And Life Goes On

Almost two months ago I penned my last new entry on jimmiekepler.com. Life got in my way. My bride of over forty-three years died on April 12, 2018.
 
She fought two types of cancer. Cancer one made its presence known in December 2013. Its name was neuroendocrine carcinoid. For those who haven’t heard of that flavor of disease, it is the same type of cancer that took the life of Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs. The second type of cancer entered her life making itself known in May 2015. It was an aggressive bully named Melanoma.
 
I will always think of cancer as a dumb disease. Why’s that? Cancer lives in a host. Cancer works to kill its host. When the host dies, cancer dies. How dumb is that? In my mind, it’s pretty foolish.
 
Cancer is evil. Cancer sucks. I hate cancer. Cancer destroys lives and changes people and families forever.
 
I am at the point of getting on with life. I have so many of the estate things that still need to be cared for. I’m amazed at how slow the process works for getting death certificates. They are the holy grail for handling a spouse’s passing.
 
One of my sweet wife’s comments to me during her last weeks was, “This isn’t the retirement you had planned.”

She’s right. I had retired the end of last summer. My retirement plan was to write full time. I’ve been freelancing since 1980 with a solid history of sales. Instead, I spent most of the last six months being a near 24/7 caregiver.
 
I remember the morning of March 21 distinctly. I had taken my wife to the emergency room the night before. I had never seen a person as confused, lost to the world, or sick. The morning of March 21 I learned that terminal no longer meant “down the road” or “at a later time.” It now meant maybe today at the soonest and in a few days at the longest.
 
After moving her from ICU to in-house hospice for a week, she was able to come home for hospice care as she desired. The total time from going to the ER to dying was twenty-three days. From her first Melanoma surgery until death was 1001 days.
 
She and I were blessed with her two sisters that helped with her care. Without them, no matter how good the hospice care, it would have been nearly impossible to survive the last days.
 
So I move on to my search for the new normal. I’m still searching. Someday I’ll find it. As I write and search, you may see me writing about it from time to time on jimmiekepler.com.
 
Oh, life didn’t get in the way. I experienced real life in its rawest form. I felt the hurt a man can only suffer from loving a wife and being loved by a wife for over four decades while living out the “until death do we part” words of our marriage vows.
 
I also saw the love of family as sisters loved and cared for their dying sister. I saw my grown children go through the emotions of losing their mother. I experienced the loving care of neighbors, lifelong friends, and our church family. Precious memories, like the posted photo. It was the last time she was out of the house where she wasn’t going to the doctor or hospital.

April 3, 2018

“Today is Tuesday, April 3, 2018. It is 7:00 am. It is 70 degrees outside. You have a big day scheduled. The visiting hospice RN is due at 8:30 am and the hospice social worker at 1:30 pm,” I said to my wife of 43 plus years.

In the background, my sister-in-law said, “It’s time for your first morning meds. These are the ones with the thyroid medicine and two others. You take them before breakfast.”

My wife squinted, the ceiling light temporarily blinding her and then hurting her eyes. “So I don’t get breakfast now.”

“No, you don’t eat with the thyroid meds. The others RXs are to protect your stomach and get you ready for breakfast, and the 9 am medications,” said my wife’s younger sister.

“So I have to wait an hour to eat?”

“Yes. I am going to cook you pancakes for breakfast,” I said.

She gave me an evil eye.

“I know, you didn’t like them in the hospital or the in-patient hospice, but these have the secret ingredient, my love,” I said.

As she rolled her eyes, she said, “Okay, why not? I’ll try them.”

And so began day five on the in-home under the supervision of hospice care of my terminally ill wife. She has had Melanoma for three years. It spread to the brain. A tumor was removed. I recurred again. And here we are.

I’ll write a few thoughts from time to time on what is happening. From what I’m told, if I use an American football metaphor, it is the fourth quarter, the two-minute warning has been given, and we are out of timeouts.

I Love “Classic Church” – Easter Thoughts 2018

Sometimes I just need the classics, like on Easter Sunday. I love the pipe organ and choir filling the sanctuary with praises to the Master.

Classic Church

I was thinking this morning. I love Jesus, I confess Him as my Lord and Savior. I also love attending church. All the new songs and informality in “contemporary church” now of days are okay but I prefer “Classic Church.” I just invented the term.

What is a “Classic Church?”

“Classic Church” is Bible-centered expository preaching, songs sang from hymnals (first, second, and last verses), not words on the wall. You might even begin the service with the Doxology from time to time. You have a predictable liturgy (order of service). It makes you comfortable.

The preacher wears his suit AND TIE. You always take an offering, have special music before the sermon, and you present how to be saved (born again).

You end with an altar call invitation giving people a chance to make a public profession of faith.

Like Classic Rock, Classic R&B, or Classic Country is the best music for me, so is “Classic Church” my favorite church … just saying.


Photo Source: Pixaby

With God, Anything is Possible

Anything is Possible:

Learning to deal with a chronic illness includes accepting that with God anything is possible.

When faced with a chronic disease you may feel surviving day to day is impossible to do over the course of the struggle.

The Bible teaches that with God, anything is possible.

Today’s Bible Verse:

Luke 18:27 (KJV), “And he said, ‘The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.’”

What the Verse Means:

What is impossible from man’s point of view is possible with God.

Personalized Prayer Using Today’s Scripture:

• I praise God that He is a God of possibilities.
• I praise God that while beating chronic illnesses like Melanoma cancer and neuroendocrine carcinoid may be impossible for man, it is possible to God.
• God is Jehovah Rapha, that is the God that heals.


Photo Source: Pixaby


This is an excerpt from: “Thy Will Be Done: 60 Prayers for the Chronically Ill.”

Available from:
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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.

Patience and Persistence

Negotiating the Labyrinth

Two of my personal traits are patience and persistence. I needed them both this morning as I spent two hours and fifteen minutes online with technical support, customer support, and their managers at a major IT services company.

Without mentioning the web hosting company’s name, I negotiated the labyrinth and achieved my goal of canceling services I had purchased with a full refund. The cancellation was not easy. Getting the full refund was even more of a challenge.

Never Give Up

I had tried their 30-day full money back guarantee purchase of some bundled web hosting services. Each part of the bundle had their own customer retention team whose mission in life was to keep you from canceling. It took an act of will for me to make it through this challenge.

I had hoped to go to coffee with the men in my Bible fellowship class at 7:30 am. Instead, I spent from 6 am to 8:15 am being very patient and very persistent.

The bottom line was, I win.


Photo Source: Pixaby

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,