Christianity/Religion Death Pentecostal Religion

Death of Rev. T. L. Osborn

Interesting, that as we grow older bits of our life are pinched off and exist no more. When I was a student at Apostolic College in Tulsa, I worked in the afternoon for the Rev. T. L. Osborn Ministries. A few hours ago, he went to meet the Lord.

The year was 1956, and I was chosen from the office staff to do some work in the Osborn living quarters which were upstairs over the office area.  I recall the excitement of being with them and talking about their experiences. Rev. Osborn traveled extensively and held large missionary campaigns around the world. Within their living area were numerous artifacts they had collected and had tastefully displayed.

I wish their family comfort.


Writings of T. L. Osborn discussed here.

America Crestline Death Evil Firearms Weather/Nature

A Dark and Stormy Night

We walked down the stairs. I pushed the button, watched the garage door open and stared into thick white fog. Ken and Nancy’s house across the street was invisible. “Jerry, we can’t drive in this.”

We were dressed for church and would attend a special prophecy meeting down in Rialto. We knew cold weather and snow were predicted for tonight, but neither of us had noted that we were already socked in with fog. Back upstairs, I checked the internet to see if anyone had posted about road conditions lately, and noticed then that a winter storm warning had been upgraded by the National Weather Service and that we are predicted to receive 6 to 8 inches of snow beginning around midnight tonight. Jerry called Rebecca and told her we wouldn’t make it to the meeting.

An ominous atmosphere already surrounded us here in the San Bernardino Mountains, and we had left extra lights on in the house as we had headed down to the car. There is a gunman loose here in our mountains, and he has already killed three people. You may have heard about it already. He was seen a few hours ago in Big Bear, after setting his truck on fire, and then escaping through the snowy grounds.

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AP Photo

Policemen are combing our mountains, and crews are stationed at the foot of all highways leading into our areas. Christopher Dorner wrote and posted a 14 page manifesto in which he laid out his grievances against law enforcement agencies, and in which he listed many of them as targets. Because this is a mountain resort area, there are many unoccupied homes and cabins in which he could hide. Officers are making house to house checks trying to find him, while at the same time knowing he may have escaped this area and may have headed somewhere else.

As I worked about the house today, before I completely followed this story, I heard an announcer quote Mr. Dorner as saying, “I do not fear death, as I died long ago.”

I stopped what I was doing and called these words to Jerry’s attention. They have haunted me all day, and do so now.

Our world is so sick, so filled with sadness. Healthy looking, happy looking men and women walk among us–but they are dead. The walking dead. (Follow that link to see a good picture of him.)

What can we do? Are we doing all we can? What is causing this? I truly would like to hear your thoughts on this tonight, here on my blog. Spend a minute and leave a comment.

In the meantime, the wind is howling around our house, the temperature is dropping, the fog is thick outside our windows, and soon the snow will begin to fall.

And somewhere is Christopher Dorner . . . dead.  May God have mercy on us.

Death Evil Grief Photography The World

The Death of a Recluse

His name is unimportant–except that when it is chiseled onto his tombstone it will be for some the only marker of his life. He died alone. At the end of our block. Unsung for the long days and for the long black nights he lay dead in his living room floor. No one sensed it at first, for he had become a recluse, then his ex-wife (or maybe he was still married–not sure) called a neighbor; “He’s not answering the phone. Can you check?”

I said his name is unimportant, but that is only so for this post, for I understand the opposite actually to be true. On the off-chance that any of his family or friends would read here, I don’t want them to be hurt or embarrassed, for he lived a sad, angry life. My neighbor did . . . and he died alone . . . They found him Saturday night. . . only a few yards from our house.

He was a Jew, and, fearing for their lives, his parents had fled Hitler’s regime, making it to Holland where they hid for a period of time. He was a small boy when he was hid away, but he remembered, and he never recovered. I can’t know for sure, but it seems he should have bounced back from the trauma, for his being so embittered mangled his life and wrecked his chance at any positive relationships. But he chose to stay buried in the details of that sordid period of history, and he reveled in recounting the atrocities. He showed us papers and books and told us stories. He warred with most of the neighbors, put up no trespassing signs, installed heavy gates, and set cameras on high poles. He went to court over perceived offenses, and sometimes people took him to court for his odd behavior.

When we moved here, his wife still lived with him–a precious person, whose grown children were furious that she had married him, and who would have nothing to do with him. Jerry and I tried to befriend them, had them in our home several times, and listened to his stories. He gave Jerry books and spoke Hebrew in our living room. He liked Jerry and sometimes hugged him, and we liked him and his wife.

While we were gone to Lake Havasu, his wife moved out of their fine, large house and the gardens that had been the showplace of the neighborhood are now brown and bare. The towering rose bushes and the flowering vines are dead, as are most of the plants she nurtured so tenderly. She used to walk me around the yard and name the plants and tell of their characteristics.

Last Saturday, they found him, and now a big dumpster is in the driveway and a group of people are working through the place.

Have you been hurt? Did someone mistreat you? Have you been wronged? Let it go. Today. You can do that, and you will be a transformed person. Much better to suck it up, turn the page, smile again, and forgive, than to become a recluse . . . and to die alone. . .

Death Grief Life Money Photography Social

Treasure This Moment

Walter Samaszko was 69 years old and lived in Carson City, Nevada. He also died there, alone, and it was more than a month before anyone noticed that he had gone missing. Walter Samaszko was a “loner,” who didn’t trust many people. He lived frugally. In his checking account was $200.00.

But after neighbors notified authorities that something seemed wrong, and after his decaying body was found, it was determined that his house must be sold. As workers were preparing for the sale, an astonishing discovery was made: Hidden within the house were boxes of gold bars and gold coins worth at least 7 million dollars.

When I read this story a couple of days ago, I was struck by its sadness, for here, from all accounts, was a man who was afraid of life, (even afraid to go to the doctor for fear of dirty needles) and who instead of enjoying travel and museums and hobbies and philanthropy hoarded his gold bars–and died intestate–totally alone. A solitary cousin has been found, who after the government takes their large share of the estate, will inherit the wealth of Walter Samaszko.

(image from Getty)

Such a dynamic lesson is here for all of us: Let us treasure every moment of every day, and to the fullest extent of our ability take advantage of each benefit that comes to us, without waiting for something better, or something perfect, or something greater.

Every season of our life is precious, but is of quicksilver and is fleeting. Should our hands wait to caress the jewel of this second, when we reach again, only vapor may be there . . . and a memory of chance long past and opportunity forever gone.

Christianity/Religion Courage Death Family Goodness of man Grief Photography

Face of Beauty; Face of Grief

In my estimation, he has been elevated, and could you understand Dustin’s entire history you would likely agree with me. Let me tell you a little of his story.

Some time ago, Dustin Halliday’s father Daniel had a heart attack, an episode that left him with significant brain impairment. He cannot talk. He does not open his eyes. His hands are clenched, his feet are curled. For many months Daniel was treated in a VA hospital, and it was during those times that Dustin often begged to have his father released to him.  Dustin wanted to care personally for his father.

A couple of weeks ago, the dream was realized. Now, on a hospital bed in Dustin and Misty’s living room lies Daniel. On the front door is a warning sign: Oxygen in use. Daniel is totally dependent on others; he can do nothing for himself. Someone else is responsible for his feeding, his medication, his bathing–his very breath. At times, others in the family lovingly tend Daniel, but the preponderance of his care comes from Dustin.

Daniel bleeds, and in the long, dark nights, Dustin tends him. He lifts his father’s legs, arranges the cloths, then pulls snug the tabs. His is a life-watch, a death-watch. It is of antiquity, of creation, of beginnings and endings. More often than not, though, throughout history, women have been those who people such a room.

I visited a few days ago. Dustin stood near the top of the hospital bed. I watched as he lifted his hand and caressed the slick head of his father. Dustin’s handsome face was a study in grief; marble chiseled by a master, canvass plied with dark and heavy strokes. Tears cascaded down his face. Tender. He ran his hand over the face of his father.

Dustin is not a man of softness. As is true for many people, his has been a life of challenge and of extreme grief. He has responded in a manly, strong way. Tonight, as his father nears the inevitable crossing place that leads from this life into that of another world, Dustin delicately ministers to his father. With love, he watches and washes and prays. His is a face of beauty.

Dustin Halliday, you are a prince.

Christianity/Religion Death Home Photography Weather/Nature


“Why don’t we eat on the front deck?” Jerry said as I prepared lunch a few hours ago.

“Fine with me,” I said as I reached for a large tray on which to place our food and drink.

We’ve been home here in Crestline for a week and it has been delightful summery weather. We’ve had doors and windows open, I’ve padded barefoot on the decks where I had laid rugs and where I had placed furniture that in the winter time I move inside. I plopped down three elegant pillows on the front-deck swing, and from time to time I sit there and gaze at the swaying trees. Always there are birds. At times they call,  the abundant little chickadees saying chick a dee, chick a dee.Tulips were blooming in the back yard when we arrived last Monday, and I picked one and placed it on the sill in the kitchen, where I admired its ragged shape and deep color. Daffodils by the thousands are blooming here in the San Bernardino Mountains and once on my way back from grocery shopping this week, I stopped longside a mountain roadway and snapped these images, admiring the tender light playing over and through the yellow and white forms.

As Jerry and I ate our lunch, we noticed clouds spilling over the southern rim of the rising mountains and then I felt a chill in the air. We napped, and when I awoke it was definitely cold and I noted the wind to have picked up and that now we were completely fogged in. I dashed about bringing in the rugs and pillows and closing windows and doors. At the kitchen window I checked the thermometer. Three hours after Jerry and I had eaten turkey sandwiches in balmy weather, the temperature had dropped 22 points and now read 48 degrees. Amazing.

“A fire,” Jerry said. “I’m building a fire.” And so he did.

Change. This dramatic alteration in our weather brought me to a place in my mind I often go, for in recent years Jerry and I have had to make severe changes in our lives, and I frequently consider them. These changes owe in part to our ages and again to varied other circumstances. Some of our changes have been difficult; others have been pleasant and easy. Change is inevitable. Comes to all. Let us be prepared for those startling, uneasy moments so that with grace we will accept the unavoidable.

This past week, in ghastly ways, two of my friends have had severe change come to them. In both cases the change involved the death of dear family members; one, the loss of a cherished 16 month-old grandbaby, the other, the sudden unexpected death of an adult son. I am not close friends to either of these godly women, yet I grieve for each of them and have prayed sincerely for God’s comfort to envelop them.

Edit Tuesday, April 24: And a few hours ago another of my friends lost her 30 year old daughter…but listen as this godly woman writes of this dreadful change in her life:

Isaiah 55:8

For my thoughts are not your
thoughts,neither are your
ways my ways,saith the LORD.

He has plans for accomplishing his PURPOSES which are different from ours and he secures our own welfare by schemes that cross our own.We must HEAR the VOICE of God in our thoughts.We have to go GOD’S WAY and not our own way.
When I think of the GOODNESS of GOD my soul cry’s out HALLELUJAH!!Thank God for saving me!

I want to thank everyone for their prayers for my daughter Vanessa Willet….Vanessa went home to be with the LORD. She was a miracle in our life she wasn’t suppose to live but God had MERCY and at 3 moths old she had open heart surgery…She had congesitional heart failure and by God’s MERCY she lived until 30 yrs old.Gilbert & I will miss her deeply and she will always be in our hearts and thoughts..Our greatest JOY is that she made things right with GOD….My heart smiles to know she made it..

Praise the LORD!
♥ Gilbert & Katy Buelna

Death Food Friends Life Photography

Friends, Food, and Going

I know my friend is going,
though she still sits there
across from me in the restaurant,
and leans over the table to dip
her bread in the oil on my plate; I know
how thick her hair used to be,
and what it takes for her to discard
her man’s cap partway through our meal,
to look straight at the young waiter
and smile when he asks
how we are liking it. She eats
as though starving—chicken, dolmata,
the buttery flakes of filo—
and what’s killing her
eats, too. I watch her lift
a glistening black olive and peel
the meat from the pit, watch
her fine long fingers, and her face,
puffy from medication. She lowers
her eyes to the food, pretending
not to know what I know. She’s going.
And we go on eating. (by Kim Addonizo)
I rose early this morning as I usually do, read, thought of people, prayed and wandered about our house thinking of my day. This evening we’re having friends in for dinner and I am so excited about it. While it was still dark this morning, I clicked the switch which lighted the wreath on our stair wall, admired it, took its picture, then walked to the dining room where the table is already set for our 6:00 evening meal. Took its picture too. 🙂
I didn’t have a particular one in mind, but I wanted a poem to include with this post I knew I would be making; one of food and festivities and friends. I didn’t come across what I had in mind . . . and then I found the one posted above . . . which brought me up short . . . and which I decided to post here, although it is not at all what I had considered. Perhaps, though, it is.
As far as I know all of us who will dine together tonight are in good health. No grim diagnosis has been handed any of us, no frightening words have been spoken in a sterile cubicle from which those chosen stagger forth. No, we are healthy, happy friends–some very young, some barely eying middle age, and others–Jerry and I–having made our peace with the moniker of the aged. (Well, I’ve not quite made peace with the word and the idea–still kickin’ a bit.) But . . . we are all going. The young. The old.
Eat then; have friends to your place for dinner. Talk. Talk of love, of God, of family, of progress, of those who have died, of grandbabies newly born, of weddings, of politics, of successes and of challenges.
From my oven, I just took a pumpkin pie which we will eat tonight unless we choose chocolate cream instead. I’m cooking the finest meal I can, and setting the table with the best and the prettiest things I own. For my friends. Do me a favor. Do yourself a favor. Call up a friend and have them in for a meal. A hotdog will do if that’s what you can manage, or a ribeye precisely grilled or a cup of Peet’s coffee and a cinnamon roll. Easy to put it off. Easy to intend to do it, but just not get around to making the call.
We should, though. For we are going. All of us.

Today, Brother Ewing Saw Jesus

I was in the grocery store a few minutes ago when the call came informing me of the death of our beloved Rev. Murrell Ewing. I was stunned

I sat on my couch a few minutes ago and listened to this remarkable man sing this amazing song. I am weeping.

Murell Ewing 1941-2010

Murell Ewing 1941-2010

LAKE CHARLES, LA – December 31, 2010. The bishop of Eastwood United Pentecostal Church in Lake Charles passed away on Friday, December 31. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced, but will be handled by Johnson Funeral Home.

Funeral arrangements for Pastor Murrell Ewing:

The wake will be Tuesday, Jan. 4th from 10 am – 2 pm at Eastwood.

The funeral will be Tuesday evening, Jan. 5th at 6:30 pm.

The burial will be on Wednesday Jan. 6th at 11am at Richie Cemetary in Moss Bluff

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Murrell L. Ewing Mission Fund.

Donations can be sent to:

Eastwood Pentecostal Church
PO Box 16778
Lake Charles, La 70616

Source: Apostolic News

Church Death

Another Warrior Has Departed: Rest in Peace Rev. G. A. Mangun

Bishop G.A. Mangun 1919-2010


The Bishop completed his journey early this morning, June 17.

Surrounded by his family, he journeyed across the river to the sounds of a victorious angelic welcome.  His death was as powerful and victorious as his incredible life.

We mourn and rejoice, we grieve and celebrate. We are beyond blessed to have lived in the same era as this unparalleled man of God, but even 91 years of legend is never enough.

The Mangun family is forever indebted to everyone for their love, prayers, and support.  We will gather together to laugh and cry in the days to come.  You provide such strength to us.

The homegoing service for Bishop G. A. Mangun will be Tuesday, June 22, at 6:00 pm at The Pentecostals of Alexandria.  Visitation will begin at 12 noon and continue until service time.

Graveside service will be Wednesday, June 23, at 10:00 am with procession departing from The Pentecostals of Alexandria at 9:30 am. Interment at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Pineville, LA.

From the church website

Christianity/Religion Death

Sister Pugh Joins Her Beloved in Death

Astounding. I just received word that Sister Bessie Pugh, the wife of Rev. J. T. Pugh has also died. Brother Pugh died on Tuesday, and his beloved wife joined him on Wednesday. A double funeral is planned for Friday in Odessa.

Is this not a beautiful way for a devoted couple to leave this world. Amazing, simply amazing.

Updated Official announcement here.

Jesse Truman “J.T.” Pugh Rev. (1923 – 2010)

ODESSA It was the “for better or for worse day, in sickness and in health, till death do us part” day. March 23, 2010, was the day Jesse Truman Pugh Lived for. It was the day J.T. Pugh became a spiritual being and left the cares of life for the splendor of heaven. Bessie Byrl, his mate of 65 years, had told him the day before he left, “let’s go together.” Instead, she sat by his side as he made his journey into the land he had preached about, lived for and believed in since he was 12. As his last breath passed from his body, she led her family in prayer and then in the song that signified his life, “We’re part of the family, the family of God.”
More of Brother Pugh’s very interesting obituary here.
Image credit: Arthur Hodges Facebook