Sunday, September 25, 2005

Your Best Life Now

Recently for my birthday I received an audio CD of Joel Osteen's book Your Best Life Now. It consists of five CDs. On the trip to Georgia on Friday, I started listening to the first CD when I reached the far side of Monteagle and could no longer pick up Nashville radio stations. When I got to my mother's, the second CD had just started. So it will take a L-O-N-G time to listen to all of them. The CDs are good, and I enjoyed listening to them although Joel's voice is very quiet and controlled - too calming, and it was difficult at times to keep my attention on the CD. My mind kept going off on tangents. One tangent: He pronounces the word similar "sim-U-lar" - and it is uncanny how often that word is in the book! My tangent continued. . . maybe since Osteen's church is in Texas -- and George W. Bush is from Texas and has gotten a lot of flack for pronouncing nuclear "nu-cu-lar" -- that maybe that kind of pronunciation is a part of being a Texan. I told Mother about the CD set, and asked if she knew of Joel Osteen, and of course she knew a lot about him and liked him. She mentioned that he preaches a type of "prosperity" gospel. As I listened to the CD on the way home, I thought about what she had said. He's nothing like some of the preachers on TV who seem to flaunt their wealth with extravagant clothes and jewelry and flashy sets for their TV shows. THEIR prosperity gospels have mostly to do with their own prosperity. Osteen, however, seems down to earth, and his message is Biblically-based. I'll write more about his book as I listen to more of it. The part that made an impression me during my drive home today was the power of words - the words we say to others and also the words we say to ourselves. He talked about how important it is for parents to speak supportive and loving words to their children. Equally important, though, is speaking supportive and loving words to ourselves. We ARE usually our own worst critics, and that's what I thought about as I sped along I-24 towards Nashville.

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