Salt and Light

Salt and Light

While serving as a deacon at Prestonwood Baptist Church in 2007 my pastor, Dr Jack Graham, challenged the deacons to get more involved and think creatively on how to have more witnessing opportunities. Most of us have few non-Believers in our lives and don’t belong to groups with non-Christians members he stated.

Your Circles of Influence

What can you do to increase the number of persons without Christ in your circles of influence?  Maybe you need to become the self and light in a civic club or community organization for example. Joining a group outside of church can help you build relationship and bridges to the non-Believers for the purpose of sharing your faith. 

A Two-fold Approach

My response was two-fold. First, I joined a secular writer’s group. My churchy writing was met with less than enthusiasm in the first-amendment group. Graphic violence, steamy romance, and LGBTQ+ stories were embraced by the group; my Jesus and Bible-based stories, not so much.

Second, I started writing and reading each morning in coffee shops. After a few weeks many of the regular patrons would ask me what I was doing. I’d tell them I was writing Christian nonfiction or religious sci-fi. 

Some rolled their eyes and moved on. Most would next say, tell me about your writing. The same held true with asking about the book I was reading.

Many times they would ask me what I’m reading. Is it any good? What’s it about?

Sometimes I give them the copy of the book. Other times they would write down the same and days or weeks later they smile when they see me at my table and hold up their copy of the book. 

God has used these moments for me to get books on caregiving, Christian parenting, Christian living, and Christian fiction in the hands of non-Believers, persons that have dropped out of church, and seekers.

Today’s Experience

This morning I read my morning devotional from “A Place at His Table” by Jeannie Waters. While reading I had two people interrupt me and ask about the book. 

One younger woman asked “whose table” the book was talking about. I shared a few brief comments I’d gleaned from the books introduction. I mentioned the table tips and she got excited. 

The other person was a retired judge I knew. She laughed and said I did a good job of vetting books. She said she’ll have to check it out, especially with the holidays coming. 

I see the first woman regularly at my gym and from time to time at the coffeeshop. The second lady I’ve seen for months as she picks up her coffee. She gets coffee and reads most morning. I still remember the morning she interrupted me and said, you’re a writer. She sated, I asked one of the baristas what you do here every day, that’s how I know. I’m always looking for something good to read, tell me about what you write.

Yes, you can have opportunities to share your faith when reading a book. My going to the same place over and over builds a feel of the familiar and a sense of comfort when the regulars come and go and see me doing my thing. 

And while here, many times the Father tugs at their heart and uses me … and sometimes your writing to share the Message of Jesus.

And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 KJV

Learn More Here

A Place at His Table by Jeannie Waters is available from Amazon. Here’s a link where you can learn more on the book. A Place at His Table.

Writing Life – June 8, 2023

Jimmie Kepler holding CS Lewis classic spiritual books bookset.

Hey everyone. Happy Thursday. Let’s make it a terrific day! 🎉 It’s June 8th, and I’m feeling fantastic! Here’s a glimpse of my day so far:

Started the morning with my usual routine of taking my RXs and spending some peaceful time with my devotional. ✨ It’s important to start the day on a positive note!

I had an exciting moment of financial responsibility by making a deposit to my bank savings account as some money I was owed showed up – as they say they check was in the mail.  💰 It’s always great to see those savings grow! I like collecting money more than spending it. Sigh – I paid my quarterly federal taxes yesterday, so on the ledger it’s like a wash or break even.

Then, I hopped into my car and drove to my favorite local coffee house ☕️ to get my caffeine fix. Nothing beats the aroma of freshly brewed coffee in the morning!

Now, I’m diving into some productive writing and editing tasks. 📝 There’s something satisfying about polishing your work and making it shine!

Later in the morning, I’ll be delving back into the enchanting world of “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien. 🧙‍♂️ Can’t wait to get lost in the epic adventure once again!

Afterwards, I’ll be heading to the mall for my daily walk. 🏃‍♀️ It’s a great way to stay active and enjoy some window shopping at the same time!

In the afternoon, I’m continuing my reading journey with “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. 📚 It’s fascinating to explore the intricate depths of Lewis’s mind! I’m reading through the spiritual classics of C.S. Lewis (see today’selfie). 📚

I also have more exciting things to work on today, like more government paperwork preparing for my trans-pacific cruise. 🚢 Adventure awaits!

Yesterday, I had a major win by securing my assigned seats on a Quantas Airlines flight from Sydney, Australia back to LAX for a November trip. I got an aisle seat close to the restroom – both are important for me and especially since I’ll on the plane over sixteen hours. ✈️ The excitement is building up!

Later tonight, I’ll be joining a refreshing Bible Study Magazine session via Zoom. 📖 It’s always inspiring to connect with others and grow in faith together. The group is an important part of my writing family and my personal spiritual growth.

Before I doze off, I’ll be indulging in some captivating bedtime reading with “Madly, Deeply” by Alan Rickman. 🌙 It’s like having a personal conversation with the amazing actor himself! Don’t know Alan Rickman? He was the villain in the first Die Hard movie and Snape in the Harry Potter movies plus many more movies and plays.

Remember, folks, have an amazing day and strive to make a positive impact on someone’s life. Let the light of Jesus shine through you, and spread that love and positivity! ✨❤️ Let’s make the world a better place together!

Writer’s Log, June 1, 2023

Hey there, lovely people! 🌟 It’s June 1, 2023, and guess what? I’m super excited because in just 129 days, I’ll be embarking on a fantastic trans-pacific cruise! 🚢🌊 Can you believe it? This has been on my bucket list forever, and I can’t wait for the adventure to begin!

Let me give you a little sneak peek of the cruise itinerary. We’ll be starting in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, then sailing off to breathtaking destinations like Hawaii, Tahiti, and French Polynesia. Oh, la la! 😍 After that, we’ll make a stop at Pago Pago in American Samoa before heading to the stunning landscapes of New Zealand and Australia. Twenty-nine days of pure bliss! And you know what’s even better? I’ll be spending a few extra days exploring Australia before heading back home. 🐨✈️

Today’s photo is a gorgeous stock image from the stunning paradise of Tahiti, which is part of French Polynesia. Fun fact: you don’t need a visa for stays up to 90 days in Tahiti, but make sure you have your passport ready to go! 🏝️🛂

Now, when it comes to American Samoa, lucky for us Americans, no visa is required. Just don’t forget to pack that passport of yours! As for New Zealand and Australia, passports and visas are a must. Time to get that paperwork sorted ASAP, my friends! 🗺️🛃

But enough about travel logistics. Let’s talk about what’s been happening lately. On Wednesday, I had the most amazing time hanging out with my good friend Les. We indulged in a delicious lunch and took a lovely stroll at North Park Center. And guess what? We even met up with my mysterious friend, who shall remain nameless on the internet, for some mouthwatering Mexican food at one of my all-time favorite restaurants. Good times, good company! 🌮❤️

This morning, I treated myself to a bit of extra sleep since I stayed up until midnight. Rise and shine happened just after eight AM. After taking care of some chores around the house and getting the trash out, I made my way to Starbucks for my much-needed cuppa. ☕

To kickstart my day, I completed my morning devotional, and I’ve been jamming to uplifting Christian music on The Prestonwood Worship channel on YouTube. Seriously, you’ve got to check it out! Here’s the link: 🎶✨

My to-do list is bursting with tasks today, but I won’t bore you with all the details. Let’s just say it involves some walking, reading, and tackling the routine stuff that comes with life. Gotta stay productive, right? 💪📚

Before I wrap up, I want to take a moment to send out some prayers and good vibes to all the incredible attendees of the Blue Ridge Christian Writer conference. As they head home with newfound knowledge, hopes, and dreams, I pray for their safety and that they have the courage to pursue the amazing opportunities they encountered at the conference. You’ve got this, writers! 🙏✍️

Alrighty, folks, it’s time for me to dive into my morning writing session. Thanks for joining me on this little update. Stay tuned for more adventures, fun stories, and positivity coming your way! Until next time! 😄🌈

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

Seek 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. 

Need Guidance?

Bible Verse:

“Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.”

Psalm 25:5 KJV

My Story:

Growing up, I was always a bit of a perfectionist. That’s a nice way to say I was a control freak. I liked structure and order. Planning out every aspect of my life and felling anxious when things didn’t go according to plan was the norm. 

I believed that if I worked hard enough and made the right choices, I could achieve anything I set my mind to. Often my self-talk included, “if you believe it, you can achieve it.” While this mindset served me well, it also caused me to become prideful and self-reliant. 

Not liking to ask for help, I often handled problems on my own. I made these choices because, as a military brat, I became self-reliant. Asking for or needing help seemed weak to me.

In college, a solid group of like-minded and motivated friends surrounded me. I worked hard toward my future. My career path was clear. 

Four years later, I earned a bachelor’s degree and the US Army commissioned me as an officer and selected me for active duty. Like my father, I saw the military as my career choice. 

I did well. Promotions and increases in responsibility followed in record time. Excellence and high performance characterized anything I lead or was associated with. I was on the fast-track.

I held command and leadership positions with increasing responsibility. By age twenty-four I was over one-hundred and seventy-five men and women and managed a twenty-five million dollar budget. 

My peers respected me. Colonels and generals sought my analysis of situations.

About this time, I felt like my career wasn’t as fulfilling. Life and work were out of balance. 

As I sat in my office, I looked at the wall behind my desk. 

Degrees and awards covered my wall as a monument to me. 

Life has to be more than collecting pats on the back, I thought. 

I opened my Bible and stumbled upon Psalm 25:5. 

The words “lead me in your truth and teach me” jumped out at me. I realized I had been trying to do everything on my own without seeking God’s guidance. I took a step back and ask God to show me the path He had for me.

Over the next few months, I began to pray and read the Bible more regularly. I also sought mentors who could provide guidance and wisdom. The US Army wanted me to stay. I was told a White House Fellowship and stars were in my future. “Stay the course,” I was told.

As I did these things, I felt God leading me in a new direction. I requested release from active duty to attend seminary. I switched my major to religious education, paid the price in preparation by earning advanced degrees, and became involved in leading the educational ministry of a church.

It wasn’t a straightforward process. I was not yet a Bible scholar. Yes, sometimes I felt like giving up. But I clung to the promise in Psalm 25:5 that God would teach me and lead me in His truth. And I saw the pieces of my life falling into place.

Now, several years later, I can look back and see how much God has done in my life. He has brought amazing people into my life, given me opportunities I never would have imagined, allowed me to influence thousands of people through my writing, and taught me so much about myself and about Him. 

And through it all, I have learned to trust in His plan for my life, even when it makes little sense to me. 

Psalm 25:5 has become a guiding principle for me, reminding me that God is the ultimate source of wisdom and guidance. It has taught me to seek Him first, and trust that He will lead me in the right direction. And He has done just that.

Who wrote Psalm 25:5 and when was it written?

Biblical scholars attribute Psalm 25 to David. The Bible doesn’t give us the historical background for this Psalm.

We can assume David wrote it during a time of serious trouble. In the Psalm, he references the sins of his youth. Because of this reference, we can assume David wrote later in life.

What is the context of Psalm 25:5?

Psalm 25 is a prayer of trust and guidance in God. It is a psalm of David, and it is uncertain what specific context David wrote it. Scholars think David wrote it during a time of distress and trouble, when he was fleeing from Saul.

Psalm 25:5 reads: “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

David is asking God to guide him in the truth and to teach him. He acknowledges God as his Savior and places his hope in Him throughout the day. David is seeking direction and wisdom from God, recognizing that only God can show him the way to go.

Psalm 25 is a prayer of trust and submission to God, and verse 5 emphasizes how important it is to seek God’s guidance and truth in one’s life.

What is the meaning of Psalm 25:5?

This verse is a prayer to God for guidance and wisdom. God is being asked to lead him in the right direction and teach him the truth. The psalmist acknowledges God as his Savior and places his hope in God all day long.

We can interpret the verse as a call to God for help and guidance in times of difficulty. The passage recognizes God’s sovereignty and power, and affirms of faith in God’s ability to provide direction and guidance in life.

What does “Lead me in thy truth, and teach me,” from Psalm 25:5 mean?

Biblical scholars can read the phrase “Lead me in thy truth” as a request for God to guide the psalmist in the paths of righteousness and to show him the way of truth.

The phrase “teach me” suggests that the psalmist desires to learn and understand God’s teachings and wisdom. Together, these phrases show the psalmist’s trust in God as a faithful and knowledgeable guide in life.

This verse is a prayer of humility and dependence on God, seeking divine guidance and instruction in the ways of truth and righteousness.

What does “for thou art the God of my salvation;” from Psalm 25:5 mean?

“God of my salvation” means that God is the one who provides salvation or deliverance from troubles and difficulties. David recognizes that salvation comes from God alone, and that he must wait on God’s guidance and wisdom all day long.

The verse expresses the psalmist’s dependence on God and his faith that God will guide and teach him in the right way, and save him from his troubles.

What does “on thee do I wait all the day.” from Psalm 25:5 mean?

The phrase “on thee do I wait all the day” means that the psalmist is placing his trust and hope in God, and is waiting for God’s guidance and help throughout the day. The psalmist recognizes that God is the source of his salvation and that he needs God’s wisdom and guidance to navigate his life.

In a broader sense, we can see this verse as a call to faith and trust in God. It encourages believers to turn to God for guidance and protection, and to place their faith in Him throughout the day.

What is the difference in biblical translations of Psalm 25:5 (KJV, NIV & ESV)

• Psalm 25:5 KJV biblical translation says:

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Psalm 25:5 KJV

• Psalm 25:5 NIV biblical translation says:

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalm 25:5 NIV

• Psalm 25:5 ESV biblical translation says:

Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 25:5 ESV

How does Psalm 25:5 give encouragement?

Psalm 25:5 says, “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

This verse can provide encouragement to those who are seeking guidance and direction in their lives. The psalmist acknowledges that God is the God of his salvation and that he is waiting for God’s guidance all day long. This shows a deep trust and reliance on God to provide wisdom and understanding.

The verse highlights why learning from God’s truth has importance. The psalmist recognizes the need to be taught by God and to be led by His truth. This can encourage believers to seek God’s truth through studying the Bible and prayer, trusting that God will provide the wisdom and understanding they need.

Overall, Psalm 25:5 encourages believers to trust in God for guidance and to seek His truth as they navigate life’s challenges.

How can I apply Psalm 25:5 to my life?

Psalm 25:5 says, “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” This verse reminds us that God is the source of truth and salvation, and that we can trust Him to guide us on the right path. Here are some ways you can apply this verse to your life:

  • Seek God’s guidance: When faced with tough decisions or uncertain situations, ask God to lead you in His truth. Pray for wisdom and discernment, and trust that God will show you the right way.
  • Learn from God’s word: The Bible is God’s word and contains the truth that we need to live our lives. Study the scriptures and ask God to teach you through His word.
  • Trust in God’s salvation: Remember that God has already saved us through Jesus Christ. We can trust in His love and grace, knowing that He will never abandon us.
  • Wait on God: Sometimes, we may not receive immediate answers to our prayers or guidance from God. But we can wait, trusting that God will reveal His truth in His timing.

Overall, Psalm 25:5 encourages us to seek God’s guidance and trust in His truth and salvation. By doing so, we can live a life that is pleasing to God and experience His blessings and peace.

A model or example prayer using Psalm 25:5

Dear God,

I come before you with a humble and contrite heart, seeking your guidance and wisdom. Your word in Psalm 25:5 reminds me to trust in you and to seek your ways always.

Lord, I trust in you with all my heart, and I ask that you show me your ways and teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; on you, I wait all the day long.

Help me recognize and follow your will for my life, even when it may not be the easiest path to take. Strengthen my faith and give me the courage to obey you, knowing that your ways are always perfect.

Thank you, Lord, for your loving-kindness and faithfulness. I trust in you and I put my hope in your unfailing love.

In Jesus’ name, I pray.



God’s guidance is available for our life. It begins by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. 

To receive the guidance of God’s truth, we need to ask Him to share and teach us. After asking, we wait for His answer.

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. form Poetry and Prayer Press (c) 2023

Books by Jimmie Aaron Kepler are available online at SEE JIMMIE’s BOOKS

Photo Source: All photos and videos were taken by the author unless noted in the photo caption, unless otherwise credited.

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

The North Texas Ice Storm of 2023

The North Texas Ice Storm 2023

Sunday evening January 29, 2023 at 7 PM is the last time the temperature was above freezing. It’s 9:30 AM on Thursday, February 2, 2023. Too many hours have past with the temperature too cold. – Click on the picture, it’s a 44 second video with my commentary.

Freezing Rain

Freezing rain has fallen for 48 jours. The local weather men and women tells us that freezing rain occurs when the layer of freezing air is so thin that the raindrops do not have enough time to freeze before reaching the ground. Instead, the water freezes on contact with the surface, creating a coating of ice on whatever the raindrops contact.

I have between one and two inches of ice on the ground. Yuck! It’s as if the yard, drive, sidewalks, and paved areas are and ice rink and the Zamboni has driven over it making it slicker.

What’s a Zamboni?

A Zamboni is a mechanical ice resurfacer. It works by scraping the ice surface and collecting the snow (which is later discarded). Next, it “cleans” the ice, by putting down water which flushes the grooves deep in the ice, loosening any dirt or debris. The excess water and dirt is then collected. The ice becomes shiny and very smooth as well as slippery. It’s great for ice skating or playing ice hockey. It’s nearly impossible to walk on in shoes.

Coffee and Tea

As I hunker down inside again today I’ll enjoy a pour over coffee. The kettle is calling me even now. Later, I’ll have my green tea.

For Christmas I received an Ember temperature control travel mug. It’s a stylish mug designed to keep hot beverages hot. It allows you to control the coffee or teas temperature. Fully charged it will keep your coffee the exact temperature you desire for three hours. It will do it longer, if on the charging stand. It’s revolutionized my coffee and tea drinking as I now always have my drink at the perfect temperature.

Photo Source: All photos and videos were taken by the author unless noted in the photo caption.
Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you purchase using the links in the article I receive a small commission.