Entries tagged with “joel osteen” from FaithBasedBlog.com
As some of you know, I do a bit of political work as part of the dayjob. So imagine my surprise recently, to see my worlds collide. The Hill Research Consultants did some post-election polling and threw Joel Osteens name in the mix to see how some political names compared to non-political names. The results weren't too shabby. 43% of Texas voters have a favorable view of Joel, while 18% have an unfavorable view.
The full report is here if you're interested in the rest of the poll.
I missed this last week, but here's the extended interview of Joel Osteen on Newsweek/Washington Post's "On Faith" website:
Victoria's interview there was posted last month.
Heh ... Joel Osteen goes back to court. Irony ensues.
Although his wife's civil trial ended in victory two weeks ago, Lakewood Church pastor and evangelical superstar Joel Osteen found himself in court again Thursday, this time for a criminal trial.
Osteen was prospective juror No. 35 in the trial of a caretaker accused of injuring a disabled person in state District Judge Caprice Cosper's court.
"It's very ironic, and that's what everybody's kidding me about, saying 'Haven't you had enough of this place?'" Joel Osteen said.
And while jurors are numbered randomly, a higher power seemed to have a hand in seating Osteen next to a man who identified himself as a cousin of Kelly Siegler.
A former Republican candidate for district attorney, Siegler drew criticism for once telling a judge she works to keep members of Osteen's off criminal juries because "people who go to Lakewood are screwballs and nuts. We try our hardest not to put anybody who goes to Lakewood regularly on any jury."
The local Chronicle also filed a report from the San Antonio paper. Not sure what to make of this poor reporter's assignment:
Even in the men's room, AT&T custodian Donald Fuqua, 47, sensed something special.
"I can tell the Holy Spirit is here," Fuqua said. "When you see people come together, it's the way they look. You can see it in their face. He's alive today."
There's also some "playing to stereotype" reporting in the article (emphasis mine):
He said his aim isn't to compete with churches, but "to plant a seed of hope" for those facing economic woes, ill health and other troubles.
His smile never faltered when asked by reporters about critics who decry his feel-good sermons as "Christianity lite" that depart from strict biblical teachings.
Osteen said he tries to inspire people to do what's right, to give them hope and help them cope with problems. He also said his message is aimed, in large part, to people who otherwise have limited exposure to religion.
The upbeat theme clearly resonated with spectators like Mary L. Dickinson, 72, who drove from Laredo despite four herniated vertebrae and an ailing leg
I'm not sure I should have expected better from a reporter who works out of the men's room. I'm curious that if the reporter's characterization that a message of hope was primarily aimed at those in need of "health and wealth", you'd think there might be some aspect of an actual quote that should be included. And while it's by no means off limits to highlight an interview with someone who drove a ways to worship or that might even have a health issue, it should be pointed out there do exist a fair number of people who are perfectly ambulatory in attendance. Shocking though that may be to some.
I contemplated the trip to San An, but it looked like most of the organized trips out there were overnight stays and I was looking forward to some rest & relaxation on Sunday anyway. One of the groups that reported from their journey noted that they couldn't even get in since they failed to get tickets in advance.
For as long as I've been doing these little video snippets, I've focused on the praise and worship aspects for the most part. And for good reason: it tends to be an overlooked element of the service. It's something you don't see on the 30-minute television production and yet it's as vital a part of service as any other.
But for a few weeks, I want to at least try and somehow put a focus on someone who seemingly has enough of a focus on him: Joel Osteen. That'd be the guy you do see on the 30-minute version of events ... and on the cover of books and magazines and a whole lot more.
In this clip, there's the end of Stephen & Da'Dra leading "How Great Is Our God." What makes Joel's mid-service prayers at least slightly more powerful than they might otherwise be is the way they're wrapped around the entire praise & worship service. You literally don't lose a beat segueing into the prayer.
Fear not to the band & choir ... the special from this weekend is over at the video site. It was a nice homage to Israel Houghton on the eve of his performance Sunday night at the Grammy Awards. And if anyone wants to pick up that song, here it is.
Coupla quick asides here on each snippet of video. For the in-studio segment, I can't help but marvel at how much better and insightful this interview is than the last one Joel did with Katie Couric trying to play "gotchya" with Bible quotes read from note cards.
For the second, I'll just add my two cents on what a great format this was for both Joel & Victoria. Mighta been nice to see a few more questions and perhaps a little less staged - not that I think you can get away from that notion entirely for this medium. Also ... Victoria homeschooling now? Interesting. We knew that Lisa Comes did the same and the two households live just down the street from one another.
And since this is the final media moment from the New York tour, one other comment: Joel definitely looks a lot stronger in the interviews he did this week. There was obviously some good prep work done in lining up some favorable media types (ex. - Robin Roberts/GMA) to balance out some of the more predictable pieces that promised to be more challenging (60 Minutes). In the end, I think it showed which media outlets and interviewers were approaching their time with Joel with a degree of understanding about his book, his background, Lakewood in general, etc ....
To the extent that 60 Minutes didn't, it still wasn't entirely awful by any means. It simply comes across looking a bit more like any of the other outlets' first interview with Joel or any other evangelical Christian that doesn't quite fit into one of the cookie-cutter formulas that are convenient to report.
I'd be shocked if Joel didn't get a bit of media prep done before this media swing. Such things are common. But still, when you've got a few Larry Kings to your credit, and numerous other major media outlets as well ... there's got to be a temptation to think you know enough to make the most of those appearances. About this time last year, I was wondering exactly what it was that anyone saw as beneficial to making some of the appearances out there (again, back to Katie Couric here ...). Obviously, someone saw a need to "come up higher" in the ability to sit through these types of interviews. Job well done.
Also, I thought I'd share my own excerpt. One that I don't think you'll be seeing any of Joel's critics clip:
Sometimes "religion" tries to beat people down and make them feel bad about themselves. "You've done this and you failed here, and you didn't treat this person right, and you didn't raise your kids as well as you should have." Many people wallow in that condemnation and they go around with low self-esteem and a sense of unworthiness. Their attitude is God could never bless me, I've made too many mistakes. I blew it.
No, God knew you weren't going to be perfect. Why don't you lighten up and give yourself a break? Quit beating yourself up over everything you've done wrong. After all, you can't change the past. If you've made mistakes, just say, "God, I'm sorry; I repent. Help me to do better next time." Then let it go and move on.
ADD-ON: Sorry, not a lot of time in the day for any pithy thoughts on this clip. I haven't seen GMA put the in-studio clips online, which is a bit disappointing. But still, this is a decent segment in and of itself.
Via Good Morning America ...
Tomorrow, Victoria's on the show.
Just got back from the bookstore. Traded in my pre-purchase ticket thingy for a book. And already took grief from my boss about needing to get something the very first day it's out. Whatever. They were doing some video in the bookstore with the manager of the shop. No time to investigate what it was for, but stay tuned for the local news just in case.
The book started out at #9 on Amazon, dipped down to #10 for a bit. Now it's back up to #6. And Reporter Frank notes that there's an eBay auction of prime tix for MSG about to close in a few hours at $134. That's nuts.
On the whole, it wasn't as bad as I feared. Sure, you get the obligatory talking heads counterpoint that shoehorns in some criticism of Joel. Halfway in, the report turns to money. And the reporter fishes for a quote by Joel on success ("Humbled by your success?"). But Joel doesn't take the bait ... and that tends to make the interview portion rather encouraging to see.
What you also see, though, is a bit of Joel as we see him: genuine, authentic, and caring. Reporters wrestling with issues of church & religion range the spectrum, from well-versed to ... well, not. But trying to fathom what it is that makes larger churches tick, I don't doubt, is a unique problem for many. At the end of the day, the majority in this world does not live a life experienced in a church community. And it's an even smaller percentage of people who experience that in a large church like Lakewood. Even then, not everyone sees things the same - it still boggles my mind that anyone would just arrive in time for Joel's message, leave immediately thereafter ... and that's it. But to each their own.
I think the newest round of media coverage on Joel just might be more of a challenge on the media. The first round has already worked in as much of the "money, success, self-help" angle. At the end of the run, it might just have to come down to the fact that there's an actual church going on. We might not be there yet (or really, ever), but as reporters look for new & unique ways to cover Lakewood and/or Joel Osteen, there's going to have to be new ways to do that. Byron Pitts interviews Joel on a tour through Lakewood, in the gym, and at a pickup game of basketball. Credit him for trying.
One factual error worth pointing out, though. Byron Pitts says that Joel got a $13 million advance for his book. Not true. The number comes from estimates of what Joel's book contract is worth. The innovative part of that contract is that it's a co-publishing deal where Joel ends up with a much higher percentage of each book than normal. Part of the tradeoff for such a deal is that there is a lower advance, and therefore greater risk on the part of the author. A simple check in the local paper, the New York Times (or even this fair blog) might have been a good way for 60 Minutes to check their facts:
"The contract does not adhere to the usual book deal with the author receiving an advance on future royalties. The royalty rate is 15 percent of the cover price of each book sold. Rather, the contract is known in the industry as a co-publishing agreement, where the author receives a smaller advance - perhaps $1 million to $2 million - but is then entitled to receive 50 percent of the publisher's profits."
The Chronicle five-parter of excerpts has their second installment posted. Of course, the book itself is out today, as well. Folks at the bookstore seemed a bit confused when I asked about the plan for Monday. I'm hoping to swing by on a breakfast run and get mine when they're supposed to open (allegedly 8:30). The first cashier I asked, however, didn't seem to know when they opened on Monday and offered that I might want to come by in the afternoon. Like I have that much patience?
The local ABC affiliate has their report up, also. I was totally zonked out by the time the evening news came on.
Nothing yet on the local NBC affiliate that I've spotted. Weird.
Depending on which part of the paper you read, a couple of the facts seem to change, though:
Y.B.L.N. Print Run
Editors note in the book excerpt:
Joel Osteen's freshman publishing effort started with a printing of 250,000.
From the article:
With an initial printing of 136,000, Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now, attracted an audience just waking up to Osteen and his growing Houston church.
B.a.B.Y. Print Run
Editors note in the book excerpt:
His second book, Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day, hits bookstores this week in a printing of 3 million.
From the article:
It debuts with at least 2.5 million copies, the largest first run in Free Press's more than 60-year history.
Well, at least they spelled his name right.
Back on friendlier ground here, KHOU has a decent preview of Joel's big media week in advance of his upcoming book release.
Kinda tucked into the Chronicle's video section ...
It's late, I'm tired ... so I'm not seeing where there's a story linking this. But I'd be hard-pressed to think they don't give Joel a bit of a mention sometime soon. Maybe they're saving that for the Sunday paper? Dunno.
KHOU video processing right now. Link here in case it doesn't take. I'm off to nap. Ironic twist is that I've been lured to do my usual video work at the Creative Arts Thingy bright and early tomorrow morning. I hate to think Wendell's going to see how grumpy I get in the morning when I'm running low on caffeine. I should be fine later on, though. A session with a guy who's won a Grammy and another with a guy who's good enough to. I've not yet decided what to do for the middle session. But when in doubt, 90 minutes with Cindy Cruse Ratcliff doesn't exactly strike me as a terrible thing.
Oh, one very minor update on Evening One of Creative Arts Thingy ... the Celebrate Recovery band that Carrie & Michael put together (and led us in worship for a few tunes) was awesome. Abel Orta on bass instead of the usual guy I've seen in CR. Quality, top to bottom. More to come late tonight. I'm out of commission for most of the day. Weird feeling for me. I'll adapt.