In Memory Of

In Memory Of

Normally I write on issues affecting Christian Service, but today I want to take the opportunity to speak on the subject of Memorial Day.

All too often people confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day. Veterans Day honors ALL who have SERVED in the military since the founding of our nation. Speaking as a veteran, this is an important day when we honor the living and the dead who have served this nation.

But Memorial Day is not only important but it has special significance. This day honors ALL who have MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE – they gave their lives! So as you enjoy this day, perhaps picnicking or some other family affair, remember the dead that have fallen.

I recently read of a black lady who was angry and would not even honor the Declaration of Independence because it was written by white men, some of whom owned slaves. This is a case of judging the past by today’s morals – always a mistake. But her greater error is that the very freedom that she has to honor or dishonor men and women of the past was gained by the sacrifices – in many cases the sacrifice of life – of white men. Everyone of us owes a debt to the men and women who sacrificed their lives for freedom.

The understanding of what that freedom really means has evolved over time. Sometimes that understanding required violence, as in the case of the Civil War. While the primary cause of the war was States Rights highlighted by the issue of slavery, the end result was the freedom of all slaves. And it came at a huge cost to mostly white men.

Even that has changed. Now we can celebrate our freedoms because white, black, yellow, and red men and women have given their lives in its defense. And on Memorial Day we need to pause and remember the terrific cost that protecting our nation has exacted.

Although Memorial Day is a National Holiday, I, as a Christian, also remember the men and women of all races and nationalities who have lost their lives because they were Christians. This is still occurring today with no end in sight. Not in the United States to a large degree, although that may be changing, but throughout the world.

But nationally we need to remember that Memorial Day is not just another holiday. The greatness of this country was paid for by the blood of those who have fallen in its defense. It should cause us to reflect on the values, yes the moral values, which they died for!

Moral values that we are losing almost daily. More and more we see people, including our leaders, calling that which is good “evil” and that which is evil “good.” (See Isa. 5:20.) Many have lost faith in our political system. This has been fanned by unscrupulous politicians who are still upset by the election results of 2016. If this continues Americans of every political stripe will suffer.

But we have a God Who can right all wrongs. As Christians we need to follow II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

So take time to enjoy this day. But don’t forget those who paid in blood the price of that freedom. And if you are a Christian, don’t forget the One Who paid with His blood for our greatest gift – the freedom to approach our God as our Father!

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

A New Year’s Message

A New Year’s Message

Soon we will be entering the year 2017. Before taking a look at what we might expect in the new year, let’s take a look at 2016.

2016 was a very active year, although it didn’t start out that way. It was for us a normal year until March when we bought ourselves a new (for us) 2013 Ford Fiesta. While a great car, it was God’s miraculous hand in our getting it that really stood out. But that is not the subject of today’s blog.

Instead we are looking at T&R Independent Books, our adventure in self-publishing.

Here is how 2016 unfolded:

  • August/SeptemberT&R Independent Books bought the publishing rights to Perished. This was the foundational book of The World That Was series.
  • October T&R Independent Books published the rewritten and reformatted Perished. This was the publisher’s first novel.
  • NovemberPerished was placed in the KDP Select program.
  • DecemberT&R Independent Books published Noah and the Ark, book two of The World That Was series.
  • DecemberT&R Independent Books began seriously getting ready to publish Tress Riddle’s debut novel sometime in January 2017.

As can be seen T&R Independent Books has had a rush of activities in the latter half of the year. It has truly been an exciting and busy year. Behind the scenes Tress Riddle has been working on her first novel, a mystery aimed at teens and young adults.

Also during this past year we have witnessed an explosion politically thinking. In Britain they had the Brexit  vote and in America we had the rise of Donald Trump. In both cases the average citizens revolted against the political elite demanding that they be heard and represented.

Whatever you may think of President-elect Trump he was wise enough to hear the rumblings and tap into them. Here are a few reflections:

  • NovemberDonald Trump won the national election for President of the United States.
  • NovemberUninformed men and women took to the streets and rioted in protest. This represented a national disgrace in our education system as the protestors showed their ignorance of the United States government. (We are a representative democracy, not a pure democracy where popular vote dominates.)
  • November3rd party candidate pushed for meaningless but costly recounts. Results were essentially the same.
  • DecemberTrump begins assembling cabinet showing that he actually intended to keep his campaign promises.
  • DecemberTrump won the Electoral College vote.

If I was writing on political issues I would spend some time addressing the lack of knowledge some people have demonstrated. As mentioned, our country is a representative democracy – a fact our citizens should have learned in high school! It was so designed to prevent large populous states from ruling the country (there are only four or six states that fit that bill) and from anarchy that often comes from pure democracy.

However, this is a blog on writing, so let’s move on.

I am really proud and excited about the achievements of T&R Independent Books! Founded in 2014 by my wife and myself, T&R had to withstand my heart attack and much foundational matters for the fledgling business. But 2016 has been a breakout year for the business.

I have now had three books published by T&R Independent books: So You Want to Write? (2015), Perished (2016), and Noah and the Ark (2016). In the meantime, my wife has been working hard on her debut novel which will soon (probably January) be published.

So what are my predictions for 2017?

Here’s a list of possibilities:

  • Publication of Tress Riddle’s debut novel.
  • Rewrite and publish So You Want to Write? with new material.
  • Write and publish book 3 of The World That Was.
  • Tress Riddle’s second novel published.

These represent another active year for the Riddle family. Sandwiched in-between are a variety of marketing events. Plus a renewed commitment to this blog.

I am seriously looking into adding video blogs to this blog. I plan to explore the idea of interviewing other authors, plus have videos on writing techniques and aids. I have the capability, but it comes down to cost versus effectiveness.

We wish all of you a happy New Year.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured in greater detail.

A Christmas Message

A Christmas Message

This year Christmas comes on a Sunday. This is the best time ever. People gathered in their respective churches worshiping the very Savior Whose birthday we celebrate!

You will notice that I still call it Christmas. In the world we live in today Christ has been all but taken out of Christmas. Instead you get Xmas. People have forgotten why we celebrate this day.

Over 2000 years ago Jesus was born to a virgin not on Christmas day, but that is when we celebrate His birth. A miraculous event that has never been repeated (although some will try to prove it has happened). The world doesn’t mind Him as long as He stays in the manger, but it bothers them greatly when He preaches and claims to be the One True God, the Only Way to Heaven.

The truth is that we don’t know when Christ was born. One belief, supported by both Biblical and secular history is that He was born sometime in the September/October period of time. One supporting fact is that such a time would agree with the shepherds being in the fields not too far from Bethlehem. Back when I had my own podcast I did a program on the subject of Christ’s real birthday.

I studied the subject and discovered that people who put a lot of emphasis on numbers arrived at a time in September. They even identified the day and year! I don’t know if they are right (I’m not into numerology), but when all the facts and speculations are put together September and October seem far more likely than December.

But the best we can do is speculate as to the actual date. It would be nice to know the date, but God has withheld that information. Probably because we would turn the date into some idolatrous thing. In any case, we simply don’t know the right date.

You might ask why I am writing this in a blog devoted to authoring. But our writing careers would not exist but for what He did on the Cross. There would not be Christian anything. We would all still be in our sins, without hope. Not only did He save us, he has directed our lives. And He gave us whatever writing talent we may have!

He saved us, equipped us, and is using us. Not just us, but He uses other Christians as well. Perhaps you. So whether you attend church on Christmas day (I hope you do) or not, it is a good time to remember what He did for us.

This Christmas take time to remember Him. I thank Him every day for my salvation, but on Christmas that thanks takes on a deeper more intimate meaning. He delivered me from the bondage of sin and provides daily strength and guidance.

There is much going on during Christmas day, let’s not forget the One it is all about!

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.