In this Cursed world,

independency is essential to understanding human behavior in both nonbelievers and believers.  Even though we are all created-dependents, we all function as independents, wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding.  Dependency is impossible, since the Fall, and only the work of Jesus’ Spirit in a believer, enables momentary dependency/humility/cluelessness-I-know-what’s-best.  The bliss of dependency is a taste of Heaven, the pearl of great price worth selling all to get, and yet we can give all we have, but cannot buy it, cannot will it, cannot get it.  Fresh dependency/faith is a gift, granted from Above. We can ASK for fresh faith/dependency, claiming the promise of Luke 11, that if we ask for the Spirit He will give us the Spirit – fresh conviction of the sin of independence/confidence-I-know-what’s-best/pride/worldliness, but the promise of Luke 11 has no timetable guarantee.  And fresh faith/dependency/humility/sanity/taste-of-Heaven doesn’t last long, because of the world, flesh, devil, wooing us back to independency, being wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding.  Understanding-idolatry.  Where we feel the effects of The Curse raining down upon us.  Circumstance-dependent for our joy and peace.  The prison of independency.  Terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad way to experience this Cursed world.

–ShepherdDave, chief of independents, except when the Spirit freshly convicts him of the sin of independence/confidence-he-knows-what’s-best, so he’s momentarily DumbSheepDave, enjoying the bliss of Jesus-dependency/humility/cluelessness-he-knows-what’s-best, so the nonbelievers around him might experience the other-worldly humility and other-worldly love of Jesus

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Until I see the impossibility of obeying

Jesus, I will not humble myself and ask for His help.  And I will live in denial of my independence/evil/wickedness.  I will dumb down obedience, dumb down sin/idolatry/addiction, so I feel somewhat successful at following Him.  Whyzat?  Because humans were made to feel good about ourselves, either through our own righteousness, or an alien righteousness.  Only the humble believer is able to lose all his own righteousness, and still be happy.

–ShepherdDave, needing fresh conviction of the sin of independence/pride/worldliness, so he’s momentarily DumbSheepDave, enjoying the bliss of Jesus-dependencey: enjoying his ShepherdJesus and His imputed righteousness, and His genius plan for every detail of Dave’s life, and enjoying as is, others and himself, so the pre-believers around him might be drawn to his ShepherdJesus

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Only the humble can love unconditionally.

Love self, unconditionally, love others, unconditionally.  Enemies too.  Humility is impossible.  Only the Spirit of Jesus can make a believer humble.  And it’s short-lived.  Believers can act humble, but the litmus-paper test, is what happens when all our worthiness is taken away?  Position, power, wealth, health, freedom?  A humble believer doesn’t mind at all, losing his somebodiness, becoming a nobody, pitied by all for his downward mobility to the loser place.  A humble person is never defensive, intense, hurried, worried.  A humble person has fun, is care-free, has amazing peace and joy.
–ShepherdDave, who knows what humility looks like, but cannot make it happen in his life

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If the Good News doesn’t include the impossibility

of obeying/believing, it’s not Good News for sanctification.  If it’s up to me to follow Jesus, make the right choices, believe rightly, strive to obey, be Gospel-centered in my ministry and in life, I’m still experiencing The Curse, still confident I know what’s best for me and those I love, which means my joy and peace depend on my performance, or things going my way, and the imputed worthiness of Jesus has no real value to me.  Unsatisfying.  Leaving me addicted to my own worthiness.  Forcing me to dumb down the law and sin in order to feel good about myself, feel like I’m a follower of Jesus.

Only when I acknowledge the impossibility of following Jesus, the impossibility of obeying His commands, do I temporarily experience the benefit of Jesus and His Good News.  Abundant LIFE.  Right now.  Don’t have to wait for Heaven.  Ahhh.

Only dependents experience LIFE right now.  Independents/shepherds only experience artificial-LIFE, pseudo-LIFE, through pseudo-obedience, and only when things go our way, which merely strengthens our independence.  And if sensitive, our misery.  The insensitive push onward and upward, always striving, always clueless.  Leaven of the Pharisees.  Worldliness.  Human power.  Boring to skeptics.

–DumbSheepDave, blissful only when the Shepherd’s Spirit has freshly convicted him of the sin of independence, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference over the past year

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Best thing about failure,

is the opportunity it provides me to treat myself like Jesus treats me: with unconditional love.  Historically, I’m much harsher with myself than my earthly dad ever was with me.  That’s typical of adult children who were not loved perfectly.  Unconditionally.

So what faith/repentance looks like for ShepherdDave, is being convicted by the Spirit of my independence idolatry, being temporarily returned to being DumbSheepDave, where I can extend to myself the same grace/compassion/enjoyment that my ShepherdJesus extends to me.  Ahhh.  Priceless.  Just as I am.

–DumbSheepDave, loving more and more, the Shepherd’s Spirit convicting him of the sin of independence, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference in 2014

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Can a dumb-sheep-believer plan?

Of course, but much differently than a shepherd-believer.  How so?  Well, a shepherd-believer is confident they know what’s best for self and others, so they analyze, strategize, and then ask Jesus to bless their strategy, and then work intensely, hurriedly, stressfully, to make it happen.  Agendafied.  Don’t get in my way.  Favorite prayer is, “Jesus, please do this/that.”  Bless my agenda.

How does a dumb-sheep-believer plan?  S/he doesn’t know what’s best for self or others, so s/he begins by asking ShepherdJesus if He wants the dumb-sheep-believer to do anything, and if so, how to go about doing it.  And.  The dumb-sheep-believer thanks about everything, just as it is, is not frustrated about anything, is not fearful about anything, and never ever gets discouraged.  The dumb-sheep-believer is in no hurry, has no agenda, unless ShepherdJesus leads, and even then, is curious and expectant to see what ShepherdJesus does next, in the dumb-sheep-believer, others, and circumstances.  The dumb-sheep-believer has no problems, and no jobs to do.  All problems and all jobs are owned by Shepherd-Jesus.  A dumb-sheep-believer just follows.  You can spot a dumb-sheep-believer by their amazing peace, their childlike fun, their holding onto everything very loosely.  And being around them, you feel very loved/cherished/enjoyed, because they don’t have a competitive/agendafied bone in their body.

How can a shepherd-believer become a dumb-sheep-believer?  Impossible.  Only the Spirit of Jesus can make that happen.  And it’s temporary.

–DumbSheepDave, sometimes dependent, when the Shepherd’s Spirit has freshly convicted of the sin of independence, hoping the pre-believers around him have been noticing the difference Jesus has been making over the past year

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Thank You, Jesus, that You didn’t

come for the healthy, together, but for us sicko’s who claim to follow You, but are actually willful, agendafied, wanting You to bless our agendas, competitive, prideful, relishing feeling superior to others, judging the cars they drive, clothes they wear, how they behave, write, talk, obey.  Thank You that grace is for sinners, that we qualify for Your grace.

–DumbSheepDave, feeling freshly unworthy to be in his ShepherdJesus’ sheepfold, but also freshly grateful, hoping pre-believers are noticing the difference in 2013

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It’s okay to be a loser.

The Upside-down Kingdom of Jesus is very different than the right-side-up kingdom of this world, where winner-loser is the paradigm that matters most.  A follower of Jesus has the imputed winnerness/worthiness of Jesus, and that frees the believer from needing to invest the rest of his life proving himself a winner, not a loser.  Following the winner-loser paradigm never leads to happiness, contentment, peace.  Always leads to intensity, stress, misery, as the believer strives for that which is valued by Satan/world/flesh.  Happiness is always fleeting, momentary, at best.  Inside the Believers’ Prison of Loser-avoidance, dwell pathetic addicts — men and women addicted to the winner-loser paradigm for daily living, unsatisfied with the imputed winnerness/worthiness of Jesus.  These men and women are to be pitied above all humans, for we wear the name of Jesus, but have not the benefit of Jesus.

–DumbSheepDave, experiencing LIFE more and more, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference Jesus is making in 2013

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