Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Night of Hope with Joel Osteen

Friday, 03 June 2011 I attended a "Night of Hope" revival with Joel Osteen (JO) at the Agganis Arena at Boston University.  The state of the art arena seats 6 300 people and what an evening#WOW!!  I did however, have a couple of people ask me who JO is after reading my bbm status.  JO is a an American author, televangelist and the senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.  He is one of my favourite pastors and I watch his sermons on youtube or TBN at least 3 times a week.  He's teaching style is refreshing, practical and you're guaranteed some laughs#smiles.

The evening started with JO welcoming and thanking everyone for coming through.

Joel Osteen

He then welcomed two people to share their testimonies, one  was from his mother and the second one from the lead singer of the praise and worship team.  His mother had been diagnosed with cancer at the age of 48 and was told she only had a couple of weeks to live.  In her testimony she shared on  how she rebuked what the doctors had said and stayed faithful to God and praised and worshiped Him throughout the storm.  She is now 78yrs old and cancer free.  The praise and worship team leader shared on her and her husband's journey, experiencing difficulty to conceive, tried all sorts of treatments  and were told that they could never conceive but by God's grace they now have  a boy and later adopted twins.

Joel's Mother giving her testimony#feistywoman

Worship Leader giving her testimony

The evening proceeded to a praise and worship session which was INCREDIBLE!!

Blowing of trumpets-year of JUBILEE

JO then invited a few pastors from Boston churches and they shared their declaration for Boston and greater America.  Most of them declared that christianity be re-inforced and or welcomed back in America.  I especially enjoyed this as it saddens me that there's millions of people not just in America but all over the world that have never ever heard about Jesus or the bible.  As you know religion isn't part  of America's public school's system, however, there is the Catholic school option which is not affordable to the majority of Americans#smh.

JO usually starts off his teachings  with a joke and Friday evening's joke was about Little Johnny.  So, the teacher's lesson of the day was focused on how God had specifically created every single human being and she wanted to highlight the fact that everyone is unique and special to God.  So, the exercise was;  if any of the kids thought that they were dumb,they should stand.  After a couple of minutes none of the kids had stood up, so Little Johnny, slowly stood up as he was browsing around the classroom.  The teacher surprised by this, asked Little Johnny why he thought he was dumb and Little Johnny simply replied "I was feeling sorry for you as you were the only one standing#LOL

JO then asked us to all stand and declare the following which I absolutely love and always partake in it when watching his sermon on tv or youtube.  With raised bibles in the air: 
This is my Bible: I am what it says I am; I have what it says I have; I can do what it says I can do. Today, I will be taught the Word of God. I'll boldly confess. My mind is alert; my heart is receptive; I will never be the same. I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living Seed of the Word of God. I'll never be the same - never, never, never! I'll never be the same, in Jesus' Name

Everyone's hands and bibles raised up declaring the above

The teaching was entitled "Your Second Wind Is On Its Way"

JO started off with an example on how God and His angels are always cheering us on and are our biggest supporters.  He said we should imagine them sitting on the grand stands, calling you by name and encouraging you not to give up.  He made the following examples:

Job, who stayed faithful to God under ALL circumstances.  I believe we should trust God, not only WHEN we don't understand, but BECAUSE we don't understand.  If God's ways are perfect, then we can trust that whatever He does and whatever He allows is also perfect.  God later blessed Job with double blessings - this reminded me of Uche's song - God is goodo#smiles.  So imagine Job speaking specifically to you and reminding you of all that he went through...don't you think God will do it for you as well?

Rahab, who was a prostitute but assisted the Israelities in capturing the city.  So here, JO emphasized that its never too late to start a relationship with God irrespective of your history.  God wants you to come to Him just as you are...I highly doubt any of us would be welcomed if the prerequisite was perfection, thank God it isn't#LOL

Lazarus, was the man Jesus raised from tomb...if He could do this, what more can God do for our dead situation?  Be it our business, marriage or any other "dead" situation in our lives. 

I believe we limit God so much and for as long as we carry on doing this, we will never experience the fullness of His glory.

We read from the following books:

Galations 6v9:  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Isaiah 40v31:  but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.

Herewth a summary of what I took out of the teaching:
  1. God allows difficulty in our lives in order to increase our endurance and He does this because He has already given us the grace for the season we are experiencing.
  2. I've also come to experience and believe that when you face the greatest pressure, you're much closer to your victory than you know.  You know that moment when you're just too tired - I often tell my girls that my soul is tired and I just can't do it anymore...and that's always when my victory is around the corner.
  3. It is important that we remind God of the promises He has made to us, we need to quote scripture back to Him and worship Him through difficulty.
  4. God already knows the end date for our seasons;  so whatever it is that we are going through, there is a set end date for it, this it is just a temporary situation#comforting.
  5. God is a rewarder and we need to press forward, irrespective of our current situation.
I don't know about you, but I used to spend so much time worrying about the future, how I was going to get through the month, pay my bills bla bla bla but I've since learnt to take it one day at a time.  This makes things that much easier.  When I was stuck at the balloon store, I had no energy to think beyond one day.  I knew that God had great plans for me as Jeremiah 29v11 reminds us of this  but I also knew that if I started worrying about the details of when it was going to happen, I wouldn't have made it.  I would've been miserable, kicking dogs and cussing at everyone who would let me get away with it.  The thing about taking it one day at a time,is that it doesn't seem that burdensome...if we are stuck in a bad job, just ask God for the strength for one more day, praise Him for that one day, be kind and count your blessings for that one day...if you do this everyday, before you know it a week would've passed by and you wouldn't have spent it miserable and hating the world.  It's good to wait on God but how we wait comes to play.  I've tried all sorts of methods, being angry at God and not doing church or bible study (which is spiritual food for me), barganing with Him and promising to drop a habit if He could just answer this prayer IMMEDIATELY, having emergency meetings with Him at all hours of the it...I've done it.  But I've come to reaslise that trusting in Him and letting go (which isn't easy for a control freak like me) is the best way for me.  I chose to believe and declare that whatever circumstance I am facing will pass in Jesus name.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is important to have goals and dreams but it is more important to ensure that they are aligned with the plans that God has for our lives.

Overall, the evening was MIND BLOWING, INSPIRATIONAL and ALL SO POWERFUL!!  I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to hear the word and share in the awesomeness.  JO is an amazing teacher, has great sense of humour and cracked a couple of jokes during his teaching.  There was a point where he had forgotten what he was going to say, he then looked at his notes, looked right up at the audience and realised he had forgotten what he was going to say again...he then made a comment and asked that we don't tell the others that that just happened, because when you watch him on tv, its obviously edited and makes him look so perfect#lol.  Besides that, he's really a good speaker, very direct, practical and funny.

Joel and Victoria Osteen

Joel"s daughter singing "Lead me to the Cross" #altercall

Joel Osteen

Then it was time for me to head back to Providence which is an hour away from Boston.  You can imagine there were thousands of people that had attended the event and there had also been a Red Sox game on, so the subways were filled to capacity.  I somehow managed to get on one but was squashed up right against the door and right opposite a very good looking brother (who was facing the door) and managed to shift back as far as maybe 7cm to allow some space between him and I...personal space, what's that??#LOL  Due to my height and the fact that I was right at the bottom of the stairs  and he was one stair above me (and he was obviously taller than me) meant my face was right against his "man-handle" AKWARD does not even begin to express the situation...I refrained from looking up at him but I did feel his eyes on my head#LOL.  Anyway, after a couple of stops, a few people got off and I managed to make my way up the stairs and stood next to the brother.  We chatted a bit about JO's teaching and obviously about my face against his man-handle, we had a few chuckles over that#hidesface

I only left Boston at 23:59 as I had missed the previous train and only got to bed around 01:30...was it worth it, oh yeah#bigsmile.

Stay Blessed xoxo


    Anonymous said...

    That must have been a great experience. I love it when him and the church resite regarding the bible,"This is my bible, I am what it says I am....that is as far as I can go & it blesses me. I hope you could visit Donnie McClurkin's church & tell him I sad hi!lol. Oh by d way Tiiso would love 4 u get him Donnie's book but I dnt know the title. Love Thando

    Neo said...

    It was an amazing experience...thank God for the opportunity :) I know...I also love it when they do the declaration :) Yes he mentioned that he wants a book - I will google the title and ship to him soonest. If I ever get to attend one of Donnie Mc Clurkin's services, I will definitely tell him you say hi. Take care.

    Mukondeleli said...

    Thanks Neo for this amazing blog, somehow i feel like i was mearnt to read this and i too was one of the people who was asking myself who JO is, i feel the message JO preached is definately gona be a living testimony for me. Somehow you right we do feel that things are just getting a bit too much and want thing to happen now but God has his own time and also his own plans for each and every single one of us as you said God says be still for i am the Lord. And with message Neo i am going to rejoice everyday regardless of how my situation is. Love you lotss xoxox mwaaa

    Neo said...

    I'm glad you enjoyed it Mukonds ;) Ja no...God sure does know what He is doing, all we need do is trust Him :)

    Miss Mpela said...

    Glad the gal was inspired and recived the teaching from JO... I love reading ur blogs... They are like capetown weather..all the seasons in one day...all emotions in one blog.. Funny, inspirational. Spritual..I cud go on and u lots..

    Neo said... you too my friend and don't even mention the akward moment...too funny now that I think of it-lol. Love how you've described that (Cape Town weather) I think that's exactly how our lives are but the trick is to focus on the good & count our blessings daily as oppossed to focusing on what we're lacking#winks

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Neo. Very Inspirational Indeed. This gives me confidence that all is well with you where you are.God Bless and keep you Safe

    Gingerjones said...

    Hey Girla, the recent comment is from me....Thembi Yabo

    Neo said...

    Thanks Thembi xoxo

    Tshego said...

    So much comes to mind while reading this blog. I think I actually have to sit with a note book to jot down everything that I think of lol.
    Anywho, what a beautiful experience,message,JO is simply amazing,can't wait for him to come to SA again.
    One thing that I remember when you quoted Jeremiah is that whatever it is that God has planned for you, WILL come to pass. There is absolutely NOTHING you can/cannot do that can make God's plans change. God doesn't change His mind about our blessings etc. because of the bad/good that we've done. It's not a tit for tat reward system with Him. We serve a merciful, gracious God. It doesn't mean though that we should neglect praising/worshipping etc. because things are given but we need to keep our focus. Phela we need to remember we're fighting not against flesh and blood but against authorities and evil forces (Eph 6:10-18)
    Ok,can I stop preaching now lol.
    Thank you for sharing my friend, thank you so much, God is so amazing, we see it all the time, through ourselves or people we know. This WILL change people's lives.
    Leina la gagwe a le bokwe!

    Neo said...

    Leina la gagwe a le bokwe! Amen Preach on sister!! lol - I'm glad you enjoyed the message :) xoxo

    Anonymous said...

    I read through ur blog again this evening & I got a revelation, when we r facing problems we want God to remove them instantly but thank u for reminding me that if I take it one day @ a time Ill get through it. Right now I'm facing troubles of my own but girl I know I can make it just one day @ a time. Thank God for you, stay blessed. Love Thando

    Neo said...

    Only a pleasure Thando. Take care & have a blessed week.

    Keke said...

    Thanks for sharing this! The 'one day at a time' thing always seems like an idealistic thing, but you put in well into perspective. Thank u:)