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You Are Made for More!
How to Become All You Were Created to Be
Foreword by Joel Osteen
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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around January 6, 2012. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
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Lisa shares from her own life stories of facing birth defects, limiting labels as a young woman, an unwanted divorce, criminal attack, infertility, and broken dreams. With every story, in every chapter, she delivers biblical truths and practical help for overcoming hardship and loss.
Her down-to-earth style, humor, spiritual wisdom, and optimism engage readers, who will remember and repeat Lisa’s memorable principles for daily living:
· You can’t grasp the future, if you’re hanging onto the past.
· You weren’t made for the pit, but for the palace.
· It’s not over till God says it’s over.
· God’s at work in you, making a masterpiece.
· Let your scars become stars.
In a time when more readers face financial peril, uncertain work lives, and feelings of fragility in a fast-paced and overwhelming world, Lisa’s message shows how to not only get through the day but, how to catch new vision for a bold and bright life.
Table of Contents
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She's More than My Sister
Lisa Osteen Comes is an amazing woman full of faith, joy, and integrity. She is not only my sister, but in many ways she is a hero to me as well. While, like me, she was born into a wonderful faith-filled family, she is no stranger to the curveballs that life can throw our way. Throughout her life she has faced many trials that have tested her faith and her joy. From life-threatening illness to the loss of people she loved, her story is the story so many of us share.
In this book Lisa will take you through her many life experiences in such a way as to intrigue you, entertain you, and inspire you. Her writing style is beautiful and descriptive and once you begin reading you will find it difficult to put down. As you turn these pages you will discover that it doesn't matter how strong your faith is or how much you may desire to do the right thing, you will still be tested. You will see that this is not a sign of weakness, but a sign that you are human. Above all, however, you will discover what it means to overcome and to emerge stronger than you were before.
Lisa inspires me, and she will inspire you too. You can take to heart every lesson she has learned and through them you will discover how to recapture your joy, renew your faith, and respond to every test with integrity.
Having her in my life has made me a better person, and I promise, if you take her lessons to heart, you too will achieve things that you never thought possible. I urge you to open your heart and your mind and allow her to share with you the wisdom and advice that she has always shared with me.
Made for More
"You've encountered many struggles in life, so I can only think that God must have big plans for you."
My father said this to me after I suffered the initial shock of receiving unexpected divorce papers in the mail. My first challenge in life was surviving a birth defect similar to cerebral palsy. My dad believed, despite all my many trials and disappointments, discouragements and traumas, that I was made for more―more good, more fulfillment, more meaning and purpose. So much more.
He knew that just because I'd known tragedy I wasn't a tragic figure, that just because I had a marriage that failed I wasn't a failure, that even though I'd suffered loss I wasn't a loser. He knew the things that happened to me didn't define me by their harshness or ugliness, their disappointment and despair. No, he knew I was more than all that and, if anything, my circumstances made more clear my resilience and tenacity, my promise and hope―all I was made for and all I am becoming.
My Heavenly Father knows that about you, too.
No matter what you are going through, he sees so much more than the circumstances. He sees that you are made for more goodness and hope, a promise of more than what you are now or how others would limit you to be, because he made you for more, for his pleasure and his good. He made you not only to be more, but to find more: more security beyond the mounting bills and empty bank accounts, more purpose and meaning beyond jobs lost or work that seems unappreciated and pure drudgery, more friendship than what you experience when someone you love isn't there when you need them most, more love than the betrayal or unrequited affection or hurt and disappointment you have now. God waits to love you like no other and give you love that is sure and everlasting, stronger than even death,1 because he is all about more and designed you to be more, too.
Of course, if you're like me, you may not see that right now. You may need some sign, some big flash of lightning or writing in the sky to show you what more there is, why it's not only okay but good to not be satisfied with enough. You may be waiting for some hidden message that reassures.
I've been there. I've been weighed down till I've had enough of discouragement and despair, but I realized that God didn't expect me to stay in despair because I was made for more than that.
I was made for victory.
And so are you.
Finding More When Things Explode
Because You're Made to Hope
Some days you never forget, though they just might begin typically enough. January 30, 1990, was one of those days for me. Getting ready for work, I had second thoughts about the cotton skirt and blouse I'd chosen to wear. That was strange enough. I'm one of those people who likes to pick out their outfit the night before. I like to be prepared. So why I changed my mind, I still don't know. But that impulse to go back to the closet and change into my black leather skirt and jacket would make a difference for the rest of my life.
At the office, I began to sort through what seemed the usual stack of mail. This was one of my responsibilities in 1990 as director of ministries at my parents' church, Lakewood. I'd been working for my parents since 1983 and always opened their personal mail. Sometimes people poured out their hearts in letters to my parents, requesting prayer. Many people sent encouraging letters, thanking my parents for their ministry. Inmates often wrote, requesting Bibles and other helps. It was not out of the ordinary for my parents to receive speaking invitations and gifts: sermon tapes, books.
That morning, one small package, smaller than a shoe box, caught my eye. A package itself wasn't unusual. I was used to opening packages. But the address stood out a little, typed as if on an old-fashioned typewriter. To "J.O.", it said.
Oh, I thought. A gift for my dad. My father, Pastor John Osteen, often received gifts. He was beloved. So I couldn't resist, because boxes are more fun to open than a letter. I lifted the box, which was heavy, as if full of rocks, and shook it like a kid trying to guess what was inside.
Rattle. Rattle, rattle.
"Hmm," I said to myself. "Maybe some cassette tapes from a preacher or singer wanting Daddy to give a listen and his approval."
Then I hesitated. I put down the little box. I didn't have much time because I was getting ready to meet with one of our volunteer leaders.
A few moments later, however, I picked up the package again.
Then put it down.
Then picked it up again.
Three times that morning the package was in and out of my hands. The box seemed interesting to me because of its heaviness. But there were people I needed to meet with, to-dos to get done, business to tend and finish. The clock kept ticking.
Still, I was like that proverbial cat, curious, and I kept circling the desk, coming back to the package one more time. Finally I gave the box a good shake, and irresistibly tore at the brown wrapping paper.
The last thing I remember was tugging on one little piece of tape that held down the flap of the lid…
No Ordinary Day
As I tore off that last piece of tape, all the lights went out, at least mine. What seemed the beginning of an ordinary day at work suddenly went dramatically awry.
One minute I was sitting at my desk, opening on my lap what I thought was a gift. The next, I was waking from a numbing, then searing, blackness, standing across the room, about six feet from my desk. I have no recollection of leaving my chair, but I was sprawled against the wall.
From head to toe, my body shook violently. I thought: Have I been electrocuted? God, am I dying? I suddenly came to my senses and realized I was very much alive. Black smoke smoldered from my clothes, as if I'd been lit on fire. A chemical smell filled my nostrils, and the metallic taste of blood coated the inside of my mouth.
Tucked back in an office off the hallway, with the door still closed, I felt far from everyone at the church that day.
In fact, I was. My fellow coworkers heard a boom, but couldn't pinpoint the source of the noise. No wonder. Our building was large, with offices around the perimeter. In the foyer, some thirty feet from my office, our receptionist Lois was answering phones and helping a half dozen people waiting to chat with different staff members. She heard the blast and thought, How did someone get a gun in here? And yet, she would tell investigators later, she somehow knew the loud bang wasn't a firearm.
Other staff members felt the same confusion. They, too, heard a blast but couldn't figure out what might have caused it, or even where it came from within the building. Renee, my father's executive assistant, remembers hearing what sounded like an eighteen-wheel truck, going seventy miles per hour, slamming into the side of our office building. But there was no truck, no scene of a vehicle crash. As staff members sensed something wasn't right, but didn't know what, they began to comb the offices and sanctuary.
Lois ran down a long hallway from the reception desk toward the noise she'd heard. By the time she made it to my office, I was already across the hall, about fifteen feet away in the office of our accountant, Phyllis.
I had first stumbled to the office next to mine, screaming, "A bomb! It's a bomb!"
My office neighbor stared at me. I'll never forget the look on her face. She sat motionless with her mouth agape, almost catatonic.
I remember thinking, Okay, I'll try someone else—something we've joked about since, that she never said a word nor lifted a finger to help me and I was quite a sight to see. (Later, we both realized she was in complete shock.)
At the time, no one thought the noise they heard was a joke. Lois frantically tried to focus through the smoke that was billowing into the hallway. She found me standing with smoldering pieces of paper in my hair, and Phyllis pulling off my jacket and leather skirt, the ones I'd changed into as a second choice that morning. Tiny embers covered the skirt, threatening to ignite into flames. If I'd been wearing the cotton outfit I first had on that morning, I'd surely have been on fire already.
I remember screaming, "It's a bomb! A bomb exploded in my lap!" And then, "Did anything get on my face?"
It's a question any woman would ask. I laugh, thinking, Yes, things can be going up in smoke and we still want to make sure we look good.
TO HELP YOU MORE
Develop a Strong Spirit
I'm so grateful that I didn't panic when that mail bomb exploded in my lap. I remained calm during and after the explosion. How did that happen?
I believe over the years, from work on my spirit, God poured his strength into me for my time of need. The Bible tells us that a healthy spirit conquers adversity (Proverbs 18:14), and helps us build our spirits so we can be strong in trials. Proverbs 4:20–23 guides us these three ways:
- Guard your ears. Drown out the negative voices in your life. Listen to the teaching of the Word of God; meditate upon God's thoughts about you, think what they mean in your life. Fill your atmosphere with uplifting music.
- Guard your eyes. Take time every day to read a portion of the Bible, which will set the pace for your day. As you read, you will receive encouragement, strength, and wisdom—and it is always there for you.
- Guard your heart. As the proverb says, "Everything you do flows from your spirit." What you put into your spirit, mind, and life is what will come out in the time of trouble. Ask yourself, "Am I allowing negative input into my life?" Replace anything negative with something positive. Be sure to spend time with people pursuing goodness. Find a good local church where you can grow spiritually. If you can walk, do so, even around the block or down the hall; you'll reap the energizing benefits of endorphins. Get into nature and witness God's handiwork—see what fresh air and the beauty of creation will do for your ideas and sense of gratitude.
The health of your spirit directly affects your mind, emotions, and physical body. Taking these practical steps daily will strengthen every area of your life and help you through times of trouble.
Phyllis helped me stretch out on the floor, then tried calming me and maybe herself, too. "You're going to be all right," she said. "We are going to take care of you." Between reassurances, she told a staff member to call 911 and my parents. Everything seemed like a dream, a nightmare, as faces appeared and receded from the smoke still wafting through the offices.
Though my ears were ringing from that deafening sound Renee described, I heard Lois telling my parents, "Lisa is all right, but she's been in an explosion. She does have some injuries on her leg and abdomen."
Miraculously, in all the chaos, the only pain I remember was my left thumb, burned, bloodied from a one-inch-long split, and throbbing. With all the other injuries, the only one I really felt was my thumb.
No Ordinary Events
Meanwhile, the commotion continued. The building was being evacuated. People were rushing, running out of the building. About sixty staff members and visitors poured from Lakewood Church as groups of others swarmed in: Houston police and firefighters, emergency medical teams, even postal inspectors. An ambulance arrived within ten minutes, yet the chaos played out as if in slow motion. The minutes seemed almost hours.
Paramedics lifted me onto a gurney, then into the ambulance, and one leaned close.
"Lisa," he said, "as soon as we close the door, I am going to pray for you."
God knew exactly who and what I needed. This man and his prayers brought such peace and calmness to me. I believe in divine appointments and this surely was one.
The paramedic and I prayed together—and I continued to pray the rest of the way to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Even though I was in shock, and the ambulance was racing, bumping along, I prayed quietly the entire ride.
At the hospital, I was lifted out of the ambulance and wheeled on a gurney into Emergency. Within seconds, nurses and doctors clustered round me, cutting off my remaining clothes, asking all sorts of questions, pouring cold fluids over my wounds. I was being pricked and prodded all over.
"Her injuries are not nearly as bad as the paramedics described," I heard one man say. I was covered with a blanket as he added, "She may be out of here today."
The paramedic who had prayed for me in the ambulance was nearby when a nurse momentarily removed the blanket. He gasped and looked at his fellow medic, both of whom were the first to tend to my wounds in Phyllis's office and then call in the list of my injuries.
A change had occurred as we prayed together during that twenty-minute ride to the hospital. My wounds—terrible, serious tears and burns on my abdomen and legs—had already begun to heal.
Still the physicians were taking no chances. They prepared to have me transported with a team to Methodist Hospital for treatment. By this time, only my family was allowed to see me, and Kevin, now my husband, whom I was seriously dating at the time. I didn't know it, but media had begun to descend upon and swirl round the hospital, which quickly became tightly guarded.
My close friend Debra barely got in by sheer determination. The security guard had stopped her but she insisted until one of the nurses said, "She looks like the Osteens. Let her in!"
Kevin, who had listened to radio reports already being broadcast as I was on my way to the hospital, was shaken upon seeing me in Emergency. I'll never forget how he turned away and wept.
Back on a gurney and on my way into another ambulance, I could see clusters of people, journalists and newscasters, gathering to ask me questions as I was wheeled into the second hospital that day. Reporters from the Houston Chronicle, and radio, even CNN, were there for what would be their lead story, nationwide and around the world, over the next few days: BOMB HURTS PASTOR'S DAUGHTER. LAKEWOOD CHURCH TARGET OF EXPLOSIVE.
No Ordinary Calm
Looking back, I'm grateful that I didn't panic but instead remained calm during all the chaos. How did that happen? you may wonder. How can anyone find their wits and remain calm in the midst of trauma?
The Bible says that it is the spirit of a man that sustains him in trouble.1 This is one of the promises of God: to strengthen us when we feel weak. You may be in the middle of something that has exploded or imploded in your life. But even now you can remain grounded, calm, and stable in spite of your circumstances.
God will help you through the dark, hard, low places, and one of the most beautiful psalms in the Bible tells us this.
Psalm 23 has always brought me great comfort. Especially during and immediately after the mail bomb exploded in my lap, the words of this psalm helped me. They comforted me in that very real valley of the shadow of death because they acknowledged five promises from God:
1. You don't have to be afraid, because God is with you
It may seem like you are in a valley of death, but that valley is just a shadow. God is walking with you, guiding your steps out of the valley. Keep following him and he will bring you to a mountaintop, where you can see beauty again and breathe freely.
2. God's rod and staff will comfort you
It's not just for pretty imagery that a rod and staff are mentioned in Psalm 23. A rod is a symbol of authority and a staff is an instrument of support. God offers you both. He has authority over you, and that means no one, nor any thing or situation, can snatch you from his hands.2 He will support you and hold you up in the valley.
3. God causes you to triumph
Did you know that you can have a triumphant attitude in the valley? You can because the valley is temporary and God is working on your behalf, even preparing a table for you in the presence of your enemies. How beautiful is that—to feast your spirit in the places of emotional famine!
4. God strengthens you to make it
He anoints your head with oil. That means God chooses to be with you, in you, filling you with his strength. Oil represents the Holy Spirit—God's presence in you. The Holy Spirit is your helper, who empowers you to go through the valley and get to the mountaintop. You don't have to walk alone, or do everything in your own strength, which is limited anyway. You can rely upon God's limitless power at work in you, for you.
5. Goodness and mercy will follow you
No matter what you face today, you cannot get away from God's great goodness and mercy. You may be in a dark valley, but the blessings of God follow you wherever you go. You may not think so. For example, you may need a new job, and you pray for God's favor when you interview for one, but you don't get the job. God may have spared you from something that was less than what he designed for you. Believe in his goodness, and rely on his grace, for he is always for you. He is the shepherd who cares for and loves his sheep through every valley, and even when things around you go up in smoke.
TO HELP YOU MORE
You're Safe with the Shepherd
When things around me got crazy and I couldn't understand what was happening or why, Jesus, the good shepherd, led me away from the chaos to a place of peace. He is there to help you through whatever falls apart in your life. He will walk with you through every dark valley.
Psalm 23 shows that you can always count on him to…
- care for you. He will go in search of the littlest lamb and give total care to the entire flock. I love how the Bible describes that he gathers the lambs and carries them close to his heart (Isaiah 40:11), does not let the flock want, and watches closely over your life.
- lead you to where you need to be. He goes ahead of us to find the green pastures. If you are in a place of confusion or chaos, look to the shepherd to guide you to the right place at the right time.
give you peace. The shepherd knows he must find quiet pools of water because sheep will not drink from a fast-flowing river. They fear water too much. If they fell in, their wool would soak up the water and the river would carry them away like a sponge and cause them to drown. Jesus promises: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). He wants to give you a balanced, peaceful life, not one soaked with hurry, not frantic or freaked out.
- calm your soul. The shepherd is always on the lookout for the wolves that prowl, the storms that brew. He promises to stand by you when both creep upon you. He promises to steady you with his strong hand. He will keep your soul.
- keep you clean and healthy. Sometimes the shepherd has to apply ointments and other medicines to his sheep to ward off flying pests and parasites. Jesus, our shepherd, anoints our heads with oil—his oil of healing—everywhere it hurts: mind, body, or spirit.
- never leave you. Jesus will never forsake us. He promises to dwell with us forever. The shepherd never left his sheep. He will never leave you.
- call you by name. You are his sheep and recognize his voice, just as he recognizes yours. He listens for you. He speaks to you (John 10:1–20). He recognizes you. Isn't that powerful? To many people, sheep are sheep. But the good shepherd knows what sets each one apart, makes each one special. He knows every detail of your life, when you rise and when you sleep, what you love and what you loathe. He knows where the black spots are, when an ear is torn, if you're missing any wool. He longs for your company and wants to give you his as he brings you to the place he's prepared for you.
No Ordinary Aftermath
As more and more reporters clamored to report the mail bombing events, I was given a private room on a secure floor in the hospital. Our Lakewood Church security volunteers began to take turns in shifts, guarding my door. They protected me from the media storm and strangers, as did my brother Joel, who stepped in to coordinate all the media questions and interview requests.
They couldn't stop the calls, letters, and flowers that began to flood my room from around the world. The city of Houston and local churches reached out in such a loving way. I will never forget the kind words and prayers from people I'd never even met. Even President George H. W. Bush called. His office made arrangements with Joel to speak to my parents at the hospital. The leader of the free world called to offer his condolences, express concern, and assure us that investigators would do everything possible to find who committed the crime at Lakewood. There was so much excitement over the president's call, and the press was there for the story to make headlines the next day. I always wondered why I didn't get to talk to the president myself, since I was the one injured!
Meanwhile, a series of doctors began to explain the intensity of my wounds. I needed surgery to repair three holes in my abdomen and a larger hole in my right leg that destroyed a portion of muscle tissue. I was expected to be in the hospital for weeks.
Officials from the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Department and the FBI filed to my bedside as early as the morning after the incident. The seriousness of the crime began to sink in. I was questioned on the explosion itself, the nature of the package, even potential suspects. The clothes I'd worn that day, though burned and torn, were saved by police, and they remain in custody of the FBI today.
Every member of my family was questioned, as were people at our church. Broadcasters and journalists were looking for any new details to report. The attention felt intrusive in all the wrong ways, about my personal health and silly things like office operations.
Over the next thirteen days I underwent surgery and postrecovery. The rapidness of my healing for such serious injuries surprised even the doctors. I will always have reminders: a ten-inch scar, resembling a shepherd's staff, across my stomach, and a five-inch scar and slight indention on my right leg.
- "In her new book, Lisa Osteen Comes reminds us that we are made for more. We are created to live life with exuberance and joy and not to allow life's difficulties to keep us down. When we adopt a winning attitude and keep our expectancy up, we will experience life in a powerful way."—John C. Maxwell, bestselling author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and Winning With People
- "Lisa is a terrific woman who is passionate about helping people succeed in life. I applaud her on her new book YOU ARE MADE FOR MORE!, and I know you will be motivated and encouraged to step into your more."—Donald J. Trump
- "In YOU ARE MADE FOR MORE! Lisa Osteen Comes demonstrates how God alone is able to fashion a magnificent stained glass masterpiece from all the broken bits of our lives like shards of multicolored glass through which the resplendent light of His Glory reflects a destiny and purpose that is far beyond human reasoning and imagination and so marvelously disconnected from our past."—Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter's House
- "In YOU ARE MADE FOR MORE!, Lisa tells of the faithfulness of God through honest and transparent stories about the trials in her life. It will inspire, encourage, and teach you to move forward into all God has for you."—Joyce Meyer, bestselling author and Bible teacher
- On Sale
- Jan 6, 2012
- Page Count
- 288 pages