Interview with Country Recording Artist Kaitlyn Baker

Ok guys, this next interview in the ‘Faith and Entertainment’ series was so good to do. This young lady’s testimony and journey with God is sure to encourage you today. I appreciate how openly she shared her heart and authenticity about her faith and calling in life.

Be sure to leave a comment below for Kaitlyn. Enjoy the interview!

[Brent]  How do you continue to manage your relationship with Jesus with all the music venues and travel?

[Kaitlyn]  I travel a lot so I love being able to turn on gospel music. It really fills my spirit. Basically, my ‘go-to’ is whatever is mobile for being on the go.

Kaitlyn Baker 3

[Brent]    What is one of the most helpful pieces of life advice (outside of family) anyone has ever offered to you?

[Kaitlyn]  When I was younger (age 11 or 12) I struggled with depression and anxiety problems quite a bit. Honestly, it was very debilitating at times. A friend of mine used to always tell me, “Stop focusing so much on what is negative, and the fact that everything isn’t going the way you want it to. Instead, focus on what God is doing right in front of you in the moment and be thankful for that.” She also always reminded me to have faith in myself.

[Brent]    If you were to pass on to heaven tomorrow and all but one of your songs ceased to exist, which one would you want to remain for people to hear and why?

[Kaitlyn]  This is a very hard question. I’d have to say the song that has had most impact on people and myself is “It’s Never Too Late.” I didn’t write this one, but recorded it.

Kaitlyn Baker 2

[Brent]   What does Kaitlyn’s personal quiet time look like?  How do you connect with God best?

[Kaitlyn] Prayer is a real lifestyle for me. It gives me peace, it takes my anxiety away when I pray. And it’s good because I do lots of driving and fishing. That’s my quiet time without distractions of the world around me.

[Brent]   We all experience constant hills and valleys, and the seasons in between. Regarding your most recent valley, can you describe how you weathered it? Prayer, scripture, wise counsel, music?

[Kaitlyn]  About 4.5 years ago I had singed with a record label that unfortunately did not work. I decided to leave the label and soon after that my business partner/financial investor died of a sudden heart attack. It left me shattered and confused on what my next steps were. It took a significant amount of time to accept this situation. I became bitter BUT what really helped me the most was to use the support network I had around me. I remained around positive influences. Then the next painful event hit. My guitarist and great friend was tragically killed by a drunk driver on New Years Eve. Music, prayer, and time were the key components through all of these hard events I was challenged with. I released “Blackbird” afterward to encourage others with the kind of encouragement I was needing myself at the time.

Extra side-note: ”When I was born, I was incredibly premature. My mom prayed to God and asked him to protect and let me live. She made a promise to God that she would always teach me to know about God and his word. She kept true to her word. My Dad wasn’t a believer when I was a small child but he came to know Jesus because he would come to church just to hear me sing. I guess God used the messages he was exposed to in order to draw him into that relationship.”

 

[Brent]   If you could travel back in time and witness any event recorded in the Bible, what would it be…and why?

[Kaitlyn]  Noah’s ark because I would absolutely love to witness the ark and all of God’s beautiful animals in one space like that.

Kaitlyn Baker 1

[Brent]    Looking back, if you could give 12 year old Kaitlyn any advice for the years ahead of her, what would it be?

[Kaitlyn]  Have faith in yourself and trust God that he has you.

[Brent]   Do you have any personal boundaries for accountability with so much available to you?

[Kaitlyn]  Well, I do love an occasional glass of wine but I do not allow my band to drink before a show. They are allowed one drink. Foul language is not tolerated within our band. I am very careful of how I present myself, both on stage and off stage. And last but certainly not least, my band and I always pray together before each show.

[Brent]   What made you want to do this interview?

[Kaitlyn]  Well, first of all I did look at your Instagram feed. Basically, I did my homework before agreeing to do this interview. The biggest reason is to reveal to people that the entertainment industry isn’t all full of dark, crazy, wildness. There are a lot of good people here, and many believers.

Be sure to stay connected with Kaitlyn’s music at the links below!

Spotify   Instagram   Twitter   Website   Youtube

AND…if you liked this interview, be sure to check out similar conversations with Lucas Hoge, Mary Sarah, & April Kry.

Join the discussion and LEAVE A COMMENT below.

Subscribe to the blog Here and never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

Advertisements

Interview with Lucas Hoge

Well guys, I’m excited to introduce the third country music artist in my Faith and View More: http://jenwoodphotography.pass.us/lucashoge6Entertainment series, Lucas Hoge!

This guy’s the real deal. After spending roughly 40 minutes with him on the phone I can tell you that there probably isn’t anybody who can get more done in a day and still enjoy some fishing and hunting. He’s highly driven, tightly scheduled, and works hard. But somehow he is also able to recognize his need for breaks in the form of rest and fun.

Enjoy the interview. I sure did.

[Brent] What would you say is the single most challenging part for country music artists to stay strong in their faith?

[Lucas] Well, the business side of things can really screw with your head. Lots of compromise comes at you. So it’s easy to slip into compromising your own goals and boundaries.

Lucas Hoge 4

[Brent] When did you first start the Sunday Sessions, and how did that idea develop?

[Lucas] I started recording them for myself at first about two years ago. I grew up singing all these old hymns in church, so I gave them a new twist. God really laid it on my heart to do these and they’ve been receiving a ton of hits online.

[Brent] What would you say is God’s calling on your life?

[Lucas] To somehow use my music for what the Sunday Sessions have become. Something in addition to my current country music platform, to really connect with people on a deep level of faith. And I’m still trying to discover what that actually looks like.

[Brent] What is one of the most helpful pieces of life advice (outside of family) anyone has ever offered to you?

[Lucas] Great question. I mean, a solid one in marriage is to never go to bed angry. You know, resolve your differences before the sun goes down. But also, close friends are always encouraging me to stay authentic, “Be you. Stay grounded and humble.”

Lucas Hoge 3

[Brent] What does Lucas Hoge’s personal quiet time look like? How do you best connect with Jesus?

[Lucas] Well, I sure don’t get enough of it. I think that’s probably true for most of us. But for me right before bed works best. It seems like that is the only time where I have total peace and quiet. Other than that, being outdoors in nature centers me. Just being around creation makes it easier for me to pray and hear from God.

[Brent] What advice would you offer to 17 year-old Lucas Hoge?

[Lucas] Easy! Stay focused. Don’t spread yourself too thin. It’s easy to chase the popular thing. That voice needs to stay true. Stay the path, people will listen to the message you have regardless.

[Brent] Do you have any personal boundaries for accountability with so much available to you?

[Lucas] I’ll do meet and greets before and after shows. One thing I never do is invite fans to our tour bus. You simply never know what might happen, or what they might bring with them. I Like to keep it all very public. It’s just a good practice.

Watch for his newest music video in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, be sure to check out two of my personal favorite Lucas Hoge songs.

 

Be sure to connect with Lucas on Spotify, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube,

ALSO…check out my recent interviews with Mary Sarah & April Kry.

Join the discussion and LEAVE A COMMENT below.

Subscribe to the blog Here and never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

April Kry Interview

Today, I had the honor of connecting with country music artist and song writer, April Kry. This is my second interview in a series called ‘Faith and Entertainment.’ Back in May, I sat down with Mary Sarah while visiting Nashville. You can read that interview HERE.

April Kry 3

If you’re not familiar with April Kry, trust me, go check out her music! Here Twitter Bio reads, ‘Tiny girl – Big voice.’ And that’s no joke. I suggest you listen to her covers of Independence Day by Martina McBride and Still The One by Shania Twain. Man, those vocals!

April also produces original music. But first, here’s the interview.

[Brent]:  How do you continue to manage your relationship with Jesus with all the music venues and travel in your schedule?

April Kry 1[April]:  Well, I grew up in church. My Dad was the Assoc. Pastor at our church. This brought certain pressures as a pastor’s kid (PK) that other kids don’t experience. My walk with Jesus has gone through its highs and lows. I think most of us can relate to that at some level. I’ve really had to pause and focus in on God’s purpose for this vocal gift over the past two years after allowing myself to get lost in all the craziness that comes with building a music career. For me, journaling is what keeps me connected and growing with Jesus. I write what I’m feeling to God. I also speak to him throughout the day. Kind of my way of ‘praying without ceasing.’ Simply being out in nature reminds me to thank him. It reminds me of his creation and his endless goodness. 

[Brent]:  What is one of the most helpful pieces of life advice (outside of family) anyone has ever offered to you?

[April]:  Someone on my team once told me, “The person who will work hardest for you is yourself.” And I’ve really found this to be true. People in your personal and professional life will come and go. Some will disappoint and leave you with unfulfilled promises. So, I’ve come to fully rely on nobody other than God and myself.

[Brent]:  If you were to pass on to heaven tomorrow and all but one of your songs ceased to exist, which one would you want to remain for people to hear and why?

[April]:  Oh boy! Wow…I love this question. It’s a toss-up between a couple songs. I think ‘Perfectly Imperfect‘ has really helped a lot of people. I want to try to inspire, challenge, and encourage people. And I have a lot of young female listeners so I try to reach them the best I can.

April Kry 2[Brent]:  What does April Kry’s personal quiet time look like?

[April]:  I think all of us have high seasons and low seasons, right? Journaling is usually my go-to in my high season. Writing my feelings and questions is my form of prayer and connecting with God in a very personal way.

[Brent]:  We all experience constant hills and valleys, and the seasons in between. Regarding your most recent valley, can you describe how you weathered it? Prayer, scripture, wise counsel, music?

[April]:  I really got caught up in social media for a while. We compare ourselves to other artists online. I had to take a break from social media for roughly a week. This helped me get back to the core of why I’m doing this. I also volunteer for a not-for-profit called Musicians On Call, serving those in hospitals who can really use encouragement. This helped me get outside of my own head and reset my world filter. Social media is only a highlight reel of our lives, it’s not reality!

[Brent]:  What would you say is the single most challenging part for young country music artists to stay strong in their faith?

[April]:  That would be the enemy of comparison. Jealousy is not a good look!

[Brent]:  Looking back, if you could give 18 year old April any advice for the years ahead of her, what would it be?

[April]:  Enjoy the ride. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Don’t compromise on who you are. Don’t forget why you are doing this.

[Brent]:   Do you have any personal boundaries for accountability with so much available to you in the industry?

[April]:  It’s difficult to navigate that. Now that I’m married, I put my marriage first even before my music. Jeremy tries to travel with me as much as possible. We have a huge element of trust. The biggest real key is communication. I feel like boundaries will develop over time the longer we are married.

We talked faith and life challenges for about an hour. I found April to be a soft-spirited, compassionate, and insightful young lady. She’s also incredibly authentic. We had not officially ever met before, outside of Instagram. And yet she seemed to not have a problem sharing about her own spiritual journey (the highs and lows) for the readers of this blog.

 

April and her husband, Jeremy, will celebrate their first wedding Anniversary this coming September. If you’re in the habit of prayer, consider praying for them. If you’ve been married for any length of time like me, you know that marriage is not always a walk in the park. And I would imagine working in the music industry can bring challenges of its own as well.

 

BONUS INFO / You heard it first right hear on LeadRight, folks. April Kry will be touring seven cities in Switzerland soon! Continue checking her official website for a full list of locations, dates, and ticket information.

 

April Kry is most active today on Instagram, but you can also connect with her music on Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Be sure to give her a listen.

 

Comment below if you are enjoying this ‘Faith and Entertainment’ series. Next week, I’ll be talking with Lucas Hoge!

 

Join the discussion and LEAVE A COMMENT below.

Subscribe to the blog Here and never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

Celebrating 8 Years on this Blog!

This week I’m celebrating 8 years blogging at LeadRight.me!
198 Posts
122 WordPress Followers
35 Email Subscribers
To commemorate this personal accomplishment, I’m sharing 8 of my most popular posts below! Let me know which ones are YOUR favorites. (simply ‘click’ on each picture title)
Keeping the faith in the country music industryMary Sarah
The incredible legacy one person can leave behind when they leave us early
Jutila
Suggestions for those dark seasons of life
darkness
God is active even if you don’t feel Him
working

How to keep circumstances from taking our joy awayjoy

Putting healthier focus on all that you are balancing pause

 

A simple approach to personal Soul Care practice

How to genuinely express gratitude to your teamsappreciation

Thanks SO MUCH for stopping by!

Join the discussion and LEAVE A COMMENT below.

Subscribe to the blog and never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

Happy Father’s Day, God!

Because you know HIS NAME…he will protect you, save you, and be your place of refuge and safety.

Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.  Psalm 91:14

fathers-day-featured2

For some, this concept (promise) can be difficult to fully understand. Some of us have been blessed with great father figures. Yet, others not so much. As humans, the difficulty is separating our experiences with earthly fathers from what we know and will continue to discover about our Heavenly Father.

Even those who have wonderful fathers (biological, step, foster, etc.) must not closely compare them to the father figure we have in God. Why? Because this can limit our expectations of God in heaven. Even the best earthly fathers cannot compare to the love, grace, gifts, and protection our God in heaven offers.

Conversely, some have not had the greatest example of a father in their life. Maybe you’ve even had multiple poor experiences. I’m truly sorry, but please work hard to give God a fair chance to demonstrate that he really is different. Don’t allow your bad earthly experiences to limit God’s influence in your life. No matter the depth of pain and hurt, take a step of faith. Become vulnerable and allow him to be the father you never had…and even MORE!

Take a minute to listen to this incredible song by Rend Collective. Sing the words of this chorus to your Heavenly Father today. And go ahead, wish him a very Happy Father’s Day.

Is there anything in this song that is hard for you to believe about God? Or is there something in it that you already know to be true and lean into daily for encouragement?

Join the discussion and LEAVE A COMMENT below.

Subscribe to the blog Here and never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

Interview with Mary Sarah on Living Your Faith as a Country Music Artist

Recently, Mary Sarah (widely known from The Voice and KidZBop) graciously agreed to Mary Sarah 6have coffee with me while I was passing through Nashville on family business. If you are a person of faith or if you love country music, you WILL WANT to read this interview.
Now, before she entered the coffee shop I was honestly concerned that I might become a bit star-struck. But when she arrived none of that was an issue. And mostly due to her demeanor. Mary Sarah is a born and raised, down home Southern girl. That popular Southern hospitality shines through loudly in this young lady, greeting me with a hug and a smile.
Starting up our visit was so easy. In fact, after spending just over an hour getting to know her I left feeling like I had just gained a new friend.
The interview answers that follow below come directly from the heart of someone who follows Jesus and has been in the music and performing industry for roughly 12 years…and she’s still just 23 years old!

[Brent]: What would you say is the single most challenging part for young country music artists to stay strong in their faith?

 

[Mary Sarah]: “It’s the ones who don’t give up who make it. There are so many no’s. You simply can’t let people in the industry crush your dreams and stop you from doing what you truly love. It comes back to not finding your identity in what others think…your identity is in the Lord.”Mary Sarah 5

[Brent]: Looking back, if you could give 12 year old Mary Sarah any advice for the years ahead of her, what would it be?  (I think she enjoyed pondering this question)

[Mary Sarah]: “Remember to never forget where your ‘true’ joy comes from. It comes from the Lord.”
[Brent]: How do we practically do that?
[Mary Sarah]: “Pursue the giver of joy. Take the time and sit in silence with God. Don’t fear the silence.”

She told me one of her all-time favorite verses is Psalm 46:10, Be still, and know that I am God.” She emphasized the word ‘know.’ When we know something there isn’t any question about it. When we know that God really is all he says he is we can rest in that hope. 

“Never forget where your ‘true’ joy comes from.” If I’m being honest and not careful, my joy can be found in the number of followers and comments I get online. Or in how happy I can make others around me. And especially around the positions/accomplishments I’ve accumulated in my life. How about you? Mary Sarah’s first answer didn’t include the word ‘true,’ but she quickly added it. She clarified that true joy can only be rooted in Jesus. Joy in anything else is just a counterfeit hope. 

Then she said these word about the giver of joy. “Don’t fear the silence.” This is proof that us older adults (I’m not OLD, just older) can definitely learn spiritual truths from some who are younger. I’m not sure about you, but I do occasionally fear the silence when I’m sitting with God in prayer. Why? Honestly, because I might not really want to hear what loving challenge or new direction he might be calling me into. Fearing the silence, however, leads to avoidance. And avoiding time with him actually hinders our relationship with him. 

 

[Brent]: What is one of the most helpful pieces of life advice (outside of family) anyone has ever offered to you?
[Mary Sarah]: “I’d say that would probably have come from working with Ray Price – At age 16 he shared these encouraging words with me and my parents. ‘Know your audience, tailor your show to them. Give them their own personal show. Also, don’t be too sexy. Know who you are (in person and online) and don’t use your body to advance your career.’ I still reflect on those words today.”
After getting to know Mary Sarah, I can honestly say she is the same person off stage as when she’s performing. The young lady I met with was the same person we all watched on cheered for on The Voice. 
Mary Sarah 1
[Brent]: Do you have any personal boundaries in place for accountability with so much available to you?
[Mary Sarah]: “Alcoholism…it has been passed down through my family. I’ve had to develop a mindset that re-enforces the fact that I really don’t need to do whatever everyone else is doing around me. Also, I never drink heavy at all before a show. I have a job to do and that responsibility to my audience is taken seriously.”
Mary Sarah 2
[Brent]: What does Mary Sarah’s personal quiet time generally look like?
[Mary Sarah]: “Quiet time with Jesus every day is a necessity for me. Waking up and realizing that God loves me and that I have value in that day is something I try to focus on each day before my feet hit the floor. Also, Prayer is a natural lifestyle for me. It reminds me that I’m not alone and keeps me grounded. My most favorite thing is to sit in quiet in the morning, just my Bible, coffee, and Jesus. We  make time because the Lord makes time for us.”
[Brent]: How do you continue to cultivate your relationship with Jesus with all the music venues and travel on your calendar?
[Mary Sarah]: “Well, it’s definitely harder on the road. I look at flying as an excuse to shut myself off from the world. I also actively journal, which has really become a precious conversation with the Lord. Surrounding myself with others for loving accountability is critical for me. But this is on me. I’m responsible to ask for this.”
I want to wrap up this post by highlighting a pivotal moment in Mary Sarah’s life. Just a few months ago she posted on Instagram that she was going off-line for a few days. And she did! She got out of town to a beach somewhere with her Mom for about a week. There was no work, no writing music, no social media engagement. In essence, she took an extended Sabbath rest. She got quite authentic and told me that she felt a nudge in her spirit. A tugging on her heart to get away and reflect on her personal life, career, and walk with Jesus. And this proved to be beneficial. She returned to life as usual with a renewed vision and clarity for the direction her life needed to head. I love that she practices what she said earlier, that we make time for God because he makes time for us.

 

Her beautiful vocals and ability are found to be similar to that of Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline. Mary Sarah’s music can be streamed on Spotify, and the best ways to keep up with her online is by following her on Instagram and Twitter. I highly recommend you give her a follow.

Join the discussion and LEAVE A COMMENT below. Who would YOU like me to interview next?

Subscribe to the blog Here and never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

Discovering Every Day Just How UnGodly I Really Am

Godliness. It’s one of those words/traits in the Bible that feels vague, a bit self-righteous, and unattainable. Don’t you think?

Our level of ‘Godliness’ actually consists of our personal knowledge of him. How much of God’s revealed knowledge, truth, and wisdom do we have? How much of this have we experienced? This is what it means to be Godly. How much of all truth of God do we really know?

With that in mind, some might assume that Bible scholars, theologians, and veteran pastors might be some of the most Godly people. This is definitely not the case.

godliness

Godliness is not attained by perfect Biblical behavior or simply memorizing scripture. While those things are good to aim for, it is the actual experienced character of God that makes us Godly.

For example, I can read in the Psalms all day long that God is my protection and my strength. But that stops at head knowledge if I’m only believing what I read about him. To truly know that he protects and strengthens me is to personally experience it.

Now, in 1 Timothy we learn that there is one additional component to be added to Godliness.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain,  for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” 1 Tim. 6:6

So, having an experiential knowledge of God paired with being content with how he has chosen to bless and provide for us is great gain!

How about it? Let’s strive for Godliness and legit contentment today.

 

Join the discussion and LEAVE A COMMENT below.

Subscribe to the blog Here and never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!