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When God Allows Suffering: An Interview with Joni Eareckson Tada

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Cross Radio
December 5, 2020 3:00 am

When God Allows Suffering: An Interview with Joni Eareckson Tada

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 5, 2020 3:00 am

In this special interview, Pastor Greg Laurie speaks with author and speaker Joni Eareckson Tada about God’s sovereignty—and why He permits suffering in this world. What follows is a classic conversation on that touches on Christmas, Heaven, and how we can glorify God in our broken bodies.

You'll learn about the grace and amazing nature of God, and how He can and does work everything out for good to those who serve Him. This conversation is encouraging for those suffering through hard times or who have a loved one that is going through a difficult trial. Joni shares the words that changed her perspective on everything: “God permits what He hates to accomplish that which He loves.”

Joni Eareckson Tada is an esteemed Christian stateswoman and respected global leader in disability advocacy. Although a 1967 diving accident left her a quadriplegic, she emerged from rehabilitation with a determination to help others with similar disabilities. Mrs. Tada serves as CEO of Joni and Friends, a Christian organization which provides programs and services for thousands of special-needs families around the world.


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Everybody Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the glory podcast and my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights and faith culture and current events. From a biblical perspective to find out more about our ministry. Just go to our website so thanks for joining me for this podcast.

Let's welcome Johnny Erickson got a no no laws for 35 to come down a little bit thing you okay will Johnny thanks for coming back. You know your your last Christmas and I cannot believe what the years gone by. No, you look great. You have an exit. All I had a full head of hair left without elevator was wearing size that were not. But I remember that message you gave and it just impacted me about what we did you give the message to the ladies and we took your message and I showed it on a Thursday night everybody because I think everyone needs to hear this message while I got abroad such a great perspective on Christmas, but Johnny if you wouldn't mind you, not not everyone knows your story. It's hard to believe many of you, of course, but there are some more meeting you here for the first time in course your life changed in 1967 you are a young girl like any young girl you love to hike and ride horses and swim and dive young guy then and so you are a very active young lady and then an event happened that, of course, change your life and that brings you to today where you've spent almost 50 years in a wheelchair. You know I mention I like to dive and I guess I was a bit cocky sitting on the edge of that raft in the water and I took a very reckless dive into what ended up being extremely shallow water. I get the sandbar smacked my head back crunch. My vertebrae severed my spinal cord and left me without use of my hands and my legs now when they took me to the hospital. I was so depressed, so despairing. The one bright spot was going to occupational therapy and occupational therapy. They let me put up pen between my tea. I must confess, at first I did not like having to put a pencil between my teeth.

I kept spitting out and my occupational therapist Taking off the floor and wiping off of basalt Lysol and sticking it back in my mouth when I finally got proficient in drawing as I was an artist before my accident. My thought was God this is now my life this is it. And I tried to convey on the heart and the despair to depression, my goodness, I would wrench my head back and forth on the hospital pillow every night hoping to break my neck up at a higher level and thereby end my life, but that picture is to me a precious memory of what God can take us from when we embrace his son Jesus. This, and sometimes when tragedy strikes. It's like God has companies upset the puzzle table and all the puzzles go flying and we logical, rational people that we are scrambling desperately hoping to find all the puzzle pieces so we can quickly put them back together and make our life makes sense want everything to fit with one meeting to be tidy and orderly.

But when I learned is not being able to put all the puzzle pieces together.

Wisdom is trusting God, even the most of the puzzle pieces go missing and confined spaces until the other side of eternity, but wisdom is trusting God even when life doesn't make sense. There might save us through the Creighton broom told you remember Corey to go.

Yes, she said to me the last time I saw her when she was alive. I saw your funeral, but she was alive and have on Johnny one day going to the dogs together in heaven. Dutch accent. Yes, the reason I brought her up is that money me of a story she is to tell her she went through all of her suffering in the concentration camp ravens broken with her sister lost her sister and father was released. But remember she would talk about that that a stitching on one side, it would be a think of Scripture, perhaps, but on the other side. It was all tattered threads with no rhyme or reason, but it's sort of the picture of from our side. It looks like tattered threads or a puzzle scattered but from God side there's a logic to it because or something that you believe then that we all believe in or should believe in this call the sovereignty of God. What what it tell us what this we hear the phrase what is the sovereignty of God and what does that mean to you and what you face every day. Well, at first when I heard about the sovereignty of God that is that the God of the Bible is a God who whose overarching Creek decrees govern everything that happened at first I was frightened by that idea. It was scary because if that was the God who allowed this to happen.

Then how can he possibly be good. What is his idea of good but God allows all sorts of things, he does not approve of.

He doesn't approve of spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, he doesn't approve of stroke. He does not approve of down syndrome or autism or Alzheimer's but a Christian friend shared with me little words when I was first injured that change my life. God permits what he hates to accomplish that which he lives and the way he explained it, Greg was that he pointed to Jesus at the cross permitted treason and justice murder tortured me about being a father's will never told in acts chapter 4 verse 28 that key permitted, it says that a max 428 God I got that right on the time on my phone. I really don't look it up right. Export 28 about everything that I have ever memorized the yes I think I know where you're going but I want to me. I get it right because we were it's very old and New Testament writer of the book of acts is talking about the evil man instigated the closest Christ and this is what he said about these men on the verse to me it's like reading through a contact where I know I Bible is not my go to sleep last five did what God's power will I decided beforehand should happen.

You do whatever your hand in your purpose determined before to be done. So there you go. I mean treason and justice, murder and torture.

So right there. God permitted something hanging the crucifixion the gruesome crucifix the carnage. The parable crucifixion of his precious son permitted when he hated to accomplish something that is not what could he possibly love more than his own son.

What we prize above his sons own crucifixion.

Our salvation salvation. And so, although the devil may have instigated the events that led up to the crucifixion, treason and justice, murder, torture, God won't have anything to do with those things in terms of wanting or delighting in them happening but God aborted those devilish schemes to serve his own ends and accomplish his own purposes. I like the way Dorothy Sayers once said it God reaches down into what otherwise looks like terrible evil and he he wrenches out of it. Positive good for us in glory for himself and so the world's worst murder becomes the world's only salvation, and my friend shared those those 10 little words with me. God permits what he hates to accomplish that which he lives, said Johnny. The same is true in your life. God permitted what he hated spinal cord injury to accomplish something that he loves more than the hardship you are going to have to go through for the rest of your life and that is Christ in me the hope glory and oh my goodness, Frank. I've given up trying to untangle the matted friends underneath that bordering that you spoke about.

I've given it up because the whole point behind my quadriplegia is that I get to know Jesus in such a tender, warm, poignant, personal, powerful way when I wake up I think I shared this with the women when I was here the last time. Literally I wake up in the morning and my girlfriends are running water for coffee to come into my bedroom. The have a cheery happy hello and there I am almost 90% of the time lying there with my eyes closed thinking God I hate quadriplegia, I am so tired of this.

I have no strength in this day I have no resources, no power, no energy, I cannot do quadriplegia today. But Jesus, you can so you can I can do all things do you so would you please be the good quadriplegic today because I cannot do it and it is the perfect example dying to self so that God's power can live through me, which makes the smile that I have on my face when I will out of the front door in the morning he made made up okay this is a real smile hard-fought for an hard-won every single morning and Greg that's the Christian way to wake up. That's that that's the best way to what that's the biblical way to wake up needing Jesus desperately and I really need him there will enter without a soul from the worst injustice and travesty of all time murder crucifixion of very son of God became the greatest good of all time.

So we apply the sovereignty of God to our life. Whether this saying is you may be going through something that makes no sense, but ultimately you're going to see God's plan and purpose, and maybe part of it.

This side of heaven, but certainly all of it. On the other side, but for now it's not so much an issue of why because you get us up forever and then people in the Bible. Asked why even Jesus on the cross, said my God my God why you forsaken me that think there is a point where we ask what is in order.

Why do and you've taken your very difficult pain and you've used it as a tool for God's glory, you've used it as a weapon against the forces of darkness and you continue to do so and and we thank you that here's something you wrote your very good right about the way I yes I have to tell you that you know you know when you talk with Johnny. It's like whatever you ask her when she speaks it's like was that just prewritten actually just come out that way from your very well organized brain or what you're just so articulate what you wrote this quote I knew the big sort of way that answers are my questions about my end about my paralysis were probably hidden somewhere between the pages of the Bible, but I had a no idea where so there are certain passages and Yorty took is the one that I could obviously not read very well me neither you, but I think of another one that I I'm sure is meaningful to you and I'm I'm sure you get out of the system.

Please do, but one that comes to mind is an oft quoted verse maybe not always understood. Romans 828 Houde is another verse of this brought comfort to you is, it appears that initially was hard to deal with and later brought comfort or was it always the verse was like yeah I get that well. Romans 828 and okay you're asking me to quote this one to write what you know all things working out of things are together.

I love that God love God and are called according to his purpose and then the next verse in Romans 829 this says that all these things are fitting together into a pattern for God to conform you to the image of Jesus Christ. And so I see that I don't know I don't want to second-guess God Greg but I do think that that God is permitted. This accident to make me more like she keep prizes in my life.

Patient's endurance, self-control, compassion and kindness. All these things are far more important than walking. They are far more important than walking and having use of your hands and so what are the qualities of Jesus is compassion well I'm back on the backup. One of the qualities of Jesus is a hatred of sin. When we say we want to be like Jesus.

We normally think of all those qualities I just listed, but we really want get bare knuckles about it.

The quality that is most like Jesus is his hatred of anxiety, fear, worship, prejudice, snobbery, self-righteousness, these are the things that he hates and so suffering is like the textbook. That'll teach you about who you really are and I often liken my disability to 11 that God squeezes in the morning and outcomes. The cranky craftiness that that that the sour disposition peevish attitude and when I see that about myself. Oh my goodness as a Jesus person that was Johnny from yesterday please. I will be in different Johnny today would you make me more like Jesus and help me get rid of the sin this this this achiness in my life that are so offensive to you and unpleasant to other people.

The second quality I think for me at least a hatred of sin, and secondly, compassion. I talked a lot of people disabilities who are as disabled as I am and I'm pretty disabled can do my own toileting routines can't make my own dinner can't cut my food camp called bottle of Coke but I talked a lot of people like me for disabled lesson. I am some poor, disabled more than I am and their depressed that's totally humanly understandable why they would be to press my goodness, I was depressed for years. It took three years for me to dig up out of that miry pit of despair. But what I will often tell people disabilities is get up tomorrow morning and get dressed we'll let the front door. If you're able and go find somebody in your community was hurting worse than you are hurting worse than you are. And II think that that is a sure remedy for depression to to look for other people are hurting more than you are and help them.

That's the second Corinthians chapter 1 kind of the Whitman comfort comforted for the benefit of others and it's one reason why I started Johnny and friends a ministry that disturbs wheelchairs around the world and Bibles and and Wayne hold retreats for special-needs families and both here in America and in national developing nations and yada yada yada.

But it's it's it I've been so blessed man I want to squeeze every ounce of ministry effort that I possibly can out of this quadriplegic body to pass on the blessing to others. I've been given so much you've been given so much.

We've been given so much find somebody else is hurting worse than you are and make a difference for Christ in their lives rather than the cure to depression is the number one find someone that is something you and help them step number two. Repeat step number one no more time like that. They didn't know if you know but depression can be bigger than that's a great piece of advice and some we all should do but but you know you've double severe depression and you know in the holidays. A lot of people are depressed and maybe it's because they expect Christmas to deliver what it can't expect Christmas to be the end-all or maybe getting together with family but you know people are broken families and their problems, and sin also expectations a list of other things but they might be dealing with depression, but there might be someone here listening or watching.

Later that he knows lost a loved one and now this is a marker of time that my level was with me last year and you're not here this year or maybe Dave had an event the tragedy since last Christmas and now here they are in this place. What would you say like if someone is depressed right now there like there in the pit and they don't know how to get out of the pit you've given us a great piece of advice find someone that is you know hurting more than you. How did you not, how did you how do I how do you do I how do you continue to climb out and be the better Johnny, if you will, and face each day. Well, I got two friends here Jan and rainy set number. There they were the ones he got me up this morning and got me arrested and in my toileting routines and put on a lipstick. They do good lipstick and hair is a do you look great how you label tell you that because of my daily battle with chronic pain, which incidentally makes my quadriplegia look like a walk in the pardon they will tell you that there are times when I'm so depressed when I come to work my quick rush by the receptionist desk and I will upstairs fast and I close the office door and I grabbed them and I say girls. Please pray for me. I need help I need your prayers tonight girls I need prayer and I think if anyone is depressed and I I will counsel people disabilities the same way trying ever so are not to be a part depressed alone because God never intended for us to suffer in isolation, is why he created spiritual community. It's like he creative harvest Christian Fellowship find somebody who will pray for you this because we wrestle not against spinal injury or chronic pain or stroke or autism or Alzheimer's or bankruptcy or an unexpected divorce with we wrestle not against flesh and blood of these things. We wrestle against powers and principalities who would love nothing more than to keep us steeped in depression they would like to convince you that you're never going to get rid of that cloud of despair over your head when you know what, that's a lie that's a lot so find people who will pray for you earnest prayer warriors who will buckle down to their knees press their hands together and lead to heaven on your behalf.

And I know that there is a fabulous prayer team here at top harvest. In fact, before the service. I bought that's what I want to do. Send me send me out to me when the parents I want to be the parent and I think that's what people who are spelling with depression need to do, or at least their loved ones need to do that for them contacts in good Christian friends.

Yes, earnestly specifically committed Lee pray for that individual mats a man tell me a little bit about how you met Ken and Intel is a little bit about your very wonderful marriage that God is on the man I love them so no when he takes the unit that's good I like that guy Johnny Russo met in what movie well I don't know that song come on sorry. She said Judy Judy Garland noticed by Simon Streisand what movie, what, maybe, funny girl in these harrowing piece think that the last song and I love every time I see my husband dressed in his Brooks Brothers shirt head and off the shirt up onto church in the morning Sunday, sometimes open the front door before I passing by Oman men on my husband and I were both in our 30s. I liked being single. I was in my early 30s. He was single as well and we were at 10 both attending John MacArthur's church. He was away one Sunday and said it was some visiting pastor was preaching at what you think of the sermon was boring. Know what you excuse me, the wise, and I know it's Sunday you sit near being born in the Lord's house and so I asked the Holy Spirit okay so then you haven't heard some boring sermons writing by the Holy Spirit nudged me and I thought you know I got to do something that honors God.

During this hour and so my eyes fell on the back of this man's head was spinning about five or six pews in front of me didn't know its name in the CFE you know was wearing a wedding ring. You know, I just thought come home to pray for him, which I did for the balance of that sermon. I pray that all my goodness. If he had conflicts at work to be resolve if there were problems with his family.

They would be resolve.

I pray that you would remain morally pure. I pray that if he did not know Jesus there might be something in the sermon that this guy was saying might rescue him, and by the time the benediction was over, I will not that's Amanda telling you now this is good for you, but I thought that would look awfully pushy, so we been introduced to mutual friends about two or three months later and literally the first thing I said to Ken how to where you can time birthday.

I said it can stand up Ken because I want them to see you first thing I said that man has your head you I said and then I proceeded telling what I done. I pray for him and and we end up marrying about a year and 1/2 lean memory 35 years 35 will first Christmas is here. We know to the point that the is that how you pronounce the poinsettias and all around us of the signs and when you were here last time you did such a great job. So many important things in other you. The event does the job explaining you know what Christmas should be and I think we sort of so romanticized that the story I'm talking about the Nativity story itself that the meeting we miss the real raw profound meaning of it, you know, because we see them. Mary and Joseph bathed in blue light. The animals are bowing reverently and you know the stars in the distance and the wise men are there. They probably weren't even there. They came later. But you know we have this romanticized image, and I think we've missed what really happened when when God came to this earth and in you said this last time, because ultimately, of course, Christ came to go to the cross. He said the cross is God's taking on flesh and blood and see need to. I understand I identify I am God with you. After all, I am meeting Manuel God with so little bit about how you see Christmas and what we might be missing in this season. Well think about it. I mean, when Mary and Joseph that 60 mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

It was no Girl Scout hike.

I mean this was a rocky rugged Road three day journey.

Mary nine months pregnant Jocelyn jostling and jogging on a on a donkey and and I'm turned by the dirt road to let other caravans go passing and in the dust which they are eating. They continue on their journey they get to Bethlehem. There's no room at the end except that they are told there is room in a stable and so the son of God does not enter human history with trumpets blasting in red carpets rolling. He doesn't enter with pomp and circumstance. He gets himself born in a stinky stable on Strahl in a splintered wood manger from the very onset of his life he was identifying with our weakness.

You don't think that understands he dies he gets it.

He resonates with your weakness. It it it it. He owns that and I think that sometimes we forget that when Jesus was born. This was the one man born to die. This was God's way of saying no war is over, the war is over. There is no longer M the T you be better under you explain what that word means and I went M the T would you save in the TS well opposition to God. Even heating God right opposing God the indemnitee is over. There is no entity, no longer between God and man and Jesus, when he was on the cross, he or all of the fathers white-hot wrath against your sin and mine. He absorbed it.

Keep the Apple bonsai turn brown with a rod of our sin he was.

He was soaked in our sin and the stench that must've been risen to the father's nostrils. No wonder God the father turned his back on his own son, which means that God the father has no more anger left for you and me white-hot wrath no more no more judgment.

It was all taken care of at the cross which Greg makes me love Jesus so much. Oh, if I don't if I don't love them enough if you find that your soul is dry rack and you find that your spirit is not warm with devotion to your Savior.

You think about those things that Greg and I just talk about about how Jesus absorbed the wrath of the father so that all he has left for us is forgiveness and mercy love tender loving kindness, compassion, what a Savior.

What is that is such an! We let you my heart is filled overflowing. Just think about that. We've got to as a corporate group. Praise God for its own thing with the law is 3C. K. The prefab and have and then they is saying and nature saying and a reset on we should do a record together when I'm home about the beauty and the beat you my favorite verse in that wonderful Carol is the third one no more legislation or sorrow, grow, nor thorns infest the ground.

He's come to make his blessings known far as the curse is found, isn't that good for some great theology in those old Christmas songs. A lot of people miss it. Build in flash the Godhead see hail incarnate deity. You know, pleases, men with men to dwell Jesus. Sorry Manuel meant just those words are are you know their biblical absolutely, this sort of shift gears talk about a subject that you've written the book on and I wrote a book on it. My book isn't as good as your book on the topic, but we both love the subject have all my goodness, yes I mean and I'm no soaked in your book called heaven. Your real home. You write this. I love this just 30 seconds in heaven will atone for all the heartache and hardship went through.

Probably just a second or two, you'll look out in your rearview mirror and you'll see earthlike I have forgotten dream and suddenly you will be home. I love that earth. I have forgotten dream and suddenly you will be home.

You know Johnny when you get to heaven you believe your questions will be answered in what you think it will be like. I'm sure you've thought about this the moment you enter heaven and see heaven for the first time ever just you know you have such a vivid imagination you're an artist you speak so eloquently and write just what do you think it will be like when you first enter heaven. Okay, do you know you know the cast when the movie castaways else and I maybe castaways compact all you nightmare. The theme music way to the castaways. This is sound silly, I can see the pearly gates slowly open.

I can see my dead form rye. I can feel the strength of resurrected legs holding up my glorified body and I take gentle steps and you gotta go find the theme music to Make and Listen Because It Is Often and That's What I That's What I Sense It's like This Marvelous Sense of Wonder and Craig Just Earlier Today I Was Reading Philippians 320, We Are Citizens of That Place Citizens of Heaven and We Eagerly Expect a Savior from There. Not Just Expect a Savior We Ever Really Expect a Savior from There, the Lord Jesus Christ Who Will Bring Everything under It Will Put Everything under His Control, Will Transform Our Lowly Bodies to Be like His Glorious Body, but Please Don't Be Thinking Greg That I Am Most Looking Forward to the Body Works. I'm Looking Forward to the Glorified Heart. I Want a Heart That No Longer Tries to Twist the Truth. I Would've Heart That Doesn't Hold the Spotlight. I Want a Heart That Doesn't Always Want to Try to Get Its Way. I Want a Heart That Is Quick to Give Credit to Others. I Want a Heart That Is Not Anxious or Fearful about the Future I Will Heart That Trust God and Is Interested in Obedience and Absolute in Its Trust What I Want to Glorify Heart so Every Single Morning As I like to Say I Get Actively Engaged in My Own Sanctification.

God, like I Said Earlier, I Want to Be the Johnny I Was Yesterday.

Sanctification Means Sent a Letter Asking You. I like Going to Say, but It Is a Little Be Eloquent If I Say to the Policy Well Okay Chrysler Justified Right Justified.

It's It's a Once One Time Event, but but the Gavel Is Banged and and You Your Name Is Written in the Lamb's Book of Life, but It's a Little like Congress Passing the Clean Water Act Because the Next Day You Can't Go out to the Los Angeles River and Drinking Water Right It Don't Take a Long Time for That Clean Water Act to Kick into Gear and Make the Los Angeles River Float Flow Sweetly so That You Can Drink from It Right That Classic Segmentation Is As Colloquially As I Can Explain That It's It's Been Taking That Justification Were Justified before God. Thank You Jesus and Then We Worked It out, Work out Your Salvation with Fear and Trembling, the Holy Spirit Tells Us Make Your Calling and Election Sure yet Doubts about Your Salvation. Start Obeying God and You Don't Know Where to Start Obeying God.

How about Philippians Chapter 2 Verse 14, Which Says Do Everything without Complaining. There You Go.

That's a Good Place to Abate. That's a Start. You Can Start Letting the Will of God. Tomorrow Morning by Purchasing to Go through the Day and Affect the Rest of Your Life without Complaining and As You Do, You Will Have a Bay, and God Will Transform Your Your Life You'll Change You Won't Be the Same.

Mary Earned Joe or Bob. You Were Yesterday. You'll Be a Different Person Because That's What It Means to Behold the Glory of God and Be Changed from Glory to Glory to Glory and Become like Him Think Sanctification and If You Don't Know Much about It. I'm Sure Greg's Written about You. I Love the Way for You Know You Go to Verse I Work out Your Own Salvation with Her and Trembling That Goes on the Safer It Is God That Works in You Both to Will and Do of His Good Pleasure. The Phrase Workouts Interesting Because It's a Phrase That Was Used To Describe Going into a Mine in Getting the Gold out so Think the Gold Is There like You.

Your Analogy of the Clean Water Act That It's Been Passed to Know You and We Have To Apply It.

And so It's like to Work It out, Which Means Carrying It to the Gold Not Work for Your Own Salvation. It's a Gift from God Work It out and It Relates to Heaven. Yes, Because I Jonathan Edward One Sense Mike This Is Mike All-Time Quote from Jonathan Edwards Who Is America's Premier Theologian in the 17th Century Season of America's Act Actually One of America's Greatest Thinkers and This Is What He Said Every Day I'm I'm Colorblind. I'm Making This in the Vernacular and I Can't Speak 17th Century English, but What Saying Was Every Day You and Hot You and I Have an Opportunity to Stretch Our Souls Capacity for Heaven Because Everything We Do down Here on Earth Has a Direct Bearing on Our Capacity for Joy and Worship and Service in Heaven. I Don't Want to Be Quote Least in the Kingdom of Heaven. The Bible Talks about People Who Will Be Quote Least in the Kingdom of Better. I Don't Be There and I Do Not Want to Diminish My Eternal Estate I Want to Build toward Lay up Treasures in Heaven about It Because I Want to Experience the List That I Possibly Can on Joy and Worship and Service in Heaven, but It All Is a Link to It All Depends. To the Degree That We Trust and Obey God down Here on Earth and and I Jonathan Edwards Went Further.

He Talked about These Various Degrees in Heaven. Some of Us Will Have Joy the Size of a Favorable Others like Billy Graham Might Have Joined the Size of a Supertanker.

Others Might Have Joined the Size of a Bathtub Overnight and Be Envious of Each Other in Heaven Because All of Our Capacities Will Be Absently Overflowing and to Enjoy Each Other and Our Savior. So Don't Jeopardize Your Eternal Estate Really Got Wants to Go Round in Life Only Once.

Don't Jeopardize Heaven's Going to Be a Long Time in a CS Lewis Said This Is Merely the Title Page of the Real Story That's about to Begin. On the Other Side of Your Tombstone so Don't Risk It. Don't You and Isaac Trust and Obey, and in so Doing Increase Your Capacity for Joy and Worship and Service in Heaven, Which in Turn Means You Can Toss More Crowns at Jesus Feet.

Hallelujah. You Know, We Can Talk about the Afterlife and Then We Should Call Dislike of the before like That so Brief Compared to Eternity That Last Forever, and in Colossians 3. Paul Tells Us to This You'll Set Your Mind on Things That Are above and It's Interesting Because a Good Translate out Think Very Carefully about These Things Are Reversible by Translation Think Have but Then the Objection Is Well There so Heavenly Minded There No Earthly Good. My Responses Will Some People Are so Earthly Minded. There No Heavenly Good Ask You What You Think and You've Already Touched on It but so When We Hear. We Should Seek the Things That Are above or Kevin You Know How Thinking about Heaven and Contemplating What Scripture Teaches about Heaven like This in Life on Earth As It Worked out Practically Well I Think a Good Role of Thumb Is before You Make a Choice before You Let Those Biting Words Slip Your Mouth before You Complain or Gossip before You Choose an Amoral Path. Stop and Think What You Want. Would You Want the Movie Reel of That to Be Shown in Heaven.

Would You Want to Be Shown in Heaven about You. I Don't I Don't IIIIII Want to Present to God As Much of Myself.

That Is, He Is As Is Possible in the Sense of My Sanctification in the Sense of Jesus in Me. I Would See More of Jesus in Me and so Just Think Twice before You Choose an Amoral Path.

A Snarky Path on That Word Snarky Snarky so I Am in the Morning When I Wake up Snarky and Learn to Hate Those Things about Yourself and If You Think You Have Those Things in Your Life. Ask Your Husband or Wife.

I'm Serious, and Will Tell You That I Have Told Him Sweetheart. Would You Please Point out in My Life.

Things That You Think I Need to Change There's Areas in My Life and I'm Sure I'm Blind to What You Point out to Me Things I Need to Change and Keep Shortness with the Friends and Neighbors and Coworkers That You Have.

If You Offend Them Make It Right.

I Had Told Renee I Think on a Couple of Occasions, Rainy.

That Was the Wrong Thing to Me to Say I Am so Sorry. I Regret It. It Was Thoughtless of Me, and Not Only Thoughtless, It Was Rude. Would You Please Forgive Me and the Result of That Is It Raining and I Are Better Friends Were Better Friends.

So Those Are Just Some Practical Ways I Think That You Can Get Ready for Heaven Love That You Know of Johnny's Written New Book Called a Spectacle of Glory God's Light Shining through Me Every Day and You Know When You Listen to Her Just the Profound Insights Are Incredible, and This Book Is Filled with and so, Tell Us a Little Bit about This Book to Just Come out in This. This Is Sort of a Devotional, You Would Read a Page or Two Every Day to Help Me to Write All Say Three or 65 Page Devotional. I Wrote It for My Friends in 2017 and You Can Either. I Think Maybe Get It Here at the Bookstore. Order It at Johnny and Friends.or about the Title. Place the Title Is a Spectacle of Glory.

When John Cowan Skews Me. John John Cohen Was a John Owner John Newton.

It Was John Newton. Okay, Now I Need a Theologian to Tell Me Which One Was Probably John Newton and He Wrote about How Moses in Exodus Chapter 3 When He Was Shepherding the Flock of His Father-In-Law Jethro Jethro in the Desert, He Turned Aside and He Saw a Bush That Was a Flaming Bush. It Was the Presence of the Great I Am, and He Noticed That the Bush Was Burning, and yet It Was Unconsumed and an Exit Chapter 3 Records Moses, Saying, Let Me Turn Aside to See This Strange Site. Christians Who Suffer yet Suffer Graciously Who Have a Godly Response to Their Suffering Who Limit the Complaining We Are like Burning Bushes Unconsumed the Chronic Pain, the Quadriplegia, the Inability to Walk or Run Can't Hold Things with Your Hands. People Look at Me and Say Why Is That Burning Bush Not Consumed Why Are You Not Consumed by Your Trials. Mrs. Khanna and and and It's a Strange Site but like Moses. I Think It Sparks Curiosity and Not Only Other Christians, but among a Cynical and Skeptical World. People See Christians Not Complaining All of Their Suffering so Greatly. Let Me Find out What This Is All about Girls. God Must Be Amazing to Inspire That Kind of Loyalty That's All I Want People to Think When They See My Smile and an Elevator. You Know I Can't Do A Lot in an Elevator, I Consider My Wheelchair and Sing Amazing Grace or from It and Their People and I'm Saying Humming Amazing Grace, but They Can Connect the Dots and so Everywhere at All Times and We Were on Display. People Watching. We Can Either Dishonor the Playwright and Ad Lib. Our Minds and Do Something Stupid That Stains His Reputation and Makes Them Look Really Bad for We Can Live Obediently.

Trust Fully Kindly Compassionately and It'll Make Your Neighbors, Your Coworkers Look at You and Think, Okay, What, Why, Why Is This Person Not Complaining Kirk Is like Just Suffered a Massive Stroke.

He Just Got the Diagnosis of Cancer. Her Husband Just Walked Out Of Her. Why Is She Smiling.

I Want to Know about That.

So That Inspired the Title a Spectacle Glory. We Are All Spectacles of God's Glory As We Obey Him, and Trusting Known Paul and Silas Were Thrown in Prison.

The Bible Says That Midnight Became They Begin to Sing Praises to God, and This Is the Other Prisoners Listen That's Interesting Than the Original Languages They Listen with the Probably Never Heard a Concert in the Prism before and Then of Course They Were Treated Cruelly by the Jailer but Then an Earthquake Came in the Jailer Being a Roman Guard Knew the You Know the Penalty Was, He Would Be Put to Death for Losing This Prisoners Falsehood Don't Do Yourself Any Harm Were Here and Then the Jailer since What Must I Do to Be Saved in Paul and Silas Effectively Earn the Rights of Their Suffering to Reach That Man. He Was Moved Deeply Was a Hard Man. You Know, and When You Take Your Pain and You Use It for God's Glory and We All Take Whatever Pain We Have in Life We Have Different Kinds of Pain, Some Absolutely More Than Others, but Every One of Us Is Going to Face Pain Organ to Lose Loved Ones Are Going to Have Setbacks Forget to Have Things Happen That We Had Not Planned for, but We Have To Just Take the Platform and Use It As You See in Your Book As a Spectacle of Glory Right Silently, You Have a Bible Project He Worked on As Well. That Is up Tell Us about the Cassettes of Really Interesting to Me. Well, You Know You've Been Hearing Me Quote A Lot Of Theology.

I'm No Theologian, I Will Have Masters Degrees behind My Name Your Theologian What Your Sweet to Say That Fantastic, but When I Was First Injured. I Have A Lot Of Questions for God and I Did Not Know the Answers.

And so My Christian Friends Who Were Counseling Me Were in over Their Heads, and so They Connected Me with a Young Man Named Steve Estes. I Have Co-Authored Several Books with Him. He Was Only 17 Years Old but He Knew the Bible like the Back of His Hand and I Peppered Him with so Many Questions and Every Thursday Night for a Full Year He Counseled Me through God's Word and and before You Know It before the Year Was out. There Were like 50 5060 Other Young People Coming to My Living Room, Wanting to Listen to What This Young Man Had to Say. By the Way You Set Father of Eight Children, a Grandfather about How Many Grandkids and Pastors Are Thriving, Booming Church in Pennsylvania so Easy Is a Remarkable Man.

But Anyway I II Always Hoped That I Might Be Able to Work with a Bible Publisher to Craft a Special Edition of the Word of God Which Would Be People's Steve Estes. I Wanted I Wanted a Bible That Would Be the Same Kind Companion That I Had to Show Where the Hope Is Where the Encouragement Is Where the Insights Are about God's Sovereignty and and What about Depression and What Miraculous Healing and and Chronic Pain Can't Be Good, but Allow so Much Suffering in the World.

Come on, Who Sets the World's Agenda Is at the Devil or Is It God and What's the Relationship Tough Questions. So This Bible Answers Him and There Are Answers Yes, Suffering Is a Mystery We Can Understand All the Answers but There Are Enough Clues in the Bible to Help Make Clear on God's Intentions God's Heart. So the Bible Is Called on the beyond Suffering Bible and There Is a Graphic of It out There.

Published by Tyndale and Away at Johnny and Friends Worked Six Years on This Particular Addition of the Word of God.

It Is for People Who Suffer. It's Especially for People with Disabilities Mothers and Fathers of Kids with Special Needs and Their Caregivers. The Great Bible for Caregivers.

So If You Look into Give a Bible to Someone Who's Gone through a Recent Bad Medical Diagnosis, a Botched Surgery. Whatever This Would Be a Good Good Bible to Give Sounds Great Charlie. You Know Limited Kind of a Lightning Round This Little Bit from the Sublime to the Ridiculous. Now These Are Just Little Simple Questions like Johnny Erickson Thought, What Is Your Favorite Color When You Have a Favorite Color. I Love Blue That's My Favorite Color. All Blue Heartache on Every Question Asked Me to Have a Song Dive Funds to Go to.

She Wore Blue Is a Good Thing I like, so It Okay Favorite Food. We Talk about Food in the Back Room. What Is Nozick -like Mexican Italian I'll See What You like II Love Sushi Love Sushi I Love Sashimi Because I'm from Maryland and so You Know I like Oyster Stew and on a I Love My Mothers Crabcakes Crabcakes. I Love My Wife Loves Greg and We Even Order the $36 a Canon Jumbo Lump Crab Crisfield, Maryland like Takes a Mortgage Payment, Pay for My like You Know What I Really Want to Taste Mothers Crabcakes Are Big Time from Gelson's Good, so What Makes You Laugh. My Husband the Girl to Get Me up in the Morning like They're All Nodding Their Heads over There. I Mean He Comes into Sometimes He Is Wearing the Million Eyes. Sometimes He Does This Very Silly Impression of Dr. Yamaguchi and We Won't Go There Because It's Kind of Ethnic and Racial but You Know He's Asian so He Can Get Away with It Really Makes Me Laugh Is Not a Great Sense of Humor. So What Makes You Said a Wasted Life's I Know Some People Who Were Wasting Their Lives and They Have so Much so Much to Be Thankful for so Many Material Blessings, but They Either Turn Away from God and Are Not Believers, Not Followers of Jesus or They Are Followers of Followers of Jesus, but They've Chosen a Carnal Panda and You Know I'm of the Persuasion of Hebrews Chapter 12 I'll Tell You, Greg. When I Was in High School. I Named Christ As My Savior. I Accepted Jesus As a Young Life. We Can Retreat and I Was Involved in a Bible Study in and Doing Great Things from Friday Night in the Backseat of My Boyfriend's Car. It Was Another Story. And so I Felt Terribly Guilty. Oh God, I'm so Sorry, but Then When You Know I Confess My Sins on Sunday Morning and Next Friday Night. It Would Be a Repeat of the Same Old Thing until I Had Done Myself into Slavery, and It Was Impossible to Break Free of Sexual Sin Couldn't Do It and so in April 1967. After a Sordid Date with My Boyfriend. I Came Home One Friday Night through Myself into Bed, Sobbed into My Pillow. God Just a Couple of Weeks.

I Know I Just Know to Do. There Is My Boyfriend Going to the Same College Sleep Again. I'll Take Birth Control Pills.

Not Some Stuff That Such a Hypocrite. I Don't Want to Be the Place. Jesus Do Something in My Life to Turn It around and Then I Broke My Neck Three Months Later Was God Dealing Harshly with Me. I Thought so. In the Beginning I Mean I I Was. He Was a Missile Range That God Could Take Take a Person Seriously Wonder Why Did You Think That Person Seriously and You Know I Spat Things out at Him like Okay That's We Want to Be on Never Trust Another Promoter My Prayers Again.

That's It.

And I Decided That I Realize What I Was Doing Is Digging Myself into Another Cycle of Slavery, Bitterness, and There's Nothing Worse Than a Bitter Spirit so I Can Look Back and See That My Diving Accident. You May Disagree with Me You May Think It Makes God Look Harsh, but I Believe It Was an Example of Hebrews Chapter 12 a Father Loves the Child That He Disciplines If the Child Is Not Discipline. If a Wayward Rebellious Child Who Names His Father As His Father Is His Being Disobedient and Unrolling and Rebellious and Stiffnecked and Stubborn, a Loving Father Will Reprove and Correct That Child and Bring about Discipline. God Is Punishing Us Is Not Retribution like That Were in Jail and See How That Feels.

Larry Slammed the Door, Throwing the Keys Not Know, but It Is Punishment Quote Punishment in the Sense of Discipline and Restoration Not Retribution but Restoration God Restored Me through This Accident and All My Goodness I Often I Will Send At Least about Three or Four Times A Week Will Be Sitting at Work or I Will Be in My House Kilby Just Sent in a Wonderfully Supportive and I'm Sitting There Saying to Myself, Actually Am Praying She Said so She Says Thank You for Allowing My Broken Neck Menu Were Such a Wise God.

I Didn't like It at the Time You Were so Good and so Wise with What You Have Done You Brought Such Peace in My Heart and Set Me Free of Sin. Bless You, and It's Just a Constant Wellspring of Praise to My Savior Because of What He's Done in My Life and It's It's I Think It's Discipline You Might Disagree. Others Might Disagree and You're Free to Disagree Because Who Really Understands You Know God's Purposes and Intent He Had and Perhaps Maybe Other Things on His Mind. Maybe When I Read Hebrews 12 I Think No. I Think That It's Discipline. Yeah, I Mean, When the Wicked to Heaven. You Know My Son Christopher Died in an Automobile like There Is No Eight Years Ago and in a Conversation with His Brother Jonathan That Jonathan Was Struggling with Drugs and Christopher Had Come through That and Every Committed His Life to Christ and He Was Talking to His Brother and He Said You Know What's Going to Take Jonathan for You to Come to Come to Your Senses and the Next Day Christopher Was in Heaven. And That's What It Took to Bring Jonathan Back to Christ with so I Don't Look Offensive to God to Christopher to Bring Jonathan Propose of Recommitment. I Look at It More like God to Christopher in His Sovereignty in This Will I Don't Know Why I Know God Is in Control. I Know God Loves Me. I Know I'll See My Son Again. But despite This Tragedy Just What Would Happen If That Was Tragic but Trash like the Tragedy God Has Brought Honor Brought Jonathan to Himself and Touch Some of the Other Lives and There We Miss Our Son so Deeply We See That He Can Become. Well, As You Say Here.

It Can Be a Spectacle of Glory Know I Think Another Thing Johnny. I Think the Guard Looked to a Young Woman Yes You Going the Wrong Direction, but He Saw Vessel That He Could Trust with His Glory. That Would Have Integrity and Would Walk with Him and Would Honor Him and He Said I'm Gonna Put Her in a Place Give Her the Especially BC Have Trouble on the Principles You Know We Didn't Get There by Himself Right. You Know, People Would Listen to Your Testimony If You Stood before Us Is a Healthy Lady but but Because Here in the Place You When You've Been Able to Bring Audit of the Lord in the in an Amazing Way in, so We Thank You for That and Not Wasting Your Pain and Had Been a Blessing to Many so Many, Including Me, I Talk about You All the Time Really Know That I Know I Look about, I Honored My Heroes of the Plow While When You Get to Heaven.

Johnny, What Would You like to Hear the Lord Say to You, My Husband Jim Never Talk about This Arch Said This Anywhere but John Piazza Favorite Name for Me.

She GG It's Because My Sister When I Was Little Girl Call Me Something Randy Born on Monday. Chris on Tuesday Benefit and so He Hurt My Sister Recite That Little Comedy Kinda Picked up the Jonathan Grundy and It's JG and Became GG.

I've Often Told My Friends That When I Get to Heaven I Went to See Jesus and Have Them Walk up to Me Tenderly and See the Site like She Can Say Welcome Home.

She Will Come Home GG Oh My Goodness, I Get Tears in My I Even Thinking about It and I Hope He Says Okay and You Got to Help Me. I'm so Sorry I Am a Quadriplegic Lungs and Work Real Well, but I Hope That Don't Be Alarmed and Calls 911. Just Again I Got a Set Me up Sweetheart Okay There You Thank You Hon I My Best Audiovisual Aid.

Then I Want to Hear Jesus Say Well to Well Done Johnny. You Were Trustworthy and A Few Things Now to Put You in Charge of 10 Cities. No Thank You. Just Take a Little My Little Mention, but I Hear Those Words. Well Done Good and Faithful Saying That in Your Book Have in Your New Home. You Write This Know about Our New Bodies. No More Bulging Muscles or Balding Tops. I'm Happy about That.

Know Varicose Veins Are Crows Feet Member.

This No More Cellulite or Support Hose. Forget Those Thunder Thighs and Highway Hit High School. What Was in the Five Hole Because I Was so Good on Lacrosse Team You're Going so No More Thunder Thighs and Highway Have Physically a Quick Leapfrog over the Tombstone in the Body You've Always Dreamed of Fit and Trim, Smooth and Sleek and That's Our Hope and Let Me Just Close with This Question Johnny Someone's Listening to You Right Now and You Know Maybe They're Disabled They're Basing the Tragedy May Be. Everything Is Kind of Going Well, Relatively Online, but the Biggest Problem of All Is That Sin That Separates Us from God.

They See You Talking about Your Faith in Jesus and How He Gives Her the Strength for Each Day in the Hope That You Have of Having the Hope That We All Have so Some If You Write No Wonders How Can I Have That Faith. How Can I Have Jesus in My Heart in a Way I Have a Relationship with God like Johnny Has What Would You Say That That Person While Asked Simon If You Come Tonight. Dragged Here by Your Elbow by Your Christian Friend and You Weren't Sure You Wanted to Come but You Been Sitting There and the Things That Greg and I Have Been Saying I Warmed Your Heart You Know There's Something That Has the Ring of Truth and What Were Saying and Your Heart Is Being Warned and Eight May Annis Not Greg Talking Is the Holy Spirit, God Is Bending over Backward to Bring You Home and There's No Better Time to Come Home Then at Christmas Shifts so I Would Just Encourage You to Certainly Celebrate the Advent of Jesus. A Baby in a Manger, but Remember That the Cradle Always Leads to the Cross. Look at the Cross of Calvary and See a Savior Who Has Rescued You Already from Your Sins All You Need to Do Is Trust a Minute. I Believe in Foreign and Invite His Holy Spirit to Sit on the Throne of Your Heart As You Confess Your Sentencing Jesus, I Want to Follow My Old Way of Doing Things I Don't Want to Be the Stiffnecked Stubborn Person That My Husband Knows I Am and Not Not for Me. I Want to Change. I Want You to Change Me, Gave Me New Life and You and Then Give Me the Power to Wake up Tomorrow Morning Trusting You in a Fresh New Way and You'll Be on Your Way Home When You Put Your Hand in the Hand of Christ.

For Those of You Who Are Christians.

Perhaps God Is Calling You to Rise to Some New Fresh Level of Confidence in Christ You Are Tired of a Mediocre Christian Walk You My Rise to a New Level of Trust and Confidence in Him Get Get in the Practice of Getting Actively Engaged in Your Own Site Vacation Every Single One. Be Intentional about the Way You Live Tomorrow.

Think about Think about the Choice.

Think about the Choices You're Making. Think about the Words before They Come off Your Tongue Tied to the Sins That He Died for on His Cost for You As a Means to Become like a Minute. Staff Daily Pick up Your Cross and Died to the Sins That He Died for on His Cross for You and My Goodness, Your Soul Will Be Able Use Will Be so Much Better Pond to the Heart of Your Savior Your Heart to Get Beat Meeting in Rhythm with His. And before You Know It Is Joy Because He Shook Shares His Joy on His Terms. In His Terms Call for Us to in Some Measure Sulfur As His Own Son Suffered When He Walked on Earth. So Get Your Heart Beating in Britain with His and before You Know It Is Joyous on the Spillover Heavens Walls Splash up in Your Heart Ever Fessed up to Others in the Static Encouragement of River of Encouragement and Advice up Back to the Lord in a Fountain of Praise to Live That Way I Learned up Side down. Hallelujah. Let's Think Johnny Erickson Got Everybody Greg Laurie Here.

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