WHAT FORGIVENESS ACCOMPLISHES!

Blog 112 March 3, 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.

Recently a former colleague shared the story of what happened in an Ash Wednesday Service several years ago. Church members were asked to write on a piece of paper some issue they needed to deal with during this season of the year. After they wrote their need, the paper was taken to the front of the church and dropped in a bowl of fire. One particular woman in the congregation had been sexually and physically abused by her father and couldn’t forgive him. She had not seen her father for two decades yet she knew she needed to forgive him and release  the hostility she held in her heart. With her hand trembling, she wrote “I forgive.”

Standing before the flame, she finally knew her anger was resolved and she dropped the piece of paper into the fire. As she watched the paper burn, the woman knew her hostility was resolved.

A week later the letter came to her house.

Her father had written that on that same night he was in a hospital miles away and was dying. He wrote that so many times he had sought forgiveness for how he treated her, but he couldn’t get over feeling guilty and remorseful. Knowing that he didn’t have much time left, he prayed for forgiveness once more.

With tears running down his cheeks, he looked up and saw a far-off light began to appear in the window. The glow became brighter and larger until the light filled the entire window frame. The radiance kept increasing in size. Finally, the man recognized a face in the midst of the splendor of light. He could barely speak as he looked at the divine countenance,. “Forgive me,” was all he could say.

A voice spoke and a hand extended toward him. “Here is your forgiveness,” the voice said and handed him a burnt piece of paper.

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 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

THE HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK

Blog 102 December 3, 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?

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 99 November 5, 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?

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

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 MIKE AND BETH Part Seven

BLOG 52 August 28, 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 multi-faceted ministry of divine interventions that occur in the work of Bishops Mike and Beth Owen. We are now in a position to draw some conclusions that might be of help.

Interestingly enough, both Leslie Draper and Michael Owen experienced the angelic dimension at young ages. In my conversations with a number of people, I have observed that often young children have spiritual experiences. Before society could impose its own value system on the young, their naïveté allowed an openness that equipped children to see with the eyes of innocents. Mike accepted Christ at the age of eight-years.

The natural tendency of many people is to write off their childhood encounter as being nothing more than a “Winnie the Pooh” adventure when it wasn’t. Digging back into the past can help some people get in touch with that divine avenue they once walked down.

As one follows the history of this couple, it is obvious that they moved through several denominations. Their experience and faith evolved. While people change situations everyday, this is generally not the case in the religious world. However, in the 34 years Michael and Beth have been in the ministry, the larger church setting also radically changed. Mainline denominations became sideline groups. Evangelicals often evolved through the Charismatic Movement and wound up in a sacramental setting. Radical changes occurred every decade.

In the Owens’ case, they attempted to stay open to the Holy Spirit as well as grow in their understanding of how the Christian faith expanded Their openness to variation and modification led them into a greater appreciation of how the Holy Spirit continues to work in people’s lives. While it would be jarring for many people to expect the Holy Spirit to take them to an entirely new realm of experience, the Owens would say that’s the best place to encounter the miraculous.

Beth’s development in the Roman Catholic Church led her into the sacramental life. Through these experiences, she naturally lived in a world of symbols. In time, Michael came to do the same.

The symbolic power of the sacraments is that they bring believers into the spiritual realm where contact with the divine is possible. Holy Communion, also called the is an example. While meanings vary with different denominations, Mike and Beth became part of a church that believes in the real Presence of Christ in the bread and wine. In other words, participants expect to actually experience Jesus Christ through these moments of worship.

The idea of spiritual presence suggests a supernatural order. How Christ is present is beyond human understanding and a mystery. This expression of faith takes one into the world from which miracles come. Mike and Beth believe Holy Communion helps one discover this realm.

 

MEET MIKE AND BETH Part Five

BLOG 50 August 7, 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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            While Mike and Beth were pastoring a church, much of Beth’s time was given to pastoral care. A young woman came for counseling because she and her husband had not been able to conceive a child. She was coming to the end of her rope and beginning to believe it would never happen. Despair had settled in. Let’s return to a story from the July 12 Blog.

After anointing her with consecrated oil, Beth laid her hands on the woman’s head and prayed. Much like the story from I Samuel 1:11-20 when Hannah came to Shiloh to pray for a child, the young woman earnestly pleaded for God to work. Beth had an unusual feeling that as she interceded, she sensed the woman would conceive.

Nine months later, a beautiful baby was born. During the next few years, the couple had more children. The family was convinced that the turning point came during those earlier moments of prayer. Always hesitant to share this story because of how it might be received by other parents seeking a child, Beth believes the anointing, laying on of hands, and prayer provided a special encounter with grace as the Lord of life brought forth new life. After the child was born, Beth celebrated the baptism of this child.

The gift of life had been given and consecrated.

New life came in a different form for Mike. In 1983, as he was preparing for the morning Easter service, he knelt down at the church’s altar rail to thank God for the resurrection of Jesus and for the impartation of new life to His people for over 2,000 years. He was praising God for setting believers free from fear when he had a distinct sense of someone standing with him.

Mike looked up and on the other side of the rail the risen Christ stood with his hands extended. Mike stared in astonishment. The Christ said, “I am alive forever.” Mike’s heart pounded as he stared at the figure that was clearly there and yet transparent. As he watched, the figure of Jesus faded.

The encounter burned a new level of conviction into his mind. A higher degree of assurance had been established. A monumental landmark gave birth to a new boldness in proclaiming enduring hope. He had seen a miracle.

Beth initiated a divine response; Mike received a direct intervention. Two forms of heaven touching earth. Pay attention. The Holy Spirit is still at work.

 

 

MEET LESLIE Part 7

BLOG 44 June 26, 2017 MIRACLES NEVER CEASE

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           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.

My blogs not only offer my findings with people who had divine intervention experiences, but analyze what occurred so you can learn insights that will apply to your life. I hope to bring a return of the miraculous to the local church. I began because of the realization that local churches have often lost touch with appropriating the empowerment and gifts that our heavenly Father offers.

Was there ever a time when we needed the insight more?

Because Leslie Draper has an ongoing ministry with hurting people, we have looked at her work for a number of sessions. This is the final opportunity to discover her insights. Take another look.

Sensitivity to Others

Her own struggles made Leslie highly sensitive to hurting people. She is immediately available to ease their pain. She will quickly tell anyone that her ministry is not about her or her needs. Her focus is on others and her concern is key to her ministry.

Do we have the same focus? The vast majority of the population would have to answer no. Recently, a friend was having lunch in a public restaurant when an elderly man began choking. With people all around him, no one moved and most looked away. Finally, my friend jumped up and performed the Heimlich Maneuver that saved the man’s life. Apparently, he was the only one in the restaurant focused on the man’s obvious need.

Because the heavenly Father is concerned for the well-being of every living creature, our concern for others brings us into touch with His work in the world. We are moved closer to an experience of divine intervention. Sensitivity to hurting people helps to position us to discover the miraculous.

 Intuition

Intuitiveness is an internal part of knowing. Our personal, inner mental resources inform us about reality and we rely on the internal insights to guide us. That’s how intuition operates. Leslie Draper has always been a highly intuitive person. On the other hand, people who are extroverts develop their sense of reality from outside themselves. They look around and observe what they can see beyond themselves and then make decisions. They are outer-oriented. However, prayer and meditation cultivate intuitiveness. Leslie’s talks with angels grew out of her listening with an “inner” ear. Reconsider your own intuitiveness as a factor in ministry.

The Holy Spirit

            While Leslie’s earliest experiences with church people gave her problems, they also imparted an extremely important dimension to her life. The Pentecostal Church emphasized the work of the Holy Spirit. Early in her development, Leslie learned to listen inwardly to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking in her mind. Guidance came much like her thought processes operated. She had learned to listen with attentiveness to the inner voice that came from the Holy Spirit – and angels.

Leslie would tell you that being attuned to the Holy Spirit is the key to all of her other divine intervention experiences.