WHEN THERE IS NO HOPE

Blog 121
June 17, 2019

healings (1)

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Robert Wise explores the world of divine intervention from an objective point of view. Can 21st Century people believe that the hand of God touches people in today’s world? Read and you’ll find new insights.

WHEN THERE IS NO HOPE

Three years ago, I found Patty Sill’s story and thought we ought to revisit what happened to her. I think you’ll find this fascinating.

Patty Sills’s condition was diagnosed as Tirdive Dystoma which meant her neck muscles continually contracted and pulled her head to one side. Patty had no control over her neck and was in constant pain. The condition made her spine bulge. She could be medicated but not cured. Doctors told Patty she would have this condition the rest of her life.

Patty told me that she didn’t want to live anymore. She couldn’t work or pursue any hobbies because she was so uncomfortable. Patty was certain she would be better off dead. Her voice sounded desperate as she described her deteriorating emotional condition. Patty had struggled with mental illness and attempted suicide. She had been in and out of mental institutions.

Having grown up in the Roman Catholic Church, Patty had lots of problems with church procedures. For one, she thought women should be able to be clergy. Organized religion only imparted other issues. Consequently, she was particularly skeptical about TV healers and churches in general.

Leslie, a young woman who had a reputation for talking with angels and praying for hurting people, was introduced to Patty. The whole idea seemed absurd, but Patty was desperate. She said, “yes, help me.”

Leslie asked Patty to lay flat on a table and she began to pray. Leslie’s hands became so hot that heat radiated through Patty’s body. When Leslie moved to her neck, Patty went into a convulsion and felt outside herself. She had to have help to stand.

The next day everything changed. With time, her incurable condition completely disappeared. If you ask her if she believes in miracles, she will tell you that she is living proof they still happen.

Since I began working on this subject, I have been amazed at how many stories I have turned up. They often come from people I know who have been reluctant to talk about their experiences that powerfully reordered their lives. In the contemporary world immersed in scientism and secularization, the idea that Divinity still reaches into everyday life and radically changes physical problems is considered nonsense. Television evangelists who claim to have such ministries are thought to be frauds, picking the pockets of desperate people– and some do. In the average mainline church, no one has seen a miracle or expects to encounter one. The subject remains closed.

But so were a number of other practices that are now totally accepted.

In the late ‘60s when I came out of seminary, people who claimed such cures were considered mentally ill. Consequently, talk of miracles has been off the table for a long time. So long, that it is now time to take a hard second look. In these blogs we will be exploring many stories like Patty’s and will hopefully help you discover how to become a part of this new revolution that the Holy Spirit is bringing to the world.

EACH WEEK HAVE WE GOT A STORY FOR YOU! STAY TUNED IN!

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THE POWER OF THE SACRAMENTS

Blog 120
June 10, 2019

angelic architecture art baptism

DO YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCE TO SHARE? Robert Wise would be delighted to learn about your divine intervention. If you have a story to share, please contact him at revwise@att.net.  He’s looking forward to hearing from you.

THE POWER OF THE SACRAMENTS

You would find Nina Paul to be a fascinating person. She is a priest with the Open Catholic Church which is highly sacramental, but has no connection with the Roman Catholic Church. Nina Paul is part of the Independent Sacramental Movement and responsible for the St. Theresa Open Seminary. For some time, she has also worked as a hospice chaplain.

A hospice in Oxnard, California called Chaplain Paul to come and minister to a dying man. Pee Wee was in the last hours of his life. He could barely talk and wasn’t expected to live for more than a short time. Pee Wee had been turned out at nine years of age and grew up on the streets as a homeless person. All contact with his original family was lost and disappeared 40 years earlier. As best anyone could tell, Pee Wee had no religious training or any sort of a spiritual background or interest.

When Chaplain Paul arrived, she discovered that it was very difficult to understand the man as he could barely speak. She asked Pee Wee what she could do for him.

“I want to be baptized,” he barely uttered.

The Chaplain wasn’t sure she heard right and ask him three times to make sure she had correctly understood his desire. Each time he mumbled “yes” and nodded his head. As any good priest would do, Nina Paul began the baptismal ceremony using the liturgy of the church and the proper sacramental preparations. After she finished that ceremony, she led Pee Wee in the prayers of Confirmation which ended with, “Strengthen, O Lord, your servant Pee Wee with your Holy Spirit; empower him for your service and sustain him all the days of his life. Amen.”
Pee Wee fell back on the pillow and Nina left. Two hours later, she was at home when the nurse called.

“What in the hell did you do to Pee Wee?” she barked. “Get down here at once!”
Nina couldn’t figure out what she had done wrong, but was terrified. What had occurred?

When she got to the hospice center, she found Pee Wee sitting outside in a wheelchair, smoking a cigarette, and talking to one of the patients.
“Two hours ago, he was nearly dead and now he’s completely restored!” the nurse said breathlessly. “Look out there! What did you do?”

Nina Paul hadn’t expected such a dramatic result, but the only explanation was that the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation had brought new life to Pee Wee. Nina was overwhelmed.

During the next two-weeks, Pee Wee was able to restore his broken relationship with his family. He found his mother and a sister he had lost. The long-forgotten family gathered around him and he died peacefully.

Pee Wee had gone from his deathbed to a wheel chair almost instantly. Where did the miracle come from? Nina Paul says, “It was the power of the sacraments that produced the healing.”

HOW DO MIRACLES OCCUR?

Blog 119
June 1, 2019

backlit clouds dawn dusk

DO YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCE TO SHARE? Robert Wise would be delighted to learn about your divine intervention. If you have a story to share, please contact him at revwise@att.net. He’s looking forward to hearing from you.

HOW DO MIRACLES OCCUR?

You met Quinton Moore in the last blog. I shared an incident in his ministry, but I didn’t go into details about his personal history. I think you will find more insight into his life and ministry instructive. Let me tell you a little more about his personal story.

Quinton Moore grew up in Pentecostal land but had a higher regard for education than many in his church After Quinton completed an excellent education, he felt called into the ministry and began exploring various aspects of ministry. A church in Liberal, Kansas called him to come up and speak. Taking his new wife Annie with him, he drove to a small congregation in Liberal, Kansas, to try his hand at preaching. Around 35 people showed up to hear this young man.

The typical plain church building had a pulpit in the center of the sanctuary and a Communion Table underneath with a thanksgiving basket sitting in the middle of the table. Bananas, apples, oranges had been piled together to represent the harvest season. People sauntered in and sat down to listen to this young fellow.

One man was particularly noticeable. Slumped down in the middle of the pew, the man stared at Quinton with a defiant look on his face. While no words were spoken, he seemed to be daring the preacher to say something of value. Quinton could feel the challenge written across the man’s face.

The service began. After a few hymns, Quinton launched into his sermon but a strange thought blipped through his mind. “Take a banana and put it on that obstinate man’s head.” While Quinton knew what it was to have the Holy Spirit speak in his thoughts, this idea sounded beyond the preposterous. He kept preaching but the idea wouldn’t go away. Finally, he jumped down from the pulpit grabbed a banana out of the basket on the Communion Table. Starting up the aisle, he pointed the fruit at the man’s head.

The defiant look vanished from the guy’s face and the fellow virtually fell out of the pew. He began crawling up the aisle crying. The man grabbed the kneeling rail and sobbed bitterly. Most of the people in the congregation were family or knew him. They gathered around, praying for his wholeness.

After the service was over, Quinton approached the man to inquire what had happened. “Look,” the man said. “I cynically told the Lord if this preacher hears from you, let him put a banana on my head.” Still sobbing, the man said “you did!”

Does the Holy Spirit often speak through out thoughts? Quinton certainly believes so!

HOW DO MIRACLES OCCUR? Part 5

Blog 118 April 22, 2019

divine-guidance

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE ~ DO YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCE TO SHARE? Robert Wise would be delighted to learn about your divine intervention. If you have a story to share, please contact him at revwise@att.net. He’s looking forward to hearing from you.

You met Quinton Moore in an earlier blog. I shared an incident in his ministry, but I didn’t go into details about his personal history. I think you will find more insight into his life and ministry instructive. Let me tell you a little more about his personal story.

Quinton Moore grew up in Pentecostal land. His grandmother had been the baby sitter for Oral Roberts while the cotton pickers worked in the fields. Today, Lottie Moore would be thought of as an old time Pentecostal. She lived in a world that assumed miracles came with the Christian faith. Quinton grew up in rural Oklahoma where Pentecostalism was a major religious force.

Grandmother Jessie Hargrove, a full blood Cherokee-Osage Indian, remains as one of his early memories. Quinton watched her pace back and forth praying in the Indian language and in tongues. Suddenly, she stopped. “Yes!” Jessie cried out. “I sees him!”

Eight-year old Quinton wasn’t sure what was going on, but watched his grandmother grab a shawl and ran to the door.

“Come on, Quinton,” she demanded. “We got to get to your uncle quick. He’s in real trouble. I now knows where he is now.”

Quinton piled into the pickup and they went flying down the road. He had no idea where they were going or where they were. Grandma Jessie seemed to have a map in her head and only she knew what was ahead. After a number of 90 degree turns on dirt roads he had never been on before, Quinton looked up and saw what was ahead.

“Hey!” he shouted. “That’s the cab to my uncle’s truck turned over!”

“Yes, son,” Grandma Jessie said. “That’s what the Holy Spirit showed me.”

They pulled up alongside the semi-trailer cab laying on its side. Jessie leaped out and climbed up the underside of the cab. “Just as the Spirit said! Your uncle’s down there out cold. He’s hurt. I’ll try to shake him loose. You run to that house over yonder and have them call an ambulance. Git with it!”

Quinton went running down the road to the nearest farm house. They were able to get his uncle to the hospital and saved his life. But Quinton couldn’t ever forget that experience. Without any knowledge of an accident, through her prayers, his grandmother Jessie had been able to discover the disaster and locate her son. She considered divine interventions to be simply part of her journey.

Her anticipation of the miraculous prepared her to receive special guidance that probably saved her son’s life. From the point of view of Grandmother Lottie Moore, it was all just part of the journey of faith.

Gives you something to think about.

HOW DO MIRACLES OCCUR?

Blog 117 April 15, 2019

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE ~ DO YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCE TO SHARE? Robert Wise would be delighted to learn about your divine intervention. If you have a story to share, please contact him at revwise@att.net. He’s looking forward to hearing from you.

In last week’s blog, I told you the amazing story of what happened with Don Houston in his near-death encounter. Don still tells everyone about eternity and his time with angels before coming back to this world. What an amazing event!

My experience has led me to the conclusion that when we intercede for illness and brokenness, (Just as Don’s wife Rita did) we are literally calling for a new surge of life to enter the person. When the name Jesus is invoked, the name focuses on the reality that releases empowerment, bringing change in the body and mind of people needing help. The addition of new life brings the healing. Even when the body remains the same, new vitality touches the mind, the emotions, and the soul. Recovery of new life happened with many of the people I’ve reported on in these blogs.

Here’s another discovery I’ve made from listening to these stories. Humanity is meant to take dominion. And what is dominion?

The first mention of dominion can be found in the Book of Genesis. The creation story makes it clear that humanity is to have dominion over the earth. We are part of a divine partnership which means we have a responsibility for what happens in this world. For example, we can pray for a nice lawn but we don’t get Bermuda grass until we plant the seed. Sprinkling grass seed is taking dominion. When we are struggling with illness and pain, it is important to make a connection with the heavenly Father for Him to release life in and through us. A process, a connection exists between human need and the Life God wants to pour into and through us when we are praying.

I conclude from these many interviews that when people do not exercise dominion through prayer, they probably don’t receive the blessing that was intended for them. Openness is required when we seek the miraculous and that’s a form of taking dominion.

Interestingly enough, touch can provide a vital connection in taking dominion. What the Bible describes as “laying on of hands” is more than a ritual. Touching provides a connection that conveys life to the person in need. Everyone has times where they need more warmth and affirmation than they can find in themselves. When people pray for us and lovingly touch, life is conveyed.

Could the power of God intervene and produce a miracle without any of the human factor? Of course. What the heavenly Father chooses to do entirely out of His grace is unfathomable and miracles have continued since the beginning of time. However, this blog is about our part in helping to bring divine interventions to pass. That’s our target.

The events in these accounts describe what happened when a connection was made. Divine healing grace came through and recovery followed. Don’t hesitate to take it seriously. Your well-being could be in the balance.

HOW DO MIRACLES OCCUR? Part 3

Blog 116 April 8, 2019

don-rita-houston

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE ~ DO YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCE TO SHARE? Robert Wise would be delighted to learn about your divine intervention. If you have a story to share, please contact him at revwise@att.net. He’s looking forward to hearing from you.

While reading The Oklahoman daily newspaper, I found the story of Don Houston’s near-death ordeal. Because Don’s experience intrigued me, I found the Houston’s and spent time with them. Don told me what happened.

Congestive heart failure ran in his family, taking his father at 58 and his brother at 56. Don is in the 2% who survive this condition. Because bronchitis made Don snore, Rita often slept in another room, but on this night she didn’t. In the middle of the night, she heard a “death rattle” and panicked. When she rolled Don over, there was no movement and nothing would wake him up. His tongue began to hang out. Rita called 911 and called for an ambulance as well as receiving instructions on performing CPR.

When the ambulance arrived, the attendants stuck needles in Don’s feet and received no response. By the time he got to the hospital, the only things keeping him alive were machines. The doctors gave Rita no hope that he would regain consciousness. She was told he probably wouldn’t recognize her if he ever woke up. The best they could hope for was a nursing home.

Rita asked the ER doctor if they could go into his secluded room and pray. With Don’s two daughters, she made a prayer circle around the bed and began to pray fervently. Rita kept praying over and over, “Jesus help us.”

The hospital put Don in an induced comma called the “Arctic Sun” where his body temperature was reduced down to around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. For four day he was the “frozen man” with his arms tied down to the bed.

And what was happening with Don?

Don became aware and looked around. He was in a totally white room with no windows and two distinct doors. The voice of God said, “Don, you had a heart attack.” The room suddenly lit up and arch-shaped widows appeared. Don saw figures walking by. They all had the same features, and the same colored hair. Each wore a white robe. He realized they were angels.

Don felt totally peaceful with no worries. Finally, one of the angels said, “Come with me.”  The angel escorted him through what Don calls “the door of second chances.” Suddenly, he was back in his body.

His daughter had been holding his hand and felt a squeeze. The doctor thought the tug was only a reflex. He took Don’s hand and abruptly there was another squeeze. The doctor nearly fainted. He rushed out and brought in other doctors to observe Don.

Rita leaned over the bed. “Do you know what’s happened?”
Yes,” he said. “I had a heart attack.”
“How do you know?” Rita asked.
“God told me,” Don said.

Rita stared. Don’s eyes had always been a greenish brown. Now, they were the prettiest bright blue eyes, she had even seen.

Today Don is inspired to tell everyone that there is life after death. He says, “I do know for a fact, there is something out there and you’re not alone. There is something there to comfort you and help you along the way and they’ll lead you. You need to get God in your heart because you never know when you’re going to pass.”

Can we call the results a miracle? Even a skeptic has to throw in the towel on such a phenomenon. For all practical purposes, Don was dead and the medical profession did not expect a recovery. However, we define life, Don Houston came back because he was filled with renewed life that only heaven can give.

HOW DO MIRACLES OCCUR? Part 2

Blog 115 March 24, 2019

jesus-healing-the-sick

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE ~ DO YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCE TO SHARE? Robert Wise would be delighted to learn about your divine intervention. If you have a story to share, please contact him at revwise@att.net. He’s looking forward to hearing from you.

Medical science cannot explain life because it is far more that a heart beating and a brain functioning. The scripture suggests life begins in eternity and finally ends there. Its essence is transcendent. This life came in the historical presence of Jesus, but ζωη (zoe’ life) is in fact supra-historical. We experience life in time even though the nature of life is eternal. No test tube can measure this transcendent dimension. Unfortunately, society most often fails to grasp this fact. Like the concept of love, life comes from another dimension that is not calculable with a computer.

Jesus identified himself as “Life.” (John 14:6, 11:25) My experience has led me to the conclusion that when we intercede for illness and brokenness, we are literally calling for a new surge of life to enter the person. When the name Jesus is invoked, the name focuses on the reality that releases empowerment, bringing change in the body and mind of needy people. The addition of new life brings the healing. Even when the body remains the same, new vitality touches the mind, the emotions, and the soul. I began to see that this transfer of vitality occurred in many of the people I interviewed. This means that when intercessors invoke the name of Jesus, life is released whether they realize it or not.

Another dimension for healings can be found in the Book of Genesis. The creation story makes it clear that humanity is to have dominion over the earth. We are part of a divine partnership which means we have a responsibility for what happens in this world. For example, we can pray for a nice lawn, but we don’t get Bermuda grass until we plant the seed. When we are struggling with illness and pain, it is important to make a connection with the heavenly Father for Him to release life in and through us. A process, a connection, exists between human need and the life God wants to pour into us when we are praying.

The Bible calls this bridge, this point of contact, “the laying on of hands.” As we have already noted, the palm of everyone’s hands naturally eludes a release of energy. You can feel this reality by bringing your palms together slowly until you sense the flow of warmth and energy. My conclusion is that the hands are a natural connection place for healing to be released. When we pray and intercede for a need and then put our hands on the other person, what Jesus called “the life” is transmitted to and through the person in some form.

Let’s go back to an analogy I used in an earlier blog. A large power line brings electricity to a transformer that brings electricity to our houses. The hook up is small compared to the power line but without the smaller wire, no lights would turn on in my home. Unfortunately, when there is no one to pray and intercede, many people are left to struggle with their painful condition. They lack the connection. Why does the system of life work this way? Because we are born with free will and our Creator waits for us to use that capacity to invite His intervention.  I found intercession and the laying on of hands to be part of the divine plan to bring connection for empowerment.

Sorry! I’ll be out of the country next week. My following blog will be in April.

HOW DO MIRACLES OCCUR?

Blog 114 March 17, 2019

Healing-Prayer

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE DO YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCE TO SHARE? Robert Wise would be delighted to learn about your divine intervention. If you have a story to share, please contact him at revwise@att.net. He’s looking forward to hearing from you.

This week I want to return to the question of what actually happens when a divine intervention occurs. My conversations with a multitude of people suggest that the power of new life is added to a person’s struggling condition. Let’s look further.

The New Testament had a more expansive understanding of life than we generally recognize today. The Greek word zoe’ (ζωη) implies natural life or normal existence. (I Corinthians 15:45-48) The word implies living in health. (Mark 5:23). Consequently, life is a supreme good. (Mark 8:36-37) ) St. Paul was clear this bodily container of ζωη comes to end when we die.

Jesus’ miracles restored life as it was intended to be. All of this is true and possible because God is the only One who is the creator of life. All life originates in Him. (John 5:26) Whether we recognize it or not, a healthy vibrant life remains a gift from God. The Gospels tell us Jesus bestowed this gift on people in need. We can conclude that when the sick are prayed for, this supreme form of life is to some degree imparted to them.

Hidden in the folds of the scripture’s use of the word ζωη is the recognition that life implies a dependency on God. Whether understood or not, such remains true. As Jesus came preaching, both his words and his example made it clear that we should not live for ourselves but for God. (Romans 14:7-8) The scripture indicates that a cosmic event happened when Jesus was crucified that was for the good of the human race. Rather than only another Jew dying under the heavy hand of Rome, Christians contend that this death reached beyond history and effected every generation that followed. By giving up his life on the cross, Jesus broke the power of death and released new life that has never stopped flowing into this world. His wounds can heal our brokenness. Consequently, Christians believe they should live righteously for the good of the world because they have received ζωη from him. They are to live life with the awareness that every day is an anticipation of eternal life after they die. Paul expressed this insight when he wroteh that his life was not his own, but that of Christ living in him. (Galatians 2:19-20) Our present life is sustained by the certainty of that future. Ζωη offers this promise to us. When we pray for healing, we are calling for this reality of life to be increased in the person.

For the first three hundred years, believers struggled to completely define Jesus’ identity. Part of this struggle involved avoiding death from the Romans. During this time, the first church endeavored to clarify Jesus nature. Interestingly enough, this lack of precision and definition did not stop the flow of healing and restoration. I believe we can gather from that period that we don’t have to be dogmatic or 100% certain in how we define our beliefs to be able to reach for the hand of God to bring divine interventions. The people I interviewed would tell you the issue is not in theological precision, but in humbling ourselves and reaching out to receive.

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