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Interview with Tekaramity

A while back, I asked my good friend Tekaramity if he’d let me interview him for the blog, and he graciously accepted.  The first set of questions focuses more on Tek’s contributions to the brony community (yes, this is partly an interview about interviews), and the second set focuses more on some in-depth personal questions.  Even if you’re not a brony, though, I’d encourage you to read the whole thing.  Tek is a stupendous guy, and his heart shows in all of his equally outstanding answers.  Without further ado, fillies and gentlecolts, it’s Tekaramity!

1. So, first things first for any readers who don’t know you already: Who is this Tekaramity guy?  We’ll get more in-depth with these sort of questions later, but as a sort of introduction, what are ten words that you would use to describe yourself?

Effervescent, crowd-shy, compassionate, overworked, bizarre, and organized. Like a boss. Hardcore. (This isn’t ten.)

2. Before we get to the more standard questions, let’s talk about those confounded ponies.  Most regular readers know that we met through our shared bronyhood, but how did you first become a part of the herd?

October 15th, 2010. I was lurking the Comic Edits thread on the Penny Arcade forums, and I noticed that the sophisticated and inestimable SabreMau had posted a PA edit referring to a new My Little Pony show that was “apparently quite good.” He had also posted a link to the Hub’s website for said show. Trusting his judgment, I followed the link, decided I liked the cute ponies, found the pilot (and, at the time, only) episode on YouTube at pensivepine’s channel (before she had to switch over to pensivepony), and watched MLP:FiM. By the time the theme song played, I’d decided I liked the show; by the time the credits rolled, I was hooked for life.

3. Alright, on to the big 3 – favorite pony, favorite episode, favorite song.  Which ones are yours and why?

Favorite pony: Mane6 plus Spike. Specifically, though, I like Rainbow Dash’s design best, Rarity’s dialogue best, and Pinkie Pie’s personality best.

Favorite episodes: Party of One, Suited for Success, and Cutie Mark Chronicles.

Favorite songs: Art of the Dress, Hush Now Quiet Now, and At the Gala.

Favorite music: Cutie Mark Crusading, Rarity’s second fashion show, and Pinkie’s psychotic breakdown.

Favorite fan music: Hush Now Quiet Now Ponybeat, You Gotta Share Ponybeat, and At the Gala Ponybeat. (I really like Ponybeat. A lot.)

Favorite OC ponies: Frosty Starr, Sunny Spring, and Tek Pony! ^.^

4. A while back, you joined the staff of Equestria Daily.  How have you collaborated with Sethisto, Cereal Velocity, and Phoe?  And how has your position at EqD changed the way that you interact with the community?

I’ve worked with Seth a bit on various random projects, but mostly as an adviser or assistant only. That YouTube archive is my own build completely, for the record. I’ve worked with Cereal Velocity a bit on various interview projects, mostly talking through audio engineering and final drafts. By far, I’ve worked the most closely with Phoe. First, I provided her timely feedback and suggestions for her Q&A with Jayson Thiessen; that project wound up being about 90% Phoe, 8% Tek, and 2% Cereal. Second, she and I spent hours (’til 7 AM, one night) polishing and fine-tuning my Q&A with Lauren Faust; that project wound up being about 90% Tek, 8% Phoe, and 2% Cereal (Cereal must not be whole-fat [ba-dum-TISH]). Finally, she and I teamed up most effectually to bring about the Jayson Thiessen audio interview; that project split about 45% to both Tek and Phoe, with Cereal supplying the other 10% via light audio engineering. I absolutely enjoy working with Phoe and will most certainly do so again during future interview projects.

In terms of interaction with the community, the one thing I’m not looking to be is a ‘rock star’ or famous pony fan. I made some excellent friends before I joined EqDaily and interviewed FiM crew members, and I cherish friendship more than admiration. However, I readily admit that I have made some great friends in part because of my becoming a slightly-well-known community member. I’m in this for the ponies and the friendship, but I truly do appreciate the support and encouragement from fans as well. ^_^ You rock, everypony!

5. One of your biggest and most fascinating contributions to the brony fandom has been your ever-growing number of interviews with prominent figures from the FiM team.  As I recall, your first big interview was with Daniel Ingram.  How did you secure that opportunity, and what were the high and low points of the experience?

Daniel offered to be interviewed for EqDaily back when it was relatively small (fewer than 720,000 hits). I had e-mailed him asking about the potential for a soundtrack release as well as any notifications regarding Season 2. In the middle of the exchange, he offered to be interviewed. Seth agreed to let me conduct the interview, which I readily admit I had hoped to do after reading Daniel’s offer; while I’m in no way a professionally-educated journalist, I am confident enough in my writing and cognitive processing abilities to be capable of handling this sort of project. The high points were definitely communicating with Daniel himself (he’s a jovial guy, to be sure) and being able to bring such insightful information to the community at large. The low points were fumbling through the process due to my severe lack of familiarity with it and sounding a bit fanboyish in a couple of my initial e-mails. I definitely improved on all points for my interview with Will Anderson, the show’s underscore composer.

6. Another interview that stands out is your interview with Jayson Thiessen – not only because he’s the Supervising Director of the show, but also because, unlike all of your other interviews, you actually conducted and recorded this one vocally together with co-EqD-editor Phoe.  What were some of the highlights of getting to actually talk with Jayson Thiessen?

For certain, the greatest aspect of that interview was talking with Jayson before and after the recorded segment. We were all nervous going to it – Jayson included, since he’d never done anything like this before! – but he definitely shattered the ice with his outgoing demeanor and conversational pep. By the time we reached most of the interview proper, we were basically discussing the show as a group instead of strictly interviewing him directly. After we concluded the actual interview portion, we talked further about the show’s expansion and overwhelmingly positive support. Jayson’s a swell guy, and he definitely made the entire process 720% easier. So, thanks again for that, Jayson!

7. And then, of course, there’s THE big interview: Faust herself.  If you’re at liberty to say, how did that golden opportunity come to be?  And how was this interview different from the others that you’ve conducted?

I’m probably at liberty to say, but I don’t want to say out of respect for her time and privacy. However, it wasn’t difficult to secure her interest – rather, the difficult part was the seemingly interminable wait between her acceptance and the Hub’s final approval. Once that was all set, everything flowed quite smoothly. And mostly, this interview was different because I polished and fine-tuned that question set (along with Phoe’s help) for hours on end. I spent more time preparing my side of that interview than I did preparing for my side of all my other previous interviews combined. (Fun[?] fact: I finished my side of Lauren’s interview before I finished my side of Jayson’s interview, but Jayson’s had to be moved up to the day [Monday] before we launched it on EqDaily [Tuesday] – as such, Phoe and I were a bit…pressed for time. ^_^;; Everything went swimmingly once we were aware of this, however!) Also, in talking with Lauren herself, I found that much of my communication was…bittersweet. The others – Daniel, Will, Jayson – remain on board the show. Lauren does not. This was basically her grand final farewell to MLP:FiM, and to be cognizant of the fact that *I* helped bring it out is…humbling.

8. One last pony-related question before we move on to some more general fare: what is your favorite part about this fandom and why?

The overwhelming outpouring of love, friendship, creativity, brilliance, and unity that this community continues to unleash on a daily basis is irreplaceable – and truly, truly invaluable. It’s bringing out the best in each of us, and for that it deserves so much gratitude and honor.

9. Now for a handful of more in-depth questions before we close.  What is your biggest passion?  And how does that affect the way that you live?

My biggest passion is dislodging apathy. People ought to care about their devotions – be they persons, places, or things – in order to benefit the world around them. Apathy truly frightens me, and I look to never allow it to settle in to my own life…but, beyond that, I want to show others how great they can be as well when they’re sincerely showing care and purpose.

10. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be and why?

I’d add more respect to the world, because the lack of respect in this world is hurting all other areas of it.

11. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

I’d add more respect to myself, because the lack of respect in myself is hurting all other areas of me.

12. Who are your heroes and what about them inspires you?

My mother and brother are my heroes and devotions. They have shown limitless love, wisdom, and familial support to me – and I owe it to them to repay and justify their great sacrifices. Also, some of my best friends are quite heroic to me – notably, Frostheart The Siamese, for being the absolute best friend I could possibly want. She’s an angel. ❤ Finally, this might be a bit shortsighted and human-centered, but I hope to one day reflect the sincere heart and song that I’ve seen for so long in Steven Curtis Chapman.

13. What do you want your life to look like in 5 years? At the end of your life? What are you doing today to bring that about?

In 5 years, I want to be pursuing a graduate degree in economics, serving a compassionate and progressive church, and still watching new seasons of ponies (hope against hope!). At the end of my life, I hope to have dislodged some apathy and inspired some respect. Love is the movement, Tim, but respect is the evidence and proof. Shining is helpful but passive, but inspiring…that is something. Today, I’m pursuing an undergraduate degree of economics, serving a compassionate and progressive church (oh hey, one goal accomplished already!), and watching the new season of pony (singular being the key difference here, as yet). By communicating with and loving those around me, I’m looking to begin dislodging some apathy and inspiring some respect. Also, I’m answering these questions since you nicely asked me to so very long ago. ^.^;;

14. How can we pray for you?

To gain wisdom, foresight, and perception…to lose reactivity, rigidity, and fear…to show what I say and reaffirm what I mean.

15. Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Tek, and for all of your hard work in the brony community.  Do you have any final thoughts or comments that you’d like to voice?

Stay 100% awesome, all of you! You included, Timster. =)


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Pathos: Adam Beckmeyer

It’s been a long time since I’ve conducted an interview with one of my friends to post on the blog, so I am thrilled to present to you a new Pathos feature with my good friend and fellow second cook Adam Beckmeyer.  He warned me when he sent me his answers that he does a lot of rambling and derailing and gave me permission to edit him, but those rabbit trails are part of what makes him who he is (and many of them are quite convicting), so I’m posting the unvarnished, uncensored interview for your enjoyment.  Good stuff after the jump!

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Interview with the Newton Part 2: Questions from Tek

I finally watched that Daniel Ingram interview (which was splendid, by the way), so now my subconscious seems to be content to sit in the corner humming the new Coldplay single and let me write in peace.  Hooray!  Now if I can just stay away from Hyperbole and a Half for more than fifteen minutes at a time…

Anyway, since I answered all those stellar questions from my friend Adam Swensen in yesterday’s post, I’m finishing off our little interview today with some equally inspired queries from the broniest of bronies, Tekaramity!  Let’s do this!

1. What do you hope to have accomplished by the end of your life? Yes, “God’s plan” is an answer, but I’m looking for a certain specificity. Have you established yet any goals you’ll be looking to reach long-term? Do you know yet what approaches, tools, talents, and allies you’ll need to reach those goals?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a best-selling author.  I still have a book bound in cardboard that I dictated to my mom when I was three years old.  It featured a brave knight and a princess and a baby named Penelrocker, and at the end I told her to write “look for more adventures of the prince and princess coming soon!”.  Sadly, that series was discontinued, but I held tightly to my love for  storytelling and my desire to be a famous writer.  As I matured, however, I realized that becoming famous is never an end, it’s a means,and if I were to gain all the fame in the world and use it as a means to make myself feel good then I would have utterly wasted my life.  In God’s hands, however, fame becomes such a powerful tool for influencing the culture, and as I caught the vision of how He could use me if I were both a best-selling author and a sold-out, fully-surrendered Christian I knew that that was what I wanted to pursue.  In many ways, I’d like to live a life much like that of John Green, a successful author who leverages his fame to, in his words, “decrease worldsuck and increase awesome”.  I want to proclaim the gospel, help the hurting, challenge the apathetic, and encourage the disheartened, and I want to use my passion for writing to do it.  I want to reach the world in big ways, and the only way I can do it is through perseverance, dedication, the support of my friends and family, and the power of my God.

2. Why do you write this blog? Put simply, why do you believe what you say matters to your reading audience? This isn’t a confrontational question, mind you, nor is it an assault on your writing or mindset therein. This is simply opening a venue that allows you to explain the blog’s purpose and the dedication driving it.

This is a question with which I’ve been wrestling for some time.  I started this blog as a place to post samples of my writing, and it’s slowly evolved over time into the eclectic mixture of posts that it is today.  Lately, I’ve really lost track of what exactly I’m trying to do here, and my writing has suffered as a result.  I’ve been overcritical, like if there’s any chance that someone might not like what I’m writing then it’s not good enough, and I end up spending hours writing stuff I don’t even like.  Finally, I sat down and thought about it for a while, and I realized that I’ve lost sight of why I started writing this blog.  I don’t write to impress anyone or to garner a lot of views or to become some kind of Internet celebrity.  I write to practice, I write to stretch myself creatively, and I write in the hopes that, by sharing my life and my experiences with others, I can bring them some measure of the encouragement or inspiration or laughter or guidance that God has given me.  This blog’s purpose is to brighten the day and nourish the soul of anyone who happens to stumble across it, and the best way that I know of to do that is to be myself and love God with all of my heart, and to let that come out in every post I write.

3. Suppose there exists someone you’ve personally known for quite a while (preferably much of your time alive) whose contributions into your life you really ought to acknowledge verbally more often. Acknowledge that individual, describe what that person has done for you, and explain what you hope you can do to return the investment. Be bold.

As it just so happens, someone like that really does exist, and his name is Pastor Derek Max.  Pastor Derek, I first came under your leadership as a cripplingly insecure Junior Higher.  I had almost no friends and even less confidence, but you saw that there was more to me, and you gave me the encouragement I needed to open up and overcome my shyness.  As I grew as a person and as a Christian you took time out of your life to study the Bible with me, to take me out to lunch and talk about life, to push me to reach for more.  Even when I couldn’t make it to youth group for two years in a row because of other responsibilities, you made it your mission to include me in your life.  I remember one year when I didn’t want to come to Fall Retreat.  You called me up at home and asked me why not, and you wouldn’t take any of my weak excuses.  That weekend turned out to be one of the most important of my high school years.  You gave me opportunities to use my gifts to serve the youth group, and you worked alongside me as I wrote and taught and offered me advice on how I could be better.  Your love and guidance have been fundamental in making me the man I am today, and I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever thanked you for it.  So let me say it now: thank you, Pastor Derek, for showing the love of Christ to a loner and helping him to become a leader.  I know that the only way I could adequately return your investment is to pay it forward, to invest myself in the lives of hurting youth and give to them the same gift of friendship that you’ve given so abundantly and selflessly to me.

4. Why is Photo Finish so amazing!? (I want lots of mature analysis on this one!)

One ridiculous accent + one pair of fantastic sunglasses + several quotable catchphrases + epic personal background music that follows her around everywhere = best secondary character of all time (sorry, Luna fans).
In layman’s terms, she has… DE MAGICKS!

And now, it’s time for me to sleep.  After all, tomorrow I have the thing at the place, and I don’t want to be late.  Thanks for the great questions, Tek and Adam!  I GO!

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Interview with the Newton Part One: Questions from Adam

I love interviews.  To this day, the interviews that I had the privilege to conduct with my friends Adam, Jay, and Robert back at the beginning of the year are three of my favorite posts since I started PostADay, and I hope to revive the weekly Pathos interview series soon (you can find those interviews in the “Pathos” category tab to your right.  No, down.  Too far, back up.  Yeah, that one).  Whenever I hear that someone I admire is being interviewed, I get all giddy and distractible until I get to read, watch, or listen to it.  For example, there’s a new fourteen-minute TV interview with songwriter Daniel Ingram on YouTube right now, and it’s all I can do not to watch it.  I have to keep telling my subconscious that if I don’t buckle down and write I won’t have time for either this post or  the interview before curfew tonight, but my subconscious hates logic, so he gets all huffy and starts singing “Friday” just to annoy me.

Speaking of interviews, a few weeks ago I made a post in which I asked you guys, the readers, to interview me by leaving questions for me to answer in the comments.  Two of you responded, so I’m splitting the answers post into two installments.  Today, I’ll answer questions from my best friend IRL, Adam Swensen, and tomorrow I’ll cover the questions from my best friend on the Internet, Tekaramity.  So now, without further ado, questions from Adam!

If you could go to either Haiti or Japan right now, where would you go? Why?

I’m not very well informed on either situation right now, but I think I would go to Haiti because it’s a more impoverished area.  Even before the disaster it was a bit of a focal point for humanitarian efforts, and now that they’ve undergone so much destruction and devastation they need more help than ever.

Chris Tomlin or Phil Wickham?

Wickham all the way!

Where do you want to see your life in five years?

There are a whole lot of things that I would like to do in the next five years, but I think the biggest two would be to publish a book and start a family.  As for where I want to be in my life, the only thing that really matters to me is that I’m a more mature person and Christian than I am now.  I always want to be growing, always want to be reaching for better things and higher goals, and as long as I’m becoming more like Christ He can take me wherever He wants me to go.

If there was one thing you accomplished in your life, what would that be?

I want to start something that keeps on making the world a better place and proclaiming the name of Christ long after I’m gone.  That’s part of why I’m so enamored with writing, because the written word can reach into places in both time and space that the author could never go and affect people that the author never even gets a chance to meet.  Ideally, I’d like to start a charity that reaches out to kids from broken families.  My family means the world to me, and one of the things that never fails to shatter my heart is when children are left without that love and support in their lives because their parents either could not or would not stay with them.  As long as I have the capacity to love I want to give that love to those who need it most.

What are your favorite attributes of God?

God’s patience astounds me every day.  He has been so gracious with me in all of my foolishness and selfishness, through all of the times that I’ve pushed Him aside and refused to surrender my will to His.  He’s always waiting to take me back when I realize that I was wrong, and He’s always working through my circumstances to pursue me even when I’m not pursuing Him.  I love that about Him.

Twitter or Facebook?

Facebook, but mostly because my phone really doesn’t cooperate with Twitter.

Favorite YouTuber? Why?

John Green.  He is a fellow author and the most articulate, passionate, thoughtful man on YouTube, and he often inspires me to reach for more as a writer and even as a person and as a friend.  He makes me think when most YouTubers are just out to make me laugh.  Not that I don’t love a good laugh, of course, but we need more than entertainment and John Green delivers that something more.

Recent music obsession? (Or what you have been listening to) Why?

The music from MLP:FiM Season 1.  There’s no official soundtrack released yet, but you can find a lot of the background music and songs on YouTube, and it is spectacular.  There are also some great remixes (Eurobeat Brony is the man) and even a few fan compositions that I enjoy greatly, like this one.  So.  Awesome.

Favorite Needtobreathe song? Why?

“Let Us Love” hands down.  It’s such a joyful song, but it’s not a clueless joy.  It’s the kind of joy that says, “I know that the world is broken and that life is hard, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t give all we’ve got and love with all of our hearts.”  In fact, that’s exactly what the song urges us to do, and that’s an encouragement that we could all use.

If you could only see one band/musician in concert ever, who would that be?

Switchfoot.  Absolutely, unequivocally Switchfoot.  They are my favorite band, and I’ve heard that they’re unbeatable live.  I’d be willing to give up going to concerts for the rest of my life if only I could see them in concert once.

If you could hang out and talk to 3 people for a day, like well known people, who would those 3 be?

John Green and his brother Hank come readily to mind.  As for the third, probably Charlie McDonnell.  He seems like he’d be a blast to hang out with, and he’s already friends with the Green brothers.  Yeah, a day with the Vlogbrothers and Charlie would be pretty much amazing.

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Pathos: Robert Wallace

Robert Wallace is my next door neighbor in the dorm I call home, and he is both a talented musician and bold-hearted lover of Christ. Find out how he would change the world – and maybe accidentally destroy it – in this week’s Pathos interview.

The Author’s Apprentice: What is your greatest passion? How are you using that?

Robert Wallace: This question plagues me often. At first glance I would say music, but this does not cover it. I really want to use music as a tool to encourage and exhort. Lots of my friends at Moody Bible Institute surpass me in musicality. Though few of them share my same passion to specifically direct it towards uplifting believers and travel extensively while doing it. Adventure paces in my heart. I cannot put it to sleep. So perhaps I will eventually search out the far-forgotten places of this country. If not I’ll settle down with my wife and have 20 children or so – that would be an adventure!

TAA: If everyone in the world gathered around to hear you speak for five minutes, what would you tell them?

RW: They would not understand me. If they did, I would tell them all to jump at the same time – just to see what would happen. On a more serious note, I would exclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them!

TAA: If it was up to you to change the world, how would you go about it?

RW: I would help plant a church movement in Chicago that would multiply itself every 2-3 years. I would help plant a church next to every stop on the “L”. After that, I would do the same in every other “Alpha” city in the world. (http://northshorecrossing.org/)

TAA: Who are your heroes? Why do they inspire you?

RW: Systematically I have heroes and then see how flawed they are in some aspect of their character. The greatest example of this is electric bass virtuoso, Victor Wooten; incredible player, amazing talent, horrible spiritual ideas.
However, probably the most continuing “hero” that I have (besides Christ) would be a friend of mine from high school, Nate. He is four years older than me. Seeming to possess all the creative juices the human race has in one body, he taught me a lot about music philosophy and how to be cool in general.

TAA: What is your favorite thing about being a student at Moody? The biggest challenge?

RW: Favorite thing about Moody – the intense classes.
Least favorite thing – the intense classes.

TAA: How can the readers of The Author’s Apprentice pray for you?

RW: Pray that I would learn to manage my time in a God respecting way and that I can encourage those around me.

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Pathos: Jay Lauser

This week on Pathos, I had the privilege of interviewing Jay Lauser, the creator and administrator of the Holy Worlds Christian Fantasy Forum.  Jay is a man with an obvious love for God, an equally apparent passion for excellence, and many firm, grounded convictions.  Be sure to swing by his website, Sir Emeth, after you read the interview, and if you’re an author or reader of Christian fantasy, give the Holy Worlds Forum a look – it’s pretty much amazing.  Now, without further ado, Jay Lauser:
The Author’s Apprentice: What is your greatest passion?
Jay Lauser: This question is kind of like those annoying “what is your favorite book” questions. There are two reasons I don’t like those. One is that I have a ridiculously hard time picking a favorite of anything, and the other is that of course the Bible is my favorite, hands down. Everything else is leagues below it.
Thankfully, my greatest passion is much easier. My greatest passion is to serve and glorify God, but the unique vision and calling that He has given me is much more specific than that. Thus that fundamental passion is expressed through my subordinate passion of Liberty. Liberty in thought, in lexicology, in government, in family, in church, everywhere. I tend to focus most on liberty in lexicology, though.
See, I define liberty a bit differently than most people. I define it as the freedom to do what is right. So liberty in lexicology would be freedom from sophist lies and manipulations of communication so that we can articulate ourselves clearly and effectively for the glory of God.
This over-arching passion links together and drives everything I do.
TAA: If it was up to you to change the world, how would you go about it?
JL: Depends on what I wanted to change about it. * chuckles * But I guess that is kind of an implied question there, so I will answer both.
I would like to change the way people think and make them all agree with me, of course. But since even God doesn’t do that, I guess that isn’t really an option. And besides, it really isn’t that good of an idea anyways.
But if you leave that out, you are left with few other options. Mostly everything is tied directly to people’s own decisions about things. And I can’t change those.
Above all, I would like to change the fact that there isn’t a nation on the planet that exists in a state that is based completely off of the Bible and nothing else. America was pretty close when it was founded, but it fell short back then, and now it is even farther from that ideal. This world needs a nation dedicated to God in every facet of its existence.
Of course a lot of people would like that too, but few would consider it possible. I think it is, though, and I also think it is a worthy goal. There are several options for how to go about making it become a reality, but I think the most likely to succeed is also the most risky: gathering a large group of like-minded individuals, moving to an uninhabited location, and setting up a new nation. Far-fetched, but plausible, with the right preparation.
TAA: What gave you the idea for Holy Worlds?
JL: Haha, well it was a combination of two things, mostly. First off, I got tired of repeating myself when I talked to my friends about my fantasy world, and figured it would be a good idea to put them all in one spot for them all to read for themselves. Secondly, I figured they would probably like to do the same things as well, and not only just so I could read them. I figured they would like to read about each other’s as well. So a forum was the natural solution.
And since I already knew about forum management from my previous forum experiences (on Liberty’s Light and the Rebelution forums), I was able to get it off to a good start.
TAA: What is one lesson that you’ve learned through working on Holy Worlds?
JL: That you can’t do stuff by yourself.
People like to congratulate and thank me because Holy Worlds is such a great place. And it is. But I didn’t do it. Yes, I got it off to a good start, and set up the rules and guidelines that made it tick, but forums like Holy Worlds and the communities that go with them don’t just pop up out of nowhere. The fact that we haven’t had a single unruly member that we have had to delete or even warn in the year and 200 members we have so far is a miracle, plain and simple.
The work that goes into maintaining it is also quite simply impossible for me to do by myself. Even a tiny part of it is impractical for me to handle. That is why I am eternally grateful to my wonderful, amazing forum team. They have got us through some tough times and sticky situations very ably, and I completely trust them with my forum. Again, a team like that just doesn’t come from nowhere: they are a blessing from God.
TAA: If you had the world gathered around to listen to you for five minutes, what would you tell them?
JL: “Please back off: I don’t have room to breathe!”
Just kidding. I would probably start off with an illustration disconnected with anything and then move into an impassioned speech on something I have no idea about. It is difficult talking to people about anything when you know that there are thousands of people in your audience that know many times more than you in most subjects you could talk about, and that only a couple people would be interested in the other stuff. * chuckles *
But I think the most effective thing I could possibly do would be to talk about worldviews, and how only the Christian worldview can possibly be internally consistent, basing it off of Jason Lisle’s incredible talk on the subject. It might get a couple million people thinking at least. 🙂
TAA: Who are your heroes and why?
JL: My biggest hero is William Wilberforce, although there are several other men that I look up to and follow after quite assiduously.
I picked him because he is so much like what I want to be: a man who defied the cultural expectations of his day and persevered in not only one grand object of his life, but in several. He impacted the world like few other men have done, and we are still enjoying the blessings that are from his life. He not only brought about the abolition of slavery in England, but brought about a massive revolution of morals in England which spread to the States, setting an amazing example of God’s power wrought in one man in modern times. We have no excuses.
My father is my largest hero other than Wilberforce. I trust and rely on him implicitly, and respect his skills, knowledge, understanding, and devotion to God as I do no other living man. I am extremely blessed by his presence in my life, and for how he has put up with all the troubles I have given him over the years.
TAA: How can the readers of The Author’s Apprentice pray for you?
JL: Well my greatest weakness, surprisingly enough, considering all the projects I start, is laziness. I have to work real hard to … make myself work hard. Which is pretty awkward when you think about it. Haha. So prayer on that point would be greatly appreciated by me (and, I am sure, by all the people I delegate stuff to, haha).



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Pathos: Adam Swensen

Earlier this week, my friend Adam Swensen interviewed me for a post on his blog, The Next Generation, the first in his new weekly series called “Fire-starters”.  I really caught onto his vision for the series, and with his permission I’ve decided to start a similar series of weekly posts here on The Author’s Apprentice called “Pathos” (Greek for “passion”) featuring interviews with Christians who want to be used by God in big ways.  This week, I interviewed none other than Adam Swensen, a teenager who is incredibly passionate about God, people, and justice.

The Author’s Apprentice: If you only had one day left to live, what would you do and why?

Adam Swensen: I think I would put out a blog and vlog stating my situation. I would tell everyone I could that I love them.  I would definitely hang out with my family.  I would pass on my blog to someone to continue writing.  I would definitely make sure everyone knows that I love them.

TAA: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be and why?

AS: I would definitely become friends with homeless people, former slaves, kids that think about suicide, and the kids with no friends.  I really can’t say that I have one way I want to change the world, but I would like to begin speaking and seeing our generation rise!

TAA: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

AS: I would definitely change my habit of procrastinating and wasting time.  Time wasting and procrastination are my worst enemies.  I wish I was more organized.  I have begun in the process of changing those things… lemme tell you, it is tough!

TAA: Who are your heroes and what about them inspires you?

AS: Zach Hunter and E.J. Swanson are my heroes.  When Zach was 12, he became aware that there are still slaves – 27 million to be exact. Well he didn’t just sit and weep for those 27 million.  He went out and did something.  Through the course of events, he became the global spokesperson for Amazing Change, an organization founded through the movie Amazing Grace.  He started a student campaign called Loose Change to Loosen Chains.  It is student-run, and exists as a money raiser for organizations fighting slavery.  He has written 3 books (his first one when he was 15) and he is still a teen! That in itself is inspirational. He did all those things that ADULTS are doing, and he is just a teen! He is evidence God will use us if we are open to it.
E.J. Swanson is my adult hero.  He is a nationally known speaker.  He has shared the stage with Big Daddy Weave, David Crowder Band, and many more and he is only 26!  The way he invests in teens is exactly how I want to.  He is very inspiring and encourages teens to do big things!

TAA: What do you want your life and ministry to look like in 5 years? 15 years? At the end of your life? What are you doing today to bring that about?

AS: In five years, I would like to have started speaking in churches all over and be used by God to MOVE my generation. In 15 years, I would like to see myself as a known author of several books, still glorifying God, and still being used by him! At the end of my life I want to be able to look back and KNOW I was used by God. As of right now, I am writing blogs, preaching whenever I can, and investing what I can into others.

TAA: What is your passion?

AS: My passion is to be used by the BIG God we have! When I die, I want to die KNOWING I stood for something, and I want people to see that!

TAA: What makes you angry?

AS: Social injustices make me angry. Whether it is unfairness at work, a guy disrespecting a girl, bullying, or slavery! I was born a sensitive person and can’t stand to see people go through stuff that is not right.

TAA: If everyone in the world gathered together to listen to you speak for five minutes, what would you say to them?

AS: I would tell the Christians to MOVE! I would tell them that we have the same power that rose Christ from the dead, we just need to use it! When we learn to use it, our lives will begin to be lived as more of what Christ lived! For the unbelievers, I would tell them they are loved and that there is a God who can’t stand for them to live without seeing Him! I would tell them that HE IS THEIR HOPE and nothing else will satisfy! I would hope that the Christians would also take that to heart.  I am seeing more and more Christians falling in to sex, drugs, and alcohol. WE HAVE THE LOVE OF GOD IN US!  He should and can satisfy us alone!

TAA: How can we pray for you?

AS: You can pray for me that I would be used by God and that I would be open to His will. I need direction as to what to do after high school. I also need prayer for the elimination of my time wasting and procrastination habits!


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