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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Interview With the Osbornes, Part I

Blog Post, Interview with Osbornes, Part I, Myra's Story

I got their name from an evangelist-speaker named Kathie Walters whose news list is full of miraculous stories, some written by her and some shared in emails from churches where she has preached. The Osbornes and I talked by phone for almost two hours in early July 2009. In just over a year later, this amazing man, who was such a delight to converse with, tragically passed away.

Here is an excerpt from Rev. Charles E. Osborne’s obituary:

Osborne, Rev. Charles Edward, 56, of Kennesaw, GA, passed away on Friday, September 17, 2010. Born in Wilkesboro, NC, Rev. Osborne earned his Master in Divinity with Honors from the General Theological Seminary in New York City. He served as Curate at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Anchorage, KY, and was a Priest at Grace Episcopal Church in Sheboygan, WS. He was currently the Rector at Light of Christ Anglican Church in Marietta. He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Myra E. Osborne.



My first question for them was about their conversion to Christ. Myra started off with her experience as a rather flaky teenager. She did not come from a Christian family, but neighbors had taken her to church, so she knew some basics of the faith. That didn’t stop her from getting into smoking and drugs in the ‘70’s.

When I was 16 I had done some drugs. I had some friends spending the night with me. And in the course of the evening we had gone to bed, and I felt like I was going to die. I knew that I had to tell someone that everything is God and God is everything, and if I didn’t do that I would die. And so I didn’t know if my friends were awake or not, so I got one of them awake, so I told her everything is God and God is everything, and she goes, “O shut up.” But what happened was that that spirit of death or whatever it was left me, and I went to sleep. And in the course of that sleep, I had a dream.

Seven years later at the age of 23, she was at another party with a group of her friends. Around 5 am, she began to sense a negative energy swirling around in the room. Myra was already spiritually sensitive at that age, even though she had no commitment to anything religious at the time.

All of a sudden it was like a déjà vu experience with the dream I had had come to life. And that was the only time that group of people had come together…that particular group of people, not after, not before, just that one night. So people were saying things I’d heard them say before, and I thought that was really weird. And I heard myself say things I’d heard myself say in this dream.

One of the women there had been arguing with her husband and had no intention of going home. Her young daughter, who was about 4 years old, came downstairs and complained that she wanted to go home. The mother grabbed her, shook her, and said, “Shut up and go to sleep.” The child instantly collapsed across her mother’s lap.

So anyway, there’s still this energy in the room, and it changed suddenly, and I could feel that something was trying to suck the life out of my body. Something was drawing the life forces out of my body, and I looked around to see who was doing it, and I made eye contact with that little girl who was laid across her mother’s lap, but she had scales, like reptilian scales, and a long tail. It was a demon, and the demon wanted me dead. So my eyes were opened, and I could see the darkness there, and I told my girlfriends, we’ve gotta get out of here.

When I got to my apartment, I was crying, I was upset. I wasn’t crying because I got away from this demon, but I didn’t know what happened to this little girl that the demon’s living in. My friends didn’t know what to do with me, so one of them said, “O you should call so and so because she said she saw a devil in her husband before, so maybe she can help you” (laughing). I know this is going to sound like a tall tale, but I called her and she came over, and she brought me a Bible. And she said, “You need to read the Book of John.” Then she left. As an aside here, as it turned out, her ex-husband that she saw the devil in, turned out to be that little girl’s uncle.

My skeptical readers will have two objections here. First, they will say that Myra and her friends were whacked out of drugs. No wonder she is seeing demonic little girls. But Myra never said she was high that night, and that demon turns up later in the story, so hang in there.

Second objection would be, What? An innocent little girl being demon possessed? Nonsense! However, my research since 2009 has verified to me that when malicious entities (aliens, demons, or whatever you want to call them) get their clutches on a family, no one in it is safe. Children are not exempt! It doesn’t mean that his little girl is evil. But it does suggest that her uncle had introduced an atmosphere into the family that left all members open to negative spiritual influences. I have blogged in the past about the necessity of dedicating children to the Lord, whether in water baptism or laying on of hands or just the desperate prayer of a parent. It puts a spiritual firewall, at least for some years, between that child and marauding entities. Myra continues:

So I read the Book of John, and I’m sitting on my bed when I get to the end of it. It’s a second story apartment building, and I’m crying, and I said, “O Jesus, sweet Jesus.” And when I said that, he just came through the wall and right into the room. I guess I fell on the floor or something, because I was on the floor, and he took me by the hand, and we were walking down this hallway toward a door, and came to a corner, a sharp right turn. In the corner I saw that demon, and it was all crouched down and all trembling and scared, and the Lord said, “As long as you’re with me, you need never be afraid.” And then I was kind of back in my bedroom.

So I thought, well I’ll just stick with Jesus (laughter). I didn’t have a strained conscious or anything. I wasn’t convicted of my lifestyle. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I just continued with my life for a month or so, and I told my friends it was OK if I was driving because I had Jesus (more laughter).

So one day, that same friend that I had woken up three years earlier, we were together at my apartment, and we were having a pizza. My apartment was a disaster. The dirty kitchen, the stereo on, the TV on… We were drinking beer, and we had this pizza lying on the bed. So I got a piece of pizza and I sat down on the bed to eat it, and my friend sat down on the other side, and she was taking a bite of pizza, and suddenly Jesus just walked right into the room.

So I said, “Jesus is here.” And she jumped up and said, “Oh Myra, I don’t want to hear it.” I said, “I can’t help it. He’s standing right there.” I just sat there, and he walked through my apartment and looked at everything. Then he walked back and looked at me, and I heard in my heart… I didn’t see his lips move… “I didn’t save you for this.”

Myra admitted that they had been smoking pot that day, but she didn’t feel particularly high when Jesus entered the room. The moment changed her life. She never smoked pot again. She did smoke cigarettes for a while, but during a 700 Club show Pat Robertson invited the audience to put their hand on the TV and pray for deliverance from smoking. Myra did that and has not smoked since.

The first thing I do after praying is reach for a cigarette (laughter.) And so I take one out of the package, and uh, this horrible stench filled the room, and I’m having a hard time getting around it, but I’m still going to smoke this cigarette (laughter). And so I’m trying to get it lit, and the fire on the end of it, you know, it just looked like hell fire, but I was just going to go ahead and smoke it, and so I inhale, and I had this vision of Jesus on the inside of me. You know the Bible says that He makes His home inside of us, so I had this vision of Jesus on the inside of me, and I just blew smoke in His face.

I smoked for a year in college. After I committed my life to Jesus, I would get the oddest feeling every time I lit up that if I would quit now, I would never crave another cigarette. If I waited, I would have a tough time quitting. I smoked my way through the pack I was on and never bought another.

Myra has a gift of being taken into a meditative zone where she becomes open to spiritual realities. In my next post I will share an otherworldly experience that she and Charles had when they visited Westminster Abbey in London. In the meantime, I would like to share two verses about God’s ability to protect us from what Paul the Apostle called spiritual “powers,” and “authorities.”

From the Old Testament:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust.” (New King James Version)

From the New Testament:
Little children, you belong to God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (International Standard Version)