#FAITH: Attitude Adjustments

August 23, 2019

“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.”

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 consistently challenge our mindsets 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.”  Sometimes we need to make attitude adjustments to get out of our pit fits.

There are other times when the best defense is a good offense. That is especially true when it comes to attitudes. Instead of erecting a strong defense of attitude adjustments, the better part of wisdom is to put in place a strong offense of God ordained positive attitudes that will lift 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, 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 – 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


#FAITH: Doing God’s Work (Now!)

August 16, 2019

“I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. The night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4)

The Gospel of John gives us another window into the way Jesus felt about the works God wanted Him to do. According to this vision statement of Jesus He knew the reality that He had less than three years to do those works.

In 1956 the famous missionary Jim Elliot and his four colleagues were speared to death by the tribal people they were trying to reach with the Gospel. Jim was a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. About four years before he died, he wrote in his journal, “When it comes time to die, make sure all you have to do is die.”

We can’t understand how God decides the day of our deaths. We don’t know when our own finish line will come. But we should all live in such a way that when we come to the finish line of our lives there will be no unfinished business, no works our Heavenly Father assigned to us that we’ve left undone.

Do you have the magnificent obsession of Jesus to work the works God has assigned to you while it is day not knowing when the night is coming and you cannot work anymore?

Can you accept the challenge of being like Jesus in your attitude toward the works God wants you to do?

Dick Woodward, 18 August 2009


A Prayer for the Valleys

July 19, 2019

“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 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 God to lead you through this life to unbroken fellowship 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


A Prayer for Comfort

June 11, 2019

“Thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He is our Father and the source of all mercy and comfort. For He gives us comfort in our trials…” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Suffering can drive us to God in such a way that we make this great discovery:

God is here and God can comfort us.

There is supernatural quality of comfort that can be found in simply knowing God. When you undergo a life-threatening surgery and you, completely alone, are being placed under the bright lights, remember that God is the ultimate source of the greatest comfort you can experience in this lifetime.

Many of us have known people we love very much who are depressed and oppressed. They are nearly always alone and their pain is so intensely private they do not want any of the caring people in their lives to be with them.

Others believe their suffering is so personal they must place themselves in self-imposed solitary confinement.

If that happens to you, I challenge you to make this discovery: God is here, and God can comfort you.

Father of all mercy and comfort, make me know personally that You are the source of all comfort. 

Comfort me in my pain.

When I feel alone and depressed, may I discover that You are here, You are real, and You can comfort me. 

I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Dick Woodward, from 30 Biblical Reasons Why God’s People Suffer


(Always) Pray About Everything

May 31, 2019

“…tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer…” (Philippians 4:6)

It’s easy to say, “Don’t worry,” but what are we going to do about our problems if we don’t worry about them? Paul doesn’t leave us in a vacuum when he prescribed: “Pray about everything!”

The Word of God exhorts us to pray when we are in crisis situations. Psalm 46:1 has an alternate reading in the New Standard version, “God is our refuge and strength, abundantly available for help in tight places.” God delivered Paul from many tight places. We should therefore always pray in a crisis:

 “When it’s hardest to pray, pray the hardest!”

However, from personal experience Paul knew that God doesn’t always take our problems away. He had a physical condition that he described as a “thorn in the flesh.” Three times he asked God to take it away.

Paul saw many people miraculously healed as he ministered the healing power of the Holy Spirit to them. Yet, when he asked God to solve his own health problem, three times God said, “No. No. No.”

But God also responded, “My grace is sufficient for you and that is all you need. My strength looks good on weak people.” (2 Corinthians 12) Paul’s weakness drove him to discover the strength of God. When he did, he not only accepted his condition but eventually thanked God in it so God’s power might be showcased in him.

As Paul accepted the will of God regarding his thorn, he learned that the will of God will never lead us where the grace of God cannot keep us.

Paul exhorts us from his personal experience that prayer may deliver us from our problems, or prayer may give us the grace to cope with them. But, in any case, pray.

Always pray about everything!

 Dick Woodward, from A Prescription for Peace


Continuous Peace IN CHRIST

May 14, 2019

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is fixed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Isaiah wrote of a state of perfect peace in which God can keep us, continuously. According to Isaiah, this state of continuous peace is based on two very important conditions: we must keep our minds centered on God, and we must trust God. This peace is supernatural because we can have it even when the circumstances of our lives are chaotic.

Jesus promised that He gives His followers peace the world will not understand because it comes from Him and can be ours even in the middle of the storms of life. The early followers of Christ were persecuted. While suffering unimaginable cruelty at the hands of their persecutors many died in a state of peace because they had this peace I’m describing.

The Apostle Paul also believed in this peace. In one chapter of one of his letters he listed twelve conditions on which this peace is based. (Philippians, Chapter 4) In another letter Paul described this peace as the fruit and expression of the reality that the Holy Spirit lives in authentic disciples of Jesus.

We may therefore conclude that the basic condition of this peace is that the Holy Spirit lives in us.

“Christ in you” is the foundation on which the conditions of this continuous peace are to be built. (Colossians 1:27)

There is obviously something to believe and Someone to receive when you become a follower of Jesus Christ.

Do you believe? Have you received?

Dick Woodward, 15 May 2009


Psalm 23: A Prescription for Restoration

May 10, 2019

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

In the most popular psalm written by King David, he shares the key to living well and dying well in his opening statement. When we say (& believe) that the Lord is our Shepherd, we can say that 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 God makes us lie down. But when we get up, the green pastures often turn brown and the still waters are disturbed again.

That’s when David gives a prescription for restoration: my Shepherd-God leads me in the paths of righteousness. This second time David writes ‘He leads me,’ he uses a different Hebrew word that means God 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 the Shepherd Psalm of David is not a cheap prescription.

It takes time and it’s costly, but it works. It has worked for me and for 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 join me and invest again with dignity?

Dick Woodward, 11 May 2010