Deliverance

cyclone-2100663_1920

The Bible does not flatter us with the false hope that goodness will secure us from trouble. Instead, the Bible warns us over and over to expect tribulation while we are in this body. Our afflictions come from all directions and at any time. The challenges are many but with Jesus Christ, we can face each day. There is no promise they will go away in this lifetime. However, the Lord will guide us through or lift us out of them.

Today’s Bible Verse:

Psalm 34:19 (KJV), “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

What the verse means:

The Treasury of David explains it this way. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, etc. Be our troubles many in number, strange in nature, heavy in measure; yet God’s mercies are more numerous, his wisdom more wondrous, his power more miraculous; he will deliver us out of all. Thomas Adams.”

Praying using the verses:

  1. Heavenly Father, we know the afflictions of the righteous are many.
  2. Lord Jesus, we find some comfort in knowing hardships and trials are the norms.
  3. We confess we don’t like them but trust in you.
  4. God our Father, we give you thanks for the promise of deliverance.

Photo Source: Pixaby

How to Make a Free Promotional Video for Your Book

You’ve completed the work. The book is written, edited, and published. It is available for sale on Amazon, iBooks, and Nook. You’ve told your family, friends, and writer’s group your book is there. How do you let the world know when you have a limited or no budget?

Create a Promotional Video

One great way is to create a promotional video. You do not have to have a computer science degree or be a geek to do create the video.

I use the free version of Animoto. It makes it easy for you to create professional-quality videos with your pictures and video clips within minutes. It is a simple 4-step process.

Step 1

Go to https://animoto.com/ and sign up for a free trial account. No credit card is required. They ask only for your email address or you can register using one of your social media accounts.

Once you are signed up, click the blue CREATE button in the upper-right-hand corner. This begins the process of building your video.

Step 2

Animoto has two different video builders, so when you click CREATE, you’ll be asked which you’d like to use.  To create a video for free select the one on the left – Slideshow Video Builder. 

Slideshow Video Builder lets you create a slideshow video using one of Animoto’s more than 100 video styles. It has all you need for building your video built-in at no cost. You can add use your own or their licensed music, plus add captions, text slides, photos, and video clips to your slideshow video. It’s all up to you

The Marketing Video Builder is a paid upgrade option I will not cover because the scope of the article is how to do a promotional video for free.

When you click CREATE the following screen displays.

Select the theme you want. Next push the CREATE VIDEO button. It allows you to make a 30-second video for free.

The below screen appears.

Step 3

Upload photos, video clips, music, and add titles (words) to your slides by clicking on the + highlighted in the below screen capture.

The next screen appears. Click the highlighted icon to select the files for music and pictures that you want.

You’ll see this screen for selecting the files.

Click upload pictures and videos and this is the next screen you’ll see

Select the files you want. Click open. You don’t have to worry about the order they are in. You can easily drag or drop them placing them in the order you desire. Don’t select more than two or three as with the free version you only have 30-seconds. You are not making a full-length movie.

The photos selected now show on the next screen.

Now you will add text with title cards.

Click on the + sign in the highlighted box.

Type your text and click SAVE

The title card is added to the presentation. You repeat the process to add additional photos or titles. Remeber you only have 30-seconds in the free version so you will only have 4 to 5 slides maximum to fit into the time slot. You then can click on a photo to highlight it to add text to the slide the photo is on.

TypeType your text caption and click SAVE

You can then edit your photos right within your video. You can repeat for each picture.

You can select the picture, click on it and the above screen appears. Below the picture the second icon from the right allows you to edit the photo.

Once you’ve made changes click SAVE. Now you can arrange the cips in the order you want them. You just highlight slide and drag it to the location or order you want it in your video.

If using a video clip inside your video you can trim it to the length you want. Click on the video and then edit by reducing the length. You do this by dragging the bar at the bottom. You can drag from either or both ends of the bar to get the portion you desire. Selecting your music is next. Click on the highlighted change song and select the free music that is available.

You have the choice of the top songs

Or you can click the button to see the full library.

You select the song you want and click the select song button.

Next, you preview, produce and share your video

Click PREVIEW VIDEO

The video preview appears. You can accept it and click PRODUCE if you like it or you can click CONTINUE EDITING if changes are needed. If you click PRODUCE it creates the video and the following screen appears. It allows you to then share the video on social media or download it.

Below is a promtional video I made in under 10-minutes.

Enjoy making your own. If you need more detail instruction Google making an Animoto video on YouTube and you will find a number of instructional videos.

A Rocking Chair with a Warm Plaid Blanket

August 31st I retired from my day job as a full-time information technology professional. Amazing coworkers, an ever-evolving workplace that had more changes in my last three years than I had experienced in the previous forty-five years combined, and me, the baby-boomer, thriving with a Millennial skillset working as a Salesforce admin and data integrity analyst filled my last few years.

So … I transitioned to a rocking chair with a warm plaid blanket and shuffleboard at the senior center. Hold it; I did no such thing. Instead, I took off Friday, September 1 through Labor Day Monday, September 4, and then started a new job on Tuesday, September 5 as a full-time writer.

No, writing isn’t my “retirement job.” It is my job.

Writing isn’t something I always wanted to do. To the contrary, I have been writing the 1970s. I had been selling my work and publishing regularly since my first professional writing sale in September 1981.

Since the first fall of the Reagan Revolution, I dreamed of someday transitioning to writing full-time. Through the 1980s 1990s, and 2000s I wrote and sold dozens of magazine and trade journal articles to Christian publications with names like Deacon Magazine, Church Leadership Magazine, Discipleship Training Magazine, Baptist Program, Baptist Standard, and Sunday School Leader Magazine. Weekly newsletter and newspaper columns, as well as secular publications like Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination, Poetry & Prose Magazine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and scholarly journals with limited circulations, also house my thoughts and essays.

By 1997 I was writing online on my Geocities website and had moved on to LiveJournal May 1999. In June 2003 I started blogging using WordPress. https://Jimmiekepler.com, https://prayersforthechronicallyill.org, and https://keplersreviews.wordpress.com are my primary places I blog. Over the years I have also written for several blogs and websites. Just Google my name, and you will find more than you ever wanted to know.

I started writing and publishing books in the last ten years. I am the author of the books Thy Will Be Done: 60 Prayers for the Chronically Ill, The Rebuilder, Miss Sarah’s Secret: A Story of Betrayal and Redemption in Texas, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, Charlie’s Bells: A Short Story Anthology, The Cup, The Paintings, and Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection. Google the title and my name and you will find out more about them as well as where you can buy the books.

So now I write. Monday through Thursday morning I get up and go to my favorite coffee house before sunrise. While there I usually write about three hours. Next, I walk for forty-five minutes to an hour before returning home. I have lunch around eleven thirty. I’ll do household chores like dishes and laundry.

Next, I will either read or study. I sometimes attend webinars in the afternoon as well. I do the business of writing tasks and some marketing in the midafternoon. By three-thirty, I am back to walking to complete getting my 10,000 steps for the day.

Tuesdays this fall I attended a grief workshop. My father passed away last summer. The grief counseling workshop has helped me. Some Wednesday evenings I attend church. On other Wednesday’s I visit my writer’s group at night.

Several Wednesday’s a month I have lunch with my best guy friend. Friday morning I start with attending Men’s Bible Study at my church at six thirty in the morning and then write.

On Saturday mornings I attend a Men’s Bible Fellowship coffee where we solve all the world’s problems. On Sunday’s I go the church and Bible Fellowship Class with my wife. Sunday afternoons are blocked off for lunch with her and anything she wants to do.

How is the writing going? I am glad you asked. Since the first of September, I finished writing “Thy Will Be Done: 60 Prayers for the Chronically Ill.” I came out in print and Kindle versions November 1. I am working on a large print version of the book as well as a sequel “In Jesus Name: 60 More Prayers for the Chronically Ill.” February 1, 2018, will be its release date. I also am writing another fiction book under a pen name. It will be out in early 2018.

You won’t find a rocking chair with a warm plaid blanket and shuffleboard at the senior center in my future. I have too many stories to tell. Besides, I am finally living my dream as a full-time writer.

The Impostor Affect by Andrea Lyn Sims, Ph.D.

You’ve just completed a complex project at work. You nailed the presentation that briefed the company’s executive group. Executive leadership’s praises are echoing in your ears. Your coworkers and team members are dazzled by the fantastic job you did. You learn a significant financial bonus will be on your next paycheck to reward your efforts. By everyone’s standards you are at peak performing and a success yet you wonder if what you did was just a fluke or worse, you don’t even see how marvelous your execution of the project was. You wonder if you could ever pull off anything like this again. You have secret fears that your just a phony.

If most of us are honest we sometimes or almost always feel this way. Andrea Sims brings together a realistic look at the fears most of us face. She pulls back the current curtain on the doubt in our lives. She helped me realize that sometimes I feel like an unworthy or marginally capable and fear others will see how I struggle to accomplish tasks that they somehow seem to think come too easy for me.
​​
To help us understand and deal with these terrible life challenges Andrea Sims leads us through the published research in the field using a case study approach. She opens up to the reader showing vulnerability by using examples of her own experiences and life. This method makes application of the principles studied to life and business.

The Impostor Affect by Andrea Sims is for people who need to know more about this phenomenon for themselves or for assisting others dealing with it. I believe it will also be helpful for high-achievers who doubt their ability consistently to perform at an above average level.

Well done, Dr. Andrea Lyn Sims.

Compassion

tulip-2240347_1920

Suffering a chronic illness affects people in different ways. Depression may come to live with some people. Results of depression’s visit can include bitterness and withdrawal from friends and family. For the Believer in Jesus Christ, it often mellows our heart to make us more compassionate. The chronic illness allows us empathy and often becomes the point of rapport where we can minister to others now walking down the pathway we have recently traversed.

Today’s Bible Verse:

2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 (KJV), “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

What the verse means:

The verses are a reminder of what a wonderful God we have. He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy. He is the one who comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. Why does he do this? He does this where we can help other. When family, friends, or coworkers are troubled, needing our support, sympathy, and encouragement, we can pass on to them aid and comfort God has given us.

Praying using the verse:

1. Heavenly Father, we praise you for how wonderful you are.

2. We acknowledge you are the Father of our Lord Jesus.

3. We proclaim you as the one who wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in hardships and trials.

4. Thank you for teaching us how to comfort others by your example to us where we can give sympathy and encouragement.

Photo Source: Pixaby


 

Attitude

nidaros-cathedral-2068804_960_720

What do you when the doctor says you have cancer?
What if your spouse is the one with the diagnosis of incurable?
What if the future you had planned has just been erased?
The answer is to keep believing and trusting in God.

Today’s Bible Verse:

Romans 8:31b (KJV), “… If God be for us, who can be against us?”

What the verse means:

“If God is for us, then who is against us?” Who can be our foe or oppressor if God is on our side? The Apostle Paul explains how God is the one who justified us (Romans 8:33 ) and Jesus is the one who died for us (Romans 8:34). We miss out on life if we do not realize the extent of God’s love towards us. Jude tells us to keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 1:21) because he knew that having this faith equips the saints to be powerful in the kingdom. Let the believer in Christ never forget that God chose you and called you to be his child. He died for you and sits at the right hand of the Father intervening for you. Nothing can sever the believer in Jesus Christ from God’s love. Understanding this will enable you to overcome any obstacle you face. Understanding this will rescue you from the fear that keeps you in chains.

Praying using the verses:

1. Heavenly Father we are going to be thankful to God – in spite of the illness.
2. Thank you, Father in Heaven, for being our Shepherd.
3. We praise You for meeting our needs where we do not want.
4. Even if our dreams and future are frustrated, we stand strong on our feet of faith.
5. Thank you, God Almighty, for our gift of faith and a positive attitude.

Photo Source: Pixaby

“Thy Will Be Done” is Now Available

What do you do when the future you had planned for yourself, your child, or with your spouse is suddenly erased? A person confronting a chronic illness may feel uncertain about the future. Their hopes and dreams may be placed on hold or have to be altered. They may feel hopeless and helpless. “Thy Will Be Done: 60 Prayers for the Chronically Ill” is a resource to help persons connect with the perfect love which casts out all fear, the love of Jesus Christ.


Available today in Print for $7.99


Available for Preorder – Kindle eBook

Delivers 11/1/2017 for $3.99


If you’ve already purchased the print version the Kindle eBook is only $0.99


$0.00 on Kindle Unlimited


Don’t Lose Heart

flowers-452190_1920

Today’s verse helps us to have a confident acceptance of the reality of life. Part of learning to deal with a chronic illness is learning to not lose heart.

Today’s Bible Verse:

2 Corinthians 4: 16 (KJV), “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”

What the verse means:

Christianity understands the steady decline of the physical body. Though we are rescued from spiritual death and alive with Christ, our bodies remain in the process of decay. The follower of Christ should recognize that our outer bodies are wasting away. From the moment of birth, we begin to die. It is inescapable unless the Lord Jesus returns first. Therefore, we should be released from infatuation with the physical body. The Christian’s faith is far from a fatalistic acceptance of suffering and awaiting death. Every believer in Jesus Christ has their eyes open to something else. That is the continuous restoration of the inner person. The Christian should be aware of increasing inner, spiritual strength. God does not forsake his children, but he gives us growing supplies of grace. The Holy Spirit works in us as an infinite well of life. This is a constant process of renewal. The Lord does not wind us up like a clock at the time of new birth and then ignore us. No, he gives daily spiritual energy. Let us never forget the physical and the spiritual are part of your life every day.

Praying using the verses:

  1. Heavenly Father, help us to not focus on our decaying or diseased body, but to realize that our inner self is being renewed daily.
  2. Lord, help us look to the things that are not seen, not the which are seen.
  3. God, help us look to the eternal, not the temporal.

Photo Source: Pixaby


7 Habits of Effective Writers

Author Carl Sandburg’s Office. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. US Government Public Domain Photo. Source: https://ridb.recreation.gov/images/80329.jpg

In 1989 the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey was published. I am using the idea to apply it to writers. Hence the title, “7 Habits of Effective Writers.”

The best place to start is at the beginning.

Habit One

Start.  You have to put your behind in a seat and begin to write.

Habit Two

Be consistent. I am not saying do it every day. I am saying write on a regular basis.

Habit Three

Have a positive outlook.  Walt Disney was credited with saying, “Think you can think you can’t, either way, you are right.” You need to believe you can and do the work.

Habit Four

Be committed for the long haul. It takes some time to write a story. One book wonders are the exception, not the rule. You can make a living as a writer, but it takes time and hard work.

Habit Five

Be willing to pay the price. When you pay the price in time, money and effort the price you paid is spent investing in yourself.

Habit Six

Never stop learning. You learn by attending conferences. You learn by reading books on the craft of writing. You learn by listening to podcasts and reading blogs. You learn by writing. You learn from your editor. You learn by reading books in the genre you write. An editor you ask. Yes, if traditionally published your encounter editors. If self-published you need to invest in professional editing.

Habit Seven

Have perspective. Your attitude is a key as I mentioned earlier. It’s okay to begin where you are and improve over time. If you are like me you write because you must write. You may need to do an attitude check if you want to have written, just sign autographs, and be adored by fans. I’m not saying that won’t happen. I am saying it is unlikely.

Courage

Facing a chronic illness is a scary daily challenge for both the person with the illness and the family. Through Jesus Christ, we can be strong and courageous.

How can we do this?

We cannot in our by ourselves. Daily the Lord Jesus our God goes with the Christian. We need to remember he goes with us. Today’s Scripture tells us the Lord will not leave or forsake the Believer in Jesus Christ.

Today’s Bible Verse:

Deuteronomy 31:6 (KJV), “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

What the verse means:

Because Christians have God with them they should be of good courage. The courage comes from their confident assurance in God which faith gives. This confident faith in Christ allows us to bravely face each day knowing through him we shall have the ultimate victory.

Praying using the verse:

1. Heavenly Father, please help our family to continue to be strong and courageous in the face this illness.
2. Lord, we ask for Your comfort. Help us to not fear or be in dread of the challenges we are living through. Help us to not grow weary.
3. Thank you for letting us know it is the Lord our God who goes with us and that You will not leave us or forsake us.
4. We pray our family and loved ones would confess faith in Jesus Christ where they too can experience the comfort available to Christians.

Source: Pixaby