Tag Archives: questions

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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Questions Part Two

So last week I posted asking all of you lovely readers to give me a few of your favorite questions so that I could use them in an upcoming blog.  Two or three of you responded with some excellent questions, but I’d really love to hear from more of you, so tonight I am shamelessly creating a second questions request post.  I’m looking for all kinds of questions, especially ones that are fun and creative, so feel free to ask whatever you’d like.  I’ve always enjoyed asking you guys questions and reading your answers in the past, so I figured it would be fun to try it the other way around, and the questions I’ve gotten so far have been great.  I can’t wait to read your questions and have fun answering them, so don’t be bashful – let me know what’s on your mind!  Leave your questions in the comments below, and have a great night.

Also, because I feel bad for the lack of actual content, have some laughter courtesy of Julian Smith:

“With Child” – One of Julian’s funniest skits

“Racist Coffee” – One of Julian’s most endearingly quirky music videos

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Question Mark Exclamation Point

Last week I made a post full of questions for you guys to answer, and I had a lot of fun interacting with you in the comments and reading both the silly and the serious things that you had to say.  So tonight, I decided to open the floor and ask you to ask me a few questions of your own.  You can ask me one question or you can ask me a dozen, they can be deep or lighthearted or unusual or revealing or funny or random, they can be things you want to know about me or just things you thought would be funny to see me try to answer, just fill up that comment section below with your questions.  Once I’ve collected a considerable collection of queries, I’ll gather them up, whisk them away to my secret writer cave/laboratory, and throw them into the all-purpose, super-scientific diabolical device which will create a vlog with the answers to each and every one of them.  So step right up, drop your questions in the slot, and help me make a video – for science!

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Feedback

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a question of the day, and I’ve missed interacting with all of you guys, so today’s post is going to be all about questions.

First, a few fun questions to break the ice:

1. What’s your favorite joke?

2. If you could go anywhere in the world for a day for free, where would you go?

3. What is the surest way to cheer you up when you’re feeling down?

Now, a few things I’d love to hear your opinion about concerning the blog:

1. What’s your favorite post?  Why?

2. What’s your least favorite post?  Why?

3.  What’s a topic I’ve never written about that you’d like to see me cover?

4. Would you be interested in writing a guest post for me at any time this year?

5. Would you be interested in having me write a guest post for you (obviously this one only applies to fellow bloggers)?

6. Should I bring the weekly interview feature (Pathos) back?  And who would you like to see me interview?

7. Would you say you’re a regular reader, a casual browser, or barely ever around (and yes, I’d love to hear from all three categories)?

8. Go ahead and leave any other advice, criticisms, or jelly beans you’d like to give me, I’m always open to them (especially to jelly beans).

This is the part where you get to speak your piece, so go on!  Post your answers to whichever questions you’d like to answer in the comments below.  I’m looking forward to hearing what you think, so don’t be shy.  Fire away!

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Song of the Week: These Things Take Time by Sanctus Real

When it comes to picking a song of the week, there are about three possible scenarios.  Some weeks, I can’t choose one because I draw a blank and the only songs I can call to mind are all of the previous songs of the week and the theme song from Corner Gas.  Other weeks, I have difficulty picking a song because every song that I’ve ever loved from the age of eight until today is stuck in my head vying for my attention.  Then there are weeks like this one, where I’ve had the song on my mind for days just waiting for Wednesday to arrive so it can take its rightful place as song of the week.  I like those weeks.

 

This week’s song is “These Things Take Time”, from the album Pieces of a Real Heart by Sanctus Real.

I love this song because it addresses the human hunger for answers in a confusing world, and it offers the most honest answer of all: we can’t always know.  The lyrics emphasize a patient trust that as we move closer to heaven and to our Savior the truth will grow clearer.  It’s a hard lesson to learn, but there is great peace in acknowledging that there are things that only God knows.  Enjoy the song, and don’t forget to leave your suggestions for future songs of the week in the comments below.

Lyrics:

I want to know why pain makes me stronger
I want to know why good men die
Why am I so afraid of the dark
But I stray from the light?

I want to know why You gave me eyes
When faith is how I see
And tell me is it easier to doubt
Or harder to believe?

Oh, there’s so many questions stirring in me

Chorus:
And I’m wondering why
Sometimes the truth ain’t easy to find
I want to know all the answers
But I’m learning that
These things take time
These things take time

How can success make us feel like failures?
And the harder we fall the harder we try
The more I have the more I need
Just to feel like I’m getting by

Oh, there’s so many questions and one short life

CHORUS

EPIC GUITAR

And we spend so much time
Chasing our tails, hoping to find
Every last answer to everything in life
So many questions, not enough time

But I’m still wondering why
Sometimes the truth ain’t easy to find
I want to know all the answers
But I’m learning that
These things take time
These things take time

We all want to understand why
Evil wins and good men die
On the way to heaven the truth unwinds
These things take time
These things take time

Cover art from album-cover-art.org

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