When Writing Offends

When Writing Offends

Today I am writing about When Writing Offends.
You are going to offend somebody with your writing. This is a true statement whether you’re writing fiction, blogs, or anything else. It’s likely to happen. And some writers write with the intent to offend.
I am not writing about that. Rather, I am talking about poor writing. A few years ago I spoke at a meeting where we were discussing someone else’s book (name intentionally withheld). The book was full of foul language and filthy sex. I had agreed to review the book not knowing the author’s tendencies. In fact, I started to back out because it offended me so greatly, but I had already agreed to read it and so I read did, although it was a struggle. My conclusion, it was a terrible book. I would never recommend it to anyone.
But it was a best seller!
You might ask how can it be poor writing and still be a best seller? Simple, sex sells!
But the problem with the story was there was a basically good plot but the sex, language, etc. overrode it. Now to be sure, there was at least one fan of the writer who defended the book. Her defense bordered on insulting rather than anything constructive, but it does show such writing does attract people.
I once was accused of trying to impose my Christian faith upon others. Not in that meeting, but here on the Internet. But the fact is I believed that writing should not contain profane language or excessively graphic scenes long before I ever accepted Christ as my Savior. In fact, I wasn’t even attending church back then. I’m not talking religion I am talking about what makes a great writer.
Sales doesn’t make a great writer.
There is a constant flow of pornographic books that sell. Mankind is attracted to such books. But they are not good books.
Before I got saved I read well written books of all types. I even read books that had great plots, fantastic characters, while also leaving little to the imagination. And the interesting thing is that these books were great even if the bad stuff was left out. In fact, I would contend they would have been better.
You read any of my novels and I leave out the excessive graphics. That doesn’t mean there’s no sex, violence, or anything like that. When I write a scene I leave the excess up to the reader. Which brings up an important maxim:
A writer’s job is to stimulate the reader’s imagination not replace it!
So I always have a stopping point. This is true whether it is sex or violence.
But what about language?
Well, let’s take a look at that. Those defending the practice contend it is more realistic, that everyone swears. But that is a false statement. There are a lot of people who don’t swear. Hollywood and TV has created an image that says swearing is normal, but we all know people, a great many people, who don’t swear.
So, first of all, swearing is not as prevalent as advertised.
Secondly, even if it was prevalent, we need to ask why most people read. It is to escape the reality of their lives, to imagine, to relax, and to be uplifted. Sure some are drawn to the dark side (a little Star Wars there), but I doubt that is the majority.
So, how do you the author show passionate characters and/or events without crossing the line? Believe it or not there was a time when authors actually solved this dilemma. In the case of language they simply used symbols, such as !@#$%^&. The reader automatically knew they represented a swear word. Some readers probably substituted their favorite swear word if they liked to swear. But the key here is that the reader didn’t feel deprived, but simply read on.
In the case of violence or sex the authors highlighted the activities leading up to the event. For example, in Perished I wrote of a battle where a sword fight took place. Read it for yourself:

Akkub turned and saw Meremoth rushing at him. He blocked the initial strike although staggered by it. Meremoth used a two-handed grip to force Akkub back. Suddenly Akkub lost his footing and Meremoth’s sword came slicing downward unblocked.

Everything seemed to stop as the general looked at his severed hand still gripping the sword.

Here we have a sword fight that results in one man losing his hand. The amount of detail provided is not too graphic, but it is enough to stimulate the reader’s imagination. And different readers have different levels of imagination, so each reader may picture the fight differently. In any case, the scene is full of action yet not too graphic.
In the case of sex, my usual approach is to focus on the events leading up to the act and to the events leading away from the event. Again, I let the reader’s imagination fill in the gaps.
In truth, the reader’s imagination is a valuable tool available to every writer willing to make use of it.
It is a tool that needs to be sharpened. You do that by using it. Moreover, you experiment and see what works. As deeply as I believe in what I am saying I have had people who reviewed my rough drafts tell me that I needed to back off in this or that scene. So you need people you trust to review your rough draft before you submit it for publishing.
My final thought on this is what is your ultimate goal? We all want our books to sell. That is a given. But what is your ultimate goal?
Is it to simply get rich? Then you’ll probably reject everything I’ve said.
Is it to simply write? Then you may or may not care about this blog or about sales.
Is it to write your very best book? Then I contend you want your writing to be above reproach. Fame and sales would be nice, but you want to be able to say to yourself, I did my best. And that brings a deep sense of satisfaction!
Offences can’t be totally prevented. But your offences due to unnecessary graphics, language, and the like can be reduced and maybe eliminated. Try it.

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 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).

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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: World of Abraham’s Lot

FeaturedInsights: World of Abraham’s Lot

Insights: “Just Lot”

“And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:  (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” 2 Peter 2:7-8

One of the most interesting and relevant characters in the Bible is Lot. I say that because of the man’s lifestyle and God’s judgment on him. In the Bible the use of the term “just” is a salvation term referring to someone who has trusted God for his salvation (deliverance from the judgment of God for sin). In other words, Lot was a saved man!

But Lot was guilty of greed, incest, drunkenness and more. In our thinking he couldn’t be a Christian. But God says otherwise.

It says in 2 Peter that the sin of Gomorrah vexed his righteous soul from day to day …” Seeing their ungodly behavior bothered him. He hated the sin and probably never practiced it himself, but he was contaminated by it. So much so that his virgin daughters were able to get him drunk and commit incest with them!

We sit in judgment of him, but are we any better?

The truth is that Christians today would be harshly condemned by our ancestors. We proclaim Christ but have become modernized in our thinking, our behavior, and our worship. Our souls are vexed by all this but we do nothing about it. I’m just as guilty as anyone else.

What should we do?

Pray and seek revival! We need to return to a Biblical perspective in our lives.

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 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).

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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.

The Mighty Pen

FeaturedThe Mighty Pen

Today I am writing about the power of the word. We writers wield a powerful tool that can inspire, transform, build or it can tear down, spoil, destroy. Writing is a time honored craft that can and often does serve God.

Generally I blog about writing books; in particular, novels. But there are other examples of where writing can be viewed as a service. These are writing:

  • Blogs

Blogs are not only an expression of yourself, but they are sources of influence, as well. Some people are only known because they have a fantastic blog. It’s easy to get started with WordPress and it is fun.

  • Letters

Some people write letters for others. You can actually make money doing this. You can also personally influence people for your own causes.

  • Novels

My favorite. If you have a lively imagination you can write lively stories. Writing Christian fiction is not much different than writing fiction. It is fiction with a Christian worldview. If you can do this, you have the potential to be very successful or extremely happy because you are doing something you truly love.

  • Poetry

In the early days I wrote poetry, but it was for personal use. It actually helped me win my wife. I was never interested in pursuing it as a career, but I did enjoy it.

  • Skits

Writing for skits, plays, etc. can be rewarding. I know next to nothing about this, but people have and do make good money in it.

  • Soul Winning Tracts

You’ve seen all those tracts out there. Go to any church that believes in and practices soul winning and you will find a tract rack or display. Somebody writes them. And many are very good.

What other examples are there? Write them down. And then take them to the Lord to find out if any are for you. Being a writer is rewarding whether you make money or not. There are other more enduring rewards like satisfaction, self respect, the respect of others, and that feeling you get when you’ve done something right.

As for me, I write not to get rich (probably a good thing) but because I love to write. You could say it’s in my blood. Why do you write? What is your motivation?

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 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).

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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.

Yielding to God

Yielding to God

When you got saved you may have  thought that your greatest battle was over. After all, you finally yielded to the Holy Spirit’s wooing and accepted Christ as your Savior.

But while that is undoubtedly the most important decision you made it is not the last. The next decision was to obey Christ and get baptized in His name. Then later on you may have yielded once again and decided to serve Him.

But what about your daily living. The thing is you listen to great preaching all the time about godly living. You can quote Bible verses that speak on the subject, yet somehow you fail to have the victory. It may come down to simply understanding what ‘yielding’ is all about.

Yielding is more than knowing doctrine.

One of the traps every Christian can fall into is that studying doctrine and memorizing Scripture is the same as yielding. It isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, doing those things are important for a strong spiritual life. But there is a difference between knowing about yielding and actually yielding.

Yielding is more than mental assent.

You’ve read your Bible. You’ve even read Scripture pertaining to your particular need. And you’ve agreed with the Bible about what to do. In fact, you may have begun practicing some or all of the Biblical solutions, yet you still fail.

Yielding is Allowing God to have full Control.

That is harder than it sounds. As humans we all want to do something. We (and that includes you) have a tendency to help God by doing it ourselves. You have the right motive and the right solution, but the wrong method. Yielding to God means coming to that place where you simply trust Him enough to let Him have control.

Control of what?

That really depends on you. What is your area of need. God wants to control your cravings. God wants to control your tongue. God wants to control your temper. God wants to control your thoughts. God wants to control everything about you.

I tend to reduce things to a formula or a simple phrase. In the case of control I use the following: Apply Biblical rules, principles, and guidelines to your area of need and place it in God’s hands.

Perhaps your need is temper. What triggers that temper and how can you avoid the trigger. Asking for God’s help during or after a temper explosion is a little late. So yielding to God in this case might require allowing God to rule and overrule in the area of the triggers.

Perhaps your thought life is a concern. You have an overactive imagination that can get you into trouble. For writers I imagine this can be a major problem. Here again you apply God’s rules. I once heard a preacher say that we need to yield our thoughts or imaginations to the Holy Spirit. And that’s a key point. When you use your imagination, subject it to Biblical control. Invite God into your imagination and allow Him to control it. Find out what His rules of behavior are and apply them directly. And always remember that it must be Him working in you rather than you doing the work.

In fact, that simple rule can be extended to all areas of your life. It’s a little difficult to fail God if you actually have Him involved. It sounds simplistic, but that is often the true solution. We humans tend to complicate things whereas God’s solution is usually simple and powerful.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for reviews. Not only for World of Shem (Book Three), but Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), and World of Abraham (Book Four to be released soon) . 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 World of Abraham.’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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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.

Behold All Things Are Become New

Behold All Things Are Become New

The title of this blog is taken from 2 Corinthians 5:17. It’s speaking of what happens to someone who believes in Christ (His death, burial, and resurrection). Scripture tells us we are renewed daily (2 Corinthians 4:16). Therefore it is appropriate as we close in on a New Year to consider our walk with God.

I have been a Christian for over 44 years, yet I still find salvation to be exciting, overwhelming, and renewing. Every day is a new frontier. I may have my own plans for that day, but God has His plans also. And if I am wise I will lay down my plans, my will, and submit to Him. That way I will end up happy, satisfied, and successful.

I want to take this moment to wish each and every one of you a blessed and joyous 2018. May God richly bless you, guide you, and use you for His glory!

Thanks for following my blog. I don’t know you personally, but I’m sure glad you’re there. My goal for 2018 is to continue to write blogs that inspire you to be a better Christian and a better writer.

HAPPY New Year!
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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.

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving

T&R Independent Books wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
Speaking as a Christian to Christians this is a time when we can express our thanks to God for so many things. Such as:

  • Our Saviour Who died on the cross
  • Our Saviour’s blood which covers our sins
  • Our salvation which is by grace plus nothing
  • God’s daily blessings
  • God’s calling upon our lives
  • God’s leading
  • God’s provision

And so much more!
Teresa and I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving!
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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.

How Great God Is!

How Great God Is!

Today I want to take a little departure from my normal blogs. Instead of blogging about the faith of the Founders of America or about steps in serving God, I am going to blog about how great our God is!

I could choose a number of examples. For instance, I could talk about how God has provided for the establishment of a new church in Lehigh Acres, Florida. Pastor Adam Kruse is the founding pastor of Truth Baptist Church. This represents the first ever church plant by Tri-City Baptist of Port Charlotte, Florida. The story of how this all came about is pretty amazing and demonstrates God’s provision and leading. But that’s a story for another day.

There are other examples, but I am most familiar with our story.

Teresa and I have rented our condo for years. But recently the owner decided to sell and we had to leave.  We are experienced in moving having moved four times in the last eleven years, which includes our latest move. I am not going to go into specifics at this time since this journey of faith is not quite over.

And a journey of faith it has been! It seems that every time some kind of obstacle would arise, God has already answered it. Sometimes something would happen and before we could go to God in prayer, the need was answered.

That’s pretty amazing from our viewpoint. But to God it is simply Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Folks, that’s the kind of God we worship. He knows our every need long before the need ever arises and has already provided the solution!

God knew our sin need before He ever created the world. He knew Adam would sin and pass the sin nature down to us. According to Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

But God already had the plan to send Jesus, His only begotten Son, to die for our sins and enable us to live in heaven eternally! He foreknows everything!

Seeing God’s hand at work in other persons’ lives is always a blessing, but it is even more so when His hand is at work in our life. Another example taken from our life took place in 2008. We had visited Florida and saw firsthand what was happening to Teresa’s mother. She was in the first stages of Alzheimer’s and living with her eldest daughter. But that daughter was also dealing with an ill husband who would eventually die of the disease he had.

Teresa and I flew back to Michigan concerned but not knowing what to do. At the time I felt that Florida was a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. But God had other plans.

Our pastor had dealt with his mother’s Alzheimer’s. So he knew a thing or two about it. He’s the one who told us we needed to move to Florida to take care of her. No sooner had he made this suggestion to us than I immediately questioned it. But each question was answered by God. In one instance He answered a question that I never raised.

We ended up coming to Florida and took care of mom until she died in 2013. Through it all God strengthened us and equipped us to handle her deteriorating condition. His help was always timely.

Teresa and I gave up a lot to move to Florida, but God restored all that and more. We discovered that when you trust the Lord He is more than capable of meeting all our needs and many of our wants!

The title of my blogging site is So You Want To Serve. God’s grace and abundant blessing is in itself all the motivation needed to serve Him. I recently taught a Sunday School lesson on Worshiping God. Some of the reasons I gave for worshiping Him were:

  1. He created the world.
  2. He created man.
  3. He loves us.
  4. He sent Jesus to die for us.

God is so great He deserves our worship. And serving Him is an act of worship!

Are you worshiping God?

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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.

What To Do About Bad Reviews?

What To Do About Bad Reviews?

I have been very blessed that so far I have had only one bad review. Some authors have had more than that, but no matter how many you get it hurts.

So what do you do about bad reviews?

A few years back I received such a review about the novel Perished. Sandwiched between 4 star and 5 star reviews it still offended me. Did I write a nasty letter to the reviewer? Did I erase the review from Amazon?

No, and no. The worst mistake you can make is to remove a negative review. Actually a negative review highlights the positive reviews. Readers will see that lonely negative review and also the positive reviews. And most will rightly decide something was wrong with the reviewer.

The young man reviewing my book actually pointed out the problem in his review. He admitted that he didn’t finish the book. Then he proceeded to tell his reasons for not finishing the book.

And this is where anyone who read the book would immediately know the problem. He not only didn’t read the book to the finish, he jumped around. His main complaint was that some of the characters did not remain true to their characterization at the beginning. I spotted this immediately.

One of the problems with writing historical fiction is that some of the characters in the book are drawn from actual historical accounts. In the case of Perished I was writing about actual Biblical events and people which required the use of real names.

Sometimes these names were identical to others. So it was possible to have two or more characters with the same name. Now if the reader is following the story as it was written, it is easy to determine which character is front and center. But if you jump around, never a good idea, then you could easily get confused as to which character you are reading about.

So the review was not only a bad rating (2 stars), but it was a poor review in approach and content. One side of me wanted to write him and point out his failings, but I didn’t do that. Why?

Because doing so is not good form. Most writers and teachers of writing will warn you not to criticize the reviewer. It simply offends others.

So I bit my tongue, metaphorically speaking, and left the review there. As I stated earlier it highlights the 4 and 5 star reviews. It becomes a plus and eventually helps the marketing.

Another response though is to take that negative review and ask yourself questions. In this case I asked myself if I could have done a better job of identifying which character was present? Most of the time the answer to that question is yes.

It’s possible that I could have eliminated certain characters and used alternate or even fictional characters instead. Sometimes when complaints come you can rewrite the book or at least certain scenes. The principle here is to treat negative reviews as a learning experience.

You can also treat good reviews the same way. Sometimes a reviewer may point out an error or a problematic tendency in the book even though they gave the book 5 stars. Once again you can take that and turn it into a learning experience.

Which brings me to another point or principle: leaving the negative review in place can serve as a reminder to you (or me) that you can’t please all the people. So don’t take it personally. Instead try to turn it into a positive learning experience both in marketing and in writing. Such an attitude will improve you as a writer.

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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.