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Welcome to I AM for You!

My goal is to share the love of Jesus that he has shared with me.  

Love does not condemn people, but love does condemn that which harms people, known in the Bible as “sin.”  These actions I am against, not the people doing them.  My life was sinful when I met Jesus.  I denied it.  And spent ten years under His wrath while He humbled me.  When I admitted my sin and accepted Jesus my life changed.  Now I am not sinless, but I do sin less.  I still fall short and need His forgiveness.

Join me as we discuss Jesus, Mental Illness, and the combination of both.

 

“Love is the greatest apologetic.” – Ravi Zacharias

“And the Word became flesh . . . full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14 (NASB)

If mistakes are our best teachers I should have been brilliant by now. – Jim McNaughton

Recently I have learned from Ravi Zacharias that Truth with Grace accomplishes what I have not been able to do. My Truth without Grace only hurts others. As John Maxwell says, No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.

So now I am seeking to follow Ravi’s example, as he followed Jesus’ example.

I will deal with my insecurities; my fear of others’ position or credentials; my fear of rejection; my fear of being found incompetent.

And I will deal with my motives: I have learned from Ravi, not to seek to win. But to engage. And love.

Why He Came

Is there anything too hard for the Lord? 
He is the Creator of us all.
And there is nothing that He can’t do;
So listen, and you will hear His call.

He knows the things you’re doing,
He knows that you are lost.
He’s calling you to come to Him.
He crucified your sins upon His cross.

He gave His life so that you could live;
He laid it down with His free will.
And yet, you won’t believe it
You are running from Him still.

Come home to Jesus! 
He’ll give you peace and take away your fears. 
He wants to hold you in his arms
And wipe away your tears.

Can’t you hear His voice?
He’s calling out your name!
God sent us all a Savior;
HIS love for us is why He came.
   

Written by
Karen Rawlings     
5-21-20

Do I really know you?

I made assumptions without experience and was comfortable I knew the truth.

If I don’t take my mental health meds people object. They tell me I have to take my meds or I won’t think right. If I take the meds and do well they say it is not me doing well, it is the meds that are doing it. They say if they took meds they would have an easy time doing well just like me. If I miss my meds and do poorly it is my fault, not the lack of meds, and I am just showing who I really am.

I don’t know if ignorance is bliss, but it certainly makes a lot of assumptions. At the bottom of https://i-m-4-u.com/ is a poem I wrote called, “I was a perfect parent. . . Until I had children.” Parents . . . perhaps you can relate. I made assumptions without experience and was comfortable I knew the truth.

And I can condemn you because I know why I acted that way in the past and so you must be acting that way for the same reason. By doing this I condemn myself; and I’ve done it countless times.

My brain is an electro-chemical machine. Around age 18 I went off to college in a different city and because I didn’t know Jesus and didn’t know mental health guidelines, I spiraled down in depression. My brain chemistry changed. So now my meds help my brain chemistry function more like God intended.

I would like to not need the meds and am working toward that goal through learning forgiveness, trusting Jesus for what I need, trusting Jesus to produce love, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control in me. But my brain may be permanently damaged and I may need the meds the rest of my life.

The next time I see someone I don’t understand, may God grant me the honesty to say to myself: I don’t understand them; but I will talk to them and learn.

P.S. This was very convicting to me to write. Like Paul, I am the worst sinner I know, but thank God for Jesus who rescues me.

You and I are “Gatekeepers of Truth”

“More sadly, this secular approach to truth has even seeped into the Church. We fear doubt because doubt means that disagreement is near, and disagreement is dangerous and therefore must be suppressed before it can do any damage. Hence, at the first sign of doubt, we fight or we flee. Instead of being “merciful to those who doubt” (Jude 22), we have labeled them as dangerous and have either dismissed them by not creating a space for them to ask their questions or demonized them by treating doubt as a moral failure.

To this I would add only that it is not by mere questioning that we arrive at the truth, but rather by questioning that is taken seriously in the context of community and responded to with gentleness and respect.”

  Zacharias, Ravi. Jesus Among Secular Gods (pp. 215-216). FaithWords. Kindle Edition. 

 I was told not to rejoin (annual membership renewal) my church of 30 years, because I might upset the “love and unity” the people have there.  The reason?  I believe Jesus when he said he would never leave me, nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5), no matter what, even if I reject him “because He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).

I was told I could join if I didn’t talk about my beliefs.

Recently, Face Book and YouTube “took down” videos that were critical of the handling of COVID-19.  I have no idea if they were true or not, I didn’t get a chance to find out.  I have had other people’s opinions about them given to me, and I am grateful.  But I seek truth, and the free exchange of ideas is necessary to do that.  

If you are afraid of ideas different than your own and stop others from deciding for themselves you will never find truth.  You will find oppression.  You may even find that you are the oppressor.

Condemnation or Renewing Needed?

I am a deeply flawed person.

Though that is my own assessment it has been confirmed by others. It’s not my heart that has the problem. I used to have a heart that always chose not to believe God and not to do what God wanted. Jesus has replaced that heart. Now my heart wants to know, love and follow Jesus. But I don’t always. Sometimes I still choose not to believe God and not do what God wants. The problem now is my mind. It is filled with 61 years of truths. Some truths that are true. . . some truths that are lies. When I don’t believe and trust God and his words, I fear. I fear I may lose something important to me. The lies say I can’t risk doing what God wants me to do. What if he doesn’t come through this time? I choose then to do what God does not want me to do. The lies say it will be better.

It isn’t.

I have guilt, regret, shame. My heart wants to obey Jesus. What went wrong?

Jesus has died to pay for my wrongs and rose from the dead to give me His life. But my mind still has many old lies, masquerading as truth, which fool me. God says I need to “renew my mind”. I need to learn what is “true truth” from Him, by learning what God has to teach me through the Bible.

Renewing my mind is not easy for me. If it was it would have happened 34 years ago. I struggle with spending time with God through reading the Bible. The time during and after reading the Bible is a delight, but satan attacks me when I am considering sitting down to read God’s words. Satan tells me I will not enjoy it, it will make me feel miserable, God will condemn me through what I read. All these are lies but at the time they feel so real.

Jesus said the Holy Spirit will lead me into all truth. And, we will be taught by God Himself. So I put my problem into the hands of God.

He always knows how to help me.

He Will Come In

       
What must it have been like
In that garden, with Jesus, long long ago.
When he cried out to His Father, 
The One who loves Him so.

He cried,”Father, take this cup from me.”
“Yet not as I will, but your will be done.”
But our God could not change his plans; 
He had to sacrifice His Son.

Jesus disciples lay there sleeping 
Not realizing what was ahead. 
They had no idea 
That soon, their beloved Savior would be dead.

Suddenly, a crowd showed up with Judas, 
Armed with clubs and swords.
Judas stepped out in front of them all
And kissed Jesus, the one he called Lord.

Jesus disciples were terrified, 
They deserted Him and fled.
The fear that overwhelmed them there 
Robbed their memories of all that He had said.

Then Peter, his Rock, denied Him three times,
When all he had wanted was to be near.
The rest of Jesus followers had abandoned Him,
Paralyzed by their fear.

And still, our Savior died for them;
His love, the reason that He came. 
He paid the price for ALL our sins; 
A Gift given, so this world would never be the same.

And death, it could not hold Him. 
He conquered death, He rose up from that grave! 
He didn’t come to teach this world a lesson nor to condemn it.
He came to save!

He came to save all those who seek Him;
The ones who hear His voice, His call. 
He came to offer us Salvation;
For that, He gave His life, He gave his all.

So the question is, do you believe? 
Have you come to God’s own Son? 
Have you bowed down on bended knees
And cried,”God,your will be done!”?

Do you need a Savior To wipe away your sins? 
Do you need a Promise for eternal life, 
The Way to Heaven, the Only Way to enter in?
Then come to Jesus! He’s not even a single breath away. 
Cry out to Jesus, He WILL come in. 
He is The God Who Stays.
 

Written by
Karen Rawlings     
4-5-20