Impossible to be critical,

judgmental, competitive, addicted to feeling superior, and to feel alone in facing my challenges, while experiencing sovereignty-awareness.  Whyzat?  Because I’m not in charge of me, or others.  SovereignShepherdJesus is.  Easy to enjoy others and self, just as we are, and His genius plan for us all, when I’m sovereignty-aware.  Easy to thank Him for everything, when I’m sovereignty-aware.  Easy to be curious and expectant to see what He does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances, when I’m sovereignty-aware.  Easy to be clueless-I-know-what’s-best when I’m sovereignty-aware.  Easy to experience the peace that surpasses the peace of human understanding, when I’m sovereignty-aware as I go about my daily life.  The peace of the sovereignty-unaware is circumstance-dependent — the peace of human understanding, a vastly-inferior peace.  And for us Presbyterians — what good is professing to believe in the sovereignty of God, if we’re not sovereignty-aware as we go through our day?

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing the three awarenesses — Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, sovereignty-awareness, so the seculars around us might be wowed by the Jesus in us believers and want Him too

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Benefits of the three awarenesses.

The biggest benefits of Gospel-awareness

are the joy and peace that radiate from a believer who is deeply convinced of the unconditional love of DaddyJesusSpirit for one of His kids, as the kid goes through the day.  Warts and all.  Whatever it takes to get Gospel-awareness deep in one’s soul, and keep it there, is a bargain investment.  Priceless benefit — joy and peace that is not circumstance-dependent.

The biggest benefit of self-awareness

is being aware of the sin/idolatry/addiction to which we’re blind/self-deceived, that keeps us self-absorbed, keeps us from being other-worldly humble and other-worldly loving — seed sown on thorny soil that does not reproduce a hundredfold, even thirtyfold, because we are choked by the cares of this world, walking in darkness.  We believers imagine we are walking in the light, followers of Jesus, but we are followers of ourselves, wanting Him to bless OUR agenda, confident-we-know-what’s-best, leaning on our own understanding, wise in our own eyes, blind to the extent of our independence/pride/worldliness.

The biggest benefits of sovereignty-awareness

are 1) being curious and expectant as I go through my day, to see what Jesus does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances, 2) THANKing Him for everything, especially the harrrd, as I go through my day, evidencing my enjoyment of everyone just as we are, and everything just as it is, and 3) not feeling as though it’s UP TO ME to avoid mistakes, failure, humiliation, which causes me to suppress the horror of feeling alone as I face the challenges before me.  Sovereignty-awareness is very different from believing in the sovereignty of God.  Presbyterians claim to believe in the sovereignty of God, but I don’t know any Presbyterians that have sovereignty-awareness as they go through their day.

How to get more of the three awarenesses?

Serge.com has some great mentoring programs for a beginning in Gospel-awareness and self-awareness.  I have some free self-therapy material that has been used of Jesus to grow believers further in self-awareness, over time, for those who already have a deep foundation of Gospel-awareness.  Contact me if interested.  You’re on your own with sovereignty-awareness.  As for me, I need constant reminders throughout the day of the sovereignty of God, to grow my sovereignty-awareness in all I think and do.

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing the three awarenesses — Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, sovereignty-awareness, so the seculars around us might be wowed by the Jesus in us believers and want Him too

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Ridicule-avoidance is probably 

my deepest core value, explaining more of who I am and why I do, than anything.  Constant stress/tension in my body, day and night, due to my hyper-vigilance.  All my life, this terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad way to live has felt so normal/natural that I’ve been unaware, until lately, of the terror that never leaves me.

Impossible to be ridicule-avoidant, or tense for any other reason, unless one is confident-he-knows-what’s-best.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, being retrained by Jesus in cluelessness-he-knows-what’s-best

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Nothing compares with

cluelessness-I-know-what’s-best — being curious and expectant to see what You do NEXT, in me, others, circumstances.  I LOVE when Your Spirit freshly convicts me of my independence  — my feeling alone with the challenges before me, so I’m freshly aware that I’m not MY problem, but Your problem.   Ahhh, thank You, Jesus, for the peace that surpasses the understanding that’s common to independents.  So unnatural, unAmerican, unEvangelical to be clueless-I-know-what’s-best.  Ahhh.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, wondering if the seculars around him are noticing the difference Jesus sometimes makes in his life

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Nation of fools 

are we — wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding, confident-we-know-what’s-best, imagining ourselves competent to judge others and ourselves, and therefore able to govern ourselves and others in the world, without dependency on the CreatorSustainer of the Universe.  There is no humility in our land, outside the Church, or inside, because we are all wise in our own eyes, lean on our own understanding, judge everyone and everything, and see nothing wrong with it.  We Americans — like all humans, have lived with this independent-mindset for so long that independency/pride/self-reliance/worldliness seems normal/natural to us, in the USA, and in other nations around the world.  We who claim to follow Jesus, but follow ourselves, don’t even see the problem, and therefore do not confess this sin, this control-addiction, so we live in unconfessed sin/idolatry.  The blind cannot lead the blind.  We are doomed to experience more of the same in our nation, and around the world, without a global outpouring of God’s Spirit in our day among Christians.  We Christians — not others, are the weakest links, the ones most needy of transformation by God’s Spirit.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who sees the problem — especially in his own heart, but feels powerless to change anything or anyone

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Should I be thankful for feelings of discouragement?

Or fear?   Or frustration?  Most would say “OF COURSE NOT.”  We know what’s thankable and what’s not, because we are wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding, confident-we-know-what’s-best.

We wanna FIX those feelings, instead of explore the root of them, asking Jesus to show us what’s really going on inside.  We are blind to our true flesh and its desires that control us so much of the time.  Truth be told, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to feel discouraged, frustrated, fearful, UNLESS I’m confident-I-know-what’s-best, which is another way of describing a believer who is functioning as an atheist, full of unbelief in Jesus and His sovereign reign over everyone and everything.  Or worse — arrogantly sitting in judgment of Him and His genius plan.

Here’s the biggest problem: if I’m living in denial of my true flesh, I will not be undone, contrite, other-worldly humble, full of other-worldly love, which means I will NOT be compelling to seculars.  I will be the chief argue-er, chief expert, not the chief confessor in the relationship.

Am I commanded by Scripture to give thanks in EVERYthing?  Surely not.  But wait, Scripture is clear: “Give thanks in every thing; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  So…..am I thankful for the ugly political divide in our land?   Am I thankful I’m so unfruitful with seculars?  Am I thankful I’m such a great example of a bad example of a Jesus-follower?  And if not, why not?  Pride, not humility.  The proud know what’s thankable and what’s not.  Only those freshly surrendered to a SovereignShepherdJesus are able to thank Him for the harrrd.

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who only sees the problem when he’s been freshly convicted of unbelief, and it doesn’t last long

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No deeply-happy person

is an idolator.  Deeply happy?  Joy, peace, contentment.  And every believer I’ve ever known, including myself, are bigtime idolators, but we live in denial of the extent of our unhappiness caused by idolatry, in my not-so-humble opinion.  Those of us with a grace foundation in our lives, get better glimpses of our idolatry, but it’s still the tip of the iceberg we see at best, in my experience with others and self.  As Jesus grows a believer in self-awareness, s/he’s enabled to see much further under the waterline, and the more growth in self-awareness, the more we see the magnitude of the problem.  Without Gospel-awareness, we would surely die from grief at the horror of what we are in our flesh — what great examples we are, of bad examples.  We can’t handle the truth, so we unconsciously suppress.

I find I’ve needed three things to experience a measure of happiness in this world, and to begin to be compelling to the seculars around me.  Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty awareness.  That’s the order in which Jesus has worked in me, historically.  For me, any one, or even two, has been insufficient.   I find I desperately need all three, and I need them in ever-growing ways.  No such thing as being arrived in any of the three awarenesses as a believer goes through a day.  And each of them come and go, as the Spirit works.  For control-freaks this is quite frustrating.

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, king of control-freaks, whose flesh wishes it could claim some of the credit for the now-and-then work of Jesus in him

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Black preacher exposing Christians,

white, black, brown, whatever, both progressive and conservative.  He’s African-American Coordinator for the Presbyterian Church in America.  And he’s not talking about race, per se.  Although the root of racial prejudice is self-righteousness.  Brave man, taking on the Christian establishment, but preaching very biblically, seems to Dave.  Hope his job’s not in jeopardy. Scary sermon.  Thirty-five minutes.  Wy Plummer.  How our own righteousness undermines our love for Jesus.

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

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