Then There’s Max

 

Max Lucado entertains a group of Ethiopian chi...

Max Lucado entertains a group of Ethiopian children (Photo credit: Michael S. Hyatt)

Several years ago, I saw and heard Max Lucado speak.  I had never heard of him before but I went with some people who read his books and heard him talk.  After hearing him I have no regrets and I’ll jump at the next opportunity.

Max Lucado wasn’t preachy or showy nor did he make himself the center of attention.  The building where I saw him was big but not a ginormous professional basketball stadium.  If there were cameras I never saw them, he did not take center stage but actually stood off to the left most of the time.  The experience was not a noise extravaganza with people cheering and screaming, not that there’s anything wrong with that, it was a simple and comfortable environment.  No razzle dazzle.

Lucado didn’t come across as one who was putting on an act but one who was genuine and genuinely talked about Jesus.  He’s a positive preacher but not a “prosperity preacher”.  I don’t remember the theme of his speech but he had me in tears and ice water runs through my veins.   What he said was substantial, I left there completely full not empty as is usually the case with preachers.

Since then, I’ve read a few of Lucado’s books and I’ll read anything he writes and watch any of his broadcasts, which are few.  Afterward, I always feel moved by his message and he doesn’t have to scream or use the word “money” constantly.

Check out his website MaxLucado.com, I highly recommend his message.

 

Joel Osteen Doesn’t Know

Joel Osteen, “I believe my way with all my heart.”  Watch him say it on “Lary King” and decide for yourself what it means.

English: Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church, Houst...

Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A while back, I visited Lakewood Church when I was in Houston and I found it to be nothing more than a big production. There was a stage, a camera operator on a big crane down front, lights, loud music with lots of people clapping and cheering the stars. You know who the stars of that show are, Mr and Mrs Preacher. That’s how everybody acted, like they were the stars of the show. Not Jesus.

It doesn’t appear as showy on TV as it does in real life but maybe all broadcasts are like that. Although, Joel Osteen’s message is all positive it’s missing something and feels shallow, at least to me. The majority of the crowd acted all happy, most were all smiles yet not really friendly. In fact, I found the people outside of the church to be more friendly and helpful than anyone inside. People inside the church didn’t even look at me much less say anything to me. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t dressed up in expensive clothes.

I’ve learned never trust people who smile constantly, they’re all hiding something. Mr and Mrs Preacher were all smiles in front of the camera and crowd but they acted like they couldn’t wait to run away from they’re adoring fans. As soon as the camera was off so were they and the choir immediately took their places and sang louder than before.

I’m not sure that I ever heard anyone speak the name of Jesus the whole time I was there. I left feeling empty and I never returned to Lakewood. Actually, it wasn’t unlike the average American church without cameras.