Happiness comes from

getting my way.  WRONG.  Misery comes from getting my way.  Getting my way is addictive.  Getting my way is the essence of worldliness/INdependency/pride/arrogance.  When Jesus is Lord, I find happiness in HIS way, HIS leading, dependency on HIM.  But Dave’sFlesh is totally convinced that getting Dave’s way will produce happiness for Dave.  Fool’s errand to pursue Dave’s way, Dave’s agenda.  Happiness comes from Jesus-dependency/humility.  INdependency is asking Jesus to BLESS MY AGENDA.  Prison of misery.  Each time I get my way, my addiction/INdependency is strengthened.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who doesn’t practice well what he preaches, but that doesn’t stop him from preaching, cuz he needs to hear it more than anyone, having learned the hard way that he’s happiest when dead to his agenda, curious/expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT, in him, others, circumstances

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What the Sixers have not-yet experienced:

How to live fearlessly while under great pressure.

How can a sports team, or an individual, under the pressure of a big game, even a championship playoff, live with freedom, reckless abandon?  You need a healthy-indifference to the outcome: willing to fail, succeed, whatever.  The outcome cannot be the focus.  Winning is not the goal.  Playing with excellence is the goal, and it’s impossible to play with excellence, to play your very best, when you are unwilling to fail, when you MUST win, MUST succeed.  A healthy indifference to the outcome, enables you to play with reckless abandon, uninhibited, to play your very best.  Only the humble are willing to fail, are unbothered by losing.  Only the humble see loss, mistake, failure, as a learning experience.  Only the proud are eaten up with failure-avoidance, risk-avoidance, are unwilling to fail and learn from the failure.  Only the humble have the patience to take the long road to achieving excellence.  The proud wanna win TODAY, are unwilling to fail and learn from the failure.  So only the proud get uptight, feel pressure, are prevented from playing their very best.

How can a proud Christian become humble?  CONFESS your pride, your dissatisfaction with Jesus and His imputed worthiness, wanting some worthiness of your own.  Humility is a fruit of the Spirit’s work, not something I generate.  I get zero credit.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

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I love saying “So WHAT?”

to the things that matter to my flesh, and the world around me.  Dave’sFlesh and the worldlies around me dunno nuttin about how to deliver happiness to Dave.  But they sure THINK they do.  And they are convincing, COMPELLING.  They use every one of my idols against me, tempting me to look to my idols instead of Jesus, for LIFE.  So it helps me enormously to say out loud — or internally, “So WHAT?” when I recognize one of my idols working on me, pressuring me to perform with excellence, or notice weakness in others, so I feel good about myself apart from Jesus.  The more self-aware I am, the harder it is for my idols to influence my life.  I can’t CONFESS what I don’t see.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, in hopes that Jesus will be the biggest deal in the lives of Christians, so the seculars around us might be wowed and want what we have

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When I have harrrrd circumstances,

it’s so helpful to THANK Him for them, instead of asking Him to remove them, change them, because THANKing is commanded in Scripture, and because THANKing Him for the harrrd reminds me that He’s totally sovereign over them, and I am not, which helps me be curious/expectant to see what He does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances.  This kind of passivity, this waiting on Jesus, seems so weird, so other-worldly, to ActivistDave/WorldlyDave.  The knee-jerk reaction of ActivistDave is to jump right in and try and fix my harrrd circumstances, or maaaaybe ask Him to remove/change them, instead of THANKing Him for them.  Even asking Jesus for something demonstrates confidence-I-know-what’s-best, which is pride/INdependence, the opposite of Jesus-dependency.  Sometimes after I THANK Him for the harrrd, He gives me a great idea to try this or that, to alleviate things, but sometimes the harrrd remains, though I’m greatly comforted by seeing a purpose in the harrrd/suffering — I’m reminded that Romans 5 says suffering produces perseverance, then character, then hope/faith/dependency, and there is NOTHing I need in life nearly as much as Jesus-dependency.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness and sovereignty-awareness, hoping the Spirit transforms us Christians so much that the seculars around us want something we have

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Thank You, Jesus, that I don’t have

the power to change myself into a thanker-for-the-harrrd, nor do I have the power to change others, though you know how much I wish I could.  Thank You for convincing me that what revival looks like in our day, is Christians so full of You that we are contagious thankers-for-the-harrrd.  Thank You that it seems-to-me impossible for any believer to become a thanker-for-the-harrrd unless s/he has sovereignty-awareness going through the day.  Thank You that today we believers are seed sown on thorny soil that does not reproduce.  Thank You that we struggle bigtime in being curious/expectant to see what You do NEXT, in us, others, circumstances, to change us for our good, Your glory, and the expansion of the Kingdom.  Thank You for Your genius plan, Your Grand Story, that You created from before the beginning of time.  And thank You for the other-worldly peace we experience when Your Spirit freshly convicts us of the sin of INdependence/confidence-we-know-what’s-thankable-and-what’s-not.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

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Jesus is not ENOUGH for me.

I want something MORE than what He offers.  Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for what He offers, but it’s not ENOUGH.   Unsatisfying.  I ALSO want to feel good about myself based on MY performance, MY worthiness, MY reputation.  This role He’s scripted for me, of being a great example of a bad example, is too lowly, too humiliating, for my flesh to embrace.  My flesh HATES being down here.  Instead, it longs to be admired by others, not pitied or despised. Or better yet, ENVIED by others.  Or best yet, WORSHIPED by others.  I know, embarrassing.  I suspect that being worshiped would satisfy my flesh.  But not just worshiped by some.  Worshiped by ALL.  Ahhh.  The hungriest-neediest flesh of any human, imagining himself finally satisfied.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, always needing fresh conviction of the sin of INdependence, and always needing to be reminded that grace is for sinners, that it flows downhill to those at the bottom whose eyes have been freshly opened to see their sin, and always needing to be reminded that Jesus is only helpful to sinners, has nothing to offer non-sinners, is boring to non-sinners

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Alone time is priceless.

Whyzat?  Because it’s easiest for me to be sovereignty-aware when I’m all alone.  When I’m online, on the phone, or with others, I’m not alone, don’t FEEL alone.  Being alone gives me the opportunity to FEEL alone, FEEL the pressures on me, the disappointments, frustrations, the sense of my life being UP TO ME, the UNBELIEF in His total reign over every detail of my life.  So then.  I can CONFESS my independency — that I’m not curious/expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT in me, others, circumstances.  Ahhh, communion with Jesus.  So amazingly helpful when I realize afresh that I’m not in CHARGE, that my life is not up to ME.  Ahhh.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who treasures Jesus-dependency above all else, whenever the Spirit freshly convicts him of his independence, hoping the seculars around him are noticing the difference Jesus sometimes makes

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Bargains are a curse too.

Just like judging is a curse, and getting-or-wanting-my-way is a curse.  A bargain seems so noble, so frugal, so worthy.  Problem is, bargains are ADDICTIVE.  Like other addictions, you become obsessive, and they become all-consuming, where you spend inordinate amounts of time researching to find the very-best purchase: price, condition, quality, whatever.  A purchasing regret is anathema — a purchasing success, exacerbates the addiction. Addictions are irrational.

“Hello, my name is Dave, and I’m addicted to finding bargains when I need to make a purchase.  I frequently spend as much time online researching a five-dollar purchase as a five-hundred-dollar purchase.  Irrational.  I stand before you tonight, not to help YOU folks, but to help ME.  I need to be confessing to you that I’m an addict.  Confessing reminds me of reality, and I need reality.  I need to come here every Tuesday night and stand up here and tell you about me, so I don’t live in denial.  I’ve come to conclude that I have an addictive personality.  It’s a good thing I’m not addicted to alcohol, or drugs, but perhaps those would be easier to manage.  I dunno.  I can tell you this. I feel powerless to conquer my bargain-addiction.  You fellow bargain-addicts won’t laugh, but others who do not have this addiction, may find it amusing.  They have no clue how hard it is for a bargain-addict to pay list price, average price. Probably because they are healthier emotionally/spiritually than I am.  Not proving-addicts like I am.”

Well, I’ve never been to a 12-step meeting, but that’s how I imagine my participation.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, so we Christians might have integrity with seculars, so we might have something they want

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