Joni's Posts October 2013

All Saints Day

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Oct. 31, 2013
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Salisbury CathedralTomorrow is All Saints Day on the church calendar – it's when we remember great Christian men and women of the past who've been used mightily of God. I remember once visiting England and slowly wheeling through the cloisters of Salisbury Cathedral. I could feel the history in every stone. I paused by a sepulcher; on it was carved the supine figure of a Crusader complete with shield and helmet. The inscription said he was the faithful son of a Christian land-baron and had died in battle in the Holy Lands in 1250. I couldn't believe I was sitting beside the grave of a Christian brother from the Dark Ages! Our Savior has inspired countless generations who have fought, persevered, prayed, suffered and passed on to glory. We stand on their shoulders. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1). And...

After-Gardening Reflections

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Oct. 28, 2013
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gladiolus budflowers in Joni's yard
This past weekend, Ken and I spent an hour trimming our backyard shrubs and fall flowers. Everything from the array of delicate little hydrangea buds with their complex color, to the precise 'basket-weave' design of a tiny gladiolus shoot poking through the dirt, all of it was AMAZING – like a an hour-long worship service adoring our Great Creator. Earlier this week I watched a PBS program on the universe – virtually all scientists recognize that our universe is so unbelievably orderly and balanced, so elegant and intricate, that it stymies the imagination. But they have an explanation. The most...

Are You in Need of a Ramp?

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Oct. 25, 2013
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Building a wheelchair rampMy heart breaks when I learn of a special-needs family that requires a ramp at home… but insurance just won't cover it. Well, that problem is on its way to being solved! Our friends at Handi-Ramp have compiled a national directory which includes a list of more than 200 charitable US organizations that offer free or discount services to build ramps for people with disabilities – these groups are happy to help those without the means to fund and build a ramp themselves. If your home is in need of a ramp, take a look at the directory and see if help is available in your area! 

Kids' Corner: Check out the Fun!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Oct. 22, 2013
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Joni and Ken visiting with DavidRecently after I spoke at a local church, I met (actually, I fell in love with) little David. What a personality – you should have seen him zipping around in that little wheelchair! I look at David and think how easy it was for Jesus to bless boys and girls. Mark 10:14 even records that the Lord told his disciples, “Let the children come to me… for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” No doubt about it, Jesus loves the little children – and if his heart is moved by typical kids, how much more does his heart go out to kids with disabilities?! If you know a special-needs boy or girl (or any child in your life), tell them to visit our Kids' Corner where they can do puzzles, sing songs, read stories, watch our Friendship videos, post on our blog and, best of all, learn about Jesus Christ! Hey, wake up the 'kid' in you and visit Kids' Corner, too!

My Mangled Earrings

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Oct. 19, 2013
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Joni's mangled earringsI once admired the earrings my friend, Ann, was wearing – they were square, smooth, flat, and made of gold. When I remarked how beautiful they were, she replied, "They're yours!" Ann then proceeded to take them off and put them on my ears! Humbled by her gift, the earrings became a treasure. Once while wearing them at work, one slipped off my ear – I looked but couldn't find it, so I wheeled to my office door to ask for help. That's when I felt a clunk-clunk-clunk. The earring was impaled on my tire; it was ruined! That weekend I took it to a jeweler and asked, "Sir, can you make this mangled earring look like the smooth one?" He rubbed his chin and said, "I can't make that one look like this one… But I can make this one look like that one!" He then took a mallet and hammered the smooth, square earring into a mangled mess! At first I was horrified, but now I realize that the misshapen earrings reflect the light more beautifully than when...

Listen to FamilyTalk Today!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Oct. 18, 2013
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Joni speakingIn February of this year, I gave a message on healing at the National Religious Broadcaster’s closing session – it created quite a stir. It was aired on many Christian radio programs throughout the spring and summer. Today, FamilyTalk with Dr. James Dobson is broadcasting the message again. So if you struggle with the question of healing, or if you know someone who does, this message is for you. Just go to drjamesdobson.org for a list of local stations, or to download the program. If you’d like to listen later, you can always go to drjamesdobson.org/Broadcasts/Archive. And thanks for listening!

Amy Fenton Lee… Special Needs Expert

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Oct. 16, 2013
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Joni with Amy Fenton LeeWhen it comes to disability ministry, I love introducing you to people I deeply respect – it's why I'd like you to meet my friend, Amy Fenton Lee (she spoke to our US Area Ministry teams during our recent Leadership Summit). Our Field staff and volunteers love using her book "Leading a Special Needs Ministry." It's a practical, authoritative guide to help you welcome special needs families to your church. You’ll find “how-to” help for developing policies and customizing programs, communicating with parents, and educating your volunteers. We are using "Leading a Special Needs Ministry" as a key resource when we do church training. Pick up a copy to learn more! 

My Birthday Bush

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Oct. 15, 2013
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Joni's mexican sage bushEvery October, the Mexican sage on our front lawn bursts into blooms of brilliant purple (hummingbirds are constantly 'working' this bush). It is always at its fullest when October 15, my birthday, rolls around. Years ago when I lived on our Maryland farm, there was one particular maple tree that came into its brightest color during the middle of October; I called it my Birthday Tree. But now here in California, God has given me a Birthday Bush right in my front yard :-). That Maryland maple tree and this Mexican sage are my memorials, always prompting me to say on every birthday, "Thus far the Lord has helped us" (I Samuel 7:12). And I wonder… what are the memorials in your life? Whatever they are, may they serve as a reminder of the Lord's faithfulness to you!

I Need Thee Every Hour

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Oct. 12, 2013
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When a truly gifted vocalist puts a personal and totally unique twist on a favorite old hymn, I listen up! It's why I know you'll be blessed by Sam Robson and his remarkable a capella rendition of “I Need Thee Every Hour.” It's just one guy, 9 voices, and a little technology. My eyes fill with tears every time I hear it – click on the video, worship the Lord as you listen, then please share it with your friends.

Adaptive Riding: Program Director Needed!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Oct. 10, 2013
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therapeutic horseback-riding program My good friend, Jean, is starting a therapeutic horseback-riding program in Santa Cruz County, California, and is in need of a good Program Director. Her goal is to provide and promote effective horse-assisted therapies to strengthen the bodies, minds, and spirits of children and adults with disabilities. The Program Director would train and evaluate the horses and volunteers and continue running the program as it grows (applicants would need the years of experience that this description entails). Preferably, this person should be certified by PATH or another certification association. Jean's ranch is set on 90 beautiful acres, with a new gorgeous covered arena and a new barn where the therapy horses would be stalled and cared for. Are you trained in working with horses and with special-needs individuals? This opportunity could be a perfect fit for you – should the Lord lead, contact my friend Jean at jeankevents@yahoo.com.

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