This blog could go either way for you, depending on how you feel about Joel Osteen. I have figured out that you either like or hate (for lack of better word) the man and his theology. I'll admit that I've always been on the 'dislike' side of his theology, but that my dislike wasn't due to my own personal experience with him.
SO - while I was sitting on the couch feeding Ansley yesterday morning (we had a combined service so I didn't have to be at church until 9:30) I was flipping through our guide and realizing that there is nothing on television on Sunday mornings. I saw Joel Osteen's name go across my screen several times and finally I thought to myself, "Well, I guess I'll see what I really think about him," and I turned to his church service.
I'll be honest, the man smiles more than anyone I've ever met in my life, and it seems more fake than most others I have seen in my life, but, if you have the discernment to pick from his message the truth, his message isn't awful. (Though, he really rode the line of a 'health, wealth, and prosperity' kind of preacher. He never actually said that God would give you all the stuff you wanted and yada yada yada, but he did heavily imply it with his stories and the way in which he chose to word several statements.)
His message yesterday was about God putting the right people in your path. (Which I agree with, but not that everything that ever happens once you start following Jesus will be rosey... because we all know that isn't true.) Anyway... I'm making my subtle judgments of him (hey, I'm being honest), and I'm wondering if maybe I have anything decent to watch saved on my DVR (which I did end up turning on The Voice), when all of a sudden Joel starts sharing Biblical examples of God putting the right person in another person's path, and his very first example: Ruth.
Shut up, right? I literally looked up and said, "Really?" to God because He thoroughly cracks me up. Not only was he using Ruth as an example, he was concentrating mainly on Ruth 2, the chapter I've been studying for the past week, and I'll be honest, I thought I had gotten everything out of the chapter that I could, but Joel's 5 minutes on Ruth was enough to drive home the fact that divine providence puts not only the right people in our lives, but it happens at the right time, and in the right circumstances.
Ruth's meeting of Boaz (whose leadership could be an entirely different blog - Go Boaz for caring about the people who serve you and work for you), was entirely and utterly illustrated by the hand of God. God knew, in eternity past, that such a meeting would happen. He knew the hurt she would feel losing her husband and the faithfulness she would express not only to Himself, as a convert, but also to her mother in law, Naomi, and we'll see in coming weeks how God rewards her faithfulness with this initial meeting of Boaz.
So I'm still not a huge Joel Osteen fan, but God used him to drive home exactly the idea I'd been gathering from the chapter this past week.