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Exactly how are we saved by grace?

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

We’re saved by grace. But how?

Here’s what I thought in the past: Our ticket to heaven was canceled because we sinned. But Jesus died for our sins. So we could accept the free gift of eternal life from Him, and our ticket to heaven would be restored.

But then I started reading and rereading the Bible, and I ran into verse after verse that made me uncomfortable. Faith without works is dead. (James 2) If we live the wrong way, we won’t see heaven. (Galatians 5) Not everyone who calls Jesus “Lord” gets into heaven. (Matthew 7) And so on.

It took me a long time to puzzle this out, but it finally makes sense to me now.

Grace fixes things. It fixes everything. It’s like the repair technician from heaven that fixes everything that has gone wrong in our lives. It fixes our identity. It fixes the damage we’ve sustained in a broken world. It fixes our tendency to sin. It fixes our inability to live up to heaven’s standards. It fixes everything.

And if grace isn’t fixing things in our lives, it may be time to ask if we have the real thing.

I take a deep dive into this in my new video: How grace fixes everything



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How to fix everything with the presence of Jesus

Four decades ago, my life was a mess. We had money problems, marriage issues, mental health stress. I desperately wanted help, but instead of getting help at church, I was being threatened with excommunication.


I went to Christians to try to get answers, but the only answers they had were: pray about it and try harder.

This sent me on an odyssey of discovery where I needed to dig in with God and find the answers nobody else seemed to have. And the path was not easy. It took me through bankruptcy, hunger, homelessness, rejection, cancer, and more, but along the way, God was kind to me, and He showed up, and showed me how to go beyond platitudes and get the answers from Him that work in real life.

About a year and half ago, God spoke to me and asked me to put those answers in a book. “I want you to write a book,” He said, “a book on how to fix everything.”

So here it is. Brand new. Just hit Amazon yesterday. Here’s the link…

A few people read it and said nice things. Here’s what my friend Steve Roller said:

Life hack: Open to any random page in How to Fix Everything. Read it. Do what it says. Next day, do the same. Or read the entire book in one sitting and soak it in. I have never seen a book so profound and so simple at the same time. It won’t solve the world’s problems (but it might be a start). It will solve yours. Do yourself a favor and get it today.

And listen, can you do me a favor, please? If you do get the book and you do like it, would you please consider leaving a review on Amazon. Your review—much more than anything I can do—helps get this book into the hands of people who can benefit from it.

Many thanks!


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How to fix a broken childhood

All of us have moments in the past that can create pain in the present. That’s just part of living in a broken world.

But when the past starts intruding on the present, how do we fix that? How do you take that to Jesus so He can repair the damage?

Let me give you a simple approach, followed by a recommendation. Here’s the approach:

1. Jesus, this is what happened…

2. This is where it leaves me… (This is how I’m feeling…)

3. This is what feels true… (If my feelings could talk, this is what they would say…)

4. What do you want me to know?

Take your time with each one of those four items, and give God time to speak to you.

We can’t rewrite the past, but Jesus can rewrite the impact the past has on us. Jesus can erase shame, fear, invalidation, and all kinds of negative feelings and replace them with His peace.

The key?

Getting His perspective on those false messages inside that cause us pain. You can have that perspective; all you need to do is ask.

The recommendation:

Having said that, I’ve given you a ten-second introduction to a process that can take hundreds of hours to master. If you get stuck, there are good people out there who can help. Message me, and I’ll put you in touch.

Be encouraged!


PS. This is one of many topics covered in my soon-to-be-released (Lord willing) book, How to Fix Everything.

PPS. Here’s a five-minute video with more information.

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How to fix unanswered prayer

I suspect we’ve all been there. We’ve asked God for something—something we really need, something we really want. And we didn’t get the answer we were hoping for—at least not in the time frame that made sense to us.

How do you fix unanswered prayer?

I first want to acknowledge that this is a very painful topic for some people, and maybe for all of us in certain seasons in our lives. It hurts when we don’t get what we want. I’ve prayed for healing for family members and friends, for example, but the healing I prayed for didn’t take place.

If that’s you, I’m asking God to meet with you soon, perhaps today, to bring comfort, wisdom, encouragement, whatever you need.

I also want to say that my wife objects to the title of this post. “God always answers prayer,” she says.

And she’s right, of course. But there are things we can do so that our hearts and minds are lining up with God’s heart and mind, and we can position ourselves to receive from God.

I can think of more than a dozen things we can (and should) do. But rather than list and explain them all here (that would probably take 20+ pages), let me direct you to two resources I hope you’ll find helpful:

#1 Here’s a video “How to fix unanswered prayer.” Yes, it’s long, but I hopefully it will answer a whole pile of questions.

#2 Here’s a printable checklist you can use to help you pray and get the answers you’re hoping for.

Hope all of this is helpful and encouraging to you!

Many blessings!


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How to read the ENTIRE Bible—made easy

If you’re interested in reading the entire Bible, there’s an easy way and there’s a hard way to do it.

Here’s the hard way: Pick up an old King James Bible, start on page 1, and try to plow all the way through to Revelation. Most (95%) people who do that get bogged down, discouraged, and quit.

Here are some hacks to make it easier:

#1 Stories are easier. About 1/3 of the Bible is story. Story is easier to read than legal code, song lyrics, essays, genealogies, and the other kinds of literature that make up the rest of the Bible. Start with story. Once you understand the story line of the Bible, you have a place in your mind to put all the other pieces. You want a reading plan that gives you story first.

#2 Short is easier. The Bible is made up of 66 books. Some books are long. Some are short. It’s easier to tackle shorter books first.

#3 You need some basic information. When you understand, for example, that in the Old Testament the people of God were a nation—the nation of Israel, while in the New Testament the people of God are believers from all nations, your reading will make a lot more sense. I’ve identified 12 paradigm shifts from the Old Testament to the New Testament—if you know this information, it makes understanding the Bible much easier.

#4 One bite at a time. You know what I’m going to say, right? How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Same way with the Bible. You can’t read it all at once, but you will eventually read it all if you take advantage of the moment, and read a little bit now.

#5 Read it in a different order. Start with the New Testament. Start with the Gospels (the story of Jesus)—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Start with Mark. It’s the shortest. And you can finish Mark in less than a week. Easy. Easy peasy.

I have a whole Bible reading plan which I will be happy to give you (see below). Here’s what it includes:

#1 You’ll finish the entire Bible in a little less than a year.
#2 You’ll be able to measure your progress daily and know how much of the entire Bible you’ve completed.
#3 We start with easy.
#4 I give you background information you need before we get into more challenging passages.
#5 There’s room for you to journal as you read.
#6 Use any translation.

Speaking of translations, if you’re new to the Bible, let me recommend the New Living Translation (NLT), or the New Century Version (NCV), or The Message (MSG). If you’re a more experienced reader, then the New International Version (NIV) is nice for everyday reading. The King James Version (KJV) is an elegant translation, but there’s a bit of a learning curve. I like the New American Standard Bible (NASB) or the Jubilee Bible (JUB) for study, although others like the ESV or the RSV.

One bonus hack: Audio helps. You can play the audio instead of or along with your daily reading. I have the Bible on audio on my phone. I turn it on as I’m getting ready to fall asleep at night, and I play it all night long. I often wake up in the middle of the night, so I get several chapters of the Bible into my head as I’m falling back asleep. This has allowed me to effortlessly go through the entire Bible many, many times.

Here’s a video with more information (join me on another walk 🙂 )

Bible Made Easy reading plan, free download here

Printed book on Amazon here

Be encouraged!


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What is the best thing you can do for your world?

What is the best thing you can do for your world?

I asked that question on Facebook and I got some good answers.

What do you think? What is the best thing you can do for your world*?

I posted a video where I looked at nine different things you could do for your world:

#1 Get involved in politics
#2 Donate to a good cause
#3 Volunteer or go on a short term missions trip
#4 Add value with your work or your business
#5 Preach the gospel—the big gospel, the one where Jesus changes everything that went wrong
#6 Follow Jesus—be an example, be the best version of yourself (thanks, Dana!)
#7 Be kind—see the opportunity that is right in front of you, Golden Rule, Matthew 25
#8 Pray—I talked about “drive by” prayers among other things
#9 Love—the 1 Corinthians 13 prescription… (and I shared that buffet story)

But I think there’s something even more foundational and important, something we all need to do first if we really want to make our world a better place.

Do you know what it is?

Can you guess?

I believe the best thing you can do for your world is let yourself be loved by God.

Here’s why. We love because God loved us. (1 John 4:19) When we experience the love of God, it transforms us. It changes us. It makes us into better people. It takes the mean and ornery away and replaces it with kindness, with wisdom, with grace, with the power to use our influence for good and not for evil.

More in the video. Here’s the link

Have a fantastic week!


(*The John 3:16 world, not the 1 John 2:16 world.)
Image: collage from images…

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Politics, anger, and you (and me)

If you’re like most people, you’re probably not real happy with what’s happening on the political scene. I want to share with you something you can quietly do to make a difference—something different than what you might suspect.

Disclaimer: This post might make you angry. It might make you angry at me. That’s not my intention, but it might happen.

Anger is everywhere, it seems. With our eyes glued to our screens and our ears plugged into our devices, what do we see and hear? Protesters and counter protesters screaming at one another, with these demonstrations sometimes bubbling over into violence—a thinly disguised rehearsal for civil war. We are told again and again that the enemy (that is, the political party you vote against) is responsible for one injustice after another, that the enemy must be stopped at all costs or the world as we know it will end.

You and I have been so conditioned to anger by our culture that it’s hard to imagine that there could be an alternative.

And it’s hard to stop and figure out what game they’re really playing.

Do you know who loves it when you and I are angry?

The media loves it. Our anger brings us back to the screen for more. It translates into views, ratings, and money. It fuels a nationwide addiction to their brand of journalism. It puts money into the pockets of journalists and commentators. The more angry they can get us, the happier and wealthier they become.

Politicians love it. Our anger translates into votes. Many politicians love power, and they will happily surf the tide of our anger into greater and greater power.

If we let them.

Without anger, there would be no Hitler, no Stalin, no Mao. They needed the anger of ordinary people like you and me to work their way into power. The more the anger, the happier a tyrant will be.

“But, Dwight,” I hear you say, “what about the injustices in our world?”

Yep. You’re right. There are injustices. Glaring injustices. And most of them, you and I don’t even know about because they don’t fit the narrative of the people who are trying to control how we think and how we vote.

And do you know who is angry about all these injustices?

God Himself.

“But Dwight,” I hear you say, “if God is angry, shouldn’t we be angry too?”

Not exactly. And this is where we stumble.

Again and again, the Bible warns us not to take our unfiltered human anger out into our world and attempt to do something good with it. It won’t work. It will backfire. It will create more problems than it will solve.

Here are a few examples:

“Do not fret because of those who are evil… Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.” Psalm 37:1a,8 NIV

“Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger.” Proverbs 29:8 NIV

“‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV

“I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.” 1 Timothy 2:8 NIV

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19b-20 NIV

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Romans 12:14 NIV

“For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.” Proverbs 30:33 NIV

“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9 NIV

“[Love] is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger…” Ephesians 4:31a NIV

So what do we do? We’re confronted with injustice. The only possible human response is anger. What do we do?

Take that anger to God. Let Him turn it into something useful.

Let me show you how:

“God, I’m angry because…” [and fill in the blank]

Pour it all out.

Then: What do You want me to know.

And wait.

What you’re waiting for is two things: peace and clarity. When you’re finished doing business with God, you will walk away with inner peace. If you don’t have that inner peace, you’re not ready to do anything. Once you have it, God will also give you a clear idea of what He wants you to do. Maybe God wants you to volunteer. Maybe God wants you to start a ministry or a movement. Maybe God wants you to pray or to give money to a person or an organization. Maybe He wants you to do exactly nothing; just rest in the assurance that God has seen what you’ve seen, He knows what to do, and, at the right time, He will do it.

To be fair, I have my moments. There are times when I get angry too, and I need to do exactly what I’ve prescribed here.

I urge you to join me: Don’t be a pawn in their game. Let’s bring our anger to God.

When we do, we position ourselves to make the maximum difference for good.

This post is also available as a video.

Have a fantastic day!


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7 words that changed my life

When you have a problem in your life, how do you fix it? Do you consult a mentor? Do you call a friend? Do you go online and try to find an answer?

What about when you have problems you can’t even talk about? What do you do then?

If you and I were forced to list all the trials we’ve faced in life, what would those lists look like? And what if we had to be honest about the emotions that came up as we waded through one mess after another? Have you ever felt all alone? Terrified? Deeply embarrassed? Angry? Hurt? Completely misunderstood?

I certainly have. All those and many more.

Considering the total weight of everything that’s gone wrong in my life, I guess I could be a bitter, angry old man.

But I’m not.

And I’d like to tell you why.

Twenty-four years ago, I discovered seven words that changed my life. Those words are a simple prayer that I pray multiple times every day.

Are you ready?

Here it is:

“What do You want me to know?”

Simple, huh?

Yeah, but for me, it has changed everything.

Let me give you an example: I was 60 days behind on my mortgage. I had no safety net. None. No savings. No unemployment. No income coming in. No rich uncle to call on. No prospects of any money. Clients had fallen through; my business was going nowhere. And the phone calls from the bank were turning nasty.

I knew God could provide, but I was convinced He wouldn’t. I had screwed up somehow, and now God was going to force me to live with the consequences. Soon, my wife and I and our four little children would be out on street, homeless. I had no backup plan. I was nailed to the wall.

I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t work. I was a mess.

It took me back to when I was a kid. Eight years old. My dad was deployed by the Air Force to a remote air station above the arctic circle. No family allowed. Gone for a year. While he was gone, I wanted to pretend that I could build things just like my dad. So I went out to the garage and borrowed his hand tools to make what I could make.

There was just one problem. My dad was persnickety about how his tools were to be put away, and I didn’t understand his system. The day of his return was looming, and instead of being excited about his return, I was terrified.

Are you ready? Here was my prayer:

“What do You want me to know?”

I waited for an answer, and here’s the answer God gave me:

“Dwight, your dad did the best he could with the parenting tools that were in his parenting toolbox. But I’m a different kind of dad, and I have different tools in my parenting toolbox. When you make a mistake, I don’t leave you. Instead, I come alongside you and coach you, and show you what you need to do.”


That changed everything for me. God wasn’t angry with me. He was going to help me.

My stress level went from 98 to nearly zero. I could finally sleep. During the day, I could focus. I was not only at peace, I was excited. God was going to help me!

And, yeah, for about two weeks, nothing happened. We were completely broke, trying to survive on nothing. But we were fine. God was going to show us the way out. And the way out came. I honestly don’t even remember how. A new client, or some other breakthrough. We got our mortgage and all our other bills paid and up to date, and we went on with life.

Something “magical” happens when you ask God directly what He wants you to know. It’s hard to explain until you’ve experienced it. I’ve experienced hundreds of “aha” moments, paradigm shifts, complete changes of perspective, where suddenly God’s heart and God’s mind become clear, and I discover deep inside what I thought I knew all along:

God is good. Because God is good, I’m okay.

More in a video I recently posted: A simple hack that fixes everything. Here’s the link:

Have a super week!


PS. Pic: Me next to Lake Michigan in Door County Saturday morning at 5 am after getting zero sleep the night before

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How do you forgive someone you don’t feel like forgiving?

Forgiving other people who have hurt us is never easy—I struggle with it just like you do. But it is important. God commands it so we can be free of bitterness and resentment. All the citizens of heaven have forgiven one another, so we cannot live there until we forgive.

But let’s first clear up some misconceptions:

Forgiving does not mean we condone the offense. Sin is sin, and forgiving someone who sins against us does not make their sin okay. Forgiving someone does not exempt them from appropriate legal consequences. Nor does it exempt them from the need to repent before God. Forgiving is not a way to minimize or explain away the offense.

Forgiving does not invite an abuser back into our lives. If, for example, you are a victim of domestic violence, forgiving does not mean you invite the perpetrator to come back and assault you all over again. Forgiving makes reconciliation possible, but reconciliation cannot take place until trust is restored.

When we forgive, we give our anger and our quest for justice over to God and trust Him to take care of it. When we forgive, we are in essence saying to the offender: I don’t need anything from you in order to be okay; God is the one who makes me okay. (And, no, it’s not always necessary to tell the offender that you have forgiven him or her.)

With all that in mind, I want to suggest a simple hack that might help you forgive someone you don’t feel like forgiving:

Find a quiet place where you can be alone and uninterrupted, and complete this sentence:

Father in Heaven, I would forgive, but…

The key here is to be 100% honest with yourself and with God—even if the rest of the sentence sounds crazy to your logical mind.

And then this follow up:

God, what do You want me to know?

Then wait. See what God brings into focus for you.

This works because God removes the false beliefs that get in the way of us forgiving. Does it always work? No, sometimes there are complications that you need to unravel.

More in a video I recently posted.

Be encouraged!


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How to fix the silence of God

How do you fix the silence of God?

This is for you if you want to carry on a two-way conversation with God, but, for some reason, He’s not talking to you.

I want to suggest a simple hack that might help you.

Before I do, let me be clear that I’m not talking about TPM, MELT, inner healing prayer, transformation prayer, or any of that. Instead, I’m talking about everyday give and take conversation with God.

Here’s the hack:

Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted, and ask God this question:

What have You been saying to me that I have not been willing to hear?

And then wait for an answer.

I believe God wants to carry on a two-way conversation with each of His kiddos, but sometimes we get in the way because—like Jonah—we don’t want to hear what God has to say to us. For whatever reason.

That doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person. I’m guessing almost all of us have been in this position at one point or another. I certainly have been.

And being in this position is not a show stopper, rather it just means we need to have a conversation with God about whatever He may be telling us that we’re reluctant to take in.

This is a hack that should work for many people. If it doesn’t work for you, I have another hack that should work for just about everyone else. Here’s the 8-minute video in which I share both hacks plus more information.

Have a super week!


PS. Here’s the rest of that thought…

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