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Editorial Reviews Review

Houston televangelist Joel Osteen is well qualified to write this book, having used the seven principles he shares to achieve his own "rags-to-riches" story. At the heart of Osteen’s message is that achieving a successful, prosperous life of fulfillment can only occur when we stop worrying about the past or future to make the most of each present moment by using our God-given strengths and talents to achieve our goals. The key to doing so are the seven steps Osteen outlines: Enlarge Your Vision, Develop a Healthy Self-Image, Discover the Power of Your Thoughts and Words, Let go of the Past, Find Strength Through Adversity, Live to Give, and Choose to Be Happy. Mixing biblical teachings with his own personal experiences, Osteen explains each of these seven steps in an encouraging, optimistic manner that makes them accessible to anyone interested in principles of personal growth. Although written with a Christian slant, the seven steps Osteen shares will have value to anyone wanting to know more about practical steps of self-betterment, regardless of their denomination.--Larry Trivieri Jr. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Houston megachurch pastor and inspirational TV host Osteen offers an overblown and redundant self-help debut. Many Christian readers will undoubtedly be put off by the book’s shallow name-it-and-claim-it theology; although the first chapter claims that "we serve the God that created the universe," the book as a rule suggests the reverse: it’s a treatise on how to get God to serve the demands of self-centered individuals. Osteen tells readers that God wants them to prosper, offering examples of obtaining an elegant mansion or a larger salary ("don’t ever get satisfied with where you are," he cautions). In seven parts, he details how readers should enlarge their vision, develop self-esteem, discover the power of thought, let go of the past, find strength through adversity, give back to others and choose to be happy. The section on giving comes as too little, too late—Osteen’s message to remember others and "get your mind off yourself" flies in the face of the previous 200 pages. There are some good pockets of advice, such as letting go of past hurts and avoiding bitterness. Editorially, the book would have packed more of a punch if a third of its repetitive slogans and stories had been pruned. Theologically, its materialism and superficial portrayal of God as the granter of earthly wishes will alienate many Christian readers who can imagine a much bigger God.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: FaithWords; Reprint edition (August 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780446696159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446696159
  • ASIN: 0446696153
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (727 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Joel Osteen is a native Texan and the Pastor of Lakewood Church, which according to Church Growth Today is America's largest and fastest growing church with over 38,000 attendees. On July 16, 2005 after completing $95 million dollars in renovations, Joel moved Lakewood Church into its new 16,000 seat home -- the former Compaq Center which is now the largest regularly-used worship center in the United States. According to Nielsen Media Research, Joel is the most watched inspirational figure in America. His weekly sermon is broadcast into television markets across the U.S. where it is viewed by seven million Americans each week and more than 20 million each month. His weekly broadcast is also seen in almost 100 nations around the world. In 2004 his first book, Your Best Life Now was released by Time Warner debuting at the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List and quickly rising to #1. It remained on the New York Times Bestseller for more than 2 years and has sold more than 4 million copies. Most recently, Joel was named as one of Barbara Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People of 2006" and he was selected as the "Most Influential Christian in 2006" by the readers of Church Report Magazine. The son of John Osteen -- a highly respected minister of the Gospel and the founder of Lakewood Church -- Joel attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he studied radio and television communications. In 1982, Joel returned to Houston and founded Lakewood's television ministry where he produced John Osteen's televised sermons for 17 years until January 1999 when his father passed away. For many years John Osteen encouraged Joel to preach, but he always declined preferring to work behind the scenes. In early 1999, Joel felt compelled to accept his father's invitation and he preached his first sermon on January 17th of that year. Little did anyone know that would be the last Sunday of John Osteen's life. Two weeks later Joel began preaching and later that year was installed as the new Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church. Almost immediately, weekly attendance began to grow at an extraordinary rate and, in 2005 Joel moved Lakewood Church into its present location, the former Compaq Center, a 16,000 seat arena that was once home to the Houston Rockets professional basketball team. Now, with his wife Victoria and the leadership staff of Lakewood, this innovative church is poised for the new millennium. Joel's extraordinary success can be found in his core message: That our God is a good God who desires to bless those who are obedient and faithful to Him through Jesus Christ. It is Joel's deepest desire that his own life be an example of that principle and that everyone who hears this message of hope and encouragement would choose to accept God's goodness and mercy and to become all that God wants them to be.

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Customer Reviews

The book is very easy reading, written in a conversational manner and inspirational.
In this book, "Your Best Life Now," pastor Joel Osteen outline seven different principles you need to follow if you want to live the abundant life God intended: 1.
Jinger Jarrett
I used to look at things in a negative way but this book taught me how to think more positive and to let go of all the negative things in my life.
L. Fisher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 128 people found the following review helpful By D. Wilburn on October 2, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I am a lifelong Christian and have read and studied the Word from many angles and sources over the years.

I don't know if it was just timing, or what, but I couldn't help but notice this 'happy preacher' on TV. For years, I passed him by while scanning the channels, but I DID slowly begin to stop and listen- a little more each time. I was taken by Mr. Osteen's simple messages, delivered with a humility and genuiness that I just don't think can be faked. Anyway, I began to enjoy the half hour I spent with him on TV, but still couldn't force myself to buy the book or even take his theology seriously for that matter - it was just 'soul candy' as far as I was concerned.

Finally, I gave in a little over a year ago and bought the book. I coincidentally began a new job that included a company paid daily bus pass. I began to read a chapter a day during my commute. I have now read this book at least a dozen times. Yes, it still has that candy-like comfort, but beyond that I have learned to respect the man and his theology. To those who cast it off as 'name it and claim drivel', I can only say that I receive a much deeper message from his words. Maybe it's because I've never been a part of anything remotely like the 'name and claim' theology, or perhaps it's because I'd like to believe that my own theology is deeper and therefore believe that his is too. What I'll say is that while I have learned to appreciate how much God DOES love me and how much he wants for me, I realize that monetary wealth is just one of many types of wealth that's being referred to in the book. And I hear the distinction loud and clear in his words. But I don't think that's necessarily his point. I don't hear him PROMISING good things in this book.
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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn R Scheidies on June 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I don't even know where to begin on this book. There was a time I understood the principles Osteen shares. I believed them, held to them firmly, until life happened, until exhaustion and opportunities denied or lost sapped away that faith. Until I read this book, I hadn't realized how far I'd drifted from basics I knew were true and that made a positive difference. I hadn't realized how negative some of my attitudes had become, attitudes I began to see reflected in my adult children.

Osteen brought me back to center, to my foundation: God is good; He loves me and wants the very best for me. He also wants me to trust Him, even in when bad things happen. God desires to bless, but my negative choices and attitudes can block that blessing. No longer.

Osteen makes clear ... (...)
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By CouldaShouldaWoulda on October 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Sounds like the publisher's weekly folks seem to be a bit grouchy. Their mindset is one of the reasons why church attendance has been declining for years. A legalistic view of god that does not relate well to today's environment. I really don't see him as being competition for your local church but rather a nice supplement (kind of like a spiritual dose of vitamin C).

Now I don't know Joel to well, I -- like most -- just watch the man on TV (which my wife prodded me to watch with her one day). In the grand scheme of things, he's a very positive force and spending ½ hour with him is a much better investment of your time than watching some dimwitted network reality show. We've been Tivoing him for the past few months and it's nice to listen to his messages while you cook dinner or do some dishes.

If you watch his show, you will find some of the themes in the book familiar but that's OK. Like with many messages, you pick up additional things the second time around. It's a nice way to spend a few minutes and will give you some new ideas to improve your thinking, life and family.

Also what we all should take note about Joel is how diverse his audience is...not some forced, corporate or governmental diversity...but rather a free flowing diversity of people who are united by a common, positive message coming together under free will. I recently attended his talk in New York and was astounded by how so many different people came together to hear him speak. There were African Americans, Asians, White Folks, Hispanics, etc...all in cold, secular, NYC. It was something I've never experienced before and found it very comforting. There's something different going on here and perhaps we should take note.

In the end -- give him a shot -- 13 bucks is not much to invest in your outlook on life.
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful By L. Brislin on June 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I've read many books in my life, but this is probably the first I've ever reviewed. I saw Joel Osteen on TV once or twice and was impressed with his message. (We need a message of hope.) If he can bring people to God or closer to God what is wrong with that? What is wrong with living on faith and expecting a better life? I've read some of the negative reviews on the book (and some of the positive ones) and I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want a positive outlook on life. I am still reading the book. I feel my faith strengthening. I am glad I bought this book and glad there are ministers out there like Joel Osteen. I have almost always been turned off by televangelists, but not this one. Thank God for people like Joel who can help others focus clearly.
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