Character Bio: Marin

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I don’t know who this is, but this is what I imagine Marin looks like.

So at the beginning of this year, one of the things I had planned on doing was posting a character bio for one of my characters and holding a mock interview. Well, I’m finally doing that. Here is the character bio for the main character of a story I am writing. (I don’t have a name for the book yet.) The characters name is Marin. Please read her bio and then post questions to ask her. They can be questions about her past, her family, her hopes and dreams, her fears, her likes and dislikes. Post any questions you can think to ask. I will post the interview this weekend. Thanks!

Character Bio: Marin Winchell

Marin is a 17 year old nurse living in the city of Chalmette. Marin is different than most nurses working at the city’s hospital. She truly cares for the people that come in. She has compassion for those society has deemed unimportant or less worthy to live than others. While the society bases worth on what a person can do for the community, Marin bases it on the Bible. She sees all individuals as created in the image of God and valuable no matter what they can or can’t do. Of course she can’t voice her views.

In the year 2567, all religion is banned. Even the mention of God is a crime punishable by death. Crime runs rampant through the streets. The people are brutalized by soldiers known as Enforcers. The wealthy live in luxury, while the common people starve.

Two years previously, Marin’s home town of Tolono was wiped out by the Enforcers. Forced to leave her parents and brother behind, she and her sister Jaymie fled to Chalmette. The Donovan’s, old friends of their family, took them in, and in return Marin and Jaymie help out with the three children. They also found a friend in Caleb, a young mechanic who works at the hospital and fellow Christian.

Marin hates the Enforcers for what they did to her family, but feels helpless to do anything about their tyranny. Rebel groups have begun fighting against the Enforcers and Marin wonders whether they have the right idea but is conflicted because of her other beliefs.

Post your questions in the comments below!

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Roadblocks to Leadership WVA

This is a continuation of my series of post about what I learned at Worldview Academy. I hope you enjoy.

Now that we’ve talked a bit about leadership, lets talk about some things that keep us all from being leaders. We all have roadblocks to leadership.

There are three categories of roadblocks. These are lack of , fear of, and tendency to be. Lets talk about the first one. Lack of something. What are somethings we can lack that prevent us from leading. Maybe its opportunities, or resources, or maybe we lack the time we need. What ever it is we, as Christians must remember 2 good things.

  1.    Our Heavenly Father is very rich. What ever we need, we can ask of Him. He is willing to give us what we need to complete His purposes.
  2.    We have time! We always make time for what is important to us. Let’s make sure what is important to us is honoring to God and that we are spending our time wisely.

The next roadblock to leadership is fear of something. All I have to say about this one is what do we, as Christians, have to fear. Man? They can kill of the body. They can not kill the soul. Man’s judgment? If God approves you, what else matters? Fear God alone. He is the only one with the power. He is the only one who’s opinion matters.

The finally roadblock to leadership is the tendency to be. I must admit, this is the one that stood out to me the most. These are the things that we often don’t notice or can’t see in ourselves. The best way to discover these tendencies is to ask someone you know about them. Ask your parents, a mentor, wise people around you, or a close friend. When you discover a tendency, run from it!

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. Until next time. God bless.

(All this information, was learned at Worldview Academy Leadership camp. If you wish to learn more about WVA, you can visit there website at http://www.worldview.org/)

The Driven Leader WVA

This is a continuation of my series of post about what I learned at Worldview Academy. I hope you enjoy. So my plan was to do a longer post about the character driven leader that I mentioned in my last post but I find that my notes for that lecture are a bit lacking. So I will have to keep this short. There are two types of leaders. There are Charisma driven leaders and Character driven leaders. The Charisma driven leader is influenced by the people around him or is field of influence. The Character driven leader influences his field. This is because while the Charisma driven leader desires recognition, the character driven leader is seeking after righteousness. While the Charisma driven leader demands rights, the character driven leader takes responsibility. The Charisma driven leader uses up resources. The Character driven leader gives out rewards. The Charisma driven leader has relations. The character driven leader has relationships. Lastly to the Charisma driven leader there are many realities or truths. To the Character driven leader there is one Truth. I wish I could do a better job and go into more details with this. Sadly, that is all I really have to say. If you were at Worldview Academy with me this year and took better notes, feel free to add on in the comments below. Thanks for reading. Until next time, good night and God bless. (All this information, was learned at Worldview Academy Leadership camp. If you wish to learn more about WVA, you can visit there website at http://www.worldview.org/)

Servant Leadership WVA

Last week I was at Worldview Academy, a leadership camp for Christian teens. There, I learned so much and would like to share a little of what I learned with you. Since it was a leadership camp, that’s what many of the lectures were about. The first lecture I would like to share with you is called Servant Leadership. Now granted I’m not going to share the whole lecture with you. That would take way to long! But what I do want to share with you is the five pillars of leadership it taught. So without further ado, I present to you Servant Leadership.

Leadership is influence. That is one of the first things I learned from this lecture. No matter who you are you are influencing someone, even if it’s only you younger siblings. By influencing them, you are acting as a leader, whether for good or evil.

So what is a Servant leader? A servant leader is a character driven leader. (More on that later.) A good leader will demonstrate the five pillars of leadership.

The first pillar of leadership is Meekness. Meekness is controlled power. Jesus was the meekest of all. Though He had the power to destroy the Pharisees when they came to arrest Him, He controlled Himself and let them take Him. At any time, He could have put an end to the trials and stop Himself from being killed but he didn’t. He had the power but he had self-control not to use it. This is meekness. Sometimes we shouldn’t use the power we have, just because we have it.

The second pillar of leadership is Integrity. Integrity is the quality or condition of being whole and undivided. That is too say, you are not two faced. When one has integrity, they are the same person no matter who they are with. They won’t put on a show or change who they are around certain people in an attempt to get those people to like them.

The third pillar of leadership is Vision. Vision is the ability to see God’s presence, power, and plan in spite of obstacles. Vision flows from an intimacy with God. The more one gets to know God, the more they will see a vision from God. And I don’t mean a vision of the future or anything like that. I mean having vision, as in seeing that God has a plan and purpose in all things. Having Vision can be as simple as striving to honor God in all things.

The fourth pillar of leadership is Attitude. As Christians we should have the same attitude as Christ. Philippians 2:5. One must examine ones attitudes and motives and ask whether they are honoring to God or not.

The fifth pillar of leadership is Empowerment. “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2. In demonstrating this final pillar of leadership, one will empower others. They will empower others to do good and give others opportunities to lead. They will teach others how to be good leaders.

That’s all I have to say on the subject of servant leadership. Next time I will speak a little about the character driven leader.

(All this information, was learned at Worldview Academy Leadership camp. If you wish to learn more about WVA, you can visit there website at http://www.worldview.org/)

Checking In with a Plan

Wow, a lot has been happening recently! I’ve been working on my new story so I will post a sample of that soon. Last week I went to Worldview Academy, a leadership training camp for Christian teens. It was amazing! I’m planning on doing several blog posts on some of the things I learned there. I’ve also been working on some school and planning for college, so I’ve been pretty busy! Anyway, I hope to post several times a week, so keep an eye out. That is all for now!

Oops, I didn’t post every month like I said I would

Wow, it’s May already? How did that happen? Guess I never got around to posting at least once a month like I had planned. Sorry about that. School’s kept me super busy but it’s almost summer so hopefully I will be able to post more. I’ve been working on a new story and a little more of The Chronicles of Keriddon. I will try to post a little of each soon, but no promises. Well, that’s all for now. Have a good night.

The Chronicles of Keriddon (post 1)

Hello there! Below is the beginning of my story The Chronicles of Keriddon. Earlier this week it was critiqued on The Author’s Chair, a blog by Bryan Davis. If you would like to read that you can go here, http://theauthorschair.com/2015/02/20/critique-group-chronicles-of-keriddon/. I have made changes since then. I hope you like it!

Prologue

Tusdar stalked down the dark, narrow passageway, careful not to fall on the rough terrain. His torch illuminated dark walls mere feet on either side. The path declined steeply causing him to lean backward to keep his balance. At one point he slipped and instinctively reached to the side to stop his fall. He stopped his hand just in time, only inches from the thick dark liquid that oozed along the walls. To touch it was to die. He slowly pulled his hand back as if any sudden movement would cause the poisonous substance to spatter and burn him. He continued down the tunnel with even more caution than before.

As the tunnel leveled out and widened, Tusdar stopped before a large stone archway. He took a deep breath of the stale cave air before passing through into a large cavern. As soon as he entered, the smell of rot and decay assaulted his nose. He winced and glanced around. The cave was massive, with walls and ceiling shrouded by darkness. A table filled with hundreds of candles lit a path to a carpeted dais where sat a dark throne of black and silver marble. Torches were placed in tall stands on each side of the platform, and a dark leathery curtain hung from the ceiling behind it. On the throne sat a large humanoid figure clothed in black and silver armor. A wide hood hid his face in shadows. In his hand he held a long, wooden staff which ended in a sharp, steel blade.

Tusdar walked slowly toward the throne. “My lord Zelroth,” He said, bowing deeply. “You called?”

“Rise,” His voice was low and guttural, like the moaning of the wind; ancient as the dawn and cold as ice. At the sound of it, Tusdar’s heart froze in his chest. He stood, shivering slightly. “Long have I waited; watching from the shadows.” Lord Zelroth croaked. ” My poison has gone forth, weakening my enemies. The alliance of the Seven kingdoms has been broken and Keriddon is ready for its final destruction. Now is the time of my revenge. My victory.” Lord Zelroth stood and looked for the first time at Tusdar. The light from the torches illumined the top half of his face revealing eyes the color of blood. “Ready my army. We march to Ash Gate Pass at dawn.”

The curtain behind the dark lord vibrated and shook, seeming to come alive in the dim light. Tusdar bowed to Zelroth before hurrying out of the cavern. As he left, he was sure he heard a deep growl, like a purr of some monstrous beast.

Chapter one

Anna awoke with a groan, for a minute unwilling to open her eyes and face the day. She did a mental body check like she did every morning. Her neck and shoulders ached, but she was otherwise fine. She blinked open her eyes and was temporally blinded by bright sun light . Why had the servants opened the drapes already? They were supposed to wait till after she woke up. And why was her bed so incredibly hard?

As the fog around her mind cleared, she ran her fingers along her pillow. Hard, not soft. Where is my pillow? She sat up and looked around. Books and paper covered a wooden desk. Shelves lined the walls and filled the room, bursting with every kind of book imaginable.

Anna sighed. The royal library. She had come here the night before to study the history of Keriddon in hopes of finding a solution to the problems facing the kingdom today. After a while she must have drifted off. That makes it the third time this week.

A large volume of The History of Keriddon had acted as her pillow for the night, an uncomfortable substitute for the soft silk pillows she was used to.

Next to the history book was a sheet of paper containing her notes from the night before. At the top was a list of major problems and below that was a list of possible solutions. Anna picked up the sheet and read the first three entries on the problem column. War, bandits, drought. The list went on with the kingdom lesser emergencies. Anna looked down at the solution column. One entry. Peace treaty.

Anna shook her head. That was hardly likely. The pirates aren’t open to negotiation. We don’t even know why they are attacking. They can’t possibly hope to win this war. Even so, hundreds of Keriddonians had died already and thousands more would die if it didn’t end soon. And that was not something Anna could live with.

Behind Anna a door opened. She turned to see a servant poke his head into the room. When he saw her he stepped into the room waiting just inside the door for some indication he was allowed to speak. Anna rose and gestured for him to approach. “Yes?”

“I’m sorry to disturb you, my Lady.” he said meekly. “Prince Philip has requested your presence in the council chamber right away.”

Anna glanced at the water clock sitting in the corner. It was only a few minutes before eight. Something must have happened for the council to assemble this early.

“Did he say what it was about?” she asked.

“No, my Lady. Only that you were to come right away.”

“Very good. You may go.” As the servant left the room, Anna looked down at herself and winced. She was still wearing her outfit from yesterday which was now quite wrinkled. She ran her fingers through her long, thick hair. It was hopelessly tangled. “I look like I just woke up.”

For a moment she considered going by her room to change and brush her hair but then, as she remembered the servant’s words, decided against it. This wouldn’t be the first time she had showed up to a council meeting looking out of sorts and Philip would hardly care, even if he did notice. The nobles would notice. And Uncle Arnold. She frowned at that last thought then shrugged. All he could do was make one of his disparaging remarks about her. He would do that anyway.

Well, no use putting off the inevitable. She left the library and made her way down the hall toward the council chamber. Her stomach rumbled reminding her she hadn’t had breakfast. She sighed. It was going to be a long morning.

2015 Blog Plan

Wow! It’s almost March. One of my new year resolutions had been to post more often but you can see how well that worked out. Anyway, I’ll try to be more diligent for the rest of the year. I am planning to post some of the writing projects I’ve been working on and will update them as I go. Also, I hope to post a character bio for my main character of a story I’m working on. You can write in questions to ask the character and I will then hold a mock interview with the character. This is character development tool I learned on The Author’s Chair, a blog by Bryan Davis. So that’s my plan for the next month or so. I hope to post updates at once a month or more but high school keeps me pretty busy so I make no promises. Well that’s all for now.

Who’s Watching You?

Dear young men and women,

Do you see them? They’re watching you. Their little eyes follow you as you cross the room to speak to a friend. Their young ears listen to your words you say and how you say them. Whether you’re as young as seven or as old as ninety-nine, there will always be someone younger looking up to you. They watch how you speak to your parents and those older than you. They observe how you relate to your siblings and friends. They notice how you act around strangers, peers of the opposite gender, and younger folk like them. They take in the tone you use, the words you say, and the expressions you make. They watch the way you carry yourself, the way you react in hard times, and the way you dress. And then they take all these observations and imitate them. This could be a very good thing or a really bad one. Ask yourself, “How am I behaving even when I think no one is looking?” All too often we take no notice of the little faces that peer up at us.

Are you being a godly example or an ungodly one? Is the way you speak to your elders and those in authority respectful? Are you forgiving with your family and friends? Are you kind to strangers? Is the way you relate to your peers of the opposite sex flirtatious and sensual? Or are you respectful and kind: treating them in a way befitting brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you take the time to talk with those younger than you? I know from experience that it means so much to youngsters when those they look up to take time out of their day to talk to them. Even a small smile can have a very big effect on them.

Not only do they watch the way you express yourself in relationships, they watch the way you walk and portray yourself. Are you confident, friendly, compassionate, hardworking, etc.? Or do you lack confidence, act hostile, uncompassionate, lazy, etc.? Also, how do you react in difficult situations? Do you get angry? Do you forgive? Do you panic? Are you calm? Those who look up to you notice these kinds of things.

Last, but not least, what does you clothing say to those who watch you or to anybody in general? Do you have a sense of modesty that shows your respect for yourself and those around you? Does your clothing show beauty and maturity? Clothing can have a very big impact on not only those younger but those your own age and those older than you.

Our choice on how we act and react to people and events in our lives will affect more than just ourselves. Not only are we being watched by those outside our families, if we have younger brothers or sisters, they are watching us too. All these are things I am working on and will continue to work on my entire life. I encourage you all to notice those who watch you and strive to be godly role models for them. Ask yourself, “What kind of example am I setting?”

Until next time, good night and God bless.

Why BravelyDream

It has been a while since I have posted last (school has been super busy) but I think it’s time to tell you why BravelyDream. Why did I name my blog BravelyDream? Is it just the coolest name I could think of or does it have a meaning behind it? Why, yes, it does. The name BravelyDream is very important to me and close to my heart. Just as it has two words in it, it has two parts to the meaning.

What is it about “bravely” that is so important? Before I can tell you that I must first talk to you about its opposite. Fear. In my mind, fear is divided into three categories: Physical, mental, and spiritual. Physical and mental fear, I will not address at this time but I wish to speak at length about spiritual fear.

Spiritual fear, I would define as the fear of man. When I say fear of man, I do not mean the fear that someone is going to kill you or harm you in some other way, although that can sometimes be a part of it. I mean the fear of what those around you will think or say. Of all the fears, I believe this to be the most dangerous and diabolical. It plagues all humans in some form or another. Imagine this situation: a young girl is at an event with other people, some her age and some older. Many of these people she looks up to and admires. She wants to seem smart and mature for her age but also tries to be natural. She has a conversation with one of the people and, perhaps to someone watching her, it seems to go well but the girl is not so sure. Hours later, days later, and even weeks later she is still replaying the conversation in her mind, sure that that person now thinks her to be a complete idiot. This fear that the person will never want to see her again tortures her for weeks to come. Perhaps you can relate to the girl. I can. I have been that girl many times in the past. This is just a small example of the fear of man. Though in this story, you may think, “I see how the fear can be bad, but how is it dangerous or diabolical?” Here is how: It causes people to not stay strong in their morals and stand up for right on important issues. I have seen this fear in the politicians of this nation on issues such as marriage, abortion, etc. They fear what will be said about them and so they do not stand for truth. This fear causes people to not stand up for the speechless and oppressed. One issue I see this in is abortion. People would rather let this issue be ignored than to speak of it and be called judgmental or hateful. What is hateful about trying to save an innocent life?

In the face of all the things, there is still one more thing to talk about in regards to the fear of man: the fear of man among Christians. Some would hide their faith – practicing it only in their homes and in church – afraid that if people see them living their faith, they might be rejected or accused of pushing their religion on others. And so they do not live out their faith to the fullest. More than this, it causes Christians to refrain from sharing the gospel for the same reasons stated above. But greater evil than these things, it can even cause some in the face of persecution and, in extreme cases, death, to reject the Savior that died for them. The fear of man does these and one more thing. The fear of man replaces the fear of God and so becomes an idol of sorts.

But what does any of this have to do with bravely in BravelyDream? I, like anyone, have fears. I admit, I even sometimes fear man. But I don’t want to live in fear. I resolve keep my moral standards, stand up for the speechless, and share the gospel in accordance with the great commission despite what others will say about me. I want to live my life bravely in the fear of the Lord rather than the fear of man. This is what Bravely means to me.

Now I know this post has been long already, but bear with me.

The second part of BravelyDream is dream. If you know me, you know I dream a lot. While I dream about many things, future job, family, and events, one dream stands out among them all. The day when I close my eyes on this world and open them to see my Savior’s face. On that day, I hope to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Oh what a day that will be. As one song says, “I can only imagine” what I will do, whether I will fall down and worship at His feet or sing for joy. My heart longs for that day and my Lord who I will see then – when faith is made sight. Although some may say that a girl of nearly seventeen years should not long to die, death holds no fear for me. And I am not longing for death but for life. Eternal life. This is my dream, for which my heart longs most. My life goal is to serve my Lord and Savior well, to bring honor and glory to Him through my every thought, word, and action, and to rejoice in Him always. I wish to live this dream bravely, walking blamelessly before the Lord. This is what BravelyDream means to me. This is my reason for living.

Until next time, goodnight and God bless.