One week after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, many Americans are tired, weary and saddened by the slew of ongoing acts of violence and natural disasters that have taken the world by storm.
With that in mind, Faithwire has assembled a recap of the most inspirational and intriguing stories from the week — stories aimed at uplifting our spirits amid a very difficult and harrowing time. Here they are:
Let’s start with a really intriguing story about famed author Lee Strobel, who recently revealed how Playboy founder Hugh Hefner reacted when Strobel — a well-known atheist-turned-Christian speaker and apologist — went to Hefner’s mansion and shared the gospel with the magazine publisher.
On an inspirational note, hundreds of thousands of kids across the U.S. headed to school last Thursday with copies of the Christian Bibles in their hands or backpacks as part of the annual “Bring Your Bible to School Day.”
Focus on the Family, a Christian organization, spearheaded the effort and encouraged young people of all ages to not only “bring their Bibles to school” but to also “talk about it with friends.” We captured some of the best photos on social media.
Speaking of God and prayer, a viral photo of a little girl’s adorable — and intense — prayer in front of an American flag is inspiring residents of East Texas — and beyond.
The picture of 2-year-old Cameron Gillespie deeply focusing on prayer was recently taken outside of her school, Alpine Christian Academy, as she and her peers surrounded a flag pole during a See You at the Pole event. Check it out here.
And with the nation so intensely divided, its not only little Cameron who’s been passionately turning to God for help. New York Jets linebacker Demario Davis also recently delivered a passionate prayer during an episode of the “Sports Spectrum Podcast,” appealing to God for wisdom and guidance as the nation continues to face rising tensions and increased social debate.
You’ve got to hear it for yourself.
Moving on, there’s still a great deal of chaos and uncertainty in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Amid the pain, “Real Housewives of New York City” star Bethenny Frankel was so moved that she headed down to Puerto Rico and has been on the ground organizing major recovery and relief efforts. It’s pretty cool to see a celebrity take such a hands-on role.
Meanwhile, in Texas, a former children’s pastor is helping single moms, widows and the wives of deployed military service members through “God’s Garage,” an innovative, nonprofit car repair shop. It’s an amazing way to help those in dire need.
Speaking of some uplifting news, you might recall singer Mandy Harvey, who captivated America back in June when delivered a stunning performance on “America’s Got Talent” after revealing to the show’s judges and audience that she’s deaf. In her new book, “Sensing the Rhythm: Finding My Voice in a World Without Sound,” Harvey delves deeper into her personal story of losing her hearing as a teen and experiencing a faith crisis as a result that led her to feel deep despair and to initially abandon music.
Hear Harvey explain her story in her own words here.
— America's Got Talent (@AGT) June 7, 2017
Faithwire has also covered a series of uplifting stories in the wake of the horrific Las Vegas shooting attack last Sunday. Among them: witness Taylor Benge revealed that surviving the experience turned him from an agnostic into a full-fledged believer.
“I was agnostic going into that concert and I’m a firm believer in God now,” Benge told CNN on Monday morning. “Because there’s no way that all of that happened and that I made it and I was blessed enough to still be here alive talking to you today.” Watch his comments here.
And local Michael Nixon, 32, an attorney who has lived in Vegas since 2012, told Faithwire that he “felt helpless” and horrified in the wake of the attack, but quickly became determined to make a difference. He’s been gathering personal care items for victims’ families who are unexpectedly waiting at the hospital for their loved ones to get better.
“I started gathering a list of things that I needed for people who didn’t think they’d be in a shelter or hospital — food, water [and other supplies],” he said. “I posted a couple of things on Facebook. The phone calls have been overwhelming … I’m just blown away.”
On a more reflective note, Bible Gateway, an online Bible provider, has revealed the four verses that people are most likely to turn to in the wake of mass shootings and other violent attacks: John 16:33, Psalm 34:18, Romans 12:19 and Psalm 11:15. Check out what those verses have to say here.
Oh, and one last mention: “Duck Dynasty” star Missy Robertson has partnered with Faithwire.com to launch “The Overcomers,” a new podcast that features some of the most harrowing, tragic and ultimately uplifting stories imaginable. It’s worth a listen!