The Blog of Author & Poet Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Coffee

Coffee

By Jimmie Aaron Kepler

The timer starts the morning pot
brewing where it greets me
at the same time my alarm rings.

The first cup hides my morning breath
as it energizes the blood flowing through my veins
enabling me to stumble to my car
and drive to Starbucks for more.

A sunrise latte gives me the pick-me-up required
to face the tollway and morning rush hour.

A generic cup of Joe at work
gives me something to hold on to
as I begin the first
in a string of meetings.

A mid-morning cup of coffee
provides the jolt to make it to noon
where a fresh cup at my favorite café awaits.

Then a mid-afternoon cup
helps me survive the challenges
before the clock announces it is 5:00
and I can leave.

A drive-by Starbucks
provides the lift
before I sit in traffic
during evening drive time.

A fresh pot greets me
along with my
after-dinner pie and ice cream.

I fill the pot with water,
add fresh grounds
and set the controls before retiring for the evening.

And the timer starts the morning pot
brewing where it greets me
at the same time, my alarm wakes me.

“Coffee” by Jimmie Aaron Kepler originally appeared in the September 23, 2013 issue of vox poetica Magazine.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Comments about Coffee and Jimmie’s poetry:

  • Jean – “Jimmie! Beautifully written and all too true. I like the way you ended as you began. Thank you so much for this engaging poem.”
  • Annmarie – “Jimmie Kepler writes a love poem to a rock star.”
  • Brittany- “I love his story poems. He writes wonderful narrative poetry. They frequently remind me of the lyrics of a folk song.”
  • Marissa – “I heard Jimmie do a reading of ‘Forever Still’ in Plano, Texas about a year ago. His poetry has the passion of the Beat Poets, the tenderness of the hippie poets, and the intellect of the renaissance man. His southern gentleman manners and charm as well as his soothing, Bill Clinton like voice and pacing makes a woman dream of snuggling, curled up by the fireplace with him as he holds her and reads his magical words to her. I love his poems “Forever Still” and “While You Were Sleeping.”

Thanks

Part of learning to deal with a chronic illness is learning to give thanks.

Today’s Bible Verse:

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV), “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

What the Verse Means:

The verse reminds us that Christians should not only pray to God but also give thanks to Him. We should thank him in everything, in every circumstance, in joy as well as in sorrow.

Praying Using the Verse:

1. Heavenly Father, help us always show gratitude to family and friends who help and support us as we battle our chronic illness.
2. Lord Jesus, help us to praise God daily for who He is and for His love and care for our loved one (or yourself) confronting the chronic illness.
3. God Almighty, we thank you for a loving church and Bible fellowship class and our brothers and sisters-in-Christ who help and support us.
4. We give thanks for the good medical care and counsel.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Focus on God

Dealing with a chronic illness can often lead to depression. Don’t focus on your circumstances. Instead, focus on God.

Today’s Bible Verse

Psalm 42:1-5 (KJV), “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holy day. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”

What the Verse Means

The first five verses of Psalm 42 are the cry of a man far removed from the ordinances and worship of God. It shares the voice of a spiritual believer, possibly under depressions, longing for the spiritual renewal of God’s divine presence. We see him facing doubts and fears as well as clinging to his faith in the living God.

Praying using the verses

1. Heavenly Father, help our soul to pant or long for you.
2. Lord Jesus, our soul thirsts for the living God. We ask, when shall we come and appear before the living God?
3. Lord, we long for you. Our tears have been our food night and day.
4. God, our hope is in you for we shall praise you!

Photo Source: Pixaby


Joy

Chronic pain can cause a person to lose their joy. Casting our cares on God and receiving his comfort can help restore our joy.

Today’s Bible Verse:

Psalm 30:5 (KJV), “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

What the verse means:

When our soul is afflicted by sin or by suffering from chronic pain, we often feel as if we cannot go on or are dead. When we seek our comfort in God either through repentance for sin or the intimacy of bearing our soul and hurts to the Father, it is like life returning to the dead. We find our bliss and favor from God. Only He is so reviving. It is our unending treasure.

Praying using the verses:

1. Heavenly Father, thank you for turning night into day, sighing into singing, grief into gladness, mourning into music, bitter into sweet, and wilderness into a paradise.

2. Lord Jesus, we realize that the ups and downs of life are the ebb and flow we need to keep our souls in a healthy constitution. We ask that you walk with us on this journey.

3. We praise you Lord for the joy that comes in the morning. Help us to keep our eyes on you. Help us to realize every day is a day of new beginnings. Even when we fail you and ourselves, we can start anew daily.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Comfort

Have you ever been overwhelmed by your thoughts of how you will be able to handle or manage your loved one’s or your chronic illness? Have the “what ifs” overtook you? Are the majority of your thoughts confused and even torturing you with the cares and fears about the future?

Today we will see how God’s comfort delights our soul. His promises, contained in His word (the Bible), and the memory of our past experiences of His care and kindness to us, afford us comfort. They can restore our discouraged mind.

Today’s Bible Verse:

Psalm 94:19 (KJV), “In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.”

What the verse means:

When we find myself worried because of considering various possible outcomes and scenarios, listen to ungodly counsel from well-meaning friends, or just drown in self-pity, we need to return to the Lord for true rest and comfort. God’s comfort satisfies my soul. Focusing and meditating on His Word and teachings comfort me and actually delight me. True comfort only comes from God’s Holy Spirit!

Praying using the verses:

  1. Heavenly Father, we confess too often our thoughts we are filled with various and confusing ideas. Protect us from the negative thinkers and their negative counsel.
  2. Lord Jesus, we confess at times we are tortured with cares and fears about our future due to our loved one’s chronic illness.
  3. God Almighty, we praise you because your comfort delights our soul.
  4. Your promises we have heard taught in Sunday School as well as heard preached in church, and have read in the Bible. They comfort us.
  5. Lord, the memory of our past experiences of your care and kindness to us, afford us such comfort as they restore our discouraged mind.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Shelter and Tower

Sometimes the daily struggles of living with a chronic illness overwhelm us. At these times we need a place of retreat, a place of refuge. The Believer in Jesus Christ has such a place. It is to come before God. We can do this by reading the Bible, praying, and being still as we wait and listen for God’s still small voice.

Today’s Bible Verse:

Psalm 61: 3 (KJV), “For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.”

What the verse means:

Today’s verse reminds us of God’s faithfulness to David in times past, how He has delivered us. As a Christian, we too can remember God’s faithfulness in our life. We know the comfort we have felt from his presence and how we have found safety in His word and presence. We also know because of faithfulness past and His unchanging nature, He will not leave us now. He is a strong tower of protection for us from the enemies we face.

Praying using the verses:

  1. Father in Heaven as we reflect on your Word we remember Your faithfulness to us in times past.
  2. Lord Jesus, we thank You for Your protection and provision in the past.
  3. God of the Heavens and the Earth, we know You are eternal and that Your nature is unchangeable. It is because of this we ask You deliver Miss Benita from the Melanoma and Neuroendocrine Carcinoid.
  4. We ask this Lord because we have seen in our own lives and know that only You have the power to deliver her.
  5. We ask this also because our experience is and has been that You are here ministering to use in our time of need. 6. 6. Since Your do not sleep, slumber, or change who You are, we know You will not leave Miss Benita alone as she daily faces the cancers

Photo Source: Pixaby

God’s Love

Seven Minutes with God: Daily Prayers for the Chronically Ill

God’s Love

What do you do when the future you had planned 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. When they feel uncertain about the future, lead them to that perfect love which casts out all fear. Share the love of Jesus Christ.

What is a chronic illness? A chronic disease is one lasting three months or more, by the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear. Examples of chronic illnesses are:

• Alzheimer disease and dementia
• Arthritis
• Asthma
• Cancer
• COPD
• Crohn disease
• Cystic fibrosis
• Diabetes
• Epilepsy
• Glaucoma
• Heart Disease
• HIV/AIDS
• Multiple sclerosis
• Oral lichen planus
• Parkinson disease

Today’s Bible Verse:

1 John 4:18 (KJV), “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

What the verse means:

John says that perfect love produces courage in the day of judgment. Why? Perfect love produces a likeness to Christ. Jesus Christ is the Judge. There is another way in which love produces boldness. It does this by its casting out fear. The entrance of perfect love through Jesus Christ is for fear a cease and desist letter to quit. A persons cannot both love and fear the same person or thing. When perfect love comes in, the darker fear departs. When love arrives, it brings hand in hand with itself Courage. Boldness is the companion of love, only when love is perfect. Only professing Christians can experience this perfect love of God, a love that casts out fear. As Believer’s we can face the future, including a chronic illness, and even death with the peace that only comes from Christ’s perfect love.

Praying using the verses:

  1. Lord Jesus, thank you that there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.
  2. Heavenly Father, help us to keep our minds focused on you and your love for us.
  3. Remove any fears we may have as we look to the future.
  4. Provide us with your grace to meet the challenges we encounter daily.
  5. Help us to know as Believers in Jesus Christ our ultimate future is in Heaven.

Photo Source: Pixaby


Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in Christian publications like Deacon Magazine, Church Leadership Magazine, Discipleship Training Magazine, and Sunday School Leader Magazine as well as secular publications like Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination, Poetry & Prose Magazine, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. He is a former Captain in the US Army.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in English and Military Science from The University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Arts and Master of Religious Education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as the Doctor of Education degree. His books and collections available on Amazon. This blog post is from his forthcoming book, “Seven Minutes with God: Daily Prayers for the Chronically Ill.”

Family Reunion by Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Smoky Mountains - Missionary Baptist Church 3

Family Union

The setting was an old wood framed church house.
Built on the crest of a gently sloping tree covered hill.
Its wood siding all faded and weather-worn.
The brass church bell for years had been still.

He walked up the hill to the church house.
With each step, old long-past years reappeared.
Soon in his mind, he could hear the congregation singing.
Then down his cheeks streamed the warm, wet tears.

Once again, the old song leader was his grandpa.
His young Mama on a pump organ played.
Packed on the third pew were his mischievous boy cousins.
Standing by the back door to the music his dear daddy swayed.

And old remembrances flooded his being.
A grand family reunion was well under way.
Hearing again the stories of King Jesus,
He couldn’t hold the tears at bay.

Then he moved from the little wooden church house.
Walked down the hill on the path just ahead.
The music and memories slowly fading in the distance.
He arrived at a cemetery with the graves of his family long dead.

There will be a great reunion in heaven in the future,
They’ll all be reunited one wonderful day.
They were all Believers in Jesus,
He’s the Light, the Truth, and the Way.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
December 2015

Picture Credit: Jarek Tuszynski / CC-BY-SA-3.0 & GDFL [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons


Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in Christian publications like Deacon Magazine, Church Leadership Magazine, Discipleship Training Magazine, and Sunday School Leader Magazine as well as secular publications like Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination, Poetry & Prose Magazine, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. He is a former Captain in the US Army.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in English and Military Science from The University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Arts and Master of Religious Education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as the Doctor of Education degree. His books and collections available on Amazon.

Estes Park, Colorado

Today’s coffee-house photos are of the Starbucks in Estes Park, Colorado. It has two entrances. One is off the main highway that goes through town. The other is off the Big Thompson River and the river walk. It is one of my favorite Starbucks location. I’ve had coffee there at least a dozen times. I visit each time I attend the writer’s conference in Estes Park. They have great WiFi with tremendous bandwidth.

estes-park-co


Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a military brat. In his youth, he worked in a grocery store, warehouse, sold soft drinks at a major league baseball stadium, and as a folk-rock band as a rhythm guitar player. He has enough college degrees to cover a wall and even served his country in the US Army. Working in IT has paid the bills the last two decades. He’s been freelancing since Ronald Reagan was president. He’s even won an award for short story writing. Google his name. You’ll find his work and can buy a few novels with his name on the book’s spine. He lives with his cat and cancer-battling wife in north Texas.

Protection

Seven Minutes with God: Daily Prayers for the Chronically Ill

Protection

As I face the challenges of applying a yucky tasting prescription steroid gel inside my mouth twice a day and using a compounded prescription “magic mouthwash” that has a cocktail of four different prescriptions I find myself growing weary of treating my oral lichen planus.

Remembering to use the magic mouthwash at the right times is critical. Swishing and spitting after meals, not before meals is essential where I don’t swallow the mixture’s medicine with food or drink. It is not for internal use. The steroid gel is applied to gauze and then placed inside the mouth in the appropriate location for fifteen minutes.

Even under a physician’s care, it was hard for me to place something in my mouth marked external use only. After removing the gauze the mouth feels like I still have the gauze inside of the mouth for about an hour. Plus there is that terrible taste. Add to that I made the mistake of going to a forum on the disease and treatment. It was scary as I read about people claiming to have lost the sense of taste from using the medication. It made me cry out for God’s protection.

Today’s Bible verse:

Psalm 3: 3-4 King James Version (KJV), “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.”

What the verse means:

What the verse is saying in today’s English is that God shields me like a force field. His protection is three hundred and sixty degrees. around me.  In Christ, I am both grounded in the reality of the situation and able to hold our head high. I know I am not alone. With all my strength I shout to the Lord. My cries do not go unanswered. He voice thunders His answer from His holy mountain. 

Praying using the verse:

  1. Heavenly Father, I pray to You and You alone. I confess You are our shield.
  2. Lord Jesus, You are our glory.
  3. Thank you for being the lifter of our head.
  4. We rejoice knowing we can cry to You and You answer our cries.

Photo Source: Francisque Millet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; Page URLFile URL.


Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in over twenty venues, including Christian publications like Deacon Magazine, Church Leadership Magazine, Discipleship Training Magazine, and Sunday School Leader Magazine as well as secular publications like Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination, Poetry & Prose Magazine, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. He is a former Captain in the US Army. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in English and Military Science from The University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Arts and Master of Religious Education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as the Doctor of Education degree. His blog Kepler’s Book Reviews was named a 100 best blogs for history buffs. His books and collections are available on Amazon. This blog post is from his forthcoming book, “Seven Minutes with God: Daily Prayers for the Chronically Ill.”

Winner Very Inspiring Blogger Award

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Available on Amazon


THE REBUILDER
by Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Available on
Amazon Kindle Version
Available on Amazon Print Version

MISS SARAH'S SECRET
by Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Available on Amazon Kindle Version
Available on Amazon Print Version

Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection
by Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Gone Electric
Available on Amazon

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Jim Kepler

Jim Kepler

Jim Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in Christian publications like Deacon Magazine, Church Leadership Magazine, Discipleship Training Magazine, and Sunday School Leader Magazine as well as secular publications like Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination, and Poetry & Prose Magazine. He is honorably discharged at the rank of Captain from the US Army. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in English and Military Science from The University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Arts and Master of Religious Education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as the Doctor of Education degree. He is both an ordained minister and ordained deacon. His books and collections are available on Amazon. He writes his fiction under the name Jimmie Aaron Kepler and nonfiction under the name Jim Kepler.

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