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 103 December 10, 2018

holy-spirit2

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 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 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 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