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The Year to Believe: Interview with Kai Pineda

Mar 31, 2016

Have you ever seen the movie The King’s Speech? It’s an incredible film. My wife and I both loved it and we were both moved by the main character’s pursuit of finding his voice.

In the final scene of this Academy-Award winning film, Colin Firth (who won an Oscar for his performance) discovers his voice with courage and perseverance.

I met a new friend earlier this year who has found her voice and is using it powerfully. I’m excited to introduce you to Kai A. Pineda. Kai is extremely talented and she is pursuing more and more opportunities to use her voice, as a writer, a speaker and a musician.

Kai Pineda Kai A. Pineda

Meet Kai A. Pineda

SS: Kai, thanks so much for sharing with us. First, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What roles do you play and where?

KP: My name is Kai A. Pineda and I am a simple girl from Northern California who is deeply in love with Jesus and the Word of God. I am a wife to my best friend and Pastor, Alex Pineda, and the mommy to a Maltese-Poodle named McLovin. I am a pastor as well as, a worship leader and writer. I find joy in preaching and teaching the Gospel. My heart is towards the NOW Generation and gathering them together to make a radical impact in the world through authentic community, biblical living, and unconditional love. 

Kai Pineda’s Future Book & Music

SS: Kai, we met you through our participation in Chad Cannon’s Author Coaching Network. What is the book idea you’re working on currently?

KP: I still laugh when I think about being asked to join ACN. I was not an author nor was I even a blogger. However, over the last 14 years, I have written curriculum, articles for magazines, created workbooks, and a ministerial training course. I have been writing all my life as I am a songwriter. Since the age of 10, I knew I would write books and now the time has come. When Chad Cannon and I first spoke, we did not talk about books. But now I have submitted a book proposal to him and we will see what he says. But to answer your question, I am working on a book about the lies/myths many believe about the church that are not true. From church being a location, to dress code and attendance, many have been hurt by personal preference and not a biblical standard. 

(Note: Since Kai and I connected for this interview, she signed a book contract and is wrapping up the manuscript for release before the end of 2017).

SS: During our recent meeting in Nashville, you shared some music with us. Can you share with us about your most recent album?

KP: I recently completed my sophomore album. The album is titled, Unshakeable. Hebrews 12:28-19 talks about us being a part of an unshakeable kingdom and that we should reference our God in awe because He is a consuming fire. This album was the album I wanted to make and when I was done I knew if no one liked it, God was pleased. It is a cantata (which means it flows from one song to the next seamlessly), and tells a story from opening up declaring our God is great and ending in the Lords Prayer. I am full of expectation for this project and know it will bless those who hear it. (You can learn more about Unshakable and get your copy here.)

Kai Pineda on Staring Fear in the Face

SS: You shared a song with us in Nashville, which was amazing! I know it’s going to be an incredible album. Kai, I began this interview series began by exploring the subject of fear with my guests. What does the voice of fear sound like for you?

KP: Fear sounds like silence as I watched my first husband pass away after giving the doctors permission to stop all means to keep him alive. It sounded like the doctor telling me he was not going to live. It was the scariest moment in my life as I first had to make the decision to let him go and then I had to go home alone. It has been 9 years since he died, and yet it is so vivid in my mind. I had waited to be married and a year and a half later, my husband was in ICU, unable to talk and his liver was failing. I could not understand what was happening and I was not sure how I was going to make it through life.

SS: Wow, Kai, I had no idea. I’m so sorry for your loss. In the midst of that tragedy, what helped you become courageous in the face of that fear?

KP: My husband died at 3:05 am and I got home about 5 a.m. I made a few calls and went to bed. I slept so hard I thought it was a dream when I heard the phone ringing. As I went to get the phone, the person on the other end started to tell me how sorry they were for my loss. I let out a scream and began sobbing as the realization came flooding back to my heart and mind. Immediately, 7 people ran into my room surrounding me and started praying as my mom took the phone from me. I had no idea anyone else was in the house. But our community of friends were there already tending to my needs and my fear. A few minutes later, a friend who had just lost his wife showed up to talk to me. I cannot tell you what he was saying, but as he sat there I heard the Lord say, “If you don’t get up now, you will never get up.” I got up, numb, a tad bit crazy, hair all over my head and sat as people dressed me and got me ready to go into the living room. I woke up every day after that knowing people were counting on me to get up. If I did not get up, they would not either. My husband and I were pastors starting a church and people counted on me. They had watched my faith many times before and this could be no different. I had to put myself and my feeling aside and remember I served a God who did not make mistakes and who knew what I was able to endure. I got up every morning, not looking the best, or feeling great, but I got up with faith and embraced every emotion no matter when it came or where I was when it came. I allowed people to help me and I had a community of family and friends who not only served me but loved me. With each passing day, I got stronger.

One Word for 2016 for Kai Pineda

SS: Thank you, Kai, for sharing that story. I know my readers are going to connect with your transparency. During our time in Nashville, you shared about a word you identified for the year. Is something you do every year? What’s your word for 2016?  

KP: This year I read a YouVersion devotion called One Word That Will Change Your Life. I only read the first day if I am to be honest. However, before our New Year’s Eve fellowship, I was getting ready in prayer and God told me, “This was the year to believe.” I focused in and as we prayed together as a group, this was our prayer target. In that moment God told me this was my word. It has been tremendous as I literally walk around my house saying “I BELIEVE.”  This was the first time I had ever had a word (one word), for the year. What is so interesting is after I read the devotion, I had to go out of town. While at my 5 year-old God-son’s first basketball game in Illinois, the youth pastor started to share and used the one word “vision,” asking all the parents present to get a word for the year for their family. I smiled!

SS: Kai, I know you do a lot of study for yourself and the messages you share. What’s something you’ve been learning about recently?

KP: I love to read and I am reading several books at one time. But honestly, the Word of God is where I get the most information. Last week I shared Genesis 16 with our fellowship. The emphasis was on Hagar and God’s ability to locate us because He sees us. But Scott, as I read the entire chapter something stood out to me that I could not shake. Verse 3 says; “So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.” I have read this story many times and have skipped over the first part of this verse. For 10 years Abram was living in Canaan. We all know Canaan as the land of promise. They were in the land of promise!  So many of us are in a place of promise and cannot recognize it. We decide to help God out when we think He has forgotten, is taking too long, or we simply doubt His Word. Here was Abram who knew God and what God could do, and yet somewhere along these 10 years of waiting, he decided to move away from faith. His agreement to move away from faith caused havoc in his home and within his family.

Kai Pineda on Balance, Encouragement and One Final Sermon?

SS: You have a lot of different talents and gifts, Kai! How do you balance all of these different things (preaching, writing, singing)?

KP: It is simple. God called me to preach His Word. My gift is my voice and so I sing as an offering to God. And writing is another way to herald the Good News as a messenger. I am clear about the call of God on my life which allows me to understand all the gifts/talents and skills I have are to help facilitate the call.

SS: There are people reading who have ambitions and they’re going to have to manage a few things going at the same time, like you. What can you share with them to encourage them as they express their diverse talents and gifts?

KP: We serve a God who began the world by CREATING IT! Creativity is a gift and one God gives. At the same time, we must make sure we are not divided in what we are doing. I have learned to master the main things so I am not distracted by the minor things. I would encourage you to discover God’s plan for your life. When I understood the plan, it made all the gifts and talents I possessed make sense. I can do a lot of things and am great at multitasking. But for me, the question is always this: What is the ONE THING God wants me to do more than any OTHER THING?

SS: Okay, last question. You get to preach one sermon for the entire American church to hear. 30 minutes. What would you say?

KP: The Church is not a location it is a vocation! And our Savior is coming back for a Bride, not a building!

Thank you so much, Kai, for sharing with us. We’re grateful to have been the recipients of your giftedness and calling today!

If you want to learn more about Kai, please check out her website and pick up a copy of her newest album, Unshakable.

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