Friday, December 22, 2006



A man came home from work to find total bedlam in his house. His children were outside, still in their pajamas playing in the mud.

Inside, a lamp had been knocked over, the TV was blaring loudly, and the floor was strewn with toys and clothes.

In the kitchen, dirty dishes filled the sinks and counters, and broken glass was on the floor.

He headed upstairs, worried that something was wrong with his wife. He found her lounging in bed, reading a book.

He looked at her, bewildered. "What happened here today?"

She smiled. "You know how every day when you come home, you ask me what in the world I did today? Well, today, I didn't do it."



Thursday, December 21, 2006


"Maybe Hillary Clinton was right," our daughter Jennifer said as I cuddled her baby boy, her two-year-old daughter playing nearby with cousins. "It takes a village. We need each other. Why can't we all live in the same town? And in the same neighborhood?"

Living in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jennifer makes twice-a-year-trips to see us instead of the three or more she made before her children were born. And though we try to make yearly trips down there, we all wish we could see each other more often.

But we cope via daily phone calls and emails and pictures in emails. Many of our phone conversations are about the Lord and what she's reading in the Bible or vice versa.

How refreshing!

I'm thankful for the spiritual heritage our family has. I'm thankful that our village has the touch of God upon it. I'm thankful we can call on the Lord anytime we need to, that He's always there, listening and caring.

Monday night, we were all in the family room, and after an unpleasant phone call between the the first-grader and his father, he began crying about his family situation. A divorce has forced him to have two homes where he's shuttled back and forth, and he was crying about his loneliness "over there." I thought his little heart would burst, and I thought my heart would burst. I tried talking with him and comforting him, to no avail. The tears flowed down his cheeks like the gully-washers we have here in Florida.

Pray with him, the Lord seemed to whisper to me. Have him kneel and call out to Me. Tell him about The Comforter.

And so we knelt in front of the ottoman, and a holy hush fell across the room, and I did what I felt God was telling me to do. I told him that the Lord was with him wherever he went, that when he felt lonely, the Holy Spirit would be there to comfort him. I told him when he was at his other home and felt all alone, he should just speak to God as if He was right there in the same room with him--because He was, that God was everywhere. I told him God cared about him and loved him and would make him feel better.

On and on I talked, giving him words of comfort and cheer and life then praying with and for him.

Soon, the tears dried up, and he had a smile, and my heart was lifted too.

Yes, Hillary Clinton was right. It does take a village. A godly one.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


You can tell a family is in the house, eight of us soon to be nine us, four of us kiddie ones, active ones, hungry ones, funny ones, whiny ones, laughing ones, crying ones, running ones, dirty ones, fresh-from-the-bathtub ones.

Sounds like Dr. Seuss!

Lots of wet towels and cloths. The dishwasher in constant need of unloading and reloading. A refrigerator so full, it's a wonder anything's cold. The washer and dryer running nonstop. The cooktop producing chicken and meatballs, the oven turning out pies and cookies. Spilt milk. Twice. During the same meal. By the same child.

A flurry of activities. Run, run, run. See, see, see. Buckle. Buckle. Buckle. Buckle. Buckle. Buckle. Buckle. Buckle. Unbuckle...

The zoo. The live nativity. The church musical. The hands-on children's museum. Picnics. Park visits. Frisbee tossing. Bicycle riding. Chalk-on-the-driveway-writing. Neighborhood night strolls to ooh at the lighting.


A baby's first steps.

Togetherness, sweet togetherness.

Tiredness, did I say tiredness?

But oh, so so good-ness-ness.


A scripture comes to mind: "Where there is no ox, the stall is clean." That can apply to lots of areas of our lives.

During family together times, the house is a mess, and so what? When they're all gone, the house will be perfect, and quiet, as usual. But while they're here, let's celebrate!

Yes, we can have a clean stall, but then we'd have no ox.

In Bible-era days, an ox was as valuable as a car is today. No ox, clean stall. No car today, no-go-ee-anywhere.

Let the stall get dirty. That means life. That means productivity. That means forwardness.

Not getting along with a family member or friend? At least you have a family member or friend!

Spouse not treating you the way you want to be treated? At least you have a spouse!

Children driving you crazy? At least you have children!

Things not hunky-dory on the job? At least you have a job!

Mrs. Bertha-Better-Than-You-At-Church-And-The-World-At-Large the biggest hypocrite you've ever seen? At least you have a church!

Revel in the dirty stall!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I ran across an article in the paper recently entitled "Don't Worry, Be Happier: Research Seeks New Ways." It seems a motivational speaker and executive coach, Caroline Adams Miller, was taken by surprise when she was asked to try a new mental exercise in a master's degree program.

Every night she was to think of three good things that happened that day and anazlye why they occurred. This was supposed to increase her overall happiness. She thought it was too simple to be effective. "I went to Harvard," she says. "I'm used to things being complicated."

Now she's sold on the technique. She said the think-of-three good-things exercise made her notice more good things in her day and she's actually happier.

"Results may vary," says the article, but the exercise is one of several that have shown preliminary promise in recent research into how people can make themselves happier--not just for a day or two, but long term.

For decades, the article says, a widely accepted view has been that people are stuck with a basic setting on their happiness thermostat. But recent long-term studies have revealed that the happiness thermostat is more maileable than the popular theory maintained. "Set point is not destiny," says psychologist Ed Diener of the University of Illinois.


The article states other ways to increase your happiness quotient, such as,
1) doing random acts of kindness
2) discovering your five most prominent personal strengths and applying one or more of these strengths in a new way. Examples of personal strengths include: the ability to find humor or summon enthusiasm; appreciation of beauty; curiosity; love of learning.
3) savoring the pleasant things in life, even simple things like a warm shower or a good breakfast.
4) writing down what you want to be remembered for so you can bring your daily activities in line with what's really important.

"Happiness is the process not the place," says Diener of the University of Illinois.

That last statement applies to many areas of our lives, and especially marriage. Think about it.

Monday, December 18, 2006


"The Rachel Hauck Love Story"

I'm pleased to interview my author friend Rachel Hauck, pictured on the left with her husband Tony.

Rachel's newest book is entitled Lost in NashVegas (Thomas Nelson Publishers). It's about a small town girl who moves to Nashville to become a songwriter. Diva NashVegas will be out April, 2007.

The interview, below, covers Rachel's love story with Tony--how they met, etc., even what their first kiss was like!

But first, a bio of her.


Rachel's Bio: I'm a forty-something who graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in journalism. After graduation, I hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer. I traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada, and the U.S. from California to Maine. My husband Tony has been a pastor for 20 years. I've worked with him 18 of those 20. Our heart is to see teens and adults passionate, radical, and whole hearted for Jesus. We don't have any children of our own, but have lots of kids-in-the-Lord, and we love them all. However, we do have two very spoiled dogs, and an even more spoiled cat.

I've always wanted to be a writer. My dad used to tell me, "You're a writer." I have letters he wrote me post college, exhorting me to write. In this, I believe he had the heart of God. In '93, I started an epic WW2 novel with two plots. It was well rejected. After that ordeal, I took a break and put my efforts into my job. But I missed writing and in late ' 99, I took up the craft again. With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, a romance novel. I love writing chick lit and romance. I love writing. What an honor.


"The Rachel Hauck Love Story"

Kristy: If you were a Christian before you met him, were you praying for a husband? (as opposed to just trusting God with your entire future?)

Rachel: I prayed for my husband off and on from the time I was a kid. Tony didn’t give his life to the Lord until he was 22, so I think I helped pray him home.

Kristy: How did you meet him?

Rachel: We met at church. Go figure. He was the youth and singles pastor.

Kristy: Was it love at first sight, or did love come softly?

Rachel: Not love at first sight. Not love coming softly. Love coming through trial and tribulation. God had fun with our relationship.

Kristy: How long did you date before marriage?

Rachel: We met and liked each other right away and dated once or twice, but I traveled a lot so we didn’t hang out too much. I was one of those weird girls, and I don’t recommend this, who heard the Lord say, “This guy is the one.” Do you know how many single girls hear from God the cute single pastor is their husband?

Kristy: This sounds like the foundation of a good romance novel, Rachel! :)

Rachel: (Nodding her head and smiling): God kept telling me this. Meanwhile, Tony felt the Lord was telling him, “Just be friends.” What an ordeal.

Kristy: That's a lot of "conflict" (problems)--the basis of a great novel!

Rachel: The good news is, we genuinely liked each other. We became best friends. We hung out all the time when I wasn’t on the road. We were honest about our feelings and what we thought God was saying, and we agreed to disagree, and ordered pizza.

Kristy: You. Are. A. Scream. Rachel. Love that--"we agreed to disagree, and ordered pizza." Soooo wise! To me, that's basically saying, "God, You've spoken to me, and I have confidence that You'll bring it about."

Rachel: That's the way I felt.

Kristy: (Optional) How long did you date before you kissed?

Rachel: We kissed probably on our first date. But then we had all those years as just friends where we never kissed or even held hands. It was good actually. God caused us to build a very solid foundation. Tony’s still my best friend.

Kristy: Tell us about that first kiss…where were you?...what was it like?

Rachel: It was in the doorway of the house I was living in, and I think I giggled.

Kristy: Tell us about the time/occasion you told him you loved him.

Rachel: For about six months, I knew I’d marry him, but I also knew I didn’t love-love him. Then one night, after talking for hours and hours, I drove home, and suddenly I knew I loved him. I didn’t tell him, but as our friendship progressed I told him I loved him.

Kristy: Tell us about the proposal.

Rachel: By now, three-and-a-half years have gone by. The whole church is watching. Tony’s a pastor, I’m on the worship team… We went to see friends in Connecticut, and he wanted to ask me there, but the ring didn’t arrive from the jeweler in time. And boy, is there a big story to all of that.

So, when we came home, we were running errands, my hair was in a pony tail, ratty shorts. He pulls over by this little pond where he once told me we probably wouldn’t get married. And there, he asked me to marry him. I wouldn’t say yes until I saw the ring. (Lots of laughter.)

Kristy: Tell us (in a few sentences) about your wedding? How many bridesmaids? Flowers you and they carried? Colors?

Rachel: I love weddings, but I wasn’t hyper about it. I was very laid back. We had seven attendants, and my flowers were mutli-colored. We had a ballet dancer dance to He Is Exalted before the ceremony started. It was beautiful.

Kristy: Did you buy, borrow, or make your wedding gown? What was it like? (brief description)

Rachel: A friend’s mother made it, and it was beautiful. Can’t remember what it was like, though. Just yummy.

Kristy: Did he smash the cake in your mouth, or was he a gentleman and gently put it in?

Rachel: No smashing!

Kristy: (Optional) How long have you been married?

Rachel: We’ll be married 15 years in March, 2007. We were married four years and one day after our first date. Thanks, Kristy! Fun questions! Rachel

Kristy: Thank you, Rachel!

Friday, December 15, 2006



Men who are kissed before going to work every morning:

* have fewer accidents!
* live five years longer!
* make 15 percent more money!
When I read that statement a few years ago (it's gotta' be true, right? WINK), I decided we'd do more kissing around our house. So here's what we do: the first one who leaves in the morning finds the other one and gives him/her a kiss. The second one coming home in the afternoon finds the other one and gives him/her a kiss. This is a simple way to add more kissing to your life.
What is this? "The anatomical juxtaposition of two obicular orus muscles in the state of contraction?" It's a kiss!
I like that definition much better than's bland one: "the touching of the lips."

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Some grocery stores cover them up so their customers don’t have to look at them. Checking out at the grocery counter can be a tour of temptation with all those magazines using boobs to catch your eye, but many grocery stores now have covers over the most provocative pictures.

Yet, there I was watching clean, good, inspirational television…

…and there they were again.


I couldn’t hear the Gospel for the unwanted view. I knew I had to turn my head at the grocery store, but now on Christian television too? Why was TV evangelist Paula White doing this?

I don’t have a complaint with the ministry or message of Paula White. From what I have heard, God has raised her up out of a terrible background and has done some powerful things through her life. I like her stylish, contemporary efforts to present the love and power of Christ. I applaud anyone who stands as a voice of hope in a hurting world. All of that is commendable.

I even feel bad writing this one concern and complaint with her ministry. It just disappointed and discouraged me that I had to see her boobs to hear her message.

All of us have a responsibility to present the Gospel in a current yet caring way. I applaud all stripes and brands of Christianity and don’t want to nitpick over doctrinal issues. There is too much need, and there are too many hurting people. Time is short, and there are so many who need to hear the message.

Paula, keep up the good work. Share the Gospel. Preach the Word. Keep reaching for the stars. Most of all, don’t quit.

And just don’t show me your boobs anymore.

P.S. Paula White, do you want your husband Randy looking at other women's boobs?


Kristy, here: I appreciate my husband Milton for posting on this subject. When we saw the spectacle (Paula White preaching in a low-cut top, her breasts bulging), Milton voiced these sentiments, above. I asked him if he'd post them on my blog.

So he wrote out the post, above, and emailed it to me. When I opened the email, he also sent me a private, titillating message.

Should I? Shouldn't I? Put it on my blog for "all the world to see?" :)


I'll include a portion, but only a portion. It's clean, and it's sooo apropros to the subject we're discussing.


Here goes.

Dear Kristy, I like the way you show them (your breasts) to me and me alone. Love, Milton

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Please come back tomorrow for my husband Milton's comments on Paula White's boobs.


Last night, we had a dinner party for 30 people--our staff and board (my husband is a pastor). It was an enjoyable time. There was lots of laughter and friendship flowing through the house.

It took lots of planning. Since it was a sit-down dinner, I had to provide seating at tables. The dining room table and kitchen table were already there, of course, and I used my small cherry drop-leaf table in the living room, and then I borrowed an 8-foot table from the church which I put in the family room. I worked all day making things pretty. The appointments on each table were different. For example, the dining room table and the cherry drop-leaf table had centerpieces with teal and purple Christmas balls and peacock ornaments--to match my Christmas tree--and the kitchen table was decked out in red and green with my Christmas dishes, tablecloth, embroidered napkins, and napkin rings. And the table in the family room could've been called The Gilded One. On the lanai (back porch), we set up tables for hors d'oeurve and punch; and desserts and coffee.

Milton worked, too, running errands such as buying the ice and gift certificates for our presents to the people, etc. One of his errands was going to the store to buy more lights for the outside.

See, we'd already decorated the outside. So why did we need more lights? I even asked him that. He said he wanted more. We already had: six lush green wreaths with oversized red bows in the six windows across the front of the house with spotlights shooting up at them; two more lush green wreaths with oversized red bows on each of the coach lanterns; small lighted snowmen lights along one shrub bed; white lights threaded through the shrubs in the other bed; white lights in the shrubs in the large oval bed directly in front of the house; a lighted snowman beside a sleigh full of poinsettias to the right of the front door, on the front porch. And of course the front door wreath with its singing snowman on the side of it.

But he was determined to have more lights.

Reminded me of Tim Allen and that Christmas movie we saw one year.

So Milton uses box after box of lights and runs them up the palm trees this time and down the fronds and through more shrubbery. It's an hour-and-a-half before the party starts, and he's outside working his head off. I go outside and remind him that he's pushing it close, since some people arrive early.

He comes in, showers and dresses, then does some last-minute stuff inside, like I'm doing. I finish lighting candles throughout the house and turning on the china cabinet lights and the wall unit lights and all my pretty lamps, and finally, things are done. We are ready. For our guests. After days and days of work, planning, running errands, etc., we're finally going to have them in our home.

So we sit down and chat a few minutes. Every time we hear a car, we think someone's here, only they're not. No earlybirds this time. At least not early earlybirds. It's now about five minutes till seven. The doorbell rings.

I throw open the door and welcome in my guests--lots of them, only to be greeted by darkness outside.

No lights in the shrubs. No spotlights on the lush green wreaths with the oversized red bows. No snowmen lights. No lights in the palm trees.

We've thrown a breaker!

All those lights did it! The extra lights!

And at the precise moment our guests arrived.


It was all so pretty, and they didn't even get to see it.

If only he hadn't put out so many lights.

Reminded me of Tim Allen and that Christmas movie we saw one year.


I'm so glad I can hang loose and not be bothered by what I perceive is a shortcoming of my husband's. In the early years, this might've prompted an argument. But not now. And I'm glad this is vice versa with us.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I'm really not on boob patrol even though I recently wrote about women showing their boobs in public ("I'm Tired of Boobs!"), and I'm about to address the subject again. The comments I received were interesting, insightful, and hilarious! One commenter said she calls hers Betty and Boop. Now that's one funny woman!

All this to say, Milton and I were saddened a few weeks ago when we saw TV evangelist Paula White preaching away in her inimitable manner (loud, forceful, sparkly, fire-in-her-bones type speaking) on a huge platform in a mammoth church…

…her rounded and mounded boobs pushed up above her low-cut neckline.

Now, I know Paula White is controversial in some camps. I don't know all the ins and outs of her life and ministry. I'm glad I don't have to, that God is The Ultimate Decider of Things. But I do know that I admire some of the things she does. For instance, giving food to the poor and inspiring people to rise up out of their sadness and insaneness and even mundaneness and reach for the stars.

Trivia: Paula White recently had Donald Trump on her TV program. It's been said that Donald Trump considers Paula White his pastor! Recently, she gave away 3,000 copies of Donald Trump's new book to the first 3,000 people who arrived at her church in Tampa, Florida--Without Walls Church.

So when we saw her on TV with her breasts jiggling—come to think of it, they weren't; they were as hard as rocks—evidence of implants? (no problem with that; just an observance)—Milton and I both shook our heads and said, "Why, Paula? Why are you doing this?" Actually, Milton saw the spectacle and hollered for me to come to the family room. I was in the study writing, and I came running. It was a shock, to see a woman preacher doing this.

As I said, I wrote about this issue not long ago and even titled one of my posts, "A Ring In A Pig's Snout," based on the scripture in Proverbs 11:22: "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a woman who shows no discretion."

If I were to write Paula White a letter, I'd say…

Dear Paula White:

Please, please, please button up. You are a role model. You are, in fact, an icon, at least in some camps. People look up to you. They follow you. They will do what you do. And that's only right and fitting. After all, the Apostle Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ."

With that in mind, please quit showing your boobs. Please be modest, as the Bible instructs. Please resist the temptation to "do as the Joneses do." Paris does it. Britney. Katie. Kate. Jennifer. J-Lo. Jenn. Angelina. Ad infinitum. Why must you join their ranks?

Oh, I'm a woman too. I know how it feels to look down at your God-created features when a little bit of them are peeking out and think, This is a powerful feeling. For those who are innocent-minded, it's a reveling in our femininity. But we, as mature Christians, have to realize that there is a proper place to display our "charms..." private…

...for our husbands' eyes only.

What you're displaying, Paula, is only for your husband Randy's eyes and delight. By doing what you're doing, you're taking some of the pleasure in you away from him.

And to take this a step further, in the progression of All Things Sexual, there's a tendency among us humans for things to escalate and get out of hand. I don't know why, except God made us that way. After all, we are sexual as well as spiritual creatures. But He warns many times in His Word that we have to maintain control of ourselves--with His divine help, of course, thank God! TV evangelist Creflo Dollar said it well: "What you're willing to show, you might be willing to share." That's a powerful statement for us women.

So please, for women everywhere—and men too—as you'll see by my husband Milton's forthcoming post…


Sincerely, A Concerned Sister in Christ


Be sure and check back to see what Milton has to say about Paula White's boobs…

Monday, December 11, 2006



You can't live with 'em.

And you can't live without 'em.

I guess.

Never tried it.

:) * (See note at end.)

Saturday morning, we wake up to a cold snap, same as Friday morning. We like to sleep in a cold house, summer or winter, and in the winter, we crank up the heat in the morning.

So I go about my ritual, turning on the heat then making a pot of coffee, all the while knowing the house will soon be toasty warm, and I relish the thought as I envision us sitting at the kitchen table together drinking coffee, eating toast, and reading the paper then the Bible, something we do every day together.

I wait fifteen minutes for the house to warm up but it's still cold. The central unit is running, but it's blowing cool air, not warm.

"Milton, there's something wrong with the heat," I say.

"No, there's not," he says with an edge to his voice (my opinion). "It's a real cold morning, and it takes awhile for the thermostat to reach the temperature you've set it on."

"It was a cold morning yesterday, and the house got warm within minutes."

We go back and forth a few times.

He gives me his "Ya - don't – understand – thermostats – you'll – never – understand – thermostats" spiel, stuff about heat strips in Florida working certain ways and not working other ways, yada, yada, yada.

I know something's definitely wrong with the heat. "I'm going to call the AC man on Monday and have him check it out," I say.

This prompts him to go to the garage, and I hear some switches clicking, and viola, it isn't long before we have nice warm heat for our "freezing" cold Florida morning – it's down to 45! :)

Thirty minutes pass, both of us busy doing things. "Were you in the garage earlier?" I ask.

He nods.

"Breakers needed flipping?"

He mumbles in the affirmative.

I don't say anything, but inside I'm saying, I knew it!


An hour later, we go out to the lanai to put up our vinyl windows in the screened openings. We take them down at the beginning of every spring and put them up at the first cold snap. They make our lanai a year-round room.

Having only lived in this house two years, we haven't done this yet; I'd hired a friend, a handyman, to do it before, though I'm the one who took them down last spring (interpretation: a slight bit of knowledge about vinyl windows, though I admit my memory of their placement is fuzzy).

Milton and I start working.

He says they go in this way.

I say they go in that way. "I was here when James put them up last year," I say smugly. "And"--I pause for effect "--I took them down."

He ignores me and snaps one section in place—the wrong place.

"They don't go that way," I say. "Look." I point to the four tracks. "The first section goes on the inside track, not the outside."

"If they went in that way, the latches would rip the vinyl."

We continue working.

He snaps more sections in place, again the wrong place.

We exchange words.

He won't receive my suggestions.

I'm frustrated. He won't listen, I'm thinking.

He's frustrated. She's nagging, he's thinking.

"I'm going inside to call James," I say. "Maybe he can tell us how to put them up." In minutes I'm on the phone with James. I explain our problem.

"Would you like me to come over and do it?" he asks.

I'm amazed. "You can come now?"

"Right now."

"Hallelujah!" I say, and we both laugh.

Fifteen minutes later, I open the door wide at the sound of his knock. Knowing he has a good sense of humor, I smile, clasp my hands in front of my heart, and say, "You're my hero. You've saved us from divorce court."

James and I are both laughing as we walk through the house and out to the lanai.

An hour-and-a-half later, our windows are in place, as pretty as you please.

Milton's way wasn't correct.

And my way wasn't correct.

James's way was.


Both of these scenarios could've escalated into major arguments…which would've escalated into hurt feelings...which would've had the potential to escalate into bitterness.

But they didn't.


We chose not to let them.

One of my mantras in life is: "It's not the circumstances in life that make or break you, but how you choose to handle them."

In these scenarios, we chose not to belittle each other over our own knowledge, or lack of knowledge, or perceived knowledge. We controlled the situations. We chose to handle them in the right way.


Re: * (See note at end.)

Ruth Bell (Mrs. Billy) Graham said, when asked by a reporter if she ever thought of divorcing her husband, the Reverend Billy Graham, "Divorce? Never! But murder…"

What she was saying, was (in my opinion), basically something like this, "Though there are times in marriage when we might feel like divorcing, we must honor our vows and stay together."

When I read her humorous-with-truth statement a long time ago, I thought, If this famous couple, who are revered world-wide, can have differences, then it's not the end of the world if Milton and I do too.

The important thing is to handle our (or any couple's) differences in the right way.



Footnote: I've said this before, but I'll say it again: my sage words (hope they are!) are meant for the marriage you are now in. God bless--

Friday, December 08, 2006


Fun Friday!

A few months ago, I saw an article in Today's Christian Woman about kissing and the reasons we should do more of it. It made me grin. But I outright laughed when I read the short article, below, "Why Kissing Is Good for You." This article came from a forward in my email--straight from the Internet--so it must be true. ;)

Kissing is good for you because...

1. It helps prevent tooth decay.

Dr. Peter Gorden, Dental Advisor at the British Dental Association, explains: “Kissing is nature’s own cleaning process. It brings plaque levels down to normal.”

2. It relieves tension.

A passionate kiss is a great relaxation technique, says stress consultant, Michelle McNabb. “When your mouth is in a kissing position, you’re almost smiling.

3. It helps you lose weight.

“A long kiss makes the metabolism burn up sugar faster than usual,” says Claire Porter. “The calories burned depend on the intensity of the kiss.”


I think I'll go find Milton and prevent some tooth decay, relieve some tension, and lose some weight! ;) Go find your man!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


You'd think it was a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's old movie The Birds. Remember that? Birds in that movie attacked people.

I'm speaking of the parking lot at the store the other day. Birds—hundreds of them—were converged in trees throughout the parking lot, and other birds had lighted on empty shopping carts, and still more birds were sitting on cars and on the ground. And the squawking! Such a cacophony of sound like you wouldn't believe.

Florida's been besieged with birds lately. The birds are flying in from the North and heading South for the winter. But I think all the birds in the nation have converged in my town. Just kidding.

As I got in my car, I thought of the statement, "You can't help it if a bird flies over your head, but you can help it if it builds a nest there." I saw all those ugly, black birds—not a pretty one in the bunch—and I envisioned a few of them making a nest in my hair, and it wasn't a pleasant picture. To put it as delicately as I can, where there are lots of birds, there's lots

I've heard that saying used in reference to several areas of our lives, most notably, temptations, meaning, if we're tempted to do wrong, that's not a sin; but if we toy with the thought in our minds, and then the thought takes root, and then it causes us to do the wrong deed, then that's sin; so it's up to us to reject the thought and figuratively pluck it out of our minds.

It speaks of responsibility--our responsibility.

It's interesting to look at that statement in light of marriage. Below are some "birds flying over your head" in marriage, that, if uncorrected or not dealt with, can build nests (lots of trouble with lots

1) You've said or done something unkind to your spouse.

2) You're envious of someone else's husband or wife. Chris does all the cooking for Elizabeth, and he even does their laundry. Or, Sarah irons every piece of Jason's clothes, and your wife has never ironed anything for you.

3) You're tempted to be immoral.

Anybody think of any other situations? Or have a thought along these lines?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Monday, I talked about the benefits of humor. Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived said, “...he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:15, NKJV).

Laughter has many psychological and physiological benefits:

1) It reduces the detrimental effects of stressful life experiences, as evidenced by studies conducted at the University of California and the University of Waterloo.

2) It dispels anger.

Thank the Lord! A few years ago, our marriage was in some serious need of stress reduction and anger dispelling.

It happened this way...

Milton and I had just gotten a brand new car. You know how it is with a brand new car. You're proud of it, and you're thankful for it--until the first payment arrives, Milton likes to joke. Then the reality of the responsibility sets in. You're also protective of it. You don't want a scratch on it. With this car, we hadn't even gotten the payment book in the mail; it was that new.

We took our old car to the body shop to be painted, and several days later, they called and said it was ready. So we headed over there. But when Milton went in the shop, they told him they were sorry but it wouldn't be ready until the next day.

He got back in the car, cranked up, and backed out.

But he failed to see a post...

And he smashed the front fender...

I think I saw steam coming out of his ears...

I shrieked, "Praise the Lord!"

He glowered at me. "And just what are we praising the Lord for?"

I smiled my biggest smile. "I'm praising the Lord you're driving and I'm not!"


I know. He's a preacher. But he was a very young preacher when this happened, and I guess when he hit the post and smashed the fender, he was thinking of the money it was going to cost us and here, we hadn't even made a payment, and he was probably frustrated with himself, angry even...

But when I said that, he started laughing, and then I started laughing, and I'm telling you, our laughter reduced the stress in that car that day, and it also dispelled anger.

P.S. We were certainly sitting in the right spot--a body shop! Couldn't resist saying that.


Experts tell us you can raise your humor quotient. One way you can do this is to try to see humor in situations and then magnify them.

I recently saw a plaque...


I like the ring to that.


Try laughing more. It'll help you--and those around you!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Last night, we went to the annual ministers and wives Christmas banquet. I gave away over 100 free copies of my new book Kiss the Bride to the ministers' wives. This is something I do every Christmas, plus all year long when I see and interact with ministers' wives.

At the banquet, among a host of pastors, I greeted Allen *(not his real name).

With that big electric smile of his plastered across his extremely handsome face, Allen said, "Kristy, you better give me two of those romance novels."

My heart bled for him--as it has many times. Allen's wife left him several years ago, and he's going it alone. A handsome man. A respected man. And a minister, to boot, who pastors a large church.

"It'll take at least two of these to help me," he joked as he reached toward the books on the display table.

I chatted with him a few moments, knowing he wasn't "looking" (for a woman). He was just joking. And I couldn't helping thinking of the loneliness he endures day after day, night after night. Maybe even emptiness. I felt so sad, and I wondered what broke up their marriage.

I wanted to fix things so badly, something I feel every time I'm around him.

On the way home, Milton and I talked about Allen.

"Man, my heart goes out to him," I said.

Milton's driving, not saying anything--like he sometimes does, which means he's thinking and which makes me talk all the more.

"Can you imagine what it must be like for him?" I asked.

No answer.

"I'm sure he misses sex. That's an important part of marriage." I jabbered about sex for a few moments. Then I thought of all the things Milton and I do together, the things we enjoy, the places we go. "A man wants a woman for more than just sex. He wants her for companionship--"

"He does??????" He started laughing and cut an eye my way, and I saw that twinkle in the shaft of streetlight that hit the car at the particular moment.

"Thanks a lot, Buster." I gave him a playful jab on the arm.

He was laughing so hard, his shoulders shook, and in the dark patch we were now driving through, I could envision his belly shaking like it always does.

I started laughing too. "You fiend, you."


Lord, bless the marriages of my readers. Strengthen them. Sustain them. See them through the hard places. Let them know there's light at the end of the tunnel. Amen.

Monday, December 04, 2006


True or False:
1. Laughter can rescue you from almost any embarrassing situation.

2. A sense of humor will help you deal with the pressures of daily life.

3. Laughter is beneficial to sick people.

1. True. Behavioral scientists at Michigan State University and Florida State University found that humor can serve as a face-saving device as well as a way to avoid losing one's composure when an embarrassing situation occurs.

2. True. Researchers at the University of California examined the role of laughter as a stress reducer. A six-week study showed that people under stress who were taught the physiological and psychological benefits of laughter learned to handle the stress better. Another study at the University of Waterloo proved that having a sense of humor reduces the harmful effects of stressful experiences.

3. True. A recently developed hypothesis states that laughter stimulates the brain to produce hormones called catecholamines such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These hormones may then trigger the release of endorphins, natural opiates that can reduce pain or discomfort from such ailments as arthritis or chronic allergy.

More Good News:

The very act of laughter is good exercise. In an average laugh, the diaphragm, thorax, abdomen, heart, lungs, and possibly even the liver get a brief workout. Laughing can clear foreign matter from the respiratory system and speed up circulation and heart rate. If the laugh is especially vigorous, it flexes muscles in the face, arms, and legs. humor also relieves boredom, tension, guilt, depression, headaches, and backaches.

The Bible says a merry heart does good like a medicine.

Do you want a sure-fire way to catch people off-guard? Then keep a smile on your face. You will get all kinds of responses such as "What are you smiling at?" "Why are you so happy?" It will drive the pessimist wild. It will melt the mood of the sullen. You will receive smiles in return. If you haven't smiled for a while, practice in the mirror. That'll be good for a few laughs!


Things to think about, about laughter:

1) Laughter is the shortest distance between two people

2) Laughing 100 times a day is equivalent to 10 minutes of exercise on a rowing machine

3) The average 4-year-old engages in laughter 400 times a day

4) The average adult laughs only 15 times a day.


So laugh more. At things around you. And at yourself. It's healthy. It's internal jogging.

Friday, December 01, 2006


According to the newspaper, a large alligator "got" a man yesterday in a lake in Lakeland, Florida. Thankfully, he survived.

When I read about it, I thought, Wonder which lake? We lived in Lakeland twice, during our college days and in the 1990s. I loved that town. Still do.

Lakeland is full of lakes--that's why it's named Lakeland. There are Lake Morton and Lake Mirror, pie-round lakes in the middle of downtown and so picturesque, you're certain they came off of a postcard. Tall, antique-style lampposts surround them, and it's a pleasure to take an evening stroll around either one.

Then there's Lake Hollingsworth, with a sidewalk around it that's three miles long, just perfect for a nice walking workout or a bike ride. You occasionally see your friends on your walk--it sometimes turns into a social occasion; there's always a crowd. The houses that line the lake are nice with a capital N. I remember when one was listed for $1 million, the first house in Lakeland to reach that mark.

Today, I read another article about the alligator-eating-the-man incident, and it happened in Lake Parker!

Lake Parker?

That's where Milton proposed to me--a long time ago.

Memories kicked in for me.

I'll never forget that night...

We were attending college in Lakeland--Southeastern University--the Mediterranean-styled college smack dab between Lake Bonny and Lake Holloway, which is smack dab between Tampa and Orlando. Click here to see pictures of the campus and glorious Florida.

It was May.

Milton was about to graduate.

I was a sophomore, only 19.

We were in love, achingly in love...

We'd been to church (we did that a lot during our dating) and were now sitting in his car, a pleasant evening breeze wafting through the rolled-down windows. We were parked at Sertoma Park, named for "Service To Mankind," Ser To Ma. When he cut off the motor, the headlights shone over the glassy black waters of Lake Parker with their reed-like plants dotting the shore here and there.

I couldn't tell you if there was a moon or not. :) I only remember it being very romantic.

He pulled me close and kissed me.

I returned his kiss with ardor.

"Will you marry me this summer?" he whispered.

I was thrilled but surprised. The couples in our crowd dated, went steady, got engaged, and married--in that order. He'd skipped the steady stage! And now, here he was, asking me to marry him and marry him this summer--and I hadn't even finished college yet.

"I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you."

"I love you, too."My heart was about to beat out of my chest.

"I feel you're the one for me, that God sent you to me."

I'd been praying a long time for God to send the right man into my life. I'd memorized Ruth Bell (Mrs. Billy) Graham's prayer poem, "Let Him Be Like Thee," and often prayed those moving, tender words. I knew in my heart Milton was the one for me. But this was so...sudden.

"You know I'm called to the ministry," he reminded me, his voice soft."The Lord might call us to Africa or some other foreign country, or to places all over the United States. Are you willing to go with me wherever the Lord sends us? You'd never get to live in the same town as your family. The life of a minister isn't the easiest, you know..."

I proverbially shook in my boots. I loved my family--my mother and father and Aunt Tine and Nana and Papa and all of them. I didn't want to leave them. And I knew he was right about the ministry. I'd seen via the pastors at my church and other pastors that it was often a nomadic life. And not easy, as he was saying. But I also had a bedrock confidence in God. And the Lord had called me to the ministry, too, in a unique way. I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to the Lord's service, had wanted to do this, had felt this desire since I was a young teenager working in various ministries of the church.

"I love you." He pecked my lips.

"I love you too." Doodads crawled up my spine. We'd kissed very little. Our college at that time had an NBC policy on campus. No Bodily Contact. But that wasn't why we were chaste. We wanted to be chaste. And being chaste made the culmination that much better, we later found out--on our honeymoon!

"I respect you."

I respected him too. He was a leader on campus. People looked up to him.

"I love your family," he said.

He'd met them all, was good friends with my brother Terry who was also a student at Southeastern. And I loved Milton's family too. His parents were in the ministry, and he had lots of relatives who were ministers. Like Milton, they, too, were looked up to, respected.

"Terry's the nicest guy and so dedicated to the Lord," he said. "It'd be an honor to be his brother-in-law and to be a member of your family."

I nodded, woozy from love.

"Will you? Will you marry me?"

I wiped my moist eyes--joy moisture--as he kissed me yet again. "Yes," I said between kisses.


How did I get from gators to proposals?

Oh, yes. Lake Parker.