Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

You Came for Me, Part 2

 By Guest blogger- Robyn Bloem
 Another one of our Joy Cub “kids” contacted me today. She and our daughter, Lindsay, stayed in contact by writing letters for over ten years.  One day a letter came in the mail after Lindsay had been killed. Steve tearfully wrote her a letter and told her what had happened. He thanked her for being such a faithful friend. 
Lindsay died in 2001, so another sixteen years have passed. I have communicated with this young woman through Facebook off and on, commenting on her family and other things. Today this same friend, reminded me that she named her eldest daughter Emily, after Lindsay’s daughter who died with her in 2001. She also told me this morning that her daughter reminded her of Lindsay with her brown eyes and brown hair. This Joy Club “kid” is also serving the Lord today. I was touched that she remembered the color of Lindsay’s eyes.

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The only thing Steve asked the deacons when we left the church was that they would not let the children’s ministry go. They said they would keep doing the Joy Club and the Youth Group. They dropped both of them almost immediately.

As Christians we all try to remind ourselves that God doesn’t waste our work and HE is faithful to remember what we have done in His name. We know it is true but what an encouragement it is to hear of it this side of heaven when our faith tends to falter and our hope can dim in the light of other “things.”

If you have been serving in the shadows and wondering if you are having an impact, keep going! God is for you! In heaven we may be surprised what the Lord says to us. There may be things we thought were noteworthy that we did for the wrong motive or with the wrong heart and then other ministry efforts that will surprise us for the positive. There will be people there because of us and praises sung for eternity because of a glass of water given in Jesus’ name. 

We knew the lessons the Lord had taught to us about depending and trusting Him when our decision seemed wrong; about being faithful even when the end result appeared wasted and how to persevere when things are grim.  But along the duty of life and learning, He also touched and changed the people who were the most pliable and earnest in that little town; the children.

Yes, kids, we came for you!

CAMI News Flash! 
There is a new group forming in Palm Beach Gardens.
CAMI Support Group
Meets Thursdays 6:30 – 8:00 pm
At Church In the Gardens
3937 Holly Dr., Palm Beach Gardens
Questions? Contact Tina at 305-393-6445 or the church @561-622-4610

Also, check out the CAMI Facebook page! Just click and ask to join this closed group. Confidential and supportive.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

You Came For Me!

You Came for Me! Part 1 of 2
Guest blogger, Robyn Bloem

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Steve pastored a little church in the Midwest from 1991-1993.  About ten years ago, a man in the church who had become Steve’s hunting buddy and friend called us in Michigan to remind us of our impact. He told us when the church was voting for us to come, he was the only one who voted “No” on our call. It turned out he was saved through Steve’s preaching and his personal discipleship. He told Steve, “Maybe you only came for me, but you sure were used to change my life.” We were so thankful to hear that from him and to be reminded that nothing is wasted when it is done for the Lord.

While we were there, one of our most exciting ministries was our Wednesday afternoon Joy Club. The church was right across the street from the elementary school, so with their parents' permission, the kids ran over after the final school bell. We had cookies and juice, sang songs, and had bible stories.

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It wasn’t anything particularly innovative by today’s standards but every week thirty kids came to the little Baptist church and learned of the Lord’s love and sacrifice for them. We visited the home of every child who came and shared the gospel with their parents.We had periodic family services at the church highlighting the Joy Club kids' accomplishments. They sang their songs and received trophies for various contests. We kept praying that we were having an impact.

The adult members of the church, the deacons and other powers within, were a different story. They would be forever known as a “pastor killing” church. Any pastor knows exactly what we mean by that. We even knew at the time that there were internal problems but being in our early thirties and having experienced some substantial trials by then, we felt maybe the Lord had prepared us to pull them out of the ditch they had fallen into.  Well, not so much. In 1993, we literally shook the dust off our feet outside our moving truck and went  to Michigan. Lessons learned. Brokenhearted. On to God's next chapter for us.

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Just three weeks ago, Steve was contacted by a young lady on Facebook who asked, “Are you the man that was the minister at a little church in...?” and she named the town. He showed me the message, we looked at her picture and remembered her as a third grader in our Joy Club. She went on to say, that one day she was thinking about what she had been learning from us about the Bible and  "On the playground, I asked Jesus to save me and I don't know where I would  be without Him in my life today more twenty years later.”
We both teared up,stopped and thanked the Lord for using us in her life. We wondered if there were more and hoped so.

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.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The pressure of hard places make us value life.

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"The pressure of hard places makes us value life. Every time our life is given back to us from such a trial, it is like a new beginning, and we learn better how much it is worth and make more of it for God and man. The pressure helps us to understand the trials of others, and fits us to help and sympathize with them.

There is a shallow, superficial nature, that gets hold of a theory or a promise lightly, and talks very glibly about the distrust of those who shrink from every trial; but the man or woman who has suffered much never does this, but is very tender and gentle, and knows what suffering really means. This is what Paul meant when he said “Death  worketh in you.”

Trials and hard places are needed to press us forward, even as the furnace fires in the hold of that mighty ship give force that moves the piston, drives the engine and propels that great vessel across the sea in the face of the wind and waves"  (A.B. Simpson).

Please go to our website to see how we can help you face the storms of life.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Many people do not understand, schizo-affective disorder

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 Schizo-affective disorder is a condition in which a person experiences a combination of schizophrenia symptoms — such as hallucinations or delusions — and mood disorder symptoms, such as mania or depression. Schizo-affective disorder is not as well understood or well defined as other mental health conditions. This is largely because schizo affective disorder is a mix of mental health conditions ― including schizophrenic and mood disorder features ― that may run a unique course in each affected person. Untreated, people with schizo-affective disorder may lead lonely lives and have trouble holding down a job or attending school. Or, they may rely heavily on family or live in supported living environments, such as group homes. Treatment can help manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for people with schizo affective disorder.

Schizo-affective disorder symptoms vary from person to person. People who have the condition experience psychotic symptoms — such as hallucinations or delusions — as well as a mood disorder. The mood disorder is either bipolar disorder (bipolar-type schizo-affective disorder) or depression (depressive-type schizo-affective disorder).
Psychotic features and mood disturbances may occur at the same time or may appear on and off interchangeably. The course of schizo-affective disorder usually features cycles of severe symptoms followed by a period of improvement, with less severe symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of schizo-affective disorder may include, among others:

  • Delusions — having false, fixed beliefs
  • Hallucinations, such as hearing voices
  • Major depressed mood episodes
  • Possible periods of manic mood or a sudden increase in energy and behavioral displays that are out of character
  • Impaired occupational and social functioning
  • Problems with cleanliness and physical appearance
  • Paranoid thoughts and ideas

When to see a doctor

If you think someone you know may have schizo-affective disorder symptoms, you should tell  that person about your concerns. Although you can't force someone to seek professional help, you can offer encouragement and support and help your loved one find a qualified doctor or mental health provider.
 Expression of suicidal thoughts or behavior may occur in someone with schizo-affective disorder. If you have a loved one who is in danger of committing suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or, if you think you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.

The exact cause of schizo-affective disorder is not known. A combination of factors may contribute to its development, such as:

  • Genetic links
  • Brain chemistry
  • Brain development delays or variations
  • Exposure in the womb to toxins or viral illness, or even birth complications 
Robyn and I have written a book Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. It is published by Kregel Publications. We tell our story. We also deal with biblical matters and mental illness and some technical points. You can get it on Kindle and other digital formats. If you would like to see what some are saying about it. Please go to

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Don't think you can "beat" a biological depression!

Denial Runs Deep

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Part of my denial was that, as a born-again believer and a trained theologian, I did not want to entrust myself to a “system” where I would be vulnerable to mistreatment or psychological brainwashing. A deeper reason was that I had been taught that depression was for wimps. Surely if Christians walked with God, they would not get depressed. 

It wasn’t that I hadn’t heard the other side of the issue. One of the professors during my pastoral internship was a psychiatrist who spoke to us about the chemical imbalance that causes depression. I’d listened to part of a radio program devoted to the story of a man who had depressive episodes. I heard only part of the program because I was so afraid of identifying with the symptoms that I changed the station. God was working in subtle ways to prepare me, in spite of my denial.

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Another reason for the denial was that I had a family I desperately wanted to care for. As symptoms grew more acute, I increasingly was a burden on Robyn—in addition to her responsibilities with an infant and two other young children. I knew I was failing to live up to her expectations. She had worked hard and lived with insecurity long enough. But instead of stepping up to the plate, I was making her life miserable. My illness was a burden on everyone who cared for me.
To the extent that I was able, I developed a “smiling depression,” trying to prove the adage, “Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone.” I ignored a more truthful expression in Romans 12:15: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Paul’s command benefits the body of Christ when members open their lives to each other. Quite honestly, my temporary charades fooled no one, and I couldn’t keep up the act very long. My condition was starting to haunt me relentlessly.

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Robyn and I were experiencing what the Puritans called dark providences. Actually, the idea of providence is not very popular in our day. Many good definitions of providence have been given, but one I particularly like is from John Murray, the Scottish Presbyterian theologian and educator. Murray said, “Providence is that marvelous working of God by which all the events and happenings in His universe accomplish the purpose He has in mind.”

 The above story came from the book Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It.  It was published by  Kregel Publications in 2005. It was a book that was written with "staying power," and it continues to help people from all over the world. It also has been formatted with a Kindle electronic digital copybook. If you would like to hear the rest of Steve and Robyn's story, along with a biblical and clinical  treatment of mental illness p, 30, please go to:

To learn more about our ministry please visit us at

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

What do you know about delusions?

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E.Fuller Torrey

Delusions Excerpted from Surviving Schizophrenia, 5th Edition by E. Fuller Torrey (ISBN  060842598; paperback, $14.95). All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from Harper-Collins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 1002
Delusions and hallucinations are probably the best-known symptoms of schizophrenia. They are dramatic and  therefore are the behaviors usually focused on when schizophrenia is being represented in popular literature or movies. (Reacting to delusions is a major cause of violence by people with schizophrenia who are untreated. i.e., if you believe someone is trying to kill you, you may try to kill them first.-ed)

And certainly delusions and hallucinations are very important and common symptoms of this disease. However, it should be remembered that they are not essential to it; indeed no single symptom is essential for the diagnosis of schizophrenia. There are many people with schizophrenia who have a combination of other symptoms, such as a thought disorder, disturbances of affect, and disturbances of behavior, who have never had delusions or hallucinations. It should also be remembered that delusions and hallucinations are found in brain diseases other than schizophrenia, so their presence does not automatically mean that schizophrenia is present. . . .

Delusions are simply false ideas believed by the patient but not by other people in his/her culture and which cannot be corrected by reason. They are usually based on some kind of sensory experience that the person misinterprets. This may be as simple as brief static on the radio or a flicker of the television screen that the person interprets as a signal. Family members often wonder where the delusional ideas in the affected person came from.
One simple form of a delusion is the conviction that random events going on around the person all relate in a direct way to him or her. If you are walking down the street and a man on the opposite sidewalk coughs, you don’t think anything of it and may not even consciously hear the cough. The person with schizophrenia, however, not only hears the cough but may immediately decide it must be a signal of some kind, perhaps directed to someone else down the street to warn him that the person is coming. 

The person who suffers from schizophrenia  knows this is true with a certainty that few people experience. If you are walking with such a person and try to reason him/her past these delusions, your efforts will probably be futile. Even if you cross the street, and in the presence of the same person question the man about his cough, the individual will probably just decide that you are part of the plot. Reasoning with people about their delusions is like trying to bail out the ocean with a bucket.
For further information, please contact a physician. 

Robyn and I have written a book Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. It is published by Kregel Publications. We tell our story. We also deal with biblical matters and mental illness and some technical points. You can get it on Kindle and other digital formats. If you would like to see what some are saying about it. Please go to

If you are looking to buy from us and support our ministry, for a gift of $25.00 or more we will give you a signed copy of Broken Minds.

If you don't have much money to give, you can get it for cost and shipping $11.00. This beats At this time we have five copies left. Just scroll down to the donation button on the link which is given and put in the amount you want to pay.
 Steve Bloem