A Journey of Faith

A Journey of Faith

You may have noticed my absence during the past month. This is because of an unexpected journey of faith. So today I’ll bring you up on our recent history by using a recent speech I gave about God’s Provision. Here’s the speech. It makes for a long blog, but I wanted you to hear the full story.

… today’s talk is about God’s Provision, with special emphasis on the period beginning August 30th.

As you listen to the story please understand I am bragging on God. Although we will be mentioned, keep your focus on God and not us.

PRINCIPLE #1: TRUST GOD

  • “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” (Luke 6:31)
  • Called the Golden Rule, we often hear it as “Do unto others as you would they do unto you.” This is a simple rule, yet one that the world at large would call naive. Jesus, on the other hand, gives it to us as a desired characteristic. When we treat others as we want treated we discover most people will reciprocate.
  • “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
  • This often quoted verse is connected to Philippians 4:15. The Philippians had given support for Paul’s ministry in accordance with Luke 6:31. Paul was promising God’s provision as a reward for their giving. We, as Christians who give tithes and love offerings, can claim this promise. It’s as if every time you give to God, He banks the money on our behalf in a high interest savings or CD account. You get back more than you gave!

But I am not here to give an in-depth study on these Bible verses. Rather, I mention them as a basis for trusting God’s provision.

And we’re not talking only about money. In the Old Testament Daniel trusted God and prayed when it wasn’t safe to do so and in God’s provision He delivered him. Or Daniel’s three friends who trusted God and again in His provision He delivered them.

We have a God we can trust whole heartedly!

PRINCIPLE #2: WAITING ON GOD

  • In the Bible trusting God is often related to Waiting on God. It is easy to say we trust God, but waiting is another matter.
  • “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”(Ps. 27:14)
  • “Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.” (Ps. 37:34)
  • “Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.” (Prov.20:22)
  • On August 30th our landlady came to our door. She was upset and in tears.
  • I was sitting at my desk working on the computer and saw her through the window.
  • She’d received a letter telling her the owner of our condo was going to sell and we had 30 days to pack up and leave!
  • She was so upset that we spent some time assuring her that God would provide for us. She’s not a Christian and probably doesn’t understand the idea of God’s provision.
  • After she left, both Teresa and I immediately went to the Lord and trusted Him. We could claim these verses and even identify the evil (the owner). But waiting on Him still became a journey of faith.
  • A journey that was interrupted by Hurricane Irma which sent us to what we thought was the safe haven of Lakeland, Fl. But the eye of Irma, as a Category 1, went right over Lakeland and where we were staying.
  • We had now personally experienced a hurricane.
  • Basically we slept right through not knowing it had turned northeast in Fort Myers and was heading our way.
  • Thus began our wait. It was already becoming frustrating.
  • And there was more to come.

PRINCIPLE #3: GOD’S THOUGHTS HIGHER THAN OUR THOUGHTS

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 59:9)

  • Have you ever had a plan that God changed?
  • We did.
  • Our plan was simple: Find another place to live and move there. Can’t be more simple than that. But it wasn’t as simple as we thought.
  • Our first step was to hunt for a two bedroom apartment, or at least a one bedroom.
  • Everywhere we turned we were met with “nothing available” for at least 3 months for a double. But for a one bedroom it ran anywhere from 6 months to a year!
  • We tried everywhere. Well, everywhere but the one place we had rejected from the beginning, Murdock Circle.
  • Although we were familiar with the area we had acquired a dislike based more on rumor and personal opinion than any real facts. It was on the church’s bus route, but so were the other places we checked.
  • But even there we were met with a waiting period.
  • At first a one bedroom apartment would not be available until November 12th and someone was already getting ready to sign. By this time God had us right where He wanted us: trusting Him.
  • We went home to get some additional papers they said we needed.

PRINCIPLE #4: God’s will is perfect and timely

“Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” Ps. 143:10

“If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?” (Luke 12:28)

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

  • God had allowed us to check out other apartments.
  • We had even looked into the possibility of buying the Condo we were living in. But that door was closed right away.
  • By this time we were praying and seeking God’s will.
  • The apartment at Murdock Circle is the result. We moved in last Friday (Oct. 27).
  • But God’s Perfect Plan didn’t simply solve our immediate situation. There was still a time gap of 31 days between leaving Sunshine Villas and moving into Murdock Circle.
  • Where would we live in the meantime?
  • We were now highly dependent upon God. We even considered moving into the Homeless Coalition if we qualified!
  • But then God’s plan began unfolding.
  • It was as I called it earlier a journey of faith. It was also a journey of frustration!
  • Once we secured Murdock Circle, we looked for temporary living quarters.
  • But the 31 day gap was in essence putting us right back where we started and nothing immediately was available.
  • At this time I approached Pastor Jay about the problem. He immediately got on the phone.
  • As a result a big break came when we were offered a place to live further outside Port Charlotte. It represented a fairly long drive to the church, but it was affordable and available.
  • Or so we thought.
  • The opportunity fell through because the owner had a recalcitrant tenant who refused to leave. This left the owner unable to help us and with an immediate problem of his own.
  • Almost immediately, within seconds actually, another opportunity arose: the Church’s RV.
  • It needed cleaned and repaired, but Pastor Jay felt he could get it done in time (we had about a week to go before leaving the Condo). But this proved difficult and there were no guarantees the repairs would work.
  • Then on Wednesday, September 27 we learned about the camper. This demonstrates another truth about God’s provision. Not only was He preparing us a place to live, but He was providing for the owners of the camper to buy a new home. On Friday September 29th they bought their house and moved in. On Saturday September 30th we moved into the camper.
  • In the meantime, we rented a motel room at Knight’s Inn in Port Charlotte for three nights. (I usually like Knight’s Inn but I cannot honestly say I would recommend this one. But that’s another story.)

So what can we draw from this journey?

In Conclusion no matter who you are or how long you’ve been a believer or how old you are God can be trusted. In our case our plans were constantly changing. While we had no idea how things would work out, God had it all planned and He was in control all the time.

That is the point of this message.

Each one here can probably tell a story about God’s Provision. That is both a joy and a danger. The danger being taking God for granted. Trusting God often involves a deep sense of trust that sometimes takes us where we do not want to go. But God always knows best! …

Today Teresa and I have a new home. Did we do anything great to get it? No, unless you count trusting God. It wasn’t easy to trust Him. Circumstances didn’t always look bright, but He was in charge even when things looked the worse.

So if any of you are facing difficulties, you can trust Him.

God is worthy of our trust!

PRINCIPLE #5: GIVE GOD THE GLORY

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Cor. 10:31)

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Heb.13:15)

In other words, when you see the mighty hand of God working on your behalf, praise Him and offer thanksgiving!

One of the reasons for choosing this message was for it to be a public praise of God for His provision. Is our story different from yours? Maybe in details, but the truth is that practically everyone here could tell a story or two of God’s provision.

It is good to reflect back on His provisions, because as long as we live we will face new problems, new obstacles, and new opportunities. While it is true we often fail to meet God’s standards, He never fails to care for us or meet our needs.

I believe the following passage expresses today’s truth about God:

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” (Lam. 3:20-26)

We are never too old to be reminded of God’s faithfulness and mercy. I dare say that as we get older, we need to trust God more because we can no longer do the things we once did. So we need to depend on Him more.

PRINCIPLES;

  1. TRUST GOD!
  2. WAIT ON GOD.
  3. HIS THOUGHTS ARE HIGHER THAN OURS.
  4. GOD’S WILL IS PERFECT & TIMELY.
  5. GIVE GOD THE GLORY.

We have a wonderful God!

Thank you.

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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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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.

Go to the ant, thou sluggard

Go to the ant, thou sluggard

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” Prov. 6:6.

Has God called you to be a writer? Is it hard? Do you feel like quitting?

Here in Proverbs we learn that God takes a dim view of laziness and basically not doing the work. It is true that writing can be hard work. But if God truly called you to be a writer He never provided the option of quitting.

But I know how you feel. Before I ever published my first novel I often felt like quitting. Especially when a story would suddenly hit the wall and I knew it was going nowhere. While I did quit the novel, I never quit writing. And it is important to know there is a difference!

Anyone who has been a writer for awhile has had to change directions at least once but probably more often than they might want to admit. When writing you are investing a part of yourself and it becomes very difficult to stop and reject the work. However, if you consider what you have learned about writing during the project then it has not been a waste of time and effort. Instead you have learned something you can use in your next project.

Quitting as a writer is altogether different. By quitting you are saying that God never called you. If you say no, God called you and it didn’t work out then you are saying God made a mistake. God never makes mistakes! So you need to re-evaluate your calling. Did He call you to be an author or not? If He did then you can’t quit, because it would be disobedience.

Assuming therefore God called you to be a writer then you need to evaluate your writing. What is stopping you? Are you in the right genre? Do you need additional skills?

When I was trying to write and not succeeding it was very frustrating. To offset this I wrote computer programs (most of which were used only personally) and poetry (which helped me win my wife). But behind it all I still had that drive, that calling to write. I often prayed about it and would pick up pen and paper and try again. I even developed a model train hobby that I converted into a story. It didn’t work, but my point is I kept trying.

In my case the solution came through my daily devotions as God showed me that the Bible is loaded with true stories waiting to be the foundation for novels. Your experience will probably be different except that God is just as interested in your success as mine. So keep your prayer life strong and listen for His guidance.

Not only did God open the door for my writing career to open, He also opened the door for my wife and I to become the publisher of our own books (soon she will have her first novel published). In 2014 God gave me the idea for being a self-publisher in the truest form. I talked to my wife and she immediately was enthused. Thus was born T&R Independent Books with her as president and yours truly as vice president. This decision opened the door for us and provided us not only with greater potential earnings but with greater control over every aspect of writing. But it wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t listening to God!

It is my belief that roadblocks in a Christian’s life are there for a reason. Sometimes it means quit  a project to be sure, but never to quit doing His will. Roadblocks come with multiple solutions which could include plowing through them, going around them, going over them, or even going under them. In other words, roadblocks are often opportunities. We just need to stop, pray, and seek to discover what the opportunity facing us might be.

So if you’ve been called to write don’t let a roadblock stop you. It might just be God trying to get your attention and redirect your path.

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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.

Bind them continually upon thine heart

Bind them continually upon thine heart

“Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.” Prov. 6:21

This verse is referencing the Word of God as the Father’s commandments. Today I want to apply it specifically to authors.

Perhaps because I am an author I am slightly biased. Since we deal with communicating to people, albeit through fiction, I think we need God’s wisdom to a very high degree.

Thousands of books are published every week and tens of thousands every year. All authors are trying to sell their books to the widest audience possible. I am no exception. And we need God’s wisdom if we are to succeed.

I’ve talked before about the principles of God’s Word and I don’t want to be merely repeating myself. So instead of talking about marketing advice seen through the lens of the Bible, I want to talk about God’s wisdom and how it helps us write better.

Every book I’ve written has been bathed in prayer. It is not enough to merely follow principles, whether they are secular or spiritual. Writing is more than that. It involves the plot of the work, the characters involved, and the cohesiveness of the story. For that to happen requires a great deal of skill. But it also demands more.

People talk about inspiration being required. I’ve talked about being inspired, but it goes beyond simply being inspired to write. We need God’s guiding hand as we write every scene and develop every character.

It can be taxing, but when we have God in our corner it makes things much easier. Whether writing Perished, or World of Noah and the Ark, or even the current writing of World of Shem I have needed God’s guidance. I seek God’s guidance. I’m not talking about formal prayer, which I do, but of communicating to God throughout the process.

This involves talking to Him about every scene, indeed every word. I approach my writing in the spirit of open prayer. Sometimes it is unconscious praying and sometimes I actually ask Him directly. I ask questions like,

  • How do I write this scene?
  • Is this scene too suggestive?
  • Is this character believable?

Sometimes I have typed several words or entire sentences and upon further evaluation have erased them. We’ve all done this, but the question is was God involved in the process.

How do I involve God?

That’s not a hard question to answer. If you are a Christian, having received Christ as your Savior and you have been called to write, then you can expect His involvement. He doesn’t call and then abandon.

On the other hand, He doesn’t force His Will upon us. According to Psalm 32:8 He will guide us. That is a two-fold promise. On the one hand, God promises to guide us, but on the other hand we are responsible to listen to Him and obey.

What a great feeling it is when we have written a story and can say that God helped us all along the way! Whatever genre you write in you can count on His help as long as you are doing it His way. And that is a source of a huge sense of confidence and peace.

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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.

Creation of Man and Our Responsibility

Creation of Man and Our Responsibility

“And God said, Let us make man in our image…”

Because we Christians say that the creation of mankind was God’s highest creative act we are accused of pride. But that is not so. God demonstrated throughout the Bible that mankind is considered higher than any animal. We are simply stating a fact.

When God created us He did so in His image. What does that mean to us as writers?

First of all it means we have three parts: body, mind, and soul. The soul is that part of us that communicates with God. When we die our body and mind is corrupted; that is, they return to dust. But our soul is separated. If we are born again then when we die we are absent from the body and present with the Lord. If not, we are absent from the body and in Hades (similar to but distinct from hell).

Secondly, it means we are responsible to Him for our eternal state. God created us with a inborn desire for Him. Some have said we were created with a hole inside that only God can fill. He gave us life, therefore we owe Him all that we are. We not only owe Him, but we need Him. Because we are born in sin we are estranged from him. We need to ask Him to save us (Romans 10:9-13). Don’t ask and you won’t be saved.

Thirdly, we are responsible to Him for any skills He gave us. If we don’t have Christ then the talents we were born with never bear fruit for Him. But if we are saved, then we are responsible for the talents given through our DNA and the gifts we are given at our second birth (salvation).

Fourth, if we are saved then God has a plan for us. (Actually He has a plan for everyone, but the first step is always salvation.) His plan for you is probably different from His plan for me. Sure we may both be authors but even what we write may be different. So we are responsible to discover His plan and boldly act on it.

That fourth item is particularly hard. I am not a Type A personality so boldness doesn’t come that easily. But I have discovered that knowledge and skill by themselves won’t get it done. I need to involve God in my work. When writing, I need His guidance. Would He approve of what I’ve written?

In other words, is God in it? Not only the writing, but the publishing and marketing. For example, there is all sorts of advice about marketing but the question is does it meet God’s standards? Will it pass through the Bible filter?

I’m not advocating that you ignore or ditch all advice, but you need a firm grasp of the Scriptures and they should be absolute. Yes, I know that today people say there are no absolutes but for a Bible believing Christian the Word of God is absolute!

Fifth and last is we are responsible to glorify God: “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Cor. 6:20) This should be our chief aim in life to glorify Christ. It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher, a farmer, a street cleaner, a pilot, a politician, a minister, a writer, or anything else, you are to glorify Christ! When you think of it that way, it really impacts you. Can you really say that everything you do or say glorifies Christ? You probably can’t, but that should be your goal. And I believe that if you pursue that goal God will honor you and He will work out His plan through you. Just be prepared that His plan may slightly differ from your plan.

When I wrote Perished I was of course basing the entire book on the first six chapters of Genesis. But the novel sprang out of my devotions. Did that guarantee it was of God? No, but it certainly focused my attention on keeping the novel true to the Bible. I often say the book tells the rest of the story. I filled in the back story that thus brought to life the Biblical story itself. Throughout the writing I did a lot of research within the Bible to make sure that I didn’t violate Scripture in any fashion. Did I glorify Christ? I hope so. But that’s up to individual readers and ultimately up to God.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. 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.

Blessed is the man Part 3

Blessed is the man Part 3

“Blessed is the man that…nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful”

Psalm 1:1 has been read and memorized by countless Christians. It is a verse that gives us an outline, if you will, of the source for happiness. I have divided this verse into three parts and commented on each part in separate blogs.

In this third part we are warned not to sit in the seat of the scornful. But what does that mean? And what does it mean for the struggling author?

Parts 1 and 2 spoke of particular advice looking at the ‘who’ and the ‘what,’ but here we are looking at the attitude. I think this applies both to the person giving advice and to the one receiving advice.

There are some people who not only have unscriptural practices, but have a scornful attitude towards God. Generally speaking we are to avoid such people. It doesn’t matter whether their advice agrees with scripture or not, they are themselves ungodly. Part 1 actually warned us about such people.

So part 3 is more about us. We need to watch our attitude!

What does that mean? For starters, we should never oppose God. Sometimes even Christians develop an attitude that is in opposition to God’s will. We ask, God answers, and we refuse to accept or believe it. Sometimes because our faith is weak; sometimes because we have our sights set on our own solutions and nothing else; and sometimes we have become so frustrated that our frustration carries over into unbelief.

I have stated before to get into God’s Word. He will speak to you through it. I might add that periodically you need to take a look at yourself in the mirror of God’s Word. If you don’t like what you see, then your first priority is to change.

Attitude can prevent success or lift you up. So we need to constantly affirm our faith in God, trust Him, and do His will. Then we are ready to receive advice.

Recently I have been contemplating our marketing efforts. I have learned a lot about marketing over the course of years, but I still needed to apply that knowledge to myself. On this particular evening I was getting ready for bed when God began working on me. How do I know it was God? My spirit knew.

All of a sudden pieces of the puzzle began falling into place and by the time I closed my eyes, I had the makings of a new plan (to me). The following morning I began developing that plan. It was like my mind was on steroids or something. It was exciting and spiritual at the same time. It is not necessary to go into the plan details as they are for me alone. The important thing here is that God took time to instruct me in the way I was to go (Psalm 32:8). And I listened!

But if I had been scornful, careless, or inattentive, I may have never heard His counsel. You want to succeed as a Christian author, well God wants you to succeed also. That’s why it is so important to avoid bad attitudes. A bad attitude can keep you from hearing the most important counsel, His counsel.

So, to summarize Psalm 1:1, Don’t follow ungodly people, don’t perform ungodly practices, and watch your attitude.

 

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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. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Blessed is the man Part 2

Blessed is the man Part 2

“Blessed is the man that…nor standeth in the way of sinners”

Psalm 1:1 has been read and memorized by countless Christians. It is a verse that gives us an outline, if you will, of the source for happiness. I have divided this verse into three parts and will comment on each part in separate blogs.

In this second part we are warned not to get caught up in the actions of the wicked. But what does that mean? And what does it mean for the struggling author?

When blogging on the first part of this verse I talked about following ungodly advice. This second part is similar yet different.  Here we are talking about actions rather than advice.

For example, say I was advised to use unethical methods by a person who admittedly used them. According to part 1 we shouldn’t listen to that person. He or she is ungodly and the advice given is definitely ungodly. But here in part 2 we are talking about the doing.

Like I said the two are closely related. We are not to follow ungodly people nor do what they do. Period.

Not everyone who gives bad advice is bad. You can get bad advice from a fellow Christian who loves the Lord. He means well. He probably thinks the advice is permissible. But when you hear it you know or at least suspect it is not right to do it. At that point you are to avoid following or acting upon that advice.

So what does a Christian do?

Well, in part 1 I pointed out that you need to be in God’s Word and use it as a filter. Now we go one step further. If you find the advice violates scripture or is not in complete agreement with scripture, you want to ditch the advice. It might be proven to succeed; it might come with all sorts of recommendations; and advocates can be people you respect. But if it doesn’t agree with scripture, ditch it!

As I stated in part 1, “be faithful to God and study His Word. Let Him guide your understanding of scripture and its application.”

So far we have seen in part 1 that we need to be careful who we follow and in part 2 not to “do” the advice. In part 3 we will look at the seat of the scornful.

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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. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Blessed is the man Part I

Blessed is the man Part I

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…”

Psalm 1:1 has been read and memorized by countless Christians. It is a verse that gives us an outline, if you will, of the source for happiness. I have divided this verse into three parts and will comment on each part in separate blogs.

In this first part we are warned not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly. But what does that mean? And what does it mean for the struggling author?

Have you ever noticed the abundance of advice out in the world? The world is full of it for any topic you want to discuss. They have advice on how to work, how to live, how to make money, and how to market products.

This last, the marketing of products, really concerns those of us that are authors. As Christians who are also authors this is especially difficult. It’s not like there are a great number of teachers who announce they teach from a Christian perspective how to market books. Yes, there those who teach writing, but marketing is an altogether different animal. So if you actually find such a person that is a great help. But even then you need to be cautious.

So where does that leave Christian authors. Well, we still need information, so we need to find the best information we can. But, and this is important, we must run all this information through our Bible filter. In other words, does the advice violate scripture? Is the advice the type that you as a Christian follow in good conscience?

While an easy question to state it is not so easy to answer. The truth is that none of the advice comes with warning tags, such as “Not for Bible believers” or “Warning, this advice is bad for your Christian conscience.” So you have to be diligent. Read the advice, compare it to the scriptures and decide whether there is a conflict or not. And remember, other Christian authors may differ on what is right or wrong. Don’t worry about them. Be faithful to God and study His Word. Let Him guide your understanding of scripture and its application.

Admittedly this will not be easy, but it is necessary.
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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. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Handling God’s Blessings

Handling God’s Blessings

If you have been a Christian for awhile then you have experienced God’s blessings.

You say you haven’t?

Then you’re not paying attention. What you need to realize is that God doesn’t just deal in world shattering miracles or blessings. He knows you intimately and can bless you in so many uncounted ways.

Take a step back and take a look at your life as a Christian. If you do that I think you will change your mind. Here are some things to look for:

  • Have you ever had money come in to pay a bill just in the nick of time?
  • Has someone given you something no one knew you needed?
  • Have you been in an accident that could have been much worse than it was?
  • Ever solved a problem but in all honesty you don’t know how you did it?
  • Ever been mysteriously healed of a disease or injury?
  • Ever lost a job and somehow things just worked out for you?
  • Or lost a job, maybe homeless, but you survived?

These are all possible blessings. And I could go on, but hopefully you get the drift.

As for me I work with computers. I am not a technician by any stretch of the imagination. Nor am I a software expert although I have written computer programs. But there have been times when writing those programs that I ran into a roadblock that I couldn’t solve. I prayed and later (maybe minutes, maybe days) I got it working. But ask me how I did it and I would tell you “I don’t know.” That, in my opinion, was a blessing of God.

I have been involved in car accidents. One that comes to mind was a car pulled out in front of me and I reacted. I “saw” children in the back of the car. I knew I couldn’t stop in time, so I went for the shoulder of the road. Driving parallel to the road I went down into a ditch and up the other side and finally brought the car to a halt. When I got out and walked back toward the ditch I saw my gas tank lying on the ground. But my biggest shock was in the ditch there was a concrete culvert and about a car’s width away a good size stump – and my car went right between them with me never seeing the stump! Not only that another car followed the car that had caused me to have the accident. He later came back to see how I was and told me there were no kids in the car. Now that was a blessing!

But I have experienced much smaller blessings as well. There have been times when I and my wife have been extremely short on money and money showed up. Sometimes it was money we knew was scheduled but had forgotten about and sometimes it was money we hadn’t expected at all!

The truth is that God blesses us in great and small ways, but He most often uses the littlest things to bless us and sometimes we aren’t aware of them. Unless were looking.

But how do you handle blessings when they come?

This is actually a key question. Christians should expect God’s blessings either as answers to prayer or sometimes just plain unexpected. But how we handle is even more important than our anticipation of it.

What follows are just three basic ideas. You could build upon these as you see fit. These are not complex.

  1. Thankfulness. Not just saying Thank you, but meaning it. God loves a thankful heart (Col. 3:15).
  2. Be encouraged. God blesses you because He loves you and has plans for you (Joshua 1:6-9).
  3. Seek God’s Will (Heb. 11:6).

These are just a few ideas. Consider them building blocks and add to them. I have found that walking with God is a series of experiences. Growth is not always smooth, but it sure can be adventurous. I have had bad experiences, but when I consider how He blessed either in or afterward, I am glad they happened. So in summary:

  1. Be Thankful.
  2. Be encouraged.
  3. Be seeking His Will.

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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. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.