Thanksgiving

The Riddle Report 11 18 2020

So, now the government wants us to forego Thanksgiving. Governors are not only suggesting it, but some are going Orwellian and threatening jail time. We Americans have the right to assemble in our churches and in our homes to worship and thank God for His blessings.

Shouldn’t we be careful though?

Should we be careful? Of course, but suggesting we limit the size of family that visits us or that we insist on testing is going too far. That is the politics of fear. I understand that the cases have been spiking and some hospitals are having difficulties. But the nation as a whole is experiencing a decline in the death rate. That means that the virus is still deadly, but less so than it was in May when the death rate hit its highest level at 5.8%. It is now down to 2.23% and dropping.

What about locally?

Here in Florida the cases have risen to 897,323 since January and 17,644 deaths for a death rate of 1.97%. Meanwhile Texas has year-to-date cases of 1,078,875 and 20,147 deaths for a death rate of 1.87%. With the media constantly emphasizing the case load and the total number of deaths it lends itself to creating panic. It is a case of overreaching by the media and perhaps by some politicians seeking their own glory.

It might also be noted that now there are effective measures in place to help people who contract the virus. It is not like it was in the period of March thru May. Doctors have the tools, hospitals can order the supplies needed, and the government can get these supplies to the hospitals. One more thing to consider. The media points to the fact that 11 million people have contracted the disease and 245,000 have died. But the total population as of 2019 was 328 million.

What does that mean?

It means that only 3.35% of Americans have contracted the disease since January and 2.23% of the patients have died. We need to keep these low numbers in mind because the media will ignore them. And remember those numbers include all cases since the beginning of January not just the last two weeks!

What should we do?

Common sense tells you that if you live in an area that is hit hard you need to practice social distancing and wear masks. In fact, that is not bad advice for anywhere. But the testing part I am not so sure about. It seems to me that the testing is so broad that it captures people who don’t really have the disease and instead have other conditions like the flu or a simple cold. It is misleading and creates doubt and fear.

To put it simply, I don’t believe the doctors really know the symptoms and are using a wide net hoping to catch the real infected people. And if your only concern is to beat the virus then perhaps that is ok. But our concern needs to be more narrowly focused.

With the election over, as far as the voting is concerned, the need to cause panic should also be over. Politicians need to act more responsibly and more in line with our constitution. Locking down homes and businesses is a draconian response and certainly not responsible leadership. I know of people who have contracted Covid-19 and everyone of them has responded responsibly. That is the American way.

Personally, my wife and I will probably stay home for Thanksgiving, but not because of Covid-19. It is an opportunity for the two of us to spend some time thanking the Lord for His care. Our health is good right now, my wife is in remission, and we enjoy one another. If we have the opportunity to visit family, we will certainly consider it.

Here’s a thought: Instead of letting a disease control you, take control yourself. You decide what the risks are and what, if any, risks you are willing to take. Thanksgiving is not just a time of fellowship; it is a time when we can and should thank God. It is a spiritual right and responsibility for all Christians.

It is not the responsibility of the government to tell us whether we can go to church, visit family, or what health steps we should take. We are fully capable of handling this without the government’s intervention.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Ron’s Tip of the Day Memorial Day

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Today I am looking at Memorial Day.

Today is Memorial Day. It is the day set aside to honor those who died defending the very values and country we love. I hope that all of you are enjoying yourselves.

While you do, always remember the sacrifices made. Men and women of our services died so that our representative democracy could continue. They died so that if we want to worship God we can or if you want to deny Him, you can do that also. They died so we could lift up praises to God and thank Him for giving us this nation.

They died so that a man or woman in Rhode Island could vote, or in Iowa, or in W. Virginia, or anywhere in the United States. They died so that our flag would bravely wave. They died for the right to salute the flag or pray for the President or to vote.

They died for the people living then and they died for the people living now. They didn’t choose to die (in most cases) but when the time came to take a stand, they did.

Tip of the Day: Remember those who in uniform died for us all.  

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Let’s do it!

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review our 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 best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. 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.

Ron’s Tuesday Tip: Give Thanks!

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about: Give Thanks!

I’m pausing today to give thanks to God for all His many blessings. Being able to create websites, to write books, to edit and publish books, and all the things I do is simply something to thank God for!

I invite all my followers to take time this week and express your thanks to Him! Whatever your pedigree may be don’t forget He created you and that creation was perfect. You may have disabilities, hardships, and troublesome times, but the real you He created perfect!

If you are able to read this blog, He blessed you with that ability. If you can write, He blessed you with that ability. I could go on and on, but you get the drift.

This past year has been a time of reflection and renewal, a time of change in direction, and a time of new opportunities.

One of those opportunities for us has been His leading into starting TR Writing Services. Over the years I often thought about helping others in their writing careers. I even set about working on an academy that would have trained people but life (i.e. health issues in our family) intervened. But now I can still help people without such an elaborate setup!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low). You can visit us at TR Writing Services.

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), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), 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.

Sinners 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.

The Gates of Hell

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 The Gates of Hell.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Mt. 16:18
The usual application that one hears about this church is as follows: Satan goes about the world like a lion seeking whom he may devour. He is attacking the church, which consists of believers. But praise God his attack will fail!
But that, I believe, is an incorrect reading. The verse talks about the church being founded upon the rock (gospel of Christ) and the gates of hell not prevailing against it. Let’s take a look.
Upon this Rock
I could spend an entire blog upon the Rock, but suffice it to say the Rock is not Peter, a good man but still a man. It is “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Mt. 16:16). The church is founded upon Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Gates of Hell
But the real solution to the wrong application is the term gates of Hell. What are gates? They are barred entrances into a city, building, etc. The only person to ever use a gate as a weapon was Samson (Judges 16:3). Gates are defensive, not aggressive.
So the implication is that the “gates of Hell” is a defensive term. Now consider the following:
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” Ephesians 6:11-18. Emphasis added.
This describes a soldier going to war. And what kind of armor is he wearing? For the most part offensive weapons! Notice there is no protection for the back, it is all forward looking and, dare I say it, aggressive!
Satan controls this world, we Christians belong to the army of God which is attacking the stronghold of the Devil. Taken in this light, Matthew 16:18 is saying that we, the attacking force, will prevail over Satan’s forces. The very gates of Hell cannot stop us.
So What Are Our Weapons?
Well, Ephesians 6:17 gives us a good idea: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Elsewhere we are called ambassadors, ministers of light. God has given to us the Word of God (Sword of the Spirit) and a Salvation message. In fact in Ephesians 6:15 we are to be shod with the gospel of peace, which is the gospel of salvation by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
How Do I Do That?
There are differing ways of communicating the gospel. Writing is one way. As an author I often include the gospel in my novels. I also write my blogs from a Christian perspective. There is also door to door witnessing that fundamental Baptist churches are known for. You simply visit people and if they are open to the gospel present it to them verbally or at least a written tract.
I Can’t Go Door to Door or Write Well Enough
That’s fine. You can carry a tract in your suit pocket or shirt pocket (men) or in your purse (women). Hand them out. My wife is a good example of this. She will engage people in the store and hand them a tract at the very least. She also will talk to them. I often leave a tract on the restaurant table after eating. I leave it with a tip.
I’m Housebound and Can’t Get Out?
Sorry to hear that, but you can still be a witness. You can witness to visitors by simply telling your story. Most people like to hear about somebody else’s conversion. It gives you an opportunity to share the gospel. And you can also give visitors tracts.
What Else?
The ‘what else’ is simply prayer. In Ephesians 6:18 prayer is right next to the armor. Why? Well look at the modern soldier. Along with all their armor they have the ability to communicate to their leaders directly. In the not so distant past military units had a radioman who could communicate with their commanders. Going all the way back to Paul’s day soldiers had a means of communicating (archaic by our standards), but the point is that they could get directions from their commanding officers. And, as Christian soldiers, so can we! Our means of communicating is prayer.
So you can always pray. Pray for your family, pray for your friends, pray for your neighbors, and don’t stop praying! Prayer, when based on the Word of God, works!
The church is not fort to protect us from the evil outside, but an attacking force that the gates of Hell cannot withstand. In Ephesians 6:13 we read, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Satan is not going to sit back and just allow you to attack at will. He will counterattack and when that happens God will give you the strength to stand immovable. Then you move forward.
Conclusion
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Mt. 16:18
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:57.
We are on the winning side. In Christ we already have the victory. Yes there are many battles to be fought and we may lose some of them, but the war is already won!
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.

Behold All Things Are Become New

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

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

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

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

HAPPY New Year!
– – – – – – –
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.

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.

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.

When I consider thy heavens…

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou has ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” Psalm 8:3-4.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Psalm 5:3

While this blog is aimed at authors, this verse applies to all Christians. Daily prayer is a must for the Christian. As first a Christian and then an author I find that I need that time with the Lord. But the truth is that it doesn’t matter what your vocation is, whether it is student, engineer, lawyer, author, laborer, or whatever. Daily prayer is a must!

The Bible refers to morning prayer more often than any other time of day. While we can and should pray to God throughout the day there is something special about morning prayers.

Here are just a few special things:

  • It puts God first.
  • It gets me starting out on the right foot.
  • It refreshens me.
  • It reminds me of how great God is.
  • It strengthens me.
  • It encourages me.
  • It emboldens me.

I could go on but you get the drift. The fact of the matter is that when you pray in the morning you have the rest of the day before you. You have the opportunity to talk to God about your plans and, for that matter, the unknown events of the day. In my opinion it gives me a leg up on the day. I may be surprised by a particular event, but I know God is never surprised and I can trust Him to see me through.

Prayer accomplished many things for the writer: It enables you to:

  • Acknowledge His Lordship
  • Confess your sins
  • Pray for others
  • Seek His face
  • Talk about your book
  • Talk about publishing & marketing
  • Ask for help on particular scenes, etc.

We have a very practical God. Assuming He called you to write He gives you the right to seek His guidance in all of your writings, publishing, and marketing. He is an all-hands God. He takes a deep interest in all we do.

But again, if He called you to write then He has a stake in how you respond!

Keeping your prayer life constant (daily) also keeps you in constant communication with God. We are strongest when that communication involves our entire day. Morning prayer establishes that connection at the beginning of the day and provides a strong basis for all we do through the remainder of the day.

Does prayer really work?

The short answer is YES!

For the believer prayer absolutely works. God has obligated Himself to listen to a believer’s prayer (2 Chron. 7:14). Of course that is tied to how we conduct ourselves. But He promises to hear us if we humble ourselves, pray, seek his face, and turn from our wicked ways. It sounds hard and it is, but God looks at our hearts and knows whether we are truly seeking Him or not. So the promise is legit.

That’s another reason for prayer in the morning. If we begin our day in prayer even the sins are likely not to have occurred yet.

There are many ways to pray. I like to start out by acknowledging that I am a sinner; a sinner saved by grace. This puts me in the right place. Because getting saved didn’t remove my old nature and transform me into sinless perfection. People who believe they cannot sin are only fooling themselves. It is not taught in the Bible.

Then I move on to thankfulness and joy. What an amazing God He is! He saved me. He loved me so much that He sent His Son to take my sins, pay my penalty, and shed His precious blood to cover my sins. Prayer gives me the opportunity to express my thankfulness and love to Him.

So let me finish by encouraging you to have an active prayer life. God wants to hear from you. And take your writings to Him. Seek His involvement in your writing. You won’t regret 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.