Spiritual Learning Gates: Eyes, Ears & Heart

July 18, 2017

“Now we have received… the Spirit who is from God, that we might know…” (1Corinthians 2:12)

The Apostle Paul has given us a masterpiece of spiritual educational methodology in the second chapter of First Corinthians. How do we learn? According to Paul there are several gates of learning through which we must pass if we want to know spiritual truth.

His thesis is that we learn through the eye gate, which involves everything we observe and read. We learn through the ear gate, which involves everything we hear, including lectures and interaction with others, mentors and those who are learning with us.

Then the apostle mentions the heart gate, which pertains to our volition: the desire and willingness to apply what we’re learning. Apprenticeship, a synonym for discipleship, describes learners who are doing what they’re learning and learning what they’re doing. Apprenticeship is the way Jesus trained His disciples. (John 7:17; Matthew 4:19)

The most important gate we must pass through to learn spiritual truth, according to Paul, is the gate of the Holy Spirit. Paul’s intriguingly profound illustration is that no person knows the thoughts of another person except the spirit that is in that other person. In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God but the Spirit of God. Paul is excited about the glorious reality that we have received that Spirit Who knows the very thoughts of Christ and we can therefore know Christ’s thoughts. One translation concludes this inspired chapter of First Corinthians with, “Incredible as it may seem, we actually have the very mind of Christ!”

Prayerfully meditate on this chapter and then find your way to and through these gates of learning.

Dick Woodward, 08 June 2010


Great Gobs of Agape

December 20, 2016

“Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low; the crooked places straight, and the rough places smooth… I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight.”    (Isaiah 40:4; 42:16)

The following is from a tribute given by one of Dick Woodward’s granddaughters, Jessey, at his Memorial Celebration…

“I’d like to share an email I got from my grandfather when I was 20:

‘I can’t begin to tell you how much I love you. I’m supposed to be something of a wordsmith, but words fail me as I try to find words that adequately express the love your grandmother and I have for you. How I would love to sit down with you and hear what our Father God is making you know about your future.’

And then his famous closing line: ‘Great Gobs of Agape, Your Granddaddy.’

My whole life he’s been loving me just like that – over the top kind of love that’s for me exactly as I am at that moment. He loved me and it had nothing to do with what I’d done or who I was becoming. He just loved me like crazy.

And with that he had this huge excitement for my future which shined like a light in the dark. That light helped me to climb mountains and do hard things that I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.

As I’ve been thinking about it, I’ve realized – isn’t that just like Jesus? He loves us with great gobs of agape just as we are right now, and He shines in our lives, and with His light we climb God-sized mountains.”

Jessey Woodward Davenport, 15 March 2014


As Eagles: Preening In The Morning

May 20, 2016

“Let me hear of Your steadfast love in the morning, for in You I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.”  (Psalm 143:8)

Early every morning the eagle preens its feathers for more than an hour. Sitting on the side of its nest, the eagle passes each feather through its mouth, something like steam cleaning while depositing a liquid that makes its feathers water repellent.

This is important because eagles fish by diving under the water. The fluid deposited on their feathers also locks them together to improve their aerodynamics.  Whether an eagle is planning to fish or not, every morning for an hour they sit on the side of their nest and preen. They are not primping, they are preening – a very prudent preparation.

Like you and me, eagles never know what challenges they may face on any given day. Therefore, they preen in preparation for every possible challenge each day may hold.

Do you wake up holy in the morning? Before you’ve had your coffee? It’s possible for spiritual people to wake up holy, but if we’re honest we will concede that most of the time we don’t wake up that way.

Oswald Chambers wrote, “With your first waking moment learn to fling the door wide back and invite God in.  Then pray in private to your Father, Who is in the secret place, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God.”

It is very important to make a good beginning each day. When we consider the eagle’s daily practice of early morning preening preparation, we are challenged to begin every day of our lives with spiritual preparation.

Have you preened your spirit with God’s help this morning?

Dick Woodward, (from As Eagles: How to be an Eagle Disciple)



Dick Woodward (October 25,1930 – March 8, 2014)

March 8, 2016

Since today marks the two year anniversary of Dick Woodward’s passing, the Editor would like to share something a little different from ICM’s website.  Instead of words from Dick Woodward, here are words about Dick Woodward from one of ICM’s African ministry partners:

17 March 2014

We have just learnt about the departure of our Leader, Teacher and trainer Rev Dick Woodward, that we have come to know and love for some years now and whose teaching has been and still will be the foundation and the guidance to our churches, correcting our marriages shaping our doctrines and illuminating our understanding with the Mini Bible College, he is and will be always a blessing to our churches and pastors and mostly to myself and family.

What will be my excuse before God? What will be your excuse before God? If Woodward could do what he did in the ability of his God, what will be your excuse with the same God?

If Woodward could despise his pain and serve his God to the last day of his life and impact so many lives up to my little village – what will be my excuse?

Let us continue to perpetuate the purposes he lived for.

Our Pastor is not gone he is still with us through his work although he sleeps in death.

Amen – (from the Editor!)

Mama and Papa bedDick & Ginny Woodward in their “African Outfits” the Editor had made for them in Tanzania (worn on Sundays to dress up!) Now they’re worshiping together with Jesus in the Presence of Everlasting Love…


October 25th: Purposeful Benedictions

October 24, 2015

For… to Him are all things… To Him be the glory forever! Amen.” ..(Romans 11:36)

The Apostle Paul concluded the argument of his greatest theological masterpiece with an inspired benediction in which he declared that God is the Source of all things, He is the Power behind all things and the Glory of God is the purpose for all things.

When Paul puts these two words “all things” together, he is referring to all the things he has written about in his letter to believers in the city of Rome.  He then concludes his inspired and the most comprehensive explanation of the Gospel ever written by quoting Isaiah: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments (decisions) and His ways past finding out!” That is followed by his benediction as referenced above.

I come to this truth on the day when many who love me are celebrating my 80th birthday.  A secular motivational speaker, Dale Carnegie, wrote that the most beautiful sound in the world to a man is the sound of his own name.  I disagree with him because there is a sense in which I do not even like the sound of my name.  To me the most beautiful sound in the world is the name of Jesus Christ because apart from Him I would be a zero with the circle rubbed out.

As I reflect on Paul’s benediction I have made the commitment that I do not want to pour my life into any venture unless I am certain that God is the Source of it, He is the Power behind it and the glory of God is its purpose.  How does this benediction impact your mindset?

Dick Woodward, 25 October 2010

Editor’s Note: As many of you know, Papa’s birthday is October 25th. This year he would have turned 85.  Oh how we miss him(!) but today, as stated in this post 5 years ago, when we remember Papa, he would have us dwell in the Name of Jesus Christ & be challenged by Paul’s benediction – is God the source & power behind what we’re doing? Is God’s glory the purpose for what we do?


Ginny Woodward: Wrapped in a Bundle of life with God

June 24, 2015

“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…  (Dick Woodward, 23 September 2010)

On Monday morning, 22 June 2015, Dick Woodward’s precious wife, Ginny, went to rest in the Everlasting Arms of God with her five children gathered around her bedside.  As the family sang “Amazing Grace,” she took her last breath.   We, her family, are so grateful to God for the gift of her life and the amazing grace of Jesus that fills the legacy of love and faith she leaves with us.

As partner with Papa in ministry for 58 years of their marriage, during the last 25 years when he said, “we” would do something, he meant it.  Mama literally served as his hands and feet (and much more besides) when he became a wheel-chair bound quadriplegic and then 10 years later a bedfast quad.

Steadfast faithfulness describes our precious Mama.  We thank God for His faithfulness to her, and her faithfulness to God, to us, and to our Papa for so many years – a witness not only to our family and the Tidewater/ Williamsburg community, but all around the world where the Mini-Bible College continues to yield Kingdom fruit by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We pray that the seeds of faith she planted in our lives, watered with her deep, deep love of Jesus, will continue to bloom and grow for many years to come.

“… the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end…”

Ginny Johnson WoodwardThere will be a Memorial Celebration for Ginny Woodward at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, 26 June 2015, at the Williamsburg Community Chapel.

We, her family, thank you for your prayers at this time.


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 2014)