It started with a book

Earlier today on Bellshill Salvation Army Band’s Facebook page I shared the devotions I shared at band practice last night. I’d like to share those devotions with you tonight.

A few weeks ago at our YP annual and prize-giving, we witnessed each of our young folk being presented with a book that was specifically chosen for them. It reminded me of some of the books I received as prizes during YP annuals at Rutherglen Salvation Army. Of the many books I received over the years, there’s only two of those books that I still possess – one was my ‘last prize’, a bible, and the other, a book that at the time, I wondered why I it was chosen for me, as it just wasn’t the kind of book I would normally read. Little did I realise then that this book, which initially I didn’t think I’d ever read, was a book that once I started reading it, captured my attention, touched my heart and ultimately made me realise how much I had to be grateful to God for.

The book in question is one you may have read – It was called ‘Joni’. Here’s the synopsis on the back cover of the book.

At seventeen, Joni Eareckson suffered a diving accident that left her totally paralyzed from the neck down.

The story of her struggle to accept and adjust to her handicap and find meaning in life is told in this unforgettable autobiography.

Joni is now a dramatic motion picture from World Wide Pictures starring Joni as herself.

“My own life… and the lives of millions who know her through her books and artwork . . . have been enriched by the remarkable depth of her faith, and have been awed by her great reservoir of courage.



When I received this book, I was about the same age as Joni was when she suffered her life-changing accident. Maybe that’s why I was so captivated by what happened to her, the many challenges she faced, and how she her faith gave her the courage and strength to keep going.

Sine then I have read a number of Joni’s books, and have continued to follow her Christian journey. For my daily devotions I often find myself turning to daily devotional on the ‘Joni & Friends‘ website which was established to address the needs of families affected by disability.

I’d like one of those short devotionals with you just now – It’s entitled, ‘An Impact For Years’.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

In his second letter, the apostle Peter writes, “Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” We’ve all heard the adage that God looks at the last two thousand years as a couple of days gone by, but what about viewing each day as a thousand years? 

In God’s great wisdom and power, he can take one day of our lives and give it a thousand years’ worth of impact. We should never underestimate even the smallest opportunities to serve others in the name and power of Jesus Christ. Writing a note, making a call, helping with a task, or offering a sympathetic, listening ear may resound more of God’s glory than you or I could possibly imagine. And investing a few minutes in heartfelt prayer for someone is far, far mightier than we might comprehend. In fact, the echoes roll on forever. 

Daily devotions on Joni and Friends website

I wonder if those who chose that book for me, ever imagined that all these years later I’d still recall the impact it had on my life then, and how even now, I’d still be reading devotions written by Joni!

We may feel at times that our words and actions, and even our prayers are pointless and don’t help anyone. But just as Joni said in the devotions I read a minute ago, we should never underestimate the impact our words, actions and prayers may have on someone’s life, not just at the time, but for years to come.

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