Joni's Posts September 2013

Sacrificial Gifts

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Sept. 30, 2013
  • 5 Comments
  • Joni's Posts

Gracie and JoniGracie's handsLast Sunday I spoke at Calvary Chapel South Bay, and after my message, I greeted some wonderful people in the church foyer. I met Gracie who struggles with rheumatoid arthritis – her daughter told me that Gracie is a seamstress and excels in making wedding dresses. When I looked at her gnarled fingers, I thought of how much it cost Gracie to painstakingly sew each dress. Her limitations make each gown all the more precious (and think how honored each bride feels). In the same way, when we offer praise to God in the midst of pain and problems, it makes our worship all the more precious and valuable in His sight. Gracie's life beautifully illustrates Hebrews 13:14-16, "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that confess his name." Today, if you're hurting, give a sacrifice of praise to the Lord – Jesus will be gloriously honored because he knows your praise 'cost' something!

F.U.S.E. 2013 Conference… Don’t Miss It!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Sept. 28, 2013
  • 0 Comments
  • Joni's Posts

FUSE Conference 2013When it comes to disability ministry, the church is being constantly confronted with new and challenging issues. Families are asking, “My daughter has bi-polar disorder; how can my church help her?” Or “Budget cuts have taken away my disabled child’s physical therapy… what can we do?” And even, “My parent has Alzheimer’s and I am totally worn out from the 24/7 care… can anyone in the church help me?” Well, the body of Christ can make a difference in the lives of special needs families like these. Get all the answers and more at our upcoming F.U.S.E. 2013 conference to be held October 4-5 in Columbus, Ohio.  F.U.S.E. 2013 is our premier regional conference totally dedicated to helping churches give the help and hope of Jesus to desperately-needy families. One Accord, a one-day intensive, will precede the main conference and will show churches how to work more...

The Land of the Free

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Sept. 26, 2013
  • 3 Comments
  • Joni's Posts

American Flags at Pepperdine UniversityA few weeks ago, Pepperdine University in Malibu displayed 3000 flags on their campus lawn – one flag for each of the nearly 3000 lives lost on 9/11. The flag memorial was the work of students, faculty, and volunteers (the college also held a prayer service for the families and for our country). The tribute honoring the victims of 9/11 was only supposed to stay up until September 22, but the hillside of beautiful American flags has attracted so many visitors, Pepperdine decided to leave the display up. My coworker, Mike Yuen, snapped this photo as he was passing by the memorial on his way home, and I thought you'd like to see it. God bless the good folks at Pepperdine University, and may God bless America.

Another International Family Retreat… In China!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Sept. 24, 2013
  • 0 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, Family Retreats

IFR ChinaI just finished reading the exciting reports from our recent International Family Retreat in Shenyang, China – 26 special-needs families were served by a dynamic group of Christian volunteers from the US and the People's Republic of China. This photo really captures the joy of these young people (notice their T-shirts; it's the same "Press On" theme we used at this summer's US Family Retreats). One US volunteer wrote, "Family Retreat in China is awesome! I can't wait to go back next year and help more!" Our efforts were supported by a local Chinese church who came alongside to provide help with evangelism, training, and logistics. We're thrilled that 4 mothers of disabled children accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (and are being followed up by the Christian special-needs moms in the same local church). Picture yourself serving at one of our International Family Retreats in 2014… pray about it and get involved!

Dinerella!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Sept. 21, 2013
  • 3 Comments
  • Joni's Posts

I love 'talking up' the talents of my get-up girls (who help me get ready in the morning). Take my Dutch friend, Ruth Schleppi – she has a goal to help people eat healthy, and so she started a really unique website called Dinnerella. Ruth offers a balanced meal plan every week with photos, videos, recipes, and a complete fresh food grocery-list (preparation time for each meal is 30 minutes or less :-). Last Sunday, Ken and I were over at the Schleppi's for dinner and, wow, were we impressed with her recipes! I'm so proud of my friend, Ruth, I just had to tell you about her passion. Watch one of Ruth's videos and then check out her website at www.dinnerella.com – should you wish to sign up, Ruth is giving 20% off for new members, plus 20% will be donated to Joni and Friends (coupon code is joniandfriends). Wow, I love that, so be sure to share the offer with your FB friends… here’s to fresh dining! 

Mary Beth Carlson

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Sept. 18, 2013
  • 1 Comment
  • Joni's Posts

Mary Beth Carlson playing pianoKen and Joni with Mary Beth Carlson and her husband, Kent
A few days ago, my all-time favorite pianist, Mary Beth Carlson, came to visit the IDC with her husband, Kent – we were thrilled that MBC gave our staff a mini-concert during lunch time! When my getup-girls help me get up in my wheelchair every morning, we always love listening to her CDs – her worshipful piano music really sets the tone for the day. Kent and Mary Beth have a daughter with a severe disability and they are very much involved in our Joni and Friends work in Minnesota. Take a listen to one of her songs – be sure to look for her CDs on Amazon.com, or if you have Pandora, create a 'Mary Beth Carlson Radio Station' and enjoy her music anytime!

Autism: Carly's Story

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Sept. 16, 2013
  • 3 Comments
  • Joni's Posts

What's it like to have autism? Carly painfully knows – and so she and her dad filmed a riveting video to help show us 'what goes on' inside the mind of a young woman with autism. Take a look and you'll agree, it gives a powerful glimpse into the world of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Around 1 in 88 American children are diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls (around 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls). ASD affects over 2 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide (and prevalence rates have increased 10 to 17 percent annually in recent years). What causes autism? Researchers are still uncertain, but they believe most cases are caused by a combination of autism-risk genes and environmental factors. Want to learn more? Watch our two television episodes on autism, and then please be in prayer for young people like Carly and thousands like her whom we serve through Joni and Friends!

Meet My New Executive Assistant

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Sept. 12, 2013
  • 9 Comments
  • Joni's Posts

Lisa and JoniA couple of weeks ago, I shared with you that Judy Butler (who faithfully served as my executive assistant for 35 years) retired from Joni and Friends. Well since then, work has been piling up on my desk; I knew God couldn't bring a new assistant too soon :-). And the Lord has graciously brought a wonderful person to meet that need – meet Lisa Miehl, my new executive assistant. Lisa has been working in our development department since spring, so she's been ‘learning the ropes’ of the ministry for a while. When Judy retired, I began interviewing Lisa; I felt that her skill set, personal profile, and mature faith was exactly what I needed for this unique position. Lisa is now handling my correspondence and phone calls, fielding requests, and managing my schedule. Should you ever have reason to contact my office and you hear Lisa’s cheery voice on the phone, I hope you’ll take that opportunity to welcome her on board. Finally, thank you for your prayers for the Founder’s Office team as we move forward into a busy season of outreach at Joni and Friends!

The Question That Never Goes Away

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Sept. 11, 2013
  • 0 Comments
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media

Philip Yancey's The Question That Never Goes AwayMy friend, Philip Yancey, has made the subject of suffering a lifetime quest, and I have been blessed immeasurably by his insights. He has just written a new book based on his visits to three places of great suffering: Japan and its tsunami, Sarajevo and its war, and Newtown, CT where children were gunned down in a massacre. Natural catastrophes and moral evil always foment tough questions about God, and Philip tackles them in "The Question That Never Goes Away." Today on September 11, a day when our nation remembers the pain of evil and suffering, Amazon.com is offering the electronic version for free. It's a dark and broken world looking for answers… I think you'll be blessed by the way Philip gently points the reader to the One who holds all the answers in his hand.

Download your free copy today only!

Yesterday's Special Interview...

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Sept. 10, 2013
  • 2 Comments
  • Joni's Posts

Wolfs with the Tadas in the recording studioGod bless you for praying for me on Monday as I recorded lots of new programs for the "Joni and Friends" radio outreach – I genuinely sensed your intercessions, friend. It was an extraordinary day. What made it especially unique, was an interview I did with Katherine and Jay Wolf (they drove over from their home in Malibu to be recorded). Katherine suffered a massive stroke some years ago shortly after the birth of their little boy (listen to this program I did on Katherine's story a short while ago; but wait till you hear her in person in our upcoming interview). Her disability may have curtailed her modeling career, but it's opened up a wonderful new ministry called Hope Heals – check out what they're doing to encourage other stroke survivors and their...

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