Thursday, January 31, 2008


Milton, here:

Yesterday was a tough day for Kristy. She awakened early Wednesday around 3 AM with severe pain in her head and body. She suffered for three hours or so before she could get any relief. Thankfully she did not suffer anymore through the day.

She had an eye doctor's appointment with a field vision test that revealed major vision loss. The doctor said that this loss was due to tumor activity. She has also experienced some slowness in formulating her thoughts and talking--though not major.

This has been difficult to face, but God is our helper.

I have chosen to convey how the Lord is helping us through the words written by our youngest daughter, Jennifer, who posted the following on her blogspot late Wednesdy afternoon.


Today I got the news my mother has lost more vision. With this news comes the worst thoughts...

As I listened to what first my mom and then dad had to say on the phone, all I could respond with was, silence. Several times they had to ask if I was still there. I would assure them I was and could only say "I just don't have any words." There are no words to express the grief, sorrow, pain, or fear. Only silence.

I decided today was the day to listen to the cd of the sermon my uncle Ronnie preached the Sunday after my mother's surgery. The day her life hung in balance. My mother mailed me a copy and I'd been waiting for the perfect time to sit down and listen.As my son slept in his car seat, I sat in the car and listened. It was a wonderful, faith filled sermon. Absolutely marvelous.

In his sermon he spoke on Psalms 77. It starts out with the psalmist crying out to God with no evidence that God was responding. Then in the 10th verse he changes and remembers what the Lord has done in the past. I finished listening to the cd and carried my son upstairs to my apartment.

Out of my silence, somewhere deep inside my soul started pouring forth praises. It was all that would come out of my mouth. I could only speak forth how perfect, how fair, how just, how wonderful my God is. How true His Word is.

And then I felt a strong pull to get my Bible out. I kind of fought that thought, as I had a lot of housework to do but the urge wouldn't let go so I got out my Bible and set it on the kitchen counter.As soon as I set my Bible down, the passing thought came to me "what should I read?"

Before that thought could even be completed, a strong wind blew in from my kitchen window that faces the beautiful Caribbean ocean. The wind quickly caught the pages in my Bible and before I could grab hold the pages settled down.There in front of me was the 77th Psalm. The words jumped out off the pages and I couldn't believe what I was seeing! I couldn't believe the Lord had opened my Bible right to the same psalm my uncle read in his sermon!I got to crying and laughing!

I stood there laughing up a storm! I grabbed hold of my Bible and started shouting out that psalm! I probably read it out loud 10 times. Each time I read it the Word soaked into my soul and revived me. It brought life to me and victory. I stood there laughing, thinking every time I hear bad news, the Lord reaches out to me and with clear, direct signs I get the news of the Lord and it's victory and life!

Psalm 77

1 I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.

2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted.

3 I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. Selah

4 You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.

5 I thought about the former days, the years of long ago;

6 I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired:

7 "Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again?

8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time?

9 Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?" Selah

10 Then I thought, "To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High."

11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

12 I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.

13 Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?

14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

16 The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed.

17 The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth.

18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked.

19 Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.

20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Milton, here:

Walking through the houses we've lived in--or the churches we've served--or, google Kristy's name--will quickly show you how creative this lady is. Her office files are filled with articles for church secretaries and pastor’s wives and marital issues and newspaper cooking columns as well as theological issues...

She has written plays, directed dramas, played the piano and organ, and has a beautiful voice. She is an excellent photographer and can draw and paint. I have marvelled as she has led just about every area of ministry within a church and has mentored pastors' wives, writers, and many other key leader positions. She is a great Bible teacher and knows how to pray.

To be honest one can get real tired just contemplating all the energetic endeavors of this lady. She has designed houses and churches and flower beds and church magazine layouts and written books and spoken across the nation and the Caribbean.

And she does it all with enthusiasm, excellence, and ease. (I know this is not the easiest color to read, but it's her color.)

Once she brought an old beat up doll house home. It was in terrible shape and I was a little aggravated that she wanted to bring it into the house. She said, “I can see in refinished and looking beautiful." I got it out of the trunk of the car for her. It wasn’t long before she stripped the old paint off and refinished it. The girls had a ball playing with it and Kristy even wrote an article about it which was published in a national magazine.

I could tell you about clocks, stained glass, furniture, wall paper, hanging pictures, and the list goes on and on to which she has added her special touches.

The wall clock, pictured, didn’t have the inner clock and it all was the wrong color so she found the inner clock and repainted all of it.

The stained glass in our home, pictured, wasn’t the right colors so she repainted it. She painted two preschools in churches with huge murals. She has designed kitchen cabinets and arranged flowers and designed and made clothes.

Are you tired yet?

She has authored numerous columns for New York Times subsidiaries and other publications and has well over 600 articles published in various local and national publications. She has had nine works of fiction published with several more completed and waiting to be published, and has written several hundred blog posts.

I have watched her give literally hundreds of books to pastor’s wives and bless many other people in the most unique ways you could imagine.

The most thrilling thing to me is that she has done this and much more for the glory of God. She has lived and is living with eternal purpose.

These are just a few of the reasons I am praying for her complete healing so she can continue her creative works.


She has worked very creatively to help me look as good as possible--maybe her most creative work.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Milton, here:

They say there is safety in numbers and it's true, but what about safety in a couple cuddling up? If it's safer to buckle up in a car, it's bound to be safer to cuddle up in a marriage.

One night last week Kristy wanted me to hold her and hold her tight. She was dealing with multiple struggles and needed someone to make her feel safe. I could sense that as we held each close that she was comforted and that issues she was dealing with were all disquieted. She felt secure knowing that she wasn't alone and that there was strength holding her beyond her own.

Storms are weathered much easier and safer when someone is with you. Stormy times in marriage can often be minimized when couples cuddle up before the the bad weather. It is like preventive maintenance. The more effort made to show and share love before issues arise the less the stress and wear will be when things are rocky and the wind is blowing.

Cuddling may seem too feminine for some guys, and regrettably some women are too cold to welcome their guys. How sad for both.

I have tried many forms of expression to make Kristy feel loved and special—you know, with cards, flowers, gifts, trips, tender moments, and trying to do all the little special things she likes.

But last Friday evening, we cuddled up and told each other in simple and dear ways why we have loved each other. It made the immediate storm less difficult to face. She felt safe and I felt good. We are facing it together with His arms around us.

How is Kristy?
She had a tough day Monday. Throughout the 30 radiation treatments, she couldn't wait to get back to "the story of her heart." But she had another problem with her periphereal vision and couldn't continue.

An appointment with the eye doctor is scheduled for Wednesday.


Kristy, here: I have a running appointment with Dr. Jesus. Whatever the need, He's always there.

An old hymn says, "My Jesus knows just what I need. My Jesus knows just what I need. He satisfies, and every need supplies. For He knows just what I need."

Monday, January 28, 2008


Milton, here. Kristy has asked me to post for a few days so hopefully she can get back into her writing. So, here goes...

I caught just a few moments of a touching testimony Sunday afternoon by a young teenager on Dr. Ed Young's (the senior) television program. She was sharing how God had changed her life through dealing with cancer. I didn't hear what kind of cancer she has, but as she read her story she raised the wig she was wearing exposing her slick bald head to the thousands present. Then she ended with these words, "I thank God for cancer."

God used a harsh trial to turn her heart toward Him and in the process she has touched thousands and maybe millions of lives for Christ.

I will have to admit I paused for a few moments wondering about the theology of her experience. Does God give cancer to people? Why does he allow cancer to attack some people? Can you thank God for cancer? I know all the pat answers, but believe me, when you see the dearest person in your life suffer, all the simple trite answers go out the window.

Obviously God allowed this young teenager to get cancer as He as allowed Kristy to get it. I know cancer is not God's will for anyone, but I also know that He can use all things for His glory.

Saturday afternoon at a united prayer meeting held at our church by a number of Jacksonville's churches and pastors, someone told me that God was using Kristy's experience to touch the City of Jacksonville. So many couples and individuals have written emails, snail mail letters, and cards and have called sharing how Kristy's trial has changed them and moved them toward God and strengthened their faith.

It has changed me. I am not the same husband, minister, or person I was just two months ago. Now mind you, I wasn't a bad guy at all but this has moved me closer to Him and made me even more appreciative of my wife, my family, and people in general. Our family has been changed and changed for His glory.

Can we thank God for cancer? That is a hard one for me, but I am thanking Him through it for His grace, love, and holy work in me. I see others with a keener, sharper compassion. I have a deeper sense of empathy and understanding for hurting people.

One day all cancer will end! Praise God! There will no more sickness, pain, sorrow, or death. We will be like Him and we will see Him in all of His glory. What a wonderful day that will be!

Until then, we will give thanks to God through all trials for His great grace and love.

How has Kristy's story or a trial in your life touched you and changed you? Please comment.

How Is Kristy?

After some serious nausea and headache Sunday morning, she got much better and the nausea and headaches left. Praise God for His goodness. Jesus is the mighty healer and restorer of our bodies.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Milton, here:

The last few days have been especially tough on Kristy. She is very weak and is dealing with nausea and headaches. Yet, in all this she has kept her spirit of praise to God.

One week ago as we were pulling into the cancer treatment center for her radiation, I noticed her wiping tears. She was dealing with the thoughts of completing her treatments knowing this is all that's left--medically speaking.
We are obviously believing for complete healing, but the enemy of our souls comes with all forms of tormenting thoughts. Over the last few days, she had thoughts such as, I'm going to die. While I try to understand what she is going through, the fact is I don't know. I hold her, speak words of life to her, and believe with her and for her.

God has answered numerous prayers these last days to help her and that has been a huge comfort. Just this morning as I was leaving to go preach, she was so sick and I wasn't sure what to do. I told her I would stay or get someone to come and stay with her.

She said, "Just pray for me and pray that the swelling inside my brain with go down." I prayed, and I prayed especially for the swelling to go down.

I went on to church at her urging and kept the cell phone on all service. When I returned she said, "I'm better. Our prayer for the swelling to go down worked."

Kristy has chosen to refuse tormenting thoughts and just doesn't let them stick in her.

That is a good idea for all of us.

My sermon today was entitled Celebrate Today. I encouraged the people that God has a cure for the past and a comfort for tomorrow. Rest in Him and celebrate today.

Kristy is setting an amazing example to model and follow. She has and is living well--celebrating life every step of the way.

As I finish this post, I can hear her putting some laundry in the washer. She is one amazing lady. (I can do the laundry, but I find it real hard to stop her.)
The pictures above were taken before all this started. I'm thankful I have hugged her and kissed her often all these years. That has helped me so I don't have to make up for so many shortcomings of the past. I can love her and celebrate today!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


ALL DAY YESTERDAY, this thought kept coming to me: You're going to die.

My prognosis is bleak. Does anyone survive brain cancer? GBM, stage 4?

I remembered 1) what Lennie said to tell me, "It's going to be okay." 2) His wife Cheryl, his wife, said: "Kristy, when we were Young Life sponsors, a beautiful young sixteen-year-old girl came to our meeting and accepted Christ. We were thrilled. A few months later, she came down with cancer in her leg. Five months later, it had spread. 'Questions bombarded me,' Cheryl said. The girl walked the graduation line and then died. I couldn't understand. I said, 'Lord, how can you do this? Take this young girl who just accepted Christ and has a lifetime to of living?' Cheryl said the Lord said to her: 'Cheryl, I'm only taking her a blink of the eye in front of you.' She said that comforted her, to be reminded that life is short for all of us, compared with eternity.

Others sent so many encouraging things, I could write a book. My brother Terry, as well as Carlos, a deacon, and a few others who wrote me about King Hezekiah's unusual story of healing have been particularly meaningful, plus the other scriptures people have sent. Keep them coming.

LAST EVENING, around six or seven, the black veil lifted, and in its place came peace, joy, and love. I had I know it happened because people are praying for me. It's a wonderful thing to know that when you don't feel like praying--or, can't pray, God sends people to pray for you.


I like this picture. It made me smile.


Milton, here:

All of us choose what we dwell on. We can't always control what comes to our minds, but we can choose to change the subject or our thoughts. Kristy has chosen to meditate on the good things of the Lord. Thank you for praying for her and us. Prayer changes things....

Friday, January 25, 2008


One more radiation treatment, and I'm done Thirty out of thirty.

I've been extremely fatigued this week and took three naps--unheard of for me.

I also lost more hair but the top part is covering my bald spots. Yesterday, as I walked from the cancer center to the car, a brisk wind stirred up, blowing my hair, and I thought, Well, somebody's to going to see some baldness. Haha.

Pictured above are the radiation therapists locking my mask/helmet onto my acrylic "pillow." They've been cheerful and kind, and I appreciate them.

Also pictured are the bouquet of roses Milton gave me as we as the meaning card. He's said to our congregation many times: "Kristy is my partner in life and ministry." And, as the card says, we're partners in love.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, two blind shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"

Jesus stopped. "What do you want me to do for you?"

"Lord," they answered, "we want our sight."

Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes, the Bible says. Immediately they received their sight.


Picture: The day I came home from the hospital.


From the time I was diagnosed with GBM brain cancer in November, 2007, I prayed, "Lord let my life count for You. Use me for Your glory." My complete trust was in Him, and, it's a prayer I've prayed since I was a teenager.

From the volume of emails, comments on my blog, letters, cards, and phone calls, I believe that prayer is being answered. Hearing these reports has thrilled me, to know I am touching people, and drawing them closer to the Lord. Some have even said they're closer to their spouses.

The second prayer of my heart was, "Lord, if you want to heal me on earth, I want that, too. If you want to heal me in heaven, that's okay, too, because I'll get to see my beloved parents that much sooner." It wasn't that I had a lack of faith; it was simply that I was resting in the everlasting arms of God.

But that second prayer changed: "Lord, extend my life like You did King Hezekiah's."

I'm been bold in my asking, just as the two blind men in Matthew 20:29-34, NIV.


Following my surgery and having seen the pathologist's report, two neurosurgeons gave me this prognosis: on the average, you will live three to six to nine months.

I've just changed that second prayer again. It's even bolder: "LORD, I WANT YOU TO EXTEND MY LIFE!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


JOY: The title of this post/article is: "In Death's Waiting Room." IT'S NOT WHERE I AM. I'm only quoting a phrase from the Bible (The Message; Isaiah 38) which tells the story of King Hezekiah's miraculous healing. At the end of this, you'll see why I chose this title.


Recently in church, Pastor Mike asked the children to come forward and do the motions to a song. (After the praise and worship, Milton speaks a blessing over the children and releases them to children's church.) As the children sang, my feet would NOT keep still, and soon, they carried me to them. We "danced" and sang and did the motions to "Waves of mercy, waves of grace, everywhere I look, I see your face."

Though this picture was taken in November on the night before my surgery, I'm still acting this way! :) As I've taken the 27 of the 30 radiation treatments, the people at the cancer center told my daughters they're surprised I'm: 1) not staggering, 2) not having speech problems, and 3) have only lost part of my hair.

"It doesn't surprise me," said our daughter Jennifer. "It's so typical of you that you are doing better than what they expected. You're strong, Mom. God made you that way. You're unique and special."

Monday, for the first time, I found out the GBM brain cancer isn't contained to the left side only. It "satellites" to the right side through "tubes." When the doctor said this, the same cloud of peace descended on me as the one that descended on me during my diagnosis.

"I don't think the prognosis applies to you, Mom," Jennifer said.

I'm living proof of that (scroll down and read yesterday's post). Thank You, Lord.

"Mom," she said, "this has been a roller coaster ride for us. The questions come to me: should I be feeling grieved that you're going to die? Or joy and elation that you're going to be healed? I've experienceed two extremes of emotions, but most of the time I've feltl numb. I've been asking God, 'What's going to happen to Mom? To us? How is this going to end?'"

Then she said the Lord led her to 1 Corinthians 2:9: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him."

She said, "The Lord said, 'Don't worry about it. It's going to be good, Mom."


HEZEKIAH...When I received the diagnosis November 7, Milton and I drove straight to the Wednesday night prayer meeting. He thought I would want to go home for quiet reflection or talk about this staggering news. But I wanted to be in the house of the Lord surrounded by faith-filled folks.

I told the congregation of my diagnosis, and they gathered around me and prayed. Tears flowed. Words of comfort and assurance came.

At that prayer meeting, Carlos, a deacon, said the Lord was going to extend my life. He briefly told the story of how King Hezekiah asked God to extend his life. Carlos said God was going to extend mine.

At the prayer meeting this past Saturday night, Carlos said he "saw" into my head. He "saw" an area that looked like raw liver. "They weren't normal brain cells," he said. When he looked again, it was like a surgeon had removed them, and then he "saw" normal brain cells. Shortly after, he "saw" that the area had been replaced with normal brain cells.

I believe this. My faith is strong. But if my faith was only the size of a mustard seed, it would be okay, because Jesus said thats all we need. "Lord, bring on more good things!"

The photo above shows Carlos's family singing In All of His Glory during the Christmas season. Left to right: Carlos, Jr., who's majoring in music at Southeastern University; Carlos, Sr.; Isabel; and Rosabel, who's majoring in architecture at Florida Atlantic University. As they sang, Milton was so excited. He was going to preach on the subject, "God's Glory," and it was a confirmation to him.


HEZEKIAH...Two weeks ago, Jennifer's Bible study was about divine healing and the story of King Hezekiah. "I thought it was neat that Hezekiah asked God for more time and He gave it," she said. "This story is for you, Mom."


HEZEKIAH...My brother Terry told me to read the story and apply it to my life, and I wrote about it.


HEZEKIAH...In the Comments Section, some have told me to read this story, saying they're praying that God will extend my life.


HEZEKIAH: "In the very prime of life, I have to leave," King Hezekiah said. "Whatever time I have left is spent in death's waiting room."

But the picture changed!

"God saves and will save me," he said. "As fiddlers and mandolins strike up the tunes, we'll sing, oh, we'll sing, for the rest of our lives."


I'm kicking up my heels and singing for joy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Dear Kristy, There are many blessings in this shawl. It started with a prayer and some yarn and the Lord 's presence and encouragement. As it grew, I lifted up prayers and blessings for you. I hope you will know that someone you don't even know cares and thinks of you. Wrap yourself in God's warmth and love entwined in every stitch. Everyone in Jennifer's Bible study class at our church touched the shawl and lifted up a prayer for you. Then we gave it a special blessing. Receive it with our love and prayers. Sincerely, Jan

In the accompanying letter, the women wrote words of encouragement. Thanks!


Monday evening, January 21:

Many have asked how I'm doing. My photojournaling shows me smiling and busy going to daily radiation treatments. Twenty-six down with four more to go. The side effects have been fatigue, skin changes, and hair loss. If you lift up my hair in the back, you can see my baldness above my fringe of almost-shoulder-length hair. But the top covers it well. Without the top hair, I would look like Benjamin Franklin. Haha. I always admired Ol' Ben. Now I almost look like him. Haha. Just kidding. No need for a wig yet.

I'm busy in the mornings doing office work in my study, filing things, returning phone calls or emails as I'm able, and writing posts/articles for this blog. Then Milton takes me to the cancer center. Sometimes we don't get home until 4:30 or so, and soon after that, the wonderful ladies of our church deliver luscious meals. Tonight, they fixed (Southernese) a big pot of homemade vegetable beef soup, specialty rolls and ham (for soup and sandwiches), and a homemade lemon meringue pie made from the lemons growing in Thelma's yard. It's a wonderful thing to experience this kind of love when you've spent the afternoon in the cancer center seeing bald heads and hearing tragic stories. As a pastor's wife, I've been in cancer centers and hospitals, but never did I think I'd one day be a patient.

The radiation oncologist is winding down my treatment, and the techs started the "boosts" or "coning in," and I've been dealing with headaches and nausea. They had been treating the cancer bed, and now they're shooting the same amount of radiation to a smaller area. This causes brain swelling which causes headaches and nausea.

When the ladies delivered our supper this evening, I told them about this and asked them to pray for me. These side effects left me shortly after they left, and as of this writing, after 10 p.m., they haven't returned. Thank You, Jesus. Proof of how good I feel are the two large slices of lemon meringue pie I ate. I quickly give God the glory.

One day, my father and Aunt Bea were talking. Aunt Bea traveled the world as a missionary evangelist and is now in her nineties. (Yes, our Southern family has an Aunt Bea, besides our Bubba and Nana.) As they talked, my father rubbed his bowed-out, arthritic knee and said, "My knee is feeling better lately. I think it's because of that new arthritis cream--"

"You better give God the glory!" Aunt Bea said, raising her voice and wagging her finger in his face.

She always said if we'd give God the glory (acknowledgement of good things), He'd do more for us.

I haven't driven since before the surgery. It's a humbling thing to be driven everywhere you go. Fortunately, I don't need to go many places. :) Church, pharmacy, cancer center, grocery store. Before this happened, I kept regular office hours in my study, writing and researching for the stories I write for Barbour Publishing. I look forward to getting back to this schedule very soon.

I ordered Florida-grown Sugar Baby tangeloes and ruby red grapefruit for my literary agent today. I called to tell him they're on their way. Then I told him I plan to return to my writing and finish "the story of my heart."

My neurosurgeon said if I'm itching to drive, I can, but he doesn't recomment it, with my right one-quarter periphereal vision loss in both eyes. This was the first and only symptom of brain cancer which turned up during a routine eye exam.

Only weeks ago, I couldn't be left alone.

Five weeks ago, I couldn't read.

Six weeks ago, I couldn't write.

Nine weeks ago, I lay in a hospital bed, incoherent and out of my mind with pain.

What is the Bible verse about God restoring what the canker worm ate?

God has restored all of this to me.
And I'm grateful.

Monday, January 21, 2008


My brother Terry told me to read the story of King Hezekiah's healing. He said to say to God, "This is Kristy, and I'm your child, and I'm asking you to heal me." He said, "I know you are making a faith declaration, but read this story and let God apply it your life."

I looked up this fascinating story in Isaiah 38 and 2 Kings 20 in both the New International Version and The Message.

King Hezekiah came down with a terminal illness, and the Lord sent the prophet Isaiah to tell him to prepare to die. Hezekiah turned from Isaiah, looked at the wall, and prayed:

"Remember, O God, who I am, what I've done!
I've lived an honest life before you,
My heart's been true and steadfast;
I've lived to please you; lived for your approval."

"Then the tears flowed," the Bible says. "Hezekiah wept."

Isaiah was not halfway across the courtyard when the Word of God stopped him. God said: Go tell Hezekiah this: "I've listened to your prayer, and I've observed your tears. I'm going to heal you...I've just added 15 years to your life."

Isaiah further told Hezekiah to consult the medical people and take treatments.

Then Isaiah said God would give Hezekiah a sign to confirm this. It involved the sundial.

As Milton and I were talking about this amazing story, I read it aloud. Suddenly, he was out of his chair in a flash, crossed the room, knelt in front of me, took my hands in his, and prayed, "Lord, extend Kristy's life. Give her a sign that You're going to do this. Give her a sign," he repeated. "Give her a sign."


"God, this is Kristy, and I'm boldly asking you to extend my life so I can continue to write (and speak?), as You've called me to do. I submitted to brain surgery and 25 radiation treaments with five more to go. Please extend my life, as Hezekiah prayed. And Lord, give me a sign that You're going to do this. Give me a sign."

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Yesterday, someone wrote this in the Comments Section:

"Kristy, I love seeing your family and hearing you reminiscing, but we need to hear how you are doing now. What is the latest? I felt more connected to your situation when you or Milton wrote about how your day or night was. How you felt physically and emotionally, what skills you'd gotten back. Please let us who are praying for you and love you know the latest and greatest! Because we all know God IS GREAT! Love, Bonnie"


Okay, here goes...

I've had this blog title ("This Is Not Fun") floating in my brain since Friday night, but I ignored it. But when I saw this comment, I decided to give you an update on me, something I find hard to do. In my life of ministry, I've always focused on other people and their needs, not my own.

As you can see by the time of this post, it's church time, yet here I sit at the computer writing. I'm here because my head is aching too badly to get dressed. Every step I take jars my head and makes it pound harder. And I'm nauseated. Except for the two Sundays following my brain surgery, I've been in church. It's my source of inspiration and joy and strength and renewing.

But today, my head hurts too badly. I could've force myself to ignore the pounding, get showered and dressed, and go. I've lived my life that way. Church, God, God's people...those have been so important to me. Not feeling well on Sunday morning? You have responsibilities, so you have to go, I've told myself. You have to fulfill your responsibility.
It's a good way to live. And God has blessed me for putting the things of the Lord first.

But today, well, let's back up to Friday night...

The conversation between Milton and me turned to the awful days in the hospital when I was incoherent and irrational. My sodium level had dropped drastically low, and the doctors later told me if it dropped one more point, I was in danger of dying. The pain in my head was so cataclysmic, my hourly "IV zaps" of morhpine weren't touching it, and I was begging for morphine around the clock. The effects of the anesthesia were still in my body. All of these things, plus my sleep deprivation, were making me raise my voice and do crazy things.

When the nurse told me I had to have a CAT scan (to see if there was bleeding in the brain), I refused, for hours and hours. Here I was, one of the most compliant people ever created, and I was adamantly refusing a much-needed CAT scan. My family, who were around my bedside 24 hours a day with love and helpfulness, didn't know about the sodium drop at that point, nor did the doctors.

"You must have a CAT scan," the nurse said.

"Patients' rights," I yelled. "I want a patient advocate."

The small flashbacks I have of that nightmarish time make me weep because THAT WAS NOT ME. THAT WAS NOT KRISTY DYKES.

All day, my family tried to talk me into the CAT scan, yet in my foggy, pain-racked, post-surgery-brain-swelled mind, well, I don't know what I was thinking. Yes, I do. I wasn't thinking. Pain was making my decisions.

Another factor came into play: the doctor had told me I had to have an MRI 48 hours after surgery. While they were trying to get me to have the CAT scan, I got it mixed up with the MRI. I'd had two MRIs in the last three days, and with my claustrophobia and my irrationality, I didn't think I could handle another one. For an MRI, they put you in a long, narrow tube that almost touches your nose, and for an hour-and-a-half, you feel like you're either under a jet, or, you're sitting right beside a person beating an iron gate with a hammer. The noise is that bad.
Finally at the end of the day, I had a lucid moment when the nurse said, "The CAT scan will take about eight minutes," and I submitted. Fortunately, it showed no bleeding in the brain.

But that night, because of the patient load, they took me in for the MRI about 1 or 2 a.m., after an evening of nervously waiting, waiting, waiting. Milton was with me, holding my feet, and the MRI was awful. I was cold and had asked for a blanket, but about 20 minutes into the MRI, I was sweating, and the blanket felt like a boa constrictor, and the technician had warned me not to ask her to stop, so that the MRI wouldn't drag out, and again, in my crazed thinking, I thought I was dying. Even Milton said it was the loudest MRI I'd had.

The next few days, still incoherent, I was saying and doing irrational things, like pulling off my hospital gown. I was a crazed woman.


Yesterday, Saturday, was a blue day. Blue outside with steady rain and black skies. Blue inside as flashbacks and dark thoughts consumed me.

I had a desire to sew, so I pulled out my small stack of mending. A button put on. A "spang-dangle" sewed back on a pretty shirt. A tablecloth re-sewed whose seam had come apart.

While I sewed the tablecloth, the thought came to me: Why are you sewing a tablecloth? You're never going to entertain again. Why are you wasting your time on this?

I wish I could report that I stood on the Word of God and had a moment of victory as I quoted, "The weapons we fight with are not like weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive EVERY THOUGHT TO MAKE IT OBEDIENT to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:4,5).

But scripture didn't come to me.

But what DID come to me were the everlasting arms of Jesus that held me all day as the hospital flashbacks assailed me.

And they held me as I made the decision to go to a special-called prayer meeting in a church member's home and get prayed for.

And they're holding me now.


A little while ago, my daughter Jennifer called, and when I told her about the headache which was much worse than the others I've had for a couple of weeks, she reminded me that the doctor said my last week of radiation would be my hardest. That brought some explanation.


Rethinking, the scripture I referred to earlier (2 Corinthians 10:4,5) actually DID come to me during my blue time yesterday. It was there all along BECAUSE I COMMITTED IT TO MEMORY. It was living and breathing and ALIVE inside me, and the fruit of this was when I made the decision to NOT stay home and brood, but instead, to go to a prayer meeting and be surrounded by faith-filled folks.


Now, I'm going to lie down.
In His everlasting arms.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I enjoyed having my sister Rebecca visit me this week. When I came home from the hospital in November following surgery for GBM brain cancer, she stayed a week and nursed me through some unpleasant medical situations. She was a blessing to me.

One afternoon on her recent visit, she treated me to cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory.

Below are old photos of us. Bubba, the sailor, proudly served the nation in the U.S. Navy on the U.S.S. Coral Sea. During his time on board, a contest was announced: the serviceman who submitted the best design for a new insignia for the ship would win a trip to Paris. Bubba designe, submitted, won the contest, and went to Paris! The U.S. S. Coral Sea carried Bubba's insignia for years, and we were so proud.

Later, Bubba was an engineer for Boeing, and his hobby was painting wildlife. He entered the Federal Duck Stamp Contest twice and placed! Had his life not been cut short, we feel he would've won. On his quest to win the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, he won the Nevada Trout Stamp Contest, and every fisherman in Nevada that year had a picture of Bubba's leaping-out-of-the-water rainbow trout.

In the family photo above, Bubba is 21, Rebecca, to the right of Bubba, is a charming 15-year-old, Terry is 7, and I'm the well-loved "oops baby" at 5. Mother is standing to the left of Bubba, and the shadow is my father taking the picture. I think Mother had us pose in that "squinting spot" to show the azaleas and moss-draped oaks.
On the left, Rebecca, Terry, and I are in a photo booth at the beach. Rebecca took us lots of places. She was the best sister. I always wanted to be just like her, from the meticulous way she folded towels to her giving, generous nature. I wanted to go to the same college she chose, meet the man of my dreams, marry, have a home, have children, and live a happy life. All of those things came true for me.
Thank You, God, for a role model in my sister. Thank You, God, for my family.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Milton, here:

Thirty-six years is a long time to be married by most gauges (Kristy was a week past her 20th birthday when we married and I was 21). Our marriage has been lived with eternal purpose helping each other as we have tried to help others in ministry. We have held each other close and have worked as a team—Kristy’s wit and my wisdom.

Kristy has turned me into a romantic even though I am a deeply engrained sports nut and a manly kind of guy—deep base voice and all. Year by year we have grown in our love through blessed times and trials. Thirty-six years…That’s lots of livin’ and lovin’.

Yet, the patterns for us to follow make us look like newly weds. My parents have been married 63 years and Kristy’s parents were married 67 years. Wow, can you imagine all the experiences they have shared. I love their stories of life and marriage. I talk almost daily with my folks and I can still hear Mom and Dad Roberts, Kristy's parents, reminiscing about the good ole days.

My mom and dad, in the photos above, live in Central Florida. They are wonderful parents who have shown their kids how to work through issues that every couple inevitably faces. Dad is a great preacher and Mom is the model preacher’s wife. Their marriage has produced five children who love God, love them, and are making a difference in this world. Sixty-three years of loving, living, and life commitment.

Kristy’s parents, pictured on the right, were amazing. Udell, her father, was quirky and funny, but he was a good man who loved his family. Grace was one great mother who had a passion for God, her family, and others. She taught Sunday school for over fifty years--many in the church I now pastor. People comment to me regularly how much she impacted their lives. In fact just this past Sunday one lady told me that Mom Roberts was her life mentor. Their marriage had some unusually hard times, but their love was filled with persevering commitment which kept them. They are both in heaven and are deeply missed. Sixty-seven years of loving, living, and life commitment.

That’s 130 years worth of examples for Kristy and me to follow. We're working daily at it--holding hands, hugging hard, long looks at her, often saying "I love you...", faithfilled prayers, tender words, sweet reflections, and ......

Dad offered this piece of advice to me when Kristy and I first married. He said, “Son, don’t try to figure her out. Just love her.”

That's lesson number one for a man to become a romantic.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


According to one definition in Webster's, confession means "creed," and creed means "a set of fundamental beliefs" or "a guiding principle."

Jack, guitarist extraordinnaire at church, sent me this, below. It's full of scripture and because of that, it's my creed, too.

Jack says, "Years ago, a brother in the Lord shared his daily confession with me which so impressed me, I committed it to memory. Now, years later, this confession of faith which I now call My Daily Confession, has become an integral part of my life. When I go on my daily morning walks, I speak these faith-filled words and let them pass through my ears and into my spirit. My prayer is that these words will bless you, as they were a point of help, blessing, and strength to me during some tough times."

My Daily Confession By Jack

I confess with my mouth, the Lord Jesus, and I believe in my heart, Father, that you have raised him from the dead. Therefore I am saved. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away, and all things have become new. I am in Christ. I am a new creature. I have a new Father, which is in Heaven. I've been delivered out of the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of his dear Son. I am accepted in the beloved, and my name is written in your precious lamg's book of life.

I confess today that I have new power. I have power to treat on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt me. I have power over all devils to cast them out. I can lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. I am more than a conquerer through Christ Jesus, and I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.

I confess today, Father, that I am not afraid. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. I will fear not, for Father, you are with me. I will not be dismayed for you are my God. You are helping me, you are strengthening me, and you are upholding me, Father, with the right hand of your mercy. I thank you, Father, that I haven't been given a spirit of fear, but the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. I confess today that I have the spirit of power in me. I have the spirit of love in me, and I have the spirit of a sound mind in me. Over me is the blood of the lamb. Jesus goes before me. Jesus is in me. The angels of the Lord encamp around me. Underneath me are the everlasting arms of God, and goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Fear has no place in my life.

Bless the Lord, oh, my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgives all my iniquities. Who heals all my diseases. Who redeems my life from destruction. Who satisfies my mouth with good things, and my youth is renewed like the eagle's. All my sins are forgiven. All my diseases are healed. My life is preserved and strong in you, and I am crowned with your tender mercies.

I confess that this is a good day. This is the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it. I am healed today. I am filled with the love of God today. I am filled with the peace of God today. I am filled with the wisdom of God today. I am filled with the joy of the Lord today, and I am filled, Father, with your precious Holy Spirit today. I confess that today, I will help someone find the grace and mercy of God, and I confess today that all of my family is coming into the fold of the Lord.

This is my confession, and I boldly proclaim it before the devils, the angels, the Lord Jesus Christ, and God my Father. My confession rises up before you, Father, based on your Word. Jesus is the high priest of my confession, and he makes it good today."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


My girls are crying, and I am, too.

It seems so unbelievable, what has happened to us.

We talk on the phone several times a day, and as a mother, I can sense their need for me.

"Things continue on as normal for people," Jennifer said. "But I feel like shaking them and saying, 'Do you understand what happened to my mom?'"

And then the Holy Spirit comes and sooths us all. In biblical imagery, the Holy Spirit sometimes took the form of a dove--a gentle bird.

And Jesus said the Holy Spirit is our COMFORTER.

The Greek for Holy Spirit is paracletos which means, "the one who walks along beside us."

A dove...


The One Who Walks Along Beside Us...

The Holy Spirit is right beside me as I go into the cancer center day after day and see the same people and wonder what their stories are. The Holy Spirit is by my side as they lock my helmet/mask across my face and raise the steel table until I'm under the huge, round radiation machine. He's there when the whirring stars and when my nostrils start burning and when my head starts tingling. He's there as my hair falls out by the handfuls, and I wonder how much longer until I have to shave my head and wear a wig?

And He's right there beside my beloved daughters in their blue times as they yearn to keep me here a long time so I can read to their four children and play with them and go on family vacations and outings.

And the Holy Spirit is right there beside Milton, too, supplying exactly what he needs, whether it's faith to believe for healing, or comfort, or even answers to the questions deep in his heart. I know they're there. I'll catch him staring at me a lot.

I'm crying again. But it's a good kind of crying. The Holy Spirit just came into the room...and He did what He does best: HE COMFORTED ME.

"Holy Spirit, I ask You to go to Puerto Rico and Tampa and find my girls and comfort them. Set their faces aglow with bright smiles. Overflow their minds with faith and hope. Amen."

Saturday, January 12, 2008


"I saw your picture among the trees a few days ago. The thought came to me if your hair is falling out, then you should scatter it near the trees in the yard and let the birds make nests with it. I can just see that bright red hair padding little eggs and bringing them joy. God bless.
--Rebecca Germany, Senior Fiction Editor, Barbour Publishing

No need for the wigs, yet, though I'm prepared. The American Cancer Society gave me two. One is a Raquel Welch brand. My friend Ann models it for me, above. This auburn wig is long and flowing. Haha. For you younguns' reading this, Raquel Welch was a hottie in show biz in the 70s or 80s.
Sue, a wig expert from Jean's Hair Systems and Wig Shop, thinned, trimmed, and styled one of my wigs. She's the blonde, pictured above, on the left. I'm good to go!
Following a pleasant lunch with Sandra B., daughter Julie even got in on the "wigging." We giggled as she tried them on, right alongside me.
There's just something about a woman in a wig shop. You can't resist plopping one on your head. Or three or four. Red. Blonde. Mahogany. Platinum. Brunette. Highlighted.
As Julie drove me home from our "wigging" adventure, we saw a big ball of burgundy in the road. "Mom," she exclaimed as we got closer. "It's a wig!"
It really was a wig, and we laughed our heads off.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Dear Kristy,

As I was praying for you early this morning, I found myself claiming a wonderful promise in God’s Word that is connected with the fifth commandment. In fact, according to Ephesians 6:2, it is the “first commandment with a promise.” The promise is, "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth," and the commandment is, “Honor your father and mother.”

Kristy, I have never known anyone who fulfilled that commandment as well as you. In so many ways you honored our mother and our father. In fact, you delighted in honoring them. Among other things, you honored Mother by nominating her for the Henrietta Mears Sunday School Teacher of the Year Contest, and she was No. 5 in the nation! You have spoken of her in your talks and written about her in your articles, always praising her.

After she died, you were the primary caregiver for Daddy, always going the second and third mile (literally!), lifting his wheel chair in and out of the trunk, to take him to the doctor or to lunch or to Wal-mart. And you were with him when he died.

God promised “long life on the earth” for those who do what you have done, and I am asking Him to fulfill that promise for you. It’s not that I am trying to use His word to “force” Him to do what I want. I am merely laying hold of His willingness, what I believe He wants to do, from what I see in His word! I believe He wants to—delights to—heal you. And I believe we honor His word when we stand on it in simple faith.

I love you. Terry


Group photos: my siblings and parents. We're a Southern family and have a Bubba and a Nana.
Top photo on the right: brother Terry and wife Sandra. He wrote this note.