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A quick favor

Hi

Could you do me a HUGE FAVOR?

Could you visit https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/end-the-divide-dwight-clough#review and upvote my latest book? Should be one click, nothing more.

If I get enough upvotes, my book gets placed in Reedsy’s newsletter which puts it in front of hundreds, maybe thousands of potential readers. (Maybe you could ask a few friends to upvote it as well.) 🙂

Thanks so much!!

Dwight

PS. If you want to go ABOVE AND BEYOND and leave a review on Amazon or Facebook, I’ll send you a copy of the book. Details are in this video: https://youtu.be/ELfeilCHZWs

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You never know

About a week ago I was driving in heavy traffic along University Avenue in Madison, Wisconsin when something caught my eye. A young man walking on the sidewalk appeared to stumble. He righted himself, took another step, and then faltered again. Traffic was pushing me forward, but as I drove by, I saw him sink to the ground.

I pulled into the next parking lot, ran back, found him sitting cross legged at the edge of a parking lot near a stone wall.

“Are you okay?”

His words came back in little chunks separated by long pauses. “I’m having trouble … breathing … I need … to call … my mom.”

I pulled out my phone. “I’m calling 911.”

The paramedics arrived; I was no longer needed, so I went on my way. But as I left, I got thinking to myself: If I hadn’t pulled over, would anybody have pulled over? A young man was sitting on the ground looking at his phone. Nothing unusual about that. He would have become part of the landscape.

I may have saved his life.

I don’t know of course. But maybe I did.

You never know when God is going to position you to save someone’s life. Not just medically, but in other ways.

I graduated from high school in 1975. Late that summer, just before I left for college, my youth pastor took me aside and said to me, “God is going to use you for something great someday.”

Wow. It only took a few seconds for him to say that, but those words came back to me many, many times throughout my life. I was homeless with a wife and a little baby. I was hungry. My business failed. I was forced into bankruptcy. So many times I felt like giving up, but I couldn’t give up.

Why?

Because God was going to use me for something great someday. I knew I had to keep going. Those words compelled me to persevere.

Likewise, you never know what lasting power your simple act of kindness may have in someone else’s life.

Dwight

PS. As an author, I depend on you to help spread the word on my books. If you like reading and if you’re open to leaving a review on Amazon or mentioning the book on Facebook or wherever, here’s a very short video introducing my latest book, End the Divide, and information about how you can get a free copy. https://youtu.be/ELfeilCHZWs

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Are you part of a small group?

If you’re part of a small group, here’s a one-time discussion resource.

Many people are concerned about the toxic polarization in our culture—a divide that has crept into the church as well. In my opinion, the only way to fix it is to start talking about it, so I’ve created a guided discussion to help your group begin that discussion.

It’s based on this five-minute YouTube video which comes from my latest book, End the Divide.

Here are the questions (below), or here’s a PDF you can download and/or print

Here are those questions:

1. Some people say we are more divided than ever. What are your thoughts?
2. To what extent do you think the divide is an issue for people of faith? To what extent is it an issue for our culture in general?
3. Why is there no divide in heaven? What do the people in heaven have that we don’t seem to have?
4. Have you ever lost a friend or damaged a friendship because of the divide? What was your takeaway from that experience?
5. How do you navigate the tension between taking a stand on the issues and making the divide worse?
6. Any other takeaways from this chapter?

I am praying that God will use this conversation for good in your group. If you’re able to use it, please ping me back and let me know how it goes.

Dwight

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Why are you here?

A slightly different version of this on YouTube

Why are we here?

My answer to this question has changed over the years. For a long time I thought we were here to win as many people to Jesus as possible. I wasn’t very good at living up to that purpose, but that’s what I thought.

But then I started looking at the life of Jesus, and I was surprised. He didn’t go around trying to get everybody to “pray the prayer.” He had a very different approach. If someone was blind, He gave them sight. If someone was sick, He gave them health. Where there was hate, He brought love. Where there was death, He brought life.

There’s a fancy word for that: redemption. Or, more simply, He made things better.

It seems to me that you and I were put here by God as change agents designed to bring eternal good into many lives. We are here to bring redemption. We are here to heal our world.

I’ve been focused a lot on fixing the toxic polarization in our world. But then it occurred to me that, yes, ending the divide is just part of our greater mission to heal our world. That’s who we are. That’s what we do.

What do you think? How do you answer this question?

Dwight

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End the Divide

https://youtu.be/pqSCYjY-PIA

Here’s what’s been swimming around in my head for the last year:

We live in a polarized world.

I think most of us are uncomfortable with that, and we’d like someone to fix it.

But most of the people who are trying to fix it are trying to force the people on the opposite side of the political spectrum to abandon their beliefs and embrace the beliefs of their “enemies.”

I think we all know that’s not gonna work.

So what do we do?

Give up?

I don’t think that’s an option.

I believe it’s not okay for good people to hate each other. Maybe we can’t stop bad people from hating each other, but we can stop good people from hating each other.

We can end the divide—at least among good people. And I believe we each have a responsibility to make that happen. We can’t pass the buck because, if we do, this problem will not go away.

How do we do that?

I may not have the complete answer, but I certainly know how to help Christian believers end the divide. I know how to solve this from a Christian perspective.

Christians have the privilege—and the obligation—to love one another despite our differences. I have developed—and I want to work with a team of people to perfect—a friendship building process that allows us to build meaningful friendships across the divide.

Meaningful friendships across the divide will end the divide.

If you and I have a meaningful friendship, we feel safe with each other, we feel free to be who we are, we respect each other, we’re listening to each other and at least beginning to understand each other, and we genuinely care about each other.

We might not agree on everything, but, when we don’t, we listen carefully, look for common ground, and try to work out win-win solutions that allow everyone to go home happy.

We don’t hate each other because we see the world differently. Instead, we embrace and celebrate these differences because we know they can enrich us. We each have the humility to know that everyone holds a different piece of the wisdom puzzle, and only together can we see the whole picture.

And that’s how we end the divide.

In order to participate in this friendship building process, we need to go through some personal transformation ourselves. Another way to put that is this: There’s no peace between people until there’s peace within people. You can’t end the divide if you have an anger management problem. You can’t feel safe with someone if you don’t feel safe with anyone. We fix ourselves first, and then we fix our world.

I can explain to you how to move from anger and angst and all kinds of turbulent emotions to peace and calm. I have a process that works, but it is a decidedly Christian process that involves inviting Jesus into our pain.

If this interests you, the first step is to read my book, End the Divide, which is available at EndTheDivide.io.

If you’ve read the book and you want to be part of the team that helps me perfect this friendship building process and figures out how to scale it, then I have an early leaders membership package available at iBelong.io.

If you have any questions, let me know, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Many blessings!

Dwight

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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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