Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Your Best Life Now

I'll say it now: I like Pastor Osteen. I was born and raised in Houston, TX, but never went to Lakewood Church. If I lived there now, I would be getting there two hours early every Sunday just to get a parking space! Call me a follower, a fan or a "watcher" of his program; I simply love the way the man preaches. He has a positive, happy demeanor about him, which makes listening to his sermons a joy.

I am NOT, let me repeat, NOT a fan of the "hellfire & damnation" preachers at all. Who likes sitting in church feeling guilty about things you haven't even done? Geez! I get it; I know what's bad and what could get me thrown out of God's favor. I want someone to teach me the Bible; to make me happy about going through this thing called life; to let me know that although He is all-powerful, He is also on my side.

With that being said, I recently read "Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living At Your Full Potential" by Joel Osteen. And I loved it! Like lovingly absorbed every single page. It has been one of those books I've always thought about getting around to reading, but I never actually bought it. Fast forward to my Mom coming in town for a visit and finding the book at Goodwill for $2.00 - Score! Plus, she bought the book, because what else does a mom do but spoil her daughter and grandchild (and slightly the son-in-law - love you, babe!) by buying them whatever they want, when she hasn't seen them in over a year? Double Score! Tangent Over: Back to the book review.

There are 7 Parts to "Your Best Life Now":

Enlarge Your Vision
Develop A Healthy Self-Image
Discover the Power of Your Thoughts and Words
Let Go of the Past
Find Strength Through Adversity
Live to Give!
Choose to be Happy

Each part is broken down into chapters, where Pastor Osteen shares how to achieve these 7 steps. He tells funny stories from his childhood, about his family, his children, people he has known, past and present, interesting little-known stories about people from all around the world. All of these stories are combined with stories from The Bible. And the way the book is written; you can definitely read it and hear Pastor Osteen's voice in your head.
A true writer.

One passage I really loved, the one that spoke to me the most, since it was the only page I dog-eared to go back to over and over again was this:

"When times get tough or things don't go your way, keep your confidence up. When discouragements come or when people tell you that your dreams are never going to come to pass, you're never going to be happy, and you can never change, boldly remind yourself who is at work in your life. God is turning things around in your favor. God is opening doors of opportunity for you. He is restoring relationships; He is softening people's hearts toward you. God is completing what He started. You may not see anything happening with your natural eyes, but you must believe that in the unseen world, God is at work on your behalf."

That is something I love to hear, something that makes me feel good. I know that no matter what may be going on in my life, with all the craziness of this world, the uncertainty of where things may be headed, God "has my back," so you could say. (I'm sure there is a much better term than God "having my back," you know what I mean? I couldn't really think of anything else, though. But, you know what? He knows what I mean, and that's really all that matters. He is probably shaking his head at the vocabulary of today, thinking, 'Boy, that Briana is a prime example." Haha. I like to think God thinks I'm funny and that I make him chuckle from time to time. He certainly makes me a happy person. Okay, okay...Second Tangent: Over!)

It makes me think of the saying, "If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it." I may not be aware of the goings-on up above; but I am very certain of His love.

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