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Showing 1-10 of 579 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 682 reviews
on August 5, 2017
This is a really beautiful and heartwarming story of a couple who have gone through much difficulty and through leaning on Jesus, have grown as people and in their love for one another. Ken's evolution into a more involved, loving, and sacrificial partner is particularly redemptive and instructive. However, I felt the book focused a lot more on him and his inner life and growth as a man than it did on Joni's; I left the book feeling that I'd gotten to know him more than her. Maybe that's just personal perception, but he felt more "real", whereas I felt I got to know more about Joni's physical condition than who she is as a person and a wife. I confess to wondering if a bit of the desire to preserve her as a role model prevented more in-depth exploration, or if she really just is that saintly.

I'm giving the book four stars because the author's writing style is, I felt, a bit flowery, effusive, repetitive, and embellished. I felt the author often had the urge to explain and interpret things, rather than allowing action and events to tell the story. I prefer a more straightforward writing style, and often, his prose feels like trying to peer through translucent lace curtains at a scene. Another issue was, and this is probably due to privacy concerns on the part of the authors, while the questions of Ken and Joni's sex life and whether they will be able to have children are raised, they are never answered. I understand the reluctance, but face it, this is what most people reading a book about a love story of a paraplegic will be wondering. I think that's normal curiosity, and it felt odd to hint at them while never answering them. I think it could have been done in a sensitive and non-graphic way, and it was disappointing it wasn't attempted. I don't think that's prurient interest, just a normal part of telling a story like this.

All that said, this is a beautiful love story of two ordinary people dealing with extraordinary circumstances, leaning on Jesus, and being transformed through it. Well worth the read, especially for the story of Ken, who comes across as the quiet but shining star of the story. Very heartwarming.
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on May 23, 2017
Marriage is tough under normal circumstances but imagine being married to someone with a disability. This book shows the trials and tribulations of just such a marriage but also shows the love between this couple.
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on January 29, 2014
Joni and Ken Tada have been a couple that have inspired me for years. I was first introduced to Joni Earkenson in the movie she made of her diving accident where she broke her neck as a teen. She reenacted her part in the movie; where her life fell apart and in the recovery she found Jesus. He gave her so many talents from painting with her teeth, to singing, speaking and writing books. She encouraged me and many others in her radio show Joni and Friends. Her passion for what the Lord called her to do show on her face, in her voice and everything she did.

I watched a video clip of Joni and Ken where they discussed this book. Joni says she hopes by sharing their story and how God moved in their lives even through cancer that a couple would say hey if they can make it with all they have going on maybe my problems aren't so bad. If God will be with them and move in an unexpected way He’ll do the same for them. They’ll have hope and courage to face anything with God.

“This is God’s universal purpose for all Christians suffering: more contentment in God and less satisfaction in the world.” Statement by John Piper

I know that this couple and their testimony encouraged me as I began reading this while in the ICU unit with my youngest son as he battled to recover from a double ear infection, the flu and pneumonia. As with Joni this was not our first time to the hospital. This child came out early and had a few more obstacles to overcome than most just like Joni.

Tears ran down my face as I read how Joni and Ken met and how Joni went to the Doctors was told she had breast cancer. I read this by Joni, “Cancer hadn't felt like a gift in the beginning…no, not at all.” (wait a minute did I just read the word gift? I double checked – yes!) She goes on to tell how they reacted to the news and how they came up with a plan of treatment. They were both surprised at their initial reactions to the news.

Joni continued, “In just a blink or two, you’re swept along in another direction, toward another destination. Some-where you couldn't have foreseen. Somewhere you never intended to go… That’s what this day was like…the freeway had divided, and Joni was being whisked away in a new direction fast. Toward what? …Where?.....Her life would change forever getting worse or better, nothing would be the same after this…what next? We live in a society that runs away from tough stuff, divorces loved ones that are sick or puts them away in a home, it’s hard to face the tough stuff day in and day out.

Ken thought, “They had been married 28 years, traveled together on six continents. But this was uncharted territory; off the edge of any map they had ever seen! God saw the whole map of their lives, right to the very edges and beyond. He could handle any dragons. Even ones with a name like cancer, later Joni would said, “Cancer, she told her self, not without a note of wonder, was a gift!”

After the shared about how they heard the news, their first reactions and deciding on the treatment plan; the book flashes back to how they first met. How they thought about marriage, ministry and in the mix they both shared their testimonies! It was neat to learn how God worked separately in their lives and then brought these two people together.

Ken Tada stepped up to be the warrior God made him to be as they faced cancer. Joni allowed her husband to love her and be there for her in a new way. This couple shared their spiritual journey in a very personal, inspirational, and transparent way, revealing their highs and lows in the battle. Through the trials of chemo and surgery God’s love blossomed in them and between them. What the enemy meant to take them out God meant it for there good and something a little more! That was the blessing!

Was it easy? No. Was it painful and scary? Yes. Was it worth pressing into God and each other to make it thru? Yes. I highly recommend this story for everyone! It will give you a new outlook on life, relationships and love. A must read.

I’m thankful for the review copy of a book that answers the question, “What does it mean when someone says; God has healed me from the inside out? How can I let God touch the hurts in my heart and be healed?”

Denise says, “You can only live with your heart shut down for so long. Eventually you will fight for your healing or you will die… Some even find God when their lives fall apart!....Sometimes a person has to die in order to really live. ..Hungry for something real?.. (tired of just going through the motions of life and feeling numb inside?) Want to feel alive? Seek whatever helps you rediscover that carefree childlike heart I know is in there somewhere – that is what you should be doing to Feel Alive!”

This is a walk Denise’s characters have gone on and/or just started down the path. I enjoyed this cast so much, they are fun, bold and each have been knocked around by life. Each has a different result and story to tell.

Scarlett Jo is a Pastor’s wife that’s fun and doesn’t care what people think about her. Denise writes, “Scarlett Jo hadn’t simply survived her life. She had learned how to live in spite of it- and not to worry too much about the perceptions of others.”

Scarlett Jo is fun loving, free spirited and an inspirational person! I loved her voice and her outlook on life she says, “Oh, child do you not know about couponing?...I’m feeding a pack of wolves at my house. If I didn’t know how to coupon, my children would have had to eat me by now. But if you ever want to learn how to do it, you just let me know. It is crazy girl! I can go to a store and leave and they’ve paid me money.” (I want to learn – teach me! Teach Me! Grin!)

The characters in this novel welcome you in as family. They’re situations will tug at your heart. What I love about Denise’s books are this, you’ll be having a good time reading then all of a sudden she cleverly interweaves spiritual truths that pierce your heart, make you stop and think. Denise will help you “See lies you believe.” You’ll laugh out loud and get teary eyed in parts of this story, a winning combination.

I really liked Scarlett Jo’s husband too he says, “I watch people. I take in people. And to be honest, I learn a great deal about them by what they don’t say.”

I highly recommend this novel and the non-fiction companion book called Reclaiming your Heart! It’s a win win combination. A book you’ll want to put on your summer reading list. Did I mention I just love the cover of this book too! It’s a keeper!

Disclosure of Material Connection: #AD Sponsor
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins
The Book Club Network blog
Book Fun Magazine
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on April 29, 2017
A beautiful account, with the beauty born only in and through suffering while clinging to Christ. And they don't sugar-coat the suffering, or hide the depression.
Yes, you will love Joni and Ken more at the end, but that is only incidental. You will love Christ more at the end of this book, and that is of eternal significance!
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on February 11, 2014
One rarely stops to ponder how life would change if a tragic accident was to occur, resulting in limited mobility or even the loss of it. Even when one does wonder, it's impossible to imagine exactly how one would feel, or react, in such circumstances.

Joni Eareckson's accident happened before I was born so I have never known her to be anything except a faith-filled Christian quadriplegic. After learning that she had gotten married, I wanted to see what it was like inside such a marriage - knowing on many levels there would be challenges an average couple would not face.

I wasn't disappointed. I could feel both Joni's and Ken's emotions - and the reasons behind each at different points during their marriage. Joni & Ken provided an inside glimpse - an honest portrayal - of what life inside of their marriage was, as is, like. They didn't try to paint a rose-colored picture to always make us smile; they shared with us their triumph and their trials.

I would definitely recommend this title to Christian couples who feel their marriage is doomed. It's an eye-opener and just might be the inspiration a marriage might need to put a couple's commitment to each other back on track.
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on June 7, 2017
I had no idea how much paraplegics continue to suffer and the many challenges they face. I am glad these two have kept it together, but it's not for the faint of heart. Joni is always praised as such an icon and a hero, but Ken is a seriously amazing person too. How blessed she is to have him!
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on June 24, 2017
A revealing love story that shares their very difficult challenges, with all the highs and lows. My admiration for her deepens, but the man who loves and shares her life is awesome. Would that we all could share such a love.Highly recommend.
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on July 24, 2016
I've read some books on relationships and some for Christians. They've usually expounded on the word of God which is needed! But this book was a raw, genuine encounter with a couple that has gone through so much. As a married woman, I'm blessed and encouraged to read these testimonials. It also challenges me as to what it means to"surrender all"to jesus.

They teach me about hope. They teach me about patience. They teach me about what loving my spouse really means. Ken and Joni are an inspiration to me and I hope that it will also teach us all a few things no matter where we are in our relationships with our spouse.
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on November 20, 2014
Having read many of Joni's other works, I enjoyed this, but I was glad I bought it used for a couple of dollars. It was interesting to learn of Ken's struggles with depression and the Christian growth in their marriage resulting from Joni's physical health struggles. The book contains some material from earlier books as well, but even so, I was encouraged by the challenges they have gone through and overcome. Recommend for all married Christians and Joni fans.
Good title for this book. Truly the book tells of how the love of Jesus Christ has infused their marriage in the later part of their lives together in spite of the many intense situations they endure.
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on August 18, 2017
She had quadriplegic for many years before meeting Ken. As the years of marriage began to get Ken down Joni was struck with another physical trial--- Chronic Pain.
Then she developed breast cancer and a terrible bout of pneumonia.

This story inspires me more in my own journey of faith in Jesus Christ.
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