I work harrrd at being a wonderful person.

Why?  I want others to believe I’m wonderful and DAVE wants to believe it too.  But I’m coming to see that it’s not what I DO that reveals how wonderful or horrible I am, but rather what I THINK.  And nobody knows that but Dave.  And Jesus.  Truth is, I’m NOT a wonderful person.  Oh I’ve loved and served many, many people, who are convinced I’m wonderful, because I’m good at being credible, believable.  And while I DO care for others, deeply, and enjoy them, there’s a dark side to my loving/serving them well, that’s rooted in my wounds from childhood that made me feel rejected, worthless, and my subsequent, unconscious strategy to be wonderful to prove to myself and others, that I’m not worthless.

As I’m more aware of the real Dave’sFlesh, I dowannabe working so harrrd to be something I am not.  All my life, I’ve tried to be something I’m not, and becoming a Christian at age 24, just exacerbated the problem.  Since then, I’ve tried even harrrrder to be wonderful — a wonderful Christian.  The bar is higher, the pressures greater.  So it’s a relief to come out of the closet today about who my flesh really is.  I’d like to work less hard at being wonderful, but I’ve been at this for so long, that I’m not even sure where to begin, to change, or even HOW to be different than I am.  Maybe just being more aware of my dark side of why I serve others, will help.  I hope so.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, promoting Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, that Christians, including DAVE, might have integrity/authenticity with seculars, so we’re not stumbling blocks to them considering/embracing Jesus, and so Christians with unusual self-awareness might feel less lonely — have believing friends to whom they can relate

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The nicest thing Jesus ever does for me

is to EXPOSE my unbelief to me, especially my unbelief in His sovereign reign over every detail of every life.  EXPOSE my INdependency to me — my feeling ALONE, UP TO DAVE.  Ahhhh, so relieving to CONFESS my unbelief.  The pressure I was feeling EVAPORATES.  Jack Miller once told his wife Rose Marie that the starting place for faith, is conviction of sin.  Such a helpful concept to me ever since I heard that, many years ago.  So when I feel stuck, distant from Jesus, it’s so helpful to ask for the Spirit afresh, sometimes claiming the promise in Luke 11, that if we ask for the Spirit, He will give us the Spirit.  I’ve found it helpful to surrender the timetable, when the prayer is answered.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, thankful afresh for the convicting work of Jesus’ Spirit, wondering if the seculars around him are noticing the difference at times

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I feel entitled to an easier life.

As I compare myself to others, they seem to have easier lives.  They can eat whatever they want, go wherever they want, breath whatever they want, sleep soundly through the night, don’t need to do all the extracurricular health regimens I need to do, and they feel normal all the time.  They don’t experience the suffering/harrrd that I face every day.  Why can’t I be LIKE THEM?

If I had an easIER life, would I give a hoot about Jesus, and His imputed worthiness?  An easIER life might work for others, but I don’t think it would work for me, because I’m just not naturally dependent on Jesus.  I need harrrrd to motivate me to run to Jesus, to embrace the suffering that leads to perseverance, that leads to character, that leads to hope/faith/dependency.  My biggest need is yet-more Jesus-dependency, the pearl of great price, worth selling all to get.  But my flesh HATES the suffering necessary to get me there.  My flesh wants painless sanctification, wants EASY sanctification.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, wanting an easier way, except when freshly convicted of the sin of INdependence/confidence-he-knows-what’s-best

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I am PettyDave.

I’m shocked.  I just never saw it previously.  I should change my email address to pettydave@sent.com.  I am consumed with petty issues/concerns all day long, every day, especially when I’m all alone, with no audio input, just silence.  Or out in public by myself, observing others.  Jesus has been EXPOSING my flesh to me.  My life is all about ME.  And the petty ways I attempt to feel superior to others.  Mean and ungenerous in small, trifling things, is Dave.  Except.  When I’ve been freshly convicted of the sin of INdependence/pride/worldliness/pettiness.  Freshly undone, contrite, I’m able to enjoy everyone just as they are, and everything just as it is, for we are all His creations.  So much happier.  He did not create them for me to analyze, criticize, judge, but for me to enjoy.

Jesus, in Matt 25: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me.”  I wonder if it’s even possible to really enjoy Jesus, if I’m not really enjoying all His creations?

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, freshly grateful that the grace of Jesus is for sinners, flows downhill to even the most-lowly-and-petty of humans, having no worthiness of our own

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My struggle to understand Scripture

only bothers, irritates, discourages me, when I’m proud/confident-I-know-what’s-best/INdependent/worldly.  Understanding-idolatry has been a human problem, and an unconfessed sin, since the Garden.  My flesh HATES me not understanding Scripture perfectly, HATES me feeling less-than, inadequate, weak, needy, and LOVES me feeling strong, confident, LOVES easy, HATES harrrd, LOVES when I get my way, reach my goal, feel successful, competent, capable, witty, charming.

But when I’ve been freshly convicted of my INdependence — my understanding-idolatry — my wanting to feel good about myself apart from Jesus — my dissatisfaction with Jesus and His imputed worthiness, I’m liberated about not understanding Scripture perfectly,  I don’t mind at all, being pitied by others for my weakness, neediness, inadequacy, dependency on Jesus.  Ahhh, I’m not alone.  My life and my understanding of things, is not up to ME, but up to my SovereignShepherdJesus.  Ahhh.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, extra grateful right now for the convicting work of the Spirit

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I’m not alone, I’m not alone…

Helps me so much to be reminded that I’m not alone, that Jesus is living His life through me, in total control of every detail, so I can relax and be curious/expectant to see what He does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances.  Ahhh.  Pressure’s off.  But I can’t seem to graduate from needing to be reminded.  I spend forty minutes in a portable sauna, every other day, while listening to an online sermon on sovereignty or providence.  Ahhh.  Maybe one day I won’t be so sovereignty-reminder needy, but I ain’t there yet.  Too much of my life is UP TO DAVE.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, because he wants the Jesus in him to overflow — be contagious, to the seculars around him

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I’ve been living a double life

since age 24, when Jesus drew me to Himself.  But I never saw my double life til now.  I’ve lived in two different worlds: Jesus’ world, and Dave’s world.  When I live in Jesus’ world, I’m in awe of Him and His worthiness as seen in creation, and His genius plan for everyone and everything.  And.  In Jesus’ world I’m a spectator, not an active-participant.  Spectators are curious and expectant to see what happens NEXT, in us, others, circumstances, but we don’t have a dog in the hunt.  We dunno what’s best for anyone, especially ourselves.  We have no worthiness of our own, and are unbothered by that, unbothered by the pity of others for being such lowlies.

Now when I live in Dave’s world, I’m an active-participant, so the pressure to perform is intense, I’m focused on my agenda, reaching my goal, gaining and maintaining somebodiness.  I feel this pressure ALL the time, compare myself to others ALL the time, trying to prove myself worthy ALL the time, eaten up with pride ALL the time.  Except.  When He opens my eyes to see the problem, freshly convicts me of the sin of INdependence, wooing me back into His world, where I’m all-of-a-sudden a spectator again — amazingly peaceful, amazingly patient, amazingly compassionate, not hurried, worried, agendafied.

In Dave’s world, as an active-participant, I’m critical-judgmental, competitive, searching for weaknesses in others so I can feel superior to them.  Superior in some, way, shape or form to EVERYONE EVERYWHERE.  My life is all about ME and my worthiness.  Clearly my flesh loves DAVE’S world of somebodiness-quest, and hates the lowly, nobody, spectator status of me being in Jesus’ world, where my life is not about me, but about Jesus and His worthiness in Creation.

I think I’ll always remember 5-25-2018, when Jesus opened my eyes to see these two worlds, and how-much happier I am in Jesus’ world, and how miserable and circumstance-dependent for my joy and peace in Dave’s world.  So here’s how this discovery has been so helpful to me: As I’m driving along, and notice my being critical of someone, I realize I’m back in Dave’s world, and thank Him for opening my eyes and wooing me back to His world, where I’m focused on Him and His worthiness in Creation.  And I’ll go along for a while, looking at the trees and hills, and cars and people, enjoying it all, and then I’ll notice, say, my wanting to go rapidly around a corner, or accelerate rapidly.  Woah!  Thank You, Jesus, for opening my eyes to see I’m back in Dave’s world, proving myself worthy.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

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Why am I more aware of You in nature?

Jesus, I want to be overwhelmed by You and Your worthiness, rather than always being so consumed with me and my worthiness.  It’s strange to me, Lord, that I’m not at all critical-judgmental of nature, created and supervised by You, but am easily critical-judgmental of us humans and our creations, also created and supervised by You.  Thank You for how helpful it is for me to see nature and humans and our creations, all created and supervised by the same Person, and how-much happier I am when you draw my focus to You and Your worthiness, instead of me and mine.   I love it when I see everything and everyone under your guidance, just like in nature.  Thank You for creating me such a great example of a bad example of a contented Jesus-follower, even though my flesh HATES me being a failure/loser.  And thank You for Your grace in opening my eyes to see the TRUTH about me and my ongoing neediness for a Savior, and opening my eyes to see the TRUTH about You, others, and Your genius plan, Your Grand Story that You are unfolding in human history.  I am taken back today by Your exposure of my extreme self-absorption all day every day.  My life is all about me and my performance/worthiness — even when I’m loving another really well by the standards of this world, because it’s the right thing to do and it makes me feel good to do right, be right, lay down my life for another, and the only time my focus shifts to You and Your performance/worthiness — evidenced in the beauty of Your Creation, is when You lovingly send Your spirit to open my eyes to see the problem of my self-absorption, freshly convicting me of my sin of INdependence/worldliness/pride/confidence-I-know-what’s-best, and my dissatisfaction with You and Your imputed worthiness, wanting some of my own.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, in the hopes that Christians might become compelling to seculars

To receive my Tuesday posts, email me, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com