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A Journey of Hope

Jim and I becoming pregnant with our baby, James, was one of the best and trying seasons of our lives. It was an experience like other.

In the first trimester I suffered from depression, and the consequence was a loss of my sense of creativity; I also couldn’t hear from God. We visited a psychiatrist who was of great help, and after some sessions prescribed a drug for hormonal balance. By my second trimester, I was back to my normal self. My creativity was restored and I could hear God again. I went back to working on post-production of our forthcoming movie, The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland, a funny Christmas movie for the family. I’ve remained stable even after delivery—and this is important—since post-partum depression is quite common. In my third trimester, I suffered from gestational diabetes. Initially, the doctor prescribed insulin, but later developed a regimen that consisted of exercise and high-protein/low-carb diet, so I didn’t have to take insulin, and it worked perfectly well.

Becoming a mother has been sublime. I can’t begin to describe or quantify the joy of holding my baby, watching him breastfeed, and watching the many different expressions on his face. This experience makes it even more precious because James is our miracle baby boy. We’d been trying to get pregnant for a long time, and I’d had a miscarriage the month prior to when he was conceived. So at the beginning, naturally, there was the fear that something might go wrong. But when Jim and I experienced our first ultrasound, the feeling of joy and hope was so overwhelming, we both cried. Our baby is so precious to us. And so this comes with the experience of helplessness some of the times when he gets fussy or cries because we’re still learning what to do, and how to be parents to a newborn.

My husband, Jim, has been a champ through it all. Even now, we share and take turns caring for our baby in every way. At night, he takes one of the feeding times so that both our brains can rest and we’re both able to function in caring for him during the day.

This whole experience has taught me a deeper meaning of hope and trust in God and in the people we love and care about the most—those closest to us. Life’s journey and what lies ahead isn’t always clear, and some steps we take may be difficult and painful as we take them, but through it all, God is with us, and His love, the most powerful force in the universe, binds us together. I don’t know what lies ahead. I simply know—through this experience and many others like it—that I can trust the ever amazing faithfulness of God.

About the Contributor


Visionary, Story Creator, Product Development, Author and Producer for The Farmer and The Belle franchise, Jenn Gotzon is an award-winning actress known in the faith-based market. She starred in over 70 projects including two Oscar Nominated films, Frost/Nixon and Alone Yet Not AloneMy Daddy is in Heaven broke records as a mover and shaker on Amazon and trended on Netflix, followed by Lionsgate’s Saving Faith both starring her and her husband Jim E. Chandler. Her mission as co-owner for The Farmer and The Belle franchise is to provide a Biblical pathway to teen girls and women about their value destroying the lie 90% of women believe about their physical appearance. Gotzon speaks across the globe inspiring and impacting audiences. Join The Jenn Gotzon Club on Facebook to access her video bible studies.

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Bible Review ~ Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls By Zondervan

Review


The Beautiful Word Coloring NIV Bible is a wonderful gift set for preteen girls, made with the intention of creating a fun, enjoyable, and deeply spiritual experience while studying the Word of God. The features are designed for artistic activities that will create memorable experiences, which will help a reader more easily open their heart and mind as they study God’s Word. Features include:

• Complete text of the accurate, readable and clear New International Version (NIV)
• Over 600 verses illustrated in ready-to-color line art
• Four colored pencils
• Six sheets of stickers designed for girls
• Thick white paper for writing and doodling
• Lined, wide margins for notes and reflections
• Satin ribbon marker
• Beautifully debossed and screen-printed cover
• Exclusive Zondervan NIV Comfort Print® typeface in a readable 8-point print size.

*Though I offer this review to the public, it’s my opinion and simply that. My appreciation to Zondervan and Flyby Promotions for free copies in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review ~ Reviving the Commander: Crown Legacy #1 By Nadine C. Keels

About the Book


First in the Crowns Legacy series.

She isn’t a beautiful young maiden hoping to erase the Commander’s memory.

Opal Whilstead knows she has a reputation: a reputation as a bright, giving, upright woman—smiling and laughing her way through hopeless spinsterhood. It’s been so long since she’s had serious feelings for a man, but now she finds herself taken with the Commander Exemplar of Diachona’s army.

And she regrets it.

Not only is the Exemplar a widower still longing for his wife, but he’s the father of the reigning king. Even if a man of such prestige could find love again, he’d be unlikely to search for it among the kingdom’s old maids. Besides, Opal dreads being found, due to a grievous secret she carries…

This book is inspirational historical fantasy: fictional history that takes place in a completely fictional world.

Category

Fiction/Christian/Adult

Genre

Utopian Romance

Rating

4 Stars

Review


Two hearts who have lost the hope of love in their present circumstances, meet, and then a miracle happens in the most unlikely way.

Opal Whilestead has become content in her spinsterhood, and the Commander Exemplar has reclined himself to being a widower, to raising his young son, and being the best support and advisor that his son, the King, would ever need. Faithfully following the path set before them in fulfilling duty to empire and family, they’re both rewarded with something beautiful and special that they didn’t expect—setting their hearts on fire again and bringing life and warmth into their once mundane activities. In the midst of this, sorrows are comforted, wounds healed, sins forgiven, and friends and family gained.

This is not the typical romance story where butterflies lead all the way. It is so much more. Each character, primary and secondary, grows and is introduced in excellent pacing with the subplots.

Another lovely work of art by Nadine C. Keels.

*Though I offer this review to the public, it’s my opinion and simply that. A ‘thank you’ to the author for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

 

About the Author


Nadine. A French name, meaning, “hope.”
With her lifelong passion for life-enriching fiction, Nadine C. Keels enjoys reading and writing everything from short stories to novels. Her fiction works include Love Unfeigned and The Movement of Crowns Series, and select pieces of her lyrical poetry can be found on her spoken word album, Hope. Lyricized. Through her books and her blog (Prismatic Prospects), Nadine aims to spark hope and inspiration in as many people as she is privileged to reach.

 

Entertainment Scoop ~ Interview with Director & Producer, Lance Hool

Lance Hool is a producer, director, executive producer, writer and actor who’s been in Hollywood and in the business of filmmaking for over four decades, even being directly responsible for 25 major projects, two of which hit #1 at the US Box Office. Lance has taken the time to share with us today a bit about himself and his journey in making his latest movie, 2 Hearts (read the TBAP review here), to be released in theaters on October 16, 2020. Take a look!

Miranda ~ Hello Lance! It’s a pleasure to have you visit TBAP today. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Lance: I grew up in a family full of love, art, and great story tellers. I consider myself an artist story-teller.

Miranda ~ How did you first get into filmmaking?

Lance: As a child I loved making movies on a browny camera, watching my mother create beautiful dance numbers for her concerts, movies and TV shows, and my grandmother act on the theater stage. My earliest memory is watching my grandmother be chased on a movie stage by Dracula during a filming of a Mexican film version of the novel. As a teenager I put together and played on several rock and roll bands, and when an opportunity to be a horse rider on a movie came up, I took the plunge. I uttered words when, I guess, I wasn’t supposed to, and the director liked what I did and said: “I guess I have to cover you now.” So, I was on camera and in the movie, Soldier Blue, in a short dialogue scene with Candice Bergen. I was an actor.

Miranda ~ Who would you say have influenced you the most in life, and, how have they done so?

Lance: My parents and grandparents showed me the beauty and miracle of life through love and respect.

Miranda ~ Who has influenced you the most professionally?

Lance: John Huston and Howard Hawks. I was fortunate to know them and work with them. I have always been an avid film viewer and have been influenced by many of the great artists that make films. I learn on every project.

Miranda ~ What drew you to the story of 2 Hearts, and why did you feel the need to make this film? Do you particularly have a passion for telling true stories?

Lance: I could find a great message in it. It speaks to all of us. Life is the ultimate gift. We must live it with honor and goodness. Yes, I have a passion for telling true stories. They let us know that we travel in this life with others from who we can learn and will instill in us passion, energy, love and awareness.

Miranda ~ 2 Hearts is unique in the sense that it follows two love stories that began years apart. You chose to press the “God” or “miraculous” factor into the background rather than make it more obvious. Why this method?

Lance: I want to reach everyone’s heart including those that do not believe in God and a higher meaning of life.

Miranda ~ What advice would you offer someone—writer or filmmaker—looking to turn a book story into a successful movie?

Lance: Keep in mind that you have at most a couple of hours to tell that story. Carefully pick those scenes that advance the plot and use the character in them.

This Or That (The Fun Qs!)

Coffee, Tea or Mocha?

Water

Boots or Sneakers?

Sneakers for daily ware, boots for roughing it on horseback

Vegetables or Fruit?

Both

Music or Books?

Both!

Juice or Smoothie?

Smoothie

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate

Cooking or Cleaning?

Cooking

About Lance Hool

Lance Hool has a uniquely multifaceted background in the industry, working as an actor, writer, director, executive producer, distribution company chairman and now studio chief. Over more than four decades, he has produced 25 major motion pictures, two of which have reached No. 1 at the U.S. box office: Missing in Action (1984) and Man on Fire (2004). Hool currently heads Silver Lion Films, an independent finance and production company he established in 1987 with his brother Conrad, and Santa Fe Studios, the world’s first “green” film and television production facility.

Hool holds a B.A. and M.B.A. from La Universidad de las Américas. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Book Review ~ All of Us Warriors: Cancer Stories of Survival & Loss By Rebecca Whitehead Munn

  • About the Book

In All of Us Warriors, Rebecca Whitehead Munn paints a realistic picture of the impact cancer has on an individual’s life, and she attempts to demystify the experience by sharing heartfelt stories from twenty survivors and the loved ones of those that passed. They are mothers and fathers with seven types of cancers and all stages of the disease, as well as advice regarding how to approach someone you love living with cancer and tips and tricks for helping others feel joy in the midst of pain. This inspirational book provides a positive outlook of strength and perseverance through belief in a higher power, reinforcing the idea that the reader is stronger than cancer and not alone, and offering real strategies that cannot be found in online medical sites. Like a conversation with a new best friend (or twenty of them), All of Us Warriors is full of understanding, acceptance, and practical advice gained from personal experience.

Category

Nonfiction/Inspirational

Genre

Health and Fitness/Healthcare /Healing

Rating

5 Stars

Review


This is a book that will pull you in and redirect your attention to what matters the most in life and living. The stories of the cancer patients, and their fellow brave warriors that stood by them through their tough journey, are truly remarkable. This book will leave an indelible mark on your soul. Apart from educating a reader on the intricate issues, it endears you to the real-life people on the pages, creating a relatable sense of connection with each and every unique story—as different as each one is.

All of Us Warriors displays a strength in people, family, friendship, community—togetherness, as a whole—and it is beautiful to see albeit its heartwrenching and sobering element.

A truly endearing and fantastic read!

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. A ‘thank you’ to She Writes Press for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the Author


Rebecca Whitehead Munn is an award-winning author and speaker, healthcare change catalyst, and value creator. Her award-winning, debut memoir, The Gift of Goodbye: A Story of Agape Love, was released in 2017. She has been a featured Maria Shriver Architect of Change on surviving grief and shared her healing through yoga story at http://www.mindbodygreen.com. She is a certified End of Life Doula and a Nashville Healthcare Council Fellow. She is happiest spending time outdoors, eating Mexican food, practicing yoga, listening to live music, snow skiing, playing golf, and using my chaotic Aries for good. She was born in Bloomington, IN, grew up in Houston, TX, and has lived in Nashville, TN, since 2005.

Movie Review ~ 2 Hearts By Lance Hool

About the Film


For two couples the future unfolds in different decades and different places, but a hidden connection will bring them together in a way no one could have predicted. Based on an inspirational true story, 2 Hearts is a romantic journey that celebrates life, love and generosity of spirit, and challenges audiences to believe miracles are possible.

Charismatic young Australian actor Jacob Elordi (“Euphoria,” The Kissing Booth) plays Chris, a college freshman whose love for a spirited classmate played by Tiera Skovbye (“Riverdale,” “Once Upon a Time”) helps him find the purpose he has been searching for.

In another place and time, Adan Canto (“Designated Survivor,” “Narcos”) plays Cuban exile Jorge, who falls for well-traveled flight attendant Leslie, played by Radha Mitchell (Man on Fire, The Shack).
Though they were never meant to meet, fate has something entirely unexpected in store for both couples that dramatically changes the course of their lives.

Category

Inspirational

Genre

Drama/Romance

Release Date

October 16, 2020.

Rating

3.5 Stars

Review


2 Hearts is a heart-wrenching feature of two love stories—one, a depiction of what could have been, and the other, a journey of hope against the ever rising odds. Both stories culminate and meet at a point of pain, and hope and comfort are restored in the most unlikely outcome.

2 Hearts explores the subject of loss and what it means to truly live. It emphases the preciousness of moments, and leads a viewer to reflect on what’s most important in the present.

2 Hearts is a refreshing reminder to not take for granted the gifts of love and relationships in all its forms.

*Though I offer my review to the public, it’s my opinion and simply that. A ‘thank you’ to 130a for a screener in exchange for my honest opinion.

Devotional Review ~ Take Back Your Life By Levi Lusko

Category

Non-fiction/Christian/Adult

Genre

Christian Living/Devotional

Rating

4 Stars

Review


Take Your Life Back is a devotional armed with words that help re-direct the reader to consider a lot of the things they’ve taken into their system, which have changed how they view their lives. Many people suffer from the struggle of viewing their lives as victorious, because of the standard set up in and by the world. Take Your Life Back challenges to you rethink the standards by which you judge your life and your worth, and then, intentionally align your life to God’s Word. This is a forty-day journey that will lead you to come back to the Word of God and believe what God says about His children.

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. Appreciation to Flyby Promotions for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About Levi Lusko


Levi Lusko is the founder and lead pastor of Fresh Life Church, located in Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and Utah. He is the bestselling author of Through the Eyes of a Lion, Swipe Right, and I Declare War. Levi also travels the world speaking about Jesus. He and his wife, Jennie, have one son, Lennox, and four daughters: Alivia, Daisy, Clover, and Lenya, who is in heaven.

 

 

Book Review ~ The Prayer of Agur: Ancient Wisdom for Discovering Your Sweet Spot in Life By Jay Payleitner

About the Book


“Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”
Proverbs 30:8

This simple, unexpected request from a little-known biblical author named Agur is the only prayer in all of Proverbs, and it offers life-changing potential.

Imagine finding new purpose and contentment in your work, personal ministry, and relationships. Open your heart to Agur’s wit and wisdom, and you can learn to

– escape imbalance
– overcome fear of failure and eliminate envy
– joyfully pursue your passions
– reap the eternal rewards of trusting God
– find your personal sweet spot

In our modern, busy lives, embracing balance leads us away from bad decision-making and the emotional cost of trying to do too much or survive with too little.

This engaging and practical book faithfully unpacks Agur’s humble prayer. Read it in an evening. Affirm it for a lifetime. Share it with those you love.

Category

Religious/Christian/Nonfiction

Genre

Christian Living/Prayer

Rating

4.5 Stars

Review


The Prayer of Agur is drawn from the Book of Proverbs, chapter 30—a well of wisdom that pertains to issues of life which deal with how the human heart raises questions and chooses to trust God (or not). The prayer seeks to lead the individual to find proper balance in God’s provision of everything one would ever need in life, by first, trusting God and His goodness fully, to gain insight into discovering your sweet spot in life through that provision—which is different for different people, and is definitely not as the world interpretes it in light of happiness and success.

With the help of this prayer book, one can examine motives as well as ponder more deeply on perceived “needs”, helping to provide better clarity on whether such needs are truly that or wants, as well as helping to decipher the purpose for which we want them.

At an age where the world has taught human hearts to desire selfishly, The Prayer of Agur is a heaven-sent, to lend us some wisdom to maintain the path of Truth that truly satisfies.

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. A ‘thank you’re to the author for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest opinion.

About the Author


Jay Payleitner is one of the top freelance producers for Christian radio, having worked on Josh McDowell Radio, Today’s Father, Jesus Freaks Radio, and Project Angel Tree with Chuck Colson.

Jay is a long-time affiliate with the National Center for Fathering and Iron Sharpens Iron.  He speaks at men’s retreats, marriage weekends, writers’ conferences, and weekend services. Jay has sold more than half million books including the bestselling 52 Things Kids Need from a Dad, The Prayer of Agur, and What If God Wrote Your Bucket List? His books have been translated into at least ten languages. And he has been a guest multiple times on The Harvest Show, Moody Radio, Cornerstone TV, and Focus on the Family.

Jay and his high school sweetheart, Rita, live in the Chicago area where they raised five great kids, loved on ten foster babies, and are cherishing grandparenthood.

Book Review ~ Moving Beyond Anxiety By David Chadwick

About the Book


12 Ways God Can Help You

Conquer Anxiety

Do you feel like a cloud of worry follows wherever you go? Do you dread the unknown? In today’s anxiety economy its raising stress levels, it’s no secret that fear is often at the root of our problems.

The key to overcoming your anxiety is found in the person of Jesus. He calls us to trust rather than despair—to “not be anxious” (Matthew 6:25), and to cast all our cares on him (1 Peter 5:7).

Author David Chadwick shares 12 ways you can overcome life’s fears and worries—all of which come straight from Scripture and include…

Focusing on faith
Praying
Caring for your health
Remembering God’s promises
Finding good teammates
Developing an eternal perspective

Moving Beyond Anxiety will equip you to defeat worry and fear by trusting God and exercising your faith daily. As you immerse yourself in God’s truth, you will discover it is truly the most powerful antidote to anxiety.

Category

Religious/Christian/Non-fiction

Genre

Christian Living/Faith/Anxiety

Rating

4.5 Stars

Review


This book dives deep and explores the true meaning of anxiety, dissecting and separating it from other kinds of fears such as dread, etc. Then Chadwick goes ahead to line up the numerous tools set in place by God in Scripture for His children to use to overcome, with faith as the foundation for each of these tools to work—such as prayer, fasting, casting cares, thanksgiving/singing, etc.—and also deeply explores each of these tools and their powerful effect in building up the human spirit. God’s promises are opened up in a refreshing way, showing the power of God to tear down the destructive lies of the enemy, so that one is set free through the truth and the constant meditation of the truth.

At a time when almost everything in the world is wired to trigger anxiety (and such causes are also mentioned and explored), this book is timely in its arrival to encourage the Christian on their tough journey.

About the David Chadwick


David Chadwick has been a pastor for almost 40 years.  Along with this theological degrees, he earned a Specialist’s degree in counseling.  The love of his life is Marilynn, his wife for more than 40 years.  He has three children, Bethany, David, and Michael.  They are all married and have given David and Marilynn one of the great joys of their lives: six grandchildren.  David loves Jesus, his family, the church, and basketball—in that order.  He especially loves seeing people understand the power of Jesus’s grace to change a heart.

Entertainment Scoop ~ Interview with Music Artist & Actress Juli Tapken

Juli Tapken is an actress and a contributor on TBAP who has offered us great content in the past. And her talent doesn’t stop there! She was signed as a music artist with the Platinum Planet Records and recently launched her debut album, Denim with Diamonds. Juli graciously offered to share her new journey as a music artist with us, letting us know some of new things in the entertainment industry that she’s picked up along the way. Take a look!


Miranda ~ Hello Juli! Excited to have you on as a guest on TBAP today! Please tell us a bit about yourself that we don’t already know.

Juli: Surprisingly, I have found that many did not know that I sing. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share with you the new and exciting direction this career path has taken. I honestly never dreamed that I would be promoting an album of songs that I had written. I have always been a sort of poet. I love poetry and verse. When I was in high school, my sister gifted me a book of Best Loved Poems of the American People. It’s still my favorite source for inspiration and edification. I sporadically would write my own, just as a way to understand my own growing awareness and emotion. I never considered that it might be an outlet to share. I only started writing songs three years ago. Justin Peters, president of Platinum Planet records, saw me in the movie, Mission Improbable. He reached out to me about signing on with his label as a songwriter. I wrote my first song, Mama Says. When I sang it for him he decided to sign me as a recording artist.

Miranda ~ Is there a special story of how you became a Christian? We’d like to know!

Juli: I was raised in a Christian home. My mother truly exhibited what it means to trust in Jesus no matter the situation. I gave my heart to Jesus in the spring of 1980. I was five years old. I remember, for some reason, being allowed to be with my sisters in the youth department. They were singing worship songs and started singing, Jesus Loves Me. I can still feel the impact of realizing in that moment what that song meant. I started to cry as the Holy Spirit fell on me. (I’m crying now in the recall.) My sister got concerned and asked me what was wrong. I said I didn’t know; I just felt like I wanted to know more about how much Jesus loved me. I’ve been learning that very thing ever since. I’m prone to wander and wonder, and to test the boundaries. But every time, the Truth of God’s Love through Jesus has always stood in the face of every doubt and disobedience. The fact that I belong to Him gives me purpose every day. Every time I’m weak, the assurance that He is strong lifts my head.

Miranda ~ When did music become a part of your life?

Juli: From the moment I first heard it, I suppose. Lol. As I mentioned above, that simple song, Jesus Loves Me, changed the course of my entire life. Music is so woven into the fabric of every memory and every emotion. I learn best when things are put to music. (I can still sing you all fifty states, and most of the presidents from songs I learned as a child.) I was influenced by the easy listening and southern gospel tastes of my mother, the country/honky-tonky tastes of my Aunt Betty (a very important presence in my young life), and the classic rock tastes of my siblings. I was involved in choir which exposed me to arias and complex harmonies, and band and orchestra which versed me in jazz, chamber music, classical, and Sousa marches; and drama, which opened the world of musical theater. Not to mention, I grew up in the ’80’s, so all of those pop artists and bands are woven into my life’s soundtrack.

Miranda ~ Did you ever have conflict in choosing between Christian music and mainstream?

Juli: I have been spiritually edified by both. I believe God can use any vehicle He chooses to reach an individual where they are. So, my music like my life, has the structural foundation of eternal truth wrapped in the vulnerable package of humility. I want people to connect with my music at first on a fun, relatable level. Then when it becomes familiar, the deeper meanings start coming into focus.

Miranda ~ You have a new album now—Denim With Diamonds. What inspired this title?

Juli: I’m so glad you asked this question, and I will do my best to explain. The album is multifaceted—like a diamond, but simple as your favorite Saturday blue jeans; it’s soft, yet durable; hard, yet tender; it is tears from blue eyes that betray a sensitive spirit with an unbreakable resolve; it is weighing what the world values against what God values; it is finding the beauty in the process of pressure and time—the awareness that as the world changes at break-neck speed, God remains the same yesterday, today and forever. And He delights to give us the desires of our hearts when we seek Him first and remember where every good and perfect gift comes from.

Miranda ~ What has the experience being like so far as a music artist, and how is it different than being an actress in the world of entertainment?

Juli: It’s the same in that I’m still telling stories, but it’s different in that they’re my stories, my actual emotions and perspectives. Instead of manufacturing a character, I am discovering and developing my own actual character—what I truly believe and how I honestly see the world. It’s extremely freeing, and I find myself drawn to work more and more in the medium of my own reality than someone else’s fantasy.

Miranda ~ What do you hope to offer listeners with Denim With Diamonds?

Juli: Musically, I hope it gets their toes tappin’. 🙂 Lyrically, I hope it reminds people of wisdom passed down for years from front porches, and that it inspires a sense of purpose in the smallest tasks. I hope listeners connect with my heart, and the heart of The One who made them. And I hope it ignites a passion to sing your own song, write your own play, paint your own picture, and share who you’re becoming, fearlessly.

Miranda ~ Is there a method/process to your songwriting?

Juli: When I write on my own, I generally have a phrase or a tune that rattles around for a few days or weeks. That phrase turns to a chorus, which turns to a verse, which leads to a bridge, until it becomes a song that feels like I’ve heard it my whole life. When I collaborate with other songwriters, we pick a theme or work with a hook phrase and throw out ideas and words and rhymes, until we all feel comfortable with what we’re trying to say.

Miranda ~ What is your underlying principle for songwriting and, when do you know a song is ready?

Juli: Listen and try. I’ve learned to experiment and give myself a break as I learn. I’ve only been writing for three years, so I have a long way to go. I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to learn from, and collaborate with people who have been in this business, successfully, for years. So my underlying principle is, “You can’t learn a thing if you think you know it all, so shut-up and listen.”
I know a song is complete when I sing it all the way through and it makes me cry. Like I just gave birth. This thing that is part of me—tangible, but not. Promised, but still awaited—slowly grows to have a life of its own.

Miranda ~ How has your perspective changed since joining the industry? How has this experience affected you personally? How has it drawn you closer to God?

Juli: The music business is hard. But it’s rewarding. I never would have pursued this course on my own, but I’m so grateful to have this outlet for my creativity and praise.
Nothing draws you closer to God than getting out of your comfort zone and saying, “Where You lead, I’ll go,” then taking that first shaky step into the unknown. But nothing is more rewarding than watching as God takes that tiny seed of faith and grows it into an orchard.

Miranda ~ What do you have to say about the popular perception about the music industry, especially in regards to money, hard work and fame?

Juli: I guess I would defer to the words of Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I fought against going mainstream for just this reason, but in all honesty, my motivations aren’t based on what this world can give. I only desire to have a voice that speaks truth and encouragement. That showcases the fallacy of my own efforts and elevates the infallibility of God and His plan. He called me to this platform for a season, and when He calls me to do something else, I’ll do that just as happily because, I truly have found the supreme value and worthiness of pursuit—in love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Those are the rewards I’m working for. Those are the only goods of value I have to share, and share them I will, regardless of the earthly return. I am dust. Nothing at all to be idolized, but I possess the breath of life. And with every exhalation I’ll lift up the name of Jesus. If He desires to elevate mine, I’ll endeavor to show even more how much greater He is.

Miranda ~ What would you like to see change on the Christian music scene? What do you believe that you in particular can offer the world and add to the music scene that isn’t already there?

Juli: I’m just centered on the change that needs to happen in me. I guess all I have to offer is transparency. I don’t want to be seen as a super saint or as someone who has attained the higher plane. I am a traveler. I am a seeker. I hope that through the filter of my most heart wrenching experiences and missteps, someone can gain a foothold of hope. That if God can use this jacked up actress, He can use anyone. I want people to understand that holiness is a lifelong pursuit. It’s a journey of failings and falls, but through it all, from the fire to the ashes, He is there, and we are being refined. Individually. I’m done comparing my walk to someone else’s. I’ll walk my pace, and share what I’ve learned along the way, at the same time learning from those who walk ahead.

Miranda ~ At this point in your career, what are you most grateful for?

Juli: I’m grateful that I don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to create. I’m so very grateful for my family, my husband and son. They are the cheerleaders. They are the barometers. They see the real, ugly, unfiltered day to day struggle. And they love me. And so then, how much more does God? That gives me the confidence to press on.

Miranda ~ What advice would you offer a person who’s just starting out in the industry?

Juli: Get up. Show up. Shut-up. Gear up. It’s a long hard ride, my friend; but that’s never stopped us before!

THIS or THAT (The Fun Qs!)

Coffee or Tea? Coffee with cream and sugar. I used to drink it all day, but now I try and limit my intake to only five or six cups. 🙂

Gym or Outdoor? I love to be outdoors. I wouldn’t even know how to use a gym

Sneakers or Boots? I wear tennis shoes most days.

Running or Walking? Walking. I wouldn’t run even if it started raining.

Cereal or Fruit? Cereal with fruit!

Movies or Books? Books Books Books!!!

Summer or Spring? I love spring, new life, new beginnings. Plus I was born (and reborn) in the spring so I feel a special connection to that season.

Rain or Snow? Rain, a soft steady soaking rain, wrapped in a blanket with a book!

Blazer or Leather Jacket? Cardigan sweater 🙂

 

About Juli Tapken


Juli Tapken is a multifaceted entertainer. She is a Singer/Songwriter with deep roots in acting. Juli has just released a debut EP, Denim With Diamonds, with Platinum Planet Records in Nashville. It features her soulful classical vocals  to a county/bluegrass feel with lyrics that tell a personal story.  Her experiences acting seem to give each song layers; like that multi-dimensional character in a great movie. Being Individual to each participant is what drives Juli in acting and songwriting.

Ms. Tapken has earned multiple nominations and several wins in the Best Actress category of many festivals across the nation for her work in Feature Films. She is also appearing regularly on television shows and often in commercials. Her beginnings were in Oklahoma where she performed leads and strong supporting roles in musical and musical comedy shows leading her to Branson, Missouri to professionally pursue that passion where she worked for 10 years. This lead to film and television acting opportunities for which she quickly collected over 50 credits in various video media projects.  A movie is what brought her to the attention of  Platinum Planet Records and soon she signed as a Songwriter and Recording Artist.

Singing has always been her passion and she is ready to take it on professionally with the same vigor and willingness that internally drives her in acting.

DENIM WITH DIAMONDS was released world-wide in February, 2020 by Platinum Planet Records in Nashville, Tennessee. It is produced by Justin Peters. Juli Tapken writes on all songs and Justin Peters co-writes on five of the songs with Kirsten Nielsen joining in on one. Incredible Musicians on this EP include Bryan White, Steve Brewster, Gary Lunn, Wanda Vick, Judy Rodman, Dave Isaacs, Dennis Morgan, Justin Peters and more. Recording Engineers are Sam Detone and Brently Parrish. Mark Capps is the exceptional Mixing Engineer.  DENIM WITH DIAMONDS can be found on most on-line digital music stores.

Find Juli on her website, Facebook page and other social media (@JuliTapken). Access her music here.