UNEXPECTED RESULTS: Part 2

Blog 147
January 27, 2020

christ

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Contact me at revwise@att.net.

UNEXPECTED RESULTS: Part 2

You met Joseph Bias last week. Let me tell you more about this exceptional person. With a voice of immense capacity and power, he met and worked with famous people in the professional music business along the way. He recorded with singers like Amy Grant, Sandi Patti, Gloria Gaither, and Johnny Cash. After ordination to the Christian ministry in l981, he performed in the Billy Graham Crusades and Kenneth Copeland Ministries as well as Teen Challenge in Germany and Sweden. Joseph conducted the first Men’s Chorus for Promise Keepers at their gathering in Anaheim Stadium in California.

As I noted last week, Joseph finally settled in as the Ministry of Music at the First Methodist Church, conducting their Cathedral Choir and Orchestra. What I didn’t explain was how he got to that position.

Years earlier Joseph had gone to Nashville and worked with the renowned musician talent and composer Allen Moore. During this time, Joseph lived in fear that the healing of his vocal cords might not last. (I reported that story last week) He had gone by Allen Moore’s house and walked in not expecting to experience a profound sense of peacefulness. Allen told Joseph that he and his wife had been in a Bible Study.  Joseph was almost shocked as he didn’t expect such a thing from the music and band crowd he worked with. “A Bible Study?”

Joseph couldn’t help but remark, “There’s so much peace in your home.”

Allen said, “That’s Jesus.”

Joseph didn’t understand what Allen meant and couldn’t identify with that suggestion.

Allen said it again. “That’s Jesus.”

The conversation went back and forth three or four times. Joseph couldn’t figure out what it meant to identify with Jesus of the Bible in this kind of way. He certainly knew Jesus of the scripture but this a different idea. Allen suggested that Joseph should listen to a song that might help him understand. Entitled Feed My Sheep, the song based on the gospel of John (John 21:15-19) containing the message that Peter didn’t understand Jesus’ call to follow him.

“Come in and listen,” Allen said.

Allen turned on one of those reel-to-reel recorders and let the music float out. Joseph sat down on the rug on the floor and just listened. The song seemed to be a special message to Joseph and Joseph alone. He felt as if the Lord himself was saying let Joseph Bias know that I love him and want him to follow me just as Peter did.

Joseph felt emotion raising up in him. Never would he have expected such a thing. He started crying. When his friend Allen came into the room, Joseph confessed, “I need Jesus.” They prayed together for Joseph to come into the same peaceful relationship that he had felt when he entered the home.

Joseph told me as we talked together about this event, this was the first time that he truly felt loved as a person. He knew this overpowering, heart warming love had come from the Jesus he prayed to have a new relationship with.

However, you might describe this experience, I call it a divine intervention. Joseph’s life was never the same again and was profoundly marked by love. And it all happened because a friend shared his faith and awareness that Jesus of Nazareth lived in his home.

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

UNEXPECTED RESULTS

Blog 146
January 20, 2020

people sing

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Contact me at revwise@att.net.

UNEXPECTED RESULTS

Please meet Joseph Bias.

For twenty-five-years, he has been the minister of music at the First Methodist Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma. In his early years, Joseph discovered that he had an amazing voice with the quality necessary to perform in professional operatic performances. Joseph studied inNew York City and performed at the Met as well as with the Robert Shaw Chorale. To put it mildly, Joseph Bias had a voice that was over the top!

However, such performances did strain the entire body and put great pressure on the vocal cords. As Joseph continued to study voice, his teacher noticed that he was having some difficulty sustaining his breath that was necessary for the full range of sound and for the difficult passages in the music. At the time, Joseph was studying in Rochester, New York, and was referred to the Rochester Medical School for further evaluation. Joseph sometimes felt like he was suffocating. At the school, a decision was made to have exploratory surgery on his lungs. A problem did seem to exist. Consequently, the simple exploratory operation began.

The procedure was not simple.

By accident, one of Joseph’s vocal cords was completely severed. When he awoke, Joseph could neither talk or sing. He had become mute. The only way he could communicate was by writing on a piece of paper. His singing career was shattered. The doctors told him that the damage could never be repaired.

Confusion as well as despair settled over Joseph. His parents were notified and said they would be praying. There was nothing left to do, but for Joseph to go home and attempt to find another career.

While attending church occasionally, Joseph wasn’t heavily involved in his faith. Nevertheless, two women from that church came daily to stand at the end of the bed. Holding up their hands, they began to pray in a language Joseph didn’t understand. They continued without interruption for a considerable period of time. Finally, after several visits they became silent, lowered their hands and left. Only later did Joseph realize they were praying in what the Bible described as “tongues” or a heavenly language different from everyday speech.

At home now, Joseph had always begun the day by vocalizing, making a wide ranging of musical sounds to warm up his voice for the day. Since that was his habit, he brushed his teeth and started out as usual vocalizing. Abruptly, Joseph realized he was making the usual range of sounds. “What?” he said aloud and realized he could talk. Joseph called his parents immediately and told them what had happened. They were all overjoyed that his voice had returned. He called the doctor for an examination. How could this be possible?

The doctor finished looking down his throat and shook his head. “I have no medical explanation for what has happened. Just can’t be. As a matter of fact, such is impossible. Not only are your vocal cords healed and reconnected. There is no scar tissue.

Only then did Joseph fully grasp the meaning of two women praying for him in a heavenly language.

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

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UNEXPECTED APPEARANCE

Blog 145
January 13, 2020

shadow

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Contact me at revwise@att.net.

UNEXPECTED APPEARANCE

My personal encounters with people who experienced a divine encounter has been exciting and inspirational. Sometimes their stories are simply too difficult to use in my blogs. I make sure that what I write is sound and authentic. At the same time, miracles tend to stop a person in their tracks. My personal hidden agenda in producing these accounts is to help people cross the line between the physical, observable world and learn to enter the divine dimension that the New Testaments offers.

While interviewing people, I have also made my own discoveries of events occurring in everyday life that one would not expect. This happened when I was talking with Lara Woodward. Lara certainly knew about miraculous events.

Much earlier, Lara lived in Tillson, Kansas when a tornado came roaring through. The house she was in moved over 50 feet and a fence post erupted in the middle of the room she was standing in. Amazingly, no one was hurt! You can bet that occurrence encouraged her prayer life.

In 1984, Lara mistakenly ingested a poisonous substance and quickly became sick. Realizing her serious condition, Lara prayed fervently for divine help to save her. During her prayer, she abruptly felt the arms of Jesus around her. Peace of mind flowed into her and she knew she would be alright. When the doctor examined her, he concluded, “Lara, it’s a miracle you are alive.”

However, the story that I came to talk with Lara about was of a different order. Living in Kansas at the time, she was watching television when she realized that a man was standing in the room with her. Surprised, she blinked and looked a second time. At that moment, Lara realized the man was her daughter’s husband Rick. They lived in Oklahoma and Lara had no idea he would be coming to her house. Rick was wearing a red shirt and looked straight at her.

He said, “I am dying.”

Lara knew she was totally wide awake and had clearly seen him before he disappeared.

Shaking her head, she went back to watching television. Two days later she got a phone call from her daughter.

“Mother, I have sad news.”

Lara instantly said, “Is it Rick?”

“Yes,” her daughter said. “Rick’s gone.”

When Lara attended the funeral, the last portion of the service was to pass by the open casket. She looked in and discovered Rick wearing a red shirt just as she had seen him by her television.

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

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KICKING OFF THE NEW YEAR

Blog 144

January 6, 2020

cross

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Contact me at revwise@att.net.

KICKING OFF THE NEW YEAR

Surprise! Surprise! A New Year!

Well, by now you know we’re already well into a new year and a new decade… with the headlines already terrorizing your morning. If ever you needed a boost to tell you that God is still working in your world, perhaps, this is the time.

Let me reassure you that all you’ve read about in these blogs over the years is continually true and all still applies. So hang on, the best is yet to be!

One of my last reports in 2019 was about Joan Stenke’s experience of having the Holy Spirit drive her through a deadly fog and come out the other side safely. Quite a story! Well, here’s some more of Joan’s experience.

Joan certainly knows the meaning of tragedy. She was talking on the phone to her son-in-law when he committed suicide. Of course, such an experience strikes anyone to the core of their being. Later a grandson, who she loved dearly, drown while swimming. Once again Joan had to face horrendous tragedy. While it can take years to live through the grief these experiences would visit on anyone, Joan still continued to struggle with her loses only to discover her daughter committed suicide with the same gun that had killed her son-in-law. How much can any one person endure?

For three years she went to bed every night crying. The agony wrecked her physically as well as emotionally. Finally, one night she cried out, “Lord! You’ve got to do something. I refuse to go on through life living with such overwhelming pain.”

Lying alone in her bed, she felt a tap on her shoulder. A voice said, “I understand your pain. You are not a woman who can’t understand.”

Joan felt an image rush through her mind. She could see the Crucifixion occurring and stared in awe. Joan realized something was happening to her entire body. She seemed to be leaving her earthly body behind and felt what she called “a translation.” (Like translating one language into another, the idea is going from one state of existence to another) Joan was someplace else where she seemed to be walking with Jesus. While she never saw his face, Joan knew who the figure was. They talked together and he shared the meaning of suffering. Time no longer had any significance as she seemed to be in eternity.

The experience lingered in her mind as one of the most vivid experiences in her life. The reality of God lingered. The person of Jesus was real.

Everything changed and the church became important to her.

Most of all, the pain was gone.

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

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A SEASON OF MIRACLES

Blog 143
December 23, 2019

nativity scene table decor
Photo by Jessica Lewis

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Contact me at revwise@att.net.

A SEASON OF MIRACLES

For the last three years, I have been writing about miraculous experiences and what the recipients thought, experienced, and now believe. Because these events run counter-current to our secular oriented society, I am sure many readers remain somewhat mystified by such events still happening today. It occurred to me that this is the season to clarify further where it all began.

Miracles? Just take a look at the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 1, starting in verse 18. Keep reading. The account of the birth of Jesus Christ is one long miracle story. The story begins by telling us that a young woman is going to have a baby … through the Holy Spirit!

Sorry guys. We aren’t even involved in how the conception began. God alone is the initiator of the entire event. Several times, the Gospel account goes out of the way to say this is all the work of the Holy Spirit.

Fact One: The Holy Spirit miraculously created a birth.

Wow! And do we ever get stories about angels. In his sleep, an angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him what had occurred. The name Immanuel, which means ‘God with us,’ was given by the angel. We get more angel accounts in Luke’s gospel. An angel appeared to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, and told him of John’s coming birth. Luke continues telling us that the angel Gabriel was sent to Nazareth to talk with Mary. We are even given part of their conversation.

Next the angels appeared to shepherds watching their flocks on the night Jesus was born. In fact, “a great company” of the heavenly hosts came with Gabriel.
Fact Two: Angels were everywhere.

Luke further gives us the story of Jesus being taken to Jerusalem for presentation in the Temple as the Law of Moses required. Both Simeon and the prophetess Anna realized that they had now seen the coming of the promised Messiah. A divine intervention had opened their eyes to this miraculous and long expected event. Simeon proclaimed that he had seen “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to your (his) people Israel.”

Fact Three: When the Holy Spirit intervened, he brought a message. Sound familiar?

Sure. We’re seeing in these three facts what has been revealed over and over again in the lives of contemporary people. What happened in the beginning of the Christian story continues in the present. Therefore, this year as you remember the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, keep in mind that what he brought continues to be a gift every day of every year.

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

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STRANGE EVENTS

Blog 142
December 16, 2019
MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

fog

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Contact me at revwise@att.net.

STRANGE EVENTS

During the past three years as I have collected stories of miracles and divine interventions, I have also run into accounts that defy the everyday logic most people live with. Often, I have not reported some of these “happenings” so as not to sound weird and far out. Nevertheless, I have been fascinated by people’s experiences that run counter-current to the usual expectation.

My conclusion has been that everyday honest, good people encounter discoveries that just don’t fit with anything they could have expected. These discoveries cannot be explained … but they remain true.

Here’s an example.

Recently, I was talking with Jean Stenke. Jean is a good, God-fearing woman who has had more than her share of tragedies. Still, she pressed on even during days when she went to bed every night crying because of one of these catastrophes. Nevertheless, her difficult struggles only made her a stronger person.

During this period in Jean’s life, she needed to take a trip to California. A friend loaned her his pickup and she started her journey from Stillwater, Oklahoma to California. Jean zoomed down the highway with no difficulties. And then she hit the fog!

Having lived in Laguna Beach, California, I know how the fog can blow in from the ocean and drown everything in a cloud. Almost instantly, the wave of impenetrable whiteness can shut everything out. I’ve watched cars crash into each other in such a covering.

Jean found herself suddenly in such thickness that she couldn’t even see the hood of the truck. The best she could do was to watch for the white line on the highway to keep the truck on track. Jean was afraid to stop lest someone come crashing into her from behind. And yet, how could she go forward? All she was certain of was that a deep ravine had been on the right side of the pickup and she didn’t want to fall into the pit. She had to keep going forward, but how could she do so? At any moment, Jean might drop off the edge of the highway!

Jean cried out, “Lord, you have to help me. I can’t see a thing!” Abruptly, she felt a presence with her in the cab of the truck. She prayed again. “Lord, you have to help me drive. I can’t!”

With her foot on the gas pedal, she dropped her hand into her lap. Without touching the steering wheel, she roared forward. Jean had no choice, but to keep going straight ahead least she get rear-ended. Suddenly the fog disappeared and she drove straight into a clear day. Jean grabbed the steering wheel and drove out of danger.

What happened? Jean is convinced that an angel guided her and the pickup through that perilous situation. She believes her guardian angel made all the difference.

Fascinating? I guess so!

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

DEE DEE’S RECOVERY

Blog 141
November 25, 2019

heaven

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Contact me at revwise@att.net.

DEE DEE’S RECOVERY

Recently I was talking with an old friend that I have known for decades. We were reminiscing about past experiences. Dee Dee Bailey began sharing an extraordinary encounter she had when I was pastor of a church she attended. Dee Dee had developed kidney stones that became increasingly serious. She ended up in the hospital and that’s where the divine intervention happened.

Her doctor told her he would be gone for the weekend and had turned her case over to a fellow physician who would care for her. The other guy forgot!

On Saturday Dee Dee realized her condition was worsening but no one seemed to be paying any attention to her. By Sunday morning, she was in a crisis. A nurse called the doctor who realized that he had forgotten about her needs and he rushed in. Her blood pressure began dropping drastically. Her temperature soared. As she drifted away, Dee Dee could hear the nurse saying, “Doctor, we’re losing her. We are losing her!”

At that moment Dee Dee sat up … except her body was still laying on the bed. She felt herself rising upward toward a corner in the ceiling. When she looked around, two gigantic figures were standing on each side of her. Intuitively, she knew they were angels. Dee Dee took one last look at her body while the doctor and nurse frantically worked over her. The angels abruptly whisked her away. She flew through the ceiling and off toward this magnificent overwhelming bright light. Along the way, Dee Dee heard musical sounds far beyond anything she had ever heard in her life. No one had yet composed such a symphony.

And then she came to the end of the journey and stepped out into the presence of Jesus Christ, standing there with his arms wide open. She rushed toward him and he hugged her. Even though she had two young daughters, the all-consuming peace that she felt so engulfed her that Dee Dee was ready to stay and leave the world behind.

In a kind, gentle voice, Jesus told her that she had to go and return back because Dee Dee had tasks and duties yet to be performed. Like a giant bungee cord hurling her backward, Dee Dee returned down the same path that had taken her into eternity. She plunged back into the hospital room. As she described it, Dee Dee said she “flopped” back into her body and opened her eyes. The nurse exclaimed, “She’s alive! Alive!”

Dee got well and her medical problems disappeared.

What did she do with her God given responsibilities? Living in Norman, Oklahoma where the University of Oklahoma is located, Dee Dee began working with college students and befriending kids in need. She taught the ministry of healing and brought many collegiate into prayer work.

Did she fulfill her divinely imparted assignment? Absolutely.

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

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HEALING THE MEMORIES

Blog 140
November 18, 2019

savior

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Drop me a note at revwise@att.net.

HEALING THE MEMORIES

A number of decades ago, a ministry called “Healing of the Memories” swept across America. The mother of this movement was Agnes Sanford who had first discovered that prayer could reach back into a person’s childhood and bring healing to destructive experiences and old memories that had haunted people for years. Unfortunately, the ministry was misused by people who didn’t understand the sophisticated dynamic involved in bringing recovery.

Because I had prayed for inner healing with people across America, I knew the power of such prayer and had seen surprising recovery. For years Judith and Frances MacNutt have used this practice in their Christian Healing Ministries work in Jacksonville, Florida. I have been on their board and know the extraordinary results they had. In their Healing Line newsletter, Judith shared one of these stories.

Judith had been in private practice in Clearwater, Florida when a client came in to see her. A doctor had advised John (the name we’ll use) that if he didn’t go in for counseling he was going to die. John had suffered a serious heart attack that left an ominous cloud hanging over his head. In addition, although he was only in his 40’s, he was also battling arthritis throughout his body. This problem caused such pain in his feet that walking was painful. John really needed Judith’s help.

As they talked, John shared that at age three his father had abandoned the family. The result was that he was raised by his mother in a household with two aunts. All three women were extremely controlling and made his life miserable. Their own pain was visited on John. His problems began in that house.

When Judith prayed for John, she asked the Lord to bring back to John’s mind a memory of where he had suffered. John began to remember a large round dining room table with a tablecloth hanging down the sides. He could hide underneath and play with his toys undisturbed.

As the memory evolved, John realized how broken he had been. He suddenly blurted out, “Why did my daddy leave me?”

Judith’s prayer opened a door in John ‘s childhood past and he prayed for Jesus to join him under the dining room table. In his imagination, John could see Jesus there talking with his childhood self. Jesus said to him, “Would you let me hold you?” John agreed and finally heard the voice of Jesus say, “Will you forgive your daddy for leaving you?”

The adult John began sobbing. With tears running down his cheeks, he cried and cried, but finally reached the place where he could genuinely forgive his father. He released his anger and hurt. When he left Judith’s office that day, the arthritis was gone and his physical heart healed.

Does prayer still heal the past? John would certainly tell you that it does.

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers