Physical pain is a channel of grace,

but only for humble Christians — those experiencing sovereignty-awareness, thankful for everything just as it is, including the suffering of pain, believing that suffering produces perseverance, then character, then hope/faith/dependency.  Jesus USES pain to woo us back to Himself from functioning as atheists.  Impossible to be thankful for suffering unless freshly convicted of being wise in my own eyes, leaning on my own understanding, feeling ALONE and in CHARGE, as though there is no CreatorSustainer of the Universe.  Same is true for emotional pain inflicted by other humans, or by circumstances.  Only humble Christians are thank-ers for suffering.  Because only the humble REALLY believe Jesus reigns sovereignly over everyone and everything, implementing His genius plan.  Only the proud feel alone, in charge of our lives, confident-we-know-what’s-best, so we’re irritated or discouraged by any pain/hardship/suffering we experience.

All the people who love us best would vote for no pain, no suffering for us, but they only imagine they know what’s best for us.  Only Jesus knows what’s best.  And He loves us way-more than our best friends love us.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, knee-jerk proud man, except when freshly convicted of confidence-he-knows-bestTo receive my Tuesday posts, email me, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com

Is a Philly-upset-win in game 7

in Toronto, the best thing?  For the Sixers team and owners?  For Philly fans?  For Dave?

I dunno.  But the Sixers know, and Philly fans know, and Dave’sFlesh knows.  In professional sports, and in life, winning is everything.  But what’s the BEST thing?  Depends on what Jesus’ genius plan is, for the team, the fans, for Dave.  I know this — no matter how much my flesh wants an upset win, I will be happiest, if I leave the outcome to Jesus, see HIM as Lord of all.  Otherwise, a win — OR A LOSS, will simply strengthen my confidence-I-know-what’s-best, and that does not nurture happiness in Dave, but nurtures circumstance-dependency, INdependency, in Dave.  Dave is happiest when he’s Jesus-dependent, and most miserable when he’s circumstance-dependent.  Will my watching the game Sunday night on TV, strengthen my INdependence, or my DEpendence?  I dunno yet. 🙂

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

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The happiest Christians,

are thank-ers about evathang, because they’re content to be clueless-about-what’s-best, dunno what’s thankable and what’s not, trusting their SovereignShepherdJesus to know, and trust that He’s behind everyone and everything, so they can relax and enjoy the ride.  No frustration, discouragement, anxiety.  Problem is, this happiness doesn’t last long, and depends on the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.  Happiest Christians get zero credit for when they are happiest Christians.  All glory to Jesus.

By contrast, we circumstance-dependent-for-our-happiness Christians feel all alone, feel the pressure of our lives being up to US, just like our atheist friends.  We do not experience the benefit of Jesus in this life, except when freshly convicted of the sin of INdependence.

 — Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, promoting Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness to Christians — especially DAVE, hoping seculars are drawn to an overflowing Jesus in Christians

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Great example of a GospelFriendship.

I mentor a number of CEO’s of nonprofit ministries.  For the past several years I’ve been mentoring Pete and Wendy Hileman, as the three of us go through the suffering together of Wendy’s Parkinson’s, and as Pete has been leading one of my favoritest ministries, to the poor in Philly.  Below is his latest update to his Pray-ers.  Notice the support group he’s in for men married to women with Parkinson’s.  He’s not the chief expert, but the chief confessor, sharing his failures at loving Wendy, as a Jesus-follower.  And watch the short three-min video at the bottom, if you wannabe encouraged at what else Jesus is doing in Philly.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 9:30 AM

Dear Pray-ers,

We still need prayer, though my emails are less frequent. The decision to step down as ED was a wise one and I am enjoying my new role supporting Jaimee. I have been working on the Doylestown fundraiser which is next Tuesday and we are full already! It is always a blessing when new friends get excited about us and become CLCP evangelists to their friends! We have full tables from Covenant Bank, Covenant Church, Wehrung’s Family Home Center and two tables filled with the Doylestown band of brothers. Bucks County Commission Chairman is coming for the third year and is giving the invocation. Our events are always great but without prayer backing we have no reason to expect this one to be.

Unfortunately, for the first time, Wendy will be missing it. Her dementia has progressed to the point where I just don’t know if she will be with it or out of it. I’ve learned this intermittent waxing and waning is typical of PD dementia. I think it is the most difficult of all of its many nasty symptoms.

Our PD caregiver men support group meets today at 1 pm for the third time. Four of us. It is a good group and a good way for me to interact with non-believers and share my faith through my weakness as a struggling caregiver. One of the men is a retired Jewish psychiatrist who lives nearby and has invited Wendy and I to come dancing with he and his wife. We are able to complain to each other about things we can’t or shouldn’t say to our wives. Word of our group is getting out to other support groups at Penn and Moss. We men for whatever reason seem reluctant to admit we need help until we are really desperate.

I’m so glad for this good spring weather and hope you are enjoying it.

God Bless You,

Pete

phileman@clcphila.org

www.clcphila.org

Learn about Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia: Seeking Justice short video|

I feel good about myself after I watch a movie.

Whether I like it or not.  Whyzat?  I think I’m addicted to analyzing, critiquing, judging, and I do that with every movie I watch.  Thumbs up, or down.  I agree or disagree with the IMDB rating, and by however many points.  It’s God-like.  Heady thing to sit in judgment over everything and everyone.  So when I have fresh worthiness of my own, I’m not as wowed with Jesus and His imputed worthiness.  But this does not deliver happiness for me.  It just strengthens my addiction to analyzing, critiquing, judging.  Terrible prison.  The only thing that helps, is being freshly convicted of being dissatisfied with Jesus and His imputed worthiness to me.  Ahhh.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, living as an atheist, except when freshly convicted of the sin of INdepenence

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The Jesus-like new self is an enjoyer

of everyone just as we are, and everything just as it is, all according to the genius plan of Jesus, but the worldly-like old self is a judge/competitor to everyone.  We worldly Christians frequently need the Spirit to freshly convict us of our worldliness, so we momentarily stop being wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding, so as to judge/compete as a strategy to feel superior to others so we feel good about ourselves.  And then once convicted afresh, we are momentarily returned to our Jesus-like new selves, where we are freshly dead to our worldliness, our own wisdom, our confidence-we-know-what’s-best, humbly enjoying everyone just as we are, and everything just as it is, clueless-we-know-what’s-best, but confident our SovereignShepherdJesus DOES.  Ahhh.  CONFESSion is highly under-rated, and human-powered spiritual activity highly OVERrated.

We worldlies/judges are circumstance-dependent for our joy and peace.  We don’t experience happiness, and we live in a prison of others-contempt and suppressed self-contempt — intense, agendafied, stressed, never enough hours in the day.

Jesus-likes/enjoyers, on the other hand, momentarily experience an other-worldly peace and an other-worldly joy that has nothing to do with present circumstances.  Ahhh.  Jesus-likes/enjoyers get no credit, no glory, for momentarily experiencing the bliss of Jesus-dependency/Jesus-likeness/Jesus-humility.  All glory to Jesus and His Spirit.  But best of all, seculars are compelled by Jesus-likes/enjoyers.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, judge of all, needing fresh conviction to enjoy all

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Why has Jesus placed other humans

around us?  So we can judge them?  Or ENJOY them?  Just as they are?  Just as He’s created them?  Are we Christians judges/competitors, or ENJOYers?  Did Jesus really command us to love our “enemies” — humans most different from ourselves?

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, normally judge/competitor of all, except when freshly convicted of functioning as an atheist — alone and in charge of his life, obsessed with evaluating others

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The values that are basically responsible

for where I am today, have been WRONG.  Ambition, determination, strength, hustle, competitiveness, analyzing, critiquing, judging, striving for excellence, are all worldly values, where reality is informed by eyes and ears, not Scripture.  “And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another.”  Eccl 4:4

When I became a Christian at age 24, these values of the right-side-up kingdom of this world, continued to be central to my life as a believer.  A worldly Christian — even though I’ve been in vocational ministry for 40 years, and would have been highly offended at such an accusation.  These worldly values have failed to produce happiness in me, and I’ve lived in denial of this.  Only the values of the Upside-down Kingdom of Jesus, have ever produced happiness in me — DEpendency on Him, cluelessness-I-know-what’s-best, curiosity/expectancy to see what my SovereignShepherdJesus does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances, seeing Jesus behind everyone and everything as the reigning CreatorSustainer of the Universe, so I’m way-more passive, and way-less the activist, way-less wise in my own eyes, way-less leaning on my own understanding, way-less feeling ALONE and in CHARGE, and way-less wowed by human achievement — mine or others.  But it doesn’t last long.  The message of this world is compelling, deceptive.  Especially for the vulnerable, like DAVE.

Especially the sports worship among Christians and nonChristians in the USA today, has consumed my life, stroked me in the WRONG direction, exacerbated the worst in me, undermined the Lordship of Jesus in my life, and nurtured a fragile joy and peace that depends on circumstances.  Terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad way to live.  Especially for a control-freak.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, sometimes baby steppin in a more-Jesus-like way, whenever the Spirit freshly convicts him of the sin of INdependence, wondering if the seculars around him are noticing

To receive my Tuesday posts, email me, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com