Archive for July, 2009
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.
Posted by Christine Pechstein in Uncategorized on July 9, 2009
Have you ever read or heard a quote that just tickled you from your head to toes, made your heart leap out of your chest, consumed every working cell in your body, held in captivity each brain cell and made your hair stand on end because it was on a subject that you are totally and completely passionate about? It happens to me when I read my Bible on occasion also, and when it does…I just have to share it!
Here’s a quote that I just saw on Twitter:
“If the Lord left you on this earth another day, it means He has work for you to do. God doesn’t waste His real estate.” Steven Furtick
After reading his quote on Twitter, I had a few things that flew out of my mouth:
God isn’t wasting time or resources…so are we?
Has He sent us a blessing that we are afraid to embrace?
Has He asked that we go and do something that we are afraid of?
Do we think it’s too hard?
Is it too uncomfortable?
Are we scared of getting hurt?
Do we think we might fail?
Are we “stalled out” and “praying” over it?
A ship tied to the harbor cannot be moved by the wind. Untie yourself. And let God guide you.
And if the wind dies down for a bit-don’t automatically panic, because you’ll sink your boat.
And don’t waste the value that God has placed in you and your blessings.
What the world needs is a passion. BE passionate for God and go and do today what He has placed you here for. You’ve got a job to do. BE the passion, live the passion, and let your life reflect that you are passionate for Jesus. That would be the equivalent of holding an open house. Open yourself and live passionately on purpose for the cause that God has given you!
I’m stopping this post here: I have a job to do-and I’m hitting the streets to visit with churches to go and do what I am here to teach! Yaaabadaaaba dooooooooo!
Posted by Christine Pechstein in Uncategorized on July 3, 2009
I’m sitting in Houston, Tx at a family reunion, and I’ve had some incredible moments again with my kids. (Ok, and actually…I am laying next to my daughter in my parent’s RV just chomping at the bit to write a blog post.) The more time I spend with my kids, I am more than certain that it is they who are teaching me just as much about life as I am teaching them. It’s a two way street. And, that is an incredible thought pattern responsible for this blog post about double vision.
I have spent the past few days thinking about my kiddos, and I’m willing to share a few of my thoughts: (and notice how each below is in pairs/doubles…cool, huh?!)
1. They are my kiddos.
2. They are not just my kiddos or children that have come to me through my bloodline or biological magic. They are God’s children (as am I), and they have been entrusted to me by the Creator of the Universe to raise. This is nothing short of an honor and privilege regardless of how they became entrusted to me.
1. I expect respect from my kids.
2. I show love and respect to my kids as their elder just the same as I expect it.
1. I desire time with my kids and attention from them.
2. My kiddos (even my teens) desire and crave attention with me, too.
1. I discipline my kids through teaching and not through yelling, threats, or control.
2. My kids learn from me the same way I learn from God, The Father.
1. I am always cleaning up after my kids, because they constantly make a mess of some thing!
2. God is always cleaning up after me, because I am always screwing some thing up and asking for His help to clean up the messes I’ve made.
1. The best way to teach my children anything is to model the behavior through elimination, moderation, or addition. (This means eliminating bad/unwanted/unhealthy behaviors, knowing and modeling self control and moderation, and adding behaviors that are beneficial for life change and self improvement.)
2. The best way to learn some things is by watching your children and then modeling them. They are inquisitive, playful, and purposeful. I have never watched a kid play half heartedly, because they are too busy creating a purpose for their play.
I could go on and on. Tonight I was on my way to bed, but I decided to sit and chat with my son under the stars, since he wasn’t quite ready to head to bed yet. We took my laptop and tried to pull up a map of the stars and constellations to pin point the stars. However, I am just not that talented at direction, so we ended up having a few good laughs and a lot of great conversation.
After more than an hour of just talking and giggling with my teenager, I was heading to bed when I thought about double vision. I think we tend to think of our children from an “ownership” perspective, when in reality they are God’s children and we are raising them for His purpose! Does that thought not just blow your mind? While I may want and hope they go to this college or that college, I find myself ultimately remembering that I am raising them to become part of God’s great plan. And when I find myself viewing them as children of God, entrusted to me, I find myself wanting to learn more about how Jesus:
Spoke to people.
Humbled himself to other people.
I don’t want to follow how my parents did things to raise me and how the world taught me to raise my kiddos. And I mean no disrespect in that at all, because my parents did a fine job which I commend them for. But, when I really think about the type of parent I want to be, it has more to do with who Jesus was, how he acted towards people and children, and I find myself wanting to model my parenting style toward His teaching style.
Some days I see my kids as exhausting or not learning and making necessary decisions quickly enough. And then I have to take into consideration that there is another way to look at the situations and my children. That second vision shows me how to view it from Jesus’ standpoint. And that makes my vision double. It’s no longer just my vision. But, instead a blended vision of what I see and how Christ would view and react/teach various things to The Father’s children.
The more I view my children from His perspective and see how much He has entrusted to me, the less I focus on my perspective alone. The more I see people in general from this perspective the more my relationships grow and flourish. And the more they grow and flourish, the more I get to enjoy them. This is one benefit I plan on keeping, because I want all of my relationships to be grounded in Christ. And in order to grow them, I must keep seeing beyond my own eyes and learn to see more through His.