Joni's Posts November 2013

Peeps' Gift and Wheels for the World

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Nov. 29, 2013
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Peeps holding jarIt all got started when 7-year-old Peeps asked if he could make an announcement to his parents' Bible study. Beaming, he passed around Joni and Friends' flyers, and explained how he was raising money to buy a wheelchair for a disabled kid in another country. He then placed a jar on the counter (filled with bills and coins), and invited the adults to participate if "any felt led to help." The following week, he announced to the group: "We did it! I was going to add my own birthday money, but after I counted everything, I found that we already raised $241!" Joyfully, he transferred the money to another jar, placed the empty one on the counter, and encouraged the adults to help "the next disabled person in need" (Peeps and his family are currently working on that jar). Are you looking for an unusual Christmas gift to give? Follow the lead of this remarkable child with his big heart – give a wheelchair to a needy disabled kid this season. God bless you, Peeps – you're setting quite the example!

A Thanksgiving Memory...

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Nov. 28, 2013
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Joni riding a horse when she was youngI'll always remember Thanksgiving Day in 1963. I was 14 years-old, living on a Maryland farm, and Mr. Cauthorne (the owner of the big estate across the river) invited me to go on a fox hunt. Early on Thanksgiving morning, my dad helped me trailer my horse to the hunt club. Within minutes, I was saddled up and ready to go. The bugle sounded and I reined my horse in line behind Mr. Cauthorne. I can still feel my hands on the reins, the wind in my face, my knees pressing the saddle, and the feeling of cantering across fields and sailing over stone walls. We never caught the fox, but I didn't care. I relished the ride!  I haven't sat a horse in over 45 years. The only leather I sit on now is my wheelchair. No cinches around saddles, only cinches around my middle to help me breathe. The clip-clopping of hooves has been replaced by the click-clacking of wheel bearings. But that's okay. I'll ride in heaven. In the meantime, I thank God for...

Thankfulness Tree

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Nov. 27, 2013
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Thankfulness TreeI just received this heartwarming photo – the Hisayasu family is cultivating the spirit of gratitude in their children by having them create "thankful leaves" to place on a big tree made of brown construction paper. And I am humbled and honored – I made the tree (right above French toast)! Colossians 2:5-7 says, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." How about creating a Thankfulness Tree for the children in your home… a fun (and God-honoring) project to do on Thanksgiving Day!

Hang Ten

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Nov. 25, 2013
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10 Commandments hanging by doorLike many of us, my friend Jean is saddened that US courts have removed so many references to the Ten Commandments from the public square. And yet, it is this transcendent code of moral absolutes which has, for so long, provided the foundation of 'right' and 'wrong' in our country. Well, Jean is doing something about it. She says, "We may not be able to stop the government from removing these Commandments, but no one can rule that we cannot "Hang Ten" on our privately-owned homes or businesses. I want you to join me in hanging the Ten Commandments somewhere outside your home or business. I chose by my front door." It's a great way to spread the word to neighbors, visitors, and clients that you honor the timeless law of God. May the Lord bless you, Jean! And friend, if you'd like to join this growing movement, visit her website (you'll even find links to purchase...

All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Nov. 24, 2013
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Joni singing with Tommy Walker and bandTommy Walker playing at the International Disability Center
Nothing makes a Sunday brighter than getting together with friends to sing a couple of timeless hymns – recently Tommy Walker came to the International Disability Center to lead our staff in worship, and I just had to invite you to join in on the praise! Click on the video, turn up the volume, and lift your voice with ours, as we crown our awesome Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with the diadem of our worship and thanksgiving. Have a blessed Sunday, friend :-).

Remembering Kennedy

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Nov. 22, 2013
  • 17 Comments
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I was only 14 years old and sitting in Spanish class. The teacher had just asked me a question -- before I could reply, an announcement came over the school intercom, informing us that President John Kennedy had just been assassinated. We were all stunned, and weren't sure what to do or say. Our Spanish teacher, however, just picked up as though nothing happened, and asked me to answer her question. I proceeded to count from 10 to 0 in Spanish. When class was over, the principal let us go home early. Even at that young age, I liked President Kennedy. In social studies class, we studied his inaugural speech – which, to this day, I believe is one of the finest American speeches ever given; Kennedy stated that "the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God" and then he closed with those immortal words, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." I rushed home from school that day and watched the...

The Joni Book Abroad…

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Nov. 20, 2013
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Joni book in HebrewRecently, when my friend Charlynn toured Israel, she snapped this photo of my book on display at a hostel in Tel Aviv. Joni in Hebrew? Never did I imagine when I first wrote the Joni book that God would take its message around the world – it humbles me! And it reminds me to be constantly praying for the many people with disabilities suffering in dark, back bedrooms around the world, feeling isolated and alone. Oh, to be able to reach them with the hope of Christ! Do you know someone who has gone through an accident or injury and in need of Christian encouragement? Give them the Joni book… Send us their name, then tell them Joni's praying for them! "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing" (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

A Cool Facebook Post

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Nov. 18, 2013
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Bekah's Facebook post
Little Titus is 3 years old, but already (as you can see from this FB post by his mommy), he has a heart for people with disabilities. He wants to know if he can have a wheelchair yet because – oh my word – he wants to be like Miss Joni. Oh, to be that cool in the eyes of a little boy! I so appreciate the way Brent and Bekah Hisayasu (his parents) are raising Titus and his twin, Silas, to be strong little soldiers for Jesus. I think I'll reply to Bekah’s post and invite Titus and Silas to click on our Kids’ Corner here on our website… also a very cool place to visit! “Train a child in the way he should go, and...

Sunday Reflections...

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Nov. 17, 2013
  • 1 Comment
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Every once in awhile I come across a video that communicates a timeless biblical message in a fresh, upbeat way – and this one about a stethoscope really drives home a powerful Christ-centered truth. So take a moment and enjoy the fun… and a special insight from the Word of God. Have a blessed Sunday, friend!

Welcome to Family Retreat in Ghana

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Nov. 15, 2013
  • 4 Comments
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volunteers greeting families at Family Retreatboy receiving wheelchair
Recently we held our fourth Family Retreat in Ghana for 20 special-needs families, all of it supported by 11 US Short-Term Missionaries (STMs) and 23 volunteers from Africa. I love how these volunteers are greeting arriving families – and two of the special-needs families who attended were Muslim. Every parent pleaded, "Does my child have a future?" and so our Physical Therapist STMs, Drs. Sam and Kari Owiredu, and Occupational Therapist Katie Sorensen, taught them all about their child's disability, underscoring the hope their family can have in Christ. Also during Family Retreat, eight boys and...

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