Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice… Our electronic world often influences the way we relate to God. We “abide in him” as though we were charging our smartphone or our iPad. We think, How long do I have to be … Continue reading

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice… When my paralysis finally began to sink in, when I realized it was permanent, I felt like my life had come to a dead end. I had absolutely no strength to fight off that … Continue reading

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice… “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.”  Ephesians 4:19 What, would you say is the opposite … Continue reading

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice… My friend, Diana, has struggled with her weight ever since I knew her in high school. In the last few years, though, her size brought on big problems in her joints, her heart, and … Continue reading

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice… For those with autoimmune disorders, pain and fatigue can really make life challenging. My friend Jennifer knows this well. But Jennifer recently told me, “Joni, just knowing that the Lord is on my side … Continue reading

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

I remember when I was much younger in the faith, I got into an argument with an older Christian friend named Don. I can’t even remember what the argument was about, but I know I raked him over the coals.

He called me on it, and said, “Joni, that’s no way for a follower of Jesus to talk.” And I shot back at him, “What, do you expect me to weigh every word?” And he said, “Yes, yes I do.” What’s more, the Holy Spirit expects you to weigh every word before you say it.

Now, looking back so many years later, my friend Don was right. 100% right, he was. It’s why the book of James devotes almost an entire chapter to the tongue and how we use it. What’s more, Romans chapter 14 says that each of us will one day give an account for himself before the Lord.

So are you responsible for every little thing you say? My friend Don would say yes. And so would Scripture.

~Joni Eareckson Tada inYour Words Count

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity. —Hebrews 2:14 

When we are hurting, if there is one thing that eases our pain or grief, it is this: We want someone to understand. We want somebody to really identify with us, to have some idea of what we’re enduring. 

It is certainly like that for me. I hate feeling alone and alienated in those dark times when my paralysis seems overwhelming. On my really rough days, it helps to remember what the Bible tells us about Jesus identifying with us in our sufferings. It says that He was tested and tried in every way like us. That helps!

When it comes to suffering, the Lord Jesus has gone ahead of us, and has intimate, experiential, first-hand knowledge of the pain, the weight, the frustration, and the struggle. He appreciates. He understands. He connects. 

But it works both ways! Not only does Christ identify with us in our suffering, we identify with Him in His suffering. He identifies with us, and we identify with Him. He appreciates all that it means to be human, and we appreciate all that His divine grace supplies. Through suffering, He participates in our humanity; through suffering, we participate in His divinity

So why do we struggle so to escape our suffering? Why do we look so desperately for release? I suppose this is why I’m not earnestly seeking to be healed and raised up out of this wheelchair. I see this trial of mine as a window into the heart of Jesus. Suffering is a connecting point between my Savior and me. And when I see His great love on the cross, it gives me courage to take up my cross and follow Him.  

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “The Price of Identifying,” October 11 Daily Devotional

Photo: OBMonkey

Sites to See

It’s been quite some time since I’ve done a post like this, but I came across a few goodies online yesterday that I wanted to share with you. I think you’ll enjoy checking them out…

Dear Moms, Jesus Wants You to Chill Out — Stephen Altrogge reminds moms that they don’t have to sew their kids’ clothing or maintain organic gardens to be godly mothers. Our calling as moms is really very simple.

Jesus Understands Loneliness — Feeling totally out of place and misunderstood in the world? In an article for Desiring God, Jon Bloom points out that no one understands loneliness better than Jesus does.

Why Abortion Is the Most Important Issue This Election — Denny Burk writes a compelling argument for why Christians should keep the sanctity of human life at the forefront of their minds as they cast their votes on November 6. If God’s children won’t take a stand for the unborn, who will?

A Year of Biblical Womanhood: A Review — I have been greatly disturbed by Thomas Nelson’s decision to publish Rachel Held Evans’s book on “biblical” womanhood. As Trilla Newbell reviews the book for Desiring God, she points out some of the major flaws present in Evans’s perspective on the Word of God and womanhood.

Cancer—Joni’s Journey — October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In a new episode of Joni and Friends, Joni Eareckson Tada talks about her recent battle against stage 3 breast cancer: “Within minutes Dr. Polan came into the room with Ken and me and announced that this was a suspicious-looking mass with irregular edges and she thought I should move right away to have it further examined. That was pretty scary.” As always, Joni’s steadfast faith in God in the midst of suffering is an incredible encouragement.

Image: Svilen Milev

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…” Philippians 4:11 

Will I ever be happy again? It’s all I could think of after I got out of the hospital and wheeled through the front door of my home. Doorways were too narrow and sinks were too high. I sat at the dining room table, my knees hitting the edge. A plate of food was placed in front of me, but my hands remained limp in my lap. Someone else—at least for the first few months—fed me. I felt confined and trapped

My confinement forced me to look at another captive. The apostle Paul had seen the inside of more than one small room from which there was no escape. For over two years, he was shifted from “pillar to post” until finally he arrived in Rome where he remained under house arrest. When Paul wrote to thank the church in Philippi for their concern, he reassured them with the words of today’s verse.

Paul became my example in my own “prison;” I learned—and am still learning—the secret of being content. The apostle writes about this secret in Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Contentment in confinement has an internal quietness of heart that gladly submits to God in all circumstances

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “Confined Contentment,” October 3 Daily Devotional

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

I remember years ago when Dr. John MacArthur began a sermon with the simple question, “Where do we begin discipline? Well, we were all expecting to hear something deep and profound, but Dr. MacArthur simply said,“Begin discipline by… cleaning your room!”

Sounds kind of silly at first but, is it possible that—in all the pursuit of the disciplined life—we focus our eyes on larger-than-life goals? We take on three jobs at church. We get up at 4:00 AM every morning for devotions.

Now, all of these are worthy, but we may be overlooking the more immediate and obvious things. After all, Luke chapter 16 says that “if you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.”

Let’s be faithful in the “little” things—holding back our tongue, being on time to appointments, cleaning our messy rooms. That’s where discipline begins.

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “Where Discipline Begins

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

One of the most comforting scriptures I know is from Psalm 56 where it says, “[God], you keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

love that image. Not one tear of yours has escaped the attention of your loving God. He has numbered them and collected them.

And what’s more, He’ll wipe away not just all, but every one of your tears. Because each single tear represents some different sorrow, some unique grief you’ve gone through: maybe the death of a loved one, or a divorce you weren’t expecting, or a life-altering illness.

Each grief is different, and the Bible says that God will atone for every solitary tear. Each one has meaning. So when times of weeping come your way, prepare yourself with these assurances from God’s Word. No tear will be wasted.

~Joni Eareckson Tada in “No Tear Wasted 2

Photo: OBMonkey

Looking Back at True Woman ’12

I have to be honest. Life after True Woman ’12 is an adjustment.

After a busy and exciting weekend, I’m back home in North Carolina thinking fondly of all that occurred in Indianapolis. There, I had a Starbucks downstairs and an Einstein’s Bagels within walking distance, live worship music each morning with Keith and Kristyn Getty, inspiring teaching, and girl talk throughout the day.

Here at home, back on my gluten and dairy-free diet, listening to podcasts and Getty CDs, and trying to converse with my 16 month-old, things just aren’t the same somehow. But as I scrape bug parts out of my daughter’s mouth one more time, I’m reminded of Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s encouragement at the close of True Woman ’12, “The God of glory in the mountaintop is still the God of grace in the valley.”

True Woman ’12 was a mountaintop experience, and my life here in the everyday is better because of it.  

With the help of the True Woman photographers, I want to take a look back at some of the sweet moments we enjoyed last weekend…

On opening night, in light of the conference theme “Seeking Him Together for Spiritual Awakening,” Nancy provided us with a challenging message on what it truly means to seek the Lord.

The auditorium was filled with over 8,000 enthusiastic and eager listeners.

For me, this was one of the conference’s most powerful moments. Upon arrival, each lady at True Woman ’12 received a tote bag with conference materials and other items. As I looked through mine, I found a little strip of construction paper with a handwritten note that looked like a prayer request.

During the first night’s session, we learned that every tote bag contained one of these pieces of paper. They were links of a handmade prayer chain that had been put together by a special group of women in the McPherson Women’s Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction.

As the True Woman volunteers stretched the completed prayer chain up and down the aisles throughout the auditorium, we were told that inmates who had come to faith in Christ had spent the last few months writing out prayers by name for each woman who would attend True Woman ’12.

I doubt there were many dry eyes in the Indiana Convention Center as we thought about women who were physically behind bars praying that we would experience true spiritual freedom at True Woman.

But I know there couldn’t have been any dry eyes left when the screen overhead switched to show us that the women who created the prayer chain were actually watching True Woman ’12 via live stream at that very moment. It probably wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the crowd at True Woman went wild with joy at the sight. It was a sweet moment.

Prayer was a constant emphasis throughout the weekend at True Woman. The conference planners designated prayer rooms in the Convention Center so women could easily find a quiet place to respond to the teaching they’d learned and take their concerns to the Lord. Each morning also began with early morning prayer sessions which were filled with participants.

More than once during the main sessions, we were led together in corporate prayer, and it wasn’t unusual to see women stopping in the halls to pray with one another as the weekend progressed.

The reading and signing of the True Woman Manifesto is a conference tradition. 

This weekend, women were given the opportunity to affirm their belief in the biblical truths expressed in the Manifesto by coming to the front of the auditorium to add their signature to one of two enormous copies of the document.

It was wonderful to see and hear from Joni Eareckson Tada on Friday night during her message on Forgiveness. There’s never a time when Joni speaks that I’m not encouraged, challenged, and convicted. Her life is such a tremendous testimony of God’s grace in suffering!

For one of the breakout sessions, she did a Q & A interview with Nancy on a lifetime of walking with Jesus.

I wasn’t in that session, but I heard it was wonderful. I’m looking forward to listening to the audio which will be posted soon along with the other conference messages HERE.

There’s so much more that could be said about True Woman ’12, but it’s just one of those things that you really have to experience yourself to understand. 

If you didn’t make it to Indianapolis last weekend, maybe I’ll see you at True Woman ’14? I can promise you, it will be a wonderful weekend you won’t soon forget.

If you were there, I’d love to hear from you. What were your favorite moments from True Woman ’12?