I’ve Been Robbed

Bill Gates, I understand how you feel when someone makes a copy of your software and doesn’t pay the license fee. United States music industry, I feel your pain when someone rips a CD and then gives a copy of the music to a friend. Like you, I have had my intellectual properties pirated.

This morning I was notified by Google Alerts of my book “Miss Sarah’s Secret: A Story Of Betrayal And Redemption In Texas” By Jimmie Aaron Kepler being available for free download as ab ePub, eBook, mobi, Kindle, and PDF file. That’s news to me. I am not currently giving it away. Someone posted the book for free on a dark web Internet website. My initial research shows the server location is somewhere in the former Soviet Union. Over 116,101 people have downloaded it. I normally make $2.25 royalties on each electronic copy of the book sold, that’s $261,227.25 in royalties if each thief had legally purchased the book.

My science fiction book “The Rebuilder ” was pirated earlier this year. It has had over 111,000 downloads. The theft of that intellectual property has cost me $249,750.00. The two books piracy has cost me about $510,997.75.

I know that many people wouldn’t have paid to get the book but only downloaded because someone was giving my work away for free, but some of them would have bought it. In simple terms, I have been robbed.

Don’t steal my or anyone’s intellectual properties! Written books, movies, videos, and audio books all have copyright owners like me. We work hard to create the stories.
Well, it’s time to get back to writing a story. Maybe it will be good enough for someone to want to steal it too.
The bottom screen capture is the Google Alert showing me something is up. The top screen capture takes me to the website that is giving away the book. That is part of how I know what is happening. Click on the images and they enlarge where you can read them,

Rest

Today’s Scripture tells us to rest – be still and knows I am God.

Today’s Bible Verse:

Psalm 46:10 (KJV), ” Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

What the verse means:

Part of learning to deal with a chronic illness is learning to rest.

Praying using the verses:

  1. Heavenly Father, help us be still and know you more intimately, feel your presence.
  2. Lord Jesus, please help our loved one and yourself to get physical rest when possible.
  3. Pray that our loved one would find his/her rest in the adequacy of God.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Prosper

Today’s passage speaks on our mental health and general well-being.

Today’s Bible Verse:

3 John 1:2 (KJV), “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”

What the verse means:

John the author is addressing Gaius. The prosperity referred to here is mental health and general well-being.  John wants Gaius to prosper and have good health equal to his spiritual health.

Praying using the verses:

  1. Heavenly Father, we pray that we may prosper, that is, be healthy fiscally.
  2. Lord Jesus, we pray that we would be in physically good health and that health would mirror our spiritual health.
  3. We pray for rest and peace of mind.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Christmas Bells

American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Christmas Bells
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said:
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

About “Christmas Bells”

“Christmas Bells” is a minor, yet well known, poem written by a very melancholy Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on Christmas morning in 1863 during the midst of the Civil War. It is an anti-slavery poem as well as a seasonal favorite.

The poem was written six months after the battle of Gettysburg where 40,000 soldiers lost their lives. In addition to despairing over the bloody war, Henry was also mourning the death of his beloved wife Fanny Appleton Longfellow. Fanny died in a tragic fire the same year that the Civil War broke out. In November of 1862, another personal tragedy added to his pain. His son, Union Lieutenant Charles Appleton, was wounded in the Army of the Potomac.

On Christmas morning in 1863, while sitting at his desk at the Craigie House in Cambridge, MA, Henry was inspired to write a poem as he listened to the church bells pealing. Their constancy and joyous ringing inspired him to write “Christmas Bells.” In spite of his sadness, Longfellow expresses his belief in God and innate optimism that indeed:

God is not dead; nor doth he sleep
The Wrong shall fail;
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!

Sometime after 1872, Longfellow’s poem was adapted into a Christmas Carol. John B. Caulkin (1827-1905) was a famous English composer who set the lyrics to a gentle, melodic tune which is reminiscent of bells ringing. The carol is entitled “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Alternative tunes have been written for the lyrics but Caulkin’s melody remains predominant.

I lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire from February 1966 – the last day of April 1967. I was in the seventh and eighth grade. My father was in the United States Air Force at the time. As a student at Portsmouth Junior High School, I took field trips to both Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Longfellow was a Bowdoin College graduate and was a faculty member before moving to Cambridge to teach at Harvard.

We placed great emphasis when I was in junior high school on a classical education with understanding and appreciation of the arts including poetry. Only my university and seminary education had a greater impact on me than my short two years in New England public schools.

Live or Die

In the world, most people live for themselves and live for today. The live for now lifestyle is different from how a Christian should live. The purpose of the Christian life is to do the Lord’s will and promote his glory by our life. This doesn’t mean you cannot have fun. On the contrary, it allows you to have fun without regrets or feeling ashamed.

Today’s Bible Verse:

Romans 14:8 (KJV), “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”

What the verse means:

The purpose of the Christian life is to do the Lord’s will and promote his glory by our life. A Christin should do this because they belong to God. Not only do we belong to God in this life but we belong to him even as we are dying and after we die. The passage provides a reminder that the soul does not cease to be conscious at death. We are still the Lord’s.  Even when the body is in the grace, we are the Lords.  2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV) reminds us, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Praying using the verses:

  1. Heavenly Father, if we live, we live to the Lord. Help us live to the Lord. May you be glorified though our life.
  2. Lord Jesus, if we die, we die to the Lord. Help us to die to the Lord. Help us to remember that even in the grave we are yours.
  3. We proclaim to the world whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lords. Thank you, Lord for the security we have as Believers in the Lord.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Trust

When dealing with a chronic illness sometimes it is tough to maintain focus or have peace of mind. The person battling the illness often finds themselves dwelling on what is happening to them physically, fiscally, and thinking if they’ll even have a future. It can be hard. Today’s verse gives us hope as it tells us peace of mind is available. The way to peace is to focus on God, not your problem. It is to trust God.

Today’s Bible Verse:

Isaiah 26:3 (KJV), “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

What the verse means:

The key word trust. We have a requirement to trust God. Trusting in God, when our mind is focused on Him, not our troubles allow us to kept in God’s perfect peace.

Praying using the verses:

  1. Heavenly Father, help us to keep our mind steadfast on You.
  2. Thank you for the peace of mind that can only come from God.
  3. Lord Jesus, help us to take our refuge in You.
  4. God, we know you are our only hope in battling our chronic illness.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Nothing Routine About The Writer’s Life

Today is Wednesday, December 6, 2017. It was a chilly 45 degrees on my front porch this morning.

My Wednesday schedule is different from other days of the week. I arrive at my favorite coffee house a little later today. It was after 7 AM. They barista poured my tall cup of blonde roast coffee for me and I retired to my cold weather seat. On colder days I sit in the back of the coffee house away from the windows and door. This table has me away from the cold.

I connected to the Wi-Fi and launched Facebook. I write a reply to fourteen posts. If I respond to the posts and comments of people, they are more likely to engage my future posts and comments. The Bible says if this way in the book of Proverbs, chapter 18, verse 24a, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:”

Two acquaintances stopped by my table to visit with me. One asked me about retirement preparation. He retires the end of this month. The other man engaged in causal small-talk.

Since yesterday morning I attended a webinar on social security and medicare which my financial services provider hosted. It was informative. They explained complex and unfamiliar topics in simple, understandable terms.

I listened to Joanna Penn’s interview on “The Alliance of Independent Author’s Indie Author Fringe Podcast.” The subject of the podcast was How to Be An Author Entrepreneur. A transcript of the podcast is at https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2017/11/29/how-to-be-an-author-entrepreneur/. The bottom-line of the podcast was the hearer answering the question, is your writing a hobby or business? If it is a business, Joann Penn gave practical how-to steps on how to manage your writing business.

I also listened to Joanna Penn’s The Creative Penn Podcast. The episode I heard was Estate Planning For Authors With M.L Buchman. A transcript of the interview is at https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2017/12/04/estate-planning-for-authors-with-m-l-buchman/. The bottom-line was your intellectual property rights are valuable – both to you in your lifetime, but also for 70 years after you die according to copyright law. So what happens once you’re gone? Have you ensured that your heirs and successors can still benefit? Having several books published plus being in my mid-60s, I found the podcast interesting as my work will outlive me.

I also worked on a poem I’ve had in my head for a while.

Today I have walking for my health at the mall, lunch with my best guy friend, some afternoon walking, and writing, and then Wednesday night church on my agenda. I will also write another draft chapter in my forthcoming book with the working title “In Jesus’ Name” though I am thinking of titling the book “How to Pray for the Chronically Ill.”

Have a good day and remember, if you write one page a day (that’s about 250 words), Monday through Friday, at the end of one year you will have a 240-page book!

As you can see, there is nothing routine about the writer’s life. Each day is a new adventure.