Joni's Posts May 2013

Meet Steve Estes, Friend and Mentor

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • May 31, 2013
  • 5 Comments
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Steve EstesWhen I am asked, "Who has had the greatest impact on your life?" I never think twice. When I was new to quadriplegia and feeling frightened and spiritually fragile, God connected me with a remarkable young man – Steve Estes. Oh, how I pray that everyone struggling with God and suffering might have a "Steve" in their lives. Recently, FaithTalk Magazine interviewed me about my longtime friend – take a moment to read just how God used this unusual young man in my walk with Christ. And as you do, remember: God wants you to help a spiritually-fragile friend in the same way!

Read the article from FaithTalk Magazine

Through the Bible Update

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • May 28, 2013
  • 8 Comments
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Ken and Joni reading the Bible togetherIf you have been reading through the Bible with Ken and me, you'll know that we just completed I Chronicles. And in the last two chapters, I was struck with the way King David conducted himself right before he died. It paints a different picture of David than that of 1 Kings 1:1 (there, he appears old and decrepit, shivering under the covers with aches and pains)! But in these last chapters, King David rallied his strength and "rose to his feet and said: 'Listen to me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it.'"

Did you catch that? Back in the Old Testament, David was excited that his people would have the chance to worship at God's footstool. But think of the far greater access we enjoy because of Christ, for we join the angels in worshiping God before his throne in heaven (Hebrews 4:16). And what's more, Jesus says in...

The Catch of His Dreams

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • May 24, 2013
  • 11 Comments
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Ken holding a permit fishOn the day of my wedding, one of Ken's groomsmen told me, "Joni, be sure to let Ken keep his dreams." And so, I've always been an avid cheerleader of my husband's love for fishing. Ken just returned from the Bahamas and fly-fishing with his Bible-study buddies (don't think it was glamorous; they stayed in a rundown house with bad plumbing on a scruffy little island filled with mangroves and mosquitoes). But a dream was realized: he caught a prized permit fish. My husband tells me these are world-class sporting fish that are extremely skittish and difficult to 'fool' with a lure (hard to believe, looking at that fat, little fish in the photo). Anyway, he came home spiritually refreshed, happy with all his catch-and-releases, and with a zillion bug bites. I guess that little permit-guy was worth it :-).

Meet Shon Stewart

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • May 21, 2013
  • 2 Comments
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Joni signing her LP for ShonThe first time I met Shon, I was blown away by this cute little boy with the happiest smile ever – even back then in the 80s, there was no stopping this kid with cerebral palsy. He absolutely loved to sing; in fact, he had the words memorized to almost every song on my children's album "I've Got Wheels." Now, Shon is in his 30s (and, yep, he's still singing). Recently he came to the IDC so I could interview him for the "Joni and Friends" radio program. And, of course, he brought the cover of that old album so I could autograph it. Listen in to my interview with this exceptional young man… and sing along with us!

Urgent: Your Help Needed!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • May 18, 2013
  • 3 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, Family Retreats

Family Retreat attendee and STM with Ken and JoniThe success of any Joni and Friends Family Retreat depends largely on having enough 'helping hands' to serve the special-needs families who attend. This year, most of our Family Retreats filled up very quickly with families – but we do not have enough 'short-term missionaries' (STMs) to help them. In fact, several of our retreats are in serious need of STMs! If the Holy Spirit is prompting you to come and volunteer, consider coming to these retreats that have the greatest need of your help – and thank you for serving Jesus by ministering to these families!

Kettunen: July 3 - July 7, 2013 · Tustin, MI
Mission Springs 2: July 15 - July 19, 2013 · Scotts Valley, CA
Fort Bluff Camp Dayton: July 21 - July 25, 2013 · Dayton, TN
Bonclarken 2: August 12 - August 16, 2013 · Flat Rock, NC
Twin Rocks: August 12 - August 16, 2013 · Rockaway Beach, OR
Castaway Club: August 15 - August 19, 2013 · Detroit Lakes, MN

Through the Roof Disability Ministry Summit

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • May 16, 2013
  • 0 Comments
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Joni speaking to a large crowd
Our Through the Roof Disability Ministry Summit is almost here – all the exciting action is starting Saturday, May 18 at 8:00 a.m. and will go to 5:00 p.m. The entire day is going to be a fantastic time of learning, networking and loads of fellowship (why not, with 18 workshops ranging from autism to family dynamics with a disability)! My friend, Emily Colson, will start things off in the morning, and I'll be giving the closing plenary that afternoon (if you have friends in LA, it’s not too late to tell them to come – my plenary is open to the public). Need more details? Then check out this page on our website… and sign up soon!

I'm Still a Horse Lover

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • May 13, 2013
  • 22 Comments
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Woman riding Friesian horseEveryone knows how much I love horses – I grew up sitting atop a 16 hand-high Appaloosa, and the day before my diving accident, I was galloping Tumbleweed through the trails that bordered our farm. So you can understand why I got teary-eyed watching this video. I didn't cry over what I can no longer do, but from my joy at what I will soon do in heaven – yes, Scripture records that we will ride with Jesus (Revelation 19:14). By the way, the video highlights Friesians who were bred as "war horses" for knights in armor. God's Spirit must have had them in mind when he inspired the following words from Job…

Mother's Day Reflections from Kristyn Getty

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • May 9, 2013
  • 11 Comments
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Kristyn Getty Sings "A Mother's Prayer"Ken and I are good friends with Keith and Kristyn Getty – we’re constantly singing along with their CDs. Recently Kristyn wrote a few reflections on motherhood I want to share with you; plus, a heartwarming video that highlights a beautiful lullaby she wrote for her daughter. Take a moment to read and watch “A Mother’s Prayer”!...

See you in Heaven, Cathe!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • May 7, 2013
  • 12 Comments
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Joni, Ken, and CatheI treasure my friendships with quadriplegics across the country – each one inspires me with their perseverance and patience, as well as their love for Jesus. Cathe Chermesino was one of my special quad-friends. I met her years ago when she was 13 years old, right after the accident in which she became paralyzed (here is the link to her testimony). Recently, pneumonia got the best of my friend and she is now home in heaven. But I think you will see from her story, she is still an inspiration to us all!

Meet our Board of Directors

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • May 6, 2013
  • 0 Comments
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Joni and Friends Board of DirectorsThis past weekend, our Joni and Friends board met to pray over and prioritize our strategic objectives for the ministry – in short, we sought the heart of God as to how Joni and Friends will accomplish its mission over the next 5 to 25 years. Proverbs 16:9 was constantly on our lips in prayer for, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." When I think of reaching the world's 1 billion people with disabilities for Christ, joy overflows my heart. Yes, it's a huge goal – but if we don't think big, then we won't give God the opportunity to divinely intervene and showcase his glory. And isn't that the point? To give the most glory to Jesus! Join us in praying that God will continue to use Joni and Friends to expand his kingdom among people with disabilities worldwide!

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