John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us." Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us."
Ten or so years ago while working for a Christian radio station, I recall a pastor walking into my office (OK, cubicle) who had a radio show on our AM sister station. I was the morning show host on our FM signal at the time. His entire ministry centered on knowing and living out your identity in Christ. He was passionate in his calling and a likeable fellow that knew how to strike up engaging conversations.
I can't remember why, but for some reason he brought up the ministry of Joel Osteen. Personally, at that time I hadn't seen any of Osteen's televised messages, I hadn't read any of his books (though my husband owned one or two of them) and I wasn't at all familiar with his wife Victoria's ministry. All I knew, was rumor had it, he was a motivational speaker, and nothing more.
But this pastor-friend of mine went on to say, that while he didn't necessarily agree with the popular minister's method of presenting the gospel, he couldn't argue with the fact that his own mother had come to know Jesus and committed her life to Him through Osteen's on-air ministry. His mother was ill and pretty much confined to her bed, so while she couldn't attend a local church service, she could pick up her remote and tune in to Joel Osteen's broadcast from Houston each week. The Lord obviously used his weekly program to reach her.
"Every now and then, we all need a little cake," the local pastor standing next to me said.
I've never forgotten that statement. What he was saying, was Joel Osteen may not serve up meat and potatoes and a helping of broccoli which we need to survive, but he provided a message that we could all benefit from on occasion. And a couple of weeks ago, I found myself in need of a sizable slice of cake.
I was feeling discouraged over work and life in general. Yes, I have so much to be thankful for, but for some reason there seemed to be some nimbus clouds hanging over my head that I couldn't escape. Nothing really felt right and I needed a huge dose of encouragement. That's when I remembered Joel Osteen. If you're sick, you visit a doctor. If you're out of shape, you go to the gym. If you're discouraged, I figured why not check out Joel Osteen.
Thankfully, I have Sirius XM in my car (probably a no-no for a gal who worked in local radio) so I spun the dial until I found the Joel Osteen channel. It was unlike anything I had ever heard. His encouraging, positive, messages blew my nimbus clouds from overhead, replacing them with those nice puffy ones - cumulus, I think. I've been tuning in periodically ever since, whenever I find my spiritual blood sugar plummeting.
Maybe you, too, are feeling a little down, or your spiritual journey feels a little dry or stagnant. Maybe it's time to shake things up a bit. Seek out a women's retreat or conference, consider a new Bible study at your church, check out a Christian radio station you don't typically listen to, shell out a few dollars to attend a Christian concert with a friend. Do something slightly out of the ordinary...eat some cake. It won't be a permanent fix but the small change may help you see things with a fresh perspective that may ultimately help you get out of that slump.
We all need regular infusions of encouragement, and I believe it's available if you look for it. Cake, anyone?
Funny that the title "Author" appears above this description yet I have no idea what to share about myself in this space! How about my first name is Kim. My last name is Tisor. Tisor rhymes with miser, though I try not to be one.
For more information about me, please visit the author page.