Ushering in the Church

FeaturedUshering in the Church

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

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

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The Church and the Rapture

FeaturedThe Church and the Rapture

Today I am writing about the Church and Doctrine the Rapture of the Church.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” I Thessalonians 4:16-17. (Emphasis added)
We get the word “rapture” from the Latin word for “caught up.” Some people say the word rapture isn’t in the Bible, but it is in its translated form. It has been taught from the beginning of the church that the Rapture is a Pre-Tribulation event. And from it comes another fundamental doctrine the Imminent Return of Christ. Historically speaking these are fundamental doctrines.
Today there is a growth of an old error that teaches a Post-Tribulation Rapture. Now I know some of you may embrace this doctrine or another one called the Mid-Tribulation doctrine. But these are not considered fundamental, but rather errors. While there are selected verses that can be made to support these non-fundamental beliefs the weight of scripture teaches a Pre-Tribulation rapture.
If you prefer one of the other beliefs, that is fine with me. But, please, don’t call it fundamental. And don’t call yourself a fundamentalist. The truth is you are not a fundamentalist if you abandon any fundamental belief such as:

  • Deity of Christ
  • The fallen nature of man
  • The need for a Savior
  • Christ being that Savior
  • The pre-tribulation Rapture
  • Hell
  • And others [not meant to be an exhaustive list]

The Imminent Return of Christ is not, to my knowledge, ever identified as a belief by name. However, if you read the letters of Paul and the other Apostles it is clear they looked to His return in their own lifetime. Throughout the history of the church, godly men and women have looked for the return of Christ in their own lifetime. And we today look for His return, maybe today while you are reading this blog.
Here’s another personal view: If the Rapture is not until after the Tribulation then why get saved now? Why not wait until the Anti-Christ appears and, recognizing that the time has come, then get saved? Preposterous? Yes, but human nature takes such a stance.
Man doesn’t want to face his eternal destiny so he puts it off. And, according to this belief, he still has at least 7 years before the Rapture takes places. So, like so many humans, he relaxes thinking he has time.
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.

The Church

FeaturedThe Church

Today I am writing about the Church.

In my last blog concerning the Persecuted Church I defined the church. Here is an excerpt:

When writing about the persecuted church it might be wise to take a step back and consider what church I am talking about. In this day and age the word church has become a huge umbrella that includes “Christians” that don’t really belong under that label.

So what is a Christian?

A Christian, biblically speaking, is a person who:

  • Has acknowledged he/she is a sinner
  • Knows he/she needs a Savior
  • Knows that Jesus Christ the Son of God died for his/her sin
  • Knows Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead 3 days/nights later
  • Has asked Jesus to save based on His shed blood and not his/her works
  • Accepts the Bible as the Word of God

This is a very tight definition on purpose. Although I believe that the KJV Bible is the only Bible for English speaking people, nowhere does the Bible indicate believing in the KJV is necessary for salvation. God gave us a simple plan of salvation and we should leave it that way.

That said, there are many people out there who claim to be Christian. Look at them carefully and you will find they are not Christians. Mr. Romney can protest all he wants but Mormons do not preach or teach about the same God as found in the Bible. Mormons are very religious and try to live a good life, but they are not Christians.

The same can be said about other faiths that claim to be Christians but depart from one or more of the points made above. And while I’m at it, not all humans are the children of God. All humans are the creation of God; He’s the Creator of all. But to be a child of God requires a definite act; i.e.., being Born Again.

Once you have defined the Christian then it is easy to find the church. It is not a denomination. It is that body of believers who are born again. Since baptism doesn’t save it wasn’t listed above, but most churches require baptism since it is the first command to a believer.

That is the excerpt. Now for a more complete definition of the church.

I said it is a body of believers who are born again.  It is also an institution authorized by the Holy Bible. Jesus Himself founded it (Matthew 16:18): “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.”

This does not make Peter anything; Christ was referring to the gospel which Peter declared (i.e., Jesus is the Christ). And in 1 Corinthians 3:11, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Jesus Christ is what the church is built upon not Peter. So far we have the church was founded by Christ, made up of believers who are born again, and is built upon the foundation of Christ Himself.

Back in Matthew 16:18 He calls it His church. So Christ is the foundation of the church and it is His church, which means that we are not at liberty to change his rules found throughout the New Testament, for its operation, doctrine, and structure. While it is possible for good men and women to differ on these things it must be acknowledged that the basis for interpretation is the Word itself.

So what is the church?

The church is a body of believers organized by the Lord Jesus, founded upon Him, and both organized and structured by Him as expressed in the Bible. Neither man nor government has the right to change God’s rules or to add to them. Government’s job is to get out of the way so that Christians can pray. If the government wants to govern all other religions, then so be it. But Christianity is under His Command.

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.

The Persecuted Church Part 4

FeaturedThe Persecuted Church Part 4

I’ve been writing about the persecuted church. Today I continue with Part 4.

When writing about the persecuted church it might be wise to take a step back and consider what church I am talking about. In this day and age the word church has become a huge umbrella that includes “Christians” that don’t really belong under that label.

So what is a Christian?

A Christian, Biblically speaking, is a person who:

  • Has acknowledged he/she is a sinner
  • Knows he/she needs a Savior
  • Knows that Jesus Christ the Son of God died for his/her sin
  • Knows Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead 3 days/nights later
  • Has asked Jesus to save based on His shed blood and not his/her works
  • Accepts the Bible as the Word of God

This is a very tight definition on purpose. Although I believe that the KJV Bible is the only Bible for English speaking people, nowhere does the Bible indicate believing in the KJV is necessary for salvation. God gave us a simple plan of salvation and we should leave it that way.

That said, there are many people out there who claim to be Christian. Look at them carefully and you will find they are not Christians. Mr. Romney can protest all he wants but Mormons do not preach or teach about the same God as found in the Bible. Mormons are very religious and try to live a good life, but they are not Christians.

The same can be said about other faiths that claim to be Christians but depart from one or more of the points made above. And while I’m at it, not all humans are the children of God. All humans are the creation of God; He’s the Creator of all. But to be a child of God requires a definite act; i.e.., being Born Again.

Once you have defined the Christian then it is easy to find the church. It is not a denomination. It is that body of believers who are born again. Since baptism doesn’t save it wasn’t listed above, but most churches require baptism since it is the first command to a believer.

I am going to all this bother because some of you may point to churches that are thriving and are not being persecuted. It’s possible that a church of true Christians hasn’t yet experienced persecution, but as mentioned in previous blogs persecution takes many forms and it may not be readily visible. But the pastors sense it!

It is also possible that a Christian church is not being persecuted yet because they try to “fit in” with the world. The job of the church is to tell the world about Christ being the answer to their sinful condition not to change the social/political world. It is the church’s job to warn of coming judgment not affect climate change or any other issue. That message brings condemnation from the self-righteous people who sound great but have bought into the world’s righteousness not God’s.

America has been spared the truly vile persecutions that have been seen around the world. Even European countries have started persecuting Christians. Why should we be surprised at that? Christians were persecuted there once before. Here, in America, we may still be enjoying the fruits of Christian churches that once shouted out the Word of God. But without revival I don’t see this lasting much longer.

It is a shame that Hollywood considers itself able to teach Christians about what is right and wrong. We need to get our doctrines from the Bible and not from the world. The Bible is the only absolute authority. And yes, there are still absolutes to be obeyed or followed.

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.

Insights Death Ship

FeaturedInsights Death Ship

But those days were now but a memory. Anti-Christian forces in and outside the government turned it back to a liberal course and clamped down on Christian thought and expression setting the stage for a great collision.

The above quote is from the opening Prologue to Death Ship. Today, I wish to comment on why I think the very idea of the persecution of Christians is not farfetched. It is very real! All you need to do is pick up your local newspaper or scan the internet. It’s out there and it is increasingly virulent. Travel to other countries like India, Sudan, Netherlands, and even Israel and you find anti-Christian thought and expression. While not always violent it is real nonetheless.

So the concept of persecution is today’s reality. Persecution has existed since the days of Christ and has continued to this day. Persecution may take various forms. The only thing about persecution in the book that is new is the plan to send Christians into the very heart of a Red Dwarf star.

Here in America we have what I call creeping persecution. Instead of imprisonment we have attacks against churches; personal attacks, both vocal and violent; collegiate, where college administrations deny rights to Christian students; and governmental, which involves city, state, and national.

But in Europe and across this planet persecution has taken a more sinister and vicious approach. Can we stop it? Not without revival. Here in America we have a President who could be classified as a Friend of Christianity. Is he saved? I don’t know. I am, however, confident that the Vice President is saved. And I believe that President Trump is willingly influenced by him and other Christian leaders.

But we are mistaken if we think one men or even a group of men, no matter how powerful, can reverse this trend toward persecution. It is a worldwide movement that the Bible indicates will one day reign supreme.

So what can we do?

Reach out to the One Person who can make a difference. Pray to God for revival for the world, for the nation, for your state, for your community, and for yourself! Pray for a revival that starts in our own hearts.

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

FeaturedThe Persecuted Church

Christians are being persecuted around the world. Even here in America we are seeing forms of persecution. The media, some government bodies, and colleges are now taking an anti-Christian view.

In this first blog about the Persecuted Church I am taking a look at America, so-called Christian America. We now live in a country where believing in the fundamental truths of the Bible is ridiculed and punished.

Recently I read a column by Kathleen Parker. Now, to be honest, the two of us would probably disagree on a lot of things since we apparently have two different worldviews. But I found her article interesting and well written. The article concerned the religious liberty battle raging between the city of Philadelphia and the Catholic Social Services. This battle also included the Bethany Christian Services.

Both of the services turned away an openly gay couple from adopting a child. Why? Because both organizations had religious objections based on their understanding of the Bible. Protected by the constitution, right? Apparently not. Shortly afterward the city’s Department of Human Services “suspended foster care intake with both Bethany and CSS.”

Now Parker and I would differ on our view of gays, but we agree on religious liberty. But the real point of bringing this up is that attacking people for their Biblical stand is becoming all too common. The article itself referred to the forcing of devout bakers to create wedding cakes for gay marriages. This is a sad time for a country that is still identified as Christian.

But may I take it further? Not only are Christian values being stomped upon, but cults and other religions are getting preferential treatment. We frequently hear of Dearborn, Michigan, not far from where I once lived, being run as a Moslem city. Is it true? I haven’t been there in decades, so I don’t know. But if true, it is contrary to our constitution and, for that matter, to our history. But Dearborn is just one example. How about our military where a small group of atheists had forced the military to turn against the very men and women who served, some as chaplains?

Fortunately, the election of Trump has at least slowed down the secularization of America, but it will take a revival to stop it cold and reverse it. But will Christians take a stand; will Christians be revived; and to the point, will America return to its Biblical roots and both honor and worship the one true God?

Some people say no, it’s too late for America. But when I read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, I find examples where God revived His people when all seemed lost. I believe He can still do it, He is all-powerful, but we Christians need to fervently pray for revival. And while praying take a close look at our own lives.

Is the church persecuted in America? Not like in other countries, but it has started.

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

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

– – – – – – –

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

My Ultimate Service

My Ultimate Service

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

Introducing TR Ministry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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).

– – – – – – –

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.

Why Me, Lord?

Why Me, Lord?

When you got saved your life changed. You started living different; you committed yourself to God; and you have tried to be faithful in all things. Yet devastating sickness comes or financial reversals occur or you lose a loved one.

And you cry out, “Why me, Lord?”

Over the years I have experienced setbacks such as the loss of both my parents, loss of an aunt and uncle, loss of a grandmother, a heart attack, financial setbacks, and now my wife undergoing cancer treatments. Like you I sometimes wonder why, and the answer can be varied. Sometimes I make mistakes, sometimes I am guilty of sin, and sometimes I simply don’t know the reason.

So what do I or you do?

Well, again the answer to that question depends on the answer to the previous question. If the answer was a simple mistake, then you can go to God and seek His wisdom and guidance. Since He wants you to succeed He will answer you and provide guidance.

If the answer was sin in your life, then you need to go to God as often as you sin and claim 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Confessing sin is much deeper than this blog will address, but basically we acknowledge that what He says about us is true and then seek His forgiveness and cleansing.

Depending on how deep the sin is in your life you may have to do this more often than you like. 1 John 1:9 is not a magic word or phrase. Simply saying it doesn’t automatically right the ship. Sometimes we have to cry out with Paul, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Ro. 7:24-25).

Then there are times we simply don’t know the cause. In those times, it is always right to go to God in prayer seeking His wisdom. Job suffered greatly at the hands of Satan and didn’t know why until the end of the book. While there are different takes from that book of the Bible one thing cannot be denied, Job came out of it a better, stronger believer than he was at first. God had purged him and then lifted him up.

I think the key in all these scenarios is found in: Have faith.

Trust God. He knows what you’re going through and wants you to overcome whatever it is. He didn’t promise us that living for Him would be easy, but He did promise to always be with us.

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

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

Pre, Mid, or Post Rapture?

Pre, Mid, or Post Rapture?

In my last blog (Christian Numerology?) I wrote about the ‘end of the world’ on Saturday September 23rd. We are now past that date and we are still here. But my post raised a question pertaining to the Rapture. It was pointed out that there are three Rapture theories: Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, and Post-Trib. So let’s explore these a little in reverse order:

Post Tribulation

This view holds that the church will go through the entire seven year Tribulation and then will come the Rapture. While some Christians still believe in this theory it has largely been dismissed. There are many promises in Scripture concerning the Rapture that Post Tribulation either ignores or spins. These are:

  • 3:10
  • Luke 12:10
  • Matthew 24:42, 44
  • I Thess. 4:13-18
  • 1Thess 1:10,5:9
  • Romans 5:9
  • Ephesians 5:6

Does belief in the Post Tribulation Rapture mean one is not saved? No! Rather, I believe, it means that they have been taught amiss. A literal reading of the Word of God does not lead to a belief in the Post Trib Rapture.

Mid-Tribulation

This view means the church will go through the first half of the Tribulation, but escape the second half sometimes called the Great Tribulation. But again believers in this theory ignore or neglect important verses. This theory is based on 1 Corinthians 15:52 and in particular “the last trumpet.” They teach that this is the last trumpet of the trumpets found in Revelation. But the problem is that to do that they must ignore the fact that all the other trumpets of Revelation deal with God’s wrath.

The simple fact is that the Rapture is a New Testament subject meant only for the Church. Yet the church is never mentioned again after Revelation 4:1. From then on it is Israel which was, is and will be God’s beloved and chosen people. One of the purposes of the Tribulation, other than to punish unbelievers, is to bring the Jewish people back to Him! (Mt. 23:39; Luke 13:35.)

Pre-Tribulation

This view takes a literal view of the Bible including all the promises. Some of these are:

  • Revelation 3:10
  • I Thessalonians 1:10
  • I Thessalonians 5:9
  • Ephesians 5:6
  • Colossians 3:4

According to this view there is no event that must take place before the Rapture occurs. It could happen at any time. This view is also the view of the early church fathers, such as Barnabas (ca.100-105), Papias (ca. 60-130), Justin Martyr (110-195), Irenaeus (120-202), Tertullian (145-220), Hippolytus (ca. 185-236), Cyprian (200-250), and Lactantius (260-330).

I am not concerned whether you agree with me or not. What is important is that if you have received Christ as your Savior (been born again through the blood of Jesus) then you will be Raptured (Caught Up). It is a promise of God to us!

So there you have it. I hope I haven’t offended anyone, but now you know my position and the position of this blog. I am a fundamentalist; I take the Bible literally except where it indicates otherwise.

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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.