Are you ready for a positive pick-me-up? If so, you’re in luck, as we’re back with this week’s top 10 most heartwarming, inspirational and edifying stories. You can check them out below, in no particular order:
1. First and foremost, we told you the story of a U.S. veteran who lost both of his legs in 2010 when he stepped on an improvised explosive while serving in Afghanistan. Now, Staff Sgt. Joey Jones is providing hope to fellow veterans by sharing the story of how he overcame adversity, including undergoing more than two dozen surgeries. He explained: “Learning to adapt and overcome, that’s what the Marine Corps is all about.”
Woke up this morning w/ my head filled with hope and my heart filled with pride-Today, I celebrate my brothers and sisters! #VeteransDay2016
— Johnny (Joey) Jones (@Johnny_Joey) November 11, 2016
2. While we’re talking about the military, did you catch this Navy couple’s viral — and inspirational — photo? It features Navy sailor Lamarr Hall planking with his wife and fellow sailor, LeShaina, lying on his back while holding their 1-year-old daughter, Mia – all while wearing matching Navy blue uniforms (bonus: Former president George W. Bush has also been painting portraits of veterans, as we previously reported).
3. And last but not least on the military front is our story about the real-life man at the center of Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” — a biography on renowned World War II war hero Desmond Doss, a man credited with saving the lives of at least 75 soldiers. Doss, a Seventh-day Adventist, was able to find success and exhibit heroism on the battlefield as a military medic while simultaneously refusing to carry a weapon or kill anyone — personal pledges predicated upon his religious convictions. Read more about his incredible story here.
3. Then there’s our interview with renowned Disney animator Mark Henn, who has worked on projects like “Winnie the Pooh,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Enchanted,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin” and “The Lion King,” among others. Henn, a Christian, told Faithewire about his deep faith and how he believes “God’s grace” has granted him such a robust and successful career. Check it out.
4. We’ve also covered some of the bittersweet stories coming out of Iraq, including Christians’ triumphant return to churches and holy sites that have been desecrated by the Islamic State in the region. See some of the stunning and emotional photos.
5. And yes, the election is behind us — but that doesn’t mean we won’t be talking about the impact for eons to come. Consider the analysis the YouVersion Bible app conducted for Faithwire, exploring the most searched key terms in the app during the three days after the election versus the same three days the week before.
The take-away? “Outside the typical search terms, the number one increase we saw was people searching for what scripture says about praying for our leaders, which was encouraging,” Bible app founder Bobby Gruenewald said. “We believe prayer is powerful and moves the heart of God. The Bible has a lot to say about prayer.”
6. And this little hero is just too awesome not to include: Two-year-old Ethan Faria, who lost his limbs due to a bacterial infection, has been immortalized as a storybook superhero with magic legs. It was Faria’s incredible story of perseverance that inspired the book, titled “Marley & Maverick Find Ethan’s Magic Legs.”
7. A birth mother recently reunited for the first time with the daughter she put up for adoption 62 years ago — an emotional meeting that came after the child’s decades-long search for her mom. “I gave her up,” 85-year-old Goldie Waltman told WPMG-TV. “And it was the hardest thing I ever did in my life.” See their inspirational reunion.
8. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) stunned many when she announced in June 2013 that she and her husband were “praying for a miracle” after doctors diagnosed her unborn baby with Potter’s Syndrome, a fatal disorder. Despite reportedly being advised to consider an abortion, Beutler forged on with her pregnancy and delivered Abigail Rose Beutler on July 15, 2013 — a baby who has remarkably defied the odds.
9. And if you’re looking to be empowered, consider checking out our coverage of VidAngel, a streaming service that lets you and your family censor sex, violence and expletives from your favorite films and TV shows before watching. It’s a dream service for families who want to enjoy entertainment without being forced to listen to or view smut and other negative content.
10. Oh, and if you’re looking for the best way to tell Bible critics why the scriptures aren’t contradictory — and don’t endorse things like stoning — considering reading this analysis (hint: it’s all about understanding the differences between the Old and New Testaments).
That’s it for this week’s inspirational recap. Tune-in next week for more.
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