Some people are supposed to live forever. I know better in my head. But my head isn’t the space where I’m roaming at the moment.

Since 1972, when I first heard him preach, I have looked to Fred Wolfe as my pastor. Over time he became much more than that. He was mentor, friend, and profound encourager. A discipler in his own way. A mentor and coach of preachers, including the dozens of men whom God called into vocational ministry out of his.

I was one of those.

You could always tell when I had spent any time with him – I came away talking just like him. Other people, me included, try to shed the accents of their childhood. Not Brother Fred. He was as true to his South Carolina roots last month as he was when I first heard him. In my eighth-grade reckoning, to me he sounded like Jerry Clower.

I was mesmerized.

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My 2020 Christmas Prayer for You

by Andy Wood on December 26, 2020

in Prayers

As the curtain descends on another year and we pause to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, my prayer is that we can discover in new and meaningful ways how the coming of Jesus all those years ago can speak to you and I still today…

I pray the experience of Anna, the prayer warrior widow in the Temple, will remind you that regardless of your outward circumstances, you are never, ever alone.

I pray that the calculations and seeking of those astrologers from the East will alert you to miracles and possibilities that may be available to you beyond what you ever may think or expect.

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He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1)

Imagine a storm. Ruthless and destructive, it has compromised the safety of your own home.

You need a shelter. You need a refuge from the storm.

You need a safe place. One that is reliable and steadying until the storm passes by.

Good news – there’s a shelter close by. Closer, in fact, than you think.

To enter the shelter, you’ll either have break in or knock on the door and ask for entrance.

Either way, you’ll have to be intentional about it.

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Farewell TaB

by Andy Wood on October 17, 2020

in Spoofs

(Originally published in February 2013, with the last stanza added in light of yesterday’s tragic news.)

It’s hard to explain to a Diet Coke fan
Or a four-wheel-drive, six-pack and Marlboro man,
But I still get my kicks from a little pink can –
It’s TaB, baby.  It’s TaB.

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It’s a common question – What is God’s will for my life?

Here’s a starting point to explore that… What is God’s will for EVERY life? Re-reading what Jesus had to say in Matthew 6 about prayer, here’s what I see…

He wants to reward me. For my giving, my praying, and my fasting. But He will only reward me when I do what I do for the right reason.

He wants my quiet time. My solo time. That time when no one is looking. He wants me to talk to Him then. When no one else would notice but Him.

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What Every Leader Needs to Succeed

It’s one thing to lead people or a team. It’s another thing to lead leaders. What do you do if you’re in charge of an organization and have developing leaders who answer to you? It’s the difference between leading people directly and leading through others. And often those leaders have great potential and are in the process of development.

One thing that is helpful to me is to see examples of this in scripture. Jesus, for example, did more than lead disciples. He developed them to lead others as He prepared them to advance His kingdom.

Another great example is the way the Lord prepared Joshua to advance into the Promised Land. After 40-plus years of floundering and wandering, it was time for a new day. But before the Lord prepared the nation, He prepared the leader!

In the Lord’s instructions to Joshua, He addressed issues every leader needs to succeed. Some of those issues are personal; others are organizational. Take a look:

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The Issue in the Storm

by Andy Wood on October 1, 2020

in 100 Words

It’s easy to believe Jesus can do it Himself.

Not quite as easy, but certainly doable, to believe Jesus can do something for somebody else.

It’s another matter to believe Jesus can do something for me.

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Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard, saying, “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it, the Lord is His name, ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:1-3).

God doesn’t stop being God just because I stop feeling strong.

He doesn’t stop being creative when I run out of ideas.

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What do you tend to worry about?

Tell me “nothing” and I won’t believe you.

Anyway, that’s my line.  For years I’ve told people, legitimately, that I’m not a worrier. I HATE fear. You can wake up any of my adult children at 3:00 in the morning (assuming they’re asleep) and say, “Complete this sentence: ‘We don’t make decisions…’”

They’ll reply, “based on fear,” roll over and go back to sleep.

We’ve hammered that into them, and I love to see them living that out in fearful times like these.

That said… well… true confession coming…

I do that sometimes.

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Closer – My 2019 Christmas Prayer for You

by Andy Wood on December 26, 2019

in Prayers

As the night falls on another Christmas and you face a new year, my prayer for you is that in your waiting, working, and worship you’re drawn afresh to the abundant life and fulfilled purpose we’re all seeking.

I pray that regardless of the challenges or hardships you may face or the mountains you may climb, you will live with the expectancy that the breakthrough you await is getting here soon.

I pray that your sorrows and losses will point you to the healing and joy that comes from knowing the steadfast, ceaseless love of the Lord as you draw closer to Him.

I pray that your limitations, that others may use as excuses, point you instead to a Christ whose strength is made perfect in your weakness and His grace.

I pray that the birth of Jesus is a reminder to you of the faithfulness of God to swaddle His message of love in an intimate language you and I can understand.

I pray that this Christmas will remind you of the blessings God has shown you through the years and that His goodness will inspire new dimensions of gratitude and draw your heart to want Him more.

In all the buying and giving and receiving this Christmas, I pray your soul awakens to your Pearl of Great Price, who offers beauty for your ashes, and for your spirit of heaviness He offers a garment of praise to adorn you.

In the fatigue of the busyness and the grind of the schedule, I pray that “peace on earth, good will toward men” is more than a phrase or song – that in Him that’s something you see for yourself.

Finally, in those seasons when you feel most alone, I pray that you would find in Him that the nearness of God is your good, and that the promise of Emmanuel – “God with us” – isn’t just for the world… it’s up close and personal for you as well.

Merry Christmas

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