Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee

By Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Written in Amarillo, Texas
March 14, 2023

I see headlights of white
And red taillights, too
Suddenly brake lights glow bright
Avoiding running into you

And I say to my Lord
“Thank you for another day of life
And for the guardian angels, too.”

The skies are black
The clouds steely grey
And the cold, snowy night
Has two hours before day

And I say to my Lord
“Thank you for another day of life
And for winter departing for spring.”

The hot, steaming brew
Calls my name
And I shuffle to the coffee house
People pay too much without shame

And I say to my Lord
“Thank you for another day of life
And for the service workers, too.”

The baristas endlessly work
Robotic, with a smile on their faces
And they never complain
They’ve found their special places

Yes, I say to my Lord
“Thank you for another day of life.”
And through the windows,
I watch the sun finally rise.


Photo by Zeeshaan Shabbir: https://www.pexels.com/photo/unrecognizable-person-crossing-snowy-road-with-cars-on-dark-street-6872932/


Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you purchase using the links in the article I receive a small commission.

Books: Click on BOOKS to see some of the books I’ve written or where I’ve been a contributor. 

Why You Shouldn’t Worry

Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? If you died tonight, would you go to heaven?

Here’s how can know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and be sure heaven is your eternal home. Click the link to read my personal story of accepting Jesus – Jimmie’s Story.

Starting High School

Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane 1967
Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane 1967

 

Starting High School

In San Francisco, it’s the summer of love,
Long-haired hippies, peace signs, and doves.
In Vietnam, the soldiers are dying,
Back home their families are crying,
And Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play.

Jim wants to “Light My Fire,”
While Grace’s rabbit only flies higher.
The evening news shows the war isn’t cool,
This week I started high school,
And “All You Need Is Love” is what The Beatles say.

Written by Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Schertz, Texas, August 1967

Grace Slick today at age 79


The photos are of Grace Slick. She is an alumna of Finch College where she majored in art. She is an accomplished artist. The artwork is hers.


Note: This is the oldest poem I have written by me. It was in notebooks and papers my mother gave me a few months before she passed away in 2014. Aren’t parents great about keeping things and then later in life returning them?

I wrote this poem as a freshman at Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas. Samuel Clemens High School was two miles outside the main gate at Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

Impressing, my English teacher was challenging. The assignment was to write a paper on “What I did on my summer vacation.” Instead, I wrote about what was happening in popular culture. Instead of prose, I wrote a poem. I failed to follow the rules. She called me a “beatnik hippy poet weirdo.” I viewed her insult as a compliment! I gave in, complied with her orders, and wrote five pages of drivel avoiding a grade of “F” on the assignment. I wrote about hitchhiking to the San Francisco, California and the “Summer of Love.”.

“Starting High School” is from the forthcoming book “Jimmie Aaron Kepler: Selected Poems” from Poetry and Prayer Press.

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” based on the poem “Christmas Bells”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his wife Fanny Appleton Longfellow. Longfellow is pictured as a younger man without his famous long, white beard. He grew the beard because the facial injuries from the fire that killed Fanny prevented him from shaving. Photo source: https://civilwarbookofdays.org/2011/07/08/henry-wadsworth-longfellow-and-the-civil-war/

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!”

Written Christmas Morning 1863

“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.

Mourning the Death of His Wife Fanny Appleton Longfellow

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.

Written at Craigie House in Cambridge, Massachusetts

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!

Adapted into a Christmas Carol by John B. Caulkin

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 that 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 grades. 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.

Classical Education with Understanding and Appreciation of the Arts

We placed great emphasis when I was in junior high school on 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.

What If There Were No C’s?

What 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


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God

How Do I Become Successful?

Your Call to Write

Five Principles for Christian Writers

Biblical Text: Ephesians 4: 1 – 6
Focal Scripture: Ephesians: 4: 1b – 3

Introduction

Are you a Christian writer that writes inspirational fiction or devotions to encourage Believers in Jesus Christ? Maybe you are a writer whose drive is sharing Christian themes and principles for the mainstream market.

Whatever your motivation, “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,” Ephesians 4:1b ESV (English Standard Version)

I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:1-6 ESV

These verses give five principles that will help you: Walk In A Manner Worthy Of Your Call To Write

 

Principle One: Humility

“to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility

Ephesians 4: 1b—2a ESV

As a Christian writer, you should be full of Jesus, not self. The temptation is to be full of ourselves. When this happens, we are at risk of treating others with contempt. It should be about others, not ourselves.

 

Principle Two: Gentleness

to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience,”

Ephesians 4: 1b- 2a ESV

As a Christian writer, you should be bold but under control. This does not mean to be a wimp. Just as the power of a racehorse is under the control of the jockey, as a Believer, we need to be under the control of the Spirit of the Living God. Share the love Jesus and his teachings without beating the reader over the head with the Holy Bible. Share how God’s Word is applicable to everyday living.

 

Principle Three: Patience

to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience,”

Ephesians 4: 1b- 2a ESV

As a Christian writer, we need to trust God believing His word would come true. We need to keep on keeping on. We need to accept the fact that it takes time to develop our writing craft. 

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but wish patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

2 Peter 3:9 ESV

It is better to have a limited audience and impact lives for Christ than to be a New York Times bestselling author and have no impact or testimony for Christ.

 

Principle Four: Forgiving Love

to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,”

Ephesians 4: 1b – 2 ESV

As a Christian writer, we need to realize Christian love covers a multitude of sins. We should write with a love that loves no matter what. We have all heard it said, “hate the sin, love the sinner.” Unconditional caring is what we must demonstrate as writers. After all, as a Christian, you are, by grace saved through faith, it is the gift of God. 

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV

In Christ, we need to love people from where they are to faith and growth in Christ.

 

Principle Five: Unity of the Spirit in the Bond Of Peace

“eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Ephesians 4:3 ESV

Principal five is the sum of points one through four. All four points equal a bond of peace. We are bearing one another in love. Our writing should share and bring people to Christ, not drive them from Christ.

“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Ephesians 4:4-6 ESV

We need to realize it is not a geographical or a denominational thing; it is a Jesus and a God thing.

 

Encourage your friends, keep reading and writing.
Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.

Poetry Reading: Lady Violinist

A Friend Loves At All Times

Proverbs 17: 17a