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The Shepherd Calls: A Little Snow

ShepherdCalls_WPThe morning snow covered the ground like wet tissue paper. It was just a dusting; you could see snow, but it did not cover much. The fallen limbs, the mole mounds, the jonquils jutting early from the earth, even the stepping-stones were clearly visible through the transparent whiteness. It was a snow such as this that caused Calvin, of “Calvin and Hobbs” comics, to complain, “Getting a little snow is

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Frying Pan to Fire

ShepherdCalls_WPThough hardly a surprise, the big news today is “Crimea voters opt to secede.” They chose to be Russians rather than Crimeans. It reminds me of an incident more than 50 years ago when Cuba cast off the shackles of a dictatorship. There was dancing in the streets, followed by nearly 1,000 executions of suspected political opponents, the loss of all private property, the stealthy departure of many family members

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Choices

ShepherdCalls_WPMost of my Christian upbringing occurred in evangelical churches, primarily Baptist churches. In that tradition, little attention was devoted to liturgies, litanies, or lectionaries. In seminary, however, I was introduced to the liturgical calendar, i.e. the Christian calendar. Simply stated, the Christian calendar is a suggested cycle of Christian seasons often accompanied by a list of scriptures applicable to those seasons. This compilation is a lectionary.

One purpose of the

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Black Biblical History

ShepherdCalls_WPFebruary is Black History Month. Black people have contributed decidedly in making this a good country.

Most of us are familiar with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, and Rosa Parks. These black heroes are well known; but there are others. On February 1, 2003, the American Ambassador to Oman delivered a speech in which he listed many little known outstanding black persons in American history.

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Cuddle… Cupid’s twin

ShepherdCalls_WPWhat you are about to read is fiction. The events never happened; therefore, the names have not been changed to protect the guilty. Still, there is truth here. See if you can find it.

Surely, you’ve heard of Cupid, but you may not have heard of Cupid’s twin, Cuddle. Cupid’s task is to arrange relationships; Cuddle’s work is to maintain them.

As you might expect, Cuddle’s assignment is more difficult

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My Friend, Jesus

ShepherdCalls_WPA good friend of mine passed away recently. I’ve reached the age when this happens much too frequently. He was a really lovable guy. Built like a teddy bear, he made you smile just by being in his presence. He was an artist, a musician par excellence. He earned his livelihood entirely with his music. He played the organ at his church for more than 50 years.

Quite witty, you

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Life in the Extreme

ShepherdCalls_WP“We are going to have a temperature swing of 50 to 70 degrees,” he exuded loudly. “That’s extreme!” His reference was to Sunday’s weather forecast. Then he repeated that oft remembered cliché, “If you don’t like the Missouri weather, just wait — it will change.”

His words “That is extreme,” still ring in my ears. Most of our weather is average. We call it normal. In fact, most

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How to Treat Your Children

ShepherdCalls_WPWhen I was 11, my father asked my advice about an important matter. “Son, I’ve been offered a new job. I must answer soon. What do you think I should do?”

“Huh?” I answered with typical 11-year-old intelligence. I was surprised by the news and by the question.

“I’ve been offered a job in Tennessee. It’s a lot more money, but we’ll have to move. I need your advice.”

We

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Bird Watching

ShepherdCalls_WPFrom the trash in my workshop, I rescued two old bird feeders. Our home sits amid many trees. That is great for a birdwatcher like me. However, trees attract other creatures as well as birds. We are overrun with squirrels. They are not satisfied with robbing the bird feeders; they regularly gnaw on our house.

I have spent countless hours and money repairing the damage they wreak. In exasperation, several

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