Posted by Christine Pechstein in Uncategorized on August 6, 2009
I was thinking the other day about some non-Christian friends. I wanted to know what it would be like to have friends who believed in God if I didn’t. In fact, I wondered what it would be like for someone to even be my friend if they were not a Christian. As I pondered these thoughts, I realized that many would probably think I’d try to push religion or my view points on to them.
Nope. Being a Christian means that:
I won’t judge them.
I won’t force anything onto them.
I will be friendly and genuine.
I will help them when I can just the same as I’d do for my Christian friends.
I will comfort them when they need it.
I will laugh with them, but not at them.
And the number one thing that I do for my non-Christian friends? I pray.
I pray for them even though they don’t realize it. So, my non-Christian friends…
You have a prayer warrior on your side.
Even if you don’t believe in the power of prayer your Christian friends do. They can’t fix things for you, but they know someone who can. And you can know Him to. Prayer IS powerful.
Posted by Christine Pechstein in Uncategorized on August 4, 2009
I was emailing a friend of mine whose father is having surgery tomorrow to let him know that I was praying for the family. I also wanted to know if there was anything that I could do to help out during this time of need. In the email I sent, I wanted to make sure I clarified the word help.
All too often, when there is a need or an illness, we say we want to help. The phrase, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do,” is spoken so often, that I believe that we don’t understand what we mean when we say it. Let me give an example here. Some individuals will say it with no intention of doing anything other than sending flowers and a get well card. And others will offer prayers, a casserole to be frozen, or a visit after the surgery. There is nothing wrong with any of these at all. They are all forms of help and they all play a role.
The best way to offer help is to clarify how we can help an individual, because help does take on so many forms. It is helpful to send flowers and get well wishes. It is helpful to have a few visitors, although this really should be reserved for family and a few close friends. It is beneficial to have a few casseroles frozen for quick meals during recovery time. But, what about the rest of the stuff that needs attention that few people think of?
It might be helpful:
If someone could run errands
Feed the pets
Take the trash out
Gather the mail and watch for time sensitive materials
Mow the yard
Do a load or two of laundry
Get the kids to school or pick them up
Water plants or a garden
Run for prescriptions
Pick up carry out or have a pizza delivered
Sometimes the help is not just needed by the individual who is ill or having surgery. Sometimes the help is a blessing to the other family members who are assisting the recovering person. Imagine welcoming relief for a frazzled wife who is helping her spouse recover after surgery while trying to manage the kids and house alone. Sometimes it’s the family who can use the extra assistance while they provide care and support to the recovering individual.
So the next time you hear yourself say, “Let me know if there is anything I can do,” be sure to clarify how you are willing to help. You might be the one person they contact when they need a flower removal crew for all the persons who helped by sending the flowers.
Tip: It is essential that the family also not be bombarded with help. To eliminate stress, it is best to establish one person in or close to the family as the “go to” person for updates and inquiries on the needs of the family. Consider this person a project manager. Providing that person with a list of phone numbers for people who can run errands, babysit, cook, clean, and mow will give them all the information they need to call on individuals for help if it is needed. It will allow the family to maintain peace of mind while knowing that all the help they could possibly need is one phone call away.
Posted by Christine Pechstein in Uncategorized on July 27, 2009
This is something I could write about on my business website or my blog, but I’m choosing my blog for now since I thought of this at church yesterday.
Do You Really Want To Be Here?
We’ve all seen and heard people make excuses of why they couldn’t do this or that, why they couldn’t be here or there, or why they just gave up on something.
I believe many times that the answer is they didn’t really want to be there. Or it just wasn’t something that important to them.
Have you ever heard excuses from friends who didn’t follow through, people who didn’t show up when they should have, or listened to “stories” as excuses that “buy” an “out?”
Have you heard the excuses?
“Oh, I was just too tired.”
“My car wouldn’t start.”
“My dog died, it’s ninth death this month.”
“So and so couldn’t go, so I didn’t either.”
And then we’ve all observed the exact opposite. You know, the people who do care and still made all the effort to get to their destination. Why? It was IMPORTANT and had meaning to them.
Here are examples:
The single mothers and fathers who get multiple young kiddos ready for church all by themselves, secure transportation with another family member, juggle all the kids, diaper bag, and toys just to get to church on time.
The person who won the lottery, but hitch-hiked all the way to the capitol city to cash in their winning ticket despite not having transportation or a penny to their name to get a ride any other way.
The ill person due to accept an award at a banquet who despite being sick, makes every effort to show up anyway.
The parent who has had a terrible day that smiles through the school play and pretends not to have a headache.
It’s the difference between having a vested interest and not. It’s the difference between wanting to be there and not. It may not always be easy or pleasant, but you are there, because you want to be. You didn’t let the obstacles get in your way, and you didn’t settle for excuses.
I was driving in my car tonight on my way to get a diet peach tea. It has become a favorite of mine, since I quit smoking almost five months ago. The only place that has the diet peach is Walgreens across town. But I don’t mind driving the entire two miles to reach the other side of this city. It’s kind of fun, because I can roll down the windows and sing in the car. While driving, The Motions by Matthew West came on the radio. It’s just impossible for me to sing the song. Nope-my passion for building God’s Kingdom kind of consumes me yet again, and I have to belt it out, singing loud, with my hands in the air (safe driving, eh?). It’s just so awesome to worship that passionately from anywhere.
Anyhow, back to the subject. I was thinking about how God takes an ordinary woman and changes her into someone who is fearless and ready to do whatever it takes to grow His Kingdom with her gifts, time, and talents regardless of the cost. I’ve never known a passion like this. I’ve never had such a large vision as this either. And I remembered the map.
Earlier in the evening I had visited my parents, and they have a wall sized (very large!) map of the U.S with hundreds and hundreds of push-pins in it representing everywhere a target sale had been made at a specific company. I mentioned to my parents that I wanted a map like that someday to put in my home office to represent every place that I had presented the life balancing workshops and taught Christians and churches how to maintain their focus on Christ while living a balanced life. Yes, I was already visualizing a huge map in my office with massive amounts of push pins representing every place I am priviledged to teach covering the entire thing! That’s a big vision!
In an instant I could just see how ridiculous that sounded to everyone on the outside. Here I am-one absolutely amazing and passionately crazy woman, with a massive vision to reach the world to heavily armor the churches and it’s people through proper life balance and alignment to grow the Kingdom and move them all into action for the glory of God. And here’s a map of the U.S with thousands of pins in it. The map is larger than I am. It weighs more than I do. And I have started this from ground zero.
But I see it, I believe it, and I am called to do it.
It’s a God sized vision to reach His people in this manner.
I know I can’t do it on my own. I will need the power of God to accomplish it. Between me and every city on it will be the opposition just waiting. But still, I believe and have faith. And most importantly, I have the passion to carry out my calling. Accepting my calling means relying on my faith in God.
Because as I drove, I thought about how we as believers can try to cap what God is trying to do. We think too logically and forget to include something called faith in our vision.
How logical was it that the Red Sea would part?
How logical was it to build an Ark of the size and magnitude that Noah built?
How logical that David would beat the giant Goliath?
How logical was it to believe that our Savior would be born from a virgin?
How logical was it that our Savior would be sent as an infant and not a brut?
How logical was it to believe that the son of God himself would rise from the dead?
My point is that we as Christians say we believe in a holy, powerful, and almighty God. But when we have God sized visions about the expansion of His Kingdom, we tend to want to cap it, because it is illogical and risky! That’s WHY it is FAITH!
Without risk, faith is not required.
It makes me want to stand upon a mountain and scream, how big is our God? Do we not think He is big and powerful enough to carry through the vision to expand and conquer?
HOW BIG IS OUR GOD????
How big is our God that we imperfect humans with limited mind capacities and creativity and of such small faith, feel WE have to be HOLD BACK to protect the God of the Universe and limit the very visions He has given us, simply because we don’t have the capability to comprehend the awesomeness of what He IS absolutely capable of!
Our we forgetting who God is?
Our we forgetting what He has already done?
Yet, when it is time to EXPAND, GO FORTH, AND LIVE BOLDLY for Christ by doing what we are CALLED by God to do regardless of how big the vision, we become pansies and put a cap on it!
Maybe you will not be the only person to complete such a large or expansive vision. Maybe God will bring others into the picture to work with you, or complete and carry on a legacy that you are building. But, if you do not start the project the way He intends, because you won’t lift the cap off, you’re limiting the potential of the vision you have been given.
In summary: Don’t let FEAR dictate what you can and can’t do. Let God determine that.
When I left my parents tonight, they informed me that they don’t want that massive map consuming the side of their foyer, so they gave it to me. So, as soon as we have a truck big enough to deliver it to my house, I will have the map I envisioned.
And I can start the uncapped journey God has set before me. One push pin at a time.
I am so excited. My vision is the earth and where ever God sends me in it.
What’s your vision?
Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt that you were called to something bigger than yourself, but everyone else around you thought that you were insane, irrational, or an ignoramus? What I’ve learned over the past few months takes me back to a quote I heard once:
God doesn’t call the equipped,
He equips the called.
So even if you’re going through life and are content just doing what you’ve always been doing, when God calls, you will be equipped for what he has called you to do. Prepare for spiritual boot-camp, because He will get you ready. But will you be willing?
I was reading my Bible on my way back from a family reunion and a few things *hit* me like a hammer hits a finger: painful, swift, and powerfully on target. (Most of you know what I’m talking about…those hammers never miss the finger!)
1. In the book of Matthew, Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when he summoned two brothers Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were working as fisherman. That was their livelihood…their pay-check. They did not waste time thinking: “Well, how will I pay the electricity? The cable? Provide for my family?” Instead of questioning, they responded to their call immediately. (Matthew 4:18-20)
And what they received instead of a routine pay check was so much more. They traded their pay-checks for a passion.
HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
So, what’s so awesome about the passion of a calling?
But the first thing to jump out at me in response to that question is:
Becoming passionate and living a life around Christ is founded on a love that cannot be put into words. Because Love in any relationship is not founded on words alone. LOVE must accompany ACTION.
I have to say that again.
Love MUST accompany action. Action behind it is what DEFINES it!
It’s easy to say we love someone. But if our actions behind that word won’t support it, it falls flat. Love becomes just a meaningless word. If you truly care, you have joyful action to support the love you proclaim.
Think about this for a minute: How much could our marriages and relationships improve if we LOVED in ACTION! We’d be helping, encouraging, pampering, and listening by focusing on the other person and HOW we could love them instead of focusing on what we should be getting out of it. We tend to self love. Jesus was about loving others!
So, we say we can love. But, can we continue to follow and love even when the loving gets rough? How will we know if we can do it or not? The answer is simple: Just do it. Until you do, you will never know how much you love until the circumstances become challenging. I know first hand!
When the less than ideal circumstances arose, I learned that there is nothing that I wouldn’t do to live out my faith and calling. And I also had to learn that I had to be careful not to fall into anything that would take my focus off that same calling when the difficult tests began!
I learned that by following Christ I could lose it all. And in the same aspect, losing it was the only way I could keep it all. Yes, I would lose things in this world. I would lose certain comforts, certain relationships, certain expectations people had for me. But, I was keeping the only thing that mattered after all the clutter was removed. I was getting to keep my love and passion for Christ, and He became my all. Because essentially, nothing else matters if I don’t have my passion. Take the every thing, but don’t touch my passion. And I mean that. Where God guides, he also provides. This is a true test of obedience, faith, and trust.
When you are called from the business world and into the field of ministry regardless of the circumstances, stay laser focused on your mission and answer the call. Risk it all. Because after all, even if everything was taken away from you, you’d still find you have it all without regret.
You cannot regret loving God. And sometimes you don’t know that until you have to risk it all. The risk helped me to define the depth of love I have for Him.
Oh, and if you’re worried about screwing up, don’t worry. I can tell you first hand that you will make some mistakes. But, if you stay plugged in to the mission that Christ has set before you, you will only grow deeper in your relationship with Him as you work through it.
Enjoy song and lyrics
I was sitting here thinking about a few things I am so anxious to do…like return to school to earn my Master’s Degree in Biblical Leadership. And I thought about how sometimes what we want to do gets put on hold for a little while. It’s similar to wanting to play a sport in a way.
You’re playing baseball and you’re up to bat next. It’s finally your turn. The excitement is mounting as you picture yourself taking the action you’ve been waiting for, striking the bat against the ball, watching it sail outfield, and you finally have the chance you’ve been waiting your whole life for…to run the bases and slide into home plate.
You see it,
You feel it,
You hear it,
You feel rain drops…
It’s your turn, but you have to wait as a storm approaches and runs it’s course.
Sometimes in life we encounter set backs. And maybe when those rain delays hit and our plans are postponed for awhile, God is busy working out the details. Maybe he’s building an opportunity. Maybe he’s building a bridge by connecting people that we don’t even know yet who will eventually connect to us. Maybe he has a solution that is being put into motion as we speak (or write). And even though we can’t see or feel it right away, we can be certain that God can use a delay to benefit us…prepare us…bless us in ways we would never guess.
So instead of crabbing at clouds that we can’t control, go out an play in the rain. It just may be the break you need to see clearly when the skies clear. After all, who can follow a rainbow if they can’t even see where it starts? Play in the rain and praise God for His blessing as you wait on Him.