Wannabe freshly wowed by Jesus at Christmas?

I don’t see how any believer can be freshly wowed at Christmas, unless he’s freshly aware of what’s inside him.  So he’s freshly desperate for the Message.  This is maybe the best sermon I’ve ever heard.  Not perfect — in the ears of this perfectionist, but pert near.  http://www.sevenrivers.org/171119.html  Download audio for your phone/computer, or watch video online.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, hoping all believers everywhere — including Dave, experience a wow Christmas

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Forgive me, Jesus, for thinking

my life is UP TO ME — that You are not in charge.  I’m so heavily influenced by my flesh, and the flesh of others in this world, who are convinced human lives are up to humans.  But when I read Your Scripture afresh I get sane afresh, because Your Scripture clearly teaches that You are in charge of Dave’s life, Dave’s problems to be solved, not Dave.  Ahhh.  I love it when You grant me curiosity/expectancy to see what You do NEXT, in me, others, circumstances.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, a struggler in practicing what he preaches

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Financial Update on GospelFriendships.

As of our Annual Board Meeting on Nov18, we’re currently $9200 short of covering expenses, and I’m guessing we could end up having a year-end deficit of maybe $2,000-5,000, or more, but I’m always unsure because of year-end giving.  Over the past dozen years I’ve lost some monthly supporters.  I’m a coward when it comes to individually asking believers to consider supporting this work, as I did in the early years of the ministry, so instead, I’ve sometimes taken pay cuts to balance the budget in recent years.  Janet and I are not destitute by any means, and we have never been as happy.  But I will warmly welcome any who would like to join this cause as a monthly/annual supporter, or a one-time supporter.  GospelFriendships, 110 Johns Rd, Cheltenham PA 19012-1307.  For monthly supporters we also provide electronic funds transfer so you don’t have to send a check each month.

Dave McCarty

Nation of fools 

are we — wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding, confident-we-know-what’s-best, imagining ourselves competent to judge others and ourselves, and therefore able to govern ourselves and others in the world, without dependency on the CreatorSustainer of the Universe.  There is no humility in our land, outside the Church, or inside, because we are all wise in our own eyes, lean on our own understanding, judge everyone and everything, and see nothing wrong with it.  We Americans — like all humans, have lived with this independent-mindset for so long that independency/pride/self-reliance/worldliness seems normal/natural to us, in the USA, and in other nations around the world.  We who claim to follow Jesus, but follow ourselves, don’t even see the problem, and therefore do not confess this sin, this control-addiction, so we live in unconfessed sin/idolatry.  The blind cannot lead the blind.  We are doomed to experience more of the same in our nation, and around the world, without a global outpouring of God’s Spirit in our day among Christians.  We Christians — not others, are the weakest links, the ones most needy of transformation by God’s Spirit.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who sees the problem — especially in his own heart, but feels powerless to change anything or anyone

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No wonder democracy doesn’t work anymore.

Democracy doesn’t work without humility and love.  Otherwise, a nation will experience the present civil-war conditions of the USA, where self-righteousness/hatred/ridicule abound on both sides of the left-right divide, as well as with libertarians.  Democracy no longer works without an authentic graciousness rooted in humility and love.  Not merely an external graciousness, but also an internal graciousness/respect for others.  Our nation seems broken beyond repair.  We would be better off with a king, a dictator.  A democracy without humility and love, breeds angry divisiveness, where neither side attempts to understand-or-have-compassion-for the other.  Social media has poured gasoline on the problem.  Compromise requires humility and love.  We are kidding ourselves to imagine that what we have is worth being exported to others.  Democracy is OVERrated, and has been OVERsold to us by the establishment of Democrats and Republicans and mainstream media who are equally power hungry.  I stopped voting years ago in national elections, as a protest to the dysfunction in DC.  Am I thankful for our sorry state of affairs?  No.  Should I be?  Yes.  Because Jesus is totally sovereign over this entire mess that He has created to show us the fruit of pride/independence/worldliness/confidence-we-know-what’s-best.  The USA is not unlike the Tower of Babel: a monument to the folly of human wisdom, confidence-we-know-what’s-best.

Coaching advice for progressives, libertarians, Democrats and Republicans: STOPPIT.   You progressives and Democrats alienate the opposition by your self-righteous ridicule.  Why do you think Trump got elected?  And you still don’t get your contribution, along with mainstream media’s constant ridicule of Trump.  You progressives fail to see that you are unwittingly-but-hugely responsible for self-righteously enabling the growth of white supremists by trying to legislate (FORCE) your morality on the public, pressuring local governments to remove flags and statues.  And your ridicule of white supremists.  The conscience is reached by love and humility, not ridicule.  Ridicule STRENGTHENS the opposition.  You conservatives fail to see that you are unwittingly-but-hugely responsible for the mobilizing of the pro-choice movement against you.  Likewise your self-righteous attacks on gay marriage.  And prayer in public schools.  Self-righteousness abounds.  Attempts at legislating morality fail.  Prohibition failed.  The war on drugs has failed.  The war on poverty has failed.  Legislative attempts (FORCE) to solve societal problems has failed.  Why?

The conscience is reached by love and humility, not government FORCE/legislation to control external behavior.  Jesus never urged government solutions to societal problems: He spoke directly to the conscience.  MLK succeeded because he attempted to reach the conscience through love and humility.  Hollywood has succeeded far more than government legislation in helping whites understand what it’s like to grow up African in America.  Consciences have been reached by love and humility through story on the screen.  We’ve come a long, long way, but we still have many miles to go, for whites to understand white privilege and systemic racism, in a land where the subject of race has become so politicized.

Okay, Dave, how do we get loving and humble enough for democracy to work in a nation as large and wealthy and consumed with superiority and as militarized as the USA?  Humongous miracle required.  I have not enough faith to imagine Jesus pouring out His Spirit on us Americans today, bringing proud Christian and nonChristian alike, to our knees.  Contrite, undone, humbled, by getting fresh glimpses of how-much worse we all are, than we ever could have imagined.  I cannot even visualize loving-and-humble-toward-opponents Republicans, Democrats, libertarians, independents.  Jesus said remove the log from your own eye before trying to remove a spec from another’s eye.  Alien concept to Christian and nonChristian Americans.  We are clear-sighted about the weaknesses of others, but blind to our own.

Want an example?  I sent this link out last Saturday.  I dunno if this Black man’s a Christian, but he ACTS like a follower of Jesus OUGHT to act.  Seems to me.  Remarkable humility and love.   He embarrasses all of us.  https://familyshare.com/28477/black-man-befriends-members-of-the-kkk-by-asking-them-one-simple-question

–Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, chief of the self-righteous about others’ self-righteousness, needing fresh conviction of the sin of independence/pride, so he can momentarily be DumbSheepDave, enjoying everyone just as they are, and everything just as it is, and the bliss of Jesus-dependency/Jesus-contentment/Jesus-humility, so the humans around him might experience the other-worldly love of Jesus

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DumbSheepDave is not anti-intellectual,

even though intellectuals — both Christian and secular, see him as anti-intellectual. DumbSheepDave is intellectually-agnostic. Like a religious-agnostic who doesn’t concern himself with God, DumbSheepDave doesn’t concern himself with intellectual pursuits, because they require being wise in one’s own eyes, leaning on one’s own understanding, being confident-one-knows-what’s-best. An anti-intellectual is an intellectual-atheist, not an intellectual-agnostic. DumbSheepDave enjoys intellectuals, and anti-intellectuals, and other intellectual-agnostics, because DumbSheepDave enjoys everyone just as we are.

Instead of intellectual pursuits, DumbSheepDave just enjoys the yummy grass that his SovereignShepherdJesus leads him to eat, and is curious/expectant to see where his Shepherd leads him next. DumbSheepDave is blissfully clueless-he-knows-what’s-best. DumbSheepDave is unbothered by the condescension of intellectuals like ShepherdDave, who love to opine about everything under the sun. DumbSheepDave experiences a peace and a contentment unknown to ShepherdDave.

–ShepherdDave, who only sees the problem when the Spirit freshly convicts him of the sin of independence/pride/worldliness/confidence-he-knows-what’s-best, so he’s momentarily DumbSheepDave, experiencing the bliss of Jesus-dependency/Jesus-contentment/Jesus-humility, so the seculars around him can experience the other-worldly love of Jesus

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Come to Me

all you (independents/confidents-you-know-what’s-best) who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me (about dependency), for I am gentle and humble in heart (and will retrain you to be also), and you will find rest for your souls (as dependents).  My yoke is easy and my burden is light.

So, HOW do I take on Jesus’ yoke?

First I need to be self-aware enough to recognize the extent of my OWN yoke — the idols (addictions) that weigh me down, make my life unnecessarily burdensome, stressful, miserable.  Only the self-aware and self-accepting are even able to SEE the problem, SEE they have been living in denial of their unhappiness, and are humble enough to admit their multiple addictions are the yoke they carry around with them, all day every day.

How do I get rid of my own yoke?  CONFESS.  But I can’t confess what I don’t see.  Self-awareness is crucial.  But self-awareness is impossible apart from the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.

How can I replace my yoke with Jesus’ yoke?  Self-acceptance is admitting, accepting, even enjoying, the extent of my addictions, my dysfunctional self, evidencing my pathetic need of a Savior and His replacement yoke.  Jesus’ yoke/worthiness is ENOUGH for the self-accepting.  But the humility required for self-acceptance is impossible, apart from the convicting work of the Spirit.  Only the humble find Jesus’ yoke/worthiness to be ENOUGH.  They say “so-what?” to achievement addictions of the independent/proud/confident-I-know-best who want something MORE — an additional yoke of our own.  Fools we are.  We could have the easy, feathery-light yoke of Jesus, but our addictions (idols) lead us astray.  To way-lesser.

How can a believer become yet-more self-aware and yet-more self-accepting?  I can only tell you how Jesus has worked in MY life over the past five years.  He’s used a free e-book — not written by me.  If you lemme know, I’ll send it to you, with a copy of my notes about how He’s led me to use the book.  I ain’t where I hope to be someday, but I ain’t where I usedtabe.

—Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships

How is Donald Trump

any different from opinionated liberals and conservatives, who love to dismiss and ridicule the opposition? What we have in the way of a divided nation unable to compromise, is the same kind of self-righteous pride we see in Trump and Clinton. We deserve no better. Many thought we were getting a unifier in President Obama, but we don’t really want a unifier. We want our own way. Compromise, listening to the opposition, respecting the opposition, requires humility. There is no humility in our land.

And none of us question the history of USA warmongering, except the far left and libertarians. The rest of us are comfortable with physically-and-emotionally maimed vets, or vets returning home in body bags. Narcissistic pride, not humility. What’s to become of such a divided nation of self-righteous arrogants, who come together and agree on ONE thing — the USA being the Superpower Of The World, spending money we cannot afford on a vast military operation to prove our superiority, and police the whole world, minding everyone else’s business, while our infrastructure crumbles? Democracy on such a large scale as ours, does not work. Our nation is broken beyond repair. We need to be fifty nations, not fifty states of a narcissistic Empire.

–ShepherdDave, who loves to pontificate as chief of the self-righteous, even though his self-righteousness never produces the happiness for which he yearns

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