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Eight-year-old accepted to university thanks to viral video

Wikimedia CommonsJordin Phipps is a third-grader in Garland, Texas. She recently recorded a video of a mantra she learned in school: "I will start my day in a positive way! I will be respectful with the words that I say! I will pay attention and I will do my best and I will study hard for every test!"

Her mother shared the video with her alma mater, the University of North Texas. The university has now announced that it is giving Jordin the President's Award for Excellence in Leadership. It comes with a $10,000 scholarship and guarantees her admission to the college's class of 2030.

When we do the right thing, life often repays the favor—even in the hardest challenges we face.

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Man accidentally marries his granddaughter

via PexelsA sixty-eight-year-old man in Florida and his twenty-four-year-old wife were looking through his photo albums three months after they got married. To her shock, she recognized one of her husband's children from his first marriage. That child was her estranged father, who expelled her from their house when she became pregnant as a teenager.

Her new husband was equally shocked. He explained that his first wife left him many years earlier, taking their children and moving to an undisclosed location. He was never able to find them. He eventually remarried but was divorced again. Years later, he met his current wife through a dating agency.

Though they were surprised to learn they are related, the couple vows to stay together. The wife explains: "Every couple is different and special in their own ways."

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Kim Kardashian robbed at gunpoint in Paris

Credit: APKanye West was performing last night in Queens when an assistant pulled him aside. He then bolted from the stage, citing a "family emergency." Some disappointed fans were suspicious that the drama was a publicity stunt.

Now we know what the "family emergency" was: five gunmen tied up his wife, Kim Kardashian, in her Paris hotel room. They locked her in the bathroom, then stole a jewelry box containing valuables worth about $6.7 million and a ring worth about $4.4 million. Their crime is dominating headlines this morning.

Family emergencies seldom stay in the family. What happens in private usually becomes public.

Donald Trump's personal tax returns are now part of the presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton has apologized repeatedly for her handling of private email.

David Petraeus spoke last Friday at the World Affairs Council of Dallas. A four-star general, he earned a Ph.D. from Princeton and eventually became director of the CIA, but resigned because of an extramarital affair that involved private mishandling of classified documents.

Gary Hart was a US Senator and frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 before an extramarital affair derailed his campaign. It was the same story for John Edwards in 2008. We're all familiar with Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Tragically, Christian ministers are not exempt, as Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, and Ted Haggard demonstrated. One of the reasons Billy Graham has been so popular for so long is that his personal character matches his public reputation.

Scripture consistently calls us to choose integrity:

•    "Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out" (Proverbs 10:9).
•    "Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways" (Proverbs 28:6).
•    "The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!" (Proverbs 20:7).

Warren Buffett advised, "In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you." Conversely, choosing integrity reinforces integrity. Rick Warren: "Integrity is built by defeating the temptation to be dishonest; humility grows when we refuse to be prideful; and endurance develops every time you reject the temptation to give up."

Dwight Moody claimed that "character is what you are in the dark." Is there an area of your life where the dark isn't aligned with the light?

We build integrity by staying close to our Lord. The Holy Spirit wants to make us like Jesus (Romans 8:29). He will mold us into people he can use and bless. But we must ask him to do so.

Begin today by submitting your day to the Spirit. Ask him to control your mind and life. Then stay close to him all through the day. When you face temptations, ask for his strength. If you fail, ask for his forgiveness and cleansing grace. Ask the Lord to give you the character of Christ, and he will.

It is estimated that $70 million in counterfeit money is in circulation today. How do bank tellers tell the difference? Banks give them so much time with the real thing that they can spot a fake the moment they see or touch it.

How much time will you spend with the real Lord today?

Note: I invite you to read my article on Shimon Peres and Israel, published in The Blaze.

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'Black Moon' Friday: Has the apocalypse begun?

Laurie Gouley via PexelsIs today the "End of Days"?

Some say it is. We are witnessing a "Black Moon," which is the second of two new moons in a single month. The phenomenon occurs roughly every thirty-two months, so it's not all that unusual. However, the first day of September brought a "ring of fire" solar eclipse, with the moon aligned with the sun in such a way that the sun appears as a glowing ring around the moon.

Do these events herald the end of the world? Jesus told us that "the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light" before he returns (Matthew 24:29). However, in the same verse he also told us that "the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken." Neither has occurred yet.

When thinking about the Second Coming, it's best to focus on preparing rather than predicting. Some good news in today's news makes that point.

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Are 'customized babies' our future?

Credit: santypan via FotoliaUS doctors in Mexico recently helped Jordanian parents give birth to a baby boy. The fact that three nations were involved in this event is not what's making news today. It's the fact that three parents were.

The mother carries a genetic condition that usually causes the child to die within two to three years. The couple has already suffered four miscarriages as well as the death of two children. This time, doctors combined the DNA from the mother's egg with healthy mitochondria from a donor egg, creating a healthy new egg they fertilized with the father's sperm. The result is a baby with 0.1 percent of the donor's DNA but without the genetic defect that would have killed the child.

Technology is not only making possible designer eggs, but designer sperm as well. For instance, the London Sperm Bank has released a mobile app that lets women filter potential sperm donors based on ethnicity, occupation, personality type, eye color, etc. Women can also create an alert that will notify them when a donor with their preferred characteristics becomes available.

Doctors can already warn prospective parents if they are carriers of genes that cause Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, sickle cell disease, Tay-Sachs, and other disorders. We can imagine a day when potential mates are chosen for their genetic capacities and reproductive potential.

Millions of so-called "test tube" babies have been conceived through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Scientists can test embryos for a variety of diseases, then implant healthy embryos and freeze or discard the rest. Soon they may be able to test for capacities such as intelligence and body type.

The ethical implications of "customized babies" are staggering.

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