Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada

Heavenly Joy

June 3, 2019

When we see Jesus face to face, all our disappointments, sorrow and pain will be forgotten in the light of His glory.

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God never intended for us to suffer alone; it’s why He created spiritual community in marriage, in families, and in friendship.
May 31, 2019
When we obey God, we are on the track to becoming who He designed us to be from birth.
May 30, 2019
We all need an encourager, don’t we! We lose perspective, we forget the big picture, our vision shrinks, and it all makes for a lot of discouragement.
May 29, 2019
Joni and Shauna reflect on the 40 years of ministry the "Joni and Friends" radio program has provided to hurting people around the world!
May 28, 2019
Remember, friend, that today the Lord walks with you in the midst of the fire.
May 27, 2019
Have you ever longed to be one of those who wakes up early to pray? Well hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada, and I have a few friends who do, indeed, get up at 5am to have a quiet time and pray. I, I’ve always been a little envious, but I’ll admit, I am not exactly a morning person. It takes quite awhile for me to get to sleep, and so those early morning hours are pretty precious. Well, it is not that way anymore. Maybe I'm still feeling the effects of my recent cancer treatment, or whatever, pain usually wakes me up, it does, around 4:30 in the morning, and I simply cannot find a comfortable position in which to sleep until help comes to get me up at 7:30 in the morning. Now, I used to panic. Like, “I’ve gotta get to sleep. I’ve got to get back to sleep. I don’t want have to wake up Ken again to have him turn me.” And I would pray that God would help me come up with a position where I could sleep without being distracted by pain. I stare at the clock projected on my ceiling, and I groan, and I think to myself, “You mean it’s only 3:30am?!” Yesterday, however, I found this poem and its truth really hit the spot. And I think it will touch you, too. The, the author is unknown, but this is how it goes. It says: Refuse to fall down; and if you cannot refuse to fall down, refuse to stay down. And if you cannot refuse to stay down, lift your heart toward heaven, and like a hungry beggar, ask that it be filled. You may be pushed down. You may be kept from rising. But no one can keep you from lifting your heart toward heaven. Only you. It is in the middle of misery that so much becomes clear. The one who says nothing good came of this, is not yet listening. I love that part about lifting your heart toward heaven. It made the difference for me. Once God helped me release the anxiety, I could not be kept from rising. And at 4am, when I did, wide awake, I heard God whispering to me, “Joni, why don’t you use this time as your early morning prayer time?” And all of a sudden, a light went on. Of course! I’m not gonna lay here anxious. I’m to pray. I was able to embrace my circumstances, and not fight them, not feel defeated or pushed down by them. And so now, when that early hour appears on my ceiling, I see it as an invitation to draw near to God. At a time when, normally, I would never be awake, draw near to Him and praise Him. Actually, more than listing petitions, that 4:30 hour, it really is my time of worship. Amazing things can happen when we stop resisting the irritating, inconvenient circumstance; you know, the problems we can’t solve. And just lift our hearts to the Lord, He then turns those difficult moments into seasons of worship. You know I'm reminded of that every time I watch this wonderful little video of my stroke-surviving friend, Katherine Wolf. Given that May is National Stroke Awareness month, I posted Katherine’s brief but powerful testimony on my radio page today at joniradio.org. I mean you watch this video, and I tell you you’ll never have a reason to complain again. Katherine was a beautiful, successful model in Los Angeles; a bright young Christian woman married to a Pepperdine law student. And after their first child, she suffered a massive stroke which left its mark in many ways. But Katherine refused to stay down. And her incredible story has been inspiring people like me to do the same ever since. So today, visit joniradio.org, and watch Katherine’s video. Then, be certain to share it with your Facebook friends, or anyone you know who has survived a stroke. See you later at joniradio.org. I’m Joni Eareckson Tada. © Joni and Friends
May 24, 2019
As Christians, our eyes have been opened. But still we’re blind. Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada, and aren’t you glad that God has opened our eyes to what’s wrong, what’s evil, and what’s spiritually dangerous? For the most part, we know what’s really bad for our souls, but sometimes we are blind to that which is, uh, well, just not the best for our souls. Like um, we all know that most of the entertainment on TV these days is totally worthless. Most of today’s sitcoms are raucous and irreligious, and the storylines have no redeeming value. But isn’t it great when you do come across a TV documentary, or, or some innocuous TV show that doesn’t offend your spirit? And I guess that’s why I, uh, occasionally enjoy watching HGTV and the program “Fixer-Upper.” It’s a totally benign show about a Christian couple who fix up old houses. Nothing bad, nothing dangerous nothing irreligious about that. But if, let’s say, I watch three or four recorded episodes close together, it’s strange, but all that TV as benign as it seems, just, just watching all that “good” TV totally dulls my spirit. Fixer-Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines is fun, it’s uplifting, but still, after a whole bunch of episodes in a row, I come away feeling mediocre, and not as spiritually sharp, or keen, or aware. Sometimes, not even as interested in the things of God. And that, I do not like! It's why the Holy Spirit inspired Psalm 119, verse 37, it’s a prayer to God, and it says, "Turn my eyes away from worthless things and preserve my life according to your Word." I think another translation says, "Give me life through your Word." Now not that the TV show “Fixer-Upper” is a worthless thing; but too much of it, and what do you know, I’ve drifted away from preserving my spiritual life. Look, we all need to recognize that wrong does not always look wrong to us. What God says is dangerous does not always seem dangerous. Evil does not always appear evil. We need protection from our own blind eyes and wandering hearts. And I’m telling you, a lot of TV will dull the spirit. So how do we know when something is unhealthy for our souls? Well, again, Psalm 119 asks God to turn our eyes away from worthless things, and give us life through your Word. It’s the word of God that shows us things that are life preserving. The Bible is like wearing a pair of Christ-colored glasses that show us what things have the potential to be worthless. The apostle Paul knew this; he says in First Corinthians chapter 6, "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything." Look, I don’t wanna be thinking about TV episodes in the middle of the night; that’s what it means to be dominated by something. And it doesn’t have to be about TV; it could be someone for whom you have great affection. It could be a book or a movie, a memory, a desire; a special purchase, like clothing or new home. All things are permissible for you as a Christian, but when they dull your hunger for godly things, then they’re not helpful. As iron sharpens iron, so friends should sharpen their Christian friends. And a good way to do that is to pass this program along on Facebook. And as you do that today, ask God to open your eyes; open the eyes of those you love from anything that might blind them to the superior pleasure, the ultimate satisfaction of loving the Lord Jesus. God bless you today, and thanks for listening to Joni and Friends. © Joni and Friends
May 23, 2019
Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada, and let me share with you about Scripture Earth. And actually I, uh, shared this about a month ago. What, it’s an amazing website, Scripture Earth. It lists the Word of God in every language on earth where the Bible has ever been translated. You need to visit the website, even if just for encouragement. ‘Cause when you look at all the many, many, many obscure languages from the Middle East, from Asia, Africa; I tell you, you’ll be breathless at the sheer number of thousands of languages in which the word of God is printed. It is so encouraging. And, uh, if you know, let’s say, a foreign student on your college campus from Algeria or India, or maybe the waiter at your favorite Vietnamese restaurant, or Thai, or Ethiopian restaurant, or maybe a family from Pakistan who just moved into your neighborhood; I don’t know, bake up a plate of fresh cookies, write a welcome note and provide the link to Scripture Earth. And if you’d like to see this amazing repository of Scripture, just visit joniradio.org where we have a link to the site. Well, now here’s the story. The last time I talked about this, I had no idea the wife of the designer of Scripture Earth would be listening. So here’s the story. Twenty years ago, Scott and Paula Starker served together as Bible translation and literacy team among the indigenous people of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. But in the blink of an eye, Scott lost his ability to speak and translate when he experienced a massive stroke, leaving him with aphasia and paralysis on his right side. But God had other plans! After rehab, and over the next 10 years, God used Scott with his background in languages, computers and engineering to create Scripture Earth with 3 other missionary colleagues. God pulled Scott away from a single language and people group, and set him within a team who wanted to design a way to get God’s Word out to millions via the internet. And I mean, imagine the thousands of languages that were mostly in written form back 10 years ago, but had never been catalogued together in one source. Even though Scott has a disability, and can only use one hand on the computer; even though his speech is impaired from his stroke, this humble man ended up serving as the systems administrator and programmer behind this complex website. Praise God – that to me is amazing! And his wife, Paula, wrote me saying, “Joni, I have never once heard my husband, Scott, complain about his hardships, or having to learn how to become left-handed and type one-handed on the keyboard. He’s humble; he’s focused, he’s committed to serving the Lord with his whole heart.” You know, I just thought this would be a great story to share since it’s National Stroke Awareness Month. And I am so happy to highlight Scott’s Starker’s story today, just to underscore how God delights in using weak people, even weak people with disabilities to accomplish great things for His Kingdom. Visit joniradio.org where we’ve provided a, a really great photo of Scott and Paula, as well as a link to Scripture Earth. And when you go on that website, click on the feedback tab and just say hi to Scott. Thank him for what he’s done. Just one glance at Scripture Earth, scrolling down and looking at all the thousands of languages in which the Word of God has been translated and printed, it’s gonna make your heart sing. So come and visit us at joniradio.org, and we’ve also got a link to a YouTube video about their testimony. You’ll hear directly from Scott and Paula, and their amazing story. So, contact us at joniradio.org. That’s a different link to my radio page than you usually hear me say, but it’s a lot easier, joniradio.org. And God bless you today, and thanks for listening to Joni and Friends.
May 22, 2019
Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada to tell you about my friend, Don. I met him years ago when I was speaking at his church in Colorado Springs. I was talking about our “Wheels for the World” outreach; you know where we take wheelchairs and Bibles to needy disabled people overseas. At that time, some of our wheelchairs were being restored at a prison facility in Colorado. Well, Don is sitting there in the congregation listening to all this, and he decides to get involved. He gets his adult Sunday school group to help raise funds to provide more tools and workbenches for the prisoners who are restoring our wheelchairs. He even digs in and helps bring the ’Wheels for the World”restoration shop up to speed. From there, he helped us collect wheelchairs in his region, and then he decided that he could use his mechanical skills by serving on a “Wheels for the World” team to a developing nation. Well, he wrote me the other day, they said, “Joni, (this is what he said,) having been on 7 trips for “Wheels for the World,” I’ve seen countless times how the gift of a pediatric wheelchair or an adult -sized one really touches family. It’s the gift that helps open their hearts to receive the gospel. They see first-hand how generous the God of the Bible really is. And I tell my friends that there are '5' wins in the Wheels' Ministry: (1) a chair is salvaged; (2) a prisoner has got purpose, (3) someone gets the gift of mobility that changes their life, (4) many people are opened to receiving Christ, and (5) the team that goes to a third world country has a totally new perspective on life and an appreciation for their blessings. No other mission effort that I know of does so many things with 'one' item, a wheelchair!” Well you know, Don was just sitting there one Sunday morning in the church, and God spoke to his heart. Don’s the kind of guy who, when he sees the need, can’t wait to meet it. That’s just like him. He saw that he could do something to help those prisoners do a better job of refurbishing our wheelchairs. Next thing you know, he’s got his Sunday school involved. He is making a difference. Neither Don nor his Sunday school friends had much connection with prison ministry before, and they weren’t particularly involved with disabled people in their church, but they saw they could do something. They can raise funds. They can donate tools, hammers, wrenches. Make work tables, benches and so much more. Of course, when you see a need or start meeting it, God opens your eyes and you begin to see other needs: the need to collect wheelchairs, the need to minister to prisoners, and ultimately, the need to even serve on a “Wheels for the World” trip. Acts chapter 20, verse 35 says, "in all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" That perfectly describes people like Don who see a need and don’t wait around for others to do it. Huh-uh, no, they do it. And they get the blessing. We’ve got a “Wheels for the World” team in China this week fitting wheelchairs to some of the poorest disabled people in the world. Kids with disabilities who are forgotten, neglected. Actually this month, there are three different Wheels teams going to three different big regions in China. I know Don’s gonna be cheering on our “Wheels for the World “team with his prayers, and I sure hope you will, too. And if you’d like to serve on a “Wheels” team or help collect wheelchairs, then help us. Just visit our Wheels for the World page at joniandfriends.org for all the details. Find need, and then roll up your sleeves and meet it. God bless you today, and thanks for listening to Joni and Friends. © Joni and Friends
May 21, 2019
It’s National Stroke Awareness Month! And Hi! I’m Joni Eareckson Tada, and I'm here with my friend Shauna Amick, who works with me at Joni and Friends where we are recognizing National Stroke Awareness Month, and we’re doing it with a little help from our friend, Katherine Wolf. SHAUNA: Oh, and I was blown away the first time I heard Katherine’s story – I mean here she is, this young, successful model in the Los Angeles area. She’s married to Jay Wolf, who’s now going to Pepperdine for Law, and one afternoon, when her six- month- old baby’s asleep in the next room, she just yells out to her husband; crumbles to the floor, and what they found out is she has had a massive brain stem stroke. So, I can’t even imagine, Joni, one day her modeling career is taking off, and the next she’s undergoing neurosurgery where actually part of her brain was removed. To me, simply surviving a trauma like that would be inspirational enough, but here Katherine and her husband Jay, they’ve taught us how to thrive under these incredible circumstances, and I know if Katherine were here with us right now, she’d be saying Happy Stroke Awareness Month! (JONI: She is so happy.) Oh my goodness, these are words I would never put together! But here’s our friend Katherine, a woman who’s had a stroke, telling us that even after that massive life-altering trauma – life is good because God is good. JONI: Well, Shauna, let me real quickly for our listeners play a clip, just a little clip, from a video that Katherine did for us. KATHERINE: Everybody wants to think their story is over when they have a stroke. It’s the end of the line for them; life could never be good again. Nothing could be further from the truth. Guess what just happened when you had a stroke? Your life got really exciting, it got amped out. ‘Cause now the world is watching. You get to cling to Jesus and show other people what that looks like through your story. Your life is good, because guess what? God is good! And God is in your story. He is always at work. SHAUNA: Oh, man, I just love her. She always puts a smile in my heart and that is why Katherine is such an encouragement to all of us. (JONI: Absolutely!) She reminds us that no matter what we’re going through, we can use that as a platform for making much out of Jesus. And Katherine, she states with both confidence and also great humility. JONI: And you know, Shauna, she speaks with such authority (SHAUNA: She sure does.), and it’s not that she’s got a Bible degree; she’s no theologian, but this woman knows the Word of God. And what gives her authority is the platform that God has given her in her immense suffering. But when you look at her and listen to her, it’s all about the joy of the Lord. SHAUNA: Oh, it just beams off her face and you hear it in her beautiful voice. Maybe it takes life being undeniably terrible before we can recognize its undeniable splendor. JONI: Wow, that’s so true. SHAUNA: It’s so much like Peter when he was walking on the water towards Jesus, we also we need to keep our eyes up looking at the face of our Savior, rather than down on those ugly details. That’s what Katherine and Jay do. JONI: They do it every day. So, friend, go to joniradio.org today where you will find a personal video message from Katherine Wolf (you heard part of it just a second ago) but there is so much more that she says that will touch your heart; make you laugh and bring a lot of awareness to what it means to live with stroke and do it with confidence. So, I don’t know if you can say it with me, but “Happy Stroke Awareness Month!” And Katherine’s beautiful smile is right there for you at joniradio.org. © Joni and Friends
May 20, 2019
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About Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope is a broadcast ministry of Joni and Friends committed to bringing the Gospel and practical help to people impacted by disability around the world. Joni and Friends has been advancing disability ministry for over 40 years. Their mission to glorify God, communicate the Gospel and mobilize the global church to evangelize, disciple and serve people living with disability answers the call found in Luke 14 to “bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame… so that my house will be full.”

About Joni Eareckson Tada

Paralyzed as the result of a diving accident at age 17, Joni Eareckson Tada envisions a world where every person with a disability finds hope, dignity, and their place in the body of Christ. As the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, she is known worldwide as an author, speaker, disability rights advocate and radio personality. Her 10,000 radio programs are broadcast across the country and around the world, inspiring listeners to realize that there is hope in every hardship.
Joni Eareckson Tada is an esteemed Christian stateswoman and respected global leader in disability advocacy. Although a 1967 diving accident left her a quadriplegic, she emerged from rehabilitation with a determination to help others with similar disabilities. Mrs. Tada serves as CEO of Joni and Friends, a Christian organization which provides programs and services for thousands of special-needs families around the world. President Reagan appointed Mrs. Tada to the National Council on Disability, then reappointed by President George H.W. Bush. During her tenure, the ADA was passed and signed into law. Mrs. Tada served as advisor to Condoleezza Rice on the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department. She served as Senior Associate for Disability Concerns for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. The Colson Center on Christian Worldview awarded Joni Tada its prestigious William Wilberforce Award, and she was also inducted into
Indiana Wesleyan University’s Society of World Changers. 
Joni Eareckson Tada has been awarded several honorary degrees, including Doctor of Humanities from Gordon College and Doctor of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary. She is an effective communicator, sharing her inspirational message in books, through artwork, radio, and other media. Joni Tada served as General Editor of the Beyond Suffering Bible, a special edition published by Tyndale for people affected by disability. Joni and her husband Ken were married in 1982 and reside in Calabasas, California.

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