Category: Uncategorized

Enjoy life

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17 NIV

Video here, and/or read on:

The person who wants what they cannot have will never be happy. They will just stew and stew until they do something stupid, like trying to take something that belongs to someone else. Then they create all kinds of pain for themselves and for those around them.

God wants us to enjoy life. We can’t enjoy life if we crave things we cannot possess.

This doesn’t mean that we abandon all ambition. That idea belongs to a different world religion, not to Christianity. We can and should want things that we can have. We can and should pray, plan, work, and save for things God wants us to pursue.

Meanwhile, we are content. We are grateful. We are complete whether we get the frosting or just eat the cake. We have Jesus, and that is enough.

Dwight

PS. How do you overcome temptation? Why are we tested, and what strategy can we use to overcome those tests? Why do we sin? Are we doomed to sin because we’re sinners and we have a sin nature? How do we find God’s grace to overcome sin? That’s our Inner Wealth topic starting 5/11/2019.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Three values that matter to God

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16 NIV

What can we learn about God from this commandment?

Video here, and/or read on:

Some time ago I heard about a police officer who stopped a man who was walking down the street, arrested him, planted drugs on him, got him convicted for selling drugs, and got him sent to prison.

I don’t want something like this to happen to me. I don’t want it to happen to you.

In this commandment, God is making it clear that He wants to protect all of us from this kind of injustice. God loves justice. He protects your reputation. And He values truth.

I’m glad He does.

In the case of the police officer, he confessed to what he had done, the falsely accused man forgave him, and the two ended up becoming friends. God knows how to pick up broken pieces of shattered lives and turn them into something beautiful.

Dwight

PS. How do you overcome temptation? Why are we tested, and what strategy can we use to overcome those tests? Why do we sin? Are we doomed to sin because we’re sinners and we have a sin nature? How do we find God’s grace to overcome sin? That’s our Inner Wealth topic starting 5/11/2019.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Honoring work

Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, I worked for the Ohio Adult Parole Authority. My main job was trying to make sure that the felons I supervised didn’t get into trouble again. That meant I drove around a lot, talked to a lot of people, and wrote a lot of reports.

Anyway, years later, I was cleaning out some junk in my home and I found 76 ink pens with “State of Ohio” written on them. Oops! With a pang of conscience, I wrapped them all up and mailed them back to my old employer.

“You shall not steal,” God says in the Ten Commandments. Theft—why does it matter to God?

Video here, and/or keep reading.

Like all the other Commandments, this one is also a window into God’s heart. I think God is saying two things about Himself here. First, he values your labor. The time, energy, and sacrifice you put into making a living matters to Him. Second, while our possessions do not provide ultimate security (that only comes from God), they do provide a measure of security. Without food, clothing, and shelter, we would be hurting. Without the means to make a living, we’d be hurting.

There was a time when I thought God’s requirements were arbitrary—they didn’t make sense to me. But the more I looked at the reason why, the more I see that God’s Commandments flow out of His loving heart toward us.

Dwight

PS. We make resolutions or set goals, yet sometimes something seems to be holding us back. Why can’t we lose weight, write that book, finish that project? What’s holding us back? Many times it’s hidden, inner barriers that God wants to remove from our lives. This week in Inner Wealth we’ll explore how that process works.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Honoring marriage

As we work our way through the Ten Commandments, we come to this command: “Do not commit adultery.” Why is this important to God?

Video here, and/or read on.

Every marriage goes through seasons; mine certainly has. Sure, there were moments when I was passionately, deliriously in love with my wife, but there were also moments when I wondered what drug induced me to say, “I do.”

Yet about marriage, God says, “Take good care of this. Don’t break it.”

Why does He care?

I’ve found that if you look carefully at the commands of God you usually find that God is watching out for the most vulnerable person in the room. In this case, His eye is on His precious children. He wants them to grow up in a stable, loving home. He’s also looking out for the marriage partners, of course. Who wants their heart torn to pieces by a spouse who isn’t faithful?

But I think there’s another piece to the puzzle here. People who have affairs are looking for something. The only problem is: You can’t find it in the other man/woman. It isn’t there. The foundational comfort, affirmation, and enjoyment of life that we’re looking for doesn’t come from other people; it comes from God. When people try to find it in a marriage partner, they will be disappointed. It’s easy to think that we just picked the wrong person, that we need to look for someone else. But that’s an endless search that will only end when we look heavenward and find our rest in Him.

Dwight

PS. We make resolutions or set goals, yet sometimes something seems to be holding us back. Why can’t we lose weight, write that book, finish that project? What’s holding us back? Many times it’s hidden, inner barriers that God wants to remove from our lives. This week in Inner Wealth we’ll explore how that process works.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Honoring parents

Why does God tell us to honor our parents? What does that teach us about God?

Video here, and/or read on:

Most of us go through this kind of process. When we are small children, our parents can do no wrong. Then we get a little older, and our parents can do no right. Then we get older still, and we realize that our parents are flawed human beings that hopefully tried to do their best. They meant well, but sometimes carried out those intentions poorly. That is reality.

Yet, at every step along the process, God asks us to honor them.

There’s a lot that could be said here about family, about transmitting values from one generation to another, about learning from the voice of experience. But I think I’ll focus on this one small slice of the pie: My parents are a mirror that shows me myself.

I too am a dad. I too meant well, but didn’t always carry out those intentions very well. I too am a flawed human being. I have something to offer, and I want to be understood and respected for that, and I guess I’m hoping that others will have patience with my faults.

Maybe God is saying that He knows. He knows we have imperfect parents, but, even so, they are His gift to us. They gave us life. They watched over us when we were young. He knows too that we will be imperfect parents, but He wants us to know of His gratitude that we cared for the children we thought were ours but all along belonged to Him.

Dwight

PS. We make resolutions or set goals, yet sometimes something seems to be holding us back. Why can’t we lose weight, write that book, finish that project? What’s holding us back? Many times it’s hidden, inner barriers that God wants to remove from our lives. This week in Inner Wealth we’ll explore how that process works.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Dignity

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:8-11

What does the Sabbath teach us about God?

Video here, and/or read on:

Notice first that God says we are like Him at least in this way: We work, then we rest. There’s a rhythm to life that gives life meaning, dignity, humanity. We work hard, accomplish what we can, and then we stop, recharge, celebrate our accomplishments, renew, restore.

On top of that, this isn’t for the few, for the elite. No, it’s for all of us. God makes all of us equal on this count. God wants every person, great or small, to enjoy a time of rest, and to gain a sense of dignity.

I like that.

Dwight

PS. Starting Saturday 4/27/2019, in Inner Wealth, we’ll be looking at Transformational Prayer Ministry or TPM. We’ll look at what TPM is, how it helps, who it helps, where it comes from, and what you need to know if you want to receive—or provide—TPM ministry.

Filed under: Uncategorized

God’s representatives

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” Exodus 20:7 NIV

I used to think this was about swearing. But God has a much bigger point to make.

Video here, and/or read on.

We are God’s representatives. We carry His name to the people of this earth. This is particularly true of parents of young children. How we conduct ourselves imprints on our children a lasting understanding of who God is. And we are the only version of God some people will ever know.

So God cares about His reputation just like we care about our reputation. God cares because when we misuse His name, that is, His authority, His reputation, we make it difficult for other people to find their way safely home to Him.

Hmm. That leaves me pondering…

Dwight

PS. Starting Saturday 4/27/2019, in Inner Wealth, we’ll be looking at Transformational Prayer Ministry or TPM. We’ll look at what TPM is, how it helps, who it helps, where it comes from, and what you need to know if you want to receive—or provide—TPM ministry.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Only One

“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:3-6

Jealous? Punishing the children? I’m first—no one else. What kind of God is this?

It took me a while to figure this one out.

Video here, and/or read on:

Every decision we make—even in private—ultimately affects everyone else. Our decisions particularly affect those closest to us, and those who have the most to lose if we mess up our lives—our children and our grandchildren.

God knows this. That’s one of the reasons he calls on us to abandon the gods we carved from our own imagination (He knows they can’t save us in our day of trouble), and invite Him into our lives to be what only He can be. God wants to be first not because He has an ego problem, but because He cares deeply about us. He knows we suffer if we depend on our man-made gods to defend us. He doesn’t want that to happen.

Dwight

PS. Starting Saturday 4/27/2019, in Inner Wealth, we’ll be looking at Transformational Prayer Ministry or TPM. We’ll look at what TPM is, how it helps, who it helps, where it comes from, and what you need to know if you want to receive—or provide—TPM ministry.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Freedom from slavery

What do the Ten Commandments teach us about God?

Short video here, and/or read on.

The Ten Commandments are like God’s calling card. In them He let’s us know who He is and what’s important to Him. And He starts with these words, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” (Exodus 20:2 NIV)

The first thing we learn about God from the Ten Commandments is this: He wants us to be free. What a contrast from how God is normally portrayed—as the God of rules, the One who wants to shackle us with unreasonable requirements!

No.

God wants us free to achieve our God-given potential, to live free from sin, addiction, life-controlling issues. He wants us free from our own self-destructive tendencies. And He is willing to go to bat for us so that we can be free.

I like that. How about you?

Dwight

PS. Starting Saturday 4/27/2019, in Inner Wealth, we’ll be looking at Transformational Prayer Ministry or TPM. We’ll look at what TPM is, how it helps, who it helps, where it comes from, and what you need to know if you want to receive—or provide—TPM ministry.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Paradigm shifts

How do we see with new eyes?

See short video here, or read on…

Around 1970 my parents bought some new dining room chairs. They were covered with vinyl and had an abstract pattern printed on them. For a long time, I sat in those chairs and looked at those chairs every day. Flowers. That’s what I saw. There were flowers printed on those chairs.

Then one day an amazing thing happened. I was looking at the chair and realized that I wasn’t looking at flowers. I was looking at cows. The pattern was pictures of cows.

What happened?

I experienced a paradigm shift. I saw the same thing a different way, and now I could never go back to seeing flowers again. From that point on, the chairs were covered with cows.

Paradigm shifts empower us to see the reality that was previously hidden from our eyes. God wants to use paradigm shifts to enable us to see everything through His eyes.

When we see ourselves, our world, our lives, our God through the eyes of Jesus, everything changes.

I once had the experience of walking through a restaurant and feeling the love God had for each person in that restaurant. It was amazing, almost overpoweering. Of course, I didn’t say or do anything weird, but it just gave me a whole new perspective on people around me.

More on paradigm shifts for Inner Wealth subscribers starting 4/20/2019.

Dwight

Filed under: Uncategorized