Me and My Pastor

FeaturedMe and My Pastor

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Me and My Pastor.
What is a Pastor?
There are several names for Pastor in the Bible. They are:

  1. Pastor
    • The word pastor only occurs once in Bible (Jer:17:16)
    • This is considered the equivalent to under shepherd
    • Depending on church government can be elected or appointed
    • Elected in Baptist churches
    • Runs the church
    • Most churches have Deacons who serve as his extension
  2. Bishop (I Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:7; I Peter 2:25)
    • In the Bible this is same as Pastor or Under Shepherd
    • Some churches make this a separate office but no Biblical authority
    • Husband of one wife (rules out women)
  3. Elder (Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-2; 2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1)
    • Same as Pastor
    • Some churches make this a separate office but no Biblical authority
    • Elder and Bishop mentioned in same passage (Titus 1:5-9)
  4. Priest (Book of Hebrews)
    • Generally Old Testament
    • Equivalent to Pastor
    • Jesus is the Great High Priest
  5. Under Shepherd (I Peter 2:25, 5:4)
    • Term Under Shepherd not in Bible; references  Great or Chief Shepherd
    • Same as Pastor
    • Jesus is the Shepherd, the pastor is the under shepherd

Different denominations treat these names in different ways. Bible believing Baptist churches identify Pastor, Bishop, Elder, and Under Shepherd as the same office.  The primary reason for this is that the Scriptural definitions of the office and the requirements for the office are very similar or the same.
You’d have to do an in-depth study of the subject to truly understand the differing titles, but the above is how I understand it. In general, the titles depict differing aspects of the same office.
But How Do I Interact with the Pastor?
Your view of the office will affect your interactions with the Pastor. The following is with pastor viewed as the Under Shepherd.

  • Highest officer of the local church
  • Called by God
  • Voted in by congregation
  • Equivalent to CEO

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)
As a member of a local church I serve under the pastor at his direction. There may be others between him and me but he is the boss. There is one more aspect that we Christians have a problem with: namely that his rule appears to extend to our personal lives. Considering that each of us are also subject to God’s will and direction for our lives, our subjection to the pastor must be tempered by the knowledge that both he and I are subject to God.
I am not a theologian, but I think this means that as regarding our personal lives we must at the very least listen to the man of God. Does his advice, warning, etc. align with God’s Word? Is his advice, warnings, etc. Biblical or based simply on experience?
I say this because the pastor doesn’t always know all the circumstances of your life. I had one pastor advise me on secular work. I followed it and later regretted it.
I think the key is the phrase: “they must give account” for our souls. This implies moral and spiritual responsibility.
You may differ with me on this, but I conclude with this final statement:
A Christian is subject to the moral and spiritual leadership of his pastor. As such a Christian should submit to that leadership. Outside the church the personal lives are still to be governed by the moral and spiritual leadership of the pastor. It is also advisable to listen to the pastor’s advice about secular work or plans, but does not require submission. Sometimes the pastor’s advice is based on countless dealings with people and seeing wrong decisions and the results. His advice can at least provide you guidance in your decision making.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

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

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Insights from Pauline A New Home

Insights from Pauline A New Home

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Tuesday’s I try to focus on Insights. This week I am taking another look at Pauline A New Home.
Last week I introduced the book and spoke on the subject of space travel. I include here the opening remarks:
Pauline A New Home is Book 2 of the Christland speculative fiction series. In this book the renamed ship, now Guardian One, arrives at Ross 128 b. They promptly rename the Red Dwarf Star system Ro and they name the 5 planets after the Apostles of Christ. Ross 128 b becomes Pauline, named after Paul.
In this novel the forces that sent them as prisoners into space still oppress the world and continue their search for Christians, but on Pauline the now free Christians land on, explore, and claim the supercontinent Christland as their home. Soon they establish a new country, the United Christian States.
Today, I will discuss What Kind of World Will It Be?
There is plenty of speculation about that question. Futurists and others study the tea leaves of science to determine our future. They tell us about expected medical breakthroughs, the exploration of space, and man’s relation with man. But I think there is one area of life that won’t change much.
What is That?
It is man’s sin condition. I, as were you, was born a sinner. I have an innate desire to sin, to disobey God, and to seek my own way. It has been that way since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. The only thing I see changing in that respect is that man will find and invent new, darker ways to sin.
The entire first chapter of Romans deals with the matter of sin. Sin is ever present and usually results in the temporary triumph of man over mankind. Men and women are drawn to sin like a fly to sugar. It is the nature of man.
Mankind will still need a Savior! We’ll still need to submit to His Lordship. The unchanging Gospel will still tell of His Virgin Birth, His sinless life, His Atoning Death, and His resurrection. And it will still proclaim those wonderful words, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 12:9-13)
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).

– – – – – – –

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.

State Motto, In God We Trust

FeaturedState Motto, In God We Trust

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week I am taking a look at State Motto, In God We Trust.
Part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act (Florida) reads thus, “Each district school board shall adopt rules to require, in all the schools of the district and in each building used by the district school board, the display of the state motto, ‘In God We Trust,’ the designated under s. 15.0301, in a conspicuous place.”
According to the Sunday newspaper “the national and state motto, already featured on American currency, the state flag and even some Florida license plates, is now required by law to be displayed in all Florida schools.”
This article went on to tell about the history of the law and how schools are implementing it. But, aside from a Florida law, how are we to implement the truth it represents in ourselves?
Are We Trusting God?
It is one thing to say In God I Trust but it is altogether different to actually practice it. The truth is we often fail to trust God. It is a failure not just in big things, but in the little things as well. We want to trust Him but we don’t. We know it isn’t His fault that we lack trust although we often point the finger at Him. There’s a lot involved in trusting God.
In What Do We Trust God?
There is a public affirmation and a private affirmation. The state law deals with the public affirmation. It is a good law that needed to be done. And it is just about all the state can do, but what about us?
The problem is that in our private lives we don’t always measure up. Some people will declare the motto publicly, but without any personal (private) commitment or follow through. Trusting God can’t be legislated and this law has wisely refrained from that. It requires the public display of the state motto and nothing more. But we as a people need to take it much further and make it a part of our personal makeup. True revival only comes when we place our whole trust in God.
Trusting God is belief in God and in what He’s said. In some languages there is no word for believe. The closest we can come in conveying belief in that language is to say something like, “put your whole weight upon Jesus.” That is what trust is about, placing our full weight upon Him.
How Do We Trust God?
There is no formal routine to follow or formula to apply. Trusting God is different from one person to another. Let’s pretend there are 10 billion people in the world. I would say then that there are 10 billion ways of trusting. Each person is unique. And not only because of the number of people, but you can also through in the number of issues upon which we need to trust him. Now you’re talking about billions, maybe trillions of ways.
For example, I may be trusting God to provide for my next meal, but someone else may be trusting God to use them to bless others. If He so chooses He can use the one to respond to the trusting need of the former. In the end, trusting God is both personal and constant. Simply starting your day by saying I trust in God is a good start, but we need to reaffirm that throughout the day. We all have needs and wants, but we need to trust God’s daily provision that He knows what is best for us!
The Result of Trusting God
There are two places where the results of trusting God are manifested. The first is in our earthly lives, whether daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. We’ll see the fruit of trusting God or not trusting God right here in our lives as they are lived out on Earth. That is very important. And the truth is that God wants to bless us.
But the more important place is in heaven. Someday in heaven all the saved throughout time and throughout the world will stand before the Lord. And He will reward us according to our works, including how we lived our lives. He will reward us with Crowns and blessings.
What crowns will I receive? I don’t know. While the crowns I’ll receive are all important the most important thing is what I’ll do with them. Read what the Bible says in Revelation 4:10: “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne.”
If you believe as I do that these elders represent us then we’ll cast our thrones before Jesus!
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), or Pauline A New Home (Book Two) I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

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

Christian in the Workplace

Christian in the Workplace

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about the Christian in the Workplace.
“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:” Ephesians. 6:5-7 (Emphasis added)
“And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.” Eph. 6:9
In these two passages we have our guidelines for being a Christian in the Workplace.
Let’s take a look at the first passage, Ephesians 6:5-7.
Work as Unto The Lord.
The first thing you need to do in any job you take is to work as unto the Lord. Everything follows from that. If you’re working for the Lord then you recognize He put you where you are at and put you under the boss you have.
I realize that not all bosses are lovable. I had a few like that. But if you see him as no more than a servant of the Lord, whether he wants to be or not, then it is easier to obey and follow his directions. When he mistreats you don’t get mad; instead have a skip meeting.
Skip Level Meeting?
Yes, where I worked we had what were called skip level meetings. These were meetings with our boss’s boss and our boss wasn’t invited! We could then talk about our boss without fear of retribution. Now on a human level that may not always work, but if the skip level meeting is to the real Boss, Jesus Christ, then you can air your complaints right to Him.
Of course, your complaints better be honest and factual because He will know all the facts!
Be Obedient
You’ve studied the field, you’ve become an expert in that field, and you know how to do a job, but your boss wants you to do it his way which you know is wrong. What do you do? You do it his way.
When I was called by God to become a financial secretary at my church I started attending school where I learned the basics of accounting. When my pastor told me he wanted me to start I hadn’t become an expert yet, but I did know the basics of the job. So I dropped out of school and started work as the Financial Secretary.
So You Knew From the Start how to do the Job?
Yes and no. I knew what the experts and the government agreed were the correct methodology, however my pastor had another method in mind – his. Was his method wrong? Well, if you went by Generally Accepted Principles, the answer was yes. But it was how he wanted it done and it was neither sinful nor illegal. Therefore I did it his way. I had to learn his way, but in the end I had it down pat.
I know of a man who as far as I knew was not a Christian. He worked for a man in the landscaping of his boss’s property. In my observance he was a good worker, but he got fired. Why? Because he disagreed with how the owner wanted the landscaping done and refused to do it the way the landowner wanted. What he should have done is offered his opinion respectfully and with a why. Instead he simply refused to do it the way the landowner wanted.
When you work for somebody it is your job to do it the way the boss wants it done. Don’t argue. If you know you’re right, respectfully inform the boss but always remember that the Boss is always right even when wrong.
As a writer I have done work for another person. I didn’t like the way he wanted me to do the work, but I swallowed my pride and did it his way. The result was a book that didn’t rise to the level I had hoped, but it was done his way.
Back to my experience. I worked for that pastor for 15 years and was at the time the best he ever had (he expressed it differently, but that’s the meaning). The books may have not been done to a CPA’s expectations but they were accurate and reflected the information my pastor wanted.
Before I worked at the church I worked for a major communications company. I strove to always do my work honestly, and perfectly! I can say I was honest and not lazy. I did my work to the best of my ability and according to their instructions. It is important that the Christian always have a solid work ethic.
You never know who is watching you. Some will watch you and criticize you behind your back. But that’s not your responsibility.
What About Being a Boss?
I think there are at least two keys here.

  1. Do the Same Things Unto Them. Put another way it might read don’t tell your servants to do something you wouldn’t do. Be honest, have a good work ethic, and don’t play favorites (being menpleasers).
  2. Work as Unto the Lord. If you have people who work for you and you claim to be a Christian they will be watching you carefully. And they will judge your work. But if your work is as unto the Lord, they are more likely to honor, obey, and follow you.

Hopefully you were an employee before you ever became a boss. Why? Because you will then have an understanding of what it means to be an employee. It will give you an understanding of your employees and help you lead them to greater service.
Please notice that the Lord’s direction to both boss and the employee is to work as unto the Lord. It is the key to a successful job!
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), or Pauline A New Home (Book Two) I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

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

Agape Love

Agape Love

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about Agape Love.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Before taking a closer look at Agape, let’s look at the four different words in the Bible for love:

  1. Eros: erotic love. This is not found in either the Old Testament or New Testament.
  2. Storge: empathy. This is in the Bible and has to deal with having empathy for someone.
  3. Philia or Phileo: friendship, having tender affection for someone or something. While this can include sexual it is usually in relationship to brotherly love. We get philanthropia, love of people, from it; also philanthropy, love of humanity.
  4. Agape: sacrificial love. Best example is God loves us no matter what!

The problem we have in today’s society is that while love is on the minds of people, even to the point of emphasizing God is love, it usually is speaking of Eros or, at best, Phileo. Simply put the unbelieving world doesn’t know the difference between the different types of love, so they bring God’s love down to what they understand thereby polluting it.
Agape love actually doesn’t have a definitive meaning. Sacrificial love probably comes the closest, but it still doesn’t catch the whole meaning. That is why when describing it we often need examples. The example above (John 3:16) shows sacrificial love and a whole lot more. How do you describe the kind of love it took for God the Son to suffer separation from God the Father for even a second? And He did it for us! Yes, it is Agape love at its best but it is impossible to define it with any more meaning in man’s tongue.
Yet we are commanded to have Agape love. In John 13:34 we are told to love one another, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” That is not talking about sexual love or even friendly love, but rather a sacrificial love for one another. We Christians are to be known by that kind of love with the added “especially of the household of faith.”
What doesn’t Agape love mean?”
As stated above it doesn’t mean sexual love. Nor does it mean brotherly love. Sometimes the world wants us to be more loving toward those who are gross sinners. They use Scripture that contains the Agape love as their basis. That is pure ignorance of the Word of God. God loves everyone but not their sins. And that is what we as Christians need to be: love the sinner but hate the sin. That’s hard to do because many people in the bondage of sin want you to “tolerate” their sin which the Bible condemns.
The fact of the matter is everyone was born a sinner. Each one of us is born with a natural bent toward sin of any type. God understands this, which is why it was necessary for Him to send His Son to pay the penalty for sin. But Christ’s sacrifice of His life and His Divine oneness with the Father isn’t a Get Out of Jail card enabling us to sin and then use the card when necessary. It is a Gift Card paid for by Jesus Christ. It has eternal value but cannot be used as an excuse for illicit activities.
So God wants us to show a sacrificial love toward everyone. We are to judge sin as He judges it, but we are to love the sinner with open arms restoring them as much as is possible. This is particularly true of our love for the brethren (other born again people).
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars Book One) and now Pauline A New Home (Book Two), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

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

Evangelistic Outreach

Evangelistic Outreach

In my last blog, My Ultimate Service, I talked about TR Ministry. Today I want to talk about Evangelistic Outreach.

Why is soul winning or evangelism so important?

Perhaps you don’t consider evangelism important, but Jesus did. He came not only to die for our sins, to take our place, but to give us an example. God’s people are like sheep in need of a shepherd. That is why He gave us pastors and evangelists.

But the Bible teaches we are to have a burden for souls. That is why He sent prophets (Mt. 23:37); why He gave us preachers and evangelists (II Timothy 3:16); and why He sends us (Mt. 28:19-20). We are part of His plan for mankind.

This Sunday I will be teaching a Sunday School lesson about Joseph, the son of Jacob. It is the final lesson on Joseph’s life. I’ll be wrapping it up and applying the truths. The overriding truth is simply this: God has a plan for our lives. He had a plan for Joseph and it didn’t matter what the devil threw at Joseph, God made it work together for good as seen in Genesis 50:20: “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

When you read of how God worked in the lives of others, it makes you want to allow God to work in your life as well. Study their lives and you will find that this “good” was for others, not always the individual. Ultimately Joseph felt blessed, but the real blessing was upon his family and the nation of Israel. And it lasted well beyond his life.

Every time Christians give a dollar (or even a penny) God acknowledges it. Moreover, he takes that money and multiplies it, using it for His own purposes. And amazingly He allows us to keep 90% of our profits while He takes only 10%. But every penny, dime, and dollar we give back He multiplies. Not always in the same currency, sometimes He rewards us differently, but He always gives back.

There are many ways for a Christian to support God’s evangelistic program. First there is being available; God delights in our personal service. Second, there is prayer; God listens to our prayers especially when they are Holy Spirit driven. Third, there is financial support; God loves a cheerful giver.

Dr. D. James Kennedy built his Coral Ridge Presbyterian church on personal soul winning. And many other men of God have done the same. It is having the power of the Holy Spirit behind it. God can take our efforts, however mighty or puny, and magnify them into something grand.

Does that mean he’ll magnify TR Ministry? I would like to think yes, but only God knows how He will use this ministry. But one thing I do know, God will use it to His glory!

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).

– – – – – – –

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.

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!

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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.

Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD

Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Gen. 6:8

This is the first mention of grace in the Bible but not the first occurrence. In Genesis chapter three we see God’s grace at work in the lives of Adam and Eve. But now we see it in action again and in full display.

Noah lived in a wicked world. The vast majority of the people were idol worshipers and only a few worshiped God. The first term we have for God is Elohim which speaks of the Triune Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In my book Perished I used this term to identify the worship of believers. I called it Elohism.

In writing Perished I followed Biblical details in structuring the story of Noah adding back story to fill it out. His story is one that in these days is often distorted both in print and film. So let’s take a look at him.

While the Biblical story basically starts out with him finding grace, we find first of all he was the grandson of Methuselah. There is much speculation about Methuselah, but I believe he was a godly man who lived long enough to see Noah build and maybe complete the Ark. If he was a godly man it is easy to see his influence upon his grandson.

Noah was a farmer not a shipbuilder. Actually he was known for his grapes, but it is likely that he produced more than grapes. Farmers then and now have multiple skill sets including the knowledge of using such tools as hammers, saws, and more. But he was not a shipbuilder.

This blog is not about the Ark but let me say that nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Ark was the first or only ship. What was significant was its size, which was comparable to modern day ships. Noah probably used a crew that was familiar with shipbuilding albeit not large ships like the Ark.

But back to grace. This godly man was singled out by God to oversee the building of an Ark to the saving of mankind. And he was also instructed to preach of coming judgment and extend an invitation to be on the ship. For 120 years he preached and had few converts. Some say there were none other than his family. But there could have been some saved who died before the Flood. All we know for sure is that 8 people were on the Ark though it was built to handle many more.

Just as the Ark was the refuge from the judgment of God through the Flood Jesus Christ is our Refuge. God has extended His grace to us through His Son. It is a wonderful thing to know that God loved me enough to send His only begotten Son to die in my place! That is true grace! And it is available to anyone who puts their trust in Him (see Romans 10:9-13).

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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 hath set apart him that is godly

the LORD hath set apart him that is godly

“…the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself, the LORD will hear when I call unto him.” Psalm 4:2

We have been looking at Scripture and applying it to us as writers, but today I will apply this passage to the whole person. Our Scripture today speaks to our hearts. How wonderful it is to know that God wants to fellowship with us!

This should be the goal of every Christian, namely to be set apart for Him. The goal is a wonderful goal but the means of attaining it are difficult. According to this verse we must be godly. I know that some Christians believe that once you are saved you never sin again. However, such a person has never been revealed outside of Christ Himself.  We are sinners, but our sins are covered by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Godliness is not natural for us. We must seek it, pray for it, and work to be holy.

Godliness is like humility. We pray for it and seek it, but the moment we think we have attained it we lose it. People who claim to be holy rarely are because they are exhibiting false pride.

One reason it is so difficult is that the closer we are drawn to Christ the more aware of our shortcomings we become. We discover a sin and deal with it. But when that occurs we discover that there are additional sins. From our perspective it can be frustrating, but from God’s perspective He is pruning us like a woman prunes a plant. He is making us more and more like Him. This is a lifelong process that doesn’t end until we die or are raptured (rapture is the English translation of a Latin word that is a translation of the Greek words ‘caught up.’)

One of the characteristics of a Christian is the desire to be holy. God not only gave us that desire when we were born again but He has commanded us to be holy (Be ye holy for I am holy (I Peter 1:16). So we know it is possible to attain it, but we will have to leave to others and especially to God to decide when we have attained it.

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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.