Walk In A Manner Worthy Of Your Call To Write

 

Walk in a Manner Worthy of Your Call to Write

Text: Ephesians 4: 1 – 6
Focus: Ephesians: 4: 1b – 3

Are you a Christian writer that writes inspirational fiction or devotions to encourage Believers in Jesus Christ? Maybe you are a writer whose drive is sharing Christian themes and principles for the mainstream market. Whatever your motivation, “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,” Ephesians 4:1b.

Ephesians 4:1-6 (English Standard Version) says,

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

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

Humility

Principle One: Humility – “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility” – Ephesians 4: 1b—2a

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

Gentleness

Principle Two: Gentleness – “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience,” Ephesians 4: 1b- 2a

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

Patience

Principle Three: Patience – “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience,” Ephesians 4: 1b- 2a

As a Christian writer, we need to trust God in believing His word would come true. We need to keep on keeping on. We need to accept the fact that it takes time to develop our writing craft.  “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but wish patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” — 2 Peter 3:9

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

Forgiving Love

Principle Four: Forgiving Love – “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,” – Ephesians 4: 1b – 2.

As a Christian writer, we need to realize Christian love covers a multitude of sins. We should write with a respect that loves no matter what. We have all heard it said, “hate the sin, love the sinner.” That is precisely what we must do as writers. After all, as a Christian, you are, by grace saved through faith … it is the gift of God.  Ephesians 2:8-10

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

Unity of the Spirit in the Bond Of Peace

Principle Five: Unity of the Spirit in the Bond Of Peace – “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:3 English Standard Version

Principal five is the sum of points one through four. All four points equal a bond of peace. We are bearing one another in love. Our writing should share and bring people to Christ, not drive them from Christ. “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” – Ephesians 4:4-6 (English Standard Version).

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

Encourage your friends, keep reading and writing.
Jimmie A. Kepler

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Photo Source: Pixabay

This is an original devotion written by Jimmie A. Kepler on May 4, 2012, and edited on July 6, 2013, and August 26, 2018. 

Good Friday and Easter – My Personal Christian Testimony

Being good doesn’t get you to heaven. Being “saved or born-again” does. Here’s my story of “being saved.”

On July 11, 1977, my life changed. If you look up that date in history, you will find nothing historically significant happened on that Sunday. It was a remarkable day for me. Sunday, July 11, 1977, was the watershed event in my life.

July 1977 found me on active duty as a lieutenant in the United States Army. I was serving as Battalion Maintenance Officer, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington. Life was good. I had a beautiful, intelligent wife. I had a new son born in January that same year. My career was going great. I had just received a commendable rating during an Annual General Inspection in maintenance and Department of the Army General Inspection (DAIG). It was the first commendable rating since the division had returned from Vietnam.

Because of the DAIG commendable rating, I received a special officer evaluation report with addendums from my battalion commander, brigade commander, assistant division commander for support, and division commanding general. I with Named an Outstanding Junior Officer of the Ninth Infantry Division because of the commendable rating. I was branch transferred from the Infantry to Ordnance Corps to better utilize my giftedness in leading support maintenance. I received an offer of a regular army commission. I was asked to be assistant division commander for support’s aide.

I always tried being the best I could be and doing what was right. I was a perfectionist, high-achieving, and a workaholic. However, after all of this, I still had an empty, unsatisfied, void, and alone feeling.

Beginning in my college years I tried drinking, women, materialism, partying, and hanging out with the right crowd to fill this unexplained need I had. I knew something was missing from my life.

I was attending First Baptist Church of Lakewood in Tacoma, Washington. I noticed a group of men that seemed to have what I was missing. I attended a Bible study with them.

Here I found that God has given us an essential manual for life — the Bible. He has the answers to the problems and emptiness we may face. I found out I was here for a purpose, and not by accident. I learned Jesus loves me and desires to have a personal relationship with me. However, sin separated me from Him.

I realized I had a sin problem. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 But no one is perfect! We have all sinned and therefore cannot save ourselves by just living a good life. Why?

I learned there was a penalty to be paid for my sin. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

I learned God gives us a promise. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

I learned that God made a provision for me. The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. – Romans 10:9-10

I prayed to accept the gift of eternal life through Jesus. I prayed, “Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I believe that You died for my sins and rose from the grave so that I might have eternal life in Heaven with You. I willingly repent of my sins and ask you to come into my heart and life. Take control of my words, thoughts, and actions. I place all of my trust in You for my salvation. I accept You as my Lord and Savior, and this free gift of eternal life. Amen.”

Since then my life has not been perfect. It’s been far from it. I’ve messed up from time to time, sometimes failing miserably in my decisions and choices. However, I have had direction and purpose in my life. I know where I am headed. I have the Bible to give me the principles for daily living. I am never alone. I have had real peace for the last 40 years.

How about you? Have you ever been “saved”? You can do like I did.

Romans 10:9-10, 13 tells us, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. … For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Why not pray this simple prayer and accept Jesus Christ today.

Your Best Friend


Your Best Friend

If ever you find yourself being broken apart,
Because the one you trusted has broken your heart,
And all the time you find yourself crying,
While on the inside you feel like you’re dying,

Call on me if you feel lonely,
Come to me when your life needs to mend,
From time to time you need only,
Someone with love unconditional – your best friend.

One time life gave you a fright,
Existence was as black as a moonless midnight,
You were feeling so out-of-place,
With no one to hug or embrace,

Then you saw the light,
You came to me in the middle of the night,
And you ran to me to give your heart,
And that’s when your new life did start

Call on me if you feel lonely,
Come to me when your life needs to mend,
From time to time you need only,
Someone with love unconditional – Jesus, your best friend.

Copyright © 2008 by Jimmie A. Kepler
Originally published in “WORDS..RHYMES..POETRY & PROSE!”
Also published in: “Writing After Fifty” and in the book “Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection.”

Poem: Live in the Now

My mother died Sunday evening, December 14, 2014. We buried her on Saturday, December 20, 2014 in the family cemetery. Graves near hers include her parents, grandparents, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins. Mother would have turned 83 years old in February.

For most of my life, I heard mom and daddy dream of moving back to Gonzales County Texas where mother grew up. I heard daddy say her siblings and family were as beloved to him than his brothers and sisters. In the 1980’s they purchased property in the county that was near family. They planned to move.

A diagnosis in 1983 of kidney problems ambushed mother. I still remember the phone call. She was scared. She told me she had received her death sentence. She shared if she didn’t get with the program the doctor recommended they thought she might make ten years at the longest. She was only 50 years-old. She mentioned the doctor said dialysis and a kidney transplant were in her future.

I listened. We prayed. Her concern that the doctor recommended she stay in the Dallas area for the healthcare that was available troubled her. She wanted to move back home when dad retired.

Dad retired in 1988. Mother continued to follow the doctor’s orders. By the early 1990’s she was on serious medication for her kidneys. Her self-discipline was amazing. She still dreamed of getting well enough to move back home.

In the early 2000’s her kidney health continued to decline. I was well in the loop by now taking her to the doctor appointments many times as dad was already in his mid 70’s. In 2003 or 2004 they added her to the awaiting transplant list. There were almost 800 ahead of her on the list just in Dallas County Texas.

She continued to take medications. The daily number of pills taken were in the multiple dozens by now. She still wanted to move back home. I recall her dreaming of maybe after the transplant she would be able to get back to Gonzales County. She fought avoiding going on the dreaded dialysis. Somehow she kept her numbers where she never had to receive that treatment.

In March 2011, she was knocking on death’s door when a miracle of miracles, she had the kidney transplant. She had some issues like a bad heart beat but got that regulated. With the transplant, she came back to life. The next three years were like a miracle. Her strength and vitality returned. She felt chained to the Dallas Transplant Institute having to make multiple follow-up trips each month. This kept her from moving to her beloved Gonzales County.

In October 2014, she started going downhill health-wise. November found her in the hospital for most of the month. By Thanksgiving, she moved to a skilled nursing care facility. There she remained until transported to the hospital on the evening of December 11, 2014.  Her last words to my father were I love you.

In the hospital ICU, a ventilator did her breathing. As I saw her shortly before she took her last breath I got to hold her hand, kiss her forehead, tell her I love her and pass on my father’s last words to her. He said tell her he loved her and to thank her for sharing her life with him.

Mother is now back in Gonzales County now. My 88-year-old father’s comment as we crossed the county line heading back home was this has always felt like home. I love her family. In the not too distant future, I’ll be joining her in our beloved Gonzales County.

I thought of the below poem I wrote a several years ago. If you have dreams, go for them. Don’t delay. You never know when the time will run out.

We Never Lived In the Now

Your face shows your age,
though your countenance is still glowing.
Your age says grown-up,
but you’ve never decided where you’re going.

You’ve grown older.
Yes, I’m older too.
The remainder of our lives is before us,
oh, what’ll we do?

What were the dreams
you had so long ago?
What was your vision?
Where did it go?

You traveled your way.
I went mine.
A history so different,
yet lives intertwined.

The gray now shows in our locks,
showing how much we cared.
Your grin still lights my life,
my smile brightens yours when shared.

You lived for then.
I lived for when.
We never lived in the moment.
No we never lived in the now.

Copyright © 2008 by Jimmie A. Kepler
Originally published in WORDS..RHYMES..POETRY & PROSE!

The poem is included in the book “Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection” available on Kindle from Amazon.

Valentine’s Day Thoughts

I went to the doctor yesterday afternoon. I have severe ear infection. That is causing my dizziness. I’ve had those since a kid. I also have a sinus and repository infection bordering on bronchitis. I was treated for pneumonia back in September and spent a week in bed.

I was treated December 18, December 24, and again January 19 for sinus infection, ear infection and bronchitis. I got another shot, some fourth different type on antibiotic, and a super duper cough medicine that has the warning – “DO NOT DRIVE OR OPERATE MACHINERY WHILE TAKING THIS MEDICATION. IT WILL MAKE YOU VERY DROWSY AND HAVE AN ACCIDENT”. Sounds powerful. It is okay to take at night and then drive during the day.

After the doctor, it was time to go to the pharmacy at the big box store. My experience forces me to offer a “Customer Service Tip”. The tip is set realistic expectations. I turn in an RX. It’ll be ready in 30 minutes I’m told. I check back in 50 minutes. I’m told by the same person it’ll be at least another hour. I am unhappy. If they had said 2 hrs initially and set my lower expectations, I wouldn’t have expected it ready.

The above story gets worse before it gets better. I am told to stand to the side while they get my RX ready. The person waiting on me leaves for lunch without telling me or anyone. I keep waiting impatiently. Finally, a lady I know comes on duty. She helps a couple of people then asks me whats up. I tell her my sad story. She apologizes for the poor service which someone provided. She then checks and finds my RX is ready. It has been ready for 45 minutes.

Apparently, the young man got it ready, but his lunch break time came along, and he just left. Insert scream of frustration here! He didn’t take the time to get it to me before going to eat. He didn’t tell anyone. And I dutifully waited to follow the last instructions I was given. They made sure I left before he returned from lunch. I guess they were afraid I might go postal on him when he returned.

They experience reminds me of when I worked as a senior training specialist for American Express back in the 1990s. I learned the average person with a good customer experience tells at most one or two people if they tell any. Have a bad experience and the horrors are shared with over 20 people.

Last night the new RXs caused me to have insomnia. I was after 4:30 AM before I went to sleep.

It is now Friday morning. It is 63.2 degrees on my front porch at 11:00 AM on Valentine’s Day 2014. After having trouble getting to sleep last night I slept until 9:20 AM. I got up, wished Benita Kepler happy Valentine’s Day, just as she left for work.

I bought a nice gift for her earlier this week for Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, it is sitting on my desk at work, and I am on vacation today and Monday. Linda Lee Tritton that I work with can vouch that it’s there. She saw it and asked about it. I guess it is good intentions gone wrong. I am “resting and relaxing” today. I finally showered and got dressed. I had the music cranked up. I am headed to the Shops at Willow Bend to walk for an hour. Then I will head to my favorite Starbucks to write (12:45 to 3:30 PM).

Today’s writing goals:

  1. Write another chapter in the Bradbury Burroughs Raindome SF novel,
  2. Finish reading the Terry Burns book on writing,
  3. Work on final edits and organizing on my forthcoming book “Lonely and Feeling Blue”. It is a poetry collection due out next month,
  4. I have some book reviews that need finished. The first drafts are written – maybe they’ll get priority today,
  5. Review the registration info for April’s poetry conference “Poetry at Round Top”,
  6. Check out the details for All-Con 2014, Dallas , March 13-16, 2014, and
  7. Check out the details for the biggie – Dallas Comic Con May 16-18, 2014. Now with 4x the space on one floor! 600,000+ square feet of comic and pop-culture family fun. It’s guests will include guests Stan Lee, William Shatner, Nathan Fillion, and Robert Englund. It is a Dallas version of Comicon.

Well, it is time to get on with the day. Oh, the below video is a little something I made for my bride on Valentine’s Day.

Devotional: Overcoming Habits

temptationHave you ever struggled overcoming habits in your life? I know I have. The current battle is with weight and proper eating habits. I am on a mission to reduce my weight, lower my blood pressure and cholesterol as well as triglycerides. It is a huge challenge.

I realize I cannot do this in my own strength. I coincide support groups help. Weight Watchers worked as long as I attended. In the end it is going to take me making healthy choices and saying no the wrong choices.

The Bible has two verses that speak to me in this area. They are Romans 12:1-2. We read: Romans 12:1-2 (ESV) 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

We see the Apostle Paul appealing to us. The appeal is by the mercies of God. He is asking us as an act of worship to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God.

This has me thinking of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV): 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Healthy eating and taking care of my body should be important because it is the temple of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) which lives in me as a Believer. It tells me to glorify Christ with my body. This transitions back to Romans 12:2 which again says: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

The memorization of Scripture is the only way I know to overcome so great a temptation as we face. Even Jesus quoted Scripture when confronted with the temptations of the Satan.

Join me in memorizing God’s Word to help with the temptations we face.

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“Have you ever struggled overcoming habits in your life?” by Jimmie A. Kepler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Review: A Requiem for Love

Requiem of Love“A Requiem for Love” by Calvin Miller is a dramatic work in the tradition of Milton’s Paradise Lost and J. R. R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy.

With A Requiem for Love, the first book in the “Symphony Trilogy”, Calvin Miller displays the strength of his voice and the clarity of his vision. It is a story of fallen love, of impossible dreams and ancient longings, of frustrated ambition and a love so strong that it endures forever.  The first volume of his Symphony trilogy retells the Genesis story.

Miller has a poetic pen. It is on display as he plays off the images of light and darkness. It evokes a poignant picture of the love of power and the power of love.

The original drawings and distinctive page styling make the book a work of art from cover to cover. This is Miller at his best.  I read the book originally when it was first released in 1989.  Read and reviewed by Jimmie A. Kepler.