Who am I?

Am I the old man, with a self-absorbed nature, a strong proving addiction, A.K.A. JudgeDave, assessor, critic, of everyone and everything, A.K.A. AdultlikeDave, full of human wisdom, confident-he-knows-what’s-best, A.K.A. CompetitiveDave, needing to feel superior to everyone, secretly rejoicing in the failures of others, especially other sports teams, living with stress 24/7, circumstance-dependent for joy and peace, functioning as an atheist?

Or am I the new man in Jesus, others-absorbed, contented, peaceful regardless of circumstances, enjoyer of everyone just as we are and everything just as it is, clueless-he-knows-what’s-best, trusting Jesus knows best and will sovereignly deliver what’s best for Dave, who lives stress-free, curious and expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT, in Dave, others, circumstances, A.K.A. ChildlikeDave?

I can tell you this — when I’m ChildlikeDave I’m by far the happiest, feel the most authentic, feel like my truest self.  THIS is who I am.  OBSERVING, without judgment or agenda.   No hurry.  No intensity.  Ahhh.  Rather then feeling pressure to make things happen as hyper-conscientous AdultlikeDave — living with an underlying, suppressed fear of a humiliating mistake. 

This is the message of the Bible:

Stand still and watch My deliverance, ChildlikeDave.  Don’t be AdultlikeDave and try to live, do My work, by human wisdom, human power.

So I’m paying closer attention these days to my feelings.  If I’m feeling ANY pressure, to do, be different, be better, be efficient, hurry because I’m behind or might be, I’m realizing like never before that I’ve unconsciously slipped into AdultlikeDave, the old man, and I’ve presently lost the benefit of childlike Jesus-dependency.   Whadda I do?  CONFESS.  Ahhh.

I cannot even comprehend how a Christian who doesn’t really believe in the total sovereignty of Jesus, can even WANT to be a clueless dependent on Jesus.  Seems to me it would be overwhelmingly scary to turn loose of the wheel, leave the driving to Jesus.  I find most of us Presbyterians are pseudo-believers in Jesus’ sovereignty.  We claim to believe, but live as though we don’t.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, constantly needing fresh conviction of the sin of INdependence, so he might momentarily be ChildlikeDave, with something to offer seculars around him 

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Financial update on GospelFriendships.

We’re running a $7900 deficit, in spite of my taking a cut in pay from $30k to $26.5k for 2019.  Because we’re low on cash in the bank, I needed to take half pay for August, $100 paycheck for September, and $300 for October.   Guessing we could have a year-end deficit of $5-10k, but hard to know because of the uncertainty of year-end giving.  We had a $3.5k deficit last year (2018).  Janet and I are not destitute by any means, and we have never been as happy, because Jesus has been at work bigtime in both of us, and we’re encouraged by His work in many others.  But I will warmly welcome any who would like to join this cause as a monthly/annual supporter, or send a year-end gift.  GospelFriendships, 110 Johns Rd, Cheltenham PA 19012-1307.  For monthly supporters we also provide electronic funds transfer so you don’t have to mail a check each month.

Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

dumbsheepdave.com

The wise Christian,

realizes human wisdom has always been his/her downfall.  Only Jesus-wisdom is valuable.  Dumb sheep are safest when  looking to their shepherd for direction, and are in great danger when they set off on their own, imagining they have sufficient wisdom/understanding to navigate life.  No fear of God, i.e., no fear of godless living.

The nicest, sweetest, kindest thing ShepherdJesus ever does for us sheep, is to freshly convict us of the sin of INdependence, so we eagerly return to dependency on Him.  Doing NOTHing on our own.  Ahhh.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, trying to awaken Christians — especially DAVE, to the way they live, so they will be transformed by the Spirit to have the sweet aroma of Jesus to surrounding seculars 

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Stress-free living is a benefit

of Jesus-dependency.  Peace that surpasses the kind of peace provided by human understanding, human wisdom.  Jesus-dependency/faith/humility is impossible unless the Spirit provides it through fresh conviction of sin — especially the sin of INdependence/pride — leaning on our human wisdom. 

Stress not only kills, it causes dysfunctional health.  Only adult-likes/INdependents are stressed by life circumstances.  Only childlikes/Jesus-dependents experience stress-free living.  But it’s scary for us adult-likes to consider childlikeness, because we have to give up control.  Feels WRONG, in a world that worships strength, control — the right-side-up kingdom of this world.  Opposite of the Upside-down Kingdom of Jesus.

Adult-likes are confident-we-know-what’s-best and that’s why we live stressfully.  But childlikes/Jesus-dependents are clueless-they-know-what’s-best, which is why they experience such other-worldly peace, contentment.  Human wisdom is the enemy of peaceful living. 

Only Jesus-dependents do NOTHing on their own.  Eyes and thoughts fixed on their SovereignShepherdJesus for His direction, THANKing Him they dunno what to do in any given situation, curious and expectant to see what He does NEXT, in them, others, circumstances.  Only Jesus-dependents see Him behind everyone and everything.   Only Jesus-dependents have the other-worldly humility, other-worldly love, stress-free living, compelling to turned-off seculars.  The conscience is reached by humility and love — not by argument.  Childlike chief confessors are heard with interest.  Adult-like chief experts are boring.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, unable to practice what he preaches, unless the Spirit freshly convicts him of the sin of INdependence/adultlikeness — leaning on his human understanding/wisdom

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How to tell if you really love someone.

You ENJOY them, just as they are. 

How to tell if you really love your SELF?  Without condition?  You ENJOY yourself, just as you are.  And here’s a little secret.  You won’t enjoy others just as THEY are, until Jesus gives you grace to enjoy your SELF, just as you are.  

So whaddayado if you don’t like yourself, just as you are?  CONFESS your pride, your willfulness, your confidence-you-know-what’s-best, your unbelief in Jesus’ sovereign plan for your life that is currently less than your human wisdom would like.  A humble Christian enjoys himself just as he is, and others just as they are. 

And why do you wannabe more humble?  So you can feel good about yourself.  Because Jesus and His imputed worthiness are UNsatisfying to you.  So whaddayado about that?  CONFESS.

CONFESSion in the pathway to sanity, wholeness, happiness.  Trying to be something/someone you are not, is the pathway to misery, dysfunction, unhappiness.  Your struggle to enjoy yourself as a great example of a bad example of a Christian, indicates you’re as proud as DAVE. 

And if CONFESSion doesn’t lead you to momentary sanity, wholeness, happiness, there is yet-more to CONFESS that you haven’t-yet seen.  Ask for the Spirit afresh, to open your eyes to see what’s keeping you from experiencing LIFE, right now, this moment.  And surrender to Jesus the timetable in which your prayer is answered.  

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, promoting Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness to Christians in hopes that seculars might be drawn to the Jesus in Christians, especially DAVE

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So what if I’m outstanding in my field?

So what if I’m admired by thousands, or millions?  So what if I’m envied by all humans everywhere?  Domatter.  “All labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor.”Eccl 4:4  Human worthiness is meaningless.  Domatter.  The only worthiness that matters in this life, is the imputed worthiness of Jesus.  When DAVE’S worthiness matters to Dave, I live in denial of my misery.  A bottomless pit of need for yet-more worthiness.  Life is UP TO DAVE.  I’m never satisfied when my worthiness matters to me.

“I have seen another evil that weighs heavily on men: God gives a man wealth, possessions, and honor, so he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God doesn’t enable him to enjoy them.”Eccl 6:1

We have bought into the lie that human achievement/worthiness matters.  It doesn’t.  Not even ministry worthiness.  But our human wisdom THINKS it matters.  And so does the Church.  And the worst part is, we pay a horrible price: “What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun?  All his days his work is pain and grief: even at night his mind does not rest.”Eccl 2:22  Believers on the achievement treadmill are to be pitied above all men.  We have not the benefit of Jesus.

Work is not the problem.  Do work you enjoy, not work to make you feel worthy.  Enjoy the process, not the results.  Work that defines your identity, is slavery.  Because it’s never enough, never finished.  Contentment is the litmus-paper test.  Worthiness/somebodiness is way-over-rated, and the imputed worthiness/somebodiness of Jesus is way-under-rated.  This is the message of Ecclesiastes for Christians.

I ONLY experience contentment — enjoy my work, enjoy others and myself just as we are, and enjoy Jesus and His genius plan for our lives, when the Spirit freshly convicts me of the sin of INdependence/confidence-I-know-what’s-best.  ShepherdDave knows what’s best and never experiences contentment, because the imputed worthiness of Jesus is unsatisfying to him.  Only DumbSheepDave is satisfied with Jesus: asking, thanking, curious, expectant to see what his ReigningShepherdJesus does NEXT, in him, others, circumstances.  Ahhh.  Contentment is a priceless gift from Above.

Problem is, it doesn’t last long.  Ongoing need for the convicting work of the Spirit.

“The sleep of a laborer [a nobody] is sweet, but the abundance of a rich man [somebody, outstanding in his field] permits him no sleep.”Eccl 5:12 “All his days he eats in darkness, frustration, affliction, and anger.”Eccl 5:17  Striving for excellence is brutally stressful.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, originally posted May 20, 2017, but Ecclesiastes speaks to our day like no other

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If you are stressed by current circumstances,

you don’t really believe in the sovereignty of Jesus.  So your BIGgest need is to CONFESS your unbelief and your lack of curiosity and expectancy to see what He does NEXT, in you, others, circumstances, in guiding you to adjust your circumstances to a) reduce the stress, and b) be reminded daily of His sovereign reign over every detail of your life.

Maybe it seems impossible to reduce your stressful circumstances?  CONFESS your unbelief that Jesus MIGHT show you a way.  He’s way-more creative than you.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, still baby-steppin, but practicing what he preaches more and more, because the Spirit’s been doin a ho lotta convicting

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Why do I love assessing everyone and everything?

Because it makes me feel worthy when I analyze/critique/judge, which EXPOSES my dissatisfaction with Jesus and His imputed worthiness, wanting some worthiness of my own.  Pride.  OUCH.  Fresh conviction of sin is initially painful, but confession brings momentary LIFE, other-worldly peace, other-worldly contentment.  Fresh conviction of sin by the Spirit, is the pearl of great price, worth selling all to get, because it momentarily humbles our proud hearts, producing fresh faith.  Little sinners need Jesus only a little, love Jesus only a little, love others only a little.  And are happy only a little — when things go our way.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, reminded that the nicest, kindest, sweetest thing Jesus ever does for His kids, is to freshly convict of sin, especially the sin of INdependence, making Christians momentarily attractive/compelling to the seculars nearby

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