Meet “The Queen”!!

Hello Everyone!

I would like to introduce you to “Her Majesty.” :-) Julia Johnson has been in our church for over eight years now and is one of my very good friends. We were practically neighbors for several years, and we’ve had so much fun growing up together and doing ministry work and acting together. Julia is an amazing actress. From the roles she’s played in Christian Youth Theatre plays with me, some evangelism skits that we did, and her roles in short movies such as “California Johnson and the Second to Last Crusade,” I knew that I would have so much fun trying her out for a part in my radio drama. She nailed her cold-reading as The Queen, and did such an amazing job in the recording room. Her crying and screaming scenes were amazing! I was shocked by how well she did and how realistic it sounded.

Julia is a 2012 home school graduate. She is a professional actress whose work so far includes background acting in film and TV. Her favorite subject in high school was science. Julia loves traveling and linguistics. She has a passion for acting, dancing, singing, playing piano, and all things musical. If she were stuck on a desert island with one food of choice, it would be “Curried Beef a la Tim.”  Julia hopes to one day go wingsuit flying. This is what Julia says about the whole recording experience:

“When I first read ‘A Cry From Egypt,’ I was able to see the story of Exodus in a light I never had before. Hope’s writing style is so engaging and vivid that it was easy to imagine the characters and places in the book. When she asked if I would be interested in being a part of the Radio Drama, I was ecstatic. At first, I was a little unsure about how I would portray the screaming scenes. One night I told God that I knew I was nothing on my own, but that with His strength I could do anything. After giving it over to Him, He gave me such a wonderful peace about the process. As Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”   I pray that those who listen to ‘A Cry From Egypt’ will be as blessed by hearing it as I was by being a part of it.”

All That I Need

It seems as though my most thoughtful blog posts come out on Mondays…. Not quite sure why that is….. But oh well. Here’s a rambling author’s thoughts for the day. :-)

These past couple of months have been incredibly hectic and crazy around here. What with having three birthdays in our family, the Christmas season, my parents going on a 2-week long mission trip to Africa, the recording of audio for my book, my grandparents needing some extra care…. Ahh! Not to mention that I’m trying to get my speaking schedule lined up for next year and somehow make head-way on all of this audio editing and working on ideas for the study guide and my second book. Oh, and teach piano to fourteen amazing students and enter a few in a competition. Whew! Life is never boring!

But as I’m trying to make all the decisions and sort through things, today I kind of realized that I wanted a normal life. Just for a little while. It just doesn’t seem like there’s enough of me and there’s always so many things for me to do. But this phrase kept coming to me…

God is all that I need.

He is everything that I will ever need.

We say that all the time. I say that all the time. I say it when I write, when I speak, when I teach piano. I know you home schooled moms say it many times each day as you teach your children and take care of the home. But today I realized…. I don’t believe it. I know it, but I don’t believe it. Deep down in my heart, I can’t seem to accept it. And now I know why.

I rely too much on myself and on my family and my friends. Today, I had to think about what my life would be like if I didn’t have my family or my friends. I realized that I might not be able to handle it.

This year, I’ve made it my commitment to learn to trust completely in God, to make Him my best friend first. Jarah’s journey is so similar to mine in all of these books. She’s learning the same thing – making God her best friend first. And obviously, both of us need some more work in that area. :-) Thankfully we still have three books to go and we can learn together! :-)

Here’s some verses to meditate on if you’re still struggling with trust and Jarah and I seem to be. :-) And just keep saying “God is all that I will ever need” to yourself. And then maybe, we’ll all be able to believe it together. :-)

Psalm 9:10, “And those who know Your name will but their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

Psalm 37:5, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass.”

 

Psalm 56:3-4, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?”

Psalm 62:8, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah”

Psalm 73:28, “But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.”

Meet “Acenith”!!

Hello All!

Meet one of my closest friends and accountability partners, Lindy Meeker! Lindy Meeker is playing “Acenith” in the radio drama, Jarah’s Egyptian friend who lives in Rameses.

Lindy is an amazing and beautiful young lady. Her heart is devoted wholly to seeking God and His plan for her life. Lindy is a constant source of encouragement and support to me. She always points me back towards Christ and His word. Lindy helped me edit my first book, and has provided great insight for what I have of book 2! She is also an amazing actress. I met Lindy briefly at a homeschool conference almost six years ago, and then got to know her that Winter when we were in a play together. Our paths crossed for years, but we began to get closer after we both graduated high school and found out how much we had in common! She is such a blessing to me, and I know you’ll be blessed by listening to her in the role of “Acenith”!

Lindy Meeker as our “Acenith”!

Lindy was homeschooled all through school, and graduated in 2010. She attended Ellerslie Leadership Training, an intensive discipleship program in Colorado, during the Fall of 2011. Now she is working as a part time nanny for a precious two year old girl, and loves being “Miss Lindy”! She has been a part of Christian Youth Theatre for 7 years, as an actor, class assistant, stage director, and is now assistant directing. Lindy enjoys singing, acting, playing piano, laughing, being with family, and Christ-centered conversations with wonderful friends! Although she has a few ideas, she doesn’t know right now what her near future holds. She is trusting that God will make the next steps clear in His perfect timing! This is what Lindy says about playing her character:

“I learned a lot from playing Acenith, not necessarily from the character herself, but certainly through the process of bringing her to life! God faithfully helped me see that I could never do it in my own strength. I’ve never even tried to scream like that before! As I prayed, God enabled me to trust Him to do it through me. He always gives us grace for what He calls us to do. If something is challenging, it gives me an even greater opportunity to rely on Him, and to know in the end that is was only by His grace that it happened! “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8

Meet “Jarah”!!

Hello All! I would like to introduce you to Tori MacDonald! Tori is playing “Jarah” in our radio drama, and she is an amazing actress! Her personality is sweet and caring, just like Jarah, and when she auditioned for the role I heard her voice and knew that she was the one to play the part. :-)

I met Tori about three or four years ago. She was in a Summer acting camp where I was a helper and an acting coach. I was immediately impressed by her beautiful smile, her serving spirit, how respectful she was, her love for others, and her passion for the Lord. I’ve gotten to know her pretty well over the past year as I was one of her acting coaches in another class in CYT (Christian Youth Theatre), and then we’re in the same CYT class together again this year! I’ve been able to bring her back and forth to CYT almost every week, and I value and treasure her friendship. She also started a Bible study for some of our friends, and it’s been so beneficial to so many of us!

Tori is fifteen-years-old and a homeschooled Junior. Her first passion is God and her second passion is the theatre! :-) She has two younger siblings, a thirteen-year-old brother and a sister who is almost two! She wants to go to college for musical theatre and be a missionary. Her favorite subjects are literature, Chemistry, philosophy, and logic. Her favorite foods are salad, tacos, and peppermint ice cream. She loves musicals and Broadway sound tracks. One thing people find weird about her is that she doesn’t like bacon! 😉 Tori loves working and playing with kids and teaching them. Tori’s prayer (and mine, too!) is that by reading “A Cry From Egypt” or listening to the radio drama, each and every person will come to know God and how amazing He is. This is what Tori says about her character:

Tori MacDonald as our “Jarah”!

 

“My character, Jarah, is very much like me, especially when it comes to our struggles. I have often struggled with knowing God was there, especially when things seem to be going the wrong way. But God has shown His character and truth to me! I want you to know that God loves you and He is always with you. Even if you can’t feel Him working in your life, He is. One of my very favorite Bible verses is Jeremiah 29:11-13b which says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you!’ declares the Lord.” He’s there with arms wide open; All we have to do is run into them!”

Photo Credit: Elisha Brooke Photography

Review By Rob Shearer of Greenleaf Press!

Here’s our first review from a really “big name” person! Rob Shearer of Greenleaf Press read “A Cry From Egypt” and had this to say about it! Needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled! Thank you, Mr. Shearer!

***************************************************** “Hope Auer’s book, A Cry From Egypt, succeeds on multiple levels. There are shining examples of young people wrestling with doubts and trying to understand what God is doing. There are delightful examples of healthy families, under difficult circumstances, doing what families do – caring for each other, teasing each other, loving each other. There is romance – young people thinking about marriage and seeking wise counsel – facing the eternal struggles of the course of true love. As a historian, I particularly admired her portrayal of ancient Egypt in the time of Moses. We pass too lightly through the list of the ten plagues. We know how the story ends. For those who lived it, it must have been terrifying. They had no idea what would come next, or how the story would end. Miss Auer has done an admirable job of showing us the impact that the dramatic events of the Exodus must have had on ordinary families in Egypt. A Cry From Egypt is a great read for young adults from upper middle to high school (and adults could profit by reading it too!)” – Rob Shearer  Publisher, Greenleaf Press *****************************************************

My Book is Coming to Life! :-)

Hello All!

It is with great pleasure that I announce to you that we have decided to start recording my book and turning it into an audio drama! Trailers and promos are first on the list of production, but maybe one day it will actually be completely finished and you can listen to my book as dramatized and acted by my friends and family members!

We’ve had several recording days and have made many wonderful and amazing memories. I’ve pulled people from my family, church, and local Christian acting group to play the parts in my book. We are very far away from having anything listenable, but over the next months you will be seeing sneak-peaks of behind the scenes footage, get some previews of the recorded audio, see lots of pictures, and get to meet the cast and crew! :-)

Please be in prayer for us. A lot of this is super intense. Though I’ve done some acting coaching in my time, I was not completely prepared for this task. It’s a completely new medium of acting to me! And the editing and recording process is a very long one. It will take a lot of work, perseverance, and prayers from you all in order to have some finished products.

Thank you for your prayers and support! I can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on with you all!

Here’s the first picture for you all! This is part of our recording set-up. I’m working with our “Jarah,” played by one of my dear friends Tori MacDonald. Can’t wait to show you all the rest! :-)