MEET MIKE AND BETH Part Two

BLOG 71 February 5, 2018 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.

The ideas in this blog were first posted last summer, but the amazing event remains touching and are good for a second look.  During their work with the Vineyard Ministry, significant gifts from the Holy Spirit came forth for Mike and Beth. Prophetic insight helped to propel significant spiritual 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, a blind elderly woman was led forward for prayer assisted by two young people. A group of ministers assembled around Mike and all of them began to pray, asking the Holy Spirit to restore her sight.

As he interceded, 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.

Yo veo!” the woman sobbed. “Yo veo?”

“I think 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 teaching of Jesus in Luke 4:18-19 rang in Mike’s ears. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to preach the gospel … and the recovery of sight to the blind.” In the same way a gift of healing had become part of Mike’s ministry.

The divine interventions and miracles have continued through the years for Mike and Beth as they reach out to the needs of others.

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 to hard-nosed secularists. The prevailing world view of the modern world insists 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 and Word 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 to have some insight into divine interruptions. Mike and Beth can teach us a number of things about the doors we often keep closed. They grew up with the door open.

Has the promise, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to preach the gospel … and the recovery of sight to the blind,” become out dated? Has the work of healing ministry stopped? Review some of these blogs and you’ll get the picture.

Miracles have never ceased!

MEET AGNES Part 4

BLOG 56 September 25, 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.

holyspiritflame

The healing of the memories ministry began with Agnes Sanford. Practicing her prayer experiments while making the hospital rounds during World War II, she encountered a displaced twenty-year old Jewish boy who struggled because shrapnel destroyed a two-inch piece of bone in his thigh, causing osteomyelitis. Hunks of his femur had been blown away as the war raged near his village. After two years of hospitalization, there had been no improvement, but Agnes prayed. Harry was saved from an amputation, and the bone was restored.

The young man was so moved that he vowed to tell everyone in the world about what had happened. In turn, Agnes gave Harry a New Testament. When Agnes asked him what he thought of the Jesus he was reading about, he replied, “I wondered who the other one was? When I’m doing my prayers, I often feel that I am not alone.”

As Harry developed spiritually, he recognized that he had emotional issues that also needed healing. When he became angry, he might hurl a typewriter or scream in rage. The The Holy Spirit revealed that the problem was not Harry the twenty-year old man, but the little ten-year Harry still living inside the grown man.

As Agnes meditated on Harry’s problem, she remembered the scripture promised Jesus is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Perhaps, time might be transcended and the child of Harry’s past could be healed. Agnes began to intercede for Harry’s childhood even back to the days of his being a baby in the cradle. She prayed fervently for his release from hurt and anger.

In the Sunday worship service in her church, there was always a time of confession when the worshippers expressed their personal needs in prayer. These moments of prayer were followed by the clergy offering a prayer of absolution and asking the heavenly Father to wipe the slate clean so the congregation could start over again. She began bringing Harry spiritually to the time of confession and asking for a divine absolution.

Shortly after these prayers of intercession, Harry wrote, “What are you doing? All of a sudden I feel just ridiculously happy from morning until night.” The Holy Spirit had brought liberation. Agnes had learned how to pray about difficult memories and bring recovery from those often nearly forgotten experiences.

As Agnes prayed for healing the past, she always imagined the person actually being restored and asked the person being prayed for to do the same. Images seemed to bring connection that allowed divine interventions to follow. When the injury was caused by someone else, forgiveness brought liberation.

Why could recovery in some people linger for years before the person was set free? Her answer was that God has given us free will and He doesn’t violate His own principles. The Holy Spirit waits for our invitation before His healing work begins.

 

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!