Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, author and inspirational speaker.
Posted 3/15/13 at 6:53 PM | Joel Osteen
A college student told his professor that he had an idea to start an overnight shipping company. The professor dismissed it and said, "That’s not a good idea. That company would never get off of the ground." The student hit the delete button on those negative words and started the company anyway. He called it Federal Express.
All the experts told a young man named Emmitt Smith that at 5 feet 9 inches tall, he was too small and too slow to play professional football. Emmitt grew up in a low-income family and lived in public housing. Most of the scouts said, "It’s not going to work out." But, Emmitt knew how to hit the delete button and went on to rush for more yardage than any player in NFL history. Emmitt has won three Super Bowls. He’s in the Hall of Fame.
One time I heard a story about a young boy named Theodor Geisel. He loved to draw and had a very vivid imagination. Every spare minute he spent drawing pictures and cartoons. His dream was to become an artist and create children’s books. In high school, he took his first art class. When the teacher saw his work and how it was so cartoonish and so playful, he said, "Son, you’ll never be an artist. This is not your gift. This looks like child’s play." Theodore dropped out of the art class, but continued to draw. He took his first children’s book to a publisher, but they said the same thing. "This is not something people are going to buy. It’s too cartoonish." He went to another publisher and another. He was turned down 29 times. All of the experts said, "It’s not marketable." But, publisher number 30 decided to take a chance. Instead of using his normal name, he chose the name Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss went on to sell more children’s books than any person in history. FULL POST
Posted 3/8/13 at 11:14 AM | Joel Osteen
Years ago, I was at an amusement park with our two children. We were in line for a very popular ride. At first it was a single file line, but as we got closer to the front, we were gathered into groups and led into a little building about 20 feet by 20 feet to wait for our turn. We were the first ones in our group to enter the building. We walked all the way to the other side of the room next to these big double doors and waited. But as other people began to come in, they were excited about getting on the ride and started maneuvering their way in front of us. I’m more laid back and easy going, so I wasn’t going to try to fight for our position. It was so crazy that we ended up at the very back of the room by the doors where we came in. In a few minutes, a young lady came out who worked at the park and gave us instructions about the ride. Then she said, "Okay, we’re ready to go. Turn around and go back out the same doors you came in." We thought we were in the worst position, but one word from the person in charge, and suddenly, we were in the best position!
In the same way, all God has to do is shift the direction of some things in your life, and you’ll go from the back to the front! The truth is, you’re one shift from seeing a dream come to pass; one shift from paying your house off; one shift from seeing your health improve; one shift from meeting the right person. FULL POST
Posted 3/5/13 at 10:10 AM | Joel Osteen |
I read a story one time about a man who lived in a tiny apartment and died in extreme poverty. At one point in his life, he had been homeless and living on the streets. This man never had any successes or notoriety to speak of" he lived and died as just another face in the crowd.
After the funeral, some family members went to his little run–down apartment to clear out his few belongings. There was a painting that had been hanging on his wall for many years, which they decided to sell in a garage sale. A woman thought it was interesting, so she bought it and took it to a local art gallery for an appraisal. Much to her complete shock, the painting was extremely valuable. The piece of art that hung for so many years in that little run–down apartment was painted by a famous artist who lived in the early 1800s. The woman decided to auction off that painting and ended up selling it for several million dollars.
Just think how that poor man’s life might have changed if he had known the value of what he possessed. He was a multimillionaire and didn’t even know it. In the same way, so many people today are living with priceless treasure inside, and they aren’t even aware of it. Sometimes, we have to appraise what’s on the inside of us in order to really understand the value of what we have. FULL POST
Posted 3/4/13 at 11:32 AM | Joel Osteen |
Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to live in Bible times? Have you ever thought about what it was like for Noah building the Ark against all odds, or Moses talking to God through a burning bush? Can you imagine how it would have felt to be Daniel in the lions’ den, or what it would have been like to be in the crowd when Jesus fed the 5,000 from the lunch of a small boy?
Our dear friends, Mark Burnett and Roma Downing, have produced a five-part television docudrama called “The Bible” which will share these great adventures and more, spanning from Genesis to Revelation.
Roma Downing is best known for her role as Monica on the hit television series, “Touched By An Angel” and her husband, Mark Burnett, has produced some of the top television shows of this decade. He’s a three-time Emmy Award winner and has produced over 1,000 hours of television programming which regularly air in over 70 countries worldwide!
As you can probably imagine, this production will be the highest quality that Hollywood offers. Not only is it something for your whole family, but it’s something you can invite your friends and neighbors to watch with you, too! FULL POST
Posted 2/22/13 at 3:57 PM | Joel Osteen
One day when I was in my early twenties, I was in the airport traveling back home to Houston. I had had a very long work week and was very tired. I couldn't wait to get on the plane and just lay my head back and relax. We finally boarded the plane, and I had a whole row to myself. But right before they closed the door, an elderly gentleman got on and came over and sat down next to me. He was the friendliest, kindest, most talkative person in the world. In fact, all he wanted to do was talk! Normally, I enjoy visiting, but on this day, I just didn't feel like it. I was so tired. So every opportunity I could, I tried to end the conversation. I got my magazine out and acted like I was reading, hoping he would take the hint. He kept talking. I closed my eyes, laid my head back like I was going to sleep. He kept talking. I started to watch the movie. He kept talking. This was twenty years ago—I think he's still probably talking! Through all of this, I wasn't rude. I wasn't disrespectful, but I wasn't very friendly either. I didn't engage in the conversation. I just nodded my head every once in a while.
The plane had to stop in Dallas. He said, "Well, I sure enjoyed talking to you, but I'm going to have to get off here." FULL POST
Posted 2/8/13 at 11:00 AM | Joel Osteen |
I know a young lady who was believing to meet the right man. She was in her early 30's and had never really had a serious relationship with anyone. She was starting to wonder if it was ever going to happen.
One day, she was driving home from work and had a flat tire. At first, of course, she was frustrated as she pulled over to the side of the freeway. In just a matter of seconds, another car pulled over. Out stepped this young man as handsome as can be. He walked up to her window and said, "Can I help you?"
She took one look at him and said, "I think you can."
He not only changed her tire, but he invited her out to dinner. Long story short, they ended up falling in love, and a year and a half later, they got married. Today, they're as happy as can be. I see them at Lakewood all the time. That wasn't a coincidence. It wasn't a lucky break. That was a set time ordained by the Creator of the universe.
Think about how precise God's timing is. The tire had to go flat at just the right time. An hour later and it wouldn't have happened. There had to be just the right amount of traffic. Too many cars; he would've been late. Too few cars; he would've been early. He had to leave his work at just the right time. One extra fifteen-minute phone call and that would have never worked out. The timing was down to the split second for it to all fall into place. FULL POST
Posted 2/1/13 at 2:16 PM | Joel Osteen
One summer while we were on vacation, I asked the hotel bellman for directions to a certain church in the area that we had heard about and wanted to visit that morning. The bellman was a young man in his early teens, happy-go-lucky, working the weekend shift, and probably not making much more than minimum wage. He said, "The church you want to go to is way too far from here. You'll never get there in time, but there is another church about ten minutes down the road. I think you'll really like it."
I could have thought, "How does he know what I'm going to like? I'm the pastor of a big church. I know what kind of church I'm going to like." But no, we took his suggestion and went to the other church down the road. We ended up meeting the pastor and developing a friendship. It was a divine connection. That pastor introduced me to a publisher that he knew who offered me a contract to write my first book. I wrote that book, and it thrust me into a new level of my destiny. It all started back with that young man at the hotel, parking cars and taking care of the luggage. Yet, it was his input that catapulted me further than I ever imagined.
Friend, you never know who God has ordained to influence your life. Treat every person you encounter with respect no matter how busy you are. Sometimes, it's easy to dismiss people, especially people that we think we'll never see again. We think, "They aren't that important in my life." "He's just parking cars." "She's just answering the phone." Or, we get prideful and think we are more important, "I'm in management. They're in maintenance." "I'm staying at the hotel. They're just working at the hotel." No, the very ones that we dismiss, the ones we think, "Don't bother me. I'm busy," could be the unexpected link that causes you to step into the fullness of your destiny. Don't write people off. Don't judge by the outside and think, "Oh, they don't have anything for me." No, you'll be amazed at who God will use. Stay open. Stay expecting because God can use anybody—even you and me!
Posted 1/25/13 at 2:16 PM | Joel Osteen |
I heard a story about a little frog that was born at the bottom of a well. Just a small circular well like you might see on a farm. This frog and his family that lived down there and they were so happy, so content to swim and splash in the water all day long. He thought, "Life is good. We've got all the water in the world to ourselves." As he got a little older, he noticed the light at the top of the well and wondered what was up there. One day, very carefully, he climbed up the side of the well. With great caution he looked over the edge and the first thing he saw was a pond. He couldn't believe it. It was thousands of times more water than what he and his family had. He jumped out of the well and started hopping until he came to a lake. He stood there in amazement. He had no words. He hopped a little more and came to the ocean and as far as he could see was water. He began to realize how limited his vision had been. He thought he had it all but all he really had was a drop in the bucket compared to what was out there for him to enjoy.
Friend, God's dream for your life is so much bigger, so much more rewarding than you can imagine. You haven't even touched the surface of what God has in store. Why don't you stretch your faith and dare to step outside of your well. In other words, step out of your comfort zone. Let go of the limiting mindsets. Turn away from small thinking and, like that frog, go a little further than you're used to. Break out of your box and look out over the horizon. Dream bigger, think bigger, see bigger, and embrace the oceans of blessings God has in store for you! FULL POST
Posted 1/21/13 at 7:11 AM | Joel Osteen
When we were trying to acquire the former Compaq Center, it was a three-and-a-half year battle. All kinds of obstacles came against us. At times, in the natural, it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. But instead of worrying about it or letting negative thoughts take root, all through the day I would envision the Compaq Center as being ours. In my imagination I could see the Lakewood sign out front. I could see myself on the platform ministering. I could see the crowd long before they got here. Many times at night, Victoria and I would drive up to the building. If nothing was going on we would get out and walk around and pray and believe and dream. That image was becoming engrained in our thinking. The more we saw it, the more it encouraged our faith. In my imagination I could already see the Mayor handing us the keys. I could already see the confetti falling during the Groundbreaking Service. I could already see it full of thousands of victorious believers!
For three and a half years we kept that image in front of us. On December 1, 2003 when the Mayor handed us the key it was just like I had seen it before. On December 13, when the confetti fell on the Groundbreaking Services, it was just like I had seen it before. In 2005, the week of the Grand Opening, a reporter asked me what it was going to be like to stand up and minister here for the first time. I didn’t say it but I thought to myself, “I’ve ministered in this building thousands of times before!” FULL POST
Posted 1/11/13 at 11:24 AM | Joel Osteen
Several years ago, a lady came down to the altar for prayer. She had just gone through a very painful divorce. Her husband of many years left her for another woman. She was very devastated, very heartbroken. She didn't see how she could ever be happy again. I did my best to encourage her and tell her that God was going to give her beauty for those ashes and pay her back for that unfair situation. She listened, but it didn't seem like my words had much of an impact. She was very depressed. She couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. She had a negative vision for her future.
When your vision is negative, your life will follow that same direction. Sometimes it's difficult. Sometimes you just don't feel like fighting the good fight of faith, but you cannot afford to sit around in self-pity. Life may not be fair, but God is fair. He'll right the wrongs, but you have to do your part. You have to shake off the disappointments and get a fresh, new vision. Your life is not over because somebody left you. If they walked out on you, you didn't need them. God's plan was not cancelled because of a disappointment, an unfair situation, or even because of a mistake you made. If you'll get a new vision, instead of it being a setback, God will turn it into a setup to do something greater. FULL POST