Our Role Models

  • July 14, 2017
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Everyone needs a role model to look up to and Ken and I are so thankful to have had Al and Margaret Sanders as great examples for us to followed. 

Our Role Models

Don’t you love introducing your best friends to others?

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada (and I am Ken Tada) and welcome to "Joni and Friends," Ken Tada.

Ken: Thank you, Joni.

Joni: So glad you’re here. And you know, you and I love connecting our listeners with the people in our lives who mean the world.

Ken: And today, we have some special, special friends. We have Al and Margaret Sanders in the studio.

Joni: Absolutely! Al is the one who, back more than 35 years ago, told me that I should share my story on the radio. Do you think I’ve been doing an OK job?

Al: I think you’ve been doing pretty well.

Joni: Back then, Al was president of Ambassador Agency, that’s the Christian media group that handles Joni and Friends. And Al, bless your heart, you cast a vision for me that I was just way too insecure to believe back then. Do you remember that day?

Al: Of course I do. And it wasn’t hard at all to come to that conclusion, Joni.

Joni: Well, you and your son-in-law, John Campbell, one of the leaders at Ambassador, came up to my home because I was in bed with pressure sores.

Al: I remember that well.

Joni: It was a pretty depressing time, but you and John sat by my bedside and you told me that I should be on the radio.

Al: Absolutely! We wanted to challenge you because there wasn’t anything like what you do every day on these radio stations across America—and there still isn’t anything other than what you do.

Joni: Thank you, Al. We also have another special guest in the studio: Margaret, welcome.

Margaret: Thank you. It’s wonderful to be here.

Joni: Absolutely! How long have you and Al have been married?

Margaret: Sixty-nine years!

Joni: Wow! Amazing! Both of you are in your 90’s.

Al: That makes us 180!

Joni: If you added it together I guess it would. And you know, Ken and I really look up to you two. You have amassed a wealth of knowledge about marriage. What’s the one piece of advice that you would give to young couples today?

Al: Stay with it. Too many people give up too early.

Joni: Well, it was my prayer before we went on the air that there might be some listening who, let’s say, might be contemplating separation or divorce. Sixty-nine years of marriage—Margaret speak to that. Persevering and enduring through the tough times, is that a key to longevity of marriage?

Margaret: Well I know it’s a good part of it, but I remember early on I was not exactly a “social butterfly.” But I did enjoy going to different occasions and Al liked to stay home. So, we had to agree to disagree all those years ago, and I think it's done very well for us. And I certainly have not missed out in anything in life because I didn’t get to go to some of these reunions and whatnot all through these years.

Ken: You know, I’m just curious, Joni, what keeps it fresh in their lives after 69 years?

Al: Be together every day. Pray together every day. Have a list of things and people for whom you're praying.

Joni: And you actually have a folder.

Margaret: Absolutely!

Joni: I’m glad that Ken and I are in it.

Al: Well, you're a part of our family.

Joni: Thank you. Every couple should have somebody else praying for them, shouldn’t they?

Margaret: Absolutely! And thank the Lord for His great goodness. Each day is a gift and we thank Him for that. And every morning we read the scripture that is mentioned in your devotional.

Al: “Spectacle of His Glory” by Joni Eareckson Tada.

Joni: Are you two are actually using that devotional?

Al: Absolutely! Every day, and what I thoroughly enjoy are the closing prayers that you have on each page. Those are so beautiful and applicable, not only to the material you have written, but to our own personal situations.

Joni: Well, that means the world to me. I want to thank you both for being such excellent examples of what it means to trust God, lean on Jesus, and serve Him faithfully day-after-day, year-after-year, logging in almost 70 years of marriage together. Thank you, Al, and thank you, Margaret, for the many years of investment in Christ’s kingdom.

Ken: Real role models and at a time when we need role models like you guys. We love you, Al and Margaret!

Al and Margaret: We love you, too.

Joni: And friend listening, if you would like to pray for Ken and me and the others concerned with Joni and Friends, you can do so by just asking on our radio page at joniandfriends.org. We’ll be certain to put you on the list to receive our monthly prayer letter.

© Joni and Friends


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