Some pastors are practical Bible teachers. Some have healing ministries. Some focus on world outreach. Clearly, Joel Osteen’s gift is exhortation. He has an infectious ability to motivate and inspire. Anyone who has ever heard Osteen deliver a message or has read his books would have to agree on one thing: the man is an eternal optimist. His teachings are all about God’s blessing, favor, His infinite love for us. And those are wonderful things! Who doesn’t need an extra boost of positivity these days, especially in a world that bombards us with negativity and cynicism?
Osteen’s latest book, DAILY READINGS FROM EVERY DAY A FRIDAY, is a collection of 90 daily devotionals based on his #1 New York Times bestseller, EVERY DAY A FRIDAY. He begins by pointing out that a recent study has shown that people are 10 percent happier on Fridays because they are looking forward to the weekend. He goes on to say, "I challenge you to let every day be a Friday. Give yourself permission to be happy every day."
"As with all of Osteen’s books, you’ll find this one to be an easy and uplifting read, filled with many stories of real people to get his points across."
Is it any wonder that people have been snatching up copies of his book? The world --- America, in particular --- is obsessed with finding happiness. What better place to find it than in God’s Word?
Each daily devotional includes a suggested scripture reading, a key verse, an excerpt from EVERY DAY A FRIDAY, a prayer, and a thought to chew on. The book is divided into seven parts of 14 devotionals, each part focusing on a different theme:
As with all of Osteen’s books, you’ll find this one to be an easy and uplifting read, filled with many stories of real people to get his points across. One of my favorites is the story of a woman who looked out her window and saw her neighbor hanging laundry on the line. She commented to her husband about how the neighbor’s wash was still dirty. Day after day, she would note how this neighbor just didn’t know how to wash her clothes properly.
One day, the woman looked out the window and saw that the neighbor’s wash was bright and clean. When she commented to her husband, he informed her that he had gotten up early that morning and washed the window. The point, of course, is that how we see things depends on how clean our window is.
With that in mind, you can either read DAILY READINGS FROM EVERY DAY A FRIDAY and focus on the sense that it centers too much on what God can do for us and not enough on our responsibility to magnify and glorify God, or you can recognize that just as the world needs many different types of doctors, we benefit from various types of teaching. And when you need a boost of encouragement and inspiration, which we all do from time to time, this book may be just what the doctor ordered.
Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on January 16, 2013