Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

FeaturedSinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Every week  I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

The title of this blog is taken from the famous Jonathan Edwards sermon. That sermon dealt with the fact that the only thing keeping the ungodly (unsaved) out of Hell is God. In other words, God keeps such people alive and out of Hell to give them the opportunity to be saved. How long He gives them is strictly according to His will not theirs!

Just as this truth shook millions of churchgoers who heard or read this sermon the same should shake those of us who are believers. The same Bible that teaches the truth about the unsaved also teaches that while the saved are secure in the Lord they also are kept from a different judgment purely based on His will and purpose.

What do you mean?

As a believer I am forever secure. I was saved by grace, I am kept by grace, and I will continue to live according to His grace. But my rewards in Heaven are based on works.

But before we discuss that let’s take a look at the very first word in the title, namely Sinners.

Who are Sinners?

Many people believe and some even teach and preach that there are small sins, medium sized sins, and then the whoppers! Furthermore, they teach that Hell is the destination of those guilty of the big sins or whoppers. But the Bible doesn’t teach that.

In fact the Bible says in 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” and in Roman’s 3:10-12, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” In verse 23 it says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We are all sinners! And in case you think you are the exception take a look at Revelation 21:8:

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Did you notice ‘and all liars’? It only takes one lie to become a liar. And you, my friend, have told at least one lie; and so have I!

Then all will go to Hell?

Without God in your life the answer is yes. The Jonathan Edwards sermon showed that the unbeliever (aka unsaved) is only a fraction of a second from Hell. But Roman’s 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” and has provided for us a way to Heaven. In Romans 10:13 it says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”; in other words, if you sincerely ask Jesus to save you He will. And He knows whether you are sincere or not!

Then a Believer isn’t under God’s Wrath?

That is true. However, God sets a very high standard for our behavior. When we got saved He didn’t take us home to Heaven. Instead, He left us here to serve Him. To accomplish that He wants us to triumph over our sins but we live in sinful flesh and will continue to do so until we are raptured or die!

Then we have no hope!

Wrong! If you belong to God (and all believers do) He loves you eternally. He loves you and will make a way for you to confess your sins and restore your fellowship. In 1 John 1:9 it says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Oh, you mean we can sin all we want as long as we ask forgiveness afterward?

If you approach life with that attitude you will find yourself in a world of trouble. 1 John 1:9 is not a free pass. It’s talking about real confession of the heart with the understanding that God can read our hearts and knows whether it is true or not. And don’t forget, it’s talking about forgiveness not consequences.

I’m confused.

That’s because you haven’t discerned that the wrath of God and the judgment of believers are two separate issues. The wrath of God is upon unbelievers (unsaved) while God’s judgment of works is reserved for His children (only believers are the children of God; all people are the creation of God).

So what is this Judgment of Works?

In the old Roman arenas the victors were rewarded by leis or something of that nature. The victors would wear them like crowns. The governor or some other high official would sit upon a seat called the Bema Seat to award the victors.

Just as that governor watched and awarded the winner God is watching us. When His people (all believers in Christ) do His work He takes notice. Someday we’ll stand in His presence and He will reward us for what we did for Him. He will reward us with crowns that we’ll cast at His feet in awe and worship for Him.

Oh, then our works are involved!

For rewards, yes; for salvation, no. In Ephesians 2:10 it says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Combine that with James 2:18, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works” and you get a powerful statement of faith.

Then we are ordained to work?

Yes. We are saved by grace, ordained to work, and displayed for all the world to see.

But what if I don’t do good works?

Good question. In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul touched on this issue. Within that verse is the following phrase: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Castaway is not the loss of your salvation. Rather it is the loss of usability. It means to be put on the shelf; to be worthless for service; to be unusable! It means God will reject your service!

I can’t think of anything worse than that for the believer!

That’s scary!

Yes it is! And some don’t like that idea because it doesn’t fit with their concept of a loving God. They’ve adopted the Hollywood concept of love where God ignores our sins because He loves us! But this is not found in the Bible. He is both a loving God and a holy God. He does and He will judge sin!

God loves me but He hates it when I sin. And then there comes broken fellowship, correction, forgiveness, and restoration. But before forgiveness I must first confess. In 1 John 1:9 it says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is a promise from God to all believers. And please note that it’s sin being forgiven, but nothing is said of the consequences! (God promises to forgive a man for drinking alcohol if he repents, but He doesn’t promise the man won’t get Cirrhosis of the liver.)

Conclusion

We who have trusted Christ for our salvation are spared the Wrath of God which is for an unbelieving world. But God will judge our works that follow our salvation. And if we are disobedient and thereby sin we are in danger of being castaways. It means that we could enter Heaven without any crowns to cast at Jesus’ feet! What a tragedy that would be!

In writing this blog I am very aware of my own sinfulness. I received Christ as my Savior on May 9, 1973 and have a home in Heaven. The Bible doesn’t teach sinless perfection. In fact it says in 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Therefore we need to trust God, rely on His help and mercy, and worship Him with all our being!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

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), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), 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 Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative 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 to Better Understand Your Church’s Deacons

FeaturedHow to Better Understand Your Church’s Deacons

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 How to Better Understand Your Church’s Deacons.
The Establishment of Deacons
Over the years I’ve seen great deacons, mediocre deacons, and lousy deacons. Sometimes this disparity stems from a misunderstanding of what a deacon is and is not. The first mention of deacons appears in Acts 6:1-7:
“And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
While you don’t see the word deacon in the English, the word serve stems from the Greek word diaconos which means servant among other things. We see from this passage that the Grecian widows were being neglected. The underlying reason was that the Apostles were so busy proclaiming the Word that they didn’t have time to take care of these matters. So they created the office of deacon to take care of the daily needs of the people, in this case the Grecian widows.
The impact upon the Ministry
Then and now the deacons provide a very strong presence in the church. Not necessarily as rulers but as men who, under the authority of the pastor, serve the congregation. The pastor benefits from their ministry so that the ministry of the gospel would go forward in power. It benefits the people in that their needs are constantly looked after.
Do Deacons Run the Church?
Somewhere during the ensuing generations there arose the belief that deacons were there to protect the congregation from the pastors. While there isn’t any Scripture to support such a belief it is believed and practiced in some otherwise Biblical churches. Aside from its unbiblical source it also creates a division between the pastor and the people.
When you study it out in the Bible the deacon represents the pastor. While it is expected that the pastor would visit those who are sick sometimes he is unable to visit all of them or even any of them (he’s sick, etc.). In those cases it is not uncommon for a deacon to make the visit on behalf of the pastor. To use that occasion to undermine the pastor is to become an Absalom who stole the hearts of the people from King David.
How are Deacons selected?
Most churches use a method that is similar to what is seen in Acts 6. This procedure consists of Nominated by the people, Approved by the Pastor, and Elected (chosen) by the people. So the people have a hand in the process, whereas the Pastor examines the worthiness of the nominee and uses Scripture to determine if the nominee should be approved. The actual selection is by the people.
But the first thing that needs to be done is: , look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. Also Deacons should be held to the same standard as the pastors!
Different churches have different criteria pertaining to term of office. For example, some churches elect their deacons for a term of six years and every year they re-elect a certain number of deacons or elect new ones to replace the existing deacons. Another thing that churches differ on is that in some churches if a man is elected a deacon the title is his for the rest of his life whether or not he is serving as a deacon.
In effect the Bible allows a great deal of flexibility on the part of the churches in the selection of deacons.
What are the Duties of Deacons?
This is another area where churches may differ. So I am not trying to cover all the duties. Here are some:

  • Benevolence:

This involves the care of church members who are in need. It may also involve meeting needs of non-members. The deacon handling this may desire to interview the person in need.

  • Hospital visits as requested by the Pastor
  • Advising Pastor if requested.

Sometimes the Pastor wants the feedback of his deacons to help him determine the future direction of the church. They are a powerful tool to be used in this manner.

  • Serving within the Church’s various departments as directed by the Pastor:

For example, a deacon may be placed over the office work. Sort of an Office Manager. Since this is often the area an Associate Pastor may be involved in the two would work together with the Associate being in charge.
Your church may have additional duties but these give you some insight. There is another duty that I think all churches should consider.
Are Deacons Trustees?
The office of Trustee is not a Biblical office. It is an office demanded by states. I am not a lawyer so I can’t tell you exactly how to do this but here are some thoughts:

  • The Deacons should automatically be Trustees (and perhaps the Associates should be also).
  • This should be in the church’s constitution.

Conclusion:
To better understand your deacons study the Bible. It is there that you learn that only men can be deacons (the Bible allows no room for deaconesses), what kind of men should be selected, and how they are selected. And when you vote, don’t just vote for the “nicest” person. Vote for the godliest man that you think can do the job. And don’t forget it is a Biblical office and therefore an important office.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

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.

Teaching in the Church

Teaching in the Church

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 Teaching in the Church.
I have served as Assistant Sunday School Teacher, Sunday School Teacher, and Assistant Junior Church. I have known good teachers, not so good teachers, and others. So I think I can speak with a little authority.
Is Teaching Sunday School a Calling?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: When you consider that you are teaching God’s Word to the future of your church, state, and nation then it is a calling. When you consider that God gave us the Inspired Word to be taught then it is a calling? When you consider that adults today are ignorant of the Bible because they either had no teacher or poor teachers then it is a calling.
I could go on, but you get the picture.
Does God’s Word really tell us to teach our children the Bible?
Consider this: “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Dt. 11:18-19.
This is what the Bible says! You be the judge.
Calling People Ignorant isn’t Nice?
Read what I said again. I said, “When you consider that adults today are ignorant of the Bible” and I say it again and again. Being ignorant and being ignorant of the Bible are two different things. Today people are not taught the Bible often enough or well enough.
I love the Bus Ministry but the Bus Ministry exists in large part because parents aren’t taking their kids to church. Both parents and children need to learn the Word of God. It is true that Sunday School isn’t mentioned in the Bible, but the command to teach your children is commanded. Furthermore, when a parent sends a child to Sunday School and stays home himself or herself the message is: Sunday School is for kids. No it is for adults also.
We Christians have lost a great many liberties since the 1950’s. Why? Well the Bible was removed from the schools, parents stayed home instead of going to church, and children were taught that the Word of God is nonsense.
People are in desperate need to learn the Bible; most of them just don’t know that. God calls men and women to teach His Word because Biblical Knowledge is needed in our land. It is an important calling.
Does Teaching the Bible Require Being Taught to Teach?
Again I would answer yes. I don’t mean formal college or even Bible School. I learned through two different methods.

  • I took a study course by mail
  • I sat as an assistant watching and learning from a Teacher

Then I made myself available to be used. I didn’t insist, beg, or bargain. I simply let the Minister of Education know in one church and the pastor know in another church that I was able. Then I left it in the Lord’s hand.
What are the Four Greatest Truths You Learned as a Teacher?

  • Read and know the Bible not just the lesson
  • Tolerate children moving a little (it’s amazing what they hear when you think they’re not listening)
  • Teach the Bible (I like having the Bible visibly in my hand)
  • Pray for your class.

What About Connecting With the Children?
Unfortunately kids are being taught that Sunday School is a time of play rather than a time to learn God’s Word. I try to encourage new teachers to emphasize teaching more. Why? Because you only get those kids for one hour and possibly another in Junior Church. That’s two hours a week and the world gets them the rest of the time!
It’s not about class outings. There is nothing wrong with class outings but they shouldn’t be the motivating factor to the point that if the teacher doesn’t have a class outing the child thinks he/she doesn’t care.
I’m old school. When I taught Sunday School, I sent cards to the boys (their name and address). I think that still works because everyone wants to get mail addressed to them (other than bills, etc.). Add to that a personal visit to their home. Their teacher came to their home to see them! That makes a positive impression on their minds and their parents minds.
What About Class Discipline?
I’m for it. However I don’t insist on the children not looking around, not speaking, and not being fidgety. My rule is that their eyes should be on me and they should not be keeping someone else from learning. In other words, I’m flexible. But I will call the student down if he or she is disturbing the class.
What About Treats? Is That Bribery?
I have read and heard people say that offering treats  so Children will come or when they come listen is Christian Bribery. Bribery involves getting someone to do something wrong. So it is not Christian Bribery.
Treats are excellent tools to help children be motivated to do right; namely to come to Sunday School and pay attention in class. It’s a teaching tool.
One of the best I ever saw was when the teacher had a treasure chest full of candy. He then locked the chest. For a student to be able to get candy out of the chest, they had to participate and answer correctly questions. This qualified them to reach into a jar and grab some keys. Because of the narrow opening they could only get a few keys at a time. Most of the keys were fake, but a few would actually unlock the treasure chest.
It worked!
Then Teaching is a Calling?
Definitely! And like any calling you want to apply yourself and be the best teacher you can be. That involves:

  • Dressing in a way you honor God and Church
  • Studying your Bible faithfully
  • Practicing your lesson
  • Loving your kids
  • Being tolerant of the fact they are kids
  • Teaching consistently
  • Repeating a truth probably three or more times (repetition is a great teacher)

One last point, your church is probably looking for people right now willing to teach. A willing heart is necessary. And don’t go into teaching saying I’ll teach here but not there. My first teaching assignment was teaching 6th Grade Boys. I had no experience but they desperately needed a teacher. The job was given to me and I loved 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 (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 Service in the Church

Christian Service in the Church

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 Service in the Church.
“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:” Eph. 6:5-7
“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
Last week I wrote about the Christian in the Workplace and used the Scriptures above. They are just as applicable in the local church as in the workplace.
Let’s take a look at the first passage, Ephesians 6:5-7.
Work as Unto The Lord.
If you are working in the local church can you image doing your work any other way? You are literally working for the Lord for it is His church! With that in mind it is the same as last week, everything follows from working unto the Lord.
When working in the local church your pastor is your boss. You are commanded to love him both as a fellow Christian and as the Under Shepherd. If you can’t love him then you can’t really serve him. And there is something wrong either with him (doctrine or his disobedience) or you. Chances are it’s you.
Be Obedient
I’ll use the same story as last week: When I was called by God to become a financial secretary at my church I started attending school where I learned the basics of church finances. 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.
I said last week that it is your job to do it the way the boss wants it done. This is even more important in the church. Have there been times my way was the right way and the pastor was wrong?
Yes.
But I did it his way. I am thinking of one such event right now. I reported a problem, identified it, and told the pastor what needed to be done. He didn’t agree and wanted to bring in a professional. We did, the professional messed things up and we ended up doing things the way I’d originally planned.
Did You Let Him Know He’d Made a Mistake?
No, I did not. I, at his behest, made a report on the whole matter and eventually turned it in to him and the deacons. But aside from reporting the facts I made no other mention to him. You see the pastor is the Lord’s servant. It was his call. My job was to obey.
So You Never Complained?
Not to him. But I took my complaints to the Lord. Last week I discussed skip level meetings. I had a skip level meeting with the Lord and the pastor wasn’t invited. And the Lord took care of the matter!
But yes, I complained to the Lord about it. And I have used the skip level meeting idea throughout my work in the ministry as a Financial Secretary. Did God always work things out in the way I wanted? Of course not.
What is the Best Attitude to Have in Church Service?
Sometimes, believe it or not, the pastor is in the right. In fact, the safest attitude to take when working for a pastor is to assume that the pastor is right and I am wrong. Saves a lot of heartbreak.
A lesson I learned decades ago involved something my wife and I wanted to do in relationship to our getting married. Our pastor knew exactly why we wanted to do it and even understood it. Ordinarily he would have approved, but he knew something that we didn’t and said no but didn’t tell us why at the time. Did I complain to the Lord? In all honesty I don’t remember. But I do remember that years later both my wife and I fully understood the pastor’s decision and it was the right decision.
The fact is the very nature of a pastor’s job puts him in possession of information the rest of us simply don’t have. So it is a wise thing to trust your pastor.
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.

Insights: World of Noah and the Ark

Insights: World of Noah and the Ark

Insights: World of Noah and the Ark
“And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
“A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.” (Excerpt from World of Noah and the Ark)
God usually calls people to serve him one by one. The excerpt above concerns God’s call upon Noah to build an Ark (ship). God didn’t appear to Noah’s wife, his sons weren’t born yet, and his grandfather Methuselah wasn’t with him. The call came exclusively to Noah.
Yet all these people were impacted by God’s call on Noah. I think that Methuselah had some later involvement. The Bible is silent, yet it states that the Flood came in the same year Methuselah died (not in the flood, but before the flood).
So it is possible that God’s call on Noah impacted:

  • Noah
  • Noah’s wife
  • Japheth
  • Japheth’s wife
  • Shem
  • Shem’s wife
  • Ham
  • Ham’s wife
  • Methuselah

But it is likely that many more were directly affected. Noah was a farmer not a shipbuilder. Although shipbuilding probably existed (Bible never says otherwise), there was nothing on the scale of the Ark before and it wasn’t until probably the 19th century that anything else was built. In other words, this was a big job requiring someone who could read and understand a blueprint (basically what God gave Noah) and men who would actually build it.
If I am correct then it is another tragic part of Noah’s story. Because none of these men got saved unless they died before the Flood (a possibility). But most died unsaved though they worked on the ship itself.
My point in all of this is that God’s call is often to one person but the impact is upon a lot of people. Has God called you to a ministry? If so it is likely the decisions you make in following that call will impact a great many others.
It’s not just you!
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.

Ushering in the Church

Ushering in the Church

Today I am writing about Ushering in the church.
“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Psalm 84:10
This verse doesn’t make a doorkeeper (usher) sound very important. But it has been said that for some visitors to church the usher is the first person they meet and the last person they meet. What that means is that some people purposely come late, are met at the door and escorted to a seat. Then at the end of the service, perhaps during prayer, they are the first to leave. Again they see the usher.
Being an usher is actually a very important position. If you serve as an usher you are likely the first person a visitor sees. And that visitor forms an opinion about the church you represent. As an usher you may hand out greeting cards or take up the offering.
In other words you represent the church!
You don’t want people to have a bad impression of your church. So your appearance, speech, and actions need to be your very best. It may not be fair but that’s the way it is. Not only that, but how you treat them. Do you smile? Do you welcome them to the church? Do you offer to shake their hands?
These trivial words and actions aren’t so trivial when you consider you are being evaluated by the visitor. And if you mess up in any single item it has the potential of being blown out of proportion and causing the visitor to never return. Worse yet, it might prevent the visitor from listening to the preacher!
Unfortunately most Christians don’t appreciate ushering. If they were to rate jobs within the church on a 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest), being an usher would rank near or at the bottom. Singing in the choir or performing in the music department is usually rated much higher. Yet neither of them have the potential impact upon a visitor like an usher. Now before you get irate I do acknowledge that those ministries are important as they can set the mood for the service to follow. But an usher meets people personally and they either make a positive or negative impact.
How should an Usher dress?
Really depends upon the pastor and deacons, but I would recommend suit, shirt, tie, polished shoes, and a smile. Down here in the south many churchgoers prefer the casual look. That is their prerogative, but it disqualifies them from ushering. Why?
It’s not all that complicated. Because they personally meet visitors and represent the church it is necessary to put forth their very best. It’s an old argument, “if God the Father gave His very best, Jesus Christ, then we should wear our very best,” but it is also true.
Should an Usher talk to visitors?
Obviously the answer is a yes. But I would add “not for very long.” A good usher tries to make the visitor feel welcome without taking up much time. For one thing the visitor could get insulted if you overdid the friendly bit. It’s a fine line, but you should keep your conversation brief.
What about joking with people, both members and visitors?
Be careful what you say. You could be talking to a friend that likes to joke around, but it is possible that a visitor might be offended by such joking.
When should the Ushering begin?
One of the hardest things to get ushers to realize is that ushering begins 10 – 15 minutes before the service starts. By then an usher should be at his station greeting people as they arrive. On Sunday morning I come over from Sunday School, where I’m a teacher’s assistant, and immediately begin my ushering duties. Because I’m the head usher those duties include making sure that all scheduled ushers are reminded of their duty or a substitute is selected.
Part of my ushering involves going about greeting people already there. And not just greeting visitors, but members as well. It is all part of making people feel welcome and a part of the service.
Are you looking for a place to serve in your church? Check out becoming an usher.
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.

Writing as a Service

Writing as a Service

Today I am writing about Writing as a service.
The following article is largely a reprint although I have both edited and updated it.
Today we deal with the concept of a Christian’s writing as a Service! Authorship covers many genres and categories within each genre. The concept of writing can be reduced to: writing from a Christian viewpoint.
What do I mean by Christian viewpoint?
Basically this involves the tenor of your writing. In my case I write some novels that are based on Bible stories. There are such books out there that are based on Jewish or Christian views. Obviously, mine are Christian. My books may or may not be based on the Bible but all will be characterized by a Christ-centered theme. By that I mean that the reader will come across scripture pertaining to salvation.
Why do I write with a Christian viewpoint?
The reasons are twofold. First, the Bible stories are true events, not children’s stories. They are about real people and real events. The stories are meant for people of all ages. And they are written to instruct not entertain!
God is not in the entertainment business. Each of His stories is meant to teach or drive home a point. A good example is the story of Noah and the Ark. This has been widely viewed as a story for children. However, the story has very little entertainment value as written. But it is highly instructive and teaches us about God’s love and provision.
My job is to take that story and weave in material that transforms it from its instructive nature to an exciting, action-based novel that awakens the imagination of the reader without losing the instructive side. Judging by my readers’ comments I have been successful!
Secondly, my job is to put God on display. The Bible already does this with great effect. So it is not as difficult as it seems except in those situations where the Bible is silent within the story, but comments on it later on. As an author I can lift those comments from the future Bible sections and insert them into the story itself. I do this with actual quotes or an imaginative conversation that is true to Biblical context.
But it is not just to put God on display. It is also to enable my readers to see and feel His love and power. I can think of no greater compliment than to learn that my novel has so impressed someone that he/she desires to read the Bible!
Some of my novels are historical or speculative not being based on the Bible. These stories also have a Christian theme. I try not to be preachy, but I do try to convey the idea of 1) God’s love for mankind, and 2) man’s needed response. I also like to show how God can use multiple methods of leading His people. So in general, my Christian viewpoint is to relate Biblical stories that emphasize God’s love and power in an entertaining manner that both uplifts and convicts.
Your Christian viewpoint might be a little different. It doesn’t have to be Bible stories for example.
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.

Writing as a Christian Service

Writing as a Christian Service

The following blog is taken from an earlier blog entitled, Is Writing a Service to God? I am still a writer and I write Christian themed novels. So examining the subject of writing is as natural as breathing. There may be small alterations, but basically it is the same.

Is writing fiction really serving God?

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

  • People will mistake it for the truth
  • Thereby getting wrong doctrine

There are a few things wrong with that view:

  1. The Bible is found in the Bible or Religion section of bookstores not fiction
  2. Novels are found in the Fiction section not in the Religion section
  3. My books state they are novels
  4. My novels are purposely based on Biblical fact and doctrine
  5. My novels flesh out the stories rather than disagree

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

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

And that is a service!

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

  • Agree with Biblical facts
  • Honor God
  • Inspire people to read the Bible
  • Inspire people to worship God
  • Inspire others to serve
  • Inspire people to live godly lives

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

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

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

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.

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.

My Ultimate Service

My Ultimate Service

Those of you who’ve followed me for awhile know that I serve God through a variety of means including writing, serving in the church, and as vice president of T&R Independent Books. But what is my ultimate service?

Introducing TR Ministry

TR Ministry is a service or ministry of T&R Independent Books. It is a ministry that focuses on the local church, worldwide missions, and evangelism. In my last blog I indicated that God had shown me the direction He wanted me to go. This is it: T&R Independent Books exists to promote TR Ministry through the sale of our books.

Going forward this is a ministry that Teresa and I believe God has given us that is above, beyond, and includes our church. It is a ministry that will benefit from book sales and any other financial support we provide.

Does this mean we’ll be asking for your support? No!

Ultimately the support will come from royalties from the sale of our books. So the only way you can support this ministry is the purchase of a book by me or, in the near future, my wife (Tress Riddle).

Will we benefit from our books? Of course we will. But the primary beneficiary is TR Ministry. Will we have the ministry on our website? At this writing that is doubtful, since the ministry will be strictly ours involving no one else.

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.