If I’m not fruitful with pre-believers,

it’s because I’m self-dependent way more than I’m Jesus-dependent.   Prove it, Dave.   Well, Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”   Follow Jesus, rather than following self.   Jesus-dependency verses self-dependency, i.e. leaning on my own understanding, being wise in my own eyes — human power verses Jesus-power.

Okay, Dave, so I’m a failure at following Jesus, as evidenced by my unfruitfulness with pre-believers, not to mention how circumstance-dependent I am for my joy and peace.   So how do I improve at following Jesus?   Not by trying harder — reforming myself, but by confessing my unbelief, my self-dependency, my willfulness/agenda, my dissatisfaction with Him, my using Him to get my way: “Jesus, bless my agenda.”   Ahhh, tis so sweet to be freshly convicted of my sin of independence, freshly dead to my own performance/righteousness, and freshly in love with Jesus, and others, especially those most different from myself, like turned-off-to-the-Church pre-believers, and even the antagonistic.

–IndependentDave, needing prayer to be way more Jesus-dependent, so the pre-believers around him will be wowed and want his Savior  (please pray now)

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Do I have a contagious love for Jesus?

That causes other believers and pre-believers around me, to want what I have, because He’s so awesome that nothing else hardly matters to me?  So I have an other-worldly humility, and an other-worldly love for others, especially those whose values are opposite of mine?  So I operate in out-of-character-for-Dave kinda ways?  Self-forgetting/uninhibited?

Or is my faith saltless, impotent, my love lukewarm?

How does one get fresh faith: that contagious-kinda love for Jesus?   I don’t see it starting as a cognitive/intellectual thing: not something I will into being: not something for which I get glory.   Faith is something granted.   A God-thing.  From the Spirit via fresh conviction of sin, especially the sin of indifference/dissatisfaction with Jesus and His righteousness imputed to me, wanting some of my own: wanting to feel good about Dave’s performance, as a believer, hubby, father, friend, Gospel-centric discipler, writer, lover-of-pre-believers, investor, manager-of-his-health-issues.  All good things.   But usually distractions for me.  From being captivated by the Lover of my soul.  So my love for Him is contagious.

–LukeWarmDave, needing prayer so he’s freshly wowed by Jesus, head-over-heels in love with Jesus, can’t stop thinking about Jesus, so the pre-believers around him are wowed and want what he has (please pray now)

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Relax and enjoy the ride.

I sit behind the steering wheel, like God Himself, assuming I know the way, know good turns from bad.  Is it any wonder that life is so hard for me?  Boy this driving job seemed like a fairly easy one, but now I’m feeling pressure: like someone completely out of his element.  Sometimes fearful, sometimes frustrated, and sometimes discouraged.  ShepherdJesus is sitting in the back seat telling me it certainly doesn’t have to be this way.  I can crawl over the seat and sit in the back anytime I want.  ShepherdJesus is more than ready to switch with me and take the wheel.

But can I relax and enjoy the ride from the back seat?  Do I trust Him to make the right turns?  Am I sure He knows the right route to get me the happiness/LIFE I’m wanting?  Whoa, why is He turning down this street?  This doesn’t seem right to me at all.  What is He doing?  Is He worthy of my trust, or is He in fact the nincompoop, ne’r-do-well that I am beginning to suspect?  Uh-oh, another turn up a street that seems equally bad.  I think I’d better jump back into the front seat and take control of this car.  I’m just sure I know a better way.  This is out of the way, we’re taking some roads that could be very dangerous/hazardous…especially to my comfort, reputation, self-esteem.

“Okay, ShepherdJesus, that’s it; get out from behind the wheel; I’m taking over.  I may not have the self-confidence I’d like in all areas of my life, but I doggone sure know good turns from bad turns, good roads from bad ones, and this is not a good route You’ve taken me on.  Stop the car: either I want the wheel, or I want out.”

–ShepherdDave, needing prayer to embrace being childlike, dependent, riding-in-the-back-seat DumbSheepDave, so the pre-believers around him will be wowed by the difference his Shepherd makes in his life, and want Him too (please pray now)

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The quest for independency,

is the curse of the human condition since Adam and Eve.   Humans live in denial of how consumed we are with human accomplishment, somebodiness.  Not just pre-believers, but we believers too.  Materialism is only one facet of the problem.  Believers of modest means are also eaten up with feeling good about self, having some performance of my own, or noting the poor performance of others.

Who will deliver us from this prison, this curse, of being so circumstance-dependent for our joy and peace, and the stress of trying to live as an independent?   Jesus.   He’s in the business of reversing the effects of The Curse in the lives of His kids, by lovingly bringing suffering into our lives to painfully retrain us in a better way to live: as childlikes, created-dependent sheep, looking to the Good Shepherd to take care of the details of life, so we can just have fun, being directed by Him.

–ShepherdDave, needing prayer to return to being a contented clueless sheep, with no need for somebodiness/performance of his own, so the other sheep will be wowed and want what he has (please pray now)

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He’s weaning me off artificial life,

and wooing me onto LIFE in Jesus.  How?  By lovingly thwarting my attempts at independence.  It’s harrrd when my plans/agenda are thwarted, but it’s good harrrd, needful harrrd, because the biggest deal in town, is being retrained to live and work out of communion with Jesus.  DependentDave.  DumbSheepDave.  Ahhh.  Whatever it takes, Lord.  I want You to matter so much, that nothing else hardly does.

–IndependentDave, ShepherdDave, needing fresh conviction of the sin of independence, so he can experience afresh the ecstasy of His unconditional love and the benefit of His shepherding, so he’ll have LIFE that’s compelling to the pre-believers around him (please pray now)

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The biggest lie I believe,

in my less-sane moments, is that I know what’s best, for me, and those I love.  Without this confidence, it would be impossible for me to be the agendified, control-freak perfectionist I am, impossible for me to be intense, hurried, worried, frustrated, or discouraged.

New blog address: dumbsheepdave.com

Jesus came to rescue me from myself, and I need rescuing every single day, all day long, because I’m so gullible about believing this big lie.   I’m ShepherdDave, leaning on my own understanding, being wise in my own eyes.

But when the Spirit of Jesus loves me well, and freshly convicts me of my sin of shepherdness/independence, I’m sane again, dunno what’s best for me or the other sheep, happy to be protected from myself by my Shepherd, curious and expectant to see what He will do next, and able to thank Him about everything, because sheep don’t know which things are thankable and which are not.   Ahhh, what a counter-intuitive-but-wonderful life.

–ShepherdDave, needing prayer to be DumbSheepDave more, so he’s havin fun, not circumstance-dependent for his joy and peace, the envy of those around him, especially pre-believers, so they want what he has (please pray now)

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I’m not wowed by Jesus,

unless I’ve been freshly convicted of my sin, and typically, my sin of independence/shepherdness/self-confidence/orphan-ness/self-reliance.   And I find that others aren’t wowed by the Jesus in me, if I’m not freshly wowed by Jesus, and His salvation of me, His righteousness imputed to me.   Especially pre-believers.

Fixing my eyes and thoughts on Jesus doesn’t seem to do anything for me, unless the Spirit is at work, freshly convicting me of my sin of trying to find LIFE someplace other than, in a relationship with Jesus.   But once I’ve been freshly convicted, it’s so easy, so natural, for me to fix my eyes and thoughts on Jesus, to be overwhelmed by Him and His love for me, so that nothing else hardly matters.  Effortless.  Doesn’t last long, however, due to the world, flesh, devil.

–ShepherdDave, needing prayer to function as DumbSheepDave, just havin fun, without strong agenda, curious and expectant to see what doors his Shepherd will open and close (please pray now)

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Why I’m thankful the Church is so sick

Jack Miller used to say that the difference between what would happen normally, and what happens with an infusion of grace, that difference, is the glory of God.

So if we believers are known by the watching world for being the proudest, most self-righteous, poorest lovers of those most different from ourselves, and then are dramatically changed by a powerful outpouring of the Spirit in a widespread awakening, into supernaturally-humble, supernaturally-loving people, the watching world would be wowed by God’s work in us, and we’d be wowed too.  Glory to Jesus.

Imagine the impact of the watching world two thousand years ago, if the Pharisees were overhauled into supernaturally-humble, supernaturally-loving children of God.   Well.   Many were.   And it rocked many in the watching world, and they came to the Jesus overflowing from the early believers who enjoyed the favor of all the people.

And I’m thankful for a bloated and corrupt federal government in D.C., for the same reason.   If the Church were to become the Church in our day, our nation would be changed dramatically, and this would rock the watching world.

And I’m thankful for my superiority addiction, that causes me to always be looking for ways to feel superior to others, so I can feel better about myself.   As I am more and more set free from this horrible bondage, this will rock the world of both believers and pre-believers around me, giving them hope in the power of Jesus to change the unchangeable.

–CluelessSheepDave, thanking DaddyJesusSpirit for the things he thinks are bad/wrong, cuz it helps him be curious and expectant to see what the Shepherd will do next, working all things together for the good of us kids of His, and for His glory (please pray now)