Monday, October 10, 2005

Joni Eareckson Tada

I had the overwhelming honor of meeting Joni Eareckson Tada this weekend at our Suffering and the Supremacy of Christ conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Joni was one of our speakers. Very special thanks to Scott for arranging it so that I could be Joni's host for the weekend.

I was able to get some photos at the JAF Luncheon held at the hotel on Saturday afternoon. If you would like to see them, you can view them here.

The highlight of the weekend, for me, was being invited up to Ken and Joni's hotel room on Saturday night to join them and a few of their assistants for nightly prayer and devotions. Ken led the devotions and we all prayed and sang hymns together. It was one of those surreal moments.

You know the Sesame Street jingle, "One of these things is not like the other? One of these things just doesn't belong?" That's kind of how I felt underneath all of the joy of the moment!

Joni gave a tremendous talk Saturday night. If you keep your eyes on the Desiring God website, her message will be available to order some time in the near future.

The thing she said that struck me the most was when she was talking about how hard it is to muster up the joy and energy each morning to get out of bed and face her rigerous routine. She talked about how she had to pray each morning and beg God for strength - that he would send her a "smile from heaven" to give her the energy to get up and face another day. What a posture of dependence and humility! And yet, right on the heels of that confession she said, "But do you know who the real disabled people are? They are the people that wake up every morning, throw back their covers, jump out of bed, throw down a bowl of cereal, and dash out the door. Do you know what God thinks of those people? Do you know what [the book of] James says of them? It says that God opposes them!"

James 4:6-7a
But he gives more grace. That is why Scripture says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves, therefore, to God.

Joni is now on her way to England, and then on to Africa for a Wheels for the World mission. Please be in prayer for her strength and joy as well as protection and traveling mercies. May many see Christ in and through her life and ministry.



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