My beloved friends:
This morning as I listened to John Michael Talbot’s soul-touching singing of Healer of my soul I felt in my heart that for an indefinite period prescribed of God’s time, I must take an extended leave of absence from Mind’s Seat and my blog to focus on the healing journey of my Father and to get much-needed long overdue rest.
I am writing this message to you for two reasons. It is to be a reminder to me of the promise I have made to my Father to rest and hear His heart speak to mine. Secondly, I am being called by my Father to write a pastoral letter to you.
My auto immune disease of mastocytosis is in a major flare up since my skin biopsy of July 10th. I tell it to behave itself but it won’t listen to me:) I have been fighting against the condition posting many pieces, still doing much Kingdom work. I answered the call of my Father to offer you pieces to bring you comfort and inspiration during the latest terrorist threat of ISIS. That took much from me. I shared with you more in-depth reflections of the time of my abuse from my schizophrenic father and all the people who have abused me.That also took much from me, but was necessary for my healing journey. I am following the wise counsel of my Father and others I trust to stand aside for a while and rest to really hear what my Lord has to say to my heart. There has been far too much noise in my life from others and the demands expected of me to do this. The message is clear after multiple ER visits this last year that my health will worsen if I do not heed the call of my Father and others to rest.
Please keep Karen and I in your prayers as a number of specialist appointments occur.
I will still continue to read, do reflective writing, sing, meditate on the Word, be fed in my spirit by uplifting songs and watch lots of comedy movies and TV programs. Please don’t overlook the value of laughter in your healing journey. The Lord uses it to cause the release of healing power as it boosts your immune system and releases those feel good endorphins throughout your body.
I am quite ill. This past week I gained about eight pounds of fluid weight from mast cells pouring their contents into my body. This added weight is putting more strain on my heart and respiratory system. I am on a strong antibiotic for a respiratory bug and sinus infection. I must be obedient to the call of my Father and step aside for a while. I am being called to a far more contemplative life. I should have answered my Father’s call several months ago.
I need to spend more time on my marriage. Karen needs me a great deal right now. She has been away from academic study for over 30 years. She feels inadequate for the call God has put on her life to study for her Master of Divinity degree at Trinity College in the University of Toronto. I speak the truth into her that she is a beautiful, creative, articulate and intelligent woman of God. What a beautiful mind God has gifted her with for His Kingdom work! A medical emergency with me where she had to use an EPI pen to keep me alive has put her behind in her studies.
Karen has been with me through this roller coaster journey with my health for over 12 years. She has had to sit on too many hard ER chairs. She has laid her weary head at the bottom of my hospital bed praying I would be alive in the morning. She has been there through eight intubations and too many ER visits to count. She has had to endure far far too much advocacy for too many years getting myopic doctors and nurses to understand the severity of my illness, trying to get people to see that I was not faking it, that my mastocytosis was always there. Even now we still have to deal with nurses and doctors who eiither don’t want to understand and accept how sick I am or they minimize it and say with their attitude if I just tried a little harder I would be well. Even my eldest sister, Valerie, has judged me. She said, “I’m in pain too and I go to work.” Denial is not just a river in Egypt. Karen and I are both on a journey of forgiveness about all these injustices.
I will be using the mentoring and training God has poured into me to help her get caught up. Yet, in doing that I must also realize that I have only so much energy left at this time to also continue with my own studies in my M.A. -Ph. D. program with St. James the Elder Theological Seminary. My Lord is being kind even in this because my remaining course requirements for my M.A. are to read eight books and do short written essays on each one. What a blessing it will be to be counselled by my Lord as I read the thoughts of learned people about the value of counselling.
I do see brighter days ahead. Once I have the skin lesion removed and am on a treatment program I believe my health will be so much better than it is now.
The fundraising campaign for our extensive needs has hugely worn me down. I was left on my own to develop it. Karen and I are most uplifted by the many people who have reached out to us with their prayers and the two people who gave from their hearts. May the Lord bless you a thousand fold for being there in our time of great need.
If you could have a fundraiser for us that would be great. Please remember no amount is too small. God can do huge things with small amounts of money. Think for a moment. There are approximately seven billion people on earth. If each person gave ten cents that would raise $700,000,000 that could be devoted to poverty alleviation programs. That could stop millions of people from the slow and agonizing death of malnutrition. We could educate more people who otherwise could not afford it. We could have more micro finance programs that would allow more people to develop a business that would help them and their families to escape poverty. More places without water could have it so people would not have to walk miles to get it. More irrigation programs could be set up so people could grow crops that would feed their families and maybe even lift them out of poverty. Literacy programs could be restarted. Research dollars could be devoted to finding a cure for rare and chronic conditions. Funding could be put towards having existing hospitals have a naturopathic department staffed by naturopathic doctors, who work in partnership with conventional medicine to maximize the wellness journey of people needing care. After school programs could be further developed to keep children and teenagers out of gangs. More programs could be run for those who have been abused. There could be more addiction rehabilitation programs. Those on social assistance and government disability could have a food benefit added to their income to have healthier food that would help make them well, so perhaps many could have the health to work. More internships that lead to a career could be developed. The list of where that money could be put to best use is endless.
Many of us will not be called to change the world situation. Each of us working together though can improve the community in which we live. We do this by each focusing on what we can do to change a life. When we see the need of one person or a family let us ask ourselves this question. What can I do to cause an ongoing change to occur in the lives of those God brings into my path? Whatever that is whether it is a handshake, smile, volunteering or reaching out with your listening heart, do it. Then, watch how blessings keep pouring into your life as you reach beyond your needs to those of others.
I share our fundraising campaign with you under the leading of the Holy Spirit only asking that whatever God lays upon your heart to do, that you would hear and answer that call. If all you can do is pray then please do that. Prayer is so central to our spiritual life. Without it it is like trying to run a car on gas fumes. You don’t get very far.
I will continue to keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.
I am open to your loving counsel of what I should focus upon in this healing journey.
When God calls us aside to rest many of us see this as something awful. We cry out to God and say, “But, Lord, there are so many people who need my help! Please don’t ask me to abandon them in their time of need!” The truth is that God does not need any one of us. Our Father is quite capable to do His work on His own. God chooses to use us because He is teaching us how much we need Him.
There are so many times David cries out to God for help. The one time that touches me most is when David says in Psalm 51:10 -12. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit” (New American Standard Bible). My prayer for all of you and me is that we would come before God each day saying, “Lord, remove the acidic stain of sin before it has an opportunity to corrode my spirit. Oh, Lord, let me awake every day so filled with joy that I am a sinner saved by grace! My sins have been removed from me as far as the east is from the west. Oh, thank you so much for loving me.”
Has a hurt that has not healed robbed you of the joy of your salvation? Have you been a Christian for many years, but you have become so worn down by attacks on your character from those you trusted? Has a Christian leader who you trusted to guide and support you let you down? Did your pastor say cutting things to you that you refuse to forgive? Have you been abused and been judged for it, that it is your fault? Are you in burnout? Has your career hit a dead end? Were you turned down for a promotion? Are you in debt? Are one or all of these things robbing you of the joy of your salvation? If so, then I pray that you will follow the example given for us in the life of the stumbling sinner, David, and seek God’s healing comfort. Go to those you trust and pour out all of the pain in your soul. Even if you can’t forgive the harm done to you by others, ask to be made willing to forgive and that God would carry out that forgiveness in your own heart.
Be patient with yourself in the journey towards forgiveness. Where you have inflicted harm on someone, go to that person you have offended in thought, word or deed and ask for their forgiveness. Then, give yourself permission to forgive yourself.
We all make mistakes. We all blow it. We all mess up. The awesome thing though is that when we come to God with a real spirit of repentance as David does, our Lord forgives us. If God forgives us why are we not willing to forgive ourselves? I think it is because the Enemy keeps trying to keep us in this false belief that we have done something so despicable that we could never be forgiven. We hear the judgemental words of others that we will always be a failure. If Christ as He is betrayed by Judas, rejected by His own people who decide that the lecherous thief, Barabbas, will be freed and He will not, judged by the learned men of the Sanhedrin as being a heretic, has Pontius Pilate wash his hands of His impending death, has insults heaped upon him by the Roman soldiers, is stripped of his clothes, beaten and a crown of thorns is placed on His head, endures the most painful death possible by being crucified on the Cross, abandoned by His own followers as they flee and by, Peter, as he denies knowing Christ three times,and worst of all, abandoned by His own Father, if He can forgive all that, then my dear friends, God reaches into your soul and says, “Forgive.”
All of us need to look at our lives and ask ourselves this question. How much of what I am doing is that important? I urge you to lsten to God’s heart and hear what He has to say to you about that. Seek the wise counsel of those you trust whether it is a friend, pastor, counsellor or a spiritual guide.
I put you back in the hands of my Father. He is the greatest healer of your soul and life.
P.S. If you want to send a get well card, uplifting music or anything the Lord leads you to do our mailing address is:
Kevin and Karen Osborne
22 Seventh Avenue
P.O. Box 710
Englehart, Ontario, Canada