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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I never thank Jesus for my problems,

challenges, scary opportunities, when I’m confident-I-know-what’s-best/worldly/INdependent/pride-filled, wise in my own eyes, leaning on my own understanding.  If I pray at all, it’s to ask Him to bless my agenda, get me outta this harrrd/suffering/scary.  Pride, not humility, to know what’s thankable and what’s not.  And I’m never happy/content in this confident-I-know-best mode of living.  I feel ALONE.  Pressure.  But I’m typically not very self-aware in this mode, because I’m focused on a goal, so I don’t REALIZE I feel pressure, alone, up to DAVE.

The ONLY time I thank Jesus for the negative/harrrd/suffering in my life, is when I’m clueless-I-know-what’s-best, childlike, dependent on Him to lead me, because I believe He’s totally sovereign over every detail of my life, and knows what’s best for me and those I love, and what’s thankable and what’s not.  So I thank Him for everything just as it is, and everyone just as we are, as per His genius plan.  And that’s only when I’ve been freshly convicted of my sin of INdependence.  I get zero credit for being freshly convicted by Jesus’ Spirit.  It’s called grace.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, that we believers — especially Dave, might have a contagious Jesus within us, that is compelling to the seculars around us

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

Much harder to experience the benefit

of being curious/expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances, when I feel lousy physiologically.  So He’s been retraining me to be compassionate toward myself when I feel lousy, and lower my expectations for the joy and peace that’s mine in Him.  Lower my expectations for getting comfort from believing in His sovereign reign over my life, and everyone’s life.  When I feel lousy, I just don’t CARE, am easily irritated, critical-judgmental, ready to bite your head off.  Well, on the inside.  I’m still nice on the outside.  Usually.  Confession helps, but I still feel lousy.  Thanking Him for the harrrd helps, but I still feel lousy.  Harrrd to be an enjoyer of others when I feel lousy.  Or an enjoyer of Jesus and His genius plan for my life that includes suffering.  Suffering produces perseverance, then character, then hope/faith/dependency.  Nothing compares with Jesus-dependency.  Costly, but a bargain.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, whose BIGgest idol has become feeling-good-physiologically, and when he does, and when freshly convicted of the sin of INdependence, he finds the Christian life soooo-much easier, and everyone around him benefits

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