The Root of War is Fear

Blog 106 January 7, 2019

unconditional_love

MIRACLES NEVER CEASEDO 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.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Do we need a miracle as this new year begins? I guess so!

Everywhere we look we find chaos, hatred, fear, and political disaster. The year ended with the worst stock market drop since the Great Depression. The president has shut down the government and no one knows when it will open. The president’s closest legal advisers are off to jail and the scandal over payments over his affairs with two women is cooking while Congress waits for Robert Mueller’s Investigative Report. The frightening headlines go on and on.

So, where shall we turn? Rather than another account of a divine intervention in someone’s life, let me offer some insight that could have a miraculous affect in our lives. I believe the insights will help.

Setting the scandals and disagreements aside, we can start this year on an entirely different basis. Thomas Merton in his essay The Root of War is Fear has some important insight for us.

At the root of all war is fear, not so much the fear people have of one another as the fear they have of everything. It is not merely that they do not trust one another: they do not even trust themselves. If they are not sure when someone else may turn around and kill them, they are still less sure when they may turn around and kill themselves … It is not only our hatred of others that is dangerous but also and above all our hatred of ourselves: particularly that hatred of ourselves that is too deep and too powerful to be consciously faced. For it is this which makes us see our own evil in others and unable to see it in ourselves … Only love – which means humility- can exorcise the fear that is at the root of war.

Every time we turn on the television or follow news reports, we are swimming in a sea of anxiety. Violence, bombings, school shootings, terrorist reports, fear of environmental collapse, the Stock Market falling, on and on the sources of fear are constantly at our doorstep. We may need to know the information, but we don’t need the emotional impact.

Thomas Merton has important instruction for us. Let’s make a New Year’s resolution to push aside fear and decide to walk in the pathway marked love. Let’s decide to follow the headlines without being swallowed by anxiety. Let’s allow love to remain supreme in 2019.

Couldn’t that be a miracle?

We have a new website you might enjoy THE EARLY CHURCH FOR TODAYSurveying 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

THE HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK

Blog 103 December 10, 2018

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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? Yes.

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.

One more story about Quinton Moore. In the last several blogs, we’ve been following a number of powerful encounters in his ministry. Here’s another.

Quinton discovered he had entered a new dimension of ministry that occurred almost without him. He had become a conduit of grace. Of course, it was important for him to extend his hands for contact to occur. However, the results came to pass almost without him from that point forward. The issue was his availability to stand in the gap when a need occurred.

In a great many instances, nothing happened when people were struggling because there was no one there to fill the empty space between them and God. Talent isn’t the issue. Availability is.

Several years later the need arose when Quinton took a bus load of 15 kids on a mission trip to San Rafael, Mexico. While they were exploring the area around the local church, a young blind girl walked up to them. The group stared in consternation because her eyes were totally and completely white. Quinton knelt down and began praying for her eyes.

A white, milky substance began running through his fingers. Grabbing a cloth, Quinton began wiping her eyes. From underneath the white film, beautiful blue eyes emerged.

The child blinked several times and then looked at him. She abruptly screamed and called for her mother. Running her hands across the woman’s face, the child made sure it was truly her mother. She had never seen anything in her life and had a significant adjustment to make. But her eyes had been restored.

And what about the teens watching? Their hearts were changed as well.

In our quest to understand miracles and divine interventions, Quinton Moore’s experiences add an additional dimension. While he had grown up in an environment where unique encounters occurred, he had developed a skepticism that caused him to retreat. Only an unexpected need pushed him into praying for divine mediation.

Quinton discovered that divine appointments pop up without any expectation on his part that they were coming. The occasions simply happened. However, he made himself available for whatever followed. The results speak for themselves.

His example instructs that our willingness to respond is more important than any gift we bring.

Our experience doesn’t have to be as dramatic as many of the foregoing examples. What follows when we pray is up to God. Our job is simply to intercede. Perhaps, now is a good time to make a decision to be more open.

Opportunity begins with openness… We have a new website you’d enjoy. THE EARLY CHURCH FOR TODAY We are examining the ancient Christian faith. The focus is practical, relevant, and inspirational. TUNE IN Join us at earlyfaithfortoday.com

THE HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK

Blog 101 November 19, 2018

Faith Will Heal You

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?

While Quinton Moore experienced important expressions of divine guidance when he started a new congregation in McPherson, Kansas, skepticism still lingered in his thinking. He didn’t want to get caught up in any of that old emotionalism he had seen during his childhood. College day’s reservations still influenced his thinking to some degree. Then the unexpected happened.

On a cold February day in 1989, with snow covering the ground, Quinton got a phone call to come to the hospital. Cyndi and Mac needed his help. When he entered the room, Mac was pacing the floor. A retired Army Sergeant, Mac appeared beside himself.

“What’s going on?”  Quinton asked.

“Cyndi is hemorrhaging and the doctors cannot stop the bleeding,” Mac said. “We are panicked. No one can do anything.”

Cyndi raised up from the bed. “Brother Quinton, do you believe in miracles?”

He paused. This was no time to get philosophical. “Y-yes.”

“Good,” Cyndi said. “I believe that the Bible says if you lay your hands on me, the bleeding will stop. Can you do that?”

Quinton took a deep breath. “I can sure try.”

“Alright, Mac,” Cyndi said. “I want you to leave because you don’t believe. Me and the preacher will get down to business.”

Mac shrugged and trudged out of the room.

Quinton walked to the head of the bed and laid his hands on her head. Mustering everything, he had in himself, he called on the Holy Spirit to descend and bring healing. With increasing fervor, Quinton called for an intervention. Finally, he said, “Amen,” and left.

Two days later, he got the phone call. Cyndi was healed.

Cyndi’s recovery became a turning point for Quinton. He realized that divine intervention didn’t depend on how holy, spiritual, or competent he might be. The action of God was in one sense independent of him. Of course, he was the conduit that redemptive grace traveled through, but the empowerment was initiated by God alone. This insight encouraged Quinton to take divine interventions more seriously.

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 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!