Monthly Archives: November 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s unbelievable how fast this year has passed as we’re well into fall and slowly recovering from the COVID pandemic of 2020, although some would question our recovery. It’s a good time to focus on giving thanks to our Creator, Father, and God.

Our country has known thanksgiving is important, and our greatest leaders felt from their hearts the need to make it public, mirroring the sentiments of the American people at different times. One of my best friends and mentors published a most excellent blog chronicling the historical, governmental, cultural, and spiritual aspects of Thanksgiving. I recommend you get quiet with a cup of coffee or tea, then read and meditate on it. You’ll be grateful you did.

Last Sunday, a passionate young teacher at our church gave an excellent sermon or teaching on thanksgiving from the Bible — its purpose, what it means to God, and to us. I would also wholeheartedly suggest you give it a look if you’re inclined.

Thanksgiving is the opposite of entitlement, which may be the biggest problem in our nation today. In the book I just finished writing, and will hopefully be available in a few days, I have a few things to say about this topic:

“I have a good friend who was the CEO of a large hospital. He once told me, ‘Entitlement is the biggest problem in our nation today.’ Why would you think that the Almighty owes you anything? Or that anyone else does? Is it your pride? Or your self-asserted importance? Self-exaltation? Who gave you life? This beautiful planet for a home? Air to breathe? Water to drink? Destiny? Purpose? Love?

“Worth is a complex issue to discuss, yet it’s simple in light of the Bible and the Creator. We are made in His image. He made creation for our habitation. This says we are very valuable to him. We are His image bearers, witnesses to angels, and to those who do not yet know Him. Yet our value to Him goes deeper still.

“If being made in His image with this beautiful planet to enjoy wasn’t enough, God gave us free will to make a mark, good or bad, on His creation and to use or abuse the same. Then if that wasn’t enough, we are twice bought, created by Him, then redeemed from sin and death by His cross. So what are we worth to Him? It would seem a price too great to pay!

“Tell me again, what does God owe you? Only a rebellious, spoiled child would think God owed them something or anything. Feeling entitled in light of the gift of life and creation is the height of hubris, the very pinnacle of pride.

“That’s why God won’t stomach it. That’s why He will welcome grace and reject forever self-effort and works or those who claim and act as though they are entitled to something more than the marvelous gifts He has given and ascribed to them. ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast [emphasis added]’ (Ephesians 2:8-9).”

And I didn’t mention God’s nearness — how He walks and communes with those who love Him. If you know Him this way, you will gladly give thanks!


I know you’re thinking, “He misspelled seventy-two.” But I meant it as in “seventy also,” because this is another reflection on turning seventy, and my last. I still feel like fifty, and intend to proceed into the future with that mindset until gravity or revolutions around the sun dictate otherwise.

Do you feel you’re speeding through your life without meaning? Do you think you’re standing still? Are you stuck in the mud in your personal life during difficult times — times that are seemingly getting worse? I can’t speak to those perceived or actual situations, but I can speak to the time standing still part. It doesn’t.

The earth spins counterclockwise 1000 mph at the equator. It travels 67,000 mph around the sun traveling 18 miles per second or 1.6 million miles per day. The sun travels around the center of our Milky Way galaxy at just over 500,000 mph in an almost-circular, clockwise orbit. We won’t even speak to our Milky Way galaxy’s speed and direction or the expanding universe.

Do you feel dizzy? Wonder of wonders, you should feel dizzy and disoriented with all that motion beneath your feet and around your body, but you do not.

Some wise One, a Creator extraordinaire, has so ordered your existence, that you can walk, breathe, observe, live and love on a rock with water and oxygen flying through space for 70 to 80 revolutions around a star called the sun feeling permanency, stability, security, and order.

He’s also gifted us the godlike quality to rule and reign in a garden on this rock hurling through space. He allows us to exercise a choice to have relationships with others and with Him, or not, according to our individual desires and wills.

I would suggest He’s still near and He still helps from behind the veil. History, the Bible, and science would indicate that is so. That said, the space travel paragraphs are also true and utterly astonishing. Selah (Hebrew for “stop and think about that”).


“Thank you Father for 70 revolutions around the sun. Thank You for the gift of the present — today. Thank You for the promise of Your presence in my life in the decade/s to come, then for transport to Your home where there is no time. There is only eternity, and the eternity You’ve placed in my heart. Amen.” A Prayer of Thanksgiving

“Do not tremble and do not be afraid; have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, or is there any other Rock? I know of none” (Isaiah 44:8).

“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:24-27).


70 is a special number, and a special time in life. Two Greek words for time come to mind. Chronos means sequential time as in day after day, hour after hour, and week after week. Kairos means a special period of time or an opportune time for action. Beginning a new decade, especially the later decades, brings both kinds of time into clearer and more meaningful focus.

Ecclesiastes also comes to mind: “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” And yes, the last part of that verse points out there are some things hidden from us — something mysterious to be puzzled out or revealed. “Yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

My life has been more than 70 revolutions around the sun.The more time you live, the more knowledge, wisdom, and experience you accumulate. You start to see more clearly “the beautiful” and “its time” — also the mystery. The mystery becomes more beautiful because it points to the Eternal.

One should not take our time in this life so seriously because of what we see with our natural eyes. We know everyone dies. We also sense there is more to life. A long chronology or length of years is not to be our only goal or perhaps a goal at all. Besides, much of that is out of our hands (Ecclesiastes 8:8).

In another sense, we should take our time seriously because it is meaningful and prepares us for something meaningful. This could apply to all of our days, but especially the kairos times that seem to set or alter the course for our future. Examples are important exams, career choices, marriage choices, major purchases, or opportunities and calamities that come our way.

Something very special is hidden from our view behind a very thin but impenetrable veil.

The longer and closer you walk with the Holy Spirit, the more you perceive and know it to be true. The more time you read the Bible and look around at your life and world events, the more you know it and smile inside at the reality assured.

In respect and appreciation I vail before the King, bowing my knee and heart to the One just behind the veil.


“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17 NIV).

Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away [emphasis added]” (Psalm 90:10).

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn people back to dust, saying, ‘Return to dust, you mortals.’ A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night [emphasis added]” (Psalm 90:1-4). Moses 1500 BC

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever [emphasis added]” (Psalm 23:5-6).

Dwayne Turns Seventy

Midterm Election 2022

On Election Day, November 8, during her early morning neighborhood walk my wife sent me this quote someone tweeted: “Before you vote please fill up your car with gas, buy your groceries for the week, take a peek at your retirement account, and look at current government spending.”

What’s happening at the moment to our economy and way of life is no mystery to those who carefully read their Bibles and have some grasp of history. I would recommend Deuteronomy 28, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich as a beginning place. No socialistic, secular-humanist people have lasted long as a nation. Without God’s blessings and actions in our individual and corporate lives we implode, make poor decisions, become easy targets for our enemies, and demonstrate we really do need Him — unable to rule ourselves.

In my upcoming book Puzzling 2020, Connecting the Pieces I mention that I don’t put my hope in the political process or politics. I do think politics are important and touch our lives deeply at times in very personal ways, so I vote and pray for candidates with the best character to win. I encourage my friends to do the same. But my hope is in God, the Rock, the Everlasting One — the God of history and Ruler of nations.

I recall now a favorite quote from Charles Simpson: “Good men can make a bad system work, but bad men can’t even make a good system work.” God is the X factor in making men and women, as well as nations comprised of the same, flourish or perish, for their own benefit.

A few relevant Bible verses come to mind: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance” (Psalm 33:12). And, “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan” (Proverbs 29:2).

Before leaving you with these thoughts to ponder as fodder for action, I’ll give a shout out to an excellent book addressing this subject in an insightful way. Its title is Letter to the American Church by Eric Metaxas. Our 20/20 Men’s Book Club and friendship group is currently reading it. I’m only 10 pages into this succinct 139-page book and can see it’s worth the money and time spent reading it already. May God bless you and yours.


“Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!’ He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, ‘But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain’” (Psalm 2:1-6 NASB).

“But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20b NKJV).