On November eleven
As all of us knows
We signed an armistice
With all of our foes
And threw off our gas masks
We laid down our gun
And buried our hatchet
Along with the Hun
Now eight years have passed
Since that glorious day
When we signed that armistice
That ended the fray
And thousands of boys
Emerged from the strife
To come home a cripple
For the rest of his life
And thousands of others
Are over there still
Who never came home
And of course never will
They followed old glory
To a faraway shore
And to the loved ones at home
They returned never more
Althou’ we won glory
Across the big pond
We owe our respects
To our comrades that’s gone
And we’ll pause from our labor
Our tribute to pay
To our fallen companions
On Armistice Day
Written by Thomas Aaron Kepler in 1926. Copyright © Estate of Thomas Kepler
The poem was written by my grandfather, Thomas Aaron Kepler. It is one of several poems I have that he wrote and published. He was a resident of Jamestown, Ohio. He passed away before I was born. His poetry and writing are the only way I have had to know him.
“Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.” –Crossway Bibles (2011-02-09). The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (p. 534). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
As Christian writers, our witness is as important as the stories or poems we write.
If our private lives don’t match our public lives, our writing suffers. More importantly, we have people tune out the message of Jesus Christ because of our witness. They label us as just another religious hypocrite.
One of the most significant and miraculous things in life is to heed God’s voice. It is when we fully trust and follow in His ways.
I know what you are thinking, how can you know the ways and instruction of God? First, you ask God through prayer. Second, you spend time in His word, the Bible, by reading, meditating on and memorizing Scripture. Third, you listen to God’s herald … this would be listening to sermons as you attend church.
You might be thinking, but you don’t know me. I have really failed. I have broken so many of God’s teachings … how can He ever use me. God is a forgiving God. 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV teaches, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
God has a plan for your life.
Never forget that God knows your heart. He even knows your most secret thoughts and feelings. God knows the number of hairs on your head. God knows everything!
Maybe you think you have everything under control. If you think that, you are wrong. Only God has everything under control.
Maybe you are feeling confused and just need direction in your life. Maybe the struggles of daily living and just meeting life’s expenses have you down. You feel spiritually broken.
One thing we can do in times of brokenness and confusion is look and pray for our needs … and don’t forget to thank and praise God when He meets your needs!
An example of God’s provision from my life was recently finding a large package with twenty rolls of toilet paper in the middle of the highway. I stopped, picked it up, and took it home. My wife shared she hadn’t purchased any that week when she bought groceries, but had been looking for some on sale as our finances were tight. God met this everyday need in our life. Another example could be a friend who calls and speaks words of reassurance or encouragement when you feel depressed or hopeless.
As Christian writers, we are God’s provision for others.
We are the used to meet needs in other’s lives. We need to heed God’s instructions where others will listen to what God is saying through our writings. When we fail to walk with God, our witness doesn’t point others to Christ, but can actually lead them astray.
Kristen Clark and Lawrence J. Clark book “How to Write & Publish Your Inspirational Short Story” is a must read for not only writers of inspirational short stories, but for short story writers of any genre. It delivers on the promise of the book’s title. It shows you how to do it.
I liked the way the book begins telling their story of how they got started. The authors share their experiences and lessons learned when writing and getting their work published. They are writing from the practitioner point of view. The content of the chapters matches the chapter titles. Chapters titles like The Art of Getting Started, A Powerful Opening, The Compelling Ending as well as Writing Tips and Editing will guide the want to be writer through the process and serve as sharpen the skills of the established short story author.
Bravo on a job well done. This is a much-needed work addressing the short story from the inspirational point of view with principles and ideas that work in any genre. Five stars with a strong recommendation. It would make a great resource for writing groups or college English writing classes.
Going Out to Eat
Sweetheart, do you have a preference on where we go out to eat?
No. Anywhere you want is okay with me dear.
Great, there is a McDonalds’ Restaurant; they have a senior coffee discount …
Oh, but look, there is a Subway Restaurant; I think that would be better.
Okay, Subway it is. I’ll let you off at the door and then park the car.
Do you see anything on the menu you prefer?
No. Anything you want is okay with me dear. We can share a foot-long sub.
Great, how about a foot-long Italian Meatball submarine sandwich?
Oh, but the Black Forest Ham sub; I think that would be better.
Okay, make it a foot-long Black Forest Ham on wheat bread please.
Oh, get whatever you want dear, but white bread …
Ma’am, can you change that to white bread please
I’d like American cheese …
Dear, Pepper Jack; I think that would be better.
Okay, make it Pepper Jack cheese.
We’d like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, green peppers, banana peppers, jalapeños ……
Anything you want is okay with me dear, but maybe not the tomatoes and pickles …
Ma’am, hold the tomatoes and pickles please.
What if we skipped the green peppers, banana peppers, jalapeños and just got black olives?
Okay, make it black olives and mayonnaise instead of green peppers, banana peppers, jalapeño.
Oh, maybe you should go with the light mayo; remember your waist line …
Yes, dear. Ma’am, we’ll take light mayo instead please.
Sir, do you want to make that a combo with chips and drink?
Dear, we’ve got water and apple slices in the car. No need to splurge, but …
Okay, just the sub, not the combo.
That was a very good lunch. Thank you for taking me out to eat
Aren’t glad I let you have whatever you wanted dear?
And he was glad he remembered,
“Love is patient, and is kind;”
Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Written in Estes Park, Colorado
“Going Out to Eat” was originally published in vox poetic. Kepler, Jimmie A. “Going Out to Eat,” vox poetica, January 27, 2014, Retrieved January 27, 2014 from http://voxpoetica.com/eat/.
Photo Credit: By Bill Branson (Photographer) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Here is a review I wrote on the book “The Battle of An Loc” by James Wilbanks for the Military History Book Club. A must have book for anyone with an interest in Viet-Nam. This is a very good read. The Battle of An Loc was a major battle of the Vietnam War that lasted from April 13 to July 20, 1972. It culminated in a decisive victory for South Vietnam’s Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). The struggle for An Loc was one of the most important battles of the war. It saw the introduction of conventional warfare and tanks by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). The ARVN forces halted the NVA advance towards Saigon. It delayed the war’s end by three years.
The author, James Wilbanks, was present and wounded at An Loc. This is not only his account, but gives insights from the North Vietnamese and US Advisor’s after action reports plus other communist documents. The role of the unending US air support, the bravery of the US air crews, and the orchestration by the Forward Air Controllers to the battle’s victory for the ARVN and US Advisor’s is covered in warranted great detail. The inability of the NVA to have armor and infantry work together in more conventional warfare is clearly brought to light and documented. Wilbanks gives insights into Richard Nixon’s Vietnamization’s perceived success by the politicians and its ultimate failures. This is a must have read and must have addition to the library for anyone with interest in the war in Viet-Nam.
Read and reviewed by Jimmie Aaron Kepler.
Well, the time has come to announce Dan O’Brien’s latest project: Mobsters, Monsters & Nazis: a collaboration between Dan O’Brien and Steve Ferchaud, who illustrated Conspirators of the Lost Sock Army and the Loose Change Collection Agency. What I am revealing today is the sketches for some of the interior illustrations (which will be black and white) of the first issue. It will be released as six issues (eBooks) starting on Halloween. It is influenced by film noir, pulp comics, and an abiding love of Lovecraft. It is now available for pre-order and Dan will be promoting it heavily starting in the month of October. He would love to hear what you think of it so far! Visit him at: http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter, @AuthorDanOBrien.
#ETCWC Take away #1 – The conference provides you with the kind of classroom session experience you can’t get anywhere else (even if you go back to school). It provides it from an evangelical Christian world-view.
#ETCWC Take away #2 – You get to network with like-minded people and even get one-on-one time with instructors, speakers, agents and other authors.
#ETCWC Take away #3 – People who attend the East Texas Christian Writer’s Conference leave motivated. They are “fired-up” about writing. They are enthusiastic about what they’re doing. They leave with the inspiration and the drive to go home, sit down and write as if it’s the only thing that matters in the world. Going to the #etcwc will help you start, re-start, or finally finish that project you have been imagining of getting into print.
#ETCWC Take away #4 – You meet other writers. You meet people who have signed with agents. You meet people with books in print. You realize they are just like you. You realize you too can do it. You can write a book.
#ETCWC Take away #5 – Networking is undoubtedly the most important aspect of a conference. Take time to meet new people. Remember, to have a friend you must be a friend. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly …” – Proverbs 18:24a KJV
#ETCWC Take away #6 – It is a great monetary investment in yourself. The conference cost for me including registration, preconference sessions, lodging (I stayed at the Motel 6), meals and gasoline was under $200. That means I only have to save $4.00 a week or 55 cents a day to have the money to attend next year. I can do that I skipping on trip to Starbucks a week! I am worth it.