What I'm reading today

The Power of I Am: Two Words that Will Change Your Life Today by Joel Osteen 

I'm not usually one to pick up anything remotely Christian, especially by an evangelical pastor like Osteen.  This book is different.  Yes, it's filled with Biblical references and quotes, frequently mentions Jesus as the Lord and Savior, being "born again" and keeping God first in your life.

Yes, it's true that there are millions of people who believe in those concepts that Olsteen fills his book with.  There are also many that do not.  I believe that those people are also good and kind and deserving of peace and happiness and a strong spiritual life.

So if you can bypass the Jesus speak and harness instead the humanism that believes that we are all worthy, there are some powerful words in this book.  For example, Osteen begins with the simple, yet profound truth that how we speak about ourselves determines our destiny.  That's not religion.  That's the contemporary psychology of positive thiinking and there is a lot of solid research to support it.

The basic concepts presented boil down to this. "Whatever follows the “I am” will eventually find you.  When you say, “I am so clumsy,”  clumsiness comes looking for you. “I am so old.” Wrinkles come looking for you. Whatever you follow the “I am” with, you’re handing it an invitation, opening the door, and giving it permission to be in your life. The good news is you get to choose what follows the “I am.”  

Here's an excerpt from Chapter One.

"Rather than being down on ourselves and discrediting who we are and focusing on all of our flaws, I wonder what would happen if all through the day—not in front of other people but in private— we were to be as bold as David was and say, 'I am amazing. I am wonderful.


I am valuable.' When you talk like that, amazing comes chasing you down. Awesome starts heading in your direction. You won’t have that weak, defeated 'I’m just average” 'mentality. You’ll carry yourself like a king, like a queen. Not in pride. Not being better than somebody, but with a quiet confidence, with the knowledge that you’ve been handpicked by the Creator of the universe and you have something amazing to offer this world."

Admittedly, I didn't get through the whole book before being overwhelmed by the Christian language.  If you can, I suspect there's lost more wisdom to be found in this book.

If you can't well, rest assured that there are others who speak the truth as powerfully as Olsteen with out the necessity of having a Christian perspective to make it work.  

Check out our book list for some suggestions.