“Jesus, if you REALLY loved me,

you would give me MUCH-easier circumstances.”  YES, YES, YES!  Dave’sFlesh is convinced of this, cuz Dave’sFlesh is confident-it-knows-best, knows-what’ll-make-Dave-happiest.  Dave’sFlesh knows NOTHing about delivering happiness.  So Jesus loves me wonderfully when He opens my eyes so I’m disillusioned with my flesh’s view of reality.  Scripture’s take on reality explains the pathway to happiness, peace, sanity — Jesus-dependency, Jesus as Lord of every detail of Dave’s life.  Ahhh.  Clueless-I-know-what’s-best.  Impossible to be fearful, frustrated, discouraged, bored, unless I’m confident-I-know-best.

Like all humans — outside and inside the Church, I’ve been so deeply brainwashed to accept my flesh’s view of reality, that it’s taken a LOT of suffering, been excruciatingly painful for me, to become more-and more disillusioned with my flesh’s view of reality.  Costly, but priceless, precious, beyond best.  Suffering really does produce perseverance, then character, then hope/faith/dependency — beyond the best.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, still experiencing the painful retraining of Jesus, in a better way to live, wondering if the seculars around him are at times noticing the difference

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Financial Update on GospelFriendships.

As of our Annual Board Meeting Nov17, we’re $13,000 short of covering expenses, and I’m guessing we could end up having a year-end deficit of $5-10,000, but I’m always unsure because of year-end giving.  Over the past dozen years I’ve lost some monthly supporters.  I’m a coward when it comes to individually asking believers to consider supporting this work, as I did in the early years of the ministry, so instead, I’ve sometimes taken pay cuts to balance the budget.  Janet and I are not destitute by any means, and we have never been as happy.  But I will warmly welcome any who would like to join this cause as a monthly/annual supporter, or send a year-end gift.  GospelFriendships, 110 Johns Rd, Cheltenham PA 19012-1307.  For monthly supporters we also provide electronic funds transfer so you don’t have to send a check each month.

Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

If you don’t want your kids to be prodigals,

ask Jesus to grow you as the chief confessor in the home, not the chief accuser, or the chief expert on all things Christian.  If you unwittingly give them the impression that you’ve got this Christian life down pat, you run the risk of them concluding they don’t have the spiritual genes you do, and following Jesus is just not for them, especially in adolescence and beyond.

What does it look like for a parent to be the chief confessor?  HUMBLE — not defensive, good listener, doesn’t need to be right, admits his/her failures in following Jesus and parenting.  Not humble ACTing, that is, humble on the outside. Humble on the INside. Unconditional love is the biggest need of your kid.  And when you fail?  CONFESS.  To your Savior and to your kid.

You as the parent are the weakest link to your kids’ spiritual growth — the one MOST needy of further overhaul/transformation by Jesus, no matter how much you’ve been overhauled to date.  It only seems to YOU that your kids are the ones most needy of overhaul by Jesus.  Keep your focus on YOUR failures, more than on your kids’ failures.  A chief confessor does not try to manage external behavior of their kids, but attempts to reach the conscience.  More sell, less tell.  Pulling rank is a means of last resort, and even then, best done with a gentle, humble love.  The conscience is reached by unconditional love and other-worldly humility.  Humanly impossible.  Only Jesus can make this happen in your life.  It’s painful being overhauled by Jesus, but good painful, healing painful.  Proud parents produce prodigal kids.  Not necessarily proud on the outside, but proud on the INside.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, voice of experience speaking in what NOT to do, as every one of his six kids were prodigals in adolescence, and he learned this stuff after all his kids were grown, and he still doesn’t practice what he preaches about humble love to all humans

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Everything seems sovereign over my

life except You, Jesus.  News, politics, my health, stock market, bond market, talking heads predicting the future.  When my eyes are fixed on these other sovereignties, I feel ALONE, like my life is UP TO ME to know how to navigate through everything.  And because You’ve grown me so-much-more self-aware these days, I’m easily overwhelmed, especially when I feel lousy.  But when Your Spirit freshly convicts me of my INdependence, I’m freshly undone, contrite, happily clueless-I-know-what’s-best-but-trusting-You-do, curious and expectant to see what You do NEXT, in me, others, circumstances.  Ahhh.  The future is not up to me, but up to You.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, always needing fresh conviction of the sin of INdependence, so he might have something seculars actually want

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Worst aspect of the human condition,

is the confidence we all have, that we know best, what’ll make us happy.  We know NOTHing about what will make us happy, but we THINK we do, leaning on our own understanding, wise in our own eyes.  Fools we are.  Only SovereignShepherdJesus knows what’s best for me.

Looking back over my life, I see the countless times I thought I knew what I needed, or what should happen, and so many times I was WRONG.  INdependency has NEVER served me well over the long haul, and any short-term success I’ve experienced has merely strengthened my control addiction, making me yet-more convinced I know what’s best.

But DEpendency on Jesus, now this is the pearl of great price, worth selling all to get.  Ahhh.  ASKing Jesus and THANKing Jesus about everything, especially the harrrd, acknowledging that He knows best and I do not.

So how do I get more Jesus-dependency?  CONFESS my unbelief in His sovereign reign when I notice myself feeling pressure, hurried, stressed, ALONE, like my life is UP TO ME.  Ahhh.  The amazing peace doesn’t last long, because of the control-addicted world around me, outside the Church, and INside too, but it is sweeeet while it lasts.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, trying to promote Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness to Christians, especially DAVE, hoping Jesus transforms Christians so much that surrounding seculars actually want something Christians have — other-worldly peace and other-worldly love

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Getting-or-wanting-my-way is a curse,

Getting-or-wanting-my-way is a curse,

not a blessing.  WHAT?  Yup.  Pathway to miserable addiction.  Getting-my-way THWARTED by Jesus, is an enormous blessing, because it opens the door to my being retrained in a much-better way of living — disillusioned in my flesh’s confidence-it-knows-what’ll-make-me-happy.  But getting-my-way thwarted by Jesus is ONLY an enormous blessing when I’m convinced that getting-or-wanting-my-way is a curse.

I know, sounds crazy.  All my life, and all my Christian life, I’ve gotten this backwards.  I think we’ve all gotten it backwards.  I know, sounds so radical, so unAmerican, unChristian.

Think about it.  When I get-my-way, it feels good, and like any addiction, I want more of this.  And more, and more.  In time, I grow addicted to control, addicted to getting-my-way.  My independence is strengthened/encouraged, my flesh’s confidence-it-knows-best is strengthened/encouraged.  I’m wiser and wiser in my own eyes, lean even more on my own understanding.  This is the Curse of INdependence passed down to the descendants of Adam and Eve.  We INdependents are a miserable lot, and I’m convinced that most of us, Christian and nonChristian, live in denial of the extent of our misery.

And every time I want-my-way, I return to life under the Curse.  Miserable existence.  And every time I’m freshly convicted of my INdependence, and embrace Jesus’ genius plan, want HIS way, trust Him to lead the way, confess I dunno best, I’m moved out from under the Curse, momentarily.  Ahhh, relief.

Impossible to be in a hurry, unless I’m wanting-my-way.  Impossible to be frustrated unless I’m wanting-my-way. Impossible to be competitive, to wannabe superior, unless I’m wanting-my-way.  Impossible to analyze, critique, judge, unless I’m wanting-my-way, confident-I-know-what’s-best.

Getting-my-way is not a bad thing, but it’s a mini-success, and like big success, it’s not a bad thing, but verrry dangerous to the health of my soul.  Strengthens my INdependency, my addiction to my confidence-I-know-what’ll-make-me-happy.  Miserable addiction.

So helpful lately, as I go through my day reminding myself over and over, “Getting-or-wanting-my-way is a curse.”

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, so we Christians might have something the seculars around us want

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When I’d get my way,

I used to THANK Jesus.  Or feel great, worthy.  Now I’m more likely to CONFESS that I have no clue if this is the best thing for me.  Jesus has been retraining me to distrust my flesh’s confidence-it-knows-what’s-best.  So helpful.

And when I’m frustrated or impatient, I’m more-and-more aware of my flesh’s confidence-it-knows-what’s-best.  Helps me to say, “So WHAT?”  I’m saying this to my flesh.  So WHAT?  I’m challenging my flesh’s confidence-it-knows-what’s-best.  Ahhh.  So then I can relax, and am enabled to enjoy everything just as it is, and everyone just as we are, including jerks and enemies.  Ahhh.  Contented.  Agendaless.  Meek.  Jesus takin it to Dave’sFlesh.

The agendafied/willful don’t REALLY believe in the sovereignty of Jesus.  We don’t ASK Him.  We TELL Him.  We are confident-we-know-what’s-best, so we KNOW how to try and direct the CreatorSustainer of the Universe.  And KNOW how to run our own lives.  Pride, not humility.  INdependency, not dependency.  Jesus-dependents are clueless-they-know-what’s-best, but confident their SovereignShepherdJesus knows.  So they look to HIM, instead of trying to direct Him.  Curious/expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances, rather than charging ahead in the wisdom and power of ME.

— AgendafiedDave, except when freshly convicted of the sin of INdependence/pride/worldliness, wondering if the seculars around him are noticing the difference at times

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When I’m freshly undone, contrite, sane,

because of the Spirit’s fresh conviction of my pride/INdependence/worldliness, I enjoy everyone just as we are, and everything just as it is, all according to the genius plan of SovereignShepherdJesus.  I ooze with patience.  Otherwise, I’m JudgeDave, CompetitiveDave, secretly analyzing, critiquing, judging, looking for ways to feel/be superior to everyone everywhere, yearning for opponents to FAIL, humiliate themselves, in sporting events, politics, or other areas of life.  NO mercy/compassion, except for MY side, MY team, folks who agree with ME. And strangely, NO compassion for myself — for JudgeDave, who is even harder on himself than others, cruel taskmaster, always wanting to be better.  Pride, not humility.  But like all leaders, politicians, gifted at APPEARing humble, compassionate, merciful, wonderful.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, always needing a fresh work of the Spirit so he experiences fresh sanity — fresh love for self, others, Jesus, and His genius plan

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