Joy Break: Jesus in Times Square, Story Time Proposal and Other Stories to Make You Smile

By Nancy Flory Published on June 19, 2017

When we turn on our television or smart phones we are bombarded with news that brings us down.  It becomes easy to wonder where all the good news has gone. Those stories are still there. Here are a few we hope will brighten your day.

Jesus Week

Thousands of Christians showed up in Times Square during the last week of May to pray over the city and lead others to Christ.

Concerts of Prayer, a group of pastors and Christian leaders, hosted the event beginning May 27 and led by Pastor Dimas Salaberrios. The group’s goal is to encourage prayer across “ethnic, economic and denominational lines.” An estimated 14,000 took part. During the week, attendees went “into every borough in NYC to pray, help the poor, and minister in schools and troubled neighborhood,” reported The Christian Post

Jesus Week culminated in Times Square. Audio recordings of the Bible filled the air for an hour at a time. Afterward, a pastor would pray through scripture. 

Salaberrios said the scriptures, prayers and music could be heard down four New York City blocks. “People said it was the boldest thing they’ve ever seen,” Salaberrios told The Christian Post

According to Christian Today, Jesus Week handed out $3 million worth of materials. This included 120,000 Christian children’s books (40,000 in Spanish), 180,000 Christian devotional books and 100,000 Jesus Film DVDs. 

Jesus Week

Jesus Week

Story Time Proposal

Elementary school teacher Melanie Goldsmith loved reading to her children. So when she was asked to read a children’s story book as part of an exercise in a staff meeting, she readily agreed. 

What she didn’t know was that her boyfriend, Eric Hernandez, wrote the book as part of a creative marriage proposal. His book was about two little bunnies whose lives mirrored Melanie’s and Eric’s. When Melanie realized as she read that the book was about their relationship, she began to cry. Another teacher stepped in and read the last page, which asked, “Will you marry me?”

It was then that Eric entered the room and dropped to one knee to pop the question.

Here’s the video:

 May they live happily ever after.

Early Arrival

Baby Austin Douglas of England came into the world at a mere 22 weeks. He weighed one pound four ounces. His ears and lungs were underdeveloped and his skin was translucent. Austin’s mom Helen told Leicester Mercury she knew something was wrong when, on the morning of his birth, she felt the need to push. “I went straight to the hospital and they said I was fully dilated so there was nothing that could be done to stop him from coming … he’s been fighting since day one.”

He’s survived two lung infections and still has a long way to go, said Jonathan Cusack, a consultant neonatologist at Leicester’s hospital. “We are pleased with how well Austin is doing at present given how premature he was at birth — he has clearly shown he is a fighter.”

Now 10 weeks old, Austin’s parents hope to take him home on July 28, his actual due date.

one-pound baby

Left: Baby Austin’s lungs were not fully developed at birth, but he has survived two lung infections. Right: Austin was born at 22 weeks, weighing only one pound and four ounces. 

Overcoming Adversity

Long Island teen Christian Guardino, 16, recently performed on the show America’s Got Talent. He wasn’t just any other performer, however. Christian had been blind for 12 of his 16 years before gene therapy helped correct the problem. While he still can’t see well, it’s enough for him to walk without assistance and read large print. 

Christian was visibly nervous as he stood on stage. But when his accompanying music started, Christian soulfully, beautifully belted out the Jackson 5’s Who’s Lovin’ You, earning the prized “Golden Buzzer” from judge Howie Mandel.

Christian won the hearts of all of the judges, but particularly the normally acerbic judge Simon Cowell. “You were like a little mouse that turned into a lion,” Cowell told him. “You are one of my favorite contestants I’ve seen this year. Not only in terms of your voice. I just like you. There’s something about you, and it’s just the best possible feeling when we meet someone like you.”

Watch the video:

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