UNEXPECTED RESULTS: Part 2

Blog 147
January 27, 2020

christ

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Contact me at revwise@att.net.

UNEXPECTED RESULTS: Part 2

You met Joseph Bias last week. Let me tell you more about this exceptional person. With a voice of immense capacity and power, he met and worked with famous people in the professional music business along the way. He recorded with singers like Amy Grant, Sandi Patti, Gloria Gaither, and Johnny Cash. After ordination to the Christian ministry in l981, he performed in the Billy Graham Crusades and Kenneth Copeland Ministries as well as Teen Challenge in Germany and Sweden. Joseph conducted the first Men’s Chorus for Promise Keepers at their gathering in Anaheim Stadium in California.

As I noted last week, Joseph finally settled in as the Ministry of Music at the First Methodist Church, conducting their Cathedral Choir and Orchestra. What I didn’t explain was how he got to that position.

Years earlier Joseph had gone to Nashville and worked with the renowned musician talent and composer Allen Moore. During this time, Joseph lived in fear that the healing of his vocal cords might not last. (I reported that story last week) He had gone by Allen Moore’s house and walked in not expecting to experience a profound sense of peacefulness. Allen told Joseph that he and his wife had been in a Bible Study.  Joseph was almost shocked as he didn’t expect such a thing from the music and band crowd he worked with. “A Bible Study?”

Joseph couldn’t help but remark, “There’s so much peace in your home.”

Allen said, “That’s Jesus.”

Joseph didn’t understand what Allen meant and couldn’t identify with that suggestion.

Allen said it again. “That’s Jesus.”

The conversation went back and forth three or four times. Joseph couldn’t figure out what it meant to identify with Jesus of the Bible in this kind of way. He certainly knew Jesus of the scripture but this a different idea. Allen suggested that Joseph should listen to a song that might help him understand. Entitled Feed My Sheep, the song based on the gospel of John (John 21:15-19) containing the message that Peter didn’t understand Jesus’ call to follow him.

“Come in and listen,” Allen said.

Allen turned on one of those reel-to-reel recorders and let the music float out. Joseph sat down on the rug on the floor and just listened. The song seemed to be a special message to Joseph and Joseph alone. He felt as if the Lord himself was saying let Joseph Bias know that I love him and want him to follow me just as Peter did.

Joseph felt emotion raising up in him. Never would he have expected such a thing. He started crying. When his friend Allen came into the room, Joseph confessed, “I need Jesus.” They prayed together for Joseph to come into the same peaceful relationship that he had felt when he entered the home.

Joseph told me as we talked together about this event, this was the first time that he truly felt loved as a person. He knew this overpowering, heart warming love had come from the Jesus he prayed to have a new relationship with.

However, you might describe this experience, I call it a divine intervention. Joseph’s life was never the same again and was profoundly marked by love. And it all happened because a friend shared his faith and awareness that Jesus of Nazareth lived in his home.

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

UNEXPECTED RESULTS

Blog 146
January 20, 2020

people sing

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Contact me at revwise@att.net.

UNEXPECTED RESULTS

Please meet Joseph Bias.

For twenty-five-years, he has been the minister of music at the First Methodist Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma. In his early years, Joseph discovered that he had an amazing voice with the quality necessary to perform in professional operatic performances. Joseph studied inNew York City and performed at the Met as well as with the Robert Shaw Chorale. To put it mildly, Joseph Bias had a voice that was over the top!

However, such performances did strain the entire body and put great pressure on the vocal cords. As Joseph continued to study voice, his teacher noticed that he was having some difficulty sustaining his breath that was necessary for the full range of sound and for the difficult passages in the music. At the time, Joseph was studying in Rochester, New York, and was referred to the Rochester Medical School for further evaluation. Joseph sometimes felt like he was suffocating. At the school, a decision was made to have exploratory surgery on his lungs. A problem did seem to exist. Consequently, the simple exploratory operation began.

The procedure was not simple.

By accident, one of Joseph’s vocal cords was completely severed. When he awoke, Joseph could neither talk or sing. He had become mute. The only way he could communicate was by writing on a piece of paper. His singing career was shattered. The doctors told him that the damage could never be repaired.

Confusion as well as despair settled over Joseph. His parents were notified and said they would be praying. There was nothing left to do, but for Joseph to go home and attempt to find another career.

While attending church occasionally, Joseph wasn’t heavily involved in his faith. Nevertheless, two women from that church came daily to stand at the end of the bed. Holding up their hands, they began to pray in a language Joseph didn’t understand. They continued without interruption for a considerable period of time. Finally, after several visits they became silent, lowered their hands and left. Only later did Joseph realize they were praying in what the Bible described as “tongues” or a heavenly language different from everyday speech.

At home now, Joseph had always begun the day by vocalizing, making a wide ranging of musical sounds to warm up his voice for the day. Since that was his habit, he brushed his teeth and started out as usual vocalizing. Abruptly, Joseph realized he was making the usual range of sounds. “What?” he said aloud and realized he could talk. Joseph called his parents immediately and told them what had happened. They were all overjoyed that his voice had returned. He called the doctor for an examination. How could this be possible?

The doctor finished looking down his throat and shook his head. “I have no medical explanation for what has happened. Just can’t be. As a matter of fact, such is impossible. Not only are your vocal cords healed and reconnected. There is no scar tissue.

Only then did Joseph fully grasp the meaning of two women praying for him in a heavenly language.

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

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KICKING OFF THE NEW YEAR

Blog 144

January 6, 2020

cross

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Contact me at revwise@att.net.

KICKING OFF THE NEW YEAR

Surprise! Surprise! A New Year!

Well, by now you know we’re already well into a new year and a new decade… with the headlines already terrorizing your morning. If ever you needed a boost to tell you that God is still working in your world, perhaps, this is the time.

Let me reassure you that all you’ve read about in these blogs over the years is continually true and all still applies. So hang on, the best is yet to be!

One of my last reports in 2019 was about Joan Stenke’s experience of having the Holy Spirit drive her through a deadly fog and come out the other side safely. Quite a story! Well, here’s some more of Joan’s experience.

Joan certainly knows the meaning of tragedy. She was talking on the phone to her son-in-law when he committed suicide. Of course, such an experience strikes anyone to the core of their being. Later a grandson, who she loved dearly, drown while swimming. Once again Joan had to face horrendous tragedy. While it can take years to live through the grief these experiences would visit on anyone, Joan still continued to struggle with her loses only to discover her daughter committed suicide with the same gun that had killed her son-in-law. How much can any one person endure?

For three years she went to bed every night crying. The agony wrecked her physically as well as emotionally. Finally, one night she cried out, “Lord! You’ve got to do something. I refuse to go on through life living with such overwhelming pain.”

Lying alone in her bed, she felt a tap on her shoulder. A voice said, “I understand your pain. You are not a woman who can’t understand.”

Joan felt an image rush through her mind. She could see the Crucifixion occurring and stared in awe. Joan realized something was happening to her entire body. She seemed to be leaving her earthly body behind and felt what she called “a translation.” (Like translating one language into another, the idea is going from one state of existence to another) Joan was someplace else where she seemed to be walking with Jesus. While she never saw his face, Joan knew who the figure was. They talked together and he shared the meaning of suffering. Time no longer had any significance as she seemed to be in eternity.

The experience lingered in her mind as one of the most vivid experiences in her life. The reality of God lingered. The person of Jesus was real.

Everything changed and the church became important to her.

Most of all, the pain was gone.

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

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STRANGE EVENTS

Blog 142
December 16, 2019
MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

fog

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Contact me at revwise@att.net.

STRANGE EVENTS

During the past three years as I have collected stories of miracles and divine interventions, I have also run into accounts that defy the everyday logic most people live with. Often, I have not reported some of these “happenings” so as not to sound weird and far out. Nevertheless, I have been fascinated by people’s experiences that run counter-current to the usual expectation.

My conclusion has been that everyday honest, good people encounter discoveries that just don’t fit with anything they could have expected. These discoveries cannot be explained … but they remain true.

Here’s an example.

Recently, I was talking with Jean Stenke. Jean is a good, God-fearing woman who has had more than her share of tragedies. Still, she pressed on even during days when she went to bed every night crying because of one of these catastrophes. Nevertheless, her difficult struggles only made her a stronger person.

During this period in Jean’s life, she needed to take a trip to California. A friend loaned her his pickup and she started her journey from Stillwater, Oklahoma to California. Jean zoomed down the highway with no difficulties. And then she hit the fog!

Having lived in Laguna Beach, California, I know how the fog can blow in from the ocean and drown everything in a cloud. Almost instantly, the wave of impenetrable whiteness can shut everything out. I’ve watched cars crash into each other in such a covering.

Jean found herself suddenly in such thickness that she couldn’t even see the hood of the truck. The best she could do was to watch for the white line on the highway to keep the truck on track. Jean was afraid to stop lest someone come crashing into her from behind. And yet, how could she go forward? All she was certain of was that a deep ravine had been on the right side of the pickup and she didn’t want to fall into the pit. She had to keep going forward, but how could she do so? At any moment, Jean might drop off the edge of the highway!

Jean cried out, “Lord, you have to help me. I can’t see a thing!” Abruptly, she felt a presence with her in the cab of the truck. She prayed again. “Lord, you have to help me drive. I can’t!”

With her foot on the gas pedal, she dropped her hand into her lap. Without touching the steering wheel, she roared forward. Jean had no choice, but to keep going straight ahead least she get rear-ended. Suddenly the fog disappeared and she drove straight into a clear day. Jean grabbed the steering wheel and drove out of danger.

What happened? Jean is convinced that an angel guided her and the pickup through that perilous situation. She believes her guardian angel made all the difference.

Fascinating? I guess so!

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

HEALING THE MEMORIES

Blog 140
November 18, 2019

savior

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Drop me a note at revwise@att.net.

HEALING THE MEMORIES

A number of decades ago, a ministry called “Healing of the Memories” swept across America. The mother of this movement was Agnes Sanford who had first discovered that prayer could reach back into a person’s childhood and bring healing to destructive experiences and old memories that had haunted people for years. Unfortunately, the ministry was misused by people who didn’t understand the sophisticated dynamic involved in bringing recovery.

Because I had prayed for inner healing with people across America, I knew the power of such prayer and had seen surprising recovery. For years Judith and Frances MacNutt have used this practice in their Christian Healing Ministries work in Jacksonville, Florida. I have been on their board and know the extraordinary results they had. In their Healing Line newsletter, Judith shared one of these stories.

Judith had been in private practice in Clearwater, Florida when a client came in to see her. A doctor had advised John (the name we’ll use) that if he didn’t go in for counseling he was going to die. John had suffered a serious heart attack that left an ominous cloud hanging over his head. In addition, although he was only in his 40’s, he was also battling arthritis throughout his body. This problem caused such pain in his feet that walking was painful. John really needed Judith’s help.

As they talked, John shared that at age three his father had abandoned the family. The result was that he was raised by his mother in a household with two aunts. All three women were extremely controlling and made his life miserable. Their own pain was visited on John. His problems began in that house.

When Judith prayed for John, she asked the Lord to bring back to John’s mind a memory of where he had suffered. John began to remember a large round dining room table with a tablecloth hanging down the sides. He could hide underneath and play with his toys undisturbed.

As the memory evolved, John realized how broken he had been. He suddenly blurted out, “Why did my daddy leave me?”

Judith’s prayer opened a door in John ‘s childhood past and he prayed for Jesus to join him under the dining room table. In his imagination, John could see Jesus there talking with his childhood self. Jesus said to him, “Would you let me hold you?” John agreed and finally heard the voice of Jesus say, “Will you forgive your daddy for leaving you?”

The adult John began sobbing. With tears running down his cheeks, he cried and cried, but finally reached the place where he could genuinely forgive his father. He released his anger and hurt. When he left Judith’s office that day, the arthritis was gone and his physical heart healed.

Does prayer still heal the past? John would certainly tell you that it does.

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Blog 138
October 28, 2019

faith

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Drop me a note at revwise@att.net.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

For weeks, you’ve been reading of the extraordinary divine interventions and miracles that I’ve collected from all over the country. Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on what these accounts actually mean.

The Bible tells us that a miracle is the power of God’s Kingdom breaking into this world. The meaning of miracles is they demonstrate the power of God. One of the important connections that ties the Old and New Testaments together was the common quest for the Kingdom of God. In the New Testament, the Gospel of Mark describes the ministry of Jesus beginning with the proclamation, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15) The Kingdom is the powerful rule of God breaking into history and offering new relationships with humanity. The miracles of Jesus, the Apostles, and the church that followed demonstrated the power of the heavenly Father’s reign and rule called the coming of the Kingdom.

The miracles in the Gospels displayed power that was tied to a personal God, a God who cared. When miracles break into everyday life, they accomplish the will of God. The Lord God is a God of history, displaying His power in history, and working through history. Human experience is a vehicle for the demonstration of His power. Scripture suggests that this purpose never ended.

When the day of Pentecost arrived 40 days after the resurrection, the promise of Jesus that a comforter would empower the church was accomplished. The Holy Spirit fell on the apostles equipping them to proclaim the Kingdom of God with power. Once again miracles were a sign of divine empowerment.

When we attempt to understand why and how miracles occur today, the scripture tells us to remember how these signs are expressions of the power of God working to bring in His Kingdom, the rule of God in the lives of people.

The issue in positioning oneself to receiving a miracle is trust. Scripture tells us that believing in and trusting the promises of God are the keys to reception. However, “faith” doesn’t mean simply believing the right things like holding a certain kind of opinion or professing a particular creed. Faith is responding to God’s decrees and opening one’s heart to Him and His purposes. Faith is joining the Kingdom of God.

Want to sign up? It will be the best deal of your lifetime!

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

MIRACLE IN THE SNOW

Blog 137
October 21, 2019

snowstorm

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Drop me a note at revwise@att.net.

MIRACLE IN THE SNOW

Lois Parker discovered this story while talking with a Russian woman who had the experience while a girl. Sophie related that she had foolishly decided to brave the subzero temperatures and blizzard conditions of a fierce Russian winter and walk to her father’s house. In the dark forests that surround her village, the people could hear the wolves howling at night. Even with these conditions, she set out in the blowing snow to get to her destination.

As Sophie treaded through the drifts, she could feel the snow starting to sink into her boots and knew this meant a real problem. With the wolves barking in the forest, she knew she was in trouble. However, there was no possibility of turning back safely. Sophie had to go on, but she didn’t know how she would be able to do so. Even worse, the sound of the wolves seemed to come closer. Finally, she stopped and whispered.

“Lord of heaven, be with me, help me.”

Sophie began to run through the snow. She strained to hopefully hear the jingle of bells signaling a sleigh was looking for her, but again, there was nothing. Her feet were becoming frighteningly cold. When she looked back, Sophie could see that the trail behind her was erratic, meaning she was not walking steadily.

Once more, Sophie stopped and started to pray again. “Father, help me, I need Thee. Help me. Send an angel to help me. Lord of all, be with me.” Over and over she prayed the same prayer, always ending with “Help, Lord.”

She felt a hand on her shoulder. A soft, kind voice spoke in her ear. “You cannot rest, Sophie. Go on.”

When she turned, no one was there, but Sophie felt slightly renewed strength. She kept on. However, weariness soon returned. The wolves howled again. Sophie was certainly she would not be able to continue. They’d find her in the snow frozen. She stumbled.

Again, the kind, gentle voice, said in her ear, “Sophie, you cannot rest yet! Go on.”

Almost against her will, she was raised to her feet, but saw no one. She struggled on until she found the door to her father’s house. Only then did she look back and fully realize there had never been any second set of tracks in the snow… none.

Only then did Sophie fully realize that her prayers had been answered. She was saved by an angel.

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

MIRACLE IN JACKSONVILLE

Blog 136
October 14, 2019

jesus

MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

Often, I hear from people who have experienced miracles or divine interventions. I look forward to receiving these accounts as they deepen our understanding of how these experiences occur. Could you be like that? If so, please share your story with me. Drop me a note at revwise@att.net.

MIRACLE IN JACKSONVILLE

My friend and colleague Sean Yost brought me into contact with this experience. The Pastor of Redeemer Church, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, Sean has ministered with Stovall Weems in the past. Weems’ Celebration Church began in 1998 with seven people and today numbers around 12,000 congregants. The following divine encounter began on Good Friday, 2018 during a Holy Communion service.

Because of the meaning of Good Friday, Pastor Weems arranged for a Messianic Jewish Passover type of service with Pastor Paul, an assistant who spoke Hebrew, doing just as Jesus would have done on that first night so long ago. The unusual service reached into the Jewish Passover to give additional meaning to the Christian worship that grew originally out of the same Passover. Stovall Weems’ experience occurred just as the Messianic assistant Pastor Paul was consecrating the unleavened bread.

Holding up the unleavened bread, Pastor Paul said in Hebrew, “take, eat, this is my body.” Abruptly, Pastor Stovall heard a distinctly different voice break in also speaking in Hebrew. The voice spoke three times and Stovall knew he was in the presence of God. The figure of Jesus of Nazareth was standing there also speaking Hebrew which Pastor Weems did not know. He knew he had somehow been transported into another dimension.

The staff watching the service immediately realized something had happened to their Pastor. Stovall Weems wasn’t with them or the service anymore. The truth was that he had gone into a trance and was in a heavenly realm.

He saw Jesus in a white robe with brown hair, executing exactly the same service with the Apostles being the recipients. Stovall looked down at the bread in his hand and knew Jesus was serving him. Jesus invited him to partake. The sound of Jesus’ voice rang through him, imparting Jesus’ personality. While not emotional, a feeling of authority and strength were imparted.

Stovall felt a pure, clear fear of God. While he felt unworthy to be in such a Presence, he had experienced the actual reality and presence of Jesus Christ. I listened to Stovall attempt to describe his encounter, but I realized that words escaped him. The encounter was beyond verbal explanation, but touched him deeply and profoundly. The closeness and oneness that he experienced left Stovall virtually speechless.

Many Christian groups believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in Holy Communion. They maintain that the participants are literally encountering the risen Christ. Stovall Weems experienced this conviction not as an idea, but as a personal reality. Stovall found a new empowerment and reality had been added to his ministry.

You might find my collection of Holy Land experiences to be helpful.
BIBLE LANDS: An illustrated Guide to Scriptural Places
Barbpir books Publishers

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