Arguing while humble.

What would that even look like?  Arguing with respect, admiration, enjoyment, of the opposition, rather than vilifying them?  Is humility the missing ingredient today in politics, as well as in the Church, business, education, sports, and the media?  And in Dave?

God opposes the proud/strong/confident, but his heart goes out to the humble/weak/meek.  True also, of us humans: our hearts go out to the humble/weak/meek.  I don’t know how to humbly argue politics with pre-believers or believers, or theology, or whatever, because I am always opinionated/confident/strong/self-righteous/proud.  Or I wouldn’t argue.  There is no Jesus-humility in me, nothing to endear them to the Jesus in me, because there is in me, so little of Him and His humility.  When I argue.

While I’m unlikely to win over anyone by argument, the overflowing Jesus in me is compelling, and maybe contagious.  But for there to be contagion, the Spirit has to be working: in me, in them.

Who cares about winning a convert to my politics or theology, compared to a believing friend freshly embracing Jesus as Lord, or a pre-believing friend embracing Him for the first time?  Paul says, “We endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the Gospel.”  I Cor 9:12.

–DumbSheepDave, freshly convicted of all his arguing about politics, and the theology of following Jesus, because folks have been praying (please keep praying, and please pray now)

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How to get more amazing grace.

Grace flows downhill to the lowly/needy who know they are needy: sinners/failures/losers who know they are sinners/failures/losers.  Not uphill to the strong/confident/superior.  But this grace is impossible for us mortals to orchestrate.

So how can I get more grace?  Ask Him, and if it helps you believe, claim the promise of Luke 11, that if we ask for the Spirit, He will give us the Spirit: fresh conviction of sin, fresh death to my agenda, fresh Jesus-dependency, fresh enjoyment of Jesus, others, myself and my circumstances.

–WeakDave, who qualifies for grace, because folks have been praying for fresh conviction of sin in his life (please keep praying, so pre-believers will want this amazing grace for themselves)

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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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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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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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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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I am powerless over my idols/addictions.

I cannot live w/o them.  I become tense and frustrated until I can return to them to get some relief from my pain — my suppressed feelings of worthlessness.  How do I know they’re suppressed?  Because I want to forget/deny/erase my feelings of worthlessness, by doing something to feel good about myself in one or more areas of my idolatry: ministry, investments, health improvements, shrewd purchasing decisions, automobiles.  Ahhh.  Now I don’t need Jesus.

But my goal is not to change myself, for only Jesus can change me.  My need is to begin to understand and accept myself, just as I am, just as my DaddyJesusSpirit understands and accepts me, just as I am.  Whenever I get impatient with myself, with the transformation/sanctification process, self-contempt has become the issue.  Pride.  A humble sheep gladly submits to his Shepherd’s timetable, does not need to feel good about himself based on his own performance, and enjoys his Shepherd, others, himself, and his circumstances, just as the are.

–IdolatorDave, more self-accepting than ever, enjoying life more than ever, because folks have been praying, which gives him hope for the pre-believers around him (please pray now)

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Why do I want to be different?

Typically for both good and bad reasons.  Good reason: for the glory of Jesus, especially with pre-believers.   Bad reason: so I can feel better about myself, have some righteousness/performance of my own.

–ShepherdDave, unsatisfied with himself for the wrong reason, needing prayer for fresh conviction of sin, so he’ll be momentarily transformed into DumbSheepDave, who enjoys himself just as he is enjoyed by his ShepherdJesus, while curious and expectant to see if and when his ShepherdJesus will use suffering to change him more (please pray now)

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