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.

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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.

We have a new website you might enjoy ~ THE EARLY CHURCH FOR TODAY. Surveying the first 3 centuries, we are examining the ancient Christian faith for today. The focus is practical, relevant, and inspirational. TUNE IN ~ Join us at earlyfaithfortoday.com

 

WHAT EMPOWERMENT ACCOMPLISHES!

Blog 113 March 10, 2019

it-is-well

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 dramatic empowerment is exciting, sometimes the more subtle work of the Holy Spirit touches us equally deeply. Such is the case with the story of Horatio G. Spafford, a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago in a past century.

While his wife and four children were crossing the Atlantic, their ship collided with another vessel. Understanding the grave danger, Anna knelt with her four daughters and prayed as the ship was sinking. The daughters perished and only Anna survived. A sailor in a small rowboat saw her floating on a piece of debris and saved her.

Nine days later Anna Spafford landed in Cardiff, Wales. One of the survivors, Pastor Weiss remembers Anna saying, “God gave me four daughters. Now they are taken from me. Someday I will understand why.”

Anna immediately wired her husband. “Saved alone, what shall I do?”

Horatio Spafford immediately booked passage and sailed to join his wife. In four days, the ship approached the exact place where the four daughters had gone down. Horatio had the Captain awaken him when they sailed over that exact place. As he stood there on the deck in the cold wind, at that moment he prayed and then with tears rolling down his cheeks, he wrote these words in his journal.

When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like the sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot. Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well with my soul.

A Chorus came to mind:
It is well with my soul. It is well with my soul.

Spafford’s lines were put to music and over the following decades, millions of people have been moved by the power of those words without knowing where they came from or the circumstances that produced the hymn. Without understanding, they were moved by the same power that enabled Horatio Spafford to go on with his life after such an overwhelming loss.

He was sustained by the promise in Philippians 4:7. “And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, shall keep your heart and your mind through Christ Jesus.”

Anyone who has lost a child, much less four, will understand how the words of that beloved hymn reflect a divine intervention that sustained during the worst experience possible.

We have a new website you might enjoy ~ THE EARLY CHURCH FOR TODAY. Surveying the first 3 centuries, we are examining the ancient Christian faith for today. The focus is practical, relevant, and inspirational. TUNE IN Join us at earlyfaithfortoday.com

WHAT FORGIVENESS ACCOMPLISHES!

Blog 112 March 3, 2019

forgiveness

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.

Recently a former colleague shared the story of what happened in an Ash Wednesday Service several years ago. Church members were asked to write on a piece of paper some issue they needed to deal with during this season of the year. After they wrote their need, the paper was taken to the front of the church and dropped in a bowl of fire. One particular woman in the congregation had been sexually and physically abused by her father and couldn’t forgive him. She had not seen her father for two decades yet she knew she needed to forgive him and release  the hostility she held in her heart. With her hand trembling, she wrote “I forgive.”

Standing before the flame, she finally knew her anger was resolved and she dropped the piece of paper into the fire. As she watched the paper burn, the woman knew her hostility was resolved.

A week later the letter came to her house.

Her father had written that on that same night he was in a hospital miles away and was dying. He wrote that so many times he had sought forgiveness for how he treated her, but he couldn’t get over feeling guilty and remorseful. Knowing that he didn’t have much time left, he prayed for forgiveness once more.

With tears running down his cheeks, he looked up and saw a far-off light began to appear in the window. The glow became brighter and larger until the light filled the entire window frame. The radiance kept increasing in size. Finally, the man recognized a face in the midst of the splendor of light. He could barely speak as he looked at the divine countenance,. “Forgive me,” was all he could say.

A voice spoke and a hand extended toward him. “Here is your forgiveness,” the voice said and handed him a burnt piece of paper.

We have a new website you might enjoy ~ THE EARLY CHURCH FOR TODAY Surveying the first 3 centuries, we are examining the ancient Christian faith for today. The focus is practical, relevant, and inspirational. TUNE IN Join us at earlyfaithfortoday.com

RICK’S RESTORATION

Blog 111 February 11, 2019

believe

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 I’m thinking of it, I am about to leave for Israel and will be gone for several weeks. Consequently, I won’t be doing a blog until March 3. I hope to bring you back some inspiration from the Holy Land. In the meantime—

Let me tell you about my friend. I’ve known Rick for about 30 years. One of the hardest working devout guys I’ve ever known. For decades Rick worked for a local charity and helped feed children all over the world. He is now 70 years old. The discovery of his problem began with a haircut.

In 2017, Rick’s barber noticed a strange lump on the back of his head and suggested he really ought to see a dermatologist. The problem was quickly diagnosed as melanoma skin cancer. Rick was sent to Mercy Hospital for immediate surgery. In order to fill the hole where the skin was removed, doctors had to remove muscle and tissue from his arm. The operation proved to be painful, leaving a long scar on his arm. Rick missed work for ten weeks.

Following the procedure, a cat scan was done on his entire body. The results were shocking. Doctors found cancer in his lung, liver, and left hip. The doctor sat down with Rick and told him he had Stage 4 cancer that could not be reduced by chemotherapy or radiation. If they did nothing, Rick had 6 months to live.  Auto-immune therapy might give him a year.

Cancer had run in Rick’s family and he had seen how extreme these treatments could be. Rick didn’t want any of that pain. He tried one round of the auto-immune treatment and came down with terrible hives and a rash over his entire body. Rick decided not to do that process again. He certainly appreciated medical care and doctors, but he simply couldn’t deal with the discomfort.

Because Rick had always believed in natural foods and vitamins, he took that route. However, his basic position was that Rick completely believed God was his healer. He decided to rely on his convictions no matter what happened. Rick would trust the Lord and take whatever followed.

Rick began to express his convictions about healing power by praying, “Thank you God for already healing my cancer. Thank you, God that you have made me whole today.” Rick prayed in advance for the healing that he desperately needed. He walked the halls where he worked praying over and over. “Thank you, God that you have already cured me.”

Rick’s fellow employers noticed that he looked terrible, losing weight, and appeared drawn. Nevertheless, Rick did not stop his form of praying before the fact, thanking God for divine response even before anything had occurred. Other groups in the church community kept praying for Rick.

Rick went back for another cat can. The cancers were gone from every part of his body. He was healed!

When I asked Rick how this had occurred, he believed his constant affirmation that the Lord was healing him was the critical factor. In addition, he persisted in praying for his health day and night. Rick’s advice for someone with a problem is basic.  Keep praying and knowing God is with you. Regardless!

We have a new website you might enjoy ~ THE EARLY CHURCH FOR TODAY. Surveying the first 3 centuries, we are examining the ancient Christian faith for today. The focus is practical, relevant, and inspirational. TUNE IN Join us at earlyfaithfortoday.com