If you are a fan of downloading e-books, then you’ll be happy to know that Zondervan Publishing is offering big discounts on all my e-books from today through Monday, April 15th – the list includes When God Weeps, The God I Love, Diamonds in the Dust, Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story, and many more! Just click on this link for all the details. But act quickly as the offer ends Monday night. Thanks, Zondervan, for sharing my writings with a whole new generation of e-readers!
He may have been little, but Bryson Sparrin had a huge heart for our Family Retreats held in North Carolina each summer. He and his single mom, Amanda, loved the fun, fellowship, and the chance to network with other disabled kids and their parents. Known for his contagious smile, Bryson was a favorite at Retreat. Sadly, our little friend was called home to heaven last week. That same day, I happened to see a photo of an unusual cemetery monument (perhaps this child's story was much like Bryson's)...
Today marks the last day of the first Family Retreat we've held in Thailand. Sixteen special-needs families attended (many come from Buddhist backgrounds) and hearts were warmed to the message of Jesus Christ! The theme? "Press On!" from Philippians 3:13-14. The retreat was led by seasoned Joni and Friends volunteers, Joey & Jasmine Tell. Also, a team of JAF volunteers from the US coached each of the Thai volunteers to love all the families as Jesus would. As camp winds up tonight, ask God to 'root' the Gospel seeds that have been planted in people's hearts!
When I read the Bible, I notice that God seems to always pick ill-equipped, untrained, and unlikely people for leadership. Ever wonder why? Well, recently I recorded some thoughts for our Joni and Friends team in Philadelphia on how weaknesses prepare us for leadership. All of us are in positions of leadership (remember, others are observing your Christian witness in following your lead)… so take a moment, watch this video, and be inspired to lead like Jesus!
A couple days ago, Ken and I did an autograph party at a local Christian bookstore, and then at the Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton (after I spoke from the platform). I was struck by the enthusiastic response of so many young people ranging from 6 years old to 26! I can't begin to describe how thrilled I was to give my testimony to these kids, teenagers, and young adults who have yet to read the Joni book. God says in Exodus 3:15, "This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation." What a joy it is to make the name of Jesus famous among the new, next-generation – I love it!
Last night at the EV Free Church in Fullerton, we held a young-and-old sing for seniors and teens -- more than 2,500 people showed up and I had a chance to share something I hardly ever do these days: my basic testimony (most of these young people didn't know my story). For me, it was a blessed event -- a great chance to sing all my favorite hymns, old and new! During the evening, I interviewed Julie Hutchison (she has Down syndrome and serves on the deacon's committee at the church). All in all, we raised the roof in praise to God... and THAT made it an awesome evening!
All this week Ken will be joining me at the microphone of our "Joni and Friends" radio program, sharing stories we have not talked about before (some of them, pretty fun :-). It's all to help spread the word about our new book Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story which is being released this week. So go over to my radio page and listen in… and if the stories encourage you, then like us on Facebook. Finally, friend...
On today's edition of Family Talk, Ken and I will be speaking with James Dobson about dealing with disappointments and depression in marriage. Thirty years does not make us experts, but my husband and I have seen God perform an amazing transformation in our life together with my disability. Know someone whose marriage is struggling? You can find a list of local stations, as well as stream or download the program.
Recently I mailed our children's tract (that tackles this sticky question) to a little boy in Japan – his mother, a missionary, sent me this charming photo and told me how much he enjoyed reading it. There are so many awful things happening in the world and kids have honest questions. So I reasoned, I ought to tell my friends on the blog and on Facebook about this special booklet. You can always write Joni and Friends to receive a free copy, or download it here from our Kids' Corner to give to the children in your life – and tell them to visit Kids' Corner, a wonderful place for boys and girls with lots of fun activities and videos!
One of the most stirring lines in the modern hymn "In Christ Alone" is those wonderful words, "There in the ground His body lay, Light of the World by darkness slain. Then bursting forth in glorious Day, up from the grave He rose again!" Join the mighty chorus of saints across the globe who are, no doubt, singing that hymn of praise today… Oh happy day, He is risen; He is risen indeed! Enjoy that awesome thought as you ponder this painting by my friend, Ron DiCianni. See more of his art here.