Monday, April 30, 2018

Steve Bloem has written a new, informative, Handbook about mental illness

Steve has a new book, published by Kregel Publications of Grand Rapids, MI. The name of it is, The Pastoral Hand book of Mental illness a Guide for Training and Reference.

This book is not for sale yet, but you can get on our waiting  list by going to our email,, and write, "I want to be notified when your new book comes out." Your request will mean that we will notify you as soon as it comes out.  You will be able to get a signed copy for $19.00. It is not just for pastors, but everyone who wants to learn about mental illness, and grasp the mental health  system and services. I was a clinical case manager for the mentally ill, if this book had come out then; I would have bought it a second.

It would also be helpful to Christian psychiatrists and psychologists, especially  in helping them understand the differences between, spiritual and biological depression 
Our website

People who have a mental illness often describe it as  “darkening of the mind.” Some have likened it to being in a pit. King David said, “He (God) brought me up also out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” Psalm 40:2 (NASB).

One of the helpful admonitions to people who are mentally ill is found in Isaiah 50:10, “who is among you that fears the LORD that obeys the voice of His servant, which walks in darkness ,and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God” (Is. 50:10  NASB).

You can be in “soul darkness” but still fear the LORD. In this case the prophet tells us that the one in the dark, who is walking in darkness, needs to trust in the name of LORD (Jehovah) God (see Exodus 3:13-16). A person’s name stands for one’s character, honor and personhood. If you know Christ
God will never desert you.

Who and What is Involved?

Mental Illness is a disease that begs for community. This Biblical-based support group material includes a Leader’s Guide and Student's Guide. These guides will help create cohesion, and mutual support among those who are born again and affected by these horrible diseases of body, mind and mood.

Depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, panic disorder,  and obsessive  compulsive disorder, are some of the most painful of all disorders in this cursed world. Many mentally ill Christians have experienced what we call “shaming,” from their own brothers and sisters in Christ, causing, further and unnecessary suffering. Much of the church of Jesus Christ not only misunderstands the mentally ill, she also provides no ministry for  them.  Our books will teach how to comfort,and validate mentally ill Christians. They will also trin leaders to run related support groups.

A CAMI (Christians Afflicted with Mental illness) support group will have a facilitator who has put his or her faith in Jesus Christ the Lord. . Others in the group who have come out of the darkness of depression/mental illness etc., will be able to share stories of God’s faithfulness with those who are currently suffering. This encouraging of tottering, trembling believers is very biblical. It is commanded by the Apostle Paul, who in I Thessalonians 5:14, states, “we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and be patient with everyone.” (NASB).

Steve and Robyn Bloem have helped start many support groups  for those who have mental illness.
If you would like to have curriculum for a CAMI Support Group, you can purchase  our "tested materials." They  consist of  our Leader's Guide and Student's Guide. If you buy our workbooks, we have a  team of counselors,who will start a dialogue with you about how to start and keep going a CAMI Group. This communication will be of no charge. 

These two volumes explain clearly how to start a support group step by step. The material is   copyrighted (2010). You cannot legally, run pages off and use them. You can pay by pay pal in most every country. But shipping is more in Canada and other countries. On our Heartfelt counseling website look for the pricing next to "buy now." You may have to scroll down the page.

Don't forget our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It.  It was nominated by Foreword Magazine for the best non- fiction of the year that it was published.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A man comes to understand what being a man really is through his own depression

NAMI All rights reserved April 2018

No one ever told me it's ok to cry. 
Be strong!”
“Toughen up!” 
“Don’t cry!” 
Never did someone stand over me as a kid and yell, “Let it out! It’s okay to cry! It’s human to hurt!” From my football coaches to my own father, it seems as though the social norm for men is to be some kind of impenetrable mountain of muscle that feels no pain and has no emotion. If we’re not hunting or fighting or eating a bloody, rare steak, then we’re not men. As a kid, I idolized the manly behemoths on TV. From Arnold Schwarzenegger to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, I wanted to be just like them. 

I wanted to mimic my heroes physical appearance and be happy.

And I didn’t only want to mimic their physical appearance, but I wanted to be as happy and carefree as they seemed.
Our culture depicts men as heroes and symbols of strength and popularity, almost to the point of being invincible. Every little boy wants to be invincible. When my parents fought—yelling and breaking things in the house—all I wanted to be was invincible against how sad they made me feel. I wanted to be invincible against the feelings I had when that girl I had a crush on in 5th grade said, “No thanks, you’re too fat for me” after I finally worked up the courage to ask her to be my girlfriend; instead, I ran away and cried in the boy’s bathroom during second period. I wanted to be invincible when my youth football coach called me a “pussy” because I got hit and I said it hurt; insteadAll these feelings, emotions and a twisted view of masculinity had a hold on me. Rather than accept and process my emotions, I learned to ignore and compartmentalize them. I kept my issues and pains to myself and tried my hardest to push them down as deep and far away from the surface as I could.

The Flood Came
Then, the day came when the flood couldn’t be held back any longer and the levees broke. For so long I had hidden my pain, my confusion, my depression and I had become good at pretending to be “okay” with everything life was throwing at me. But one day it was not “okay” anymore. My mental illness had been ignored for so long and it would not be quieted any longer.

Courage and Strength were not there for me.
I couldn’t find any more strength or courage or fight just to keep those around me from finding out how bad I truly felt. I was so conditioned to “man up” that when the pain, sorrow and thoughts of suicide ran through my mind, I had no answer. I couldn’t yell or puff my chest at depression. Depression didn’t care how much I could lift or what car I drove or how many girls I had been with. Depression knew the real me. It knew the little boy who could never face his real problems head-on because the society in which he grew up wouldn’t let him. He was too busy pretending to be strong, too busy pretending to be a “man” to admit he lived with depression.

After I tried to commit suicide, I  acknowledged my weakness and pain.
After my attempted suicide and rehabilitation, things started to become
 clearer. I learned that pain, sorrow, anger and sadness are a part of life—emotions don’t care if you are a man or woman or household pet. For the first time, I could accept and acknowledge my weaknesses and my pain. Finally, I found myself and have never felt stronger or more of a man. 

 Facing my emotions fills me with more manly strength, I am no longer ashamed.
Coming out about my depression was one of the most freeing and courageous things I have ever 
done. No longer am I silent or fearful about who I really am. I am comfortable and confident enough in myself to accept and face my demons. I’m no longer ashamed of my depression. And being self-aware and brave enough to face my emotions fills me with more manly strength and pride than any action hero ever did. 
I can now step in front of my mental illness and accept it as a part of me, instead of always living in its shadow. And I’m here to tell you fellas to be bold and fearless about who you are. Be strong enough to admit your pains. Be courageous to acknowledge your struggles—regardless of how “un-manly” they may seem. 
Depression affects 6 million men per year. So, next time you’re in the locker room talking, I hope that the conversation becomes deeper than football plays and girls. For being a man is what we men make it. 
Rob “Roro” Asmar is a chef and restaurateur in the DC area. He passionately advocates for mental health through his volunteer and awareness raising efforts and seeks to break the stigma surrounding mental health & men. His open and positive attitude are expressed through his social me

Monday, April 23, 2018

Meet a true bondservant of Jesus Christ

When I was doing my undergraduate study, I got a hold of a copy of the book by Elisabeth Elliot who was Jim Elliot's wife, and the name of the book was, In the Shadow of the Almighty.  She used many of his writings, Below is a quote from him that was used to encourage me to know God,and to serve Him alone.

The night spread black and blossomed brilliantly with stars.  I walked out to the hill just now.  It is exalting, delicious to stand embraced by the shadows of a friendly tree with the wind tugging at you coat tails and the heavens hailing your heart, to gaze and glory and to give oneself again to God.  What more could a man ask? 
"Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on earth.  I care not if I ever raise my voice again for Him, if only I may love Him, please Him.  May hap in mercy He shall give me a host of children that I may lead through the vast star fields, to explore His delicacies, whose  finger-ends set them to burning.  But if not, if only I may see Him, touch His garments, and smile into my Lover's eyes--ah then, not stars, nor children shall matter-- only Himself." 

 Elisabeth Elliot also wrote a book that challenged young and old and young  to live for God and spread His word. (Ed. I have not received any money for recommending either of these books. SB)
Through Gates of Splendor is the true story of five young missionaries who were savagely killed while trying to establish communication with the Auca Indians of Ecuador. The story is told through the eyes of Elisabeth Elliot, the wife of one of the young men who was killed..

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Pastors need to be equipped for helping those with mental illness.. I have a new book coming soon, The Pastoral Handbook of Mental Illness

A good number of years ago, I received a letter from a young woman who wrote about needing help with her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and her Major Depression. Recurrent. 
 She said “You talk about Hell; I had OCD in high school and did not know it. I had never heard of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and the form I had wasn’t the textbook type. It took the form of scrupulosity where I obsessed about how self-absorbed and sinful and evil I was. I was a Christian but not a strong one. My pastor even came out and met with my parents and me, but he did not recognize that I had an illness and he was totally out of his element.He absolved me through confession and talked a little but it did not help. That’s why I really think that church professionals need to be aware of mental illness and trained in how to help people who have it.  I could have found relief and avoid years of suffering if my pastor was familiar with mental illness. God bless him; he was a wonderful pastor, but he couldn’t meet my needs because he hadn’t been equipped for it. That’s why I think what you are doing is important. Well, thanks for the encouragement. "

Your book Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It, has made me decide to try again at finding the right medicine for depression because I have been trying to “change my own brain chemistry.”And it is just too big of a boulder to push on my own.  Trying to change biological depression, is like trying to empty and sand box with tweezers. What do you think about Lexipro? It has cured my OCD but left me with depression, and no other antidepressant has helped me with OCD. So I need something for depression. Speaking of which, the sun is out and I better get outdoors.” Anon.

Here is a review from a pastor who has read the book
which will be coming out soon. It too is published by Kregel Publication, Grand Rapids, MI. I applaud Steve’s courage and professionalism in coming forward with this much needed book. The church is made up of everyday, real people and mental illness is a real problem that cannot be swept under the rug. As God gave us doctors to help us with heart attacks, back surgeries, and diabetes, he also gave us doctors to help us with mental illness. Of course God can heal somebody immediately of any disease or illness, but oftentimes he uses doctors, medicine, and other tools to help. In that regard, I believe Steve’s book is a godsend. It gives pastors the knowledge, information, and tools they need to successfully and confidently address this critical issue with those they oversee. God bless you Steve for having the courage to come out of the darkness and shine a light on your own experience so that others may be helped, healed, blessed, and God glorified throughout. Steve Bloem delivers the  information in a way that will help pastors and impact
the kingdom of God today and in the ages to come. God has used Steve’s personal journey mightily to help him understand the tragedy,effects, trauma, solutions, and                                                                              answers for dealing with mental illness. This book is a
                                                                      must read for every pastor and I believe should be taught                                                                         as a course in every seminary.”

                                                                        Jack Alan Levine,Executive Pastor,
                                                                        Purpose ChurchOrlando, Florida
                                                                        Our website is

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Lord's help in finding the right treatment!

Copyright 2010

Coptyight 2010
by Steve Bloem

When I am in a depressive episode it feels like my brain is broken. My first episode (also called age of onset) was when I was twenty nine years old. It lasted a long time and its intensity went from severe to moderate, in a hurry.

The year was 1985. My psychiatrist was a retired medical director of a Christians psychiatric hospital. He graciously agreed to see me as an outpatient because I was an ordained pastor.

On one of our visits, I mentioned to my psychiatrist that my mind still had not cleared, that it felt like there was a cloud over it. I also lamented that I was still depressed. His response was, oh, medications don’t do everything, getting healed involves a lot more than pills. His thinking that a medication only worked partially was painful for me to hear, it did not make sense. I knew how my mind worked before it was broken. It was different and I was afraid it would never be the same. Since medication helped me part of the way, I desired full relief in concrete terms not abstract ones.

Because of my psychiatrist's age, (he was in his 70’s) and because this was 1985, he was steeped in Freudian psychological thought. At one point he talked about the little boy deep down inside me. He also told Robyn and me some of the old treatments for depression. He said that they use to believe, that helping depressed people expressing their deep seated anger, would help them get over their depression.  This scared me. He told me that one of the strategies used in days gone by was to have depressed people scrubbing the grout between bathroom tiles with a toothbrush, until they were very angry. I imagined myself in a depressive episode having to actually be forced to do what he had described.

I did not believe him but I was shaken. Anger turned inward is the hallmark of Freudian and Neo-Freudian psychology. Its effect on the overall treatment of depression is discussed in our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're  Losing It, Kregel Publications. It is needless to say that these interpretations only made things worse. Fo more about this book, you can visit,

I fired my former doctor, who had called antidepressants poison (not the one mentioned above).  Robyn and I were living in Scranton, PA at the time so I made use of public services offered at the Scranton Counseling Center. 

In my studies for my Master of Social Work, I prepared to write a fifty page discourse on the treatment of mental illness in our time (1985). In my research for the paper, I studied many views of mental illness. God, in His loving providence, helped me find an article, The Challenge of Chronic Depressions by Hagisop Askidal, M.D. 

"When I told my new doctor at the Scranton Clinic that I was still depressed he said, "you are under very much stressI think this is your problem." I remonstrated, "I cannot accept what you are saying." I told him about the above mentioned article and what it said about why people who did not receive adequate treatment for depression. 
Apparently my previous doctor felt he did not need raise the medication dosage, or did not try a combination of antidepressants and mood stabilizers.
Thankfully, my new psychiatrist decided to give it a try. I was wholly better in two weeks. I could have gone on for a number of years mistreated and suffering needlessly, if I had not pushed the envelope.

Today psychiatrists have many tools by which you can be symptom free. Of course, medicine will not help you if you recently lost your girl friend or failed a couple of tests at school. Emotional upheaval and external stresses are not the same as clinical depression. Please consider learning about depression and its treatment. One resource, of  course, that we recommend is our book, Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. You can find some more information and help by visiting the link below.

This is a brand new book that I have written. Here is one review by a Christian Pastor.

“Every pastor needs to own this book. Here’s why. Thankfully, in recent years, our western church culture has taken some steps forward in understanding
mental illness but we have a long way to go. Steve Bloem helps us move further faster by challenging us with insights from Scripture many of us have simply ignored. Yes, that’s right, the Bible talks about mental illness and the scope is significant. In addition, this is a handbook. It is a quick reference that provides us with both an introductory understanding of various mental illnesses, along with guides for helping us respond to those struggling. This is a book written from both an academic and a life-lived perspective. Steve and his wife Robyn
weave their own personal stories throughout its pages, helping us gain a greater understanding and providing us with the necessary resources to make wise responses to those afflicted with mental illness.”
—Ken Taylor,
Founding and Teaching Pastor,
Creekside Church, Waterloo, Ontario

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Nigeria and serious persecution, also a new book on mental illness.

Apr. 12, 2018 | Nigeria

Christians in a central Nigerian village are feeling betrayed after Muslim herdsmen attacked and killed several people and then attacked again after the funerals. Fulani herdsmen attacked Miango, a village in Jos state on March 8 around 10 p.m. A family on the edge of town lost three boys when the Fulani came in wielding machetes and shooting. Their 4-year-old cousin, Chanka, remains in critical care. That night, the Fulani also killed Iliya Isa, a former Muslim who had accepted Christ. Five days later, the villagers wore black and marched silently to the government in Jos in protest for not being protected by Nigerian security forces. After that, they buried the three boys who were killed, but on the way home to the village, they were attacked again by Fulani men. The evening before, Fulani attacked a home where villagers had gathered to mourn someone’s death and killed 27 people. Pray for the people of Miango, who are angry with both the Fulani and the Nigerian government. Pray for comfort for those who have lost family members. And praise God that the 4-year-old boy who was injured is improving.

Endorsement of Steve Bloem's new book The Pastoral Handbook of Mental Illness
It is published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI.copy right 2018

Pastor Steve Brown
I have been a pastor and a seminary professor for many years, and I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a book as helpful, as complete, and as biblical as Steve Bloem’s. The Pastoral Handbook of Mental Illness: A Guide for Training and Reference. This will become one of the most important books  in your library. 
Bloem is incredibly knowledgeable and refreshingly authentic. The compassion and sensitivity of these pages is Christlike. Get this book and, when you do, you’ll thank me for having commended it to you.” Steve Brown

If you would like to be contacted later by Steve Bloem, when we have our book on the website, please email me at  Don't send any money at this time. This is an alert.
Thank you. Steve Bloem.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Biological depression is, a "darkness that is "felt." What do you do when you can't feel God?

Don't forget to see our new book!

If you have heard this blog and you are depressed, this particular blog should be very helpful.  It is from the book, Broken Minds hope for Healing When You Feel like You're Losing it.
The copy right is (2005) . But it should be said that the contents of this book are as relevant today as when it was first written. Why! Because it is not faddish. It  has "Staying Power."

At one of my lowest moments, when concentrating on anything 
seemed impossible, the third verse  of one William Cowper's famous hymns,
"There is a fountain filled with blood."was able to hold my attention: Here are the words:

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace,                                          Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face. Finally, he says; blind unbelief is sure to err, and scan His work in vain,God is His own interpreter;And He will make it plain.

The above picture about suicide is not in the
book, Broken Minds

My circumstances and disappointments, my very brain storm, were saying to me, “God is frowning on you.” The day was dark . . . very dark. But God was working out His plan, His sovereign will. As Jacob said when he could not be comforted over the reported death of his son Joseph, “All these things are against me” (Gen. 42:36). His heart and his circumstances gave him this analysis of his situation. Like many saints through the ages, Jacob was learning an important lesson about God as our Comfort in the midst of pain we cannot understand.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He would be the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom. 8:28–29)

God Delays: God’s Power
Again the Word of the Lord states in 1 Peter 5:10–11: 
“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen ,and establish you; to Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen” (emphasis added).
Suffering seems to go on forever, but when it is over, God often gives us some view of the purposes He has accomplished.


The words of A. B. Simpson (1843–1919) have been  very instructive; 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. My weakness my feelings of panic, and depression, my bewilderment at what I was becoming and what was to become of us. . Somehow, in a way.I could not  appreciate, all of it was part of the divine plan of a loving almighty Father.This insert can be found in the book, Broken Minds Hope For You feel Like  You're Losing It.  Please see pp.67-71.

You can get Broken Minds by going to our website.  We have a price that no one can beat. If you would like to purchase  a new copy of this book. Our offer will not last long, If you are from Canada, please add another four dollars for shipping.  T
The website is 
 You must click on the donation now button smf put the amount


The Pastoral Handbook of Mental Illness: A Guide for Training and Reference. The Publisher is Kregel. Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan. The copyright is 2018.

This will be coming out soon. If you wish to be put on a list to get a signed copy for 19.00 + shipping, please email us and send it to

Do ot send any money. This is a waiting list.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Great quotes from great men

Dwight Lyman Moody

If you have so much business to attend to that you have no time to pray, depend upon it that you have more business on hand than God ever intended you should have.” - Dwight L. Moody

“A man who prays much in private will make short prayers in public.”- Dwight L. Moody

“Some men’s prayers need to be cut short at both ends and set on fire in the middle.”- Dwight L. Moody


D. Marytyn Lloyd Jones

Prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul. Man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face with God.”- D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in His Word, he intended to be conspicuous in our lives. If He has said much about prayer, it is because He knows we have much need of it.” Charles H. Spurgeon