THE POWER OF THE SACRAMENTS

Blog 120
June 10, 2019

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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.

THE POWER OF THE SACRAMENTS

You would find Nina Paul to be a fascinating person. She is a priest with the Open Catholic Church which is highly sacramental, but has no connection with the Roman Catholic Church. Nina Paul is part of the Independent Sacramental Movement and responsible for the St. Theresa Open Seminary. For some time, she has also worked as a hospice chaplain.

A hospice in Oxnard, California called Chaplain Paul to come and minister to a dying man. Pee Wee was in the last hours of his life. He could barely talk and wasn’t expected to live for more than a short time. Pee Wee had been turned out at nine years of age and grew up on the streets as a homeless person. All contact with his original family was lost and disappeared 40 years earlier. As best anyone could tell, Pee Wee had no religious training or any sort of a spiritual background or interest.

When Chaplain Paul arrived, she discovered that it was very difficult to understand the man as he could barely speak. She asked Pee Wee what she could do for him.

“I want to be baptized,” he barely uttered.

The Chaplain wasn’t sure she heard right and ask him three times to make sure she had correctly understood his desire. Each time he mumbled “yes” and nodded his head. As any good priest would do, Nina Paul began the baptismal ceremony using the liturgy of the church and the proper sacramental preparations. After she finished that ceremony, she led Pee Wee in the prayers of Confirmation which ended with, “Strengthen, O Lord, your servant Pee Wee with your Holy Spirit; empower him for your service and sustain him all the days of his life. Amen.”
Pee Wee fell back on the pillow and Nina left. Two hours later, she was at home when the nurse called.

“What in the hell did you do to Pee Wee?” she barked. “Get down here at once!”
Nina couldn’t figure out what she had done wrong, but was terrified. What had occurred?

When she got to the hospice center, she found Pee Wee sitting outside in a wheelchair, smoking a cigarette, and talking to one of the patients.
“Two hours ago, he was nearly dead and now he’s completely restored!” the nurse said breathlessly. “Look out there! What did you do?”

Nina Paul hadn’t expected such a dramatic result, but the only explanation was that the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation had brought new life to Pee Wee. Nina was overwhelmed.

During the next two-weeks, Pee Wee was able to restore his broken relationship with his family. He found his mother and a sister he had lost. The long-forgotten family gathered around him and he died peacefully.

Pee Wee had gone from his deathbed to a wheel chair almost instantly. Where did the miracle come from? Nina Paul says, “It was the power of the sacraments that produced the healing.”

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HOW DO MIRACLES OCCUR?

Blog 119
June 1, 2019

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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.

HOW DO MIRACLES OCCUR?

You met Quinton Moore in the last blog. I shared an incident in his ministry, but I didn’t go into details about his personal history. I think you will find more insight into his life and ministry instructive. Let me tell you a little more about his personal story.

Quinton Moore grew up in Pentecostal land but had a higher regard for education than many in his church After Quinton completed an excellent education, he felt called into the ministry and began exploring various aspects of ministry. A church in Liberal, Kansas called him to come up and speak. Taking his new wife Annie with him, he drove to a small congregation in Liberal, Kansas, to try his hand at preaching. Around 35 people showed up to hear this young man.

The typical plain church building had a pulpit in the center of the sanctuary and a Communion Table underneath with a thanksgiving basket sitting in the middle of the table. Bananas, apples, oranges had been piled together to represent the harvest season. People sauntered in and sat down to listen to this young fellow.

One man was particularly noticeable. Slumped down in the middle of the pew, the man stared at Quinton with a defiant look on his face. While no words were spoken, he seemed to be daring the preacher to say something of value. Quinton could feel the challenge written across the man’s face.

The service began. After a few hymns, Quinton launched into his sermon but a strange thought blipped through his mind. “Take a banana and put it on that obstinate man’s head.” While Quinton knew what it was to have the Holy Spirit speak in his thoughts, this idea sounded beyond the preposterous. He kept preaching but the idea wouldn’t go away. Finally, he jumped down from the pulpit grabbed a banana out of the basket on the Communion Table. Starting up the aisle, he pointed the fruit at the man’s head.

The defiant look vanished from the guy’s face and the fellow virtually fell out of the pew. He began crawling up the aisle crying. The man grabbed the kneeling rail and sobbed bitterly. Most of the people in the congregation were family or knew him. They gathered around, praying for his wholeness.

After the service was over, Quinton approached the man to inquire what had happened. “Look,” the man said. “I cynically told the Lord if this preacher hears from you, let him put a banana on my head.” Still sobbing, the man said “you did!”

Does the Holy Spirit often speak through out thoughts? Quinton certainly believes so!

MEET AGNES Part 6

BLOG 58 October 16, 2015 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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Going against the grain of what she had been taught growing up in a missionary compound, Agnes Sanford’s experiments with prayer opened doors that had been closed in Protestant circles for centuries. She attempted expressions of faith that others had declared impossible. Her story teaches the value of persistence.

In the midst of her own struggles with depression, Agnes used illness as an opportunity for growth. Where many retreated into seclusion, Agnes continually tried to pray in different ways. When the intercession didn’t work the first time, she tried a new direction. The result was not only her own healing, but insights that have brought countless numbers to wholeness. Before you write off her stories as examples of what isn’t possible for you, rethink how trial and error brought Agnes to discoveries that have changed how many view prayer today.

Praise is one form of saying thank you for what the Creator has done for us. Worship is affirming that our Creator is here and we recognize His presence in our world. During her adolescent years in China, Agnes learned to experience the Holy Spirit everywhere. She did not worship nature, but blessed the name of the One who created all things.

On one of her walks, she encountered the timelessness of creation. She found herself absorbed into a oneness with all creatures. The indescribable presence of God swept over her. The ever-living creativity of the uncreated Creator filled her life and she worshipped with ecstatic joy. Agnes believed that from our side, contact with the Holy Spirit begins with worship. Seeking the will of God is primary in the quest for divine intervention.

When you are struggling with some need, why not shift gears and while worshipping the Father, ask about what He wants? This new focus might put you on a more productive course.

Agnes found a new way of understanding Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.” Her insight led to the discovery that the healing touch of Christ is not bound by wristwatches or computers. The past can be touched by grace as surely as a miracle can occur in the present moment.

Agnes would instruct us to set aside all parameters that might bind what God can do. The work of the Holy Spirit is unlimited. We can believe in and work with that insight. Few of us are acquainted with the idea of working in a dimension that is beyond time, but God’s world and Word certainly is.

Allow yourself to step into a new paradigm.