Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Gary Sinise as Dr. McCoy?

I came home this evening to find an email from a fellow De fan, Janet Wicks in Great Britain, who sent me the following link and note:


I suppose you have seen the news that Gary Sinese may play Dr McCoy in the new film to start production this year? Well I said a while ago I hoped he could play De's role as a tribute to him and am so glad he has been selected. I like Gary Sinese in CSI New York and Of Mice of Men - Forrest Gump was great as well and I think he will do a good job.

Take care - thanks for your blog spot e-mail.

If anyone else should play Dr. McCoy (big IF), it should be Gary Sinise. He could pull it off.

Terry Lee Rioux and I both said that if either of our books about De were picked up for production into a mini-series or motion picture, we would want Harve Bennett to adapt it, Nick Meyer to direct it, and Gary Sinise to portray De -- as De was, not as Dr. McCoy. (Why? Because Harve and Nick knew De, they wouldn't screw it up. They'd get his essence right.) Gary Sinise bears a striking-enough resemblance, first off, but he's also one of the most outstanding actors to come along in many years. (Yes, dears.. he's even a better actor than De was.) So I would be curious to see him as McCoy. No one else would get me into a theater to see the Doc redux. So I'm for it. It's an exciting development.

On another front... a dear man in the TREK realm (who shall remain nameless) sent me a fun email today. He wrote (about my invitation to subscribe to this blogspot):

Thanks Kris. I will check it out. Probably do this old atheist some good, right? ;-)

I laughed myself silly and then responded:

Oh, I doubt it... hee hee hee

You might not believe in God, but He believes in you... so ... you're tops with me!

If you want me to try to convince you, let me know. I can point you to some really good books. If not, I honor your (not uncommon) perspective totally.

I can respond with love and understanding in this way because, frankly, I wasn't ready until I was ready, either. ("When the student is ready, the Teacher appears.") I was never an atheist but I spent a good number of years -- most of my life until 1999 -- as an agnostic. I simply didn't know for sure; hadn't studied the Bible or talked to anyone who had.

Oh, I believed completely that Jesus was a historical figure and that he died absolutely convinced that he was on that cross as a ransom for the otherwise-condemned eternal souls of everyone in the world, but I wasn't truly convinced that He was in possession of his right mind when he undertook all he did to redeem us. You know? The evangelical conundrum is this: Either he is who he said he was/is, or he was a lunatic or a liar, delusional or bent on deluding others as so many others in history, past and present, have been.

But here's the thing. Most religions (including Islam) consider Jesus a prophet of God or, at the very least, a godly wise man and teacher because of what he said and how he lived. Yet, if he isn't who who he said he was/is, what qualifies him as being anything other than a delusional liar? How can a delusional liar be viewed as a great man by anyone? His mental malady would certainly negate any "human greatness" that people or religions ascribe to him.

I was not convinced Jesus was divine. I thought he was just a great guy -- someone to emulate. I was a "fan" of his in the way I was a fan of De's.


One day in August 1998, just two months after De had passed away, I was in the same hospital continuing to serve Mrs. Kelley... and as I walked up and down the corridors each day I began to get a mental impression that Someone was saying to me, "You need to be baptized." This happened repeatedly. I was utterly astonished. I hadn't been on the inside of a church in over 30 years at that point.

The entire conversion experience is in my book, PURPOSEFUL CHRISTIANITY.

I am now fully convinced that Jesus is exactly who He says He is and that he did for us what He said He did. More than a few very scholarly, logical, scoffing skeptics set out to prove Christianity (the resurrection specifically) a hoax, and all converted as a result of the evidence they uncovered. (If you're interested in who they are, here's the list and the titles of the books they wrote: "Who Moved The Stone? by Frank Morrison; "Evidence That Demands A Verdict" and "More Than a Carpenter" by Josh McDowell, and "Mere Christianity" by C.S Lewis.)

The chief proof for myself, of course, is that the gentle Voice that embraced me as I walked those hospital corridors in my unchurched state most certainly did not come from Ronald McDonald or Satan -- and it decidedly did not come from me...

By logical deduction, that leaves the Holy Spirit who was beckoning me to become baptized...

It was not a command. It carried the pure essence of a spirit of unconditional, redeeming Love
-- Someone opening His arms to receive me. It was just too lovely to ignore -- even though I wanted to, and did, for several days, figuring it was perhaps something I ate... or imagined... or ???

Finally, because the invitation was so sweetly insistent, I called my dad (who was still alive at the time, but not for much longer) and asked him, "Was I ever baptized as a child?" I figured if I was, I was off the hook and could smile with gratitude for the divine visitation and move on, you see, saved and safe in eternity! (Mom had passed away nine months before so she wasn't around to ask anymore.) When I asked Dad, he responded, to my disbelief and shock:
"I don't remember."

I have to tell you, the moment he said that, a red flag ran up my spine. I nearly shuddered.

Suddenly it became urgent that I should be baptized!

I went to the chaplain at the hospital the next day and asked him "Do I have to claim any particular denomination in order to be baptized as a Christian?" and he said, "No." I immediately started to tear up and urgently told him, "Good! I don't want it to be a churchy thing. I just want Jesus to know I get it and I'm his!" Pastor Grant grinned ear to ear and proclaimed, "My girl, you are ready!"

So, you see, I can't fault anyone for not believing who hasn't had an experience like mine. Belief and faith are things that happen as a result of a personal interaction with the living God. Usually you have to consciously and earnestly ask for it to receive the visitation, but not in all cases. (The Apostle Paul is another instance of an unsolicited invitation.)

Once you have had that merciful, glorious, one-on-one experience, you'll spend much of the rest of your life during quiet times trying to recapture that moment and get intimately in touch with God again.

I don't drink. I don't use drugs. Never have. This incident of being invited into a personal relationship with God was as real to me as if you walked up to me and patted my hand.

I can no longer deny that there is a realm we cannot see where mighty forces exist -- forces both good and evil -- and we are the target and the heart's desire of both powers. One sends armies of angels to battle for us and beckon us into the Kingdom of God (which extends to earth as we claim it and extend it as a natural part of our inheritance); the other sends depraved, savaging minions in a concerted effort to make us feel impotent, to minimize us, to convince us that God is bogus so that we will elect to become allied with them on toxic soil doing toxic things to ourselves and to others. The powers of darkness and deceit don't come at us wearing horns and bearing pitchforks, of course. That would be too obvious. They come as part of an elaborate masquerade, wolves in sheep's clothing. All would flee from them if they came as they really are, you see -- and they know it!

So... I don't consider atheists and agnostics losers or lost causes. I was one of them once. God knows who they are and what brought them to their present conclusions. If those of us who do believe can meet them where they are and continue to shine the love of God in all directions, I have little doubt that at some point they may decide to find out what it is we know that gives us such a positive, fond view of our destinies.

But it's the love that will convince them, not the logic.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Academy Awards non-Review...

I'm at home after a busy day at work. Busy but wonderful. I love my job.

I didn't watch the Academy Awards on Sunday even though I really like Ellen Degeneres. In 2000 I wrote to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (who produce the show) and told them that I would never watch their show again because they didn't acknowledge De's passing during their In Memoriam segment. Their sister show, the Emmys, did (to huge applause) and AMPAS decided that was "adequate" coverage, according to the response I received to my letter -- despite the fact that De's star on the Walk of Fame is for his motion picture career. (All the other TREK stars on the Walk are for their TV careers. I checked. I was a once-a-week "keeper" of De's star on the Walk of Fame for 12 years, from the week he received it until I returned to Washingtom State in mid-2003.) There was a large fan uproar when De was not mentioned, so AMPAS was well-notified of their muddle-brained decision, but too late to keep me tuning in. I had watched every incarnation since I was able to appreciate the show -- probably around age twelve -- up until then.

Yeah, I realize my one-person protest is not going to change a blasted thing, but it's just another small thing I do on an annual basis to acknowledge the depth and breadth of respect and gratitude I owe to my friend and mentor De. It means something to me, and that's reason enough to keep doing it.

I read that Ellen did well. That doesn't surprise me. I can well imagine that she was the best comedienne to serve as host in the history of the show and I hope she gets to do it again and again if she enjoys it. I just won't be there to cheer her on. She is a very clever lady, she digs animals, and her heart certainly seems to be filled with love and light.

My nephew commented that he thinks Ellen is "weird." He's right, of course, but I think he meant it in a negative way and I hope he owns the minority opinion in that regard. I don't know anyone who's really cool who isn't a little "weird." I'M a little weird and I may not even be really cool, except to kids and older folks, who are also refreshingly "weird." DE was a little weird -- in a lovely way! Fun-loving.

Weird is not such a bad thing to be as long as it's a loving, refreshing, entertaining, child-like kind of weird. No one who is a little weird will ever be seen as boring or as a Johnny One Note, will they? Weird people rarely come across as drab or dull. Well, except for Bill Gates, who I also like a great deal (boy howdy, does his heart appear to be in the right place!). I'll bet he's a lot more fun as a dad or as an uncle than he is as -- well, as Bill Gates.

I seem to be rambling tonight... Chain-of-thought ponderings...

Oh, well! I'll recover soon enough!

Ciao for now!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Is Anybody There? Does Anybody Care?

Tonight I'm wondering... how many people are accessing this blogspot on a daily or semi-daily basis? Only one person -- wonderful Amy Ulen -- has left a comment at this site, and another amazing woman -- Vernita Porter -- has let me know via email that she has read and enjoyed it. (She thinks I'm a good writer. Aw, shucks! ) This morning I awoke to an email from Jeanne Boyle, a former Warner Bros. co-worker, who said I could have a side career as a movie reviewer if I wanted it, after she read my "review" of AMAZING GRACE.

I had to confess to her that I see very few movies because the themes of so many of them are anathema to me, so I would only be able to review movies I elected to see (few and far between), and most I did see would lean heavily toward redemptive themes (CHRONICLES OF NARNIA) , clean comedy (like BRUCE ALMIGHTY), history... that there would be zero action-adventure flicks among them (aside from Original series TREK films, I am not into sci-fi or action adventure at all... and it has been 15 years since I've even watched a TREK film, although I own all of them and the entire Original Series on DVD, thanks to you know who: one Jackson DeForest Kelley and his missus).

I have been known to walk out of a movie when I could see it was going pretty much nowhere... or if it was so crude or filled with blood or vulgarity that I got turned off by it... which I do pretty easily.

But I am also a member of the HOLLYWOOD PRAYER NETWORK ( a large nondenominational group that prays for everyone in the entertainment industry -- Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, Republican, Democrat, liberal or conservative -- in a concerted effort to impact the city that so powerfully impacts the rest of the world with its products: movies, television, radio, porn, children's programming, etc. So I am not anti-Hollywood.. not by a long shot. I love much of what it has created and I especially love its potential to impact the world for good.

I was born again in Hollywood and have many friends who work in the industry who are Christians, Jews, Muslims, black, brown, red, white, straight, gay, and trans gender. I can count on two fingers the number of times I have crossed a street to avoid encountering another human being, because in most encounters I am well aware that the smile on my face and the love in my heart is obvious enough to disarm all but the most depraved souls...

The Hollywood Prayer Network challenges the church to embrace Hollywood as a mission field.
Instead of discouraging talented young Christians from moving there, HPN exhorts church-goers to support young peoples' passion to communicate their grace-filled vision as they use the giftings God has given them.

I think boycotting Hollywood is a losing strategy. The only way Hollywood will respond to our concerns is by feeling sure that we will buy tickets and support their efforts to make good movies when they do set out to write something noble (like AMAZING GRACE, BOBBY, and others...)

Let's change the subject... You have the idea and I don't want to belabor the point unless someone writes a comment and seeks more information.

My 93 year old aunt lives alone in Oregon with a cat she adopted three years ago. She is my late father's sister. I don't think I have spent even fifteen days with her in my entire life, so we're more like "friendly strangers" than blood relatives.

She has been on kidney dialysis for several months now and her doctor is trying to convince her to go into a nursing home since she lives alone and is weak and wobbly. She refuses. I have been trying to convince her for years to move closer to my sisters and me (in Tacoma, Spanaway and Rochester, WA) so that when she needs help, or if she has to enter a care facility, we can visit her weekly or more often and advocate for her. (Anyone with a loved one in a hospital or other care facility should visit often and keep an eye on the situation and advocate for them. Nurses, caregivers and administrators are often overworked and people without visiting family members usually fare the worst in that kind of situation.) She always balked when I would try to discuss it.

A couple nights ago she called, saying she fell several weeks ago and cracked her head open. The paramedics came and took her to the hospital, where she was x-rayed. Luckily, it didn't look as though she had broken anything -- a miracle in itself, because she weighs 88 pounds and is 5'5" tall.

After the x-ray and the "all's well," she came home. A couple weeks ago she started having back pain to a point where she was hardly able to walk, so she went for another x-ray and a compression fracture was found along her spine. So she called me a few nights ago to tell me that she thinks it might be time to move up here.

Earlier I had said that perhaps she could stay with me. She didn't want to do that, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that staying with me wouldn't be a good option anyway. She tends heavily toward negativity and bad-mouths and gossips about people (living and dead, including relatives I dearly love), generally assuming the worst about everybody. That would get me down very fast! Also, she is so skinny that she feels a need to keep the house thermostat at 95 degrees. I am thirty pounds overweight and I would last about six hours in a 95 degree condo.

My Christian heart wants to try and accommodate her here; my sense of logic is all but screaming, "No!" (Imagine Spock in a white-knuckle panic and you have the picture.) So I have decided that I can't invite her to co-habit with me, but neither can I consign her to a nursing home as her doctor suggests. She can still get around; her mind is still good.

So I am looking into assisted living for her. I worked as an Activity Director in a Tacoma-area assisted living community and am satisfied that most of the people who move into assisted living are delighted they did. And as long as she's close by, I can visit often and advocate for her. Her cat can be with her in assisted living, too.

I'm not sure she can afford assisted living for the amount of time mandated before the state would take over and pay her way (when she runs out of money), and none of her very few remaining relatives have the financial wherewithal to help out much long-term... but if she can't afford to stay in assisted living, her only other option will be to come up here and try to live in an apartment near us so we can check in on her daily. Nursing homes run $6K and up monthly; assisted living runs $2600 and up monthly...

I thought our family was finished with elder care issues until WE become the elders needing care, but with this new wrinkle, it seems we aren't. I know I don't have any legal responsibility to get her cared for, but she has nowhere else to go... and even though I don't know her very well, and even though what little I know about her is not terribly positive (not her fault -- her birth family was hugely dysfunctional), I feel compassion for her and know God loves her, so I feel obligated to find a solution for her that will please and satisfy her (to the degree that a person like her can be pleased and satisfied, which is "limited.")

Please keep her and me in your prayers. I will need to "put on my big girl panties and deal with this..." and I pray for the wisdom to find a solution that will 1) show her I truly care and 2) result in her being happy and content for as long as she lives...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Go See AMAZING GRACE -- In Theaters NOW

Oh..... my..... gosh....

This afternoon I went to see the new movie Amazing Grace by Michael Apted, and I can categorically state that it will be nominated for numerous Academy Awards next year. It is a remarkable film. I'm sure no one who saw it left the theater unaffected or under-affected. I saw tears and heard muffled crying in the audience numerous times, but otherwise a silence that was deafening due to the impact of literally every scene...

The movie is about William Wilberforce, a British politician, philanthropist, and abolitionist who was the leader of a decades'-long parliamentary campaign against the slave trade in the late 1700s and early 1800's.

Check him out at wikipedia.

Okay, class, that concludes an abbreviated history of Wilberforce's anti-slavery campaigns as a typically staid history text might tell it. If it didn't exactly captivate you in the above form, trust me: the movie will! The history will be written on your heart, mind and soul. And you will never hear Amazing Grace again without thinking of the redeemed former slaver who wrote it and his protege: the young man Wilberforce, raised up to take on an impossibly difficult, all-but-unwinnable, unpopular cause -- and pursued it to hard-won victory with ceaseless passion and elegance at the cost of his own health and youth.

I wish I had the words to describe it. The critics love it. You will, too.

Please, please, please don't miss this movie. See it in the theater and support a GOOD movie, then buy it when it comes out on DVD to enhance your collection of truly inspiring, unforgettable, noble films.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Spotlight on... Women's Conference

I spent two hours last night and eight hours today at the 5th annual women's conference at my place of worship, Church For All Nations/CFAN ( Instead of having a big name keynoter this year, Vernita Porter (women's ministry leader at CFAN) elected to spotlight the mighty women of God who have ongoing ministries at CFAN. It was a truly amazing couple of days.

At the outset, I figured I would just take in a few hours, since some of the topics didn't seem to be of major interest to me personally. I've been single all my life and without customary addictions to smoking, drugs, sex or booze, so Divorce Care and Celebrate Recovery weren't on my radar as topics I figured I needed to know more about, but once I was in place, I was captivated by all of the topics. The love, compassion and enormous passion of the nine speakers held me in thrall much like a tractor beam on TREK! I wish more people had taken advantage of the combined wisdom of these dedicated women and attended the event. Those of us who did were certainly blessed.

The theme this year was Who Am I in Christ? The event gave attendees foundational, real-life tools and information that enable us to achieve the things that God has placed in our hearts. I think we all came away with the solid conviction that God's reach far exceeds our own personal grasp and that any goal for which we have an unquenchable thirst is on His agenda as well, as long as it is good, true, pure, lovely, and of good report (Phil. 4:8).

The event started out with an amazing skit that ran a good half hour -- about the effects of a praying grandmother on the life and eventual salvation of a good-hearted but wayward daughter, from age five or six to age 50. What we weren't aware of until the end of the conference was that the skit was based on Women's Ministry Leader Vernita Porter's chaotic and heartbreaking journey through life toward wholeness as a fully-surrendered adopted daughter of the Most High. When we found that out (and a little bit more about her life that was not in the skit), I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.

After Kim Armit spoke of God's call on lives, expressing the difference between being "called up" and "called out" by God using examples from the life of Moses, Dianne Huntsman came to the platform to explain the attributes and power of a confident woman. She stated that we feel confident when we feel we can be authentic and real, and not have to hide behind any kind of mask. Confident women (and men) exude quiet or kinetic positive energy and use gifts and talents unselfishly and humbly for the most part, recognizing that these attributes are provided by God and are intended by Him to be shared to bless others and bring a semblance of heaven to earth. She said that fear comes from the enemy (Satan and his minions) and prevents our progress, and that far too many people with enormous talent and giftings hide them due to shyness or a feeling that they don't "measure up" (aren't perfect). She encouraged us to listen to the passionate desires of our hearts and to step out in faith, and know that God is standing with us and clearing the way for us to reach our goals as long as they are in alignment with the love He wants emanating to the world in an effect to woo His wayward children back into a real relationship with Him.

Ann Garcia was next to talk about the Celebrate Recovery ministry she and her husband Jose facilitate at CFAN. She exuded energy and passion as she reminded us that (Gen 1:26,27) we were created to be God's image-bearers. When Moses asked God at the burning bush, "Who am I to lead the Israelites out of bondage?" God responded, "I will be with you." So, by extension, what this tells us is that the answer to "Who am I?" is, "Someone God is with." That certainly lends a sense of security and provision, doesn't it!

Then she asked us to take thirty seconds and define the word addiction. Being a writer, I think I got pretty close when I defined it as, "A self-perceived inability to control an appetite or habit of some sort (generally used to indicate something detrimental to us)."

Ann defined it Biblically: "Slavery to a habit or to an idol."

She said that II Cor. 6:16 states that false idols and holy temples cannot co-exist, and says God cannot co-habitate inside a temple that is worshipping false gods, ungodly appetites, or unhealthy habits.

Then she pretty much blew us out of the water by asking us to list some addictions and then eliminated our use of the usual suspects: alcohol, drugs, junk food, sex, porn...

As we pondered additional, less-well-known examples, she queried, "How about Survivor, Tom Cruise, Wheel of Fortune, crossword puzzles, cell phones, PCs, email, your husband? How about a wrong self-image? Yes, even a self-image that you obsess over -- cellulite, crooked teeth, fat thighs -- can be false idols. Why? Because in any of these areas we may invest so much time thinking about them and how they make you feel instead of thinking about how God feels and how much he loves you and wants to spend time with you."

Then she said, with reference to the body-image or other "imperfect me" self-doubts we have,"Who are we to decide God didn't build us exactly right? We are fearfully and wonderfully made! He was there when we were knit together in the womb..."

Ann said, in effect, that no one except God (in collaboration with the person in question) has the right to define another person's calling on his or her life, because we are all called uniquely by God to perform certain functions, in the way a knee is called to perform the functions of a knee and a breast is created to nourish an infant...

Then she asked us to take 30 seconds and write down our definition of the word recovery. I wrote, "Self-mastery (in Christ)." She said the Merriam-Webster definition is this: "To save from loss and return to usefulness," and cited 1 Peter 5:10-11: "The God of all grace will restore you," and added Romans 8:29 " the likeness of His Son." God wants to restore our ability to walk in the world and to inoculate the world with the love and obedience that Jesus had for his Father as he walked here two millennia ago!

When we put a strict limit on the time-consuming false gods of our present culture and invest that time establishing a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe, guess what happens? We begin to take on the look of the Father, to be his image-bearers. Instead of, "You talkin' to me?" and "Ayyyyy!" and "Here's lookin' at you, kid..." (mimicking false idols) you become a true contender in an adventure of sharing God's love with others in your tribe and beyond via your heart, time, talents, and treasures...

Cathy Young spoke on Divorce care and recovery, saying that in the past (and in some cases, still today) churches made a divorcing or divorced person feel they had perpetrated the unpardonable sin. Divorced people couldn't serve in the church in ministries, were prohibited from taking communion, and were even told they were no longer a part of the church body. I was horrified, as I had no knowledge of anything like this. (I was born again in 1999 and have never seen anything other than unrestrained grace and mercy from pastors and others in service to the Lord, and I have worked and worshipped and volunteered in two churches.)

It's hard enough to divorce, based on what I've seen -- it feels like a failure of great magnitude to those going through it, and there is grief even when the divorce comes as a result of domestic violence, because how many people enter a marriage feeling they could ever -- in a million years -- want a divorce from the person whose eyes they gaze into during a beautifully be-decked wedding ceremony? Divorce is agony; it tears people apart, families are displaced... it's just devastating. And then along would come (in the past) gossipy parishioners clucking over the situation, shunning folks who were already in a form of living hell...

Cathy too spoke about being God's image-bearer, and about the need to forgive the ex, not because they might deserve it, but because God expects us to forgive all people their trespasses as He forgave ours in the act of sacrificing his beloved Son on a Roman gibbet. She said she and her husband George now counsel people going through a divorce because they want them to know that God still loves them, that they haven't perpetrated the unpardonable sin, and that they can still be used by God. Cathy's bottom line (I'm paraphrasing and throwing in some of my own seven years of Bible study knowledge to make this point) was that if God could use and continue to love a philandering murderer (King David), a recalcitrant prophet (Jonah), a stuttering killer (Moses), a prostitute (Rahab), and a locust-eating, camel-skin-wearing cousin (John), among many other "imperfect" people throughout the Bible, He can certainly use a divorcee -- and has, and will!

Kathy Hall spoke on the importance of having our finances in Kingdom order -- keeping our debt close to zero so that any money we receive is well-respected and used properly because financially we are stewards of God's monetary blessings. When we squander money, we limit the amount of good that can be done with available funds. She said Scripture contains over 2300 references to money and that all of it is wise counsel.

Sharon Haaland burst onto the platform with verve and vitality and showed a clip from the movie Four Feathers explaining that the chase scene in it (between good guys and bad guys on an enormous sand dune) reminded her of the battle she sometimes faces against Satan: just when she feels most like she is about to lose the battle out of sheer exertion and exhaustion, the Holy Spirit rises up inside her and in righteous indignation takes a big bite out of Satan's face, sending him reeling and putting him in retreat. She said when we stand in the authority of Christ, nothing can destroy you (eternally). She talked about putting on the full armor of God and allowing Him to lead us to triumph, declaring us more than conquerors because of God's favor upon and provision for our lives. She let us know that diligence and persistence are mandatory but that living within the same power as the power that resurrected Christ should give us full confidence that we will be victorious.

Linda Evans-Miller and Zelda Robinson came up at the same time to explain how to operate in the Kingdom of God: Prepare the heart to seek the Lord, and pray for everyone in authority (even if you didn't vote for them) so that peace has the best chance of ensuing.

Linda said people of prayer have a plan and a purpose: to do the will of God as a blessing for the world. Zelda told us that prayer is simply talking to God. It should not be ritualistic, formulaic or any kind of "by rote" activity. It is establishing a personal relationship with the Master of the Universe, Who created everything and chose us as His image-bearers. It's a privilege to pray and have communion with our Creator and it's something that God desires from us beyond anything else we can do for or with Him.

Marj Wolfson, the lead pastor's wife, established that we all have gifts and should use them to God's glory. We should list them and regard them as special blessings from God that allow us to touch others in positive, godly ways. My obvious gifts are: faith, communication, positive energy, humor, empathy, a degree of acquired wisdom, advanced knowledge in a few specific areas, and enthusiasm galore. Kids and elders follow me around like the Pied Piper: I resonate with them. Then Marj said we should write our own eulogy -- what we hope people will be saying about us as we lie in a pine box someday -- and then to list what we need to do to ensure that the eulogy we write will mirror what someone else will write someday.

WOW! That certainly gives us something contemplative and rather scary/important to do, doesn't it?!

Finally, Kim Armit spoke again. She mesmerized everyone in attendance by getting very, very real regarding some of her dialogues (yes, dialogues!) with God. She "gets" God in ways some of us can only imagine and she also "gets" His plan: He wants those of us who love Him and who have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior to get busy letting our loved ones and acquaintances know that He is waiting to have a relationship with them, too, before the final curtain. Kim pondered that now that we're saved, and are quite ready for the end to come so we can be with Him for eternity in a perfect place and in perfect health physically and mentally... are we so ready that we will deny others the chance to be with us in eternity?

She cautioned us against being in such a hurry that we think God should now ignore all His other children who haven't yet made the connection that we have. And she said we are a conduit; a link. That's our job... to get preoccupied pre-Christians to visit an altar and acknowledge with a grateful heart what Jesus did to allow us into the throne room of God as His kids... heirs to all His riches both here and over yonder.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Welcome To "Almost Famous By De's-Fault"


"Oh, joy..." (Dr. McCoy, STAR TREK IV: The Voyage Home.)

Someone told me I need a blogspot. Since I'm now officially older, and by God's grace incrementally wiser (a gen-u-ine senior citizen, at least chronologically), I'm in the habit of taking reasonable-sounding advice -- in this case from author Carolyn Howard-Johnson -- and will now, this minute, officially launch a blogspot.

And I will endeavor to add to it regularly, which wasn't the case at MySpace. (The reason being, I couldn't get it to go more than one time. I am blogspot challenged, perhaps.) If I can keep this one going, I shall.

The title of this blogspot may need an explanation. If you know much of anything about me and my background, you already "get" the punny nature of the title without an explanation, but for the rest of you -- where did you all come from?! How did you find me? What are you doing here?! Despite all these nosey questions: Welcome!

Back to the explanation. I became " somewhat famous" in STAR TREK (Original Series) convention circles back in about 1986 or so, and it was De's (DeForest Kelley's) fault. De ("Bones" McCoy on the series), his wife and I had been corresponding for some time (the Kelleys launched my writing career in 1969 by submitting to a national television magazine an article I had written about him). I had long since divested myself of earlier "reverential fan"-type letters and was writing them nonsensical, whimsical and downright DE-mented letters (to prove I was humorously "crazy about De") so at one of the Creation Conventions De introduced me to his very large fan audience as "Krazy Kris." De's officially unofficial fan club President, Sue Keenan, quickly adopted the appellation and began to refer to me as Krazy Kris in her fan club newsletter. So... I started to write reports (convention sightings of De) using the "Krazy Kris" byline for the newsletter, and appending to them such Krazy Kris asides as, "If the Kelleys would like to adopt an overgrown, aging child, I'm available and will even do dishes..."

From that time on -- long before I did a single TREK/McCoy stand-up routine at conventions -- I would walk into a hotel lobby at a far-flung TREK convention and total strangers (for the moment) would jostle one another, point in my direction, and say, "There she is..." I would look around, trying to discern who "she" was... until it dawned on me that I was the "she" they were talking about (blush). Who, me?! Good Lord!

Had NO idea why I was "she"... but I was! After saying hello and striking up a friendly conversation, I finally asked them who they thought I was! Their reply? "You're Krazy Kris, aren't you?"  Thanks, De. Thanks, Sue Keenan!

My first book (DeForest Kelley: A Harvest of Memories) was written from January through March of 2000 and debuted in November 2001 just two months after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (which is why so few folks learned of it until just this year during the 40th anniversary of TREK).

In retrospect, it must have been a foregone conclusion that my first "real" book would be about De because he had been so instrumental in my personal evolution and because somehow my association with him and Carolyn had evolved over the course of 30 years to the point where I became De's personal assistant and caregiver the last three months of his life. He gave me permission to write a book about him during those final months but, to tell the truth, I didn't really suppose I would: frankly, I wasn't sure my personal story would be of much interest to anyone but myself and my family...

In September 1999, three months after De's passing, his biographer Terry Lee Rioux asked me (while interviewing me for her biography of De, FROM SAWDUST TO STARDUST), "How did you go from being a fan, on the outermost reaches of fandom, to being at his bedside when he died?" -- and I didn't have an answer! She assured me, "Something must have happened to have him and Carolyn trust you enough to bring you in during the months he was dying. I think you somehow became a daughter to them, in spirit." That comment had me in tears in the restaurant where we were sitting! "Oh, no. Oh, no!" I protested. That was just too much for my still-grief-stricken soul to adopt as even an outside possibility.

She pursued the idea further. "Not just anyone is going to be asked into a situation where they are going to be assisting De as he approaches the final frontier of eternity, Kris. What happened over the years to make you that person? Think about it and get back to me. You need to know the answer as much or more than I do."

I truly did not have an answer then, or for quite some time after. With Terry's question and comments, it suddenly became ridiculously apparent to me that somehow a small miracle had occurred and I had been utterly oblivious to it!

So I went back into literally hundreds of old journals I had been keeping (since 1966, coincidentally, the year TREK first appeared!) and began to retrace the steps of the journey... and by the time my book came to an end, I had Terry's answer.

It had been quite an adventure, after all! And I had forgotten the lion's share of it! (That's why journaling is so important!)

And now fans of De's, new and old, can have the answer, too, inside two books created to extend and to share De's legacy of love with those who perhaps never had a chance to meet him "up close and personal."

And the adventure continues, by De's fault! I've become "almost famous" again recently as I've traveled around the nation to resurrect the memories lying in the hearts of De's fans and to spotlight his enduring legacy of love.

I have been, and will be, appearing at STAR TREK conventions intermittently for the foreseeable future to share my reminiscences of De with his fans. These are heart-warming gatherings -- and this is not an overstatement. We share laughter and tears at these events.

My next appearance is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 11th in Las Vegas at Creation Entertainment's STAR TREK Convention at the Hilton Hotel. You can find out more about the weekend at (Click on the spinning wheel on STAR TREK when it comes into view and it will open to a page where you can click on Vegas 2007.) The guest line up is extensive. I'm not listed there yet as my appearance may be moved to another date and time. If you're coming to hear me, call or email Creation in early June and see if they can confirm the Saturday appearance date for me at that time.

You can find out more about my book (DeFOREST KELLEY: A HARVEST OF MEMORIES) at

You can buy Terry's biography of De (FROM SAWDUST TO STARDUST) and my book(s) at Amazon and other on-line bookstores as well.

STARTREK.COM has a lengthy interview with me written by Billie Rae Walker here:

Rick Dostie's Trek's in Sci Fi has a podcast inteview with me here:

Then there are three special 40th anniversary Planet Xpo blogspots here:

Blog #23: Husband-Hunting on the Enterprise (humor; a stand-up routine about McCoy and the Enterprise NCC-1701 gang that I wrote and presented at cons in Oakland, Denver and Baltimore in the late 80's and 90's)

Blog #3: Excerpt from DeForest Kelley: A Harvest of Memories (humor/book excerpt)

Blog #2: Get to know DeForest Kelley through Kristine Smith! (serious -- TREK'S Enduring Legacy.)

STAR TREK MAGAZINE will run a brand new interview between Billie Rae Walker and me in the April or June issue.

If you haven't experienced your fill after all of the above links, check back to this blogspot often and find out what's new -- and whether I was able to make it go again!

DE-Lighted to make your acquaintance!


P.S. Oh! One more thing. These days I live back in Tacoma, Washington (my point of origin) and I'm a copywriter at .If you believe your own business can benefit my services, check out the link and peek inside my portfolio to see what I have to offer! Hope you like what you see there!