Joel Osteen urges crowd to 'stay in the game'
Sep 29, 2012 (Menafn - The Oklahoman - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --A televangelist and pastor of one of America's largest church congregations shared spiritual principles and a message of hope Friday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in downtown Oklahoma City.
The Rev. Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, presented "A Night of Hope," a mix of music and a series of mini sermonettes leading up to a message urging believers to "stay in the game."
Osteen appeared jovial and upbeat, which is his trademark style. He told the estimated crowd of about 10,000 that his wife Victoria was ill and did not make the trip to Oklahoma City. However, the couple's children Alexandra and Jonathan appeared on stage with their father, with Alexandra singing several songs and her brother accompanying her on guitar.
Osteen's mother Dodie Osteen, 78, drew cheers from the crowd when she shared her faith testimony of being healed from liver cancer 31 years ago, though doctors gave her only weeks to live after making the diagnosis.
"Don't you be satisfied until you get what you need from Jesus," she said.
Several Oklahoma City area ministers prayed for the audience and the city after Osteen's mother left the stage. The pastors and their churches included the Rev. Charles Martin with Integrity Voices of Victory, the Rev. Shon Burchett at Eastpointe Church, the Rev. Herbert Cooper with People's Church, the Rev. Robert Gonzales with Oasis Center Church and the Rev. Kirk Pankratz with Church of the Harvest.
Joel Osteen told those gathered to shake off their worries and distractions and think instead of the gift from God that each day represents.
"I believe tonight we're all going to reboot our emotional, our spiritual computers," he said.
Working from Isaiah 60:1, Osteen told the crowd they should continue to do God's will and fulfill His purpose for their lives, even during the tough times that inevitably come. He said it's easy to be passionate about life when things are going well, but easy to take detours of self-pity and unforgiveness when trouble comes.
He said the Lord has plans for believers after their troubles, so people should continue to help others and refuse to dwell on hurts as they move forward with their life.
"After the break up, after the disappointment, after the set back, God has an 'after this' coming for you," he said.
He said he has conducted about 120 "A Night of Hope" presentations in arenas all across the country, but Friday's event was his first in Oklahoma City.
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