DORTHY, ARE WE STILL IN KANSAS?

BLOG 66 December 18, 2017 MIRACLES NEVER CEASE 

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Followers of this blog know that Robert L. Wise has traveled across many states collecting stories of miracles and divine interventions that confront the contemporary secular mind. Read and see what you think.

This isn’t about the tin man, the cowardly lion, the scarecrow, and Dorothy, but it did happen in Kansas with friends who live in Hutchinson.

In previous blogs, you have probably noticed that people were praying fervently when someone was in trouble. I have observed that often people practice two types of prayers. One variety tells God to pay attention because he’s not aware of the disaster they are facing. The other kind calls on the Holy Spirit to descend on the person in need. Intercessors consider their prayers to be conduits for the power of God to flow through them into the dangerous situation at hand. Here’s an example.

Quinton Moore is the Presiding Bishop of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches. I’ve know him, his family, and their daughter Heather for years.  I didn’t know that Sean and Heather were expecting another child. As part of the usual pre-natal car, Heather went for her regular check-up. The doctor took some x-rays that stopped him in his tracks.

“Heather,” he said soberly. “We have a serious problem.” He held the x-ray up for her to see the disaster. “The fetus has Spinal Bifida.”

Heather, Sean, and the extended family were crushed. Their response was immediate. “What can we do?”

The doctor suggested they go to Wichita, Kansas to a specialist. Their questions would be critical and the Moore family needed the most competent help they could find. An appointment was set up for two days later and Quinton began praying. Calling Sean’s family to join with them, they went into a constant day and night intercession.

The examination in Wichita began. While Heather was undergoing a complete diagnostic regimen, the two families in the waiting room continued their prayers. Quinton paced back and forth asking the Holy Spirit to intervene with power and healing.

Eventually, the doctor came out, holding two x-rays. He began a rambling discussion of the condition and their procedures. Finally, Quinton interrupted him.

“Look doctor. Just tell us what the bottom line is. That’s all we want to know.”

The doctor took a deep breath and held up the two x-rays. He pointed to the spine area. “This first one clearly shows the condition.” Then he held up the second x-ray they had just made. Again, he pointed to the spine. “Look! It’s gone. The fetus does not have Spinal Bifida.”

The family cheered.

“Did the first doctor make a mistake?” Quinton asked. “Did we have a miracle?”

The doctor shook his head. “Just can’t say. “Miracles as good a word as any.”

“We’ve had a miracle!” Quinton declared.

In The Wizard of Oz, the lion got a heart, the scarecrow a brain, etc.etc., but none compare with Heather’s gift. Yes, Dorothy, prayer works.

 

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.

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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 Part 2

BLOG 54 September 11, 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.

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            We have been exploring the ministry of one of the most interesting persons that I have ever met. Agnes Sanford’s extraordinary gifts of grace and ministry blessed me personally as well as challenged my thinking about divine intervention. Having been born to a missionary family in China, Agnes grew up with a sensitivity to suffering and need.

The first time I came to Agnes’s home in Monrovia, California, Edith Drury opened the door and ushered me in. Edith believed she had been called of God to shepherd Agnes in her later years after Ted died. She could be a fierce soul to get passed if she didn’t like you. Fortunately, Edith and I got along well.

She ushered me into the living room where Agnes sat reading a book.

“Hello,” I said. “Thank you for taking time to talk with me.”

“Oh, Robert! Do come in and sit down.”

“I wanted to talk with you about your work with healing prayer. I’m concerned to know more about praying for sick people.”

“Excellent,’” Agnes repeated. “We can certainly talk about that subject.”

We conversed easily and she rambled awhile about her life. Her pastor at the local Episcopal Church was Morton Kelsey who was to become internationally known for his writing. At that moment, little did I realize that I would in time become Morton’s bishop. We were simply talking, sharing our journeys, and eating sweet rolls.

After talking for awhile, Agnes walked out on the veranda. Monrovia is set in the foothills above Los Angeles and her house was on a steep mountainside. Standing with a piece of bread in her hand, she seemed oblivious when a bird flew down and landed on her wrist. The bird pecked off a piece of bread and then flew off. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“I thought I saw a bird land on you,” I said.

“Oh yes,” she said casually. “They do that you know. I’ve never seen that bird before.”

That experience was my introduction to the unusual relationship Agnes had with nature. Dogs, birds, snakes, animals loved her and she developed an extraordinary capacity to pray for the earth and wind.

When Agnes came back inside, she 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.

Next week, I will tell you how she profoundly touched my life.

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

 

LIFE!

BLOG 31 March 13, 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…

          What happens when gifted people pray for intervention and recovery in an ill person? When people pray with such intent, they are actually sending life to the places where destruction has been at work. I have never found anyone who could tell me what “life” is because death is easily described but defining life is elusive. Nevertheless, with new life in our bodies, we can fight off cancer; without it, a simple infection can destroy us.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” In an indefinable way, Jesus was the embodiment of life. The people I’ve interviewed who experienced miracles discovered that his life was conveyed through his promises and by prayer. Keeping those promises constantly before them, imparted vitality. The healing eventually followed. What we have labeled as miracles are experiences infused with the substance we call life. The recipients are filled with new possibility.

Life is also embodied in many additional entities that are all around us. Flowers, trees, nature are alive because they contain life. A walk through a primeval forest energizes one because the shrubs, ancient trees, animals, all contain and convey life. As people age, it is important to stay in touch with such living entities. Those who lock themselves up in empty rooms are allowing life to slip away. The opposite is true with people who play with children, hug pets, and revitalize themselves with on-going sources of vitality.

We grow up hearing people talk about “the God world” as if it is up there, beyond the clouds, or “way over there.” Eternity is always someplace far, far away. Fortunately, the stories of the resurrection of Jesus give us a different picture. As he abruptly appeared to the apostles and then disappeared, Jesus demonstrated that heaven is “right here,” in our midst (John 20:19-23). On the Emmaus road, Jesus appeared and talked with the two men. After breaking bread (Holy Communion), when the men recognized him, Jesus disappeared. (Luke 24;13-31) The resurrected Lord moved back and forth between these two realms, heaven and earth.

I conclude that these stories demonstrate that eternity is always in our midst. The God world is constantly present to us when we know how to access it. In these blogs, we explore a number of different ways people have found entry. In order to access the power of God, one must discover the path that leads to these entrances. The final entry into this ultimate and transcendent world comes when we die. Death becomes like waking up from a nap only to discover that what we called life was actually living in a dream and now we have come into the full reality of existence where there is no time, but only eternity, no shadows but only light. A miracle occurs when we access this same eternal reality while still living in this dimension of time.

TAKE A LOOK AT ROBERT WISE’S LATEST BOOK
FOR A 3,000 YEAR SURVEY OF THE HOLY LAND
BIBLE LANDS: An Illustratrated Guide to Scriptural Place
Barbour Publications

 

 

 

I am the way…

BLOG 30 March 6, 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.

For help with struggles: get a new copy
WHEN THERE IS NO MIRACLE
Robert Wise’s classic on overcoming tragedy

            And how do we pray for miracles? Intercession is more like wires hooking up electricity to a house. The power was always there but it had to be transmitted to the point of need. Praying and laying on of hands has not only been following a scriptural directive, but are also making points of connection.

I have watched a number of ministers visit in hospital rooms. Most often, they offer a perfunctory prayer for well being and then leave. Actually, placing one’s hand on a person in need and praying for divine activity to flow into the person is an entirely different matter. The intercessor becomes a divine connection of renewing spiritual electricity.

When people pray with such intent, they send life to the places where destruction has been at work. I have never found anyone who could tell me what “life” is. My daughter-in-law is a medical doctor and we’ve had this discussion before. Death is easily described but defining life is elusive. With new life in our physical system, we can fight off cancer; without it, a simple infection can destroy us.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” In an indefinable way, Jesus was the embodiment of life. What we have labeled as miracles are experiences infused with the substance we call life. The recipients are filled with a new possibility. Life!

Life is embodied in many additional entities that are all around us. Flowers, trees, nature are alive because they contain life. A walk through a primeval forest energizes one because the shrubs, ancient trees, animals, all contain and convey life. As people age, it is important to stay in touch with such living entities. Those who lock themselves up in empty rooms are allowing life to slip away. The opposite is true with people who play with children, hug pets, and revitalize themselves with on-going sources of vitality.

Life comes to us from the source of all vivification. Divine intervention imparts life. We grow up hearing people talk about “the God world” as if it is up there, beyond the clouds, or “way over there.” Eternity is always someplace far, far away. Fortunately, the stories of the resurrection of Jesus give us a different picture. As he abruptly appeared to the apostles and then disappeared, Jesus demonstrated that heaven is “right here,” in our midst (John 20:19-23). On the Emmaus road, Jesus appeared and talked with the two men. After breaking bread (Holy Communion), when the men recognized him, Jesus disappeared, but they had experience him and that imparted life. (Luke 24;13-31) The resurrected Lord moved back and forth between these two realms, heaven and earth. That movement continues and imparts life.

I conclude that these stories demonstrate that divine intervention continues to impart life even to this day, even to you.

TAPPING INTO LIFE

BLOG 17 November 14, 2016 MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Robert Wise explores the world of Divine intervention and miracles 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.

Following a slim victory by Oklahoma State University, football head coach Mike Gundy explained the achievement by saying, “the mind is the most important part of the body.” He believed what surges through the head is more powerful than what runs through the muscles. Very interesting.

I would add that what keeps everyone functioning is more than just positive thinking. Lose a desire to live and you soon die. With an absolute commitment to life, you can recover. Life is far more than just keeping on being mobile. The dictionary defines life as a “principle or force.” Coach Gundy tapped into this idea when he suggested that the team had a mindset that motivated them to win.

In my search to understand miracles, I’ve discovered that the invisible force called “life” is a vital part of what renews, regenerates, and revitalizes people. No matter how ill one might be, what’s in the mind still tops the list for a means of recovery.

Reclaiming “life” can be one of the most important ingredients in a divine intervention.

Some years ago, I was called to the hospital because my dear friend and parishioner Jim was critically ill. The doctor attempted to remove his gall bladder cystoscopicaly but left tissue behind that had produced a deadly illness. When I entered the room, a sense of death hung in the air. I sensed that life was draining out of this man’s system. He was slipping away.

My wife and I began to pray for his recovery. In particular, I placed my hands on Jim and asked the Holy Spirit to pour “life” into Jim. Often when we pray for life, the power begins to flow through us just as electricity comes down a wire into our house. That night in the hospital, we became conductors in much the same way that wire is a transmitter of power.

Do I understand what I am describing? No, not really. Over the years, I’ve asked many medical doctors to define life. What is it? I’m still waiting for a definitive answer. They can tell me what death is – but not life!

I’ve come to the conclusion that life is the possession of God and comes from him alone. Science fiction aside, we cannot create life – but we can convey it through praying.

As my wife and I prayed for Jim, the atmosphere in the room began to change. The extreme pain in Jim’s side subsided. His color improved. We kept praying. Over the next few days, he steadily improved and was soon released. Jim recovered.

A divine intervention? Definitely. The Holy Spirit used us as a connection and poured renewed life into Jim. Can I prove it? No. I can only answer, “he was dying and is now alive.”

Think about it. You might be able to become a conductor of life.