Grand-daughter Discipleship (via email!)

October 28, 2014

At Dick’s Memorial Celebration his grand-daughter shared a moving tribute. Be blessed and challenged today by Morgan’s words & ‘inbox discipleship.’

“Granddaddy was, and still is, my hero. He was so compassionate… He was always there for me – loving me so well, exactly where I was, providing endless affirmation.  When I was 18 and wrestling with my faith, Granddad was there to disciple me. I may have gone to a ‘missionary school,’ but the true discipleship in my life took place in my e-mail inbox.  I would ask the most difficult theological questions you can imagine and he would take the time to answer them in full.  One of my favorite responses he gave is this:

Precious Granddaughter, do not judge too quickly about the context in which you find yourself.  It is easier to move to a consistent and problem-free extreme than to remain at the center of tension on any biblical issue; but the truth is found at the center.  One of the greatest things you will learn in this adventure out there is that God can use you.  That truth is on a need to know basis.  When we place ourselves between the love of Christ and the pain of hurting people, we discover that He loves to turn us into conduits of His love (I John 4:16.)  When that happens we find out where He is and where we want to be for the rest of our lives.  You know my four spiritual secrets.  We learn them best when we are in over our heads and He is using us to do what only He can do.  The miracle is that He does work through us.  Looking back, standing on the finish line, I see clearly that His plan for me was perfect and wonderful!  What He gave me or did not give me shaped me into the person, the unique person He wanted me to be for His glory, not my own. He is doing the same thing in your life, precious granddaughter.

“…And the Lord is doing that for us all.  Let us all pick up the baton today and follow Granddad’s legacy as we lean in to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ – that we may all be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Morgan Perry  (15 March 2008)


…Life with God!!

October 24, 2014

“Wrapped in a bundle of life with God…” (I Samuel 25:29)

These words of Scripture are often found inscribed on gravestones of children who died at a very early age, especially in Jewish cemeteries where Jewish mothers expressed the almost inexpressible feelings of their hearts as they laid their children to rest.

As Christians we could also inscribe these words on the gravestones of our children and adult loved ones because they should bring great comfort and consolation to us as we think of those we have lost through sickness and death.  However, if we think about it, these words should also be applied to our loved ones while they are still living.  The most exciting truth in the New Testament is presented in just two words: “In Christ” or “In Him.”

Jesus told the apostles that after His death and resurrection He would give them the divine presence of the Holy Spirit.  They would then be able to be “in Him” the way a branch is in a vine.   That means all of us can be wrapped in a bundle of life with Christ as we live our lives in this world.  What an exciting concept!  Jesus told the apostles, and you and me, all about this in the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of John.  He even told us how to abide in Him and experience the miracle of Him abiding in us.  He told us we can abide in Him and He will abide in us if we abide in His Word.

I challenge you that if you abide in His Word today you will find yourself wrapped in a bundle of life with God!

Dick Woodward, 23 September 2010

Editor’s Note:  Many of you may remember (since he usually celebrated all month) October 25th was Dick’s birthday – this year he would have turned 84.  We do miss him! But, oh, how we thank God for the 83 years of Papa’s life that touched the hearts of so many, especially as he shared his deep love of the Scriptures.  As he was (& is) ‘wrapped in a bundle of life with God,’ may we continue to wrap our lives in Christ with deep, daily doses of the Living Word.


A Prayer for the Dark Valleys

October 21, 2014

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.”   (Psalm 23:4-5)

In your dark valleys, learn to pray in this manner:  “As I enter this valley, Lord, I will not be paralyzed by fear, because I believe You are with me.  Your ability to protect me and lead me through this valley is a comfort to me.  I know that in the darkest and scariest part of this valley, in the middle of all the life threatening danger, You will spread a table of provision for me.

I am trusting You completely to anoint me with the oil of Your individualized, personalized and attentive care.  I believe you will give me mercy for my failures and the grace I need to help me in my time of need.  You will also pursue me like a ‘Hound of Heaven’ with Your goodness, unconditional love and acceptance, when I wander away from Your loving care.”

Finally, thank your Good Shepherd-God that you can trust Him to lead you through this life to unbroken fellowship with Him forever in Heaven; to the green pastures that never turn brown, the still waters that never become disturbed, and the cup that never empties.

Offer this prayer to “the God of peace, Who brought up from the dead that great Shepherd of sheep, Who through the blood of the everlasting covenant, can make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”  (Hebrews 13:20-21)

Dick Woodward, from Psalm 23 Sheep Talk


‘Stinkin Thinkin’ vs. Beatitude-based Attitudes

October 17, 2014

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.”  (Matthew 6:22-23)

 The way we see things can be the difference between a life filled with light and happiness, and a life filled with darkness, unhappiness and depression. Jesus and the entire Word of God will consistently challenge our mindset and show us how we should see things.

Have you as a believer ever found yourself in a funk and realized that you needed to have an attitude adjustment?  I certainly have.  I have learned there are times when an attitude adjustment can pull me out of what I label a “pit fit.”  The two letters “AA” represent many things, but let them remind you to make regular Attitude Adjustments when needed.

There are times when the best defense is a good offense.  That is especially true when it comes to attitudes.  Instead of erecting strong defensive attitudes, the better part of wisdom is to put in place a strong offense of God ordained attitudes that will raise us above the devastating effects of “stinkin thinkin.”

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught us that if we want to be part of His solution as the salt of the earth and the light of the world, we must begin by having eight attitude adjustments.  In your Bible turn to Chapter Five of the Gospel of Matthew and study closely what we call the eight blessed attitudes known as the beatitudes of Jesus.

When you understand and apply them they will make your life the light of the world!

Dick Woodward, 25 August 2011


Indwelling Love = Outpouring Love

October 14, 2014

“…And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (ICorinthians 13:13)

How does love fit into this trio of lasting qualities Paul writes of? The Apostle John answered that question for us when he wrote:  “God is love and he who dwells in love dwells in God and God dwells in him.”  (I John 4;16)  When we dwell in the love Paul prescribed (in I Corinthians 13), we dwell in God, and He dwells in us.

By application, this means when we go where the hurting people are, as His love is passing through us and addressing their pain, we are touching God and He is touching us.  Since the agape love passing through us is God, we are dwelling in God and He is dwelling in us while His love is passing through us.

Jesus gave us love perspective when He exhorted the apostles to look up before they look on the fields that are over ripe for harvest. (John 4:35)  The Lord was focusing on two perspectives we must master as His authentic disciples.  Before we look around and relate to the people who intersect our lives every day, we are to look up and then look at them. We should see them through the same “love lenses” God uses when He sees them.  If we do, we will never see anyone we cannot love.

Jesus also taught that all the commandments of the Scriptures are fulfilled when we love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. (Matthew 22:35-40) His parable of the Good Samaritan answered the lawyer’s question, “Who is my neighbor?’ by stating any hurting person who intersects my life and needs my help is my neighbor.  (Luke 10:29-37)

I was seeking a relationship with God when I first discovered these profound teachings.  As a social worker in a large city, I volunteered to be on night call every night for an entire year.  That year I discovered  it is possible to touch God and be touched by God while being a conduit of His love.

I learned that seeking God is not an either/or, but a both/and proposition.  We are liars if we say we love God, Whom we cannot see, and do not love the people we can see.  Each time I was called out at night to be with hurting people, I asked God to pass His love through me and address their pain.   My experience can be described this way:  “I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my God but my God eluded me. I met my neighbor and I found all three.” 

Dick Woodward, from A Prescription for Love


100% Total Commitment

October 10, 2014

“And every man stood in his place all around the camp (of the Midianites); and the whole army (of Midian) ran and cried out and fled.” (Judges 7:21)

One of the greatest victories described in the Old Testament is the victory of Gideon over the army of the Midianites.  There were several hundred thousand Midianites and Gideon only had 300 soldiers.  In the middle of the night, in pitch darkness, Gideon placed his 300 committed warriors in three strategic locations around the sleeping enemy army.

On signal from Gideon each group of 100 soldiers exposed 100 torches, blew 100 bugles, and then 100 men shouted: “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” This gave their enemy the impression they were surrounded by a powerful army.  The Midianites completely panicked.  In the darkness they began fighting each other and were soon conquered.

Although this was a great miracle it was a miracle that required a total commitment on the part of Gideon’s 300.  That’s why he reduced his army down to less than one percent of what he started with.  He had to know that his men were a one hundred percent committed minority rather than an apathetic majority.

This victory also teaches the critically important concept of teamwork.  The work of God is a team sport and requires a team effort.  The verse quoted above summarizes the key to this great victory.  We read that every man of the 300 ‘stood in his place.’  If even a few had been too frightened to execute this plan the event would have been a disaster.

Are you willing to find and stand in your place that together we might defeat all the powers of hell?

Dick Woodward,  12 December 2012


Prescription for a Panic Attack

October 7, 2014

“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!  Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, ‘There is no help for him in God.’”  (Psalm 3: 1, 2)

As David writes this psalm he is facing the greatest crisis of his life.  His son has turned the entire nation against him and driven him out of Jerusalem into the wilderness where he once hid from King Saul when he was a young fugitive.  His situation is so desperate that many people said even God could not help him.  But in this psalm David explains how he knows God will be there for him – he is not having a panic attack so he gives us a prescription for one.

Observe the way David uses three tenses as he lays out his prescription that keeps him from panicking.  He recalls that in the past there were many times when he cried out to God and the Lord heard him.  When he laid down to sleep not knowing if the enemy would slit his throat while he was sleeping, he awoke alive because the Lord sustained him.  He then declared that he will not be afraid of the thousands of people who wanted to see him dead.  He then declares in the present tense that God is with him and His present blessing is upon him.

When you are in crisis think back to times in the past when God met you and brought you through a crisis.  Then let those past answered prayers inspire you to trust God for the present and the future crises in your life.

Look back.  With faith, look forward.  Then look around at your present circumstances, not with panic but with faith and peace.

Dick Woodward, 18 March 2012


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