Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WATCH THOSE JAWS...



Milton, here:


Here are a few pictures from our recent get-a-way on Amelia Island. We experienced rest, renewal, peace, joy, spiritual refreshing, and just lots of fun.





Even caught a shark! Just kidding. It was hanging there the last time we were on the island. Doesn't stink yet, thank goodness! I stuck my hand up its mouth and its teeth cut me. Learn something everyday--sometimes the hard way. HA!

Can't beat get-a-ways that include God's presence!

God is good.


How Is Kristy?


She is having good days but struggles with confusion and short term memory as well as balance and mobility issues. She faces all of it with faith and a smile.

Thank you for your prayers for her and for us.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL MEMORIES...

Milton, here:

We're back and what fun we had on Amelia Island. Kristy went there as a little girl with her Mom and siblings to visit family so it holds lots of wonderful memories for her.

We made new memories together with her brother Terry and our friends Don and Sandra. We sang, read Scripture, told jokes, ate, told more jokes, ate, sang, watched a music video, ate, told more jokes. ate, sang, went to great restaurants, and told more jokes.

Now what could be more fun than good food, good friends, good jokes, and the presence of God all in a beautiful setting?

Maybe now we should go on a fitness retreat to lose this extra weight.

Last night Kristy looked into my eyes as we drifted into sleep and told me ever so sweetly how much she loves me. Wow, what a gal. I love this women!

Before we left to return home, Kristy wanted us all to sing God Be with You Til We Meet Again. That was hard but yet so sweet.

God is good.

Monday, April 28, 2008

WE'RE GONE...

Milton, here:

Kristy and I are on a two day get-away at Amelia Island. We hope to post some pictures later. She is doing well with some challenges.

The last post, HOW LONG?, with the one word text, FOREVER, was a continuation of the previous post dealing with our mortality and eternity. We live forever. It was just short and too the point.

HOW LONG?

FOREVER...

These recent issues have made us clearly aware of the the full scope of our lives.

Hey, I also like the comment of Milton and Kristy forever.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

HOW LONG?

Milton and Kristy, here:

Forever!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

HOW LONG?

Milton, here:

Several years ago I was jogging one morning and it hit me that I had lived well over half my life. It was depressing. It was my brief mid-life crisis moment. How did I get to this point in life so quickly? Unbelievably, amazingly, suddenly, over half my life was spent, gone, done.

Then the Lord spoke into my heart, "That's not so…You haven't lived over half of your life. You are going to live forever. You are just getting started."

Wow! I knew that, but that morning He made it real to me. It became personal. My jogging picked up pace and I had a great day.

Kristy looked at me a couple of evenings back and said, "It is only a grain. Just a grain of sand. One tiny grain. My life is here on earth is a mere single grain of sand amid all the handfuls of sand you can hold and the untold grains of sand that fill the oceans and seas of the world. We are created for eternity."

That's perspective. That is what has caused Kristy to live her life since a child with the goal of seeking first the Kingdom of God.

***

Kristy and I have had some very frank discussions about what she is facing and how to deal with it. We are believing and praying for a miracle, but all of us face our mortality.

None of us know the day or hour when we will leave this world. I could go to heaven before Kristy or some of you could pass today. Who knows what the future holds?

When this hurts beyond what we can bear, then we look to Him.

We think of heaven, eternity, and God's promises for the next life. He has and is helping us every step of the way and He gives real perspective so we don't lose sight of our higher, heavenly goal.

Friday, April 25, 2008

HE FEELS OUR PAIN...

Milton, here:

Pain is not easy to bear -- physical pain, mental pain, emotional pain, sometimes spiritual pain. When the pain is beyond our ability, we can turn to Him. He is touched with our infirmities, our burdens, our pain.

He lifts us up and soothes our sorrows. Yes, He truly cares.

Here are two comments I couldn't let pass without prayer. Will you pray a prayer of faith with me that God will work His perfect and complete will for Betty and Shana?


***

Anonymous said...

i write to you from my pain, thankful for your joy, hopeful for my own, prayerful for much...i walked away from the man i love, the man i believe i am to be with (just not yet). the pain is incredible. i cry every night and day without him. i believe, though his heart is hard to Jesus now, it will be softened to Him someday. of course i do not know that we will be together (of course God only knows if what i feel and believe is from Him) - but my hope remains in Him through this pain. ...and i am thankful for you as you share your life with us. through you God increases His strength in me. your painful trial, filled with joy, gives me hope. thank you.

with love - shana
1:28 PM


***

Anonymous said...

I, too, write to you from a place of deep pain. The end of 2007, I was praying for you, as a member of ACFW. Now, my husband of 21 years, Shawn, who was a strong Christian man but drifted from God, has moved out and left me with two sons. Please pray for the restoration of my marriage. I pray for you often, and think of the incredible faith and strength you've shown through your journey. I thank God for your example, for if you can walk through your trial with such grace and love, surely I can, too. We have a good and magnificent God, and He is worthy of our trust. I'll praise Him with you, through the upcoming days.


In His peace, Betty

3:45 PM

***
Milton Dykes said...

Dear Lord:

Please release your renewing power to Betty and Shana.

Soothe the pain and comfort their hearts. Your grace is sufficient and we know you will guide them as they trust and follow you.

Give them a sign--a sign of your love--so they will know you are with them.

Amen.

***

How is Kristy?

She had another great day. We ate lunch with dear friends and then Kristy and I enjoyed a wonderful evening together.

God is good.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

WHAT CAN I SAY....

Kristy, here:

Thanks, all, for your GLORIOUS comments. Appreciate you all. Just came in from a midweek prayer service. Lots of strength when you're surrounded by believers. Thanks, all, for your prayers. God is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo gooooooooooooooooood to me! Even with brain cancer, I can say that. He's a good God.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A PRAISE IN THE NIGHT

Milton, here:

I hope some will yet watch the last video. It is a passionate encouragement of faith and a challenge for living with eternal purpose.

Last night after the lights were out, we shared thoughts, hurts, and challenges we are facing. It wasn't a downer, but it was reality.

Then Kristy said, "Let's offer praise for God's goodness." I was hurting physically with a sore throat and just not feeling good as well as aching over watching her face such tough issues.

I'm the preacher but she was the praiser.

She began to offer thanks and praise -- for her husband, family, friends, thanks that she has more good days than bad, thanks that God is with us and is helping us, thanks for His loving kindness.

It was sweet, real, heart felt worship.

Later she said, "Milton, I can't wait to see you in the morning."

Silently I wiped tears and we slipped into the night.

God is good even when it hurts.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

ACCORDING TO HIS WORD...

Milton, here:

Here is Kristy greeting our congregation on Sunday. The video is just over 9 minutes. Listen carefully to all of it for it will speak to your heart.


The Lord had Kristy share for someone needs to hear this so desperately. Saturday night Kristy had a very strong burden and desire to go to church on Sunday. She had not been able to attend a church service for several weeks.

Friday she had been very ill and doesn't even remember how sick she was. She had experienced confusion and short term memory issues. It was very difficult for her to get dressed and ready, but she just wouldn't quit. She had to go to church to worship, hear the Word preached, and share a profound message for others.

It is utterly amazing to me that she spoke so clearly and with such power. It was God's anointing on her to help others.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT-QJr-BK-A


(Double click on the youtube account above.)

Monday, April 21, 2008

SOAK UP THE BEAUTY...

Milton, here:


The video did not upload and I am working on it. I hope to have it up this evening. Her words to our congregation were about ten minutes and are powerful.

Kristy had a good day today, but was not as spunky as Sunday. She's a trooper and keeps at it.

I bought her roses to brighten her day on Thursday and took her picture with them on Sunday after we got home from church. Doesn't she look great! Pretty roses for a pretty lady.



We sat out on the deck Sunday after church and enjoyed the beauty of spring.


God is good.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

GUESS WHAT?

Milton, here:

KRISTY WENT TO CHURCH TODAY AND GREETED OUR PEOPLE.

WATCH GOD'S GOODNESS TOMORROW BY VIDEO AND HEAR WHAT SHE SHARED AT CHURCH.

WORSHIP THE LORD WITH KRISTY IN YESTERDAY'S VIDEO.

GOD IS GOOD!!!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

ARE YOU HAPPY?

video

(Click on arrow above.)

Milton, here:

We were watching a music video this past Tuesday and Kristy jumps up, grabs Rebecca, and begins to worship and dance before the Lord. The lights were off when I quickly began filming, but if you watch closely and listen carefully you will see and hear real faith, joy, and peace.

We have wept, but we have praised and danced too.

***

How is Kristy?

She is better today and has been up around the house. We are going for a brief car ride.

God is good. Keep praying for her and for us.

Friday, April 18, 2008

KISS ME...

Milton, here:

I just walked out of our bedroom where Kristy is resting straight into our office to the computer where I am now typing.

I had moved only a few steps out of the bedroom and when she called me back.

"Kiss me," she asked, and I did. Sweetly, warmly, so tenderly we kissed.

"You smell good." she whispered and smiled and dozed again.

Kristy had a very rough morning with pain, nausea, vomiting, and confusion. Her strength has been weakening and the tears and aches have been intensifying.

This morning she looked into my face, deeply into my eyes, deep within my soul, feeling the overwhelming drawing motion towards.... Her concern was that the meds would dull her senses and faculties and that she would not know who I am or recognize others. She was concerned that we would not be able to communicate with viability and clarity.

She held me close and we prayed and we felt God's cloud of peace and chair of strength.

She is a lady of faith and a women of passionate love.

Keep Kristy and us in your prayers.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

WHERE IS SOLID GROUND?

Milton, here:


God's Word is the foundation of our lives and marriage. We have stood and lived on the many truths and promises God has given us. There is solid ground to stand which is found in God's Holy Word.


Here is a verse that has gone over and over in my mind that was recently sent to us. I felt I should share it for others who read this blog. All the comments have been so loving and kind. They have been as water on our dry ground.


***


Hi Kristy and Milton, I've been following your blog since all this began with you. I praise God for all He's done to give you such peace and joy . . .and such love for each other.


As I watched this latest video, God brought Zeph. 3:17 to mind:"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."


Indeed, he is rejoicing over both of you with singing. It's so evident that the Holy Spirit resides in you both. Praise God for His indescribable gift!


Nan S.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

GOD BLESS YOU!

Milton, here:

We just want to say "thanks" for all your prayers and kindness to Kristy and to us.


video

(Double click on arrow above.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

THEY LOVED IT!

Milton, here:

Our daughter Jennifer said that Claudia and Lorenzo watched the last video of their Nana and me twenty times or more and danced and laughed and laughed. Claudia did the motions with her Nana over and over, and they both wanted to talk with us. They're four and two and do not realize that the video isn't live and that we can't talk to each other.

Julie doesn't have an easily accessible computer for her boys Alex and Nic so they haven't seen it yet. They will love it too.

Isn't Kristy photogenic? Look at all the past pics. She knows the best camera angles and makes sure the camera is pointed the right way, always smiles, and quickly deletes any photos that are not up to her standards. You call that quality control by a lady. I didn't say vain lady. You didn't hear that from me.

These pictures were taken last summer. What fun we all had together. For all my friends and family up in Alabama, please notice my red Bama hat and the elephant. Roll Tide again!



How is Kristy?



She had a good day. She is struggling with memory and confusion issues and gets tired easily.
Her mobility is beginning to be challenged more and more.

Her faith and our faith is strong. She keeps praising the Lord.

Please keep Kristy and us in your prayers.

Monday, April 14, 2008

SINGIN' TO THE GRANDS



video

(Double click on arrow above.)

Milton, here:

Our grandchildren have really enjoyed the past video's of Kristy and they wanted her to sing for them. She always sings on the phone to them. They love it. You can tell by all the past posts and pictures that Kristy is the sun, moon, and stars to those little kiddies. She has invested her heart and soul in them.

I love the way Kristy got into this video with the "motions". That's Kristy. She makes things come alive.

***

How is Kristy?

She wasn't able to got to church Sunday morning, but when I got home from preaching she was all "dolled up" and we went out for lunch with her sister Rebecca. God is good.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

GOD'S PRESENCE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

Milton, here:

Our first date was at church and we've gone to church together all our marriage. I estimate that we have attended well over 7,000 church services together and also attended spiritual conferences, revivals, and meetings of all sorts beyond those church services.

We have spent all these years seeking and serving God as a couple. How many times have we prayed together? Can't count them. How many times have we prayed for others together? Can't count that either.

I do know that including God in our lives in massive dosages has blessed us and helped make our marriage last.

Here is the last truth that is the ultimate truth for all marriages.

***

Eight truths of lasting marriages

8. God’s presence makes the difference.

God gives strength, grace, and guidance for lasting marriages.

“God is the strength of my heart” (Psalm 73:26, KJV)

“Bring heirs together of the grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7).

“And the Lord shall guide thee continually” (Isaiah 58:11).

Saturday, April 12, 2008

DEALING WITH THE ANGER

Milton, here:

I would like to tell you that Kristy and I have never had a disagreement or major argument. I know that for some this admission is sooo disappointing.

Ha!

But, the truth is that its impossible for two people with two mindsets and two opinions not to have differences and disagreements. It is implausible to think you are going just merrily skip through the tulips and never argue or fight.

But you can learn the art of working through life's issues.

Here is more truth to swallow.

***

Eight truths of lasting marriages

by Kristy and Milton Dykes

6. Couples must learn the art of a fair fight.

In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26)

1. Focus on the issue at hand. 2. Allow all sides of the issue to be discussed. 3. Refuse to label, name-call, or make blanket statements. 4. Have a heart to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. 5. Turn your attention to the good, and clean up the mess.

7. Loving laughter strengthens your marriage.

“A merry heart does good, like medicine” (Proverbs 17:22 NKJV)

There are psychological and physiological benefits of joy and laughter. Laughing 100 times a day is equivalent to 10 minutes of exercise on a rowing machine, yet the average 4-year old laughs 400 times and day while the average adult laughs only 15 times a day. Laughter is the shortest distance between two people, so laugh with your mate. It will bring a bonding to your relationship like nothing else. Learn to increase your humor quotient by seeing the humorous side to life.

Not long after we got a new Mercury Marquis, we went to the body shop to check on our other car that was being repainted. As Milton backed the car up, he hit a low post, and we heard a sickening crunch. “Praise the Lord,” Kristy exclaimed. “And just why are you praising the Lord?” Milton dead-panned. She said, “I’m praising the Lord you’re driving and not me!”

Friday, April 11, 2008

LEARN THE TRUTH ABOUT GREAT DANCE STEPS

Milton, here:

I have never gone to a dance, but I've held Kristy in my arms and attempted a dance or two at home. She is my one and only dance partner and our marriage is a glorious extended dance of two lovers.

We've added new steps through the years which have made it exciting and romantic.

Here is more truth that has made our dance a lasting one.

If you love your partner and yourself, learn the truth about good dance steps.

***

Eight truths of lasting marriages

by Kristy and Milton Dykes


4. Wise husbands spoil their wives. And, wise wives build up their men.

“Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves is wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:28, NIV)
“The wife must see to it that she deeply respects her husband – obeying, praising and honoring him” (Ephesians 5:33, The Living Bible)

Husbands, love your wives. Practice ways to spoil your wife. Ask how you can serve her. List the things she likes. Do the things she likes cheerfully. Affirm her verbally, both privately and publicly.

Wives, respect your husbands. Value his opinions. Compliment him – and let him hear you compliment him in front of others. Encourage him. One wife says to her husband every day, “You are a man of destiny. I’m so thankful for you.”

5. Fidelity in marriage brings great rewards.

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality…because these things are improper for God’s holy people” (Ephesians 5:3, NIV)

The joy of faithful commitment can never be matched by unbridled lists in adultery. Faithful love is confident love, and purity in marriage produces lasting health benefits.

In our article, “Affair-Proofing Your Marriage” (Enrichment journal, Summer 2000), we covered four ways to prevent affairs: 1. Keep your eyes on your spouse. 2. Keep your mind clean from the lusts of this world. 3. Keep your walk with Christ up-to-date. 4. Find physical fulfillment in the bonds of marriage.
***
How is Kristy?

She rested and had a good day. God is good.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU

Milton, here:

My Dad was right!
Women are different from men, but oh thank God for the difference.

We don't think, hear, smell, talk, walk, dress, shop, plan, prepare, implement, or otherwise do much anything alike. We're different, but oh thank God for the difference.

***

Here is more truth about lasting marraiges.

***

Eight truths of lasting marriages

by Kristy and Milton Dykes

2. The differences between men and women add variety and completeness.

“Woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman” 1 Corinthians 11:11

The best-selling book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus emphasizes the differences between men and women. Men tend to be more logical. Women tend to be more emotional. Men tend to forget little things. Women tend to remember little things. Men tend to respond to sight. Women tend to respond to touch.

But when united in love, these differences make for completeness. If agreed in faith, career and primary goals, we can make allowances for differences, and our differences can become our strengths.

3. You can have a happy marriage, but not necessarily be happy all the time.

“In thy presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11, KJV)

Someone said, “You can be happy one day and married the next!” That’s an old joke, but for many couples it’s lived out. There are three issues:

Unhappy people who marry to be happy will still be unhappy once they are married.
Couples in God-honoring marriages aren’t happy with each other all the time because rifts occasionally surface. The key is to work through differences.

Marriage in and of itself does not make anyone happy. In our “Joy in Marriage” seminars, the most important truth we share is this: No person, place or thing can bring happiness. Only Jesus can satisfy your soul.

***

How is Kristy?

She had a wonderful day. God is good!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

WHERE'S THE TRUTH?

Milton, here:

God has blessed Kristy and me with thirty-six wonderful years of marriage. I'm not perfect and neither is Kristy, but by God's grace and guidance our years together have been happy fruitful years. Kristy is my partner in life and partner in ministry and she is my dear, dear sweetheart. God has been so good to us.

One of our shared joys together has been to minister as a team in varied ways. One of the most fulfilling as been as we have enjoyed writing as a couple. Here is one published article we wrote that has helped keep our marriage on tract.

***

Eight truths of lasting marriages

Someone humorously said, "Love is blind, and marriage is an institution. Therefore, marriage is an institution for the blind." Unfortunately many couples are, in a sense, blind. They lack a directing consciousness in their relationship and have no regard for guidance.

Marriage does not have to be this way. God's Word offers us guidance for lasting marriage. Kristy loves the Song of Solomon 3:4, "I found the one my heart desires and would not let him go." Following are eight truths that can be found in lasting marriages.

1. The art of romance
will keep your marriage alive.


"Rejoice in the wife (or husband) of your youth." (Proverbs 5:18)

In our marriage, romance means making each other feel special. Milton likes to send Kristy flowers and cards with personal messages added. Inspiration can come from many directions, including the Bible: "How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!" (Song of Solomon 4:1)

Romance means holding hands, playfully teasing, and having fun with each other. Married partners must work on keeping the sparks alive even when they don't feel any sparks. Kristy calls this "revisiting the sizzle." We were walking through a mall and saw dating couples flirting with each other. "Let's pretend we're dating," Kristy said with a grin, "Let's hold hands and look longingly in to each other's eyes." We did, and it wasn't long before the sparks were there. Always remember it's easier to act your way into thinking than to think your way into acting.

Romance means kissing more often. Married couples get bogged down with babies, bills, and boredom. "When couples don't pay attention to each other," says Jennifer Louden in The Couple's Comfort Book, "the relationship gets stale. Kiss at least 20 seconds twice a day." In our home, whoever leaves first in the morning finds the other partner and gives him or her a kiss. Then, whoever comes home second in the afternoon finds the other partner and gives him or her a kiss.

***

More truth coming soon!

***

How is Kristy?

Wednesday started rough and improved but she is having trouble with confusion along with short term memory issues. Keep praying for her and for us.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

THE GOOD LIFE


Milton, here:

Kristy's earliest published articles were in a column entitled The Good Life which she wrote for a Central Florida newspaper in Bartow, Fl. The column was read by many who wrote Kristy and the newspaper editor complimenting her efforts. This evening I scanned her files reading through some of those columns. Her writings were compelling and with great conviction and commitment of heart.


(The picture shows the "Wonder House" in Bartow, Florida. Its an unique, rare, anomaly and was not far from our home when we lived there.)

After three years of faithfully writing her column, we moved to another town and our lives changed. She wrote her last column thanking her readers and listing her goals for the column. They were:

1. To inform.
2. To entertain.
3. To inspire.

As a very biased husband and critic, I can tell you she succeeded in her goals as attested by her readers. Her topics covered everything from family matters, to theological concerns, to social issues, to the quaint and quirky. Some were funny and many were just real down to earth. They were written with fundamental southern values and high commitment to the Scripture.

She exhorted her readers with two final thoughts:

1. Keep your eyes on Jesus and Him alone.
2. Ministers practice what they preach.

The first point is obvious, but the second point was to encourage readers to not let a few high profile ministerial failures paint every preacher with the same brush. She pointed to examples of faithful ministers who serve without fame or fanfare and with great sacrifice.

Obviously, as a minister I know her first point is the main point. But secondly, I am grateful and proud that my wife stood up for people of my stripe.

Remember, keep your eyes on Jesus and Him alone, and ministers practice what they preach.

That's what Kristy thinks.

***
How is Kristy:

She had a very good day.

Hopefully she can post again soon. I continue to post at her request.

Monday, April 07, 2008

TAKE A WALK

Milton, here:

Last summer Kristy and I enjoyed taking walks together at the beach at Hannah Park. We have camped there with our friends Don and Sandra as well as our daughters Julie and Jennifer. It is a great place to get a way and enjoy God's beautiful creation.

While walking down the beach, Kristy decided she wanted a picture of our feet as we walked. She is always doing something creative and different--so just smile and be happy. I was looking through our pictures from last summer and ran across this one picture that caught my eye. I really had forgotten she had us pose for it, but it makes a statement to me about walking together. That day we took a long walk looking out at the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.

Yesterday evening we took a Sunday ride down to Friendship Fountain on the beautiful St. Johns River. Our walk was much shorter as Kristy wasn't up to a long walk. I took a picture of us together straining with the camera in my hand and then took a few pictures of her.

We have been married thirty-six years and the walk gets sweeter every day.

***

How is Kristy?

She has rested at home all day. She is feeling better, but just doesn't have much energy. She continues to have difficulty with short term memory, but she hasn't forgotten how to praise the Lord.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

NEED A FIX?

Milton, here:

This Sunday morning at the conclusion of the service, Susan stood at the altar with tears in her eyes sharing from her heart concerning Kristy. She and her husband Doug are ministers who attend our church and work as volunteers. He is a chaplain for Clay County, and they both have been minister friends for years. Susan missed Kristy in our service this morning as she wasn't able to attend. Kristy is a mentor for Susan, and Susan was hurting at missing her friend.

There have been untold adjustments in our lives due to Kristy's illness--adjustments for me, our daughters, our family, dear church family and friends. Our world has changed and our world at church as changed. As you know if you've followed this blog, Kristy has not been a spectator. She has been hands on with grit and grace to advance the Kingdom. There has been a "hole" in a lot of hearts when she has been absent.

Friday we had lunch with Doug and Susan and had fellowship together for a couple of hours. As we first sat down in the restaurant, Susan looked at Kristy and said, "I needed a "Kristy fix". I've missed you and I need a "fix".

Wow, that hit me. They is what's happening to her friends. There is a hole in hearts even though God has granted Kristy extended time. There is still a vacuum for those who aren't able to see her or talk to her.

I've look deep into Kristy's eyes and told her with the warmest most sincere feelings I have how much I love her. So many have done that in recent days and weeks even at a distance.

A "Kristy fix". What a tribute.
***
How is Kristy?
She has had a good day. Saturday afternoon she began to improve and rested well the remainder of the day. Sunday she has felt better though she wasn't strong enough to attend church.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A QUESTION FROM DOWN UNDER

LEE, here:

It's great the Lord can help you both to stay positive, especially when faced with trials.

By the way, I love your accents, so lovely to hear them. Is it indicative of any particular area?

Lee
Western Australia

***

Milton, here:

I've never met Lee, but people from Australia to Austria and all parts in between have visited Kristy's blog. We are grateful to those who are making this journey with us. As I write, it is Saturday morning and Kristy is sick in bed. We are home alone. It is comforting to know that daily hundreds and hundreds are visiting her web site to check in on her and pray for her. Thank you so very much.

We have had numerous emails and comments about the videos relative our southern drawl and so many just simply commenting about getting to hear and see Kristy for the first time as many of you have never met her. It is been touching and comforting to both of us.

I think we talk normal. I certainly love Kristy's southern belle accent and manner. Our accents are unique to the Southeastern states—the heavenly part of America. Kristy is a proud native of Jacksonville, FL., and I transplanted to Florida almost thirty years ago from Alabama—Rolled Tide, Go Bama, and place hand over heart in memory of the "Bear." All of those are real special southern terms unique and dear to the best of the State of Alabama.

We love to hear Australians talk about the barbe' and kangaroo's. Your accent and the Australian worship choruses are really the rage in many places.

I do know this—love doesn't have an accent. It travels well in any country. All it takes is a smile, hand shake and a warm hug to transcend language barriers. Helping hands don't have distinctive tone sounds either—helping hands speak clearer than the finest spoken accent . For they communicate through warm, loving, comfort.

Thank you, Lee, for your comment, and thanks to everyone taking the time to stop by to encourage Kristy and pray for her.

***

How is Kristy?

She is having a rough morning-- sick with headache and nausea. Recent days have been good, but today she is very sick. Keep remembering her and us.

Friday, April 04, 2008

A HAPPY LIFE IS MADE

Milton, here:

The following is an excerpt from a weekly column Kristy wrote for a New York Times subsidiary years ago. I scanned a copy of it to include with this post. She was one of the most popular writers for that paper according to its editor. I felt this column gives the tone of her life and her industrious commitment to life and family. I didn't include recipes that she added for her readers. But I can tell you the lasagna was delicious.

***

KRISTY'S KITCHEN--April 12, 1989



Cleaning house is a chore, but nevertheless, it must be done every week—week in and week out. It's a part of life. And if that's so, why not have a cheerful attitude about it?

I had a home economics teacher in the 10th grade who had an enthusiastic attitude about homemaking. One day while we were cooking, she said, "I love cooking so much, Why, I even love it when I'm cleaning my kitchen after I've cooked a big meal."

My parents also influenced me. Even though Mother worked as a secretary and actively participated in church and community activities, she kept a clean house, and she delegated chores to each child. Daddy helped by washing the dishes. That was before dishwashers were commonplace.

He always quipped, "If I had a nickel for every dish I've washed, I'd be a rich man."

I had another teacher in my 12th grade who had a big sign on the wall that read: A place for everything and everything in its place. Every day, while we were in her classroom, she drilled us with that motto and it stuck with me ever since.

And so when we pick up, glasses and ice cream bowls sitting on end tables are placed in the sink or dishwasher. The kitchen counters are wiped off. Throw pillars scattered across the floor are put back o the couch. Junk in the kitchen table is sorted through and discarded. The newspaper is folded and put into the newspaper rack by the rocking chair.

On a particular day I was revved up to do some good, hard work. I even tackled "put off" work—cleaning a few windows and sweeping down the back-porch screens and eaves. All day I worked, stopping only long enough to eat a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. As the clock inched toward supper time, I finished the last chore and poured myself a tall glass of iced tea.

I sat down for a quick break and my first thought was what to fix for supper. Actually I had thought about it earlier in the day and had thawed out some ground beef. I finally decided on lasagna and within 30 minutes I had a large pan in the oven.

While the enticing aroma filled the air, I showered and changed into fresh clothes. Later, as I sat with my family around the table eating a hot meal, this incredible warm feeling crept over me. First, I looked down at the kitchen floor and then around the room and into the den. Everything was sparkling clean and fresh smelling.

A sense of accomplishment enveloped me and then a feeling of thankfulness for all my possessions surfaced. I glanced at the tall bookshelf my 96 year old grandfather built for me. The dark cherry wood on my antique couch and rocker gleamed and I thought of the pleasure I had in painstakingly refinishing them last year.

Finally, I looked at my healthy family and couldn't help thinking: Life's so good.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

NOBODY IS PERFECK

Milton, here:

In the last video my Mom commented that Kristy is perfect. That's an amazing statement coming from a mother-in-law--any mother-in-law. Mom was giving her best compliment to one amazing lady.

Kristy is a whiz-bang at most anything she sets her mind to do.

To watch her work is to view perpetual motion gliding with precision movement, committed to excellence while wasting no energy and multi-tasking and completing assignments ahead of schedule, continually vision casting for future projects, gathering needed elements, and leaving a clear, clean wake behind.

She does all that and more with the purpose of glorifying God and blessing others.

Anyone who knows her will attest to my assessment. She has awakened every morning of our married life with few exceptions making the bed almost before her feet hit the floor and then she is off to the races. She made it up one morning with me still asleep. Just kidding. Ha! Actually she really did it, she just reminded me--as a joke.

She can't stand wasted time--especially her wasted time. Slothfulness is a dirty word to her. Real dirty. She has taught courses on organization that focus on time management. Everywhere you look in her office and our home the evidence proves my point. She has a knack for swift action to complete the task.

Sounds frustrating doesn't it, but boy do I love the results!

But, nobody is perfeck. Don't look at me. I'm too smart to list a fault.

Hey, I know how to spel perfect!

How is Kristy?

She is having good days but needs help with short term memory. We just returned home from dining out, doing a little shopping, and buying groceries. She was with me every step of the way.

We have enjoyed recent family visits, and she has kept pace with all of us.

God is faithful and Kristy continues to give Him all the glory. When things are difficult for her, she pauses, smiles, laughs, and hits it again.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

SAILING WITH THE WIND IN YOUR FACE


I recently preached a message entitled Contrary Winds and Unusual Faith from Matthew 14 which includes the story of Peter walking on the water. Don't worry I not about to preach, but I thought I would pontificate a moment...

The disciples were toiling against the wind as they crossed the Sea of Galilee. Then Jesus appeared walking on the water and Peter chose to step out of the boat and to go to our Lord.

His faith exceeded the norm as he was the only disciple to venture out of the boat in contrary winds and waters. While Peter almost sank in the waters with a momentary lapse of faith, the fact is he made it through the help of Christ's outstretched hand.

Everyone will face contrary winds sooner or later. You can't sail life's seas without some wind along the way blewing both at your back and sometimes in your face. Most of our marriage the wind has been at our back which makes for easier going, but recently the winds have been hitting us square in the face. I'm not a sailor, but I've learned through a few minor attempts at it that it is possible to sail into the wind--it just takes a little more effort, skill, and perseverance.

I have been amazed more than once at Kristy's unusual faith and her most positive spirit. Both of us have struggled at times, but God has given gifts of faith when needed to keep our hearts and minds.

We've had to not only sail into the wind, but a few times it seemed we had been thrown out of the boat and the waves were boiling over. The Lord has been there to pick us up just before we started to sink. He is ever faithful.

A pastor friend, David Arnold, recently emailed an article that included the following poem.


"How stupid life is!" said the mole.
"This earth is a dull dirty hole!
I eat, I dig, I store.
But I find it all a bore!"


The lark sang high in the blue;
"How sweet is the morning dew!
How clear the brooks, how fair the flowers,
I rejoice in this world of ours."

Why be a dirty, grumbling mole when you can fly high and sing like a lark!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

LISTEN TO THE LOVE

video

(Double click on arrow above.)

Milton, here:

Tuesday my Mom and Dad along with Tricia, my sister, and her daughter Stephanie from Central Florida came for a visit. We enjoyed lunch at a nice restaurant on the St. Johns River and then they returned to our house for the afternoon. We always have a ball when our family is around.

I'm the oldest of five with three sisters, Tricia, Janet, and Norma, and one brother, Max. Mom and Dad love Kristy like a daughter, and wow do we have fun together.

All three sisters married preachers and are making a difference in the world for Christ. Tricia and Janet lived with us at different times before they married. Norma is my age--gotcha Norma. Max makes us proud as a very gifted and skilled tradesmen. He is multi-talented as he got all Dad's genes to build and repair. I don't think the Lord gave me even one of those fix-it genes. I guess I'll just have to call Max when I need something repaired. Ha!

Dad preached this past Sunday in St. Petersburg at Suncoast Cathedral where Tim and Janet pastor and did a fabulous job by all accounts. People came to the Lord through his ministry and everyone heard Christ preached. Mom and Dad have been married 63 years and are still livin' it up. We are so thankful for such wonderful godly parents who have helped all of us "kids" no matter what we face.

Stephanie, the pretty little five year old blonde at right, said, "I like coming to Aunt Kristy's house because she paints and colors with me, and it's fun."

When you listen to this video, you get just a small glimpse of how Kristy's helping hands have ministered. Her heart reaches out through her hands to those in need. I have seen her helping hands in action all of our married life touching others. Kristy's faith works through lots of love in action.

Listen to the love and........go and do likewise.