Writer’s Log, May 25, 2023

Jimmie Kepler in a hat and black t-shirt. The t-shirt has the word ABBA on the front in gold letters.

🌟🌞 Happy Thursday, May 25, 2023! 🌞🌟

It’s a terrific Thursday, and I’m feeling energized and ready to conquer the day! 💪😄 I decided to treat myself to some extra rest and slept in until 9:30 AM. 😴 Starting the day with a good night’s sleep sets the tone for success!

After waking up, I took my morning RXs to keep my health in check. 💊🌿 Health is wealth, and I’m all about taking care of myself. No one can love or care about you more than you!😇

To nourish my spirit, I indulged in my morning devotion and Bible reading. The text was an old favorite Psalm 56:3, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. 📖🙏 It’s important to find moments of peace and reflection amidst the hustle and bustle of life.

I got some wonderful news from my high school age granddaughter! 🎉👩‍🎓 She passed all her finals! 🎓💯 Proud grandpa moment right here! 😍💕

Fueling my creative juices, I made my way to Starbucks for some delicious coffee and writing time. ✍️ There’s something magical about sipping a warm cup of joe while letting the words flow onto the page.

Yesterday, my friend Les Hall lent a helping hand and together we installed a brand new single post hand rail by the front door. Safety first, folks! 🚪 I’m taking every precaution to prevent any falls and keep myself safe and sound.

Later, I enjoyed a delightful evening meal of spaghetti with Les and my beautiful and mysterious girlfriend “she who can’t be named on the Internet.” 😉🍝 Good food and great company make for a perfect combination!

This afternoon, I’ll be diving into some writing admin stuff, reading – immersing myself in captivating writing of JRR Tolkien, walking, and allowing myself some well-deserved rest. 📚😌 It’s all about finding the balance between productivity and relaxation.

Speaking of organization, today it’s time to refill my pill organizer. With nineteen daily RXs, it’s no small task! But I’m determined to stay on top of it to ensure my well-being. 💪💊

Tonight, at 6 PM Dallas time, I’m super excited for my one-line writer’s group on Zoom! 📝 Sharing ideas and connecting with fellow writers is always inspiring and uplifting. These writers are like extended family to me. No lonely old man here when I have all these friends.

After the writer’s group, I’ll be heading to a local club to support a talented lady from my Mensa group. 🎶🎹 She’s part of a fantastic 1960s/1970s girls singer cover band, and I can’t wait to cheer her on! Go, Anne! 🎤🎵I’m wearing my ABBA t-shirt today to support her. 🎵🎵🎵

As the night winds down, I’ll return home for my usual late-night reading session and more time with the master wordsmith, JRR Tolkien. 🌙📚 Losing myself in the pages of a captivating book helps me unwind, relax, and drift off into dreamland. 😴💤

Wishing you all a fabulous Thursday filled with joy, achievements, and memorable moments! Let’s make the most of this terrific day! 💖And live a wonderful life.

#TerrificThursday #PositiveVibes #SafetyFirst #ProudParent #StarbucksTime #WritingCommunity #SupportLocalMusic #bookwormlife

Why I Write

My book “Caregiving: Biblical Insights From a Caregiver’s Journey” has been as high as #2 in paid sales in it’s category on Amazon. I write to share Jesus.

Morning Writing

My tall blonde roast coffee is sitting on the table. I’m at my usual table at my regular coffee house ready to begin my morning session. I know that in the age of mystics, life coaches, spiritual coaches, etc. that Jesus Christ and the Christian God isn’t that cool to many people and God is the brunt of disdain to some. But it’s God (God the Father, God the Son i.e .Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit) that I unapologetically write about.  

Hope: How to Have Hope During Times of Hardship

I’m 85% finished with the first draft of “Hope: How to Have Hope During Times of Hardship” It’s book three in my series, “The Bible Speaks to Life Issues.” Book one in the series is “Prayers for the Chronically Ill.” Book two is “Caregiving: Biblical Insights From a Caregivers Journey.” 

Bible Teaches About God

I remember what the Bible teaches about God. When Moses asked who shall I tell the Egyptians that send me, in Exodus 3:14 God spoke to Moses and said, “And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.” In a time when other cultures and peoples had gods of their creation and naming, God  replies to Moses without a name but a statement. The answer given here is crucial for understanding the identity and nature of God. This response becomes foundational in both Jewish and Christian theology. 

I AM WHO I AM

God identifies Himself using a phrase which is actually a description, or a statement: “I AM WHO I AM” or simply “I AM.” The first phrase, in Hebrew, is e’heyeh aser’ e’heyeh. This is most simply translated as “I am who I am.” Other translations of this important phrase include, “I am what I am,” or, “I will be what I will be,” and it could be taken to mean “that which will be, I am, that which will be” or similar ideas. Even in Hebrew, this is a statement which is not merely expressed as a name, or a word, or a description. This is a poetic expression of God’s very nature. 

God identifies Himself as the self-existent One

The statement carries a sense of necessity, simplicity, and absolute-ness. In using this particular phrasing, God identifies Himself as the self-existent One—the eternal, unique, uncreated God. God just is. He is the ultimate truth, the only necessary being, the beginning and end, the first cause. The question of who speaks from the burning bush is given an answer which is both simple and profound: “I AM.” This is how Moses would have interpreted the response, given the Hebrew words used.

No man cometh unto the Father, but by me

I’m reminded of the I AM statement in John 14:6 where Jesus is speaking and says, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” 

The only answer is Jesus

Good teachings, great philosophies, and the coolest life coaches are great but no the answer. The only answer is Jesus Christ. The timeless, unchanging, uncompromising teachings of the Bible about God and Jesus Christ are the ultimate answer. When you explore other teachings, philosophies, gurus etc.you are actually being a seeker of truth. Seek God and you’ll find the answer. You’ll find fulfillment, direction, purpose and even book a place in heaven for eternity.

Why I write

And that’s why I get up and come write almost every morning. I do it to share Jesus and share how the Bible speaks to us on life issues.

My story of accepting Jesus

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 –My Story.

Pilgrimage: Lessons Learned from Solo Walking Three Ancient Ways by J.F. Penn

Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage: Lessons Learned from Solo Walking Three Ancient Ways

So, have you heard of “Pilgrimage: Lessons Learned from Solo Walking Three Ancient Ways” by J.F. Penn? It’s an amazing book that follows the author’s solo walks along three ancient pilgrim routes: the Pilgrim’s Way, the St. Cuthbert’s Way (both in the UK), and the Camino de Santiago in Portugal and Spain.

Personal experiences, challenges, and insights

Penn shares her personal experiences, challenges, and insights as she walks these routes and reflects on the lessons she learned along the way. The book is divided into three sections, each focusing on a different aspect of the journey. The introduction gives you a glimpse into her personal faith journey pilgrimage, which helps set the tone for the rest of the book.

Part 1: Preparation

In the first section, “Part 1: Preparation,” she takes you through her preparation for the journey, including practical information on gear, accommodation, and navigation. She also shares her reflections on the inner journey and her fears, which makes her relatable and vulnerable.

Part 2: The Journey

In the second section, “Part 2: The Journey,” Penn describes her experiences along the way, and the lessons she learned about herself, the world, and the pilgrim tradition. She also includes helpful information for anyone who might want to walk these routes, like hardships, lodging, and eating options.

Part 3: Arriving and the Return

In the third section, “Part 3: Arriving and the Return,” she talks about the letdown of the journey, the unique personal experience, and returning to the real world.

What I love about “Pilgrimage”

What I love about “Pilgrimage” is how Penn weaves together personal anecdotes, historical and cultural information, and philosophical reflections. Her writing is clear and sincere, and she shares both her joys and challenges with honesty and humility. The descriptions of the landscapes, people, and cultures she encounters are vivid and evocative, and she brings a sense of wonder and curiosity to her journey that is contagious.

“Pilgrimage” is a beautifully written and deeply insightful book that will appeal to anyone interested in pilgrimage, travel, or personal growth. Penn’s reflections on the spiritual and psychological benefits of pilgrimage are especially moving and will resonate with readers seeking to deepen their own understanding of themselves and the world around them. 

I highly recommend this book! Five stars.

 

What Does the Bible Say About Having Perfect Peace?


How to Become a Christian

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 –My Story.


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.


 

What Does the Bible Say About Faithfulness and Productivity?


How to Become a Christian

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 –My Story.


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.


 

What Does The Bible Say About Facing Trials?

What Does The Bible Say About Facing Trials? The Bible says, My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4 King James Version


How to Become a Christian

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 –My Story.


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.


 

What Does The Bible Say About Worry?

God Watches Over You

Hospital surgery

Bible Verse:

“The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”

Psalm 121:7-8 (KJV)

My Story

This verse speaks of the assurance and protection that God provides to those who trust in Him. 

This truth was evident in the life of my mother, who had to wait for a kidney transplant.

My mother had been living with a kidney disease for several years, and her condition was worsening by the day. She needed a kidney transplant to survive, but the wait list for a donor was long, and the process was tiring.

As her son, I was worried and scared for her, and I did not know what the future held. However, my mother’s faith in God remained steadfast. She believed that He would provide for her.

During this waiting period, my mother experienced the reality of Psalm 121:7-8. The Lord kept her from harm, even in her fragile state. God watched over her life. Some how she kept on trusting the Lord would provide. She knew that God was in control, and she found peace in that.

Despite the uncertainty of when a donor would become available, my mother continued to trust God’s timing. She believed that He was watching over her coming and going. This included the timing of her transplant. 

She knew that God had a plan for her life. That gave her hope. She also prayed for the future donor and the donor’s family realizing that most likely for her to live someone would die gifting her a chance at additional life.

Finally, the day came when my mother received the call that a kidney was available for her transplant. It was a joyous moment for our family. 

We knew that it was a result of God’s provision. The surgery was successful. 

My mother’s health improved significantly. She was grateful to God for keeping her safe during the waiting period and for providing her with a new kidney.

My mother’s experience taught me the importance of trusting in God in every aspect of life. When we face challenges and uncertainties, we can take comfort in knowing that God is watching over us. 

He knows our needs, and He will provide for us in His timing. As Psalm 121:7-8 says, He will keep us from harm and watch over our lives, both now and forevermore.

My mother’s journey towards receiving a kidney transplant was a powerful reminder of God’s love and provision. She trusted in Him throughout the waiting period. He kept her safe and provided for her needs.

As we face our own challenges in life, let us remember the truth of Psalm 121:7-8 and trust in God’s plan for our lives.

Who wrote Psalm 121:7-8 and when was it written?

Psalm 121:7-8 is a part of Psalm 121. The author of Psalm 121 is unknown, and the date of its composition is also uncertain, though it is generally believed to have been written during the post-exilic period of Israel’s history (after the Babylonian exile).

“The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.”

Psalm 121:7-8

These verses express confidence in God’s protection and care for His people. They are a reminder that the Lord is a constant and faithful guardian, who is always present to guide and protect us.

What is the context of Psalm 121:7-8?

Psalm 121:7-8 is part of a larger psalm known as the “Song of Ascents” (Psalms 120-134) which was likely sung by Jewish pilgrims as they ascended to Jerusalem for the annual feasts. 

The Psalm is a song of trust and confidence in God’s protection and care.

Here are the verses in context:

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you
will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade
at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your
coming and going
both now and forevermore.”

In verses 7-8, the psalmist declares that the Lord will protect the pilgrims from all harm, both now and forevermore.

This includes protection from physical harm (“the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night”) as well as spiritual harm. The psalmist is expressing confidence that God is always watching over his people and will keep them safe.

What is the meaning of Psalm 121:7-8?

This passage is often interpreted as a message of comfort and assurance for believers. It emphasizes that God is a faithful protector who watches over his people and keeps them safe from harm. 

The psalmist declares that God’s protection extends to all areas of life, including our “coming and going” or all of our daily activities. This verse offers a message of hope and encouragement for those who may be facing difficult circumstances or uncertainties in life. 

It reminds us that we can trust in God’s constant care and protection, not just in this life but for all eternity.

What does “The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul” mean?

Psalm 121:7 is a verse from a collection of Psalms known as the Songs of Ascent, which were sung by Jewish pilgrims as they journeyed to Jerusalem for worship. The verse reads, “The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.”

In this verse, the Psalmist is expressing his trust in God’s protection and care. He is confident that God will protect him from all kinds of evil, both physical and spiritual, and that his soul will be preserved by God.

The phrase “preserve thy soul” suggests that the Psalmist is not only concerned with his physical safety but also with his spiritual well-being. He is confident that God will guard and protect his innermost being, his soul, from harm.

The verse is a declaration of faith in God’s power to protect and preserve us from all harm, both in this life and in the afterlife.

What does “The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore”  mean?

Psalm 121 is a psalm of assurance and trust in God’s protection. The specific verses you mentioned, 7 and 8, say:

“The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”

In these verses, the psalmist is expressing confidence that God will protect and preserve them in all aspects of their life. “Going out and coming in” refer to all the activities of life, such as leaving and returning home, going to work, traveling, and so on. The psalmist is saying that God will watch over them and keep them safe in all these activities.

The phrase “from this time forth, and even for evermore” emphasizes the eternal nature of God’s protection. The psalmist believes that God’s care and guidance will never end, and will be with them always.

Overall, these verses express a deep trust in God’s ability to keep us safe and protect us from harm, both in our everyday lives and for all time.

What is the difference in biblical translations of Psalm 121:7-8 (KJV, NIV & ESV)

  • Psalm 121:7-8 KJV biblical translation says:

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Psalm 121:7-8 KJV 

  • Psalm 121:7-8 NIV biblical translation says:

The Lord will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121:7-8 NIV

  • Psalm 121:7-8 ESV biblical translation says:

The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

Psalm 121:7-8 ESV

How does Psalm 121:7-8 give encouragement?

Psalm 121:7-8 reads, “The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” This passage can give encouragement in several ways:

  1. Assurance of God’s protection: The verse states that God will keep us from all harm, which means that we can have confidence that He is looking out for us and protecting us from anything that could cause us harm. This can be a source of comfort and encouragement, especially during times of trouble or uncertainty.
  2. Constant vigilance: The verse says that God will watch over our lives and our coming and going, both now and forevermore. This means that God is always with us, and we are never alone. We can take comfort in the fact that God is always watching over us and guiding us, no matter where we go or what we do.
  3. Hope for the future: The verse implies that God’s protection is not just for the present, but also for the future. Knowing that God will continue to watch over us and protect us in the future can give us hope and encouragement, even in difficult times.

Overall, Psalm 121:7-8 gives us the assurance that God is watching over us and protecting us, both now and forevermore. This can provide great encouragement and comfort, especially during times of difficulty and uncertainty.

How can I apply Psalm 121:7-8 to my life?

As a general principle, this verse reminds us that God is our protector and that we can trust Him to watch over us and keep us safe from harm. This can provide comfort and assurance in difficult or uncertain times.

Here are a few ways you can apply this verse to your life:

  1. Trust in God’s protection: When you face challenges or difficulties, remind yourself that God is with you and will keep you from harm. Trust in His promises and know that He is always watching over you.
  2. Seek God’s guidance: If you’re unsure about a decision or direction in your life, seek God’s guidance and ask Him to watch over your coming and going. Trust that He will lead you in the right direction and keep you safe.
  3. Find peace in uncertain times: In times of uncertainty or fear, remember that God is in control and will watch over you. Allow His peace to fill your heart and mind, and trust that He will guide you through whatever challenges you may face.
  4. Thank God for His protection: Take time to thank God for His protection in your life. Recognize the times He has kept you safe and remember His faithfulness. This can help build your trust in Him and increase your confidence in His protection.

A model or example prayer using Psalm 121:7-8:

Here is an example prayer using Psalm 121:7-8:

Dear God,

As I come before you today, I am reminded of your promise in Psalm 121:7-8 that you will keep me from all harm and watch over my life. I am so grateful for your faithfulness and love.

Lord, I ask that you continue to protect me from any danger or harm that may come my way. Help me to trust in you fully and know that you are always with me, even in the darkest moments of my life.

I pray that you will guide my steps and direct my path. Show me the way I should go, and give me the strength and courage to follow you wherever you lead.

Thank you for your constant care and protection, and for your unfailing love that never fades. I give you all the praise and honor, now and forever.

In Jesus’ name I pray, 

Amen.

Conclusion:

Psalm 121:7-8 teaches us to trust in God’s protection, seek God’s guidance, to find peace in uncertain times, to thank God for His protection, to take time to thank God for His protection in our life, and to recognize the times He has kept you safe and remember His faithfulness. 

 


Today’s article is from the forthcoming book: “Hope: How to Have Hope During Times of Hardship | The Bible Speaks to Life Issues, Book Three” by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D. from Poetry and Prayer Press (c) 2023

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 –My Story.

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.

Spring Weather Threatens

Sunday Morning

Hey there, it’s Sunday morning, and I’m writing to you from Starbucks here in North Texas. I’m sipping on a cup of Pike Place roast coffee, trying to squeeze in some writing before church and Bible study. Usually, I can get 1,500 to 2,500 words written, but today, I’m aiming for 500. You know how it goes, just keep on writing each day, and it will add up eventually.

Clouds and Spring Weather Threatens

Unfortunately, the weather forecast is not looking great. There’s a weather alert with clouds moving in, and the humidity and temperatures indicating that spring has arrived. The forecast predicts showers and thunderstorms between 1 pm and 4 pm, followed by showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 4 pm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall, with a high of around 77 degrees Fahrenheit and a south wind of 15 to 20 mph, gusting as high as 30 mph. There’s an 80% chance of precipitation, and the new rainfall amounts could be between three-quarters and one inch.

Tonight, the spring weather continues with more showers and thunderstorms before 10 pm, followed by a chance of rain between 10 pm and 1 am. Again, some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall, with a low of around 63 degrees Fahrenheit and a south-southeast wind of around 15 mph, gusting as high as 25 mph. There’s an 80% chance of precipitation, and the new precipitation amounts could be between a quarter and half of an inch.

Rainy Week

It looks like the rain is going to stick around for the week, with temperatures possibly reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday and Tuesday. Some weather models even predict as much as three to four inches of rain this week. It seems like I might need to build an ark to avoid drowning or at least my umbrella to keep from getting wet as I dash from the car to buildings.

Income tax book and calculator.

Tax Man

Apart from the weather, I have a busy week ahead of me. I need to complete my federal income tax and file my annual tax return while also paying my quarterly taxes. Additionally, I need to schedule a visit to the Mercedes dealership for my car’s inspection and brake servicing.

Weight Gain Alert

On a personal note, I need to up my game in walking as my daily step count is down, and my weight is up. Therefore, I plan to walk more. I’m also waiting for the MRI results from my pancreas scan this past Thursday.

Selfie

I’ve attached a selfie from this morning. How’s everything going with you? I’d love to hear about any exciting news or plans you have in the works.

Stay safe and dry out there!

The Love of the Lord

How to Become a Christian

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 –My Story.
 
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.