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.

SUMMER RERUNS: YES, THERE ARE BAD GUYS OUT THERE!

Blog 167, 2017
August 24, 2020

faith

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 Faith, Steve 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.

SUMMER RERUNS: MEET LESLIE

Blog 166
August 16, 2020

angel

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Robert Wise explores the world of divine interventions from an objective point of view. 

The corona-virus pandemic has made it impossible for me to make the contacts to continue reporting extraordinary happenings to ordinary people. However, I’ve got a mail bag of these great stories so I’m recycling some that you probably never read. Here’s an example.

SUMMER RERUNS

MEET LESLIE

When Leslie began hearing angels, the idea complicated her sense of stability.

Consequently, she went to psychologist Dr. Jonathon Cargill to make sure she was not off the track. After a battery of psychological tests, the psychologist certified her as balanced and normal. The same results were later affirmed. There was nothing wrong with Leslie.

The ministry began to unfold because she wanted to comfort the afflicted. With unusual sensitivity, Leslie helps strugglers find direction and support. She is keenly aware that the ministry is never about her.

Her ministry is fundamentally the restoration of damaged souls. Leslie’s goal is to bring wholeness to anyone in need. Leslie’s ministry is not divination or some form of predicting the future. She understands herself to be operating in a biblical framework as the book of Acts describes (Acts 2:17-18). Leslie believes her primary gift is obedience.

The unusual ministry flows from fidelity. Her encounters with angels is an expression of the gifts of the Spirit. Leslie believes that everyone has a guardian angel. Through prayer and meditation, her experience has been that anyone can get in touch with this resource.

She believes we will discover that they have already been at work within us as the still, small voice offering guidance. When a message abruptly floats through our minds and we have no idea where it came from, she believes our guardian angel might be offering guidance.

Such an experience occurred when the Draper family lived in Glen Rose, Texas. She hurried out the door to pick up her daughter at school. As she was backing out of the driveway with her three-year-old daughter in the back seat, she saw money in the driveway and believed it had fallen out of her purse. At that moment an angel showed her a disturbing image of her falling out of the car to pick up the cash. She put the car in park and collected the money, thinking about how little money they had. After she got back in, Leslie saw other money on the grass and opened the door to lean down and get it. The car started to roll.

The inside panel gave way and she tumbled out, falling under the car. What followed only took seconds, but felt like an eternity. Leslie was abruptly upright in the car seat with no idea how she got there. For a moment, she thought maybe she was dead and was in shock. Two hands had grabbed her and put her back in the car. Leslie felt the imprints on her arms and looked for the stranger that saved her. No one was there. Suddenly, she remembered the warning and felt the angel Michael warned her to be careful.

In retrospect, she discovered that angels have the capacity to intervene but do so only if it is for the highest good and honors free will. They never interfere with free will and only offer guidance.

If you’ve encountered a divine intervention, I’d like
to hear you’re your experience.
Please write me at: revwise@att.net

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.

SUMMER RERUNS: A MIRACLE IN THE SNOW

Blog 165
August 10, 2020

man truck angel

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Robert Wise explores the world of divine interventions from an objective point of view. 

The corona-virus pandemic has made it impossible for me to make the contacts to continue reporting extraordinary happenings to ordinary people. However, I’ve got a mail bag of these great stories so I’m recycling some that you probably never read. Here’s an example.

A MIRACLE IN THE SNOW

Genesis 16:7-14 describes an angel visiting Hagar, telling her she would have a wild son named Ishmael. From the sound of the story, the angel appeared like a human and would have looked like any of us. In many of the previous blogs, I have described experiences in which angels could be heard speaking through someone’s mind, but were never seen.

However, that’s only one dimension to the story. Here’s another type of experience.

My good friend Joe L. Wheeler wrote My Favorite Angel Stories (Pacific Press) describing such an encounter. Kari Surdahl relates she and her mother were traveling to Rapid City, South Dakota when a blizzard struck. Subzero temperatures made the weather extremely dangerous. Kari had slowed down to a crawl when the explosive bang shook the car.

A tire had gone flat!

Kari knew that the freezing temperature made changing the tire dangerous, but they had no alternative. The spare tire had to be put on for them to keep going. And keep going they must in the icy weather.

Kari reasoned that by jumping in and out of car she could keep warm, but snow would have to be brushed away from under the car. The task would be perilous.

With all of her might she tried to turn the wrench and loosen the lug nut. Nothing moved. Kari threw all of her weight on the tool. Nothing. She knew they were in big trouble. She and her mother would freeze to death!

But when Keri told her mother, she got an unexpected response. “The Lords knows our desperate need at this time,” she shouted into the whistling, brutal wind. “Let’s kneel down beside this flat tire and ask him to help us.” Mother an daughter knelt in the snow and called for divine intervention.

As their prayer ended, the bright lights of a pickup truck came up the road. A man who looked like a rancher got out of the truck and offered to help. As Kari watched he turned the wrench effortlessly. She was amazed. The man quickly had the spare on and wished them well.

Kari and her mother were astonished. It had all happened so quickly and completely. They got out of the car to thank him, but he wasn’t there. He’d probably gotten back in his pickup. They went around to the back. There was no pickup. He couldn’t have left without them seeing him go. They looked again.

There were no tire tracks. No sign was left in the snow. The truck and the man just suddenly vanished.

Mother and daughter got back in their car and realized what had happened. An angel had saved their lives.

If you’ve encountered a divine intervention, I’d like
to hear you’re your experience.
Please write me at: revwise@att.net

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.