By the Big Creek

By the Big Creek

I was hiking
By the big creek
On a summer day
In the bright sun
It was so hot
And I was all alone

Lost in my thoughts
My foot struck the pathway
To the cadence
Of the music
I was listening to
On my iPod

By the big creek
There were people
Reading signs saying keep right
And a concrete path
With city dwellers walking
To and fro

Lovers hand in hand
And it all made sense
Except for the litter
On the big creek’s banks
While across the way
Was a broken down barbed-wired fence

In the bright sun
Not a cloud in the sky
There was sweat on my brow
Running down my temples
As an old lady walked by
And she smiled at me showing her dimples

It was so hot
I drank some water
Lots of cool water
And the temperature
Was 110 degrees
And that was in the shade

Lost in my thoughts
My foot struck the pathway
To the cadence
Of the music
I was listening to
On my iPod

While I was hiking
By the big creek
On a summer day
In the bright sun
It was so hot
And I was all alone

© 2011
Jimmie Aaron Kepler


Photo Source: Pixaby

Focus on God

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Dealing with a chronic illness can often lead to depression. Don’t focus on your circumstances. Instead, focus on God.

Today’s Bible Verse

Psalm 42:1-5 (KJV), “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holy day. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”

What the Verse Means

The first five verses of Psalm 42 are the cry of a man far removed from the ordinances and worship of God. It shares the voice of a spiritual believer, possibly under depressions, longing for the spiritual renewal of God’s divine presence. We see him facing doubts and fears as well as clinging to his faith in the living God.

Praying using the verses

  1. Heavenly Father, help our soul to pant or long for you.
  2. Lord Jesus, our soul thirsts for the living God. We ask, when shall we come and appear before the living God?
  3. Lord, we long for you. Our tears have been our food night and day. 
  4. God, our hope is in you for we shall praise you!

Photo Source: Pixaby

Keep My Words

Text: Proverbs 7: 1-3

My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 7: 1-3 Crossway Bibles (2011-02-09). The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (p. 531). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

Christian Writer’s Must Honor Christ

As Christian writers, our witness must honor Christ. The world will not read or listen to hypocrisy. Proverbs 7: 1 (ESV) says, “My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live…”

If a person follows the Lord, he/she must purposely embrace godly wisdom.

Only the Bible has this wisdom.

The Bible is God’s divinely inspired Word.

It is the final authority in all matters. This includes human thought, speech, and conduct.

Keep My commandments

It is hypocritical for a person to say that they are a Christian, a Believer in Jesus Christ, if they deliberately, consistently violate His commandments.

Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Proverbs 7:3b teaches one way to keep God’s teachings. It says, “… write them on the tablet of your heart.”

When we internalize Scripture through memorization of the Word of God, His Word is in our heart to guide us. God’s desire isn’t to keep us from having fun, but rather to protect.

As Christian writers, we need to know and follow God’s Word. How we live is just as important as what we write.

Creative Commons License
Devotionals for Writers: Keep My Words by Jimmie A. Kepler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Into the Viper’s Nest: The First Pivotal Battle of the Afghan War

“Into the Viper’s Nest: The First Pivotal Battle of the Afghan War” by Stephen Grey is the story of American and Afghan forces cooperation in dealing with the Taliban stronghold on southern Afghanistan.

Three-day Battle for Musa Qala

It details the vivid three-day battle for the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala. The battle started on 7 December 2007 This is an excellent, well-written book.  Grey skillfully tells the story of how American, British, and Afghan forces took the fight to the Taliban in 2007.

Taliban Stronghold

The town of Musa Qala was a notorious Taliban stronghold. This was the location chosen for everything to change. A local leader decided he was going to leave the Taliban. He was joining the Hamid Karzai’s government. This defection needed coalition protection.

Excellent Writer

Stephen Grey is an excellent writer. He captures all phases of this story. He covers the discussions between President Karzai and coalition leaders. He covers the particulars of the deadly combat to wrestle control of Musa Qala from the hands of the Taliban.

International Cooperation

He paints a picture of International cooperation as he tells the story through the words of the British, Afghani, and American men who were there. The publisher did an excellent job with eight pages of graphics and charts to showing systematically how the battle took place.

I highly recommend this book for any reader looking for a tactical-level viewpoint on the Afghan War. Anyone interested in Afghanistan and the war against the Taliban will benefit from reading the book. I recommend for community and university libraries as well as the personal libraries of all military historians. This is the best I have read on United States involvement in Afghanistan.

How to Import a Microsoft Word Document Into Scrivener

My Experience

Maybe your writing experience shadows mine. You’ll recognize my story. I’d been writing for several years using Microsoft Word. Through trial and error, I finally had an average mastery of Bill Gates word processing program.

One weekend I attend a writer’s workshop. It seemed like every speaker and attendee were gushing over some software named Scrivener. Scrivener was like the handsome new boy who had transferred to your high school.

All the guys you knew for years no longer were as attractive. All your girlfriends were gushing over this Johnny-come-lately boy. One glance and you saw why they were going crazy. You also thought he’s out of my league.

Maybe like looking at the new boy you saw how attractive Scrivener looked. You also thought Scrivener was probably out of your league. It looked too hard. The learning curve looked too steep. You realized you already had your files in MS Word. You did not want to retype the manuscript.

Good News

You are smart. You are smarter than Scrivener. You do not have to retype a manuscript to get it into Scrivener. It is actually fairly straightforward to import an existing file from Word into Scrivener.

Importing is one of the first functions a new Scrivener should master. Here is how to do it.

Importing a Word Document

To import a Word document go to:

File=>Import=>Files.

A new window will open.

Select the file you want to import into Scrivener.

Select open.

A window will pop open alerting you that your document will be converted to RTF as well as what the Draft folder supports.

This should be a problem as your draft will normally only be text without images.

Typical Scenario

You are writing or have written a novel in Word. You have all the chapters in one large file. You may or may not have your scenes separated by “breaks.”

What you want is to have all the scenes in the Word file broken down into several separate text files, a file for each scene. Instead of importing the entire document as one large file what you can do is use Scrivener’s Import and Split function.

How to Use Scrivener’s Import and Split Function

Go to the Word document.

For every scene/chapter break, you need to type in a separator symbol such as a hash mark (#) in the document.

Once you’re finished adding your separator symbol, save it, go to Scrivener and go to File=>Import=>Import and Split.

A window will open,

select your Word document

Make sure the separator is in the box, in this example a #.

If you separated each scene with three hash marks, the box needs to have three hash marks (###). If you used three * then you need three * in the box (***).

Hit okay

Like magic, your large Microsoft Word document now appears as several text files in the binder.

You then can move scenes and chapter around easily.

Remember, you can learn to import your existing Microsoft Word files into Scrivener. You are smart. You are smarter than Scrivener. There is no need to retype a manuscript to get it into Scrivener. Following the above checklist makes it straightforward to import an existing file from Word into Scrivener.

You are now ready to import and master one of the basic first functions a new Scrivener should learn.

What If There Were No C’s?

abc-2860036_1280What If There Were No C’s?

What if there were no “C’s” to say with our A’s and B’s?
What if all the C’s went out on strike?
Tired of being seen by you and me as just average unlike the letters A and B.
Now here is how your life might be if out on strike went the letter C.

You begin your day with a ‘up of hot ‘offee while in your lap is your ‘urled up ‘at.
Then later you ‘ould take your dog for a walk
While wearing your favorite ball ‘ap to keep the sun out of your eyes
Unless of ‘ourse, dark stormy ‘louds filled the sky.

On to the park where the ‘hildren and ‘anines go to play
Where you li’k an i’e ‘ream ‘one bought from a man pushing a ‘art.
While sitting in the park table’s ‘hair you ‘arefully observe the ‘ars
Driving down the street wondering about the driver’s worries or ‘ares.

A gust of wind makes you need to retrieve your ‘ap that just blew off your head.
Your hair now a mess needs ‘ombed but instead of ‘ombing it the ‘ap you wear
The favorite team’s ‘ap does its job of hiding your unkempt hair.
And you let your dog lead you ba’k to the house.

Ba’k inside your ‘ondominium a box of ‘andy ‘alls your name.
The temptation is too hard to resist so you pi’k a ‘ho’olate that’s ‘herry filled
Get a ‘up of hot ‘appu’’ino and sit on the ‘ou’h.
Then into your lap jumps the ‘at and she quickly ‘urls up.

Finally, resting in his home he re’alls his manners,
And remembers to remove his ‘ap, and loves on his ‘urled up ‘at.
Now you know how it would be if there were no “C’s” to say with our A’s and B’s
Because you’ve seen how your life might be if out on strike went the letter C.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Written for my granddaughter Aurora
Written during November – December 2017


Note: I have had a number of people ask me to share the No C’s poem I wrote a few months back again. So, as you requested, he is “What If There Were No C’s?”

Time

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The Bible has much to say about God having the days of our lives numbered.

  • Job 14:5 (KJV), “Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;”
  • Job 21:21 (KJV), “For what does he care for his household after him, When the number of his months is cut off?
  • Psalm 31:15 (KJV), “My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.”
  • Psalm 139:16 (KJV), “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.”
  • Ecclesiastes 3:2 (KJV), “A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.”

Today’s Bible Verse:

Psalm 39:4 (KJV), “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.”

What the verse means:

The verse shares thoughts concerning the psalmist meditations on human life. He reflects on its brevity, its vanity, and its sorrows. He wonders why was life so short? Why was it so vain? Why was it so full of sorrow?

Praying using the verses:

  1. Father in heaven, remind us how brief our time on earth will be.
  2. Lord Jesus, remind us that my days are numbered
  3. God, help us remember how fleeting our life is.
  4. Lord, we find confidence in knowing you have our days numbered.

Photo Source: Pixaby