Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Patriarch

Recently someone challenged me to describe, "A Patriarch." Here is my current thinking on this subject. Needless to say, I broke it down in 5 major categories of LIFE, MARRIAGE, FAMILY, WORK, CHURCH. 
LIFE:
1. A man who has a deep, intimate personal relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deut. 6; John 17)
2. A man who delights in and meditates on God’s Word day and night. (Psalm 1)
3. A man who abides in/remains in Christ and bears much fruit. (John 15)
4. A man who walks in and lives by the Spirit and does not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Galatians 5)
5. A man who understands that he is perpetually opposed daily by three enemies: the world, the sinful nature/flesh and devil. (1 John 2)
6. A man who is full of positive emotions like love, joy, peace, faith and hope. He resists negative emotions like anger, wrath, jealousy, and hate. (Galatians 5)
7. A man who cares for his body as a temple of the Holy Spirit through proper diet, exercise and rest. (1 Cor.6)
MARRIAGE:
8. A man, who loves, serves and leads his wife, as Christ loves the church. (Eph.5)
9. A man, who earns, gives, saves, invests and spends wealth wisely. (Proverbs)
FAMILY:
10. A man, who has taught, modeled and prayed for his family and enjoys great relationships with his children and grandchildren. (Deut.6)
11. A man who honors his father and mother and cares for them all the way to the end. (Eph.6)
12. A man who watches over his extended family; sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews. (1 Timothy 3 & 5)
WORK:
13. A man who knows his work is a gift from God and that he serves the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3)
CHURCH:
14. A man who knows and participates with Christ as He builds His Church. (Eph.5)
15. A man who mentors and invests in the next generation behind him. (2 Tim.2)
16. A man who enjoys deep, open, honest and safe friendships. (Prov.17.17)
17. A man who has determined, by the grace of God, to finish his race well, strong and with joy. (John 17, 2 Tim.4)
I want to be this kind of man. You?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

1 Cor.13 Love Contrasted To Sin


I have always been impressed with the “Love Chapter” in 1 Corinthians 13. I recently did an exercise that brought these truths into sharper focus. I simply contrasted the characteristics of LOVE and the opposite, SIN.
LOVE is…
SIN is…
Patient
Impatient
Kind
Unkind
Does not envy
Envies
Does not boast
Boasts
Not proud
Proud
Not rude
Rude
Not self-seeking
Self-seeking
Not easily angered
Easily angered
Keeps no record of wrongs
Keeps record of wrongs
Does not delight in evil
Delights in evil
Rejoices with the truth
Rejoices with lies
Always protects
Never protects
Always trusts
Never trusts
Always hopes
Never hopes
Always perseveres
Never perseveres
Never fails
Always fails
As I studied these two lists, I saw how SIN in me often wants to act and behave like the right hand column. It is not me, but SIN in me. This “beast” must always and only be controlled by the Holy Spirit. How are you doing these days? Are you allowing the LOVE of Christ and the Spirit flow in and out of you? Or are you being controlled more by SIN and your sinful nature? It is our choice. Choose LOVE. Choose LIFE.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Bud Hinkson - My Spiritual Father

19 years ago today, Bud Hinkson departed from the earth at the age of 58. I was 38 when he died. His life and ministry and death have forever marked my life on the earth.

I first met Bud when I was 14 years of age on November 3, 1968. I remember the night well for that was the night Bud led me to Christ...the night He told me that God loved me, sent His Son, Jesus for me, and desires a relationship with me. I responded in simple faith and told God I would love to know Him personally. That was almost 43 years ago and one decision I will never regret.

I have been thinking about the characteristics of Bud and some of the fingerprints he put on my life. Bud was manly, athletic, intense, focused, penetrating eyes, loved God's Word, memorized books of the bible like 2 Timothy in multiple languages, a missionary, discipler of men, leader of leaders, (recruited over 300 staff for Campus Crusade in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union), loved me, counseled me at critical junctions in my life...and much more.

As a result of his influence on my life, I too have come to love the Word of God and want to engage with it every day of my life. I, too, want to be a leader and developer of men. And most of all, I want to finish my race with joy...completing the work and task that God has given me to do.

Thank you Bud...forever. I look forward to our reunion.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Gift of Being Yourself

Today I was reading 1 Cor.12.18...
"But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be."

This verse reminded me of how much I have wanted to be someone else for a lot of my life.

I thought about when this first started for me. It feels like it was in Bible College. I had heard men like Chuck Swindoll in 1975 and thought, " I want to be like him."...teaching the Bible in an accurate, practical and compelling way.

I graduated in 1976 and heard of John MacArthur, who was the pastor of a 10,000 member church. I thought, I want to be like him...leading a big church.

I was in business from 1980-1985 and wanted to be like the big guns in Orlando...men like Bill Heavener and Jim Seneff who have gone on to be multi-millionaires.

In 1992, I heard of Bill Hybels, and ever since I saw Willow, I thought, "I want to be like Bill."
A thoughtful counselor and friend once asked me, "what does Bill have that you think you want?" I will never forget that day and that question.

On 04.04.04, I turned 50. Some friends of mine gave me the book, "The Gift of Being Yourself," by David Benner. It was on that day that I really started to discover and recover my "True Self."

I recognized that God gave me the gifts of Leadership and Exhortation and wanted me to use them by Him and for Him. It was a day that started to set me free.

What about you? Do you like where the Lord has placed you in His Body? He has created you on purpose for a purpose. Stop living in the False Self and begin discovering and living in your True Self. It makes all the difference in this world.

Finally glad to be me and be placed in the Body exactly where Christ wants me to be.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Examine me, O God!

This morning I read, 1 Cor. 11:28, “Everyone ought to “examine themselves” before they eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

This one verse sent me on quite a thoughtful journey. I wondered, when was the last time I sat quietly and fully examined how I am doing with the Lord, me, others and life.

Here are a few “examination questions” that came quickly to mind.

Am I walking more by faith or by sight?

Am I full of love?

Am full of hope?

Do I feel “fully alive?’

Am I fully engaged?

Am I experiencing LIFE & PEACE?

How am I handling temptation?

Is there any guilt or un-confessed sin?

Is there any anger or lack of forgiveness?

Am I living on purpose?

Is my life in balance?

What adjustments need to be made in this time and season?

I believe good and thorough and serious examination can occur when we do a few things:

1.Ask God to search us by His Word and Spirit according to Psalm 139.

2. Walk humbly enough to listen and apply and change.

3. Open my life to safe men who will listen, reflect back and challenge me.

4. Own it to disown it…and change.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The "Ways of God."

Recently I was talking with a good friend of mine who is starting and planting a church. We talked of the Word of God and the "Ways of God." I mentioned to him and his team that it is not only important to know the Word of God but also the "ways of God."

Psa. 25:4 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths;

Is. 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

One of the major "ways of God" is the BIRTH-DEATH & SUPERNATURAL FULFILLMENT OF A VISION. God gives a person a burden, holy discontent, vision...then allows it to humanly die...then He fulfills it in His time and His way.

Consider:

1. Abraham - Gen. 15:1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir." 25 years later the vision was fulfilled.

2. Joseph - Gen. 37:5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” 17 years later he came to power.

3. Moses - Ex. 2:11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 40 years later he delivered the people of Israel.

All that to say, do not be surprised if God gives you a vision, allows it to humanly die, then supernaturally raises it up in His time and in His way. Why? So that no man or woman can boast in His presence and all of us say, "ONLY GOD!!!"



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Writing Your Own “Scroll.”

In January 2011, I started a new practice in my bible reading, study and thinking…writing my own scroll. I first heard of this idea from one of our amazing next generation leaders, John Ott. At lunch one day he showed me Deut. 17:18-20

“When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left.”

Since January, I have not copied the Law but have personally written and copied Romans, Hebrews, Ephesians and now 1 Corinthians verse by verse. This practice is rocking my mind and soul and world.

1. To begin, pick a small book in the NT…James, Ephesians, Philippians…
2. Get a small “Moleskin” type notebook.
3. Begin with 1:1 and copy a few verses at a time on the right side of the page…if you have 10 minutes one morning or 50 minutes…copy only a few.
4. Write slowly for depth and not distance. Take your time. Enjoy the ride. The goal is not to get through it but for the Word of God to get in you.
5. Write out comments, questions, observations, question and drawings on the left side opposite your verses. J
6. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you as you write. He wants to commune and communicate with you all the time.
7. Pick up at the next verse on your next time and keep writing.

I believe this simple practice will renew your mind, restore your soul and redirect your decisions, which will lead to great outcomes. Try it. Let me know how it changes you.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 2011

I am up early on my front porch, thinking and praying about many things. As I was praying, I thought of my Dad and began to give thanks for him as my Father. Below are some of the great memories I have of him.

- Thankful to be the son of Oscar Woodall, a very tall man. I am glad I am 6.3"...not as tall as the Werner men. ;-)
(Sorry Brian, but you make up for it in heart, brains, drive, money and more. ;-)
- He moved our family to London in 1965. What a ride!
- He was saved in December, 1966 at 40. Turned the trajectory of the Woodall family around.
- He introduced us to Bud Hinkson who led me to Christ in Nov. 1968.
- We travelled the world, and I mean the world, because of him.
- He introduced me to "powerful" men...CEO's of global companys like Exxon/Mobil, Gulf Oil, Chase Bank etc.
- He challenged me to go to Bible College for a year which forever changed my life. It was there that I met Debbie who has been the best wife, friend, lover, Mom, Grandmother, artist and friend these past 36 years.
- He challenged me to set goals and be a leader and a spiritual leader of our home.
- He was faithful to my Mom...I never saw his eyes stray and look at another woman. This impacted me greatly.
- He loved his children and grandchildren...He sought to teach and train us all the best he knew how.
- He loved to tell corny jokes to make us laugh.
- He resigned business and came to FBC as well. He did not just talk about God, he acted on his faith.
- He loved the Word of God...especially his King James Bible. ;-)
- He loved lost people. I have never met an evangelist like him.
- He really would "go anywhere, at any time, to tell lost people how to be saved."
- He started a men's ministry in Reston which would be seeds for my calling to reach men.
- He loved taking us to the rescue mission to love and care for the homeless and broken people.
- He loved singing the great hymns of the faith..."I Stand Amazed in the Presence of Jesus the Nazarene..."
- He was fearless, bold and courageous. ( I will never forget going to the prisons and meeting Ted Bundy on death row)
- He was generous...not only helping us get our first homes but always slipping us 20.00/50.00 bills for gas and miscellaneous.
- He loved to minister to all groups of people...the "up and outers" and the "down and outers."
- He was excellent in business...#1 salesman for Metropolitan Life Insurance...very driven indeed.
- He was excellent in real estate and his investments.
- He prepared Mom to be a widow and he prepared her well.
- He finished his race well...He loved the apostle Paul who wrote in 2 Tim.4.5-9...But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Dad, I am not sure what people do in heaven, but if you are looking down today, we all want to say thanks for all you did to help us love the Lord with all our hearts and to love His Word. We are all forever changed because of you.

Happy Father's Day.

A beloved Son