AuthorJon Fuller

26: How Playing with For KING AND COUNTRY Put Blake Kanicka in the Center of God’s Will


Stephen Blake Kanicka is a Grammy award-winning multi-instrumentalist and composer. His musicality has been noted by the New York Times and featured on Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno, The View, Ellen Degeneres, and the Today Show.

Stephen Blake grew up deeply entrenched in the world of music, as his mother was a Vocal Performance major in college. His innate ear for music was noticed at a very young age when he would climb the piano and play the melodies he heard around him. His talent was then fostered with Suzuki ear training, followed by over ten years of classical study in piano, theory, and music history. All of these experiences set the foundation for a strong melodic sense and technical proficiency while also gaining a deep respect for the classical composers, particularly Mozart and Beethoven.

Further development was pursued as a member of a jazz ensemble, chamber choir, and with local artists. At the young age of 16, Stephen Blake was invited to travel nation-wide with an arena tour – giving him his first introduction to the commercial music industry. By the time he graduated from high school, he had gained significant musical training, real-world experience, and had composed and produced several of his own arrangements.

Professionally, Stephen Blake has continued to hone his craft over the years as a musical director, string arranger, and collaborator with many artists – both onstage and in the studio. Notably, he has worked and performed with Atlantic Records artist, Jason Castro, as well as critically-acclaimed Aqualung, who likened his musical sensibilities to those of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

Currently, he records and performs with the award-winning band, for KING & COUNTRY, while also continuing his creative work in the studio with various artists and projects he finds inspiring.

He lives with his wife, Brittany, in Franklin, Tennessee.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • A lifelong passion for music
  • Blake’s inspiration: “The Lord goes before you and fights your battles.” Also, Psalm 23
  • Ups and downs in the music business
  • Blake’s biggest struggle: servanthood
  • The importance of relationships that can help and keep you accountable
  • “Treasure hunters”
  • Music’s profound emotion
  • College at Texas A&M: no musical instruments for THREE years!
  • Blake’s move to LA, joining a band, living within God’s will
  • Blake’s advice to the younger Blake: “The Holy Spirit is real. Don’t let other things challenge your faith.”
  • Having faith to step out
  • Having wise counsel
  • Blake’s favorite current project: a version of Amazing Grace for an upcoming movie, with rapper KB
  • Blake’s parting advice: “There is a power in mystery. I have a great hope that we continue to embrace the mysterious. Be careful what you let yourself absorb.”

Connect with Blake:



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25: All in to Serve Jesus with Madison Carthel

Today’s guest is ALL IN to serve Jesus! Madison Carthel is inspired to set an unquenchable fire for audacious women. She does this through her Facebook ministry, After His Heart, where women of all ages and stages in life can come together and grow in the Lord.

Madison married her high school sweetheart almost 9 years ago, and now is a stay-at-home mom of FIVE boys—from 18 months to age 7. Madison and her husband recently became licensed foster care parents and are looking to add a daughter to their brood very soon! You’ll be inspired in your walk with Jesus through listening to Madison, so join us now!

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • How Madison’s Facebook group began and has grown to almost 4000 members
  • Why Madison wants to inspire AUDACIOUS women? Because audacious means invulnerable to fear and intimidation
  • Why it takes hard work and intentionality to have time every day with Jesus as a very busy wife and mother
  • How Madison sets a spiritual learning environment for her kids with 24-hour worship music and conversation about the Lord
  • Madison’s definition of success: growing closer and in love with her husband and closer to Jesus as she spends time with her kids and watches them grow and pray
  • How Madison lets the Holy Spirit lead her to topics for her Facebook group
  • Her biggest struggle? Learning forgiveness from deep hurts and abandonment
  • Why forgiveness takes the Holy Spirit’s help and isn’t possible in our own strength
  • How a recent conference stirred an uncontrollable fire in Madison
  • Her biggest strength? Obedience and being able to listen to God
  • The biggest weakness inside that strength? Being too bold, rushing ahead of God and not waiting for Him to lead
  • How Madison is able to share the gospel with others through opportunities brought about through her Facebook group and the women she serves there
  • Why Madison prays about chance encounters with others as she runs errands and does daily tasks
  • A favorite inspirational book? One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (Tune in to hear how this book has transformed Madison’s attitude and life!)
  • Favorite resources? The Bible, where Madison turns to “because there is always something there for me.” Also, The Glory of The Lamb by Sandy Kirk.
  • Madison’s advice to her younger self: “Don’t care so much about what others think. Middle school and high school are a short time in your life and shouldn’t matter in the whole scheme of things. Run to God and cling to Him because He is all that matters.”
  • Madison’s parting advice to listeners: “A quote by John Wesley says, ‘Set yourself on fire and others will come to watch you burn.’ Keep Jesus and the cross at the center of all that you do. He is all that matters.”


One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

The Glory of The Lamb by Sandy Kirk

Join Madison’s Facebook group, After His Heart!

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24: Purpose – What it is and How to Find it

I was so honored that the Enkindle Conference in Amarillo, TX invited me to be a speaker last week. A few episodes back, I interviewed Christy Austin of Enkindle, so you will want to check out that show. I had the privilege of closing out the conference on Saturday night. I spoke about purpose. What it looks like and why we should fulfill our God-given purpose. I wanted to give you an opportunity to hear what I was speaking about because it is a message that I think we all need to hear.

I have achieved everything because of what God has done for me, not because of any man.

In this episode we also discuss:

  • Jon’s entrepreneurial spirit
  • Do we have to give up business in order to minister
  • Getting a spiritual mentor wasn’t as easy as it should have been
  • Why the right questions weren’t being asked
  • You can minister through your business
  • We are privileged to be able to co-create with God
  • Waiting on God…why it drives Jon crazy!
  • Learn what you should covet
  • Ask God what He designed you to do
  • What is marketplace revival
  • The importance of figuring out your own personal mission statement
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23: Finding Your Specific Purpose on this Earth with Rusty Pang

Rusty Pang is a psychological Sherpa. Using a combination of psychological tools and counseling techniques, he challenges the sacred cows in your life that keep you stuck. Co-founder of Entrepurpose, he and his business partner, Brian Laprath, have created a proven system to discover your God-given purpose. They believe that you are here for a reason; that reason can be known and that reason can be lived.


Listen to the episode as Rusty also discusses:

  • Why Rusty calls himself a “psychological Sherpa,” helping people navigate the mountains to find their God-given purpose
  • The journey to HERE: How Rusty recovered from 13 years of “ugly” and anger at God
  • Rusty’s all-time low: 6-12 beers each night to drown the pain of life
  • How Rusty found real purpose on 9/15/15
  • “Elevating perspective and empowering purpose”
  • How Rusty’s purpose statement became an anchor
  • Why depression continued for Rusty
  • Rusty’s book, which is full of tools to have success
  • How to “fix” your life
  • Rusty’s advice to his younger self: “I’d probably slap myself for all the years of stupid! I’d say that it’s ok, even though your life will be rocked. You’ll come out on the other side. Don’t forsake and miss loving people.”
  • Rusty’s parting advice: “Get back up when you fall, no matter what you face. Don’t give up!”Resources:www.entrepurpose.comFind Rusty on FacebookEntrepurpose by Rusty Pang and Brian LaprathLiving Forward by Michael Hyatt
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22: Breaking Free from Your Past and Changing People’s Lives with Cristi Gooding

Co-Founder of YesLord, Inc, Cristi Gooding is here today to share her story of freedom and how she got into ministry.  She has a story of addiction and recovery, and now she only lives to be obedient to God. Cristi has an amazing story of how God gave her a vision of Yes Lord! She explains what it is and what the mission of it is.

Listen to the episode as Cristi also discusses:

  • What a “dwell night” is and what it means
  • The early beginnings of Yes Lord!
  • Why she didn’t wait for the Lord to drop her ministry in her lap
  • How she stepped out in faith to get Yes Lord! started
  • The miracles she has seen from her twice monthly “dwell nights”
  • How she got global reach for Yes Lord! in the first week!
  • How a t-shirt has been instrumental in starting the movement
  • Why she feels so strongly about her own personal testimony
  • Her 20-year drug addiction
  • Her choice to overcome her meth addiction and how she laid it down overnight
  • How childhood rejection led her to a food addiction that later turned into drug addiction
  • How the real battle began when she quit drugs and went back to her food addiction
  • The process of becoming unbound from addictions and how she dealt with it…..this was the hard part
  • Why it has taken almost 10 years to break the chains of addiction that bind her
  • Her childhood agreement with lies she believed about herself, and the ramifications
  • How “giving” is her weakness, and she has trouble receiving
  • What God is stirring within her


Connect with Cristi:

Website for Yes Lord is in the works, so stay tuned

To get your FREE Yes Lord T-Shirt – Email: and send your shirt size and shipping address. Mention that you heard about it on Are You Real Podcast!

Recommended Books and Resources:

Honor’s Reward

Girls with Swords

Breaking Free 

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