Monday, December 31, 2007


We're not only a Levite family (lots of ministers), we also have scores of teachers. Here's our niece and nephew, Amy and Bobby Dan, with their new twins, from South Carolina. Amy's my brother Terry's daughter. Our daughters Julie and Jennifer enjoyed visiting with them and those darling babies. Amy and Bobby Dan's profession is education. He's a high school coach; she's a high school guidance counselor. Our daughter Julie is a fourth grade teacher. Milton's sis Tricia, also a pastor's wife, is a first grade teacher. His sis Janet, also a pastor's wife, is a former teacher. My sister Rebecca recently retired from 40 years in education, at the administration level, and her husband, Don, just did the same, from the county office level. The list of teachers in our family goes on and on.

Rebecca has always said, "I'm a missionary—to the public schools," and that has been true. She has been a role model for thousands of students to emulate.

Missionary? Rebecca's daughter Robin, a former school teacher, and her husband Randy and children Noah and Kalyn, pictured below, are now missionaries in Austria, training young people for ministry to the Lord.

Rebecca came and nursed me the week I got out of the hospital following surgery for GBM brain cancer. She took such good care of me even through unpleasant medical complications that showed her servant's heart. She cleaned my house, and she went with Milton and me to numerous doctors' appointments, and she encouraged me and made me feel loved and cherished.

During that week, I was in a "brain fog" and couldn't make sense of some things, or read or write.

I would hold up a red orb (apple) (or whatever), and say, "Rebecca, what's the name of this?" and she was so patient. I knew what the object was. I just couldn't put the name on it. We all joked about it, though. I said, "Well, everybody has brain fogs from time to time."

According to The New International Dictionary of the Bible, a teacher is "one who imparts instruction, and communicates knowledge of religious truth and other matters." Teachers are mentioned among those having divine gifts in the Bible in Ephesians 4:11, where the Apostle Paul places teaching among the extraordinary gifts of God. "He uses no mark of distinction or separation between apostles and teachers," says The New International Dictionary of the Bible.


I received a beautiful certificate and prize money Saturday for winning Second Place in the 2007 Barclay Gold Contest (novella category). This is for my novella (short novel) in the 4-in-1 novella collection Kiss the Bride.

Some of my coauthors have won places in contests for this title, and I won Third Place in the 2006 Inspirational Readers' Choice Contest for is, so it must be a good book! :)
My coauthors are Aisha Ford, Vickie McDonough, and Carrie Turansky. These women have been a huge blessing to me during this time with their love, support, gifts, and prayers.

Kiss the Bride is about four single restaurant owners/cooks. One buys an apron with the words, Kiss the Cook, at a restaurant convention. They decide to pass it among themselves until each one finds her man. A fun story.
Kiss the Bride is available at Amazon and Christian Book Distributors, commonly known as , a great place to buy books, CDs, DVDs, gifts, etc. It's a huge online bookstore specializing in Christian/inspirational products.
My latest novel, The Heart of the Matter, is now available at This is a 50,000 word full-length novel, my first published full-length novel in several years. I've been writing 20-000-word novellas (short novels). I had planned to enter The Heart of the Matter in four or five writing contests, but the deadlines occurred during my surgery and recovery.
Live Tip for Everyone: Banish the What Ifs and the If Onlies from your thinking. Don't let them even drop by for a few seconds..
Having won Second Place in the 2007 Barclay Gold Contest with Kiss the Bride is thrilling!

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Our college buddies and, later, our parishioners in Leesburg, Lennie and Cheryl Moser, came to see us Sunday evening. This couple has what I call a "prophetic dimension" or "prophetic gift."

Operative words in this sentence: "WHAT I CALL" because they…don't talk about it?...don't broadcast it?...don't brag about it…are humble about it…and tell you to weigh what they say with what THE WORD OF GOD SAYS.

This is what he said:

"It's going to be okay." He said he didn't know exactly what that means, but that the Lord was saying to me, "I know, Kristy, I know. Just be patient."

He said he saw God STANDING. He said at football games, when the big whigs in the private boxes STAND, there's something important going on down on the field.

My eyes grew moist at THAT thought.

Lennie said God is attentive to me. "I know the situation, Kristy," God is saying.

He said something is happening that's important.

More moist eyes.

He said, "I'm praying specifically that the radiation treatments will be far more effective than what the doctors expect."

Regarding his statement about it being "okay," he said don't be surprised if someone else tells you that very same thing.

Milton said, "Yesterday, a man said to me, 'How's it going?' and I said, 'Have you heard about Kristy?,' and the man said, 'Yes, that's what I was meaning?,' and Milton told him I was doing well, and then the man peered into Milton's eyes and said, 'It's going to be all right.'"



"All right."

What those words means exactly for me, will be seen in the weeks and months to come.

All I know is, EVERYTHING'S OKAY WITH ME AND GOD. If He gives me my complete healing on earth, great. If He gives me my complete healing in Heaven, great. Either way, He will fulfill His purpose in me.

"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands" (Psalm 138:8).

Milton "gave" me this verse yesterday morning at the breakfast table, where we have our devotions and prayer.



Cheryl, Lennie's wife, said when she heard I had GBM brain cancer, that her mind immediately went to Mary the mother of Jesus when the angel Gabriel said, "FEAR NOT!" Cheryl said I would not be fearful.

Bingo. I haven't been fearful at all. Or sad (except for my two short down times). I've been as happy as a lark and laughing all the way!

Cheryl also read portions of Isaiah 43, about God being with us as we walk through fire and flood. She focused on verse 13 (NIV): "Yes, and from ancient days I AM HE. No one can deliver out of my hands. When I act, who can reverse it?"


In our college days, the Imperials were a big hit. The singing group has reformed, Lennie said, and he played one of their old/new songs for us, We've Got A Great Big Wonderful God and then he played one of Russ Taff's old/new songs, Be Still My Soul.

I jotted down a few random lines of lyrics of Be Still My Soul:

…everything's going to be all right…

…knowing You are with me…

…I'm not afraid of tomorrow…

…be still my soul…know that He is God.


What a blessed evening!


Our daughters are leaving today, Jennifer back to San Juan, who's been here nearly two months, to take care of her mama, and Julie, to Tampa, who's come as often as her school-teaching job would allow.

Christmas week was a joy having them all with us and their children. It was hurry, scurry, and lots of Christmas activities, and nine of us around the dining room table at mealtimes, with just-turned-two-year-old Lorenzo clamoring for his food, and three-year-old Claudia punching her Ariel necklace repeatedly making Ariel sing the movie theme song, and five-year-old Nicholas and eight-year-old Alexander eating fast, and being noisy and wiggly, so they couldto get back to their Christmas toys.

Picture: Julie and Jennifer and me enterting the cancer center for my daily radiation treatments.


Julie went to work out at a gym one morning and took the Body Combat class. "Mom," she said, with tears welling in her eyes and then running down her face, "with every punch and kick and jab I made, I was saying in my heart, 'Go, brain tumor. Get out of here. Get out of my mom. Leave. Take that. And that. And that.'"


Even though I have GBM brain cancer, I have much to be thankful for. My daughters have been with me, and my family from all over the Southeast. Our wonderful, supportive, loving, caring congregation has surrounded me with prayers, love, and with The World's Best Food at mealtimes--since early November. I'm so humbled, and so thankful.

Tears flow when I think of God's goodness to me.

Like Deborah Kerr's character in the classic movie An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant, I always cry at beauty.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Dear Kristy,

Larry and I have been keeping up with you via your blog. Please know that we are praying for you and Milton often as well as having you on our prayer team's prayer list.

As you are aware, my mom has been battling metasticized breast cancer in the bones for the last 7 1/2 years. She was given 6 - 12 months of quality life, per the doctors. Since then she has been to Norway, Hawaii, Los Angeles (twice for the Price is Right), Las Vegas (she loves the slot machines:)), on several cruises and has lived to hold 7 new great-grandchildren!

In 2000, she attended one of our campmeetings and received a word from one of the speakers "Lady, God said to tell you it is not over until HE says it's over!" This speaker did not know anything about my Mom. She has held onto that word. That, along with her great attitude toward life is what has kept her all this time. She is a real fighter and refuses to just lay down and die!

Sometimes we have to fight for what is ours! Fight the fight of faith!!

You have many people around the world lifting you and Milton up in prayer. When you get weary, we will help carry you in the Spirit until you are stengthened again!!

As for the wig, which is why I started this post in the first place:), when my mom's hair fell out for the first time 7 years ago, I went with her to help pick out a wig. I told her it was the perfect opportunity to be whatever hair color she wanted to be. And that she could even have a different haircolor every day if she wanted! Just remember that you will be beautiful no matter your haircolor and that your beautiful spirit will even outshine a bald head!!!

Larry and I love you and Milton so much. You both hold a special place in our hearts.

In Christ, Our Healer,

Elaine Millender


Kristy, here: This is from our dear friends Larry and Elaine Millender who pastor Abundant Blessings Church in Tallahassee, Florida. Thank you, Elaine. You have blessed me this night.


I didn't know I'd lose my hair when the treatment plan for GBM brain cancer became radiation only. I naively thought chemo did that.

Now, after two weeks of daily radiation zaps (with four more weeks to go), I feel deep-fried and over-microwaved. My head feels like a giant marble with grits inside. If I lie flat on my pillow, the left side hurts (how can something as hard as a marble hurt?). It also feels like I'm lying on a child-size inflatable beach ring: my head flops, so I have to lie on my right side only.

I have thick, bushy hair and cut it myself, like a hairdresser taught me years ago. Every six weeks or so, I also thin out the extra bushy areas with a special cutting technique.

The first of this week, I thinned out two areas.
That night, my hair started falling out.

What can you do but laugh?


It is so true what the Bible says: "A merry heart does good like a medicine."



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. A sick person who laughs is healthier.


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 moment occurs.

One time Milton and I were listening to a well-known minister preach, and his false teeth jumped out of his mouth. He managed to catch them in his hands, and we could tell he was mortified as his face turned purple, and we were all embarrassed for him and with him, and he turned around with his back to us and put them back in, and then he turned back around and continued to preach, stammering and stuttering from his embarrassment. If only he'd laughed and said a funny quip, it would've helped him, and it would've helped us.

Maybe he should've said, "My teeth are like stars. They come out at night!"


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. Laughter stimulates the brain to produce hormones that trigger the release of endorphins, natural opiates that can reduce pain or discomfort.


Internal Joggin: 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. If the laughter is especially vigorous, it reflexes muscles in the face, arms, and legs, and can relieve boredom, tension, guilt, depression, headaches, and backaches.


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

The average 4-year-old laughs 400 times a day.

The average adult only laughs 15 times a day.

So laugh more!

You can raise your humor quotient (learn to laugh more) if you aren't someone who laughs much. 1) Learn to look at the funny side of things. 2) Lighten up. Just flat laugh more. 3) Read joke books. My Aunt Jo and Uncle Joe used to sit together in the evenings and read joke books to each other. Since Aunt Jo told me that a long time ago, I started collected joke books. Some of them are church-based and are a scream--at what happens in churches.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Laugh!

Friday, December 28, 2007


Milton, here:

We have a number of new immigrant families attending our church from Africa. Some of them fled countries where family members were being killed. They were starving. Some left with children dying in their arms from stray gunfire. They can't speak much English and they don't have anything....but hope and faith in God.

One of our church members, Annette, told me she was in the home of one of the immigrant families taking them food and other much needed items from our church family. Also, Christmas was shared with bicycles, sewing machines, and basic home items.... (I am so thankful for all the sacrifice and hard work of so many in our church to help meet the basic needs of all these families and make their first Christmas in America special.)

In one visit, Annette noted only four plates for all of them to eat their food.

"How do all of you eat with only four plates?" she asked. (There were seven of them in the home.)

Through an interpreter she found that they share plates with two eating off the same plate or they wait and wash the plate when their turn comes and then eat.

Yet, you should see the smiles on their faces. They beam with joy and are so appreciative. They're working on their English and striving hard to adjust to American ways. They are hard workers.

When you don't feel so good, think about it.

Four plates ..... Seven people.

P.S. They have enough plates now to go around. That's called faith with works.


Photo: My real hair.
In the Comments Section under "No Wigs At Wal-Mart," below, Ane Mulligan said this to Milton: tell Kristy's friends at church to pull out their hats. Every time I've had a friend at church who lost her hair and she wore a hat, so did I. A couple of other friends committed to this, too, so she never felt alone or the center of attention for the hat.

Kristy, here: excellent idea, Ane!

A church lady just called and said she didn't think I would go half bald, that that's what THEY (radiation technicians) said. She's an effervescent lady of faith, and I latched onto that encouraging word.

I had asked the techs if I would just have a Mohawk swath of hair to fall out (at the radiation site--the whole left side of my head), and that's when one of them said, "No, you'll be half bald, straight down the middle and all the way over to the side."

Whatever happens, I shall deal with it, with God's help, just as I have everything that's happened to me.

He is Adonai, "The Lord, Master."

He El Roi, "The One Who Sees Me."

He is Jehovah Jireh, "The Lord Will Provide."

He is Jehovah-Shammah, "The Lord Is There, My Companion."


Thanks, Ane, for sending this list of the names of God. Man, when you think of all the aspects of God, it just blows you away!


When I told our congregation about my GMB brain cancer, I said, "If I have to get a wig, maybe I'll get two or three in different shades of red," and then with a twinkle in my eye, I said, "Maybe I'll get a blonde one. Milton might like that." He was standing beside me, and he said, loudly, "No, I love red!" and the congregation roared.

After that service, a man in our church told me will buy my wig. Isn't God good?

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Milton, here:

Our daughters like coffee at Starbucks like many young adults... I call it Four Bucks as the coffee is rather high as coffee goes. I like it on occasion in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon to get me moving.

We went to an Italian place for lunch in Historic San Marco built in the 1920's where our church is here in Jacksonville. It is an original town center that developers are replicating across the nation replacing malls.

Then we headed to Fourbucks. Kristy had tea and the rest enjoyed the coffee. She has always loved coffee but that taste hasn't returned since surgery.

Today on the sidewalk outside Fourbucks (I mean Starbucks), they had a three piece ensemble playing music and a soloist accompanying them and the sound was great. It made for a nice way to end lunch with four bucks, strong coffee, good music, and loving family.

If we try, life is good.


Found out todayI will soon be half bald.

Now I've got to find the strength and time to wig shop.

Wal-Mart doesn't sell wigs.


Found out via Internet I can look like Raquel Welch.




Yesterday, a couple of handfuls of hair came out.

This morning, it happened again.

"Look, Milton." I pointed.

Rushing past…"I can't."



My supposed-to-be-three-or-four-day-hospital-stay turned into nine due to complications. Four of them, I was incoherent. The one thing I remember was begging for morphine.

Sis Singing Sandra bent over me and stroked my forehead. "Kristy, you just had some. You can't have any more for an hour." She lovingly patted my cheek. "Do you want me to sing for you?"

"No. I want morphine."

Sis Norma bent over me and stroked my forehead. "Kristy, you just had some. You can't have any more for an hour." She lovingly patted my cheek. "Do you want me to pray for you."

"No!" I shrieked. "I JUST WANT MORPHINE!"

They told this story to all the family and friends at the hospital, and everybody got a laugh.


Brother Terry and wife Sandra from South Carolina came yesterday and took us to lunch at one of the restaurants lining the riverfront--our favorite place to eat.


My "angel,"what I called the "floaters" in my right perfiphereal vision in my right eye, have subsided somewhat, thankfully. I was seeing people-sized objects and kitty cat-sized objects, and one day, the tall kitchen faucet shrugged her "shoulders" at me, but now, all I see is a fringe of fireworks occasionally.
I've always liked fireworks. Our city--and beach--have The Best Fireworks in the Nation.
The comments in the Comments Section on Milton's last article, "One Great Nana," triggered these responses from me: Rose, Julie, thank you for your comments which confirmed some things in my heart.

Thanks, Lee, from "Down Under." I'm touched by your prayers all the way over in Australia.
Thank you, Nicole. May God bless you. Kay, you made me cry. Thanks for your comments. So true. Thank you, Rebecca. Thanks for using the word "shine" about Milton and me, as another Commenter did above. I've always wanted my "light to shine for Christ." I've prayed since I was diagnosed with GMB brain cancer that God would let that happen, and these comments about "shining" are confirmations.Ane Mulligan, you are one wise woman. A dear friend and encourager, and an Understander of All Things.

Thanks, Mark and Glenda White, dear, dear friends from our college days when we all married and started into the ministry about the same time. Thanks for your prayers. My eyes welled with tears when I read that you set your wrist watch to beep every hour and then prayed for me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Milton, here:

Kristy has always been a great story teller and loved to entertain children. As a teenager before we married and entered into the ministry, she has loved kids and shared God's love with them. She has served as a children's pastor, youth pastor, SS teacher, church secretary, church publicist, women's ministry leader...., and has done about every job in the church except serving as a lead pastor. She has done them all well.

I marvel at her talent, energy, and passion to do God's work. Her strength is returning and she is talking about writing and church work. It is truly amazing what God is doing in her life and in our home.

Last night, for the first time since surgery, we had two of the grands stay over. What does she do? At bedtime, later than usual, she gets the story books out and reads them to Alexander and Nicholas. They love her reading to them and the way she adds to the stories by her enthusiasm and animation.

I heard her say just a couple of days ago how much she loves to teach kids, but she is also master speaker for adults having traveled all over speaking in the largest as well as the smallest churches.

But her great love for little ones starts right here at home in the most sincere and loving manner.

Today the kiddies wanted some fresh grapefruit juice from our trees out back. What does Nana do? Well, just look. That's Kristy's way.... squeezing every ounce of grapefruit and juice out of life.

She is one great Nana...

How does she do it all? Its called passion for life.

That's me in the background loading the dishes again...and again...and again. That's life too!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Milton, here:

Kristy is a great lady of faith and her recent posts about our grandson Alexander about dying, and me and my sadness on Christmas eve, are not signs of doubt or lack of faith for her healing. We both deal with this battle from so many fronts, but we know God is our victory.

She has felt so strongly that this journey must be shared in all its aspects. Some of this is so hard to write about and I would rather not, but I stand with her and support her.

The fact is that all of us will face our mortality. She has had it hit her right in the face and is facing it like the real champion she is. After each round we have felt the gracious hand of God comfort and strengthen.

Immanuel is here. Our Messiah and Master has come. He is our joy and strength.

I love the lights of Christmas. They shine hope that releases faith and that's why I share the pictures of our house all lit to celebrate Christ's birth.


Last year, I designed and created a decorator tree. I used ornaments with real peacock feathers (it doesn't hurt the birds), and I had long peacock feathers and turquoise spangly things shooting out of the top like a set of fireworks.
I created matching table arrangements, and when we entertained the board and staff of the church (about 30), the four tables looked so pretty.

This year, instead of a "decorator tree," we have a "delightful tree." We let the children hang ornaments wherever they wanted, and we allowed them re-hang them. We never got to put up the lights or decorate the top of the tree, but that's okay. We're happy.

On the family room mantle, we hung the red stockings they "glitter-glued" their names on.

Merry Christmas!


The following was written last night, Christmas Eve...


Picture: On Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007, I told the congregation I have GBM brain cancer.


Tonight, Christmas Eve, the house was noisy with an evening of activities for four excited, adorable children. Busy is a good word to describe it (though I took rest periods throughout and didn't join all the activities). They rode scooters and skated on the driveway, and then we ate supper, and then they glue-glittered their names on red felt Santa hats and stockings for the mantle, and then they took a walk around our neighborhood to see the lights and luminiaries, and then Milton put logs in his chimnea on the deck, and they listened to a children's Christmas CD out there...

Milton grew quiet during the evening, even seemed a little irritated.

The noise? The activity. None of that? Fatigue? Worry?

The time came when they left.

The house was quiet.

A darkness (feeling) seemed to settle over the house.

Maybe I snipped at him first. Maybe he snipped at me first.

I went into the bedroom and got ready for bed.

I felt heavy, leaden. I knew he did, too.

I went into the family room. "Will you sit by me?" I sat down on the sofa and patted the spot beside me? "Can I turn off the TV?"

"I wasn't watching it."

I flicked it off. I turned to him and grasped his hands. "There are powerful truths in children's songs. I want to sing one." I started singing as I pulled on his hands. "When we all shall pull together, together, together. When we all shall pull together, how happy we'll be. For my work is your work, and our work is God's work. When we all shall pull together, how happy we'll be."

His eyes misted but a smile lit his face.

"We're going to make it. We're going to pull together."

He nodded.

"Talk to me. What are you feeling?"

"I read your post today. About Kathy and how we met when we were all newlyweds." A sniffle. "It seems like it was yesterday..."

It came tumbling out as tears trickled down his cheeks (and this man never cries), and my tears were flowing, too. What if he loses me? What'll he do? He needs me. He can't bear the thought. If it happens, he wants to go with me.

"Milton," I said softly, "if God takes me to Heaven, He will provide you with another wife."

"Don't say that," he nearly shouted.

"But it's true."

"I said, 'Don't say that.'"

"She'll be a good one." I knew there was a twinkle in my eye even though they were brimming with tears. "Like me. She'll help you in church work--"

Great tears poured down his cheeks. "If you say anything about that again, I'm...I'm...I'm getting up and leaving this room. DON'T SAY THAT AGAIN. EVER!"

"Okay, okay, I won't. Ever again."

We grabbed each other, both of us crying.


After a little while, I grabbed the phone and called the girls. We all talked, and Milton even said hi to both of Julie's boys, wishing them a merry Christmas, telling them he'd see them tomorrow, and then he said, "Ho, ho, ho," and I could hear them giggling.

He was cheered up.


Now I'm going to go cheer him up in my special way. I'm headed for the bedroom.


Monday, December 24, 2007


Our eight-year-old grandson Alexander rode home with us last night after the Christmas Candlelight Communion service.

"We haven't passed any schools, Nana," Alexander said. "Where are they?"

"They're all over," I said. "Just like in your city."

"Do you like living here?"

"We sure do. In fact, I grew up here."

"You did?"

"Yes, in a house with my mother and father and family. I went to school here, and now we're living here again."

"Do you remember Grandpa in the wheelchair?" Milton asked.

"Yes. I used to ride on it with him."


"Nana, are you going to die like G.G. and Grandpa did?"

"Alex, to die is a good thing. Did you know that?"

"It is?"

"Yes, it means you get to go to Heaven and be with Jesus, and Heaven is a wonderful place. You have duties and things to do and a real good life."

"But you might die?"

"Do you like to go to Disneyworld?"


"Is it fun to go there?"


"What are some other places you like going to?"

He named some.

"Well, that's sort of the way it is about going to Heaven. It's wonderful. Nothing could be better, even Disneyworld, or any other fun place you like to go to."


Milton and I sat there, knowing this conversation was a "God thing."


Milton, here:

To the best of our knowledge, Alex doesn't know about his Nana's illness. This was really an amazing discussion for an eight year old. He loves his Nana so dearly. Another reason for a miracle for Kristy!


Together again...

...two dear friends of longevity.

Way back, I turned 20 and married the next week, and Milton took me 400 miles away to Mobile, Alabama, where we entered the ministry as youth pastors.

After a week or two, I was lonely. Had no friends. Missed my mama. Back then you wrote letters and made a long distance phone call maybe once every 10 days.

Milton and I literally got down on our knees and asked God to give me a friend.

The next afternoon, the phone rang. A cheery voice said, "This is Kathy."

Kathy's husband was on the administrative staff of the large school in the church we served, but they attended another church (his father pastored in Mobile). Interpretation: we'd had no contact; I didn't really know her.

"What are you fixing (Southern) for supper?" she asked.

"I...uh...well, I've got ground beef laid out. Probably spaghetti."

"Bag it up, and y'all come to our house. Let's combine our food and eat together."

And a friendship was born. A God-given one.

At least three times a week, we combined our food, cooked together and ate together. After supper, the guys would watch sports, and we'd talk common interests or go shop the 88 cents sale table at Gayfer's, a department store. (We were all newlyweds and had no money.)

Today, she came to see me, and we had a sweet, wonderful morning of catching up, and then talking about common interests such as travels--we've traveled to a few of the places they have. They are feature writers/photographers for a major U.S. newspaper and travel across America writing about their experiences. They write about whole towns and areas, and they specialize in restaurants and lodging.

Thank You, God, for how rich You have made my life. You are a God who wants us, as Your created beings, to experience pleasure and goodness and good times.


Tia Julie bought her niece Clauda (our 3-year-old granddaughter) a new red Christmas outfit, complete with the most snazzy red shoes. They're made of glittery-like fabric accented with lace, and they have a back strap and wedge heels.

Here, Claudia is admiring them as Tia Julie holds her.

Tia means aunt in Spanish; Claudia lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with her mommy, our daughter Jennifer, and her daddy and brother Lorenzo.


The one-hour Christmas Candlelight Communion service last night couldn't have been any more beautiful or more meaningful, to all of us. As I held the communion emblems in my hands--a tiny cup of grape juice and a wafer--which represents Christ's body and blood--I said as I swallowed the wafer, "I receive healing from You, Lord, healing, healing, healing," for the Bible says His blood saves us and the 39 stripes He bore on His body HEALS us!

The singing was extraordinary, how it always is! From his L-shaped keyboard, Pastor Mike accompanied his wife Dana on O, Holy Night, which always sends chills through me, and their son Chad played a trumpet solo, also accompanied by Pastor Mike, and we sang traditional carols and had other special music.

Communion came toward the end after two, short but punchy guest speakers spoke, and then the ushers lit our individual candles, and with all of those hand-held candles shining brightly through the dimmed sanctuary, and with us singing Joy to the World, well, even as a writer I can't describe my emotions. Gladness? Thankfulness? Happiness? Check!


Pictures: Dana singing O, Holy Night. Pastor Mike and Dana. The worship team. Alex, our grandson, praying. The hand-held candles.

Notice the beautifully-decorated stage. Pastor Mike and Dana have a Stage Blitz a month before Christmas every year, and our parishioners turn out with enthusiasm and camaraderie to turn our sanctuary into a Christmas wonderland, all to honor Christ. On the night of our Christmas play/musical, it's the backdrop. Our people also do the same in two of our other buildings on our campus. Our church looks like we called in the House and Gardens TV specialists to decorate. I've never seen a prettier church at Christmas, and Milton and I have spoken in churches across the Southeast and Caribbean!


Come on, Christmas. I'm ready!


Thank You, Jesus, for being willing to leave Your throne in heaven to come to earth for ME, so that I might have salvation from my sins and a place in Heaven forever and ever.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I entered the sanctuary this morning from the side door near the Christ-honoring, beautifully-decorated stage and made my way to the front pew as the congregation was singing. I couldn’t believe it. There stood Milton's middle sister Tricia, her husband Rick, their adorable daughter Stephanie, and sons Joshua and Jeremy, all the way from Leesburg, Florida, two-and-a-half hours away. I hugged each one, feeling the eyes of the congregation on us and enjoying my moments of happiness, too. It was a wonderful moment.

Later, Milton had them come to the platform and share. Rick was our youth pastor in two different churches and became the pastor of the church he now serves when we resigned it to accept a state-wide denominational position.

Besides being a "Levite" (we're a family of ministers), Rick is a champion tennis player and has "carloads of trophies." Son Joshua is following in his footsteps and has his own stash of trophies. Other son Jeremy was a football player in high school, and Governor Jeb Bush spoke at his commencement ceremony (blow on fingertips, rub on shoulders; his high school is in "the fastest growing town in Florida"). Jeremy is in college in Ft. Myers, which is based in this church. It's called Master's Commission. There are Master's Commission colleges throughout the country in large churches that give students the opportunity to study the Bible while doing hands-on ministry. Jeremy has a calling to be a missionary.

Little Stephanie arrived when Tricia was 45 years old! Surprise, surprise. Isn't Tricia the prettiest 50-year-old woman you ever saw? Tricia and little Stephanie enjoy horseback riding. Tricia has an Argentine thoroughbred, Gonzo. Stephanie rides Gonzo and also rides Shetland pony Nellie.

We were also thrilled to have our daughters Julie and Jennifer and four grandkiddies with us. We are looking forward to Christmas week with them. Saturday night, Milton and J & J took the kiddies on a horse-drawn hayride sponsored by our neighborhood association, and we have other fun activities planned. Reading the Christmas story and singing carols will be the highlight of the season.

The pics of the two little girls are little Stephanie and little Claudia, our granddaugher.
One of the pics shows Rick and his son Joshua hamming it up for the camera. We are a happy family and laugh a lot. Don't forget: the Bible says a merry heart does good like a medicine. So laugh more! It's good for you!


Milton, here:

For some months Claudia, our three year old granddaughter, and I have had a running discussion about her not being able to find God.

It began on vacation last summer when she said that she had been looking for Him and couldn't find Him.

"Where is He, Papa?" she asked. "I've been looking and looking."

I thought and then said, "Claudia, He is everywhere."

With talking hands she shook her head and with much expression said, "Goddd... is everywhere??? Buttt... nobody can find Him?"

We laughed and laughed about that.

Now for months, she and I have talked back and forth between us about her and God, but she had not been able to find Him.... :) until just this week.

On Monday I picked her up from the learning center where she has been staying and she announced to me, "Papa, I found God!"

"You did," I asked?

"Yes, I found God," Claudia responded again with real confidence in her voice.

"Where did you find Him?" I asked.

She said, "He was in a room."

"A room?" I questioned.

"Did He say anything to you?" I asked.

"Yes, God talked to me," she said.

"What did He say?"

"He said, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!"

And that's the Christmas story from a three year old.


Saturday, December 22, 2007


Two weeks ago, I couldn't read or write, following brain cancer surgery.

I'm thankful that my writing returned, and also my reading. The reading is slower, however, and I don't have the stamina to do all I want, but my creative juices are flowing, and I can't wait to get back to writing like I used to do..


Two weeks ago, I had about 1,000 emails which had come since my surgery, and they locked my inbox. I couldn't read them, and I couldn't respond. Painfully, I asked a friend to delete them. So if you've emailed me during this time, please know that knowing you wrote has been comforting. Thank you so much for your love, concern, kindness, and prayers. Now, I'm able to manage my email somewhat.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Written on December 16, 2007 by my brother, pastor of Trinity

Kristy, on the night of Tuesday, November 27, I felt a burden to “steal away and pray” for you. So I closed myself into my study, lay down on the floor, and began to intercede. I began by reminding the Lord how very precious you are to me, and how much we need you, and I asked Him to grant a miracle of healing. Within a few minutes a very strong spirit of intercession came on me, and I prayed quite a while under a sweet and effortless unction of the Holy Spirit.

Then, I sensed the shifting of gears in my spirit, and I began to sing an old song I haven’t sung in quite a while. The title is By My Spirit, and the chorus, quoting Zechariah 4:6, says, “Not by might, not by power, by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts…This mountain shall be removed…by my Spirit, says the Lord!” I can’t describe the sense of victory I felt in my heart as I sang that song, except to use that word – VICTORY! I felt the song was the Lord’s answer to my intercession for you. And the mountain that would be removed was the tumor.

But it didn’t stop there. Another song began to flow, unbidden, from some interior reservoir – Nothing is Impossible When You Put Your Trust in God. Again, the same sense of victory pervaded the atmosphere. After a while I grew quiet, just enjoying God’s presence. Then my mind turned to yet another old song, and this time I reached for the hymn book and looked it up: Faith is the Victory. So, I sang all three verses and choruses out loud, and had a repeat of the feeling of victory I had just been savoring.

The next morning, I called you to tell you about this, and asked if I could sing to you through the phone. You kindly agreed, and I sang all three songs for you. That night, Sandra and I were invited to a dinner in honor of military chaplains. As we were eating, someone shared a testimony of healing. In response, a young female Air Force chaplain said, “I want you to pray for me for a back problem.” So our dinner meeting turned into a prayer meeting. After praying for this young woman, I requested prayer for you, and they all gathered around and raised a wonderful volume of prayer. When the prayer subsided, the young woman we had previously prayed for looked at me and said, “I sensed VICTORY as we prayed – I don’t know all that means, but I sensed VICTORY!” Immediately I thought about my experience the night before and my own sense of victory and thanked her for confirming what I had already been feeling.

I’m writing this because I’m not sure how well you may remember the incident. You were not as far along in your recovery from surgery as you are now, and I want you to hear it again, now that your mind is clearer. I believe God did this not just for me, but also as an encouragement to you and Milton. Furthermore, I want to include the words to those songs here, and encourage you (or Milton) to read them, even sing them.

I love you, and I am believing God for your miracle of VICTORY.


BY MY SPIRIT (Hymns of Glorious Praise, p. 197)
Is there a mountain in your way? Do doubts and fears abound?
Press on, oh, hear the Spirit say, This mountain shall come down.

Not by might, not by power, by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.
Not by might, not by power, by my Spirit, saith the Lord.
This mountain shall be removed, This mountain shall be removed,
This mountain shall be removed, By my Spirit, saith the Lord.

Is there a river in your path, A river deep and wide?
Step in, the waters will roll back, You’ll reach the other side.

Is there a fiery furnace trial, far more than you can bear?
Behold the blessed Son of God, is walking with you there.

Then trust alone the mighty God. He speaks, the winds obey
Take courage then, oh fainting heart. For you He’ll make a way.

Nothing is impossible, when you put your trust in God.
Nothing is impossible, when you’re resting on His word.
Hearken to the voice of God to thee, Is there anything too hard for me?
Then, put your faith in God alone and rest upon His word,
For everything, oh everything, yes everything is possible with God!

FAITH IS THE VICTORY (Hymns of Glorious Praise, p. 195)
Encamped along the hills of light, Ye Christian soldiers, rise,
And press the battle ere the night shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below, Let all our strength be hurled;
Faith is the victory, we know, that overcomes the world.

Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
Oh, glorious victory that overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love, Our sword the Word of God;
We tread the road the saints above with shouts of triumph trod.
By faith they, like a whirlwind’s breath, Swept on oe’r every field;
The faith by which they conquer’d death is still our shining shield.

On every hand the foe we find, Drawn up in dread array;
Let tents of ease be left behind, and onward to the fray;
Salvation’s helmet on each head, with truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ‘neath the tread, and echo with the shout!


Kristy, here: Thank you, Terry, for hearing from the Lord. These songs are a huge comfort to me. And thank you for your prayers. The Bible says, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16. KJV). The New International Version puts it this way: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effectual."


These pictures were taken several months ago. The babies are Terry and Sandra's new twin grandbabies, Ellie and Riley.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Yesterday, I went with my mother to a place called The Healing Room. It's a unique place where one can go and receive ministry regarding healing. They pray with you and have a room of worship. I was very intrigued by the name, and I was surprised by what I experienced. We went to a house that had several rooms set up for prayer. One room had dark wine-colored drapes over the windows and a large cross in the corner with a wine-colored cloth draped across. Soft worship music played in the background and a picture of a radiant Jesus welcoming a bride into the wedding feast hung on the wall. Small rocking chairs that sat directly on the floor (no legs) created a relaxing atmosphere. A candle burned under another picture of Jesus. Right away I could feel a sense of awe mixed with peace and a sweetness in the place. In another room we watched a 20 minute DVD on healing. Won't go into details there but once again, I was surprised by what I heard.
Then, four prayer warriors led my mother and father off to another room for a time of prayer and ministry. The rest of us there went into the worship room (Intercessors' Room) with the cross.
First off, I picked one of those rocking chairs, hey might as well be comfy when you pray, right? I must not have sat right because the thing was kind of C shaped and I fell back and almost landed with my feet over my head. Good thing I had pants on! Thankfully everyone seemed deep in prayer.
Right away. I tried praying but couldn't! Isn't that odd? I thought, now here I am in a special prayer room and all I feel is silence in my soul! I tried over and over, praying different ways, praying different things. But all I was getting was silence.
So then I decided, well if I'm not storming the gates of heaven like I thought I would be, I might as well just sit back in this rocking chair and relax, maybe take a nap! Just kidding! So I stretched back, kicked my legs out in front of me, and relaxed my whole body and just got real comfy!
As I sat there listening to everyone pray around me, something started happening. It was like my soul became a sponge. I didn't have to pray or say or do anything. I opened my palms face up, and it was as if those prayers became my own. A peace that I can't describe came all over me. Time stopped. Anxiety stopped. My thoughts stopped, and my soul saw a slice of heaven, and I saw God. I saw the God of I AM! He just was.
Everyone was worshipping Him, and I felt the presence of Jesus. I involuntarily smiled, I couldn't help it! He was so sweet. My heart started racing, the thought crossing my mind that if I were older I'd probably have a heart attack because my physical body couldn't handle His glory. Soon it felt like my heart would beat out of my chest, and then I starting getting afraid. As quick as my heart started beating like crazy, it stopped, and I felt it's familiar comforting rhythm.
I felt myself slipping back into this old world, and I said, "Oh God, I'm young, my heart is young, I can handle some more! Give me MORE!"
It was quite an amazing experience, and I learned some very healing things myself! I'll have to share them in another post for another day. I guess what surprised me most was learning that God just IS! All He has for me is already there. All He has done for me has already been done. I just have to receive it! Yesterday was about learning how to receive.


Yesterday at 10 a.m. EST, we entered The Healing Rooms and were warmly greeted by several smiling, kindly women. The interior of The Healing Rooms is a pleasingly-decorated, house-sized structure with flowing rooms, some with French doors. Soft music wafts throughout, and on the walls are beautiful religious artifacts such as crosses, pictures of Jesus, even a Jewish prayer shawl draped on one wall.

Several more arrived, "intercessors," they're called, people who love to, and feel called to, pray for others. Some, I knew; others I didn't, but it felt like I did. The spirit of Christ (love of God?, however you want to word it), flowed from their eyes and faces.

We watched a short DVD of a minister connected with The Healing Rooms who delivered a powerful, succinct, faith-building, short talk/sermon, that in that peaceful, quiet setting made some of us say, "Amen" and "Yes, Lord, I believe" and "Yes, Lord, I RECEIVE!" He pointed out in the Book of Isaiah in the Bible that it says, "By His stripes we WERE healed" NOT "are," and he explained that that meant that Jesus HAD ALREADY DONE THE WORK OF HEALING on the cross. All we have to do is RECEIVE it. Man, my faith was soaring.

Then the woman in charge told the group to go into the Intercessors' Room, a pleasant, dimly-lit, large space with high-backed rocking chairs lining the walls; think "comfortable." She told them to intercede, and she motioned for Milton and me to follow her.

She took us into another room where three more women were, one who'd greeted us on arrival. We sat down, and for about 45 minutes, they "shared" (don't ya just love that favored word of Christian comedienne Chonda Pierce (WEB SITE) J). Each had prayed for me the day before and received "words" from the Lord about me, things they never could've known.

One said as she was praying for me, she saw a large heart, and even though she wasn't Catholic, she immediately thought of that big red heart on Catholic artifacts. She found it on the Internet, she said, and that large heart represented God's love for me, AND, it represented ME, for I had a big heart of love, she said.

Tears flowed.

"Tell them what happened to you, Kristy, when you were a young teenager," Milton said. "Our youth leaders used to take carloads of teenagers to revivals and youth meetings," I said, "and one night, they took us to a tent revival. The preacher preached awhile, and then he stopped and pointed at me, and said, 'Young lady, come to the altar.' My heart just about jumped out of my chest, but I did as he instructed and stood there trembling. He looked into my eyes and said, 'All evening, as I preached, I looked at you, but I couldn't see you. All I saw was a giant heart. God spoke to me and said that you have a heart of compassion and love. When you see a drunk or a derelict, your heart aches. When you see a down-and-outer, you weep inside. Young lady, God is going to use this heart of compassion for His Kingdom and His glory. He has special plans for you.'"

I'll never forget that night as long as I live, and throughout my life, I've watched that prophecy come to pass as we've ministered to, oh, I don't know how to estimate how man.

This was a wonderful word of confirmation.

The next lady asked if I'd ever had any fear of getting cancer. Bingo, again! I told her my oldest brother came down with liver cancer in 1992—a huge shock to our family since cancer doesn't run in our family—and within four months he was dead. I was standing by his death bed when he went to Heaven, and I wondered then, Will any of the rest of us get cancer? Oh, Lord, don't let it be me! I couldn't take it, if that happened?

The next lady asked if I had any fear and if I had any guilt. "Did you ever do anything in your past that you were ashamed of. I smiled. "Can't think of anything. I became a Christian at age three, and all I've ever known is loving Jesus and wanting to work for Him." "No guilt?" she asked again. "Well, come to think of it, I think I have a guilt complex. If I accidentally brush someone in a store, I say, "I'm so sorry," and proceed to profusely apologize. If someone does something nice for me, I almost feel guilty accepting it. For example, a couple came by today who have brought so much food to our house in the five or so weeks. Lush meals. I said, "I'm hoping to be better real soon so you won't have to keep doing this." As I was saying this, I remembered what the woman in The Healing Rooms said to me, and I repented of it.

Back to The Healing Rooms. The woman said, "Will you repent of fear and guilt?" "Yes," I said, "I will. I am amenable." She led me in a short prayer, confessing these things, and said that they would LEAVE me. "Amen," I said.

Several made brief comments about healing and about receiving healing, and it was all so good, and my faith just kept soaring.

Then, THEN, a short little lady stood up, grabbed her Bible, stood in the center of the room, and said, "I see a BOOK." She talked for a few minutes, and these are the phrases that stood out to me: "BOOK!" "PAGES AND PAGES!" "A NEW (OR ANOTHER) CHAPTER!" Milton and I stared at each other. She didn't know I was an author, and she certainly didn't know that one of the biggest prayers of my heart has been, "Lord, somehow, let me finish my 'big book' (long-length, heart-touching, faith-building novel) I've been working on for two years, the one which I feel You 'gave' to me." Milton and I wept and wept.

Then someone read portions of Isaiah 53, and then they circled my chair, gently lay their hands on my shoulders, and as I heart the intercessors from the Intercessors' Room praying aloud in fervency, these women began to pray individually. They each had a powerful prayer, and Milton and I soaked them up. Then they circled Milton's chair and prayed for him, asking God to give him strength and peace and lots of other things.

After that, we hugged all around, and then we went into the main part, and Milton peaked into the Intercessors' Room, and said, "I want you to go in there for a few minutes before we go." We went in there, and the music flowed, and we prayed all together, creating some noise, but it was SO good and SO faith-building, and then I started dancing, and we laughed and we cried, and then they asked Milton to down, and they all circled him, and prayed prayers that shook Heaven's rafters. He wept and wept and wept.

That was our day.

When we had gone into the Intercessors' Room when we came out of the room with the handful of women, someone said, "How'd it go?" I said, "I have peace, joy, love, and HEALING!"

It was a day of faith!

"Thank You, Lord, for letting me experience what I did. It has built my faith to…outer space height?, higher than that. You are a good God, and I can't wait to see all the things You are going to help me accomplish. Amen."


As we left the two-hour session, one of the leaders handed me a copy of a pencil drawing of a laughing Jesus. "This is what God showed me Jesus looks like when He looks at you."


These pictures were taken in the Intercessors' Room. We didn't get any pictures in the "inner" room.


Later today, I hope to post our daughter Jennifer's take on what happened in The Healing Rooms TO HER. I marveled as she told us. Look for it later today, hopefully.