KIM PHUC: THE QUEST FOR WHOLENESS

BLOG 173

October 26, 2020

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE

Robert Wise  has interviewed people in many states about their experiences with divine encounters. Because of the virus, he’s been unable to interview people. So, we’ve presented Summer Reruns. Now it’s Fall. But this week I found a story that I’ve not presented previously

KIM PHUC: THE QUEST FOR WHOLENESS

While digging through my files I came across a picture I had saved long ago. One of those Vietnam War depictions that caused many Americans to rethink the war struck me. Children were running from their village that had just been fire bombed. Black clouds of smoke filled the sky. The children screamed and ran to escape the exploding flames. In the center of the picture was a completely naked little girl with both arms extended. The bombing had ripped her clothing away and severely burned her back. Recovery would require seventeen surgeries and fourteen months of hospitalization. The agony in her face while screaming in horror still traumatizes.

Every time I saw that picture, I asked myself why we allow such wars and violence to continue. The plight of Kim Phuc never stopped haunting me. Every time I ran across the picture, I wondered what had become of that poor child. Maybe the war would never be over for her.

While thumbing through a magazine with an article by Emily Werenga, there was that frightening picture again and a story about what had happened to this child.  Her photo had been proclaimed a “National Symbol of War,” but Kim Phuc only wanted to forget the entire subject.  She  struggled with anger and bitterness, hating her life. However, as an adult, Kim stumbled onto a Bible in a public library and started to read.  What she saw fascinated her and she couldn’t stop reading. Never had she heard the story unfolding before her.

Out of curiosity, Kim stopped in a church to explore further. Again, for the first time. She heard the Christian account explained. She said, “The love of God changed my life. I knew that Jesus died on the cross and paid for my sins.” The impact was profound.

No longer was Kim plagued by wondering “Why?” She started asking, “How?”

“My life was like a cup of coffee. Very dark: with hatred, anger, bitterness, sorrow … So, I asked God how can I clean everything in my heart?” The hot coffee was poured out every day until the cup was empty. Then, she asked the cup to be filled with the love of God. While Kim still takes a med for her napalm scars and has diabetes, she credits God with giving her a wonderful husband and children as well as starting over again in Canada.

During a visit to the Vietnam War Memorial in 1996, she encountered one of the   pilots who had actually bombed her village. She assured the shattered man of her forgiveness. For Kim, the story of God’s love and the love of people is more powerful than any weapon of war.

The divine interventions of God’s love continue every day. His love never ceases.

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

A HALLOWEEN SURPRISE!

BLOG 172

October 19, 2020

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE

Robert L. Wise has interviewed people in many states about their experiences with divine encounters. Because of the virus, he’s been unable to interview people. So, we’ve presented Summer Reruns. Now it’s Fall. So, here’s Fall Reruns!

Now it’s Fall. So, here’s Fall Reruns!

A HALLOWEEN SURPRISE!

Here we are in the season of werewolfs, monsters, and ghosts. Who’s been better at telling these stories than Anne Rice. The author of at least 27 best-selling books, the list included The Vampire Chronicles which was made into a movie. At book signings, she would often show up in a hearse wearing a flowing vampire’s cap. Anne Rice knew how to put on a show!

Now here’s the surprise.

One afternoon, she experienced a sense of the limitless power and majesty of God that left her convinced only the heavenly Father knew all the answers to all the theological questions that had tormented her for years. In one moment, Anne Rice knew that the God who made the Double Helix and the snow flake, the black hole in space, as well as the lilies of the valley knew and understood all creation in a way that we never could. She could trust in this all-knowing God who knew every single moment of every life lived in this universe. Anne Rice had crossed a line more dramatic and significant that any she had ever written about. A miracle indeed!

Before this moment, Anne had read the arguments circulating about the Christian faith. Anti-God books had dominated the best-seller lists. Professors had claimed to deconstruct Jesus with supposed insightful documents about who he was. She had heard the negatives and struggled to understand those ideas. But on this one afternoon, the nay-sayers fell away. Defeated by her personal encounter with new found trust in Jesus of Nazareth.

Today Anne Rice returns again and again to the Sermon on the Mount. She has found a blueprint for her life. I here words, she continues to celebrate “the greatest love story the world has ever known: that of a God who would come down here  (for us).”  Anne believes the love of God has sparked the only revolution that can truly change the world. Love.

Is this a miracle of a divine intervention? I leave it for you to decide. The important thing for Anne Rice is that the reality of the risen Christ remains with her. She concludes “that trust is what under girds my faith to this day.”

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

Blog 171

October 12,  2020

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE

Robert Wise explores the world of divine interventions from an objective point of view. An Archbishop in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Church with a Ph.D., Rev. Wise relates his interviews with persons who experienced divine interventions.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT!   

Hey, I want to deviate from the usual path because I have something new that I think will be important for you. My latest book has just been released by Harper/Collins and I believe it will fascinate you!

Released immediately, I MARCHED WITH PATTON is the World War II story of a dear friend, Frank Sisson. I had known Frank for decades and never heard him mention of being in World War II. However, a couple of years ago, I noticed a plaque on the wall commemorating participation in the Battle of the Bulge. When I asked him about his involvement, he mumbled, “I don’t talk about it.”

As I pried the story out of him, his remembrances took me inside the war in a way that I had never known. I knew the public needed to read this account. In addition to the struggles of combat, Frank helped liberate the Dachau Concentration Camp and following the war became a Military Policeman in Berlin. His encounters with the Russians remains a story unto itself.

We developed this book to help contemporary Americans understand the values and ideals of the 75-80 million souls that perished because of this war. As I wrote these pages, I found myself again and again moved by the valor of the American soldier. You will be moved.

Perhaps, you read my 82 DAYS ON OKINAMWA that was released last March. The pandemic had just started and that blunted the release. However, the book is the first-person memories of Col. Art Shaw, also a dear friend who has since passed away.  His memories recount an era now passed, but important to recover.

Both of these books are available through Barnes & Noble or Amazon. They will more than suffice for those nights when there’s nothing much on television. They will warm your heart and challenge your soul.

Check it out!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

FALL RERUNS: MIRACLE IN A GARBAGE DUMP

BLOG 170

October 5, 2020

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE

Robert Wise explores the world of divine interventions from an objective point of view. An Archbishop in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Church with a Ph.D., Rev. Wise relates his interviews with persons who experienced divine interventions.

Now it’s Fall. So, here’s Fall Reruns!

MIRACLE IN A GARBAGE DUMP

Rick Thomas usually wore cowboy boots and a big Texan hat. Living in El Paso, Texas, just across the border from Juarez, Mexico. And always colorful, he was known as an exceptional friend to the poor. When he died, Rick Thomas was buried in a homemade plywood coffin. A thousand people pressed into the church to say goodbye to a man who had lived love and spirituality. Father Rick Thomas, S.J. had been a Jesuit in the Roman Catholic Church.

Father Thomas still has insight for us about the world of divine interventions.

One of his significant places of ministry was the garbage dump for El Paso- Juarez. The sheer squalor of this sprawling pit of filth remains overwhelming. Poor Mexicans struggled to survive by living in the trash pit, having children here, and scratching out an existence in the midst of the debris. An untold number of the poverty-stricken live in cardboard shacks made from boxes tossed out in the trash. Fr. Rick regularly marched into the muck to hold religious services for them.

On the occasion of a visit to the United States, Sister Briege McKenna went with Fr. Rick to the dump. Sister McKenna was born in Ireland and entered the order of the Sisters of St. Clare where she became widely known for her ability to pray for the sick. With hesitancy, she walked into the worst squalor she had ever experienced. Sister Briege couldn’t see how any dignity of worshp could be manifest in such filth.

To her shock, nearly a thousand people had already gathered when they arrived. The contrast was staggering. These people literally had nothing. Setting up an old table for his altar, the priest went to work.

An old woman walked up, carrying a bundle in her arms. When she unfolded the cloth they saw a little child completely burned from head to foot. The dirty child was filthy and screaming. As she was crossing the mountains, the woman had found the child smoldering and picked him up. She handed him to Fr. Rick.

Sister Briege and Fr. Rick stared at the child that was nearly skinless. Finally, the priest suggested that they place the child under the table during the Communion Service. The service began and the congregation of the poverty stricken prayed with fervor. The Sister could feel the reality of the Holy Spirit descending across the mass of people.

Sister Briege began to weep and wondered if her faith might not be as strong as theirs.

As the Mass ended, they realized the baby had long since stopped crying. The child had crawled out from under the table. Sister Briege gasped! The little boy was happily playing in the sand – totally healed.

The Sister hurried over to the woman and ask, “What happened to him?”

The old woman looked at her with skepticism in her eyes. “What you mean what happened? Didn’t Jesus come?”

While the poor received the Mass, the child received new skin.

FALL RERUNS: ANGELIC INTERVENTIONS SAVE THE DAY!

BLOG 169

September 28, 2020

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE

Robert Wise explores the world of divine interventions from an objective point of view. An Archbishop in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Church with a Ph.D., Rev. Wise relates his interviews with persons who experienced divine interventions.

Now it’s Fall. So, here’s Fall Reruns!

ANGELIC INTERVENTIONS SAVE THE DAY!      

As I wander around the countryside picking up experiences of divine intervention, I often ran into people who had encounters with angels – which is certainly miraculous. Recently, I ran into a story from Lynn Valetine about an encounter that happened to Sarah Loutner in Springfield, Tennessee. Today, Sarah Loutner is a dancer and performs routines with a Christian message. At the time, Sarah was only a small child.  

The Loutner family lived in an old two-story farm house. Like any older house that had been built years before, the staircase was steep. As was the custom in by-gone days, the stairs angled up partway to a landing, then turned 90 degrees before going up the rest of the way to the top. Sarah had a special place upstairs where she played with her toys. On this afternoon, she tired of playing with the dolls and wondered what her mother might be doing. Probably, she was down in the kitchen where cookies might be waiting. Sarah pushed the playthings aside and hurried toward the steps.

Pre-occupied in thinking about where her mother might be, Sarah didn’t pay attention to the abruptly sloping stairs. Her feet got tangled up, and Sarah fell head first down the plunging steps.

Like a scene in a slow-motion movie, Sarah discovered a figure standing on the landing. The man towered above the steps. Big and powerful, he appeared to be surrounded by a shimmering glow. The light swirled around him and Sarah immediately felt reassurance that she didn’t have to be afraid.

To her total surprise, Sarah realized that she was not falling, but seemed to be floating toward the unknown figure on the landing.  Unseen hands carryied her downward until finally her feet landed gently on the floor. She knew that an angel had intervened to save her.

When she looked up, the angel was gone. Sarah ran to tell her mother what had happened. She listened, but Sarah distinctly felt she didn’t believe her. Years later, when Sarah, her brother Aaron, and her mother got off on the subject of angels, Sarah recounted the experience. This time her mother was convinced a guardian angel had indeed intervened, but wasn’t sure why an angel would have secured her.    

Sarah’s brother Aaron immediately added, “You’re a dancer! You were caught so you could dance for God.”

Just thinking about her brother’s response, makes Sarah want to dance today.

THE CUP OF BLESSING — Part 2

Blog 168

September 14, 2020

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Robert Wise explores the world of divine interventions from an objective point of view. An Archbishop in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Church with a Ph.D., Rev. Wise relates his interviews with persons who experienced divine interventions.

THE CUP OF BLESSING — Part 2

The Sacraments of the Church aren’t magic … but they are filled with power. That’s how we began last week as I shared an experience form Rev. Grant Crichton’s church in Saskatchewan, Canada. In recent days, many people with worries about the Covid-19 pandemic have returned to the church seeking divine intervention.  Particularly churches that stress the sacraments are discovering a source of power. Through the centuries during the worst of times, multitudes have come to the church seeking the same help.

Last week, I also shared walking through the Catacombs of St. Sebastian in Rome where one finds the graves of the earliest saints. At the bottom of the catacombs was a worship center where for centuries people knelt, prayed, and were renewed.  When we have personal need we can return to the altar of Christ and seek the same Presence in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

Here’s an example.

A new woman began attending Rev. Grant Crichton’s church.  She was alienated from her family and had been struggling with health issues. Her faith journey had taken her to a wide range of churches including Catholicism, Pentecostalism, and ending up with a blend and brand of her own choosing. The pain in her life seemed to pour out during the worship service. When the service came to Holy Communion, she was particularly overwhelmed.  Often the woman would cry or fall on the floor. She might lay there for a long time seemingly in deep prayer or thought. Rev. Crichton let her be while he continued to pray for her.

Eventually after one of the services, she shared how relief had come into her life. Since regularly attending Holy Communion and praying the Lord’s Prayer repeatedly with the congregation, she felt her feelings of bitterness subsiding, As the old hurts faded, a new sense of peace settled over her. She had not felt this calm and encouragement for a long, long time. A new energy had come into her life. Her medical problems ceased.  She wanted Rev. Crichton to know she was now bringing her friends to church. Her life was different and joy had returned.

I would not call this a miracle, but it certainly was a divine intervention. The Holy Spirit had gradually used the sacraments of the church to bring renewal. Possibly, a lesson for today is that the work of God may be gradual but it is persistent. Renewal and change follow.

Let Us Pray

We are calling on people to join with us in praying for America once a day for the next year.  During this serious time, your prayers can make vital difference.

Please join us.

YOU MIGHT ENJOY MY NEWEST BOOK HOT OFF THE PRESS
82 DAYS ON OKINAWA
Harper-Collins Publishers
JUST OUT – IT’S A THRILLER!
Col. Art Shaw & Robert L. Wise

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA at your local book store or on Amazon.

YES, THERE ARE BAD GUYS OUT THERE!

Blog 167, 2017
August 24, 2020

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.

The corona-virus pandemic has made it impossible to make contacts. However, I’ve got a mail bag of great stories that I’m recycling. These are my summer reruns.

YES, THERE ARE BAD GUYS OUT THERE!

Are there “swindlers” out there? Sure are.

In the movie Leap of FaithSteve Martin plays con man Jonas Nightengale who travels from town to town bilking farmers out of their money while he fakes miracles. In the town of Rustwater, Kansas, he sets up his nightly show. The town’s people are so taken that when the sheriff reports Nightengale’s real name is Jack Newton and he has continually been in trouble with the law, they won’t listen. Each night the fraudulent healer wearing a silver-sequined coat hops up and down the aisles while an assistant is in the backroom with television monitors sends him messages through an ear piece. The inside information makes Nightengale appear to have special secrets messages from the Holy Spirit.

The turning point comes when Boyd, a boy on crutches, is actually healed. Nightengale cannot believe what he is seeing and runs, leaving the silver-sequined jacket behind. As he travels away in a hitch-hiked ride, Nightengale tells the driver that he knows “the genuine article” and that a real miracle is not to be toyed with. The movie ends as Nightengale disappears into the night.

Interestingly enough, this movie was based on an actual fraudulent ministry of a Pentecostal type who kept his wife in the back room sending him messages through a hearing aid device. The audience was scanned by accomplices who produced information on the unsuspecting. The last time I saw this character on television, he was promoting “miracle spring water” and was still at it. The tragedy of these charlatans is that they demean the actual interventions of the heavenly Father. They reduce the miraculous to a sideshow, leaving people to go home disillusioned.

Equally tragic is that the antics of these types develop skeptics who see the entire scene as a sham. Both conclusions are equally unfortunate. While we acknowledge the reality of the counterfeit artists and the audience that travels with them to pretend a miracle occurred, we continue to recognize that divine intervention has made a dramatic difference in the journeys of a multitude of grateful people.

The key to the “genuine article” is found in understanding the stories in the scripture. As the Old and New testaments relate the stories of miracles, they contain details that are important in grasping how people like Elisha as well as Jesus Christ ministered.

Discovering the will of God is one of the first steps that unlocks sealed doors.

Stay tuned. More to come.

A CALL TO PRAYER

Blog 166
August 31, 2020

praying-hands

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!
Robert Wise  explores the world of Divine intervention from an objective point of view. 

A CALL TO PRAYER

Obviously, I believe in divine interventions. The past week I discovered such an event that I believe demands your attention. Archbishop Russell McClanahan is an executive in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches and a substantial leader. Bishop Russ is not given to transcendent experiences or excessive claims. Like the rest of the nation, he is aware we are living in a time of catastrophic upheaval on every level. From the pandemic to the 500 fires in California to the worst hurricane in history, on to political chaos. this country has been rocked.

Against the backdrop of these debacles, Bishop McClanahan had this experience. Russ was almost asleep when he saw the face of Jesus Christ approaching him and becoming larger and larger. The crucifixion began to unfold before him and he felt like he was participating in the scene. In the mist of the agony, the voice of God spoke. “The cup of my wrath is almost full and unless your nation repents and turns to Me, the four horsemen standing at the gate will be loosed. Tell my people to return to my principles, to repent of having ignored and broken my laws. Tell them I have given to them examples in generations past of my love and discipline and to remember how I warned and continued to warn Israel in generations past that they would bring judgement upon themselves.”

Scenes of brokenness, loneliness, evil, and destruction flashed before Russ’s eyes He felt himself engulfed in God’s grief and longing for people to return to Him. Words failed to fully express what he felt as Russ touched the heart of God.

As I listened to Russ’s experience, I was profoundly moved and thought of II Chronicles 7:14. “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

In this time of chaos, uncertainty, and despair, I believe God is calling His people to turn to Him again and to pray. Therefore, Russ and I are calling on people to join us in praying once a day for America. We ask you to commit yourself to do so for the next year. Would you covenant with us to do the same? Possibly, such an action might be the most important thing y could do for your country.

Think about it. One prayer a day for the next year.. Would you stop right now and begin to pray? America needs your faithfulness and God will bless it.