COME TO THE WATER

Blog 107 January 14, 2019

jesus-heals

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE ~ 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.

Divine interventions come in many shapes. Marsha Stevens found that fact to be true.

Marsha was born in Pomona, California in 1952. Her troubled life began by growing up with a family impacted by alcoholism. She was tossed back and forth by difficult circumstances until she found a new life through a Pacific ocean beach-side evangelical Christian Church. This particular church became one of the centers where the Jesus Movement began. Marsha’s life discovered a powerful renewal.

From this period in her journey, Marsha Stevens wrote “For These Tears I Died,” a song meant to help her sister Wendy find her way to Christ. The song immediately became popular and to this day is sung in churches. If Larry Norman can be called the father of Christian Rock, Marsha Stevens certainly became the mother of Christian music. She was the leader of the world’s first Christian music group, Children of the Day.

Marsha married Russ Stevens in the ‘70s. The marriage lasted seven years before things fell apart. The husband got half of her royalties and the children. Marsha’s life was on the rocks and she floundered. Finally, Marsha wound up in a rehabilitation center where her struggle to overcome her addiction proved to be fierce and painful.

During this stay, Marsha wandered down to a lake on the grounds and wept over her failing attempts to stay sober. When she looked out over the cool waters, Marsha saw the figure of Jesus reflected in the surface of the ripples. She knew she wasn’t alone and that her savior would help her overcome her dependency. Once again, Marsha reached out to her savior to redeem her.

When she stood up, Marsha realized a profound change had occurred in her life. Never again, would she be addicted. Marsha Stevens was healed instantly.

This experience caused her to write a song still sung in church’s all over the world today. Come to the Waters. A song that sprang from a divine intervention

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

CHEER FOR THE NEW YEAR!

Blog 105 December 24, 2018

crossing

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE 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.

IT’S CHRISMAS EVE! HERE’S AN ENCOUNTER FROM LAST WEEK THAT CAN CHEER YOU FOR THE NEW YEAR!

Miracles and divine interventions come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they are surprises that remind us that another world exists besides the concrete shapes we call everyday reality. That other world is referred to as eternity, the transcendent, or even heaven. We hope we go there, but really have no idea what the celestial realm will be. The scripture simply doesn’t tell us.

Several years ago, I wrote Crossing the Threshold of Eternity that was full of near-death experiences and what they can teach about the “other side.” Regal books published this collection of encounters that shed light on the beyond. This past week I ran into another one of those discoveries.

Lyndell Jaquemont is a relative I’ve known for over fifty years. We eat lunch together once a year and catch up on what’s been going on with relatives near and far. Unfortunately, this past year her husband passed away and we got off on what happens after death. She told me this story.

Her mother and father divorced when she was a child and she grew up with little knowledge of her father, Vernon Chappell who had remarried several times. Her grandmother Clara Corbin didn’t like what he had done and was ready to give him a piece of her mind every chance she got. Of course, Clara died and had been gone for some time.

Lyn had reached adulthood when Vernon ended up in the hospital. The condition proved extremely serious. Lyn discovered he had called a couple of his children, but not her. And then he died.

Lyn felt he had rejected her. She was the first of his children and there had always been distance, but after all, Vernon Chappell was her father. The fact he didn’t call lingered in her mind and became a painful, depressing source of resentment. The sense of rejection lingered.

Lyn was lying in bed ready to go asleep. She had entered that twilight zone just before one is completely gone to dreamland. She abruptly realized two people were standing at the foot of her bed and looked up. Vernon Chappell and Clara Corbin were standing there looking at here.

Lyn couldn’t believe her eyes. Not only were they both dead, Vernon and Clara had been foes, but there they were like old friends.

“I’m sorry,” Vernon apologized. “It’s okay. You don’t have to worry about that telephone call I failed to make. Everything is okay.”

Suddenly, they were gone and the end of the bed was empty. Lyn knew the experience had to be real because the two avoided each like the plague during their lifetimes but were now together. She had no doubt that she had momentarily stepped over that line into eternity and experienced a form of a divine intervention.

Lyn’s depression evaporated like fog in the morning sun and never came back.

WE WON’T BE BACK TILL NEXT YEAR! We’re on the road until after Jan. 1. So the next blog will be January 7.

THE HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK

Blog 104 December 17, 2018

angels

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.

Skeptics tend not to differentiate between miracles, divine interventions, special acts of grace, and chance events that are only circumstantial. Believers have the same problem. Unexpected good things happen to all of us that have nothing to do with special provision from the hand of the Divine. Sometimes we call such events miracles when they are only a positive moment. On the other hand, doubters may miss a divine intervention because they are closed to the possibility of such happenings.  As I interviewed people, I ran into these examples that can help us sort out the difference. You have seen this in earlier blogs.

Desperate people struggling against overwhelming odds often seem to become more receptive to divine intervention. Others encountered unexpected explosions of grace in their everyday lives that seemed to come out of the blue. They, too, have insight and encouragement. Both groups can help us make sense out of our own experience.

For example, there’s my friend Glenda Marshall. You can meet Glenda at Platte Canyon Community Church in Bailey, Colorado. In the heart of the Rockies, Bailey is one of those quiet, peaceful mountain communities that people often settle in for retirement. At 85 years old, Glenda was a fixture in this village where she loved to work in her garden.

Glenda had just begun to dig around her flowers when she slipped. As her feet flew out from under her, Glenda fell straight backward. Her head bounced on a smooth rock that was surrounded by jagged, piercing slabs of granite. If she had hit one of those other chunks, her head would have been ripped open. Such a fall could have killed her. But there was no injury. None.

Every morning Glenda prayed that she would not get hurt because her age meant an accident could be dangerous to her life. When she sat up, Glenda realized there had been no damage, not even a headache. She had been pulled back just before she fell into the pit. She knew her anticipatory prayers had been essential.

What happened? Some people would conclude this was one of those circumstantial situations that just “happened.” Glenda is convinced she experienced a miracle.

Here’s a good insight for us here: start every day with a prayer for protection.

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 102 December 3, 2018

Holy-Spirit-powerinside

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 blog just before Thanksgiving, we explored the extraordinary healing of Cyndi and the effect that experience had on Rev. Quinton Moore’s ministry. The encounter taught Quinton to have a greater dependence on the power of God. That event was only the beginning.

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. His discovery was reinforced by a mission trip to Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

Ugandans call their churches Prayer Palaces where the services are almost endless. After several hours of congregational singing, the children’s choir performed while the sun mercilessly beat down on the hot tin roof. Finally, three hours later, the sick and infirm are carried in on mats. The twisted, broken bodies were placed down front near the pulpit. Sick people began to shout, “Preach! Yes, preach!”

Quinton stood up and proclaimed his text. “And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke will be destroyed from your neck.” (Isaiah 10:27) Inspiration grew as he preached that the power of God would remove all burdens and break all yokes. Unfortunately, the translator couldn’t get it straight and finally Quinton felt his sermon was going nowhere. What he needed was to pray for the broken. Quinton jumped down from the pulpit into the midst of the struggling mass of humanity.

A 14-year old girl sat in front of him with a twisted body that left her immobile. She held up her arm and Quinton swung at her hand, hitting her palm. Immediately, the girl stood up and began clapping. She ran through the congregation with overwhelming joy. Quinton stood there more astonished than anyone in the room.

How did I do that? he thought. I can’t do such things!  

Quinton had simply reached out and asked the Holy Spirit to help a struggling girl and a miracle followed. He was as amazed as anyone in the church.

The multitude surged forward. Elders immediately began lining the people up in an orderly fashion. One-by-one they marched before Quinton for him to lay hands on them. After he prayed, most would take several steps and fall to the ground. The elders would pull them aside and the line walked forward. For three and a half hours, the needy came by. Quinton became so tired he could barely stand. Finally, he cratered to the floor, weeping at what he had seen.

A Ugandan elder bent down. “You didn’t do nothing,” the man whispered. “They had the faith. It was in them, not you.”

Once again Quinton recognized that he wasn’t in control of what only God can do.

We have a new website you’d enjoy ~ 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 HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK

Blog 100 November 12, 2018

quintin

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?

Last week we explored Quintin Moore’s early experience when he grew up in Oklahoma’s beginnings of Pentecostalism. Let’s take another look,
Pentecostalism appeared around the turn of the century in the Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles, California beginning on April 19, 1906 when a black preacher named William Seymour began calling the Holy Spirit down on the congregation. Many people repented and fell under the power of the Holy Spirit. The revival lasted until 1915 and is considered to be the beginning of Pentecostalism. From humble beginnings, the movement rapidly spread across America and into Oklahoma.

In Quintin’s world extraordinary events were considered the norm. When Quintin went to college, he encountered attitudes at the other end of the spectrum. The skepticism bug began to bite. Modern academia looked askance at the divine intervention stories coming out of Pentecostal churches. They were considered emotionalism, psychological manipulation, as well as nonsense. As Quintin studied logic, philosophy, and science, he began sliding to the edge. He certainly believed in the basic tenets of the biblical faith, but the supernatural dimension became less and less attractive. After Quintin completed an excellent education, he felt called into the ministry and started exploring various aspects of ministry. A church in Liberal, Kansas called him to come up and speak. Taking his new wife Annie with him, he drove to a small congregation, to try his hand at preaching. Around 35 people showed up to hear this young man.

The typical plain church building had a communion table underneath the pulpit with a thanksgiving basket sitting in the middle of the table. Bananas, apples, oranges had been piled together to represent the harvest season. People sauntered in and sat down to listen to this young fellow.

One man was particularly noticeable. Slouched down in the middle of the pew, the man stared at Quintin with a defiant look on his face. While no words were spoken, he seemed to be daring the preacher to say something. Quintin could feel the challenge written across the man’s face.

Quintin launched into his sermon, but a strange thought blipped through his mind. “Take a banana and put it on that obstinate man’s head.” While Quintin knew what it was to have the Holy Spirit speak in his thoughts, this idea sounded beyond the preposterous. He kept preaching but the idea wouldn’t go away. Finally, he jumped down from the pulpit grabbed a banana out of the basket, and started up the aisle pointing the fruit at the man’s head.

The defiant look vanished and the fellow virtually fell out of the pew. He began crawling up the aisle crying. The man grabbed the kneeling rail and sobbed bitterly. Most of the people in the congregation were family or knew him. They gathered around, praying for his wholeness.

After the service was over, Quintin approached the man to inquire what had happened. “Look,” the man said. “I cynically told the Lord if this preacher hears from you, let him put a banana on my head.” Still sobbing, the man said “you did!”

We have just begun 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 HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK

Blog 99 November 5, 2018

miraclesquote

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?

You met Quinton Moore in an earlier blog. Today he is the Presiding Bishop of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches.  I shared one incident in his ministry, but I didn’t go into details. I think you will find more insight into his life and ministry instructive. Let me tell you about his story.

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, Lottie 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 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 90 degree 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 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.

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 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