MEET AGNES Part 3

BLOG 55 September 18, 2017 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.

faith-love-hope

Agnes Sanford had an unusual ability to read people. Extremely intelligent, she was also highly creative. For entertainment and a game, she and Edith Drury would have conversations at the supper table about the “Fanta-folk” as Agnes called them. These imaginary people went on many kinds of adventures with Edith and Agnes creating them through their conversations back and forth. Her inventive mind proved to be extremely important in her ministry.

Agnes sensed I had a need. I had been adopted as a child and had developed a number of problems that came from trying to fit into the world I grew up in. Agnes understood this and suggested we pray about the struggle. She told me to close my eyes and envision myself as a child at a time when I might have had difficulties.

Leaning back in the chair, I let my mind drift as she continued talking and guiding my imagination. Soon a ten-year-old Robert Wise appeared in my meditation and was standing on the edge of a pitch-black school playground that I often had to cross after dark. I was always frightened by that vast expanse and would run as hard as I could to get to the other side when it was dark. As Agnes talked, I realized a huge bundle was on my back, making me bend over. I was a troubled little boy.

Agnes asked me to pray for Jesus to come and help me. She suggested I create an image in my mind. Using my imagination, I soon was surprised that Jesus began walking out of the darkness toward me. My meditation took on an independence of its own. Jesus reached out and touched the burden on my back. The bundle instantly disappeared!

The effect was so dramatic that I rose up in my chair and broke the contemplation. I suddenly discovered that I felt much lighter and could breathe more deeply and fully than I had ever done before. Later I realized the bundle had been a symbol of issues and experiences that had haunted me through the years. The problems were gone. The struggle and depression had vanished. The transformation of my memories had been a divine intervention. I was released.

This encounter was my introduction to the “Healing of Memories” ministry that was to prove important in my own work. I realized Jesus Christ was the same yesterday, today, and always. He could heal the past as easily as the present.

By the way, if you haven’t picked up a copy of my latest book, now’s the time.

The Revised and Expanded edition… WHEN THERE IS NO MIRACLE Kregel Publications

MEET AGNES

BLOG 53 September 4, 2017 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.

Healing Prayer1-cropped

I not only knew Agnes Sanford, but taught in her School of Pastoral Care. During that time, I became acquainted with Dr. Harry Goldsmith whose healing and emotional restoration laid the foundation for the healing of the memories ministry that had a worldwide impact. Harry experienced the reality of Agnes’s prayers both physically and emotionally. My time with Agnes opened similar doors that lead to my own emotional healing.

While Agnes has been gone from this world for three and a half decades, her quest for the miraculous remains highly instructive. She has much to tell us about we can access the miraculous realm. While her personal orientation was unusual, her devotion to discovering the pathway to prayers for healing remains anyone can follow.

When Agnes began struggling to understand how healing can occur, she was virtually alone in her search. On the West Coast, Dr. Robert Bell and Dr. John Gaynor had begun healing ministries with important results. At one time the Emmanuel Movement in Boston had been involved in prayer work, but that past was gone. Agnes worked against the tide with many churches remaining negative about her ideas. Agnes refused to step back from her experiments with prayer and its impact.

Agnes Mary White Sanford came out of a world that is now gone. Her father Hugh Watt White and mother Augusta were Presbyterian ministers and missionaries in Hsuchoufu, China back in the days when the Western Church world saw that far off land as a place of mystery and romantic intrigue. The Chinese were considered primitive and ripe for the Christian message. Missionaries lived in compounds and worked to share a simple gospel story. Agnes’s early life absorbed the Chinese culture and she thought she would always live in China. Agnes taught English in the Wu dialect as well as Mandarin that she grew up speaking.

When she married Ted (Edgar L.) Sanford in the Episcopal Church Mission in Changshu, she assumed they would remain in China, but such was not to be. The Communist revolution swept away the world of American missionaries. Still, what she experienced in those earliest years shaped a unique perspective when she came to America.

The Sanford’s accepted a call to Moorestown, New Jersey where Ted became the village priest. The relocation brought a considerable adjustment for Agnes, but she kept struggling with one idea. Her missionary parents accepted the dispensational idea that healing ministry ended with the apostles and Agnes had seen so much suffering in China that she set out to explore if that was actually true. She wanted to learn how to pray for the sick and bring recovery as was described in the Bible. Her conclusion was that the Holy Spirit had never stopped caring about the painful struggles of God’s people. Agnes became a healer.

MEET MIKE AND BETH Part 6

BLOG 51 August 14, 2017 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.

JesusHealsBlindness

            For the last five weeks, we’ve been exploring the ministry of a spiritually gifted couple. Mike and Beth Owen along with their two children, ministered first in a Baptist setting and then moved into the Vineyard Ministry when it initially began. During their work with the Vineyard, Mike and Beth received important gifts from the Holy Spirit. Prophetic insight helped to propel significant Vineyard growth in Oklahoma City. Mike also began to experience a healing ministry.

During a conference in Monterrey, Mexico, Mike was working with local citizens who were “the poorest of the poor but the richest in faith.” During an evening service with robust singing and praise, an elderly woman was led forward for prayer assisted by two young people. She was blind. A group of ministers assembled around Mike and they all began to pray, asking the Holy Spirit to restore her sight.

As he prayed, Mike felt like he was being transported from Monterrey into a page out of the New Testament. While he was internally experiencing that ancient scene, the old woman began to cry.

Ya veo!” the woman sobbed. “Ya veo!

“She sees,” the minister next to Mike whispered.

Over and over again, the woman gave thanks and praise to Jesus Christ for healing her. As the service ended, she rushed out into the streets to tell everyone that she had received this wonderful healing. Her sight was restored.

As the evening ended, the words of Jesus in Luke 4:18-19 rang in Mike’s ears. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to preach the gospel … the recovery of sight to the blind.” A gift of healing had become part of his ministry.

The divine interventions and miracles have not stopped.

What can we learn?

Since the Western World is living in an age that considers empirical data to be supreme, some of Mike and Beth’s accounts may sound over the top. The prevailing world view of the modern world rides on scientific data and demonstrable facts. Obviously, some of the foregoing does not fit the mold. So, what do we do?

I’d suggest we change our world view.

If we are to understand miracles and learn how to live with divine interventions, we need to make a paradigm shift. We must recognize that the transcendent dimension won’t fit in a test tube or calculate on a computer. God’s world must be encountered in God’s terms. The failure to face up to this reality will keep the door shut that must be opened in order have some insight into divine interruptions. Mike and Beth grew up with the door open. They can teach us a number of things about the doors we often keep closed.

By the way, there will be no blog next week. I’ll be in Alaska near the Arctic Circle, hiking through Denali National Park. I’ll finish the summer in one of the most beautiful and restful places in the world.  See you again on August 28!

MEET MIKE AND BETH Part Five

BLOG 50 August 7, 2017 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.

jesus-savior

            While Mike and Beth were pastoring a church, much of Beth’s time was given to pastoral care. A young woman came for counseling because she and her husband had not been able to conceive a child. She was coming to the end of her rope and beginning to believe it would never happen. Despair had settled in. Let’s return to a story from the July 12 Blog.

After anointing her with consecrated oil, Beth laid her hands on the woman’s head and prayed. Much like the story from I Samuel 1:11-20 when Hannah came to Shiloh to pray for a child, the young woman earnestly pleaded for God to work. Beth had an unusual feeling that as she interceded, she sensed the woman would conceive.

Nine months later, a beautiful baby was born. During the next few years, the couple had more children. The family was convinced that the turning point came during those earlier moments of prayer. Always hesitant to share this story because of how it might be received by other parents seeking a child, Beth believes the anointing, laying on of hands, and prayer provided a special encounter with grace as the Lord of life brought forth new life. After the child was born, Beth celebrated the baptism of this child.

The gift of life had been given and consecrated.

New life came in a different form for Mike. In 1983, as he was preparing for the morning Easter service, he knelt down at the church’s altar rail to thank God for the resurrection of Jesus and for the impartation of new life to His people for over 2,000 years. He was praising God for setting believers free from fear when he had a distinct sense of someone standing with him.

Mike looked up and on the other side of the rail the risen Christ stood with his hands extended. Mike stared in astonishment. The Christ said, “I am alive forever.” Mike’s heart pounded as he stared at the figure that was clearly there and yet transparent. As he watched, the figure of Jesus faded.

The encounter burned a new level of conviction into his mind. A higher degree of assurance had been established. A monumental landmark gave birth to a new boldness in proclaiming enduring hope. He had seen a miracle.

Beth initiated a divine response; Mike received a direct intervention. Two forms of heaven touching earth. Pay attention. The Holy Spirit is still at work.

 

 

MEET MIKE AND BETH Part Four

BLOG 49 July 31, 2017 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.

set-free

            Alcoholism is a disease for which there are significant medical treatments. At the same time, some forms of the addiction become a vehicle for evil. Alcoholism is not the only problem that is both a medical problem as well as the tool for evil intrusion. Often at the root of the problem are experiences that have created guilt or anxiety that the victims use alcohol to cover. In the last blog, I reported how the Bishops Mike and Beth Owen encountered evil and began a ministry of defeating the demonic invasion that has swept across this country. Here’s another example from their experience.

Mike’s father called about him and Beth ministering to a fellow worker whose addiction to alcohol was destroying the man’s life and pushing him to contemplate suicide. After picking up a friend who had experienced a miraculous recovery from addiction before entering the ministry, they went to the man’s house. Their friend was always soft spoken.

The curtains were drawn and the unkempt house was cold, and dark. A stale heaviness hung in the air, making the room smell like a dilapidated bar. An evil aura seemed to hover around the house. When the door opened, the blurry-eyed man stood there extremely drunk. At once, he dropped to his knees and grabbed the Owens’ friends around the legs.
“Christ forgive me,” the drunk sobbed. “Have mercy on me.”

In contrast to what they expected, Mike’s friend shouted with sternness, “Come out of him you spirit of addiction and you spirit of alcoholism!” The minister kept demanding release to break the hold Evil had on the drunk.

“Do you want to relinquish your life into the hands of Christ?”

“Yes!” he cried. “Oh, yes!”

“Be set free!” the minister exclaimed.

The drunk stopped sobbing and abruptly stood up. The awful odor and stench of alcohol seemed to float away from the room. His face cleared and brightness returned to his eyes. Peacefulness settled around him. In a matter of minutes, he had gone from complete intoxication to sobriety and a countenance of contentment.

The possession by Evil had been broken.

Whether the release would be considered a miracle or not, it was certainly a divine intervention. In these incidents, Mike and Beth realized that they were growing in their ability to minister with empowerment. Their ability to enter into the realm of the miraculous was increasing.

In the days ahead, they would be a formidable foe of evil. Their path is not unique. Anyone can decide to stand against evil and learn how to become a vehicle for divine intervention.

 

MEET LESLIE Part 7

BLOG 44 June 26, 2017 MIRACLES NEVER CEASE

miraclesandhope

           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.

My blogs not only offer my findings with people who had divine intervention experiences, but analyze what occurred so you can learn insights that will apply to your life. I hope to bring a return of the miraculous to the local church. I began because of the realization that local churches have often lost touch with appropriating the empowerment and gifts that our heavenly Father offers.

Was there ever a time when we needed the insight more?

Because Leslie Draper has an ongoing ministry with hurting people, we have looked at her work for a number of sessions. This is the final opportunity to discover her insights. Take another look.

Sensitivity to Others

Her own struggles made Leslie highly sensitive to hurting people. She is immediately available to ease their pain. She will quickly tell anyone that her ministry is not about her or her needs. Her focus is on others and her concern is key to her ministry.

Do we have the same focus? The vast majority of the population would have to answer no. Recently, a friend was having lunch in a public restaurant when an elderly man began choking. With people all around him, no one moved and most looked away. Finally, my friend jumped up and performed the Heimlich Maneuver that saved the man’s life. Apparently, he was the only one in the restaurant focused on the man’s obvious need.

Because the heavenly Father is concerned for the well-being of every living creature, our concern for others brings us into touch with His work in the world. We are moved closer to an experience of divine intervention. Sensitivity to hurting people helps to position us to discover the miraculous.

 Intuition

Intuitiveness is an internal part of knowing. Our personal, inner mental resources inform us about reality and we rely on the internal insights to guide us. That’s how intuition operates. Leslie Draper has always been a highly intuitive person. On the other hand, people who are extroverts develop their sense of reality from outside themselves. They look around and observe what they can see beyond themselves and then make decisions. They are outer-oriented. However, prayer and meditation cultivate intuitiveness. Leslie’s talks with angels grew out of her listening with an “inner” ear. Reconsider your own intuitiveness as a factor in ministry.

The Holy Spirit

            While Leslie’s earliest experiences with church people gave her problems, they also imparted an extremely important dimension to her life. The Pentecostal Church emphasized the work of the Holy Spirit. Early in her development, Leslie learned to listen inwardly to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking in her mind. Guidance came much like her thought processes operated. She had learned to listen with attentiveness to the inner voice that came from the Holy Spirit – and angels.

Leslie would tell you that being attuned to the Holy Spirit is the key to all of her other divine intervention experiences.

 

 

MEET LESLIE Part 6

BLOG 43 June 19, 2017 MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

confederate

Robert Wise explores the world of divine interventions from an objective point of view. Can 21st century people believe the hand of God still touches people today? Read and you’ll find new insights.

A number of important insights can be discovered through previous blogs describing Leslie Draper’s ministry. Let’s take a last look. Five words can define some of our discoveries. This week we’ll examine two of those insights and finish the other three words next week. While much of what Leslie does is unique, anyone can develop similar skills by working down the same path she has followed.

  1. Struggle

Leslie’s childhood was filled with difficulties. There is a dictum in psychology that creativity arises from pain. Suffering enlarges the soul with new openness. Leslie’s difficulties are an important part of what developed her ministry. Divine interventions often occur during hardships and pain.

Everyone has struggles they don’t like to remember, but possibly yours has more value than you realize. Could there be significance in returning to the past and examining how your soul might have been opened with a far a greater potential than you recognized?

A Confederate soldier’s prayer has been on my desk for so long that I no longer remember where it came from, but it presents the possibilities in our struggles. We may have overlooked important insights in many of our previous battles.

I asked for strength that I might achieve; He made me weak that I  might obey.

I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given grace that I might

do better things.

I asked for riches that I might be happy; I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men; I was given weakness that

I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy

all things.

I received nothing that I asked for, all that I hope for.

My prayer was answered. Amen.

Take a second look at your life. There may be more there spiritually than you expected. Pain can be the source of gain.

  1. Openness

Even a brief conversation with Leslie leaves the impression that fidelity is an essential part of her existence. She is a spiritually obedient person. Highly instructive for us!

It’s common for people to say, “Oh, I’m quite open –but I wouldn’t do that.” Whatever that is, points to the fact they’re actually not as open as they thought. It’s important to examine our ideals and convictions. Some people never experience the realm of divine happenings because they live inside closed boundaries.

Leslie’s recommendation? Open your heart and eyes to people who are around you. Don’t be afraid to pray with them and for them. We all grow through such encounters. No one knows what their capacities might be except as they reach out to anyone in need.

 

MEET LESLIE Part 3

BLOG 39 May 8, 2017 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.

Leslie is a graduate of East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma and attended law school for a year but a severe relapse in her Multiple Sclerosis condition ended her studies. Always highly intuitive, she had natural insight. For a period of time, Leslie worked as a Social Worker with the Child Welfare Department in Oklahoma. But that was only a backdrop for what she does today.

Leslie receives angelic messages and passes them on to struggling people.

For example, a lady came to see Leslie and was obviously skeptical. She would tell Leslie nothing about herself and only asked if the angels had any information for her. The lady sat across the desk with a look that almost dared Leslie to say something.

When Leslie is helping people, she makes it clear that she personally has nothing to offer. In a straightforward manner, she explains that Leslie Draper is highly fallible. All she can do is convey an angelic message that she probably doesn’t understand. In my private conversations with Leslie, she explained it is possible for her “to mess up” what the angels are communicating. Sometimes she may seem to have “static” in her mind and be a faulty link. However, what the angels are communicating is never wrong. All of this understanding was communicated to the lady.

The client listened and silently nodded while her eyes conveyed doubt.

As she usually does, Leslie leaned sideways and silently listened while nodding slightly as if overhearing a conversation in the next room. (She says the angels speak very softly) Finally, Leslie straightened and told the lady that the angels said, “Find the ring.”

The women’s face turned white. Her mouth dropped. She appeared ready to run for the door. Startled, Leslie had no idea what had occurred.

“What’s wrong?” Leslie asked. “I have no idea what the answer meant.”

The lady caught her breath. “Twenty years ago. I was going to marry a man who died one week before our wedding. I was devastated and of course, no rings were exchanged. Recently, I started wishing I had a ring simply to wear. I never found a ring that I liked, but I kept the search a secret. No one knew. Today, the angels told me to ‘find the ring.’”

Leslie’s ministry was authenticated for this doubter.

Do angels attempt to help us live our lives? Leslie’s answer is an absolute “yes.” While many people will not have the depth of experience that she has, they are still directed by angelic beings.

Our need? Practice tuning in!