How did Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria come by their fancy French home? Osteen explains it all in his first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential:
Early in our marriage, Victoria and I were out walking through our neighborhood one day when we came upon a beautiful new home in the final stages of construction. The doors were open, so we stepped inside and looked around. It was a fabulous home, much prettier than any of the other homes in that community. Most of the other homes around us were one-story, ranch-style homes that were forty to fifty years old, but this house was a large two-story home, with high ceilings and oversized windows providing an appealing view of the backyard. It was a lovely, inspiring place.
When we came out of the house, Victoria was excited. She turned around, looked back at the home, and said, “Joel, one day we’re going to live in a beautiful home just like that!” At the time, we were living in an extremely old house that had experienced some foundation problems, preventing all of our doors on the inside from closing properly. We had stretched our faith and spent everything we had just to buy that home and get into that neighborhood. Thinking of our bank account, and my income at the time, it seemed impossible to me that we’d ever work our way up to a home like the one we had toured.
Joel and Victoria Osteen: clearly fans of new construction. But did they get their dreamhouse?
Being the “great man of faith” that I am, I said, “Victoria, that home is so far beyond our reach, I don’t see how we could ever afford something like that.”
But Victoria had much more faith than I did, and she would not give up. We stood out in front of that house for thirty minutes and debated. She told me all the reasons why it could happen. I told her all the reasons why I doubted.
She said, “No, Joel; I feel it deep inside. It is going to happen.”
She was so filled with joy, I didn’t want to burst her bubble, so I let the matter drop. But Victoria didn’t! Over the next several months, she kept speaking words of faith and victory, and she finally talked me into it. She convinced me that we could live in an elegant home like the one we saw. I got rid of my limited thinking and I started agreeing with her. I started believing that somehow, some way, God could bring it to pass. We kept on believing it, seeing it, and speaking it.
Several years later, we sold our property, and through another real estate deal, we were able to build a house just like the one we had viewed. We saw it come to pass. But I don’t believe it ever would have happened had we not first conceived it on the inside. I don’t believe it would have happened if Victoria had not talked me into enlarging my vision.
So what was that dreamhouse-enabling “other” real-estate deal Osteen is referring to? The fortuitous deed-restriction-powered house flip we noted earlier.
- Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential [Amazon.com]
- The Osteens’ “Leopard-Skinned Luxury”: Fancy or French? [Swamplot]
- Joel Osteen, Deed Restrictions, and the House Flip from Heaven [Swamplot]
- Previously in Swamplot: Joel Osteen Townhome Sales Technique: Give and Ye Shall Receive Full Asking Price