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What Hillary Clinton's health controversy says about us

Andrew Harnik via APAbout three million Americans are diagnosed with pneumonia each year. Only one of them is running for president of the United States.

Hillary Clinton's pneumonia continues to generate headlines this morning. According to her physician, she was diagnosed last Friday and put on antibiotics. After she collapsed Sunday morning, she was taken to her daughter's New York City apartment. She exited the building ninety minutes later and told the press she was "feeling great." A few hours later, her campaign announced that she has pneumonia and is recovering.

Her campaign is now working with her doctor to release "additional medical information," according to her press secretary. He assured the public that "there is no other undisclosed condition." However, many are skeptical. As Damon Linker notes in The Week, "Political trust is a fragile thing. Once it's gone, it's exceedingly difficult to get back."

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NCAA to move 7 events from North Carolina, cites bathroom law

Credit: Chuck Burton via APNorth Carolina adopted legislation in March 2016 which mandates that in government buildings, individuals may use only restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates. Gov. Pat McCrory defends the law as a way to protect young girls from potential predators.

The National Basketball Association and other groups are already boycotting the state because of this law. According to today's Wall Street Journal, the NCAA has announced that it is pulling seven tournament games from the state for the same reason. This after attempts were made over the summer in California to remove funding from religious universities that defend biblical sexuality and marriage.

As ethicist David Gushee warns, "On LGBT equality, middle ground is disappearing." Gushee is himself a convert to the LGBT cause and advocate for same-sex marriage. While I disagree strongly with his reasoning, I agree that discrimination against Christians who "discriminate" against the LGBT community will continue to escalate.

As with all challenges, the time to decide we will act with courage is before courage is required. Case in point: "Sully" Sullenberger and the "Miracle on the Hudson."

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New Miss America is a Christian

Credit: Noah K. Murray via APThere is much we could discuss in today's news. Hillary Clinton is being treated for pneumonia after her sudden exit from a 9/11 ceremony in New York City. North Korea's recent nuclear test is still making headlines. "Sully" was the winner at the North American box office over the weekend. The NFL's first full Sunday of action produced several surprises (Dallas Cowboys fans are still frustrated this morning by our loss, but that's another subject).

However, I'd like to focus for a moment on Savvy Shields, who was named Miss America 2017 last night. She is an art major at the University of Arkansas and won the talent competition with her jazz dance. And she is a Christian. She prayed for her fellow contestants before the competition and noted on her Instagram, "God is so much greater than we can imagine."

It is encouraging when people with beauty, talent, and charisma make their faith public. But here's the downside: we can mistakenly think we must be successful to be useful to God. Our challenges and failures can discourage us from serving Jesus.

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Iconic 9/11 flag returned to NYC

Bebeto Matthews via APRemember the three firefighters who raised the American flag over the rubble of Ground Zero on September 11, 2001? The flag had been taken from a yacht moored in lower Manhattan. Shortly after its iconic photograph was taken, however, it disappeared.

Somehow it made its way to Washington State. In 2014, a man gave it to a local fire station; police determined its authenticity and returned it to its original owners. They later donated it to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, where it was unveiled yesterday.

The flag symbolizes the resolve of the American people in responding to the worst terrorist attack in our history. This Sunday will mark fifteen years since 2,996 people were killed and more than 6,000 were injured. Like me, you will never forget where you were on that horrific day. You may have wondered across the years what you can do to honor those who died and to prevent future attacks on our nation.

Let's consider the second question first. Since 9/11, we have seen the rise of ISIS and multiple other radical Islamist groups across the world. They threaten our lives and our way of life. We must respond with our best military, economic, political, and cultural resources.

At the same time, this is ultimately a spiritual conflict with enemies who are motivated by an apocalyptic spiritual vision. That's why it is imperative that God's people pray for God's Spirit to reveal God's Son to Muslims the world over. In response to such visions and dreams, more Muslims than ever before are coming to faith in Jesus. We must increase our intercession as we fight this battle on our knees.

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Man says the devil helped him kill teenager

Credit: Wichita FallsThirteen-year-old Lauren Landavazo was walking home from school last Friday when she was shot and killed. Authorities arrested Kody Lott Sunday afternoon and he later confessed to the shooting, claiming that the devil helped him plan out the crime.

If this tragedy doesn't make you angry, I could tell you more stories in today's news—a teenager who assaulted a girl and bragged about it on Facebook, thirty-seven children who were hospitalized after a chlorine gas attack in Syria, thirteen people who were shot to death over the Labor Day weekend in Chicago.

My point is not to depress you this morning. Rather, it is to think with you about the anger you feel at stories like these.

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