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,

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