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.

 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 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.

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

 Please go to our web site at
 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