Patience: Faith-Waiting & Love-Waiting

January 17, 2020

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances may be.” (Philippians 4:11)

Paul includes patience as part of his prescription for peace. Throughout the history of the church, patience has been considered a great virtue by spiritual heavyweights like Augustine, Thomas à Kempis and Francis of Assisi. Why is patience such an important virtue? For starters, patience is one of the nine fruit of the Holy Spirit profiled in Paul’s letter to the Galatians. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Throughout the Bible we are continuously exhorted to “wait on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14) In our relationship with God we might call patience faith-waiting. Nothing will test and grow our faith like waiting on the Lord. When we are praying for something and receiving no answer, God may be teaching us that there are times when faith waits.

In our relationships with people, patience can be called love-waiting. I had no idea how selfish I am until I got married. I had no idea how impatient I am until I became a father waiting for teenage children to grow up. I find the Lord wants to grow two dimensions of patience in us: vertical patience, by teaching us to have a faith that waits on God, and horizontal patience, by teaching us that in relationships, love waits. Love is the primary virtue through which the Holy Spirit wants to express the life of God through us.

While impatience is a peace thief, vertical and horizontal patience are supernatural fruit of the Holy Spirit that give us the grace to accept the things we cannot control. Patience is the virtue God plants and grows in our lives while teaching us to wait on God and trust God to do what only God can do about the things we cannot control.

Dick Woodward, from A Prescription for Peace


#FAITH: A Bull’s Eye Focus

January 10, 2020

“But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me…” (Philippians 3:13-14)

Picture your priorities as a target with a bull’s eye surrounded by a dozen circles. As you think and pray about your priorities, what is the bull’s eye of your priority target? Once you have determined that, how would you label the dozen circles that surround your bull’s eye?

Great men of God like the Apostle Paul could reduce their priorities down to one thing. Paul’s one thing was to forget what is behind and strain forward to win the prize at the end of the race.

That prize was what God was calling him to do.

Can we reduce the forty eleven things that are spreading us thin down to one thing? If we do so, what would that one thing be? Sometimes there is great wisdom in forgetting the things that are behind. Then there are times when there is even greater wisdom in determining our one thing type of goal for the future.

How do we do that?

One way is to consider what we might call “eternal values.”  None of the things we are going to leave behind when God calls us home are worth living for while we are here. Jesus told us: “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)

Will knowing God be an eternally focused bull’s eye for our priority target this year? Think of how that priority will dramatically affect the dozen circles that surround it when our lives become expressions of the love of God and the risen living Christ.

Dick Woodward, 13 January 2012


Are You Ready for a New Thing?

December 31, 2019

“Then He brought us out that He might bring us in…”  (Deuteronomy 6:23)

Are you ready for a new thing? God often wants to do a new thing in our lives but He has three challenges.

Often when God wants to bring us out of the old and into a new place He cannot get us out of the old because we are insecure and want to hold on to the old place. God then has to blast us out of the old. That’s why a call of God is often made up of a pull from the front and a boot from the rear.

God’s second challenge is that He has to pull us through the transition between the old place and the new. Transitions can last for years and they can be very painful, but God promises He can pull us through the worst of them.

God’s third challenge is to get us right so He can settle us into the new place. We should no more resist that work of God than a baby should resist being born and coming out into life.

Don’t give God a hard time when God wants to do a new thing in your life. If we trust God’s character we should cooperate with God when God wants to make changes and do new things in us and for us. A rut is a grave with both ends knocked out. Our loving Heavenly Father does not want to see His children in the living death of a rut.

Instead of giving God a hard time, make it easy for Him as He brings you out of the old place and leads you into the new places He has for you in the New Year.

Dick Woodward, 28 December 2012


A CHRISTMAS THAT IS…

December 24, 2019

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)

The risen living Christ sends a letter to a Church in Laodicea, as recorded in Chapter Three of the Revelation. The church has been reading that letter for 2000 years. The risen Christ wishes they were hot, but if they are not going to get hot He would rather they be cold. Because they are neither cold, nor hot, but lukewarm – they make Him want to throw up!

The risen Christ then tells them how to have a Christmas that is and can be all day long, every day of the year. It is as if their life is a house and their heart is the door to that house. He is knocking on that door. He is patiently waiting for them to open that door and invite Him into all the meaningful areas of their life.

Verse 19 makes it clear that His knocking is chastisement which He wants to grow into repentance. His inspired metaphor illustrates repentance. It would seem there is no latch on the outside of the door.

The door must be opened from the inside.

Martin Luther wrote a Christmas carol that uses a similar metaphor: “Holy Jesus, precious Child make Thee a bed soft, undefiled, within my heart that it may be a quiet chamber kept for Thee.”

In our church on Christmas Eve children sing: “Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in your heart.  Somewhere deep inside you that’s where Christmas really starts. So give your heart to Jesus. You’ll discover when you do, that it’s Christmas, really Christmas for you!”

 Dick Woodward, 24 December 2010


A Christmas Question: Where is He?

December 6, 2019

“… Behold, wise men …came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is He? …” (Matthew 2:2)

In the Old Testament God begins a dialogue with us by asking the question “Where are you?” The New Testament begins with wise men asking the question “Where is He?”

As we read the Old Testament, God will show us where we truly are. By the time we reach the New Testament we are ready for the question of the wise men because by then we know that we need a Savior – and we want to know where our Savior is.

Wise men and women still ask the question, “Where is He?”

The Gospel of Matthew reports that those wise men were directed to a house where they found and worshiped the young Christ Child about two years of age. By application, when we ask that question today, what are the answers we should expect to receive?

In the profound letter of the Apostle John that is found at the end of the New Testament we find these words: “We know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2) These three words “as He is” raise the question: in what forms and in what ways can we expect to find Jesus today?

If you ask the question “Where is He?” today, I suggest that you look where a unique quality of Christ’s Love can be found. Look for where a unique quality of Christ’s Light and Truth can be found. Look where an abundant and rich quality of Life is being experienced.

If you want to know where Jesus is, look where the Light is.

Then become a conduit of that Light.

Dick Woodward, 07 December 2010


Dois Rosser: An Extraordinary Man of Faith

December 2, 2019

“…Well done, good and faithful servant…” Matthew 25:23

On 12 November the world lost a valiant man of faith, but Heaven gained a steadfast soul. As Dois Rosser went to be with Jesus, he joins his precious wife, Shirley, along with his long-time friend and partner in ministry, Pastor Dick Woodward.

Extraordinary is a word that describes Dois Rosser. He humbly called himself “a car salesman.” That’s the ‘ordinary’ part of Dois, although he ran one of the most successful car dealerships in the country and hobnobbed with business luminaries like Lee Iacocca.

The ‘extra’ in extraordinary depicts his incredible devotion to Jesus Christ and His commandment, “Go and make disciples.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

While leading his booming businesses in the 1960s and 1970s, Dois also served on the Boards of Trans World Radio, Prison Fellowship, Leighton Ford Ministries and was involved with the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism.

Extraordinary is the way Dois offered up his everything for the Kingdom, especially at the age of 65 (when most businessmen contemplate playing golf fulltime) he founded International Cooperating Ministries (ICM) in 1986.

Extraordinary describes his friendship with Dick Woodward that continues to yield miraculous fruit for the Kingdom today. Dick had a vision to make the “whole Word available for the whole world” through the Mini Bible College, an Old and New Testament survey course designed to make Scripture applicable in our daily lives.

Dois was mesmerized with how Dick’s MBC teachings put the Bible “on a shelf of understanding accessible to all.” He made Dick’s vision a reality with strategic efforts undergirded by prayer. After recording the MBC in the early 1980s before Dick’s neurological disease constricted him to a wheelchair, Dois sponsored broadcasts and translations of the MBC.

At Dick’s memorial celebration in 2014, Dois said that God intersected his life with Dick’s and blessed their friendship into a miracle: the ministry of ICM (assisting church growth worldwide) and MBC (nurturing believers with practical discipleship tools.)

To date ICM has constructed 8,700 churches in 93 countries with indigenous ministry partners, while MBC has been translated in 56 languages and shared with millions around the world.

Dois was also an extraordinary conduit of God’s love. He spread the love of Jesus in ways that mattered, often anonymously.

He loved his precious wife, Shirley, for 76 years of marriage before she passed on September 29th. He loved his daughters – Pam, Cindy, and Janice – and their families.

Dois also shared the love of Jesus as a great friend and brother in Christ. Before Dick’s quadriplegia, Dois organized speaking opportunities for him around the country with Prison Fellowship and other organizations. Dois and Shirley and Dick and Ginny enjoyed sweet fellowship on many of those trips.

When doctors said Dick would need a wheelchair, Dois organized a group of friends to build a one-story house especially equipped for Dick’s health challenges. When Dick needed an expensive van for his wheelchair to get around, Dois helped. When Dick became a homebound bedfast quadriplegic, Dois brought countless visitors to Williamsburg to see him there.

When not scheduled to visit, Dois called regularly to check in, “How’s it going, Dick?”

Dois Rosser leaves a legacy of extraordinary love, faithfulness and friendship. He will be missed!

Dick, Dois, and his daughter, Janice Allen (CEO of ICM)

Our hearts, prayers and love are with his daughters – Pam Minter, Cindy Higgins, Janice Allen – and the extended Rosser family at this time along with everyone at ICM.

A Memorial Celebration of Dois Rosser’s life and ministry will be held on Sunday, December 8th at 3:00PM at the Williamsburg Community Chapel (3899 John Tyler Hwy) in Williamsburg, Virginia.


#LOVE: THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD

November 8, 2019

“There are three things that last — faith, hope, and love — and the greatest of these is love.”  (1 Corinthians 13:13)

What is the greatest thing in the world? The Apostle Paul sifts his answer down to three things: hope, faith and love. Hope is the conviction that there can be good in life. God plants hope in the hearts of human beings.

Hope gives birth to faith, and faith is one of the greatest things because faith brings us to God. However, when Paul compares these two great concepts with love, without hesitation he concludes that love is the greatest thing in the world.

This is true because love is not something that brings us to something that brings us to God. When we experience the special love Paul describes we are in the Presence of God.

There is a particular quality of love that is God and God is a particular quality of love.

To acquaint us with that specific quality of love, in the middle of this chapter Paul passes love through the “prism” of the Holy Spirit that comes out on the other side as a cluster of 15 virtues. All these virtues of love are others-centered, unselfish ways of expressing unconditional love. If you study these virtues you will find in them a cross section of the love that is God – and is the greatest thing in the world.

Paul presents faith, hope and love as the greatest things because they last. Love is the greatest of the three because one day we will no longer need hope and faith when throughout eternity we will be in the Presence of Love.

Therefore, the greatest thing in the world is Love.

Dick Woodward, 08 November 2013