The Worst of Times and the Best of Times

By Keith Miller | January 1, 2012

New Year 2012

My pitiful little self-centered mind is about half taken up with what my uncle called “the big C” (or malignant cancer) which is (though I have only seen evidence of it) pretty well eating away on my vital organs as you read this.

When I say it is the “best of times,” I’m referring to the fact that I’m clearer in my mind about the way I want to live and relate to those I know and love and whom God has put in my life.

This is the first time I could not negotiate any way out of my problem (cancer-ridden state).  But I can still surrender each day—and sometimes each hour—to God and to loving His people—meaning the rest of you.

Although I have lived a larger-than-life life I am excited about the future.  And I’m beginning to learn to share with people about the possibilities in their lives to use the creative potential in them.

Some days I am very sad about the terminal aspects of my illness, but I’m also very thankful for the eighty-four years of amazing life I’ve already been fortunate enough to live.  Getting here on New Year’s Eve of 2011, I’m grateful for God’s resounding message about loving us (and the fact that so many of his people are living lives of self-limiting love) and for the fact that some days I am beginning to see that I can give and receive love from the God Jesus called Father and from his people who wander into our house to speak of love and gratitude to God.

Right now I’m peaceful.  And I have a heart full of love for God, for those of you who are reading this as I wish you a glorious and peaceful new year in 2012.

Love from Andrea and me,

Keith

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – (Phil. 4:7) The Message

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. – Mother Teresa

13 comments | Add One

  1. Una Courtney - 01/1/2012 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you for your honest candor and for the encouragement to me as I am learning to live though my own health problems. For an 81 year old Mother, Grandma and Great Grandma, I have much better health than so many others. Your words cool and sooth and strengthen as well and challenge and encourage. I appreciate your ministry in words.

  2. Phyllis Sawvell - 01/1/2012 at 8:55 pm

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful love for God even going through the awful part of living with cancer. Your life is still something you can share with us, and you are thankful for the beautiful life you have lived in the LORD.
    Your writings are a treasure to me.
    May God’s blessing of peace be yours every day.

  3. Betty DiPaola - 01/2/2012 at 10:12 am

    Keith…… Thank You for the many beautiful messages you have sent me & continue to send me ! They have always given me “food for thought” What a wonderful ministry this has been in addition to the many many others you have participated in ! You were such an inspiration to Joe…. he did love you so & told me he felt privileged to be your friend.
    Keep those messages coming….. we all need to hear your inspiring stories.
    Happy New Year to you and Andrea… Betty

  4. Ted Miller - 01/2/2012 at 12:28 pm

    Keith, We Millers of The Bagby side are Praying for you all over the us! We all love you Keith and Hope that the lord answers our prayers that you be found cancer free and have many more years to celebrate with your Children and Grandchildren! Love one of you younger cousins! Ted

  5. Denise Johnson - 01/3/2012 at 8:34 am

    Keith-
    Several years ago, i knew a wonderful godly man who, like you had been overcome by cancer. As he was moving closer to the end his days on earth, his pastor visited him and asked how he could pray for him that week. Rob asked that he pray for him to be a good steward of his pain. That concept has been so strong in my personal life and in my work with students and hurting people for all of these years. It blesses me and many others, I am certain, that YOU are truly being a good steward of your pain. May His peace continue to bring you comfort.

  6. Bud - 01/3/2012 at 9:08 am

    J Keith and Andrea, you know I pray for y’all a bunch. Many churches and individuals in SW Missouri praying for you. Consider us “Balcony People” cheering the two of you on.

    Agape,

    Bud

  7. Jean Backus - 01/3/2012 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you Keith & Andrea – you continue to make the world a better place.

  8. carole - 01/5/2012 at 11:58 am

    Dear Keith, you are in my prayers daily! You have brought many many people to Christ, you are a true Christian and there is a special place for you in Gods Kingdom . We all LOVE you!!Peace to you and yours always!! Love, Carole

  9. Chris Swanson - 01/8/2012 at 12:43 am

    Thank the lord for technology. The words you are writing here will be here for genreations to see. I love what you have said and I can’t wait until my kids will be able to read what their Grandpappy has wrote in the face of adversity. Which reminds me of how blessed our whole family is that 4 generations of a Miller clan have been able to establish relationships with each other and the lord. Thanks again for all the Dude Ranch fun and I can’t wait for the next one.

  10. Sheila Kaye - 01/8/2012 at 3:27 pm

    I am thankful you are still alive. I did not read of your cancer until today, and quickly sent an email to that blog of October. I jumped forward to those later blogs reading and hoping you were here. Not only are you, but true to yourself and God, continuing to be a blessing to me!! Thank you for sharing this intimate part of your life. You are one of the few whom I know speaks truth. Having the privilege of sharing your exit journey is beyond powerful. Thank you, Keith, you cannot know its impact for good to those of us who know Him and those who are yet to through you. An instrument of God Himself indeed! I continue to pray for His healing hand in your life. With much gratitude, Sheila

  11. Audrey Williams - 01/11/2012 at 8:51 am

    Tonight the Orange County, CA CodA “Pickles” will be celebrating and loving you as we start our 11th annual Hunger for Healing video series and book study. You have led us on a path of healing and growth that has changed us and our relationships eternally. You are both so loved and appreciated. Know that we are praying for your comfort and joy with your family in this time.

  12. Woody and Lucy Adams - 01/12/2012 at 2:56 pm

    Just wrote you a note on the other page. But it was a “love note in Jesus” as this will be. Your life is meaning so much to us as you face this “bump in the road”. God our Father, Son and Holy Spirit are with you every second.
    In Him,
    Lucy

  13. jo - 05/3/2012 at 1:29 pm

    I had no idea about his condition and passing…I loved “A Taste of New Wine”…I treasure it and always will.

    Much blessings and comfort to his family…

    He’s touched many of us for the time alotted to him here.

Free Resources
Weekly Devotional
Taste of New Wine
Bookstore

Shop By Category

Your Shopping Cart

Your cart is empty.

Free Weekly Devotional

Subscribe to receive Keith's free weekly devotional!

Your privacy is protected; we will never sell your name.

Testimonials

It is Keith’s genius to take very elusive and complicated material and make it understandable… His own rigorous honesty is a living mirror which can inspire us… The Taste of New Wine is today as important as it was, when it was first published—in fact, I feel it is more relevant than ever… It has increasing importance for the Christian life in our time.
Henri Nouwen
Taste of New Wine