When the Jesus in me is contagious,

I have this curiosity and expectancy about what He will do in the next minutes, hours — in me, in others, in my circumstances.   And I’m surprisingly thankful about everything, including the hard.  And whatever I face is not my problem, not my job to fix: Jesus’ problem and Jesus’ job.  Ahhh, tis so sweet to experience Jesus living His life in me.

–IndependentDave, needing prayer for fresh conviction of sin, so he’s momentarily DependentDave, enjoying Jesus, others, himself, circumstances, just as they are, so the pre-believers and believers around him will want Jesus-dependency too (please pray now)

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What philosophy appeals to me?

One where the people who espouse the philosophy/religion/theology, love me and others unconditionally, just as we are, whether or not we agree with their philosophy, follow their philosophy.  Not necessarily the philosophy that makes the most sense, intellectually, or scientifically, but the one where the people following the philosophy, love the best.   Are the most Jesus-like.  I will give my ear to the followers who love the best.   If I laugh at them, they still love/enjoy me, just as I am.  If I ridicule them, they still love/enjoy me, just as I am.  If I denounce them, they still love/enjoy me, just as I am.  If you want to win me over, you need to begin with love, not argument, and if you don’t continue to demonstrate other-worldy humility and other-worldly love, I will likely not listen to your answers to my questions/hangups with your philosop hy.   Other-worldy love is the most-compelling apologetic.

–ProudDave, needing prayer to be freshly convicted of the sin of independence, so he’s momentarily HumbleDave, with the power of Jesus enabling him to love the impossible to love (please pray now)

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The height of presumption,

is being intense/agendified about anything.  My will be done.   I know what’s best for me and those I love.  God bless my agenda.  This created-dependent knows: confident/willful/proud/evil/wicked/presumptuous.  Only the presumptuous judge others around us, as to worthiness or unworthiness, winner or loser or mediocre.  Why?  To feel superior to losers and worship winnners.  The humble enjoy everyone.

–IndependentDave, needing prayer for fresh conviction of sin, to be HumbleDave, enjoying his Shepherd, others, himself, circumstances, just as they are, so that pre-believers around him are wowed by such humility and love (please pray now)

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A fool is confident,

he can help others find happiness in this life.   A fool is confident he can engineer happiness for himself, even though he’s pathetically confused about it all, and doesn’t realize it.   Only a dependent asks Jesus for help in helping others find happiness.   Only a dependent ask Jesus about everything in his own life.   Fools assume or willfully do, because we are confident.  Fools know what’s thankable and what’s not.  Dependents thank and ask Jesus about everything, because He is their Shepherd and knows what’s best for them.

–ConfidentDave, needing prayer to be DependentDave, experiencing the bliss of Jesus-dependency, so the pre-believers around him will want a Shepherd too (please pray now)

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I’m pathetically in love,

with the values of this world: feeling good about myself through strength, good taste, achievement, efficiency, savvy, reputation, superiority, somebodiness, great decisions.   For a cherished, adopted child of the Most High God to be so enamored with such meaningless values in the eyes of Solomon, is pathetic.   But that’s what I am in my less-sane moments.   Makes no sense whatsoever.  Who can explain the insanity of being wooed away from Jesus by the prince of this world?

Wait, Dave, are you saying that values like efficiency and achievement are evil?   When I try and get LIFE from them, try and get from them what only Jesus can give, when I feel good about myself because of them, they are.

So, Dave, do you enjoy your dysfunctional self in those less-sane moments?  Of course not.  Only when I am sane/contrite, can I enjoy the man known as ShepherdDave, so easily wooed away from Jesus.   Not contempt for ShepherdDave, but compassion for him, like Jesus has compassion for him.  ShepherdDave is so pathetically confused about where to find happiness in this life.

In the past, I’ve dimly seen this worldiness in me, but lately, much more clearly.  In my saner moments.  Somebody must have been praying.  Thank you.  Humiliation is good for my soul.

My flesh hates humiliation, hates the values of the Upside-down Kingdom of Jesus: weakness, lowliness, dependency, indifference to the values of this world, risking pity or contempt by others for marching to a different Drummer.   To be considered a loser, a nobody, even in Christian circles, is anathema to my flesh.   Jesus is unsatisfying, inadequate.

–ShepherdDave, to be pitied above all men, for he possesses the perfect, precious, pricey righteousness of Jesus imputed to him, yet he runs after the far-lesser things treasured by this world, and is therefore extremely needy of prayer for fresh conviction of the sin of independence/pride, so he’s momentarily humbled, transformed into DumbSheepDave, enjoying his Shepherd, himself, others, and his circumstances, just as they are (please pray now)

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The ultimate blessing in this life,

is when the Spirit of Jesus opens my eyes to see how pathetically helpless I am — powerless to make my life work, to engineer happiness for myself and those I love. I see this in my saner moments, and then I’m actually thankful for my pathetic helplessness. And enjoy it! Am comforted by it. Usually, however, I’m in denial, needing to be rescued from the Curse of independency, the idiotic notion my ancestors Adam and Eve had, that independency produces happiness, that being free to captain my soul, master my fate, will bring me contentment in this life. Independency brings me misery. Only dependency on Jesus has ever made me happy. Independency is an illusion, a myth, perpetrated on me by the alliance of the world, flesh, devil. Why? So I operate by puny human power, like pre-believers, undermining my fruitfulness with them. Why? If I cannot see how pathetically helpless I am apart from Him, how would they know/see, and why would they be interested in Him, apart from whether there’s a Heaven or Hell? Most don’t believe in an afterlife, and afterlife is only one of the benefits to following Jesus.

I don’t think I’m alone in running from pathetic helplessness. The Church seems little different than the world in the kind of leaders we seek: strong, confident, successful, make-it-happen. Independent/agendified/driven. Oh sure, we Christian leaders learn to put on airs of humility and camouflage our independence. Unconsciously. Satan could not be more pleased. No wonder we’re no threat to the enemy’s hold over pre-believers in our day. No wonder we’re the laughingstock of the watching world. Without Jesus-humility and Jesus-love, how could we believers possibly be one, that the world might believe? Human power, not Jesus power.

–StrongDave/ShepherdDave, needing prayer for fresh conviction of the sin of independence, so he is momentarily transformed into pathetically helpless DumbSheepDave, asking and thanking about everything, curious and expectant to see what ShepherdJesus will do next, in Dave, others, circumstances, so the pre-believers around him are wowed by the difference Jesus makes in his life, and want a Shepherd too (please pray now)

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Fifty years ago, today,

I married my high-school sweetheart, who was by then, my college sweetheart, and today, she’s my senior sweetheart.  I was twenty; she was almost twenty.  Neither of us knew who we were.  But we were in love, and we have stayed in love, for fifty years, plus the two and a half years we dated.  We have many common interests, and over the years, we have developed many separate interests.  Early in our marriage, Jesus moved into our lives and captured our attention, and has been the centerpiece in our marriage, the glue that has held it together over these many years, enabling us to forebear with one another, enjoy one another, enjoy common areas of interest, and different areas of interest.

Jesus has formed a foundation in our lives that has enabled us to grow in self-awareness and self-acceptance, and perhaps the biggest difference this has made, is our understanding and embracing our newly-discovered introversion.   We always thought we were extraverts, and all our lives up until ten years ago, we lived like extraverts.   Today, we are reclusive compared to the old days, but we’ve never been so happy, knowing who we are, how He’s made us — our limitations, our likes, our dislikes.  And enjoying ourselves and one another.   We love our lives, just as they are, and we love each other, just as we are.   This is amazing, and a fruit of the work of Jesus, who is in the business of growing people to enjoy Him, others, self, circumstances.   We feel utterly unworthy of any credit for this amazing grace, and are grateful beyond words.

–DaveLovesJan

Engineering easy circumstances,

and avoiding the hard ones, is my passion when I’m ShepherdDave, wise in my own eyes, leaning on my own understanding, confident I know what’s best for me and those I love.   But easy never grows me more Jesus-dependent, more DumbSheepDave.  Only the hard.   So why do I obsess over engineering easy, and not embrace the hard?   World, flesh, devil.   The right-side-up kingdom of this world has convinced me that the values of the Upside-down Kingdom of Jesus are undesirable.   I don’t want hard, weakness, dependency, to be pitied above all men: I wanna feel good about myself.   I wannabe admired, envied, not pitied.  I want easy.

The sanity prayer.   “Whatever it takes, Lord, to grow me more Jesus-dependent, no matter how hard, that’s what I want more than anything else in this world.  Thank You that suffering produces perseverance, and then character, and then hope/faith/dependency.”

–ShepherdDave, needing prayer for fresh conviction of the sin of independence, so he’s lowly and beloved DumbSheepDave, so the pre-believers around him are wowed and want Jesus too (please pray now)

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