Friday, October 21, 2016

True Greatness: NaNoWriMo 2016, a Summary

Well, I've finally nailed down what I'll be writing about this year for NaNoWriMo. Last year, I tried (really, really tried) to get this idea to work, but I don't think I put enough effort into it. But by God's grace, He's given me the inspiration to bring this together. Please pray that God will give me the inspiration and the initiative to finish this year. My word count is 30,000 words--just around 2,000 more than I accomplished two years ago. Anyway, here's the synopsis for True Greatness, NaNoWriMo 2016.

True Greatness


We all come to a point in our lives when we're broken and question ourselves. For six individuals in particular, this is especially true: Parents who've lost their daughter in law; a teenager struggling with his feelings; a girl diagnosed with cancer, and the love she finds through the crisis; a boy trying to forgive himself. Throughout everything they go through, they'll find what it truly means to have true greatness.

Obviously, this is probably not final, but that's the basic idea. Anyway, that's about it. I'll check back in when I (hopefully) finish. Wish me luck!

Until later,


Friday, August 19, 2016

Broken Ashes: NaNoWriMo 2014 Story

Well, I've decided to finally publish my NaNoWriMo 2014 story, Broken Ashes, to my blog. It is unedited and unfinished. I might (eventually) find time to edit it, but for now I'm publishing the first draft here.

This recent decision came because my pen pal, Jackson, requested to read it. Well, here it is. It's not very good, by my standards at least, but here it is. I hope the story for this year will turn out much, much better.

If you've forgotten, or if this is your first time hearing about this, here's a little synopsis on the story:

Broken Ashes
By Brandon Marques

A dark force descends on the unsuspecting planet Earth, its inhabitants completely unaware of the impending danger. A single fragment of a rare element falls from the sky and lands on an unsuspecting neighborhood. The result changes the lives of four certain young people. The world will never be the same.

Kristen Summers and her friends have the closest bond any friends could have; one rarely seen anywhere else. They laugh together, they cry together, they do everything together. But after they're given supernatural powers, their bond is tested to the limit. They're faced with their biggest challenge; and in their darkest hour, all seems lost.

But hope is never lost. A man who calls himself Titus Kim--ex-convict turned mysterious hero--saves the kids from near destruction. He takes them under his wing and trains them not only in the art of combat, but the skills required for each of them to harness their abilities.

However, the training comes to an abrupt halt when a dark force threatens to the destroy the children. This force materializes in the rage of a man, harmed and beaten by events yet to come. He reveals his rage for the world, his anger to destroy the human race and restore his own people. The band of friends witness the darkest hour for mankind--the day when all time is frozen, and the human race ceases to exist.

Now, they not only have to save themselves, but the world. Out of broken ashes, a new beginning rises.

Until Later,


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Why is Church so important?

Why do Christians stress going to church and being part of a church so much? I mean, come on, can't we be close to God and worship Him without going and spending so much time with a group of people we really don't even like?

Without getting into the idea of church unity, here's the short answer:
"...not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." -Hebrews 10:25
 Okay, so we're commanded by the Bible to meet with other Christians. But why? In the previous verse, we get this:
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds..."     -Hebrews 10:24
Some other translations may say to encourage others. Another way would be from this very popular verse in Proverbs:
"As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another." -Proverbs 27:17
Again, encouraging one another, building one another up. Sharpening iron with iron seems kind of obvious, right? (Yeah, there's sharpening stones, too, pointing toward Christ.) But there is truth in that. How are you going to grow unless someone teaches you? Or how are you going to learn from your mistakes if you never have a chance to make any?

The basic reason why we're supposed to meet with other Christians to worship Christ is to encourage one another, and build one another up in Christ. And that may be hard sometimes, especially in places where you aren't granted religious liberty, but Christ tells us to rest in Him, that he will be our strength in our weakness.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015

Well, it's that time of the year again. As another October rolls around, so do the hectic times of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas... Oh yeah, and NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an online program in which you are challenged to write a novel in under 30 days. This year, my word count goal is 20,000 words. I chose that goal because last year, my novel reached ~28,000 words.

This year, however, I'm doing something a little different than last year. Last year my novel was a science fiction/fantasy novel. This year, it is going to be a Christian youth/teen novel. The title, as of now (subject to change): How To Be Brave.

Here's a short synopsis:

The fall semester at Gainesville High School in Ohio brings with it a new group of head-strong students ready to make their mark in history. Along with it comes teachers ready to impact their student's lives, professionally and personally. For one teacher in particular, this has become his life passion.
Henry McCrae, and outspoken Christian, teaches an unsuspecting History class. Over the past ten years, he has changed the lives of many students. But this year, events will happen that will change the school--and the town--forever.
"Being brave doesn't mean hiding the pain. Being brave means showing the pain, crying if you need to, but fighting through the pain, standing up for what you believe, struggling for something better."
Please pray for me as I write this novel. 20,000 words are a lot, and 30 days is a short time.

Until later,


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

In Defense of Religious Liberty

Tonight at prayer meeting at my church, we watched a video entitled, "One Generation Away," which speaks out about the religious injustice in our society today. As I watched that video, so many thoughts and feelings raged through my head and heart. I'll try to capture them all in this post.

First off, I want to define religious freedom vs. religious liberty. Too many people get these two terms confused. According to, freedom is defined as, "the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restrain; the power to determine action without restraint." Basically, the ability to do what you want. Liberty is defined as, "freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control; freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking speaking, etc., according to choice." Basically, liberty is the ability to exercise certain freedoms.

These two words go hand in hand, especially when speaking about something like religious liberty. However, don't get their origins confused. Religious freedom is only granted by the one true Authority, God. In the beginning, he gave us free will, to do and believe what we want, in hopes that we would want to believe and trust in Him. Religious liberty, on the other hand, is the ability to practice religious freedom in the land, area, or region where you reside. The presiding government allows you to practice your religious beliefs, no matter what they may be.

That was a huge controversy back in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Religion was a heated topic in those times, especially after Martin Luther proposed that the Roman Catholic church, the only church and form of Christianity in that day, was wrong. That started a fire which spread across all of Europe, and eventually led to the persecution and deaths of those who believed differently than the presiding governments. This led to certain groups of people--the Puritans, for example; people who wanted to reform the Church of England and were persecuted for it--to flee to America in hopes for a better life.

Things are no different today. Although in America we are not being physically persecuted--beaten, tortured, and killed--for our faith (yet), our liberties are slowly being taken away. Today, Atheism, the idea that there is no God, is the ruling religion, and Christianity is once again on the copping block. Prayer and Bibles are being taken out of schools and government offices. Churches and businesses are being shut down if they do not agree with the "national consensus".

Religious liberty doesn't only extend to Christians or Jews; it extends to every form of religion. If you take away freedom of religion, you have to include every religion or idea out there: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism; and even, yes, even Atheism. Any idea or philosophy of a God (or no God) must be done away with, and thus, so must our morals and complete lifestyles. For Christians and Muslims alike, our every day lives are grounded in our faith. There are things which are intertwined in the fibers of our beings, things which we cannot deny. If you deny those things, you deny us as individuals.

The root cause of such hatred toward Christianity, I believe, is the fact that we worship and believe in God, the true and holy One. Satan, the devil, the fallen angel Lucifer, has deceived people in such a way as to make them blind and deny the existence of a God who loves us and wants a relationship with us. Because he has a grudge against God, he will employ any and every tactic in his disposal--the temptation of imperfect human beings--to turn us against God.

The only way our country, and the entire world, will wake up to our senses is if God opens our eyes and we see the true beauty of Him. Who would love you so much that He would send His only Son, His pride and joy, to be tortured, beaten, killed, and hung in humiliation, so that you could be with Him once again? Satan has bonded us to the chains of sin. We are forever separated from God unless we accept that He would have as much mercy and grace on us as to forgive us of everything we've done.

We will never have true freedom or see change in our lives and countries, until we wake up and change our hearts.

Until later,


Monday, April 6, 2015

Don't let anyone steal your heart.

(It's been a while since I've posted, I know. But, here goes...)

Love. It's a complex word. defines it as, "a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person." But what does love really mean?

There are probably hundreds of songs that talk about love or have the word love in the title. If I sat down and looked up all the songs with love in the lyrics or the title, I'm sure I would come up with close to a million--if not more--songs! The idea of love is not limited to secular music, though. A lot of Christian music dwells on the idea of God's love, or loving your brother (phileo love), which is a good thing, of course.

Millions of people get married each year in the name of love. Within the first two to four years, however, about half of those marriages fall victim to divorce. People date and give their hearts away in the name of "love". Unwed men and women move in together and have children, all in the name of "love".

But what does it mean to love?

The word love, used as a noun, can mean a feeling or action bestowed upon another person. As an adverb, it can describe how someone looks. As a verb, it can be used to tell how someone feels toward another person.

However, loving is more than feeling or actions, I believe. I was watching 19 Kids & Counting last week with my mom and niece. We were watching the episode about Jessa and Ben's wedding. Something the minister said really struck me. He said that love is not a feeling; you won't always feel like loving him or her.

Love is devotion. Love is caring for someone, even when you don't feel anything for them. Love is not sex or words. Love is caring in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. Love is taking care of her when she's sick. Love is asking how his day at work was. Love is wanting to be with each other, no matter how hard things get.

And now I come to the topic of kissing. The Duggar family believe that you shouldn't kill until your wedding day, and I feel the same way. (Obviously, I'm still young, but I know what juvenile love looks like.) In my opinion, you really should restrain yourself from touching or even kissing until after your wedding day. Touching leads to other thing, of course; but a lot of believe believe a simple kiss won't hurt anything. I believe a simple kiss can tear your whole morality, purity, and relationship down. Let me explain why.

Kissing is an outward action. But where do your outward actions come from? Why do you do the things you do? It's not because you think of doing something, I believe; really, your brain is controlled by your heart, physically and spiritually. No, when you do something--like go to church, or not go to church, or listen to a certain song, or go to a certain site--you choose to do it in your heart. Your spirit choose if it is moral or not, depending on the standards you have accepted, and lets your conscious mind decide if it wants to do it or not.

Basically, I believe that when you kiss, you do it because your heart--your soul--feels you should do it. Why would your heart feel you should kiss someone? Because you love them. Every time you kiss someone, you are basically saying, "I love you; I care for you, and I will never leave you. I will be with you through thick and thin. I will never let you go." And some people try to take advantage of this. They try to get a girl or guy to kiss them, and then take advantage of their physical benefits.

So when you kiss someone, you're saying you love them. Then what? If you love someone, you want to get to know them, right? Well, kissing, in one way or another, can lead to touching, which leads to other thing. Also, when you kiss someone, you give them a part of your heart. What happens if they break your heart? I believe you should wait to kiss until your wedding day. Not only should your body be pure before marriage, but so should your heart.

So that's my stance on love. I know not everybody is going to agree with everything I said, and that's fine. Everyone has their opinions; and like I said, I'm still young. I don't know everything, and I don't claim to. I just want to give my thoughts and feelings on this very serious subject. However, we should agree on basic premise: You should keep your body, and heart, pure before marriage. Don't let someone come along and seduce you into doing something you know is wrong. Don't get pulled into juvenile love.

Don't let anyone steal your heart.

Until later,


Sunday, January 4, 2015

A New Beginning

I went to the MOVE 2015 youth conference with my "youth group" (which is really only four people) this weekend, and my whole life was changed. I realized I was a fraud, that I had been living the religious game. As one of the speakers said, I had run up the tree of religiosity looking for something to fill the void in my heart, but I wasn't finding anything. And that night at MOVE, I found what I was looking for. I found Jesus.

That's right; this whole time I haven't been honest, I haven't been saved. But now I am, and I'm glad Jesus brought me to him. I've started a new blog to journal my journey through my new Christian life. You can find it here:

Oh, and also, there was some AMAZING talent there at the conference. One of them was this group, called Rend Collective:

There was also LeCrae, Kari Jobe, Clayton King, and Ed Newton. I am SO glad that God let us go to that conference. It literally did change my life. We had some trouble prior to the conference trying to get the arrangements, but my pastor said since there was so much adversity, he expected something big to happen there. And it did. Thank you, God. :)

Until Later,