Whenever I’m trying to prove myself,

to myself or others, that’s an indication that I’m ashamed of who I am, don’t feel good enough as a human being, or believer, or hubby, or dad.  Prove myself?  Winning, achieving, noticing the failure of others as a strategy to feel better about myself, and if the others are successful, any little chink in the armor I can find, will suffice, will fill me up with a sense of being more worthy than they.  Opposing team, politicians, somebodies, nobodies, Christian jerks, whomever.  Ahhh.  My hungry-needy flesh loves feeling superior.

Jesus has compassion on me, just as I am, because I belong to Him, but when I don’t have compassion on myself, just as I am, my pride is exposed.  A humble believer confesses his pride, but is not bummed by it.  A humble believer has wonderful compassion on himself, just as he is, just like Jesus has wonderful compassion on him.  A humble believer is completely satisfied with the imputed worthiness of Jesus, and is liberated about having none of his own, or some, or a lot: makes no difference whatsoever.  And because a humble believer is completely satisfied with Jesus, he has wonderful compassion on others, even enemies.

–DumbSheepDave, having more fun than ever, because folks have been praying, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference Jesus is making

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The idol nobody confesses.

The idol of different.  Huh?  Wanting a change of scenery, different clothes, different car, different motorcycle, different home, different location or vacation, different/newer technology, different job, or more success or different twist to my present job, different experience, different arrangement of furniture, different wall color, different church, different self.  Be somewhere else, doing something else, that could bring me joy, even for a bit.  Why?  I must not like myself just as I am.  And I must be bored with Jesus.  So I keep trying, hoping something different will sooth the hidden pain in my soul from childhood, that energizes my idol/addiction.  Never does, but hope springs eternal for the insane/independent/confident/adultlike/shepherd/idolator/addicted, who don’t like themselves just as they are.

Satan has been successful for years, in keeping me from seeing how dysfunctional I am.  I’m naturally self-deceived.  Just like the Pharisees.  I used to think I was superior to them.

–DumbSheepDave, beneficiary of the prayers of others, freshly convicted of the sin of independence, freshly aware of the wiles of the devil to keep the addicted from admitting their addiction, and freshly hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing in him a surprising contentment with everything just as it is, sometimes

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An agendified driver

knows what’s best for himself, and others, and gets irritated with a little old lady in a Buick ahead of him on a two-lane road with no-passing lines, driving five miles an hour under the speed limit.  So they both have to wait at the next traffic light.  Grrrr.

AgendifiedDave/JudgeDave/ShepherdDave ain’t got a humble bone in his body.  He knows what’s best.  Wants Jesus to bless his agenda.  Knows what’s thankable and what’s not, so he never thanks for the harrrd in his life.  And forgets to thank for the easy.  It’s all about Dave and his agenda.

–DumbSheepDave, taking baby steps in healthier-and-more-clueless directions, because folks have been praying, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference Jesus is making

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Satan doesn’t want me to see,

the sickness of the Church, but once I see it, he changes his strategy, tempting me to feel good about myself for my insight, smug in my superior and radical commitment, tempting me to self-righteously go about trying to make a difference as a radical, in the power of me.  Like the Pharisees: so confident, so right, so strong.  My flesh loves this confidence.  I am no threat to the enemy’s kingdom when I operate by human power, self-confidence, independence, even though I use the name of Jesus while doing so.  I can proclaim the Gospel in radical fashion all I want, and live in radical fashion all I want, but there will be tiny conversion fruit as an independent/adultlike operating by human power.   Pre-believers are not wowed, convicted, when I operate by human power, like them.  They don’t say to me, “Surely God is with you and there is no other; there is no other God.”  Isa 45:14

But by human power I can gather other human-powered believers to follow me.  Way easier to influence believers than to see pre-believers converted, especially the turned-off.  Humility, childlikeness, fruitfulness, is a product of the Spirit, not something I generate.  No credit to me.  Only to Jesus.

–DumbSheepDave, freshly contrite for the moment, because folks have been praying, but no predictions for an hour from now

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I’m bored with Jesus,

at Christmas, and the rest of the year too, except when I’ve been freshly convicted of the sin of independence/judge/self-confidence/pride.  Jesus is only a big deal to big sinners, only a little deal to little sinners, and nothing to non-sinners.  The nicest, sweetest, kindest thing He ever does for this kid of His, is to freshly convict me of the sin of independence, so Jesus is the big deal in my life again.  Even at Christmas.

–DumbSheepDave, experiencing more dependency than ever, because folks have been praying, and hopefully the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference

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Jesus changing Dave in surprising ways.

One example is my latest tire purchase for my car.  My Subaru wagon is an authentic sports car in disguise: very fast, and corners amazingly.   So the tires I have purchased for it in the past, have been ultra-high-performance summer tires, that enable one to corner like a race car.   I have always loved to go fast around corners.  Why?  Proving myself worthy, I now suspect.  Satan has had a grip on me in the form of a worthiness-proving addiction, all my adult life.  Fast acceleration, fast cornering, prove I’m worthy.  I know, silly isn’t it?   Idolatry/addiction is irrational, silly.  Fruit of emotional dysfunction.

So when I went to buy new tires, I researched the ultra-high-performance summer tires, but I decided I didn’t need to prove myself worthy anymore, didn’t like going down that path, that trip, that addiction, and so I bought some boring all-season touring tires, that handle well, but nothing like the kind of tires I usually buy.

Sometimes I still accelerate rapidly, go round corners rapidly, because it’s fun.  But not so much.  Only fellow car nuts could appreciate the change Jesus has made in this big area of my life where I was so blind.

–DumbSheepDave, having the best year of his life, because folks have been praying

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Financial condition of GospelFriendships.

Financial condition of GospelFriendships.  I’m currently in deficit by $9k and I’m guessing by year end it will be from $10-15k.   🙂

I need a ministry fix.

My ministry addiction is clearer to me than ever.  Why?  Because folks have been praying.  Why is my addiction always eager for a fresh, quick fix?  Why can’t I seem to get enough?  Always need more?  Because I’m convinced there has been a deep hole in my soul, making my flesh inordinately hungry-needy to prove myself worthy, to myself, to others.

A ministry fix provides me with some r-e-l-i-e-f from what I strongly suspect is suppressed pain of feeling like a loser, since childhood.  I’m shocked.  But what else would explain my workaholism, intensity, my obsessiveness about ministry, my what-I-suspect-is-suppressed terror of experiencing failure in ministry, or of being considered lazy, unproductive, inefficient, worthless, by others or by myself?  Drivenness.  Not a human being, but a human doing.  Always hurried.

What I unconsciously think I need is another ministry fix.  Ahhh.  Feels so good to prooove myself worthy.  Problem is, the fix doesn’t last long.  And so the addiction doesn’t lead me to happiness, but to more addiction, living inside a prison of addiction, except for the momentary relief I get with a fresh fix.  Terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad way to be trapped.  Addict.  Stressful, exhausting, joyless, peaceless, unless things go my way, momentarily, and even then the success just reinforces my addiction, insanity, independence.

Jesus came to reverse the effects of The Curse in the lives of believers, especially those of us who carry unrecognized holes in our souls from childhood.  And Jesus has been bringing healing to the wound on my soul, and the peace I am experiencing is indescribably delicious.  It is so much easier to fix my eyes and thoughts on Jesus as my idols are more exposed, are slowly disempowered, slowly wilting.  I now see that no amount of ministry success could ever fill the deep hole in my soul.  I’ve been trying since 1984 when I went through Sonship, to become whole/healthy, by soaking in the Gospel of Jesus and His unconditional love for me, and I have desperately needed the growing grace foundation in my life, to even be able to look inside in 2012 and see the hole, and now Jesus is leading me through a healing process for this wound, this gaping hole in my soul, to amazing Jesus-dependency.

— DumbSheepDave, indescribably thankful for those who’ve prayed

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I’m thankful this year,

for people I used to despise: my enemies — theologically, politically, and militarily.  And myself, just as I am, even when I do stupid things, even when I’m an ingrate for all I have in Jesus.  I’m thankful that DaddyJesusSpirit is both loving and sovereign over all, has had a perfect plan from before the beginning of time, and is in the process of implementing that perfect plan.  And this enables me to be thankful for everything, just as it is, including me, just as I am, because we’re all part of His process, and the final chapters of the story, have yet to be written.

–DumbSheepDave, having the best year of his life, because folks have been praying

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