Joni's Posts August 2013

Joni and Friends in Braille

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Aug. 30, 2013
  • 2 Comments
  • Joni's Posts

Braille NewsletterAt our ministry, we’re all about access – yes, even to people with visual impairments. For years, Lisa Guilmette did a remarkable job of translating our Joni and Friends Newsletter into Braille every month, and then, sending it out to 60 friends of our ministry who are blind. Hers was a quiet, unheralded, yet remarkable service in the kingdom of Christ. Unfortunately, Lisa recently lost her battle against cancer and now is home with the Lord. But I look forward to that day when I will stand next to her and hear the Savior say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Oh, what a joy will be to see her service richly rewarded – and to see “the eyes of the blind unopened” of all those she served so diligently through Joni and Friends!  

Back to School

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Aug. 28, 2013
  • 16 Comments
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A few days ago on my way to work, I passed by a school bus picking up children carrying books and backpacks. Is it possible? Is school starting already? Well, at least in California it is. Which is why, today, I was so blessed by this video of a little boy named Isaac who's thrilled to be in class – watching a couple of minutes will tell you why. And please, post it on Facebook for anyone you may know who's connected with a Christian school – Isaac's family will be happy you did :-).

Purple Mountains Majesty

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Aug. 25, 2013
  • 1 Comment
  • Joni's Posts

mountains at lady lakeMike Yuen who heads up our Television & Visual Media team here at Joni and Friends has been leading ‘walkabouts’ for 19 years – every August he takes students from Azusa Pacific University for two weeks of wilderness hiking in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains. When Mike returned, he showed me this amazing photo he snapped at 6:15 a.m. above Lady Lake – the ridge behind the lake is the boundary between the Ansel Adams Wilderness and Yosemite Wilderness. I was breathless when I gazed at this image and prayed that such a place will ‘still be there’ in the new heavens and new earth (I want to go hiking with you there :-). So take a moment and praise God together with me, for Psalm 76:4 says of the Lord, “You are resplendent with light, more majestic than mountains…”  

Judy's Retirement Luncheon

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Aug. 23, 2013
  • 5 Comments
  • Joni's Posts

Judy Butler at her retirement partyJudy Butler speaking
Earlier this week we enjoyed a wonderful luncheon here at Joni and Friends to honor my friend and executive assistant, Judy Butler – being British, we all broke out into the song “Rule Britannia” as she entered the room. Many reflections were shared: in 1978, she helped me during the making of the “Joni” movie in Burbank when I was only 27 years old… she helped me start Joni and Friends in 1979… and of all the many places we’ve traveled together, the highlight was in 1989 when we went to Budapest, Hungary where I spoke at Mr. Graham’s Crusade (Judy accompanied me alone with no other...

A Lesson from the Jesus Sketch

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Aug. 20, 2013
  • 13 Comments
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Jesus SketchI came across this pencil sketch recently – it was drawn many years ago by my old art coach, James Sewell. Since I was having a bad pain-day, I stopped and stared at it, letting the rendering speak to me: I was touched by the beckoning look in Jesus' eyes, as if He were saying "Trust Me." The thought helped lighten my pain. After all, think of what Jesus suffered for us. In Mark 15:23 we read, "Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it." Astounding! That drink (like Vicodin) would have softened the edges of His suffering – but He determined that His sacrifice on our behalf would not be soothed, even for a bit; He would not stop short of what He had undertaken to suffer for our salvation; He would embrace the full horror of human misery. That speaks to me. It reminds me that if I can honor Jesus by choosing a trusting, yielding attitude in my pain, then so be it. Charles Spurgeon once wrote, "Oh, that we walked more in the footsteps of our Lord, promptly and willingly putting away the thought of self when it might interfere with our finishing the work He has given us to do."  It’s something I'll be remembering when the next pain-day comes.

Judy Butler

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Aug. 19, 2013
  • 22 Comments
  • Joni's Posts

Judy Butler and Joni Eareckson TadaWhat do I say to my friend who has labored by my side since the beginning of my public ministry? It was Judy Butler who, in 1979, helped me file for a non-profit status for Joni and Friends; she helped me contact the founding members of Joni and Friends' Board of Directors; and she helped me set up a small office in the studios of Worldwide Pictures (where I had just completed the Joni movie). Whether hiring staff, pulling together a mailing list, or designing Joni and Friends' first newsletters, Judy Butler served as my 'right hand.' Together, we prayed… and we were amazed to see the way the Holy Spirit ‘grew’ this ministry! Over the years, whenever people would say to Judy, "It's wonderful the way you're serving Joni," she would be quick to put the focus on Christ, "I'm not serving Joni; I am serving the Lord… and He just happens to have me laboring alongside her to fulfill the vision He's given her; and that is to reach more people with disabilities with the Gospel of Christ." I'm grateful to God for her faithful service in the kingdom...

Through the Bible…

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Aug. 17, 2013
  • 4 Comments
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Ken and Joni reading through the BibleRight now, Ken and I are in the book of Jeremiah as we ‘read through the Bible in a year.’ I think you'll agree, Jeremiah is not an easy read. Take for example, Jeremiah 2:23-24. Should we ever feel we're not such bad sinners, God tells us, “How can you say, 'I am not defiled? See how you behaved… consider what you have done. You are a swift she‑camel running here and there, a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving….” Such an assessment of our hearts sounds offensive, but it’s why Jeremiah is so important – it tells me that my pride sniffs out trouble like an ass in heat sniffing the wind. Yes, it’s humiliating, but Jeremiah 2:23-24 reveals the core of who you are. Sure, it hurts to be told by the Spirit that we are not as wise or winsome, loving or patient thought; but when pride is ripped away, there’s something refreshing about knowing yourself at the core. We can then admit our sin to the Lord – that's when He gives us a spirit of humility. We rise, renewed. And...

Our Interns in China

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Aug. 15, 2013
  • 2 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, Cause 4 Life

Cause 4 Life interns in ChinaCause 4 Life interns in China
Recently a group of our Cause 4 Life interns traveled to China to serve in several orphanages for disabled children – it was a great chance for these young autism specialists, OT and PT and Special Ed students to exercise their gifts and expertise with the staff and children. Kelly, the leader, wrote, "It is a joy to watch the younger girls step into their callings and giftings – we helped evaluate the children, modify their...

Meet Nick and Family

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Aug. 13, 2013
  • 24 Comments
  • Joni's Posts

nick and family and joniYou probably know Nick's story (he's the young man who was born without arms or legs). His office, Life without Limbs, is located just across the freeway from Joni and Friends, and recently he asked me to come and lead his staff in a time of devotions and prayer. Nick has a passion to preach the gospel to the world's lost (like Acts 10:-42 says, "He commanded us to preach to the people"). And when you look at his upcoming schedule, it's clear he takes that command seriously (Thailand, Cambodia, Columbia, Uruguay, and many more countries). This young evangelist needs lots of intercession, so please join me in praying for the success of the Good News as he gets ready for his extended trip. Pray, also, for his wife, Kanae, and their little boy, Kiyoshi who will be staying home while Nick travels.

Live Dead

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Aug. 11, 2013
  • 2 Comments
  • Joni's Posts

live dead logo
Earlier this week, while speaking at the Assemblies of God Convention in Florida, Ken and I met with several missionaries from Africa (AG Africa Cares is using our Beyond Suffering curriculum to train their African leadership). One missionary, Greg Beggs, from Nairobi, was wearing the oddest polo shirt -- the logo read "Live Dead." How strange! But when Ken asked Greg about it, he quoted Jesus' words from John 12:24, "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives." Greg explained that we Christians are called to 'die to self' each day, for it is only...

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