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If I were president…

This post as a video here…

Do you ever fantasize about what you would do if you were president of the United States?

Or is that just something I do?

Okay, I’m not president. I have no desire to become president. And I think it’s safe to say I never will be president.

But if I were, here’s one thing I would do differently:

I would host a monthly presidential round table.

Let me explain what I mean, why I would do it, and what I think the takeaway is for you and for me.

When I say a round table, here’s what I mean. Each month, we would pick a topic: Climate change, gun control, education, poverty, whatever. And I would invite 8, 10, 12 people representing a wide range of opinions.

And this is important. It would NOT be nine people who are parroting what I’m already saying and one person who sounds like an idiot chosen to represent the opposition. This would be people who can clearly articulate a wide range of different views representing what different people in the country believe.

And it would NOT be a free for all where everyone is yelling and screaming and trying to talk over each other. None of that. Instead it would be highly structured. It would be divided into three parts.

Part one: Each person gets five minutes to present their point of view. The mike turns off at five minutes, and it’s the next person’s turn. That way everybody gets heard.

Part two: Each person gets three minutes to explain how and why they came to a different point of view than the others.

Part three: Each person would have an opportunity to suggest policy initiatives that could accommodate multiple points of view. Is there a way we could move forward and still keep most people happy?

Let me explain why I think this is important. There is an increasing tendency for those in power (not just political power) to try to silence dissenting points of view. This is dangerous. When people don’t feel heard, they go to more and more extreme measures to make themselves heard. It escalates to yelling and screaming. And when that doesn’t work, it escalates to violence. Pretty soon you have a civil war. Don’t think it can’t happen. It happens all over the world, and it can happen here.

People need to be heard.

You might say, “But, Dwight, I’m right. The other people are wrong. Why would you give someone who isn’t right a platform?”

I would give them a platform because people need to be heard. People won’t listen to us unless and until we listen to them.

We have no hope of convincing people of our point of view until we listen to them. None. Until we listen to them, they will close their ears and shout at us because they don’t feel heard.

We all need to take a breath, stop, and listen.

That doesn’t mean we need to agree, but there’s always the possibility that we might learn something new.

You never know.

James writes, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19 NIV

As breakthrough leaders, I believe you and I need to lead by example and do our best to listen first, talk second.

By doing that, we can help build a better world.

Have a fantastic week!


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Distressed in the middle of the night

Distressed in the middle of the night

This post as a YouTube video here…

The other night I was awake in the middle of the night. I was distressed about some recent developments in our world, and I was talking with God about it.

Does that ever happen to you? Do things bother you? Do they keep you up at night?

Sometimes it happens to me.

Anyway, I was talking with God and He reminded me of a couple things.

#1 God is very much in charge. He knows what He’s doing. He’s going to make it right.

#2 There is a battle going on, God is winning, and we get to fight on God’s side.

But not the way some might imagine.

Paul writes, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NIV

We don’t fight the way the world fights. If we did, we would get the same results the world gets. We don’t want those results. We want better results. So we fight a different way. We use different weapons.

What are those weapons?

Let me suggest there are four.

#1 Our faith. We believe. Some people doubt. But we believe. We believe our world is messed up, but God is fixing things, and we get to help.

John writes, “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4 NIV

Our faith tells us who we are. We are ambassadors of heaven. Every step we take brings the presence of Jesus into a broken world. Every word we speak is a word of healing, of help, of hope. We were sent here to earth to bring eternal good into many lives.

Our faith informs us, identifies us, empowers us.

#2 Our perspective. I should probably change that to “God’s perspective.” Do the people of heaven think the way the people of earth think?

In case there’s any doubt, the answer is no!

The people of heaven of broken free from the groupthink that leaves us mired in problems that don’t get better. The people of heaven have a new and better perspective—a perspective that comes straight from God.

And that’s who you are. That’s who I am. We are people of heaven. We are meant to step away from the way the people of this world think into God’s perspective. We don’t look to a political party or a news outlet for our perspective. We look to God.

The most valuable thing in the universe is God’s perspective. If we all had it—if we saw ourselves and one another through God’s eyes, nearly every problem that plagues humanity would evaporate, almost overnight.

James writes, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:17-18 NIV

#3 Our love. Some people hate. We love. Some people are indifferent. We care. Some people play politics. We are above that. We have empathy, respect, compassion for other people. People matter, and the things that affect people matter to us.

Paul writes, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 NIV

Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” Matthew 5:44

#4 Our actions. Some people blame. Some people complain. Some people find fault. We choose a different route. We find opportunities. Instead of being problem focused, we’re solution focused. While others are yelling and screaming, we figure out how to help and we help.

In John 9 we see the disciples encountering a man born blind. They wanted to know why. They wanted to know who to blame. But Jesus put the whole tragedy into perspective. “This isn’t about blame,” He said. “This is about opportunity. This is an opportunity for God to do good.”

That’s what we do. We look for opportunities to do good.

Those are our four weapons:

  1. Our faith
  2. Our perspective
  3. Our love
  4. Our actions

This, by the way, is what defines a breakthrough leader. A breakthrough leader solves problems by inspiring people to think and behave differently. That’s what we do.

If this interests you, I think you might enjoy my book, Strap In* *This could be a bumpy ride: The inner journey of breakthrough leaders.

Have a super weekend!


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How can God forgive murder?

Some of the major rock stars in the Bible did some very bad things. Moses murdered a man (Exodus 2:12). David raped, murdered, and committed adultery (2 Samuel 11). Saul of Tarsus (the Apostle Paul) threw people in jail for believing in Jesus (Acts 9:1-2). I don’t think there’s any doubt that Moses, David, and Paul are in heaven. Jesus said that nearly every sin (including murder) can be forgiven (Matthew 12:31). And yet we are told that no murderer has eternal life (1 John 3:15). On top of that, Jesus tells us that if we call someone an idiot, we’re in danger of eternal fire (Matthew 5:22).

What gives?

How is God able to give these leaders a pass, and then hold us to such a high standard?

I think the key is found in the last half of 2 Peter 3:9: “[God] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (NIV)


That’s the key word, and its a much misunderstood concept.

So let me try to break it down.

1. Repentance is a gift we get from God if we want it (2 Timothy 2:24-26).

2. Repentance is a changed mindset. The changed behavior that most people point to is actually the fruit of repentance or the result of repentance.

For example, a husband could say: “Yesterday, I yelled at my wife. Today I did not. See, I repented.” Not necessarily. The only way he could call that repentance is if he allows God to get at the reason he yelled his wife. If he allows God to change his perspective so that reason no longer makes sense, then, yes, he repented. If he still wants to yell at his wife, but manages to temporarily restrain himself, then, no, he hasn’t repented. You can tell he has repented if yelling at his wife no longer makes any sense to him.

3. When we truly repent, the person who committed the crime (murder or any other sin) no longer exists. Someone who commits murder but does not repent is a murderer. Someone who commits murder but does repent is not a murderer.

The Bible talks about this in several places (Galatians 2:20, Romans 6:1-14, for example). We die to sin. In other words, God grants us repentance—a changed mindset—so that the sin we once wanted to commit (or did commit) no longer makes any sense to us.

John Doe commits murder. John Doe receives repentance (a changed mindset) from God. John Doe ceases to exist. John Redeemed takes his place. We become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

If David, for example, had not repented, he would not be in heaven today. The David who committed adultery and murder no longer exists. That David is dead.

God is offering all of us repentance, and all of us need it. We all need a changed mindset.

Put another way: There’s a big, big difference between what God forgives and what God condones. God is not giving us a pass. He’s not saying, “Oh, you did all those bad things, but it doesn’t really matter.”

It does matter.

A lot.

Yet God forgives. And part of that process is granting us repentance—if we’re willing to receive it.

And, yes, I understand. We’re all a work in progress. Some of us struggle with addictions and stubborn sins. I get that.

That’s why we open the door and invite Jesus in (Revelation 3:20). When Jesus is here with us, He can help us find the way to repentance. We need that, so that by the time we reach heaven’s gates, our desire to sin will be gone forever.


Image: Jr Korpa/Unsplash

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The miracle I didn’t expect

This post (in a little different form) as a video here

I want to tell you a story of something that happened to me in Mexico. When my daughter was 8 or 9 years old, she and I went with a church group to Mexico on a missions trip. One day, my daughter and I were helping at a daycare center in a Mexican village while the rest of the team was two miles away, helping to paint a house.

I spoke almost no Spanish and nobody at the daycare spoke English. That wasn’t a problem for my daughter—she spoke the universal language of play. So I hung around wanting to help, but generally being useless.

Then the director of the day care came to me. She beckoned for me to follow her and her face told me the need was urgent. When I entered the other room, there was a little boy, on the floor, writhing in pain.

As I say, I didn’t speak Spanish, but I could see he had an ear infection, and it was up to me as the missionary to pray and get God to heal him.

I wasn’t sure why they called on me. Every day they fed the kids a noon meal—probably their only meal of the day. It was some kind of gruel that most American kids wouldn’t touch, and every noon every child in the day care lifted up their voices in fervent prayer thanking God for this provision of food. This wasn’t a little recitation of grace, this was several minutes of earnest, fervent, sincere prayer.

When it came to prayer, I felt like everyone there was varsity; I was JV.

Nevertheless, I prayed. I wanted God to heal this little boy. But, the longer I prayed, the worse he got. It was discouraging, and a little embarrassing.

Then I remembered that one member of our team was a nurse. I somehow managed to convey that we had a medical person on our team, and the next step was clear.

It was up to me to go get her. We didn’t have a phone, so we couldn’t call her. We didn’t have a car, so we couldn’t drive to her. I needed to walk the two miles through the village to retrieve the nurse.

Here we come to a problem. The village was crawling with dogs, and I’m afraid of dogs. At least I was at that time in my life. (I’m a little better now.)

How was I going to do this? If I got into trouble with a dog, I didn’t speak Spanish. I couldn’t call for help. I couldn’t explain. I was trapped.

But I didn’t have a choice. Here was a little boy who was suffering, and it was up to me to get him help.

So I set out. I walked the two miles through the village, and guess what?

I didn’t see a single dog.

On the way back, walking with the team, we probably saw dozens of dogs. But then I was okay. I was with other people. Then I felt safe.

The nurse figured out what kind of medicine and what kind of dosages the little boy needed. By the time we left, he was doing okay, and, as far as I know, he was completely healed.

I share this story with you because in life you and I are looking for breakthroughs. We may be praying for a miracle.

But sometimes the miracle we ask for and the miracle we get are two different things.

And that’s okay.

We have an idea of how things should work. Sometimes God has a better idea. And someday, we’ll look back and smile.

Be blessed!


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The door with many locks

Two things first:

1. I know this is two days in a row after a 4 month hiatus. Sorry. Maybe someday I’ll be consistent. Meanwhile, this is me.

2. This isn’t original with me. I learned it years ago from my friend Steve Freitag. So, thanks, Steve!

Also available as a short video here…

Imagine a door with many locks.

You can’t open that door until ALL of the locks are unlocked, right?

Sometimes in life, we get stuck. It seems like we’re making no progress at all. We’re trying our best, but nothing is happening.

It’s easy to get frustrated, discouraged, or impatient with ourselves or with others when this happens.

But, let me suggest that you may have come to a door with many locks. You’ve found the key to unlock one of those locks or two of those locks or many of those locks. But you need to find the remaining keys.

So let me encourage you not to give up. It may be that you only need to find one more key, and then the door will swing open, and you will advance to the next level.

Be encouraged!


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Fixing our world

Our world is messed up
God is fixing things
We get to help

When I talk about fixing our world, what goes through your mind?

I would honestly like to know.

I believe that fixing our world is part of the Great Commission. Jesus said, “Go, make disciples of all nations… teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you.” To me that’s bigger than getting people saved, packaging them up, and getting ready to ship them off to heaven.

It says to me: Wait a second! The gospel (which means good message) has the power to fix any human problem. It says to me: We are ambassadors of heaven; we bring heaven to earth. We carry the presence of God with us, and wherever we go, the presence of God has a transforming effect on human experience.

It says to me: We were sent here to set things right.

I’m crazy. I fully admit that. But I somehow never got too old to think that God can do amazing things through ordinary people like you and me. If He wants to.

So I posted this 20-minute video on 4 Amazing ways you and I can fix our world. It’s all about stuff that swims around in my head all the time and finds its way into my books.

I don’t know if you want to watch it, but if you do, you can find it here.


Next time: The door with many locks. (At least, that’s the plan.)

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A Christmas gift for you

Merry Christmas!

I hope this is a wonderful day for you, and I want to share a little gift.

I wrote a book—mainly for my family—but I thought it might have some meaning also for you. It’s all about the people in our lives, and how we make a difference for one another. If you’d like, I’ll read it to you here on YouTube. It’s 23 minutes long, and, as I say, I thought you might like it.

If you’re interested, here’s the book:

Much love from our home to yours!


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Family gatherings over the holidays: a survival guide

It’s that time of year. The holidays are here, and with them come family gatherings. You’ll probably mingle with relatives you haven’t seen in a while, maybe not for years.

And family gatherings can be a many-splendored thing. They can be sweet reunions, or you could be watching the clock on the wall praying for deliverance. I’ve had my share of both.

Here are a few thoughts that help me:

(1) Pray before you gather. For me, praying in the days leading up to a gathering really seems to help things go much more smoothly. I pray that God will be present and honored during the gathering, that he will guide our conversations and activities, that everyone will get along great, that God will protect those who are traveling, and so on. If it works in the context of the gathering itself, I will pray, inviting God into our conversation and into our lives.

(2) Determine to elevate the other person. Years ago, when I was young and dumb, I wanted to be the most important person in the room. Now I see that it works so much better if I can work hard to make the other person the most important person in the room. I’m not a sparkling conversationalist, but even I have learned a few things about asking others about the things that are important to them, and celebrating their wins with them.

(3) Don’t take the bait. Someone is probably going to say something offensive, controversial, political, or whatever. Take a step back, look at the big picture, and decide what the moment is really all about. Is it about winning an argument? Or is it about building a relationship?

(4) Use any negative feelings that come up for your own growth. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, something can still happen that leaves us feeling diminished, annoyed, hurt, or embarrassed. When that happens to me, I take those feelings to God. I get His perspective and His healing. In the end, I’m stronger and more at peace as a result.

Hope these thought help. Wishing you the very best as you gather with family and friends!


PS. Do you know anything about app development or are you savvy with technologies for connecting and educating? If you do, and if you care about ending toxic polarization, would you get in touch with me? I need some help figuring something out. Thanks!

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Imagine heaven… and guinea pigs


A lot going on here…

Steve Freitag’s CrossCounsel Podcast

First of all, a BIG THANK YOU to Steve Freitage of CrossCounsel International Ministries for inviting me onto his podcast. We had a great conversation about the connection between personal transformation and ending the toxic polarization in our culture. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I listened to it this morning, and it was great. (Thanks, John, for editing out all my long pauses 🙂 )

If you’d like to listen, you’ll want the November 21, 2022 episode: End the Divide. Here are the links:

Google Podcasts

Apple Podcasts


By the way, if you don’t already know—it’s a great podcast; I think you’ll enjoy other episodes as well.


Imagine heaven

As you may know, Pastor Bill Wineke graciously invited me to share a message at his church in Evansville on November 13. My topic was “Imagining Heaven,” and I have links to that presentation as well. You can watch it here on Facebook or it’s also available on Google Drive.


Family update

Many thanks for your prayers. Mom is home from the hospital and mending nicely. Kim pivoted and decided (with Mom’s approval) to host Thanksgiving there so she can continue to provide care for Mom and we can also have family in for the holidays. I’m grateful for those of you who have volunteered to help with Mom; we may take you up on that at some point.


And finally… guinea pigs wanted

Have you ever wanted help hearing the voice of God, forgiving someone who is difficult to forgive, overcoming bad habits, making sense of the Bible, or just getting more out of your relationship with God? If so, I have two things for you:

(1) a free gift (How to hear the voice of God), and
(2) a coaching service.

You can find the details here.

I’m doing things a little different. I’m providing email coaching. Since this is a brand new thing, I need some guinea pigs to try it out. The price for the first session is super cheap. Once we get it all figured out, the cheap price goes away, and I’ll charge a regular coaching fee.

Why do I charge? Two reasons. (1) People don’t value what they don’t pay for. (2) Nobody pays me a salary to this; money from book sales, coaching and other fees is how I make a living.

Good enough. If you’d like to be one of those guinea pigs, check out this page, or ping me in reply.

A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Much love!


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Becoming a Godly Man of Freedom

I wanted to let you know I was recently interviewed by Dr. Timothy Blake and will be featured along with 19 other Christian leaders in an online summit Becoming a Godly Man of Freedom, available 11/28/22 to 12/12/22. In my recorded conversation with Dr. Blake, we discussed the difference between freedom and try hard religion, why so many men can’t get free of life controlling issues, experiencing God for yourself, and, of course, I told a few of my crazy stories. It sounds like the other speakers will be covering everything from sexual health to near death experiences. If you’re interested, access is free (although there is an optional up charge if you want the workbook and ongoing access). Here’s the link:

For those of you who have been asking about my Imagining Heaven message that I shared in Evansville last weekend, it was recorded, and I’m hoping to get a link from the church in the next few days.

And a big thank you to those of you who have been praying for my mom and my wife. In case you don’t know, Mom fell and broke her hip and wrist on Sunday. She was released from the hospital on Wednesday and will need 24/7 care for a while. Kim is staying with her at her home in Madison. Kim’s cancer surgery in August appears to have been 100% successful as far as they can tell. She’s recovered nicely, although she did put her back out a couple weeks ago, but is feeling much better now. If you’d care to pray for Kim and Mom, I know they’d appreciate it. My mom’s name is Jeanette.

Many thanks. I have much more to share, but I don’t want to overload this. I’ll try to catch you again here in a few days.


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