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The Faith and Entertainment Series!

Welcome to the ‘Faith and Entertainment’ series, where I interview followers of Jesus who work in the entertainment industry, i.e., musicians, athletes, actors, etc.

WHY did I start doing these interviews? Two reasons. 1. I have a deep appreciation of  music and acting.  2. I am very passionate about personal soul care and authentic discussions about living out our daily faith. So, I figured…why not blend the two?

CLICK on a picture below to read (or HEAR) each interview.

Mary Sarah 2 Blog
Recording Artist: Mary Sarah
April Kry 1 Blog
Recording Artist: April Kry
Lucas Hoge 2 Blog
Recording Artist: Lucas Hoge
Kaitlyn Baker 3 Blog
Recording Artist: Kaitlyn Baker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashley Sutton Blog
Actress: Ashley Sutton
Holly Tucker Blog
Recording Artist: Holly Tucker
Janelle Arthur Blog
Recording Artist: Janelle Arthur
Curtis Grimes Blog
Recording Artist: Curtis Grimes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shawn Johnson and Andrew East
Athletes: Shawn Johnson-East & Andrew East
Krista Angelucci pic 2
Recording Artist: Krista Angelucci
morgan-myles
Recording Artist: Morgan Myles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jesslee 1
Recording Artist: JessLee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE & LISTEN to the new podcast on Spotify and Soundcloud.

 

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Let me know who YOU would like me to interview next for this series! Drop a comment below. I am an ordained pastor in the Church of God. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and have been working in faith-based counseling for over 20 years. Each of these discussions have greatly encouraged me, and I pray they encourage you too.

Subscribe to the blog Here and never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

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Interview with Holly Tucker

Next up for the ‘Faith and Entertainment’ series is Nashville recording artist and song writer, Holly Tucker!

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Holly began her career in music at the age of 8, and received a rare four-chair turn in 2013 on Season 4 of The Voice. She advanced all the way to the top 6 vocalists that season and was invited back for the finale.

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Holly. I could tell that she has a true heart for Jesus and his calling on her life, solely based on her honesty and openness about her own struggles and doubts with God in difficult seasons. All of us wrestle with God’s timing, quietness, and call from time to time. But not everyone is willing to be gut-level honest about what that has looked like for them.

I’ve linked her music on Youtube and Spotify below. Be sure to give her a listen. But for now, enjoy our encouraging discussion around her authentic faith journey. 

[Brent]: You recently retweeted a quote by Bob Goff. “Fear and insecurity will always try to talk us into settling for lesser things.“ Can you speak into that a bit? Does anything come to mind?

[Holly]: Man, it has been a very tough one and a half years for me. Lots of set backs and losses, especially in my music career. To be completely honest, I’ve been really angry with God, that he’s given me a gift to use for his glory…it’s a calling but I don’t feel like I’m being used effectively right now. I’ve said yes to opportunities I shouldn’t have said yes to. Every opportunity isn’t a good opportunity. Lately when I pray to God it sometimes feels like I’m talking to air. I’m really working hard to hold on to my faith, but I’m in a deep valley right now. I’ve just been settling. This tweet was mainly a reminder for me.

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

[Holly]:  At 13 years old I saw Darryl Worley perform at the Grand Ole Opry for 1st time. I was with my parents and we learned about a secrete alleyway artists would use to exit the Opry and slip off to one of the nearby bars. He was a big influence to me, so we went to the back after the show and I got to meet him! I shared with him my dream of pursuing a music career. I’ll never forget what he said to me. “Well, that’s a great dream, Holly. Keep singing. But don’t let this business change you.”  This industry is all about changing you to what it thinks you should be, so it’s a constant battle to remain unique and true to your message.

 

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

[Holly]:  It’s been longer than I’d like to admit. I usually like to sit down with a pencil and highlighter. And I always come with questions, and I write them next to the scripture I’m reading. This is one way I engage in conversation with God, and I find that I am encouraged later on down the road when he provides me with solutions or knowledge pertaining to questions I’d jotted down weeks or even months ago.

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[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?

[Holly]:  I haven’t quite figured this out yet. Praying and reading the Word would be the most logical answer, I guess. I don’t know! Maybe this is why I’ve been in this ‘valley’ season for so long. Even though I avoid talking to God, and he still finds ways to talk to me. I still make myself go to Church every Sunday. I’m still figuring it out. But I know this won’t last. It will eventually pass. I’m not asking to be a Taylor swift, I simply want to survive in this industry.

 

[Brent]:   Is God teaching you anything new right now?

[Holly]:  It seems like he’s always teaching me patience. I’m constantly over-thinking and worrying about every possible outcome. God’s always working on that with me. I need to stop being in control all the time. As for new, I don’t think I’ve ever had my faith tested this hard.

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[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?

[Holly]:  I’ve never been asked that before. Haven’t written this song yet.

 

[Brent]:   If you could travel back in time and witness any moment of Jesus’ life while he was in the flesh on Earth, what would it be…and why?

[Holly]:  Instantly in my mind, it would have to be his talk with the woman at the well. To witness that conversation. To experience his example of mercy here. Those stories make my heart happy. Also, woman who touched his robe in the chaotic crowd. It goes back to his mercy and her faith being so strong.

 

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

[Holly]:  Honest, I don’t get a lot of requests for faith-based country.  It’s refreshing to talk about my faith like this, especially right now in this season.

Enjoy one of my personal favorite Holly Tucker songs, ‘The Finer Things.”

Connect with Holly, subscribe, follow, etc. HERE > > >

Spotify, Instagram, Twitter, website, youtube.

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!

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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.

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[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.

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[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!

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. 
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[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.”
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[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!