armor of God.” “He repeats the exhortation in Ephesians 6:13: “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, and he then proceeds to take these pieces and portions of armor, one by one in order that we may know how to use them. My argument is that if the Lord does it all for us and we have nothing to do but abide in Him, then it is needless to tell me to put on the armor.

Stay tuned for exciting news and pray for us as we make it happen.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What happens when your medicine stops working?


Katie first spoke with a demon when she was 14. He perched on the edge of her bed, and would persistently urge her to do bad things — like blow up her Arkansas high school.
She spoke to God, too. Her parents, Pentecostal Christians, believed her visions made her special. So she received no therapy, and no medications, and no diagnosis as her schizoaffective disorder began to take root.

Katie, who is now 35, has been homeless and hospitalized several times. She tried “just about every drug there is,” she said, before she found a medication — the anti psychotic risperidone — that works well for her. She’s got a happy and stable life these days, living with her husband in Texas. But she knows it’s tenuous.“The thing is: A lot of times, a drug will work for you for several years, and then it’ll just stop,” said Katie, who asked that only her first name be used to protect her privacy. “At some point, I know I’ll have to find another drug.”

It’s a common, and well justified, fear for people with psychiatric disorders. While scientists have made tremendous advances in decoding the genetics of physical illnesses, such as cancer, and developing precision therapies, treatments for mental health remain blunt tools.

They work by blasting entire mechanisms in the brain, without addressing the specific chemical pathways that have gone awry. As a result, the side effects can be quite substantial — and the efficacy is often low.   Some people develop resistance to a drug years into treatment, and then have to go through a long period of trial and error to find another.

While demand for mental health drugs has surged, big pharmaceutical companies have largely backed away from investing in the field; the number of psycho-pharmacological drug research programs has shrunk 70 percent in the last decade, according to In part, that’s because generic versions of popular drugs like Prozac dominate the market, leaving little incentive for companies to sink tens of millions into developing alternatives.

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But it’s also because the biological causes of mental illness are so complex. There hasn’t been much innovation in psychiatric medications in more than two decades.
To advance the field, researchers say they need to find bio-markers — tangible biological clues that can help diagnose mental illness, just the way high blood glucose levels can signal diabetes. The hope is that those bio-markers could help pinpoint what’s gone wrong in the circuitry of a particular patient’s brain and offer clues for drug development — and, perhaps one day, even precision psychiatric therapies. But that’s far easier said than done.

To read more and see many good links on research and mental illness.
Please go to the link below.

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Quick test to Learn about bipolar disorder

People on Roller Coaster Ride
Hi, When you have bipolar disorder, your mood
can be like a roller coaster.  Here is an easy test to
take from Web M.D. It is very informative about
 and I guarantee  you will benefit by it.
 Thanks, Steve Bloem

"This is the best Christian perspective on depression I have read. A young American Baptist is about to start his first pastorate when he is incapacitated by a severe clinical depression. The story is told by the man himself and also his wife. She in turn suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder and Post-traumatic Stress. The author shows how C. H. Spurgeon suffered from all three and yet he was a great servant of God. The question is asked, does a mental affliction disbar a man from pastoral ministry? The not unusual experience related here is of some lack of understanding and sympathy from Christians who deny the reality of mental illness or attribute it all to the demonic.(Graham Weeks).

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

What would you do if you had to go into a psychiatric hospital?

The way things are right now in our system, the prisons are filled with mentally ill people. You may hear about them but not very much. There are a lot of reasons for this and although I have never been in prison, I have been confined four times by my own choice in a psychiatric hospital. This last time was because I was hallucinating; this had never happened to me before.  The hallucinations were very vivid and my psychiatrist told me that he thought they could have come from medication problems. He dropped the dosage levels of a number of my "brain pills." I was so thankful to God that I did not get depressed and I still have felt no ill effects from this change.
This  hospitalization was only for two days as they monitored my med change.

Those four psychiatric hospital stays have spanned thirty years and some things never seem to change. The extremely limited visiting hours is one of those things. I still think the visiting hours are ridiculous. Again, I know the reasons and I think they could work on making the visits and the rules a little more individualized rather than have blanket rules for every case Strangely enough,
for some reason, this time, they put me on the substance abuse wing.  I met some interesting people but the last time I drank alcohol was when I was sixteen.  I have never used illegal drugs. It was an interesting experience and I found that while I was in there, the Lord was with me.

Hospitalizations are not the way to spend your holidays. I was in and out of these facilities from Thanksgiving Day until December 14 last year. After I left the psych hospital, I returned for the second time to the local "regular" hospital because my blood pressure was still so low.  This was happening because I was on too many blood pressure pills.  My heartbeat slowed way down, I was slurring my speech, and could barely talk, walk or sit up. They finally dropped another pill that was the culprit.  It was probably also why I was hallucinating.  They put me on the cardiac unit and the change in the rules was almost shocking to me although I knew it would be different. I had the hospital room phone, my own cell phone, a television and all the visiting hours my friends and family wanted. I had some very kind nurses and other hospital staff at both type of hospitals but the other differences need some reform. If you have the ability, let's work together to try to enact some changes in the system of psychiatric hospitals.

And I say this very seriously, Thank God we are not living in Bedlam.

Bethlehem (Bedlam) "Madhouse" 

Operated from1329-1948 
 Eventually known as Bedlam,  Nuns took in the sick, i.e. lepers, frail old women, etc. In 
1375, it was seized by the Crown. In 1403, royal edict turned it into mad house.  The Hospital became famous and notorious for the brutal ill-treatment meted out to the mentally ill.  In 1675 Bedlam moved to new buildings where the playwright Nathaniel Lee was incarcerated there for five years, reporting that: "They called me mad, and I called them mad, and them, they outvoted me."

The inmates were first called "patients" in 1700, and "curable" and "incurable" wards were opened in 1725-34. Visits by friends and relatives were allowed. Indeed, for poor inmates it was expected that those connected to them would periodically bring food and other essentials for their survival. (Jonathan Andrews) . In 1817 it was reported that “the basement is appropriated for those patients who are not cleanly in their persons, and who on that account have no beds, but lie on straw with blankets and a rug; but I am sorry to say it is too often made a place of punishment to gratify the unbounded cruelties of the keepers.” (The Interior of Bethlehem Hospital, by Urban Met calf, 1817.)

Image result for james norris bedlam
Image result for picture of James Norris, bedlam hospital
James Norris (17??-1814), once an American seaman, now chained to his bed. Norris had been admitted in 1800 and so terrorized the small staff that in June 1804 he was permanently confined in an iron harness.Ten years later when Wakefield visited, Norris was still in the same spot!
Norris’s isolation and constraints were described at the time:
A stout iron ring was riveted round his neck, from which a short chain passed through a ring made to slide upwards and downwards on an upright massive iron bar, more than six feet high, inserted into the wall. Round his body a strong iron bar about 12 inches wide was riveted; on each side of the bar was a ring; which was fashioned to and enclosed each of his arms, pinioned them close to his sides.
Norris was removed from his shackles but died within a few months. Bedlam was closed.

Visitors/ gawkers/pitiless spectators

As late as 1815, Bethlem Hospital showed its lunatics every Sunday for one penny. People would pack lunches and bring the family to gawk at the patients who were naked or near naked. The people found it amusing to watch them shriek, howl, sing, and tear at their hair and bodies. The annual revenue from those visits amounted to almost 400 pounds which means that an astonishing 96,000 visitors came to see the mad each year. (Michel Foucault) Bedlam Hospital housed the very disturbed and troubled; Donald Lupton in the 1630s described ‘cryings, screechings, roarings, brawlings, shaking of chains, swearings, frettings, chaffings.'

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Image result for lot's wife 













Remember Lot’s Wife.”—Luke xvii. 32. By J.C. Ryle

THERE are few warnings in Scripture more solemn than that which heads this page. The Lord Jesus Christ says to us, “Remember Lot’s wife.” 

Lot’s wife was a professor of religion: her husband was a “righteous man.” (2 Peter ii. 8.) She left Sodom with him on the day when Sodom was destroyed; she looked back towards the city from behind her husband, against God’s express command; she was struck dead at once, and turned into a pillar of salt. And the Lord Jesus Christ holds her up as a beacon to His Church: He says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” 

It is a solemn warning, when we think of the person Jesus names. He does not bid us remember Abraham, or Isaac, or Jacob, or Sarah, or Hannah, or Ruth. No: He singles out one whose soul was lost for ever. He cries to us, “Remember Lot’s wife.”

It is a solemn warning, when we consider the subject Jesus is upon. He is speaking of His own second coming to judge the world: He is describing the awful state of unreadiness in which many will be found. The last days are on His mind, when He says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” 

It is a solemn warning, when we think of the person who gives it. The Lord Jesus is full of love, mercy, and compassion: He is one who will not break the bruised reed nor quench the smoking flax. He could weep over unbelieving Jerusalem, and pray for the men that crucified Him; yet even He thinks it good to remind us of lost souls. Even He says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” 

It is a solemn warning, when we think of the persons to whom it was first given. The Lord Jesus was speaking to His disciples: He was not addressing the scribes and Pharisees, who hated Him, but Peter, James, and John, and many others who loved Him; yet even to them He thinks it good to address a caution. Even to them He says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” 

It is a solemn warning, when we consider the manner in which it was given. He does not merely say, “Beware of following—take heed of imitating—do not be like Lot’s wife.” He uses a different word: He says, “Remember.” He speaks as if we were all in danger of forgetting the subject; He stirs up our lazy memories; He bids us keep the case before our minds. He cries, “Remember Lot’s wife.”

I propose to examine the lessons which Lot’s wife is meant to teach us. I am sure that her history is full of useful instruction to the Church. The last days are upon us; the second coming of the Lord Jesus draws nigh; the danger of worldliness is yearly increasing in the Church. Let us be provided with safeguards and antidotes against the disease that is around us; and, not least, let us become familiar with the story of Lot’s wife. 
To be continued S.Bloem

Robyn and I are writing two new books. Our present book Broken Minds Hope When you Feel Like You're Losing It continues to be read world wide.  You can get it on Kindle, paperback and other formats. If you donate over $50.00, I will send you a signed copy of Broken Minds and a newly edited Streams in the Desert.  You need only to go to the following link and scroll down to the donation button. You put in  as much amount you would like. Click on:
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