Heartbeat: God’s call & my prayer
by JONI B. HANNIGAN

Article Date: Feb 7, 2014

Recently I have been struck by some words of advice given with the best of intentions, but perhaps not a lot of thought.

One person told me they believed I could get a job with a major newspaper, just for the asking. Another said I should seek work with an intel company based on past experience in the Navy.

While each comment was meant to flatter, each only served to strengthen my resolve to put God’s call in my life as a priority in seeking His purpose and will in being a good steward of the gifts He’s given me.

Sure, leading writers in sniffing out details that produce a good news story and pulling together artwork that communicates an important message on a printed page—or in the context of a web design—might be second nature to me, but the message that is being communicated is what actually serves to motivate me.

That’s why in 2002 when the former executive editor of Florida Baptist Witness asked me to serve as the managing editor—I said yes.

It wasn’t because I was tired of teaching. 

Truth of the matter was that I had way too many freelance writing jobs piling up, and over and again I had to say, “No” to what really motivated me. Writing about what God is doing in the lives of Southern Baptists throughout the world.

And God got ahold of my heart. And for 11 years I have had the time of my life writing, editing, directing, and leading. 

And God still gave me opportunities to use other gifts of teaching and mentoring.

God’s call on our lives is not something to be easily dismissed, whether it’s a call from the seminary to the pulpit, from the post office to the business office, or from the classroom to a Baptist state paper.

Florida Baptists, it is with much appreciation I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to answer God’s call. 

This is my prayer for you, as I look to the future: May God bless you. Que Dios los bendiga. Que Dieu vous bénisse. Allah ma’ak.

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