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Season to Be Jolly

by Dr. H. Wade Paris

ShepherdCalls_WP“‘Tis the season to be jolly.” At least, that is what the song says. Truthfully, however, not everyone is jolly at Christmas. Admittedly, all the world should rejoice. Christmas is the birthday of Jesus our Savior. Nevertheless, things are not always as they should be. Perhaps we can understand an unbeliever would lack joy at Christmas. For them, it is just an over-commercialized holiday.

Unfortunately,

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Light a Candle for the Shepherds

ShepherdCalls_WPThe angels were celestially shocked when they heard God would send His son Jesus to earth. They were momentarily mortified when they learned He would be born in a barn. But, they were divinely delighted when they were instructed to go to earth and announce His birth.

However, they fell into an angelic argument over who would be the first to receive the divine disclosure. The Pompous Angel said a

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The Right Side

ShepherdCalls_WPTraveling south along Interstate 49 (old Highway 71) from the final Raymore/Belton exit, one can see a tall county water tower. At first it appears to be on the left side of the highway, but the road twists and turns for the next several miles; and when you pass the tower, it is actually on the right side of the interstate.

Each time I make that journey (and I do

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Advent Hope

ShepherdCalls_WP‘Tis the season of Advent. The word “advent” means “a coming.” For Christians it denotes the coming of Christmas, the time when God came to earth as a baby. Traditionally, the four Sundays prior to Christmas and Christmas Day are celebrated as the Advent season. On each Sunday a candle in an Advent wreath is lighted, and special emphasis is given to some part of the Christmas story.

One tradition

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Thanksgiving Complications

ShepherdCalls_WPThanksgiving! The word is something of a paradox. Think about it. More often than not, one is thankful for something they have received; but the word “thanksgiving” advises us to “give.” Human nature generally prefers receiving more than giving. That nature, at the very least, strains our thankfulness.

For some time prior to writing this article, I contemplated my own thankfulness. I asked myself if I could give thanks for

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Blessed Blunders

ShepherdCalls_WPThe October/November 2014 issue of Birds and Blooms contains a timely article about migrating birds. Once Canada geese were absent in summer in most of the continental United States. Large flocks of the geese would arrive stateside in late autumn, only to return north the following spring.

Midway into the 20th century, some biologists feared the geese would become extinct. New flocks were bred in captivity and released to join

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Is Anyone Out There?

ShepherdCalls_WPThe July 2014 issue of National Geographic contains a sizeable commentary about the potential for life beyond this earth, i.e. in space on other stars or planets. The document suggests we might have answers about life in space soon, “in our lifetime.”

Accordingly, it supports its hypothesis with new scientific and technological findings. Rockets capable of reaching distant stars already exist and will doubtless become faster making interstellar travel more

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Lazarus Takes a Stand

ShepherdCalls_WPHe’s just a black and brown mutt, who was struck by a car and seriously injured. His owner was moving and could no longer care for him, so he dropped him off at a local veterinary clinic. When all efforts to find a rescuer failed, the clinic administered a lethal injection and left him for dead in a cage. When the clinic staff returned the following morning, he was standing,

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Columbus Day Quandary

ShepherdCalls_WPNext Monday is Columbus Day, a day set aside to celebrate the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the North American continent. Like many of our holiday celebrations, this one is filled with ethical dilemmas.

In the first place, Columbus did not really discover America. There were many indigenous people here already. The Vikings had also visited these continents 500 years earlier. That would be a millennium ago for you and

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