MEET MIKE AND BETH Part 6

BLOG 51 August 14, 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.

JesusHealsBlindness

            For the last five weeks, we’ve been exploring the ministry of a spiritually gifted couple. Mike and Beth Owen along with their two children, ministered first in a Baptist setting and then moved into the Vineyard Ministry when it initially began. During their work with the Vineyard, Mike and Beth received important gifts from the Holy Spirit. Prophetic insight helped to propel significant Vineyard growth in Oklahoma City. Mike also began to experience a healing ministry.

During a conference in Monterrey, Mexico, Mike was working with local citizens who were “the poorest of the poor but the richest in faith.” During an evening service with robust singing and praise, an elderly woman was led forward for prayer assisted by two young people. She was blind. A group of ministers assembled around Mike and they all began to pray, asking the Holy Spirit to restore her sight.

As he prayed, Mike felt like he was being transported from Monterrey into a page out of the New Testament. While he was internally experiencing that ancient scene, the old woman began to cry.

Ya veo!” the woman sobbed. “Ya veo!

“She sees,” the minister next to Mike whispered.

Over and over again, the woman gave thanks and praise to Jesus Christ for healing her. As the service ended, she rushed out into the streets to tell everyone that she had received this wonderful healing. Her sight was restored.

As the evening ended, the words of Jesus in Luke 4:18-19 rang in Mike’s ears. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to preach the gospel … the recovery of sight to the blind.” A gift of healing had become part of his ministry.

The divine interventions and miracles have not stopped.

What can we learn?

Since the Western World is living in an age that considers empirical data to be supreme, some of Mike and Beth’s accounts may sound over the top. The prevailing world view of the modern world rides on scientific data and demonstrable facts. Obviously, some of the foregoing does not fit the mold. So, what do we do?

I’d suggest we change our world view.

If we are to understand miracles and learn how to live with divine interventions, we need to make a paradigm shift. We must recognize that the transcendent dimension won’t fit in a test tube or calculate on a computer. God’s world must be encountered in God’s terms. The failure to face up to this reality will keep the door shut that must be opened in order have some insight into divine interruptions. Mike and Beth grew up with the door open. They can teach us a number of things about the doors we often keep closed.

By the way, there will be no blog next week. I’ll be in Alaska near the Arctic Circle, hiking through Denali National Park. I’ll finish the summer in one of the most beautiful and restful places in the world.  See you again on August 28!

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.

jesus-savior

            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 MIKE AND BETH Part Four

BLOG 49 July 31, 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.

set-free

            Alcoholism is a disease for which there are significant medical treatments. At the same time, some forms of the addiction become a vehicle for evil. Alcoholism is not the only problem that is both a medical problem as well as the tool for evil intrusion. Often at the root of the problem are experiences that have created guilt or anxiety that the victims use alcohol to cover. In the last blog, I reported how the Bishops Mike and Beth Owen encountered evil and began a ministry of defeating the demonic invasion that has swept across this country. Here’s another example from their experience.

Mike’s father called about him and Beth ministering to a fellow worker whose addiction to alcohol was destroying the man’s life and pushing him to contemplate suicide. After picking up a friend who had experienced a miraculous recovery from addiction before entering the ministry, they went to the man’s house. Their friend was always soft spoken.

The curtains were drawn and the unkempt house was cold, and dark. A stale heaviness hung in the air, making the room smell like a dilapidated bar. An evil aura seemed to hover around the house. When the door opened, the blurry-eyed man stood there extremely drunk. At once, he dropped to his knees and grabbed the Owens’ friends around the legs.
“Christ forgive me,” the drunk sobbed. “Have mercy on me.”

In contrast to what they expected, Mike’s friend shouted with sternness, “Come out of him you spirit of addiction and you spirit of alcoholism!” The minister kept demanding release to break the hold Evil had on the drunk.

“Do you want to relinquish your life into the hands of Christ?”

“Yes!” he cried. “Oh, yes!”

“Be set free!” the minister exclaimed.

The drunk stopped sobbing and abruptly stood up. The awful odor and stench of alcohol seemed to float away from the room. His face cleared and brightness returned to his eyes. Peacefulness settled around him. In a matter of minutes, he had gone from complete intoxication to sobriety and a countenance of contentment.

The possession by Evil had been broken.

Whether the release would be considered a miracle or not, it was certainly a divine intervention. In these incidents, Mike and Beth realized that they were growing in their ability to minister with empowerment. Their ability to enter into the realm of the miraculous was increasing.

In the days ahead, they would be a formidable foe of evil. Their path is not unique. Anyone can decide to stand against evil and learn how to become a vehicle for divine intervention.

 

MEET MIKE AND BETH Part Three

BLOG 48 July 24, 2017 MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

light-vs-dark

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.

Halloween appears to be the only time the contemporary world pauses to believe in evil and the possibility of a devil working near us. The rest of the time we write off Satan as a figment of the imagination of the ancients. Unfortunately, that mentality misses how divine interventions are important to keep us on the right track. Here’s what happened in the Owen family.

Michael and Beth understand psychological disorders and do everything possible to avoid evil. At the same time, they know that Evil can be an all-absorbing force in people’s lives. During a trip to Muskogee, Oklahoma, they encountered a demonstration of the reality in everyday life.

They had just entered a fast food restaurant and were in line to order. Beth noticed a woman who looked like a gypsy sitting several tables away. Six or seven large cups of water were on the table in front of her. The woman kept staring down at the table and appeared uncomfortable. In a whisper, Beth conveyed almost silently to Mike what she had seen.

“Take a look when you get a chance,” Beth murmured.

“I heard you!” the woman shouted. “It’s not nice to talk about people like that!”

Beth’s first thought was that there was no way the woman could have heard her. Mike turned around with a tray in hand. People in the restaurant started looking at them.

“You and your kind are an abomination and a damnation to me!” the gypsy woman shouted. “You are of the light and I am of the darkness.”

As she continued to yell, the Owens backed away, unsure of what the woman might do next. Violence could follow. The restaurant crowd was starting to freak out. Mike and Beth had the distinct feeling the voice was somehow coming from beyond the woman. Once outside the restaurant, they determined she was not following them. The encounter with the woman became a turning point in their understanding of spiritual warfare.

Following this encounter, they began receiving telephone calls from people both inside and outside of their church seeking help in their struggle with evil. Calls have continued to this day and have opened the door for helping frightened people recover their direction and purpose in life. The encounter with the woman opened a new way for ministry that followed with divine interventions.

Most of my previous blogs have covered renewals of various varieties while Mike and Beth’s experience dealt with the negative dimension. Is the dark side real? Absolutely. However, you too can depend on divine interventions for your own success in overcoming evil.

 

 

MEET MIKE AND BETH Part Two

Blog 47 July 17, 2017 MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

angel

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.

We are currently exploring the experience of persons with consistent divine intervention in their lives and ministries. The Reverends Mike and Beth Owen are one of those couples who daily touch many lives.

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.

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 vertically 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 children about the faith. Their ministries have encompassed a number of miraculous events.

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.

After anointing her with consecrated oil, Beth laid her hands on the woman’s head and prayed. Much like the story from I Samuel 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.

 

 

MEET MIKE AND BETH Part One

Blog 46 July 10, 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 known Mike and Beth Owen for over 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. They remain our best of friends. Much of what I report comes from moments of personal observation. The Owens can share important insights with us. We’ll learn some new aspect of miraculous ministry.

Michael and Beth Owen are both ordained Christian Ministers and have been in full-time ministry for 34 years. Their two children Roman and Hannah are both successful athletes, coaches, and Roman is first assistant basketball coach at Yale University. Merging their highly divergent backgrounds led them through ministry in the Baptist Church, planting a Vineyard Fellowship, and finally becoming clergy in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches. Along the way they discovered a ministry with divine interventions and miraculous encounters. How did such occur?

On a Saturday night when Michael was a child, he knelt down beside his bed and asked the Lord to show him if he should surrender his life to Jesus Christ. Mike sensed that making a decision for Christ might require something that he might not be ready to give up because he would be stepping into the unknown. Mike inwardly knew the Holy Spirit was calling him to make such a decision but he couldn’t release control of his life as seemed to be required. At that moment, the totally unexpected followed. An angel appeared in his bedroom. Little did he know this encounter was the beginning of a life-long journey of faith.

For untold generations, Beth’s family have been Irish Roman Catholics. As a young child, she sat in a church with stained glass windows depicting the mighty deeds of saints with statues of angels near the altar. The world of candles, incense, and sacraments created in her an awareness of both the transcendence and imminence of God. She grew up believing that God the Father continually interacted with his people in a personal, real, and tangible way.

Let’s go back to Mike’s childhood bedroom.

In the corner of the bedroom, an angel in a bright white and turquoise robe floated above the floor. Tall and larger than life, the angel stood there smiling at him. Illuminated in a glowing light, the angel conveyed personal assurance. While there was no verbal communication, the angel’s smile answered his prayers. Mike knew what he needed to do in church the next day.

Today Michael prays daily, “Dear Lord please release your Holy Angels to watch over and protect my family and me and all those we carry in our hearts.”

During the next few blogs, we are going to follow what occurred as Mike and Beth prayed that their lives would become vehicles for divine encounters for themselves and others.

A STRANGER IN THE NIGHT

BLOG 45 July 3, 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.

You would like Sean Yost.

The Rev. Sean Yost is a warm, concerned person who is always willing to go the second mile with people in need. As well as pastoring Redeemer Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, Sean is completing an M.Div. degree from Gordon Conwell Seminary. Several years ago, Sean was studying in a Bible College in Jacksonville, Florida, and working in a law firm in the afternoon. Often, during the day, he walked to the court house.

On one of these trips, a young man approached him and ask for a handout. Sean replied that he had no money with him but would share what he had. The conversation progressed and the beggar ask if Sean was a Christian. He said that he was. As they walked along toward the court house, Sean noticed that the man’s questions were more profound than what he would have expected from someone living on the street. When Sean asked his name, the man said, “They call me Timothy.”

Finally, Sean told the man that he didn’t have his billfold on him, but if he was willing, after work, Sean would take him to his apartment and then to dinner. They could spend the afternoon talking before Sean took him to a Rescue Mission type boarding house where Sean would pay for his room for a week. Timothy was particularly grateful.

The afternoon progressed quickly and Sean took Timothy to check in at the boarding house. There was only one entrance with a lady sitting behind a desk checking people in and out. The mission kept a strict eye on everyone’s comings and goings. As Timothy walked in, Sean turned around and sat down on the steps.

Several minutes passed and Timothy didn’t come back out. Maybe the lady at the desk was showing him around. Sean waited around ten to fifteen minutes and then decided he should see what caused the delay.

“I’m looking for the man that came in maybe fifteen minutes ago.”

“I’m sorry,” the lady said. “No one’s come in all evening.”

“But I saw him walk in,” Sean maintained.

“There is no other entrance. They have to come by me. I’m sorry no one came in.”

Sean stood there shocked. He had seen Timothy enter but …

As Sean walked away, a biblical verse flashed through his mind. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

At first Sean was stunned, shocked, and then joy flooded over him. The entire experience seemed to suggest that God was directing his steps and approving of him. Sean had experienced an angel while unaware.

 

 

 

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.