JESUS IN THE MUSLIM WORLD

Blog 110 February 4, 2019

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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.

As the war between Muslims in the Middle East and the Western world continues to boil, unexpected divine interventions have surfaced. In his book Dreams and Visions, (Thomas Nelson Publishers), Tom Doyle shares a multitude of these stories. Here’s an example of what is occurring right now.   

In the section of Old Cairo, Hassan (name protected) awoke to find a gun in his face. He was ordered to get up and follow wherever the imam ordered him to go. Hassan had no doubts that he had been discovered as one of the people who led Muslims to faith in Jesus Christ. He had tried to stay out of sight, but apparently the imam’s had found him. His death was insured.

Wearing a strange mask, the imam led down the ancient winding streets in the middle of the night. As he walked with the gun in his back, Hassan thought about how the Lord had given him a passion to reach Muslims, but it made no difference now that he was on his way to becoming another Egyptian martyr,

“Up the stairs,” his attacker ordered.

Leading him to the edge of high building, Hassan was ordered to jump across the gap between two buildings. He didn’t think he could make it, but took the leap and got across. The imam immediately forced him toward a hatchway in an abandoned warehouse. Hassan whispered, “Jesus, into Your hands I commit my spirit.”

“Open the hatch door and climb in quickly,” the imam ordered.

When Hassan dropped down, to his surprise he found ten Muslim men sitting in a circle smiling at him. The imam who captured Hassan said, “We are imams who all studied at Al-Azhar University in Cairo.” He explained that each man had dreamed about Jesus appearing to them and privately become followers of Christ. They knew they could tell no one, but prayed that Jesus would send someone to them to teach the imams how to be a follower. They knew if this was found out, death would follow. Now, they believed that they had found a person who could teach them the Way.

The man who took him at gun point apologized for frightening him and wearing a mask, but believed it was the only way they could get him there. Now, his question was, “will you teach us the Bible?”

Divine interventions do come in unexpected ways!

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

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A WINTER WALK IN THE SNOW

Blog 109 January 28, 2019

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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.

My good friend Joe L. Wheeler in his book My Favorite Angel Stories, (Pacific Press) tells another factual account important for this time of year when the snow is piling up and the temperatures are falling to frighteningly low levels. Every morning on the media reports, we learn of blizzards sending ice drifting across highways.

In the frozen forests of Russia, no one went into the cold alone. However, Sophie left her place of employment to walk to her father’s house in the village. With the bitter winds blowing, she started down the frozen road and then veered into the trees. Soon a band of wet snow circled her boots and began to seep into her socks. Sophie worried if she should go on. Then she heard the frightening sound behind her. Sophie knew well wolves were in the forest that now stood between her and where she had come from. Sophie couldn’t go back.

Fearing being attacked, she immediately prayed. “Lord of heaven, be with me, help me!”

Sophie started running, but soon had to stop. She walked for a while, then tried to run again. The staggering cold temperatures made movement nearly impossible even for one accustomed to the fierce climate. She began pushing herself forward by running from one tree to another, but her energy and strength were running out.

Once more, Sophie prayed. “Father, help me. I need you. Help me. Send an angel to help me. Lord of all, be with me.” Over and over she cried out her prayer. She knew her strength was failing and leaned against a tree sobbing.

From behind her, a hand touched her shoulder and a soft, kind voice said, “You cannot rest now, Sophie. Go on.”

When she turned no one was there. No tracks were in the snow. Bewildered, Sophie started on again.

The sun was setting. Abruptly, she realized the village was not far in front of her, but the wolves were howling and the blizzard blowing. She knew it would be impossible to get to the village. Her eyes fluttered and sleep seemed the only comfort, frozen sleep. She couldn’t get to the village.  Impossible.

A hand seized her shoulder and shook her. “Sophie, the soft, gentle voice said. “You cannot rest yet! Go home.”

No longer did her legs know if her feet touched the ground, but she started walking again. Finally, she stumbled against a door and fell to the ground. When she looked up, her father’s face was above and he carried her inside.

When Sophie later reflected on what had happened. She remembered there were no tracks in the snow and the voice had come from someone she couldn’t see, but she had prayed for an angel and one had come. Sophie knew that one day she would see the angel who had walked with her.

Surviving the winter had been a divine intervention.

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 BLIND SEE

Blog 108 January 21, 2019

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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.

One of the fascinating stories in John’s Gospel account is the story of the disciples asking Jesus if a blind man was afflicted because he sinned or was it his parent’s fault. Jesus told them neither was the case and replied that the condition existed that the glory of God could be revealed. In response, Jesus spit on the ground and made mud that was applied to the man’s eyes. He sent the man to the Pool of Siloam to wash his face. When the blind man came back seeing, the crowd was astonished (John 9:1-11).

Again and again, the scripture affirmed the identity of Jesus as the Messiah because the lame were made to walk and the blind to see. Do the results continue to this day? You bet.

Allow me to share a personal story.

I have the beginning stages of a degenerative condition which occurs in many people as they age. (Yes, there is a vile rumor that I might be aging. Pay no attention to the idea.) The vitreous humor inside the eyeball decreases with time and this can create a problem behind the retina. (As I understand the condition of which my description might be a tad incorrect). That is the non-scientific version of a problem with my eyes.

I was sitting at my desk when suddenly my left eye became so blurry that everything appeared to be double. I blinked several times and realized that I had no distance vision out of that eye. When I looked at the television, my right eye saw the football players with normal perspective, but my left eye’s vision was so distorted that I couldn’t watch the game with that eye. I immediately contacted my M.D. daughter-in-law who is an ophthalmologist to see if she could get me into a retinal specialist immediately. Of course, I knew it usually took weeks to get an appointment and as serious as this situation appeared, I knew I couldn’t wait. Kim went into gear and I had an appointment for the next morning.

Because I have followed and studied miracles for three years, I took some of the advice I’ve given in these blogs and began praying about the problem. I particularly sought an out pouring of life that only God can give. As I prayed, I bathed my eye in the renewing power of the Holy Spirit. As I went to sleep that night, I drifted away asking the healing power of God to renew my left eye.

The next morning, I got up early preparing for the appointment. Suddenly, I realized that I could not only see normally with my left eye, but my vision was sharper than it had been for years. I almost couldn’t believe how radical the change was.

The retina doctor ran the usual tests that probe both the front and the interior of the eye. He looked at with a puzzled expression. “I cannot see any problem. Your eye is normal.”

I told him how I prayed. He shook his head and said, “Keep it up!”

Do people with eye problems still receive the healing touch of grace? They sure do!

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

COME TO THE WATER

Blog 107 January 14, 2019

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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

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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