Welcome to the Simply Joyful Podcast
We are kicking off Season 5 with a very special conversation with Craig Johnson, author of Champion: How One Boy's Miraculous Journey Through Autism is Changing the World. I just know you are going to be so encouraged. Be sure to listen in and check out all the show notes below.
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This Week's Encouraging Episode with Craig!
How to be a Champion in the Lives of Special Needs Kids
I can say pretty confidently, without taking a poll or looking up stats, that most of us know at least one family who has a child who has special needs or disabilities. Maybe your family has a child who has received a diagnosis of some type. April is national Autism Awareness Month. I know it’s now May, but why not keep it going a bit.
This season is starting off with an amazing interview! You will laugh. You will cry. You will be completely inspired in your parenting! I have Craig Johnson on the show today and he’s sharing his family’s story and all about the impact his son’s autism diagnosis impacted his family — and millions of other people! I love God stories like this.
Craig is a pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, TX. Yep, he works with Joel Osteen. Craig’s new book Champion: How One Boy's Miraculous Journey Through Autism Is Changing the World is so good and I can’t wait to give you a little taste of it in this conversation. Craig is so down-to-earth and real, I just know you are going to love this episode. Be sure to share it with a friend!
I hope you are so encouraged by this conversation with Craig Johnson! I know I was!
Quotes & Highlights from the Show!
Here are a few fun quotes from this episode. Please feel free to “click to tweet” (below) or share the images below on social media.
Fun Highlights from the Show:
- Craig shares a little about his story and how his son’s diagnosis of autism has changed his family’s life. I love the story Craig shares about what a “surprise” their son Conner was — we laughed so much.
- Craig explains how 99% of churches do not offer anything for special needs families. There’s a need for churches to step up.
- When Craig shares how his son began to speak again after years of not being able to, I had tears streaming down my face! I loved this story — and wait until you hear what his first words were — so powerful!
- I was chatting with one of my girlfriends while prepping for this interview. Her family has had two children with autism. She was saying that when they got the diagnosis it was like they entered into a new reality. She went through a low point before coming back to the truth that her child was made in the image of God and her child was created for God’s glory! It’s was so beautiful to hear her say that — and it just happened to go along with the subtitle of Craig’s book — “How One Boy's Miraculous Journey Through Autism is Changing the World.”
- I asked Craig to share a little about what has been happening in his ministry and what he’s hoping to “champion” in other families.
- One thing that Craig wrote in his book, that I thought was so good, is how Craig and his wife thought so positively through the whole situation. I loved how Craig talks about how “the enemy wants to give you a shovel and let you dig a hole with pain so deep that you can’t find your way out of it. Our shovel was autism. Your shovel may be a failed marriage, financial struggles, or sickness. But we decided early on that we were not going to let autism dictate Conner’s destiny.” I loved that! This is such a big message in Champion!
- Craig has used his son’s story to create a curriculum that is now in use in 70 different countries around the world. These Champion clubs are changing lives all over the world! You can get more information here: www.championsclub.org/
Be sure to listen to today’s listener questions — Craig had wonderful answers to this two-part question:
- What are some of the challenging everyday parts that you encounter?
- How can the body of Christ and the church better be a champion for families with special needs?
- Matthew 25:40
- John 9:1-3
- Hebrews 13:21
Also Mentioned in this Episode:
- Skill Trek!! Be sure to check out more information on our wonderful sponsor for Season 5! Skill Trek helps prepare kids and young adults for life with real skills. They have a comprehensive library of over 500 life skills and counting! You can get 15% off an annual membership with the coupon code: CLOVER15 (coupon expires June 30th).
- The Simply Joyful Membership Site!! Don't miss all the fun things that are going on on the membership site! We are upping our game!
…& don't forget to grab yourself a mug!
Whether you are a coffee or tea drinker, you will love this adorable Simply Joyful Mug! The back is equally inspiring with Nehemiah 8:10 written out. When you get your Simply Joyful Podcast mug, be sure to take a picture of it and use #SimplyJoyfulPodcast or #SimplyJoyfulMug. I'd love to see them!
Check them out HERE!
Help Get the Word Out…
My prayer is that this podcast would be a blessing to all who hear it. If you enjoy this podcast, it would be such a blessing to have you “Subscribe” to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher and leave me a rating and review. This helps the podcast to rank in iTunes and be more “visible” for people searching for new podcasts to listen to. If you wanted to share this episode with friends or on social media, I've created several great images that are share-worthy. Thanks!
How to Listen to The Simply Joyful Podcast!
If you are new to the concept of listening to podcasts, then “Wow!” are you in for a treat. It's kind of like an OnDemand radio station. They are so easy to listen to when you are on the go running errands or shuttling kids or just getting projects done around the house. My favorite time to listen to my favorite podcasts is while I'm out for a walk or folding laundry.
1) Subscribe to the Podcast! You won't miss an episode when you subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher. You can always access the podcast from either of these venues by searching for “Simply Joyful Podcast.”
2) Listen on your Phone! This is my preferred method of listening. If you have an iDevice (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch), then you can listen on Apple's purple podcast app that comes on your device. If you have a non-iDevice, then Stitcher Radio is great to use. You can easily search for podcasts, subscribe, and — my favorite part — speed up the audio.
3) Listen right here on my Website! Super simple! All you have to do is just click on the play button on the podcast player located at the top of this post.
A Special Thanks to…
Rend Collective for allowing me to use their incredible song “The Joy of the Lord is My Strength.” This song has so much special meaning to me and it highlights the theme verse for my podcast — Nehemiah 8:10. Be sure to check out their music! They are such a fun band to listen to…and to see live.
Connect with Craig Johnson…
Pastor Craig Johnson is currently the Director of Ministries at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He oversees all pastoral ministries and staff and travels throughout the year, speaking to organizations about the reality of special needs families and the hope God has for them. In 2009, Craig launched the Champions Club, a state of the art facility for special needs kids that features a physical therapy room, spiritual therapy room, sensory room, and an educational room. He is the co-creator of Champions Curriculum for special needs families and is the author of the book Lead Vertically. As an enthusiastic advocate for special needs children, Craig firmly believes the best is yet to come. Craig is married to Samantha and they have three children: Cory, Courtney, and Connor.
Here's a sweet picture of Craig and his family!
Connect with Kristi…
I hope you enjoyed this week's podcast! My prayer is always that you will be blessed and encouraged by each episode.
Blessings and joy,