What does it take to live God’s dream for your life? Well, it begins with one word – Surrender. That word is a powerful catalyst that can redefine your life in ways you could never imagine. And no one knows this better than our own Joni Lamb. Her dreams began as a young girl singing in her bedroom, a hairbrush as her microphone. Today, the microphones are no longer imaginary, and she ministers to countless people all over the world through music and her daily talk show, Joni Table Talk. This month Joni will reach her 2000th episode. So, we sat down with her to find out more about what started her on this journey as well as what drives her to continue taking on tough topics and sharing testimonies that transforms lives:
Q: Joni, take us back to those first days in Christian Television in Montgomery, Alabama. How did you view your role in the beginning?
A: Well, in those early days when we were building that first station, I was pregnant with Jonathan. And being that we were young evangelists, I would be the one who would sing before Marcus preached. So I was comfortable with that role, and while we were still building the station, I honestly didn’t know the role I would play except that I would probably sing. But as the station got built and I had Jonathan – they coincided because Jonathan was born 7 days after we came on the air – but as we started to build the set, Marcus said, “I want you to be on with me.” And then I’m like, “What? Well, I thought you were going to do that.” He said, “No, I need you to be up here with me.” And I was like, “Well, I don’t know what to say.” But Marcus really felt strongly about it, and he said, ‘This is important because more women watch Christian Television, and it’s just important that we be together.” In hindsight, it was obviously the right thing to do, but at that moment, I just felt sick to my stomach honestly. And so those first few months, I would go out of obedience. I didn’t say very much. I was really quiet. And finally, one afternoon, I just felt my stomach churning and was thinking, “I cannot do this.” And then I felt the Holy Spirit say, “Hey, I’ll make a deal with you. You go and just be yourself, and I’ll give you what to say. And we’ll just do this together.” And from there onward, that’s what I did, and that’s what I still do today.
Q: As you started speaking up, was there ever a point where you questioned if you were qualified to do what you were doing?
A: You know, honestly, I don’t think that anyone ever feels totally qualified to do something like this, but I think when you know that the Holy Spirit is going along with you then it gives you more confidence. But the truth is God knows what gifts you have, and sometimes we don’t even know our own gifts. He knew that I was a good listener. He knew I was curious. He knew I loved to hear people’s testimonies. And He knew that I loved people. And you put that combination together, and that’s someone that can maybe be used in Christian Television. So, and it didn’t happen overnight, but once I started talking and asking questions and got more comfortable, then I think that gift started coming out more and more.
Q: After building the station in Montgomery, you and Marcus were led to move to Dallas and start building what would become Daystar. How did this new chapter open the door for your own program?
A: For a season it was just Marcus and myself hosting a program together, but once we moved to Dallas, he could see the interest that I had, especially in personal testimonies and also certain righteous causes that I was very passionate about. And he said, ‘You need to do your own show.’ So, Marcus has always been in the background pushing and encouraging me. He’s always been my biggest cheerleader in all of this. And so, we started Taking A Break with Joni, and my first guest was Ruth Ward Heflin – she had been a prophetic voice in our lives. She had spoken over us that if we would not be ashamed of the Holy Spirit or revival that God would take us all around the world. And that was when we were just one station in Dallas, TX, and I remember not being able to even imagine doing that at the time. Well, she was my first guest, and I was just so impressed with her life – of course she’s with the Lord now. But we talked specifically about the glory, and she really taught me a lot about that. And since then, I’ve gotten to interview so many remarkable people, and we’ve gotten to share some amazing testimonies. And then I felt like the season of doing a show on my own had come to an end. So, we transitioned into our current format, Joni Table Talk, and of course, we have continued taking on topics that are close to the Lord’s heart like abortion, marriage, and identity as well as testimonies of God’s love and power. One testimony that still stands out in my mind is Dr. Howard Storm. He was an atheist college professor who died, and he called out on the name of the Lord in his last moments as his spirit was separating from his body. Just his whole story of being someone who was so cynical and wounded and hated Christianity, and yet in that moment, Jesus rescued him out of darkness, taking him outside the gates of heaven. And he thought to himself, I can’t believe he did this for me. And then Jesus, speaking almost telepathically, said, “I’ve loved you every day of your life.” I’ll never forget that.
Q: You’ve completed 2000 episodes at this point, what is your vision for the next thousand?
A: I really want to stay focused on Bible prophecy, because I really do believe we are at the end of the End Times. And so, I’m very interested to hear what prophetic voices are saying, and I want to prepare people for the End Time revival and the coming of the Lord. I want to focus on that and information that is truth that you may not hear on secular news outlets due to their relationship with advertisers. But the main thing is getting people ready for the coming of the Lord, because as John Paul Jackson said, it’s an honor that we’ve been chosen to live at the end of the End. So, preparing people would be my main goal for the next 1000 shows.
Be sure to tune in to Joni Table Talk on July 20th-21st as we celebrate Joni’s 2,000th episode! In this special two-part show, Joni will take a look back at starting her show, interviewing exciting and anointed guests, and the unforgettable moments along the way!
And remember, you can watch Joni Table Talk every weekday at 2am, 7am, and 8:30pm ET – only on Daystar!