Sunday, November 11, 2012
In the first three parts of the Osborne story, we learned about Myra’s two life-changing visions of Jesus Christ, her sensitivity to ethereal realms, Charles’s Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and his experience with deliverance ministry. In this last section, Charles discusses gold dust, angels feathers, Marian apparitions, aliens, and his brother’s NDE.
Our discussion of gold dust began when I mentioned the fact that in Medjugorje, pilgrims would often discover that the silver-colored chains on their rosaries had turned to gold. There is also a DVD movie called “Finger of God,” by Darren Wilson, that documents testimony of gold fillings appearing in teeth during a worship service. Wilson has also filmed Christian speakers who manifest gold dust all over themselves as they preach. At that point, Charles had his own gold dust story to share, since the phenomenon sometimes occurs in his church. I asked if he had ever gotten it on film.
No, because that’s never been our focus. Sometimes it lasts, sometimes it fades. There was a time when I was very negative about those things, because I’d heard accounts of it being faked, and I thought it was all nuts and was just gimmicks. Then we had Kathy Walters come. She gets gold dust all over her. She gets covered. I had the minister watch her, knowing that she gets these kinds of manifestations, or is reported to, and these little pinpoints of light began to form on her face as she talked about Jesus and the grace of God. They grew until it became gold colored flecks that were all over her face.
I had breakfast with her at IHOP, and as we were sitting there, this wave of perfume began to fall down over us to where you couldn’t smell the ham and eggs or the maple syrup. And she began to talk about the grace of God, and said the gold, the manifestation of glory only happens in a climate of grace where people are free in the Lord and you’re not walking in legalism, but you’re walking in the grace of God, and as she talked like that, these tiny little points of light began to form on her face again, and before long she was covered over with this gold dust. And uh, it was just the most interesting thing to watch it, sitting over a table in a booth. I’ve been with her many times, and gold dust would just shoot across her arms.
Hers kind of hangs around. You can wipe it off and take it home with you. Our praise team, when they worship on Tuesday night, sometimes the silver dust falls on them, and it tends to fade away afterwards. So sometimes those manifestations seem to fall out of the sky so to speak, and other times they seem to exude from inside the body, like it came from within somehow, and then seems to go back where it came from. I don’t understand it, but I have certainly witnessed it enough, and I’m satisfied it’s not faked.
Well, sometimes a feather will fall, and … it sounds crazy to even talk about it, but I had totally discounted this kind of thing. When someone would show me a feather that had fallen during the service, I politely looked at it, and didn’t want to discourage them, but I really thought they were nuts. So one Sunday, I was ministering in a prayer line, and I was ministering prophetically, and I turned to the right to collect my thoughts. As I turned, no higher than my waist, a fluffy white feather was floating in the air. It was about the size of my thumbnail. I was so shocked (chuckle)… I thought, what’s that? And as I looked at it, it wafted as on a breeze, and then it just blinked out of existence. I saw it as clearly as I saw my own hand.
The next week, we had a visiting prophet who was going to minster, so we pushed back the altar. It’s just a portable table, and had a floor length skirt, and we pushed it back. That feather that I had seen the week before was lying at the foot of the altar. I didn’t say anything because it was so nuts. The next day I picked up the mail, and a friend who has the gift of prophecy had sent me a letter, written the previous Wednesday, and detailed the exact prophecy the lady had given there in church. The Lord would open the heavens, and glory would be poured out, and sometimes feathers would fall in the church, and when it did, it would be a reminder of the open heaven and the ministry of angels on our behalf. Every now and then feathers will fall down. And when anyone gets one, they feel it’s a little love token from Jesus and a reminder that we’re being watched over.
My readers know from my four-part blog post that I am very skeptical about Marian apparitions. However, when I asked Charles what he thought about them, I determined to listen with an open mind.
Well, you know Anglicans are very diverse. So there are high church Anglicans who practice devotion to the Virgin Mary. In Wisconsin, I was rector of a church that was the home of the American Proto-Shrine of the Lady of Walsingham. The Lady of Walsingham is an English shrine. In 1061 when Edward the Confessor was King of England, a Saxon noblewoman had a vision of the Virgin Mary. Three times she was taken up in the Spirit and saw the Virgin Mary and the Virgin Mary took her to Nazareth and showed her the holy house where she had lived, and the childhood home of Jesus, and told her to build a replica. So she had a wooden replica made to those specs. And in digging around and building it, they dug up a spring, and the spring kind of became like the Lourdes of the day. And in the height of the Middle Ages, until the shrine of the Lady of Loretta was established in Italy, which claimed to be the actual holy house itself, Walsingham was one of the great shrines of Europe, and people made pilgrimage there from everywhere.
Henry VIII endowed the shrine, and prayed for a child, and it was one of the great shrines that he destroyed  when he annexed the great monastic houses and their wealth, and burned their great statues in the street. And so the shrine collapsed at the Reformation. So in the Anglican-Catholic revival…there was a revival of Catholic practice in the Anglican Church in the 1800’s… and in the 1920’s , the parish priest in Walsingham had a new statue made, and it became a place of pilgrimage. And our church in Wisconsin, we had water from the holy well. People would come each year and would pray for healing and would be sprinkled with water from the holy well in England. It would be like water from Lourdes.
So one night in the shrine, we were having a prayer service, and I anointed a lady with the water, and she fell under the power, and the power of God was electrifying. And as she lay on the tiles of the shrine, she had a vision of the Virgin Mary with light emanating out from her, and that increased her love for Jesus rather than her adoration of Mary, so I think that’s kind of a positive experience. So I think some apparitions of Mary are real and some aren’t.
OK, how about Fatima where the child was told to have Russian dedicated to her Immaculate Heart, which means her pure, sinless conception?
Well, I’m always dubious about things like that, but I’ll say that I took a Baptist friend to the shrine of the Lady of Fatima near Niagra Falls, and we got some holy water out of the shrine. This Spirit-filled Baptist lady had a benign, scaly skin growth that was on her back, just right up at the bra line, so her bra rubbed it raw all the time, so it was a constant irritation. So she took some of that water, and she went to bed and she could just barely reach it. A drop of that water fell on that growth. And that night it fell off in the bed, and she was completely healed. So I don’t know if that was the blessing of the water or what. Uh, I think that some Marian devotion crosses the line in my mind and elevates the Virgin Mary too high. But at the same time, I believe in the communion of saints and that there is an ongoing relationship between the living and the dead. And so the idea of people in heaven praying for us does not seem like a strange concept. So I don’t like the exaggerated side of Mary. So for instance, I think that Mexican Catholicism is a cult of the Virgin Mary, but I think that there’s a more balanced way of thinking about it.
Rick Osborne’s near death experience
He met the Lord around that time, but he didn’t follow through. And then, several years ago, he was severely injured on the job and lost a foot in the injury. In the course of the many surgeries he had to have, he really thought he was going to die. One day he was in and out of consciousness, and he had an experience in which he was out of his body. He was floating over an area that had rolling green hills. Behind the hills, he saw this great light shining. There were streams of people floating towards this light, and he thought, “Finally, this is it. I get out of this body.” He felt this radiance of the love of God wash over him, and all the pain was gone.
Then he heard a voice calling his name, and he looked down, and there stood our father’s mother and her mother, both in their twenties, like we had seen a very young photograph of them rather than in advanced years like we knew them. And our grandmother said, “Stop, Rick, you can’t go now. You’ve got to go back. But everything’s going to be alright.” And so suddenly he was back in his body wracked with pain. And that experience has kept him. He went through a horrible divorce and other trials, but he has this deep assurance that a plan is unfolding in his life.
I expressed surprise that it was Rick rather than Charles that had the spooky experiences, since it was Charles that initiated the séance. Surely the experience terrified him.
It did scare him, and afterward he had some very frightening experiences. Like one night, we were sharing a room, and he had heard steps coming down the steps, and he assumed it was one of the pet dogs, and he walked over to the door, and there was a scratching at the door, and then he heard a harsh voice call him by name. It said, “Rick, come out here.” And it just terrified him. He just waited to make sure nothing broke in. He was so terrified he woke me up. And then another time, he lifted up off the bed in the air, you know, and when he was released and crashed back on the bed, he woke me up. He had some terrifying experiences like that, but he never actively practiced anything occult.
In our discussion of aliens, not surprisingly Charles thought that there must be something demonic about them. He discussed as best he could the essence of another dimension, which he calls the second heaven where demons and angels are active, where our physics fades out and another emerges. He surmises that demons manifest as aliens in order to pull us over into that dimension. UFOs can be just as real as gold dust and gold fillings and can dematerialize the same way. I have to admit that both of us are/were still groping for an understanding of that phenomenon and for the language to express it, but he did have an interesting surprise for me.
I have a friend in Memphis, she is in her 80’s, and her husband was at Roswell, and he was later in the Korean War and was captured and was considered MIA to the present day. But he told her that he was actually there at the crash site when they initially investigated it, and he swore by the story that there were alien bodies and actually a spacecraft as opposed to the balloon story that was disseminated later on. And he wouldn’t give more details, but he had always held that something really unusual had happened there and that it had been misreported. And he never talked about it because he was kind of afraid to.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
In my first post on this topic, Myra shared the two visions she had of Jesus Christ that changed her from a flaky, pot-smoking teen to a disciple of the Lord. In Part II, Charles described what it was like to be slain onto the sawdust floor of a revival tent and speak in tongues for a half hour. The stories in today’s post will not disappoint.
We went to London, our first and only visit, and we were touring the Anglican sites there. We went to Westminster Abbey, and we were really shocked that it was like a big cemetery. We didn’t know that we were going to walk by so many tombs. And we went into a side chapel called St. [?] Chapel where it was quiet, and we were able to sit there and pray for a while. We were just being quiet and praying, and I looked over at Myra, and when I did, I saw a woman standing in front of her in a long dress, and her right hand was kind of raised with the index finger extended. And um, she was speaking to Myra, and Myra was being really quiet.
I’ve seen Myra in the Spirit lots of times, and I know that… I could just tell from her demeanor that she had been caught up in the Spirit and that I was seeing this spiritual being communicating with her. And so afterwards when it ended and this particular lady left, Myra sort of roused up, and I said, “Did you have a vision over there?” She said, “Well, I was not going to tell you that.” But because I had seen it happen to her, she decided to tell me. She was sitting there, and her feet were just aching, and she was thinking, “Oh, God, my feet hurt so badly, and this place is like one big cemetery.” It took a lot of the luster off it. She was thinking, so many dead people around here, and is there any wisdom to be had in all this? Queens, kings, noblemen, poets, scientists, statesmen…
You think about the church, which is in the center, but everything around it is charged full of sarcophagi and memorial tiles and monuments and statues everywhere, honoring the noble dead of England. You’re walking through English history everywhere you go, and it was just startling, so she asked, “Is there any wisdom to be had in all this?” (chuckle). Is there any message? You know, has anyone learned anything, and suddenly she was caught up in the spirit, and a lady’s voice spoke to her, and said, “Well, I can tell you this. Your feet don’t hurt over here” (laughter).
And she’s thinking, well that’s strange (more laughter). “OK, anything else?” And there was this chorus of voices and they were saying, “Yes, that’s right.” And then she said, “Well, I’ll tell you this. Only what you do for God lasts for eternity. Everything else passes away. The glory, the titles, the riches, the vision, the power, it all passes away. Only what you do for God is eternal.” And then came in a chorus of voices, “Yes, so true, amen.” Then the presence left, and she came back to her normal consciousness.
Myra has a sensitivity to perceive departed souls. She is not a medium. She would never hold a séance or light candles or perform any ritual to seek an audience with a departed soul. But if they show up and God has something to say through them, she and Charles have no problem hearing the message. They call it “the communion of the saints.” They do not believe that an impenetrable curtain cuts us off forever from the departed. This is a difficult issue for many Christians, because we are trained that communication with a departed soul is an occult event absolutely forbidden by God. However, there are many instances of the living being encouraged or guided by a limited contact with a deceased loved one.
For example, in our family, there is a story where my aunt LaVerne had an operation to remove an obstructive tumor in her colon. She awoke from surgery to see her deceased mother leaning over the bed rail. She was smiling and nodding as if to say, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.” The tumor was benign, LaVerne lived to raise her three children.
Another case comes from a book by Charlie Shedd, who likes to write about children and angels. He ran with a wild group with he was a youth. Their pranks got meaner as time went by. One night, they planned to rob a local trolley. It was driven by a sweet old man who knew most everyone in town and was admired by all. As Charlie contemplated what lay ahead, he felt a hand on his shoulder. His deceased grandfather’s voice said, “Charlie, why don’t you stay home tonight? Make some popcorn, watch a movie.” So he did. His other two friends carried out their planned heist. The problem was that the driver recognized one of them, and in his panic, the young thief shot him dead. Charlie’s two friends spent the rest of their lives in prison.
I have heard a zillion such stories in my life. The voice of a deceased aunt kept a Hispanic man from shooting himself. A child who was murdered appeared briefly to her mother to let her know that the killer did not rape her. A mother in the 1800’s, abandoned by her husband and in constant pain from an accident, committed suicide. She left her daughter to relatives who would despise and abuse her. The mother was allowed to appear just briefly to tell her daughter to be brave and be good (from a book called Dr. Nellie).
Christians may point out that angels could certainly imitate the voice of the beloved departed, and certainly that is a possibility. Once a particular teaching gets planted in our minds, it’s difficult to be open to another possibility. Sticking to what we’ve always been taught keeps us safe and on track. Nevertheless, those advocating the doctrine of the communion of the saints can point to Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set out for us” (NIV).
Charles shared one more story involving Myra’s ability to sense the departed.
This lady had planned her own funeral. She was very well thought of in the community, but she just didn’t like us. The funeral was just packed. Myra was just praying, and she felt a tap on her shoulder, and she turned around, and there stood the lady, and really, her cremated remains were down front. And she spoke to Myra and said, “Myra, I am so sorry. I did not know.” But she knew that she had come to an understanding in heaven about our purpose and our calling, and she had not understood us and then she did. And then the lady left her and stood by her husband through the rest of the funeral. So Myra just wept, because this lady had been hostile. Suddenly Myra felt like she had a friend in heaven.
I asked if Myra ever told the husband about her experience.
No, that was kind of private. We sometimes share that in meetings, but she kinda kept that to herself and didn’t tell the husband because it would be hard to explain to him that she had apologized. She just thought it was better to keep that to herself. I tell ya, it’s so wonderful living with Myra. Great stuff happens. And she has such a beautiful seer gift. You never know when an angel’s gonna come by, it’s just so great.
She had an abortion before she came to the Lord, and she was caught up in the Spirit and saw her son in heaven, and the Lord told her she’d had a son, and told her his name, Luke. She met him in heaven, and he forgave her. And that was such a great healing thing in her life. He appeared in the chronological age he would have been had he lived at the time of the abortion. So he would have been like 9, 10, something like that. You know, over the years we just forget about his stuff that happened.
The stories don’t stop coming. My next and last post concerning the Osbornes, called “Gold Dust and Angel Feathers,” will again astonish the reader with what the charismatics call an atmosphere of “open heaven.” Non-Christians who express awe and appreciation for a vast array of paranormal stories should take a breath, step back, and consider what all this might mean in their own lives.
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Saturday, November 3, 2012
In my last post, I published a brief obituary for Rev. Charles Osborne, rector of Light of the Angels Anglican church in Marietta, GA. I got their contact info through Kathie Walters, an evangelist/speaker and seer. In my last post, Myra Osborne told her own story.
My first contact with Charles was an email in which he described a séance that he initiated just for fun. His brother joined him in that venture. Unfortunately, shortly after I interviewed the Osbornes by phone (and after I had digitally saved and transferred the interview) my hard drive fried, and that email was annihilated. What I gathered from the transcript of the interview is that Charles developed a psychic capability, while his brother became haunted in a terrifying way. Neither of them nor their parents were Christians at the time. Later in life, both received the grace of Christ into their lives.
Myra has a gift of being taken “into the Spirit,” a meditative state in which spiritual realities become manifest. She claims that in such a state she saw Vera Osborne, Charles’ mother leave her body at death. She had been on life support until the family could gather. Myra told me, “We all went in the room, and we were standing there, and Charles and his brother were at each side of their mother and praying quietly, and I saw all these angels come in the room. In the Spirit, I’m talking in the Spirit… and, I saw her sit up out of her body, and she said, ‘I love you children, bye-bye.’ And the angels went off.” The angels were light beings, so there is no physical description for this event.
Turning back to the séance, Charles described the terror that his brother went though.
“It did scare him, and afterward he had some very frightening experiences. Like one night, we were sharing a room, and he had heard footsteps coming down the stairs. He assumed it was one of the pet dogs, and he walked over to the door, and there was a scratching at the door, and then he heard a harsh voice call him by name. It said, ‘Rick, come out here.’ And it just terrified him. He just waited to make sure nothing broke in. He was so terrified he woke me up. And then another time, he lifted up off the bed in the air, you know, and when he was released and crashed back on the bed, he woke me up. He had some terrifying experiences like that, but he never actively practiced anything occult.
I was absolutely terrified of the dark. I would break out into a cold sweat. Nightmares of evil entities grabbing me. Those really increased after that séance experience. So it was like things being switched over from light and love, which is what I learned as a New Age person, and things becoming darker and darker.
After Charles became a Christian, he remained skeptical of something called The Baptism of the Holy Spirit. However, as he read the Bible he felt that it was something important that he should begin to seek for himself. He definitely wanted the manifestation of speaking in tongues.
I’d been trying to speak in tongues. And when I would try to speak words, all I would feel is just a heaviness, so it felt heavy and oppressive, and I believe that was the demonic bondages that were on me. And so I decided to go to a tent meeting. I came up with three signs I wanted the Lord to do, so I said to my brother, “I’m going to the tent meeting tonight to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and if I come home not speaking in tongues tonight, you can take it off your list because I am so starved for God I can’t understand how the Lord could not give this to me.”
The three signs were, he wanted the minister to call him out of the crowd, he wanted to fall in the Spirit, and he wanted the manifestation of tongues.
So I go to the tent meeting, and whatever they do, I do. If they jumped, I jumped. If they raised their hands, I figured they were the experts, and they had the Spirit on them, not me. I had been very active in the Lutheran Church at that time. I had been active for a year, ever since I had met the Lord. So the person ministering began to move prophetically in the gifts of the Spirit, and the people began to congregate up in front of the podium, and I thought I’d better get up there because a miracle might happen, and I might miss it. So I got up and worked my way through the crowd in case someone was healed or something, and I wanted to be close enough to see it.
And this guy ministering suddenly turns to me and says, “You, brother right there, come here. I see a lot of revelation around you.” So I got up and stood in front of him and two ushers standing behind me, and I think to myself, well that’s sign number one, but this guy thinks I’m one of them. They think I’m going to faint, and I’m a Lutheran. And I thought how funny it would seem to them if they could picture me in a choir robe on Sunday and the liturgy going on and just the contrast between that setting and normal church almost seemed comical. Then I had the thought, I’ve really got to focus here because this is sign number one, so it really seems like God’s doing something.
I stopped and I silently prayed, “Please Jesus, fill me with your Spirit so I can love you above every other love.” When I prayed that, this guy reaches out his hand and touches me, and when he did, a bolt of energy shot through me like a bolt of electricity. And I felt it pass through my head down to my feet. The strength went out of me. It continued to run through my body, and I collapsed into the hands of the ushers, and I heard this torrent of tongues, and I realized that it was me speaking. Tthey laid me in the sawdust, and I couldn’t stop this torrent of heavenly language that was pouring through me. And this energy kept running through me for about a half hour. It took about a half hour or so before I could come around enough to crawl out of the sawdust and get over to the front seat and pull myself up off the floor. So that as my Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
I connected with a friend who had been witnessing to me about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and he put me in touch with an interdenominational prayer group that was meeting during the week. And so that’s when I began to go there and learn about deliverance and began to get bondages broken off my life.
I asked Charles if he had been in an intense deliverance service. O yes, said he. Since the days of the séance he had been in the grip of a paralyzing fear. He would break out in a sweat just walking from his car to the porch.
When I shared about the fear, one of the leaders of the group said, “Well, that’s really a demon, so let’s pray.” He prayed and rebuked it, and suddenly I felt this pressure that seemed to rise up within me and pass out of my mouth like a big sigh or something, and when it lifted, that driving, paralyzing fear was gone. Before, I could hardly breathe in a dark room without a light on somewhere. So it took that pressure off. It wasn’t that I never felt afraid in life, but that paralyzing compulsion was gone.
Charles had more to share on the topic of deliverance.
In 1980 I went to southwest Georgia to visit for a week with a friend, and he was fond of doing deliverance ministry, so we were teaching about deliverance, and he had a charismatic congregation, and people began to experience deliverance each night through the deliverance sessions. Some nights there’d be people laying all over the floor going through deliverance.
One day a young couple came to see us. They had been trying to have a child and were unable to conceive. They were at their wits end because every now and then the wife would have some kind of emotional breakdown. She would jump up and lose it and begin to shriek and run out of the house in a state of frenzy and would run into trees and into briar patches. And they both loved the Lord and had experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Doctors weren’t able to help. So, they wondered if deliverance prayer might be able to help. We prayed over her, and nothing was happening, so we asked her to just lay down on the platform and just relax on the carpet while we prayed about it, and my friend said, “Well, perhaps her husband ought to pray.” So the husband stepped over and began to command any demonic presence to manifest and come out. And this girl opened her eyes and her eyes were suddenly glazed and set, and this husky voice began to speak out of her and said, “You can’t cast me out. I’ve been in here for a long time, and she belongs to me.”
We commanded it to come out, and it left with a terrifying shriek. Then another personality began to manifest and begin to call us ugly names and threatened to kill us. Said, “If you cast me out, I’ll kill you.” It tried to claw us, so we had to restrain her hands temporarily. So that left. Another one began to shriek at the previous demon and said, “You…(some ugly word)… I opened the door for you, and now you’ve run off and left me.” And then this demon began to cry out and shriek, “Satan, Satan, come and help me. They’re going to drive me out.” And so we began to cut that off and speak the truth over her, and in short order she was delivered from several successive demonic forces. She came to her right mind, never had another episode, went off to Bible School, and began to pastor churches. That’s been quite a few years, but the last I heard, they were happy and in ministry.
Don’t miss Part III. There are more fascinating stories to come. You can sign up for email alerts at the top of the blog.