Joel Osteen - A Conversation with TD Jakes
Joel Osteen: I'm so excited today to welcome one of my favorite people in all the world. Not only a phenomenal minister, entrepreneur, author movie-maker, but a great friend of mine, that's the one and only, Bishop TD Jakes. Bishop Jakes, how are you?
T.D. Jakes: I'm good pastor. How are you doing? It's great to see you.
Joel Osteen: Well, we love you here at Lakewood, we're just speaking blessings over you, we've missed having you during the pandemic, not having you here in person, but I don't know, let's get started. First off all, tell me how's it going during the pandemic? It's been an unusual time.
T.D. Jakes: Yeah, it's been a very unusual time, something I could have never imagined at all in my life. It kind of took us all by surprise, especially the global dimension of it and how far-reaching it was. But God's been good and he's been faithful, and even though we had to pivot, and we had to stream, and we streamed before, but we had to totally stream. It was a change for us, but through it all he's been faithful.
Joel Osteen: Yeah, we were talking about that earlier today about you know, in this time, it's a time of change and you have to be willing to pivot and do some things differently and see what God is doing new, but maybe you can speak a little bit to that?
T.D. Jakes: I think that it's important that all of us stay ready to pivot. We're living in changing times and times of transition, and you either pivot or you get left behind. And the temptation is to allow the anxiety, and the pressure, and the stress of it not being like it used to be to cause you to forfeit the opportunity to go forward. I like to compare it to weaning a baby, you know, it's used to getting milk one way and then it has to learn how to eat another way. It doesn't mean that it can't eat, but the baby cries and it wants it the way it was, and then eventually it adapts to its environment. And one of the unique things about the human species is God created us with adaptability, and certainly this has been a time that you had to be able to pivot whether you were in business, whether you it was in your marriage, whether it was in your finances, whether you were the pastor of a church. We've all had our opportunities to pivot or sit up and cry like babies about not getting it the way we used to get it.
Joel Osteen: Yeah, it's so important. And I like what you said earlier too, on our earlier conversation, you were talking about, you know, "Sometimes change is good, but change can be disruptive", and you know, that you may not always like that, but can you speak to that?
T.D. Jakes: Well, you know something that was funny, because I was praying one day and the Lord said to me, he said "When you pray for growth or change I answer with disruption. And disruption doesn't look like what you prayed for, but my answer to your prayer is disruption", he said, "But don't allow the disruption to become a distraction, because I sent the disruption to give you a gift of an opportunity", and somewhere in every disruption in our lives is an opportunity to hit the reboot button, the reset button, to retool ourselves, to rethink ourselves, to stimulate the innovation that God created inside of all of us. The worst thing in the world we can be is to become so methodical, so routine, so ordinary that we're not using all the gifts that God gave us. But we were created in such a way that we can be innovative if we understand that disruption is not a destruction, it brings you an opportunity. And those that receive the opportunity will go forward, and those that reject the opportunity will fall prey to the disruption.
Joel Osteen: Yeah, that's so important, it reminds me, Bishop, when my father passed what a disruption that was, but it really pushed me into my purpose. I don't think I would be doing this if my father was still alive, and I've heard you talk about, "You know what, sometimes we need a push, and you can't fight everything that you don't like".
T.D. Jakes: I don't think I would be in ministry either if it had not been for the death of my father. The death of my father is really what heightened my search for my Heavenly Father, that void, that empty place. It's amazing how God is attracted to empty places, not full places. The Bible said, "He that hungers and thirst after righteousness shall be filled". And his his death created a hunger in me that drove me to my Bible. I didn't know that I was going to be a preacher, I was just trying to find my Heavenly Father. And somehow the wells that I dug became cisterns of living water, and my ministry was birthed out of it. Some of the most tragic moments in our lives, I've seen it with my own children, things I prayed that they wouldn't have to go through, things I didn't want them to go through, some of my darkest days preceded my brightest mornings, even with my children. And then in retrospect, I look back and say, "Lord, it was good that she was afflicted. It was good that he was afflicted. Had they not gone through the affliction that they went through, they wouldn't have catapulted them into their destiny". And so both of us were changed by the death of our fathers, and I think it had a lot to do with me. I wasn't so much coming out of my shell, I just didn't even know who I was or where I was going. Unfortunately my father never got to hear me preach or anything like that, never knew that I was a preacher, because during his lifetime I wasn't a preacher. But yet, he so affected my purpose, it was a painful disruption, very painful disruption. But now, when I look back at it, I'm thankful not that I lost my father, but that I found my place in the purpose and the destiny of God.
Joel Osteen: That's very powerful, I didn't know that. It's interesting, Bishop, I think a lot of people don't know what's in them, they don't know what they're created to do, they're looking for purpose. It's hard for me to look at you and think about you never knew that you were a preacher, and you didn't know that was in you, because you're really one of the most phenomenal ministers I've ever heard. But you know, maybe speak to somebody, because I know, I didn't think this was in me, I was working in production all those years, and I was almost afraid to step out, but I just I have a passion to help people to see the greatness in them.
T.D. Jakes: One of the great problems I think we have in this current generation today is that if we try anything, and we run into opposition or obstacles or delays or discouragement or even failure - we give up. But it might help you to know that when I preached my first message, my hands were shaking so bad I couldn't hold the microphone. I had to put my hands behind my back and put the microphone on the stand, just to be able to talk to people. But that doesn't mean that your destiny isn't there, you have to feel the fear and do it anyway. Now 10 minutes over into the message, the fear receded, I grabbed the mic, I went about my business, and it's almost like a sea turtle being burped in the sand, and finding its way to the water. And you have to find your way to the purpose. Where you start is not going to be where you end up, and you may not be skillful at it at first, you may wallow, you may have trouble getting in there, you may have to get your legs up under you, but eventually throughout a life you start going deeper and deeper into your purpose, it takes a lifetime...
Joel Osteen: Yeah
T.D. Jakes: ...To really find out what all that's in you. So you better get started, because all of it doesn't come out at 30. All of it doesn't come out at 40. I mean I'm 60 plus years old, and I'm still discovering things inside of me: gifts and talents, and resources, that I didn't even know was inside of me, and preaching was one of those things, entrepreneurship was one of those things, owning my own business was one of those things, producing movies was one of those things. I just started a real estate venture company for building up urban communities, and mixed income housing which is a problem in all of our major cities. I started a company there, I didn't know I could do that. You'd be surprised what's down inside of you that is yet to be birthed in your life.
Joel Osteen: I love that. I love that. And Bishop, that takes me back when I've heard you talk about way back growing up, when you were starting your church, I don't even know if you were the pastor, but you know you talked about you had seven people and you had all these, you felt something in you at this point, I'm jumping to this point in your life, but you had nowhere to preach, but you were faithful, you stayed with it in West Virginia and you know, I think we get discouraged in the dry seasons, and "Joel, I'm doing the right thing, I feel like I got something, but nothing's happening", but you just stayed faithful when doors weren't opening, you were vacuuming the church when you knew you could preach better than the preacher, but talk about that.
T.D. Jakes: You know what, I knew I was called to preach, I didn't know how good I was, I still don't know how good I am, but I had something burning inside of me, but my time hadn't come yet. I think the secret to waiting is what you do while you wait. If you use waiting as preparation, rather than using waiting as frustration, not only does preparation exhibit faith to God, that I still believe you're going to do it, but it also gets you ready for a time period in your life that you can't go back and get ready. When God gives you a moment, you have to be ready, so you have to get ready in advance, like no one couldn't wait till it started raining, and then say "I'm going to build an ark". You have to be willing to look like a fool for a while, and build an ark on dry land, and have all the neighbors laugh at you until the rain comes. In other words: destiny will catch up with faith, so faith has to go first, and then destiny comes later. Noah had built the ark before the first drop of rain began to come, and some of us in our waiting period we're just using it for frustration, rather than preparation. And the problem with that is: the rain is going to catch you with your work undone. So you need to get started now on tomorrow, so that by the time tomorrow comes you are prepared to function the way you were created to function.
Joel Osteen: That's very fantastic. I love that, and so really that's what you were doing back in those early days. You told me you'd go out in the woods and preach, you would...
T.D. Jakes: That's right. I preached in the woods, I preached while I was cleaning up the church. I think I preached maybe twice in seven years, and the whole time I belonged to the church I was still faithful, I was still serving, I was still there. And I'm not even sure that I was totally frustrated, because I would do little Bible classes in my living room and things like that, you know, this this notion about thinking you're great and feeling like everybody's overlooking you is a result of arrogance and narcissistic ideologies. You have to be grateful for where you are. The Bible said, "If you're faithful over a few things, I'll make you ruler over many". So while I was cleaning up the church, and vacuuming the floors, cleaning out the baptism pool, I'd be murmuring to myself and rocking my head, and preaching, you know. I'd walk down the path behind my mother's house and preach to the squirrels, and the chipmunks or whatever was out there I would be preaching to that. You have to be present in the moment of what God gave you, not even realizing... Let me give you a biblical example: David had no idea when he came into the sheepfold, and a lion had snatched a lamb, he had no idea that killing that lion was preparation for Goliath. He had no idea when he killed the bear that he was getting ready for Goliath. And the day that he went down to bring lunch to his brothers, he didn't wake up that morning and say, "I'm going to kill a giant today, and it's going to change the trajectory of my life". No, he said "I'm going to carry some lunch down here, so my brother can get something to eat". And he went about his business as if something insignificant was significant. And until you can treat insignificant things as if they are significant, then you have your own agenda. When you get God's agenda, whatever the assignment is, you do it with all your might, and then you run into your giant, and the giant was the gateway to the kingdom. Anytime you see a giant in your life, it is a gateway into the next dimension of your life. Kill that giant, and you're going to step into your kingdom.
Joel Osteen: I love that, I received that. And Bishop, tell me too, and then we'll go further, but you know, I've heard you talk about you know, you had your car taken away, and you're driving to preach places and you couldn't even had a floor board there. And again, I only contrast that, because we see you now, and I like to give people hope to say you didn't start there, you started it in faithfulness, and you fought the good fight of faith, and you saw the hand of God's favor and destiny on your life.
T.D. Jakes: I didn't start where I am now, and I didn't know that where I am even existed. I grew up in Charleston, West Virginia, and the population I think is around 40 000 people in the city of Charleston. There were no examples of what I'm doing now. I didn't even know to miss what I'm doing now. And so I started out, I didn't have any money, I've been laid off, the company I had it shut down, we were in the middle of the transition from the industrial age to the information age. So I worked for Union Carbide, all those companies were closing down and shutting down, I ran out of unemployment, they repossessed my car, I couldn't keep all my utilities on. I didn't have time to worry about being discovered, I was worried about getting those lights on. And I went through those days a long time, but you know what I love about it? When people see me now, and they say, "Oh, you know, you're in it because you got a big church", or "You're in it because you're on tv", or "You're in it because of the money", I think I'll get out of here. You saw the last 25 years, you missed the first 20-some that preceded it, when there were no likes, and there were no crowds, and there were no people, and yet there was still God, and I was still preaching, and I was still faithful. You can't allow other people who don't really know your story to define who you are. You have to know who you are, and stand in the integrity of who you are, and March and go forward. You have to read the whole resume - they're just reading the last page.
Joel Osteen: Yeah, they came in at the end of the story, I've heard you say that. Well, let me ask you this, Bishop, you know, I think you left West Virginia there, and you know, not everybody was for you there in West Virginia, even when your church was growing. I think we all deal with opposition and people coming against us, maybe not on the scale of you and me sometime, but how about people at work, they don't have somebody likes them or relatives, but you got to get past that of who's for you and who's cheering you on, and you've got to get that from God and move forward with your destiny.
T.D. Jakes: You know, if you don't do that, you're going to miss the hand of God, because the hand of God actually uses your enemies to provoke you to greatness. Hannah would never have had a baby had it not been for Peninnah. There are those irritating forces that God uses that stops you from being comfortable, or the book of Deuteronomy says it's this way "As the eagle stirs up her nest", so the eagle stirs up the nest to make it uncomfortable for the eaglets to rest in the nest any longer. And so it is those pricks and prongs that make you able to find your wings and fly, even if they don't do anything, but build up your resistance to sensitivity where you stop worrying about what people think, and become more focused about what God thinks, and what God has for you, and for what God is going to do in your life, and to focus on that, and let that be enough. You cannot be a God pleaser and a people pleaser - you have to decide which one of them is going to be your focus, and focus on him and go ahead.
Joel Osteen: You know, I love that, and that seems more difficult these days with the social media and the way we can communicate, there's so much comparison and on. You've talked about some of that before, about you know, you got to know you're enough, and maybe turn some of that off, turn some of that news off, and get your focus on the right things.
T.D. Jakes: Yeah, you've got to do that. You can't read all of that stuff, and let me say this: you can't read the good or the bad too much. You don't believe the good press so much that you start getting caught up in yourself, and don't read the bad press so much that you become down on yourself. If dr. King would have responded to his critics, he would have never accomplished what he got done now. Now everybody logs him as being this amazing person, but during his life, if you read the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, you'll find out that a lot of people resisted him: black and white, a lot of people didn't support him, a lot of churches wouldn't let him come in. He was highly controversial in a lot of places, a lot of people did not support him, but he took who did support him and moved and went forward. And that was true with Jesus who took who was with him. He didn't have the send behind him, he didn't have the pharisees and the Sadducees behind him, he was extremely controversial. But in spite of that he kept moving forward. And I hear so many people today talking about who's talking about them, and who their haters are... Stop giving your haters the stage. My book "Don't Drop the Mic", don't drop the mic, but don't give the mic to your enemies either. When you start repeating what they're saying, and you start focus on what they're doing, you have actually extended their brand, made them bigger than they would have been by making them central in your life. God gave you whatever platform, influence that he gave you for the Kingdom of God, not for the exploitation of the voice of your critics or your enemy. So don't bleed when you preach, don't get up and bleed when you minister, don't bleed in the beauty shop where you're talking about, "Oh, woe is me, this one said this, and that one said the other". Use it like Peninnah, let it provoke you to giving birth to the promise of God in your life.
Joel Osteen: Now, that's so good. Bishop Jakes, your new book "Don't Drop the Mic", another powerful book, we love your writings, we love your ministry, tell us a little bit about what it's about.
T.D. Jakes: Oh, this one was the hardest one, pastor, this was the hardest one I ever wrote. Normally I'm writing about a subject that is further removed from me, but this one I was challenged by Dr. Frank Thomas to try to write how I do what I do, how how I see the text, what happens to me when I'm preparing for a sermon, how do I delve into the Word of God, how do I unlock that treasure, what have I learned preaching in different settings, speaking in different settings, doing interviews in secular environment. I mean from TBN to Daystar, to the Blomberg Report, to MSNBC, to Fox News, to CNN. I've spoken in a lot of different places: I've spoken for the Kenyan bank, and spoken for a group of executives. I've spoken for billionaires, I've spoken in homeless shelters. I've spoken in prisons, I did a three-day revival in San Quentin, on the other hand I have spoken at the national Cathedral. I've had a diverse array of experiences, and I've learned things that I put in this book about understanding your audience, about listening to your audience, about understanding what they need, not being myopic or one-dimensional. It's a lot of things that preachers will enjoy, litigators would enjoy, comedians would enjoy, anybody who's trying to talk themselves into a job, get an interview, get a date, hold a marriage together... Look at how many things are affected by what we say. The power of life and death is in our tongue, and yet nobody really teaches you how to become more skillful at the microphone, whether the mic is a public mic, or the private mic of sitting over dinner, having a conversation with somebody that you have opposing ideas about, but you love and you want to make it work. I deal with all of that in this book, I deal with the conversation America's having about race, and how the moment you say something wrong you get jumped on, and then stop talking. I think we should keep talking. I think we should keep talking no matter what. I think democrats should talk to republicans. I think black people should talk to white people. I think poor people should talk to wealthy people, wealthy people should talk to poor people, because when we cross-pollinate, it stops us from being so tribal. And we're living in such a tribalistic environment, that everybody chooses the news they want, the truth they want, the ideas they want... And even our computers and our technology is designed, once you start typing in things, it starts feeding you similar information, so that it's at your disposal, but the side effect is, that means that all the information that's popping up on your computer is reinforcing the ideas that you have, whether they are right or wrong. So with all of that working together, instead of us becoming more cohesive, we've become more tribalistic, which is where we came from. And we don't want to regress back to tribalism, and yet we're seeing that happen more and more today. Come out of your corner, stop gleaning in the corner of the field, get out there and talk to everybody. You can learn something. You don't have to change your position, but you can broaden your perspective, and you can learn how to interact with all types of people, because sometimes God will use people to bless you who don't agree with your theology, or don't agree with something else about you, or don't like the way you comb your hair, or don't like the way you look, but God still uses them to accomplish his purpose in your life. And you have to be able... Paul said "I've learned how to abase and abound, I have become all things to all people, that I might win some". And in the book I talk about how to be multilingual, how to be a thinker, how to be a great listener. In the book, you know, if you don't listen well, you can't talk well, and there's nothing wrong with your tongue, but if your hearing goes out, eventually your speech becomes impaired. And as it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. It's not so much about being a great speaker, it's about being a great listener.
Joel Osteen: Yeah.
T.D. Jakes: Listening, listening, listening, listening, listening at your children, listening at your spouse, listening at the community, listening at the world, listening at the times that we're in, and then when you speak you are relevant, because people have been heard. And when people feel like they've been heard, they are far less adversarial.
Joel Osteen: Yeah, that's very powerful. Bishop's book is called "Don't Drop the Mic", of course you can pick it up anywhere. Bishop, I was thinking about how many marriages and relationships this will help, because it's not just for somebody that's in public speaking, but your information and your material helps us in our everyday lives. So maybe speak to somebody that says, "Well, you know what? I don't know, Joel, I'm too far, my relationship's not where it should be", but you do a lot on relationships, maybe you can encourage somebody there.
T.D. Jakes: It takes your whole life to build a strong relationship. And one of the reasons it is not because you married somebody who's looney tunes, it's really that by the time you figure each other out, you're at another stage in life, and you got a date again, and you got a court again, you got to get to know each other again, because who I was at 20 is different from who I am at 40, is different from who I am at 60. And so you never feel like it's a bad thing to be a student. I think that every great teacher is only a great teacher because they remain a student, and every great student becomes a great student when you study like you have to teach it, rather than like you have to pass the test. So when it comes to the art of living with people, allow them the room to change, get an update, have a conversation, and then when you start talking to them, you've got to be willing to ask them, "How did how did you hear what I said"? Because it's not about what I meant, it's about what you heard. You'd be surprised the gulf that exists between what you said, and what she heard. You know, you said something, and you meant for it to have one effect, she picked out one word out of that, focus on that one word, and thought you meant something totally different. So communication is a wrestling match, it's a struggle, it's a twist and a turn, and a process. Understanding your teenager, them understanding you, all of that is a lot, a lot, a lot of work. And in the book I talk about, "Don't Drop the Mic", don't stop talking. There are a lot of people been married 50 years, but they don't talk anymore, they they don't really communicate, they just kind of grunt and groan. There are people who are raising children, that the children don't talk to them, and you don't talk to the children. Don't drop the mic. Just because the kid got into trouble, just because you're going in a direction you don't agree with, don't drop the mic. Keep talking, keep inviting them into your love circle, because let me tell you something, if you eject them out of your love circle, somebody else is going to take them in, and you can't control who that is. So don't drop the mic on your family, don't drop the mic on yourself, don't give up on yourself, don't drop the mic on a society that is full of tumultuous adversities, and insults, and aggravations, and hit sensitive traumatic areas in your life. I know that, I feel that, I get that I go through that all the time, but I still have to brush myself off and keep on talking, because there's a reason the Bible said, " in all thy getting get an understanding".
Joel Osteen: Yeah, that's so powerful. What a great book, I can't wait to read it myself. And Bishop, you said something there, "Don't drop the mic on yourself". You deal with people, I do too, that people think that they're too far gone, they're not that talented, they've made too many mistakes. And that's one thing I love about your ministry is you lift people up: you're in the prison, wherever you are, you're lifting somebody up, but maybe somebody's listening today that just thinks "You know what? It's just, it's too much, I've made a lot of mistakes, let me just coast through life, let me just get through this day". That's not the way we're supposed to live.
T.D. Jakes: No, no, no, you'll never make it like that. If you think about the woman with the issue of blood, she didn't get healed because Jesus was passing by, because he was passing by, he wasn't coming toward her, he was passing by her. She got healed because of what she said to herself. The Bible says she said to herself "If I may but touch the hem of his garment, I'll be made whole". He wasn't even thinking about her. He didn't even know who touched him. But she kept saying to herself, if you read it in the original language, she kept saying over and over again, "If I may but touch, if I may but touch", and she crawled her way right over to a miracle based on what she said to herself. Imagine has she dropped the mic and said "Oh, it's not worth it. He's not looking at me. He's going over to somebody's house who's more important. He wouldn't be bothered with somebody like me. The law says he's not supposed to touch me". There were a thousand ways for her to die. There was one way for her to live, and that was to change what she said to herself.
Joel Osteen: That's so powerful, and Bishop, in this pandemic it's been different, I've seen you up there preaching with nobody in your church, I've done the same thing, and man, you have all the people there, they stand and cheer for you, but tell me a little bit about, you know, how do we stay in faith when all this is going on, and all the uncertainty in the world. Maybe some advice to people that are very worried today.
T.D. Jakes: You know one of the great things about that I did when our church emptied out, and I had to preach an empty room, I started an empty room, so he just called me back to where I came from. And I told the devil, I said "Oh, you hit my sweet spot now", because I started out in an empty room in the storefront preaching that nobody, and anybody, and some drunk would stagger in, and I'd preach to them and lay hands on them and try to get them safe. If you go back to our roots, somewhere down in your history, we have not always had the luxuries that we have now, we've not always had the benefits of delivery services and buying milk in the store, and somewhere down in your history we had to struggle, and what it does sometimes is push you back down to your core, to your roots, to the that survival instinct that is equipped in us by God, so we can survive anything. Let me tell you this quick story: so I took my son several years ago to The Rock of Gibraltar. And we were over there, and we were in Spain, and we were on our way to Africa, and we stopped by The Rock of Gibraltar, and it was a chance to take him up to The Rock of Gibraltar. When we got to the top of the rock, the guide who was with us was telling us "There are monkeys jumping all over the car, they're all over everything", it's beautiful, it's amazing. And most of the year it's cold at the top of The Rock of Gibraltar. He said "When the monkeys first came to the mountaintop in the cold of the winter, they would literally freeze their tails off. And the ice was so cold, that their tails would freeze and come off. Later species started being born with no tails".
Joel Osteen: Wow.
T.D. Jakes: And I could not get over that to save my life, they adapt it to their environment.
Joel Osteen: Wow.
T.D. Jakes: You might not have everything you need, but you can adapt to your environment, decide what you don't have to have to survive. You and I were talking earlier, it's been amazing in the pandemic, I think that God shut down everything to show all of us how much of what we were doing, that he didn't need, that he could run the church without the willing to fan folks committee, without the fried chicken committee, but without the all the greeters, and the dancers, and the bakers, and the candlestick makers. God ran his church with the church closed, more people started watching, more people started coming to Jesus, more people started accepting Christ. I think he's calling us back to the bare basics again, that a lot of things that we think we need, that we're crying like a small baby trying to get back to, with the things we never needed in the first place, the main thing was the presence of God, the anointing of God, a clear sense of direction. And I made up in my mind, and I did not expect the pandemic to last as long as it did, I thought it was going to be a month or two, and I thought everything would be back to normal. Well it wasn't. So I just started gradually opening up our doors, after 400 days of being closed, but I open up those doors with a new understanding, that it's not about all the things that I worried about, it's not about all the things I put my energy into, that if I just minister the Word of God and let God be God, everything will fall into place. And I want to say to people who are having a hard time: I know you've been traumatized. I know there's been people who lost loved ones, I'm blatantly aware of that. Out of that 500 000 people, I knew a lot of those people, I buried a lot of those people, I comforted a lot of grieving people who weren't able to be with their loved ones that are gone. I know how traumatic that was, but you can't stay here, you can't live in the trauma of your divorce, you can't live in the trauma of the graveside service, you can't live in the trauma of the house you had to downsize from, or the trauma of the company that went out of business. You have to allow innovation, to allow you to pivot to what you have left, because your destiny is never tied to what you lost, your destiny is connected to what you have left.
Joel Osteen: Oh, it's so powerful Bishop.
T.D. Jakes: The other reason I wrote "Don't Drop the Mic" is because I see great leaders fading away, I see the leaders that inspired us like your dad, like Oral Roberts, like so many other people passing away not just out of the church, but out of the world, out of government, out of leadership. There's a there's a passing away of a generation who did amazing things. And as we pass the mic to the younger generation, don't drop the mic as said, let me tell you the things that you didn't see, and let me help you hone the skills that are necessary to step up to the plate, so that what we built won't be lost. And I tell you off-camera, I gotta say this on camera, you are don't drop the mic, your father was a trailblazer, a leader, a man of faith, a great preacher, a great man of God. And when he passed, you caught that mic - you didn't let it drop, and it exploded, and went to another level. You are exhibit A of don't drop the mic, and it inspires all of us to see you, and to know you when you first started, and people were kind of wondering where you gonna make it, did you have what it took? I fought for you, I stood up and told: anybody standing in this circle would be proud to see their son grab that mic, and keep the work going. I said, and I see him the way I would see my own son: everybody's proud when what you built didn't fall apart. And so don't drop the mic, it's really geared in part to reach who's next, and tell you next is now. Don't drop this mic, this is how you get around, this is how you handle that, this is how you go into the board room, this is how you go to the bank, this is how you interact with the government, this is how you... It's more to it than preaching. To be a great leader you have to be adept at more things than just preaching. And so, I'm really trying to create, I call it a legacy book, because my legacy is in who's coming, and who's coming to the forefront, and being able to make sure that they don't have as hard a time as I had, because I can take the learning curve, and cut it down by sharing the truths with you that will help you to be ready for what God is about to open up in your life.
Joel Osteen: That's awesome, Bishop, you know we're all behind you and praying for you, and we appreciate you sowing into our lives, and sharing us your wisdom and what God's given you. I told you off camera here earlier today, I've grown up in church, I've heard these Bible stories my whole life, but I've never heard anyone share them like you. And not just there, but just in your influence, in all the areas God's given you. We celebrate what God's doing, and I'm excited about "Don't Drop the Mic".
T.D. Jakes: Thank you, it's a pleasure, man. Thank you for the opportunity, thank you for extending the platform to me. Thank you for being my friend for years and years. Thank you for being you, thank you for inspiring the nation, thank you for having the courage to preach love in the middle of hate, to preach positivity even when you were criticized for it. Thank you for your heart, and your compassion, and the uniqueness. There is not another Joel Osteen in the earth, and I'm glad you didn't stop being you to be them.
Joel Osteen: Thank you Bishop. Hey will you take the last few minutes and just speak to the people, it's your platform, we're going to leave it with you, but we've been honored to have you here Bishop, you're our favorite here.
T.D. Jakes: Thank you so much. I love you, I love Lakewood, and give a big shout out to pastor Victoria, to mother Dodie, to all those teams, family, to the entire Lakewood church, and all of you that listen to the old steam ministry, I love you. I know I don't look like the rest of the family, but I'm a cousin or something. I want to say to those of you that are listening today: the waters have been troubled, the tempestuous winds have been rambunctious, the waves that beat against the ship to the point that it was overwhelming, there have been moments that all of our emotions have shuttered and been shaken, and we have questioned in ourselves: where is God? In the midst of the bad news, and the burnings, and the rioting, and the hate, and the mAlice, and the confusion, and the strife. We've wondered "Where is God", as we watch body after body being stacked up, until morts were filled up, and then bags were brought in filled with bodies in 18 wheelers. And we've been guess, we have not seen anything like these times in the last 100 years, as it relates to the pandemic. But I want to remind you: in the midst of all of those waves that are going on around you, and the waves that never make the headlines, like your life, your bills, your family, your children, what's going on with your in-laws, what's going on between you and your daughter - I know it has been traumatic. And there may have been moments like me, I lost one of my dear dear friends of 60 years, that I shed tears. And maybe you shared some tears too, but I want to remind you of this one thing that's very important: a ship never sinks because of the waves around it. It's not the water around the boat that will bring the boat down, it's the water that you let get in the boat that will bring the boat down. Somewhere in all of this chaos and confusion, there is the presence of Jesus. Even when there is no word from Jesus, he may be sleep at the bottom of the boat, but I want you to know: his presence on the boat is your guarantee that you're going to make it to the other side. And if you need comfort, all you have to do is be able to pray and call him up, he'll wake up and rebuke the winds, and the waves, and the storms in your life, and you'll get to where you're going. But when you get there, and when you land there, and you get to wherever you're there is, don't bring the trauma of the storm behind you into the mission that God has in front of you. Leave the storm where God rebuked it, peace be still. May that peace rest in you. May it rest in your spirit, in your blood pressure, in your emotional well-being, in your heart, in your spirit, may it rest in you so strong that you make a joyful noise unto the Lord, and serve him with gladness. And look back at saying like the old folks did, how I got over my soul looks back and wonders, how I got over. God bless you. It's been a pleasure to be with you. And what God has done for you, and what he's about to do, no matter how the ways come, don't drop the mic.