Insights From World of Shem Part 2

Insights From World of Shem Part 2

In this issue I will speak about the cover. Usually the cover is done after the book is written, but I am going to cover it now (pardon the pun).

The cover is one of the most important items a writer needs. And often it is approached almost as an afterthought. But it is what first captures the potential buyer’s eye.

What are the important aspects of a good cover? It seems different people have different viewpoints, so here is mine. Good covers have:

  • A picture of nature, a building, or a person relevant to the story
  • Eye catching graphics
  • A good title (in a series you want title to relate to series)
  • A brief description on back matter
  • A brief bio of author on back matter

Again different experts will explain these differently and may have additional requirements. But the thing to remember is that the book only has two or three seconds to capture someone’s interest.

Createspace Gallery

The Gallery is definitely worth considering. While limited in what you can choose, I have found that they do have pictures that can be used. However, they have few pictures that relate to biblical stories or persons.

But I always look. Why? Because they’re excellent quality and FREE! I actually used pictures from the gallery for my books Perished and World of Noah and the Ark.

Buying Existing Royalty free Pictures

This is another inexpensive way to go: photostock.

For my novel World of Shem the gallery had nothing I could use. So I went with a picture I had purchased from Dreamstime a few years back. I not only purchased the picture but the right to commercially use it. And that is a big thing. Don’t just buy the picture, buy the rights to it as well. Doesn’t cost much and it is worth it.

When buying a picture make sure it is the right size (pixels). The license is only good for the picture you buy.

Hiring Professionals

The hiring of professionals is often highly recommended. And you can find professionals who know how to create covers that are acceptable to CreateSpace. For this service you will pay a little more, but not necessarily a lot. That depends on the artist and your needs.

In my opinion I would always check out the options in the same order I listed them. Why? Because the Gallery may have just the picture for you at no out of pocket cost, or buying royalty free pictures might prove to be the jackpot.

Just remember that there are requirements to be met no matter which route you take. The problem is different publishers have different criteria. So be careful! One additional thought, think about the pixels. The recommended size is 300 dpi (dots per inch) which for a 4 x 5 picture would 1200px x 1500px.

If uploading to Createspace’s Gallery it will recommend a particular size and warn you if the resolution is too low. So experiment.

I really like the cover for the World of Shem as it shows a man (Shem?) with hands raised to heaven (praying?). That caught the very substance of what I wanted displayed. Did you like the cover?

By the way I am still (and for the foreseeable future) looking for reviewers. You can buy the book or the ebook on Amazon or you can request a PDF or Epub from me. Then you can read the book and post your review. To receive a free PDF or Epub write me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and put “Book Review Request” on subject line.

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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.

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Insights From World of Shem

Insights From World of Shem

In the last issue of A Look At World That Was I talked about the research necessary in writing the World of Shem. Today I’ll begin a series called Insights From World of Shem.

Consistency with the Bible

I have read, and maybe you have also, books based on the Bible that took a very casual approach to the Bible. I have also seen movies that didn’t adhere to the Biblical record. As a Bible believing Christian such actions have a jarring effect. People who read the Bible regularly easily spot inconsistencies in such books. They may or may not know why, but they instantly know something’s not right.

Such people will turn to their Bibles and compare. It is in my opinion absolutely imperative that the author keep the book in line with the Bible. This is also true of secular writing. For example when writing historical novels based on secular history it is imperative to be accurate. In my novel Dead Eye Will there were a number of historical events, places, and people that made an appearance. Accuracy was a must!

But such accuracy is even more important when dealing with a Bible subject. You are dealing with the Word of God requiring accuracy not only in fact but in application. While I hope more Christians write on Biblical events and people, I recognize that it places a heavy burden on that writer.

But it is worth it. When you are finished writing and can look back saying “my story fits right within Scripture” there is a feeling of satisfaction hard to beat. And when you have published such a book a reviewer might say, “He/she brings the Bible to life!” That’s a compliment you won’t soon forget.

So far we have covered Research and Consistency with the Bible. The next issue of Insights will cover another issue.

And don’t forget. I am looking for reviewers of World of Shem. To get a free PDF or Epub contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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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.

A Look At World That Was

A Look At World That Was

As you know I recently published my newest novel World of Shem. Since this is book 3 of my series World That Was I thought it appropriate to take a look at the series.

World That Was is a series of books covering the Book of Genesis. While each book is strongly based on the Scriptures, I have not only added my imagination but have spent hours upon hours of research regarding such things as geography, foods, clothing, and more. Below is a summary of books both published and planned.

PERISHED

This first book of the series begins with Creation, the Garden of Eden, the Expulsion and the early lives of Adam and Eve. From those early days it continues onward until the day the Flood overtakes the world.

Readers have expressed glowing comments about this novel, such as “the author brings the Bible alive!”

WORLD OF NOAH AND THE ARK

This is the second book of the series. I wrote this because there is so much confusion about the Ark, especially coming from Hollywood. Therefore I not only depicted Noah and his family but I shined the light upon the construction of the Ark itself.

But I didn’t stop there. As an added bonus to my readers I added a Q&A section at the back of the book that is worth the book’s price all by itself. Here I answer some of the misleading claims of people who believe the Ark is nothing but fantasy. These claims include the geography of the old world as well as details regarding the construction of the Ark and its floatability.

WORLD OF SHEM

Book 3 of the series covers the Flood, time on the ocean, landing on Ararat, the sin of Ham, the Tower of Babel, the Confusion of Tongues and beyond. The book continues until Abram (Abraham) is in Haran.

WORLD OF ABRAHAM

Book 4 will cover Abraham’s life from Haran into Canaan and beyond. This novel explores his travels, his love for God, his inconsistencies, his nephew Lot and what happened to him, and more. The reader gets a close up view and understanding of Abraham and Sarah.

WORLD OF JACOB

Book 5 will cover a little of Isaac but will be focused upon Jacob and his adventures. This novel will also begin taking a look at his sons.

WORLD OF JOSEPH

Book 6 will be the story of Joseph. Here the reader will see the byplay of jealousy as it is played out by his brothers. Joseph himself has a few problems that the Bible hints at and must be addressed before he fulfills God’s plan.

As you can see I have a full load ahead for me. But I am looking forward to it. Writing these novels is far more than an exercise in imagination. Much research has already taken place and more will be required. While time consuming and tiring, it is well worth the effort.

Let me leave you with this principle: Research lends credibility to your work. No matter the genre, no matter the length of the novel, and no matter your skill level, research provides the basis for a good, credible story.

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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.

 

Announcing World of Shem

Announcing World of Shem

I am happy to announce my latest novel World of Shem is now in print and digital format. This novel, a major rewrite of the Rise of Shem, is book 3 of my series The World That Was.  world-of-shem-kdp-11-14-17-for-kindle.jpg

All three books (Perished, World of Noah and the Ark, and World of Shem) are told in a manner that is not only faithful to the Bible but strives to bring the Bible alive to both Christian and non-Christian reader alike. Perhaps because it is a rewrite of a previous novel or perhaps because it is my latest novel, it is my current favorite.

I love to write, but there is something special about writing Bible based stories. I think the reason is that the stories not only bring the Bible alive to readers but to myself as well. In so doing I am able to dig deeper and gain an understanding of the events and people. And of God!

I imagine this is akin to any writer who bases their books on history. In the process of writing you dig deep finding out about the foods people ate, the clothes they wore, and the methods of transportation used. Such knowledge grants both the writer and the reader a greater appreciation of both the events and the people involved.

My study of the people, places, and events of the World of Shem impacted my life. I was particularly impressed with how rapidly civilization grew after the world wide flood. Everything had been destroyed. Yet within 300-500 years a thriving civilization existed again. The only explanation I have is that Noah must have taken a great many tablets (probably mostly clay) with him upon the Ark. These tablets would have contained a great deal of the knowledge of the Old World that perished.

But it was the character of Shem that attracted me the most. The Bible tells us very little about this man, but as I wrote the story I watched his character develop to the point I felt like I knew him. I don’t claim my characterization of him is 100% accurate, but I believe it is a good representation of him.

Having written the book and now published it I am looking for potential reviewers. I can provide the book in a variety of formats (Epub or PDF, for example) at no cost and no conditions, other than the reviewer reads the book through and gives an honest appraisal. I would prefer the 1 through 5 ranking system. If you are able to provide an Amazon review, so much the better.

If you are interested in reviewing the book please email me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Please put “Book Review Request” in the subject line. That will get my immediate attention and response. It would be helpful if you would state the format desired (such as paperback, PDF, or Epub). If you have another format you’d like mention it and I will try to accommodate you.

Whether you review the book or not, happy reading!

Title: World of Shem
Publisher: T&R Independent Books
Printer: CreateSpace
ISBN: 10: 154242383x or 13: 978-1542423830
Contact for Reviews: Marketing@tr-indbkstore.com
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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.

Is Writing A Service To God?

Is Writing A Service To God?

Recently I blogged about my journey of faith. Today I want to get back on track and talk about serving God as an author.

Is writing fiction really serving God?

That’s a reasonable question since some people believe that it is not true service. I once was upbraided for writing novels based on the Bible because:

  • People will mistake it for the truth

  • Thereby getting wrong doctrine

There are a few things wrong with that view:

  1. The Bible is found in the Bible or Religion section of bookstores not in the fiction section

  2. Novels are found in the Fiction section not in the Religion section

  3. My books state they are novels

  4. My novels are purposely based on Biblical fact and doctrine

  5. My novels flesh out the stories rather than disagree

In other words, no person who has read my books can seriously claim they teach false doctrine. If there is any doctrine in the book it always agrees with the Bible. In fact, I have been told my books “bring the Bible alive!”

Actually one of the reasons for writing Bible based novels is to encourage people to read the Bible; to discover what is Bible fact and what is a product of my imagination. It is always a thrill when someone reads my books and their faith is either renewed or they become more interested in reading the Bible.

And that is a service!

The true test of service, any kind of service, is as follows: Does it

  • Agree with Biblical facts

  • Honor God

  • Inspire people to read the Bible

  • Inspire people to worship God

  • Inspire others to serve God

  • Inspire people to live godly lives

It needn’t do all the above but it should have at least one of the elements. Christian authors, whether fiction or non-fiction writers, have an awesome opportunity to influence people for Christ. You don’t have to be preachy. You don’t even have to write about Bible events or people. But our writings should reflect a Christian approach to life.

My books generally take place before the birth of Christ yet I strive to present a Christian view. So while I don’t mention Jesus, I do mention the Redeemer. In addition, I emphasize the Scriptures (aka the Writings).

So if you’re a Christian author don’t be shy about being one. You have a job, perhaps a calling. Trust His leading and do things His way. And when people challenge you respond in pride, “I write because God gave me the talent and because He wants me to use it for Him.”

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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.

Pre, Mid, or Post Rapture?

Pre, Mid, or Post Rapture?

In my last blog (Christian Numerology?) I wrote about the ‘end of the world’ on Saturday September 23rd. We are now past that date and we are still here. But my post raised a question pertaining to the Rapture. It was pointed out that there are three Rapture theories: Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, and Post-Trib. So let’s explore these a little in reverse order:

Post Tribulation

This view holds that the church will go through the entire seven year Tribulation and then will come the Rapture. While some Christians still believe in this theory it has largely been dismissed. There are many promises in Scripture concerning the Rapture that Post Tribulation either ignores or spins. These are:

  • 3:10
  • Luke 12:10
  • Matthew 24:42, 44
  • I Thess. 4:13-18
  • 1Thess 1:10,5:9
  • Romans 5:9
  • Ephesians 5:6

Does belief in the Post Tribulation Rapture mean one is not saved? No! Rather, I believe, it means that they have been taught amiss. A literal reading of the Word of God does not lead to a belief in the Post Trib Rapture.

Mid-Tribulation

This view means the church will go through the first half of the Tribulation, but escape the second half sometimes called the Great Tribulation. But again believers in this theory ignore or neglect important verses. This theory is based on 1 Corinthians 15:52 and in particular “the last trumpet.” They teach that this is the last trumpet of the trumpets found in Revelation. But the problem is that to do that they must ignore the fact that all the other trumpets of Revelation deal with God’s wrath.

The simple fact is that the Rapture is a New Testament subject meant only for the Church. Yet the church is never mentioned again after Revelation 4:1. From then on it is Israel which was, is and will be God’s beloved and chosen people. One of the purposes of the Tribulation, other than to punish unbelievers, is to bring the Jewish people back to Him! (Mt. 23:39; Luke 13:35.)

Pre-Tribulation

This view takes a literal view of the Bible including all the promises. Some of these are:

  • Revelation 3:10
  • I Thessalonians 1:10
  • I Thessalonians 5:9
  • Ephesians 5:6
  • Colossians 3:4

According to this view there is no event that must take place before the Rapture occurs. It could happen at any time. This view is also the view of the early church fathers, such as Barnabas (ca.100-105), Papias (ca. 60-130), Justin Martyr (110-195), Irenaeus (120-202), Tertullian (145-220), Hippolytus (ca. 185-236), Cyprian (200-250), and Lactantius (260-330).

I am not concerned whether you agree with me or not. What is important is that if you have received Christ as your Savior (been born again through the blood of Jesus) then you will be Raptured (Caught Up). It is a promise of God to us!

So there you have it. I hope I haven’t offended anyone, but now you know my position and the position of this blog. I am a fundamentalist; I take the Bible literally except where it indicates otherwise.

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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.

When I consider Thy heavens

When I consider Thy heavens

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

This passage is deep with a rich supply of theology and application. But I want to zoom in on the first part: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained.

The pride of men is such that they see all the handiwork of God, but refuse to believe that it was created by God. That view has pervaded our schools, government, and some churches. But the truth is that God is the Creator!

As a Christian author I have more than one motive for writing. Like all novelists I write to entertain, but I also have a Christian  motive: Psalm 71:18b, “until I have shown thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.”

I don’t know what your motive is, but I imagine that assuming you’re a Christian you want to be a witness and to influence people for Christ. That doesn’t mean your book(s) have to preach or present the gospel, but it does mean that your book(s) should reflect your Christian beliefs.

As an example, I write historical fiction, primarily Biblical, while my wife is writing her first novel which is a mystery aimed at teens and adults. My Biblical books are based on actual events recorded in the Bible, whereas my wife’s novel will reflect modern living. In other words, we are writing for two entirely different genres.

Let’s get back to my books. My writings explore the relationships man has had with the Creator. Since my books are based on actual events they also include actual people some of which are good and some bad. Exploring this relationship excites me. It takes me deeper into God’s Word, which not only benefits the books but it benefits my own spiritual journey.

The worship of the Creator has been and still is a foundational doctrine for the Christian faith. Only the Creator has the right to be worshiped. Not only that but He has the right to demand our obedience to His will! He didn’t create us and then walk away. Every day He watches us and takes pleasure in us when we do His will. And I find that to be a blessing and an encouragement rather than a threat.

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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 thank God, whom I serve

I thank God, whom I serve

In 2 Titus 1:3 Paul makes the statement, “I thank God, whom I serve” as he begins his letter to Titus. It is almost lost amongst  Paul’s message to Titus, but it says a lot about Paul. The question is does it apply to us as well?

Do we serve God?

If we compare the extent of our service to God to Paul’s service, does it measure up? Do we serve in the church? And if we do is our service selfless? Do we serve because God called us or is it merely a duty?

These and many other questions need to be asked and answered by us. Another question is does our service change? Sometimes it does. God is an unchanging God but His dealings with us sometimes change as seen from our perspective.

I remember the story of a couple who were called to the mission field. They thought it was to Mexico. So they committed themselves and attended a language school to learn Spanish. But while there God redirected their mission to another Spanish speaking country. Did God change His mind? No. It was His plan from the beginning, but they had honestly thought He was calling them to Mexico.

So while God is unchanging, His call may change when it is seen from our eyes. We follow God to the best of our abilities and understanding. But our understanding may change. There are also countless times God has called a man to pastor a church and years later called him out of that pastorate to another ministry. It happens often.

So God reserves unto Himself the right to change our calling. This is true in our church service and in our personal lives. But our commitment to Him must never change. When He calls we are to respond willingly. Then we are to maintain our sensitivity to His Spirit whereby we can change our direction.

When God calls us He also equips us to perform His will (1 Cor. 12:4-11). Not only equips us but He may give us more than one!

If you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ then He has called you to serve (Eph. 2:10). All Christians are called to be a godly witness (not just pastors), but He has other areas of service available. He may place you in a particular ministry for the rest of your life or He may move you around. Whichever it is, trust and obey Him.

Does service only mean within the physical church? No. I believe He has a job for everyone within the physical church, but I also believe He wants to use our personal lives as well. That is why I call writing a calling. God called and equipped me to write. That obligates me to seek His will pertaining to the writing, such as what I write, how I write, and so forth.

The first thing a Christian should do after getting saved is to get baptized. This is a picture of what happened to you, is the first commandment to you, and a witness to all. But after that a new Christian should immediately seek God’s will for their lives, particularly in the area of service (Titus 3:8). And this seeking should characterize them from then on!

I have been a Christian for over 44 years and have been serving Him almost from the beginning. Over the years my service has changed, but I have learned that wherever God puts me He is faithful and always equips me to do the job. That is one way of knowing if it is God’s calling. If you believe you are called and no provision is made for your equipping, then you might be wrong. God may gift you with a talent to be used, provide training in your church, provide college education, or provide other ways of equipping you. But He will never call you and then leave you stranded.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for 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.

The commandment is a lamp

The commandment is a lamp

For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light;…

God’s Word sheds light upon us. Think about that. What a powerful statement. We Christians need not operate in darkness. Whatever is going on in our life, including our secrets, is open to God. His Word reveals our deepest secrets and needs to us!

But if that is true (and it is) then how does that affect us as authors?

Considering the trials and tribulations of writing a book I look upon this verse as a strong encouragement. When I hit a wall that stops my writing God already knows all about it and has provided the solution. When I need to be encouraged God knows that and has already prepared the perfect encouragement for me.

In other words, the Word of God is a powerful resource for us as Christians and as Christian authors. All too often Christians separate their faith and their daily lives, but God intends for us to be in His Word daily and to apply it to every aspect of our life.

One of the advantages I have in blogging on Scripture is that it requires thoughtful reading of the Scriptures in addition to my daily devotions. It causes me to actually ‘think’ about the passage in relationship to my writing career. And that makes me stronger!

As an author I also write stories that are based on Bible stories. Although similar to writing stories based on secular historical events, it has the added benefit of once again involving me in the reading and meditation of God’s Word. It helps me to picture the actual events and to bring them alive for myself. And if I bring it alive for myself, it is likely to be alive for my readers.

But back to my basic point, which is that Christians need to be in God’s Word daily. This is true no matter what their career. God has something to say to us and we’ll only ‘hear’ it if we delve into His Word. And like a lamp it sheds light upon our feet and lightens the path before us (see Psalm 119:105)!

If you haven’t begun a daily devotion I encourage you to do so. The light won’t blind you but will show you how to move forward. It may even show you the possible pitfalls that await you if you persist in going a certain way. That is the beauty of it. The light shows both the good and bad in our life and acts as a guide. You won’t regret starting your own devotions.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for 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.

The LORD shall judge the people…

The LORD shall judge the people…

“The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me” Psalm 7:8

This is a prayer that can only be said by a man or woman who not only knows the Lord but also completely trusts Him. If we don’t completely trust Him our righteousness and integrity will come up short.

How can that be?

It’s really simple. Both in the Old Testament and New Testament we need His strength and integrity. In the Old Testament they didn’t have the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit but the Spirit did cloak them. So in both cases the believer needed the Holy Spirit to empower them.

Sounds simple and it is. The Bible clearly indicates that we can be holy. In I Peter 1:16 we are told, “…Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

Actually we are given both the command and the solution here. Put another way, we can be holy because He is holy and He will enable us. I said it was easy, but it is also hard. Submitting ourselves to Him and living a holy life is extremely hard for us humans. It requires surrendering ourselves to Him. There is no room for pride, which happens to be one of our biggest faults.

Why do we want to be holy?

Because God will judge us! As Christians we will face the Bema Seat and will be judged according to our walk. Not for salvation, but for rewards. Some people might say “I don’t want any rewards,” and they might think a desire for rewards is pride. But they misunderstand the Scriptures. We are taught that we will cast our crowns at the feet of Jesus Christ in worship and adoration! That’s not pride, that’s humility. That’s a desire to glorify our Lord!

So all I can say to you is this, “Humbly yield to Him, trust Him, and live for Him as best you can. Then let God be the judge.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for 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.