Monthly Archives: March 2019

Joni Eareckson Tada: We Love Joni … “and Friends”

Hi Friends:

2019 marks the 40th year, having begun in 1979, that the ministry of “Joni and Friends” has addressed “the needs of families affected by disability.”

For years, we’ve been honored to include, as one of the “Ministries We Support,” the work and ministry of Joni Eareckson Tada.

Everything that “they are about” begins with “ministry.” On their website, Joni and Friends, under “What we Do,” it is simply this:
“We share the hope of the Gospel and give practical help to people impacted by disability worldwide.”

In 1982, Joni began recording the inspirational “Joni and Friends” radio program, to provide encouragement, biblical insights, and disability awareness.

Later, Joni began a 1-minute radio program called “Diamonds in the Dust,” to offer encouragement to listeners worldwide. In 2011, “Diamonds in the Dust” won “Short Form Radio Program of the Year” from National Religious Broadcasters.

In 1994, Wheels for the World is founded to share the Gospel and provide mobility to people affected by disability in developing countries. The first wheelchair was provided in Ghana, West Africa.

Ministries include both “Family Retreats” and “International Family Retreats,” which provide a haven for special needs families. Here, families are cared for, encouraged, and rejuvenated in a Christ-centered, fully accessible camp environment.

Another ministry is “Cause 4 Life,” which works to equip “students to become leaders in disability ministry to transform lives through the Gospel, impact their churches and communities for Christ, and advocate for justice, freedom, and equality for people affected by disability.”

In 2007, “The Christian Institute on Disability” was founded to “provide higher education and training on disability-related issues from a biblical perspective.”

As an “old radio guy,” my original intention was to celebrate the “Joni and Friends” Radio Program, which just reached the 35-Year Milestone. However … I was blessed to find this video, which we now share, in which Joni, herself, narrates the story of her life and ministry, in a video entitled “My Story-It’s Personal.”

In her own words, after the horrific accident, how, since she couldn’t physically end her life, how she cried out,
“God, if I can’t die, then show me how to live.”

How she learned that “God permits what He hates, to accomplish that which He loves.”

You’ll never look at Luke, Chapter 14, the same.

I have been honored that my writing, it has been written, has the ability “to reach the deepest of human emotions, in a way which can’t be described, only felt.” This is exactly the way the voice of Joni Eareckson Tada affects me. The love, the humility, the genuineness and sincerity in her voice, just … just … reaches me. In a way I can’t explain.

I’m not ashamed to admit that when I watch this video, when I hear her voice, my soul is touched in a way I can’t explain … as it was, for me, the first time I picked up a Gospel Tract, so many years ago, which featured a picture of a young girl, an artist, paintbrush in mouth, and I read her story. Maybe it’s because, when I first read that Gospel Tract, it wasn’t long after I had, due to injury, thought I would never walk correctly again; even years before that, how I had been pulled out of a car wreck which should have left me paralyzed, at best … Maybe it’s because I recognize the Spirit which resides in her … Just reading these words I’ve just written … I feel that same Spirit … Alive …

God has just revealed to me that there is something else in her voice … which I now realize is such a large part of the “I can’t explain” part …
What I hear in her voice is:
Joy.
Real joy.
Which can’t be explained … only felt.

We Love Joni … “and Friends”
Here is her story:

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Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 20: “Going Postal!”

Hi Friends:

We get back to our continuing series “Wealth Stored for the Righteous,” thinking about things we are blessed with, right now, today, yet it seems, so often, we take for granted.

It strikes me that, so many of these things we take for granted, things which we have and are able to do or enjoy, are possible simply because of the place we are blessed to live in … the United States of America.

We’ve discussed things so basic to our everyday lives; things like being able to go to the grocery store and get pretty much anything we need, to just being able to travel, freely, “without incident.” We can get in our car and go anywhere we want … crossing state boundaries, without having to be searched, questioned, etc. Just this, which we take for granted, you just could not do, in so many countries around the world.

So, we look at another blessing we have, in this country, which we take for granted. Something so basic to our daily lives, that we just don’t even think about how blessed we are, we just take for granted:

Being able to mail a letter, anywhere in the United States, to any person or business, for the cost of a single postage stamp.
Boy … how many times have we heard the complaint about the price of postage. About how much it costs to mail a letter. I like to think we’ve all done it … complained about a price increase for the mail.

But … think about what a blessing it is to be able to just mail a letter … and have close to 100% certainty that it will arrive at its destination … unopened … in just a matter of days.

Think about that.
For the price of a postage stamp, your letter, your correspondence, regardless of who it is going to, or where … is guaranteed to be delivered, without being opened …
We just don’t realize the blessing that is.

Please note that there are exceptions to every rule. If you want to mail a letter to certain addresses, like (and, boy am I combining the two here), say the President, or a Prison, there are certain exceptions, but I am writing about just the “every day” letter, going to a “regular” address.

OK … I’m not that old … but, I remember when a postage stamp costs less than a dime. I can remember exactly what the price was, but even I can’t believe how much the price of postage has gone up … Uh Oh … Does that sound like a complaint???

Really … this is not an examination of the process or the cost. But, just being able to send a letter across the country for what we have to pay for a stamp is a pretty good deal.

So, I got to thinking about it.
How good a deal is it?
Here goes:

I need to mail a letter from New Hampshire to Los Angeles. That’s pretty much cross-country.
Let’s just say the address isn’t important, for this example.
I just need to get a letter to Los Angeles, from New Hampshire.

I could drive it there:
I did this search: “How far is it from Manchester, New Hampshire to Los Angeles, California?”
Answer:  3,026 miles

Another search: “The driving time from Manchester, New Hampshire to Los Angeles, California.”
Answer: 43 hours, 53 minutes

Let’s see … If I can drive 12 hours a day, that’s over 3 days.
If I get 25 miles to the gallon of gas … that’s 121 gallons of gas.
At 2.00 a gallon, that’s 242.00 in gas.
I’ll need to stay at a hotel. At 75.00 each night, that’s 225.00 for 3 nights.
I’ll need to eat along the way.
At, say, 60.00 a day for food, that’s 180.00 for the 3 days food.
So, just the basics … But, I need to get that letter there …
If I drive out to Los Angeles to deliver the letter, that’s 647.00.
And, that’s the basic expense. Just to get there.

By the way … I’ll need to get back to New Hampshire:
So … double the 647.00 …

It would take 6 days, and 1294.00 to get this letter to Los Angeles, get it delivered, and get back to New Hampshire. Really, it would be more like 7 days, as it is 43-44 hours each way.

1294.00 to get the letter there, and come back.

I know … I know … I think I’ll just fly the letter there.

Here goes:
New search: “Cheap flights from Manchester, New Hampshire to Los Angeles, California:”
First, all airlines showed between 8-9 hours flight time.
This is one way:
268.00
Hey!!! I can “save money if you fly from Boston!”

So, if I double that for the return trip, that’s 536.00 for the airline tickets.
It takes over 8 hours, so that’s 2 days, there and back.
You’d have to stay at a hotel at least once, at 75.00
Food for 2 days would be 120.00
I’d also have to drive to the airport in Manchester.
3 hours’ drive … one way.
136 miles.
I’d also have to leave my car at the airport for 3 days.
Plus … when I got to Los Angeles, I’d have to either rent a car, or take a taxi, to the letter’s destination, and then back to the airport.

Let’s see …

New search: “How long does it take to get a letter from Manchester, New Hampshire to Los Angeles, California?”
Answer:
I can get my letter there-guaranteed by the very next day for a little over 25.00
If I can wait, I can get it there in 2 days-guaranteed, for 7.35
And, hey … For that kind of money … you can track it, and get delivery confirmation!

Or … I can just mail it for 55 cents.
55 cents.

55 cents.
That’s 55 pennies.

That’s a deal.

And, this isn’t to even mention the security of our mail system. You can pretty much guarantee that your letter, or package, will get there. I can’t even begin to explain how big a blessing this is, compared to a lot of countries. Just ask people, around the world, how “safe” their mail is. By “safe,” for this example, we are just referring to the chances of your package actually being delivered. Meaning “not stolen.” Or, opened. Or, held for “security purposes.” Of all the things we write about, comparing the United States to how it’s like “over there,” this is near the top of the list. Just being able to send a letter, or package, “without incident,” is a huge blessing, which we so often, take for granted.

Only 55 pennies.
What a deal.

By the way, as a final note … if you don’t think we’re getting older:
To put in the “I Remember” column … To show how things have changed, yes, even here in our Country … I remember when there was no such phrase as “going postal.” This term was first used in the early 1990’s.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Here’s a direct link to the entire series so far:

Wealth Stored for the Righteous