Wrapped in Bundles of Life with God

June 22, 2018

“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 loved ones because they bring great comfort and consolation as we think of those we have lost through sickness and death.” (Dick Woodward)

On Monday morning, 22 June 2015, Dick Woodward’s precious wife, Ginny, went to rest in the Everlasting Arms of God with all five of her children gathered around her bedside singing “Amazing Grace.” We are 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 behind.

Partnering with Papa in ministry and life during their 58-year marriage, in the last 25 years when he said “we” would do something, he truly meant it. As he became a wheel-chair bound quadriplegic and subsequently a bedfast quadriplegic, Mama literally served as his hands and feet (and much more besides.)

Steadfast faithfulness describes our precious Mama. We thank God our Heavenly Father for His faithfulness to her, her faithfulness to God, to us, and to our Papa – a witness not only to our family and the Tidewater/ Williamsburg community, but 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 and love she planted, 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…”

The Blog Posting Elf, (24 June 2015)

Dick & Ginny Woodward, “wrapped in bundles of life with God.”


Heavenly Father Focus (on Father’s Day!)

June 15, 2018

“We don’t know what to do but our eyes are on You.”  (2 Chronicles 20:12)

No matter how gifted we may be, sooner or later we will hit a wall of crisis where we simply do not know what to do. The Scripture from Chronicles is taken from an historical context when the people of God were overwhelmingly outnumbered and did not know what to do.

James later wrote that when we do not know what to do we should ask God for the wisdom we confess we do not have. (James 1:5) He promises us that God will not hold back, but will provide truckloads of wisdom for us.

Years ago I received a telephone call from my youngest daughter when she was a first year student at the University of Virginia. With many tears she informed me that she had fallen down a flight of stairs and was sure she had broken her back. At the hospital they had discovered mononucleosis and infected abscessed tonsils that needed to be removed.  She concluded her organ recital litany: “Finals begin tomorrow and I just don’t know what to do, Daddy!”

Frankly, I was touched that my very intelligent young daughter believed that if she could just share her litany of woes and tap the vast resources of my wisdom, I could tell her what to do when she did not know what to do.

According to James that is the way we make our Heavenly Father feel when we come to Him overwhelmed with problems and tell Him we don’t know what to do. That’s why a good way to begin some days is:

“Lord, I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on YOU!”

Dick Woodward, 04 April 2013

Editors Note: Blessings to all the fathers out there as we celebrate Father’s Day in America this weekend. As that ‘young daughter’ who continued tapping into her Papa’s wisdom until the day he died, these words comforted my heart. Our Heavenly Father is always here when we don’t know what to do (& when our earthly fathers have passed into His Everlasting Arms of Love.)


Pursuing Perfect Peace

May 18, 2018

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

The prophet Isaiah wrote of a state of perfect peace in which God can keep us, continuously. He also wrote that this state of perfect peace is based on two important conditions: we must keep our minds centered on God, and we must trust God. This peace is supernatural because it’s a peace we can have even when circumstances of our lives are chaotic.

Jesus promised that He gives His followers peace the world will never understand because it comes from Him and is ours even in the middle of the storms of life. The early followers of Jesus Christ were persecuted (as many continue to be today.) While suffering unimaginable cruelty at the hands of their persecutors many died peacefully because they had this peace of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul believed in this peace. In one chapter of one of his letters (Philippians 4) he listed twelve conditions on which this peace is based. In another letter Paul described this peace as the fruit of the reality that the Holy Spirit lives in authentic disciples of Jesus. (Galatians 5:22-23)

“Christ in you” is the foundation on which all conditions of this peace are built. (Colossians 1:27)  Looking at Paul’s twelve conditions for the peace of Christ, there is obviously something to believe and Someone to receive when you become a follower of Jesus Christ.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:6-7)

Dick Woodward, (15 May 2009)


Can You Pray with Me?

May 15, 2018

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone…”  (1 Timothy 2:1)

In the second chapter of Paul’s first pastoral letter to Timothy when he sorts out priorities of the many activities of the church, the Apostle Paul declares prayer to be an absolute, number-one priority.

Paul’s rationale for making prayer the first priority of the church is that prayers should be made for everyone because God wants everyone to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  I find this to be a challenge. In many years as a pastor, I found it all but impossible to get people to come and pray with me for an hour. As I pleaded with parishioners to attend prayer meetings, I often quoted the question of our Lord Jesus, “Can you not keep watch (& pray) with Me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40)

Over many years I have concluded that God’s people do not pray because the evil one does not want them to pray.

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

An old soul shared that prayer insight with my wife and she shared it with me.  We should apply that insight by praying the hardest when we do not feel like praying. We should pray the hardest when we are facing challenges that are not just hard, but impossible apart from God. We should certainly apply that insight when personal problems and disappointments weigh us down with sorrow.

If we pray when it’s hardest, we will discover that prayer can turn a great storm into a great calm.

Can you keep watch and pray with Jesus?

Dick Woodward  (April, 2000 Prayer Letter)


Miracles & Mission Impossible(s)

May 8, 2018

“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.”  (Matthew 14:19)

Just before our Lord fed five thousand hungry families, He challenged the apostles with an impossible mission. When the apostles urged the Lord to send that hungry multitude away, Jesus said to the apostles, “You feed them!  How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”

The apostles must have been overwhelmed by that challenge. How were they going to find enough food in that deserted place to feed that big crowd of people?

The only food the apostles could find was a basket of five biscuits and two little sardines.  They placed that food in the hands of the Lord saying, “All we have is this food a small boy brought with him, but what is this among so many hungry people?”  The Lord blessed what the apostles gave Him and then passed that little boy’s lunch through the hands of the apostles to the mouths of more than five thousand people.

That day the apostles learned that whatever we have is adequate when we place our inadequacy in the Lord’s hands.

Through the miracles we are experiencing in ministry, we are learning that our Lord likes to assign us a mission impossible. Then, when the impossibility of our mission makes us turn to Him and say, “This is all we have,” He takes it in His hands, blesses it, and then feeds millions with the Living Bread from heaven.

Dick Woodward (ICM Networking, Fall 2000)


God’s Revelations to (& through) Us

April 27, 2018

“The heavens declare the glory of God… The Law of the Lord is perfect… May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight…” (Psalm 19: 1, 7, 14)

In Psalm 19 David writes that every day and every night God is preaching a sermon through the heavenly bodies. The text of that sermon is the glory of God. The firmament, the space in which those bodies exist, is also preaching a sermon.

Space preaches to us about the infinite size of God.

David’s thoughts then turn to the special revelations of God. That’s what theologians call the Word of God and David calls the Law of God. David is impressed and impresses us with what the Word of God can do: convert the soul, enlighten the eyes, and make wise the simple. God’s Word can rejoice the heart and it will endure forever. So, too, will the one whose soul has been converted by the Word. As David meditates on what the Word can do, he claims that the Word is more to be desired than pure gold.

Having reflected on what we might call “Natural Revelation” and “Biblical Revelation,” he next guides us to consider “Personal Revelation.”  His thought is that God’s revelation through nature is magnificent and beautiful. God’s revelation through Scripture is miraculous and perfect.

But what about God’s revelation through people like you and me?

Another thing Scripture does is warn us about willful sins that mar the revelation of God through us.

Are we willing to track with David through these three ways God speaks and then pray that God’s revelation through us will be acceptable in God’s sight?

Dick Woodward, 26 April 2010


Still Waters: God at Work

April 20, 2018

“He leads me beside the still waters.”  (Psalm 23:2)

Most people associate the still waters of David’s Shepherd Psalm with peace. However, if you research sheep you will find when they drink from a stream of water that stream must be as still as a mirror or the water will go up their snouts. An authentic application of this still water metaphor means our great Shepherd leads us to places just suited for us.

In 1979 I resigned as pastor of a large church in a big city and accepted a call to a small church that had just begun in a small town. After being in the small church for a year I went to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota due to the onset of debilitating symptoms. After nearly a month of studies, the doctor who directed my program misread my file. Thinking I was still in the large church, when he gave the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis he told me I needed to go to a small church in a small town. I told him that for a year I had already been in a small church in a small town.

I was to learn to be fulfilled with doing less and doing it better.

As my symptoms persisted and confined me to a wheelchair, a group of friends helped build a house that accommodated my physical challenges. One made a beautiful stained glass window by the entrance with these two words: “Still Waters.” These words have not just been a label for my home the past 26 years but also my ministry – in this location by God’s grace I have accomplished my most fruitful work for the Kingdom, most as a bedfast quadriplegic.

“Still Waters” – can you write these two words across what God is doing in your life right now?

Dick Woodward, 20 April 2012