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Small Things Matter

 |  by Victoria Osteen

Tuesday, April 3, 2018
comments: 0

I have a beautiful oak tree in my front yard, and its wide-spreading limbs seem to span forever. As I look at that tree, it's hard for me to believe that it started from an acorn. All I see is big and majestic, but it had to start as a small seed. That's how God works. He takes the small, and He goes big.

When the Israelites were going to possess the Promised Land, God said, "Little by little I will drive your enemies out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land" (Exodus 23:30). God started small, slowly decreasing the enemies because He wanted His people to go big. He wanted them to grow their own capacity to be able to handle what He was going to give them in the future. He didn't want the land to overtake them. He wanted them to overtake the land. God was increasing them incrementally throughout their journey.

God wants to increase us, but oftentimes we overlook the small things because we want to go big. We may even think that we don't have to deal with something small because it's not going to make that much difference anyway. It's easy to think that how we're treating our spouse or all the complaining we do about our job doesn't really matter. Perhaps there's a lack of integrity, leaving the office early, thinking the boss isn't looking. And on top of that, too often we think we don't have the right education or the finances or the right people connections to achieve our dreams.

All of that is small stuff, but God says what we believe and our attitudes are very important. The small things matter to Him, and if we don't learn to handle the small, we'll never go big. Perhaps you need to forgive someone or start being on time at work. That may seem small, but it's only "little by little" that you can go big. You want a great marriage. You want that promotion. You have to do what's right in the small things.

We recently went to the funeral service of the great evangelist Billy Graham and celebrated the life of a man who touched millions for God. We see his big life, but we don't see the small things he dealt with every day for over ninety years—the choices, the adjustments, the things he said no to, the things he did when he didn't know if it would make a difference. We see the big but not the small.

Remember, a majestic oak tree starts with a small seed.

See You at Camp

 |  by Shanceler Terry, Mom and Lakewood Youth Volunteer

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
comments: 0

You want to climb on a bus and go where, with who, for how long and, you want me to pay how much? That was my reaction when my daughter, now 21, asked to attend her first youth summer camp. Yes, I was THAT mom; the mom that could be just a tad bit, let's say "cautious". But once she mentioned – the "why" she wanted to go – to grow closer to God, to meet friends in her grade that loved God, to make memories that would last a lifetime – the WHY so outweighed the WHAT. I made a choice, not to pay a camp fee, but to invest in my child's relationship with Christ and invest in her purpose and destiny. Now watching her in college, still chasing after God and making healthy friendships – the return on that investment is so worth it.

Honestly, I was nervous sending my daughter and five years later even my son off to camp. But the look on their faces coming off that bus – tired, yes, but different. There is a joy in their eyes, peace on their faces, and they talk all the way home, telling me about all that happened. It's amazing, as a parent. My favorite moment was watching my son for the first time lead worship and then as a youth leader. Then having the honor to baptize my son – who two years ago I wasn't certain he would be here due to depression. Summer camp was a place of hope for him – laughter – joy – faith. Now, in a few months – he will head to Haiti to minister to other young people. And to think, it all began with a yes from me and a moment at camp.

Saying yes is the easiest part. The funds can be the hardest, but I can tell you – it is possible. Great ways that we have raised money for camp, and even recently a mission trip, is establishing a website for folks to donate. Or choose a day and text out your child's story and challenge 25 people to pledge $10 dollars in 24 hours. It works!!! Ask friends and family to sponsor an hour of camp. We are there for five days – a total of about 96 hours = $2.65 an hour. Another great idea is a spaghetti dinner – selling plates. Everyone is hungry!! The time and energy is so worth it.

As a mother, and a youth leader for Lakewood Youth for the past 21 years, I have witnessed the impact in hundreds of students' lives. The staff of Lakewood Youth will communicate with you and assist you in the registration process. FIVE EASY STEPS – APPLY ONLINE – PAY ONLINE – SUBMIT MEDICAL FORMS AND WAIVERS – READ YOUR E-MAILS – DROP OFF AND PICK UP ON TIME!!! It's that easy.

I'm excited for you and your child, and me and my son who is attending again this year, can't wait to meet you. Join me in proclaiming, "As for me and my house, we WILL SERVE THE LORD."

See you at camp!!

Welcome! Join us for Lakewood Family Night

 |  by Lakewood Church

Friday, April 6, 2018
comments: 0

If you are new to the Lakewood Family, we would love the opportunity to meet you! At this special reception, you will meet Pastors Joel and Victoria, and get to know your Lakewood family better. This will be a fun event for the entire family. There will be food trucks, inflatables for the kids, and every attendee will receive a free book from Pastor Joel. Come and connect with us at Lakewood Family Night, April 8th 4-7pm.

Develop Your Potential

 |  by Victoria Osteen

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
comments: 0

I get excited whenever I think of all the potential God has put inside each of us. We all have the capacity to grow and produce more than we're producing right now. We all can do more for God. We have so much more inside us!

But how do we develop and bring out that potential? By discipline and self-control. Proverbs 25:28 says, "Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls." When the enemy saw a city with strong walls, it could not harm the strong people inside who built the walls. When you have a strong inner man, you can produce a strong outer man. Today your discipline and self-control represent strength in your life that doesn't leave you exposed to the enemy's tactics—the temptations, all the ways he wants to get you off course. When you rule over your spirit, which is your inner man, you are strong! You can resist!

The apostle Paul tells us the problem in Romans 7:22–23: "For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity"—the flesh, which represents our self-will to have our own way, to not live under control, to follow our emotions and thoughts. The flesh wants to spend money you don't have, to eat whatever you want, to say whatever you think, to do whatever is the easiest thing or whatever you feel like.

But you have to say, "No, I'm not going to let the flesh run wild. I'm going to put it under control with my strong spirit man." Discipline and self-control are the tools that God gave you to succeed and to reach your full potential. Discipline says, "I will be a productive person. I budget my money. I have goals to reach and skills to develop. I'm going to eat right, rest right, and exercise right." Every time you choose discipline and self-control, you say no to the enemy having his way in your life. You're building those strong walls!

Hebrews 12:11 says, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace." Discipline builds up the eternal, the important things in your life. Perhaps you need to identify an area or two of your life that need to be strengthened. Maybe you need to stop doing some things that keep you weak. Perhaps you need to let go of a few people who are breaking down your inner strength. Maybe you just need to focus on it and let self-control and discipline bring a great harvest in your life!

Water Baptism with Pastor Joel

 |  by Lakewood Church

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
comments: 0

Take the next step of faith at our church-wide water baptism with April 14! Register at LakewoodChurch.com/baptism or visit our registration tables during all services the weekend of April 7th in the bookstore lobby or at the Grand Entrance. Registration is required, must be 8 years of age or older to register. Sign up today!

There's no better time to take this step of faith than now, during this Easter season. You will hear a brief message on the meaning of water baptism, before being baptized. Family and friends are welcome to join you and take pictures. Right after your baptism, you will receive a Certificate of Baptism with your name on it signed by Pastor Joel.

Middle School Summer Camp Registration Now Open

 |  by Lakewood Church

Thursday, April 12, 2018
comments: 0

If you have a student in Middle School our Summer Camp registrations is now open! Lakewood Middle School and Conexion Jr. High are joining forces for an unforgettable week of squad games, engaging services, and tons of fun surprises, July 18-20th. 

We have a line-up of powerful worship and teachings in store for your student, and we've packed in the fun with go-karts, bumper boats, water slides, a zip line, and more.

Register your student or learn more about 2018 Middle School Camp today!

Health Fair

 |  by Lakewood Church

Sunday, April 15, 2018
comments: 0

Don't miss our free Health Fair, April 22,  in partnership with the U of H Student National Pharmaceutical Association. The valuable services that will be provided include blood pressure and blood glucose tests, vision and dental screenings, and much more! Don't miss the opportunity to receive these valuable health screenings free of charge. You must be 18 years or older to receive services at the Health Fair.

Be Mindful of Your Words

 |  by Victoria Osteen

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
comments: 0

Recently I was talking with a woman who was worried about her very talented daughter who is working at a job where she's not getting any breaks while other less talented employees are getting ahead. She was lovingly concerned about her daughter's future, but as she went on and on painting a scenario of gloom and doom, I started to feel depressed. Then I gathered my thoughts and asked her, "Is that what you want for your daughter?" She said, "No, of course not." I said, "Then you have to quit prophesying that about her future." If she convinced herself that's what was going to happen, she was also going to speak those words to her daughter. I said, "Look, what you need to begin to say is, 'Thank You, Father, for unprecedented favor in my daughter's workplace. Thank You that she's going to get the supernatural breaks she needs.' Begin to prophesy her abundant future."

It's because we love someone or something so much that we begin to use our words in the wrong direction to try to control the situation. Because of the pressures of life, we need to be mindful of what we're saying. David prayed in Psalm 141, "Lord, set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips." He was saying, "God, I am in a difficult situation. Don't let me speak words that get my life off course. I don't want to speak what I see and feel. I want to speak what You want. I want to go in Your direction for my life."

And that's exactly what you and I need to speak in the midst of the pressures of life. Our words can send us in the direction of God. We serve a positive God who spoke life and light into a dark and void situation and created this world. And He has given us the privilege to do the same—to speak into our situations, to begin to prophesy our future, to direct our life where it needs to go so that we can obtain the miracles that He has for us.

Jesus said, "The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). When you get the Word of God in your mouth, you create a strong, spiritual life that will send you on the course to life. Your words will direct you beside still waters and take you to green pastures. They'll lead you to refreshment for your soul. Let's be very attentive to the words that we speak. Let's remember our words are containers of power that can direct our course. We can prophesy our future.

Hurricane Relief Update

 |  by Lakewood Church

Thursday, April 19, 2018
comments: 0

The Harvey relief effort is going strong. We are committed to helping as many people as possible. As of today, we have cleaned out over 800 homes, completed rebuilding five homes from start to finish, and are currently rebuilding 31 homes.  Every home rebuilt is a life restored. This month, faithful Lakewood member Connie Hillman stepped into her newly renovated home.

Connie has been a faithful Lakewood member and volunteer since 1996 and was preparing to leave on a Lakewood mission trip when the storm hit. She sought shelter at her granddaughter's home with her suitcase of clothes she'd packed for her Botswana Missions trip. Connie couldn't have expected the scene she would witness on the news. There in the quiet living room in the aftermath, she saw her street on TV. It was the first place reporters could reach. She watched in awe at the complete devastation as boats passed her neighbor's homes. Not knowing the condition of her own home and unable to make it back, she volunteered her time at Lakewood Church to help those in immediate need. As she poured into others, little did she know that the same compassion would be poured into her in the days and months to come.

Once she returned home, she faced complete ruin. Three feet of water had been in her home. Mold had set in, and all of her belongings went to the curb for disposal, including everything in her closet. In this dark moment, she was thrilled to see Lakewood teams arrive to help. Our teams removed the flood-damaged floors and walls so the rebuild process could begin.

Despite the situation, Connie was committed to serving in Botswana. Her shoes were ruined while inspecting her home, and she left on the trip without a single pair of shoes. Our Lakewood Mission's director gave her a pair of sandals off her own feet to hold her over until they could reach a market in Africa. 

"It took a few days for me to get a pair of my own in Africa, which were too big. That's all I wore when I got back," recalls Connie.

Connie lives alone and works two jobs to make ends meet. With no flood insurance to help her recover, Lakewood was Connie's miracle. Over the course of the following months, we replaced her plumbing and electrical systems and installed brand new counter tops and flooring. We've dressed her bathroom with new tiles, and her kitchen has beautiful new cabinets and back splash. Our teams have painted her walls a fresh paint job that is color coordinated with new windows and blinds. Then her recovery story gets even sweeter.

Lakewood member Vanessa felt a stirring in her heart to buy brand new furniture for a home in need. She reached out to us, and we paired her with Connie. The two of them worked side by side and Vanessa helped make Connie's home look stunning with stylish furnishings that perfectly matched the new improvements. Connie has a brand new home fit for a showroom!

"God's love is powerful. I don't think I'll ever lose sight of God wanting the best for us. I was able to have a home that was rebuilt like brand new, not just pieced together. When I first opened the door and saw the devastation, I thought, "I can't do this by myself. God, You're going to have to help me." And now when I open the door, I say, "God, look what You did! I'm grateful in my time of need, my church came to my help with the love of Christ. Lakewood has blessed me in a way that only a church full of God's love can do. Thank God for my Lakewood family," said Connie.

Just like Vanessa, you too can personally help someone. If you want to donate and get connected with someone in need, simply reach out to [email protected] and we will can get you paired with someone who would appreciate it! Also, we have many upcoming Saturday service opportunities in May where you can help homeowners beautify their homes with landscaping. Reach out to [email protected] and we will give you more information. 

The hurricane happened at the end of last summer, but we haven't forgotten about its footprint in our community. Its catastrophic damages still linger, and our teams are working full time to repair homes and lives. We've been blessed to give millions of dollars in aid, supplies and resources, and the work continues. We are committed to making the biggest impact possible in 2018. Stay tuned for more updates of hope after the storm.

Have a Compassionate Heart

 |  by Victoria Osteen

Thursday, April 19, 2018
comments: 0

All through the Gospels we read that wherever Jesus went He was moved with compassion for people. When He saw the multitudes, He had this deep inward moving of love to heal the sick and feed them miraculously. He had compassion on the widow who was weeping for her dead son and raised him from the dead (Luke 7:14). Two blind men heard that Jesus was passing by and cried out, "Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!" (Matthew 20:30), and Jesus stopped in His tracks, called them, and looked them right in their faces. They couldn't see Him, but I bet they could feel His compassion as He touched their eyes and healed them.

Compassion is powerful. Jesus didn't just feel sorry for those in need. He didn't say, "Oh well, that's too bad." No, His compassion moved Him to action. In the same way, 1 John 3:17 says about us, "If anyone…sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart of compassion against him, how can the love of God live in him?" We all have a heart of compassion that God wants to work through toward others, and it can either be open or shut. If it is shut off, God's love cannot flow out of it, which I believe is the reason some of us are unhappy today. We've closed our heart of compassion. If we're going to live the abundant life that God has given us, we need to stir up our heart of compassion and say, "God, open my heart and my eyes to see the people who need my love today."

Sometimes we get so busy with our own lives that we forget the people around us who may need something from us. He wants to flow through us to other people and use us as an instrument of His love, to be His hands and feet to them. But we're never going to be that until we begin to understand that we are directed to follow this love and let it guide us. This compassion is from God and has miracle-working power in it. He wants you to release your influence, your power, your love on this earth.

When you feel compassion moving in you toward someone, you never know the impact of what a phone call can do or the significance of your words when you say, "Hey, I'm thinking about you. I care about you. I love you. I'm praying for you." Those simple words of hope can turn someone's life around. Be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Ms.Dodie's Healing Service for Special Needs

 |  by Lakewood Church

Friday, April 20, 2018
comments: 0

If you are believing for healing for your special needs child, teen, or adult join us for a special Prayer and Healing service with Ms. Dodie Osteen. This prayer and healing service for kids, teens and adults with special needs will be this Monday, April 23rd in New Beginnings Room from 6:30pm-7:30pm. 

Ms.Dodie has overcome contracting polio as a child and survived a life-threatening battle with cancer, all with her beautiful heart and sense of humor. Her own daughter Lisa, was healed of a crippling disease as a baby. Injured at birth, Lisa developed a condition similar to cerebral palsy which doctors said would cripple her and cause her early death. But as her parents prayed for her, God miraculously healed Lisa before her first birthday.

This is a come-and-go service. Limited parking is available on the Timmons Circle Drive.

Monday, April 23rd in New Beginnings Room from 6:30pm-7:30pm

Hurricane Relief Update

 |  by Lakewood Church

Friday, April 20, 2018
comments: 0

The Harvey relief effort is going strong. We are committed to helping as many people as possible. As of today, we have cleaned out over 800 homes, completed rebuilding five homes from start to finish, and are currently rebuilding 31 homes.  Every home rebuilt is a life restored. This month, faithful Lakewood member Connie Hillman stepped into her newly renovated home.

Connie has been a faithful Lakewood member and volunteer since 1996 and was preparing to leave on a Lakewood mission trip when the storm hit. She sought shelter at her granddaughter's home with her suitcase of clothes she'd packed for her Botswana Missions trip. Connie couldn't have expected the scene she would witness on the news. There in the quiet living room in the aftermath, she saw her street on TV. It was the first place reporters could reach. She watched in awe at the complete devastation as boats passed her neighbor's homes. Not knowing the condition of her own home and unable to make it back, she volunteered her time at Lakewood Church to help those in immediate need. As she poured into others, little did she know that the same compassion would be poured into her in the days and months to come.

Once she returned home, she faced complete ruin. Three feet of water had been in her home. Mold had set in, and all of her belongings went to the curb for disposal, including everything in her closet. In this dark moment, she was thrilled to see Lakewood teams arrive to help. Our teams removed the flood-damaged floors and walls so the rebuild process could begin.

Despite the situation, Connie was committed to serving in Botswana. Her shoes were ruined while inspecting her home, and she left on the trip without a single pair of shoes. Our Lakewood Mission's director gave her a pair of sandals off her own feet to hold her over until they could reach a market in Africa. 

"It took a few days for me to get a pair of my own in Africa, which were too big. That's all I wore when I got back," recalls Connie.

Connie lives alone and works two jobs to make ends meet. With no flood insurance to help her recover, Lakewood was Connie's miracle. Over the course of the following months, we replaced her plumbing and electrical systems and installed brand new counter tops and flooring. We've dressed her bathroom with new tiles, and her kitchen has beautiful new cabinets and back splash. Our teams have painted her walls a fresh paint job that is color coordinated with new windows and blinds. Then her recovery story gets even sweeter.

Lakewood member Vanessa felt a stirring in her heart to buy brand new furniture for a home in need. She reached out to us, and we paired her with Connie. The two of them worked side by side and Vanessa helped make Connie's home look stunning with stylish furnishings that perfectly matched the new improvements. Connie has a brand new home fit for a showroom!

"God's love is powerful. I don't think I'll ever lose sight of God wanting the best for us. I was able to have a home that was rebuilt like brand new, not just pieced together. When I first opened the door and saw the devastation, I thought, "I can't do this by myself. God, You're going to have to help me." And now when I open the door, I say, "God, look what You did! I'm grateful in my time of need, my church came to my help with the love of Christ. Lakewood has blessed me in a way that only a church full of God's love can do. Thank God for my Lakewood family," said Connie.

Just like Vanessa, you too can personally help someone. If you want to donate and get connected with someone in need, simply reach out to [email protected] and we will can get you paired with someone who would appreciate it! Also, we have many upcoming Saturday service opportunities in May where you can help homeowners beautify their homes with landscaping. Reach out to [email protected] and we will give you more information. 

The hurricane happened at the end of last summer, but we haven't forgotten about its footprint in our community. Its catastrophic damages still linger, and our teams are working full time to repair homes and lives. We've been blessed to give millions of dollars in aid, supplies and resources, and the work continues. We are committed to making the biggest impact possible in 2018. Stay tuned for more updates of hope after the storm.

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