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A word of Encouragement from Curt Iles and Creekbank Stories
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A Word from Curt: Gratitude

One of my 6+ Words* for 2016 is Gratitude.  What a wonderful word. My deepest desire is living the gratitude-filled life.  It’s hard to be cynical, bitter, or complacent when we view everything (and everyone) through the lens of gratitude.

Lord, you’ve given me so much. I ask for one more thing: a heart of gratitude. Amen. 

In this Issue:

  • Prayer Notes.
  • Curt@60  Today is my birthday.
  • Our Upcoming Books: Trampled Grass/As the Crow Flies.
  • Writers Doubt:  Beta Readers needed!
  • What I’ve been reading. 
  • Curt’s Six Plus Words.
  • Upcoming Speaking Events. 

Prayer Notes

  • Gratitude for my health. A year ago, I had just spent two weeks in a Kenyan hospital.  I’ve regained my health and am so thankful.
  • A selfish request: pray for our eight grandchildren. Pray that they will come to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus. Pray especially for Emma Iles as she moves (with her parents) to Boston. It’s a long ways from Dry Creek to Boston, literally and figuratively.
  • Pray for focus on our work as chaplains with Roy O Martin and DeDe’s upcoming teaching job.
  • Pray for perseverance on our current book projects.
  • KB and Daizy Thomas.  They are in Uganda for two weeks.  This is Daizy’s first trip back to her home village. Pray!   Photo below: Daizy at the airport Monday with (L to R) Mom KB, Lauren, Kelli, and Sammie Jo.

Curt@60: The Shortest Road to London.
June 1. Today is the first day of hurricane season.
It’s also my 60th birthday.
I’ve been thinking about this story:  
Many years ago, the London Times held a contest.  The rules of this contest were relatively simple.  The winner would be the person who could fill in the following sentence with the best ending: The shortest road to London is _____________.             Many creative ideas were sent in.  However, the winning entry was both simple and deeply profound.  Here is what the insightful winner of this contest wrote:
                                    The shortest way to London is with good company.
How true it is that any journey is a pleasure while traveling with good friends.  This is especially true in the journey of life.
I have several thoughts rolling in my mind on this day of turning 60:
1. As stated earlier, I’m overwhelmed with Gratitude for all of the gifts I’ve been given. I’m thankful, just not thankful enough. I want gratitude to be my default response to life.
2.  We are all called to be Encouragers. There’s a thousand ways to be encouraging including words, deeds, smiles, affirmations, correction, notes, and stories.  Encouragement is one of the greatest needs of the 21st century.
3.  What we achieve is not near as important as who we become.
4.  To leave a legacy, we must live with integrity.
5.  Legacy is about L.T.W.B.T.Y.G.I.       Leave this world better than you got it.
6.  The LLL life is the best road.   Life Long Learning!
7.  The shortest road to London  is with good company.  Relationships rule!
8.  We should develop traditions, rituals, and customs to pass on to our children and grandchildren. We cook birthday donuts (from canned biscuits) on birthday mornings.  It’s a simple but beloved tradition in the Iles clan.

We’re starting a new tradition this year: Half birthdays.

This website,, computes half birthdays. i.e. the day when you’ll be a half year older than your birthday. Our grandson, Luke, was born on June 30, 2016.  We’ll celebrate his 6th birthday on June 30.  My goal is do a small special thing with him on his next half birthday, December 29. One more tradition to build the glue that is family.

Why I write:
I recently saw an old friend who’d been in prison. Tearfully, he said,  “Thanks for sending your books.  God really used them among the men inside the walls.” I was humbled. I’d forgotten about the books.  The idea that God used what I’ve written to help hurting people relit the fire in my heart to write for the Kingdom’s influence, and impact in the souls of men and women.
Here’s a five minute way you can help:  Go to our Creekbank Amazon Page and write a short honest review on our books you’ve read. Word of mouth is a writer’s best friend!

Cover of Trampled Grass

Trampled Grass
By July, Trampled Grass will available in softcover print. It contains forty touching stories about the South Sudanese war refugees and Ugandan and American heroes who reached out to them. You can order the eBook through Amazon Kindle   or pre-order an autographed copy through contacting us.

Trampled Grass
Stories of Courage and Hope
Curt Iles
200 pages softcover
$15 per copy plus $5 shipping/per order.

As the Crow Flies, the third historical novel in the Westport Series, is being shopped among Southern Fiction publishers.  Pray for an open door into a new market for our novels.  When, and how, it is released will be determined in the coming year.  Thanks to all of you who’ve anxiously awaited the sequel to The Wayfaring Stranger and A Good Place. If you’d like a sneak peak at the first chapter, click here.  

Writers Doubt
I’m being transparent: I’ve really struggled being satisfied with the beginning of As the Crow Flies.  I call it “Writers Doubt” and its part of the process of writing an 80,000 word book.  I’m in need of two things:   1. Folks to pray for this project.  I’m serious. We need your prayer.    2. We need Beta Readers.  A Beta Reader reads early drafts of a book and helps the author with constructive criticism. It’s not necessary to be a great grammarian. In fact, the best beta readers are avid novel writers who enjoy a good story and are willing to give feedback. If you’d like to be a beta reader for chapter 1 (or more) of As the Crow Flies,  email us.

Here are the several questions for chapter 1 and our narrator, Missouri Cotten:
1. What does Missouri’s description of No Man’s Land evoke for you?
2.  How do you see Missouri’s love/hate relationship with her parents?  How do you see love?  Hate? Bewilderment?
3.  What three words describes Missouri?
4.  What does it seem like Missouri is searching for in her life? 
5.  What do you like best about the chapter?  What would you add?  change? delete?

What I’m reading 
Being a Life Long Learner, I’m committed to reading good books.  Here are several currently shaping my heart and soul:Many of the best books I find come from the recommendation of friends.  What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Where I’m speaking:

  • June 6-9     Living Waters Kids Camp   Robert, LA
  • June  13-16   Camp Judson RA Camp    Jackson, LA
  • June 21   Temple Baptist Ruston Sr. Adults
  • June 23   FBC Lake Charles 
  • June 24  Westside Baptist  Moss Bluff, LA
  • June  27-30   Dry Creek Boys Camp   Dry Creek, LA

Links you’ll like
Free Download of Marriage Checklist  
Curt’s Creekbank Amazon Page     How you can help:  go to the Creekbank Amazon page and write a honest review on any/all of our books you’ve read.
Our Books Page at The Creek  
Our Pinterest Book Covers 
Preview of As the Crow Flies  

For our African friends: Read this story letter in Francais or Swahili.

Copyright © *2016* *Creekbank Stories LLC*, All rights reserved.
*June 2016 Story Letter*Our mailing address is:
*PO Box 6060 Alexandria, LA 71307*Want to change how you receive these emails?
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