Category Archives: Book Reviews

Noah, A Wordless Book

When my youngest daughter was 3 or 4 years old, she took a couple pages of white typing paper folded them in half and then drew some stick figured people on each half sheet.  She announced that she was making a “story book.”

After helping her put the pages together in a “book,” I asked her, “What shall we call the story?”

“The Snowman,” she replied.

There were no words in the book.  It was “a wordless book.”  In fact, there were many, many words hidden in those pages.  Often when we sat together on the sofa or the floor, she would turn the pages of her wordless book and tell me the story of the snowman.  The story was always the same, but the words she used to tell the story would change.  That little wordless book she made was the door to a magic world that only a child, or an adult guided by a child’s imagination, can inhabit.  I still have that little wordless book, both the original and photo copies.

I thought of THE SNOWMAN after receiving a review copy of Mark Ludy’s NOAH:  A WORDLESS PICTURE BOOK (New York:  Plough Publishing House, 2014).  Ludy’s NOAH is a beautifully illustrated book.  Every page is filled with colorful, detailed pictures.  The faces of Noah, Mrs. Noah, the other people, and even the animals have expressions that invite the “reader” to feel the emotions and enter into the story.

I have difficulty finding the words to express my delight with Mr. Ludy’s illustrations.  One feature I noticed that I feel enhances the book’s value is that the character’s are always very human, but generic.  By “generic” I mean they are not racial stereotypes.  After all, we have no idea what people of Noah’s day looked like, except that they were as human as we are today.  A child can believe this is Noah, without unconsciously identifying him as Euro, Afro, or whatever.

I enjoyed the book, but what about a small child, the obvious target audience?  To find out, I asked my wife to share it with a four year old friend of ours, Kingsley.   Setting together on the sofa, my wife began to turn the pages and tell the story of Noah, pointing to various details in the illustrations as she did so.  After finishing, Kingsley ask her to “read” the book again, and again, and again, until they she read it four times.  Kingsley told his mother to tell Mrs. Waibel that when she came to visit again she should bring the “Noah book” with me.

There are many good children’s books; some become classics.  I feel confident that Mark Ludy’s Noah is one that will enjoy a very long and fruitful life.

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Product DetailsThis being the 100th anniversary of World War I, or the Great War as it was known until a second great war in the middle of the century made it necessary to refer to it as World War I and the second as World War II.  Many historians point out that the two wars were really one great world war with a twenty year ceasefire separating them.  Indeed one of the best known, the late Oxford University historian A.J.P. Taylor, spoke of the two wars as the First and Second German Wars.

The 100th anniversary of what was the most significant event since the fall of the Roman Empire in the West at the end of the fifth century A.D. has caused a frenzy among book publishers.  Numerous books on every aspect of the Great War, from its causes to the failed peace that ended it, have already appeared.  We can look for many, many more to come as we relive the war over the next five years.

As one who has taught university level courses on modern European history, including specific courses on the Great War, I am not surprised by the sudden interest.  Of all the many wars in history the Great War is considered the prime example of the foolishness, the madness, and the absurdity of all wars.

There was no reason for the war.  None of the powers who at one point or the other became involved in it had any reason for going to war, except perhaps the United States.  A victory for the Central Powers would have been a financial disaster for America.  Then too, one must add the naïve bungling of an overly idealistic president with virtually no knowledge of foreign affairs, one who ignored the informed advice of his Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, to stay out of the war.  President Wilson thought he could lead the world into a future where everyone loved everyone and no one was either prideful or greedy.  The experienced and more realistic British Prime Minister David Lloyd George likened Wilson to Jesus Christ.

From the beginning of the war, historians have debated who was responsible for starting it.  It is a favorite subject of academic and popular historians alike.  Every year several books appear arguing for this or that one’s responsibility.  The consensus tends to be in line with what David Lloyd George said in his memoirs:  “The nations slithered over the brink into the boiling cauldron of war without a trace of apprehension or dismay.”  Put another way, the European great powers found themselves in a war no one wanted, with victory as the only way out.

Many individuals are seeking a book of some sort that will provide a very readable summation of all the varied aspects of the war.  I can think of no better volume than R. G. Grant’s WORLD WAR I:  THE DEFINITIVE VISUAL HISTORY FROM SARAJEVO TO VERSAILLES (New York:  DK Publishing, 2014).

As with all of DK’s publications, WORLD WAR I is a visual feast, a museum between book covers.  I can best convey my own enthusiasm for this book by quoting Publishers Weekly:  “He [Grant] presents information in an accessible manner and makes it easy to peruse a rich array of articles, detailed maps, and images. The selection of images builds a remarkable portrait of the war. This is a broad, moving, informative account of the war that’s perfect for both the young, budding historian and the well-versed WWI reader” (March 24, 2014).

Until next time, be good to all God’s creatures and always walk under the mercy.

 

 

C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Life

Whenever I pick up a book by Alister McGrath, I expect it to be interesting, informative, and a delight to read.  His most recent, If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life, meets all of my expectations.

Professor McGrath previously published a biography of C. S. Lewis, C. S. Lewis—A Life (2013), that added little more than another Lewis biography to the already long list of such.  We do not need any more biographies.

What McGrath provides for us in If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewisis an understanding of the role of a Christian worldview in answering those perennial questions of the meaning and purpose of the existence the universe and our role in it.  In brief, this is an apologetic for Christianity.  It is an argument for the relevance of Christian faith as discovered by C. S. Lewis and revealed in his writings.

As with many thinking Christians through the ages, Lewis confronted head on the limitations of using reason alone to find the meaning of life.  Reason alone must fail, because reason cannot alone prove its own reliability, or as Lewis put it in an essay titled, “The Poison of Subjectivism”:  “Unless the measuring rod is independent of the things measured, we can do no measuring.”

The answer to the dilemma, as Lewis discovered, is to find truth and meaning in “a world beyond the frontiers of reason.”  Clues to this insight are found in our interaction with the world around us, what some refer to as “general revelation.”  Meaning is found in understanding that the history of creation is a story, a metanarrative.  God’s self-revelation as found in the Bible is a story in three parts—creation, fall, and redemption.  It is not a make-believe story that begins with “Once upon a time.”  Rather it is the true myth that begins with “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (ESV).

Lewis, himself, said it best:  “Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth:  a myth working on us the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened:  and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is God’s myth where the others are men’s myths:  i.e., the Pagan stories are God expressing Himself through the minds of poets, using such images as He found there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call ‘real things’.”

If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewisis not only a good introduction to C. S. Lewis and his Christian apologetic writings but also a good introduction to Christianity.  It would be an ideal gift for those nonbelievers who have read and enjoyed The Narnia Chronicles, and who might, just might, come to know the real Aslan.

I have only one criticism.  If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis is a poor title for a very fine book.  It leads the prospective reader to expect some sort of fictional dialog between Lewis and the author.  The subtitle, Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis, would have been a better choice.

Until next time, be good to all God’s creatures, and always walk under the mercy.

Finding God in a Broken World

Whenever I hear of cruelty to women, children, or even animals, I immediately react with feelings of rage. Let me avenge these wrongs. Let me decide the fate of those who commit such atrocities. I will surely fit the punishment to the crime.

After I calm down and remind myself that in doing so I would become like those monsters I want to make suffer, a different emotion takes over. Although I was never the victim of abuse, I feel that I can identify with the victims of abuse. I can feel the pain, the fear, the despair that they, the victims, must experience. I want to cry, but most of all I ask God why he allows such evil. He is sovereign, is he not?

Theologians, preachers, and a wide variety of self-appointed spokespersons for God are quick to provide an answer. More often than not they expose their ignorance. Better to remain silent than address issues about which one is not qualified to speak. Reading a few books, especially the syrupy inspirational goo that clutters the shelves of Christian bookstores, testimonies by those who suddenly “found Jesus” and no longer need bother themselves with the challenge of living in the real world, will not do. One must get up close and experience the true banality of evil.

Holly Burkhalter is one who has earned the right to ask the really tough questions of God. She spent many years as a human rights advocate. She has seen firsthand just how depraved human beings can be towards the most vulnerable. She has seen the horrors of children of preschool age held in bondage to pimps who rent them out to adults willing to pay for the opportunity to sexually abuse them.

Ms. Burkhalter has intimate knowledge of the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Many of the victims took refuge in churches only to discover that the churches were slaughter houses. The Rwandan church leaders refused to condemn the genocide, even when it took place in the churches. The whole of Christendom remained largely silent. American Christians turned their faces away and ignored the cries of those they called “brothers and sisters in Christ.”

The Rwandan genocide was the result of human choices. Likewise is the inhuman treatment of the children enslaved in the brothels that cater to well-to-do tourists from Europe and America the result of human choices. The perpetrators of such crimes are entrepreneurs providing services that others demand and are willing to pay for.

None of us, you and I, would ever participate in such criminal activity. After all, are we not Christians living in a Christian nation founded on Christian principles by our Christian Founding Fathers? We go to “big box” retail outlets in order to fill our closets with cheap clothing we do not need, while plugging our ears to the cries and shielding our eyes from the tears of the children who work long hours under harsh conditions for pitifully small wages to produce our plenty.

Not only non-believers, as was Holly Burkhalter for much of her life, ask, “Where is God?” Many Christians also ask that question, again and again and again, as did the Old Testament prophets. There isn’t an answer. Of course, there are attempts at formulating an answer by theologians who labor long hours over biblical passages in a variety of languages, ancient and modern. But their answers fall short no matter how learned and logical they sound. Some find that no matter how hard they try, they cannot go on without some answer as to why God, the great I AM who spoke to Moses from a burning bush, sovereign over all that exists, does not intervene and deliver the justice he promises.

Ms. Burkhalter writes of Kevin Carter, a photographer who won the Pulitzer Prize for his picture of a starving Sudanese toddler lying in the dirt while a vulture waited patiently nearby. Two months later, Kevin Carter took his own life. In an attempt to explain why, he wrote, “I am depressed. . .I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain. . .of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners.”

What Burkhalter discovered, was that the awesome question of why cannot be answered. It is a mystery. But what we do know is that only the God revealed in the Bible and in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ can provide an answer for the existence of evil. No other religious or secular philosophy can do so. Why God does not do what we would do, and what we would have him do, is a question we cannot answer. We do know God is sovereign over all, and that justice will prevail, as he has promised. No injustice will go unanswered. No tear is shed that is not seen, or will not be wiped away.

In the end, “after forty-plus years of skepticism, cynicism, and doubt,” Holly Burkhalter came to the conclusion that God exists. “I know it,” she writes, “because, oddly, I see signs everywhere, including in the very places that previously seemed to be proof of the Lord’s absence, or worse, the Creator’s neglect of a battered, hungry, suffering creation.”

Until next time, be good to all God’s creatures,  and always live under the mercy.

 

Celebrating Christmas: A Review of THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS

 I wish to state at the beginning of this review that THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS: BATTLES IN FAITH, TRADITION, AND RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION (Master Books, 2013) is a very attractive, beautifully illustrated, and interesting book.  It is a book that will no doubt find a warm reception among evangelical Christians.  All of that said I wish to voice a few words of caution.

First off, one should note that the book is a product of the Answers in Genesis ministry.  The logic behind this examination of Christmas traditions and the Bible, simply put, is that a Christian’s celebration of Christmas should be a celebration of the birth of Jesus.  That assumption goes without saying.  As those popular yard signs evident everywhere at Christmas say, “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

We celebrate the birth of Jesus because God entered into history as the God-man, a space-time historical event, in order to reverse the effects of the Adam and Eve’s fall, also a space-time historical event.  It is important that there was a historical Adam and Eve, and a historical Fall, if Jesus Christ is to make any sense at all.

Where I find myself at odds with the book is when it implies that in order to believe in the historical truth of Genesis, one must accept the idea that the earth is young, that the days of creation were twenty-four hour days, and that it is possible to somehow date those events.  The logic of those involved with Answers in Genesis notwithstanding, the simple fact is that what we have in Genesis is a series of historical events, not a chronology.  Not until the call of Abram (Abraham) does Genesis intersect with verifiable history.

Another area where I find myself at odds with the book is the implication that celebrating Christmas with Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and other traditional secular Christmas icons is somehow incompatible with celebrating the birth of Jesus.  Why cannot a Christian teach children about the birth of Jesus, while at the same time pointing out that Santa Clause is a fun game that people play at Christmas?  By denying children the fun of celebrating Christmas as do most Christians is much more likely to prevent them from accepting who Jesus Christ is than putting hot chocolate and cookies out for Santa and sugar cubes for his reindeer.

Still, despite my reservations, I find THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS a worthwhile read.  I simply urge the reader to keep in mind that it is authors’ opinions, not biblical truth, regarding that wondrous holiday we call Christmas.

Fun with the Janeites

I must confess at the outset that I have never read one of Jane Austen’s novels.  Neither have I seen one of the movies based on any of her novels.  Perhaps I am missing something, but with only limited time, I choose to stay with those genres I know I like.

However, long ago I discovered the importance of knowing something about Jane Austen and her novels.  I enjoy conversations with intelligent women, and I know that there is no better way to a lady’s mind than through Jane Austen.  That lovely lady that a man wishes to know may have little, if any, interest in her admirer.  But he need only mention Jane Austen or one of the characters in one of her novels, especially Mr. Darcey, and he has her admiring attention.

Those who admire Jane Austen’s novels to the point of what some might call “obsession” are the subject of Deborah Yaffe’s delightful book, Among the Janeites: A Journey through the World of Jane Austen Fandom (Mariner Books, 2013).  They are both men and women who have read a novel or watched a movie or a miniseries based on one of the novels.  They catch a kind of “Austen virus” for which there is no cure. So, they treat the symptoms by attending meetings of one the Jane Austen societies that can be found around the world.  They dress up in regency costumes.  They go on pilgrimages to sites associated with Jane Austen’s life, or even to sites associated with one or more of the movies or miniseries based on the novels.

Ms Yaffe introduces us to some of the many colorful characters who proudly identify themselves as Janeites.  My favorite Janeite among the many that Ms Yaffe introduces the reader to is Sandy Lerner.  Ms Lerner is a kookie, hippie sort of entrepreneur who made a fortune that enabled her to indulge her obsession without limits.  She purchased Chawton House where Jane Austen once lived, sight unseen, for just under $2 million.  She then spent an additional several million rescuing the house from collapse. 

A newscaster once asked her if she was eccentric.  “I am now that I am rich,” she answered, “I used to be just weird.”

Ms. Yaffe’s style of writing helps convey the fun and excitement of those lovingly referred to as the “Janeites.”   She mentions again and again a scene from Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, in which Firth as Mr. Darcy appears in a wet shirt.  It is a scene known to make many feminine members of the audience “all hot and bothered.”

The Janeites of which Yoffe writes, and of which she is a member, are not any different than those who fill the ranks of the Baker Street Irregulars who dress up in their deer slayer hats and carry around a Sherlock Holmes calabash pipe.   They are individuals of all sorts who have fallen in love with a particular fictional character and wish to share their passion with others of similar taste.  May they live long and prosper.

America’s Forgotten Hisitory

I lived in Lynchburg, Virginia during the 1960s while in high school and college. I left after graduating from Lynchburg College in 1968. I returned eleven years later for a brief four years. During those four years I discovered things about Lynchburg’s history that I was unaware of while living there in the sixties.

I did not know, for example, that Thomas Jefferson’s summer home, Poplar Forest, was located in one of the city’s western suburbs. Neither did I know that a large house up on one of the hills overlooking the city was once the home of the doctor who gave Patrick Henry a fatal dose of mercury medicine. Dr. George Cabell warned Henry that it might be fatal, but Henry insisted on taking it. He died.

Both Popular Forest and Point of Honor are now tourist attractions; neither was when I lived in the area. My point is simply this. We often live near locations of historical significance without knowing it, often because no one ever bothered to erect a marker.

Andrew Carroll‘s very interesting book, HERE IS WHERE: DISCOVERING AMERICA’S GREAT FORGOTTEN HISTORY (New York: Crown Archetype, 2013), brings to light many interesting, and often overlooked, individuals and events in America’s history. Carroll does so by visiting the sites associated with the people and events. Often those living nearby were unaware of what took place there until Carroll showed up asking questions.

The stories uncovered by Carroll are more interesting than they are of historical importance. A visit to some “lush green bean fields” in western Indiana is the setting for an account of Horace Greeley’s involvement in an attempt to establish the utopian community known as the Grand Prairie Harmonical Association. Like other such attempts in America, and there were quite a number, GPHA failed. Nothing is left of the community, or should we say commune, except bean fields.

Not everyone would be happy with Carroll’s reviving memories of individuals or events many Americans, especially those living in their shadow, would rather remain hidden in the back of history’s closet. One example is Carroll’s visit to California’s redwoods in search of any tribute to Madison Grant, one of America’s early conservationists.

Given the popularity of environmental issues today, it is remarkable that almost no one is aware of the fact that one of the three men responsible for saving the giant redwoods of California was a man named Madison Grant. In fact, there is only a small bronze plaque in California’s Redwoods State Park that pays tribute to this great conservationist and defender of America’s natural beauty. There are three names listed on the plaque. They are Madison Grant, John C. Merriam, and Henry Fairfield Osborn, founders of the Save-the-Redwoods League.

Most of those who by some accident happen to see the plaque and read it have no idea who any of the three men were. A few do, and some of them are aghast at any mention of Madison Grant, especially in a favorable light. Why? Not only was Grant a conservationist, he was also the author of a very popular book advocating the now discredited pseudoscience known as eugenics. Eugenics was an attempt of give scientific credibility to the idea of breeding a “master race.”

Madison Grant’s book, THE PASSING OF THE GREAT RACE (1916) was not only widely read in America, but also in Germany. Many Nazi leaders and intellectuals used Grant’s book, as well as Henry Ford’s THE INTERNATIONAL JEW (1920), to give respectability to their racist theories.

HERE IS WHERE includes a great many little known historical points of interest. Not everyone will find every article equally interesting, but there is more than a little here for anyone who enjoys reading about one of the most interesting of topics, history.

HERE IS WHERE: DISCOVERING AMERICA’S GREAT FORGOTTEN HISTORY is an easy and most enjoyable read. Thank you Mr. Carroll.

Until next time, be good to all God’s creation and always walk under the mercy.

Another Novel About Zelda Fitzgerald

The May 1, 1920 issue of The Saturday Evening ...

The May 1, 1920 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, the first time Fitzgerald’s name appeared on the cover of the magazine to which he contributed for much of his life. Fitzgerald’s short story Bernice Bobs Her Hair appeared in this issue. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was for me a mistake to read Erika Robuck’s CALL ME ZELDA (New York: New American Library, 2013) after having read Therese Flower’s Z: A NOVEL OF ZELDA FITZGERALD (2013). Whereas Z kept me turning the pages, CALL ME ZELDA kept me wondering if I should continue reading. A hundred pages into the novel all I could utter is “ho hum.”

CALL ME ZELDA is the sort of novel that is enjoyed by ladies who want a somewhat romantic story to pass the time while enjoying a good cup of coffee. It is a good story, well written, but only that.

Zelda Fitzgerald is merely a supporting character in a story about Anna Howard, a nurse in a psychiatric clinic. Zelda Fitzgerald, a patient in the clinic, plays a supporting role to Anna. Other characters, like Zelda’s husband the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, move in and out of the story.

CALL ME ZELDA is a bit of light fiction, a notch or two above the cheap paperback romance novels that are cranked out like newspapers. There is really nothing to communicate to the reader any feeling of the Jazz Age. Unlike Flower’s Z, I felt that I knew nothing more about the Fitzgerald’s or the world they so colorfully inhabited than when I began reading.

In the end, I am left with the feeling that this is just a story, one in which the characters are given names that enables it to capitalize on the renewed interest in F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, an interest stirred up by the remake of the movie, THE GREAT GATSBY. Change the names of the characters, and the story would be the same.

Until next time, be good to all God’s creatures and always go under the mercy.

Zelda Fitzgerald: An Autobiographical Novel

Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I decided to read Z: A NOVEL OF ZELDA FITZGERALD by Therese Anne Fowler (New York:  St. Martin’s Press, 2013) after viewing Woody Allen’sMidnight in Paris” (not once, but three times!), visiting the grave of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald in Rockville, Maryland, and viewing once again the 1974 version of “The Great Gatsby.”  There is just something about the interwar era and its ambience which draws me to anything associated with that period.  Whatever the case, I could not resist reading Z.

The novel is written almost as an autobiography.  In fact, I had to keep reminding myself that it was, in fact, a work of fiction.  Ms. Fowler has Zelda relating the story of her life from 1918, when she first met Lieutenant Scott Fitzgerald, until Scott’s death in 1940.   The reader is able to see and experience the “Jazz Age” through the eyes and emotions of Zelda.

As I journeyed through the two decades of Zelda and Scott’s turbulent life together, I kept wondering how much of Zelda’s struggle to establish her own identity, apart from always being known as “F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife,” was true.  I felt sorrow for Zelda as she tried repeatedly to love Scott despite his obvious obsessive jealousy.  Scott himself struggled with his own doubts about his talent as writer and his fear of slipping into the shadows behind a wife whose potential success as a writer threatened his own self-image.

I felt sorrow for Zelda as she fought a mental illness that neither she nor the doctors of that time were able to understand.  Today, she would likely have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a treatable illness.  Unfortunately for Zelda the best knowledge about mental illness of that time was very limited.  Much of the treatment she apparently received was not what some someone suffering from bipolar disorder would receive today.

Although Ms. Fowler wants the reader to remember that Z:  A NOVEL OF ZELDA FITZGERALD is a work of fiction, she does inform us of the extensive research she undertook in order to write the novel.

There is one quote attributed to Ernest Hemingway, whether in fact so or a creative invention of Ms. Fowler’s, that I feel sums up the ambience of that period for which Scott coined the descriptive term, “the Jazz Age.”  “Nature tests you, and if it finds you worthy, it lets you live another day.”  In reality, all the glitz and glamor associated with the Jazz Age was only an illusion that hid the pain felt by a generation wounded by the Great War and all that followed from it.  Perhaps the Jazz Age was a distraction, an attempt to ignore psychological pain.

I seldom read novels, but when I do, I want one that is more than just a story, a brief diversion from everyday boredom.  Therese Anne Fowler’s Z:  A NOVEL OF ZELDA FITZGERALD fit the bill, and so I award it five stars.

Until next time, be good to all God’s creatures and always walk under the mercy.

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A Love that Endures

Cover of "Joni: An Unforgettable Story"

Cover of Joni: An Unforgettable Story

JONI & KEN: AN UNTOLD LOVE STORY by Ken & Joni Eareckson Tada (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1213) is a book that answers many questions. Those of us, who have followed Joni Eareckson’s life since the appearance of her autobiography and the movie based upon it, have wondered what life must really be like for her, and since her marriage in 1982, her husband Ken Tada. Now we are able to see, understand, and be inspired by a marriage that must have been, as they say, “made in heaven.”

Joni’s story is familiar to many, especially Christians. Born in 1949, a diving accident in the Chesapeake Bay in 1967 left her a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down. Her struggle with pain and depression as she learned to accept the reality of her future is told in her autobiography, JONI (1976) and JONI (1779), the feature film based upon it.

Her public life and ministry since then is well known. She founded a Christian ministry, Joni and Friends, devoted to providing practical and spiritual support for individuals suffering with disabilities of various kinds and their families. Over the years she has authored 48 books, including 2 award-winning children’s books. She has made too many public appearances to count, and used every form of media to bring comfort and encouragement to those suffering and understanding to those of us more fortunate.

In 1982, Joni married Ken Tada. All sorts of questions now flooded the minds of her admiring public. Why? Why would a healthy, athletic man marry a woman, a very beautiful woman, but a woman in a wheelchair? What sort of life can they have together? How will he be able to deal with her disability day after day, year after year? How will he be able to deal with her inevitable periods of depression, providing encouragement and strength rather than pity? In short, what will their life together be like, when they don’t have to be always smiling and cheerful in front of the cameras?

JONI & KEN: AN UNTOLD LOVE STORY is the story of an enduring love, a love based upon commitment to one another, and most importantly, a commitment to Jesus Christ, the one who has promised to be our rock, and the one who is ever faithful to his promises.

Until next time, be good to all God’s creatures and always walk under the mercy.