Happiness is an inside job

Michael Dewar, author
Executive Director, Dwelling Place Cleansing


In as much as you do natural house cleaning frequently, chances are, you never heard about the spiritual cleansing of a house, apartment, condo, co-op or the cleansing of the land the dwelling sits on before now. Most of us are accustomed to a onetime celebration called house-warming, or house dedication. Dwelling Place Spiritual Cleansing is a comprehensive spiritual exercise that neutralizes and removes the residual lifestyle desecration of previous occupants and owners from the dwelling and the land it sits on. It consecrates the dwelling and the land, and blesses the new family. It is an annual spiritual exercise and celebration Christians and other people of faith do at home. Jews, for example, celebrate Passover among other festivals early. Here are five reasons to have your dwelling spiritually cleansed not only once but yearly.

First, home and family are the greatest investments we will ever make. Even if you own a multi-million-dollar corporate jet, your home and family are the greatest investments of your life. That is the reason you go to work and the reason you want to go home at the end of the day. In this age of terror, home and family protection and safety are first priority. A little help from the Almighty Himself goes a long way. That help has to be intentionally invoked and established, and reinforced yearly.

Second, every dwelling places is spiritually desecrated by previous dwellers and owners. If you are not the first family to live in that place, chances are, you don’t know the lifestyle of the previous dwellers, or all that transpired in that space. Therefore, you should assume that the space is spiritually desecrated, and that mess remains even though they are long gone. Natural mess is easy to clean up because you can see it. You may be living with other peoples’ spiritual mess for as long as you are living in that space. That may explain some things that happened to your family. It is not too late for to begin the spiritual cleansing of your home. This book is your step-by-step guide it done this year.


Third, the land that a house was built on may be spiritually desecrated. You may be the first to live in the dwelling where you now live, so there is no former dwellers desecration to contend with, but what do you know of the history of the piece of land the house sits on? That may be desecrated, yet looking good like a toxic chemical burial site covered with a manicured lawn. Of course, if your dwelling is a condo, apartment or co-op, you can only spiritually cleansed your unit, not the land or the common areas.

Fourth, through the years, a family spiritually desecrate their own place. We are people of faith, but we are still imperfect human beings. One of our sins is neglect; we left undone the things we should have done. We are prone to forget; that is why the Almighty have the Jews celebrate seven festivals yearly. Each festival deals with one area of Jewish life. The Feast of Unleavened Bread requires not only that the Jew eats bread without yeast for several days but removes all yeast from the house (Exod.12:15-20). Leaven is a symbol of evil, sin and corruption. This ritual has to be observed every year. The Almighty is having them do dwelling place spiritual cleansing. Your home should be spiritually cleansed every year, because all of us are prone to desecrate things after they are made clean.

Fifth, re-establishing the spiritual hedge. God has a spiritual hedge of protection around his people (Job 1:6-11; Ps. 91:1-10). But this spiritual hedge should not be taken for granted; it can be compromised and leave us vulnerable. It should be intentionally re-enforced. The annual spiritual cleansing celebration is one such time to re-enforce God’s protective hedge around our homes and families. My prayer is that you will get the paperback copy of this step-by-step guide, and spiritually cleansed your home this year and every year after. Give you dwelling place an anniversary celebration. Buy this book here or on Amazon or Barns and Noble.



Author: Michael W. Dewar, Sr.
Executive Director, Dwelling Place Cleansing

The term “freeloaders” is often used as a label for people receiving public assistance. Because of their financial situation they are unable to pay taxes. As one who still holds a Master’s Degree and license in Social Work and have worked with these so-called freeloaders for thirty years, I think I am uniquely qualified to say something on the subject. But, it may be helpful to first define the term, freeloader.

 The digital edition of the Collins English Dictionary defines freeloader as “a person who habitually depends on the charity of others for food [and] shelter” among other things. Webster defines what it is to freeload: “to get or ask for things (such as food, money, or a place to live) from people without paying for them.” Or “to impose upon another’s generosity or hospitality without sharing in the cost or responsibility involved…” When the term is used in the context of taxes and government assistance, it connotes a negative attitude against those receiving assistance. Public assistance programs are designed to help the very poor and those fallen on hard times. Let me make three points concerning this attitude.


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First, from whence is the American social welfare system? It actually grew out of the complex of the British poor-law system. Back then, they divided the poor in two groups: the deserving poor and the undeserving poor. The deserving poor were individuals with no family support and had serious disabilities that precluded them from working. The undeserving poor were largely able-bodied people; people who for one reason or another, fell on hard times and needed help. The rich held onto their money, and the institutions of government were not inclined to help, so many resort to begging, pillaging or stealing. Poor children were not valued. They were exploited in work houses. Orphanages were awful and even brutal. The novel and movie Oliver Twist give a real backdrop to the plight of children then.

But as bad as that society was, people had a half-hearted compassion for the so-called deserving poor. In our 21st century world America, there are certain people groups that want to continue divide the poor into deserving and undeserving. Still others say, they are all freeloaders. One former presidential candidate was caught saying that forty-seven percent of the population are freeloaders (yes, that is what he meant).

I am prompted to ask, what have we that we did not receive? When you see a poor, homeless, hungry person, what do you do? Do you say, Gee! Let me see if he is deserving or undeserving of my help? Or, do you clutch your pocket-book and say, I am a tax payer and there goes another freeloader? We tend to hold on to stuff as if we brought them into this world with us, and we are going to take them with us on our departure. The fact is—we are just tenants and stewards for the years of our lives. Scripture reminds us, “God loves a cheerful giver” (1Cor.9:7). “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Gal.6:7). In everyday vernacular, what goes around, comes around.

Second, the concept and practice of a society catchment net to help the poor actually goes back to the giving of the Torah. That is the first five books of what Christians called, the Old Testament. The society of ancient Israel largely got its living from agriculture (including cattle farming). Land owners were people of means. Many of them were the rich and powerful of society. The divine directive given to farmers in consideration of the poor was: “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the Lord your God” (Lev.19:9-10; 23:22). The poor: fatherless, widows, and the stranger (alien) were the most vulnerable of that society, and provision was made in the law to protect them (Exod.22:21-24; Deut.10:17-18).

If you take the time to read the parenthetical references in the preceding paragraph, you will see the heart of the Divine. He stands as defender of the poor. He is the Creator and the true Owner of everything we think we own. He gave laws for the fair treatment of the poor. The law may be ancient but the lawgiver has not changed (Mal.3:6). In fact, Western jurisprudence is largely built upon the Hebrew Bible. Society has largely grown into great industrialized cities, but the concept of helping the poor remains. It is a divine requirement. Individuals and societies that refuse to help the poor, run the risk of becoming poor themselves. Given the globalized economy, you can be rich today and poor tomorrow. But there is another force called, nature, that can take our stuff and reduce a community to rubbles overnight. The uncompassionate treatment of the poor is dangerous business. Their defender is strong, and he is watching and listening to see how compassionate we are to our fellow human beings.


Your Dwelling is Desecrated and Need Spiritual Cleansing.
Here is your Guide for the Clean-up


Finally, we will all be judged on the basis of how we treat the poor, according to Matthew (25:31-46). You owe it to yourself to read these verses carefully; it tells you what’s coming. The verses actually have to do with the judgment of nations. It will take place shortly, at the very end of this age. When you read it, take note of the expression, “whatever you did [or did not] do for one of the least of these, you did [or did not] do for me.”

Our treatment of the poor has eternal consequences for individuals and all of society. The few people who abuse the public assistance system have their day of reckoning coming too, but don’t allow them to cause us to close your bowels of compassion toward the poor. The vast majority of people who ask for public assistance are not freeloaders. They are fellow-citizens that have fallen on hard times, and social justice demands that we provide help until they can help themselves.

Author: Michael Dewar, Sr.
Executive Director, Dwelling Place Cleansing




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Former Dwellers DNA at Your Place

Author: Michael Dewar
Executive Director, Dwelling Place Cleansing

You never truly know what you are living with until you seriously think about it.dna-image-blog

You never truly know what you are living with until you seriously think about it. Scientists have long-established that human DNA can remain at a location indefinitely, and that includes your home. Human DNA, of course, is fragile and decays when exposed to the elements for sometimes; for this reason, harvesting it for analysis could be very challenging. Nonetheless, some scientists indicate that DNA can survive for “one million years.” The oldest human genetic material on record, is said to be that of Neanderthal man, discovered in Northeastern Spain and dated at 100,000 years; others say, it is a 430,000-year-old fossil. Whatever the correct dating might be, the point is well established that human DNA can remain at a site indefinitely, and more so when it is indoors and not exposed to the elements.

If you have just rented or bought a house, co-op or condo that was lived in by ten different families before you, you are be living with the DNA of the previous occupants. We don’t often think like that, but it is true. There is something in all of us that consciously or unconsciously want to clean-up the last dweller’s mess. So, we walk through, we disinfect, we change wall-paper, we paint, and try to get rid of former dwellers’ traces until we are satisfied. But we shouldn’t stop there, because there is much more at stake than the harm physical mess can cause to our well-being.

For want of a better term, let me call the next level of required clean-up, the spiritual DNA of former dwellers. No human being is just a composition of tissues and bones; the body is more than the physical. You will agree that a living person has something that a dead body does not have, but have you ever seen that something? No. Yet, it is that something that makes us truly human. It is the spiritual aspect of our personality that survives the physical. The three major monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) that exist before modern science all agree to the existence of that spiritual aspect.

The lifestyle of people is either good or evil, and they will be held accountable at the judgment with reward or punishment. If you think Hitler and others like him got away with their atrocities, think again. The end of the age judgment is court system of the Almighty Himself in session. This court will be evidence-based as any human court. Every concentration camp will be exhibit evidence on display. My previous publication, The Book of Life & The Books of Wrath lays out what’s coming, but that is not the thesis for this article.

This article is making the case that every dwelling place (house, condo, apartment, coop) is to some extent physically and spiritually desecrated by their former occupants, and that desecration memorialized at the site bears witness to it. And even though the former dwellers are long gone, their residual spiritual mess, like toxic chemical is left behind to affect the new family that moves in to live.

New families are quick to clean-up the physical mess they can see, but much more is going on at that site that need cleaning up as well. Harmful spiritual desecration not visible to the naked eye also needs cleaning up. Even if you have been living at the place twenty or more years, if you never had a spiritual clean-up, now is the time. My new book is your guide to that spiritual clean-up: Dwelling Place Spiritual Cleansing: Overcoming Previous Dwellers’ Histories and Desecrations by Michael W. Dewar. You may just be living with more than you bargained for.




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The Rich Fool (Part 3 of 3)


This third article in The Rich Fool series focuses on what the rich fool really lacks, wisdom. Note that I did not say, knowledge. Fools do not necessarily lack knowledge, or the capacity for knowledge. A fool lacks wisdom, because by definition that is what a fool is, one who lacks wisdom, or the ability to use knowledge appropriately.[1] For convenience sake, let’s restate the story here:

The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crop…. This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns, and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and all my goods. And I will say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:16-21)

The story is clear that the protagonist is a knowledgeable business man; it is that knowledge about agriculture that brought about his success. But no farmer can make things grow or produce a harvest; that depends upon forces beyond his control. That those forces are favorable to him, should be cause for reflection and thanksgiving. But not so with this man. He attributes his success to the efforts of his own genius, nothing short of arrogance. He should have known better and I tell you why.

Because of the context of the story, the protagonist is most likely a Hebraic farmer, and should be aware of the law of “first fruits,” and the law concerning the Sabbatical Year (Lev. 23: 9; 25:1). The first fruits law, obligates the farmer to bring the first ripe fruits of his farm to the house of the Lord as a thanks offering. The Sabbatical Year law, reminds the farmer that the land needs to rest, and that he does not own the land. God is the true landlord (Ps. 24:1). The farmer is a tenant. He is to work the land for six years, and rest the land on the seventh year. The business man in our story is totally secular and ignores these spiritual obligations. This lack precipitates his demise; it is a testimony of personal spiritual deficit.

Like many of us in our professions, careers and businesses today, the protagonist observes no spiritual duty. He is the self-made man. He did it his way; everything revolves around him. But in the height of success, and amidst business activities, his day of reckoning came. Perhaps, a heart attack at the office, or an accident on the highway, but he is gone from his wealth to face a poor eternity. The giver of life calls him a “fool” and add the ominous words: “This is how it will be with everyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

Jim Elliot once said, “He is no fool who gives [up] what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” The material thing we cling to, we must leave, but the spiritual things we embrace we keep for eternity. The fool spends his life hoarding one and neglecting the other.

Author: Michael Dewar, Sr.
Executive Director, Dwelling Place Cleansing


[1] See blog post, The Wise, the Fool, and the idiot.

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The Rich Fool (Part 2 of 3)

Author: Michael Dewar, Sr.
Executive Director, Dwelling Place Cleansing

The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crop…. This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns, and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and all my goods. And I will say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:16-21) Read the rest of this entry »

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The Rich Fool (Part 1 of 3)


Doctor Luke records a provocative story about a rich business man (farmer) who was called away to eternity in the midst of business prosperity and expansion. The storyteller calls him a fool, thus the title for this article, The Rich Fool. As a business person myself, the story bothered me, so I set out to investigate. This article is the result of that investigation. The story is short and best understood in context. Here is text of it:

The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crop…. This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns, and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and all my goods. And I will say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ (Luke 12:16-20)

Note that it is God who calls this business man a fool. But where does his folly lies? Certainly, he is labeled a fool, but not because he was rich. God is not against people being rich. Many godly people like Job, Abraham, David, and Solomon were very rich people. In the 21st century, there are many godly people who are very wealthy. God is more concerned as to how you get your wealth and what you do with it. Wealth gotten by fraud and used for evil purposes is abominable to God, but not wealth itself. It is the love of money that is the root of all evil, not money in itself. The person that loves money to the point of lying, robbing, and defrauding others to amass it for themselves is on a collision course with Almighty himself. But beyond that, there is no prohibition against righteous, godly people being rich.

So, I ask the question again, where does his folly lies? It is because of his business expansion? God is not anti-business success! The man was industrious and hardworking, a strategic planner and visionary. He had good business acumen, and was rewarded for it. The God of the Bible does not condone laziness. In fact, the Bible opens with God at work, creating and ordering things. The charge given to humankind was “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen.1:28). In fact, the man was given a job before he was given a wife. This I loaded with implications. Everything was created to produce after its kind. The story tells us the man’s farm “produced a good crop.” That is what moved him to expand his business. It is not practical to call him a fool because he runs a successful business. His folly has to lie elsewhere.

His folly is explained in verse 21, not included in the preceding quote. Here it is, ‘This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself, but is not rich toward God.” The problem does not lie in the storage of things because that would be speaking against savings, banking, planning and investment. The problem is in the last clause, “but is not rich toward God.” His wealth became his god.

This last clause is contrasting material things with spiritual. The man invested all his life, time and energy in amassing material things which he cannot keep to the neglect of things spiritual with eternal values. We came into this world naked and we can take nothing from this world at the time of our departure. The wise person takes care of his or her spiritual life and do some banking in heaven.

Whether we are rich, middle class or poor, the story is reminding us of the uncertainty of life and how to live life in balance. His folly lies in the neglect of the spiritual aspect of his life that pays eternal dividends, but he has none to collect upon his entrance into eternity. It is a sobering reminder to us all to live life in balance with eternity in view.

Author: Michael Dewar, Sr.
Executive Director, Dwelling Place Cleansing

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The Wise, the Fool, and the Idiot

People generally like to put others in one of three personality categories: wise, fool, or idiot. Socrates said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”  So, I like to reflect on the things I do at times; sometimes I feel wise when I do. A few days later, I am hitting myself in the head and shouting, what a fool I was! Another few days, I downgrade my self-indictment from fool to idiot. Like the first time I bought a house, the realtor told me the price and I said, I’ll take it. I just didn’t know you could negotiate the price. Well, that’s a long time ago. All of us at one time or another fit in all three categories. Alternately of course, because you can’t be wise, fool and idiot at the same time. I often wonder if these three categories really mix? Let’s take a look at them.

Now, we know that a fool is not an idiot. A fool is one with knowledge, but fails to use that knowledge appropriately. Have you ever been dumb-founded how professed smart people do unimaginable stupid things? Be kind because at times that person is not the person spoken to or the person spoken about but the person speaking.

The Bible calls some people fools. For example, “the fool has said in his heart there is no God” (Ps.14:1).  Why is this person called, a fool? I’ll tell you why. If a person with a third grade education looked at the new World Trade Centers here in NYC, and without humor said, they came into being by themselves. What would you think? What if he is a college professor? Now, what would you call him?

Now, an idiot is not a fool. An idiot is one that does not have the capacity for knowledge. He can be excused for saying, the structures spontaneously came to be. He doesn’t know better. Everybody else knows that the structures did not build themselves.

The word, wise, explains itself. The wise looks at the majesty of the structure and is awe-struck by its grandeur, and the genus of the builder (Ps.19:1-3). The fool sees grandeur and majesty but no builder, no agency, no transcendence. None of this matters to the idiot; he does not have the capacity to appreciate any of this.

Author:Michael Dewar

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