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November 4th, 2009
08:50 AM ET

Joel Osteen: 'It's your time'

Excerpted from It’s Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Achieve Your Dreams, and Increase in God’s Favor by Joel Osteen. Copyright © 2009 by Joel Osteen. Excerpted with permission by Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

From It's Your Time
By Joel Osteen

Chapter 1

You’re Closer Than You Think!

While on vacation in Colorado, I woke up early for a hike. The three-mile trail ran to the peak of Beaver Creek Mountain. At the
base a sign said it should take about three hours to reach the top.

Looking up to my destination, I was intimidated. The trail was extremely steep. The altitude at the base was 8,000 feet above sea level. The peak stood at more than 11,000 feet.

Just walking up the first set of stairs, I began breathing heavier than normal. I had to remind myself to take it easy. At home in Houston,
I run several miles a few times a week and play a lot of basketball. But the elevation there is only fifty feet above sea level. The thinner
air in the Colorado mountains had me doubting whether I could make it to the top.

I started out with just my cell phone and a bottle of water. Determined, I set a pretty good pace. The first fifteen minutes seemed fairly easy. The next fifteen minutes were increasingly difficult. I felt as though I were carrying an extra load. I had to stop every so often to catch my breath.

About forty-five minutes into my hike, the trail got extremely steep—almost like I was climbing straight up. My pathway snaked skyward through thick stands of aspen and ponderosa pine. The view was both beautiful and daunting. Despite the fact I am in shape from running and playing basketball, my legs were burning
and my chest was pounding.

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Filed under: Economy
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. LynneD

    Thank you CNN for having a positive uplifting guy who seems to be bringing more unity and love at a time when we need it!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  2. Jessica

    It was so wonderful to hear Joel Osteen this morning. It's so important to have inspiration during these difficult times, especially when a lot of news stories are about the challenging economy and poltical infighting. It's good to hear positive words for a change. Although you can't please everyone as I noticed from some comments on this post, you certainly made a positive difference for me as I'm sure you did with many other viewers this morning. Thank you CNN!!

    November 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  3. Ted

    I bet Osteen and Jimmy Swaggert are best buds!

    November 4, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  4. Ted

    Why is Osteen who is really Jewish selling Christianity, is business down in the Jewish religion, got to go recruit Christians to help prop up profits?

    November 4, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  5. carlos

    He's a motivator, not a minister.. You don't even have to worry about this guy offending you. He's a modern day Vincent Peale. His method is much like so many other "preachers" of this day. They never preach against sin. They just talk about love and grace. May God have mercy on these types of ministers and their followers.

    November 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  6. Dan Blume

    What do you mean by moderation? Is this CNN censorship?

    November 4, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  7. Pat Hart

    Joel Osteen is an inspirational man (the fact that he's a Christian is a problem???) This exerpt is wonderful to read, can give anyone hope no matter what life situation they are facing. Currently, my husband is out of work, and our son is being deployed to Afghanistan in January. I get through my days looking at what I do have and being grateful and not focusing on the negative. As Joel says, we are closer than we think!!

    November 4, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  8. jon w

    you are correct, my apologies, lets keep all them off television period

    November 4, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  9. Debbie Stevens

    Joel Olsteen's new book is so inspiring and uplifting during a time when we all can use encouragement. Great book. The excerpt made my day

    November 4, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  10. Kris in the midwest

    I found this to be offensive. I am a Christian but this does not represent my beliefs and reeks of work righteousness; if we just have faith and open up God will deliver. I wonder if Job read this book! This guy is ALWAYS on CNN – I'm not sure who he supposedly represents other than himself but I am tired of him representing what Christians should think. STOP putting him on TV!!! Oh, I forgot I am suppose to be positive and up beat – PLEASE stop putting him on TV so my day doesn't start with him telling me that I need to have more FAITH!

    November 4, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  11. Dan Blume

    Who needs that religious crap you featured today? I thought the N in the middle of your logo stood for NEWS. Today, the N stands for Nothing. You devoted an entire segment of the morning NEWS to plug another one of Osteen's books. All he does is sell, sell, and sell some more. His crass commercialism raises the image of his god looking like the Wizard of Oz, hiding behind a curtain and pulling the strings.

    November 4, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  12. Gordon Miller

    Your crappy interview of Joel Olsteen sounded like an excerpt from a pre-school Sunday school class. Shame on CNN for joining in praising Joel Olsteen - who should be introduced as the nation's biggest con artist, not as beloved pastor of the nation's biggest church. You expect to see this type of praise on his tv broadcasts, but not on CNN. I used to love watching CNN as a great source of news but lately you guys and gals are producing too many programs which show none of the objective journalism we should expect from what is supposed to be the world's best "news" organization - not talk snow. Passing off Olsteen's smiley-faced platitudes as gospel truth - without challenge - is the worst example of what is going wrong with CNN - and other cable news networks - that I have seen lately.

    November 4, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  13. Essence Booker

    I agree with Joel Osteen. Although I have days when I have to really work my faith and hope. The President ran on a platform of hope and change and he never said he could do it alone. He always emphasized that we all had to be faithful and hopeful. Our part in the experience is to wake up ever morning and know it is God's plan for all of us to live a good life. Faith is not when everything is going your way. Faith is when it seems as if nothing is going your way, but you continue. He who is in charge never weaver or loose faith in us. It is written in the Bible as much love that Jesus disciples loved him they abandoned Him. In spite of it all He lives.

    November 4, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  14. Joe Milon

    Joel Osteen is a christian. What's wrong with CNN? What about Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, etc.? It's obvious, religion is not news.

    Joe Milon

    November 4, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  15. Roman Deutsch, Butler, PA

    Good for Him for climbing a mountain, now bow down to Him who owns that mountain.

    November 4, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  16. realist66

    Prosperity theology is just such crap. The idea that God favors those who are more faithful makes for an incredibly petty deity. This all implies that those who are poor simply don't have enough faith. Following logic then, does that mean that children living in poverty and on food stamps just simply don't "love God enough" or that they need to wake up and be more positive and cheerful???! Seriously? This sort of crap leads people to shun responsibility for their lives. Why write a resume or go on a job interview, just pray for it instead.

    This does more damage than good.

    November 4, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  17. chad

    if joel osteen thinks what he has to say is so important and that the have's should give more to the have-nots', why doesn't he offer this book for free? does he really need more money?

    November 4, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  18. Peggy

    I watch/listen to CNN mornings to learn about the NEWS, not listen to a pastor extolling his Imaginary Friend. Could we stick to reality, please?

    November 4, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  19. jon w

    Why does CNN keep having religious leaders like this hack on the show? really its getting old, why not richard dawkins? I would much rather listen to him than these guys who preach the FALSE!!!!!! Wake up CNN

    November 4, 2009 at 8:55 am |