Impossible to be circumstance-dependent

for my joy and peace, unless I’m wise in my own eyes, leaning on my own understanding, confident-I-know-what’s-best.  Only the Jesus-dependent — the clueless-I-know-what’s-best, experience the peace that passes understanding.  Life is unnecessarily intense/stressful for the confident-I-know-what’s-best addict, consumed with his/her own worthiness by judging others in order to compete with them, obsessing over human achievement/somebodiness, needing to make a difference in this world.  Winning — as precious as it is, is not-nearly-as important as avoiding loss/failure.  Bottomless pit of neediness.

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, confessing Jesus as Lord, but to be pitied above all men for not having the benefit of Jesus, except when he’s been freshly convicted of the sin of independence/worldliness/pride/confidence-he-knows-what’s-best, so he’s momentarily DumbSheepDave, with a healthy indifference to humiliation, failure, being pitied by others, while enjoying the bliss of Jesus-dependency/Jesus-contentment/Jesus-humility, so the seculars around him might experience the love of Jesus

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I believe Jesus raised this man up

for such a time as this, to show us what it looks like to love enemies.

—Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

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ShepherdDave worships powerful ministry —

his own and others’, but DumbSheepDave worships his ShepherdJesus.  Humans take some credit for powerful ministry, but only Jesus deserves any credit, glory, honor.  ShepherdDave is wowed by powerful ministry.  DumbSheepDave is wowed by his SovereignShepherdJesus.  ShepherdDave doesn’t experience abundant LIFE, but DumbSheepDave does, because DumbSheepDave is captivated by Jesus.  Jesus is everything, and Jesus is ENOUGH, for DumbSheepDave.

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who loves it when the Spirit freshly convicts him of wanting something more than Jesus, but can’t manufacture the experience

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Self-righteousness is impossible

unless a Christian or nonChristian is wise in his own eyes, leaning on his own understanding, confident-he-knows-what’s-best, so as to judge others and self, so as to feel worthier/superior.

–ShepherdDave/JudgeDave, consumed with his own worthiness, except when freshly convicted of the sin of worldliness/self-righteousness, so he’s momentarily DumbSheepDave, enjoying everyone just as they are, and the genius plan of his SovereignShepherdJesus, just as it is, content with His alien worthiness, needing none of his own

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How do we love white supremists?

The conscience is reached by love and humility, not by condemning/belittling/mocking, or by legislating my values on others.  Legislating hate-crimes, removal of statues, and flags, does not reach the conscience.  Self-righteous response to self-righteousness does not reach the conscience.  In my opinion, Hollywood has done more to reach the conscience of whites in America, than legislation has ever done.  Protesting against protesters only inflames self-righteousness on both sides, and does not reach the conscience.  Intolerance of intolerance does not reach the conscience.  Condescension does not reach the conscience.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies.  Do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you.  Pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn to him the other cheek.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Jesus also said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn and you will not be condemned.  Forgive and you will be forgiven.”

Rather than being the chief accusers of white supremists, especially those who claim to be Christians, pointing out their sin in not following Jesus, I have more hope in reaching their consciences by being chief confessors, humbly confessing to them that we are no better than they, because our tendency is to feel superior to haters, to be just as self-righteous as any other hater, to love being right more than we love Jesus, so we are also sinners in not following Jesus.

We live in an era that is highly-politicized, highly-divided, because there is so much self-righteousness and so little humility.  No one cares to listen to the other side to understand-or-even-care-about their concerns.  No one cares about compromise.  Self-righteousness abounds.  Love and humility are absent.  This is the atmosphere of war.

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who loves feeling self-righteous about the self-righteous, except when he’s been freshly convicted of loving his own righteousness more than Jesus and His imputed righteousness

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Jesus is retraining me to be like Kevin.

When I first read this true story about Kevin, years ago, I missed the significance.  I didn’t wannabe like Kevin — childlike, dependent, clueless, pitiable.  Kevin is lovable, but not enviable.  I wanted desperately to be envied, though I didn’t see it at the time.

I didn’t understand the benefit of being Kevin, because I lived in denial of how miserable, stressed, unpeaceful, I was.  If you had suggested I was miserable as a Christian, I woulda laughed at you.  Today, I envy Kevin.  Kevin is my hero.  In my saner moments I understand better, the genius of being a Kevin-kinda Christian, and the genius plan of Jesus to grow me more like Kevin.

I’m convinced that being adultlike is of the devil, and that being childlike, is Jesus-like.  Jesus did NOTHing on His own.  He modeled dependency for us, and yet today, we all wannabe INdependents — both nonChristians AND Christians.

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

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Kevin’s Different World.

–Kelly Adkins

I envy Kevin. My brother, Kevin, thinks God lives under his bed. At least that’s what I heard him say one night. He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, ‘Are you there, God?’ he said. ‘Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed….’ I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room.

Kevin’s unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in. He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he’s 6-foot-2 ), there are few ways in which he is an adult.

He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.

I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life? Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed. The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.

He does not seem dissatisfied.

He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work. He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day’s laundry chores.

And Saturdays – oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That’s the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. ‘That one’s goin’ to Chi-car-go! ‘ Kevin shouts as he claps his hands.

His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.

And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips. He doesn’t know what it means to be discontent. His life is simple. He will never know the entanglements of wealth or power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. He recognizes no differences in people, treating each person as an equal and a friend. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.

His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it. He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax. He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others.

His heart is pure. He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue. Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.

Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God – to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an ‘educated’ person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.

In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity, I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith. It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions. It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap. I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances – they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God’s care.

Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God. And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I’ll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.

Kevin won’t be surprised at all.

The values of Jesus seem wrong.

War against enemies seems right.  Competition seems right — hoping the opposition fails, seems right.  Judging/critiquing others seems right.  Feeling worthier/superior seems right.  Forcing my values on others through legislation, seems right.  To an adultlike/independent/confident-he-knows-what’s-best, wise in his own eyes, leaning on his own understanding.

–ShepherdDave, who claims to follow Jesus, but ignores the teachings of Jesus, except when freshly convicted of the sin of worldliness, so he’s momentarily DumbSheepDave, enjoying everyone just as they are, so the seculars around him might experience the love of Jesus

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Impossible to experience the peace

that passes understanding, unless I’m clueless-I-know-what’s-best, clueless-I-know-what’ll-make-me-happy.  Exception is when I’m living in denial of issues inside of me, insensitive to my feelings, unconsciously suppressing.

I NEVER EVER experience that peace that has nothing to do with circumstances, when I’m confident-I-know-what’s-best.

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, baby stepping in healthier directions when the Spirit freshly convicts him of the sin of independence/confidence-he-knows-what’s-best

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