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

miraclesandhope

           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.

 

 

MEET LESLIE Part 5

Blog 41 May 22, 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.

STOP! Got a road sign for you. This is the last blog until June 12. Sorry, but I’ll be traveling and out of the country. As you probably know, I work with Pope Francis as his Apostolic Representative For Christian Unity. I travel all over creation talking with Catholics and Protestants about the possibility of “unity without uniformity.” That idea suggests we can be friends and fellow travelers even if some of our beliefs and perspectives are different. On June 4, Pentecost Sunday, we will gather on the Piazza in front of Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica to celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

I’ll be back on June 12 with an update for you.

Now, on to Leslie. She discovered that angels have the capacity to intervene but do so only if it is for the highest good and honors free will. In her experience, angels don’t have “egos” and we cannot make them angry. Rather than saying “don’t do it,” they offer guidance and counsel. They never interfere with free will and only offer guidance. When Leslie asked about the nature of God, in contrast to what she had heard in church as a child, they showed her a “being” of loving light with hands that turned into angels. Angels are the hands of God. The hands can intervene unexpectedly.

For example, Rita Jester’s son David was killed in a car wreck. The fact that a careless driver crossed two lanes and hit him head-on wrecked her faith and created bitterness. Rita turned to lawyers for retribution. They told her it would be necessary for her to look at gruesome pictures of her dead son during the trial. Sitting in the lawyer’s office, Rita writhed in agony, wrestling with whether it was possible for her to endure seeing those terrible pictures. She couldn’t make a decision. Her son had been her best friend. Rita began crying out, “David, help me.”

At that moment, Leslie Draper was driving down the highway. Abruptly, she was emotionally overwhelmed and had to pull over to the side. Without knowing why, Leslie knew she had to call this number rolling around in her head and tell the person who answered, “not to do it.” She dialed.

Rita Jester had no listing. She had no idea how the party calling could get her phone number. Leslie’s voice said, “don’t do it. I believe the angels are telling you not to do it.”

Leslie had no idea what the message meant. She was simply obedient.

Greatly relieved, Rita Jester knew she had heard a message from God. After canceling the lawsuit, she went home with her faith renewed.

The recovery of direction was extraordinary for Rita; normal for Leslie.

SEE YOU JUNE 12!

In the mean time pick up a copy of BIBLE LANDS: AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO SCRIPTURAL PLACES

 

 

 

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.

Leap of Faith

Blog 25 January 30, 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.

I have a new weekly radio broadcast
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            Are there “swindlers” out there? Sure are.

In the movie Leap of Faith, Steve Martin plays con man Jonas Nightengale who travels from town to town bilking farmers out of their money while he fakes miracles. In the town of Rustwater, Kansas, he sets up his nightly show. The town’s people are so taken that when the sheriff reports Nightengale’s real name is Jack Newton and he has continually been in trouble with the law, they won’t listen. Each night the fraudulent healer wearing a silver-sequined coat hops up and down the aisles while an assistant is in the backroom with television monitors sends him messages through an ear piece. The inside information makes Nightengale appear to have special secrets messages from the Holy Spirit.

The turning point comes when Boyd, a boy on crutches, is actually healed. Nightengale cannot believe what he is seeing and runs, leaving the silver-sequined jacket behind. As he travels away in a hitch-hiked ride, Nightengale tells the driver that he knows “the genuine article” and that a real miracle is not to be toyed with. The movie ends as Nightengale disappears into the night.

Interestingly enough, this movie was based on an actual fraudulent ministry of a Pentecostal type who kept his wife in the back room sending him messages through a hearing aid device. The audience was scanned by accomplices who produced information on the unsuspecting. The last time I saw this character on television, he was promoting “miracle spring water” and was still at it. The tragedy of these charlatans is that they demean the actual interventions of the heavenly Father. They reduce the miraculous to a sideshow, leaving people to go home disillusioned.

Equally tragic is that the antics of these types develop skeptics who see the entire scene as a sham. Both conclusions are equally unfortunate. While we acknowledge the reality of the counterfeit artists and the audience that travels with them to pretend a miracle occurred, we continue to recognize that divine intervention has made a dramatic difference in the journeys of a multitude of grateful people.

The key to the “genuine article” is found in understanding the stories in the scripture. As the Old and New testaments relate the stories of miracles, they contain details that are important in grasping how people like Elisha as well as Jesus Christ ministered. Discovering the will of God is one of the first steps that unlocks sealed doors.

Stay tuned. More to come.

A SURPRISE IN THE SKY

Blog 20 December 12, 2016 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.

I have known Mike and Beth Owen for 25 years. We have worked together, socialized, debated ideas, and watched their children grow up. When we are both in town, Mike and I have lunch together every Tuesday and they remain our best friends. Much of what I report in these blogs comes from personal observation. They shared an experience that has important insights for us.

Beth’s first angelic encounter came when she was fifteen-years-old and her aunt Barbara was dying. The family had already felt the impact of the death of her mother’s brother as well as two sisters and now another sister stood at death’s door. After an urgent phone call, Beth and her mother rushed to the hospital. As they stepped out of the elevator door, the announcement of a “Code Red” rang down the hall. Attendants rushed passed them but they were too late. Aunt Barbara was gone.

As they were leaving the hospital, Beth and her mother were standing at the street corner when Beth looked up. To her astonishment, she saw two massive white angels hovering above them. The angels stood on each side of Barbara.

Beth exclaimed, “Look, Mom! They’ve come to take Barbara home!”

Taller than the city street light, Beth could see the massive size of their waist, legs, and feet as they ascended vertical upward. As they disappeared out of sight, Beth knew her understanding of God’s loving care was forever changed. The comfort of an all comprehensive peace settled over them.

These early experiences caused Michael and Beth to anticipate divine interventions in their ministries. They were conditioned to expect far more than simply sharing theological answers and teaching the faith. Their ministries have encompassed a number of miraculous events.

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. Mike and Beth discovered an interesting axiom about the work of the Holy Spirit and divine intervention. When one receives a spiritual gift, it is important to use it. If not, the gift diminishes and can virtually disappear. On the other hand, the use of a gift often opens the door to the reception of other gifts. The same is true for miraculous encounters. The Holy Spirit works consistently in this way.

Hey! Coming in January! Blog talk radio. We’ll be talk to talk together!