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Monday, February 18, 2013

To Be Absent from the Body...

It probably will seem odd to some to include these two people in the same post. They are two very different individuals who took very different life-paths and died very different types of deaths within days of one another...his was last Thursday and hers was yesterday.

But they both touched my life in important ways and I'm thinking about both of them tonight...

This is a picture taken with Dr. T.L. Osborn (1923 - 2013) from a few years ago. In this shot we are on the plane returning from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Dr. Osborn had been the featured speaker at the ICCC (International Communion of Charismatic Churches) conference that had just been held there.

At the time I was still on the College of Bishops of the ICCC, and as a result I got to spend a little time with him on that trip. I had always admired him, but I found that he was just as impressive (if not more) in private as he was in public. I remember every single thing he said to me that week in perfect detail.

When you hear about famous, late 20th century healing ministries, you usually hear about Kathryn Kuhlman or Benny Hinn, or the tent preachers who were a part of the great Healing Revival of the late 40's and early 50's, not the least of which was Oral Roberts. But if you really follow Osborn's overseas record, I think it can be argued that nobody did what he did in the realm of healing and the miraculous.

He really was one of a kind.

He spoke a message at the ICCC conference in London, England a year or so later that really was the turning point for me in the way I see and preach ultimate reconciliation...

"Well done, good and faithful servant"...it was an honor to know you!

The other person is country music star, Mindy McCready (1975-2013), who saw a tragic end yesterday to a life filled with a lot of tragedy.

I met her at my friend Jeff Ferguson's house a couple of years ago and got to spend some special time with her.
She was a very unique and extremely talented individual. We played the piano and sang gospel songs with Jeff and the other people who were there, and she said she wanted to write a song from Isaiah 43:19.
And so we did.
That night.
It was called "Behold I am Doing A New Thing In You", and we sang it over and over again, into the early morning hours. She loved it and said it was going to be her Grammy-winner. The next day Jeff paid for studio time and took us to a place in Nashville where we recorded a little demo of it, with me on the piano and the two of us doing the vocals. She was appearing on 'The View' the following week and wanted me to come to New York and play and sing it with her, but it never worked out for me to go.
I was just listening to the song this weekend and was so moved by how strong her cool, country voice sounded on the part where she keeps singing "Now it shall spring forth! Now it shall spring forth!"

I've probably lost as many or more people from my life in the last few years for believing in and preaching universal salvation as I have for coming out, but on days like today, I'm so glad that I believe what I believe. Mindy was obviously troubled, but I have no doubt that she's at peace now and is with the Lord. In the end, the love of God always wins...

 This is for you, Mindy...

"So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkableabsolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us."

(Romans 8:31-39 - The Message)
Dr. Osborn...Mindy...I loved you both and I'll miss you both...
And I will see you both again...


  1. thank you Bishop, for sharing these stories <3

  2. Bishop I remember hearing T L say once...."Everyone is saved already...they just do not know it yet." then he flashed that big smile. This was way back in the mid 80's before I was awakened to truth that truly sets mankind free.
    When he spoke that my spirit said yes, but my religious trained brain was not ready for that revelation.
    I dont know where he stood about this truth, but that was a seed planted that stayed with me, and always had me questioning....could it be true? I am thankful for his life and ministry.
    I am not a country music fan, and did not know who Mindy was until today. So sorry to hear about her passing, but like you I am thankful she is at rest now, and knowing LOVE always wins.

  3. Simply perfect, and profoundly beautiful tribute . . . . You have a way with words, my brother!

  4. James Leroy Friesner said...

    You are an exceptional person. I pray God's blessing upon your ministry. You bring encouragement to all

  5. Tony Leckey said...

    That's beautiful.....Mindy's been on my mind today as well.....xo

  6. Hello can any one give me pleas an email to communicate with the church ? I have been trying with the email address mail@churchinthenow.org but its not working .. My email is braily100@hotmail.com pleas if anyone can help me , God bless