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McDonald's gives 100-year-old woman free food for life

Imaginechina via AP ImagesNadine Baum turned one hundred last week and was honored with a surprise party at her local McDonald's restaurant. Their present to her: free food for life. "I don't know what I did to deserve all this," she said. "I count my blessings every day."

Nadine is on to something.

Every morning brings new reasons to be discouraged by today's culture. Since our society decided decades ago that truth is subjective and morality is no one's business but ours, we've seen Western culture continue to spiral downward.

Abortion is now celebrated; children and the mentally ill are being euthanized; racial conflict is rising; sexually-transmitted diseases continue to spread. Churches and Christian schools that defend biblical marriage are worried about their tax-exempt status; transgender bathrooms are just the latest battle in the sexual revolution.

It's tempting to withdraw from our broken culture into a siege mentality that assumes the worst. What do we do when facing enemies who appear stronger and more numerous than we are?

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How Christians should respond to the presidential debate

Credit: Mark Ralston via ApThe candidates began and ended last night's presidential debate without shaking hands. The ninety minutes in between were filled with argument, name-calling, and vitriol. Donald Trump refused to say if he will accept the vote if he loses, a statement that is leading this morning's news. Hillary Clinton called him a "puppet" of Russia, while he called her a "nasty woman."

In eighteen days I will vote in my eleventh presidential election over four decades. I have never seen a campaign season as bitter as this one has been. Nor have I seen Christians as divided over an election as we seem to be today.

I receive emails regularly from believers who liken Donald Trump to Winston Churchill and characterize him as the war leader we need today. I also receive emails from believers who are convinced that no Christian could vote for Mr. Trump. Many evangelicals are convinced that electing Hillary Clinton would end America as we know it. Others believe that she would advance our status as leader of the free world.

Here's what I know for sure: on November 9 the election will be over, but our witness—for good or for bad—will endure.

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Do you wish a giant meteor would destroy the Earth?

Meteor strikes EarthNearly one in four young Americans would rather have a giant meteor destroy the Earth than see Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in the White House. In addition, 26 percent of millennials would prefer a random lottery over the two candidates.

It's been a tough week leading up to tonight's final presidential debate.

The local Republican headquarters in Hillsborough, North Carolina made national headlines when a firebomb was thrown through its front window last Sunday. Later that day, comedian Amy Schumer was performing in Tampa, Florida when she began slamming Donald Trump. Some two hundred people walked out. Yesterday a terrible caricatured statue of Hillary Clinton was displayed in lower Manhattan, causing a furor on social media.

For many, the election can't get here soon enough. According to the American Psychological Association, more than half of America's adults say the election has been a large or significant source of stress for them.

So-called "Election Stress Disorder" is just part of the larger picture. Nearly three out of four adults report feeling stressed about money at least some of the time. Eighty percent of workplace accidents and doctor visits are attributed to stress.

Stress contributes to headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety. It is a linked to some cancers and costs American industry more than $300 billion each year.

How should we respond?

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How should churches deal with gay members? 4 facts

Credit: PexelsHow should churches who affirm biblical truth regarding homosexuality handle gay members?

Yesterday I addressed the controversy generated by Watermark Church's decision to discipline a gay member of its congregation. The continuing debate fostered by this issue shows that it is not limited to one church or to the issue of homosexuality. While I cannot explore this complicated subject fully in a single article, I would like to offer this overview.

One: Church discipline is unpopular.

When the Watermark decision became public, the response was immediate and strongly negative. I heard people ask, "Who do they think they are? What right do they have to judge others?" Such questions are symptomatic of a culture that has defined truth as personal and subjective. Tolerance is the overriding value of our day. As a result, any attempts to hold others accountable for biblical morality will be met with derision.

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Dallas church criticized for disciplining gay member

Credit: Maura Teague via FlickrOn October 9, 2015, a member of Watermark Church in Dallas received a letter responding to his homosexual lifestyle. The letter noted that the church had worked with the man over several years to help him repent of such relationships.

However, the man's decision to continue in a homosexual relationship caused the church to remove him from its membership and to treat him "as we would anyone who is living out of fellowship with God." The congregation is praying "that repentance comes quickly and that you do not continue choosing a path of destruction and one that leads you away from the authority and care of the church."

On the one-year anniversary of receiving the letter, the man described his anger on Facebook: "You are tarnishing the name of God to Christians and non-Christians alike; you should be ashamed of yourselves! Do not forget, Jesus was a [sic] angry with people just like you who said certain groups of people were not worthy to be followers of Him."

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