When Writing Offends

When Writing Offends

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

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

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

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

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.

America’s Birthday

America’s Birthday

Today’s Issue: America’s Birthday
Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week we celebrate the 4th of July, our country’s birthday!
What do you think about when you hear the words, 4th of July?

  • Parades?
  • Speeches?
  • Fireworks?
  • Picnics?

All of these are great. But what about the sacrifices our ancestors made. Many lost their lives, while others lost their wealth and health. Much blood was spilled. For what?

  • Independence?
  • Freedom to worship God?
  • Freedom of Speech?
  • Freedom from taxation without representation?
  • Right to bear arms?
  • All of the above?

I favor the last, All of the above. All of these and much more are what these people made sacrifices for. Today we live in a world where much of this is taken for granted, abused, and often dismissed.
What about the Right to Bear Arms?
I’ve never belonged to the NRA nor do I plan on joining. But I believe strongly in the right to bear arms. I am also in favor of reasonable laws governing the ownership of guns. The key word there is reasonable. But reasonable seems to take a back seat as far as the anti-gun crowd is concerned. Their answer is for all of us to love one another. This coming from teens, most of whom have yet to learn what real love is. Hint: it is not the love that Hollywood peddles. And who will obey these laws? Not the criminals nor those bent on doing harm. Only law abiding citizens will. Which means the criminals will have an unarmed citizenry to prey upon.
What about Freedom to Worship God?
This country was founded by Christians, our Constitution is based on Biblical principles, the Preamble references Him, and the practice of our pioneers was to worship God. But today Christianity is becoming an abused child. While religions like Islam, which worship another god, have many rights and protections, Christianity is undergoing attacks. And unless we turn back to God it will only get worse.
What about Freedom of Speech?
Nowadays we live in a world governed by people who want to take away our right to disagree and express our own opinion. While the Liberal meltdown over the Trump election is a classic example of hatred and the effort to suppress those who support Trump, it is by far not the only one. Colleges and universities are now increasingly becoming institutions where freedom of speech is fast disappearing. Right now it is centering on conservative political stances and upon Bible believing Christians. But if not corrected it will get worse. Eventually we will have a dictatorship of thought.
What about Freedom from taxation without representation?
With a Congress that endlessly debates and does nothing, we are in effect experiencing taxation without representation. It is the home of the ‘swamp.’ There are too many Republicans and Democrats more interested in their own political agenda than they are in solving national problems. So are problems fester and become worse. It is a miracle that the Trump Administration has gotten so much done while dealing with a do-nothing Congress. And yet he has accomplished much.
(A little side note here: Some liberals have the audacity to say that the rebounding economy is a result of Obama’s tenure. His eight years in office did little for our economy which was inching along not on strong industrial growth, but on low paying jobs. You want to see when the economy took off look at the day after Trump’s election and since!)
Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to see America get back on track and “be great again,” you need to support Trump. You don’t have to like him, but right now his administration is the strongest thing going?
What about the Church?
The church is under attack from without and within. The Bible has been diluted, the message lost, and the people weakened. Don’t get me wrong! There are churches that stand for the Word of God, that preach salvation by no other name but Jesus, and that worship God faithfully. But they are disappearing. But the question is legitimate. Our real need is for revival!
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.

Immigration Compromise

Immigration Compromise

Today’s Issue: Immigration Compromise

Monday’s I try to focus on issues. Today we are taking a look at the GOP House bill that represents a compromise on immigration. To be honest, the details of this compromise have not been fully revealed or explained at the writing of this blog. However, I am a man who hearkens back to the days when conservatives and liberals could get together, be civil, and come up with a workable compromise.

Is this compromise one that is workable?

Because we don’t know all the details, we can only make guesses. On the surface at least it appears workable. To continue to not solve the problems of immigration and the so-called Dreamers is like two or more doctors agreeing you have a serious infection in your leg. But because they cannot agree on your treatment they do nothing. So the infection gets worse with the passage of time and becomes cancerous ultimately leading to amputation or worse.

You say that would never happen. But it happens all too often! We elect men and women to serve us. Yes, we lean toward certain ideals. But over and above those ideals we expect our congressmen/women to actually do something!

So, at the moment, I think this compromise is a good starting point. I particularly like the shift from family to skills emphasis. The family emphasis used to work well, but no longer meets the needs of America. On the other hand getting people into our country who can contribute to it immediately or soon should be a sought after result.

I also think a compromise on the Dreamers is desirable. There are millions of people out there hanging in limbo because nothing has been done about them. Amnesty is sometimes treated as a dirty word. The argument goes like this, to allow amnesty for these Dreamers is like rewarding them for doing wrong. The problem is they are called Dreamers because they came with their parent(s). On the other hand, we need to put a stop to future Dreamers, otherwise parents will continue to bring their children across the border and create an unending burden on our economy.

So take care of the Dreamers now within our borders but stop future Dreamers. That seems like a compassionate and responsible compromise.

Will it pass?

These days you never know. But this is an election year and voters will be watching. And both democrats and republicans better be taking notice that the American people (at least a very large minority or possibly majority) have bought into Trump’s America First. And those politicians who continue to buck or defy the President could lose their jobs.

Every day the media continues to bash President Trump and every day President Trump gets high marks from the American people. I think many of those in power, including the media, fear Trump. Not that he’ll bring disaster to America as they suggest, but that he’ll truly drain the swamp of which they are a part.

Such people will try to stop the compromise. They will make righteous speeches, thunderous accusations against Trump and his administration, and vote against any bill that attempts to cross the divide. True patriotic politicians will seek a place where they can meet and find common ground. But the problem is do we have enough true patriots?

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.

The Mighty Pen

The Mighty Pen

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

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

  • Blogs

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

  • Letters

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

  • Novels

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

  • Poetry

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

  • Skits

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

  • Soul Winning Tracts

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

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

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

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

The Persecuted Church Part 3

The Persecuted Church Part 3

I’ve been writing about the persecuted church. Today I continue with Part 3.

It is hard for us in America to visualize true persecution. We see it in other countries but here in America it is still somewhat hidden. Here it is more sophisticated, less obvious. But it is growing.

The anti-Christian movement has reached our colleges.

That’s right. In the very place we expect open discussions and tolerance the opposite occurs where Christianity is involved. Christians are ridiculed, ignored, and/or punished. Belief in the Bible is equated with ignorance even though many of these colleges were started by Christians. Christian beliefs and behavior is frowned up.

The world, even here in America, has decided their morality is higher than God’s. They have turned things upside down. Where once life was valued, abortion (the taking of an innocent life) is considered a woman’s right. Where once freedom of expression was upheld, Christians are losing the right to practice their faith. Where once we were taught in our schools that God was our Creator and Savior, He is now persona non-gratis.

Immorality is not only on the rise, it is lauded as morality. Homosexuality is the new right not found in any religious text, but praised by men and women around the globe. Disrespect for the American flag is growing; the flag is fast becoming just a thing of the past rather than the representation of men and women of whatever color fighting for our nation and paying with their blood.

Our schools today are unsafe. Because of guns? That’s ridiculous! Our nation grew up with guns. The problem isn’t guns in our schools; the problem is God and His Bible has been kicked out. Do a little digging and you will see that about the time God was kicked out the violence began.

If you really want to stop violence in the workplace, in the schools, and in the home, you need to invite God back into your lives.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship 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 Speculative Fiction

Christian Speculative Fiction

In a previous blog Why Christian Science Fiction I concluded that there may not be such a genre. But thanks to a reader I discovered I was wrong. So, instead of writing about issues today I will take this time to update my perceptions and yours.

The reader informed me that there is Christian Speculative Fiction and he mentioned Enclave Publishing, an outfit that specializes in Christian Speculative and Science Fiction. So I checked it out and he was right. So in the future I will refer to Christian Speculative Fiction.

Now that I have found a safe harbor  let me promote it. Just like any genre or sub-genre there will be all kinds. The word Christian denotes a certain worldview, but since there are all kinds of Christians it is probably wise to consider there are all types of Christian worldviews. And my research into it verifies such wisdom.

From what I have seen my novel Death Ship and the series Christland springing from it fit nicely into this genre. One writer recently commented that Christian Speculative writing is hard. Now she may have been referring to the difficulties of getting publish which I don’t have. But she could be referencing the writing itself. And with that I agree.

In writing Death Ship I didn’t have the luxury of aliens as a potential enemy. The enemy is twofold: 1) a general charged with destroying Christianity and 2) space itself.

The Christland series involves at least three elements: 1) Earth, 2) Space, and 3) another planet. And then there is General Abner Smith who hates Christians. Powerful, egotistical, and devious, he is a real danger to Christians on Earth and in space.

In addition, there is the nature of animal life on distant planets. I believe that animals may exist on earth-like planets. Only humans are said to be unique. Animals may resemble what we have on Earth or be entirely different. Imagination can provide those animals. What I find difficult is the degree you wander from Earth bound animals. Some science fiction books I have seen and read get real creative with animals. But I think a good solid story doesn’t want to get too creative. There is a story to be told and these additional factors should enhance the story not detract from it.

But so far I have found that writing is still much the same. Christian Speculative is simply telling a story with a Christian worldview and placing it in another part of our universe. You’ll notice I’m not talking about a new world. And why should I? There are other solar systems out there just begging for writers to discover. And mankind has begun not only looking from afar but planning on visiting them. Enter speculation or science fiction.

Actually I think the hardest part of being a writer of Christian Speculative Fiction is the marketing. You go to the Library and try to find that genre. I go regularly and I haven’t found such a genre yet. Part of the problem is that Christian Speculative Fiction is considered, at least in a library, as a sub-genre of science fiction. Which is fine, but it makes it that much harder for readers to find. Avid science fiction readers may consider that statement laughable, but readers who don’t naturally read science fiction might find themselves in agreement.

Having discovered the appropriate sub-genre (whoever came up with ‘speculative’ anyway?) I am more upbeat than before. I’d much rather be in an established genre or sub-genre than to start one.

Reading other authors in your genre is always a good thing. So that is one thing I will now be doing in the Christian Speculative sub-genre. Who knows, I may even do a review. I have just downloaded a novel and have started reading 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 I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

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

Evangelistic Outreach

Evangelistic Outreach

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

Why is soul winning or evangelism so important?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

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

Full Time

Full Time

Serving the Lord is always a full time job, but choosing to serve Him full time in a specific job, ministry, or activity is a choice that needs much prayerful considerations. An example of this is my recent retirement from one type of service (church financial secretary) to serve in another area. Although the idea floated around in my mind for years, it was a year ago that I decided it was time.

How did I know? Well, there were signs along the way, the most prominent being the after results of a 2014 heart attack. That prompted my wife to suggest I needed to consider retiring when I reached 75 (which I just did). But while that was important it was the physical and mental results of the heart attack that really spoke loud and clear to me.

When I first became a church financial secretary up in Michigan, my pastor pointed out to me that the management of church finances was different than managing business finances. You’re managing God’s money! Which means that whereas a business can accept and even write-off errors, there is no room for errors in God’s economy. I bought into this and believe it to be true to this very day. But after my heart attack I found I could not focus as sharply or as long as previously and mistakes were being made. This was unacceptable. So in May of 2017 I informed my pastor I would be retiring in May 2018.

That day has come. But God didn’t call me to retire to sit around doing nothing. He has work for me to do. And the direction He wants me to go has become apparent in recent years although I’m still learning what that entails.

Having now retired from my part-time job of Financial Secretary I am now a full-time writer, whereas before I was a part-time writer. But time is not the only thing that has changed. For example, while I will continue writing this blog I plan for it to be far more active than once a week. More on that later.

In short, my efforts in writing, publishing, and marketing are going to require greater diligence. That means a restructured daily life. Whereas before these duties were primarily done “when opportunity arises,” which often meant working evenings as well as daytime, now I need to have a more structured schedule. I need to have daily priorities.

What makes this more difficult is that working for the church I had three different men I reported to, one of which was my supervisor or boss. While he trusted me and allowed me great freedom, he was still my immediate boss. But now I’m the boss. That means I am not only responsible to myself, but for myself. Technically my wife, who is President of T&R Independent Books, is my boss but I have almost unlimited freedom to pursue our goals concerning the business.

But my real Boss is the Lord Himself. That hasn’t changed. Nor has His direction except that it is and I expect it will increasingly be more specific.

One of the changes being made is the name of this blog. First, it is necessary to have a name that more accurately portrays the blog; and second, it should be easier for people to find the blog. Previously this blog has been known as So You Want to Write and now is So You want to Serve. Both titles represented my interests. But sometimes I wander into other areas of interest including politics. Over the years I’ve blogged about serving, writing, business, politics, and the Bible.

So A New Name is Required

That new is not really all that new. It is actually found in my url address. Look at it and you’ll see RFrederickRiddleBlog. Best practices suggest that this should be the name I adopt and market. So beginning with my next blog it will be called R Frederick Riddle Blog.

Profound, isn’t it?

But honestly this will enable me to continue connecting with people like you and with new people. There may also be additional changes coming in the future but these are barely concepts right now. One difference you will notice is the frequency. Instead of once or twice a week my goal is to blog Monday through Friday. Watch and see how successful I am at meeting this goal.

So welcome to R Frederick Riddle Blog.

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.

Announcing Death Ship

Announcing Death Ship

I am proud to announce a new novel, Death Ship, that I have just published. You might also say I created a new genre, as well: Christian Science Fiction. I have been unable to find such a definitive genre although I have looked for it. Below is a quick take on the difference between traditional and Christian science fiction.

What is Christian Science Fiction? It is:

  1. Futuristic
  2. Space travel
  3. Warp drive
  4. Alien animals
  5. Conflict
  6. Exotic weapons
  7. Far off planets
  8. Spaceships
  9. and more.

Just like science fiction. But the difference lies in what is missing. There:

  1. A Christian worldview
  2. No alien intelligent beings
  3. No vulgar language
  4. No extreme graphics

If you’ve read my books you know that I do cover such things as immorality, murder, and other types of sin, but I don’t get into the graphical nature. Aside from my Christian conscience I have discovered that all of these things are unnecessary and often detract from what would otherwise be a good book. Actually I came to this conclusion long before I ever became a Christian.

I am aware that there are readers and writers who disagree with me, but their arguments generally are weak. One of my cardinal rules of writing fiction is to leave the reader room to imagine. It enriches the story. This even applies to curse words. In the old days they used symbols to indicate swear words which allowed the reader to provide their own if they wanted to do so.

Today we live in a world where people want “realism,” yet often settle for sensationalism. It’s like reality TV is anything but real. That is sad. But just as Christian fiction takes a different route, Christian Science Fiction takes another route.

In Death Ship you have all the elements of good science fiction and so much more. You have the latest planet Ross 128 b, which was discovered in 2017; you have modern day inventions that either are currently existing or on the drawing boards. In addition, there is a spaceship that is definitely future yet already we see true science speculating about such ships.

The story revolves around a world in turmoil. World War III is started by assassinations of city and national leaders in England and Europe. These take place at the instigation of Arab terrorists. England, Europe, and the United States attack the terrorist’s camps bringing on a world war. While the Arab terrorist network is wiped out, the western world is weakened, including the United States. A new world government is formed and their first decision is to ban religion of all brands, including Christianity. But the Christians, although driven underground, remain faithful. This brings on the campaign to exterminate them that results in 80 Christians beings selected as scientific guinea pigs.

Placed onboard the Gardenia, a converted luxury Science Research ship, they are sent off into space to be used for scientific research. The ultimate aim is to crash into a Red Dwarf star (Gliese 876) and a fiery death. But General Abner Smith, eager to see how Christians would react in space to unexpected problems, has prepared the ship with obstacles for them to face. And he purposely chose Christians, unused to leadership roles, with both knowledge and experience. His goal is for them to rebel and take over the ship only to find that they remain in his hands.

Death Ship is now available on Amazon both in print and digital format.

Title: Death Ship
Series: Christland
Book #1
Publisher: T&R Independent Books
ISBN: 1986066045
ISBN-13: 978-1986066044
Pages: 254
Retail: $17.99
Ingram’s Availability: Yes

And because this book has just been published you have the opportunity to be among the very first reviewers. Don’t let that scare you, embrace it. If you took the time to read the book then you have the right to do a review. Read the book, Review the book, and Post the review on Amazon.com. For further information read the following paragraph.

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), or World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One) 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 Death Ship.’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and I will rush you a free PDF copy.

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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.

Facing Sickness

Facing Sickness

At some point in time all of us face sickness and even death. How we respond to it often reveals who we are and what kind of Christian we are. Handling such serious events is not easy for anyone, including Christians.

HOW DO WE HANDLE SICKNESS?

Not so long ago (2014) I had a heart attack and my wife had to handle that trauma plus the possibility of losing me. I must say that her faith sustained and carried her forward. But now the shoe is on the other foot. You see, my wife has cancer. That means I need to face the issue and respond.

It would be real easy to blame God. Why did He allow this? But the problem with that is God does not cause sickness. Yes, He knows all about it and allows it in His wisdom, but He is not to blame for it. If I want to blame somebody it would be Adam. He’s the one who knowingly sinned and brought on this corrupt world.

But the blame game is not really a proper response. As a Christian I need to turn to God and make sure my life is where it should be. As for God, He has the ability to heal or not to heal, but whatever happens He will make it work out for good (Romans 8:28).

Over the years I have found God to be trustworthy and longsuffering. He has to be longsuffering because I fail His standards way too much. But trustworthy, faithful, and caring are all words that apply to God. He has a plan for everyone’s life; He has a plan for me. And He is faithful and trustworthy in regards to that plan. So what is expected of me?

He expects and desires that I place my whole trust in Him. In this case it to trust Him to heal my wife, to take away her pain, and enable her to live a normal life. That is the first step: to trust Him.

THEN WHAT?

Pray! That’s right, I’m going to pray. A lot. I’ll pray for her healing, pray that I’ll be the supporting husband I should be, and pray that His will be done.

It’s easy to say you trust God and it’s easy to question Him, but it’s not so easy to actually trust Him. Prayer is based on trust. We are too imperfect for prayer to be based on ourselves. But God is the One we can look to and pray to for our needs. He wants to hear from us, so I am going to pray.

PRAYER WORKS

Prayer moves mountains. I’m thinking of symbolic mountains, but literal mountains can be moved with enough prayer. Unfortunately most of us don’t have strong enough faith for our prayers to move literal mountains. But the heavy loads that we carry day to day He has promised to either help carry or to remove the burden.

WE CAN HINDER OR HELP OUR PRAYERS.

I wish this wasn’t so. We humans are so fickle. We say we love God but then we disobey Him. In Revelation God said the Ephesians had lost their first love. He wants our undivided love. He wants to forgive us our sins and heal our land (2 Chron. 7:14). Or to put it personally He wants to forgive my sins and heal my house.

But if I have unrepented sin in my life He will not hear my prayers. So that requires me to do a little self examination. Have I lost my first love? Do I serve Him because I love Him? Do I obey Him out of a tender, loving heart? I need to answer these questions, then take action before I pray.

In other words I need to love Him in word, in thought, and in practice. Trust, prayer, and love – these three will draw me closer to God!

By the way, if you’d like to pray for my wife her name is Teresa Riddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for reviews. Not only for World of Shem (Book Three), but Perished The World That Was (Book One), and World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two). If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review World of Shem.’ 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.