I deserve BETTER.

I’m not a contented follower of Jesus.  I feel ENTITLED to better than what I have, physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, relationally, vocationally, and for SURE, automotively.  I’m like Oliver Twist in the orphanage — I want MORE.  Jesus is not ENOUGH for me.  I want MORE.  I want BETTER.  I DESERVE better.  I feel ENTITLED to better.  Or so my flesh is convinced.  I’m not a humble man.  I’m not an enjoyer of others just as they are.  I’m their critic, judge, looking for ways to feel superior to them.  I LOVE people watching, because I discover fresh, new ways to feel SUPERIOR to other humans.  Ummm.  My flesh DELIGHTS in feeling superior.

Utterly impossible to feel superior unless I’m confident-I-know-what’s-best, INdependent not dependent on Jesus.  Wise in my own eyes, leaning on my own understanding.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, a great example of a bad example of a Jesus follower, ever needing fresh conviction of the sin of INdependence, and also needing reminders that grace is for BIG sinners like Dave

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My life is UP TO DAVE,

when my reality is informed by my eyes and ears.  But when my reality is informed by Scripture, my life is up to my SovereignShepherdJesus.  I’m not MY problem, but His problem.  It’s not MY reign, but His reign.  Ahhh.  So thankful for His growing me more-and-more aware of my INdependency, because Jesus-dependency is the pearl of great price, worth selling all to get.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, slowly becoming distrustful of his eyes and ears, and slowly becoming more peaceful, because of the convicting work of the Spirit

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I don’t need a different car —

I need a different DAVE.  My flesh imagines I would be happier with a different car.  But I already HAVE a great car, and it hasn’t made me content.  I need a different DAVE.  A Dave who is CONTENT with the car he HAS, with the body he has, with the maturity he has, with the health he has, with the savings he has, with the LIFE he has.  How can I get a different Dave?  Impossible for me to make happen.  I’ve TRIED.  But one thing I CAN do, is to THANK Him that I’m NOT a different Dave, NOT content, just as I am, just the way He’s made me, and THANK Him that I want something MORE than Jesus and His imputed worthiness.  How humiliating.  But.  A Dave who is HONEST with his God and himself, who comes clean about his neediness, will be a happier, more-contented believer.  And I’ve experienced this.  It’s TRUE.  But I keep forgetting.  I keep forgetting that my flesh dunno nuttin about how to make me happy, even though it THINKS it does.  My biggest need is not a different car, but a different Dave, so I don’t CARE about the things that consume my flesh.

So that’s why I call my car my “training wheels”, because Jesus is USING time spent in my car all alone, to grow my self-awareness, opening my eyes afresh to see more clearly my car idolatry, retraining me in cluelessness-I-know-what’s-best, so I’m increasingly SKEPTICAL of my flesh’s confidence-it-knows-how-to-make-me-happy.  I love shouting out, “So WHAT, Dave’sFlesh?” when I’m all alone in my car driving, and suddenly aware of being wooed into thinking, “Look there’s a different car that might work, might make me happIER.”  Jesus is using my training wheels to make me a different Dave, so I don’t need a different car.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, a pathetic practicer of what he preaches, but enormously encouraged that grace is for sinners/failures/losers — great examples of bad examples, encouraged that grace flows downhill to those at the bottom who are freshly aware of their NEED for grace, because of the convicting work of the Holy Spirit

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GospelFriendships Financial Update.

Thank You, Jesus, for regular supporters plus several unusual gifts in 2017, so income exceeded expenses by $3000!  Impressive.  Twelve months ago we ran a $5k + deficit.  We really need this cushion going into 2018, because cash was low all year, and so low in November that my paycheck was only $400.  But made it up in December.  Still need additional monthly supporters, because I don’t expect the unusual gifts in 2018.  However.  I’m glad this is not our ministry, but His.
— ThankfulDave, in the midst of easy-to-thank-for

The Christian life is a burden

when my flesh is reigning supreme — conscientious about avoiding sin, doing right, believing right, so I feel good about myself.  But the Christian life is a DELIGHT when the Spirit has freshly convicted me of the sin of independence/confidence-I-know-what’s-best — unsatisfied with Jesus and His imputed worthiness, wanting some of my own.  Being freshly dead to my own worthiness so I am enabled to enjoy the lowly role He’s scripted for me of being a great example of a bad example, brings amazing peace to my soul, enabling me to enjoy everyone just as we are, and everything just as it is — all according to Jesus’ genius plan.   Ahhh.

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, hoping the seculars around him are noticing a difference, sometimes

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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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