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Blog by Ron – Facing Change

Facing change is part of our daily experience. Hardly a day goes by but that we are reminded we live in a changing world. How does this impact Christian authors? How should Christians react to change?

Facing Change is Constant.

Change is everywhere, but it seems more rampant in writing. That may be because I am an author and more sensitive to it in a literary way. I can remember when we changed from traditional print to print on demand. We had time to adjust, analyze, and finally accept.

Print-on-demand revolutionized all manner of printing. Though it came upon us quickly, it wasn’t too fast. Writers accepted the new technology and started using it.

There are examples throughout life of constant change. The problem isn’t that it is constant or that it is everywhere. The problem is something else.

Facing Change is Speeding Up.

I started out by using Print on Demand as an example. It was an example of when things were slower. But now our world is moving so fast! An example of this is Artificial Intelligence or AI.

AI has been around for awhile in fiction and in college science class. It excited the imagination which led to entertaining stories. However, in 2023 it went into turbo drive. Or so it seemed.

Artificial Intelligence invaded the literary world. All of a sudden, it seemed to explode into the writing world. It had been building up to that. If you step back and look at search engines and how they have evolved, they are raw AI. They had the power to examine data and form conclusions that fed into the algorithms used by Facebook and others.

It all seemed benign, but now it has grown up to possibly be a threat.

AI has Real Dangers

Even as authors were becoming aware of AI through such tools as CHATgpt, we quickly began hearing stories that are alarming. One such story involves a famous female writer, will remain unnamed, who discovered that there is a book on the market barring her name. The trouble is she didn’t write it. Somebody else had used AI to mimic her writing style and then sell the book as it she wrote it. The famous author didn’t receive a penny.

That represents a real danger to all authors.

Facing Change impacts more than Authors

Unscrupulous people are threatening authors through AI. But there are other types of change besides AI. Sometimes change is forced upon us by the government, the economy, or foreign powers.

Right now, our country is facing a changing world where gas prices seem to change on an almost daily basis. The United States and perhaps the world is reeling from these changes. Whether by incompetence or by design, oil prices seem more unstable as ever.

Morals are also changing. There could be an argument that morals always change with each succeeding generation. And to an extent there is value in that argument. But since the end of World War II there has been a growing loss of morality. It started in the 1940s, grew in the 1950s, exploded in the 1960x and 1970s with God being kicked out of public education, to now where government leaders openly defy moral behavior.

How Should We React?

Those of us that are Christians need to take a stand. Unfortunately, the visible church has become corrupted. There are plenty of churches that have succumbed to the world and no longer preach Christ. Some have adopted the world’s view of what is right and wrong. The result are churches which no longer preach the gospel.

  • That means we need to pray for our country.
  • Pray for a return to the Bible.
  • Pray for the future.
  • Learn about AI and other new inventions.
  • how to use them for good.
  • Most of all be a good Christian citizen.

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R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at Home – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com).

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Blog by Ron – A Writer’s Greatest Joy

A Writer’s Greatest Joy is not getting the book finished, nor getting the book published, nor having great sales. Great reviews are special, but they fail to reach greatest joy.

The Greatest Joy for a Writer

The greatest joy for a writer is different. I am writing from the perspective of over 20 years as an author, a published author. I have had good sales. I have had bestsellers in TR Bookstore. I have had 4- and 5-star reviews, an accomplishment that every author should desire. The acknowledgment of others is special!

 In addition, I have had double digit books published over that span of years. These have been fiction and nonfiction. I am currently working on 2 novels, plus a nonfiction book.

The Greatest Joy is:

But none of that moves me as much as the knowledge that readers were moved by my works. For example, “He makes the Bible come alive.”

Or “I had to go to the Bible to see if what you wrote was true.”

These are statements that please my soul. Why? Because it means the reader not only was entertained or informed, but they were also touched enough that they acted. It means my books influenced people!

Influenced People?

Yes, when you receive evidence of such results it brings an amazing sense of accomplishment to you. It is a compliment that goes beyond dollars and cents, beyond a simple ‘like’ or kind words. Those all please me, but this acknowledgment that I influence people goes far beyond anything else.

Don’t get me wrong. I love sales, primarily because sales are needed to run the company, to provide for my daily living, and to have fun. Sales enable me to tithe, pay taxes, go on trips, and to help others. Sales are necessary.

To influence people is phenomenal! But to know that I have influenced others is something there are no words to express.

___

R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at Home – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com), but to learn more go to Our Unique Guarantee – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com).

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Blog by Ron – The Resurrection

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a hotly debated issue. Some people say it never happened. These have their heads in the sand.

Others say He was resurrected in the spirit. But that leaves a body in the tomb, yet the tomb has been and is empty.

Still others believe that He was bodily resurrected and coming back. These people have a rock-solid faith.

Let’s take a closer look.

The Cross

A literal reading of the Word of God leads to the belief that Christ was crucified on Wednesday and arose Sunday morning. Some people believe that He was crucified on Friday and celebrate the day as Good Friday. This is not supported with scripture unless you divide the days.

Why?

Simple math. You cannot get three days and nights which comprise 72 hours into two days (Friday and Saturday). The only way this is achieved is be dividing the days which neither the context nor the actual wording support.

Part of the confusion rests on the sabbath. There is the sabbath which occurs on Saturday, and the Passover, a high day or high sabbath. In John 19:14, 31 we learn that Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover, the next day. Thus, the crucifixion was on Wednesday, not Friday.

Another factor is the confusion over how long Jesus was in the tomb. It was three days and three nights. Only a crucifixion on Wednesday allows this. Consider that Thursday the Passover began in our time Wednesday at 6pm (sundown). This means Jesus was in the tomb (using our time) from Wednesday 6pm to 6am (night), Thursday 6pm to 6am, and Friday 6pm to 6am. He was also in the tomb in our time from Thursday 6am to 6pm (day), Friday 6am to 6pm, and Saturday 6am to 6pm.

Thus He was in the tomb three days and three nights, and was resurrected sometime after 6pm Saturday which was the beginning of Sunday. The stone was rolled away at dawn not to let Jesus out but to allow the women to look in.

The Resurrection Means No Body in the Tomb

There are a great number of man-made religions in the world and the bones of the founders never left the burial place. But we know that Jesus left the tomb and was seen of many. At one time He appeared to some 500 people. While it is possible to delude one or two people at the same time, it is not possible to delude 500 at the same time.

The Resurrection is Absolute

Some deniers claim the resurrection is unimportant. That is because they think that Christianity is just another religion. But it is more than a religion, it is a relationship between God and man through the God-man Jesus Christ. If Christ was not resurrected then He was buried and no longer lives. If He no longer lives there is no hope for us, we are most miserable (1 Cor. 15:19).

The Resurrection is Historical

After the crucifixion Christ appeared to many people as noted above. It was the fact of the resurrection that empowered the early church to dig deep roots and survive the persecution that came.  That led to the imprisonment of the apostles and none recanted their belief in the resurrection. Look at this list:

  • Peter: crucified upside down.
  • Andrew: crucified on an X.
  • Phillip: crucified upside down.
  • Thomas: stabbed with spears.
  • Matthew: murdered after scolding a king.
  • Bartholomew: skinned alive.

None of these recanted in their belief in the resurrected Christ.

The church itself would have died quickly if the resurrection were a lie.

Although the Jewish culture had always had Saturday worship, the church began worshipping on Sunday immediately! The only explanation is the resurrection.

The Jewish sacrificial system was abandoned and disappeared shortly after the resurrection. While many reasons may be given, the only one that makes any sense is they are no longer needed.

Jesus Himself told the Pharisees that He would be raised (John 2:19).

The resurrection was real and well documented. It is an historical fact that changed the world. Jesus Christ came to take your sins and mine and to take them to the cross. There He dismissed His spirit and died in our place. He was buried in a tomb and arose after three days and nights in the tomb. And He ever lives and will come back for us some day soon!

___

R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at Home – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com).