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.

– – – – – – –

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.

Advertisements

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 has ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” Psalm 8:3-4.

As a writer I am always impressed and often overwhelmed by the poetic power of the Scriptures. The Scripture being considered today is one such passage.

In this passage we have man (David) looking at God. He is overwhelmed by God’s creative power. He looks at the heavens and is amazed at how beautiful and ordered it is. He considers the moon and stars which God ordained and placed in their orbits.

The sheer immensity of the heavens boggles the mind. To the believer it is glorious. To the unbeliever it is simply the result of evolution with no meaning. Theirs is a sad life as they view life from a animalistic viewpoint. They are to be pitied though they might not want pity.

The fact is that when you take God out of the equation you take everything of any value or meaning out as well. He created this world and the imprint of his fingers is upon every living and non-living thing! Knowing this should make your heart soar!

When I consider God it humbles me. What am I that He gave me any skills at all? And that is not taking into consideration His wonderful plan of salvation which is open to all. Think of that! According to His Scriptures we are all sinners (Romans 3:10-12, 23) for whom He died (Romans 6:23) and offers us free salvation (Romans 10:9-13). What a God!

All of that not only makes me want to live a holy life for Him but to use my talents according to His will! It motivates me to do my very best. Of course, that also means that I must humble myself and seek His will in every aspect of my writing career.

It amuses me when unbelievers accuse Christians of being prideful and exclusionary. The truth is that Christians (at least Bible believing Christians) understand that salvation is available to all! The problem isn’t our pride but the pride of unbelievers who want to add their personal works to the salvation plan. Salvation is Jesus Christ plus nothing more. He bore our sins, He was nailed to the cross for our sakes, He surrendered His life for us, and He rose again three days later. These are all facts that the unbelieving world doesn’t or isn’t capable of believing.

When you consider your writing career, or any career, in the light of His creative work it humbles you and motivates you to serve Him. It not only motivates me but energizes me and that is a good thing!

– – – – – – –

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.

And God saw…it was very good

And God saw…it was very good

“And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Gen. 1:31

The Book of Genesis is the foundational book of the Bible. It is the only reliable source we have on the creation of the world. God created a world where there was no sin and no death. It was a perfect world.

And within that world He created Adam and Eve. In fact, He created Adam before He created the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:7-8). Within the Garden He created Eve (Woman) from Adam’s side (Gen. 2:21-23). We have an amazing God who created a perfect world with perfect people.

Then of course there came sin. That was man’s contribution.

Fortunately human science is beginning to catch up to the Bible. While it still stubbornly adheres to evolution, it has made discoveries that not only disprove or weaken their theory but also adds information to the Biblical account which we didn’t know.

You may have heard of the supercontinent Pangaea. But did you know they now believe it was the second and last supercontinent and that it was underwater? That’s right. They now believe it was formed during and under the Flood. Further, it is believed it may have lasted only weeks or months.

So what was before Pangaea? Rodinia! Russian for “mother earth” it is believed to be the original supercontinent. Evolutionists don’t believe that, instead they say there were probably previous supercontinents. But there is no evidence supporting such a theory.

Thus, the Garden of Eden was placed within Rodinia. When Rodinia broke up and became Pangaea it then broke into seven continents. It is easy to understand why human skeletons may be found in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, or some island. Scientists like to complicate things (it makes them seem more important), but even a child would understand this fact. The world likes to say that the Bible says the Garden was in Mesopotamia, and then tear it apart noting inconsistencies.

But when you understand geologic history through the lens of the Bible you can see that the similarities of names of pre-Flood and post-Flood geography are likely the result of Noah and his descendants naming things after the world they had known. By the way, we still do that today. We move to a new area, start a town, city or street and name it after something we left behind. It’s human nature.

In writing Perished I blended the Biblical account with the latest scientific findings. Obviously I used the Biblical account as the primary and science as only supplemental. Why? Because the Bible remains the same (in spite of attempts to alter it) while science is constantly changing. Take evolution for example. Compare today’s version with that of a 100 years ago. Vast changes!

As a foundation book to the Bible Genesis provides both a spiritual and practical bedrock for our understanding of the need for salvation and many other doctrines. In fact, the entire Bible rests upon Genesis. That is why atheistic evolutionists attack Genesis. If they could knock it out, it would disrupt the rest of Scripture. But although they have tried countless times, they have always and will always fail.

Unfortunately we will have to wait until the millennium (1000 year rule of Christ) to ever see the world as it was meant to be. In fact, we really won’t see it in pristine beauty until the New Earth.

The novel Perished has consistently received four and five star reviews. One reason is because it sticks closely to the Biblical account. It’s the story behind the story, or “the rest of the story.” It is available in both print and eBook. And it is available through Amazon, Kindle, Smashwords, and other fine sites. If you enjoy the book I invite you to post your review on the site where you purchased it or at least on Amazon. I’d be thrilled to hear from you at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

– – – – – – –

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.

5 STAR REVIEW OF PERISHED

5 STAR REVIEW OF PERISHED

The following review was posted by a reader on Amazon. (http://amzn.to/2u1Y409)

This book was like a dialogue to the bible. I could feel and hear each character…they became life like or real to me in the way the author pended their various responses and reactions to their unique situations. My favourite chapters were 44 and 45, where Queen Esther expressed her love for both men. The one she was in love with before she was ordered to marry the King-something she became willing to do and her now established love,for the King-something that obviously grew with time. I also loved the King’s reaction upon his death bed in that he now entrusted the life of his soon to be widowed wife back to the man with whom she was previously in love. I loved how she displayed faithfulness and trust in a most uncertain time in her life..a time when her daughter-in-law was seeking to take her place as Queen. This gives a fresh feel to the bible and is a real eye opener. I will definitely be looking out for book 2.

As noted above the link to this book on Amazon.com is http://amzn.to/2u1Y409.

Oops – Correction on Special Announcement

Oops – Correction on Special Announcement

In my last blog I announced the publication of my book Perished on Smashwords. I also BookCoverImagePerishedannounced the availability to purchase the book at a 25% discount with the use of a coupon.

Unfortunately I typed the code wrong. The correct coupon code is:

LC78D

Since then I have also published on Smashwords the second book of the series. This book, World of Noah and the Ark, also has a coupon worth 25% off. It is PX66G.

You will particularly like this second book as it takes an in-depth look at the Ark itself. Some of the content replicates Perished, but there is also new content that includes the Flood itself and the eventual landing on Mt. Ararat.Noah Book CoverImage

But at the end of the book is a Q&A that delves into the world that existed, the Flood, the known facts of the Ark, what modern science has learned, and a comparison to the myth of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him 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.

 

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

In today’s blog I am happy to announce the publishing of Perished, Book One of the BookCoverImagePerishedWorld That Was series, on Smashwords. Not only published but in their Premium Catalog.

But that is now all. This eBook comes to you with a coupon enabling you to purchase the book with a 25% discount off the retail price! All you need is the coupon code, which is LC780.

Perished is the book that launched the series World That Was and the rights were purchased from the previous publisher. This enabled me to rework the book, including giving it a new cover. The story is taken from the Bible and tells the rest of the story from Creation to the Flood.

It is a story based on real life events covering the garden of Eden, the fall of man, expulsion from the garden of Eden, the murder of Cain, and the rise of immorality. It takes the reader into the personal lives of the people so that you feel like you know and understand them. Readers have found it so real they have to check the Bible to see what is fact and what is fiction.

Then, of course, is the Flood itself. The telling of the building of the Ark and the coming of the Flood comes alive! Great care has been taken to include the latest scientific facts within the story.

Although I have received 4 and 5 star reviews I am always looking for more reviews. So I am requesting that if you purchase and read the book that you will write a review no matter what your rating is. Then post it on Amazon or anywhere else you want. And if you have a website post it there as well.

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him 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.

The Consequences of Research

The Consequences of Research

That’s an interesting title to this blog, but I think you’ll understand better when I am finished.

From the day I began writing I have believed that a good author should support his work with diligent research. Since most of my writing deals with Biblical history it meant really digging into the Bible.

However, it also required me to dig into secular history. This is much harder because not all countries keep accurate historical records. For example, Egypt is a country with a rich history, but its records are confusing, at best.

When writing about Shem (The Rise of Shem) I quickly learned this fact. So what did I do. First, I looked for other secular sources that might provide accurate information. In a few instances I went only with the Biblical record.

This was true when dealing with time frames. Egyptian chronology is a mess. The consequence of this meant I had to reconstruct history as best I could by comparing Biblical chronology and Egyptian chronology. This was necessary to bring a semblance of reliability.

Why was this so important?

The story ranged from the Mountains of Ararat to Egypt and to Libya. As a storyteller I wanted the story to be as accurate as possible although it is a novel.

Another example of consequences was the writing of Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles and Perished: The World That Was. Both of these books dealt with the pre-Flood world.

Unfortunately there is precious little evidence of that world in secular writings.

The consequence of this fact was that I had to dig deeper and widen my net. I not only looked at the Biblical record, I also took a look at myths. While obviously myths they did provide hints at what ancient people believed about their past.

But while studying this issue I made a discovery.

Both in Biblical and secular history there was a sudden explosion of societal growth. Nations were founded, knowledge increased tremendously, and both economic and military growth were demonstrated. In the Bible this phenomenon occurred right after the Flood, while in secular history it simply occurs with no apparent reason.

But when I made the assumption that the Bible was correct and that it happened right after the Flood I discovered what I regard as a truth: The only way society could have advanced so far so fast was if they already had the fundamentals!

Using that truism I narrowed my study to the first 500 years after the Flood. It is simply amazing how advanced the society became in that short period of time. That realization led me to this conclusion: Those 500 years afford us a peek into the past; a peek into the world existing before the Flood.

That opened the past up for me and enabled me to write a reasonable description of what that world was like. Reasonable and probable. It made my novel work!

An author should never be afraid of the consequences of research. Sure, you may discover things that contradict your presuppositions, but you may also learn something powerful and transforming that will take your book to the next level.

Now you may have noticed that I made some assumptions along the way. This is true of all writers, no matter what their views are. My assumptions were that the Bible is always correct (a proven fact) and that secular history is often influenced by other factors other than a search for truth. I also made assumptions about the 500 years. These assumptions had the consequence of opening up my story and bringing it alive!

Your research may not take you where mine took me, but good solid researching will uncover facts that you can incorporate into your novel. The more facts you have, the more believable your story.

Perhaps you have been researching a particular subject. Has it changed your views or heightened them?

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

His eBook Perished: The World That Was can be found on Amazon Kindle. The paperback edition is found on Amazon.

The World That Was: Noah

I have been writing about how I wrote Perished: The World That Was. Today I write about Noah.

What was Noah like?

If you believe the movie ‘Noah’ he was not very nice. In fact, he was something of a mental case. Further he didn’t think humans were worthy of redemption.

All in all the movie ‘Noah’ is fiction with extremely little ties to the facts.

When writing the book Perished, I strove to make him exactly like he is portrayed in the Bible: a man saved by the Grace of God and commissioned to build an Ark to the saving of mankind.

Both in the church and outside the church you hear statements such as:

1.     The Ark was the first ship (heard preached)

2.     The Ark was unseaworthy (popular belief)

3.     Noah was crazy (popular belief and taught in movie)

4.     Noah was a drunk (he did get drunk once, but no indication he was a drunkard)

All of these are false. Nowhere in the Bible is the Ark ever described as the only ship built before the Flood. The truth is that the ‘blue print’ given Noah by God presupposes some knowledge of ship building.

Noah was a farmer, who grew grapes, and was not a shipbuilder. In olden days farmers often did some carpentry, but nothing like building a ship.

Scientists have determined the Ark to be very seaworthy. And the Bible shows a man who loved God and was very godly in character.

These were just some of the issues I had to deal with before I could create an accurate picture of Noah.

Some people claim the entire story is a story taken from the Epic of Gilgamesh. But the Bible account is a first hand eyewitness account of the events. Gilgamesh was written after the Flood, indeed after the Confusion of Tongues!

So my job was to portray Noah as a highly intelligent, godly man. Fortunately I had the Bible as a ready reference. There are a lot of facts about him if you look. Secondly, we know from science and archaeology what the world may have been like.

So once I had all the facts gathered I was able to weave a story about him and his family that not only was believable, but probably very close to the truth.

All of this teaches a very important truth: When using a historical person do your research. You want your character as believable as possible.

 By the way, I am in the final stages of rewriting Perished: The World That Was. It should be coming out soon, so watch for it.

Your comments are welcome. Just make a comment below.

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

The World That Was: Adam

We have been looking at how I wrote The World That Was series. Today I will take a look at character development as it relates to Adam.

You might wonder what could possibly be difficult about creating the character Adam? After all, he is the primary character, other than God, in the first four chapters of Genesis. What’s so difficult?

It was difficult for the very reason that Adam is so well known. Anybody who has read those first four chapters has formed in their mind an image of what he was like. And the Bible gives insights. My task therefore required me to be very careful to make his personality fit what the Bible describes and hints at.

First, here are some basic facts found in the Bible:

1.     Adam was created from earth (clay?) by God
2.     Adam was the first human
3.     God gave him great intelligence (his offspring invented music, worked with brass (mining & industrial processes), established religion and more
4.     God placed him in the Garden of Eden
5.     God gave him a wife
6.     God fellowshipped with them morning & night (cool of day)
7.     Adam sinned
8.     Adam was expelled from the Garden
9.     Adam believed and worshipped God
10. Adam fathered at least three sons and possible three or more daughters

These are ten basic facts. You can discover more by studying the Bible. It provides a general insight into the man. But I needed more.

So how did I do it?

The first thing was to become familiar with his story as it is related in the Bible. Being something of a Bible student that wasn’t hard. I also needed to be aware of his unique relationship with God plus his life with Eve in and out of the Garden.

That last point provided me the spark my imagination needed. What was the Garden like? I did a lot of research on gardens, but eventually I settled on the fact that this was not like some backyard garden. It probably was more like the Amazon.

It was a perfect world that Adam found himself within. And when God created Eve, he had a perfect wife! This was all before sin corrupted us, so such perfection can not be found today. (I love my wife dearly, but she has a sin nature just like me, so that rules out perfection. Although she comes close.)

As I studied these questions I was able to put Adam in differing situations. This required me to step inside the man and become him. Then it was, As Adam how do I react to the Garden? What fascinates me? How do I relate to Woman (Eve)? These questions triggered my imagination.

More difficult than that was Adam’s relationship with God, his Creator. As Adam how did I view God? As Creator? As my Friend? Myriad possibilities. Added to that I had to be very careful about God Himself.

In writing about God I followed a very simple principle: Not to have God do anything or say anything that was not found elsewhere in the Bible. That was tough, but I believe I held to that principle successfully. Thus, the God of my novel was consistent with the God of the Bible.

Actually that principle is good for writing about any well-known historical figure. But it was an absolute must regarding God.

Back to Adam. Another principle I employed was: put myself in his shoes (so to speak). I referred to that above. But it is important enough to go deeper. When writing about your characters, especially your primary character, it is a big plus if you can become that character.

For example, I needed to put myself in Adam’s character and imagine my reaction to the first sin. That wasn’t impossible since I know how I feel whenever I sin; it is terrible guilt! With Adam it would have been magnified! And then there was the expulsion! The Garden of Eden was his home, the only home he had known. How did he feel and how did he react to being cast out?

Identifying with Adam enabled me to demonstrate his sorrow, his strength to handle the murder of Abel, and the building of “Little Eden.” This last was my imagination let loose. If I had been Adam I would have felt tremendous guilt, but I also would have remember the wonderful days in Eden. And I wouldn’t want to forget it! Thus, when I built my first home, and everyone thereafter, I would have built within the house a small place (perhaps a courtyard) where I could meditate and remember God. I might even call it “Little Eden.”

Once I had the character of Adam clearly embedded in my mind, I was able to trace out his history as the years went by and he faced different scenarios, virtually all for the first time.

All in all it was quite a humbling and satisfying experience. I used two very important principles:

1.     Not to have God do anything or say anything that was not found elsewhere in the Bible.

2.     Put myself in my character’s shoes.

I believe that your imagination is the most valuable tool a writer possesses. If you can put yourself within your character and express the result to your readers, you have the beginning of a successful story.

Imagination is something we emphasize in Authors Academy. While having an imagination is something you have or don’t (and if you don’t you are in the wrong business), but we can give you principles for employing it.

Your comments are welcome. Just go to my Facebook page and leave a comment about this article.

– – – – – – –

R. Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

Multiple Third Person

Viewpoint or Point of View (POV) is critical to your story. The Point of View allows the reader to experience someone else’s (yours or the character’s) view of the world. Last Monday we looked at Third Person viewpoint. Today we take a look at Multiple Third Person.

 Imagine yourself as a reader who gets to read the minds of the characters. Not necessarily all the time, but at critical times. It gives you, the reader, the power and knowledge to understand what is going on to a greater degree.

 In Third Person Viewpoints you are reading or “listening” to the thoughts of the primary character. But in Multiple Third Person Viewpoints this is multiplied so that the reader has the opportunity to grasp more and understand more.

 That being said, I would not suggest too many characters at one time. Generally I try to limit to two or three characters. And only with the primary character do I have constant contact.

If you have more than one character with a POV you need to transition from one to another. Here’s the problem: Your reader is in the head of one of the characters and suddenly you switch to another character’s POV.

This can be very disruptive to the reader. You must transition from one character to another to keep the reader engaged.

          ___________________________________________

 Tip #1 – Generally, multiple characters with observable viewpoints should be introduced early. However, in books spanning many years it is possible to distant them (as in Perished: The World That Was).

 Tip #2 – Unless you are truly great with prose keep your primary character as your primary POV. In books like Perished you can change the primary character but make sure the transition is smooth.

 Tip #3 – You must transition between POV’s. You will lose the reader if you don’t.

          ___________________________________________

 Example

 In Perished: The World That Was you have a book covering 1656 years. It starts with Adam being the primary character but he eventually dies and another takes his place. This continues until Noah becomes the primary.

 In each case there was a transition (either death or simply a “changing of the guard” (so to speak)).

 I do not recommend doing this in a story that is more compressed in time. Most likely your primary character will be constant throughout.

 Another example from the same book is the inclusion of multiple primary characters. But it is rare for both to appear in the same scene at the same time. If such a situation presents itself, however, only one should be the primary at that time.

 Application

 Multiple Person Viewpoint is in my opinion the most flexible (and hardest) viewpoint for the author to use. That flexibility is a valuable asset for the author. So don’t shy away from it.

 Try it out. Buy books on viewpoint and learn what works for you.

 Your comments are welcome. Just go to my Facebook page and leave a comment about this article.

 – – – – – – –

 R. Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.