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Joni Eareckson Tada and Ken Tada Share Easter Thoughts and A Few Laughs As Well

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
April 13, 2020 2:32 pm

Joni Eareckson Tada and Ken Tada Share Easter Thoughts and A Few Laughs As Well

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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April 13, 2020 2:32 pm

Part of my ongoing series to invite special guests to the show to share encouraging thoughts about faith, life, the COVID-19 virus, and even a chuckle or two. 

Joni and Ken Tada are two of my favorite people in the whole world, and Gracie and I are grateful to call them friends. Joni and Gracie have recorded several duets, and Ken wrote the forward to my book, Hope for the Caregiver. 

This remarkable couple brings a perspective and wisdom gleaned from a lifetime of trusting God through painful challenges. 


Joni is one of the world’s leading international advocates for people affected by disability. A diving accident in 1967 left her, then 17, a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. After two years of rehabilitation, she emerged with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations. She founded Joni and Friends in 1979, which quickly grew to provide Christ-centered programs to special needs families, churches, and communities. Joni survived stage III breast cancer in 2010, and still keeps a very active ministry schedule.

Joni has written over 50 books, including her best-selling autobiography, Joni, which was made into a feature film. Her new award-winning daily devotional, A Spectacle of Glory, contains fresh biblical insights from her battle with cancer and chronic pain. Joni also served as General Editor of the Beyond Suffering Bible, a special edition published by Tyndale for people who suffer chronic conditions and their caregivers. She and her husband Ken were married in 1982 and reside in California. 

Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Building Relationships
Dr. Gary Chapman

And yeah I know played out with the coronavirus. This is not the most difficult Easter for me. It really is and I'll tell you why I Peter Rosenberg Hope for the caregiver. This is the nation's largest product program for family caregivers. Glad you're with us here live on Sirius XM till 131 the family talk channel and were grateful to hear some years ago I was in church that I slipped away to go to church. Gracie was very, very, very ill and not in fact we weren't sure that she was going to live, and it was a very, very difficult time for us and the kids were out of town and we live about 2 miles from the church of Nashville at the time in and so I slipped up to go to church is a very large church in Nashville and they had about 2000+ people there full orchestra everything else. It was Easter Sunday all the accoutrements were there and I felt so lonely I felt so discouraged. I felt so lost and everybody was singing all these great praises and hymns and so forth and and I was going home back home to wife who was very, very, very ill and struggling, and it was just it was heartbreaking to me and I thought you know that was that was the moment when I knew I have got to take community to my fellow caregivers, even on a day like today were Easter has been totally up ended. We had a marvelous time today.

I just watched a great sermon in and it was online.

It was just a wonderful time and but I knew that this important for us is caregivers particular took to make sure that we stay engaged with community and I invited two of my all-time favorite people on the show today to help a little bit with that and that is my dear friend Ken, Todd and Charlie Erickson taught a and I am so grateful that there with us.

How are you two doing. Thank you for having 1/3. It is Easter.

It is a great time and and let me me as you couple questions it takes when something like this happens with the coronavirus and all that kind of stuff is it shows us with those of us who live with severe disabilities how fragile our ecosystem is what would you say to why I can say for sure. It deftly brings about type of things out of your neck to hold our our focus on on stability that unlike any time before will you guys have a team of people to help with Johnny's needs for those you don't know Johnny lives with quadriplegia she has for some 50+ years. I don't want to put age and their Johnny in this part of this discussion but I just want to let you know that this is been going on for some time and you guys have have been dealing with this.

You got a team of people to help you, and not all those people can show up and I recall it, but I have a couple get up. Girls, if you get down girl to comment graciously offered their time to in the morning. Give me a bed bath exercise. My leg get my toileting routine strap on my corset get me interested me in my wheelchair. I can't get lots of stuff to do to connected with the house. I mean I can't laundry I backing that sorry John, you know, you know, we do have a few ladies and because of the coronavirus and trying to cut down on the number of contacts. Have those caregivers have have been lessened in terms of numbers and so put more pressure on all about showing John is right, I'm not taking any credit you know if we did not have Jesus in our our relationship thanks would be sold so difficult. I think we have prayed more together as a couple than we have in a long time and we been together pretty much this whole time.

Did you know in fact were in separate rooms right now is probably the farthest we've been apart. This whole thing started and now there's a few more pressure but I think the part about it is Johnny every bit a caregiver at Diane because she knows the right buttons to push and choose my support when I'm feeling down, and she lifts me up so just want to add that in there.

My wife knows the right buttons to play stupid.

That's a much different conversation than the most difficult and I I I was thinking about something the course we been dealing with the coronavirus. Gracie has it and she is improving and she is going to punch through this thing in and has and were still dealing on the tail end of it by life. You will be on the show 877-655-6755 forgot to give that out John a Butler are my sidekick in the count of muddy disco himself will be joining us shortly. But, 877-655-6755 were talking to Tim Todd and his lovely wife Johnny Erickson taught and they they understand firsthand some of the challenges that can come along for us is caregivers kin kin.

I've talked many times but he wrote the forward to my book and we been doing this alone time in the trenches killing the SU question. What this specifically.

Can you tell me as a caregiver as a husband and justice as a friend for Johnny. And through these things on Easter Sunday. What is it drive home to you later. I'm in it. Drive home. My need for Jesus. I mean even during the last few weeks as I think I've mentioned that it's been difficult time. If I have to caregiver had been called upon dear few more things and I would probably normally do. And on a regular basis, but I know that in my relationship with my my love for him has carried nature some rough patches and my support from John a has been stellar on man you know I could not have asked for a more wonderful wife who loves Jesus that prays for me constantly. So I think as you know, the prayer that goes on and also just, you know, my focus realizing that this too shall pass. It just can't take a little bit of time and wish certainly know who's in control and you know whatever happened on the other hand it's something that I think both John and I have accepted Johnny would let you know. Easter Sunday is its is something weekly.

Take time out to celebrate.

But when you live with the things that you live with, you know that on the day like today you you reflect a little bit more on it what it was. What does it mean for you in the mist of these things because a lot of people for the first time or are not having an Easter service they're not doing these things that they normally do their way outside of their comfort zone. The routines and people are really struggling with. You know the human kin and Gracie and I have wrestled with some of these things many times over the years share with them your you as you spit Easter morning this morning.

What was well product, defendant up beside my bed help make it up in bed bath and drafted read and hear my husband say he is risen indeed and honestly Peter it's the resurrection that gives us the power to live the way we should disability I may not be the first to admit that critical affliction and emotional pain are just part of the daily routine.

Sometimes I get so sick and tired of being paralyzed but never ending drudgery of disability often. I had my fill of that and I want to quit. I want to resign from quadriplegia back.

It takes resurrection power to move beyond that kind of self-pity and it self-pity if you dwell too much on it. It's okay to admit those feelings but if they become the focus then before you know it it's a well is me attitude and Christ resurrection has one at family benefits. I mean, including a home in heaven. I think one of the greatest benefits of the resurrection is its power to enable us to live the way we should persevere. In fact, can that person James George according to me this morning that with it. Oh yeah, James 112 we've been calling out for each other. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, you receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him and will and that's got to be our focus and accept the focus think Peter in a week.

We have a large and very small, a little less than 2000 ft. in and and were need close quarters and I'm constantly bumping into Ken rolling over his toes here in the house and we have a small backyard.

There's not a lot of place to go and so can. I've had to extend each other. Extra mercy extra grace extra forgiveness, and it's been wonderful to see my husband is a caregiver with all its other responsibilities. Don't back off and say well okay you know what timeout this is an unusual situation here. Let's give each other a little more space a little more mercy a little more grace and to hear Greg say that it's it's so wonderful. It makes me fall in love any and all over again will I build a lot of caregivers when the first in this role, and a lot of people were functioning like this now is it home in their open close quarters, and so forth of there getting a taste of what it's like to be kind of landlocked three eyes that every caregiver deals with we lose our identity.

We become isolated and we lose our independence in right now.

The countries dealing with two of those three is a whole and it's hard to know how to do that and we kind of throw ourselves recklessly at this thing of trying to somehow do it all in one day, it's likely when people go grocery shopping when they realize this thing could you know this could get real serious whereby when the go store-bought everything. Then they started eating it all the first day and and it with care giving us the same thing.

We got a Pacers of this a marathon here and there. Something about doing this for several decades. It really come a season you out kid. What would you say for go to break here but what would you say to those who were in this place for the first time what they have lost some of their independence and their really chafing against that you have dealt with this opener. I have to say I concur with what you're saying, everything slows down and we go to slow down to have caregivers read to go hundred miles an hour and I think caregiving have season a little bit that way. I remember going to the grocery store. The first couple days and watching everybody just kind of friend.

A little bit trying to grab everything off the shelves and you know and this is in the first few days now we were in the first several weeks, we realized be a while before this is over so I would. I would just say to everyone you know. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself and we need to slow it down and and trusting the Lord that you got this all under control now. Same with the grocery store and you know the grocery store that we shop it out here in Montana and I was amazed at what people didn't buy them or buying frozen pizzas and all I can stuff but they left Brussels sprouts they left it a lot of fresh produce buying these things.

These are these are good things of you know, everybody was freaking out about toilet paper they were thinking about planning meals and so forth. And when you been a caregiver for a long time. You learn to kind of think that way you don't you don't panic and just go by in a frenzy and and and I was watching that it is really kind of just eye-opening to me I think to watch into Johnny's kid a good cook like a minute microwave button for the center that can really let it ordering takeout Chinese. He really menu up and down the list. This morning I made a roast and a take scratch kin from scraps out about all well I gotta run now in the light chemically for the fall. You know that you will take will probably fall but it's out. I gotta make the frosting and I realize I was out of vanilla why it's a battle because of the bills here will just add to what you just said know about cooking you know is that when we are in regular time.

I'll take more time to cook a regular meal, but we are in a different situation so just trying to combine things and and make them so that their edible and they have different color know they're not all yellows are not all in white was not a good thing you want to do things that are easy to do things that are simple and what I listed this funerals were Over the caregiver were talking with John he intends to be right back.

I got some great questions you love there interested they don't know it yet, but you can let it go away will be right.

Have you ever struggled to trust God when things happen to you. I'm Gracie Rosenberger, 1983 I experienced a horrific car accident leading 80 surgeries in both legs and became I questioned why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me.

But over time I questions changed and I discovered courage to trust God that understanding along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs led me to establish standing with help more than a dozen years we been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people on a regular basis.

We purchased ship equipment and supplies and with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison. We also recycle parts from donated lambs all is to point others to Christ. The source of my help and strength, please visit standing to learn more and participate in lifting others that standing

I'm Gracie.

I am staining with help as a caregiver.

Think about all the legal documents you need power of attorney will, living wills, and so many more than think about such things as disputes about medical bills.

What if instead of shelling out hefty fees for a few days of legal help paid a monthly membership and got a law firm for life while we are taking legal representation and making some revisions in the form of accessible, affordable, full-service coverage. Finally, you can live life know you have a lawyer in your back pocket who at the same time is an empty it's called legal shield and its practical, affordable, and must for the family caregiver visit caregiver that's caregiver Isn't it about time someone started advocating for you on independent associate that is because he can basis it out. A member when I produce that with them and I wanted them both to sing we can do this we can do this and I'm grateful to have Johnny and Ken on the phone with me right now and were talking about this and what it means to have a resurrected Savior all the stuff changes because of the resurrection. Everything changes. Because of that I did an interview recently and I was over some of the coronavirus and all kind of freaked out. Everybody's upset and I said you know all of creation is groaning with distilled beauty and joy in the midst of it and we groan as well. As part of that creation knowing that it's going to be made right and he's going to give us the strength.

This can sit earlier to persevere in this and these two individuals have persevered through many dangers truffles, snares, toils the whole thing and they've been there and I want. I've been bringing a whole series of people onto the show to encourage the country to help people understand perspective in this thing as we deal with these things Johnny Kenner no stranger to lots and lots of tears and heartache and and struggles. But their faith is securely in Christ, and that means something when you're dealing with the kind of challenges they deal with what grace not deal with so were glad to have you to hear kid and Johnny.

I got to ask you something, I will take somebody something little bit different because it's important for us to laugh and have a good time and you know that I'm kinda goofy anyway but member Johnny get out if I ever told you this, but Johnny when she came over to our house in Nashville and ratings with her and and and I can't remember who else and I was really nervous, but she wanted to see Gracie Gracie come out of surgery and it was it was a pretty serious event and and Johnny came over there to see her in and I was charged with being the host and and I didn't know what to do and I said well I have this this this this at the refrigerator.

I can like to eat and I have some grapes and she said oh Johnny looks great and I said okay and then John. He was so patient to teach me how to feed grapes to you because it's hard for you to eat grapes as I was doing that wanted a time and for whatever reason Gracie sitting right there she's recovering from surgery. Their home here. There and I'm feeding you, grateful to the tub and for whatever reason, I just blurted out of my mouth. You know, Johnny. What I do this for Gracie. She makes me take my shirt off and rub oil over my chest without a comfortable will Johnny started laughing like she did, but she was eating a great and that it said like she was choking and I just would dear God, I just I just feel Johnny Erickson taught right here my room. I good to have the mark of pain on my forehead and I will be pay hand forever and ever never know how to do the Heimlich maneuver.

I was just freaking out eternally valid, the exterior, but no grace. You have learned to have been cheese cheese put up with my goofiness over the years we have a lot of it.

What do you do what you guys do that to make you laugh me, you deal with such serious things you talk with people such serious things. What's your favorite funny movie. Debbie deal like the Three Stooges.

What do you do to make yourself laugh, what makes me laugh does for me. He's got sound effects and I mean they are funny. In fact, check lifting me up out the bed into my wheelchair every morning. It is one version or another factor never, I mean he's pushing my wheelchair and I got this little sound motor behind me at eight emptying my leg bag and it's another sound effect during the dinner on the table Sound effects guy cracked me up last I tailing on to what Johnny said in our culture, my culture because our culture comes from long line on the monopole you meaning sounds mean the actions that we take but that and I've always little sound effects and then thinking of it and now I just do it more. As I have gotten older I was working on might not yesterday was working my computer and can watch the living room with a chicken on his head, which had the lab that he purchased it Cracker Barrel maybe 10 years ago that I think we wore at one of our ill family celebration nights that are Johnny and friends family retreat was hilarious and texting himself, wearing a chicken college friend.

I'm exceedingly embarrassed, but the main thing I think you you you hit it though Peter noted sometimes just need humor you need laughter to keep going and if you can't laugh at yourself if it's always going to be inferior.

It's going to take it down. You gotta be able to laugh and what better laughter than laugh at yourself hard to create a situation where people are you you're right in the middle of it so I had it for me and I just I love the fact not this center of attention on myself, but more on just being able to tell, laughing and enjoying the people who are around me that you are able to laugh as well, including my wife. Sometimes she does laugh at my jokes, but in no my little little things I do see it, you can humored me to think that that as believers, that is maybe one of our best evangelical tools is that that we are able to last in the midst of such difficult things that we have and and that's that's got to be puzzling to the world all absolutely clear my name. I think you know as we look at Matthew and and realized that as Jesus's instructions to us. As far as becoming disciples of how we conduct ourselves. People are watching and not that were laughing at the pandemic or the coronavirus were not. But it's the way we conduct ourselves, even in the caregiving for my wife and I had I didn't like that in my my irrational have a smile on my face and still laugh certainly and I will thing that it may be something that were not supposed to do a response below, but more serious. I don't think so. I agree I agree wholeheartedly and that's what I do the show and that's what I wanted you to come on the day just to let everybody know this okay to settle down to get this thing Johnny in great resurrection day, thank you for being a part of the show today. Thank you very much will do open will be right guy here in speed Rosenberg's giver. Somebody walked the first time I've had that privilege many times through our organization. Standing with when my wife Gracie gave up both of her legs follow this horrible Rick that she had as a teenager and she tried to save them for years and if it just wouldn't work out. And finally she relinquished him and thought wow this is that I'm not happy legs anymore.

What can God do with that and then she had this vision for using prosthetic limbs as a means of sharing the gospel to put legs on her fellow amputees and that's what we been doing now since 2005 was standing with hope. We work in the West African country of Ghana and you can be a part of that through supplies through supporting team members through supporting the work that we're doing over there. You could designate a limb. There's all kinds of ways that you could be a part of giving the gift that keeps on walking and standing would you take a moment ago understanding and see how you can give they go walking and leaping and praising God. You could be a part of

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