Change the way you think about yourself.
The opinion you have of yourself is the most important opinion that you have.
To fulfill your destiny, stay true to your heart. Don't let anyone squeeze you into a mold.
We strive to make a positive impact on the city of Houston - A place where all are welcome to grow and flourish in faith and discover God's plan for their life.
Lakewood Church is located a block from Richmond Ave., at Timmons and Southwest Frwy. and, doesn’t look like the home to one of America’s more popular Mega Churches and its pastor, Joel Osteen. It’s only once you get inside that you realize how the former Compaq Center was transformed from a sports venue into a large and welcoming, religious institution, home to a 53 year old Houston, multicultural, congregation, proud of its Christianity.
There is a lot going on here, every day, and the best way to learn about it all is to explore the website. Walking the hall, past several entry ways to the service venue, several themed info/merchandise tables and several conference rooms, today, I found myself surrounded by hundreds of people, friendly, upbeat, and welcoming to people they knew, as well as complete strangers.
The centerpiece of this vast hall is the Religious Book and Gift Store, one of the best, varied and well stocked Christian Stores I’ve been in and admittedly, I’ve only been in a few, and only one other run by a Televangelist/Mega Church. A major plus are its extensive child, young adult, and Hispanic, sections.
Yes, books and multi-media products by Joel and his wife, Victoria, are on prominent display, but they do not overwhelm the place and I give them credit for selling books by other famous evangelists and Christian thinkers, past and present, including other prominent Texas names, and even a few of those folks who are the latest, in America’s long religious history, to be pre-occupied with prophecy and “End Times” hand wringing. There are also many varieties of Bibles, & Bible study resources, adult, and young adult, fiction, of the religious, and historical/religious, genres.
The “Church” part of the complex is a huge, multi-level, bowl, with a huge stage positioned where the seating spreads out in front, and above it, with several huge TV screens that bring the stage into closer view for those who didn’t bring a pair of binoculars. :-D
Another reason to be grateful to God and Joel’s designers, for the TV’s, will be appreciated during the service if you prefer not to stand for an hour and bounce up and down, sway side to side &/or wave your hands toward the heavens. Unless you stand the screens are the only way, in some parts of the room, that you will be able to see the stage. :-D
Don’t get me wrong, this isn't one of those Holy Roller, Pentecostal joints, where everyone, from a baby in diapers to your 100 yr. old great granny, expresses their faith by hopping up and down, doing back flips and cartwheels, in the aisles, while speaking in tongues (Yes, it's a bit of an exageration, but I only have my pre-teen and teen memories of attending one such church in the Inland Empire to go by, and an adopted Granma, who was a member of that church, known for almost 30 years, who was a great influence on my life growing up.). :-D
Here, you have hundreds, if not thousands, of Caucasians, Blacks, and Hispanics, young and old, singing along with the performers on stage, thanks to the words being projected on screens. This is another reason to appreciate the screens because the loud, pounding, beat of the musical instruments almost drowns out the voices of the singers and will give anyone, not used to the rock concert-like atmosphere (White strobe lights included), a headache ( Can I get an Amen, from the readership? ) :-D
Watch the show on TV, or online, sometime. :-D
Oh, and no snoring during the service or, um, sinning in the seats, because you never know when the Lord might decide to make sure your image is plastered on screen for all to see. :-D
My ears were still pounding 2 hours after the service was over!
From the volunteers and paid staff, to security, everyone was friendly and enthusiastic (though firm when needed, to make things, like Joel’s book signing table and the long line of people, several times each Sunday.) and church attendees, from regulars to visitors, were also friendly and filled with a spirit of fellowship and camaraderie.
There are 3, 90 min., services each Sunday, and while the theme of the day may be the same I get the impressions there is something a little different about each one, such as a guest speaker.
I attended the 11am service, and while Victoria had a message, and a guest speaker did as well, the event focused on the musical numbers, fellowship, some moments of prayer, and Joel himself.
He spoke for about 10 min. near the beginning, and then the last 25 minutes were devoted to his inspirational message/sermon.
Joel Osteen can make his points in a worthwhile, humorous, way that one won't
forget, in far less time than many of the usual suspects in the TV and Mega
Church world can.
There is a sincerity that comes across, as well, and he can be self-deprecating when it will help make his point. His message was about being proud of who you are, your skills, and talents, and using that pride to believe in yourself and move
forward to bigger and better things in your life. Believe that you are a king or queen and worth every penny of the $6 mil. God spent to create you as the
individual you are. :-D
His Twitter quotes, earlier in the week, were setting up his message, today, I
think. This message was to not let negativity and discouragement invade your mental state, that there was a reason God placed you where you are, and whatever you are experiencing God was guiding you to something better in your life.
I met and shook his hand (A warm, friendly smile of welcome, and a gentle grip) afterward and he signed my copy of his book, I Declare, a book I read in a day, and found thought provoking, and very inspirational. :-D
As I chatted with him as he signed my copy of his book, He smiled when I told him he reminded me of Norman Vincent Peale.
I told him I was a creative writer and hopeful future author recently moved here, with hopes of starting fresh, career-wise, personally and creatively, and asked if he had any advice for such a person.
He smiled, looked at me, and said "Wherever you go, there you are"....A message on my wall at home.
3 Simple Rules of Life:
If you don't go after what you want, you will never have it.
If you don't ask, the answer will always be no.
If you do not step forward, you will always be
in the same place.
You think I was meant to attend church today? :-D