I’m an equal-opportunity obsessive.

I am so inappropriately obsessive, that there is hardly any distinction between saving thousands and saving pennies, on a purchase.  I’m an equal-opportunity obsessive.  Embarrassing, because all my life I’ve imagined myself a reasonable, sane person, not the kind of fool who would spend as much time on a ten-dollar purchase, as a ten-thousand-dollar purchase.   Actually, I think I give much-better advice than what I end up doing myself.

But.  Here’s a little secret.  It’s impossible to be inappropriately obsessive, unless one is confident-he-knows-what’s-best, wise in his own eyes, leaning on his own understanding — the fruit of our ancestors’ eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad, and the resulting Curse, so that ever since, created-dependents have been living miserable lives as independents, while living in denial of our misery.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, not a practicer of what he preaches — a great example of a bad example, always needing conviction of the sin of independence so that Jesus is freshly ENOUGH for him, so he’s experiencing the peace Jesus provides to freshly-convicted sinners

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How can I tell when

I’m Jesus-dependent? (curious/expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances)  When I’m all alone and SMILING.  Litmus-paper test.  I never smile when I’m all alone and feeling in charge of my life — UP TO DAVE.   I’m focused, intense, agendafied.  So now that the Spirit has opened my eyes to see this connection, I notice that when I’m NOT smiling, and then smile — maybe just barely upturned corners of my mouth, that I’m reminded I’m not alone, not in charge, and that helps me be curious/expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances.   Sovereignty-awareness.   Ahhh.

And the Spirit’s been opening my eyes to see that it’s impossible to analyze/judge others, so as to feel superior to them, when I’m smiling as I look at them, on TV, online, in real life.  When I’m smiling, I’m enjoying everyone just as we are, and everything just as it is.  Observing the genius plan of SovereignShepherdJesus.  Not a competitive bone in my body.  Smiling at others as He smiles at me.  Ahhh.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, baby steppin in Jesus-dependency, sometimes, as the Spirit works

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I’m uncomfortable in the public-prophet role.

I love to encourage others, not accuse them of being even worse than they previously imagined.  I mean, I like ANY impact in ministry, because it makes Dave’sFlesh feel worthy, but encouragement is so-much-more fun for me than accusation.  I am much-more comfortable as the chief confessor, than as the chief accuser.  Unless.  I’m mentoring someone one-on-one, know them well, know they are humble enough to welcome accusation, and feel pretty sure they would be helped by confessing sin to which they are blind.  Then I can be ruthless, knowing they need and want my help.  Hard for me to be ruthless in public posts.  Whyzat?

I’m guessing because I don’t do conflict well.  My skin is not as thick as my flesh would like folks to believe.  I don’t like adversarial relationships.  All my life I’ve worked hard to be on the good side of EVERYone.  I don’t like criticism.  I like admiration, and even more — being envied.   I’m especially averse to ridicule.  So I work hard to avoid criticism/ridicule and that causes me to be uncomfortable in a public-prophet role.  And.

Humble people welcome exposure to their blindness, but there are few of those in this world, outside the Church, or inside.  And.  If I were a humble man, I wouldn’t be so conflict-avoidant, criticism-avoidant, ridicule-avoidant.  However Jesus seems intent on nudging me outside my comfort zone, against my flesh’s better judgment, into occasional Saturday posts that are scary for me, as the chief accuser.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, the reluctant prophet, sometimes

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I only have automotive-contentment

when I’m clueless-I-know-what’s-best, what’ll-make-me-happIER.  On the other hand, when I’m CONFIDENT-I-know-what’s-best, I’m always thinking, wondering, how I can IMPROVE my automotive experience, even a little.  I have tried and tried and tried, but I have been unable to figgerout how to improve my car situation.  When I momentarily give up trying, I’m momentarily content.  But to give up trying, feels like an admission of failure.  Who SAYS I dunno how to improve my automotive experience?  I’m a car expert.  I OUGHTA be able to figgerout how to improve it.  But, alas, I cannot.  I have tried repeatedly and failed repeatedly.  And then sometimes, I experience contentment.  For a while.  Until I have a new thought, then I go back to researching, wondering, hoping for a small-to-medium improvement.  New products come on the market frequently.  I don’t have hope for a major improvement because my 2013 Passat is awesome for my tastes, use.  But I’m still not content.  This is the life of an addict.  Obsessive.  Idolator.  Perfectionist at his hobby.  Insanity.  Tortured soul.  Imagining I KNOW how to make me happy, or happIER.  Maybe I spend too much time alone.  But if I didn’t, I’d still be addicted, but in denial of my addiction.  I’m to be pitied above all men, for I have Heaven, but not the benefit of Jesus.  Except.  For those blissful times of fresh contentment, when Jesus is ENOUGH for me, because of the convicting work of His Spirit.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, blissfully content/clueless-he-knows-what’ll-make-him-happIER, for the moment

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When I’m reminded that Jesus is in charge,

then I don’t have to be.  Ahhh.  But when I forget His total sovereignty over the details of my day, I feel PRESSURE to try and control my circumstances and my reactions to them.  But then, when I’m reminded of Him and His total sovereign reign over all, I begin to relax and enjoy everyone just as we are, and everything just as it is — curious and expectant to see what He does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances.  Clueless-I-know-what’s-best.  Ahhh.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, momentarily experiencing the benefit of Jesus, because of the Spirit’s fresh conviction of his unbelief

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So WHAT, if the Eagles

and the Sooners have great football teams this year?  So WHAT that Washington DC is so dysfunctional?  So WHAT that the world is so dysfunctional?  So WHAT that humans accomplished so many impressive things in 2017?  So WHAT?  So WHAT brings sanity, peace, to my soul, as I’m reminded of what’s what, and what’s not — that Jesus is what, and everything else is not.  Ahhh.

I love saying, “So WHAT?” to the television, to my computer monitor, to the impressive things I see humans doing, to anything impressive that ME does, or to any of my failures, to the things that go my way, or not, as I’m driving, or doing anything.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, easily wowed by what’s not, even at Christmas

 

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Now, my biggest goal in life

is to be clueless.  Clueless-I-know-what’s-best.   Whyzat?   Because only the clueless-he-knows-what’s-best is content, peaceful, happy.  Impossible to be content, peaceful, happy, unless one is clueless-they-know-what’s-best.  Only the proud/confident-we-know-what’s-best are discontent, tense, suppressing our misery, want MORE than what we have, wannabe BETTER at what we do, because our lives are all about US, not Jesus.

I’ve started calling my car my “training wheels”.  When I’m all alone driving, paying attention to my thoughts, feelings, reactions, my flesh is being increasingly exposed to myself.   I’m getting to know better, the real Dave’sFlesh.  Not a pretty picture, but necessary for being grown dependent/clueless.  When I view my car as training wheels, I’m the happiest, because I see Jesus using my car to retrain me in a better way of living: clueless-I-know-what’s-best.  Impossible to be in a hurry, and be clueless-I-know-what’s-best.  Impossible to be impatient/frustrated, and clueless.  Discouraged and clueless.  Fearful and clueless.  Competitive and clueless.

My achievements/idols/addictions are OVERrated.  Training in cluelessness is UNDERrated.  In the Upside-down Kingdom of Jesus, where dependency = happiness.  And contagion to seculars.  Only the dependent/clueless enjoy everyone just as we are, and everything just as it is.

— CluefulDave, A.K.A. ShepherdDave, wise in his own eyes, leaning on his own understanding, confident-he-knows-what’s-best, except, when he’s been freshly convicted of the sin of independence/cluefulness, so he’s momentarily CluelessDave/DumbSheepDave, experiencing the contentment, peace and happiness of being dependent on his SovereignShepherdJesus, wondering if the seculars around him are noticing a difference at times

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Am I thankful for the hard-to-love

people in my life?  Or do I wish they’d go away, or wish DAVE could go away?  Or.  That Jesus would change them?  Hmm.  Maybe DAVE is the one needing change?   Maybe the reason they are in my life is primarily for MY benefit?   Hmm.  Suffering produces perseverance, then character, then hope/faith/dependency.  Hmm.  If not this suffering, what else would it take, for me to be grown more Jesus-dependent?  I can only thank Jesus for exactly how they are, and exactly how He’s placed them in my life, when the Spirit has freshly convicted me of my confidence-I-know-what’s-best, and of my unbelief in His total sovereignty over my life and theirs.  Only when freshly convicted am I able to enjoy them, just as they are, and Dave just as I am — as I struggle to love/enjoy the jerks/inconsiderates/insensitives in my life.  “Love your enemies” (jerks/opponents/bad-guys), Jesus said.   Awww, shucks.  Why did He have to go an lay down THAT law?  If it weren’t for THAT commandment, it’d be a lot easier for me to feel like a great example of a Jesus-follower.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, always in need of fresh conviction of the sin of independence/confidence-he-knows-what’s-best

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