Pentecost Power: An Eagle Perspective

May 29, 2020

“He gives power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increases strength… But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles.  They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

When the power of Pentecost came upon the apostles, there was a noise like a mighty rushing wind. As we read in the New Testament book of Acts how the apostles received the power of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and began implementing the Great Commission amidst severe persecution, we should think of the eagle leaping off its nest directly into adverse winds to rise and soar above the storm enveloping it.

As you see in your mind’s eye the eagle sitting on the side of its nest, waiting for the velocity of the wind to become strong, you have a metaphor that allegorizes an important expression found many times in the Old Testament: “Wait on the Lord.”

It means we are not to go charging ahead without clear direction from the Lord.  We are to wait on the Lord. We are exhorted to follow the example of an eagle by waiting until the wind of the Spirit is here to direct, support and empower us.

Then we should follow the eagle’s example and take the leap of faith off our nests directly into the adversity that is challenging us. As the power of the Holy Spirit drives us into the strong winds of a storm, the energizing unction of the Holy Spirit will give us the spiritual aerodynamics we need to lift up and soar over it.

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


Thinking about #PEACE!

May 26, 2020

“Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Someone once said: “Five percent of people think. Ten percent think they think, and eighty five percent would rather die than think. And the ten percent who think they’re thinking are just rearranging their prejudices.”

In his letter to the Philippians Paul challenges us to join the five percent and think. He also tells us specifically how to think. It’s as if our thoughts are sheep and we are the shepherd.

Paul challenges us to think about things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and good news. We naturally seem to think about things that are not true, dishonorable, unjust, impure, ugly, and bad news.

Paul’s prescription for peace agrees with the teaching of Jesus. Jesus taught us not to worry about the things we cannot control. He highly valued prayer in His own life and taught His disciples that we should always pray.

Jesus also taught that the difference between a life filled with light and a life filled with darkness is how we see things. His greatest discourse was eight attitudes that can make us one of His solutions in this world.

According to Paul, having and maintaining “the peace of God” is largely a matter of what we worry and think about all day.

What do you think about all day?

Dick Woodward, 26 May 2009


#FAITH & #PATIENCE

May 22, 2020

“They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

We must learn the difference between what we can do and what only God can do. We must have faith to wait on the Lord until He empowers and enables us to do what He desires.

I have summarized waiting on the Lord in Four Spiritual Secrets: I’m not, but He is; I can’t, but He can; I don’t want to, but He want to; and I didn’t, but He did.’ 

These spiritual secrets affirm that it is not a matter of who we are, but Who God is; it’s not a matter of what we can do, but what God can do; it’s not a matter of what we want, but what God wants. If these first three secrets are in place, we will know the joy of one day looking back and affirming it was not a matter of what we did, but what God did through us.

When I first began learning these spiritual secrets, I’d say, “I can’t, but He can.” Then, as a mover and shaker, I’d look at my watch, “I’ll give God five minutes, and if He doesn’t, I will!”

It took 40 years and a bush to teach Moses how to wait on the Lord, and it has taken 40 years for me to learn how to wait on the Lord the way an eagle waits on the wind.

Waiting on the Lord was not my style until my (quadriplegia) illness forced me to learn why an eagle sits on the side of its nest and waits until the wind currents are strong enough to soar over the winds of a storm.

Dick Woodward, As Eagles: How to Be an Eagle Disciple


God Loves You – and ME!

May 19, 2020

 “…that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:23)

The Holy Spirit can be described as Love Incarnate: the love of God with skin on, yours and mine. Love is the primary fruit of the Spirit and evidence of the Spirit’s residence in us.

When people are filled with the Holy Spirit, they are conduits of the love of Christ.

In two places Jesus tells us to ask, seek and knock continuously. (Luke 11:9-13 and Matthew 7:7-11) We should continuously ask God to make us conduits of His love. When that happens we will not only be conduits of God’s love, we will know that God loves us by experiencing His love in our hearts.

Do you know and believe that God loves you?

Many people don’t feel worthy of being loved by anybody – not even God. When someone says, “I love you,” a negative tape begins to play that says, “No, you don’t. If you really knew me you wouldn’t!”

The two beautiful Gospel words mercy and grace declare that God does not love us if and when we are worthy, because He loves us even while we are sinners. (Romans 5:6-10)

Jesus prayed that those who make up the Church would live in such a way that this world of hurting people will know and believe God loves them as much as He loves His only begotten Son. If you do not know that God loves you, then we who are part of the Church have failed you.

God loves you!

…Because by the grace and mercy of God, I know that He loves me.

Dick Woodward, from Happiness That Doesn’t Make Good Sense


#PRAYER: Highways for God

May 15, 2020

“Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!” (Isaiah 40:3)

In ancient times if a king wanted to travel to a faraway province in his kingdom a highway would be built for him. As people worked on that project they called it “The Kings Highway.” Isaiah is using this metaphor to say that God will travel into this world on a highway, and that Highway is the life of the Messiah.

Building a highway you need to do four things: level mountains, fill valleys, straighten crooked places, and smooth out rough places.

Through the life of God’s Son, the Messiah, mountains of pride will be leveled, empty valleys will be filled with the Holy Spirit, crooked ways of sin will be straightened, and He will respond to rough places in a way that brings glory to His Father and salvation to the world.

After spending three years 24/7 with a dozen disciples, Jesus challenged them that as His Father sent Him into the world, He was sending them out in the same way. (John 20:21)

One of many practical applications of that challenge for them, and for us, is that our lives must be highways for God.

I challenge you, in fact I dare you to pray this prayer: God, make my life a highway for You!”

If you do this, don’t be surprised when God’s spiritual bulldozers show up in your life leveling mountains of pride, filling your emptiness with the Holy Spirit, making straight your crooked places, and smoothing out your rough places.

Dick Woodward, 15 May 2011


The Good Shepherd: #Faith and #Restoration

May 12, 2020

“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness…” (Psalm 23:3)

In one of the most popular psalms written by King David, he shares the key to living and dying well in the opening statement. When we say (and believe) that the Lord is our shepherd, we can say we have green pastures, still waters, and the knowledge that the paths in which we are moving are the right paths for us.

This all happens when the Good Shepherd makes us lie down. But when we get up, the green pastures often turn brown and still waters are disturbed again.

That’s when David gives us a prescription for restoration: my Shepherd-God leads me in the paths of righteousness. The second time David writes ‘He leads me,’ he uses a different Hebrew word that means He drives me into the paths of righteousness, perhaps for some time, even years.

God then uses the discipline of those paths of righteousness to restore my soul.

The word rehabilitation in its Latin root means “to invest again with dignity.” It, too, is a prescription for restoration.

When we need restoration and rehabilitation we should not look for what’s cheap. God’s prescription for restoration in Psalm 23 is not cheap.

It takes time and it’s costly, but it works. It has worked for me and scores of others I know personally.

It can also work for you.

When you suffer great loss you can focus on what you have lost and be depressed, or you can focus on what you still have and be restored.

Are you willing to invest again with dignity?

Dick Woodward, 11 May 2010

#hope #peace #love #Psalm23 #faithfulness


#FAITH – PUT GOD FIRST!!

May 8, 2020

“…but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will come to you as a matter of course.” (Matthew 6:33)

The message of the entire Bible can be summed up in two words: “God First.” Over and over the bottom-line truth in a Psalm, life of a Bible character, parable, metaphor, and teaching of Jesus comes down to this simple concept: “GOD FIRST.”

That is not easy. In fact, it is impossible without the Holy Spirit. (1Corinthians 12:3)

I was blessed to have a godly mother who often said to me: “If Jesus Christ is anything to you, then Jesus Christ must be everything to you. Because, until Jesus Christ is everything to you, Dick, He isn’t really anything to you.”

As I studied the values of Jesus Christ, I realized my mother had His support when she brought my profession of faith to a verdict in this way.

Matthew 6:33 is the conclusion of a study given by Jesus regarding values. He taught that our hearts are where our treasures are. He also challenged us with the questions: “Where is your heart? What are your treasures? What is your life? What is your body?” and “Who is your master?”

The conclusion to this treatise on values is the declaration to seek God first. Think of a target with a bulls-eye surrounded by ten circles. According to Jesus, the bulls-eye of our priority target should be God. If we do that we have Christ’s promise that God will bless us with what we need.

When we think about our values these two words should immediately surface in our hearts and minds: “GOD FIRST.”

Dick Woodward, 09 November 2010

p.s. A blessed Mother’s Day to all on Sunday!

#love #hope #prayer #God #peace #Jesus