Carly Rose reminds the world what a 13 year old CAN do…

Working in the music world of Nashville with pre-teen and teen artists I’m used to coming across amazing talent with iShine (, young men and women who are vocally talented and gifted. But this 13 year old (Carly Rose Sonenclar) was not what I was expecting… after watching her X Factor performance, I was a fan… A Facebook post by my niece piqued my curiosity and then I starting typing out this blog.

I watched the video and reposted it… and when the goosebumps started to fade I realized part of what I was feeling was the pure joy of hearing a voice that was meant to be heard! A gift from God that stirred the heart and refreshed the soul, from the lips of an emerging adolescent girl who at 13 was tearing IT UP!!!

It reminded me of the amazing potential our next generation has to shape our world, to refresh and reorient us from our adult cynicism, heartache and bitter pain. Our kids hold the keys to the future, literally. As in Carly Rose’s case, she can hit all the “keys” on her way up and on the way down the vocal scale 🙂

As parents… let’s use this wonderful musical interlude to remind ourselves of the vitality and strength that is retained in the lives of our pre-teens and teens. Their dreams and hearts are just big enough to become reality, let’s be extra careful to NOT put their hopes in a box made out of our own shortcomings, failures and pain.

After all, Jesus was in the temple at 12 wow-ing his world as he shared with the scribes and teachers of the law from a depth of divine insight that was unprecedented. Josiah was running an entire empire by his 13th b-day and Mary the mother of Christ had to be in her “early” teen years when called upon by the Holy Spirit to play a lead role in the eternal story of redemption.

Jesus in the Temple –

It’s clear that pre-teens and teens were and are meant to share a lot of valuable stuff for us “adults” to learn from and they carry in them… hope and heart and optimism for us all!

WoooHoooo!!!  You Go Carly Rose ! and we’ll be rooting for you in Nashville every step of the way, and praying for God to protect you and your precious family from the rigors of your emerging fame and success.

Before any one out there gets too upset, I’m NOT comparing this young talented singer to the Lord Jesus Christ, or the Virgin Mary, but I am pointing out the potential she has at tender age to impact the world as noteworthy and encouraging for parents of Faith. What a great and timely reminder for us to nurture the dreams of our own children as they  may well have a significant gift like Carly’s to share with us all!

Blessings to you RTP families!


Faith or Fame for your tween? Beware the Disney parable…

Watching Miley Cyrus saturday host SNL sobered me a bit as I realized how much she really has changed. In just over six years she had gone from a fun and energetic, wholesome child star to a jaded and worn young woman. From the grocery store checkout rag’s to the primetime interviews… Miley’s family has been the focus of countless millions as they have been literally torn apart by her quote “successes”.

What happened ? It appears that somewhere in all of the success and stardom her values shifted dramatically. Her youthful innocence was replaced with something much different. Something darker and more destructive has touched her family, ironic as it seems… this destruction of family is one of the common denominators with most if not all child tv pop stars.

Why did it happen ? Somewhere along the way… her parents lost their ability to influence her more than the environment she was allowed to live in. Miley’s parents were affected by her success as much or more than she was… and it destroyed their home. The roots of their values, beliefs and faith were not deep enough to withstand the tsunami of her exploding popularity, wealth, influence and stardom.

What can we do to prevent similar loss in our families ? Stay close to God’s word, and to each other. Simple, but profound. By staying close to God’s word, we stay close to “reality” and in doing so, maintain perspective on who we are and how much life is not about us. When we skip that step, we start to immediately drift into another reality. One dominated by the influence of media, popular culture and the despair of a self-absorbed life. When we stay close to God, our roots of faith grow deep and wide… preparing us and our families for whatever may come.

Where do we go from here as a generation? As parents of faith, our first duty is to be intentional about our faith and guard our own hearts and mind. Time with God is irreplaceable and powerful. It restores our hearts and minds and prevents us from the presumption and deception of living  lives without the influence of the Holy Spirit. When we model our faith in our homes, we’re leading our kids to find a source of life and purpose much deeper than ourselves.

Our kids, our pre-teens need us to maintain our connection with our faith and our values. When we falter, we open them up to being influenced by someone else, for purposes that will ultimately destroy our lives. I Peter 5 describes the Devil as a ravenous lion, its true. He has plans to steal, kill and destroy us and our kids. The first line of defense comes on our knees and in the word of God.

I grieve for Miley, her family has been swallowed up by the very thing they so desperately wanted. Fame. As parents, we need to exercise some caution in our life choices… no matter how awesome the opportunity.  When we pause and pray before acting… we include God in our choices and in doing so we avoid the devastation of our very lives. I’m confident the opportunity to star as Hannah Montana seemed perfectly harmless on the front side, but in the end it led to a path full of pain and loss.

For all of us its the same…, we are in need of a savior, and in accepting His help, we must learn to accept His will. When we choose to let God pick… we’re protecting our families in ways we will never truly appreciate until eternity.

As a media executive in the pre-teen and teen world of music and television, I’ve seen this mediacentric scenario many times before. But it’s not exclusive to media…many parents want to live out their hopes and dreams through our kids and we never hesitate to encourage them to pursue their desires to the fullest.

From the performance pressures of little league to dance class to those pushing for academic scholarships… we as parents are risking the same outcome as the Cyrus family when we don’t offer a healthy life perspective, one full of faith, balanced in activities and content with whatever God provides.

God protect us from getting our own way ! Here’s to encourage us all to carefully steer our kids through their tween years knowing that we must model our faith and hope in something more than ourselves… Keeping it on the road and in-between the lines of life.

Peace out,