We’re back with the most inspiring, faith-affirming and fascinating stories from the past week. Let’s get started:
1) Cleveland Cavaliers star J.R. Smith’s baby daughter, Dakota, continues to defy the odds. Two months after Smith and his wife, Jewel, announced that Dakota was born a staggering five months premature, the baby is now nearly 3 pounds and no longer needs a breathing tube. Here’s the story.
2) And an inspiring scene unfolded last Wednesday night inside Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, just before Team Puerto Rico faced-off against Team USA in the final game of the World Baseball Classic championship. The entire Puerto Rican team gathered in the dugout for what has been described as a lengthy and very public prayer — a moment that inspired and encouraged some of the audience members.
3) A woman in California found the best way to make up for her rude treatment of a Starbucks barista the day before. She handed him a card; inside was a hand-written apology letter and a $50 bill. Talk about humility and goodwill.
4) Famed Muslim-turned-Christian apologist Nabeel Qureshi has explained over the years how spiritual visions and dreams led him to accept Jesus, but amid his most recent battle with stage IV stomach cancer, Qureshi said that he recently — for the first time in his life — encountered Christ in a dream. It’s the message and the resulting lesson he learned that have captured the most attention.
5) A Christian pastor and an atheist came together last Sunday to debate a contentious question: “Is a creationist model consistent with scientific observations of the natural world?” You can watch the intriguing event and the pastor’s passionate closing remarks here.
“The closing point was one of the most powerful that anyone has heard at a debate … even atheists have thanked me for it,” Pastor Shane Idleman of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, told Faithwire in an email. “It really got them thinking.”
6) Moving on: A former felon who turned his life around and found God is getting major accolades for saving the life of an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper — and just in the nick of time. It’s a pretty remarkable story about faith, hope, redemption and plenty more.
7) Staff members at a London hospital as well as a British politician are being hailed as heroes after rushing to the scene of Wednesday’s terror attack outside Parliament in an effort to try and help the injured. These doctors, nurses and paramedics reportedly had little information about what they would discover at the grisly scene of the attack.
8) And, as we’ve already noted, goodness still abounds. Case-in-point: A police officer from North Carolina recently shared a touching encounter he had with a teenager who randomly approached him one day while he was doing paperwork inside of his patrol vehicle and asked a surprising question: “Can I pray for you?”
“I prayed for him for his safety and for the safety of the other officers and I thanked them for what they do,” 16-year-old Caleb Turner told WSOC-TV. “I wasn’t expecting any of this. I just did it just (because).”
9) Plus, a little baby who was born in Ivory Coast with two spines and four legs is doing great after U.S. doctors performed a risky surgery to remove the extra limbs. It’s a pretty amazing story that spans continents and shows what can happen when people come together to accomplish good.
10) And, finally, last weekend, over 20 children with special needs participated in a Langhorne, Pennsylvania, beauty pageant. The “Tiara’s Loving Children Special Needs Pageant” was open to participants from the ages of 3-20 years old and each one got an opportunity to walk down the runway and show off their best walk! Pretty cool.
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