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.

 

 

MEET LESLIE Part 6

BLOG 43 June 19, 2017 MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!

confederate

Robert Wise explores the world of divine interventions from an objective point of view. Can 21st century people believe the hand of God still touches people today? Read and you’ll find new insights.

A number of important insights can be discovered through previous blogs describing Leslie Draper’s ministry. Let’s take a last look. Five words can define some of our discoveries. This week we’ll examine two of those insights and finish the other three words next week. While much of what Leslie does is unique, anyone can develop similar skills by working down the same path she has followed.

  1. Struggle

Leslie’s childhood was filled with difficulties. There is a dictum in psychology that creativity arises from pain. Suffering enlarges the soul with new openness. Leslie’s difficulties are an important part of what developed her ministry. Divine interventions often occur during hardships and pain.

Everyone has struggles they don’t like to remember, but possibly yours has more value than you realize. Could there be significance in returning to the past and examining how your soul might have been opened with a far a greater potential than you recognized?

A Confederate soldier’s prayer has been on my desk for so long that I no longer remember where it came from, but it presents the possibilities in our struggles. We may have overlooked important insights in many of our previous battles.

I asked for strength that I might achieve; He made me weak that I  might obey.

I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given grace that I might

do better things.

I asked for riches that I might be happy; I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men; I was given weakness that

I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy

all things.

I received nothing that I asked for, all that I hope for.

My prayer was answered. Amen.

Take a second look at your life. There may be more there spiritually than you expected. Pain can be the source of gain.

  1. Openness

Even a brief conversation with Leslie leaves the impression that fidelity is an essential part of her existence. She is a spiritually obedient person. Highly instructive for us!

It’s common for people to say, “Oh, I’m quite open –but I wouldn’t do that.” Whatever that is, points to the fact they’re actually not as open as they thought. It’s important to examine our ideals and convictions. Some people never experience the realm of divine happenings because they live inside closed boundaries.

Leslie’s recommendation? Open your heart and eyes to people who are around you. Don’t be afraid to pray with them and for them. We all grow through such encounters. No one knows what their capacities might be except as they reach out to anyone in need.

 

GREETINGS FROM ROME

BLOG 42 June 12, 2017

It’s a little bumpy writing this blog as I am flying over the Alps, returning from Rome. For the past week, I’ve been in audiences with Pope Francis and involved in discussions on Church unity.  Pope Francis has a vision for “unity without uniformity.” He recognizes that the wide diversity of belief and convictions that exist today cannot become one, but at the same time we can still, as he puts it, “learn to walk together.” My relationship with the Pope is an example of this vision because I am a Protestant Archbishop and he is the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Because of these recent conversations, I am sending this one message through both my Middle East and Miracles channels.

Following the death of my fellow bishop and dear brother Tony Palmer, the Pope asked me to take his place as his Apostolic Representative for Christian Unity. My task is to work to bring unity between  Catholics, Protestant, and Jews. I continue in this mission in addition to writing books and blogs such as this one.

Last week, I was in a discussion with Pope Francis when he made a surprising observation. He noted that we are now in World War III which is unfolding in many  different places at the same time; significantly different from World War II.  I was taken back by his description of worldwide conflicts as a singular war. I ask him how Christians might respond to this conflict and he said, “Pray! Pray without ceasing. Because peace is a gift from God… pray.”

I reflected on the simplicity of this response. Was the matter really this simple? Just pray? And then I remembered an irony, not often examined. When my wife Margueritte was a girl, she attended a parochial school.  The Sisters had the children pray at least once every day for the conversion of the Soviet Union. Surely a nice, but ineffective idea. Nevertheless, Margueritte and her friends prayed fervently everyday for the end of atheistic Communism.

Of course, you know what happened. Almost without fanfare, the Soviet Union collapsed, the Berlin Wall fell, and atheism in Russia was defeated. No one paused to reflect on an unexpected factor. Little children as well as their parents praying without ceasing for an end to the Soviet system and atheism.

Critics will scoff and skeptics will sneer, but the facts remain the facts. Little children prayed for peace and it came. The Pope’s response to my inquiry had significant historic backing. Rather than simplistic, it was to the point in reflecting on the need of the hour.

In these past ten days while I was in Rome, we had terrorist attacks in England and France. Innocent people were killed in this undeclared World War III. Is it not time for us and our churches to pray for peace?

I believe the key phrase is pray without ceasing. I don’t want you to read this blog and then set it aside. My hope is that you decide to utter daily prayers for peace in our time. You will be doing far more than you ever thought possible.

The time to start is this moment.

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

 

 

 

MEET LESLIE Part 4

BLOG 40 May 15, 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.

When Leslie began hearing angels, the idea complicated her sense of stability. Consequently, she went to psychologist Dr. Jonathon Cargill to make sure she was not off the track. After a battery of psychological tests, the psychologist certified her as balanced and normal. The same results were later affirmed. There was nothing wrong with Leslie.

The ministry began to unfold because she wanted to comfort the afflicted. With unusual sensitivity, Leslie helps strugglers find direction and support. She is keenly aware that the ministry is never about her.

Her ministry is fundamentally the restoration of damaged souls. Leslie’s goal is to bring wholeness to anyone in need. Leslie’s ministry is not divination or some form of predicting the future. She understands herself to be operating in a biblical framework as the book of Acts describes (Acts 2:17-18). Leslie believes her primary gift is obedience. The unusual ministry flows from fidelity. Her encounters with angels is an expression of the gifts of the Spirit.    Leslie believes that everyone has a guardian angel. Through prayer and meditation, her experience has been that anyone can get in touch with this resource. She believes we will discover that they have already been at work within us as the still, small voice offering guidance. When a message abruptly floats through our minds and we have no idea where it came from, she believes our guardian angel might be offering guidance.

Such an experience occurred when the Draper family lived in Glen Rose, Texas. She hurried out the door to pick up her daughter at school. As she was backing out of the driveway with her three-year-old daughter in the back seat, she saw money in the driveway and believed it had fallen out of her purse. At that moment an angel showed her a disturbing image of her falling out of the car to pick up the cash. She put the car in park and collected the money, thinking about how little money they had. After she got back in, Leslie saw other money on the grass and opened the door to lean down and get it. The car started to roll.

The inside panel gave way and she tumbled out, falling under the car. What followed only took seconds, but felt like an eternity. Leslie was abruptly upright in the car seat with no idea how she got there. For a moment, she thought maybe she was dead and was in shock. Two hands had grabbed her and put her back in the car. Leslie felt the imprints on her arms and looked for the stranger that saved her. No one was there. Suddenly, she remembered the warning and felt the angel Michael warned her to be careful.

In retrospect, she discovered that angels have the capacity to intervene but do so only if it is for the highest good and honors free will. They never interfere with free will and only offer guidance.