To meet me, you would think

I’m a strong, confident, competent, cool, caring, together man.  You would be fooled.  It’s just so knee-jerk natural for me to unconsciously come across that way.  My flesh so vibrates to strong.  Strong clothes.  Strong car.  Strong acceleration.  Freshly washed.  Enviable.  No weakness anywhere.  Oh yes, shoes shined.

Jesus and His imputed worthiness are simply UNsatisfying to me, UNLESS the Spirit freshly opens my eyes to see how pathetically insecure, immature, neurotic, deluded I am as a world-class proving addict.  And then I’m enabled to retreat from being a secret competitor to everyone, a secret critic of everyone, and begin to enjoy everyone — including PatheticDave, just as we are, and everything just as it is.  But it doesn’t last long, because my flesh is so enamored with other humans who also worship strong.  I wonder if being blind and deaf would make me less vulnerable? 

Then again, WHY would I want to be less vulnerable?  Because I don’t like His genius plan for my life.  Self-contempt/pride, not self-acceptance/humility/contentment.  A humble believer is unbothered about being pathetic, because Jesus is ENOUGH for him.  Instead of striving to be better, do better, believe better.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, needy for fresh grace — fresh conviction of sin leading to fresh humility, so Jesus would be the biggest deal in his life, so the seculars around him might want something he has

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God’s grace is for strugglers,

not for the together ones, the strong, the confident, those above reproach, qualified for leadership because the outsides of their cups are sparkling clean.  If you don’t struggle to believe Jesus is totally sovereign over every detail of your life, if you enjoy everyone just as we are, and everything just as it is, if you are strong, wonderful, then grace is not for you.  Only strugglers qualify for grace.  If you don’t think you struggle, you REALLY need grace, even though you don’t-yet realize it.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, whose flesh believes he’s wonderful

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When Jesus thwarts our plans

it’s a BLESSing.  Huh?  And when He gives us what we want, it’s a CURSE.  Huh?  YES.  The same Curse that humans have experienced since The Fall.  When we get what we WANT, our flesh is stroked in confidence-we-know-what’s-best, so we pray for more of what we WANT, and work really harrrd to get what we WANT, and we become hopeless control-addicts, living in denial of our addiction.  Saltless.  Fruitless.  Seed cast on thorny soil that does not reproduce.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, neediest of all Christians in having his eyes opened during his day to see his INdependent/confident-he-knows-best ways, so he might experience the bliss of Jesus-dependency, so he might overflow with Jesus’ love and humility, so the seculars around him might actually want something he has

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Failure is the best-case scenario.

WHAT?  Seems to me.  And big failure is better than small failure.  Whyzat?  Because until you are freshly stripped of your own worthiness, you will not freshly treasure Jesus and His imputed worthiness.  Worthiness-idolatry stands in the way of treasuring Jesus and His imputed worthiness.

So, Dave.  Are you saying I should TRY and fail?  No need for that.  Just pay closer attention to your thoughts, feelings and reactions, especially when you’re all alone, like driving or walking somewhere by yourself, and if you have a wide, deep foundation of grace teaching, and the Spirit is opening your eyes to know better your real flesh, I predict you’ll see your failure in every direction, over and over and over.  You will become overWHELMED with your failure.  But.  You will be highly motivated to run to Jesus for your worthiness, and leave your own pathetic worthiness behind.  So WHAT if I’m a big failure?  My success/failure is meaningless, says Ecclesiastes.

And being hyper-conscientious — obsessive about failure-avoidance, is the trap of the devil, to get you so self-absorbed that you are a poor enjoyer of others — seed sown on thorny soil, unable to reproduce thirty, or a hundred fold, or even double.  Fruitless.  No contagious Jesus within.

We don’t learn to be obsessively-failure-avoidant from the Bible, but from the world around us, outside the Church, and sadly, inside too.  We Christians have bought into the worldly value of one’s personal performance determining our worth, contrary to Scripture which says personal performance is like filthy rags, and only the imputed performance of Jesus means ANYthing.  Jesus warned against the leaven of the Pharisees — imagining we are following God, but actually following OURSELVES, awhoring after performance/worthiness of our own, and living in denial of our failure to obey, to find contentment in Jesus and His imputed performance/worthiness, in denial of our dissatisfaction with Jesus and His imputed worthiness.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, so we Christians might be compelling to the seculars around us

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A dead man feels no pressure,

no fear, no frustration, no discouragement.  Only those ALIVE to their agenda experience stressful living.  Only those confident-they-know-what’s-best have an agenda.  The nicest, kindest, sweetest thing that Jesus ever does for us kids of His, is to freshly convict of us of our independence/confidence-we-know-what’s-best/pride/worldliness, so we are freshly undone, contrite, dead to our own worthiness/reputation, freshly captivated by Jesus and His imputed worthiness, so that Jesus is ENOUGH for us, needing nothing more.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, needing fresh conviction of the sin of independence, so the Jesus in him might be contagious to the seculars around him

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The emotionally-unhealthy believer needs

three things to have the kind of humility and love, that is compelling to seculars.  1) a deep foundation of Gospel-awareness in daily thought and deed, 2) significant longterm growth in self-awareness, 3) constant reminders throughout the day, of the sovereignty of God.  There are no emotionally-healthy believers in my view, but there are many believers who have better emotional health, but even they do not have the kind of humility and love compelling to seculars. has mentoring programs that provide a beginning in Gospel-awareness and self-awareness.  I have some free self-therapy material that has been used of Jesus to grow believers further in self-awareness, over time, for those who already have a deep foundation of Gospel-awareness.  Contact me if interested.  You’re on your own with #3 — constant reminders throughout the day of the sovereignty of God, to grow your sovereignty-awareness in all you think and do.

Interestingly, the more Jesus grows me in self-awareness, the more I need Gospel-awareness, and the more He grows me in Gospel-awareness, the further I can be grown in self-awareness.  And so it goes, back and forth for the rest of my life.  But if He doesn’t ALSO grow me over time in sovereignty-awareness, I’m DOOMED to being circumstance-dependent for my joy and peace — tossed to and fro by the waves of my circumstances, because my daily life is UP TO ME.

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, full of opinions, needing to be full of Jesus

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I LOVE being wise

in my own eyes, leaning on my own understanding, LOVE giving advice, LOVE ministry, LOVE pointing others to Jesus.  Independency/pride is so effortless, so natural. I dunno how to live another way.  Thumbs up or down on everything I see.  Looking for what’s commendable, and not.  What’s thankable, and not.  Obsessive critic of every sermon I hear, every news story, Facebook post, movie, whatever.  I don’t know how to NOT sit in judgment, not opine.  Dunno how to ENJOY everyone, just as we are, and everything I see or hear, just as it is.  I KNOW what’s enjoyable and what’s not.  I KNOW what it’s like to enjoy my own worthiness.

—ShepherdDave, needing rescue from Above — fresh conviction of the sin of independence/confidence-he-knows-what’s-best, so he might momentarily be DumbSheepDave, enjoying the bliss of cluelessness, childlikeness, dependency on his ShepherdJesus, so the nonbelievers around him might experience the other-worldly humility and other-worldly love of Jesus

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Only the self-aware are poor in spirit.

Blessed are the poor in spirit — the self-aware, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.  A human cannot be poor in spirit, unless he is self-aware, no-longer deceived into believing he’s a wonderful human being, no-longer self-deceived about how impoverished he his in terms of holiness, righteousness, goodness, loving God and loving others.  Only the self-aware are poor in spirit.  Only the self-deceived imagine themselves decent human beings.  Only the most-self-deceived imagine themselves lovers of God.  The nicest, sweetest, kindest thing the CreatorSustainer ever does for us kids of His, is to freshly convict us of our sin/idolatry, so we are freshly undone, contrite, embracing our spiritual poverty, our pathetic need of a Savior, enjoying ourselves and others, just as we are.  He who has a sense of having been forgiven only a little, loves only a little.  The most-self-aware sinners are the most obedient — the best lovers of God and others.  Only the self-aware struggle with self-acceptance.  The UN-self-accepting — the self-deceived, imagine themselves decent folk.  The Pharisees did not struggle with self-acceptance.  The most self-aware believers have the hardest time with self-acceptance.  Self-awareness without self-acceptance is misery.

—Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, not a practicer of what he preaches, but promoting self-awareness and self-acceptance based on Jesus and His imputed worthiness, so the Church might be the Church, so we believers might have a contagious Jesus in us, so the seculars around us might be wowed by our other-worldly humility and other-worldly love and want what we have

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