Pastor Shawn Thornton of Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, Ca is taking us through an incredible series called, “Conversations That Matter.” A fascinating look at what we can take away from conversations that Jesus had with His own disciples, Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman and others, and ultimately how those exchanges can guide and mold how we speak to others and of course, to God Himself.

Indeed, conversations come about for all sorts of reasons.

It's well-documented that in the bedroom of 19th Century Theologian Charles Spurgeon was a plaque and a verse, "I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” (Isaiah 48:10)

"Men will never become great in divinity until they become great in suffering.” Spurgeon once said. “There are none so tender as those who have been skinned themselves. Those who have been in the chamber of affliction know how to comfort those who are there.”

If a chamber of affliction has ever had an address, it’s in the bedroom of a modest home in the hills of Los Angeles, Ca. We often speculate what we would hear “if walls could talk,” but if the ones that surround Joni could walk, they would you take you on a journey that few would believe and even fewer could imagine.

If you’ve suffered, you’re well-aware that suffering isn’t bound to its epicenter. The ripple effect and its incremental outward expansion goes beyond the physical origin and reaches well outside the target. Amid the tough stuff of life, you’ve likely been sad, worried, you’ve questioned God or you’ve longed for a do-over. And you’ve probably wondered whether or not it will “always be like this” and if there’s hope for a normal future.

Joni Eareckson Tada is a picture of that hope. She sees her disability as divine and her suffering as safety. Though she grew up athletic and active, her greatest blessing in life hasn’t been wellness or strength or ability, but has been found in sickness, sorrow and loss. Why? Because of the arms to which they made her turn.

When her limbs no longer worked, the dirt where her face sank was an altar. She worshipped where she wept. She saw her injury as guided, directed affection. First from God then to God. When her body was buried under the burden of sorrow, Joni decided to worship. Indeed, her tender pain is - to this day - a love note that she first reads from Him and sends back to Him in the form of joy, obedience and service.

The Joni and Friends Disability Ministry is a result of the sweet, life-long exchange between sovereign Savior and suffering saint. Dedicated to spreading the Gospel and serving those impacted by disability all around the world, those that work alongside her extend the long line of friends that connect the decades; divinely and affectionally sanctioned to join her as she continues to form her response in this the most sacred of conversations.

-Jimmy Peña

Thermals for Fall
Our upcoming line is sure to help spark some good conversations between your friends, family and even strangers. Be a part of what’s to come by pre-ordering your thermal today. All proceeds go to support kids and families impacted by disability. Just click the link and pre-order now!