Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, author and inspirational speaker.
Posted 7/18/14 at 6:10 PM | Joel Osteen
Back in the 1960's, Lakewood was still in its original building; a feed store that held 200 people. The church was really growing. They needed a larger auditorium. My father told the congregation that on a particular Sunday, he was going to receive a special offering for a new building. He asked them to pray about what God would have them to give. He encouraged them to stretch their faith, believe big and do their very best. He received the offering, and it was a little over $6,000. To them back then, that was like $600,000. Daddy was so excited. That was enough to pour the foundation and get the building started.
But one day driving home from church, my father passed a small Spanish church about six blocks from Lakewood. This Spanish church had been building on a little auditorium for years. They would do some construction, take time off, build some more, on and on. As my father passed, he heard the voice of the Holy Spirit inside say, "I want you to give that special offering to this Spanish church so they can finish their building." FULL POST
Posted 7/11/14 at 5:34 PM | Joel Osteen
You might have heard the story of how my father and mother started Lakewood Church in 1959 in an old, rundown, abandoned feed store. They had 90 members. A few years later, my father named the church, Lakewood International Outreach Center. He put a big blue sign out front. The sign cost more than the building. The truth is, they were not an international outreach center. They were a small neighborhood church with 90 people. But when my father drove up to that building and saw that sign, his vision was being increased. He was moving toward it. Every week when those 90 members saw that sign again and again, something was being birthed on the inside. Seeds of increase were taking root. Do you know what Lakewood is today? An international outreach center, touching the world! He called it like he saw it in the spirit, and it came into being. FULL POST
Posted 7/4/14 at 9:13 AM | Joel Osteen
I know this woman who had smoked cigarettes from an early age. She had tried to quit time and time again, but she just could not stop. She was constantly saying, "I'll never break this addiction. It's too hard. And even if I do, I know I will gain so much weight." This went on for years. One day, someone told her to change what she was saying and to call things that are not as if they were. She started saying, "I don't like to smoke. I can't stand the taste of nicotine. I'm going to quit and not gain any extra weight." She said that day after day.
Even when she was smoking and enjoying it, she would say, "I can't stand to smoke." She wasn't talking about the way she was. She was talking about the way she wanted to be. About three months later, one morning she noticed the cigarette tasted funny, almost bitter. She thought she had gotten a bad pack. It got worse and worse. Several months later, it had gotten so bad that she couldn't stand it anymore. She stopped smoking, and do you know she never gained one extra pound? Today, she is totally free. She broke that addiction, in part, by the power of her words. She prophesied her future. FULL POST
Posted 6/27/14 at 2:55 PM | Joel Osteen
Have you ever been in a hurricane? Living in Houston, I sure have. In the center of the hurricane, there's something called the "eye of the storm" where it's very calm and peaceful. All around there is chaos, winds blowing 100 plus miles an hour, debris flying left and right, danger everywhere; but as long as you're in the eye of the storm, it's as calm and peaceful as can be.
In life, there will be times when it seems like everything is out of control. Challenges, adversities and stress will come. But just like the eye of the storm, in the midst of that difficulty, there is a place of peace where you can go. The Scripture calls it "the peace that passes all understanding." That means you'll have peace when you should be upset. You'll have peace when really you should be stressed out.
The disciples were so afraid, so distraught that they ran in to Jesus and said, "Jesus, wake up! We're all about to die!" Jesus got up and simply spoke to the storm. He said, "Peace. Be still." Instantly, everything calmed down. Jesus was in the storm, but He didn't let the storm get in Him. He knew His authority. He knew who He was. He knew His power wasn't based on circumstances. He wasn't going to fret because He was in faith. He stayed in peace and brought peace to the situation. FULL POST
Posted 6/13/14 at 5:59 PM | Joel Osteen
I read a story about a five-year-old boy who loved the piano. He played every chance that he got. He never had any formal lessons or training. In fact, some people told him he was too young and too small; but in spite of those comments, he continued practicing. The only song he really knew how to play was "Chopsticks." It's just a very simple tune.
One day, his father surprised him with tickets to the symphony to hear this world-renowned Italian pianist. This man was one of the greatest piano players that had ever lived. That night on the way to their seats, the little boy noticed the beautiful grand piano up on the stage. When no one was watching, he snuck over, sat down and began to play his elementary version of "Chopsticks." About that time, the curtain began to rise. Everyone was expecting to see the world-renowned pianist. Instead, they saw this little five-year-old boy. He was so caught up in his world that he didn't realize what was happening. When he finally looked up, he was petrified. FULL POST
Posted 6/10/14 at 6:27 PM | Joel Osteen
One time, I met a 106-year-old man in our lobby after a church service. He was so happy, so full of joy. He looked like he was 70 years old. He was an African-American man, and he didn’t have a single wrinkle. I commented on how great he looked, how young and how vibrant he was. I really couldn’t believe he was 106. As long as I live, I will never forget what he said back to me. He looked me in the eye and put his hand on his face and said, “Joel, black don’t crack.” He was so funny that I asked him how long he planned on living. He told me that he has seven children, and one of his sons had gotten off course and was not serving God. He said, “Joel, I can’t die yet because God promised ‘as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’” I love that attitude! This man can’t die until he sees God bring every promise to pass! FULL POST
Posted 5/30/14 at 4:49 PM | Joel Osteen
There's a young man I know who used to do landscaping in our neighborhood. I saw him one day. His face was a mess. He had a black eye, and his lips were swollen. It looked like he had been in an accident. I asked him what had happened. He explained that on his way home from work, he had gotten carjacked. He was sitting at a light when these guys came up, pulled him out of the car, beat him up and took his wallet and a lot of his equipment. Then he said something interesting, "Joel, the funny thing is that something told me not to go home that way."
Very clearly on the inside, God was trying to protect him. He said, "You need to take another route." The man wasn't very religious, wasn't raised in church, yet he heard it so strongly that he even answered it back in his mind. He thought, "Why do I need to go another way? This is the way I always go. That doesn't make sense." There was this debate taking place on the inside, but he ignored it. He finally said, "I realize now that was God trying to protect me from danger. The next time, I'm going to listen." FULL POST
Posted 5/16/14 at 1:42 PM | Joel Osteen
I know a young lady who got off to a rough start in life. She came from a very dysfunctional family. All she had ever seen was poverty, addiction and depression. At sixteen years old, she had a baby and had to drop out of high school. It looked like she was falling into that same negative cycle; it would continue on for another generation.
She found a little place to live where she could raise her son, but she didn't have any money or family supporting her. She ended up on welfare, barely making it. She would attend our services at Lakewood each week and hear again and again, "You have seeds of greatness on the inside; you have the DNA of a winner, and where you are is not where you have to stay." She began to change the way she saw herself. She created an image of success, an image of victory, and those seeds of greatness began to take root. She didn't just sit back and accept the status quo. She went out and got a job at a local high school cafeteria punching lunch tickets, making minimum wage. She wasn't satisfied. She went back to school and got her GED. She still wasn't satisfied. She decided to go to college. She would work during the day and go to college at night, and in four years, she graduated from college with honors. She still wasn't satisfied. She went back to college and got her Master's degree. Today she's not on welfare anymore. She is the principal at the same school where she started working in the cafeteria punching those lunch tickets. FULL POST
Posted 5/9/14 at 3:45 PM | Joel Osteen
A while back, I heard a story about a young mother in the 1960's. She and her family moved to New York City from Puerto Rico. They were very poor. They lived in a rough neighborhood in government housing with drugs, gangs and violence all around. At the age of nine, her young son, Victor, was recruited by a gang. By the time he was twelve, he was hooked on heroine. He had already been arrested, involved in robbing, stealing, killing and all kinds of illegal activity.
His mother was so heartbroken. She couldn't control her son. She was a very small woman. She only spoke Spanish, but she was very feisty. One thing this mother knew how to do was pray. Every day, seven days a week and twice on Sundays, she would go up to the little storefront church in the projects with her sister and they would pray for her son, Victor. She didn't just pray for God to keep him out of trouble. This mother knew how to pray God-sized prayers. She said, "God, I'm asking You to make my son a minister. Use him to touch people all over the world." FULL POST
Posted 5/2/14 at 3:43 PM | Joel Osteen
One time, when I was a little boy, my father went out and bought a brand new car. We were so excited! We couldn't wait for him to get home so we could see it. We were all standing at the end of the driveway looking down the road, waiting for my father. We finally saw him drive up in this new car. The kids all jumped in the car so excitedly. We "ooh'd" and "ahh'd." My dad drove us around the neighborhood. Daddy was so proud of this new car. He was just beaming with joy.
Later that night while my father was watching television, a commercial for a car came on the screen, but the camera only showed very tight shots so you didn't know what kind of car it was advertising. It showed a close-up of the engine and talked about how it had the most powerful, efficient engine made. It showed a close-up of the shocks, the suspension and talked about how it had the latest, greatest shocks and a smoother ride than any other car. It showed close-ups of the interior and talked about how it was made with precision from the finest products, on and on. It talked about how this car would outlast any other car. The more my father watched this commercial, the more depressed he got. He thought, "I bought the wrong stinking car! That car on the screen can run circles around my car!" Just when he was about to get sick to his stomach, the camera pulled out wide, and the car they were advertising was the exact car my father had just bought. It was sitting in our driveway. FULL POST