The pride nobody confesses.

From mentoring lots of believers over the years, especially grace-junkies, I’m struck by the prevalence of unconfessed self-contempt.  Why is self-contempt not viewed as the prideful sin it is?  I think it’s because it seems right to hate yourself when you sin.  But it’s not.  A humble believer extends grace to self, just like Jesus extends grace to believers as we sin.  And we never stop sinning, because there’s a dark side of our motivation to every seemingly-selfless thing we ever do.  We’re much-more likely to extend grace to other believers, than to ourselves.   Especially other believers we like.  But not to self.  Pride.  We wannabe different.  Whyzat?  Good motive: for the glory of Jesus.  Dark motive: so we can feel good about self.  But Satan works hard at keeping us from seeing our dark motives.  Why are we so vulnerable to Satan’s deception?   Worthiness addiction.  Dissatisfied with the imputed worthiness of Jesus.  Dissatisfied with Jesus Himself.

Believers with self-contempt for every failure, don’t really care that God loves us unconditionally.  We want something more.  A humble believer cares not one iota for having zero worthiness of his own.  Jesus and His worthiness are enough.  Humble believers don’t mind being considered losers, failures, nobodies.  Don’t mind being pitied.  And aren’t enamored with their own successes, somebodiness.  Enamored with Jesus, no matter what.  And are not deflated by getting new large glimpses of their pride.

–DumbSheepDave, more self-aware than ever, confessing more than ever, enjoying Jesus, others, self, and circumstances more than ever, because folks have been praying

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Terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad

experience, living in this world as an independent who was made for dependency.  The Creator didn’t do a halfway job when He cursed the world.  It really is an awful place for an independent to live.  Except.  For those moments of sanity, those tastes of Heaven, when created-dependents are returned by the convicting work of the Spirit, to the peaceful bliss of Jesus-dependency.

Independence is exalted outside the Church, and inside too. “What is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” Lk 16:13

–DumbSheepDave, who just experienced the best year of his life, because folks have been praying, hoping that 2013 will be a year when pre-believers will be wowed by the difference Jesus makes, and want his Shepherd too

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“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,

which is hypocrisy,” said Jesus.   Hypocrisy?  Trying to appear strong/together.  Dishonest about weaknesses, failure, neediness.  Invisible pride.  Appearing strong/together/un-needy has unconsciously been my main core value all my adult life, I now see.  Nurtured by the society around me, outside the Church, and inside too.  Satan loves the Church operating just like the world around It, by human power, like the Pharisees, so It’s neutralized, impotent, fruitless, saltless — of no use.  Independent, not Jesus-dependent.

How do I change?  Impossible.  I need Jesus working in me, exposing more and more of the yeast-like independence that seeps into every area of my life.  So I can confess more.  Invisible pride.  Satan hates me confessing, and loves me trying harder to change, trying to believe better, depend better.  And hate myself when I fail.  Pride.  Jesus-dependency is impossible without Jesus working by His Spirit, freshly convicting me of the sin of independence.

–DumbSheepDave, having the best year of his life, because folks have been praying, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing

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I’m bored with Jesus,

at Christmas, and the rest of the year too, except when I’ve been freshly convicted of the sin of independence/judge/self-confidence/pride.  Jesus is only a big deal to big sinners, only a little deal to little sinners, and nothing to non-sinners.  The nicest, sweetest, kindest thing He ever does for this kid of His, is to freshly convict me of the sin of independence, so Jesus is the big deal in my life again.  Even at Christmas.

–DumbSheepDave, experiencing more dependency than ever, because folks have been praying, and hopefully the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference

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Jesus changing Dave in surprising ways.

One example is my latest tire purchase for my car.  My Subaru wagon is an authentic sports car in disguise: very fast, and corners amazingly.   So the tires I have purchased for it in the past, have been ultra-high-performance summer tires, that enable one to corner like a race car.   I have always loved to go fast around corners.  Why?  Proving myself worthy, I now suspect.  Satan has had a grip on me in the form of a worthiness-proving addiction, all my adult life.  Fast acceleration, fast cornering, prove I’m worthy.  I know, silly isn’t it?   Idolatry/addiction is irrational, silly.  Fruit of emotional dysfunction.

So when I went to buy new tires, I researched the ultra-high-performance summer tires, but I decided I didn’t need to prove myself worthy anymore, didn’t like going down that path, that trip, that addiction, and so I bought some boring all-season touring tires, that handle well, but nothing like the kind of tires I usually buy.

Sometimes I still accelerate rapidly, go round corners rapidly, because it’s fun.  But not so much.  Only fellow car nuts could appreciate the change Jesus has made in this big area of my life where I was so blind.

–DumbSheepDave, having the best year of his life, because folks have been praying

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An ingrate believer,

has been forgiven much by DaddyJesusSpirit, and has the perfect, precious, pricey righteousness of Jesus imputed to him, but — wants something more.  An ingrate believer is unsatisfied with Jesus and His righteousness, wants some righteousness/performance/worthiness of his own, so he can feel good about himself.  IngrateDave.

Grace is for ingrates who know they are ingrates, flows downhill to the ingrates at the lowly sinner’s place at the foot of the Cross.  Does not flow uphill to the together, strong, successful, proud.  Grace is for losers who know they are losers, accept themselves as losers, enjoy themselves as losers.  Needing no worthiness of their own.  Grace is not good news to winners, the worthy, the proud, who have much to lose.  Jesus came for the sick, not the healthy.

–IngrateDave, confessing more, and more in love with Jesus, because folks have been praying

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Financial condition of GospelFriendships.

Financial condition of GospelFriendships.  I’m currently in deficit by $9k and I’m guessing by year end it will be from $10-15k.   🙂

I need a ministry fix.

My ministry addiction is clearer to me than ever.  Why?  Because folks have been praying.  Why is my addiction always eager for a fresh, quick fix?  Why can’t I seem to get enough?  Always need more?  Because I’m convinced there has been a deep hole in my soul, making my flesh inordinately hungry-needy to prove myself worthy, to myself, to others.

A ministry fix provides me with some r-e-l-i-e-f from what I strongly suspect is suppressed pain of feeling like a loser, since childhood.  I’m shocked.  But what else would explain my workaholism, intensity, my obsessiveness about ministry, my what-I-suspect-is-suppressed terror of experiencing failure in ministry, or of being considered lazy, unproductive, inefficient, worthless, by others or by myself?  Drivenness.  Not a human being, but a human doing.  Always hurried.

What I unconsciously think I need is another ministry fix.  Ahhh.  Feels so good to prooove myself worthy.  Problem is, the fix doesn’t last long.  And so the addiction doesn’t lead me to happiness, but to more addiction, living inside a prison of addiction, except for the momentary relief I get with a fresh fix.  Terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad way to be trapped.  Addict.  Stressful, exhausting, joyless, peaceless, unless things go my way, momentarily, and even then the success just reinforces my addiction, insanity, independence.

Jesus came to reverse the effects of The Curse in the lives of believers, especially those of us who carry unrecognized holes in our souls from childhood.  And Jesus has been bringing healing to the wound on my soul, and the peace I am experiencing is indescribably delicious.  It is so much easier to fix my eyes and thoughts on Jesus as my idols are more exposed, are slowly disempowered, slowly wilting.  I now see that no amount of ministry success could ever fill the deep hole in my soul.  I’ve been trying since 1984 when I went through Sonship, to become whole/healthy, by soaking in the Gospel of Jesus and His unconditional love for me, and I have desperately needed the growing grace foundation in my life, to even be able to look inside in 2012 and see the hole, and now Jesus is leading me through a healing process for this wound, this gaping hole in my soul, to amazing Jesus-dependency.

— DumbSheepDave, indescribably thankful for those who’ve prayed

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I’m thankful this year,

for people I used to despise: my enemies — theologically, politically, and militarily.  And myself, just as I am, even when I do stupid things, even when I’m an ingrate for all I have in Jesus.  I’m thankful that DaddyJesusSpirit is both loving and sovereign over all, has had a perfect plan from before the beginning of time, and is in the process of implementing that perfect plan.  And this enables me to be thankful for everything, just as it is, including me, just as I am, because we’re all part of His process, and the final chapters of the story, have yet to be written.

–DumbSheepDave, having the best year of his life, because folks have been praying

To receive my weekly updates, email me, or search for GospelFriendships (one word) on Facebook, and “like” the page, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com