Kirsten Panachyda Kirstin Panachyda is an award-winning Bible teacher and award-winning author. Her most recent book is Among Lions: Fighting for Faith and Finding Your Rest while Parenting a Child…
No, not no to God. But in my years of ministry, I’ve discovered the need to safeguard my time and energy. I’ve also come to realize that can’t be done without learning how to say no.
We all only have so much time in a day. And if you’re like me, life is filled to overflowing. So that means constantly guarding our priorities.
There are a couple of areas where I’ve had to develop discipline in this regard.
NO to the Good Things to Leave Room for the God Things
I’m bad about seeing a need and equating that with a call to serve. The truth is, God doesn’t call me to fill every ministry hole. He has specific things He wants me to do at specific times in my life.
If I say yes to every opportunity I come across, then God can’t use me in the ways He has planned.
To help me evaluate what to become involved with, I’ve developed a few steps I go through before I say yes.
Does your happy ever need a reno?
All of us can sometimes put our happy spaces in weird places. People get caught up, for instance, in the thread count of their sheets. Thread count. If it’s not Egyptian cotton in a thread count impressive enough to require a greater number of stacks of cash in the bank than the count of the threads in the sheets, suddenly that bed is just not a happy place. It’s all about the thread count. The math is not uncomplicated.
The two of us, Beth and Rhonda, maintain that everyone is getting a little too caught up in the thread count, when shouldn’t the crumb count be a bigger deal? We were talking about it the other day and discovered that we don’t really like the idea of snacking in bed—mostly because we don’t like the idea of sheets that are too…how can we put it…exfoliat-ey. But then later we decided the fact that we’re not bed-snackers might actually be more about the other fact that neither of our husbands are big into exfoliation either.
Years ago, a seasoned writer and speaker mentored me on how to build the ministry God had given me.
We’d meet for coffee and discussed everything from adapting to different cultures to dealing with the zingers I’d get from posting God’s promises on social media. I took notes, asked questions and basked in her wisdom. One December day she paused from talking, reached across the table, took ahold of my hands and looked me into my eyes. Then waited.
“What?” I asked.
She smiled. “You’re doing wonderfully bracing for the unknown. But don’t forget to ponder what you already know.”
“Right,” I said, eager to please my mentor. “I make it a point to read Scripture and do my devotionals every day. And I read what other women are doing in their ministries to further God’s message. I’m seeking out ways to be a better servant.” I thought I had given the perfect answer.
She took a deep breath and sighed, still holding my hands and looking intently into my face.
“What are we doing now — right now?”
“You’re mentoring me. I’m learning from you how to be better at what I do.” How could this answer be wrong?
by Lisa Burns in Leading Hearts magazine
Multiple Grammy award-winning vocalist and songwriter, Russ Taff, has created some of the most memorable songs in gospel music.
Having been an integral part of the Imperials, as well as having launched an amazing solo career, Russ’ iconic voice of grit and soul is etched upon many of our hearts and minds. What some may not realize is that his wife, Tori, is an equally accomplished and gifted artist in her own right, having co-written and arranged multiple award-winning songs.
Leading Hearts Magazine recently had the opportunity to sit down to speak with this dynamic duo. They have a story to tell, and their desire is that by doing so, they will make a difference.
Russ grew up in a Pentecostal pastor’s home. Upon arriving in a town to take over a new pastorate, life was filled with fresh beginnings. That all would quickly change over a short period of time. Russ recalls, “My dad struggled with alcoholism, and our home was not a happy place. We were told often that we weren’t going to amount to anything.”
by Emily Walton in Leading Hearts Magazine
NOT VERY MANY PEOPLE CAN SUM UP THEIR WHOLE LIFE IN ONE WORD, BUT JENNIFER TRACY CAN. THAT WORD IS COURAGE.
From surviving an abusive childhood to losing her husband and daughter in a car crash, Jennifer has carried the courage God gave her throughout her entire life.
“From a young age, I tapped into courage. I think that God just gave that gift to me,” Jennifer says. “The more you use that muscle the stronger it gets. I just wanted to feel like a warrior, I wanted to hear Him say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”