THE SECRET Part V

Blog 98 October 29, 2018

laying-on-hands

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?

In the preceding four blogs, we have surveyed situations where the intervention of prayer, faith, and healing prayer made a profound difference. A number of insights stand out and are worthy of review.

From these healing and renewal situations, we have repeatedly seen in scripture that Jesus identified himself as “Life.” Our explorations have been an attempt to understand what this statement means.

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 of 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. The recovery of new life happened with Lenore Ridell (blog 96- Oct. 15, ‘18).

At the same time, we have seen how it was necessary for humanity to take dominion.

Insight into the meaning of dominion can be found in the Book of Genesis. We are part of a divine partnership which means we have a responsibility for what happens in this world. The creation story makes it clear that humanity is to have dominion over the earth. 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.

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

Touch can provide a vital connection. 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 us, 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 book is about our part in helping to bring divine interventions to pass. That’s our target.

The events in these blogs 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.

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

THE SECRET Part IV

Blog 97 October 22, 2018 ~ MIRACLES NEVER CEASE

thank-you-Lord

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?

In 2007, I wrote Crossing the Threshold of Eternity, about near death experiences. I found a large number of persons with such experiences. Even though they were pronounced medically dead for some limited period of time, they recovered. Their stories were fascinating.

At the time, I didn’t think of these stories as divine interventions, but in retrospect I realized they certainly were. While reading The Oklahoman daily newspaper, I found the story of Don Houston’s near-death ordeal. Don told me what happened.

Members of Faith Church, an Assembly of God congregation, Don had been general manager of a house building company that manufactured modular units. 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 caused Don to 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 for an ambulance as well as receiving instructions on performing CPR.

The ambulance attendants stuck needles in Don’s feet and received no response. He simply laid there not breathing. 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 and felt he wouldn’t make it. The best she could hope for was a nursing home.

Rita went into his secluded room and prayed. With Don’s two daughters, she made a prayer circle around the bed and began to pray fervently. “Jesus help us.”

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. The all had the same features, and the same colored hair. Each wore a white robe and Don thought they might look like Jewish people (though he really hadn’t been around Jews). 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 and took Don’s hand. Abruptly there was another squeeze. The doctor nearly fainted. He rushed out and brought in other doctors to observe Don.

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

Today Don tells everyone that there is life after death. He says, “I do know for a fact. You’re not alone. 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.

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

THE SECRET

Blog 94 October 1, 2018

THE-LIFE-GIVER-560x280

MIRACLES NEVER CEASERobert 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?

Let’s depart from miracle stories for a moment. Our question for this week concerns what is going on when miracles and divine interventions happen? How can we understand what is occurring in us when healing is prayed for and we quickly recover? What transpired within our person?

We can’t miss the fact that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”(John 14:6). He brought life to those who encountered him.

I found that The New Testament had a more expansive understanding of life than we have today. When healings and miracles occur, life is released. The Greek word ζωη (zóé) 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 our bodily containers of ζωη comes to end when we die. However, while we are here we need experiences that build up our sense of life like a walk in the forest, a magnificent concert, or a close relationship with a friend.                                                                                                                                                                    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 everyday is an anticipation of eternal life after they die. Paul expressed this insight when he wrote 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.

That’s quite a promise!

HERE’S A TRULY FASCINATING GUY!

Blog 92 September 17, 2018

padre-pio

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?

The first time I heard of Padre Pio was during a conversation with a Roman Catholic Priest  in Oklahoma City. I asked Father John W. Scheller what influenced him to become a priest. He told that during World War II, he was in the infantry that invaded Italy. Somewhere along the way, he heard about this amazing priest in San Giovanni Rotondo and found the church. That afternoon Padre Pio was officiating at the Mass. My friend had worked his way around to the side of the altar where he could observe everything that was happening. Padre Pio was wearing gloves with the fingers cut out. Because he had the stigmata (the wounds of Christ), his hands bled when exposed.

My friend watched Pio pick up the chalice and lift it up to the heavens for the concentration of the host. At that moment, Padre Pio began to rise up from the floor and hovered suspended in the air. As he put the chalice down, the priest came back down to the floor.

Father Scheller watched in total amazement.

As I listened, I found his story difficult to digest. I had to tell him that this sounded like something from science fiction. The priest smiled, but said what he saw in those moments with this Italian priest changed his life. Those few moments caused Father Scheller to spend the rest of his life as a celibate priest.

What a challenging story! The early portion of Padre Pio’s life was prior to Vatican II. Anyone from that era immediately finds the many stories of miraculous happenings easy to accept. After Vatican II in 1963, everything changed. The hallowed sense of stillness and quiet in a service gave way to shaking hands, talking, and priests telling funny stories in their homilies. Believers from this era look at the stories of divine interventions with more of an askance questioning point of view. On the other hand, Protestants have been raised with grave doubts about Roman Catholic saints and miracle stories. The tendency is to distrust the whole works. The point of view you bring to these accounts is probably more important than what you are actually reading. I know readers will be subjective in what they read.

However, I had no reason to doubt my friend. He had spent six decades as a humble man of the cloth. Consequently, I had to know more about this Padre Pio. As the years that I spent traveling in Italy went by, I heard many, many more stores about this extraordinary man’s ministry. Subjective? Yes, but when a man spends the rest of his life in a profession because of what happened in such limited contact, I had to take a long second look at what might be more objective than it was at first glance.

Let me tell you more about what I discovered about Padre Pio. Next week I will tell you more about what I learned over three decades. You’ll be fascinated!

WORTH REMEMBERING ON INDEPENDENCE DAY

Blog 90 July 2, 2018 MIRACLES NEVER CEASE

4th-of-July_2013_web

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.

On the base of the Statue of Liberty are engraved these words:

Give me your tired, your poor,

your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me.

I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

We do well to remember that we are all immigrants. Some recent, some long ago, but we all came from some other land to this country. Some of our ancestors came through Ellis Island, as well as other ports of entry, but they were the homeless and the tired. Struggling to escape poverty and the pogroms of Europe, our fathers and mothers landed on this shore seeking to walk through the golden door.

In this time of struggle and debate over immigration , let us remember this country was built and sustained by “the least of these” as well as the best. Let us never  forget the world still looks to America to find for the golden door.

Remember the words of scripture: “He (God) executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner therefore; for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

They all want in. No one wants out.

 

Recovering the Miraculous

Blog 89 June 23, 2018 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.

ORFamily

    Quinton Moore grew up in Pentecostal land. His grandmother had been the baby sitter for Oral Roberts while the cotton pickers worked in the field. Today Jessie 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 run to the door.

“Come on, Quinton,” she demanded. “We got to get to your uncle quick. 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 90o 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 even 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.

In the next several blogs, we will attempt to understand what was going on with people like Grandmother Jessie Moore. They will add another dimension to our insights in how divine interventions occur.

Remember we have a new website. You’ll find this helpful.
EARLY FAITH FOR TODAY
Surveying the first 3 centuries, we are examining the ancient Christian faith.
The focus is practical, relevant, and inspirational. TUNE IN

 

 

Memorial Day

Memorial-Day

Sorry, Friends. I’m out of pocket. My daughter is graduating with her doctorate degree from the University of California and I have to be there. The following week, Margueritte and I will be traveling, but I’ll be back with you on June 4.

Memorial Day weekend is a sobering time as we remember and honor those who have fallen in defending this country. In our families, we make our own private journeys to the graves of those we loved and lost. Bless you in such moments of remembrance.

WHEN FORGIVENESS COMES

Blog 84 May 7, 2018 MIRACLES NEVER CEASE

Jesusabide-with-me-greg-olsen

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.

Recently an old colleague dropped in for a visit. Years ago when we worked together, I had used an Ash Wednesday service to help people resolved spiritual needs they had never fully faced. We used the first day of Lent as an opportunity to enter a season of renewal.

My friend had gone to another church position miles away, taking that same idea with him. He set up a bowl filled with flames for people to use when making a commitment. They would burn whatever they had written on a piece of paper. During the next 30 days they could know they had received a resolution of an important issue. A week later after that service, a lady in the congregation came into my friend’s office. Her eyes were filled with tears and she was holding a letter. (We will call her Mary for anonymity shake).

Mary explained she came to the service knowing there was one issue that she had never faced. Mary had been sexually and physically abused by her father. Through the years, she found it impossible to forgive him. In fact, Mary had not seen the man for over two decades. Sitting in the worship service, she knew the time had come to face her resentment and anger. But could she?

Staring at the flames curling up, Mary knew this was an important moment of decision. The pressure to forgive mounted up within her. With a trembling hand, she wrote, “I forgive.” Walking to the front, she prayed for resolution, forgiveness for her father, and dropped the paper in the fire.

A week later, the letter came.

Although he had not communicated with Mary for decades and was miles away, her father wrote that he was in the hospital dying. Many times he had sought forgiveness for what he had done to her and was profoundly sorry, but he could never feel forgiven. Knowing that he didn’t have much time left, on this Ash Wednesday night, he prayed once more for forgiveness.

From far off a small light appeared in the window. The glow kept gettinPg brighter and brighter and larger until it filled the entire window frame. The brilliant golden glow increased in size and kept coming closer and closer to the bed. Finally, he recognized a face in the midst of the splendor. As light poured across his bed, the man could barely look.

A voice spoke and a hand reached out.

“Here is your forgiveness”  He was handed a piece of burnt paper.

Please check out our new website…

EARLY FAITH FOR TODAY
Surveying the first 3 centuries, we are examining the ancient Christian faith.
The focus is practical, relevant, and inspirational. TUNE IN
Join us at earlyfaithfortoday.com