Joni's Posts January 2012

A Prayer Warrior par excellence

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Jan. 30, 2012
  • 8 Comments
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joni and vonetteWe’re in Orlando and on Saturday the 28th, I had a chance to lunch with Vonette Bright, of Campus Crusade for Christ – she and her husband Bill started the ministry in 1951 to reach college students across the country; Campus Crusade is now on every continent reaching millions with the Good News of Jesus (I was involved with it in 1971 while attending the University of Maryland/ Baltimore County). In 1988, Vonette was successful in introducing legislation to make the first Thursday of every May the permanent date for the National Day of Prayer. After we lunched, I asked her to pray for our busy schedule here in Orlando (she did a good job of asking the Lord to help my body ‘get on the right time zone’). But I was most encouraged by the parting scripture from Deuteronomy 33:25 she gave me, “your strength will equal your days.” Onward and upward into the rest of the week… and should you wish to join the prayer effort for Joni and Friends, follow along on our prayer page!

My 'Hope' Tree

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Jan. 26, 2012
  • 54 Comments
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joni in front of her hope treeSecond Timothy 4:2 tells us to always be ready to give the Gospel both "in season and out of season." Actually, most of my life in this wheelchair has been living for Jesus during those 'out of season' times (when my disability gets difficult). The last few weeks, in fact, have been a little challenging with pain. But as I've wheeled out my front door every morning, God has brightened my spirits - I look across the street, and there it is: my Hope Tree. Every year in late January when the weather is cold and rainy, ornamental pear trees always break into the most glorious, white, spring-like blossoms (here in California trees can blossom "out of season" and the ornamental pear tree is a great example). These lovely trees don't...

Stephanie's Story

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Jan. 23, 2012
  • 1 Comment
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joni and stephanieOne year ago, Stephanie and her mom were driving to Los Angeles when her mother lost control of her vehicle. They careened off an embankment and Stephanie was hurled from the car. After paramedics airlifted her to a nearby hospital, doctors told her that she would never walk again. An athletic senior about to graduate from high school, Stephanie plummeted into depression. Soon, Stephanie was entertaining thoughts of suicide. That's when her aunt gave her a copy of the “Joni” book. Suddenly, this 17-year-old realized she wasn’t alone – Joni went through everything I'm going through! Stephanie called our Joni and Friends Bay Area office, searching for help. Our Bay Area team shared the Gospel and asked if she wanted to receive Christ as Savior. “Yes, I want to know Him,” she replied, “and I believe He was with me in the hospital when I felt so alone.” She received the gift of salvation that day, and now, Stephanie and her mother attend a local church (a short time ago, they even drove down to Agoura Hills to visit me). Stephanie and her mother are just one of the families that our Joni and Friends' Local ...

Premier Designs

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Jan. 19, 2012
  • 2 Comments
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Premier Designs is a direct sales jewelry company founded in 1985 by Joan and Andy Horner in Dallas, Texas -- “Jewelers” host home jewelry parties for friends, family and neighbors. But it doesn’t stop there. Premier Designs supports Christian ministries and missionaries around the world (and Joni and Friends is one of the grateful recipients). Last weekend, while speaking at a Premier Designs Regional Rally in LA, I met a Jeweler named Elizabeth. She told me that when she holds training sessions for women seeking to be Jewelers, she always shows them the Joni and Friends’ TV episode about Wheels for the World. “I want these girls to understand that they are not the only ones who become blessed from getting involved; thousands of people with disabilities around the world receive help and hope from God!” Yep...

Serendipity with my Sis!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Jan. 16, 2012
  • 10 Comments
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joni and her sister kathyLast week, not only were our Joni and Friends teams in town, but so was my sister Kathy – my wonderful sissy with whom I grew up sharing a bedroom, blouses and beach-camping sleeping bags. When we were kids on the farm, we organized the HD Club (short for Horse and Dog Club). It had three members and Kathy was the vice president (I was too young to hold an office). I won't ramble on about our wonderful childhood escapades, but if you're interested, read all about it and more in The God I Love. While Kathy was in California, we took a day off and headed to California Adventure Park and Disneyland – in case you're wondering, it's Kathy holding the videocam (and screaming)in that little home movie over on Joni's Corner. Her visit was refreshing and sheer fun – and what's more, she's reading-through-the-Bible-in-a-year along with us (and many of you, too).

Health Update

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Jan. 14, 2012
  • 412 Comments
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francie and joniEven though I am always mindful of the way God healed me from breast cancer, the idea of it recurring simply doesn't enter my mind. Which is why Ken and I are always grateful for every six-month checkup that brings a good report. We just received such a report from our doctor. Smiling big, we read those sweet words on my PET scan, "no evidence of disease." One year down, four more to go, and I can be declared cancer free. :-). So rejoice with us! And join us in thanking God for the unbelievable measure of energy and good health I'm enjoying these days (part of that regimen includes drinking LOTS of water as Francie, my secretary, gets ready to give me a swig)! It's going to be...

Thanks for Having a Heart for the Disabled!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Jan. 13, 2012
  • 1 Comment
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This is the final day of an incredible week of Christ-centered encouragement as you and many others have written such uplifting notes. Our last family is Gerald and Theresa – Gerald has cerebral palsy and he and his wife live in the inner-city. These two have been a great help to Joni and Friends in reaching other special needs families in their town. But recently Gerald fell out of his wheelchair...

Heart for the Disabled... Day 4!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Jan. 12, 2012
  • 1 Comment
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The cards and notes are beginning to pour into Joni and Friends and, oh, is it exciting – these special needs families are going to be so surprised to receive your note of encouragement! If you haven’t written already, think about jotting a card to Bruce and Kathie and their 17-year-old adopted teenager, Hannah (who has cerebral palsy). Things have been difficult for this little family – Kathie received a diagnosis of colon cancer last year. This has caused a great deal of stress, and Hannah is especially anxious for her mom. I just know their hearts would be strengthened to receive a word of encouragement from you – check out all the details on my radio page today, and we’ll hold a place for your letter!

People Who Inspire Joni: Connie and Julie Hutchinson

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Jan. 12, 2012
  • 12 Comments
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joni and ken with the hutchinsons at family retreatWho are the leaders in disability ministry I most admire? I’d have to include Connie Hutchinson (left in the photo) and her daughter, Julie. It was Connie who helped develop the disability ministry at the Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton – and today, they have a thriving outreach to intellectually disabled adults, special needs classes on Sunday morning, a community respite program, peer groups, and more. It all got started when Julie was born with Down syndrome – in fact, Julie was the inspiration for Connie’s drive and enthusiasm. Now, many years later, this duo takes disability ministry overseas – Julie has even spoken on behalf of intellectually disabled adults in Morocco. Three cheers for this mother/daughter team who have made real waves in churches across the country.

Heart for the Disabled Again!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Jan. 11, 2012
  • 15 Comments
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lauren in a hospital bedDoug and Adrian didn’t have the resources to come to Family Retreat last summer, but thankfully we were able to scholarship them. It was a life-changing experience for Mom and Dad as they watched their 4-year-old little girl Lauren slowly blossom under the tender loving care of her volunteer. You see, Lauren has autism and is solemn and very withdrawn. But, oh, by the end of Family Retreat, Doug and Adrian were blown away by the change in their child – she’d absolutely light up around her volunteer! Still, it’s hard, and I know this special needs family would love a word of encouragement from you. Read all about them (and see the cutest photo of Lauren) on my radio page today, then send your note to Joni and Friends today!

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