About Me

  Patricia Hammell Kashtock

Aka: Pat Kashtock. Mother of three, wife of one. BA in Social Work and Biblical Studies. Graduate work at Virginia Tech interrupted, then derailed by oldest child’s brain tumor...

My life has not followed the course I planned. But I am not complaining. Pain is to be expected in a world broken apart from its Creator.

The miracle resides in the ability to find joy when least expected...


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Windows to the Woman’s Soul (W2WSoul)
Hope's Home
A Redeemed Life
The Writing Life
Kendall Harmon Titus 1:9
A Mom's Life
Robin's Nesting Place

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For What It's Worth

Each life is a journey. The voices of many guides try to direct us, saying, “This is the path – walk in it!” Yet each one leads in a different direction.

I believe only one Voice can be true. That Voice will lead us in ways most unexpected, into worlds yet undiscovered. It will lead us up the hill, around the river and through the forest. And sometimes, it will lead without mercy.

Or so it seems.

I have made listening for that Voice and following it, my life’s quest. I will share some of what I have heard that Voice say with you. But I am not in the business of telling people how to think or what to believe. Each has to decide for himself. Only you can decide if you find the truth of the Voice in these words. And only you can decide how much it is worth to know the Voice, and follow.

But for me, it is worth the whole world.

And then some…

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Hope from a Near Death Experience

Dale could not have known this, but the day he sent his testimony, I probably felt Seagull by Dale Cordell modified with filters as discouraged as I have ever been. The feelings of uselessness nearly overwhelmed me that night. The one ability I have worked to hone is leading worship, yet in my current position, I function as more of a song leader than a worship leader. By the end of the month, I believe the position will be folded due to some changes at the church. I am getting older and for the most part churches seem to want younger. Staying on top of voice and guitar are time intensive and I have much else to do. If I am not going to use them for an eternal purpose, it seems I should just quit altogether. I am willing to walk away from it if that is what the Lord wants and for some time now, have been trying to discern what He desires from me.


Then I see what other people do for the Lord, and here I am. I do all these little things to help out, but they don't seem like much to me, only time-wise I can't fit anything more.


Perhaps the weight of the years has just built up.


Then again, maybe I feel torn because I have been working steadily on the book about Heidi. Remembering the cancerward and the surgeries for now does not send me into despair. Remembering Heidi from an earlier time when she was the Heidi she was created to be, hurts.


And so that night, I sat at my computer lower than low, to answer email. Up popped Dales' testimony. As I read, I began to cry, and hope rose up, once again.

I posted Dale's letter in the readers' stories section, but was concerned it might get lost there, so I also placed it here. While this was not an actual conversation I had with the Lord, I believe it was His answer to my questions that day. He did not answer specific questions at the time although He likely will later. Instead, He answered the underlying questions that fuel many of the other questions.


The letter from Dale Cordell:


Since you ARE a believer, I thought I'd share something with you.


Seagull by Dale CordellNow, you know that we usually don't remember dreams for long... even the best or the worst. But about a month ago, I had an experience that could be a dream OR a near death experience. Or, of course, it could have been God speaking to me. In any case, the experience was real. The memory of it shall never ... NEVER... leave me.


OK... you may take this any way you choose, but I think that what little I know of you, you will be as excited as I am.


I know I was in bed sleeping. Suddenly, no dreams. I felt myself take my last breath, let it out. Then, my soul (?) started to rise up. I was in a complete surrounding of pure black.


Above me... or in front of me, was a light. This light was BRIGHT, but it did not hurt to see it. As a matter of fact, the light and the dark were both so pure that there was no fear.


As soon as I'd taken my last breath, all of my fears, my cares, my worries... all of my earthly feelings were gone. I felt (not sure how to word it, completely, but I'll try.) nothing containing Earthly feelings. What I felt was an overwhelming JOY. An overwhelming HAPPINESS.


The closer to the light I got, the feelings of ecstasy were so strong that I cannot describe how happy and filled with joy, I was. The light... being so bright and all... brought more comfort, the closer I got to it.


Then, I felt myself take in a deep breath and I awoke, remembering everything as clearly as humanly possible. The feelings of joy and happiness were still within me. Those feelings have slowly dissipated, but the "experience,” I believe, shall remain with me, until that time that I do take my final breath.


If there were any doubts about God or Heaven, before this experience, there are absolutely NONE now. When we die, yes, we do raise up. When we die, yes, our soul and consciousness leave our body and moves toward the light.


If you'd like to post my testimony on your blog, you have my permission to do so, using my name, etc. I'm very pleased to have had this experience, even if it turns out that perhaps my body DID try to die. I've no idea if I may have sleep apnea or another condition that may have caused this event.


But, I'm in no fear of it happening again, even if it is my time to leave. With all that's going on in this world, I have prayed to God, numerous times, asking Him to take me Home. I am tired. My body is tired and nearly worn out... as far as muscular and spinal conditions go. When God decides it is my time, I actually long for it, even more so now than before.


I have always worried about leaving my loved ones behind. My wife, my pets, my friends. I worry for their care and safety, more than for just the loss of my humble and frail body.


But now, those worries are way in the background, even though I wish to continue living and loving my friends, most of the time. When depression hits me, big-time, then I get to a point of "I just don't care.” which I know is very selfish of me.


Pat, you can publish this any way you like. I just want to share my experience and give others more hope... as I received. If you wish to post the whole letter, that's fine. Feel free to share it any way you can. If my testimony helps even ONE person, then both of us have attained our goal.


Take care and God Bless you!

Dale Cordell



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Reader Comments (4)

Thanks for posting this letter, I was actually researching the topic of "what happens to us after we die" today and came across a couple scriptures that supports what Dale experienced:

Ecclesiastes 12:7
7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Psalm 90:10
10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

1 Kings 17:21-22
21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.
22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

James 2:26
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Some would lead us to believe that we have no spirit or that we are not aware of anything when we die, but I am pretty much convinced that our bodies die and our conscious spirit goes back to God. and will return to our newly resurrected body when Christ returns:

1 Corinthians 15:52
in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

1 Corinthians 15:44
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

What a GLORIOUS DAY that will be..BE BLESSED :O)

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterloswl

Hey Mark -- Thanks! Thank you for posting those scriptures and for taking the time to do it! I will make sure I email Dale and let him know so he can see them. I think it will be a rel blessing to him. And the scriptures you posted will be a blessing to whoever comes by to read his letter.

And yes -- that will be a glorious day. Every once in a while, I get the tiniest fleeting taste, and almost can't take it.


July 10, 2009 | Registered Commenter[Pat Kashtock]

Thanks for emailing me, Pat. I have thought of you and wondered how you were doing. I hope all is well with you and yours. No matter how our Earthly problems go, He will always be there for those who truly believe. For those who do not truly believe, I say," Kneel and pray to God. Pray with a sincere heart...for He knows .... ask Him to come into your heart, your mind and your whole being."

He knows there are those of us who profess to be a Christian, but for some reason we may still harbor the slightest doubt. Do not ask God to prove Himself, I feel that would be wrongful. In His own way and time, I fully believe that He will lead you to the answer you seek. We often pray, but how often to we LISTEN? Listening for God's response is a situation that I've found to be a horrible challenge for me. Are my thoughts the answer? Is the answer truly God's word? I do struggle to learn how to listen. But, I do pray often, that He open my eyes, my ears and my mind, so that I can discern my own thoughts and hopes, from His word.

I have repeated my story on several sites and to some others to whom I feel complete trust. Finally, I offered my story on a site where there are many athiests and/or agnostics. I fully expected to receive a complete dressing down, which I don't know if I am strong enough to receive. So far, so good though. Nevertheless, I'll still repeat my story for those who seek Him. I refuse to fight with athiests .. and they do so hard, try to convince us that we are the ones who are wrong. I personally feel that I have already been told by our Creator, that I am to rise up. Does everyone experience the same thing as I did? I've no idea if even the evil will rise up for Judgement or not. But, I do pray for them, as I come across them.

Every day, I awake and thank the Lord for another day, even though my body tires and I am not able to do the things I love to do. But, I believe a better time is coming soon.

God bless each of you. Pat, you are blessed, I've no doubt.

July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDale Cordell

Hey Dale -- Yes to all of it. I think it is a bit unnerving sometimes to try and figure out where our thoughts end and the Lords words to us begin. Perhaps that is not as cut and dried as we think at times. He is in us, and does speak to us from that place. When I asked Him how I would know the difference, He said, "Time and provings." And that really has been the way for me to know.

Sometimes I just know, though. Usually when the ideas come from left field and are over the top creative, I feel comfortable it is not my "voice." Other times He let me know what I was hearing at that moment didn't matter if it was Him or me remembering things He said and applying them. I guess truth is truth.

With atheists: you are right not to exactly argue. Speak the truth in love, with love, and because you love. We are sometimes the watchman at the wall. It is our job to state the truth. We do not have the job of making people hear it. We just have to say it. I have had two friends that I know of move from being ironclad atheists to believers over time. A third has been back and forth. Two of my most beloved pastors were atheists until they were about 40.

So Dale -- caring enough to interact with the atheists around you and praying for them rather than getting into arguments, is a wonderful thing. If we do not reach out with genuine love to those who do not yet know the Lord, how will they know what He is like?

Hope you are feeling better.


July 15, 2009 | Registered Commenter[Pat Kashtock]

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