My life is UP TO DAVE,

when my reality is informed by my eyes and ears.  But when my reality is informed by Scripture, my life is up to my SovereignShepherdJesus.  I’m not MY problem, but His problem.  It’s not MY reign, but His reign.  Ahhh.  So thankful for His growing me more-and-more aware of my INdependency, because Jesus-dependency is the pearl of great price, worth selling all to get.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, slowly becoming distrustful of his eyes and ears, and slowly becoming more peaceful, because of the convicting work of the Spirit

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I don’t need a different car —

I need a different DAVE.  My flesh imagines I would be happier with a different car.  But I already HAVE a great car, and it hasn’t made me content.  I need a different DAVE.  A Dave who is CONTENT with the car he HAS, with the body he has, with the maturity he has, with the health he has, with the savings he has, with the LIFE he has.  How can I get a different Dave?  Impossible for me to make happen.  I’ve TRIED.  But one thing I CAN do, is to THANK Him that I’m NOT a different Dave, NOT content, just as I am, just the way He’s made me, and THANK Him that I want something MORE than Jesus and His imputed worthiness.  How humiliating.  But.  A Dave who is HONEST with his God and himself, who comes clean about his neediness, will be a happier, more-contented believer.  And I’ve experienced this.  It’s TRUE.  But I keep forgetting.  I keep forgetting that my flesh dunno nuttin about how to make me happy, even though it THINKS it does.  My biggest need is not a different car, but a different Dave, so I don’t CARE about the things that consume my flesh.

So that’s why I call my car my “training wheels”, because Jesus is USING time spent in my car all alone, to grow my self-awareness, opening my eyes afresh to see more clearly my car idolatry, retraining me in cluelessness-I-know-what’s-best, so I’m increasingly SKEPTICAL of my flesh’s confidence-it-knows-how-to-make-me-happy.  I love shouting out, “So WHAT, Dave’sFlesh?” when I’m all alone in my car driving, and suddenly aware of being wooed into thinking, “Look there’s a different car that might work, might make me happIER.”  Jesus is using my training wheels to make me a different Dave, so I don’t need a different car.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, a pathetic practicer of what he preaches, but enormously encouraged that grace is for sinners/failures/losers — great examples of bad examples, encouraged that grace flows downhill to those at the bottom who are freshly aware of their NEED for grace, because of the convicting work of the Holy Spirit

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GospelFriendships Financial Update.

Thank You, Jesus, for regular supporters plus several unusual gifts in 2017, so income exceeded expenses by $3000!  Impressive.  Twelve months ago we ran a $5k + deficit.  We really need this cushion going into 2018, because cash was low all year, and so low in November that my paycheck was only $400.  But made it up in December.  Still need additional monthly supporters, because I don’t expect the unusual gifts in 2018.  However.  I’m glad this is not our ministry, but His.
— ThankfulDave, in the midst of easy-to-thank-for

Why are we Christians so unfruitful

with the seculars around us?  Jesus said, “You cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me.”  Do we remain in Jesus all day long?  No.  Whyzat?  We are created-dependents functioning as independents, wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding, confident-we-know-what’s-best — analyzers/judges of everyone and everything.  We remain in OURSELVES as we go through our day — as self-reliant as the seculars around us.  Apart from Heaven, we have nothing they don’t have.  We do not reproduce because the Jesus in us is contagious to no one because of our independence — we don’t ASK Him and THANK Him about everything as we go through our day, but rather we ASSUME or willfully DO.  And because we KNOW what’s thankable and what’s not.   So we don’t go through our days curious and expectant to see what He does NEXT, in us, others, circumstances, but rather go through our days feeling alone and in charge.

I can’t prove this, but I’m convinced that the early believers had a contagious Jesus that made them reproducers — amazingly  fruitful with family and neighbors and co-workers.  They had something we don’t have.  The powerful humility of Jesus-dependency.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who works hard to appear humble and gracious on the outside, but can’t make it happen on the inside, and is therefore chief needer of fresh convictions of the sin of independence throughout his day

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A dead man feels no pressure,

no fear, no frustration, no discouragement.  Only those ALIVE to their agenda experience stressful living.  Only those confident-they-know-what’s-best have an agenda.  The nicest, kindest, sweetest thing that Jesus ever does for us kids of His, is to freshly convict of us of our independence/confidence-we-know-what’s-best/pride/worldliness, so we are freshly undone, contrite, dead to our own worthiness/reputation, freshly captivated by Jesus and His imputed worthiness, so that Jesus is ENOUGH for us, needing nothing more.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, needing fresh conviction of the sin of independence, so the Jesus in him might be contagious to the seculars around him

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The Christian life is a burden

when my flesh is reigning supreme — conscientious about avoiding sin, doing right, believing right, so I feel good about myself.  But the Christian life is a DELIGHT when the Spirit has freshly convicted me of the sin of independence/confidence-I-know-what’s-best — unsatisfied with Jesus and His imputed worthiness, wanting some of my own.  Being freshly dead to my own worthiness so I am enabled to enjoy the lowly role He’s scripted for me of being a great example of a bad example, brings amazing peace to my soul, enabling me to enjoy everyone just as we are, and everything just as it is — all according to Jesus’ genius plan.   Ahhh.

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, hoping the seculars around him are noticing a difference, sometimes

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Dave, how can you talk about

Jesus’ genius plan for all, when there is so much bad in the world?  Well, how would we know what good looks like, if we weren’t exposed to bad?  SovereignShepherdJesus has created great examples of bad examples, and great examples of good examples, so we can clearly grasp the difference.  How could we appreciate the goodness, humility, love, of Jesus, without a Hitler to teach us about the bad that lurks inside each of us humans?

Why didn’t Jesus create a world where all humans were good all the time?  Ask the Author.  This is His Grand Story, not ours.  Who are we to sit in judgment of the CreatorSustainer of the Universe?  Arrogant, self-righteous humans, that’s who, blind to the extent of bad in each of us, imagining ourselves way-superior to Hitler, and lots of other humans, badder than we.  The biggest need inside the Church, and outside, is self-awareness.  Only bad humans need a Savior.  The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were considered the most holy of all humans, but Jesus had the harshest things to say about those who imagined themselves good, wonderful.  Jesus said, “He who has a sense of having been forgiven only a little, loves only a little.”  The lack of unconditional love in the world today, outside the Church, and INSIDE, exposes the human condition of imagining we are good-er than we really are.  We can’t handle the truth, can’t bear to look inside and see the darkness that lurks within, down deep, in the recesses of our souls — especially the independence/pride/confidence-we-know-what’s-best, leaning on our own understanding, being wise in our own eyes.

We Christians would benefit enormously by learning from eastern religions and modern psychology about the importance of self-awareness.  Seems to me that the BIGgest hindrance to a widespread awakening in the Church in our day that spills over into secular society, is a lack of self-awareness in us Christians.  So we Christians imagine ourselves only slightly bad, and are therefore underwhelmed by Jesus.  He’s a part of our lives, but not everything to us.  We live in denial of how much WE are everything to us.  In denial of what God-haters we are: hating having to trust Him and His genius plan for our lives, and those we love, because we are so independent/confident-we-know-what’s-best.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness among believers, so we might be compelling to the seculars around us

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I’m an equal-opportunity obsessive.

I am so inappropriately obsessive, that there is hardly any distinction between saving thousands and saving pennies, on a purchase.  I’m an equal-opportunity obsessive.  Embarrassing, because all my life I’ve imagined myself a reasonable, sane person, not the kind of fool who would spend as much time on a ten-dollar purchase, as a ten-thousand-dollar purchase.   Actually, I think I give much-better advice than what I end up doing myself.

But.  Here’s a little secret.  It’s impossible to be inappropriately obsessive, unless one is confident-he-knows-what’s-best, wise in his own eyes, leaning on his own understanding — the fruit of our ancestors’ eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad, and the resulting Curse, so that ever since, created-dependents have been living miserable lives as independents, while living in denial of our misery.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, not a practicer of what he preaches — a great example of a bad example, always needing conviction of the sin of independence so that Jesus is freshly ENOUGH for him, so he’s experiencing the peace Jesus provides to freshly-convicted sinners

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