Tag Archives: Jay Lauser

In Which I Say Thank You a Lot

I was originally going to create a thank-you video on my YouTube channel to celebrate the 9,001st view here on my blog, but after spending about two hours on the project I realized two very important things:

1. I have absolutely no presence on film.  I am much more eloquent with writing than I am with speaking, and I couldn’t really communicate all of the gratefulness and love that I wanted to convey in that video.

2. Windows Live Movie Maker was either programmed by a team of drunk squirrels or a sadist bent on torturing video editors who can’t afford any other programs.  I was 85% finished with the editing and the program slowly began consuming all of my video files and turning them into clips of blackness and silence.

At this point I was just about ready to re-film the whole thing anyway in an attempt to make it more interesting and less unbearably long, so when that happened I decided to call the project off and do what I do best: write.  (On the bright side, I did manage to make a small “OVER 9000” tribute video yesterday.  You can see that here.)  9,000 views is a big milestone, and, to be honest, one I wasn’t expecting to reach in the foreseeable future, so I’ve got a lot of people to thank.  Let’s get started!

First, a huge thank you to my best friend Adam Swensen, the man responsible for my blog’s very existence.  It was he who, several thousand Internet-years ago in the summer of 2009, suggested that I might enjoy blogging.  He has a blog of his own, “The Next Generation”, where he posts inspirational and challenging articles about life and Christianity, I highly recommend giving it a read.  Adam, thank you for getting me interested in this whole blogging business and for being so encouraging and supportive throughout the first two and a half years. Also, thank you for being one of my closest friends in real life, and for never failing to brighten my day.  I love you, sir!

Next in line for a thank you is the inimitable Jay Lauser.  He and I met way back in the day, when my blog was called “Legend of the Dreamseers” and I used it primarily as a platform for promoting my fantasy writing.  Jay is a Christian fantasy writer as well, and when he found my work one day he left several encouraging comments and requested that I stop by and take a look at his blog, “Sir Emeth Mimetes”, sometime.  I did, it was (and still is) amazing, we kept in touch via comments and, later, via his amazing Holy Worlds Forums (if you’re a Christian and love sci-fi or fantasy you should really check those out), and we became good friends.  I haven’t been around Holy Worlds much lately because of the busyness of school, but I still do check Jay’s blog occasionally and I love his passion for God and his penchant for thinking deeply about life.  Thank you for encouraging me to keep going when my blog was still in its infancy, Jay, and for giving me so much useful feedback to help me improve as a writer.

On that note, thank you to everyone in the Holy Worlds community who has befriended me and read my blog over the years.  I know I won’t be able to name you all, but you know who you are.  You’ve been a great help and a big encouragement to me, and I thank you for that.

I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the bronies who have stopped by over the past two months since I jumped on the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic bandwagon with my first Pony Saturday post, “Confound These Ponies”, in February.  Since then, that has become the single most popular post on my blog, receiving about thirty hits a day from Google searches and a few friendly folks who have been kind enough to spread the link in various forums and such.  While I know that you guys probably don’t keep up with the blog on any regular basis, your visits to my Pony Saturday posts make up over 1/6 of my first nine thousand views nevertheless, so you deserve my sincerest thanks.  You guys are easily the most friendly, welcoming, creative, and all-around wonderful fan community I’ve ever seen, and I consider it a privilege to be counted as one of you.  *Brohoof*.

There’s one person in particular that I need to single out from this group, and that is the incredible Tekaramity.  If you don’t recognize that name, you obviously haven’t been around here lately.  Tek commented on my first Pony Saturday post two months ago, and he’s become a welcome addition to the regular suspects around The Author’s Apprentice since then.  Shortly after his comment, we got in touch via email and grew to be close friends, and I’m truly grateful to have met him.  Tek, thank you for being a wonderful friend, a dependable brother in Christ, and a continual source of encouragement in my life.  Much love to you, brony!  (Also, for those of you who don’t know, Tek has a YouTube channel filled with top-notch Mario Paint Composer remixes of songs from Friendship is Magic that you should really go check out.  Seriously, it’s good stuff.)

Next, and by far the most important, I’m grateful to my incredible, supportive, beautiful, fantastic, loving family.  I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect group of people to which to belong, and I love you all more than I can express.  Dad, thank you for your encouraging and challenging comments, they always drive me to think deeper about the topics that I address.  You’re a true man of God and my role model as I grow up and head out into the world.  Mom, thank you for being such a source of joy in my life.  I love reading your cheerful comments and knowing that you’re keeping up with my writing from home.  To all three of my siblings, thank you for not just being my siblings, but my very best friends as well.  To be so close to all three of you even after you witnessed all of my quirks and faults growing up is, simply put, a far greater blessing than I deserve.  I can’t even begin to list all of the things for which you deserve my thanks, so I’ll just hit the highlights.  Andrew, thank you for reaching out to your little brother and being such a big part of my life.  Some of my greatest memories are the times that we spent together, and you’ve always been one of my biggest encouragements when it comes to writing.  Jonathan, thank you for being the best little brother a guy could have.  Growing up with you has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, and I consider it a privilege to continue being your friend even as we grow older and begin to head in separate directions.  I’ll never stop loving you, never stop missing you, and never stop making sure that you know it.  Christiana, thank you for loving me far and above what I deserve.  I smile for the rest of the day every time I get one of your letters, and whenever I come home I know that you’re going to be the first one to meet me in the driveway with your biggest hug and a dozen great stories about what I missed while I was gone.  I love all of you more than I can express, and if no one else read my blog but you I would keep writing just so that I had another way to keep in touch with you.

Finally, I’d like to thank every single one of you who has read my blog in the past two and a half years.  Whether you’re responsible for a large chunk of those views or just one, thank you for coming and making this blog the most fun experiment I’ve ever tried.  Dozens and dozens of wonderful stories have shaped the writing of this blog, and hundreds more have arisen from the friends I’ve met and the interactions I’ve had, and I owe it all to you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping to make The Author’s Apprentice what it is today, and I look forward to another two and a half years of adventures with you.

And, of course, my greatest and most heartfelt thank you goes to the Author of my story and every other story in His creation.  God, 9000 views means absolutely nothing if you aren’t glorified by my writing.  Thank you for giving me this gift for the written word and for giving me this wonderful opportunity to use it, and thank you for writing my story so beautifully so far.  I can’t wait to see what you have written out for the next two and a half years.

My love goes out to all of you, and may God bless you,

– Timothy Newton



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When I started this blog two years ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Adam Swensen told me that I’d like it, so I gave it a shot, and, as is often the case, God had plans for it that I couldn’t anticipate.  Those plans have included meeting new friends, reconnecting with old friends, trying new things, and learning some valuable lessons.  All along the way, I’ve found my greatest source of joy and encouragement through comments from and interactions with all of you, my readers, and since today marks the 5,000th view, it seems like the perfect time to thank you all for your support.  Thank you for spurring me on in my dream of being a writer, for reading my posts and offering advice and sparking insightful dialog in the comments.  To my family, thank you for showing me so much love, especially since I’ve been gone at school.  I cherish every point of contact that I can have with you, including this one.  To my real-world friends (here’s looking at you, Adam and Danike, among many others), thank you for making such an effort to keep our connection strong even though I’m in a completely different state.  And to the people to whom I’ve been introduced through this blog, like Jay and Tek, it’s been a pleasure and an honor getting to know you and hearing about how God is working in your lives.  I’m glad you chose to introduce yourselves.  I’m truly grateful to everyone who’s come here and been involved in this little piece of my life, and I can’t wait to find out what kind of fun, adventure, and unexpected blessings the coming years bring.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Tim Newton

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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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