It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book's FIRST chapter!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
FaithWords (December 10, 2008)
Joel Osteen is the pastor of the largest church in America with one of the most diverse congregations and over 30,000 members attending every week. He has quickly become a leading voice in a new generation of inspirational leaders and pastors. Under his leadership, Lakewood Church has grown in every area of ministry, more than quadrupling in size in the past five years. In the summer of 2005, the church moved into Houston’s 17,000-seat Compaq Arena and become the new Lakewood International Center. Joel and his wife Victoria live in Houston with their two children.
Visit the author's website.
List Price: $ 13.99
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: FaithWords (December 10, 2008)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Devotions to Start Every New Day of the Year
The key to living your best life starts with how you approach every new morning, because today is the only day you have. You can’t do anything about the past, and you don’t know what the future holds. But when you wake up in the morning, you can make up your mind to do your best to enjoy your day. You’re not going to allow what does or doesn’t happen to steal your joy and keep you from God’s abundant life.
Don’t start your day off by feeling guilty about yesterday or recalling all the mistakes you made. Rather, when you make mistakes, simply ask God for forgiveness and then move on, confident that the moment you ask, God forgives you. You are ready for a great present and a bright future. Get up every morning and receive God’s love and mercy and the power of His Word for your life.
Start your day with God by saying, “Father, I thank You that this is going to be a great day. I thank You that I have discipline, self-control; that I make good decisions. I may not have done all that I could have yesterday, but that day’s gone. I’m going to get up and do better today.” These devotions are written to inspire ardent love and worship to God. While they are not meant to replace your personal time with God, it is my desire that the readings will be keys you can use to unlock doors leading a fuller life. I hope they will be a springboard to help you draw nearer to God and to help you overcome the obstacles that might keep you from living your best life now.
Your life can be transformed and renewed as you allow God’s Word to refresh and to reshape your thinking, speaking, and daily activities. Allow the Scriptures to speak to you. Be still and listen to what God is saying to you. No matter where you are or what challenges you face, you can start to enjoy your life right now!
J ANUARY 1
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you
not see it? I will make a pathway
through the wilderness. I will create
rivers in the dry wasteland.
Unpack Your Dreams
W HAT DO YOU WANT TO DO with your life?
If you could write your best life story this morning, what would it say? Is your first reaction to see and describe yourself in terms of past experiences or present limitations, more in terms of losing or just surviving rather than fulfilling your dreams?
If you’ve packed away your dreams, dare to unpack them today and ask God to rekindle them in your heart and mind. It’s time to enlarge your vision.
He wants to pour out His far and beyond favor on you (see Ephesians 2:7). He wants to do big things and new things in your life.
J ANUARY 2
“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord, “plans to prosper
you and not to harm you, plans to
give you hope and a future.”
We Serve a Great God
Y OU MAY HAVE EXPERIENCED adversity or trials in your past. Perhaps you’ve had more than your share of setbacks and heartaches. But today is a brand-new day. It is time to stretch your faith and pursue the excellence that God has placed in your heart. It is time to break out of the “barely get by” mentality, to become the best you can be, not merely average or ordinary, for the rest of your life.
We serve the Most High God, and His dream for your life is so much bigger and better than you can even imagine. Never settle for a small view of God. Start thinking as God thinks. Think big. Think increase. Think abundance. Think more than enough!
J ANUARY 3
What, then, shall we say in response
to this? If God is for us, who can be
against us? He who did not spare his
own Son, but gave him up for us all—
how will he not also, along with him,
graciously give us all things?
With God on Your Side
GOD IS CONSTANTLY trying to plant new seeds in your heart. He’s trying to fill you with so much hope and expectancy that the seed will grow and bring forth a tremendous harvest. Never allow negative thinking to keep you from God’s best. If you will get in agreement with God, this can be the greatest time of your life.
With God on your side, you cannot possibly lose. He can make a way when it looks as though there is none. He can open doors that no one can shut. He can cause you to be at the right place, at the right time. He can supernaturally turn your dreams into reality.
J ANUARY 4
For therein is the righteousness of God
revealed from faith to faith: as it is
written, The just shall live by faith.
Stretch Your Faith
PERHAPS WE HAVE A GOAL to break a bad habit, to lose some weight, or to pay off our credit cards. At first, we’re so excited and we go after it! But over time, we get lazy; we get complacent. Maybe we see a little improvement, but then we get comfortable right where we are. Where we are may not be a bad place, but we know it’s not where we’re supposed to be. We’re not stretching our faith. We’re not pursuing the excellence that God has placed in our hearts.
Maybe you’ve been coasting lately, thinking that perhaps you’ve reached your limits. You’re not stretching your faith. You aren’t believing for an increase.
No, don’t stop halfway; go on up to the top of your mountain. Believe God for more.
J ANUARY 5
By faith Abraham, when called
to go to a place he would later
receive as his inheritance, obeyed
and went, even though he did not
know where he was going.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
PEOPLE WHO SEE THEIR DREAMS come to pass are people who have some resolve, some backbone; people who refuse to settle for somewhere along the way. Abraham, one of the Old Testament heroes of faith, obeyed God and followed Him all the way to the Promised Land of abundance in Canaan. Abraham’s father, however, stopped along the way and settled in Haran (see Genesis 11:31), feeling it was good enough but missing out on God’s best.
Don’t fall into a complacency trap. It doesn’t take any more effort to stay filled with faith than it takes to develop a negative attitude. Dare to step out of your comfort zone today. God has so much more in store. Keep pursuing and keep believing.
Copyright © 2008 by Joel Osteen Publishing
I'd heard mixed reviews about Joel Osteen, so I didn't know what to expect with this one. And so far, while I'm not that far in to it, due to the fact that it's a year long daily devotional, I think it's pretty good. The very first day's message could have been perfectly tailored for me that day, so I thought that was pretty cool. I enjoy the simple layout- a quick scripture followed by a brief paragraph or two message. The scriptures tie in to the message, and so far the messages are very life applicable. Generally when I think of a devotional I think of one that's going to include more on a spiritual level, like a tie in prayer or something. This book doesn't. The messages appear sound and worthwhile though, so I'll definitely still follow along with it through the year.