INCREDIBLE ADOPTION STORY

When Walt was just a little boy God gave him a vision–he was a father and he had a little girl named Chole. But as years went on, and he and his wife Annie struggled with infertility. Walt all but lost hope in his promise from God. Until they got an email that changed everything. God’s plan is always so much greater than our own, and this story is amazing.

 

You Have to Read This Inspirational Church Story

The story of Pastor Jeremiah Steepek has been shared on the internet before; you may have even read it. But, we think you need to read it again… because it’s more inspirational than you realize:

Pastor Jeremiah Steepek (pictured) transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service….only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food….NO ONE in the church gave him change. He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit n the back. He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him.

As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such. When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation……..”We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek”….The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation…..The homeless man sitting in the back stood up…..and started walking down the aisle…..the clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him….he walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment….then he recited

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning…many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame…. he then said….Today I see a gathering of people……not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples…when will YOU decide to become disciples? He then dismissed service until next week…….Being a Christian is more than something you claim. It’s something you live by and share with others.

Thousands of people have shared this story on Facebook and social media. But, there were many comments like the one below:

“The story isn’t true.”

Well…

It didn’t happen. But the story is true!

Jesus says, “There was a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him…”

“A sower went out to sow…”

“A man found a treasure hidden in a field…”

“A woman took some leaven…”

“There was a man who had two sons…”

“Hang on, Jesus,” is the first reaction of some people to Jesus’ stories, “that’s not true.”

“You are lying!”

Well…

It didn’t happen. But the story is true!

…God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day…

“Well, that’s obviously false!” they say. “God hasn’t even made the sun yet, how can there be days?!”

Well…

It didn’t happen. But the story is true!

There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought.

“Hang on there, Nathan,” you think King David said, “you’re just making that up! That’s not true, is it?!” [Read the whole story in 2 Samuel 11-12]

Well…

It didn’t happen. But the story is true!

King David knew it was true. So true that it converted him.

There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright…

Yeah! Right! That’s not true. Where is this land of Uz anyway? Once upon a time in the Land of Uz…

The photo isn’t of “Pastor Jeremiah Steepek”. It was actually taken by Brad J Gerrard who writes:

I was walking down the street in Richmond, saw this man talking to someone, could see he was quite a picture in the making. On the way back, when he was free I had a short conversation with the gentleman and he agreed to let me photograph him. I liked the result. He was very friendly.

If we cannot cope with the truth being presented in the form of a story, we will struggle being a Christian, or a spiritual person generally, in our contemporary age.

For them, here is a version that (apparently) did happen:

Early morning on June 23, Willie lay under a tree on the church lawn covered up by a big overcoat. He still had not shaved or combed his hair. He wondered how many people would approach him and offer him food, or a place to sit inside an air conditioned room, or just see how they could help. Twenty people spoke to him and offered some type of assistance.

The sermon title was “The Least Used Parts of the Body” and based on I Corinthians 12:12-15. According to Pastor Lyle, “Often the least used parts of the body are the ones that mean the most, like our heart and mind. We need to understand that there are no small or least used parts in the body of Christ.

“Too many of us only want to serve God one hour each week. That doesn’t cut it. That is not God’s plan.”

While he preached, his daughter-in-law cut his hair and his daughter helped shave off his scruffy beard. He changed shoes, and beneath the overcoat, he was wearing his Sunday clothes. He put on a tie and his suit coat, all the while continuing to preach his message. Before the 200 people gathered that morning, he went from looking like a homeless person to the new pastor of the congregation.

The moral of the story is this: put God first in your life. Act like a Christian at all times, not just once a week during church. Open your hearts, your minds and love one another.

God bless.

Lourdes Shrine Officially Records 69th Miracle

.- The famous Marian shrine in Lourdes, France has received an official declaration from the Bishop of Pavia, Italy stating that the 69th miracle has taken place there.

“I have the joy of reporting to everyone my healing, which just a few days ago was approved as a miracle by my bishop, which is a beautiful thing,” said Mrs. Danila Castelli, who experienced the miracle on May 4, 1989 after visiting the baths in Lourdes.

Castelli said in an interview posted July 18, 2013 on the Lourdes Sanctuary’s YouTube channel that she wants to “thank Our Lady for all of the joy I’ve received, not just the joy of a healed body – which is also important because health is a gift of God and we have to protect it and ask for it, life is a gift – but the joy that Our Lord has given me throughout my entire life for as long as I can remember.”

However, her condition did not improve, and in Nov. 1982 surgeons removed part of her pancreas. It wasn’t until 1983 that doctors discovered a tumor near her bladder and conducted several surgeries between then and 1988 to try and resolve the issue, all without success.

Danila was planning on visiting the Mayo Clinic in the United States in 1988 when she decided that she would instead make a pilgrimage to Lourdes, fulfilling a longstanding desire.

Together with her husband, an Iranian-born doctor, she made the trek and emerged from the sacred baths with an “an extraordinary feeling of wellbeing.”

Her husband waited for her at the exit, and as soon as he saw her he said, “Danila, I know that everything now has passed. I know that everything is behind us.

“You were right,” he said, referring to her years-long desire to visit Lourdes.

She reported her allegedly miraculous cure to the Lourdes Office of Medical Observations a short time later, beginning the 23-year process that culminated in the June 20, 2013 declaration by Bishop Giovanni Guidici of Pavia that the healing was “prodigious-miraculous” in character.

An official from the Vatican’s Congregation for Saints’ Causes who requested anonymity explained in a July 22 conversation with CNA how the process works.

“When a miracle is recognized by the Medical Bureau of the Sanctuary of Lourdes, the paperwork is sent back to the diocese of origin. When recognized by the local bishop, it is recognized officially by the Church as a miracle through the intercession of Our Lady,” he said.

Before making its finding that the event was miraculous, the Lourdes medical bureau met five separate times between 1989 and 2010.

Doctor Alessandro de Franciscis, head of the medical bureau, explained that at its final meeting in 2010, more than 100 doctors and nurses –with one abstention– approved the cure as miraculous after a “lengthy” and “very passionate” discussion.

“This lady was judged, indeed certified cured in a way unexplained by current medical scientific knowledge,” Dr. de Franciscis stated.

Throughout the years since Mary first appeared to Saint Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 at the Lourdes grotto, the shrine has investigated over 7,000 cases of reported miracles. Since then, 69 have received the official approval of a bishop, with the majority of them coming from France.

Devine Intervention Leads A Farmer To The Rescue Of A Two Year Bot

 

What started out as a typical Thursday morning quickly turned to one of panic for a family in Soledad, California. Gone was the Honda Accord that had been idling in the driveway just minutes before. However, the truly terrifying fact was that the car was not empty when it disappeared. In the backseat sat 2-year-old Jacob Vargas. But thankfully, the missing boy had angels watching over him that day!

 

Credit: KSBW News

Jacob’s dad had to run back to the house to lock the door, likely assuming he wouldn’t be gone long enough for anything bad to happen. It’s a mistake he’s not soon to forget.

The few minutes the Honda was left unattended was just the window of opportunity needed by a nearby carjacker. The thief hopped into the running vehicle and drove off, unaware of the little boy in the backseat.

Credit: California Highway Patrol

The car went missing at 6:35am. An Amber Alert was released immediately to the entire state of California, and all of Soledad was on the lookout for the missing boy. Authorities were hopeful that once the thief realized there was a child in the car, he’d abandon the vehicle in a public place where it, and little Jacob, could be easily found.

However, that was not the case. And had it not been for divine intervention, the situation would have likely turned tragic.

Farmer John Given was heading back to his offices Thursday afternoon when he spontaneously decided to take a detour to one of his ranches. There was no explanation as to why he opted to head down the particular road he did. In fact, he says he hadn’t been by that particular ranch in roughly 6 to 8 months. But, on a whim, he decided to check in on the fields.

 

Credit: Monterey County Sheriff’s Office

And thank God he did! He noticed a car that was out of place, parked in a shady spot under a barn. Very soon after that, the Amber Alert came through and John recognized the out of place vehicle as being one in the same as the car reported along with the missing boy. He immediately called 911.

 

John calls his discovery pure luck, but we know it’s something much bigger than that.

Credit: KSBW News

Though the car was parked in a shady spot, the car was locked, all of the windows were rolled up and 2-year-old Jacob remained strapped into his carseat in the back. Had it not been for the farmer’s “inexplicable urge” to pull down the road that he did, there’s no telling how long the car would have sat at the remote ranch with the missing boy trapped inside.

“There was a reason he chose to drive that way and go down that road that day,” said Chief of Police, Eric Sills. “There clearly was some help from above.”

Thanks to a call from another farmer, the man suspected of the kidnapping was located and taken into custody.

You can hear more of the story in the video below:

Jacob’s story is an important warning to parents everywhere about the danger of leaving a child unattended, even if only for a few minutes.

“You can’t ever leave a child in a car with the engine running, and for that matter, nobody should ever leave their car with the engine running, unattended, because we see auto thefts like this all the time,” said Soledad police Chief Eric Sills.

According to KidsAndCars.org, there were 107 cases last year in the US of auto-theft where children were left in the backseat. Thank God that Jacob’s story had a happy ending, and the 2-year-old missing boy was found after only 6 hours.

Tips to help prevent your car from being stolen:

• Always take your keys. Don’t leave them in or on your vehicle

• Close windows and lock doors

• Park in well-lit areas

• Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially where they can be seen

• Never leave the area while your vehicle is running

• Keep your vehicle in your garage, if possible

Please share this story as a reminder to all to watch out for car theft!

Abandoned Toddler Is Comforted By A Police Officer

Abandoned Toddler Is Comforted By A Police Officer

Officer James Hurst may be a rookie with the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police, but he’s a pro when it comes to compassion. And seeing this police officer cuddling an abandoned toddler has the internet going crazy!

Credit: Facebook / Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department

Officer Hurst was one of the policemen dispatched when calls came in from the Cuyler-Brownsville neighborhood, one of Savannah’s most troubled areas according to police statistics. Concerned residents called to report that a 16-month-old boy was spotted wandering the streets. No one knew how long the boy had been wandering, where he’d come from or where he belonged.

It was an extremely upsetting discovery to kind-hearted Officer Hurst, who has two little ones at home, one of whom has Down Syndrome.

The officers picked up the abandoned toddler at 10am and immediately took him to the emergency room to make sure he was ok. Though they were trying to help, it was understandably very confusing to the little boy, who became upset. And the boy’s heartache struck a chord with Officer Hurst. He explained:

“The boy, obviously, being so small, became very upset. He was crying. He was sobbing. I asked the hospital staff if I can hold him to comfort him and soothe him a little bit to try to calm him down, to continue getting medical care and they said that was fine. So I picked him up, minutes later, he, I was standing and he was asleep on my chest and with all my body armor and my gun belt, became very heavy holding this small child, so that’s when I decided to sit down on the bed and make it easier for him and me.”

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The tender photo has gone incredibly viral over Facebook, leaving the officer completely stunned by the kudos he’s received since the photo was shared.

“It was just natural to want to soothe this child, um, I didn’t expect any of this, it’s been quite overwhelming actually,” Officer Hurst humbly explains.

The abandoned toddler is safe and in good health. No arrests were made, but the boy is now in the custody of the Georgia Department of Family & Children’s Services. Please keep this precious child in your prayers.

As for Officer Hurst, he wants folks to understand that:

“It’s what we do, every single day, not just me, but the 600 officers that are on this department.”