How to Better Understand Your Church’s Deacons

How to Better Understand Your Church’s Deacons

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at How to Better Understand Your Church’s Deacons.
The Establishment of Deacons
Over the years I’ve seen great deacons, mediocre deacons, and lousy deacons. Sometimes this disparity stems from a misunderstanding of what a deacon is and is not. The first mention of deacons appears in Acts 6:1-7:
“And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
While you don’t see the word deacon in the English, the word serve stems from the Greek word diaconos which means servant among other things. We see from this passage that the Grecian widows were being neglected. The underlying reason was that the Apostles were so busy proclaiming the Word that they didn’t have time to take care of these matters. So they created the office of deacon to take care of the daily needs of the people, in this case the Grecian widows.
The impact upon the Ministry
Then and now the deacons provide a very strong presence in the church. Not necessarily as rulers but as men who, under the authority of the pastor, serve the congregation. The pastor benefits from their ministry so that the ministry of the gospel would go forward in power. It benefits the people in that their needs are constantly looked after.
Do Deacons Run the Church?
Somewhere during the ensuing generations there arose the belief that deacons were there to protect the congregation from the pastors. While there isn’t any Scripture to support such a belief it is believed and practiced in some otherwise Biblical churches. Aside from its unbiblical source it also creates a division between the pastor and the people.
When you study it out in the Bible the deacon represents the pastor. While it is expected that the pastor would visit those who are sick sometimes he is unable to visit all of them or even any of them (he’s sick, etc.). In those cases it is not uncommon for a deacon to make the visit on behalf of the pastor. To use that occasion to undermine the pastor is to become an Absalom who stole the hearts of the people from King David.
How are Deacons selected?
Most churches use a method that is similar to what is seen in Acts 6. This procedure consists of Nominated by the people, Approved by the Pastor, and Elected (chosen) by the people. So the people have a hand in the process, whereas the Pastor examines the worthiness of the nominee and uses Scripture to determine if the nominee should be approved. The actual selection is by the people.
But the first thing that needs to be done is: , look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. Also Deacons should be held to the same standard as the pastors!
Different churches have different criteria pertaining to term of office. For example, some churches elect their deacons for a term of six years and every year they re-elect a certain number of deacons or elect new ones to replace the existing deacons. Another thing that churches differ on is that in some churches if a man is elected a deacon the title is his for the rest of his life whether or not he is serving as a deacon.
In effect the Bible allows a great deal of flexibility on the part of the churches in the selection of deacons.
What are the Duties of Deacons?
This is another area where churches may differ. So I am not trying to cover all the duties. Here are some:

  • Benevolence:

This involves the care of church members who are in need. It may also involve meeting needs of non-members. The deacon handling this may desire to interview the person in need.

  • Hospital visits as requested by the Pastor
  • Advising Pastor if requested.

Sometimes the Pastor wants the feedback of his deacons to help him determine the future direction of the church. They are a powerful tool to be used in this manner.

  • Serving within the Church’s various departments as directed by the Pastor:

For example, a deacon may be placed over the office work. Sort of an Office Manager. Since this is often the area an Associate Pastor may be involved in the two would work together with the Associate being in charge.
Your church may have additional duties but these give you some insight. There is another duty that I think all churches should consider.
Are Deacons Trustees?
The office of Trustee is not a Biblical office. It is an office demanded by states. I am not a lawyer so I can’t tell you exactly how to do this but here are some thoughts:

  • The Deacons should automatically be Trustees (and perhaps the Associates should be also).
  • This should be in the church’s constitution.

Conclusion:
To better understand your deacons study the Bible. It is there that you learn that only men can be deacons (the Bible allows no room for deaconesses), what kind of men should be selected, and how they are selected. And when you vote, don’t just vote for the “nicest” person. Vote for the godliest man that you think can do the job. And don’t forget it is a Biblical office and therefore an important office.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Insights from the World That Was series

Insights from the World That Was series

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Tuesday’s I try to focus on Insights. This week I am taking another look at Insights from the World That Was series.
A great deal of research goes into writing books. That goes without saying.
But what about books based on the Bible or, for that matter, on history?
The series The World That Was is a fictional story that is based on historical and Biblical facts. I didn’t one day just sit down and dash off a novel. It took tremendous research. This research involved any secular history that related to our beginnings and the Bible.
What does Secular History say?
At first glance secular history is a no-show. But part of the reason for that is that liberal educators have tampered with our history books. Not only with our nation’s history but with world history. So as an author I had to dig.
The history of the Jewish people can be found in the writings of Josephus. It is essentially a secular book thereby subject to error. Even so, it contains a lot of history. Why? Because the early history of our world surrounded a little piece of land we now call Israel. It is also known as Palestine, Canaan land, and other titles.
As you can see that invites you to do much research and you soon find there are conflicting histories. Part of this problem involves the history of Egypt. To be perfectly frank this is highly unreliable. At best you have to guess about the time frames of different rulers.
Egypt is the worst case, but to some degree the problem exists elsewhere. A partial solution comes from comparing known historical people who lived at the same time in different lands. That helps in nailing down the time table. But even that is subject to error. There is a more sure aide, but I’ll visit that later.
Of all the secular writings I have found Josephus a fairly reliable resource that sheds light on people, places, and events. This is very important from an author’s viewpoint.
Why is historical reliability important?
As an author I want readers to feel that the characters and their stories are real. To accomplish this I need them to have confidence in the “facts” of the story. In short, I strive to be accurate when describing the land so that someone who’s been there will readily accept that fact. Now there are exceptions. For example, a description of Mt. Ararat in Noah’s day will differ from a description of Mt. Ararat today. In Noah’s day snow hadn’t been seen before and therefore was a new thing to Noah and the family. Mt. Ararat would have been barren of snow when the Ark landed and for years afterward. But today it is covered in snow and ice. A lot has happened.
So it is important to know about changes in weather conditions?
To some degree, yes. Let me change that to a high degree. I had one man write me with criticisms of the land and of Mt. Ararat in my book. He’d been in the area and said it didn’t look like that at all. He’s probably correct as far as today is concerned, but my story took place over a 1000 years ago. There have been changes.
The Most Reliable Resource
Contrary to the modern liberal crowd, also known as evolutionists, the King James Bible is the most reliable book out there. While it is not a history book, it is totally accurate when it tells of historical peoples, lands, and events.
A classic example of this is found in the Bible’s numerous mentions of the Hittite people. A number of centuries ago cynics “proved” the Bible to be in error. These cynics were the most highly educated of their time. They were the experts you’d turn to regarding history, science, archeology, and more.
They successfully demonstrated that archeology had not turned up any evidence that these Hittites ever existed. This they said proved the Bible was in error in mentioning a people that had never existed and if existed were never a powerful nation.
But time went on and after centuries of denial evidence began surfacing in the early 19th century. The greatest minds of science and archeology were thus proved wrong although that is glossed over. It was of far greater importance to prove the Bible wrong. But the Bible had been right all the time!
We now know that the Bible is without doubt not only the most accurate but is completely accurate as it deals with history and science or any other subject. Man continues to deny it and offers up questions that range from the foolish to the outright manipulation of Scripture.
As an author I have not doubted the reliability of the Scriptures. As a result I discovered the solution to the problem of secular history. Test secular history against the Bible. If secular history is in complete disagreement with the Bible, then bring it into conformity to the Bible. This is particularly helpful when dealing with time frames. It brings unity to the jumbled mass of time frames and enables a writer to better understand what is going on, who is living, who is dominant, and where their chief character lives.
All to often people try to make the Bible conform to the secular. It won’t work. But when you pull secular history into conformity with the Bible it is like a puzzle of a 1000 pieces suddenly falling into their proper place!
What is my Insight?
That when writing a book that is based on history, science, or both you can rely on the Bible. Just remember that so-called “errors” are found in the reader’s mind not in the Bible. In matters of science who is talking. The Bible often relates what someone believes to be true, as with Jacob. It doesn’t comment on whether his “scientific” ideas are true or not, but simply relates the truth of what he believed or what he did.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

How can They Say a Wall is Ineffective?

How can They Say a Wall is Ineffective?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week I am taking a look at How can They Say a Wall is Ineffective?
The Democrats primary argument against the building of a wall is that it is ineffective. But this defies the facts. Let’s take a look.
Wall of China – They say it is ineffective. Of course it is now, it was built centuries ago. But until it crumbled it was effective. It at least made invasion more difficult and defense easier.
Prison Walls – If walls are ineffective why do we put prisoners behind walls? It’s too keep the community safe.
City Walls – In olden times they built walls to protect the city and its inhabitants from marauding bandits and opposing armies. This method of protection worked well until modern weaponry came on the scene.
Walls around Homes – Many rich people including both Democrats and Republicans have homes surrounding their houses. If they are ineffective, why bother?
Gated Communities – My wife and I live in a socalled gated community. In our case it consists of wooden and metal fences. Supposedly this makes us more secure. While certainly not 100 percent effective they make it harder for thieves to enter and that’s a good thing.
The idea of a wall is not to stop illegal immigration entirely. That is probably impossible. But right now the rate, which changes every year, is unbearable. We cannot take care of all the world’s poor.
What about the fact they’re escaping famine, extortion, murder, etc.?
I don’t deny that this is happening. But we still can’t take them all in. When you try to do that other injustices take place. A good example was the forced separation of children from their parents and incarcerated in cages. This started under the Obama Administration and continued under the Trump Administration, which ultimately stopped it due to public pressure.
The fact remains though that more people are coming across than we can handle.
But the children are innocent.
Are they? How do you know. Are you so naive that you believe that children cannot be used? Look around you. In the Vietnam War they were used to kill American soldiers. It is well known that Americans like kids and would provide food and more to them. Until children came with bombs attached and blew themselves up.
More recently children in Africa have been used in war. It’s an atrocity!
The fact is if anyone bypasses the border stations where they are supposed to legally apply and enter America we have no way of documenting them. Or a better word is vetting. Let’s say 1000 people enter illegally and only one is a terrorist. Since you don’t know who that terrorist is you let in all 1000. That terrorist may have the potential of killings thousands of people.
If you really want to help them then help them in their own countries.
Walls are a temporary but necessary solution until Congress comes up with something better.
The Wall was never meant to be the final or only solution. Some people say modern technology is better. However, this has not been proven and until it is we need something in place to protect us. How about this idea: Combine the wall with modern technology. That would truly protect us better.
What about Trump declaring a National Emergency?’
I think it has merit. We have thousands of people on our border with many planning on entering illegally. And last I heard there were thousands more on the way. It may not be an army with guns and tanks, but it would still amount to an army. An army of people who think that by entering America all their problems will go away. That’s a false expectation, but it is what they are being told.
What about using confiscated drug money to build the wall?
I don’t know if they can or can’t but I’m sure in favor of trying it. I’d like to see more on this solution.
Conclusion
The hearts of all Americans should go out to these people. Most of them have given up everything for a better life. I think we need to do more on the international front and try to force the home countries to do more. While that may be unlikely, it should still be tried.
And instead of the Democrats making a political football out of the issue, they should work with the Republicans to find a real solution. In my opinion, they use the poor, the homeless, and others for political purposes. When they have power like they did in the first few years of Obama’s Presidency they could have done something, but it wasn’t in their interests.
VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

I Hope You Have an Amazing and Beautiful Christmas

I Hope You Have an Amazing and Beautiful Christmas

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at I hope you have an amazing and beautiful Christmas.
Today is Friday and Christmas is not far away. Although I plan on writing my blog on Monday I thought it appropriate to take a couple minutes and wish you an amazing and beautiful Christmas.
I’m sure you’ve noticed as I have that the meaning of Christmas is largely lost on society. That’s not exactly news, but it is sad. In the paper this morning there was a story concerning someone giving something to someone else. It was a beautiful story but I noticed that the headline included this: “That is what Christmas is all about.”
No it isn’t!
Yes, we should love one another. Yes, we should help one another whenever possible. That is something that should characterize our lives, but it is not the meaning of Christmas.
I thought giving was the meaning of Christmas.
In the secular world we live in today giving presents to one another has become the prime reason for Christmas. It gives us a chance to show others that we care and appreciate them. It is an activity that should be a part of our Christmas celebration. It is a part of Christmas but it is not the meaning of Christmas.
What about Christmas lights?
I love seeing Christmas lights displayed. Just this week our Church group went out to see the Christmas displays. Some people spend a fortune on displays and make them available to the public. Beautiful barely describes it.
My wife and I often notice and enjoy the various light displays that we see as we drive around Port Charlotte. You see the Nativity Scene, Santa Claus, Reindeer, playing children, and much, much more. It is often an amazing sight. But that is not the meaning of Christmas.
Caroling?
People going home to home singing Christmas carols is a tradition that still lends beauty to the season. That little group that went out to see the Christmas lights also stopped at a couple of homes to sing carols. I hope that someday if my wife or I are incapacitated and can’t get out that somebody will be thoughtful enough to stop by and sing Christmas carols to us.
The music and the words carry the sound of God’s love. They often refer to the true meaning of Christmas. But singing Christmas carols is not the meaning of Christmas.
Oh, you mean it’s about the Birth of Jesus.
You’re getting closer. The Nativity scene used to be visible on private and public land and institutions. Nowadays it’s considered illegal to celebrate His birth in some places. And it’s a rare American who hasn’t heard the story of the virgin birth of Jesus, the step-son of Joseph and son of Mary.
We’ve all heard the story of the shepherds in the field being visited by angels. They are sent to see the newborn Babe and to worship Him. It is a true story that touches our emotions. Many Americans, even those not Christian, love the story, the Nativity scene, and especially the Baby in the manger. But it is not the true meaning of Christmas.
If not Jesus’ Birth then what?
It is this: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
God so loved all of us that He gave (sent His Son to be born of a virgin and to die on a cross) His Son. When we view the birth of Jesus we should always remember the Cross.
Put another way, Jesus was born to die for us! That is why He was born. Not to elicit smiles and “isn’t He adorable.” He came with the express purpose of taking our sins upon Himself and dying in our place. That is the true meaning of Christmas.
So as you celebrate His birth, why not take time to reflect upon why He came? He came on your behalf. He came that you a sinner might accept His gift and receive eternal life!
Have An Amazing and Beautiful Christmas!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

3 Fascinating Fundamentals with Jesus’ Manger

3 Fascinating Fundamentals with Jesus’ Manger

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at 3 Fascinating Fundamentals with Jesus’ Manger.
In today’s politically correct world the importance of Christmas and the Manger is buried under commercialism, social agendas, and anti-Christian propaganda. I recently read an article by Rev. Billy Graham (1918-2018) entitled The Manger, the Cross and the Crown (1974). I have included excerpts in this blog as well as new material of my own. I have also changed all Scripture references to the King James Version.

  1. The Manger

Amazing as it may seem to today’s crowd the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ was a visitor from outer space. More than that, He was from the 3rd Heaven or the heavenlies. Reverend Graham said this about the manger:
He was God Incarnate who came to Earth and took on a human body.  That virgin-born baby was God in human form. He humbled Himself; He took the form of a servant; He was made in your likeness and mine; He identified Himself with the problems of the human race.
And thus it was that the Apostle John wrote, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).
What a difference the baby born in Bethlehem’s manger 2,000 years ago makes to our world today! The educational systems He has inspired; the social reforms that His teachings have instituted; and the transformation of families and lives that have come about as a result of a baby born at Bethlehem! The whole world was thinking of Caesar. The whole world was thinking of Rome. But in God’s eternal plan, He was thinking of a baby in a manger in the little tiny town of Bethlehem.
The Manger is fundamental to the Christian faith. Take away the Virgin Birth of Jesus and you destroy the gospel. No mere man could pay our penalty. It had to be a man not bearing the curse from the Garden. Jesus Christ came from the Father, was equal with the Father and “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”

  1. The Cross

One of my favorite pictures is that of the manger overshadowed by the cross. I’ve included one with this blog. It makes a direct connection between the two events though they were separated by 33 years.
In his concluding comments Rev. Graham said, Christmas, to have meaning, cannot be separated from the cross. The angel said at the birth of Jesus, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21). In John 18:37 we read, “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” He was the only person in history who was born with the purpose of dying. The Apostle Paul, years later said, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).
The central message of Christmas is that Jesus Christ, by His death and resurrection, can transform both individuals and society. Almost everyone at some time or another feels moral guilt and failure. In every newspaper or magazine that we pick up, and in every newscast that we watch, we see a picture of hate and lust and greed and prejudice and corruption—manifested in a thousand ways. The fact that we have policemen and jails and military forces indicates that something is radically wrong with human nature.
The Bible teaches that the human race is morally sick. This disease has affected every phase of our life in society. The Bible calls this disease by an ugly, three-letter word: sin.
The Bible teaches that the only cure for sin is the blood that Christ shed on the cross. Christ became the Lamb of God who bled and died on the cross for our sins.
The cross and the resurrection stand today as man’s only hope. It was at the Crucifixion and Easter that God did for man what man could not do for himself. From these momentous events, God is saying to sinful man, “I love you. I love you so much I gave my Son.” But He’s saying more than that. He’s saying, “I can forgive you, because of what He did on the cross.” And this is good tidings (or good news) this and every Christmas!
Some may dismiss it as idiotic and ridiculous that a man dying 2,000 years ago could be relevant today. Paul anticipated that we’d say that. He said, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
I believe that America stands on the threshold of divine judgment. Morally, socially, economically, politically, spiritually, we are in deep trouble. We’ve turned away from God, and every month seems to take us further away from the only One who can reverse the tide, forgive our sins and forestall the imminent judgment. We must alter our course if we are going to see many more Christmas seasons as a free people.
Our greatest need is a change in the hearts of people. That is why Jesus said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7). That’s why He said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3). Paul, in his famous sermon at Mars Hill, said, “God … commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)
Who should repent? Everybody. This is what the cross calls for. The heart of its message is simple: Repent or perish.
The Scripture says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:17). If we as individuals and as a nation would humble ourselves and turn from our sins, God has promised forgiveness, healing to the nation and eternal life to the individual.

  1. The Crown

The third fundamental is the crown.
Chiseled into the cornerstone of the United Nations building is a quotation from the Bible that has never yet been fulfilled. It reads, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”  (Isaiah 2:4). This is a thrilling thought. It has often been repeated by those who long for peace. However, this quotation must not be taken out of context.
The passage speaks of the time when the Messiah will reign over the whole earth. This is the era about which Jesus taught us in the Lord’s Prayer to pray: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10). This is the time when He who came as the baby of Bethlehem shall come back as King of kings and Lord of lords.
The Bible teaches that there will be an end to history as we know it. Man will have his last Armageddon. But when it seems that man is about to destroy himself, God will intervene. Christ will return.
At the manger, He was in the stall of an animal. At the cross, He wore a crown of thorns.
But when He comes again, it will be as Commander in Chief of the armies of Heaven. He will take control of this war-weary world and bring the peace that we strive for and long for. A new world will be formed, a new social order will emerge. Sin will be eliminated. Tears will be wiped from every eye. Disease shall be no more, and even death will be eliminated from the human scene. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, and war shall be no more.
This is the promise of Christmas. This is our hope. This is the Christmas star that lights our darkness. This is the assurance that a new day is coming, through the Messiah, whose name is called by Isaiah the prophet, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6).
Three fundamentals:The manger where He was born in the stall of an animal; at the cross where He wore the crown of thorns; and then the Crown of His kingdom. What a wonderful gift God has given us. We can sum it all up in five words: The Gift of His Son!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

How to Compare CS with KDP That Will Help You Publish

How to Compare CS with KDP That Will Help You Publish

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a deeper look at How to Compare CS with KDP That Will Help You Publish.
As I prepare to publish my latest novel I thought a few comments upon publishing with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) versus CreateSpace might be appropriate. This is especially true since this is my first ‘fully KDP printed book.’ What I mean by that is this has been a KDP project from the start. Previously I either published with CreateSpace or started with CreateSpace and published with KDP.
My first overall observation is that Kindle Direct Publishing is every easy to use. As I have progressed with the book I have noticed that KDP is actually a tad simpler to use than CS. It is easily understood, information is easily inputted, and the whole process is user friendly.
Now let’s take a look at some specifics.
TITLE

As with CreateSpace Kindle Direct Publishing is very easy to use. For the Title you simply enter your book’s title. If it has a Subtitle you can enter that in the appropriate box. It is a very easy process equal to the CreateSpace experience. I am very pleased.

DISCRIPTION

With the allowance of up to 3247 words you have ample space allowed for your description.

SERIES

You can input the Series and Series Number if your book is a series. Because I want the Series to be prominently displayed on the cover I enter the Series name and number in both the Subtitle and Series boxes.

EDITION NUMBER

An edition is a particular version of a book. The edition number tells readers whether the book is an original version or an updated version. If this is the first time you have published this book, enter the numeral 1. If the book was previously published and the version you are publishing contains significant changes, enter the numeral 2 (and so on).

AUTHOR

Probably most of you won’t have the same needs as I do. My author name is R. Frederick Riddle. Like in CreateSpace the input form has a First Name, Middle Name, and Last Name. Since I am primarily focused upon my middle name, I want it to be displayed on the cover. However, if you provide the middle name in the middle name box it won’t be displayed. So I simply type R. Frederick in the First Name box. Works like a charm!

CONTRIBUTORS

If there are multiple authors you will want to list them here. This is similar to the Author entry. You can add as many authors as you need. Since I am the only author of my books, I skip this part.

PUBLISHING RIGHTS

Here you have two options:

  • I own the copyright and I hold necessary publishing rights.
  • This is a public domain work

Simply indicate which option is correct.

KEYWORDS

You are allowed up to 7 key words or phrases. It is recommended by experts that you use keywords that are not in the Title, Description, or Category. This can be difficult, but think about possible ways someone might seek to find your book. There appears to be some debate about whether words or phrases are best, so I recommend a mix. Again this is comparable to CreateSpace.

CATAGORIES

You are allowed up to two categories which I believe was the same in CreateSpace. Simply make your selections and carry it out as far as possible.

ADULT CONTENT

You’ll see this sentence: Does this book contain language, situations, or images inappropriate for children under 18 years of age?
Then you either select Yes or No.
Choosing Yes does not mean your book is pornographic, it simply seeks to identify the age appropriate level of reader.

ISBN

This might actually be a tad easier than CreateSpace. You are given choices for your ISBN.
An ISBN, or International Standard Book Number, is a unique 10-digit number assigned to every published book. An ISBN identifies a title’s binding, edition, and publisher. An EAN, or European Article Number, is a 13-digit number assigned to every book to provide a unique identifier for international distributors. The 10-digit ISBN is converted to a 13-digit EAN by adding a 978 prefix and changing the last digit. To publish a book, you can use either a free KDP ISBN or use your own valid ISBN (purchased directly from your ISBN agency).

PUBLICATION DATE

Your publication date is the date on which your book was first published. You cannot change it after publishing your title. If you leave this blank, KDP will automatically use the date on which your book goes live (i.e. it is available for sale) on Amazon.

PRINT OPTIONS

INTERIOR & PAPER TYPE (you can choose):

  • Black and White interior with Cream paper
  • Black and White interior with White paper
  • Color interior with White paper

TRIM SIZE

6 x 9 in. or a different size.

BLEED SETTINGS

Setting your interior to “bleed” allows printing at or off the edge of a page. It is used to support images and illustrations. Most books use “no bleed” unless there is a specific reason to apply “bleed.” Changing the bleed settings will not change the manufacturing cost.

PAPERBACK COVER FINISH

KDP supports Matte and Glossy finish. If memory serves me CreateSpace may have had more choices, but this seems ideal for most authors.

MANUSCRIPT

Upload a manuscript of your book interior content. For best results, we recommend using a formatted PDF file to create your paperback. You can also upload a DOC (.doc), DOCX (.docx), HTML (.html), or RTF (.rtf).
You can also download a KDP Template.

BOOK COVER

We recommend a book cover for a good reader experience. You can create a cover using our Cover Creator tool or upload your own book cover. If uploading your own book cover it must be PDF.
To use Cover Creator click on it. You will go to a very easy to follow page that will guide you and provide the tools necessary to taking advantage of their gallery.

BOOK PREVIEW

Preview your file to check for formatting and print quality issues. This is mandatory to continue onward. Every time you upload a new manuscript or make changes affecting the book’s interior you will be required to Launch Previewer.

SUMMARY

This shows a summary of your decisions plus the printing costs of the book.

TERRITORIES

If you don’t hold worldwide rights to sell and distribute your title, you must indicate the territories in which you hold rights. If you are publishing a public domain title, keep in mind that the duration of copyright varies between countries/regions, so ensure you set your territory rights to only include those territories where you have determined the book is in the public domain.

PRICING & ROYALTY

The List Price is the price a customer sees on an Amazon detail page. In certain marketplaces, the List Price displayed to the customer will include local VAT which is added on to the List Price you provide.
I always use Expanded Distribution.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

It can take up to 72 hours for your book to be available for purchase on Amazon. Until then, the book’s status will be “In Review” on your Bookshelf.
By clicking publish I confirm that I agree to and am in compliance with the KDP Terms and Conditions.

PROOF COPIES

Order proof copies of your book before publication. Proof copies are printed using your latest uploaded book files which may differ from your book’s live version. They will also have a “Not for Resale” watermark on the cover and a unique barcode but no ISBN. You pay only the printing cost for your selected marketplace times the number of copies. Shipping and applicable taxes will be applied at checkout.
This is the only place in which I’ve been disappointed. I liked where CreateSpace allowed you to have the book proofed right there online and you discovered the errors, etc. KDP only allows you to order a printed proof copy as far as I can tell. This will take more time. However, the disappointment is minor since it will allow me to actually hold the proof copy in my hands. Thus I will get the feel and appearance!

FINAL THOUGHTS

I have been very pleased with the whole process of publishing the book although I haven’t published yet due to Final Edits that I am currently undergoing. But that is simply me uploading a new and improved manuscript plus another Book Preview.
So when comparing CreateSpace with Kindle Direct Publishing you (in this case I) can expect the same and, in some cases, better experience with KDP than with CreateSpace. This is always a good thing. It means that we, as authors, can focus on our writing and not so much on the publishing end of the process. In my opinion this has been a transparent upgrade that benefits me (and I hope you) as an author.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

How to Navigate the Many Ways to Heaven

How to Navigate the Many Ways to Heaven

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at How to Navigate the Many Ways to Heaven.
In today’s world it is widely believed that there are many ways to Heaven. Instead of denying this belief let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways, see what God says, and determine if they’ll get you to Heaven.
Baha’i

The Bahá’í view of God is essentially monotheistic. God is the imperishable, uncreated being who is the source of all existence. He is described as “a personal God, unknowable, inaccessible, the source of all Revelation, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent and almighty“.
Bahá‘ís believe in Muhammad as a prophet of God, and in the Qur’an as the word of God. Baha‘i teachings ‘affirm that Islam is a true religion revealed by Allah‘; accordingly, members of the faith can give full assent to the traditional words of the Shahadah.
The Bahá’í teachings state that there is no such physical place as heaven or hell, and emphasize the eternal journey of the soul towards perfection. They explain that references to “heaven” and “hell” in the Holy Scriptures of other religions are to be understood symbolically, describing states of nearness to and distance from God in this world and in the realms beyond.
Thus if heaven doesn’t exist it stands to reason you can’t go there.

Buddhism

Buddhists seek to reach a state of nirvana, following the path of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who went on a quest for Enlightenment around the sixth century BC. There is no belief in a personal god. Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible.
Buddhism refers to the theory of rebirth and “cyclicality of all life, matter, existence”, a fundamental assumption of Buddhism, as with all major Indian religions. Samsara in Buddhism is considered to be dukkha, unsatisfactory and painful, perpetuated by desire and avidya (ignorance), and the resulting karma.
Thus, there is no belief in a Heaven.

Hinduism

Major principles or beliefs in Hinduism include the four Purusartha (aim of human life) namely, Dharma(duties/ethics), Artha (prosperity, work, wealth), Kama(desires/passions) and Moksha(liberation/freedom) along with Karma, Samsara and Yogas.
 Core Beliefs of Hindus

  • Truth is eternal. Hindus pursue knowledge and understanding of the Truth: the very essence of the universe and the only Reality. …
  • Brahman is Truth and Reality. …
  • The Vedas are the ultimate authority. …
  • Everyone should strive to achieve dharma. …
  • Individual souls are immortal. …
  • The goal of the individual soul is moksha.

Like Buddhism there is no belief in Heaven, however they do believe in many gods.

Islam

Islam (Arabic: الإسلام, Al-Islam (Submission)‎) is a religion that believes in one God (Allah). All of its teachings and beliefs are written out in the Quran (also spelled Qur’an or Koran), the holy scripture of Islam. Believers of Islam are called Muslims.
Faith (iman) is generally outlined using the six articles of faith:

  • Belief in Allah, The Only God.
  • Belief in the Angels.
  • Belief in Holy Books.
  • Belief in the Prophets.
  • Belief in the Day of Judgment.
  • Belief in God’s predestination.

(Note: While Wikipedia gives a rather wide explanation of Allah’s roots, it is believed that Mohammed adapted the name Allah from a minor tribal god. Wikipedia mistakenly identifies Allah as just another name for God, but there is no comparison between the God of the Christians/Jews and Muslims.)
Islam rejects the divinity of Jesus and teaches that Jesus was not God incarnate, nor the Son of God, and—according to some interpretations of the Quran—the crucifixion, death and resurrection is not believed to have occurred, and rather that God saved him.
Paradise is the term used by Muslims for Heaven. Muhammad is reported to have said, “Allah will bring out people from the Fire and admit them into Paradise.” Different branches of Islam believe differently about Heaven however they believe most of humanity will not get to Heaven.

Judaism

Judaism (originally from Hebrew יהודה, Yehudah, “Judah”; via Latin and Greek) is the religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, monotheistic, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text. It encompasses the religion, philosophy, and culture of the Jewish people.
The Jewish religion is closely related to Christianity. At present they reject the Deity of Jesus, His being the Son of God, and His being the Messiah. However, according to the Bible they will someday receive Him.
The Jewish people have been and still are a people that God separated unto Himself and loves dearly. Anti-Semitism is incompatible with Christian worship. While the Jewish people are temporarily set aside, their day is coming!
In the meantime we Christians are to pray for the Jewish people and their land. True Christianity never ascribes to Anti-Semitic behavior.
The Jewish belief in Heaven is centered upon the Old Testament Paradise. Today Modern Judaism differentiates from the historical Jewish view. It seems complicated and works driven to me, so I won’t comment on that. But historically speaking, the Jewish people have believed in God (Jehovah) and in the prospect of going to Paradise. The concept of Paradise having been lifted up to be with God is foreign to many Jewish people today; that is an event that happened in the New Testament at the Crucifixion.

Christianity

The central tenet of Christianity is the belief in Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah (Christ). Christians believe that Jesus, as the Messiah, was anointed by God as Savior of humanity and hold that Jesus’ coming was the fulfillment of messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.
A literal view of the Bible teaches that when Jesus was crucified and rose from the grave He took the Old Testament Paradise with Him into Heaven. This is where all the Old Testament saints and prophets are today.
To get to Heaven Christians believe you must be “Born again.” That term has lost some of its luster because it is used frequently to describe a sports figure’s rekindled career or a change of life involving career, money, etc. But in the Bible “Born again” refers to the fact that we are born spiritually dead in the flesh and born again spiritually when we receive Christ as our Savior.

So there aren’t many ways to Heaven?

That’s correct. When Thomas questioned how to be where He was going, Jesus responded, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
There is only One Way and That is Jesus!

The above blog used Wikipedia for much of the material. This by no means represents an endorsement of Wikipedia. I only used that which was pertinent and accurate.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

How can ‘We are not Criminals be True?

How can ‘We are not Criminals be True?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week I am taking a look at How can We are not Criminals be true?
In today’s paper the headline read, “US agents fire tear gas as some migrants try to breach fence at border.”
The ensuing story told of hundreds of migrants pushing past the Mexican police blockade in an attempt to enter the United States. Here are selected passages from that article:

  • “Earlier Sunday, the group of several hundred migrants pushed past a blockade of Mexican police who were standing guard near the international border crossing…
  • They carried hand-painted American and Honduran flags while chanting: “We are not criminals! We are international workers!”

So what is a Criminal?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary a criminal is “one who has committed a crime.”
Technically speaking the migrants are correct. They are still in Mexico and have not violated any United States laws.
What if They Cross over the Wall?
There are legal ways of entering the United States. We have places where people can seek asylum or seek lawful entry. Trying to come into the country by any other means is a violation of our immigration laws.
That would mean that if they go over/under/around/through the wall/barbed wire/etc. they are breaking United States law. At that moment they become criminals or lawbreakers that can be convicted as criminals! It does not matter what they are fleeing from or their motivation for entering our country. They are in violation of the law!
Isn’t that Heartless?
Not really. Our country was built on immigration and to this day still accepts “your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore” (from the poem The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus on the Statue of Liberty). We have and still do welcome immigrants and have established a legal way for migrants to enter our country. This mechanism has and still does work well.
America is not big enough to absorb thousands of immigrants. And thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, may well come especially if those at our border are able to enter illegally without consequence.
Should the System be Improved?
That’s a fair question. I assume by improved you mean allow more into America. Such an improvement must also include a means to do background checks. While many, maybe most, of the migrants are legit there is the possibility of hardened criminals, even terrorists, entering our country.
As a sovereign country we have the right and the obligation to screen applicants. And it may take time!
A Sympathetic News Media
News media reports have consistently shown a bias toward the migrants as if they are trying to create sympathy. There’s nothing wrong with sympathizing with the migrants, but what is wrong is encouraging the migrants in the belief that they have a right to enter the United States.
Most articles and commentaries in the media focus on the migrant plight. They also try to make the Trump Administration look bad. We have already had terrorists enter legally (under false names and therefore actually illegally). They entered, trained, and eventually flew two planes into the Twin Towers in New York City, plus another failed attempt in Pennsylvania (9-11-2001).
What About the Courts?
Good question. Here’s my opinion. District Judges in California will rule against anything the Trump Administration attempts. It will be appealed up to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. The government will lose and appeal to the United States Supreme Court where they will be victorious.
It will cost the courts time, energy, and taxpayer money all because liberal judges with an agenda will try to impose their agenda on perfectly legal actions by the Trump Administration.
So What is the Solution?
I can tell you what I don’t think will happen though it should.
The Democrats now control the House of Representatives. If they were responsible they would try to improve our immigration laws with safeguards that would protect our country. Instead they will pass bills that if enacted into law would undermine the system and endanger the people of the United States plus negatively impact those who entered or are entering the country legally.
As a result the Senate will reject such actions and nothing will happen.
Can the President Do Anything?
One achievement of President Obama was that he showed that in absence of a law, the President can rule by decree which has the force of law. As with laws decrees can be challenged in Federal court. And Congress can pass a law that invalidates the decree.
Even if the decree stands the next President can cancel or replace the decree. For example, President Trump revised Obama’s Clear Water Rule which affect private property rights.
But such action is a temporary solution that may lead to a permanent law.
So the Migrants Have No Hope?
On the contrary, they have legal avenues to follow. Some are already doing so. But because of the sheer number of applicants it will take a long time. We live in a generation of instant gratification. We want what we want now!
Mexico seems to be leaning to allowing some migrants stay in Mexico. But that seems to change daily and if I was a migrant I’d be nervous about Mexico’s sincerity. Still, it is a possibility that Mexico will allow them to stay and become citizens.
So the migrants have the option to:

  • Wait for the opportunity to legally enter
  • Decide to live in Mexico and become Mexican citizens
  • Return to Honduras

In Conclusion
When you violate United States law you are a lawbreaker. If convicted in a court of law you are a criminal. As for “undocumented” immigrants, that is a politically correct term with no merit. If they are in the country without proper and legal documentation then they are illegal. So, while they haven’t gone to court yet and been convicted, they are lawbreakers and could be tried as criminals.
VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Author’s Resources Part 3

Author’s Resources Part 3

The following article contains Updated material.

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about the Author’s Resources Part 3 of the series which deals with the author’s website.
In last Two Weeks I Asked Why Use Resources?
There was a time when an author only had his own imagination, his experience, and, if so blessed, a dictionary as resources. But the world has changed since those olden days. Back then few resources were available, but today there is a whole world of information available at the touch of a key. A computer key, that is.
Generally speaking, there are writing resources, publishing resources, and marketing resources. We will take a look at each, thus requiring several days of study. So let’s get busy.
Website Resources

  1. Authors need a website

It doesn’t matter whether you are an established author or brand new you still need a website. Consider it an absolute must!
Your “About” page is where you can begin building your credits if you don’t have any or brag about the ones you do have. Write a bio that talks about your passion for writing as well as your dedication and enthusiasm.
Include your goals, what projects you are currently working on, that which inspires and motivates you, and whatever interests/hobbies you may have. Your goal here is to paint a broad, positive image of yourself, one that the reader will instinctively trust.
The key is not to be shy. We are always told not to brag or boast. It is a negative that turns people off. That is true. However, in advertising just the opposite is true. Generally your reputation is in your hands. The bolder, more assertive you are (if done properly) the stronger your reputation.

  1. The Power of a website

There are many marketing tools. Don’t feel that you have to use them all. Some of them will be covered later and some of them you may decide not to use. However, it would be a severe mistake to ignore a website.
A good website has the capability to communicate to visitors. That is why you are encouraged to have a website in the first place. Many people will learn about you through your website.
It is true that Social Media is an important venue for your name and books. But you can move ahead without Social Media, albeit very slowly. Without a website you are basically stuck in the mud.
Your website serves both as a place to promote your book and yourself! If you plan on writing more than one book, it is wise to promote yourself (using your author’s name).
Above I talked about your “About” page. That is for your bio which will tell people about yourself. You can also create a page about your upcoming novel; you can actually allow visitors a chance to see your progress.

  1. Your website is not a get rich quick scheme

Don’t think of a website as making you a ton of money. Rather, think of it as a storefront. This is where your potential customers will get a chance to meet and learn about you and explore your site.

  1. Unlike stores websites need to attract visitors

When you open a brick and mortar store you are located on a street or in a mall. Foot traffic will bring people by your store and they will see your storefront. There is a chance they will enter through the door and check the store out.
But a website doesn’t work that way. You could have the most beautiful website ever built and people may never visit. Why? Because they don’t know it exists!
People have to be told about your website. There are many ways to tell people, such as Business Cards, newspaper ads, word of mouth, and social media (more on this later).

  1. Your website is the hub of your activities

When I first started out I made my website my hub. I placed it on business cards, and used it in my email (signature), as well as in social media. Now that we have T&R Independent Books our bookstore is the primary hub. But the website is still important!

  1. Your website needs to be updated frequently

Actually we are discussing SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is another necessary thing to promote your website. Google, Yahoo, and others send out robots to examine websites resulting in a placement within their database. The higher the placement the better for you.
Part of having a good SEO for your website is frequent updating. You should update (that is, add or change content) at least monthly. The SEO robots like fresh sites!
A good resource for website building is the “Dummies” books. These books are usually a goldmine of information and you should go to your local bookstore and check them out.

  1. You need to OWN your website

You can’t be on the internet very long without learning about FREE websites. Be careful. Some may be scams and others are poorly written and designed.
But you need to own your website. By that I mean own your Domain name. I own the domain http://tr-indbkstore.com/. Therefore I have control over everything that is on it or within it.
The cost of a domain is cheap. For example, Godaddy sells them sometimes for only a couple of bucks, while your annual renewal is usually less than twelve dollars. Below you will find an Update about a guide that can deepen your understanding and aid you in creating (if you’re a beginner) and developing your website.

Here is a brief list of domain providers (alphabetical order):

  • 1 and 1 (1and1.com)

1and1.com is a domain registrar that is both trusted and a reliable provider of hosting. Its services pretty much cover all types that are related to domain and Web hosting. Ideal for ITs (Information Technicians) as it has a dedicated server, website builder, SEO services, powerful web hosting, and email solutions.
You can get a domain for only $0.99 (first year) plus up to 5 sub-domains. In addition, it offers ecommerce.

  • Bluehost (Bluehost.com)

Bluehost.com is one of the best at the web hosting services. It is very useful to manage and host your website. Starts at $2.95 per month. See Update below for further information regarding Bluehost.

  • Dreamhost (Dreamhost.com)

Provides Web Presence Solutions to professionals, individuals and small businesses. Helps customers grow and develop their online presence by providing business class email service, ecommerce solutions, website builder products, digital certificates and web hosting. Starts at $2.59 per month.

  • Godaddy (Godaddy.com)

This is probably one of the best web hosting providers and domain registrar in the world. We use it for our T&R Independent Bookstore website which includes author websites.

Godaddy provides many services in addition to buying a domain ($2.99 1st year) and hosting ($2.49/month). These are Godaddy website builder, business email accounts, SSL certificates, SEO and other services.

  • Hostgator (Hostgator.com)

It has a popular web hosting service. They provide various types of hosting such as shared hosting, Reseller hosting, and VPS. In addition it provides dedicated server and domain registration. Starts at $3.95 per month.

  • Hostmonster (Hostmonster.com)

This powerful web hosting service provides unlimited bandwidth, hosts unlimited domains, unlimited email accounts, free site builders, free online stores, and one click WordPress install. Starts at $4.95 per month.

  • Justhost (Justhost.com)

Real cheap Web Hosting. It uses shared hosting on Linux server and costs only $3.95/month. Plus they offer you Adwords offer ($100) and Bing Ad credits ($100).

  • Inmotionhosting (inmotionhosting.com)

A hosting service that provides business hosting, reseller hosting, virtual private server, or dedicated server hosting. Also provides marketing credits for marketing your business. Business hosting starts at $6.39 per month

  • iPage (ipage.com)

This Web hosting provider enables you to host your website at intro price of $1.99/month (reg. $7.99). It provides such features as unlimited email address and Disk space, site building tools, Search Engine and Marketing Credits, free online store, and more. In addition it has tools ranging from Google Adwords, Facebook, analytics, and other valuable tools.

  • Mediatemple (mediatemple.net)

Mediatemple has been around since 1998. It provides hosting plans called grids that can handle a large amount of traffic without slowdowns or crashes.

Their hosting plans include Shared, WordPress, VPS, dedicated server, and managed hosting.

  • Name (Name.com)

Mostly known for buying a domain name, they now provide website building, hosting and other services, including SEO. Starts at $4.99 per month.

  • Namecheap (Namecheap.com)

Provides domains and hosting services at very low prices (hence, namecheap). Also provides whois privacy feature plus other features, all at low prices. Hosting starts at $2.88 per month.

  1. Website creation need not be expensive

See the list above. Hosting plans are relatively cheap.

  1. You do not need to be an expert

You can easily manage your own website. I use Godaddy which provides a user-friendly interface allowing me to build the site the way I want. No HTML experience necessary although it is helpful for a more advanced website.

Update: Anya Skrba has written a guide that develops the theme of this blog further with emphasis on WordPress and Bluehost. It is a guide designed for beginners, but old timers (like me) can learn from it as well. The guide is called How to Make a Website. Check it out (I received no inducements whatsoever for recommending this guide).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four), or Death Ship to the Stars (Book One), and Pauline A New Home (Book Two), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

How to Absolutely Use Breakthrough and Sensational Writing

How to Absolutely Use Breakthrough and Sensational Writing

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at How to Absolutely Use Breakthrough and Sensational Writing.

That’s a long title but it conveys what all of us writers, and I definitely include myself, need to learn to do better. To put the subject in a more explicit form: Learn to use emotion when writing.

I believe that every reader comes to our books with a tool available for us to use. It’s called their imagination. Think about it. Even if you are only eighteen you have had experiences, learned knowledge, and gotten acquainted with others. All of this impacts your imagination. So our job as authors is to tap into that imagination wherever possible and however we are able.

I am not going to cover every possible way to do this. So, up front, I’m already tapping into your imagination. In this case, to imagine ways to use your reader’s imagination.

Emotional Words

Emotional words are powerful words and are encourage in writing headlines. But you also want emotional words within your story. Now I’ve come across an outfit called CoSchedule. CoSchedule offers many things but one thing they offer I think we can all use and it’s FREE! That’s called How To Write Headlines and I use it to assist me in writing good blog headlines. But again I believe you want to write stories that accomplish the goal of triggering the reader’s mind and imagination.

So the use of emotional words is recommended. And the tool referenced above provides a list of words.

Emotional Scenes

This is not always easy to write. One reason is you have to get into the character and possibly experience the anger, the frustration, and the pain. One trick I use is to be that character, whether it’s a man or woman, a good guy or a bad guy, or whatever. I immerse myself into the character so that I think and experience things as he or she does. It usually works.

Often times I have to write, rewrite, and rewrite again to get the right feel for a particular scene. This is drudgery sometimes but it is also a necessary part of writing.

Colorful Scenes

By color I’m talking descriptive. Think of writing as if you were a painter (remember the old saying, A painting is worth a thousand words). Part of my rewriting involves me adding color to the scene. Instead of writing, ‘He stopped beside a try and sat down,’ I could write, “Stopping beside a fully grown Oak tree in full bloom, he sat down.’ Not perfect, but it adds a dimension to the story. If the reader is familiar with Oak trees, then the picture might form of the protagonist leaning against an Oak tree that he or she envisions.

You can also add color by describing the tree in more detail. Or maybe he’s sitting beside a stream. How big is it? Is it blue? Is it moving fast or slow? These are all questions you may want to answer.

I can’t tell you how many times I rewrite scenes. Sometimes I rewrite the entire scene, but most often I rewrite a word here and a phrase there. I keep doing this until I have a scene that empowers my imagination and I can visualize the scene for myself.

If you have the ability to step back and read your novel as a reader and not the author I recommend you do that often. And not just scenes involving your primary character but every scene and every character should benefit from such an approach. If you make this a practice it will eventually become second nature to you and will improve your writing.

Sensationalize Your Writing

Now you have to be careful here. This often involves being somewhat graphic. If you’ve read my blogs in the past then you know I’m opposed to being excessively graphic. But having graphic details in your book is not necessarily bad.

For example, in one book I wrote about a man being beheaded. You, the reader knew it, but I didn’t describe the actual beheading. In another scene I wrote about a woman being raped. I wrote about events leading up to it and leading away from it, but not the rape itself. Still another scene showed a sword fight in which one man lost his hand. All of these were somewhat graphic, but I let the reader fill in the missing parts.

Every writer has to find his/her own level of what amount of graphics to include. I would, however, suggest the following rule: Always leave room for the readers to use their imagination as that is your most valuable tool.

Be Willing to Experiment

This is more than emotion, more than graphics. It is being willing to think outside the box. Not only about words but about ideas, things, etc. For instance, when I decided to start writing novels in the Speculative Fiction genre I knew upfront that I wasn’t going to be using any alien beings. My characters would all be human (or robots), but no little green men.

That created a problem. How do I make my story believable? So I was faced with the dilemma of devising a story line that would be interesting, that could hold attention, and that could be entertaining. The result was Death Ship to the Stars. Was I successful? That’s up to my readers to determine. Personally speaking, I like what I wrote.

Conclusion

Writing is a challenge. If you love writing as I do, then you embrace that challenge. You are always open to new ideas, new methods, and even new genres. You actively keep your mind on the task of being a better writer.

I never sit down and ask myself what kind of books sell. I read advice that you should check the market out first before writing. From a marketing standpoint this makes sense, especially for nonfiction. You don’t want to waste your time.

However as a fiction writer I want to write what interests me. That is my first question, What do I want to write? It is never a waste of time for me because whether the book sells or not is not my primary concern. I have a story to tell and I want to tell it.

So I decide to writen and then all the remaining questions relate to how to write an entertaining book. Translated that means the following: When I, the author, have completed the novel is it a book that I, the reader, would read?

I don’t ever want to put a book out there that I wouldn’t enjoy. Then, after that, I want a book that others will enjoy.

So the conclusion of the matter is to be yourself, but also keep learning and doing. Write what you want to write. But also be willing to spice up your writing with emotional words and scenes, sensational scenes, and more.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.