Imagine my surprise when I, a long-time subscriber to the service, opened a recent email from Sirius XM radio that said if I click on a link in its email at precisely 8 pm the following night, I might (emphasis on the might) score a ticket to attend a live radio broadcast with Joel & Victoria Osteen at the NY studio! Well, I was free on the date of the broadcast so I though why not try for a ticket?!
Precisely at 8pm the following evening I dashed away from the dinner table to my computer, which I had left open on the Sirius email. I clicked the link. SCORE! I went back to the dinner table, bubbling over with excitement as I told my husband and son.
On Monday afternoon, I took the train into NY Penn Station (praying the entire way, given the tragedy that had occurred days earlier in Hoboken) and walked the mile to the Sirius studio. It was a glorious NY City kind of day: sunny, breezy and warm. Perfect.
The small group of us was checked through security and given our instructions. (It’s a live radio broadcast. I immediately felt the need to cough!) We were ushered into the studio, which is glassed in on three sides. We hustled into seats and waited. When I look at the couple of photos of me taken that day, I see my eyes are shining and I’m very happy. Why?
When I’m alone and driving, I fiddle with the radio stations and stop on whatever suits my fancy. Not too many months ago I found Joel Osteen’s radio station. He preaches on the positive. He is uplifting. He is comforting. He speaks to my heart. He speaks of our loving God.
Maybe you know me well or maybe you don’t know: I was raised Lutheran (Missouri Synod). My Mom was raised Lutheran and my Dad was raised Catholic. As an adult I joined the Presbyterian Church (USA) and have been a practicing Presbyterian for decades. Joel’s a preacher at a megachurch in Texas. Do we sound compatible? Well, we are.
I sat with another 15 or so people and listened to Joel & Victoria talk with Father Leahy of St Benedict’s Prep in Newark, NJ. Some of the students from St Benedict’s were there too. You can watch a recent Sixty Minutes profile on Father Leahy and the school here. We listened as they discussed how St Benedict’s prepares boys in the Newark area to fulfill their potential as emotionally mature, morally responsible and well-educated young men. This all-boys school in the inner city succeeds at an incredibly high rate while much of our nation struggles with effective urban education. Is it any surprise that God and community are the answers?
One of the phrases that the young men at St Benedict’s take to heart is “What hurts my brother hurts me.”
Why can’t we all learn to think like that?
P.S. Folks who attended the SiriusXM radio broadcast received a copy of Joel’s new book, “ThinkBetter, LiveBetter.” I’m on page 9.