Author: DwightClough

Is God a monster?

Is God a monster?

This might be the central question the human race is asking. Some atheists loudly and confidently proclaim He is and cite Bible verses to prove it. Others, including, I think, many believers quietly wonder if He is. Life sometimes doesn’t make sense. Some parts of the Bible are difficult. (As some listening to Jesus said, “This is a hard saying; who can accept it?”)

The other night, on the spur of the moment, I decided to weigh in on this question with a video. In 12-13 minutes I can’t possibly dig deep into this question, but I’m hoping what I shared might be helpful to you.

Here it is: https://youtu.be/7tq6ZQc5rZU

Dwight

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Some thoughts for the person who doesn’t (yet) believe in God

Does God exist?

I have a different way of thinking through this, so I thought I would share it with you. It involves asking yourself some important questions, and giving yourself the time and space to find honest answers.

First, do you want God to exist?

If not, why not? What would you lose if God were real?

Part of growing is learning to get honest with ourselves. That isn’t easy, but if we don’t get honest with ourselves, we get stuck.

So, what are the reasons? Why would you prefer to live in a universe without God? And what do those reasons tell you about yourself and about your concept of God?

What if you’re wrong? What if God isn’t who you think He is? Can you entertain that possibility? If not, why not?

Bottom line: Can you allow God to exist if He does? If you cannot, then let me suggest that He will probably not bully His way into your world.

With all that in mind, can I prove to you that God exists?

No, but you can verify His existence quite easily on your own.

Let me first explain why I cannot prove God’s existence to you. It’s not that I don’t know most of the big arguments for God’s existence; I do. And it’s not that I don’t have answers to the most common objections to God, faith, and the Bible; I do.

But those things probably won’t convince you. Two reasons: (1) Your threshold of proof is different than mine. What might convince you probably wouldn’t convince me. What might convince me probably wouldn’t convince you. We’re different people; we respond to different reasons. (2) God reveals Himself to people. Sure, he might use me in the process, but I don’t reveal God. He reveals Himself.

While I might not be able to convince you, it’s easy for you to verify God’s existence on your own.

How do you do that?

You use a simple thought experiment:

“God, if You are real,
and if You are good,
then I’m willing to follow You,
even if I need to make changes in my life.”

Let’s break that down. If God isn’t real, then, of course, He can’t reveal Himself to you. If God isn’t good, then who would want to follow Him? If you’re not willing to follow God, then why would He reveal Himself to you? If you’re not willing to make changes, then are you really willing to follow Him?

Jesus never argued for the existence of God. Instead, He said it would cost something to follow Him.

What does it cost?

In my mind, the cost is almost nothing because—for the most part—I want what God wants, I love what God loves, I hate what God hates. The more I give my entire life to God, the more I find Him allowing me to be exactly who I am—the unique, quirky person I was created to be. I like being me. God likes me. It all works out.

But for the person who wants to live in opposition to God, it costs everything. If, for example, you want to break into people’s homes at night to rob and terrorize them, or if you want to oppose God in some other way, then following God will cost you everything because that old way of life must die for a new life to take its place.

(That doesn’t mean, by the way, that we clean up first and then come to God. No, we come to God as we are, and He cleans us up.)

Anyway, if you are willing to follow a good God if He exists, then the final step in your verification process is this:

“God, if You exist, and if You are good, then please reveal Yourself to me.”

There you have it. A simple and reliable way to verify the existence of God.

How and when will God reveal Himself to you?

I don’t know. I just know He will pick the time and the process that’s right for you. And I believe God will reveal Himself to anyone who is sincerely willing to follow Him.

Thanks!

Dwight

PS. I’m no longer on Facebook, so if this post was helpful to you, could you share it with others? Many thanks!

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Has this made a difference for you?

Hi

I’m wondering if you would read over the items below, and ask yourself this question: Have I tried any of this and has it made a difference?

If the answer is yes, then I’d love to hear from you. Would you mind hitting reply and telling me your story? It would mean a lot to me. Thanks!

Dwight

PS. Here are the items:

Step #1: I will take my hurts to God because I cannot bring healing to my world if I don’t let God bring healing to me.

Step #2: When others hurt me, I will go to God for the strength to forgive because I will not allow myself to be blinded by unresolved anger.

Step #3: When I have hurt others, I will do what I can to make amends because I cannot heal my world without taking responsibility for the damage I’ve done.

Step #4: I will work to create an “I belong, you belong” world where each person has a place at the table and a voice in the conversation. I will give others the freedom to be who they are, and I will seek to understand and respect their perspectives. This does not mean I will allow myself to be bullied or abused by others.

Step #5: I will seek to help each person in my world become the best version of themselves.

Step #6: I will make it my aim to look for hidden solutions that allow everyone to win.

Step #7: I will use my influence to inspire others to embrace these steps and bring healing into our world.

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New ebook on how to forgive

Hi

I know it’s been a while. Hope you are doing well!

I’m working on several projects I’m excited about. Heal Our World (a movement). Letters to Planet Earth (a novel). A Bible We Can Understand (guided tour and translation of the Bible).

And I just published my first e-book on Gumroad. I’ve never worked with them before, so I thought I’d give it a try.

The book is How to Forgive People Who Have Hurt You: A Christian Approach, and it explains why forgiving does not weaken you or invite abuse, but actually makes you stronger. It also shows step-by-step how to find the grace of God to do something supernatural: forgive another human being.


Buy this ebook

If that button doesn’t appear, try this link.

Thanks!

Dwight

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Making A Difference

 

Great news! Making A Difference: How to Extend Your Influence and Transform Your World is now available on Amazon here.

I want to offer a big thank you to the people who helped make this possible.

Mega-best-selling author Jerry B. Jenkins (Left Behind series) graciously contributed chapters on writing a book and putting family first.

Best selling author Jay Payleitner wrote the Foreword.

Freelance writer Crystal McDowell contributed a great chapter on leaving a legacy.

Missionary veteran John Henry provided a powerful chapter on the foundation of making a difference: prayer.

International speaker and singer JP Olson shared what it means to take a risk for the Kingdom of God.

YouTube ministers Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird weighed in on how to start a ministry.

Serenity Home founder Michael Halsted shared the journey that led to the founding of their sober living ministry, and he weighed in on the importance of putting marriage before ministry.

Master connector Kerri Walker-Kane shared how God puts together “Divine connections.”

The Creative Company founder and president Laura Gallagher shared how to use social media to become a change agent.

Fund-raising expert Jerry Twombly talked us through the nuts and bolts of raising money and finding volunteers.

Business thought leader Steve Roller shared insights that lead to solopreneur success.

And I threw in some thoughts on your gift of influence, how to overcome that fear of public speaking, publishing options for new and unknown authors, and how to turn that dream into reality.

It all mixed together and created a book I think you will love, read, reread and refer back to often on your journey to make a difference in this world.

Enjoy!

Dwight

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“I decided not to hate you” video

I know it has been a while.

Have you ever given any thought as to what you want the rest of your life to be all about? I’ve been pondering that lately. Here’s a small part of what I’ve come up with:

Indifference to empathy;
contempt to respect;
blame to help;
win-lose to win-win…
I want to change how people think.

To that end, I just published this video:
“I decided not to hate you.”
https://youtu.be/Hv-eAaUox5o

Yeah, it’s long. And, yeah, it’s personal. But, for many, and maybe for you, it just might open up a whole new world.

Much love!
Dwight

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Perish or repent? What is repentance?

The Lord … is patient with us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 JUB

God wants us to “come to repentance.” Most people don’t understand what that means. No wonder. It’s seldom explained correctly. At its core, repentance is not a change of behavior. Yesterday I yelled at my wife. Today I stopped. I repented.

No.

Repentance is a change of perspective. It’s a new mindset. It results in a change of behavior, but behavior change without mindset change is not repentance. Repentance is a gift from God. (See 2 Timothy 2:23–26.)

Let me give you an example.

I always thought I was a patient, kind person, and I would treat my wife with kindness. But after I got married, I made a discovery: When my wife got sick, I got angry. I tried to pretend I wasn’t angry, but I was. After a while, my anger came to the surface. I started saying nasty things to her like, “Why are you making me do all your work? When are you gonna get better?”

Here she was in a very vulnerable position, and I was yelling at her. Can we agree that was not a good thing? Can we agree that it was a sin?

I was acting like a jerk. I was not being kind and loving to my wife.

I suppose I made some attempt to change my behavior. But I didn’t repent until…

I didn’t repent until I started looking at the problem I was trying to solve by getting angry at my wife. I looked at the lies I was believing that caused me to sin against my wife.

Here’s what I discovered: When I was growing up when my mom was sick, I didn’t feel safe. I picked up this message: When the woman in your life is sick you are not safe. And who wants to feel unsafe? Feeling unsafe makes me feel small, vulnerable, out of control. But feeling angry makes me feel big, powerful, in control. So I turned to anger. Anger was my solution. And that anger was also my sin.

A lie I was believing—a lie that wasn’t even clearly in focus for me—was controlling my life. That lie needed to be removed.

In John 8:32, Jesus promises that the truth will set us free. From the context, we understand that the truth will set us free from sin. So clearly I needed truth from Jesus. Anyway, I just asked Him what I needed to know. And He told me. I don’t remember exactly what He said or how He said it, but I walked away with a new understanding deep inside my soul: I wasn’t there any more, I wasn’t stuck in my childhood, I was safe, I was okay. The woman in my life could be sick, and I could still be okay.

In other words, I repented. My mindset changed. Jesus offered me His perspective.

What was the outcome? Changed behavior. When my wife got sick, I didn’t have this same over–the–top response. I was free to be more kind, more understanding, more compassionate.

This is an excerpt from my book, Am I going to heaven when I die?

Dwight

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Looking forward to

There’s a lot I look forward to in heaven. I want to get the heavenly equivalent of a pilot’s license. I want to make some movies, write some novels, climb some mountains, and walk across a continent. I want to build a new relationship with my dad, and taste my grandma’s lefse once again.

We have children in heaven—children I never got to know here on earth—and so I’m excited to meet them and hear all about their adventures. I imagine this bench high on a cliff overlooking the water where we’ll sit, and hang out, and hear those amazing stories. I don’t know, of course, if that’s where we’ll talk, but that’s what I imagine.

I want to get to know some angels and find out what it’s like to be them. I want to make friends with Boaz, the great–grandfather of King David. And there’s some mischief I want to do, if I can get away with it—like leave graffiti at the moon landing site. Most of all, I want take a long walk with Jesus, just hang out with Him, and listen to whatever He wants to say to me.

I love my life here on earth. And I am looking forward to the life to come.

How about you? What are you hoping for? What are you looking forward to? Father God is right next to you. You can tell Him if you want to.

Dwight

(Another excerpt from Am I going to heaven when I die?)

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How do we become good?

Why are families in turmoil? Why is our nation torn apart? Why do churches split? Why do people struggle with the same sin for years? The answer to these and a hundred questions like them is the same: Because people do not know how to become good.

It’s a simple question. How do I become good? Yet nearly every prescription I’ve heard over the last 50 years does NOT work. I know. I’ve tried them. They don’t work.

That’s unfortunate because there is an answer, and it’s not all that complicated. But it eluded me for many, many years.

I’m planning to answer this question, Lord willing, on Sunday morning, October 25, 2020, at the Wesleyan Bible Church, 113 Second Street, Pardeeville, Wisconsin at 10 am. Then the video will be available at 6 pm on the church’s Facebook page here

Dwight

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My brother’s great idea

I was talking with my brother Dan yesterday about why I wrote Am I going to heaven when I die? I explained to him that many people think they settled the salvation question long ago, but didn’t. They think they’re headed for heaven, but aren’t. They haven’t stopped to take into account what Jesus actually says about eternal life.

I can always count on Dan to be honest with me. And he was. “Books,” he said, “I don’t much read. But I’ll read an email.”

“So if I put the book into a series of emails,” I asked, “you would read them?”

“Maybe I would,” he said.

So I’m gonna start with that. Here goes. This first excerpt will be short:

 

Eternal life is not a trinket that can be obtained without life-change.

It is a free gift, and it will cost you everything.

 

Dwight

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