Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope

Joni Eareckson Tada

Joni and Ken Cancer Update

February 25, 2019

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada, and welcome to Joni and Friends.
You know, um, I’m winding up this treatment for cancer and I have received so many letters and emails, posts on Facebook from you friends listening, and asking about some of the details of what it’s been like to go through this battle. And I wish I could answer every single letter, but, you know, I thought today it might be good to get my husband in here, into the studio in front of the microphone to help answer some of those questions. Our listeners know that 8 years ago I had my first bout against cancer, but we’re back in the boxing ring with this cancer again, coming up on the last few radiation treatments that I have to have.
KEN: You know what Jon? If it wasn’t for the people who are out there praying for us, it would have made this journey an awfully lot more difficult.
JONI: Absolutely. I have felt, and I think you have too, we’re like hydroplaning on people’s intercessions.
KEN: Aw man.
JONI: It’s amazing. And we need it because for me, going to radiation, it’s not like anybody else, who might change their clothes and get into a hospital gown, and hop up on the table. It’s a real feat of energy and effort, isn’t it?
KEN: We need to rely on friends, as well as the technicians who are there. It’s interesting, with chemotherapy it’s different. You go in, and you get an infusion. But with radiation, you have to get up on the table, every day. We couldn’t do it by ourselves.
JONI: I’ve got one x-ray technician, usually it’s Steve or Jason, on the other side of the table, he’s reaching over, and on one, two, three, you guys kind of like lift me up on this high table, and get me situated just perfectly, so that I’m in line with the machine. It’s not easy. But I’m kind of glad that it’s not, because it gives us a chance to involve more people in our journey. Not just the girlfriends who come with me to help me get undressed, but the x-ray technician, like Jason and Paul and Gene and others that we’ve met, who assist me in getting up on that table. They see our vulnerability. And when we enlist them to help us, it kind of like gives us a platform to share the Good News of Jesus. Doesn’t it?
KEN: Oh, absolutely. It’s a team effort.
JONI: Have you given Joni books to all of them?
KEN: I start off with tracts…
JONI: Okay.
KEN: You know, the Joni tract, and then develop a little bit of relationship with them. And I say, “You know what? Joni’s written this great story, I’d like to share with you…” and then they take the books and are very thankful. And hopefully we get a chance to talk with them…
JONI: Great! When I was going through chemotherapy 8 years ago, in the chemo lab, someone had put out a big bowl of these little rocks, with words like hope, and breathe, and faith, and also some scriptures written on these rocks. And it was so encouraging to know that somebody had prayed over all those rocks. And the people like me who take one. And I still have my rock from 8 years ago. And I thought I’d pass on the idea to these other people. And part of what has inspired us is Genesis chapter 50, verse 20. You know, the story of Joseph when he tells his wicked brothers, “You might have meant this for evil, but God intended it for good...” And I love this part, “… for the saving of many lives.” If anybody gets cancer, if anybody breaks their neck, if anybody gets the flu, has an injury or illness, or experiences brokenness, it should all be for the platform of showcasing your trust and confidence in God to others.
KEN: People say isn’t it a shame that Joni’s gotten this cancer again, but if there are lives that are going to be changed, and will come to know Jesus because of it, then it was all well worth it.
JONI: So it’s all an opportunity to spread the Good News of Jesus… which has made this radiation cancer battle, journey thing, so much more meaningful.
KEN: And I think as we learned from the first bout, it’s brought us closer together.
JONI: Yeah.
KEN: Cause we can’t do it without each other.
JONI: No we can’t. Well Ken we’re finishing up, as I said, this cancer, radiation treatment. It’s been 35 tough, difficult sessions but with your help, and with the help of the x-ray technicians and with the help of our friends listening, who are praying, it’s been an amazing journey of faith and a chance to share the Gospel. Right?
KEN: Right! Onward and upward, cancer be gone!

© Joni and Friends

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Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a confession about cancer. I’m sure you’ve heard that I’m back battling cancer again; for the second time. And this time it’s a little different. The cancer is a bit faster-growing and I’ve just about completed radiation. Now, as a quadriplegic, it has concerned me. After more than 50 years of total paralysis, my lungs are not in the best of shape, and the radiation is being focused on my chest wall where my mastectomy was done. So, my lungs have kind of been in danger. Thankfully, I had one of those newfangled, high-tech machines that target the radiation very specifically so as to not damage healthy tissue, but still, it’s a little scary. And I want to give you the Bible verse that I clung to (and I’m still clinging to) throughout the whole process. First Peter Chapter 1, verse 13 says, “Prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” You know, back in December, early January before I began radiation, even back in late November when I found out I had this cancer, I started preparing my mind for action. From the very onset, I had to be sober in spirit. I knew I had to be super-careful of private little thoughts that could undermine my confidence in Christ. Look, I remember when I went into respiratory failure a few years ago, and had to be trached for the second time. it was almost scarier and more panicky than the first time, some 20 years prior. My mind had to battle the, “Oh no, here we go again,” and fears of experiencing the same terrible claustrophobia. Like, I was thinking, I know I’m going to die sometime, is this the time? If so, how hard should I try to battle the illness? Even back then, I felt spiritually ready for heaven, with my “bucket list” pretty much complete. But, “giving up,” did not seem to be the answer, even back then, years ago. And you know what? It wasn’t the answer; it was not my time. I survived pneumonia and respiratory failure. I survived all those panicky scary feelings that did me no good at all. And so I learned back then, when awful things were happening – like right now, with this new cancer, and radiation – my mind is prepared for action. I tell you what, I am sober in spirit. I have fixed my hope completely on the grace God gives me. That’s what first Peter tells me to do, and it’s such wise advice. Because I simply cannot allow my thoughts to wander down that dark, ugly path to depression and despair. Believe me, I’ve been there; that’s where my feelings will take me. I know. And so, over these last few months, ever since November when doctors removed that tumor, I have been safeguarding and double checking my mind, my thoughts; as soon as I find myself thinking: “I know these side effects are going to do me in… I know my cancer is going to recur somewhere else”… well, I don’t know that, only God does. And it’s silly – actually it’s reckless – to allow my thoughts to pull my spirits down, causing more doubts about God and fears of the future. So, in this new cancer journey, I am fixing my hope completely on the grace of God. Now, you may not have cancer, maybe you do, but I encourage you to do the same. Is something scary looming ahead? Some bad medical condition? Well, prepare your mind for action. Safeguard your thoughts. Be sober in spirit. And ratchet your hope completely on the grace of God. That way, you never, ever lose. God bless you today, and thanks for listening to Joni and Friends. By: Joni Eareckson Tada © Joni and Friends
February 22, 2019
Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a great story about the power of prayer. I was at BWI Airport outside of Baltimore city and waiting to go home. Unfortunately, our flight was late, and the seats in the waiting area of gate D-7 were full. My traveling companions, Judy and Bunny gathered around me to pray, something we always do before flights. But this prayer was a little different. Bunny knew I needed a lift. She knew I was pretty down over a number of things, including the disappointing news that a certain foundation in Baltimore, my hometown of all things, had just turned down our funding request for a project to help disabled children overseas. I was discouraged. We were so hoping, we were so sure that the funding would come through, because without it the project just wasn’t going to happen. So, as we gather together to pray, Bunny reached for our hands, and, after a few words of praise and thanksgiving, she said, "Lord, would you please send forth the corn and the wine and the oil. Send forth the early rains, the late rains, and produce a wonderful crop of blessings." Her words were quietly spoken but laced with such power, conviction and confidence: God sending forth the corn and wine and oil, the early rains? I recognized these words in her prayer from Joel Chapter 2 verse, 19. That passage of Scripture is about Israel’s desperate plight, and the prayer is pretty much Joel’s earnest, last ditch, it-ain’t-gonna-happen-without-you, God, prayer. As we continue to huddle and quietly pray, I suddenly sensed the presence of a fourth and fifth person who joined our huddle. It was a husband and wife, we learned later, who had entered our circle right then and crowded close. Together they punctuated Bunny's prayer with quiet affirmations, saying, “Yes, Lord.” When Bunny said amen, I looked up and saw the husband folding a hundred dollar bill into Bunny’s hand. Then as suddenly as these two appeared they had to rush off to catch their flight. I didn’t even get their names to thank them. I tell you, when Bunny opened her hand, we kept staring at that $100 bill, but it didn't surprise us. When Bunny prays, things happen. "Joni," she said, tucking the bill into my coat pocket, "forget your disappointment, sweetheart. Have hope, for this gift is the first fruits of what God will supply." And she was right. Ultimately, God supplied our need and those disabled children were given wheelchairs and the message of salvation, along with their families. Yes, because Bunny prayed in faith, but she has also learned how to pray using God's own words, from the Bible, such as she did when she referenced in her prayer that passage from the book of Joel. When we use God’s word in our prayers, it’s like talking to Him in His own language, His dialect, so to speak. And that has to have power, right? It’s what gives confidence and conviction. Because the Bible tells us there are two things God honors and exalts above all else: His name and (you guessed it) His Word. Prayer that is spiced with His Word is exalted prayer. Its powerful prayer! First Thessalonians Chapter 2 says that we should accept the Word as it actually is, the Word, the very language of God which is “at work” in any of us who believe. So today, put Scripture to work in your prayers. As you read the Bible, underline portions that speak to your heart, make them personal, and then pray them right back to God. After all, the Lord sure loves to hear people speak in His language. By: Joni Eareckson Tada © Joni and Friends
February 21, 2019
Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to "Joni and Friends." I’d like to tell you about a friend of mine named Muni; he has the brightest, most contagious smile I’ve ever seen. Muni lives in India and his joy is a stark contrast to his circumstances. You see, Muni contracted polio at three years of age and has been crawling through the dirt ever since. Muni is the Client Services Director for ProVision Asia, a Joni and Friends partner in Bangalore, India. He met Jesus years ago and now he dedicates his life to securing housing, food and medication – even adapted 3-wheeled motorcycles—for his disabled clients. Now let me tell you how Muni finds his clients. He crawls up onto his three-wheeled motorcycle three times a week and goes out into the smog-infested streets of Bangalore, looking for the poor and destitute, the discarded and disabled. These are the people no one else is reaching; the people no one wants to reach. And recently, Muni came across a disabled beggar on the verge of death. His name was Mahesh, and he lived inside a dark, wet tunnel that links two highways. Mahesh's filthy bed of rags and towels, a bed he has not left in months, perhaps years, is his only comfort. Nobody stops to wish him well; no one cares. He is a low-life, a non-issue, on the bottom of the cast, and to others, he is a non-person, invisible and abandoned. But as Muni was driving through that tunnel, he spotted Mahesh; he stopped his motorcycle, crawled off of it and proceeded to make his way across the dirty, oil-stained asphalt pavement to reach this beggar. Mahesh was surprised to see someone care, and he greeted Muni as this caring individual approached him. Muni, on the other hand, was a little stunned when he heard Mahesh’s greeting—Mahesh spoke in beautiful English with a British accent. It revealed that this beggar had an educated background. It seemed incomprehensible that such a well-spoken man could live in such filth and starvation, among thousands who pass him every day. Mahesh told us that five years ago, he fell from the balcony of his home, breaking both his legs. Then he added, “My disability has disgraced my family and they have put me out. I have lost respect, they fear the same. It is the tradition of India.” But as Muni told this dear beggar, it’s not the tradition of our Lord Jesus. And it wasn’t the tradition of Christ’s representative, Muni. Grabbing Mahesh’s hand, completely blind to his filthy condition or the smell coming from his unwashed body, Muni began to share the beautiful Gospel of Jesus Christ. As he shared, tears fell down Mahesh’s face as the words of truth washed over the broken soul of his. Outcast no longer, Mahesh joined Muni in prayer. At that point, Mahesh beckoned Muni closer and said, “Your Jesus is Light and the Light is now within me, just as it is within you.” The next day, our Wheels for the World team member went with Muni to give Mahesh a new wheelchair. We worked hard to custom-fit the chair for Mahesh right there on the sidewalk; then he was taken back to the clinic for health care and to begin the process of restoring him to life, to society, to wholeness in Jesus’ name. It’s what happens all the time on a Wheels for the World trip. The least and the last are found. They are given dignity as they are lifted from the dirt and seated alongside others. It’s what happens when you touch the untouchable in Jesus’ name! By: Joni Eareckson Tada © Joni and Friends
February 20, 2019
Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada with a quotation that you are going to like. Well, maybe you won’t like it. We’ll see. The quote originates with one of the early church fathers, Saint Sebastian, who helped guide the fledgling church back in the early 200s. Yikes, that is going back a ways to a time when persecution against Christians was hot and heavy. Back then, our brothers and sisters in Christ were heaven-bent on standing strong in the midst of life-threatening suffering; they set their face like flint on the hope of heaven, committed to hold on until the end, until they saw their Savior and heard those wonderful words: “Well done.” But, as you’d guess, there were others. Others who collapsed under the weight, caved in, threw in the spiritual towel and recanted their faith. For them, suffering for Christ – that is suffering as a Christian – was just too hard. In the midst of all this, Sebastian spoke wise and stirring words to his congregation. He said, “When we get to heaven, we will not regret that we suffered; we will regret that we suffered so little, and that little, so badly.” His words were intended to shame those who were quietly intending to renounce or disavow the blood of Christ over their lives. With that brief sentence, Sebastian was inasmuch saying: “Don’t you dare forsake, don’t you dare abandon your Lord in these trying times. Yes, life is hard and our adversaries are vicious, but God's reputation is riding on the back of your response to these times and these trials. Don’t give your neighbors reason to think that your God isn’t worth it; isn’t worth staying the course. That His grace is insufficient; don’t let them think that He’s not strong enough to sustain you, because He is. He is your ever-present help in any and every trouble.” That was good advice for Christians many, many hundreds of years ago and its great advice for you and me today, because we, too, need to be heaven-bent on standing strong when trials hit us hard. We, too, need to set our face like flint as we set our minds and hearts on things above where Christ is seated, where Christ is watching and yes, even interceding for us to stay the course and remain faithful to His name. Can we believe, will we believe, that God's grace is indeed enough for our problems? I pray so. Because I do not – and I don’t think you – want to be numbered among those who shame the reputation of Jesus. Like Hebrews says, “None of us have suffered to the point of shedding blood.” I mean, no one in your American cul-de-sac is being martyred today, right? So stay strong. Live well. Hold fast to the One who is holding you fast. Because you don’t want to be known as less in the kingdom of God (that’s right, the Bible speaks clearly of those who will considered lesser in the kingdom, just as there are those who will be great). Friend, don’t diminish or jeopardize the richness of your eternal destiny by caving in, or by throwing in the spiritual towel. Suffer well. Suffer faithfully. If you need prayer, if you are faltering; if you think you need help, then let us know at Joni and Friends, because we get it. We understand how hard hardship can be. So, leave your prayer request on our Facebook page, connect with us through our website, send us a text, or post your request at We care and we’re here to help those who hurt with words that have been encouraging Christians like you, since the ancient of times. Let me hear from you today on my Facebook page or you can always post a comment on my Blog at By: Joni Eareckson Tada © Joni and Friends
February 19, 2019
Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and I am a sinner. I don’t mind saying that one bit. I don’t just sin; I am a sinner. But I’m a redeemed sinner, thanks to Jesus, and He has saved me from the penalty of sin and the power of sin (there’s always grace to overcome sin), but He has not saved me from its presence. I live in a fallen world and you do too. We still wrestle against the flesh, the sinful nature, this body of sin and death as the book of Romans calls it, and it’s not easy. Because one of the most cunning aspects of sin is that it will try to deceive you. It wants to say to you: “Oh, you don’t lie; you only fudge the truth and that’s not so bad, everybody does that.” Sin will deceive you into thinking that you are not a prideful person when, in fact, you really do cherish inflated ideas of your own importance; you really do think you are a paragon of virtue. But sin really pulls the wool over our eyes when it convinces you it can be acceptable, that there are lots of gray areas, forget about things being black-and-white! You’re not so bad. In fact, you’re not bad at all. You’re pretty good, all things considered. I call that an effort to housebreak sin, to domesticate it. If there’s anything that proves we are all sinners, it’s that we are always trying to tame our transgressions and make them look respectable. And it’s fair to ask, what sins have you housebroken? What secret, small transgressions have you tamed to make your own? A private fantasy that you keep replaying, a daydream you've shielded from the scrutiny of the Spirit. I had a friend in college who enjoyed gossiping with one particular classmate. She wasn't loose with her tongue with anyone else, she was strict about that. But oh, did that classmate get an earful! My college friend thought she had housebroken her gossip, and made it respectable just because she only gossips with one person. The major problem with our minor offenses is that we tend to whitewash them. We think that they are not all that offensive to God. If you are harboring small sins in an attempt to housebreak them, tenderize your heart, would you, with this advice from one of my favorite theologians, JC Ryle. Bishop Ryle wisely says: “We are too apt to forget that temptation to sin will rarely present itself in its true colors. Never when we are tempted will we hear sin say to us, ‘I am your deadly enemy, I want to ruin your life.’ That's not how it works. Sin, instead, comes to us like Judas with a kiss. Sin is deceitful. It comes to us like Joab with outstretched hands and flattering words. Sin, in its beginnings, seems harmless enough—like David walking idly on his palace roof which just happened to overlook the bedroom of a woman. You and I may give wickedness smooth-sounding names, but we cannot alter its nature and character in the sight of God.” You know, we don’t like to talk about this sort of thing nowadays. And we hardly hear many pastors preach on sin. But the book of Hebrews is clear. Sin entangles us. It hinders, it trips us up. It’s why the Bible tells us to throw off today (not tomorrow) but today any sin that entangles, or deceives, or tries to appear housebroken and respectable. Do not minimize your sin by making excuses for it. Ask God to help you see your transgressions, great or small, as things that deeply offend the Lord Jesus. For the sake of Christ, let’s disentangle ourselves from it and never get entangled again. When you have a chance today, drop by By: Joni Eareckson Tada © Joni and Friends
February 18, 2019
You are listening to Joni and friends. Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada. Last fall, I took one of those strength assessment tests alongside my coworkers at Joni and Friends. It’s the kind of test where you learn if you are a support person (on the scale, those people are colored blue) or if you are a detail person (that’s green) or an assertive person (that’s red). Well, my husband Ken Tada and I work with six other women in our department, and everybody was mostly a support person colored blue. I was the only one who came out red. Don’t jump to conclusions, red on this assessment test means many good things. But it also means a few not-so-nice things about who I can be as a person. Like some of that assertiveness can come out as aggressiveness. I also can be very stiff-necked, very perfectionist, and very stubborn. I thought about that test recently after I committed a stubborn, willful sin (I’m not going to go into details here), but I knew what I was doing when I resisted the Spirit’s caution. But guess what, I didn’t care. The “red” in me was coming through, and I knew I was being stubborn. It was one of those “it’s my way or the highway” sort of things, you know what I mean? Well, about two or three days afterward, I sensed the distinct withdrawal of the Holy Spirit’s power in my life. It felt awful! It wasn’t until I cried out to God while reading Psalm 51, “[O Lord,] take not your Holy Spirit from me” that I once again sensed His nearness and approval… and for me it was an even better lesson than taking that strength assessment test! In fact, I looked at all the bad aspects of my “red” character on those test results and I prayed earnestly: “Oh Jesus, keep me from becoming like that; willful and stubborn, and aggressive.” In short, keep me from falling back into my natural self. The things of the flesh war against the things of the spirit, and I want the Holy Spirit to do war on my behalf. I want him to keep me from being led astray. And friend listening, I want you to join me in asking God to keep you from disobeying when the shorter, easier route is tempting. Keep us in our youth when our passions are strong; Oh Father, keep us in old age when we think we know it all; Oh Jesus, keep us in the valley when we’re prone to complain. God, keep us from hogging the spotlight and failing to give credit where credit is due. Lord Jesus, keep us from constantly talking about ourselves, and keep us focused on the needs of others, rather than on our own. Keep us from nagging, scolding, chiding and manipulating. Keep us from fudging the truth. Keep me from stubborn, willful, stiff-necked behavior. In short, oh Jesus, keep me from overdoing the “red” parts of who I am! The nearness of the Holy Spirit is a very precious thing. You don’t want to risk, you don’t want to jeopardize that closeness with Him. And it’s why it is wise to ask Him to keep you; to fight for you. And Jude 23-25 says it best: “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence; to the only God our Savior be glory, and majesty, and power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Did you catch that? God is able to keep you from falling, falling back into the default mode that is your own old nature. So today, please, please ask the Holy Spirit to keep your heart pure, your spirit bright, and your conscience clean, no matter if you are a “blue” support person or a “green” detail person or like me, “red” to the core. God bless you and thanks for listening. By: Joni Eareckson Tada © Joni and Friends
February 15, 2019
Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a beautiful poem from a good friend. And I’m a big fan of good poetry, especially poems that have been written in the furnace of affliction. I have a friend like that. Her name is Lisa Marie and honestly, she is such an inspiration to me. When Lisa was around 12 or 13 years old, she started suffering from unusual achiness in her joints; she was always seemed tired and listless. Her parents took her to one doctor after the next, but they never got a clear diagnosis. The achiness and tiredness turned into exacerbating pain, and an overwhelming weariness. Brain fog and super-sensitivity to light and sound eventually drove her indoors when she would spend long periods in bed. Finally, it was determined that Lisa Marie was dealing with an unusual form of Lyme’s disease, among other autoimmune disorders. But as her body declined, her heart inclined to God. Her young faith took a beating, but her disease could not defeat her. At the age of 20, Lisa Marie became bedridden. It’s not what any young girl would want, and Lisa Marie kept praying and hoping that things would get better; that they would come up with a treatment for this strange Lyme’s disease gone crazy that relegated her to one room in her house, and a dark room at that, given her sensitivity to light. Get this – that was 20 years ago. And now Lisa Marie is more than 40 years old and she is still in the same situation, living daily with pain that most medications just can’t reach. Yes, and she is still in her bedroom, spending most of her time in the dark. Lisa Marie wears sunglasses when she works on her computer and so this valiant woman is able to write inspirational poems and she posts them on our private pain pal page. Not only that, she prays regularly for each of us in our pain, interceding with great empathy and bolstering our spirits with comforting scriptures. She wrote a poem recently that touched me so much—touched all the “Pals”; I just had to read it for you. She calls it “Cup of Anguish.” And it goes: “Sometimes it all seems too much, This overflowing anguished cup. I say, “I can’t. I’m not this tough.” But then I see upon that tree, The Man of Sorrows slain for me – Unshakable even to death. And though my strength has nothing left, I feel a deep, steadying Breath. For a sacrifice so infinite, May my gratitude be evident. In Your strength, I know I can. So, precious Lord, with all I am. I surrender to Your perfect plan.” Right underneath her poem, Lisa Marie wrote Psalm 119, verse 143, “Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me; yet Your commandments are my delights.” Well, I think you can tell Lisa finds the Word of God her biggest delight; it’s what sustains her day in and day out as she lies on her bed. Hebrews tells us to encourage one another daily, and that’s what I hope Lisa’s story has done for you. If you are troubled and you feel as though anguish has taken over, remember the power and protection, even the delight that is found in the word of God. Because if the Bible, as well as God’s grace, can sustain Lisa Marie, on her bed for some 20 years, He can be your help. By the way, if you’d like a copy of Lisa Marie’s poem called “Cup of Anguish,” just download it off of my radio page at Or for a hard copy, write to Joni and Friends, P.O. Box 3333, Agoura Hills California, 91376. God bless you today and thanks for listening at Joni and Friends. By: Joni Eareckson Tada © Joni and Friends
February 14, 2019
Well hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and it’s wonderful to imagine what that garden must have looked like: the first animals, the first flowers and trees. Well, we know that there was the tree of life in the middle of the garden, but perhaps you did not realize there were two trees in the middle of the garden. Listen to Genesis Chapter 2, verse 9, then let me flip over to Genesis Chapter 3, right after the man and the woman ate the fruit. It says, “In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And the Lord God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to now reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever.'" Wow! It’s the old, old story. The serpent beguiled Eve, and she and her husband ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Suddenly they understood the difference between what was good and what was evil, and because they did not obey God, death, sorrow, and disease became a fact of life. Now, some people think that God was unkind in banishing Adam and Eve from the Garden, but not so. God was just, because God is just. From the very beginning, disobedience carried a penalty; fellowship between God and man had been completely severed. So, God was just, but (get this) He was also kind, very kind. Because –listen to this from Chapter 3, "After [God] drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth (now get this) to guard the way to the tree of life." How good and merciful of God to keep diseased and sin-sick Man from eating of the tree of life. The tree of life is a big deal. If you look in the book of Revelation, it’s right there – when we get to heaven, we will eat of the tree of life, and we will live forever. Had Adam and Eve not been banished from the garden to prevent them from eating from the tree of life, it's likely that mankind, in his very sad and sorry state would have lived forever. Yes, in his sinful state forever. That is terrible. Oh my goodness, how awful! Who wants to live forever in a body of sin and death? Certainly not me! So, when you read about God throwing Adam and Eve out of the garden and setting up strong angels to prevent them from coming back, He’s not being unfair and He’s certainly not being unkind. Far from being a story of heavy-handed, cruel justice, the real story in the Garden is one of God's wisdom, compassion and protection. Because like I said, the tree of life not only grew in the Garden of Eden, but it will one day grow in the new heavens and new earth. Revelation Chapter 22, "On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse." Praise God! I’m so grateful that the Lord prevented Adam and Eve in all their sin from reaching for the fruit on the tree of life. But you and I sure can reach for that tree as we reach out for the cross where the Lord of life died not only for Adam and Eve’s sin, but for your sin and mine. Hold fast to that cross, and you’ll experience what it means to really eat and enjoy fruit from the tree of life. Enjoy eating that tree today as you open up the Word of God. When you have a chance today, drop by By: Joni Eareckson Tada © Joni and Friends
February 13, 2019
Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada thanking God for His protection. And speaking of protection, I love Psalm 5, where it says, "But let all who take refuge in You. [Oh Lord] be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them that those who love Your name may rejoice in You." I love that because when God protects us, it’s great cause for rejoicing, I have a fun story to prove that. Some years ago, as I was getting ready to go to Africa with Wheels for the World, I was stuck with every kind of needle, from yellow fever shots to hepatitis. I took malaria pills. I took immune boosters. And when I left the doctor's office, I relaxed, knowing I had done every responsible thing from my end, and now I was under God's protection. While overseas, I was doubly careful with the food and water, not eating anything from kiosks on the street or in homes (although my friends did). I pretty much stuck to our hotel restaurant. I became doubly cautious when, midway through our trip, everyone else was running to the restroom. They looked at me and kind of went, “uh-oh!” We all knew that if I became sick like that, it would be awful; it would be impossible – I just can’t get up out of my wheelchair and run to a bathroom! In my efforts not to become ill, mealtimes were a challenge. To make things worse, I lost my special spoon again (it’s the one I feed myself with and it has a certain length and an angle so it fits snugly into my arm splint). Well, it got lost. My friend thought she had cleaned it off after breakfast and put it back in my handbag. But we looked and it wasn’t there. I was so demoralized, knowing that someone would have to feed me all the time. We looked at my suitcase, under the bed; we called the restaurant I was at the night before. Nothing! I asked the Lord to show me where that spoon was, but He was strangely quiet on the subject. But right near the close of the trip during our last meal, I was suddenly struck by a crystal-clear thought. I had the strongest impression, as though the Holy Spirit were speaking to me, saying: “Joni, you lost your spoon because it was contaminated. Had you used it, you would have become sick.” Immediately I shared this with my friends at the table. One of them dropped her fork and gasped. She said, "God just told me that exact same thing this very instant." When we talk about it, it was obvious. I mean, other people are constantly handling that spoon with their hands. It sits on tables. Once in a while, people forget to wash it thoroughly; they only wipe it. In Africa that’s asking for trouble. That spoon could easily become full of germs. My friends and I were amazed. God was no longer quiet on the subject. Neither was I. It was just like Psalm 5: “Spread Your protection over them that those who love Your name may rejoice.” Really, I kept rejoicing; I kept praising Him and happy to not only be healthy, but to be able to hear His reasons for “losing” my spoon. We say it all the time. We pray to the Lord, "Deliver us from evil." God answers that prayer with a resounding "I will," yet we cannot see the thousands of ways He does it every day. But He does. Time and again, He is protecting us. In fact, if you have especially observed how God has spread His protection over you, then take a moment, take all day, rejoice. Thank Him and give Him praise. Every day, our great God is delivering you and protecting you. And guess what, I lift my spoon to that! Oh, and by the way, if you have a prayer request, let me know on our radio page and our Joni and Friend staff will lift up your need before the Lord. By: Joni Eareckson Tada © Joni and Friends
February 12, 2019
Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada with a good word from Mark, Chapter 1. That’s the scene where Jesus is walking along the shore and he calls to Simon and Andrew “Come, follow me,” and they obey, leaving their nets at once to follow Jesus without delay. Don’t you love that? They dropped everything and obeyed at once without dragging their heels or second-guessing his call. How compelling must’ve been that call of Jesus! Not only did those men leave their nets behind, but I tell you what, they left their identity. They left their livelihood. They left everything, by which they had been known. They were no longer fishermen; they became fishers of men. To me, that’s inspiring, because that’s the way I want to live. When I hear God’s word, I don’t want to second-guess it, I don’t want to drag my heels, I want to be a doer of it. If I hear a truth from the Bible, I want to act on it. I don’t want to believe Satan’s lies. But so many times I end up believing lies without even thinking about it, I listen to lies like: “I’m powerless; there’s nothing I can do to make this bad situation any better!” Or I’ll listen to a lie like: “I can’t tell my friend how I really feel; it’ll ruin our relationship.” Or I cave in, telling myself, “Sure, I believe in spiritual warfare, but I’d really rather watch “American Pickers” right now and not do any battles; not fight them.” I hate thinking like that. It’s kick-it-into-neutral thinking, cowardly thinking. It’s do-nothing thinking. Because the truth is, I do have power—I have God’s power—to make a bad situation better. And telling the truth is the best path for any friendship. And every spiritual battle is worth fighting, no matter what your emotions insist. When the Holy Spirit whispers to me, or calls me forth into battle, or tells me to rise to some new, yet harder obedience, I need to not only listen, but act on it; actually wrap my hands around the challenge, and put some weight behind it, give it effort; give it honest, spiritual muscle and fight back against laziness or lies. In other words, I have to leave my nets and follow Jesus at once without delay. Spurgeon once wrote: “When God calls you to do something, hasten right then to fulfill it before the holy glow departs from your soul. Leave your nets at once and do not give place to the devil by delaying.” Love that! Perhaps Jesus is telling you to talk about Him to your coworkers; you know, share your testimony and talk up Jesus. It sounds great at first, doesn’t it? You feel courageous as you picture how you’re going to approach that group of coworkers in the lunch area; you see yourself saying this and that, and your heart swells with anticipation. But if you delay in doing it, over time you are going to lose the glow; you start second-guessing what the Lord wants you to do, putting up resistance and saying, “you know, God, I’m not sure I heard you quite right. I really don’t think my coworkers are ready right now to hear my story”. We check and double check what we think we heard God say, until we have convinced ourselves it wasn’t Him who spoke anyway, in the first place. Like Spurgeon says: “When God calls you to do something, hasten right then to fulfill it before the holy glow departs from your soul. In other words friend, leave your nets at once and do not give place to the devil by delaying.” Don’t second-guess God and rationalize away His calling in your life. Listen to His call and join me in being not just a hearer, but a doer of His word. When you have a chance today, drop by
February 11, 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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