Thanks

Part of learning to deal with a chronic illness is learning to give thanks.

Today’s Bible Verse:

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV), “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

What the Verse Means:

The verse reminds us that Christians should not only pray to God but also give thanks to Him. We should thank him for everything, in every circumstance, in joy as well as in sorrow.

Praying Using the Verse:

  1. Heavenly Father, help us always show gratitude to family and friends who help and support us as we battle our chronic illness.
  2. Lord Jesus, help us to praise God daily for who He is and for His love and care for our loved one (or yourself) confronting the chronic illness.
  3. God Almighty, we thank you for a loving church and Bible fellowship class and our brothers and sisters-in-Christ who help and support us.
  4. We give thanks for the good medical care and counsel.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Five Approaches to Publishing a Book

Five Ways to Publish a Book

Today there are five ways to publish a book:

  • Way #1 -Traditional Publishing (The Big 5 Trade Publishers)

Trade Publisher #1. Hachette Book Group

Hachette Book Group (HBG) is a division of the second-largest trade and educational book publisher in the world, Hachette Livre. Hachette Livre is based in France and is a subsidiary of the French media company, Lagardère.

Trade Publisher #2. HarperCollins

HarperCollins Publishers is a subsidiary of News Corp, the global media company led by Rupert Murdoch.

Trade Publisher #3. Macmillan Publishers

Macmillan is a global trade publishing company, which is owned by the German Company Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, with imprints in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, and around the world.

Trade Publisher #4. Penguin Random House

Originally international publishing giants in their own rights, on July 1, 2013, Penguin, a Pearson company and Random House, owned by the German company Bertelsmann, combined their adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing divisions.

Trade Publisher #5. Simon and Schuster

Simon & Schuster was founded in 1924 by Richard L. (Dick) Simon and M. Lincoln (Max) Schuster with a bestselling crossword puzzle book. At various times in its history, it has been owned by Marshall Field, Gulf + Western, and Viacom. Simon and Schuster is currently the publishing arm of the media company CBS Corporation, where its diverse offerings include books in the adult publishing, children’s publishing, audiobooks and digital book arenas.
  • Way #2 – Independent Publishing

Using Wikipedia as a guide: “The terms “small press”, “indie publisher”, and “independent press” are often used interchangeably, with “independent press” defined as publishers that are not part of large conglomerates or multinational corporations.

Defined this way, these presses make up approximately half of the market share of the book publishing industry.

Many small presses rely on specialization in genre fiction, poetry, or limited-edition books or magazines, but there are also thousands that focus on niche non-fiction markets.”

  • Way #3 – Custom Publishing

Custom publishing has been the traditional US-based term for what is now known as content marketing.

The definition, as stated by the Custom Content Council (the US Association for custom publishers), custom publishing: “… marries the marketing ambitions of a company with the information needs of its target audience.

  • Way #4 – Vanity Publishing

Again, using Wikipedia as a guide: A vanity press, vanity publisher, or subsidy publisher is a term describing a publishing house in which authors pay to have their books published.

Additionally, vanity publishers have no selection criteria as opposed to other “hybrid” publishing models.

  • Way #5 – Self-publishing

The focus of this article.

DIY

Self-publishing is DIY, that is, do-it-yourself publishing.

Losing Stigma

Once upon a time self-publishing was viewed with stigma. If you told someone you were self-published their eyes would roll and they would move away from you at a party. It is not held in as much reproach as it once was.

Part of the reason for the lessened contempt is more self-published authors are paying the price and doing a good job. This includes writing a good story. Having the book professionally edited is another element more are including. Cover design once completed poorly in Microsoft Paint is being handled professionally. They realize they have to learn to build an email list and market the book. And on and on I could go.

I will be writing a few articles on Wednesday’s from the lessons I have learned and am still learning on my own journey as a self-published author. Self-publishing isn’t for most people. Few authors that I know are willing to do both the writing and all the technical stuff related to formatting, cover design, book layout, marketing campaigns, etc. For those that want to learn more about the process, I’ll be posting regularly.

The photos are of the covers of two of my eight books. Rebuilder is religious science fiction. Thy Will be Done: 60 Prayer for the Chronically Ill is religious nonfiction. They are available in print and ebook from Amazon, and in ebook from iBooks, Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, and all major retailers worldwide. My books are also available in ebook format through most libraries in North America, Canada, and Europe.

A Nightmare’s Prayer

A Memoir

I highly recommend “A Nightmare’s Prayer” by Mike Franzak. It is a wonderful memoir of the early days of the Afghanistan campaign. You get the feeling you are with him as you go through the deployment from Yuma, AZ to Bagram.

I was shocked to learn that the Harrier aircraft cannot take off vertically about 5,000 feet elevation. His description of the scary take off from Cherry Point, North Carolina had the hair standing up on the back of my neck.

Blues Brothers Call Signs

I loved the Blues Brothers call signs of Jake, Elwood, Blues, and Joliet.

Harrier Aircraft’s Achilles Heal

The information that the Harrier Aircraft struggled to stay above 400 Kilometers Per Hour (KPH) with a load and at altitude had me questioning the wisdom of using the aircraft in this theater and wondering why it had ever been added to the arsenal. The book provides a profound reminder of how lethal mines are … and how they don’t know who they are killing.

I shook my head at the policymakers since the 400 KPH speed is the maneuver speed needed to avoid the Surface to Air Missiles (SAM). When reading the book I jotted down a couple of things that caught my attention. First was “The generals and policymakers had grown so risk-averse, they tied the hands of those charged with enforcing the policies.” The second was when he was landing at night and wrote, “I saw the base, but not the runway…” That was pretty profound. The tiny IR lights had been obscured by the generator-powered lights of Bagram Air Base. So much for night light security.

Prayers and Promises

The chapter Prayers and Promises is riveting, heart-pounding and action-packed. And you too will see after reading that chapter that “This time God had answered a Nightmare’s Prayer.”

The book is wonderful. It makes a lasting contribution to the literature and history of the Afghanistan War. You get Mike Franzak’s story. And the story is gripping. It will have you cheering the Nightmare’s actions and shaking your head at the big picture decision makers. Mike Franzak’s memoir will grip you and hold your interest. It will have you turning page after page. You get a nice picture of the soldier on the ground form the pilots point of view. Bravo Lt.Col (Ret) Mike Franzak for a telling your story.

Recommended for all military history buffs and aviation buffs.  Read and reviewed by Jimmie A. Kepler.

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.

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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.