Sunday, November 30, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

We sat at the end of breakfast with Mother holding the Bible reading the Scriptures for the day. Then she turned to the devotional book they are using. The Scripture reading and prayers took me back many, many years back to childhood days....

Wow! This is some picture. I took this picture without them knowing it. 

It did not matter if the bus was honking its horn or not. We didn't leave the house until Scripture reading and prayers took place. It was that way every day rain or shine, cold or hot, good day or bad day. 

We began every day with prayer and that made a difference in my life and the lives of my siblings. They all would say it. Prayers got us through the tough times.

Over and over prayer saw us through. I remember when I was thirteen and Dad was in the hospital and had a heart arrest for over five minutes. We weren't sure what was going to happen and  what kind of quality of life he would have. Though Mom and Dad were at the hospital us kids were at home with our Granny Dykes, we still prayed and we prayed hard. God heard and Dad recovered and hasn't had that problem again. God is faithful.

Prayer blesses families. It changes lives. It makes a way in the impossible. It guides and releases grace. Prayers of Mom's and Dad's bring the prodigals home. They release blessings and deliverance from curses. 

What greater gift could a parent give a child than their faithful, continuous prayers? This picture today is a classic that shows lives lived out with love and faith. Mom and Dad prayed and God was faithful to answer. They have prayed for us kids all the days of our lives. I will never forget their faithfulness to us. 

Maybe someone reading this today will begin a life of committed prayer with and for their family like my Mom and Dad have done all these years. I pray so.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

I have traveled these roads before but not alone. This week I drove down I-75 and back up I-75 and then back down I-75 and then back up I-75. I felt like a yo yo going south and north and south and north and then more north tomorrow.

Tuesday I drove down to Julie's and then Thursday over to Orlando and then back to Tampa and then up to Leesburg and then back to Tampa and Friday back up to Leesburg and tomorrow way back up to Jacksonville. Back and forth, up and down, down and up and then back up to home.

Wow, thank God the gas prices dropped down too. That is the kind of traveling I have done as we all do to get to see family. Busy people travel and I've been a busy little guy.

Now, the rode is traveled alone. The spot next to me is empty. The car is quiet. The meditations longer. The music louder. The phone beckons. Who to call to make some noise? Where do you go when you travel alone?

Kristy was a great travel partner. We kept suitcases close at hand and the train case full and ready to go. We both could be ready in moments to hit the trail. Now I pack alone. She got the clothes cleaned and all the needed travel items stocked. Now it is just me.

It is a transition time. A time of waiting, learning, watching, allowing God's help to arise. I still believe in God's faithfulness. He will perfect His plan for me. I will trust Him, and believe Him, and obey Him, and follow Him. That is what I have done all my life. I will not change now.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

Yesterday on Thanksgiving Day, Nic came up to me at Tricia's and said, "Papa, I miss Nana." 

Later, Julie told me that she always sat by Kristy at Thanksgiving Dinner. This year would be and was different for her. 

Julie sat next to me at the table.

On the way back home to Julie's Thursday evening, Julie asked the boys what the wanted for Christmas? 

Alex said, "I want Nana. I also want my two front teeth. He had an accident at school on Monday and knocked his two top front teeth out."

I talked on the phone with Jennifer in San Juan and we both hurt over missing Kristy. She was supposed to be here today. Why isn't she here. I know the answer, but we all felt her tug, feel, presence.

All these and other moments made for a Thanksgiving like I haven't had in almost 40 years. It was Thanksgiving without Kristy.

I posted yesterday what I was thankful for today. I still feel that way and more. I choose to live with a spirit of thanksgiving year round. I am happier that way and others enjoy being around me more too.

Tricia made the most incredible Thanksgiving Dinner. She has hosted it for our family the last several years. She is so much fun and a real hoot. We laugh and laugh and have the best time. Rick, her husband, is funny too--that's an understatement. 

Tricia and I went for a long horseback ride. I rode Gonzo and she rode Cocoa, her daughter Stephanie's pony. It was a beautiful day to enjoy a long ride and being with my most special, loving family. 
I am so thankful for all of my dear loved ones and friends.

The picture of the motorcycle is of Tim, Janet's husband, and Julie. Can't see Julie's face though. I am on the horse next to Alex and Nic. Nic is riding Cocoa with Stephanie holding the rope. The first picture is Tricia getting the horse ready to ride. Two of my sisters, Janet pictured between Mom and Dad with Tricia sitting next to me, were there along with their spouses and children along with Mom and Dad and Julie and her boys. 

It was a wonderful day. 


Thursday, November 27, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

Loss and thanksgiving aren't very easy to compute. How and for what can one be thankful? It is a tough choice and call. I know the Scripture. I can quote it. Thanksgiving makes mental and spiritual sense. It is the emotions that cloud the process. Stolen love taken before its time takes some processing. 

What shall I be thankful for with Kristy gone?

1. For 37 wonderful years of love.

2. For beautiful children who are here to add joy and bless me.

3. For our lives that were committed together with purpose for God.

4. For memories and memories and memories and memories and........

5. For the amazing love Kristy gave in releasing me and pushing me to future and destiny.

6. For dreams that are yet unfolding....

7. For family and dear friends who have held my precious daughters, grands, and me up when we didn't have strength.

8. For comfort through the hope released by Holy Spirit.

9. For good music, Iphones that play it, and songs given in the night.

10. For call, purpose, future, life, love, joy, peace, and amazing grace and help that God has given.

And did I mention that my sister Tricia is cooking a great Thanksgiving feast and I'm invited and don't have to bring anything. She is gracious, loving, and just doesn't want to eat anything I've cooked. They don't have enough Pepto to cover the crowd if they ate my cooking! Ha!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

Anger has many forms and expressions. It is caused by the most unusual stimuli and has amazing consequences. Not all of the consequences of anger are bad.

This will be a shock to some, but when I was a boy I got angry over a couple of matters and actually punched my fist through a couple of walls. Once I was mad at my father for cutting the grass when I should have cut it, but I had procrastinated. He had health issues and didn't need to cut the grass. I was mad because I should have gotten it cut and he shouldn't have been cutting the grass. I don't remember what was the cause of the second hole in the wall.

That is the worst sinning I ever did over anger, though I have been angry before many times. The Bible says that you can be angry--just don't sin when you are angry. We can have anger over multitude of issues that can actually move us to do right things. For example, our anger at sin and Satan's lies can cause us to pray more and be bolder in sharing God's love.

Tuesday I had surprising, subtle anger creeping up into my spirit over the girls and grandkids and their loss, our loss, of Kristy as the holidays approach. I drove from Jacksonville to Tampa on Tuesday evening to be with Julie. She is having a minor medical procedure done and needed me to be with her. 

As I drove to her apartment in Tampa, I felt all kinds of emotions coming up inside me. I was mad that the girls and our family had to give Kristy up and would face Thanksgiving and Christmas without her. It hurt and it made me mad, angry, and wanting to find another wall to clobber. 

Don't worry. 

I learned long ago that putting your fist through a wall only makes for a repair bill and maybe a sore hand and knuckles. I also hope I am a little more mature now than I was when I was a teenager. I actually think I am more mature.

But Tuesday I was angry, and anger is OK. I will be angry, and I won't sin. I will use it for good. I will make new and wonderful memories with my girls and grands. I will remember the wonderful years, wipe some tears, and focus on my precious family that my redhead gave me. Anger will turn to higher good. All will not be lost.

God's grace will cover all our anger and filter out the hurt and pain. His love covers it all. He is sending me help. God's help will soothe the anger and let His love cover the pain.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

Life is busy and these next weeks will get busier for everyone. Thanksgiving is just a couple days away and then comes the rush of Christmas and all the wonderful activities that accompany the holiday season.

How will I fare through of all this rush? It will not be easy I am sure, but the wonderful memories will fill my mind as they already are. We traveled all those years to see family and loved ones and now it is just me. 

Jesus and me and the amazing grace and help He is giving.

He gives the grace and courage to face the wonderful memories, dreams and goals including those yet unfulfilled, and the hurt of the huge loss.

Last week I visited the hospital to pray for a family whose loved one, husband and father, was critically ill. I thought he would recover and enjoy the Holiday Season with his family. But I told the wife that if he shouldn't recover and make it that I knew God would give her the strength and help to deal with the loss.

Today I received a call that Bubba Dykes passed in the night. He has lived here in Jacksonville for many, many years. To our knowledge we are not related, though I wouldn't be surprised to find we connect in a past family tree.

I do know they are hurting and I know God will give them grace and strength. God is faithful to all of us. One day all of the separations will end and we will be reunited. Death has been conquered. The sting has been taken away. Jesus is the Resurrection, The Way, The Truth, The Life.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

Sunday the Lord helped me preach His Word. That is my calling and my passion. I am not Billy Graham, but I know what God has called me to do and that is preach.

At lunch after the morning service with a couple from our church, I enjoyed talking with them about church life, their lives, and what God is doing in our fellowship. They have gone through a personal trial the last 18 months or so when he was hit by a driver who ran a red light and ran into his car. The crash did major damage to his ankles and knees and he has suffered untold pain and problem.

He said that he had learned a lot about patience these last months. I visited him many times when he was in the hospital and saw the tough process he has and is going through to recover. It hasn't been easy. Life isn't easy when we are thrown a curve ball.

They said that I seemed to be doing better, and I told them that I was. It hasn't been easy, but I was grateful that after just hearing me preach and spending a few months with them that they felt I was doing better. They could tell I was better in my voice, preaching, and general manner. I am grateful that the healing and grieving process is occurring and that I am going through it to what God has for me. 

God is helping me and your prayers have meant so much. Sunday night I worked at writing and then relaxing watching my Jaguars go down the tube again. It hurts to watch the Jags lose and it hurts to walk through this house with it so quiet and lonely, but God is with me.  I am going to make it.

They said that they felt I was doing better, and I am doing better. God is helping me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

My thoughts are still reflecting on yesterdays post about the unexpected death of Lavada Haupt. Her passing took place so quickly. The tumor as I have heard it wasn't discovered just this past October only a few weeks back. She was at Kristy's funeral and to my knowledge had no idea of having such a severe problem.

Does that say anything to you? Does it make you think about the value of living today? Does it make you think of eternal purpose? I learned in a way I couldn't conceive in Kristy's passing that life is most precious and to be treasured far more than the majority realize.


I received this note in the mail on Saturday which simply reads:

Hope you are
writing while the 
words are strong
within you.
Don't wait!



Wow, those are good words and fit with what I just shared concerning the uncertainly of life. I am writing and will heed even more the good word of the Spirit from a thoughtful friend. 

Earlier in the day I had commented on the necessity of telling our story and writing it now. It is a sweet, powerful, and amazing story. You will be very surprised at how it ends.

What are you waiting to do that you know you must do?

Do it now. There may not be a tomorrow or a more convenient time. 

Make amends now. 
Reach out now.
Give now. 
Go now. 
Love now. 
Write now. 
Complete now. 

Don't wait.  

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

I am stunned and shocked by the following which was put as a comment on Friday:

I lost another writer friend Wednesday night with a brain tumor, Lavada Haupt. She came to Kristy's viewing with me and my husband. Kristy critiqued some of Lavada's work and like myself thought Lavada was an excellent writer.

She had one book published but at least 4 in progress. I know God is in control and knows better than I why now and why Lavada or why Kristy.

I hope they are sharing writing tips in Heaven.Many

Blessings B.J. Brooks(Robinson)


I met Lavada but did not know she had a brain tumor. Kristy mentioned Lavada to me on numerous occasions. There is so much in this life I do not understand, but I do trust in a loving, caring God.

He knows
and He cares
and He understands.

My prayers go out to Lavada's family. May the God of all grace reach out to them and comfort them. May he place His loving arms around them and give them peace. May they know they are loved and are being prayed for during this time of loss.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

I need to make a correction on the number of years of my parent's marriage. It is 64 not 63 as I first wrote. Have you ever made that kind of mistake on ages or anniversaries? If you're perfect, then you won't understand, you're just proud. HA!

Mom and Dad celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary this week. That is a lot of laughin', lovin', and livin', and maybe a couple of disagreements too. I am taking them out for lunch today to celebrate their anniversary. They certainly deserve some celebration. I have very thankful for godly parents who have set good example of commitment and faithfulness.

I wouldn't be here without them. Mom led me to a saving knowledge of Jesus as my Lord, and Dad helped keep me saved. Do you know how he did it? My siblings all know how he did it, but I got "did" more than all of them. I know that is not very good English, but my siblings all know what it means.

All of their married lives have been spent as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and as well as in the loving care of their five wonderful children. All of their children are making a difference and love Mom and Dad dearly. They have touched countless thousands of lives all these years for Christ.

Thursday night I attended a sing-a-long in the retirement center where Mom and Dad live. A group of the seniors get together once a month to sing hymns and choruses which Dad leads and Mom plays the piano. They do a super job leading the group and all of the seniors really get a kick out of Dad's jokes and humor.

One elderly man shared about the recent loss of his wife--just four months back at about the same time Kristy died. He told of how God answered prayer for him and was helping him. I know how he feels.

We sang for an hour or so songs about heaven, God's love, America, and worship. There is something very special about getting together with people who love God and want to sing praises to Him.

I left very touched and blessed and praying that God would visit our younger generation with a fresh passion to worship like these seniors did.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

God's Word is alive. It speaks to us right where we are in life. Sometimes we go through "fog" and can't see very far ahead, but He helps us get through those times and makes a way.

A friend made a comment a couple days back and shared a verse that spoke to me. Wow, God's word is such an encouragement. God is faithful. When we go through "fogs" you can be sure He is above us and with us and is guiding us.

Read these words from Isaiah 58:11 NIV

The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a 
sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your 

Meditate on those words a few moments. Pay attention to these words: guide, satisfy, strengthen... applying these words to your life and needs today. Believe He will guide. Receive His satisfaction. Wait and let Him strengthen you.

Facing the holidays and a quiet, lonely house with no personal warmth is too much to bear. But God gives grace and help.

God's Word is alive. It spoke to me today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

Tuesday night we had our annual Thanksgiving Dinner for our senior's ministry. I share a Thanksgiving Message each year and did again. I love to spend time with our seniors for they are so loving, positive, and faith-filled. They love their pastor and it makes me feel special--especially right now.

I spoke from Philippians 1 and focused on verse 3 where Paul said that he "gave thanks for you." I dwelt with various aspects of thanksgiving and why, how, and what we should be thankful for. Paul was thankful for people. He gave thanks for "you"--he gave thanks for people close and dear. We should be thankful for God, food, health, jobs, and life in general, but we should also be thankful for people. I told them to turn to the person next to them and say, "I am thankful for you."

At the end of the gathering everyone had left but a few who were finishing cleaning. One of the men came up to me and took real interest in how I was doing. Actually they all did, but he stood an extra amount of time asking about loneliness and other issues in my life. His first wife died and he really knows what I am facing.

After an extended period of talk, he said to me, "Kristy came up to me at church after she came down with her tumor and said to please talk with Milton and help him through his loneliness and hurt. He will need your help."

He said that he told her that he was believing for her healing and she said "thanks." But the point is that she loved me with a love that thought ahead to my needs and did all that she could to help me.

That is incredible love. That is love that lays down your life for another. That is a God love. That is the kind of love we shared.

That is why this is such a huge loss. I will make it through this because she told Jesus to send me some help. I asked her to do this just moments before she passed into heaven. Help came to me last night and it is coming in many and various ways. 

Kristy told Jesus and He is sending me help.

Kristy was one really special, classy lady. She really loved me. I loved her too. 


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

I often read from Kristy's NIV Bible that she used for devotions and study. She has numerous notes written in its pages that I enjoying finding all along. Monday morning as I picked it up to read, a small hand written note fell out of its pages. It simply reads:


When nature rages focus on the gauges

The Word

When the Word doesn't 
seem to be working, 
don't get offended
at God--just keep
relying on the Scriptures.
Keep your eye on
the gauges.


I wrote her words in this post in the manner they appeared on her small note. She had those lines drawn between the phases. Those words came to me from her just in the moment I needed to read them. I am sure I had read them before, but today they were very precious and special to me.

We can trust God's gauges. They never are off. They never are broken. They always report life accurately. God's gauges are dependable. His gauges point us in the right direction for eternal blessings. They point toward heaven.

Maybe those words fell from her Bible to speak to you today also.

Monday, November 17, 2008

HERE, READ THIS....please

Milton, here for Kristy:

Sunday was a very hectic and I have lots of thoughts on my mind to write. Here is a tease on the magazine article I am writing about Kristy. Part of the article reads....

Kristy kept her praise, joy, and laughter. She prepared her family and me for our lives without her if the Lord didn’t heal her in this life. Once in the middle of the night as she was moving toward the dying process, her brother, Terry, went into our master bedroom to check on her as she slept in her hospital bed. He couldn't tell if she was breathing and quietly and slowly moved closer and closer to check on her in the darkness of night. Finally he was right up in her face to check when all of a sudden Kristy yelled, “BOO!” Terry almost fainted and had a heart attack, but we all laughed at her amazing spirit and humor....

The magazine article  ends....

We trusted. We prayed. We fasted. We believed. And God healed Kristy. He healed her in heaven.

I held her hand nine months after her diagnosis with a GBM stage four brain tumor as the Lord came into our bedroom and took her with Him to heaven. A spirit of prophecy came over me as I spoke blessing, thanks, and worship to God for a good and faithful wife and friend who partnered with me in life and ministry for 37 years. I told her, “You have done good. You have been faithful. I humbly asked Kristy to tell Jesus to send me some help. I said to her,  “You win. You win. You win.”

And Kristy entered into heaven and walked with Jesus on streets of gold as she received her wonderful healing.

A cloud of peace covered her and a chair of strength kept her every step of the way.


It is impossible to write all you would like to say about Kristy in 1600 words or less. I have been writing about her for a year and have so much more to write. 

Wasn't she really something!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

It is finished. I completed the assigned magazine article about Kristy and her journey to victory. Well, it is finished except for letting it steep a few days, as Kristy always said, before reading and do final proofing and sending it off to the editor.

I titled the article "A Cloud of Peace and a Chair of Strength--A story of living with joy and dying with peace.

I worked on it a couple of hours Saturday morning and another hour or so Saturday afternoon. Now, you will have to wait a few months to read the story. I made them laugh, made them cry, and I'm making you wait! That was Kristy's style of writing--laughing, crying, and waiting.

It is still surreal what has happened. How could Kristy be gone? I feel God's peace and grace daily, but it is hard. It is real hard.

I have always tried to be a caring, concerned person and pastor, but I will admit that I have felt like apologizing to all the loved ones of the deceased of every funeral I have ever preached. I just didn't have a clue. I mean not a clue what they were feeling. 

Kristy's life still touches all of us every day. When I clean this house, work in the yard, shop, buy groceries, walk into our office, go to church and minister, and on and on the list could go, her feel and touch reaches out to me. 

I am working through the grieving process. 

God is sending me help.

I am having more good days than bad days. 

I am moving forward with new vision and desire. 

But it hurts. 

It hurts real bad. 

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

I have been reading past blogs from a year back when Kristy was first diagnosed with the GBM brain tumor. It is unbelievably hard to read, but I feel I must as I am speaking to our ladies on her story and also writing an assigned magazine article telling her story of a cloud of peace and a chair of strength which helped as she her she walked through the valley of the shadow of death.

Her story of peace and strength needs to be told to help others in the tough storms of life. She kept her joy, laughter, and strong faith through it all.

Reading the blog reminded me again of the joy and wonder of our love as well as the sweet, pure, surrendered commitment to trust Him together in all of the aspects of our lives.

What have I learned this past year?

I have learned that God never fails. He never leaves us. He never forsakes us. He is with us to the end.

I have learned His grace is sufficient.


I am writing this last paragraph after speaking to the ladies group at our church. After I finished speaking, one of the ladies came up to me and said that a friend at work had been reading this blog and that it had helped her with some very tough issues with her family. It made me feel that God is working through this blog in very miraculous ways to encourage and help others. I am grateful to know that God takes all things and works them together for good. 

Friday, November 14, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

I have a burden to speak to men and ladies groups and talk to them about marriage relationships, love, faith, and issues of the heart. I plan on taking occasional speaking engagements to tell my story.

Last Saturday I spoke to our men and tonight I will speak to our ladies. I felt I should begin here at my own church if I was going to speak anywhere. Saturday I spoke to the men on "Tough Men and Tender Romance". Tonight I will speak to the ladies on the topic "Faith to Go Through," but I will also speak to them on "Tender Women and Tough Romance".  

God has put in my heart to share my journey of faith and love and what He has and is teaching me along this amazing walk. I feel that I can write and speak with a greater sense of urgency, insight, and passion to men and ladies groups to help in marriage and family relations. This has been a vision and love of mine for many years.

Guess what I got in the mail Wednesday? 

I  received a pair of Twinkies P.J. bottoms marked on the package from "A Friend". Don't have a clue who the "Friend" is. Maybe I'll have a picture made wearing them or not. They are yellow and red long pants.  I don't know if I have the nerve to model them for you. What do you think? Should I or not? I put a picture of the Twinkie shirt on the blog some time back.


They were sent to the church and my staff got a big kick out of them. Didn't wear the P.J.'s for them either!

It is good to laugh. Laughter makes the journey easier to travel. I need some laughter. We all need to laugh more!

Twinkies rule!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

I talked with Claudia, my four year old granddaughter, on Tuesday morning for a few moments. She shared her desire to get a balloon and put a bunch of hearts on a note and release the balloon into the sky. She wants the note to go to heaven to Nana.

Jennifer told me that they are going to do that and will soon. Four year olds have unique ways to deal with their loss of loved ones--as I guess we all do. The amazing part of her desiring to seen a balloon to Nana is that it was solely her idea. No one suggested doing this to her. She just knew Nana was in heaven way up there somewhere and she wanted to send a note of love up there to her.

We are all transitioning through this process with healing and pain all together. The holidays are coming and I usually host some parties at our house, but I don't have any plans to do that this year. The girls and I are all meeting for Christmas in San Juan and before that I will be at Tricia's for Thanksgiving like we have done for a number of years.

I can tell this is going to be a tough few weeks, but I know God will help me through it. He has been with me each step of the way. He will not fail.

The Lord has been sending help in the most unusual ways. Wednesday, I had a counseling appointment with a Dr. who was a professor from way back in my college days. His first wife passed many years ago and he is a minister. As a christian pychologist, minister, and widower from his first wife, he offered unique insight to me and my journey. He also affirmed some things in my life that are helping release and move me toward toward healing, wellness, and a future. 

Every day I am getting better and know there is a future and a hope for me. God is doing amazing and unique things in my life. He is growing me into the fullness of His plan and will. I will trust Him for He knows best.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

I have said a few dumb things through the years while preaching that I would have liked to be able to put back into my mouth right after they were uttered. Every preacher will do that from time to time. Sunday I did it again.

I was preaching my sermon entitled, "Catch a Glimpse of Heaven" and in the process was sharing about things that need frequent attention in this world. I noted things in the home that required constant care that in past times before Kristy passed didn't even cross my mind. Now they do cross my mind because it is up to me alone to take care of everything. She made the bed with some help from me if I hadn't left home early. House cleaning is now my total responsibility as is cooking too. 

Well, in sharing all that I said, "Well, I think I will take some applications for a cook." It was too late to put it back into my mouth. I immediately said I didn't mean that and then tried to move on to the next point. But, there it was. It had been said.

First, I am not taking cooking applications. It would have been better to have been preaching manuscript style Sunday for it would have saved that gaffe. 

Second, preachers say some dumb stuff from time to time even thought I honestly believe God does speak through them or us, but that wasn't God, it was me. I blew it.

I'm probably compounding the problem by just writing about this mistake even now, but it was a funny, honest blooper. I guess it is something else to laugh about in all this amazing journey.

Preachers are human. I was very human Sunday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

Monday afternoon late, I  talked on the phone for a few minutes with Alex and Nich about their camping trip this past weekend with the Cub Scouts. Julie took them and they all had a blast.

Alex and I talked first. I call him my pal.

Nich wanted me to come to a Thanksgiving Program at his school but couldn't remember the date. I have always called Nich my buddy.

Then Alex wanted to talk again. 

I heard him ask, "Papa, can I talk to Nana?"

My heart sank. I realized he had a momentary lapse and had forgotten. I paused a moment or so and gently said, "Alex, Nana is in heaven."

We both were stunned for a moment and then I could hear a little boys broken heart began to cry soft tears of sorrow. We both wiped tears. It hurt. He had forgotten and wanted to sing with Nana as they had for ever since he was big enough to sing.

It hurt. We all hurt. Someone told me that those are tears of healing. I believe that, but it hurts so bad.


Read the following post. I wrote it for today and then Alex and I had our phone call.


Milton, here for Kristy:

Sunday, our missionary guest introduced his wife as his "partner in life and partner in ministry." I stood alone behind him as he spoke these words. For many, many years I introduced Kristy before hundreds and hundreds of crowds where we spoke together using the same words.

Tears streamed down my face as he introduced her. It brought back more memories of our good times together. It jolted me again and I had to brace myself just to stay standing on the platform. I could sense my church feeling my pain. They knew how I had always introduced Kristy--"my partner in life and partner in ministry." 

I am moving forward, but there is still a very real sense of our wonderful past. I will always cherish her and be thankful for all we shared, did, and enjoyed together. Even our arguments had eternal purpose written all over them. All of the ragged edges were worn smoother by our deep, abiding commitment to make each other better.

She was a great partner. She made me a much better man. 

I have dreams in my heart and vision yet to be fulfilled. God has put new and exciting dreams deep within me and I see them coming about in the most unusual and amazing ways. Kristy would be proud and excited for me. She loved me. Her very last words in this life were, "I love you, Milton." 

Monday, November 10, 2008


Milton, here from Kristy:

God called me to preach when I was nineteen. It was a very clear call and it happened somewhat unexpected. I was open to the idea of going into the ministry, but I didn't feel it was right to make it a choice of profession, but rather I felt that it should be a response to a specific call from God to me to follow Him in doing God's work. As a young teenager and then later as I considered college I was open, but the call didn't happen.

Until one Sunday morning just before my sophomore year at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL. Just a couple of weeks before going to Jax, the Lord spoke to me very clearly, almost audibly that He was calling me to preach His Word. It was as if a giant thumb came down from heaven and pressed deep into my soul. For almost half of that Sunday afternoon I wept at the church altar as God spoke into my inner being. 

Now for almost 40 years I have followed that calling to preach. It hasn't always been easy, though I have been very blessed. Sometimes I have felt that I had really ministered effectively and then other times I didn't feel so good about it. But, I have been faithful to that call, and I plan on completing that call.

What did I preach this Sunday? The topic was "Catch a Glimpse of Heaven." My thoughts have been more on heaven recently as you might guess. Heaven seems more real, closer, special. 

Why do I believe there is a heaven?

1. Because I want to believe there is one. How utterly hopeless this life would seem if there was no heaven.

2. Because many have had near death experiences with brief time spent in heaven that they have come back to life and shared what they saw. Read 90 Minutes in Heaven.

3. More importantly, Jesus said He was preparing a place for us. That place is heaven. I believe the words of Jesus.

I am excited about my future and call. God has put some very real dreams and visions in my heart.

When you catch a glimpse of heaven it really adds to living with purpose here. We live best when we live in the light of eternity.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

Saturday night I hosted a gathering of part of our church ministry team who offer care for Burundi, Africa, immigrant families who are part of our church. There were 30 or so for a cookout and then a sharing time with a missionary to Burundi, Brett Nelson and his family. Brett and his family are on furlough preparing to return to Burundi and gave us keen insight into Burundi life.

Am I becoming a great host or what? I have had several large group gatherings at my house and no one has gotten food poisoning yet, or at least they haven't told it.

Some of the stories of the Burundi families who fled there to come to the good ole USA are just heart breaking. They have family members who died in terrible civil and racial wars there. Hundreds of thousands were killed in this genocide. It is just unbelievable what they have endured. They have come with nothing, and the meager amount they have here in the USA is almost like living like kings in Burundi.

I have been so thrilled and thankful to see the loving care our church family has shown in helping them. Last year we helped provide Christmas and care packages and gave money and all sorts of assistance. Now we have Burundi families in our church who have become self-sufficient and are doing great. They are hard workers and committed to their families. 

All of us need help in life from time to time. I will admit that I would not have made it without  the loving care of others to help me and our family this past year. Can I do nothing less than to help others now?

God's love flowing in should flow out to bless others. My family has been blessed. I will be a blessing.

Do you agree? Who will you reach out to help this Thanksgiving?

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

Yesterday I wrote about the event one year ago when Kristy was told she had a brain tumor which changed our lives. I will not write a recount every day of this past year of what happened, but I am writing an assigned article for a magazine telling her marvelous story of extreme faith. It is a story of peace and strength.

Also, I am working on a book telling this story from writings from this blog and including other accounts of humor, faith, brokenness, and surrender. It is truly an amazing story with some bends and unexpected turns that you have not heard and yet have not been written.

Will you pray for me as I write this story. To be very honest, it is so painful to go back through the blogs of this past year. It hurts and brings back tough memories of pain and sorrow, but at the same time it reminds me of the faithfulness of God.

I am sure that many probably wonder about some of the posts from this week. You have prayed for Kristy, for me, and for my children and have shown deep interest and concern. I suspect to some my writings of moving forward left you with a question of how can I move forward so soon? If I loved Kristy as I have written, is it possible to move from grief so quickly?

Believe me, Kristy and I had an exceptional marriage with love that some would only dream and hope. My heart is still full of her love, but now is the time for me to allow God to do new things in me. Please pray for God's guidance.

These next weeks of holidays will be tough, very tough, but I am believing God to help me minister to my children and grands. They are hurting and need me. They are exceptional young ladies and kiddies and I am very proud and thankful for them.

God is in charge. I will trust Him.

What happened to Barney's cousin? What happened to small town America? Is there anything new in me to tell? What more can be written about this love story?

Watch and see.

Friday, November 07, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

One year ago today at 5:30 PM, Kristy was told at Mayo Clinic she had a malignant brain tumor which she understood would eventually take her life. We were both standing as the radiologist gave this initial report moments after an MRI.

Kristy never blinked, cried, moaned, or wailed. She stood as a cloud of peace covered her and a chair of strength was slide under her. I have personally never seen such faith and courage in all my life.

I stood in shock, disbelief, and question.

The radiologist and nurses told Kristy they had never, ever seen anyone receive this news in the calm, collected, peaceful manner that she did. 

I wanted to go home. It was prayer meeting night at church and I told her someone else would lead the service. We briefly, gently argued back and forth with her insisting that we go on to church. I drove down the streets of Jacksonville barely aware of anything around me. Her world, my world, our world was turned upside down and hit with a major, life changing jolt.

She stood before our church with the most amazing, unbelievable calm and told them the news we had be given just an hour or so previously. Now the church was shocked. Tears went down cheeks. People sat frozen. Hearts were breaking. Some wept openly. Youth were in tears and we all were stunned.

Kristy stood with a peace that I have never seen in anyone. She stood with a bold, confident assurance that God would heal her here or heal her in heaven. She didn't flinch. She was a classy, spunky, courageous little redhead who let her light shine in the darkest hour of her and our lives.

I will never forget Nov. 7, 2007. It was a day that I saw faith--real faith that does not flinch. It began a journey of faith that ended in victory.

How did Kristy walk though the valley of the shadow of death?

She believed in Jesus, His love, and His promises.

She believed what she had always believed.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

I have reflected on my vows to Kristy that we made on our wedding day. Our wedding ceremony was beautiful and filled with extra love that Kristy added in a special poem that she wrote and pre-recorded and played in the service. 

We pledged to 

honor and cherish
in sickness and health
for better for worse
till death we do part.

There were other promises made in that ceremony and we kept every one of them. We loved and we cherished and enjoyed almost 37 wonderful years of marriage. I miss that gal and will always love her. There will never be another Kristy. There was just one. She was mine.

Marriage vows made before God and man are sacred. If the vows are recorded in court, they are legal and have legal consequences. But vows made before God, are hallowed. They are holy. They have promise of blessing and severe consequences when foolishly broken. 

We made vows to each other and lived them out in love and honor. Our marriage was a model in many ways that most people only have dreams of sharing. We lived. We loved. We laughed. We had an everlasting love.

But my vows to her are completed. I kept them as we pledged until death we part. I didn't want her to die. I couldn't bear her being sick. The thoughts of her dying were unbearable. I miss her so very much. 

But, our vows have been fulfilled.

I cannot fathom what I am writing. Thirty-seven years passed too quickly. We were to have many, many more years. But death took her. She is in heaven. She is well. She is waiting for all of us to complete our journeys. 

What comes after the death of one's beloved? I don't have all those answers. There are too many questions and not enough wisdom to figure it all out just yet. But, I do know this, we loved and cherished and fulfilled our vows to live for better for worse, in sickness and in health, till death we do part.

Death parted us. The vows are completed. 

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

I have definitely felt better these last days dealing with the pain of Kristy's loss. Family and friends have encouraged me, and God is helping me.

It is interesting to walk this journey. Obviously this is a very unexpected journey, and I have no clue how to walk it--except in His strength and grace. Every individuals walk through the grieving process is different, and I am still exploring the way. 

Every individuals walk into the new relationship that He has is different too. Kristy always said that I would move ahead quickly with life if she should pass. I couldn't stand to hear her speak like that--especially when she mentioned it after we discovered the GBM brain tumor. She wanted me to move ahead and told me so even though it hurt more than I could bear at times. 

A friend recently called and said to me, "God is going to bring someone into your life. I just feel I should tell you." This was a life-long college pal who was close to Kristy and me. He and his wife have been dear friends for many years all the way back to college.

God has my life planned out including this surprising bend in my journey of life. He will lead  in His way and timing. I can't hardly believe that I would write such a thing, but I know that it will come about as God brings a new life partner into my life. Kristy wanted this for me and told me so and even wrote about it on this blog. It hurt me then, but now it is an amazing comfort and strength to know she wanted me to be blessed and live my life to its fullest. She loved me with an unusual love.

I can honestly write this would be my desire for her should I have preceded her. My parents have already suggested individuals mentioned by others. They love me too, but God has an unusual plan to be worked out in my life. Kristy knew it and now I know it.

If all this sounds too bold or too transparent, please forgive me. I have tried to honor Kristy's wish to journal this story in a reasonably transparent manner. Her honesty and love just continues in my writing.

(By the way, I am still wearing my wedding ring so I am definitely not looking for a lady friend. Don't send my picture to anyone or send me a picture. I am just writing from my heart and what I know and feel.)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

I am progressing through  my grieving process.

I am not too big to cry and wipe my tears.

I am accepting the reality of Kristy's passing.

I am sure she is well in His presence.

I am trusting in His understanding and faithful care.

I am a widower. 

I am a single man. 

I am aware of Kristy's desire for me to move forward in life.

I am aware that His grace reaches out to me every day.

I am not alone.

I am not defeated.

I am able to do all things through Christ.

I am not going to hurt forever.

I am going to have a whole and well life.

I am blessed with many friends and loved ones who believe in me.

I am open to all of His will and plans for my life.

I am confident that He will complete His full purposes for me.

I am willing to wait, trust, and obey His purpose and plans.

I am sure all will be well.

I am grateful.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

I know this is a romance blog, but I have a special romance with football in a manly kind of way. Football actually can have a family focus if the man is willing to make the little lady feel included and doesn't forget the kiddies. That is why I included football in the last post, and by the way, I must mention that Alabama is now ranked #1 in the college football polls.

Roll Tide again. 

Yea Alabama, Crimson Tide! 

Now, so what does voting have to do with romance? I am not really sure. I know that love is liberating, kind, and unselfish. It thinks good and not evil. Shouldn't  these virtues come into play with the consequences of how we cast our ballots?

In my opinion we are in a very crucial time in our Nation's history. We are on the verge of becoming a socialistic country incrementally that now may move with increasing speed depending on how this National Election goes. Many of our laws are out of focus encouraging and allowing the bad over the good. 

We must cast our votes for pro-life, pro-marriage between a man and a woman, and anti-wealth redistribution through legalized tax thievery. 

We must cast righteous votes not racial votes. Moral consequences must rise above party affiliations. God isn't Republican, Democratic, or Independent. He is the Sovereign Lord over all. He reigns from first to last from beginning to end before all kingdoms or rulers. He is the Lord of all.

So, how should a romantic vote?

I am glad you asked.

A romantic must vote pro-life, pro-marriage between a man and a woman, and pro-work ethic with trust in God rather than the power brokers of politics.

Who should receive your vote?

Cast a righteous ballot that you will be pleased to show Jesus when you stand before Him.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

Jacksonville is a great football town. I love it! Florida  played Georgia at Jacksonville Memorial Stadium on Saturday, and on Sunday our Jags play in Cincinnati. Alabama beat Arkansas State a ton to go 9-0. It's football across the land.

Kristy tolerated my love for football. Sometimes she tolerated it well and sometimes not so well. I guess that is the way it is in a lot of households across America. I am not a couch potato, but I like a good ole chin, bone jarring game.

I grew up during the heyday of Bear Bryant and his great Alabama teams. Every Sunday afternoon I would watch a replay of Alabama's previous game on Sunday which always was a win. Shug Jordan had a good football program for Auburn and I rooted for Auburn until Alabama played Auburn. Then it was all Alabama. On his Sunday afternoon replay, Bear would say "Bingo, that's a goody", or "that boy sure has some good parents." 

So does Jesus go to football games? Do you think he likes football? Do you think he cares at all about the old pigskin game? I'm sure that Jesus and Bear Bryant have met and they must have talked about the game. 

I know that many football players pray and give glory to God for helping them on the gridiron. Florida's quarterback Tim Tibow is a dedicated Christian and shares his faith unashamedly. I really admire him for that even though I am not a Gator by a long stretch. Well, maybe I'm just talkin' about something that really doesn't matter except to die hard football fans. One more try: Jesus cares about every aspect of our lives so He must care about football. Well........

What does football have to do with this blog? Not much except I love football and I am writing this blog. 

Yea Alabama. Roll Tide! Bama all the way!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Milton, here for Kristy:

Jennifer wrote the following words as a comment on the last post I made. Her words really touched me and possibly many of you read her words already, but I felt they merited being included as a post. 

At the end of Jennifer' thoughts, she concluded, "She inspires me..." 

For sure, Kristy inspired everyone she came into contact. Her faith, spunk, passion, determination, excellence, and giftedness all reached out to us. She touched me in so may ways.

I know Kristy's intent is for me to go forward in life and honor her by living an overcoming life. 

Here are Jennifer's words:

"Yes she does want you to go forward. She spoke in depth about you to me, wanting you to go on with life after her.

My heart breaks that you return home alone each night.

It wasn't supposed to be this way, so we always thought.

With Halloween coming, I've been in tears for days. Remembering all the costumes she sewed for me, all the neat touches she put into them. I remember trick or treating with her, the
Bartow Halloween carnival we'd go too. I remember when at that carnival I saw a green wig that I wanted SO bad. I begged and begged and she bought it for me.

She was a wonderful, mother. I'm not just saying that because she's gone, it's really true. She went above and beyond for her family. She put us all first above herself.

I miss her SO much. The only comfort I find today is trying to be like the mother she was...

I woke up early to braid Claudia's hair like Bell's from Beauty and the Beast, she has a Halloween party at school. Later at an another party today she's going to be
Arial, the little Mermaid. She can't decided between all her costumes (that I didn't sew!) so I told her we could take as many as she wants and we'll do costumes changes throughout the party!

While my heart breaks everyday at her loss, I thank God she was my mother! I got to have HER as my mother! There are so many children who don't have a mother, and I got to have her. She made my childhood warm and bright. She inspires me to be a better mother."

Jennifer, you are a great mother and gifted young lady. Your Mom and I are extremely proud of all you are doing and especially what you are doing to raise your little  ones in the knowledge of God.

Jennifer, you also inspire me.